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SPRING 2016 SPRING 2016


CONTENTS

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22 Heritage Messenger Spring 2016

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CEO PERSPECTIVE

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FREEDOM TO THRIVE

CEO Jeff Freeman outlines Heritage’s future, from the Thrive campaign to the next fifty years, highlighting donor discipleship and the power of Christian education.

Investing in the next generation of servant leaders through academic excellence, spiritual growth and donor contribution.

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LEN AND JEN SOMERS Heritage history teacher Len Somers and his wife Jen recount God’s providence in their lives on campus and beyond.

MESSENGER STAFF Gary Roebbelen, Executive Editor Lisa Abbott, Lead Writer Lauren Schneider, Associate Editor Katherine Yeager, Associate Editor & Writer Meg Matthias, Writer Bri Salm, Designer messenger@heritagechristian.net Cover photo courtesy of Studio Thirteen Photography

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Alumna Logan Gay talks Heritage, college, communications and her career as a news reporter for Lakeland Public Television.

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SPIRITUAL LIFE The Discipleship Team shares their vision for students, providing tangible opportunities for worship, service and spiritual growth.

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CASE FOR SUPPORT Revitalization of Heritage through the Thrive campaign is highlighted with a whole-campus focus.

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GARY ROEBBELEN Gary Roebbelen, Director of Development and Communications at Heritage shares his journey in ministry, from World Vision to Samaritan’s Purse and beyond.

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HCS ROBOTICS Robotics teams excel in city and state competitions.

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KELLEY ERB The Educational Support Services (ESS) team came alongside Kelley Erb at Heritage and encourage numerous students today.

The Messenger staff would like to thank talented Studio 13 photographer and Heritage parent, Lesle Lane, for her creativity and expertise that have helped to bring stories to life in this issue. Her generosity has made her beautiful photos a gift to the publication and to the school.

To learn more about her commercial or portrait services, visit www.studio13online.com or call (317) 923-1122.

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FINE ARTS From the stage to sculpture, students glorify the Creator through their own creations.

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ATHLETICS The Lady Eagles basketball team scores a three-peat victory at the 2016 IHSAA State Championship.


by Lisa Abbott

Photo Courtesy of Studio Thirteen Photography

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hese are exciting days at Heritage Christian School and exciting times to serve the Lord.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are reminded of our heritage, our purpose and our legacy. God has done incredible things in starting, building and sustaining this school … His school. The impact that HCS has had in transforming lives for the kingdom of God in the hearts of our students, our families, our community and even the world, is nothing short of amazing. Our focus has not changed. We are in the business of preparing the next generation of leaders to impact the world for Christ and we need to be prepared to do that with even greater impact for the next 50 years. We must have our eyes on the future. In recent years, our school’s leadership has committed itself to our mission and rebuilt confidence and trust, stabilized our financial picture, expanded our curriculum, grown enrollment, enhanced our discipleship distinctive and we are telling our story like never before. We are on an upward trajectory and we praise God for that. However, we are convinced that God has more in store at the corner of 75th and Binford Boulevard and our eyes are on the future. God does not want us to just survive … He wants us to thrive. We are called to excellence for the glory of His Kingdom. He expects nothing less than our very best as we serve Him by serving others. Our vision for the future, summed up in our dream statement, reads: “Heritage Christian School will be a light that shines in the darkness, a

premier institution increasingly recognized as a model and benchmark of relevant 21st century Christian education, transforming lives and reaching the world for Christ.” WOW! What a powerful and lofty goal. I want to be part of that. I want to be part of a revival and renaissance movement for Christ … a movement that starts one child at a time … one teacher at a time … one family at a time. We must have our eyes on the future. Coming out of our Vision 2017 strategic plan and in order to secure our future, we have publically launched a comprehensive fundraising campaign under the theme of Thrive: Eyes on the Future. Heritage has always had a strong culture of giving. Now we are looking to strengthen and coalesce this culture of donor discipleship to ensure the mission of HCS moving forward. This Messenger is dedicated to highlighting the impact of donor discipleship at HCS on students and on faculty and staff. In the end, it is all about people, God’s people … people who pour themselves out for the cause of Christ. Collectively, we have a passion for Christian education. That passion has never been more needed than it is today. We have a great story to tell. We serve an awesome God. We sense that He is moving and calling us to something … something maybe bigger than we could ever imagine. This is the next, first step. He is calling us to Thrive. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Heart The

campaign

behind the


FREEDOM TO THRIVE

by Lisa Abbott

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t the heart of Heritage’s Thrive campaign lies a simple and principal organizational objective: freedom. Freedom to invest spiritually and academically in future generations of students. Freedom to pursue the dream of equitable compensation for dedicated faculty and staff. Freedom to achieve financial stability. It is an appealing goal for the generous donors who are making the campaign’s advancement a reality. Heritage parents, Rob and Jenny Malmquist, are among many contributors to the fundraising drive. Rob is a financial planner by profession and understands well the wisdom of debt elimination. “Being debt-free resonated with us, because that’s what we’ve strived for ever since we’ve been married,” he explains. The couple’s personal commitment to this has given them greater freedom to contribute to causes they believe in. Heritage is one of them. “We have a vested interest in the school because we see its impact and the fruit that has come from our children and from other families. Now we want to be a part of what Heritage is doing,” says Rob. Over the course of the past seven years that their daughters have attended Heritage, Jenny has actively supported the school in many areas. “You see how the teachers pray for the families. For us, being involved in the Thrive campaign is really about building up the body of believers, here in Indianapolis, to send forth the light,” she says. She has also witnessed the dedication of Heritage faculty and staff. “Seeing the time and commitment of the teachers, their love and compassion; but also the individual needs of each and every student… it’s a tall order and a big task,” she explains. “You can tell that they are doing it not in their own strength. It’s the strength of the Lord and the wisdom that He gives…It’s a joy and a privilege and an honor to pray for the school and to be standing in the gap with the teachers, staff and students.” Heritage’s Christ-centered learning environment has proven to be a place for academic, spiritual and personal growth for the Malmquists’ daughters, who are in seventh and ninth grades. “We were blessed to know many Heritage families before we had children of our own,” says Jenny. “When it came time for a school decision, we didn’t think it would include Heritage. As the Lord would have it, we took the long route here, with our oldest attending kindergarten at a church, public

