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SUMMER 2018 1

In this issue of




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Ryan Cowden




Shake it Up



Gifted Grads

The View: Willy Wonka Jr.


Real Families


Alumni Updates

Fully Devoted Leadership From the Superintendent’s Desk In one of our small group sessions on the high school campus, we were encouraged to name a person in our lives who has been a significant model of faith – someone who, by words and by actions, has modeled a life devoted to God. My group consists of eight senior boys. I gave them some time to think about it and then waited for them to identify that person who has been a spiritual role model. One by one they were able to name that person. In many cases it was a grandparent and in others it was a mom or dad. I also took a turn and told them that my significant spiritual mentor was actually one of my college roommates. I shared that, while I had good friends in high school and we didn’t get into trouble or anything, it wasn’t until college that I met a peer who was serious about his faith and comfortable talking about it. To this day, Leland remains a friend and one in whom I would confide thoughts on faith and spirituality. And so, with my group, I followed that up with a question about peer influence. Can you identify, among your peers, a senior who is known as one who models Christlikeness? Are there classmates who rise above the rest as being devoted to God? I was a bit surprised by how quickly they were able to name both a young man and woman in their class who fit that description. When pressed for the qualities about their two choices, it became clear that both words and actions were necessary. Their two classmates were identified as being comfortable talking about faith, but probably more importantly, determined to quietly live out their faith. It gave me hope. And it strengthened my confidence. These guys, like most students in our school, know what is required. They know and they recognize deeply committed people of faith. Not only do they know and recognize those qualities when they see it, but they admire parents, grandparents and peers who are courageous enough to live out their faith. In this issue, we recognize alumni, middle school students, senior valedictorians and salutatorian, and others who are leaders in various aspects of life – academics, athletics, social skills and careers. It’s appropriate for a school to recognize and applaud hard work and significant achievement and honor folks committed to excellence.

Central Valley Christian Schools

5600 W. Tulare Avenue Visalia, CA 93277 559.734.9481

Advertising and Content Information: Marissa Carpenter CVCS Marketing Director 559.734.2684

In a class of 72 seniors, typically you end up with one top student and you call him or her valedictorian. You have two best athletes and you call them MVPs. You have one student leader and you call that person the president. But you can have 72 spiritual leaders. In a year with a theme like Fully Devoted, it is my prayer that those 72 seniors will all leave with a commitment to mature in Christ, to become more godly, to grow in holiness with each passing day. As I looked around the table, as the senior boys in my small group talked about a grandmother who was a solid example of faithfulness, a father who modeled compassion and comfortably spoke about faith, and a mother who did not get caught up in gossip or keeping up, but quietly modeled Christ to her son, I prayed silently that one day, each of them would be named. Fully Devoted. It’s not a contest. It’s a commitment. 3

Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Cowden By Marissa Carpenter, CVC Director of Marketing “When I first came to CVC, I knew two people.” From there, Ryan Cowden (’05) told me about his experience going from neighbor and bandmate of Michael (’06) and Brian Kornelis (’03) to IMPACT worship leader, ASAPH tenor, Honors English student, and student council member (not necessarily in that order). Ryan recalled for me the first moment he remembers at CVC: he walked into first period (Mr. [Ryan] Tos’) English class, and took the closest available seat to the door. When Mr. Tos addressed the class, asking if there were any students new to CVC, he dutifully raised his hand, realizing in that moment that not only was he the only new kid, but he had also, somehow, chosen the unofficial girls’ section of Freshman English. So much for blending in. Throughout his high school experience, 4

Ryan didn’t really fade back into the crowd. He confessed that he had initially come to CVC for a chance to lead our chapels in worship, since he was keen on getting more “band practice” in with Michael and Brian. What the Brothers Kornelis hadn’t told him was that CVC already had a chapel leader, and Ryan would have to get in line behind Kyle Compaan (’03), and wait for two years before being able to fulfill that role. When he finally did get his opportunity, he and another 2005 graduate, Steven Blevins, made up the inaugural members of IMPACT: the planners, leaders and set-up/tear-down crew for the weekly Thursday chapel at the high school. In addition to leading chapel, Ryan also participated in every theatre production during his time in high school: “I was strongarmed into it, I was a male and I could sing. So….” he played Fagin in Oliver Twist, among a handful of other roles in CVC plays and

