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The Jump From Homeschooling To Christian School

April 29, 2024
By Lara Taylor

You've heard the saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans". This certainly rings true with our family. We were happy at our public school, did not plan on homeschooling, and never even considered a private school. But God had other plans!

Our family moved to Trumbull for the same reason a lot of families do - the great schools! My kids were in kindergarten, 2nd and 3rd grade at our local school when the world shut down in March 2020. We finished out the year distance learning and, as we looked ahead to all the unknowns, we decided to pull our kids from school and homeschool.

We called ourselves Taylor Academy. I spent the summer researching curriculum and trying to figure out how the whole homeschooling thing worked. While it is certainly not for everybody, we fully embraced homeschooling as a family and continued to learn together for two years.

During the two years of being a mom AND teacher, I realized the immense influence teachers have over children. I’d heard the statistic that a child will spend 16,000 hours at school from kindergarten through graduation.* It wasn’t until 2020 that I began to think about what kind of environment I wanted my kids to be in for the most vulnerable years of their lives. And that it should concern me greatly to know what is being taught as good and normal while my kids are under the care of someone else. I am now so fully aware of how much trust we put in a public school system that will not allow God through the front doors.

While homeschooling, I answered all my kids’ questions through the lens of my Christian world-view. We had many amazing conversations and I got to share God with them through so many different subjects. I realized that I could never relinquish my precious kids to public school again. Even if the teacher was “really nice,” it did not mean our values align. I wanted my kids to learn about the world the way God created it and through the Christian context.

Then, through a series of events that only God could orchestrate, I started working at CHS in the Finance Office, and my kids joined the student family. At first, we were hesitant because we truly loved the freedom that homeschooling gave us. On a selfish note, I truly treasured the time I spent with my kids watching them grow up. But once we got over the initial shock of starting school at 7:40a.m., my kids and I have never looked back!

We have been at CHS now for 2 years, and we continue to thank God every day for bringing us here. Aside from the academic schedule and extracurricular activities available, there are so many elements of being at a Christian school that I will never take for granted. The teachers pray for the students. They pray for MY kids! Students have chapel once a week where they get to hear a biblical message and worship God with their peers. They have Bible class during school that I can trust is teaching the actual Word of God. My kids are forming lifelong friendships with their classmates who share our Christian values. Even the sports coaches gather and pray with the kids before games. We are blessed beyond measure to be part of this community. And as a mom, I am eternally thankful to the teachers who love my kids and have committed their lives to pouring God's love out on students in a school setting.

*Battle for the American Mind by Pete Hegseth


Lara Taylor grew up in Pennsylvania and received her accounting degree from Messiah College. She moved to Connecticut after marrying Jeremy Taylor, a pastor at Black Rock Church. They live in Trumbull with their children Blake, Chad and Paige. Lara is entering her 3rd year as a Senior Accountant in the Finance Office at CHS. When not at school or church, you will most likely find the Taylor family on the baseball field, basketball court, or home enjoying being together.


CHS Arts: Impacting the Body, Brain, and Spirit

April 22, 2024
By Brett Flowers

Just outside the SLC, near the traffic circle, is “Cindy’s Garden.”  During her many years at CHS, Mrs. Cindy Keegan often reminded us, “It is SO important for students to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”  We do this really well in the Visual and Performing Arts department.  Each and every student’s singing voice is heard, every instrumentalist has a part to play, every actor has a role to fill and no one is “sitting on the bench.”  At the art show this month, every student’s work is displayed, considered and celebrated.  Each person makes a contribution that is integral, unique and irreplaceable.

At Christian Heritage School, we believe that the visual & performing arts are learned skills that every student can acquire and develop at any age.  It is not something only for the “talented few.”  This is why, at CHS, all students, grades K - 8 take visual arts and music classes as a part of their weekly curriculum.  Students this age are discovering what they excel at and what it is they enjoy doing.  In grades 9 - 12 at CHS, roughly ninety percent of the student body enrolls in at least one arts class annually.  The largest classes in the upper school are all arts classes.  This year, the high school concert choir roster is literally fifty percent of the entire high school student body!  

If you are looking for your student to excel in the arts at the highest level, we have opportunities for you here at CHS.  This school year, we had many students participate in regional and all-state music ensembles.  We have current seniors being accepted into nationally recognized visual arts programs.  Since the school was founded, many CHS students have gone on to pursue careers in the arts as a vocation and a profession.  Currently, three teachers in the Visual and Performing Arts department are CHS alums.  CHS students and alums have performed on some of the finest stages in New York City and have been featured on television programs like “America’s Got Talent.”

