Dedication of the Elementary School Building to the Graves | Northland Christian School

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Dedication of the Elementary School Building to the Graves

In the spring of 1974, several families from Bammel Church of Christ, bound together by love of the Lord and a commitment to excellence in education, desired to establish a Christian school. With $1,000 seed money in hand, this committed group sought someone with the right skills, experience, and vision to lead the school.

They found that person in DeAnna Graves.

DeAnna became Northland’s first Head of School, as well as one of Northland’s first dedicated teachers. With assistance and support from her husband Jim, and the prayers and hard work of Northland’s first families, Northland Christian School officially opened in the fall of 1974 with a combined enrollment of 43 students in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.

Since 1974, DeAnna and Jim Graves continued to invest in Northland, DeAnna taking on countless roles and Jim serving as a board member for 20 years. Not only was DeAnna the first Head of School and a teacher for many years, but she also served as the Dean of Academics, handled admissions, and was the school registrar. In early years, she hired teachers, developed curriculum, cleaned bathrooms, washed dishes, even drove vans and established Northland’s PTO, among other things. In addition, she helped Northland become accredited in 1978.

Most recently, DeAnna served Northland as a guidance counselor, bringing godly wisdom into the lives of students, and the Graves’ three children all graduated from Northland. In fact, Dena Graves Kraner and Debra Graves Laprarie are both teachers at Northland’s elementary, with their children currently attending or having recently graduated from Northland.

Even though DeAnna is retiring and Jim is no longer with us, the Graves’ legacy lives on, both in the tradition of excellence and the spiritual focus of the school. While Northland has grown significantly from that first small group of 43 students, it is still a school that seeks to glorify God and raise up tomorrow’s Christian leaders. All of this has sprouted from that initial seed planted and tended by DeAnna and Jim Graves. To honor Jim and DeAnna, and celebrate their legacy, we will be naming the elementary school building, formerly Building 7, the Jim and DeAnna Graves building. We are grateful to all donors who contributed to this special project.




DeAnna Graves and her family proudly cut the ribbon during the Elementary School Building dedication ceremony.

Northland Christian School: Truth Forever • Victory Forever • Glorifying God Forever