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PILGRIM Journey Summer 2016


Leading your Community -Needing your Community p.2 Class of 2016 Graduation p.5 Advancing the 2015-20 Strategic Plan p.10 Athletics p.14

Leading your Community -- Needing your Community By Wendy Hofman, Head of School

In leadership, one of the greatest responsibilities we have is to understand and support the changing needs of people in the communities we lead. Leading others has been a calling throughout my life and I count it a joy and privilege to lead students, teachers and parents at Lansing Christian School. What God has begun to teach me this past school year is that leading others can be a beautiful, back and forth, reciprocal relationship that benefits people and demonstrates God’s work in our lives.

In November of 2015, I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. My first thought was not, why me? My first thought was, not now. I have a lot to get done this school year and I have a lot of people counting on me. I have plans! Initially, I was inclined to keep my cancer diagnosis private. I thought that maybe I could let a few people in on the situation and get through the treatment in a manner that would not disrupt the plans I had in place for the school year, or all of the people I knew were counting on me. My husband and my family lovingly reminded me that keeping my cancer diagnosis a secret and gutting through the treatment alone in a school full of children and youth would not only be nearly impossible, but perhaps a missed opportunity to share my life in a way that could help those around me to see God at work. Openly sharing my life with this kind of transparency is uncharted territory for me. I am used to helping others work through their life circumstances. Now, everyone in our school community was going to watch me work through mine. This idea felt like a burden to me and it certainly was not in my comfort zone. I had lots of questions about functioning with less energy, feeling sick, looking different, losing my hair and even fear about the unknown. At the same time, from the very beginning, on November 3, when I first heard the words, “you have cancer,” I knew in my core that God wanted to teach me something. He was shaping my life. To my LCS community, I would like to share what you and many others have taught me this year about plans, about the power of Christian community and about fear of the unknown and moving forward. I 2 I Journey

Plans are good and plans can change. I think that God wants us to plan for our future, and He wants us to be thoughtful about the time, talent and resources He has given us. God also wants us to hold our plans loosely. God is sovereign. He is in charge of our world and our individual lives. God wants us in a place of dependency, open to seeing Him work in our lives and open to where He wants to lead us. God wants us to need others. Going at things alone, no matter what job you have, implies that we do not need others. God created us to live in community and to need others. This is difficult. I can tell you first hand that allowing others into your life to encourage you and support you - even letting other people know how you need them is good for you - and it is good for them. This has been a challenge for me. I am used to being on the giving end. I am used to helping others and often going at things alone, even when I could have used the support and help of those around me. I have learned a lot this year about not going at things alone, sharing the burden, and accepting the help and encouragement of others. Thank you for your prayers and for your words and notes of support and encouragement. Pictures from elementary classes, flowers, a beautiful book of encouraging words from high school students, weekly impromptu gifts during the school day, Moms in Touch prayer support and students reminding me weekly that they are praying for me. These are just some of the ways I have benefited from the support of my LCS community. Thank you! Fear of the unknown is normal. Moving forward is a way we grow trust in God. I do not know many people that do not fear, at some level, the unknown. During these past seven months, I have felt uncertainty and sometimes fear about the future in a whole new way. I have also found that the idea of moving forward, one step at a time, is helpful and powerful when things are uncomfortable - like walking into school for the first time with brand new hair, worried that people would look at me differently. How wonderful my LCS community has been, making me feel comfortable and supported in what was a big change and quite confidence shaking at times. What many people view in me as confidence on the outside is, more accurately, a spirit of moving forward, knowing that my worth is not about the way I look, my accomplishments or how well I perform on a given day. My worth and your worth is about knowing that we belong to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that He has a plan for our lives.

Leading others can be a beautiful, back and forth, reciprocal relationship that benefits people and demonstrates God’s work in our lives.

At this stage of my life, God continues to grow in me a confidence, a certainty and a trust that He is with me. I continue to move forward, and I continue to find comfort in the words from Isaiah 43, “But now, this is what the LORD says, he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you: I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” I want to thank you, the LCS community, for allowing me to lean into your support, your help, and your encouragement during this past school year. I am grateful.