school for first grade, home school for second grade and then we looked at many of the schools in town and after visiting Heritage, we knew that God was directing us here for third grade.” “They’ve made good friends here, who love the Lord,” says Rob. “We see Christ-like attributes developing in our girls. Each year, it’s a confirmation that they’re in the right place. There are so many opportunities for them, whether it’s sports or music or plays. They are getting to use the gifts God has given them. This is a pretty tight-knit community that works together,” he says. This plethora of opportunities at Heritage and the bounty of its campus facilities, say the Malmquists, is one of the reasons why they initially chose to enroll at Heritage. They see these abundant resources as a direct result of investments made by previous generations of families and donors. “We have made the choice as a family to pay for a Christian education, but somebody else before us has paid for these buildings, long before we got here,” Rob shares. They view their family’s involvement in the Thrive campaign as a way to continue a legacy of generosity and investment for generations to come. Prior to learning about the campaign, the Malmquists already had talked about making a designated gift to the school. However, when they learned about the strategy behind the fundraising, they decided to pray about the possibility of making a larger gift that would help the school meet some of its targets. Rob and Jenny began to pray individually about the idea, before making a decision together. “I remember sitting down in the kitchen to talk about how much we each thought we should give,” Jenny says. “God had laid the same, specific amount on our hearts. We knew that was what we wanted to do.” It is out of the Malmquists’ comfort zone to talk openly about their giving, but they are doing so today with a heart to challenge and encourage other potential donors to join them in contributing to the Thrive campaign. “It’s fun to encourage other believers and spur them on, if the Lord lays it on somebody’s heart to give,” says Rob. Please make your pledge of support for the Thrive campaign using the attached reply card and envelope, or pledge online at www. heritagechristian.net/thrive.

“We see Christ-like attributes developing in our girls. Each year, it’s a confirmation that they’re in the right place.” SPRING 2016 HERITAGE MESSENGER

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“We drove right up to Heritage and instantly felt right at home. We hadn’t even set foot on campus yet,” says Jen.

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FALL 2015 HERITAGE MESSENGER

Photo Courtesy of Studio Thirteen Photography


LEN AND JEN SOMERS

by Lisa Abbott

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t the outset of every school year, Heritage history teacher Len Somers sets the tone for the new group of middle school students by sharing a faith story from his own experience. It is a real-life tale of God’s specific and amazing provision for Somers and his family, during a season of their lives when needs were great and financial resources were not. The truth is that Somers has a historical trove of experiences like these, and he makes a habit of sharing them often with his classes. The divine provisions have come in various forms over the past 21 years—from the necessity of expensive, hypo-allergenic baby formula to a dollar-specific amount on a house down payment. This gifted and popular teacher who brings American history to life also makes a regular practice of sharing his family’s history of faith in a God who abundantly provides for every need. In a time and culture that often elevates the value of material wealth, Len and Jen Somers have, from the beginning of their lives together, chosen to define success by different measures. “In a world that says you have to have two incomes to be successful financially, we’ve just never bought into that,” Len explains. The couple has consistently pursued a God-given calling to and heartfelt passion for Christian education. “It really is not a sacrifice on my part to come and teach at a Christian school,” says Len. “It’s something that I’ve been called to do and trained to do. As I was going through my education courses at Calvin College and figuring out where God was calling me to teach, I always felt strongly about teaching in a Christian school. I’ve always felt called to Christian education.” The high school sweethearts wed after college and accepted Len’s first teaching position at a small Christian school in Kansas, a long way from family and their native Michigan. Len taught in the high school and Jen put her child development degree in to practice, managing the school’s day care, preschool and K-12th grade before- and after-care program. They both coached school sports teams. They grew closer together and to God through the experience. In 1995, with the addition of their first child, Eric, they sought an opportunity to return to the Midwest. Within a school of 200, the Somers had met two former Heritage families who recommended the school. Len contacted Heritage to inquire about opportunities in the high school, but the connection would later happen in the form of a call from the middle school principal. “All of our spiritual growth in Kansas was getting us ready to come to Heritage,” says Jen. “When we came here, we were ready to do what we needed to do.” The Somers traveled by car to Indianapolis for the job interview and accidentally took the wrong exit on the way to their hotel destination. Somehow, they found themselves turning into the well-lit parking lot of Heritage Christian School. “We drove right up to Heritage and instantly felt right at home. We hadn’t even set foot on campus yet,” says Jen. The school extended a middle school teaching offer to Len and the young family of three moved to Indy just a couple of weeks before the beginning of the 1995 school year. For the first two months, they lived with then-middle school principal, Clark Judd, and his wife, Linda, in a

