The Whitefish Christian Academy recently got a $10,000-boost from the Whitefish Masonic Lodge.
The Whitefish Masonic Lodge #64 is gifting the donation with the intention of supporting “the uncompromising education standards it has established for the betterment of the students” and for “exceptional staff” at the academy.
Originally the grant was announced as a $100,000-donation, but that figure was updated this week to $10,000.
James Blystone, from the Masonic Lodge, said the Whitefish lodge is waiting for further approval from the Grand Lodge of Montana in Helena regarding the donation, and he hopes to continue to pay out similar $10,000 donations over several years instead of the originally planned lump sum.
The gift came as a result of recognizing the quality demonstrated by the academy, Blystone said.
“What we wanted to do was support education and the teachers. We felt that their level of education and what they’re providing is just world class. We value that and we just wanted to support that,” he said.
WCA’s Headmaster Hal Brunson said the grant will be used to establish a scholarship for families who want to send their kids to the academy, but may have trouble affording it.
“The school has never had a designated scholarship before, so we have named this the Lionheart Scholarship, and we also have another gift from an individual that we’re going to pool with the money from the Masons to create this scholarship,” Brunson told the Pilot “The purpose will be to subsidize tuition for families who otherwise may not be able to afford classical education.”
Two years ago, the Masons gave WCA a $5,000 gift to implement Singapore Math, which focuses most on problem solving practices using a logical and comprehensive understanding-based approach.
Prior to this most recent gift, Brunson said he sat down and explained the importance of the academy’s focus on a classical education.
Brunson said he’s excited and grateful for the gift, but also happy to see other organizations recognizing value in his.
“It means that someone on the outside looking inside us is seeing something that they like very much and that they believe has value. In this case, cultural, ethical and educational value,” he said.