musicals. Ryan also joined the basketball team, and ran with cross country, finding that the jocks vs. rockers battle existed only in his mind, and that friends could be found anywhere on campus—a realization he wished he’d come to earlier on. Ryan’s involvement in the different facets of CVC’s offerings proved to be just the beginning of a life-long relationship with the community at CVC, including both staff and students. He casually mentioned that Mr. Ruiter had given him a guitar upon his graduation. From CVC, Ryan went on to Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, starting off as a music major. After freshman year, he declared philosophy “immediately” and studied Atheistic Existentialism at Oxford University, through New College. After relaying that I, too, had studied at Oxford for a semester through Wycliffe Hall, confessing that it “nearly killed me”, Ryan nodded

in agreement, and we both sighed at the thought of the dreaming spires and the grandiose library access that was ours for a brief moment.

After I pressed him about how this or other credentialing programs could improve—whether it was more focus on classroom management or lack of attention to school culture, Ryan pointed out that it simply needed more of everything, and the focus on lesson planning and curriculum was not nearly enough. The way that teachers were getting trained wasn’t sufficient; he began to find this out for himself when he ventured into the educational workforce as a long-term sub, and then a 7th grade World History and 8th grade Current Events teacher at Sandburg Middle School. I couldn’t let the name of his middle school go without a comment. “Ah, Carl Sandburg, the poet!” “You know who that is?” “I graduated with an English degree,” I explained. “Ah. Ha.” With a voice calm to the extreme, and a serene, yet jolly way of accepting my terrible jokes, I was reminded that a middle-school teacher needs to offset the ever-present wiggles and activity of a 7th grade boy during 6th period. (Side-note: This American Life had an episode on middle school, featuring various experts, including Linda Perlstein, who noted that “[Middle school] is the time of biggest growth for a human being, aside from infancy.” With muscles growing at a faster rate than bones, middle schoolers aren’t able to sit still, even if they want to.)1 In his very first year as a teacher, Ryan met with colleague Matt Murdock (and former podcast co-founder) every Friday to discuss the ins and outs of teaching, and the difficulties they were met with. 1

The conversations that stemmed from those presentations were something Ryan looked forward to, even though he raised more questions than he was answering (which I pointed out was simply his Philosophy degree coming through). Instead of looking for answers internally, Ryan was determined to keep that conversation going. And a podcast was born. Before I could utter the words “there are so many podcasts nowadays...” Ryan guessed my next move, and laid it all out: “I was afraid of being just another guy with a podcast,” And, for a while, he avoided creating the podcast, or publicizing his project in any way. After teaming up with Matt Murdock to get the podcast off the ground, they determined a release date of January 8, 2018, and started publicizing School of Thought Podcast everywhere. At the beginning of every podcast, Ryan introduces himself and his clear cut goal: “Our mission is to create a new school of thought at the intersection of leadership, communication, and education—because if you’re doing one of these, you’re doing all three.” During the podcasts, Ryan and [in earlier podcasts] Matt strike up conversations with professional educators and leaders, asking them about their personal experiences, their training, how they prepare for teaching, what mistakes they made early on, and most fascinatingly: what they were like as students, and who their favorite teachers were.

As we looped back around to Ryan’s time in Visalia and at CVC, he recalled for me the lasting relationships he kept up beyond graduation. He greeted Mr. Ruiter and Ms. Talsma with open arms when we briefly toured CVC—proof that he’s still connected to the Cavalier campus. And back in 2009, after well-respected and cherished Honors English, History and Bible teacher Dr. Rainbow was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he made a trip up to spend time and speak with him. When I asked Ryan what he would tell students in Christian schools, he answered, “Take advantage of being at a smaller school, and start relationships with your teachers and professors. I was blessed to know all of these people so well.”


After Ryan graduated from Azusa, he joined the crowds of job-searching hopefuls, and landed 10 youth pastor interviews and interviewed for three internships, and although he reached the final stage for many of these prospective positions, the doors closed, one after the other. He attended a job fair, put his name down for Pasadena Child Development Association (PCDA), interviewed the same day, and started work shortly thereafter. After a year of working with students with autism, and taking on a host of responsibilities there, Ryan returned to APU to obtain his one-year teaching credential in 2010, which was the start of his personal journey on the philosophy of teaching.

At around the same time, Ryan began to attend teaching conferences, several of which were with his school district. After one of the speakers, Rebecca Valbuena, finished presenting, he went up to Becky and told her, “I want to be you when I grow up.” Becky trains adult educators and gives conference presentations regularly; after this, Becky took Ryan to several conferences and encouraged Ryan to start speaking there, too. He presented at Arcadia Innovation Summit, and from there he’s spoken on a variety of topics, especially “illuminating an issue that no one talks about:” the way teachers get trained.

