NCS Spotlight Header

Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
Ben H. is a fourth grader at Northwest Christian School and he's starting to make me nervous. 
But, in this situation, I think that God might be using my nerves to teach me something.

In my office, on the bookshelf, I keep a chessboard.  I challenge students to play me as part of a running game--I have a match going all the time with one student or another.  My student opponents and I take our turns throughout the day--between classes, at lunch, during breaks--and we use a notecard that we keep on the chessboard to indicate whose turn is next.  In this fashion, the game takes about a week to finish.  And, I might add with as much humility as I can ( think "Billy Madison" here--and please don't see the film if you haven't already), in six years of play, I am undefeatedBut, that brings me back to Ben H.
Right now Ben H. and I are engaged in our fifth consecutive game in three weeks.  These games have been epic and each successive game is, unfortunately, growing more epic.  Each match finds Ben harvesting more and more of my pieces from the chess playing field before I finally close the match out with a  relieved (and, perhaps, a bit too emphatic) "Check mate, you fourth grader!"  When he and I started three weeks ago, I was the one wreaking havoc across his ranks with unmitigated glee.  Now, with growing confidence and an unmistakable, ornery gleam in his eye, his collection of my pieces grows with each passing game.  Gulp.  I think I see where this is going.
Speaking of "epic", Psalm 119 certainly qualifies as epic in terms of scripture.  Its 176 verses make it the longest chapter in the entire Bible.  This one chapter has more verses than 14 Old Testament books and 17 New Testament books.  But the best thing about this particular Psalm is that it extols the virtues of a life lived immersed in God's word.  Set within this rich Psalm is a verse that reminds me of my situation with Ben H.:  "I have more insight than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.  I understand more than the aged, because I have observed your precepts." (v. 99-100)  As he wrote these verses, I don't believe that the Psalmist was being boastful.  Rather, I believe that he was describing the inevitable:  when we immerse our young people with God's word, it is inevitable that they grow to embody the wisdom they are hearing.  This is the commitment that I want Northwest Christian to embody--that every facet of our school reflects God's word and wisdom into the lives of our students.  And, as a result, these students grow to surpass us in terms of ministry impact and the fruits of a life rooted in Christ.

Believe me, I get it--there are days where I look at this kid or that kid and ask of the Lord, " Really, Lord?  You'll even be able to capture his (or her) heart too?"  As parents, I know that there are days we think this way about our own kids.  But, that is the beauty of Psalm 119's promise!  It's a promise Jesus reasserts in Matthew 24:35:  "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall never pass away."  As teachers and parents, we will fail, fall, and embarrass ourselves.  But God's Word--if we keep our kids immersed within its beauty--will never fail to grow our kids into His wonderful image.

And, this brings me back to fourth grader Ben H.  Sometime in my future, I fear that there is a chess match where he will finally best me.  On that day, my only consolation will be the wisdom of the Psalmist.

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

GROWING AND GOING:  The Launch of Jog-a-thon 2016 is Third Step Towards Lunch Area Improvements   

The annual Jog-a-thon fundraiser will help to steer school leaders towards which lunch area improvements are most feasible 

Jog-a-thon 2016
Jog-a-thon 2016

The second semester of the school year heralds the return of the annual Jog-a-thon effort, a long-standing fundraiser for the Northwest Christian community.  The lion's share of this year's effort is centered around the school's continuing campaign to improve the Crusader lunch area.  As the reader can see in the video above, Jog-a-thon 2016 is the third of three efforts within the 2015/2016 school year.

"We started the campaign with the dinner and auction back in September," says superintendent Geoff Brown.  "And God overwhelmed us with His generosity through the support of our families."  September's "Wild About Northwest Christian School" dinner/auction, hosted at the Phoenix Zoo, grossed just over $120,000.  The second effort was the "Growing and Going" year-end giving campaign.  To date, that effort has brought in $82,919.  "That's over $200,000 that the Lord has brought in towards this project," says Geoff.  "We're praying that the Lord will use this year's Jog-a-thon to steer us towards His designs for the lunch area that He intends.  Because we're committed to doing this debt-free, we really are waiting on His provision."

