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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
"Begin with the end in mind."  Over the years, with the preparations for each new school year, I have said this often to the team around me.  But, as we place our toes upon the starting line of the 2017/2018 school year and wait for the starting whistle to blow, the Lord has recently used a difficult circumstance to revitalize that idea in my understanding.

Though they graduated from Northwest Christian School years ago, I have never had the opportunity to meet either Matt Dodd or Todd Baughman.  It makes no matter, however, as that their story has been all that I've been able to think about lately.  When Matt started at NCS in eighth grade, the two became fast friends--a friendship that persisted throughout college and into their respective careers.  Recently, out of the blue, Todd reached out to me to introduce me--virtually--to his buddy Matt.  As it turns out, when Matt came to NCS, he didn't know the Lord but he fell in love with Jesus during his years here.  After graduating from Northwest Christian, Matt went on to ultimately serve the Lord on the mission field in Papua New Guinea.   You can read about Matt's ministry in PNG here.  Todd explained to me that the two alumni stayed in touch and recently, when Matt returned with his his wife and four children from the mission field for a furlough, his life took an abruptly unexpected turn.

During a routine doctor's appointment, having never smoked a day in his life, Matt discovered that he had advanced lung cancer--a situation so severe that doctors were telling him that he didn't have long to live.  Having received this devastating diagnosis, Matt and his courageous wife, Cameron, did the one thing that I wonder if I could do in a similar circumstance:  they went before their church community, Tempe's Grace Bible Church, shared their testimony, glorified the Lord for guiding their path, and explained their intent to follow God's designs--even when those designs didn't match their own.   Please, take a moment to watch this amazing video HERE.  I guarantee that you will find it life-changing.  As you watch, you will hear Matt say, "This is clearly the Lord's will for our lives and I want to share with you how we have seen the goodness of God in these circumstances."  In the video, Matt says that at about the five minute mark.  I have yet to make it to that video's sixth minute without tears in my eyes.

Matt's journey with Jesus began at Northwest Christian School.  Matt's earthly end arrived on July 18th.  Todd emailed me that night and explained that his friend had gone to be with Jesus in eternity.

As we start this new school year, beginning with the end in mind has a fresh sense of urgency in my understanding thanks to Todd and Matt.  My earnest desire is that every student at this school comes to know Jesus the way that Matt knows Jesus--a relationship so profound that no circumstance, no matter how dire, could shake that unshakeable faith.  That's the end I want and as we pray in the beginning of this new school year, please join me in praying for that end.

P.S.  Todd told me that Matt's earnest desire was for his four children to experience a Christian education.  Because they live in Tempe, Cameron is working to enroll the kids at Gilbert Christian School.  Would you please consider contributing to the Dodd family's Grace Bible benevolence fund in an effort to support that desire?   You can find info HERE.

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
"Renewed in Him" Chosen by Student Council as Spiritual Emphasis Theme for 2017/2018 School Year
Galatians 2:20 is the annual theme's powerful point of reference 

Concurrent with the launch of the annual Crusader community-wide summer reading program, this past spring and summer another important school tradition was unfolding.  As the school family jumped into the summer's "Crusaders Charge into Summer Reading" program with "The Cure" by Bill Thrall, John Lynch, and Bruce McNicol, high school student council was meeting with teachers from the Bible department.  The group began to prayerfully consider how the ideas and concepts put forward within "The Cure" could be captured in the annual spiritual emphasis theme and visibly put forward within the school so that students, families, and faculties could be reminded of what they were learning.

The group settled on "Renewed in Him" as the annual theme and Galatians 2:20 as the verse.  In Galatians 2:20, the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Galatia, "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

The annual spiritual emphasis theme plays an important part in setting the spiritual tenor for the entire school within the new school year.  More than a slogan on t-shirts or campus-wide banners, the theme becomes the emphasis for the high school's time away at YoungLife's Lost Canyon camp in August as well as the year-long context for chapels across the grade levels.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Growing and Going Update:  New Kitchen and Lunch Area Improvements Near Completion
Almost literally, crews are working around the clock as August 7th and the start of school approaches 

As part of the ongoing Growing and Going campaign to improve the school's campus, anticipation is building as the new kitchen is readied and lunch area improvements come together.  "Anticipation and anxiety," smiles superintendent Geoff Brown.  "Anticipation because we have been saving, planning, and working towards this for two years.  Anxiety because we are literally hour-by-hour watching for things to come together.  It was a huge project for a single summer so we're watching as teams work feverishly to bring it to fruition!"

