The Light

JUNE 2022


"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


Dear Harbor Light Christian School Family,

That’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone who made the last few weeks of school so special. From awards ceremonies to talent shows, to graduation, we had a great end of the school year. Graduation was joyful yet bittersweet as we bid farewell to 10 seniors. One of my highlights of the event was the fact that despite having 10 graduates, Harbor Light showed up. More than three-quarters of the chairs were full to cheer on those ten graduates. The leadership and impact of these students will live on at Harbor Light. I can’t wait to see the unique adventure that God has planned for each graduate! Congratulations class of 2022! You’ve made it!

School wrapped up two weeks ago, and summer is upon us here in northern Michigan. In the Dutcher household, we have officially shifted into summer mode. The beginning of summer is one of my favorite times to set goals and work toward achieving them. At times I can be a little over-ambitious with those goals and drive Jordan and the girls a little crazy with my lists. That said, it seems like a natural time to work towards growth and change. There seems to be a little more time each day between the lighter schedule and longer days to accomplish various tasks like reading more, completing a Bible study that’s been on my shelf for years, exercising regularly, or cleaning all of those closets that have been neglected for the majority of the school year.

A concept that was laid on my heart as I wrote my goals this summer is that we as Christ-followers don’t need to “do” a whole lot. We are not human doings, we are human beings. God loves us for who we are, not what we do. With that in mind, here is my God-guided list of goals, which does look different than previous summers.

  1. Practice the ministry of presence and spend time with new and old friends.

  2. Read and discuss the Bible with our girls daily, whether a verse or a full chapter.

  3. Treat my body as a temple by eating better and exercising more.

  4. Make memories by being radically present with Jordan and the girls.

  5. Learn something new.

We are also in the season of praying and setting goals for the upcoming school year. I trust God has an amazing year planned for us. Here are some of the verses that come to mind to guide in that goal-setting for our students, staff, and school-at-large for the year ahead.

  1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

  2. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

  3. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Thessalonians 5:11

  4. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

  5. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plan will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 tells us: “For everything, there is a season, A time for every activity under heaven.” I pray this summer season is one in which you can soak in the goodness of God and allow Him to direct your path.

In His Service!

Kelly Dutcher

Notes from the Nurse

Here Comes The Sun!

And on the Fourth Day, God made the sun for us and we are grateful for the light and warmth it provides. The sun emits UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. UV-A rays are the longest wavelength and penetrate to the second layer of our skin, the Dermis layer, causing a suntan and skin changes immediately. They also can penetrate glass and clouds, thus causing us harm. The Ozone layer absorbs most of the UV-B rays, and will hopefully continue to absorb all of the UV-C rays. About 5% of the sun’s UV-B rays sneak through the Ozone layer and can seriously damage our skin. UV-C rays from man made sources, like welding torches, lasers, UV-C lighting for germs, mercury lamps, or older tanning beds can cause serious skin damage. Our body produces Melanin that causes tanning and protection from sun damage. When a sunburn occurs, the Melanin is no longer able to protect the skin. A sunburn indicates the skin’s response to damage from the sun. What, then, is so good about the UV-A rays from the sun?


  • Kill Bacteria
  • Help with Quality of Sleep
  • Decrease Stress
  • Decrease Depression
  • Lower the Blood Pressure
  • Decrease Cancer Risk with Moderate Exposure
  • Elevate the Function of the Immune System
  • Increase the Synthesis of Vitamin D (which is difficult by diet or intestinal absorption)
  • Manage Calcium Levels
  • Help to Build Bones
  • Stimulate Melanin to Absorb UV Rays
  • Thicken the Skin for Prevention of Damage


  • Retinal and Corneal Damage to the Eyes, which Causes Cataracts or Pterygium (a growth)
  • Sunburn: Redness, Swelling, Blisters, Pain and Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Heat Rash
  • Skin Cancer: Basal, Squamous, Melanoma and others
  • Skin Changes: Brown or Liver Spots, Actinic (Solar) Keratosis, Solar Elastosis, Wrinkles and more
  • Tanning Beds are dangerous because the rays penetrate deeply into the skin
  • UV-A nail treatments in Nail Salons May Cause Hand Skin Cancers or Early Aging Changes
  • DNA Damage


  • Enjoy the Sunshine…..BUT PLEASE REMEMBER TO:
  • Put Sunscreen with a High Number on Exposed Areas of Skin 20 Minutes before Exposure
  • Reapply Sunscreen every Two Hours, unless You are Swimming or Sweating
  • Wear UV Filter Sun Glasses
  • Wear a Hat
  • Clothing that Covers Exposed Areas when Applicable
  • Stay in the shade more During Hours of 10-4

We hope you have a wonderful, and a safe sun filled summer, surrounded by friends and family.

Suzanne Sloane Bucci

From the Desk of Mrs. Beckman

Here we are again at the end of another amazing school year. The saying “Time flies when you're having fun” certainly applies here. This year flew by in the blink of an eye. I will once again say “ see you soon” to some amazing young people as they graduate. I am so excited to see these Seniors soar. I know that God has some amazing plans and adventures for each of them.

