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BCHS Alumni, page four is all for you!

BAKERSFIELD CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL A Bakersfield Christian High School Community Publication



Volume 1


After BCHS won the state championship in volleyball, Charlene DeHoog was voted National Christian High School Player of the Year and Judy Rexroth was voted Coach of the Year. Our girls’ tennis team won the valley championship. Our cross country team sent three runners – Heidi McCutcheon, Mark McCutcheon, and David Albers – to the state finals and our football team finished with its best record, 4-6. Boys’ basketball made runner up in the valley and played in the first round of the state tournament. Girls’ soccer advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time. We started a wrestling program and placed 4th at the South Sequoia League Championships with Curtis Doyle and James Funk placing 2nd, and we advanced five wrestlers to the SSL Championships with Curtis Doyle finishing 6th.

Spring/Summer 2007

sights and sounds of excellence

BCHS Fine Arts program builds students’ minds, character and faith


ine Arts students at Bakersfield Christian High School find themselves in an enviable position. They are attending a school with a vision towards building a program that enhances students’ academic experiences through theater, music and other artistic forms. The result is, if you’ll excuse the pun, dramatic. Take the BCHS instrumental music program for example. For the second year in a row, 11 Bakersfield Christian High School music students have been selected to be counted among the musicians in the state’s prestigious California All-State Honor Bands. One BCHS student, Isaac Nacita, holds the honored First Chair position in the 2007 top state band (see story below). Ten other students are also in the all-state honor band. They are: Micah Nacita (clarinet), Jessica Chen (clarinet) David Stevens (tenor sax), Alicia Dill (base clarinet), Maddie Eicher (French

horn), Zack Clark (French horn), Michael McClain (euphonium), Nick Helms (trumpet), Mark Tomlinson (trumpet), and Mckenzie Camp (percussion). No other California school of any size—private or public—has had more students in these state-level Pirates and daughters surround Frederick the poor wandering one competitive bands in the during a rehearsal. last two years, according to for band members at festivals and Scott Cross, BCHS band director. competitions. “These are amazing accomplishThe BCHS Jazz Band, 15 students ments, especially for a school of our selected from the school’s 40-member size,” Cross said. “What this tells us is concert band, continues to win honors that BCHS allows our kids to practice, at such venues as the Fullerton Jazz take lessons, work hard and become moFestival, one of the nation’s top jazz tivated to do the best they can do with performance opportunities, according to the talents God has given them.” Cross. Every band student is required to take “Two years ago, our jazz band took a weekly private lesson to participate first place in the intermediate division in the BCHS program. This kind of See Fine Arts on page 2 attention to excellence is paying off

BCHS clarinetist Nacita sets professional goals


BCHS senior Isaac Nacita dreams of making it to the pros. But forget big-league baseball or the NFL. Nacita is setting his sights on the New York Philharmonic. The young clarinetist already has a healthy start on a hopeful berth in the nation’s oldest philharmonic orchestra, thanks to his being selected—for an unprecedented third time—as first chair clarinet in California’s All-State Honor Band. Nacita submitted to California judges a CD recording of his solo performance. The quality performance guaranteed him a place in the honor band last February.

When the city held the Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, the BCHS Jazz Band was asked to play for the See Applause on page 3

Six BCHS students took a trip to San Jose to the prestigious Harker School for the Harker Debate Tournament. Brice Ezell and Jacob Brudvig received the Octafinalist trophy in the Public Forum Debate for their debating into the elimination rounds.



It is the mission of Bakersfield Christian High School to prepare students for excellence in mind, body and spirit. In a variety of ways, BCHS students continue to demonstrate the achievement of that mission. The list below is a sample of the many successes our students have realized in the past semester. As you read through this impressive list, you come to understand that BCHS students hold their own amid larger local schools and against formidable opponents in many areas.


See Fine Arts–Nacita on page 2

Bakersfield Christian High School 12775 Stockdale Highway Bakersfield, CA 93314

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Permit 1199 Bakersfield, CA


BCHS Today

Third annual auction, BBQ raises $60,000 for BCHS Excitement was in the air Friday, March 23, at the Bakersfield Christian High School Third Annual Sports Auction and BBQ. You could feel the anticipation as 500 attendees circled the silent auction tables to lay claim to items they couldn’t live without. Among the treasures were desirable memorabilia representing the school’s athletic program. Items on the auction block included a spectacular hand-made quilt constructed of BCHS football jerseys, a Pocket Rocket mini motorcycle, vacation packages and a big-screen HDTV. An autographed volleyball signed by our very own Division V State Champions went to the winning bidder for $700. As the auctioneer closed the last bid of the evening, BCHS President Dan Cole suggested to Athletic Director Doug Barnett that we allow bidders to buy seats on the proposed new bus, adding $2,300 to the funds raised, making $60,000 the evening’s total. From the committee members to the sponsors, and through many generous donors, we reached our goal to provide Spirit Packs of sportspecific clothing for each student athlete, purchase a new school bus, and even benefit deserving students through our financial aid program. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the evening a success!

