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Horizon Christian school Stories

Meet Mrs. Tran

April 08, 2021
By Marketing Team

From the basketball court to the classroom, teacher and alumna Caitlin Tran, shares her experiences as a student at Horizon Christian School which led her to becoming a teacher.  One of our core values is HOME, because we love to cultivate a compassionate community that allows for people to see and sense the love of God. Read more to see how our alumna, Mrs. Caitlin Tran, journeyed across the world to return to our beloved home we call Horizon Christian School.

HCS: How many years were you a student at Horizon Christian and when did you graduate?
Tran: I started attending Horizon in second grade and continued through middle school. When I entered my freshman year, the high school was not yet built, so I attended Wilsonville High School my freshman and sophomore year. I was able to transfer back to Horizon Christian while taking Japanese at Wilsonville my junior year. I attended Horizon Christian solely my senior year and graduated in 2009.

HCS: What clubs, sports or activities did you participate in at HCHS?
Tran: I played basketball and softball during high school.

HCS: What 2-3 things about Horizon Christian made it a great school experience for you?Tran: I was blessed that when I was a senior, my sister was a freshman. I loved being able to share high school experiences with her, including playing basketball. I played sports at WHS and HCS, and particularly enjoyed the sports program at HCS. HCS also prepared me for college and was a safe place to grow my love for the Lord.

HCS: Were there specific teachers, staff or coaches who had a positive impact on your life? If so, please share about them and the impact they made.

Tran: After I graduated, my two younger siblings were still attending Horizon Christian. I was back on campus to cheer them on during sporting events and appreciated the positive interactions I had with my previous teachers and staff. It always felt like I was coming home when I could connect with the staff as an alum.

HCS: How did Horizon Christian prepare you academically for life after high school?
Tran: Entering college, there was a significant difference in my preparedness compared to my peers outside of HCS. Not only was I more academically challenged and could go through college material well, but I had learned how to carry myself as a young professional in my interactions with professors. I also had gained a confidence and leadership that kept me close to the Lord. Having the tools to understand why I believed what I did, and the spiritual mentorship, helped me to be academically focused as I continued my education and careers. 

HCS: What attracted you to want to teach at HCS and how long have you been here? 
Tran: I was first attracted to HCS because of the environment. I also recognized in my previous career that my passion was in teaching. I was seeking an environment where I could do that and not filter God’s love and majesty. I’m happily in my third year teaching here, and plan to be here for years to come.

HCS: What grade levels and subjects do you teach?
Tran: I teach various classes for 9th through 12th graders including 9th grade English, Art 1 and 2, Japanese 1 and 2, and I co-teach New Testament Studies.

HCS: Where did life take you after graduation and update us on your current family situation.
Tran: After I graduated high school, I did two years at Clackamas Community College. I was able to obtain my AAOT without debt. I then transferred to Portland State University where I obtained my Bachelor of Science with a major in Arts and Letters. I also minored in Business and in English. 

When I graduated from college, I googled the top fifty companies to work for in America and applied to as many as I could. Within a month of graduation, I was hired as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, where I truly enjoyed my time traveling. When I got married, I transferred to the training department where I became a curriculum developer and trainer for flight attendants, pilots, and maintenance. During that time, I realized my passion for teaching when my daughter Charlotte was born, and I knew I wanted to make a change to be more involved in her life while she was young. I started working at the middle school, and the following year was hired at the high school. 

HCS: What are some of your hobbies and what do you like to do in your free time?
Tran: I love video games, art, west coast swing dancing, and going to Disneyland. I also adore spending time with my two King Charles Cavaliers. 

HCS: From a former student and now a teacher's perspective...Why should a family choose Horizon Christian School for their child?
Tran: There are many paths to complete education and many schools are doing a lot of things right; the staff is here to partner in the success of each and every student. We invest in their education, but also their leadership and spiritual development. We are deeply rooted in our belief that at Horizon, “Everyone is somebody, and Jesus is all.” We help your child find joy and success in what makes them unique. We infuse encouragement into every aspect we can to share God’s love.  

