HCA News

HCA students Jump Rope for Heart

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

HCA elementary students raised more than $1,500 in their recent Jump Rope for Heart event sponsored by the American Heart Association. 

Brian Olson (Mr. O), HCA physical education teacher, said this year's event focused on six major goals:

  1. To educate young people on the basic task of the heart muscle.
  2. Passing on the risk factors for hidden heart disease and stroke. 
  3. Sharing why a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help keep heart disease away.
  4. Building awareness of how being active with family and friends is the best way to stay heart healthy.
  5. Creating a positive experience for young people in sports and physical activity.
  6. Helping the American Heart Association raise money for a great cause.

The annual event, which included students from kindergarten through sixth grade, also provided student leadership opportunities. Sixth grade student council members Julia Edmondson, Mary Shelby Hartweger, Ally Whitmer, Ben Vasey, Andrew Nonnast, Ethan Voss helped Mr. O lead five different activity centers.
"Hopefully this time will be an asset to them and their future choices,” Mr. O said.  “Also, I hope they consider their good health a blessing from God.”








Grandparents Go Back to School

Monday, November 18, 2013

More than 350 HCA grandparents gathered at the elementary campus for the annual Grandparents Day celebration. Food, fellowship and love permeated the campus gym as grandparents from all over the country visited in support of their grandchildren.  

"We really enjoyed it. The teachers, the grandparents and the students were all perfect,” said Dick Bott, founder of the Bott Radio Network and an HCA great grandfather. “I enjoyed last year, but somehow this year was really super. I am more enthused than ever."
Another grandparent commented on the presence of the Lord that was felt in the building and how encouraging it was to read the Bible verses that are visible on the hallway walls.

HCA Grandparents Day is a yearly celebration that gives grandparents an opportunity to visit the academy and witness first-hand how their grandchildren are learning and being discipled. The event, organized by a committed group of volunteer HCA parents, has been well attended each year.  

Overland Park mayor visits during National Literacy Month

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach believes in his community and in literacy. And he confirmed that on a recent visit to Heritage Christian Academy for a campus tour and book reading in honor of National Literacy Month.

"You're really tall," said one kindergartener as the nearly 7-foot Gerlach entered the combined kindergarten class where he read to the students "Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin," by Gene Barretta.

As the mayor wrapped up, he encouraged the children to listen to their teachers and parents and to eat their green beans.
National Literacy Month is marked by events and celebrations nationwide during the month of September.

HCA Bond Strengthened at the Pole

Tuesday, October 01, 2013
See You at the Pole 2013 was Wednesday, September 25 with early-morning prayer around the flagpole at Heritage Christian Academy's Jr./Sr. High School campus.

"The Bible calls us to pray, not only by ourselves, but as a group," said Josiah Murphy, senior class chaplain.  "We can bring our collective request and build relationship through prayer with God and also with each other. Prayer strengthens the bond we have here at HCA."

The HCA community joined schools across the nation that participated in See You at the Pole, a student-initiated, student-led annual prayer meeting on the third Wednesday in September. The event brings together students and others at school flagpoles to pray for their school, the church - both local and international -, their local community and the nation.  

Heritage Experience Growth in Enrollment

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Heritage Christian Academy, with campuses in Olathe and Overland Park, welcomed a host of returning and new families to kick off the 2013-14 academic year. “At last count we have 485 students
this year, with some additional students expected in the second quarter," said Rick Lukianuk, HCA  president. "That is 44 more students than last year, including a completely full preschool. Our senior
class is the largest ever at 28, and we are experiencing a 20 percent growth in the high school. We have
had to order extra lockers at the west campus and that is an expense I gladly approved.” As HCA grows and develops, it will continue to focus on each student’s spiritual and educational progress. President Lukianuk is known for championing what he calls the 4 C's, which undergird the academy curriculum: Christ-Centered: Spiritually transformative, not merely informative. Conceptual Thinking: The convergence of critical thinking and creative ability. Communication: Clear, concise, eloquent and insightful. Calling: To know and be known by God. To identify and nurture the unique potential of each child. “I am so excited about our spiritual focus on calling this year," Lukianuk said. “Each of our students is called by God to be in relationship with Him, which creates our community." The combined HCA campuses serve families with students from age 3 to senior in high school.

Popsicles with the President

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Little kiddos and their parents checked out the new digs at Heritage Christian Academy Thursday morning August 22, as HCA hosted a meet and greet called Popsicles with the President to celebrate the school’s new preschool program.

“The establishment of a full service preschool will give us the ability to shepherd sweet little hearts for the Lord Jesus,” said Meaghen Briley, preschool director.  Briley’s hopes and dreams for the children who attend the preschool are rooted in John 3:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

The celebration day culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony where the Olathe city manager and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce CEO congratulated HCA and expressed gratitude for its significance in Johnson County.

HCA’s expanded preschool program officially opened on September 3, with an enrollment of 51 students.

To view the ribbon cutting ceremony click below.


