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Join the Grace Community School mission to teach Jesus

Preparing a Generation of Christian Leaders for Tomorrow

Since 1973, thousands of students and their families have been transformed in their relationships with Christ through Grace Community School, an extraordinary testimony to God’s work in Tyler and East Texas. Through countless teachers and coaches who truly love the Lord, many students and families have been deeply impacted through the work of Grace. There’s no greater gift than for others to love our kids and see God’s potential in them, and no one else has the opportunity to help realize those possibilities like our school.

We encourage you to support that work by making a financial contribution to Grace today. Grace has grown to be one of the largest Christian ministries in East Texas, with an operating budget of more than $15 million and serving more than 1,300 students and 1,000 families for the Lord every day. Your gift directly supports and enables this vital ongoing work at Grace Community School.

We invite you to support Grace in our many initiatives that help to make a difference in the life of every student.

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“Grace is not just a school to us, it is part of our family and always will be. We will forever be grateful for the sacrifices of those who give [to the Grace Fund] so that our kids can go to an awesome Christian school that teaches them Jesus!”

Cistie Graham Parent of GCS Students

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Why Give?


Stewardship

Whether you have already invested in Grace Community School or are considering investing, we think it’s important you know our philosophy of biblical stewardship.

God Owns It All

God has provided us with all of our time, wealth, possessions, abilities and resources. He owns everything. These resources are His gifts to us, which He will use to accomplish wonderful things for His Kingdom. (1 Chronicles 29:14)

Our Giving Is to God

Giving is a worshipful, obedient act of returning to God from what He has provided. (Philippians 4:17-18)

Our Giving Is a Reflection of What We Treasure

From God’s Kingdom view, our giving becomes a tool to further God’s work on earth. (Luke 12:34, 1 Tim. 6:17-19)

We Are to Manage God’s Resources

Since God owns everything, we are called to be managers or stewards of all that God entrusts to them, to honor and glorify Him. (1 Peter 4:10, Luke 16)

God Desires That We Give Cheerfully

While faithful stewardship is our responsibility, God desires that our giving would come from a heart motivated by joy. Our desire is to encourage people in their journey of stewardship, that they might discover or continue in the joy of giving. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Our Commitment to You

  • Rely on Scripture to guide our fundraising practices
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit to prompt hearts to give
  • View giving as an act of obedient worship to God
  • Invest time in building Kingdom relationships
  • Work with integrity in all we say and do
  • Listen to the hearts of our donors
  • Join together in prayer as partners in ministry
  • Value every gift, regardless of size
  • Communicate clearly and regularly with those in partnership with us
  • Vow to be effective stewards of the gifts entrusted to us by our ministry partners
  • Seek and value accountability

What is Our Role

The mission of Grace Community School’s Advancement Office is to build authentic partnerships that promote and inspire personal life transformation through biblical stewardship. We stand ready to assist you so that you can steward all God has entrusted to your care. Our purpose is to share opportunities and invite God’s people to invest in God’s Kingdom through the mission and vision of Grace Community School.

As a result of honoring God with a biblical approach to our giving and asking practices, we believe that in God’s time, He will supply all our needs.

“We have been so thankful over the years for the support to families like ours who could not send a child to Grace without financial aid. We believe God led us to choose Grace for our child.”

Dan & Rhonda Laverty Parent of a GCS Student

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Ways to Give


Gifts Anyone Can Make

Some gifts do not have to cost you anything today but support our mission in the future. These gifts include naming Grace Community School as a beneficiary of your:

  • Will or living trust
  • Qualified retirement plan (IRA, 403(b), 401(k), etc.)
  • Life insurance policy
  • Donor-advised fund

How It Works

  1. Name Grace Community School in your will, codicil to your will, living trust or as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, life insurance policy or donor-advised fund
  2. Designate your gift for a particular purpose that is important to you, or allow us to use the gift where the need is greatest at the time it matures
  3. Indicate a set amount, a percentage or the remaining balance to benefit our mission

Benefits

  • Your assets remain in your control during your lifetime
  • You can modify your gift at any time to address changing circumstances
  • You can direct your gift to a particular purpose (be sure to check with us to make sure your gift can be used as intended)
  • Under current federal tax law there is no upper limit on the estate tax deduction for your charitable gifts

Cash, Check or Credit Cards

Donors may make gifts by cash, check or credit card.  You can make your donation online using our secure online giving form.  Cash may be dropped off at any school office.  Checks should be made payable to GCS and can be mailed to the Administrative Office:

3025 University Blvd.
Tyler, TX 75703

Make A Pledge

Use our simple form to make a pledge.  Reminders for your pledge will be sent in November and May.  It is most beneficial to the school if pledges are fulfilled prior to the end of our fiscal year, currently June 30.

