High School

Student Parent Handbook

  • What I Did On My Summer Vacation (teacher edition)

    By Paul Beverly – Head Teacher at Eastern Christian High School

    Adirondack Mountain Great Camp. Library of Congress. Birmingham, Alabama.

    What do these have in common?  They are places I’ve spent parts of my summer vacations the last several years.  But they are not vacation spots—these were the sites of Summer professional development I’ve done.  (Well, ok–studying at an Adirondack Mountain great camp on Raquette Lake is pretty close to a vacation.)

    Over my many years of teaching I have looked for opportunities to grow professionally over the Summer–in a way that can meaningfully impact my teaching at ECHS.  This Summer, I spent the week of July 10-16 at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks.  The focus of the  workshop, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, was to examine two developments in American history: 1) How the Adirondacks became some of the most protected land in the world due to an amendment to the New York State Constitution in the 1894–an amendment that declared that “the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.” This plot of land has grown to six million acres (larger than Massachusetts) and is an interesting model of public/private ownership of land. It also has led to some interesting tensions between conservationists and preservationist.  2)The other focus was on the “one percenters” of the late 19th century (Durant, JP Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt), who bought great camps in the Adirondacks so that they could go into the wilderness with their servants, changes of clothes, etc., “roughing it all the way.” The documents and the cultural tensions we studied will give me some good material for my American Studies class this coming year.

    Last Summer (2015), I spent a week at the Library of Congress studying how to best use primary documents from the civil rights era in American history. Two things from that workshop that have impacted my teaching are 1) developing some new methods for leading discussions based on differing viewpoints (it’s called Circle of Viewpoints), and a new way for students to present their research projects in gallery walks.  Not only did I utilize these this past year, but I was able to demonstrate them for our faculty, who also began to use them in their classrooms. 2) the highlight of the week, which caught me completely off guard, was meeting several friends of Rosa Parks, and several folks who had been in the Mississippi voter registration movement during the 1960’s.  Their stories have had a profound impact on how I teach this turbulent time in our history.

    I took the summer of 2014 off because two grandchildren arrived in our family.  But in 2013 I was privileged to attend another National Endowment for the Humanities workshop that focused on the 1963 children’s crusade in Birmingham, Alabama and the bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church, which claimed the lives of 4 young girls. This workshop has probably had the most profound impact on my understanding of the civil rights movement, a major unit our seniors study. I met a woman who was 14 in 1963, and upstairs in the church when the KKK bomb blew up outside the girls’ bathroom in the church–her best friend was killed that day. I met a freedom rider who had participated in demonstrations with John Lewis (now Congressman from GA). I met foot soldiers of the children’s crusade–when hundreds of children marched in Birmingham to demonstrate for freedom, and were met with fire hoses and German Shepherds.  Mostly, I heard testaments of how faith in Jesus Christ motivated these people to stand up for justice. I have shared my experiences with most of the seniors over the last few years, as well as with the faculty and my church family.  By the way–if you want to hear how I extended that trip to go to Montgomery and Selma via the route the voting rights demonstrators marched, just ask–I’ll tell you about crossing the Edmund Pettis Bridge–a lifelong dream of mine.

    I could go on–maybe that will be another post (after all–I haven’t even talked about going to New Mexico to study the history of Islam, or to Washington DC to study the Supreme Court). But I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to enrich my classes (and have some fun) heading out on these and other professional explorations.

    Catherine Burke-Brooks–a Freedom Rider who was eventually arrested in Jackson, Mississippi. She is proud of this mugshot!

    Rev. Carolyn McKinstry–her best friend was one of the 4 little girls killed in the 16th St. Church bombing.

    The rotunda over the main reading room in the Library of Congress.

  • The Ins and Outs of My First Year at EC: Anticipation

    By Petra van’t Slot – ECHS Science & Math Teacher



    “So, are you happy about it, your new job? Going back to high school I mean?” A friendly, older co-worker comes to sit close to me at my sending-off celebration. He hesitates a little, then says: “It’s a difficult age group, you know.”

    I think about his question for a moment. I’ve heard it before – from friends, moms at the playground – teaching teenagers has the image of being very difficult. And I’ve always loved it. So I turn to him. “Yes!”, I say, “I’m very happy to go back. Difficult? I don’t really think about it that way. I just really enjoy working with students in that age group.”

    “Oh good! That’s good then,” and he now seems happy to send me off.

    A few weeks before this conversation, during my interview at EC, I had been asked many questions and we came to the end of our conversation. It was almost time for me to start my demo lesson. “Do you have any questions left for us?” Mrs. Kuder asked me. I thought for a moment, then I said: “Yes, I do. I’d love to know who your students are and what they are like.” But of course that is a question that is hard to really answer in a conversation – you only find out who people are by meeting them and getting to know them for real.

    And now, as I sit at home, starting to plan my classes and work out the curriculum, I am still so glad that God opened a door for me to start teaching at EC. I am looking forward to meet all of you, my students-to-be. I am looking forward to get to know you. Some of you have been at EC for most of your school-age life; others are new, just like I am new to the school. Some of you are coming in from different countries and this summer was and is a major transition for you. For others it’ll be your first year in high school. That is a big transition too. Are you nervous? I sometimes am; for example when I think about the first weeks of school when we all have to find our place.

    I do not know any of you yet, but I’m already praying for you. Amidst writing learning outcomes and planning chemistry lessons, I pray that God will guide me to become the teacher that you need, that we’ll learn and grow together and that he’ll hold all of us close; every single day of the year.


  • ACT and SAT Prep Classes are Back!

    BrainStorm Tutoring Services is back with some great prep classes for the upcoming ACT and SAT. See the flyer below for more details.


  • The EC Class of 2016: Young Men and Women of Christian Vision and Influence

    Eastern Christian’s graduating class of 2016 is setting out on a mission of Kingdom building and cultural transformation, and they will do so at some of the most desireable colleges and universities in the country.

    We are thrilled to announce that 98 percent of EC’s graduating seniors who applied to a four-year postsecondary institution were accepted! Our graduates received approximately 450 acceptances to 126 distinct colleges and universities. Nearly all of these students were offered college merit scholarships totaling over 4.5 million dollars! This scholarship total is the highest in Eastern Christian’s distinguished 124-year history, dethroning the previous record of 4.3 million set by the class of 2014. This is further evidence of how an Eastern Christian education can literally pay for itself.

    So, what institutions are these graduates attending? You will find them on the campuses of Albright College, American University, Binghamton University, Calvin College, Cedarville, Chapman, Cornell University, Covenant College, Duquesne University, Fordham, George Mason, High Point University, Liberty University, Loyola University Maryland, Marist, Monmouth, NJIT, NYU, Palm Beach Atlantic, Rutgers University, Savannah College of Art & Design, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, United States Military Academy at West Point, UC San Diego, University of Illinios, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond, Westmont College, and many more.

    As articulated in EC’s Graduate Profile, these recent alumni are prepared to be young men and women of Christian vision and influence, and are ready to contribute to God’s mission of renewing all of creation. We are so proud of you, graduates. May the Lord bless you abundantly as you begin this new season of your lives!


  • The Annual Fund for Eastern Christian School

    By David Visbeen
    Executive Director of The Foundation for Eastern Christian School


    With the start of the new school year just around the corner, here in The Foundation office, we’re thinking about the 2016-2017 Annual Fund.  Each year, the Annual Fund plays a significant role in providing a quality Christ-centered education to each and every student at Eastern Christian School.  Despite that, for many of our parents and supporters, the Annual Fund is badly misunderstood and often overlooked.

    So what exactly is the Annual Fund?  The Annual Fund is the single largest focus of The Foundation each year.  Funds raised (about $750,000.00 for 15-16) go directly to the income side of the EC budget to help make up the GAP between the actual cost of an EC education and the amount paid by full tuition.  Along with our fundraising events, outside business ventures (ditto, Eagle Solar, and Eagle Camps), and endowment support; the Annual Fund will contribute almost 24% of the EC operating budget income this year.  

    That means, that every student at Eastern Christian School receives a de facto scholarship equalling 24% of the cost of education.  Every student receives a 24% discount before we begin conversations about variable tuition.

    Since all students benefit from the Annual Fund, you might expect that all current parents would contribute, in some way, to the Annual Fund.  We wish that everyone would participate, even in a small way but that just doesn’t happen.  Thanks be to God, that our community of alumni, past parents, and local businesses enthusiastically support the Annual Fund each year.  

    Our challenge is for every current parent to contribute to the Annual Fund in some way.  The amount is not the critical factor, but participation is.  Your participation encourages us, but more importantly sends a message to others that you are supporting the ministry of EC, not simply “buying” an education.  This can be as simple as a small contribution on ECGivingTuesday (November 29, 2016) or sending in a pledge when you receive the Annual Fund mailing in September.

    Please join our generous community by not only making a quality, Christ-centered education accessible to others, but also by helping to close the GAP between your tuition payment and the actual cost of education for your child(ren) at Eastern Christian School. 

    make a difference

  • Thanks to the Summer Work Crew of 2016!


    When the first bell of Eastern Christian School’s 2016-17 school year rings, it will ring in the start of a brand new year. That bell will also ring in the end of a summer that has seen a large amount of work done in preparation for our 124rd year of operation.

    Those shiny floors, freshly painted walls, sparkling-clean classrooms, and pleasant grounds are all the result of hard work done by EC’s Summer Work Crew. Thank you to John, Dave, Henry, Bryan, Matt, Kimona, Craig, Kelly, Matt, Ana, Jim & Michael for your hard work and dedication to the mission of our school! You help us achieve excellence one square inch of our campus at a time. It doesn’t go unnoticed! Families always comment on how great our facilities look!

  • Video: You Can Get There from Here

    Eastern Christian High School has a 95% college placement among our graduates. Our students are accepted to a broad range of colleges and universities. We are proud that, every year, among the many different colleges and universities that EC Alums attend, we place students among the top schools in the nation. Watch this video to find out how you can get there from here!

    Check out their individual stories!

    Jesse, Class of 2016

    Rebekah, Class of 2016

    Jane, Class of 2016

    Mitchell, Class of 2016

    Sebastian, Class of 2016

  • 2016-2017 Community Night Calendar


    Eastern Christian High School is excited to release our 2016-17 Community Nights Calendar.

    The 2016-17 Community Nights Calendar features events in all three High School Sports Seasons. The Fall season features four dates for Soccer (with the highlight coming on October 21 and 22 for Homecoming Weekend). The Winter season features four dates for basketball. The Spring Season features two Softball/Baseball doubleheaders at the North Haledon Rec. Field.

    All middle and high school students will receive a magnet copy of this calendar in their locker to help encourage student participation. We will also be sharing calendar magnets with all EC families.

    All EC families (and friends) are invited to these events for a great time of school spirit, food, and fun. We look forward to a full year of great events to celebrate with you!

    For a free digital download, click here to download and print your copy today!


    For most up-to-date game details, visit the athletic event calendar

  • You Can Get There From Here: Sebastian

    Sebastian Pierre
    Eastern Christian Class of 2016
    The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at City College

    What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
    I think what I love most about Eastern Christian is the community and atmosphere of the school. Since it’s a smaller school, most people know each other and teachers have great relationships with students. In addition, I like the fact that the school has grown more diverse over the years; it’s cool to have friends from different cultures/backgrounds and I feel that is a part of how EC has been doing well to improve and look for ways to be even better.

    Describe one of your favorite teachers.
    One of my favorite teachers is Mr. Beverly. His teaching integrates faith into the classroom allows students to have a deeper understanding of history, current events, and the world. I have learned so much in his classes and In addition, he pushes you to think critically and address controversial topics/issues that you may not have before. I have experienced this firsthand in two classes that I have thoroughly enjoyed my senior year, Humanities, and International Relations.

    In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
    One way I have grown in my faith through Bible class. Senior year apologetics helped me understand how to talk to others about my faith and understand the scriptures in a deeper way. I feel that I’ve also grown in my faith just by being in an environment where I can talk about God freely with others and have engaging conversations or debates about scripture, theology, etc.

    The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
    All the teachers at EC do their best to engage the classroom and use different tools or methods to enable kids to learn better. This can range from implementing socratic seminars, small group work, using technology, inviting a guest speaker, creative assignments, and many more things. The result is that students are nurtured and transformed. I have experienced this firsthand as an EC student, and I feel that the classes that I have taken have appropriately challenged me and will prepare me to have success in my future.
    How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
    EC has prepared me for my future by allowing me to have the opportunity to take challenging and enriching classes. Some of these are Humanities, Chem Honors, Physics, Calculus, to name a few.

    What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
    I would tell them to shadow a student for a day because it gives you a good look into what the school is like, and what you can experience.

    What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
    I think the block schedule at EC is great and prepares you for how college will be like. This unique schedule in combination with a Christian education provided me with a learning experience that I wouldn’t have anywhere else.

  • Summer Camps: Where the Fun Never Ends

    The school year may have ended but our campus locations are still abounding with students thanks to a variety of fun summer camps!

    This year we are partnering with four camps, all offering a uniquely different experience for your child and family.

    Check out the activities our students are engaged in this summer and the experiences they’re enjoying that won’t soon be forgotten!

    Eagles Day Camp
    Eagles Day Camp welcomes students from grades K-7 and is designed to provide campers with a variety of daily activities in a safe, nurturing, and fun atmosphere.

    Camp counselors engage students in experiences that emphasize social, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

    Eagles Day Camp is a great environment for your student to safely participate in all kinds of adventure activities while building friendships and learning more about what a personal walk with Jesus Christ looks like.

    Register your student now!

    Eagles Elite Basketball Camp
    If you have a student looking to improve upon their basketball skills, Eagles Elite Basketball Camp is open to grades 2-10 and would be a great fit!

    Each camper receives coaching and instruction from experienced past and present college players, as well as our very own varsity basketball coach.

    Every day, players will receive both small group and individual instruction, further building upon and strengthening their skill development and concept understanding of the game.

    Take a look at our upcoming camp dates!

    Eagles Baseball Camp
    Eagles Baseball Camp, designed for grades 2-10, will have your student using and improving upon the 5-Tools of Baseball in just a week’s time!

    Our head varsity baseball coach will work with your child on the following areas:

    • Hitting
    • Fielding
    • Throwing and pitching
    • Base-running skills
    • Speed

    Is your student ready to take his game to the next level? Learn more today!

    Eagles Sports Camp
    Eagles Sports Camp is always thinking outside the box! This family-run day camp allows your student in grades 2-8 to experience sports they love, like baseball and soccer, along with fun games they may not be as familiar with, like kick the can, capture the flag, and more.

    This camp believes in good old-fashioned fun, and your student will thrive in its competitive yet relaxed atmosphere.

    Check it out for yourself!

    Won’t You Join Us?
    If the long days of summer have your student feeling “bored” with “nothing to do,” enroll them in one of our four summer camps where the fun is always happening!

  • A Mission Measured in Generations

    Thomas G. Dykhouse
    Executive Director & Head of School

    dykhouseMy wife and I were blessed to become grandparents for the first time on May 27 when our daughter Kristin and her husband presented us with a beautiful grandson, Bryce.

    Bryce’s birth reminded us once again of the incredible legacy that a Christian education at EC represents.  You see, we pray that in about three years Bryce will join two other members of his generation who are already enrolled at Eastern Christian School – the fifth generation of our family to have received the blessing of a Christian education at this school that is so close to our hearts.

    Our desire is for Bryce to receive an education that will prepare him to become a person of Christian vision and influence who is prepared to transform the world in the service of the Kingdom.  This desire reminds us of the awesome responsibility that we have to be good stewards of the school that has been entrusted to us.  I have the incredible privilege of leading our school through what I often refer to as the world’s best job.  I am joined in this mission by hundreds of colleagues who serve EC as faculty and staff members, volunteers and Board members, and by many hundreds more who support us in prayer, financially, and by telling our story.

    Together we are cheered on by the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us as we guard the legacy of this mission that is measured not in years, but in generations!

  • Preparing for the SAT/ACT?

    Eastern Christian School’s Preferred Tutoring Center, Brainstorm, is offering one week intensive SAT/ACT courses. These courses are dynamic and accomplish much in a short time. Students who take advantage of this opportunity will take 2 full-length simulation tests. Brainstorm does a tremendous job at tailoring the lessons to the specific needs of the students in each class. This camp has received rave reviews over the last 5 years. Check it out!


  • 3 Things We Can All Learn from Irish Soccer Fans

    Editors note: Full disclosure… I am the EC Varsity Boys Soccer Coach, have a borderline unhealthy obsession with soccer. Any excuse to write about soccer is a good one for me, so if this particular blog post misses the goal (see what I did there?), please forgive me.


    Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    For soccer fans around the world, the summer of 2016 represents a veritable feast of soccer-watching possibilities: Multiple major international tournaments, our own domestic league Major League Soccer, and the 2016 Olympics. The most prestigious soccer experience this summer is the Euro Cup where 24 of Europe’s top footballing nations compete for the major regional title; the aptly named Euro Cup. Held every four years, the 2016 tournament is being hosted by France. And this year’s edition has not disappointed. While I will resist the temptation to feature all the cool on-field things that happened (like thisthis, or this!), this post is about an amazing off-field movement. Namely, the remarkable positive influence of the traveling fans of the North Ireland soccer team.

    Let’s face it- soccer fans in Europe don’t really have the greatest reputation. There’s a reason that the phrase “Soccer Hooligan” exists and “Tennis Hooligan” doesn’t. Unfortunately, and perhaps not surprisingly, the 2016 Euro Cup got off to a rocky start regarding fan violence. With other recent violence in France and in our violent world today, the script for the tournament looked bleak.

    And then something amazing happened. The Irish supporter’s behavior started grabbing headlines for quite the opposite reason: random acts of kindness, general good-natured honest/clean fun, and good old fashioned “golden rule” behavior. The Irish supporter’s exemplary actions and attitudes in stadiums, in hotels, in restaurants, and on the streets of France have shined a spotlight on how positive behavior as a group can have an amazing impact beyond ourselves. In addition to robust, strong support of their team, Irish fans fans are picking up trash in the stadium and in the streets. They are fixing people’s cars and change flat tires. They are serenading French strangers on the streets. They’re even singing to nuns on trains!

    And the world has taken notice. Many are calling the Irish fans “The Best in the World.” The nation’s fans are even being awarded a french medal of recognition for “Exemplary Sportsmanship.”

    This “rebrand” of the soccer fan has been amazing to watch, and I think there are some lessons for Christians (and maybe even Christian Schools) to learn from the Irish soccer fan’s example. So, here are my thoughts on 3 Things We Can All Learn From Irish Soccer Fans:

    Common decency isn’t common

    Those of us growing up with solid moral values instilled at early ages have no idea just how amazing we seem when we do “common, decent” things. A couple of things my grandpa taught me: “It doesn’t cost anything to be nice,” and “Always leave the place looking nicer when you left than when you arrived.” While we would all probably agree with these ideals, very few groups of people in our culture actually do this. That’s why when a massive group of green-clad, face-painted fan-cheering warriors do these things, it’s automatically newsworthy.

    As Christians, we know that “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart”. We too frequently look at that verse and surmise that only what’s inside that counts. But that misses the first part: man looks at the outward appearance! The world is watching. What are we Christians doing when we’re being watched? Are we living vocally and obviously for the least of these? Do we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly? If we are, that’s weird. Good weird. Because so few people actually live this way! And when we live this way, we offer the opportunity for conversation with others about why we live this way.

    You are your brand

    The North Ireland soccer fans were smart in the way that they did these actions- always with their green jerseys on. They wanted everyone to know who they were and why they were acting in this manner. And the international accolades ensued.

    I love seeing EC students decked out in EC gear on Touch the World mission trips and service projects and in our Middle School “Make a Difference” days. We wear this gear not to glorify ourselves or our community, but to show who we are and what we’re about. Ultimately, it’s about pointing the glory to God!

    teamprayProbably my favorite example of this at Eastern Christian School is the tradition in our girls athletics programs where we pray with our opponents after the game. Win or lose, vs. a public or private school, we pray with them. I think this is a tremendous example of EC students living out their faith and “being our brand.”

    TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

    The North Ireland soccer team advanced further in the tournament than most experts predicted. This was due, in large part, to the amazing support from their boisterous fan base. Everyone who has participated in a successful team sport knows that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It’s impressive when one Irish fan sings to a fan on the street. Is SPECTACULAR when hundreds of fans do this.

    At EC, we don’t usually have the entire community literally cheering us on (with the obvious exception of our homecoming or our community sports nights!). But we do have an amazing amount of community support. Through prayers, financial contributions, and the volunteer efforts of the EC community, we accomplish more together. You can’t walk around our campuses without seeing the impact of this. From facility and technology upgrades to new and improved classes and support for our Variable Tuition Program, the community footprint is everywhere!

    Come join our team!

    Are you looking to join a community like Eastern Christian School? Does your child know that school can be different? Our enrollment office is ready to work with you as you explore joining our team!

  • You Can Get There from Here: Jane

    Jane Bond
    Eastern Christian Class of 2016
    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts & University of Pennsylvania (Dual Degree Program)

    What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
    I love the sense of community at EC. Personally, I’ve always preferred a smaller, more structured learning environment. Eastern Christian has very dedicated and supportive faculty who are willing to work with you until you fully grasp the concepts being taught. The faculty are also very genuine and honest about their faith which opens us up to conversations beyond the classroom.  

    Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
    One of my favorite teachers would have to be Mr. Wright. He has taught me everything I know about the graphic design world and I consider him to be one of the most influential people in my life. He is calm and peaceful whenever he interacts with other people, even during extremely stressful times. He never seems to hold grudges and has such a positive attitude. I hope to fully develop these traits one day because they are so important personally and professionally.

    In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
    Before attending Eastern Christian, I struggled with my spirituality. I went to church every Sunday, observed Christian holidays, but I felt God was absent from my life. After being bullied every day at my previous high school, I had a difficult time believing that God existed. It was not until I saw religious significance in my academic subjects and extracurricular activities at EC that I realized how God works in my life. Last summer I volunteered as the assistant art director at the American Experience Camp, a Christian based camp EC hosts for over 200 international students ages 6 to 16. The majority of our campers were from China and absolutely none of these kids had any prior religious instruction. Due to the language barrier, teaching biblical lessons was challenging. Thankfully, I was able to communicate with them through art. This was such a meaningful experience because it showed me how art is truly a universal language. Understanding the power behind art made me more aware of my voice as an artist. I view my artistic ability as a God given talent that I must use to share my moral principles and knowledge of God to the world. Now I understand that God’s love is so much greater than the suffering I endured from the bullying. God knew that I could overcome this pain and persevere against future forms of adversity. One positive thing I have taken away from this experience is that I can use my art to represent the oppressed. This is why I’ve chosen to have my concentration for AP Art focus on how the media’s sexual exploitation of young women and girls has negatively impacted society. My intent is to bring attention to the the media’s emphasis on corrupt values and why this must stop.

    The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
    Eastern Christian engages its students with lessons and discussions that go beyond the classroom. The teachers and faculty are nurturing because they are very supportive and encouraging of their students. Eastern Christian transforms their students into compassionate, understanding thinkers who know how to apply their morals to everyday life.

    How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
    Eastern Christian has prepared me academically, socially, and spiritually for life by providing me with such a loving community of faculty and students who are eager to learn.

    What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
    I would tell them to definitely check it out! Come “shadow” a current student to see what a typical day is like at EC.

    What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
    One thing that really sets Eastern Christian apart from other schools in our area is its diverse student body. International students from China, Korea, Nigeria, and even Kenya make up 20% of EC’s student population. I love learning about other cultures which is why I became an international student ambassador. Being an international student ambassador is a ton of fun. We go on so many cool field trips to places like Chinatown and Sixflags. I’ve made a lot of meaningful friendships through this experience so I am really grateful to EC for creating this program.

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly About Social Media: 4 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe

    School’s out for the summer and suddenly, your student has extra down time on their hands and a mobile device in their hands.

    According to a report released by Common Sense Media, the average high school student spends about nine hours a day on social media — nine hours! If your child is active on various social media platforms, there are some things as parents that you need to know.

    The Good – Social media is a great way for your student to stay engaged with their school friends during the summer break. It allows your child to not only connect with others, but also to post about fun activities or vacations. It can even be used as a unique platform to share the love of Christ.

    The Bad – While social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more continue to gain popularity among teens, the time users spend on these sites consume much of their day. Summertime is the ultimate season to get outdoors and get moving, but spending large quantities of time on social media often turns your otherwise motivated students into couch potatoes.

    The Ugly – While social media is not harmful in and of itself, the activities your child engages in through the medium can have lasting, detrimental effects. Everything from cyber bullying to being approached by a sexual predator can take place on social media accounts. Keep the conversation open with your child about the dangers of social media and how to use it appropriately.

    Because we care about our students’ safety all year round, we’ve got four safety tips you can share with your student to help get the conversation going about social media safety.

      1. Set Boundaries As parents, we highly recommend you do adequate research on the various social media platforms and their purposes. You may decide that Facebook and Twitter are appropriate for your student to use, but that Snapchat (desirable among users for its ability to send, and, after a few seconds delete pictures) is not.You know your student and their character and level of maturity better than anyone else. Let them know what you are comfortable with when it comes to their social media use, and remember, it’s okay to say no.
      2. Limit Daily Social Media Time
        Establish a set amount of time that your student can utilize social media each day. Whether you decide 30 minutes or three hours a day is an adequate amount, talk with your child about the reasoning behind your time limit and then help hold them accountable for adhering to the decision you’ve settled on.
      3. Choose “Friends” Wisely
        On almost every type of social media platform available, your child can be friend requested by others or be asked to engage in conversation with others. Sometimes your student will know the individual making the request, but sometimes they may not recognize the user asking to be friends.Alert your child to the danger of accepting strangers to be their friends, as this grants individuals access to view personal information about your child such as pictures, posts, and more. Remind them that not everyone is who they say they are online.
      4. Select High Privacy Settings
        Social media accounts offer various levels of privacy settings. When it comes to protecting your child’s information, there’s no privacy setting too high! You can choose from privacy settings as unprotected as letting any user view any of your child’s information, to as strong and protected as only letting personal friends view your child’s page and photos.There’s even a setting on Facebook that can make your child’s page appear “unsearchable” to others, meaning if someone searches for your child’s name, your child’s account will not be found.

    Parent Partnerships
    You have a special role as parents to keep your children safe, and we at Eastern Christian are here to partner with you and provide helpful resources. Learn more about how we work with your family to make sure your student gets to experiences school to the fullest. 

  • EC Faculty Celebrates Another Successful Year


    Do you ever wonder how teachers feel about another year of a job well done? Well, they’re ready to celebrate, and they’re ready for a different season in their lives. The culminating faculty and staff picnic is an annual tradition at Eastern Christian School that celebrates the great work of the previous year and ushers in the summer season.

    The Administrative team grills up and serves some delicious food and there is a time of recognition of faculty and staff members who are celebrating a milestone year. This is followed by frozen treats and a cornhole tournament. We are so thankful for our faculty and staff for their gifts and their dedication to our students, our school, and our Lord. Enjoy your summer! We already can’t wait for another great year in 2016-17!

    5 Years of Service
    Eric Boonstra
    Ralph Rypkema
    Melody Zacharias

    10 Years of Service
    Donna Aceino
    Christina Bucci
    Nancy Martin
    Justin Van Dyke
    Wayne Vriesema

    15 Years of Service
    Cynthia Flim
    Donna Hoogerhyde
    Lynda Pasqueretta

    20 Years of Service
    Joyce Breur
    Debra Veenstra

    25 Years of Service
    Kathy Faasse
    Daniel Martin

    30 Years of Service
    Joel Apol
    Cynthia Visbeen


  • You Can Get There From Here: Jesse

    Jesse Blanco
    EC Class of 2016
    The University of Pennsylvania

    What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
    Definitely the warm, community environment. I have never gone a day in my life walking through the hallways at EC without a teacher saying “Hi” to me as I walked towards my next class of the day. Everybody is friendly and it is easy to get comfortable and acquainted with so many caring and unique people that make up our school environment.

    Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
    Definitely Mr. U because he is such a personable and charismatic teacher. He began chatting with me near the end of freshman year because he began to anticipate his future sophomore class and immediately picked up on my love and passion of history. He has such a way with students by combining personal anecdotes and effective, hilarious, humor and balancing that with the seriousness history classes offer. Over time, he has become one of my greatest influences by pushing me to become a better student though my papers and projects. He has also been a strong mentor by supporting my endeavors and quest to become the future President of the United States.

    In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
    It is amazing that in every subject I have taken in school, the teachers have done such an amazing job of intertwining our Christian values and worldview into the subject material. I have learned that God is relevant in any subject or occupation that I will pursue in my future. EC has brought me closer and shown me the essential need of having a strong personal relationship with Christ in order to flourish in the world.

    The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
    I was able to take rigorous courses that pushed my academic limits by classes that engaged me such as Humanities and the honors courses in math. In addition, the electives offered by EC were beneficial to my interests such as International Relations and American Law because I have the intention of majoring in Political Science in college. Experienced teachers, like Mr. Beverly, were able to challenge our preconceived thoughts on certain issues and make us look at the world through different lenses; this certain transformed the way I looked at the world.

    How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
    The personal experiences and lessons I have absorbed from teachers have left a lasting mark on my life. It is so comforting to know that the teachers here at EC absolutely love their jobs and want their students to be world changers. EC offers an abundance of rigorous courses, and I was able to space them out throughout my four years so I could keep pushing myself to attaining my goal of getting into an amazing college. Here, it’s not just about taking set courses that culminate towards a large test or final at the end of the semester. You have flexibility and choices in pursuing what you want to do by picking different, diverse classes and this allows you to start charting a course towards college and beyond.

    What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
    Although high school is a place of new beginning, and that can be intimidating for many, make sure you feel right and comfortable because high school is the launching pad for your future and career towards college and life in the real world. Everything clicked for me at EC because of the strong community of students, dedication to teaching from teachers, and strong, personalized support from our amazing College & Career Office (Mr. Struck was instrumental in getting me to the place I am today). Eastern Christian really is a school where you can thrive and grow in such a supportive Christian environment by being yourself and pursuing your passions.

    What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
    One of the most profound, deep experiences I have had at EC was after a baseball game. The day was April 15, 2013 and word quickly spread on the bus that the marathon at Boston had been bombed. It was a very solemn game we played that day knowing that a sporting event was affected by an act of terrorism. After the game, we asked the other team to pray with us and that was such a powerful experience. It didn’t matter that the other team was a public school, but we were able to come together, with Christ unifying us, and pray for our nation that had been wounded that day.

  • You Can Get There from Here: Rebekah

    Rebekah Jarvis
    EC Class of 2016
    Cornell University

    What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
    I love the integration of Christianity into every subject. In the midst of writing papers and taking tests, it is easy to forget my beliefs. However, since God is at the core of every subject, I am reminded and kept on track.

    Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
    Intelligent, wise, and understanding are three of the many admirable qualities Ms. Bazanowksi exudes. Ms. Baz is able to capture my attention in her lessons, and never fails to connect a lesson back to Christ. Her passion for both teaching and for Christ makes her one of my favorite teachers.

    In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
    As a result of chapel, daily devotions, Bible class, and Little Hours, I have learned that there is a power in community and prayer. Praying for people, and people praying for you, is the backbone of our faith and has helped me grow closer to God.

    How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
    I feel well-prepared for graduation, college, and life. The grading system has taught me to be diligent with my work; the Humanities program and honors science and math program has given me the preparation I will need to survive in any college writing seminar, lab, and math class, and thus succeed in my future career.

    What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
    I would encourage the student to join the community that is Eastern Christian School. There is a sense of community that is prevalent in the classrooms, hallways, and courtyard of the school.

    What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
    The faith integration, along with teachers who are passionate for Christ, is something I would not have experienced at any other school.

  • The Eastern Christian School Class of 2016: Graduation Highlights

    Congratulations to Our 2016 Graduates!

    Congratulations to the EC classes of 2016! As a preschool through high school community, we are blessed to be able to celebrate four unique annual ceremonies honoring promotion and graduation for our students.

    Click the pictures below for a link to graduation and promotion photo galleries:

    preschool  elementary

    MS  highschool

  • You Can Get There from Here: Mitchell

    Mitchell Haddad
    Eastern Christian Class of 2016
    United States Military Academy at West Point

    What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
    I love the friendships I have made here at EC and how I am able to share and build my faith with the other students. The teachers are friendly as well and work hard to help you succeed.

    Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
    Mrs. Andrews, who teaches a several math classes at EC, is my favorite teacher because I know that she cares about me as an individual and wants me to succeed. She makes herself available before and after school whenever a student needs extra help with their work.

    In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
    The weekly chapels, morning devotions, and Bible classes have all made me grow in my walk with Christ. Because my friends at EC have similar beliefs to mine, we are able to help each other along the way.

    The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
    Eastern Christian has many unique, hands-on classes, such as in Robotics Class and Chemistry, which helps me learn in different ways. Also, the classes at EC always tie in a Christian perspective, which has allowed me to grow in my faith, as well.

    How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
    EC has prepared me through athletics in teaching me about leadership and team unity. My experiences through the sports at EC have helped me build a stronger character. Also, the academic classes were challenging and have prepared me for what classes will be like in college.

    What would you say to a high school student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
    I would tell them that Eastern Christian is not like most schools because the teachers really care about you personally, and the students are friendly and inviting.

    What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
    One aspect of EC that is unique and important to me is the small class sizes. Teachers are more able to help me individually and I can learn more efficiently along with other students.

    What else do you appreciate about your time at Eastern Christian?
    Another part of Eastern Christian that is important to me is the opportunities to grow as a leader, such as through baseball and through NHS and different clubs. The Bible & Worship class has also helped in this way because I am able to plan and organize the weekly chapels.

  • Mission Matters: The Importance of a School’s Mission Statement

    lite2Most schools neglect to invest in their mission statement. Some have one that was written decades ago and never revisited. Others have a strong mission but lack buy-in from the school community. Regardless, it’s easy for these statements to get pushed to the side and forgotten. With lesson planning, activities, testing, and other school functions, teachers and administrators are busy managing the day-to-day, leaving little time to focus on something as “abstract” as a mission statement.

    In order to leverage the power of a strong mission statement, schools have to realize the value one can add. This involves changing the way we think about what purpose it serves — in our learning community and beyond.

    Here are some questions every school should consider:

    Do you have a mission statement?
    We begin with a very basic question: Does your mission statement even exist? If not, you’re not alone, and starting with a clean slate may even be an advantage as you craft one.

    Does it adequately reflect your school’s brand?
    Consider a prospective family in for a campus tour. Would the things you tell them sound similar to your mission statement? If not, consider rewriting it in a way that gets people excited to be a part of what you’re doing.

    Do you use it in decision making?
    A mission statement is a reference point for the decision makers in your school. Board members, administrators, and other key staff should be able to use the mission as a framework for staying focused and strategic.

    Do your people know your mission?
    Buy-in from teachers, parents, students, and supporters is incredibly important. If your people don’t know your mission (or don’t care about it), they cannot help serve as ambassadors of your brand in the community.


    How To Get Started
    Feeling like your mission statement needs some work, but not sure how to get started? It’s easier than you think. Consider these tips for crafting a new statement that reflects the true heart of your school.

    1. Simply state why you exist.
    A mission statement starts with clearly defining your core purpose. What do you do, who do you do it for, and why?

    2. Define the specific ways your school impacts lives.
    Sure, every school’s purpose is to provide a strong education, but how do you go beyond that to enrich the lives of those you serve?

    3. Explain how you are different from others in your category.
    Your mission is a resource for people to understand what you provide that they cannot get anywhere else. What are those differentiators?

    4. Put it on paper!
    It’s time to translate these things into a strong mission statement that will unite your school and draw in new families. Use words that excite, inspire, and empower. Focus on your unique passions and values. Keep it short and sweet, and create a plan for introducing it to your community of stakeholders. After that, don’t just stick it in a drawer and walk away. Post it in prominent places throughout your school (lobbies, corridors, classrooms, etc.) and talk about it often.

    Learn More About Our Mission
    At Eastern Christian School, our mission is often the reason families want to enroll their children. If you’d like to learn more about the mission, or see it in action, we invite you to visit our campus.

  • 2016-2017 Honors Choir Announced

    By Suzanne Kraai, Concert Choir/Honors Choir Director

    HC 2015

    In addition to our concert choir, Eastern Christian High School has an Honors Choir which is a much smaller group of students. We have completed auditions and we are happy to announce next year’s Honors Choir!

    Entry was based on the following, in no particular order:

    • Sight Reading
    • Theory understanding
    • Application form
    • Voice Part/Range
    • Merit
    • Scheduling Priority
    • Vocal tone in terms of CHORAL singing
    • Confidence in performance
    • Interest
    • Audition Preparation
    • Christian Leadership

    Honors Choir 2016-2017

    Soprano I
    Gwen Van Goor (10)
    Elisabeth Kuipers (12)
    Skylar Li (10)
    Jaylin Ocasio (10)

    Soprano II
    Kristen Casey (12)
    Addie Peretti (11)
    Francesca DeParis (12)

    Jaclyn Vincenti (10)
    Christina Poliandro (12)
    Lindsay Hope (12)

    Skylar Brown (12)
    Scott Steenstra (12)
    Yerry Wright (10)
    Caleb Vasquez (10)

    Christian Nigro (12)
    Steve Choi (12)
    Adrian Brown (12)
    Matt Mathias (12)

    Thank you all for auditioning; there were many talented students!

