Student Orientation Builds on 2018 Theme for Hillcrest

"You don't have to feel good about stopping at a stop sign to do it." The room was quiet as Principal Isaac united the senior class around Hillcrest's policies and procedures. That's the goal of student orientation at Hillcrest. Orientation fits within Hillcrest's Welcome Week where students from around the world spend time meeting and connecting. This year the school theme oozed from the orientation meetings, giving support to the idea's relevance.

Practice Makes Purpose is plastered on a ten foot banner in Hillcrest's chapel. With music instruments in the foreground, students peer over a drum ses to see the theme logo on the wall that is also on hallway display signs and student orientation packets. Each class at Hillcrest goes through an orientation schedule that has them meeting in the chapel to unpack the school theme and receive a series of messages that bring unity to the school.

"Open your packet to page 2" Principal Isaac continues. The students completed an exercise called the speed interview. The room goes from boisterous to focused in a matter of seconds. Eyes that were locked on new friends who were telling their life story in two minutes now lock on Principal Isaac as he outlines the structure of Hillcrest. "You will be treated well here because we rest on the reality that everyone is made in the image of God."

Students begin nodding their heads as Principal Isaac paints a picture of how the school theme is relevant and important for students today. "You don't have to feel good about doing something. Stopping at a stop sign really doesn't have a grounding in whether or not I feel good about doing it. But I can tell you that it is good for our health to stop." Principal Isaac turns the corner to expand on the school's theme. "As another example, sometimes we avoid stopping at stop signs in relationships, and then we want to bypass the consequences. Sometimes stopping doesn't have a lot to do with our feelings."

As students shift in their chairs, taking in the outline of the Principal's introductory message, there is a connection being made. Practice doesn't always make one perfect. Instead, sometimes practice provides greater purpose. Right practice, living in a way that supports ideals that treat all humans as made in the image of God, leads to a better culture, better friendships, and a better sense of self. That is the outline for Principal Isaac's message before the students open their handbooks and dive into the details of Hillcrest's policies and procedures.

Hillcrest welcomes 180 students from over 18 countries at the start of the 2018-19 school year. The cultural flavor at Hillcrest unites together purposefully. With a cohesive theme and an outline of strong practice and commitment to community life Hillcrest affords one of the strongest boarding high school experience in the United States. The school's Welcome Week and student orientation are integral parts to the school's nationally recognized program. The school's theme will add to this, calling students to practice life giving habits to in finding greater purpose.

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