Journey in Hope

As we journey in hope towards the birth of our Savior, we invite you to consider once more the story of Brooke.

“Often, in grade nine, we feel that there is no clear purpose in our lives yet. But God has a purpose for each of you. It took me some time to realize this truth for myself, especially in grade nine, because I started thinking that God had a grander purpose for others and not for me…”
Read Brooke’s full story >>

As a new member of the HD staff team, I am struck by Brooke’s story, as she describes the elements of student life at HD, and perhaps life in general—as she moves from a place of uncertainty to a place of confidence, Brooke sees and feels God alongside her.

Sandra Baker, Director of Recruitment & Advancement
Hamilton District Chrisitan High


Spring Dinner Fundraiser ~ Mar 28

Save the Date to Eat, Give & Be Merry
The dinner will once again be catered by Nellie James Gourmet. The evening promised to be interactive, fun, and delicious! Plan to be our guest.

Tickets will go on sale in the New Year. If you are interested in joining the team of volunteers who plan and execute the event, or for more details, contact Tina VanDyk tvandyk@hdch.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also possible.

Welcoming New Board Members

HDCH Board Update

On Tuesday evening November 26, the HDCH Board met here at the school. The Board of Hamilton District Christian High stewards the vision and resources of the school through good governance and sound leadership. Board Directors act as custodians of the vision and mission, support and hold accountable the Principal, support and promote the school, and keep improving our vision for Christian education.

Last night was an opportunity to thank retiring Director Allan Buist. Allan served two terms (6 years!) on the Board, four of those years as Chair. We are grateful for his leadership.

The Board also welcomed four new Directors who were elected by Membership at our Fall Meeting: Lisa DeKok, Greg Kippers, Val Regnerus, and Will Wiebenga. We’re grateful for the range of experiences, expertise, and leadership that these folks bring.

In addition to dialogue around vision, the Directors determined Board roles for this year. Your 2018-2019 Board Executive is:

  • Aaron Schat, Chair
  • David Kingma, Vice-All
  • Trixie Zimmerman, Secretary
  • Will Wiebenga, Treasurer
  • Greg Kippers was elected Finance Committee rep. The remaining Committee positions will be assigned in the new year.As a community, we are grateful for the energy and time that these people invest in leading and guiding our school.

Liz Williams Bottinga Scholarship

The Liz Williams Bottinga Scholarship is awarded annually to four students who are in Grade 11 and 12, based on their Grade 10 and 11 final marks. This years’ recipients are Aaron Oppershauser (Highest Gr. 10 average), Owen Vanden Brink (Most Improved from Gr. 9-10), Sapphyre Smith (Highest Gr. 11 average) and Christa Allemang (Most Improved from Gr. 10-11).

The scholarship was established in 2008 in memory of Liz Williams Bottinga by her father Jake Bottinga. Liz was an HDCH parent who passed away while her son Ryan was a student. Jake was compelled to establish the scholarship out of appreciation for the care that Ryan received within the community of HDCH. Each year Ryan attends the Scholarship presentation and reception, honouring both his mother and the hard work of the recipients. We are grateful for this generous gift and the inspiration it is to students to excel in academics.

Congratulations to the recipients for their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments!

Welcome to HDCH

Welcome Sandra

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Sandra Baker as our new Director of Recruitment and Advancement. She will be starting at the beginning of December but has already been coming in to share her wisdom in various meetings before she officially starts.

Sandra has over twenty years of fundraising experience, most recently as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Halton and Hamilton. She has also worked as Director of Philanthropy at Yonge Street Mission — where she worked with our own Chef Nathan Scott.

In their spare time, Sandra and her husband are passionate about growing and preserving their own food. We are excited for Sandra to join our staff team and our wonderful HDCH community!

Membership Meeting & the Voice

Membership Meeting

November 4th

Come and be part of what’s happening at Hamilton District Christian High! Hear an update from the Principal and Board Chair, and connect with fellow HDCH community members.

Please join us:
7:00 – Coffee & Registration
7:30 – Membership Meeting
8:30 – The Voice

The documents for our Monday, November 4th Membership Meeting have been posted to our website. Have a look at the agenda, read highlights from our Principal, Board Chair and Director of Finance, glance over the audited financial statements, and join us that evening to hear more in person.

Note: Bios for the nominees to the Board of Directors will be available on the evening of November 4th. Should you have miscellaneous items you would like considered for the agenda, please contact, Board Chair by November 1st.


