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Spring 2008 • Volume 69 • Number 4



CLASSROOM TO COURT with Gregg Preston

Inside this Issue:

Future Comets on Campus Athletic Update Graduation Weekend 2008 HIT News


GREETING Dear Alumni and Friends, “A fresh breeze blows on the campus of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. It’s a breeze that carries with it the optimism of a strong future. It carries the clear message that teenagers thrive in body, mind, and spirit within the context of a caring Christian community. It’s a breeze that carries the message of countless young voices sharing the same testimony, ‘I changed!’”

These are the opening lines of a draft case statement that is now being read by individuals within the HLA family for their comments and suggestions regarding the future of the school. With over 90 years of influence on countless lives, Hillcrest continues seeking God’s leading to move forward and boldly impact future generations for Christ. We believe that He is preparing the school for new opportunities in the equipping of students for a life of faithful service.

lives, how God’s grace fulfills their lives, how God’s forgiveness renews their lives, and how God’s love blesses their lives.

This optimism comes with the purpose that we become more and more intentional in helping students to think biblically and to establish a truly Christian worldview. God has blessed the school with a strong, caring environment for teenagers. Our desire is that they understand how God’s truth explains their

As we plan for a bright future, we covet your prayers. Thank you for your continued interest and support of HLA.

mis- sion minded . I will make a mar k. a life of significanc e. I will be mission I will make a mark. I will live a life of sigce. I will be mission minded. I will learn to be e like Jesus. I will make a mark. I will live a life significance. I will b e mission minded. I will learn o be more like Jesu s. I will make a ma rk. I will live a life of significanc e. I will be mission minded. I wil learn to be more lik eLIVE. JesuLEARN. s . I w i l l make a mark. I GO. will live a life of s ignificance. I will be mission m ed. I will lear These thoughts are on our minds especially now as we make graduation plans for the 52 seniors of the Class of 2008. We want their years at Hillcrest to have solidified the foundation for their life of faith. We pray that the Lord will bless and keep them.

We’d like you to join us for our Graduation Weekend on May 23-25. Some of our readers will return for a special reunion with former classmates. All alumni are invited to the Alumni Brunch in the Student Activities Center on Saturday morning, May 24. Read more about this in the Alumni section of this publication.


Steven J. Brue, HLA President

Any school can prepare students for a life of excellence...

We’re more concerned about a life of significance.

WWW.FFHILLCREST.ORG Now enrolling for fall 08.


CONTENTS 4 Profile

Gregg Preston

6 Feature

Future Comets on Campus

10 Finance

Charitable Connection Financial Update

12 Campus News HLA Today Athletic Update

16 Comet Pride Order 2008 CometGear Alumni Update

17 Alumni News

Grad Weekend 2008 Alumnus of the Year Nominations Alumni Update

Spring 2008 The Hillcrest Connection is published quarterly by Hillcrest Academy. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 610 Hillcrest Drive Fergus Falls, MN 56537-2699 STEVE BRUE | President Contributing Editor RYAN ERICKSON Managing Editor/Graphic Design





The mission of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, a Christ-centered secondary school (grades 7-12), of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, is to provide a quality academic, social, and extracurricular program in which Christ is exemplified in the lives of those who teach and lead, and in which Christ is nurtured in the lives of those who learn and follow.





Whether it’s teaching in the classroom, coaching on the basketball court or leading and serving in mission opportunities at HLA, Gregg Preston is there. We took a few minutes to get inside his head and find out why he does what he does. HC: Gregg, what brought you to Hillcrest? GP: My senior year of college, Rodney Venberg (Lutheran Brethren Missionary & Pastor) asked me if I had ever considered teaching at Hillcrest. I was intrigued at the thought of being able to freely use God’s word as the foundation of all truth and decided to pursue a teaching career at Hillcrest. HC: After 19 years, what motivates you to stay at Hillcrest? GP: After 19 years of teaching at Hillcrest, I thoroughly enjoy the mission of the school, the students who come from all over the world, the variety of courses that I get to teach, the freedom to develop my own curriculum, the opportunity to go with the students on mission projects,

the ministry with the guys basketball program, the school administration and staff and the opportunity to see God’s Holy Spirit bring young people to an understanding of His work on the cross. I have also been tremendously encourgaged in my faith in Christ by the authenticity, questions and enthusiasm by which the Hillcrest students express and live out their faith each year. HC: Preston tests are famous around the halls of Hillcrest for their challenging, all-essay response questions. Why do you choose to forego the traditional multiple-choice? GP: I think that to truly evaluate an understanding of biblical or historical concepts, students must express them by a written essay or oral evaluation. Academically, I desire for each student to be able to recognize



Above: Gregg Preston poses with students from his AP European History Class. Left: Coach Preston motivates his players during a timeout at a recent game.

connections between disciplines such as history, political science, geography and economics, and view them through the lens of the Scriptures. Essay exams also help me to evaluate the academic strengths and weaknesses of each student. HC: Teaching students to think and be able to respond critically seems to be one of your primary classroom goals. How does that affect the methods you use to communicate with them? GP: I do hope that I am able to help each of my students to respond and think critically about each situation that they encounter. One of my goals is to expose them to truly gifted minds. Great thinkers, theologians, historians and great writers are invited into the classroom each day through books and literature. By evaluating the thoughts and lives of “difference makers� in history, I believe that students can identify and hopefully be inspired in their academic lives.

