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

November, 2016
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 
Kim Smith (Public Relations Assistant) at  kim.smith@cincinnatichristian.org.

SPECIAL THANKS to Leah Murphy for her enthusiasm
and help with each issue!
CCS Students Prepare for the Real-world

In order to help prepare CCS students to deal with real-world ethical issues (with appropriate Godly knowledge, wisdom, confidence, and maturity), CCS's Community Leadership Groups Program was created. The effort to create community groups as an opportunity for leadership/ethical/discipleship development was Mr. Holthus' idea. Mr. Miller crafted the vision, and Mr. Holthus implemented it, driving the vision and system of community groups. 
The community groups are made up of students from each grade level, and are led by the older students within each group.  They meet each week, and the student leaders from each group have already been trained for that week's real-world ethical scenario. Each group session includes ice-breakers related to the weekly topic and deeper questions used to guide the discussions. The plan is for community groups to remain virtually the same each year. As seniors graduate, seventh graders are added to the group, and so on. The goal is to foster unity across six grade levels while creating lasting friendships. Ultimately, CCS wants to see students more unified, prepared, and confident as they head into life after high school. For more information on this awesome new movement, read more here
Tradetown and Science Cougar Mall Enthralls All
Tradetown, coinciding with a Cougar Mall, are elementary campus annual events that are highly anticipated each fall!  Tradetown is a campus-wide learning endeavor where students learn about supply and demand, marketing, product development, and sales strategies.  They plan a product, manufacture it, then take it to market.   In addition to the wonderful lessons students learn about markets, several other significant traditions have grown from the process.  A "Tradetown" government is created, where a mayor, vice mayor, police chief, and other officers are elected by the students and inaugurated.   Each candidate delivered a speech to the student body about how they would institute positive changes for Tradetown businesses.  The Mayor of Fairfield swears-in the Tradetown student mayor each year. Congratulations to this year's newly elected town officers:   Mayor - Preston Rosenberg Vice mayor - Sydney Howard Chief of police - Brandon Rogers.

This year, the fall Cougar Mall theme was science.  At the Science Cougar Mall the students sold their products and, in the chapel, science fun abounded!   Mrs. Uffman facilitated in the  guest appearance of Randi the penguin from the Newport Aquarium and s ome of our senior high students even joined the fun and performed experiments for the younger students. What an excellent real-world learning adventure!

The "Importance" of the Fall Play 

The theatre department is known for creating and performing high-quality fine arts. Director, Mr. Wayne Beaver, holds high expectations for his students, and they work very hard to meet them. Auditions and the first rehearsals for the fall play, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, were held before this school year started. The actors worked diligently on the show for two months before performing in October. After weeks of memorizing lengthy, wordy, and complicated text, the actors portrayed hilarious and engaging characters for the public. Both actors and technical crew created fabulous art. 

This show marked Mr. Beaver's 50th show at CCS, and wow, was it a good one! For his intern, Leah Murphy, this was her first experience returning to CCS theatre. However, instead of being on the familiar stage, she sat beside her former director. It's an exciting tradition for CCS students from both campuses to take field trips to see matinee performances.  During play week, i t's wonderful to see the whole school support the works of fellow friends, peers, and believers!
SLED Teaches and Touches All 

For Spiritual Life Emphasis Day (SLED) #2, the topic was "Resting in Jesus." Junior/senior high students spent their entire day learning how  to vacillate daily between rest (abiding in Jesus) and work (bearing fruit) .  Their day consisted of a wonderful mix of praise and worship through music and song, a "Challenge to Unplug" video (here), and self reflection prompts.  S taff speakers spoke about their choices for "resting body and mind" (1 Kings 19:1-9).  There was also time for  self reflection (Exodus 18:13-23) and time for  the students to choose and practice their "resting" preference (praying, hiking/walking, artistic expression, reading, writing, playing, etc.)  
Science Exposition Victors 

Overall winners:
1st - Caleb Smearsoll
2nd - Lauren Barr, Amanda Murvin, and Kaylene Lunt ( 3-way tie)
3rd - Zachary Schlake 

8th Grade Winners:
1st - Tyler Burns
2nd - Kaitlyn Fritz
3rd - Ryan Mendoza and Carissa Shaw ( 2-way tie)

7th Grade Winners:
1st - Taylor Cook
2nd - Hayden Ehlers
3rd - Jackson Becker 
Go, Cougars!

Mrs. Schmidt's 2nd grade won the fire challenge!
Celebrating An Exciting Week 

The elementary campus has been bustling with spiritual renewal and challenging learning!  In one week, both Spiritual Life Emphasis Week (SLEW) and "Experience the Experiment" took place.  

Our elementary campus partners each year with Tri-County Assembly's Pastor Bob to put on a tremendous SLEW program for the students.  Chapels were held every morning, and this year's theme topic was FIRE.  A ll the qualities of fire were used to symbolize what faith in the Lord should look like. 

Student activities included a scavenger hunt and daily games with prizes, culminating in the grand prize of a s'more party campfire for the winning 2nd grade class.  Mrs. Hempelmann (principal) said, "The competition was engaging and made it fun.  But the real joy was watching our students worship in exuberant song at the beginning, then voluntarily kneel in prayer at the end."  

Experience the Experiment is a week long focus on science with a capstone experience at the Science Cougar Mall.  This year, visitors included Mr. Burkett (JH/SH teacher), two high school students and a penguin from the Newport Aquarium named Randi.
Celebration Honors Our Veterans

On Veterans Day every year, the junior/senior high campus gymnasium echos with speeches, video presentations, and familiar patriotic tunes all representing American patriotism and those who give much for our freedoms. In a time where our country seems to be quite divided, the celebration was a reminder of what sacrifices are made each day to keep the United States of America free.  
One of CCS's most loved junior/senior high campus traditions is this very special assembly.   Military veterans, whether in armed combat or in peacetime, are honored. 

