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ISSUE 09 | April 1, 2014

Undseth Shares Passion Chapel Testimonies Local Missions Serves Sports Show Christ Bo Anderson Focuses While Performing on His Complex Accordian Played For Students in Chapel Last Week.

Bo Anderson Shares Incredible Talent

Brandon Doering | Staff Reporter

Hillcrest’s Bo Anderson Shows School Hidden Talents in Uplifting Chapel Service A prodigy is a young person who is unusually talented in some way. Bo Anderson, a part-time seventh grader at Hillcrest, is a musician prodigy. Last week Bo played a short concert for the Hillcrest student body. His performance was nothing short of amazing. With his various genres of songs he showed the student body his amazing skill with the accordion. Although he started playing when he was four years old, his love of music started even before that. It was at age 2 when his love of music first started. His mom would give him different instruments to play around with, like maracas and a recorder, and he greatly enjoyed them. But it was at a long gone music store in downtown Fergus Falls where Bo truly found his musical love, the accordion. The music store had an accordian on display

that Bo could touch and play. Although it was much too big for him at the time, he had fun pushing the bellows back and forth, listening to the distinct sound from the old time instrument. His moments in the store proved the accordian his favorite instrument. Now, Bo enjoys playing the accordian, picking out different songs and playing them by ear. Bo simply listens to a song a few times, and will start playing it. He uses no music, and still remembers and plays his vast repertoire, recalling many of the first songs he learned like Yankee Doodle and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Bo not only plays the accordion, but also the piano, organ, and guitar. At the local theater, The Center for the Arts, Bo occasionally plays the ominous Wurlitzer pipe organ.

Performing periodic concerts on the working antique organ, he comments that he really enjoys playing the diverse instrument as it offers a different style of music that he doesn’t normally get to play. Bo likes to do other things besides just music. He really enjoys building LEGOs, swimming, biking, and other outdoor activities. He has also recently discovered Garageband, and enjoys mixing and recording his own tracks, and making cool songs. It is just another way for him to express himself through music. Bo has really enjoyed the gift of music that God has blessed him with. Although he feels he doesn’t always do the best in school, he is very glad that God has given him music as a definitive talent in which he can excel. |1


Spring Seasons Reflect Hillcrest When the snow melts, spring sports start at Hillcrest Academy. The softball girls will make the walk to Hannah Park everyday after school for practice; baseball and track will use the soccer field, running hills as spring makes itself known. Whether it’s baseball, track, or softball, all Hillcrest students are anticipating warm weather and melting snow. Mr. Undseth, head coach of the boys baseball team, has a deep passion for baseball. His commitment and instruction provide a basis for the guys to build their fielding and batting fundamentals while having fun. The team has five returning seniors this year, who all have sights set on beating top teams in the conference. Allen Aase is increasing numbers this year for track and is preparing

Quincey Circo | Staff Reporter the team for individual competition with eyes on making state. Many runners and jumpers, such as Han Gao, have been preparing vigorously in the offseason for their shot at the honor of representing Hillcrest in May. Craig Nersten is the coach for the Hillcrest softball girls. Entering his fourth season directing the Lady Comets, his team is looking forward to a successful season, losing one varsity starter from last year. With hopes of making it out of the sub-section, the ladies are anticipating playoffs in May. Spring sports season is the best sports season to enjoy the weather. After months of winter, Hillcrest students, staff and families are found around the diamond and in the stands cheering the Comets to new heights.

Mr. Undseth shares his personal prayer for students during Prayer Day.

Undseth Inspires Spiritual Growth It’s easy to get into a simple routine for both students and teachers at any school. To maintain a focus on Christ amidst the stress and busyness, many teachers at Hillcrest strive to tie spiritual emphasis into their teaching. Mr. Undseth, the English and Bible instructor, begins every class with a five-minute devotion and prayer. Typically Mr. Undseth’s devotions are based on the daily verse written in the corner of his classroom whiteboard. The devotions he gives in opening each of his classes not only grab students’ attention and help to direct their focus, but also offer a great opportunity to gain Biblical understanding.