HC: You have also been the Boys Basketball Head Coach since 1992. How does the coaching relationship you cultivate with your players extend into the classroom? GP: I have coached the boys basketball team at Hillcrest for 16 seasons. There are so many life lessons that can be learned through the game of basketball, such as discipline, teamwork, hard work, skill development, composure during adversity, acceptance of responsibility, pursuit of excellence and sacrifice. While these traits are valuable to develop, the relationships that are often fostered among players and coaches are lifelong. With the strong relationships that are built in a team setting it is my prayer that everyone involved with the Hillcrest Basketball program learns each day to know the depth and greatness of God and His gift to them in Jesus Christ. And having received Christ, that these young men would actively pursue His calling for their lives as they bring that good news wherever they go. (continued on page 9)


Gregg Preston



Future Comets on Campus by Principal Jeff Isaac One of the great joys this past year has been the continued relationship Hillcrest has with Morning Son Christian School. Morning Son is a private non-denominational elementary school that serves the Fergus Falls community. Many Morning Son students attend Hillcrest Junior High and Hillcrest Academy and each Morning Son graduate makes up over half of our incoming seventh graders. Because of the strength of this relationship, the Hillcrest administration and staff began to seek ways in which we could enhance our relationship with the Morning Son families and provide additional ministry and services to Morning Son Christian School. One of the ways in which this has been accomplished is through what we call “recess ministry.� Recess ministry

was re-established under the supervision of the Campus Ministries Office. It involves 2-3 Hillcrest students spending their lunch break hanging out and playing with students over at Morning Son during their lunch recess. This ministry has provided Morning Son parents with some relief of recess duty and has provided Morning Son students with some outstanding teen mentors and role models. If you have never witnessed Hillcrest students interact with younger kids, you are missing one of the greatest blessings this school has to offer. Concurrently, we also began offering two six-week computer applications courses to the Morning Son fifth and sixth graders. Charlie Brue teaches the courses after lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays. It may just be that



“If you have never witnessed Hillcrest students interact with younger kids, you are missing one of the greatest blessings this school has to offer.”

Charlie is great with the kids or that over half the class are boys, in awe of the idea that it’s “Coach Brue” teaching the class. Either way, he really has them motivated. The classes help Morning Son continue to provide a Christ-centered environment with the same school values while providing computer literacy for their students. This year we kicked off our first ever fifth and sixth grade beginning band program. Our Band Director, Steve Doering, heads this program up. Morning Son students come to Hillcrest twice a week for band practice which is held in conjunction with the computer classes. A major benefit for families that participate in this program is that Steve travels to Morning Son and provides a weekly

private lesson for each student. The beginning band has improved dramatically during their first year and is right on the heels of the Junior High band. Through this relationship, Hillcrest continues to plant the seeds of faith, lay the foundation of spiritual development, and disciple the minds and hearts of the young men and women that come through our doors.



Meet the Board Members Dwight Schmidt | Chairman

Dwight Schmidt was born in Fargo, ND and graduated from Valley City, ND high school in 1973. He attended Valley City State University for pre-chiropractic and attended Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN and received Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 1979. In August of 1980 he went into private practice in Jamestown, ND and had a solo practice until 1995 at which time he brought in an associate who still practices with him. In 2005, Dwight’s son, Nick, joined the practice as another associate. Dwight is married to Gwen and they have two children, Nicholas (H’99) and Nicole (H’99), both married. Dwight and Gwen are currently members of Victory Lutheran Brethren Church in Jamestown where Dwight has served in the past as chairman of the congregation and has also served 17 years on the elder board. He is a member of the Christian Chiropractic Association, serves on the board of Vern Baardson Ministries, and as secretary and treasurer of the North Dakota State Board of Examiners.

Richard Heggland | Vice-Chairman

Born to Thomas (H’47) and Sophie (AH) Heggland, Rich graduated from Hillcrest Academy in 1971. He attended Minot State College and received BA in Mathematics in 1975. In 1984, after finishing two years of accounting requirements from the University of South Florida he received his CPA. Rich is married to Linda (H’73), daughter of Trygve and Marie (B’46) Jensen. They have three children, Erika (H’98), David (H’01) and Amanda (H’05). Richard has worked as Controller for 16 years with Summit Consulting, Inc. in Lakeland, FL, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Group, administering $1 Billion in Workers’ Compensation insurance in 10 states. Richard and his family are currently members of Sunshine Lutheran Brethren Church in Holiday, Florida. He is a Chairman, Elder, Sunday School Teacher and Pianist. He has also served as Youth Director at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Brethren in Minot, North Dakota and as Dean of Students at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.

Rod Scheel | Secretary

A native of West Fargo, North Dakota, Rod graduated from high school in 1967. He attended North Dakota State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and electronic engineering in

The HLA Board of Directors serves as the governing board of Hillcrest. It oversees the school mission, vision, & strategic plans, and holds HLA leadership accountable to carry out those plans through positive school operations. The Board meets 5 times each year. 1971. Rod also earned a Master of Science degree in power engineering in 1973 from South Dakota State University. In 1973 he joined Otter Tail Power Company on a fulltime basis as an Engineer in the System Protection Department. His present position is Vice President, Asset Management.

