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As I reflect on my life here at EC, I am so thankful for an environment in which I could grow. Being in a place where I am cared for and appreciated helped me to take a chance and step out of my shell.

  • Jenna
  • Class of 2020

Jenna

Class of 2020

My journey here at Eastern Christian began about 13 years ago. It was the first day of kindergarten. With my only friend being a teddy bear in my hand, I took a deep breath and began the journey of a lifetime. The first day jitters came and went, and I made some pretty great friends. We laughed our way throughout Mrs. James’ Kindergarten class. We were inseparable, I mean literally one day Mrs. Turner had to pry our hands apart for book buddies. The rest of elementary school came and went with some unforgettable times like our first “big kid” field trip to the zoo in first grade, the musical performance of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and our fourth grade day spent at Spring Lake. The next thing up for our grade was pretty new; middle school.

Middle school was a time where we were given the opportunity to expand our horizons. We made some new friends in our class and more memories that provided us with a laugh. Our class also managed to have a record number of principals during our time in middle school, 3 to be exact. Somehow in 5th grade, Mr. Kuiken’s room became home to Heinz and Guppy, the class fish. I think it’s safe to say we may be the reason for no more class pets. 6th grade was a year full of laughs and games like Squish the Lemon. If you don’t know what that is, our playground had a tube slide. Every recess we would fit as many of us as possible in that slide.

Our transition to 7th grade finally made us feel like we were one step closer to being the big kids on campus again as we got to move hallways to the other side of the school, and we also had planned an overnight trip to Spruce lake in the fall, that is, until a murderer was loose in the woods in Pennsylvania and we had to postpone. Finally, our time to shine as 8th graders had arrived. We finally got to live out our “8th grade privileges” such as being able to stay in the nice heated school doing winter recess and also getting two lockers. We had our big 8th grade trip to Philly and Gettysburg which, like many class trips, was quite unforgettable. We all made some memories before we went our separate paths for high school.

I think that the first day of high school may have been a bit bittersweet for some of us. Some friends had gone to different schools, while others had joined our class at EC. Here we were, a group of teenagers not really knowing who we are. The next 4 years provided us all with the growth we needed to find ourselves. High school was a time like no other. I still remember my first day of high school, like most people I was terrified to speak up. But as time went on, I found my place in the classroom and I made some great friends, and we were once again, inseparable. Things like a student skateboarding through CTE class, a very false bomb drill, and a global pandemic have made our high school time a time to remember.

As I reflect on my life here at EC, I am so thankful for an environment in which I could grow. Being in a place where I am cared for and appreciated helped me to take a chance and step out of my shell. If I failed, I was encouraged to try again and again. EC also provided me a place to try new things. Never once did I think I would manage to take Chemistry Honors my junior year, or voluntarily sign up for Advanced Composition Senior year. Along with growing socially and academically, I have grown tremendously in my faith. At EC, there are people on the same faith journey as you. I am thankful for the teachers and staff who openly shared about their faith journeys and helped me grow in my faith. In the end, I wouldn’t have my education any other way.

 

Eastern Christian High School is more than a school. It is more than a place to get involved with sports. It is a home. Since the opening of Eastern Christian, it has been a home to thousands of students and will continue to be for years to come. 

  • Amanda
  • Class of 2020

Amanda

Class of 2020

Eastern Christian High School is more than a school. It is more than a place to get involved with sports. It is a home. Since the opening of Eastern Christian, it has been a home to thousands of students and will continue to be for years to come. 

If you were to say this to me four years ago, I would have responded with, “Are you crazy?” Now, as a senior, looking back on my time at Eastern Christian, I can confidently say that this school has become my second home. I often make myself laugh when I think about how I was when I started high school and how I am now, finally graduating. 

Four years ago, when I was told that I was attending Eastern Christian, I was nothing less than angry and disappointed. I was feeling these emotions because my friends from my eighth grade class were attending other schools. Attending Eastern Christian meant a new start, new building, new people, new teachers, and an entirely different experience. My whole life, up until that point, was comfortable; I had attended my town public schools which meant the same friends, classmates, and experiences for years. I was not ready to give that up and attend a school where I knew only a few people, including my older brother and his friends. Little did I know that God had a plan for my time at Eastern Christian. A plan that I would have never imagined or thought for myself. 

The first few weeks of my freshman year were rough. I felt uncomfortable in the halls and in the classrooms. I remember being in Mr. Dykstra’s writing class and thinking to myself, “Don’t worry, in a few weeks everything will be different. Just hang on to that”. At the time, I couldn’t latch onto that idea, but as time went on my words slowly became true. As the year continued, I made more friends, joined many different clubs and sports teams, created amazing relationships with teachers, and built the foundation for my relationship with Christ. By the end of the year, I was disappointed that summer had come so soon! Throughout that summer, I waited patiently and eagerly for the start of another year at Eastern Christian. 

