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The Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Magazine

2015 Edition

Cover story:

Celebrating 25 years: A light to the world article on page 2

T-shirt design by Gabe Collins ‘11

2014 Eagle’s Eye Volume 19

Editor: Jennifer Murphy

Promise Statement Centered in the shared love of Christ, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy is the college-preparatory, preschool through grade 12 independent school that inspires and challenges students to discover, hone, and steward their one-of-a-kind gifts as they come to know themselves as distinct and unconditionally loved creations of God. CHCA’s vibrant, multi-denominational family of learners creates a sheltering—but not sheltered— environment where, supporting each other and guided by expert Christian teachers, students wrestle with increasingly complex, timeless, essential questions in order to strengthen their minds and their faith. Beginning with the end in mind, CHCA graduates young adults fully prepared to succeed in college and beyond; to engage effectively and lovingly with different cultures, viewpoints, and ideas; and to achieve significant impact

Assistant Editor: Emma Treadway ‘18 Lead Photographer: Judi Alvarado Contributors: Judi Alvarado Todd Bacon Taylor Budde ‘15 Julie Carnes Mike Fite Sam Handelsman ‘15 Karen Hordinski Abby Jutt ‘19 Stel Kirbabas Ellie Koutny Allie Kuroff ‘15 Dan Ledbetter (photography) Massie Ma ‘16 Jennifer Mullert Michael O’Brien ‘15 Casey (Sutherly) Purnhagen ‘00 Tammy Rosenfeldt Tyler Swedes ‘15 Mona Summers Emma Treadway ‘18 Eagle’s Eye Magazine Eagle’s Eye is published annually by Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Please send address changes to or 513.247.0900 Visit us on the web at On the cover: Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Celebrates 25 Years...a light to the world!

and influence with discerning wisdom, courageous curiosity, and resilient Christian faith— where others pull back, they lean into life.

Follow CHCA on Facebook Follow CHCA on Twitter @GoCHCA

Follow CHCA on Instagram @GoCHCA

From the Head of School What Courage…What an Outcome! I think about our founding families a lot these days. What courage they had those many years ago to not only invest their time, talent, and treasure, but to invest their most precious possession - their children - to the cause of Christian education. While there were great things happening in the classrooms in those early years, they knew the CHCA dream was just starting to be fully realized, and so much more was to come. Our early parents were willing to build the foundation of something that would take far more time than their children might experience to realize the fruit of the thriving entity CHCA has become today.

Randy Brunk, Head of School

Table of Contents Dynamically engaged

Celebrating 25 Years…A Light to the World 2 Spiritual Life Emphasis Week 4 A Spark Realized into a Bright Light 6 8 Students Living out their Faith A Story to Remember 10 Campus Highlights 12 Timeline 14

Refreshingly insightful

Our Study Abroad Experience Students on Mission Engaged Learning at the Lower School Academic Teams

Boldly determined

CHCA Athletics Winning Record for Varsity Football

Exuberantly creative

ArtBeat 2014 Fine Arts Awards

Fully prepared & boundlessly hopeful

Class of 2015 Graduation Reflection Class Recognitions A CHCA Family Legacy

Inspiringly benevelant A Light and Legacy

Resiliently faithful

Alumni News Alumni Class Notes

18 20 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 36

Knowing that the outcome and impact from a CHCA education is significant, we recently took an in-depth look at what we have become from those humble beginnings. We interviewed not only some of the founding families, but also our current students, families, faculty, and staff to more deeply understand what makes them so encouraged by what a CHCA education produces. What resulted was a set of what we call transformative outcomes - two word impact statements which succinctly describe what we tend to see in our students as they mature in our program. Here is just a sampling of those outcomes: Resiliently Faithful, Fully Prepared, Dynamically Engaged, Refreshingly Insightful, Boldly Determined, and Exuberantly Creative. These statements become a fresh new challenge each time I read them. My most recent focus is on the first three listed above. Faith and learning should always be integrated and taught together, and they happen most profoundly when a student is fully engaged. Being able to start each day, each lesson, each conversation with the perspective that scripture and the Holy Spirit provide connects us continually to the author and perfecter of creation and of our faith. From the very earliest to the very oldest of years, developing the mind is like discovering God in brand new ways every day. And we desire to do that in a way that inspires each student to become dynamically engaged in this theologically integrated learning process. Their fresh young minds are so alive with activity when they deeply engage: piquing their interest, owning their learning, and becoming confident learners. Brain research is helping us to better understand the learning process and the development of the mind, and technology is providing new ways to capitalize on that research. What has resulted from our study, research, and planning is the recent plan set forth for where we are headed. This new journey builds on the great foundation our early families laid and introduces new ways to dive deeper in fulfilling the founding mission and vision of the school. As our transformative outcomes suggest, we have high hopes for the kinds of world changers our students become. Students who embody these outcomes will flourish in a world that badly needs their presence and influence. I hope in 25 more years we will continue to affirm our foundation and yet do an increasingly excellent job preparing students to impact the world they will soon enter. Blessings,

Randy Brunk Head of School

38 39


Dynamically engaged Founding family member Mary Beshear tells the faith journey and story of CHCA in a 25th Anniversary Chapel this past school year.

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Celebrates 25 Years...a light to the world! What began as an elementary school that opened its doors to 165 students 25 years ago, CHCA has blossomed into a journey beyond all expectations: four campuses serving students ages 3 through grade 12, 500,000+ student outreach hours served, the city’s largest international student program, 80+ Miami Valley Conference (MVC) athletic championships, annual National Merit recognition, 1,800 graduates worldwide doing some amazing things, and so much more as a result of the school’s continued vision. Founding families of CHCA, circa 1989

Opened in 1989, CHCA was initially home to 165 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 7th grade


Two criteria rose to the forefront when families were planning CHCA: that the school would be a Christ-centered extension of these families’ homes, and that the curriculum offered would ensure that students receive the education necessary to enter the country’s finest universities. The founding families really wanted the school and its students to be beacons of light to the world, and that’s exactly what has happened. At CHCA, learning and faith reinforce each other. We graduate students who are fully prepared academically, as well as spiritually. CHCA’s remarkable faculty members build into our students each day as they discover and grow their unique gifts and talents. Only then can they truly make a kingdom impact in the real world.

CHCA began as one building on a 25-acre parcel of farmland. Opened in 1989, our building at 11300 Snider Road was initially home to 165 students pre-kindergarten to seventh grade. “It was a complete leap of faith for every parent,” shares Martha Lindner. The Lindners were one of CHCA’s founding families, and Martha confesses she didn’t know at first what was going to happen. “We were living on the edge from a standpoint of faith. But God was really pricking our hearts in a direction and we had to follow.” That direction was a providential one. CHCA prospered as a locus of scholastic and spiritual excellence. Soon it began to expand. Between 1995 and 2000, CHCA opened both a new elementary school and a high school, and then a second elementary school in downtown Cincinnati, launching CHCA’s Armleder School. Today, CHCA has grown into one of the largest multi-denominational Christian schools in the country, home to over 1,200 students across Greater Cincinnati. We’re intentional about being academically excellent, as well as Christ-centered in all we do. At each grade level, CHCA’s curriculum sparks curiosity and fuels mastery. Through our culture of vigorous effort and inquiry, combined with loving attention to individual gifts, students gain the tools they need to go out into the world, fully-prepared both in mind and in faith. “We’ve carefully designed our college-preparatory program to foster lifelong passions for learning,

CHCA’s original building is now one of four buildings and home to over 350 students grades 5-8.

serving others and providing thoughtful, effective leadership in today’s complex world,” says CHCA’s Head of School Randy Brunk. “As Christian educators, we make it our mission to prepare each student not only for ever greater academic challenges, but for every aspect of their adult lives. We inspire and challenge them to discover and steward what God created them to be—the most engaged, learned, involved, relevant, inquisitive, gracious, and passionate versions of themselves—so they can more deeply and effectively impact God’s world.” Beginning with the end in mind, CHCA’s curriculum builds confidence, faith and a lifelong love of learning in an age-appropriate progression. “Our dedicated faculty members guide students to step outside of what comes naturally and comfortably, because only by stretching do we truly grow,” explains Brunk. “We endeavor to walk in others’ shoes and push the limits of our understanding. And we become transformed in the process.” A current CHCA middle school student shares, “Our teachers want to make sure that our faith is our own. They want us to know why we believe something – not just accept what others tell us.” Twenty-five years ago, the vision of CHCA being a place where students would be encouraged, through a growing faith and knowledge, to learn and serve has certainly exceeded all expectations. “I truly believe the teachers see my children as God’s creation. This makes a big difference in how they teach and mentor them,” says Melissa Hillis, a CHCA parent whose parents are a founding family. Now that her children attend, she has a new perspective on the school’s worth. “The teachers approach the children as carefully and wonderfully made. They know that in times of growth there is great hope for them because God created them that way for a reason.”

Balloon launch the first day of school 25 years ago

“Head, heart, hands” describes the school’s three-fold approach to faith development. Students embrace faith from an intellectual perspective through daily classes in Christian Studies and theological integration, incorporating Biblical understanding across all subjects. Weekly chapels challenge students to consider how their faith shapes their daily lives. And local, national and international service opportunities give students the opportunity to put their faith into action. Preparing students for lives of impact is the cornerstone of Intersession, one of CHCA’s most unique offerings. This two-week experiential learning opportunity gives all high school students the chance to delve into passions with career internships, explore the world through service or study, or pursue an academic interest in depth. Through these experiences, students are immersed in a world outside of the classroom, often spawning future vocational interests. Another factor in the school’s 25-year success is its laudable diversity. The multi-denominational Christian school has students from more than 160 churches and 40 zip codes. One-fifth of the student body is racially and ethnically diverse and 22 “…let your light shine before othpercent of students receive need-based tuition assistance. This diversity prompts ers, that they may see your good students to engage meaningfully with deeds and glorify your Father in different cultures, viewpoints and ideas in and out of the classroom. heaven.”

CHCA today

Demonstrably, CHCA is devoted to developing the whole student by instilling a lifelong passion for learning. Students are inspired in a Christ-centered environment to emulate His leadership, service, teachings and words. The school champions academic excellence and community service among its student body while encouraging them to explore their unique gifts outside of the classroom. Moreover, it is not uncommon for a football player to be a lead in the play; students are encouraged to pursue all of their interests in equal measure. Having completed CHCA’s rigorous curriculum, graduates are primed not merely to subsist in the world after high school, but to excel in it. They go forth as beacons representing God’s kingdom.

The Bible verse, Matthew 5:16, was designed into the school’s 25th Anniversary logo as a representation of the original inspiration of the school’s founders, and today’s continued hope that students, graduates, families and friends of CHCA will “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”


Dynamically engaged

Spiritual Life Emphasis Week by Emma Treadway ‘18

Each year the week before Easter, CHCA holds its annual Spiritual Life Emphasis Week. This recent year, students attended several chapels which featured inspiring speakers (including our own faculty, alumni, parents and friends of CHCA), excellent worship, and engaging activities. Students in all grades at each campus participate in this special event for our school. The EBL campus hosted speaker Jon Paris who led interactive Jeopardy games, gave a message on Jesus as the author of salvation and taught about the parables of Jesus. He spoke specifically about the parable of the seed and soil (Matthew 13:13) and how God wants us to have a heart like the seed on fertile soil that grows and grows. Several fourth graders were able to participate by leading their school in opening or closing prayer. Armleder’s theme for the week was “Get Connected” and students learned about the importance of having a strong relationship with God (below). Students were posed with the question, “What does God want you to hear today?” They were challenged to connect to Him through reading



the Bible and praying every day. Students were also encouraged with the message of how much God knows and loves each one of us (Psalm 139:14) “Remain in Him and He will help you fulfill your purpose.” Students in grades 5-8 focused on the scripture verse “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Each day was themed with different mediums or talents such as art or athletics that we can use for worship. MSL upper school art teacher Tim Hilderbrand led “The Arts in Worship” chapel: he reminded the students to think of their unique gifts and ways they can use that talent for His glory. He also spoke of his own unique gift—art—and demonstrated pottery-making. To close, he left the students with a challenge: pray and talk to God, listen to the spirit and the voice in your heart, and go out and fulfill your calling by using your talent to bless others. If we surrender to Him, He will use us and bless us. Chapel for grades 9-12 featured several alumni who vulnerably and humbly shared thought-provoking

During the week before Easter, CHCA held its annual Spiritual Life Emphasis Week. Each day, students attended several chapels which featured inspiring speakers (including our own faculty, alumni, parents and friends of CHCA), excellent worship, and engaging activities.

and personal stories. Adam Atallah ‘07 shared his spiritual journey and life from what led his family to CHCA all the way through his faith journey post college. Lena Tome ’09 shared her spiritual journey from CHCA and through college as well, and challenged ‘What if God was the main character and we were just supporting characters?’ She shared how at a pivotal point in her journey, Jesus started to prune her and slowly her habits and behaviors started to change. Christie Taylor (’11) had a message that was both heartbreaking and inspiring. She began with the statement that she didn’t want to sugar-coat any part of her story. She spoke of emotional agony and torment she experienced as a young adult. During her trip to Kenya, she purchased

a cup from a man who collected broken shards of glass, cleaned them, and melted and blew them into something new and beautiful. The cup reminded her that when you are broken, God can help make you into something beautiful again. She also shared how a roommate had broken the cup accidentally which taught her that being made new again is a process. It isn’t easy, and you can still break again, but God will still continue to mold you and make you into something new. She ended the chapel by inviting high school students to talk with her privately afterwards to share their own stories.


“Abby was so touched - we all were. We just love that the school made this a priority and encouraged Abby to really go for it! God is doing something beautiful at that school, and it has been really special watching it come together.” Abby’s mother, Anne Jutt


Dynamically engaged

A Spark Realized into a Bright Light

by Abby Jutt ‘19

Last summer, I shakily approached Mr. Gilbert to share my dream of building a special space for prayer in the Middle School building. When I asked if I could convert a small utility closet for this purpose, Mr. Gilbert said, “No way.  Prayer is way too important for a junky closet.” I was so blown away when the school provided a large space just off of the library available for this dream. Administration encouraged our team to make it a wonderful retreat where students and staff can spend quiet time with God, or join in groups to pray together.  Throughout this past year, it has been such a joy to see the prayer wall filling with genuine heartfelt needs, and I’ve learned so much about God’s heart to connect with us.  I love that our school is so serious about helping us go deeper in our relationships with Jesus.


