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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,

As a friend and partner to Northwest Christian, you know that this is a school that is committed to Christ, rigorous educational preparation, outstanding athletics, accomplished fine arts, and gospel-centered service to our city, state, and world. As testimony to the potency of Christian education, Northwest Christian students, faculty, and families have enjoyed numerous accolades within the last year...
  • The school's accrediting body, the Association of Christian Schools International, has rated NCS as one of only eleven "Exemplary Accredited" schools in the world. At the same time, both the Phoenix Business Journal and Ranking Arizona Magazine have picked Northwest Christian as the top private school in the state for seven years in a row.
  • This year, the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Association has chosen Northwest Christian as a "AIA School of Excellence". In this past year, the school has added four new AIA state championship banners to the Don Sanderson Gymnasium and one state-runners up banner.
  • Over the past two years, ACT composite scores for graduates have climbed an average of one point per year. As of this year, nearly every grade within the school has standardized test scores that exceed the U.S. Department of Education's "Blue Ribbon Schools" educational standards. During this same time frame, Crusaders being recognized as National Merit Scholarship Finalists, Semi-Finalists, and Commended Scholars has become commonplace.
  • The school's Fine Arts department continues to thrive. The middle school advanced choir has won the top spot in the Forum Music Festival's California-based regional competition for three consecutive years. At the high school level, for the past two years, our drama program and individual students within the program have earned top spots within the annual National Youth Arts Awards.
What is more meaningful than any of these accomplishments is that as our students grow, at every grade level they are learning to become difference-makers, sacrificially using their time, skills, and energy as investments into the lives of others and to the glory of God. Every grade level, right down to our youngest preschool level, is invested in "Missions Learning" efforts with organizations like Special Olympics, Feed My Starving Children, Kitchen on the Streets, Choices Pregnancy Center, YoungLife, and many others.  As part of the annual Sutton Project, within the last year students and families have invested over $100,000 and countless service hours within six different struggling schools within the Isaac School District, one of the poorest public school districts in the state.  And, in the last year alone, Northwest Christian students have taken numerous trips to Mexico as well as distant countries like Rwanda and Cambodia.

But, did you know that nearly three-quarters of Northwest Christian students receive some sort of financial assistance in the form of state tuition tax credit scholarships?  Additionally, just under 10% of the school's students are able to attend the school due to Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.  And, nearly $500,000 in Corporate Tax Credit Scholarships are awarded annually. Within the school's $11.6 million budget, over half of the tuition payments made to the school come in the form of this sort of financial assistance.

I tell you this because I want you to understand that the young people at Northwest Christian are not affluent, entitled private school students.  A review of our demographics reveals  that our students primarily represent middle-class families working hard and sacrificing significantly to make Christian education possible so that our students can become the God-honoring difference-makers that the world needs more than ever.

It is for this reason that, as we approach the end of the year, I would ask you to prayerfully consider contributing to AZTO, the single largest contributor to the support of Northwest Christian families.  In fact, since 2004, AZTO has facilitated over $20 million in state tuition tax credit scholarships to worthy Crusader students.  In sum, there are thirteen different STO's that we partner with regularly and any one of them would provide a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to Northwest Christian families.

As you will read in this issue of the Spotlight e-newsletter, Northwest Christian students are working hard and accomplishing great things for the Kingdom of God.  Once you have had a chance to read through all that follows, please consider, clicking on the AZTO link to support the affordability of Christian education or visit AZCredits.org to discover any number of tax credit support organizations.

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

Fifteen elementary students joined Mrs. Underwood, Mr. Brown, and Mr. G (pictured above) for an afternoon of fun at the Cracker Jax amusement center in Scottsdale this past month to celebrate their tremendous accomplishment:  finishing the first Red Letter Reading Challenge of the school year.  The Red Letter Challenge is Mr. Brown's Bible reading plan that encourages students to read through the four gospels in three months, reading one chapter per day.

Northwest Christian Varsity Volleyball Repeats as AIA 3A State Champions

Northwest Christian athletic teams play deep into post-season tournaments

Though they were the defending 2018 state champs, the Crusaders were considered underdogs throughout the 2019 state volleyball championship tournament, seeded at #6.  Without dropping a single game in three-game sweeps of every opponent they faced, on Saturday, November 9th, the gym was packed with students and fans as the Crusaders upended the #1 seed in three games to repeat as state champs.  On their way to their second state banner and trophy in two years, the team faced Show Low High School, Tuba City High School, Snowflake High School, and Valley Christian High School.

In the first game of the state tourney, Northwest Christian's varsity football team (seeded #3) topped Odyssey Institute 49-7 in their quest to defend their 2018 AIA 3A state title.  This week, the team will face their arch-rival Yuma Catholic High School in the second round of play-offs on Friday, November 15th, at 7pm at Northwest Christian.

The Northwest Christian varsity cheer program enjoyed another strong finish to their fall season when they competed at the state regional tournament this past month.  The five-man-stunt team took first in regionals and the game-day cheer line and the show cheer line each finished second.  This means that all three divisions within the cheer team will be competing for their state cheer titles at the state competition in February.

