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In This Issue

December 2017

▪ Three New Updates from the Executive Director
▪ Creating Community Outside of School Hours
▪ Why Elementary and Middle School Students Learn Handwork
▪ How Our High Schoolers Are Living Out Their Faith
▪ Get to Know Your Faculty
Three New Updates from the Executive Director
Creating Community Outside of School Hours
Why Elementary and Middle School Students Learn Handwork
How Our High Schoolers Are Living Out Their Faith
Get to Know Your Faculty
ED Article - Nov NL

Exciting times at CSH

By Bryan Walker, Executive Director

As we approach the end of 2017 and get ready for a "New Year" at Calvary Schools, we are celebrating new exciting things:

▪ Our new baseball field
Our new baseball field

If you're new to Calvary, a baseball field might seem like a small thing -- just a bunch of dirt, grass, and fence. But this baseball field is something special, and for several reasons. First, a few years ago, several ball fields were closed in the area. This created a serious space problem for the local schools and recreational sports teams. Since Calvary didn't have its own field, we were forced to get VERY creative for our team's schedules.

Second, CSH has never had its own varsity field. A diamond installed on our high school campus will allow our teams to literally "walk out the back door" to practice and play. Third, the quoted price for a ball field installation was between $125,000 - $500,000. That seemed incredible to us.

So, with the passion and leadership of Jay Mosterd (dad of Riley Mosterd, CSH junior), work began on the field in Fall 2016 and continued through this past month (with more still to do). Jay helped coordinate great work teams of CSH dads and team players to get the field work done and ready for play in Spring 2018. And with much work and many gifts, Calvary has spent less than $5,000 to date on this field. Now THAT's exciting!

▪ Debt-free

CSH has recently eliminated all bank debt and is carrying no debt service at all. What does that mean? Through many gracious gifts, God allowed us to zero out our bank loan. This is a great accomplishment for this school! It means that 100% of the financial gifts the school receives goes toward the programs, our team members, and our campuses. Our goals are to continue striving for excellence for a great academic experience, to elevate the pay scale for our employees to be a top-notch workplace, and to maximize the beautiful resources that God has blessed us with at both campuses for a beautiful learning and growing atmosphere.

▪ A new gym
A new gym

We are working on plans to begin the effort for a new gym at our Laketown campus. Our commitment is to experience no debt on this project, and we are praying fervently each day about how God will show Himself through this commitment. Get ready to hear more about this in 2018!

We continue to celebrate God's goodness and faithfulness toward Calvary Schools, and we give Him all of the glory for the great things He is doing here and how he is using His gracious people each year. Thank you for being a big part of Calvary -- and we look forward to more great things to come!

Retreats - Nov NL

Building community for students outside of the classroom

By Zach Ward, 7th Grade & Stacia Firebaugh, High School English

Relationships are a big priority at Calvary. In fact, the idea of relationship is at the very heart of an Ambleside education. One way in which we have intentionally created opportunities for our students and faculty to grow in healthy relationships with one another is through team building retreats, specifically for our middle and high school students.

Earlier this fall, our sixth and seventh grade students spent two days together at Beechpoint Camp in Allegan, where Mrs. Goossen, Mr. Ward, and Beechpoint staff led students in team building exercises, times of personal reflection, and other activities aimed at cultivating important middle school community values.

Students began each day with a time of quiet reflection and journaling using a devotional comprised of scripture, poetry, and hymns which Mrs. Goossen prepared. Then Beechpoint staff led the students in multiple games and activities which challenged students to learn how to communicate well, listen well, value each team member, and take on leadership roles. Many of these challenges confronted student groups with a mental or physical problem to solve as a group, such as the “low ropes” course. In some cases, groups experienced struggle and failure multiple times prior to success, after which Beechpoint staff members led the students in debriefing reflection and conversation. Students were encouraged to step up in leadership at times, and some to selflessly step back and allow others to lead or contribute.

