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Spring 2009 • Volume 70 • Number 3


Inside this Issue: Twenty Year Anniversary Christmas Highlights Alumni Art Show



GREETING Dear Alumni and Friends,

Another school year draws quickly to a close. HLA seniors are counting the days with mixed emotions. Reflecting back, can you remember those last days of your high school experience? Was it “…so much to do, and so little time…,” or “…I can’t wait to get out of this place!...”?

During these visits with alumni, what inevitably comes up is the comment, “…those were some of the best years of my life.” While there certainly are other memorable life experiences (marriage, children, vacations, grandchildren, to name just a few), I hear the passion expressed in those words. Something significant must have happened.

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 In my recent travels and visits with HLA alumni around the country, I have heard some hilarious stories, and a lot of variations on the same themes (choir tour, athletic contests, chapel, dorm life, favorite teachers, car riding…). It makes sense, when we realize a multitude of teenagers down through the years have lived in the same tight quarters sharing the same hallways, cafeteria, and social schedules.

Here’s what I believe. God met students at Hillcrest, and changed their lives. He used teachers, events, friendships, mentors, and other experiences to express his truth, grace, forgiveness, and love. It is my prayer that each graduate will look back on these years at Hillcrest as a time that God got a hold of them in a unique way and changed their lives for his glory.

Steven J. Brue, HLA President

P.S.- Please come and share Graduation Weekend with us – May 22-24, 2009.

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 09.


CONTENTS 4 Feature

Danielsen & Hillcrest Celebrate Twenty Years

7 Special Interest Alumni Art Show

8 Finance

Charitable Connection Financial Update

10 Campus News Christmas Highlights Academic Teams Compete Athletic Update

14 Alumni News

Reunions Graduation Weekend Alumnus of the Year Nominations Alumni Updates

Spring 2009 The Hillcrest Connection is published quarterly by Hillcrest Academy. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 610 Hillcrest Drive Fergus Falls, MN 56537-2699 STEVE BRUE | President Editor-in-Chief CONNIE JENSEN Managing Editor RYAN ERICKSON Graphic Design STEVE HOFFBECK Contributing Writer KEVEN CRABTREE Contributing Writer





The mission of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is to equip students in a Christ-centered, Bible-based environment for a life of significance.





THE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION It was a grand way to end the month of February. With temperatures well below freezing, not even the cold could stop the celebration honoring the 20 year anniversary of two school families, Hillcrest Academy and the Danielsen Skole of Bergen, Norway. “Nearly 550 students from Bergen, Norway have lived on the HLA campus. That’s worth celebrating,” said Lars Danielsen, Head of the Danielsen Skole in a conversation with Hillcrest President Steve Brue about a year ago. His idea set in motion the plans for a big celebration which would include a student event on Friday, February 27th and a special banquet at the Bigwood Event Center on Saturday, February 28th. Both events were hosted by the Danielsen School, as a thank you to Hillcrest Academy, but also as a testimony of the Lord’s working to bring blessings that have benefited both schools. HLA faculty/staff and their spouses, Board members, and community dignitaries

and friends filled the banquet hall along with seven Norwegian representatives and the 29 currently enrolled Norwegian students. Lars and Gunvor Danielsen, Birger Danielsen, Abjorn Ystebo, BjarteYstebo, Nils Ivar Brennhaug and his daughter Elizabeth represented the Danielsen Skole, sharing their observations and reflections on the long-standing relationship at both events. The banquet concluded with special recognition to individuals who had been a significant part of the relationship. A banner commemorating the anniversary was presented to both schools, and gifts were also exchanged. In honor of the Danielsen/ Hillcrest relationship, the Hillcrest soccer teams will begin their next season playing on the newly named “Danielsen Soccer Field,” located on the Hillcrest campus.





The distance between Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and Bergen, Norway, is three-thousand-eight-hundred-and-seventythree miles. Two schools, the Danielson School of Norway and Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, are situated half-a-world apart, but they have grown closely together.

For twenty years now, Norwegian students from Bergen have spent their junior years in the U.S. at Hillcrest Academy. These teenagers have grown close to other Hillcrest teens as classmates, teammates, dorm buddies, best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, and, for some, even as husbands and wives. Looking back on twenty years of cooperation in this exchange program, it is a remarkable partnership. How did this Norwegian and American connection begin?