Rod is married to Jo and they have four children, Lindsey, Courtney(H’01), Jesse(H’03), Abby(H’05) – all attended HLA. The Scheels are active members of Calvary Free Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. In the community, Rod is a past President of Sunrise Rotary, United Way Board member and past President, 1992 United Way Campaign Chairperson, and a member of the Northern Lights Council Boy Scouts of America Executive Board.

Rich Iverson

Rich was raised on a family farm in South Dakota and in the Lutheran Brethren Church in Toronto, SD. He graduated from Deubrook High School in White, SD in 1979 and attended Lutheran Brethren Bible College in 1979-1980. Rich then graduated from Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle with an Associate in Biblical Studies in 1982. In 1984 he received a Bachelors Degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and in 1990 a Masters of Divinity Degree from Lutheran Brethren Seminary. Rich is married to Karen and they have five children, Danae, Kari, Britta, Sophia and Isaac. Kari is a sophomore at HLA this year. Rich and his wife, Karen, spent 2 years, from 1985 to 1987, in Nigeria with Lutheran Brethren World Missions as House parents. Since graduating from Lutheran Brethren Seminary Rich has served 3 churches, Bethesda in Eau Claire, WI from 1990-1993, Good Shepherd in Buda, TX from 1993-2000, and currently Hope Lutheran Brethren of Barnesville, MN since 2000.

Lisa Schultz-Fred

Lisa was raised in Fergus Falls, MN, and is daughter to former Mayor Kelly Ferber. Currently living in Fergus Falls, Lisa previously lived on Ten Mile Lake were she owned and operated Ten Mile Lake Resort with late-husband Pat, who was killed in a biking accident in 2005.


Lisa has three children, Ben (H’05), Jenna(H’06), and Jared, currently a sophomore at HLA. Lisa attends the Church of the Nazarene in Fergus Falls, MN. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and works for Freedom in Christ ministries as a speaker and seminar leader. Lisa also serves as Board rep to the HLA Parent Advisory Team.

Burdean Rogness

Burdean is semi-retired, living in Eden Prairie, MN and invests with two other partners in real estate ventures. He was born and raised in Joice, Iowa. Burdean graduated from Hillcrest Academy in 1956, attended LBS Bible Department in 1958, and attended North Iowa Jr. College & Sales Training Institute. He is married to Kay and they have four children. Kim, Jodi and Liesl are all HLA graduates, Joe graduated from Edina High School. Burdean worked in business equipment sales for eleven years with Pitney Bowes Inc. He created and maintained Midwest Mailing Systems Inc. for twenty five years, then sold to partners who have since expanded the business. Burdean has served on the CLB Board of Trustees and in several congregational leadership offices.

Marty Valder

Marty serves as Senior Pastor at Hope LB Church at Silver Lake in Everett, WA. He was born May 22, 1958 in Superior, WI, son of Fred and A. Mayling Valder. Marty graduated from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in May of 1976. He then graduated from Dickinson State University in Dickinson, ND with BA in Business in1980. Marty is married to Miriam J. (Dokken) Valder. “Mim” is 1973 Hillcrest grad and 1976 Bible grad. Marty worked in the grocery business


for a number of years in North Dakota before being called into pastoral ministry. He graduated from Lutheran Brethren Seminary in May of 1995 and has served Hope Church since. Marty and Mim have three children, Jeffrey, Alyssa and Bethany. Jeffrey is a 2002 graduate of HLA. Marty currently serves on the CLBA “Lead On” Task force chaired by GT Gunhus.

Olav Sandnes

Olav was born in Westchester, NY and raised in Norway. He graduated from King’s College in 1979 and continued studies at Pace University, graduating in 1982. Olav is a member of Mt. Bethel LB Church in Mt. Bethel, PA. He owns and operates a nutritional supplement laboratory and business which specializes in Omega 3. Olav is married to Gina, and they have 4 children. Their son, William graduated from HLA last year, and daughter Rachel is currently attending as a sophomore. Olav has served for over 10 years on the Bangor, PA school board.

Kathy Johnson

Kathy grew up in LaCrosse, WI and continued her education at both the University of Minnesota and Augsburg college. She worked in the telecom industry for fourteen years before moving to Fergus Falls in 1990. Kathy is currently a member of Bethel LB Church in Fergus Falls where she serves on the women’s ministry team. She and her husband, Denny own and operate the Floor to Ceiling business in Fergus Falls. Kathy and Denny have one daughter, Kristin, who is currently a 7th grader at Hillcrest. Kathy has a background in marketing, and is very excited about getting involved in the Hillcrest community.

Preston (continued from page 5) HC: Beyond teaching and coaching, you have also had a vital leadership role in several mission ventures outside of the school. Will you be doing that again this year? GP: One of the more exciting aspects of the school has been the development of the mission ventures and outreaches from Hillcrest. I know that it has been life-changing for parents, teachers and students who have taken the Gospel to the inner cities of St. Louis, Florida, Mexico and other venues around the state. Lord willing, I will be going with the mission trip to Chihuahua next month.

GP: As a result of the outreaches to Mexico, the Lord put a desire in our family’s heart to open our home to children who needed a home. This past year, our family adopted an 11 year old girl named Susana from an orphanage in Mexico. We are grateful to God that He chose her to be in our family and for the miracles of our great God that we have been able to experience in the adoption of Susana.

