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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
As you will read below, when February's "Ranking Arizona" magazine is released to the public, you will have the opportunity to read something that we have had to keep "under wraps" for a couple of months now:  Northwest Christian School has been picked as the "top private school" in the state in 2018.   As you will read below, this affirmation stirred my heart in a number of ways.  In particular, in a day and age when culture seems so completely predisposed to dismiss anything that professes the name of Christ--when we seem to see religious liberties and the idea of absolute truth deteriorating all around us--I am deeply moved to see the Lord blessing a community of people who remain focused on the word of God as the primary driving factor in the education of their children.

C.S. Lewis wrote, "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."  This month, it is in the spirit of this quote that I want you to read through this newsletter.  Please do not be tempted to read it as a series of independent celebrations of student and school accomplishments.  Instead, as you read these articles, as a school family--faculty, students, and parents--I want us to remember our mission and realize that the Lord is using NCS to prepare an army of culture-changers.  We aspire to equip our kids with courageous hearts as they pursue Christ as well as strong minds and bodies that position them through college and career to be His voice into their generation.  As you read the articles that follow, I want us to realize this mission is more than aspiration--it is happening.  It is happening as our teachers and parents pull together, often sacrificially, and our students work hard, applying their minds, spirits, and bodies to the truths we hold sacred from God's word.  And, in the spirit of Lewis' quote, it is happening to the glory of God.

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
Senior Jaden Hoyt Signs to Air Force Academy for Football
The signing is the second to a Division 1 school so far this year

Northwest Christian is excited to extend sincere congratulations to the Hoyt family.  On Wednesday, February 7th, surrounded his family and fellow Crusader teammates, senior Jaden Hoyt signed to to Division I Air Force Academy for football.  Hoyt, a four-year varsity starter, has been a strong contributor to the Crusader football team both on the field and as a stellar leader with Christ-like character.

"I'm excited for Jaden," said athletic director David Inness, "because he has worked hard to be in this place.  And, I am talking about more than hard work on the field or in the weight room.  This student works hard in class, tows a tight line in the way that he carries himself, and is a great example of what and who this school stands for.  This next year, Air Force has a leader and their opponents have a handful."
Google Expeditions Comes to NCS on Thursday, Feb. 15th
Google will be on campus sponsoring immersive, virtual journeys

On Thursday, February 15th, Northwest Christian students from elementary through high school will enjoy the opportunity to participate in Google's Expeditions program.  Utilizing virtual reality generated through professionally filmed and rendered simulations, students will be led by both classroom teachers and Google representatives through some very exciting virtual environments.  In preparation for the event, teachers were asked to consider where their classes presently stood within the curriculum maps and were then invited to choose from as many as five hundred augmented reality "field trips".  Google's efforts are meant to enhance learning already in play on the campus.  As a result, different Northwest Christian students will enjoy virtual tours of World War I battle sites, a display of the forces of nature, a close-up inspection of cellular processes driven by RNA and DNA, a visit with dinosaurs, a survey of art from the Renaissance, a run through DaVinci's innovations, and a close-up of the muscular system.

The Google program, officially titled, "Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program", was secured for the school by technology department chair, Mrs. Lisa Ehlers.  Ehlers, a middle school teacher and a passionate advocate for using tech to invoke novel and enhanced learning opportunities for students throughout the school, led the process of applying to Google for the opportunity.  Additionally, she presented the required training to her teaching peers and generated a schedule which facilitated the chance for as many students as possible to be part of the Google-sponsored event.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Crusaders Have Strong Showing at ACSI Regional Spelling Bee and Math Olympiad
Northwest Christian celebrates top placers in both events

On January 19th, Paradise Valley Christian Prep hosted the annual ACSI regional spelling bee and NCS is pleased to report a strong showing by elementary-aged Crusaders.  In the 1st through 4th grade competitions, there were three first place finishes for Northwest Christian students, one second place finish, and one fourth place finish.  In chapel on Wednesday, February 7th, Burton Hendrix was recognized for his first place finish in first grade, Liam Vejrostek for second place in second grade, Aleah Bogaard for fourth place in second grade, Johna Saleh for first place in third grade, and Hannah Munchian for first place in fourth grade.