    I look forward to seeing you all next year in Concert Choir during SOAR. I would also encourage you to audition for any solo opportunities and continue to train for your audition next year. I am humbled and honored to work with you all! Congratulations to the new members.






  • ECHS Service Day, Picnic, and SlamFest Highlights


    In one of Eastern Christian High School Student’s favorite traditions, a Friday in the month of June is dedicated to a half day of service in the community and a time of goofy/fun games in the afternoon. The service portion of the day, in partnership with our friends at Touch the World ministries, is one of many ways that EC students work to live out their faith. In addition to the Bible curriculum and Christian world and life view faith integration into every academic area, we offer service learning opportunities for students at all levels.

    This year, with the theme of “Serve Home,” High School students were challenged to serve in local communities. These opportunities featured: weeding gardens, collecting food at a local grocery store for those in need, helping younger students on our elementary and middle school campuses, gathering clothing for sale at Ditto Upscale Resale, creating our sand volleyball court, painting murals in Paterson, and working in our high school courtyard to name a few.

    After a morning of hard work, it’s back to the high school campus for a grilled lunch and on to SlamFest. While the inclement weather pushed both activities indoors, you can’t possibly dampen the spirits of the energetic high school students. SlamFest features student-created teams that compete in three-legs: Kickball, Dodgeball, and Tug of War. This year’s finale featured team “Goon Squad” vs. “PC Bros” for the coveted SlamFest trophy. In the end, PC Bros wound up on top and claimed the prize.

    Thanks to all of our program sponsors, Touch the World, our awesome faculty, food and maintenance staff for making yet another tremendous experience for our students, and more importantly, a big service impact locally to show the love of the Lord.


  • EC Student Places 3rd in State Level Trig*Star Competition


    The Trig*Star Contest is an annual high school mathematics competition offered at ECHS during the month of April. The competition is open to any interested student who has studied Trigonometry. The one hour contest is based on the practical application of Trigonometry and is composed of several Trig problems and one trig and surveying problem. If more than one student has the same high score, then the student who completes the test in the shortest time is the winner. The winner at the high school level proceeds to state and then national level. ECHS has had 4 students to compete in the national level.

    This year Ethan Vander Molen was the ECHS TRIG*STAR winner and proceeded to the state level where he came in 3rd. Ethan, a junior this year, presently is taking calculus at ECHS. Congrats, Ethan, on this big accomplishment!

  • 6 Fun Ways to Keep Your Student Learning This Summer

    D04C8965By the end of the school year, it’s no secret that everyone is ready for a break! Summer provides therest and change of pace that students, teachers, and parents need. However, along with that time away from the classroom comes a big area for concern — learning loss.

    How can you prevent this? Easy. Make learning fun!

    Plant a Garden
    The summer months are a great time to get your children outside and moving. In addition to fun activities that focus on their physical health like riding bikes, taking nature walks, and going to the park, why not use the time outdoors to stretch their minds as well?

    Pick something to plant together, and teach them how to properly care for a garden. They’ll learn about agriculture and science and will be able to see the literal fruits of their labor!

    Visit a Museum
    Feel like the walls are closing in on those lazy, rainy summer days where your student is stuck inside? That’s the perfect time to head on over to a museum.

    Whether it be art or history, a museum is a great place for your child to have some fun while acquiring knowledge and “fun facts” that can supplement what they’ve learned in the classroom.

    Take a Trip
    If you’re taking a summer vacation, engage your child in the planning process. Getting there is half the fun! This can be true for you and your child as you work together to pick a destination, mode of transportation, and fun activities available at your destination.

    Involving your student in the travel process teaches him about geography and how to conduct thorough research on a location or topic of interest.

    Keep a Summer Journal
    Encouraging your student to keep a journal of their summertime adventures helps them hold onto, and improve upon, the strong writing skills they worked hard on during the school year.

    Even just 15 minutes of writing after a fun, busy day can simultaneously help your child unwind and unleash creativity. Not to mention, years from now they’ll appreciate being able to look back at this special keepsake from a fun summer.

    Volunteer at a Local Organization or Church
    The summertime bursts with local community and church events. Along with these events come endless opportunities for your child to get involved with volunteer work. When your student volunteers their time to serve others, they not only feel good on the inside, but they also see the benefits that come from giving back to the community.

    This instills the importance of being a good steward of time and resources, as well as the important concept of using our talents to enrich the lives of others.

    Eastern Christian Camps
    We’re dedicated to enriching your child’s educational experience and are passionate about making sure learning never stops, even in the summer months. If you’re looking for a structured environment for your student, be sure to check out Eagles Day Camps! With flexible hours and exciting activities, day camps are a great opportunity for families with students in kindergarten-7th grade.

    Visit Us
    If your current school isn’t meeting your needs, come visit us at Eastern Christian School and consider giving your student a fresh start this fall.

  • Summer Opportunities at Eastern Christian


    Eastern Christian hosts and partners with several summer camps each year. If you’re looking for a camp for your student to attend, we encourage you to take a look at the following opportunities. All the camps listed below take place on one or more of the EC campuses.

    Eagles Day Camp Eagles Elite Basketball Camp Eagles Baseball Camp Eagles Sports Camp
    Grades K-7 Grades 2-10 Grades 2-10 Grades 1-8
    Eagles Day Camp is designed to provide campers with a variety of activities each day in a safe, nurturing, and fun atmosphere. A typical day is balanced with learning activities that emphasize social, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.

    Each camper will receive high quality coaching and instruction from EC’s varsity basketball coach and current & ex college players. Each camper will learn the finer points of the game.

     Join the Head Varsity Baseball Coach of Eastern Christian for a week of developing the 5-Tools of baseball. Training will be focused on: Hitting, Fielding, Throwing/Pitching, Baserunning Skills and Speed

    Eagles Sports Camp is a family run day camp that provides a safe environment for kids to enjoy some good old fashioned summer fun. Organized but flexible, competitive yet relaxed, it’s the perfect neighborhood to grow up in!

    Learn More
    Learn More 
    Learn More 
    Learn More 



  • The End


    The End


    By Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment

    As a child of the 1990’s, the end of a school year always brings about the memory of one-hit-wonder Semi-sonic’s Closing Time which contains the lyric “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The writer of Ecclesiastes (or for your oldies lovers.. the Byrds’ Turn Turn Turn) put it this way: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Chapter 3:1).

    The End. We worship a God who is The End.

    We’re very familiar with the first verse of the first chapter of the Bible, “In the beginning, God.” We’re less familiar with the last chapter of the Bible, where Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13).

    “We’re used to hearing, “In the beginning God.” But it’s just as biblically accurate to say, “In the end, God.”


    At this time of year as everything in our academic calendar draws to a close, I’m particularly interested in serving a God who is the End. When you work in a school you’re bombarded with ends. It’s one of the very cool yet very challenging pieces of school life.

    During the months of May and June, seniors and their families know all too well the many “Ends” that they will encounter. The end of their academic year. The end of their High School career. The end of their drama career. The end of their athletic career.

    I witnessed one of these “Ends” recently. I announced the final baseball community night of the year. Those of us at that game were fortunate enough to take in a dominant 11-1 EC victory. As I watched, I was particularly drawn to one of my soccer players, EC Senior Jon Veenstra. I always keep a special eye on my soccer players who compete in other sports (I’m EC’s Varsity Soccer Coach) . Jon was one of the leaders of my soccer team for the fall season and he was a leader on the basketball and baseball teams this year as well. In fact, Jon’s been an athletic leader at EC for his entire 4 year athletic career. Through soccer, basketball, and baseball, Jon has participated in 3 athletic seasons for 4 years. He’ll be an “Iron Eagle” award winner as a result: 12 Varsity sports seasons in 4 years! But now that season of his life done. He won’t ever don the EC blue and gold in competitive High School athletics again. His time in this season has come to the end.


    Iron Eagle award winner Jon Veenstra

    So what does that mean for Jon? Without Jesus Christ, the end of his sports career might mean a loss of identity. A lot of us struggle with this idea: “We are what we do.” But as Christians, we literally claim the name of Jesus Christ as our own. So it’s not what we do; we are who we know. So Jon’s season of interscholastic competition has come to an end. But he remains the same person with the same value because of who he is in Christ. He knew Jesus before sports. He knows Jesus after sports.

    Just as God pre-dates the Beginning, the Bible tells us that God post-dates the End. By acknowledging God as the Beginning and the End, we acknowledge his sovereignty over everything-even time itself! And we know that Jesus, Emmanuel- literally God WITH us- will be with us until the “very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

    By acknowledging God as the Beginning and the End, we acknowledge his sovereignty over everything- even time itself!


    D04C2755waThis graduation season, I pray that our entire extended EC family will all remember anew that we worship a God who is the End. And while we can and should be proud of milestones, accomplishments, and the beginnings of new chapters that inevitably come as a result, we can be reminded that the same God who began a good work in us (the beginning) will carry it on to completion (the end). (Philippians 1:6, emphasis mine).

    It was all about God. It is all about God. It will be all about God. The End.

  • 127 Golfers. 18 Holes. 1 Cause!


    The morning began with temperatures below 40 degrees and high winds, but the sun was shining and 127 hearty golfers came to support Eastern Christian School. By the time of the shotgun start, temps had climbed, winds had calmed (just a bit) and spirits were high. It was a fabulous outing!

    This year we welcomed 31 additional golfers and were delighted to provide beautiful 2016 EC Golf Outing golf shirts to each player.  We also welcomed a number of new sponsors. Thanks to the increased number of players and our sponsors, our net profit to Eastern Christian School rose by more than 25% to a record $45,000.00.

    We are thankful for each of our golfers, but would like to recognize a few of the outstanding foursomes and individuals:

    Bill Soodsma / Roger Steiginga / Jeff De Korne / Greg Hagedoorn (62)*

    Marcus Vander Wall / Brian Okken / Tom Randel / Mike (62)*

    Team Shepperd (63)*
    *Tie break determined by lowest score on hardest handicap hole

    Longest Drive #6: Tim Boonstra
    Closest to the Line #9: Rick Martin
    Closest to the Pin #5: Ken Steenstra (7’-1”)
    Closest to the Pin #11: Jeremy Mulder (14’-5”)

    Finally, thank you to our very generous sponsors.



  • Changing Their World: Missions Projects at EC

    2016-05-16Each time we sponsor a mission trip, students come back changed. Whether they’ve been serving in a nearby city or crossing oceans to connect with diverse groups of people, their eyes are opened to God’s will and power. While Christian students may already recognize how the Gospel transforms lives, there’s no substitute for seeing it happen. We want every child who comes through our doors to have the opportunity to be a part of a life-changing missions experience. This is a part of our mission as a school — to prepare students to act as transforming agents in a global society. Through our partnership with Touch the World ministries, our mission trips take on special significance.

    Here is a recap of some of the incredible opportunities our students had this year:

    Bringing God’s Word to Guatemala
    In Guatemala, thousands of families live in the streets, relying on the city dump for food and other needs. Our students got to minister to these people — many of whom were broken physically and spiritually. They were able to build relationships with local children and adults while passing out food, praying, and helping with other practical needs. God moved in a mighty way, reaching the hearts of the Guatemalans and changing our students’ lives.

    Rebuilding Hope in Uganda
    After decades of war, the Ugandan people are still working diligently to rebuild their lives. Basic essentials like clean water, medical supplies, and education provide hope for a brighter future. Our students were able to come alongside a local community center, providing discipleship, as well as meeting practical needs.

    Making an Impact in Mexico
    In Juarez, Mexico, students came alongside missionaries to serve in a K-6 school that strives to not only provide a strong education, but to reach families with the Word of God. Students were able to see how valuable education is in impoverished areas, and gained a new appreciation for their blessings. They were also able to bless the school and its students through service projects.

    Meeting Needs in New York
    New York is practically right down the street, but certain areas can feel worlds apart from the lives we lead. Students partnered with ministries already making an impact in the city, encouraging and serving homeless and low-income individuals. Comfort zones were stretched and lives were forever changed as students brought the Gospel to those with little hope.

    Experience Eastern Christian
    Any Christian school can teach their students about the power of the Gospel, but providing opportunities for them to be the hands and feet of Jesus can truly change lives. As a result of our missions programs, students develop into service-minded leaders with a deep desire to impact the world for Christ.

    If you would like to learn more about our K-12 academic programs, sign your child up for our Student Shadow Experience. There’s no better way for students to get familiar with our learning community.

  • School Records Broken!


    Brooke Van Lenten beat the previous EC girls’ javelin record set by Schuyler Sietsma (’09) of 111 feet with her throw of 115 feet. Way to go!



    Trent Braen beat the previous EC boys’ discus record, set by himself, with his throw of 157 feet and 4 inches. The last person to hold the record was Phil Steenstra in 1996 with a record of 144 feet. Congratulations!


    Both the boys’ and girls’ 4X800 relay records were broken at the county meet as well. Sam Veenstra, Nico Cortes, Carter Heerema and Jake Veenstra recorded a 8:32.5 beating last year’s boys’ record of 8:36.3. Stephanie Cabral, Allie Steiginga, Anna Kinz and Emily Byrnes finished in 10:10.4 beating the previous girls’ record of 10:34.2 from 2014.

  • EC Welcomes Eric Fenchel as CFO


    We are very pleased to announce that Eastern Christian School Association has appointed Mr. Eric Fenchel as Chief Financial Officer.

    Eric holds a BA in Business Administration from Rutgers University and an MBA in Finance from Baruch University.  He has served in various senior level accounting positions, including CFO and Controller, for a number of business organizations in the New York metropolitan area.

    In addition, Eric has served on a number of non-profit boards and as treasurer of his congregation.
    Eric is married and has two adult daughters.  He resides in Florham Park, NJ and attends Congregation Beth Messiah in Livingston, NJ.

    Please join us in welcoming Eric to Eastern Christian and in praying for God’s rich blessing on his work as he assumes this critically important position!

  • 8th Grade Novelist at EC

    shapeimage_14Congratulations to 8th Grader Isabelle Lazor on the publication of her first novel, The Sacrifice of the Phoenix.

    What began as a handwritten story in a spiral binder became a 53,485 word novel! After finishing five months of edits and weekly before/after-school meetings, Isabelle began the process of query letters and submitting her novel to publishers.

    This week, she received formal notification that her manuscript was accepted by Light Switch Press. Her novel will be available soon through Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both Kindle and Nook versions.


  • EC Accreditation Team Blog Series: Post 6

    Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition   is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.

    In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?

    By Liesl Botbyl, Middle School Science


    Here’s what we studied:

    In our past five meetings, the Accreditation Team has worked through the 12 standards. This is where the excitement begins as we gather all of our accomplishments and findings in order to develop goals that will drive us into our future work.

    Working in teams of three people, we looked at the summarized results of last month’s discussions: What do we feel are important areas to focus our attention on for the next 7 years? It was apparent that our conclusions were focused on seven themes: Curriculum, Assessment, Faith Integration, Transition, World Language, Use of Data, and Communication.

    Our goal for this month’s meeting was to create two student performance objectives with the understanding that faculty will be able to measure growth in our students. Reflection among the whole team provided us with some clear goals.

    Here’s what we found:

    After taking time to discuss our thoughts and reflections with the other members of the team, it was rather apparent where our priorities lie.

    • Does our curriculum fit our Mission Statement, Core Values, and Graduate Profile as we continue to develop a global awareness and empathy towards diversity in our students and in God’s world?
    • Can we better align Biblical perspectives in our classes with the Reformed worldview our school was founded on?
    • Can we develop more precise teaching where our assessments are aligned to our curriculum in order to ensure that all of our students can transform the world?

    High standards of excellence are expected on all of our campuses and keeping the above goals in the front in our minds will help us to achieve that. At the end of the day it is exciting to look back and reflect on the unity all of us have in developing students that will become transformers of this world. That has been our priority and will always be our focus as we look ahead to the future of ECS for the following seven years and beyond.

    Here’s what we hope to accomplish:

    Standards 8 and 9 have the greatest direct impact on our students and their growth while here at Eastern Christian so further meetings and decisions will require lengthier discussion time along with the input of the larger community of faculty and staff. The morning portion of our Teacher Inservice Day on May 6 will be devoted to each of the three campuses taking time to receive an overview of the work that the Accreditation Team has been doing over the past several months and then studying Standards 8 and 9 in an effort to analyze our subject areas and identify ways in which we can help all of our students to grow towards fitting the profile we desire our graduates meet.



    The EC Accreditation Team: Tina Bucci, Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Heather Vulpone, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung

    The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci

  • EC Students Earn Journalism Honors


    Ball State’s annual J-Day draws more than 1,000 student journalists and their advisers to campus for a day of informative sessions and journalism-related activities. The J-Day contests are a way for high schools to get valuable recognition for their work. This year, nearly 500 entries were submitted in newspaper, yearbook, online and broadcast journalism categories.

    Taking home awards for EC were:

    Sports Story, Excellent: Emma Hagedoorn
    Submission: Play With Pride: A Tribute to Dan Hoffman

    Sports Story, Honorable Mention: Lindsay Hope
    Submission: A soccer star is coming to EC

    Feature Story, Honorable Mention: Jake Veenstra
    Submission: Seniors going into the US Army

    Personality Feature, Honorable Mention: Emma Hagedoorn
    Submission: An old EC kid at New City Kids

    Emma Hagedoorn Article

  • EC Auction Gala 2016


    After months of preparation by a small army of volunteers, more than 320 guests came together for a memorable night on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at The Indian Trail Club. The weather was beautiful and the clubhouse looked fabulous with nearly 100 Silent Auction items on display.

    JVD_8357As guests arrived, they picked up their programs and bid paddles, pre-swiped their credit cards and then had the opportunity to purchase a Screaming Eagle, our event’s signature drink. For the first part of the evening, our guests enjoyed a selection of cold antipasto appetizers while greeting one another and scoping out the silent auction items they hoped to bring home. While the Silent Auction bidding continued, the hot buffet was served.

    At 8:30 the Live Auction began. Executive Director and Head of School, Tom Dykhouse welcomed everyone, thanked our sponsors, and opened with prayer. Tom Mediema, our guest auctioneer with the velocious tongue, kept the auction moving and the bidders smiling. Thirty bid packages ranging from cooking lessons to vacations kept the bidding competitive. The dining room was clearly filled with individuals who were there to support Eastern Christian School. During a brief intermission, we viewed EC’s Do Life Big video and David Visbeen, Executive Director of The Foundation for Eastern Christian shared his excitement at seeing all the amazing ways that EC is growing while continuing to hold fast to the mission of Engaging, Nurturing and Transforming. The Live Auction proceeded, ending with the traditional Mystery Gift.

    It was a great night for Eastern Christian School. Our record turnout of committed ministry partners and an exceptional lists of auction items combined to exceed previous auction. We are estimating our proceeds for the evening at over $70,000.00. Thank you to everyone who came and made this night a success. A special thank you to all of our event sponsors.


    Gala Sponsors
    Martin Orthodontics
    Visbeen Construction Co.

    Spring Sponsors
    Bushoven Company
    Kuiken Brothers Company
    Reiner Group
    Russo Development
    Wayne Tile Company
    William H. Connolly & Co.

    Dinner Sponsors
    Atlantic Stewardship Bank
    KJB Fireplace
    Wiegers, Inc

    Paddle Sponsor
    Ashley HomeStore

    Screaming Eagle Sponsor
    Jeff Vander Molen of Terrie O’Connor Realtors

    Spring Blossom Sponsors
    Abbey Carpet & Floor of Hawthorne
    Harvest Lawn Care
    Search Consultants of Northern Jersey
    V & S Floor Covering

  • Digital Parenting: Free Two Week Seminar


    The meteoric rise of technology use in our everyday lives has made the world a whole lot more convenient and connected. But the dramatic increase in “Screen Time” has also opened our children up to a digital world that they may not be developmentally ready to handle. And parents frequently feel unequipped to lead in this area.

    What role should technology play in the lives of our children? What is technology’s role in education? How can students learn to safely navigate the internet in general and social media in particular?

    These topics and more will be discussed for this FREE two week event that is open to all EC parents and friends. Students grades 5 through 12 are also welcome to attend. Both weeks will take place at Eastern Christian High School on two consecutive Tuesday nights. Tuesday, May 3rd will feature Screenagers, a new film tackling what it is like to grow up in the digital age. Tuesday, May 10th will feature Pasaaic County Sherrif office’s internet crimes unit in a conversation with parents about maintaining internet safety.

    Our partnership with the Christian Home is important to us, and we are excited to offer these events free of charge for the benefit of our children.



  • EC Sophomore Blanco Receives Art Award


    By Steve Blanco, Eastern Christian Sophomore

    Every year, the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) hosts an art exhibition to celebrate Youth Art Month. The exhibition is known as the YAM exhibition. Members of AENJ (such as EC’s own Mrs. Aceino and Mr. Wright) are invited to encourage their students to submit their artwork for the exhibition.

    Around the time Mrs. Aceino had notified me about submitting my art, I had just completed the class of Art I with Mrs. Aceino as my teacher. While I was in her class, I had completed my self-portrait, not knowing I would eventually be submitting it to any sort of exhibition. Still, I was excited to participate, and both Mrs. Aceino and Mr. Wright helped me frame my piece and fill out the necessary forms for proper submission.

    Then, I was notified by Mrs. Aceino about the acceptance of my piece!

    The exhibition was held from March 4th through Friday, March 11th in the New Jersey State House. At the March 11th awards ceremony, I was given a certificate of achievement. Speaker and artist of renown, Katie Truk, who gave all the awarded artists her advice on design and creativity, told the crowd of artists about her own artistic journey.

    The experience was one I will never forget! It was the probably the first time I really felt like I could call myself an artist able to bring someone joy simply through something I had drawn both at school and at home.

    IMG_1076 IMG_9087FullSizeRender

  • Preschool Trike-a-thon

    The 4th Annual EC Trike-a-thon raced around the ECES parking lot earlier this week. What is the Trike-a-thon? One of Eastern Christian School’s cutest traditions, the Trike-a-thon features EC’s PreK 3, PreK 4, and Jr. Kindergarten classes navigating a course on tricycles, scooters, big wheels, or pretty much any other wheeled vehicle you can imagine. By participating in this fun class activity, EC’s youngest students are helping to raise money and awareness for a great cause. Originally created by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Trike-a-thon helps raise funds for cancer research.

    The trike-a-thon features a strong partnership between EC preschool and 5th grade students. The 5th grade students are responsible for organizing the entire event. 5th graders visit the preschool several times leading up to the Trike-a-thon to teach the preschool students about bike safety. This connection between older and younger students at EC provides a unique opportunity for our students to exercise and grow in their leadership abilities. In addition to leadership skills, this event also ties into the science curriculum of 5th grade as students study cells.  Students learn about the workings of cells and talk about the incredible ways these researchers are working with cells to try to cure cancer.

    5th grade students organized several stations for the preschool students. There was a trike course outfitted with a bubble machine and balloon tunnel, a trike washing station, and a cool-down station with drinks and snacks. They also organized a bake sale for hungry parent spectators.

    In only a couple years, the preschoolers have raised over $10,000! As always, it was an amazing day!



  • Talent Show 2016


    Eastern Christian High School recently held our annual Talent Show. It was a full house as 16 acts took the stage to share their gifts and passion for performing with the school community. Acts included solos, duets, bands, dance, and even yo-yo! Student hosts introduced each act and provided additional entertainment between acts.

    A panel of judges evaluated acts and awarded several awards at the end of the night. The first place prize was awarded to Sam Kuder for his yo-yo act. If you missed the show, take a look at some photos and a video of the winning act.

    We praise the Lord for our talented students and their willingness to share their gifts!

  • Faculty Spotlight: Getting Creative with Mr. Jesse Wright

    D04C9726wThere’s nothing teachers love more than seeing students discover and develop their unique gifts. At Eastern Christian School, creativity abounds; no one could know that better than our very own Jesse Wright. Mr. Wright has been teaching art, as well as web and technology courses, for seven years — years he describes as dynamic and encouraging. While teaching everything from sculpting to web design, he has seen students blossom into creative and artistic thinkers, skills he believes are vital for success in the 21st century, and beyond.

    We sat down with Mr. Wright to learn a little more about his day-to-day life and what motivates him to impact students’ lives.

    Mr. Wright, we know you have a broad range of creative skills. Tell us, what specifically do you teach at Eastern Christian?
    I teach courses in graphic design, web design, design tech, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and advanced art portfolio (AP). Additionally, I am a sponsor for student filmmaking and large art projects, and an advocate, teacher, and project mentor for our STEAM program.

    What inspired you to become an art teacher?
    I’m half Jamaican, so allow me to share the phrase “ever since” with you. What this means is, if you have become something, you have been working towards it throughout your life…perhaps even through times when it didn’t seem obvious. I believe the strong creative teachers I was exposed to inspired me initially. After working in missions, I gained a deeper calling to pass on skills beneficial to others. These experiences inspired me to find my place at EC, but I assure you, the students here inspire me as well.

    Tell us a little about your days on campus here.
    Each day begins in anticipation of the unexpected and awesome ways that some student(s) will take hold of their unique gifting to create something great. Thankfully, I teach a balance of art and tech classes, so there’s a diverse range of learning opportunities to explore. That keeps things interesting and energizing for myself, as well as the students.

    How are you involved in the student filmmaking program?
    Beyond having a set of exceptionally talented students at ECS, we are blessed with SOAR period — a block of time four days of the week that can be dedicated to special interests and enrichment. These diverse mini-classes are frequently student led and teacher sponsored. Here, the Boiler Room Bombers were born — a group named after the room we were originally given to create our films. This group has yielded several award winning films at the local Passaic County Film Festival.  “Discover, Learn, Live” took top honors in 2015. Have a look!

    How are your students making a difference through their crafts?JVD_4289w
    The filmmaking group, for example, has addressed essential issues like bullying and projects in the missions field. In fact, one film led to several students traveling to Uganda to serve in a former displacement camp. That film is titled “Art For Hope – UGANDA” and can also be found here. The mantra has become “go hard or go home” and students are becoming highly proficient in several industry-standard tools and techniques. Not to mention we have a lot of fun!

    What place do you think arts education has in the 21st century?
    Creative and artistic thought is always in season. Our students have access to tools and applications that place them in the same arena as professionals. They can innovate on that level.  They can problem solve on that level. They can express on that level. They can explore on that level. They have the responsibility of being diligently observant as to make the most of their creations. This helps them think outside the box, distinguish themselves, and transform the world for the better.

    In closing, what are your greatest hopes for your students?
    Simply, that students would recognize and take hold of the gift that God has blessed them — that they would recognize the need to use that gift for the purpose for which they’ve received it, and that they would have the opportunity to do so.


    Discover More about Eastern Christian School
    There is no shortage of creative opportunities on our campus. If you would like to learn more about the cutting-edge programs and passionate teachers at Eastern Christian School, we hope you’ll take advantage of our student shadow opportunity soon! This gives your child the chance to explore all our learning community has to offer alongside a current student in his or her grade.


  • The “No Snow” Snow Day!

    Each year Eastern Christian School schedules four days in its school calendar for inclement weather. Given the unusually mild winter that we enjoyed this year, we used only one of these four budgeted snow days. To celebrate the gift of these extra learning days, we will be holding a “No Snow Day” on Friday, May 27.

    On this day, all classes on all Eastern Christian campuses will be cancelled to mark our lack of snow and our extra learning days. We hope that your family is able to enjoy some beautiful weather and a longer weekend!

    Just in case you forgot what our campuses look like when covered in snow…

    IMG_3608 IMG_3648 IMG_3736

  • EC Accreditation Team Blog Series: Post 5

    Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition   is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.

    In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?

    By Kristen Rudd, Mathematics


    Here’s what we studied:

    Our fifth team meeting brought with it a sense of accomplishment for all the work the accreditation planning committee has completed, as well as gravitas for the path that has been set before us.  This particularly became evident with the two standards we studied during this session: Standard 8- Educational Program and Standard 9- Evidence of System Effectiveness.  At the heart of our school association is the trust that our academic and religious standards best serve our whole community, which is reason enough to reevaluate and revise our current system.

    Here’s what we found:

    For this session we all focused the same two standards, 8 and 9 from above.  We found that Eastern Christian has ways it already works effectively, and of course some ways in which it can and is improving.  As a Christian school, it is encouraging to hear from several sides that faith integration is a priority.  We will continue to strive to keep up with our mission to educate the “whole student”.  In general, academic standards are kept high and collaboration and communication between parents, staff, and administration is strong.  With the launch of BYOD at the high school in the fall of 2016, access to adequate resources is a “high traffic” topic.  At all levels, this is perceived as a strength, as there are several options for all students.

    JVD_0855In studying and interpreting results from the survey given last fall, we also gained insight into some ways in which we can continue to improve our school system.  We found that while our standards for academics are high, there are several students and parents that are seeking our further expansion of course offerings, as well as more opportunities to participate in diverse activities .  Along with the strength of communication we found, it would be useful to be able to also translate the expectations in the missions statement and graduate profile in student-friendly language.  We also have found that an ongoing area of improvement is to align our assessments to the standards, course content, and overall mission of our school.

    Here’s what we hope to accomplish:

    We have a few focused areas that we centered on for further improvement at the moment.  Many groups surfaced the same ideas, showing that there are some important paths to head down.

    • Increased communication to all branches of the school, particularly to students as we ensure that they clearly understand the purpose of our school mission statement and graduate profile.
    • Implementing new courses into the lineup for the 2016-2017 HS school year, as well as investigating the feasibility of additional courses within the constraints of block scheduling and state requirements,
    • Ensuring that faith integration is evident and observable in every classroom.

    We continue to press on toward the main goal of serving God in our work as the accreditation planning team, and every meeting find new successes and needs.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27 has been at the forefront of many of our minds this semester as we “run the race” with the like-minded desire to not run aimlessly, but to look towards the finish line.  We hope that each of you, our fellow runners, will continue to pray for us as we seek to serve and love our community as Christ did.

    The EC Accreditation Team:
    Tina Bucci, 
    Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Heather Vulpone, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung

    The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci

  • “Rescue in the Night” at ECES

    On Tuesday April 12 the 4th grade students at ECES presented the musical ‘Rescue in the Night’ to a full house during chapel. Family and friends of the 4th graders as well as the entire student body of ECES thoroughly enjoyed the presentation of how Daniel chose to obey God before anything else. The students delivered an amazing performance complete with singing, acting, lines, and costumes. Well done fourth grade students!

    The students will be performing the musical again for the ECHS students, Friday April 15 for the Seniors group at Covenant Christian Reformed Church, and finally at Cedar Hill Christian Reformed Church on Sunday April 17 at 6:00 pm.


  • Shirts for Freedom

    Micah Challenge, a social action service group at Eastern Christian High School, has partnered with International Justice Mission (IJM) to join the fight against human trafficking worldwide. For each shirt sold, IJM will receive money to continue their battle to free slaves. Buy your shirt today to help bring freedom to those in need. You can buy your shirts here.

    The deadline to order by is April 25.

    510x510_127271-2-8 510x510_127271-2-back-8

  • Touch a Croc!


    Awww SNAP!  With the highly successful “Touch a Truck” event hosted at Eastern Christian School last year, we are proud to announce an upcoming event: Touch A Croc!

    This event is for the young and the young at heart. It’s for anyone who has ever looked inside the mouth of a 2-ton crocodile and wondered what it would be like to stick your head inside that mouth.  Now that Spring has sprung, it’s time to wake from your cold-blooded hibernation and slither on over to campus for some prehistoric fun.

    Crocodile rides, crocodile food, crocodile everything!

    • See Alfred the Albino Nile Crocodile
    • Saddle up for the African Dwarf Crocodile Rides
    • Pet the head of “Old Willie,” New Jersey’s Oldest known crocodile. At over 110 years old, Willie is almost as old as our school!
    • Croc Swag Shop featuring ALL your croco-styles:  crocodile belts, shoes, hats, and purses.
    • Country Croc Bake Shop
    • Elton John’s classic “Crocodile Rock” on a 6-hour loop

    Scheduled for International Croc Appreciation Day – July 4, 2016.

    Are YOU ready for some croc-tastic fun?  Register below, and show your support on Twitter by tweeting #WHATACROC.

    SAFETY DISCLAIMER: We cannot overstate this fact enough: there will be NO alligators at this event. We understand the dangers that alligators represent as a species.  That’s why we will ONLY use genuine, underfed, wild-caught Nile River Crocodiles.

    touch a croc

    For questions, comments, or more information, please Croc-o-DIAL (973) 427-4013

  • Flexibility for Families in Eastern Christian School’s Early Childhood Programs

    Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 3.21.18 PMWith the growth of preschool and kindergarten at Eastern Christian School, we’ve realized that families with young children have one thing in common: they need flexibility. For this reason, we’ve developed our early childhood programs in a way that provides options to meet a wide variety of needs and schedules. Whether you’re interested in a full-day program, half-day program, or anything in-between or if you need high-quality childcare before or after school, Eastern Christian School can help prepare your young student for a bright future.

    Our Early Childhood Programs:

    • Preschool: Two locations in Bergen County, full- and half-day options
    • Junior Kindergarten: Midland Park Campus, full- and half-day options
    • Kindergarten: Midland Park Campus, full- and half-day options

    Program Highlights

    Led by passionate teachers who are experts in early childhood education, our preschool and kindergarten programs take place in a positive environment that promotes academic success. Students explore many subjects through hands-on experiences, learning to work both individually and in collaboration with peers. As a result, they grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Spiritual development is also a primary focus in our early childhood classrooms. God’s Word and values are taught daily in an age-appropriate way.

    Flexible Schedules

    We offer both half-day and full-day preschool and kindergarten options — but you don’t have to choose one or the other! Many of our students split the week up by spending a few full days on campus and a couple half days. The schedule chosen is completely up to the family. For working parents, we also offer an exciting extended care program both before and after school.  

    Multiple Locations

    Our preschool is located on our campus in Midland Park, NJ, but we are now offering a satellite program at Pilgrim Church in Paramus, NJ — home of the area’s largest Korean-American congregation. We are thrilled to extend this program to more families than ever before. Whether you live near Midland Park or Paramus, Eastern Christian School can offer your child top-notch facilities, fun learning opportunities, and an exciting environment in which to grow. Junior kindergarten and kindergarten are both located exclusively at Eastern Christian School in Midland Park.

    Let Us Partner With You

    At Eastern Christian, we want to do much more than simply educate your children. We desire to serve as an active partner for Christian families, providing the programs and resources needed to make a high-quality education as convenient as possible. To learn more about our preschool or kindergarten programs, schedule a campus tour today.

  • ACT and SAT Prep Classes are Back!

    BrainStorm Tutoring Services is back with some great prep classes for the upcoming ACT and SAT. See the flyers below for more details.



  • Top Scorer in the 2016 AMC 12 Contest


    Jianglai (Lavender) Zhang – Top scorer in the 2016 AMC 12 contest

    On February 17, 2016, 13 students from ECHS participated in the 67th annual American Mathematics Contest 12 (AMC 12).

    “For more than 60 years, students across the country have taken up the challenge of America’s longest-running and most prestigious math contests, The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC). Every year, at thousands of schools in every state, more than 350,000 students are presented with a set of questions rich in content…” (AMC website)

    This year’s contest winner, who scored the highest on the AMC 12 for ECHS, was Jianglai (Lavender) Zhang. She received a special pin during her third block calculus class presented to her by High School Principal Mrs. Ruth Kuder and Math Club Sponsor Mrs. Deborah Andrews. The contest is 75 minutes long with 25 questions to be answered without a calculator. Congratulations, Lavender!


  • Video: Have it All at Eastern Christian

    We’ve previously spoken in this space about “Having it all at Eastern Christian School.” Please enjoy this video that breaks down our “3 Circles.” Are you currently part of a “2 Circle” school? We believe it’s possible to have a “3 Circle School!”

    Put us to the test!

    Don’t believe me? Come and see it for yourself! Our Admissions Staff would love to help guide your school discovery process as you try to give your child the best possible education. Perhaps it’s possible for your family to “Have it All” at Eastern Christian School!

    Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management
    973.427.4013 | admissions@easternchristian.org

  • Calvin College Gospel Choir at EC


    Calvin College’s Gospel Choir recently joined the EC Choir and Honors Choir for a concert as part of their East Coast Tour. It was a great concert and fun night of fellowship with many Calvin Alumni in the audience. Thanks to all involved in this enjoyable, God-honoring event!

  • ECHS Open House Highlights


    We were blessed with 25 families who explored our High School Campus in our final Open House of the 2015-16 School Year. ECHS Students, Faculty, Administration, Volunteer Parents and Board Members were all on hand to help make our guests feel welcome and to have their questions about EC answered.

    After a brief presentation in our beautiful media center, the groups were split up into four guided tours of our campus. All tours featured time engaging with students, parents, teachers and administrators. The tours wrapped up in our cafeteria for a time of refreshments and conversation about EC programs and about next steps.

    We have been praying about our prospective families even before we know their names. Please continue to pray that God will direct their steps as they try to determine the best school fit for their family. Thanks to our volunteers for helping us put on such an awesome event. Thanks to all of our guests for your visit- we hope to see you again soon!