It goes back to the very foundations of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, for, in 1900, the founding fathers had been immigrants from Norway and they worked to keep their Christian faith strong and their Norwegian language and heritage vital. In 1939, the crown prince and princess of Norway, Olav and Martha, spent a day at the Hillcrest Academy campus with a special program held in the old school gymnasium. Even with an interest in things that were Norwegian, there was a vast gulf that separated a small high school in Fergus Falls from a Christian skole (school) in Bergen, on the coast of Norway. That distance was diminished in 1988 when Asbjorn Ysteboe, a teacher in the Danielsen School journeyed to America. Mr. Ysteboe and a fellow Norwegian teacher named Arne Mikal Landro, were scouting out the American landscape, looking for a school where they could send some of their students for a year-long educational experience. Ysteboe and Landro hoped to find an American school that could meet three “pertinent criteria”---it had to be a “Christian Skole (School); the “setting had to be quiet;” and it had to be “rich in Norwegian influence.” It also had to be a boarding school that could host a substantial number of students, as many as thirty per year. 1 In that same season, autumn of 1988, Hillcrest faced an enrollment crisis. Long-time principal Bill Colbeck was nearly worn out by his concerns and the never-ending workload he faced in trying to keep a small private high school solvent. Enrollment fell to an all-time low as some of the old Norwegian-American family connections to the East Coast and West Coast seemed to be weakening. All of these troubles brought Bill Colbeck to his knees in 1988. On a summer morning, in his office on the first floor of the red-brick-walled academy, Bill Colbeck began his morning prayers. His secretary was in her anteroom office just outside Colbeck’s office door. The weary principal prayed very simply, having no other place to go: “Lord, this is your school, we put our trust in You.” Just as he “was getting up from praying,” Colbeck recalled, his secretary knocked on his door and she said: “There are two gentlemen here from Norway who would like to visit with you.” Principal Colbeck did not know that anyone was planning to arrive at his door that day, having received no prior communication from the two visitors. “I believe they were God-sent,” testified Colbeck.

For Mr. Ysteboe and Mr. Landro, it seemed that they had found the right place. The Norwegians told Colbeck that as soon as “they walked into the hallway on the first floor” that day and “saw the photographs” of the graduates on the wall with so many Norwegian names, “it looked like it was a match.” Hillcrest’s “strong Christian emphasis” and the fact that the school’s “leaders and pastors were mature Christians” was a vital aspect for making a match with the Danielson School. The Danielson School shared roots in the pietistic movement of the Hauge Synod, stressing a personal relationship with Christ and a devotion to reading the Bible and trying to live a quiet and godly life. With their shared heritage, the two schools worked on an agreement to arrange for the education of Norwegian students at Hillcrest Academy, but the number of exchange students was at first unclear. 2

Ysteboe asked: “Would you take two students?” “Yes,” said Colbeck, “we would take two.” “Would you take five?,” inquired Ysteboe. Colbeck responded, “Yes, we would take five.” Ysteboe: “Would you take eight? Colbeck: “Yes.” Ysteboe: “Would you take twenty?”

At that point, the magnitude of the answer to the morning prayer became apparent to Bill Colbeck and he said,“Yes, we can.” Colbeck raised a silent prayer of the saved and the thankful. And so, after meetings and communications with Lars Danielsen, rektor or principal of the Danielsen high school (son of its founder, Egill Danielsen), the exchange program began in the fall of 1989, twenty years ago. Officials from the Norwegian school were pleased with the exchange program as it developed. Principal Lars Danielsen said, “The students feel cared for here.” 3 The Danielsen School benefited from the exchange program, for students in Bergen compete to get a place on the plane to America. Over fifty students apply for the thirty places allotted to the Norwegian school, with the list chosen in consultation between the two administrations. The divine answer to a morning prayer in 1988 brought changes to Bill Colbeck, to Hillcrest Academy, and to over four hundred young people from Bergen, Norway, who have participated in the exchange program. An educational bridge linked Fergus Falls and Bergen for twenty years of friendship, faith, fellowship and fun.

1. “Norwegian scholar studying in Fergus,” Fergus Falls Daily Journal, November 4, 1992, p.1. 2. Here and below, interview by the author with Steve Brue, Hillcrest Academy President, January 22, 2008, notes in the possession of the author. 3. “Briefly,” Faith And Fellowship 59, no. 6, March20, 1992, p. 10.

SPECIAL INTEREST All HLA Alumni involved in Art & Art related activities were invited to participate in the 1st Annual HLA Alumni Art show, during H.I.T.’s weekend–March 26th & 29th, 2009.



Artists shared one or two of their latest works of painting, sculpture, Graphic Design, pottery, Architectural renderings, & Fashion Design. The Art Department at Hillcrest was well represented with works on display from 3 of its instructors, past and present. Joel Lunde showed two paintings and a series of Candle Sticks, that he recently turned on his lathe.