Recognizing the generosity that has already been expressed, the NCS School Board and administration have approved plans to bring down the existing, older kitchen and food-service area and build a new one that better meets the needs of the school.  "We've been working with our design team, vendors, and the city," says Geoff.  "As soon as those conversations have run their course, we'll have a fuller understanding of our timeline for our groundbreaking.  I'm looking forward to announcing those dates for our community as soon as we're able."

"With that commitment secured and with God's provision of funding for the kitchen project already in hand," continues Geoff, "we're now moving towards the lunch area itself, praying that His continued blessing will enable us to do something special in that place on the campus."  The plans for improving the lunch area have varied widely as we have been meeting with architects, engineers, and developers.  Conversations include increasing the comfort for students as they eat and improving both recreational play spaces and practice space for our teams.  "These are exciting conversations," says Geoff.  "But, we're committed to progressing through these projects patiently and prudently."

For more information on the Jog-a-thon campaign, please take a moment to click on the video link above.  Additional information is available at the link below as well as the opportunity to support the effort.


Mrs. Murray's Kindergarten Class Takes First Place in Arizona Department of Ed Art Contest   

Class collaborated to win top honors in the 2015/2016 Arizona Department of Education Student Art Competition

As part of a statewide competition sponsored by the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona Citizens for the Arts, Hall of Frames, and Doxa Central, LLC, aspiring art students within the Crusader community submitted artwork this past fall as part of a project led by elementary art teacher Mary Ann Sanchez.  The school was pleased to learn that Mrs. Murray's kindergarten class won first place in the competition.  The theme for the contest was "I am proud to be an Arizonan."

"We met and collaborated with all the kindergarten teachers," explained Mrs. Sanchez.  "We helped to come up with concept and design.  Each of the teachers had their kids make all the cute little pictures that were part of the piece.  We then varnished the final project--it was a great team effort.  Each of the teachers did one for each of their classes," she continues with characteristic modesty.  "The credit really does go to them."

"I love that our art teachers help their students see the opportunities that exist for their artwork to make a Matthew 5:16 impact in the community," says elementary principal Dawna Underwood.  "It means going above and beyond in terms of time and effort but Mrs. Sanchez really does have the desire to help her students understand that each of our gifts can be used to God's glory."

The elementary and middle school art classes--led by Mrs. Sanchez and Mrs. Feight recently helped their students realize another similar opportunity within their classes.  Right before Christmas, working with the Salvation Army, the students spent time designing and producing the centerpieces which would adorn the tables where homeless families were served holiday meals.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Aspiring Film Makers Able to Participate in Second Year of NXNW Film School  and a "48 Hour Film Festival" 
Northwest Christian's growing film program receives a generous gift from Pure Flix Entertainment
"In our ongoing efforts to invest in our community and champion young film makers to use their God given gifts and talents to glorify the Lord, we are blessed to be partnering with Northwest Christian School...we trust this camera equipment will serve their faculty and students alike as they continue to develop their film department..." Michael Scott, CEO/Co-Founder of Pure Flix Entertainment.  

After a successful Pure Flix-sponsored NXNW Christian High School Film Festival in October, accompanied by the 2nd annual Northwest Christian student film ("The Substitute"), the school continues to strive to make its burgeoning film program a meaningful opportunity for aspiring Christian high school film makers to enjoy.  This past month represented a real step forward in that direction following the launch of the 2nd annual NXNW Film School and a generous gift from Pure Flix Entertainment. The organization--responsible for producing such films as "God's Not Dead" and "Faith of our Fathers"--has given the school a professional, feature film quality movie camera.  The camera--termed a "RED ONE" camera--will become an important part of the second year of Northwest Christian's "NXNW Film School".  The camera enjoys special significance in that it was the actual camera used throughout the filming of "God's Not Dead".
Presented by Cabin Fever Films--the same organization which worked with Pure Flix to facilitate the NXNW Film Festival--the NXNW Film School is a 'free', after-hours opportunity open to high school students who feel God prompting their hearts to pursue film.  The "film school" branches in two directions, each coordinated by a professional working in the film industry.  The first is 'Acting/Improv', a class designed to grow the dramatic skill sets of aspiring actors.  The second is Advanced Film, a course which runs students through the entire film making process from writing and capturing film ideas to editing the final piece.
Senior Torin Speer is a Crusader who has been able to plug into the growing film program and was part of the first year of NXNW Film School.  Torin also had key roles in the first two Northwest Christian student films ("Screwtape Academy" and "The Substitute") and, after graduation, is looking to pursue a double major in film (with an emphasis on screenwriting) and business.  Torin recently was part of an international screenwriting competition sponsored by Biola University where he took fifth place.  "God gives all of us an affinity towards certain things," said Torin of his time pursuing film and acting at NCS. "We need to be faithful to figure out exactly what that is and then work hard at it.  Working with Damon Evans (Cabin Fever Films/NXNW Film Fest), has allowed me to realize that this is something I enjoy and something God possibly wants me to pursue."  (Torin is pictured above with Mr. Brown receiving the Red One movie-production camera from Jacob Fletcher, one of the film producers from Pure Flix.)

