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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,

Bad things never happen at Northwest Christian School.  Or, at least you might be tempted to think that if your only window into the school was the Spotlight e-newsletter.  The general rule of thumb for schools is, "Do not publish the bad stuff in the newsletter".  No one does it.  But, honestly, maybe, just maybe, every once in a great while, something bad does happen at Northwest Christian School.  So, today, I'm breaking that rule.

Each fall, I have a critical position in the athletic department.  I serve as the high school's Assistant to the Assistant Assistant Cross Country Coach.  (In plain English, read as:  I'm the water guy.  I ride my bike behind the team as they run and I carry the water.)  A while back, as I was waiting for practice and although my bike was locked to the rack on the back of my Jeep, someone cut the bolt and stole my bike.  Believe it or not, this happened right in the middle of afternoon dispersal!

I loved that bike.  It was a GT Avalanche mountain bike and I had saved for a year to buy it.  I remember that following Friday evening, I went to the bike shop to see how much it would cost to replace it.  You see, the amazing NCS teachers had heard about my bike and took up a collection, presenting $328 to me at campus devotions that morning.  (Wow. Just wow.)  As I walked into the store and looked at the price tags, I dejectedly realized that even with the generous gift in hand, it would take me another year to save up for a new GT mountain bike.  Before I walked out of the store, I allowed my eyes to wander to the Canondale section of mountain bikes.  These were the premium bikes, way more expensive than the GT bikes, and I knew there was no way that would ever happen.  Downtrodden and certain that God had lost control of the universe, I left the store.

The next morning, I felt inclined to revisit the same bike store.  At the time, I wasn't exactly sure why but, nevertheless, I did.  As I walked in, the gentleman behind the counter recognized me from the previous evening and called me over the counter.  "Hey," he said, "I know that you're looking for a GT bike, but would you ever consider a Canondale?  We don't normally take returns but we had one returned this morning after it was purchased just last night.  I'd let you have it cheap. Interested?"

Of course I was.  This particular Canondale was far superior to my stolen bike in every way.  So, we completed the transaction.  How much did I pay?  $327.50.  No joke.  I walked out of that bike store on a Saturday morning with a better bike than I lost, two quarters in my pocket, and a fresh understanding of how our curious God works.  The Lord had used my loss, combined it with the love of others, and produced a new and altogether better circumstance for me.

And that, my Crusader friends, is the theme of this issue of the Spotlight newsletter.  We are going to walk you through all of the re-planned events for the fall of 2020 and a few for the spring of 2021.  Within a school rich with traditions and history, change from the norm does not come easy--I know that it feels like a real loss.  But, as you move from item to calendar item below within this newsletter, I want to remind you that perhaps God has in mind an opportunity to teach us all a lesson that won't require all of our bikes to be stolen in order to learn it:  He can take our losses, mix it with the love of an amazing school community, and produce something even better than we initially anticipated.  Join me in this adventure?  Who knows?  Maybe, just maybe, we'll find joy in the journey.

Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,
Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)
The Crusader Classic Football Game:  Friday, October 30th

Please, don't call it what it is!  Just because it looks like Homecoming, talks like Homecoming, and smells like Homecoming, doesn't make it Homecoming.  The forthcoming, epic gridiron battle between Northwest Christian and Peoria High School will have many of the familiar trappings of Homecoming but we are calling it the "Crusader Classic" due to some of the Covid-induced changes.  Though the game will feature the halftime tradition associated with Homecoming royalty, fireworks, and more, ticket sales are limited.  For that reason, we are moving the annual tradition of the over-the-top Homecoming carnival, midway games, and thrill rides to Hoopcoming on January 15, 2020.  For more information on the fall athletic season and how to get tickets to home events, please click here.

