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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
On Friday mornings at 7:30am, the entire staff and faculty of Northwest Christian School comes together for devotions.  Though our time together is brief in light of the pressing demands of the impending school day, Friday after Friday, we have enjoyed working through the Psalms for the past two school years.  Working through them sequentially, we tackle a different Psalm each week.  

Back in August, as we started the current school year, I recall alighting upon Psalm 31 on a particular Friday morning.  Nestled within its 24 verses, we found a promise:   "How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You."  (v. 19)

I recall that verse because the beginning of the school year also found us beginning the year-long effort of raising the funds that we would dedicate to what I termed, "Finding the best solution possible for the school's lunch area."  At the time, I was feeling overwhelmed.  Having cut my teeth for two decades in another sphere of private education, I'd never really been involved in significant fundraising.  But, we were committed to see what the Lord would provide in the 2015/2016 school year.  Having never personally organized a fundraising dinner/auction, through the tireless effort of Northwest Christian alumnus Amber Perona, we put one together back in September.  Similarly, we committed our year-end giving campaign and the lion's share of our annual Jog-a-thon to the effort.   Psalm 31:19 spoke volumes to me because I recall being worried that these three efforts might fall flat--that the goal might not be attained.

But, the opposite has proven true as we've seen the Lord provide.  T o borrow a word from the Psalmist, the Lord has provided  "abundantly".  As a result, as we prepare to engage our lunch area with improvements, I wanted to use this Spotlight-opening letter as an update to our community on our progress to date as well as an opportunity to continue looking forward to the abundance that I know the Lord has in store for our community.

September's "Wild About NCS" fundraising dinner at the Phoenix Zoo grossed $109,108.  Our 2015 year-ending giving appeal grossed $82,261.  To date, with donations still coming in, Jog-a-thon 2016 has yielded just over $120,000 and we expect to see that number climb a bit northward as the school year closes.   Talk about "abundantly"!  Wow!  What speaks to me most deeply about these numbers is the realization that for most of our school community, to put it in a manner of speaking, many of us don't enjoy a tremendous amount of disposable income.   I fully recognize that the vast majority of the gifts we have received represent sacrificial gifts.  For this reason, I offer my sincerest appreciation.

Your sacrificial generosity has positioned us to begin working towards a brand new kitchen which will replace the cinder block structure on the far north end of our lunch area.  We are presently working with architects and designers to put together a structure which will represent a vast improvement over what we have now.  Once the plans are complete, we will be submitting them to the city for approval and revision.  At this point, summer construction is looking a bit optimistic but I am excited to keep our community informed as the working timeline for the new kitchen becomes concrete.

Looking forward, I'll be meeting with our School Board to discuss the next phase of improvements.  I'm excited at the prospect of implementing a structure that would continue our campaign of lunch area improvements in terms of space and student comfort.  Discussions have also included the possibility of a new elementary classroom building.  Please join with me as we pray and trust the Lord for His perfect provision.  Because we are committed to these lunch area improvements without incurring debt, it's His abundant provision that will guide our steps.

If you are interested in supporting the lunch area improvements, please consider joining the effort through our Growing and Going campaign:

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

Record Number of Crusaders Move on to State Level National History Day Competition 

An annual event for Crusaders, this year's competition produced a bumper crop of winners 

National History Day (NHD) is an annual scholastic event that is designed to be a combination of creativity and scholarship.  With a real history of success behind it, National History Day has become a leading model of performance-based learning.  NHD is a year-long program that engages students in grades 6-12 in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical topics. Students produce dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, interactive websites, and historical papers based on research related to an annual theme. These projects are then evaluated at local, state, and national competitions.  Northwest Christian participation is spear-headed by history teacher Mary Hall.
On March 12th, at La Joya Community High School, Northwest Christian high school students participated in the NHD regional competitions.  While Crusaders have always done well at the event, their 2016 participation in the competition found a record number of Northwest Christian students winning their division, qualifying them for the state-level competition (pulling together Arizona's six regions) on April 16th at Arizona State University.

Winners in the 'individual exhibit board' category included:  Cheyenne Bair (Thomas Dent Mutter and Modern Surgery)
Camille DeMarcus (Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine), Taylor Down (History of Walt Disney Animation Studies), Carissa Eich (Alexander O. Gettler and Forensic Toxicology), and Emily Garcia (The Clandestine Exchange).
Winners in the 'group exhibit board' category included:  Cameron Hoole and Melanie McClaine (Politics and the Media) and Joseph Simpson and Tanner Webb (Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.)
Megan Gauharou won her category, individual website, for a site that she developed titled, "The Mayo Brothers: A Step Toward the Future".  Ashley Wineinger won in the historical paper category for her research into the RMS Titanic. 
Spring 2016 Northwest Christian Theater Department Production
For tickets, please visit:

3rd Grade Student Maggie Whittemore Earns Top Spot in National Handwriting Contest 

Maggie earned the recognition amidst a contest which included 300,000 students 

Now in its 25th year, the "National Handwriting Contest" is an annual event sponsored by Zaner-Bloser to promote legible handwriting. The contest is open to all students in Grades K-8 and Zaner-Bloser estimates that 300,000 students participate in the contest each year.  Zaner-Bloser is a company built around providing schools with educational resources, professional development opportunities, and access to new school technologies.

