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from the HEAD OF SCHOOL Lean into life

One of the ways I judge the effectiveness of a CHCA education is to find out what our former students are doing two, four, six, eight or more years beyond high school. I consistently discover that they are having an impact for the kingdom of God in business, medicine, innovation, politics, law, athletics, the arts, research and in ministry. They are not just participating, they are leading. Something here is working, and we want that kind of impact for all students. I enjoy the fact that we partner with parents to make that a reality. There are two critical reasons for this success. The first is that we help children see themselves as a part of God’s plan of redemption for a broken world. While some others look ahead and see doom, CHCA teaches students to see this time as a shining moment for Christ followers. In my 25 years in Christian education, I have never seen a more opportune time for our students and our graduates to become salt and light. It is clear; CHCA has a role of significance in helping to develop young people with the foundation, confidence, guidance and heart to address the issues of our day. Our second focus is to help our students see that the way they work and live has an impact on how they are viewed by those around them. That perception will determine just how much influence they will ultimately have in this world. Let’s face it; we all as Christ followers have some repair work ahead to gain back a favored seat at the table. Our image has been tarnished by public failures and often a lack of true competence. We have also relinquished many of the great battlefields of our day, thinking them to be unworthy of our influence. It is time to think differently and gain back an influential seat at the table. In order to do that, our students must be revered first for their skill, acumen, and extraordinary competence in whatever field they choose. Matching that excellence with a natural and fluent relationship with Jesus Christ makes them stand out in the crowd. One needs only to read the story of Joseph or of Mordecai and Queen Esther to see the importance of being in esteemed roles. Each of these persons was motivated by love but had a substance and relevance in their day that provided them opportunities of great kingdom impact at the time it was needed. Our process of preparing students spiritually and intellectually for a meaningful adulthood is not simple. It is purposefully rigorous, requiring students to probe God’s Word and His world to understand their role in it. These students lean into challenge so that their knowledge and faith are tested and found true. In the process, they find their own voices so that they can be heard while retaining an attractive humility befitting of Christ followers. This sculptural process stretches and shapes students into strong men and women of faith who will lead lives of influence. In the pages that follow, you will read just some of the ways our students are encouraged to lean into life and learning. As we have come alongside students in finding their own voices, our relatively-young school community has been finding its voice, too. Centered in the shared love of Christ, we have grown in just two short decades from the dream of a few faithful founders to become one of the top Christian schools in our day. We are blessed So, let’s continue to be bold in leaning into life together so that we may have a voice in God’s story.

Randy Brunk Head of School

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EDITOR: Beth Andrews


Strengthening faith through Christian Studies

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Molly Packer ’10


Capturing the essence of college-prep


Inward, outward and upward at the Middle School


Robotics in high gear at CHCA


A bold collaboration in laughter…and in life


CHCA athletes shine in college


Pham family shares story of freedom




From your Alumni Relations office


Class notes


Alumni spotlight: David Hughes ’10

EAGLE’SEYE Volume 17

LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER: Judi Alvarado CONTRIBUTORS: Todd Bacon Matt Coleman Julie Dietrich Susan Jung Dan Ledbetter (photography) Molly Packer ‘10 Lance Webel LAYOUT & DESIGN: Corrie Church Eagle’s Eye is published semi-annually by Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Please send address changes to or call (513) 247-0900 Visit us on the web at Follow CHCA on Facebook ON THE COVERS: (Front) CHCA Middle School students enjoy the Purple and Green social (Back) Martha S. Lindner High School’s pep band cheers on the Eagles football team

33 CHCA helps found CESA


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Trey J. Adkison • Ana Paola Aguilar Paredes • Edie Hope Marilyn Alexander • Justin Reagan Alloway • Elaina Christine Balzano • Jacob Michael Banks • Jonathan Taylor Banks • Victoria Rose Bechtold • Cassidy Marion Bergh • Lindsey Michelle Bowden • Abigail Elizabeth Bowman • Wesley Braden, IV • Carly Ann Brown • Carmen Ann Brown • Curtis Thomas Brown • Maggie Elizabeth Brownrigg • Molly Ingles Burdsall • Christina Marisa Calderon • Timothy Edward Carpenter • Reed Leggett Carter • Nicholas Lawrence Caruso • Youngguk Chae • Adam Henry Chappelle • Luyi Chen • Sang Young Chung • Jonathan Evan Churi • Laura Jane Combs • Natalie Anne Davis • Mallory Lynn Debo • Kevin Scott DeGroft • Hope Bethany Yvonne Dehner • Cody Scott DiFabio • Leqi Dong • Mackenzie Louise Due • Kathryn Bailey Easterday • Bradford Craig Feldman • Kelsey Nicole Foreman • Lea Michele Ghastine • Taylor Domonique Grigsby • Charles Roger Hall • Kara Marie Hanes • Grace Marie Harrison • Matthew Joseph Hartmann • Lauren Elizabeth Hayes • Logan Dean Henize • Austin Charles Hinners • Mark Joseph Hodge • Kristen Leigh Holland • Jessica Ann Holliday • Evan James Jelley • Benjamin Addis Joplin • Joseph David Kabalin • Robert Joseph Kelley • Colin Michael Kenney • Da Sol Kim • Silk Kim • Yerim Kim • Annaliese Marie Koontz • Travis Wallace Lake • Lauren Ann Lawley • Natalie Ann LeCompte • Allison Marie Lehky • Che Li • Cheng Yang Li • Tyler Jingtai Li • Yi Li • Andrew Thomas Lindenfeld • Anna Marie Irene Love • Patrick Eugene Lyle • Zhiqi (Jim) Mao • Hailey Anne Marosi • Spencer Caroline Meador • Emily Elizabeth Moorehouse • Heather Kay Morrison • Taylor Denise Mosley • Haley Suzanne Palmore • Robert John Paola, II • Suhyeon Park • Mallory Quinn Pontius • Benjamin Gabriel Reano Cuellar • Matthew Richard Riccetti • James Austin Riley • Phoenix Romero • Aidan Montgomery Ross • Alexander Jacob Russell • Hannah Elizabeth Russell • Maria Alexandra Schroeder • Avilino Gabriel Sequeira • Kaitlin Rae Shields • Dajah Mariah Siplin • Jordan Allan Smith • Melissa Ann Smith • Ga Ram Song • Connor David Staarmann • Christiana Jenae Tait • Jessica Ashley Tandoc • Emily Claire Taylor • Kaitlyn Greer Venters • Kelsey Jordan Vice • Piper R. Visagie • Aaron Joseph Walden • Yichao Wang • Phillip Nicholas Weaver • Megan Marie Westheider • Kyria Chemar Williams • Megan Nicole Williams • Benjamin Todd Wittkugel • Hannah Elizabeth Woods • YeEun (Jocelyn) Yoo • Zachary F. Zwarg

Students in the Class of 2013

were accepted into 142 colleges and universities. They are attending the following schools: Alabama State University • Arizona State University • Auburn University • Babson College • Baldwin Wallace University • Baylor University • Belmont University • Bowling Green State University • Butler University • Carnegie Mellon University • Cedarville University • Centre College • Cincinnati Christian University • Cincinnati State Tech and Community College • Clemson University • College of Charleston • Florida College • Georgia Institute of Technology • Harding University • Indiana University, Bloomington • Lee University • Loyola University Chicago • Miami University, Middletown • Miami University, Oxford • Michigan State University • Ohio Dominican University • Ohio University • Olivet Nazarene University • Parsons The New School for Design (including Parsons Paris) • Pennsylvania State University, University Park • Pepperdine University • Purdue University (including Engineering) • Rhode Island School of Design • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology • Saint Mary’s College • Tennessee State University • The Ohio State University • University of Alabana • University of Cincinnati (including DAAP & Engineering) • University of Dayton • University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign (including Engineering) • University of Kentucky • University of Miami, Florida • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • University of Pittsburgh • University of Rochester • University of South Carolina • University of Waterloo (Faculty of Mathematics) • Wake Forest University • Washington University in St. Louis • Wheaton College IL • Xavier University 2



CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS Class of 2013 Salutatorian Haley Palmore and Valedictorian Heather Morrison

On June 2, 2013, 110 students of the Class of 2013 graduated in the Martha S. Lindner High School gym. The Class of 2013 is an accomplished class with achievements in academics, athletics, fine arts and service. Though the graduation requirement for service is 120 hours, many gave far more than the minimum. In total, the Class of 2013 served over 25,000 hours and averaged three mission trips each.

(Groups L-R with students in alphabetical order) Students who performed 200-299 service hours: Victoria Bechtold, Lindsey Bowden,

Carmen Brown, Molly Burdsall, Cody DiFabio, Lea Ghastine, Taylor Grigsby, Charles Hall, Lauren Hayes, Kristen Holland, Joe Kabalin, Robert Kelley, Yerim Kim, Natalie LeCompte, Tyler (Jingtai) Li, Hailey Marosi, Hannah Russell, Melissa Smith, Connor Staarman, Visagie Piper, Megan Williams, Jocelyn Yoo; Students who performed 300-399 service hours: Cassidy Bergh, Mackenzie Due, Kathryn Easterday, Annaliese Koontz, Jim (Zhiqi) Mao, Matthew Riccetti, Jordan Smith, Jessica Tandoc, Nick Weaver; Students who performed 400-499 service hours: Maggie Brownrigg, Christina Calderon, Anna Love, James Riley, Christiana Tait, Kaitlyn Venters, Kelsey Vice

(L-R) Students who performed 500-599 service hours: Dajah Siplin, Benjamin Wittkugel; Students who performed 700-799 service hours: Jessica Holliday, Austin Hinners; Students who performed over 1,000 service hours: Kelsey Foreman, Abigail Bowman

Other Service Awards SOS Leadership Award: Kelsey Vice

Presidential Service Award: Abby Bowman (Silver), Anna Love (Bronze), Matt Riccetti (Bronze), James Riley (Gold), Jessica Holliday (Silver), Kelsey Foreman (Gold)

Mayerson Service Leadership: Dajah Siplin

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ArtBeat puts students’ growth in the spotlight

Hundreds of students exhibit and perform at CHCA’s annual fine arts festival ArtBeat is a campus-wide, day-long arts celebration that brings the CHCA community together to enjoy the fruits of our Fine Arts Program, celebrate students’ talents and honor God for the gifts he has given our students and our school. ArtBeat is also a tribute to our incredible Fine Arts faculty who daily devote time and gifts to provide CHCA students great instruction, support, and opportunities to discover and develop their God-given gifts. The ArtBeat 2013 theme was “Masterpiece” based on Ephesians 2:10 which says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Inherent in every ArtBeat is the pulse of CHCA’s Fine Arts program that develops students spiritually and emotionally as they grow artistically. There is a story of personal growth in every ArtBeat performance and piece of art. Whether a six-yearold perfecting a solo for her “big stage” debut, or a sixteen-year-old inviting laughs with the improv team or a photography student exhibiting a photographic spiritual autobiography, ArtBeat’s students show purpose and determination in using their talents to bless others.