The Crusader Nation Can Look Forward to a Stellar Year, Rich with the Crusader Traditions

As we work to dodge the Covid bullet, events may look a bit different but the school remains on a course for fun and is charging ahead

After a Covid-19 campus closure mandated in March 2020 for schools across the state, the road back to "normal" has been a bit tenuous.  Spring 2020 saw cancellations run rampant across the school calendar and, inevitably, Crusaders may be a bit gun shy as they look forward to the traditions that have historically marked the ramp up of a school year:  Friday night football games under the lights, Homecoming, band concerts, the fall film, and much more.  "Our faculty and families have been both prudent and patient," says Superintendent Geoff Brown.  "They have modeled the prudence and caution necessary to keep our calendar and kids safe and on course.  I really cannot overstate how much I appreciate that!  And, they have been patient as we have worked to set this school year's events calendar on a course that both meets the safety objectives we are obliged to meet while also preserving the Crusader traditions we know and love."

Looking forward to the balance of the 2020/2021 school year, there is much to which we can look forward:

High School athletic events.  Of necessity, in accordance with guidance mandated for participating schools by the Arizona Interscholastic Association, families and fans should expect for reduced event capacity as well as the implementation of a number of safety protocols.  AIA scheduling has also been adjusted but, while subject to change based on decisions made by opposing schools, game schedules have been released for football, volleyball, and cross country.  Because guidance stipulates that the school needs to limit the capacity available to spectators both in the Don Sanderson Gymnasium and within the football stadium, Northwest Christian will be using a ticketing system to control the number of individuals on campus for games.  More information can be found regarding the process and timeline of securing those tickets here. 

Middle School athletic events.  Although the Campus Readiness Plan's guidance will be in play for home games, there will be no restrictions on attendance for middle school football, soccer, and volleyball games.  The schedules for the seasons can be found here:  football, soccer, and volleyball.

Homecoming game.  Historically, the annual Homecoming game has been a real highlight of the fall season:  epic football, carnival rides, fair-like concessions, midway games, fireworks, and a few traditional surprises.  This year's event, scheduled for Friday, October 30 and which has been dubbed the "Crusader Classic" to avoid confusion, will be scaled back quite a bit.  And, the traditional Homecoming trappings (the rides, the midway, etc.) will be moved to "Hoopcoming" which is slated for January 15, 2021--a date that will likely enable greater event attendance capacity on the campus.  However, those that do get tickets to the game will enjoy the half-time crowning of the Homecoming royalty.

Homecoming dance.  The Homecoming dance will also look a bit different in that High School Student Council will be taking over the field right after the Crusader Classic football game and hosting a Fall Festival for high school students.  The festival will feature line dancing, games, and some great concessions.  But, students need not worry about the opportunity to enjoy traditional high school dances.  The Winter Formal remains on course for Friday, December 4, 2020 in a local outdoor venue, Sadie Hawkins is scheduled for Saturday, February 27, 2021, and Spring 2021's Prom will be back with a vengeance on April 10, 2021.

Crusader's Got Talent, Season 2.  June 1, 2020 saw the launch of what may very well become a new Crusader tradition as over 5,000 views hit Facebook Live to watch "Crusader's Got Talent".  Riffing off the reality TV show of a similar name, the event allowed secondary students to send it talent submissions in many different categories.  The top talents were showcased during the show and then voted on through text messaging with finalists earning real cash prizes.  November 23, 2020 will see the return of CGT with season 2.  This time the event will also serve as a virtual replacement for the traditional Grandparents Days as talent submissions will come in from Crusaders of all ages:  elementary, middle school, and high school.

Choir Coffeehouses.  The traditional "Choir Coffeehouse", introduced by high school choral director Mrs. Melissa McGuire, is already Covid-proof.  With middle school choir performing on October 27th and high school choir performing on October 29th, these coffeehouse take place outside and on campus.  The outdoor venue, obviously themed to induce a coffeehouse vibe, is perfectly prepped to allow families and friends to enjoy some phenomenal group, duo, and solo choral performances.

NXNW Film Festival and the 2020 Student Film, "Do-Gooders".  Now in its seventh year, the NXNW High School Film Festival solicits digital short film submissions from aspiring high school film-makers across the state.  Past participants have featured film-makers from as far away as Tucson and Southern California as the student's films are shown on the big screen at the AMC Deer Valley Theaters and the audience votes live via text messages.  The cornerstone of the evening has been the annual student film, a production partnership between Cabin Fever Films and Northwest Christian School.  This year's film, called "Do-Gooders", follows the misadventures of teen compatriots who discover that one of their own possesses super-powers.  The film festival and student film premiere are going to take place on January 8, 2021.