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GLORIFY GOD Class of 2016 Graduation By Andrew Kleyn

High school graduation is one of the most meaningful LCS events. At graduation, the LCS community comes together to celebrate the graduates and to send them out to continue to engage and transform the world for Jesus Christ. Through articulate and powerful speeches, the graduates took the opportunity to express their gratitude to classmates, teachers, parents and, most of all, to God. The event was a wonderful celebration of Christ’s sustaining grace to the entire LCS community. As valedictorian Michaela Brenner said to the community in her welcoming remarks, “This night is just as much yours as it is ours.” The family and friends of graduates were able to receive gratitude and congratulate the graduates. The kindergarten buddies were there to thank and congratulate their friends. And, at the end of the ceremony, the teachers and administration sent off the graduates with a final benediction and blessing. Congratulations again to the class of 2016! We look forward to seeing the amazing plans God has in store for you, and we hope to see you back as esteemed alumni of LCS.

2016 Class Verse For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

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Lansing Christian School Class of 2016 Graduates

Christina Anderson Logan Anderson-Borton

Kyle Arends

Alaina Baker

Austin Barcy

Jordan Beasley

Janessa Bender

Emily Biddix

Michaela Brenner

Reese Brockhaus

Andrew Carlock

Mitchell Carr

Deborah Cordill

Taylor Cusick

Michael Dennis

Joshua Dunham

Evan Dunsmore

Taylor Esch

Claire Garner

Claire Granger

Chase Hansen

Jeffrey Harrison Jr.

Sarah Henley

Jennifer Hoxie

Daniel Jacobson

Jung Suk Kim

Heidi Loubser

Jacob Lyon

Alex McDowell

Jacob McDowell

Zachary McElroy

Isabelle Meunier

Hannah Meyers

Krystina Monticello

Anna Moody

Caroline Moore

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Lansing Christian School Class of 2016 Graduates

Taylor Noyola

Emma Peters

Jared Reed

John Schafer

Emma Steckelberg

Michaela Stock

Morgan Valley

Eliza Velasquez

Carl Wang

Hunter Reichenbach

Alyssa Rosick

Abbey Russell

Garrett Strpko

Charlie Szur

Jordan Townsend

Joshua Warren

Yiduo Wen

POST-GRADUATION PLANS Following is a list of colleges and universities that the 2016 graduates were accepted into for the 2016-2017 academic year. Those in bold reflect the colleges students plan to attend. Albion College Alma College Anderson University Aquinas College Arizona State University Augustana College Boston College Boston University Butler University California College of Arts Calvin College Carnegie Mellon University Central Michigan University City University of New York Columbia College Chicago Concordia University Ann Arbor Eastern Michigan University Grace Bible College Grand Rapids Community College

Grand Valley State University Grove City College Hillsdale College Hope College Kalamazoo College Kettering University Lake Superior State University Lansing Community College Liberty University Luther College Miami University Michigan State University New York University Northeastern University Northern Michigan University Oakland University Olivet Nazarene University Point Loma Nazarene University Pratt Institute

Purdue University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rhode Island School of Design Rochester University Saginaw Valley State University Siena Heights University Spring Arbor University Syracuse University University of Detroit Mercy University of Kansas University of Kentucky University of Michigan University of Mississippi University of Oregon University of Tennessee University of Vermont Washtenaw Community College Western Michigan University Wheaton College I 7 I Journey


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Excerpt from Claire Garner’s Charge to the Graduating Class By Claire Garner

Each one of you has a specific passion and gift from God, and He gave you that specific passion and gift because only you will be able to use it.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.” This spirit takes its shape in our lightheartedness, curiosity and wonderment. Even more incredible is the way in which every single one of these graduates individually exemplifies this verse. God has equipped us all with a spirit of power and love and a sound mind, and He did so in such a specific way. Each one of you has a specific passion and gift from God, and He gave you that specific passion and gift because only you will be able to use it. The evidence for this is in the variety of our class. We have singers, writers, film-makers, painters, runners, science enthusiasts and so many more.