    If you missed this event and would like to arrange a personal tour of any of our three beautiful campuses, please contact our Enrollment Office: admissions@easternchristian.org or 973.427.4013.

  • Students on Mission Over Spring Break


    Over 40 students from ECHS will be going on mission trips this spring break. Students and group leaders will be traveling to Guatemala, Uganda, Mexico and New York City to serve others in need and to share the Good News of Christ.

    All of the students have been in a class at Eastern Christian called “Cross Cultural Perspectives & Service” – a missions class taught in partnership with Touch the World Ministries. Students learn about service, culture and poverty. They learn how to connect missions to their everyday lives. In preparation for their trip, students also participated in a weekend missions training that included team building, speakers, activities, and cultural training specific to the location they will be serving.

    Please pray for our students, faculty, and leaders going on these trips, as well as for the hearts of the people they will interact with over the next week. It’s incredible to see God working in and through these young men and women.

    If you’d like to stay updated with what the teams are up to, follow Touch the World Ministries on Facebook and Instagram.

    There will be a Missions Sharing Night on April 13 at ECHS where team members will share their personal experiences and reflect on their trips. We hope to see you there!


  • Top 10 Interview Questions for Prospective Middle and High Schoolers

    D04C3820-300x200Enrolling your child in the best school possible is vital to his or her future success. If you’ve been searching for a private middle or high school, you likely know there are many steps to the admissions process. In addition to touring campuses, submitting applications, and completing entrance testing, many schools conduct interviews with prospective middle and high schoolers. This adds a personal element to the admissions process. It’s not just about the school assessing student aptitude, it also gives the student an opportunity to determine whether they believe they’ve found the best personal fit.

    The following interview questions are often used to foster meaningful conversation between a prospective student and school leadership

    1.What are your favorite subject(s)?

    By middle school, most students have identified the subjects they enjoy most. This common question is used to gauge academic interest and aptitude. Students should be prepared to discuss which subjects they like most and why. They may also be asked about their least favorite subjects.

    2.What hobbies do you enjoy outside school?

    Private schools look for students who have a zest for life — both in the classroom and out. Sharing favorite hobbies helps the school representative understand what activities students enjoy and how those activities might align with talents that can be honed for future success.

    3.Who is your biggest role model?

    All students should have honorable role models they can look up to. Whether it is a family member, a former teacher, a public figure, or a person from history makes no difference. Schools simply want to know that the prospective student has a source of motivation.

    4.What goals have you set for the future?

    The only wrong answer to this question is none at all. Schools want to see that students are goal-oriented and that they have a plan in place for reaching those goals. Even if things are not set in stone, this is a great time to discuss potential college and career paths.

    5.What is the last book you’ve read?

    Citing a textbook is probably not the best way to approach this question. Schools want to see that students read outside of their academic assignments and obligations. Instead of simply listing a title, ace this question by discussing themes or lessons learned from the book.

    6.What current events have captured your attention lately?

    Schools desire to know that students are engaged with the world around them. Prospective students need not be political experts to tackle this question with maturity. Any pertinent and thought-provoking news event will do.

    7.Why do you think you would enjoy coming to school here?

    This question shows that a prospective student is as engaged in the school selection process as their parents. Schools look for applicants who plan to be active in the learning community. List appealing aspects of the classroom experience, as well as exciting extracurricular opportunities.

    8.Have you participated in any community service or missions projects recently?

    Students who have a passion for giving back are exceptionally appealing to high schools and colleges alike. Describing various outreach projects will let the administration know that a student has a genuine interest in representing their school well and making the world a better place.  

    9.What activities would you like to get involved in here?

    Schools are not looking for academic aptitude alone. They want students to participate in a broad range of activities. Whether it be a sport, an art program, a club, or a community service initiative, showing interest beyond the academics pays off in a big way.

    10.Do you have any questions for us?

    If a student has meaningful questions prepared for the school, it will demonstrate that finding the best learning community is a matter of serious interest. Regardless of the topic, a student extending the conversation is always viewed as positive.

    Discover More About Eastern Christian School

    If you are looking for an exceptional middle or high school, we invite you to jump start the enrollment process by visiting Eastern Christian School today. We take a highly personal approach to admissions, getting to know each prospective student and family before welcoming them to our community. We can’t wait to meet you!

  • Scholars Dinner 2016


    On Friday evening, March 11, 2016 a committed group of Eastern Christian School supporters gathered at the Arcola Country Club for the 7th Annual Scholars Dinner.  For seven years now, this dinner has been a major fundraising event helping to make a quality Christian education accessible to many who would otherwise not be able to attend Eastern Christian School.

    After sharing h’orderves and enjoying an incredible view of the NYC skyline, the guests were directed to the dining room where Tom Dykhouse, Executive Director and Head of School, welcomed them.  Pastor Jeremy Mulder from Restore Church in North Haledon led the group in prayer.  Before dinner was served, the guests had an opportunity to watch a video testimony by David Kang, Class of 2009.

    JVD_5345Following a delicious dinner Wade Johnson, Class of 2016, introduced his dad, Anthony Johnson, the evening’s guest speaker.  Anthony, a reporter and sports anchor at WABC-TV, Eyewitness News in NY spoke about the importance of Christian education and the lasting impact a Christian school teacher had on his life.  He spoke of how proud he is of his son, Wade, and the way that Eastern Christian School has impacted him. And he thanked all of those present, for the part they play in making Christian education accessible for so many who otherwise would not have access.

    Donna Chrinian, The Foundation for ECSA Chairperson, spoke of the hope that she has for EC’s graduates, based on her personal experience and the way that EC prepared her sons.  She challenged those present to generously support the variable tuition program at Eastern Christian School.

    The evening was closed by Pastor Rob Parker of The Plant Church in Mahwah who asked those present to stand to demonstrate their support for Eastern Christian School as he closed in prayer.



  • Area Pastors Read at EC For “Read Across America”

    The National Education Association started Read Across America Day in 1997. The history behind Read Across America Day can be found on their website.

    Eastern Christian Elementary School had a fun week and invited guest readers come in to each classroom on March 2nd (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) to read a Dr. Seuss book. Instead of teachers reading,  several pastors from churches in the area were invited (some who are also parents) to read. It was a great way to continue building relationships between EC and church communities. There was also a fun theme for each day: Pajama Day, Crazy Sock Day, Hat Day, Red & Blue Day, and Green Day.

    Various classrooms have also been reading his books and doing projects and crafts to promote reading and celebrating the wonderful books that Dr. Seuss wrote.

    IMG_4080w IMG_25131 IMG_40791  IMG_40841 IMG_40881IMG_40811


    Thank you to all the pastors that joined us! Trevor Payton (Covenant CRC), Jeremy Mulder (Restore) Rod Gorter (MP CRC) Jim Bushoven (Hawthorne Gospel)  KC Vande Streek (Faith Community CRC)

  • EC Accreditation Team Blog Series: Post 4

    Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition   is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.

    In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?

    By Daniel Lazor, ECMS Principal

    Here’s what we studied:

    This month marked our fourth meeting as an accreditation planning team, and a review of where we’ve been and what we’ve studied thus far showed how much progress the team has already made. The team also received reports from subcommittees specific to Standards 2 & 4 following additional study completed by the Board. After the review of our progress, the team divided into three groups in order to look at three standards: Standard 5, Facilities; Standard 7, Health & Safety; and Standard 12, Information Resources.

    Here’s what we found:

    accreditation2 The final reports from the subcommittees on Governance and School Finance concluded that EC meets the criteria for each of these standards. For these standards, there is a “next step” to accomplish. The Board felt that a regular self-evaluation would provide additional feedback as to meeting their duties, and the finance committee listed as a goal for the business practices to aim for more transparency.

    Overall, EC has made significant investments in its facilities. This has resulted in a substantial upgrade in the quality of its buildings, from window upgrades to paint on the walls, furniture in the classrooms and our tech infrastructure. Despite the improvements already made, additional improvements are always on the horizon. Furniture upgrades in our classrooms, parking space at the HS, air conditioning, and athletic fields all are potential candidates for upgrades.

    On the safety front, EC has recently adopted, and is now training students, staff, and the community in the Standard Response Protocol (SRP). Our athletic coaches are trained in CPR and AED use. Our communication ability within each of our buildings could use an upgrade. The school has met the standard in this area.

    Finally, our information resources again meets the overall standard. Ongoing efforts are being made to increase the number of iPads in the ES, and with that increase and the MS Chromebook program, additional device storage will be needed. Printing capacity at our campuses is an area that needs to be evaluated and likely increased, although the use of cloud-based services does decrease the overall need for printing.


    Here’s what we hope to accomplish:

    In looking at three separate standards, there are several things which can be listed on our “to be accomplished” list:

    • MS facelift, including updating the painting throughout the building, to begin summer 2016.
    • Continued training for faculty, staff, students, and nurses in the SRP.
    • Improved communications on our campuses.
    • The purchase of additional iPads for the ES.
    • Encouraging staff to pursue the professional pathways that are available for their professional development.

    When you dig in the dirt, you’re bound to find worms, yet the process of self-study allows us as a school system to step back and see what is happening at EC. It has been encouraging on the whole to hear about the results of our study, to read the results from our survey and the comments that were submitted, to examine all of the improvements that have been made, and to think about the commitment the Board, the Staff and the parent community have to making EC an excellent school.

    The EC Accreditation Team:
    Tina Bucci, 
    Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Heather Vulpone, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung

    The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci

  • Second Grade Habitat Project


    In our Second Grade “Look Again” unit, students learn about various animal habitats, and how many creatures use camouflage to blend into their surroundings. The animal habitat project provides children and their families an opportunity to more deeply explore a topic that the children have been studying at school.

    For this project, students choose an animal and conduct research. Student’s begin by discovering the animal’s habitat and identifying whether or not their animal uses camouflage. Once their research is complete, children use what they know about their animal’s habitat to create a miniature replica of this habitat in a shoebox! The student’s top it all off by placing the animal in its habitat. Finally, the children bring their projects to school and present them.

    It is always fun to see the creativity and planning that the children put into this project!

  • NY Redbulls’ Luis Robles Speaks in Chapel


    New York Red Bulls player and 2015 Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the year Luis Robles spoke in chapel today at Eastern Christian School’s Elementary and Middle School.

    Mr. Robles told stories from his childhood and career. He highlighted Mark 10:27 and how God loves to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things through them. He spoke about his strength coming from the Lord and how he reads his Bible before every game. As a goalie known for his calm demeanor in stressful situations, he credits his faith in God for this success.

    EC students and the EC soccer program presented him with an EC Soccer Scarf and Soar EC shirt and the whole school took a group picture.

    Thanks to the PTO for arranging for Mr. Robles to visit our campus and give such an inspiring speech. We can’t wait for the March 19th event where our school visits Luis and the rest of the Redbulls as they take on the Houston Dynamo.

    Thank you to Mr. Robles for such an inspiring Chapel talk and for being such a strong role model for Christians everywhere!

  • Fourth Grade State Fair


    Our 4th grade students have been studying each of the United States in social studies. They memorize the states and capitals and learn about the geography, history, culture and government of the U.S. regions. The culminating activity for this unit is the 4th Grade State Fair. Each 4th grade student researches one state in the U.S. and creates a display board with facts and information about their state. They show artifacts from their state and even offer food or drink from their state.

    Way to make a STATE-ment, 4th graders!

  • ECES Open House Recap


    We had a great turnout at our Elementary School Open House on Thursday, March 3rd. Guests at our event were able to see a brief presentation, tour the preschool and elementary school facility, and talk with faculty. Our 4th grade State Fair and 2nd grade habitat presentations took place at the same time, so our open house guests got to see the school community in action!

    The Elementary School Open House was the first of three consecutive Thursday Night Open Houses for Eastern Christian School’s three campuses. Up next, the Middle School will host a Thursday, March 10th Open House at 7:00 PM. Finally, the High School will host an Open House at 7:00 PM on Thursday, March 17th. There is still time to pre-register for both events (here).

    We are thrilled with the level of interest in our school and are excited to welcome many new families to EC next year. However, we encourage all interested families to apply as soon as possible (online application here). Several of our grade levels are nearing wait list status. This means that the sooner you apply, the better chance you have to claim a spot.

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  • Calvin College Gospel Choir Coming to EC!

  • EC Participates in Model UN


    Eastern Christian had a team of 20 students participating at the St. Peter’s University Model UN Conference in Jersey City this week.  The students were split among nine different committees debating everything from financing terrorism to water use policy. Scott Steenstra and Luis Grande Garcia won honorable mention on the Legal Committee. 

    un2un1 un3IMG_1302

  • Preschool Program Director Announced


    Eastern Christian School is pleased to announce the appointment of Karyn Baitzel as Director of Eastern Christian’s Preschool program with effect from July 1, 2016. In this newly created position, Ms. Baitzel will oversee our expanded preschool program on the Elementary School campus as well as our recently announced satellite preschool program on the campus of Pilgrim Church in Paramus. Ms. Baitzel will continue to report to ECES Principal Sandra Bottge.

    Ms. Baitzel has 17 years of elementary classroom experience, including 12 years as a first and second grade teacher at ECES. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from Eastern University and a master’s degree in Teaching / Early Childhood Education from Liberty University.



  • Parent Talk: Dr. Uecker “Developmental Approach To Learning”

    Renown early childhood education expert Dr. Milt Uecker recently met with a group of EC Elementary School parents. Dr. Uecker’s EC Talk featured discussion on our Developmental Approach to Learning and why this approach is best for children. Our teachers have been working with Dr. Uecker for several years to hone their philosophy and approach.

  • Register Now for Eagles Day Camp!

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    Eagles Day Camp is back and registration is now open!

    Eagles Day camp is a fun, creative, and educational way to spend your summer! Open to students entering grades K-7, this camp includes daily activities and devotions, bi-weekly trips to Graydon Pool, and weekly field trips and talent shows.  Show off what you’ve got, learn something new, and grow in mind, body, and spirit at Eagles Day Camp this summer! Register today at eaglescamps.org.

  • Middle School Boys Basketball

    Hard work and commitment to the basketball program continues to payoff for the middle school boys basketball team. The team capped off a successful season (14-4) by handing their resilient rival HCA their second loss of the season. The young Eagles were led by a core group of 8th graders who have been in the program for three years: Ben Parker, Sidney Zamor, Dylan Olsen, Brayden Vogel, and Chase DeJong. In addition to the core, the team benefited from the addition of three 8th-grade transfers: Chris Pico, Andre Gardner, and Connor Shin. A group of six 7th grade boys will need to fill big shoes next year as the Eagles will graduate thirteen 8th graders. If history continues to repeat itself, these boys will be dedicated to the continued building of Eastern Christian boys basketball program.

  • Middle School Girls Basketball

    The Middle School Girls Basketball Team finished the season with a record of 7-10.  The team excelled late in the season, finishing up with a three game win streak.  Highlights of the season included a close win against a strong Waldwick team and two wins against rival Hawthorne Christian.  Captains Sydney Moore and Nicole Bucci provided excellent leadership throughout the season.  Sydney led the team in scoring while Nicole was the team’s best defender.  Point guard Kaily Campbell improved throughout the year and can be dominant next season.  Naomi Engelhard and Isabelle Lazor dominated the boards all season and scored many key baskets.

  • Boys Varsity Basketball

    The boys traveled to Pequannock on Tuesday to face former EC head coach Jeff DeBell and his Panthers. A sluggish start found the team in a 14-2 hole just 4 minutes into the game but they battled back to tie the game late in the 4th quarter, only to lose a heartbreaker on a buzzer beater. It was Senior night on Friday as 9 team members were honored with their parents before the game vs Garfield in front of a packed house. Seniors Jordan Moran and Jason Englishmen combined for 41 points including 8 threes to lead the Eagles to an exciting win and guaranteeing the boys at least a .500 record for the first time in 8 seasons. On Tuesday the Eagles travel to Saddle River Day for a 4:00 game in the first round of the state tournament.

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    Kelly Tanis had 11 points including her first career 3 pointer at home on Tuesday as the girls defeated Mary Help on senior day Thursday the team overcame a sluggish start to defeat Garfield 55-33 behind a combined 51 points from Erin Vander Plaat, Brooke Van Lenten and Madison Wynbeek. Friday the Eagles traveled to 19-3 Saddle Brook, the top seed in the Group I state tournament featuring two thousand point scorers. Addie Peretti and Erin Vander Plaat held them to a combined 11 points while Madison Wynbeek poured in a season high 29 leading the girls to win #20 on the season! Up next: Montclair Kimberly Academy in the state tournament at 5:00 on Tuesday at home. Hope to see you there!

  • Parenting Seminar: Developmental Approach to Learning

  • One Minute On: STEAM at Eastern Christian

  • Creating Critical Thinkers: How to Teach Problem Solving

    D04C9684wAcademic excellence is about more than grades and test scores; it is about producing graduates who can think for themselves. As students become critical thinkers, they are able to problem solve on their own, demonstrating skills required for success in the 21st century. At Eastern Christian School, we are training tomorrow’s innovators — students who think critically, learn independently, and are equipped to make an impact on the world around them. The following methods help us impart problem solving skills, creating critical thinkers who thrive in the classroom and beyond. (more…)

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    The Eagles picked up win #16 at Manchester on Tuesday behind 20 points from Madison Wynbeek and 12 each from Addie Peretti and Brooke Van Lenten. On Thursday they traveled to Pompton Lakes and found themselves in a physical, sloppy game that tested their resilience. Trailing by 4 with just 17 seconds left, the team pulled off the come back of the year as Madison scored the final 6 points of the game including a great pass from Brooke on a pick and roll, two pressure free throws and a bucket off an inbounds play. The quest for a 20 win season continues next week when the girls host Mary Help on Tuesday and visit Garfield on Thursday.

  • Baby Bank Singers at Eastern Christian School

    Eastern Christian High School’s “Micah Challenge” is a student group that strives to present opportunities for students to live out the challenge of Micah 6:8– “To act justly and seek mercy.”

    Each February, the Micah Challenge group holds a “Baby Bank Singers” fundraiser to raise money and supplies for a local ministry that provides baby supplies for mothers that cannot afford them. Students and faculty at the high school may purchase songs for friends or co-workers, and a group of Junior and Senior boys spends a day singing to the designated individuals in their classrooms. It’s a fun and energetic fundraiser that everyone seems to enjoy!

    This year, the group is donating to Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center.

  • Eastern Christian School Announces Paramus Satellite Preschool

    IMG_4012wThroughout our 123 year history, Eastern Christian School has had campuses in a multitude of locations. And while those campuses have changed over the years, our mission for an excellent Christian education has not.

    We are very excited to announce our latest development on this front: a Satellite Preschool program. Through our partnership with Pilgrim Church in Paramus, we are proud to offer all of our Preschool options at the church campus. The tremendous Pilgrim Church facilities combined with the Eastern Christian early childhood program promises to be a winning formula for students and families.

    The partnership between these two Christian organizations began over a year ago with an official ceremony at Eastern Christian Middle School. This expression of our partnership will include all existing Preschool programs and extended care options that are currently offered at our Midland Park Campus will also be offered at our Pilgrim Church/Paramus campus, including Full Day Preschool.

    Pilgrim Church already hosts a number of students at a day care program. These families will have first choice in claiming the available spots for the Eastern Christian Preschool Program at the Paramus campus. After that, any remaining seats will be available on a first come, first served basis.

    Families interested in learning more about our Preschool Program can click here.

    Families interested in arranging a personal tour of the Eastern Christian School Preschool at either our Midland Park or Paramus (Pilgrim Church) campus, can contact our admissions team.

    Eastern Christian School Admissions
    admissions@easternchristian.org | 973.427.4013


    About Pilgrim Church:

    • Founded in 1997
    • Located at 18 Essex Rd. Paramus, NJ
    • 2300+ member Korean-American congregation, including over 700 children
    • Congregation worships over 4 services (3 in Korean) on Sundays

    About Eastern Christian School:

    • Founded in 1892
    • 770+ Student Enrollment
    • 3 campuses in Midland Park, Wyckoff, and North Haledon
  • SAT Prep Class at EC – Register Today!

  • ECHS Student Video – New Hope Community Ministries

    Eastern Christian High School students in the Media Literacy class produced a promotional video for New Hope Community Ministries as part of a culminating project. Through the semester the students learned principles of audio, lighting, shot composition, and editing. Hands-on work through the semester prepared students to put their knowledge to use when partnering with this local ministry in creating a short video.

    To learn more about New Hope Community Ministries check out their website.

  • Community Basketball THIS Friday (2.19.16)


    Come cheer on your Eagles at this weekend’s Community Basketball Nights. The Eagles have done well on this season’s slate of Community Night games and we look forward to another raucous game atmosphere again this Friday!

    The entertaining games this evening will include:

    • 4:00 PM ECHS Freshmen Boys vs. Pompton Lakes
    • 5:30 PM ECHS JV Boys vs. Pompton Lakes
    • 7:00 PM ECHS Varsity Boys vs. Pompton Lakes

    This game will feature a “White Out!” Wear as much white as possible to support the team! All fans wearing white will receive a free EC temporary tattoo at the Swag Shop.

  • Boys Varsity Basketball

    The boys began their week on Monday afternoon with an easy win against outmatched Barnstable Academy that saw every player score. On Tuesday night things got a lot tougher when Rutherford avenged their January loss to the Eagles in a game decided in the final minutes. Thursday’s memorable game vs Hawthorne began with a moving tribute to former Eagles coach Dan Hoffman who passed away last August. In the game, Hawthorne jumped to an early lead before the boys charged back behind 18 points from senior Jordan Moran who helped secure the win with some clutch free throw shooting in the final minute. The busy week concluded on Friday with a 78-58 win at Green Meadow (NY) that again featured every teammate in the scoring column and gave the boys their 10th win of the season. Next up for the Eagles is a Tuesday matchup at Manchester followed by Pompton Lakes at home in a community night game on Thursday.

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    The girls played their best basketball of the season this week starting with a stunning 37-25 win at home vs Rutherford on Tuesday, moving the two teams into a tie for 2nd place in the league (behind Glen Rock.) Freshman Anna Kinz was the defensive star of the game, frustrating the league’s best player who scored just 6 points. On Thursday it was Addie Peretti’s turn to hold Hawthorne’s star player to just 5 points in a dominating 42-14 performance by the Eagles, led by 20 points from freshman Madison Wynbeek and a great all around performance from junior Brooke Van Lenten. On Friday at Green Meadow (NY) six different girls made 3 pointers including sophomore Hanna Faber who finished with 15 points as the team registered their 15th win of the season against just 4 losses. Next up is the girl/ boy doubleheader at Manchester on Tuesday followed by a trip to Pompton Lakes on Thursday.

  • EC Remembers Coach Hoffman


    Last year, the Eastern Christian School Community lost a friend and leader in coach Dan Hoffman. Coach Hoffman lost his battle to cancer. As our former Varsity Boys basketball coach, he left behind a legacy of an improved basketball program and a team and community that mourns this loss.

    Last night’s Community Basketball Night featured a pre-game ceremony to honor the Hoffman family and to reflect on Coach’s impact on the program. Team captain Jon Veenstra spoke on behalf of the team and Trish Hoffman accepted a plaque and spoke about her late husband’s love of coaching and of the program.

    The Eagles of EC took on the Bears of Hawthorne in the game that followed. Both schools have a unique place in the Hoffman family. We were excited to come away with the 54-47 win vs. the upstart Bears.

    We thank God for the Hoffman family and continue to pray for their healing from this difficult loss. Thanks to all in attendance for helping to make this evening a special event.

    hoffmanhoffman2 hoffman4

  • EC Accreditation Team Blog Series: Post 3

    Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition   is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.

    In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?

    By Rebekah Sankey, EC Teacher

    Here’s What We Studied

    JVD_0840wKnee deep now in the self-study process, the Accreditation Team met on the high school campus Monday, February 8 for our third work session. After a brief and encouraging review of the many standards we have already explored, the Team divided into four groups to continue our reflection on Standard 2: Governance and Leadership, Standard 6: System Organization and Staff, Standard 10: Student Services, and Standard 11: Student Life and Student Activities. As with each standard, we also carefully considered the comments and data from our community, staff, and student surveys.

    Here’s What We Found

    For each standard, our study turned over some very positive reflections. We discovered our stakeholders retain a strong appreciation for the trustworthy, cooperative government of our schools. Parents appreciate our knowledgeable, approachable and professional faculty and staff. We identified an increasing focus on healthy food options at our elementary school and were reminded that our high school students enjoy a variety of athletic and non-athletic opportunities outside of their classroom experiences.

    We were equally excited to recognize areas in each of the four standards in which we can grow. In discussion, we considered ways our governing board can communicate more efficiently and effectively with our community. We also looked at the diversity of our faculty and the implications of that on our student diversity. Nutrition was a highlight of our student life discussion. And we spent some time discussing how we can continue to provide meaningful activity opportunities to students at all grade levels.

    Here’s What We Hope To Accomplish

    Our conversation sparked many great objectives for our team. Moving forward, we hope to:

    • review the induction process for new staff
    • define and address nutrition at all our campuses
    • build upon the strong relationship between our government and community
    • consider formalizing student activity opportunities between campuses


    The EC Accreditation Team:
    Tina Bucci, 
    Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Heather Vulpone, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung

    The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci

  • EC Celebrates One Year of Variable Tuition

    By Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    It’s been exactly a year since we launched the Variable Tuition program and what a year it’s been! Variable Tuition has opened the door to a quality, Christian education at Eastern Christian School to more families. We’ve seen story after story of families who have joined our community as a result of this program.

    That interest in EC from new families continues to grow and grow! Last year, our enrollment grew by 7%. And this year, interest in our school through variable tuition has skyrocketed. At the end of February, 2015, we had 28 applications for enrollment from new families. We currently have 96 applications for new enrollment!

    So, what do you think? Is EC the school for your family? Join the many Christian families that are turning to EC. With Variable Tuition, a quality, Christian education has never been more accessible! Come soar with us!

    3 Next Steps:

  • Father Daughter Dessert Night 2016

    By Michelle Lazor, ECES PTO


    On February 5, ECES had our first Father Daughter Dessert Night! The PTO planning committee was excited to offer an opportunity for fathers and daughters to spend time having fun together and getting to know each other a bit more. Building the father daughter relationship is so important, and the PTO wanted to help be a part of encouraging a positive, godly relationship while eating lots of tasty treats!

    Thank you to all those who helped make this night happen and thank you to all those who came. We hope you had a wonderful time! Please continue checking the Home Bulletin sent out weekly on Fridays for upcoming PTO events and fundraisers.

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    THANK YOU to all the PTO moms that made this event possible!

    The event planning team worked hard to put it all together and make it happen. It truly takes a village! Susan Salerno and Erica Vasile tirelessly knocked on doors and solicited local businesses for donations for our event. They were able to secure ALL of those delicious desserts, drinks, fruit, and even decorations to transform the gym into a beautiful, pink, red, and white wonderland. Susan also put together that wonderful red heart backdrop for the father daughter pictures, while Erica made an awesome heart umbrella. Thank you ladies for your creativity and hard work!

    Tonia Foster made all of the bingo cards that were so fun and helped keep our RSVP list straight. Nikki Waples put together all of the fun bags the girls and fathers were given, including keeping track of that long donation list! Michelle Lazor was in charge of the slide show and baby pictures – quite a fun job of sorting through those beautiful baby girls.

    There were others that helped out as well picking up donations and volunteering the night of the event and we truly appreciate your commitment to helping out the ECES PTO!

    Thank You to the businesses that helped make this event possible. We greatly appreciate your generosity!

    1. Chocolate Etc – Wyckoff, NJ
    2. Stop & Shop – West Haverstraw, NY
    3. Mr & Mrs Richard Franco – Westwood, NJ
    4. Party City – Paramus, NJ
    5. Acme Foods – Midland Park NJ
    6. Krauses Homemade Chocolates – Paterson NJ
    7. Stop & Shop – Pomona, NY
    8. BJ’S Wholesale – Paramus
    9. Shoprite – Ramsey, NJ
    10.Bromilow’s Chocolates – Woodland Park
    11.Bogies Hoagies – Hawthorne NJ
    12. Costco – Nanuet NY
    13. Costco –  Teterboro NJ
    14. Rockland Bakery – Nanuet, NY
    15. Wyckoff Florist – Wyckoff, NJ
    16. Mr & Mrs John Marsalisi – Blauvelt, NY
    17. Jerry’s Gourmet – Englewood
    18. Dunkin Donuts – Midland Park, NJ
    19. Dunkin Donuts – Wyckoff, NJ – Cedar Hill Ave
    20. Dunkin Donuts – Wyckoff, NJ – Franklin Ave
    21. Starbucks – Midland Park, NJ
    22. Jaret’s Stuffed cupcakes – Nutley
    23. Kings – Ridgewood
    24. Stop & Shop – Ridgewood, NJ
    25. Stop & Shop – Wyckoff, NJ
    26. Mr Cupcakes – Hawthorne, NJ
    27. Dunkin Donuts – Paramus, NJ
    28. Dunkin Donuts – Hawthorne, NJ
    29. Sugarflake Bakery – Wyckoff, NJ
    30. Justin Tyler (photographer) – justintylerphoto.com
    31. Mr. and Mrs. Glen Stupienski – Midland Park, NJ
  • The First Saturday was SUPER!

    EC’s first ever Super Saturday was this past weekend, and it was as fun as advertised! Students ages 3-10 were treated to fun fitness stations, to good food and friends, a Caricature artist, and to the thrill of the enormous “Vertical Rush” inflatable slide.

    We had over 60 students visit us- both from current EC families and from families from our surrounding area who don’t yet send their children to Eastern Christian School.

    As a reminder, Super Saturdays run every Saturday in February, are free to all families, and open to EC families and to the general public. Come and enjoy some free, fun physical fitness in the depth of winter. It’s a great way to get your kids out of the house and burning off some of that cabin fever energy!

  • 2016-2017 School Calendar Approved

    In addition to our web calendar, we have a downloadable version of all the important dates for the 2016-2017 school year. This calendar has been finalized and approved by the board, so feel free to mark your calendars with important dates for next school year!

    Printable Calendar 2016-2017


  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    Following their 12th win of the season vs Elmwood Park on Tuesday, the girls began their toughest stretch of the season on Thursday with a disappointing effort at Glen Rock. Poor shooting, ball handling and rebounding were a recipe for disaster at the hands of the league’s best. However the hard lesson payed off on Saturday when the team faced Wayne Valley in the second round of the county tournament and turned in their best performance of the season in a thrilling game decided in the final seconds of overtime! Madison Wynbeek scored 22 and Brooke Van Lenten 16 as the Eagles almost pulled off the upset of the tournament. Solid defense from Kelly Tanis, Anna Kinz and Erin Vander Plaat along with a great team effort in handling the non-stop full court pressure kept the girls in the game to the bitter end when Van Lenten’s 3 pointer (under defensive pressure and contact) missed at the buzzer. Up next, a chance to compete against Rutherford, the league’s second best team on Tuesday.

  • “Continuous Enrollment” to Replace Re-Enrollment

  • Eastern Christian School Announces Full Day Preschool


    You asked for it- and we listened! The Eastern Christian Preschool Program is proud to announce full day Preschool options for families with children ages 3-5. For years, we have offered Full Day Kindergarten as an option for families. The 2016-17 School Year will mark the first year where EC families can have full day schooling options for their children ages 3 through 18.

    With busy family schedules, this program is sure to be a benefit to the students and families that we service. Our fully accredited, developmentally appropriate early childhood program has always been known for years as a leading Preschool in our area. With these new, family-friendly hours, we are excited to welcome more new families into our Christian school community.

    [EC Tuition Information]

    An Update for Prospective Families

    Not surprisingly, with such an in-demand program, spots are filling up quickly. If you’re interested in pursuing “next steps,” please act now to avoid being placed on a wait list:


    If you have any questions about our offerings in the early childhood program at EC, please don’t hesitate to contact our Enrollment Office:

    Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management
    rudigesch@easternchristian.org | 973.427.4013



  • Boys Varsity Basketball

    On Tuesday the boys picked up win # 7 in OT vs Garfield in a defensive battle. Thursday’s rematch with Lodi proved to be another nail biter, but this time the Eagles fell in the final minute. In the county tournament on Saturday vs a talented Clifton squad the boys lost 59-50. Malcolm McLeod led all scorers with 17, while Jon Veenstra and Jordan Moran chipped in with 13 and 11, respectively. Looking ahead, it will be a challenging week as the team faces two of the league’s best when they travel to Elmwood Park on Tuesday and host Glen Rock on Thursday.

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    The Lady Eagles continued their winning ways on Tuesday vs Garfield behind 38 combined points from Brooke Van Lenten and Madison Wynbeek in a convincing 52-30 win. Thursday’s 52-17 win vs Lodi featured a balanced attack including 12 from point guard Erin Vander Plaat, and on Saturday vs Manchester in the county tournament, the team exploded for a 43-4 halftime advantage en route to their 11th win of the season and a trip to Wayne Valley in the 2nd round next Saturday at 5:00.

  • Beefsteak Fundraiser 2016

    There goes the beef!

    Last Wednesday, Jan 20th, over 245 guests gathered to honor Basketball Coach Shultz and the golden years team players from 65’-72’. The Beefsteak dinner, held at the Brownstone, was a success by all measures, especially when using the towers of leftover bread in which the beef is delivered on, as a barometer. With course after course guests indulged in not just the flavorful menu but also fellowship.

    With a live auction including Yankees, Mets, Giants, Devils and Knicks tickets brought in nearly $4800 toward supporting the Athletic Department and contributed to the more than $10,000 raised throughout the evening. Donations doubled and ticket sales increased from last year continuing the positive growth trajectory Athletic Director, Barry Veenstra, emphasized during his department overview.

    As one of the biggest Athletic Boosters of the year, the event supports our student athletes and the program, continuing to develop our competitive edge in our division. It is the program’s greatest hopes that our future athletes and their families will join us for Athletic Boosters going forward and see all that is being done to grow the program with the children enrolled from preschool through high school years.

    Congratulations to all the coaches, players and supporters of EC Athletics!

  • EC Announces Super Saturdays Open Gyms


    Winter weekends in frigid NJ can be difficult for young students. As parents, we know all too well that movement matters, but it’s difficult to get up and get moving when the temperatures outside are so cold and there are so few things to do to get kids moving.

    Enter “Super Saturdays!” These family-friendly events will open the Eastern Christian High School gym up to students age 3-10 for three hours of fun, free, February fitness!

    Super Saturdays will feature workout stations, music, an inflatable slide, and will help students get moving and make the weekend much more “family friendly!”

    These events are open to the public and will be absolutely free of charge. EC parents- please remember to invite your neighbors and friends that aren’t yet part of Eastern Christian School. We would love to welcome them as well!

    Super Saturday Dates and Times:

    • Saturday, February 6 10:00 AM- 1:00 PM
    • Saturday, February 13 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
    • Saturday, February 20 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
    • Saturday, February 27 10:00 AM-1:00 PM


  • Boys Varsity Basketball

    The boys extended their winning streak to 5 on Tuesday night at Pompton Lakes as they welcomed junior Malcolm McLeod and senior Jordan Moran to the playing rotation, both of whom made solid contributions in the win. On Thursday at Lakeland the boys had their hands full against the group 3 county rival and fell 65-54, ending the streak but giving the team valuable experience heading into important league contests this week and Saturday’s 1:30 county tournament match-up vs. the winner of the Clifton/ Pompton preliminary round game (following our girls game.) Be sure to come out and support the teams!

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    The girls continued their winning ways on Tuesday this week when they opened up a 16 point halftime lead against rival Pompton Lakes, winning by the same margin behind solid games from all 5 starters. On Thursday, four scored in double figures in a convincing victory over Mary Help, putting the team record at 8-2 heading into this week’s match-ups with Garfield on Tuesday, Lodi on Thursday and Manchester on Saturday at 12:00 noon as part of the girl/ boy double header in the opening round of the county tournament.

  • Robot Fight Night Highlights

    When Eastern Christian High School launched a STEAM program at the beginning of this school year, one of the great new classes offered was “Robotics and Micro-electronics.” Taught by Mr. Tim Steen, the class began by learning the basics of programming.  Students built simple robots that executed pre-assigned tasks.

    But as the semester of EC’s first Robotics program progressed, it became obvious that these students were ready for more. Mr. Steen challenged the students to a first semester culminating activity: “Robot Fight Night.” Students were given the major project of designing unique battle-ready remote-control robots that would compete against each other in a tournament at the end of the semester.

    Last night, that vision came to an amazing reality in front of a raucous, standing-room only crowd in the ECHS cafeteria-turned “Robo-arena.” “Robo-fans” from the EC community cheered on each Bot as they progressed through the double-elimination tournament. Prior to the tournament, fans were given the opportunity to meet the pilots, touch the robots, learn about each craft’s strengths and goals, and vote on who they thought was going to win.