Honorariums & Memorials

Many people choose to make a gift to charity in memory or honor of a loved one.  We are happy to help you honor someone through a gift to Grace Community School.  If you designate an honor gift, honorees will receive a letter telling them of your thoughtfulness.  Memorial gift letters will be sent to the family of the deceased, telling of the gift.  In both cases, the gift amount is not disclosed.  These gifts are also included in our annual publications.  To make an honor or memorial gift to Grace, visit our online giving form.

Other Gifts

Grace Community School has partnered with iDonate to accept all kinds of gifts.  In fact, Grace has recently accepted two vehicles – one non-running – and we were able to turn it into cash supporting students at Grace.  Check to see if your stuff may qualify.

Cash, Check or Credit Cards

Recurring gifts are an easy way to make a big impact that works for your budget and schedule.  Visit our online giving form to make your gift.  Signing up for a recurring gift is a great way to help Grace by providing steady, reliable funding for students and faculty through a monthly, weekly, quarterly or annual gift to the School.

Give Stocks or Securities

If you contribute appreciated securities to Grace, you may receive a twofold income tax benefit: a charitable deduction for the present fair market value and avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation.  For instructions about how to make your gift, click here.  To donate securities, please use the following information:

Beneficiary: Grace Community School
Broker: Hilltop Securities
Ms. Debbie Todd
dtodd@hilltopnetwork.com
(903) 253-0225

To ensure proper credit in a timely fashion and receipt to the proper GCS account, please inform Tim Connor, Director of Advancement, when the stock transfer takes place.  Please include the name of the donor and type and number of shares to expect.

Matching Gifts

Does your company match charitable gifts?  Find out by visiting your human resource office for the correct form.  They may be able to help you double or triple the amount of your contribution!  If you have questions, please contact our offices for assistance.

Donor-Advised Funds

Grace welcomes donors to recommend grants from their donor-advised funds, also known as a DAF.  A donor-advised fund is a charitable giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to support your favorite causes.  Grace Community School is a registered 501c3 and an eligible recipient for most donor-advised funds.

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Corporate Partnerships


Thanks to our 2021-2022 Corporate Partners

Grace Community School appreciates our corporate sponsors who are investing in the lives of our next generation of community leaders.

Opportunities

Grace Community School is committed to fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with the business community as we prepare the next generation of community leaders.

There are numerous opportunities for corporate involvement with Grace.  Opportunities include financially supporting our award-winning fine arts programs, Cougar athletic event partnerships, sponsoring student events and activities, and visibility at event venues.  Partnership opportunities provide corporations a means to expand their community profile while accessing valuable benefits.

Interested in showing your support while also advertising your services to a highly coveted audience?

Please contact Monica Bozeman at monica.bozeman@gracetyler.org for more information.

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Meet Our Team


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Monica Bozeman

Director of Alumni & Annual Programs

Monica Bozeman

Director of Alumni & Annual Programs

B.S., Texas A&M University

Monica has worked as a teacher and coach since 1997 at various public schools and private schools including First Baptist Dallas, Lucas Christian Academy, and Grace Community. She first taught at Grace from 1999-2003 before marrying husband, Brad, and moving to Dallas. Monica taught several high school history classes, has served as the yearbook advisor, and coached varsity volleyball, track, and cheerleading. Since 2013, she has been serving Grace as the varsity volleyball coach, assistant to the athletic director, and middle school computer teacher. Monica received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in Kinesiology and History. Monica and Brad have two children at Grace. They attend Grace Community Church (OJ).