Liz Peterson | Staff Reporter Mr. Undseth also stresses the importance of Scripture memorization to each of his classes, believing in the significance of Scripture written on the “tablet of [the] heart”, as well as the sharpening of English memorization skills. No matter what period of the day students enter his class, Mr. Undseth encourages and challenges students to think spiritually. His years of teaching at Hillcrest surpass the years of any current student’s life span, as he continues to teach with wisdom and a clear desire to point students toward Christ first and foremost.

Key Club members stand next to their banner at Hillcrest students follow the cheerleaders in supporting the basketball team

Comets Share Christ on Court “EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” The buzzer sounds, and the basketball game comes to a close. The players circle at center court and bow their heads instead of going directly to their locker rooms. A time of prayer between competitors begins. A common occurrence at Hillcrest, prayer time with competition is foreign for fans and players from other schools. This is just one part of how the Hillcrest mission statement of creating a Christ-centered and Bible-based environment is fulfilled in athletics. As a Christian school, Hillcrest’s students and faculty exemplify the difference of a Christ-centered school through actions on the court and after the game. While many calls from referees fall out of favor with Hillcrest 2|

Brandon Doering | Staff Reporter fans, it is easy to see a different calling on fans as they cheer. Little things, like remaining quiet when a player shoots free throws, show sportsmanship and ultimately an atmosphere of competition in cheering for the best team to win. For Hillcrest fans, it all comes down to cheering for the Comets, not against the other team. Patience and self-control go a long way in showing other schools that Hillcrest views athletics as a classroom forging character and practicing classroom instruction; living out a Christ-centered Bible-based environment beyond Hillcrest’s walls.

Key Club Shares Hillcrest with Community The Key Club at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is very active with service projects, and bettering the community. Being very active with service projects, they also have an impact on their sponsor organization, Kiwanis. Kiwanis is an organization made up of volunteers from around the area who want to positively change their community. Key Club is sponsored by Kiwanis and shares their vision for impacting the community. Every Tuesday three students from the Key Club travel to the YMCA where the Kiwanis group meets for lunch meetings and have lunch with them. Key Club members join in the lunch and participate in the meeting, rotating representative members from within the student led group. Members from Kiwanis say that they love to talk to the students, especially the

Jonathan Eckhardt | Staff Reporter foreign and off campus students, and to hear about them and what is going on at Hillcrest. After the meal, the students introduce and share something about themselves. Then they participate in the rest of the meeting and enjoy fellowship with the Kiwanis members. At the end of the meeting one of the students leads in the closing prayer. It is encouraging for the Key Club members to see what Kiwanis is doing in the community and also to show their sponsors what they are doing to help also. This relationship with adults in the community allows students to see that service is something for everyone to do; not just because they have to, but because we followers of Jesus need to reflect God’s heart into our community.


Band Program Trumpets Development “Praise [God] with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!” (Psalm 150:3-6)

Students have continued tradition of sharing personal faith stories in Chapel

Student Testimonies Share Faith Sharing testimonies of Jesus Christ is very popular at Hillcrest. Gathering in chapel every Friday, students hear from classmates who describe how God has impacted their life. Testimonies at Hillcrest unite the student body. With each student coming from a different background, sharing life stories in chapel helps bring students together. Liz Peterson, coming from a Christian home, has always known God. Through preparation by her parents has grown deeper in her relationship with Jesus through Hillcrest. Jason You has come to know Christ at Hillcrest and now

Amanda Doiron | Staff Reporter feels compelled to share God’s love with his parents. Julie Kasulis has learned to trust in God in everything she does, while Maddie Veum has gone through rough times to realize God’s forgiveness. Life stories share in chapel span culture and unite the school around faith in Jesus Christ. Testimonies presented in Chapel have made Hillcrest students care for each other more. Understanding where each person is coming from, students get a picture of how God has impacted lives of their friends and builds a special Christ-centered environment at Hillcrest.

The Lord blesses his creation with music at Hillcrest, there are no shortage of those ready to use their Godgiven talents to fulfill Psalm 150. Through praise bands playing during worship chapel, the choir “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16), and band

Brandon Doering | Staff Reporter members “...who should play loudly on musical instruments...to raise sounds of joy.” (1 Chronicles 15:16), students praise the Lord. Directors teach and instruct in an organized form equipping students to form a team praising God in unison. Hillcrest students receive an experience, and skill set, that can be used to praise God today and prepares them for many years to come. Different music programs provide a unique and powerful way to not only fulfill the calling of Psalm 150, but also fulfill Hillcrest’s mission.

