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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
For me, at least on some days, the news is a sort of "grin and bear it" exercise.  I'm driven by curiosity to listen, watch, or read the news but each day my respective appetite for the inane things I encounter there ebbs and flows.  Take, for example, some of the things that we learned these past two weeks from "the news":  Folks who seemingly post every detail of their lives on social media are suddenly very concerned about their privacy.  Hmmm.  Driverless cars may not be our best idea.  Okay.  On the way to school this past week, my daughter and I chuckled as we heard that New Yorkers were reportedly terrified that a tiger was roaming Brooklyn and very relieved to discover that the object of their terror was, in fact, a raccoon.  (Seriously.  Look it up.)

But, on some days, not all of the news leaves me scratching my head.  In particular, the #RedforEd movement, prominently in the news of late, represents a cultural conversation that we need to have and, as proponents of Christian education specifically and education generally, we need to be unafraid to be active in that conversation.  More important than that, however,  as believers, we need to be praying and unafraid to share the love of Christ with those involved.  It is in that spirit that I would like to invite the Northwest Christian community to join me in a special time of prayer this Thursday, April 26th, at 7:30am, around our flag pole.  As we gather, there will be several things that I will be inviting us to pray for...

We need to be praying for our public schools and our public school teachers.  In fact, many of you reading this newsletter--many within our Northwest Christian parent community--are public school, charter school, and online school educators.  I want you to know that we are praying for you.  We know that although you may not specifically lift up the name of Christ in word, in deed your actions and attitudes lift high His name every day.  And, in addition to our prayers, we need to be stirred by our prayers into action.  It's for this reason that for the last eight years, Northwest Christian has been active in ministering to needs within several area districts.  In the Isaac School District, through our partnership with the BHHS Legacy Foundation, the Crusader community has poured tens of thousands of dollars into what is reportedly the poorest district in the state.  Just recently, through our Read Across NCS campaign, we collected clothing for needy families within the thirty-one schools of the Washington Elementary School District.  And with thanks to a library staff that "gets it", our annual book fairs have put new books on the library shelves at NCS as well as public schools like Alta Butler Elementary and J.B. Sutton Elementary.

We also need to be praying for other area Christian schools and their teachers.  Like no time that I can recall, Christian schools are struggling and, as a school family, we need to recognize that the Christian schools around us are more than rivals on the field and court--they are joint heirs of Christ and co-laborers in fields white for harvest.  And, in addition to our prayers, as a community, we need to actively engage the coaches, students, teachers, and parents that we encounter at these Christian schools and let them know that they are truly loved.  I am talking about more than good sportsmanship--I'm talking about the sacrificial love that Jesus describes in John 13:34-35.

Finally, we need to be praying for Northwest Christian School and its teachers.  Every day, I am amazed at the sacrificial service of the men and women with whom I am honored to serve.  And, while the Lord is blessing NCS, make no mistake:  our teachers are the tools of the Craftsman, tools that He uses to perfect His masterworks, our students.  And, in addition to our prayers, we need to take action.  I f you are looking to be involved in support for our teachers and staff, consider volunteering during the upcoming teacher appreciation week.  The week is themed, "The Great Crusader Food Truck Faculty Festival of 2018" and kicks off on April 30th.  To get involved, please visit this link to volunteer or this link to learn about other opportunities.

In conclusion, with an eye on all that is unfolding this week in "the news", I would like to reiterate my invitation.  If you are available, I am inviting the Northwest Christian community to a special time of prayer around the Crusader flag pole at 7:30am this Thursday, April 26th.  As we gather that morning, we will avoid getting "political".  Rather, we will be praying that the Lord uses this unique moment and us as His people to further His kingdom.

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
Three Crusaders Move to the Next Level of National Merit Scholarship Competition
And, three student projects place at state and prepare to move on to Washington D.C. within the National History Day competitions

Northwest Christian was excited to once more receive notification from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation that a number of the school's students have performed well and are moving on to the next levels of consideration within the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.  Having achieved a selection index score of 212 or above, these students now move on towards potential recognition as National Merit Scholars.  The 2019 honorees from Northwest Christian are Kaylena Berles, Victoria Hendrix, and Emma Patterson.  From the approximately 1.6 million program entrants, these three Crusaders are among the 50,000 highest scorers in the country and they will ultimately be recognized as either National Merit Semi-Finalists or National Merit Commended Students.  Of these 50,000 students nationally, 16,000 will have the opportunity to be recognized as Semi-Finalists and 7,500 will ultimately be recognized as National Merit Finalists.  "I am proud of these young ladies," commented high school principal Josh Schlesinger, "in that they have worked exceptionally hard to achieve at this level.  I'm also grateful to all of the primary and secondary teachers along the way that have worked hard within their curriculum maps to afford this level of learning."

