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Student Pursues Real World Passion

We have Real World Learning as part of the curriculum at Mile High Academy. However, our hope is that once students have experienced the RWL model they will apply it in their own lives.

For one MHA student this meant pursuing her passion for law. A couple weeks ago, seventh-grader, Elise, applied and got into the Denver District Attorney’s Office Youth Advisory Council. Elise, wants to be a lawyer someday. Deciding it’s never too early to begin researching her future career, she decided the Council was a good way to go. The Council’s mission is “To discuss issues regarding juvenile justice, youth-centered public safety and ways to improve the system.”

Working directly for the Denver DA, Beth McCann, Elise is part of a group of young people ages 11-18 who come together to review policies, discuss current issues, and make their voice heard.

Elise is engaged in making change in her community because she cares. As she sees it, “it’s all of us coming together with different points of view, maybe seeing things from a new perspective, but with one purpose, to make change.”

When students see how engaging in real world learning means engaging in real world change they just may find a real world passion.

https://www.denverda.org/youth-advisory-council/
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MHA Pastor Round Table

It’s chapel day at Mile High Academy. This usually means there is a guest speaker on campus. Today, we are privileged to have Pastor Nash from LifeSource Adventist Fellowship leading our chapels. Which means that currently on our campus there are four ministry leaders roaming our halls. I can’t let this opportunity pass me by.

Chapel over, I gather them all together for an impromptu sit down. Seated are Pastor Andy Nash, Pastor Mikey Archibeque from Denver South SDA, Pastor Tony Parrish from Littleton SDA and teacher at MHA, Mrs. Rebecca Berg Chaplain and teacher for MHA, I explain that I’ve wanted to hear their perspective on something for a while. This is a heart to heart.

The question on my mind is, why do ministry leaders from all over the Denver area take time to visit our MHA campus? What benefits do they see in partnering churches, community, and schools?

Mrs. Berg is the first to answer, probably because she is a teacher and used to asking the questions herself. “The kids see the churches that support our school, they recognize the pastors that come onto campus, they start calling them by name, this is huge for our youth, it personalizes the message.”

Mr. Parrish jumps in next, notice he’s also a teacher. “Ministry is all about relationship. Pastors need to know the names of the kids before we teach them anything else.”

Now, the thoughtful pastors start chiming in, “Being with people, sitting down with them, talking with them, eating with them, this is ministry.” Pastor Mikey knows what he’s talking about, too. You’ll often see him in the Upper School commons just sitting at a table with a group of kids. He’s not preaching, he’s being.

The last to chime in is Pastor Nash, but his wisdom is for all of us, “Kids need loving adults in their lives besides their parents who will show them Christ. Teachers, chaplains, members of the church, yes, even pastors, that’s the family they need surrounding them.” He adds, “Youth don’t leave because their parents didn’t tell them about Jesus, they leave because no other adults around them showed them Jesus.”

Thank you, to all the leaders who take time to mentor our youth. It makes a difference!

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Alumni Shine at Union College

When Mile High Academy alumni go out into the world, we often wonder where they go on to college, where they end up working. Sometimes they come back to visit us for special occasions and we treasure those moments. However, sometimes our paths cross and we are pleasantly surprised to find ourselves staring into a familiar face.

Recently, our Principal was visiting Union College for meetings when she happened to be reading their publication, “The Clock Tower”. What a joy to see some of her own alumni looking back from the pages.

In her own words, “I’m sitting in the lobby of the Administration Suite at Union College and sitting on the table is “The Clock Tower”. As I skimmed the pages, I was delighted to see that two of the 8 or so articles were written by our very own alumni! It was a pleasant surprise, in the midst of a day of meetings, to see articles written by familiar faces and names. It’s so encouraging to see that as our students move on, they are investing and using their gifts and talents to enhance the communities they have chosen.”

It’s one thing to hear about all the great things that are going on in the lives of our students, but to see it right there in black and white, that is proof that our students are making a difference right now.

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Tribute to a Friend and Colleague – Mrs. Betty Wine

Today, Mile High Academy says goodbye to a dear friend. Mrs. Betty Wine was with MHA for many years. As far back as most of us can remember, she walked the halls helping students and staff, alike. We are thankful for her commitment and dedication to the students of Mile High Academy. We are grateful for the gift of her time.

“I remember when I was a child here at MHA Elementary. She was the school nurse at the time. She was so caring and loving to the students. She always smiled and worked with a joyful heart.” – Mrs. Lucy Werner, Preschool Director

“I never saw her without a smile on her face. Her passion for Christ, her family, and the students she served was inspiring. I will always be grateful I got to know her.” Principal Toakase Vunileva

“She loved the Lord, her family, her church, and she loved to help the kids connect with and enjoy books. Betty enjoyed helping others.” – Mrs. Maxine Gerst, former MHA teacher

Mrs. Betty Wine passed away on Tuesday, January 17, 2019. The family will share memorial details as they become available.

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High School at MHA

We get a lot of tours at Mile High Academy. And, since we are a Preschool through 12th grade school, these range from the parents eager to find out what their child will be learning at 3 years all the way to how do we get our high schoolers ready for college.

Today, we are focused on the high school question, because it’s a big one, and every year our seniors start getting that wistful look in their eye. You know the one. The one that lets us know their almost done, ready to walk down the aisle to the next part of their journey, college!

We take the college prep part of our experience very seriously here on campus. With AP Classes, Dual Credit, a College Counselor, plenty of electives and service options, as well as travel opportunities during their four years at MHA our students are getting a well rounded college ready experience.