Dynamically engaged

Shining a Light on Service:

Students Living out their Faith

Contributors: Student Outreach Coordinator Karen Hordinski, Massie Ma ’16 and Emma Treadway ‘18

It is a great joy to see our youngest children serve with excitement and wonder in their classrooms. They write letters to soldiers, bring in their hard earned chore money to give to non-profits, visit local nursing homes, and put together boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Our middle school students participate in local service through the Thanksgiving basket project and Ronald McDonald House. They also initiate their own fundraisers and take mission trips to Appalachia and Mexico. Our high school students plan and lead over thirty service teams each year, participate in over a dozen high school mission trips, and donate over 20,000 hours a year to the community. CHCA has a strong reputation in serving the community.


Why do we do this? We commit time and intention to thoughtful and engaged service because we believe it changes who we are, it changes how we act, and it changes our world. We want our students to engage in community service projects, service-learning and mission/immersion trips as a lifestyle. At CHCA we are in the business of preparing students to think about people and the world through a different lens. We hope to nurture a worldview that teaches students to see the world and the people in it as belonging to God. A perspective that teaches

students to see themselves as active players in making the world a fair and just place, just like the world Jesus talks about creating in the Scriptures. Regular involvement in community service provides authentic and seasoned opportunity to respond to God’s call to care for the vulnerable and marginalized. Community service, classroom service-learning, and mission immersion trips provide rich opportunity for students to think critically about human need, faith, and action. Through personal experience we remind ourselves of the millions who are hungry, disabled, lonely, neglected, sick, in prison. This personal experience with people and communities upsets us when we learn these stories and see how people are marginalized. A student’s personal experience teaches them to think critically, and prepares their hearts and minds to make lifelong decisions that do not exclude suffering and disadvantaged people. Having this chance to lead others through unique and meaningful projects cultivates a passion for service in students. Massie Ma, a junior at CHCA and currently one of the school’s many international students, tells her story about how she was inspired to lead a mission to collect gently-used clothes in Kunming. She recruited six of her friends to help her with her project:

“The welfare group I founded, Yasheng (which, in English, means “bloom”), started to have its own pulse. I prepared things we needed for our project in two weeks. I would have never known the price of a cardboard box, or of a box of business cards, or how to get what I needed for a price I was willing to pay until I really experienced it. We had a meeting that night to thoroughly discuss the plan of the following days. I had each of them talk about our group and our used clothing collection project as if they were introducing Yasheng to a stranger. We were divided into three groups, which was very helpful. We were able to have our groups work at three different places. One of my goals was to have a wider range and a larger group of people involved. The first day, we went to many apartments in three different parts of the city in order to get permission to have a good place to set up our donation corner. For each donation corner we put a poster and a donation box. I remember that day I walked for nearly ten hours with my partner from one apartment to another; however, I hardly felt tired. We were not nicely treated by a few of the staffs we met. One of them got mad at us because we interrupted her day off by a phone call. I was upset, but there was no other choice other than to keep trying and to make things work out because I felt I was responsible for Yasheng. By the end of the day, we were received by four apartments. One of the other two groups got no permission, but left a poster and a donation box with only permission from an apartment security person. They did not have any expectation. The other group got clothes that filled five donation boxes! Their achievement cheered the whole group. The next day, we all went back to the apartments assigned to each of the groups. The group that had

had no expectation surprisingly received several boxes of clothing overnight! People brought their own boxes because our donation box was so full. All of the clothing piled up in boxes like small hills. Everything was beyond our expectations that day and the following days. One morning, when I went back to one of my groups’ donation corners, everything on the top of the hill was dripping. It had rained at three o’clock in the morning while we were sound asleep. We rescued some of the dry clothing and moved all of the wet clothing back to my father’s factory where we stored it. We spent hours hanging up the wet clothing. Doing this made all of us feel better. In the seven days, I met people who invited me to go into their houses for a break or a meal when I was standing next to my poster trying to explain what we were doing to people who pass by in the drizzle. I met people who brought down some fruits for me because they thought what I was doing was a good thing. There were people who called me to let me know they would bring some clothes the next day. I was so moved because of the goodness in their hearts. It was an amazing experience to make an idea come true and to lead this amazing group. Yasheng will now have a big project in different cities every summer. It will be growing, and be recognized by more and more people. Our goal is to have more people in China conscious of what they can do for people who need help. The most precious thing I have learned during studying in the United States is that we need to help each other, and that it does not matter if we know each other or not. I have participated in many SOS activities at CHCA, and I long to see more and more people in my country be involved in public benefit activities.”

Massie’s story is only one of the many stories of CHCA students. Nearly all of our students, many of them international students like Massie, are involved in some form of service both in and outside of school. On average, each class of students in grades 9-12 log over 26,000 volunteer hours throughout their four years. Last year’s graduating class totaled in with an outstanding 28,000 hours. At the school, we have seventy different groups led and organized by students. Every year many of these students are recognized for their dedication and achievement in service leadership with awards and scholarships. As well as the SOS program, CHCA is known for its life-changing and transformational mission immersions, both locally and abroad. Our students have traveled internationally across the globe: Haiti, Mexico, Israel,

Hungary, India, Guatemala, Kenya and more. Domestic missions include partnerships right in our backyard of Cincinnati, as well as Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, California and more. With both SOS and missions, CHCA kindles in its students a love and passion for service that will lead and guide them throughout the rest of their lives.


Dynamically engaged

A Story to Remember by Sam Handelsman ‘15

West Side Story ended up being more fun and meaningful than I ever thought it could. I will definitely never forget being a part of such a wonderful and meaningful production!

I first heard the school was going to do Arthur Laurents’ West Side Story my Junior year. This got my wheels turning, but although I had interest, I was hesitant to commit to the show. After much encouragement from my mother and Mrs. Jung, I decided to join the effort to put on the masterpiece that is West Side Story. I saw West Side Story for the first time when I was ten years old. Although I could not fully appreciate the story at that age, I enjoyed it a lot. I knew very quickly who my favorite character was. I almost immediately looked up to Bernardo and rooted for him. I have a few sisters myself, and I’m very protective over them as Bernardo is to Maria. So when I actually landed the part of Bernardo and started rehearsing, I felt like I knew my character extremely well. Acting as Bernardo made this experience special. I loved and respected my character so much. When it comes to this show, I’d pick Bernardo every time. Although I knew my character well, I lacked performing experience. Thanks to a lot of help from many people in the theatre department, this became a minor issue. Mrs. Jung was incredibly helpful from the first rehearsal all the way to the last performance. She helped me immensely with my acting, singing, and choreography – and at the same time gave me freedom to make things my own. I also received a lot of help with choreography and encouragement from CHCA dad and supporter, Michael Kuremsky. He was present at every rehearsal and always one of my biggest supporters. Last but not least, I was spoiled by my classmates who have been in theatre for a long time. Will Ellis, the Hoyer Brothers, Merrie Drees, Allie Kuroff, Matt Carol, and many more welcomed me into the theatre. In addition to making me feel comfortable on stage, they helped me with my performing technique throughout production. Most importantly, I made many new friends and had a blast with all of them. I’m so thankful for the people in this show; they made it such a special experience. West Side Story ended up being more fun and meaningful than I ever thought it could be. I was able to play one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite stories. I’m so thankful for the friendships we formed and everything I learned. I will definitely never forget being a part of such a wonderful and meaningful production!


“Mrs. Jung was incredibly helpful from the first rehearsal all the way to the last performance. She helped so much with acting, singing, and choreography – and at the same time gave me freedom to make things my own.”


Dynamically engaged

Campus Highlights

Bounty Lab

25th Anniversary Chapel

Tornado hits MS & EBL

Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School Built

Small Group of families discuss, dream and pray about starting a Christ-centered, academically excellent school.

First ArtBeat event

First Class Graduates with 29 students

Land identified for school

First Annual Fall Festival event

1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Dr. Bill Balzano named Head of School

Doors open to 165 students preschool through Grade 7

Student Organized Service (SOS) launched at MSL High School

Friends of Fine Arts launched

High School complex built with athletic fields and tennis complex

Athletic BOOSTERS membership launched.

Richard Johnson named 1st Head of School


First Varsity Sport established (soccer)

EBL Elementary designated as a Blue Ribbon School

Middle School designated as a Blue Ribbon School

Otto Armleder Education Center

Opens doors to 101 students Pre-K through grade 4

International program launched representing over 32 students from 11 countries

High School designated as a Blue Ribbon School

Otto Armleder Education Center celebrates 10 years!

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Earl Edmunds named Interim Head of School

1st High School Intercession/ Winter Term

Randy Brunk named Head of School

HS named

Martha S. Lindner High School in honor of the commitment and heart of the Lindner family for Christ-centered academic excellence.

The First Athletics Hall of Excellence honors

Edyth B. Lindner Elementary School celebrates 20 years!

It all started in 1987 with the vision of seven families in search of an excellent academic institution founded on strong Christian values and principles. And what began as an elementary school that opened its doors to 165 students 25 years ago, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy has blossomed into a journey beyond all expectations!

today 1400 students

1700 graduates worldwide

20% diversity

45 acre suburban campus urban campus in the heart of the city

Robotics & STEAM

nationally recognized Aquaponics program

research , leadership & independent study programs

city’s largest high school international program


churches represented

2 learning gardens

Winning academic team theological integration across all subjects 10

student-run coffee shop enterprise

14% National Merit



AP courses offered




earn college credit by taking AP courses

acclaimed Cappies Award winning theatre

varsity sports teams

Division Athletic Champions

students grades 5-8 qualify Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic talent search

CHCA athletes named All Conference Teams

advanced courses offered


HS Student Organized Service (SOS) Leaders Life-changing mission immersions locally & abroad


K-12 enrichment


fine arts participation


participation in intersession

200 -250

average service hours per HS Student 11

Refreshingly insightful

after countless meetings, discussions, and relentless emailing back and forth between Gezhi and CHCA, I had my passport, visa, and heart prepared for living 7,000+ miles away from home for four months. As my plane was descending into Pudong District of Shanghai, I could not help smiling like a complete fool because I felt like I was returning home because this was my second time in China. Though I could share many details of my trip and my countless memories (both good and bad), I feel they are nothing compared to the lessons I have learned by being an American in a foreign country. I think most American parents would be very reluctant to let their child travel across the world and live for many months because of the many unknowns. Yet, I believe that the valuable lessons and experiences you have when placed in a new environment are worth the anxious feelings and scary unknowns.

My Study Abroad Experience by Taylor Budde ‘15

“By January 2015 and after countless meetings, discussions, and relentless emailing back and forth between Gezhi and CHCA, I had my passport, visa, and heart prepared for living 7,000+ miles away from home for four months.”


Six years ago, I was just a young 6th grade student at an international school in Columbia, South Carolina. The campus housed around 100 students from all over the world, including South Korea, China, Vietnam and Europe. My parents, out of response for the school’s need for temporary host families, decided to host students during holiday breaks. Little did anyone know that each time my family hosted students and I made new friends, a passion started to blossom in my heart for learning about and understanding their cultures. So what does this have to do with CHCA? Last spring, Mr. Bacon, International Director at CHCA, called me into his office. When I met with him, the first thing he said was that he wanted to propose an idea to me, but that nothing was guaranteed. Wide-eyed and wondering, I listened as he explained that CHCA wanted an American student to go to Shanghai, China, to study at Gezhi High School. As soon as I left his office, I could not stop smiling. Because I have a passion for learning about Asian cultures, I knew that I had to make the opportunity possible. After getting my parent’s approval, Mr. Bacon and my family started the seemingly never-ending process of preparing for my four-month study abroad in Shanghai, China. To be completely honest, those 10 months of preparation were some of the most frustrating months of my life. Because I was the first American student from CHCA to study abroad, there were many things to factor into the plans, such as how my grades would transfer, who I would live with, and how often I would be able to communicate with my family back home. However, by January 2015 and

Since my family has been hosting international students for many years, I knew how to be a host sister, but living in China, I had to learn how to be a host student. The main thing I learned from all of my host brothers was the difference between being involved with a host family and isolating yourself from them. For example, most host students feel uneasy participating in their host family’s activities. Having witnessed this first hand, I made tremendous efforts to prove my willingness to be involved in my host families’ lives. I learned that I sometimes had to go to places or meet relatives who could not speak English when I would have rather stayed home. Whenever I felt like I wanted to stay home more than be involved, I reminded myself that I may not have this experience again, and I needed to take every opportunity to be as involved as possible.

