Schroon Lake The new principal at Mountainside Christian Academy in Schroon Lake is no stranger.
Jennie Bensen, a 1997 Mountainside graduate and former teacher at the school, is now the principal. She replaces Connie Phillips, who retired last spring.
“They had a need and I thought it would be a good move,” said Bensen, who was contacted by Pastor David Peterson of Mountainside Bible Chapel when Phillips decided to step down. “It’s great to be home.”
Mountainside Christian Academy, a school with 61 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade is a ministry of Mountain Bible Chapel.
“I’m at an age where most of my friends are married and having children,” Bensen said. “It’s really nice to have people, old friends, coming to pick up their children from the same school we attended. It’s great to be back.”
Bensen grew up in School Lake, attending Mountainside as a youth. Her parents and sister still live in the community.
After graduating from Mountainside, Bensen attended Word of Life Bible Institute before going on to Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pa. There she earned a degree in English education.
She taught English in China for a year before coming back to Mountainside to teach English and math at her alma mater for five years. She them moved to Chicago, where she worked as an editor four years and at a non-profit organization another year before Mountainside called.
Now Bensen is leading a staff of eight teachers.
“I have a great team here,” the principal said. “We work together as a unit with the single goal of doing our best for our students.
“I’m very thankful to be here,” she said. “Mountainside has been a very good school through the years and today it’s still a great school.”
Mountainside opened in 1977.
“I think we have a very strong academic program, our curriculum and teachers are well-prepared and we have a disciplined academic environment,” Bensen said. “All our teachers love the lord and integrate Biblical truth into the classroom. Our students are welcoming. We have a good community here.”