The Beginning The year was 1946
In February of 1946, the Protestant Reformed School Society was formed by concerned brethren of Hope, Creston, and the Second Protestant Reformed Church.
The society elected a board which held their first meeting on March 6, 1946 at the home of Mr. John Lanning, the new board secretary. Richard Newhouse was elected president, Dick Kooienga was vice-president, Dewey Engelsma was treasurer, and Gerrit Moelker was vice-secretary-treasurer. Rev. John A. Heys, pastor of Hope PRC, offered guidance and counsel.
Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Korhorn donated an acre of property directly behind the old Hope Church on Wilson Ave. In April a fund drive was conducted resulting in the collection of $3,350.
In the fall of 1946, the board searched for two teachers. In December Miss Jessie Dykstra consented to teach and later Miss Della VanderVeen agreed to join the staff and was the first principal.
Early Years 1947-1970
1947 – During the spring and summer the school was constructed, being completed by September 1, just in time for the first day of school. That fall, Hope School opened its doors to 52 students. The two teachers were injured in an auto accident two weeks after the beginning of school, delaying the dedication of the school until next May.
1948– On the evening of March 18 the school was formally dedicated with an appropriate address given by Rev. Heys. On May 27 commencement addresses were held for the first eight graduates of Hope School.
1950 – Miss Alice Reitsma became Hope’s second principal.
1951 – The school society of the men of Hudsonville PRC joined the society of Hope, resulting in the doubling of the membership. At this time a decision was made to add two rooms to the school building.
1954 – Eleven children from Holland PRC were welcomed to Hope School.
1959 – Two more classrooms were added to accommodate continued growth. Miss Agatha Lubbers became Hope’s third principal.
1960 – Four more classrooms were added.
1968 – Mr. John Buiter became Hope’s fourth principal.
1970 – Hope school expanded again, this time adding an all-purpose room (gymnasium), a large classroom, a kitchen, and two offices for administration. 281 children are enrolled at Hope School, coming from 119 families.
Recent History 1971-2016
1973 – The school bought the former parsonage of Hope Church on Wilson Ave. At first it was rented to seminary students, but later was provided for the administrator to live in.
1980 – The society bought a piece of property on 40th Ave. in Hudsonville for a satellite school. Enrollment was rapidly increasing and straining the capacity of the school building.
1983 – With enrollment at 341 students, four classrooms were leased at Riverbend School, at the intersection of Kenowa and Riverbend.
1984 – The society gave the 40th Ave. property, two buses, and $300,000 to the Heritage Christian School Society so that they could build their own school in Hudsonville. The annual budget of Hope School surpasses $500,000 for the first time.
1985 – Heritage began its first year and Hope’s enrollment dropped to 199 students.
1991 – The entire school was renovated for a cost of $283,000.
1996 – Mr. Buiter retires and Mr. Ron Koole becomes the new administrator.
2001 – A large piece of property north of the school was purchased for $250,000.
2004 – As enrollment climbs to around 250 students, four classrooms, a gymnasium, and bathrooms are added on the north side of the school for a cost of $1,200,000.
2012 – Ninth grade is moved to Covenant Christian High School and now Hope School offers instruction from Kindergarten to Eighth grade.
2016 – 207 children from 95 families and 11 different Protestant Reformed congregations are enrolled at Hope School. Our staff is comprised of an administrator and 10 teachers, several teacher aides, a band/choir director, secretary, librarian, and countless other volunteers who contribute to the instruction of our covenant children.