03 May

MHA MIDDLE SCHOOLERS BOND THROUGH OUTDOOR SCHOOL

By MHA News – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Despite chilly weather and snow on the ground April 20, Mile High Academy’s middle school students took advantage of the sunshine to enjoy the great outdoors together.

The students piled on the buses, loaded down with flashlights, coats, water and lunches.

“In the craziness of everything enveloping this school year, it was nice to get to take the Middle School kids off campus to enjoy a day of bonding together as a school,” said Michael Armstrong, vice principal of academics and middle school science teacher.

The first stop on the adventure was Manitou Spring’s Cave of the Winds, where students visited a Geology 101 class in an underground laboratory. Hands-on education experience lasted for almost two hours, as they wound through the caves, learning about cave formations, local history, and even about the animals that help create a cave ecosystem. Students also experienced “cave darkness,” one of the two darkest places on our planet.

“It was fun to tour and learn about the history of the cave,” said Logen, seventh grader. “The best part was when the tour guides turned off the lights, and we were sitting there in total silence.”

Another middle-schooler described the cave in few words: “It was awesome.”

The escapade continued with a trip through Manitou Spring’s Memorial Park and a tour of the historic town, including ice cream, the arcade, and a sample of the natural soda water that springs from two of the nine local fountains, drilled in the 1920s.

Before returning home filled with memories and new discoveries, the group stopped to take in the beauty of the red stone rock formations at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

–MHA News; photos supplied

28 Apr

LOVE MATTERS MOST HIGHLIGHTED AT MHA SERVICE DAY

By MHA News — Highlands Ranch, Colorado … “I enjoyed giving to people and spreading God’s word,” said Lindsey, Mile High Academy seventh-grader, reflecting on their annual service day.

Recently, MHA students and staff participated in the school’s annual Love Matters Most Service Day on April 22.

Becca Berg, upper school teacher, chaplain and service day coordinator, explains why service is important to MHA. “Service is a humbling part of our CHERISH core values. Not only is the event a highlight of the school year, [but it also] gives our students a day to focus on walking in Jesus’ footsteps by serving and helping others.”

This year’s focus was on serving several Denver-metro area churches. The students worked hard organizing Sabbath School rooms, vacuuming and dusting, washing windows, cleaning up flowerbeds and handing out bags of food and other necessities to homes in the area.

“We are so grateful that Mrs. Berg and the freshman class came to Franktown for service day,” said Jamey Houghton, Franktown pastor. “The kids helped us out in two specific ways. First, they washed the outside windows, freshening up the look of the church. Second, they helped us out with a problem that probably no other churches have–keeping the cows out. Our neighbor has cows that get through parts of the fence and come visit our church. Pastor Michael Luchak, Franktown associate pastor, took some of the kids down to [help] block the open parts of the fence so the cows will stay on their side. Both jobs were big, and I’m so thankful to have had the help of the kids from Mile High Academy!”

On the other side of Denver, the senior class helped LifeSource unload a semi-trailer filled with miscellaneous items, which LifeSource, in turn, donates to community members with needs.

“It was awesome to have the senior class join in our monthly outreach. Even though the forklift came late, they were still able to unload the entire semi-trailer in record time! We wouldn’t have been able to get the job done without their help,” commented Seth Day, LifeSource co-pastor.

Remaining on campus, the lower grades and the sophomore class made cards for the churches and hospitals and performed campus beautification duties, including picking up trash, pulling weeds and sorting out the school’s storage area.

Working under the bleachers and cleaning up trash, the fourth-grade girls came across a photo of a non-MHA student. Dubbed “a random guy,” the photo brought many giggles to the class.

“The girls were so excited to find their treasure,” said Sherri Francis, fourth-grade teacher. “I couldn’t help but laugh when they declared it an antique from 1990, although it was in color. A fun memory from a fun day.”

Reflecting on service day, eighth-grader Jack summed up the event best when he said, “Overall it was a good day of service.”

Each student received a 2021 blue service day shirt and the day concluded with a pizza lunch provided by school administration.

“There’s always a lot of work, planning and prayer that goes into each service day,” said Berg. “But when I hear the students’ excitement about how they helped someone in need or, in this case, helped get our churches and the MHA campus looking sharp, I can step back and clearly see just how God has given Mile High Academy the opportunity to be a light in the community.”

–MHA News; photos supplied

14 Apr

MHA COMMUNITY EATS, MINGLES & GIVES DURING ANNUAL BENEFIT AUCTION

By MHA News – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … “We were blessed to be able to hold the annual auction event, and it was exciting to be a part of something so “normal,” remarked Brodie Philpott, Mile High Academy (MHA) board chair and parent, on the yearly Eat, Mingle & Give fundraiser

On Sunday, April 11, some 70 MHA community members and friends converged at Topgolf Centennial for the school’s 20th annual benefit auction.

For the second year, parent Chase Aalborg emceed the live auction portion, which included handmade items by students and classes. The school provided a virtual attendance option, which allowed several families to “attend” the live auction and bid on items via Zoom. Participants were greeted by Andrew Carpenter, MHA’s incoming principal, who shared a laugh with alumnus and former Mustang basketball player Matt Gal. The auction resulted in donations totaling more than $55,000 towards the school’s annual fund.

The afternoon at Topgolf kicked off with ten bays filled with attendees enjoying more than two hours of unlimited golf while others viewed the silent auction items and fellowshipped together. The crowd also enjoyed a dinner which included TopGolf’s famous donuts.

CRUMBL Cookies, who recently opened a franchise a few blocks from MHA, donated a four-pack of cookies and CRUMBL swag to the event. “Here at CRUMBL [Cookies] we strive to serve our community. It’s just what we do and how we give back,” said store manager Debbie Christensen.

Attendees were glad to experience a normal event again. “It’s been so long since we could eat or mingle together that I gave a little extra just out of thankfulness – shh, don’t tell my wife!

COVID has made socializing a little more difficult, but it was nice to spend time with other parents in my daughter’s class, and get to know them better.  And, of course, it is great being able to support such a worthy cause–ensuring every child who wants an Adventist education can attend MHA, regardless of cost,” Philpott said.

Students also enjoyed the evening.  “I had so much fun,” said Tessa, MHA sophomore. “It was really exciting to see people competing. I love when people are still bidding to the last minute. My favorite part was spending time with my family and golfing. And the food was delicious.”

The event was made possible through donations from businesses, organizations, and through contributions from the MHA community. Donated items included overnight stays at Great Wolf Lodge and Durango’s famous Strater Hotel, family entertainment venues, golfing packages to several area country clubs, gift certificates to various restaurants, and homemade treats.

The 2021 event sponsors included AdventHealth University, Highlands Ranch Smiles, Out of Breath Sports, and the Rocky Mountain Conference.

“Thank you to everyone who attended, sponsored, supported and donated to the auction,” said Jocelyn Aalborg, vice principal of finance and development. “We continue to be humbled by the doors God opens for our school. It was through answered prayer that He allowed our school and community to be able to come together during this unique time for an evening of fun and laughter while supporting our school.”

–MHA News; photos supplied

Handmade chess and tic-tac-toe sets by the seventh-grade class for the live auction