Seasoned educator and independent school executive to serve as chief academic officer.
Oaks Christian School is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura E. McCollum, Ed.D. as Provost and Associate Head of School for Academics. As the school’s chief academic officer, Dr. McCollum will be responsible for fulfilling the Oaks vision of academic excellence as the primary signature element of an Oaks education dedicated to Christ.
Dr. McCollum has an extensive career as an educator at all levels. She has taught K-12 in both public and private schools and holds dual (elementary and secondary) credentials in California, Washington and Oregon. She also has extensive experience teaching undergraduate and graduate education students. She was a regional chairman/lead faculty member for teacher education at National University and has taught pedagogy at Seattle Pacific University, Simpson University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and Patrick Henry College, where she continues to hold an appointment as associate professor of education. In addition to her work as a teacher and professor, she served in executive roles in Institutional Effectiveness at Oklahoma Wesleyan and at Patrick Henry College.
Most recently, Dr. McCollum has served as Assistant Headmaster for Academic Affairs at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, Virginia. During her nearly five years of service at Trinity, her efforts have strengthened the curriculum across multiple dimensions. She led the process that secured initial SACS-CASI regional accreditation. She refined external materials to better convey the school’s caliber to outside audiences, and aligned school transcripts with higher education criteria.
Furthermore, she achieved a “vertical” alignment of the school’s systems and structures and expanded academic offerings with many new courses including “Arts & Aesthetics” (10th grade), “Research, Writing & Rhetoric” (9th grade), and “Civics & Government” (8th grade, in addition to numerous additional advanced placement offerings. She spearheaded Trinity’s reorganization into a two-division structure featuring an upper school and a lower school. She expanded the campus-wide use of technology. The school’s faculty saw a 20% gain in teachers holding advanced degrees during the last three years of her leadership.
Dr. McCollum is a graduate of Pepperdine University, earned an M.Ed. from Southern Oregon University, and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from Seattle Pacific University.
Upon her appointment, Dr. McCollum said: “I am so honored to join the Oaks community and once again work under Dr. Walker’s leadership as we share a mutual commitment to the traditional, liberal arts philosophy of education. Such an education forms students who have critical minds, but not critical spirits; in other words, they have strong minds to preserve the tender hearts that are God’s original gift to every person. Moreover, I am encouraged by Oaks’ commitment to excellence in every endeavor (academics, arts and athletics) as a manifestation of virtue and as an opportunity to glorify our Father-creator and his Son Jesus Christ.”
She is married to Dr. Steven McCollum, a musician, scholar and experienced arts administrator. They have two children, one of whom will be attending Oaks. On a personal note, Dr. McCollum said, “I am a native Californian and am very happy to return to the sunshine of the West Coast, especially as we have extended family in California, Oregon and Montana.”
Dr. McCollum will officially begin her duties at the close of the current school year.
The main campus of Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, CA opened in the fall of 2000 and Oaks Christian Online (OCO) opened for full-time, online students in the fall of 2011. One of the nation's finest accredited online schools, Oaks Christian Online High School provides a rigorous, NCAA approved, college-preparatory education for high school students all around the world in a Christian environment. Oaks Christian Online continues to enroll part-time and full-time students throughout the school year and regularly hosts information sessions on its main campus – 31749 La Tienda Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91362, as well as virtual information sessions for prospective student families. Interested students can visit the website https://www.oakschristianonline.org/ to R.S.V.P.