However, my struggle to stay involved with my host families became the least of my problems. When I started school, I discovered that since I was relatively alone in China, I needed to be able defend myself and ask questions. This helped me to grow emotionally. I could not be afraid to ask questions or take time to explain what I needed, plus I had to be more open with my emotions. This is something everyone learns sometime in their life, but having to learn these life lessons in a culture with different rules than my own proved a tad trickier than one would imagine. Communication, for example, is not a strong characteristic of the Chinese culture. There were many instances in which I had a day or less to prepare to go to another campus, teach lessons, or plan for upcoming activities with very little instruction or direction. At times, it was extremely frustrating. I knew that this was something I couldn’t fix. So, I was forced to learn how to express what was important to my comfort in school and with my host family. I know that through my struggles of learning what it means to be an independent young woman, I will benefit greatly in the future when a situation like this, or rather any situation in general presents itself. Along with this lesson, I have also had to learn that it’s okay not to please everyone all the time. On my first day of school, Mr. Mao, the director of international studies at Gezhi and the man graciously paying for most of my time there, asked me to teach four oral English speaking classes at the secondary location at Gezhi High School. At first, I was excited to have my first experience teaching English in a foreign country (knowing that my passion for international cultures would undoubtedly lead me to do this at some

point), but after several weeks of trying to plan activities that kept the students awake in my classes, I became discouraged that they did not like me or care about learning. Having a desire to learn and be in school myself, I was not able to understand how they could show so much disinterest in a place they would eventually go to study. Yet now, looking back, I understand that not everyone is like me—seeking to learn new things and respect my teachers by at least trying to pay attention. I also learned that having to be both a teacher and a student in with that group of students presented a difficulty for the students to determine if they should treat me as a teacher or a student. After a while, I gave up trying to please everyone except for myself and let go of my negative feelings of my capability to capture the student’s hearts and minds. I decided that it was time to try my best as both a student and teacher and hope that one day, they would remember the things I said and use it to their advantage in their study in America. My parents have always told me to make the best of any situation and make memories wherever I go. Though I have both good and bad memories during my time in China, I know that they both helped me to grow as not only a striving student, but also as a young woman. Without my parent’s loving support, the encouraging faculty members, and God’s will, I know that I would not have had these experiences and lessons. I am grateful for many things during my time in China, but first and foremost, I am most thankful for being able to learn not only about a culture I am passionate about, but also to learn about myself and who I am as a young woman. Taylor’s blog is http://thebuddes. com/china-2015/

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of CHCA, we congratulate and thank Taylor Budde for the extraordinary work she accomplished this spring as an exchange student in Shanghai, China! With courage and grace, Taylor pioneered an exciting new possibility for CHCA students – to immerse themselves within another country and culture for an extended period of time as they study and deepen their understanding of a complex and increasingly global world. Intersession courses provide a wide array of opportunities for students to travel and serve internationally, although these trips are limited to approximately two weeks in length. For the last few years, we have explored the idea of a CHCA student spending an entire semester abroad and this hope became a reality through Taylor. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Mao Fuping, a friend and partner to CHCA and the International Student Program whose son, Jim, graduated from CHCA in 2013, Taylor was able to live with a host family in Shanghai and attend the prestigious Gehzi International School during this past spring semester. She also served as a faculty instructor teaching English while balancing her own coursework long distance with CHCA teachers and at Gehzi. Taylor did an incredible job and CHCA is immensely proud of her accomplishments and the beautiful way she represented our school in China! CHCA has been invited to send another exchange student to Shanghai and we hope that Taylor’s example is simply the beginning of a new range of possibilities for our students whether in China, Guatemala, Mexico, or anywhere a significant relationship has been built between CHCA and a local community. Please contact Todd Bacon, CHCA’s International Student Director, or Dr. Dean Nicholas, the CHCA Upper School Principal, if you have any questions or interest in exploring an exchange opportunity. Congratulations again to Taylor for her outstanding work. In addition, we want to express our deep thanks and appreciation to Taylor’s parents, Bradley and Michelle Budde for their love and support that made this experience possible. Todd D. Bacon, M.A., J.D. International Student Director 19

Refreshingly insightful

Students On Mission Contributors Emma Treadway ’18 and Mr. Mike Fite

“That was the design of the program, because it is not just about what we can physically do to help out, but it is about forming relationships and helping kids know the joy of just being a kid,” says Mike Fite, the leader of the group.


CHCA partnered once again with Back2Back Ministries this year to provide an opportunity for the grades 7-8 school family to minister to those in need, and to have their lives transformed by the wonderful children and workers of the children’s homes of Monterrey, Mexico. Each trip is unique, and this year was no exception. One of the big surprises was a chapel encounter via Skype with fellow students and teachers along with Beth Guckenberger, in whose heart, along with her husband Todd’s, was born the ministry of Back2Back right here in Cincinnati. This year’s group worked hard – carting hundreds of cement blocks up ramps for construction, spreading gravel on a school parking lot, mixing and pouring cement, and lots and lots of painting inside and outside -- but they played even harder. “That was the design of the program, because it is not just about what we can physically do to help out, but it is about forming relationships and helping kids know the joy of just being a kid,” says Mike Fite, the leader of the group. Some of the featured play activities included giant slides for both groups, a visit to ERJ (El Retiro Juvenil, or The Youth Retreat) to support them by using their ropes course, playing lots of soccer, both in the enclosed cement court and on the big field, and a trip to the park (a different one for each grade). Besides the financial support the ropes course provides for ERJ, the students learned some very important teamwork and problem solving skills. The eighth grade went to the beautiful, expansive Foundry Park to rent bicycles and race around the paved bicycle path with the children of the Casa Hogar Douglas.

The ministry experience was unique in several other ways as well. For one day, the seventh grade was paired up with a unique couple connected with a church in Michigan that was ministering during the same week. That group included the 2014 Miss USA, Nia Sanchez and her actor fiancé Daniel Booko, who is the son of the pastor of the Michigan church. She gave a talk on self-defense with demonstrations in the martial arts. The most meaningful moment for the eighth graders was a time dedicated to prayer, as the adults did a walk through in each children’s dormitory. They prayed over each child, whose picture and a personal list of needs for prayer was on top of each bed. It was a moving experience and at times quite emotional as they all realized the difficult challenges that these children face in their education, in their relationships and in their families. Another activity the students especially enjoyed was the combined meal times with the children, often being a part of the food preparation and serving. Finally, the trip ended in a similar way that it began, with a snowstorm, this time in Dallas, Texas. A four

Funding Faith Mission, led by teachers Jaime Robbins and Danielle D’Angora. Through fundraisers, the group has raised a total of $2,900 to help impoverished orphans in Monterrey, Mexico. Many students participated in helping with this fundraiser as well as making donations of books, toys, clothes, and more to be taken down to Mexico. Students who accompanied the money and other donations on CHCA’s annual mission trip were able to witness the impact these supplies have on Mexico’s poor. Several students have shared their heartfelt stories on how Mexico and Funding Faith have influenced their perspectives:

hour layover turned into eleven hours before they were able to take off for Cincinnati. In fact, they were one of the last planes to be de-iced before the airline ran out of de-icer and began to turn planes back to the terminal. The students’ good behavior during this trying time so impacted one gentleman that he was moved to send a letter to Back2Back which was forwarded to Mr. Gilbert, which stated that it had moved him to think about getting back into middle school youth ministry once again. As always, students, parent chaperones and faculty who participate in this trip get a new perspective on our neighbors to the south and are challenged to continue in service to the needy, whether through continued trips to Monterrey or even personally sponsoring a child. Students who were unable to participate in this transformative mission were still able to make an impact on many children’s lives through the

“In the past, Funding Faith has been, “Oh yeah. Funding Faith. Right. Well I guess I’ve got some spare change to donate.” But this year, I not only collected the money for it, but I got to go to Back2Back Ministries in Mexico to see our accumulated money in action in the lives of the orphans and staff members there. It touched me exceedingly to see kids playing with soccer balls that were bought with the money we collected. My joy was twice as great as theirs was because it made me happier to see them laughing and having fun than to have taken that spare change and spent it on something for myself. They say that seeing is believing, and now that I’ve seen, I believe just how much we at CHCA can impact the lives of others by doing, by our standards, very little.” ~Luke Springer, NJHS member (8th grade) Others were impacted as they realized how much they took for granted in everyday life. Another 8th grade NJHS member, Julia Stotz, wrote of her experience as well: “The trip really impacted me. It showed me to be grateful for what I have, because not everyone is as lucky as I am. I especially saw that in relationship to my family. I have a tendency to not appreciate my siblings and parents, but seeing these kids, who never saw their siblings because they had been adopted, or never saw their parents because they were in jail, was really eye opening. I would definitely do this again. I loved meeting and serving the kids in Mexico.” After the trip, many students shared their touching stories and experiences in a special Mexico-themed Chapel. Through tears and laughter they recollected the impact that this trip has had on them in the “big picture” of their lives as well as in their everyday activities. Many of them spoke of how they were hit with the realization that “making the simple sacrifice of not buying a candy bar every day” could have such an enormous effect on a child’s life. Through this trip and the Funding Faith donations, these students’ lives have been changed forever in the way they view the world and interact with others.


Refreshingly insightful

Engaged Learning At CHCA, it’s our mission to inspire and challenge each student to develop his or her one-of-a-kind gifts.

And those gifts are fully explored and often discovered at the youngest of ages. Our students age 3 through Grade 4 get to experience so much in the learning environments at EBL and Armleder. We carefully nurture our youngest students’ academic, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development, building an unshakable foundation for lifelong learning and faith. Our expert and loving teachers employ a thematic, multidisciplinary approach, combining the best practices in early childhood education with the latest research on brain development. Engaging each child’s curiosity by incorporating essential questions into every unit, we help them build skills in literacy, problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership, creative expression, and scientific exploration. In addition, by integrating Scripture lessons throughout the day, we inspire them to grow and celebrate their relationship with God. Our experiential and integrated STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) approach to learning celebrates and encourages questions—and gives students the tools to seek answers. For example, students grow and dissect plants, paint recycled tires to hold the seedlings, create murals showing what they’ve learned about plant and insect life and identify and label plant and insect parts in computer lab activities. All of this integrated and experiential learning provides children an environment in which they are engaged, and lends itself to a deep application and understanding of what they have learned. 22

Debate Team Just two years into its existence, the debate team at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy has a lot to celebrate. Under the leadership of Stephen Carter, CHCA entered four two-person teams in the Ohio High School Speech League Greater Miami Valley District Tournament to compete in public forum debate. Two of the four teams placed in the top six with the team of Christian Miller and Michael O’Brien coming in first overall and the team of Kristina Ranney and Abby Wissman coming in third. Both teams qualified for the state competition and faced off against the finest high school debaters in the state. (Left to Right) Christian Miller, [Coach Stephen Carter in second pic], Michael O’Brien, Savannah Weber, Turner Shrout, Carson Brooks, Alex O’Brien. Not pictured: Kristina Ranney, Abby Wissman, Katie Becker

Grade 8 Students Recognized at Annual Learn, Lead & Serve Chapel On Wednesday, January 28th, several 8th grade students were recognized as this year’s Learn, Lead & Serve Scholarship recipients. In order to be considered for one of these awards. students must be rising freshman, either currently enrolled as a student at CHCA or as a prospective student pursuing admission at CHCA, who must demonstrate strong academic performance in the classroom. The Learn, Lead  & Serve Scholarships, introduced in 2007, are significant financial awards designed to reward student achievement. The scholarships are a meaningful way to recognize students who demonstrate CHCA’s vision of “unleashing a passion to learn, lead and serve” in their daily lives. Scholarship awards are paid out over 4 years, assuming current enrollment and approval of renewal request. Dr. Dean Nicholas and Mrs. Karen Hordinski awarded each student with their honor(s).  Hordinski pointed out to students that we don’t just ‘talk about’ taking care of the poor and oppressed here at CHCA, but we do it.  We learn people’s stories and work very hard to make a difference in the lives of people here in our city, as well as around the globe.  With that, she introduced the several students who received the Lead and Serve Scholarships. The students recognized were: Charlotte Lee, Madeline Dykstra, Abby Jutt, Alexandra Besecker, Sydney Sauer, and Hannah Odom. These students have accomplished great things such as raising over thousands of dollars for a cause, serving their youth groups and churches in remarkable ways, serving CHCA spiritually as well as physically, and they are involved in countless causes and organizations.  They are writers, artists, athletes, musicians and more.  They tirelessly serve their classmates, families, friends and communities.  We are so proud of them. Students competing for a Learn scholarship also took the Independent Schools Entrance Exam (ISEE), our  High School Entrance Exam, and the students with the top six ISEE scores were awarded. These exceptional students were: Michael Deines, Doug Hansford, Chanse Ashman, Gabe Schmidt, Nick Donahue, and Julia Stotz.  These

students excel both within and outside of the classrooms walls. They are also athletes, artists, volunteers and so much more. We are so proud of this difficult accomplishment. CHCA is proud to award Cum Laude Scholarships to academically gifted students with proven achievement. These awards are made at the Distinguished Scholar and Commended Scholar levels to recognize elite students scoring exceptionally high among peers enrolled at or pursuing selective admission at independent schools. These scholarships are renewable annually throughout high school enrollment. To be considered for this award, students must be entering grade 9, either currently enrolled as a student at CHCA or a prospective student pursuing admission at CHCA, students must take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) and submit their score report to CHCA for scholarship consideration. They also must demonstrate strong academic performance in the classroom. The CHCA Scholarship Committee, comprised of at least five school officials, selects the merit scholarship winners based upon the eligibility and award criteria outlined. Students receiving this distinctive award are: Sydney Sauer, Chanse Ashman, Gabe Schmidt, and Julia Stotz. Dr. Nick closed this special chapel with an important reflection on our 25th Anniversary and the verse for the year - Matthew 5:16 - ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ Dr. Nick shared what began 25 years ago as a vision and a light has grown beyond all expectations of any of our founders. He left the students with a challenge so relevant for the honors received that day, “There is no limit to what God can do through us.”


Boldly determined

CHCA Athletics CHCA Athletics could not be prouder of the performance of its athletic teams, athletes, coaches, parents and supporters. Our teams competed in 20 sports that are recognized by the Miami Valley Conference (MVC) and excelled in nearly every one of them! Our athletes were recognized for sportsmanship, excellence and courageous spirit and several teams and athletes advanced to district, regional and state level competition.