    The 8-team Robo-Field competing in the tournament included

    • Tusk, piloted by Ali Sytsma and Michael Ji
    • Disco Wizard, piloted by Mitchell Haddad and Joe Jiang
    • M.I.T. (Mini Institute of Technology), piloted by Kyle Dykstra and Sung Namgung
    • Wedge Antilles, piloted by Mr. Tim Steen
    • The Crane, piloted by Calvin Gorter and Shaniah Taylor
    • ThunderChicken, piloted by Matt Rief, Nicolas Cortes, and Henry Ruitenberg
    • The Lawnmower, piloted by Luke Ye and Jonathan Hartensveld
    • Bulldog Stryker, piloted by Mark Van Reeth and Aaron De Rosa


    These robots had run several practice rounds prior to the tournament to determine seeding. By the end of the night, the tournament “went chalk,” as 2 seeded Disco Warrior faced off against #1 seed The Crane for the inaugural Robot Fight Night Championship. With the tournament in its final seconds, and with Disco Warrior with a big lead on points, The Crane, piloted by senior Calvin Gorter, needed an elimination to secure a championship. And that’s precisely what happened with 30 seconds remaining. The capacity crown on hand roared with excitement.

    As and added bit of fun, all 8 robots competed in a “Battle Royal”- 3 minutes of chaotic 8-way Robo-battle. The Robot closest to the center-X by the end of 3 minutes would win. By the slimmest of margins, M.I.T, the tournaments smallest robot at only 3 pounds, 6 ounces, claimed that prize.

    The evening ended with the opportunity for any interested fans to pilot some of their favorite robots- an opportunity immediately claimed by many of the children on hand.

    The first year of Robot Fight Night exceeded our wildest dreams. It was unlike anything we’ve seen before. It was an amazing combination of academics and competitive sports. The excitement in the room around the learning and competition that these talented and dedicated students accomplished was incredible. We can’t wait to see where the future of the Robotics program goes from here!

  • One Minute On: Chapel at Eastern Christian

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    The Lady Eagles got back to their winning ways this week with convincing wins vs Hawthorne and Manchester Regional. Balanced scoring from Madison Wynbeek, Brooke Van Lenten and Addie Peretti combined with outstanding defense and ball handling from Erin Vander Plaat and Anna Kinz along with strong inside defense and rebounding from Kelly Tanis leave the girls with a 6-2 record heading into Tuesday’s home game with Pompton Lakes. A win would establish EC as the best team from the NJIC heading into Wednesday night’s seeding meeting for the Passaic County tournament!

  • Boys Varsity Basketball

    Following a win at Hawthorne on Tuesday that featured 5 three’s from frosh Jared Post, the resurgent Eagles extended their win streak to 3 on Friday night in a wild one with neighbor and rival Manchester Regional. Jon Veenstra and Jason Englishmen combined for 50 points in what Athletic Director Barry Veenstra described as “the biggest win in our gym since the Eagles beat Kyrie Irving and Montclair Kimberly Academy back in 2008.” The boys had little time to celebrate as they faced high scoring Woodridge on Saturday afternoon and notched their 4th in a row, a 69-55 win in the Public vs Private Showcase in Englewood. Jon Veenstra was named MVP of the game with 21 points. The team has a chance for their 5th straight win on Tuesday at Pompton as the roster gets deeper with transfers Malcolm Macleod and Jordan Moran becoming eligible to play in what promises to be an exciting 2nd half of the season!

  • Community Night Basketball Success

    JVD_0609JVD_0751No matter how you measure success, last Friday night was a success for the Eagles of Eastern Christian High School.

    In the school’s first “Community Basketball Night” of the season, the play on the court matched the amped up atmosphere of a packed house as the varsity Eagles defeated the Bulldogs of Rutherford by a score of 53-43.

    The Pep Band, Student section,and play by play all added to the event. The Swag Shop was full of great food and EC Spirit Wear sales. The halftime contest featured “Bags-ketball”- the opportunity for fans to shoot a free throw with a paper bag on their head for a prize in the swag shop. The clear highlight of halftime was when EC 4th Grade teacher Donna Hoogerhyde sunk her Bags-ketball shot. The crowd erupted.

    If you missed out on the fun, fear not. There’s another Community Basketball Night coming right up this week. EC will take on rival neighbors Manchester High School. Girls JV at 4:00 PM. Girls Varsity tips off at 5:30 PM and Boys Varsity at 7:00 PM. Come on out and join the fun!

  • Apologetics Class Tackles Hypocrisy


    JVD_0775“Why is the church filled with so many hypocrites?” This is a question (understandable too) that hinders many people from considering the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can we really blame them though? In some sense, we are all hypocrites, but the tragedy is that some of the most respected followers of Christ have been exposed as fakes and frauds causing people to think Christianity is a mere sham. Furthermore, many people have felt severely judged and condemned by the people who claim to follow the one who said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” How can this be?

    Well, in Mr. McKinney’s Apologetics class, many of the students had this question so we invited some local pastors to come and speak on this issue. Ryan Baitzel (Lead Pastor of Emergence Church) and Doug Becker (Lead Pastor of New Beginnings Bible Church) gave a short talk on why there are so many hypocrites in the church, then the students were given the rest of class for Q&A. The students really enjoyed this learning experience, and were helped tremendously in thinking through this very difficult issue. In the end, we concluded that it does not make sense to reject Jesus for something he too rejects: hypocrisy. And the only cure is to regularly confess and repent of our own hypocrisy, allowing the glorious gospel of grace to liberate us from such a God-dishonoring sin.

  • EC Accreditation Team Blog Series: Post 2

    Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition   is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.

    In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?

    By Tom Dykhouse
    Executive Director and Head of School

    Eastern Christian School’s Accreditation Team began the new year with a highly productive work session on Monday, January 11 in the ECHS Media Center.  All of the school’s constituencies, including students, parents, community leaders, Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and administration were represented at the meeting.

    Here’s what we studied:

    JVD_0862Following a time of review of the work accomplished since our last meeting, the team organized itself into three work groups to study accreditation standards regarding mission, governance and leadership, and system organization and staff.

    The work group examining mission completed the team’s work on EC’s foundational documents, including our mission statement, core values, and graduate profile and began the process of reviewing “Standard 11: Student Life.”

    The work group studying governance and leadership examined survey results from students, parents, and staff regarding governance issues and then examined some of the methods used to establish institutional goals and to track progress toward the accomplishment of those goals.

    The work group studying system organization and staffing reviewed survey responses from the school’s various constituents regarding matters pertaining to staffing and staff relations.  

    Here’s what we found:

    The work group studying mission had previously identified a number of minor inconsistencies in the wording of some of the foundational documents.  The work group examined revisions to eliminate these inconsistencies and finalized work on displays of the foundational documents which will be exhibited throughout the school and used in various communications with the school community.

    The work group examining governance and leadership was gratified to note the community’s high level of trust in EC’s Board and administration as evidenced in the surveys.  The work group recognized that it was difficult for many community members to form an opinion regarding issues that involve work completed within the Board or between the Board and administration, but concluded that there was ample evidence of an excellent working relationship between the Board and administration.

    The work group examining system organization and staffing discussed how mentoring for new staff and teachers has improved in recent years and is still improving.  The surveys identified personnel policy areas that will be referred to the Board’s Governance Committee for further examination.  The work group also discussed the evaluation system for teachers and learned that a committee is currently working on the teacher evaluation process.


    Here’s what we hope to accomplish:

    Following the work completed at the meeting, the team is recommending that EC move forward with, among others, the following action points:

    • Broadly display in our school buildings and communicate to our school community Eastern Christian School’s foundational documents, including the mission statement, core values, and graduate profile.
    • Recommend that the Board of Directors self-assess regarding the standard on governance and leadership.  In particular, the team is recommending that the Board consider the process that it uses to assess its effectiveness on an annual basis.
    • Recommend broader communication of the Board’s agenda, minutes, and other documents in order to better inform the school community regarding the matters under consideration by the governing body.
    • Recommend that the Board of Directors consider revisions in the personnel policy areas identified during the meeting.
    • Continue working on the Teacher Evaluation process through the committee that is already at work.


    The EC Accreditation Team:
    Tina Bucci, 
    Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Heather Vulpone, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung

    The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci


  • College Planning & Financing Workshop

    Wednesday, January 13
    7:00 p.m.

    Eastern Christian High School
    Media Center


    The Eastern Christian College and Career Office puts on this workshop, which is designed to help EC parents and their students avoid costly mistakes that can arise throughout the college admission and selection process. It also covers basic facts about financial aid; steps that parents and students can take to help save money by using admission and academic strategies;  and, discovering funding sources to help pay for your child’s college education and other ways to help minimize out-of-pocket expenses. It’s important that families provide a college education for their children without sacrificing other financial goals or burdening their children with too much debt. This workshop can assist in those preparations.

    Families with students of all grade levels are strongly encouraged to attend!

    *Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously.

  • Boys Varsity Basketball

    The boys picked up their first win of the season in the consolation match of the EC Christmas Ball with a convincing effort against Timothy Christian, a game in which every Eagle scored. The first week of the new year started with a disappointing loss at Glen Rock on Tuesday. Back home on Friday in front of a loud, packed house, the boys played their best game of the season to date with a 10 point win over a good Rutherford team. Senior captain Jon Veenstra led all scorers with 18 points, while classmate Henry Ruitenberg contributed 10 points, 12 rebounds and some big blocked shots down the stretch to seal the victory. This week the Eagles look forward to visiting Hawthorne on Tuesday and hosting Manchester in Friday’s girl/boy doubleheader!

  • Girls Varsity Basketball

    The Lady Eagles began their season with a four game winning streak that included an exciting 50-42 win over St. Mary’s to capture the championship of the inaugural EC Christmas Ball Tournament. Strong team defense and a balanced scoring attack led by frosh phenom Madison Wynbeek, junior Brooke Van Lenten and senior captain Kelly Tanis clinched the victory. The girls faced their toughest league competition of the season last week when they were outmanned by a tough Glen Rock defense on Tuesday but responded with a well played effort at Rutherford on Thursday. Van Lenten  led the Eagles with 17 points in the hard fought loss. Looking ahead, the girls hope to start a new winning streak against Hawthorne on Tuesday and then face Manchester on Friday in an exciting girl/ boy double header.

  • New Year’s Resolutions: Setting Goals to Finish the School Year Strong

    D04C9038A new year always brings inspiration. With a fresh start, we easily find motivation to do things differently, to accomplish new goals, and to become better versions of ourselves. Now that January is here, it is the perfect time to look back on the fall semester with your student and plan to make improvements this spring. Finishing the school year strong is not always easy, but these simple tips can make the final push a lot less stressful.

    Master the Art of Organization
    A little organization goes a long way. Students who are organized demonstrate higher academic performance and experience less stress. Now is the time to clean out those book bags, binders, and lockers. Don’t stop there — if your child’s bedroom or study area could use a revamp, the organization will certainly benefit your child both at home and at school.

    Form Healthy Habits
    Health and fitness are common new year’s resolutions for adults, but they can have an incredible firstday4impact on children as well. Meal planning is an easy way to get your family excited about healthy eating. Plan nutritious breakfasts, fill lunchboxes with healthy snacks like veggie sticks, fruit, and nuts, and create fun new options for family dinners. The healthy food will provide the energy your growing child needs. Further, aim for at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Every Saturday during the month of February, we’ll be hosting Super Saturdays — open gym events for kids from age 3 – 10 featuring inflatable slides, obstacle courses, jump rope stations, and more. If you have older students, try suggesting a brisk jog, a backyard soccer match, or even a round of indoor jumping jacks on a cold day. The benefits will be seen and felt!

    Overcome Procrastination
    Did procrastination get the best of your student last semester? Make sure that doesn’t happen again by providing tools to stay ahead of the game. Invest in a new agenda, to-do lists, or other organizational tools that help your student plan for upcoming assignments. Instead of making a habit of starting things the day before they’re due, encourage your student to begin far enough in advance to actually enjoy the projects. Kicking procrastination to the curb will not only boost grades, it will improve attitudes and lower anxiety as well.

    Ask for Help
    Does your student need a little extra support this season? Whether it is the pressures of college planning, a difficult class, or a spiritual concern, the staff at Eastern Christian is here to help. We have tools and resources in place to ensure every student thrives, so we encourage your family to take advantage of them. Our teachers, coaches, and counselors are passionate about helping students overcome obstacles to reach their full potential. If you need help, just ask!

    Stay Inspired
    The motivation to accomplish our new year’s resolutions tends to wear off as the weeks go by. Findways to keep the inspiration alive in your child’s heart and mind. Write down specific goals and D04C2604display them in a prominent place like your child’s bedroom. An inspiration board that features scripture references is a great way to remind your student of his or her objectives, and the source to draw on for strength.

    Learn More about Eastern Christian
    If your family is looking for a Christian school in the North Haledon, NJ, area, we invite you to learn more about Eastern Christian Schools. Our approach to education is highly personal, emphasizing each student’s academic success and spiritual development. Request more information today or contact us to schedule a visit.


  • EC’s Biggest Robot Fight Night EVER!


    In addition to being EC’s biggest robot fight night ever, it just so happens to be the first robot fight night in EC’s 124 year history. On January 22, 2016, students from the robotics class will be putting their skills to the test in a tournament of wit, ingenuity, and engineering. All are welcome to join as robotics-class teams and their robots compete in a series of challenges.

    A tournament of challenges will determine the winning robot from among 7 student teams and Mr. Steen’s “Teacher Bot.” The 8 team robot tournament will produce one champion.

    The entire EC community and any robot enthusiasts from our area are welcome to come to this event. Come to cheer on the robots and EC student pilots! Robot Fight Night will take place in the Eastern Christian High School gymnasium at 7:00 PM on January 22nd.

    We look forward to seeing many Robo-Fans of all ages!



  • The SAT is Coming. Take it by STORM!

    Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.40.08 PM

  • Winter Athletic Season Has Started!


    Eagles basketball is underway and the house is rocking! Right before Christmas break, the boys home opener vs Elmwood Park featured a large, loud crowd and a highly competitive game decided in the final minutes against one of the league’s best. Earlier in the day, the lady Eagles improved to 2-0 behind 18 points from freshman phenom Madison Wynbeek.

    There are plenty of Community Basketball Nights coming up this winter, make sure to get them on your calendar and come support your Eagles!

    January February
    January 8
    Boys Basketball at ECHS
    4:00 ECMS vs Hawthorne
    7:00 EC vs Rutherford

    January 15
    Boys Basketball at ECHS
    7:00 EC vs Manchester

    January 28
    Girls/Boys Basketball at ECHS
    5:30 EC Girls vs Lodi
    7:00 EC Boys vs Lodi

    February 19
    Boys Basketball at ECHS
    4:00 ECMS Boys vs HCA
    5:30 JV vs Pompton Lakes
    7:00 Varsity vs Pompton Lakes

    February 26
    Boys Basketball at ECHS
    7:00 EC Boys vs Garfield

  • EC Music Program Christmas Night at Barnes & Noble


    The usual quiet of the Barnes and Noble bookstore was delightfully interrupted by Christmas music last night. The Eastern Christian School Band, Orchestra, and Chorus all performed Christmas music while EC parents, relatives, friends, and music lovers enjoyed the seasonal treat.

    Guests of all ages were entertained and impressed by the skilled work of the EC students. In addition to the great performance at a great venue, Barnes and Noble donated a percentage of all proceeds from book sales for EC families to Eastern Christian School. Thank you to the Music Faculty and to our friends at Barnes and Noble for making this night happen.

    Most of all, we thank our Lord for the greatest gift of all during the Christmas season!

  • 2016 Open Houses

    If you have been thinking about exploring an education at Eastern Christian School we have some great opportunities coming up! Mark your calendars for the these open house events and don’t forget to register. We’re excited to see you on campus!

    If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our admissions team at 973.427.4729 or at admissions@easternchristian.org.

  • EC Accreditation Team Blog Series: Achieving Excellence Systemwide

    Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

    What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.

    In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?

    By Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management


    Here’s What We Studied

    In our first meeting together as an Accreditation Team, we met in the High School Media Center and discussed Accreditation Standard 1: Mission. We reviewed three key documents: our Mission statement, our Core Values and our Graduate Profile. Then, we discussed the recent community feedback survey that allowed all stakeholders in the EC community to give feedback on these three documents and their role/influence on day to day life at the school.

    Here’s What We Found

    We found that across all groups, the Eastern Christian Mission is lived out among the community. We really are who we say we are, and we really do what we say we’re going to do. That authenticity was reflected very strongly. We found that many groups didn’t feel like they had input into the creation or review of the mission statement. However, this was not a surprise, as the mission statement was founded a couple of Accreditation cycles ago. We found that our Graduate Profile doesn’t have a high enough level of recognition. While this is mainly a high school document, this document is helpful in articulating to all ages of students – even as young as 3 years old – what we are aiming for in an EC graduate. It is what we hope they can become. That is pretty powerful and we hope to think through ways to make this profile more prominent.

    Here’s What We Hope To Accomplish

    We hope to clean up some of the verbiage in the displays of the Core Values. Some of the areas where we articulate the Core Values list them in different orders, with different introductions, etc. We hope to have more consistent displays of the Mission/Core Values within the physical context of the school buildings and classrooms. We hope to train teachers to more intentionally use the language of these documents in the classroom to shape students’ understanding of why we do what we do. We received very high marks across all survey groups, so this particular standard is more about taking something “very good” and moving it to “excellent.”

    The EC Accreditation Team: Tina Bucci, Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Heather Vulpone, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung

    The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci

  • Putting the A in STEAM: Why We Include Arts in a Technology Education

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

    steamWe educate out of a deep-rooted belief that each person is created in the image of God as a creative and inventive decision-maker. Before Eastern Christian School launched our innovative, tech-centric STEAM program, our students were already thriving in our arts and humanities programs.

    When we first cast vision for a program that would integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), we surveyed similar programs. As we toured, interviewed, and assessed STEM programs across the country, we realized that we could use our existing strengths in the arts to bring new life to a strong concept. We decided to add an A for Art, and this year, instead of a STEM program, we launched STEAM.

    In developing Christian leaders who can effectively influence our culture, art education is essential. Studies and prominent voices in education show how much an art component adds to an education. We had already seen the value of arts education in developing curiosity, inquisitiveness, and a sense of wonder in our students.

    steamBy integrating arts into a technology education, we equip students to think, work, communicate, and live more fully. With the aesthetic sense that the arts add to a technology education, students gain a sense of how their work fits into the landscape of human feeling and experience. They develop the imagination and techniques they need to communicate their ideas in a visual culture.

    By putting the A in STEAM, we add a creative, visual element to an already cutting-edge education. This nourishes the hearts as well as the minds of our students, and prepares them to influence a world in need of their ideas.

  • Why Do We Celebrate the Christmas Festival?

    By Ruth Kuder
    Prinicpal, Eastern Christian High School


    Question:  What would make a teenager dress in ridiculous clothes?  Volunteer to be a “room elf,” “buddy”, or “Santa”?  Play musical chairs?  Read Christmas stories?   

    Answer:  The Eastern Christian High School Christmas Festival.

    christmasfestivalEach year, Eastern Christian students welcome over 200 elementary school students from School 24 in Paterson.  The high school is a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm as the high school students host their elementary school buddies for a day.  They sing Christmas carols, enjoy a Christmas dance and skit, eat pizza, paint faces, play games, and generally enjoy an amazing day getting to know a new friend.  

    National Honor Society students do the extensive planning that is involved in coordinating the activities of over 600 people in the building.  The logistics are complex, and the students take their responsibilities seriously.  They estimate food needs, purchase craft supplies, assign supervisors, write a skit, prepare carols, rehearse dances, and create a schedule.  

    All of our core values are lived out in just a few hours:

    • Students seek the truth of the Christmas story, and share it with their guests.
    • Teenagers serve others.
    • We embrace our local community.
    • High schoolers exhibit compassion when purchasing gifts, or hosting their child.
    • All students develop responsibility when presented with the opportunity to lead and serve.
    • It is all done with excellence!

    The Christmas Festival is best experienced, but if you can’t be there, the photos and video are the next best thing!

    (view video here if video fails to load in page)



  • BrainStorm Tutoring and Arts Acquires Eagles Learning Center


    Eagles Learning Center, a support program formerly of Eastern Christian School, has been acquired by BrainStorm Tutoring and Arts (Franklin Lakes). BrainStrom Tutoring and Arts is the premier network of academic mentors in northern New Jersey.

    Doty Family PhotoBrainStorm, the premier network of academic mentors in northern NJ, was founded in 2006 by local husband & wife team Ashley and Scott Doty with the mission of creating life opportunities for students through world-class educational coaching. The company’s 45 professional mentors offer customized instruction in all school subjects and standardized tests K-College, as well as college admissions coaching and “specialized academic coaching” for students with specific learning needs. The company offers private tutoring in clients’ homes and small-group tutoring at its Learning & Arts facility in Franklin Lakes.

    We are excited to announce not only this acquisition, but also an ongoing partnership with BrainStorm. BrainStorm will remain Eastern Christian School’s preferred provider of tutoring services moving forward. All existing Eagles Learning Center students and tutors will have the opportunity continue their work through the BrainStorm program.

    More information about BrainStorm:


  • A Day in the Life of a High School Student

    Jacob2 2

    Jake Veenstra is making the most of his senior year at Eastern Christian. From the classroom to the soccer field, he seizes every opportunity to prepare for the future while embracing the present — knowing that he will soon say goodbye to the peers, teachers, and coaches who have impacted his life on our campus. But there is an exciting journey ahead. Jake plans to pursue a career in journalism, and has his eye on colleges in both Connecticut and Washington, D.C.

    A Schedule for Success

    Jake starts his day in Psychology class before moving on to his SOAR period, an acronym that stands for Student Opted Academic Resource. During this 40-minute session, students can engage in a wide variety of activities from music to gardening, and sports to Bible studies.

    After SOAR, Jake moves on to a class that has helped him develop his passion for writing: Advanced Journalism. In his own words, “My journalism teacher, Mrs. Genuario, gives me advice from her personal experiences and is always there to answer questions and improve my abilities.” In this class, Jake has explored the principles and practices of journalism, while preparing for further study in college.

    Before he knows it, he’s headed to lunch and starting the second half of his day, taking classes in American History, Biblical Theology, and Physical Education. Afternoons are filled with practices and games, as Jake is on the soccer, basketball, and track teams at Eastern Christian.

    Finding the Balance

    Even with Jake’s full academic and athletic schedule, he finds time to volunteer and serve as a youth leader in his community. He says the support of his teachers, counselors, and coaches at Eastern Christian has taught him a lot about balancing it all and staying focused on his goals. “I’m trying to be as involved as I can so I can truly cherish my high school experience,” he explained. “My teachers are extremely supportive, and my coaches not only care about my performance on the field, but in the classroom and in my future. Eastern Christian’s College and Career Counselor, Jesse Struck, has also helped Jake keep his future at the forefront of his mind, answering questions and giving college advice as needed. “He has provided a lot of clarification and guidance, enabling me to find my direction and interests,” Jake said.

    Preparing for the Future

    Being prepared for the future involves more than a strong academic background. Jake believes his time at Eastern Christian has prepared him spiritually and socially as well. “Through Christian teachers, Bible classes, and chapel, I have been challenged spiritually, and taught how to defend my faith,” he explained. “With social events, our school promotes friendships with a wide variety of people, which creates an accepting and inviting community where we can encourage each other in our faith.”

    Senior Life Lessons

    Jake says his advice for future seniors is to remain focused on the future and to take advantage of the opportunities available in the last year of high school. He’s eagerly awaiting the annual senior trip, an overnight stay in Washington, D.C., which allows the senior class to explore the city’s history and spend quality time with each other before high school finishes up.

    Jake shared some of his own words for seniors to live by:
    “Stay focused and do not let senioritis come your way. Overcome it and finish strong. This is your last year, so get involved! Go to games and other social events, and make friends with anyone and everyone. Live in the moment, and don’t let the pressures of college planning get in the way of your friendships, academics, and personal goals. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy it — because it goes fast!”

    Learn More About Eastern Christian Schools

    Eastern Christian is full of students like Jake, who are motivated, engaged, and committed. Our school community encourages spiritual growth, academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and college prep. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to contact us and schedule a visit today!

  • Varsity boys soccer

    The 2015 Boys Soccer Season came to an end after a loss to Newark Academy in the second round of the playoffs. With the season in the rearview mirror, the team, lead by senior captains Jason Englishmen and Kyle Dykstra have a lot to be proud of. We more than doubled our win total from the previous season, we hosted our first playoff game in the careers of the seniors (a dominant 7-0 victory over Queen of Peace), and we grew a lot as a team and as a program. On senior night, perhaps the season’s high point, EC played some of our best soccer of the season- a dominating 4-0 victory over Manchester with EC controlling the ball on both offense and defense. We will greatly miss our seniors next year- they contributed in a major way to the program over their four year career and culminated with a great season in their final year. Post season awards: Jason Englishmen and Henry Ruitenberg earned all-league 2nd team. Kyle Dykstra and Sam Veenstra were honorable mention. Congratulations to the team on a great season- and a personal “Thank you” from Coach Gesch. You made my first season at EC a great one!

  • Varsity girls soccer

    The girls varsity soccer team competed in many close, exciting games this season,  highlighted by the come from behind win against Rutherford. Trailing 2-0 in the 2nd half on our home field, the girls fought back to win that game 3-2. After having lost many games by 1 goal, this one was a needed confidence builder.  Finishing  at 9-9-1 and 4th place in the league, the season was filled with all the thrills and frustrations that come with any competitive team. It wouldn’t have been the same without the contributions of senior captains Carlin Sietsma and Kelly Dykman. Congratulations them, classmate Nicole Tartini, and to leading scorer Erin Vander Plaat on being named 1st team all county for the 3rd consecutive season! With several other talented underclassmen returning including juniors Brooke Van Lenten, Brianna Altamuro and Alyssa Botbyl, the Eagles are excited about next year!

  • Volleyball season summary

    Led by senior team captains Emma Hagedoorn and Nicole Aoki, the otherwise young 2015 volleyball team learned to compete against the league’s best. Some highlights included winning a match against a talented and powerful Garfield team featuring 7 blocks from Hagedoorn. The home coming match vs 1st place Rutherford saw the Eagles score 17 well earned points including 15 digs from libero Aoki, who had an impressive 252 digs for the season (tied for second most in the county!) Nicole was named first team all league and second team all-county. Carina Castagna led the team with over 50 kills and was a great asset in the back row as well. Other seniors on the team included Chloe Argyros, Dana Del Pizzo, Kelly Tanis, Brianne Remy, and Mackenzie Wiegers. They all showed a great deal of leadership and team spirit this year and will be missed! While wins were tough to come by this year, some talented and enthusiastic underclassmen have the program pointed in the right direction!

  • Girls Varsity Tennis

    Girls varsity tennis ended the season with a league record of 4-10, not quite what they were hoping for after coming off of a strong season last year.  Senior captain Caitlin Shurminsky led a young team and earned 2nd Team all County and 2nd team all league competing against the league’s best at 1st singles.  She took her first round match in the County tournament against PCTI with strength and fought to the final point in her second round match up vs. Wayne Valley. Juniors Rachel Shultz and Kristen Casey earned All County Honorable Mention for 2nd and 3rd singles, Schultz finishing her season with an amazing 13-2 overall record. With all but one teammate back next year, the girls look forward to a competitive season.

  • Cross Country

    The EC Cross Country team finished its official season with the Ladies taking tenth in the state meet and the men thirteenth. Carter Heerema took a 26th place in the men’s  meet and Will Fan a 44th.  In the ladies meet Kelly Bosloper took 35th and Allison Steiginga 39th.  Final records for dual meets were 5 wins 4 losses for the ladies and 3 wins 6 losses for the men.  Allison Steiginga achieved a first team all conference award and a honorable mention in the county along with Emily Byrnes, who won the freshmen championship at Darlington over all area schools! The team is saying good bye to senior captains Carter Heerema and David Hefty along with classmate Devin Graham.  (No one on the ladies team is graduating!) Both teams leave a strong base for next years team.  High points of the season included our overnight training and service project to Shiloh camp and the girls 4th place finish in the NJIC!

  • Thanksgiving Alumni Chapel at ECHS


    The auditorium at Eastern Christian High School was completely full for this morning’s Thanksgiving Chapel. Alumni of all ages were invited to attend this special chapel led by several recent alumni, it was followed by a time fellowship and breakfast. It was great to see familiar faces back in the halls re-uniting and catching up with each-other and current students.

    We praise God for our alumni and for our awesome Christian community of all ages. Worshipping together was a tremendous blessing. Happy Thanksgiving to all EC students and families past and present!



  • High School Preview Day Welcomes EC Class of 2020

    At Eastern Christian High School today, we welcomed over 80 eighth grade students as part of our annual High School Preview Day. We were very excited to see all of EC’s current 8th grade class as well as many visitors from other schools in the area. Many EC eighth grade students were surprised to learn that we gain so many new students every year in 9th grade that their class size will likely double coming into high school in the fall of 2016!

    Students had the opportunity to shadow high school students for a class period of the day to get a better understanding of what classes will be like as high school students. After dropping off their students, parents were offered a tour of our high school campus and many took us up on the offer. It was an outstanding time to talk and listen and to dream together about what their child might do as a member of the class of 2020 at ECHS!

    Students and parents joined the entire high school student body and faculty in a time of worship with the student-led EC Chapel Praise Team. Mrs. Heerema spoke on 2nd Samuel.

    We added a new feature to day this year- our Extra-curricular fair. One of the key features of an ECHS 4 year experience is the many activities that students plug into. 8th graders were allowed to engage with over 25 of these activities and even sign up for these events in the fall.

    Our eighth grade guests were invited to a meal in the cafeteria, and wrapped up the day with a big group shot in their brand new “Soar EC” Under Armour t-shirts!

    Thanks to all the high school student hosts and extra curricular fair guides, our great HS faculty, and to all of the students and parents who came to visit. We had an amazing time, and we look forward to welcoming in the class of 2020 next fall!


  • Student/Teacher Ratio: Who’s on the right side of the slash?

    Much is made in education about student/teacher ratio. And rightly so! Parents want to know how many students will be competing for the attention of their child’s teacher. It stands to reason that, the more attention students get and the more of a relationship that they build with their teacher, the better their school experience will be.

    D04C9684wAt Eastern Christian School, we are proud of our 11/1 student/teacher ratio school-wide. However, I would also encourage prospective families considering among many school options to ask a second question beyond “What’s your school’s student/teacher ratio?” That question is the title of this post: “Who’s on the right side of the slash?”

    Here’s why I think this is significant: as families compare school options, you’re trying to find objective metrics that compare apples to apples. This can be difficult when it comes to stats like Student/Teacher Ratio. Specifically, don’t assume that all teachers are created equally!

    Let’s talk about Eastern Christian School’s amazing teachers. What makes them special or unique? I believe 3 things: EC teachers are professional, Christian leaders who are loving, nurturing mentors to EC students.

    • Professional. As we’ve discussed in our recent blog post, “Have it all at Eastern Christian School,” one of the tremendous blessings of being a part of New Jersey’s largest and oldest Christian Day School is that we are a community blessed with tremendous resources. Among schools in the private school sector, we are able to hire the best Christian School teachers. We have an innovative professional development model that mandates that our teachers undergo regular and intentional professional development. Each year, we proudly announce our Master Teachers– teachers who have reached the pinnacle of their profession. Every Eastern Christian School teacher is state certified (except for Bible Teachers because the state thankfully doesn’t try to certify Bible teachers!) in their content area.
    • Christian Leaders. Every teacher subscribes to our statement of faithOur faculty prays for our students daily. Teachers models their faith for students on a daily basis. Who do you trust to partner with you in the education of your children? As parents, we have less time each day with our children than our teachers do- who do you trust to have in this important role? One of my favorite things to observe in my children is when they pray out loud with our family. I can hear the “prayer tone” of their EC teachers being expressed in the way my children pray!
    • D04C9499wLoving/Nurturing Mentors. EC teachers love their students! Our students recognize this. In a recent survey of our students, 98% of our students supported the statement, “I am treated with respect by teachers,” and 96% believe that “My teachers care about me.” Our 94% retention rate also speaks to families “voting with their feet,” as being very satisfied with the overall experience at EC and specifically our teachers.

    D04C9726wWho’s on the right side of the slash at Eastern Christian? Amazing, Professional, Christian Leaders who love their students. Who’s on the right side of your child’s slash?

    Learn more about our amazing, teachers:


    Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management


  • Fall Open House at ECHS


    Last night was our Fall open house and it was exciting to have so many families visit our campus! Over 30 families came to hear about the quality Christian education at Eastern Christian and tour our well-equipped high school campus. If you’re considering EC as an option for your family, we would love to have you join us at an upcoming Open House.

    If you’re not able to attend one of our scheduled Open Houses, please contact us to arrange a personal tour. During this personal visit, you will be able to tour our well-equipped campus, observe our school in action and meet the principal. Personal visits can be scheduled during the week between 8am-5pm. To set up a personal tour please call the Eastern Christian Admissions Office at 973.427.4729 or e-mail admissions@easternchristian.org.

    Remaining Fall Open Houses

    Elementary School
    Daytime Open House: “Worship With Us”
    Tuesday, November 17, 2015
    8:30-10:00 AM
    Register Now!
    High School 
    Preview Day (Student Only Event)
    Wednesday, November 18, 2015
    8:30 AM-1:00 PM
    Register Now!


    Spring Open Houses

    (7:00-8:45 PM)

    Elementary School
    Thursday, March 3, 2016
    Register Now!
    Middle School
    Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Register Now!
    High School
    Thursday, March 17, 2016
    Register Now!


    openhouse2 openhouse3


  • New Students Thrive at EC

    By Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    ecmsD04C7157We’ve already blogged about our record enrollment growth, so we know that Eastern Christian School is growing. That’s great news! But how are these new EC families adjusting to life in a new school community? As it turns out, they’re thriving!

    We polled all of our new families in something we call our “One Month In” survey. In particular, 3 numbers jumped off the page:

    • 95% of new EC parents say that their child has transitioned well into his/her new class
    • 98% of new EC parents are happy with their decision to enroll their child at EC
    • 97% of new EC parents would recommend Eastern Christian School to a friend

    Wow! We are so thankful that families are adjusting to their transition into our school community so well! It’s also worth mentioning that the remaining percentages were mostly “neither agree nor disagree” – sort of an “incomplete” grade. This is fair because, again, the survey was only one month into the school year.

    IMG_7859Those are the numbers from the parents. But what about the students? Let’s check out a recent EC Times story by EC sophomore, Addie Peretti entitled, New Students:

    “When senior Jordan Moran walked into school on the first day, it already felt familiar. Although a brand new student to Eastern Christian, he had participated in the basketball summer league, and got to know kids on the team, while having a feel for the environment. “I was nervous at school the first couple days, but the kids from the basketball team helped me get through it,” said Jordan. Jordan is one of 71 students new to Eastern Christian High School this year.

    Several aspects of school stood out to new students, especially the friendly atmosphere of EC. Andrew Bennett, a new freshman, first noticed the culture in the school. “You guys are a close knit family; everyone knows each other, and everyone cares about each other.”

    New junior, Malcolm J. McLeod, noticed some similarities, “At my old school, new students would come and no one would pay attention to them,” he said. The friendliness and inviting spirit of school was a common thread through many new students.  Some activities new students liked the most at EC included SOAR, hallway murals, block scheduling, Man Up Bible study, and the cafeteria food.

    Another thing that stood out to students was the student/teacher relationships at school.  “I love the way that the teachers interact with the students. They don’t act like they are above you; they work with you,” said new junior Alyssa Schoener. 

    Almost every student commented about the inviting Christian atmosphere. Andrew also said, “My favorite part of school is Man Up (Bible Study). I like how it’s young men that just love Jesus and you get to have that fellowship with each other.”

    ecesWe thank God for all of our new families and students, and for the amazing and welcoming Christian community that embraces our new friends. We are also excited about next year and how many more new students may come our way.”

    If your family is interested in learning more about a world class Christian education at Eastern Christian School, consider:


  • The Bolger Foundation Challenges Eastern Christian

    By David Visbeen
    Executive Director, The Foundation for Eastern Christian School

    Many of my friends think my job at The Foundation must be challenging. After all, The Foundation is tasked with raising almost one million dollars each year to offset tuition costs. But I don’t usually think of my job as challenging; I think of it more as an opportunity; an opportunity to be part of what God has been doing for the past 123 years and what he is still doing today at Eastern Christian School. It is amazing to have the opportunity to be a part of this incredible ministry and to give others the opportunity to participate as well.

    D04C9126Still, every now and then, there is a challenge.  Earlier this year The Bolger Foundation of Ridgewood presented EC with a challenge: a challenge in the form of a grant.  The Bolger Foundation has offered Eastern Christian $30,000.00 to complete security upgrades at the middle and high school campuses.  Here’s the challenge:  in order to receive the $30,000.00 grant, we must raise $60,000.00 in new pledges or donations toward the project. This is an all or nothing challenge.

    We need $90,000.00 to complete the proposed security upgrades on the two campuses.  So now, The Foundation for Eastern Christian School is challenging our community. Will you help EC meet the challenge?  For every dollar you give, The Bolger Foundation challenge grant will provide an additional $.50.  This is a great opportunity for you to multiply your gift and for Eastern Christian to receive The Bolger Foundation Grant so that we can complete important campus improvements, without impacting tuition.

    MorganAPlease consider this unique opportunity to be a part of ministry and mission of Eastern Christian School.  Send your gift or make your pledge (payable before August 31, 2016) to The Foundation and be sure to note Bolger Foundation Challenge on your check or pledge.  You can also give online (link).

