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COLLEGE HEIGHTS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL ALUMNI & FRIENDS NEWSLETTER
S H A R I NG C O M M ON R O OT S – NO U R I S H I NG G E N E R AT ION S
A BUSY SUMMER OF IMPROVEMENTS Facelift
New Landscaping Thank you PTF for the new landscaping on the west side of the building and the new trees added to the elementary playground.
The CHCS Gym received a facelift over the summer. The walls were painted, the floor sanded and repainted, and the bleachers cleaned. Every student at CHCS uses the gym and benefits from the different gym activities that the school offers.
The CHCS technology lab received new computers this summer thanks to donations. Our students have already noticed the increased speed and updated software.
JEREMY RUSH (CLASS OF ‘96) When did you begin attending CHCS? I knew nothing but CHCS - Kindergarten through 12th grade! What school sports or extracurricular activities were you involved in at CHCS? I was able to participate in band, math club, Model U.N., basketball, and track and field. I stuck with track and field through my Senior Year [Shout-out to Mr. Lewis for being an awesome coach!]. Who was your favorite teacher and why? It’s so hard to pick a favorite after 13 years of experience with such quality teachers! I would have to pick Paul Sims for his persistence in quality education in our Bible classes. He also had this quirky smile that made you shudder when he was getting onto you for doing something wrong! How would you describe yourself as a teen and how has that changed, if any as an adult? As a teen, I felt lost and unsure of myself. Part of that was my personal circumstances. CHCS helped me to develop a solid Biblical foundation that I am
eternally grateful for. This foundation has given me a solid handle in my life as I became an adult and able to make choices that honor God. (continued on page 4)
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” –Jeremiah 17:7-8
LEAH (King) BLANKENSHIP (CLASS OF ‘87) When did you begin attending CHCS? I was one of the first of 75 kids to begin at College Heights back in 1978. I was in fourth grade. What school sports or extracurricular activities were you involved in at CHCS? I played volleyball and basketball; those were the only sports for girls at the time. I was also a cheerleader for one year; participated in choir and helped with yearbook. Who was your favorite teacher and why? My very first teacher was Mrs. Strack. She was one of my favorites. Let’s see, I also liked Mrs. Spille a lot and Mrs. Smyth. Mr. Skaggs and Mr. Rehrig were very tough, but great teachers also. How would you describe yourself as a teen and how has that changed, if any as an adult? I was a selfish brat at times, but also had some unselfish moments when I tried to reach out to others. I hope I’m not a selfish brat anymore and I think I’m more humble as an adult. How would your old classmates describe you? Yikes! Hopefully they would say fun, kind, and a little crazy. Some would probably say a selfish brat. What did you like best about your years at CHCS? Playing sports; we used to have a basketball tournament at College Heights called the Christian Classic; 32 teams from the 4 -State Area would come to this tournament to compete. We also had “Quarter Parties” where we would have a Gong Show and Lip Syncs. How did CHCS help prepare you for college, career and life? College Heights taught me the characteristics of working hard, never giving up, and how to study. I remember having a lot of homework every night; so, it made college a breeze. Tell us a little about the path your life has taken since you graduated from CHCS? I went to MSSC and OCC. I married John Blankenship in 1990 and finished college a couple of years later. I started working at College Heights in 1992. I’ve been working at College Heights since. In 2006, I had Marcus Kent Blankenship and now he is attending College Heights and Lord willing, will graduate from CHCS also. Who were the most influential people in your life, role models? My parents, my family, and especially one of my sisters, Jody Kent McGuire; also, one of my very good friends from high school, Kristin McCarthy Perry. Tell us about the work you are doing now, why is it important to you? I am teaching at College Heights and I absolutely love it and love my job.
It’s important to me because it’s so nice to be able to pray with my students, teach Bible and hopefully help them grow to be like Jesus. What do you hope God will be able to accomplish by working through you? Oh wow, hopefully he can use this imperfect person as his servant and help me keep teaching kids how much Jesus loves them no matter what. What are some of the things on your bucket list for the future? Crazy thing but I would love to go to the moon!!!!! :o) I would also like to go back to Brazil where my parents were missionaries and where I lived for 7 years and see what it’s like and what’s changed. (I would like to relearn Portuguese.) I would also like to become an ornithologist and just get to sit and watch birds all day. :o) What pearls of wisdom would you give other graduates and students at CHCS? Work hard, but play hard; help your school out by playing ALL sports. Look for ways to reach out to others.