Hoopcoming 2021.  Hoopcoming has always been Homecoming's little brother...but not this year!  Hoopcoming is all grown up in 2021 as all of the festivities traditionally reserved for Homecoming are moved to January 15, 2021.  The event is a bit of a misnomer in that the school's athletic department is presently working to land a full-day of both basketball and soccer games on the campus.

40th Anniversary, Mini Online Silent Auction 

Preview the Silent Auction Items!

We are hosting a special sneak peek of some of the amazing silent auction items that we have available for you to bid on!

After drop off on Friday, September 25, please stop by the ramadas to take a look! From 8:00am-9:00am, we will have donuts and coffee for you to munch on while looking at some of the items.

The bidding will go live, Saturday, September 26, at 9:00AM and close Sunday, September 27, at 6:00pm!

Until then, have you purchased your raffle tickets? You could win a pair of 
diamond earrings (14White Gold 1 Carat T.W. Diamond Solitaire Studs, valued at over $2500) OR Chick-fil-A every week for a year (Jostens has generously donated Chick-fil-A combo meals for an entire year - that is one per week! Get your Chick-fil-A fix once per week guaranteed for an entire year, valued at $450)!
Raffle tickets here!

Northwest Christian Prepares to Welcome Author Bob Goff to Headline 40th Anniversary Celebration Gala

The New York Times bestselling author will headline the event taking place on April 17, 2021 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

"Although spring and summer were seasons rife with economic disruption," explains superintendent Geoff Brown, "the Lord's provision enabled the campus improvement plan to stay on course.  In fact, some of the most generous gifts in school history have come in during this trying time."

Dubbed "Growing and Going", the Northwest Christian multi-year campus improvement plan has continued to roll forward on steel wheels with a number of campus improvements coming into play during the trying summer of 2020.  "The school expanded the multi-purpose building, saw the installation of expansive solar shade structures, completed the multi-stage campus security fencing, and moved forward with renovations to the Early Education building," continues Geoff.  "But some of our most aggressive campus improvements are just around the corner and I'm looking forward to using the school's 40th anniversary celebration gala as the opportunity to present these improvements."

The anniversary celebration gala will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and feature a very special keynote speaker:  New York Times best-selling author Bob Goff.  Goff, who has authored "Love Does" and, most recently "Dream Big", is a favorite of Northwest Christian students.  "My favorite Bob Goff story was just a couple of years ago," says Geoff Brown.  "In one of our Bible classes, the students had just finished reading 'Love Does'.  And, at the back of the book, there was a phone number.  So, the students convinced the teacher to give the number a call.  And, sure enough, Bob himself answered the phone.  He was so taken with the students, their questions, and their audacity, he cleared his schedule for the day and spent the entire day talking with students in those Bible classes.  Goff is one of the most down-to-earth and inspiring authors out there and to have him on hand for our 40th anniversary celebration is going to be very, very special."

Make sure to save the date! More information will be coming soon. Please contact Amber Perona, for questions.

Cathi Herrod invites Northwest Christian Students and Families to "Prayer at the Pole" on Wednesday, September 23rd

Save the date:  January 15, 2021 is Hoopcoming!

Two Outstanding Parent University Sessions in October:  Cathi Herrod with the Center for Arizona Policy and Pastor Robby Leshua Records a 'Live' Podcast

Pastor Robby Leshua's acclaimed "Christ, Culture, and Coffee" podcast and CAP's Cathi Herrod will help to tackle the difficult social issues in front of students and families right now

"The students that left school in March," says superintendent Geoff Brown, "are not the same students that came back to us in August.  They have already endured more cultural upheaval than most of us have seen within our lifetimes.  During a time when church has been relegated to some form of virtual alternative reality and the vital relationships enjoyed between students and mentors have been socially distanced, they have had to face innumerable questions that are vital to Biblical worldview.  It is truly time to stand strong and work to really help our students to understand what scripture says about all of the issues raging within the culture during this season."

