Developing Future Teachers at HCA

by Emily Weant, HCA Senior

My sophomore year of high school, I began an adventure that would ultimately help me realize what exactly God has created me to do. With the help of Dr. Loyd, I became a Teacher’s Aide in the Heritage Kindergarten classroom.

It started out simply where I was just helping Mrs. Auch by copying papers or helping a kindergartener spell out a word they didn’t know. As time went on, I was given more and more responsibility. Now that I am a senior, when I go to help, Mrs. Auch sends them out into the hallway so we can work one on one.

Last year, the students and I worked together reading through a series of books meant to gradually teach them to read long sentences through blending the words, rather than picking apart each letter, hoping it sounds right.  I am currently working in the classroom a couple days a week. Right now, we are learning other names for first and second vowel sounds, such as long and short.

Both Dr. Loyd and Mrs. Auch have been tremendous gifts in my life. By allowing me to work as an aide in the classroom, they have helped me further develop the teaching abilities that God has blessed me with. Thanks to this wonderful opportunity, when I go off to college in the fall, I am now absolutely positive that teaching is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.



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A Heart Changed

by Abigail Kress, 1st Grade Teacher

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. – Colossians 2:13

This year in first grade we’ve learned a lot about what it means for God to spiritually revive us. When it came time for first grade to host chapel, we decided to put on a play and act out the story of Saul on the road to Damascus. We discussed how Saul, and every one of us, is born spiritually dead because of our sinful nature… but because God loves us so much, He sent Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, to the cross as payment for our sins. When we become Christ-followers, we are made alive again with Christ and in Christ.

Throughout the past year, we’ve talked about how when God changes our hearts, we begin to act more and more like Jesus. God can use anyone he revives in incredible ways just like he used Saul (who would eventually become Paul) in many awesome ways. We know that there is no age-requirement to be used by God for His glory and His kingdom here on earth – God can use first graders just as he uses adults!


Here are some things we’ve learned after studying the story of Saul’s spiritual transformation while on the road to Damascus…

  • God can change anyone’s heart. If he can change Saul’s heart, he can change anyone’s heart and revive anyone. –Emmitt
  • Both Saul and the King of Egypt started out the same because they hated God. Saul hated the people who loved Jesus. The King of Egypt hated the people who loved God. But Saul is different than the King of Egypt because God changed Saul’s heart and Saul did lots of wonderful things for Jesus. There’s a big difference between those two now. –Robbie
  • When we see people who are being mean and definitely don’t have Jesus in their hearts, we can tell them about Jesus. Jesus can change their hearts too. – Joey
  • We should pray for people who don’t know Jesus. We can ask God to please change their hearts so they don’t do really bad things anymore. Jesus changed Saul’s heart so he didn’t do really bad things anymore either. –Taylor
  • We can read our Bible to our friends who don’t believe in Jesus because it would tell them how God can change their heart just like He changed mine. We can be missionaries too just like Saul would become a missionary! –Sage
  • If we tell more people about Jesus, they will love Him more and more. –Elly

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Senior Thesis Presentations at HCA

by Patricia Hahn

Well, the moaning and groaning from the Senior class is just about to come to an end.  We are nearing the completion of the Senior Thesis Project.  If you are not familiar with this requirement of the secondary curriculum, grab a senior and they will gladly the share the joys and the sorrows of this challenging assignment.

The first part of the project is a 15 – 20 page paper on a local, national or international issue of a controversial nature.  Students pick their topic in early fall and spend the first semester researching and writing a rough draft.  Along the way there are smaller deadlines to keep them on task and to avoid procrastination.  In Rhetoric class, research, note taking and writing skills are reinforced with their final written copy due at the end of February.

At the turn in day of their paper, a breakfast is held for both the Seniors and their parents to recognize and celebrate the hard work that has gone in to fulfilling this first portion.  Because of the scope and length of the project, we understand that parents become a vital part in the completion of this assignment.

The final aspect of the project is an oral presentation of their paper given to a panel of four teachers.  Serving on the panel this year are Dr. Loyd, Mrs. Balderson, Mr. Martin and Mrs. Hahn. Students will speak for about 15 – 20 minutes followed by a question and answer session from the panel.  If time permits, questions from the audience are encouraged.