In February, Northwest Christian was thrilled to learn that Maggie Whittemore was chosen as the 3rd grade "Grade Level Winner" for the state of Arizona.
The contest entries, both manuscript (print) and cursive, are judged according to the Zaner-Bloser Keys to Legibility: Shape, Size, Spacing, and Slant. The sentence all students are required to write on their entry form is used because it contains every letter of the alphabet: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Winners of the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest are selected from both public and private school categories. State Grade-Level Winners compete against each other to become one of the 18 National Grade-Level Semifinalists.
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Aspiring Film Makers Prepare for the "48 Hour Film Challenge" 
Northwest Christian continues to expand film program 

As the spring 2016 NXNW Film School prepares to wrap up, the school is gearing up for a 48 Hour Film Challenge.  Presented by Cabin Fever Films--the same organization which worked with Pure Flix to facilitate the NXNW Film Festival for the past two years--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.
On April 29th, Northwest Christian will launch its first run at a 48 Hour Film Challenge as part of the lead-up to the 3rd annual PureFlix NXNW Film Festival on November 10, 2016. As part of the challenge, participating students will meet at the Elevate Coffeehouse at Norterra and be given a line of dialog and a prop that they must include in an original short film that they will need to write, shoot, edit, and submit within the span of a mere 48 hours.

The 48 Hour Film Challenge will be one of several new categories within the PureFlix NXNW Film Festival on November 10, 2016.  The festival this fall will also expand to four theaters and take place at Harkins Norterra theaters.

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

Spring 2016 Northwest Christian Book Fair

Northwest Christian's Spring 2016 Scholastic Book Fair
April 4th to 8th
Monday through Thursday, 7am to 5pm
Friday, 7am to 12pm
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Northwest Christian Prepares to Launch Annual, Online Parent Survey
Online parent survey 121212
After a brief delay--to allow for a few more important questions to be included--the 2016 Northwest Christian online parent survey is ready to go.  "We hit the 'pause button'," explained superintendent Geoff Brown, "in order to adjust a couple of the questions as well as to include several new questions regarding the school's athletic offerings to secondary students and school-day start times.  We're really looking to our parent community to provide some important data to fuel some decisions this spring and summer."

Now in its sixth year, the online survey is an anonymous forum that permits parents to provide candid feedback regarding their Northwest Christian experience.  "Every year," continues Brown, "every individual within the organization--from the School Board and throughout our ranks--reviews the feedback and we take it into account as we work to continuously improve Northwest Christian School."

The link to the survey is scheduled to arrive in parent's email inboxes during the week of April 11th.  

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Barton Pure Pools

Annual Crusader Wrestling Rummage Sale 


Annual Crusader Wrestling Rummage Sale

April 9, 2016

7:30am to noon   

Elementary Students Set New School Record for Reading Minutes during "Read Across America 2016" 
In a suit of Mentos, Mr. Brown prepares to meet his fate in a dunk tank full of Diet Coke.
A full week of fun meant to motivate and excite students to read

"In the years to come," jested superintendent Geoff Brown, "this episode will go to prove that every idea can't be a great idea!"  Brown was referencing the 2016 iteration of Northwest Christian School's "Read Across America" week and a week-ending stunt that could have had disastrous implications (wink, wink).  The annual event was themed around "The Berenstain Bears and The Double Dare".  The double-dare to Mr. Brown?  If elementary students would read over 80,000 minutes in a single week, he would dress in a suit consisting of over 3,000 Mentos mints and be dropped into a dunk tank with just over 300 liters of Diet Coke.  As the students knew, Mentos and Diet Coke make for an explosive combination!   


By the end of the week, elementary-aged Crusaders had summit-ted a mountain of over 100,000 minutes and Brown was forced to keep his end of the bargain.  "Once I fell into that tank," said Brown, "there was so much carbon dioxide released, I wondered if I would lose consciousness!"   


The 2016 version of Read Across America was organized by Northwest Christian librarian Becky Roman.  "Becky invested a huge amount of time in the campaign," continued Geoff appreciatively.  "What I most admire was the lengths she went to this year to champion the daily discipline of reading God's word.  She put together a way that students could earn a brand new Bible with their names embossed upon it.  In addition, students participating in a gospel-reading plan have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a free hoverboard."



Crisis Pregnancy Center of Greater Phoenix presents

Walk for Life 

Spotlight on Students:  Enjoy images from around the campus

Congratulations to senior Drew Inness for being named to the National Football Foundation's First Team of Scholar Athletes.  Drew was among those honored at the 35th annual Scholar Athlete Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 2, at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas.

Bravo to Northwest Christian's high school chorale and the middle school choir!  Chorale took the gold and middle school choir took silver in the Disneyland's Forum Music Festival.  The groups also enjoyed choral clinics through Azusa Pacific University.

Ronald McDonald visited elementary chapel on Wednesday, March 30th to express his appreciation to Northwest Christian kindergartners.  As part of their annual 'missions learning' focus, the kindergartners collect pop tabs in support of Ronald McDonald House.  Ronald was quoted as saying, "I've never visited a school where the students more fully understand why they are doing what they are doing..."

Congratulations to the Crusader men's volleyball team.  The Crusaders were named the 2016 'all tournament team' at the 3rd annual Westwood Volleyball tournament.  Ranked #4 in Division II, so far this season, the Crusaders have unseated #2 Saguaro (Tucson) and Centennial High School.

Many thanks to the several members of the NCS chapter of National Junior Honor Society and Mr. Collins' 'Dirty Dozen' discipleship group.  On Saturday, April 2nd, they spent the morning prepping a brick wall in the south elementary parking lot for painting.

Mrs. Murray's class was honored this past week to be visited by a representative from the Arizona Department of Education.  The class took first place in a statewide art contest.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Shine Dentistry        

April 4, 2016
Vol. 6, Issue 6    
II Corinthians 5:21
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Big O Tires is a generous sponsor of NCS Athletics

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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.
Offer Expires: Offer available while current supplies last.