Teacher’s Assistants Reimagined Some students pack up cameras and travel to a music festival in South Dakota. Other students are sticking around to drill holes and pull wire on campus. While this may not be your typical classroom setting, it’s an important training aspect of what Hillcrest offers. Teacher Assistants - or TA’s - are students assigned to help a certain teacher. Many upperclassmen find interest in the opportunity, because it can serve as a scheduled break from class time yet offers earned credits. Most teachers request TA’s, and put them to work correcting assignments, tidying up, and other tasks that may come up. Eric Ferenczy works as an in-class math tutor for Mr. Juliot. Often times, the TA program ends up benefiting the student as well as the teacher. Wayne Stender, director of marketing and promotions, has five student

Liz Peterson | Staff Reporter TA’s, who work together to help him capture and document the school in action with photography, videography, and interviewing. A unique part about the program at Hillcrest is the opportunity for students to spend a lot of time with their teachers in a setting where training and mentorship are welcomed and received. Mr. Peterson, the art teacher, finds hardworking TA’s a huge help as he strives to maintain a clean art room. Quincey Circo and Evan Newman TA for Jason Walkup, and refer to the time as a “work study” instead because of the vocational hands-on learning experiences that come with it. Ultimately, students continue to grow and learn as they are given the opportunity to give back to the teachers who give their time and energy into all of the students daily.

Students look at presentations of fossils on the Chicago Field Study trip

Chicago Trip Engages Secularism Eddie Jiang | Staff Reporter Green grass is popping through the snow; spring break is here. Many students will relax their bodies and minds on beaches and buses with a number of tours, but Hillcrest’s Chicago team will ramp-up their brain activity for the final push to graduation. Traveling through museums and laboratories, students are given a chance to learn about science and how the world was created. Not only does the Chicago trip provide great support for Creation but also provides shares information about The Big Bang Theory and Evolution. The Chicago trip also offers great tools students will be able to learn, like interviewing people.

The Chicago trip has been a great experience for those who have gone the years before, but do all the students that go each year learn different things or is it the same for each year? Students that haven’t gone before may wonder if going is a good way to spend their time during spring break. Students who have attended the trip, like Tora Norheim, say It’s really fun, and that everyone should go. Not only does the Chicago trip offer great food on the trip but it also teaches you great tools to interview and talk to people about what their perspective is on how everything was created.

AXIS presented at Hillcrest this year for a three day worldview presentation

Formations Week Forges Future In fostering a Christ-centered and Bible-based learning environment, Hillcrest starts in the classroom and utilizes the occasional speaker or group. Approximately two times a per year, special speakers give students a different perspective to what students learn in their classes. Showing students how perspectives of the world impact civilization, the groups teach apologetics as a logical defense for following the Christian worldview. Speakers show ways to better utilize

Brandon Doering | Staff Reporter the skills and knowledge students gain at Hillcrest. Hillcrest brings in many different and renowned speakers to support their Bible-based Christ-centered program. John Stonestreet, Alex McFarland, Brett Kunkle, Carl Kerby, Mark Cahill, AXIS, and a host of others provide additional training for students that extends beyond the classroom, addressing many subjects to build a cohesive Christian perspective of the world. |3


UTT Transforms Thinking and Much More Liz Peterson | Staff Reporter Weeks from graduation, Hillcrest seniors are anticipating the approaching new chapters in their lives. One piece of valuable training students gain at Hillcrest is what they learn in their Understanding the Times class. Understanding the Times studies prominent worldviews of the modern culture; and helps students prepare for college and post-high school plans. As students look toward college, each individual is challenged to grasp a full understanding of why they believe what they believe. The curriculum in the class equips students with an understanding of different worldviews, preparing-

students to defend a Biblicallybased perspective of the world. Understanding the Times is taught in two sections, with Principal Isaac teaching one and Mr. Peterson teaching the other. The class is a required course for graduation and is designed for the students preparing for a transition out of Hillcrest. Understanding the Times prepares students with a framework of truth that will help them understand how other people think about, interact with and perceive the world.