HC: Your work in Mexico has also brought about some major changes in your family life. Can you tell us about your new daughter? From the cover: Coach preston observes from the sideline.



Charitable CONNECTION A generous man will be prosperous; And he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25 There are many amazing promises for those who are generous toward others. A gifting method that not only benefits the charity but can also be very beneficial to the donor is the Charitable Remainder Unitrust. This trust is a good option to consider if you have property that has appreciated in value, you would like to receive income from the property and you have an interest in giving to a charity. If you have property that was purchased many years ago such as land or stock and you were to sell the property there could be a substantial tax. The tax is based on the gain in the property value. The gain will be subject to federal capital gains tax and in most cases is also subject to state capital gains tax. You could end up losing a fifth of the value of the property due to the tax. The Charitable Remainder Unitrust not only avoids a substantial tax but can often provide a higher income payment to the donor. This Unitrust has three very important benefits. First, it can eliminate the capital gains tax. Secondly, it can increase income. In many cases the yield earned by the trust is significantly higher than the yield on the growth asset. Thirdly, there will be a substantial charitable income tax deduction. This deduction is based on the age and payout rate of the donor. The charity does not receive payment from the trust until after all of the income payments have been made for the selected life or lives. Then the trust remainder is distributed to the charity. Let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information. I can be reached at 888-844-7324. Let’s be generous toward God. Keven Crabtree RFC Securities offered through USAllianz Securities Member NASD, SIPC, Registered Investment Advisor 5701 Golden Hills Drive Minneapolis, MN 55416 888.446.5872

Endowments Help at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Academy benefits from a growing number of established endowments for student scholarships and general operations. Contributions may be added to any endowment. Consider a gift in honor of one from the following list. For further assistance in setting up endowments, contact the HLA President’s Office at (218) 739-3371. HLA Class of 1950 HLA Class of 1954 HLA Class of 1957 HLA Building Fund Bethany LBC, Mason City, IA Hope LBC, Barnesville, MN Arlton, Stan Bridston, Alfred & Gladys Broen, H. & C. Roholt Davis, Signe Egge, Esther Egge, Joseph & Blenda Egge, Marion Erickson, C.F. & Leona Fosdal, Ingvald & Clara Foss, Johnnie O. & Florence Foss, Mable Freeland, Peter & Agnes Haegeland, Irene Hagen, E.O & A.H. Halvorson, Elling & Barbara Hammond, Doug

Helgesen, Karl Johnerson, Carl & Hannah Lando, Inez Levang, J.H & Silence Olsoe, Ed & Clara Olson, James & Linda Peterson, Ed & LaVonne Rangen, Paul Samuelsen, John Senum, Reidar & Norma Senum, Tellef & Betty Seybold, Nina Sjule, Oscar & Clara Skovolt, Albert Stemsrud, Al & Joyce Svaren, Palmer Undseth, Joseph Vigessa, Herluf Weltzin, Mr & Mrs Alfred Williams, Lewis H. Windahl, William & Agnes


YTD Actuals

Support & Revenue Contributions Operations (Tuition, Room, Meals) Other Revenue

$202,000 $979,000 $33,000

Total Support & Revenue


Expenses Payroll & Personnel Operations SAC Debt Service (Net Transfers)

$715,000 $447,000 $65,000

Total Expenses


Total Net Income


YTD Budget

238,000 952,000 57,000

1,247,000 612,000 524,000 59,000 1,195,000 52,000

LINE OF CREDIT SUMMARY Amount Amount of LOC Based on HLA Endowments Held $850,000 Amount of LOC Borrowed $600,000 Available LOC


STUDENT ACTIVITIES CENTER LOAN INFORMATION Original Loan Amount Total Loan Amount Due Principal Paid against Loan to Date Monthly Payments (Interest & Principal)

As of 1/31/08 $1,326,565.33 $1,159,036.41 $167,528.92 $8,420.00


Club Giving Levels Club|120 Club|500 Exclusive Benefits:

Exclusive Benefits:

• Receive a complimentary Hillcrest t-shirt

• Receive a complimentary Hillcrest sweatshirt

budget. As a result, they assist in keeping tuition rates low, making a Hillcrest education attainable for more students. Additionally, member support helps to secure Hillcrest’s financial foundation into the future, ensuring that it will remain able to provide quality, Christian education for years to come. There is no limit to the term of your enrollment provided your continued desire to participate in the club each year. As personal circumstances change, club members may opt to move up to a new giving level.



Every club member will enjoy the following annual benefits:

Exclusive Benefits:

Exclusive Benefits:

• Receive periodic school update letters from the President of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

• Receive periodic school update letters from the President of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

• Receive a handsome $1000 Club plaque

• Receive a handsome $5000 Club plaque

• Be listed as a Club member in the HLA Annual Report and every issue of the Hillcrest Connection. • Receive a Season Pass for home sporting events each year the club membership amount is received. • Receive a complimentary subscription to the school news letter, HLA Today (during the school year). • Additional benefits are available at each club giving level.