Character and academic achievement awards presented to highly deserving athletes

Scholar Athlete Award Christina Del Greco and Michael O’Brien

NFHS Award of Excellence Naomi Grandison and Tanner Bowman

Archie Griffin Award Sam Handelsman and Rachel Wichmann

2014-15 College Signings Drew Taylor, Golf, Fisk University

Alex Ledford, Softball, Asbury University

Jonah James, Football, Mount Saint

Naomi Grandison, Basketball, Malone

Cameron Murray, Baseball, Alderson

Katie Koopman, Soccer, Hanover College



Jacob Halter, Football, University of



Tanner Bowman, Soccer, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Dick Snyder Award Ryan Smith

Hall of Excellence Inductees for 2015: Cliff Hern

Athletic Director, 20022009; 1st Football Coach, 1997-2002

Kaci Kust

Basketball – 2008 Graduate – DePauw University

Andrew Wallace

Track & Field, Cross Country – 2010 Graduate – Butler University 24

Highlights from our outstanding 2014-15 seasons Baseball

Undefeated conference record for 2nd consecutive year, to win back to back MVC Championships MVC First Team: Cameron Murray, Chase Murray and Danny Vezdoes MVC Coach of the Year: Jeff Keith Won Section and District OHSAA Tournaments All-State Second Team: Cameron Murray and Chase Murray Tommy Yates throws perfect game against conference rival Seven Hills 4-13-15 Cameron Murray broke CHCA hits record with 151 career hits



MVC Champions MVC First Team: Sean Eslick, Noah Marshall and Connor Olson MVC Athlete of the Year: Sean Eslick MVC Coach of the Year: Mark Kadnar Div. II District Qualifiers: Sean Eslick and Connor Olson All-City Div. II 1st Team: Sean Eslick


Back to Back Div. II District Qualifiers All-City Div. II 1st Team: Morgan Bowen and Anna Faimon


MVC First Team: Claire Drosos

MVC First Team: Will Drosos



All-City Div. III 1st Team: Tanner Bowman and Mark Smith

MVC First Team: Naomi Grandison

MVC First Team: Tanner Bowman and Mark Smith

Southwest Ohio DIII District All-Star 1st Team: Naomi Grandison


Southwest Ohio DIII All-District 3rd Team: Naomi Grandison

All-City Div. III 1st Team: Savannah Mary

Cross Country-Girls

MVC First Team: Rachel Haslam MVC Athlete of the Year: Rachel Haslam Qualified for Regionals: Rachel Haslam


Finished back to back undefeated regular seasons to win MVC Championship Qualified for its fifth straight appearance in OHSSA playoffs Division V Regional Champions, second time in CHCA History MVC First Team: Adam Baker, James Deaton, Jacob Halter, Jonah James, Bobby Mumma, Cameron Murray, Johnny Noyen and Prince Sammons MVC Athlete of the Year: Johnny Noyen MVC Coach of the Year: Eric Taylor All-City Div V-VII 1st Team: Josh Eckert, Jacob Halter, Jonah James, Cameron Murray, Jonny Noyen and Prince Sammons All-City Div. V-VII Player of the Year: Prince Sammons All-City Div. V-VII Coach of the Year: Eric Taylor Southwest Ohio All-District Div. V 2nd Team: Josh Eckert and Jonah James Southwest Ohio All-District Div. V 1st Team: Jacob Halter, Cameron Murray, Johnny Noyen and Prince Sammons

MVC First Team: Olivia Fette and Savannah Mary OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity (SEI) Award: Abby Schumacher (coach)


Undefeated conference record to win MVC Championship MVC First Team: Camryn Olson, Maddie Shank, Cassidy Yeomans MVC Coach of the Year: Leah Crouch Camryn Olson pitched 2 no-hitters and a perfect game as a freshman


Qualified for Districts: Katherine Abel, Anna Clark, Hope Whiteside and Anna Van Jura


MVC First Team: Emily Kabalin

Track & Field

First Team MVC players: Morgan Bradley MVC First Team: Adam Baker, Kennedy Bontrager, Morgan Bradley, Kris Carnes, Ben Collado, James Deaton, Rachel Haslam and Ian Turne MVC Athlete of the Year: Adam Baker Qualified for State: Morgan Bradley Morgan Bradley broke CHCA high jump record with a 5’ 3” jump at Regionals.


Ohio All-State Div. V 1st Team: Cameron Murray and Prince Sammons

Back to Back MVC Champions

Ohio All-State Div. V Defensive Co-Player of the Year: Prince Sammons

MVC Athlete of the Year: Rachel Wichmann

Anthony Munoz Div. V Linemen of the Year: Jacob Halter (offensive) and Prince Sammons (defensive) Cameron Murray made over 100 career receptions

MVC First Team: Audrey Koob and Rachel Wichmann MVC Coach of the Year: Mariah Burton All-City Div. III-IV 1st Team: Audrey Koob and Rachel Wichmann All-City Div. III-IV Player of the Year: Rachel Wichmann


Congratulations to the Eagles and thank you to our supportive community!

Boldly determined

Making History:

Winning Record for Varsity Football Team CHCA’s varsity Football Team ended their run at the state semifinal with an incredible 13-1 record. “We played hard for four quarters and it’s been an unbelievable year for them. I am proud of our team and proud of our seniors,” Head Coach Eric Taylor shared. “They left a tremendous legacy of leadership, a legacy of work ethic and helped raised the bar for our program.” Coach Taylor is the only football coach in CHCA’s history to have back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and three in his career. This Eagle team is only the second one in our history to make it to the Regional Finals.

Athletic Director Matt Coleman shared, “What a tremendous season! I consider it a privilege as I get to see ‘behind the scenes’ as the season [moved]. From the preparation of the coaches and players during the off-season, to seeing the adjustments made during the regular season and how focused our players and coaches were, to the support of our football families and our entire community - this season was special and one we won’t forget. This is something our coaching staff and players will build upon to make our future seasons a success. As I always say, ‘It’s a great day to be a CHCA Eagle!’” Congratulations to the Eagles and thank you to our supportive community! #wintwice #bestfans #gochca

Where are our athletes headed: 1 Tanner Bowman

Men’s Soccer, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Women’s Basketball, Malone Universtiy

Football, University of Pennsylvania

Football, Mount St. Joseph University

Women’s Soccer, Hanover College

Softball, Asbury University

Baseball, Alderson Broadus

Women’s Golf, Fisk University

2 Naomi Grandison 3 Jacob Halter 4 Jonah James

5 Katie Koopman 6 Alex Ledford

7 Cameron Murray 8 Drew Taylor 26

Exuberantly creative

ArtBeat ArtBeat 2014 2015

by Mona Summers, Director of Fine Arts

Let Your Art Shine was our theme for ArtBeat 2015 and the theme was certainly fulfilled by our students whose gifts shined bright on stage, on exhibit and as demonstrating artists. Year after year our students continue to amaze me with their talent, passion, hard work and determination for excellence. CHCA is blessed with an outstanding group of Fine Arts faculty and staff who dedicate themselves to providing the best possible education and experience for our students. ArtBeat was a time for our faculty and staff to shine, too. Many students who participated in ArtBeat this year as seniors have participated every year since kindergarten. To see the development and growth of these students was truly remarkable.

Over 2,300 attendees Over 725 students performed on three stages; this included 24 CHCA ensembles and 235 students who were selected from auditions which were held over 3 days and 17 hours. Together the Hang Your Art Out and grades 9-12 Juried Art competition included over 1,000 pieces of art The 13th Annual Juried Art competition included 22 cash prizes and awards, presented in 8 different categories. Judges included by 5 community artists and art educators.

ArtBeat continues to be one of my favorite events because it brings our community together to have fun, experience the wonderful fruits of our Fine Arts Program and celebrate and honor God for the gifts He has given our students.

Hundreds of arts and crafts projects were completed at 8 Hands-on-

ArtBeat 2015 marked our 17th Annual Fine Arts Festival presented by Friends of Fine Arts. Many thanks to our ArtBeat Chair Lauri Goodwin, Performance Chair Michael Kuremsky, the ArtBeat Committee, CHCA’s Fine Arts faculty and staff and over 300 volunteers. We also very thankful for the support of the Coggins family as our ArtBeat sponsor, for our ten area sponsors as well as many food sponsors.

The ArtBeat 2015 posted featured

Art stations.

6 students’ artwork.

5 professional artists (including 2 alumni) and 4 students were featured as this year’s Demonstrating Artists. 27

fine arts awards

Here is a look at some of the awards received and notable events for our CHCA students and ensembles in the Fine Arts.

Each November Gallery Veronique owner, Veronique Hammons, welcomes our AP Art students to experience a professional gallery opening and exhibit featuring their artwork. In preparation for this experience, the students create marketing materials to promote their show and install the exhibit. On opening night, Mr. Hilderbrand and these students host a gallery reception with food and music. During the opening, guests are invited to view the artwork and talk to these young artists about their work. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience a gallery show similar to what professional artists experience. Our musical ensembles perform in the community on a regular basis. Some of the performances are done as outreach in churches, nursing homes, drop-in centers, etc. These are a great way for our students to share their gifts and bless others with their music. We also had ensembles perform at Reds baseball games, a Cyclones game, a UC men’s basketball game and an Indiana Pacers basketball game. Here are other notable performance opportunities our student groups experienced: • In the fall, our HS percussion ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Dan Grantham, performed at the Vineyard Church with their worship team for multiple Sunday services. • The Electric Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Dan Grantham, provided the music for Kelly Mullen’s wedding reception (class of ’04). • In January, our Brass Choir was invited to perform in An Epiphany Epilogue at the St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, along with the University of Dayton Brass Quintet; Gregory Schaffer, organist and LeeAnn Kordenbrock, soprano soloist. Dr. Grantham was also one of the University of Dayton Brass Quintet members.

Art students received nine Gold Key, three Silver Key and seven Honorable Mentions in the local competition of the National Scholastic Art Awards. Senior Ivy Guan was a National Silver Key Medalist in New York for her piece titled “Portrait.” Ivy also won 1st place Portfolio and Best of Show in the ArtBeat Juried Art Competition. Her “Portrait” piece was selected as the Best of Show. Junior James Rootring won the Cincinnati Arts Association Overture Award in vocal music for the second year in a row! James was also a 2015 National Young Arts Foundation winner. James was one of 700 winners chosen from a pool of 11,000 applicants from across the nation. Three other students advanced to the Overture Award Semi-Finals: Senior Will Ellis – vocal music, Sophomore Jacqueline Pegis – instrumental music and Junior Lauren Slouffman – dance. The Theater production of West Side Story earned 15 Cappies nominations and three Cappies awards including: Ensemble in a Musical – The Jets, Female Dancer – Lauren Slouffman, Supporting Actress in a Musical – Merrie Drees. (Include Jets Ensemble Photo)

Graduates to continue their artistic pursuits We are very proud of these seniors who have decided to continue their artistic pursuits in college with an arts major. Toria Adkison – Harding University, Interior Design Andrew Brainer – Auburn University, Industrial Design Merrie Drees – Kent State, Musical Theatre Will Ellis – Baldwin Wallace, Music Education and Vocal Performance Ivy Guan – Pratt Institute, Architecture


• In April, Choir Director, Sara Potts put together a collaboration with choirs from Sharonville United Methodist, Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church and a bluegrass band to perform The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass. They performed the first night at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church and the second night in our own Lindner Theater.

Gabe Hoyer – Belmont, Musical Theatre Kaitlyn Nickol – University of Southern California, Stage Management Hannah Rhoads – Colorado State University, Art Therapy Payne Vanderwoude – Miami University, Art

Class of 2015 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9 (Class of 2015 Verse)

Fully prepared & boundlessly hopeful Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Celebrates the Accomplishments of the Class of 2015 Leading Lives of Impact and Influence • 82% completed Advanced Placement classes during their high school career • •

50% are recognized with High Honors 14% earned National Merit recognition Seniors fulfilled over 22,000 hours of service, averaging

• 206 hours per student •

100% participated in Intersession, CHCA’s off-campus annual

75% completed in athletics or participated in fine arts

experiential learning program

Leaning into the Future

• 107 students will attend 47 colleges and universities in 18 states* •

100% completed 7 semesters of Christian Studies coursework 83% received merit scholarships/grants*

9% plan to compete in college athletics

“At CHCA I’ve had the opportunity to pursue my gifts in academics and music at a level I never would have dreamed possible when I came eleven years ago. In the process, I have formed relationships that will last a lifetime and have come to understand how I can use my gifts to glorify God.” - Tyler Swedes, Valedictorian Class of 2015 “As I look back on my years at CHCA, I am grateful for the opportunities that have allowed me to develop my thinking and problem solving skills, leadership, and character within a thriving Christian environment. I was fortunate to be able to play in the Electric Jazz Orchestra, start a debate team, compete on the academic team, play varsity sports, and travel abroad. CHCA has prepared me well to tackle whatever life has in store for me next!” - Michael O’Brien, Salutatorian Class of 2015

“Be Yourself, Only Better” 2015 Commencement speaker Dr. John C. Bowling challenged CHCA’s class of 2015 to be the best possible versions of themselves – encouraging each student to be the person God created him or her to be, and strive for even better. Dr. Bowling shared how important it is to be prepared for life. “That’s where the real test comes in.” He noted that part of being prepared is understanding that in walking with God, we are not to conform to the patterns of this world, and that character is not outside in, but rather inside out. It’s who we are on the inside that matters. We are called to make a kingdom impact in this world. “As you graduate, go forth with a commitment to be yourself, only better.” Salutatorian Michael O’Brien and Valedictorian Tyler Swedes also addressed the class, and did so with messages highlighting meaningful friendships and experiences. O’Brien shared his most meaningful experiences at CHCA were about putting time into other people and becoming a better person. Swedes shared that while CHCA provided a solid academic foundation they’ll have for the rest of their lives, his meaningful highlights were the good times celebrating and working hard with classmates. He advised, “Take time to enjoy the people you are with and the moments you are in. The relationships from the last four years are relationships I will enjoy and cherish for years to come.”

2015 Diaspeiro Service

Dr. John C. Bowling


with our Val and Sal Interview with the Class of 2015’s Tyler Swedes, valedictorian & Michael O’Brien,, salutatorian M: The academic team of teachers not only gave me an educational

What was your most impactful experience at CHCA and why?

Tyler: I went to Nairobi, Kenya and the Maasai Mara region with the Electric Jazz Orchestra. We visited an orphanage, an international school, and the US Embassy.  It showed me a very different perspective of other cultures which can’t be learned in a classroom. After returning home, I now more fully appreciate my friends and family. Michael: Seeing Israel with Dr. Nick the summer before my senior

experience, but they prepared me for public speaking and the pressures of balancing studies, friendships, sports, and long-term projects. I took lots of different classes which created opportunities for my future. The teachers cared about us and encouraged us to try our best.  

How would you describe the relationships you’ve made at CHCA?

T: The teachers were more like mentors. We had personal connections

far deeper than I could have ever imagined. It was a sense of community that kept us together, and we all depended on each other. It’s easy to make friends when everyone supports you.

M: I have a great group of friends that are really supportive. We give

each other honest advice and keep each other focused on what’s important. I had friends my age but also learned how to value friendships with the teachers. They were a great influence on me.  

year was an incredible journey and one I will never forget. I walked the path of Jesus and toured ancient, biblical sites. Meeting a Palestinian farmer and watching war-torn Syria from the top of a mountain were both powerful moments.  

What are your plans of the future?

T: Balancing family, music, and academics was a huge challenge.  But

nautical Engineering. I’m excited to find out where my studies will take me. My faith will always be a part of my future.

How has CHCA prepared you?

it taught me to invest in what matters and focus on my priorities. I know this will help me achieve my goals in the years to come, and I will keep using that balance for my future career. Managing my time was a big accomplishment. 30

T: I am going to attend Purdue University in the fall and major in AeroM: I will be heading to Vanderbilt University which has a great pre-med program, and after I finish, I want to be a surgeon. I’m not sure what kind, but I am sure God will guide me down the right path.     27

Fully prepared & boundlessly hopeful

Graduation Reflection

Living in the Middle by Allie Kuroff ‘15

My CHCA journey started eight years ago, when I was entering into fifth grade. 51 classes, 9 theater productions, 7 Artbeats, and 3 J-terms seemed to go by in the blink of an eye, but my experience at CHCA is something that has and will continue to shape my life in college and beyond. Looking back on my years as a student, something that stands out to me is the way in which my teachers poured themselves into me not only academically, but also personally. I’m so thankful for the way they nurtured my love for learning by allowing me to think for myself and come to my own, unique conclusions. The countless hours my teachers gave outside the classroom, to encourage and build me up, is what has inspired me to become a lifelong learner.