The most important aspect of his time as a student at CVC, has now become the best part of teaching for Ryan: the real moments of connection. The most important aspect of his time as a student at CVC, has now become the best part of teaching for Ryan: the real moments of connection. Medieval History (his current subject) is not necessarily something squirrely junior high students can connect to, but he makes a point of finding bits and pieces in either the subject matter or through “class story time”, helping kids experience moments that will sink in and relationships that they’ll remember. I asked Ryan about next steps, and he said he’s trying to develop work/life balance by getting outside and hiking canyons and trails in Southern California and outside of LA. He’s excited for new opportunities and possibly more schedule flexibility for him to focus on developing his podcast. To read more about Ryan and listen to his podcasts, visit schoolofthoughtproductions. com or search for School of Thought at

TEACHER, SPEAKER, PODCASTER, CELTIC MUSIC FANATIC • his favorite podcast is On Being with Krista Tippett • he has five separate bagpipe apps installed on his phone • he’s recording a music album (“indie-rock-folk-americana-alternative”) • he’s a diehard Dodgers fan and worked with former Dodgers announcer (and current Clippers announcer) Eric Smith


By Blake Hiemstra, CVCMS Principal

Walking into Mrs. Kornelis’ room in the middle school, one notices a sign that beckons students to “be a good human being.” Though perhaps a tad vague in terms of a sharply-focused thesis for a Pulitzer Prize-winning essay, the sentiment encompasses much of what we desire for our students. Yes, we want them to be able to recite causes of the Civil War, to factor out a polynomial, and even, gasp, to correctly punctuate an appositive phrase. But more than that, what we truly, deeply desire involves their maturity and their growth. The first pillar of the CVC mission statement calls it “Cultivating responsible Christian adults.” Put more simply, we’d like each one of our students to “be a good human being.” To that end, this year in the middle school we launched a new enterprise called the Cavalier Shake. Birthed in the tradition of the Amazing Shake, held every year at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, the Cavalier Shake sought to test students on the skills that really matter, the ones that determine true success in life, the ones that bring smiles to grandparents’ faces: giving a proper handshake, making eye contact, being able to engage in stimulating conversation with a stranger; i.e, those crucial people skills that allow folks to function without employ of an iPhone. The fun began one morning last June in a CVCMS classroom with an adolescent think-tank composed of CVC teachers and 6

some community out-of-the-box leaders brainstorming what a competition like this might look like. We wanted to stretch kids, to test them in ways they’d never been tested before and to dream huge. “What would it look like to . . . ?” is the type of comment that echoed off the walls in that gathering. We designed a basic, 3-round system in which a wide swath of students would be eliminated at the end of each round. Having sketched out the basic framework for the Cavalier

From there, the students had three minutes to ask probing questions, answer the adult’s queries and skillfully wield the sword of conversational prowess like a seasoned talk-show host. Shake, the next step consisted of finding the dozens of folks necessary to bring vision to reality. As we searched for adults to interact with our students in our Cavalier Shake competition, two main criteria surfaced: 1. The adults needed to be leaders: CEOs, bank presidents, industry leaders, city

council representatives, business owners, community advocates. Perhaps due to the alarming epidemic of eroding social skills among today’s youth, most leaders, when explained the competition and asked for help, wholeheartedly pledged their participation and support. Unfortunately, the second criterion somewhat limited the pool of volunteers: 2. The adults could not be integrally related to CVC. We didn’t want one student having an unfair advantage over another because he or she could sidle up to a table with Uncle Billy or Aunt Allison. Thus, we asked current CVC folks for the names of associates in their fields who’d be great at such a task. We compiled a database of worthy volunteers and set about trying to prepare students for the seemingly unenviable task of striking up real, live conversations with people they didn’t know. In the month leading up to the Cavalier Shake, a common sight in a classroom might be students paired up practicing handshakes and trying to make small talk. Though some handshakes bore resemblance to limp fish and though some conversations drew “awkward” and “stilted” descriptors, by January 23, most students had acquired a growing sense of confidence in their skills, and despite palpable anxiety, most students eagerly awaited the challenge that met them in the gym that morning. Due to the creative brilliance, stunning

