On December 20th, WCHS held its annual Christmas Concert. The concert featured Westside Christian High School’s 12-time State Championship choir and State Championship band. Soli Deo Gloria, our auditioned choir, and Adult Supervision, a barbershop quartetfeaturing three WCHS students and Mr. Fox, also performed some toe-tapping Christmas classics. And special guests, The SenateAires Chorus performed.
This event is always a highlight of the year. Families, alumni, and community members showed up to support and enjoy WCHS’s growing music programs.
Photo Credit: Peter Van Houten
Students celebrated with spirit this week leading up to their annual Fall Fest at The Maize on Sauvie’s Island.
From dressing up in costumes to wearing all black to cheer on the volleyball team to their victorious win against Riverdale, and donning their flannel for the evening of line dancing, students were in the spirit of Fall.
On Wednesday night, Westside students enjoyed line dancing, walking through the corn maze, painting pumpkins, and enjoying a bonfire together. The Fall Fest King, Kellen Peterson, and Queen, Eva Lammers also received their pumpkin crowns.
We are back! And the school year is off to a great start. Here are some highlights from the first month back at Westside Christian High School.
We welcomed parents’ to our annual Back to School to visit their students’ classes, meet with teachers and connect with coaches and staff. We are so grateful for our families that bring together our community.
Seniors shared with their fellow classmates their theme and verse of the 2018-2019 school year, “Manifold Grace” and their chosen verse. “8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (Peter 4:8-10). They asked their classmates to participate by signing a banner with a colored marker that represented a part of the verse they would live out this year.
On September 26th, WCHS students joined more than3,000,000 students nationwide by gathering around the flag pole for the annual, “See You at the Pole.” They prayed for their friends, family, school, communities and country.
Our WCHS community is feeling energized for the 2018-19 school year! We are looking forward to coming together in our mission to develop the whole person for the Glory of God and living out our seniors theme for the year ahead with manifold grace.
At the end of the school year sophomore biology students went on a field trip to Boiler Bay and got to do some tide pooling – hands on biology! Students found all kinds of marine life including sea urchins, sea anemones, sea stars, barnacles, limpets, crabs, seals, and gumboot chiton! After tide-pooling students grabbed lunch at Mo’s Restaurant and then finished their day at Hatfield Marine Science Center learning about adaptations of various marine invertebrates.
Take a look at more photos here: Biology at the beach!
This summer, my wife and I, along with Leif, our 1-year-old baby boy, will be spending 40 days in Valencia, Spain. I’ve been given the opportunity to complete an international teaching practicum at an English language school located in the heart of this beautiful Mediterranean beach town.
We are so looking forward to our time together there, especially with our boy! In our free time, we will be exploring the old medieval parts of town and sampling the tapas and paellas the city is famous for. Of course, we will seek out the beach as often as possible and spend time swimming in the warm sea and relaxing in the sun.
My wife and I have held Spain as very special to both of us for many years. It’s where we fell in love and where we later honeymooned. It’s where I became fluent in Spanish and where I watched God grow a deep love for the Spaniards within me. We can’t wait to bring our boy into all of this with us.
This time in Spain with be a blessing for my family at home, but I’ve begun to pay attention to the many ways that it will also be a blessing for my Westside family. Among such, I anticipate that my students in the fall will benefit from my reinvigorated passion for Spanish-speaking peoples – a passion which will color our class time together and which may even be passed on to them. In addition, my own language skills will be sharpened and my fluency deepened, enhancing the collection of talents and abilities among the staff at Westside and so also enhancing our prestige as a school.
I look forward to sharing the stories and pictures from our European adventure with my classes in the fall. I’m sure there will also be others with travel stories to share. In sharing, I know that God will work on our hearts to grow them in our capacity for love toward people of other lands and languages – towards peoples that he loves as much as he does the folks in our own communities here at home.
Last week Westside’s seniors traveled (far) east to Washington Family Ranch for a week of fellowship, fun, and reflection in advance of graduation. Senior Trip provides students with a unique opportunity to get away from normal, including cellphone reception, for time together to process all they’ve experienced in life up to this moment in time. Evening sessions provided the chance to consider their past, appreciate the present, and prepare for their future.
Seniors – go well, and please plan to return. The doors are always open.