house within walking distance of the Heritage campus. It proved to be a great transition and an introduction to the Heritage community that would become a second family to the Somers. Len began teaching his middle school students and found that he loved the age group. He had found his place of passion and has stayed ever since. He quickly appreciated Heritage administration and the flexibility and creativity they gave him in the classroom. “I was given freedom to explore things in the classroom,” says Len. “It was amazing to have a principal ask me ‘What is your passion? What are you passionate about, that I can help you unpack and use in the classroom?’” Len developed a course curriculum that focused on his favorite historical figure, American President Abraham Lincoln. The class is iconic and so popular among students that some have even tried to sign up for it twice. He also took on the responsibility for a historical tour of Washington, D.C. for middle school students. The concept grew from an initial 30 students to, at one time, four tour buses full of students, families and four Heritage teachers, who guide the popular summer tour. The Somers had decided early on in their marriage that Jen would be home full-time with their growing family. Putting her professional career plans on hold seemed to her a small price to pay for the years of mothering and supporting Len in his teaching role. “The major part of any sacrifice has come from Jen, in saying ‘This is what I’m going to do for the family and for us,’” says Len. In 2013, Jen returned to part-time work, as a teacher’s aide in Heritage’s preschool launch. This year, she is a co-lead teacher in the growing preschool program, lending her tender heart and authentic love for young children to her energetic group. But the word “sacrifice” is one that the Somers almost hesitate to mention. The fact that Heritage teachers’ salary levels fall significantly below public school counterparts has never worried them. “We’ve had some lean years, but we never went to bed hungry,” says Jen. “I think that our kids have really been blessed by that example. They’ve known that we’ve sacrificed so that we can bless other people; so that Len can disciple other kids. I don’t think our kids have ever felt like they sacrificed anything.” The family has always clearly distinguished needs from wants. “We just know that God is going to provide for our needs. He always takes care of everything,” says Len. “For us, it has never really been about the money. It has been about the philosophy of Heritage, ever since day one. We’ve always trusted in God for our finances.” Jen agrees. “God’s provision far outdoes anything we can dream or think up. He has always provided. Sometimes beyond and sometimes just enough, but He always provides for our needs.” The Somers are quick to point out that the Heritage community has played a major role in helping to meet financial and other needs. “There’s an extension of Heritage, outside of the school, that also is very, very supportive in all areas—emotionally, spiritually and

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financially,” explains Len. “Those arms have just been a huge help for us and have helped to relieve all kinds of burdens.” Nevertheless, says Len, Heritage faculty and staff face the same kinds of financial challenges as other families. “There are many times when the things we have to do in our ordinary lives— repairs, groceries, bills, even time we want to spend on vacation with our families—there are things that are just very hard to do… our financial burdens can be significant.” Jen adds, “We live paycheck to paycheck, with no savings. Big purchases and repairs often have to be paid for with credit cards, so we have a bit of debt and many repairs that do not get made. Our Worthy Servants check determines what we buy our kids for Christmas each year and we seldom buy for each other.” Theirs is a carefully balanced perspective on what matters most. “Speaking as a father and husband who teaches at a Christian school, sometimes it’s very hard to provide your family with the best; to afford things that may be needs and not necessarily wants,” Len shares. “We want to give our kids and families the best we can, but we also want to make sure they understand that we have an eternal, not material, perspective on life.” Part of the strategy behind the Thrive campaign is to eliminate debt and free up funds that can be used to increase faculty and staff compensation. “If there are ways that the Heritage community can step up and relieve some financial pressure, that’s a huge help,” says Len. “They are burdens we don’t have to take care of. We can focus 100 percent on our role in the classroom and on discipling students.” Over the course of more than two decades, all four of the Somers’ children have attended Heritage. Kyle, their youngest, is a current high school sophomore. If there’s a single word that describes their outlook, it would be gratitude. “Being at Heritage has been such a blessing,” Len concludes. “I would never want to teach any place else. Through 21 years, the Heritage faculty, staff, families and students that we’ve encountered here have been our family. Most of them are still close friends. It’s a fantastic thing.”

HERITAGE IS ON AN EXCITING PATH FORWARD! Recently, we announced plans of our Thrive campaign - a $4 million campaign aimed at financially supporting faculty and staff while eliminating our debt. As alumni, we ask that you prayerfully consider making an investment in Heritage and help make a positive impact for future generations. For more information on the Thrive campaign, visit www.heritagechristian.net/thrive. 
 UPCOMING EVENTS

APRIL 30 You are invited to a special Thrive fundraising event at Heritage, featuring renowned author, Lee Strobel. Limited seating is available. Reserve your spot today by visiting www.heritagechristian.net/Strobel. 
 MARCH 18, 19 The Heritage Fine Arts Department presents The Pink Panther. 
 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Join fellow alumni at Homecoming 2016. Classes are planning their reunions now. If you are interested in volunteering to help with reunion planning, contact Al Leinbach at al.leinbach@heritagechristian.net or call (317) 813-3865. 
 CONNECT WITH US UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION In order to be good stewards with our mailings, please visit www.heritagechristian.net/alumni to update your information should it change. MESSENGER ANNOUNCEMENTS Future Messenger publications will include photos of alumni who have recently been married, engaged or had a baby. If you would like to send in a picture to be used for your announcement, please email alumni@ heritagechristian.net. BECOME A CLASS DELEGATE Would you like to represent your class and be a point of contact for information relating to alumni? Email alumni@heritagechristian.net for more information. Heritage Christian Alumni Association 6401 E. 75th Street | Indianapolis, IN 46250 (317) 813-3865 | alumni@heritagechristian.net