interior design and can-do attitude of some awesome CVCMS moms, the gym was transformed from a basketball arena into an elegant, chic, coffee-shop-type lounge featuring 36 high-top tables decorated with tablecloths and centerpieces, along with two stools at each station, one of which was occupied by one of the 36 off-campus volunteers eager to interact with our kids. About 40 students at a time entered the gym and started at a numbered table. The first order of business for a student involved walking up to the adult, extending a handshake and introducing himself or herself. From there, the students had three minutes to ask probing questions, answer the adult’s queries and skillfully wield the sword of conversational prowess like a seasoned talk-show host. When the bell rang, the students moved to the next station and restarted the process. Call it Speed Dating meets Social Skills 101, if you will. Each group of students ran the extroverted gauntlet for a half hour before mercifully ending their session and escaping the gymnasium’s aroma of verbal eloquence. At each station they visited, the students left behind a personalized score sheet in which each adult judged that particular student on a scale of 1-20 in these categories: handshake, eye contact, ability to ask questions, conversational skills and having the “it” factor. After a morning of more than 1500 nervewracking conversations, we narrowed the field of 165 middle schoolers down to the top 20, amid the type of raucous celebrating usually reserved for political rallies or Liverpool game-winning goals. The next morning the Cavalier Shake Top 20 received their marching orders. Put into teams of 4, each quartet had one week to create a sales pitch for the top-level executives of the Excel Corporation. Under the premise of the Excel Corporation donating $50,000 to fund the best idea that creatively improved the school and advanced the cause of Christ, the groups had to design a 10-15 minute, multimedia, engaging presentation that would be given to the top leadership team at an off-campus site in seven days. Remember, at the outset, we dreamed huge. This huge task surely caused the students some palpable anxiety, but it also fueled innovative magic. Seven days later, clad in their best dressto-impress apparel, these groups walked the red carpet at the middle school amid their screaming classmates and boarded a bus to Café 210, where the Excel Execs awaited them. One group at a time marched into the board room, delivered their pitches and skillfully answered the questions of

the executives. One group at a time, they marched out of the board room, clutching Relief on their faces like a life-line. When all the groups finished, the executives deliberated before inviting the whole crew into the boardroom for some hearty commendations and the announcement of the winning group, though such an announcement came with a twist. Of the winning group, only the two top best performers qualified for the third and final round of the Cavalier Shake. In addition, of the other four groups of presenters, the next-best overall performer also qualified for the Cavalier Shake finality, creating a trio of brave souls to face the ultimate test of poise and panache: an auditorium full of raucous middle and high school kids. Upon a return to school, the three finalists were given a list of questions that might be asked of them in two days’ time, in an allschool assembly in the HS chapel. They needed to prepare one-minute answers to these questions which would need to be given without the aid of any notes. Two days later, the entire middle and high school student bodies converged in the gym where the three finalists, with nerves pinballing inside them, took the stage. The finale took the form of a presidential debate, albeit with refreshing civility and goodwill among all participants, plus considerably fewer empty promises. Hearing the roar of the crowd with each answer, the contestants summoned uncommon poise in articulating their views on such things as the school dress code or what Jesus would think of CVCMS, and after awaiting the tallying of the final scores by the judges, 8th grader Brooke O’Leary was announced as the inaugural Cavalier Shake Champion. Summing up an inaugural event can be done in myriad ways, but perhaps the most telling way to adequately process the experience is to quote the multiple students who offered unsolicited feedback about the event. Perhaps it was the enormity of the occasion or maybe just the fact that the Cavalier Shake treated students used to expectations of immaturity to be treated as adults. Either way, multiple students, with near-tears in their eyes, simply said, “Thank you for putting this event together.”

The finale took the form of a presidential debate, albeit with refreshing civility and goodwill among all participants, plus considerably fewer empty promises.

With that kind of stamp of approval, we’ll call our inaugural event a success and look forward to Cavalier Shake 2019.


Tyler Burman

(Class of 2018 Co-Valedictorian) POST-GRADUATION PLANS: Studying Public History at Grand Canyon University CAREER GOALS: Museum curator or archivist FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE: Song of Moses - Deuteronomy 32:1-43 FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: Being a cast member in the 2018 spring musical “Willy Wonka Jr.” and hanging out with my fellow cast members backstage.

