Our Covid-19 Response
Upton Lake returned to school on Sept 9, 2020 with full in-person learning. We provide flexible remote learning options to meet the needs of all students who are unable to attend in person, whether for the duration or just temporarily due to illness or exposure. We have a plan for continuation of learning should we have to close our building temporarily at any time.
Our small community is blessed to be able to respond quickly, personally, and wisely. Thank you to the families who are so graciously adapting to the changes required in these times.
Our seven 2020 graduates were able to enjoy graduation inside the new EVFree sanctuary. On Saturday, July 18 at 10 am, they walked across the stage and received their hard-earned diploma in front of family and friends. The beautiful service emphasized Upton Lake's focus on Scripture, featuring our own Bible teacher and Chaplain, Zachariah Justice, as the speaker. Awards were presented by members of the faculty and administration, focusing on academic achievements as well as character and service. The valedictorian, Emma Gabor, and salutatorian, Jennifer Puhalski, shared words of wisdom and gratitude. As the Upton Lake Christian School class of 2020, 'the one with the pandemic,' goes out into the world to further their studies and/or work as unto the Lord, we pray they will continue to shine the light of Jesus into a generation in need of Him.
"To my fellow graduates, I encourage you to hold on to the many truths Upton Lake has taught us... The theology we have studied and many aspects of our faith that we have learned about needs to be shared with others... while offering grace and kindness at the same time.... I challenge each one of you as you step off this stage, that you remember you are not alone in these next steps. You not only have a family of believers but a God who unconditionally loves you and gives you all the strength you will ever need."
~ Emma Gabor, Valedictorian, ULCS '20
News from Our Blog
Fostering an Existential Crisis: Probing Questions
I hear the question, “Why?” a few dozen times a day. With my 4-year-old, it’s almost reflexive. Jesus also asked a lot of questions. Unlike my 4-year-old, His questions were rarely for information or explanation , but a means to foster an existential crisis. He wanted to provide an opportunity for a person to evaluate his or her conscious or unconscious assumptions about God, life, purpose, and worship. His questions were often perplexing, sometimes unsettling and always revealing.
- Who do you say that I am? (Matt. 16:15). Jesus, from at least the age of 12, knew who He was and why He was here, but the same could not be said of the people who interacted with Him. Even those disciples closest to Him, weren’t entirely sure. This existential question drew out Peter’s response, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” If Jesus is the Christ, what does that mean for Peter and for all of us who allow this declaration to guide our life choices?
- What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? (Matt. 16:26). Peter goes from making a supernatural deduction about Christ’s true nature to rebuking Jesus for revealing to them His true purpose – to be betrayed, killed and raised to life 3 days later. Jesus hears in Peter’s rebuke the very words of Satan in the desert, “All this I will give you (insert dramatic revealing of the kingdoms of the world), if you will bow down to me.” Peter and Satan were suggesting Jesus take the world without pain and suffering. What if receiving the nations without suffering is to gain the whole world yet forfeit not just one soul, but all souls everywhere? In what areas am I trading something of infinite value for a temporary trinket?
- Do you want to be healed? (John 5:6) This question strikes a certain chord in me entirely because of the number 38. Jesus encounters a man who was crippled for as long as I have been alive – 38 years. His question challenged this man’s identity as invalid and whereas the answer to such a question seems obvious, Jesus was striking a nerve we all feel at times. What if following Jesus replaces my identity as the victim, as the depressed person, as the fragile personality with something less comfortable? This question also incited another identity crisis in the Jewish leaders because Jesus did this work of healing on the Sabbath, which was forbidden. What do I do if God ask me to go against my traditions and social norms to follow Him?
Jesus was the master of causing people to question their assumed foundations for being. He forced existential crisis wherever He went. At Upton Lake we believe one of the goals of Christian education is to do this very thing. I will not pretend that this kind of struggle is easy but it is necessary and good. The human condition is to want to be left alone with illusion that everything is fine. To have our often wobbly foundations kicked and shaken, even by those who have our best interest at heart, fills us with that gut wrenching feeling of uncertainty and fear of falling with no one to catch us. The reality is, not everyone Jesus questioned was willing to leave her or his wobbly pedestals and follow Him. In Christian education there are no guaranteed results. But the most loving thing we can do is to test the foundation of what each of us are building our lives on. Jesus said himself, sand may be easier and more convenient to build on but when the storms of life come, it will fall with a great crash. What better time or place than to discover a foundation of sand in our lives then when we are young and surrounded by people who love and care for us? Only then can we scrap our self-made identity heap and allow our existential crises to guide us to the rock of Jesus. For us at Upton Lake, fostering a passion for Christ often begins with standing with our students through their existential crisis.
Kindergarten Prep at Upton Lake Christian School is a place where children learn through play. We do this through:
- Sensory fun
- Letter recognition and sound
- Numbers, shapes and colors
- Writing and fine motor skills
- Building social skills
- Reading and story telling
- But most importantly, discovering the love of God through Christ!
A sight we have become all too familiar with - faces tiled on our screen. But this meeting was one of our daily Chapels with Mr. Huffman!
Dual Enrollment English at Davis College
ULCS is grateful to have successfully implemented a dual enrollment English class from Davis College. Our seniors have the option of completing their high school English while at the same time completing college English 101 and 102. Our high school English teacher, Renee Smith, is the teacher of record and collaborates with the English department at Davis College, using their curriculum.
We spoke with 2 graduates from last year's class: Chloe Yerger and Nadya Kruger. Both appreciated the college level paper writing skills they acquired. The credits also allowed them to skip ahead to classes in their major, reducing workload and giving them an edge.
"It helped me manage the fast-paced nursing program here at SUNY Plattsburgh." ~ Chloe Yerger, '19
"I was able to dive right into main credit courses for my major." ~ Nadya Kruger, '19
The Christmas Art Show and Pageant
The Upton Lake Christian School community was blessed by our annual Christmas Pageant and Art Show on Friday evening, December 7, 2018. The evening began with a time to view artwork done by students from all grades.
Mrs. Germano, our new art teacher, presented students work in drawing, painting, and sculpture. She has been an incredible asset to the art program this year and her passion to work with the students clearly shines through the joy she brings to her classroom each week.
The pageant, conducted by our music teacher, Mrs. Marrine, was a simple yet powerful reminder that the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem IS the reason we have such hope. The Roger Emerson and John Jacobson pageant, “On Our Way To Bethlehem”, was filled with joyful music and adorable animals all sharing of the story at the manger. All of the students from the elementary school participated, singing songs with featured solos by select students. The pageant also featured the high school worship team consisting of 7th-12th graders growing in their gifts to lead worship through song. It was a wonderful way to share in the praise of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
ACSI Leadership Conference
Six ULCS students traveled to Washington, D. C. to attend the re:Purpose, the ACSI Leadership Conference, November 24-26. Over 835 students from Christian schools around the east coast were in attendance. This group of young leaders was hand selected based on academics, community involvement and enthusiastic desire to make the world a better place.
The conference speakers addressed topics such as: spiritual well-being, putting our God-given gifts into action, being "all in for God". The students were encouraged to glorify God with their lives. Speaker and student discussions allowed for self-reflection and a chance to use what they learned to impact their school and community.
While in Washington D.C. the students toured the Smithsonian and Holocaust Museum. The general consensus from the team was that the trip was educational, impactful and a great chance to see our nation's capital.
"One perk of being a small school is that we are not only a school community but a family. This family has never failed to encourage each other in bad times, laugh with each other in the good times, and push each other to become better... Yes, this school has brought me great memories, amazing friends, academic knowledge, life lessons, and much much more, but the most important thing is how it aided me in making my faith my own."
~ Jennifer Puhalski, Salutatorian, ULCS '20