Alumni Connection | Fall/Winter 2017

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  • Fall/Winter 2017

    Below is the first of a semi-annual eNewsletter with updates from the school, exciting alumni news, and more. If you have story ideas or alumni updates, please send them to!

    From the Head of School
    The Alumni Network is Key to a Thriving School

    Upcoming Events

    Nonfire/Alumni Reception
    Friday, October 6

    Crusader Golf Classic
    Friday, November 3

    Crusader Family Carnival
    Friday, November 17

    Annual Dinner Auction
    Saturday, May 5

    “The mission of Village Christian School is to provide a CAREing, Christ-centered education producing students who thrive.” Our alumni play a critical role in helping our students to thrive. You provide the resources, the networks, the word of mouth reputation, and the mentoring that our students need.

    Our new signature academic and spiritual life initiatives are built on the foundation of the Village Alumni Network. In Concentrations, we are seeking hands-on opportunities for our students to learn about career areas of the 21st Century. Alumni around the country have given tours of their companies and shared their own career journeys with our students. The 1:5 Circles of Care initiative seeks to surround every student with five caring mentors in their lives. Alumni are perfect mentors for our students since you understand what they are going through and have much to offer them.

    Alumni also serve the school as coaches, board members, guest speakers, volunteers, donors, retreat counselors, etc. Your faithful commitment to our school helps us to keep our tuition low and our programs' high impact to help our students thrive. There are many more examples from which I can write to you about how you are helping your alma mater. We need you to help future generations of Crusaders to thrive here at Village Christian and in the years to come.

    We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Homecoming this year. Please contact us if you want to make a difference in the lives of our students.

    Tom Konjoyan
    Head of School

    Join Us for Welcome Home Alumni Reception at Nonfire

    Come on out Friday, October 6 for a special reception from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. here at Village Christian! We will be gathering to reconnect and to celebrate 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Rachel (Taylor) Kenyon (Class of 2008). Join us for food and refreshments, as well as say “Hi” to VCS teachers on the Sport Court behind the Kendall Pavilion (gym). Then, stick around from some additional nostalgia during Nonfire. We hope to see you there.

    Next-Generation Crusaders At VCS

    Did you know that approximately 10 percent of current enrollment is comprised of legacy students? There are 102 next-generation Crusaders at Village from 60 families with at least one alumni.

    In 13 families, BOTH parents are alumni! Check out this breakdown of legacy students by grade:

    12TH GRADE - 2
    11TH GRADE - 4
    10TH GRADE - 2
    9TH GRADE - 9
    8TH GRADE - 5
    7TH GRADE -13
    6TH GRADE - 9
    5TH GRADE - 9
    4th GRADE - 17
    3RD GRADE - 7
    2ND GRADE - 7
    1ST GRADE - 8
    K - 7
    JK - 3

    VCS Unscathed Amidst La Tuna Canyon Fire

    As you may have heard, the La Tuna Canyon Fire came within mere feet of the campus on September 2. Click here to read more about this incredible story of God's protection over our beloved school.

    Below are a few photos from Class of 2007 alumnus, Scott Adrian:

    In the aftermath of the fire, an astounding 300 people came out to help clean up the school. Here's a video from ABC 7 about the clean-up effort.

    Alumni-Focused Strategic Planning Listening Session

    We recently concluded our Five-Year Strategic Plan and are now beginning work on a plan for the next five years. As we prepare to initiate this process, we need your assistance! This important project begins with information gathering, and we need to know your thoughts, hopes, and expectations for our school.

    As an alum, you have a unique perspective – you’ve “experienced” our school as a student and have a sense of how that experience prepared you for the post-graduation world.

    We want to invite you to an exclusive alumni listening session on October 12 at 11 a.m.

    We greatly value your thoughts and hope you’ll join us for this session as we gather information to plan and prepare for the future. For manageability purposes, we have limited the session to 20 people. With this limitation, we ask that only one member from each family attend so the greatest number of families can participate.

    We have engaged BetterSchools, LLC, an independent advisory group that works with Christian schools to assist with strategic planning. Through this project, we expect to create a five-year road map for VCS. We’ll use this road map to help us continue toward our goal of being the best Christian school for the 21st century…a school that provides a thriving environment for students, parents, teachers, staff, and community.

    If you are able to participate, please contact Shona Stewart ( Shona will confirm with participants once we’ve heard from all who are interested. Thank you for your continued support of Village Christian School!

    VCS Alum Awarded Fellowship from National Science Foundation

    Sammy Cowell, Class of 2010, has been awarded a 2017 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to purse his PhD studies in urban ecology, specifically ornithological genetics and behaviors in urban versus wild songbird populations.

    He is among the select few awarded the multi-year funding. The NSF awarded only 2,000 recipients from the 13,000 who applied, or 15 percent. The fellowship is offered through a national competition and applicants are selected through a NSF peer review process. GRFP supports the graduate study of U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents attaining research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

    For Cowell, the award is a validation of the academic value of private, faith-based education for those entering the STEM fields.

    “Winning this award really affirmed my belief in myself as an original, scientific researcher. It also made me proud to come out of a small market high school and university and be able to run with the big dogs, so to speak,” he said.

    He credits Kurt Klein for helping foster his love of science as his first biology teacher at Village Christian.

    “Mr. Klein reaffirmed me as a student. It’s a lot easier to keep pursuing your studies and work hard when your teachers recognize your ability to do well in the field. He really challenged us as students, and that paid off. I was well prepared for the first semesters of undergrad science courses because I had learned the material in depth in his classes,” Cowell said.

    Additionally, this summer he defended his master’s thesis in conservation ecology at Utah State University (his research data on the behavior, nesting and predation of woodpeckers is being used in a federal investigation) before returning to California to begin his doctoral program at UCLA. His ultimate goal is to become a professor at a research-focused university.

    After earning his bachelors he spent a year as a naturalist at Missions Springs, where he met his wife, Jessika Bonds. Before beginning his masters at Utah State, he completed field work in partnership with the Boise Intermountain Bird Observatory, and worked as a research assistant and songbird bander at Au Sable institute for Environmental Studies in Michigan. His research has been published in Western Birds, Behavioral Ecology and Biophysical Journal, and he has presented at conferences in Washington, D.C., Florida, Tennessee, and Utah.

    Recent Reunions

    Class of 1977 – August 26, 2017

    Class of 1997 – September 23, 2017

    Class of 2007 – August 12, 2017

    2017-2018 Annual Fund

    We have kicked off fundraising efforts for the 2017-2018 Annual Fund. This important effort helps us fill the gap between tuition revenue and full educational costs for each student – all of which helps keeps tuition affordable.

    Village has already experienced some extraordinary circumstances with the recent La Tuna Canyon Fire that left us thanking God for His incredible protection. Additionally, we saw the amazing power this school has when everyone rallies together.

    The theme for the Annual Fund is all about the power of the people and how every little bit helps. We are encouraging everyone in the Village community to come together and prayerfully consider how you can pitch in to help our students thrive. There are numerous options available for participation, including online giving – please click here to donate today.


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