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Honoring a Legacy

Honoring a Legacy

The legacy of OCS co-founder David Price was honored at a special all school chapel on Jan. 19. Price, who along with Dallas Price-Van Breda established Oaks Christian School, passed away on Oct. 31, 2023, at the age of 91.

His lasting impact was recognized and celebrated at the chapel as students, faculty and staff, parents and alumni paid tribute to his vision and bold dream of starting a Christian school dedicated to excellence in academics as well as artistic and athletic achievement, all based on a Christian foundation.

“When I think of David, I remember the words of Esther that we chose for our school theme two years ago - “for such a time as this,” said Head of School Rob Black. “When David Price heard the call to establish Oaks Christian School, he could have said no and simply held onto his wealth. But instead, he said yes and launched the school. He understood that if he didn’t obey, God would use someone else to accomplish this and David would have missed out on the blessings of providing a school for his grandchildren and for you.”

Since the very first day of classes in September 2000, more than 27,000 students have walked the halls of Oaks Christian, including seven of Price's own grandchildren.

The event began with a faculty and staff jazz combo performing a rendition of “Going to Kansas City,” which was one of Price’s favorite songs. Dr. Jim Altizer, Director of the Institute of Bible and Discipleship, welcomed guests and articulated how Price and Price-Van Breda desired a school that was missional and welcoming to students and families of various faiths and backgrounds.

The tribute also featured additional songs Price loved and wanted to be remembered by including: “Amazing Grace,” sung by the audience, and a combined all school choir medley of “What a Wonderful World,” and “I Love You.”

Price Van-Breda shared a few words on how daunting the task was to start a school from scratch.

“It took five years to build. We were not an overnight sensation. Unlike the field of dreams, we thought if we build it – not that they would come, but will they come?” said Van Breda. “We started with 125 kids, not a lot but it was a start. It was a nervous time wondering if we were going to be able to fulfill our dream but look where we are now.

OCS Chief Financial Officer Kris Thabit found the site in the late 1990s and worked with Price, witnessing up close and personal some of the traits he lived his life by: persistence and action that led to the school’s founding.

“He was a risk taker. He had five kids then, no money, but he grew a business from nothing and built a company that ultimately provided the funding for Oaks Christian,” Thabit said.

Terry Price-Roberts, OCS Board of Trustees Chair, was there from the beginning when her parents had the vision to build Oaks Christian. She was initially a naysayer, thinking it was great idea, but her children would probably never go to a school all the way out in Westlake Village.

“The idea grew on me, and eventually it really was the most incredible opportunity that God had given all of us. Look at the outpouring that happens if you are willing. My parents were willing and that is what they modeled to me, and it helped me to be willing (to later chair the board).”

Roberts challenged the students, as the continuing generation who are part of Price’s legacy, to draw near to God so He will allow them to do great things for Him.

“I believe with all my heart that each person sitting here today has something that God has for them to do. It really is, at the end of the day, being willing, and that is legacy – to follow behind and do whatever it is that God is asking of you. And when you do that – look, just look around you – this is answering ‘Yes, I will.’”

As the tribute closed, a special video “David Price: In His Own Words” featured a sit-down interview with Price wherein he clearly articulated how God used him and Van Breda, the “most improbable people,” to start Oaks Christian.

“This is the Lord’s school. The school wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Jesus Christ, not David Price. I was an instrument, a tool, He used along with many others. It was a joy that we were picked to execute some things,” he said on camera.

Price was an incredibly successful businessman and entrepreneur who founded American Golf Corporation, operating over 350 golf courses domestically and internationally, as well as other enterprises and serving on the boards of many non-profits.

But he considered the founding of Oaks Christian School as the “the greatest achievement of my life.”