The days were valuable not only to the students but also to the teachers, as Mrs. Goossen and Mr. Ward were always present to observe these interactions and gain insight into each student in their care this year.

Students ate lunch with Mr. Ward and Mrs. Goossen, and the days ended with time for structured, student-led group games, such as 9 square in the air, volleyball, basketball, and shooting hoops. Each day ended with a final time of reflection and conversation with Mr. Ward and Mrs. Goossen.

Our seniors also had the opportunity to start the year with a time of fellowship and spiritual renewal. Seventeen seniors and three staff members joined each other at the Hills' cabin by the lake. The purpose of the trip was for students to connect, strengthen relationships, and be challenged in their faith.

Over the two-day period, students enjoyed spending time outside and relaxing in the sun. The whole class bonded over a variety of aquatic activities including swimming, paddleboating, and volleyball. Other students challenged each other in cornhole and frisbee. To take a break from physical activity in the afternoon, some students started games of Balderdash and Mad Gab. On Friday evening, the whole group gathered around the fire to talk, sing, and make s'mores.

To remind seniors of the purpose of the retreat, Mr. Williams led devotionals on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The students discussed the meaning of legacy and what that might look like for their class. Mr. Williams challenged the seniors to leave a legacy in whatever they do, to impact others, and not simply try to build upon their own legends. This year's senior retreat helped the class unify and start the year strong as leaders at Calvary.

Class 4 handwork - Nov 17 NL

Forming good habits and character traits through handwork

By Loni Taylor, 4th Grade

The practice of handwork connects us with our cultural heritage, to our ancestors who practiced handwork out of necessity to create items that met essential needs. We feel rooted, nostalgic, peaceful, and purposeful as we practice a skill that was obtained in our youth, creating heirlooms that will be passed on to our children.

As we teach handwork at Calvary, emphasis is placed on the skill to be learned rather than the project to be produced. We discuss the value of perseverance and industry, precision and neatness, patience and practice, creativity and good taste.

For example, our Kindergarten students are learning to weave, Class 3 is learning to knit, Class 5 is creating mosaics, and Class 6 is learning the art of Scherenschnitte (German paper cutting).

In class 4 at Calvary, students are introduced to cross stitch. In the first couple weeks students learn 5 basic stitches: regular cross stitch, elongated cross stitch, box stitch, cross, and smyrna cross. They use these stitches to create a sampler.

After completing the sampler students move onto other projects. Some are projects where they must follow a given pattern. Other times the student must create the design on graph paper, choose the colors and stitches, and finally stitch on aida cloth.

As we begin our study of ornithology, our handwork will focus on cross stitching different birds.

Spiritual Life update - Nov 17 NL

Challenging our high school to "Live It"

By Beaux Williams, Spiritual Life Director - Laketown

Living as a young believer in today’s world can be daunting. Besides ever-present temptations and pressures, Christians are facing a culture that is increasingly indifferent or even hostile to their faith. Yet, God calls each of us, regardless of our age, to set an example to those around us. In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Apostle Paul urges his protégé, Timothy: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” In other words, Timothy was called to live out his faith before others. From this, we have developed this year’s spiritual life theme, LIVE IT!

This theme has guided the direction of our chapel services. We have an amazing lineup of speakers this year who have challenged the students in the areas of obedience, pursuing spiritual growth, speaking the truth in love, and drawing near to Christ. After chapel, the students divide into small groups and discuss the week’s chapel message. They also work through a custom curriculum designed to make practical application of the concepts being presented.

We kicked off Power Plus this year with an afternoon of team building. Groups took to Holland on a city-wide scavenger hunt. While we had a good time, we also developed relationships and learned to work together toward a common goal. I was surprised how many people in the community engaged with the students and asked questions about their Power Plus shirts and the school. I am glad to report that the students represented Christ well.

