, , , , , , , , , , ,

Grandparent’s Day a Great Success!

Hello Grandparents and Friends,

Thank you for coming out to visit us. You made the day a great success in so many ways. Not only did you make the students so happy by being on campus, spending time in classrooms and eating lunch together, but you made our day with all the smiles you brought to our day. We hope that you had as much fun as we did.

The day started with grandparents bringing in their grandchildren or meeting them at the campus. How great to see the excitement of the kids ready to show off their day to their special visitors. And it wasn’t just grandparents, we know that some grandparents can’t be with their grandchildren on grandparent’s day so there were family friends and parents taking the time to spend with our students. Even those that may not have had someone on campus got to “share” a grandparent with friends. Throughout the day, you could find grandparents with multiple students gathered round for classroom activities. What a special way to get to know a different generation and share wisdom our learners.

We’re blessed to have a community that invests in our students. Thank you for making the day so special for all of us!

Read More


“Keep steady my steps according to YOUR promises oh Lord …” Psalms 119: 133

Every day we take steps.  Every day those steps lead us further down life’s journey that GOD has purposed for us to live and lead.  On Thursday I wish I had just been a little more patient with the steps I took right around 5:15 pm.  The goal was to bring some chairs to MHA for use in our gym and other places in our school.  I under estimated the weight of the chairs and as I began to move the chairs they came crashing down on top of me.  I lost my balance and well let’s just say the next steps I remember semi-clearly are the ones I took in the ER of Potter Adventist Hospital.   I was cleared to return home late that night and found myself thinking, “what if …”

I usually don’t like “what if” statements, but I thought if I had just waited, if I had just thought it through a little more I would not be laying here with a pounding headache and very sore muscles throughout my body.  You see there are times where we just have to own up to our mistakes and make sure that next time we do it differently.  What steps could I have taken to be more safe and ready?  As I list the things I should have done there is definitely one step I did take and that was to thank JESUS that even though I hit my head on the ground and can barely remember what really happened. I am blessed and thankful that my injuries were not that bad and that I am okay.  GOD IS GOOD !!!!!

How about you?  What steps have you taken?  Any you are thankful for today? I am thankful to be alive and just wanted to take this moment to praise the LORD for watching out for me even though I was careless HE still protects me.  Hope you have a wonderful week and that you had a wonderful fall break.

Congratulations to our MHA Mustangs for great games at Walla Walla Tournament, but more importantly for the great feedback I got back from my friends who were so impressed that our students cheered each other on with all their hearts, that are students played hard and exhibited great sportsmanship.  It does my heart good to hear those things and just want to give them a SHOUT OUT for representing Mile High Academy so well!

Truly blessed,

Toakase Vunileva, Principal


Read More

A Call to Serve

As I sit and think about what to share with each of you on this crisp, beautiful morning I am reminded of the many things have happened over the first 5-weeks of school. As many of you know or have experienced it has rained very hard over the last couple of weeks and that has caused flooding and damage in Northern Colorado. Homes have been damaged, destroyed and lost.  Last week we received a call from Adventist Disaster Relief to please set up and help them clean up the devastation of flooding. I want you to know that we answered that call and our juniors and seniors found their way to Boulder where they helped clean up 3 houses.  There is so much more work to be done, but our students have shared and helped in such a significant way.  They have directly impacted the lives of those three families who are so grateful for the work our students did on Friday.  One of the disaster relief workers commented, “Your students have done 4 days of work in 3-hours it is amazing!” Thank you to each of the students who went out to help, thank you for serving your community unselfishly and without compliant.  We are so proud of each of you! Thank you for acting out CHERSIH in a way that will never be forgotten by the families you helped on Friday.  I hope you as an MHA community know that we have a group of amazing students and I am thrilled to be a part of this school.   As a reminder we are trying to get soap, deodorant and socks for PRAXUS which is an organization that helps the homeless youth of Denver.  Did you know that over 1300 young people are on the streets of Denver each night?  PRAXUS exists to help these young people find a safe place to be and protect them from human trafficking. Help us reach our goal of 1000 pieces across the entire school (P-4 Bars of Soap, 5-8 Travel Size Deodorant, 9-12 Socks). One last thing …. GO MUSTANGS – Don’t forget to check the calendar for upcoming games and come out and support our student athletes.