The Voice

Martha Asselin, one of the consultants from M&M who worked with us on the Feasibility Study, will be sharing an overview of the findings following the Membership Meeting. A Q&A session will follow.

We hope you’ll join us on November 4th.


 

Student Learning Conferences

Collaborating for Student Success

Student Learning Conferences provide many opportunities for student growth by
  • engaging students in goal-setting, self-assessment, and reflection
  • encouraging students to be active participants in their own learning
  • opening up dialogue between parents, students, and teachers
  • deepening understanding about the student’s experience while in class
  • cultivating relationships between students and teachers that foster a sense of belonging

See also: Parents FAQ

Connecting

Welcoming New Teachers

Michael Maughan
Michael joins our English Department here at HD from his most recent teaching assignment at the Robert Land Academy in Wellandport, ON, where he taught English and Literacy. Prior to that, he pastored a church in Nanaimo, BC. He has also worked as a Student Ministry Director and English teacher at the Christian Alliance International School in Hong Kong.

Michael received his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta, and his Master of Divinity from Wycliffe College (University of Toronto). In his free time, Michael loves spending time with his family, listening to music, reading, and playing his guitar.

Zach Kingma
Zach joins our Math Department here at HD, having graduated from Redeemer University last year. Ancaster has been his home for the past 6 years, but he grew up in the London area (attending London Christian High). Zach loves the outdoors, particularly hiking and camping and plays a variety of sports, including the recent trend of disc golf. He will be coaching the senior boys’ basketball team this coming year.

Gordon Vanderwoude
Gordon went to McMaster University for his B.Sc and M.Sc, studying physics. While at MAC, he enjoyed performing in the McMaster Orchestra, and McMaster Choir. After completing his B.Ed at Brock University, he worked for a year as a TA at Hillfield Strathallan College. However, his first job was a two-month LTO in the spring of 2018 at HDCH. This year Gordon is teaching Computer Science, Vocal Music, ILP, Megabloc, and Math, as well as conducting the choir. He is the music director at Ryerson United Church and a Board Member of LIFT Church. He plays the violin, viola, and piano, but is primarily a singer these days. Besides music, Gordon enjoys reading and watching old movies.

Naomi Zagala
Naomi is looking forward to teaching French and History this year at HDCH. Naomi grew up in Hamilton, Ontario and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Education from Redeemer University College in 2017. She began her teaching career at Milton Christian School, where she taught French and Language Arts. Naomi has also worked as an occasional teacher for the Hamilton-Wentworth and Halton District school boards. She loves languages and appreciates the humility that she has experienced when discovering new cultures and perspectives. In her spare time, she plays the bass guitar and loyally supports the Montreal Canadians.


Community on the Ottawa River

Last Wednesday, 92 of our grade 12 students and six staff members made their way to the Ottawa River for our annual rafting trip with Wilderness Tours.

The first day students and staff teamed up in a 12-seat raft with a guide. One reason we love the rafting trip at HDCH is that students and staff have to communicate with each other and paddle together to successfully navigate the rapids.  When a raft does go over, the teams work together to right their boat and to help each other get back in. On the quieter parts of the river students were able to get out of the boats and swim. There was also an opportunity for cliff jumping.

On the second day, smaller boats were used and students become the “guides”. With support from the Wilderness Tour guides, students learn how to lead their teams and steer their boats in order to navigate the rapids.

In the evenings we played team games with students in the popular “minute-to-win-it” competitions.  This was followed by evening devotions. On night one our students were encouraged to create a school where everyone knows and feels they belong to each other.

“So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” – Romans 12:5

On night two, we spoke about how when we face brokenness in our lives, God’s grace is sufficient.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” – 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

The first day on the boat, a student in our boat exclaimed, “stop and look around you”. For many of us, in the midst of paddling, splashing others, and navigating rapids, we had forgotten about the beauty around us. We were surrounded by a canyon: Ontario on one side and Quebec on the other; an osprey was flying overhead; there was an incredible community of people experiencing this with us: this group we are privileged to call HDCH.

Students expressed thankfulness for an opportunity to be in a beautiful place, for an opportunity to just “be” with friends and peers, and for being mostly phone-free for three days (as the data coverage was weak at best). We are thankful for our grade 12 class and we look forward to navigating learning and life with them over their final year of high school.