JOHN BLANKENSHIP (CLASS OF ‘88) When did you begin attending CHCS? I started in 1984 as a freshman. What school sports or extracurricular activities were you involved in at CHCS? Basketball was my primary focus and the only sport I played at CHCS. I have a hard time believing I wasn’t involved in any other extracurricular activities, but I can’t recall any. Who was your favorite teacher and why? I had several excellent teachers. Mrs. Smyth, Mr. Sims, and Mr. Johnson were all great teachers. However, I would have to say that Joe Butcher had the greatest impact on my life. He was the history and Bible teacher my sophomore year. He invested in my life and had a profound spiritual impact on me. I will always be grateful to him for the role he played in my spiritual formation. How would you describe yourself as a teen and how has that changed, if any as an adult? Although I am still a pretty quiet person, I used to hate speaking in front of the class as a student but now I enjoy it and get paid to do it. I would have never seen that coming. How would your old classmates describe you? Quiet, but I tried to be a spiritual leader and stood up for my convictions. What did you like best about your years at CHCS? We only had 14 in my graduating class which made it easier to develop close friendships. I loved having chapel, Bible class, and so many opportunities to grow spiritually. Playing basketball for CHCS will always be a great memory as well. How did CHCS help prepare you for college, career and life? CHCS taught me how to be disciplined in my study habits as well as time management. We used to travel to Springfield, Tulsa, and Kansas City for our basketball games. There were a lot of late nights. You had to be very disciplined and intentional with your studies if you wanted to do well. College Heights has always been known for its academic rigor; it was no different then. I wouldn’t say CHCS made college easy, but it certainly made it easier. I was well prepared for college courses and certainly knew how to study before I went to college, thanks to CHCS. Tell us a little about the path your life has taken since you graduated from CHCS? After graduating in 1988, I went to Ozark Christian College and Missouri Southern. I received a double degree in Biblical Literature and Psychology. At the time, I was still unsure what I wanted to do in terms of my career. I had always been interested in law enforcement and so I began working on a Criminal Justice degree while waiting for God’s leading in my life.
BOOKS TO READ (Find them on Amazon)
The Factor of Eighteen
I was in my by John Blankenship junior year of the The Factor of Eighteen is about creating Criminal Justice a masterpiece. The masterpiece you are degree when I happened to developing is your son or daughter. The be in the right Factor of Eighteen addresses the important place at the right question of, “What do you want your child to time when I be like by the time they turn eighteen?” was offered the middle school It’s All About the Athlete Bible teaching by John Blankenship position at This book was written for parents, athletes, CHCS. I started in 1997 and have and coaches. It is critical for parents and been there ever coaches to work together to accomplish the since. For the desired outcome for the child and athlete. last several years I have been teaching high school Bible classes. I am also the high school girls’ basketball coach. Leah (Kent) Blankenship and I were married in 1990. Marcus, our son, will be seven at the end of November. He is currently a first grader at CHCS and he has been our greatest blessing and joy. Who were the most influential people in your life, role models? I have been blessed to have several influential people in my life. Starting with my parents, who taught me how to work hard and how to maintain a strong work ethic. My in-laws, Charles and Ann Kent, who always displayed a godly marriage and personal devotion to Jesus. They have always been great examples for me to observe and follow. Dr. Dwaine Cales has been a long time close friend. He invested greatly in my life and taught me the importance of personal development and growth in my life. I have a passion for learning and I credit much of that to Dwaine’s influence. Tell us about the work you are doing now, why is it important to you? I am currently in my seventeenth year of teaching Bible classes and coaching at College Heights. It is important to me because it provides the opportunity to be influential in the lives of other kids. I love helping young people cultivate a deeper relationship with Jesus, and the classroom provides a great platform to do that. I hope to play a small part in steering my students down the right path, just like many of my teachers did for me. What do you hope God will be able to accomplish by working through you? Some of those things were mentioned above. I simply want to help my students grow closer to Christ and develop a passion for God’s Word. I would also pray that God would be able to use me to be a positive role model for my son. I certainly want to see him follow the Lord with all of his heart. (continued on page 4)
Reconnecting with John Blankenship
(continued from page 3)
What are some of the things on your bucket list for the future? I guess I need to develop a bucket list. I really don’t have anything. If I had to pick something, perhaps it might be to coach a basketball game with Coach “K” from Duke.