That said, the primary goal of the Visual and Performing Arts department is not to produce the next generation of professional artists and musicians.  Rather, the objective is to show each student that he or she can be artistic.  There is a place for everyone, regardless of ability, in an arts class at CHS.  Artistry and musicianship are learned skills that all can improve.  

When a student participates in an arts class, their brain is engaged in learning in a way that is totally unique in the midst of the school day.  As a singer, instrumentalist, painter or photographer, the student is working and engaging the brain in three different realms at the same time:  psychomotor, cognitive and aesthetic, or more simply put, “body, brain and spirit.”  In arts classes, learning is more physically active and participatory than other academic areas.  Students are “doers” first when they are in an arts class–they are musicians, they are artists, they are creators.  The cognitive side of the brain is engaged in arts classes, too.  Musicians are literally reading and performing a written and aural universal language.  Performers have countless details to consider as they work in real time.  Artists and creators have to contemplate not just how they will capture and present their work, but also how others will receive it.  Artists of the highest caliber are thinkers, too.  Finally, arts classes engage the learner in the area that is feelingful and inspiring.  Works of art touch the human spirit in ways that are totally unique.  Learning of all kinds impacts the brain.  Not all the facts, words and numbers covered in a school day impact the spirit and touch the soul the way work in the arts can do.    

The human ability to create and participate in artistic mediums and expressions of all kinds points back to our Creator.  Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate artist and creator of all things beautiful.  When we engage body, brain and spirit as artists, we are reflecting, celebrating and bringing honor to our creator.  It was His idea first and we are his image bearers.

Something unique to a successful concert, art show, musical, or even chapel service is that each student artist and musician must be excellent at his or her part.  Each CHS arts instructor capably sets up all students for artistic success.  It takes each student, performing his or her role with technical accuracy and excellent artistry, to create a solid presentation.  In arts classes, students learn diligence, creativity, critical thinking and patience all simultaneously.  Most importantly, they are learning “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…it it the Lord Christ you are serving”  Colossians 3:23

Upcoming Spring Concerts: 

  • High School - Thursday, May 9, 7:30pm
  • Lower School - Wednesday, May 15, 8:15am
  • Middle School - Thursday, May 16, 7:30pm


Brett Flowers serves as the Visual & Performing Arts Department Head.  This is his seventeenth year at CHS, where he directs band students in grades 4 - 12.  Brett also teaches a high school Music Tech elective class and a UCONN dual enrollment course in Music Theory.  Prior to coming to CHS, Brett taught in the public school system in Andover, MA and served as an adjunct music instructor at Gordon College.  Brett received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Gordon College and his Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from Temple University.  His wife is a CHS alum and four of his daughters are current students at CHS.


Why Christian Athletics Makes all the Difference

March 26, 2024
By Katie Levis

A great quote that speaks to me in my role as Coach and Athletic Director is from Billy Graham, “A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime.” When reflecting on my high school and college experience as an athlete, my coaches, teammates and all the hundreds of competitions through the years are a part of almost every memory. It’s true, my coaches had a great influence on me, positively and negatively.

I attended a public high school in New Jersey and truly valued my experiences being a part of very competitive athletic programs.  My coaches gave me many great character-building experiences, but they were not because of Godly values, they were simply about being a “good person” or a “better teammate” or “being successful”. I also learned character traits I didn’t want to emulate. While all my coaches had my respect, it wasn’t always because they earned it, but because I grew up in a Godly home with parents who reinforced that we are to “be like Christ”, no matter our circumstances.

Playing basketball at Messiah College was my first experience having Godly coaches who inspired me and my teammates because of their love for God. The values they taught translated with a greater depth for me because living my life dedicated to being a follower of Jesus, was above all other things. Success was not just winning the game, but striving to win, because God desires us to be excellent in everything we do and to do it the right way (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Loving our teammates and coaches wasn’t because we were supposed to, but because God commands us to ”love others as ourselves” (Matthew 22:39). My coach and his wife hosted a player's Bible study because they knew life was bigger than practice and games. Athletics took on a greater love for me than ever before.

Throughout the past 20+ years, I’ve been involved in athletics professionally. I’ve worked in public and Christian schools and at all levels. The value and joy found in the relationships with other coaches and the athletes I’ve mentored bring special memories. However, there is a greater depth to those relationships when I’m able to coach while also sharing how much God loves each of us, enough that he died. There is no greater message to share!