The most exciting aspect of these improvements is that they are being paid in full with cash.  "The generous support of our families and our partners," explains superintendent Geoff Brown, "means no debt.  No debt means that these improvements can be made without impacting the costs for our families.  Getting to this point, the start of these campus improvements, has required patience but that patience will pay off for our families as they see Northwest Christian's ongoing commitment to affordability, vitality, and sustainability."

With only June and July available for the improvements, work crews were literally on campus the day after classes ended in the spring.  On Monday, July 31st, the old kitchen building is scheduled for demoltion.  This cinder block building was the oldest building on campus.

Looking forward, committees are already looking toward the summer of 2018 to continue the ongoing campaign for improvements. Upcoming plans include more changes within the lunch area as well as new classrooms.  "This plan," continues Geoff, "is based on historical averages in terms of fundraising.  We are not going to roll out at any point and ask our families to pay more or contribute more than they already are to see this happen.  We're making plans based on fundraising averages  based on the last seven years.  With patience, stewardship, and careful planning, we are planning for our families to see improvements continuing summer after summer with no dramatic impact to cost."

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes



Meet the Four New Members of the Northwest Christian Faculty
Three new teachers and a school nurse join the NCS family

With the retirement of long-time school nurse Andrea Kortman from the Northwest Christian Student Health Office, the school is excited to welcome Mrs. Michelle Johnson, RN.  Michelle is a graduate of Grand Canyon University's nursing program with an established track record in school nursing within the Deer Valley Unified School District.  Most recently, she was posted at Stetson Hills, a K-8 school with 1,300 students.  "I am excited that we able to bring Michelle in," says middle school principal Samantha Maszton.  "We actually met at a NCS open house event as she toured the school for her four kids.  Michelle will do a wonderful job of managing the Student Health Office and working with students to meet their physical and emotional needs."  Michelle and her family are involved at Calvary Chapel's North Phoenix Church.

Ethan Burson has been a member of the Crusader community for seven years.  Initially, his journey at Northwest Christian School started just after he had returned from a high school missions trip.  He got a call from his friend Tyler Collins who serves as Northwest Christian's Bible department chair and seventh grade Bible teacher.  Tyler explained that the school was looking to fill a part-time middle school aide position for which he thought Ethan would be perfect.  Turns out Tyler was right!  Now, these seven years later, Ethan has become a student favorite as he has been actively involved in middle school as an aide, coach, and missions trip leader.  While working at NCS, he has been working towards a degree in secondary education through Grand Canyon University.  With the retirement of Mark Rine from teaching at Northwest Christian School, Lee Rodenkirk will be moving into seventh and eighth grade science while Ethan will take Lee's spot within sixth grade science.  Ethan and his wife attend Shiloh Community Church where Ethan works part-time as the Junior High youth pastor.

Longtime Northwest Christian sub Tina Andrade will be joining the Crusader faculty this fall, assuming the lead in the kindergarten classroom left behind by Ronna Murray who retired this past spring.  A graduate of Arizona State University, Tina has taught kindergarten and third grade in in the Alhambra School District.  Most recently, families may recognize Tina as the long-term substitute who covered Mrs. Jenna Young's classroom while she was away for maternity leave.  During that time, she was able to meet frequently with members of the kindergarten team, working close with them to maintain the commarderie and momentum for which the team is known.  Tina's family attends Christ's Church of the Valley.  Additionally, she was an assistant teacher in the Valley West Women's Bible Study.  "Tina has a great reputation with our families," explains elementary principal Dawna Underwood.  "Show loves the Lord and she loves children.  She is going to be a wonderful fit for kindergarten program!"

