Calvary Christian Schools

Senior Students Attend Muskegon Rotary Club Meeting

Calvary Christian Schools seniors Ben Zelenka, Marcie Schreur, and Alex Assaad were chaperoned by administrator Tom Kapanka to the Muskegon Rotary Club meeting on January 9th, 2019, where they were introduced and spoke about their career plans after graduation.  They were the guests of Marty Sytsema, owner of IMove Physical Therapy, and heard guest speaker Jim Rudicil speak about the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex history and future goals.


Left to Right: Seniors Alex Assaad, Marcie Shreur, Ben Zelenka, Rotarian and Calvary friend Pam Babbitt, administrator Tom Kapanka.
photo by Brad Richards

Calvary Christian School Recognized as Michigan Heart Safe School


Calvary Christian School Representative Samantha Anhalt receives the Michigan Heart Safe School Award

Calvary Christian School has met all the qualifications and has been recognized as a Michigan Heart Safe School. We have received a banner for this award, and we are proudly flying it in our Gym above our score-board. This award involves training our staff in CPR and AED awareness and placing AED’s in key locations in the school. We are proud to say that Calvary Christian Schools is a Michigan Heart Safe School!heartsafe

Calvary Christian Schools Celebrates 40th Anniversary

ccsCalvary Christian Schools is grateful to be serving families from all over the lakeshore area from our place in the Fruitport community. Since moving to our Fruitport campus, CCS has advanced our academic, athletic, and fine arts programs, pursued church and community partnerships, and have instructed more than one thousand students through our ACSI and NCA accredited curriculum. This 2019-2020 school year marks our 40th Anniversary. Over half of that time was spent at the Fruitport campus, where we continue to fulfill our mission of:

Partnering with parents to equip students
Toward personal excellence and the pursuit
of God’s purpose for their lives.

Calvary Christian Schools Veterans’ Day Celebration


Click to view larger image.


Click to view larger image.

Calvary Christian Schools in Fruitport celebrated Veterans Day with “Stars and Stripes, a combination of band, choir, and drama by Kindergarten through 12th grade students!  Calvary thanked our Veterans for the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States, as the program included a large ovation by the crowd of several hundred people for the veterans in attendance who stood and were honored.  A special thank you to band director Ed Cohea, choir director Heather McCallum, Drama producer Amanda Boothe, and production manager Kelly Walker for their many hours preparing the students to celebrate Veteran’s Day!

State of Michigan Representative Greg VanWoerkom Visits Calvary Christian Schools

by Brad Richards

vanwoerkomRepresentative Greg VanWoerkom, of the 91st District for the State of Michigan, visited Calvary Christian Schools and gave an inspirational message to the Middle School and High School students Friday, October 4th.  He discussed his philosophy on being a servant leader, and the reasons that he chose to become a public servant.  VanWoerkom described his father as his role model and spoke about his Christian beliefs, stating one of his favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  He also gave a favorite quote from Ronald Reagan, “There is no limit to what a person can accomplish if no one cares who gets the credit”, as well as C.S. Lewis “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching”.  Students and staff alike were very impressed with Representative VanWoerkom’s presentation!

Successful Local Businessman Speaks to Calvary Christian High School Assembly


Picture credit: Brad Richards

Local businessman Ted Fricano, owner of Fricano Place and Fricano’s pizza in Muskegon as well as the brand new “Ted’s”  restaurant in Spring Lake, was a highly anticipated guest speaker at Calvary Christian Schools in Fruitport.  Ted gave an impassioned speech about Civics, Entrepreneurship, and strategies for being successful after high school.  His main themes for success included “Hard Work, Dedication, and Prayer” as well as “Actions, Attitude, and Atmosphere”.  He gave important tips on how to apply for a job and good habits for the students to have in life, including starting everything with prayer.  These themes were given with real world motivational and inspirational examples, and the students of Calvary were active listeners and very enthusiastic about Fricano’s message.  Calvary Senior Emily Wesner said “I truly feel inspired, motivated, and enlightened by Mr. Fricano”, while senior Kristina Warren said “Mr. Fricano is a great example of perseverance and dedication”, and senior Nick Cadena said “It’s my dream to open my own restaurant someday”.  Calvary Christian Schools would like to extend a big thank you to Ted Fricano for his willingness to take the time and effort to share with our students!


