Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
In the fall of 1964, Foothill Christian School made its debut. Glendora’s First Assembly, known today as Foothill Church, opened the doors of its tiny kindergarten through sixth-grade school on Grand Avenue to welcome the arrival of 64 students.
For the next 50 days, before the new school year begins and we enter a year of golden celebration, we’ll do daily posts of milestones that capture some of our school’s history and its 50 year journey. We hope you enjoy the countdown!
Foothill Christian School and God’s Calling
Establishing a school was the greatest financial undertaking the church had ever made, but it was accomplished with boldness and a shared sense of divine purpose. Because these founders were so committed to the cause, they were willing to sacrifice their own personal security. Robert “Bo” Gutzwiller, superintendent, explained: “The men and women of Glendora’s First Assembly didn’t give of their time, talent and skill alone to the work of building a school. They also took risks by taking out second mortgages on their homes. More than anything, they wanted to see this beautiful vision become a reality for the church and the community it served.”
The vision expanded in 1978 to include the purchase of property on Baseline Road, the current site of the elementary and junior high campus. The price tag of $10,000 seemed monumental thirty five years ago, commented Gutzwiller. “Today, we laugh at such a bargain. Back then, it required a serious step of faith.”
The journey of expansion continued with new opportunities to increase enrollment, improve facilities and enhance an academic program that was committed to excellence. Three major construction projects included a Gym Building in 1986, a spacious two-story Kindergarten through Junior High complex in 1998, and its award-winning Route 66 Preschool facility in 2004.
Today, Foothill Christian School boasts an enrollment of preschool through junior high students in excess of 800 students; the school and preschool combined are considered among the city’s largest employers with 130 full-time and part-time staff. The preschool, elementary and junior high programs are all fully accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Foothill Christian School has earned much respect for its experienced and dedicated faculty, as well as for the longevity of service Mr. Gutzwiller has provided since 1987 when he became principal. Besides many leadership positions he has held with ASCI over the years, and currently holds a seat on ACSI’s Executive Board. Foothill Christian School has been honored for many achievements, including recognition for being an Exemplary School by ACSI in 2009. The preschool has been voted “Best Preschool in the San Gabriel Valley” for two consecutive years (2012 and 2013) by readers of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The unique design of the Route 66 Preschool, created by architect Norman R. Nichols, has been nationally featured in various trade publications.