• More than 2,000 people attend this one-day festival? Families from all four CHCA campuses as well as families from the surrounding community come to ArtBeat, many of them spending the entire day to take in the student performances, student art displays and visiting artist demonstrations. •

ArtBeat was started 15 years ago by a parent volunteer? Mona Summers, who was then serving as Friends of Fine Arts President, envisioned a day that would celebrate and encourage students’ gifts and talents. Mona is now CHCA’s Director of Fine Arts and has grown ArtBeat to one of most respected school-wide fine arts festivals in the area.

Over 300 volunteers are now involved in ArtBeat? An ArtBeat committee works months in advance to secure sponsorships, manage auditions, schedule performances, organize volunteers and set up for the student/parent-manned event. One very talented and dedicated volunteer, Michael Kuremsky, has been the Performance Chair and Lindner Theater Director for 12 years. Michael also served as the overall ArtBeat Chair in 2002 and in 2003.

ArtBeat is not a fundraiser? FOFA is made possible by the incredible support of the Friends of Fine Arts (CHCA’s fine arts booster organization) and other sponsors. This year Cindy Coggins and the Coggins Group at Morgan Stanley stepped up in a big way and was the main FOFA sponsor. Many sponsors support ArtBeat each year. Even the delicious food and drinks are donated by sponsors and baked goods are provided by parent volunteers.

Over 1,000 pieces of student artwork were on display at ArtBeat 2013? The display features the art of hundreds of students from Edyth B. Lindner Elementary, Armleder School, the Middle School and Martha S. Lindner High School. The effect of seeing so much student art in one place is breathtaking. The display includes a juried art competition for high school students with the winners taking home cash and prizes.

Over 750 students performed at ArtBeat 2013? Performances include CHCA ensembles and performing arts groups as well as students who develop their own performances. The youngest performer this past year – who charmed the audience with a violin solo – was only four years old. Among the most accomplished performers was a high school student who has played at Carnegie Hall.

• Students have an opportunity to learn and create on site? ArtBeat features professional artist demonstrations by painters, calligraphers, potters and craftsmen. Younger students participate in an array of hands-on art activities including face-painting, cupcake decorating and craft-making.

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Lindner Scholars named Armleder students head to Martha S. Lindner High School

(back row, L-R) David Woods, Liam Wilson, (center row, L-R) Adele Enns, Mahkaylyn Harden, Azariah Tidwell (front row, L-R) Aysia Paige-Mack, Devin Taylor, Mackenzie Jones

Congratulations to these Lindner Scholars who will be freshmen at Martha S. Lindner High School next fall. These Armleder 8th graders earned the opportunity to continue their CHCA education through graduation thanks to the Lindner Scholars Program, a scholarship fund created to support students at the Armleder campus.

Learn Lead and Serve Scholarship recipients named Students rewarded for achievements and service

CHCA congratulates the winners of the sixth annual Learn, Lead and Serve Scholarship Competition. The recipients took the Independent School Entrance Examination in November or December; submitted resumes detailing achievements and service; and/or completed essays for scholarship consideration. All of these students will be incoming freshman for the 2012-2013 school year.

Learn Scholarship Winners:

Martha S. Lindner High School Principal Dean Nicholas with Learn Scholarship winners (L-R) Brennan Metzler, Johnathan Sequeira, Adam Rice, Bryson Karrer, Michael Taylor and Will Braden



Lead and Serve Scholarship Winners:

Martha S. Lindner High School Principal Dean Nicholas with Lead and Serve Scholarship winners (L-R) Isaac Carpenter, Sarah Bruns, Laura Dykstra, Adele Enns, Brady Pfister and Madyson Shank


National Merit Recognition

CHCA seniors honored for academic performance National Merit Finalists 2012-13: Lea Ghastine and Wesley Braden

Commended students 2012-13:

(L-R) Jordan Smith, Hannah Russell,

Aidan Ross, Heather Morrison, Andrew Lindenfeld and Haley Palmore

CHCA seniors Wesley Braden and Lea Ghastine were named 2013 National Merit Finalists in February. To become a Finalist, a National Merit Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the Semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. Only 2,500 winners are selected from the nationwide Finalist pool of 15,000 students. Braden recently learned that Wheaton College, where he plans to attend and possibly double major in Business and International Relations, has awarded him a scholarship based on his being named a National Merit Finalist. Andrew Lindenfeld, Heather Morrison, Haley Palmore, Aidan Ross, Hannah Russell and Jordan Smith were recognized as Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. Although they do not continue in the 2013 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Cum Laude Scholarship recipients for 2012-13 school year included

(back row, L-R) Parker Bach, Michael O’Brien, Noah Gardner, David Humphrey, Christian Miller, Tyler Swedes, Nathaniel Hipsley, (seated, L-R) Christina Del Greco, Kirk Easterday, Lillyanna Faimon

Cum Laude Scholarships

Students earn academic scholarships toward CHCA tuition

Each year, students in grades 8, 9 and 10 have the opportunity to earn up to 90% of their future CHCA high school tuition thanks to CHCA Cum Laude Scholarships. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled or accepted for admission at CHCA. Students in grades 8 and 9 then qualify by taking the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and having their scores sent to CHCA. Students in grade 10 qualify based on their PSAT score. All students must also demonstrate strong academic performance in the classroom. “CHCA has established a superb reputation for academic excellence, and the Cum Laude Scholarships are a way for us to highlight the achievements of our outstanding scholars,” says CHCA Head of School Randy Brunk.

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Happy 20 Birthday th

to CHCA’s Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School!

During a special chapel service on December 14, 2012, Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School students celebrated the birth of their Savior and the birth of their school building with a performance by the Melody Makers, the sharing of memories from long-time faculty and a special visit from Mrs. Lindner after whom the school building was named. Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School is one of CHCA's four thriving buildings and is a beloved home to over 500 North Campus students age three through grade four.




CELEBRATION 2013 blesses CHCA students, raising $180,000 for tuition assistance

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy’s annual fundraiser is the Celebration dinner and auction, an evening of fun and fellowship that benefits CHCA’s operating budget and provides funding for tuition assistance. Each Celebration event features an elegant dinner, entertainment, a live auction and a myriad of silent auction items. Held on February 9, 2013 at the Manor House, Celebration 2013 was a huge success. Gathering under the the theme of “CHCA….like no other,” over 500 CHCA parents, alumni parents, alumni, and friends enjoyed an evening of fellowship and FUNdraising, all for the purpose of advancing CHCA’s mission. The evening started with a silent auction as guests mingled and bid electronically on fabulous items like sports memorabilia, weekend-getaways, outdoor furniture, jewelry and special outings with teachers. After an elegant dinner and entertainment by speed painter Tim Decker, the exciting live auction began with a fun game of Heads or Tails; raffle drawings for an iPad, an unforgettable trip to Paris and a gorgeous diamond pendant and then rapid bidding for adorable puppies, luxury vacations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Celebration 2013 raised $180,000 for tuition assistance. A special thank you to all of our sponsors, advertisers, volunteers, and attendees who made this night such a success.

Save the date for the biggest CHCA social event of the year:

Celebration 2014 on February 8, 2014!

Many thanks to our Celebration 2013 sponsors for their support

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Celebrating grandparents at CHCA

Over 700 grandparents flock to CHCA campuses on Grandparents Day Grandparent’s Day is a favorite event at CHCA and a day we set aside to celebrate the grandparents that enrich our students’ lives and enhance our school community. On September 21 at Armleder and on October 5 at CHCA Middle School and Edyth B. Lindner Elementary school, over 700 grandparents visited our buildings for a time of sharing the CHCA experience with their grandchildren. They enjoyed student performances and time of good ol’ fashioned learning in students’ classrooms.

Mark your calendar for Grandparents Day 2014:

• September 13 for Armleder • • October 11 for Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School and CHCA Middle School • 10


CHCA dance program expands

When the CHCA dance program debuted in 2011-2012 with a varsity dance team, the rookie squad of dancers from both MSL High School and CHCA Middle School headed straight for the spotlight when it qualified for the National Dance Competition. But award-winning Dance Team Director Melissa Kidd wasn’t about to stop there. She had been hired to build the CHCA dance program from the ground up. As she coached the varsity team to success in its first year, she was also making plans to develop younger talent and further strengthen the program.

CAMPUS HIGHLIGHTS CHCA Athletes who went to State - 2012-2013

In 2012-2013, a Tiny Dance Team (grades K-1) and a Mini Dance Team (grades 2-3) were added, providing young dancers an early start in a strong technical foundation that builds each year as the girls progress through the program. The young teams learn a fusion of dance instruction in ballet, jazz and pom techniques and then lyrical dance is added as they get older. Just like the varsity teams, the younger teams are exposed to guest instructors and professional choreographers that demonstrate diverse styles and inspire the dancers to excellence. This coming school year, CHCA will add a Youth Dance Team (grades 4-5) and a Junior High Dance Team (grades 6-8) along with three coaches to provide CHCA with a full program. In keeping with CHCA’s practice of servant-leadership, the program will also pursue a ministry called Princess Packs. Varsity girls will take the lead on collecting gently used dance costumes to repackage with encouraging scripture and give to underprivileged young dancers. There are future plans to expand the ministry to include instruction, allowing the CHCA Dance Teams to pass on their love of dance to girls who may not be able to afford lessons.

Top: Varsity Dance Team; Bottom (L-R): Tiny Dance Team; Mini Dance Team

Wrestling Zach Alvarado

Swimming Kendall Hart

Track & Field Trey Adkison

Tennis Colin Kenney and Ben Wittkugel

M2SE City-Wide Competition Winners: Science, technology and engineering

were in the air at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, May 11 when schools from the Cincinnati area participated in a competition that promotes STEM. Armleder students participated in the first-ever Inventions Program and succeeded in the prototype project developed by two UC students. Leading the Purple Lurple team and winning first place was Deja Malone and Adele Enns. The Team Balloon Travels led by Liam Wilson took second place and Mahkaylyn Harden, Asia Paige-Mack, Mackenzie Jones, and Devin Taylor of Team Eagles received third place. The festivities continued with DJ Taylor taking first for Egg Drop Design. Armleder nearly swept the Bridge Design project with Denna Habetaslassa taking first place, Clarita deLeon Herrera winning third place, Taylor Steele receiving an Honorable Mention and Sandra Remirez Puac taking the Creativity Award. Finally, Owen Severence represented Armleder in the Mousetrap Car Race and won the Creativity Award.

