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Highlands Blog

Welcome to the Highlands Blog! We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know all all of us at Highlands a little better as our administration, faculty, and staff share memories, educational tips, encouragement from God’s Word, and more! Please be sure to call us at 954-421-1747 if we can help you or your family in any way.



February 21, 2019
The Value of a Christian School – Why It Matters

“Once in high school, I looked at my mother’s pay stub,” shares Mrs. Brittany Brown, Highlands ’05 Grad and Admissions Director.” An elementary teacher for over twenty years, she had always chosen to teach at and send her children to Christian schools. On this particular day, armed with an unrealistic understanding of money, I exclaimed that her paycheck was substantial! She laughed and said…”
Read more here…






February 1, 2019
How Getting Up at 5:00 AM Changed My Life

“I have never been a “morning person”—honestly, quite the opposite,” says Coach Jim Good, Highlands Athletic Director. “My lifelong habit was to set the alarm for the latest possible minute, hit snooze a few times, and then rush around like a mad man getting ready for school or work. That all changed last February after we lost the District semifinal, literally at the buzzer. We had taken the lead…”
Read more here…




December 14, 2019
Putting the “Spirit Lead Me” Song on Repeat

“Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to you? I’ve asked that question multiple times over the past three months, shares Lauren Massaro, Highlands Grad and Main Office Receptionist. “Less than two weeks after I began working at Highlands, my husband had a trampoline accident at Sky Zone. He destroyed his knee, needed surgery, and couldn’t work. I had just left a nursing job that could have supported us…”
Read about it here…





November 13, 2018
The Hard Stuff in Life and On Stage

“Last year I knew I wanted to dive in and tackle Shakespeare with my drama students,” shares Miss Method, Highlands Theater Director. “I fear Shakespeare! Seriously, he is hard to understand, but I really felt the Lord leading me to help our students grow by tackling something hard. Things are hard! Life is hard! I can’t count the amount of times in 24 years of teaching that a student has told me…”
Read about it here…




November 9, 2018
Sending Snuggles & Hugs in Little Boxes

It’s Operation Christmas Child season at Grace & Highlands! Mrs. Peek, a teacher, mom, grandma, and our OCC Coordinator, shares from her own experiences one of the most important things to include in shoeboxes…and why!
Read about it here…




November 2, 2018
The Little Group that Began a Highlands Tradition
“There’s a tradition at Highlands that has been around for a while,” writes Dr. Lawrence, Head Administrator and our blogger of the week. “Although this tradition takes place every week, it’s an event that seems to go unnoticed. Unlike homecoming traditions that have a lot of noise and commotion, this one is quieter…”
Read more here…




October 18, 2018
Five Tips for Managing Your Child’s Digital Life
A MUST-READ for Parents!
It’s not easy being a parent, especially in this digital world, but we’re here to help in every way we can. Our blogger of the week, Mrs. Owens, is a Highlands teacher and mom of three students...and she loves technology! This being National Digital Citizenship Week, Mrs. Owens shares her top five practical tips for managing our children’s online time and digital life, while reflecting God’s holiness in all we do.
Read more here…






June 4, 2018
How the End is Better than the Beginning
We finished the 2017-2018 school year last week, and today Dr. Lawrence, Head Administrator and our blogger of the week,  shares his thoughts about how the end is better than the beginning! If you’re not quite sure how being tired and worn out is better than the excitement of new, check out his blog!
Read more here…



May 17, 2018
Six Ways to Help Your Students Survive and Thrive During the Last Two Weeks of School
This is such an exciting time of year…with so much happening at Highlands! But maybe your students are feeling a little nervous or overwhelmed with less than 10 school days before summer break. Read this week’s blog with Mrs. Ruth Pirrie, Communications Coordinator and mom of two HCA grads, sharing suggestions for helping your kids (and yourself) survive and even thrive during the last two weeks of this school year!
Read more here…



May 3, 2018
Seven Ways to Keep Your Students Learning All Summer Long
It’s already May…and the perfect time to start mapping out some summer learning as an antidote for the “brain drain” that usually happens in students over the 10 weeks away from school! Mrs. Jennifer Nicholson, elementary teacher and mom of three HCA students, has a list of fun things planned for her own kids this summer…and shared her ideas in a quick and easy blog post this week!
Read more here…





April 27, 2018
Pastor’s Blog: What We Can Learn from Pay Phone, Party Lines & Pagers
“A couple of weeks ago, I found a plastic bag laying on the walkway leading to my front door,” shared Pastor Gary Colboch, our blogger of the week. “Curious, I opened the bag and to my great surprise, I found a Yellow Pages phone book! I honestly did not know that phone books were still distributed, and I probably have not used one in 8-10 years. In fact, the last time I saw a Broward County phone book…”
Read more here…





