Year over year, the world strains under a growing problem: refugees, displaced from their home countries in ever-increasing numbers. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-2021 resulted in that number increasing exponentially. Meanwhile, John Houston, the woodshop teacher for Christian High was having a hard time finding a meaningful project that would help his Woodshop 4 students develop and practice their skills. Senior Kai Damata and juniors Nolan Johnson, Kona Strong, Travis Billie, and Garrett Thompson are, according to Houston, “very gifted and dedicated to the subject.”
While searching for the perfect project, Houston discovered a website for refugees and was astonished by the number of people who were in need. What he found was that these people have a specific need for sturdy furniture because their previous lifestyle had been extremely nomadic as they were constantly moving. Houston realized that this opportunity would help his talented students expand their woodworking skills, while also learning the importance of serving others.
Houston said the current cost of timber needed to build one of these projects runs about two hundred to three hundred dollars; meaning that the whole project costs at least a thousand dollars. Additionally, the materials require careful handling. All the measurements need to be exact, so that every joint fits perfectly, resulting in items that are strong and reliable. Houston said, “If the joints do not fit correctly, the students would need to modify the whole project, meaning more tedious work.” While the project is challenging, Houston hopes to inspire his students to continue to help those in need using the skills they’ve developed in woodshop.
With an aim toward serving with excellence, these CHS students are meeting the real needs of real people and offering something that a refugee may not have felt in years: a sense of home.
The Christian High School Cheer Squad is making history! This is the largest squad CHS has ever seen and the cheerleaders are thrilled to have opportunities to try things they haven’t been able to in the past. Squad Member Bella Hernandez loves the change. She says, “We get more opportunities to do more. There’s more people with more experience which means that there are many more things we get to try out. It’s so easy to make memories since we are all so close to each other.”
Despite its size, this team is also more bonded than ever. They get together and uplift one another, pray, and do devotions at team dinners every other Monday, and carry that experience into their practices as they work together and challenge each other to be and do better. The new coaches play a big role in fostering this community, supporting and truly caring about this team’s wellbeing.
“I love the new changes we’ve had this year,” says Charlize Sou. “Our new coaches really have made a huge impact on the cheer program itself and you can genuinely see such an improvement amongst the entire squad and have really felt all the love. Our coaches really do care about us and have done so much already.”
Members feel the best part of having a big team is how much they get to do with it. There are so many opportunities and so many friendships whether new or old. Having a large team that gets along so well makes it easy to love practice, which means taking on new challenges with confidence and excitement.
As most of you have noticed, our school’s growth this past year has been considerable. In a twelve month’s time, the district enrollment has increased by thirty percent! To put that in perspective, last year Christian Elementary School East (CESE) enrolled 222 students. This year they have 419! Christian Junior High School saw an increase from 142 students to 181. Christian High School also grew, jumping from last year’s enrollment of 349 students to this year’s 433… and counting! What caused this sudden growth? Christian Unified’s Director of Admissions, GayLynn Heinrich, said it’s a matter of values. Families simply aren’t happy with the public school education system and they want their kids to receive a Christian education.
Due to the sudden influx of students, thirty new teachers and staff members were added to accommodate the school’s growth. Many are wondering what will happen if this pace continues.
Will there still be enough room for all K-12 students on one campus? What actions will the school have to take in order to accommodate more students when many are concerned we are already bursting at the seams? Will an additional campus be opened? Will we stop enrolling new students? As of right now, the decisions are yet to be determined so that still leaves us with more questions than answers.
When asked how the rapid growth of our elementary student enrollment would impact the potential growth of CHS, Heinrich stated, “Most successful Christian schools grow their high school by growing the elementary. Growth looks or works best when you do it with the young, but ultimately we don’t want to exclude any families from having a Christian education.” In other words, today’s elementary students are tomorrow’s high schoolers. And Christian Unified is here for them all.
CHS has had a long history of teacher-led mission trips. Students have a required number of volunteer hours to complete each semester, and according to Mr. Conover, these trips are the best way to use them. They are an opportunity to both serve others and connect with God in a unique way. This year, opportunities for such trips have arisen in places such as Costa Rica and Salt Lake City.
In a recent interview, Mr. Molumby, who heads up our mission trips, stated that “Christian High classrooms only develop a part of a person: the mind. So, I feel that the mission trips allow students the opportunity to not grow the mind, but fill them with moral deeds and give them a message that there are people in need. I want to make a difference to the people. I believe that the impact for the people in need is small, but rather believe that the impact for the students who are going is bigger.” Mr. Molumby also mentioned how world economic value and currency have dropped in poor countries globally, representing an ever-increasing need for service.