BCHS students Heather Haagsma and Charlene De Hoog enjoy a great BBQ prepared and served by Teen Challenge.

Annette De Hoog serves milk donated by Alta Dena.

Why belief matters

A seminar with Josh McDowell BCHS is proud to present “Why Belief Matters,” a threesession workshop for parents and adults led by international evangelist, pastor and author Josh McDowell. The exciting event will be held on campus April 23 from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door. McDowell’s presentation for parents is the second in a series of parent workshops at BCHS, Dan Cole, BCHS president said. A workshop last October featured Craig Gross, founder of who spoke about online purity, internet accountability, and “everything your child doesn’t want you to know about MySpace,” Cole said. “Holding workshops like these demonstrate our commitment to parents,” Cole said. “They are part of our BCHS strategic plan to be an asset to our community.”

Far Left: Band Director Scott Cross leads students during last year’s spring musical. Left: Students celebrate Christmas with a toast in one of the scenes from “A Christmas Carol” performed for the Fine Arts Festival December 9, 2006.

Calling all swashbucklers! Come buckle your swash and practice your “AAARRRGH!” as Bakersfield Christian High School presents the classic Gilbert and Sullivan musical “The Pirates of Penzance,” May 4 and 5 in the BCHS Sports Center. Tickets are $5 students, $8 adults, and $20 dinner and show and go on sale April 23. The Pirates of Penzance is the story of poor Frederick, who is about to become a full-fledged pirate even though he really wants to eradicate piracy. Trying to put the pirate’s life behind him, he falls in love with the daughter of a modern major general, convinces the local police to raid the pirate lair, and then discovers that a technicality will force him to be a pirate forever! How will it end? Set your sails for BCHS this May and discover a new horizon of mystery, music and fun!


Fine Arts at BCHS, from page 1 at Fullerton,” Cross said. “Last year we moved up to the advanced division and took second place. Our goal is to continue to improve.” The concert band is also a festival winner, placing first in last year’s Biola Band Festival. Both bands enjoy touring as a way to build unity and experience among band members. The 2007 BCHS band tour took student musicians to Sacramento, Lodi, Yuba City and Vacaville. “Tours help us grow as a group and bond,” Cross said. “It also allows other Christian schools to see a vision of what a great fine arts program can produce.” Instrumental musicians are only part of the BCHS Fine Arts program, of course. Student plays and musicals, like this spring’s “Pirates of Penzance” (see story at left) give other students an opportunity to shine. BCHS is also building a choral music program to create opportunities for student vocalists and is proudly training new artists, according to Marcia Manning, dean of academics and arts.

“Our art teachers are always looking for places to show our students’ work,” Manning said. “We offer Art I and II as well as Computer Animation and Advanced Placement Studio Art. These courses give students a holistic view of art including an understanding of art through the ages.” The standout feature of the Fine Arts program at BCHS, Manning said, is the faculty. “Each of our teachers is so invested in the program,” Manning explained. “From art to drama to vocal and instrumental music, they bring their expertise and talent and draw those things out of students.” Such a commitment to excellence in programming is backed at BCHS with excellent facilities and ancillary support. That’s why a new Fine Arts Center is in the planning stage to follow the campus Library/Media Center currently under construction. New facilities plus support staff make a world of difference, Scott Cross said.

“BCHS is committing funds to expand this program. The administration is supplying clerical support as well as three coaches to help teach, so instrumental music is expanding in that way,” Cross said. “I’ve got the biggest budget I’ve ever had in 23 years of teaching, and we’re buying top-notch instruments. Our program is a model of excellence.” That excellence is most clearly noticeable in the way it impacts students, according to Cross. “We have a bible study on Tuesdays at lunch and many students join in. They accept each other at whatever level they’re at. They’re humble in their spirit. They work hard in practice, and they want to do well at festivals. They see all of it as a reflection of their gift from God.” It’s a gift that benefits the entire student body as well as the whole community. All in all, one thing is clear: BCHS loves fine arts!

