Cascade Christian High School (CCHS), Puyallup WA is AWFUL!

I attended Cascade Christian’s feeder elementary school in Spanaway, the junior high attached to the high school and the high school itself. I graduated in 2002. All three of my younger brothers attended Cascade Christian High School (Jordan was student body president, Justin was president of his 9th grade class). I also have two cousins who still attend Cascade. My 16 years spent in the Cascade Christian School system, as well as the rest of my families combined 50 years experience and the fact that my father was one of the three founding pastors of Cascade make me a uniquely qualified authority on this school system. My conclusion? Cascade Christian Schools is one of the worst academic institutions in the country and it’s religious teachings drive children as far from God as possible.

I would recommend parents looking for private schools in Washington to AVOID Cascade Christian Schools at ALL costs. I have multiple reasons for giving this advice, but I’ll start with the most important: the VERY poor quality of academics. While I attended Cascade, I had dozens of teachers and I would be surprised if any of them had adequate training to teach their subjects. For example, 2 of my 3 AP teachers were severely underqualified and openly admitted they didn’t know what they were doing. AP teachers are supposed to be the best in the school system. Mr. Bracher, my AP calculus teacher at Cascade Christian, had never taught Calculus before. A month before the nationwide AP exam, our whole class took a practice test and every student scored a 0 (worst possible) and Mr. Bracher himself received a 1 out of 5. At that point, I told Mr. Bracher I was no longer going to attend his class and my friend (Mark Rody) and I started studying by ourselves in the hall. I have always been good at teaching myself and managed to pull off a 4, but Mark needed a teacher’s help and scored a 1. Mark Rody is an extremely good student and worked his butt off, but Cascade Christian Schools utterly failed him. To be fair, there were also a couple very good teachers (Mrs. Aylard, Mr. Clevenger) who are passionate about what they do, but I believe they have retired since I left. I had a friend, Ryan Fancher, who was very sharp, transfer to the local public school, Rogers, because it had a MUCH better quality of schooling. Ryan Fancher went on to go to the Air Force Academy and is currently training to fly fighter jets in Texas. Most of the kids in my class ended up either not going to college, attending community colleges or just dropping out. The Valedictorian of my class did not go to college. Cascade Christian High School falsely reported that my senior class received millions of dollars in scholarships, but what they didn’t share was they were claiming ‘scholarships’ that kids would get AFTER they served in the military and had nothing to do with their high school performance. Cascade also included ‘scholarships’ automatically offered by private universities to all students. Cascade manipulates information to make them look better than they are, be very careful before accepting any numbers they tell you. Cascade Christian Schools will crush your child’s desire to learn and spirit.

Cascade Christian Schools has very poor spiritual training. Cascade claims to be a God-focused school, but talk is cheap and that is all they have to offer. Many teachers, administration and students are hypocritical about their beliefs. I had one teacher in a junior high history class who had a sadistic streak and entertained the class by having the students make balls out of tape and throw them at the fat kid, Allen. After high school, I attended the University of Washington and joined a fraternity. My fraternity held an event where sorority girls would come and get drunk and dance semi-naked. Guess who starred in the most scandalous skit? The girl who was VP of Spiritual Life for the student body my senior year. Cascade Christian Schools spiritual education consists of rote memorization of Bible verses and classes taught by teachers who do not understand basic theology. Mrs. Huth, a Bible teacher I had multiple times, had a curriculum that consisted primarily of cheesy personality tests that told me I was a “lion”. I’m surprised she didn’t give us horoscopes to read as homework.

Cascade Christian Schools (CCS) isn’t all bad, just mostly. The football program under Coach V was excellent. I only played my senior year (and primarily as a backup lol), but I learned a lot and had a great time. I met many great friends there and have good memories hanging out with them. However, school is supposed to be about education, and Cascade Christian sadly failed in the most important areas.

The Puyallup School District has much better schools academically with much better funding. Puyallup School District also has many spiritually focused student groups that are much more honest and less hypocritical than Cascade Christian Schools’ silly, force-fed version of Christianity. If you must have a christian school, investigate Seattle Christian. I have several friends who attended there and all have very good things to say.

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

5 thoughts on “Cascade Christian High School (CCHS), Puyallup WA is AWFUL!”

  1. I think it’s too bad you had a bad experience at Cascade Christian… I thought it was alright… Nothing crazy amazing or anything, but i don’t think it’s really nice to just trash talk something. What is this blog even doing? Other than healing yourself to write about it? I think that you just need to calm down, and get over it..

  2. I randomly found this article and am glad I did. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I went to cascade for a year then transferred back to public schools. My math teacher at cascade would raise students letter grade by at least one letter for simply attending his office hours. Science has never been my strong suit and yet my science class was so basic I requested to test out of it. I passed the test with flying colors and skipped to the next year, biology, where the teacher spent more time talking about his diet regimen (Atkins if you must know) and interviewing skills than anything else. I am not trying to slam cascade but wish I had never attended. It was the worst school year of my life. Joel. I hope u are doing well. And to update u on Ryan, he is now officially a pilot. And engaged! Take care

  3. Hey Joel! Not sure if you remember me.. Was in art with ye 2001! I know this is an old comment but came across it just today!

    Cascade was such an interesting creature for us wasn’t it! From the super religious to the people forced to go cause their parents were at sort of a “last resort” and people like me in between that just hoped for a good education.

    I was just thinking about Mr. Clevenger today and how incredible of a teacher he was and your post got me thinking about the rest of the teachers and the overall curriculum.

    A few things worthy of mention:

    1) At one point, I had multiple different math teachers for algebra in the same semester. To further this point, I don’t think I had the same teacher two semesters in a row.. It was like teacher roulette!

    2) I might suggest to add Ms. McCrady to the list of great teachers. She is who influenced me into psychology and the fascination of the mind.

    My class ended up with some insane stats as well!

    You’re welcome to email me if you’d like!


  4. I don’t check my comments very often, so I just saw the comments from Heather and Madison and JD. Glad to see people actually found this! I wrote it 6 years ago so perhaps the information is a bit dated now. I also have come to learn quite a bit about starting a business (or school) since then and I think a lot of the hiccups I experienced were simply due to the school being brand new and not having had a chance to evolve and grow. I do think the school’s approach to religious studies though is a bit crazy, but I guess that’s to be expected of a Christian school. I still am not religious and the experiences I had at CCHS definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. I do want to say that there were a lot of really cool people I met at Cascade like JD and Heather and Ryan and Mark!

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