A 40 Year History of Christian Hills School
In September, 1978, Loretta and Bror Malmgren felt the Lord leading them to fill a need in the community
and church. A preschool was started in the lower level of Christian Hills Full Gospel Church. At that time, Loretta
Malmgren was both a teacher and principal. Feeling there was a further need; a daycare was added in 1979. In
1980, a Kindergarten class was added when a number of parents expressed interest in expanding the school. A
committee was formed to raise money to expand the school by adding on to the church building. By 1982,
architect Maury Lindstrom drew up plans and broke ground for the main two floors of Christian Hills Church
1984 brought the first through fourth grades. Then in 1985, Christian Hills Full Gospel Church took over the operation of the school, making it a ministry of the church. The school had 147 pupils with the addition of the fourth grade class.
From 1985 through 1987, Dave Berry was added to the CHCS staff as superintendent. From 1986 through 1990, grades five through eight were added, bringing the student count up to 221 and making CHCS a complete preschool through eighth grade private Christian grammar school.
In June of 1991, Anna Gonzales became the 1st eighth grade graduate of Christian Hills Church School! By this time, there were 240 students. The Lord was really blessing the school, church, and the community. Besides their regular classes, students enjoyed enhancement classes of Computer, Spanish, Art, Physical Education, Music, and Library, not to mention, Chapel! They also participated in extra-curricular ACSI activities of Boys' Basketball, Girls' Volleyball and Cheerleading, Spelling Bees, Science Fairs, and Speech Meets. Within the school, the students also participated in plays, musicals and choir. And don't forget spirit week, preschool graduation, all those field trips and the Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon!
June 1992, gave us our first full eighth grade graduating class of twelve students. The following year, the school produced a girls' basketball team. In June 1994, after many years of hard work and great dedication, Principal Loretta Malmgren retired. You can see a plaque dedicated to her service by the north school entrance. She was replaced by Mrs. Joan Dilworth. 1994 also gave us the CHCS Band. Mrs. Dilworth was principal until 1997 when Mrs. Michele Jones took over.
In 1999, we had the first CHCS 8th Grade Banquet which became a wonderful tradition. Over the years many programs were introduced. Most are still with us today. Some of these events included the State Expo, World Expo, Grandparents Day, Kindergarten Graduation, Art Festival, 8th Grade Trip, Meet a Hero Day, Annual Fundraising Banquets, girls joining the boys on the soccer team, restaurant fundraisers, Ice Cream Social, Lion's Roar Newspaper, See You at the Pole, Student Council, Field Day, Ribbon Dancer Ministry Team, Taste of the Nations, Historical Perspectives for Children, Students Services Club, Lion's Watch, Family Skate Night, Operation Christmas Child, 8th Grade Garden, Lion's Pride, School Service Projects & Outreach Ministries, and many miscellaneous fundraisers and ministries! So much fun, fellowship, and amazing activities!
This new millennium also gave us Dr. Jacqueline Love as our principal until the spring of 2002. Mrs. Rae Walsh became the school administrator to complete that school year. Mrs. Gayle Bergstrand became the school principal from 2002 through 2008. In 2003, Christian Hills Church School shortened its name to Christian Hills School. We had two more principals; Pastor George Thomas from 2008 through 2011 and Laurence Beadle from 2011 through 2018 until Mrs. Bergstrand once again became our school principal.
We've had so many faithful teachers and staff including Dave Oberg who made cabinets, kept the inner workings of the school running smoothly, was a fill-in grandparent when needed, and drove the bus; just to name a few of the many things he truly enjoyed doing. Another long-time employee of CHS is our gym teacher Mrs. Marion Pawlowski. Mrs. P., as she is known to most everyone, has been working at CHS since 1996! What commitment!
Our little "school on the hill" has been such a blessing to so many in Orland Hills and numerous surrounding communities; we're very proud of all the blessings and amazing students the Lord has brought through the doors over the past forty years! Our graduates have gone on to become Pastors, parents, doctors, nurses, teachers, zoologists, artists, musicians, financial, and business associates, and so much more. Go Lions!