Fine Arts–Nacita claims state honor band record, from page 1 Earning the top spot in his section, however, was accomplished by blind audition. Nacita was one of about 75 clarinetists who performed one at a time behind a screen so judges would not be influenced by anything but each performer’s talent. Nacita has enough talent for a dozen musicians, but he doesn’t rest on that alone. “I practice six days a week for two to four hours a day,” Nacita said. According to Nacita, practice and talent are only part of the reason for his success. “I don’t think I could do half of what I’ve done if I didn’t have God to rely on,” said Nacita candidly. “It’s impossible to do this on my own. The odds are so against you. God

keeps me motivated to practice when the long practices are not the easiest thing to do.” Nacita will continue his education after graduation from BCHS, having already been accepted at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, part of New York’s University of Rochester. After that? Well, like any ambitious young man looking at the pros, Nacita has a game plan. “I’ll do studio work and freelance performance while I work my way to a professional orchestra,” he said. The exact path isn’t up to him, of course, and Nacita knows it. “I’ve been called by God to be a musician. Representing Christ through my music is the one of the most important things I can do.”

BCHS Today


Applause, from page 1 event. Isaac Nacita opened the breakfast by playing the Star Spangled Banner solo from the stage. It was an amazing opportunity for our school to participate. NNN

More than 500 students from over 20 high schools competed on Saturday, March 10th at the 36th annual Lee Webb Math Field Day. Bakersfield Christian High School did a great job at this competition. Computer Programming: Justin Kendrick took 2nd place. Team Medley (Varsity, Division B): Lainey Freels, Peter Grant and Larry Lawson took 3rd place. Team Medley (Junior Varsity, Division B): Chris Underhill, Westin Freels and Jessica Chen took 1st place. NNN

Eight BCHS students won first place in the Video Commercial category at the San Francisco Trade Fair held March 11 and 12, 2007. There were 167 schools that participated in the competition. NNN

The BCHS Boys’ Tennis team started their season off by winning first place in the Peach Tree Classic for Division II in early March and followed the victory by winning the Lynch Cup in mid-March. The team was undefeated throughout the tournament to secure the Lynch Cup for the year 2007. NNN

Aaron Cooke received a perfect score on the English portion of the SAT test. Arim Kwak earned a perfect score on the Math portion of the SAT test. Chris Underhill scored without a single error on all sections of the PLAN test. Aaron Cooke and Anna Czech have been named AP Scholars.

Hard work, excellence pay for National Merit Scholar Aaron Cooke Bakersfield Christian High School student Aaron Cooke has been awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship, according to Dan Cole, BCHS president. The award is based on a student’s outstanding academic record, skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies. More than 1.4 million juniors in nearly 21,000 high schools across the nation entered the 2007 National Merit Program by taking the 2005 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist and award winner, Cooke had to demonstrate an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirmed his earlier test performance. Cooke, 16, deflected any of the glory of the award. Instead, he commended his parents and his biology teacher, Frank Thiessen, for making the award possible. “Everyone around me has done so much more than I have,” Cooke said. “My parents and Mr. Thiessen pushed me to be all that I needed to be.” Frank Thiessen said Cooke deserves all the credit. “Aaron is an excellent student who works very hard,” Thiessen said. “He is very intelligent and thoughtful in everything he does. He has the kind of work ethic that will allow him to become whatever he wants to become in life.”

Cooke said that after graduating from BCHS this year, he plans to defer his college education to work with either the Red Cross or with a Catholic mission in Africa. “I’m interested in working there for a year to help people facing AIDS and poverty,” Cooke said. “These are among the world’s biggest issues. If I want to practice what I believe, then I should get over there and do something to help others.”

Dean of Academics, Marcia Manning looks on as Aaron studies.

Perfection is impossible except in Christ By Daniel H. Cole, BCHS President / Chief Administrator

Philippians 3:12 I don’t mean to say that I have already… reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. (New Living Translation)

If there is one thing often misunderstood about Christians, it’s that we aren’t perfect. People in our society somehow think that Christians don’t make mistakes or, at the very least, shouldn’t make mistakes. Unfortunately, that expectation falls far short of reality. Bakersfield Christian High School is a great school but not a perfect one. We don’t have perfect students, parents, administrators, board members, teachers or a perfect president. As a matter of fact, if you spend just 15 seconds with my wife,

BCHS growing again The combined sound of hammering and student footsteps is music to the ears of Bakersfield Christian High School Director of Admissions Debbie Camp. “BCHS enrollment is increasing and we’ve got to be ready for more students,” Camp said. Being “ready” means completing construction on the new Library/ Media Center now under way on the campus. This exciting new complex includes traditional library space, an amphitheater, a student tutoring center and additional classroom space. “The construction is moving at a fast pace, and that’s a good thing. We need the building and the classroom space,” Camp said. The new library is scheduled for completion in July. It won’t be a moment too soon, according to Camp.

