Archive for May, 2015

HCA’s Pillars

by Sarah Matlock, Secondary Science

For nearly 10 years, Doug and I were full supporters of our public school system. Our three oldest daughters started out there, and from California to Colorado, we had experienced the gamut. However, as our kiddos grew, we both knew that we wanted an alternative path for the middle school and high school years. Working in the system, I saw firsthand the struggles students faced, the red-tape for teachers, and the ever-growing absence of tolerance for Christ. Although private school did not seem like a financially viable option, we felt led to check into Heritage for our oldest daughter’s 8th grade year. From our very first tour of the school, it was clear to us that Heritage was so incredibly different than what we had ever known. HCA stands on three pillars which truly shape the heart and soul of the school: academic excellence, nurturing environment, and authentic faith.

Many schools in northern Colorado can claim academic excellence. In fact, Liberty Common is quickly becoming the top dog for college prep! With the popularity of charter schools and parents’ school of choice options, the competition for academic excellence is often the driving force for selecting the “perfect” school. HCA absolutely has a rigorous curriculum, and through intense focuses on science, English, and math, students are more than ready for the demands of college. So what makes Heritage different? The Gospel is ingrained in every subject, every lesson plan, and in every classroom. Why does this make a DIFFERENCE? Let’s look at the origin of life for an example. The theory of evolution, specifically as it relates to the evolution of species, is a counterclaim to the need for our Creator. The limited scientific data does little to authenticate its viability; however, it is embedded in all aspects of secular scientific teachings. HCA students are provided with the tools to identify theory-based reasoning and are able to identify the holes within these theories. The pursuit of TRUTH is what makes HCA distinctly excellent. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. I Corinthians 3:19; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Many years ago, I served as the Enrichment Coordinator for a local elementary school. There was one particular student who consistently left his homework at home and was never prepared for class. (Insert chuckle from all teachers at HCA who have had my little ones.) I distinctly remember his teacher declaring, “It is not my job to parent this child!” This idea has crept into public education over the past decade, leaving teachers powerless and unable to mentor students through some of the toughest of times. HCA strongly believes in the power of discipleship and shepherding, using every opportunity to speak in to the hearts and minds of our youth. Kids spend the majority of their time in the confines of a school. The teachers at Heritage embrace the concept that they must be more than simply educators; they are counselors, parents, mentors, mediators, disciples, and friends. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

If we were to have a hierarchy of pillars, authentic faith would be the cornerstone. This faith sanctifies the school and provides a place free from MANY of the atrocities that plague our youth today. Although our students still face struggles, there is a common denominator in every family, in every home, and in all teachers: there is power in the name of Jesus.   Above all other reasons, this pillar was the deciding factor for my children. For what is more important for our children than for them to know and love the Lord? Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

I am not a weepy person, but the first time I subbed at Heritage I cried. I was so thankful that the Lord had enabled us to bring our oldest there and to be working in a place where Christ was LIVING. After that first year, I told Doug that all four of our children needed to be there. By Christ’s amazing grace, that very next year, they all were. At the end of the day, what makes Heritage so different, so unique, is the presence of our Savior. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11

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Reflections on Graduation

by Isaac Bowen, HCA Valedictorian

Ecclesiastes says, “there is a time to weep and a time to laugh.” On the night I graduate, I will be doing a little bit of both.

You see, when I depart from Heritage on the night of May 22nd, 2015, I will be leaving a lifetime of memories behind. 13 years worth of memories, in fact.

A lot can happen in 13 years. Between kindergarten and seniorhood (seniorness? Senioricity?) I have witnessed 3 presidential campaigns (along with at least a billion political ads), the rise and fall and rise of terrorist organizations, the conception of a dozen prime time musical competition reality TV shows, and the movement of Jeopardy from channel 7 to Fox 31. These are earth shattering developments indeed, to say nothing of the gradual extinction of VCR tapes.

A lot happened personally in the last 13 years as well. I have formed friendships that will actually last a lifetime. I have grown and matured. I have learned, although if I had been aware in kindergarten that they were only teaching me the alphabet so that they could eventually stick me with an assignment like the Senior Thesis about a decade down the road, I might have been more wary about my education. I have learned about myself, discovered what makes me strong, what makes me weak, and what spiritual gifts I bring to the table. My faith has become a real, living thing, even if it does struggle from time to time. I have moved from simply knowing many of the answers about God to desiring to know the God who knows all answers Himself.