HCA Seniors Step Out on Faith in Belize

Thursday, June 06, 2013

    During the first week of May, the HCA senior class mission project focused on Belize, a beautiful country in northeastern Central America, on the coast of the Caribbean Sea.  The senior mission project gives the class an opportunity to minister as a collective group and build life long memories.  “It was a wonderful week filled with growth, service and fun,” said HCA Bible teacher Jason Dorhing. 
    Some of the incarnation ministry included visiting an orphanage where the students were greeted by dozens of children eager to play.  “It was as if when we walked in each of our team members were escorted away by a different child who had varying ideas of what they wanted to do, said Dorhing.”  “Even though it was extremely hot every member of our team had a wonderful time playing with the kids, talking with the kids and being used as a human jungle jim.”    
    Street evangelism was another facet of ministry that the students participated in with a local church and its Pastor, Pastor Gordon.  Pastor Gordon had a deep passion for the members of the congregation and the lost in his surrounding community.  He encouraged the HCA students to get out of their comfort zones and walk around the community to strike up conversation, pray, and invite unbelievers to church.  By stepping out in faith God blessed and about a half dozen came to the evening worship service. “It was a joy to witness the excitement on the faces of our team as persons they invited in the community showed up,” said Dorhing. 
        In addition to street evangelism, the HCA seniors also lead Vacation Bible, participated in a service project, and engaged in a community outreach event involving volleyball.  Dorhing said, “We ended the week by traveling by water taxi to an island where we enjoyed snorkeling, shopping and fellowship. It was a great time and we were all sad to see the week end.”

A Heart for Oklahoma

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The cast of "The Heart of Home" at Heart to Heart

All of America watched the shocking images of the effects of the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th.  Images of homes disintegrated and an elementary school destroyed will continue to be a part our memory for years to come.  Aid from all around the world has already begun pouring in to Oklahoma City.  And in an impressive demonstration of God's sovereignty,  HCA will be a part of that effort.

Heart to Heart International, with headquarters here in Olathe,  is one of the world's largest providers of disaster relief and will be one of the first organizations on the ground in Oklahoma.  When they arrive, they will be carrying Care Kits provided by a HCA family and packed by the 7th and 8th grade cast members of The Heart of Home, this year's Junior High spring musical.  Two weeks ago, these students gathered at the Heart to Heart distribution center in Kansas City to help pack Care Kits.  Of course, no one knew that these care kits would be used so soon and sent to Oklahoma City.  But God knew and had already put HCA in a place to help our friends in Oklahoma.

For more information on HCA's part in this effort, visit the Heart to Heart Facebook page.  

Boston Trip: A Exploration of God at Work in our Nation

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Heritage Christian Academy U.S. History class went on a four-day “field trip” in early May to Boston, Massachusetts. The class was able to visit many historical sites and learned not only about history, but also how God was at work during the days of this nation’s birth. The trip was facilitated by a Christian tour group, which meant a very meaningful devotional each day. The HCA students also learned a lot from a “revolutionary” guide who provided historical background information about various sites, and conveyed other less known information about key Christians and the roles that they played in the beginnings of our nation.
Twenty-three HCA students, two teachers and four parents explored historic locations including the first Revolutionary War battle at Lexington, Concord, the gravesides of many famous American authors, Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house, the U.S.S Constitution (“old ironsides”), Faneuil Hall, Harvard University, the JFK Library and the New England Aquarium. “Standing at Lexington, where the battle took place, made me realize that this country is truly a blessing, and it wasn’t a free blessing,” said HCA junior Annie Prins. Dr. John Carver, US History teacher said, “There was truly a sense of awe to stand in the exact spots where the Sons of  Liberty stood, and where some even died, in the birthing of our nation.”

Boston was buzzing with camaraderie, as the marathon bombings were still recent in everyone’s minds. The HCA students stood in reverence at the exact location of the bombing, and observed the living memorial at the marathon finish line. Boston Strong posters were everywhere, reminding Bostonians and tourist of how strong the community support is, but also of the evil that had recently erupted in the city. The tour guide reminded the HCA students that even in the midst of hatred and wrong-doing, God is still ultimately in charge.

8th Grade Students: Taking ownership of their education

Friday, May 03, 2013

    Thirty 8th grade students at Heritage Christian Academy had the exciting opportunity to take a class trip to Washington D.C. this spring. On this trip, the students learned about their nation’s history and government, bonded with each other, and gained valuable experiences that will last a lifetime. 
    The students where accompanied by a host of parents, the 8th grade History teacher Krista Chugg and the Dean of Student Life and technology Steve Adams.

    “Going on a trip like this allows what we have been learning about all year in US History class come alive,” Chugg said.  “The students love to see something we have studied right in front of them.”
    From sun up to sun down the group was busy visiting every Smithsonian, monument, and memorial in the city.  Some of the highlights included taking a tour of the Capital building, visiting Arlington National cemetery, and even making the trip out to Mount Vernon to see George Washington’s estate.  Even in between destinations, the students were instructed on the history of the buildings, the monuments, and the layout of the city as we passed sites on the bus. “The trip was a rich learning experience no matter which way you turned. We had so much fun. I had no idea we could see and experience so much in just four days,”  said HCS student Jahan Khavari
    The students were also able to bond as a class on this trip.  There was so much joy and celebration even during small moments waiting in line. Every meal was full of laughter and excitement.  It was apparent that the students were genuinely enjoying this trip and also enjoying each other. “I increased my knowledge of my country, my relationships with my friends, and my dedication to this great nation,” said HCA student Josh Currey.  They will be able to look back on this trip and not just remember all they learned, but also the fun they had with their friends.
    The purpose of the annual 8th grade Washington D.C. trip is to provide students a greater understanding of U.S. history and how it effects them now.  The trip is also designed to foster a formative learning experience where ownership of education and discovery of the world around them is valued.  "This is a great opportunity for HCA students to experience a little taste of the rich history of the country we call home,” Adams said.  “It's hard to come away from a visit to DC without a renewed appreciation for the wisdom God gave the early leaders of our nation and the sacrifices many have made since.  We enjoy the fruit of that every day we live in this great nation."