Pine Castle Christian Academy
Pine Castle Christian Academy (PCCA) is a small Christian private school in Pine Castle, Florida, an area that sits on a border between Belle Isle and Orlando, Florida. The school was founded by Pine Castle United Methodist Church under the name Methodist Country Kindergarten; PCCA has been an K-12 academy since 1983, when it received its current name. As of Spring 2008, it had 687 students.
In 1954, PCCA's parent organization, Pine Castle United Methodist Church, founded the school as a ministry exclusively for kindergarteners, then called Methodist Country Kindergarten. The kindergarten became an academy in 1983, when the church opened PCCA to first through sixth grade students. Each year after that, it successively introduced one more grade level, until, in 1990, the first senior class graduated.
To accommodate its broadened range of students, the Academy constructed the Family Life Center (FLC) in 1985 as its primary campus building, and the Family Life Center in 2000 as its elementary and middle school building. The academy also acquired a small facility adjacent to the main campus to house elective classes. The Beacon Foundation, a non-profit group that supports PCCA, and the admissions office are located inside the Beacon House, an early-1900s Florida "cracker" style house. Many school functions occur on the adjacent Crawford field or in the Pine Castle United Methodist Church Sanctuary.
During the mid 2000s, PCCA grew: the entire school to over 600 students, about 200 of whom were high schoolers. The academy achieved its first state-level athletic victory in 2006; after three more state titles in the following year, all Pine Castle Christian Academy athletic teams were classified as 2A, except for football, which remained a 1B sport.
Pine Castle Christian Academy's football team, lead by coach David Langdon, finished its inaugural 2005 football season with an 8-2 record, although it did not make the play-offs. In the 2006 season, Pine Castle again finished with an 8-2 record, this time winning districts 2006. As of 2008, the Eagles football team was classified as 1B, lower than the Academy's other, 2A, sports; the classification is due to the recentness of the program's inception.
In the 2005 season, Pine Castle Christian Academy began a contest with its rival, The First Academy, called the "Showdown for the Scepter." The competition centers around a wood scepter painted in each school's colors (black, maroon, and white for PCCA; blue, yellow, and white for TFA), and symbolizes the two academies' rivalry. Each year, when the two schools face each other, the winner of that game brings the scepter back to its campus. In 2005, The First Academy won the Showdown; Pine Castle Christian Academy won in 2006.
PCCA has a girls' volleyball team and, since Spring 2007, a boys' team as well. In 2005, the Pine Castle Christian Academy girls' varsity volleyball team advanced to the Elite Eight and won the District Championship. In 2007, the girls' team won districts and advanced to the regional semi-fianls, before losing to Orangewood Christian School.
Both girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams won the Florida state 1A championship in the 2006-07 season. Girls' won with a 38-37 victory over runner-up Malone High School; boys' finished with a 55-46 victory over The Rock. In the 2005-06 season, the boys' varsity basketball team finished 25-4, won Districts, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
The girls' varsity softball team, in its 2006 season, won the class 1A Florida State Championship, the first state-level championship won by any PCCA team. In 2007, PCCA repeated its victory as the class 1A Florida softball champion.
Pine Castle Christian Academy's boys' soccer program finished its last season in 2004; in 2005, it was replaced by the football team.
Each year, the Pine Castle Christian Academy Theater Department puts on two plays: a drama in the Spring and a comedy in the Fall. Many plays feature a dinner or desert theater. Since Spring of 2006, each play has also had a "Parent Preview Night," which allows relatives of the actors to view a dress rehearsal free of charge.
Pine Castle is also a part of the SAK Comedy Lab high school improv league, started in the 2005-06 school year. Students meet once per week in the Fall to practice improv games together, then compete in against other schools in the Spring. PCCA won in the league's first season and took second in the 2006-07 competition.
Although the theater department usually produces pre-existing scripts, PCCA's eighth high school play, Welcome to Justice, was an original play by the academy's drama department head at that time, Dan Buck. The showing of Justice was a test-run and last chance for revisions of the script, before it went into full production in professional theater.
The first theater director/teacher at Pine Castle was Dan Buck. Later in his time there a second director, Tess Card, was also hired. Both left at the end of the 2006-07 school year, and in Fall 2007, they were replaced by the department's new head, Caroline Burkhard.
List of Plays:
|2003||All My Sons||The Foreigner|
|2004||Judgement at Nuremberg||Harvey|
|2005||Dial 'M' for Murder||God's Favorite|
|2006||Welcome to Justice||See How They Run|
|2007||The Last Night of Ballyhoo||The Odd Couple (female version)"|
The Spring play for 2008 was originally announced to be Peter Pan. Due to delays in the construction of a new auditorium, the play was replaced with a one act play and a series of monolouges and dialogues.
Clubs and organizations
|National Honor Society, Eagle Chapter|
|Spanish National Honor Society|
|Junior National Honor Society|
|Improv Team (with SAK Comedy Lab)|
|Quill and Scroll Society|
|Angler's Society (fishing club)|