as much as she loves and respects me, she’ll verify to you that I am far from perfect. There’s just no such thing as a perfect place, not even BCHS. Our lack of perfection at Bakersfield Christian High School, however, is balanced by our willingness to accept responsibility. The policies, by-laws and rules that govern our school bear out this truth. For example, because we are committed to providing a safe environment for our students, we expect students to avoid illegal substances and immoral behavior 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If students make poor choices, they will be expected to assume responsibility. The most serious cases may result in probation, suspension, independent study, and/or withdrawal. Great students sometimes make poor choices. At BCHS we are committed to taking the necessary

time to support BCHS parents and students in a loving and responsible way. To be a Christian means that there are expectations and consequences. The key is to deal with students’ mistakes in as kind and compassionate a way as possible without jeopardizing Godly expectations. When mistakes are made, we expect everyone involved to accept responsibility for their choices. Ultimately, our goal at Bakersfield Christian High School is to model for students the behavior God modeled for us: being honest, fair, kind, trustworthy and holding true to the values God created. While we struggle daily to live the life God designed for us, we must keep our eye on Christ. By pressing on, we are sure to possess the perfection He promised will be ours someday.

Yes, our family would like to help equip the new BCHS Library/Media Center! Q Name____________________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________________ Phone/E-mail _____________________________________________________________________

Q We have enclosed $10 to purchase one book. Q We would like to purchase ten books @ $10 each with our gift of $100. Q Please apply our donation of $___________ to purchase _____ books @ $10 each. Together, we will fill the shelves of the new Library/Media Center with the resources needed to offer our students the most excellent education possible. Please send your donation payable to BCHS and this form to Bakersfield Christian High School, 12775 Stockdale Hwy., Bakersfield, CA 93314.


4 • the SPRING/SUMMER 2007 of 1979 In summer

BCHS Today

BCHS alum opens Vietnam to video gaming


hat does it take to start a virtual lot of self motivation and thirst for empire on the other side of the knowledge that has helped him to world? According to Julia Pelz, envision what can happen.” a member of the Bakersfield Christian High Bryan Pelz’s faith in God, School Board of Directors, it takes faith and the something else that was strengthened kind of motivation one finds at BCHS. in his high school days, continues Pelz should know. Her son, Bryan Pelz, a to serve him in his new homeland. 1983 Omega (BCHS) graduate, is a financially Being a Christian in a country with a successful Internet entrepreneur whose interest Communist government, however, is in computers was spurred on in high school. hard, Julia Pelz noted. Today, Bryan Pelz is using love of computers “He has a very strong faith, and it’s he learned during his Christian high school hard to find fellowships of believers in Bryan Pelz and wife Ta Thi Le Hoan live in Vietnam training to open the video gaming world Vietnam,” she said. “Some churches where he is CEO of a company that adapts video to an astounding eight million Vietnamese are underground there. Bryan games to the Vietnamese market. people hungering for a taste of technological practices his faith in the Catholic entertainment. church, which is acceptable to the government.” “I just thank the Lord that Bakersfield Christian High School is Vietnam’s Communist government also regulates the video here to influence the lives of young people as it did when Bryan games Bryan Pelz introduces to the market, Julia Pelz said. attended school,” Julia Pelz said. “BCHS has so many teachers like “His business is new for the government. They’ve never that who can help students find their niche and try new things.” experienced something that was such an overwhelming success, “New” is an understatement, according to reports of Bryan Pelz’s and he has to bow to their guidelines. They have very strong groundbreaking success. He is CEO of three-year-old Vinagame, opinions as to what they allow people to experience in the games, a company that licenses online games from China and Korea and so all the games are G-rated. Bryan has learned to get along with the adapts them to the Vietnamese market. Pelz runs Vinagame—and government, but he is strong enough to push for what he wants.” oversees his 500 employees—from Vinagame’s Ho Chi Minh City You can hear the smile in Julia Pelz’s voice when she talks about headquarters. Bryan’s business adventures in Vietnam. She is adamant that his The video gaming world is burgeoning with growth in Vietnam’s Christian education gave him the start he needed. new tech-savvy market. Pelz’s company is helping the people of “It influenced his career by giving him a strong ethical and moral Vietnam experience an online life for the first time. More than half balance in his life,” Julia Pelz said. “When faced with challenges of Vietnam’s tech-thirsty population is under 30, and they are ripe and ethical questions, Bryan is not afraid to speak his mind.” for the online gaming market that Pelz’s company is bringing to Julia Pelz believes her son’s success bears a message for today’s their country. Bakersfield Christian High School students that they should follow Julia Pelz, said she is very proud of the work her son is doing their dreams. there. “Put God first in your life and don’t stop trying when others tell “I admire his adventurous spirit. Nothing seems impossible for you it’s impossible,” Julia Pelz said. “If you want it, go for it.” him,” she said. In ninth grade, he was spurred on by a teacher who started his interest in computers. Ever since that, Bryan has had a