Sarah Holt

(Class of 2018 Salutatorian) POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I plan to attend Cal Poly in the Fall and major in Architecture with a minor in Sustainability. CAREER GOALS: I want to become an architect and I am interested in applying my talents and education to international mission projects. FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE: Romans 12:12 ¨Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.¨ MY FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: My favorite memory from CVC was being on the Senior Homecoming Court, it was such an amazing experience! 8

Grace McPhaill

(Class of 2018 Co-Valedictorian) POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I’ll be attending Pepperdine this fall. I’m enrolled in Pepperdine’s 3-2 engineering program and I’ll be majoring in Physics/Astronautical Engineering. Along with furthering my studies, I’ll be working toward my ATP (Airline Transport Pilot’s License). I’ll forever cherish the foundation CVC has given me and I can’t wait for what the future brings! CAREER GOALS: In college, the goal is taking part in research with my professor and seeing where I’m led in the field of science and aviation. Space and aviation have always fascinated me and science and mathematics are an inherent part in making my dream come true. My ultimate goal would be working for NASA or SpaceX and possibly flying a shuttle one day into space. FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE: 2 Samuel 22:29-31, “For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: All in all, the 14 years I’ve been at CVC have been filled with tears of joy, laughter, and flourishing friendships... making senior year that much more bittersweet. One of the highlights over the years would have to be 7th grade science camp: sunrise devotionals, s’mores underneath the stars, crawling through lava tubes, and hiking/exploring God’s vast handiwork, leaving me wide-eyed in wonder. Another pivotal memory was Footloose. There’s nothing better than calling a cast a family, and that’s exactly what we were. I enjoyed the 80’s costumes, dancing, and singing alongside my peers. It was my first musical in high school and stands out as one of my favorite moments. What really shone through all these memories are the people, relationships, new bonds, and encouragement that made every day better than the last.


Matthew De Jong POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I plan to major in Dairy Science at Cal Poly.

Madelyn Burr

CAREER GOALS: I want to work in agriculture, specifically dairy.

POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I will be going to USC next fall, and am majoring in Public Relations.


CAREER GOALS: I would like to do some type of marketing, preferably for a fashion-related company, as a career.

FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: My favorite memory from CVC was the comeback win against Chowchilla this year in football.

FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE: Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord your God who takes your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: My favorite memory from CVC was the mission trip I took to Guatemala with Señora Branderhorst the summer before my junior year. I’m so thankful to CVC for giving me the opportunity to experience something so life-changing at such a young age.

Christopher Souza POST GRADUATION PLANS: I plan on attending COS for two years to play football and I will also be apart of the Pathway to Law School Program. After COS, I plan on attending Fresno State for another two years to get my Agriculture Business degree. After Fresno State, I plan on attending Law school to get my law degree.

Sadie Elsenbroek POST-GRADUATION PLANS: I will be attending Wheaton College next year. I am planning on studying Music, Theology, and Education, and being a part of the volleyball team and the choir. CAREER GOALS: Teacher and/or Musician FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE: Colossians 3:12-17 FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: I have way too many amazing memories to choose just one! So I’ll just say this: Growing up and experiencing life in this special community with these incredible people, who are a second family to me.

CAREER GOALS: I plan to pursue a job in water law and environmental law, focusing on making a difference in this community fighting for the water rights of thousands of valley farmers. I’ll help them keep their farm running when they face water or environmental issues. I also plan to merge my law office with my dad’s accounting firm, Sousa and Company, to make it one big business that specializes in agriculture. FAVORITE BIBLE PASSAGE: My favorite Bible verse has got to be Deuteronomy 31:6. This verse states to never be afraid and always be strong because God is with you and God will always be there for you. This verse is my favorite because I can use it for any situation no matter the circumstance. FAVORITE CVC MEMORY: The most memorable moment I had at CVC was when we were playing Woodlake. This was my first game as a CVC Varsity Football player after transferring to CVC and I wanted to show my teammates what I was made of. I ended up getting an interception for a touchdown on my first drive and all of my teammates went crazy. 9

The View Spring Play: Willy Wonka Jr.



FAMILIES OF CVC The Mossad Family Peter & Revent Mossad Giselle (3rd) and Natalie (K)

WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO CVC/HISTORY HERE? Giselle has been attending CVC since preschool and Natalie will soon be joining her as she begins Kindergarten later this year. Our first introduction to CVC came by way of our close friends Jake and Jenn Greidanus and their two girls, Janelle and Julia. We were looking for a school that had the same beliefs/values we intended to instill in our girls and that’s when Jake told me that I did not have look any further than CVC. WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD? Since moving to our new home, we are no longer able to walk Giselle to school so our morning begins with us running out the door to catch Giselle’s bus. Natalie then gets ready for preschool and we take her to her school. Revent is finishing up her clinical rotation in physical therapy so she heads to work and doesn’t get home until late. Peter has more flexibility so he picks up both girls after work and we are all happily reunited at home. WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER SCHOOL? Giselle and Natalie love to ride their bikes in the neighborhood as we walk with them. Both girls are really into basketball and so we spend a good amount of time playing basketball. And lately, we have been goofing around a lot with Alexa and dancing to the music we ask her to play. When the summer heat hits, all will be replaced with fun in the pool. Oh, and we manage to do some homework, too, before brushing our teeth and going to bed. 12

WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY ENJOY DOING TOGETHER? The key for us is doing everything together. As long as we are together, we find a way to make whatever we are doing enjoyable. Having said that, we really enjoy watching movies, swimming and barbecuing, and spending time with our relatives. DESCRIBE ONE OF YOUR FAMILY’S SPECIAL TRADITIONS. It’s been our family tradition to go to Disneyland every Christmas Eve. We’ve been fortunate to do so for the past 6 years. Hopefully we can continue the tradition for years to come, but it’s been getting busier and busier every year. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT CVC? One of the former principals used to give a three legged stool analogy: Each leg represented home, school and church, respectively. If one of the legs is missing, the stool would not be supported and would fall. We feel so blessed to have our kids attending CVC because the leg of the stool that represents CVC is as solid, spiritually and academically, as can be! HOW CAN THE CVC COMMUNITY PRAY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY? All prayers are welcomed, but if we had to be specific, we would ask that you pray for the Good Lord to give Revent and me the guidance and the wisdom to raise our girls the right way—in His way. Thank you!


The Verhoeven Family Jason & Kaye Verhoeven Kara & Tyler (Freshmen), Kate & Tanner (5th)

WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO CVC/HISTORY HERE? We have been connected to CVC since our first set of twins attended preschool in 2009. Christian education has always been important to us as a family. We both grew up going to a Christian school. Attending Tulare Community Church and hearing about CVC through them, knowing families from church that sent their kids to CVC, we knew when it was time to send our kids to school, CVC was the answer. WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD? The busyness comes and goes for us. Our days are filled with Jason working at Verhoeven Grain and Kaye is pretty much a taxi driver all day long. School activities, sports (volleyball, football, basketball) and church is usually what you will find on our calendar. WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER SCHOOL? Once the busyness of the day is over it is always nice to end the day around the dinner table. Let’s be real though, that is not always possible with this busy life we have. We love it that whatever is filling our time is always together as a family. WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY ENJOY DOING TOGETHER? Having a weekend with no activities is pretty relaxing to us. Kaye thinks gardening is relaxing but if you ask the kids about gardening they will say it is a chore. When we really want some relaxation and fun you will find us on Lake Shasta with our friends who are pretty much like family. Quick weekend getaways to the coast or a motorhome trip is always fun. As we like to say...Real life is the best life. We love what our real life is. It may be filled with relaxation, fun, full schedules, school, meetings, work, a messy house, laundry, trails and tears but this is the real life God has given us.

DESCRIBE ONE OF YOUR FAMILY’S SPECIAL TRADITIONS. This family tradition started a few years back for us. Not having any party to attend to on Christmas Eve, we decided to go to a candlelight Christmas Eve service at one of the local churches here in Visalia. Kaye didn’t plan much out for the day so there wasn’t much for dinner. We didn’t want to head to a restaurant so we headed to the grocery store and let the kids pick out whatever they wanted for dinner—they could pick out anything. It was anything from Chinese food or appetizers, Hungry Man frozen TV dinners or meatballs to shrimp. We roamed the grocery store and tossed into the basket whatever each one of us felt like eating. This was such a hit with our kids that we did it again the next year. Now our kids ask every December if we are going to find a candlelight service somewhere and go to the grocery store! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT CVC? We love how God is in every area and subject at CVC. The teachers and staff that invest in, train and teach our children day in and day out always amazes us. The community is like no other that I know of. The friends we’ve met over the years who are more like family is a bonus. It truly is a gift to be able to send our kids to CVC. HOW CAN THE CVC COMMUNITY PRAY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY? Prayers for patience and guidance as we get ready to send our oldest twins to high school and our youngest to 5th grade. Pray for wisdom and knowledge, and that we will continue to seek God first in all that we do. It’s not about us though, so please pray for our churches, our schools, those who are struggling, our service men and women and our country. To God be the glory.