To help equip families with an understanding of how to stand firm within the Biblical worldview, Northwest Christian is hosting two Parent University sessions in October 2020.  Each will feature a dynamic presenter who understands the issues in front of Christian families.  Each of these events will take place in the Brickhouse Coffeeshop at Palmcroft Church, require a free ticket, and offer free dinner and coffee for attendees.

On October 6th, the Center for Arizona Policy's Cathi Herrod will be on hand for a town-hall styled meeting in which she will illuminate the issues in front of students and families as well as the current state of affairs within state of Arizona.  Cathi Herrod is president of Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), a nonprofit advocacy organization committed to promoting and defending the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom.  A total of one hundred seventy-o
ne CAP-supported bills have been passed into law since CAP made its first appearance at the state Capitol in 1995.  As a mother whose children all attended Christian schools, lawyer and family advocate, Cathi knows that what happens at the state Capitol directly impacts our daily lives.  She is also an award-winning public policy leader. Arizona newspapers have recognized her as one of the ten most influential leaders and as one of the key people "with the juice" at the Arizona Capitol.  She is the recipient of the Family Champion Award from Focus on the Family, the William Wilberforce Award from Students for Life of America, and the Deborah Award from Family Life Radio. Alliance Defending Freedom recognized Cathi and CAP with the Alliance Award in 2014.

On October 20th, Northwest Christian's next Parent University will focus on these issues as well but also work to provide numerous, practical resources to parents that will equip them to point their kids to the truths of God's word and then to help them defend Christian worldview with clarity and compassion.  The Parent University will enjoy a novel twist, Pastor Robby Leshua will be bringing his internationally acclaimed "Christ, Culture, and Coffee" podcast for a 'live' recording of an episode that will deal with some pertinent issues.  "First," continues Geoff, "Robby is going to introduce the question, 'Are there degrees of right and wrong?'  Then, as part of a dialog with the audience and with other guests that evening, he is going to demonstrate how we can 'rightfully divide the Word of Truth' and teach our kids to do the same.  This will enable our kids to stand up for truth and know how to defend their faith within a very contrary culture.  Second, Robby is going to help us unveil a whole bunch of apologetic resources, appropriate for students of all ages, that will enable parents and teachers to answer the vital questions that students are asking right now."

The event will also align with this year's theme for secondary chapels:  "Kingdom Culture Conversations".  These chapels are unique in that they have been featuring Northwest Christian faculty engaging with experts in the different arenas of cultural impact.  The chapels are in a Q&A style and designed so that the dialog spills over from chapel into facilitated conversations that occur within the classrooms.
School Calendar for 2021/2022

Plan on it!  Join us as we begin looking ahead to all 
that God has in store for NCS and your family!

Crusader Creation Commons Prepares to Take Flight

Using the latest 3-D printing tech and a generous grant from SRP, middle school students are preparing to build and launch their own drones

This fall, Northwest Christian Middle School students will enjoy the opportunity to use the latest in 3-D printing technology, the Mark Two 3-D printer from Markforged, to build, launch, and keep their very own drones.  The project is the culmination of tremendous generosity from a number of school partners.  The $50,000 investment on behalf of the school to purchase the Markforged Mark Two 3-D printer, the requisite design software, and printing materials was put forward by Micropulse West, an industrial manufacturer that specializes in precision machining services.  The drone project itself has been funded by a generous $5,000 grant from SRP.  Additionally, the project has seen a good amount of time volunteered by Zoltan Farkas, the Mechanical Engineer Lead within the Mars Space Flight Facility which is part of Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration.  

The drone project represents a dimension of the forthcoming "Crusader Creation Commons", a Maker's Space which was announced during the school's 2019 fundraising dinner and auction.  "'Maker's Spaces' have been popular in schools for a while now," explains superintendent Geoff Brown, "but the Crusader Creation Commons will really be very different from anything before it.  First, the space isn't centered around technology or STEM.  It will be centered around the creative capacity of our Creator.  We will use the space to teach students that they have been divinely created by a loving Creator who imbued within them a unique purpose and the capacity to create like He creates.  With that understanding as foundation, we are presently building an inventory of creative tools that will enable our students to hone their talents in a number of areas."

