Our History

Growth begins with knowing truth.


In 1990 I ventured to beautiful North Idaho for the first time. From the second I stepped foot onto its soil, I was hooked! My body felt at rest, and my soul felt at peace. I was home, and I knew I had to somehow live here forever.

During that first trip, I looked for property to call my own. I saw many parcels that could meet my “needs,” however, I quickly talked myself out of pursuing any of them. For the next five years, I regretted that decision practically every day!

I made several trips from my house in California to North Idaho, but more and more, the state where I was born and raised became a place I no longer wanted to be. The coming to Idaho on those trips was fantastic; the going back to California was excruciating. Every time I left here, my heart felt completely broken. Many times, the trip “home” was spent mostly in tears.

In 1997 I decided it was finally time to purchase some land for retirement, which I did. Once again, there were a few trips back-and-forth, and once again, leaving was painful.

My husband and I made a trip here in 2006 to check the property after an ice storm. High winds had damaged many of the trees. On the way to meet the forester, we passed a “little log cabin in the woods” that was for sale. This was something I had dreamed of having since I was 13 years old, so naturally, when I saw the “For Sale” sign, I enthusiastically yelled, “Stop the car!”

He said, “I feel a nightmare coming on!”

“I just want to look.”

“Uh huh!” he said. (He knows me too well!)

After meeting and staying in contact with the owner of the cabin for two years, we purchased the property in 2008.

Since 2000, I had religiously looked online for positions in the Lakeland School District. I was beginning to feel like this property wouldn’t wait for me to retire. “Hello. Idaho calling!” When we would visit the property, there were several times I would drive to the parking lot of Spirit Lake Elementary School and pray that God would open a door so I could live and work here permanently. For many years, my prayers went unanswered, or so I thought.

In 2012, as was part of my February through July ritual, I looked on Lakeland’s website, and lo-and-behold there was finally a job opening. It was a counseling position for which I was also qualified. I decided to throw my hat into the ring and was interviewed that June. I didn’t get the position. I thought my dream was once again going to slip through my fingers. One of the people on the interview committee, however, encouraged me to talk with the principal of SLE as he knew a couple teaching positions were opening up. I did! I was invited back for a formal interview and got the job as one of the 6th-grade teachers there.

Everything I had wanted was coming to fruition. I had a job AND a little log cabin in the woods, no more waiting until retirement to be in North Idaho! What more could I possibly want?!

We quickly packed our belongings from our house-of-20-years in Pioneertown, California. Our journey north started around 10:00 P.M., August 5th, 2012, to avoid the scorching heat of the desert. Our animals appreciated that, and honestly, so did we.

No more than about 15 minutes into the trip, while staring into the darkness and wondering what God held in store for us, I heard the words, “Fulfill Your Destiny.” They were so loud in my ear that I jumped and asked my husband if he had heard them, too. He said he hadn’t heard a thing. I explained what had just happened, and then I tucked it away, wondering what it could mean.

For the next year, we got settled, and I loved teaching at SLE. Something in my soul, however, started to make me feel unsettled, and I kept hearing those words again and again. I knew God wanted me to do something more and was gently shoving me into the next part of my life.

I began exploring different options that could utilize my teaching experiences like a teachers’ supply house, a tutoring center, and even a charter school. I would investigate each opportunity, and the door would clearly shut. I knew none of these was what God was calling me to do. I continued to pray and ask for guidance, that His will be done.

One morning in February, 2016, I woke up very early and knew that God wanted me to open a Christian school. The message was so clear, and I became so excited! The excitement hasn’t stopped yet, and since making the decision to do this, doors have flung open at breakneck speeds. God continues to push and bless those of us who have gathered (and who continue to gather) together to make this happen in our community. Yes, there have been hurdles, and there will be plenty more to come, but for the most part, it has been easy. There isn’t one shred of one doubt that this is what He wants me to do.

Thank you to all who continue to be prayerful and encouraging of this project. I’m so humbled that I am being allowed to build this project for God, and I am so pleased to be able to offer this educational opportunity to the beloved children of Spirit Lake and our surrounding communities. They are our future, and I will continue to work tirelessly to fulfill my destiny so your children can fulfill theirs.

Thank you for your interest in Heritage Christian Academy. May God bless you and your family always and Godspeed on your personal journey.

Ann Matlock