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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,

This is going to be a memorable week. Homecoming. Spirit week. The big Homecoming parade. An epic pep rally. The Homecoming Football game. The always mysterious Homecoming game ball delivery. The Homecoming Family Festival. The Homecoming Dance. For so many reasons, the week of October 14, 2019 will be a week that will leave lasting impressions and momentous memories in the lives of our students. But, what I will appreciate most about this coming week is something that won't ever become a memory.

On Friday night, from where you sit in the stands, amidst the fireworks, cheerleading, marching band performances, and half-time pageantry, look to the south end of the football field. There, on the Crusader Legacy Plaza, hundreds of Crusader alumni will be congregating for a free alumni dinner and tailgate event. Alumni of all ages, many with their own families now, will be catching up with each other and the school's faculty. They will be reminiscing about yesteryear, rekindling relationships, updating each other on all that is happening in their lives, and recalling so many special memories. But, again, as much as I love these rich alumni Homecoming traditions, there is one thing that I know won't ever be just a memory.

Their faith.

For over a decade, the Cardus Education Foundation has administered the Cardus Education Survey. Cardus Education reports that, "Talking to graduates is the best way to measure the difference that Christian schooling makes." It's for that reason that CES compares the academic, religious and spiritual, social, and political outcomes of independent non-religious private schools, independent Christian schools, and independent Catholic school graduates to those of public school graduates. Year over year, CES results have consistently pointed to Christian school graduates having a distinctive graduate outcomes profile, particularly when it comes to their religious and spiritual formation.

I recently had the opportunity to review the just-published results of the 2018 Cardus Education Survey of a vast cross-section of graduates aged 25 to 39 and the results were striking:
  • Personal religiosity is highest among Christian school graduates; they are more likely to report conservative Christian beliefs than all other graduates and markedly less likely to leave their faith.
  • Christian school graduates are four times as likely to view God as an individual with whom they can enjoy a personal relationship, more likely to believe in the infallibility and trustworthiness of the Bible, and most likely to hold to the view that the universe was uniquely created by God.
  • At the highest levels of all graduates surveyed, Christian school graduates report that their spirituality brings a feeling of fulfillment, that they experience deep spiritual peace in the midst of difficult circumstances, and they possess a personal communion with God. They strongly agree with the view that everything, including suffering, is part of God's plan.
  • Christian school graduates are more likely to hold traditional views of marriage and sexuality than graduates from all other sectors.
  • There is no statistical difference between Christian school graduates and public school graduates in the racial and ethnic diversity of their friends and they report that they enjoy frequent fellowship and fulfillment within diverse church communities.
  • Christian school graduates are much more likely than Christian students graduating from a public school to say that they have a religious or moral obligation to regularly practice spiritual disciplines, such as prayer and Bible reading. This is reflected in more time spent in personal prayer, the reading of religious literature, and much higher rates of attendance at religious services.
  • Christian school graduates tithe regularly to religious and charitable causes. They are 1.5 times as likely to give financially to their congregation and more likely to donate to other religious organizations or causes than other types of graduates.
To be sure, this week's Homecoming events will find us celebrating a multitude of Northwest Christian Crusader traditions. But, when you and I see each other at Friday night's game, together let us most sincerely celebrate something that Northwest Christian never allows to become just a memory. The faith of your children.

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


As Northwest Christian returns from Fall Break 2019, the season of Sutton will kick into high gear as Middle School and High School Student Council's launch the first effort of the year, the Thanksgiving food drive.  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.  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."

 

 

Spotlight on the Future


The 2019 "Shaping the Future" Fundraising Dinner and Auction, held at the end of September at the Phoenix Art Museum, was a rousing success, raising nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars for upcoming building efforts on the Northwest Christian campus.  If you missed the event, please check out the highlight video below.  To learn more about the school's building efforts, please visit this link.


Northwest Christian Law Club Prepares to Launch Second Season of Mock Trial Competitions

Expectations are high following a debut season that saw them finish in the top ten within the region 

This past school year represented the debut of the Northwest Christian Law Club, an extracurricular club available to high school students and led by NCS alumni, attorney Mychal Hall.  Mychal's assistant coach is her mother, Northwest Christian high school history teacher, Mary Hall. Though there are numerous aspects of the club's program, its primary focus will be mock trial competitions.  The mock trial competition season, sponsored by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, runs from October through March.

Mychal Hall is an alumni and an attorney who completed her undergrad degree through the University of Arizona and earned her law degree through the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  Her courses--both in Arizona and Ireland--allowed her to personally study under two Supreme Court justices:  Sandra Day O'Connor and Antonin Scalia.

