On March 16, former Sunnyside Christian High School principal, Terry Kok, will be speaking at our 22nd SCS Foundation Annual Dinner.
Terry and his wife, Jayne, came to Sunnyside in the summer of 1981 with their brand new son, Nathan. They came to help start Sunnyside Christian High School. Terry began his work here as the Jr High/High School History teacher and became a passionate fan of SCS basketball. "We thought we would stay in this dry place for a few years," he remembers.
"It was an exciting and challenging time. That first year I not only taught Social Studies but Geometry, and I had no Math since my freshman year of college!" He found himself teaching PE and a variety of other subjects as well. "We had an energetic young staff and formed some lifelong relationships, some with people who are still in Sunnyside," Terry says.
The second year, Terry took on the role of SCHS Athletic Director. He was also the men's JV basketball coach and assisted with the Varsity. He started the SCHS soccer program and coated a variety of Jr High sports also. He worked to get Sunnyside Christian into the WIAA and into a league.
"It was exciting and rewarding to see the high school grow, and the new high school classroom building on Sheller was a watershed moment," Terry remembers. Construction of the SCHS building took place in 1984, and grades 9-12 began classes there in December of that year.
Their daughter, Kelley, was also born in 1984.
In 1988, the high school principal position was open. Terry had been a teacher, athletic director and coach in those seven years prior. "After some debate and encouragement, I applied and got the high school principal job," Terry says. "I taught two classes, was the athletic director and the principal for the next ten years."
Terry's highlights of those next ten years include:
- Working on the fundraising and building with Bill Jansen to get the SCHS gym built.
- Getting the Agriculture program going with Wayne Sylling and getting that building built.
- Watching the high school grow.
- Starting Close-Up. This program continues today for SCHS 11th grade students, sending them to Washington D.C. each year.
- Many trips to Spokane for state basketball.
After 17 years at Sunnyside Christian, an opportunity to be a Superintendent in Escondido, California, came to Terry. "It was a difficult decision to leave a community we dearly loved, but we felt called to serve in Escondido," Terry remembers. "Although it has become home, we have fantastic memories of Sunnyside Christian, and we continue to watch what is happening. We have lifelong friends there, and it was a special time to help get the high school fully implemented. It has been a blessing to watch former students continue with their children at SCS."
The 2017 Annual Dinner will be held March 16 at 6:30 p.m. A delicious dinner will be served by the Sunnyside Christian High School Junior class, followed by an inspirational presentation by Terry Kok. Please consider joining us for this wonderful fundraising event.
To RSVP for the Dinner, please call the SCS Foundation office at 509-837-2050 or email Laura Eisenga by clicking her name. If you cannot attend the Dinner but would like to contribute to the SCS Foundation, please click here.