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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
We get questions.  Oh, we get questions.  In fact, it may be the most important part of our job description.  

In every classroom, we hope to inspire investigation, create a craving for curiosity, and produce a preponderance of pondering!  But, with many years in pursuit of all of these aforementioned alliterative academic aspirations, there was one question from this past week that topped them all for me.

"Teacher, why does Jesus want me to be a zombie?"  The little guy's face was so sincere, his concern was genuine.

And, of course, the teacher immediately went into overdrive:  Who?  Who would introduce such a crazy idea to one of our youngest minds?  Was it a pranking preschooler?  Was it a meddlesome middle schooler?  Who could ever think that introducing one of our innocents to such a corrupt notion would even be funny?

"Oh no!" the teacher declared emphatically, "Jesus would never want such a thing!  Jesus loves you--He only wants the best for you!"  The teacher was comforted to see the dawn of relief spreading across the student's concerned features.  "But, why would you ever think such a thing?  Who told you that?"

An unexpected answer:  "You."  Huh?  "You did.  It's in that song that we sing.  You know, 'Jesus Wants Me for a Zombie'."  Whoops.  Somehow, the Sunday school favorite "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" had become "Jesus Wants Me for a Zombie".  Can you imagine?  A classroom full of earnest students all corporately singing the lines to "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam"--while all the while, one of them is mistakenly singing a rogue lyric about the walking dead.

As the 2018/2019 school year comes to a close, the issue of the Spotlight e-newsletter that you're holding in your digital hands looks back over a great school year.  I would like to think that with all the wonderful things that went well--great test scores across the board to show that students are learning, record numbers of students involved in missions and service, four new purple state banners to hang in the Don Sanderson Gymnasium, opening a new classroom building, some of our best chapels ever--that we got most of it right.  But, as this little zombie-fearing student will testify, we might have dropped a couple of balls somewhere along the way.  As you read through this celebratory issue, we hope that you will join with us as we look back at all the ways God's faithfulness has been made manifest, forgive us the couple of spinning plates we may have dropped (even if it did involve the undead), and begin to prayerfully look forward to all of the things that the Lord is preparing to do at Northwest Christian School in the year ahead...

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
Arizona Interscholastic Association Honors Northwest Christian High with Don F. Stone Overall Excellence Award
Four new purple state banners hanging in the Don Sanderson Gymnasium are just part of the story 

 The Don F. Stone Award for Overall Excellence is awarded annually by the Arizona
Interscholastic Association (AIA) Executive Board for excellence and achievement in interscholastic competition. Excellence is determined by a point system approved by the AIA Legislative Council. These awards commemorate the outstanding service of the Executive Directors who have served the AIA since its inception in 1925.  The school was excited to learn on May 22 that it had been bestowed the honor after an especially strong year in athletics.

Northwest Christian High School student-athletes enjoyed some tremendous successes in 2018/2019.  Teams won 3A state championships in football, girls volleyball, and girls soccer.  Boys soccer earned a state-runners up banner.  Baseball made it to semi-finals.  Boys basketball went to the 3A final eight.  Softball enjoyed their best year since 2012.  Track saw seventeen students qualify for state and there were three new school records that will be posted to the track and field record board in the Don Sanderson Gymnasium.  Four Crusaders earned spots on the state podium in wrestling.

"We are so blessed to have so many student-athletes that work as hard as they do to compete at such a high level," said David Inness, High School Athletic Director, of the recognition.  "And, our athletes do it the right way.  They truly perform for an audience of One."

Spotlight on Students

On Saturday, May 18th, Northwest Christian hosted the fourth annual NXNW 48-Hour Film Challenge at Huntington University's Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts with film-maker Damon Evans.  Two weekends prior, students from across the city were challenged to make a three minute student film from start to finish in forty-eight hours.  The students were given three elements that needed to be included in the film to be sure that it was filmed within the given weekend.  In the end, twenty teams submitted finished videos.  The teams were from Northwest Christian, Scottsdale Christian, Raymond Kellis High, and many others.  One team even attended the Saturday viewing after driving in from Anaheim, California.  At the event, the twelve finalists were shown to a packed house in the Huntington University student theater and nearly $2,000 in cash prizes were awarded.
Spotlight on Principals

Mrs Underwood (pictured above), Mr. Brown, and Mr. G took nearly twenty students (and some of their parents!) indoor skydiving at iFly during the month of May.  This was actually the second group of students that had earned an opportunity to go skydiving.  The students had participated in the Spring 2019 Red Letter Challenge.  As part of that challenge, students are invited to read through the four gospels, one chapter each day.  At the end of the the three-month reading plan, these students had their names drawn in chapel.