Missionaries are needed all around the world. Their work meets the real needs of real people, which in turn blesses those who do the work. Mission trips can play a role in these efforts if done intentionally.
According to Mr. Molumby, “In order to help those in need, our students in CHS are genuinely trying to make an impact towards their spiritual growth and their relationship with God.” He believes that short-term missions are a great way to represent Christ and our school, and he wants students of all ages to make a difference that helps globally. CHS students who volunteer to go to one of these missionary trips hosted by our school get amazing perks! For example, by going on a mission trip, you could complete your 20-hour volunteer quota with a life-changing experience in third-world countries that can give new insight into people who struggle just to make it through the day. It is genuinely amazing to see how CHS students have the opportunity to make a difference in the global community, drawing attention toward our God.
The students of CHS have the opportunity to understand what it truly means to be a follower of God, and the privilege to go out and share that with the world. “So why wait? Come and join us on our next missionary trip!”
Rumors regarding the history of the Christian High campus have circulated throughout the student body for decades. The more notorious of the claims include the existence of an intricate underground tunnel system that nuns used to get around the property during war times, and even a graveyard under the softball field. It seems outlandish, but you may be surprised by how true some of these legends are.
Shadow Mountain historical archives do, in fact, reveal that the rumors about the graveyard under the current softball field are absolutely true, though the graves have been removed. Furthermore, Father Ben Davison of St. Kieran’s has confirmed that before Christian High School, there was the “Convent of the Sacred Heart” where a teaching order of nuns lead an-all girls catholic school. In fact, Mrs. Togerson was able to locate and obtain a yearbook from the “Convent of the Sacred Heart” graduating class of 1964. Another rumor confirmed! The vast tunnel system under the school, however, remains only a myth. The only tunnels are for flooding and water, not transportation (or so they claim).
So, next time your parents ask how your day was, you can say you had lunch on top of a former graveyard and that your tuna sandwich tasted phenomenal.
This semester, our school is putting on the musical The Sound of Music. The story follows an Austrian family as they take on a nanny, the Catholic misfit nun named Maria. Maria teaches the children to sing and about the magic of music, bringing the motherless family back to life. The father ends up falling for Maria, and they get married. Just when things look like they are going amazing, Nazis invade Austria and the family has to make a daring escape into the Alps.
The show will be performed in the Event Center this week: April 7th and 8th at 6:30pm, a 1:00 pm matinee on 9th, and on the 10th at 5:00pm. Hope to see you there!
Sports and the athletic community are a big, beloved part of CHS. For some, it’s just an after-school activity. For others, it’s so much more.
We interviewed Lady Patriots Lottiemae Glenn, Haley Whitman, and Naomi Henderson. Henderson has been playing basketball since she was five, Glenn has been playing for five years, and Whitman has been playing for six.
The Varsity girls’ basketball team took a trip to Arizona over winter break and when asked what it did for the team, Whitman said “the trip was really good for us and it really brought the team closer, and we were able to get to know each other more and bond.” “The trip to Arizona allowed me to get to know the girls on the team more in a friendly way than a teammate’s way which brought us closer,” said Henderson. When asked how they have grown or learned about themselves, Whitman responded “I learned how to persevere through things like the change from 8th grade to high school basketball. It’s been a good learning experience to be with older teammates.” Glen agreed and added, “I learned that I can push myself way harder than I thought I could and that this team has taught me how to communicate in stressful situations while keeping my calm.”
As winter sports come to an end, think about joining a sport this spring or next school year. You never know what memories or friendships you can make or what sports you like until you give it a shot.
The basketball season is coming to an end and Quentin Givens and Jeremiah Carr told us what basketball meant to them. As you know, the sports community has a very family-like dynamic and can draw bonds to last a lifetime. Jeremiah agrees, saying, “We can do anything as a team, because of the bonds we have towards each other.” Quentin also says, “Basketball opens up opportunities for scholarships and overall makes you well-rounded and ready for college.”
Jeremiah has been playing basketball at Christian since kindergarten and he loves the environment. Quentin has been playing for four years and he sees it as a way to get into college. As of this writing, boys basketball has six games left in their division-two league until we see if they make CIF. So, go out and support our boys’ basketball team!