Along with the parents, families from the school are encouraged to attend.  The presentations are held in the lyceum each morning Monday – Thursday the week of April 18th.  You will find the speeches quite interesting and informative on a variety of relevant topics.  Please check out the schedule below to see if any of our topics this year my pique your interest. It is an opportunity to see our graduating Seniors, pull together a variety of academic skills in a formal presentation that will challenge them to reach a standard of excellence.

If you have any questions please contact the school office, and we hope to see you at one of the presentations. And if you happen to run into any of the Seniors in the next week or two, let them know that there is a light at the end of their tunnel!

2016 Senior Thesis Presentation Schedule

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Puppets Bring God’s Word Alive

by Nancy Chambers, 5th Grade Teacher

Puppets are just plain fun!!!  And they can be used to teach both the audience and the puppeteer!  For over 20 years the Heritage Christian 5th grade class has been writing and performing puppet plays.  This valuable learning experience teaches many things, and is an excellent way to present God’s Word to various audiences.  For the past several years they have performed for pre-K through grade 4, for their families, and for Oakridge Assisted Living residents.  I would like to convey the value of this experience for the students with this article.

Mrs. Cheryl Dillon started this unit when she was teaching at Heritage, and I quickly saw how wonderful it would be to continue this tradition after she retired.  It includes these steps:

  • The students read plays, and learn the components of a play.
  • Parent volunteers facilitate the students working in small groups to write the plays.  They are instructed that the play must revolve around a Biblical principle and verse.
  • Parent volunteers assist the students in making elaborate sock puppets.
  • The students practice and refine the plays.
  • They design play programs.
  • They do 4 different performances.
  • Evaluation

Some of the values noted by a parent as well of the students:

One parent, Arlene Samuelson commented, “Being the creative/design type, I’ve always helped with the making of the puppets with my 3 previous children.  In my still developing way of knowing how God works, I was focused on how my talent will bless others.  My schedule this year only allowed me to be available for the volunteer position needed in the writing phase.  So there I was…helping the kids write a play!  And wow was I blessed!  I witnessed The Holy Spirit move in these girls in a mighty way to collaborate on an idea, to focus on the school theme of ‘revive’, and create characters to bring their ideas to life!  I didn’t have to be a ‘writer’ to help!  It was fun to rely on Him in this writing process and then be revived by Him through it.  I love how God uses those who just say ‘Here I am’ however ill equipped we may feel.  I encourage any parent who has opportunity to volunteer in their child’s class, fundraiser, or event, to do so.  You will get more than you came to give.  I was truly revived in this one volunteer interaction with my daughter and her classmates.”

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Some students commented:

On things learned- “You have to work heartily for the Lord, and He will reward you. I learned that revive is to be on fire for Christ.  If I was a missionary, I could REVIVE people to help more people be on fire for Christ.

“One thing that I learned was if you work together, you can do awesome and amazing things. I learned that anyone can be revived, and I wish I could revive more people.”

“I learned that I should pray when I am scared or stressed.”

“We gave a revival in sharing God’s Word about faith.  I want to keep reviving in God.”

“I learned that all people can change and that fear is just a reason to try harder.”

“I learned I need to be bold about my faith, and maybe more.”  In giving out God’s truth, she said, “It showed how and why you do need to really stand up for yourself and God.”

When asked what was the most rewarding thing about the plays, a student commented, “That we glorified God with them and that God was pleased.”

This year’s principles the students chose included:

“People’s hearts can be changed.  God can bring revival to everyone and everything.”

“Prayer brings revival when things look bad.”

“When the Lord is in our hearts, we are free with Him.”

“Faith in God and prayer is all we need to get through this crazy life.”

Some of my objectives were:

  • To convey the theme of revival
  • To learn to turn to God with life’s problems
  • To see the value of prayer and living out one’s faith
  • The importance of witnessing
  • To draw Biblical principles and apply them to life
  • To give students the opportunity to be creative
  • Group cooperation, humility, and encouragement
  • To integrate language, drama, Bible and art
  • To teach Biblical worldview
  • To utilize Scripture and for many years, retell a Bible story

There is no doubt, this unit is one of the highlights of 5th grade.  It is truly a valuable learning experience in writing, acting, and bringing God’s Word alive in a fun way.  Many students will keep their puppets for years, with fond memories, and hopefully see how their play deepened their faith and was opportunity to be a witness for Christ.