Our Leadership students put together a video appreciating each and everyone of our seniors in advance of the last chapel of the year. Take a watch below!
Westside students recently completed an Acid / Base Titration Lab in Chemistry. The students were using a 0.2M acid in order to determine the strength of a basic solution made from magnesium hydroxide. This is accomplished with the use of an indicator which changes color when all the base has been neutralized. Ultimately, they will use their results to determine how many moles of stomach acid can be neutralized with one dose of the medicine.
Our students look great in goggles and other assorted lab gear!
Westside Christian High School’s Performing and Fine Arts students will be having their Spring Concert and Art Show tonight, May 21st, at Westside. The Art Show begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Commons, followed by the Concert in the Gym at 7:00 p.m.
The concert will feature four award-winning ensembles:
- The Concert Choir (for the 12th consecutive year) won the 2018 OSAA 3A State Choir Championship on May 3rd!
- The Concert Band (in its second year of existence) captured the 2018 OSAA 3A State Band Championship on May 9th!
- Soli Deo Gloria had another great year and finished second at the Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival! on April 21st!
- Adult Supervision, a barbershop quartet made up of three Westside students and Mr. Fox, finished second at the Oregon State Barbershop Quartet Contest on April 7th!
This will be the final time this school year to see and hear these ensembles perform a full concert, including the numbers that won them their awards. Make every effort to join us for the celebration. Cookies and drinks will follow as we lift up a toast to the students for an incredible year of music-making!
The Westside Christian High School Concert Band assembled at 6:30am Wednesday, March 9th, for a trip to the Oregon State Band Championships and a chance to compete with nine of the top 3A bands in the state. Qualifying for the state championships in April was astounding enough for a band program that was established just one year ago, with a shoestring budget, a few donated / very used instruments, and a lot of heart. Six boys playing horns (no percussion) worked steadily that first year. Ten students (nine boys and one special girl) comprise this year’s band, with two of the boys adding percussion to the band for the first time!
Upon arriving at Oregon State University, the band got a feel for the LaSells Stewart Center Auditorium by listening to one of the other competing bands. The group then assembled together with instruments in hand and entered the warm-up room at 9:55am. In the warm-up room, the band tuned to one another so that unison notes and chords would create a pleasant experience for our audience. Ten minutes before the band’s 10:20am performance, our two percussion players were escorted to the stage to set up their percussion instruments. The rest of the band was then invited to the stage and introduced.
The band played well through its 5-piece song set, which included the St. Petersburg March, Clarinet Rag, Black Forest Overture, Three Ayres of Gloucester, and Moscow, 1941. The band played with crispness, good intonation and a very pleasant sound to the ear. The audience couldn’t believe this band of ten students (who are only freshmen and sophomores) could sound so full and wonderful. Students and directors alike kept stopping band members all day with kind compliments.
Following the stage performance, the band was escorted to the sight reading room, where they were given seven minutes for Mr. Fox to talk through and prepare them to play through an entire piece of music for the very first time. The anxiety of the sight reading room is palpable. Fortunately, our band was able to navigate the selection in reasonable fashion, scoring 43 out of 60 points.
Following the sight reading experience, the band was finally able to relax, listening to the other competing bands, taking pictures outside in the sunshine, and grabbing a light snack before the awards assembly. At 1:20pm, all of the bands and their directors were honored before the announcement of the finalists. Sitting and listening to the finalists being announced is nerve-wracking. 5th Place, 4th Place, 3rd place, 2nd place. Mr. Fox leaned over to Ethan Chung and said, “We’ve either placed 6th through 10th, or our band just won the state championship!” Then the announcement: “Your 2018 3A State Championship band is Westside Christian High School!”
Shock, elation, and a sense of achievement combined to create a surreal moment as the band slowly made its way to the stage to receive the state championship trophy. Moms, dads, and grandparents were yelling, applauding, and crying happy tears as the band formed on stage for a picture with the trophy to the cheers of all in attendance. After the pictures were taken, our band broke into applause toward the entire assembled audience filled with other schools’ bands and their supporters as a gesture of appreciation. After more pictures outside with the championship trophy, the band and many family members shared a meal together and gave thanks for an unbelievable and historic day. The band scored 86, 87 and 91 from the three performance judges.
The little band that could!