“As I reflect on CHCA’s mission statement, I am most intrigued by the first word, which is ‘prepare‘. The idea of preparation continues to come to mind when I think about what I will experience in the coming years. Am I really prepared for all the intellectual and spiritual obstacles I will face? ”

Beyond academics, I have also been shaped by the many service opportunities I have been able to take advantage of at CHCA. The Student Organized Service (S.O.S.) program at the high school has empowered me to be outwardly focused and serve our school and surrounding community. My sophomore year, I had the chance to get involved in volunteering with “Stewart Smarties”, a weekly afterschool tutoring program that aids students who speak English as a second language. My junior year, I was given the opportunity to direct this program. Two years of overseeing Stewart Smarties drastically changed my outlook on leadership. I hadn’t anticipated the challenge of recruiting my peers to participate in something I was so passionate about. Initially, I thought that simply explaining the program’s goals would be enough to get people involved. I later realized that the best way to recruit was to actually communicate why I had a passion for the program. I believe in the power of education to change the trajectory of a child’s life. I am also passionate about empowering young students in their intellectual abilities. Leading Stewart Smarties taught me that being an effective leader is about translating these convictions into a vision that motivates others to action. I trust that this skill I learned from being a part of SOS will enable me to lead effectively and passionately as I move forward to the next phase in my life. As I reflect on CHCA’s mission statement, I am most intrigued by the first word, which is “prepare”. The idea of preparation continues to come to mind when I think about what I will experience in the coming years. Am I really prepared for all the intellectual and spiritual obstacles I will face? While this is a valid question, I am encouraged by how my experience at CHCA has prepared me to be confident in the face of uncertainty; acknowledging the provision in the unknown…resting in doubt. These are things I will carry with me as I move more than 2,000 miles away to the University of Redlands in California this fall. Most importantly, I will cherish the idea of living in the “middle”: the now and the still becoming. Combining a sense of contentment with where God has brought me so far in my journey, yet constantly thirsting for more of His provision to be made tangible in my life. Being a student at CHCA facilitated my “preparation” in understanding these truths, and for that I will always be grateful. Allie was selected as one of the fourteen inaugural Hunsaker Scholars at the University of Redlands, where she will be attending this fall. The Richard and Virginia Hunsaker Scholarship is the premier merit award at the University for exceptional applicants who exhibit outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and contributions to their schools and communities.


300 Service Hours

200 Service Hours

Fully prepared & boundlessly hopeful

Class of 2015 Recognitions

500 Service Hours

400 Service Hours

800 Service Hours

SOS Senior Leadership Award 32

Service Award Winners

SOS Excellence in Leadership & Service & Neyer Award

SOS Social Justice Award

Presidential Service Award

Mayerson Service Leadership

Air Force ROTC Scholarship:

200 Service Hours:Â Green row, left to right: Payne Vanderwoude, Tanner Bowman, Tyler Swedes, Aiden Sheehy, John Roth, Stephen Wibowo, Rory Crabbe, David Humphrey, Ryan Luessen. White row (middle), left to right: Maggie Mize, Clarissa Jacobs, Christina Del Greco, Emma Vincent, Brooke Kelley, Toria Adkison, Savannah Mary, Kristina Ranney. Three white robes in front, left to right: Emily Medosch, Baylee Jackson, Kelsey McKenna. (Not shown: Yimeng Fang, Joel Paroz, Sarah Spangler. 300 Hour Award: Hannah, Rhoads, Moriah Coman, Katherine

Meyer, Josh Eckert, Kyle Pessell, Olivia Schwan, Rebecca Richart (Not Shown, Chandler Meador)

400 Service Hours: Will Ellis, Drew Taylor, Michael Nelson, Katie Koopman, (Not shown: Ellie Vanderkolk) 500 Service Hours: Kaitlyn Nickol and Allie Kuroff 600 Service Hours & SOS Social Justice Award:

800 Service Hours: Christian Miller, Delaney Kirbabas Service Award Winners: Allie Kuroff, Allie Wallace, Delaney Kirbabas, Katie Koopman

Presidential Volunteer Service Awards (seniors) Silver: Morgan Avery, Gold: Christian Miller, Drew Taylor SOS Senior Leadership Award: Delaney Kirbabas SOS Excellence in Leadership & Service Award & Neyer Award: Allie Kuroff Mayerson Service Leadership Award:Â Katie


Air Force ROTC Scholarship: Rebecca Richart

Morgan Avery

Lifers Picnic


Fully prepared & boundlessly hopeful

A CHCA Family Legacy By Stel Kirbabas, CHCA Alumni Parent

“Give them Faith. Give them Love. Give them Guidance. Give them Rules. Give them a CHCA Family.” It is midyear of my daughter Delaney’s senior year. I am a parent chaperone for what will surely be my last Parents Night Out, a CHCA service event in which money raised goes to help women in Kenya attend school. After multiple rounds of Duck-Duck-Goose and Red Rover, it is finally movie time and all is quiet. I sit alone in the gym, staring at the giant eagle mural on the back wall, thinking about all of the years that logo has been a part of our lives. Earlier in the year, teacher Michelle Barron (who’s taught most if not all of the Kirbabas children) mentioned in passing that she cannot believe this is Delaney’s senior year, the last of the Kirbabas’s to graduate. She is right; this is the end of an era for our family. After 19 years and reams of CHCA apparel, hundreds of volunteer hours and a gazillion dollars invested in their education, come May when the last of our five children receives a diploma in this very room, there will be no more Kirbabas kids at CHCA. How do we feel about that? For purposes of context, let’s start with some background. Our relationship with the school began in the mid 90’s when then Head of School Dr. Bill Balzano was courting my aunt, Dr. Joan Miracle (hence the name “Miracle Commons”), to be the Principal of the new high school. While she had little desire to jump back into the fray after just retiring as Principal at Princeton High, I talked her into it using her great nephews and niece as bait. (At least that’s how I remember it!) But either way, two weeks after she accepted the position the first two “Kirbabies” (as she fondly refers to them) joined the Eagle family. A year later, I was offered a position as Communications Coordinator, a job I am told was created out of necessity after months of unsuccessful attempts at finding a volunteer to chair the upcoming Fall Festival. My education and background fit the bill but before accepting an offer, I thought it wise to see how hard it would be to find a few volunteer co-chairs to assist me with the event. Over a two-day period, I called 99 families listed in the school directory and received 99 rejections. I prayed, “Lord, if this is where you want me to be, I need a little help here. If I am unable to find a volunteer soon, I will know this is not Your will for me.” The next two calls were to Renee Schumacher and Carol Hughes, both who agreed to co-chair the event with me and remained as my partners for three more years. Over the next nine years, I worked alongside amazing faculty, staff, and volunteer parents on some of the coolest projects - like the start-up of the SCRIP Shop (thank you Christy Ochs) and the Eagle School (Spirit Wear) Store. Not a day went by when I did not thank God for that job.

My insights, or take-aways as I call them, are based on my experiences as a staffer, parent, co-worker, and volunteer. The following are my top four.

Take-away #1

Christian school + human beings = imperfection I started with a false assumption that at a Christian school everyone would play nice all the time. I remember my shock the first time a CHCA parent shot me ‘the bird’ for accidentally cutting them off in the carpool line. While this was not the norm, it was an early reminder that anywhere human beings dwell, there will never be, nor should we expect perfection. There were other struggles and frustrations along the way, some we expected, some we did not. We wrangled, plowed, worried, and conquered through it all.

Take-away #2

Be careful not to overlook the little moments in your search for the big ones, for the ripple effect of the little ones may be the catalyst for monumental life changes only God saw coming. I think every family goes through a phase, or even phases, where they wonder if CHCA is really worth the cost. Why we decided to “stick” is because of all of the little, almost imperceptible-to-others life changing moments that happened with my kids which would not or could not have happened at any other school. They are too many to mention, but here are a few favorites… The most pronounced of these transpired between our daughter and her third grade teacher, Laura Anderson. Out of the blue, in the middle of a lesson Delaney raised her hand and exclaimed aloud that she wanted to accept Jesus into her heart. Her teacher, Ms. Anderson, stopped her lesson, took Delaney into the hall and prayed with her, then asked her that life altering question about accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior to which Delaney responded, “Yes I do.” The first person Delaney shared this with was her dad (my husband Chris), a seeker at the time. The passion and conviction with which his little child conveyed her story forever changed his heart. My hard-headed, too-cool-for-this-God-thing spouse turned from seeker to believer, all because one teacher took time to recognize the miracle of Jesus touching the heart of a little girl and not letting it go by unnoticed. What price does one put on salvation?

Later on, in the midst of her freshman year, Delaney’s best friend moved away, leaving her struggling to find her place. Student Organized Service (SOS) leader Karen Hordinski introduced her to the world of service, teaching by example what it means to be a servant leader, handing her the reigns to lead when she was ready. Delaney became an officer on the SOS board, taking on three service groups simultaneously. She finished her senior year with a 3.6 GPA and over 800 hours of direct contact service, winning multiple service scholarships to her college of choice. She begins her nursing studies at the University of Kentucky in the fall. Prior to the start of his senior year, our twin Trevor sustained four concussions in football injuries, sidelining him his last year of high school. Recognizing how devastating this was for Trevor, Coach Eric Taylor reached out to him, asking him to assist as a team manager. He felt embarrassed by his fall from varsity team player to team “water boy”, but his teammates and coaches rallied around him, making it difficult for him to decline the position. Each game he took to the sidelines, running up and down the field cheering on the team to keep them motivated. When it rained, he cleaned their cleats and wiped down the benches. In the heat, he kept the cold beverages coming. In the end, he shared with me that he believed he was more help to his teammates as an encourager than he would have been as a player. Only at CHCA...In the fall, he will enter his second year in UC’s Lindner Honors Business program carrying a 4.0 GPA.

Take-away #3

Some of our U.S. Presidents have been C students, so grades do not necessarily dictate success. Just make sure when molding your child, you are using the right clay and the proper techniques. God can help you with that. Let’s face facts. CHCA is a college prep school and it is hard! When it came to learning, our kids ran the gamut at CHCA. For some, school work and straight As came easy; for others it was a lot of hard work but A’s were still attainable; for others, learning disabilities presented challenges. Our two oldest, Alec and Tyler were diagnosed early on with ADHD and auditory processing problems. Alec, as the oldest, was unfortunately our Guinea pig and we made a lot of mistakes. We put a tremendous amount of pressure on him to make good grades, which eventually sent him into a tailspin almost destroying his self-esteem. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of homework in first grade, we pulled him from CHCA for two years thinking public school might be a better alternative. While there was less homework, the class sizes made it impossible for the teacher to give him the individual attention he needed. Realizing the grass was not greener on our public school side, we moved him back to CHCA in fourth grade. Second time around, we dealt with his struggles more realistically, turning to the teachers and resource room for help with study skills and to God to help us come to terms with the reality of Alec’s limitations. He could build a computer like nobody’s business, but could not focus in a classroom setting for 8 hours a day, which meant he would probably never be an A student at CHCA. And we needed to be ok with that so as not to destroy our son. Life was much easier after that (except for poor Christian Studies teacher Todd Bacon in whose class Alec raised his hand incessantly, asking no less than 42 questions per class). Since CHCA is a small school, Alec had opportunities for small successes that bigger high schools would not have afforded him. In his senior year, sidelined by a concussion in football, Alec accepted the role of team manager, raising enough money selling Gatorade to the fans in the stands to purchase the Sports Water Hydration System still used by the football team today. He went on to the University of Cincinnati’s business school, graduating with a 3.3 GPA, and accepted a position in the finance department at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He has nearly completed his MBA at Wright State

University. This time we used the right clay. Like his older brother, our son Tyler struggled with ADHD. Then, in fourth grade he sustained a Level III concussion in a scooter accident that left him incapable of recalling basic words like “bed”. Teacher Mara Wright and counselor Elaine Marsh spent hours before and after school working with him on their own time to improve his reading and writing skills. In high school, Dr. Savage introduced him to Aquaponics and the results of his work were showcased at a nationwide conference. He is entering his fourth year at UC’s business school, maintaining a 3.4 GPA. The right molders were present.

Take-away #4

You may not always see the big picture, but trust that the Godly faculty and staff at CHCA make decisions concerning your child for a reason. And along the way, reach out your hand in friendship to another CHCA family for you never know where that relationship may take you. Fast forward to May 31, 2015. It is graduation day and our daughter is seated with her class in the row to our left. I look at her, struck by what a remarkable young woman she has become, then I glance at our four sons who have grown into extraordinary men. I scan the room spotting so many families and teachers and staff who have touched our lives in extraordinary ways, some of them probably unaware. For instance, science teacher Lu Taylor, who as my neighbor would call asking if my kids were interested in coming over to watch her cool experiment with dry ice. The woman has seven patents for Tide on her wall and she’s making dry ice experiments for the kids! I see math teachers Teri Parker and Carmen Swedes who spend more time with other people’s kids than they do their own because they are so dedicated to their craft and the kids. There’s Mike Wallace, CFO, who runs a ship so tight you could bounce a quarter off his sail if he had one. I would trust him with my money any day, and Eileen Hall, who has sent checks when every Kirbabas kid graduated, even though she doesn’t know them well. I spot Sherri and Tim Conley to my left. Their family has probably had more of an impact on ours than any other, a spectacularly generous and humble family who practically raised our twins and guided them during their formative years while we were off at work. I see parents who bring instant memories to mind of fun times like Penny Osborne, who was my copilot for the middle school scavenger hunt when our team won first place. There’s Sandy Avery, who cooked vegetarian dinners for Delaney every Monday when she came over to watch Teen Wolf with her daughter Morgan. Judy Alvarado, running around as usual taking pictures and husband Willy filming, just like they did all those years that our boys wrestled together, even showing up at the State finals to memorialize Tyler’s run as State champ. Mrs. Anderson catches my eye and we smile, both remembering how Conner decorated his full length portrait they drew in elementary school. Conner drew on his one of those beer bong hats with the 2 cup holders for the beer on each side and a long piece of rubber pipe running down to the mouth to deposit the beer. He even wrote “Budweiser” on the hat. Ah, a proud day for the Kirbabas family. To my right is parent Renee Schumacher, who I referred to as ‘volunteer extraordinaire’ because every summer prior to fall festival, she would travel with me to Kings Island and hang upside down in those huge bins where the torn stuffed animals were thrown. We received permission to pick through them to use as prizes, so each year we dug through those bins, picking out the best animals that could be salvaged with a bit of soap and a few stitches donated by the women at three different retirement homes. After four years of that, we moved to a new system and bought our prizes instead. People often ask my husband and me how we worked all the time and were still able to raise five such amazing kids. The formula is not rocket science: give them faith, give them love, give them guidance, give them rules, and allow them to be surrounded by people who you trust when you are not there. For us, that was our CHCA family. 35

Inspiringly benevolant

A Light and Legacy Staff Spotlight: Barb Bodley by Emma Treadway ‘18

A teacher for forty years, Barb Bodley has been with CHCA for twenty-four years: nine at the Middle School and fifteen at Armleder. Mrs. Bodley has dedicated her career to helping students excel and flourish in and out of the classroom, and she has been a shining example to others through her many accomplishments at CHCA. Mrs. Bodley leads a tech class and goes above and beyond in her teaching; she mentions how she loves to relate children’s literature to her tech lab.