This past week, Northwest Christian also received word that its students had performed well within the National History Day state-level competitions which took place on Saturday, March 31st.  The very best of over three thousand regional entries vied for the privilege of representing Arizona at the national competition in College Park, Maryland, in June.  Northwest students fared very well with sophomore Ashleigh Emery placing first in the individual exhibit competition with her history research project, "The Cherokee Wishbone Compromise:  An Assault on Assimilation".  Taking second in the group exhibit category was Zoe Dalessandri, Ashlyn Nevrla, and Presley Winchester with their project on "The Great Depression - Poverty and Economic Recovery".  A third group of Crusaders placed third in the group exhibit category which placed them in a runner-up position for the national competition.  They were:  Bennett Beltramo, Michael Huss, Hannah Machiche, and Jordyn VanMetre with their project, "#42, Breaking Baseball's Barriers".  From this point, the students will move on to compete in June's national level of competition, travelling to College Park, Maryland and Washington D.C. for the next round of oral presentations and questions from the judges.  "Here again," comments principal Schlesinger, "as a school, we have real reason to be proud of our students.  National History Day is an extremely competitive opportunity and that fact that these projects were distinguished amidst a field of over 3,000 submissions shows that our students are working tremendously hard.  I'm also grateful to their teacher, Mary Hall, for providing the opportunity to her students."
Northwest Christian and Cabin Fever Films Prepare to Release Fourth School Film in Unique Partnership
"Wreckage" will debut as part of the fourth annual NXNW Film Fest

2018 NXNW Promo

The fourth annual NXNW High School Film Festival takes place on Thursday, May 10th at the Harkins Norterra theaters in north Phoenix.  Hosted by Northwest Christian School and sponsored by Pure Flix (the Christian film production company behind movies like "God's Not Dead"), the event pulls together aspiring high school film-makers who will be submitting short digital films that they have written and produced while allowing them to compete across a series of categories.  The short films are judged by industry professionals as well as film professors from a number of area universities.  As well, the films are judged by audience members who attend the event and who can vote on their smart phones after watching the competing films.  Top placers within the competition receive cash prizes.  Last year saw high school film
Wreckage Teaser Trailer
 submissions from Northwest Christian, Valley Christian, Scottsdale Christian as well as area public schools like Liberty High School, Sunrise Mountain High School, and Moon Valley High School.

The evening's program is anchored by the debut of the fourth annual film produced through a unique partnership between Northwest Christian School and Cabin Fever Films.  This year's film, titled "Wreckage", is a post-apocalyptic thriller that was filmed with a student cast and crew in Winslow, Arizona.  The film imagines a world in which every adult has disappeared and kids are left to survive and salvage the society.  "Wreckage" is written and directed by the head of Cabin Fever, Damon Evans, who has a passion for working with students that feel God leading them into acting and film.  The trailer for the film was recently released and can viewed above.

For more information on participating in the festival, please visit the following link:

This event has nearly sold out or sold out each year since it start, so purchase your tickets early!  Tickets can be purchased at:

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Northwest Christian Middle School Students Shine in Two Recent Competitions
Middle school cheer and advanced choir celebrate two notable wins

Competing in the tournament since 2013, after five years of hard work and focus, the Northwest Christian middle school cheer squad finally had their moment.  After finishing 3rd twice before and as runners-up in 2017, middle school cheer won the Arizona State Cheerleading and Pom Tournament which took place on Friday, March 2nd at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum .  With fifty teams competing in the event, Crusaders had to work hard to narrowly beat out schools like Casteel Junior High, Anthem Middle School, and Hillcrest Middle School.  "This group of young ladies was completely dedicated to hard work, team unity, and doing everything to the glory of God," enthused coach Debbie Webb.  "They truly cared more about each other than themselves individually.  Despite injuries, illness, and really tough competition, they were not willing to settle for anything other than God's very best.  I could not be more proud."

Similarly, Northwest Christian's middle school advanced choir enjoyed strong results within the Forum Festivals Judges Invitational, a regional event that was by "invitation only".  In order to participate, the students needed to earn a 'gold rating' rating at last year's competition.  The gold rating is only extended to the top 10% of choirs that participate in the festival which takes place at Fullerton College in Fullerton, California.  This year's event, which culminated with an awards ceremony at Disneyland's "Fantasy Land" theater saw the Northwest Christian middle school advanced choir, under the direction of Mrs. Melissa Maguire, earn the very top spot within the competition that included only gold-rated choirs.  Mrs. Maguire said, "I am so proud of these students and the hard work that they have invested--not just at the festival--but throughout the year.  I'll never forget:  that morning they were so nervous and they desired with their whole hearts to do well.  The moment when their names were announced was explosive!"  Bianca Sahar, a Northwest Christian eighth grader, was also selected as the outstanding soloist from all the choirs that performed.

Mrs. Maguire has served Northwest Christian middle school students as their choir teacher for two years and is looking forward to growing her program.  This next year, she is adding "Worship Arts" as a middle school elective.  "Sometimes people think that middle school choirs can only do so much," continued Maguire.  "Even the judges were shocked that this was a middle school choir.  But this is students aspiring to use their talents to the best of their ability and for the glory of God.  Moving these students into Worship Choir is the natural extension of their aspirations.  These students watch the high schoolers lead worship in chapel and they truly want to be a part of that."
Northwest Christian Prepares to Launch the Annual Online Parent Partnership Survey
Parent, teacher, and student feedback collected during the month of May will allow the school to focus its continuous improvement efforts

As the February 2018 edition of Ranking Arizona magazine hit store shelves a couple of months ago, the Crusader community had the opportunity to celebrate God's sustaining providence as the magazine placed 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.

