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Every year, high school students from Nashville Christian School are given the opportunity to participate in a mission trip to New York City through the Center for Student Missions. This past June, a group of 22 students and teachers spent eight days embedded in the culture and diversity that New York City offers. It was truly a life-changing opportunity, and during the trip a very authentic, gut-wrenching experience took place.
The group was serving in East New York at a community farm. As they were eating lunch, a discussion came up about how much we take for granted in America. One of our seniors, Mente Rudolph, began to share his experiences in Ethiopia. Mente is at Nashville Christian School because he was adopted from Ethiopia by a local family. He shared that he and his family received one meal a day in Ethiopia and that they were extremely grateful. All of the students were impacted by what Mente shared and began to brainstorm about ways to help. Student Government Vice President Tanner Goodman and National Honor Society Treasurer Sydney Cantrell challenged the group to think outside of the box.
In the end, the chaperones and other mission team members made a decision to challenge the entire NCS student body to help feed children in Ethiopia. This project is designed to take the small change that we consider trivial, and use it to feed hundreds of children in Ethiopia. We collect change and small bills each Friday to contribute to this cause. It takes $250 to feed 100 children, and so far we have collected $2,103.87! Ordinary Hero sent this special thank you video which we hope brings home the impact of your donations.
We are asking each student to give one dollar every Friday through the rest of the school year. You can send in small change or donations with your student, give donations to Leslie Dahl at the front desk, or catch one of us in the traffic line. If you would like to know more about Ordinary Hero, click here.
Mike Campbell, Chairman of the Board for NCS, first joined the board in 1992. He graduated from NCS with the great class of 1979. His children graduated from NCS as well, Leah (06) and Jake (09). Henry, his grandson, is also presently attending the preschool. Mike got a BS in electrical engineering from TSU and has spent his entire adult life in electrical construction. Presently, he is the vice chairman of Enterprise Solutions, LLC. We recently interviewed him about our new mission statement.
Describe the process of developing a new mission statement.
As NCS has grown and changed, so has our school mission statement. The former mission statement was intentionally focused on demonstrating the love of Christ. It was extremely important to the Board to embrace that Christ’s love is foundational to everything. If our students, teachers, staff, and families looked at all relationships through this lens, then it would effectively impact the focus of our campus which in turn effectively impacts our spiritual formation. As a school, we had to decide who and what is NCS. The board of directors, school administrators, and focus groups went through this period of growth and reflection together. I think the mission statement we adopted at the end of this process states exactly what we strive to be and achieve at NCS.
Why was it important to include the words Christian, authentic, and dynamic?
I think Christian is what NCS strives to be to our core. If we don’t start there and make that our main principle, the rest of the mission statement is almost meaningless. To me, authentic tells everyone that NCS understands who NCS is; we are proud of that, and we don’t want to be any other school. Dynamic speaks to forward movement, high energy, and effectiveness, a force that affects change. Nashville Christian always seeks to pursue excellence in every area to continuously improve and provide students with the highest quality educational experience to prepare them to be global leaders. As the school’s leadership has grown, I marvel at the talent and godly people we have leading the school. Every person works to make each student, from preschool to high school, a Christian, authentic and dynamic person, and it shows any time you step on this campus.
What changes have you seen at Nashville Christian School since you have been a part of it, and how have you participated in affecting change?
My brother Mark (‘78), sister Mindy (‘80) and I started at NCS when we were still in the West Nashville Heights Church of Christ building. My father was chairman of the building committee when we started the process to build a new school building. We spent a lot of weekends along with other families working on clearing the property. All the kids worked, but also had a lot of fun playing when our parents weren’t watching. I remember the groundbreaking for every major building we have and enjoy seeing the campus continue to improve. I am very excited about the possibilities of more buildings to come in the near future. I mentioned the leadership of the school earlier, and I know they are the right group to lead the school and continue to grow what is a wonderful Christian culture on our campus. If I just stay out of the way, Connie Jo Shelton and the leadership will keep making NCS exactly what our mission statement says we strive to be.
Our new mission statement states that we are equipping students to be global leaders. As a graduate of NCS and business owner, how are you a global leader?
Webster’s dictionary defines global as “relating to or embracing the whole of something or of a group of things.” Global leaders are not only focused on their own interests but have a genuine interest in impacting their surrounding community and society as a whole. They understand that while personal success and prosperity are important, what you do with it to help others, and the imprint you leave on the world is what makes a true leader. I think my parents and NCS instilled in me a foundation of thinking about the whole instead of myself. As a business owner, you must look at what is best for the company and the people working with you before worrying about yourself.
What do you think NCS students need to become global leaders?
To become a global leader, NCS students need a curiosity about the world around them and a desire to continue learning and use what they learn to affect change. By following the examples of their teachers, coaches, and the leadership at NCS, an NCS student sees and is taught what it is to think globally instead of only thinking about themselves. Through differentiated instruction in the classroom, multiple enrichment clubs and activities, athletic teams, the fine arts and service opportunities like Kathy Overbay Service Day and international mission trips, the NCS graduate is well equipped to be a global leader.
The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce recently held their first Bravo! Bellevue awards event to celebrate the best of Bellevue. We are proud to announce that Nashville Christian School was chosen for the prestigious Cornerstone Award!
The Cornerstone Award is a special presentation to a Bellevue business that is essential not only to the chamber but to the Bellevue community as a whole. The recipient has not only contributed to the economic well-being of Bellevue but is also a business that gives back to the community through charitable work, service projects and participation in chamber initiatives.
Amy Napoli, CEO of the Bellevue Harpeth Chamber of Commerce said, “Nashville Christian School has been a cornerstone in the Bellevue community since 1971. Nashville Christian is rivaled by none in their support of the Chamber. Through their financial commitment and by opening their doors to host Chamber events, Nashville Christian has played a significant role in the Chamber’s growth and success.”
Because of your commitment to our mission and vision, support of our school, and service to the Bellevue community, we are proud to share this honor with you, the Nashville Christian family. Go Eagles!
November is typically thought of as a month dedicated to giving thanks, but NCS students took that a step further and made November a month of giving back.
After a beautiful Praise and Thanksgiving service together, all NCS families K-12 shared a meal together. As usual with Thanksgiving, there were lots of leftovers. The National Honor Society arranged to have “to go” boxes ready, and students and staff immediately set about packing up the leftovers into individual meals. Coach McPherson then drove some of our high school students through the streets of downtown Nashville, looking to give those meals away to the homeless. We estimate that over 400 lives were touched by smiles, hot food, biblical messages and sweet tea that day.
The Nashville Christian Service Club also encouraged everyone to give back by organizing a schoolwide can drive in November. Elementary students lined the halls with their food donations, middle school students held a house competition to see which house could bring in the most donations, and high school students stacked up some of their cans in the shape of a Christmas tree. When it was all said and done, we took 2,695 pounds of food to The Ark in Pegram, TN where it will be distributed to those in need. This was the largest private donation they have ever received!
Service is a staple at Nashville Christian School and a great catalyst for equipping our students to become global leaders! Go Eagles!