April 13, 2018
Servant Leaders Do What is Right, Not What is Easy

“Do what is right, not what is easy. I have heard this quote many times over the course of my life, and it’s something I learn more about every day,” writes Mr. Patrick Brown, Human Resources Director, Highlands Alumni, and HCA Dad. “Choosing the right thing over the wrong thing can be as simple as making a small choice to complete a basic task—or as complicated as wading through an impossible set of obstacles to get to a desired end result. This gray area is often where we can find ourselves stuck…”
Read more here…






April 6, 2018
Mrs. Ratzlaff’s “Then & Now” about Dress Code

“One of the great ironies in my life is my position as a Highlands administrator, which has placed me in charge of dress code,” shares Mrs. Shannon Ratzlaff, secondary history teacher, administrator, and our blogger of the week. “The ironic part, which my students cannot believe, is that the thing I was most often in trouble for in high school was being out of dress code. And, in fact, if my high school teachers remembered this about me, they would probably laugh…”
Read more here…







March 16, 2018
An Ode to First Year Teachers…If I Knew then What I Know Now

“While I am sure many professions are stressful, I presume there is no tired like first-year-English-teacher tired,” writes Stephanie Fonseca, secondary teacher and our blogger of the week. “That first year, I remember staying in my classroom weekly until 9 pm, scouring the internet hourly for ideas, and scrambling to finish lesson plans that took me the entire weekend…”
Read more here…




March 1, 2018
Dr. Lawrence’s Must-Read Blog: Two Men’s Lives

This past Sunday morning, Dr. Lawrence, our School Administrator and Blogger of the Week, heard yet another story coming out of the recent events in the news and couldn’t stop thinking about the lives of two men who are as different as two men could be.

While both men have been major news this week, his best guess is that if we were able to ask each of them about their lives, they’d tell you about Jesus. Not only because they know Him, but because they have now seen Him. Read more here…





February 15, 2018
It’s a New Day at Grace Church

“It is a new day at Grace,” shares Pastor Gary Colboch in this week’s blog, “…so if you’re looking for a fresh start or just haven’t visited in a while, take a minute to read what’s happening and where we’re going as a ministry!

We now have services in Creole-French and Spanish (w/ Portuguese to come), a 3-year plan for renovations and growth, and goals for multiple weekend services to be more culturally relevant in our community. Come visit tomorrow…or any time! Read more here…





January 11, 2018
Welcome to 2018 from Dr. Lawrence

“Left here a couple of weeks ago and headed for some time off. I was like… [see picture on left]…headed to Las Vegas! Lisa and I spent Christmas there…we needed to spend some time with our cute granddaughters,” shares School Administrator Dr. Lawrence. “It has been said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; but if you know my wife, the whole world knows what happened in Vegas via Facebook.” Read more here…






December 15, 2018
Symbols of the Season Point Us to the Savior

This week’s blog by Senior Pastor Gary Colboch and our blogger of the week is a MUST-READ for parents, grandparents, teachers…and pretty much everyone this Christmas season! Read how the many symbols of Christmas point us to Jesus, our Savior…and then share this with your children as you enjoy your family traditions together! Read more here…




December 8, 2017
Selfies, Families & Walking on Water

“Last Christmas, the only family picture we ended up with was a selfie with, as you can see, heads cut off, my grandbaby not looking, and my husband half hiding behind my hair,” shares Ruth Pirrie, our Communications Director and Blogger of the Week. “But the photo made me happy, and I wished my Facebook friends a Merry Christmas with it anyways!” Read more here…




December 1, 2017
Dr. Lawrence’s 10 Ways to Prevent that Recurring “I Wish…”

“This is one of my grandsons I was with over Thanksgiving Break, and I wish we were still together! Here we are on the other side of Thanksgiving, and boy did that week go fast. After spending a great week with my family that seemed like it was only ONE day long. I woke up this Monday morning thinking, I wish I had another day,” writes Dr. Lawrence, Highlands School Administrator, our blogger of the week. Read more here…







November 16, 2017
A Few Dozen Things on My Thankful List

Pastor and Mrs. Colboch love the Thanksgiving season! Today, our Senior Pastor and blogger of the week encourages us to teach our children about the meaning of the first Thanksgiving (and why it’s so important)…and then shares a few dozen things on his personal thankful list! Read more here…






November 9, 2017
More than Turkey, Dressing, and Cool Weather

“It’s warming up here in South Florida, and I find myself missing the cool weather of a few weeks ago,” shares Mr. Patrick Brown, Highlands dad and Human Resources Director. “Fall means something different to a lot of people in our country. The leaves changing and the cool breeze blowing, maybe even some snow around the corner.” Read more here…






October 31, 2017
Miss Method Calls “Places”