Steve Brue brought back into the public forum a few of his masterpieces, including a pencil drawing of his wife Linda and a relief print that he did of Mt. Rushmore. Gaylen Peterson, the current Art Instructor, submitted a wood-fired bowl, made at his home studio and a digital photo of Bergen, from chaperoning the Danielsen students home last June. A great variety of Classes were represented, going all the way back to 1945 and including alumni who graduated as recently as last year. We had 20 individuals participating…some who are seasoned professionals, making a living from their artwork and, right along side of those, former students who have continued to work and develop as artists, simply for their personal enjoyment.

Artwork on display from: • Heidi Auseth (‘04) is working as a graphic/ web designer for BridgeWorks Creative in Bozeman, MT. • Matt Brue (‘00) is owner and creative director for BRUEDESIGN, Inc. and Capture Studios in the Minneapolis, MN area, with concentrations in HD video and high-end photography projects. • Nick Brue (‘03) is working as a graphic designer for Westwerk Design in Minneapolis, MN. • Steve Brue (‘76) taught Art & Bible at Hillcrest from 1982-1987. Currently, he is the President of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. • David Christenson (‘07) is attending Eastern University and works as a photographer for their athletic department and other campus assignments along with his own personal pursuits as a photographer. • Chuck Christianson (‘77) is a professional painter living and working in Fergus Falls, MN. • Kyle Christopherson (‘08) is studying in Seattle, WA, to be a Master Mason and continues to produce amazing drawings for his own pleasure.

• Jared Erickson (‘01) is a graphic designer and professional painter living in Bozeman, MT. • Gloria Fuller (Dickson) (‘74) is an Art Instructor in Lancaster, WI and works as a professional artist as well, producing drawings, digital photos and a great assortment of Fine Art. • Seth Holmen (‘05) is a 2009 grad from Judson University, studying in Architectural Drafting/Design. • Daniel Juliot (‘08) is currently attending Alexandria Technical College and developing a profound talent for illustration. • Josh Kugler (HLA–2008)is attending MSCTCFergus Falls and continues to pursue his interests in photography and computer graphics. • Joel Lunde (‘45) taught at Hillcrest from 19631992. He was the one responsible for starting an “Art Club” and he ran Art department for the greater bulk of those years, while also teaching in the seminary. He lives in Fergus Falls, and continues to employ his creative skills with Chalk Talks and a great variety of other endeavors. • Steve Lunde (‘83) is living and working in Construction in and around Osseo, MN.

• Katherine O’Sullivan (‘08) is attending the Fashion Institute in New York, pursuing a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management. • Hanne Pedersen (‘09) is completing High School at Danielsen School in Bergen, Norway and continues to study and work as a professional photographer. • Gaylen Peterson (‘86) is currently teaching Art, Bible and Computers at Hillcrest, also has his own Pine Hill Pottery in rural Lake Park, MN. His other creative pursuits include digital photography and printmaking. • Courntney Sheel-Draxten (‘01) is living in Fergus Falls and creates fabulous multi-media compositions for her own personal pleasure. • Kristen Spidahl (‘04) is a recent grad from Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) with an Art Major\Business Minor she is also a 2005 graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute with a degree in Pastry and Baking. • Molly Swenson-Blauer (‘01) is a 2003 Graduate from MSUM-Moorhead with a degree in Art. She is currently living and working in St. Paul, MN.




Charitable CONNECTION KEEPING THE FAITH IN AN ECONOMIC MELTDOWN Most of us are dealing with the affects of the current economic crisis. The past year has been the worst year we have had in the stock market since the Great Depression. Unemployment is rising and our national debt is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, it is now higher than most of us can even contemplate. Now is an excellent time for each of us to evaluate our beliefs and decide if our attitudes and actions reflect our beliefs. A foundational truth is God owns it all! Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” God made us, gave us our gifts and abilities; all that we are and all that we own belongs to Him. I am currently reading a book that is authored by Ron Blue called “Master Your Money.” I was challenged to list all of our possessions and deed them back to God. With Him as the owner and me simply a steward I found a wonderful freedom and am better able to trust Him for my present and future financial security. He does not want us to be anxious and fret but rather live in a way that points others to Him. God owns it all and He has given us a responsibility as a manager of His resources. We need to be faithful in much or little. How we spend and give is a clear indication of how well we are managing all He has entrusted to us. History tells us that those who have stayed with their financial plan through the various market cycles have seen the best results. Proverbs 13:11 tells us, “He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” My recommendation in this economy is to live within your budget, continue saving each month, and keep the faith. Keven Crabtree RFC Securities offered through USAllianz Securities • Member NASD, SIPC, Registered Investment Advisor 5701 Golden Hills Drive Minneapolis, MN 55416 888.446.5872