Susan Miller Scholarship awarded: At Armleder's 8th grade graduation, Mackenzie Jones (shown here with her mother) was awarded the Susan Miller Scholarship for her demonstration of a serious work ethic, outstanding grades and great promise for the future. The scholarship was established by CHCA founders Phyillis and Ron McSwain to acknowledge former Armleder principal Susan Miller for her dedication in guiding Armleder from a dream to a shining light in our city.

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Strengthening faith through Christian Studies Program a journey of growth and development

by Todd Bacon, Christian Studies Department Chair


e shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. Toward the end of his poem “Little Gidding,” T.S. Eliot eloquently penned an insight into the nature of understanding – often it’s the path that takes us away from the familiar which ultimately circles back and leads us to a deeper understanding. I am particularly reminded of this truth whenever traveling abroad. Returning home after encountering new lands, culture, language, and friends, inevitably brings appreciation of the familiar in a richer, more profound way. Development comes through exploration and a

the Israelite’s wandering in the wilderness, to apostles, saints, mystics, missionaries and theologians, the story of faith with God has always been an ongoing encounter – a process experienced and told through the lens of a journey and often in the midst of doubts and questions. Frederick Buechner, with characteristic perceptiveness, articulates this beautifully, “Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is on-again-off again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway. A journey without maps . . . doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”1

Left Christian Studies Chair Todd Bacon with students at Martha S. Lindner High School. Right Renowned Bible teacher Ray Vander Laan spent a full day on CHCA’s campus teaching four Christian Studies classes at Martha S. Lindner High School and then engaging with Armleder in their classrooms and chapel service. Vander Laan’s visit culminated with an evening speaking engagement which was open to the public.

journey which necessarily stretches the imagination, encounters new terrain, and willingly wrestles with challenging questions. Leaving the familiar can be disconcerting and yet only by encountering the unfamiliar does growth occur. The themes of exploration and journey in Eliot’s poem are fitting metaphors for the process we hope students engage during their four years of Christian Studies at the high school. Reflecting on the Christian faith as a “journey” or “pilgrimage” has deep and ancient roots within Christianity. Scripture and the history of the Church over the last two thousand years are replete with stories of faith as a journey through doubts, fears, questions, and tension with the familiar. From Abraham and Sarah to 12


Students at CHCA attend over 160 churches within the greater Cincinnati area and represent a wide range of traditions and denominations within Christianity. Although the primary focus of the Christian Studies curriculum is academic in nature, our passion and desire is to walk along side each student, not only as teachers but as fellow travelers, and encourage our mutual ongoing spiritual growth and development. Toward this end, we do our very best “to create an environment in which we listen to God speak to us through the words of Scripture, encourage a love of learning and the exercise of reason, gain wisdom from the historic voices and traditions of the Church, and seek to understand our own human experience within this world.”2 Precisely because we value the student’s continuing growth and development,


we invite challenging questions and explore theological diversity that purposely stretches a student beyond his or her familiar tradition to see how a student’s faith and church fits into the broader historical Church and shared story of the last two thousand years. Not only do exploration and questions intentionally foster a model and example of open engagement for students to follow later in life, but to do so during high school is to wrestle with tension and dissonance in a safe environment. A student’s faith is intentionally stretched not in order to be deconstructed and abandoned but rather to grow in maturity. Our goal is to purposely create an environment where questions are valued in themselves and the pursuit of truth beyond the familiar is acknowledged as profoundly formative and shaping. Incidentally, the nature of Scripture and the Christian life are rife with tensions. The relationships between justice and love, faith and reason, praise and lament, literal and figurative, grace and accountability, imminent and transcendent, and between the Kingdom of God being both present and future, to name just a few, do not produce simple answers. A faithful response to Scripture and a transformed life in Christ is to acknowledge and live with these tensions as both guiding and correcting truths. Resolution is not always easy. Living with tension is not without frustration and yet acknowledging this opens rich paths to explore the way in which the transforming love and power of the risen Christ are at work in the midst of a complex, broken world.

CHCA’s Christian Studies program develops students holistically, allowing them to articulate a distinctly Christian worldview and encouraging them to pursue excellence in order to engage God’s world

The journey of a student from preschool to young adult in high school is itself an ongoing journey of maturation from concrete to complex, from simple to abstract. In age appropriate ways, a student’s learning moves from familiar to unfamiliar, discovery to rediscovery and from new to a profoundly deeper understanding of the familiar. An unexamined life and an unexamined faith can never authentically grow. The temptation to vicariously hold the faith of a parent as the faith of a student is seemingly safe and convenient yet will likely result in frustration or crisis. To own one’s faith for oneself necessarily means embarking on one’s own journey of exploration and discovery. The story of Christianity also tells us that the nature of faith is not static, linear, or predicable as faith is more verb than noun, a process not a possession. Faith ebbs and flows in relationship to the unpredictable nature of the ups and downs of our lives. Our prayer for each student is that during the short span of years in which we walk and travel together, their journey of discovery and faith will be nurtured and seeded with patterns which yield a life of engagement, discipleship, and transformation. May the end of our student’s exploring be to arrive where they started and know the place for the first time – that is, a deeper and richer understanding of his or her faith and the profound love of God in Christ which holds the key to a continually changed and transformed life and world. 1 Frederick Buechner, “Wishful Thinking a Seeker’s ABC.” Rev. Ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 1993), 30. 2 Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Christian Studies Vision Statement, 2013.

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Capturing the essence of college prep

Personal Responsibility Time teaches important life skills At Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, we often speak of “starting with the end in mind” to provide students opportunities to grow into successful adults and realize their fullest potential. Among these opportunities for CHCA high school students are challenging advanced placement courses, innovative research classes and enriching activities. And, realizing that preparation for adulthood goes beyond rigorous coursework, administrators at Martha S. Lindner High School have implemented an innovative practice that gets to the heart of college prep – Personal Responsibility Time. Here, Martha S. Lindner High School Principal Dr. Dean Nicholas discusses this practice to develop high school students into wise college students.


greatest miss of a typical college preparatory education is preparing students for the vast amounts of free time they will have in college. To a high degree, college success is about the ability to manage freedom successfully. But, a traditional high school schedule manages every minute of every day for students. We desired to give students opportunities to be responsible for their own time. Personal Responsibility Time (or PRT) is a term that we adopted from Brebeuf High School in Indianapolis. Our program does not look exactly like theirs but we admire the concept of students actively learning to manage time and have developed ways to institute this practice into our culture. Our first step was to allow seniors with a lunch, study hall or free bell the choice to leave the campus. This is not just a “senior privilege,” but freedom to develop skills of wise time management. Our next step for all students was to change the way we think of study hall from desk time to PRT time. Students with a study hall may use this time to do homework, see a teacher for extra help, make progress on an independent research project or brainstorm service projects in the SOS room. They can also use this time to “blow off steam” and shoot baskets in the gym or socialize with a friend. The key is that PRT time is the student’s time to manage.



This coming school year, we are shifting to an eight-bell schedule in which no student can have more than seven classes and there is no separate lunch period. This gives students one or two free periods to experience PRT. In one of these (during bell 4, 5, or 6), students have time to eat. But, rather than a short 30 minute lunch period, they will have a full period to eat and do other things. Our cafeteria will be more like a café where students stop to eat as they want/can/need. This shift changes our culture to more accurately reflect that next step of college and teach students these skills: Making wise decisions A successful graduate is one who can manage life. We potentially undermine our children if we do not teach them life-management skills that develop only when allowed more decision-making power. Parents sometimes fear that students, when allowed more freedom, will waste time and not be successful in classes. That is indeed a possible outcome, but it is also an opportunity. I’d rather see a freshman or sophomore in high school learn the consequences of poor management now – while they are here with us to partner with their parents and get them back on their feet – than when they are thousands of miles away in college and the consequences are much more severe.


Achieving balance Students who learn how to balance work, play and rest in the time they are given become healthier adults. It is important for students to realize while they are here with us that time limitations present great opportunities to live our lives more fully. Our students have grown up in a culture that overschedules kids like never before. I want them to realize in their personal responsibility time that it is also okay to breathe, let down, and relax every once in a while. Play, time with friends, and rest are important parts of life that adults don’t always manage well. This is why I’m always talking about Sabbath…and why the key word I want our students to take with them from CHCA is “balance.” Avoiding pitfalls College is full of pitfalls that can translate into a compromised adulthood. We’ve all heard of college freshmen who flunk school because they oversleep, miss class and stay up all hours. We’ve also heard stories of students that bury themselves in their school work, never leave the library and suffer burnout. Such over-achieving students may demonstrate success in college and be celebrated in our culture, but they carry with them into adulthood a lifestyle that causes them to suffer in their health, relationships and souls. As Christians, we are called to have balance and moderation in our lives that

afford us healthy relationships with God and people. We have the blessing at CHCA of helping students learn to avoid the potential pitfalls of college and life beyond by teaching them what a successful and healthy life looks like. So, as we continue to develop strong academic students who are well-rounded and accomplished, we seek also to prepare them for life with freedoms that make our high school campus look different. It’s really marvelous to see our students spreading their wings in such healthy, grown-up ways. I’ve witnessed students in the band room practicing solos, in the lab working on multi-year research projects, outdoors writing papers on their laptops, in the commons having ping pong tournaments…and at Panera doing absolutely nothing. I smile to think how much this looks like college!