Headed by Coach Moreno and assistant coaches David and Bedsole, the wrestling team has achieved their most triumphant season yet. In all of Coach Moreno’s ten years as wrestling coach, this is the biggest team the program has ever had, boasting a total of 22 players. The reason for that, according to him, is that “the football team really decided that they wanted to help the wrestling team out because wrestling really complements football” and due to coaches “who really value wrestling helping them out.” This, paired with recruitment efforts by Jordan Moreno, yielded amazing results.
The team has had an unprecedented winning record for their tri meets and dual meets, which are won based on team points (this means that the team with the most points in the end wins). Due to this season being extremely successful in having a full roster for all of the weight classes, this year’s wrestling team has become the first at CHS to win in their league. Many have also become league champions individually at the League Finals.
On top of the success achieved in their league, they placed second (just below Poway) at the John Bright Memorial Tournament, making this the first CHS wrestling team to ever win a trophy as well. Junior Nate Cena won the John Bright Award due to his hard work and outstanding sportsmanship at the tournament.
At the Conference Championship, freshman Danny Marquez placed 4th, making him the second wrestler at CHS to earn a medal at the conference. At the CIF Divisionals, for the first time ever the wrestling team placed top-five at fifth place and held the most Division-four placers at CIF in CHS history. Landon Bedsole, Jacob Morones, Nate Cena, Luke Bedsole, and Danny Marquez all made it to CIF Masters.
What is also remarkable about the team is how it is everyone’s first year wrestling. In discussing how he felt about this, freshman Jacobe Morones shared the unique opportunity of being an all-new team. “Everyone starts out on the same level,” he said, “and you progress from skill and practice.”
Amidst all of this tremendous success, a few wrestlers of the team were interviewed. When asked about his reasons for joining wrestling, Nate Cena stated, “I just wanted to do it so I could wrestle other people.” Sophomore Ryder Jennings had more practical reasons, stating, “My football coach said I needed to be lower [to be able to get low enough to throw people to the ground], so I joined wrestling because I figured I would be pretty good at it… Also to get my conditioning up.”
When asked about the challenges of wrestling, Danny Marquez stated that the hardest thing in wrestling is having “endurance strength. It’s different from cross country. It’s not speed-endurance, it’s strength-endurance,” which involves “using your muscles the entire time in trying to force the other guy on his back.” Then, when asked about making wait he said he “hated it,” and “had to change my eating schedule. I’ve eaten a lot less than during football season… I barely eat half of what I used to. But more than not eating it’s not drinking so much. It’s not taking in salt so you don’t gain your water weight. The water just goes straight through you.” Paired with this, he also does some running before practice.
The team also has a very fun competitive spirit with one another when it comes to live-wrestling each other to build their skills up in practice. Ryder Jennings spoke about how his favorite thing was “pinning everyone,” including juniors Justin Iagmin and Trent Yeagley (or so he claims). And sophomore Tyler Cobb conveyed how his favorite thing was “taking Graham Conover’s ankles” at practice.
All in all, this is the greatest wrestling team CHS has ever had. And since the team had zero seniors, the team will be returning, hopefully with some additions. So far, the next few years are looking promising for the wrestling program as a whole.
At first light on the morning of October 2, CHS Principal Susan Lanz and 230 fellow competitors began the Cuyamaca 100k. At the end of the grueling day’s work in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Mrs. Lanz crossed the finish line after 62 miles with a time of 16:47:57. The unbelievable strength and pure masterclass of mental and physical drive to overcome an obstacle of this volume is legendary. Mrs. Lanz says she runs between 7 and 8 hours a day, an hour and a half to two hours before school and the rest after school. She adds that she pushes herself forward one step at a time, knowing that there’s an end, and praying to God throughout the race. When asked about her physical state before the 100k, Lanz responded like a true athlete, saying, “My trainer tapers me for a week, and I’m ready to run. I’ve got so much energy stored up, and I just wanna go!” Since nutrition is important for a runner, we asked her what her meal plan consists of before and after races. Always smiling, she answers, “I eat plant-based foods, with some pasta, and very little acid. I drink a gallon or more of water every day a week prior to competition, and my vegetables.” When asked if endurance is more important than speed, she responded “Speed is actually more important! I do a lot of strength and speed training which builds power and, all combined, leads to building my endurance!” Lanz’s go-to running shoes for her mountain climbing competitions and training sessions are the Hoka Cliftons. She also lives by her life verse Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Mrs. Lanz is often seen running with the CHS Cross Country Team during their season.
The college application can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a collection of tips for high schoolers on making the college process easier.