Sophomore year was nothing less than amazing and filled with many opportunities, including my first mission trip to Kansas City, Missouri. It was on that mission trip, that I absolutely fell in love with missionary work. Now, I realize that if I attended the same schools as my friends, I would have never been able to go on mission trips and my relationship with Christ would have remained weak. 

Junior year was something special. I was challenged in the classroom, supported in the beginning of the college process, and encouraged to travel abroad. In September of junior year, we were introduced to the new locations of the mission trips. Immediately, I was drawn to Tanzania. My family supported my decision and all of my teachers encouraged me throughout the fundraising process. Without Eastern Christian, I would have never been able to travel to Africa. A place that I now hold so dear to my heart. A place that I plan to go back to after I get my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. 

Lastly, senior year. A year that was long anticipated for, but turned out completely different. In the beginning of this year, my class and I could not wait for the end of the year. Why? Because Eastern Christian always celebrates seniors in the most special ways; those include senior breakfasts, senior celebration night, graduation, senior prom, and so on. Although, the year of 2020 had other plans for us. Being quarantined and confined to online school has shown me that Eastern Christian means more to me than I ever realized. This time has always shown me how much can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Although this experience is not how I imagined my senior year to end, I am still so incredibly thankful for the efforts of this school to celebrate my class and I. I will forever love this school more than I could ever express. Thank you Eastern Christian, for the best four years of my life. I will miss you. 

As I look back on the past 5 years of my education at EC, I truly realize how blessed I am. It is rare to find such a loving school community like EC, but I am so thankful I did. My mom’s words to me in 7th grade as I considered starting all over at a new school were an echo to me through my 5 years at EC… EC is my home. 

  • Tara
  • Grade 12

Tara

Grade 12

I came to EC when I was in 7th grade. The decision to leave the familiarity of my old school was very difficult for me. At my old school, a public school in town, I felt a piece missing in my education. I was a dedicated student who worked hard in school and had friends, but something was missing, something I didn’t understand until I came to EC. When I originally shadowed at ECMS, I absolutely loved the community that surrounded me. I barely knew anyone, but they were all so welcoming. I struggled to make the decision whether or not to leave the familiarity of a school I had gone to my whole life, but I knew I was not happy where I was. I realized how much I loved the community at EC, something I didn’t have in public school. As I talked to my parents after shadowing, my mom, an EC Alumni, asked me if, when I was in EC’s school building, I felt like I was home. At that time, it was hard for me to think of any school as home, but something felt different about EC and the community that surrounded me…  so halfway through the school year, I took a leap of faith, trusting in God’s plan, and arrived for my first day of school halfway through the school year. Overwhelmed is the most fitting word for how I felt that first week of school. As overwhelmed I was with the unfamiliarity of my surroundings, I was also overwhelmed by the way the EC community opened their arms to welcome me in. At the end of my first two weeks, I hopped into my mom’s Jeep, absolutely beaming. I told her that she was right, EC is my home. 5 years later, EC is still my home. 

Two months into my freshman year at ECHS, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer and my junior year, she passed away. During this time, as I struggled with grief and questions, the EC community surrounded me and my family. As I grieved, I was supported by friends, teachers, and the administration in a way that I will always be thankful for.

On a bigger level, over the 5 years I have gone to EC, I have been blessed with life-long relationships and supportive teachers. One of the “holes” in my public school education was this supportive EC community that surrounds students and families. The teachers at EC truly want their students to succeed not just in their academics, but also in their relationship with Jesus. The faculty takes the time to get to know each and every student on a personal level in order to help them succeed. The friendships I have made have helped strengthen my faith in God and have, in part, made me the person I am today. 

As I look back on the past 5 years of my education at EC, I truly realize how blessed I am. It is rare to find such a loving school community like EC, but I am so thankful I did. My mom’s words to me in 7th grade as I considered starting all over at a new school were an echo to me through my 5 years at EC… EC is my home. 

I learned a lot more Bible stories about God's goodness and I've learned how I can help other people who are far away by praying for them. I can spread God's love by encouraging people, writing letters, doing food drives, and telling people about God. You don't have to be afraid to tell other people that God loves them!

  • Aubrey
  • Grade 3

Aubrey

Grade 3

What do you love about EC?
It is a Christian school and we get to worship God everyday. I love going to chapel every Tuesday because it’s a time that I get to learn about God and we worship God through song together.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
I learned a lot more Bible stories about God’s goodness and I’ve learned how I can help other people who are far away by praying for them. I can spread God’s love by encouraging people, writing letters, doing food drives, and telling people about God. You don’t have to be afraid to tell other people that God loves them!