A great day for Golf!

It was a great day on the course on Saturday at our HDCH Annual Golf Tournament at Flamborough Hills Golf Tournament. 132 golfers participated in the tournament, including many sponsors, parents, alumni and even an HDCH student!

It was sunny and breezy – a perfect day to golf. More than a few golfers laughed and named the wind as the scapegoat when they made a disappointing stroke.

There were many reasons to be in good humour. Tim Hortons provided coffee, tea, and Timbits to start the day off right. Golfers had the opportunity to “meat” Duncan Todd, in his new role as principal. Duncan’s Deli offered samples of meat, cheese, and jellies that were donated by Gourmet Meats. Also while on the course, golfers were treated to a bottle of water and a drumstick ice cream cone, donated by HDCH Student Council. Both Redeemer University College and Calvin University sent representatives that were HDCH alumni to greet the golfers on one of the holes. Photos of the golf foursomes were taken on the course and will be mailed to each golfer as a memory of the day. Thank you Hank Rintjema for always smiling from behind the camera!

Golfers took home fabulous prizes, if not because of the success of their golf game, then with some good luck in the raffle, including an LG 49″ Smart TV with a 2.1 Bluetooth soundbar and a pair of Toronto Maple Leaf Tickets.

A new contest was introduced at the tournament this year, The Lucky Slice. It was a challenge to hit the pizza box located on the green from a shot taken from the fairway. While multiple prizes were available to be won, there was only one lucky winner of a Gift Card. More than forty individuals and businesses contributed to the tournament, making this hospitality possible. We thank all the golfers and sponsors for making this day so successful.

The success of any event is dependant on a team of volunteers. The Golf Committee began their work in the spring to invite sponsors to partner with us. Thank you Mark Demik, Sam Garcea, Greg Kippers, Consuela St. John, Nathan Siebenga and Carrie VanDixhoorn. Owen Webb was the MC for the dinner and kept things moving along.

On the day of the tournament, the leadership team at HDCH, students, parents, and alumni all worked together to keep things running smoothly. Thank you, Duncan Todd, Cheryl Webb, James Apers, Harry Blyleven, Sara Whetstone, Julie Assaf, Lori and Taylor Corneau, Carrie and Wes VanDixhoorn.

Contact Tina VanDyk 905-648-6655 x 110 or tvandyk@hdch.org if you would like to be involved in planning or volunteering at any of our fundraising events.

All funds raised through the HDCH Golf Tournament supports building improvements in an effort to keep tuition rates more accessible to enable families to attend HDCH.

Join us for Golf

HDCH Annual golf tournament ~ Sept 14th

Spaces still remain for more golfers – Register today.

Thank you to our golfers and sponsors for registering. We’re looking forward to another great day of friendship, good food, and fun, taking place Saturday, September 14th at Flamborough Hills Golf Club.

Thank you to the HDCH Golf Committee for their great work.

Join us for Dinner
Dinner tickets for our delicious Prime Rib dinner are still available. These tickets are $60 per person and can be ordered by emailing or calling Tina VanDyk at tvandyk@hdch or 905-648-6655, ext. 110. Please reserve your tickets by Friday, September 6.

Donating Raffle Items
Raffle items are still greatly needed and appreciated. Please drop them off at the office by Thursday, September 12.

All funds raised through the HDCH Golf Tournament supports building improvements in an effort to keep tuition rates more accessible to enable families to attend HDCH.

Word About the Bird

After eight years as Principal, Nathan Siebenga (“Siebs” to most students, but known as “the Bird” in this column) is stretching his wings into a different role encompassing special projects, innovation, and leadership development both inside and beyond HDCH. This reflects Nathan’s growing engagement and reputation far beyond our local Hamilton District Christian community.

It is a great privilege for HDCH to be able to release and share Nathan, with his extraordinary giftedness as a visionary leader, to be a blessing to Christian education beyond our own school, and even beyond our province and country. Nathan has sometimes been described as an “edupreneur” – he has a creative entrepreneurial spirit for Christian education, with a heart and vision too big to be confined to bless only HDCH. There never was a cage around this bird!

But, before we let Nathan take fresh flight into his new role, we wanted to say a little about him in his role these past eight years as Principal at HDCH, as an extraordinary and extraordinarily effective leader of our school community.

