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Year End Giving 2015


HLA Faculty member and alumnus Ryan Garvin shares below how God is using him to impact student lives for eternity at Hillcrest. Your ongoing support of HLA through the annual fund plays a pivotal role in this ministry. It enables the school to continue providing excellent faculty and transformational student experiences.

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Year End Giving 2015


HLA Faculty member and alumnus Ryan Garvin shares below how God is using him to impact student lives for eternity at Hillcrest. Your ongoing support of HLA through the annual fund plays a pivotal role in this ministry. It enables the school to continue providing excellent faculty and transformational student experiences.

I am so honored to be at Hillcrest. I am excited to see how God is still using this place, and I am privileged to be part of a team that is helping to heal hearts and train leaders, equipping students to impact eternity with their lives.
— Ryan Garvin

A Note from Hillcrest's Newest Teacher

Fellow Alumni & Friends of Hillcrest,

The year is 2015, but it could be any one of my four years as a Hillcrest student. I am thrown into memories of sitting in the front hallway with other students singing Christmas carols in three-part harmony, or rushing to the now-old gym after study hall to get in a few more games of basketball. Although some of these experiences are now just memories, students at Hillcrest in 2015 continue to grow through that same edifying togetherness. I have come to realize more than ever what inspires so many to give generously to the formative ministry of HLA.

My time as a student at the Castle was filled with things that, at the time, I know I didn’t fully appreciate or even recognize. Guided by teachers passionate about their subject matter, I discovered a deep interest in history that helped determine the course of my post-secondary pursuits. My basketball experience alone is chock-full of little aha! moments where Coach Preston gave direction or a word, the significance of which continued to unfold for me for years. I now realize that the discipline and leadership skills he encouraged in athletics set me up with a basis for how to make good decisions later in life — in ministry, in the corporate world, and in my family. My time at Hillcrest truly did prepare me for a life of eternal significance. It fostered in me a desire to make the most of my God-given talents, and provided me with real life examples of what that could look like.

Now that I have returned to the Castle as a teacher myself, I have a new appreciation for the investment my own teachers made, both in and out of the classroom. I am immersed in a world where intentional investment in students is an essential part of every day. Teachers are busy with multiple class preparations, but beyond this they spend so much time discussing and contemplating how to give godly direction to a particular student or to a class. I am amazed to see, in retrospect, the level of investment that my teachers made in me and to recognize the academic and spiritual success they continue to desire for each student. Though each week is busy, as teachers we are determined to make time to worship with and pray for each other. 

Hillcrest leadership invests in me, and that empowers me to turn around and invest in my students. The personal faith stories of faculty members are accessible to the students as they navigate their spiritual journey alongside academics. A student from China, in the United States for the first time, stopped in my classroom to chat one day. He talked about some struggles he was having and I was able to introduce him to a Bible app that offers dozens of languages - it was the first time he’d seen the Word of God in his native tongue. I also enjoy my daily visits from a west coast freshman as I prep for my mornings. Sometimes he does homework, or we discuss his life and daily concerns — big things and small things.

I am so honored to be at Hillcrest. I am excited to see how God is still using this place, and I am privileged to be part of a team that is helping to heal hearts and train leaders, equipping students to impact eternity with their lives. I invite you to join me by investing in the ministry of Hillcrest through a year-end gift to the HLA Annual Fund.

A Note From Hillcrest's Mentor-Teacher

Michele Foss is Hillcrest's Mentor-Teacher who meets throughout the week with new teachers.

Michele Foss is Hillcrest's Mentor-Teacher who meets throughout the week with new teachers.

As a teacher for the past 20 years, education is very important to me. I believe education should be well rounded, student centered, and function in the context of a loving, Christian environment that rewards students for their strong effort and hard work.

I heard of the heart for ministry at Hillcrest...now, as a teacher at Hillcrest, I see it first hand.
— Michele Foss

Since moving from California to Fergus Falls I started looking for education opportunities that resonate with my heart for learning.  I heard of the heart for ministry at Hillcrest. I read about mission trips to the Dominican Republic.  I heard how staff and faculty mentor and love students. I heard about the leadership qualities instilled in the students.  I heard all these things, and now, as a teacher at Hillcrest, I see it first hand. 

One of the teachers I have the privilege to work with is Ryan Garvin.  Ryan is the new history teacher at HLA.  A former graduate of Hillcrest, Ryan possesses a deep love of learning and an innate sense of how to run a classroom. The variety in his class is inspiring and the enthusiasm is contagious. 

Mr. Garvin a good teacher for two reasons. He loves to learn how to do things better. He surrounds himself with mentors of different ages to speak into his life. He is also a good teacher because he loves the students. He is out in the hallways high-fiving, saying hello, or walking with students.  I know as a mother of two of his students, he is definitely a favorite.  

Both of my children say that they really like history, and that Mr. Garvin likes having them in his class. Honestly, could this teacher/mom be any more happy about the school choice for her children?

Ryan is one of many teachers at Hillcrest who are making a difference in the lives of students. Looking ahead to this next semester, I am anticipating positive growth, wonderful challenges and creative ideas to fill the hallways at HLA. Would you consider joining us in this ministry by supporting Hillcrest's annual fund?

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Give online To the Annual Fund


Give online To the Annual Fund



What is the Annual Fund?

Hillcrest’s Annual Fund has subsidized countless number of students’ tuition over the years. It helps to make Hillcrest accessible for more families to attend. It remains essential, and is our first advancement priority. Your consistent annual support provides funds for ongoing operations, helps to ensure excellent faculty in the classroom, technology, student support programs, and scholarships. All giving Club contributions go to the HLA Annual Fund. In short, gifts of any size make a difference to every student, every day. It’s the most direct way for you to partner with us in the current ministry of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. 

Thank you for your support!