Northwest Christian Class of 2025 Promotion Ceremony: May 14, 2021

North Phoenix Baptist Church was the venue on Friday, May 14th as we promoted the Class of 2025 from eighth grade to high school. Click on the video below to enjoy the ceremony.
"Do-Gooders", the NXNW 2021 High School Student Film, is Now Available To Watch Online for Free

The eighth annual collaboration between Northwest Christian High School and Cabin Fever Films, part of the NXNW 2021 High School Student Film Festival, is a hilarious super hero romp that has fun with all of the tropes of the super hero genre of movies while also making some powerful points. And, beginning Friday, May 21st, "Do-Gooders" is now available to watch for free, online. You can click on the picture below or you can have free access to all of the NCS/Cabin Fever films by signing up for a free account via RightNow Media.
Northwest Christian Testing Data Reveals Robust Student Achievement at All Levels for 2020/2021

Although the depths of Covid-related learning disruption at the national level has yet to be fully plumbed, there is reason for celebration and gratitude at Northwest Christian School: student achievement has risen to historic levels in 2020/2021 despite the challenging nature of the year. "As I look at achievement, " explains elementary principal Dawna Underwood, "I have noticed that during a school year in which so many things seemed beyond the control of the classroom, teachers enjoyed working most in areas that they could control and working diligently to impact achievement was a huge benefit to our students. In the elementary program, for example, our midyear scores surpassed results from any other recent reporting year. This meant a very strong finish to the year." There were multiple facets of the elementary program in particular that demonstrated tremendous growth:
  • In the DIBELS test, an early literacy test administered from kindergarten through second grade, results were impressive. Kindergarten students grew with 71% meeting benchmark at the start of the year to 90% meeting benchmark at midyear. (One K class actually saw 100% of its students reaching benchmark by midyear.) The entire first grade team had kids measuring 94% at benchmark or above by the end-of-year testing with one class realizing 25% gains from the beginning of the year assessment to see 100% reach benchmark by the end of the year.
  • Fifth grade scores this year have been off the charts with their composite on the ACT Aspire running 23% than the national average for ACSI schools in both reading and science. Similarly, the third grade math composite ran 14% higher than the national average.

"I was particularly encouraged with the standardized testing of the online students in the brand new NCS Online program," continues Mrs. Underwood. "100% of our online students met or exceeded benchmark. This is exciting as that as we see our on-the-ground curriculum translated to the online format, we want to make certain that our learning outcomes are the same."

While it is still a bit early to report results in the secondary program, early, leading academic indicators are very encouraging here as well. For example, the junior class composite for ACT testing this year is 23.2. Given that NCS has all juniors test--for most schools, this is an opt-in decision--and as many as half generally retake the test heading into their senior year, these early results for juniors are on course for the highest senior year scores in a decade. Unsurprisingly, recently the National Merit Scholarship Corporation communicated to Northwest Christian that it has three juniors who will be announced in the fall as National Merit Commended Students, Finalists, or National Merit Scholars. "That is always great news," says high school principal Jeff Parsons. "But, I'm particularly impressed with our students, our teachers, and our curriculum because we were able to sustain dynamic results during a year marked with such disruption."
Northwest Christian Track and Field Team Sets Five School Records at State Championship Meets

Last month, we reported that Northwest Christian junior Luke Poarch shaved nearly ten seconds off the old school record for the 3200M run: moving from 10:10.75 to 10:01.99 during the 81st Annual NIKE Chandler Rotary Invitational Track Meet. However, Poarch continued to dominate at the Arizona Div. IV State Championships on May 14-15, setting a new record at 1600M (4:32) and blowing away the record he had set in April, moving from 10:01 to 9:43. In the process he was the State Champion Runner-Up, missing the top spot on the podium by five one-hundredths of a second. Poarch was also part of the 4x800M relay team that also set a school record, 8:26. That team also included Jonah Archer, Maverick Kline, and Glenn Thomas.

Boys were not alone in their accomplishments. The Crusaders girls also finished as State Runners-Up in the 4x800M relay with a 10:11 time and set the school record in the process. That relay team included Rachel Johnson, Emma Stanley, Maddy Lyons, and Shea Giblin. Rachel Johnson also set the girls school record for the 1600M run with an amazing 5:31 time.
Northwest Christian, RightNow Media is Your Virtual, Video Yearbook of 2020/2021--all FREE of charge

Imagine reliving key, memorable moments from the unforgettable 2020/2021 school year--all free of charge and via your phone, smart television, desktop computer, or tablet. RightNow Media is the Netflix of Bible studies and family-friendly movies and children's programming. It's also the home to a huge amount of video-based Northwest Christian content from the 2020/2021 school year. On Northwest Christian School's RightNow Media page, available at this link, you can enjoy chapels, concerts, senior graduation, eighth grade promotion, Crusader's Got Talent, missions trips, and so much more.

