By Amelia Eno – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Christmas at Mile High Academy is fun and, although this season is unique for everyone, the students and staff have found a way to celebrate with cheer.

All around MHA campus, students have been preparing for their online Christmas concert by practicing instruments, singing songs, decorating their spaces and wearing festive Christmas hats, shirts, and smiles. The joy of Christmas is shining despite being in and out of online learning.

“I think it makes you start to realize what you value most, what Christmas is really about,” said Lisa Venteicher, upper school drama and science teacher. “I really value my time with my students. It’s the best gift I could have this year.”

It has been a unique season for the upper school students due to remote learning. However, the teachers are working on ways to make the season fun and festive by practicing drama skits virtually that focus on the current struggles facing our world while discussing forgiveness and the love of Jesus despite the threat of COVID-19 and being apart.

The pandemic couldn’t cancel the yearly Christmas Door competition, a decorating contest for each classroom. The finished doors are judged based on creativity, student participation, design and are given bonus points for exhibiting the school’s CHERISH core values.

The winners found first and third grade tying for first place, each classroom awarded $100 prize. Second and fourth grades tied for second, winning $75.

While the upper school students haven’t been on campus, they were able to do their annual “Christmas Challenge,” which is an exciting blend of trivia and other challenges.

“It is a lot of fun, and I know both students and staff look forward to it every December.” said Rebecca Berg, upper school teacher and Christmas Challenge coordinator.

This year has been different, but also special. Students, staff, and teachers are learning how to stay connected throughout this pandemic and stay united in God.

— Amelia Eno is a sophomore at Mile high Academy; photos by Jocelyn Aalborg