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Horizon Christian Stories

Horizon Christian school Stories

The Dockter Family

October 20, 2020
By Pastor Roger Levasa

For over 40 years, Horizon Christian School has been serving families in SW Portland with a dynamic, Faith based educational experience. The Dockter family have two wonderful young ladies who began as Kindergarteners at Horizon Christian. Their oldest is a high school freshman this year, and the younger a middle schooler.

Enjoy this brief Q&A with the Dockters and why Horizon Christian School is a place; “Where Everybody is Somebody and Jesus is All.”

An interview with the Dockter Family:

HCS: How and when did you first hear about Horizon Christian School?
Dockters: We have attended Horizon Community Church for many years. That is how we heard about the school.

HCS: What were the top things you were looking for in a private Christian school and what 2-3 things made us stand out?
Dockters: When looking at schools for our two daughters, we were drawn to Horizon based on the school's strong emphasis on faith and family. We could tell immediately that Horizon was a good balance of both academics and character development. Both are so important to our family, and so we thought the school might be a good fit.

HCS: What were the top 3 to 5 things you were looking for in a private Christian school?
Dockters: We were looking for strong academics, small class sizes, and a good integration of faith and values.

HCS: What 2-3 things made Horizon Christian attractive to you?
Dockters: Walking on to the campus, we could feel the warmth and the "family" feel of the school. I noticed that the principal knew every student by name that she came in touch with. We also liked the 7 Smarts philosophy.


HCS: How has Horizon Christian School lived up to your expectations?
Dockters: We could not be happier with our experience at Horizon. Our daughters have been challenged academically, spiritually, and socially. Communication between the school and the families is informative and keeps everyone on the same page.

HCS: What do your children like best about Horizon Christian School? 
Dockters: Our daughters love the feeling of close community that they experience at Horizon. Both have stated that it feels like a family, not just school. They both have teachers that they have connected with in a special way, that have spoken encouragement and affirmation into their lives during critical developmental times.

HCS: What do you like best or what brings the greatest value to you from Horizon Christian School?
Dockters: I love that character development is such an emphasis throughout the school. The banner themes each month reflect strong values and I appreciate this emphasis as much as I do the academic emphasis.

HCS: What advice would you give families who are considering Horizon Christian School?
Dockters: Set up a meeting with the principal and do a tour. Ask the questions that are important to your family values and see how they match up. Have your child shadow for a day and hear what they have to say. I think by doing all the above, you will be drawn to Horizon just like our family has been.

A BIG Thank You to the Dockter family for sharing some of their Horizon Christian story. Please contact us to schedule a tour. We would love to help you write your own chapter in our Horizon Christian story.

May God bless and guide you as you choose the school where your student will flourish.
Wishing you the best!
Horizon Christian School

Posted in Family Experiences

Meet Mrs. Hildreth

October 05, 2020
By Megan Campbell

Mrs. Hildreth believes that teaching science for the past 6 years at Horizon Christian Middle School is “the most purposeful thing she has ever done.” With her master’s in teaching and her enthusiasm as a science major, she is passionate about sharing her love for science with the students. Teaching about the wonders of God's creation and getting students to use both their hands and brains to engineer and build new and incredible experiences is what drives her.

When asked what attracted her to teaching and what she enjoys most about it, she is quick to reply, “It’s the ability to share my faith in an educational setting.” One of the  most enjoyable parts of being a teacher is when she has former students share how impactful some of the life lessons they learned in her classes have been in helping them persevere as they tackled bigger and tougher classes and dealt with issues in their lives. She loves being able to reach the 'tough' kids, the ones everyone else seems to have given up on or who are struggling to succeed in traditional school. The moments of connection and breakthrough with these children of God are her most priceless moments as a teacher.

Mrs. Hildreth has been married for 26 years and has two wonderful sons who are 16 and 19. She was born in Portland and raised in Sisters, Oregon on a working horse farm where she was always outside on a horse, miles from home. She loves anything outside like hiking, paddle boarding, skiing/snowboarding, surfing, camping and especially traveling with her family. However, she also loves to build and create, refurbish, and redo using power tools to help construct props for local theater productions.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences so far at Horizon Christian?
Being able to chaperone/teach and lead our 8th grade students around Washington, D.C. for the last three years. I also love teaching at our 6th grade Outdoor School at Twin Rocks and being able to dream and develop my own idea of what has now become STEAM Genius. STEAM Genius culminates with our annual STEAM Genius Mini-Maker Faire each spring which showcases all that we study and build throughout our middle school science experience.

When asked why a new family should consider Horizon Christian School, her response: “They get Jesus!” Students have Jesus sprinkled throughout their day! The fact that we provide an educational experience that grows a child up mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually all while being surrounded by amazing role models who love and pray for them is the key to producing future strong leaders for years to come.

Thank you, Mrs. Hildreth, for your dedication, support, and the love you daily share with your students and our Horizon Christian School community.   

Posted in Meet Our Teachers

Meet our Head of School

July 02, 2020
By Bill Smethurst

As the new Head of School for Horizon Christian School, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Horizon community.  For some, my story is familiar because our paths crossed while I served at Horizon Christian School as principal of the high school from 2011-18 and assistant football coach from 2008-10. 

I am a native Oregonian, born and raised in the Portland metro area.  My dad was a professional educator and coach for 30 years and my mom was an office assistant for 20 years.  Education and school are definitely in my DNA.  My formative school years were in the David Douglas school system from first grade through high school.  The best thing from high school was meeting my future wife, Linda.  From high school, I attended Lewis and Clark College and graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Education.  Linda also graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a degree in Physical Education and Health.  

