celebrating milestones, generosity, and faith
upper school student highlight: jerahmarie saunders

Upper School Student Highlight: Jerahmarie Saunders 

Jerahmarie Saunders is a senior at Medina Christina Academy. Like most teens, she enjoys spending time with her friends and playing sports … but Jerahmarie’s high school experience differs from many in her age group, as she has the unique opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a Christian education here at MCA.

“I would describe MCA’s personality as a warm, inviting place where it is safe to be who God made me to be,” she says. “The community is loving, supportive, like a family. The teachers are always there to listen and give advice based on the Bible’s principles, and the students are welcoming, kind, and inclusive.”

Jerahmarie believes that the quality of academic education she receives at MCA is “above others” — especially citing her teachers’ willingness to spend extra time in one-on-one instruction in order to help struggling students.

When it comes to her future, Jerahmarie feels she can face life after graduation with confidence because of the education she has received at MCA, academically and beyond:

“One way out of many ways Medina Christian Academy is preparing me for life and work is through group activities … work[ing] together toward a common goal. Also, there is an array of different classes to choose from which can help spark or grow an interest for a career. In addition to that, teachers give advice about colleges, scholarships, and job requirements to give students, including myself, a head start.”

Friendships are an important part of Jerahmarie’s life, but at MCA, friendships can grow even deeper: “My friends share my faith in Jesus, and we can talk about our relationship with Him freely. We pray for each other and build each other up in faith.”

If current or prospective families are looking for advice about how to get the most out of their years at Medina Christian Academy, Jerahmarie suggests they get involved as soon as possible and take full advantage of the numerous opportunities MCA offers that grow students spiritually, educationally, and socially.

As a new school year is set to begin, and a new class of seniors like Jerahmarie walk through our doors, we continue to be committed to students and families so that children will succeed in all areas of life … for God’s glory!

 

lower school student highlight: clay dyer

Lower School Student Highlight: Clay Dyer

Clay Dyer, brother of 7th grade MCA student, Caden, recently made a heartfelt donation of $245 to “pay for/help an MCA student’s academic journey.”

“Watching my brother go through his first year at MCA was eye-opening. Like me, he had previously only ever been in public school. To see his faith and love for the Lord grow was super cool to witness. I got to see him make solid Christian friends where Christ was at the center of the relationships. This made me realize what a great impact MCA is having on my brother. MCA has a very important role in providing students with a Christ-centered education, and I feel honored that I can be a small part of seeing that happen.”

Clay believes that financial hardship should not be the reason a child may not attend MCA, and he hopes his donation will help the school provide an opportunity for a student to attend, regardless of financial capability, so that his or her life might be changed in the same positive ways Clay has witnessed in his brother’s life.

May Clay’s example of generosity remind us of what God desires for our giving:

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).

God bless you for knowing this truth … and living it out!

graduation: celebrating achievement at all levels

Graduation: Celebrating Achievement at All Levels

There has been plenty to celebrate … the close of a great school year, graduations, students discovering their God-given purpose, and more!

Here are just a few snippets from students and staff looking back at God’s goodness and the excellence here at MCA that you make possible … 

Kindergarten, Tammy Hall:

On May 18, 2021, ushered in by the traditional melody of Pomp and Circumstance, 31 kindergartners marched down the aisle in their caps and gowns to the stage celebrating the first of their academic milestones, their Kindergarten Graduation. 

Kindergarten is a child’s first impression of their academic careers, and our students were blessed to be loved and guided all year by wonderful teachers Ms. Emily Denton and Mrs. Tawnya Kraus.  

The early childhood years are foundationally pivotal for a child’s growth and learning. We at Medina Christian Academy count it a privilege to be able to impact a child’s education with special attention to their spiritual development. 

Among smiles and joyful tears from their parents in the audience, each student was presented a kindergarten diploma by Lower School Principal, Mrs. Tammy Hall and the Head of School, Mr. Joe Timco. After viewing a slide show showing memorable events from the year, the students shared two songs they had prepared: Jesus Loves Me and First Grade, First Grade. 

We look forward to watching these precious little ones grow not only in academics but also in their walk with Jesus! 