At CHS, we (coaches) get to mentor, coach, and share God with our athletes through words and actions in every practice, every game, in the hallways and simply when we are together. This upcoming spring season, many of my seniors have played for me since they were in 6th grade. One of these players, when she was in middle school,  often grew anxious during games. When those moments arose, we had a verse for the season, and she would say it even while still on the court. Over the years,  coaching my players has provided a foundation of trust and respect.  Now there are many days when I’m sitting in my office and a player comes in and says, “Coach, can I ask you about something?” I’m blessed to be one of those people for them, as we look together for God’s will in life’s moments.  Our coaches at CHS not only love their sport, but love having a role in the lives of their athletes and, in turn, our athletes are blessed to have Godly coaches.

Now as we enter into the 2024 Spring athletic season, I pray for more opportunities for our teams to grow together, not only in our athletic skill, but in character development through teamwork. Let’s end this year strong!

This is Coach Katie Levis’s second year in her role as Athletic Director.  Prior to that, she was a classroom teacher at CHS for 4 years, as well as being a Varsity Coach.  Coach Levis has been a coach at the middle, high school and college level and helped start the first lacrosse team at her high school in NJ. This season her team will be focusing on Philippians 3:12-14 and what it means to ""Forget what is behind and press on toward the goal."

Introducing ... The Parent Teacher League (PTL)

March 07, 2024
By Deb DeBlasi

Your Christian Heritage PTL is not like some PTL’s you may have heard about. First, every parent/guardian with children enrolled at Christian Heritage School is automatically part of this fellowship group. There are no membership fees or sign-up requirements. Second, we don’t pin a gigantic flower to your lapel at your first meeting or event, so everyone will know to come up and ask you to help out. We welcome you if you can come to meetings or not, volunteer or not. All are welcome at our table. 

Joining the PTL is a wonderful way to meet people at CHS. I immediately felt welcome and included when we first started here. People were so kind, answered any questions I had, and gave me what I call “Good to know!” general information. The PTL leadership try to be there for families, answer questions, and help wherever we can. However, we also learn a lot from our CHS families! Some really helpful ideas have come from new families and finding out how they are navigating everything. (Literally….please click here to see our parking lot video!) My advice, don’t be shy! We love to hear your ideas and feedback. It makes us a stronger and more successful PTL. If you have little children and need to bring them to our meetings, they are welcome. We have had many babies, toddlers and preschoolers in our midst, and they always bring a smile (and for many of us, memories of when our babies were that small.) 

I am very blessed to be a part of the PTL Leadership Team. They are an amazing and dedicated group of people. They are Katie Dineson, Carla Ruiz, Gina Barone and John Naeher as our school partner.  We view our role as one of service, as a mission. Service to God through our service to our school community. Showing our children what it means to serve and to value the fellowship of our community. What a blessing that is for all of us. Getting to see students enjoying events, using the panini machines for the high school, learning through our gift of scientist presentations, etc. The students get to see kindness in action when the PTL Unsung Hero award is given to a staff member that may not get the limelight every day but whose heart, hard work, and contributions are valued more than they may realize. The children (and teachers/staff), aware that we are all in for them, means so much. Knowing they can suggest ideas or tell us about a need somewhere and that we will follow it through. Families know that there is another place for their voice to be heard because at the end of the day we always want to improve and do better for our community.

This is not something that is just available to people that might not work outside the home. We have people that work full time and part time too. You do not have to give 100 hours, or even ten hours to be a part of this mission. You can cover the bouncy house for 15 minutes at an event if that works for you! Every dedication of time is valued and appreciated. (Especially time spent at the bouncy house!) Sometimes people’s schedules are tough and they ask for other ways they can help. We have those available too. The important thing is knowing that you are a part of the PTL no matter what. That your contribution, whatever it is, makes a difference. 

You will see a PTL presence at most events. However, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for those events. We believe that “many hands make light work” but it can be lots of fun and filled with laughter too.  We even “volunteered” for the morning drop-off to assist with traffic direction and, of course, bring a smile and some awesome dance moves to our community. Whether it is considered a PTL event or a CHS event, most of the time, the PTL crew will be nearby! Some of the events we sponsor with help from our PTL community are:

  • The Dedication Picnic at the beginning of the year
  • Silent Auction
  • Pie Sale leading up to Thanksgiving
  • Appreciation days for Teachers/Staff
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Teacher/Staff Christmas Breakfast
  • Monthly Birthday Treats for Teachers/Staff
  • Mother (Special Person) and Son Bowling
  • Heritage Week Decorating
  • Heritage Week Desserts
  • Christmas Campus Decorating
  • Father (Special Person) and Daughter Dance
  • Mother’s Day Plant Sale
  • Fellowship/Learning Event
  • Food Truck Farewell Event – Year End
  • Scientist Hands On Labs for K-5 Classes
  • Grants to Middle School/Upper School
  • PTL Scholarship Program
  • K-5 Meet and Greet Café Mornings
  • The PTL Spirit Wear Store - All funds made go to purchasing new gear to sell in the store or sponsor PTL events. The store does not receive funds from any other source.
  • Available to meet new families for a cup of tea/coffee to introduce them to other families and make sure they are connected and feel welcome.
  • ‘Back to School Meet and Greet’ days to welcome new friends and catch up with old friends
  • Used Uniform Sale Program 

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

There is a lot of love and fun that goes into making our PTL successful. We are truly blessed, and to quote Dr. Dube, “We are different!”

