A Lasting Legacy
The Borruels Worked for Over 32 Years as Educational Leaders in the SCV & Now have a National Blue Ribbon to Show for It
December, 2015 - Issue #134
When you sit down with Tim and Donna Borruel, you quickly notice two things. First is the obvious affection and respect they have for each other; the couple has been happily married since 1983 and raised three children together. The second is the pair's shared conviction to develop and grow an academically-accelerated educational model that has an emphasis on Biblical character building. For over 30 years, the couple has been committed to impacting the hearts and minds of the next generation of children and families in the SCV, leading the way with the unmatched academic powerhouse and moral voice that is Legacy Christian Academy.

RIGHT: One of Tim and Donna Borruel's first Sunshine Child Care & Learning Center's yearbook photos. LEFT: The couple today. The Borruels are the founders of both Sunshine and Legacy Christian Academy, which was recently awarded with the rare National Blue Ribbon School award. Only 50 private schools in the nation were honored with the Blue Ribbon of Excellence in 2015.

That's been good news for SCV parents, with over 15,000 Santa Clarita children benefiting from Tim's and Donna's investments in the educational success of our community. Donna began her career as a teacher at Sulphur Springs Elementary while Tim, affectionately called "Coach" by students and staff alike, propelled quickly through the ranks as a teacher, counselor, dean of students and assistant principal at Hart, Placerita Junior High and Saugus High School.

"In 1984, we started Sunshine Day Camp, a summer camp that we ran for 32 years. We were dedicated to providing a fun, engaging environment for young children in a genuine camp setting that also developed exceptional character," recalls Tim, who holds a master's of science degree in education, as well as teaching and administration credentials. Sunshine thrived under Tim and Donna's vision. Parents clamored for the safe, well-run and caring programs and the company grew with after-school programs added and centers popping up in seven locations across the community the couple calls home. Preschool was added shortly after.

"Parents were thrilled with the Sunshine preschool experience because we fused fun with learning in a way that made children love to go to school. That combination became the root of what we now do at Legacy; with the right teachers, methods and curriculum, you can have academic exceptionalism in an environment that fosters joy, community and a real enthusiasm for the process. Our teachers are the sort who dress up like Snow White in order to make a theory resonate in the most memorable of ways. Legacy teachers make every lesson sparkle," shares Donna. "So, at Sunshine, the question from our parents became, 'Where can we enroll our kindergarteners in a place like this?' Our dream of opening a private academy correlated perfectly with demand for the sort of educational experience Tim and I were so committed to introducing to Santa Clarita."

With faith in God and a plan for success, the couple opened Legacy Christian Academy in 2002. Today, Legacy Christian Academy is considered the premier kinder-through-eighth-grade private school in the region. "So much of our success can be attributed to our distinctive, academically-accelerated curriculum - and how we teach it," says Donna, who now serves as Legacy's director of educational oversight. "We researched curriculums for years and incorporated the very best into a pedagogy of small-group instruction, the cornerstone of our methodology. In teacher-led small groups, our passionate credentialed instructors can make the lesson come alive and immediately customize the day's learning goals for each child. The amount of individual attention is remarkable and the kids just thrive in this environment," she says.

"Our small group rotations and 13:1 student-to-teacher ratio are two of the reasons we earned the National Blue Ribbon award," says Tim, now Legacy's superintendent. "But it's also a reflection on our emphasis on 21st-century skills and inclusive emphasis on global pedagogy. Our students learn Spanish, and many learn Mandarin, too. Plus, Legacy's campus technology is nearly incomparable and our STEM programming is phenomenal. Our sports, theatre, art and music programs are award winning. We have the best teachers. Children leave here intensely prepared for success in high school and college - and they also leave with a better understanding and appreciation of God's love for them. Donna and I started this path determined to cultivate a lasting legacy that honors God and leads children to their ultimate potential."

"At Legacy, you can 'feel the love,'" says Donna. "The love that Christ has for us and the love that we share with each other."

Legacy Christian Academy 257-7377
Laura Moll Photography
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