“This week it happens,” shares Miss Julie Method, Highlands Theater Director and our blogger of the week. “My cast of fourteen actors and six tech students will be performing our play, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery…We’ve been practicing for several months, and I want to share with you a ‘secret’ that we’ve been working on.” Read more here…




October 27, 2017
Mrs. Ratzlaff’s Weekly Brew

“If you know me, you know there are a few things I really enjoy in life…my husband, my cat and dog…and coffee,” says Mrs. Shannon Ratzlaff, secondary history teacher and our blogger of the week. “There’s a strong scent of coffee that constantly wafts through our house, partly because we make it daily, sometimes twice daily. There’s another reason, too.” Read more here…






October 20, 2017
Bringing the Holocaust to Life for My Eighth Grade Students

“The philosopher George Santayana wisely stated, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Although she said it in her own words, this was the underlying message behind the testimony of Holocaust survivor Mrs. Eva Libitzky who spoke to the eighth grade English class in the Grace auditorium this week,” shares Mrs. Stephanie Fonseca, secondary English teacher and our blogger of the week. Read more here…



October 3, 2017
On Being a Grandparent & Connecting Time (disclaimer included!)

“I was going about my workday, and then I ran into Ruth in the hallway,” says Dr. Lawrence, Highlands School Administrator, our blogger of the week. “The meeting was intentional on Ruth’s part. She is the person who publishes information for the school, and she asked if I had any thought about being a grandparent. Well, my first thought was, ‘How obvious is it that I look like a grandpa?'” Read more here…




September 28, 2017
The Mom and Her Kids Who Patiently Waited

“Mornings are busy,” shares Mrs. Jennifer Nicholson, 2nd grade teacher and our blogger of the week. “I’m a mom of three, and admittedly sometimes running a few minutes late. As I was pulling onto our campus one day last year, I saw a lady walking on the sidewalk, pushing a stroller…” Read more here…






September 22, 2017
What an Example of Teamwork!

“As many of you know, I graduated from Hollywood Christian High School, a strong rival of Highlands when it came to athletics,” shares Senior Pastor Gary Colboch, our blogger of the week. “Not only did I play against HCA, but I also later coached against the HCA Knights when I was the varsity baseball coach at Berean Christian in West Palm Beach. You can’t even imagine the amount of ribbing I’ve taken…” Read more here…





September 15, 2017
Dr. Lawrence’s Thoughts about Irma and the Highlands Campus Recovery

“When my neighbor, Alice, and I met Monday in the street, we began to look over the downed trees, the bent street sign, and all the other damage. ‘God was gracious and kind to us,’ she said. It is a test of our faith to know that God is good…” shares Dr. Lawrence, our blogger of the week. Read more here…

September 1, 2017
Dr. Lawrence’s Thoughts about Investing in the Future

“The halls are back alive with the wonderful smiling faces of students,” says School Administrator Steve Lawrence, our blogger of the week. “The teachers are settling back into the swing of classes, and the athletic competitions are in full motion. Parents, we are off to a wonderful start…” Read more here…


June 21, 2017
Headmaster Ken Lopez Reflects after 42 Years at Highlands

“A number of thoughts surface as my tenure at Highlands Christian Academy rapidly comes to a close,” shares Headmsater Ken Lopez, our blogger of the week, a few weeks before his official retirement kicks in.  “I guess it’s normal to have a lot of pictures taken when these type of events take place, and when I see a picture of myself I wonder, Who is that old guy?” Read more here…






April 26, 2017
What Ariel and I Have in Common (Lessons in Hope from “The Little Mermaid”)

“I remember the exact moment when I knew that we were to perform The Little Mermaid this year at Highlands,” shares Miss Julie Method, HCA Theatre Director and our blogger of the week. “I was sitting in Miami last summer watching a wonderful production of this show at a community theatre (and actually, HCA alumni Sarah Knoche was in the production)…” Read more here!






April 10, 2017
Why I Believe Easter is the Most Important Event in History

Our Headmaster and blogger of the week, Mr. Lopez, believes the resurrection is the most important event in history…and suggests that each of us ask ourselves this question: “Do I believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Read his blog on the life-changing Easter message of Jesus! Read more here…





March 10, 2017
After Loss, Does Beauty Really Bloom?

We know many of our HCA families have gone through challenging times this school year. Mrs. Ruth Pirrie, our HCA Communications Director and blogger of the week, shares about a season of incredible loss when she learned to refocus her eyes on Christ and view things in light of the value of knowing Him! Read more here…





February 23, 2017
Bigger than We Are (A Statement of Defeat or a Prerequisite to Success?)