This year God brought growth to HLCS with many, many new students. It has been such a blessing for me to sit at my desk and watch all of the kids this year. Here is what I have observed…

We have some amazing kids- kids that have been here a long time and some, just a little while. Kids that love the Lord, kids that strive to be Christ-like, kids who exemplify what it is to be a friend, kids who have pulled in our new students and shown them the love of Christ, kids whose days are filled with laughter, kindness, and prayer as they have navigated this school year. Parents these are YOUR kids, and they are showing us all of the hard work you have poured into them outside of school.

My encouragement to all of you is to take a moment and go back to your first days as a parent or student at HLCS. What was it that drew you here and what is it that makes you stay? For me, the draw was a Christian education, Christian friendships, and a job opportunity that brought my family here.

I will never forget one of my first days here: I went to the middle school-high school talent show and sat in the back and cried. My heart was so full of gratitude that my kids were going to be part of this amazing community of people. I remember sitting there and being overwhelmed by the presence of God, and at a talent show of all places! I felt HIS love and joy in each one of the kids that day and felt so lucky to be a part of that.

What is it that makes me stay? It is the knowledge that God has placed me here. It is the peace I feel each and every day surrounded by HIS people, it is being able to pray with my co-workers and the students. It is loving each and every student that is here and being able to be a small part in their lives.

In May, I attended Senior Chapel and was overwhelmed by HIS presence. I was again holding back tears of gratitude knowing that I am part of the HLCS family. What a blessing it is that this is where I've been able to send my kids- to have two of my children graduate from HLCS, with another one on that path. I am surrounded by adults and kids who love the Lord, and live for him. It is so awesome!

Each and every one of us can be encouraged by this same thing. YOU are above and beyond blessed to be part of the HLCS family, a family that is strong in its love for the Lord, that is prayerful over its students and families. HLCS is a place that provides safety for our kids, a place that is filled with great teachers, role models, and good friends. WE get to claim this, be a part of this, foster this environment, and WE get to be a Swordsman not only in our school, but in our community.

Matthew 5:14-16 tells us “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

Be the light of Christ this summer, share your blessings, and go out and share with others what a powerful, mighty GOD we get to serve!

-Mrs. Beckman

Our Month in Pictures

Upcoming Events

July 4-8:

School office closed

July 15:

Audi Raffle Drawing (11 am) - Fletch's Petoskey

FEATURED ALUMNA: Christin Goldsmith

Get to know HLCS alum, Christin Mindel Goldsmith, Class of 2006!

"During my junior and senior year of high school, I was dual enrolled with NCMC. After high school, I continued my enrollment at NCMC pursuing education and graduated with an Associates of Arts in the legal field. I also attended a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission in Tennessee and did a three month outreach in Hong Kong and China.

I met my husband Phillip on a surprise blind date set up by his mother whom I worked with. I thought I was going to a birthday party, but it turned out to be a date! After 7 years of my husband working in the insurance industry, we purchased Wilson Insurance Agency. I became a licensed life insurance agent, but wear many hats at the office. I love working along side my husband and enjoy working in a Christian environment. Our children get to see a team not only at home, but also at our work.

I love to travel! I have been to at least five different countries and enjoy discovering new views of God’s creation. When in high school at HLCS, I served on the worship team and for 16 years I have continued to serve on the worship team for Harbor Light Community Chapel. Also, HLCS has provided such a solid foundation for my faith. Although I did not enjoy doing “bible journals” every week while in school, I now have a hunger for God’s word and always find something new.

I cannot express enough how much it means to our family to have all three of our children attending Harbor Light. It’s hard as a parent not to tear up when your kids come home singing Bible songs, praying for others, and being so excited to tell you about what they are learning about the Bible. This past year was our best yet!

My oldest son Crew started out at Harbor Light in preschool, but after being diagnosed with Autism, we had challenges finding the best fit for him. We tried two public schools because of the opportunity for special education, but not having a loving, Christian environment proved to be detrimental. We prayed about returning to Harbor Light and felt that God was asking us to step out in faith and that he would provide all that Crew would need. We enrolled, and within a few weeks we got a call from Mrs. Dutcher that they had hired someone to help with Special Education. Mrs. Skop has been God’s promise to our family and she has been an incredible support for not only Crew, but other students. Crew has transformed this year not only making leaps and bounds in his education, but his anxiety about school has diminished. Phillip and I both have a desire to support Special Education in Christian schools because this is dear to our hearts."


If you have ever walked through the front door during drop-off, you have no doubt met Charles Dawley, this month's featured volunteer! Charles also volunteers at Club 567 for Harbor Light Community Chapel and loves building relationships with the Middle School kids while being in a position to mentor them through the ups and downs of adolescence.

Charles is married to HLCS High School math teacher Sarah Dawley, and together they have been at Harbor Light for 5 years, along with their children Daniel, Benjamin, and Lauren. Sarah was the first K-12 graduate to return as a teacher! Charles and Sarah were looking for a school where the Christian values they were teaching at home would be reinforced, leading them back to Harbor Light. One of the things Charles loves about HLCS is the small class sizes and family atmosphere. Having attended a small school himself as a student, he values the connection that comes from being in a tight-knit community where it is possible to know every child's name.