CHCA has been running strong for 25 years, and Mrs. Bodley has been with the school for nearly the entire journey. One of the most significant memories she recounts was in the early years of the school when disaster struck in the form of a tornado which brought extensive damage to the MS building. Many of the classrooms were wrecked, and teachers had to temporarily hold classes in the MSL building. Then a personal tragedy occurred as well. Just a few days later, Barb’s father passed away. She names these challenges as one of the most memorable times at CHCA because, “it brought us closer together and even more like family. The support and encouragement of the CHCA community was what carried me through that difficult time.” Mrs. Bodley says that her career at the school has had a great impact on her life, and she believes that CHCA has taught her that “God will guide and use you where He places you if you believe and trust Him.” Among Mrs. Bodley’s biggest accomplishments during her time here at Armleder is Channel 7, the school’s in-house cable station. Each morning, broadcasts begin at 7:50am in the classrooms and lobby, and feature news, lunch menus, birthdays, weather, and other

the Lego WeDo, a program which uses icon-based programming software that allows students to create moving models from Lego elements. Kids can develop not only programming skills but more importantly collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Fifth and sixth-grade students move on to the Lego Mindstorms Robotics, which builds on these skills. As a part of their annual participation in the M2SE Robotics competition, they develop a playing field using their research and then program their robot to complete various tasks. Students thoroughly enjoy working on the Robotics team and find it very challenging and rewarding. Barb Bodley speaks of why she loves working with students through Robotics, and the benefits the program has on the kids. special segments. In addition, Principal Montgomery presents Manners are Magic each Monday. Broadcasting began in 2004 and was put into action when Principal Susan Miller had a vision for students to be able to present news and information to the school. Since then, students now have the opportunity to serve as anchors and run all the technical equipment. This year many third-graders were also involved in the broadcasts, and this upcoming year the station will be run by the Upper Elementary students. Mrs. Bodley speaks of her overall experience as one of the supervisors of the program, “It has been a total pleasure to watch students discover talents and interests in the areas of public speaking, broadcasting, and behind the camera work—learning to run the camera, teleprompter, computer graphics, and sound board.” Looking back, the program has been an incredible learning experience, and has provided a lifechanging opportunity for the students involved. One student, Jaelynn Johnson, was prompted to study journalism in college and inspired to become a reporter. Another student, Hope Hansee, spoke of how Channel 7 affected her:

“I really enjoyed doing behind the scenes stuff in middle school at Armleder, and learning how to do the prompter and camera then has led me and encouraged me to do backstage stuff with the musicals at the high school, and run a camera for worship services at my church once a month.”

“I love the way students learn to work together and problem solve when they are working with both the WeDo and Mindstorms robotics. They are very self-directed and determined to work out problems they have with programs. The work involves not only programming, but research of topics and applying what they have learned to the playing fields for the competitions. Both the M2SE competition and First Lego League competition require students to complete reports on the yearly theme.”

This past year, the Armleder Robotics Teams have been very busy with competitions. The sixth-grade team participated in the M2SE Robotics Competition in March and won 2nd place in Oral Presentation, 2nd place in Display Presentation, and Honorable Mention in both Floor Design and Robot Function. In the future, the Robotics program plans to continue competing in the M2SE and hopefully the First Lego League Competition as well.

“I really enjoyed doing behind the scenes stuff in middle school at Armleder, and learning how to do the prompter and camera then has led me and encouraged me to do backstage stuff with the musicals at the high school, and run a camera for worship services at my church once a month.” As to the station’s future, it will continue to be broadcast every morning by Upper Elementary students under the supervision of Mrs. DuBois with Mrs. Bodley as the technical advisor. Another program in which Mrs. Bodley plays an influential part is Armleder’s Robotics Team. Robotics has been a component of the Armleder curriculum in the Science Enrichment program since the school began. Teacher Cathy Cepress and the students have worked with RCX robotics and designed moving models of houses and other structures. For the past ten years, they have evolved to use Lego Mindstorms robots and have competed in the M2SE Robotics Competitions and the First Lego League Competitions. Initially, science and technology teachers collaborated and presented Robotics as an after-school program, and as interest grew, it became an elective class which students could opt to take during the school day. Later, Lego Mindstorms NXT became a part of the STEM program so that every student was given the opportunity to build, test, and program robots as well as participate in local competitions. The program involves students from grades 3-8. Third and fourth-graders can work with

After more than 20 years of dedicated teaching at CHCA, Mrs. Bodley has decided to retire, travel, and spend more time with her family. Her husband is a former CHCA employee and is currently a Missions Pastor at Christ’s Church in Mason. Her son Bradley was also a part of CHCA, graduating in ’97, and now lives in Columbus, GA with wife Faith and two children, Colin and Hope. Both Bradley and Faith work for the Department of the Army, and Bradley is currently a Major in the Reserves. Mrs. Bodley also plans to continue being involved with the school and with “guiding students to build skills using technology to further their academic and career pursuits”.


Resiliently faithful

Alumni News In our homes, in our communities, around the globe we are learning, leading, and serving. We are Eagles.

by Casey (Sutherly) Purnhagen ‘00

There are more than 1800 alumni that now call CHCA their alma mater – can you believe that? It seems impossible that we stand celebrating 25 years as a school, and 20 years since the very first graduates moved their tassels right to left, ready to learn perpetually, lead humbly, and serve compassionately, but here we are. This year we’ve learned a lot about our alumni around the globe, mostly by way of our newsletter. It’s been an absolute blast to connect with Eagles all over the world - to hear their stories, their accomplishments, and their hearts. We all know that CHCA graduates some pretty incredible students, but two decades into this journey, we can claim CEO’s and entrepreneurs, surgeons, doctors and

pursue their God-given talents and passions that enabled them to be engaged in their community and doing work they love.

nurses, teachers and administrators, pastors, missionaries and humanitarians, professional athletes, authors, and chart-toppers! Seriously, it’s great to be an Eagle.

We’re building a network, building community, and building legacy – and we’d love for you to join us!

Even more, each and every story we hear from our alumni is laced with truths that they began to learn here at CHCA. For some it was opportunities to travel abroad and engage with the hurting world that lead them to fight for the poor, feed the hungry, and empower the powerless. For others it was a class that gave them the chance to see business in action, shadow a leader, or hear lessons from entrepreneurs that led them to start their own company. For many it was the impact of a teacher that invested in them personally, challenged their thinking, or encouraged them to

Getting engaged in our alumni community is simple: Tell us how to reach you. Join us on social media: Facebook for regular updates LinkedIn for networking

Read the newsletter.

2015-2016 Alumni Events Homecoming Festival & Game Friday October 9 Festival 3PM Bring your family for games, rides, food and entertainment.

Game 7:30pm

Cheer on the Eagles v. Summit and see the Class of 1995 half-time recognition.

2015 Reunion Saturday October 10 6:30pm

‘95 (+’96 & ‘97), ’00, ‘05 & ‘10 Join us for dinner and drinks making new memories with old friends!

Alumni Date Night Thursday November 19 6:30pm

Join other other alumni for the CHCA Improv Show “Off the Cuff”. Laughter. Childcare. Chocolate. Details and RSVP coming soon!

Check the website for updates for additional alumni events throughout the year

*These events feature special alumni-only discounts or freebies. Contact Alumni Coordinator, Julie Carnes via email at to learn more.


alumni Class notes Class of 1995

Jason Born recently left his role at Procter & Gamble to pursue his passion of serving individuals and teams on their journey towards discovery. He founded OpenCircuit, an innovation consultancy, as a platform to guide organizations to release innovation from their routines.   To learn more check out Jeremy (‘95) and Erin (Metzger, ‘97) Conn welcomed their third child, Matthew Aaron, in December 2014. They made it home from the hospital to introduce baby to big sister and brother just hours before Christmas day. Their daughter Kate just finished Kindergarten and their son James just finished PreK 4 at CHCA. The Conns are looking forward to traveling this summer and introducing Matthew to the pool. 

Class of 1996

Jonathan Kloster and his wife, Marni have lived in Denver Colorado for the past 15 years. Jon has worked for Wells Fargo for the past nine years and is VP of Consumer Lending . Marni is an attorney practicing civil litigation. Their son Caleb (age 5) will be starting kindergarten in the fall.

Class of 1997

Elizabeth (McVey) Cullen and her husband Blake are enjoying life in Cury, North Carolina. They have three children that are keeping them on their toes: Gracie (age 7), Jake (age 5), and Josh (20 mos.).

Erika (Wasilewski) Dollard and Karl welcome baby Natalie on February 19, 2015. She is such a blessing and such a sweet baby. Natalie joins big sister, Nora. . Riaka (Jackson) Shakelford is currently working in Recruitment with Michigan Works, while her husband, Dante, is a Business Consultant for A-Level Group. They welcomed their 3rd child, London Monroe, back in August ‘14 and they are just all-around thankful for all that God has done. Joel Watson married Sara Atkinson on July 4, 2015 in Beavercreek, Oh.

Class of 1998

John Ashbrook After ten years on Capitol Hill, John recently departed his senior position in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office and launched a new company called Cavalry, LLC. Cavalry specializes in public affairs, issue management and digital advertising and serves a select list of Fortune 50, trade association, non-profit and political clients. John and his wife Kate have three daughters: Margaret, Abigail and Charlotte. Ryan Kloster and his wife Natasha moved back from Singapore and are living in Greenwich, CT now, but still travel to London a couple of times a year. Ryan is a Vice President and Strategist at Tudor Investment Corporation. Their daughter Thea will be in Kindergarten in the fall and their son Nate is almost 3 years old.

Jonathan and Jessica (Martin) Snyder Their three children are enrolled at CHCA EBL Elementary. They have a fourth daughter who is with them in foster care, and they hope to adopt her in the coming months.

Brent Walker and his wife Lauren added to their family with the birth of their daughter Farrah in December 2014. She joins Marissa (age 6), and Caleb (age 2). They are currently living in Mason and are a current CHCA parent.

Class of 2000

Virginia (Weiss) Cutshall is currently living in Cincinnati with her husband Ryan and their two children, Lily (age 4) and Luke (age 1). Last year, Erin (Dowd) Fish and her husband purchased a home in Seattle and are expecting their first baby (boy!) at the end of July. They love living in the Pacific Northwest and exploring all that it has to offer. God has continued to bless them with amazing friends and a gospel-centered church that continues to grow them both. Lita (Hitchcock) Holeman and her husband Ryan live in Deerpark with their three children, Grace (age 6), Noah (age 5), and Andrew (age 2). Lita’s company “Kindly Reply”( is all about paper, ink and how it all comes together for your special event.


alumni Class notes

Chris and Sarah Koenig recently had baby boy #2, Henry Christopher Koenig, on June 12, 2014. In addition, they are heading into the third year of Ohiolina Music Festival - the world’s best celebration of music from Ohio and North Carolina.  Sarah works at Quantum Health in Public Relations and Chris works at The Ohio State University with startup companies.   Travis and Erin (Snyder) Murray They have been living and serving in Peru and with are expecting their first baby around Thanksgiving. They have decided to return to the states where Travis has accepted a teacher job beginning this fall. If you would like to follow their adventures, they are keeping a blog site. Here is a recent entry from June https://loveandlapsi.wordpress. com/2015/05/26/image-of-god-in-culture/ Jenn (Reynolds) Salyer married Corey Salyer on June 6th, 2015.  They moved to Newark, Ohio with their children Lincoln and Ellie. Corey is working as a nurse in the emergency room while continuing his education to become a nurse practitioner, and Jenn stays busy starting her new business hand lettering signs and making other pretty things.

Jessica (Myers) Schneider welcomed Evelyn Schneider on December 23, 2014. She joins her sister Quinn.


Ashley Scott graduated from the University of Dayton in 2004 and went on to earn her M.S.Ed. from UD in 2006. She is currently the Associate Director of Student Housing at California State University in Bakersfield, CA. Dan Shirk The Shirks welcomed a baby girl, Micaela, on February 17, 2015. She joins big sister Keira (age 2). Sarah (Moore) Wagner Daisy Elizabeth Wagner was born on April 4, 2015. Jon and Sara are so excited to have her here, and their son Cohen is thrilled to be a big brother! Lauren (Baker) Zuperku graduated in 2004 with a BA in Mathematics (minor in secondary education) and then completed her MA in Educational Leadership in 2011 from Concordia University. She is currently a Math teacher at New Trier High School in Illinois. She and her husband David have a three-year-old daughter.

Class of 2001

Jared Summers married Emily Anderson on May 3, 2014. They welcomed their first son, Anderson Christopher, on September 25, 2015. They currently reside in Houston, TX.

Class of 2002

Zach Bohannon serves as the Director of The Center for Law and Culture at his alma mater, Olivet Nazarene University, in the Chicagoland area. The Center, in unique partnership with Olivet, focuses on instilling a vibrant Judeo-Christian worldview in students and other citizens who are called to serve God virtuously in public life, particularly in law, government, and politics. This program is the only one of its kind among all institutions in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). In his role as Director of the Center, Zach oversees dayto-day operations, constituent relations, and

student recruitment. In January, Zach represented The Center for Law and Culture at the National Association of Evangelicals Student Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. During that trip, Zach got to catch up with Chris Hess ’04 and Cincinnati Congressman Steve Chabot, pictured here.  For more about The Center for Law and Culture, check out Wes and Dori (Dostal) Edmonson welcomed baby Henry on February 7, 2015. He is a loving smiley baby. He joins his brother Oliver. Brett LoVellette and his wife Jessica are living in Singapore where Brett is an attorney. They were married in 2013 in the country of Uganda. They visited home for his brother Will’s (‘10) wedding last April and they were also home last year for Luke Hitchcock’s (‘02) wedding. Collin Richardson recently graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Organ Performance from the CCM at University of Cincinnati. Collin joined Dr. Dan Grantham, who was also receiving his doctorate at that time. Dr. Grantham is the a current CHCA faculty member and Collin’s former band teacher. Chad Riley completed his MBA in 2014 at Texas A&M University. Currently is the Director of Strategy for Wayside Schools in Austin, TX.

