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Cornerstone expands, Hauger joins teaching staff


Cornerstone Christian Learning Center teachers (L-R) Kristin Hauger and Mary Bales are seen at the school, located at the Grangeville Church of the Nazarene, 515 W. N. 2nd Street. Not pictured is teacher Michelle Thanstrom.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Cornerstone Christian Learning Center teachers (L-R) Kristin Hauger and Mary Bales are seen at the school, located at the Grangeville Church of the Nazarene, 515 W. N. 2nd Street. Not pictured is teacher Michelle Thanstrom.



— Longtime medical issues may have caused Kristin Hauger to resign her teaching post at Grangeville Elementary Middle School; however, she said it was the hand of God that made her make that final decision.

“I had prayed and felt led to ‘take a leap of faith’ for quite a while now, but it seemed like such a difficult decision,” she said.

But when her husband, Mike, told her she needed “to take that leap of faith,” she knew it was time.

“Those were the exact words I had heard, had prayed for,” she said.

That decision led to the next, which was to teach at Cornerstone Christian Learning Center, a ministry of the Church of the Nazarene. Mary Bales and Michelle Thanstrom also teach there. The program currently offers schooling for children preschool through grade two, and has the Grangeville City Council’s permission to go up to grade five.

The facility is licensed for 24 younger (K-pre) and 25 older (first through fifth grades) children and hopes to have around 40 students, maximum, said Bales.

“That’s what we feel our currently facility [at the church] can handle, and that’s a little less than what we are licensed for,” Bales said.

Currently, 13 students are registered for the coming year. Bales works mainly with preschool-and kindergarten aged children and has about 27 years’ experience. Thanstrom works mainly with kindergarten aged kids and has more than 16 years’ experience as a homeschool mother of two grown children along with various work in the church with children. Hauger, who will teach first and second grade, was a public school teacher for 24 years.

“This is really where my heart is, and I had the chance to see what a wonderful experience this has been for my son,” Hauger said of her youngest child, Kevin, who is 7 and going into the first grade.

“He will be the first of my three kids whom I have taught in the classroom,” she smiled. “I told him he can call me ‘Mom’ at school, too.”

The teachers said they are glad to have the opportunity and freedom to teach a faith-based curriculum and speak freely about the love of Christ.

“We have a lot of flexibility in many ways, and one of those is in the way we teach,” Bales emphasized. “Each child is an individual and responds differently. Because of our size, we are able to meet those needs.”

The women agree Idaho County has some very good choices for schooling, and said they simply want to offer another alternative for a “great school experience.”

“Children will learn where they feel safe and loved, and that’s something we offer,” said Bales.

Hauger agrees.

“I have seen Kevin thrive and grow here for the past two years and look so forward to the third year of the school,” she said.

School will start Sept. 5, then run on the Mountain View School District system as far as holidays and snow days. Preschool is offered Monday-Wednesday-Friday for ages 3-1/2 to 5, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.; kindergarten runs Monday through Friday, also 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. First-second grade will be Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Before and after-school care will also be made available as the need arises.

All staff members have had state background checks, and any volunteers through the church have had church background checks. Parents volunteer time in various ways. For details on this, tuition questions or to register a student for this fall, call the church at 983-0552. Leave a message and your number as staff does not have summer hours; they will call back as soon as possible.

The church is located at 515 W. N. 2nd Street, and tuition costs are posted on the door. Cornerstone is located in the church basement (see large sign). The center offers a large, fenced playground; students bring their own lunch to school.



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