We are thankful for the dynamic educational environment our teachers and staff provide at Horizon Christian School. We are humbled and grateful for the ways Caitlin brings out the creativity in our students within the art program as well as expanding our second language offerings with the addition of Japanese. We are thankful for the positive impact she makes in the lives of our students and look forward to seeing the ways she will continue to enrich our school.

Posted in Meet Our Teachers

“Somebody Loves You” in Mrs. Foster’s 2nd Grade Class

February 19, 2021
By Marketing Team

At Horizon Christian School the core values of our HAWKS7 are essential to how we educate, inspire, and challenge our students.  These include Jesus, People, Authenticity, Balance, Generosity, Serving, and Home. Continue reading to see how one of our new teachers, Mrs. Tressa Foster, used a Valentine’s Day card experience to both teach and demonstrate to her 2nd graders the joy of serving, caring for, being generous, and loving on people. We so appreciate her heart in leading this project and the response of these young Hawks in her class.

HCS: Mrs. Foster, you are new to Horizon Christian this year so please tell us a little about yourself.
Mrs. Foster: My husband and I moved to Oregon a few years ago from Illinois. We have two daughters. Our youngest is in 5th grade at Horizon Christian and our oldest is in 9th grade at Sherwood High School. Some of my hobbies include spending time in nature, painting, and reading. After spending many years in early childhood education with toddlers and preschoolers, I decided to return to school to earn my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from George Fox University. This is my first year teaching at HCS, and I chose to become part of this school because I wanted to teach the whole child--emotionally, academically, and spiritually--in an environment that is led by Christian beliefs and values.

HCS: Describe the challenge that Principal Judi Smith created around Valentine's Day.
Mrs. Foster: The service project challenge was to show goodness and serve others by crafting sweet homemade Valentines for seniors in assisted living and healthcare workers. The class that created the most Valentines would receive a class party. The Valentines created by the 2nd grade classes would be distributed to the seniors at the Marquis in Wilsonville.

HCS: Tell us how you discussed the challenge with your class and inspired them to participate.
Mrs. Foster: I introduced the service project to the students with the book Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, which tells the story of an older gentleman who lives a joyless, uninteresting life all alone. He is surprised by an anonymous Valentine that arrives at his door that reads, “Somebody loves you.” Just the thought of someone taking an interest in him and showing kindness and love completely changes the way he lives his life and treats others. I used this story to inspire the students to think about how the person who receives their Valentine will feel when they open it. Will they feel cared about and loved? That would be our intention when crafting these homemade Valentines for the seniors living at Marquis.

HCS: How did you use this opportunity to help your students embrace the values of our HAWKS7?
Mrs. Foster: Following our Fruit of the Spirit theme for January, which was Kindness, I wanted to demonstrate that kindness is meant to be shown to others throughout the entire year. By setting this example, students would be able to understand the ripple effect of showing love and kindness to people they do not even know and the lasting impact you can have. Through storytelling and sharing my own experiences, I helped my students visualize the reward they would receive in their hearts when sharing love with others.

HCS: Mrs. Smith said that for your class, it did not matter to them if they won the prize as much as it stirred up lots of emotion and passion within the class and students. Could you describe this a little more?
Mrs. Foster: I w
as intentional about replacing the competitive part of the project with a focus on the service part. We are doing this for others, not ourselves. I wanted to teach my students that celebrating a win would be fun, but the feeling of making someone else happy stays with you much longer than that. I had them imagine someone like Mr. Hatch opening a Valentine they made with their own artistic talents and kind words and knowing that they made a positive difference in that person’s day. As students brought in their bags of homemade Valentines, we took time to show them to the class to value their time and efforts. I noticed many of them wrote the words “Somebody Loves You” on their cards instead of simply “Happy Valentine’s Day.” It was clear these kind-hearted children wanted to send a message of compassion to others, which filled my heart!

HCS: You must be very proud of your students as it sounds like they really embraced the project and learned so much! So, the big question is, did your class win???
Mrs. Foster: Yes, we won 1st place! Our plans are to celebrate by having a movie party with popcorn and hot chocolate.