Resiliently faithful Darah Stutz Kerpka and her husband, Rob currently live in Nashville, TN. They were married in 2011 and welcomed their first child Jack Anderson Kerpka, on August 19, 2014. After a rough pregnancy and first few months in this world Jack is a thriving 9 month old happy baby boy who is enjoying his new found freedom as a crawler! Darah works as a Site Director at Preston Taylor Ministries, a non-profit in Nashville that ministers to the residents and children of the Preston Taylor housing project. They are loving life as a family of three and always look forward to visiting family and friends in Cincinnati as often as possible.

Class of 2003

Natalie Betscher works at Back2Back Ministries as the Child Sponsorship Director. She got involved with Back2Back through CHCA when she went on her first trip in the 8th grade. She shares, “It’s a joy to get to serve God and the children through the work that I do with Back2Back.” Eric and Crista Bowman went on a medical mission trip this year with Global Health Outreach from May 22-30. Eric used his medical expertise to meet the intense need at a clinic in Tegucigalpa, while Crista spent time praying and meeting with the patients and their families. Kathryn Ashbrook Folkerth received her J.D. from State University of New York at Buffalo in 2010. She is married to Joshua and has a son Max who is 2 years old. Zachary Han married Molly Walsh on June 5, 2015. They currently live in Missouri

Ashley (Petersen) Harriman Carter Jerome Harriman was born on April 4, 2015 to joyful parents. Ashley, Mark and Carter live in Indianapolis, IN.

Dan (D.J.) Pohl Charles, their first child, was born August 20, 2014. He’s a happy, healthy baby and they feel incredibly blessed.

Class of 2004

Robin Beshear moved back to Cincinnati in 2013 after living and working in Washington, D.C. for five years. Although she enjoyed her years in D.C., she is happy to be back in the Cincinnati area. She currently serves as Director of Selection at Northwestern Mutual, where she is in charge of talent acquisition as they continue to grow their team of Financial Advisors. Robin works closely with Ben Beshear (‘97) to guide candidates through their process and determine if this is the right fit, right firm, and right time. Robin enjoys reconnecting with old classmates and helped to plan the Class of 2004 10 year reunion last fall.


Alex Zekoff ‘05

Chad Neichter and his wife Sarah are living in Columbus, OH. He’s currently working for Fidelity Investments as a VP, Financial Consultant focused on wealth planning. Their daughter Faith is now 16 months old and they are expecting a second child in December of this year! They recently bought an investment property cabin in Hocking Hills and are spending a lot of time there. Among the cabin, travel, their daughter and one on the way - life is a bit crazy, but a lot of fun!

This past year, Alex and his wife Jacquie have been living in Japan. This experience was eye-opening for both of us. Imagine learning how to do something a certain way for your entire life, and then overnight, everything changing. How to eat correctly. How to introduce yourself. How to interact in a business setting. The last one, in particular, was the most difficult to learn. Never say “no” in a meeting. Napping at your desk is encouraged. Every decision requires a meeting before the meeting. The cultural differences can be a challenge, and yet, my wife and I both agree that Japan has been the most rewarding experience of our lives. The people, the food, and the beauty make the Land of the Rising Sun a place we had the privilege to call home. On Memorial Day, we departed Japan, embarking on a two and a half month journey around Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, before arriving at our final destination -- Berkeley, CA, our new home. I will be attending graduate school full-time to get my MBA at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business. If you’re ever in the area, feel free to reach out.


alumni Class Notes

Grace Schuler is working on her PsyD at Wheaton College Graduate School. She and Jonathan Spencer will be married July 11, 2015 in Cincinnati. Nathaniel Sizemore The Sizemores have moved back to Cincinnati from Wa s h i n g t o n , D.C. because Nathaniel accepted the position of Vice President and General Counsel of his family’s company, Sizemore & Company, LLC. Sizemore & Company is a management and consultancy company that focuses on the construction industry.

Class of 2005

Andy and Ashley (Grant) Dahmus were CHCA high school sweethearts who were married May of 2011. Andy is a SAP BW Consultant with Intelligence Company on Reed Hartman Hwy. Rachael (Tract) Gardner currently lives in Liberty Township where she is a Cincinnati Gymnastics coach. Rachael and her husband Stephen are expecting their first child in September 2015. Katie Malczewski, MD graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical school and practices Obstetrics in New Orleans. She and Alex Moore, MD married in April 2012 and have just moved into their first house. Her husband left the surgical practice to pursue a degree in Medical / Hospital Management with the plan to eventually move back north. Teddy Siegel currently serves as the Advocacy & Government Relations Specialist at Mercy Health in Cincinnati.  She recently graduated from the inaugural class of CincyNext, a 42

leadership development program sponsored by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She began her MBA studies at the University of Cincinnati in the spring of 2015.  She serves on the Young Professionals Board of ArtsWave, and serves on the Community Relations Committee of Prevent Blindness Ohio. Matt Stamp is getting married to Katie Dunn on October 17, 2015. Fellow CHCA graduates Kevin Hern ‘05 and Griffin Kelp ‘05 are part of the wedding party.

courses that are in NC State, UNC and Duke. It is golfer’s paradise and hallowed ground for college basketball fans! Jarrod Richardson recently married Chelsea Kennedy on May 23, 2015 at the Manor House in Mason, Oh. They have relocated to Seattle, WA where they are continuing their careers and looking forward to starting their marriage together.

Brittany (Woods) West and Kenneth were married in 2012 and welcomed their first child Zoe on November 11, 2014. They are currently in Atlanta, Georgia where Brittany is the National Southeast Recruiter FAS & Fire for Cintas.

Class of 2006

Allison (Zurlinden) Imrie and her husband welcomed their beautiful daughter on New Years Eve, and since then life has been a non-stop whirlwind of exciting, unforgettable memories. They have never been so tired or felt so alive and happy! Megan (Savage) Knox received her J.D. from University of Cincinnati in 2013 and is currently with Bricker & Eckler. She married Thomas Knox on June 21, 2014 and currently lives in Columbus, OH. Chris McGuire After graduating from Butler University with a PharmD, Chris has completed 2 years of postgraduate residency. He is currently a clinical cardiology pharmacist at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, NC. He staffs in the cardiology unit as well as the Emergency Department. Chris precepts pharmacy students and residents from UNC Chapel Hill and Campbell University, as well as lectures at these schools. Living in the Raleigh area allows Chris to enjoy the quality golf

Jonathan Wallace owns his own Medicare insurance business. He, his wife, Danielle, and their dog recently moved to Morrow. The Wallace clan [Jonathan ‘06, Nathan ‘07, Paula (Armleder teacher 2010-2011) & spouses] just returned from Orange Beach, AL.

Class of 2007

Ryan Atkins will be graduating from UC this coming spring with a degree in Finance. He has enjoyed leading a weekly bible study with CHCA boys from the class of 2017. Ryan was recently engaged to Stephanie Perry in an epic engagement that involved many of his CHCA Bible study students! David Betcher is currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he works as a GIS Program Specialist for the Great Lakes Commission producing map products and spatial analysis tools which support contingency planning and invasive species control projects in the Great Lakes region. He enjoys exploring Michigan’s shoreline and state parks and is grateful to live within a day’s drive of Cincinnati.

Resiliently faithful Nathan Wallace works for LeanDog as a software Developer in Cleveland, OH. His office is on a barge on Lake Erie, just east of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He did graduate work at Case Western Reserve University, where his wife, Claire, is getting her PhD.

Class of 2008


James Havey ’07

James Havey joined Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 2012 after graduating from Marquette University with a BS in International Affairs: Third World Development. His college experience was culminated in the Marquette University South Africa Service Learning program in Cape Town, South Africa. Here, James spent 5 months studying at the University of Western Cape while working on a grassroots community development NGO in Nyanga, South Africa called Etafeni Day Care Centre and Trust. All these experiences drove him into a life of mission and follow the Liberation Theological Philosophy of, “Option for the Poor”. James has been serving in Phnom Penh, Cambodia since January of 2013 with Maryknoll Lay Missioners. His mission there has been largely focused on combatting sexual exploitation. He has worked with two research studies addressing Cambodia’s “demand” for the sex industry which is producing documentaries which are now making their rounds on the international film festival circuit. He is also building a project to provide beautician training to this highly marginalized community. Most recently, James, in collaboration with local Christian NGOs, Phnom Penh’s LGBT Pride week, and with the support of the Finnish Embassy of Bangkok, hosted Phnom Penh’s first LGBT-Christian Dialogue. This was a panel-led workshop comprised of Phnom Penh’s Christian leaders to discuss the realities of the relationship between these two, often-times stratified, communities in the hopes of moving forward to a more unified and mutually-supportive future. He has also recently hosted another full-day workshop entitled, “Engaging with the LGBTI” during the 2015 South-South Institute, an international conference comprised of the world’s top leaders in working with male victims of sexual violence. If you would like to learn more or support James and his fellow Maryknoll Lay Missioners in their work around the world, please visit:

Nicole (Ruter) Bradley recently married on April 18, 2015 to Marc Bradley. In the wedding were fellow 2007 CHCA alumni: Natalie Leonard, Alex (Brown) Chacksfield, Kate (Perkins) Snell, & Liz Lehky. They are currently living in their first home in West Chester with their dog Charlie. She is currently a 5th and 6th grade science teacher at Fairfield Intermediate. She is also currently pursuing her masters at UC for curriculum and instruction with a STEM endorsement. Amy (Stevens) Hendley Rosalie Katherine Hendley was born on March 31, 2015 - happy and healthy and smiling on her first day. Her sister Mary Evelyn Grace is now a year and a half old and loves having a new best friend to play with.  They recently moved to Charlotte, NC. Thomas Hunter is currently in his second year as a Peace Corps volunteer in the wonderful country of Paraguay. His primary focus is agriculture but he also works closely with the elementary school in his community, teaching the children about the environment and gardens. Elizabeth Mitchell and her husband Darren moved to Raleigh, NC for my his job. Elizabeth has launched an online business called The Party Boxes ( specializing in taking the trouble out of party planning, as they do it all for you.

Adam Clark graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in May of this year. In June, he moved to Washington, D.C. and began working as a Policy Associate for Collier Collective, LLC - a strategy, advocacy, and coalition building consulting firm serving public interest clients. Adam lives in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and is enjoying his new career and his lively new surroundings. Kaci Kust works for Time Warner Cable/CN2 as a sports reporter/anchor covering sports in NKY, Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati. She is also a Bengals correspondent for CN2 and is UC women’s basketball Analyst. Erin McGuire graduated from Samford University with a degree in Business/ Marketing. She is currently a production manager for Luckie and Company, an advertising agency. She loves the great shopping, food, and warm weather which make Birmingham, AL a true southern city. James (Jamie) Rasmussen is living in Cincinnati and is the bass guitar player for Automajik band. Alex Rice graduated from OSU in 2013 with a degree in Nutrition and currently works both as a personal trainer at 11athletics gym in Bexley, OH, and for REI. 43

alumni Class Notes

Todd Simmons graduated from Miami University in 2012 with a BA in Zoology & minor in Religion. He’s currently a second year medical student at Northeast Ohio Medical University, with fellow CHCA Alumnus Joel Shackson ‘08. He is leaning towards pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine or Anesthesiology. Courtney Wetterich Since graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012, Courtney has been performing yearround in professional ice shows. She has worked for several different companies in five countries, and most recently was on a 7-month tour with Holiday On Ice “Passion” in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. “Being on tour in countries where I don’t speak the native languages and cannot always rely on technology has taught me invaluable lessons that I could not have learned in school. Moving by tour bus from city to city each week forced me to adapt to the culture quickly and take advantage of the local cuisine, lifestyle, and tourist attractions on our few days off. It was such an incredible experience being abroad with other figure skaters and crew of 20 different nationalities, and seeing places that most people can only imagine. I am anxious to go back on tour in Europe in November, but will continue to skate this summer in Sun Valley, Idaho. I am very fortunate to live this crazy, nomadic life and share my love for figure skating with audiences around the world.”

Class of 2009

Katherine Bulling is working in Spain for a sports management company that places European students into U.S. colleges via scholarships. The job is fun yet challenging, the food is fantastic, the people are great, and her travels around Spain have been wonderful.


Lindsay (Trucksis) Combs graduated from Lipscomb University in 2013 in theology and music. She was wed to Taylor Combs in October 2014 and resides in Nashville, TN. She

and her husband are very involved in her church’s youth group and she is on staff part-time as the worship leader. Lindsay is a singer-songwriter in Nashville and recently released an EP, “Forget To Breathe.” Courtney Kust graduated with her Masters from Xavier in 2014. She works at Hope College in Holland, MI as the Women’s basketball coach and Manager in the Events and Conferences Department. James and Megan (Conway) Lipsey welcomed their baby girl on November 9, 2014. Lauren Luessen and Adam Testerman were married on August 1, 2015. They will be living in Mason, OH Jeff McCormick graduated from University of Notre Dame in 2013 and currently lives in Chicago, working as a Systems Engineer for DMC, Inc. Sarah (Eslick) Robinson married Jake Robinson on June 7, 2014. They moved back to Cincinnati from Nashville and Jake is slowly getting involved in the Cincinnati music scene. Sarah is beginning classes at Aveda Fredericks Institute. Paul Tepfenhart graduated from Miami in 2013 with a BS in Business and has been busy building a biometrics startup company at CrossChx based out of Columbus. He is super excited to be driving a start up, but misses those carefree days at CHCA.

