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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,


As we prepare this month's edition of the Spotlight newsletter, I've just returned from four days in Imuris, Sonora as part of an 8th grade missions trip.  We had over twenty amazing students on the trip to the Kids Kingdom orphanage where we've been serving as a school for almost four years now.  Our students were so impressive as they jumped right in to work projects, games, and church services with the orphans.  I could not have been more impressed.  For these students, and the entire NCS community of students, there's one thing I've been praying for since I have returned. 


I'm praying that our students don't come to think of "missions" as something they do, a trip they take, or a couple of weeks in the summer.  By God's loving design, "missions" is something far grander and greater than that and my earnest prayer is that Northwest Christian students come to understand that.


When we understand who Jesus is, fully believing what God's word says about who we are and what it teaches about the lost and the poor, we are changed.  In II Cor. 5, Paul says we become "new creations".  In a sense, our very spiritual DNA and our very make-up changes as "old things pass away and, behold, all things become new."  We begin to understand that missions isn't something we do.  Rather, missions is who we are.  We begin to realize that every one of us is mission-critical in God's plan and that He's uniquely invested within us gifts, talents, and desires that He has designed for us to use in fulfillment of that mission.  Whether our young people love choir, athletics, writing, art, technology, cheer,  etc., those interests, talents, and abilities have been planted in their hearts and minds to be developed to accomplish His ends and glorify His name.  Our kids will never know greater joy than taking those talents and abilities and putting them on the altar of His purposes for their lives.


So, this month, as you read through the Spotlight, highlighting all of the great things our students are involved in and the opportunities they have, please join me in prayer.  Pray with me that classes, teams, clubs, etc. at NCS aren't simply classes, teams, and clubs.  Please pray that within these opportunities, they are learning who they are and discovering God's mission for their lives. 


Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,


Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)

Northwest Christian Senior Sam Markel Named Finalist for National Merit Scholarship 

The honor places Sam in the top 1% of students in the nation


The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)--a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year--and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.


Of the 1.5 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (critical reading + mathematics + writing skills scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. In September, these high scorers are notified through their schools that they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist.


In February of each year,15,000 National Merit Semifinalists are notified by mail that they have advanced to Finalist standing. High school principals are notified and provided with a certificate to present to each Finalist.  These Finalists represent the students in the top 1% tier of performance nationally.


Northwest Christian High School is excited to announce that senior Sam Markel has been recognized as a National Merit Finalist and will learn in the next eight weeks if he's earned the distinction of National Merit Scholar.  As exciting as that looming prospect may be, Sam is about to be inundated with scholarship offers from many universities who offer full-ride scholarships to Finalists.  That consideration aside, Sam says he has already made up his mind:  next year will find him studying at the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University.  His desire is to pursue a degree in business law.  

Generous Sponsors of the Northwest Christian Athletes

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Northwest Christian Cheer Teams Land Some Big Wins

Varsity cheerleaders three-peat as State Champs while middle school cheer team wins a high school competition


For the third year in a row, under the direction of cheer coach Dani Behrens, the Northwest Christian High School varsity cheer squad has won the Divison III Arizona Interscholastic Association State Championship.  In competitions held at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley on January 24th, the Northwest Christian squad took 2nd in the five-man stunt competition, 2nd in the pom competition, and 2nd in 'Show Cheer'.  Overall, the girls earned the 1st place spot for the Div. III trophy.  "These cheerleaders may be the hardest working athletes on the campus," says high school athletic director David Inness.  "And, their hard work has paid off now for three consecutive years.  We were stunned when they won last year--a 'rebuilding' year.  This year, we're just blown away.  And, so proud!"


But the good news for the Northwest Christian cheer program didn't end there as that winning streaks continued at the middle school level as well.


Middle School cheer coach Debbie Webb and her squad completed the first of their 3 annual cheer competitions recently:  the 11th annual "Spring it On" cheer championships.  Having won the competition last year, the team agreed as a squad to be challenged by entering the Junior Varsity High School division at this year's contest. Competing against mostly public high school JV programs, the middle school team took 1st place in both 'Show Cheer' and 'All Girl Stunt', earning the 1st place trophy for the competition.