Alumni Updates Jason Wells (’98) Jason Wells works as the deputy director of Buzzfeed, Los Angeles, and was previously the metro news editor at the LA Times. He currently resides in Pasadena.

Reanna (de Haan) Bergman taught math at CVCMS after graduating from Dordt College in 2002. She married Brian Bergman in 2004. They have 4 children: Thea (12), Hudson (10), Hans (7), and Marit (5). Reanna also taught art part-time at Hanford Christian until 2010. Being displaced by California’s High Speed Rail project occupied a lot of her free time from 2011-2016. “We’re glad to be relocated, and almost past that chapter in our lives.” Reanna’s excited to have all 4 of her kids on Hanford Christian’s campus next year, where she will be serving as President of the Parents Club. Her husband Brian farms a variety of crops in the Central Valley, including pistachios and alfalfa.


Reanna (de Ha Bergman (’98a) n)



n Amy Weststey

Amy Weststeyn was inducted into Biola University Athletics’ Hall of Fame in April. She is pictured with her former Biola volleyball coach, Aaron Seltzer. In 2014, she was named NAIA Volleyball Player of the Year, spent 9 months playing professional volleyball in Austria and she now works in public relations and communications through a firm in St. Louis.

Joshua Ellis (’01) Joshua Ellis has been married to Kortney for 10 years, and has two children: Barrett, 6, and Kirra, 11. He is medically retired from the US Marine Corps, and is now a Lieutenant for the Tulare County Fire Department.

Leland Kootstra married Erin in June 2014. Erin is a school teacher at Hanford Christian but will be coming to CVC in the Fall to teach first grade! Leland works at Frazer, LLP, an accounting and consulting firm, as a consultant working with many ag-based clients on a wide range of projects. In addition to work, he is on the board for Family Services of Tulare County and also works with a network of farmers and dairymen in Ecuador through Partners Worldwide.

Leland Kootst

ra (’07) 15

CVC STAFF LEAVE, TAKING MEMORIES - We asked staff about their fondest memory (or two) from their time at CVC -

TRACY VANDERHELM - 3RD GRADE The best memory for me would be connecting a child with a new favorite book and leading book club and discussing so many great books with children. I will never forget the many great friends I’ve been able to work with, some of them being family too! PAT RAINBOW - MS SPANISH AND BIBLE (previously HS Spanish) My most memorable experiences were the 12 years of mission trips to Rancho Sordo Mudo with senior Spanish 4 classes when I was teaching at the high school. ALECIA VANDEN BERG - HS ENGLISH There’s nothing like the whole process of meeting students when they’re freshmen, watching them mature through high school, then keeping in touch with them and seeing them flourish into adulthood. I’m proud of them and humbled to have been part of their journey, and each time it’s a reminder of God’s faithfulness. JOHN VANDEN BERG - 4TH GRADE There’s nothing like the amazing, loving, and caring students that have walked in my door the past 11 years. Visalia and CVC will forever be a part of our lives and we thank the community that has so graciously accepted us. TARA BOSMA - TECH INTEGRATOR (previously 1st grade) While walking past the Elementary MMC, all of the sudden, I heard angelic voices in an impressive 4-part harmony singing a praise song. I stopped dead in my tracks—these are kids singing this well?! I went over to the doorway and witnessed the Kids Praise Team choir singing at the top of their lungs to their Savior with such a humbling innocence. With tears in my eyes, I thought, THIS is why I attended, dedicated my work, and will send my own children to this school. DAELEEN VISSER - 5TH GRADE I’ll never forget the first time I took my class to chapel and heard the students join together in singing, “We Believe.” Hundreds of children proclaiming truth with full voices brought me nearly to tears where I stood. BRIE ARNOLD - 1ST GRADE My first year at CVC, I was having a conversation with a student about Heaven and he said to me, ¨When we get to