And, it's happening again!  This summer, as part of the Crusaders Charge into Summer Reading tradition, students are being invited to read through select passages in Job as well as other OT and NT passages as a sort of "modified" Red Letter Challenge.  And, while reading God's word is always its own reward, providing extrinsic incentives to students who are working to establish intrinsically motivated spiritual disciplines can be effective.  This summer's incentive?  Ten students are going to trapeze school!  For more info, click HERE!
Crusaders Charge into Summer Reading 2019 Campaign to Focus on the Book of Job and Overcoming Hardship
This summer, your family can walk with four amazing Crusader families whose stories include both hardship and hope 

With the 2018/2019 school year in the rearview mirror, attention turns to one of the rich Northwest Christian traditions that is associated with summer.  "Crusaders Charge into Summer Reading" is an opportunity for students, faculty, and parents to opt in to a unified reading that stirs hearts in preparation for what God desires to do within the school in the coming year.  As part of this tradition, each Monday, videos arrive in email inboxes that walk the community through the reading.  This summer, those videos will start arriving on June 3rd.

The summer 2019 reading plan will center around a pair of potent pieces of prose.  The first reading is what many scholars consider to be the oldest text in scripture:  the book of Job.  Within the book of Job, we will meet a Godly man who, in spite of his righteousness and earnest pursuit of Godliness, endured unimaginable loss.  The second reading comes from Northwest Christian's very own junior Bible teacher, Matthew J. Diaz.  In his recently published "The Last Day of Regret", Diaz tells the story of the loss of his sister, Hannah.  As he sets the loss within the context of their strained relationship, he transparently allows the reader to process loss, grief, hope, and healing with him.  Within both of these stories, the Crusader family will encounter a God that redeems every hardship, no matter how overwhelming it may seem, for His glory and His inspired purposes.

The videos that will arrive each Monday in the inboxes of the Crusader community will introduce four Northwest Christian families that will illuminate the readings.  In addition to Diaz, we will meet Steve and Jacque Wagner who lost their daughter, Katie, to cancer during her senior year.  The impact of Katie's story extended far beyond the school as her testimony and unshaken love for Christ resonated across the state and the nation.  We'll have the chance to meet alumni Jake Fenton who lost his best friend, fellow Crusader alumni and Phoenix Fire Fighter Brad Harper in a tragic accident.  Finally, we will also meet Damon and Elise Evans whose children are current Crusaders.  In 2017, Damon contracted Valley Fever, an infection which settled in his brain and very nearly took his life.

In terms of the scripture reading, the summer will feature a "twist" on a Northwest Christian favorite:  the Red Letter Reading Challenge.  This summer's reading program will walk participants through highlights of the book of Job.  In addition, the Bible reading plan will introduce us to other Biblical heroes who encountered hardship and overcame it as well as drop us into key passages of hope and encouragement within the New Testament.

One aspect of the summer tradition is particularly powerful in preparation for the new school year:  each year, student leaders use the summer reading to prayerfully choose the spiritual emphasis theme for the approaching school year.  Just as student leaders used last summer's readings within the book of Psalms to choose Psalm 62:6 for our verse for the current year and "Unshaken" as the school's annual spiritual emphasis theme, they will do the same for the coming year.

To get a preview of the summer reading and meet the families that will walk us through it, please click on the video below.  If you are interested in securing a copy of "The Last Day of Regret", you can pick it up in the school office or order it HERE via

Summer 2019 Crusaders Charge Intro Video

Spotlight on Students

It might be the third grade teachers' very favorite day of the year!  As happens each spring, on May 16th, Mr. Brown visited each of the third grade classrooms and helped students to dissect cow eyes.  Each pair of students had the chance to put on gloves, use a scalpel, and, following Mr. Brown's instructions, learned about the anatomy of the eye--one of the most glorious and intricate parts of God's creation.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Spotlight on Students
This past week saw five different Crusaders commit to different university athletic programs.  The signing capped a strong year of signings to different colleges in different sports.  