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

by Meg Matthias “At Heritage, I learned to be passionate and take chances,” Logan Gay says. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.” Gay, a 2011 graduate, now works as a news reporter for Lakeland Public Television, a Minnesota affiliate of PBS. The network’s goals are to “educate, enrich, entertain, and enlighten”—and Gay fulfills them daily by preparing and covering stories for the six and 10 o’clock news. “I wish I could say that I have always wanted to be a journalist and a reporter,” Gay says, “but that isn’t the case.” Instead, she searched for a career that combined her love of reading and communication, originally deciding on print journalism. However, during her freshman year at Ashland University, Gay was invited to help operate a camera for a school television broadcast—and everything changed. “When I saw the hustle and bustle and the anchors sitting in the bright lights, I knew I had to be a part of it,” Gay says. “I love putting on a show every day.” Gay began to take advantage of everything Ashland had to offer in way of broadcasting, including anchoring opportunities freshman year—a chance not offered to underclassmen at most universities. By her senior year, Gay created her own program with the help of her friends: an entertainment show called Applause. “It was an awesome experience,” she says. “My only regret is that I wish I could have had more time with the show.” Gay’s university experience segued first into an internship at Ohio station WMFD-TV and then into her current position at Lakeland News. Now, she functions as a general assignment reporter, working both behind and in front of the camera. “Every day I learn something new,” Gay says. “Every day I am given the opportunity to be better than I was the day before. Lakeland News is the perfect place to start my career.” Gay credits both her Heritage experience and her faith to her current success. She says that Heritage not only taught her to value education, but also how to integrate her faith into her daily life. “My faith has impacted my life and my career in so many different ways,” she says. “I know that I would not have these opportunities if it was not for the grace of God.”

rely on God in everything—especially her career. She plans to go as far as possible in her field, using her platform to give back to the community and uplift the young people in it. “As I look back on my journey, I can seriously see God ordering my steps and positioning me where I need to be,” Logan Gay says. “Because of what God has done for me and continues to do for me, I know without a doubt I am destined for greatness. I have already claimed it.”

Heritage Christian School Class of 2016 Graduation Ceremony

YOU ’REI NVI TED! Celebrating Our 50th Graduating Class

Friday, May 27, 2016 7:30 PM East 91st Street Christian Church 6049 E. 91st St. | Indianapolis, IN 46250

With daily Bible readings and prioritized prayers, Gay has come to

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Discover

HERITAGE

Weekly field trips, daily Bible lessons, scholastic enrichment, outdoor activities, arts & crafts and more!

Camps run from May 31st - July 29th Visit heritagechristian.net for more information

Celebrating 50 years of academic excellence and biblical wisdom that equips students to succeed and impact the world.

NOW ENROLLING PRESCHOOL-12 Glorify God. Disciple Students. Pursue Excellence. www.heritagechristian.net

CANYON CHRISTIAN: CULTIVATING COLLEGE-BOUND CHRISTIANS

We’re pleased to announce that Heritage has now partnered with Grand Canyon University (GCU), a Christian university in Phoenix which has seen tremendous growth in recent years. This partnership provides great new scholarship opportunities for Heritage Christian School students, their parents and even HCS faculty and staff. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to receive up to a $20,000 ($5,000 per year) scholarship toward attending GCU. As a Canyon Christian Schools Consortium (CCSC) member, our graduates who choose to attend Grand Canyon University will automatically receive a CCSC scholarship. The total amount of the scholarship will be divided equally between the four years of attendance at GCU and may be combined with other scholarship offers. The CCSC scholarship amount will be calculated based on the number of years the student attended Heritage in grades 9-12, as follows:

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS: (Years at Heritage Christian High School) X $5,000 =TOTAL SCHOLARSHIP

NON RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS: (Years at Heritage Christian High School) X $2,500 =TOTAL SCHOLARSHIP In addition, Heritage Christian parents, faculty and staff will receive a 10% discount toward tuition and fees for online undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree programs at GCU. Spouses of HCS faculty and staff can receive a 5% discount. For more information about the Canyon Christian Schools Consortium, contact Heritage Guidance Director, Erik Smith, at erik.smith@heritagechristian.net.


Discipleship Team Kirsten Gibbs, Tom Flynn and Dina Furnish are committed to developing holistic relationships with students through spiritual growth and development.

SPIRITUAL TITLE LIFE HEAD

Heritage Christian School is committed to the discipleship of our students. Whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, or participating in an after school club, it is our desire that students would develop a genuine faith in Jesus Christ that leads them to live out our values - to Glorify God, Love Others, Pursue Excellence and Imitate Christ - as they serve their local church, community and the world.

We are intentional. In every classroom, teachers integrate a Christian worldview into their teaching and capitalize on teachable moments to connect the Bible to real life. Students at every grade level have a Bible class as a part of the curriculum.

We are deliberate. Chapel is a regular opportunity for students of all grade levels to experience worship, learn from the Bible, and hear the stories of people whose lives have been changed by Jesus Christ. Additionally, we have designed opportunities for students to learn about Jesus Christ and love their classmates through service projects, after school clubs, and middle school/high school retreats.

We are relational. Heritage Christian teachers are known for being available to meet with students to help academically and spiritually. Many faculty members mentor students. Additionally, students can mentor younger students. In Middle school, each student is involved in a small group led by Heritage teachers and staff. In High school, students can participate in Bible studies and/or be paired with another peer for accountability and encouragement.

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CASE FOR SUPPORT

THE PATH FORWARD Heritage is on an exciting path forward. Heritage is increasing enrollment, revitalizing leadership, balancing the budget, and creating a more resilient financial infrastructure, all while maintaining a tradition of academic excellence and spiritual guidance. While Heritage has carefully reduced spending in a number of areas in recent years to achieve financial stability, we know that we need to invest back into the school to increase impact and value. We also know that we cannot effectively pursue our mission by attempting to grow revenues through large tuition increases that place added burdens on current Heritage families, and dissuade interested families from joining our community. Furthermore, Heritage is carrying debt with significant annual debt servicing that is handicapping our future. One of the most critical areas of a healthy future is securing our ability to recruit, retain and appropriately compensate the best faculty and staff team possible. In order to implement our plans and fuel institutional growth, we need the Thrive campaign to raise $4 million. A successful campaign will allow Heritage to build upon its existing strengths and address key areas of need by eliminating our debt, investing in our faculty and staff, and achieving critical Vision 2017 initiatives.