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1: The Middle School theme of “every student, connected, every day” shines in student advisory groups. 2: A spirit of teamwork is fostered in the 3: Middle School socials unite students through fun and memorable experiences. 4: Weekly chapels allow Middle School students to develop as


Inward, outward and upward

CHCA Middle School fosters a positive journey of adolescence

by Lance Webel, CHCA Middle School Director of Student Development

In a recent conversation with one of our graduating

eighth graders, I asked her to describe her middle school experience in a few sentences. Her response was something like this: "In fifth grade, I was the most socially awkward person on earth. I decided to fix that in sixth and seventh grade by mimicking everyone else, but that didn’t really work out. Then in eighth grade, I met some people who accepted me for who I was. I became more confident in myself. I lost interest in what people thought of me, and now I couldn't be happier!" Such is the path of most adolescents. It’s an often difficult and sometimes bewildering journey, usually marked by intense experiences, tremendous learning, and a rapidly expanding self-awareness. As middle school students develop an increased capability for abstract thought, empathy, and meaningful social connections, their perception of the world and their place within it changes drastically. The experiences that they have during these critical years often shape the priorities, mindsets, and character that will drive them for the rest of their lives. At CHCA, we see all of this as a tremendous opportunity, so we’ve not only pursued academic excellence in the classroom, but we've also designed a robust Student Life program to help our middle schoolers connect spiritually (vertically), socially (horizontally), and emotionally (inwardly) through five primary areas: Advisories These small groups of students, which each meet for about 15 minutes per day with a dedicated faculty advisor, are the most pivotal opportunity that students have to connect at CHCA on a daily basis. Each week, every advisory spends time studying scripture, doing a service project, practicing leadership and having fun together. As the year progresses, each faculty advisor



is encouraged to cultivate and develop a unique "personality" for their advisory. Our advisory motto is, “Every student, connected, every day.” Chapel During this weekly large-group meeting, our entire middle school community gets the chance to come together as one body, worshipping corporately and learning about God's narrative in our midst. Our student-run Chapel Band and savvy Tech Team lead us in age-appropriate worship, followed by celebrations of student achievement and a chapel chat that teaches us all about God's word in a relevant way. This chapel chat is often followed up by a targeted and interactive advisory activity or discussion to bring the spiritual learning home in a more intimate setting. Socials These exclusive monthly events, each geared towards a different age group, are designed to give students a unique, healthy, and memorable way to connect with each other and form common experiences. There's something 1: Middle School students bond through service projects and dozens graders are celebrated at the start of each school year in a special



New Upper Elementary School program



classroom and the many activities of Middle School life. Christians, individually and as a community

for everyone: unique scavenger hunts, a spirit night, fun eighth grade dances, a private Christian concert and exclusive rentals of top-notch entertainment facilities. Our socials also provide parent volunteers a glimpse into their students' social worlds while connecting with other CHCA parents. Student Activities CHCA offers a host of enriching extra-curricular activities for our middle school students: astronomy and chess clubs, 28 middle school sports, National Junior Honor Society, a yearly middle school musical production, Genesis Jazz band and Strings Club and many more opportunities. These activities are designed to teach new skills and encourage personal growth while meaningfully connecting students to others. Personal Support Our students have a wide variety of experiences along their personal journeys and, as they make both positive and negative choices, we love to help them pursue healthy hearts and God-honoring relationships through behavioral intervention, individual recognition, and relational connections. We give out awards not only for outstanding achievement, but also for achieving personal character milestones. When conflict arises between students, we see each unique situation as an opportunity to coach our young men and women and help them grow and mature.


Head of School Randy Brunk announced in May an exciting new CHCA Upper Elementary School program. Under the leadership of principal Nancy Buckman in partnership with fourth and fifth grade teachers, this program is already underway and is specifically designed to meet the developmental needs of pre-adolescent students. The program will begin with a look and feel much like that of Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School and then slowly but steadily transition habits, responsibility, curriculum and other programming to that of CHCA Middle School by the end of students’ fifth grade year. This will facilitate a more natural transition to Middle School and provide fifth graders with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in sixth grade and beyond.

As we’ve rolled out this multi-faceted approach to our Student Life program over the past few years, we’ve seen some fantastic tangible results. There is a marked decrease in the interpersonal conflicts that are all too common during this time of life, a noticeable increase in students’ understanding of what it means to be a CHCA student and clearly more student enthusiasm and engagement. In my twelve years at CHCA, however, I’ve learned one thing above all else; student growth isn’t a result of our thoughts, plans, dedication, or hard work. We can design the most relevant and meaningful programs in the world but, in the end, God is the only one who can reach down into a young heart and make it grow. As class after class of students move beyond the walls of our middle school into high school and beyond, it’s simply breathtaking to see the sometimes unexpected and always beautiful ways that our Heavenly Father grows these young men and women. So, as we find ourselves in the chaos of adolescence and in the cacophony of middle school, let’s remember that this journey is about more than survival, more than learning, more than programs or friendships or memories. Ultimately, this time of life is an opportunity for God to turn these young lives inward, outward and upward, so that they’re open and ready to receive Him. It’s our honor and privilege to witness the fingerprints that He leaves on these young hearts.

of extracurricular activities 2: At the end of the school year, a Pathways event honors fourth graders as rising Middle School students 3: Fifth “Welcome Chapel” 4: The transition to high school is celebrated at a joyous Freshman Orientation.





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Robotics in high gear at CHCA

Successful young team builds momentum in season two

Woven enthusiastically throughout the CHCA experience are opportunities for students to stretch themselves and emerge

as confident and capable adults. Among these is the highly-successful Martha S. Lindner High School Robotics Team which invites students to collaborate their intellect, creativity, strategy and hands-on craftsmanship to create a competitive product. Front row L to R: Adam Cool (Coach), Hope Dehner, Edie Alexander, Guillermo Farfan, Gabe Sequeira, Joe Kabalin, Tyler Li, Alec Bednar, Grant Nam, Kevin Xie, Daniel Morgan. Back row, L to R: Andy Ciarniello (Coach), Spencer Meador, Haley Palmore, Rick Oliver (Lead Mentor), Jim Mao, Jay Kruer, Jeremy Devin, Michael, Nelson, John Gear. Not pictured: Che Li, Brian Mashny, Aurora Wang, Emily Kabalin, Stephen Wibowo, Andrew Minnch, Mack Pairan, Jason Simpson, Andrew Breeze-Stringfellow, Jessica Tandoc

The team competes as part of the international robotics program called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Though only in its second season, the Martha S. Lindner High School Robotics Team, FRC #4028 “The Beak Squad”, has achieved success that belies its youth as a team. During its first season last year, the team dazzled competitors at Purdue University by winning a spot at nationals. This season, The Beak Squad emerged ranked among the top 5% of teams worldwide. The projects are complex and the competition intense. The challenge this year was to create a robot capable of shooting Frisbees through various goals and climbing a pyramid. After analyzing the strategic elements of the game, The Beak Squad opted to focus on reliable shooting at the expense of a complex climbing mechanism. The result was a robot that turned heads at competition. The team started the Queen City Regional competition ranked 17th (out of 53 teams) and then competed at the Crossroads Regional competition where they were seeded fifth in the elimination tournament. By the end of the season, out of a field of 2,509 robots worldwide, the team was ranked 139th (as tracked by FRC Team #2834). Through the long hours of working together toward a single goal, the program develops leadership and camaraderie as it builds STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. This year’s drive team consisted of driver Joe Kabalin, operator Gabe Sequeira and human players Spencer Meador and Alec Bednar. Students who were not on the field tracked statistics on every robot in every match. Together, the students compiled and analyzed the data to determine which of the 50+ teams would be the best alliance partners for the elimination rounds. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” CHCA alumnus Jacob Thiel excels in robotics competition at Ohio State University: With a 4.0 average in Ohio State University’s Engineering Honors program, Jacob was one of only 13 students to receive the Top Academic Award from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This award followed a week after a robot designed and built by Jacob and his team posted the second-highest score of the day in OSU’s Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors Robotics Competition. With mechanical engineering and business programs ranked among the Top-20 by U.S. News and World Report, Ohio State is recognized among the world’s top universities.



Here, high school robotics coaches Andy Ciarniello and Adam Cool share details about the program: What is the purpose of the Robotics Team? To make STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) accessible and fun, to give students real-world engineering experience and to build problem solving and leadership skills. The team mission statement: “The CHCA FIRST Robotics Team exists to provide students with experiences that will encourage and inspire them in scientific and technological pursuits. Through mentorship and example we seek to bridge the gap between practical problems and creative solutions in the minds of every student. At the core of this effort is an emphasis on Christ-like character, recognizing that an attitude of servant leadership will enable our students to become valued members of their communities.” What are the benefits for participating students? Scholarship money and, most of all, real-world practical experience. This experience is like working in a corporate project environment because the team works collaboratively on a tight schedule with limited resources to create a competitive product.


“Robotics teaches you how to work together with people who have common goals to solve a problem with a limited amount of time.” - Gabe Sequeira '13

How does the Robotics Team work? We start preparing in the fall with twice-monthly teambuilding and training consisting of practice builds, safety drills, CAD and programming. During the intense January-February build season, we meet almost daily. Competition begins on the first Saturday in January when the game is presented to all teams via webcast. We spend


time understanding the rules, come up with a strategy and then design and build a robot in six weeks. We then go to regional competition to compete against 50-60 teams for various awards or to qualify for nationals. How is the program funded? This is an expensive program funded by donations from sponsors. Sponsors include individuals and businesses who want to invest in STEM education programs. Past sponsors have included NASA, JC Penny, Procter & Gamble, Solutionwerks, TR Gear Landscaping, Remtec, K&K Precision, Tower Bridge and MTSI. We enjoy ongoing support from CHCA families. What kind of student typically participates? We attract the students who have an interest in science, technology, computers or simply in building stuff as well as in business and marketing. We are also a good competition outlet for the international students who are ineligible for sports due to OHSAA rules. There are tons of great things going on at CHCA that produce great high school Robotics Team candidates including our math and science programs at all buildings, Destination Imagination, the Science Enhancement program at EBL, COSI, the Robotics Team at Armleder and even summer camps. How did you get involved and why do you continue to put in an unfathomable amount of hours with these kids? We really didn’t realize what we were getting into but we keep doing it because we love it. It’s extremely rewarding to see the fruits of our labor in our students and to see their confidence grow in their work, robotics, and science. What’s next? The team is focusing on the off-season tasks of updating our marketing materials, fundraising, grant writing, media production and recruiting new team members and mentors. If any parents or alumni are interested in using their skills – in business, marketing, engineering, programming – to help the team, we can find a place to plug them in. In addition to seeking out more engineering mentorship for the students, we have a need to expand the business and marketing expertise of the team. Armleder Robotics Teams succeed in robotics competitions: CHCA Armleder eighth grade STEM participating in the First Lego League competitions used programming skills as they researched challenges that real-world scientists face. This year’s theme was Senior Solutions, requiring competing teams to address problems that seniors encounter in day-today living. Through their research, planning and programming, teams strengthened skills in critical thinking, collaboration and presentation and both teams brought home awards. The STEM program integrates Lego Robotics programs beginning in elementary grades where students apply the engineering design process and the scientific method using technology and applied mathematics. Students are taught to apply critical thinking and problem-solving while learning the importance of teamwork.