• Have the option as a Business/ Organization of being listed on Hillcrest website with an internet link to your website

Why support Hillcrest Academy as a club member? Club members become partners in the ministry of Hillcrest Academy by helping to support the school’s annual operational

How do I join? Joining a Hillcrest giving club is simple. Just fill out the attached envelope and send it in with your gift. Make sure to check the box next to the club you would like to join. Gifts may be given monthly or in one lump sum. Please contact the President’s office at 218-739-3371 if you have any questions.

10000-5000-1000-500-120 Club Membership George & Alice Aase Roy & Marie Barsness Irv & Kay Bergsagel Tim and Mary Bigelow Paul & Olive Blikstad Catherine Brokke Benjamin Brue Charlie & Carrie Brue Matthew & Faith Brue Nicolas Brue Steve & Linda Brue Titus Brue Thor & Edna Bugge Lorraine Burt John & Larissa Campbell Keven & Debbie Crabtree Lane & Lori Christopherson Thelma P. Dalene John N. Endrud Spencer Endrud Rich & Jeanene Engebretson Elroy and Judy Erickson Gerald and Sheri Erickson Micah Erickson Ryan Erickson Carol Featherstone Lori Fedje Gay & Carol Folden Mark & Joan Folden David & Ruthann Forland E. Thor & Lillian Foss Mark & Joanne Foss Lisa Schultz-Fred Sharon Fuhrman Wayne & Ruth Goats

Fergus Falls, MN Kirkland, WA Minnetonka, MN Erhard, MN Dalton, MN Minneapolis, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN St. Louis Park, MN Minneapolis, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Willow Street, PA Woodbury, MN Vermillion, SD Fergus Falls, MN Lynnwood, WA East Hartland, CT Rockford, IL Fargo, ND Edina, MN Vancouver, Wa Mukilteo, WA Redding, CA Chandler, AZ New Hope, MN Beaverton, OR Fergus Falls, MN San Jose, CA Huntington , NY Succasunna, NJ Glastonbury, CT Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Scottsdale, AZ

Adleide Gunhus GT & Ann Gunhus Elling & Barbara Halvorson Evelyn Hansen Greg & Rita Hayek Kim Hazel Joy Headrick Amanda Heggland Rich & Linda Heggland Diane Ihrke Jeff & Missi Isaac Rich & Karen Iverson Gladys Jensen Fred & Elsie Johnson Tim & Karen Johnson Vaughn and Deb Kavlie John & Janet Kilde Kermit & Grace Kvamme Jack & Sharon Lacey Frank & Elaine Legerat Lawn Pro of Fergus Falls Patricia Linson Lloyd & Thelma Listor Steve & Heidi Listor Harry Ludvigsen Dennis & Dorothy Madsen Brad & Trena Martinson Masson Family Foundation Luther & Adeline Mathison Tom & Gladys Moline Alice Monson Peter & Lillian Nilsen William & Marcia Nilsen John & Donna Olson Wesley & Ruth Orrestad

Fergus Falls, MN Underwood, MN Woodinville, WA Snohomish, WA Fergus Falls, MN Eden Prarie, MN Denver, CO Gainesville, FL New Port Richey, FL Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Barnesville, MN Staten Island, NY Boone, IA Little Falls, MN Eden Prairie, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Wendell, MN Fairbanks, AK Fergus Falls, MN Fargo, ND Brooklyn, NY Mt. Bethel, PA Kerhonkson, NY Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Laguna Beach, CA Maddock, ND Wahpeton, ND Minneapolis, MN Brewster, NY East Hartland, CT Fergus Falls, MN Bellevue, WA

Graham & Priscilla Parker Rollin & Beverly Pederson Irv & Helen Peterson Frank & Karen Pellegrino Gregg and Marie Preston Burdean & Kay Rogness Darren Rogness Glenn & Vonnie Rogness LaWayne & Bev Rogness Eugene & Rhoda Rubey Ron and Barbara Samuelsen Jack and Rochelle Sand Dahlia Sandnes Olav & Gina Sandnes Will Sandnes Dwight & Gwen Schmidt Nick & Danielle Schmidt Ewald & Alice Sems Norma Senum Ed & Shirley Smith Eleanor Sollie James & Pauline Stalsberg Arna Stedjan Robert and Lorrette Strack Shawn & Amy Stroud Wai Nam Tam Gary & Dorinne Thompson Rosemary Traina Randy & Diane Trettevik Marvin & Opal Undseth Steve & Lois Undseth Marty & Mim Valder Ruth Vall James VerSteeg Bettee Woodburn

Richland, WA Billings, MT Menominee, WI Mt. Bethel, PA Fergus Falls, MN Eden Prairie, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Eugene, OR East Hartland, CT Moorhead, MN Northfield, MN Mt. Bethel, PA Minneapolis, MN Jamestown, ND Jamestown, ND Lehigh Acres, FL Mt. Bethel, PA Laquey, MO Brooklyn, NY Viroqua, WI Fergus Falls, MN Rochester, MN Basehor, KS Flanders, NJ Fergus Falls, MN Roxbury, NJ Mill Creek, WA Salem, OR Fergus Falls, MN Everett, WA Aitkin, MN Fergus Falls, MN Rolling Hills, CA





Hillcrest Academy’s Weekly News Update


They Need Your Help Hillcrest Students sponsor two kids from Uganda by Zach Lewison

