Congratulations to the Class of 2019! Mack Cleveland (pictured left) has been named as one of the 16,000 Semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. He now has the opportunity to continue in the competition for one of the National Merit Scholarships. Out of 1.6 million students, this places Mack in the top 1/2 percent of the nation!
Taylen Day, Rachel Gruenbaum, Caleb Phelps and Anson Sujoe (pictured left to right) have been named as National Merit Commended Scholars, placing them in the top 3 percent of the nation!
Last but not least, Caleb Shelter (pictured right) has been named one of the 7,000 College Board National Hispanic Scholars, and among the top 2.5 percent of all Hispanic students who took the PSAT.
These students join the ranks of Bethesda's 16 National Merit Scholars, 44 Commended Scholars, 17 National Hispanic Scholars and 2 National Achievement Outstanding Participants. We are so proud of these students and are excited to see what God has in store for them after graduation.
We are so proud of the Bethesda Christian School varsity volleyball team! During this rebuilding year, the team has overcome many obstacles and is heading to the playoffs again.
"I’m really proud of this group of girls" stated Head Coach Hannah Ray. "Despite the fact that it’s been a rebuilding year for the volleyball program, they’ve taken every challenge head on & overcome quite a bit of adversity. Victory is ours!"
Heading into playoffs, the Lady A's sport a 4-5 district record and an 11-12 overall record. After a tiebreaker with Sacred Heart, the team finished 3rd in District.
Members of the team include Natasha Bell, Grace Blair, Jessica Bryant, Lilliana Cisneros, Hailey Clagg, Chesney Deshon, Annalise Doyle, Abigail Escamilla, Allyssa Hill, Audrey Hutto, Ashley Keller, Jennelle Kucharski, Emmy Lovelady, Keely Mitchell, Elena Pieters, Presley Purdom, Miranda Rutledge, Rachel Sherman, and Payton Young. The assistant coaches for the Lady A’s are Mia Hartzog and Kim Melton.
This Thursday, Oct. 25, BCS will play Coram Deo Plano at 6 p.m. Coach Ray encouraged fans to come, wear BCS Blue and cheer for the Lady A’s!
Congratulations to Hephzibah Sujoe, who won the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Fort Worth "Star-Telegram" and Texas Christian University's College of Education!
The Scripps Spelling Bees start at the school level. This year, there were 488 school bees and the school winners then compete in one of the 25 Area Bees. Today, 24 students competed representing this region.
Hephzibah won in the 17th round with the word tenebrism. Some other words she spelled were slurvian, zwinger, quixote and gymkhana. As the Grand Champion, she received a 2018 Regional Spelling Bee Championship trophy, an all expenseS paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, $200 award, TCU audit course opportunity, a one-year subscription of Encyclopedia Britannica online, and a $100 Samuel Louis Sugarman award.
She moves on to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., which is May 29-31. The National Spelling Bee is the oldest spelling bee in the country, beginning in 1925. 50 states and six countries will be represented. 290 students compete with eventually 45 spellers vying for the top spot.
We are so proud of you Hephzibah!
We are so proud of our Robotics teams! Our senior school team competed at TCC on Saturday, Jan. 6 where they qualified for the North Texas Regional Championship on Saturday, February 10, 2018. The team took 2nd place in the Inspire Award and 1st in the Connect Award. They were also 4th alliance captain in the robot game and the alliance team placed fourth in the game.
On Saturday, Jan. 13, our elementary and middle school teams, Ambassador Stars, Ambassador Lightning and Ambassador Blue competed in their second qualifier. The three teams advanced to the Regional Championship and Ambassador Blue took second place all around, the Championship Award. These three teams will be added to the other two teams who placed first and second Championship Awards from the first qualifier to automatically advance to the regional. The Regional Qualifier takes place on Saturday, Feb. 3.
For the third consecutive year, Bethesda Christian School has been selected as the Elementary School Grand Champion in the Star-Telegram Stock Show Art Contest.