In chapel on January 20, 2016, NCS students in middle school and high school learned about the NXNW 48-Hour Film Challenge and Spring Musical ("Shrek", directed by the wonderful Mary Jane McCloskey).  As well, student learned about the third annual PureFlix NXNW Christian High School Film Festival slated to take place on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016.

More information about the NXNW 48-Hour Film Challenge can be found at the following link:

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

MVP Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 081613     

Northwest Christian Prepares to Launch Annual, Online Parent Survey
Online parent survey 121212
The first two weeks of March 2016 signal the launch of the annual online parent survey.  Parents will receive an email with a link to a survey with just over fifty questions designed to facilitate feedback regarding each department and program within the school.  Now in its sixth year, the anonymous survey allows school administrators and teachers to candidly assess how they are performing within their commitment to partner with Crusader families.  "Our continuous improvement process is called 'Rowing, not Drifting'," explains superintendent Geoff Brown.  "As part of the process, we annually monitor over one hundred data points that we use to assess trends and gauge our performance.  The parent survey is just one of many different metrics we monitor.  But, in my view, it's one of the most important."  The survey will arrive in parental inboxes on February 29th and remain open through Friday, March 11th.  Results from the survey, as well as the whole of the annual "Rowing, not Drifting" report, are discussed with parents as part of "Coffee with the Principals" in September of each year.

Middle School Students Look Forward to "Impact Day 2", A Second Opportunity to Engage "Impact" in their Community  

This time, the students focus on issues pertaining to homelessness 

On Friday, February 12, middle school Crusaders will enjoy "Impact Day 2", a second day committed to 'impact' following a similar event in November.  Impact days are designed to teach students about real and significant needs within their worlds and introduce them to hands-on engagement opportunities.  These opportunities facilitate their growing understanding of the issue but, more importantly, position them to understand how they can personally and individually contribute to change.
This Friday, the key-note message to the middle schoolers will be presented by Nate Hughes from 1Mission.  After graduating from Arizona State and then Phoenix Seminary with a Masters in Biblical Studies, Nate spent 7 years in the Czech Republic, where he was a youth camp coordinator.  He now brings his vast field experiences to 1Mission.  1Mission is a community development organization that has used volunteer labor hours and donated funds to build over 300 homes for needy families in the area of Rocky Point, Mexico.  In high school, Crusaders will see numerous opportunities to be a part of building one of these homes through 1Mission--NCS has been involved in 3 such homes in 3 years--but Impact Day 2 represents the first chance for middle schoolers to hear about the very real good that the organization accomplishes and the opportunities to participate that lie ahead. 

Also on Friday, the middle school students will be involved in making sack lunches for the homeless in and around the Phoenix area.  Over the last several years, Impact Day participants have generated around 4,000 sack lunches each time.  Once the lunches have been put together--including personal notes of encouragement and scripture from the students--they will be delivered to mobile food service centers utilized by Phoenix Rescue Mission, UMOM New Day Center, Tumbleweed Center, and the Harvest Compassion Center.  These organizations are prepared to work with partners that they have established in the Phoenix area to help distribute the meals to the homeless on the very day they are assembled by students.