6th Grade Picnic, Jessie Loyer:

The transition from elementary school to middle school is a big deal. The students are facing new challenges, such as going from the oldest to the youngest in the school and no longer having recess. They also face some new triumphs, like being halfway done with their K-12 education. This transition is something to be celebrated by students, their families, and the teachers and staff who helped them through elementary school.

This year, we were able to celebrate the 6th grade class moving into middle school with a picnic! It was a time of celebration as they got to see the new Upper School, meet many of their new teachers, and spend time with their friends playing games and eating food. Parents and teachers mingled and talked about their excitement for the new school year. It was a nice way to celebrate the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for our students.

Senior Class, Becca Lunde:

MCA’s class of 2021 holds a special place in my heart. I started teaching them at the end of their freshman year. 

There are so many things I could say about this special group of students. I could talk about how I’ve watched them find their purpose in Christ, embracing their gifts and preparing to use them as they go out into the world. I could talk about how these students all came from various other schools in their past, where they were overlooked and undervalued, and the transformation they had when they were loved and mentored and heard. I could talk about the academic leaps they made, where they went from basic test scores and knowledge to excelling in Advanced Placement courses. I could also talk about how they supported and uplifted each other, especially through a very difficult junior and senior year, as the worldwide pandemic brought much uncertainty. 

But I think two specific instances really encapsulate MCA’s class of 2021, and really, MCA as a whole. The first moment came during a study hall when they were sophomores. I was monitoring a small study hall with all of them, and we started talking about our experiences when we became saved. One student said slowly, “Well, I’ve never been saved.” 

The students looked at each other, and one said, “Do you want to do it now?” We got in a circle and talked to him, explaining what it meant, and we all prayed and celebrated together as their classmate became a brother in Christ. Moments like these are the ones that define MCA. We have a greater purpose, and the senior class of 2021 understands and lives that purpose. 

The second moment that really defines this class came in the fall of their senior year. One afternoon after school, I took a group senior portrait. It was a beautiful fall day at our campus, and there were colorful leaves all over the ground. We snapped some photos when I realized my earring, which just happened to be leaf-shaped and leaf-colored, had fallen off. Most teenagers would ignore an adult’s missing earring and be on their way. But not this group. They immediately were on their hands and knees, digging through leaves on the ground. I protested, but they said, “We know it’s your favorite. We’re going to find it.” And after 30 minutes, they did. I’ll never forget this, not just because I love the earring, but because of these students’ servant attitude. 

MCA’s class of 2021 serves when it’s uncomfortable and when it’s unseen. This isn’t typical in the world today, where everything is curated for an audience. But these students are authentic servants even when no one is looking. 

Matthew 10:42-45 says, “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” These students put Jesus in the center of their lives, and they serve with their whole hearts, not for the world, but for the Savior. This is what makes me so proud of them, and these are the qualities that I pray continue through our students at Medina Christian Academy. 

living in faith, leading the future

Living in Faith, Leading the Future

As you may recall, Medina Christian Academy enrollment at our middle school and high school has experienced a 200% increase over the last four years, and, as a result, we have outgrown the current capacity at FBC.

The absolute surge in enrollment at MCA means we must push forward and continue preparing our campus, in two strategic phases, for continued spiritual, academic, artistic, and athletic excellence for the next generation and beyond.

  • Phase 1 has been underway since January 2020 and includes: 
    • continued renovations to the Upper School for our middle school and high school students; 
    • construction of 12 additional classrooms for Grades 5 and 6 (to accommodate 250+ students), plus a beautiful gymnasium — with two practice courts, locker rooms, a kitchen and concessions, and a student-athlete strength and conditioning room.
  • Phase 2 will bring all students to one campus and includes construction of an elementary school and moving all elementary school programs to the Upper School.

We’re seeking a total of $6 million to fund the continued renovation and future expansion of the Upper School at Rustic Hills, as well as additional staffing requirements and student scholarships. 

If you have already given toward our Living in Faith, Leading the Future campaign, thank you! If not, please consider doing so, or giving again, today. Your generous support — your Kingdom investment — will solidify our Pre-K–12 programs for God’s glory. Thank you!

how is God speaking to you?

How is God Speaking to You?
By Joe Timco

God’s still, strong voice is in our days and in our nights. He promises to meet all our needs as we listen to Him: in our hearts, in our homes, and in our halls. Isn’t that good news?

