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Greetings to all,

As we approach Christmas, I am so grateful that we get to partner with you in raising the young. This month the students did a wonderful job of bringing in food to give to Community Action House. Last Tuesday, JOY 99 and Community Action House came to celebrate our students’ work of collecting food for those in need with us (see the pictures below). In total our students brought in over 2400 items to help those in need.

On Tuesday I went to the presentation by Dan Landstra about culture, our kids, and the challenge of navigating an increasingly complex world. He spoke for 90 minutes, so I am not going to share all the info he gave us combined with some of my thoughts, but a few takeaways that may be helpful as we navigate today’s world:

First we need to make sure our students’ identity is found in our eternal existence. The “why” of each day is to love God above all else and to love our neighbor. Too many students are looking for acceptance in their social media accounts. This has caused a large increase in both anxiety and depression for teens.

Second, the people who influence our students the most are you, the parents. Teens spend an average of over 7 hours a day on screens, NOT including homework time. Parents’ time on screens is a similar amount. It is important to set up boundaries inside the home, so that you can have quality family time. I would recommend considering having no screens during family dinners. No screens in your students’ bedroom. Have a time when your wifi is shut down. We did this when we had teenagers, and it not only helped our kids, but it also helped us as adults. Students need boundaries so they don’t get fixated on likes and what the latest post is.

My prayer is that you and your family had a blessed time of THANKSGIVING and are able to CELEBRATE and SHARE the great news of JESUS’ birth in the upcoming weeks. Let me close with these verses from Thessalonians that have been speaking to me in the last week: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The part that stopped me in my tracks when I first read this was to be thankful in ALL circumstances. I thought really… How is that possible? I am not very good at doing this, but I realized it is written after it says “rejoice always” and “pray continually.” I have been working on doing this, and recommend that we all do this to impact our village for Christ.

God Bless!

Tom Strikwerda
Middle School Principal


/ December at HCMS

“Food Fight”

As we brought November to a close, and celebrated Thanksgiving and all the gifts that God provides for us, our students were made keenly aware of those who find themselves in less fortunate situations. Our HCMS Thanksgiving Food Fight for Community Action House ended last week with the very generous donations from you, our HCMS students and families! Along with your generous donations, Community Action House and JOY 99 stopped by and our 8th grade students and staff graciously offered their arms, legs and backs to assist in packing food into boxes and bags and loading the CAH truck that arrived to pick up the donations. We see the food that was donated as just another way to give thanks for God’s provision for us.

Recess Attire

During the snowy, cold days of December-March, please supply your middle schoolers with the proper clothing as we will keep going outside for our 15-20 minute breaks, even if the tundra is frozen.


You are cordially invited to our choir and band & orchestra concerts. Choir will be performing on Monday, December 6. Band and orchestra will be performing on Thursday, December 9.

Band/Orchestra Concert

HC Band and Orchestra Christmas Concert is on Thursday, December 9 at HCHS gym. This has been changed from HCHS auditorium to the HCHS gym.  4th-6th graders are performing at 6 pm, and the 7th and 8th graders are performing at 7:30. The 4th-6th graders should dress nicely for the concert and the 7th and 8th graders should wear their maroon HCMS t-shirt and dark colored jeans/khakis for their concert.

Choir Concert

The middle school choir concert is Monday, December 6 at 7:30 pm at the HCHS auditorium. The grade level choirs for 6th, 7th and 8th will be performing, as well as our newly formed Honors Choir. We are excited to perform a live concert! Repertoire includes holiday favorites such as Jingle Bells, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Let It Snow and Go, Tell It on the Mountain, as well as newer favorites like Holiday Road and There’s Still My Joy. We look forward to spreading holiday cheer as we celebrate the reason for the season at our Christmas concert.

From the Parent Board

Middle School families!

We love our Middle School teachers and staff and want to shower them with gifts of appreciation during the Christmas season. Would you like to join us?   We plan to present each teacher and staff member with a gift bag on behalf of all of our Middle School students. We are looking for the following donations:

  • Various gift cards in denominations of $5-$10. It is always wonderful to support local businesses (Biggby, Jean Maries, New Holland, etc.) but other businesses  are welcome as well (Starbucks, Target, etc.)
  • Cash donations: This will be used to purchase small items for care packages such as chocolates, gum, etc.)

We will have a Christmas chest in the MS office to collect donations. The Parent Team will create the care packages that will bless our teachers and staff.  The Christmas chest will be in the Middle School office until December 8. Thanks for helping us show our appreciation and bless our Middle School family at Christmas time!

~The Middle School Parent Team

CHAMPS Coupon Sales

CHAMPS Coupon sales provide excellent savings to our favorite local places! You are welcome to buy a coupon book from our office as well as the high school office. Students who sell paper coupon books will receive 10% of the sale ($3.00 for each book sold). Students will collect money and bring it to the office, and we will send coupon books home to distribute. Let the office know if you have any questions!

/Important Dates


6: HCMS Choir concert
9: HCMS Band/Orchestra concerts
18: Beginning of Christmas break


3- School resumes
14- End of Q2/S1