If someone was thinking about joining EC but wasn’t sure it was the right school for them, what would you tell them?
If you feel like you want to learn more about God and want to practice praying daily, it can help you to begin good habits in your faith. EC shows you that reading your Bible, praying, and going to church are a way of living out God’s plan for your life.

Who is your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Sinclair because she gave me a safe place to work out my feelings and my friendships. She always reminded me that people love me and you’re not alone. God is always there for you!

What opportunities do you have at EC that you may not have at another school?
God is talked about in all of my subjects! It’s fun to explore how God has a hand in everything we learn about.

When I first came, my faith was lukewarm. I think I really started to develop more passion after the apologetics unit in bible class. I learned not only how to defend my faith, but I saw it as something worth defending. If it is worth defending then it is worth following with all my heart. I pray at some point everyday, usually in the morning and evening, I have started read the bible with the goal to eventually read the entire thing and changed my heart to more eagerly accept the guidance of the Lord.

  • Stephen
  • Grade 12

Stephen

Grade 12

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
EC is much more nurturing than other schools. You are allowed to become your own as they steer you in the right track. Even if you get derailed, you can get a second chance sometimes and it can really boost your confidence and set you on a path for greatness.

Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite:
That’s not fair. I don’t think I can pick a favorite. So many teachers have shown that they cared in little things. They teach in a way that allows me to learn at my best, they are willing to fix their mistakes and learn from them, they are people that are like friends and parting with them is a little painful. I really can’t choose a favorite because all the staff has been so great and loving.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of their experience at Eastern Christian School?
When I first came, my faith was lukewarm. I think I really started to develop more passion after the apologetics unit in bible class. I learned not only how to defend my faith, but I saw it as something worth defending. If it is worth defending then it is worth following with all my heart. I pray at some point everyday, usually in the morning and evening, I have started read the bible with the goal to eventually read the entire thing and changed my heart to more eagerly accept the guidance of the Lord.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How do you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
Well, I was engaged slowly. Freshman year there was maybe one of two classes that I gave my all because I just wasn’t interested. Junior year is where that changed. I was enthralled with my classes first semester and a lot of that positive energy carried me to the end of senior year. My development in the faith has been nurtured through the guest speakers in chapel, Christian faculty, and well structured bible classes. I can honestly say that I have been transformed into a respectful, God fearing, intelligent, young man thanks to EC.

How do you feel that EC is preparing you for graduation, college and life? What are your plans after you graduate?
I took some college level classes so I have a little taste of the college experience. When I graduate I plan on attending the University of Maryland and obtaining a degree in Aerospace Engineering and get a job designing jet engines.

What sets EC apart from other schools?
Staff. It really is the people we see everyday that makes this school unique. You can transfer curriculum, you can transfer schedule, you can transfer anything you want in EC, but without the amazing staff that’s at EC, anything else will continue to fall short.

I've been at EC since Kindergarten. The years of being taught from a Christian worldview have strengthened my faith and reinforced what I've learned at home and at church. Through challenges I have come to trust more in God's plan for my life.

  • Andrew
  • Grade 12

Andrew

Grade 12

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
I love the community at Eastern Christian. Fellow students, faculty and parents support students in their extracurricular activities whether it’s sports, music, theater or other clubs. As a student athlete, I always appreciated when the school community would come out to our soccer games. Their presence always added to a more exciting atmosphere.

Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite:
Mr. Zacharias is one of my favorite teachers because he is always willing to help inside and outside of class. His teaching style made math more understandable for me.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of their experience at Eastern Christian School?
I’ve been at EC since Kindergarten. The years of being taught from a Christian worldview have strengthened my faith and reinforced what I’ve learned at home and at church. Through challenges I have come to trust more in God’s plan for my life.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How do you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
The teachers and faculty at EC are approachable. You can engage in conversation and build relationship with teachers. The EC community is nurturing. Staff, students and parents make up a strong, supportive community. EC has transformed me into a more confident student, a stronger athlete and a more mature Christian.

How do you feel that EC is preparing you for graduation, college and life? What are your plans after you graduate?
Through supportive teachers I have learned to be an advocate for myself. I understand the importance of communicating with teachers and building relationships with them in order to get the most out of my educational experience. I’ve grown in my confidence and that will help me in college and life. This fall I will attend St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY to study Sports Management and play on their D-II Men’s Soccer Team.

What sets EC apart from other schools?
The teachers and students set EC apart from other schools. The teachers are always willing to help you with any questions you have. They support you in your school work and other activities. EC is a supportive, friendly community.

There are so many things I love about Eastern Christian, but what really stands out to me is the love that fills the building. The teachers truly care for each and every student, and I have made some incredible friends. New students are welcomed with open arms, as I was when I first came to EC. We learn about God and His love for us in every subject and have times to praise Him and serve as His hands and feet.