Calvary Christian Schools Graduate Daniel Beals Nominated for Multiple Emmy Awards

May 30, 2019 – Calvary Christian Schools Class of 2010 graduate Daniel Beals was recently nominated for multiple Emmy Awards which will be announced on June 15th.  Beals, who is the Newscast Producer for WPTA ABC21 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was recognized for his proficient work in the categories of “Best Newscast”, “Best Investigative”, and “Education Schools” (for his solo work “Found on the Bus”).

Beals, who lives in Indiana with his wife Melissa, is no stranger to success.  He has already won statewide Indiana newscasting awards in “Best Newscast”, “Best Investigative Report”, Best Producer”,  and “Best Breaking Newscast”.

Daniel Beals said that his experiences at Calvary Christian in Fruitport were formative in helping him become so successful in the broadcasting world.  Beals shared that “Mrs. Ferlaak and Mrs. Wilson taught me design and composition, photography, and accuracy…Calvary gave me the opportunity to film graduation every year, and English with Kara Paetschow taught College level essay writing with deep research which I use on a daily basis”.

Beals thinks that his biggest accomplishment so far is his work on the Investigative Report, “Dying on the Job”, that inspired a change in state law!  Congratulations to CCS alumnus Daniel Beals for his Emmy nominations, and best of luck at the June 15th Awards!

Calvary Christian Students Have Great Success at Law Day


Calvary Christian Law Day speech contestants Pictured in photo, L to R: Kaleigh Nesbit, Corbin Spencer, Jacob McFarren, Ben Gerst, and Alexandra Assaad. Photo Credit: Steve Fouts

Calvary Christian School once again had an outstanding showing at the Muskegon County Bar Association’s Annual Law Day events on Friday, May 3rd at the downtown Muskegon Holiday Inn convention center.  All Muskegon County schools, public and private, are invited to compete, and today’s winning students marks  more than a decade running of Calvary Christian students being represented on the winner’s stand.  Over $10,000 of scholarships have been won over this time by Calvary students.  This year, Calvary student took 3 of the top 4 places in the 9th – 11th grade speech contest!  Meanwhile, CCS 6th grader Dimitri Lawrence took 2nd place in the Middle School Essay contest.  Winning 1st place in the speech contest was Calvary junior Kaleigh Nesbit, winning 3rd place was Calvary sophomore Ben Gerst, and taking 4th place was Calvary junior Alexandria Assaad.  Congratulations to our high achieving Calvary Christian School students and their advisor, Mr. Steve Fouts!

Calvary Christian School in Fruitport Alumnus Erica Mitchell Wins National Chemistry Award

from a Taylor University newspaper article

ericamitchellCongratulations to Class of 2016 Calvary Christian School graduate Erica Mitchell, who was one of 10 college students nationwide to receive the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) Eli Lilly Travel Award.  Mitchell, a Chemistry Major with minors in Physics and Mathematics at Taylor University, traveled to Orlando, Florida to present her research at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Erica commented, “I am thankful for the people who encouraged and influenced me throughout my time at Calvary.  I am truly thankful for all the positive support I have gotten for this.”  She was the 2016 CCS Salutatorian and was also a member of the 2015 and 2016 girls basketball conference and district championship teams.

Mitchell was chosen based on the “scientific merit of (her) research” according to the American Chemical Society’s website.  She was the first Taylor University student to ever receive the award, and has also competed research at the University of Mississippi.  As part of her research, Mitchell studied the binding of a drug to a protein in human blood.

Congratulations, Erica!

Fruitport Calvary Christian Students on Robotic Team that Wins Robot Design Award

studentsCalvary Christian Schools of Fruitport  M.A.R.S. (Muskegon Area Robotic Students) Mini Rovers team members competed in the First Lego League Regional Competition in Grand Rapids December 1st.  Along with completing missions with the lego built robot contest, the team had to come up with a problem and solution related to long duration pace exploration. The team chose, “Slow Communication in Space Causing Social Issued for Astronauts .”  Coach Amy Richards stated “It was a wonderful experience for the whole team”. The team won the Trophy for “Mechanical Robot Design Award.” (See picture) Congratulations to the CCS Robotic Team members!

