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    • Thursday, May 8, 2014 Page 3The Chronicle-News Trinidad, Colorado Education Phi Theta Kappa inducts new members By Greg Boyce Special to The Chronicle-News Trinidad State Junior College inducted this year’s honor students into Phi Theta Kappa Wednesday night in a cer- emony held in the Leone Lounge on the school campus. Phi Theta Kappa is the International Honor Society for two-year colleges and is the largest honor society in Ameri- can higher education with more than two million members in 1,200 chapters across America. TSJC HONORS Photo courtesy of Trinidad State Junior College The students who took the pledge at the ceremony are, from left to right, Tracy Sanchez, Zachary Glorioso, Vanessa Gonzales, Daniel Lieberman, London Lusk, Kaitlyn Mantelli and Kori Mar- tinez. The Trinidad High School Prom Court is, from left to right, Jer- emiah Casias-Espinoza, Eric Luna, Rebecca Bowman, Abigail Bowman, Madison Lamden (Queen), Christa Rhoads, Dante Be- gano (King) and Ricky Waits. Photo courtesy of Louis Rino 2014 THS PROM COURT The Queen & King . . . MadisonLamdenisthe18-year-olddaughterofChrisand Jessica Lamden, and Dante Begano is the 18-year-old son of RandyandMaryBegano. TheQueenandKingreignedover this year’s Trinidad High School Prom, themed “Music of the Night,” with music by band director Charles Shober. The event was held at the Mt. Carmel Reflection Hall and Garden. Court Attendants . . . Rebecca Bowman is the 17-year-old daughter of Patricia Bowman, and her escort Jeremiah Casias-Espinoza is the 18-year-old son of Jolene Casias and Daryl Espinoza. Abigail Bowman is the 18-year-old-daughter of Patricia Martinez and Vincent Bernal and Gilbert and Carol Bow- man and her escort is Eric Luna the 18-year-old son of Frank Luna and Angie Marquez. Christa Rhoads is the 18-year-old daughter of Donnie Justus and Jenny Rhoads and her escort is Ricky Waits, the 18-year-old son of Amber Briego and Ricky Waits, Sr. Grace Christian School celebrates milestone By Steve Block The Chronicle-News Grace Christian School has certainly come a long way since buying the former Spanish Four Square Gospel Church and manse at 1001 Obregon Avenue in 1985. A lot of hard work, love and money went into remodeling the two buildings into today’s school facilities, and after many years of making payments on the property, church leaders were able to burn their mortgage at a special ceremony held at the school last Thursday afternoon. School Superintendent Jean Griffis spoke to a sizable crowd of students, par- ents, teachers and well-wishers before the mortgage was torched on Thursday. She passed around some photos of what the property looked like when it was purchased in 1985 by the school’s board. “As you’ll see from those old pictures, there were plenty of people who thought we were crazy to buy this place those many years ago,” Griffis said. “We want to thank all the wonderful people who supported us and helped transform these buildings into the fine facilities we have today.” The school has 34 students this year in grades K-12 and uses the Christian-based A Beka curriculum. Subjects covered include science, Colorado-, American- and World History, English, literature and geography, math and algebra, geometry, calculus and daily Bible study. Computer, art, music and physical education are also available as elective classes. The students work hard to master the challenging curriculum and it shows in their test scores, which are consistently in the 95th percentile in the Stanford Achieve- ment Test Series, according to Superinten- dent Griffis. Most students score at least two grades above their actual classroom grade, with many high school students test- ing at college level in many subjects, Griffis said. The Stanford Achievement Test Series is a product of the privately owned Pearson Education Group. The school’s building fund is responsible for repairs and the maintenance of the two buildings, and it is supported by an annual Christmas concert performed by the Wal- ton Brothers, who play for free. Tuition covers the costs of the school’s educational services, with an average tu- ition cost of $225 per month, per student. Tuition costs vary with the student’s grade levels, with high school tuition costing more than grade school tuition, Griffis said. The school is a member of Associated Christian Schools International (ACSI), and its curriculum is accredited by the Colorado Department of Education. Grace Christian offers a Christian education while maintaining and teaching basic and simple moral characteristics, in order for children to develop a sense of purpose in life. The small classrooms, in which a few teachers teach multiple grade levels, fea- ture a great deal of one-on-one instruction. Children of different age levels are not only able to — but are encouraged — to interact, offering one another motivation, healthy competition and respect. On Thursday, Griffis invited the stu- dents to come up and say an individual prayer, and elementary school kids sang a Christian song with coordinated gestures. Griffis, teacher Mary Sue Mangino and board member Bruce Walton, to the accom- paniment of loud cheers, ceremoniously burned the mortgage. Jeanne Galbraith’s twin children, Star and Skye, are both in eighth-grade at the school. She said she’s very pleased about their academic and religious learning expe- riences. “Well, I like the integrity of the teachers and the students, and the atmosphere of love here. They get to come here and learn about and worship the Lord,” Galbraith said. “They have an exceptional and ad- vanced curriculum that’s really astound- ing, and they really push the students to do their best, and to be independent thinkers and to be self-motivated.” Pearl Zapata’s granddaughter, Selena Gonzales, is also an eighth-grader at Grace Christian School. She said she was delight- ed that her granddaughter was getting such a good education. “The academics are fantastic,” Zapata said. “It’s Bible-based and the kids are great. They all get along together very well, and she’s known most of these kids since she was in kindergarten. She really enjoys it, and I love having her here.” Grace Christian School is currently taking registration for the 2014-2015 school year. Call the school at 719-846-6133 or 719- 845-8769 for more information. Limited space is available. MORTGAGE BURNING Photos by Steve Block / The Chronicle-News Mary Sue Mangino and Bruce Walton torch the mortgage at Grace Christian School. The faculty at Grace Christian School includes, at left, from left to right, Priscilla Santistevan, Mary Sue Mangino, Shandelle Mangino, Jean Griffis, Deborah Griffis and Christine Garcia.