  • Tara
  • Grade 9

Tara

Grade 9

What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
There are so many things I love about Eastern Christian, but what really stands out to me is the love that fills the building. The teachers truly care for each and every student, and I have made some incredible friends. New students are welcomed with open arms, as I was when I first came to EC. We learn about God and His love for us in every subject and have times to praise Him and serve as His hands and feet.

Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
I honestly could not pick a favorite teacher. While they all have their different personalities and fun quirks,  they share the same goal: to see us succeed and help us grow in our relationship with the Lord. The teachers come up with the most creative ideas to help us learn. I love learning about science and history from teachers with the same beliefs and values as me, as opposed to a public school where the state required teachers to teach us history and science from an evolutionary perspective. Also, I love how in High School’s SOAR program, we are encouraged to explore our inner creativeness and discover so many God-given talents that we may not have realized we had.

In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
EC incorporates faith into every aspect of school. We always start and end our day in prayer, but every moment in between we are learning and growing in our faith, whether through discussing our beliefs in our classes, devoting an entire class to studying God’s word and understanding it, or putting what we learn about God’s word into action. The teachers model wonderful examples of what having faith in God is like and are people who I look up to, not just as a person, but for their faith in Christ.

The Eastern Christian tagline is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience an education that is engaging, nurturing and transforming at EC?
When I first considered transferring to EC, I was worried that the grass seemed greener on the other side from where I was standing at the time. But the truth is, they water the grass on the other side! They give us the tools we need to achieve our goals and be the best we can be. And while we are getting to our goals, they nurture us along the way. The teachers at EC truly want to see us succeed and are willing to put the effort and time into helping us reach our goals.  When they say “Engaging. Nurturing, Transforming.” they truly mean it. They engage you in service to God’s people and dive into the Bible, teaching you all about it. They nurture you, encouraging you and always being there for you. And transform you, giving you confidence, knowledge, and faith.

How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college and life?
EC has provided me with a fantastic education. They gave me all the tools I need to succeed and are willing to put extra time in, other than just class time, to see me succeed. Not only have they given me such a great education, but they incorporate faith/character building exercises to make sure that we continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord. EC teaches the importance of being the hands and feet of Jesus, while also showing us that serving can be fun too! They teach us how we can serve and then encourage us to get out there and actually serve.  Having faith/character building exercises incorporated into school has really provided me with such a well-rounded education.  I realize the financial sacrifice that my family is making to send me to EC, and I truly do  appreciate and value my Christian Education.

What would you say to a new student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
When I was considering switching schools to EC halfway through 7th Grade, I shadowed at EC, LOVED it, and then started having second thoughts about whether or not I actually WANTED to switch schools. Thinking about it is one thing, but actually doing it is another. Its tough, leaving everything I’d ever known to go somewhere completely different. My mom, an EC alumni, asked me if when I was in EC’s school building, if I felt like I was home. At that time, it was hard for me to think of any school as home, but once I actually got to EC, and experienced school from EC’s perspective, I could absolutely say that I was home. EC is my home away from home. The students and teachers are all one big family and it’s so nice to know that they are all there for you always.

What opportunities do you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
EC is such a tight knit community where we all care for one another, praying for each other, comforting one another in hard times, and celebrating the good times. While we are such a tight knit community, it’s not hard for new students and their families to become a part of that tight knit group. When I first came to EC, I was welcomed with open arms and have become part of our big EC family. I had never experienced such a wonderful group of people and am so thankful to know them.

EC is an absolutely amazing school and I feel like it’s helping me engage in my relationship with God. It is transforming me to be a better person and leading me closer to Christ Jesus. Overall, Eastern Christian is the best school ever!

  • Alyssa
  • Grade 4

Alyssa

Grade 4

I’ve been at Eastern Christian School since I was in kindergarten. I’ve always loved how nice everybody is here and how helpful and caring they are. I have learned to trust and love God more and more here. I’m so glad my parents send me to EC. If they didn’t, I have no idea where I would be. EC is an absolutely amazing school and I feel like it’s helping me engage in my relationship with God. It is transforming me to be a better person and leading me closer to Christ Jesus. Overall, Eastern Christian is the best school ever!

My faith has grown through my experience at EC. I have learned about God. I made a huge bond with God and I learned patience and kindness. I learned what faith is!

  • Jamie
  • Grade 4

Jamie

Grade 4

I love Eastern Christian! The first reason is that we can learn about God. Also, the teachers are very nice. Everyone in the school is nice and encouraging. Finally, we have chapel every Tuesday. Eastern Christian is awesome!

My faith has grown through my experience at EC. I have learned about God. I made a huge bond with God and I learned patience and kindness. I learned what faith is!

Eastern Christian is preparing me for my future life. It is teaching me patience. I want to have children, and if I do I need to have patience. I learned that things happen in life and that you will not always get what you want. In many ways, I’m being prepared and don’t even notice.

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