Hillcrest is a school that thrives on being set apart and making a difference. The studen ts now have anoth er opportunity to do so by supporting two children in Uganda who have very little compared to what we have. Hillcrest has joined with Compassion International in sponsoring Albert and Phoebe. Both Albert and Phoebe are from Uganda, a poverty stricken nation, and they need our help. Phoebe is an 11 year-old who lives in the hills of Mbale Suburb, which is home to approximately 400,000 people. Phoebe lives with her mother, father, and five other siblings. She carries out several duties to help keep her family going. For her family, she carries water, gathers firewood, and cares for her siblings. Both of her parents are sometimes employed as farmers. It is hard to imagine how difficult it is to provide for a family with six kids, especially when they live in a town where the average person makes an equivalent to $20 a month. With all of Phoebe’s responsibilities, she also attend s primar y schoo l. Compa ssion has allowe d Phoeb e to be able to participate in many church activities. Her favorite things to do are singing, story telling, and playing with dolls.

Hillcrest is also sponsoring Albert, a 13-year-old boy from Kaese, Uganda. Albert’s situation is very similar to Phoebe’s. He lives with his mother, father, and two other siblings. He also does various things to help his family. He carries water, gathers firewood, and cares for the animals. His parents are also sometimes employed as farmers. Their financial situation is very similar to Phoebe’s. Albert attends primary school where his performance is average. His favorite things to do are playing soccer, singing, and reading. Every Friday in chapel an offering is collected for these two children. The studen t body has kept up with the payments of $64 a month, except for

getting behind in the summer. “It would be nice if we could get ahead so next fall we aren’t behind,” said Mr. Peterson. As a student body we could also give $300 a year which would double their family’s income.



The New Streak Hillcrest girls basketball team ends 53-game losing streak and goes on a threegame winning streak.

by Zach Lewison “ The monke y is finally off our back,” said Hilary Ouse after the girls basketball team won their first game since December 28 th, 2005. Friday, Januar y 18 th was just a regula r season confer ence game for the Hillcre st Comet s basket ball team, but you couldn’t tell by how the fans stormed the court once the clock ticked zero as the Hilcrest Comets girls basket ball team defeat ed Parkers Prairie 65-61. This sparked a three game winnin g streak for the Comets. Senior Cari Jo Hohnc ke said, “We all have a new attitud e where

we expect to win and where we play as a team.” Sam Hanson said, “Our hard work is finally paying off, and it’s nice to get some wins.” Sam is one the three seniors who have been on the team for the duratio n of the fif t y- game losing skid. Another S e n i o r, Ta w neke Cloud, said “It’s cool to be

known as the class and team to break the streak.”

New Faces Students come to join Hillcrest dorm and school life second seme

ster. by Elizabeth Crowley Joining the Hillcrest student body he sat on the chair in the girl’s dorm, he ate from Hillcrest. He came to experience this winter are several new students. commented, “Its way better than my old American culture. Peter Kristinsson, Tim Churchill and Ha school.” “I didn’t know what to expect, and Sun Jeung are three that have joined the Tim Churchill is also a junior, and is it’s very different,” he said while sitting boys dorm. from Omaha, Nebraska. His parents had at a computer. Thankfully, Ha Sun has Peter is in eleventh grade, and is from been looking for a boarding school for already found friends who are making Littleton, Colorado. “I came here because him to go to last year. He original ly didn’t him feel more at home as he becomes I wanted to grow spiritually, have fun, and want to come, but after visiting , decided accustomed to life at Hillcrest. I already had friends going to Hillcrest.” that he liked Hillcrest. Tim has joined the These new guys are becoming a part His sister attended Hillcrest before, basketball team, and is enjoying school. of the boys dorm family, and are getting and had encouraged him to come. Peter’s “It’s been good so far,” he said. along well. “They seem really cool and experience here has been better than Ha Sun Jeung is from Seoul, Korea, have adapted well to school,” Paul Kallehe expected. He received a very warm and arrived this last weeken d. He is a berg commented. welcome from other students. And as sophomore, and is planning to gradu-



April 11-12, 2008 Hillcrest Academy

June 18, 2008 Pebble Lake Golf Course

Once again local gyms will be packed with action this April as teams from near and far converge on Fergus Falls for the 42nd annual HIT’s. This year 64 teams in 4 divisions will compete to claim the title of champion.

Save the date for the 4th annual HIT Golf Tournament at Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls, MN. The tournament is conveniently scheduled to follow the CLBA annual convention. Email for registration info. Business sponsorship opportunities are available for holes and carts.

4th Annual Auction

st for the Hillcre Fundraising ities Center iv Student Act ip Program h rs la o ch and S

April 19, 2008 HLA Student Activities Center Chili Feed at 5:00pm Live Auction at 5:30pm

(Auction conducted by Aasness Auctioneers) If you wish to donate, suggested items include: • Crafts • Baked Goods (pies, jams, etc.) • Quilts • Gift Certificates • Furniture • Services • Antiques (no garage sale items please) For more information, contact a member of the HLA Parent Advisory Team: Cary Aasness Steve Brue Andy Lacey Trena Martinson Lisa Schultz-Fred Amy Taylor Lori Hestenes

218-589-8598 218-739-3371 218-458-2213 218-739-4870 218-998-3733 218-739-3172 218-736-0827




FOOTBALL The cooperative team of Hillcrest and Pelican Rapids had another outstanding year, going 11-3-2 in regular season play. The boys’ team defeated Detroit Lakes and St. John’s Prep to advance to the Section 8A finals in St. Cloud, where they lost the championship game 3-0 to St. Cloud Cathedral.