What do all these experiences have in common? They all center around my time at Heritage. In 13 years, I have witnessed classmates, teachers, and even buildings come and go. Despite the changes, much remains the same. I can count on my faith to grow and be challenged every day I walk in Heritage’s hallways. I can count on seeing a friendly face in every hallway and every room. I can count on being constantly loved, accepted, and approved of, idiosyncrasies and all. I can count on teasing some of my teachers, sometimes almost mercilessly, and garnering their laughter instead of a detention.

You see, when you have gone to the same school for 13 years, the school becomes as much a part of you as you were once a part of it. In a different school setting, that development could prove to be a curse. But because Heritage has become an integral part of who I am, I consider myself blessed.

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The Answer to the Question

by Denise Pogue, 4th Grade Teacher

The question being asked in schools at this time of year is: What are you doing this summer? When I was in elementary school, my answer was always: Reading all the books I can. Weekly, I would go to the library and check out the maximum number of books allowed and take them home. I would mainly choose biographies and mysteries. During the hot, humid Missouri summers, I would read in front of a fan eating a popsicle or a dill pickle, read while floating in our wading pool, or read at bedtime with a flashlight until I fell asleep. Then I would return the next week to the library for my next batch of books. That was the perfect summer for me.

Recently, I read a post about the Rocky Mountain Land Library located in South Park, Colorado. It is the dream of two Tattered Cover employees who have collected a library of 32,000 books to be used by book lovers in a spectacular setting. They are in the process of rehabilitating old buildings on the historic Buffalo Peaks Ranch for book lovers to spend time in while pursuing their passion. I hope in the future this is where I might spend some time during the summer. It would be a dream come true.

Now I am a teacher, not a student. When I’m asked what I am doing this summer, what will I say? I’ll be reading all the books I can. I’ll be reading with the morning sun and my first cup of coffee. I’ll be reading princess books with my granddaughter in the hammock. I’ll be reading in bed until I either finish the book or fall asleep. It will be the perfect summer.

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A Mom’s Balancing Act

by Brooklyn Matlock, HCA Junior

My extroverted mom lives a busy life, constantly exhibiting a “can do it all” attitude. Willing to do whatever necessary for the betterment of her family, my mom remains actively and confidently involved in my life and in the lives of those around her.

Since I was young, I have watched my mom take on a wide variety of occupations which required much of her time and energy. At different times in her life, my mom waited tables, ran a certified in-home daycare, worked at the local Mother’s Day Out, volunteered hours at her daughters’ school, went to CSU full time in order to obtain a Master’s Degree in Equine Science, and coached middle school track and taught science at Heritage Christian Academy. This inadequate list is my weak attempt to show how diverse and demanding my mom’s life has been.

The most impressive task my mom has triumphed was successfully raising and nurturing a family of four daughters even with her eventful life outside of the home. This “can do it all” attitude has showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to do. Emphasizing the importance of helping others, my mom has taught me to do all that I can for the glory of God and the furthering of His kingdom. Consequently, I have become heavily committed to any opportunity set before me, just as she has done for as long as I can remember.

I have always been an introvert, but my mom is obviously a self-assured extrovert. Her influence has taught me how to interact with people in a positive and efficient way while remaining true to myself. This has helped me become more confident in who I am and what I believe, allowing me to easily show others the light of God’s love.

Building an open and healthy relationship with my mom has allowed me to learn, grow, and trust in her steady guidance. Because I know that my mom will always be there to support me in my times of need, I have come to want to support her and anyone else in need of encouragement. This love for others has brought many opportunities for both my mom and me to lead others towards God’s perfect peace.

Her heavy contribution to my spiritual foundation has trained me to value honesty, respect, patience, and authenticity of character. These traits have helped me navigate the entrapments of high school, in addition to building strong relationships with both peers and authority figures.

Easily, the most important thing my mom has done to inspire confidence in my life is embracing the fact that none of us are perfect. My mom has always loved me for who I am, no matter how many times I have messed up or upset her. She has never made me feel pressured to live up to unrealistic standards. No matter what happens, I know that my mom will love me and support me. This has showed me how to treat others, and it has given me a glimpse of God’s unconditional and unfailing love for me. My mom is awesome.

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