"I think that when we consider all of our various service initiatives," explains middle school principal Samantha Maszton, "our hope is that students come to understand that there really are people in need right here in their own community.  The students will pack lunches and then serve them that same day to needy individuals that are in their reach every day.  This is something that they could look to emulate on any given day of their lives.  It helps students to understand that 'missions' isn't a trip that they look forward to every once in a while--missions is a lifestyle that they can engage every day."

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Barton Pure Pools

Elementary Students Learning to Share their Faith through Evangelism Explosion 
Fourth graders practice sharing the gospel in class
The whole effort began with a simple request from a fourth grader

"As I taught fourth grade," explains middle school teacher Sara Irwin, "each year, at the beginning of the year, I would ask my students what they hoped to learn or to accomplish that particular year.  One year, a fourth grader told me that they wanted to learn to share their faith with friends who didn't know Jesus.  From that point forward, I really felt the Lord leading me to make this part of every students' experience."  Working with elementary principal Dawna Underwood, Sara identified "Evangelism Explosion" as the program which she would present to her own students in fourth grade as well as other students who joined her afterschool Evangelism Explosion club.  The program took off and within a year, EE became a standard part of the Bible curriculum for all fourth graders.  Through the EE program, the students learn fundamental, Biblical truths about the nature of the gospel as well as ways in which they can grow confident in sharing the gospel with the lost.


In addition to the fourth grade students who are in engaged in EE this year, 38 other students, 1st through 6th grade, have participated in fourteen weeks of classes which culminated in them sharing their faith with others.


Now, thanks in large part to a generous, anonymous donation, elementary aged Crusaders will have the chance to participate in the next step of training.  Beginning March 21st, through the A.S.A.P. afterschool program, aspiring evangelists can participate in Advanced Evangelism Explosion.  Participants will receive a customized gospel handbook that will serve as a tool in explaining the gospel.  Participants will also practice sharing with each other, teachers, administrators, and members of high school athletic teams who volunteer to help the elementary-aged students grow through practice.


Information on the Advanced Evangelism Explosion program will be found within the ASAP flyers coming home in Monday red folders and via email.  Thanks to the generous donation underwriting all associated expenses, participation in this afterschool club is complementary. 

Spotlight on Students:  Enjoy images from around the campus

Top of the School:  Now in it's fifth year, the "Top of the School" lunch is a bit of a goofy, but fun, tradition.  As seniors enter their final semester of high school, the students with the top 10 GPA's in the senior class are hosted to a steak lunch (generously provided by Outback Steakhouse) on the highest point of the campus:  the top of the two-story classroom building.  The lunch is served by Mr. Brown and Mr. Schlesinger.

Under the direction of Mr. Rine, eighth graders are spending part of their week building six-foot hot air balloons.  After careful construction, the students will launch their balloons and see them achieve several hundred feet of altitude.

Hosted at Palmcroft Church, on Tuesday, February 9th, secondary band students participated in an evening of small group and individual instrumental recitals to showcase what they have learned through band class and private lessons.  Though band members love playing the larger concerts, this evening is considered a favorite because the students get to perform personalized musical selections in a more intimate setting.

Congratulations go out to the Crusader wrestling program who, in addition to a strong showing in the tournament, won the 2016 Joseph City Tournament Ron Morris Sportsmanship Award.

The theme for this year's Hoopcoming basketball event was international adoption.  Several crusader families who have pursued grown their families in this beautiful fashion were able to tell their stories.  Proceeds from the evening went to support Christian non-profits involved in facilitating such opportunities for families.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Shine Dentistry        

February 11, 2016
Vol. 6, Issue 5   
Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."

Big O Tires is a generous sponsor of NCS Athletics

Colorado Christian University

Grand Canyon University

Follow NCS on Twitter

Northwest Christian's Mens Prayer Group

Box Tops for Education
NCS Purple Pages

You are invited!

Valley West Women's Bible Study

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
Mikes Swat Team 081613
Crusader Apparel
Place your orders for long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts  online  here!


A limited number of the annual spiritual emphasis theme t-shirts are available in the Athletic Office.  

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes


9918 W. Happy Valley Prkwy


iPad and iPhone Repair
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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.