S am's Spotlight
Let's celebrate as a CCS family!

April, 2017
Blessings, CCS families!  The purpose of "Sam's Spotlight" is to communicate the noteworthy accomplishments of our students and staff, so we can celebrate as a CCS family.  

If you have praiseworthy news items to share with the Cincinnati Christian Schools family that involve either CCS students and/or staff, please email 
Leah Murphy 
at  leah.murphy@cincinnatichristian.org.

SPECIAL THANKS to Kim Smith who started this life-sharing resource!
Stellar Writing  &  A Stellar Heart 
Sophomore Kayleb Armstrong has been selected to compete at the district level for a writing contest hosted by Barnes & Noble. If he's selected, he'll go on to the regional competition. The writing selection that earned Kayleb this recognition was a letter he wrote for Mrs. Kennedy, thanking her for the impact she has made on him. He says she is the reason he participates in choir and loves to sing, surrounding himself with music. His hope is that the possible prize money he would win could help the CCS choir and music department expand and purchase new supplies. Kayleb said, "I just wrote this for English for a grade that was required. I would have never thought that my letter would get a lot of recognition that it would move on. I am blessed with a teacher like Mrs. Kennedy. She sees a lot of potential in me as a vocalist and as a minister in training. I encourage those who think that things are impossible, are possible." He quoted Matthew 17:20 which says, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.'" What a beautiful hope, Kayleb! Thank you for your inspirational writing and heart!
Two Valedictorians and Salutatorian Announced!

Congratulations to Anna Holder and Abigail Ploetz, our two Valedictorians, and to Carly Snyder, our Salutatorian! The girls were quoted in The Paw Print (CCS's student newsletter) and attribute their successes to setting academic goals early in high school, doing every single assignment to the best of their ability, and not limiting themselves from trying hard things; they just go for it!
The hard work has paid off, ladies! Go, Cougars!
Student Presentations Are Changing the Country    
Students in Mr. Miller's Government class had to identify a civil rights issue in today's society (racial equality, rights for working women/mothers, religious freedoms, rights for unborn children, anti-euthanasia, etc.) and create a simulated movement for that issue bringing social change. They submitted a planned proposal for a new law/policy in the U.S. and they had to lobby for their solution to what they see as a violation of civil rights. They presented this project before a Congressional Committee, which was a group of teachers who volunteered to watch and give feedback and pushback. They challenged the students' proposals on the basis of the Constitution or  conflicts with implementation/constituent support. Senior Kylee Miller said, "The project was a great way to have students see a problem in our country and try their hardest to make a difference. It gave the students the opportunity to speak up. I think this project helped us understand how politics works and how we can be a part of change in our country." 
Celebrate Reading Week   

During the week of March 27 - March 31, elementary students came to school  dressed as their favorite teacher or favorite character, wore their favorite hats, and listened to guest speakers who have made an impact on our city. In order to celebrate the power and influence of reading, students had the chance to express themselves and learn about making a difference.
Hannah Marcum Wins Regional Spelling Bee and Heads to Washington D.C.!   
8th grader Hannah Marcum won the ACSI District Spelling Bee in January. She then placed 4th in the ACSI Regional Spelling Bee where she competed against 69 spellers representing Christian schools across nine states. By placing fourth, she has qualified to represent Cincinnati Christian Schools at the ACSI National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. on May 5th and 6th.  You're making us proud, Hannah! Go, Cougar!
Annual 8th Grade Trip  
Traveling to Washington, D.C. is an incredible opportunity to make education real and tangible. To be in the heart of our democracy and apply what is learned in history class, provides students with the chance to witness the growth of their country. They toured both the White House and the Pentagon, and the students enjoyed seeing the inside of such powerful buildings. Lily Hines had the opportunity to meet up with her friend, Staff Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Joe Bowser, while they were in the Pentagon. Also, t here were two particular circumstances where our country's history collided with current events, and our students got to experience them firsthand. During their visit to Arlington Cemetery, John Glenn's funeral was occurring. He was being buried near the tomb of the unknown soldier while the students were there for the wreath-laying ceremony. Hannah Marcum, Chloe Sammond, Lily Hines, and Miranda Heid had the privilege of  representing CCS at the ceremony. The second event happened when they were on Capitol Hill. Judge Neil Gorsuch was being sworn in as the 9th justice of the Supreme Court at the same time.  The trip was a great collection of memorable experiences, historic events, and sweet bonding  for both teachers and students to take home with them.
Jump Rope for the Heart    

The students of Cincinnati Christian Elementary School jumped at the chance to help fight heart disease and stroke. During physical education classes, students participated in the school's annual Jump Rope for Heart event.
Our students practiced jump rope skills and had a speed challenge for classes in each grade level. The speed challenge counted how many jumps the student could do in 30 seconds. We had a lot of fast jumpers; the competition was intense. Our high score jumpers were: 