    Thank you for your consideration in support of this important project!

  • Foundation of Faith – Biblical Teaching From a Young Age

    Early childhood is filled with joy, discovery, and curiosity. These natural inclinations make the preschool years an ideal time to begin Biblical teaching. In addition to teaching at home and church, a strong Christian preschool can help parents build a lasting foundation of faith for their children. (more…)

  • EC Featured on Christian Schools International’s Website


    Eastern Christian School’s success at Character.org’s National District of Character presentation was recently noticed by Christian Schools International. We’re thankful for their recognition!

    Click here to read the full article.

  • National Honor Society Induction 2015


    With chapters across the United States, the National Honor Society (NHS) is the most prestigious organization that recognizes outstanding high school students. Being selected as a member of the National Honor Society is one of the highest honors a high school student can attain. High academic achievement is only one criterion for selection. NHS honors students who have demonstrated outstanding excellence in four areas: service, leadership, character, and scholarship. Eastern Christian has had a NHS chapter for many years, as we adapt the four pillars of NHS to fit a Christian worldview and education. EC requires that students be at least a junior and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater; students must also be enrolled in at least two upper level honors or advanced courses. A five-member Faculty Council rigorously evaluates each candidate’s credentials in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Only those students who have excelled in all four areas are invited to join the NHS. EC is very pleased to have 49 students as members of our NHS in 2015.

    At Eastern Christian, NHS members are actively involved in service projects.  For over 20 years, our NHS has sponsored the Christmas Festival, where we invite over 200 first and second-graders from a Paterson public elementary school to campus to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.  Many people think that teachers and administrators plan the Christmas Festival.  In fact, our NHS students do all of the planning and preparation for this huge event.  NHS students volunteer their time to tutor and mentor students who need extra help.  In the spring, we plan and run a field day event at EC elementary school.  The most important pillar of NHS is service to our community, our schools, and our churches.

  • Hands Dirty Day


    D04C2591w D04C2645 D04C2600On Friday, October 16, the ECMS student body came to school ready to roll up their sleeves and to get their hands dirty. During the morning, our 188 Middle School students were sent out in small groups to over 20 locations. Students spent three hours at each of these locations working and serving the needs of our hosts. After returning to school, students celebrated the day of service with a picnic lunch and “dirty” games outside.

    The goal of Hands Dirty Day is two-fold: First, it is our desire to get our students out into the community to work with local businesses and organizations as well as with local individuals and families and to share the love of Christ through service. From

    fall clean-ups, to building raised flower beds, performing for seniors to assisting residents at a care center, our students used their hands to meet whatever needs these groups had. Second, ECMS uses Hands Dirty Day as a sponsored fundraising day, where students asked friends and family to sponsor them as they served. Funds raised through these efforts went to support the Middle School 1-1 Chromebook initiative, which over the past two years has purchased 160 Dell Chromebooks.

    We have already had several reports back from the locations we served giving positive feedback, both of the help we provided as well as the helpfulness of our students. It was an amazing day of lifting up the name of our God to those in need.

  • Boys Soccer Senior Night

    It was senior night for the Eagles of Eastern Christian, and the senior- and the entire team- did not disappoint. A convincing 4-0 victory was the result of the best all-around performance put in by the Eagles to date this season.

    Eagles goalkeeper Josh Groenewal’s second shut-out victory of the season was supported by a powerful second half attack that saw EC net 4 goals- all by players named Veenstra. The senior triplets were in full force, with goals by Jake (2), Sam, and Jon assisted by Sam Veenstra (2) and Jason Englishmen (2). The four goal barrage was Eastern Christian’s largest margin of victory on the season, and puts the Eagles just one game shy of .500 before taking on Garfield to end the regular season on Thursday.

    After the victory, the seniors brought flowers to mom, and hugged loved ones. Junior Andrew Brooks presented the seniors with gifts and a thank you speech to all senior players and Mark Van Reeth and Brenden Le Fevre for their work with video this year. Coach Gesch expressed his gratitude for the team’s maturity, leadership, acceptance, and fun. All gathered closed in a prayer of thanksgiving for these awesome players.

  • Homecoming 2015 Recap

    EC Homecoming 2015 was a great success! Thank you also to everyone who attended and participated in the many events including all the sporting events, Battle of the Decades band competition, the first EC5K run/walk, Family Harvest Fest and BBQ, and the Heritage Years Alumni Dinner.

    There is too much to fit in one spot, so be sure to check out the video above and all of these links for event summaries:

    Thank you to our sponsors and all the many volunteers who helped in numerous capacities throughout the weekend, we couldn’t have done it without you. We’re already preparing for next year! Mark your calendars for October 21, 22, 23, 2016 for Homecoming 2016!


  • Homecoming 2015: Battle of the Decades


    Where there is music there is joy! This event dripped with energy and drew people in. Eastern Christian’s first ever Homecoming Battle of the Decades Band Competition was a roaring success. Six fantastically talented bands registered for the event but only one walked away with the $500 cash prize and 2 foot trophy.  Scott Steenstra’s band, Cymbal of Ambiguity, kicked off the night with great energy launching a reprise of Back to the Future’s version of Johnny B. Goode. It was a fan favorite and set the bar early. Not to be outshined teacher Rebekah Sankey grabbed your attention with a soulful account of At Last with the EC House Band followed by a riveting show by the Bethany Worship team bringing the crowd to their feet.

    bands3The second half of the evening continued to throw down one amazing performance after another. The Covenant Band changed up the genre and made Blue Grass pop with a spectacular rendition of Ring of Fire and Man of Constant Sorrow, they were the runner up to the winner and by only one vote difference from the audience. Eric Martin, from Brightside, surprised guests when he came out hard rapping Eminem’s 05’ hit and once again switched the genre shaking down the house. It was The Empty Frame, led by Kyle Vandenburg, that brought it all together with a tight performance including original songs and covers of hits from the 90’s and 00’s. Justin Vierling & John Prall, guest judges, deliberated over the bands and agreed with the audience vote that The Empty Frame won the Battle of the Decades making them the first winners of this soon to be repeated competition.

    David Zuidema, MC for the evening, joked about his disappointed that the Battle of the Decades was not actually an epic sword flinging fight but as the night continued it was clear that the bands were not going to give away their chance at winning. Each band fought hard and it showed. The talent was impressive, the songs catchy and the crowed hopping. EC alum walk with swagger as there was another reason to be proud of their alma mater, this school’s got rhythm!


  • Homecoming 2015: Heritage Alumni Dinner


    Alumni who graduated 50 years or more were invited to “Sunday Dinner” at the High School. Those attending had a great time of fellowship and enjoyed a delicious meal, catered by Foodtown. Tom Dykhouse opened with prayer and welcomed the guests, thanking them for their years of support. The Honors Choir performed and greatly impressed the guests with their outstanding talent and personal testimonies.

    After dessert, David Visbeen led the guests on a tour of the high school. Alumni were most amazed by all the updates to the school. Everyone had a wonderful time and look forward to gathering again next year!


  • Homecoming 2015: Athletic Highlights

    boyssoccer One of the major threads running through the fun community weekend for Eastern Christian School’s first ever Homecoming was the sports events that permeated the events calendar. Fall sports seasons are in full swing and Homecoming offered Eagles fans the opportunity to cheer on the blue and gold in a variety of venues!

    On the weekend:

    • Volleyball: EC Girls Volleyball kicked off the weekend festivities, but fell to league power Rutherford.
    • Girls Soccer played a Friday night game at Willow Field. In front of a great crowd, the concession stand and mobile swag store buzzed with activity. EC opened the scoring early. Alyssa Botbyl had two goals off of two Erin Van Lenten crosses, but EC ultimately fell to the Panthers of Midland Park 6-3. Thanks to Rudi Gesch for announcing the game and adding some excitement to the event.
    • soccerBoys Soccer: The Saturday/Noon kick-off featured a league game rematch from earlier this year. League leading Pompton Lakes easily beat EC in that earlier contest, but Homecoming was a different story. Inspired by the large crowd in attendance, EC carried the 1-1 tie into the final 5 minutes. A late EC goal was called back due to offsides. On a later attack, EC hit the crossbar. Unfortunately, Pompton Lakes put in the game winner in the final minute of play for the heartbreaker. But it was a great effort and a great turnout. Thanks to Clixes hot dogs for providing great concessions including their famous “All the way” sauce! Thanks to announcer Ben Kuiken for adding your unique (and entertaining) take on the game for all to enjoy!
    • Middle School Girls Soccer Defeated rival Hawthorne Christian. EC vs. HCA always brings about a friendly rivalry, and we were proud of our MS Girls Soccer team for handling HCA with a 5-1 victory.
    • Alumni Soccer: We were thrilled to have 28 soccer program alumni players involved. With the graduation year of 2010 as a dividing line, the older alums defeated the younger alums 4-2. The fun atmosphere of the game was assisted by a great fan turnout and High School Boys soccer players playing the role of referees.athletics
  • Homecoming 2015: Family Harvest Fest and BBQ Recap


    The Middle School campus served as site for the family friendly “Harvest Fest.” The event featured balloon animals, a face paint station, pony rides, on Saturday’s beautiful, crisp, fall afternoon. EC High School students ran carnival games and encouraged younger students as they tried to win prizes.

    A large community tent was filled with the delicious smells of grilled meat coming from the BBQ. The burgers and hot dogs were great!


  • Homecoming 2015: Courtyard Dedication


    The entire High School Courtyard transformation has been a story of God’s providence. With community members stepping up to help transform the space at the heart of the High School Campus from an afterthought into a beautiful, intentional, educational space.

    Since we recently completed the courtyard project, we were excited to tie the Courtyard Dedication into Homecoming weekend festivities. at 3:00 PM on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, volunteers, donors, contractors, and friends of the courtyard project gathered to formally dedicate this space to the Lord.

    ECHS Science Teacher Anne Bazanowski, the project’s “Nehemiah,” was on hand to share the history of the project and many instances of God’s Providence along the way. Thanks again to all volunteers, donors, and contractors who helped make this dream a reality.

    We look forward to years of use in this new beautiful garden space at the heart of our High School Campus!


  • Homecoming 2015: First Annual EC5K

    5kSaturday morning was cool and crisp as dozens of volunteers began to gather at the high school right after 6:00 AM. The forecast was excellent for a race that was sure to be a challenge. By 8:00 AM our water and refreshment stations were set up and our volunteers were in place. Our race director was our on the course checking last minute details while the runners were registering and stretching.

    At 9:00 AM sharp blast of the starter’s horn pierced the air and the runners were off. Eighty participants in the First Annual EC5K headed for High Mountain Road. Runners ranged in age from 9 to 70 and included students, alumni, and friends. Every runner finished the race. Congratulations to Andrew Nashed of North Haledon led the men with a time of 19.53.00 and to Melissa Woudenberg led the women with a time of 21.19.99.

    Special thanks to Nicholas Markets our Event Sponsor; Atlantic Stewardship Bank and Braen Stone Industries our Race Sponsors; and to Mayor George and the Borough of North Haledon who supported our event in so many ways.

    Link: Check out the Compuscore race details here


  • Homecoming 2015: Thank You Sponsors!

    sponsorsThere are so many individuals that were involved in making our Homecoming and EC5K weekend a success, that it is impossible to list them all individually. Let’s begin by saying thank you to our weekend sponsors:

    • EC5K Event Sponsor-Nicholas Markets
    • EC5K Race Sponsors: Atlantic Stewardship Bank and Braen Stone Industries
    • EC5K Runner Sponsors:
      • Abbey Carpet and Floor of Hawthorne
      • Anna Rose Floral
      • Borduin Paving
      • ditto Upscale Resale
      • Living Spring Water
      • Terrie O’Connor Realtors and Jeff Vander Molen
      • V & S Floor Covering
      • Wayne Tile Company
    • EC5K Supporter Sponsors: Hi-Tech Family Dentistry and Visbeen Construction Company
    • Homecoming Event Sponsor-Atlantic Stewardship Bank
    • Harvestvest & Family BBQ Sponsor-Regency Wealth Management
    • Heritage Alumni Dinner Sponsor-Christian Health Care Center

    Thank you to the athletic department for organizing multiple home games for homecoming and to our student athletes for giving your all and providing us with great competitions. And of course, our athletic boosters who provided such great food and beverages along with Ron & Jenn Pruiksma for the hot dogs all-the-way.

    While our Sponsors provided the backing to make our weekend a success, our volunteers were incredible, serving as greeters, registrars, course marshals, refreshment servers, game managers, face painters, clean-up crews, entertainers and more. Thank you board members, faculty members, students, parents, and friends. We could not have done it without you.

    And finally, thank you to our community and fans that came out to run and play and cheer and make homecoming a great weekend for all of us.

    To God be the glory for a spectacular first EC Homecoming and EC5K.

  • Busy week for girls varsity soccer

    A heavy 4 game week began with a tough 1-0 loss to a strong Pompton team at Willow. Tuesday night game was the rematch vs Hawthorne, to whom we lost 2-0 last time around.  After missing a few golden opportunities early on in the game and ending the first half at 0-0, we knew we had to capitalize on our chances. Late in the second half, Alyssa Botbyl lofted a free kick right to the six, and Erin Vander Plaat finished it off, putting us up 1-0. Chloe DePalma and Brooke Van Lenten both made some great saves to keep us on top, and we were able to celebrate another victory against a top team, the highlight of our week.

    Many different players contributed to our 8-0 win over Manchester on Thursday both offensively and defensively. Nicole Tartini had two goals and Gwen Van Goor got on the board for the first time this season. Madison Wynbeek finished off the game with a brilliant strike from our defensive half, which sailed right over the goalkeeper’s head. .Our week ended on Friday night vs Midland Park. Homecoming weekend brought a lot of excitement and spectators to the game.  After each team scored in the opening minutes and an even first half, Midland Park took a 3-2 lead to the break. In the 2nd half they were able to capitalize on our tired legs, injuries and deflated spirit to score three more in the second half, while we were only able to finish off one chance. We have to keep our heads high, because we face Pompton Lakes for the second time on Monday.

  • EC Boys Soccer Defeats Manchester 4-3 in OT

    The Eagles of Eastern Christian squared off against the neighbor Falcons of Manchester Regional High School on a beautiful late October afternoon. Eastern Christian took the short hike next door to play at Manchester in a back and forth game that would prove to have a thrilling conclusion.

    Falcon’s forward Luis Henriquez opened the scoring for Manchester in the 17th minute of play. Eastern Christian would slowly but surely fight back into the game with a goal off of yet another set piece by senior defender Henry Ruitenberg (assist Jake Veenstra). The 1-1 halftime score was indicative of just how close this contest would be for the duration.

    13 minutes into the second half, eagles senior captain Jason Englishmen headed home a ball from Jon Veenstra to put EC into the lead for the first time in the game. But Manchester would fight back just 8 minutes later with a goal from sophomore Danial Betamour.

    EC put what appeared to be the game winner in off of a Jason Englishmen penalty kick (set up by a great run and penalty draw by senior Sam Veenstra). But Manchester was again able to come back with a dramatic goal in the final minute of regulation.

    It is very difficult to bounce back from a late equalizer like that, but that is precisely what EC did. After a scoreless first 10 minute OT period, the Eagles continued pressing until the game clincher with only 3 minutes left to play. Henry Ruitenberg skyed for a Jason Englishmen Corner Kick and headed the ball into the back of the net for the golden goal winner! It was the Eagles’ second win in as many days, having beaten the Bears of Hawthorne 3-1 yesterday.

         Coach Rudi Gesch

  • Enrollment Soars at Eastern Christian School

    By Tom Dykhouse
    Executive Director and Head of School

    D04C9126Eastern Christian School experienced significant growth in enrollment with the start of the 2015-16 school year, adding 183 new students and reversing a persistent declining enrollment trend. The addition of the new students has resulted in an increase in our September 2015 enrollment to 759 students, up from 705 students in September 2014.

    Several members of our school community who have become aware of this increase have asked for my explanation of this fantastic growth in the number of students and families that we are privileged to serve. I have told them that there is no single factor, no “magic bullet” that explains our growth. Rather it is the combination of a number of factors that I have dubbed the “5 P’s.” The “5 P’s” include:

    • steamProgram: Eastern Christian School continues to to provide very strong academic, spiritual, and emotional support to serve the students who have been entrusted to us. Notable program achievements in the past year have included our being named a National School District of Character, one of only three districts in the nation to receive this honor, and one of the Top 50 Christian High Schools in America.  Eastern Christian High School’s renowned Humanities program, and its recently launched STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) have continued to attract new students to our school, as has our widely acclaimed graphic and performing arts program and our recently enhanced emphasis on interscholastic athletics which provide a wonderful venue for living out our school’s core values outside of the classroom.
    • People: Supporting a growing student body is a team effort and Eastern Christian School is grateful to have been blessed with a strong team that functions as a truly cohesive unit. We are thankful for the leadership of our new student recruitment efforts provided by our Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management and his colleagues in the Enrollment Office. There is incredible support provided by teammates throughout the school! We had colleagues working in our school and Association offices, faculty members who reviewed transcripts and conducted new student assessments, and our principals who collectively conducted close to 200 new family interviews during the spring and summer!
    • Process: Beginning early last school year, we began a major overhaul of our admissions processes, including revamping the scheduling and content of our open house events, the implementation of new enrollment management software, the introduction of a new online applications process, and the introduction of the “60 Second Re-enrollment” for returning students. These process changes were wrapped in a completely new marketing focus entitled “SOAR EC” which included the “Do Life Big” video presentation featuring drone photography of our campuses, repainting and redecoration of numerous public and student areas in the Eastern Christian color palette, and the introduction of spirited Community Nights to cheer on the Eagles in their athletic contests.
    • vt-rotator2Pricing: The introduction of the concept of  Variable Tuition in the place of our former scholarship program helped many new families recognize that the cost of a world-class Christian day school education was not out of reach. Eastern Christian School’s Variable Tuition marketing has been widely praised, and, with our permission, copied by a number of our sister schools around the country.
    • Prayer: Our growth has, more than any other factor, been the result of prayers on the part of our school community that have been answered by our God in the form of His blessing on years of efforts undertaken to grow Eastern Christian School. To God be the glory – great things He has done!

    We are thrilled that so many new families chose to join us this year. Every student that joins our school is another opportunity for God’s mission for our students to transform the world!

    26We look forward with great anticipation as we officially begin our efforts to welcome next year’s new students with the opening of our Early Decision Enrollment window this month and our first open houses of the new school year on November 12 at Eastern Christian High School, November 17 at Eastern Christian Preschool and Elementary School, and our High School Preview Day for prospective 9th graders on November 18. Pre-register online or call the Enrollment Office at 973-427-4729 to register or for more information.

  • Community Digs EC Touch A Truck

    By Katie Tarta
    Foundation Development Coordinator

    DJI00097Twelve months ago during the October Elementary PTO meeting a new fundraising idea was presented, Touch A Truck.  This idea gained momentum largely because of the parent enthusiasm and it was that same enthusiasm that made the event itself such a great success. Touch A Truck, hosted by Eastern Christian Elementary, had nearly 950 people on site Saturday October 17th with over 20% attending as non-EC families. It is proof positive that a small group of motivated people can have a huge impact and create a tidal wave of support.


  • EC Team Presents at National Character Education Forum

    imageA team of Eastern Christian School teachers and administrators presented on the subject of character education to a group of educators from across the US at the National Forum on Character Education in Atlanta, GA on October 17.  While at the conference, sponsored by Character.org, the EC team also accepted a banner commemorating Eastern Christian School’s designation as one of only three school districts nationwide as National School Districts of Character,

    The Eastern Christian team, consisting of Head of School Tom Dykhouse, ECMS Vice Principal Mary Faber, ECES Teacher Donna Holly, ECHS Teacher Jesse Wright, and Curriculum & Instruction Advisor Dick Van Yperen, presented on the topic, “Relevance Across the Ages, “ tracing the development of character education at Eastern Christian School.  The presentation reviewed the manner in which character education is taught to students from the earliest grades through the day of their graduation from Eastern Christian School.  The team discussed the school’s core values grounding in God’s word and in EC’s mission of preparing its students to become men and women of Christian vision and influence who are prepared to contribute to God’s mission of renewal and reconciliation.

    Eastern Christian’s presentation marked the completion of a four year effort to earn the National School of Character designation and the beginning of its commitment to act as an advisor and exemplar to other schools around the nation which aspire to build effective character education programs.

  • Girls Varsity Soccer

    It was a busy week for the Eagles. On Monday vs Elmwood Park we got on the board early with a goal from Erin Vander Plaat who finished with a hat trick. Cassidy Martin added two goals as we defeated the Crusaders 6-0.

    Next up was Glen Rock. After losing 1-0 in the final two minutes on their turf,  the Eagles were motivated to come out on top this time around. However, an early Glen Rock goal and a stout defense kept us off the board and we fell 2-0 at Willow.

    As Friday rolled around, the Eagles faced another formidable challenge, the very rough and tough Rutherford team. After a damaging first half that included two very early goals (7 mins & 9 mins), the Eagles could have completely given up. Regrouping at halftime with leadership on and off the field from Senior captains Kelly Dykman and Carlin Sietsma, the Eagles turned the tide. Sietsma assisted Erin Vander Plaat for the Eagles’ first goal of the game in the 56th minute.  With frustration now brewing on the Rutherford side, the Eagles showed what it means to play as a team. Increased pressure and hard work led to a fantastic pass from Madison Wynbeek to Vander Plaat, who was able to convert a picture perfect volley with the outside of her foot, placed just inside the post to tie the score at two with 4 minutes to go. With overtime looming  (could this be a repeat of the last game against Rutherford?), Christina Tartini sent a pass to Vander Plaat, who finished beautifully with just two minutes remaining as the crowd erupted in cheers. This comeback against Rutherford was not only the highlight of the week, but also the highlight of the season. We can not be any prouder of our Eastern Christian Eagles for the example they set as players and shining lights of Christ on and off the field.
    Coach Laura
  • Welcome, Megan Roy!


    Megan Roy
    After School Assistant Director & Aide

    Personal Profile
    I am originally from Central Massachusetts, and I love telling everyone how different New Jersey is from New England! But the truth is, I have been traveling around a lot in the last six years and am really excited to be involved with this school community. I am currently finishing up my Masters of Music at William Paterson University in Jazz Studies & Performance, and Willy P is my main reason for relocating to NJ. Besides music, I love running, yoga, writing, reading, and teaching – of course!

    Professional Profile
    I graduated from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in 2013, with my Bachelors of Music in Music Education. I primarily studied trombone and jazz voice, and received K-12 certifications in Music, Special Ed, and ESL. After graduation, I moved to Poland for the academic year on a Fulbright grant, where I taught English and music at a local university. Currently, as I mentioned before, I’m finishing my masters at Willy P!

    In all my moving around, it had always been hard to find a church that really felt like home. I luckily found that at Bridgeway Community Church in Haledon, and my new church family has been a blessing ever since! I was introduced to EC by some of my friends, and EC teachers, at Bridgeway. This past summer I directed the Eagles Day Camp, and now I’m on board at EC with After School!

    Philosophical Profile
    I’ve been in a lot of schools–in the US, in South Africa, in Poland–and I’ve seen many different learning environments. The atmosphere at EC is what really sets it apart from any other program I’ve seen. The students are bright, the teachers are engaging, and the overall feel of the school is very special. Besides the excellent caliber of teachers and students, I believe this beautiful atmosphere is due to EC’s foundational, Christian education. How blessed are we to be able to share our faith with our students?

  • The First Race

    By Ruth Kuder, High School Principal

    This year’s worship theme, “Run the Race,” is taken from Hebrews 12:1-3:

    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    My daughter Rachel is registered to run in the New York City Marathon.  As part of her training, she recently ran in the Newport Liberty Half-Marathon.  As I continue to learn and reflect on running the race, I was struck by three things today: the course, the witnesses, and the runners.  I thought I would share some of the images from this first race.


    The course: maps, miles and markers

    . . . the race marked out for us. . .

    Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.54.32 PMThe Map

    Rachel texted us a map so we could pick the most strategic place to cheer her on.  We opted for Liberty State Park.  Parking was good; the view of the Manhattan skyline was spectacular; and we could see her at multiple points.  Did you see the “course subject to change” note in the bottom left corner?

    TIMG_0505he Miles

    The mile and times were clearly labeled throughout the race.  As runners went by, I could hear them commenting back and forth about the number of miles they had left to run.


    IMG_0506The Markers

    Someone, in advance of the race, painstakingly laid out orange cones, over 13.1 miles.  Liberty State Park is a maze of pathways and roads.  As we waited for the runners, someone suggested moving just a few of the cones at this particular intersection.  How would that have changed the race?


    The witnesses:  guardians, nourishers, and encouragers

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses . . .

    The Guardians

    Throughout the race, there were guardians.  There were police officers on patrol, on foot, in cars, on bikes and in K-9 units.  And of course, after the 2013 Boston Marathon, the finish line had a heavy police presence.  I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t think to take a photo of those who were protecting the runners.  It made me wonder how many of our guardians go unnoticed.  

    IMG_0513The Nourishers

    As you may be able to tell from the map, there were lots of stops where runners could get water and Gatorade.  Can you see all the cups on the ground?  There were a number of people just raking up the garbage to make sure it was appropriately discarded.

    IMG_0497The Encouragers

    Ok.  So maybe my family doesn’t look like the most dynamic group of “cheer-leaders.”  In fact, one runner, on his way past said, “I don’t hear anything. . . .?!”  Not wanting to cheer constantly for the next hour, but feeling a little guilty, we agreed to pick different categories of runners to cheer on.  One of us picked neon colors;  Another chose bandanas (not many of those); I chose the most discouraged looking runners.

    IMG_2928The start and finish lines were full of people.  We were in a sparsely populated section of the course. What the runners didn’t know, was that even though they couldn’t see us, we could see them coming from a long way off.  Can you see them in the background?  We were eagerly anticipating their arrival and were poised to catch their photos and give them a boost of encouragement.

    The Runners:  

    And let us run with perseverance. . . .

    I was struck by several things about the runners:

    • They kept moving.  The elite runners ran as if it were effortless.  The middle-of-the-pack runners ran with visible effort.  Those who were bringing up the rear ran with painstaking effort.  They were visibly struggling, yet kept on going.  All ran with perseverance.
    • While the elite runners shared a physique and pace that immediately placed them at the front of the pack, the next group of runners was surprising.  There wasn’t anything in their appearance that would make you think that they would be frontrunners in their class.  They could be older, inelegant, and ungainly, yet they were still running at a pace that would put them ahead of others who would seem to have a natural advantage.
    • It was a silent and focused group.  In fact, I’ve never been on the Hudson River, with so many people, and experienced that level of quiet and concentration.  No one was shushing them; they were focused on the finish line.  

    As you approach the next lap in the race, remember:

    This course has been marked out for us from the Beginning of Time, by the Creator of the Universe.

    For you! No one will be changing the course, adjusting the mile markers or moving the cones, without His will.

    A great cloud of witnesses is cheering us on.

    The Hebrews 11 “Hall of Fame” is in place.  In addition to that great host, there are many others who are guarding, nourishing and cheering for us.

    We are running together.  

    Whether we are elite runners, or new to the race, we will persevere, with focus and commitment, to reach the finish line.

  • Welcome, Amanda Post!

    Mandi Post

    Resource Room/Science Teacher

    Personal Profile:
    I grew up in Northern Michigan and attended a Christian school there from K-12. My father was also a high school science teacher in my school. I always loved the outdoors growing up and knew I wanted to pursue something in the sciences.

    Professional Profile:
    I have a degree in Biology from Calvin College. During and following college, I worked with the Land Conservancy group, constructing a green space plan for the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Following that, I worked at a Christian Environmental Education Center teaching K-8 students from various schools. Next I interned with the National Park Service at a National Seashore in New York state. A friend of mine who worked at EC then encouraged me to apply to teach Biology here. I moved to NJ and taught for 6 years in the high school. I took a few years off to raise my family and now this year I am returning to the classroom.

    Philosophical Profile:
    The integration of faith and academic pursuits makes all the difference. EC prepares young people for a life of service to God in all fields of study. EC provides students with the ability to look at the world around them through the eyes of Christian discernment. It provides a supportive, nurturing environment where students can flourish.

  • In a Culture of Innovation, STEAM Rises


    From the students to the teachers to the administrators, a culture of innovation shapes Eastern Christian School. To prepare our students to be people of Christian vision and influence in society, we explore new ways to engage in education, embrace fresh ideas, and adapt to a rapidly-changing world.

    For years, our humanities program enriched the worldview of our students by integrating literature, the arts, and history. Our science department offered honors classes in Physical Science, Chemistry, and Biology, along with Advanced Biology and Physics. This year, we took a leap forward with a new program.

    D04C9507wIn September of 2014, Principal Ruth Kuder cast a vision for an academic track that would propel our science and math programs to the cutting edge of high school education. She outlined a plan modeled after existing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs, with the crucial addition of a visual arts element, giving students ways to express their creative ideas.

    Faculty embraced the concept of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Program, and teacher Philip Verrengia led a committee of educators to make it a reality. The team explored similar programs, visited schools, and crafted curriculum for a program that would equip high-performing students to engage in real-world fields. They developed tracks for students to explore Physical Science, Biomedical Science, Computer Science, and Environmental Science.

    Just one year later, with enthusiastic support from Eastern Christian School teachers, administration and board, our new program is thriving, with 11 students pursuing their interests in real-world fields. The work has already engaged staff and students academically and spiritually.

    IMG_7022wSTEAM leader, Mr. Philip Verrengia, says, “As individuals created in the image of God, our students have been hard-wired by God with certain attributes like curiosity, inquisitiveness, and a sense of wonder. Our STEAM Program gives students additional opportunities to satisfy these God-given attributes as they explore aspects of God’s creation that interest them.”

    In pursuit of educational excellence that glorifies God, Eastern Christian School’s culture of innovation has produced a program that engages students’ minds, nurtures their spirits, and equips them to engage their world.


  • EC Boys Soccer Wins Final Home Game 4-3 over Lodi in Game’s Final Minutes

    Wednesday was the final night game on the calendar for the Eagles of Eastern Christian. Perfect weather and a formidable opponent in the Rams of Lodi High School set the stage for a great night. Lodi’s attack was particularly strong in the first half, when it was the Alexis Gonzalez show. Gonzalez had a first half hat-trick to put the Rams up 3-1 at the half. The lone EC first half goal was scored by the Eagles’ Sam Veenstra.
    Something kicked into gear for EC at the half, because the Eagles would mount a major comeback, winning the half 3-0 and the game 4-3 in the game’s dying minutes. Senior captain Jason Englishmen converted a Penalty Kick to put the game within one. Senior Jon Veenstra’s long throw-in continues to be a formidable weapon for the Eagles as that set up the game’s tying and go-ahead goals, both scored by senior defender Henry Ruitenberg. The large crowd erupted on the Eagle’s 4th goal, as it pushed EC to victory in the game’s final minutes.
    Thanks to all of the fans for continued support and a great night-game atmosphere. Up next for the Eagles, a Thursday practice, followed by a Friday away game at Elmwood Park.
    Coach Gesch
  • Welcome, Max Harvell!

    Max Harvell

    PE/Health Teacher/Coach

    Personal Profile:
    Hi I’m Max Harvell. I grew up in Nashville, TN. I attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN, where I played baseball and received my undergrad degree in Physical and Health Education. I enjoy being active, whether that’s through playing sports or through activities like biking, hiking and skiing.

    Professional Profile:
    Two years ago I moved to New Jersey, having graduated from Lee University with a degree in PE and Health, and with a Tennessee teaching certificate. I taught for 2 years in Hackensack as a PE/Health/Bible teacher and basketball/baseball coach. I currently have my CEAS in New Jersey and am working towards my standard certificate. I also have my driver’s education certification. I work as a private hitting/pitching instructor through Justhits in Westwood, NJ. God opened the door for me with the opportunity to teach and coach at Eastern Christian, and I am very excited to be a part of the Eastern Christian community.

    Philosophical Profile:
    EC teaches from a biblical worldview, which develops within students a capacity to make sound decisions based on truth. This sets EC apart, because an education that engages the hearts and minds of learners in things of God is not available in secular schools. EC is transforming lives and improving families and communities. Through EC, God is developing strong Christians that want to have a positive impact in the world.

  • Eastern Christian School Announces Early Decision Enrollment


    Eastern Christian School is proud to announce Early Decision Enrollment for the 2016-17 School Year. This program contains many benefits to applicant families in grades K-12. If you are interested in applying, the best time to do so is now! We encourage you to take advantage of this program!

    Benefits to all:

    • $100 Family Application Fee Waived (use waiver code: “ECEarlyDecision” (no quotation marks) on your online application before December 31st).
    • Guaranteed Placement if accepted prior to December 31st.
    • “I’m In” EC t-shirt.

    Benefit to families that prepay their annual tuition:
    $400 additional dollars off of next year’s tuition

    Benefit to Monthly Pay Tuition Families:
    Early access to apply for Variable Tuition


    Who is this program for?
    Any interested K-12 applicant families applying for the 2016-17 school year at Eastern Christian School.

    What is the benefit of “Guaranteed placement?”
    We have the “Nice problem” of a growing school. Due to space concerns, placement is not guaranteed to all applicant families. By taking advantage of Early Decision Enrollment, families that complete our application process and are accepted (with a signed contract) prior to December 31st will reserve their spot for next year.

    How Do I apply to Eastern Christian School?
    Click here to apply now!

  • Welcome, Melissa Gordon!

    Melissa Gordon
    Instructional Aide

    Personal Profile
    I grew up in Midland Park and recently moved to North Haledon with my husband, our two young children and our little dog, Bella. I enjoy traveling to the Jersey shore, vacationing in the Outer Banks and taking a lot of fun day trips with the kids!

    Professional Profile
    While working to complete my teaching degree at William Paterson University, I substitute taught at Eastern Christian School. I enjoyed working with the students and working with a staff that loves God and love what they were called to do. I was offered an instructional aide position for a public school district and worked there for a couple years until I had my daughter. I felt that God called me back to EC after my second child was born and I was ready to start work again. My husband and I knew this was where we wanted to send our children to school growing up learning more about their Savior.

    Philosophical Profile
    I worked in the public school district for a couple years as well as the private school district, what sets EC apart is that it’s amazing to see the difference in the environment. Teachers, students, families are able to pray for one another. EC was recognized as a ‘District of Character’ which it truly is. Everyone is kind to one another, truly loving each other, looking after each other and overall happy people. It’s amazing to see so many good-hearted loving people in one place.

  • The 4 C’s of Student Leadership at Eastern Christian School

    Some people would argue that great leaders are born — that leadership is not something which can be taught in a classroom. At Eastern Christian School, we disagree…not because we don’t believe in natural leaders, but because we’ve seen even the meekest students develop bold leadership skills. Through intentional teaching and a focus on leadership, we equip students to make an impact in the world around them. There are four key components to teaching leadership at EC: (more…)

  • Welcome, Kelly Breur!

    Kelly Breur

    3rd grade

    Personal Profile:
    I grew up in Oakland, New Jersey, and I am a graduate of Eastern Christian, Class of 2002. In my free time I enjoying reading, crocheting, and traveling. I also love to spend time with my family and friends as much as I can.

    Professional Profile:
    I am a graduate of Nyack College, Class of 2007, with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in English. I was blessed to have the opportunity to do my student teaching with Mrs. Rhonda Klein, who was also my 3rd grade teacher. After having teaching positions in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, God finally brought me back to where I really wanted to teach – Eastern Christian! I thank God every day for the opportunity that He has given me. It is exciting to see how things have come full circle by God placing me in the classroom that I was in as a 3rd grader.

    Philosophical Profile:
    One thing that is a blessing to students and teachers at Eastern Christian is that we are able to drop everything and pray whenever a need arises. It is exciting to see how the students are very open about their faith and love to pray for others. Their caring hearts, love for others, and especially their faith in God are what makes our school special, and an environment that makes so many feel welcome.

  • Dr. Uecker Presents “Mathematical Thinking: Developing Understanding”

    Renown early childhood education expert Dr. Milt Uecker recently met with a group of EC Elementary School parents to discuss our new Math Curriculum, EnVision 2.0. We are very excited about the direction on this curriculum. Our teachers have been working with Dr. Uecker and preparing for this transition for two years. Every evidence indicates that this is the best direction to go for our students. We guarantee if you watch this video, you will learn something new about math!

  • Welcome, Allison Dalessandro!

    Allison Dalessandro

    3rd Grade Teacher

    Personal Profile
    My husband, Kevin, and I and have 2 children, Faith and Grace. I grew up in Leonia, NJ, and we now live in Ringwood. We love traveling and spend most of our summer at the shore. My favorite activity is reading, especially while enjoying the beach. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and making memories for my girls! Once a month, the girls and I enjoy cooking meals for children with cancer at Tomorrow’s Children through Healing Meals. I also enjoy spending some of my free time creating and developing new ideas for my classroom. I love learning new things and have a list of things to learn for the future, such as planting a garden, sewing and playing the drums.

