West Hills Christian School was founded in 1949 by six families attending Portland Christian School in Southeast Portland who felt called to establish a Christian school on the West Side. The school’s original location was in the basement of Hillcrest Bible Chapel. It was later moved to two other church basement locations before the present property was purchased and a permanent building erected. Our beginnings were small: twenty-one students in grades one through six. Under the Lord’s blessing, West Hills Christian School continues to expand and facilitate student growth academically, physically, morally and spiritually.

Neighboring Barbur Boulevard in 1952

Neighboring Barbur Boulevard in 2000

WHCS Through the Decades

  • WHCS is founded, housed in the basement of Hillcrest Chapel with Mabel Langhough as principal
  • The school moves to Burlingame Baptist Church
  • Jim Bramblet and John Fitzgerald each serve as principal
  • WHCS moves again, this time to Glencullen Baptist Church
  • The school purchases the present property
  • Les Forney becomes principal, serving in the role for more than 30 years
  • The first permanent building is erected
  • A second story is added to the building
  • The annual Spaghetti Dinner is introduced, a tradition that will continue for 30 years
  • The building grows with the addition of the gymnasium
  • The first modular classrooms are added
  • The library and additional modular classrooms are added
  • Longest currently serving staff members Denise Goffe (Director of Administrative Services) and Joe Brooks (7th/8th grade teacher) arrive at WHCS
  • Ben Haskell begins his 19-year tenure as principal
  • The “Building God’s Children” capital campaign begins
  • The apartments on the north side of the campus are purchased
  • The Special Academic Services modular room is added
  • The K-2nd grade wing is completed
  • Construction on the administrative wing is completed
  • Hoop-a-thon begins as a key student-driven fundraiser
  • The WHCS Foundation is established
  • The school pays off its second mortgage, leaving it debt free
  • The 5th-6th grade wing is completed
  • Enrollment surpasses 450 students
  • Al Stefan transitions from a teaching role to an administrative one, serving as principal for nine years
  • WHCS leadership embarks on the creation of a Strategic Plan
  • The school’s first year under the leadership of Soo Chang, only the seventh Head of School in the nearly 70 years of WHCS history