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
How to Foster an Existential Crisis: Heart Revealing Answers
Whereas 3 year olds ask questions continually, 13 year olds know everything and never ask another real question until they are 25. Some people need a good question to get them thinking; others need a good answer to get them thinking. Previously we looked at Jesus asking questions in order to provide an opportunity for a person to evaluate his or her conscious or unconscious assumptions about God, life, purpose, and worship. He also answered questions with the same intent – to challenge deeply held beliefs, to reveal self-deception and to force a person to take stock in where hope and help come from.
- “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Lk. 5:31-32) Growing up in a Christian community and teaching in one now, it’s easy to demonize the Pharisees and miss the reality that I am more like them then I would like to admit. I would be more comfortable eating dinner with the Pharisees then with tax collectors and sinners. They valued the Bible, gave money to good causes, believed in spiritual reality and practiced spiritual disciplines. And while Jesus never refused to eat with the religious elite, He seemed to prefer those no one else would reach out to, the culturally and morally revolting. When asked why He spent time with these reprobate people, this response reveals their self-righteous assumption and the heart of God to heal those who realize their sickness.
- “One thing you lack, go sell everything you have and give to the poor…Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21) This account has always struck me as tragic. This young man realizes he is missing something and he wisely goes to Jesus for the answer. His question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Mark’s gospel tells that Jesus looked at this young man with love. Jesus knew the problem – this man had built his life on wealth and morality and didn’t even realize that these had taken the place of God in his life. With this piercing answer the man experienced an existential crisis and walked away very sad. The question and answer time doesn’t end here however because the disciples evaluating all the positives this young man had going for him ask, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus’ answer, “With man this impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
- “’If you can?’ Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) This story reveals the unseen impact of discouragement and doubt on the inner life of faith as seen through this helpless father in regard to his demonically afflicted son. Nothing creates existential crisis like the sense of being unable to help deeply hurting children. The father in this encounter, like many parents, has a child that is beyond human help and it has driven him to his emotional and spiritual end. Without even knowing it, in his use of the phrase “if you can”, he has applied human helplessness to God Himself. Jesus answers this man’s unknown question with a phrase we would expect to see on a coffee mug, but challenges this deep seated belief. You can trust God in the dark and difficult times. He is never helpless. This father responds with the beautiful paradox of struggling faith, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” And Jesus does.
Asking good questions is all well and good, but what happens when there are contrasting answers to the question? What happens when the human heart responds in opposition to the reality of God’s way? Open ended questions can prompt self-reflection, but we need loving answers that rest on the revealed realities of God Himself and not just our fragile feelings, thoughts and experiences. Here at Upton Lake we don’t claim to have all the answers, but we are deeply committed to the One who gives them. Struggles that shake our core foundations and beliefs don’t have to be worked through alone. Christian education provides another opportunity for Jesus’ nailed scarred hands to lift us up and provide something deeper than answers; more of Himself.
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