During the regular work week, Charles has a career with the Little Traverse Conservancy, where he manages the stewardship of trails and preserves, and acts as the GIS (Global Information Systems) Coordinator. When you are enjoying an LTC property and you stop to find your position on the trail map, you can thank Charles!

Spiritually, Charles shared with us that God has been teaching him about patience and resilience, as he and Sarah are in a season of moving their 3 children from the "young kid" phase to the "responsible older kid" phase, and figuring out how to push them to help around the house and gardens.

You won't be greeted by Charles again until September, but summer is a great time to enjoy all those trails that he takes such good care of!

Thank you, Charles!

Audi Auction!

We still have quite a ways to go to achieve our goal of selling 1000 Audi tickets before the drawing on July 15th! As of right now, we have sold 300 tickets (210 of those sales being from our incredible students!!)

Proceeds go to the Beacon Fund, our general operating budget that helps us bridge the gap between what tuition brings in and what our total expenses are. Tuition alone does not cover all of our annual expenses, so we make up the difference through exciting opportunities like this!

Tickets can be purchased at Harbor Light Christian School, Fletch's of Petoskey, the Harbor Barber in Harbor Springs, and North Star Gardens in Indian River, or by clicking the link below, or the QR Code code on the right!

Currently, the car is parked in the Crossfit Petoskey parking lot, if you'd like to look at it in person!

Buy My Audi Tickets Now!

Swordsman Olympics

Every year, HLCS hosts the Swordsman Olympics, where all students K-12 get the opportunity to participate as teams in various games and challenges. This year we had a Bouncy House Obstacle Course, Bible Trivia, Tug-O-War, Nerf Archery, Volleyball, Cup Stacking, Bottle Flipping, and Rock-Paper-Scissors Hula Hoop Hopping.

Check out the video below to see the 1st Graders going head to head in Tug-O-War with HLCS Male Athlete of the Year, Caleb Ogden!

HLCS Swordsman Olympics 2022- Tug-O-War


Our 10 Seniors made it! On Sunday, June 5th, they received blessings from staff and family as we celebrated their achievements as Swordsmen and ushered them into the next phase of their lives!

The Class of 2022 is:

Dawson Badgero

Bobby Blome

Quintin Gahn

Noah Galer

Haleigh Geisler

Rosemary Hoffman

Jack Johnson

Claire Ledingham

Fiona Ledingham

Alaina Roush

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Leaving a Legacy

Michigan declared May - Leave a Legacy month, which is exactly what we are focused on next door at the Solid Rock Center! The Legacy Gym Floor has been installed and will be finalized THIS SUMMER! There is still time to sponsor a square by giving a gift to the school.

2 Creative Ways to Leave a Legacy for Quality Christian Education in Northern Michigan:

  1. Gifts of Stock are a great way to give a gift to HLCS.
  2. Leaving a gift to HLCS in your Will is also a creative way to leave a legacy for
    Next-Generation Leaders for Christ.

Already given a gift to the Solid Rock Center?

  • We will be sending out proof forms to all donors this month. It is time to decide what you would like displayed so we can get it to the printers by the end of July!

What will happen to the current HLCS gym floor?

  • We have a NEW gym floor for the main gym in the Solid Rock Center. The original plan was to disassemble the current gym floor and move it to the new facility. Unfortunately, upon exploration into the moving process, we determined that moving the current floor would not be in the project's best interest. In addition to the floor being fragile, the labor to move and renovate the existing floor area is close to the cost of a new floor.

Interested in finding out more about the current needs of The Solid Rock Center?

Check out the video below to see the Legacy Floor being installed!

Legacy Floor Update

Visiting the School During the Summer

Are you or someone you know interested in quality Christian Education in northern Michigan? Stop in for a visit. See below for more information.
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Help us Welcome and Congratulate New and Changing Staff Members at HLCS!

We are excited to officially share that God has provided an amazing team of teachers and staff to meet the needs of our growing school for the 2022-2023 school year

Next year's new elementary teachers include

  • Samantha Baker for kindergarten
  • Liz Gill, soon to be Liz Moore for third grade
  • Ashley MacCurdy for fourth grade
  • Amy Paulus for fifth grade

Next year's new middle and high school teachers include

  • Janae Ernst for high school math
  • Pastor Alex Norton is expanding his teaching to include a social studies course
  • Music teacher Maria Pierpont is expanding her responsibilities to teach an honors English course.

Other staffing changes include

  • Josh Ernst has accepted the role of Athletic Director, in addition to teaching science classes.
  • Katherine Johnson will step into a new role of Head of Elementary Instruction (elementary principal) and Reading Specialist.
  • Elsa Doornbos will take over our aftercare program, Squires Club
  • Stephanie Ernst is shifting to second grade

Please pray for our beloved staff members who are on to new adventures: Mrs. Blair, Ms. Gallardo, and Mr. Radatovich.


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.