BC HS Attention Alumni: We want to


English following in Mr. Ward’s path. He will then teach English to high school students during the school year and do respiratory therapy during the summer.

Bakersfield, CA 93314 (661) 410-7000 Fax (661) 410-7007

BCHS Leadership Team Daniel H. Cole President / Chief Administrator Douglas S. Barnett Jr. Athletic Director Debbie A. Camp Director of Admissions Karen Dierks Advancement Director Susan L. Hemme CPA Chief Business Officer Marcia Manning Dean of Academics and Arts Dave Meek Principal

Board Members Alan Larsen, Chairman UBS Financial Services Mel Atkinson M.D. Atkinson Company William Bolthouse Bolthouse Properties


Don Camp Jr. South Kern Machinery

Robby Smith (2000)

attended San Francisco State University (’04 alumni) and majored in International Relations. He is attending San Jose State majoring in Urban Planning. With his master’s degree, Laura Diller Killian Eric Heider plans to go back to CSUB and he plans to work in major in English following in Mr. Ward’s path. (2002) attended the field of urban Anna Camp (2001) attended Texas CSUB and majored in development in the Bay Area. Christian University (’05 Alumni) and Psychology and is working on a science majored in Journalism. She was employed Justin Swanson (2000) attended degree and a Marriage and Family Therapist with Clifford & Brown Law Firm and is Whitworth College and majored in (MFT) license. She is married to Brian now employed with Arena Stage (non-profit Engineering and is now employed with Killian, and they work with his parents in theatre in Washington, DC). She will be McIntosh and Associates Engineering. He their family business, Killian Pest Control. starting law school in fall 2007. will marry Danielle Kindig (2002) this Jon Eric Schmidt (2001) attended spring. Danielle graduated from CSUB in Laura Camp (2004) is attending Southern Pepperdine University (’05 alumni) 2006 and works for Kern Schools Federal Methodist University with a double and majored in Telecommunications Credit Union. major in Political Science and Corporate – Production Sequence and works for Communications/Public Affairs. Her goal is James Witmyer (2004) is attending DreamWorks Animation. Some day he hopes be a lobbyist in Washington, DC. California Baptist University and is in the to produce and direct a feature length film. Bachelor of Applied Theology program. He He would like to express his gratitude to his Eric Heider (2005) attended CSUB is a pastoral intern at Valley Baptist Church parents for their willingness to send him to majoring in Computer and is involved in high school student BCHS and Pepperdine Engineering and now ministries. He plans to attend seminary University. attends San Joaquin “I would really like to after college to work on a master’s degree Valley College studying Ashley Smith and eventually a doctorate. He would like to express my gratitude to my Respiratory Therapy. He (2001) attended work in pastoral ministry in the local church parents for their willingness has worked at Mercy Baylor University (‘05 and community and also serve in part-time to send me to BCHS and Hospital and Health alumni) with a major global missions. South and will be at in Education and is Pepperdine University.” KMC soon. He also Nathanael R. Witmyer (2006) attends working toward a – Jon Eric Schmidt (2001) works at Olive Garden the United States Air Force Academy and master’s degree at Restaurant. He plans to plans to major in either Civil Engineering or Teacher’s College at work at Mercy Truxtun Management. His goal is to be a pilot (cargo, Columbia University for one year after graduation and then travel A/0A-10, etc.). majoring in Literacy. Her immediate plans across the U.S working per diem. Eventually are to teach elementary school in New York he plans to go back to CSUB and major in City.

hear from you! BCHS Alumni may share updates and personal achievements with the Alumni community in this newsletter. We invite you to visit our website,, select the Alumni section and click on “update.”

12775 Stockdale Highway

Randy Coulter West High School Rayburn S. Dezember Kevin Findley Klein, DeNatale, Goldner Bryan Haupt ASU Associates Julia Pelz BCHS Retired Robert E. Smith Smith Tech-USA Inc. Neil Visser VB Ranch

BCHS TODAY Volume 1 Spring/Summer 2007  

A Bakersfield Christian High School Community Publication

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