And, we are excited to announce, that beginning Friday, May 21st, the NCS RightNow Media page is providing access to the NXNW 2021 student film--"Do-Gooders".

Senior Ty Howry Signs with NCAA Div-I Witchita State University to Play Baseball

After a whirlwind of Covid-19 complications--cancellation of the spring 2020 season and postponement of the 2021 season--Northwest Christian senior pitcher Ty Howry signed with NCAA Division I powerhouse Wichita State University. Ty's father, Bobby Howry, serves as the coach of the varsity Crusader baseball team and also enjoys a storied history in baseball. "Ty is a solid competitor," says athletic director David Inness, "but more significant than that is the fact that Ty is a Jesus-first, solid young man. I am excited to see where the Lord takes him!" The story of the Howry family was the subject of a recent Arizona Family media report--you can enjoy that here.
Northwest Christian Alumni Brady Lorenz Graduates from US Naval Academy, Begins Naval Flight School

On May 28th, class of 2015 alum Brady Lorenz will graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. From there, Lorenz will be moving to Pensacola, Florida where he has been accepted into the U.S. Navy flight school program. He finishes U.S. Naval Academy as an accomplished graduate. During his time there, he won the title of 'Heavy Weight Champion' boxer for the class of 2021, served as the Battalion Alcohol and Drugs Education Officer, was an instructor for weapons qualification, and was featured on the cover of the Annapolis Capital Gazette on May 7, 2021 for his contributions to the U.S. Naval Academy through his Academy Capstone Project.
Senior Joseph Buselmeier Commits to West Point US Military Academy

Joseph Buselmeier's friends call him "Jo Jo"--that is when they see him. Driven with an epic work ethic, most of the time that he has for his buddies is on Saturday. He is at the gymnastics training center at 6:30am each morning, in school from 8:00am to 3:00pm, back in the gym from 3:00pm to 7:00pm, and then working into the night on homework--for mostly honors classes. And, Sunday mornings and evenings find Jo Jo serving at church. But, hard work pays off. Buselmeier will graduate this year as Co-Valedictorian before heading off to study pre-med at West Point US Military Academy in West Point, New York. But, Jo Jo's success has not just been academic--as a gymnast, he will be competing while at West Point with a shot at the U.S. Olympic team.
Northwest Christian Mini-Crusaders Demonstrate God's Word is For All Ages

Realizing the power of God's word at all ages! The Mini-Crusaders are Northwest Christian's youngest Early Education students and in this video they present an impressive, inspiring, and highly chaotic recitation of Jeremiah 29:11.
At All Grade Levels, Student-Led Worship is NCS Mainstay

Despite the Covid-driven challenges associated with large-group chapels this school year, Crusader faculty and families worked together to make certain that student led worship would remain a priority and a sustained opportunity for students at all grade levels: elementary, middle school, and high school.

In the elementary grades, facilitated by Crusader parent volunteer Julie Barrett, students have the chance to participate in "Chapel Cherubs"--a group which practices worship, singing, and choreography after school and then leads worship in elementary chapels every few weeks (see picture above). In the middle school and high school, worship is directed by campus spiritual formation coordinator Chris "Mr. G" Gardiner and Melissa McGuire, the high school choir instructor who also teaches a middle school worship elective. Recently, the two groups--the middle school worship elective and the high school worship team--joined together to record their version of the worship song "Graves into Gardens".
NCS Staffer Chelsi Johnson Departs for the Mission Field this Summer

A graduate of Faith Baptist Bible College, Chelsi Johnson has served in several key support positions around the school for the past few years. Initially, she joined the staff an instructional and duty aide for Northwest Christian's first and second grade classrooms. During that time, she was a favorite around campus for an aspect of recess: she would frequently grab her guitar and roam throughout recess, leading the students in praise and worship choruses. Most recently, she has been serving in a media development position for NCS Online. Prior to her time at Northwest Christian, she served for seven years as an employee and volunteer within church children's ministry positions. "I started to notice in college," explains Chelsi, "that God had given me a drive towards children's ministry. Then, during a missions trip in September 2016, as I was sitting and interacting with students within a community of refugees, I felt God calling me to this very purpose."

But, Chelsi's grandest adventure is in front of her. After the nearly two years of raising support, this summer she will be leaving for Spain to help develop an early education program for the children of North African refugees. She will be serving alongside another Crusader family, Sean and Ruthann Cross, who have been serving similarly in Spain since February 2019.
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