Seventh-day Adventist Schools are a Network

There is a lot of discussion these days about “school networks”. The idea that we need to join other teachers and administrators in order to gain knowledge and inspiration to grow as educators. This is a great idea. (1-2) Working together, collaboration, is something we talk a lot about here at Mile High Academy (MHA). We work with our teachers and students to make sure they are great collaborators because this is a skill that is important in all aspects of life.

It is even part of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) educational philosophy, “Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with divine agencies to prepare learners to be good citizens in this world and for eternity.” (3)

This spring, I had the privilege of attending graduation events at Mile High Academy and Vista Ridge Academy. Following these, I made it to the Grand Opening of the newly constructed Fort Collins Christian School. I had so much fun seeing great educators shine as they spoke highly of their students on stages where graduates in caps and gowns beamed. The Fort Collins event was a culmination of dreams and prayers. The smiles on everyone’s faces said it all.

These amazing schools are part of a larger whole, a world-wide network of Christian education that has been around since the first school started in 1853. (4) These are just three of the close to twenty SDA schools in Colorado.

So, while other schools have to work hard to find programs and communities with which to partner, here at MHA we have a partnership of 7,500 schools around the world. We can work together with 85,000 teachers across the globe to find out what works for them, how the world looks through their teaching eyes. That’s true collaboration.

This means, that no matter where you are in the world, there is probably a school with passionate and caring teachers, dedicated families, and a network of partners just waiting to add support for the mission of Christian education that prepares students for the future.

-Agape Hammond



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Senior Events

Were you at the Senior events last week? Senior Blessing, Consecration, Baccalaureate, Commencement? Four events to send off our seniors into the world. Some say this is an excessive amount of events. We all end the the week on Sunday night, crash on our beds with a sigh and wonder how we made it through it all. And then we remember, each one was so amazing.

Senior blessing brings parents out to cherish their children with words of affirmation and prayers. Consecration is a night where students honor their parents sacrifices. The Baccalaureate is songs, words of wisdom, a whole congregation of love for our students. And finally, the night they have been waiting for, it all culminates as they walk the aisle in style, it truly is a celebration of their accomplishments.

If you have never been, come to a Mile High Academy celebration of seniors. It’s four days of caring, celebrating, encouraging, sending theme into the world in the best way possible, our arms wrapped around them as a whole community. We do it big and we do it well!

Check out the videos on our Facebook page and some of our pics here.

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Kindergarten Graduation 2018

This is a week full of milestones. Some we consider bigger than others. Last night, for instance, was the 8th grade graduation. Saturday night will be the Upper School graduation.

But for our Kindergarten parents, Tuesday evening was a milestone of epic proportions. Watching little ones march down the aisle poised and confident, step up to the microphone and pray, read, speak articulately. There was laughter and tears as the deepest thoughts of our newly minted first graders were read aloud. From the meaning of love to their biggest Kindergarten achievements, each Kindergartner shared a little of themselves with us.

So, it may have been a year of growing and learning for some of our littlest on campus but it may be that we learned the most on Tuesday night.

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Senior Walk 2018!

What has now become a tradition, the Senior Walk of 2018 went on with music, cheering, and high fives yesterday morning. Our seniors get to strut their stuff once before their big day next week when it all becomes official. Plus, they’ve completed they’re exams and are on their way to senior class trip, so this is a great way to blow off some steam and let loose with their peers.

This is a ceremony that includes the whole Mile High Academy campus as a way of sending off our seniors with great aplomb, letting them know that though they are leaving our campus, they are not leaving our hearts.

As they dress in their gowns, don their caps and march with swagger down the halls, our Preschool students all the way up to Juniors, high five and cheer their friends on to the next step in their journey.  And we know it’s going to be a great one, because each of our seniors has already made an impact her on our campus and is ready to make an impact on the world.

(pics: Becky Watson, parent of a graduating senior)

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We wish Ms. Jessica Reeder well!

“Dear Mile High Family,

I have had the honor of teaching 5th grade, as well as some subjects in other grades, for the last 5 years at Mile High. This was my first job out of college, and I have learned so much from being a part of this community. However, God has opened doors for me to take another teaching position where I will be closer to my family, and after lots of prayer, I have decided to accept that job. Part of my heart is staying here, especially in the 5th grade classroom, and with all of the incredible students I have had the honor of teaching, and with the co-workers who have become like family to me. I will always treasure the memories and relationships I have formed while at Mile High Academy. And to each and every student I have had the privilege to teach, you will always and forever have a special place in my heart.