    Professional Profile
    I started my teaching career teaching 1st grade. I spent time in two different schools and taught 1st grade for 17 years. In 2005, I was asked to move to 3rd grade and loved it! I have my BA in Elementary Education from Felician College, where I also double majored in graphic design. I completed my Masters Degree in Reading from Long Island University. I continually attend workshops and courses, keeping up with the most innovative teaching trends. God was the reason I found myself accepting a position at Eastern Christian. After teaching for 17 years, I was not looking to leave my position in Wyckoff. One day, I met with Mrs. Bottge for a conference, and as I was leaving, she mentioned a 3rd grade opening at ECES for the fall of 2015. As I walked out to my car, God started whispering to me that this might be a great opportunity that I should consider. Over the next few days I couldn’t stop thinking about this new door that God was opening for me; the Spirit was definitely moving in me. A week later, I found myself handing in my application to teach at ECES! Becoming a part of the Eastern Christian family has been such a gift from God in so many ways, and I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful community!

    Philosophical Profile
    My girls have been attending Eastern Christian since preschool, so I have seen God working in them each and every day. As a parent, I appreciate the nurturing environment and the quality education that EC provides for my girls. They both have a relationship with God and truly care about others. The teachers and staff have been excellent role models, and they have challenged them academically, spiritually and personally, supporting them as they grow. I see God working in the lives of students every day at EC. They demonstrate core values and are caring and thoughtful of others. They spend time doing things that help and change the lives of others and share the word of God. They shine their light for others and show the way of the Lord. I am so honored and appreciative that God led me to Eastern Christian, where I can be a part of all the amazing things He is doing every day!


  • EC Tops Hawthorne in the Final Minute in 2-1 Thriller

    Eastern Christian High School’s first “Community Night” of the season was well worth the wait. Playing Hawthorne HS under the lights at Willow Field, the Eagles snatched victory in the dying seconds of the game on sophomore Clay Sietsma’s first goal of the year. The large crowd in attendance erupted as the Eagles claimed their second victory of the week.

    After a hard-fought, but scoreless first half, senior captain Jason Englishmen again “Bent it like Beckham” on a free kick over the Hawthorne wall and into the back of the net. The 47th minute goal put EC in the driver’s seat, but Hawthorne would soon respond. In the 65th minute, Arotion Mimini finally beat the Eagles’ offside line, and bent a shot into the upper right hand corner of the EC net. The ball went off of the post and in for the equalizer.

    The remainder of the second half was a back-and-forth battle as both teams pushed for the go-ahead goal. Clay Sietsma’s winner in the last minute of regulation came off of a Henry Ruitenberg assist and made certain that the two teams would not face extra time.

    It was another outstanding effort for the EC defense, led by senior goalie Josh Groenewal, who finished the night with 7 saves including several at extremely close range. The back four defenders and central defensive midfielder Kyle Dykstra played a phenominal defensive game and drew double-digit offsides from the Hawthorne attack.

    Coach Gesch

  • Welcome, Cortney Wisbauer!


    Cortney Wisbauer
    K-8 Art Teacher

    Personal Profile:
    I grew up in Pompton Plains and Pequannock, NJ and attended public school. I started working with kids at a young age when I taught Sunday school as a teenager and took up several babysitting jobs. I discovered my real passion for teaching when I wrote a book in 8th grade and shared it with local elementary schools. I attended William Paterson University for art education after receiving nearly a full scholarship. I always enjoyed art, and enjoy painting and drawing animals and landscapes most of all. I have done some commissions for portraits and murals. Recently, I have been working with Rainbow Loom by putting up tutorials on how to make complex animals using their products on my Youtube channel. I also teach weekly art lessons at a studio in Pompton Lakes.

    Professional Profile:
    After graduating, openings in the field of art education were rare. I used my substitute teaching license to sub in Wayne while I searched for jobs. During my student teaching, I always wanted to bring my faith up, but I was not permitted to because it is a public school. I am so excited and blessed to get to work at EC and share not only my gifts, but my faith as well!

    Philosophical Profile:
    I always wanted to share my faith in my teaching experience but was never able to. It is wonderful to see how God always knew my desires, and then used them to lead me to such a great Christian school! I also know someone really well who attended EC, and he turned out to be a very well educated, humble man, strong in the faith, so I know that EC does a good job teaching and discipling the students to follow God. I also subbed at the middle school during Small Group Day and saw how well the 8th graders lead the group in discussion and prayer.

  • Boys soccer winner!

    In a Monday afternoon 10-goal thriller, the Eagles of Eastern Christian emerged the 6-4 victor over the Bulldogs of Rutherford High School.

    The visiting Bulldogs’ Max Moran found the back of the net early in the third minute for the quick 1-0 lead. EC methodically took the lead back at 2-1 on two Jason Englishmen strikes (assists to Clay Sietsma and Sam Veenstra). After the Bulldogs’ senior captain Carl Hakansson. leveled the score in the 33rd minute, Sam Veenstra finished off a cross from brother Jake Veenstra for the 3-2 halftime lead.

    EC looked to be in control with an early second half goal (a second PK for Captain Jason Englishmen), but the Bulldogs again leveled the score at 4 with 47th and 52nd goals by William Thomas and Max Moran, respectively.

    But the Eagles were not to be denied their first win of the season. Englishmen laced a free kick over the wall, under the bar and into the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal with 15 minutes left in the game. Sam Veenstra added some breathing room with the team’s 6th goal (and his second) of the afternoon, again off of a cross from brother Jake. Englishmen finished with 4 goals and Veenstra with 2. Eagles senior GK Josh Groenewal saved 8 Bulldog shots.

  • Boys Varsity Soccer 9/21/15

    The boys soccer team continues to put in solid efforts without the desired result. EC took a 2-1 lead into the final 15 minutes of their Friday game vs. Glen Rock. Goals by Aaron DeRosa (assist to Clay Sietsma) and Jason Englishmen (PK) saw the Eagles lined up for what might have been their first win of the season. Josh Groenewal was terrific in net for the Eagles.

    An unfortunate series of calls led to a second-yellow dismissal of senior Jake Veenstra. The Eagles played a man down for the game’s final 30 minutes. The floodgates opened with 15 minutes remaining and Glen Rock’s won comfortably in the end. The 5-2 scoreline did not reflect the play and effort from EC.
    Up Next for EC
    The Eagles are right back at it with our “non-willow field” home opener vs. Rutherford on Mondayafternoon
  • An Inside Look: The Student Shadow Experience

    02A lot goes into your search for a quality Christian school. You’ve visited the websites, scheduled the campus tours, learned about accreditations, and read countless online reviews. While the best school for a child is ultimately their parents’ choice, we believe students should have the opportunity to be involved in the decision – to experience campus life before they officially join the student body. There’s a certain element that a website or info packet cannot provide, and that is the degree to which your child feels comfortable at school. We help every member of the family evaluate if Eastern Christian is the right fit before they enroll by offering the Student Shadow Experience – an exciting opportunity for both current and prospective students.

    How It Works

    Shadow days are prearranged events that allow a prospective student to experience a day in the life of an ECS student. Your child will be paired with a current student at his or her grade level, and will accompany them for a half or full school day. Shadow days allow prospective students to experience all aspects of campus life – classes, meals, activities, transportation, and more. This is truly the best way for them to become acquainted with our campus, as well as our teachers, staff, and students.

    Why It’s Important

    While parents are most often interested in curriculum, technology, and college prep, it’s also essential for a student’s experience to have a positive atmosphere, approachable teachers, and extracurricular activities. A shadow day helps to make sure the entire family is on the same page before enrollment. While the benefits for future students are obvious, there is a lot to be gained for our current students as well. Hosting a shadowing student gives them the opportunity to embrace our core values of community, compassion, and service to others. As they welcome a newcomer, they practice hospitality and encouragement, making it a rewarding experience for all parties.

    Who To Shadow

    Do you know any families who currently call Eastern Christian Schools home? Many students choose to shadow a family friend, which makes the day even more exciting. If you don’t know anyone in your child’s grade, no problem! We can pair your student with someone of the same age, gender, academic and extracurricular interests, making the shadow day a fun and comfortable opportunity to build new friendships.

    Schedule Your Child’s Shadow Experience at Eastern Christian

    Are you ready to take the next step towards enrollment at Eastern Christian School? Give your child the added confidence of a shadow day experience. Whether you know someone to shadow, or need to be paired by our staff, we can help your child get an inside look at our school. Schedule your Shadow Day now, or call us at (973) 427-6244 for more information.

    request info click to learn more

  • Varsity Boys Soccer 9/17/2015

    Lodi Game Recap: 9.11.15

    The Eagles of Eastern Christian kicked off the 2015 season with a 3-1 loss to Lodi. Two first-half crosses found Lodi players who finished one-time opportunities well for the 2-0 halftime lead. The game was EC’s first on a turf field and the adjustment to the surface definitely took the team some time.

    The second half was much better for the Eagles with better confidence, 50/50 wins, and possession. This culminated with a Jake Veenstra goal off of a corner (assists to Andrew Brooks and Jon Veenstra). As the game pressed on and EC pressed for the equalizer, the game got stretched. A terrific Kyle Dykstra shot was parried away by the Lodi keeper to keep their lead. As the game got stretched, EC got caught on a quick counter-attack as Lodi finished the game off 3-1. It was a “mixed result” first game with many positives and many things to work on.

    Up next for EC:

    Home Opener Under the Lights vs. Elmwood Park next Wednesday night under the lights! Come out and support your team!

    Elmwood Park Game Recap 9.16.15

    EC’s home opener took place under the lights of Willow field.

    A great crowd of EC supporters saw a highly contested game that yielded only 1 goal. A staunch defensive effort for the Eagles only surrendered a late first half goal on a missile from 30+ yards to the upper corner of the EC net. It was easily a candidate for “goal of the year” scored in EC games. The first half goal also felt a bit against the run of play as the Eagles defended and possessed the ball quite well throughout the half.

    It was more of the same in the second half with a strong defensive and possession game from the Eagles, but the team just could not finish with a goal. A 1-0 end result was a hard pill to swallow for such a strong team effort. We will continue to improve and work to get those goals and finish off these games!

    Up Next for EC:

    AT Glenrock on Friday– kickoff at 4:00 PM

  • Does Your Child Know That School Can Be Different?



    Does your child know that school can be different?

    About a two weeks ago, I was blessed to drop off my kids at ECES for their first day of school. What a great day that was! I got to see my kids playing with old friends and making new friends before the day even started! The first day of school is also an “Admissions reunion” of sorts. I had the pleasure to see all of the new families come to EC for the first time “officially” as a EC parents and students. Over the course of the past year, I have worked with many of these families as they considered Eastern Christian School for their children. It is so encouraging to see the excitement on their faces on Day 1!

    This year, I saw something especially touching – it was a girl tearing up and hugging her mom. My first thought was that these were the understandable, “I’m afraid of a new situation” tears. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. They were tears of joy. When the mom asked her daughter what was wrong, she said, “Nothing! I’m just so glad to be at this school! I didn’t know school could be different.”

    D04C9126I was blown away. This girl had never experienced a school atmosphere like that at EC. In her “school world,” school was always an uncomfortable, sometimes even hostile place. When she had her “aha moment” that EC is different, the sense of joy and relief on her face was priceless.

    For parents who don’t yet send your children to Eastern Christian School, do your kids know that school can be different? Do you?

    We’ve talked a lot in this space about how EC is different from other schools, and following are some good reads on that topic:

    If your child isn’t quite connecting at his or her current school, or if, in your gut, you know it’s time for something different, come and visit us at Eastern Christian School.  You’ll get to experience what other parents have told us THEY feel, the minute they walk into the school, “This school is different!”

    Our absolute favorite thing is meeting new families, hearing your stories, and working together to explore if Eastern Christian School is right for you. So- what do you say? Ready for something different?

    by Rudi Gesch

    Director of Marketing and Enrollment | rudigesch@easternchristian.org

  • Welcome, Caeley Dimbleby!


    Caeley Dimbleby
    High School History/TESS (The Educational Support Services) Teacher

    Personal Profile:
    I am a Jesus loving, sun soaking, coffee drinking southern California girl at heart. I grew up in a city called Corona with my parents and younger brother. Just over two years ago, I married my best friend and am so grateful to be able to live life with him. Jono and I met in Singapore where we were both working at the time. He is from Cape Town, South Africa and we moved to New Jersey last year. Together we love exploring new places and drinking good coffee. Another deep joy of mine is teaching. I consider it a true privilege to teach high school and influence students’ lives. I also enjoy writing, hiking, making new friends and deepening friendships, and traveling.

    Professional Profile:
    After graduating from Biola University with a BA in History and minor in Biblical Studies, I continued my education to earn my secondary teaching credential. I performed my student teaching at a local public school in CA, and at an international Christian school in Lima, Peru. Near the end of my time in Peru, an opportunity arose for me to teach at an international Christian school in Singapore. While I had planned on returning to Los Angeles and was unsure about moving so far away, I knew the Lord was asking for obedience. So I made the move to Singapore and the reward has been abundant. I taught high school history there for three years. I was given many opportunities in my professional development, including being a part of implementing a 1:1 technology program, writing the world history curriculum, creating and implementing an advanced world history course, and co-leading service trips for our students to the nearby countries of Thailand and India. When returning to the states, I attained my NJ teaching credential and worked 1:1 with a student in a Ridgewood public school. This year I eagerly look forward to returning to full time classroom teaching in the history department and TESS (The Educational Support Services). As an educator, I believe in the ability of every student to succeed and seek to aid my students in their success as best I can.

    Philosophical Profile:
    While I have yet to start teaching at ECHS, I know through my visits to the school and talking to the staff and alumni that God is working in the lives of the students and community at EC. Having most of my training and experience in Christian settings, I look forward to enjoying the freedom of continuing to integrate our faith into learning for the development of the student as a whole. I am thankful to be a part of a school community that cares about developing every aspect of the student. The diverse range of classes and programs, along with the commitment and passion of the teachers I have met, show that it is the students EC cares so deeply about. I look forward to being a part of EC with its high academic standards, supportive community, and foundational beliefs in Christ.

  • Welcome, Aaron Goldstein!


    Aaron Goldstein
    Physical Education/Health/Horizons

    Personal Profile:
    I am from Rockland County, New York and I have a beautiful wife and a newborn son. My interests include playing, watching and coaching several different sports. I also train and compete in running and cycling races locally.

    Professional Profile:
    I had taught middle school physical education for 5 years before coming to EC. I studied physical education at William Paterson University and exercise physiology at the graduate level at James Madison University.

    Philosophical Profile:
    Being new to Eastern Christian, I am excited to see how God is working on campus. I am eager to work in a Christ-centered environment, and I anticipate being able to share my faith with students and they with me.

  • Parent Seminar with Dr. Milton Uecker

    Are you looking for ways to support your child with numeracy? 
    Do you want to know how your child can succeed in math? 
    Are you curious about new math standards?

    If so, you are encouraged to attend a parent seminar with Dr. Milt Uecker. Dr. Uecker will answer these questions and address the topic of “Thinking Mathematically.”

    Students in grades K-3 are using a new math program this year entitled enVision 2.0. Grades 4-6 plan to adopt the new program in the 2016-2017 school year. Dr. Uecker’s seminar will briefly introduce the new program and inform parents on ways to help their children succeed in math.

    Dr. Uecker’s seminar will be held on Tuesday, September 22 at 7:00pm in the media center at Eastern Christian Elementary School in Midland Park.

    ueckerDr. Milton Uecker is a world-renowned educator with expertise in early childhood education, reading and mathematics. Dr. Uecker earned his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. Dr. Uecker’s doctoral dissertation centered upon approaches to early math instruction. He serves as professor of early childhood education and the director of The Lowrie Center for Christian School Education at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina.

  • Welcome, Tim Steen!


    Tim Steen
    Technology Teacher

    Personal Profile
    I have 3 kids and have been married for 21 years. Although both my parents, as well as my wife, graduated from EC, I didn’t even live in NJ until the late 90s when I was done with school. I worked in NYC in “Silicon Alley” through the dot-com craze, and took a technology teaching job at EC just weeks before 9/11. I worked at EC for 12 years in various teaching jobs involving writing and technology, before leaving 2 years ago for another adventure (see below)

    I’ve been told that instead of “interests,” what I have is more like “obsessions”, so if you know me, you probably already know that I follow University of Missouri sports and have a large board game collection.


    Professional Profile
    Two years ago, my family and I decided that we felt God calling us to explore a new opportunity, teaching in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (East Africa). We have experienced a whole new way of life, and found out that God is bigger and greater than we could ever have imagined.

    I had the opportunity to teach at a Christian international school. I taught technology classes for grades K-12. My main focus, however, was building a strong technology program for the secondary school classes using a curriculum from Cambridge. It’s been a great opportunity for me to develop a more robust understanding of computer science and find new tools for students to achieve success in the field.

    In many ways, we were not ready to leave Tanzania yet (we had committed to two years, and were ready to stay for at least one more), but we knew that if EC offered a job (and a place for our kids) that it would be a sign that it was time to “come home.” We leave behind a wonderful community and school which continues to do amazing work.


    Philosophical Profile
    Two years in Tanzania was both exhilarating and tough. We were amazed at the beauty of our country and its people, and heart broken at the poverty, crime, and pollution. It is a broken place, but our school was a true haven of Christ’s redeeming power.

    The thing is, I feel the same way about Eastern Christian and NJ. Our culture, too, is broken, and our students are learning too many of the wrong lessons in this very material and consumer-driven land. I am very excited to return to EC and to try to shepherd our students through the maze that American culture has become, so that they can be shapers of that maze rather than the runners.

  • Welcome, Elizabeth Hoffman!


    Elizabeth Hoffman
    6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies

    Personal Profile:
    I was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania. After high school, I attended a small private college outside of Philadelphia. During my time there, I became very involved with the International Club on campus. We spent time helping the international students adjust to life in a new country, and in turn, we were given the opportunity to learn all about their countries and cultures. A few years after graduating, my husband and I were blessed with a wonderful opportunity to live and teach abroad in South Korea. We loved our time traveling around Asia, trying delicious foods, and making lifelong friends around the world!

    Professional Profile:
    I attended Eastern University, a small Christian college outside of Philadelphia. I majored in Elementary Education, and graduated with concentrations in special education, early childhood, reading, and social studies. After graduation, my husband and I were approached with an offer to teach abroad in South Korea. We were very excited for this once-in-a-lifetime experience! I spent the past two years as an ESL teacher working primarily with Korean kindergaretners. Upon our arrival back in the United States, we relocated to northern New Jersey, and I am very excited to be joining the EC community!

    Philosophical Profile:
    The community that Eastern Christian has fostered and developed really stands apart. The teachers and staff here are such caring individuals, who truly want to make a positive impact on the world around them. The students seem very sincere in their desire to grow, not just academically, but also personally and spiritually. This is very encouraging to me as a teacher to witness this and to be a part of it!

  • New Master Teacher Named


    Eastern Christian School has a progressive professional development program for teachers. Because EC values mature Christian teachers who are excellent, professional, and nurturing, we encourage and support our teachers in their professional development.

    We are very pleased to announce that Cynthia Adair, ECHS ESL teacher has been designated 2015 Eastern Christian Master Teacher. She joins Paul Beverly, ECHS Social Studies & Humanities teacher; Carol Byma, ECES Fourth Grade Teacher, who were designated Master Teachers in 2014, and Terry Allen, ECMS Social Studies/History teacher; Joyce Bruer, ECMS Language Arts Teacher; and Donna Hoogerhyde, ECES Fourth Grade Teacher who were designated Master Teachers in 2013.

    Senior Level Teachers who have earned a master’s degree or its equivalent plus an additional 15 credits may apply annually to become a Master Teacher after a nomination from an administrator or supervisor. A committee composed of the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, the teacher’s Principal, and a selected experienced educator review the application, interview the candidate and evaluate a required teaching portfolio.  This is the fourth year of this recognition program.

    We are very pleased to recognize and congratulate these teachers on achieving this significant professional accomplishment!


  • ECHS Media Center Incident

    Dear Eastern Christian School Community,

    During a sophomore class meeting in the Eastern Christian High School Media Center today, a number of bookcases collapsed.  The faculty members present responded immediately to the situation by ensuring that everyone was accounted for and safe.

    As a school community, we are grateful that our students and staff members were spared from serious injury and that they were able to immediately resume their school day in other classrooms.  We are looking into the cause of the problem and will immediately begin the process of replacing the bookcases in question.  In the meantime, the Media Center is temporarily closed, and we expect that it will be reopened early next week.

    The leadership of Eastern Christian School continues to hold student safety as a matter of critical importance. We are thankful to our Sovereign God for his protection of our students and staff.

    We take comfort that our true safety and comfort comes from our knowledge that we are not our own, but belong body and soul to our faithful Savior who watches over us in such a way that not a hair can fall from our heads without the will of our Father in heaven.  We begin our school day Tuesday morning secure in this comfort.

    Sincerely yours,

    Thomas G.  Dykhouse

    Executive Director & Head of School

  • First Day of School Recap


    Eastern Christian School kicked off our 123rd school year in style. Three bright, clean and updated campuses and EC’s amazing, loving, professional faculty welcomed new and returning EC families to the first day of the 2015-16 school year. With a record number of new students and growing enrollment at all three campuses, there were many new friends to meet amidst the typical “First-day excitement.”

    In one of our favorite EC traditions, the first day of school also marks the launch of our Theme Verse for the year. This year’s Theme “Run the Race” is taken from Hebrews 12:1 which says:

    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

    We are so excited to partner with our awesome EC families again this year! By the grace of God, we will run the race together. What a great first day! And now- only 183 more to go!

    Photo Galleries


    Click this photo for a high-res photo gallery of first-day pictures

    #ECfirstDay: click here to view FB photo gallery of family-submitted first day pics!

  • Get a Smart Start! Preparing for the New School Year

    It’s that time of year again! Starting a new school year is exciting for students and parents alike! Summer months typically include less structure, but there are ways to prepare your child (and yourself!) for new schedules and activities that the fall months will bring. At Eastern Christian School, we have put together a handy checklist of items to help our families get ready for the coming school year. Whether your child is a first-timer or an EC veteran, these tips will help ensure a smooth transition. (more…)

  • Summer Crew Works Hard to Make a Difference at EC

    When the first bell of Eastern Christian School’s 2015-16 school year rings, it will ring in the start of a brand new year. That bell will also ring in the end of a summer that has seen a large amount of work done in preparation for our 123rd year of operation.

    Those shiny floors, freshly painted walls, sparkling-clean classrooms, and pleasant grounds are all the result of hard work done by EC’s Summer Work Crew. Thank you to Michael, Morgan, Kimona, Kelly, Craig, Dave, Bryan, Ben, Ethan, Jim, Ana, and Matthew for your hard work and dedication to the mission of our school! You help us achieve excellence one square inch of our campus at a time. It doesn’t go unnoticed! Families always comment on how great our facilities look!


  • There’s Still Time To Enroll

    KEEP CALM WHITEAugust can be a hectic time for many area families searching for school options at the end of summer.

    The Enrollment Office at Eastern Christian School would like to offer a calming message to these families: There’s still time!

    We are thrilled that over 200 students have applied for the 2015-16 school year at Eastern Christian School. But there’s still time to enroll. We are approaching wait lists in several grades, but there is still time to claim your seat today!

    We have friendly, helpful people standing by ready to personally walk you through our halls and through the enrollment process.

    Looking for a school where you can have it all? Eastern Christian School is for you! Contact us today- there’s still time!




  • ECHS Announces Community Nights Calendar

    For most up-to-date game details, visit the athletic event calendar


    Eastern Christian High School is proud to announce the launch of our 2015-16 Community Nights Calendar.

    Last school year, we started to host Basketball Community Nights that proved to be very popular among the EC community. This year, we’re taking things up a notch.

    The 2015-16 Community Nights Calendar features events in all three High School Sports Seasons. The Fall season features four dates for Soccer and Volleyball (with the highlight coming on October 23 and 24 for Homecoming Weekend). The Winter season features five dates for basketball. The Spring Season features two Softball/Baseball doubleheaders at the North Haledon Rec. Field.

    All middle and high school students will receive a magnet copy of this calendar in their locker to help encourage student participation. We will also be sharing calendar magnets with all EC families.

    All EC families (and friends) are invited to these events for a great time of school spirit, food, and fun. We look forward to a full year of great events to celebrate with you!

    For a free digital download, click here to download and print your copy today!


    For most up-to-date game details, visit the athletic event calendar

  • Mr. Beverly To Participate in National Program


    High School Teacher to Participate in National Program

    Paul Beverly, an educator at Eastern Christian High School in North Haledon, has been selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute for the week ofAugust 3-7, 2015.

    Each year, the Library of Congress provides the opportunity for a carefully chosen group of K-12 educators to attend one of its five teacher institutes in Washington, D.C.

    During the five-day program, participants work with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website.

    This session is a special Civil Rights Institute. Activities will focus on items in the collections that support teaching and learning about civil rights struggles throughout American history. Items from the Library’s exhibition “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” (www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-rights-act/) and the Rosa Parks collection will be featured.

    Educators attending the teacher institutes participate in and develop primary-source-based teaching strategies that they can take back to their school districts, apply in the classroom and share with colleagues. Teaching with primary sources is a powerful way to help students ask engaged, probing questions, develop critical-thinking skills, and construct knowledge. All educators may freely access classroom materials, teaching tools and strategies for teaching with primary sources from the Library’s site for teachers at www.loc.gov/teachers.

    D04C1135Applicants to the Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institutes reflect the diversity of the world of K-12 education. Participants in a teacher institute session typically include school library media specialists and school administrators, in addition to classroom teachers. Those selected come from many different states, representing large metropolitan school districts and smaller, rural school districts. The expertise provided by the Library of Congress during the institutes can benefit every level of K-12 education.

    Primary sources are the raw materials of history—original documents and objects that were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources—accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience. Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical-thinking skills and constructing new knowledge. Teachers working in the Library’s collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction.

    The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library serves the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staffs. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at www.loc.gov.


  • ECHS Summer Renovations

    There have been a lot of large and small projects at the Eastern Christian High School campus this summer. The EC maintenance crew has been hard at work cleaning, fixing, and painting while the construction crews are busy working on larger projects such as some new walls, ceilings, A/C units and lighting. Here are a few shots of the progress of this summer’s projects at ECHS. Stay tuned for more updates.

  • The Top 12 Things I Hear on Campus Tours

    D04C3967aOne of the best parts of my job is that I get to meet new families as they visit one of our three beautiful campuses for the first time. I think that those of us who are familiar with Eastern Christian School can sometimes take for granted just how great this school is. Walking through a building along side an EC “first-timer” is a great way to combat this familiarity.

    Since most of us won’t have the opportunity to join new families on a first time campus visit, I thought I’d share a list of common reactions from new families as they encounter our school for the first time. For prospective EC parents, perhaps this blog post will encourage you to come and check out our amazing school for yourself. For current EC parents, perhaps, borrowing from an old Corn Flakes ad campaign, this post will help you, “See our school again, for the first time.”

    Here, in no particular order, is my list of the Top 12 Things I Hear on Campus Tours:

    1. “Wow- this campus is impressive!” campus-bannerWhen you encounter one of our 3 beautiful campuses for the first time, you can’t help but be impressed. Our well cared-for and modern facilities, professional faculty, academic offerings, test scores, technology integration, college placement, and alumni testimonials all point to Eastern Christian’s quality. We place a lot of emphasis on a Quality Christian Education. We are called to excellence and that’s what we try to do every day. Any success that we see (like a Top 50 Christian High School in America or a National School of Character recognition) we give God the glory!
    2. IMG_2072a“The students seem so comfortable.” It really is unfortunate what is happening socially at many schools in America today: stress, bullying, peer pressure, high stakes testing, and the list goes on. The Eastern Christian School culture is just different. You immediately feel the difference when you’re on campus. I love to see visiting students come a little nervous at the beginning of their Shadow Day. Within minutes, they have a huge smile on their face.
    3. “What sports do you offer?” I usually have to refer to my website “cheat sheet” (link here) to answer this one. We have TWENTY different offerings in the High School. Another six in the Middle School. #SoarEC!
    4. “What if my child needs extra support (or extra challenge)?” EC partners with Christian families. And we try to make this partnership as broad as possible. This means that we offer a wide range of curriculum for students from a wide range of academic abilities and interests. The “Educational Jargon” term for this is “Differentiated Curriculum.” I just like to say that we meet your child where he/she is at and tailor our education to meet those needs. I know that sounds overly simple, but that really is what we do- and it is very effective! If your child is accepted into Eastern Christian School, you can be confident that he/she will receive the appropriate level of challenge and support in order to maximize his/her academic potential.
    5. “What will EC do to prepare my child for college?” Since 95% of our graduates go to the “next level,” our college and career office has a very intentional 4-year plan that guides students as they discover God’s plan for them in their next chapter of life. This preparation is valuable: Check out this blog post on how an ECHS education can literally pay for itself!
    6. “How does EC use technology?” D04C2383aSmart boards, Screens linked to AppleTV, iPad labs, iMac labs, 1:1 Chromebooks in the Middle School, and BYOD in the HS. You can’t help but see a major investment in technology. More importantly, we’ve invested in the things you can’t see. Our secure network and our trained, professional faculty help students safely and meaningfully integrate technology across the curriculum. Like everything else, we try to teach students how to use technology as a tool for success and to redeem Creation. This is a much-needed push in our tech-crazy world!
    7. “Everyone here is so friendly.” Yep!
    8. “How do you teach Bible/Religion?”  Every EC student from age 3 to 18 has a mandatory Bible class as a regular part of their education. We open every day with prayer and devotions. We worship once each week in chapel. Most importantly, we integrate our Christian faith into everything that we do. You might think of every class as a “Bible class,” as students learn about Christian worldview across the curriculum. Check out this blog post on our authentic faith integration.
    9. “What about extended offerings, after school care, or child care?” We have loads of convenient options. Here’s a helpful chart to address all of your family’s unique scheduling needs.
    10. What about bus or transportation options? Not only do we offer busing, we offer EC busing. This means that the buses are ours, the drivers are ours, and the students on the buses are only EC students. We offer busing for only $1,500 per student. For most EC families (depending on your town), a substantial portion of this is offset by “aid-in-lieu,” a confusing quasi-french term that basically means that most of you qualify for $884 from the government if you don’t use a public school bus. We adjust our bus routes every year to make them as convenient as possible for EC families. Check out our transportation map– it’s amazing how many EC families come from such a wide range of towns! drivers
    11. I’m sold. But my family might not be able to swing tuition. Do you have any options in financial aid or scholarship? We have a program just for you! Variable Tuition adjusts your family’s tuition to your family’s unique financial position. We don’t want finances to get in the way of your family’s access to an excellent Christian Education at EC.
    12. I wish I went to school here! Me too! Do you think that our School Board would allow a 33-year-old father of two to audit classes?

    I hope that gives you a little taste about what a campus tour is like. But really, the best way to experience the campus for the first time is on a personal campus tour. Prospective families, please take me up on this offer – our admissions team would love to personally meet with you as you prayerfully consider the best school option for your family.


    Contact me anytime to schedule your campus visit!

    Rudi Gesch
    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management
    973.427.4013 | admissions@easternchristian.org

  • Year in Review – 2015 at Eastern Christian

    With another year in the books for Eastern Christian, it’s time to take a look back at the 2014-2015 school year. From missions trips around the world, to the recognition of our school as one of the Top 50 Christian High Schools in America, to the 79 graduates who are moving on to colleges and universities around the country, we are proud of what was accomplished by our students, teachers, and staff. Here are a few highlights from the year; if you want to add to our story, post your highlights to our Facebook page.

    Top Blogs of the 2015 School Year:

    1. Variable Tuition – 1,583 views
    2. The No AP School – 1,579 views
    3. April Fools’ Beagles – 1,557 views
    4. EC Alum on Jeopardy – 1,468 views
    5. Kristen Lightner Flipped Classroom – 1,398 views

    Loving Our Neighbors

    Earlier this winter, several families from a neighboring town tragically lost their homes and possessions when a fire destroyed their apartment building. The local fire department contacted our school to see if we could offer help to these families. The volunteers at the Eastern Christian Ditto Store were happy to move quickly to help these people in need. On a cold winter Sunday in the middle of February, EC volunteers unlocked Ditto and gave the families access to replacement clothes and toys for the kids. We were so proud of our volunteers and so thankful for the opportunity to serve these families who, in some cases, only had the clothes on their back.

    Top FB posts:

    1. VIDEO: Think you can’t afford a quality Christian education? – 1,319 clicks
    2. Eastern Christian wants to #DoLifeBig! – 1,264 clicks
    3. Eagles Learning Center’s video – 1,211 clicks
    4. Congratulations to EC Soccer Coach – 1,102 clicks
    5. Share if you’re proud to Be A Beagle! – 1,026 clicks

    A Tradition of Success

    At Eastern Christian, we have a long history of success in the classroom, on the playing field, and in extracurricular activities – and this school year was no exception. Students, teachers, and volunteers came together to help spread the Gospel through a pursuit of excellence. Some highlights include:

    Top YouTube Videos:

    1. Eastern Christian School – Do Life Big! – 10,721 views
    2. Variable Tuition at Eastern Christian – 1,192 views
    3. Happy Mother’s Day! – 1,132 views
    4. Discover Learn Live – 657 views
    5. Adopted Into God’s Family – 572 views

    See You This Fall for Another Great Year!

    Are you interested in learning more about becoming a part of the Eastern Christian community? To learn more about Eastern Christian School, call us today at (973) 427-9700 for more information. Our staff looks forward to hearing from you!


  • Happy Independence Day!

  • 8 Reasons Why We Need More Christians in STEAM Fields


    With the pending launch of Eastern Christian High School’s STEAM program, a new emphasis is about to be placed on our Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics programs. Why do we want to place this emphasis on STEAM? Because we believe that we’re being called to have more EC Graduates working in STEAM fields. Here’s our list of 8 reasons why we need more Christians in STEAM fields:

    1. science2Because we live in a time when Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math are being rapidly used to change the world as we know it. In order for us to continue to fulfill our mission of developing graduates that “act as Christ’s transforming agents in a global society,” we need graduates in STEAM fields.
    2. Because we serve an amazing Creator!
    3. Because creation itself groans out for restoration. I dare you to watch this video and not feel emotionally touched. It’s a series of image bearers of Christ with hearing impairments. And through the miracle of modern science/technology, they can hear for the first time. Why do we feel emotionally touched when we watch something like this? Because God has hard-wired us to be creation-restorers. When we see such a beautiful picture of creation being restored, our soul sings! We need more Christians in science doing more work like this to fulfill this calling that dates back to Genesis!

    4. Because the world needs more people who view science and faith as compatible, not competitive. That’s a concept that is at the heart of a Reformed, Christian world and life view. Check out these related quotes from key reformation thinkers:
      • “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” -Martin Luther
      • “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, “Mine!”” -Abraham Kuyper
      • “Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ.”   -John Calvin
    5. science3Because the Arts are being limited at too many other schools. EC has an award-winning Art program. We were very intentional about incorporating ART into our STEAM program. Our program is not a STEM program (note the absence of the “A” for “Art”). It is increasingly important in our visual learning, screen-happy world for EC graduates to be able to beautifully and clearly express ideas.
    6. Because our nation is increasingly recognizing that we need more women in STEAM fields. We want to raise up a generation of Christian women to lead this charge!
    7. Because the US needs to continue to progress in STEAM fields in order to remain a world leader in innovative technologies. This is a movement with potential global influence for the Kingdom!
    8. Because robots and automation will play an increasingly important role in our lives. It will be important for Christian minds to help shape the way that these tools are used in our lives. EC is excited to launch a brand new robotics course as part of our STEAM program.

    For all these reasons (and more) we are very excited to start our STEAM program in the fall. Is this a program that you might consider for your rising 9th or 10th grader? Perhaps he or she could be part of our inaugural group of STEAM-driven, Culture-influencing, World-changing students! Click here for more information on the STEAM program.




    Rudi Gesch

    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management
    973.427.4013 | admissions@easternchristian.org



  • Have it all at Eastern Christian!


    What makes Eastern Christian School unique? It’s our sweet spot. While other schools offer similar pieces, no one does it quite like Eastern Christian School. We’re the only school in the Northern New Jersey/NYC Metro area that can lay claim to the combination of Authentic Faith Integration, Affordable Tuition, and Resources, Programs, and Expertise.

    Authentic Faith Integration

    teamprayWe’re not like a public school with a religion class tacked on. We fully integrate our Christian faith into everything that we do. We have a unique curriculum. In our curriculum map, there is a column that permeates every subject, every grade, and every lesson plan. This column, entitled “Essential Questions,” demands an answer to the question, “Why does this matter?” This is how we tie everything into a larger picture of a Christian worldview so that every class is a “Bible class.”

    And who is delivering this world-view shaping curriculum? Our teachers: amazing Christian leaders who love the Lord, love their content area, and love their students! These are certified teachers you can trust to partner with your home in the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual development of your child. We have a progressive professional development academy that ensures that our teachers are constantly learning and improving. Check out these numbers and these stories to prove this point.

    Affordable Tuition

    Much has already been said about our innovative Variable Tuition program. While “affordable” certainly has different meanings to different people, consider that there are many independent, private schools that pursue that yellow circle quite rigorously, without any consideration of that gray circle. That’s not the case at Eastern Christian. We vigorously pursue excellence in everything we do- while staying mindful of our mission to keep our school accessible to as many Christian families as possible.

