Discovery Christian School launched in Fall of 2021, but its origins start much farther back. When we first moved to Bakersfield and started coming here 3 years ago, we drove down White Lane all the time to get to our house. At the time, Discovery Church only had one building, but all the other buildings next to it had a similar color and vibe and I told my husband, “One day there’s going to be a school in those buildings and I’m going to work there.” Some time passed and about a year and half later, Pastor Jason started talking about starting a school. I thought that was cool and hoped I might work there in a couple of years. In October of 2020, we had dinner with Pastor Jason and Pastor Veronica. My husband mentioned my background in education. I wasn’t sure why he did it, but they were interested. By the end of the conversation, I was the dean of the school. I had my admin credential but I wasn’t using it and at the time, I didn’t need my masters in educational leadership as a teacher, but God knew I needed both for what was coming.

“This is what God created me to do.”

I was super excited to be able to focus on God’s calling on my life, for our church and for our school. All the work from the ground up, getting the word out, setting up the curriculum, putting in place protocols, had to be done by me. There was freedom in that though. I got to decide not to do things the way other schools did it and focus on what God wanted. It was really nice to be able to say, “God, guide me in what You want for Discovery Christian School.” He’s my ultimate boss.

“I hear from God, talk to my mentors, and make it happen.”

Leading up to the opening, we worked hard to get everything ready for the parents and the students. Seeing all the smiling faces and the pictures posted, there was nothing like the first week experience. I love hearing all the positive feedback from the parents. When they tell me how much the school is doing for their children and how safe they feel having them there, it’s fantastic.

“From the second a kid is dropped off to the moment they get home, I want them to feel loved on like I did when I walked into Discovery Church for the first time.”

In 2022, I’m looking forward to getting the Parent/Teacher Fellowship up and going, as well as looking at where we can expand. We plan to have a junior high and grow our student enrollment. 28 students is great for a first year, but I want every kid to be able to experience this. 


Nicole Cleveland, Discovery Christian School Dean and First Impressions Team Member, 3 year Church member