"This sort of affirmation isn't a moment for vanity," explains superintendent Geoff Brown.  "Rather, it is a moment in which we need to celebrate humility.  I believe that our parents and community affirm the school because we are humbly seeking and responding to feedback that our parent partners are providing.  For eight years, we have used the information that we collect through annual parent, student, teacher, and alumni surveys to refine the focus of our continuous improvement efforts.  We have been coninuously asking, 'How can we better serve the families that are sacrificing so significantly to make Northwest Christian a reality for their students?'" Online parent survey 121212

The online parent partnership survey will go out to all enrolled families on May 1st and the survey will remain open for two weeks.  At nearly the same time, Northwest Christian secondary students will have the opportunity to provide their insights through a similar survey.  And, annually Northwest Christian teachers also provide their feedback in order to round out perspectives.

"Like no year before, I am excited for the feedback that we receive this year," says Geoff.  "Already this year, we have had two different accreditation teams on campus.  And, while they affirmed the school as 'exemplary', the highest level of accreditation, these accreditation teams provided feedback regarding how we can continue to improve.  If we can couple that feedback with the information we receive in May from our parents, students, and teachers, and prayerfully consider the Lord's designs for NCS and His priorities, we will make great strides within our continuous improvement journey."

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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Spotlight on Athletes:  More Crusaders Sign to Play at the University Level
 In a year that has already seen numerous Crusaders signing letters of committment to continue competing athletically at the university level, it has been a busy spring with several additional signings.  Already this year, the school as seen athletes sign to Alabama for golf and Air Force Academy for football.

Senior Andrew Augustine Signed to Pennslyvania's Lancaster Bible College.  Averaging over tweny point per game in his senior season, Andrew has twice been picked as the Division III's west region player of the year.  He has also been picked as the Division III "first team guard".  Earning this first team distinction is an honor afforded to only six players in the whole division.

Still in the hunt for a back-to-back Division III baseball state championship ring, senior pitcher Jarin Davs signed with Surprise, Arizona's Ottawa University.  After his team won the state title last year, the Crusaders are presently making another strong run for the title this spring.  "Jarin's one of the toughest competitors I've ever coached," said high school athletic director David Inness.  "When he goes out against tough teams, he has the spirit and drive to raise his game every time."

Seniors Sophie Henze and Kody Dehart both signed to run cross country at Arizona Christian University.  The two led the Crusader program to back-to-back section titles in 2016 and 2017 and had strong showings at state both years.  In addition to being strong competitors and spiritual leaders on the high school cross country and track teams, the two were active in the Junior Crusader Cross Country program for elementary-aged students.  This program allowed them to serve as role models for the younger students.  The two are pictured with Dempster Jackson (Northwest Christian Track and Field coach) and Brandon Southall (Northwest Christian Cross Country coach).

Senior Zach Johnson has signed to join the Arizona Christian University Firestorm football program.  "As much as Zach has given the Crusader football program," says  Coach Inness, "his best football is in front of him.  For us, he was first team all-conference and third team all-state.  But he is a dream to coach...hard-working and constantly craving feedback.  You combine that work ethic with the way that this athlete is growing and developing, and he is going to be tough to stop at the next level."
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Spotlight on Students:  Pictures Capture a Campus in Action throughout March 2018

Kindergarten students have collected over one hundred pounds of aluminum pop tabs as part of their Missions Learning partnership with Ronald McDonald House.  The students will turn the tabs into the non-profit to help raise funds in order to support the famillies and financial needs of students with significant illnesses.  The NCS MIssions Learning program partners each grade with a non-profit that enables students to apply classroom learning within areas of Christ-honoring service.  Students from pre-K through eighth grade each work with a specific non-profit.  After learning about different aspect of service and ministry in their primary years, in high school the students begin choosing their own ministry opportunities based on their own unique passions and God-given gifts.

Northwest Christian eighth graders annually travel to experience Long Beach Marine Institute on Catalina Island.  Hosted at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's "Campus by the Sea" Christian retreat and conference center, the excursion allows students to experience first-hand some of the things that they have been learning in science classes through their seventh and eighth grade years.  This year's group enjoyed three amazing days of learning and fun.

As part of the Northwest Christian "Pursuing His Purpose" guidance program, eighth graders recently visited the campus of Arizona State's West campus.  Pursuing His Purpose is a seven-year guidance track that starts in sixth grade.  With effort put forward within Bible class and the guidance department, students begin the journey towards understanding how God has uniquely equipped them and how they can translate their specific interests, talents, and calling into obedience to God's desire for their lives.  As part of this effort, students visit numerous university settings.

April 24, 2018
Vol. 8, Issue 7 
Proverbs 21:21
" Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. "
Partnership with Ottawa University
means huge college savings!
The Valentine Group  is a generous sponsor of NCS Athletics

Big O Tires is a generous sponsor of NCS Athletics

Northwest Christian's Prayer Group for Men 
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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.
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