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A bold collaboration in laughter…and in life The skills of improvisational theater transfer beyond the stage

by Susan Jung, Drama Teacher at Martha S. Lindner High School


aughter has always played a very important part in my life. From a very early age, I learned that, with a funny face or walk, I could make someone laugh. My dad would make my dolls sing and dance to crack me up. I grew up watching brilliant comediennes like Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn, analyzing what makes them great and absorbing all I could from them. When I got to college, I was encouraged by my acting professor to audition for the improv team (it was the elite club of the theatre department). With nothing to lose, I did. The rest, as they say, is history. I still love making people laugh. When I started CHCA’s improv team, Off the Cuff, 13 years ago, all I really wanted to do was give the kids that drove the other teachers crazy an outlet for their imaginative and fast moving minds. What has grown from this is a community of smart people who love to play together and feel like there are, in fact, other people who aren’t afraid to be silly. Several Off the

What is “improv?” Improvisational theater, or improv, is a form of acting in which the scene and characters are created collaboratively by the players as they perform. Improvisation dates back to the 16th century and is known contemporarily through television shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and theatre groups dedicated to the art of improv. CHCA’s improv team Off the Cuff was started 13 years ago by theater teacher and improventhusiast Susan Jung who is passionate about the benefits of participation for students. Off the Cuff is now an audition-only group that enjoys participation from an excellent group of students with diverse accomplishments in everything from academics to theatre, athletics, service, student leadership, visual arts and music.



Cuff alumni have gone on to do professional and college improv and theatre. But even Off the Cuff alumni who pursued other paths have found the skills they developed during their improv experience to be uniquely-applicable to their success. When you step onstage to participate in an improv game, you very quickly learn the vital improv rules that can also get you successfully through life.

Rule number one: “Yes and…”

If you say “no” in a scene, or negate what the other person is saying, it immediately stops the scene and puts your partner in a horribly awkward situation. In order to progress the scene into something watchable, you must not only agree with what they said, but give new information. This rule is reflected in life where being successful often results from thinking and acting positively and supporting those you have partnered with in family life and work.


Director Susan Jung with the Off the Cuff improv team

Rule number two: Make bold choices.

If the actor never made a choice about where the scene was, or who they were, or was vague about the situation, the audience would quickly lose interest. Bold choices, in improv and in life, are necessary for something interesting to happen.

Rule number three: You’re in this together.

The best improv-ers are those who do something called “gives” onstage. They set up their partners to get the laugh, they keep quiet when their funny comment might stop the scene or reverse it and they put the scene ahead of making themselves look good. What an important skill to learn in this world! Off the Cuff might just look like a bunch of people having fun making stuff up, but when you come see a show and watch us perform, you are watching so much more actually happen. About Susan Jung, Director of Off the Cuff (and Theatre Director and Choreographer): Since 1999 when she first joined CHCA as choreographer and director of Off the Cuff, Susan has directed 21 plays and musicals and has choreographed 18 musicals at CHCA. She brings with her over 13 years’ experience that includes teaching musical dance theatre and acting at the University of CincinnatiConservatory of Music preparatory department, leading 15 musical theatre camps, and directing several youth teams for the Friends of the Groom theatre company. Susan maintains a professional acting career and has been featured in regional and national commercials, print ads and voiceovers. She performs nationally and internationally with Friends of the Groom and has performed professionally with Cincinnati Children’s Theatre and ShowBoat Majestic. Susan has received two OCTA awards, an ACT award and a CEA nomination for her role as “Louise” in the award winning production of “Gypsy.” She holds a B.A. in theatre from Northern Kentucky University where she met her husband Jim, with whom she has three sons.

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CHCA athletes shine in college athletics “Win Twice” philosophy pays dividends beyond high school by Matt Coleman, CHCA Director of Athletics “Win Twice.” It is something you will hear our coaches, players and parents reference before and after practices and games. What it means is that we have a strong desire to win – not only on the scoreboard but also by bringing glory to God. Our athletes do this by being competitive and having perspective; by winning humbly and losing gracefully; by being kind to opponents as well as teammates and by having an attitude that reflects positively on them and CHCA. “Win twice” is not just a way of life at CHCA. It’s a long-term strategy that helps mold our athletes – starting with our youngest players and continuing until they graduate – into the successful people they will be later in life. The rewards are especially apparent in CHCA athletes that go on to college with academic scholarships, athletic scholarships and positions on coveted teams while continuing to learn, lead and serve just as they did at CHCA. Colleges look for student-athletes who have the ability to handle academic pressure while maintaining the commitment to their athletic team. CHCA prepares our athletes to do so…and even the biggest and best colleges notice. CHCA’s athletics department recently hung in our athletics commons a board that lists alumni competing at the college level. We did this to recognize our alumni and to show that, even in our short history, CHCA has produced many collegiate athletes who excel in high-ranking programs around the nation. CHCA has placed athletes at Virginia Tech, Robert Morris, Alabama, Jacksonville, Furman, Butler, Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Ohio State, Wittenberg, RoseHulman, James Madison, Brown, Florida, Notre Dame, the Air Force Academy, the University of Michigan and more. Indeed, the fruit of CHCA’s “Win Twice” attitude shines in CHCA’s short but rich history of getting student-athletes to our best universities, many of them graduating with honors while playing the sport that they love and then going on to have impact beyond college. Come and see our college board and talk to alumni athletes (like Brandon Moore ’12 featured in the interview that follows) to learn how “Win Twice” became a winning life strategy for them.

Since 1996, CHCA athletes have been making their mark in college athletics. Class of 2013 student athletes who signed with colleges

Left to right: Nick Weaver, Football, Butler University; Bobby Paola, Baseball, Ohio Dominican University; Jacob Banks, Baseball, Miami University; Heather Morrison, Soccer, Florida College; Jonathan Banks, Baseball , Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Adam Chappelle, Baseball, Butler University; Logan Henize, Tennis, Centre College; Trey Adkison, Track & Field – Harding University. Inset: Kaity Venters, Tennis, St. Mary’s.



Our Class of 2013 athletes will join 92 CHCA athletes that have gone before them to participate in football, baseball, tennis, soccer, basketball, diving, track & field, volleyball, swimming and softball at the collegiate level.

Taking “Win Twice” to the next level

Alumnus Brandon Moore ’12 on the Alabama Crimson Tide football team


by Julie Dietrich, CHCA Director of Athletic Communications

While playing football at CHCA, Brandon Moore ’12 dreamed of the day he would play at the college level and he ultimately earned a walk-on spot on the University of Alabama’s football team. In this interview, Brandon shares how CHCA prepared him for success in a top university athletics program, and how exciting it was to be part of a National Championship team as a college freshman. What were your interests and passions while at CHCA? Obviously, I enjoyed playing football. I also loved serving with SOS and being in the school musicals. But I mostly loved spending time with the younger guys at school. My dad is a youth pastor, so that is something I grew up doing. How did your experience at CHCA prepare you for college and prepare you to be a college athlete? Academically, college is easier than CHCA! Athletically, practices and requirements like Coach Schomaker’s early-morning lifting prepared me for doing college workouts and for honoring my commitments. That “family” feel of the CHCA football team was more important than I realized. Being close to each other in college is a huge part of being successful, and CHCA built that into me. What are your plans after college? Of course, it is every players hope to make it into the NFL. I’m majoring in General Business right now. I hope to end up in some form of ministry. Do you still think in terms of “Win Twice?” Definitely. I try to share my testimony whenever I can in the locker room. How did your season go as a walk on? Crazy! The amount of depth on this team is unbelievable. We’ve got 120+ players on the team, as opposed to 60-70 at CHCA. There is competition in every division for every position. If you aren’t perfect, the next guy is ready to take your place. What were practices like? Just seeing Coach Saban at every practice and having him coaching me is something I will always love and cherish. I love going out to practice every day, which is funny because some of my teammates dread it. I have been praying for this opportunity for a long time. I'm not taking anything for granted, not for a second. Did you get any playing time? Did you get to dress for all the games? I'm red shirting this year, so I can’t play, but will get an extra year of eligibility. I get to dress for the five regular season home games but not for away games. I did get to travel and dress for the National Championship game, just like scholarship players. Take me through your experience with the National Championship, beginning with the team finding out they were going through going to the game itself. After the loss to Texas A&M, the team was worried. Then Alabama defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship. The team went crazy as we realized were going to the National Championship game. The trip to the game was the first time I ever flew in a plane. It was fun getting to travel with the team and stay in an incredible hotel. We had had practices before the game to get used to the heat and we went to a lot of pre-game meetings. Each day, my heart would pump more as I realized we were getting closer to the game. I was absolutely thankful to God and made a point to let my teammates know that. Then we had Media Day. We were all in our jerseys and the media was asking questions and taking pictures. We watched Coach Saban’s interview and that was cool. Then we took the “official” team picture. That’s when I thought “This is really happening!” I videotaped the drive to the stadium on game day. I had the BCS National Championship patch on my jersey and got to do the pre-game warm up with the team. Running out of the tunnel into a sold-out stadium of more than 78,000 fans was just amazing. The fans were so loud when we made our first touchdown of the game. It was surreal and hard to put into words. When we won, there was confetti everywhere. I didn’t go crazy. I just walked all around field thinking, “We just won the National Championship!” and taking it all in.

Did your family go to the game? Yes, I got to talk with them after the game in the stands. I was so glad we got to experience it together. After the game, we went to IHOP.

Did you get a ring? Yes!

Anything else you want to share about the game or cool stuff you got to do? Yeah, we received National Championship hats and t-shirts right there on the field. I never wear hats, but I sure put that one on! Can you say anything to our current students to help them reach their goals? Maybe even outside of football? Don’t let anyone stop you. If you have a dream, hold on to it. If it is God’s will, it will happen. Do you want to say anything to your CHCA coaches or teachers? I appreciate so much what Coach Taylor and the football staff did for me. They invested time in me, working hard with me and pushing me. I asked them to train me like I was going to play in the SEC and they did. Thank you! Anything else? God bless and “Roll Tide!”

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Pham family shares story of freedom

Dramatic piece of history featured in EBL flight unit

by Molly Packer ‘10

Calvin Pham, poses with his grandfather, Khaim, in front of the plane so important to his family’s story. Calvin’s father, Phi, was only a baby when Khaim used this plane to fly his family to safety.