After college, Linda graduated in three years and I took four years plus a term.  Who is smarter?  She taught physical education and coached gymnastics at our alma mater, David Douglas, while I finished my degree and served as a graduate assistant in football at Lewis and Clark.  We moved to Rockaway Beach in the summer of 1975 when I accepted a teaching and coaching position at Neah-Kah-Nie High School.  My journey as a teacher took me from Neah-kah-nie to West Linn to David Douglas.  In 1990 I transitioned from the classroom to the dark side: administration!

My first administrative position was at Milwaukie High School as the vice principal for discipline, athletics and activities.  It was an invaluable experience with many opportunities to address change, continuity, and community.  My next stop was Estacada High School as principal.  Wearing the decision-maker hat for the school was a challenge and stretched my decision-making model and communication.  The final leg of my public school journey took me to Newberg High School as principal.  Newberg taught me how to manage major change while maintaining a climate of excellence.  

After retiring, a recurring theme, from public education, an old colleague, George Crace contacted me about an opportunity at a new private school.  We met, I listened, and God lit the path to Horizon Christian High School.  Initially, my role was a consultant for George in school administration and assistant football coach.  As the school enrollment grew, so did my responsibilities.  I became the vice principal until George announced he was stepping down in January of 2011.  George and I flipped roles and he became my vice principal.  I stepped back from the principal position in 2018, but remained as the lead teacher evaluator for the 2018-19 school year.  Scott Olson was named principal and Carrie Carlson continued her career with senior advising and as dean for girls.

During retirement my time with family activities increased.  Most weekends were filled with following our grandchildren in their various sports from t-ball to varsity football at Tigard High School.  We have three daughters who are married to wonderful men.  Our family has expanded with the birth of our six grandkids with the girls outnumbering the boys four to two.  Our oldest granddaughter is a Junior at Oregon State and our youngest granddaughter will be a 2nd grader.  

Retirement number two ended this May 2020.  I received a call from Pastor Randy Campbell informing me that Dan Clements was likely to be named the Senior Pastor of Neighborhood Church in Albany and would I come back to serve as Head of School.  My wife immediately said ‘yes’ before I could respond.  Retirement two ended and I believe it is God’s hand directing me back to Horizon Christian School to continue the journey towards His goals for the school and staff.  I am blessed to be back with an outstanding staff and supportive community.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve and to build the Kingdom for God through His son Jesus Christ.


Bill Smethurst
Head of School
Horizon Christian School

Posted in Meet Our Teachers

Our Campuses May Be Closed but Our Learning Continues!

April 29, 2020
By Dan Clements

When Horizon Christian School closed its brick and mortar campuses due to COVID-19, we realized very quickly we already possessed many of the tools and know-how necessary to transfer to distance learning. As the weeks go by we continue to remain committed to providing the highest level of learning during this unprecedented season.

Through the strength of our teachers and internal systems, we have been able to maintain our same grading structure, assign school work, take tests, and interface with our students in their daily, digital classrooms. We are utilizing Google Classroom and its educational resources to serve our students. The younger grades are working their way through at-home packets and spending creative, online time with their teachers. All students, kindergarten through high school, will promote to the next grade level with earned grades and competency due to the strength of our distance learning.

We recognize there are many other excellent online educational resources available that also benefit our learners by providing diverse and unique learning experiences. Notably, interactive online resources unfold some of the most compelling educational tools for students. While allowing access to these interactive online educational resources, we are also balancing the protection of each child’s privacy and personal information. Additionally, we are taking the needed steps to secure each of the platforms we use as class interactions take place.

In regards to our seniors and their preparation for graduation, we are confident they are on track to graduate while receiving all necessary instruction, to meet or exceed, the State of Oregon graduation requirements. Seniors will be receiving a full 8-semester transcript earning them a diploma from Horizon Christian School. I am happy to say through the incredible work of our teaching staff and the partnership of students and parents, our seniors will be prepared to finish the school year strong and transfer on to college, military, trade school, or the workforce with strength and confidence in their education.

Furthermore, we have already received word from Portland Community College and Oregon Institute of Technology that Horizon Christian High School students enrolled in our dual-credit college courses will be receiving the college credit they would have earned as they continue to receive instruction through our virtual learning environments. This is a huge program for our high school students and enables students to earn up to 48 transferrable college credits when they graduate from high school.

The strength and quality of our distance learning provided to our students during these unprecedented times is a testament to our commitment and dedication to education. We know our students! We are continuing to build strong faith and community! We are bringing consistency and strength to our whole school family as we navigate to the end of the school year.

Thank you, Horizon Christian School community for putting your faith and trust in us. We are here to serve and bless your students and so appreciate the positive response and feedback from our families.


Dan Clements
Head of School


October 10, 2019
By Pastor Roger Levasa

Horizon Christian School and Wilsonville Little League are excited to announce a partnership that will inspire and equip kids in our communities.We are improving our Horizon Christian HS baseball facilities with a NEW state of the art synthetic infield and grass out field.

The new synthetic surface will allow our Wilsonville Little League and Horizon Christian School teams to practice and play America’s favorite pastime, year round.We are excited about the opportunity to work alongside Wilsonville Little League to serve each of our kids and families.  

Recent Posts

10/20/20 - By Pastor Roger Levasa
10/5/20 - By Megan Campbell
7/2/20 - By Bill Smethurst
4/29/20 - By Dan Clements
10/10/19 - By Pastor Roger Levasa


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