Read More

New Beginnings

It’s beginning to be my favorite time of year, when leaves start to change, and the air is crisp.  We are on the verge of ushering in fall and yet summer still hangs on with this 95 degree weather in September.  As a look around our school and at the new faces as well as all of our returning students I think of a the lyrics of a song that talks about what it means to be a part of something, what it means to be proud of something, what it means to be who you are, where you are at this time in place.

Each child that has been entrusted to our care has a purpose to be filled, a path to be found, and we could not be more honored to help each child find their way to that GOD ordained purpose.  Every faculty member, staff member and administrator has taken up the charge to serve every student at Mile High Academy with one ultimate goal in mind.  We are here to introduce each of our students to a saving relationship with Jesus and set them up for success in the world of academics and their future careers.  We have the awesome opportunity to be part of a rich legacy that we get to build upon.

Over the last couple of weeks we have spent time together at the Ice Cream Social, Middle School Family Night, FOCUS Week, Upper School Retreat and Lower School Trip to Miller Farms.  It is exciting to meet each of our families and learn about their stories.  As a result, I would like to share some of those stories with our MHA community and share a little bit of the journey GOD has brought me on and how HE led our family to Mile High Academy.

I look forward to sharing those stories with you and the prayer is always that you would be directed to the only story worth knowing and that is Jesus!

On a side note: It is also a very important season in Denver – GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!

Read More

Summer Letter 2013

July 28, 2013

Dear MHA Families:

As the last drops of tonight’s summer rain falls my mind and thoughts turn to Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”  A prayer to each of our 2013 graduates as they venture out into a whole new adventure this fall.  A reminder to each of us that this school year is full of hope.

The quiet-hallways eagerly anticipate the hustle and bustle of student laughter and chatter. The gymnasium will soon echo with the bouncing of balls, shouts and dives for the last chance to save the ball.  A school is not meant for summer, but for the months, weeks, and days and minutes that students enter into the doors and breathe life back into a building.

It is with great anticipation that we welcome each of you to the 100th year of Mile High education.  It is indeed an exciting time for all of us who get to actively be a part of this great legacy.  Mile High Academy was founded and began in the Sabbath School classrooms of Denver West SDA Church in 1913, was moved to a small elementary school, and then to the hill and known as Denver Junior Academy until 1949 when the vision was casted and a school was built at 711 E Yale Avenue and renamed Mile High Academy.

We welcome Jocelyn Aalborg as our new Business Manager.  Jocelyn will be working part-time and will have the assistance of Judy McGuire as part-time accountant.  Together they will be a power team taking care of your financial needs.  Please look at the website to see the most updated information on tuition. Watch for a separate mailing from the finance department later this week with specifics on what you will owe at registration and ways to shorten your registration time.  To avoid the long finance lines at registration, we will be accepting appointments during the following times for those who need to discuss their financial situation:

August 1 – 2-4 pm

August 2 –  9-11 am

August 5 –  10 am -12 pm

August 6 –  2-4 pm

Please call Judy at 303-607-4913 to set up an appointment. Schedule an appointment today to shorten your registration process!

We are enclosing the school supply list for elementary students.  For those who pay the teacher for their supplies, please note that your accounts will be charged the listed fee rather than having the teacher collect checks in the classroom.

Also enclosed is the Dress Code Policy.  The major changes affect high school only with the move to professional dress.  If you have questions about what is appropriate, please check with the office.

Registration will be on Thursday, August 8, from 2-7 p.m.  If you will be out of town and not able to attend on August 8, please contact the office for an alternate date.  There will be required parent orientation meetings during registration at 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm, 6 pm and 7 pm.  At least one parent must attend one of these sessions in order to complete registration.

We have also enclosed a calendar with the major events throughout the year.  Other calendar items will be updated regularly on our

Plan on attending our annual Ice Cream Social and Open House on August 14 at 5 p.m. Special plans are underway to kick off our 100th year celebration – you won’t want to miss it!