Heritage currently spends almost $900,000 annually through its operating budget to service its debt. This servicing will continue through the year 2020 at the current pace of bond payment. With a total campaign goal of $4 million, our debt servicing can be fully covered, freeing up that equivalent amount for Thrive initiatives.

SUPPORTING OUR WORTHY SERVANTS As you know, we are blessed to have a tremendous faculty and staff that approach the education and nurture of young people not as a career but as a divine calling. While they seek to build students’ mastery of academic subjects, they also foster in those students a lifelong commitment to Christ and an understanding of how to proclaim God throughout their lives regardless of their chosen career and life path. We need to acknowledge the extraordinary role these people play in the lives of our students, and we need to improve our ability to attract and retain talented team members.

Over the past decade, during times of growth, Heritage invested significant resources in capital projects to assure that we had sufficient and appropriate spaces to deliver our curriculum and services.

Given Heritage’s commitment to affordability, we are more limited than other schools in how we compensate our team. Currently our experienced faculty may earn $30,000 less annually than equally experienced peers in public school settings. Currently Heritage cannot provide retirement benefits such as a 401k match, and many HCS faculty and staff must work 2nd or 3rd jobs in order to be able to teach and serve at Heritage.

Improvements to the facilities, such as the elementary school building, as well as the addition of the fine arts building and high school gymnasium, were made possible through the generous support

Our faculty and staff accept this because they feel called to contribute their skills at Heritage. The financial realities of life, however, may ultimately force some of our talented and committed team members

THE FINANCIAL PICTURE

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of donors and the use of a modest amount of debt. That borrowing has been paid down to just below $4 million. The much-needed additions continue to serve the Heritage community well, but the costs of financing them limit the school’s current capacity to innovate, grow, and adequately support our faculty and staff.

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CASE FOR SUPPORT

TEACHER SALARY COMPARISONS to pursue career opportunities at schools that allow them to more adequately support their families. We also know of talented teachers who would love to be at Heritage, but simply cannot afford to be here. Though we do not have the resources to compete with the salaries that public schools offer, we believe that our faculty and staff deserve more than we are able to provide them through current revenues alone. The primary goal of the campaign is to provide a 10% salary adjustment for faculty and staff. This employee compensation component targets the first part of the salary adjustment (5%) to be made at the halfway milestone of the campaign, when 50% of campaign donations have been received. The remaining 5% will be instituted at the end of a fully successful campaign. The employee compensation component can, and will, be accelerated if campaign expectations are exceeded. With its steadfast commitment to excellent academic training that is Biblically infused and Christ focused, Heritage has an opportunity to be an even brighter light in an ever darkening society. We have an opportunity and responsibility to prepare future generations of world changers. Heritage is equipping the future with exceptional doctors, artists, athletes, engineers, lawyers, CPAs, marketing executives, journalists, bankers, pastors, politicians and entrepreneurs who are also prepared to be exceptional citizens, good neighbors, loving husbands and wives, Christian parents, and everyday prayer warriors. The distinctive mission of Heritage has a profound opportunity to impact our world. Because this next generation is so important, we need to be able to attract and retain and appropriately support our faculty and staff who are the contributing architects of these world-changing lives. That’s why the Thrive campaign is so important. We need to eliminate our debt ASAP so that we can catch up our compensation to levels that adequately support our teachers and staff. We compromise our ability to remain effective and excellent if we do not ensure that we can equip our classrooms and campus with the best workers possible.

Starting Base Salaries

$40K Indianapolis Public Schools

$27K Heritage Christian School

Average Salaries for Teachers with 20+ Years Experience

$65K

$39K

Central Indiana Public Schools

Heritage Christian School

The debt-free financial picture of Heritage upon completion of the Thrive campaign will create the healthy infrastructure through which Heritage will continue to be one of the premier Christian education institutions in the country. God calls on all of us to be good stewards of what He has given us. If you believe in Heritage Christian and its purpose, and can help make our preferred future a reality, then we ask you to prayerfully consider your largest pledge possible to help release Heritage’s full potential. There is no better investment that will exponentially impact our community for future generations. Please make your pledge of support for the Thrive campaign using the attached reply card and envelope, or pledge online at www.heritagechristian.net/thrive.

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GARY ROEBBELEN

by Lisa Abbott

Photo Courtesy of Studio Thirteen Photography

W

hen the world’s attention was riveted by the Ethiopian famine in 1985, Gary Roebbelen, Heritage’s Director of Development and Communications, found himself on the front lines of the story. Serving then as an Information Officer for the global non-profit, World Vision, he was assigned to the relief organization’s field office in Addis Ababa. He facilitated myriad media visits and hosted an international field of reporters and photojournalists. In the fall of 1985, Roebbelen learned that he would serve as personal guide and World Vision host for two VIP guests from Ireland. Roebbelen became well acquainted with the couple, Paul and Ali Hewson. To the rest of the world, Paul is known as “Bono,” lead singer for the rock band, U2. Roebbelen accompanied the two as they received orientation to the famine situation and prepared to take on a short-term assignment with a group of orphans in the remote famine camp in Ajibar. While there, they wrote several health care songs and produced some educational materials for the children. Bono later said, “I saw stuff there that reorganized the way I saw the world.” Over the course of the visit, the singer penned U2’s single, “Where the Streets Have No Name” and the lyrics to other songs that appeared on the band’s iconic album, Joshua Tree. With a set of Nikons as his constant companion on the African journey,