Khaim Pham was a pilot in the Vietnamese Air Force when he developed a plan to fly his family out of Saigon before the city fell to the Communists.


alvin Pham, a CHCA second grader, didn’t just go on a family vacation for Spring Break this year – he experienced the history behind one of his family’s most exciting stories. This past March, Calvin traveled with his grandparents to Washington, D.C., where the Smithsonian Museum holds the star of the family story – the C-130 Hercules his grandfather ushered his family to safety in just one month before Communists took Saigon in May of 1975. Calvin’s grandfather, Khaim Pham, was a pilot in the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF). One night, while flying one of the last resupplying missions to Danang before it fell to the Communists, Pham and his crew were overwhelmed by more than 350 refugees who boarded the plane headed south to Saigon. Military officials begged and even made threats in order to get their families to safety on board the plane. The panic he witnessed in Danang gave Pham an idea: “I thought, ‘If it ever looks like the same thing is going to happen in Saigon, I will take a C-130 and get my family out!’” By April 2, 1975, Pham knew that he needed to plan his escape – and soon. Together with one of his best friends, Major Nguyen Huu Canh of the VNAF, Pham planned to fly his family out of Vietnam the next day. On April 3, all C-130’s were being used for bombing missions and Pham was the number one standby on the mission planning board. Telling his Squadron Operations Officer that he felt ill, he raced home to tell his family to go to the Long Than airport, seventeen miles southeast of Saigon, once he found a plane to take. Long Thanh, a former US Army airbase, would be deserted making it easier to escape. Pham and his friend didn’t know whether they would find a plane to use or how much gas a plane would have. By this point, the VNAF

Phi, Calvin, Oliver, Larkin and Lisa Pham. All three children attend Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School (Larkin begins kindergarten in the fall) and Lisa is a Media Specialist at CHCA Middle School.

only put enough gasoline to fly a mission plus a little extra in the event of an emergency. None of the planes would have enough to fly out of Vietnam. Pham didn’t even know if his crew would turn him in for trying to escape. By the grace of God, all these obstacles were overcome. By 3 p.m. Pham and his friend had a plane to use. Major Nguyen Huu Canh offered to take the mission of another pilot who had already flown two missions that day – the plane was theirs. Miraculously, one of the crew members had forgotten the new gasoline rationing rule and had accidentally filled the tanks. What's more, when told about the plan of escape, none of the crew members put up a fight, and one even made the escape with Pham, his family and his friend. At 4 p.m. Pham and his crew exchanged the 20,000 pounds of rice they were carrying for the supposed food resupply mission and instead took on Pham’s family, making their way to Thailand. After being held in Thailand for three weeks, the family was on their way to the United States. Years later, Pham’s family does not take for granted his heroic efforts. Pham’s daughter-in-law and Calvin’s mother, Lisa Pham says, “The Pham family continues to celebrate this important part of their history, giving thanks for God’s provisions down to the last detail as He led them to safety.” She enjoys sharing the Pham history with others and had the opportunity in March to show a slideshow to EBL third grade students who were studying the principles and history of flight. Taking a break from their hands-on activities, students had a unique opportunity to hear about the importance of flight in our world and to hear a personal account of the many ways that God works to protect his children. Said third grade teacher Nancy Anderson, “The Pham story is a wonderful example of how God cares for us and works everything together for good.”

CHCA students study flight During the month of March, third grade students at Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School participated in a unit of study on the principles of flight. Students enjoyed hands-on activities as they rotated from class to class to examine the history of flight, understand the character qualities that play an important role in success, and learn how the ability to fly has changed our global culture. Students also performed experiments that demonstrated the principles of flight. In one experiment, students created a mock jet propulsion rocket using fishing line, a straw and a balloon. In another experiment, students made paper airplanes and parachutes as they discussed heavier-than-air flight and lighter-than-air flight. The culminating activities for this unit were an exciting field trip to the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, a visit from a parent pilot, and a presentation by CHCA Middle School Media Specialist Lisa Pham that focused on the escape of the Pham family from Vietnam as Saigon fell to the enemy.



Ee ALUMNI NEWS From your Alumni Relations Office by Tracy Wolcott, CHCA Alumni Relations Coordinator

As a student at CHCA, you were part of a distinctive experience that strengthened your mind and your faith while providing you lasting friendships. Now, you are one of CHCA’s 1,500 alumni that shine in all walks of life. We are proud of you, are here to serve you and want to stay in touch with you. In order to do that, we are reaching out in ways that hopefully make it easy for you to stay connected at CHCA. Regional events: We bring these “mini reunions” straight to our alumni at area colleges so that those of you on campus or living nearby can easily participate. We started this past year with two regional events. For the first one, Dean Nicholas, Kevin Salkil, DeAnne Vallo and I hosted an event in Columbus, Ohio this past winter. For the second event, Dean Nicholas, Pete Dongell and I traveled to Oxford, Ohio in the spring. It was a joy for us to catch up with some of you and to witness you catching up with one another. We hope to see more of you as we are planning more events just like this for the coming months. Seasonal events: We enjoy gathering alumni during two special CHCA traditions – Homecoming, which we host when many colleges are on fall break, and Alumni Chapel that’s held in late spring when most college students are home for the summer. Online connections: We make it easy for you to stay connected with us via electronic alumni newsletters and CHCA’s Facebook page where we enjoy celebrating alumni accomplishments and transitions. To update us with your latest news and contact information, simply go to and click on “Update Us.” Of course, we have a variety of other fun ways to stay connected throughout the year: class reunions, CHCA performances, athletic events, speaking events and the annual Celebration Dinner & Auction. Whatever your favorite way of keeping in touch, please continue to reach out to your alma mater and classmates. We love to hear from you! Serving Him, Tracy Wolcott Alumni Relations Coordinator

Regional Alumni Event in Columbus, Ohio

Alumni events

Join us on campus or at a reunion this year – rediscover your alma mater and find out how you can learn, lead and serve with the next generation of CHCA students. Have questions about an event? Want to help out? Email or call (513)247-9944 ext. 210. August 2013 September 13, 2013 September 20, 2013 December 21, 2013 February 8, 2014 February 2014

Alumni Soccer Game Fall Festival* Homecoming Picnic* (5:00 p.m.) and football game (7:00 p.m.) Class of 2003 Ten Year Reunion Celebration Dinner & Auction Regional Event TBD

March 2014 March 7 - 9, 2014 April 5, 2014 April 2014 May 14, 2014

College 101 panel discussion with Class of 2014 MSL HS musical “Children of Eden”* ArtBeat Fine Arts Festival* Regional Event TBD Alumni Chapel

*These events feature special alumni-only discounts or freebies. Contact Tracy Wolcott via email at to learn more and make sure your contact information is up to date.

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Alumni Class Notes 1998

Michelle Toy Warner and husband, Jared, welcomed the birth of their daughter, Olivia Marie, on November 21, 2012. She weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. Michelle also received a good report from her oncologist and remains cancer-free. Elizabeth (Amend) Frey and husband, Eric, welcomed their second child, Andrew, on November 11, 2012. They also have a daughter, Audrey, who is 3 years old. Her family resides in Liberty Township, OH.


Tyler Campbell recently accepted a new position as a project manager for Line1 (a division of Mestek) in Moorseville, Indiana. He and his wife, Lori, and their two little girls, Eliana (3 yrs old) and Savannah (1 year old), moved back after living in San Diego for 6 years. They reside in Plainfield, Indiana. Krystal (Klendworth) Kleine and her husband, Charlie, are enjoying their 7 ½-month old son, Charlie. “He is healthy and happy and he is an absolute blessing.” Krystal is employed by First Financial Bank and is the Wealth Management Operations Team Lead. 26 20



Laura Bechtel is currently the Library Director for the City of Kerrville (located near San Antonio, Texas). She resides in Kerrville and really enjoys her job. In 2010 she earned her Master of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas. Joni (Foister) Brandyberry Since graduating from Mount Vernon Nazarene Unversity in 2005, Joni and her husband, Abe, have been working diligently to open a nonprofit community development called Cincinnati Urban Promise. This is a Christcentered organization that is designed to help break the cycle of poverty for families living in Northside, Cincinnati. Joni and Abe reside in Northside with their two sons, Ezekiel (4 years) and Tobiah (8 months). Bryan Leland resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife, Christy (Freeman ‘00) and their three children Braeden (6 ½ years), Abigail (5 years) and Koen (2 ½ years). They chose to move to Indianapolis to be part of a new church plant, Radiate Church, which started this past February. Bryan continues to work as a pharmacy manager for Walgreens.


Christopher Michael recently accepted a career with the Dolphins Research Center, based out of Marathon, Florida. Chris will be stationed in their “training tank” in Denver, Colorado, training Marine Mammal trainers. After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2006, he spent a lot of time travelling and earned his scuba certification in Bolivia, really submerging himself into the field. He had a few short internships with small-market aquariums and a short stint with the Miami Dolphins, which is where he realized that training dolphin trainers was his passion. He has always loved swimming and mammals, but found that his strength was training people rather than the animals. “Watching the trainers work with Snowflake was the most inspirational experience of my life,” Chris says. “This job is the culmination of years of dreaming and training, and none of this would have been possible without my high school education and CHCA.” Cameron Cooper Psiaki is a happy mom to her two kids, Linnea (3 ½ years) and Peter (16 months). She and her husband, Tim, love living near Seattle, Washington.

They are involved with coaching community group leaders in their neighborhood for their church.


Megan Dinkelacker Hendy and her husband, Justin, welcomed their second daughter, Alina Flora, on March 13, 2013. Justin is going to be attending the University of Tennessee to work on his PhD in Biology and they will move to Knoxville, Tennessee in August.


Rob Bedinghaus is finishing his last semester of coursework toward his PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at Indiana University and is still teaching Spanish at Indiana University. Over the next two years, he will complete his qualifying exams and dissertation about the acquisition of Spanish as a second language. His wife, Kate, is pregnant with their second child, and is due at the end of September.

Rachael (Herrmann) Martinez defended her dissertation in December 2012 and is now Dr. Rachael Herrmann Martinez, PhD. She studied Applied Social Psychology at Loyola University. She is now working as a Social Science Analyst at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where a part-time position was created for her as she was completing her final year. She began full-time work in January. Kevin Simowitz has worked since May 2012 with Maine People’s Alliance where his team of grassroots community organizers engages people across the state to further social and economic justice. Much of their work involves identifying opportunities for Mainers directly affected by an issue they’re tackling to take on a leadership role in the campaign. They help prepare leaders who work low-wage jobs to testify before the state legislature about the need to raise the minimum wage, and work with people whose health insurance bills are staggeringly high to demand a solution to the health care crisis that lowers costs while still providing quality care. As a part of his work at

Maine People’s Alliance, he also directs the Maine Small Business Coalition where he works with small business owners to advance public policy that creates an economic climate in which small business owners and their customers can succeed.When Kevin’s not working, he likes to explore Maine's outdoor offerings.