Get to know Mr. Bob Wanner, our blogger of the week and HCA School Governance Board Member! Today he shares with you an update from the School Board as well as some pretty fantastic encouragement about trusting in God’s power and not our own, because the task is…”Bigger Than We Are.” Read more here…






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February 13, 2017
Ten Important Things I’ve Learned about Friendship

It’s February (and Valentine’s Week!), the time of year we spend some extra time focusing on the people we love and hold dear in our hearts. Mrs. Celia Huntsman, our HCA blogger of the week, LOVES spending time with her friends, and today she shares 10 important things she’s learned over the years about friendship. Read more here…






January 31, 2017
Celebrating Diversity at HCA & Beyond

Mr. Wilson, HCA secondary teacher and blogger of the week, shares that in the wake of the presidential election, presidential inauguration, and Martin Luther King Day, the concept of diversity has been on his mind. With HCA’s unique population, he would love to see us leading the way as we celebrate the diversity the Lord has blessed in our school. Read more here…





10155973_10202120382797264_7227270945625937900_nJanuary 20, 2017
Again & Again & Again (Thoughts from a Cheer Coach during Homecoming Week)

Mrs. Kim Sullivan, our blogger of the week, coached HCA cheerleading for 7 years, including her own daughter Jenna who now coaches cheerleading, also. Kim taught her girls to support the Knights playing on the court or field, care for each other, and be faithful in their committments. Read about it…and be sure to keep cheering on the Knights at their games this season! Read more here…





jeff-sullivanDecember 20, 2016

Christmas is…???

If we asked what Christmas really is to you, what would you say? Mr. Jeff Sullivan, our HCA Guidance Counselor & 2011 alumnus (who also happens to be getting married in less than 3 weeks!) answers this question in a MUST-READ blog this week before Christmas! Read more here…





December 9, 2016 sgb
Merry Christmas from HCA’s Governance Board

Meet the Board!
Last Monday at our HCA Staff Christmas Dinner, we snapped a quick picture of our School Governance Board! Mrs. Lori Lassen, board member and HCA blogger of the week, shares a little bit about the board, what they are currently doing, and then introduces each member to you. Read more here…

dewitt-blogpic-220x300-1December 2, 2016
Mrs. DeWitt’s Dozen Ways to Create Christmas Traditions with your Kids

Mrs. DeWitt, our HCA blogger of the week, loves students of all ages. She is one of the best of the best in speaking their language–whether at home, in the classroom, in the office, or as they grow up into positions of leadership. This first week of December, she shares a dozen ways to make Christmas come alive for your children, build traditions, and point them to Jesus (truly, the reason for the season)! Read more here…





unspecifiedxnri2we5-cr2November 18, 2016
Thanksgiving, a Forgotten Holiday?

Mr. Ken Lopez, our headmaster and HCA blogger of the week,
sets the example for the HCA community with his thankful heart. Ken and his wife, Robbin (former HCA teacher), have 3 daughters (all HCA grads), and a whole bunch of wonderful grandchildren. Ken and Robbin extend to you their hearts of gratitude for your support and dedication to our school and ministry. Read more here…





leslie-crNovember 11, 2016
A Lesson from the Sequoia about Helping your Child Succeed

Have you ever stood beside a giant sequoia tree? Mrs. Leslie Shein, HCA blogger of the week, loves the students and families of Highlands! As an HCA grad, then a teacher, and now an administrator, she relates to families on multiple levels. In this week’s blog, Leslie shares about an amazing tree called the sequoia, and about the value of parents and educators working together to help our children succeed! Read more here…





mo-larNovember 4, 2016
Family, Fall, Feelings of Comfort…and a Cookie Offer for Next Thursday

Cookies, anyone?
Everyone who knows Larry Smith, our HCA blogger of the week and secondary principal, knows the priority he places on family…his own family, his HCA family, and the family of God. In addition to the cookie sample and recipe offer (read the blog!), Larry welcomes conversations with HCA families about raising their children to know, love, and serve Christ! Read more here…





fullsizerender-003October 28, 2016
Building up the Love Bank…at Dodgeball Games, School Plays & Beyond

HCA blogger of the week, Julie Method, knows a lot about depositing into the “love bank” of our kids and teens. As a veteran HCA high school teacher, Theatre  Department Director, and Children’s Ministries Director at Grace, her thoughts apply to us all as we, too, let others know they are loved and accepted in the family of God. Read more here…





scriver-2-crOctober 21, 2016
Today’s Readers, Tomorrow’s Leaders

HCA Blogger of the Week, Mrs. Scriver,
 has been a much-loved kindergarten and elementary teacher at Highlands for the past 30 years. She has taught approximately 750 kindergarten students to read, and that number continues to grow! Enjoy reading her thoughts, memories, and encouragement about reading! Read more here…





dawn-with-grandparents-crOctober 14, 2016
Grandparents, Batons, and Very Special Rocks

HCA Blogger of the Week, Mrs. Utz, is pictured here with her grandparents in 1987! Our elementary principal reflects on Grandparents Day 2016, about passing the baton of a godly heritage to our children, and why Headmaster Ken Lopez collects rocks!

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