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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
  
Just as this edition of the monthly NCS Spotlight e-newsletter hits your inbox, Crusader families are also receiving a thick, weighty envelope in their mail boxes--what we call our annual  "What's Next?" summer mailing. Now that last school year is in our rear view mirror and we have had the opportunity to enjoy the first few weeks of summer, we are guessing that, at some point within the next few weeks, Northwest Christian families will begin to look forward to the approaching school year and ask, "Hey, what's next?" When that moment finally hits within your home, this thick, weighty envelope is ready for your perusal! For some families, that moment may be this week. For other families, the packet will sit unopened upon the kitchen counter until the week before school begins. Either way, when you are ready, the "What's Next?" packet is ready and waiting to reveal all that we are working feverishly to prepare this summer for our students and families in the coming school year!

One of the things that you will see when you finally do open the "What's Next?" packet is the spiritual emphasis theme for the approaching 2018/2019  school year. Again this summer, as has been our tradition, we are using the "Crusaders Charge into Summer Reading" campaign to focus the collective attention of our community upon a summer reading:  this summer, the Psalms. We trust that as the "Crusaders Charge into Summer Reading" emails have been hitting your inbox each Monday this summer, you have enjoyed hearing different faculty members interacting with their pastors regarding their favorite Psalms. Within this tradition, each summer, our student council leaders use the summer reading to prayfully choose a "theme verse" for the year as well as the annual spiritual emphasis theme. As you can see, this summer, they have chosen Psalm 62:6 ("He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.") as our verse and "Unshaken" as our spiritual emphasis theme for 2018/2019. I can hardly wait for the school year to start so that we can begin to "unpack" our verse and theme in our classes and in chapels!

With an eye to the coming school year, in this issue of the monthly NCS Spotlight e-newsletter, we work to give you a sneak peak of the coming year:  new members of the NCS teaching team, campus facilities improvements, and more.  Please take a few moments to read it through--and, when you finally get around to it, open that "What's Next?" packet on the kitchen counter and glance through it as well.  But, until then, we pray that you and your family are enjoying a wonderfully relaxing, memorable summer.

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
  
Geoff Brown
Superintendent
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
"Growing and Going" Campaign Yields Additional Campus Improvements this Summer
The five-year campus improvement plan starts into its second year with five projects this summer

Nearly a year ago, Northwest Christian unveiled its five-year plan under the banner of "Growing and Going".  With an eye towards making certain that Northwest Christian School facilities efforts were focused on sustainable solutions that would carry the school's mission into the decades ahead, the plan consisted of both large and small scale projects.  The summer of 2018 is seeing the launch of five of these projects.

The largest of these projects is the addition of four new classrooms that will serve the elementary program.  Though the new classroom building will host elementary-aged students, the ripple effect from the increased capacity will mean dramatic improvements in the daily schedules of students at all grade levels.  "Despite the waiting lists, these classrooms are not intended to increase enrollment," explains superintendent Geoff Brown. "They will serve current students by freeing up spaces that have had to be used for classrooms and which can now be used for different purposes. They will improve learning environments for all students."  The new building will go over the "bars playground" area, a play space that will be replaced as part of the plan.  Though the classrooms are due to be completed at the end of the first semester, the school is hoping for an earlier open.  The building will also house changing areas that will service junior high athletes apart from the high school locker rooms, larger restrooms to serve attendees to athletic events on the fields, and a new concessions area.  "I'm also excited to see the completion of the 'Crusader Legacy Plaza' between the football, softball, and baseball fields," says Geoff.  "This is the space where we host our alumni events.  It will become a beautiful focal point."

The scope of summer projects will also include improvements running north from the new Crusader Legacy Plaza to the area that is popularly referred to as the "grassy knoll".  "This is the area where middle and high school students generally congregate outside the secondary classroom buildings.  We've done 'prayer at the pole' events there, for example," says Geoff.  "This summer, we are working to improve that space to make it more 'usable' for students.  We're providing shade and different features to facilitate better use and enjoyment of the space."