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Roebbelen captured a large collection of images of Bono, as the mega-star interacted with the children and taught them songs. His photos appeared in global publications, including Q and People. It was an experience Roebbelen treasures and for a young communications professional, it helped to launch a broad-based career with a focus on global ministry. Roebbelen served in management positions for World Vision for the next 10 years, in Toronto, Canada and also in Los Angeles. He often rubbed elbows with celebrities, but also worked on-site when big crises and media stories like the Mississippi River flood (1993), Los Angeles riots (1992) and the North Ridge earthquake (1994) broke. He also took several more international trips with other musicians who were affected and inspired by their experiences. Some people may remember the song “Life is a Highway,” probably best known from the Rascal Flatts cover of the song done for the animated movie “Cars,” but it also hit number 6 on the Billboard Charts in 1992 and was featured in multiple commercials, and movies, and performed live on David Letterman. The musician who wrote and performed the hit was Tom Cochrane who was taken by Gary on a 5 country tour of Africa in 1989. One of the lines from the song… “From Mozambique to those Memphis nights…” Some of Tom’s most powerful memories came from his visit to a Mozambique medical relief camp. In 1995, Roebbelen and his young family moved to Boone, North Carolina, where he became Director of Communications for the burgeoning ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. His interview for the job was conducted from the cockpit of a small prop plane, with Franklin Graham in the pilot’s seat. They talked through the headsets on the flight from Tennessee to Toronto, where Graham had been called to


GARY ROEBBELEN

“I have been privileged to be part of tremendous life-changing work around the world. The only thing more fulfilling for me at this stage of my career is to be involved in equipping a new generation of Christian leaders to impact our world.”

assist at his father’s Skydome crusade, after his father collapsed and was rushed to hospital the day before the start of the crusade. Roebbelen became well acquainted with the Graham family as he helped to raise funds for Samaritan’s Purse and manage its communications efforts. The highlight of his experience there, he said, was assisting in the launch and promotion of Operation Christmas Child. “It was all part of me applying what I knew, but always being pushed and challenged to learn at a very fast pace, in very quickly growing environments,” he says. He also assisted with the development of systems and processes to manage the huge volumes of communication and data the organization gathered. A unique opportunity next arose, when Roebbelen became a founding partner of DonorWare LLC, in Indianapolis. “It was a chance to work alongside of likeminded Christian professionals,” he said. The company provided data management, web-based fundraising solutions, email campaign systems and inventory and sales management for Promise Keepers, Back to the Bible, Bible League, Gospel for Asia, Campus Crusade and other large non-profit organizations. As Vice President of Corporate Relations, Roebbelen helped to grow the company’s annual sales and manage client relations. In order to be closer to aging parents and family, the Roebbelens moved back to Canada, to London, Ontario, in 2008. As the Director of Fundraising and Communications for Teen Challenge there, Roebbelen oversaw communications for six drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers across Canada. In 2011, he became Director of Communications and Fund Development for Trans World Radio in Canada, the world’s largest

Christian radio broadcasting network, delivering the Gospel within reach of over four billion people daily. He assisted the organization with all facets of development, including special events, fundraising and marketing. Roebbelen was excited to return to the family’s former home and to friends and family in Indianapolis in 2014, when he accepted his current role as Director of Development and Communications at Heritage. The school’s CEO, Jeff Freeman, was a big draw for Roebbelen. “I could see his heart and where he was coming from. Knowing some of the challenges that the school had been through, I could see that God had selected a unique person for a very important season in the school’s history. It wasn’t an academic administrator or even a theologian. It was a businessperson with a genuine heart and love for the school.” With so much front line global ministry experience under his belt, one might wonder what else attracted him to Heritage. “I have been privileged to be part of tremendous life-changing work around the world. The only thing more fulfilling for me at this stage of my career is to be involved in equipping a new generation of Christian leaders to impact our world,” explained Roebbelen, “With its steadfast commitment to excellent academic training that is Biblically infused and Christ focused, Heritage has an opportunity to be an even brighter light in an ever darkening society. We have an opportunity and responsibility to prepare future generations of world changers. And, being a worldchanger doesn’t mean you have to serve in a foreign mission field. Heritage is equipping a future generation of exceptional citizens, good neighbors, loving husbands and wives, Christian parents, and everyday

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GARY ROEBBELEN

prayer warriors who we may have also equipped to be exceptional doctors, politicians, athletes, artists, engineers, missionaries, lawyers, CPAs, marketing executives, journalists, bankers, pastors or entrepreneurs. The distinctive mission of Heritage has a profound opportunity to impact our world.” “Because this next generation is so important, we need to be able to attract and retain and appropriately support our faculty and staff who are the contributing architects of these world-changing lives. That’s why the Thrive campaign is such a priority for me over the next few years. We need to eliminate our debt ASAP so that we can catch up our compensation to levels that adequately support our teachers and staff. We compromise our ability to remain effective and excellent if we do not ensure that we can equip our classrooms and campus with the best workers possible.” Roebbelen is encouraged by the tremendous potential of the school’s next 50 years. “Even though I have been blessed with many unique opportunities, working at Heritage is a new challenge I am thoroughly enjoying. While sometimes the volume and diversity of activity is overwhelming, I know that it is all driven by a desire to create great experiences for our students and a passion for our distinctive Heritage community.” U2 lead singer Bono in Ethiopia

