We're excited about the mundane months. A recent story produced by the journalism class has many students anticipating the mundane motions at Hillcrest.
Often, school grows routine. Students find themselves in the same place, at the same time, every day. But our instructors have been challenging the students to think about how they're faithful through the mundane. One way teachers and coaches do that is through consistent conversation and mentorship with students. Addressing the routine, encouraging spiritual disciplines, students receive a constant reminder that the world they're learning about, often in a monotonous daily ritual, is full of life and excitement. Students hear that if they can develop consistent habits of prayer, solitude and testimony, their droning studies actually become and practice in deepening faith.
Hillcrest's journalism class is documenting some of the unseen realities where God is meeting students who are consistent in their work. Whether on the field, in the classroom, or through study periods, students are encountering an organized world, finding hope and relationship in a personal God.
Recently, Senior Kelly Dzialo sat through what may be a mundane class. She documented how God spoke powerfully through the consistent message of His order using literature. Hear how she and other students are realizing the significance of God, by following this link to the HLA Today>>
Hillcrest has reformed a lot of their time-tested practices over the past ten years. One specific enhancement is the number of staff working in the dormitory. The school has encountered various studies that show students need anywhere from 4 to 8 meaningful adult supporters in their life. In response, Hillcrest ramped up the number of dorm staff and the type of training the staff go through. There are now 14 adults who work in the dormitory. In chapel on Friday students heard the power a meaningful adult has on a growing student.
The first time we met she was coming off of a long yellow school bus. Her lightly tinted strawberry blonde hair fell gently on her small black backpack. Surrounding her were a virtual forest of tall blonde Norwegian classmates who were now crowding in a circle in the parking lot behind the Hillcrest castle. The huddle broke, and she slowly moved down the line of Hillcrest students, who were eagerly greeting their new Norwegian classmates. She introduced herself to each one, reaching out a hand of greeting with a smile plastered to her face. I immediately recognized her name.
Flames danced in the glass pebbles of the fireplace in Hillcrest Lutheran Academy's Student Union while Christmas music rang out over the speakers. The entire student body blew in from the frosty Hillcrest campus on Wednesday, stomping cold feet and breathing into cupped hands to warm themselves. The students swarmed around a photo area to have pictures taken with their friends, pictures that would be printed to be placed inside boxes that read "Operation Christmas Child" as students participated in packing boxes for children in need.
There is nature in China, but according to Tracy Ding, a Chinese student attending Hillcrest this year, few enjoy it. So when Principal Isaac gave his pitch for his hiking club, one of six clubs added to Hillcrest's list of five from last year, Ding jumped at the opportunity and has not been disappointed.
Mayor Ben Schierer drew smiles and laughter, giving students a sense of confidence as he brought a greeting from City Hall to Hillcrest students Monday. In his personable presentation he had the Norwegian students leaning forward, students from Africa thinking to their Christmas traditions, and a host of local students brimming with pride.
Minute by minute the sky lightens, revealing tall prairie grasses bowing under silver frost. Empty milkweed pods with beards of snow-white seeds huddle companionably next to the skeletons of black-eyed susans. Faces among the crowd of Hillcrest students are now recognizable in the yellow light of day. The musicians are not alone but joined by dozens of teenagers who rose in the dark to greet the day with worship. They join all creation to praise the Creator in this perfect setting to begin the Lord’s Day.
Students shuffled between rows of chairs to circled groups Wednesday morning at Hillcrest. The groups were a small sample of the Hillcrest community. A junior high student sat amidst a student from Norway, one of Asia, and a handful of friends from the United States. There were over 16 groups meeting, led by a student from the senior class who would usher in the purpose of their gathering.
The Lady Comets Soccer program is making huge strides this year, finding themselves in a place to finish with a .500 mark with only two games left. Their 6-6 record is currently marking them as the best Hillcrest team yet, and with two games left, the Comets are eyeing a strong run at playoffs.