Year-end thoughts from HCA Head of School, Rick Lukianuk
What a year it has been here at HCA. When 508 students arrived last August for the beginning of classes, we knew that God had many wonderful surprises in store for us, as well as many teachable moments, many problems to be solved together, many teams to cheer on, many hours to spend on homework, many friends to make, many friendships to deepen, many prayers to be prayed, many books to read, many laughs and tears to be shared and 27 special Seniors who would choose the next stage in their life journey and walk across a stage on May 20th in a graduation celebration.
Aside from the run-on sentence above, so much else has been accomplished in the life of HCA and the lives of our students. A year that began in tragedy moved toward healing this spring when our new playground was dedicated in honor of Caleb Schwab. Hundreds of released balloons drifted to the sky reminding us that, even as Caleb will now be able to joyfully play without ever tiring, he will always be remembered as part of the heart and soul of HCA.
We celebrated our first ever team State Championship as our Varsity Girls Volleyball Team honored the memory of Coach Janice Van Gorp by winning the title that had barely eluded them in the past. Our Varsity Track and Field athletes also captured several additional championships in individual and relay events. We cheered on our athletes in many other sports throughout the year as all of our elementary, junior high and senior high teams gave us memorable moments and victories, while representing Christ through their efforts and sportsmanship.
We cheered on our Robotics Team as it advanced to the regionals, our Scholars’ Bowl students as they finished third in the state, and our Musicians as they captured several top honors in state competition. We laughed with our Drama students in Seussical and Three Little Pigs, applauded several concerts, enjoyed student-produced films and art works, and sang, prayed and worshipped together in Chapels. We congratulated our first National Merit Finalist, graduated our first student with a STEM diploma endorsement and applauded as EVERY ONE of our seniors announced they were continuing on to higher education.
We welcomed our first group of international students and made some new friends as a group of Chinese students attended our school for two weeks in February. Also during February, we joined together as a community to meet our fund raising goals and enjoy a very special Taste of HCA.
As our Elementary students continued to grow a Culture of Kindness, they also raised Change for Chickens, exhibited their tremendous talents in a wonderful show, presented beautiful concerts at Christmas and year end, participated in several other fund raising activities for their community and grew in wisdom and stature.
This listing could continue on for pages and I would still be leaving out important events. However, I think it is clear that our school had another wonderful HCA year in which we grew together as a community, each student learned much about our God and this wonderful world He has created for us. We now prepare to continue our journey into the 2017-18 school year (didn’t the new Millennium just begin a couple of years ago?).
And what a year God has in store for us next year! Although we don’t know how many total students will be here for the start of school in August, we do know it will be the largest student body in the history of HCA. We currently have 535 students registered and more families still inquiring about enrolling. Our largest ever 7th grade class will begin their careers at the West Campus and 100 Preschoolers will make a joyful noise at our East Campus. We will welcome several new teachers (more to come as we finalize contracts), even as we say farewell and thank you to Mrs. Riley, Mr. Patrick, Mrs. Reitmeier and Mr. Miller. May God richly bless each of them as they move on to the next phase of their ministry journey.
We will watch with anticipation as classrooms, science labs, a black box theater and renovated art and computer classrooms are constructed on West Campus. We will also be grateful for new computers, iPads and staff MacAirs on East Campus. As we add additional STEM, Fine Arts and extracurricular options at the West Campus, we will also be planning for eventual expansion and growth to three classes per grade on the East Campus.
Most importantly, we will continue to work ceaselessly to integrate faith and learning in all that we do. We will continue to assist teachers in being living curriculum role models of Christianity in and out of the classroom. We will continue to value every HCA student as an individual, lovingly and wonderfully made by a mighty God who values and purposes each life. We will strive to partner with all of you parents and your respective churches in the spiritual development of your children, while providing a safe and stimulating environment each day that challenges and encourages each student to achieve their best. We will strive to be faithful stewards of all that God has given us in order to provide the best value in education that is possible. We will never take for granted that each of you is sacrificing to send your children to HCA and we must maximize each dollar you entrust to us.
Please know that we love your children, pray for them constantly and endeavor each day to nurture them in God’s love and wisdom. We will strive to do nothing less, and many things even better next year. We are privileged to be your partners in educating your children by impressing God’s commands on their hearts and imparting God’s wisdom throughout our curriculum.
One final thought for you. My good friend John Stonestreet is the current President of the Chuck Colson Center and a co-host of Breakpoint, the daily cultural commentary many of you may listen to or read. He has just published a powerful book entitled, A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World. Our entire staff will be reading it this summer, and I hope all of you take the opportunity to do so as well. I cannot think of a better way I can assist you as a partner in the growth of your children than to point you to this resource.
I look forward to seeing you in August! Have a wonderful, restful and joyful summer. May the Lord bless you and your families richly until we gather again in August.
In His service together,