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David Cole

Visual Communications Coordinator

David Cole

Visual Communications Coordinator

A.A.A., The Art Institute of Dallas

David began serving at Grace in 2020 as the visual communications coordinator. He has a vast array of knowledge and experiences, including freelance designer, illustrator, photographer, and videographer for the last 20 years. His full-time portfolio includes marketing director for a national real estate company, a production artist for an international advertising agency, and a designer and fabricator for a local, custom metal fabrication business. David and his wife, Adrianne, have four children ranging in ages from 22 to 4 years of age, with the youngest attending Grace. Their family are members of and serve in the nursery, children’s, youth, and student ministries at Summit Heights Fellowship in Hawkins, Texas.

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Karolyn Davis

Director of Communications & Marketing

Karolyn Davis

Director of Communications & Marketing

B.A., University of Central Oklahoma

Karolyn joined Grace Community School in August 2016 as the Director of Communications and Marketing. Prior to her work at Grace Community School, she worked for the East Texas Food Bank for nearly ten years and KLTV, an ABC affiliate, as a television reporter. Additionally, she worked as the Executive Director of St. Paul Children’s Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s in Communication Broadcasting with a minor in Marketing at the University of Central Oklahoma. Karolyn and her husband, Jeff, have two children at Grace Community School. The Davis family attend Grace Community Church.

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Jacquelyn Evans

Development Operations & Stewardship Coordinator

Jacquelyn Evans

Development Operations & Stewardship Coordinator

B.A., Texas A&M University

Jacquelyn joined Grace Community School in the Spring of 2020 as Advancement Administrative Assistant. Prior to Grace, she stayed at home with her girls. Previously, she worked at the Texas A&M Foundation in gift planning. Jacquelyn received her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Texas A&M. She and her husband, Jared have three daughters that attend Grace Community School. They are members of Marvin United Methodist Church.

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Jay Ferguson, Ph.D.

Head of School

Jay Ferguson, Ph.D.

Head of School

Ph.D., Dallas Baptist University

Jay Ferguson is the Head of School of Grace Community School in Tyler. Grace Community School is the largest private school in East Texas, serving nearly 1000 students in grades kindergarten through 12th. He has served in that position since June 2003. Grace’s mission is to assist Christian parents in educating, equipping, and encouraging their children to influence the world for Christ. Jay was a practicing attorney in Dallas and Tyler for ten years before joining Grace Community School in 2002 as its Director of Development. After the departure of the school’s long-time Head in summer 2003, Jay became Interim Head of School. He assumed the full-time Head of School role in fall 2003. Since that time, Jay has worked to build a flourishing culture at Grace, a vibrant educational community that has been awarded Blue Ribbon Exemplary status by the U.S. Department of Education in 2015 and 2017. Jay has written extensively on Christian education and related issues. He has contributed to Building a Better School, published by Paideia Press, Mindshift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education, published by Purposeful Design, and Religious Liberty and Education, published by Rowman and Littlefield. He is currently co-editing Building a Better School II, focusing on board governance. He is a regular contributor to Christian School Education and the ACSI and CESA blogs. He also writes a weekly blog on spiritual, education, cultural, and parenting issues. He is an adjunct professor in school law and governance at Covenant College in Georgia, at Gordon College in Massachusetts, and at Baylor University. He is a frequent speaker at national seminars, and served on the adjunct faculties of the Van Lunen Center at Calvin College and at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Jay is a past recipient of the W.C. Windsor Award for outstanding service in the Tyler community. He was named Smith County Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year. He currently serves on boards of organizations operating at the local, state, national, and international level. He is the Past President of the Texas Private School Association, the Past Chair of the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability, and is the Current Chair of the Association of Christian Schools International. He has a heart for training heads of school, leadership teams, and school boards. Jay holds a Bachelors’ Degree from Baylor University, a Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law, and a Masters’ Degree in Educational Leadership from Covenant College. He earned his PhD in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University. He and his wife, Ashley, are members of Grace Community Church, and have served over 20 years in small group and children’s ministries. He currently serves as an elder of Grace Community. He and Ashley have three teenage daughters, Emma, Annie, and Ellen. He has taught them to love Jesus and football, in that order, which he considers his gift to future sons-in-law, Lord willing.

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Carl G. Hamm, CFRE

Senior Director of Advancement

Carl G. Hamm, CFRE

Senior Director of Advancement

B.A., Texas A&M University

Carl has been a part of the Grace community since 2020 and joined the administrative team in 2021. He is the parent of a Grace alumnus and his other three children attend Grace. Beyond his work with Grace, Carl is also a partner with the fundraising consulting firm Alexander Haas and brings more than three decades of nonprofit experience to his role with the school. Carl holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University.

