The Light


Preparing Next-Generation Leaders for Christ

"Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" -John 8:12


Letter from the Administrator

Wow, what a summer this was!

There was so much that happened at HLCS this summer to gear up for the school year! I thought I would use my letter this month to give you a glimpse into all the work that went on to prepare for students this year. It has been incredible to see God move in big and small ways. In addition to the building of the expansion moving towards completion, this summer, HLCS held:

  • A volunteer appreciation brunch to show gratitude for the many hands that serve the students of HLCS

  • Parade entries in the Harbor Springs and Petoskey July 4th Parades. We had over 20 families help walk in the parade and represent the school.

  • An Audi Fundraiser with 699 tickets sold, raising $28,000 for the school

  • Seven different work bees with over 1,000 man-hours of work to prepare the school for the year

  • Our first annual family cornhole tournament

We also changed and updated the following spaces throughout the existing building:

  • Our north bathrooms were painted and beautified by the Jakeway family

  • New high school classrooms were created in the old kitchen and staff lounge

  • A new staff lounge was created in a former chair storage room

  • The curtain was removed between 3rd and 4th grade and a wall was constructed

  • Hundreds of upper and lower cabinets for classrooms were removed from Shay Elementary in Harbor Springs

  • Cabinets were installed in six classrooms at HLCS

  • There was an extreme makeover in E-18. Our science lab became a Kindergarten room

  • The former kindergarten room transformed into a sixth-grade classroom

  • All of the hallways were painted gray, which complements the carpet that was installed last December.

  • 170 lockers were installed for student use

We’ve also welcomed 10 new staff members and 5 new volunteer teachers. We’ve celebrated Josh Ernst being named the Herzog Foundation's Excellence in Education Science Teacher of the Year. Staff and board members participated in 200 hours of Christian worldview training.

We have had countless tours for both supporters of the Solid Rock Center and potential admissions. We reached out to over 350 generous donors to confirm logos and names for the legacy wall in the Solid Rock Center.

With all this work, I am reminded of Colossians 3:23-24 which says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Thank you to everyone who helped get HLCS ready for this school year! On behalf of the entire HLCS staff, I am confident in saying it’s going to be another amazing!

In His service,

Kelly Dutcher

Mark your Calendar!

September 16:

Student Council Blood Drive 9-2pm

Family Fall Fest at Uncle Frank's Apple Town (5-7 pm)
September 27:


September 28:

See You at the Pole prayer gathering (7 am)

September 29:

Parents Night with Stefan Wilson of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview (6 pm)
October 7:

Grandfriends Day

October 19:

Pastor Appreciation Chapel

October 20-21:

Local Missions days

Our HLCS Calendar is updated continually and can be viewed at

First Day of School Photos

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Introducing Our 4th Grade Teaching Team!

We are happy to announce that we officially have an AMAZING fourth-grade teaching team! We are blessed to welcome Cal Prins, who recently retired as principal of Central Elementary. Before becoming principal, Mr. Prins has experience teaching 4th grade, and it's one of his favorites to teach! Cal will partner with HLCS special education teacher, Carmen Skop.

Join us in thanking the Lord for answering our prayers with abundance!

THANK YOU Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation!

HLCS was chosen as a PHSACF Grant Recipient during the Fall 2021 Cycle in the amount of $11,000 toward the new walking track in the Solid Rock Center- and we are finally to the point of being able to install it! We know how much use the Swordsman track will get, and we are so grateful to be able to offer a cushioned surface in the interest of preserving the hips, knees, and ankles of our community members!