Heaven, will it be like our eyes are closed and then they will be opened, and we will see all the glory of God?¨ He was 6 at the time. What a blessing to be able to teach and speak truth into the lives of students over the last three years! MATT FIKKERT - MS SCIENCE (previously HS Science) My favorite CVC memory is traveling down to San Diego in a small car with Jim Elsenbroek and my future wife Kristi to watch the CVC girls playoff game. It was my 1st year, I had no idea what I was going to teach the next day, the girls were heavily over matched, and it was a ridiculously inefficient use of time, but I would go on that road trip all over again. I will never forget the overall generosity of the CVC community. They have given me far more than I could ask for or deserve. STEVE HAMLIN - INTERIM ES PRINCIPAL I have loved leading and teaching the KPT (Kids Praise Team) to sing in three-part harmony. Working with talented, young musicians has been a highlight of my time here. GREG WOJCZYNSKI - HS PRINCIPAL My favorite memory has to be going to a dairy with Ag Science and learning how to find the cervix of a cow. Being shoulder-deep in a cow is something you never forget! KASEE KAUSEN - ES SECRETARY I loved having sweet trio check ins from my daughter Tori, along with Alex and Zoe--what a huge blessing it was to be on campus with my daughter for the last two years. Another favorite memory: a student came in to ask where the “Lost and Fountain” was! BARBARA HEDAYAT - ES AIDE One thing I’ll always fondly remember is when one of my students, Kiara, would ask me to be her surrogate “Grandma” for Grandparents Day. I was privileged to do this every year for four years! BERN VANDERHELM - 5TH GRADE One of my favorite memories is the joy of seeing children learn how to play chess and master the game at our Chess Club meetings. Their competitive spirit, their endless chatter, and cooperative behavior will be hugely missed! I’ll always remember the laughter with colleagues, the infectious smiles of students, the muffins in the faculty lounge, and the belief that God was in the middle of everything we did!

BRIEFS HS Music Department Celebrates Honor Band Members and Award Recipients 2018 All State Honor Choir member: Claire Gotten National School Choral Award: Sadie Elsenbroek Girls’ Ensemble received a SUPERIOR award at CMEA Choir festival 2018 Middle School Honor Band member: Nathan Girard - tuba 2018 HS Honor Band members: Haylie Salazar - flute Evie Daniels - clarinet Amanda Udell* - clarinet Darren Koster - trombone *Amanda will be attending Biola University this Fall, with a scholarship to play flute in their Symphonic Winds. She also received the John Philip Sousa Band Award at CVC.

ASAPH Sings Its Way Through Northern California ASAPH (CVC’s chamber choir) toured the Bay Area Apr. 19-22, sharing their music with Bethany Assisted Living Home and Ripon Christian School, Alameda Christian School and Alameda Christian Reformed Church. They also served dinner and sang for the chapel service at the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, CA. “The tour is a great way to share music with others and connect with the body of Christ in various settings. It’s also a fun reward for all the early practices before school!” said Ms. Katie Talsma, ASAPH director. On their free day they visited San Francisco and toured Alcatraz.

FFA celebrates successes and looks forward to 18-19 school year On April 16, CVC FFA elected new officers for the 2018-2019 school year: President - Serena Schotanus; Vice President - Paige Kroes; Secretary - Jenna Schmidt; Treasurer - Garrin Schaap; Reporter - Bella Locke; Sentinel - Willem De Boer; Chaplain - Luke Altermatt; and Historian - Ava Vander Poel. The CVC FFA Spring Career Development Teams have been doing very well in competition at field days on the weekends. The Dairy Products Team placed 3rd high team in Reedley, Farm Power team placed 1st in West Hills and the Dairy team placed 5th in Modesto. All CVC FFA teams competed at Cal Poly for state finals the first week of May. They wrapped up a very successful year at the FFA Banquet on May 15.


BR AV O FA R M S Home of the beer battered cheese curd.


Volunteer in our air-conditioned shop today! 559-684-8919 232 S K St. Tulare, CA 93274 559- 684 - 1 6 0 0 b r a v o fa r ms . c o m


5600 W. Tulare Ave. Visalia, CA 93277

Calendar of Events MAY 30 - JUNE 1 JUNE 4-8 JULY 30

Volleyball Camp (Grades 4-8) Basketball Camp (Grades 1-8) Kickoff BBQ for HS Sports (free physicals for incoming HS athletes)


7th Grade Welcome, 3pm


K-6 New Family Orientation, 6:30pm


First Day of School - 11:30am dismissal


MS Parent Orientation, 7pm


School Picture Day


HS Back to School Dance, Elementary Pavilion


College Night - Seniors


K-12 Back to School Night Open House


Labor Day - NO SCHOOL

SCHOOL NOW STARTS AT 8:10AM AND GETS OUT AT 3PM! Events are subject to change! Please check to stay up to date.

Profile for Central Valley Christian School

The Cavalier Summer2018  

The Cavalier from Central Valley Christian Schools in Visalia, Ca

The Cavalier Summer2018  

The Cavalier from Central Valley Christian Schools in Visalia, Ca