I have been digging through old books looking for history and an alumni of MHA shared with me some MHA Bulletins from the 60’s and a fire was reignited in my heart as I saw the dream of a few to build a school that would have a bright future.  We have the amazing privilege of being the community of parents, students, faculty & staff that get to carry this dream into the future. I look forward to meeting with each of you on August 8, 2013 and eagerly anticipate the arrival of our students on August 14, 2013.  God has ordained an amazing year and I count it a privilege to be at your service as the Principal of Mile High Academy.




Toakase Vunileva,





Enclosures:  supply list, dress code, calendar


Read More


Every now and then I find myself back to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and in light of yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Boston I must again be reminded that this world is not my home and we are just passing through.  As I reflect on the series of tragedies that have targeted the innocence of life and our daily activity I have to think, “Lord, today, may I not take for granted those I love and those you have called me to serve.”  Yet in the midst of tragedy, the people of Boston have rallied and there have been so many reported acts of kindness that it brings joy to my heart that there is still hope.

Hope. I believe we have been placed here on Earth to provide hope.   It is our God given responsibility to bring hope to those who have lost sight of it.  One movement that brings me such joy and hope is that our high school students have created a Red Cross Chapter right here at Mile High Academy.  The Youth Programs Manager for the Red Cross Julia Richards sent this email to one of our parents

“It is my absolute pleasure to work with the students at Mile High Academy! They are some of the most motivated and compassionate students I have ever met. Thank you for reaching out to the American Red Cross and making the connection.”

This is why we exist to help foster a desire in our students to serve our community.  These types of things do not happen without the commitment of parents, teachers and students.  It warms my heart that our students would be willing and motivated to make a change and do something outside of themselves.

Prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedy in Boston and a prayer of thanksgiving for all those who have reached out both in Boston and right here in Denver.



Mrs. Toakase Vunileva, Principal

Read More

“Silent Saturday”

This is from one of my favorite authors and I thought I would share it with you this week: Max Lucado Silent Saturday
Jesus is silent on Saturday.  The women have anointed his body and placed it in Joseph’s tomb.  The cadaver of Christ is as mute as the stone which guards it.  He spoke much on Friday. He will liberate the slaves of death on Sunday.  But on Saturday, Jesus is silent. So is God.  He made himself heard on Friday.  He tore the curtains of the temple, opened the graves of the dead, rocked the earth, blocked the sun of the sky, and sacrificed the Son of Heaven. Earth heard much of God on Friday.
Nothing on Saturday.  Jesus is silent.  God is silent.  Saturday is silent. Easter weekend discussions tend to skip Saturday.  Friday and Sunday get the press.  The crucifixion and resurrection command our thoughts.  But don’t ignore Saturday.  You have them, too. Silent Saturdays.  The day between the struggle and the solution; the question and the answer; the offered prayer and the answer thereof.
Saturday’s silence torments us.  Is God angry?  Did I disappoint him? God knows Jesus is in the tomb, why doesn’t He do something?  Or, in your case God knows your career is in the tank, your finances are in the pit, your marriage is in a mess. Why doesn’t He act?  What are you supposed to do until He does?
You do what Jesus did.  Lie still.  Stay silent.  Trust God.  Jesus died with this conviction: “You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (Acts 2:27 NIV).
Jesus knew God would not leave him alone in the grave.  You need to know, God will not leave you alone with your struggles.  His silence is not his absence, inactivity is never apathy.  Saturdays have their purpose. They let us feel the full force of God’s strength. Had God raised Jesus fifteen minutes after the death of His son, would we have appreciated the act? Were He to solve your problems the second they appear, would you appreciate His strength?
For His reasons, God inserts a Saturday between our Fridays and Sundays. As one who endured the silent Saturday wrote:  ”Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7 NKJV).
Read More


It’s an amazing thing to be a part of history! A few days ago CNN covered the story of the conclave and the selection of a new Pope.  I have to admit that I find it so intriguing that the selection of a church leader would get such coverage.  I will also admit that I have in the last several hours done all kinds of research on what the voting process is as well as what happens as the Catholic church prepares to select a new leader.  I am dumbfounded at how much coverage goes in to this event; the magnitude of what the media says is an important event to cover.  I think it’s safe to say that there is not any other religion in the world that will get this type of coverage when it’s time to select a new leader for that particular church.

