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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,
Well, this is embarrassing.  For the second month in a row, Mr. Brown is opening the Spotlight e-newsletter with a story highlighting something that your students have taught him and not the other way around.  Why is this embarrassing?  Pretty simple, really.  The whole paradigm we all have have agreed to is that you all send your kids here and we are supposed to educate themNot the other way around.  Nonetheless, here we are, for a second straight month, and Mr. Brown is talking about something he's learned from your kid.

It's about a week ago and I'm enjoying lunch with a group of middle school students.  We are talking about Christmas and the topic of "advent" and "advent calendars" comes up.  As we're talking, I start to wonder if these middle school-aged kids really understand the idea of "advent".

I turn to the young man who has mentioned the word a couple of times and I challenge him, "What does 'advent' really mean anyway?"  He turns to me, offers a succinct answer, and then returns to the course of conversation.  But, I stop him, interrupting to say, "No, really.  I truly am asking.  What does 'advent' mean?"

The young man turns to me, a harried look of exasperation dawning within his countenance.  He squares his hands like he's breaking this down for a kindergartner.  "Listen," he says.  " Advent means that God shows up.  He always has shown up.  He is showing up.  And He will show up.  Always."  By this time, the conversation for the rest of the group has moved on to something about recollecting all the names of twelve flying reindeer.  In that moment, I wanted to do the "teacher thing" and tell him it's not really that simple, that I have to explain a bunch of historical and scriptural stuff for him to truly 'get it'.  But, instead, I'm dumbfounded by a profoundly simple statement of faith.  (And, I make a mental note to tell eighth grade Bible teacher Andrew Coley that apparently he's nailing it in Bible class.)

"God shows up."  I suppose we could complicate it if we wanted to but that was never God's intent.  When, in the course of history, God 'showed up', He chose to do it as a baby.  Doesn't get much simpler than that.  And, to be sure, the King of Glory could have shown up in technicolor and full special effects and instantly wiped evil off the planet.  But, rather, He chose to show up as a child.  A child that would require thirty years to grow until His perfect plan came to fruition.  When God showed up, it was simple.  It required patience.

Like we did yesterday, every Thursday, the admin team gets together to pray for our school, teachers, students, and families.  From those times of prayer, I know that for some of our families, as the season of advent approaches, there are some very real needs out there.  For some of us, the "advent" isn't some heart-warming and cordial tradition this particular December--it represents real need.  Perhaps desperate need.  For all of our families--especially those praying urgently for advent, for God to show up in whatever stormy circumstance that you're walking through--I'm praying that your understanding of advent is as profoundly simple as mine ( thanks to a middle schooler).  While I know it may require patience, I know that God will show up for your family this advent season.

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

Third grade teacher Joel DeLuna (pictured above) took the prize for best Christmas outfit this year in slam dunk fashion.  The Christmas coup d'etat in this case had to be Joel's "beardiments"--battery powered, lit ornaments weaved into the famous DeLuna beard.  (Some pretty close runners-up pictured below.)

Crusader Football Wins 3A State Championship in Epic Game
Crusaders play hard, study harder:  team includes record number of All State First Team Student-Athletes

As one reporter said, "Had the game been scripted for a Hollywood movie, no one would have believed it."  With a headline reading "Crusaders Refuse to Lose", the papers reported it as the longest game in 3A history.  It was the November 23rd title game against arch-rivals, the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks.  In this championship game, against a team the 9-1 Crusaders had lost to by a touchdown earlier in the season, Northwest Christian never held a lead.  Down ten points with just six minutes left on the game clock, the team pulled together and staged a heart-stopping comeback, scoring the tying touchdown with just nine seconds on the clock.  What happened next was equally epic:  four brutal overtimes which finally ended when Dustin Inness caught the winning touchdown in the corner of the end zone. 

"Plato reportedly once said, 'I will learn more about a man in an hour of play than a year of conversation.'  That was certainly the case that Friday night," said superintendent Geoff Brown.  "We truly saw what these young men were made of--they refused to be discouraged and found a stunning reserve of strength.  But, as proud as I was of the scoreboard, I was more proud of the way these young men represented their faith and families in post-game interviews.  And, beyond
 that, these young men are committed student-athletes that know what it means to work hard."

In fact, Crusaders dominated the post-season Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Association's 2018/2019 all-state first team of student athletes.  Of the 29 spots on the 3A's first academic team, seven of spots were claimed by Crusaders, a record for the school.  The names of eight additional Crusaders were found on the second team and honorable mention rosters as well.  "This team," continues Geoff, "has a young man with a 34 ACT and another who secured a nomination to Air Force Academy.  Quite certainly, they are all realizing the fruits of all the hard work that they have invested."
Spotlight on Students

The AP Physics 3/4 class enjoyed a tour of the Palo Verde Generating Sation this past month.  Mrs. Van Liew has done a tremendous job of connecting "big picture" ideas to classroom concepts and helping her students to see real world applications.  In the past, this has included trips to the airport or an afternoon of sailing at Lake Pleasant.
Crusaders See Christmas Goal Realized at Schools All Across the Isaac School District
The culmination of the 2018 Sutton Project found Northwest Christian families tangibly expressing the love of Christ

For the ninth year running, schools, students, and families within needy area schools have received a Christmas blessing through the cooperative efforts of the Crusader community.  As part of a multifaceted all-school "missions learning" effort, students have the opportunity to be involved at varying levels in a campaign that saw over 1,100 Christmas gifts delivered into three schools within the Isaac School District:  J.B. Sutton Elementary, Alta E. Butler Elementary, and Moya Elementary.  Within these schools, K-4th grade students received soccer balls, baby dolls, and art kits.  But, in fifth grade, every student received a brand new pair of shoes.  The gifts were all delivered by Student Council and Santa "Mr. G" Claus on Thursday, December 20th.