With two of his children attending Heritage, he gets to experience that community in many ways. “It’s been great to experience the school through my children’s involvement. Josh is a freshman this year, involved in orchestra and robotics, and delivering his unique sense of humor and spin on life wherever he goes. Matt is a junior and involved in athletics and fine arts, performing in Robin Hood, running sound for Mary Poppins and chapels, playing on the soccer and lacrosse teams. He enjoys lacrosse because it’s the closest thing to hockey he could find. And even though he sometimes wears the nickname “Canada” - and does bleed a little maple syrup and poutine gravy from his time in Canada - everyone should know that he was actually born in North Carolina (along with Josh). My daughter (born in Los Angeles) is working on an education degree at IU, and my oldest son (born in Toronto) is pursuing a music and audio engineering career. My wife Laurie, in addition to managing the chaos of our home, is now working at a Health Campus for Seniors at which she coordinates activities. God has wonderfully equipped and wired her with the unique patience and compassion needed for the challenges of advanced-age care. We have a lot of interesting stories to share at the end of the day.” Just like the Thrive campaign, Roebbelen also has his “eyes on the future.” “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to build our capacity and expertise in the development, marketing and communications areas. We are starting to build a team to take us into the future. One of the most exciting metrics to see this year is our increase in enrollment - the first increase in eight years. Telling our story in new ways certainly contributed to making that happen. We’ve also made progress in social media, with the Messenger, in event support, and in fundraising, but still have a long way to go to build and execute the strategies, systems, campaigns and communications that Heritage will need to succeed heading into our next 50 years.” In addition to the Thrive campaign, Roebbelen says to be watching for improvements in other key areas, including the Heritage website, an Alumni Association, and some streamlining and coordination of overall fundraising and promotional activity. “God has a special purpose for this piece of real estate in Indianapolis. I’m glad to be here to see all of the exciting things that will be taking place in the years ahead.”

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HCS ROBOTICS

The robotics program at Heritage has grown tremendously in one year, as we now have 12 teams. Heritage robotics continues to excel, with significant wins at this year’s city and state championships. Teams range from 4th to 12th grade, and last year’s 8th grade team finished their first season as second best in the world! For more information on the Heritage robotics program, contact Suzanne Nutt, Heritage Robotics Program Coordinator, at robotics@heritagechristian.net. SPRING 2016 HERITAGE MESSENGER

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KELLEY ERB

Kelley Erb, far right, with her family, Thanksgiving 2013

by Lisa Abbott

T

hose who knew Heritage alumna Kelley Erb best all tend to use the same words to describe her: compassionate, caring, selfless, gentle. “She had a real love for life,” says her father, Todd Erb. Heritage’s Educational Support Services (ESS) team became almost like a second family for Kelley, who was diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disorder when she was a Heritage first grader. The team came alongside her, providing her with one-on-one educational therapy, in addition to her traditional classroom work. During elementary school, Kelley benefitted from the school’s Hidden Treasures program, which addresses the educational needs of students with learning differences. ESS teacher, Eileen Howell, remembers Kelley’s sweet spirit, but also her fierce determination to learn and succeed at school. “Kelley always had a positive attitude. I can’t think of a single time when she ever complained or was negative,” she says. “Kelley also was a perfectionist. She always gave her very best.” Parents can play an important and active role in ESS students’ academic success. Marylyn Erb spent countless hours, helping her daughter at home with her assignments and skill development. “Marylyn was selfless and devoted,” says Howell. “She was dedicated to her kids and

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would do anything for them.” Her generosity spilled over into active involvement with the ESS program, as organizer for the department’s fundraising activities. “Marylyn always purchased an extra set of textbooks, so that Kelley would have an extra set to use at home,” says ESS Director, Julie Hight. “When Kelley was finished using them, Marylyn would donate the books to the school, so that other students could benefit from them.” To this day, students use the books that serve as a reminder of the Erb family’s generosity. After being homeschooled during Kelley’s eighth-grade year, the Erb family contacted Hight, to explore the feasibility of their daughter returning to Heritage for high school. It was an important move, says Todd. “This Christian environment was an extension of our family and church. This was a safe and healthy place for Kelley; spiritually, emotionally and physically,” he explains. “This was of the utmost importance to us. We made the financial commitment to have all of our kids go through Heritage [including Brock and Lindsey, who also are Heritage alumni]. We were a Heritage family through and through. I look back and don’t regret a moment of it at all.” “Our heart’s desire was to have Kelley back at Heritage, not just so that


KELLEY ERB we could teach her, but also because we knew all of the positive ways that Kelley would contribute to our student body,” says Hight. “Our high school needed what she brought to us.” The ESS team created a unique program for Kelley, providing an academic resource program for her for three of her eight daily class periods. “Understanding Kelley’s learning needs, we knew that giving her the gift of (additional) time was an important piece,” Hight says.

The unimaginable circumstances have altered their lives, but, remarkably, have not shaken their faith in Christ. “God has held us up,” says Todd. “He has held us in the palm of His hand and lifted our spirits to a degree that within ourselves, it wouldn’t be possible… My strength is made whole by Him, through my weakness, because I know that I can’t get by in any other way than by relying on His strength and not my own.” On behalf of his family, Todd Erb would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the faculty, students, parents and Heritage alumni, for their overwhelming support and prayers during their most difficult time.