Clearly, God equipped each of you with a specific passion that only you will be able to use to its full potential. From this, we are able to see a spirit of power and love and a sound mind emerging from each graduate’s life in a different way. So, to my fellow graduates, I challenge you with this: keep your spirit of power and love and a sound mind. Keep it and continue to pursue it. For this spirit is from God, and as long as you are pursuing God, He will continue to reveal your passion to you and use you in unimaginable ways. Then, you will be able to transform the world for the One who gives you life. Congratulations, Class of 2016. I 9 I Journey

EXPECTING EXCELLENCE Advancing the 2015-20 Strategic Plan By Wendy Hofman

In May, 2015, the Board of Trustees approved the 2015-20 Strategic Plan for Lansing Christian School. During the 201516 school year we were able to make progress on strategic goals in each of the areas of priority, all for the purpose of advancing our vision to equip young men and women to engage and transform the world for Jesus Christ. Advancing the LCS Vision through Financial Sustainability Planning for the financial sustainability of our school is a strategic priority during the next five years, so that LCS can thrive in the future and serve more families in the Greater Lansing community in the years ahead.

“At LCS, we believe excellent instruction starts with glorifying God in our practice. We expect growth in ourselves through innovative instruction and in our students through studentcentered learning. We value individual learning, and we believe learning happens best in and for the community.�

Growing enrollment is the best way to ensure the long term financial sustainability of Student-centered learning means the LCS and it is the best way to keep Priority #1 focus and goal of teaching is to equip tuition accessible for families over Provide excellent students with relevant knowledge time. The Variable Tuition programs in academics, and skills. Students are actively Program was adopted this year fine arts and athletics engaged in the learning process to help make tuition more and take ownership of their Priority #2 accessible to current LCS individual growth. In studentAdvance the LCS vision families based on centered learning, students demonstrated need and to and mission internally and take on a primary role attract new families who externally through effective in measuring their own may not have considered communication, marketing and progress and apply LCS as an option in the community relationships knowledge and skills in past because of authentic ways. Priority #3 affordability. With the Ensure financial sustainability introduction of Variable STEM - Science, Tehnology, through sound financial Tuition, applications to Engineering and Math Lansing Christian School management and a are up more than 50% from comprehensive fund The number of U.S. students last year. development program pursuing careers in STEM is not Priority #4 sufficient to meet the demand Advancing the LCS Vision Recruit, grow and retain for high skilled workers. These through Excellence in Student careers require students who are high quality teachers Programs problem solvers, critical thinkers, and administrators innovators, communicators and This year LCS crafted a new LCS collaborators. At LCS, we are working to Teaching Statement. This statement both provide opportunities for all LCS students to reflects what we value and aspire to in our prepare for future careers in science, technology, work with students, and gives us focus and engineering and math. direction for professional development. The statement includes the following summary: I 10 I Journey

EXPECTING EXCELLENCE STEM programs to be implemented in 2016 LCS Summer Camps with STEM focus were implemented in June, 2016. A new 7th and 8th grade STEM Project-Based class will be implemented in the 2016-17 school year. STEM Exploration and Career Days for elementary, middle and high school students will be implemented in the fall of 2016. Space is being renovated this summer to accommodate STEM curricular and co-curricular activities for use by all LCS students.


Kindergarten/Senior Buddy Program By Lisa Beal

What a blessing the Kindergarten/Senior Buddy program has been for our daughter Anna Joy. It gave her the opportunity to build a relationship with a strong godly woman. Claire, her Senior Buddy, took a very special interest in Anna Joy making her feel safe and confident. She helped her build a stronger desire to step outside her comfort zone at school.

New high school science courses will be offered in 2017-18.

We are pleased to announce the creation of a new PreK-3rd grade athletic program.

2016-17 Pilgrim PLAY As we work to develop a comprehensive, PreK12 athletic program at LCS, we are pleased to announce the creation of a new PreK-3rd grade athletic program called Pilgrim PLAY - Positive, Learning, Active Youth! The goal of Pilgrim PLAY is to encourage Christian community through a cohesive school-wide athletic program that introduces fundamentals and play to students at a young age. Pilgrim PLAY will partner with Lansing Christian coaches and varsity student athletes. Coed teams will be formed in the following sports: Soccer - Fall Volleyball - Late Fall Basketball - Winter Baseball/Softball - Spring Students will be divided into three age groups: PreK, K-1st grade and 2nd-3rd grade. The cost will be minimal to families and the focus will be on fundamentals and having fun! Pilgrim PLAY will be held on Saturdays. The ultimate goal of the new Pilgrim PLAY program is to encourage Positive, Learning, Active Youth - for life!