Dustin Inness, Abilene Christian University for football
Levi Bourland, Lake Forest College for football
Matt Cadriel, Lake Forest College for football
Aren Van Hofwegen, Dordt College for football
Brady Wijbrandt, St. Bonaventure University for Lacrosse
Donato Zavala, Arizona State University for football
Ryan Lopez, Glendale Community College for baseball
Max Nebel, Glendale Community College for baseball
Logan Slone-Maszton, Ottawa University for soccer
Emily Greenberg, Arizona Christian University for cross country
Jacob Johnson, College of Idaho for football

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Spotlight on Students

Four Crusaders are headed to Washington DC!  As part of the National History Day competition, Caden Medina, Lauren Brinton, Caleb Hackett, and Frankie Morgan first won the NHD regional competition at La Jolla High School at the start of 2019.  Then, they were one of two state finalists at February's AZ-wide competition at Arizona State University to qualify for the nation-wide competition which will take place at the University of Maryland starting on June 9th.  The four researched the tragically unnecessary cause of death for President James Garfield and the lessons that science pulled from that loss.
Spotlight on Students
Mexico 2019
Mexico 2019

Through the spring, over one hundred Crusaders have served in one capacity or another in Mexico.  Between alumni and senior trips with 1Mission to Puerto Penasco or eighth grade and high school trips to el Reino de los Ninos (Kids Kingdom) in Imuris, students had the opportunity to offer their time, treasure, and talents to God's glory.  The video above, assembled by Northwest Christian alum Logan Young, offers a glimpse of the eighth grade trip this spring.
Spotlight on Students

The 2018/2019 school year saw the debut of Impact Groups within the Northwest Christian Middle School program.  Students were divided into small groups and each of these was overseen by a member of the school's faculty.  These groups serve a couple of functions.  First, the small groups meet and discuss chapels and debrief learning moments that the students encounter through the school's Missions Learning program.  The groups also afford students a sense of community and camaraderie as they participate in periodic competitions.  On Friday, May 17th, the Impact Groups enjoyed the "H20 Throwdown"--a series of games that involved a tremendous amount of water.  The afternoon saw the group pictured above earn the travelling Impact Group trophy.
Spotlight on Students

On Monday, May 20th, a spokesperson from the American Chemical Society visited the Northwest Christian campus and honored five 2nd grade students with awards and cash prizes after judges picked them as top 5 honorees in the annual ACS Poetry Contest.  The students pictured above include Luke, Jaydon, Hannah, Sasha, and Gillian.  Luke's poem earned the highest honor for his division and is being sent to Washington D.C. as part of the National ACS Poetry Contest.
Spotlight on Parents

On May 18th, one of the Parent Service Cru's most vital links to faculty support, the "Copy Mom's", were treated to a special appreciation lunch.  Believe it or not, the Copy Mom volunteer effort has been in place at the school since the early 1990's.  Each day of the week, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, a volunteer (usually a mom, but sometimes a dad too!) comes in and makes copies for teachers.  The volunteer effort allows teachers to remain in their classrooms doing what they do best--work with students!  For this reason, the school owes a real debt of gratitude to this amazing group of volunteers!  Interested in joining this team?  For more information, email Angela Kelley at
Spotlight on Students

For the last two days of the school year, the Early Education playground was converted into a huge muddy mess for Mud Day!  Students from every class had the chance to swim, splash, jump, and play--all while making a huge mess and having a blast!
Spotlight on Students

Within the high school, all students are plugged into "Community Groups"--an opportunity for students to work together and with CG leaders to press a bit deeper into discipleship.  As the school year ended, two CG leaders (Mr. Harbeck and Mr. G) brought in a grill and the two groups grilled steaks together as part of a year-ending celebration.

By popular demand, Northwest Christian is pleased to bring back Garry Kaiser's Christian Worldview Seminar this summer!  The classes are free and pizza will be provided.  For more information, click HERE.


Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

May 24, 2019
Vol. 9, Issue 8 
Job 5:17-18

"Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves, therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he binds up, he shatters, but his hands heal."
Parent University--be ready for Fall 2019!
Partnership with Ottawa University
means huge college savings!
Saturn Pools  is a generous sponsor
of NCS Athletics
Bumble Bee Plumbing  is a generous sponsor
of NCS Missions Learning

Generous Supporters of Northwest Christian


Northwest Christian's Prayer Group for Men 
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Grand Canyon University

Box Tops for Education
NCS Purple Pages
Moms in Prayer
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

State Tuition Tax Credit Opportunity
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes


a NCS Mssions Learning partner

Free NCS Bumper Sticker!

Show your school spirit!
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