Hillorie Schrock joins Northwest Christian's language department teaching American Sign Language.   "Hillorie brings a wealth of experience to NCS," says high school principal Josh Schlesinger.  "She is a go-getter who has the proven capacity to move our current program to the next level.  She has lots of energy, vision, and she has the ability to make lasting connections with her students while inspiring a love for her subject."  Hillorie joins Northwest Christian after serving at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, Joy Christian School, and KASL Academy.  Hillorie and her husband Jeff have two children--elementary and middle school-aged--who are excited to join the school this fall.  Jeff Schrock will also be serving as the school's Physical Trainer within the athletic department when Amy Lucht goes on maternity leave this fall.  Jeff and Hillorie attend and serve within Palmcroft Church.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

MVP Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 081613     

Campus Security Improvements to Continue in the New School Year 

NCS is partnering with the Phoenix Police to continue campaign towards the safest campus possible

Beginning with the very first day of school, Monday, August 7th, Northwest Christian will be playing daily host to an armed, uniformed Phoenix Police officer who will be responsible for taking point on the campus safety front.  "We have been working towards this point for several years," explains superintendent Geoff Brown.  "Several years ago, we hired a school security consultancy group and developed a multi-year plan to achieve the safest campus possible.  Though we have had no significant incidents on campus over the years, we have kept this as a chief priority.  We have added fencing around the entire campus and added over forty HD video cameras that cover every hallway and exterior facet of the school.  This final step--the daily presence of a Phoenix Police office--is the culmination of much planning and budgeting."

The officer's sole duty each day will be to maintain a high-profile presence while monitoring the comings-and-goings of the school day.  At the same time, these officers will be tapped into the ongoing radio communication with the whole of the Phoenix Police department so that the school stays abreast of issues within the surrounding area.  

Many of the officers on duty at the school may be members of the Northwest Christian community of parents.  "I am always amazed at the number of first responders within our school," says Geoff.  "Working with officers that understand the culture and community of our school represents a huge advantage."
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Shine Dentistry        

Spring 2017 ACT Aspire Scores Worth Celebrating
Strong, improving scores reveal the fruit of much labor by teachers and students

Three years ago, Northwest Christian set out on an ambitious transition within its annual standardized testing strategy, moving grades 3rd through 10th away from the Stanford 10 and towards ACT Aspire.  The decision was made primarily within the English PLC, a group of teacher leaders within the school who have worked to assess NCS student performance within English and Language Arts in order to set out strategies working towards continuous school improvement.

The advantages of the ACT Aspire were clear to the teacher committee:  the ACT Aspire maps learner progress from grades three through high school on a vertical scale, anchored to the scoring system of the College ACT.  Beginning in third grade, teachers have a baseline and track record for how their students will score on the College ACT.  Over the course of these last three years, Northwest Christian has seen this extrapolation accurate to within half-a-point.  Additionally, using periodic benchmark assessments throughout the year, teachers were able to adjust their teaching strategies in real time for the unique students that they presently had within their classroooms.  Typically, with standardized test results arriving only in the summer, that real time adjustment is not possible.

This teacher-led strategic adjustment has yielded strong results that the school is celebrating as we head into the new school year.  For example, schoolwide, there has been amazing growth of students meeting or exceeding the ACT's college sucess benchmark in just the second year of writing assessments.  Students are scoring 7 to 24% higher this year per grade level compared to last year.  Individual grades are also showing shining results. For example, sixth grade has 90% or more of students meeting or exceeding the college success benchmark in both English and Writing.

As students return to school this month, individual student scores will be discussed in parent-teacher conferences.  Schoolwide performance will be presented within the annual "Rowing, not Drifting" state-of-the-school presentation within "Coffee with the Principals" in late August.

    Northwest Christian high school students have the opportunity to audition for our fourth annual fall film, an original film featuring NCS students.  This year's story is a post-apocalyptic tale that will film in October on location in Winslow, Arizona.  The film will premiere at the PureFlix NXNW Film Festival on November 9th.  Open auditions are looking for forty students to serve as cast and crew.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

July 31, 2017
Vol. 7, Issue 8 
Psalm 119:93
" I will never forget Your precepts for they have given me life. "

Big O Tires is a generous sponsor of NCS Athletics

Northwest Christian's Prayer Group for Men 
Colorado Christian University

Grand Canyon University

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

Built on the Rock Foundation


a NCS service learning partner

The Place 

is a generous NCS Fine Arts Sponsor

State Tuition Tax Credit Opportunity
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes


9918 W. Happy Valley Prkwy


Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes