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The Joy of Easter

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By: Dr. Gyertson, Headmaster

Before I came to understand who Jesus is, my favorite time of the year was Christmas. While often I did not get all I wanted in terms of gifts and particularly “peace on earth and good will to men”, the lights, the smell of a fresh cut pine tree and the carols and Christmas songs, lifted my spirit. However, after I came to understand that the Christ-gift who came at Christmas was to be opened at Calvary so I could receive the gift of life eternal with the Heavenly Father, the Easter season has taken first place.

What amazing grace God showed for rebellious and wayward humanity on that Passover Friday. And what unfathomable love He demonstrated by willingly sending His Son as the Passover Lamb to pay the price for all of us who will acknowledge we are sinners in need of the Savior. As Paul describes it so powerfully in Philippians 2, Jesus surrendered His crown to take up His cross so we in turn could become joint heirs with Him for eternity.

While the “Star of Bethlehem” remains a beautiful symbol of Christmas, it is the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb that dominate the message and meaning of Easter. Through Lent and into Holy Week I am seeking to cling more closely to that cross. Because of that “cruel tree”, you and I can embrace the greatest gift – the gift of salvation. The Babe swaddled in Bethlehem’s manger became the Man of Sorrows crucified “on a hill far away”. Given the fact, however, that “He is risen – and He is risen indeed”, the empty cross of Good Friday and the vacant tomb of Easter Sunday morning every day bring me Christmas joys that are indescribable, unspeakable, and full glory. May that be your Easter experience too!

Welcome New Football Head Coach Steve Bogan
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We are pleased to welcome Steve Bogan as Maranatha's new Head Football Coach. With over 30 years of coaching experience, Coach Bogan brings to Maranatha significant experience in building a quality football program and developing student-athletes. He served as the head coach of South Hills High School for 20 years. During that tenure he led his teams to 10 League Championships, reaching the CIF Quarterfinals 11 years in a row, and made 8 Semi-Final appearances. His teams have reached the CIF Finals 5 times, winning 4 CIF Championships in three different divisions. 

Regarded by many as one of the best coaches in Southern California, Coach Bogan was named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune Coach of the Decade (2000-2009), during which time the Tribune and CIF-SS also named him Divisional Coach of the Year twice. He has coached in numerous All-Star games and has been a presenter at a number of coaching clinics throughout the years. Coach Bogan’s teams at South Hills had a 32 – 12 playoff record (73%) covering three league and four divisional moves over a 20-year period. When asked about joining the Maranatha community Coach Bogan said, “Maranatha is one of the key places on God's earth that I see the Kingdom advancing and expanding. This is an opportunity and blessing and I am very excited to be a part of, and to do it while coaching football makes it all the more special. I feel that the environment on campus, the commitment to excellence, and Maranatha’s focus on Christ aligns with how and where I want to end my career.” Read more HERE.


Welcome New Facilities Head Randy Smith
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maranatha is pleased to welcome Randy Smith as the new Facilities Manager overseeing our campus. Randy joined TKC, the company contracted to perform Maranatha’s maintenance, last week. His TKC supervisor Laura Baccich summarized his duties as follows; “Randy will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the facilities department; including but not limited to, financial reporting and budgeting, long and short term maintenance planning, project management, operations of building mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, campus service contract management, and facility staff management. He will also build relationships with Maranatha High School faculty and Real Estate Committee members to ensure the facilities department goals are aligned with those of MHS’ leadership; and to safeguard the comfort and safety of the students, staff, and visitors.”

Randy comes to Maranatha with ample experience to fulfill the extensive expectations of his position. After earning his undergraduate degree in Religion and Philosophy, he received his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. Following his studies at Fuller, he ended up working in the Facilities and Operations department there for 27 years, primarily as their Facilities Director, managing 24 academic and 36 residential buildings as well as the grounds. During his time at Fuller, he also managed energy and utilities, code compliance, a number of capital improvement projects, and participated in several multi-million dollar construction projects, among other things. Read more HERE.

Maranatha Staff Making Connections
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Members of Maranatha’s faculty, staff, and administration often have opportunities to extend their reach beyond the walls of our Maranatha campus. We will be highlighting these opportunities from time to time in the Minutegram to offer a glimpse of the broader connections Maranatha’s staff make on a day-to-day basis.

