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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,

You are probably going to need to sit down for this.  Seriously.  Go ahead.  I'll wait. 

Why?  Because I have some pretty great news for you.   You are a community hero.   Yes,  you , the one sitting on your couch, reading through this newsletter on your phone.  Right now, at this very minute, you are doing a huge service to your community and you may not even realize it!  Who says so?  Deborah Sheasby, that's who.

Deborah Sheasby is the founder and president of Meira Consulting, an independent consulting firm providing legislative and legal analysis.   A graduate with honors of Baylor University with a B.A. focused in economics and political science and a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, she worked for eight years at the Arizona Legislature.  Earlier this month, Meira Consulting published an independent assessment of Arizona school tuition tax credit system for Arizona state legislators.  The article is sending shock waves through the Arizona educational community and changing the conversation between the many that are debating school funding within the state.

What is the big deal?  What is the story?  It's simple:  you are a community hero and have provided a huge service to all students and families in the state of Arizona.

Within the article, Sheasby's overarching conclusion is that the system of state tuition tax credits, originally passed into law in 1997, has saved the state of Arizona, a state presently in the midst of a fiscal scramble to cover its commitments to teachers and students within public schools, nearly $300 million annually in recent years.  According to the annual report released by the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, the cost to educate your student at the public school within the district where you live averages $8,310.  If your child were enrolled in a charter school, the bill payable by the state would run even higher.  Practically speaking, that means if your student was not at Northwest Christian School, the state would have to pony up nearly $8,500.  Think about this from the perspective your student:  not only is your child receiving the benefits of a rigorous NCS education (with average test scores that beat state averages hands down) and rooted within uncompromising Biblical worldview, you are also allowing for the quality of education within the state to rise for reason of those savings and allowing for the state's average per pupil expenditures to rise.

That's not all!  Hopefully, your family is one of the Crusader families that is able to enjoy the benefit of seeing some or all of your Northwest Christian tuition paid by state tuition tax credit scholarships.  If that is the case, you are likely seeing a cost reduction somewhere around $2,889, the average state tuition tax scholarship award in Arizona.  Despite the state average, for many Northwest Christian families, that number runs far higher.  

So the next time you hear someone suggest that personal and corporate tax credit scholarships are hurting the state, ask them to do the math.  As Sheasby reports, it is pretty simple and straightforward:  take the average per pupil spending within public ed ($8,310), subtract the average tax credit scholarship award ($2,889), and multiply that by the number of students enrolled within Arizona private education communities with help from the tax credit.  By Sheasby's estimates, that number is not hurting anyone.  In fact, to be clear, it is quite literally helping everyone.

And, if you have not had the chance to participate within the heroic state tuition tax credit program, as tax day approaches, now is the time to start!  You can get information directly from Northwest Christian here, or you can visit personally with Michelle Reddy, our resident expert on these tax credit scholarships.  Or, if you are simply a Crusader fan, grandparent, or friend of the school, that does not have students within the school, you can still be a hero... consider supporting the tax credit program here ( or here) and receive a dollar for dollar credit in the process.

The numbers are simple.  No matter how you do the math, you are a community hero.

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
Spotlight on Students

On Tuesday, January 28th, Northwest Christian was among the twelve Christian schools that went to the State Capitol as part of the #Allin4AllEd network of schools.  The 160 student representatives from the schools toured the Arizona Senate and House buildings and were able to observe several different legislative functions.  The students also had the opportunity to hear from several state officials including Governor Doug Ducey.  Above, junior Northwest Christian Student Ambassador Joel Mucklow is pictured with Governor Doug Ducey.
Spotlight on Students

Congratulations to the Crusader cheer program!  On Saturday, February 1st, the Northwest Christian High School cheer squad performed very well in state championship cheer competitions.  The team garnered State Runners-Up in Division III "All-Girls Stunt" and "Show Cheer".
Spotlight on Crusader Legends

On January 13th, Ruth Ada Shumate heard her Savior say "Well done, good and faithful servant."  Mrs. Shumate was a Northwest Christian staple for many years and was known to students and families as "Grandma Ruth".  Grandma Ruth's role within the school was caring for the smallest Crusaders within the Northwest Christian infant program.  Whether as a paid staff member or as a volunteer, Mrs. Shumate spent many long hours with infants, sometimes (and famously) in a rocking chair and sometimes walking them around the campus.  She also invested herself into young Crusader families, offering Biblical insight to new parents and contributing the wisdom gained through years of experience.  She will be deeply missed by the thousands of lives she touched.