Almost 70 veterans were recognized this year!  Planned and organized by our National Honor Society students, many other students worked hard also to honor these men and women - from the set-up crew, to the young men in the Color Guard, to the choir and band. Thank you CCS students for your kind recognition, and thank you, Veterans, for your service, sacrifice, and commitment.  To quote Noah Jordan, who gave a moving speech, "These veterans put their lives in temporary places and risked permanent ending."  It's always a powerful ceremony. 
Firefighting Contest Winner 

Claire Rutherford, Mrs. Schmidt's 2nd grade student, won the Annual Fairfield Fire Safety Poster Contest. Claire and Mrs. Schmidt were picked up by the Fairfield Fire Department and driven to the fire station in the ladder truck!  They attended a special celebration breakfast with the firefighters as Claire's prize for winning the contest. 

Great job, Cougar!
Home Run Derby a Big Hit

CCS's first Home Run Derby raised funds and help us celebrate the new home field of the CCS baseball program!  Special note, this is the first time CCS has had its own baseball home field!  

Varsity Baseball Coach Curtus Moak (new to CCS last year), along with volunteer parents and our Athletic Boosters President Mike Johnson, worked tirelessly with the Hamilton Parks Conservancy, Butler Tech, and the county to  allow our CCS baseball teams to have this amazing space at Crawford Woods Park in Hamilton!  Blessings abound!

Keep an eye out for updates as the field gets spruced up and ready for the upcoming baseball season. Thank you to all who put in time to make this a great beginning celebration!

(Contact Carl Wildow if interested in advertising on one of the full color CCS baseball field banners at questor25@yahoo.com.)
Gift-Bearing Visitors Head to 3rd Grade

Our 3rd graders have had much excitement this fall!  Brian Begley, from the Fairfield Rotary Club, visited them and gave each student their very own dictionary.  Mrs. Rouse said, "The Rotary Club does this each year, and the students always look forward to it!"

Our 3rd grade happily supports The Animal Friends Humane Society. Tara, from the local location, came to visit with her animal friend, Tilly.  The students gave donations of food and supplies to Tara for the animal shelter.  Way to go, Cougars!

ComSpark "Sparks" Innovation

Eight of our senior high students attended the inaugural ComSpark innovation/technology summit in October.  ComSpark invites a variety of IT and innovation speakers and has over 50 booths whose vendors represent world class innovation and startup companies.  

Nearly 300 students from 28 other local schools were also in attendance.   The mission of this event is to celebrate the people and innovations driving the growing tech/IT/innovation community in the Greater Cincinnati area.   At the event, two of our students were recognized among the "Who's Who in High School Tech!"  Junior Tyler Parker was recognized for his use of technology in film production and editing in his CCS Film Club endeavors.   (He had already won first place in our CCS Film Club contest.)  Sophomore Nathan Smearsoll was recognized for his passion for computer science and educating younger students.  Nathan teaches computer science summer camps.   Attending the event in addition to Nathan and Tyler were Sam Knueven, Zachariah Lail, Sam Bird, Will Wiggins, Jalon Percy, and Mason Dulemba.
Tournament Champs

Our 5th and 6th grade volleyball girls are tournament champions!

Congratulations Kate Oates, Courtney Snider, Chloe Halsey, Alivia Green, Jenny Bertram, Katie Bertram, Jolie Percy, and Breanna Sayles. Great job girls! Thank you, coaches, for a great year: Melissa Bertram, Sara Oates, Antoine Percy, and sophomore Emily Hesselgesser!

Go, Cougars!
Volleyball Team Outreach   

Coach Michael takes the volleyball team each year to The Father's House with his church. The girls helped build, paint, and really got their hands dirty!  A few of the girls volunteered to shovel dirt into holes on the front lawn, making it even and smooth. The whole team worked together as a group to assist in making the house a beautiful home for foster families.  Thank you, Cougars, for demonstrating the compassionate love of Christ! 
Fossil Excursion Rocks

CCS 2nd graders enjoyed a field trip to Trammel Fossil Park in Sharonville. Students and parents found many fossils which were allowed to be taken home. Mrs. Cole said, "The 2nd graders have been studying fossils, and this field trip brought science to life!"
TRIFECTA Fun Brings Unity

For weeks, there has been a buzzword at the JH/SH campus: "Trifecta."  Trifecta has spread like wild-fire, and on November 5, this large-scale fundraising event took place.  JH/SH Teacher Ben Gillens, head coordinator of the event, came up with the event idea in an effort to foster community and unity, allow an opportunity to invest in God's kingdom, and to have a good time.  Through games and special fellowship time, the event did just that! 

With over 100 game participants and close to 160 in attendance, TRIFECTA raised $3000 that will be split between the Film Club, Art Department, and Project MaƱana's building fund.  Ben Gillens said, "Our student community groups came together to make 12 beautiful gift baskets that were an excellent way to get our adults involved in the evenings festivities, if they weren't already brave enough to participate in the games."

All in all, it was a wonderful event, ending in fellowship over eight fire pits and s'mores.  Gillens reflected, "I'm so blessed to see what God did through it and excited to see what God will continue to do through it in the future."   (A big thanks specifically to the Vanweelden Wealth Management, JTM, Smithfield, and Grippos for generous donations.)

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
Kim Smith (Public Relations Assistant) at kim.smith@cincinnatichristian.org.