Fourteen BCS students and their art teacher, Anna Gill, were recognized at an awards ceremony held Jan. 6 in the Brown Lupton North Building, located at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center. Students received ribbons for the collective quality of their artwork, while BCS earned a $1000 cash prize for the Art Department. A nameplate engraved with school’s name was added to the contest’s traveling trophy.
"I am deeply grateful to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo volunteers and sponsors for providing an opportunity for students to showcase their artwork," stated Gill. "Likewise, I am abundantly grateful to Bethesda Christian School Administrators, who are highly supportive of the arts, encouraging the creativity of our students and allowing me the same kind of creative freedom. Bethesda parents also deserve credit for their support of the Arts and the overall success of their students. Mostly, I am SO proud of our elementary students who give their best each time they get a chance to create. You did it again!"
Students whose artwork was recognized in the contest were: Alley Vaughn, Cade Edens, Christian Lawler, Dylan Hardisty, Eisley McCarthy, Ellie Hull, Elliot Hamilton, Emerie Jones, Faithlynn Beckwith, Haven Heron, Kennedi Burnham, Nicholai Burgess, Scott Childs and Zachariah Brandes.
The artwork is currently on display in the concourse of the Will Rogers Memorial Center’s Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall. The exhibit will run for the duration of the 2018 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, which concludes on Feb. 2.
To view the student artwork that earned BCS the Elementary School Grand Champion award, click here.
Bethesda Christian School’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics team has qualified for the South Super-Regional Championship, to be held March 23-25 at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia.
The team's advance to the South Super-Regional will be its third appearance in four years. Faculty sponsor Una Davis stated that the squad “double-qualified” for the Super-Regional, placing second for the Inspire Award and winning the Think Award at the FTC North Texas Regional Championship on February 25.
The Inspire Award, the highest honor given at a meet, recognizes a team that embodies the spirit of the FTC program. The Inspire Award winner is a top contender for many other judged awards and exhibits Gracious Professionalism, one of the FIRST program’s highest values.
The Think Award is given to a team for the quality of its engineering notebook. Judges recognize the winning squad for its documentation of the robot design process.
Members of the Ambassador Robotics team are Noah Brown, Ben Davis, Mark Eagan, Rachel Gruenbaum and Brandon Watanabe. The Ambassadors will be one of 72 teams in 11 states competing at the South Super-Regional Championship.
For the second consecutive year, Bethesda Christian School has been selected as the Elementary School Grand Champion in the Star-Telegram Stock Show Art Contest.
Fifteen BCS students and their art teacher, Mrs. Anna Gill, were recognized at an awards ceremony held January 7 in the Brown Lupton North Building, located at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center. Students received ribbons for the collective quality of their artwork, while BCS earned $1000 cash prize for the Art Department. A name plate engraved with school’s name was added to the contest’s traveling trophy.
"We are so grateful for the opportunity the Star-Telegram Stock Show Art Contest provided our students to showcase their artistry," stated Mrs. Gill. "Thank you to all the students who worked diligently and used their talent to create award-winning art. I am one very proud art teacher!"
Students whose artwork was recognized in the contest were: Clara Schneider, Clara Brown, Boden Curtis, Grady Henderson, Katie Banks, Chase Harden, Cole Hamilton, Echo Cranor, Emerie Jones, Alana Cooper, Kate Flanery, Avery Holdsclaw, Belicia Cox, Emily Smay and Grayson Guelker.
The artwork is currently on display in the concourse of the Will Rogers Memorial Center’s Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall. The exhibit will run for the duration of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, which concludes on February 4.
To view the student artwork that earned BCS the Elementary School Grand Champion award, click here.
Bethesda Christian School alumna Julie Schoelles is an answer to prayer. Just ask Bethany Hartman, the U.S. Director of Haven of Hope Zambia, who prayed for over 18 months for God to send someone—the right someone—to help her in the ministry’s Pennsylvania office.
But Schoelles had been praying, too. The 2004 BCS graduate, who spent seven years working as a manuscript editor for Penn State University, had sensed for some time that the Lord was calling her to international ministry. So she took a class on missions, built relationships with people who had ministered around the world, and trusted God to open the right doors in His timing. Then she began volunteering part-time last year with Haven of Hope, whose Pennsylvania office just happened to be located in State College, the city in which she lives.