As a parent, I saw this relationship connect the youngest students at LCS with the oldest students. I watched my daughter let go of my hand and run into the arms of Claire and her friend. Being embraced by an older generation of strong Christian examples gave my young daughter people to look up to. It was more than I could ever have hoped for when we first came to LCS. Now as we watch Claire getting ready to start her new adventure at Liberty University, Anna Joy’s relationship with her remains strong. We hope to be a support and encouragement to her as much as she was for Anna Joy. They plan to be pen pals over the next year and I am sure Claire can look forward to receiving many beautiful works of art created for her by Anna Joy. I 11 I Journey


Equipping LCS Middle School Students with New and Relevant Learning in 2016-17 By Wendy Hofman

Implementing a K-12 Spanish program is one of the ways LCS seeks to equip students to engage the world for Jesus Christ. With an increase in State of Michigan graduation requirements for World Language, LCS has made the decision to give middle school students the opportunity to earn high school credit by the end of 8th grade. This will allow students to select additional courses of their choosing in high school or engage in deeper Spanish course work, including the possibility of AP Spanish. In addition, beginning in fall of 2016, 7th and 8th grade students will engage in a new nine week Project Based STEM class taught cooperatively by high school science teachers Dr. Nel LeCorn and Mr. Omar Bjarki. This new hands-on learning opportunity is built around 23 Science Olympiad events and student research involving student selected topics in the areas of STEM.

Summer Camp By Sheri Shank

During June and July LCS hosted a total of 13 summer camps. Camps that were offered ran the gamut from sports and karate to cooking, film-making and Spanish. New this year were two camps with a science, technology, engineering, arts and math focus.

The students read the stories together and then built items modeled after the tall tales.

LCS parent, Eric Vanden Bosch, led an Experiments and Exploration camp that was a hands-on laboratory of learning using science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Mr. Vanden Bosch turned the elementary fourth grade classroom into a maker-space where students could experiment with boats and wind, circuits and simple machines, little robots that follow commands and bridge building. Another camp with a STEM focus was led by LCS parent Stephanie Buchalski and former LCS teacher Jill Shackelford. The curriculum I 12 I Journey

for this camp was built on tall tale stories that students were familiar with. The students read stories together and then built items modeled after the tall tales. In one memorable session, students used household items to build Pecos Bill’s lasso. In this camp students also were introduced to computer programming and coding.


Capstone Trips By Tim Blamer

As students finish each level of LCS, they have the opportunity to participate in capstone trips. The 5th and 8th graders travel to Chicago while the seniors visit Washington, D.C. Each of these trips allows students to learn in an experiential way and engage God’s world through exploration. The trips are significant learning experiences in the life of a Lansing Christian student. In order to learn science in a fun, hands-on way, the 5th graders visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago at the end of their elementary career. It is a one day trip and a significant number of parents go to share the experience and time with their child. While at the museum, the students see science come alive as they explore a coal mine, submarine, airplanes, weather, space travel and more. The trip is a wonderful way to celebrate the transition from elementary to middle school. After their graduation, the 8th graders have the opportunity to return to Chicago to tour the city more in depth and have an overnight stay. The students are able to celebrate their graduation from 8th grade with each other, some of their teachers and parent chaperones. Highlights of the trip include: Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, the Hancock Observatory and a nice meal out together.

The Senior Trip to Washington, D.C. is the culminating trip for LCS. The seniors spend a week in D.C. exploring the city, government, history, culture, arts, nature, sports and more. They tour the Capitol, Holocaust Museum, Washington Monument and Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Other highlights include seeing the monuments at night, visiting Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and National Aquarium, exploring Georgetown and seeing Arlington National Cemetery. The seniors learn how to use the subway system and have time to engage in some of their own unique interests on the trip. Senior Trip is a wonderful time of learning, but also a final time for the class to be together before they graduate.

The Senior Trip to Washington, D.C. is the culminating trip for LCS.

Boat Building Challenge By Eric Vanden Bosch

How does a boat float? How does a boat move without a motor? These are questions the 3rd grade students explored in a hands-on boat building experience. Walking past the classrooms and seeing piles of materials such as popsicle sticks, pop bottles, aluminum foil, rubber bands, straws and duct tape may have caused the casual observer to wonder what was happening in third grade. Both classrooms had become laboratories of invention, as the third graders turned into nine-year-old master craftsmen of boats.

about buoyancy, displacement of water, loads and wind energy. More importantly they had fun while learning these concepts.