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Shelly Linville

Executive Assistant to Head of School

Shelly Linville

Executive Assistant to Head of School

B.B.A., University of Texas at Tyler

Shelly began her role in 2022, as the Executive Assistant to the Head of School at Grace Community School. Before becoming Executive Assistant, she was a testing proctor and substitute teacher for Grace. Shelly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Tyler and brings over 25 years of experience in leadership, customer service, and sales. Shelly and her husband, Jeff, have two boys, Austin and Walker, who attend Grace Community School. The Linville family are active members at Green Acres Baptist Church. They enjoy spending time together camping, fishing, playing baseball and tennis, gardening, and anything outdoors.

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Chelsea Thauwald

Content Communications Coordinator

Chelsea Thauwald

Content Communications Coordinator

B.A., Baylor University

Chelsea Thauwald is the Content Communications Coordinator at Grace Community School. Prior to joining the communications department, Chelsea enjoyed a long career in the photography industry, where she worked with large corporations and small businesses. 

Having served as a content writer and photographer for N2 Publishing in recent years, Chelsea is excited to bring her love of writing and photography to the GCS marketing team.

Shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Baylor University, Chelsea married her college sweetheart Nathan. Now, as devoted Baylor Bears, they enjoy attending their alma mater’s events and activities whenever possible.

In addition to being part of the marketing and communications department, Chelsea is also a proud mother of three Grace Cougars: daughters Carrington, Collyns and CalleighRose.

Class of 1998
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Ijeoma “EJ” Unegbu, Ed.D.

Director of Equity and Inclusion

Class of 1998

Ijeoma “EJ” Unegbu, Ed.D.

Director of Equity and Inclusion

Ed.D., Dallas Baptist University

Ijeoma “EJ” joined Grace Community School in June 2022 as the Director of Equity and Inclusion. She is an alumnus of Grace and attended from kindergarten to eighth before there was Grace High School.

Ijeoma worked for Tyler Junior College for almost 14 years, serving in various roles as professor, interim director for faculty development and professional development coordinator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Texas at Tyler, and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Outside of work, she enjoys knitting, gardening, and the family pet, a chiweenie, named Luna.

Ijeoma and her husband, Robert, have three children, Naomi, Abigail and Daniel. They are members of Rose Heights Church in Tyler.

FAQs


Q. Why give to Grace Community School?

Grace Community School is committed to Teaching Jesus to students in East Texas, affecting your community, and our world.  Tuition and fees cover the cost of an education at Grace.  Financial gifts to the school help families within our community afford a Grace education.  Since Grace does not receive federal subsidies, financial gifts also provide for campus expansion and other special projects.

Q. How do I make my gift?

The quickest way would be to use our secure online giving form. For other ways to make a gift, please see our Ways to Give page.  Grace is able to process almost any gift from cash to cars.

Q. What size gift should I make, and when should I make it?

A gift of any size makes a difference to Grace Community School. It is the collective power of these gifts that supports our program and also resonates as a vote of confidence in the work our faculty and staff does with our students each and every day.

The funding schedule for the Grace Fund coincides with Grace’s fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.   Your annual gift made during this time frame is appreciated.

Q. Can I designate my gift to a specific part of the school?

Yes!  While our priority is funding financial aid through the Grace Fund, gifts can be designated to other areas including athletics, fine arts, and specific programs.  Our online giving form has a place for this designation or you can make a note of this on the memo section of your check.

Q. Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes! Any gift to Grace Community School, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. We will send a gift receipt upon receipt of your gift.  In addition, in January of the following year of your gift, we will send you a cumulative giving report so that you have documentation for your records.

Q. What are matching gifts?

Many companies will match your contribution as an employee/spouse, thereby doubling your gift to Grace Community School – some companies will match at an even higher rate. Check with your human resource office for the correct form.  If you have questions, please contact our offices for assistance.

Q. Can the school accept gifts other than cash?

Yes!  Grace has partnered with iDonate to accept all kinds of gifts.  In fact, within the last year Grace has accepted two vehicles – one non-running – and we were able to turn it into cash supporting students at Grace.  Check to see if your stuff may qualify.  If it does, then you can make your donation here.

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