Randol Davis graduated from Spelman College in 2009 and has been living in Atlanta, Georgia where she worked for the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education. She recently moved to New York and lives in Brooklyn near the new stadium. She will likely do some job searching, but she is now just enjoying the city. Matt Chacksfield oversees sales and marketing for the ProCamps Fantasy Camps division where his clients include John Calipari, Bill Self, Tom Crean and Jim Larranaga. His focus is currently on corporate sponsorship sales for the sports camps of high-profile athletes including Clay Matthews, AJ Green, Jay Bruce and Tom Crean. Matt also handles marketing for some of ProCamps Worldwide’s youth camps. In his spare time, Matt enjoys working on his house that he purchased in November. He is an avid Red’s fan and loves to watch them play. John Pate completed his PhD in informatics from the University of Edinburgh and took a two to three year postdoctoral position in May with the Centre for Language Sciences and the Department of Computing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Amanda Topits graduated in 2012 from The University of Cincinnati DAAP where she majored in fashion design. Amanda has always had a passion for fashion and was drawn to the bridal industry. She worked for Glamour and Elle magazines, various fashion groups and bridal boutiques in California and Cincinnati before opening her own store. Amanda opened a boutique in the Hyde Park area in September 2012. Amanda’s Hyde Park Bridal has already received local and national recognition including Cincinnati’s "Best of The Knot 2013” and first place for wedding dress stories in the City Beat “Best of Cincinnati.”. She is engaged to fiancé, Joe Cacaro, and is planning a wedding for May 2014. To get more information about Amanda’s store and upcoming events, you can go to or follow Amanda on Twitter and Facebook.

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Annie (Nicholson) Cortez married Alexander Cortez a year ago in Cincinnati. Members of the wedding party included CHCA alumni Ted Nicholson ’07, Abby Carlin ’07, Kristen Smith ’07, Kara Hendy ’07, and Katy Perkins Snell ’07. Annie and Alex are graduates of Calvin College. Annie is a teacher in the Maderia school district and Alex is a student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. They reside in Cincinnati. Ricky Human graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2011 and immediately moved to downtown Chicago to be close to his girlfriend who is now his fiancé. For the past year and a half, he has worked at Northwest Community Hospital as a Critical Care RN in the ICU. He got engaged in April of 2012 and the wedding is planned for this coming August in Cleveland, Ohio. His fiancé, Laura Spelich, is the sister of one of his fraternity brothers from Case Western and she is currently a year away from obtaining her MBA from Loyola University Chicago. They plan to live in Chicago after the wedding. Ted Nicholson graduated from Calvin College in 2011. He is working as a clothing buyer and merchandiser for Bill & Paul's Sporthaus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he now resides.


Jeffery Agricola graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2012 with a degree in economics and is currently living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He works for, Inc. as a Financial Analyst. Jeffery says, “I love my job. It is certainly challenging, but is also quite rewarding. It is fun to work for a company that is growing so rapidly and changing the way consumers around the world shop. If I could give one word of advice it would be to keep buying from Amazon!” Jeffery often thinks about all the good memories he had at CHCA. He feels blessed that he attended such a great school and loves when he gets a chance to catch up with friends from his graduating class.


Hannah Frank graduated in May with a B.A. in English literature and educational studies from Denison University where she received the college’s most prestigious 28


student award, the President’s Medal, which was established in 1985 to recognize academic achievement as well as service to the community, contribution to the arts, enlargement of the community's global perspective, athletic fitness and achievement, leadership ability and contribution to community discourse. Hannah will be spending the summer as a camp counselor for Adventure Camp through the Freedom Foundation in Selma, Alabama. In the fall, she will move to Chicago to complete a year of service through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, work as a Student Advocate for Umoja Student Development Corporation and assist Chicago Public Schools students with college and career preparedness. Stephanie Jack graduated in May from Wake Forest University where she majored in business and enterprise management with a concentration in marketing. She interned this past summer in Dallas, Texas, at Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo) in Brand Management. She was fortunate enough to receive an offer from Frito-Lay and will be returning this fall as a Marketing Analyst. She will be in Cincinnati for the summer. Elizabeth Mangels received the Robert E. Georges Senior Award from The Ohio State University. This award is presented to a graduating senior in recognition of both academic excellence and outstanding leadership. After graduating in May from the OSU Fisher College of Business, she accepted a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers and will begin working in their accounting department this coming fall. She is looking forward to taking time this summer to travel, to spend time with her family and to hopefully go a mission trip. Philip Marosi graduated from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business on May 5, 2013, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army. On Saturday, May 11, he was married to Megan Moriarty in Columbus, Ohio. He leaves for training in Ft. Lee, Virginia, in June and will be stationed in Germany this October. Bethany Polzin graduated from the University of Wisconsin in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing. After graduation she will be staying in Madison in search of a job. She is planning on attending the University

of Washington in Seattle in June 2014 to earn a master’s degree in the Intercollegiate Athletics Leadership Program. Bethany says, “I'm looking forward to beginning a career in Intercollegiate Athletics”! Landry Smith graduated from Lipscomb University in May 2013 and earned a degree in Bible-Youth and Family Ministry. He plans to attend graduate school and pursue a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Beginning this summer, he will work as a youth minister for Hendersonville Church of Christ in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Darris Sneed went abroad at the beginning of this year for a music program called The Contemporary Music Center (CMC) that equipped him with the tools and opportunities to get into the industry as a gospel artist, arranger, producer and a writer. From Christian artists such as Audrey Aussad to multi- Grammy award winning producer Michael Omartian, he learned how to stay grounded in the music industry as a follower of Christ and how to always allow Him to lead him in his career choices. At the end of the semester, Darris was chosen as to be a headliner for the CMC tour. The tour went to many Christian colleges including Cedarville, Campbellville, Malone and others. Darris now has two new music singles, a successful tour and great contacts, so he believes he is on his way to the start of a great career in gospel music. In the meantime, Darris graduated in May from Cedarville University and accepted a summer job as Worship Pastor at Sugar Creek Baptist in Houston, Texas. Darris says, “God has truly been good to me. I am so thankful for my foundation at CHCA and I will continue to build upon it,” To find Darris’ tour dates, videos and contact information and for free music downloads, go to


Yujin Cho decided to take some time off from Baylor University and moved back to Korea last year. While getting plenty of rest and enjoying her vacation days with her family, she received a job offer from Samsung Biomedical Research Institute and decided to work instead of going back to school. She will go back to Baylor and graduate but right now,


she’s loving life in Korea working for Samsung. She also recently had a chance to meet up with Dr. Nicholas who visited Korea to meet up with Korean students' parents. “It was an honor to translate for them and I definitely had a great time! I would love to go back and visit CHCA when I get a chance.” Erin Lloyd is finishing her junior year at Wittenberg University and has remained on the Dean's list for her academic achievements. She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Gamma Sigma Alpha, and Mortar Board, all recognizing scholarship, leadership and service. Her love for science and helping others has led her to medicine and she is taking the MCAT this May. She was hired to work at The University of Tennessee this summer in molecular biology studying communicative patterns between plant cells. John Lloyd has had a great time at the University of Cincinnati where he plays football and majors in business management with a minor in international business. John was excited to have earned a spot on the Big East All-Academic Team and he remains in the top 10% of his team for his GPA of 3.8. He is working for Nike and will continue through the summer until the season starts. During the summer, he also works for Kohl's Professional Camps, premier instructors for kicking, punting and snapping. They cater to high school athletes as well as college and professional athletes. John was ranked sixth in the nation for punting by Kohl’s for the Class of 2010. Because of this connection, this will be the third year they are having a camp at CHCA. Stephanie Harris has worked for a year as an intern at Steelcase, a global furniture company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been asked to stay with them until she graduates. She is pursuing a double major in business marketing and sociology and recently became a trustee of Habitat for Humanity's Habitat Young Professionals Group. She will work as their Head of Marketing this summer. Molly Packer spent this past semester studying abroad in Maastricht in The Netherlands where she continued her study of journalism. Over the span of 14 weeks, she visited 12 European countries and

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wrote about her experience for a Texas travel company's blog. She will be a public relations intern with Hospice of Cincinnati and HealthCare Connection this summer. She will start her senior year at Baylor University in the fall.


Rebecca Andre completed her sophomore year at High Point University and says she had an incredible year. She was elected Sisterhood Chair of Program Council and Secretary of Executive Council for Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She also made the Dean’s list again this semester and has a 3.7 overall GPA. She is studying human relations and is planning on going to grad school for elementary education or counseling. She will be working as a waitress this summer in Cleveland, Ohio, living with several of her friends from college. Deeter Cesler completed his sophomore year studying international relations at the University of St.Andrews in Scotland where Deeter says he has met a lot of great people. He is a committee member of the American Society of St. Andrews and he is also working on a book about the unity of the church in America. He spent last summer in Amman, Jordan, and hopes to spend this summer in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Lauren was struck by the ability each person holds to change the world. Says Lauren, “Believing in people and seeing the greatness within them is an immeasurable gift which roots hope and cultivates action.” Committed to this dream of empowering young people, Lauren accepted an internship in Tijuana, Mexico. Lauren and 2013 CHCA graduates, Kelsey Vice and Molly Burdsall, will be a part of a team spending five weeks leading an education-based summer camp to increase learning skills, knowledge and confidence in the students of Tijuana Christian Mission (TCM). Lauren says, “I have been so blessed to partner with this organization and be a part of that change. Our team looks not to bring a vision and execute a prototype, but to work with the community of TCM and to foster their dreams and goals through agricultural, spiritual and educational endeavors”. To learn more about World Changers, visit Amy Mirlisena completed her first year at Miami University where she is majoring in early childhood education and minoring in developmental psychology. She still has a passion for singing and has performed as a soloist with the Ohio Metropolitan Orchestra and is part of the auditioned Miami University Chamber Singers choral group that had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall this past October. She is also a sorority member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Amy will be home this summer working as a nanny.

Maddie Drees will be a junior at Kent State where she is pursuing a degree in Music Theatre. She will spend her summer performing with a professional summer stock theater group at Porthouse Theatre in Kent, Ohio. She will be performing in two musicals: South Pacific and Fiddler on the Roof.

Nick O’Toole graduated from Scarlet Oaks Fire and Rescue Academy. He completed his coursework and received his State of Ohio Firefighter I and II certificate and is also certified in EMS. He loves the fire and rescue elements of the program.