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.

"It was overwhelming to have the opportunity to share in this blessing with the communities at these schools," said Jeff Parsons, Director of Curriculum and Instruction (also, an elf!).  "And, to watch our students giving to those in need was amazing.  Our kids did a truly incredible job.  I really want to thank the Crusader community for providing gifts that meant the world to these kids."

Though the Christmas effort is largely behind us, the commitment to these schools persists through the second semester in the form of student-driven "missions learning" projects.  Please consider helping students reflect the light of Christ into this community.  How?  First, pray!  Pray that these expressions of love do truly reflect the Father's love into these families.  Pray that the partnership with Calvario sees increasing numbers of families involved in a local church.  Second, consider supporting the effort in one of the fashions described below.

JB Sutton 2018
JB Sutton 2018

Spotlight on Missions Learning

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Crusaders remain focused on the priority of missions learning.  On Saturday, December 15th, the annual "day trip" to the Kids Kingdom orphanage in Imuris, Sonora saw over seventy Crusaders  bring gifts and provisions to a huge Christmas party (above).  As well, at the end of the month, the fourth annual alumni 1Mission trip will see a filled-to-capacity group of twenty-four Northwest Christian graduates come back together to spend three days in Rocky Point building a home for a needy family in partnership with 1Mission.

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
"Growing and Going" Campus Improvement Plan Sees New Building to Open in January
The new 450 building will positively impact student schedules across the campus

When students return to school on January 7th, they will enjoy schedules that are afforded a bit more flexibility in that four new classrooms will be in the rotation.  The new building, just north of the softball and baseball fields, is the latest phase in the "Growing and Going" campus improvement plan.  Three of the new rooms will be the new homes of three sections of third grade students and the fourth will be a new elementary technology lab.  These relocated classrooms open up a sort of "shuffle" in the schedule that means less secondary classes meeting in the library or in the E building.  In addition, the new building will hold a space reserved for middle school athletes to securely store their athletic gear and change out for games and practices.  The building will sit adjacent to the newly established "Crusader Legacy Plaza"--a concourse that will celebrate the history of the school in conjunction with the vital role of alumni as the truest legacy of the school.  Looking out over the Crusader Legacy Plaza will be the new concessions shop and spirit store.  Centrally located, this area will better serve spectators for softball, baseball, soccer, and football.

As soon as this project is done, the "Growing and Going" plan has the school immediately pushing into renovations within the Early Education building as well as the addition of four new kindergarten classrooms (pictured above) to be completed by fall 2019.  When considered with the new 450 building, the sum of new classrooms added to the campus this year will be eight.  But, the intent of these new classrooms is not to grow the school's enrollment; rather, their design is to better serve students that are already enjoying NCS. 

Spotlight on Students

Congratulations to our 2nd-grade students who very nearly swept the top spots in the annual ACS ( American Chemical Society) poetry contest which drew together students from over a dozen area schools:   1st Place and National contest competitor: Harlow; 2nd Place:  Maecyn; 3rd Place: Richard. Honorable Mentions went to Hannah and Burton.
NCS Works with Phoenix PD and Department of Homeland Security to Complete School Safety Study
A year-and-a-half of work and preparation demonstrate that school safety remains a Crusader priority 

On Wednesday, December 12th, Northwest Christian completed an eighteen month journey towards a safer school.  Working with the Phoenix Police and the Department of Homeland Security, under the direction of middle school principal Samantha Maszton, Northwest Christian did an extensive self-study in partnership with the school's daily-duty police officers.  Once their report was submitted, a Threat Vulnerability Assessment team was sent to the school for in-depth assessment that lasted nearly an entire day.  The team considered the school's ongoing commitment to safety, physical improvements to facilities, and training for faculty and staff.

"One of the agents involved in the process," said middle school principal Samantha Maszton, "has gone through this assessment with over 450 schools.  He reported that Northwest Christian's preparedness was among the strongest he's seen.  That's gratifying to hear because this behind-the-scenes effort has been a momentous amount of work in terms of facilities and training.  It's also a testimony to the men and women of the Phoenix PD who have invested a lot of time working with our school."

From this point, the assessment group will put forward a series of recommendations to further strengthen the school's preparedness.  Those recommendations will be the focus of a portion of the Jog-a-thon fundraising effort in the spring of 2019.
Spotlight on Students

On Thursday, December 13th, 110 elementary-aged students were treated to massive amounts of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.  The K-5th grade students were being rewarded for finishing the "Red Letter Challenge"--a three-month commitment to read through the four gospels, one chapter per day.  "Reading God's word is it's own reward," explains superintendent Geoff Brown.  "But as we work to instill spiritual disciplines in the lives of our youngest students, there's nothing in scripture that suggests that huge amounts of ice cream won't help!  In all seriousness, the ice cream was a tangible reminder of intangible truth--God's word is worthy of our attention on a daily basis."

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

Spotlight on Students

Congratulations to third grader Avery Ruggiero who took first place in Arizona State University's Environmental Health and Safety Biosecurity poster contest.  This month, Avery and her family were honored during an EHS event  on the campus of ASU.
Spotlight on Students

Students in the Northwest Christian afterschool boy scouts program received a thrill this past month:  they each rode up 60 feet on a Phoenix Fire ladder truck!

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

December 21, 2018
Vol. 9, Issue 5 
Matthew 1:20-21
" But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.' "
Parent University--save the date!
Re-enrollment is about to begin!
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.