Last month, as I was toiling away at the tasks listed on my ever-increasing Post It notes collection, a simply dressed woman walked humbly through the doors of the Upper School. She had driven by many times before, but on that day, the Spirit urged her to come inside and carry out God’s will. 

After a brief conversation, she reached into her purse and pulled out a check for $20,000. She said she had been prompted by the Spirit to support Christian education and ease the financial burden on first-time families starting at MCA. Her donation was significant, and, at that moment, God’s presence was known. This was an amazing, divine act of sacrificial giving!

We live in a time in which people are thirsty for the Gospel. Let us take time to pray and listen to the whisper of God’s voice in our lives. He has strategically placed all of us in the community together. How is the Spirit asking you to fulfill His will? How can we glorify God together? Let’s choose His voice and allow Him to lead.

***

This is a wonderful reminder of how God-led generosity can make a tangible difference for His Kingdom. If you have already given to MCA’s Living in Faith, Leading the Future campaign, thank you! If you feel led to give, or give again, we still have a ways to go until we meet our goal of bringing all students to one campus for God’s glory!

stepping boldly into a new school year

Stepping Boldly Into a New School Year

By Joe Timco

“True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His promises.” —Francis Chan

A school year is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures. Growth is often painful and joyful at the same time; a juxtaposition of experiences. A new school year offers new opportunities, blessings we can choose to embrace, new goals, new possibilities, new ideas, and new dreams. 

Most importantly, it offers new moments to see God move in the students of MCA. 

As a Christ-follower, the apostle Peter has a message in his first letter: We have a living hope that can never die. We have received this living hope through the great mercy of God by the resurrection of Jesus! It’s a hope we can rest in and lean on every morning, day and night. 

And Matthew 14:25-29 paints a beautiful picture of Peter’s faith and trust in Jesus:

“Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.”

Throughout the Bible, God encourages us to look forward and step forward with bold faith. As we prepare for the upcoming year, let us worry less and pray more. Let us seek Him first in everything we do so that Jesus may be glorified in all our thoughts and actions. 

Our God is great and abundant with love. Guided by His voice and love, we have welcomed over 200 new students to Medina Christian Academy in the last two years, increasing our student population by 44 percent. 

We praise God every day for the students and families He has brought to our community. With our increased enrollment, we will continue stepping boldly in faith into God’s calling to develop tomorrow’s Christian leaders. This lets us, as a community, allow God to guide our steps as we ask and listen for His wisdom in all things.

Thank you for being part of this journey of faith alongside us!  

welcoming new staff

Welcoming New Staff

While the halls may be quieter at MCA, the rooms are still filled with busy preparation. God has been working, and we are excited to share that He has brought several new teachers to our MCA family this fall. 

17,000 hours is how many hours students will spend in school with teachers before graduating. Our ultimate goal is not for our students to be like us, but to be like Christ. Through an intentional and authentic relationship, we are committed to guiding students to discover God’s purpose in their lives. 

Our teachers are a living curriculum, spiritual mentors, building relationships with a belief that every child is created in God’s image. We praise God for leading them to where they are today:

Becca Lunde, Upper School Principal:

Becca has experience serving in the MCA community for the past four years, teaching English, History, AP, and CCP courses.

“I want each student that walks through MCA’s doors to know that they are loved and that the only way to be truly fulfilled is to seek God in all things.”

 

Melanie Timco, Upper School English & Psychology (AP/CCP/Honors):

Melanie is an experienced teacher, administrator, curriculum writer, and much more!

“Teaching literature and psychology from a biblical perspective is my privilege, and loving kids is my passion.”

 

Jessica Loyer, Upper School Math & Academic Advisor:

As a former Lower School Sixth Grade teacher, Jessica is excited to put her upcoming Masters degree in School Counseling to use as MCA’s Academic Advisor.

“Being a teacher at MCA has allowed me to witness the power of Christ. I have often seen Christ on display in my students’ lives…”

Lyndsey Longley, Second Grade Teacher:

Lyndsey is transitioning from Fourth Grade at the Lower School after two years in that position.

“My classroom is modeled on kindness, forgiveness, and truth. I love that I have the opportunity to pray with and for my students each day.”