Lauren Haslem has been working on some exciting projects with World Changers, an organization she was first introduced to while at CHCA on a senior J-Term trip. When she traveled to Hopewell in 2011, Lauren became enraptured by the love of the community and with the dreams of World Changers. World Changers is comprised of and supported by people who believe in the capacity instilled in people to change the world. This past February, Lauren returned with World Changers to the Hopewell Christian Deliverance Center in Jamaica, where her team of seven worked with the Hopewell community to establish three microbusinesses, hiring an adult project director and two young-adults to be agricultural entrepreneurs. As Lauren worked alongside these people “who radiated love and watched their dream being drawn into a blueprint,”

Michelle Feeney is working this summer on a global health project with WHO and HELP International in Suva, Fiji for eight weeks, mostly focusing on noncommunicable diseases (NDC). Her orientation starts as soon as she arrives and will include more details on what the project will specifically entail, but the project is primarily focused on prevention of high-risk NCDs. Michelle enjoyed her first year at Notre Dame and looks forward to returning in the fall.



Stephanie Grevey enjoyed her first year at Auburn University. She became an active member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and said she met many great people and developed lifelong friendships. She is majoring in human development and family studies with a minor in psychology. This summer, she has been given the opportunity to volunteer at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center working with child life specialists. She is looking

forward to her next three years at Auburn and is excited for what the future has in store for her. Bridget Simpson is studying English and creative writing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has been accepted into the Scholar Leader community for the 2013-2014 school year. This extremely competitive program includes a scholarship and allows Bridget the opportunity to be part of a unique community with other scholar leaders. Bridget will be home for the summer and will be working at Five Seasons. Meredith Stutz completed her first year at Elon University where she is a broadcast major, a Communications Fellows (honors program) member of the Dean’s List, a reporter for the oncampus news station Elon Local News, a co-coordinator for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and an employee with the Campus Recreation event management team. She is excited to have recently learned that she was hired by the Elon admissions department as a tour guide. To earn this position, she went through a very competitive hiring process with over 400 applications. This summer, Meredith will be spending time serving as a nanny for a family and shadowing at WCPO Channel 9. Jacob Thiel is attending The Ohio State as recipient of the Maximus and Choose Ohio First for Engineering and Entrepreneurship scholarships, and is minoring in Entrepreneurship. The Ohio State University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering held its annual Honors and Awards Ceremony this spring to recognize exceptional students, faculty and alumni. With a 4.0 GPA in OSU’s Engineering Honors program, Jacob was one of just 13 students in the department to receive the MEAS Top Academic Award. The honor was accompanied by a cash award and follows a week after a robot designed and built by Jacob and his team posted the second-highest score of the day in OSU’s Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors Robotics Competition. Josh Thiel finished out his freshman year and was on the Robert Morris University’s College of Business Dean’s List for his studies in Marketing. He also made the Northeast Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll.

ALUMNI NEWS Tyler Vonderhaar is currently majoring in mechanical engineering at Purdue University. He is involved with the Purdue Society for Professional Engineers and is a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity. This summer, he will be at Purdue taking summer classes and then he will be back in Cincinnati this fall working for General Electric Company as a co-op student in the aviation department.

Pictured above and left:

Homecoming 2013 Pictured below:

Alumni Chapel 2013

Alumni with CHCA seniors at College 101 session

Class of 2013 Lifers Reception

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The publication of David’s manuscript has proved to be a success not only for David, but for CHCA as well. Thanks to the help of CHCA teachers and staff, students like David are currently pursuing unique opportunities that help them prepare for a career later on in life. “I cannot tell you how exciting this is! It is only fitting that David leads the way,” High School Principal Dean Nicholas shared. “We are so excited for more of our students to follow the path of research.”

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Alumnus David Hughes '10 published in scientific journal by Molly Packer ‘10

The American Chemical Society recently published CHCA alumnus David Hughes’ (’10) manuscript about the synthesis of the toxin in the poison hemlock plant in Chemical Research in Toxicology. The manuscript, which was published in the April 15, 2013 issue, consists of the research David and other researchers on his team performed during the summer of 2009 at the USDA Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory (PPRL) in Logan, Utah, to measure the toxicity of the poison hemlock plant. Their findings will help solve the problems in the livestock industry that are created by this plant. David received the opportunity to work in the PPRL when he was recommended to Dr. Glenn Jordan, a former CHCA chemistry teacher, by Dr. Lu Taylor, David’s AP Physics teacher. “Dr. Jordan was planning to work at the PPRL in the summer of 2009 and approached Dr. Taylor about the possibility of opening up the opportunity for a student to work with him,” David said. “She recommended me as someone who may be a good match.” So, with the encouragement of his teachers, David spent the summer researching among some of the top scientists in the world. Now, four years later, David is pursuing a degree in chemical engineering from Penn State University and working as a co-op student at ExxonMobil in Texas. As a facilities engineer in the chemical plant, David implements projects that improve process safety, efficiency, production and reliability for the company. When he graduates in December 2014, David plans to work in industry.

RESEARCH AT CHCA: As colleges are encouraging more and more undergraduate research, CHCA is continuing to grow its research curriculum and develop researchers. Under the leadership of Dr. Nancy Schaefer with assistance from Mrs. Jody Petersen, Sophomore Research and Leadership Seminar provides students with an opportunity to learn about and experience the research process. During first semester of 2012-13, students learned the intricacies and complexities of conducting original research. In the second semester the students worked in three teams on actual research projects. One team worked under the mentorship of Dr. Savage on aquaponics research, one team worked with Dr. Suzie White on research for her program called Leadership Scholars and one team conducted research on PRT (Personal Responsibility Time) for Dr. Nicholas. This experience launched a number of these students into ongoing research this summer and next year. Some of them will be continuing with their aquaponics research and one student will be working with Dr. Hahn of the University of Cincinnati conducting medical research. These students will have the opportunity to get real-world research experience and have their names attached to published research articles.

Parent Alumni Exchange (PAX) 2013-2014

When CHCA seniors walk across the stage to receive diplomas, they become alumni…and their parents become members of a special group known as CHCA Parent Alumni Exchange (or PAX). Join us for a number of events designed to keep alumni parents “doing life” together with the extended family they embraced while they had students at CHCA. Our activities include fellowship, service, learning, and fun. For more information contact September 2013 September 20, 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 December 8, 2013 February 8, 2014


Kick Off Luncheon Homecoming Picnic and Football Game Assembly of Care Packages for Class of 2013 Gallery Showing of CHCA AP Art students’ work Christmas Brunch Sacred Music Concert Celebration Dinner and Auction

More to come!


Regional Alumni Event in Oxford, Ohio

LEAN INTO LIFE CHCA helps found new standards-based education organization In Second Year, CESA has 30 Schools from Across the Nation

It all started some years ago in Boston, Massachusetts. Christian school leaders from across the country gathered to better understand how we could increase collaboration and build a higher level of respect in the post-secondary world for Christian education. About 60 schools including CHCA were selected to attend the convocation. Several months later, the Council on Educational Standards & Accountability (CESA) was formed with Randy Brunk, CHCA’s Head of School, serving as the Chairman of the Board. A director was hired, standards were formed and the certification process was established. In just 24 months after introduction of the original concepts, the first schools were going through an audit process regarding certification. Today, 30 of the 40 schools in CESA have either been audited or are firmly in the process. Membership in Phase One is limited to 40 schools so, in just a short time, the membership ceiling has nearly been reached. CHCA received its certification during the Spring of 2013. CESA stands ready to stimulate excellence in educational outcomes for students in all of its member schools. CESA holds an annual conference with engaging speakers; works with schools in raising the level of excellence to meet standards; hosts innovative conferences regarding topics such as the technology integration and theological integration within the classroom, gaining acceptances into top tier colleges and universities; implements online courses and more. Here, CHCA Head of School Randy Brunk answers some questions about CESA and why membership is important to CHCA and to Christian education around the world. At its core, what is the Council on Educational Standards & Accountability and what is its purpose? The Council on Educational Standards and Accountability exists to motivate, support, and hold accountable Christian schools that aspire to superlative academic standards, institutional best practices, and collaboration with like minded schools. CESA bases its collegiality on adherence to five overall standards: Mission Clarity, Effective Governance, Institutional Viability, Academic & Programmatic Distinction and a Coherent Sense of Community. There are of course numerous standards under each heading that create a very high bar for schools. Why is CESA important? The need for high quality Christian schools is compelling. Our schools must be institutions of academic excellence. The reason for a Christian school’s existence is to be a school, a place of academic learning. Therefore, Christian schools must be institutions that seek excellence, providing the rigor and support necessary for students to thrive and the programs required to enable students to engage with and impact culture and society. Dr. Charles Glenn of Boston University suggests faith-based schools that are clear about what they stand for are successful because they have a clear vision for education. This vision includes a focus upon Christ and the virtues that pervade all activities within the Christian school. Likewise, this vision includes an understanding that all that is done within the Christian school is done with excellence, as if unto Christ. In a time when the world is crying out for answers to complex questions, the need for schools that develop relevant and

impactful Christians is momentous. Students who are prepared spiritually and intellectually for adulthood face, not a time of doom, but a shining moment as Christ followers. How does a school gain membership to CESA? The Council on Educational Standards and Accountability requires schools to demonstrate quality, commitment, rigor, and excellence in every facet of the school. In order to gain membership, schools must demonstrate substantial compliance with CESA standards and have a two year for remediation plan for all areas in which compliance is not fully met. Why did you accept a leadership role at CESA? There has been a growing tension between the values of academic rigor and discipleship. In many circumstances, Christian parents have been forced to choose between high academic standards in public or non-sectarian independent schools and their local Christian school’s desire to nurture the faith of the child, but not the intellect. Too often a commitment to discipleship and a commitment to academic excellence have stood in opposition to one another. My goal professionally and personally is to see that tension released. The tension is unnecessary and at CHCA we prove that every day. The building of the mind and building faith are completely compatible and so leading an institution that regards that highly is an honor for me and I am committed to its success. What can we expect for the future of CESA? I believe CESA schools will help re-brand the value of a Christian education for our patrons and for the colleges, universities and eventually the employers of our students. If we will continue to insist that academic rigor and programmatic excellence in all areas are inherent to discipleship, not contradictory, we will not only encompass those schools aspiring to that vision but compel other Christian school to strive likewise. As a result, CESA schools will demand quality, commitment, rigor, and excellence in every facet of their schools. I believe we will have a structure in place soon that will allow us to work in conjunction with aspiring schools to enable growth, provide resources for improvement, and to hold accountable all schools who strive for programmatic distinction and excellence, for the glory of God.

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Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy will unleash each student’s God-given gifts through Christ-centered academic excellence. We are devoted to developing the whole person, and instilling a lifelong passion for learning, leading and serving.

Eagle's Eye Summer 2013  
Eagle's Eye Summer 2013