Nathan is a seer. He sees what is. He sees with clarity. He sees to the very core of people. He sees what is in the way of their flourishing. He sees right to the heart of the matter. And this perceptiveness is rooted in his fierce, lion-like love of people. He watches, notices, and cares.

Nathan is a visionary. He sees what should be and could be, and he pursues that Kingdom vision with passion and energy, restless and relentless for the Kingdom of Christ in our schools.

Nathan is a prophet. He speaks truth boldly, unselfishly, willing to risk unpopularity for the sake of helping others to see themselves more clearly and to see what could be and what they could be. Nathan is unselfish enough to have the hard conversations, to speak the hard truths to people, caring more for their good than for his personal popularity with them.

Nathan is a poet. His communication of a God-given prophetic vision for exceptional, Christ-centred teaching and learning is anything but prosaic. Rich in metaphor, sometimes mystifying, it connects not just with the head, but with the heart, and with the gut. Nathan is a poet indeed.

It takes a strong leader, with the confidence that only comes from humility, to allow others to shine and flourish. Nathan has always been one to recognize and celebrate others’ gifts, and to give them the freedom to fly. The mark of a true leader is someone who sets the conditions for others to be and do their best. Nathan has consistently challenged, encouraged, supported, and empowered others to be their best, without allowing his own ego to get in the way of their success. His heart for people is bigger than his ego!

Nathan’s driving desire has always been to create an ever-better school for our children’s learning and growth. Although he is not leaving HDCH, he leaves the helm of a school that is in a really good place. The Ministry of Education Inspector who reviewed our school in May was positively gushing in her praise of what she called “an exemplary model of learning” at HDCH. This is thanks in no small part to Nathan’s leadership.

Nathan, the Bird, encourages, allows, and empowers others to fly. And then he rejoices to see them soar on eagle’s wings. So now we will rejoice to see him soar over both this field of HDCH, and the wider plains beyond.

Duncan Todd, Vice Principal  |  Christy Bloemendal, Vice Principal
Cheryl Webb, Director of Operations

Celebration of Learning – Spring

We invite you to join us tomorrow to celebrate beautiful work.

As the end of the semester approaches, students are working hard completing projects and assignments they are eager to display at our upcoming Celebration of Learning. This evening is a highlight each semester when we gather as a community to admire and celebrate student learning.

This term’s Celebration of Learning runs from 7:00-9:00pm tomorrow (May 30th). Interact with our students, sample delicious snacks, enjoy interesting projects, engage with inspiring performances and celebrate learning.

Watch for these and many more …


Join us at the Celebration of Learning where Gr 11 Computer Science students demonstrate their robots performing tasks like climbing stairs, folding a t-shirt, printing on paper, playing a game, etc)


Come and help us judge 3D printed vehicles made by Grade 10 Drafting students. Originality and creativity are key! Enjoy the races.


FOODs students will kick off their food service outreach #PBL . Sample some of the meals on the Collective Kitchen menu. This project focuses on provided meals for those in need with our community!


Come and play one of our Gr 9 MegaBloc students’ virtual game designs around the HDCH campus! Use your device to login to the game they have created using their coding skills and get some fresh air while trying to complete the game successfully. Prizes if you finish it!


Come and check out Gr 9 MegaBloc‘s photography skills in the maker space. Browse their gallery of work, pose for the photo booth and get a fun pic to take home, or attend a 5 minute graphic design tutorial where you upload a favourite photo from your device and create an awesome black and white colour isolation effect! Full colour print outs provided for anyone who completes the tutorial.


Are you up for some laughs? Come and see the beginnings of comedy as the Gr 9 Integrated Arts class brings you Commedia Dell’Arte skits! Stock characters come to life with creative masks and silly scenarios.


The feedback that you give them will be essential to deepening the learning that has already happened. So please, engage with the students as you wander around and Celebrate the Learning.

Join us in the gymnasium at 7pm for some exceptional demonstrations. Then, wander through the hallways and classrooms and enjoy beautiful work and great refreshments.

The whole family is welcome. Admission is free!

 

Walter Walkathon

Students from the Christians in Society Class and WATCH group are coordinating a WATER WALKATHON on Wednesday, May 22nd to support the WASH – Water, sanitation and hygiene projects being implemented by World Renew in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The students will be walking a 3 KM pathway carrying buckets of water to gain a better understanding of what millions of people must do daily to provide a similar amount of water for their family.