 

 

Stacy Farrenholz, Lower School Reading Specialist:

Stacy formerly taught as a Lower School Third Grade Teacher and has been a member of the MCA staff for 10 years.

“Some of my most precious memories are of students who have received Jesus as their Savior in class. What a joyous moment to be able to share with a student!”

 

Chelsea Longsdorf, First Grade Teacher:

Despite her original interest in music performance and sound engineering, Chelsea became licenced as a teacher and joined the MCA family in March 2021.

“I love to use each student’s gifts and talents that the Lord has blessed them with to create a classroom culture of inclusion, engagement, and fun.”

 

Anna Young, Upper School English:

After experiencing Christian education in her own life, Anna is excited to teach at MCA.

“I look forward to helping students develop their reading, writing, and speaking abilities while they seek to understand God and His will and develop a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ…”

 

Stephen Suglio, Upper School Science:

An experienced teacher and wrestler, Stephen is beginning his fourth year as an educator, but this will be his first at MCA.

“I believe that working in a Christian educational setting is about teaching and meeting the needs of the whole student, of which the spiritual is the most important.”

 

Nicole Doeringer, Upper School AP U.S. History & Bible:

Nicole’s experience is eclectic, teaching as a homeschooling mom and co-op teacher, holding multiple ministry positions, and even writing several books!

“I seek [Christ] to fill me so I can have a life that is lived out of an overflow, embracing my human limitations, and leaning into His great power and grace.”

 

Corey Beckett, Upper School Health & Nutrition/Lower School Physical Education:

With past work within the Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation at The College of Wooster, Corey is now following his calling to teach.

“Very simply put, my Christian Education Philosophy is most easily summed in a single sentence: In all that is done, God and Christ should be at the center.”

 

Lindsay Fink, Lower School Sixth Grade Teacher:

Lindsay’s education at St. Petersburg College in Florida has prepared her for her new role as teacher at MCA.

“My goal is to lead by example, help students reach their full academic potential, and cultivate a loving, Christ-centered environment where grace and forgiveness are prevalent.”

 

Rosie Thomas, Lower School Sixth Grade Teacher:

With past work experience as a paraprofessional, Rosie is ready to continue in her passion for education.

“As a Christian educator, my goal is to not only teach my students the traditional

subjects, but [to teach them] that each of them is a blessing, a unique creation of God, who will have a personal relationship with Christ that will continue throughout their lifetime.”

 

Paige Fladda, Lower School Fifth Grade Teacher:

Paige has two years of experience teaching at a local Christian school, but she will start her third year teaching with MCA.

“As a Christian educator, I believe that I am called to partner with the school and the families to raise each child up to love Christ and to love others the way that He loves us.”

 

 

Caitlin Bowers, Lower School Fourth Grade Teacher:

Caitlin is excited to have her own classroom after having been an aide in special education and a substitute teacher.

“My Christian education philosophy is one of helping children make their faith their own and showing each child Christ-like love and respect.”

 

Sarah Shamburger, Lower School Fourth Grade Teacher:

Sarah worked for two years in public schools, and is now trusting God’s plan that led her to MCA.

“I … believe that my call is to teach students academically, but first and foremost

to point them to Christ, and that their relationship with Him comes before everything else in life.”

 

Caitlyn Chappel, Lower School Third Grade Teacher:

Caitlyn holds several certifications beyond her Early Childhood and Intervention Specialist licensure, including an American Sign Language Certificate and a

Parent and Family Education Certificate.

“It is my hope that I can inspire my students to be lifelong learners and teach them that with Christ they can do anything.”

In addition to the new faculty, we are blessed to have Vanessa Finan directing our foodservice operations this year. 

Please join us in praying for our staff and their influence in the lives of our students for the 2021-22 school year. Thank you!

You can play an important role in seeing tomorrow’s leaders educated in a Christ-centered environment as they pursue their own paths of loving God and loving others.

Your generous gift to Medina Christian Academy ensures a living curriculum for the next generation and beyond.

God bless you for living in faith and leading the future with us!

Join us in seeing young people — tomorrow’s leaders — educated in a Christ-centered environment as they pursue their own paths of loving God and loving others.

Your generous gift to Medina Christian Academy today ensures a living curriculum for the next generation and beyond.

God bless you for living in faith and leading the future with us!

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