Senior Leadership Trip

Our new seniors, the Class of 2023, completed their Senior Leadership Trip out West with Pastor Matt Burek and School Counselor Marla Redman! We love this tradition at HLCS for building relationships and inspiring adventure in our soon-to-be graduates!
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HLCS Sports

Sports Schedule
*Please confirm events prior to attending


13 - Varsity Volleyball at Alanson, 5:30 pm

13 - Soccer at Cadillac Heritage, 5:30 pm

15 - Soccer at Roscommon, 5:00

17 - Soccer vs. Pine River, 1:00 at HLCS

17 - JV Volleyball - Boyne City Tournament, 9:00 am

19 - Soccer at Boyne City, 5:00 pm

20 - Volleyball vs. Alba, 5:30 pm at HLCS

26 - Soccer at Skeels, 4:00 pm

26 - JV/Varsity Volleyball vs. Wolverine, 5:30 pm at HLCS

27 - JV/Varsity Volleyball vs. NMCA, 5:30 pm at HLCS
30 - Soccer vs Sault Area High School, 5:00 pm at HLCS

30 - JV/Varsity Volleyball at Ellsworth, 5:30 pm


3 - Soccer vs. TCBAA, 5:00 pm at HLCS

4 - JV/Varsity Volleyball at Boyne Falls, 5:30 pm

6 - JV/Varsity Volleyball at Harbor Springs, 5:30 pm

7 - Soccer vs. Heritage Christian, 5:30 pm

7 - Varsity Volleyball vs. Heritage Christian, 5:30 pm at HLCS

10 - Soccer vs. Charlevoix, 5:00 pm at HLCS

11 - Soccer at TC Christian, 5:00 pm

11 - JV/Varsity Volleyball vs. Maplewood, 5:30 pm at HLCS

15 - VB Conference Tournament at HLCS

18 - JV/Varsity Volleyball vs. Mack City, 5:30 pm at HLCS

25 - JV/Varsity Volleyball vs. Boyne City, 5:30 pm at HLCS

29 - Varsity volleyball at Boyne City

Please click HERE for the school calendar which is updated as needed.

Deliberate Diffusion with Mr. Ernst

On May 9th I received an email from the Herzog Foundation notifying me that I had been nominated for their inaugural Christian Science Teacher of the Year Award. Thinking that it must be a phishing expedition, I deleted it and laughingly told Mrs. Dutcher, who informed me that Mrs. Cope and herself had conspired on my nomination. A couple letters of recommendation, a few short essay responses, and an email later – I assumed I had completed my part in honoring the time they had spent on the nomination. I was wrong.

On June 29th, while being irresponsible and checking my emails while driving, I was surprised to find a congratulatory email from the Herzog Foundation, notifying me that they had chosen me as the 2021-2022 Christian Science Teacher of the Year – and inviting me to a Gala in Washington D.C. to be honored.

First thought: I don’t remember winning some lecture-a-thon, or competing in a test question writing contest, or dominating a classroom management skills challenge. But, after a month of processing, I am now to the point where I am just in awe of how God works.

22 years ago, this week, I was at football practice preparing for my junior year of high school football. I was also getting my bedroom ready to welcome my daughter who was due in November. I was being bombarded by people who were telling me that I had messed up my entire life, that I should just drop out of school, get a job, and accept the fact that all of the things I had been working for were now gone. My response? “I’m going to show you all how wrong you are.”

That’s how I lived the next 15 years of my life. “You can’t go to college.” “You can’t play baseball in college.” “You can’t become a scientist.” “No way you and Stephanie will both be able to get degrees.” “No way you guys are going to make it.” From Central Lake to Alma College to Northern Illinois University to Fermilab to the University of Chicago – I made sure to shut everybody up.

And one day, not too long ago, I realized that everything that I thought I had accomplished really meant nothing. Goals determined by worldly aspirations, driven by selfish desires. And the whisper I had been ignoring for far too long, that still small voice, got louder – “come to work for me.”

It didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t now. I didn’t go to school to be a teacher – never have taken an education class. I don’t belong in a one building school house. I usually don't even know what I am talking about most of the time. And yet, every step of the way, over the past five years, God has just continued to whisper in my heart, “love the kids, and I will do the rest.”

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what God would do – simply because I finally said yes. Just the fact that Mrs. Dutcher has been able to put up with me for three years, is proof of God’s greatness. But the relationships, the family, the fulfillment, the successes, the fruit, the meaning found – all the glory to God.

I know I am not the best Christian science teacher in the nation. I know, on my own, I am capable of accomplishing nothing of real worth. I am so blessed that I don’t have to do it alone. I am so thankful that I can lean on Him.