The first tip is to have a plan. It may seem early, but starting freshman year, think of some things you would like to do when you are older. To narrow it down, ask yourself questions like “Do I want to help people?” or “Do I want to work with animals?”
Once you figure out what you want to do, you can look into those careers. After you find a career, you can see what schooling is needed. Knowing your options will definitely help you with the college process. Some careers only need an associate’s degree, which is two years of school, while some may need a bachelor’s degree, the classic four years of schooling. There are also graduate degrees like master’s and doctorates. A master’s may take two years to complete, for about six years of school total, and a doctoral degre can take up to eight years, for 12 years of school total. It’s important to see how much schooling you need, because if you want to go into a career that only requires an associate degree, you definitely don’t need to pay for a bachelor’s. You can also attend a trade school that provides a two-year program of study in a specific skilled trade. People like welders and cosmetologists choose this type of schooling.
The third thing is to find out what’s important to you in a college. Things such as location, cost, whether they carry your degree, and extracurriculars should be all be considered. Having certain priorities will help you pick a school and narrow down your options. Financing is probably one of the most important topics in the college process. Talk with your family about a good price for school and how you will pay for it. There are many options to get money for college starting with the FAFSA, which you’ll complete the fall of your senior year. Getting a job prior to college not only helps you save money but it does look good on applications and helps you learn time management. Scholarships are one of the best ways to earn money for college. Scholarships go towards your tuition, and you can earn a lot. Something that not many people know is that you can start applying to most scholarships as early as freshman year. It is an easy way to earn money for college and doesn’t take much effort. Some websites to go to are Scholarships.com and Niche Scholarships. You can even just go into Google and search for scholarship websites to start the process. When application time rolls around, you can also fill out school-specific scholarship applications that are merit-based. You’ll need to keep your grades up throughout high school in order to receive the highest scholarships.
Lastly, here are a few general tips for the college process. See if your college requires an SAT or ACT and pick the one that will showcase your knowledge best. The SAT is more reading-based, while the ACT is more science- and math-based. Once you figure that out, start studying as soon as possible. Khan Academy has some great resources for that. Next, participate in extracurricular activities throughout high school. Not only is it fun, but being involved makes you stand out to colleges. Juniors, as you approach your senior year, start looking into the deadlines and looking out for the essay prompts. Go on tours for your college if you can, as well, because that will also help you pick your college. If you spread the process throughout your high school years, it won’t be as stressful when senior year rolls around. You will also be prepared and confident when decision time is here.
by Ian Mullen
Plans are now in the works for a brand new CHS baseball stadium to be named Shadow Mountain Park. With the baseball team’s stellar performance last year, winning Division 3 San Diego CIFs, and their history as a winning program, how encouraging for the team to play in a brand-new stadium.
As of early December, the church was working on producing preliminary, conceptual drawings as well as a bid package so that it can acquire a contractor to begin the building process. According to Trev Holman, Operations Assistant, “We are hoping to start construction after the first of the year, but that depends on how quickly our team can get drawings completed and that is dependent on the structural engineering and architectural firms we are working with.” Once such plans are completed, the church will have a more accurate budget and timeline estimate of the construction.
According to the current sketches, the stadium is estimated to provide seating for over 300 people, including a covered seating area and a grand entrance with an upgraded staircase. In addition to this, the structure will also include new brick patios to match the architectural style of other structures like the Generations building. It’s sure to boost team morale and excite the fans more than ever before.
Increasing numbers of refugees come to San Diego yearly. The situation in Afghanistan has become worse with the Taliban takeover, resulting in the number of refugees increasing exponentially. Meanwhile, John Houston, the woodshop teacher for CHS, was having a hard time finding a meaningful project that would help his Woodshop 4 students increase their skills. Senior Kai Damata and juniors Nolan Johnson, Kona Strong, Travis Billie, and Garrett Thompson are, according to Houston, “very gifted and dedicated to the subject.” While searching for the perfect project, Houston discovered a website for refugees and was astonished by the number of people who were in need. These people needed sturdy furniture because their previous lifestyle had been extremely nomadic. Houston realized that this opportunity would help his talented students expand their woodworking skills, while also learning the importance of serving others. Houston said the current cost of timber needed to build one of these projects runs about two hundred to three hundred dollars, meaning that the whole project costs at least a thousand dollars. Additionally, the materials required careful handling. All the measurements needed to be exact, so that every joint would fit perfectly. Houston said, “If the joints do not fit correctly, the students would need to modify the whole project, meaning more tedious work.” While the project is challenging, Houston hopes to inspire his students to continue to help those in need using the skills they’ve developed in woodshop.