Josh Brandon mentors a gradeschool student in Hillcrest’s Local Missions class

Local Missions: Hillcrest’s Motto in a Snapshot Local Missions serves the local community of Fergus Falls. Spreading the love of God through the 45 minutes of class, students fulfill the mission statement of Hillcrest Academy visiting the Broen Home, Salvation Army, Morning Son Christian School, and Food Shelf each week. Spending time at the Broen Home, and Salvation Army, students talk and pray with residents. Every Thursday, Local Missions visits Morning Son Christian School. Mentoring at recess with grade school students. Hillcrest students wrap up the week stocking shelves at the local food shelf.

Lowell Quam trains students to view Spanish as a conduit for the Gospel.

Spanish Offers Insights Jonathan Eckhardt | Staff Reporter Spanish class at many schools consists of a teacher reading from a book and students taking tests, but at Hillcrest Spanish instructor Lowell Quam takes a different approach. Along with the text book, Mr. Quam incorporates Bible verses and songs to give the students a different perspective of Spanish. In Spanish 2, the class goes through the entire Gospel of John, reading and translating the Gospel in Spanish.

Unpacking and looking at verses in two languages gives a different understanding of the Gospel. Reading and studying the Bible in a different language gives a different perspective on the words and a better understanding of what the Biblical writers were trying to portray. Using these tools makes Spanish more interesting, and more fun to study, creating a purpose for learning Spanish.

Students are no longer just learning Spanish, but learning God’s word as well. Mr. Quam also includes Missionary stories from Central/South American Nations helping students to understand the culture. HLATODAY is produced by the

Journalism program at Hillcrest Academy.

Quincey Circo Amanda Doiron Liz Peterson Maddie Veum Jonathan Eckhardt 4|

Brandon Doering Kara Nash Zoey Schweitzer Eddie Jiang

Each Spanish class also learns catchy songs which many use when they participate in the senior trip to the Dominican Republic. Hillcrest’s Spanish class truly teaches more than a language for college acceptance.

Amanda Doiron | Staff Reporter When students are not traveling around the Fergus Falls mission field, they are working through a number of books ranging from David Platt’s Radical to Brian Fikkert’s When Helping Hurts. Through worksheets and group discussions students think deeply about their mission field. Students continue their ministry on Hillcrest’s campus providing prepared Bible lessons for Wednesday chapel. Local Missions is a snap-shot of Hillcrest equipping students to live a life of significance, even when they’re still walking the halls before graduation.

Cultures Change Life at Hillcrest Diversity is not a problem at Hillcrest. Having such diverse backgrounds, Hillcrest’s culturally diverse community is a great life directing lesson and experience for students to have. Making new friends, seeing different cultures and learning to interact with each other are all things students get to experience that equip students for a multicultural world. One thing that is less emphasized is the difference of beliefs that students have. In spite of various beliefs, students don’t spend a lot of time talking about differences in faith or culture in normal classroom and student life interaction. Chapel is one place where these differences come forward in a meaningful way. Chapel approaches issues which are important and relevant to students and also important in the world today. After a topic is introduced and presented, students break down into groups to discuss the issue and how different cultures approach the conflict, recognizing the various background. students have and the dif-

Jonathan Eckhardt | Staff Reporter fering views present. Hillcrest is a place where students discuss and put forward ideas in the small group setting; a safe place to share challenges, views and beliefs. Students get a feel for what others around them believe instead of just how a Christian views the subject. Christian students at Hillcrest find the small groups a good place to defend what they believe rather than simply agreeing with popular thought. Students are encouraged to group with people they do not know, rather than just sticking with their friends. These groups help students to meet others from various cultures, and to put their beliefs to the test against other’s perspectives. Receiving Christ-centered training in the classroom, and experiencing uplifting conversations in chapel, equips students for a significant life at Hillcrest Academy.

HLA Today | Issue 08 | April 1, 2014  

Hillcrest Academy's Journalism Class reports the latest happenings from around the castle.