A brief history of Hillside Christian Schools
It began in the mid 1960's with one man having a vision and much courage
In 1968, the Foundation for Protestant Christian Education in the Windward Islands (FPCEWI) was established in St. Maarten.
Since no funds were available to build a Christian School, when land became available for a school in St. Peters, Mr. Helmich Snijders and his wife, Asha, took a second mortgage on their house to finance the school construction.
When construction started in 1974, 55 students were already registered, so for the first year, classes were held at the Youth Center and the Brown House in St. Peters. Asha filled the roles of both school Principal and sole teacher of all the students until the following year when help arrived. The newly constructed school, named St. Peters Hillside School opened its doors in 1975 with four classrooms. A new Principal from the Netherlands and two teachers were soon added to the staff.
During the 1976-1977 Academic year, the Government of St. Maarten commissioned the addition of four more classrooms for the school.
In 1985, the Island Government approved the expansion of the school with Dutch Development Aid to build 8 classrooms, a gym hall, and offices. The opening of the new facilities took place on October 9th, 1987.
In 1988, Asha, co-founder of the schools, who had earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration at the Stetson University in Florida in 1987, was appointed by the Island Government as the first Superintendent of the Foundation for Protestant Christian Education.
In 1994, as a pilot project, Early Childhood (pre-school) classes started and were so successful that they became a permanent part of the Hillside Christian Schools.
In 1995, the name of the school was changed to the Hillside Christian Schools to reflect the school's Christian Identity and the reality that they were more than one school.
In 2010, the new government of Country St. Maarten awarded the school board an additional facility in Cay Hill, which would provide 16 new classrooms and space for Early Childhood Education. Funding for this project was provided by USONA. As construction was nearing completion in 2012, Principal Sprott proposed to the School Board that the two campuses be named separately after the two founders of the schools.
Shortly before the schools opened for the 2012-2013 school year, the St. Peters Campus was renamed the Helmich Snijders Hillside Christian School and the new Cay Hill Campus the Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School.
The language of Instruction at the Asha Stevens Campus is English, and Dutch is taught as a subject. The language of instruction at the Helmich Snijders Campus is Dutch and English is taught as a subject.