ESS teacher, Rachel Smiley, partnered with Kelley’s other teachers to support her learning needs. “Kelley’s classroom teachers would bend over backwards to help her, because of her effort and all that she was doing,” she remembers. But make no mistake; In 2014, the Erb family reached out to Heritage with Kelley met every single Heritage academic a desire to establish a scholarship fund in Kelley’s “My strength is made requirement, alongside her high school honor. Since Kelley had received so much from whole by Him, through her experience with the school’s ESS program, classmates. She also loved to sing in the Colla Voce advanced choir. “Kelley passionately my weakness, because Todd generously designated five $1,000 annual loved the choir at Heritage,” remembers Todd. scholarships to benefit Heritage ESS students. I know that I can’t get by “ESS was such an instrumental part of Kelley’s life A choir tour to Los Angeles during her junior year included a stop at one of Kelley’s favorite in any other way than by and education that we wanted to have a means for and often-visited Disney destinations. During others to benefit from it, too. The idea that it could relying on His strength be blanketed under the memory of Kelley Erb… her junior and senior year “J-term” internships, Kelley focused on her love for animals by how much more special that would be?” he says. and not my own.” shadowing veterinarian, David Carter. She Scholarship applicants must demonstrate financial proudly graduated from Heritage in 2010, with need and also four characteristics that exemplified a very admirable and hard-earned grade point average. Kelley’s life: a heart to please God and serve Christ; a passion for learning; a strong work ethic toward education; and evidence/progress After a successful year at Indiana Wesleyan University, Erb returned toward significant improvement in learning. Scholarship applications home to study early childhood education at Ivy Tech. She loved are accepted and awards are given throughout the year. working with young children and returned to Heritage on occasion, to help Smiley with the Search and Teach groups, of which she herself For more information about the Kelley Erb Scholarship, contact Julie had once been a part. Just days before Christmas in 2013, Kelley Hight, ESS Director, at 317.849.3441 ext. 168. and Marylyn Erb’s lives ended tragically. The story of the senseless murders made headlines and rocked the Heritage community to the core. Life for Todd, Brock and Lindsey Erb has never been the same.

The ESS Department benefits from the Eagle Golf Classic, raising funds to empower flourishing students.

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High School theater seniors, Ali Upchurch (Mary Poppins) and Caleb Zepick (Bert) perform in Disney’s Mary Poppins. 18

FALL 2015 HERITAGE MESSENGER


FINE ARTS

A RICH TRADITION We believe that the arts are an expression of God’s love for us and are a visible way to glorify His name. The arts are a strong component of the curriculum in all grades at Heritage providing an outlet for joy and praise from preschool through high school. 2D Art & 3D Art Art Portfolio Advanced Placement Studio Art Photography Advanced Photography

Music History Music Theory AP Music Theory Praise and Worship Band Choir

Colla Voce (Auditioned Choir) Orchestra & Advanced Orchestra Band Jazz Band Theater Arts SPRING 2016 HERITAGE MESSENGER

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ATHLETICS

by Katherine Yeager

T

hree years of courage, competition and state championship victories have made Heritage’s Lady Eagles Varsity Basketball Team a buzz word in Indianapolis and across the state. On Saturday Feb. 27, 2016, the team won the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament over North Harrison at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Lady Eagles head coach Rick Risinger said, “We had a nice tournament run. We were prepared and ready to go. The girls did a good job of rallying together as a team.” The victory marks the team’s third consecutive state tournament win. However, this was the Lady Eagles’ first win in Class 3A after competing and excelling in Class 2A for many years. Additionally, the team set a record 26-4 season, the strongest season in HCS basketball history. Assistant coach Ron Young said, “During the game your thoughts are all over during each possession. The game plan was executed and the Lady Eagles are champions. There is a big sigh and a big thanks to the Lord for this opportunity and for the girls, fellow coaches and families.” Young has served as the Lady Eagles’ Varsity Assistant Coach for the past 16 years. He joined the program in 2000 when former coach “Doc” Richards approached him for the position. A little over a decade after Doc’s death, Young still serves in the program alongside head coach, Rick Risinger furthering the team’s legacy to “Glorify God …. play hard … have fun …. as a team.” The win is the Eagles’ seventh state title, more than any other girls basketball team in the state. Each of the past seven state tournament wins have occurred with Risinger as head coach.

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Senior Tyasha Harris, a point guard, is currently ranked as one of the top players in the state and 27th nationally by ESPN. She scored a total of 27 points during the recent 51-45 state tournament game. Risinger said, “I think we’ve had several key players during the years. Most teams are built with a strong key player who can take the lead on and off the court. In the past, we’ve had players like Kelly Faris. Ty Harris is the most recent who is really the strongest player on the court.” This was the final season of Heritage basketball for the four seniors including: Harris, Darby Foresman, Joely Pinkston and Taylor Hall. Risinger felt this year’s team was close on and off the court. He said, “I think that made for a really good season. They support each other.” As the Lady Eagles anticipate next year’s season, they place their victory first and foremost in the faith they share. “We aim to glorify God first and that is different from other schools,” Young said, “One of the highlights was praying in the locker room with the other three coaches after the players had left to head to the court - just the four of us in a circle holding hands and praying.” The team has built and is building a legacy at Heritage and in the community - in athletics, in sportsmanship and in faith. Risinger said, “There’s different dynamics with any sports team. I think if you have strong core values and strong character that translates into a strong basketball team.”


ATHLETICS

Congratulations Lady Eagles! 2016 3A STATE CHAMPIONS

Basketball photos courtesy of John Bishop

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M A G A Z I N E

Messenger 6401 E. 75th St. Indianapolis, IN 46250

Messenger Glorify God. Disciple Students. Pursue Excellence.

Support our Worthy Servants Through the Thrive Campaign Our people make us distinctive. They are committed, sacrificial servants who care for our students. They mentor by modeling a Christian lifestyle. They cultivate character inside and outside of the classroom. But how do we remain effective and excellent if we cannot equip our campus with the best workers possible? How do we ensure that the architects of our children’s education have what they need? Clearing our debt allows us to take care for our team and our future. If God has blessed you with the resources, it is important that you consider pledging your support. Our children, our city and our community need the Heritage distinctive more than ever. As we celebrate the graduation of our 50th class this May, join us as we come together to step into our next 50 years stronger than ever. Join us as we impact our world. Thank you for your prayerful and thoughtful investment.

www.heritagechristian.net/thrive Call 317.849.3441 or email us at thrive@heritagechristian.net.

Heritage Messenger - Spring 2016  
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