Dr. Gyertson, Headmaster

  • Dr. Gyertson and his wife, Nancy, were hosted at a dinner with Dr. Sandra Gray, President of Asbury University, who had come to the area to present them with a commendation from their Board of Trustees on the 20th anniversary of Dr. Gyertson’s inauguration. Asbury is writing an updated history for their 125th anniversary next year and Dr. Gyertson is being considered as one of the three most influential Asbury presidents. Dr.Gyertson reflected, “The consideration is very humbling as I know it was more God than me!” 
  • Dr. Gyertson taught on James 3 at Lake Avenue Church on Sunday, March 16 and also spoke at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church in Northridge on Sunday, April 30.
  • Dr. Gyertson recently met with the leadership team of our neighbor HRock Church to discuss new partnership opportunities with them locally as well as in the sixty countries where they have ministry outreach. The goal is to establish a new era of partnership where we can seek to bless each other's ministries as we move in our respective callings.
  • Dr. Gyertson was filmed in two video segments for the TV program “Education - A Higher Calling” which were released on TBN this month. (His videos can be seen on our YouTube channel.)
 Read more HERE.

Students Respond to God’s Invitation to Serve 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By: Joel Murphy ’97, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries

I might be alone in this, hopefully not though, but our annual Commissioning Chapel is one of my favorite chapels of the year. There’s a profound and meaningful awareness that we’re participating in something eternal…a response to the words of Christ to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15-16).

As disciples of Christ, we acknowledge and own that we are a historical people sent into the tomorrows to bring the Good News. Like arrows of a bow, it’s our history which pulls us back to propel us forward. We have been sent by the One whom was sent for us. Read more HERE.

ACSI Science Fair
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On March 28, MHS Science Fair winners participated in the ACSI Science Fair hosted at Biola University. Ryan Cain took home a first place prize for his Lower Division Life Science project on magnetic levitation. Brett Richey and Michael Carter won 1st place for their Team Life Science project on the procedural memory of Ecuadorian crabs. Evelyn Thoen won 2nd place for her Lower Division Life Science project on the effects of freezing on bean seeds. Daniel Minassian won second place for his Upper Division Physical Science project on data track spacing on CDs and DVDs. Minsoo Sung, Mary Zheng, Chloe Jia, Molly Orchid, and Sage Polanco also participated in the Science Fair and returned with great ideas for next year. Read more HERE.

Become a Homestay Family for an MHS Student
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did you know that Maranatha has over 50 international students who live with host families in our community? We are once a

gain looking for Christian families to host for the 2014-2015 school year. Host families provide a dedicated bedroom, transportation to and from school and activities, and three meals a day--along with a welcoming atmosphere and TLC.

Each family is compensated $1200/month/student. Do you have the gift of hospitality? Do you have a desire to open your home to a student in need of a loving home? If so, we would love for you to join us in this unique ministry. Please contact Brandi Murphy, Homestay Coordinator with My American School, at (626) 222-6422, if you'd like more information on the program.


SMART Tuition: Payment Schedule Changes Can be Made April 14-18

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

During the week of April 14-18 you may change your payment plan to a full pay  ($17,085.00), 2 pay ($17,255.85*), 4 pay ($17,426.70**), or 12 month ($17,426.70**) payment schedule. 

If you like the payment schedule you are currently on, you do not need to do anything.   All new families will default to a 12 month plan and will not need to call in if they are happy with that payment schedule.

Your first tuition payment for 2014-15 is due June 1, 2014. Tuition will be due on or before the first of the month for your selected payment schedule with a 10 day grace period.  After the 10th a late fee of $100 will be assessed. Ancillary fees, (such as technology, books, sports, labs and others) are in addition to tuition and will vary by each student’s classes/activities. Please call Smart Tuition at 888-868-8828 if you would like to change your payment schedule.

** includes a 2% service charge

* includes a 1% service charge

Important Graduation Information
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Senior parents and guardians! We have ordered your student’s cap and gown and they will receive it after Easter Break. If you are looking to order graduation announcements, you can do so at  Be sure to select Maranatha High School on Jostens' website so you are redirected to the right place.