HCS: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Mrs. Foster: I feel so blessed to be the teacher of this amazing group of children. They are kind, thoughtful, and filled with so much joy to share. God guides us in the direction where we are meant to be, and I love being a part of the Horizon Christian School community.

Congratulations Mrs. Foster and your wonderful 2nd grade class!! Thank you for the heart behind how you teach and inspire your students and the warm message you imprinted on their hearts through a simple card project. We can all relate to the story of “Mr. Hatch” and how serving, loving, and helping others can be so mutually impactful for all parties.


Meet Miss Lindsay

January 25, 2021
By Marketing Team

We would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Catherine Lindsay, who teaches 1st grade for us. Miss Lindsay attended Horizon Christian School for seven years and graduated in 2016.  Catherine’s family moved to Oregon from Canada in the summer of 2009 and promptly enrolled all three of their children (Jeff- 11th, David- 9th, and Catherine- 6th). All three siblings graduated with us, and we now have the pleasure of another alumni student join our teaching team. Please continue reading to learn more about this wonderful new addition.

HCS: What clubs, sports or activities did you participate in at HCHS?
Miss Lindsay: I played on the volleyball team for all four years of high school. I was also part of National Honor Society and during my senior year I was co-class president.

HCS: What 2-3 things about Horizon Christian made it a great school experience for you?
Miss Lindsay: Horizon was a great school experience for me because it is a place where you are known as a student and have teachers who genuinely want to pour into your life, and help you grow socially, academically, and spiritually. It is a place where I was encouraged and felt comfortable to try new things and activities. Horizon Christian helped me grow in my leadership skills and gain experiences that I may not have had in a bigger school community.

HCS: Were there specific teachers, staff or coaches who had a positive impact on your life? If so, please share about them and the impact they made.
Miss Lindsay: There were many coaches and teachers who poured into my life while I was at Horizon; however, Gary Custis, my Bible teacher during my last two years of high school, made a huge impact on my life. Not only did he help me grow more in my faith and dive deeper in my understanding of the Bible, but he and his wife were also mentors to me as I transitioned from high school to college. In his class, he taught me how to defend my faith and was a tremendous example of a Christ follower.

HCS: How did Horizon Christian prepare you academically for life after high school?
Miss Lindsay: Horizon helped prepare me for life after high school and the academic rigor that college entails. My teachers challenged me academically and gave me valuable skills and study habits that helped me throughout my college years. Horizon also offered me dual credit classes, which not only helped save money, but gave me a head start with college credits, helping me graduate earlier. Taking Writing 121 with Carrie Carlson was the best decision I could have made during high school because she challenged me and prepared me for what professors expect in college essays.

HCS: What grade level do you teach and what attracted you to want to teach at HCS? 
Miss Lindsay: I wanted to teach at Horizon because it is a community that I had been a part of as a student and had such a positive experience with. The positive and welcoming community that Horizon exudes was something that I wanted to be a part of as a teacher. Also, having the opportunity to teach alongside some of my previous teachers has been such a wonderful transition and experience during my first year here as a teacher.

HCS: What motivates you as a teacher and what are a few of your greatest experiences so far?
Miss Lindsay: As a teacher, I am motivated by children's natural curiosity about life and their enthusiasm to learn. Watching students grow and learn new things is such a rewarding experience that I am blessed to be a part of. I love to be a part of their "ah-ha" moments when they may get a difficult concept and their face lights up with excitement and understanding. A few of my greatest experiences have come from sitting down and reading with students. But the greatest experience is getting to connect and create a relationship with my students each day.

HCS: Where did life take you after graduation and update us on your current family situation.
Miss Lindsay: After graduation, I attended Oregon State University for four years. While I was there, I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and Human Development, and Family Sciences. I have moved back to Wilsonville where I am now closer to my family and my newborn nephew!

