Barry Giller enters his 10th year leading Charlotte Christian School, which has been providing a Christ-centered education since 1950.
Giller’s tenure has been one of growth, especially in terms of the build-out of his campus.
He’s led four building projects, including the Center for Worship and Performing Arts in 2017. That project happens to be the first phase of the school’s current master plan. We caught up with Giller to ask him about future growth.
With this being your 10th year as head of school, what are you most proud of?
If we look over the last 10 years, the continued growth of the school. That could be measured by enrollment. It could be measured by our financial position. It could be measured by facility growth.
But more importantly, it would be the growth that we have seen in our students individually and collectively in terms of their academic and spiritual growth.
It’s a thriving community to be a part of. I’m just blessed to be part of that and privileged to help lead that over the last 10 years.
How has the Center For Worship And Performing Arts changed the school’s dynamic?
That’s been an amazing addition to our campus.
We used to do all of our chapels and fine arts programming in our gym. Having a dedicated space for chapels, concerts, musicals and plays just provides an opportunity for our students to experience what it’s like to be part of a full stage production and what it’s like to have space dedicated to their gifts and talents.
On the chapel side, it gives us a good spot for us in the day to pause and thank God for what he has blessed us with.
That’s phase one of the master plan. What kind of build-out are you guys looking at to complete the plan?
The next phase for us, which we hope to break ground in November, is on the northern part of our campus.
That phase will include a new soccer and lacrosse field, which will be artificial turf.
It will include eight tennis courts. We don’t have tennis courts on our campus, so this would be great for our tennis teams.
We’ll also include a support building, which will have concessions, locker rooms and bathrooms as well.
And then there’s just internal improvements. Based on where that is on our campus, we have to add a road to get to that part of it and connect it to our main part of campus.
It seems like the soccer field is coming at the right time with Charlotte’s efforts to land a Major League Soccer team, as well as the formation of the Stumptown Athletic professional soccer team. Do you guys hope to partner with these entities?
As our school has grown, we continue to grow our athletic program. Part of it is just needed space for practice and game times.
We added boys lacrosse a few years ago. Adding lacrosse put some constraints on our field usage.
We partner well with the Charlotte Eagles and have done a lot with them over the years. We continue to partner with them for some camps and coaching they provide for our teams.
You mention Stumptown. I’m really excited that Jared Odenbeck, who graduated from here in 2013 and had been playing soccer at a couple of different places professionally, has returned to Charlotte to play for the Stumptown Athletic. He’s also an assistant for our varsity boys soccer team.
What’s the importance of athletics to your institution?
Athletics is a great opportunity for our students to learn some necessary life skills about being part of a team, being under the authority of a coach and healthy competition. We find it is a great outlet for our students to grow.
It’s also a great chance to interact with our peer schools. We have great relationships with those schools in our conferences and enjoy some healthy competition with them as well.
Like all the schools in south Charlotte, it’s an important part of our full curriculum, but it’s not the most important part.
Are you guys engaged in a capital campaign to start each phase?
We’ve been very blessed with the generous donations of our families and alumni over the last several years to do the projects you mentioned before.
We do anticipate entering into a capital campaign to work toward the future phases. We are still doing some feasibility studies on what that would look like. The sequencing is still to be determined. We’ll be looking within our site and what our current needs are.
Future phases of the master plan mention new or renovated middle and upper school buildings. How much are you guys looking to grow?
We haven’t determined that yet.
We are very blessed to have full enrollment almost in all of our grades. It is something we are working toward with our admissions team just to understand what the demand is and the capabilities to handle additional students.
South Charlotte is an amazing place for independent schools. We’re all blessed there’s a tremendous opportunity for all of our schools to be very healthy enrollment-wise.