Did you know that in a Chicago Tribune article written specifically about the effects of attending one high school over another on your chances of getting into a good college, they mentions that at “top high schools … college counselors also teach classes. That puts them in close contact with students on a regular basis.” (1) They also went on to mention that these same college counselors advise students on course work and which standardized tests they should take. Which is interesting since our college counselor, Jenni Eno, does just that for our students.

Top colleges all across the country want to know that students are part of a diverse learning community that includes academics and extra-curriculars in all areas. Students who take advantage of all that MHA has to offer in academics, music, sports, STEM, arts, travel and all the rest are sure to benefit from a strong resume. Top grades and an impressive school or community service record will always resonate with college admissions counselors. Make sure and let us know if you have questions about how your student can take advantage of the full range of offerings at MHA.

 

  1. https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/lifestyles/ct-ptb-bradshaw-educated-advice-st-0515-20150514-story.html
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True Christmas Spirit

On Friday, December 7, Middle and Upper Schools held their Christmas Program. Last night, Lower School had their Christmas Program. With choir, band, handbells, strings, and even a Preschool Nativity, the last week has really put everyone in the Christmas spirit. Family and friends came together to see students perform after weeks of practice. Up on stage, little faces beamed. In the seats, everyone had a smile on their face. If that had been the extent of the evenings’ events it would have been enough. After all,that’s why we came, to see our children, on stage, shine.

However, at one point during each of these evenings, there was a call for offering. Normally, these offerings ask for funding for the music department. And that would be fine, after all, our little musicians deserve it after all their hard work. This time, the offering call was of a different kind. Ms. Esther Aviles, Director of Music, asked us to think about our sister school in Paradise, California. She asked us to think about all they had lost, about what we were enjoying and how we could share. Our families came out to see an MHA Christmas program and in true MHA fashion, they brought the Christmas spirit to life. Our joy was not only on Friday night and Tuesday night, but today when we received the news that our families had given $1,347.95 to Paradise Adventist Academy. Thank you for giving unexpectedly!

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Hero in Your Own Story

Upper School language arts teacher, Jenni Eno, is taking her Real World Learners on a journey, asking them to find the “hero in your own story”. Only the story isn’t their own, but that of the 5th graders at Mile High Academy. Upper-school students are writing a graphic novel based on these real characters. This RWL assignment uses mentoring, leadership, writing, journalism, CHERISH values, and more to produce a final product that will have the ultimate authentic audience.

Mrs. Eno and Mrs. Little’s classes are partnering once a week so that their students can get to know each other through interviews and recesses. The students are getting to know each other and are finding out the likes and dislikes of their mentee and then taking this feedback and turning it into a Superhero character.

Little was quick to point out that the “kids look forward to playing with their older peers. It gives them confidence and assures them that playing is still okay even when they get older.” It’s mentorship projects like these that make a Preschool through 12th grade program so great. One 5th grader was so excited by the project, she had her own comments on the RWL, “I hope they give me a cape”.

The Upper School students are encouraged to find the unique in each child, asking questions that bring students out of their shells to be their genuine selves. When they start talking about their dreams and their real “super powers”, like kindness and sharing, the Upper School students start to see their story come alive. That is when they can go back and outline their plot and build their storyboards.

When they’re finished with their books, the students will present their projects to their mentees for critiquing. Seeing themselves through the eyes of their own heroes–that will be a special day.

Agape Hammond; text and photo

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History of #GivingTuesday

In 2012, Giving Tuesday was started by the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation as an antidote to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday that follows Thanksgiving. Hoping that people would take the same enthusiasm they had for shopping and apply it to giving it began as an idea but with some publicity and a hashtag, #GivingTuesday, they ran with it.

It was a success, #GivingTuesday was born and released, along with marketing advise and social media resources available to any nonprofit that wishes to use it.

The last five years have shown a sharp increase in charity giving on Giving Tuesday (see graph). However, Rachel Hutchison of Blackbaud, who takes most of the online donations, says that what really matters is that people are engaging in causes they care about. (1)

Have you participated in a #GivingTuesday? Maybe this is the year!

Works Cited

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/11/26/18098840/when-is-giving-tuesday

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RWL “I Am We”

Real World Learning takes classroom knowledge and applies it in real ways within the community. For Mrs. Lisa Venteicher’s RWL called “I Am We”, Upper School students are working on ways to impact the community in positive ways. Two students, Sara and Judy decided to focus their project on homelessness.  They decided to do a personal hygiene collection at the school.

By the end of the drive, the students had enough donations to make 50 women’s and 50 men’s goodie bags. Last week during finals the girls made their care packages. Then, this past Monday, Mrs. Venteicher took the two girls downtown to Civic Green Park to hand out the bags to the homeless.

As they handed out the bags to individuals everyone was very appreciative. Teacher and students were able to converse with those they met. Through this project, Sara and Judy’s perspective on homelessness and the people behind the “problem” changed. They have both decided to continue to do what they can to help the homeless population.

Sara had this to say, “It had an impact on my life. It just made me see homeless people differently, and that they are real people, too.  They showed me Jesus, the way they treated us.  They were really kind.”

(Photos by Mrs. Lisa Venteicher, making their bags last week, ready to hand out their bags)

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We Honor our Veterans!

Today, we honor our veterans. Veterans Day honors all American veterans, living and dead. We honor the tremendous courage represented by each veteran who has risked it all to protect his/her country. We offer our thanks to these extraordinary men and women.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

Thank you!

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