Marengo Academy enjoys growth, expansion, renewed focus

LINDEN – Marengo Academy is undergoing a change.

This year the school has seen an increase of 57 students in K-12, said Robby James, headmaster, bringing the total enrollment to 217. He couldn’t point to one reason for the dramatic increase in the number of students.

MA Board of Directors member Kevin Dixon helps spruce up the gym.

MA board member Kevin Dixon helps spruce up the gym.

“It’s been a lot of things happening with our school,” James said. “We’re on a project to improve our buildings” as well as adding some academic classes to the school.

While Marengo Academy never has been officially designated as a Christian school, James said it has always been the focus to do things in a Christian manner. Beginning this year every grade from 7 through 12 will be taking a semester-long Bible class.

He stressed that the class will be a study of the Bible, not of any specific religious denomination.

The new influx of students won’t cause any problems with space, the headmaster continued. At one time Marengo Academy had between 500 to 600 students. Since the increased enrollment is spread across elementary and high school, no new teachers have been hired.

The high school is trying to include several electives for the students, including health, speech and nutrition, James continued. Also being added is a career development class to encourage students to examine different vocations to pursue after high school graduation.

James, who has been headmaster for six years, said many of the local businesses and area paper mills work with Marengo Academy to support the various programs, especially sports.

To improve the physical plant, the high school and gymnasium buildings are being resurfaced, coated with a covering for better protection, insulation and water proofing. The gym also has been repainted and given a new floor as well as having new lights installed.

“It looks like a whole new gym,” said James.

The elementary school is being painted and cleaned up, but plans are now to merge the two campuses into one within the next two years, he said. The day care, which now has 14 children, will continue.

James said the school hasn’t gone out to recruit students. The families came on their own.

“We want people to know the kids will be safe,” he said, and that they will be in a Christian environment.