What pearls of wisdom would you give other graduates and students at CHCS? To live your life in such a way that you can tell your story with integrity and without shame. Some day when your children begin asking you tough questions about your life, you can honestly tell them the truth without being ashamed of the choices you made in your life. It will always be important to be able to look your children in the eyes and tell them you were faithful to Christ, you loved people and you treated them well.
Reconnecting with Jeremy Rush
showed me not only what a father should be, but how a husband should sacrifice and care for his wife. Kevin baptized me, ordained me at CHCC, and performed the marriage ceremony for Lori and I. I am grateful for his friendship and mentorship throughout my life. In campus ministry, my mentor has been the Executive Director of Michigan Christian Campus Ministries, Gary Hawes. I spent seven years under his leadership, learning what it meant to start a campus ministry and lead a staff team on multiple campuses across the state. He is my hero in faith and profession.
(continued from page 1)
How would your old classmates describe you? Quite and shy probably. Let’s just say that things have changed! What did you like best about your years at CHCS? Looking back on it, I would say the opportunity to develop a solid Biblical worldview. I appreciate the small class sizes which brought about the opportunity for real friendships with those in my class. How did CHCS help prepare you for college, career and life? Academics were rigorous - much more than public school. This gave me an advantage when starting into my collegiate career. The Biblical foundation that I received at CHCS allowed me to start in ministry without going a to Bible college [Thanks Paul Sims!]. Tell us a little about the path your life has taken since you graduated from CHCS? After I graduated from CHCS, I went to Missouri Southern State University and received an AS in Drafting and Design. After moving to Rodgers, AR, my career in architecture lasted 8 months. I realized that God didn’t create me to spend my life behind a computer screen, but rather to share the Gospel to my generation. After meeting my wife in Colorado Springs at Focus on Family Leadership Program, I chased her back to Michigan to learn about campus ministry. It was there that God connected me with a church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, that desired to plant a campus ministry at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. I accepted the call in September of 2001, proposed to my girlfriend, and moved to Oshkosh, WI! I started the first campus ministry at UW Oshkosh. Nine months later I married the most amazing woman. Together we have four children: Joshua (8), Jonathan (6), Moriah (3), and Jordan (1). While starting campus ministry at UW Oshkosh, I took the opportunity to complete my BS in Speech Communications. I am currently working on a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Leadership from Cincinnati Bible Seminary. I should complete this degree by the end of 2014. I also am currently serving as the President for our national campus ministry network, Association of Collegiate Ministries. This is an international network that connects over 150 campus ministries worldwide. I also serve on the pastoral team for my church, taking turns in preaching at least once per month. Who were the most influential people in your life, role models? Kevin Klein from CHCC has certainly been the most influential role model. Growing up without a father, Kevin was that man who
Tell us about the work you are doing now, why is it important to you? I am convinced that Campus Ministry is the vehicle that God is using to reach the world leaders of tomorrow. Whether it is the next president of America, a CEO of a company, or the father in his home, God is using campus ministry to reach these future influencers. After starting the campus ministry at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, God grew my vision to becoming a state-wide ministry - reaching the 60+ universities and colleges in Wisconsin. In the past eleven years, God has brought enough staff to allow us to minister to currently five universities (UW Oshkosh, UW Madison, UW Green Bay, Lawrence University and Ripon College). You can find out more about our ministry at www.UW4God.org What do you hope God will be able to accomplish by working through you? My influence now extends beyond the students on the university campus. God has given me a shepherd’s heart to care for my nine staff as well as their families as they minister on the multiple university campuses. As God continues to add more university campuses to our calling, I am excited to see Him transform hearts and lives. The legacy that can come from a student surrendering to The Lord in college is huge! What are some of the things on your bucket list for the future? My kids are too young yet - but I desire to take family on mission trips overseas. The experience I had through CHCC and now in campus ministry is intense and extremely formative. I’m excited about giving my children similar experiences as they get older. What pearls of wisdom would you give other graduates and students at CHCS? Appreciate the teachers that are investing in you. Seek their wisdom and glean from their experience. They are there for you, the student! There is more to life than good grades! Enjoy your time at CHCS, but look for the experiences that you can gain to further you in life. Appreciate the Biblical foundation that you are receiving at CHCS. It is exceptional, and gives you the foundation you need in making the right choices in the near future.