Legacy club HLA

Heritage society Legacy Club and Heritage Society added to Advancement Office Hillcrest benefits in great measure from the philanthropic spirit of alumni and friends who consistently support the school mission with their charitable giving. These gifts have made campus enhancement projects, student scholarships, academic excellence, and transformed lives possible. The past ten years have brought significant improvements to the HLA campus. These capital improvements were made possible only through the generosity of alumni and friends of the school. God has led Hillcrest supporters to be generous supporters. In a spirit of gratitude, the HLA Advancement Office is pleased to announce the Legacy Club and the Heritage Society. The HLA Legacy Club acknowledges individuals whose accumulative giving reaches $25,000 or above. The HLA Heritage Society acknowledges those who have named Hillcrest in an estate gift.

Annual Fund Goal 08-09 $375,000.00

Contributions as of 1/31/09 Actual YTD Budgeted YTD Shortfall YTD

$176,040.00 $218,750.00 $42,710.00

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

As of 9/30/08 $1,326,565.00 $1,128,346.49 $198,218.51 $8,150.00

FINANCE 10000-5000-1000-500-120 Club Membership George & Alice Aase Fergus Falls, MN Guy & Beth Adams Naperville, IL Roy & Marie Barsness Kirkland, WA Irv & Kay Bergsagel Minnetonka, MN Tim and Mary Bigelow Erhard, MN Paul & Olive Blikstad Dalton, MN Roger & Kay Borowski Campbell, MN Doug & Nancy Bounds Jamestown, ND Harold & Cathy Brokke Minneapolis, MN Benjamin Brue Fergus Falls, MN Charlie & Carrie Brue Fergus Falls, MN Lindsey Brue Fergus Falls, MN Matthew & Faith Brue St. Louis Park, MN Nicolas Brue Minneapolis, MN Steve & Linda Brue Fergus Falls, MN Titus Brue Fergus Falls, MN Thor & Edna Bugge Willow Street, PA Lorraine Burt Woodbury, MN John & Larissa Campbell Vermillion, SD Keven & Debbie Crabtree Fergus Falls, MN David & Dagney Christenson Lynnwood, WA Lane & Lori Christopherson Lynnwood, WA Sharon Daines Bozeman, MT Thelma P. Dalene East Hartland, CT David & Val Egge Alexandria, MN John N. Endrud Rockford, IL Spencer Endrud Fargo, ND Rich & Jeanene Engebretson Edina, MN Elroy and Judy Erickson Vancouver, Wa Gary & Cynthia Erickson Dalton, MN Gerald and Sheri Erickson Mukilteo, WA Micah Erickson Redding, CA Ryan & Kristin Erickson Fargo, ND Carol Featherstone New Hope, MN Lori Fedje Beaverton, OR Gay & Carol Folden Fergus Falls, MN Mark & Joan Folden San Jose, CA David & Ruthann Forland Huntington , NY E. Thor & Lillian Foss Succasunna, NJ Mark & Joanne Foss Glastonbury, CT Lisa Schultz-Fred Fergus Falls, MN Sharon Fuhrman Fergus Falls, MN Grand Lake Trust Lake Park, MN Wayne & Ruth Goats Scottsdale, AZ Adleide Gunhus Fergus Falls, MN

GT & Ann Gunhus Elling & Barbara Halvorson Evelyn Hansen Greg & Rita Hayek Kim Hazel Joy Headrick David & Beverly Heggen Amanda Heggland Rich & Linda Heggland Diane Ihrke Gary & Renee Isaac Jeff & Missi Isaac Rich & Karen Iverson Martha Jacobs Elizabeth Jacobsen Herbert & Helen Jacobsen Gladys Jensen Tim & Connie Jensen Dennis & Kathleen Johnson Fred & Elsie Johnson Tim & Karen Johnson Vaughn and Deb Kavlie John & Janet Kilde Kermit & Grace Kvamme Jack & Sharon Lacey Josiah Larson Lawn Pro of Fergus Falls Frank & Elaine Legerat Brian & Jennifer Leivstad Patricia Linson Lloyd & Thelma Listor Steve & Heidi Listor Harry Ludvigsen Joel & Alice Lunde Dennis & Dorothy Madsen Jeffrey & Eileen Mahn 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

Make a Difference at Hillcrest

Join the Club!