Above: Coach Webb is mobbed by her team after learning that they have won
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Northwest Community Church presents...
Northwest Community Church Father Son Wiffle Ball Tourney
Play ball! Northwest Community Church is bringing fathers and sons together for an exciting sporting event. The morning will start with a delicious breakfast followed by a brief message from Ben Zobrist of the Oakland A's. Afterwards, the games will begin! This event will be an absolute blast, complete with winner's brackets, prizes,    t-shirts, and a chance for autographs with Ben. The breakfast is open to all fathers and sons who would like to attend; however, the tournament is limited to 200 participants. If you know a young man without a dad who might enjoy this event and you want to adopt him for a day, feel free.

WHO: Fathers and sons (no one is too young or too old!)

DATE: Saturday, February 21

TIME: 8 am - 1 pm

LOCATION: Northwest Community Church

COST: Free!  However, you must register by February 18. 


For more information or to register, visit the following link:


NCC Wiffle Ball Tournament

Northwest Christian's Annual Online Parent Survey Fuels the School's Continuous Improvement Efforts  

Online parent survey 121212
NCS prepares to launch fifth annual parent survey           

For the fifth year in a row, Northwest Christian is preparing to launch its annual online parents survey.  "I feel like these five years have been years of such growth and change for the school," says superintendent Geoff Brown.  "And, a big impetus for that growth and change has been our prayerful approach to the meaningful feedback that our parents provide through these surveys."


The survey will launch on Tuesday, February 17th and run for two consecutive weeks, ending on Monday, March 2nd.  "Typically," explains Geoff, "we have done these surveys in December.  And while we have been blessed to see just over 30% of parents participate, this year we pushed the survey back to February, and away from the very busy month of December, in an effort to drive some additional participation."  The opportunity to participate in the survey will come in the form of a link that will be sent to each of the email addresses that NCS parents have registered with the school.  "I would love to see close to 50% of our parents participate," says Geoff.  "I feel like that would give us a real solid grasp of the issues and priorities that our parent community identifies as we prayerfully move the school forward."


While the parent survey is an annual effort, every other year the school also sponsors a student survey for 3rd through 12th grade students.  The information culled from the student survey, scheduled for late February/early March depending on the grade level, is very influential as administrators make plans for the coming year throughout the spring and summer.


The surveys are completely anonymous and the results are used as part of the school's strategic planning and continuous improvement processes.  "In addition," explains Geoff, "we annually track over one hundred streams of data regarding school performance and culture for these same purposes.  We share this data with everyone annually within the organization.  Every individual who plays a role in the fulfillment of our mission, sees this information and we talk through how best to tackle the opportunities we derive from the information.  I also share the results of these surveys and the data tracking with parents at the beginning of each school year in one of our 'Coffees with the Principals'."

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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Northwest Christian Gears Up for Read Across America Week

Theme this year is "If You Give a Pig a Pancake"


Students and teachers alike relish the approach of "Read Across America" week each year at NCS as that the week has developed some pretty fun traditions.  Started in May of 1997 and aligned annually with the birthday of favorite children's author Dr. Seuss, the week is designed to promote student passion for reading.  Each year at NCS, the week accompanies a challenge within the elementary school to read a certain number of minutes throughout the week.  This year, that week is February 23rd through 27th.  Teachers and administration work together to choose a theme for the week and the theme chosen for the week is "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" by Laura Numeroff.  The stakes are as high as ever for the annual challenge associated with the reading goal for the week.

For the Friday, February 27th, week-ending assembly, the school is bringing in a couple of huge pot-bellied pigs.  At each grade-level, whatever class reads the most minutes throughout the week, the teacher for that class will have to kiss the pig.  In addition, if the elementary as a whole hits their total reading goal for the week (60,000 minutes), school superintendent Geoff Brown will be turned into a massive pancake and the students within each class who read the most minutes will have the opportunity to cover that pancake with gallons of maple syrup, flour, milk, breakfast cereal and the like.


More information on this fun week and reading logs will be coming home within the elementary school shortly.