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The Resurrection and You

by Kevin McGinley, HCA Athletic Director & Pastor of SouthGate Church

There are two words in the Easter story that are often missed or overlooked. Two words that were life-changing for the person they were meant for on that first Resurrection Day. Two words that can also give each one of us tremendous hope, courage, and faith. Ready? Here they are: “and Peter.”

Doesn’t sound like much, but oh so significant! Those two little words personalized the power of the resurrection for the Apostle Peter, and for us. They are found only in the Gospel of Mark, as the angel of the Lord tells the women at the empty tomb that Jesus is risen from the dead:

“Go, tell His disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.”
Mark 16:7

What hope must have dawned in Peter’s heart when he was told of those words: “tell His disciples and Peter.” Think of it! Peter was completely distraught, in the depth of despair because he had denied he even knew Jesus. Then he witnessed Jesus brutally crucified and buried in the garden tomb. He had failed the Messiah when it mattered most, and all hope seemed lost.

But then the words, “and Peter.” Jesus was alive and wanted to fully redeem one of His closest followers who had abandoned Him at the time of His greatest need. It lets us know that Christ’s resurrection is for everyone – and for the one! Peter ran to the tomb that first Easter morning and saw the strips of linen that once were wrapped around Jesus’ crucified body and hope flowed back into his heart. Jesus later sought Peter out on the lake shore and, without any condemnation, restored Peter, asking him three times, “Peter, do you love Me?”

Full of the Holy Spirit, Peter was able to boldly proclaim the resurrection on the day of Pentecost: “God raised Jesus from the dead, because it is impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.” (Acts 2:24)

Now, put your name in the blank: “Go, tell His disciples and ______________.”
Allow the hope of the resurrection to flow into your heart. Know that Jesus can redeem your biggest mistakes and forgive your greatest sins. He’s alive! He’s alive in you!

reblogged from April 2, 2015

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Slammin’ Famine 2016

by Sarah Case

“Revive”, Heritage Christian Academy’s theme this year, from the book of Romans.  When the Holy Spirit is working in us, a revival happens and we respond by serving God and becoming part of His plan to build His kingdom.  Revive is defined by Webster’s dictionary as to return to life; to recover life or strength; to live anew.

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a nonprofit christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in both body and spirit.  I first learned about FMSC from a youth at our church who had packed meals previously for FMSC.  She convinced me that it was a fun event and impactful for learning to serve others.  During our first food pack for FMSC in the summer of 2014, I was amazed at the outpouring of love and excitement that went into packing each bag of rice, soy, vegetables and vitamins.  I remember after we packed the meals, they gathered our group together to pray over the box we packed.  Then they shared with us that these children often eat dirt biscuits which is a combination of dirt and rocks.  Parents feed these to their children because it fills their stomachs and helps them sleep.  This was impactful knowing that the food we packed was going straight from our hands into the hands of orphanages in over 70 countries to help starving children.  I cannot think of a better way to revive our own spirit and the spirit of those in need than to work together packing meals for children in need.  When we work together to accomplish an unselfish goal, the Holy Spirit moves in us, reviving us as well.

The second annual FMSC Slammin’ Famine packing event is scheduled for February 26th. Heritage Christian Academy’s kindergarten through 12th grade students will join NOCO Slammin’ Famine on February 26th from 12 to 2 p.m. to pack meals for the second straight year.  The Slammin’ Famine organization packs meals for “Feed My Starving Children” (FMSC) who in turn distribute meals throughout the world to those in need. The students will be packing meals consisting of rice, soy, vitamins and dehydrated vegetables.  These food packets are called MannaPack and refers to the spiritual food that was provided to the Israelites while they were wandering in the desert.

Students at Heritage reflected about the packing event and their remarks showed true of their hearts.