Underwood, MN Woodinville, WA Snohomish, WA Fergus Falls, MN Eden Prarie, MN Denver, CO Rothsay, MN Gainesville, FL New Port Richey, FL Fergus Falls, MN Denver, CO Fergus Falls, MN Barnesville, MN Seatonville, IL Minnetonka, MN Mt. Bethel, PA Staten Island, NY Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Boone, IA Little Falls, MN Eden Prairie, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Wendell, MN Minneapolis, MN Fergus Falls, MN Fairbanks, AK Loveland, CO Fargo, ND Brooklyn, NY Mt. Bethel, PA Kerhonkson, NY Fergus Falls, MN Fergus Falls, MN Albuquerque, NM 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 Matthew & Lynn Scarfo Rod & Jo Scheel Dwight & Gwen Schmidt Nick & Danielle Schmidt Security State Bank Ewald & Alice Sems Norma Senum Ed & Shirley Smith Alf & June Soholt Eleanor Sollie James & Pauline Stalsberg Arna Stedjan Robert and Lorrette Strack Shawn & Amy Stroud Wai Nam Tam Guy & Amy Taylor Borgny Thompson Gary & Dorinne Thompson Nancy Thompson Rosemary Traina Randy & Diane Trettevik Lois Tweten Marvin & Opal Undseth Steve & Lois Undseth Fred & Mayling Valder Marty & Mim Valder Ruth Vall James VerSteeg Victory LB Church 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 Island City, OR Fergus Falls, MN Jamestown, ND Jamestown, ND Fergus Falls, MN Lehigh Acres, FL Mt. Bethel, PA Laquey, MO Bloominton, MN Brooklyn, NY Viroqua, WI Fergus Falls, MN Rochester, MN Basehor, KS Flanders, NJ Fergus Falls, MN East Hartland, CT Fergus Falls, MN Boca Raton, FL Roxbury, NJ Mill Creek, WA Helena, MT Salem, OR Fergus Falls, MN Moorhead, MN Everett, WA Aitkin, MN Fergus Falls, MN Jamestown, ND Rolling Hills, CA

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.

Club Giving Levels




Club|1000 Club|2500 Club|10000




The Infant King welcomes you

The Hillcrest Christmas concert of 2008 has come and gone. Time, however, cannot erase the memory of that night. There was a full house despite the ever-threatening snow. The band and choir, under the direction of Steve Doering and David Strom, gave a dazzling performance. Smaller musical groups that diverged from the band and choir also performed. These included the Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Vocalise. Flutist Amanda Schnyders, a junior at HLA, said, “I was impressed by the soloists in the band. They did an excellent job.” The concert concluded with a surprising twist. The choir lined the isles and sang an older hymn called “Jesus Priceless Treasure.” “I liked being surrounded by all the voices,” said Hillcrest girls’ dean, Annette Ihrke. “I enjoyed being able to see the diversity of the school and how they combined to make one voice and one choir.” Senior Soo Jin Chang said, “I was scared because the people next to me could pick out my voice in the choir.” As the concert commenced inside the warm Bethel Church a snowstorm raged against its doors. This very storm stopped many people from reaching the concert Saturday night. It was also the cause of the cancelation of Sunday night’s performance. This is the second year in a row that one of the Christmas concert performances has been canceled. Although this fact is a little discouraging, Doering and Strom are as optimistic as ever, and look forward to their next upcoming concerts.


Girl’s Basketball 2008-09 A young team raises the bar. By Charlie Brue, Head Coach

The girls’ basketball team finished their season with a record of 6-18, attaining their goal of a better record than in the previous year. After graduating two strong senior players, Samantha Hanson and Cari Jo Hohncke, the young team made up of one senior, one junior, six sophomores and a freshman, raised the bar by improving on last year’s 4-21 record.

double-overtime loss to Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (46-54) in the first playoff game. The Lady Comets captains, Hilary Ouse (12) and Sophia Undseth (11) were the spiritual and emotional leaders for the team. Hilary Ouse (4.7 pts/gm, 5.3 rb/gm) capped a four-year basketball career at Hillcrest with an outstanding final game against Wheaton, scoring 14 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Sophia Undseth (3.5 pts/gm, 3.8 rb/gm) was the team’s best defensive player, often assigned the task of covering our opponent’s best player.

The girls were a pleasure to coach! They were a fun group that was willing to work hard to improve their basketball skills. They had great attitudes, quickly forgetting past mistakes and losses, and enthusiastically facing new opponents with fresh determination. Their love for Jesus Christ was also very evident in their play, their prayers, and in their everyday lives.

Five sophomores, Taylor Brue, Andrea Christenson, Ahna Lacey, Lauren Abel, and Chantel Meech, gained a lot of playing experience this year. Point guard Taylor Brue led the team in scoring, averaging 10.1 pts/gm and 2.1 assists/gm. Center Andrea Christenson averaged 8.1 pts/gm and 5.5 rb/gm. Ahna Lacey (3.5 pts/gm, 4.2 rb/gm) also did a great job for us in the post, but unfortunately missed 10 games this season because of a broken hand.