HCS: What are some of your hobbies and what do you like to do in your free time?
Miss Lindsay: In my free time, I love to be outdoors. Whether that is hiking, camping, skiing, or kayaking - I love to be outside admiring and enjoying God's creation. Some of my favorite places to visit are the mountains and National Parks. I also love to sit down and read a good mystery or historical fiction book or do a puzzle.

HCS: From a former student and now a teacher's perspective...Why should a family choose Horizon Christian School for their child?
Miss Lindsay: Horizon Christian is a place where students are genuinely known and cared for by teachers and staff. They are challenged academically and spiritually - preparing them for life after high school. It is a place where a student is given many opportunities to try new things and create new passions. The small community provides a safe school experience where lasting memories and friendships can be made.

We are proud of the fact that our graduates believe and support the educational ministry of Horizon Christian School so much that they are returning to us as staff and teachers. Thank you, Catherine, for the joy you bring to your co-workers and your students. We are better because of you and we look forward to having even more of our graduates return and carry on our 40-year tradition of providing a Quality Christian Education.

Posted in Featured Alumni

Meet the High School Worship Team

December 21, 2020
By Marketing Team

Helping students discover their gifts, talents, and passions supports our calling Where Everybody is Somebody and Jesus is All!  Our newly formed High School Worship Team is one such area where students are discovering and learning their innate talent and aptitude. Whether it is one the stage or behind-the-scenes, they are stretching themselves in leading worship for our school and at events. Continue reading to learn more about the director of this program, Timelle Rosen, and the students that are involved in this important ministry.

HCS: Please tell us a little about you, your history and what has prepared you to take on this role?
Mrs. Rosen: The Lord gifted me with the heart for worship at a very young age. I would sit and listen to my mom lead worship as a young child. Throughout my teen years I was on youth worship teams. During the ten years my husband and I were full time youth pastors, I led many youth worship teams, helping students find and grow their gifts. Worshiping God through music is like oxygen to my soul!

HCS: What was your purpose and vision for this group?
Mrs. Rosen: It is really God's purpose, and I am so amazed to be able to help students find the "wonder of worship" this year. I love seeing the students grow in their relationships with God and in the talents he has given them. The vision God has given me is to see the students begin to find that sense of wonder and awe for Jesus through our time together.

HCS: Tell us how the worship team came together and what opportunities you provide for students?
Mrs. Rosen: The worship team is part of the Chapel Class. This year with most classes online, the Chapel Class as moved into creating worship nights, and times for families and students to find that "wonder of worship". Within Chapel Class, students can learn to play and sing, as well as learn how to run the behind-the-scenes jobs of tech, lighting, and lyrics.

HCS: Who are all the students on your team and what roles do they have?
Mrs. Rosen: The students that our part of the worship team are Sara Ma- Lighting/Lyrics; Marcus Carpenter- Tech/Lighting/Lyrics; Derek Smith-Tech/Lighting/Lyrics; Carter Cochran- Tech/Lighting/Lyrics; Hannah Eldridge- Piano; Jade Campean- Piano/Vocals; Nathan Dillree- Guitar/Tech; Bailee Olson-Guitar/Piano; Carter Eldridge- Bass/Drums; Kaleb Campean- Bass/Drums/Guitar/Vocals; Alyssa Smith- Vocals; Julia Cloud- Vocals; Hayes Johnson- Vocals; Debbie Cotoc- Vocals; Ali Seger- Vocals; Tayte Nelson- Vocals.

HCS: What are some of the challenges you have faced and how have you come together to overcome them?
Mrs. Rosen: With classes online, there is very little in person practice time. We have implemented a new program online that allows each student to hear other parts and play and sing along while practicing at home. We also have separate band and vocal practices to help each group learn their parts before coming together to practice.

HCS: In what ways have you seen your students grow and mature in the Lord through the worship team experience?
Mrs. Rosen: I am pushing students this year to step out of their comfort areas. Students are playing new instruments and vocally leading songs. The students are really stepping up and learning new things with great attitudes! I love seeing students realize God has given them the talents they possess and the faith that arises in students as we complete these worship sets and programs. They are starting to understand the "wonder of worship".