“I feel deeply enriched by Slammin’ Famine every time I attend because it gives me an insight into lives very different from my own and brings our school together in service.  This year will be especially fulfilling personally because our school theme of Anazao (revival) has been leading me to be more compassionate and caring towards others.” — Hannah

“I’m excited by the opportunity to serve with Slammin’ Famine.  It will allow me to reach out in a way I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.” — Jakob

“Serving God by serving others leaves my soul richly supplied.  It’s a great reminder that God provides, even by using the small things I do.” — Brooklyn

“Slammin’ Famine provides our school with an opportunity to unite and serve.  It has brought us closer together and opened our eyes to the reality of some peoples sufferings.  It is always enlightening to see pictures of those in need so it is a privilege to be able to actually serve the people we see pictures of.  This year, I have learned that to have true revival, we must first be broken.  To hear stories of people in these third world countries both informs us of their brokenness and breaks our hearts.  Slammin’ Famine is a great opportunity to start a spark for a revival in our hearts and in the hearts of those we are serving.” — Ashley

“It was fun last year and I look forward to doing it again this year.  It gives me a feeling of self-worth to be able to help an organization that helps those in need.” — Branden

“We get to have fun and hang out with friends while serving.  The event makes serving enjoyable!  By helping others, we can help revive them physically and spiritually.  By serving others it will help us get revived and closer to God.” — Tiffany

“Slammin’ Famine is a fun and engaging way for our student body to interact, but also to help those in need.  We as a body have the opportunity to interact with all grades and grow closer as a unit.  More importantly, we get to further God’s kingdom by reaching out to those in need.  I think that serving people sparks something inside our school and gets us closer to a revival.” — Luke

“Slammin’ Famine is an exhilarating and fulfilling event where the student body gets to interact and unite with one another.  All the while, we get to help others in need.  This event assists our revival by opening our eyes to the struggles that exist in the world, and allows us to realize how fortunate we are.  Through Slammin’ Famine, the student body grows closer because there is no better way to begin friendships than having a mutual goal of helping others.” — Emily

Preschool through 12th grade joined together to raise money for FMSC with “Penny Wars.”  The classes competed, each trying to raise money through pennies and add negative points to other classes with dollars and silver coins.  The “Penny Wars” lasted seven days and raised a total of $822.48.  Truly amazing!  It was inspiring to see an event pushed out by our high school student council and carried all the way through tiny hands in preschool.  All ages working together toward the common goal of feeding God’s children hungry in both body and spirit.  A true revival in the life of our students and well as those receiving the MannaPacks.

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Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

You may have noticed that lately it seems that kids are using gadgets younger and younger. Tablets are in everyone’s hands and cellphones grace the wish lists of children in elementary school. Teens communicate via a photo on Instagram and emojis on text, and every day someone comes up with the new “must have” app – Twitter, Snapchat, Whisper, YikYak, and the list goes on.

As a parent, how do you keep up with the ever-evolving list of what is safe and what isn’t? And how can you set up digital parameters that will keep your 10-year-old safe from certain sites, but allow your 16-year-old more freedom?

The first answer to those questions is to communicate. To set boundaries as a family, and to agree to honor those boundaries. But there are also tools you can utilize to assist you in protecting your children from the dark corners of the internet, because, as the memes say, what is seen cannot be unseen.

Enter a product from, of all companies, Disney. Circle Media has partnered with Disney to create a device that can help you keep your kids more accountable on the web: Circle with Disney ($99, available from Circle allows you to track where your kids are going, block sites you don’t want them to see, limit their screen time, and turn the internet off at night. It sets up easily by plugging into a power outlet (no wiring to your router necessary), and you can manage it from your smartphone.

And here is where Circle really shines: you can set up profiles for every member of your house, along with pre-set filter levels (pre-k, kid, teen, adult, or none). The Kid filter, for example, allows access to PBS and Club Penguin, while blocking YouTube. Teens get access to Instagram and Snapchat. And Circle can filter entire categories of sites, like online shopping and explicit content, and can also assign time limits to categories (like 30 minutes of YouTube or an hour of Minecraft). Circle also has an eight-hour battery life, so just unplugging it won’t set the house free from Circle’s limits.

Even more good news? Circle Go is due out later this year, and will be able to do the same thing with smartphones, even outside the home.

Teaching kids to make good choices definitely goes a long way when it comes to internet safety, but ensuring that not everything in the world that people put on the internet is delivered into your home is also another.

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