Important dates to look forward to are:

  • May 6 - Senior parent graduation meeting   6:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Graduation tickets will be distributed on that night.
  • May 22 - Graduation rehearsal – 1:00 p.m. at Lake Avenue Church (Students need to arrange transportation from Maranatha to Lake Avenue Church - Lunch provided for seniors)
  • May 30 - Baccalaureate – 6:00 p.m. in the Ambassador Auditorium (no tickets required)
  • May 31 Graduation – 10:00 a.m. at Lake Avenue Church (doors open at 9:00 a.m. tickets required)

If you have any questions, feel free to contact College & Guidance Counselor Gary Ho at (626) 817-4033.

Saturday in the Park with the Masters
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maranatha is proud to again host the Tenth Annual “Saturday in the Park with the Masters”, where all art enthusiasts are invited to come and learning from and paint with some of this area’s finest painters and instructors. This event will be held Saturday, May 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Maranatha. The Mid-Valley Arts League has extended a complimentary invitation to all Maranatha students and families.

This year, Maranatha has an even greater presence in this event than in the past. Our Art Club is officially hosting the event for the Mid Valley Arts League and Art Faculty, Mrs. Rouse, has been on the planning committee. We are so pleased to welcome Jim Schlenker, husband of Art Faculty Brenda Schlenker, as one of the master artists this year. Mrs. Rouse notes, “My classes and others have loved it when Mr. Schlenker has come in to do a demo for us and his resume is very impressive.” Mr. Schlenker has even won three daytime Emmys! We also have a number of other Maranatha community members involved including master artist Walter McNall, grandfather of a current student and three alumni as well as Mark Wood, the father of two alumni and frequent MHS Art judge, who is one of the main committee members. In addition, many of our students will serve as hosts and models for the artists.

During the day, artists chat with onlookers while they create a piece of art or two from our beautiful campus. Mrs. Rouse believes “one of the nicest parts of the event is the Artist Critique on the Academic Center patio at the end of the day where each artist discusses their piece(s) and takes questions. 

For more information, click HERE for the event flyer.

Freshman Reflects on Serving
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maranatha requires a service component for our students acknowledging that we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As a community, we strive to serve with compassion, love, hope, courage, and wisdom, for those in the Pasadena and Los Angeles areas. Students are required to complete between 10-20 hours of volunteer service per year and many students go above and beyond the required hours because they have come to embrace the servant model of Jesus in their lives.

Freshman Gordon Tawel is an example of someone who has embraced service as a part of his life. Gordon has been volunteering since he was young at senior homes, through the Boy Scouts, and more. Though he has completed his required service hours this year by volunteering with Door of Hope and Foothill Unity Center, he continues to serve. Recently Gordon spent a day at Paz Naz Church helping with their SOS program. The SOS program provides a day of fun for special needs children and their siblings while providing a respite day for their parents. Gordon has volunteered with this program several times over the last few years setting up the classroom, organizing activities, and playing with the kids.

Gordon says, “It makes me feel joyful helping others. It’s not only nice to put a smile on the kids’ faces, but the parents are always so grateful as well.” He admits that his parents raised him to recognize the needs of others and to extend a helping hand; however he understands the aspect of calling to serve through our faith in Christ. When asked why he volunteers beyond his required service hours, he sums up the Christian walk so nicely saying; “It’s just what people are supposed to do.”

iPad Connection
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Scholly Scholarship Search is an easy way for high school seniors and their parents to find money for their education. Designed to ease the scholarship search process, Scholly’s adaptive matching engine delivers a smarter, targeted list of scholarships for each student. Scholly remedies the current outdated process which requires that each student fill out long, tiresome forms only to receive irrelevant, useless results. Try it out HERE.


Are you looking for a way to take your Bible knowledge a step further? Scripture Typer is the complete Bible Memory System for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. Scripture Typer breathes new life into your Bible Memory time by actively engaging three separate cognitive areas: Audio, Visual & Kinesthetic (Touch) memory. Download it HERE.

Praying Through Our Departments: Finance & Minuteman Café

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Finance Department and Minuteman Café staff.

Our Finance Department would appreciate your prayers during this incredibly busy season with incoming students and returning students. Any of you who have worked with our Minuteman Café staff here know that they consistently have a “Mary’s heart” in a “Martha’s climate”. These two departments work hard behind the scenes to support our school community. Please pray a blessing on them that they may continue to be a blessing. Read more HERE.