The Northwest Christian Cross Country program has been running in a very positive direction over the last few years and now seems hard to stop.  This past week, in state sectionals, both boys and girls qualified for state on November 16th, with boys finishing second in the section and girls finishing fifth.  In addition to their strong prospects for the state race, the team has been very attentive to its Missions Learning effort this fall in that the team has worked alongside elementary Jr. Crusader Cross Country coach Mrs. Jenna Young to lead the elementary Jr. Crusader Cross Country program, featuring kindergarten through fifth grade students.

High school isn't the only Northwest Christian division that is dominating in post season play.  This past week, the middle school soccer team fought through their post-season bracket to finish second within the middle school league.  And, this next weekend, the middle school football team will be playing in their championship game.

   
Spotlight on Staff

With the boundless energy and enthusiasm that it takes to lead a preschool program, the Northwest Christian Early Education teachers took advantage of the long holiday weekend to enjoy a day trip to Disneyland.
Spotlight on Students

Northwest Christian High School's Adventure Cru club rolled out to the "Cowtown" paintball range this past week.  Sixteen students enjoyed an action-packed afternoon of paint-fueled warfare accompanied by a whole bunch of little round bruises...




Check out the intense trailer for Northwest Christian's fall 2019 film, "Scapegoat", by clicking above.

Get your tickets now to the premiere of "Scapegoat" as part of the NXNW Film Festival at AMC Deer Valley...

Or, enjoy Northwest Christian's Fall Play, "Closed for the Holidays"...



Spotlight on Early Education

On Friday, November 8th, a group of Early Education students enjoyed Community Helper Day.  The preschool-aged students were able sit inside a police car, hear from police officers, and see their teacher, Mrs. Lisa Brown, dressed as a fire fighter.
Spotlight on Chapel

On Thursday, November 7th, the Northwest Christian High School worship team led worship during chapel at Scottsdale Christian Academy.  And, in the near future, SCA will send its worship team to Northwest Christian.  The exchange is part of a partnership that the two schools have enjoyed for the last few years.

Northwest Christian Fine Arts Department has Best Showings yet in National Youth Arts Awards and National Association of Singing Teachers Awards

Individual students also place well as the department prepares to roll out a movie, film festival, and play this fall 

This past week, National Youth Arts announced the winners of their 14th Annual National Youth Arts Awards to honor outstanding work by youth in the arts. This year more than 700 productions were considered for the awards, including shows from 240 different members spanning 17 states, Canada, and the UK.  Locally, this means that Northwest Christian was competing against multiple high schools and theater programs:  Valley Youth Theater, Arizona School for the Arts, Xavier College Preparatory, Notre Dame Preparatory, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix Theater, Promusica Arizona, and many others.

This year's award winners were selected from nominations by a panel of more than 50 judges and reviewers. In addition to the youth who performed in schools and youth arts companies, anyone age 18 and under who performed at a show reviewed by a judge was also considered for the NYA awards, as well as the adults who participated in the youth productions backstage (directors, set designers, costume designers, etc.).

NYA honored Northwest Christian with three awards and, in addition, there were multiple nominations.  The awards were:  
  • Outstanding Production: It's a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play
  • Lead Performance in a Musical: Tabitha Meythaler as Ella in Cinderella
  • Set Design: Dane Burk for Cinderella 
The NYA nominations were:
  • Lead Performance in a Play: Sam McPeek as George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play
  • Supporting Performance in a Musical: Lucas Barnes as Sebastian in Cinderella
  • Supporting Performance in a Musical: Emma Blake as Marie in Cinderella
  • Supporting Performance in a Musical: Ashley Dennis as Charlotte in Cinderella
  • Supporting Performance in a Musical: Jacquelyn Reeder as Madame in Cinderella 
  • Supporting Performance in a Play: Beth Camping as Sally Applewhite in It's a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play 
  • Supporting Performance in a Play: Jacque Reeder as Lana Sherwood in It's a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play
  • Ensemble: Cinderella
  • Costume Design: Mattaea Reeves for Cinderella
  • Direction: Mary Jane McCloskey for Cinderella
Northwest Christian students recently competed within a district competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  Here again, Crusaders enjoyed historically strong results with Zoie Moller earning three 1st place honors as well as a tie for the overall "Most Promising Young Artist Award".