As she celebrated the students' accomplishments, elementary principal Dawna Underwood said, "This has been an astounding year in the spelling bee and it represents motivated students working under teachers who really need to be commended for their work in spelling and grammar.  We are very proud of all of them."

Similarly, Northwest Christian enjoyed strong results within ACSI's Math Olympiad, a regional event that is facilitated through a rigorous math test taken in December with results released just this past week.  In that competition, three Crusaders will press forward into the next level.  Jenise Chalmers took first place and Kayla Jo took second place in the computation division of the competition while Braydon Yee finished in the top twenty percent of the application division.

Mrs. Underwood said, "The Math Olympiad program at NCS has been a vision of Mrs. Deborah Yee.  It's been exciting to see students who are pursuing extra levels of math beyond the classroom.  These are motivated students and I am proud these kids for their work, dedication, and for using the talents that God has given them.  I'm thankful to Mrs. Yee for her commitment to develop these talents in those students."
"Ranking Arizona" Magazine Picks Northwest Christian as Top Private School
The 2018 distinction represents the fourth year in a row that the school has been recognized in this fashion

As the February edition of Ranking Arizona magazine hits store shelves this month, the Crusaders community will have the opportunity to celebrate God's sustaining providence as the magazine places NCS at the top of their list of private schools.  The various lists in the magazine are ranked according to public support for businesses and non-profits across a whole host of Arizona industries.  This 2018 distinction represents the fourth year in a row that the school has been affirmed in this fashion.  During that same time frame, for four years running, the Phoenix Business Journal has also named Northwest Christian as the "top private school" within a similar list that they post annually.  The metric for the Phoenix Business Journal affirmation is a bit different:  they rank according to enrollment.

"This year's Ranking Arizona affirmation has a special meaning to me," explains superintendent Geoff Brown, "for a couple of reasons.  Let's be frank here, I have dropped a couple of important balls this year.  For example, we opened our brand new kitchen five months late.  That wasn't a little deal as that it represented tremendous inconvenience to our families.  But, the fact that families would affirm us in spite of that failure is a very clear reminder of why families choose Northwest Christian.  While programs and facilities are important--and a very large priority for us--they are not the ultimate priority.  What is the chief priority, the reason for which our families are willing to sacrifice to provide Christian education for their kids?  The centrality of God's word and His truth.  That's followed closely by teachers who love Jesus first and students second.  More than a list and where we may or may not fall on within that list, I want to celebrate teachers who sacrificially work to impact students, imparting God's truth into their hearts and the families who scrimp, save, and pinch pennies to provide this opportunity for some amazing students who are learning to be world-changers."

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes


Northwest Christian Receives "Exemplary" Recommendation as Part of ACSI/AdvancED Accreditation
NCS will be one of only a dozen Christian schools in the nation recognized in this fashion 

Northwest Christian presently enjoys two types of accreditation.  The first is through the Association of Christian Schools International.  The second is through AdvancED.  Though similar in function, both accreditations affirm different aspects of the school's program. Though there are numerous reasons to pursue ACSI accreditation, succinctly represented, member schools seek accreditation to validate their quality and verify that they are striving for excellence based on a solid foundation of Christian philosophy in education.  In 2012, Northwest Christian also pursued accreditation through AdvancED and became the first Christian school in the state to enjoy affirmation from both accrediting agencies.  AdvancED, a secular agency, verifies that a school community is legitimately engaged in continuous improvement resulting in success for all learners. AdvancED accreditation looks for evidence of different measures of quality for learning and instruction and certifies that they are engaged throughout the school.

On February 4th, a visiting accreditation team with twelve members came to the school to begin the four-day process of assessing Northwest Christian's performance and analyzing the school's outcomes.  The team visited every Crusader classroom and evaluated each teacher.  In addition to a 120-page report submitted by the school in advance to the team, campus administrators met with the team on numerous occasions to review school finances, curriculum maps, student performance metrics, and spiritual formation strategies.  On the afternoon of February 7th, the accreditation pulled the entire staff and faculty together and announced the outcomes of their studies and surveys.