I wish all the best for the school and community and pray that God will bless each of you abundantly.

Thank-you for the memories.“ – Jessica Reeder

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Volunteer Profile – Emmanuel Makizimana

If you’ve ever gone through the pick up line, you may have seen Mr. Emmanuel Makizimana’s smiling face as he calls numbers and helps with directing traffic. Mr. Makizimana is just one of the parent volunteers that make Mile High Academy a better place for our students.

After seeing him in line, myself a few times, I decided I need to sit down and ask him why it is he gives back at MHA. But like all our parent volunteers, he was reluctant at first. There always tends to be a “who me?” implied, if not outright asked, when I approach volunteers about why they volunteer.

Still, I managed to ask a few questions eventually and it was worth it.

Me: How long have you had students at MHA?

Mr. Makizimana: Let’s see, 4 years.

Me: I see you at the pick up line. This is a job that not many parents take on. Why were you willing to volunteer?

Mr. Makizimana: It makes me happy to give back to MHA!

Me: What is the benefit of volunteering, to you or to your kids or to the school?

Mr. Makizimana: Well, it is an example to the community, to my kids, it is the right thin to do. I do it happily because it give me joy.

Me: Are there particular jobs you like more than others?

Mr. Makizimana: (With a quizzical look on his face) Anything I can do to help, I will do it!

Thank you for all you do, Mr. Makizimana! And for all our volunteers!

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All School Exhibition 2018

If you were at the All School Exhibition last night you know it was amazing to see our students presenting their Real World Learning (RWL) projects. The passion with which they shared their learning, the amount of information they conveyed, all of it went far to demonstrate that RWL really is the best way for learning retention to happen.

From Preschool to Upper School, each student was able to answer questions, present confidently, and through it all, shine with the pride of a job well done. Ultimately, that is really what RWL is all about, instilling ownership of learning onto the student.

And as teachers, isn’t that what we want for our students, true knowledge, something they will take with them beyond the classroom.

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Life-Focused Education?

This is our second year in Real World Learning at Mile High Academy. During that time, teachers have explored topics such as podcasting, clean water filtration systems, local refugee populations, and career leadership.

Each of these subjects asks the students to imagine they are the project managers. They have to research, understand the tasks, take charge of the outcomes. It’s easy to imagine a high school class taking this on, but how about asking a group of third graders to do the same.

With Real World Learning (RWL), teachers lead students on a journey of discovery, and this can work for any age. Because, this can mean that ultimately the project does not end where the students imagined it might, but that’s real life. Part of RWL is problem solving these outcomes and figuring out a new way to go and how that changes the outcome. Also, by interacting with authentic audiences, peers, community leaders, faculty, parents, they get feedback on whether they are heading in the right direction or need to change along the way. And sometimes failure happens.

However, failure is just another opportunity for students to learn what works and what doesn’t, receiving feedback from teachers and peers and then being able to move on to the next step in order to create a better product, a brighter solution, find areas of improvement, this is growth.

The focus in education today is in preparing students that can lead, fall and get back up, collaborate with peers, and find solutions to problems that haven’t even been thought up.

The latest education surveys are coming back and they aren’t asking for better test scores, instead they are asking for what we already offer here at MHA. “When it comes to judging a school’s quality, what matters most? A new poll suggests the American public puts a premium on offerings outside of traditional academics, including career-focused education, developing students’ interpersonal skills…” (Richmond)

Yes, we will continue to provide academics that push our students, but we also want them to have those intangible skills that make them amazing out in the world. “Employers are clamoring for well-qualified workers who not only have solid academic and technical skills but are also innovative problem solvers who can fill the jobs of the future.” (Adams)

Let’s give our students all the tools they deserve!

-Agape Hammond, Director of Marketing


Adams, Carlee. “Does Your STEM Curriculum Teach These 4 Skills? (Students Need Them in the Real World).

Richmond, Emily. “New Poll: Public Values Career Classes, Support Services at Schools”. Education Writers Association.

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