Mu Alpha Theta Inducts New Members

Congratulations to our newest members of Mu Alpha Theta — the national high school mathematics honor society — who were inducted into the Hillcrest chapter yesterday during chapel. According to its website, the purpose of Mu Alpha Theta is to inspire “a keen interest in mathematics, developing strong scholarship in the subject, and promoting the enjoyment of mathematics…. Mu Alpha Theta provides a method for schools to recognize and encourage students who enjoy and excel in mathematics.”

Front Row, L to R: Trinity Powell, Kaylyn Turner, Alex Howell, Katelynn Phillips, Sarah Grace Brownlee, and Beth Hammill; Middle Row, L to R: Jabari Johnson, Skyler Williamson, Lexi Leger, Ashley Myers, and Jessica Bewley; Back Row, L to R: James Adams, Abigail Browning, Addie Cothern, Sam Brownlee, and Aliza Williams

In order to become a member, 9th through 12th-grade students must meet the following minimum requirements: They must have completed two years of college preparatory mathematics, including algebra and/or geometry, and have completed or are enrolled in a third year of college preparatory math. They also must have at least a 3.0 math grade point average. Congratulations to these students for their hard work!

2018-2019 Officers: Katelynn Phillips, Alex Howell, Kaylyn Turner, and Sarah Grace Brownlee

Patriot’s Day 2018

Adults may find it difficult to believe that 17 years have passed since 9/11 — the single deadliest attack on American soil in our nation’s history. Most members of Hillcrest’s senior class were born that year; as a result, many of our students do not understand the impact that day — on which nearly 3,000 people lost their lives when terrorists hijacked 4 commercial airplanes — had on Americans, even those who were not directly affected by losing a loved one.

In a news article entitled “7 Ways to Remember 9/11,” reporter Cillian Zeal states, “Life in this country has changed immeasurably in those 17 years. We’re now more conscious of what it takes to keep our country secure from similar incidents. We’ve seen amazing patriotism blossom from unbelievable tragedy. And every year, we find new ways of remembering 9/11 — both the incredible destruction caused and those who were left behind.”

In an effort to ensure that our students never forget the sacrifices made on that day and every day since, 11th-and-12th-grade history teacher Ms. Gail Flemmons spoke with our 5th-and-6th-grade students today about 9/11. She shared events of that day, stories of those who willingly worked to save others, and some of the more iconic pictures of the Twin Towers and other affected areas. Ms. Flemmons also made time at the end of her presentation for students to ask questions, and she says that they had plenty of them.

Every HCS teacher (of our older students who are able to understand and not to be unnecessarily scared) has been encouraged to discuss 9/11 as part of their lessons today and to encourage our students not only to remember, but to celebrate first responders and to serve others as a way to honor those who needlessly died that day. This is our duty as Christians, as Psalm 82:3-4 states, “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked.”

ACT and PSAT for Seniors and Juniors

Did you know that the ACT is taken more than any other college entrance exam in the nation, and that it is accepted by all US colleges and universities? However, the ACT is more than just a test to determine if students are ready for college, as it also includes a career planning component. Furthermore, Hillcrest requires all seniors to be accepted to a college before they receive their diplomas; this means that taking the ACT is a must for our graduates. These are just a few of the reasons HCS is beginning a school-wide push to promote improvement on this increasingly important exam. First, we have created an ACT-Prep class this year, which we hope to offer to all high-school students as the program grows. Next, upper-school teachers are incorporating more ACT practice into their regular classwork. Even much of the lower school will be focusing on ACT, using the data from our annual Aspire testing to determine the skills which need to be worked on so that they will make their best scores once they reach high school and begin taking the exam.

One step which Hillcrest has taken for many years is to require students in the upper grades to take the ACT during both the fall and spring weekday testing dates. Seniors and Juniors will take the ACT on Tuesday, October 2nd. There is no need for students to register on the ACT website for this testing date, as HCS has already taken care of that process. However, each 11th and 12th-grade student must still pay for the exam; please send payment — $46.00, checks may be made out to HCS — no later than Monday, October 1st.

Also, our Juniors will be taking the PSAT on Wednesday, October 10th. This is not used for college admissions; however, it does allow students to practice for the SAT and provides numerous scholarship opportunities. The PSAT is given to 11th-graders during a mandatory weekday testing date; again, Hillcrest takes care of the registration, but we need parents to pay for the exam. Please send $16.00 for this no later than Friday, October 5th, and if you would like to write only one check for both exams, the total will be $62.00.

Student-Centered Science

Mr. Russell has been promoting Student-Centered Learning in his upper-level courses, Physics and Advanced Placement Chemistry. According to a 2015 article on Edutopia, “Student-centered classrooms include students in planning, implementation, and assessments. Involving the learners in these decisions will place more work on them, which can be a good thing. Teachers…. ‘share’ power by empowering learners.”

Above, Physics students are conducting an experiment to measure the distance and speed of a golf ball rolling down an inclined ramp in order to calculate acceleration. Senior Cullen Wood (seated, right) also built the ramp and earned extra credit for his efforts.

Above, Senior Sarah Grace Brownlee explains how electrons occupy orbitals for her A.P. Chemistry classmates.