Dr. Erin Wilcox, who leads national accreditation efforts for ACSI, announced that the school had earned its accreditation extension through both ACSI and AdvancED and that the committee was recommending the school for exemplary accreditation to the national accreditation commission which meets in July.  This recommendation will mean that Northwest Christian will be the 12th Christian school in the nation to earn this particular accolade.

"I'm excited for our community," said superintendent Geoff Brown.  "This moment isn't a banner we hang on a fence, a sticker we put on the front door, or a brag-able we put on the website.  This moment is a monument to years and years of hard work from students, teachers, and parents as they have chased the inspired dream of excellence within Christian education."

Saturday, February 24,  2018
First Institutional Baptist Church, PhoenixAZ

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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AP Physics 2 Class Learns its Latest Lessons While Sailing at Lake Pleasant
Inspiring teacher moves student learning from abstract to concrete

Recently, students taking AP Physics 2, Northwest Christian High School's second-year, advanced Physics class, were able to see "physics in action" through a sailing lesson at Lake Pleasant. The experience was the culmination of a curricular unit about fluids, buoyancy studies, and fluid dynamics.  Mrs. Allison Van Liew, the physics teacher, challenged the students to relate concepts that they have been studying in class (as well force, motion, and pressure) to the motion of the boat, the practice of "trimming the sails", and the mechanical utility of ropes and winches.

The charm of the day also exceeded the planned lessons.  Mrs. Van Liew explained, "There were some fun, unplanned benefits within the trip.  Beyond the classroom objectives, the trip also allowed the students to work together as a team, assume different roles in sailing, and they practiced new tactile skills, all while enjoying time in a beautiful corner of Creation."

High school principal Josh Schlesinger was enthusiastic about the opportunity for students:  "Mrs. Van Liew created a memorable learning moment for her students.  It was brilliant the way she inspired her students to begin moving from conceptual to concrete."  Mrs. Van Liew further explained, "I believe school is about opportunities - present and future. When classes can culminate in expanded career options, broader understanding of real life concepts, and fun memories through new experiences, it's been a successful day of learning."   

Mrs. Van Liew already has her sights on the next successful learning opportunity for her students later this spring:  a visit to a local flight school.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Shine Dentistry        

Today and Tomorrow!  Northwest Christian Hosts Liberty Festival and Patriotic Speech Meet
Arizona Christian Tournament of Speakers and the Liberty Festival remind students that they are blessed enjoy American freedoms

In what will shape up to be two very busy days, Northwest Christian is honored to play host to three events on campus both today and tomorrow.  All three events have been designed and aligned for a very special purpose:  to teach our students that they are blessed by God to live in a nation where freedoms have been fought for and established that permit them to enjoy the fruits of liberty.

The first event, taking place both Thursday, February 8th, and Friday, February 9th, is the Phoenix Liberty Festival, sponsored by We Make History.  On both mornings, area schools and home school students will be travelling to NCS to participate in wonderful teaching moments experienced within the context Revolutionary War re-enactments and a complete Revolutionary War-era village.

On Friday morning, Northwest Christian is partnering with Palmcroft Church to host ACSI's regional speech meet, an event branded as "Arizona's Christian Tournament of Speakers".  The event is held in tandem with the Liberty Festival because, like the Liberty Festival, the focus is providence and patriotism.  Each of the entrants' speeches are either scriptures which speak to religious liberty, inspiring speeches from American patriots, or important American writings from history.  Superintendent Geoff Brown explains, "There is a one-two punch of sorts for our students.  The kids have the chance to learn and hear from contemporary and historic American leaders through their use of God's word, speeches, and writings.  Then, they get to see and hear their impact in American history through the Liberty Festival."  NCS students will experience the Liberty Festival on Thursday afternoon, February 8th.

Also on Friday morning, February 9th, on the football field, Northwest Christian welcomes General George Washingon, in full historic garb, to "Dads and Donuts".  All are welcome to this Ottawa University-sponsored event and there will be plenty of complementary donuts, muffins, pastries, coffee, and juice on hand.  General Washington will be leading the students (sons and daughters) and dads (and grandfathers!) in prayer for the nation.

February 8, 2018
Vol. 8, Issue 6 
Proverbs 21:21
" Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. "
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Big O Tires is a generous sponsor of NCS Athletics

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Free NCS Bumper Sticker!

Show your school spirit!
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