Haven of Hope’s child sponsorship program provides a Christian education, meals and medical care to over 200 orphans and vulnerable children in the Zambian cities of Ndola and Luanshya. Its mission also includes strengthening local churches by provided resources for congregations and training church leaders, as well as serving their communities.
FROM MANUSCRIPT EDITOR TO MISSIONARY
A few months after Julie began her volunteer work with Haven of Hope, its leadership informed her of the ministry’s plan to expand into Uganda in early 2017 and invited Julie to prayerfully consider joining its U.S.-based team. Following a visit to the Haven of Hope schools in Zambia and spending time seeking God’s will, she sensed that it was God’s intent for her to move into full-time missions work. In faith, Julie laid down her salaried job at Penn State to use her writing talent for advancing the Haven of Hope mission. Since May, Julie has served as the ministry’s Director of Communications, an unpaid position requiring her to raise financial support.
Because of the expansion into Uganda, the organization will soon change its name to Haven of Hope Global Ministries. “I am excited to serve in the midst of this transition,” Julie shared. “I continue to travel to Zambia and Uganda regularly, where I’m able to directly minister to the children in Haven of Hope’s schools and help lead mission teams that will serve the students, the surrounding community, and local churches.”
SEEDS PLANTED IN THE HEART OF A FUTURE MISSIONARY
In reflecting upon her life, Julie recognizes the seeds God planted for her future as a missionary. “Growing up, I was always interested in Africa, as my family knew missionaries there,” she explained. Through her seventh grade history teacher at Bethesda, Julie had the opportunity to become a pen pal with a Kenyan girl. Her interest in and love for the people of Africa deepened as a college student at Texas Christian University. “In college I became involved with an organization that brought attention to a decades-long conflict in Uganda. The profound suffering of the Ugandan people stirred my heart for their country and other African nations affected by conflict.”
But after accepting her manuscript editor position at Penn State, Julie’s focus was on her work. She found other causes to serve in her community and abroad.
Then, four years ago, Julie’s sponsorship of a Ugandan girl named Edivina dramatically altered the BCS alumna's life. “God used [Edivina] to completely reshape my dreams and my experience of following Him,” she recalled. “As I built a relationship with Edivina, I couldn’t learn enough about Uganda, its people, and its culture—and at the same time, poverty and the associated issues of disease, hunger, poor access to education, unemployment, the orphan crisis, and so on.”
Julie, whose original college major and career goal was to become a teacher, stated that during this season, she became captivated by the work of ministries in Uganda and other African nations that seek to improve the lives of the needy—especially through education—as they simultaneously share the gospel.
THE IMPACT OF A BCS SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION
Although Julie appreciates the academic education she received at BCS, she is even more thankful for the spiritual foundation received during her 13 years here. “I am thankful for a school that taught me so much about the love and grace of God, and how to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Him obediently,” she said. “Having received a Christian education, I know that is one of the reasons I am so passionate about providing the same opportunity for the children I serve in ministry today,” she stated.
Julie is most grateful for the years of learning and memorizing the Word at BCS. “Ministry isn’t the easy road that I used to think it was,” she admitted, “but when I feel insufficient, God reminds me through His Word that He is sufficient and has bigger plans than I could dream! I am thankful that these promises, and many others, were fixed in my heart and mind growing up at BCS, so that the Holy Spirit can remind me of them in an instant. What a wonderful gift! I pray that every child in Haven of Hope’s schools can one day say the same about what they have been given through their education.”
To learn more about Haven of Hope’s ministry, click here.
October 29 was a good day for Bethesda Christian School cross country. A very good day.
The Ambassadors clinched the boys’ title at the TAPPS 2A State Cross Country Championships, held at Paul Tyson Field in Waco. The injury-beset Lady A’s also had cause for celebration, earning a fourth-place plaque and a spot on the stage at the TAPPS 2A award ceremony.