They worked in groups of two to develop a design plan and build a boat using the materials listed above. Once the boats were built, they took them outside to “Lake Lansing Christian”, a massive blow-up kiddie pool, and raced the boats using wind energy in the form of blowing fans. During this collaborative process, the students learned I 13 I Journey

ATHLETICS Girls’ Soccer Wins 4th Consecutive Regional Title By Bonnie Binioris

With only two seniors on the roster, the girls’ varsity soccer team dominated their opponents in season play. The team took the GLAC conference title with a perfect 12-0 record. Conference play ended with the Pilgrim offense outscoring their opponents 107-0, while the defense held rivals to under three shots a game. In the post-season tournament, the team blasted through Springport 10-0 for the district championship and Manchester 8-0 for the regional crown. In the semi-final game, a tough University Liggett team was able to avenge a previous loss to the Pilgrims, ending a stellar season for the team. Congratulations to Coach Joel VandeKopple for such a successful and exciting season!

SMITL League and Tournament Champions – Four Years in a Row

Pilgrim Baseball Team Played with Determination and Grit By Bonnie Binioris

By Bonnie Binioris

While the Lansing Christian’s 2016 girls’ tennis team earned a fourth consecutive SMITL league and tournament championship, they also finished in 4th place at the regional tournament.

The Lansing Christian boys’ baseball team played tough the entire season and posted an excellent record in the GLAC conference. In addition, the team qualified as studentathletes for the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association All-Academic team tennis award with a combined 3.55 GPA. Player highlights include Grace Haley as the #1 singles state finals qualifier and Yiduo Wen as the #3 singles regional champion. In its 10th year of girls’ tennis, Lansing Christian School was able to field a tennis team of 15 girls, which competed against much larger schools with more experienced teams. I 14 I Journey

The juniors and seniors mentored their numerous underclassmen teammates on how to play with determination and heart. Displaying excellent leadership skills, under the guidance of Head Coach David Miranda, the 2016 baseball team exhibited class and maturity both on and off the field. By sharing important life experiences – such as praying with Mrs. Cathy Bytwerk and her family as she prepared to send her husband home to Heaven – he taught lessons that extended much farther than the baseball field.


2016 Track Team Enjoys Memorable Season By Coach Owen Anderson, Ph.D.

Our overall goals were to optimize our running form and running-specific strength, prepare as well as possible for each meet, and then compete with 100-percent, all-out effort. Our young athletes reached that goal in impressive fashion.

There were some extremely notable individual performances. Andrew Carlock sizzled through one 1600-meter race after another, getting faster week by week. He qualified for the State Championships in Grand Rapids and ran his best 1600 of the season there, surging to an outstanding 4:34 clocking. Similarly, Davis Tebben, Dawson Block, Logan AndersonBorton, Marian Henderson, Luke Bowden, and Jonathan Fleming notched one personal record after another as the season progressed. Our team members were excited to be assisted with their speed and dynamic-mobility training by seven elite Kenyan athletes – Monicah Ngige, Gladys Kipsoi, Veronicah Maina, Gladys Cheboi, Eunice Mumbua Kioko, Mary Wangui, and Nancy Nzisa – who also provided a great deal of inspiration and motivation. We are very sorry to lose Logan and Andrew to graduation, but are already very excited about the 2017 season!

LCS Golf Team Enjoys a Successful Season By Bonnie Binioris

On June 11, 2016, sophomore Parker Jamieson took home the Division 4 individual state title!

Pilgrims finished second place overall in the GLAC conference and only two points behind the first place finisher.

The Pilgrims also had three individual players in the top 10 in the conference. Parker Jamieson finished as the number one individual player, along with first team all-conference honors. Nick Jamieson also received first team all-conference with Dawson Block receiving second team all-conference honors. As a team, the Pilgrims were Academic All-State with a combined GPA of 3.916!

Parker shot a two-day total of 147 and won by two strokes. Parker credits the support of his family, Coach Jason Block and his teammates with his success. “I'm really happy right now," Jamieson said. "As a team I think we should be able to make it here next year and do well." With a varsity team comprised of four sophomores and two juniors, the Pilgrims finished second place overall in the GLAC conference and only two points behind the first place finisher. I 15 I Journey

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Lansing christian school pilgrim journey summer 2016  

Lansing Christian School newsletter

Lansing christian school pilgrim journey summer 2016  

Lansing Christian School newsletter