Tabor graduates helping Classical School of Wichita thrive

The Classical School of Wichita and its Tabor graduates
Tabor College graduates are well represented on The Classical School of Wichita faculty & staff. Back row: Justin Kenas (g’94), Benjamin Schmidt (g’15), Tim Dolloff (g’95). Front row: Kris (Loewen g’92) Darrah, Macey (Darrah g’22) Logan, Rachel (Boldt g’98) Branam, Bekka (Wedel g’96) Dolloff. Photo courtesy of Justin Kenas.

A walk down the hallways of The Classical School in Wichita (CSW), Kan., is more than a job for Justin Kenas (g’94). It’s a dream fulfilled.

His view of liberal arts education began at Tabor College, and through studying at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and first teaching K-12 Christian education in Phoenix, Ariz., a vision for Classical Christian education began.

“One of the things we talked about is that there isn’t a Classical school that we’d want our kids to be a part of,” Kenas said. “That became a venture of, ‘how can we get Classical Christian education to Wichita?’”

Kenas and his wife Kimberly (Loewen g’96) relocated to Wichita after she finished medical school, and the vision of bringing a Classical and Christ-centered education took shape. He is one of the founders of the school.

“Particularly, we believe Christian liberal arts is the best way for Christians to learn, interpret, and communicate their Bible to others,” Kenas said. “The concepts of grammar, logic, and rhetoric help reading and communicating.”

First incorporated in January 2005, CSW was first a homeschool co-op and utilized Tabor Wichita classrooms three days a week. They eventually ran out of space and moved to Harvest Community Church before officially opening its doors in August 2006 to 90 K-12 students and 28 full and part-time faculty and staff. Today, the school is approaching 400 full-time students and just shy of 50 faculty and staff.

Kenas now teaches Omnibus (combines history, theology, and literature) and Bible classes and also coaches boys’ soccer and girls’ basketball.

From its beginning, Kenas said Tabor has played a key role in the development and maturation of CSW. The school currently employs seven former Bluejays, including Kenas, Kris (Loewen g’92) Darrah, Tim Dolloff (g’95), Bekka (Wedel g’96) Dolloff, Rachel (Boldt g’98) Branam, Benjamin Schmidt (g’16), and Macey (Darrah g’22) Logan.

The relationships pre-date Tabor as Kenas’ wife, Kimberly, and Bekka Dolloff were best friends at what is now Ridgepoint Church in Wichita.

“Whether it was liberal arts, public speaking at Tabor, experiencing Christian community and professors, that group was inclined to what we wanted to be as an institution,” Kenas said. “The families that came out of homeschooling to join us had similar experiences in Christian higher education.”

Kenas also thanked his wife’s parents, Dr. Bill and Joyce (Reiswig, g’65) Loewen, as key supporters of CSW initiatives.

The school is accredited through the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, and locally, they are now Class 2A and affiliated with the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA). In August 2024, they’ll join the Heart of America League, including schools such as Berean Academy, Inman, Marion, Moundridge, Remington, and Central Christian Academy.