The girls played a very tough schedule this year. Hillcrest plays in the Little Eight Conference, one of the best in the state. Two teams from the conference were ranked in the top 10; with Brandon-Evansville (#5) giving defending state champion AdaBorup a run for their money in the Section 6-A Final. The tough competition has made the girls’ team better. The girls would probably rate their victory over Pelican Rapids (57-45) as their best game, followed by a close loss to Ashby (40-45) and a

The Lady Comets look forward to another improved season next year. Their conference remains tough, but rather than hoping for other teams to decrease in ability, they desire to improve their own play. The team participates in a summer basketball league, will play in several summer tournaments, and is dedicated to increasing their athletic strength and conditioning in the new weight room at Hillcrest.

Boy’s Basketball 2008-09 By Greg Preston, Head Coach

The Comets boys’ basketball team ended their season on Thursday March 12, as Henning ousted the Comets in the 6A section tournament on the Comets home floor. Hillcrest ended with 10 wins and a third place finish in the conference. Jamie Stedjan, Hans Brue, Nolan Erickson, Tyler Lacey and John Choi are the seniors who will be graduating from the squad. Several underclassmen will be returning next year including leading

Cheerleading 2008-09 Hillcrest Cheerleading has a new coach this year, and with a new coach comes change. Despite the small changes, many things are similar to last year's season. Try outs were very similar and the way the teams are set up are the same. We have two equal squads, a red squad and white squad. These squads alternate cheering at the boys and girls varsity games. The squad in its entirety has 16 cheerleaders and has a lot of diversity. There are 4 Americans, 3 Koreans and 9 Norwegians. The Red squad is made up of 2 Americans, 3 Koreans and 3 Norwegians and has Nicole Olsoe as a captain. The White Squad is made up of 2 Americans and 6 Norwegians and has Sarah Bigelow as their captain. The


scorer Andrew Hohncke, leading rebounder Devon Apgar, and leader in assists Danny Tungseth as well as Captains Grant Stroud and Jared Schultz. Ethan Wentzel, Jeffrey Schmidt, Andrew Stender, Andrew Twedt, Zack Nersten, Justin Olsoe and Zach Taylor all experienced time on varsity this year. This year’s squad matured in the areas of discipline and selfcontrol. They did an excellent job of mentoring our young Comet program on Saturday mornings. As a result, they helped to lay the foundation for continued excellence and Godliness in future Hillcrest Basketball seasons. squad has already made progress since the beginning of the season and although there are a few injuries, they continue to improve. New uniforms have made it possible for every member to have their own uniform. The team is continuing to perfect their cheers while creating new ones and have began learning how to perform stunts. There are many creative ideas and it will be exciting to see what is in store for the squad this season.



Hillcrest places first in science competition Håvard G. Frøysa How fast would a car on a roller coaster travel if...? How long would it take get to the front of the line if...? Design a ventilation system that...? Armed with calculators, stacks of reference books and a handful of sharpened pencils, Hillcrest science students tackled a day of practical engineering at NDSU’s Junior Engineering and Technology Society’s TEAM competition.

12 questions. Some are calculations, and some are essays. This year’s theme was the science behind amusements parks. The problems were related to pools, roller coasters, people-moving and other systems. Part one got graded right away and Hillcrest’s team C won its division with a score of 37/80, which shows how hard the questions were. Part two was sent to a regional committee for scoring, and the overall national and state rankings will not be ready until that is done.

Hillcrest brought three teams under the guidance of science teacher Armin Jahr. Most of the students were from this year’s physics class, but there were also some current chemistry, math and former physics students. The teams reflected Hillcrest’s international flavor. Americans, Koreans and Norwegians worked together to find answers to the problems. Thursday, February 19 was the competition date, and the host was NDSU. After a cold bus ride to Fargo, the teams were ready to compete. Twenty-three teams representing thirteen schools and home school groups from across the region participated, and it was hard to know what result to expect. TEAMS is a nationwide competition run by JETS. About 14,000 high school students from across the country participate in the JETS sponsored competition during National Engineers’ Week each year. Teams consist of up to 8 people. Together they work to solve engineering problems related to the real world. There are two parts of the competition, each with a length of 90 minutes. Part 1 consists of multiple choice responses based on calculations using equations from math and physics. Part two consists of

On the winning team for Hillcrest: Tyler Lacey, Hans Brue, Nicole Olsoe, Richie Martinson, Soo-Jin Chang, Christian Isaksen, Gjermund S. Øgaard and Håvard G. Frøysa A Team John Choi, Kristine Heimli, Hanne Marthe Hjellum, Joshua Johnson, DaUn Kim, Kori Mathison, Jeffrey Schmidt and Jared Schultz

