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Host an International Student

International students and their families select Westside Christian High School for a number of reasons.  They value Westside Christian’s academic excellence, small class size, extracurricular opportunities, faith, facility, and location.

This month is when international students and agencies begin contacting us, filling out applications, and undergoing Skype or on-site interviews. They are anxious about knowing where they will live and with whom.  We are looking for host families who have current students attending Westside Christian or alumni families.

Sometimes there are mid-year needs that come up and we look for families who would be willing to take a student for the second semester to finish out the year.  It can be a good way to get a shorter trial run, to see if you would want to commit to an entire year of hosting.  We are also looking for hosts for the whole duration of the 2019-2020 school year.

In the spring, we will host a preview evening that highlights the joys and challenges of being a host to an international student at Westside Christian.  We have a panel of current and past Westside host families who share their experience and field your questions.  In addition, we usually have a group of current international students who share how they have been blessed by their host families.

If you have any questions concerning how to initiate the process for being considered as a host family, please contact Don Westerberg, International Student Director, at Westerberg@wchsonline.org or call him at (503) 697-4711, ext. 1232.

Note: A monthly stipend of $700/month is given to the host family to provide for room, board, and transportation for the duration of the 10 months/year.

WCHS Winter Sports Awards

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WCHS athletics’ department celebrated basketball and cheerleading season with a winter awards dinner. Thanks to Debby Mager, Mesina Lunz, Michael Wenger, and Mike and Eve McCarthy the event went smoothly.  My hope in adding the dinners was to provide a time to come together as a community. This event provided an opportunity to thank people who went above and beyond by keeping the score clock or scorebooks, teaching volunteers how to safely use the popcorn machine in the concession stand, driving teams across the state, and helping pick up trash after games.  I am thankful to all those who contributed their time and talents to make an impact on our sports teams.

My very favorite moment of the evening was at 7:20. I invariably grab the nearest person to me and say,  “listen, just listen.” I draw their attention to a community engaging in storytelling, laughing, and smiling. Each table is different, at one table a team of 14 players sitting around a table set for 8 people, longtime friends sitting together who haven’t connected for some time and new friendships that started this season.  This year’s highlight for me was when two women at two different tables, engaged in two different conversations tilt their heads back in laughter at the same time. It was quite a coincidence, but a magical moment for me.

I get nervous before the dinner starts, will anyone show up, will we run out of food (cookies yes, tacos no) and will there be people so stressed they won’t enjoy the evening.  Then I remind myself it is supposed to be fun and I am grateful to be a part of this community. I wait and watch the clock and when 7:20 comes I grab the nearest person to capture the moment with me, and I enjoy the time celebrating our teams!

Thank you WCHS community!

Rob Casteel, Athletic Director