The Christian High Car Club made its debut this semester with Dallas Posselli and Ryan Asmar as its founders. With both parties growing up around cars, this was a no-brainer for them their senior year. Social media apps have made modifying and building cars a major trend and many high schools around the country with automotive classes saw a skyrocket in applications this fall. Due to limitations at CHS, we do not have a garage or class to offer. However, the leaders of the car club found a different way to express their creativity with cars.
“Everyone has their own style when it comes to clothes and the same applies to our automotive enthusiasts,” says Poselli. JDM, classics, muscle, and offroad cars are present on our campus. Students own diverse cars and they are constantly changing and adding their own spice to their cars. Not only do CHS Car Club students love their cars, but they are also extremely talented at fixing them. Poselli recently blew his motor and was able to rebuild it in a single weekend! When asked what inspired Ryan and Dallas to start the club they stated, “We were bored and thought it would be a fun way to spend our free time while enjoying cars!”
Asmar says, “I can safely say that we will meet every other Saturday. If not, once a month is an absolute guarantee.” The club has 3 different levels of car meets they plan to attend. They estimate the furthest is about an hour’s drive away while most will be near the school. Asmar says, “We plan to attend some of the most well-known meets in southern California displaying supercars, classics, rare imports, built cars, and everything in between.” Along with meets, there will be various recreational drives that will end the night
with a drive-in movie. Anyone can join, even if they don’t have a car.
Senior Ainsley Anderson is the first girl to ever hold a Commissioner of Sports position at CHS! Along with Nolan Brown and Dylan Eads, Anderson’s job is to keep the student body updated on upcoming sporting events. She wants to keep the student section hyped during games and encourage every CHS student-athlete. Anderson wanted this position because she was very passionate about sports and school spirit. She attended every basketball and football game, along with various tennis matches, soccer games, swim meets, and more. It was something that she was immensely involved in and when she heard about the position, she “shot her hand up” because she knew where her talents and passion shone. As Sports Commissioner, Anderson plans to bolster the
student section to cheer on student-athletes at every CHS sporting event possible. She has already begun a student section for Girls Volleyball and is planning one for the Girls Soccer games coming this winter. She hopes to make all sports equally important to the student body.
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired, inerrant, plenary, and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of CUSSD’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, Shadow Mountain Community Church is CUSSD’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, and His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through the shedding of His blood, in His bodily resurrection on the third day, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and In His personal pre-millennial return to rapture His Church before the Tribulation and His glorious appearing to set up His Millennial Kingdom.
We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith, apart from works by the merit of the shed blood of Christ, and that the born-again believer is eternally secure in Christ.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the individual priesthood of the believer.
We believe life begins at conception.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning; the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen. 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a biological man and a biological woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that the Scripture dictates standards of sexual behavior. The unique roles of the male and female are clearly defined in Scripture. Any promiscuity, homosexuality, gender identity issues or other deviations from Biblical principles is a sin that is offensive to God (Matt. 5:18-19; I Cor. 6: 9-10, 19-20; Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Thess. 4:3-8).
SCHOOL-WIDE LEARNING OBJECTIVES
We expect our students to be:
Influential Christians who:
Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
Apply Biblical principles as the foundation for moral and spiritual living.
Develop and maintain an informed Biblical worldview that shapes their lifestyle choices.
Demonstrate God’s love through acts of service and sharing the gospel.
Investigative Learners who:
Master a body of knowledge, vocabulary, and skills.
Understand, analyze, and order relationships among facts.
Assess their needs and apply appropriate strategies to learn concepts and skills.
Actively use the tools of learning throughout their lifetime.
Perceptive Thinkers who:
Identify, analyze, discriminate, prioritize, and apply information.
Have the ability to solve problems by thinking independently and logically.
Make responsible and well-reasoned decisions.
Actively seek and apply absolute truths.
Effective Communicators who:
Demonstrate the ability to accurately understand, interpret, and exchange information.
Communicate with eloquence, creativity, and persuasion in writing and in speech.
Develop and utilize artistic expression.
Proclaim and defend the gospel with wisdom, wit and respect.
Quality Producers who:
Demonstrate a growing knowledge of curriculum.
Develop their God-given talents and abilities.
Display standards of excellence in all pursuits.
Work well with others toward a common goal.
Responsible Citizens who:
Respect and submit to authority.
Actively protect and promote freedom and democracy.
Enjoy God’s creation and live as good stewards within it.
Recognize and contribute to meeting the needs of others.