The challenging part is quite often this water is often not clean enough to drink and so this project is focusing on making a difference in the lives of families within these two countries that World Renew is presenting focusing. For $30 dollars we are able to provide a handwashing station and for $115 dollars a water filter system for a family.

Please join us in this campaign to help those in need today by sponsoring our students in this Walkathon! For all donations of $20 or more, you will receive a tax receipt via email from World Renew.

Your online support is vital for this campaign. Blessings and thanks for your generosity in supporting families in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Donate today!

worldrenew.net/hdch-walkathon-may-22

HDCH Spring

Leadership & Renewal

Dear Membership of Hamilton District Christian High School,

Spring is finally upon us and signs of growth and renewal are everywhere. The shoots of new life throughout the creation serve as a beautiful reminder of the new life we have been given through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the glory of Easter approaches, we pray that the entire HDCH community will powerfully encounter the grace of the Cross in new and profound ways.

We give thanks to the Lord for his work at HDCH. As we continue to explore new and innovative ways of providing Christ-centered education, we want to express gratitude to our teachers, support staff, and leadership team for their faithful efforts to contribute to the learning and faith-formation of our children.

There is no shortage of activity underway at the school right now; however, there are two items that we would like to update you on:

  1. Changes to HDCH’s Leadership Structure, and
  2. Campus Renewal.

Changes to the HDCH Leadership Structure

Recently, the Board approved a new leadership structure. The changes reflect a re-allocation of existing resources and do not reflect any new costs. Key considerations for moving to this new structure include:

  • the anticipation of future growth
  • provides a seamless succession plan
  • puts staff members in positions that align with their skills and gifts
  • keeps good people in the organization
  • reflects our strategic future
  • supports the achievement of our goals as laid out in our strategic plan

The change to the Leadership structure involves several significant changes to the leadership of HDCH.

Our current Principal, Nathan Siebenga, has decided to transition from the role of Principal and into a newly developed role, Executive of Innovation and Leadership. This is a part-time (50%) role that will focus on strategic initiatives as well as leadership development within HDCH. This includes leading capital projects, developing innovations for Christian Education, engaging in leadership development, and establishing partnerships that serve the mission and vision and HDCH.

The second significant change is the appointment of a new Principal. As the HDCH Board, it is our pleasure to announce the appointment of Duncan Todd as the new Principal of HDCH, effective September 1, 2019. Duncan has been Vice-Principal of HDCH since 2010 and in that role has formed strong relationships with staff, students, parents and members of the HDCH community, and has consistently demonstrated his commitment to HDCH’s vision of distinctive, Christ-centred education. Duncan’s character and leadership experience make him wonderfully suited to the role of Principal and we look forward to the HDCH community being blessed by his leadership.

As part of the reorganization, James Apers, our Director of Student Services, will join the school’s Leadership Team and a new position, Dean of Students, has been developed. We anticipate this position being appointed in the next couple of months. For many years, HDCH has worked to be proactive in building healthy, restorative relationships among its students and this will continue to be priority with James Apers on the leadership team and with the appointment of a Dean of Students. We are excited about continuing to deepen how we live together as a community of faith.

We are pleased to share these changes with you and covet your prayers for everyone involved. A diagram depicting the new structure is provided below, and will take effect in September.

Update on the HDCH Campus Renewal Conversations

As a board, we have continued to consider and discern, the campus renewal proposals brought forth by the Facilities Renewal Taskforce.

As you will recall, the membership requested the task force to examine and bring forth new building options in response to the increasing needs associated with our current building. These needs have been primarily driven by:

  • evolving space-related needs associated with teaching and learning priorities
  • significant repair and system replacement requirements in our existing building
  • anticipated enrollment growth starting in 2022 in response to growth occurring in many of the Christian elementary schools in the region
  • a desire that building renovations or construction minimize the disruption of the current cohort’s high school experience

At the fall 2018 membership meeting, a new building proposal was presented and discussed. At the May membership meeting, we plan to continue the conversation by providing more information on funding options associated with the project concept and addressing questions about the proposal.

Please be encouraged to attend and help inform the future of our school.

Thank you for your continued support of HDCH. Your prayers and gifts are so needed, and so appreciated.

Yours in Christ,
The Board of HDCH
Aaron Schat  | David Kingma | Annie MacLaren |  Ed Mafa | Andrea DeJong  | Allan Buist  | Trixie Zimmerman