Jog-a-thon 2015 Focuses on Campus Security and Classroom Technology
Annual fundraiser can improve NCS student experience significantly 


The annual Jog-a-thon fundraising effort is in full swing around the campus as student bring in flyers and prepare for an afternoon of jogging and fun on Friday, March 6th.  "Because the school operates on a black budget before fundraising," explains superintendent Geoff Brown, "the Jog-a-thon is poised to really move the needle in terms of improving student experience around the school.  This year, for example, in the preschool, we're focusing on playground feature.  In the elementary and middle school, the emphasis is on campus security and classroom technology.  Within the high school, we're focused on technology and security but we're also taking a larger percentage and applying those funds to student service and missions opportunities."  Geoff explains the service commitment within Jog-a-thon this way:  "We take 10% of the net and apply it to service learning initiatives across the grade levels.  We like doing it this way so that through the school year, when our students focus on service, it's hands-on service we're talking about because the requisite funding has already been provided."


In terms of campus security, the focus this summer will be on video cameras.  "We're working to identify surveillance strategies that will enable us to really monitor the campus perimeter," says Geoff.  "As well, as part of a strategy that is taking multiple years due to the scope of the project, we're working to see the campus fenced completely.  I'm praying for a robust Jog-a-thon 2015 so we can take steps forward with both these projects."


After several years of significant growth to the NCS technology profile, Jog-a-thon 2015 is focusing on outfitting the balance of elementary classrooms with additional digital media tools that will include projectors, Apple TVs, and the like.


For more information on Jog-a-thon, or for an opportunity to give, please visit the following link...


Jog-a-thon 2015

Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Experience the American Revolution!

 Presented by We Make History, the Phoenix Liberty Festival is an educational celebration of American History for all ages, focused entirely on the War for Independence and the struggle for liberty.

The festival includes:  battle reenactments, fashion, crafts, historic medical practices, training with wooden muskets and meeting historic characters.  The Liberty Festival is organized by Christians with a passion for clean, family-friendly educational opportunities.
WHEN: February 21st, 11:00am to 3:30pm
WHERE:  Northwest Christian School at
16401 N. 43rd Ave. in Phoenix

COST:  NCS advance special of only $6 per pass (half price) if ordered by Feb. 14th. Ages 3 and under are free and do not need a pass. 
To participate, please send a check made out to We Make History for $6 per person attending along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and your email address* and mail to
We Make History
P.O. Box 1776
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
We will send you your passes by mail.
*We will also email you detailed info so it is important that we receive your email address!

Alternately you may use this PayPal link to order by credit card at a rate of $6.50 per pass., 
Please note: We are always looking for historic volunteers we can train and outfit for living history as well as volunteers in modern clothing to serve in various capacities at the event. Contact us at
Crusader Wrestling Posts Best Season to Date
Six Crusader wrestlers in contention for state titles

"This was our best wrestling finish ever as a school," exudes high school principal Josh Schlesinger.  In section competition, in the fourth year under varsity coach Jim James and assistant Gus Rubio, six different Crusader wrestlers qualified for state competitions.  Brothers Nick and Nate Brown and Ben McGriff each placed first in their respective weight classes, winning their sections.  Additionally, Logan Young took second and both Jeremy Kaiser and George James placed third.  All six will be headed to Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley on February 12th for the state tourney.


Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Trina Nevrla   480-378-7300
Parenting Conference with Paul David Tripp
March 27-28, 2015
Trinity Bible Church
3420 W. Peoria Ave.
Learn how to become an instrument of heart-changing grace in the lives of children 0-18.
Register at:
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Shine Dentistry
iPad and iPhone Repair

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Barton Pure Pools 

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Free NCS Bumper Sticker!

Show your school spirit!
Please present this coupon in the school office to receive a complimentary NCS bumper sticker. 
Limit one per family.
Offer Expires: Offer available while current supplies last.
February 13, 2015
Vol. 5, Issue 5

II Thessalonians 1:3

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

Big Boys on Campus

The Monthly NCS Men's Prayer Breakfast

NCHS Adventure Cru

1Mission Trip

Big O Tires

is a generous NCS Athletics

Arizona Christian


Colorado Christian University

Grand Canyon University

Follow NCS on Twitter
New Early Ed Class and Infant Care

National League of Junior Cotillions

Box Tops for Education
NCS International Student Program
NCS Purple Pages



You are invited!

Valley West Women's Bible Study

Moms in Prayer
Built on the Rock Foundation


a NCS service learning partner

The Place 

is a generous NCS Fine Arts Sponsor

State Tuition Tax Credit Opportunity
Extra Love T-shirts