The Comets were 4-4 during the regular season. They defeated Bertha-Hewitt 27-14 in their first playoff game, but then lost to Verndale, the section team that went on to State. The Comets will be switching back to the Pheasant Conference next year.

BOYS SOCCER Over forty girls were part of the girls Hillcrest-Pelican Rapids soccer team in 2007. The girls were 4-10-1 in the regular season. They lost their first round play-off game to Detroit Lakes 3-0.

GIRLS SOCCER In regular season play, the Lady Comets were 4-17. The girls were able to stretch their first play-off match against West Central Area to five games, but ended up losing 15-12 in the final game.



The boys continue their winning ways with an 18-6 regular season record, earning second place in the Little Eight Conference. They defeated Hancock 70-66 in first round playoff action and bested Brandon-Evansville 79-47 in the second round. The Comets will play Wheaton in the third round of playoffs.

The girls ended a 53-game losing streak, defeating Parkers Prairie 65-61. They ended their regular season with a record of 4 wins and 20 losses. They lost their first round playoff game 41-43 against Henning.




T-SHIRTS - $15 Rear Graphic

- 3 Designs - 3 Colors


COMET GEAR The Junior class is selling Comet Gear as a fundraiser for JuniorSenior Banquet 2008. For more details or to place an order, please call Sharlene at 218.739.3371

LONG SLEEVE T’S - $18 - 3 Designs (same as t-shirts) - 3 Colors (same as t-shirts)

CREW SWEATSHIRT - $26 HOODED SWEATSHIRT - $32 - Available in red, white and gray - Embroidered and Screened designs - Child sizes available


- Available in red, white and gray



Hillcrest Class Reunions and Graduation Weekend 2008 We love the expressions on faces of alumni returning to the HLA campus. It isn’t long before the memories become stories for the telling and retelling. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Hillcrest campus for this year’s Alumni reunions and Graduation festivities. Plans have begun… it won’t be long before Friday, May 23rd rolls around. I hope you’re making plans to share the weekend with us. The Alumni Brunch is built into the weekend as a nice gathering place for alumni. Enjoy the brunch and short program with classmates, followed by a picture of your class. We’ve enjoyed using the new Student Activities Center to host this event on Saturday morning. If you have not yet registered for this memorable event, please see the information at the bottom of this page to find out how. There’s not much we enjoy more at HLA than seeing our alumni back on campus. Come and enjoy this rich time of fellowship and renewal. You’ll be glad you participated!

2008 Alumni Brunch You are cordially invited to the 2008 HLA Alumni Brunch. The cost for the event is $10 per person.

Steven J. Brue, HLA President

Graduation Weekend 2008 Schedule Friday, May 23

All School Concert

Bethel Lutheran Church

7:30 pm

Saturday, May 24

Please RSVP with names of those attending, their graduation years and basic contact info by Wednesday, May 14 to Ryan Erickson at connection@ffhillcrest. org. You may also RSVP by phone at 218.739.1223.

Hillcrest Alumni Brunch HLA Student Activities Center 10:00 am Senior Honors Awards Bethel Lutheran Church 3:30 pm

If you are mailing payment, please make checks payable to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. You may also pay on the day of the event.

Sunday, May 25

Senior Honors Dinner

Bethel Lutheran Church

4:30 pm

Senior Class Night

HLA Student Activities Center

7:30 pm

HLA Student Activities Center

10:00 am





We are pleased to announce the birth of our first son, Timothy Abel Aguirre, born on November 19, 2007. Priscilla (Abel) Aguirre (H ‘81)


Garry Wold (H’61) submits a photo of five Hillcrest friends reuniting in Florida. Pictured from left to right: Dan Salveson, Garry Wold, Ed Sandnes, Walter (Ole) Olsen, Thor Ostensen. Pamela Dickson (Knutson, H’65) writes: My husband, Larry and I have recently returned from seven years on the Mission field. We lived and ministered in Yemen, Cyprus and Malaysia. We are continuing to serve with the interdenominational mission agency Interserve as Pacific Northwest Mission Mobilizers. We will be traveling, speaking and working from our home in Oregon. We arrived in Sept in time for our eldest daughter’s wedding, the second to be married; we are enjoying having our youngest at home this year as she works on her Master’s degree in Special Ed. Pictured left to right: Alan & Kari, Christina, Cassie & Isaiah, Pamela & Larry


The 35 year reunion for the class of 1973 will be Saturday, May 24 at the home of Dave and Viv Bjornlie Vivian (Rognes) Bjornlie (H’73) Elayne (Hanson-Ronningen) Michaelis (H’74) writes: I was married to Bennett Michaelis on June 23, 07 in Medora, ND. I have moved to his home in the country about 8 miles from Cooperstown, ND. I continue to work as a bank teller/bookkeeper and I am involved at Zion Lutheran Church in Cooperstown. I became a Grandma to Peter Alexander two years ago! My sons Joel (Lydia & Peter), John and Jared are grown and in St. Cloud, Fargo & Fergus Falls--so not that far away. Would love to hear from some old classmates!


