NCS Spotlight Header

Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
Sure, I'm in charge.  But, I have to admit something to you.  Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder if I'm teaching these students more than they are teaching me...

This past week, as part of our school-wide missions learning program, I went with a group of preschoolers to serve at Harvest Compassion Center, a food and clothing bank here in the valley.  The HCC team does an amazing job of connecting our littlest Crusaders with the unique aspects of Christian worldview that are best learned through hands-on service.  Somehow, this amazing ministry enabled our youngest minds to begin wrapping themselves around difficult concepts like poverty and God's provision.  In the process, we had the opportunity to hear our students pray for the needy and to hear about their prayers.  I was deeply touched as these little ones connected their developing sense of compassion and dawning understanding of the needs of others beside themselves with their heavenly Father through simple, prayerful expressions.

But the prayer that moved me most was the one that very nearly caused me to bust out laughing.  One of the little guys was heard to close his prayer with, "And, Lord, thanks for helping Nemo to find his dad."  

As I went through the balance of my day, that prayer frequently came back to my mind and with it, a chuckle or two.  I wanted to pull that little guy aside and say, "Little dude, I'm pretty sure that you never have to worry about a movie like that not having a happy ending."  But, as the day went on, I think the Lord started to use that preschooler's example to stir my heart.  

First, I was awed by the simplicity of the prayer.  Second, I was stunned by the sincerity of the little guy's gratitude.

I live a life of strategic oversight, juggling issues which demand my immediate and constant attention, and spinning countless plates.  (I'm not unique--I'm sure you feel the same way.)  And, don't get me wrong, I pray.  Truly, I pray!  But, I cannot remember the last time I brought before my Father something so simple.  And, I realized that when I fail to talk to Him of the simple things in my life, what I'm really doing is saying, "Hey, I can handle this.  Lord, I only need You for that."  This preschooler reminded me that my heavenly Father has an appetite for my 'all'.  He craves to hear my heart, my whole heart--regardless of the items on my 'to-do' list that I think I can handle.

The other pitfall associated with the temptation to divide up my 'to do' list between what I think I can handle and what the Lord should handle is gratitude.  In his inspired opening of his letter to the church in Colosse, the Apostle Paul writes, "He is before all things and in Him all things hold together." (1:17)  It is not until I trust that statement that it can transform my thinking:  He holds every aspect of my life in His hand.  Not just the easy parts or the hard parts--all the parts.  When I get that, well, that's where and when I understand what it means to be grateful.

Lord, thanks for helping little Nemo to find his dad.  And, Lord, thanks for sorting out all that business with Dory in the sequel too.  It's pretty cool that nothing in my life escapes your attention.  And, I'm very grateful.

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

The Northwest Christian Middle School student council worked to lead a momentous day of impact in November, organizing the 2nd annual Crusader Unified Day with the Special Olympics of Arizona.  Middle schoolers welcomed over eighty Special Olympians from schools around the valley to a day of fun competitions and spirited celebration.  Middle schoolers were provided the opportunity to either work directly with Olympians or facilitate one of the events. 
Volleyball Captures 3A State Title while Football Gears Up for Championship Game
Crusaders roll deep into post-season play

Fall 2018 has brought with it some memorable moments for Crusader athletes, their families, and the school!  

Though we sat on pins and needles throughout the entirety of post-season play, a dominating Crusader volleyball team stormed through the 3A 2018 play-off bracket.  The team seeded third in post-season, behind Snowflake and Tuba City.  But, without dropping a single game to Show Low, Fountain Hills, Tuba City, or Arizona College Prep in the championship, the girls took the trophy decisively.  Led by coaches Jenna Hope and Chuck Hunter, behind the leadership of a single senior, Logan Maszton, the young team is looking forward to strong seasons ahead.

Similarly, Crusader football has made a hard run into the post-season.  Finishing the season 9-1, Crusaders seeded first in the tournament.  Despite that high seeding, local press pundits have consistently picked them as the underdogs with opposing teams being given the nod in reporters' predictions.  As has been the case for many years, Coach David Inness and the Crusader football crew have never been shy when tackling challenge.  The team opened the post-season with two strong wins at home (49-6 against Winslow and 35-7 against Benjamin Franklin Prep).  In the semi-final game, the Crusaders went up against compatriots from across town, the Valley Christian High Troj
      Crusaders pray to close out the semi-final game
ans.  After a breathless, scoreless first quarter, the Crusaders finally broke the game open, finishing with a 27-6 win.  The Crusaders now go on to face their long-time rivals, the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks, in the state championship game at Campo Verde High School on Friday, November 23rd, at 7pm.

Northwest Christian's relatively young cross country teams also did well in section and state competitions.  Coached by Brandon Southall, Dempster Jackson, and Barry Beckner, the boys team finished 3rd in section and 11th in state.  Six individual Crusaders grabbed medals in section:  Jonah Archer, Zach Beckner, Dillon Clark, Riley Henze, Thomas Lyons, and Jonathan Stanley.  On the girls' side, the Crusaders ended a five year medal drought when senior Emily Greenberg placed in section, qualified for state, and stood on the podium at 16th in state overall.

Spotlight on Students

The Jr Crusaders Cross Country team pulled over fifty elementary-aged runners into a program that saw the high school cross country team working alongside coaches Burleson and Young to provide a great team experience for K-5 students.  Pictured above, on November 17th, the team participated in the Iron Kids race at Tempe Beach Park.
Crusaders Team Up to Provide Thanksgiving "Boxes of Hope" for Over 1,400 Families
Families from schools in four districts blessed as students work collectively to demonstrate the love of Christ

"There are some truly powerful spiritual formation strategies at play on this campus," says superintendent Geoff Brown, "but the one that pulls us all together as a school community, the one that I have seen move the compassion needle significantly in the lives of students and alumni, is the partnership we have enjoyed with the Isaac School District."  