DR Mission Yard Sale
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Dominican Republic Mission team is working hard to raise funds for their mission trip in July by holding a Yard Sale Fundraiser on Saturday, May 3. They are asking for donations from the Maranatha community. They are looking for clothing, furniture, athletic items, household items, and more! The more items to sell, the better! 

Items can be dropped off at the Rinkus-Laski home any time the week of the sale. Items can also be brought to any of the leader’s classrooms the week of the sale. (Mr. Randolph, Mr. and Mrs. Zambrano, and Mr. Winslow) If there is a need for large item pick up, please call Mrs. Sommers at (626) 862-8933.

DR Mission Yard Sale

May 3,  8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Rinkus Laski Home

470 Maylin Street, Pasadena
(2 blocks West of school above Orange Grove)

A Night of Scenes: April 10-12
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

By: Jeremiah Blessinger, Theater Director

Maranatha Performing Arts presents A Night of Scenes! The nights’ performances include six student-directed scenes from plays. In this co-curricular event, the Theater 3 students are directing the Theater 2 students. The stories chronicle chapters in all our lives from those awkward early years all the way to having to say goodbye to those we love. They are stories of the struggle to hold on and live purposefully. It will be an evening of laughter and tears.

Please join us at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena April 10-12 at 7:00 p.m. each night for an intimate night of theater. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door for $10. Seating is limited. Come out and support our Advanced Theatre students as they continue to use the talents God has given them to entertain and enlighten!

The Awkward Years

First Kisses

Directed by Emma Hausler & Kellie Natham

The Working Years

This Was Our Music

Directed by Collin Dillingham

The Hard Years

The Prisoner of Second Avenue

Directed by Lindsey Erstad

The It’s My Life to Live Years

Steel Magnolias

Directed by Grace Rosema

The Parenting Years
I Can’t Think of It Right Now

Directed by Hailey Gomez & Sierra Wesson

The Last Years

The First Fireworks

Directed by Ingrid Rekedal & Kat Chevalier

Phil Wickham Coming to MHS
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Maranatha High School is excited to announce that top Christian artist, Phil Wickham, will be performing at Maranatha on Friday, May 23rd! His song, “This is Amazing Grace” recently hit the #1 spot with the national Christian audience. Other top songs by Phil Wickham include, “Heaven and Earth”, “In My Love”, “Safe”, “Eden”, “At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh)”, and more.

Our ASB students invited Phil Wickham as their final student life celebration of the year. They were also pleased to design the event as a fundraiser for three important ministries including: our own Maranatha Missions program, and two partner ministries: Door of Hope and Elizabeth House.

The concert will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Ambassador Auditorium. Besides Phil Wickham, two popular local Christian bands: Urban Rescue and Talmadge, will be opening the show. Tickets are just $25 for general seating, with a $35 premium seating option to get in early. Tickets will go on sale on the MHS website this Friday, April 4 at 12:00 p.m. Tickets will be available to our Maranatha community for one week before being promoted to the public. Get your tickets as soon as possible as we expect this event to sell out!

Join us at 4:30 p.m. for a fun “Finals are Over!” party before the concert and have dinner and dessert for sale by four food trucks on hand including the Grilled Cheese Truck, Pie ’N Burger, Hungry Nomad, and Cool Haus. This is sure to be an event you won’t want to miss!

Spiritual Emphasis Week: Change Ahead
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

by: Joel Murphy ’97, Chaplain/Director of Campus Ministries

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is attributed to having developed the thought and doctrine of change being central to the universe. “Change is the only constant,” he championed. Now, if this is true, then why is this specific knowledge so hard for me to accept and live in?

Really, what is it about me (maybe you too, but I don’t want to project) that struggles to identify change as a good thing? Why can’t I surrender to change and interact with it as the necessary chrysalis which brings forth life? Why does change provoke so much anxiety and a sense that we are losing something rather than gaining something? Think about it for a second…is this your experience of change?

I humbly confess that I find change disruptive. It annoyingly disturbs the homeostasis of my life. It challenges my perceptions, false ones I might add, of safety and true growth. Change reminds me that I’m not in control…never was. Change beckons me to reorient my experience to His providential plan. Change requires trust, discipline, and faith that He is working in and through me to bring me to a place of wholeness and completion (Phil. 1:6, Romans 8:28, and James 1:4).