Deb (Ness) Johnson (B’80) passed away December 20, 2007 at her home in Pelican Rapids, MN. She was born June 27, 1960 in Fort Dodge, IA to Allan and Phyllis (Reisem H’53) Ness. She married Todd Johnson (H’ 75, B’80) on September 4, 1982. They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Her funeral was held on December 24, 2007 at Hope Lutheran Brethren Church in Barnesville, MN. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Ann Peterson (H’83,B’92) writes: ATTENTION Class of 1983 – it’s our 25th High School Reunion! Space has been reserved at Mable Murphy’s on Saturday evening, May 24, 2008, 6 PM for dinner. RSVP to Ann Peterson at or cell phone number: 612-227-2763. Bring your photos of our high school days for us to reminisce and current photos of you for us to catch up on life with everyone! It will be great to see all of you! I am also very excited to announce my engagement to Steve Lovcik, originally of Wahpeton, ND. We are planning a June 14, 2008 wedding and will live at his home in New Hope, MN. We are both very thankful to God for bringing us together! We are happy to announce the birth of our son, Micah David Aitchison. He was born January 2, 2008. He weighed 10 lbs 11 oz and was 23 inches long. Micah joins big sisters Mallory (10) and McKenna (7). We are so thankful God has blessed our family once again. Mark and Michelle (Ellis) Aitchison (H’89)


Mary Newton (H’92) writes: I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota where I am pursuing a doctorate in organ performance. In addition to my academic studies, I also work at a Lutheran church in Plymouth, MN and teach private piano.


Paula Netolicky (H’01) is serving the Lord by working as a missionary in the Philippines with Food for the Hungry. She was commissioned for a 4-year term, and went over to the Philippines in October 2006. She is now in her second year and is the Health Program Manager of FH/Philippines. Sarah Sarine (H‘02) married Jonathan Johnson and Andrea Sarine (H‘03) married John Kay in a double wedding on August 18, 2007. The grooms and their families have been good friends since childhood. Andrea and John met and started dating freshman year at Union University back in 2003. They introduced



CLASS UPDATES Sarah to Jonathan in 2006 and the rest is history. They were wed at the Patten Chapel (100 year old chapel in Chattanooga, TN) and celebrated with a reception at Rock City on Lookout Mountain. Andrea and John both Jonathan and Sarah graduated from Union University in May ‘07. Andrea is currently an RN at a local Chattanooga hospital. John is working on a Master’s in Criminal Justice and working at a local sports store. Sarah has one year John and Andrea left of Shenandoah University’s Physician’s Assistant program in Winchester, VA. Jonathan graduated from Tennessee Tech and is an elementary school teacher (4th grade). Evan Strom (H’05) writes: Well, I’m still attending Minnesota State Community and Technical College (MSCTC) in Fergus Falls in my second year here. I’d love to hear from classmates - here’s my email address



Grad Year Complete this form and mail it to Hillcrest Connection, 610 Hillcrest Drive, Fergus Address Falls, MN 56537, or email your update to City, State, Zip Phone Email News


Picture Caption

We would appreciate your help in selecting candidates for the 2008 “Alumnus of the Year.” Please submit the name(s) of Alumni whom you believe are deserving of recognition and fall into the following criteria: • Have graduated from Hillcrest Academy • Have demonstrated faithful service in church, community and/or nation • Have shown continued interest in the mission and ministry of Hillcrest Academy Please email the name, address and a summary of your reasons for nominating this person to President Steve Brue at You may also contact Steve by phone at 218.739.3371. Deadline for nominations is May 18, 2008.


Three ways to

Make a Difference at Hillcrest

Create an endowment.

You can do this now with cash or stock, or later with an estate gift. Your fund will make a lasting difference by producing income every year for the stated purpose.

Leave a bequest.

Designate an amount or percentage of your estate for a specific purpose or for unrestricted use. Such gifts provide encouragement and always make a difference.

Give “obsolete” insurance.

You may no longer need the protection of a life insurance policy and can transfer ownership to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, thereby making a significant difference to us and providing yourself with an income charitable deduction now. Contact Steve Brue at 218-739-3371 or for more information


HIT’s Auction Graduation Weekend HIT Golf Homecoming 2008

Non-Profit US Postage

April 11-12 April 19 May 23-25 June 18 Sept. 29 - Oct. 4

Fergus Falls, MN Permit #14

Upcoming Events

Coming Next Issue... • Graduation 2008 • Alumni Reunions • HIT Recap • Profile

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 610 Hillcrest Drive Fergus Falls, MN 56537

As a reminder, all donations designated to Hillcrest must be made payable to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. If you plan to bequeath a gift to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in your will, please state Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in your paperwork. If you have questions, please contact the HLA President’s Office, at (218)739-3371.


HLA alumni and friends have asked for clarification on their gifting to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy since the reorganization process in 2003. Previous to 2003, gifts that were designated to Lutheran Brethren Schools (LBS) were distributed among the Seminary, LCCL, and Hillcrest. Currently, any gifts that are written to LBS go directly to Lutheran Brethren Seminary.


Giving Clarification:

Hillcrest Connection Spring 2008  

A magazine for friends and alumni of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Spring 2008 Issue.

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