This year's "Crusaders Full Steam Ahead Fundraising Dinner and Auction" is scheduled for September 29th and is taking place at Warehouse 215, a relatively new event venue in Phoenix's downtown urban-chic warehouse district.  "At that event," says Geoff, "we are looking forward to updating our community on the projects currently in progress as well as communicating how our five-year facilities improvement plan is changing as we move forward within the 'Growing and Going' campaign."


What Summer Break?  Northwest Christian High School Students Enjoy Academic Distinctions this Summer
These high school students turned school-year efforts into summer-time opportunities

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. Founded in 1935, Boys State is a participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government models.  At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.  Arizona Boys State took place the week of June 3rd at Northern Arizona University and Northwest Christian was excited to learn that during the event senior Andrew Tweedy won the Samsung  American Legion Boys State Scholarship Award.   Out of more than 5,300 contestants nationally, the Samsung American Legion $10,000 Scholarship Award is given to just ten Boys State scholars in the nation.
 
This month, four Northwest Christian high school students had   the privilege of representing Arizona at the Washington D.C.-based National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland, after winning the state-level NHD competition in March.  The students included Ashleigh Emery, Zoe Dalessandri, Ashlyn Nevrla, and Presley Winchester. Following the competition, which included oral presentations and panel interviews, Ashleigh Emery's project ("The Cherokee Wishbone Compromise:  An Assault on Assimilation") was honored as one of the top ten projects in the nation.  In addition to that honor, Ashleigh's project had the privilege of being on display within the Smithsonian Institute for a day. "As a school," comments principal Schlesinger, "we have real reason to be proud of these students.  National History Day is an extremely competitive opportunity and that fact that these projects were distinguished amidst a field of over 3,000 submissions shows that our students are working tremendously hard.  I'm also grateful to their teacher, Mary Hall, for providing the opportunity to her students."
 

June also brought great news from the esteemed National Merit Scholarship competition as the school learned that Kaleb Morrow had won the Arizona State University National Merit Scholarship.  This means that from the 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship competition, Kaleb was one of 4,000 students nationally who earned a scholarship underwritten by one of 190 participating universities, Arizona State University.
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Northwest Christian Welcomes New Faculty to the School
Take a moment to meet the newest members of the Crusader family!

Andy Coley will serving as the new eighth grade Bible teacher, a position recently vacated by Chris "Mr. G" Gardiner who is moving into a new role as the school's Spiritual Formation Coordinator.  Prior to NCS, Andy served as a fifth grade teacher and administrator at Adams Traditional Academy.  With an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and having just completed a master's degree in Educational Leadership through Gateway Seminary this past May, he is excited to be part of the NCS family and looking forward to presenting the eighth grade Bible curriculum, the "wisdom books" of the Old Testament.  Andy grew up in Tucson, has lived in Phoenix for four years, and is actively involved at Redemption Peoria.  He and his wife love hiking, biking, and camping all around the state. 
Lauren Waymire is no stranger to the Crusader community in that she attended Northwest Christian from first grade until she graduated in 2005. She is excited to be returning to the community as sixth grade social studies teacher and serving alongside her mother, Mrs. Deb Waymire, who is the chair of the history department.  Lauren will be moving back to the United States this summer after having spent the last seven years living abroad and teaching in Hong Kong.  With an enthusiasm for her curriculum that has been fueled by extensive international travel and a love for missions, she is also a YoungLife leader and had the privilege of being a part of establishing YoungLife in Hong Kong five years ago. Lauren says, "I am passionate about introducing my students to Jesus, sharing stories of what I've seen God do around the globe, and helping them see their role in taking the gospel 'to the ends of the earth'."
Another individual who is also no stranger to the Crusader community is Mark Young.  Prior to serving as the family ministries pastor at Palmcroft Church for the past five years, Mark taught for twenty-two years at NCS.  In addition, he is truly part of the legacy of the school in that his father, Dave Young, was the longest-serving superintendent of the school and the Young family was deeply invested in the early growth years of the school.  He has served as a successful coach within the school's basketball program and taught in both the Bible and math departments.  He returns to his Crusader family as a middle school math teacher.  Mark and his wife of twenty years, Melissa, have two high school students, Emily, a senior, and Luke, a freshman.
Joni Keith joins the Northwest Christian Early Education teaching team with experience in the fields of both education and children's ministry.  After being a member of the 2008 national championship Wildcats swim team, Joni graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education.  Since then, she has had the opportunity to work with students all the way from two-years-old through high school as a coach, teacher, and church staff member.  She's served on children's ministry staffs at both El Camino Baptist Church in Tucson and Palmcroft Church in Phoenix.  Joni has been married for eleven years in August and has a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son.  