Power Plus continues to emphasize the development of servant leaders. Our goal is to live it before the community as we serve at various ministries, such as Holland Rescue Mission, Hallmark Living, Bibles for Mexico, Africa’s Child, Central Wesleyan Church, Appledorn Assisted Living Center, Compassionate Heart Ministry, and City on a Hill. It is truly a blessing to see young men and women take this call seriously and humbly lead their classmates.

A number of groups served at Unity Day with the Plasman Campus. It was great to see the interaction between the high schoolers and the younger students. My group assisted the 3rd grade as they read A Little Maid of Old Connecticut together and made detailed drawings based on the works of Utagawa Hiroshige.

As always, we are humbled to work with your students and are committed to their ongoing spiritual growth. I would ask that you continue to pray on behalf of this ministry and the young men and women who are seeking each day to live it.

Jessica McRae bio pic

Getting To Know You

Jessica McRae, Junior Kindergarten Teacher

Jessica lives in Holland with her husband James and four children, Annabelle (5th grade), Ariel (3rd grade), Arianna (kindergarten), and Parker (age 3). Jessica earned degrees from GVSU in Elementary Education and Special Education. Her husband James works at Multi Packaging Solutions in Holland, where he has worked for 17 years. Their family attends Immanuel Church, where Jessica enjoys teaching Sunday School, acting as librarian for the media center, hosting community discussions, and coordinating many activities for moms. In their free time, the McRae family enjoys taking nature walks, going to indoor waterparks, baking, and crafting. Jessica is passionate about raising children who love the Lord and can often be found reading Christian parenting books. She is encouraged by the Charlotte Mason method of teaching and appreciates what Mason says about teaching children: “Now, education as we understand it, deals entirely with individuals; not with children, but with the child.”

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Mike Tabor, High School Spanish Teacher

Mr. Tabor was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. He attended Clearwater
Christian College where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Bible. He has since spent his time serving in Costa Rica as a missionary, in Ohio as a youth pastor, and as a high school history teacher. He has also served as a high school vice principal for two years and a principal for 10 years. He has dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Costa Rica, which means he has two passports and, as a Costa Rican citizen, can go to countries that a U.S. citizen cannot.

Mike has been married to his wife, Cassandra, for 22 years, and they have four children. Friday night is family night at the Tabor house – they order in pizza or Chinese food and rent a movie. When in Costa Rica, Mr. Tabor loves going to the beach, playing basketball or soccer with his boys, or building things out of shipping pallets. When in Michigan, he enjoys fishing, riding bikes on Mackinac Island, and going to his son’s football games.

Mike says teaching Spanish at Calvary has been a great experience. He has loved getting to know the students and finding out their different abilities in learning a foreign language. His goal is to pray for each one of them at least once a week and looks forward to seeing how God uses them after high school.

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Put this on the calendar!

December 12
Combined Christmas Concert, 7pm at Calvary Baptist Church

December 18
Plasman Christmas Stories & Cookies, 7pm at Plasman Campus

December 21
Half day of school (if needed for snow day make-up)

December 22 - January 7
Christmas Break

January 8
School resumes
Re-enrollment begins
Laketown Winterim classes begin

Calvary in the news
▪ Power Plus students assemble crisis kits for women in need.
▪ Plasman campus hosts a day of training for a Chicago-area school who came to observe our Charlotte Mason model of education. The visitation was covered in the Holland Sentinel.
▪ The fence for our new baseball diamond was installed.
▪ Our kindergarten class visits Post Family Farm.
▪ Isabel Bos and Riley Mosterd were chosen to represent Calvary Schools and the Holland community in the Michigan Regional Honors Choir, and then were selected for the State Honors Choir!
Power Plus students assemble crisis kits for women in need.
Plasman campus hosts a day of training for a Chicago-area school who came to observe our Charlotte Mason model of education. The visitation was covered in the Holland Sentinel.
The fence for our new baseball diamond was installed.
Our kindergarten class visits Post Family Farm.
Isabel Bos and Riley Mosterd were chosen to represent Calvary Schools and the Holland community in the Michigan Regional Honors Choir, and then were selected for the State Honors Choir!
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