n Mathew Crabill (1986) was promoted to the rank of Colonel. As of June 28, 2013 he is in command of Blount Island Base in Jacksonville, FL. He is responsible for managing the Marines as well as a large civilian work force. n Mark Robertson (2010) will graduate from DeVry University this month with a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Currently he is an intern with Koinonia Campus Ministry.
COUGAR TRACKS n Christie DeSonier (2009) married Ben Hager on June 29, 2013. They are currently living in Ft. Worth, TX where Ben is in seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. n Morgan Houdyshell (2012) married Jerimiah Sutton (2012) were married this summer with many of their classmates in attendance.
n Zack Wilkins (2011) married Chelsea Martin on May 18, 2013. He is currently a student at Ozark Christian College and is preparing for the ministry.
n Leisl Wicklund (1991) is currently living in Bucharest, Romania teaching 3rd and 4th grade combined class at Bucharest Christian Academy. Leisl has a blog named romaniacliesl.blogspot.com if you are interested is reading more. n Aaron Cox (2004) and wife McKenzie (Watson 2005) have moved to Hickory, North Carolina where he accepted a position as the announcer for the Hickory Crawdads baseball team. n Michaell DeSonier (2005) was married to Megan Calderon on January 16, 2013. They are currently living in Washington, D.C. where Mike has started law school at George Washington University.
n Jonathan James (2010) and Jadeth Lieb (2012) are getting married on October 26, 2012.
n Alan (2009) and Lacie Good (2008) moved to St. Louis where Alan is attending medical school at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Lacie (Sparlin) is working at Working Spaces, an interior design firm in St. Louis. They have purchased their first home and are staying busy remodeling. n Bret Ingle (1993) is now the Principal at West Central Elementary School in Joplin. He was the Assistant Principal at North Middle School in Joplin.
n Kaylee Ohmart (2011) married Devin Wortman on June 22, 2013.
n Sarah (Cox) and Michael Horton had their first child on September 21st. William â€œLiamâ€? Michael Horton was born at Freeman weighing 10lbs and was 23 inches long. n Michelle Agee (2011) is studying in Santiago, Chile at the Universidad Andres Bello through the study abroad program with the University Studies Abroad Consortium at the University of Arkansas. She is majoring in Spanish and International Relations.
Dollars for School
Target donates up to 1% of REDcard purchases made at Target stores in the U.S. and online at Target.com. Last year, Target donated $1464 to CHCS through the REDcard program and in 2012, they donated $1390. Signing up to have 1% of your purchases donated to our school is easy. Simply go to Target.com and click on REDcard. All the information you need to make sure your card is linked to CHCS is on the Target web page at target.com.
NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE
JOPLIN, MO 64802 PERMIT NO. 26
4311 E. Newman Road Joplin, Missouri 64801
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Five Year ACT Averages n NAT’L n MO n CHCS
College Heights is pleased to announce that the ACT average for the Graduating Class of 2013 set the record as the second highest ACT composite score in school history! The final average score for ALL 2013 graduates was 25.3. The state average was 21.6 and the national average was 20.9. Way to go Class of 2013 and best wishes on your college careers!
Mark Your Calendars This year’s homecoming game will be played on December 20th, at 6:00 p.m., against McAuley. The games will be played at Ozark Christian College. Make your plans now to attend. As always, we will have a designated area for CHCS Alumni. A delicious variety of food and drinks will be provided for Alumni and their families.
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