Winners, nominations, and placers within this competition included:
  • Marissa Wineger in the Youth Musical Theatre category
  • Samantha Poarch in the Youth Musical Theatre category
  • Zoie Moller, first place, in The Youth Musical Theatre category
  • Zoie Moller, first place, in the Youth Classical category
  • Zoie Moller in the Commercial Contemporary category
  • Zoie Moller tied for the "Most Promising Young Artist" award
  • Bella Saries in the High School Contemporary category
  • Luke Poarch, third place, in the 16 year old male Classical category
  • Luke Poarch, honorable mention, in the High School Musical Theatre category
  • Jaeden Nagai, honorable mention, in the 15 year old High School Girls Musical Theatre category
Spotlight on Homecoming


Homecoming 2019 was a blast!  Click on the video link above to relive the fun!
Northwest Christian Celebrates a Decade of Support within the Isaac School District
As we enter the holidays, students will learn to approach them from a different perspective 


"I can only remember plenty of food at my family's Thanksgiving meal," said the sophomore.  "I can only remember lots of gifts under our Christmas tree.  But, last year, I met a little guy and the soccer ball we gave him was going to be his only Christmas gift.  That really made me think."  That last sentence, a moment of clarity and new understanding for a high school student, is the fundamental reason that Northwest Christian has partnered with the public school district that is arguably the poorest district in the state, the Isaac School District.  For a decade, Northwest Christian has provided struggling families and students within six schools throughout the district with 1,500 Thanksgiving meals, gifts at Christmas, backpacks with school supplies, and hours upon hours of 'missions learning' hours in which Northwest Christian high school students serve within the schools, providing tutoring, athletic clinics, and more.

 

"There is a temptation that our students face," explains superintendent Geoff Brown.  "Like all of us, we're tempted to think that the upcoming holidays are a time uniquely for us--about our memories, about our families, about what we need, and what we can get.  But, year after year, I have seen this Sutton initiative allow students to trade that self-centered perspective for a Kingdom-building, Christ-honoring perspective.  I love it when students realize that it is in the giving--not the getting--that they truly experience unrivaled joy, true fun, matchless community, and the sorts of memories they wouldn't trade for the world."


Right now on the campus, the Thanksgiving food drive is in full swing.  In the elementary program, students and families will the opportunity to collect the elements of a Thanksgiving meal that will go into the meal boxes that will be delivered to 1,500 impoverished families.  Within the secondary divisions of the school, students are working to raise the money for the turkey vouchers that will go into these food boxes.  In partnership with Calvario Church, located in the heart of the Isaac School District and actually meeting in one of the Isaac schools, the families that receive these boxes will be presented with the hope of the gospel and invited to Calvario services.

 

"Every year," continues Geoff, "I am literally astounded at the spiritual fruit that this project yields.  And while I realize that there is abundant fruit produced in the lives of these Isaac families, it is the spiritual fruit that I see in the lives of Northwest Christian students that moves me most.  Every year throughout this decade, I have seen God use this moment to move our students towards new levels of spiritual maturity."

 

To support this effort, now in progress, please click HERE.

 

 

Spotlight on Staff

On Saturday, November 2nd, Crusader Maryann Hocker celebrated her 90th birthday surrounded by a huge number of family and friends.  Maryann has served as a part-time receptionist at Northwest Christian School for several years and many of her friends from the school community were there to celebrate with her.
Spotlight on Students


The Crusaders made the news on November 7th as twenty-five high school students had the opportunity to participate in the Ford Motors 'Driving Skills for Life' Academy.  
Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs.  Fox 10 was on hand as the students drove Ford Mustangs on a practice course and went through a hands-on drivers safety course.
Spotlight on Staff


A few times each week, elementary-aged students have the chance to participate in "Roaming Recess Praise".  Elementary aide Chelsi Johnson leads the students in worship and prayer during recess and lunch.  Chelsi is working hard this year and saving money as she prepares to travel to Spain next year to serve as a missionary.
Spotlight on Students

This past month, as part of a Missions Learning effort, thirteen Northwest Christian High School students served at the Foundation Fighting Blindness "Dining in the Dark" event.  The group was led by Mrs. Sarah Williams, junior English teacher. 
Spotlight on Students

ASU's Environmental Health and Safety department had a poster contest in honor of National Biosafety Month. Ten third graders placed in the competition and were recognized at ASU by attending a reception in their honor. Winners were awarded in the following three categories: Biosafety Tips, Germ Prevention, and Hand-washing. The students received medals, certificates and bags full of craft supplies. A scientist who works in the onsite lab and an FBI agent spoke to the students about biosafety. And if that wasn't enough, they were given a tour of the ASU Biosafety Building and their artwork is on display there too! We are so proud!

Spotlight on Students

On Thursday, October 31st, Northwest Christian fifth graders did dress up but not in Halloween garb.  Rather, the four classes of fifth graders have been working through Junior Achievement's "Biztown" curriculum and on that Thursday, they enjoyed their culminating field trip.  During their time at JA BizTown, students operated a simulated economy and took on the challenge of running businesses. They enjoyed hands-on experiences as both employees and consumers, paying rent, taxes and utilities, buying advertising from the radio station, conducting TV interviews, purchasing insurance, depositing paychecks and buying other business' products, handling customer service, and more.
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

November 12, 2019
Vol. 10, Issue 4
I Peter 2:9

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
Mark your calendars now for a VITAL session of Parent University!
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of NCS Missions Learning

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a NCS Mssions Learning partner