    The simple fact of the matter is that no one in education provides more for less than Eastern Christian. From the fact that every student gets 20% off of the full cost of education, to the fact that we offer a range of tuitions that spans from 40-80% of the total cost of education is amazing. No one else is doing that. We recently calculated how an ECHS education could literally pay for itself.

    Resources, Programs, Expertise

    As New Jersey’s oldest and largest Christian day school, Eastern Christian is a school with resources, programs, and expertise. We own 38 acres of Northern New Jersey land and 3 updated, solar powered school buildings. We are a 123-year-old school with generational support from our community. With support from our generous donors, we are able to provide an amazing education at a fraction of the actual cost per student. These resources allow us to provide amazing programs and expertise for our students including:

    Have it all at Eastern Christian

    D04C3738aIn my role at EC, I speak with prospective, inquiry, and applicant families every day. When someone is considering transferring schools, it usually is because their current school situation is less than ideal for their family. Something is missing.

    In these cases, more often than not, their current school lies somewhere in one of those two-circle overlaps in the chart above. Maybe they’re at a school with affordable tuition and a strong Biblical base, but they’re missing out on resources: academic, athletic, or art offerings. Or they’re at a school with great resources (and maybe even affordable tuition!), but the curriculum and the community lack the vital Christian faith integration that is important to their family. That’s why, when these families from “Two Circle” schools encounter Eastern Christian’s “Three Circle Sweet Spot,” for the first time, they are amazed. These families thought it was a two-choice option: either a Christian school without adequate resources, or a public (or private) school without faith integration. They didn’t know that it was possible to “Have it all.”

    Check out this family’s response to their first experience at ECHS. Earlier this year, Anna dropped her son off for his shadowing experience, and she and I toured the High School campus. Despite living an hour away from our school, it very quickly became obvious that this is the school she had been searching for. We had a tremendous visit, and I sent her a thank you e-mail. This was her response:

    “Rudi, I can’t thank you enough for your time today. What an absolute blessing it was for me. My husband already called and we will probably be filling out the EC application very shortly! I was amazed at Eastern and all it encompassed. I believe this school is what I have been waiting for (and why my heart remained so burdened about putting [my son] in a public high school).  I just didn’t think a Christian high school like Eastern could even exist! From the building itself down to the people I met, I felt welcomed and appreciated. I am so impressed with all the school has to offer. I see God’s special blessing all over EC. I truly believe it is worth an hour drive each way. Thanks again!  God bless. Anna”

    That’s the best part of my job. I get to guide families through this process of discovery while they consider school options and what is best for their family. I get to be there for their “Aha EC moment.” For families like Anna’s, Eastern Christian is a place where they can have it all! They’re now in the application process, and her son will be enrolled in our brand new STEAM program this fall.


    Put us to the test!

    Don’t believe me? Come and see it for yourself! Our Admissions Staff would love to help guide your school discovery process as you try to give your child the best possible education. Perhaps it’s possible for your family to “Have it All” at Eastern Christian School!

    Rudi Gesch

    Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    973.427.4013 | admissions@easternchristian.org


  • Congratulations to Our 2015 Graduates!

    Congratulations to the EC classes of 2015! As a preschool through high school community, we are blessed to be able to celebrate four unique annual ceremonies honoring promotion and graduation for our students.

    Click the pictures below for a link to graduation and promotion photo galleries:


  • Joann Elzinga Everett Memorial Garden


    Family members, friends, colleagues, and former students of Mrs. Joann Everett gathered recently with current students and faculty of Eastern Christian Middle School to dedicate an outdoor seating area and planting in Joann’s memory. Joann enthusiastically invested thirteen years of her life as a dearly loved Bible and Language Arts teacher at ECMS prior to passing away last year.

    Joann’s husband, John Everett, told of Joann’s love for her students and her dedication to her calling as a teacher, while her colleague and current ECMS Bible Teacher Betsy Tyvoll remembered the lasting legacy that Joann left to the ECMS community.

  • EC 2015: An Award-Winning Year

    journalism3Last week we completed our 122nd year. It was an award-winning year of milestones for Eastern Christian School! Check out this (not comprehensive!) list of all of the major recognitions and awards- academic and otherwise- that Eastern Christian School has amassed in one school year:

    We celebrate these accomplishments, but we boast in the Lord! We are reminded of the lyrics from the hymn “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us,”:

    I will not boast in anything
    No gifts, no power, no wisdom
    But I will boast in Jesus Christ
    His death and resurrection

    As a Christ-centered school that proudly proclaims the gospel, we’re called by God to make His mission for us as impactful as possible. Which means that we can rejoice in these accomplishments, successes, and recognitions- not as ends in themselves, but rather as offerings of our very best to the God that we serve. We celebrate the good news about what God is doing at Eastern Christian School and in all these, and in all of the other accomplishments that aren’t mentioned here, we give all glory to God!

    Have a terrific summer! We are already looking forward to September 2 when we begin our 123rd year of service to our community. We are already working on plans to make our school even better with the intent of better serving our families and fulfilling our mission.

    nsmimgTom Dykhouse

    Executive Director and Head of School

  • A Day at the Lake

    Yesterday was the annual fourth grade trip to Spring Lake. The outing celebrates the students’ completion of their elementary education. God provided a beautiful day! At the lake the students swam, played games, and did crafts. Everyone participated in a challenging tug-of-war battle.

    We are so proud of our 4th-grade students. We look forward to seeing them continue to grow in every way through their middle and high school years!

  • Embracing Our Core Values

    In pursuing the character of Christ, we will Seek Truth, Serve Others, Embrace Community, Exhibit Compassion, Develop Responsibility, Strive for Excellence.

    Lydia-and-friendsStudents at Eastern Christian School are very familiar with these core values. We define each word to fully understand its meaning, and we find ways to live out our values each year. Students readily participate in teacher-designed service projects.

    Ethan,-Jenny-&-KirstenSeveral elementary students recently designed their own service projects to exhibit compassion, and invited the school to participate as a way to embrace community. Kirsten, a second-grade student, asked if she could pray for her cousin, Ethan, in chapel. Ethan suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. Kirsten and her fourth-grade sister, Jenny, feel compassion for their cousin and wish there was a cure for CF. They described Ethan’s illness in chapel and prayed for him. They created a “Coins for a Cure” jar for the school office and collected $643.27 to donate to CF research.


    Lydia, a 4th-grade student, was sad when her cousin recently shared her diagnosis of Leukemia. After spending a weekend together making bracelets, Lydia decided to make and sell bracelets and donate the proceeds to Leukemia research. Lydia and several friends gave up their recess time to make bracelets. They raised $212 and made approximately 100 bracelets.


    Camden (4th grade) and Lily (2nd grade) lost their baby cousin to an unknown illness. Saddened by this loss, they decided to participate in Carter’s Challenge, a 5K run to raise funds for childhood illnesses. Camden and Lily raised $345 toward the $40,000+ total.

    These students are just a few examples of children who embrace EC’s Core Values at a young age. The Bible teaches us that it is “…by grace [we] have been saved….” (Eph. 2:8) This salvation should inspire us to pursue the character of Christ and fill us with such joy that we “…let [our] light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things [we] do. And they will bring glory to [our] Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)


  • Together as One


    yearbookThis afternoon, High School classes ended early to make time for Yearbook Dedication day. Students gathered in the auditorium for a brief ceremony, then picked up their yearbooks in the cafeteria. The day ended with yearbook signings.

    This year’s yearbook was themed “Together as One,” focusing on Romans 12:5, “So in Christ, we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” The cover, created by senior Christiana Mooers, features an intricate pattern of triangles woven into one cohesive design. Every year the yearbook students vote to dedicate and appreciate the yearbook to two exceptional staff members. This year, the honors went to Athletic Director Barry Veenstra and Art Teacher Jesse Wright.

    Congratulations to all the yearbook staffers for a job well-done!

  • Eastern Christian Celebrates National School of Character Designation

    Service4Eastern Christian School is one of only three school districts nationwide, and the only Christian school, to be named a National School District of Character.  The designation was bestowed by Character.org, a national association based in Washington D.C. established to promote character and leadership education in schools throughout the United States.  In addition to the three National School Districts of Character, 64 individual schools nationwide were also named National Schools of Character.  Eastern Christian had been named a New Jersey School of Character in 2014.

    What is the National School of Character designation?

    Eastern Christian’s recognition as a National School District of Character is the culmination of a multi-year effort to emphasize character as a critically important element in leadership development. This emphasis on leadership has been one of our main strategic goals since our 2011 Pre-K-12 accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. One of Eastern Christian’s most important missions is the development of young men and women of Christian character and competence, who are prepared to become leaders of their families, churches, communities, and organizations around the world. This effort includes assigning real-life leadership roles to students throughout their time at Eastern Christian and thinking about life and relationships through the lens of a set of Biblical core values as we “pursue the character of Christ.”

    Service1Why is the National School of Character designation important?

    Eastern Christian’s designation as a National School of Character is important because it provides us with independent, external verification by a national organization specializing in character education. This designation confirms that our leadership and character education programs are thorough and effective throughout our school. This process required an extensive review and report regarding our character education program and two exhaustive on-site reviews by representatives of Character.org. Our internal review and the evaluations by Character.org led us to make a number of improvements in our already strong character education program.

    What does the National School of Character designation mean going forward?

    Service3Eastern Christian will retain the National School District of Character designation for a period of five years, from 2015 through 2020.  During this period, Eastern Christian is expected to act as an advisor and exemplar for other schools across the country that aspire to become Schools of Character.  By meeting this obligation, Eastern Christian has the opportunity to fulfill a leadership role among other schools, and especially among faith-based schools, across the country.  During this five-year period we will use the lessons learned through the application process to continue to refine and improve our programs for the benefit of our students, families, and community.

    We are sincerely thankful to our fantastic school families, students, faculty, staff, and community supporters, for their  strong commitment that is recognized by this award.  We are especially thankful to our loving God for his incredible blessing on our school for the last 123 years. The Lord is good… His faithfulness continues through all generations!

    nsmimgTom Dykhouse

    Executive Director and Head of School

  • ECMS Students are M.A.D.


    One of the major goals for Eastern Christian Schools is to help students realize the power they have in Christ to transform the world. Many ideas that have had a sizable impact on communities have begun with a small, but powerful idea that has caught hold and spread. The Make A Difference program (MAD) aims to introduce our MS students to the opportunities that they have within their local communities to step in and make a difference.

    D04C2961During the MAD Program, students are introduced to various local ministries and groups that support those in need within our community. Each grade level (5-8) at the middle school works with an organization with whom the school has developed a long-term relationship. These organizations range in focus from housing to special needs individuals to families in need. Time is set aside each week for grade levels to learn about the ministry, plan for interactions with the group, and then to go and get involved. Students who attend the middle school from 5th through 8th grade have four years of opportunities to be an active member of a community that seeks to transform the society around them.

    The year concludes with a day of presentations focused both on looking back at what we have accomplished, and also (and perhaps more importantly) looking forward to how we can continue to be an influence within the communities in which we live and work and play. Students share their experiences with the MS community, as well in small groups, reflecting on the work they have done and how the MAD program has shaped their understanding as Christians of a broken world. Pastor Vande Streek challenged the MS students to be ready to continue to run the race that God has laid before them, becoming an active member of the Christian community and transforming the world.

  • Coming Home

    by David Visbeen, Executive Director of The Foundation for Eastern Christian School Association

    It has been 41 years since my graduation from Eastern Christian School. Last year, June came and went without a reunion to mark the 40 year milestone. Honestly, I never gave it a thought. I returned to NJ after college and have lived here for the past 35 years. I have served on various committees at Eastern Christian and on both the Operating and Foundation Boards of Directors. Despite those connections, I had lost sight of many of the things that made Eastern Christian so important to me.

    Then, in September of 2014 I came to work full-time at Eastern Christian School. As Executive Director of the Foundation for ECSA, I reconnected in ways I never did as a volunteer or even as a parent of two EC grads. I began to attend chapel and witness the Spirit moving among the students and faculty; I spend time in the hallways and see students interacting with friends and having fun; I walk through the cafeteria (and yes, I even buy my lunch there) and see a community. And it all helps me remember. I remember that for twelve years I was part of a community here at Eastern Christian School. I was taught, encouraged, and even disciplined (once or twice) in this place. I made friends here. I grew up and matured (or at least began to mature) here.  My faith began to form here. This place, this school was a critical influence in the person I am today. I realized that coming to work here was not just finding a new job that I loved; it was a little like “coming home.”

    Click here for full 2015 Homecoming info

    Now I want you to experience a bit of what I have. I want you to “come home” again, even just for a few days. I’m hoping that the good memories, the “happy thoughts” will come back to you. On October 23-25 we are hosting EC Homecoming. The weekend is packed with activities including the 1st Annual EC5K, several sporting events, a family BBQ, and a Sunday brunch. Plus, there will be campus tours, a class reunion, and opportunities to meet with your former classmates, friends, and faculty.


    I hope you’ll “come home” to Eastern Christian and reconnect. Watch for details in the summer edition of The Herald and through our social media outlets. I hope to see you here.

  • ECHS Gets a New Sign!


    New Sign at ECHS

    The front face of Eastern Christian High School just got another upgrade. Thanks to the support of a generous donor, we were able to replace the marquee sign on the front of our high school property with the updated brand featuring our Eagle/Shield/1892 crest. The sign is made of granite, so, like our 123 year old school, it is made to stand the test of time!


    Old Sign

    This exciting development is part of a continued effort with our rebrand to replace the various logos present on all three campuses with our modern brand identity. We recently installed branded walls at our high school and elementary school campuses and are planning for something similar at our middle school campus.

  • 3B: Athletics – Soar EC

    Welcome to the 3B: The Brochure Breakdown Blog series. In this recurring blog series, we consider all 9 topics in the newly released Eastern Christian School Brochure. We consider how each topic helps us tell our story.

    by Rudi Gesch, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    EC_Brochure_07_600The athletics page of the EC Brochure. Download the digital copy or request a paper copy.


    One of the key messages that you may have seen at Eastern Christian is “Soar EC.” We frequently use this message in our online communications (#SoarEC), on t-shirts, and even in Spirit Squad chants at basketball games. While this message is definitely relevant for all of Eastern Christian, it has a unique home with Athletics.

    Why did we pick the image of soaring? Well, first and foremost, we are eagles. The eagle mascot is such a common one, that we may sometimes lose the uniqueness of this eagles/soaring message! The choice of “eagles” as a mascot no doubt stemmed from Isaiah chapter 40, where we are challenged to soar on wings like eagles. There’s something about eagles and soaring that is intertwined. Here’s a fun little exercise: do a google image search of the word “Soar.” The results? Almost exclusively images of eagles. Eagles were made to soar. It’s who we are and it’s what we are about.

    What does it mean to soar? Dictionary definitions usually focus on flying, rising high in the air, or maintaining height in the air without flapping wings. In the use of “Soar EC,” we love the play on the Eagle/flight imagery and the 3rd most common definition: “To Increase rapidly above the usual level, to rise.” Our athletics program is all about this. On an individual, team, school, and spiritual basis, we are all about rising. We are committed to improving and to becoming the best that we can be. If you’ll excuse a diehard Green Bay Packer fan from injecting a Vince Lombardi quote, “We will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”

    So How Are We Soaring?

    • Our Athletic Pillars have been adopted and posted on all three campuses. These Pillars are the guiding document that informs student-athletes, coaches, parents, and fans why we do athletics and how we intend to conduct ourselves in this process.
    • EC’s athletic offerings are amazing. For a school of our size to offer 20 sports offerings, you have to be committed to athletics!

    Up next in the 3B series: Wired For Creativity

    Previously in the 3B series:
    The Brochure Breakdown Series Introduction
    Our Mission and History
    Authentic Faith Integration
    Promoting Academic Excellence
    Richly Diverse Community
    3 Campuses One School


  • Honors Choir 2015-2016 Announced

    By Suzanne Kraai, Concert Choir/Honors Choir Director

    Thanks to all for auditioning! This year’s competition was fierce as there were only 6 places, 2 females and 4 males. Many students were qualified, talented, and capable. Decisions were extremely difficult because of the talent and Ms. Ocot and I struggled through the final decision and prayed about the best fits for this year.

    I look forward to seeing you all next year in Concert Choir. I would also encourage you to audition for any solo opportunities and continue to train for your audition next year when there will be 10 seniors graduating HC!  I am humbled and honored to work with you all!

    Entry was based on the following, in no particular order:

    • Sight Reading
    • Theory understanding
    • Reason for Joining/ Application sheet
    • Voice Part/Range
    • Merit
    • Scheduling Priority
    • Vocal tone in terms of CHORAL singing
    • Nerves/Confidence in performance
    • Interest
    • Audition Preparation
    • Leadership ability

    Honors Choir 2015-2016

    Soprano I
    Caitlin Shurminsky
    Hannah Furman
    Elisabeth Kuipers
    Ali Sytsma

    Soprano II
    Mel Castro
    Kristen Casey
    Amanda Vincenti
    Addy Peretti
    Chelsea Campbell

    Maggie Albies
    Jessica Barna
    Kimona Dussard
    Jeanae Dedio

    Mike Vriesma
    Devin Graham
    Scott Steenstra

    Steve Choi
    Henry Ruitenberg
    Matt Mathias

  • How an ECHS Education Can Literally Pay for Itself

    In this recurring blog series, we look at the Culture of Innovation at Eastern Christian School. A major Institutional distinctive that sets EC apart as a global leader in Christian Education is that this is a school community and leadership team that takes calculated risks on new, leading ideas in order to more effectively fulfill the mission and Kingdom Impact of the school.

    by Rudi Gesch

    Director of Marketing and Enrollment | rudigesch@easternchristian.org

    Christian Education is an investment with potential eternal value. As a parent of two EC students, I get to see this starting to happen right in front of my eyes. For example, my daughter, a Kindergartener at EC, recently came home from school eager to show me something that her class had learned. I had no idea they were studying Psalm 100 and then she busts out this beauty:

    Check out the joy, knowledge (via motions… movement matters!) and the eternal truths that are being “hidden in her heart” at the age of six! As a parent, what more could you want?

    While the Kingdom impact and eternal value of Christian education is priceless, I was curious to explore something more tangible (at least in human understanding): the financial value of a quality Christian education at EC. While we can’t put a price tag on eternal value, I wondered: How can we financially quantify the value of an Eastern Christian education? After doing the math, I found out just how valuable an Eastern Christian education really is: both in tangible and intangible measures.

    Story Problem

    “Sara is in 8th grade in Northern New Jersey. Her parents are considering high school options. What education represents the best financial investment for her family?”

    Answer: Eastern Christian High School

    For Sara’s family, an Eastern Christian High School is an investment that will literally pay for itself. Over the course of four years, they will pay about $41,650 in tuition. As a result of Sara’s hard work in EC’s challenging 4-year plan, she will graduate with the value of well over $41,650 in combined college credits and tuition savings!

    Show Your Work

    As EC Middle School students learn in algebra, it’s important to show your work. The claim here is that the financial value of Sara’s education at ECHS will be more than the $41,650 that her parents are investing over 4 years. How did we get to those numbers? Here is the formula:



    VT: Variable Tuition

    EC’s Variable Tuition program matches EC families’ tuition with their unique financial circumstances. Tuition is not a “One-size-fits-all.” It’s a range; a range that spans from 40-80% of the total cost of education. We launched this program earlier this year, and the response to it has been spectacular. More families than ever are able to access Christian Education at EC now that High School Tuition ranges anywhere from $6,500 to $13,000. After Sara’s parents applied to ECHS, their Variable Tuition Confirmation was $10,000/year.

    4 Year High School Tuition Cost: $40,000

    PA: Project Acceleration

    PAThrough Eastern Christian’s Project Acceleration, Sara will graduate with 22 College Credits in hand. These credits are through a dual enrollment program with ECHS and Seton Hall University. The current “open market” value of these credits as a traditional Seton Hall student is $24,095 ($1,095 per credit). The Project Acceleration program only charges Sara’s parents $75 per credit ($1,650 for 22 credits). This means that Project Acceleration brings Sara parents a $22,440 net value!

    Project Acceleration Cost: $1,650


    CS: College Scholarships

    EC graduates earn over $4 Million per year in college scholarships! Through our rigorous “4 Year Plan,” the 95% of EC graduates that go on to college receive a lot of personal attention and planning as they prepare for the next level. This plan yields wise choices, scholarship advice, and ultimately, a lot of value!

    According to EC’s College and Career Office, the average financial value of college scholarships awarded to an EC graduate over the past 3 years is approximately $42,000 per student.

    2014 76 $4,312,624 $56,745
    2013 84 $3,644,069 $43,382
    2012 71 $1,847,409 $26,020

    Cost of 4 Year High School Investment for ‘4 Year Plan’ development: Free! (Included in tuition)


    Show Your Work

    Grand Total 4 Year Investment:Chalkboard-formula4a

    Grand Total 4 year Value:Chalkboard-formula5

    Let’s check our work: Is $66,095 greater than $41,650? Yes. The statement is true.


    Further Breakdown

    In the hypothetical example of Sara’s family, astute readers who like to play “Devil’s Advocate,” might have some quick counter-examples. For example, an argument might be, “Well, what if Sara’s family paid the “exit range” Variable Tuition of $13k?” Or, “Not every student qualifies for $42,000 in scholarships- this is an average number.” Or, “Some of that $42,000 is mutually exclusive because it’s specific to one college/university.” Or even, “I bet I can find a cheaper college credit in the college market than Seton Hall.”

    IMG_2072While all of these suggestions merit consideration, it’s also fair to point out that we could also go in the other direction. There are many EC families that have lower Variable Tuition than Sara’s family’s $10k per year. And that there are many EC students that qualify for more than $42,000 in scholarships. And that the Seton Hall credits can be transferred to other universities- many of which have more expensive credits than the $1,095 cited in our example. We also have heard back from proud alumni who tell us that PA allowed them to skip an entire year of college!

    So in 4 years, Sara’s parents (and many more EC graduate families like her), will see more than a full return on their four-year tuition investment: That’s how an Eastern Christian High School education can literally pay for itself!

    And again, it’s worth remembering- none of this formula can measure Eastern Christian’s priceless eternal value.


    Crunch the Numbers for Your Family!

    Want to see what an Eastern Christian High School education might mean for your family’s financial investment in high school education? Here are 3 things that you can do (and we won’t even grade your work!):

    Other “Culture of Innovation” Blog Posts:

  • Missions Sharing Night


    Students that went on Missions Trips this spring hosted a sharing night where they were able to tell family, friends, and the EC community about their experiences in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Lynn MA over Spring Break. Through their experience with

    Through their experience with Touch the World, stories of life change and new perspectives on the world around us were shared. Some seniors even felt God calling them to pursue something missions-related in college. It was a great night as each team also had a display to showcase some of the ministry opportunities they participated in.

    Eastern Christian thanks Touch the World for partnering over the past few years and providing such engaging opportunities, for nurturing the students of EC, and for guidance as students learn to transform the world.

    In addition to sharing with the EC community at the Sharing Night event, students also shared a portion of their stories during a weekly chapel service at the high school several weeks ago.

  • Eastern Christian School Named National School of Character

     Eastern Christian School has been recognized as a National School of Character.

    D04C3817wCharacter.org (formerly the Character Education Partnership), a national character education advocate located in Washington, D.C. today recognized 64 schools and 3 districts from 14 states as 2015 National Schools of Character. Eastern Christian School is one of only 21 school districts that have earned this distinction since Character.org’s 1998 founding.

    “Being designated a National School of Character recognizes the hard work that these schools put in to develop strong character education programs,” said Becky Sipos, Character.org’s President & CEO. “They have created caring schools climates and prepare students to be future leaders who care about their communities. We are very proud all today’s honorees and, in addition, every school that participated in the application process.”

    In March and April, all 104 National School of Character finalists underwent an intensive screening process that included site visits, conference calls, and analysis of the impact that their character- related efforts had on academics, student behavior, and school culture as part of the consideration to be named a National School of Character.

    “We are sincerely thankful to our fantastic faculty, staff, and administrators, for their years of dedication and hard work that are recognized by this award,” said Tom Dykhouse, Executive Director & Head of School. “We are especially thankful to our loving God for his incredible blessing on our school for the last 123 years. The Lord is good and His faithfulness continues through all generations!”

    Eastern Christian SchoD04C2957ol is a private learning community serving the children of Christian families in northern New Jersey and the New York metro area, as well as international students from around the world. From preschool to grade twelve, we are committed to the vision of engaging the mind, nurturing the spirit and transforming the world. Utilizing biblically informed inquiry and strong academic knowledge, students are challenged to think critically, exhibit curiosity and develop discernment that will enable them to confidently strive for excellence. While academics and faith integration are top priorities, we also offer a comprehensive program in the arts and athletics.

    2015 National Schools of Character Infographic_Page_1

  • Global Missions in Your Own Home!


    Global Missions in Your Own Home
    Eastern Christian High School
    July 18 – August 5

    Global Missions in Your Own Home!
    Become a host family to an International Student for our American Experience program.

    Eastern Christian School is currently seeking host families for the Summer International Student programs. Many of these students have never heard the gospel and this would be a great opportunity for global missions right in your own home.  As an EC host family, you will offer a young International Student the opportunity to discover America through your eyes. Your family will not only gain a new family member, you will also learn about a different culture, its values & traditions, language, food, and more!

    What potential host families should know:

    The International Students will be in class or activities every weekday. Families just need to provide room and board and a safe, loving environment in the evenings and on weekends. A stipend is provided to cover hosting expenses.

    Please contact Andrew Zetterstrom

  • ECHS Music Ensembles Win Awards


    Eastern Christian Music Ensembles recently participated in a competition at Dorney Park. In addition to a beautiful and fun day at the park, EC came home with some wins!

    All 5 ensembles (band, string orchestra, chamber orchestra, concert choir, and honors choir) performed very well. Honors choir took 2nd and Concert choir received 3rd place – both with “Excellent” ratings. Mathew Matthias, a sophomore, earned best overall soloist of the day! Chamber Orchestra took 1st place with a Superior rating and String Orchestra took 2nd with Excellent ratings and Band earned Excellent ratings and took 1st place. In addition, Band and Orchestra came home with Best Overall in their categories.

    Congratulations to all groups on the recent accomplishments!

    To hear them for yourself you’re encouraged to attend the ECHS Spring Concert & Art Show on May 28 at 6:30PM in the high school auditorium.

  • National History Day

    Eastern Christian is pleased to announce that two juniors in our American studies class – Jeanae Dedio and Henry Ruitenberg – are the New Jersey state winners in the individual research paper category at NJ History Day. They are the national qualifiers for the National History Day competition held at the University of Maryland in June. Each state is allowed to send two entries to the national competition for each of the categories, so Jeanae and Henry will be representing the best of New Jersey in the high school paper category.



  • 3B: 3 Campuses. One School

    Welcome to the 3B: The Brochure Breakdown Blog series. In this recurring blog series, we consider all 9 topics in the newly released Eastern Christian School Brochure. We consider how each topic helps us tell our story.

    by Rudi Gesch, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    EC_Brochure_06_600The “3 Campuses. One School” page of the EC Brochure.
    Download the digital copy or request a paper copy.

    Let the Campuses Speak

    At Eastern Christian, we recently rebranded. We wrote a Herald article about this (read more here). When you go through a rebrand, you are trying to discover the best possible way to tell your story. In that process, you scrutinize over every detail of your message: your name, your logo, your tagline, etc. We came through the rebrand very confident that our name, “Eastern Christian School,” carried both historical significance and relevance into the future. We were intentional about keeping the name, and about that name being in the singular.

    In other words, we are not “Eastern Christian Schools” (plural), we are “Eastern Christian School” (singular). While we have 3 campuses on 38 acres of beautiful Northern New Jersey land, we are one school.

    So when we developed this page of the Eastern Christian brochure, we loved the idea of letting the campuses speak. Throw in a few drone shots on a pristine fall day, and we’ve got a beautiful “center spread” for our feature marketing piece!

    If our campuses are speaking, what are they saying? Our campuses speak to our history and resources. Eastern Christian is an excellent, established, Christian education. You can see that just by looking at our facilities and grounds.


    What Does “One School” Mean?

    What does “One School” mean? It means that our students have the advantage of consistent philosophy of education from ages 3 through 18. It means that teachers collaborate across the curriculum and across the grade levels to provide the best possible education. It means that we make decisions as one school – not as 3 different campuses.

    And while we resisted the temptation to make a Trinitarian comparison of the “3-yet-1,” that remains a cool thought!


    Busing: It’s All About Access

    While we were talking about campus location, it made sense to address the locations of our bus stops. Busing is yet another example of an “under the radar” program at Eastern Christian. So many schools farm out busing, or simply require parents to deal with transportation. Not at Eastern Christian – where access to Christian education to a diverse range of Christian families is so ingrained in our DNA, that we even focus on how our students will get to and from school. Christian bus drivers help us fulfill our mission of a distinctly Christian experience throughout your child’s entire EC experience! That map is the physical manifestation of Eastern Christian’s commitment to accessibility.

    Up next in the 3B series: Athletics: Soar EC!

    Previously in the 3B series:
    The Brochure Breakdown Series Introduction
    Our Mission and History
    Authentic Faith Integration
    Promoting Academic Excellence
    Richly Diverse Community

  • Caleb Collins Visits Eastern Christian


    On Wednesday, May 6, Eastern Christian High School had the honor of hosting singer-songwriter Caleb Collins of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at our weekly Cross Connection chapel.

    The chapel service was sponsored by the ECHS music and Bible departments, as well as Star of Hope Ministries, through alumni Neil De Haan’s gracious coordination. In addition to an uplifting, inspiring worship and concert session, Mr. Collins offered a workshop to interested students, staff, and guests. He shared about his own personal journey of music and worship and encouraged students who are interested in pursuing careers in the music industry or in worship settings. Students and staff alike were blessed by his willingness to share his insights and heart in both his music and conversation. We look forward to hearing more from Caleb Collins in the future.

  • ECMS Learning Outside the Classroom


    Some of the best learning experiences happen outside of the classroom. On Friday, May 1, the 6th graders visited our friends at the Holland Home in North Haledon to learn about life during WWII.  Our friends shared stories of life on the homefront, life in Holland, and life in the armed services during the 1940’s. The 6th graders heard many amazing testimonies of God’s grace and provision, and were able to share some of their own stories about growing up in the 21st century! We are so thankful for the lessons learned, wisdom shared, and friendships made during this learning experience.

  • Eastern Christian’s Prayer Chromosome


    Think back to the very beginning of Eastern Christian School: 1892. Exactly when did this 123-year-old school begin its existence? Can we trace EC’s origin to a single point in time?

    Easte1898-facultyrn Christian School didn’t start with any building or even any person. EC began with an idea and a prayer: an idea of Christ-centered education and a prayer dedicating this vision to God. When this idea and this prayer met – that was when Eastern Christian School was conceived.

    Since its beginnings, prayer has been encoded into the very DNA of Eastern Christian School. EC has an expressive prayer chromosome that permeates everything that we do. The school day, worship services, sporting events, snacks, meals, musical and dramatic performances, parent/teacher conferences, administrative team meetings, board meetings, and association meetings all begin with prayer. Both the formal business of the school and the goofy, crazy activities that organically sprout from working with children are dedicated to God in prayer.

    1980sThere’s something very simple and yet profound about the commonness of prayer at EC. By starting everything in prayer at EC, we regularly acknowledge God’s sovereignty. We praise him, thank him, and glorify His name. We proclaim in both pubic and in private that we are His and that without him, we can do nothing.

    Today is the National Day of Prayer. At Eastern Christian School, we are thankful to live in a free society that permits our free expression of worship through prayer. Let’s use today as a special reminder of God’s faithfulness to our school for nearly 125 years and pray for His continued direction and protection for the next 125 years. Who knows- perhaps a blog post (or whatever the blog equivalent in the year 2,142 A.D. will be) from Eastern Christian will be written again proclaiming God’s faithfulness to our community and our thankfulness to Him!


  • 6th Graders Help Out Habitat


    By: Janelle Baldwin, 6th Grade

    On Tuesday, April 28, ECMS’ sixth grade went to work with Paterson Habitat for Humanity! They did this as part of their M.A.D. project. It was an anticipating event; the sixth grade has been doing other things for Habitat, such as making baskets for new homeowners, making bookmarks for their worldwide organization, painting window coverings, and more! But on April 28, they got to go see a homeowner, and help start a garden in their yard or backyard.

    habitat-3507First, they got on a bus and went to a place in Paterson, where they met some people from Habitat. Once explained, the sixth graders got shovels and buckets. Then they dug up fresh soil donated by Ken Steenstra Lawn and Landscape for the gardens, and loaded the buckets, which people holding the buckets used to fill up 3 pickup trucks. After that job was done, the sixth grade split up into 3 different groups, and got dropped off at the house they were going to work at. There was a pickup truck with shovels and some of the soil for each group.

    D04C2756When they came to their stop, the sixth graders and their leaders got off of the bus, and met the homeowners they were going to help out. Then the homeowners decided where they wanted the garden to go. Once the place was chosen, some of the sixth graders took the wooden bed for the garden, and placed it in position. Some of us even built the beds! (Thanks, Kuiken Brothers!)  After that, the sixth graders and their leaders were hard at work! Digging up the area within the bed, putting the tarp down, and dumping the new soil into the secured bed.

    It was a fun and sweaty field trip! In the end, the sixth grade was glad that they got to help. Now, the homeowners that the sixth grade helped, can start a garden! Whether filled with fruits and veggies, or flowers and other decorative plants, it will hopefully always stay a blessing for that family. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity, and the ECMS sixth graders, they can grow their soon to be, beautiful garden!

    … so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…

    Colossians 1:10, NIV

  • EC Wins American Scholastic Association Newspaper Contest


    The first semester journalism class is now an award-winning newspaper staff, placing in two national contests over the past two weeks.

    The American Scholastic Press Association, founded in 1980, offers an annual review and contest with the intention of promoting excellent journalism. The November and January issues of EC Times were submitted for review, along with 350 newspapers around the country.

    D04C3238FIRST PLACE is given to a publication that scored over 850 points and, in the opinion of the reviewer, was an outstanding overall example of a scholastic publication in format, content, and presentation.  The schools enter their newspaper for review in a specific school size and school type category. Eastern Christian High School entered in the Private School category with an enrollment of under 500 students.

    Eastern Christian High School received 875 points (out of a possible 1000 points) in the contest this year and won a First Place Award. There were 20 schools entered in that category and 4 received First Place Awards.  The EC TIMES had the second highest score among the First Place awards.  The EC TIMES was reviewed in several areas such as format, content, and overall presentation compared to other entries in the same category.

    In addition to the award from the American Scholastic Press Association, two students were additionally recognized in the J-Day contest sponsored by Ball State University in Indiana. This year, the 60th annual contest drew nearly 900 entries across multiple categories. Schools were divided into two divisions: A and AA.

    Abi Johnson received Honorable Mention for her Feature Story, “Battling Depression and Anxiety.” In this article, she compared national statistics with an anonymous poll taken at Eastern Christian, while including interviews from students and the school counselor. She was one of only four students recognized in the Division A category.

    Kristen Casey received Honorable Mention for her Sports Story, “Basketball’s Fresh Start,” which looked at the upcoming basketball season through the perspective of coaches and students. She was one of only two students recognized in the Division A category.

    Congratulations to the entire first semester class for excellent student journalism!


  • Trike-a-Thon


    The Trike-a-thon took place on Monday, April 27, at the Elementary School Campus. This event was a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and was also an excellent opportunity for our middle school students to help lead preschool students.

    The 5th grade class helped run this event as part of their MAD (Make A Difference) project. Having been connected to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in elementary school with the Math-a-thon, it worked well to continue the connection through the Trike-A-Thon.  For 6 weeks prior to the actual trike riding day, the 5th graders visited the preschool to teach the younger students about bicycle safety.  The 5th grade students buddy-up with a small group of preschoolers in each of the three classes and read to them, color with them, and teach them one safety lesson per week. In addition to the activities and teaching, they also take time each week to plan the actual ride day.

    09Preschoolers and their families secured sponsors and/or donations for riding in the Trike-a-thon. 5th graders are responsible for organizing and setting up a course to ride on, a bike wash station, a refreshment cooling station, and a bake sale for the many people who came to watch and support the preschoolers. The preschoolers pedaled their trikes for about 15-20 min and then rotated to another station.  If they were not riding they were either washing their bikes at the bike wash station or visiting with Midland Park’s safety team members. A police car, ambulance and fire truck came and the kids were able to see the vehicles and talk to the respective emergency personnel about them.

    At the end of the morning, the preschoolers ate a special snack, received a certificate and license for riding, and a water bottle designed by one of the current 5th graders. Many, many parents, grandparents and friends attended.  It was quite the morning!

    This event and the organization benefitted fits perfectly into the 5th grade science curriculum as the students study cells and then branch off to look at what happens to cells when different cancers develop. They spend time researching St. Jude’s research program and what is taking place in cancer discoveries.