Bethesda dominated the field in the boys 5K race, with four Ambassadors earning All-State honors for finishing among the top 10 runners. Senior Spencer Doyle captured the individual state title in his final run for BCS cross country—and set a personal record in the process, crossing the finish line with a time of 16:20.2. Garrett Franks, Ian Ellis and Caleb Smay finished fourth, eighth and 10th respectively. Also running for BCS were Ethan Lawler, who finished 14th, Austin Patterson, and Brandon Watanabe.
Freshman Kati Marchese finished 10th in the girls 3200-meter run and snagged a spot on the All-State team, while Emily Schumacher took 15th. Also running for BCS were Abby Gruenbaum, Sarah Wolff, Amy New, Madison Sanford and Hailey Brown.
The boys’ win marked the second TAPPS state title in the history of the BCS boys cross country program. The team's first one was in 2014. For Bethesda Head Coach Pat Robb, the 2016 crown marked the fifth time in six years that one of her Ambassador teams have clinched TAPPS state championships. In addition to the two earned by the boys’ teams, the Lady A’s captured three consecutive TAPPS state wins—in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
TAPPS regulations limited schools to seven runners per team. Members of the BCS 2016 cross country teams who did not compete in the state championship races included boys' team athletes Sam Date, Keith Emery and David Roberts; and Lady A's June George, Rachel Gruenbaum and Casey Rivero. Rey Moreno served as assistant coach.
Bethesda Christian School’s varsity cross country season culminates this Saturday, October 29, when the Ambassadors journey to Waco for the TAPPS Cross Country State Championships.
Head Coach Pat Robb, Assistant Coach Rey Moreno, and the Ambassador boys’ and girls’ teams head for the state meet with one goal in mind: to bring home two more TAPPS state plaques for the BCS athletic trophy cabinet.
Boys team eyes second state championship
A dominant force in 2A cross country this year, the boys’ team has been ranked first in TAPPS 2A coaches’ polls all season and fifth among the top 75 TAPPS teams, regardless of classification. Coach Robb stated that the team has been extremely competitive in meets with much larger schools, both public and private. “We competed in several UIL [University Interscholastic League] meets with 5A and under public schools, and most of the time, we finished third or better,” she added.
The Ambassadors, who won the 5K run in the 4A and under division at the August 27 Waxahachie Woodhouse Invitational, claimed five of the 20 individual medals awarded. Senior Spencer Doyle earned first place, freshman Garrett Franks finished second, while Bethesda’s three other medalists—freshmen Ian Ellis, Caleb Smay and Ethan Lawler—placed 13th, 15th and 19th, respectively. The A’s finished second at the October 1 Ovilla Christian Cross Country Invitational, as well as in the 4A and under division of the Birdville Flyin’ Hawks Invitational on October 8 and at the Private School State Warm-Up on October 22.
The state team will be led by Doyle, who twice previously has earned TAPPS All-State honors in cross country. He is the sole remaining athlete from Bethesda’s 2014 state championship team. Doyle, Franks, Ellis, Smay and Lawler—along with freshman Austin Patterson and sophomore Brandon Watanabe—are slated to run for BCS at the state championship.
TAPPS limits the number of runners per team to seven athletes. If one of Bethesda’s runners is unable to compete due to illness or injury, junior David Roberts will step in for BCS to fill the vacant slot.
Lady A’s aim for spot on podium
The goal of the 2016 BCS girls’ cross country team is a top-three finish at the state meet. “We do have some minor injuries that can affect a runner’s performance,” stated Coach Robb, “but we have a real chance to place.”
The Lady A’s season includes a win at the September 24 Southwest Christian SCS II Invitational. Individual athletes earning medals for finishing among the top 20 runners included freshman Kati Marchese (second place), sophomore Emily Schumacher (seventh place) and junior Abby Gruenbaum (14th place).
The team also was runner-up at the Ovilla Christian meet and placed third at both the Waxahachie Woodhouse Invitational and the Private School State Warm-up. “No team awards were given at the [October 13] Haltom District Warm-up, but our girls placed high enough to have won the 4A and under division if there had been,” stated Coach Robb.