Kindergarten                     1st Grade
Albert Blair 30                       Alayna Fitzgerald 51
Jonas Percy 31                       Joey Reed 51 
                                                  Alexis Walton 51

2nd Grade                            3rd Grade       
Madison Jones 63                  Michael Brown 75
Emma Guggenbiller 66         Alayna Hester 78

4th Grade                            5th Grade
Elizabeth Musson 88             Katie Bertram 77
Haley Mendoza 89                 Jenny Bertram 81 

6th Grade 
Courtney Snider 93
Margaux Heid 98 

In addition, several students participated in a fundraising challenge to support the American Heart Association's cardiovascular research and educational programs The goal was to raise $1500, but the students surpassed it with $1857.30. Our school raised enough money this year to qualify us to receive a gift certificate for P.E. equipment! Our top money raiser (five years in a row) is Abigail Fleming. Abigail raised $260 for the American Heart Association. We also had some students who noted that they jumped and raised money in honor of or in memory of someone special:
Madi Lucas for Grandma Daugherty and Grandpa Lucas,
JoEllen Reed for Uncle Rob,
Max Ehlers for Mr. McCormick,
Lexi Workman for Ronnie Coats,
Nate Van Hook for Mrs. Moon,
Brock Halsey for Marvin,
Abigail Fleming for Jesus,
and Mrs. Moon for Sherri Bluester.

Amazing, cougars! 
Jailah Long and Chris Neu Commit!
The signing ceremony for student athletes Jailah Long and Chris Neu was held the last week of March.  Chris will attend Muskingum University to play soccer.  Jailah will be attending Hampton University in the fall, playing soccer and running track. She said, "I'm so thankful for all my coaches and supporters through my years of soccer. Now I am taking it to the college division 1 level to Hampton University in Virginia next year. To God be the glory!"
We are proud of you both! 
Festival of Fun Serves Focus on Youth! 

Our Chick-fil-A Leader Academy group was at it again! This time, they held a fun festival in the JH/SH gym and cafeteria to give Focus on Youth kids and families a place to play.  Focus on Youth is an organization for foster care and adoption.   Those who attended had a blast with bounce houses, putt-putt, a live petting zoo, corn hole, face painting, tons of games, including potty toss, and more!  In addition to the 15 members of the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, 33 student, parent, and teacher volunteers from CCS helped with the event, as well as 4 Focus on Youth staff. A total of 170 parents and children RSVP'd to the festival. 

Thank you to all who helped with the fundraiser and supported this event.  For more information about Focus on Youth click  here
Speech Meet  

On April 1, the elementary had 31 students participate in the ACSI speech meet held at Legacy Christian Academy in Xenia. 
The results of their effort: 
17 superior ratings
13 excellent ratings
1 good rating
Congratulations, Cougars! 
Students Serving Over Spring Break   

After a 30-hour start to the journey due to airline delays, weather, and airport sleepovers, our second group of students finally made it to the Dominican Republic for another week of service. During the week, our students passed out water filters, worked on house construction, and led a 3-day spring camp. They led activities such as crafts, dancing, and team competitions for the kids to do.  Though there was a language barrier, our students persevered in order to love on the kids.  Senior Nicholas Hesselgesser  said, "It has been a good learning experience for how to communicate and love on those kids without speaking."  Ben Gillens recorded the trip through a series of beautiful blog posts written by the students which can be read  here
Alumni Following A Call   
Rachel Lewis (nee Burton), class of 2009, and her husband Dan have joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and are headed to Ethiopia to teach at an international Christian school in the capital city of Addis Ababa.
Their departure for Bingham Academy is set for this August, when they will start teaching for the 2017-18 school year. Rachel and Dan are beyond excited about this life change. It's been a calling they have been waiting on for four years.
Sign up for updates, make a donation, and follow the Lewis family on their mission here! You can also check out the school they will be serving here
Soaring to Higher Heights    

Senior Anna Holder has accepted her appointment to the United States Air Force Academy!  She is excited and honored to serve her country as a member of the USAF. She will be studying Military and Strategic Studies, which is an in-depth study of military tactics and methods. Anna will learn about operational concepts, morality in war, joint operations, air power, cybersecurity, intelligence, and logistics of the military...just to name a few. When she graduates from the Air Force Academy, she will be an Officer in the Air Force. We are very proud of you, Anna! Thank you for your commitment to our country!
If you have praiseworthy news items to share with the Cincinnati Christian Schools family that involve either CCS students and/or staff, please email it to
Leah Murphy at leah.murphy@cincinnatichristian.org.