Reflections on the Year

James Apers, Director of Student Services, shared these reflections on the year during this morning’s live stream assembly. (You can watch the full assembly — including these reflections, a slideshow, special musical guests, a farewell from staff, final words from Mr. Todd, and more — here!)

HDCH’s 2019-2020 Year-end Assembly recorded June 17, 2020.

Well… we did it. You did it. Congratulations.

This was certainly not the year any of us thought it might be when we had our opening assembly way back in September. It will be a year that we might look back on as one of those extraordinary and defining points in our organizational history, or it might be a time we might rather not think about too much. 

Regardless of how we will remember this time, there is very little doubt that we were stretched… we had to be adaptable and creative with such speed and for so long, all while under a cloud of uncertainty and unpredictability… and to have done it so well and with such dedication…that, I think, is the mark of true character and community. 

We not only did it, we did it well. Not that it wasn’t hard, or that there were times when we would have rather done just about anything else, or when we thought we might not have a lot left to give… but you continued to give. Teachers, staff, students… you gave and gave and gave.

And so much of it was awesome! There was …

  • The WATCH group and Christians in Society class that raised $56,155 worth of milk to supply the needs of others for a complete year for N2N. 
  • Winter campaigns to gather winter wear, blankets, fill shoeboxes, purses, and handbags, and to walk for homelessness. 
  • Our first Orange Shirt Day, that focused on awareness of residential schools, 
  • Funfest – fun community event organized by the business class
  • Christmas concert – titled “This Night” – an amazing way to start the advent season as a wider community
  • Online edsby Book Club led by Nathan St. John – an awesome place for dialogue about the ways in which literature moves and shapes us
  • Bridge Bible Study – a great initiative by Ruth Ann Bos to provide a place for girls to study the Bible and the importance of their faith. [I think they were the ones responsible for the sticky notes of encouragement that adorned locker doors one morning]
  • The privilege of listening to a holocaust survivor during our assembly.
  • a virtual leadership series!
  • The Raspberry Pi project team for their work with EduDeo’s Pi Plan
  • The first year of Student Leadership Days and all of the students and community members who participated! 
  • A regional Christian HS mental health day
  • The amazing rebirth of the Christian HS drama festival led by our students
  • Jr. Girls Volleyball with a great season with a  sossa finish
  • Ethan Summerhays qualifying for OFSAA for the 4th year in a row for cross country
  • Senior Girls Volleyball team winning the Christian High School Championship
  • An amazing city final match for senior boys volleyball
  • Grade 9 Boys soccer going all the way to PKs in the final!
  • Guys hockey: Bronze medal game for the Cougar Cup with a wild 2-on-2 goalies only final few minutes.  Hilarious, great sportsmanship and not likely to be repeated.

And more recently, you proved that being online didn’t stop you from
being HD:

  • Integrated Arts for creating an online resource of storytelling for local Christian elementary schools to use during our time online
  • An art class that blew us away with their illustrated devotionals
  • Students who stepped up to lead an entire community with morning devotions
  • A music class that raised the bar for national anthems
  • Three very deserving athletes of the year
  • An incredible group of extracurricular award winners
  • An unbelievable virtual talent extravaganza
  • Scenes from a quarantine
  • Match the pet with the staff member
  • A community fundraising campaign for tuition assistance that has left its initial goal in the dust
  • And our 2020 grads….

I could go on and on… and I know I’m leaving amazing stuff off because I only have a few minutes!

I don’t know if you can name the five habits of an HDCH grad? Compassion, Creativity, Resilience, Reflection, Competence. Read that list with those five characteristics in mind… and you nailed it HD. COVID or no COVID, the staff and students and community here have made a statement, we are still committed to cultivating character through learning for a life of service to God. HD is still HD, and that is awesome. 

What a blessing to be able to work and play and laugh, and stress and cry together in this little corner of God’s Kingdom. Thanks to God for such a community, for such a staff, and for such an amazing group of young people.