B Team Kristin Aadland, Kayla Castro, Brita Endrud, Daehyun Lee, Sueng-Ho Lee, Abigail McWaters, Hilary Ouse, Sung Hyun Park, James Stedjan and Greta Tungseth

C Team

Hans Brue, Soo Jin Chang, Håvard Frøysa, Christian Isaksen, Tyler Lacey, Richie Martinson, Nicole Olsoe, and Gjermund Øgaard


Hillcrest’s first robotics competition Håvard G. Frøysa Last fall was the first time Hillcrest has participated in a robotics competition, which was hosted by NDSU, and high schools from all over Minnesota participated. All the teams went to Fargo at the end of September to get the mission. Teams all over the US try to solve this same mission given by the organization Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology-BEST. The theme of the challenge was “plane crazy”, and the teams had to deal with practical issues related to building a plane.

result. Hillcrest got the fourth best robot score out of 16 teams, which was very surprising. Even though Hillcrest didn’t fully compete, it was a great experience and we learned a lot. Hopefully it will be repeated next year, so look out for Mr. Jahr’s robot team!

Hillcrest started with a team of about 20 interested people. Around 15 people went to Fargo to get the challenge. All the teams were excited as the challenge was unveiled. The playing field was about 5x5 yards, and four teams should at the same time try to assemble a plane. Every team was given some materials to build a robot with, and of course electronics like motors. All the teams then had 6 weeks to work on their robot before the competition that took place November 1. The teams not only had to build a robot, but also make a report and presentation about their work. Even though there was an overwhelming interest for the robotics, few actually had time to work on the robot, and we fell short in resources. However, after some hard work the last week, we were able to come up with a robot that actually worked pretty well. The bad thing was that we were not able to do neither a report, nor a presentation. This made us unable to qualify for the regional competition in Arkansas. Even though we didn’t complete the entire mission; we were allowed to compete without an official

Junior High Spelling Bee Lederhosen (n) – short leather pants worn especially in Bavaria. This was the winning spelling word spelled by Emily Hart at the Hillcrest Junior High Spelling Bee on February 10. The process started with the junior highers studying a list of two hundred words for the first elimination round. This round was a written elimination of any twenty words on the list. The top fourteen students continued on to the next round. Round two was an oral elimination within each grade – one for 7th grade and one for 8th grade. The top four from each grade continued on to the school spelling bee. The top eight students, who studied from a list of 400 words, were Brandon Doering, Luke Joy, Connor Aasness, Kelsey Nersten, Emily Hart, Adriann Raph, Hannah Brandon, and Jared Kugler.

The final bee was held in the Hillcrest chapel with President Steve Brue as the pronouncer. After twenty-seven rounds, we had a winner! Emily Hart will continue on to the regional spelling bee on March 3. The second place winner was Adriann Raph, while the third place winner was Jared Kugler. Congratulations to our junior high spellers!





It’s Time for Your Reunion!

Hillcrest Academy welcomes HLA Alumni back on campus for the 2009 Graduation Weekend, May 22-24. Classes with a 4 or 9 at the end of their graduation year will gather for reunions, typically planned by the Class President or by any other ambitious classmate.


This is a great time to come together. Those who do are always glad they made the effort. So how do you go about making this event a great success? • Begin by setting up a Blog or Facebook page for classmate interaction. The Hillcrest Alumni page can help by adding a link to your Blog or Facebook page – contact Connie at If this is too ambitious a task, you can call HLA for class contact info. • Next, register to attend the Alumni Brunch at 10am on Saturday morning, and sit together as a class. • Then, find another good place to gather – a cabin, a restaurant, a Hillcrest campus facility, etc. • Bring your old yearbook and a camera. • Enjoy some food (may require a little planning). • Conversations will flow quickly – have you ever met any HLA alumni that you had nothing to talk about with? • Set up a tour of the HLA campus – we’d be happy to assist you.


1959 1964 1989 1974 2004 1969 Please contact HLA (218) 739-3371 if you have any questions. We will assist in every way possible to make your reunion a good one. If it’s 5 classmates or 45 classmates, the time together will be worth every minute. We hope to see you at Grad!

2009 Alumni Brunch

You are cordially invited to the 2009 HLA Alumni Brunch, May 23 at 10am. The cost for the event is $10 per person.

Please RSVP with names of those attending, their graduation years and basic contact info to Connie Jensen at connection@ffhillcrest. org. You may also RSVP by phone at 218.739.3371.

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

Steven J. Brue, HLA President



We would appreciate your help in selecting candidates for the 2009 “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 10, 2008.