Started in 2010, as part of an effort to provide 125 Thanksgiving meals to families in need at Isaac's J.B. Sutton Elementary, this project has grown to nearly 1,500 meals at Thanksgiving, countless "Missions Learning" service hours contributed by secondary students and teachers, hundreds of Christmas gifts, and a spiritually significant partnership with Calvario Church.  In addition, the effort has grown to include schools from other public school districts:  Roosevelt, Washington Elementary, and Fowler.

The first step in this partnership involved students at each grade level contributing different portions of a Thanksgiving meal:  a voucher for a turkey, vegetables, stuffing, and a dessert.  As part of this campaign, Calvario Phoenix, a bilingual church meeting within an Isaac School District school, included invitations to Christmas services and a link to special Thanksgiving message from Pastor Greg Johannes.  

On Monday, November 19th, Northwest Christian welcomed Cory McCloskey and the Fox 10 Morning Show to campus for a couple of live television segments.  Fox 10 joined the school to celebrate the school's annual "packing day" tradition--a day in which every NCS student personally packs a meal box for an individual family and prays for that family.  That afternoon, the boxes were delivered to all of the schools and the recipients.  To see the two Fox 10 segments, visit the following YouTube link:

Food Drive with Northwest Christian School
Fox 10 Morning Show features Sutton Project

As we return from the Thanksgiving break, students will be working to collect Christmas gifts for the neediest within these communities.  If you are interested in learning more about the effort, or if you would like to participate, please visit the links below.

JB Sutton 2018
JB Sutton 2018

Spotlight on Students

Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed students the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs.  Training includes both a web-based curriculum and a hands-on opportunity to drive on a test track.  Northwest Christian high schoolers had the opportunity to enjoy the course this past month.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Spotlight on Events

The week of November 19th brought some very special visitors to campus as part of Northwest Christian's annual Grandparents Day celebrations.  Grandparents were welcomed within a special assembly and then had the opportunity to enjoy time with their grand kids in their specific classrooms.
Dinner and a Movie?  Northwest Christian Fine Arts Debuts Dinner Theater and a Film
Two different fall productions produced strong student participation and stellar results 

Led by Mary Jane McCloskey and Kate Estes, the NCS Fine Arts department debuted another stellar fall play in November.  Fall 2018's production of "It's a Wonderful Life:  a Live Radio Play" was done as a dinner theater experience for three sold-out shows at the Glendale Civic Center.  As the audience enjoyed a wonderful catered meal, they also enjoyed an entertaining twist on an old holiday standard.

Where most schools traditionally offer plays and musicals, Northwest Christian has enjoyed going a bit off the beaten path each fall.  In the spring, the school offers a musical--Spring 2019's offer will be "Cinderella".  But in the fall, the school has enjoyed offering twists on tradition.  Operating under the vision of Mrs. McCloskey, students have enjoyed dinner theater, black box theater, mystery theater, and more.  This year's dinner theater was the school's second in the past few years and offered a clever interplay between standard dramatic narrative, music, radio play, and a good dose of humor.

Another twist on tradition came in the form of a novel partnership between Cabin Fever Films and the school:  the fifth annual Northwest Christian film.  As part of a larger school-sponsored event--the NXNW Film Festival--students had two unique film opportunities.  First, as part of the festival, students were able to submit their own short films as part of a competition.  Judged by both the audience and a panel of industry professionals these students had the chance to win cash prizes.  But the second opportunity came in the form of the film festival's anchor event:  a long-form film produced in partnership with Cabin Fever which featured an almost entirely student cast.

This year's film was a "mockumentary" about a 'death metal' band called "Death Chicken".  The film drew three full theaters at the AMC Deer Valley and featured a red carpet arrival for the cast and crew complete with Hollywood-style sky lights.  Titled "The Rise and Fall of Death Chicken", the film started as a comedy but as it unfolded, it became a moving story about friendships.  In a form, the story was inspired by (almost) true-to-life events in the life of 2016 grad Nicole Burleson.  Now a film student at Biola University, Nicole was on hand for the film's premiere.

Previous Cabin Fever/NCS films have included "Screwtape Academy", "The Substitute", "The Big Score", and last year's epic, "Wreckage".

Spotlight on Missions Learning

Within Northwest Christian's "Missions Learning" program, students of all ages participate in missions projects as part of collaborative efforts with the "Missions Learning Partners" identified at each grade level.  This even includes Northwest Chrstian's youngest within the Early Ed program.  Over the last month, preschool-aged students visited the Harvest Compassion Center where they were introduced to the concepts of poverty and God's provision.  The students also had the opportunity to serve as they worked to stock the shelves with items that would be given out to needy within the community.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Spotlight on Missions Learning

Within the Northwest Christian missions learning program, all preK-8 students have the opportunity to work alongside grade-specific missions learning partners in an effort to experience the whole scope of Kingdom work.  Then, in high school, students are given free reign to choose the missions learning partner that best connects them with their ministry gifts.  Kitchen on the Street is one of those non-profit ministries that partners with both our elementary-aged students (fifth grade) and our high school.  The KOTS mission is to come alongside needy families and help to bridge the gap of food insecurity.  Pictured above is a recent group of high schoolers that served at the ministry in early November.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

November 21, 2018
Vol. 9, Issue 4 
Psalm 95:1-2
" O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. "
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 service learning partner

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.