God is in the business of change; more specifically, eternal transformation.

It doesn’t take long for one to read the Scriptures and see just how intentionally committed God is to transform us into His image. The Old Testament is replete with character after character and circumstance after circumstance where the divine order of God, the Logos, envelopes the situation resulting in peace and restoration. Each of these encounters foreshadows the work of the Messiah, our Emmanuel, as He tabernacles Himself in flesh in the Gospels to live amongst us. His presence then and now offers us healing and a reminder of the hope that He is making all things new…that there’s “Change Ahead” (Rev. 21:5).

We invite you to explore how the divine and transforming work of God, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, can lead us to a more abundant life - a life marked by reduced fear and anxiety of future change. For we confess and live in this proclamation that though we don’t know what our future holds, we know Who holds our future. 

Talking Points with your family:

    • What do you associate with change? New dreams being born? Loss of something?
    • When was the last time you experienced growth as a result of changing something? Could be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.
    • What do you believe God might be inviting you to participate with Him in to change? Personal habits? Relational toxicity? Boundaries? Rest?
    • Where do you believe God is working in and through you to bring you into a deeper sense of wholeness and completion? Where is He transforming you?

Mr. Kolberg to Perform Requiem Mass

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

This spring, Mr. Kolberg will be receiving his Master's in Music with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from Azusa Pacific University. For his thesis, he will be putting on a recital inspired by the traditional Requiem Mass of the Catholic Church. The recital will be held on April 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Anaheim First Presbyterian Church. The event is free to the public.

Aaron Kolberg has been Maranatha’s Choir Director for the last eight years and it is no surprise when he states, “Choral music has long been a passion of mine.” He says, getting his masters has “enabled me to sharpen my skills, expand my musical history knowledge, and better equip me for continuing to make exemplary choral music and further the music program here at MHS.” He will also continue to use his talents with community and collegiate conducting opportunities.

The requirements for Mr. Kolberg’s program were that it must be at least one hour long and be exemplary of every musical time period: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. There must be an orchestral element as well, which he is fulfilling by performing many movements with strings, winds and brass, such as the Lacrymosa from Mozart's Requiem. This recital is the culmination of his graduate work, and includes the music of Schubert, Vivaldi, Mozart, Carissimi, Thompson, and Bach, among many others. Some of the modern pieces include works by Blake Henson, Frank Ticheli, and the premiere of a piece by Jeremiah VanSkike, another graduate student at APU. Mr. Kolberg states, “In searching for the repertoire for this program, I sought to select pieces that not only demonstrate the musical and compositional beauty of each time period, but also capture the spirit of choral performance, resulting in a moving amalgamation of choral history.” 

Mr. Kolberg extends an invitation to our community to his Graduate Recital. What makes it even more exciting is that all of our Maranatha Mixed Ensemble students will be participating in the program, as well as some MHS alumni, among others. If you are not able to attend, please be sure to extend your congratulations to Mr. Kolberg next time you see him.

Click HERE to view the event poster (PDF).

Comedy Sportz
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

by: Patti Davis-Simon, Comedy Sportz Advisor

Maranatha's Comedy Sportz Team played their first match of the year and won 26-25! Comedy Sportz is an improv club on campus that competes in games of improvisation with other schools. The team of Nathan Buchanan, Elena Santana, Tim Byers, and Jonah Daniels, with advice and encouragement from Manager Luke Simon, did an almost unheard of feat...they defeated the home team of Immaculate Heart High School located in Hollywood. Because a lot of the judging is based on how loud the crowd cheers for you, the home team almost always wins. The Comedy Sportz Team is scheduled to play against Crescenta Valley High School on Friday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Crescenta Valley. Mark your calendars now and plan on coming out to enjoy a LOT of laughs and support the team at the same time!

L-R: Nathan Buchanan, Tim Byers, Elena Santana, Jonah Daniels, and Luke Simon

Spring Performing Arts Showcase: Elements
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

by: John Wells, Performing Arts Producer

The evening of May 2 is going to be an incredible celebration of the performing arts here at Maranatha. It is the night of our annual Spring Performing Arts Showcase. It begins at 7:00 p.m. and will include performances from our Mixed Ensemble, Orchestra, and Advanced Instrumental Ensemble, as well as performances in dance from some of our best dancers here at Maranatha.