Thank you for all the support during my time here. Thank you for all the congratulatory words, notes, and messages over the past month. I don’t know how I could ever pay the HLCS family back for the way you have welcomed and come alongside us. I promise to continue to lean into the Lord, and ask Him to use me for His will in this place.

God Bless! See you at school.

- Mr. Ernst

Christian Worldview- Parents Night

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Want to Volunteer at Harbor Light?

Harbor Light is so grateful to have so many dedicated volunteers. We regularly need help in the following areas:

Foyer Greeting
Setting Up/Tearing Down Events
Cooking/Distributing Lunch
Lunch Monitors
Recess Monitors
Classroom Helpers
MS/HS Guest Chapel Speakers
Substitute Teachers
Spaghetti Dinner Committee
Mission Days in the Area
Field Trip Chaperones

If you have a desire to serve at HLCS, please fill out the following form.

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Coffee Time Schedule

At Coffee Time, we get a chance to see what students are learning and pray over the students and teachers before the day gets into full swing. Please consider joining us!
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Virtual Giving Tree

If you would like to bless our school in specific ways to start off the school year, we've compiled wishlists from each elementary classroom (plus science, PE, and a general HLCS wishlist) for easy shopping!

Solid Rock Center Update

Much has happened in the Solid Rock Center and the end of the building process is imminent. Completed areas include:

  • drywall
  • plumbing
  • most of the electrical
  • Main gym floor and the Legacy gym floor
  • bleachers

Currently, landscaping and grading, floor covering, kitchen finishes, walking track, painting, and the connection between the buildings are being finalized. The estimated date for occupancy remains January of 2023.

This year we are blessed with 205 students seeking a Bible-based
education. This is an increase of 25 students from last year and the third
consecutive year of at least 10% growth. We are using all available spaces until this building is finished and it is a little tight. More than just a gym, the Solid Rock Center will provide our students with a music room, an art studio, and a science lab. The commercial kitchen will serve all of our hot lunches (which is new for us!) and the new cafeteria will host all of our lunch hours daily, five days a week, and concession stands for games. The main floor gym will be used for gym classes during the day, practices during the evenings, and pick-up basketball games on the weekend. The Legacy gym (auxiliary, smaller gym) will be used for basketball drills and baseball practices. There will be a 1/10 walking track around the second floor which HLCS students and families will use, and open to the public.

We are also currently finishing up the process of verifying the naming for our Legacy Gym supporter wall. If you have given a gift to the Solid Rock at a naming level and have not received an email regarding naming, please contact Jennie Cope at

Lastly, there is still time to support this amazing project. The building construction is completely covered and this project is still debt free. However, there are still some needs for equipment and technology inside the building totaling $300,000. If you would like to discuss how you can get involved in this amazing project or you would like a tour please call the school at 231-347-7859.

Fundraising at HLCS

One of the ways HLCS help keep tuition affordable for families in northern Michigan is by fundraising. We do this in a number of different ways:

  • People-to-people, connecting with givers who value Christian education and want to invest in future leaders for Christ
  • Mailings to share a top need
  • Social media campaigns for specific needs
  • Events like the annual spaghetti dinner
  • Grants
  • and more

This year HLCS has three main fundraising initiatives for this year.

  1. Solid Rock Center (Equipment and Technology) - $300,000
  2. Beacon Fund (unrestricted funds used for operations and emergency needs) - $50,000
  3. Swordsmen Scholarships (helping families who desire Christian education bridge the gap for what they can afford and tuition) - $60,000

If you would like to invest in any of the above initiatives or would like to help with any of the above fundraising areas, please contact Jennie Cope at or call 231-347-7859 ext. 25

You are not only investing in bricks and mortar, or a student's education, or operations, you are investing in Kingdom purposes.

Opportunity to Sponsor an HLCS Grad

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Blood Drive

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To sign up to donate blood, please click here:


Has HLCS had a positive or life-changing impact on your life or that of someone you love? Please share these stories with us so we can keep letting others know what a wonderful difference we can make! Send your experience to


We are grateful to partner with Oleson's and D&W this school year. Receipts collected from these grocers may be dropped off in the office at any time! This is such an easy way to help the school raise money!