"Last year's Northwest Christian mock trial team really surprised the other competing schools," explains Mychal.  "As an upstart team, we finished seventh out of thirty-five schools in the region.  And, actually, the official results showed a tie between the sixth, seventh, and eighth place schools.  It was a shock that in our debut year, we were in striking distance of a top five finish.  With a number of students returning this year from that team, I am very optimistic about our prospects."

One of the members of last year's Northwest Christian Law Club and mock trial team was 2019 graduate Dillon Clarke.  Dillon is presently enjoying his freshman year at American University in Washington D.C.  He was excited to learn this month that he had earned a spot on American University's prestigious mock trial team.  As a freshman, Dillon was one of only eight students to make the team from the group of over one hundred AU students that auditioned for the team.

Northwest Christian's Law Club is open to all high school students and the group will be assembling mock trial teams that each have spots for seven students.  If students are interested in signing on or getting more information, Mychal and Mary Hall will be presenting the club during Northwest Christian's Ratio Christi Apologetics Alliance club meeting during high school lunch in room 214 on Tuesday, October 22nd.

   
Crusaders, Homecoming is this Friday!
 
Crusaders, Mark Your Calendars Now!
Spotlight on Students

Mr. Brown's Fall 2019 Red Letter Challenge is underway and it is not too late for your students to join the effort.  Three times each year, Mr. Brown encourages students to spend time with Jesus through the reading of the gospels.  Reading one chapter per day, over the course of three months, students can read through all four gospels and experience Christ personally. 

 "While I earnestly believe that reading God's word is its own reward," says Mr. Brown, "I also recognize that in young people extrinsic rewards and help establish intrinsic disciplines."  It is for that reason that the school has sponsored some wonderful awards for students that complete the challenge:  indoor skydiving, Baskin Robbins ice cream field trips, lunch at Freddy's, a trip to Fiddlesticks amusement park, and others.  This fall, students have the opportunity to win time in a video game truck generously provided by the Fall 2019 Red Letter Challenge sponsor (as well as the sponsor of the high school's eSports team), Epic Game Trailers.  Your student can participate starting today-- download the Red Letter reading schedule at this link.  (If your student decides to join the fun, don't worry about making up 'lost' days!  The best day to begin reading God's word on a daily basis is today!)




Crusaders, Mark Your Calendars Now!

Northwest Christian Chapels Continue to be a High Point of the School Week

Wednesday's midweek service allows the community an important time of worship and growth

Historically, Northwest Christian's student surveys have show that chapels are an essential part of the NCS spiritual formation strategy.  Each Wednesday, the elementary, middle school, and high school divisions of the school each enjoy separate, age-appropriate chapel services.  The secondary chapels are organized by the school's spiritual formation coordinator, Chris "Mr. G" Gardiner.  Elementary chapels are organized by 3rd grade teacher Amy Veen. 

Gardiner and Veen have done a tremendous job of pulling in chapel speakers that challenge and inspire students.  

In the high school, for example, during September and October there is a dynamic line-up of speakers.  Clarence Singleton (picture above) was a New York firefighter who was in the World Trade Towers when they fell on September 11th.  Roger Munchian, the head of the Rescued Not Arrested prison ministry, served time on Arizona's death row before coming to faith in Christ.  Model Elly Brown's music ministry grew out of her battle with cancer.  Adam Lee Brooks, a nationally renowned speaker and TEDTalks presenter, focuses on adversity, anxiety, and social media.  J.D. Due, who presently works with the Pat Tillman Foundation, is a West Point grad who served in Armor, Stryker and Cavalry units, and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The elementary and middle school chapels have also featured a number of dynamic speakers both from within and without of the school.  Recently, elementary principal Dawna Underwood continued an annual chapel tradition in which she brings amazing examples of God's creative capacity in evidence within animals.  Last year, this chapel featured a six-foot albino boa constrictor.  This year's iteration of the chapel tradition featured an animal trainer that brought in a Great Horned Owl.

Parents are always welcome to attend these chapels.  For more information, contact Chris Gardiner, cgardiner@ncsaz.org.

   
Spotlight on Students

The picture above captures the moment when senior Zach Beckner made school history.  In the photo, during an early September cross country meet, Zach is crossing the finish line and crushing the school's previous 5k record.  Then, on Friday, September 27th, during the AIA's Twilight Classic, Zach beat his own record, running a 16:29 5k.  In all, there were five Crusaders who finished the Twilight run in under 18:00 and a sixth who ran at 18:13.
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October 14, 2019
Vol. 10, Issue 3
Isaiah 55:6

" Seek the  Lord  while he may be found; call on him while he is near."
Mark your calendars now for a VITAL session of Parent University!
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