Ways to connect with the PTL:

Deb DeBlasi has been involved in PTL for 12 years in both public and private schools, mostly in leadership or committee chair positions. She lives in Newtown with her husband, Rich, Son, Nicholas, and Yellow Labrador, Shelby.  They have been at CHS since Nicholas was in 7th Grade. 

Encouragement For Transitioning To Middle School

February 20, 2024
By Terry Miller

I recently had the opportunity to watch a video of a rare scene. The video showed a crab molting out of its exoskeleton. It is rare for humans to observe this process because as the crab outgrows its outer shell and needs to cast it off, it enters an extremely vulnerable state as it struggles to remove the shell that it no longer needs and moves into a new phase with its larger exoskeleton. This process takes time and is usually performed in solitude at the bottom of the ocean.

As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities between the crab molting and the transition to life in middle school. It is a time of natural and necessary growth, it takes time and can be uncomfortable, and it requires removing what is outgrown in order to fully experience the new.

For parents and students who are preparing to make the transition to our middle school this year I have three words of encouragement as you begin this time of transition. The first is to be flexible. It isn’t always easy to shed the things we have outgrown and move into the new path ahead. For students, sixth grade will be a time where they are expected to be more independent.  For parents, encouraging and supporting your children as they take on greater ownership in their learning is important. Adjusting to these new expectations requires flexibility.

The second word of encouragement for students is to be patient in the process. Just as it takes time for the crab to shed its exoskeleton, it may take time to become familiar with their new schedule as well as new teachers and their own expectations. It may take time, but students will fall into their new routine, and they will enjoy the many opportunities in middle school including new friendships, retreats, sports, socials, and field trips.

The final word of encouragement for students is, like the crab in the middle of molting, there will be vulnerability. Please ask for help. All of the teachers in the middle school team are eager to help students and parents through this transition. Christian Heritage has a warm community of parents and a PTL who want to support parents and students and welcome you all to the middle school community.

This spring the Middle School Team is also preparing to welcome our rising sixth graders to our program. We recognize that this time of transition can bring many different emotions. As we partner with our fifth grade teachers to prepare transition events for the rising middle school students we hope to replace worry or fear with a sense of excitement for the upcoming transition.

In the coming months there will be four different events for rising sixth graders each with the purpose of building a sense of community in the middle school, answering questions the students may have and building relationships between the rising sixth graders, current middle school students, and their teachers.

The first event is the rising 5th grade parent meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7:45a.m. in the CHS Barn.  It’s a chance to hear from faculty about expectations and have any questions answered.  Then, there will also be a lunch meeting when fifth graders join the sixth graders for a special question and answer time. The two classes meet together over pizza and the sixth grade students answer specific questions that the fifth graders may have regarding middle school.

Next, the fifth grade class has a visit to the middle school science lab for an experiment. This is a chance for the students to see the lab space where they will have Science class, but also have a chance to meet me and become more familiar with my role not only as their Sixth Grade Science teacher, but also as the Middle School Director.

Finally, students will receive a visit from current Sixth grade teachers to introduce themselves and deliver CHS goodie bags that contain a personal letter written by a current middle school student.

It is our hope as a middle school team that each student and family feel welcome and supported in the middle school community. May this time of molting be one where you don’t feel alone on the bottom of the ocean, but surrounded by a community who encourages you in your growth!


Terry Miller is an alumna of Christian Heritage School. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in education from Taylor University and her Master’s degree in education from Sacred Heart University.  She has taught middle school science at CHS for 18 years. This is her third year serving as Middle School Director where she works closely with students, parents and teachers to build the middle school community. She attends Calvary Evangelical Free Church with her husband Jeff and their three children: Ben, Sam and Kate.



Recent Posts

4/29/24 - By Lara Taylor
4/22/24 - By Brett Flowers
3/26/24 - By Katie Levis
3/7/24 - By Deb DeBlasi
2/20/24 - By Terry Miller


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