Athletics have played a significant role at Desert Christian Schools for three decades. Our physical education classes, competitive teams, intramural activities, and adult leagues all serve to meet the physical needs of our students, families, and staff toward the fulfillment of our mission. Running, in particular, is used as a metaphor throughout the Bible. “In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun…like a champion rejoicing to run his course” (Psalm 19:4-5). “They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31b). “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize (1 Cor. 9:24). “…Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb. 12:1a).
Cross Country was the first team sport established at Desert Christian High School. Some who had a hand in starting these programs have joked that we had no athletic facilities so it was our only option! Over the years, hundreds of students have been trained athletically and nurtured spiritually by participating on these teams.
As is typical for our school, our Cross Country teams are experiencing success this year. Our boy’s high school team is exhibiting outstanding Christian character and are also ranked 2ndin CIF-SS Div. V and in California. A recent Antelope Valley Press article about the team ran under the headline, “DC’s special team takes run up rankings.” Beyond their outstanding talent and commitment to competing “in such a way to win the prize,” these young men and their coaches are dedicated to honoring Christ with their lives. It is clear when you speak with them and watch how they interact with each other and their competitors. They are running the race of faith and, along the way, none of us will be surprised if they win a championship. They seem to be setting new individual and school records every time they race. If you really want to be impressed, come out to a race and talk with them when it is done. They are champions. The next few weeks will tell if they win the prize.
Our sixth grade students enjoyed a very special cultural experience today at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center. The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats are a high-energy attraction and have performed for thousands of students and at performing arts centers around the country. Under the direction of Chinese acrobatic legends, the Hai Family, the company flawlessly interprets the precision and grace of an art form honed by years of training and discipline. Their multi-faceted and multi-cultural production features dazzling acrobatic displays, formidable feats of daring and balance, explosive Kung Fu, brilliant costumes, and even a touch of Chinese comedy. This renowned acrobat troupe has received the Performing Arts Campus Entertainment Award by the National Association for Campus Activities. This group has also had the honor of performing at the USA Olympic Swim Team’s Golden Goggles Gala.
Gaining an appreciation and understanding of the arts is an integral part of a child’s education. Our sixth grade students will remember this performance for years to come.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced the names of 16,000 Semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 1.5 million juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The Semifinalists have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34,000,000 that will be offered next spring. Desert Christian Schools is pleased to announce that James Mullen, a senior in our Home Education Program, is one of two students in the Antelope Valley to earn the Semifinalist honor for the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Finalists will be announced in the spring.
Dan and April Mullen are parents to James (Class of 2012) and John (Class of 2010). John was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist in 2010. Wow! These parents have done a great job teaching their sons at home in a Christ-honoring and effective way. They are quick to express gratitude to God and remark that their sons have both worked very hard throughout their home school experience that started when John entered the 5th grade and James entered the 3rd grade. It has been a total family effort and the Lord has blessed everyone’s hard work, including providing a love of learning to both of their sons. John is now a sophomore engineering student at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas and is continuing his excellent education on an academic scholarship. James is considering many options, including Texas A&M University. He plans to study chemical engineering.
After months of planning, design, and engineering efforts, the solar projects that will bring long-term stability to the school’s energy costs will begin on the main campus in October. The installation of the main campus portion of the project is scheduled to be complete in 90 days, by the end of 2011. However, it’s important to remember that construction projects often take longer than originally planned. When all the solar panels have been installed at the main campus, the construction at the high school campus will begin. Construction at the high school is expected to last four weeks. I want to plainly state that there will be inconvenience, in the form of crowded parking lots, during construction and that it will be important for staff members and parents to model patience for our students. It will help us to remember that the payoff for this short-term parking lot congestion is stable long-term energy costs. The new solar power systems will help keep our tuition lower for the next 20 years. All of us will also enjoy the additional benefit of covered parking. Here are a few basic facts about the impact on our parking lots:
• The project will begin with the removal of trees in the main campus parking lot on the first two Saturdays in October. We are working closely with Solar City to preserve as many trees as possible.
• All driveways entering and exiting our parking lots will remain open during construction.
• At both campuses, we will close one half, or less, of the parking spaces at a time during the installation of the large steel support structures and required trenching. The church portion of the main campus parking lot will not be impacted.
• The large driveway adjacent to the “Horseshoe” will remain open during construction.
• The rows of parking spaces at the south and west ends of the high school lot will not be impacted and will remain open during construction.
• Once the steel support structures and underground wiring are in place, the construction crews will only close 20-30 spaces on a daily basis while they install the solar panels.
The plans shown above allow you to see exactly what spaces are being covered and where the structures are being installed. If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to ask them here. I will respond online so that everyone can see the questions and answers.
It is important to remember that short-term parking pain is long-term stability gain and the added bonus of covered parking is a significant benefit for everyone who uses our parking lots, especially on hot or rainy days. The projects are being funded, built, owned, and maintained by Solar City. DCS receives lower cost electricity with small, predictable adjustments every year. Our power generation will put electricity into the power grid, which makes more energy available for our community. This project is good for our families, good for the school, good for the community, and good for the environment. It is a win-win-win-win.
The first week of school has finally arrived and we could not be more excited to see our students and families back on our campuses. In a sense, our ministry can be viewed from the perspective of an ancient shipbuilding preacher who “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” (Hebrews 11:7a).
Do you remember that Noah began to build the ark before his sons were born and that he lived 500 miles away from the nearest large body of water? 500 miles is about the distance from Lancaster to Redding, CA. This is a very long trip considering the modes of transportation available in Noah’s day. Chuck Swindoll, one of my favorite bible teachers, tells us that the ark’s holding capacity was equal to eight modern-day freight trains of 66 cars each and that “God still remembers His promise to Noah every time He sees a rainbow.”
Like Noah building the ark, your part in the ministry of DCS is a daily act of faith. As you respond to the call of God upon your life to share the gospel and your lives with others the Lord will lead you and use your gifts and effort to glorify Himself and bless people around you. Students, parents, and other staff members will be touched by our Savior through you. What a wonderful way to live! “By faith Noah” and by faith, each of us,
The Desert Christian Cheer Squad and Desert Christian Gymnastics Team entered the Antelope Valley Fair Parade as a combined unit and won the top prize, the Sweepstakes Trophy!
They rehearsed and performed a special “fair theme” cheer based on the 2011 A.V. Fair theme, Peel the Love. Their enthusiasm and spirit caught the judges attention and gained them support from the crowd, who lined Lancaster Boulevard for the annual parade.
Congratulations to both the squads for this outstanding accomplishment!