Class of 2010

Ryan Chappelle and Leighwilson Legg were married on August 2, 2014. Ronnie (Veronica) Colwell graduated Cum Laude from Auburn University in 2014 with a BA in Communication Disorders. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Cincinnati. Morgan Feeney graduated from Miami University in 2014 and just completed her first year with Teach for America working as a Special Education Teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. This summer, she is spending five

weeks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia working with Hope for Justice - an organization that exists to end human trafficking and slavery. Hannah Fussner is working as a receptionist full time, and a bartender/server on the weekends. She is hopeful to finish her marketing degree at UC when time allows! She us currently focusing on purchasing her first house and enjoying her twenties! Stephen Koch asked Alicia Grant to be his wife on the CHCA football field where they shared their first kiss in 8th grade! They are set to be married October 24, 2015 in Pleasant Hill, OH Sean and Hana (Conway) Herron were married May 2, 2015 and are living in Northern Kentucky. They both currently work for Selfdiploma, an entertainment company founded by Sean. Selfdiploma creates large events, concerts, and other creative concepts including Ubahn Fest and the Fountain Square Summer Concert Series. The company also manages a roster of Cincinnati’s best DJs, some of which have performed all over the world and some stay booked with various local gigs. As Hana and Sean were planning their wedding they wanted to create an elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere for all their guests. They were looking to rent unique furniture to do so but could not find the style they wanted to rent anywhere locally, so they purchased over 75 pieces to fill their wedding venue. Hana and Sean are now starting a new business venture renting the furniture out to other people who want to create a similar atmosphere at their event. Pictures and information can be found at Selfdiploma Company Info:,, Social @selfdiploma Mallory Oconnor graduated in 2014 from OSU and is now pursuing a Pharmacy D at OSU. She is currently a Pharmacy intern at Riverside Hospital. Andrew Perkins is currently working for a college ministry called Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). He was involved with Cru as a student at Miami University and decided to join staff when he graduated. He spent several months in Podgorica, Montenegro (Eastern Europe), on a team serving as a spiritual resource for college


Resiliently faithful students, and trying to build a student movement through discipleship and spiritual multiplication. This coming year he will be on a team working with the Greek ministry at Miami University.


Alysse Feldman ‘10

I am currently on an 11 month long mission trip called the World Race. Each month, I travel to a new country and partner with an organization or church there. Since September, I have served in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Montenegro, Albania, and Honduras. I have taught English, preached, led church small groups, worked with victims of human trafficking, been involved with children’s ministry, hospital ministry, manual labor, orphan care, and more. I even picked corn for a few days in the mountains of Thailand (didn’t see that one coming). Our goal on the race is to serve in whatever way would be most helpful to our partner organizations, and really just to be Jesus to people. God has taught me so much this year through people abroad, as well as through the team I serve with. One thing I have learned is to not put ministry or God in a box. Serving God doesn’t have to look like structured ministry with a specific start and end time. It can just be talking to the lady with the little market on the corner about her day. It can be as simple as striking up a conversation with the homeless man you usually pass by. I am learning that all God needs is for us to be willing to listen to Him and go do! That’s when ministry becomes a lifestyle, and that’s when Jesus shines through us best. This year I have met people who do that so well. On each continent, I have been overwhelmed at how people love their communities so well. They live radically for God, even at the risk of persecution. These people radiate the love of Christ. It has been an incredibly humbling year, and amazing to see how God works around the world. I just finished up a month in Honduras teaching English and working with a local medical clinic. Next, I head to Nicaragua and Costa Rica before returning back to the United States in July. If you’d like to hear more about what God is doing through this experience, you can read my blog, at

Danny VanWinkle graduated from Miami University in 2014 with a B.A. in Marketing. He currently lives in Chicago where he works at W.W. Grainger as a Sales Rep.

Class of 2011

Meredith Allgood recently graduated from the Wake Forest University Honors Psychology program where she conducted her thesis research on Attentional Bias Therapies. Attentional Bias Therapy is traditionally used in treatment of depression and anxiety, but in collaboration with Dr. Christian Waugh (Wake Forest University) and Dr. Ernst Koster (The University of Ghent), Meredith used Temporal Level Bias Scores (TL-BS) as a measurement of emotional variability to predict the instability in mood associated with depression. The thesis will be submitted to a peer-reviewed psychological journal for publication in the fall. Meredith will continue her study of psychology at Xavier University where she will pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Andrew Amend graduated from Centre College with a double major in International Studies and Politics. He is continuing on to earn his MBA/JD from the University of Cincinnati. He played soccer for his four years at Centre College and served on the Intrafraternal Council. He was a member of Sigma Chi Zeta Zeta Chapter. He represented Centre College at Nationals in the Model Arab League. He studied abroad in Cameroon Africa and interned with the museum at the School for the Deaf. Kelly Canavan graduated from OSU undergrad and will be continuing on to the OSU dental school in the fall.

Nathan Conway graduated from Arizona State University this past May. He moved to Seattle, Washington at the end of June to take a position with T-Mobile. Madeleien Drees graduated from Kent State with a BFA in Musical Theater and is moving to Sugarcreek, OH in August to work for BlueGate Musicals. Meredith Hughes graduated from Miami University with a MFA in Creative Writing. Abbie (Marosi) Aprile graduated Miami University in May with a bachelors in Music Education. She will continue to live in Cincinnati, OH and will be teaching this upcoming year as the new Strings Teacher at CHCA. Her performance honors include worship leading violin and voice at Living Church in Covington, KY and shows/recordings with the band “Aire Alistaire”. She married Joe Aprile on July 25th, 2015 at the church she grew up in - Kenwood Baptist Church!! Her goals are to continue education in music and business as well as following her passion to teach in the mission field. Heather Owens graduated from NKU in 2015 with a degree in English/Spanish languages. Eric Rice graduated from Miami University with a degree in Marketing. He is currently working for “Big Ass Solutions” ( in Atlanta.


alumni Class Notes

Brad Tepfenhart just graduated from Miami in 2015 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He starts his career with Textron as a Quality Engineer on the drone program.  He will be living in Towson, MD and would love to see Eagle alums when they are in town. Elena VandenBerg graduated from the College of William and Mary in May 2015. She will teach in Switzerland for the summer and is a national Fulbright grant recipient for the year 2015-2016. She will teach high school English in Burgos, Bulgaria while working in local schools and continuing to set up her non-profit organization The Recreation House in the local community.

Class of 2012

Laura Atkins finished her junior year at Miami University in early childhood education. She is currently on a summer capstone trip led by Dr. James Shively (MU professor and husband of Mindy, CHCA science teacher). They are observing classrooms in elementary schools in several European countries. She is excited to be student teaching 2nd grade at Loveland Elementary this fall. Kate Bohanan is spending the summer interning at the Jazz Arts Group in Columbus before returning for her Senior year at Otterbein University. She is a member of Otterbein’s concert choir, Opus One (Jazz Ensemble) and is a twoyear Resident Hall Advisor. Michelle Fenney will be working in Washington D.C. this summer as an intern in the Office of Global affairs - African Bureau. She is going into her senior year at University of Notre Dame. Stephanie Schlosser is entering her 3rd year of a 5 year Masters program in Occupational Therapy at Eastern Michigan University. She was named to the CAA all-Academic Rowing team for the second straight season. This is her 3rd year as a varsity Rower for Eastern Michigan while maintaining a 3.9 GPA on full scholarship.



Pete Riewald

I travelled to the East to learn about the mountains, more specifically to become a mountaineer; but what I have come to realize is that I will be leaving with much more. I was enrolled in a two month Mountaineering course through NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in northern India in the state of Uttarakhand which is right on the border of Tibet and Nepal. On April 25th, the day of the major earthquake, I was perched high in the Himalayas above 18,000 ft. What we felt was merely a tremor compared to what parts of North-Eastern felt; yet, while maneuvering kilometer long glaciers, any movement means crevasses open up, avalanches occur and the safety of you and your expedition team is at jeopardy. Is there a better classroom to learn risk management skills then a moving, shattering glacier in the highest mountain range in the world? Once the course was finished, I spent a few days transiting to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. While traveling around India for a few days, I decided to go ahead with my plan to trek to Everest Basecamp even though I had caught word that they had closed the mountain down for the climbing season; it was still open to trekkers. Upon flying to Kathmandu, I saw the worst of the devastation in person with no barrier, no television or computer screen between me and the city. It was terrifying, and supremely eye opening. Bodies being burned and sent down the river; thousand year old temples grounded; and men women and children alike, displaced around this clustered city. I hired a rickshaw driver and drove around the city, what I saw was chaos. In a western sense, Kathmandu is always chaos; animals taking rest in the road, motorcyclists weaving from side to side and shopkeepers yelling from their stands. The earthquake has taken that chaos and flipped it on its head. After visiting a few days of the shanties and relief tents in Kathmandu, I took a 11 hour Jeep out into the mountains to begin my trek to EBC (Everest Basecamp). I soon discovered that the issues facing mountain villages were much different than those in Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, many people died from poorly designed buildings falling over, fresh foods were no where to be found, clean water (or just water in general) was nowhere. They are still facing issues involving the poorly designed buildings. So much damaged was caused by this earthquake that they predict it will take nearly 2 years to fully rebuild. They also have lost a lot of their history with the destruction of temples and shrines. The mountain towns have been affected in a different way, they have lost their income with the absence of tourists. A region that is usually swarmed with tourists and trekkers alike was a ghost town. Along my hike to EBC I was the only person heading north. I saw few westerners all together, and all of them were heading south away from the mountains. Also, in these remote mountain towns they made homes of stone, because of its availability I suppose. This creates a large hazard for dangerous buildings that are heavy and have no support. I was able to do some relief work with Empower Nepali Girls Foundation by passing out meds and food rations. I was happily surprised by all the relief efforts I saw along the way, although much more is needed. Now that I am back in the States, I will begin working with Whittaker Mountaineering this climbing season in Ashford, WA. I’ve have dreamt of having this job and now it’s a reality!

Resiliently faithful Austin Skoglund is entering his senior year at the University of Florida majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Engineering sales. He is the External Vice Chair for ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) as well as the Videographer for UF Baseball Team and a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. He is working this summer in NJ as the Operations Manager for Nestle. Meredith Stutz is a rising senior at Elon University studying broadcast journalism and entrepreneurship. She has just come off of what she calls “her favorite and best year so far” since arriving at Elon in North Carolina. She finished off junior year earning the President’s List for Spring 2015. In April she received the D’Angelo Family Scholarship which recognizes one rising senior in the field of broadcast communication. She also was chosen to receive the RTDNAC Dr. John Bittner Scholarship given to one student in North Carolina and one in South Carolina for pursuing and engaging in a field of journalism. Meredith also received an Ohio Scholarship from the P.E.O women’s philanthropic organization. This spring, she was inducted into three honors societies, including Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honors society. This past year she was selected and served as an anchor for Elon Local News’ live weekly evening broadcast as well as a reporter for the organization as a whole. Meredith served on the student executive board for Elon’s chapter InterVaristy Christian Fellowship and looks forward to co-leading her small group Bible study next year. Meredith also continued to work as a tour guide for Elon Admissions and as a member of the Special Event Committee for Campus Recreation. After interning for the past two summers in Cincinnati, she is interning with CBS’s “60 Minutes” in New York City for Summer 2015. Meredith is extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to learn first hand about long form journalism and the people who are shaping the world we live in today, both from a national and global perspective. Tyler Tepfenhart is headed to his senior year at Baylor University studying Molecular Biology. He also is a four-year starter on the Baylor Lacrosse team.  He is eager to return to Ohio next year for Medical school and Friday night CHCA football games.

Class of 2013

Wes Braden is entering his junior year at

Wheaton College, and has been working with a startup company- Tru-Colour Bandages, which manufactures and sells flexible-fabric, adhesive bandages in skin tones darker than those currently represented by JandJ and 3M. Their website is This summer Brad Feldman is studying Sports Medicine and Clinic Health at the Danish Institute of Study in Copenhagen, Denmark. Afterwards he plans to backpack through Europe with destinations including: Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Croatia, & Hungary. Then he will go back for his Junior year at Wake Forest University where he is majoring in Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and Sociology. Anna Love spent the month of June as an intern serving alongside the Back2Back staff in Cancun, Mexico. She is very excited to see what God has planned for her! Carmen Brown Mauldin had an exciting second year at Xavier University, spending some time in Washington D.C. with the Philosophy, Politics, and the Public program, as well as some time at a refugee settlement in Omaha, Nebraska. Next year she will be an RA at Xavier. Kaitlin Shields is getting ready for her junior year at Auburn University. Dajah Siplin recently completed her sophomore year at Xavier University, but her second semester was spent studying abroad in Nicaragua. While there, she took 16 credit hours on courses such as Nicaraguan History, Culture and Society, Liberation Theology and even Folkloric Dance! Not only was she taking classes, but she also lived with a host family where she was one of six kids, and volunteered at a Children’s Home for kids and adults with mental and physical disabilities. There she worked with kids who had cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other developmental disabilities. Dajah says that going to Nicaragua was one of the best and most challenging experiences of her entire life and cannot believe she was blessed to have such a great opportunity where she was able to grow and learn more about not only herself, but also her faith. Because of this experience and her work at the Children’s Home, this summer she will be working at the Conduc-

tive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati, a place of education, training and development for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other motor challenges. Dajah is currently a Health Services Administration major with a double minor in Business and Spanish.

Class of 2014

Rachel Finch will be attending Ohio University this fall in their Nursing Program. Caroline Kuremsky loved her first year at Butler University where she was a Student Ambassador Tour Guide. She also was a member of the BU Dance Team, which traveled to NYC to dance at Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament, and to Pittsburgh for Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament. She pledged Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and made the Dean’s List both semesters. Morgan Shiveley is serving as an intern with Back2Back Ministries this summer at their Monterrey, Mexico site. She helps facilitate church and youth groups who come down on week-long trips, as well as serves as support for site staff and develops relationships with the children and caregivers at local children’s homes. This is her second year as an intern, and the time she spent there last summer greatly influenced her decision to declare an Early Childhood Education major and Spanish minor at Miami University. Her passion for serving the orphan child began to develop while she was a middle school student at CHCA during the opportunity to go on a week-long mission trip with Mr. McCollum. She is so grateful to CHCA for giving her the tools and skills to explore this passion throughout her time as a student, and for still providing an avenue for support as she continues to return to Mexico and pursue a possible career in orphan care. Alex Stevens JH Ranch is a Christian guest ranch located in Etna, California. Their mission statement is to transform lives one family at a time. For six years it has been Alex’s dream to play the bass guitar in the worship band there, and he is so excited to share that he will be doing just that this entire summer!


11525 Snider Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45249

Eagles Eye 2015  
Eagles Eye 2015  

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Eagles Eye 2015