Fruitport Calvary Christian Schools Announces New Playground


Through the gifts and generosity of many in the West Michigan area, Fruitport Calvary Christian Schools is thrilled to announce that students are able to enjoy a brand new playground.  The playground was officially opened with a Ribbon cutting ceremony and hot chocolate for parents and students alike!  Calvary Christian Schools is a Kindergarten through 12th grade private school located on Kendra Rd. in Fruitport and will be celebrating it’s 40th anniversary in 2020.

For any questions or comments please feel free to contact administrator Tom Kapanka at 231-865-2141.

Calvary Christian Schools – “Crunch Day”

cruchdayOn Wednesday, October 25th over 200 Calvary Christian School students and staff joined 400,000 other Michiganders crunching apples together. The Apple Crunch movement is now in the 5th year of connecting communities and families eating their favorite crisp Michigan apple varieties. CCS was excited to be a part of the “crunch heard round the Great Lakes.”

Calvary Christian Schools – Accreditation

CCS to Earn 3rd Consecutive Term of ACSI/NCA Accreditation.

Calvary Christian Schools is in the final stages of renewing their long-standing dual accreditation with organizations that are well known and respected within the educational community: the North Central Association (NCA), and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).

The accreditation process gives CCS credibility with their stakeholders and the community. It also qualifies their SEVIS status to host international students. This data-driven process provides a structure of rigorous standards focused on continual school improvement.

Every facet of their program is assessed: Governance, Mission, Resources, Instruction, Facilities, Personnel, Safety, Student Performance, and more. In response to hundreds of questions, the administration and faculty produce countless pages of evidence in support of their answers, but more importantly, the process sharpens their focus on better serving the individual and collective needs of their students and parental partners.

Here are just a few examples, in preparation for the coming accreditation visit, taken from the CCS website:

Curriculum Guides/Scope and Sequence were revised and republished by teams of teachers after evaluating our entire K-12 curriculum. They looked at what we teach (scope) and the order in which we teach it (sequence). This on-going process prompts adjustments and provides a basis for prioritizing new textbooks as the budget allows.

Stakeholder Surveys were completed with parents, students and staff members in November. We have been evaluating these results, listening to the input from our stakeholders, and addressing concerns while building upon our achievements and strengths.

A Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) has been reviewed and published by a cross-section of CCS stakeholders based on input from the Stakeholder Surveys and the expertise of our teachers and administration. The CSIP was submitted to the School Board for review in February. Part of the board’s oversight role is vision casting and assisting the administration in ongoing implementation and stakeholder involvement.

Emergency Protocols have been updated with the on-site direction of the County Emergency Management Director. This process included emergency drill training, publishing of safety procedures and protocols, and the purchase of equipment through grants and other individual donations.

Updates of all governing documents are now complete: Board Policy Manual and Bylaws, Staff Manual, Parent/Student Handbook, and all Enrollment Materials.

Technology Upgrades have taken place in classrooms. E-911-compliant phones have been installed in all classrooms and offices. The school website has been redesigned, and teachers now have their own webpages accessible through the school website. Additional security cameras (24 now in place) and other upgrades are in process. In February, our internet speed was quadrupled and moved to an unshared dedicated-service line.

Integration of Mission: The ACSI accreditation process is very specific in confirming that the CCS Statements of Faith and Mission are at the core of everything we do. We have revised the same longstanding goals of our Mission Statement down to 18 words which were the subject of this space in the fall and have been on display in signage and communication on a regular basis.

Student Performance Data Analysis helps us improve our instruction for individual students and whole classes as well as providing  plan for ongoing staff development in this area.

By the time you read this, hundreds of pages of reports will have been submitted to ACSI and NCA. On March 20-23 an External Review Team will be at CCS for three and a half days to examine policies, observe classrooms, interview staff and constituents; review files, procedures and documentation. When finished, these visiting experts will produce a list of commendations and recommendations which will, in short, determine if CCS has earned accreditation for what will be their third consecutive cycle since 1999.

CCS Administrator thanks their faculty and Mrs. Shelley Watkins who has served as their accreditation facilitator for eighteen years. Together with many other volunteers, their team has devoted thousands of hours to this project over the last two years. They do it because they love CCS and the children of the community, and they want to make this school the best it can be.

Please read the full version of this article with many helpful links at:

For more information, visit, or call (231)-865-2141.