Coach Jeff Penzone Picked as Regional Coach of the Year by National Federation of State High School Associations

Penzone is the coach that won the first state championships for both the Northwest Christian boys and girls soccer programs

As the 2019/2020 winter sports season nears its culmination with the state championship tournaments, Northwest Christian has cause to celebrate the contributions and recent national recognition of Coach Jeff Penzone.  Penzone was recently picked by the National Federation of High School Sports Associations as the regional coach of the year--a region which included Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and California.

Penzone recently notched his 300th career coaching win.  As of this writing, his current career record stands at 301-120-10.  Of those 301 wins, 257 came while coaching at Northwest Christian.  Over the course of his sixteen seasons at the school, his teams have won twelve conference championship and four state titles.  His 2004/2005 boys team won the first soccer state championship for Northwest Christian.  He went on to see Northwest Christian boys teams earned back-to-back state championships in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.  He also led boys teams to state-runners up in 2006/2007 and 2013/2014.  Then, having moved over to assume varsity coaching within the girls program, he led the girls program to their first purple state championship banner to hang in the Don Sanderson Gymnasium in 2018/2019.

"Wins and losses aside," said superintendent Geoff Brown, "what I most appreciate about Jeff is his desire to see students and families grow spiritually.  For example, Jeff is deeply committed to our monthly mens prayer breakfast, Big Boys on Campus.  Whether he's working with students, parents, or other coaches, he's constantly, quietly reminding them of the centrality of Christ in all that we do.  I love that he's been recognized in this way...he's a brilliant reflection of Christ into the community."
Spotlight on Students

On Friday, January 17th, the Association of Christian Schools International held its district spelling bee at Phoenix Christian Grade School.  Five Crusaders performed extremely well!  
Burton H took 2nd place in third grade, Sullivan N won first place in fifth grade, Rylan won third place in second grade, Holden N earned third place in first grade,  and Austin S won first place in first grade.

Grants and Gifts Already Allowing for Future Improvements within the Forthcoming "Crusader Creation Commons"

Recent grants and gifts are already laying the groundwork for a huge step forward in technology opportunities at Northwest Christian 

The next building projects on the school's horizon, part of the ongoing "Growing and Going" campus improvement plan, will pack a one-two punch.  The school will build a new kindergarten classroom building that will have a domino effect throughout all grade levels across the campus.  The impact will range from the re-establishment of the Mini-Crusader infant program all the way to a new technology center for secondary students.  While the school works to raise funds for these building improvements improvements, there is also a team of Crusaders working to secure grants and gifts that will provide the cutting edge tech tools that will be used within that new technology center.

The tech center, called the Crusader Creation Commons, is a variation on the "maker's spaces" that are becoming common in schools.  But, there will be a key difference in the Crusader Creation Commons.  "Maker's spaces are failing all across the country," says superintendent Geoff Brown, "because they are essentially becoming expensive classrooms.  Schools design the centers, spend the money for the equipment, and then charge teachers to learn how to use and teach the equipment.  The limiting factor becomes that lack of instructional expertise.  We live in a time when students are out-pacing teachers when it comes to learning new technologies.  The Crusader Creation Commons will play host to some classes but that is not its primary focus.  Instead, students will be given free reign to explore the equipment within the center, allowing their own curiosity to drive them.  We will bring in technology experts that will incite that curiosity, can answer student questions, and come alongside students that are guiding their own learning."

The Crusader Creation Commons will feature a music recording studio, video lab, robotics, 3-D printing, and much more.  And, much this equipment is already coming in for students to use even before the center opens--thanks to the effort to secure grants and gifts.  
The Mark 2 3-D printer represents the latest 3D printing technology

One such piece of equipment is a brand-new $50K Mark 2 3-D printer and associated design software.  The generous gift came courtesy of Micropulse West, a machining and EDM specialty company, located in Tempe and owned by Joe Tripi, a member of the Crusader Community.  

Additionally, two foundations have provided financial support for two other Creation Commons initiatives.  The first is a new ham radio station, funded by the Amateur Radio Relay League.  With the support of the Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club, Northwest Christian recently secured its own amateur ham radio station (#KJ7JPJ) and started a middle school club, the Northwest Christian Amateur Radio Club (NCARC), led by high school teacher Brett Irwin.  Separately, another anonymous family foundation has provided funding for a technology library that will be based in the Crusader Creation Commons and that will allow for students to 'check out' tech tools like video cameras, robotics kits, recording equipment, high-end video editing equipment, and more.