Northwest Christian is also excited to welcome Janelle Hardy to the school's Early Ed team. Janelle has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and a master's degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University.  She and her husband, Ryan, have two Crusader daughters who started at Northwest Christian as Early Education students.  Janelle grew up attending Glendale Nazarene, a church where her family is still thriving.  "I was raised in a Christian home," says Janelle, "and I believe it is important to instill Godly values in little ones, so they can begin walking with Him early in their lives." 
"Since high school, God has developed within me a love for learning and teaching," says Joel De Luna, Northwest Christian's new third grade teacher. "It began by teaching junior high and other high school students in Bible studies. This passion spread like a wildfire within my heart as I attended college."  Joel's undergraduate degree is in Christian Ministry from Arizona Christian University and he holds two master's degrees:  Elementary Education from Arizona State University and Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.  Now in his tenth year of teaching, Joel has served in both public education at Monte Vista Elementary and Christian education at Joy Christian School.  He and his wife, Alanna, have two boys in seventh and fourth grades and a newborn daughter. The De Luna family loves the outdoors where they enjoy hiking and camping.  "I am so excited to join the NCS team," says Joel, "and to impact students for Christ!  My family and I are eager to get involved in the community and build lasting relationships with students and families."
Barb Manne joins the Crusader family as the elementary art teacher.  She has been an elementary art teacher for nearly twenty years, teaching art at Christian schools in Appleton, WI, and her hometown of Rockford, IL.  She attended Rockford College and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in drawing. "I have always enjoyed working with children and my teaching experience has always been with elementary-aged students," says Barb. "I have had a love for art since I was a child and teaching young artists allows me to relive those memorable experiences. Seeing constant flow of creativity generated by my students is my passion.  It is very important to me to inspire my students to appreciate the visual arts, art history, and the beauty of God's creation that we see around us each day. Additionally, art is an integral part of a student's education as it touches each discipline from math, science, literature, history and more."
The May issue of the NCS Spotlight e-newsletter introduced the community to the school's two new Directors of Curriculum and Instruction.  Jeff Parsons will be serving as the full-time Director of Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on the secondary program.  Jeff joins Northwest Christian after serving for fourteen years within the Glendale Union High School District where he has been both a teacher and an assistant principal (most recently at Independence High School).   Jeff and his wife, Megan, have had three children at Northwest Christian:  William (seventh grade), Ben (sixth grade), and Ava (fourth grade).  Jeff's secondary focus, coupled with the part-time assistance of Don Moenich, who will be focused on the primary grades, will allow time for Jeff to drive several new curricular projects that the school will be launching in the coming year.
Don Moenich will be serving as a part-time Director of Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on the Early Education and Elementary program as he works to support Jeff Parsons' efforts in the secondary.  Don worked with Northwest Christian from 2012 to 2015 when he left to pastor a church in Palo Verde, Arizona.   As he returns to NCS, he will also continue to pastor the church in Palo Verde.  Don has twenty-four years experience in education, specializing his talents as an academic coach in the Alhambra School District.  He has a passion for promoting data-driven instruction, Biblical integration, maximizing student production, and utilizing high-yield instructional strategies in the classroom.
Summer Missions Opportunities Continue with Crusaders Traveling to Mexico and Costa Rica
One other team has just returned from Rwanda

The summer of 2018 finds Crusaders with opportunities to participate in three different international missions trips.

The first trip just returned a bit over a week ago after travelling to the City of Joy Christian School (CoJ) in Nyanza, Rwanda. As part of a partnership between the CoJ and NCS, during the fall of 2017, Elizabeth Ogutta, a teacher from CoJ, shadowed Northwest Christian elementary teachers and trained with them.  As part of this just-completed trip, a group of eleven Northwest Christian teachers went to Rwanda to provide some of the same professional development to a broader group of CoJ teachers.  The team also included eight Northwest Christian high school students who supported the teachers, providing VBS, games, and sport camps for the CoJ students as their teachers were engaged in training.