HCS: You have had a few special events, please tell us about them?
Mrs. Rosen: We had our Fall Worship Night as well as our Fine Arts Christmas Show. Both allowed our worship team a time to really use the talents God has bestowed upon them. The Fall Worship Night allowed our students to run a full night of worship and testimony on their own. The Fine Arts Christmas Show was a compellation of the Drama Team, Photography Class, Art Classes, and the Worship Team. It was a fun night full of laughter and the Christmas Spirit. Both events were amazing and the worship team did such a great job!

HCS: What have been some of your most memorable experiences so far?
Mrs. Rosen: I believe my favorite memory was watching a student step out and give her testimony. She was extremely nervous but did such an amazing job! It was so touching to see how God built her faith as she was obedient to what he had asked of her.

HCS: If a student was interested in joining the worship team, what background or experience do you need?

Mrs. Rosen: None! We would love to have any student who is interested join the worship team. We are a class to train up students and believe if a student has the heart to serve, they are welcome to join. We are planning on several more worship nights in the winter and spring, and we would love to have you join us. We have a ton of fun while playing and singing together!

Meet the Sumner's

December 04, 2020
By Marketing Team

Horizon Christian School exists to glorify God through excellence in education, faith, and community. Our school’s mission could not be achieved without our “community” of supportive, passionate, and committed families. The Sumner family is just one such example. Read along to learn more about this family and their oldest child, Alexis, who is a sophomore and their youngest child Grant, who is in seventh grade.

How did you first hear about Horizon Christian School and what sparked your interest?
We first heard about Horizon Christian School back in 2009 when we were looking for a Christian kindergarten for our daughter to attend. A friend whose daughter had previously attended made the recommendation. Knowing Horizon Christian was a faith-based school stirred our interest as we wanted our children to be surrounded by Christian values and beliefs daily. We just knew after touring the campus and meeting the staff that it was the right fit for our family.

What were the top things you were looking for in a private Christian school?
When looking for private Christian schools our must-haves included small class sizes for more individualized instruction, students being able to have personal relationships with the teaching staff, teachers who love the Lord, the feeling of safety, above average academics, and the belief that every child is unique.

What does your son Grant like best about Horizon Christian Middle School?
Our son, Grant, loves his teachers and has taken tremendous pride in his academics. He feels like all of his teachers are always available and willing to help. He also has a sense of comfort knowing his classmates. He met his best friends in kindergarten.

What did Alexis like best about being a middle schooler at HCS?
Our daughter, Alexis, loved middle school. She played on three league championship volleyball teams, was active in Associate Student Body, and did the yearbook in 8th grade. Outdoor school and the Washington DC trip were her all-time favorite activities in middle school. Alexis still has relationships with the middle school teachers.

How is Alexis doing at Horizon Christian High School?
Now that she is has moved on to high school, she just continues to love it. She feels at home. Everyone knows everyone and what grade you are in does not matter. Alexis has opportunities to play varsity volleyball, participate in choir, and be active in the student government. She loves the all-nighter and color wars. There are many fun activities for the students to participate in.

How has Horizon Christian School lived up to your expectations?
HCS has surpassed our expectations which is why both of our children started in kindergarten and will graduate from Horizon Christian High School. We feel like the staff truly love our children and want what is best for them. Our children are flourishing academically and emotionally here. Horizon Christian has helped shape my children into the amazing young individuals that they are today. Our children are receiving a good education from a school they love. They feel welcome, heard, safe, and are in a loving Christian environment. Everyone is accepted for who they are. We could not ask for anything more.

What advice would you give families who are considering Horizon Christian School? 
We would tell families if they are looking for a small, family-oriented, faith-based school that HCS is the place to be. Our children have thrived academically, socially, emotionally, and personally here. If we were to do it all over again, we would make the same decision by enrolling our children.

Thank you, Sumner Family, for sharing your Horizon Hawk journey with us. We are so thankful for our active and involved families who make Horizon Christian School home.

If you are looking for a “new school home”, call to schedule a visit and see for yourself.
Horizon Christian School

Posted in Family Experiences

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