"We are in the process of approaching numerous partners as we work to establish the Crusader Creation Commons.  Partners like Micropulse West and ARRL have vision and passion for training up the next generation of entrepreneurs and engineers," continues Geoff.  "Their generosity is framing an exciting future for Northwest Christian students." 

Spotlight on Students

During the Winter Sports Assembly on Thursday, January 23rd, KOOL FM presented the Northwest Christian High School Chorale with a prize check for $1000.  Chorale had participated in the KOOL FM School Salute and performed the National Anthem on the air.  KOOL FM listeners picked Northwest Christian as their favorite rendition from amidst all of the schools involved within the competition.
Spotlight on Upcoming Events

Northwest Christian School Spring 2020 Musical
Performances March 5th through 7th

This inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows Maria, an ebullient postulant who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain Von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, the Von Trapp family must make a moral decision.

Click HERE to purchase tickets online.  Special staff/student pricing available in the office.
Spotlight on Students

On Friday, January 17th, the Northwest Christian Adventure Cru spent the afternoon learning the ropes of rock climbing at the Ape Index Rock Climbing Gym.
Northwest Christian Students Meet with Key State Leaders in Support of #Allin4AllEd
Students learned that support for a robust educational freedom within the state produces stronger outcomes for all Arizona students 

On Tuesday, January 28th, Northwest Christian students had the opportunity to spend the day at the State Capitol.  In a momentous event, hosted by both #Allin4AllEd and the Center for Arizona Policy's 'Arizona Christian Education Network', students from over a dozen Arizona Christian schools, from as far away as Tucson and Prescott, visited both chambers of the legislature, participating within a Senate Education Committee meeting, and met with a very illustrious group of state leaders.  The group of students met with State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Senate President Karen Fann, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Senator JD Mesnard, Representative Nancy Barto, Representative Shawnna Bolick, and Josh Kredit, the Deputy Attorney General."

In a time when Arizona parents' educational freedoms are increasingly under fire within the state legislature, the meetings presented an opportunity for legislators on both sides of the issue to be reminded of the potency of educational freedom.  "I was so proud of our students," said superintendent Geoff Brown.  "They were keenly aware of the issues, able to articulate their positions, and answer questions.  But, just their presence and the way that they carried themselves were a powerful representation to state leaders that our students and our families deserve the choices that are produced when legislators support educational freedom in Arizona."

#Allin4AllEd has partnered with multiple pro-school choice organizations in order to help school families to understand the stakes.  These include the Center for Arizona Policy, the American Federation for Children, and the Goldwater Institute.  Most recently, the #Allin4AllEd schools have partnered with the Center for Arizona Policy to activate the Arizona Christian Education Network.  This resource exists to help parents understand the benefits of school choice (aka "Educational Freedom") as well as to provide opportunities to support the same.

Spotlight on Students

On January 28th, friends and family were on hand in the Don Sanderson Gymnasium to watch as Northwest Christian senior Belle Ress signed with  to play soccer at Hardin-Simmons University
Spotlight on Students
Northwest Christian students won big at All State Band and Choir! Arizona is divided into eight regions, with approximately forty schools of varying sizes in each region. During regional band and choir competitions, students from each region perform a live, blind audition of difficult scales, solos, etudes, and sight reading. Students with the top scores are selected to participate in the All Regional Band and Choir Festival of Performance, which will be held on February 14 and 15 at McClintock High School. Students will rehearse with a clinician and perform a concert on Saturday afternoon. It is an honor to be selected and our students are now eligible to audition for the All State Band and Choir.

Congratulations to:
Band from left to right: 
Emilia D., Euphonium, 9th grade
Matthew N., Trumpet, 10th grade
Hannah S., Clarinet, 12th grade
Elijah R., Tenor, 9th grade
Spotlight on Students

On January 23rd, the students in our Sign Language 7-8 class participated in a 24-hour "Day Without Sound". The students used a combination of sound buffering ear muffs with earplugs for a 24-hour day to gain a better understanding of what life is like for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people every day.
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February 3, 2020
Vol. 10, Issue 6
Galatians 6:6-7

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Mark your calendars now for another VITAL session of Parent University!
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State Tuition Tax Credit Opportunity
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