The additional areas of potential creativity are also being developed through grants currently being written by Mick Manne, the school's Development and Instructional Support Coordinator.  "We have been so blessed," continues Geoff.  "We have seen grants that have fueled the formation of our eSports program from WalMart.  As well, the Crusader Creation Commons will feature a HAM radio station that was gifted to the school by the Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club. Over the next few months, we are looking forward to continuing to build out the program so that when the Crusader Creation Commons launches, it will have opportunities for students to engage in podcasting, audio and video recording, robotics, graphic design, and much more."

Northwest Christian School is looking forward to updating the school community on progress within the school's facility improvement strategic plan, called Growing and Going, as part of the fall 2020 online auction and the 40th Anniversary Celebration Gala Dinner on April 24, 2021.
Announcing Fours Ways To Learn More About Tuition Assistance
NCS is committed to providing parents the necessary tools needed for success regarding the various Arizona tuition assistance programs. NCS is offering four opportunities to help NCS parents learn more about making a private school education more affordable than ever thought possible.

This virtual presentation by AZTO will replace the previously advertised, in-person event that had been originally scheduled for October 6. Jennifer Kuebler, AZTO Office Administrator, will be facilitating the meeting. Registration is required at or via Zoom Link. Upon registering, the parent will receive an email with meeting instructions.  The meeting will last approximately an hour and is limited to 300 participants.

Coming soon!- By popular demand, NCS Director of Admissions, Michelle Reddy, will be recording the annual tuition assistance workshop so it is available year-round in a sharable, webinar format. The link will be coming soon. Check next month's Spotlight for more information.

To schedule a one-on-one tuition assistance consultation either by phone or in-person, go to and select "Tuition Assistance Consulation" to schedule.

- This in-person workshop will be facilitated by Michelle Reddy, Director of Admissions, and will cover the various available tuition assistance opportunities in Arizona. Pizza is provided. To register, go to
and select "Tuition Assistance Workshop".

Need assistance now with a billing, account, or tuition assistance question? Contact Diane Collicott, Director of Finance,
Spotlight on Students

Middle School Impact Groups launched.  Throughout the week of August 31st, the middle school mentoring program, Impact Groups, catapulted into the year with lunchtime competitions that were outrageous enough hold middle school students' attention through the week.
Spotlight on Students
Adventure Cru hits the lake!  The high school's outdoor leadership club, the Adventure Cru, took advantage of the long Labor Day weekend and enjoyed a hike to the top of Calderwood Butte in North Peoria, the highest elevation in the city (above).  Then, thirty minutes later, they were on their way to the lowest elevation in the city, Peoria Lakes (above), where the group enjoyed the cool waters of this oasis hidden in the desert.

Spotlight on Upcoming Events

Crusader's Got Talent, season 2!  A Facebook Live talent show in which the audience chose the winners, the first "season" of CGT took place on June 1st, 2020 and has drawn over 5,000 viewers.  Did you miss it?  You can watch it here!  Season 2 is already in the works.  Mark your calendars for Monday, November 23rd!
Spotlight on Students
No instructions?  The high school's Rogue Squadron Sci-Fi and Fantasy Club engaged in a Lego-building competition.  Two teams of ten Star Wars enthusiasts embarked upon building 1,350-piece Millennium Falcons.  The twist?  No directions!  Then, on Tuesday, September 15th, Lego-sponsored Master Builder Chris Zimmerman came in and judged the teams' finished products.
Spotlight on Students

Avengers who?  Get ready for the Do-Gooders!  On Thursday, September 10th, Huntington University was the site of the table reading for Do-Gooders, the next student film in the partnership between Northwest Christian and Cabin Fever Films.  The students who will be starring in the film read through the script for the first time.  The movie, which tells the story of a group of teens who discover that one in their midst has super powers, will premiere at the AMC Deer Valley Theaters on January 8th.
September 18, 2020
Vol. 11, Issue 2
Isaiah 46:4

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
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