I have also been reminded of the beauty of tradition and how steeped the Catholic faith is in tradition from the colorful vestments that different people wear to signify their status or position.  My favorite, again I admit, is that of the Swiss Guard so colorful and a reminder that even in modern times, those vestments are symbolic of strength and protection.

We have the awesome opportunity to participate actively in creating history.  Every day we create history as we move forward.  I love that every day as the sunrises and sets we also can share HIS STORY as we live our lives.  Isn’t that the goal at the end? That we have had an opportunity to share HIS STORY with all those the Lord gives us an opportunity to meet.

Although I do not agree with some of the fundamental beliefs of Catholicism, we do agree in this: Jesus Christ was born, lived, and died and we have salvation in that wonderful gift.

Will you take the challenge to share HIS STORY with all those you come in contact with? I hope you will thank our Redeemer for the gift of salvation and that you would indeed share that gift with others.

Let’s make history together as we move forward in sharing the greatest story and gift the world has received which is Jesus Christ!  At the end of the day, it is the only story worth sharing.

Be blessed it’s a beautiful day in Denver!

Toakase Vunileva


Read More

Five Gifts from God

While sitting at a stop light I observed a blind individual at the corner preparing to cross the street.  As I observed this pedestrian I thought to myself, “thank you Lord for …” and my mind in that instant started zooming through life experiences, blessings and gifts that the Lord has given me and I just wanted to say thank you Lord.  As the pedestrian began to cross I started to think, is it not amazing that this person can walk across a very busy street, get to the other side and know exactly where he needs to continue without the ability to see.  There are some who can’t seem to get from point A to point B even with 20/20 vision, yet this blind man walked across the street and just kept on going.  What a miracle that the body is able to utilize the abilities it has, readjust and keep going in order to survive.   There surely are days I want to wake up and complain about life’s trivialities, yet there are those living lives of abundance with much less.

As I contemplate the idea of being blind it baffles me that every day that I take something as precious as my sight for granted. We have the incredible capability to see something, decide it’s something worth investigating and then exploring and discovering more about that specific item. We live in a world where information is coming at us a million miles a minute and we are processing all of the information and storing it in our minds for use at another time.  I am always amazed at the miracle of the brain and a person’s ability to take in and produce information.

What a gift we have to be able to share knowledge with those we interact with every day.  It is a privilege to use our senses to meditate on the beautiful world we live in. My prayer is that we would take a step back, breathe in the beautiful Colorado air, love and appreciate the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises we get to experience living here in Denver.  May we never take for granted the ability to see, smell, taste, touch and hear what the Lord has given us.

May you have a blessed week exploring all that GOD has made!

Read More

Courageous for Christ

When driving to school every morning I tune into a Christian radio station and listen to testimonies and stories of how GOD is moving in the lives of those who tune in every day. This morning it was the story of an American citizen who has been sentenced to 8 years in an Iranian prison for believing in Jesus Christ. His wife came on in an interview and I heard her say, “We live one day at a time, but we will continue to trust in God. He is in control and still leading in our lives. We pray that we will be reunited very soon with my husband and that our children will get to hug their dad very soon. But until then, we will wait and trust in the Lord.”
How many of you can say that? How many of you can honestly say LORD in the middle of this trial I will trust you. No matter how hard life has become I will trust you. Although we are not physically imprisoned in a foreign land some of you may feel like something is holding you captive. Today I just want to remind you that you are free and the Redeemer of this world has assured us that someday soon we will never face the trials and tribulations we face here again.
It’s my prayer that we will not take for granted the time that we have with each other. What does this have to do with education and our students? It takes COURAGE to say no matter what, I will trust you LORD. As we start a new week my prayer is that we will find the courage to stand up and stand out for Jesus no matter if we stand alone. I challenge you to ask the question: Where can I be courageous for Christ in my life today?

Read More