Graduation Weekend 2009 Schedule

Friday, May 22 All School Concert Saturday, May 23 Hillcrest Alumni Brunch Senior Honors Program Senior Honors Dinner Senior Class Night Sunday, May 24 Commencement

Bethel Lutheran Church

7:30 pm

HLA Student Activities Center Bethel Lutheran Church Bethel Lutheran Church HLA Student Activities Center

10:00 am 3:30 pm 4:30 pm 7:30 pm

HLA Student Activities Center

10:00 am



changed our life. What a wonderful blessing! I would love to hear from my classmates!



Bill and Caroline Fehr (H’62/78) write: Last year we moved to our retirement home on Vancouver Island. Our two daughters (both Fergus babies) are living in the same town. We now have two grandchildren we both enjoy very much. Jeffrey Jon Richards (H’68) writes: We continue to pray for LBS including all the students and staff members. I grew up on Alcott, literally facing the school my first eleven years, and LBS has had such a significant influence on my life.

Theresa (Sivertson) Delikat (H”68) writes: My husband and I moved to AZ last June. I am still working for Indian Health Services as a public health nurse, this time woking with the Tohono O’Odham tribe. We are attending an Assemblies of God church in Ajo.


Louie Bergsagel (H’70) writes: Greetings! I just created a Facebook group “Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Class of 1970”. Join up! Are we having a reunion in 2010? 40 years! Oofta! I’m still working in the information technology field, since 1980. I go to the Rock of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church. Still married to my lovely wife, Colleen. Both kids (Erik & Annalise) are married. Annalise is expecting a little baby boy in April. Fun! Shawn (Lindberg) Jacobsen (H‘85) writes: Paul and I are pleased to announce the birth of our daughter, Madison, on January 27, 2008. After 18 years of marriage she sure has

Complete this form and mail it to Hillcrest Connection, 610 Hillcrest Drive, Fergus Falls, MN 56537, or email your update to


Sarah (Helland) Larson (H’99) writes: Caleb Larson and I married August 9, 2008 at Bethel Church in Fergus Falls. We are now living in St. Paul.


After graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary, Th.M., I received a Ph.D. from Drew University in Madison, NJ in 1985. I was just awarded on October 29, 2008, a Dr. Theol. degree from Philipps-Universitaet Marburg, Marburg, Germany with a dissertation on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It was a long process, but a positive one. I continue to pastor New Covenant Church in Charlotte, NC as well as teach college and seminary students and write books. My wife, Debbie, and I will celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary on December 31 of this year. Our twin daughters, Emily and Lauren, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 and both are working full-time. May the Lord continue to bless the ministry of LBS!


Kim (Nelson) Rauckman (H’97) writes: My husband Jereme’ and I are excited to announce the arrival of our second child, Jack Thomas. He was born Aug 20, 2008. He joins his 3 year old brother Jonah.

Paula (Douglas) Shouse (H’03) writes: My husband and I had another baby boy on August 12th, 2008. He was 9 lbs. 15 1/2 oz. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. We now live in Prince George, Virginia. Raquel Gomezcoello (H’06) & Elisa Gomezcoello (H’08) write: We are thankful to the Lord for the opportunity we had to attend Hillcrest! I (Raquel) graduated from Hillcrest on May, 2006 and my sister Elisa on June, 2008. My senior year was the best and for Elisa it was an amazing year as well. It was a great experience to be in another country, meet new people, eat different food, see snow for the first time, having to move to different classrooms for classes, eating lunch at the school and especially enjoying learning all that Hillcrest offered us. Now, sometimes we open our yearbooks and we remember all those great moments we had, and all the people that made our year at Hillcrest so special. We are so grateful that we were able to go. Hillcrest taught us many important things for life, especially to have a closer relationship with our Lord. We want to thank everyone that is part of Hillcrest, because they all made it the way it was, and the way it is. Just a Blessing! We pray that God who began a good work at Hillcrest will carry it on to completion until the day Christ Jesus. Phil.1:6 Hillcrest has been a great blessing for Elisa and I, and I’m sure others will say the same. Thank you for all that you have planted in our hearts while we were there.

Name Address City, State, Zip Email News

Picture Caption

Grad Year


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.

Alumni Brunch, 10 am Class Night Baccalaureate & Commencement HIT Golf Weekend


May 23 May 24 June 12

Non-Profit US Postage

Upcoming Events

Fergus Falls, MN Permit #14

Contact Steve Brue at 218-739-3371 or for more information

Coming Next Issue... • Graduation Highlights • Reunion Pictures • HIT Highlights • Auction Hilights • Mission trips

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 2009  

A magazine for friends and alumni of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Spring 2009 Issue.

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