In addition to Marchese, Schumacher and Gruenbaum, the Lady A’s state team will be represented by junior Madison Sanford and seniors Sarah Wolff, Amy New and Hailey Brown. Freshman June George will step in to substitute if a teammate is unable to run. Wolff was also on the BCS 2013 state championship team.
Meet location and race times
The TAPPS State Cross Country Championship will be held at Waco High School’s Paul Tyson Field, located at 1901 Lake Air Drive. The 2A girls’ race will start at 9:00 a.m., with the boys’ run following at 9:30. TAPPS will conduct the 2A awards ceremony approximately 30 minutes following the boys’ race.
“The cross country teams have worked very hard this season and should do an outstanding job at the state meet,” stated Coach Robb. “I am so proud of each and every one of them. So please come and support them in Waco on Saturday. It would be great to have fans celebrate with us!”
The Bethesda Christian School varsity volleyball team is on a mission.
“We want a volleyball district championship banner to hang on the gym wall,” stated Head Coach Lorie Shelley. “And we really want to play in the state tournament.”
With two weeks left in the regular season, a district title is within reach for the Lady A’s, currently the top team in TAPPS 2A District 2. Bethesda sports an undefeated 9-0 district record and is 21-11 overall. The squad, which holds a one-game lead over its toughest district competitor, Texoma Christian, has been ranked among the top ten TAPPS 2A teams in coaches’ polls for the past three weeks.
A major season accomplishment includes winning the Navy bracket at the McKinney Christian Tournament in August. “The girls really worked the hardest I have seen all season, going three sets with HSAA Blue in a very close match,” stated Coach Shelley. “Our players rose to the occasion, and their efforts really paid off.” Two players have been selected for All-Tournament Team honors thus far: Macy Hust at the McKinney Christian Tournament, and Renee Ellis at the Faith Academy Tournament in Bellville.
Other members of the team include Natasha Bell, Abigail Escamilla, Haley Harnitchek, Audrey Hutto, Jennelle Kucharski, Rachel Lovell, Miranda Rutledge, Rachel Sherman, Hannah Wells, Sarah Wolff and Payton Young. The assistant coach for the Lady A’s is Hannah Ray.
Tonight BCS plays host to THESA, one of its toughest non-district competitors. A full evening of volleyball begins with the middle school Blue team playing at 4:00 p.m., followed by middle school Gold at 5:00, the junior varsity at 6:00, and the varsity at 7:00. The BCS choir, directed by Mrs. Emily Modlin, will make a special appearance to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the start of the varsity game.
Coach Shelley encouraged fans to come and cheer for the Lady A’s as they take on THESA. “It should be an exciting match. We have not beaten THESA previously, but we have come close,” she said. “We are determined to win tonight!”
Bethesda Christian School enters the final phase of its three-year adoption of Saxon Math with the implementation of the widely used math curriculum in grades 2-5 this fall. BCS instituted the program two years ago with kindergarten classes and in grades 6-11, adding first grade to the mix in 2015-2016.
Saxon combines a gradual and incremental instructional approach with homework that continually revisits previously taught skills and integrates problems covering new concepts. The method helps students achieve mastery of concepts previously taught through ongoing, cumulative review.
The change in the BCS math curriculum has resulted in a dramatic rise in math achievement test scores. In tracking student math achievement on the Stanford Achievement Test over the past four years, last year’s eighth grade class is one example of a group that demonstrated significant improvement.
As a whole, the class scored at the 80th percentile as fifth graders and the 76th percentile as sixth graders in its overall math score. Following Bethesda’s adoption of Saxon Math in 2014-2015, the group’s mean average jumped to the 89th percentile in seventh grade and rose to the 90th percentile in eighth grade.
Among individual students within the same class, some scores were even more impressive, with a number achieving 20-30 percentile-point increases after Bethesda switched to Saxon.
John Saxon developed Saxon Math out of concern about the state of math education in the United States, believing that all students can do well in math if given the right tools. Saxon understood that students needed continual practice and review to be successful math students. We are so excited to watch our students become even more successful in math as we begin using this curriculum in the entire elementary school.