  • Uncovering Truth

    By Daniel Lazor, Middle School Principal

     At the end of John’s Gospel, John concludes with a sweeping summary of the breadth of the ministry of Jesus – “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) It leaves one wondering about the events not recorded in the gospel and the interactions, healings and miracles we can’t read about.

    ecmsD04C7157This last line in the book of John reminds me of a line from a familiar story. In the C.S. Lewis book, Prince Caspian, the children are reunited with Aslan after many years, and Lucy expresses surprise that Aslan looks bigger. Aslan responds, “I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.” It is a beautiful truth about God that is captured by Lewis in his Chronicles series – that no matter how much we know God, there is still an infinite amount to get to know.

    Every day at EC, we have the opportunity to uncover more truths about God. Whether we are studying science, history, math, or literature, there is a small voice coming through the content that whispers (and sometimes shouts!) His name, and points to His glory. It is a lifelong process of knowing God deeper and deeper, and thereby learning through that knowledge of the joy that comes from our relationship with Him. What a privilege to be a part of that daily with our students!

  • EC Students Win Grand Prize at Film Festival

    IMG_1206Eastern Christian Seniors, Erin Van Lenten (Hawthorne) and Caitlin Duffy (Midland Park), and Juniors, Evan Quintero (New City, NY) and Brianne Remy (Riverdale), were honored this past weekend with the grand prize at the Passaic County Film Festival for their short film, “Discover, Learn, Live.”


    The objective of the Passaic County Film Festival is to support student and independent filmmakers by providing a public forum in which to showcase their work, and provide an opportunity to interact with members of the television and filmmaking community.

    Eastern Christian High School’s film submission to the Passaic County Film Festival featured missions as its subject matter while making a bold declaration of their Christian faith. The EC students who created the film were awarded a $1000 scholarship to split between them, and were recognized publicly at an awards ceremony.

    Congratulations to our winners! Not only was your artistic talent and project excellence on display, but you were able to bring an overtly Christian worldview into this festival!

    Take a look at the award winning film!

    For more videos from our award-winning art program click here.

  • 3B: Richly Diverse Community

    Welcome to the 3B: The Brochure Breakdown Blog series. In this recurring blog series, we consider all 9 topics in the newly released Eastern Christian School Brochure. We consider how each topic helps us tell our story.

    by Rudi Gesch, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    EC_Brochure_05_600The diverse community page of the Brochure. Download the digital copy or request a paper copy.

    Rich Diversity

    If you spend any time at Eastern Christian School, you’ll observe that this is a diverse community.

    We come from a diverse set of circumstances. The racial diversity is beautiful. Denominational diversity is something we don’t talk about as much, but we have families from over 150 different Christian churches from a very wide range of denominations. Our socio/economic diversity is another beautiful thing – we have families from a very wide range of financial positions.

    The Eastern Christian community diversity is organic and authentic. In other words, we’ve never had an internal push where we say, “We need to recruit more students from race x” or, “Why don’t we start communicating more with socio/economic group y.” We are open to Christian families and Christian families are naturally diverse. God has called us to execute our mission in Metro New York City – one of the most beautifully diverse areas in the nation. The fact that we are a diverse community simply means that we’re living out that calling and are relevant to Christian families in this area. We praise God for that!

    Up next in the 3B series: 3 Campuses. One School.

    Previously in the 3B series:
    The Brochure Breakdown Series Introduction
    Our Mission and History
    Authentic Faith Integration
    Promoting Academic Excellence


  • EC Students Lay Wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier

    The Eastern Christian High School Senior Class of 2015 visited Washington DC for their senior trip. After visiting the national mall and the many memorials and monuments around Washington, they visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The class was honored to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at that tomb.

  • ECHS Lobby Renovations

    The front lobby and hallway at Eastern Christian High School is now complete. As part of our new approach to sporting events with the launch of this year’s Community Basketball Nights, we wanted the first impression of our school to be fresh and inviting.

    To that end, we set about giving the front lobby and Athletics Hallway an improved look. This project included:

    • A totally new paint scheme including our official navy blue, yellow, and white scheme through the entire hallway area
    • Less clutter and more intentionality about what we place on our walls
    • Our school logo as a key identifier on the main “branded wall” in the lobby
    • Totally renovated trophy cases featuring new LED lighting, black frames and larger than life black and white archived EC Sports photos
    • Complete transformation of the “Swag Shop” for sale of concessions and spirit wear during games

    The community response has been so positive that we are already in the planning phase to bring this look to the rest of the high school building as part of a summer/2015 project.

    If you haven’t had a chance to see these changes for yourself, please stop by for a visit- we would love to show you this new space.






























  • Boys Varsity Baseball

    The week didn’t start the way the Eagles had hoped, but it certainly ended on a higher note than anyone could have imagined!  After losing what could have been a demoralizing game at Rutherford on Monday, the team was 1-3 entering a tough stretch of games vs. Glen Rock and undefeated Hawthorne on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.  It took all seven innings to beat GR on a bases loaded walk-off  RBI walk by Adam Dykstra.  The key play of the game was a leadoff pinch hit by Josh Groenewal in the eighth inning.  Josh Haddad pitched masterfully in a complete game, eight inning performance in which he only allowed one run.  Not to be outdone was Matt Sorrentino, who went on to earn his first victory of the year in a complete game performance of his own.  The Bears of Hawthorne entered the game in first place of the division at 5-0, but the Eagles were equal to the task .  In the bottom of the seventh inning, after a see-saw battle, the Eagles won the game on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Ben Boonstra.  The line drive plated John Onufer who scored three runs in the game, including a solo home run.  The unsung hero of the game was Devon Hulsebos, who successfully sacrificed a runner into scoring position not once, but twice.  The runner scored both times, proving to be the difference in the game.  After the senior trip, the team will play Pompton Lakes and Garfield in the coming week.


  • Denim & Diamonds Auction Gala

    crop pic

    Over 260 individuals attended the 2015 Denim & Diamonds Auction Gala, Thursday, April 9 at The Tides Estate in North Haledon which raised $56,000 for Eastern Christian School. Thank you to our sponsors, auction committee members, cashiers, student volunteers, and attendees who supported this exciting fundraising event.

    The evening featured a delicious buffet dinner and silent auction with many unique and interesting items, collectibles, designer handbags and accessories, and much more. After dinner a live auction ensued with enthusiastic bidding on a variety of exciting items including vacation packages, one of a kind opportunities and experiences, golf outings, tickets to sporting events, private cooking classes, catered parties, and much more.

  • What’s in a name? Common Core: Standards vs. Curriculum

    by Richard VanYperen
    Director of Curriculum & Instruction | dickvanyperen@easternchristian.org

    D04C7537Eastern Christian School follows the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards in all academic subjects except for Bible. Our learning standards for Bible come from Christian Schools International. When New Jersey shifted to the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts and Mathematics, our MAP testing, which is aligned to New Jersey Standards, also shifted to measure student growth against the standards. We have been assessing student growth against those standards since September of 2013.

    [Related Read: Why EC Uses MAP, Not PARCC]

    However, it is important to clarify that the Common Core refers to two things – standards and curriculum. The media coverage tends to discuss them as if they are the same thing. Common Core Standards are much different than the Common Core Curriculum.

    Just as EC had done before with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards, we use the New Jersey Common Core State Standards as a benchmarking instrument to measure student growth. Measurement of student growth requires baseline standards to measure commonly accepted foundational skills at each level.

    On the other hand, curriculum is what we choose to teach as we interact with the standards and make choices about what our students need to know, understand and be able to do. The Common Core Curriculum you hear about in the news is privately published “Common Core Aligned curriculum.” Textbook publishers have seen the shift to the Common Core Standards as an opportunity to make money. Anyone can label curriculum as “Common Core Aligned.” When parents see worksheets and other examples of confusing homework, they are seeing a publisher’s curriculum. The writers of the Common Core Standards did not and do not endorse curriculum resources.

    The bottom line for us at Eastern Christian is that no outside entity makes choices for us about what we teach. Our Board of Directors is responsible for determining the curriculum – what we expect our students to know, understand and be able to do. Our curriculum alignment is reviewed and designed to fulfill the end we have in mind for our graduates as stated in our Board approved Graduate Profile:

    “Utilizing Biblically informed inquiry and strong academic knowledge, an Eastern Christian graduate will think critically, exhibit curiosity and develop the discernment that will enable him/her to confidently and intentionally strive for excellence in every endeavor.

    Having studied the message of Jesus Christ and having experienced models of Christian servanthood in community, the Eastern Christian graduate develops a healthy self-image. Recognizing and responding to the will of God, and seeing in humanity the image of God, the graduate embraces diversity, exhibits compassion, offers respect, and is forgiving and open to others.

    The Eastern Christian graduate is prepared to be a person of Christian vision and influence and seeks to contribute cooperatively and responsibly to God’s mission of renewing all of creation.”


  • High School Talent Show Recap


    tsIMG_6759The Senior Class Council presented the 2015 Talent Show on Friday, April 10th. Witty seniors Luke Pecoraro and Jason Van Goor hosted the show this year and in conjunction with the class sponsors, the tech team and a small group or peers, they crafted a great production. The evening featured 18 acts and an array of talents, including: magic tricks, a cappella student-arranged songs, group performances, original rap, dances from hip-hop to ballet, and more. After deliberations, the judges (Donna Aceino, Jesse Struck, Elizabeth Van Ryn, and Joe Veenstra) awarded the best overall prize to Adrian Brown for his rendition of “Ballade”.  Sam Kuder won best solo with his magic trick act, and Taylor Faber, Hanna Faber, and Amber Taylor won best group. Many thanks to all who came to support!

    What did students think of the talent show?

    “I loved the different talent that was show at the talent show. It’s cool to see how talented and gifted the EC student body is.”
    – Morgan Abma

    tsIMG_6754“I really liked how much talent was there was and how everything kept the audience interested and entertained.” – Kelly Tanis

    “It was fun to be a part of it and I am happy I decided to do it as a senior.” – Taylor Faber

    “I think the individuals who participated in the show surprised the audience with their many diverse talents.” – Dan Rief

    “I was surprised by how many good musicians and singers we have in our school. I did not know that some of these people could sing.” – Nicole Martin

  • 4th Grade Musical


    The 4th grade students at ECES have been preparing and practicing the musical ‘Malice in the Palace – the Story of Esther’ for the past several weeks. They students recently performed the musical for some very appreciative audiences.

    The play follows the life of Esther, with some humor thrown in to keep the audience smiling.  Their performances at the ECES chapel, ECHS, and at Cedar Hill Church went very well. Director Rob Flim was pleased with the excitement and energy of the students as they presented the play. They wrap up their ‘tour’ this week at the Holland Home.


  • ECMS International Day


    Eastern Christian recently celebrated the cultural diversity of the Middle School with our 5th Annual International Day. We kicked off the event with an International Buffet. Seeing the tables covered with food, it quickly becomes clear what a diverse student body we have! There were dishes from The Dominican Republic, Portugal, Poland, the Ukraine, Italy, France, Korea, Mexico, Germany, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Ireland, Holland, and so many more!

    Over 35 families brought in foods – most from their heritage, some from other cultures that their families enjoy. InternationalDay-6790Students and staff enjoyed the food and the variety of choices. After filling their plates the first time, many came back for second helpings, and continued picking at the leftovers as they enjoyed the afternoon’s activities. Many parents volunteered to help set, serve, and clean-up the tables – they were amazing! 

    After lunch, each student received their passport and itinerary. Their personalized itinerary led them to four of twelve different countries where they learned about and played games from those cultures. They played Bocce in Italy, Mancala in Africa, Yut-Nori in Korea, Dosenfussball in Germany, Badminton in England, and made Oragami butterflies and animals in Japan. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the day.

    Activities from the afternoon:

    • Africa – Mancala
    • Aruba/Brazil/USA – Pele/Posty (Hopscotch) / Escatumbararibe (Clapping/Cup game)
    • Canada – Hockey
    • China/Netherlands – Chinese Jump rope/Double Dutch, Philippines -Tininkling
    • China – Chinese Shuttlecock Kicking, Hacky Sack
    • England – Badminton
    • France – Charades
    • Germany / Spain – Dosenfussball / El Dote (Kick the Can)
    • Italy – Bocce
    • Japan – Oragami
    • Korea/Ancient Cultures – Yut Nori (Board game) – Kongki Noli, Jacks
    • USA / Italy / Korea – Chinese Checkers / Dominoes / Omok

    Food Selection:

    • Guava & Cheese
    • empanadas and a sweet plantain pastelon
    • Linguica – Portuguese Sausage
    • Kielbasa & Sauerkraut
    • tres leches cake
    • Irish Soda Bread
    • Rice Pudding
    • Fish cakes
    • quiche
    • Flan
    • Pita pizza
    • Crepes
    • Lasagna & Gelatto
    • Whoopie Cookies
    • Pigs in a Blanket
    • sticky seek rice ball
    • potato pancakes
    • Cookies
    • pierogies
    • chicken/corn empanadas
    • beef (7&8th) & pork (5&6th) dish
    • French mac and cheese and mixed vegetable rice
    • Tomato with eggs
    • Kielbasa
    • Almond Tart
    • Potato Salad
    • Irish Stew
    • Poppyseed loaf & honey
    • Jap Chae
    • Almond Bars
    • Almond dessert
    • Perogi
    • indonesian crackers
    • Tomato/Mozz
    • almond tarts & cheese
    • german apple crisp
    • Cake pops
  • Varsity Baseball April 13, 2015

    The Boys Varsity Baseball Team split the week with one win vs. Elmwood Park and one loss vs. Lodi. Despite a valiant effort late in the game, the boys’ comeback was cut short in the bottom of the seventh inning, resulting in a 5-4 loss to the Rams of Lodi.  The lone win of the season came on a 14-9 win at Elmwood Park .  The bats really came alive as the Eagles lineup pounded out 13 RBI’s in the high scoring affair.  This upcoming week promises to be an exciting “make or break” week for the Eagles who will play league games on three consecutive days vs. Rutherford, Glen Rock, and Hawthorne.  Coach Oiliva

  • Turn your Beagle Side into Eagle Pride!


    check out that bark-tastic shirt!

    Turn your “Beagle Side” into Eagle Pride! It’s a little known saying, but April comes in like a Beagle and out like an Eagle.

    You may have seen our April Fools story earlier this month.  The community response to this has been amazing. It was so fun to see the sense of humor in the greater EC community. With such a positive response (and several requests for shirts!) we will offer a limited release of #BarkEC t-shirts. But we need your help.

    EC would greatly benefit by EC families and friends “living your EC love out loud” with some online reviews. These reviews/testimonials help inquiry families better understand the difference that Eastern Christian is making in the lives of our students and families. The shirts will be awarded to 10 randomly selected individuals that submit Eastern Christian School reviews on either facebook or Google+

    How do you enter the contest? Simply submit an online review at the links below. If you have already given Eastern Christian a review, you are already entered in the drawing.

    Click on one of the links below to submit a review:
    Eastern Christian School on Facebook
    Eastern Christian Elementary School
    Eastern Christian Middle School
    Eastern Christian High School

  • Why EC Uses MAP, Not PARCC

    by Richard VanYperen
    Director of Curriculum & Instruction | dickvanyperen@easternchristian.org

    D04C3817wAs New Jersey public schools prepared for PARCC high stakes testing this spring, the news was full of reports about parent movements to opt out of the tests.

    Recent News on PARCC Testing:

    New Jersey is one of twelve states that will be administering the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) this spring.

    “The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These high quality, computer-based K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English/Language Arts Literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information on whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs. The PARCC assessments will be ready for states to administer during the 2014-15 school year.” (parcconline.org)

    Because PARCC assessments will be used as a factor in measuring schools against each other, as well as measuring teacher effectiveness, parents are concerned about the inordinate time teachers are spending on prepping students for the test and the amount of time that taking the test – approximately 20 hours – will take away from instruction.

    D04C3790wAs a private Christian school, Eastern Christian will not participate in PARCC testing.

    In fact, for 8 years now, we have used Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a computer adaptive standardized test. This program offers statistically rich data to inform our instruction and curriculum. MAP is an assessment instrument that comes through Northwest Evaluation Association (nwea.org). MAP is focused on helping us answer the key question: Are our students learning? We have found that MAP assessments deliver precise and immediate information that helps us measure student growth and make curriculum and instruction decisions. Because NWEA has been a pioneer in computer adaptive assessments for over 20 years, their database is statistically robust, with over 5 million students being assessed each year.

    NWEA is a non-profit assessment organization. On the other hand, PARCC has contracted with a private publisher to design and produce their assessments. Both assessments measure student performance against the Common Core Curriculum Standards in Language Arts & Mathematics.

    [Related Read: What’s in a Name? Common Core Standards vs. Curriculum]

    Timing: Another Differentiator

    For this first run through of the PARCC assessments, schools have been told that the results of the testing will not be available until next October.Contrast the above with our assessment practices. We administer MAP tests in September, “End of Course” assessments in the high school in January, and MAP assessments once again in May each year. In all cases our results are available immediately.

    Also, PARCC tests are available online but they are not computer adaptive at this point. In other words, each student is answering grade-level appropriate Common Core aligned questions and problems only. Our students start at grade-level to answer Common Core aligned questions and problems but can demonstrate above or below grade level proficiency as the computer searches for that student’s level of achievement


  • 3B: Promoting Academic Excellence

    Welcome to the 3B: The Brochure Breakdown Blog series. In this recurring blog series, we consider all 9 topics in the newly released Eastern Christian School Brochure. We consider how each topic helps us tell our story.

    by Rudi Gesch, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    EC_Brochure_04_600The Academic Excellence page of the brochure. Download the digital copy or request a paper copy.

    Eastern Christian SCHOOL

    At Eastern Christian School, we are obviously in the business of education. Unfortunately, in the field of Christian education, sometimes the actual education is brushed aside as something of a secondary importance. At Eastern Christian, we are not a Christian community glorifying God that “also does” education. We seek to glorify God through an excellent Christian education.

    Thus far in this brochure, we have hit on the mission and history, and the authentic faith integration that help make Eastern Christian School unique. But this Christian community is not a church or a youth group. We are a school. In order to fully execute our mission, we need to be excellent at what we do. So an Eastern Christian education had better be amazing! Fortunately, for the families that we serve, we can say emphatically that this education is indeed excellent.

    The Head and the Heart

    If God has wired you to be a “head” person that thinks logically, we’ve got the stats to back these claims up:

    • 94% college placement
    • 11 to 1 student/teacher ratio
    • ECHS Students can graduate with 22 college credits in hand
    • Over $4,000,000 awarded in college scholarships annually

    If God has wired you to be a “heart” person that feels it when it’s right, we have testimony after testimony of EC moms, dads, students, teachers, and alumni who all tell us that an Eastern Christian education was and is indeed excellent. Check out our EC Stories!

    Academic Diversity

    When we hear the word diversity, we usually gravitate toward racial diversity. And while Eastern Christian is certainly blessed with that (teaser for the next 3B Post on our community’s racial, denominational, and locational diversity!), but we are also blessed with diverse educational offerings to meet our students’ unique needs.

    We are not an elitist school that “only takes the brightest.” Our mission to partner with Christian families leads us to offer a wide range of academic offerings for our diverse range of unique student abilities. For example, we don’t have an “entrance exam” for students who join our high school. We have a placement test. The intent of this test is to see where students are at and to see where they fit best in our curriculum. We are about meeting each individual student where they are at, and helping them maximize their academic potential to the glory of God.

    Up next in the 3B series: Richly Diverse Community

    Previously in the 3B series:
    The Brochure Breakdown Series Introduction
    Our Mission and History
    Authentic Faith Integration


  • Boys Tennis opens the season

    Boys tennis began its season with a match against Waldwick at home on Thursday, April 2.  Waldwick’s experienced team defeated the Eagles 5-0, but many of the matches were competitive and very close.  The boys tennis team is made up of 11 guys, with many returning players from last year’s varsity team.  Captains of this year’s team are junior Kyle Dykstra (first singles) and junior Calvin Gorter (first doubles).  Henry Ruitenberg and Brad Schipper at the second and third singles spots will be strong contenders throughout the season.  Come out and support your EC boys tennis team!


  • There’s No Time Like the Present to Volunteer at Ditto!

    dittologoditto upscale resale sells donated goods with the help of dedicated volunteers in order to provide financial support to Eastern Christian Schools of northern New Jersey. Whether you donate items, purchase items or volunteer at ditto, you’re benefitting Eastern Christian School.

    What are ditto’s greatest needs?

    Summer volunteers in all areas, especially cashiers.
    Now’s the time to join us!


    Why give your time to ditto? Serve God with the gifts and skills He’s given you, support Eastern Christian Schools, serve others in the broader community, have fun and be a part of a team, meet new people, and get great deals on anything in the store!

    When can I give my time to ditto? Monday-Friday from 10-6 and Saturday from 10-4. Volunteer shifts are divided into three hour time slots. You can volunteer for one or more shifts daily, weekly, or monthly. Whatever works best for your schedule!

    Who can give their time to ditto? Anyone ages middle school (with a parent) and up! It’s a great opportunity for EC students to fulfill their Faith in Action hours while benefitting their own school! Sign up to work with a friend! No need to have retail experience. On the job training provided! Ditto can use volunteers with all skill sets and professional backgrounds.

    How will I spend my time at ditto? Volunteers are needed as cashiers, donation sorters, donation pricers, floor help (stocking items and putting items out), electrical testing, furniture and appliance repair, specialty pricing, community/church liasons, and more!

    Where do I sign up to volunteer? You can pick up a form at ditto or go to www.dittonj.com and look under the heading Volunteer. Simply print out the form, fill it out and return it to a manager at ditto during regular store hours.

    If you have any questions or need more information about volunteering, please email Carrie Rossi, ditto’s volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@dittonj.org

    2014 Volunteer Dinner




  • Eagles No More: EC Rebrands as “Beagles”


    April 1, 2015- Only a year after Eastern Christian School rebranded with a new, logo featuring the school’s Eagle mascot, New Jersey’s oldest and largest Christian School is at it again. But this time, a long-time staple of the Eastern Christian brand will be significantly altered. Say goodbye to the Eagles. Say hello to the Beagles.

    That’s right: the EC mascot and logo now center on the Eastern Christian Beagles. After a comprehensive market study, the leadership of Eastern Christian determined that the Beagle would be the most effective and unique way to portray our Christian school community to the world.


    So why “Beagles?” Here are the major points of emphasis in the rebrand:

    • Dogs are among the most intelligent, loyal, and friendly beasts in the animal kingdom. Those attributes perfectly describe the EC Community.
    • Beagles have a great sense of smell, and through our top 50 Christian High Schools in America ranking and new Variable Tuition program, EC families know how to sniff out a great school and a great value.
    • Like EC, Beagles are winners. Miss P, a Beagle, won Best in Show at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (video below).
    • Since “BEAGLES” is only one letter off of our traditional mascot “EAGLES,” the re-brand will be a remarkably cost effective process where we can simply slide the letter “B” in front of all text “eagles” references. We considered “Eastern Christian Bagels” for the similar reasons, but with the prevalence of bagels in northern New Jersey, we had concerns that our school might be mistaken for a deli.
    • As a cute and cuddly mascot, the Beagle will interface very favorably with Google’s newly launched Google Panda. By maximizing Google Panda’s cuteness algorithm through EC’s new Beagle/cuteness matrix, our SEO is projected to increase 10-fold.

    Beagle Links:

    • Prospective families: interested in running with our pack? Click here to apply now.
    • For much more information on the Beagle re-brand, please visit “Beagle Central,” our new web-presence for all things EC Beagles. #BarkEC!
  • 2015-2016 ECHS Course Catalog Now Available!

  • 3B: Authentic Faith Integration

    Welcome to the 3B: The Brochure Breakdown Blog series. In this recurring blog series, we consider all 9 topics in the newly released Eastern Christian School Brochure. We consider how each topic helps us tell our story.

    by Rudi Gesch, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Managment

    EC_Brochure_03_600The faith integration page of the EC Brochure. Download the digital copy or request a paper copy.

    More Than Just a Name

    As you may know, my family and I recently moved to New Jersey to join Eastern Christian (the daily 12 hour commute from Chicago seemed like too much for our family to handle!). As EC’s Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management, I am always curious to know what people say about our school.  When word of mouth occurs, what are people saying?

    Interested in hearing more of the story? Have a copy of this brochure mailed to you today!

    So I asked around. I asked longtime Eastern Christian families. I asked first year Eastern Christian families. I Googled and Facebooked. I talked to people who don’t currently have their children enrolled at Eastern Christian. Much to my surprise, for the people who did not have a lot of experience with EC, I would occasionally get feedback that Eastern Christian is “Christian in Name only.” That is a strong statement. And, as it turns out, one that is completely unfounded!

    For anyone who has spent even one day on any one of our campuses, it is obvious that we really are committed to a distinctly Christian education. The authentic Christian faith integration is so obvious and evident, that it permeates everything we do. It would literally be impossible for a student or a visitor to encounter EC for a day and not repeatedly encounter a Biblically based, reformed Christian worldview. It is the DNA that makes us who we are!

    EC_Brochure_03_600Because of this reality, after our mission and history, we wanted the next thing on people’s minds as they read through our brochure to be about EC’s authentic faith integration. As examples, we discuss the aforementioned Christian worldview, service projects and mission trips, weekly worship, and our Bible curriculum.

    This, by the way, is another reason that we committed to posting weekly #WorshipWednesday videos on our Facebook page. It gets pretty hard to argue that we aren’t a Christian school when we have weekly video evidence of EC students worshipping the Lord!

    This Biblically based, Christian worldview philosophy directs our desire to live out our core values. So we made sure to incorporate our core values on this page as well.

    Core Values

    • Embrace Community
    • Strive for Excellence
    • Seek Truth
    • Exhibit Compassion
    • Serve Others
    • Develop Responsibility

    Up next in the 3B series: Promoting Academic Excellence

    Previously in the 3B series:
    The Brochure Breakdown Series Introduction
    Our Mission and History

  • Calendar Update: School in Session on May 1st

    Classes will be in session on the morning of Friday, May 1st. This is a change from the previously publicized school calendar.

    Here is the reason for this change:

    At Eastern Christian School, we make an annual commitment to parents and certify to the state of New Jersey that we will have 180 instructional days each school year.

    Our core values of “seeking truth,” and “developing responsibility” mandate that we do everything in our power to make good on our promises. If we have school for less than our promised number of days, then we aren’t living up to our end of the commitment we make to each student.

    We schedule 184 school days in the calendar with the flexibility to allow for up to 4 snow days. This year we had 5 weather-related cancellations. That puts us one day short of our expected and required 180 days.

    As a result, we will be in session on the morning of Friday, May 1. This will allow us to make up for the instructional hours that were lost on our first snow day: November 25, 2014 (which had been a scheduled half day).

    We recognize that this may represent an inconvenience for some EC families. For this, we apologize. We hope that with nearly six weeks between today and May 1st, EC families will have the time necessary to make the changes in family schedules that may be required.

  • EC on Mission During Spring Break


    Eastern Christian High School commissioned 41 students, teachers and leaders to serve on a mission trip in Lynn, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica over their spring break. In Lynn the team will be serving with East Coast International Church as they share Christ in the local neighborhood. The Puerto Rico team will be helping complete work projects at Campamento del Caribe in preparation for summer camp. In Costa Rica, the team will be busy teaching and playing with the children at the Abraham Project.

    This is Eastern Christian’s 7th year of sending mission teams through Touch the World. Each student going on a trip received pre-trip training in a class at ECHS class called “Experiencing Missions.” Join us to hear about the students experiences on Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm at ECHS.

  • ECHS Presents: The Wizard of Oz


    Congratulations to the cast, crew, volunteers and directors of The Wizard of Oz!

    In a tremendous show of theatrical talent, the students of Eastern Christian skillfully acted their way through Kansas, over the rainbow, and back again. Delighted audiences packed the Eastern Christian High School auditorium to take in EC’s interpretation of the classic L. Frank Baum story. They did not leave disappointed.

    EC students of all ages got involved in this production with elementary students performing as “Munchkins,” and 3rd grader Olivia playing the “Mini Witch” when the Wicked Witch of the West infamously “Shrinks.” Crowd favorites and leads Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion as well as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch performed incredibly well. Their commitment and talent to these roles really drove the play. All of the players performed with excellence and the end result showed.

    Thank you to EC Theater family for such an amazing performance. Thanks to Jane Okma for her vision and direction. Thanks to Kristin Pszwaro for Choreography. Thanks to Justin Van Dyke and Ryan Dykstra for audio/visual expertise. Thanks to Suzanne Kraai for directing music. Thanks to Mr. Flim for conducting the orchestra to an amazing soundtrack. Thanks to Jesse Wright for a beautiful set. And as always, thanks to the EC community and friends for your support of our school and program.

    Cast List – In Order of Appearance

    Aunt Em………..………. Mackenzie Wiegers
    Joe ……………..….………….…… Adrian Brown
    Uncle Henry ……..………….….. Steve Blanco

    Farmhand singers:
    Adrian Brown
    Jeong Beom (Joe) Seo
    Abigail Johnson
    Esther Galo

    Dorothy ……………….…… Amanda Vincenti

    Munchkin Farmer..……… Stephanie Avila
    Munchkin Mayor………..….. Skylar Brown
    Barrister …………….…..… Vilin (Rachel) Liu
    Coroner ………………….……… Maggie Albies
    Sneezing munchkin………… Sarah Vincent
    Peeping Munchkin .……… Sandy Ibrahim
    Munchkin 1 ……………….……… Nicole Cielo
    Munchkin 2 ……………….…. Diana Ibrahim
    Braggart Munchkin ……….. Brenna Duffy
    Father 1 ………………….… Kimona Dussard
    Father 2 …………………..…. Aleah Nieshalla

    The Good Witch ……….… Hannah Furman
    The Wicked Witch ……………….. Jane Bond
    The Scarecrow …………….. Scott Steenstra

    Bridge Witches:
    Vladimir Medina
    Sergio Harris
    Joe Seo
    Aaron DeRosa

    The Tin Woodman ………..…. Jeanae Dedio
    Cowardly Lion……………. Mathew Matthias

    Jitterbugs :
    Esther Galo
    Aleah Nieshalla
    Rebecca Martin
    Brenna Duffy
    Caitlin Shurminsky
    Jessica Barna
    Alyssa Botbyl
    Steve Blanco

    Private/Lord Growlie..…….. Adrian Brown
    Foremost General ………….…. Corey Abma

    Maggie Albies
    Kaitlyn Alden
    Stephanie Avila
    Jessica Barna
    Steve Blanco
    Alyssa Botbyl
    Skylar Brown
    Kristen Casey
    Carina Castagna
    Nicole Cielo
    Aaron DeRosa
    Brenna Duffy
    Kimona Dussard
    Esther Galo
    Sharon Gong
    Sergio Harris
    Morgan Herman
    Taylor Herman
    Diana Ibrahim
    Sandy Ibrahim
    Abigail Johnson
    Rachel Liu
    Rebecca Martin
    Vladimir Medina
    Aleah Nieshalla
    Abigail Philip
    Melanie Romero
    Jessica Rozema
    Rachel Schultz
    Claira Schwartz
    Joe Seo
    Allie Steiginga
    Ali Sytsma
    Hanna Sytsma
    Michelle Tovar
    Sarah Vincent
    Clara Visser
    Mackenzie Wiegers

    Oz Lady …………….……. Mackenzie Wiegers
    Gloria ……….…….…..…. Caitlin Shurminsky

    Gloria’s Girls:
    Maggie Albies
    Kristen Casey
    Alissa Sytsma

    Visitor 1 ……………….….. Kimona Dussard
    Visitor 2 ……..…….…..….. Jessica Rozema
    Tibia …………………….…. Vladimir Medina

    Kaitlyn Alden
    Kimona Dussard
    Kristen Casey
    Carina Castagna

    Wizard’s Servant ………… Morgan Herman
    Ozmas ………………….…….. Taylor Herman

  • Boys Varsity Basketball 2014-2015

    The boys finished their season with two great games. They played Garfield away which is the best team In the league this year. The boys played there hearts out and had them on the ropes but came just a little short.  We definitely earned there respect that night. Ricardo Smalls put up 22 points and Evan Quintero played great defense.  The boys finished at home against Pequannock at a packed house house with such a great atmosphere.  I knew when the game started that the boys were on track for a great victory. The boys did not disappoint the crowd winning 53 to 35 against a very good team. Ricardo Smalls put up 14 points with 5 steals with Tyler Doehler adding 11 points to the win. We recognized our seniors and are all sad to see Ricardo and Tyler leaving us but we look forward to next year with most of the team returning.  Thank you for all your support at the games it means so much to the team.  See you next year and get ready for some great games.

    Coach Hoffman

  • 4th Grade State Fair

    Our 4th graders study the United States in social studies. They memorize the states and capitals and learn about the geography, history, culture and government of the U.S. regions. The culminating activity for this unit is the 4th Grade State Fair. Each 4th grade student researches one state in the U.S. and creates a display board with facts and information about their state. They show artifacts from their state and even offer food or drink from their state.

  • Spring 2015 Herald Now Available Online!

    Eastern Christian’s Herald is a great look at the past 6 months at EC. It includes news from all three school campuses, foundation news, alumni news, upcoming events and more! The Herald is a fantastic way for alumni and members of the current school community to learn more about what’s going on at EC. Check out the Spring 2015 edition below!

    Download PDF Version

  • 3B: Our Mission and History

    Welcome to the 3B: The Brochure Breakdown Blog series. In this recurring blog series, we consider all 9 topics in the newly released Eastern Christian School Brochure. We consider how each topic helps us tell our story.

    by Rudi Gesch, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management

    EC_Brochure_02_600The Mission and History page of the EC Brochure.
    Download the
    digital copy or request a paper copy.

    1892 is Old!

    The first sentence in the EC Brochure is about the longevity of this school: “We’re Old School. In fact, we’re New Jersey’s oldest Christian school.”

    We were founded in 1892. That’s old. It’s amazing how long we have been in existence. The world in 1892 was so different from our world today. Sometimes people wonder how you can tell if your school is “Old.” Well, I’ve developed a “Foxworthian” list of potential signs that are indicators of your school being old:

    • If your school was founded in America, but your board minutes weren’t written in English for 20 years, you might be… old school.  (Dutch, by the way).
    • If your school is older than 6 US states, you might be…  old school. (Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii)
    • If, when your school began, they still called cars “Horseless Carriages,” you might be… old school.
    • If indoor plumbing sounds like an amazing luxury, you might be… old school.
    • If your school was invented the same year that typewriters were, you might be… old school.
    • If you don’t mind attempting to re-invent the lightbulb because they were just invented a few years ago, you might be… old school.
    • If you predate human flight by almost a decade, you might be… old school.
    • If electing Grover Cleveland to a second term non-consecutively sounds like a good idea, you might be… old school (that one’s for the history buffs).

    1892 and 2015.

    Try to imagine life in 1892. Or even more fun, try to imagine what folks from Eastern Christian in 1892 might think about us today! It’s probably fair to say that they would think we live on a different planet. If they were able to observe modern cars, planes, electricity, plumbing, computers, phones, the internet, space travel, advances in medicine, what would they think? Or what about our international student program: we educate Christian students from the other side of the planet!

    So much has changed at Eastern Christian over time. From buildings, town locations, community demographics and diversity, and even the language that we speak! But our God’s mission to our school hasn’t changed. That’s the point of tying in our history and mission together. We join our brothers and sisters in this community from 1892 onward in this same mission.

    “By providing an excellent academic curriculum, offering a variety of extra-curricular activities, and assembling a caring, culturally diverse community, we, with support of parents and local churches, empower students from Christian families to develop their gifts within the context of a Reformed Christian worldview so that they can act as Christ’s transforming agents in a global society.”

    EC Old ≠ Stagnant

    The other key messaging point here is that while our community has this amazing history, we are not resting on our laurels. We don’t want readers to confuse “old” for “stagnant.” Eastern Christian’s Culture of Innovation is well known. We are a school that seeks to glorify God through an excellent, forward-thinking, student preparing education. That is evident as you continue reading through the rest of the story.

    Up next in the 3B series: Authentic Faith Integration

    Previously in the 3B series:
    The Brochure Breakdown Blog Series Introduction


  • 2015 Scholarship Dinner


    The 6th annual Scholarship Dinner took place last week Friday. Ninety friends of Eastern Christian came to fellowship, break bread, and support the mission of Eastern Christian School through generous gifts to the scholarship fund.

    After a welcome message from Head of School, Tom Dykhouse, Rev. Paul Yang of Pilgrim Church led the evening in prayer. Before dinner was served, those in attendance had the opportunity to watch a video testimony of Andrew Abadeer, EC Class of 2009.

    EC Foundation Executive Director, David Visbeen, then introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Dr. Richard Mouw. Dr. Mouw, an EC alum, spoke on the value of Christian education, and why it matters. It was a compelling and engaging talk.

    The evening culminated with a video featuring an ECES student’s testimony. It was based on a devotional that she wrote for her class on the topic of adoption. She discussed what it’s like to be adopted, and how, as Christians, we are all blessed to be adopted into God’s family. After the inspiring video, Donna Chrinian, President of the EC Foundation challenged those gathered to support the scholarship fund.

    Pastor Ryan Baitzel of Emergence Church closed the evening in a prayer of dedication.

    Thanks to all who helped plan and carry out such a wonderful evening. Thank you to all of our generous donors who help make the mission of Eastern Christian possible!