On a sprawling green campus in Ohio, one school is preparing young leaders of tomorrow through a multi-dimensional education. Students of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA) know from the moment they step on campus, the possibilities awaiting them are boundless. This Christian preparatory college believes that talent is meant to be shared, and each student can make their mark in the world with their individual talents and gifts.
CHCA’s curriculum is carefully designed to integrate three key aspects of development: cognitive, spiritual and relational. Inquisitive minds burgeon when given a space to flourish. The accomplishments of CHCA’s students are proof that we all thrive when we have space to shine, and at CHCA, students grow when they choose more. Meet six students who are thriving at CHCA:
Taking centre stage
As Shakespeare once penned, “Boldness be my friend: Arm me audacity from head to foot!” At CHCA, it seems that Senior student Eszter has heeded this old adage to heart. “Theatre is my home away from home at CHCA,” says the Slovakian student. “Working in the theatre gave me a voice I didn’t even know I needed. It’s helped me grow by learning the importance of good worth ethic. In my classes, theater has given me the courage to speak my mind and share ideas.”
Similarly, Caroline from China found her self-esteem renewed onstage. Creativity and imagination roam free through character immersion at CHCA, where students master technical skills and learn the value of teamwork with each theatrical production. “Through theatre, I’ve learned that I can accomplish more than I ever expected. I’ve met great friends and teachers who have common interests. I’ve learned how to deal with stress and use time wisely so I’m able to pursue my interests,” Caroline adds.
Cutting-edge robotics in the classroom
CHCA’s curriculum strives to gear students to weather the challenges of college and eventually adulthood and professional life. True to its philosophy of “beginning with the end in mind,” Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) is incorporated as part of the CHCA experience to arm students with necessary 21st century skills. Its Robotics programme has been instrumental in STEAM education at CHCA to inculcate design-thinking among its students as young as third grade.
“Being in a classroom with CHCA teachers has helped me to grow as a student and as a person. It’s not just a student-teacher relationship, but CHCA teachers are like family who care about your academic and personal well-being,” Izzy, a senior student from China, praises. “I feel like I have the freedom to choose any career path that I want because CHCA has prepared me so well for my future. My teachers helped to cultivate my interests in different fields of study, which helped me to figure out what I want to study in college.”
Studio learning for artistic experimentation
Art in CHCA is not just inclusive; it’s also interdisciplinary, where students of all ages use art as a vehicle to examine the human experience. Bright, airy and spacious studios line the Fine Arts facilities on campus, complete with a kiln room, a dark room and a designated area for wet and dry media. Students can experiment with various techniques and mixed-media art to add to their creative repertoire.
Junior student Joy relishes the time she spends on art classes on campus. “There are more opportunities for me to practise art skills, such as different mediums that I’ve never used before. I’m able to spend more time doing art through classes during the school day,” she explains. Since practising her art diligently at CHCA, she has improved in several artistic techniques, such as doing portraits in different mediums. “Being able to pursue art while I’m studying my other coursework makes me happy and gives me balance in my studies,” she adds.
Leading ahead of the field
For CHCA’s high-level soccer player, Arthur, athletics enabled him grow as a leader. Playing soccer the American way was slightly unfamiliar to this student from Kyrgyzstan. “I played soccer for seven years in my home country and was excited to compete on such a high level at CHCA. Soccer in America is a very different style than my home country. The focus is more on teamwork and passing and how we can be strong as a community.”
Athletics at CHCA is more than just about sporting success; it’s the inner journey of discovering oneself that truly matters. Arthur’s rite-of-passage through sports and extracurricular activities exemplifies the enabling conditions at CHCA for students to truly realise their potential.
He is able to apply leadership skills acquired through soccer to other areas in his life. “I combined my interests in videography and soccer by becoming a cameraman in AV Sports Production. Playing soccer also meant that I knew people in my classes, which has helped me to communicate well on and off the field.”
A place for savvy world citizens
The International Student Programme (ISP) at CHCA encapsulates the spirit of interconnectedness and community at a global scale. A dedicated staff oversees all aspects of the student’s experience without the need for an outside agency. Incoming international students go through a personalised learning experience called Foundations to ensure they’re fully integrated within the campus community.
A sophomore at CHCA, Davina from Kyrgyzstan chose the CHCA experience to grow academically, personally, and to live with a host family. “Foundations of Faith and Culture is a very helpful class because it taught me how to be a student at CHCA. I’m able to focus on learning new information and fully participating in courses quickly due to the help of Foundations,” she contemplates. Davina credits teacher-specific instructions and the relationship she developed with her ISP teacher in helping her overcome initial challenges as an ISP student. “The ISP office helps me not to worry because I always know that I have someone at school to talk to if I have a question or problem,” says the sophomore.
Where students are given the freedom to pursue opportunities and engage in the community, high-value learning ensues. Those seeking multifaceted education that holistically touches on academics, spiritual values, community and peer leadership will find CHCA a worthy investment for lifelong returns. To find out more about opportunities at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, head over to their website.