As that trip returned, another trip took off to Imuris, Sonora in Mexico as part of a long-standing partnership between Northwest Christian School and the Kids Kingdom orphanage.  During the school year, starting in eighth grade, students have four to five opportunities per year to serve within the orphanage.  But, this summer, students will be participating in the school's longest trip to the orphanage to date and facilitating its most aggressive service effort yet:  a Vacation Bible School for kids within the community of Imuris.  Chris Gardiner, who is leading the trip, said, "We will be traveling down to Imuris for the longest trip we have ever done to spend a whole week assisting Pastors Arturo and Lilia.  The students will be doing some painting projects as well as some small building projects.  But the primary focus will be providing a VBS for the nearly fifty children of Kids Kingdom as well as those in the community!"

Then, later this summer (July 20th to the 27th), middle school Bible teacher and campus Wyldlife sponsor Kathy Gonzalez will be leading a YoungLife-hosted trip to Alajuela, Costa Rica. The trip represents the second time she has led Northwest Christian students and recent alumni to the destination.  "We will be working alongside the YoungLife staff and college volunteers on a work project at a local high school, where these young people run weekly clubs in order to share the Good News with kids," says Kathy.  "As well as encouraging the 'Ticos' in their YoungLife outreach ministry to kids, we will come back encouraged to continue our NCS Wyldlife ministry, which has become known throughout Arizona for raising up high school junior leaders.  Many of these Northwest Christian alumni move on in college to become committed YoungLife leaders, reaching out to public high school kids with the Good News that Jesus loves them!"

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Congratulations Crusader Football!

The Northwest Christian varsity football team participated in the San Diego State University High School 7-on-7 Passing League Tournament over the June 12th weekend and did very well, fueling excitement for another strong season of Crusader football ahead.  Of the thirty-eight teams participating in the tourney from around the southwest, the Crusaders finished in the top six, surprising many larger schools in the process.  In the first day of the tournament, the team went 2-1, only narrowly losing to Scottsdale's Notre Dame Prep, 38-34.  On day two, the team was seeded eleventh, charged through the bracket to wind-up in the top six before losing to the number one seeded team, Green Valley High School out of Las Vegas, Nevada.


 

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Northwest Christian Preparing to Launch Automated School Lunch Software System

With the addition of a state-of -the art lunch area kitchen this past year, infrastructure was finally in place to move Northwest Christian's school lunch system into the new millennium.  This fall, the school is working with Mosaic Cloud School Nutrition Systems to automate lunch-area points-of-sale so that parents can count on their students to enjoy cashless transactions.  The infrastructure to support the system was built into the new kitchen and the hardware to facilitate it is going into place this summer.  The training for lunch area staff will start this fall and the launch of the system will happen midway through the first semester.  Automation will mean internet-facilitated parental access to their students' lunch accounts.

"This change has been a long time coming," says superintendent Geoff Brown.  "The effort is in response to the feedback that we have received as part of our annual, online parent partnership survey.  The parental desire for this convenience has been there but it has not been until we built the new kitchen that we had the means to support the technology.  In addition, we have taken our time to pursue the right partnership to facilitate the convenience.  In many instances, technological convenience would have meant significant increases in lunch costs for our families.  But, with the facilitator we chose, cost impacts are relatively minimal."

The automation of the lunch area represents the school's first foray into online account access and credit card conveniences.  "For reason of costs and the potential for negative price point impacts," says Geoff, "we have been careful as we move in this direction.  Our goal has been to keep costs low in order to keep Northwest Christian affordable for families.  But, if our families can extend a bit more patience as we pursue this avenue, I believe that they will be rewarded with these conveniences being available in many other areas of the school beside lunches.  We are working towards that end right now."
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June 25, 2018
Vol. 8, Issue 9 
Philippians 3:12-14
" Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. "
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Northwest Christian's Prayer Group for Men 
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Free NCS Bumper Sticker!

Show your school spirit!
Please present this coupon in the school office to receive a complimentary NCS bumper sticker. 
Limit one per family.
Offer Expires: Offer available while current supplies last.