The evening is entitled, “Elements: Substance of God’s Design.” From a musical and dance perspective, we will explore the elements that make up our universe like fire and ice as well as air and metal and how God has woven them into His own tapestry of abundance and joy. The very best in the performing arts at Maranatha will give witness to the very best in God’s world. If you had a chance to attend our Performing Arts Chapel, and you liked what you heard and saw, “Elements” will be more of that, plus lights and special effects, and much more dance, featuring a wide variety of dance styles. We will be introducing our newly formed Advanced Instrumental Ensemble as well. Plus, this is the night when our performing arts seniors will be recognized and honored, so please come out and support them.

Tickets for this event are on sale on the performing arts box office webpage, $7 (+$2 service charge) for adults and $5 (+$2 service charge) for students. Tickets will also be available for students at lunch for $8 when we return from Easter break. 

If you love good music and great dance, and want the opportunity to reconnect with the beauty, power, and majesty of God’s unending creativity, our Spring Performing Arts Showcase will be a night to remember!

Student Seeks to Uses Talents in Career
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Senior Sierra Barrett aspires to use her talent in costume design in a future career. She has been accepted to both Kent State University in Ohio and the California Institute of the Arts to get a degree in Costume or Fashion Design. She is still deciding where to go.

Sierra jokes that “this is the only thing that comes easily to me,” and thus recognizes it as a gift from God. She is convinced that “using the gifts God has given us, is our gift back to God.” Sierra has certainly been able to share her talent here at school. Over her time here at Maranatha, she made all the “curtain costumes” for the Von Trapp kids in the Sound of Music. She also did Reno’s “Blow Gabriel” dress in Anything Goes as well as wardrobe and backstage help. She did costuming for the One Acts and served as the Assistant Costume Designer for Thoroughly Modern Millie as well as handled make up, hair, flowers, and some stage management. For all the show at MHS, she has also assisted with alterations. Read more HERE.

Aimee Niu Accepted to Prestigious Art Summer Program
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Congratulations to Junior Aimee Niu for being accepted to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Pre-College summer program. RISD is known for being a very selective school. To be considered for the summer program, Aimee was required to send examples of her artwork, fill out an application, and get a letter of recommendation from her art teacher. The six-week residential program that she will attend offers students a great introduction to the college art school experience. While living on the RISD campus, students follow a rigorous, college-level curriculum from foundation drawing and design courses, to critical studies in art, to focused concentration in one of twenty diverse majors.

Aimee is considering applying to RISD during her senior year. She notes, “This is a perfect opportunity to see the quality of their education first hand before making my final decision to apply.” Her hope is to study interior design, and RISD has an excellent reputation for curriculum in this discipline. She believes the hands-on interaction between students and instructors will be “idea changing” and she is looking forward to this opportunity. Her Art Teacher, Mrs. Barnhart added, “Aimee is an amazingly strong art student (as well as strong in just about every other class) and I know she has an excellent career ahead of her.”

DR Mission Prom Corsage and Yard Sale
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Dominican Republic Missions team is working hard to raise funds for their mission trip in July. They have two upcoming fundraisers that they would love your help with.

First, DR students are selling professionally-made corsages and boutonnieres for prom this week! Order by email to or in person in the Student Center by Wednesday at lunch and pick them up on Friday at break or after school (1:00 p.m. dismissal). Boutonnieres are just $15 and corsages are $30. Or buy them bundled for the discounted price of $40. Talk about convenience! Save yourself time and a trip to the florist, and support a great cause!

Second, DR students are gearing up for a Yard Sale Fundraiser on Saturday, May 2. They are asking for donations from the Maranatha community. The more items to sell, the better! Items can be dropped off at the Rinkus-Laski home any time the week of the sale. Items can also be brought to any of the leader’s classrooms (Mr. Randolph, Mr. and Mrs. Zambrano, and Mr. Winslow)  If there is a need for large item pick up, please contact Mrs. Sommers at (626) 862-8933.  

DR Mission Yard Sale

May 2,  8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Rinkus Laski Home

470 Maylin Street, Pasadena

(2 blocks West of school above Orange Grove)

iPad Connection
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Looking for an easy way to build your vocabulary to ensure that you receive the highest grades possible for your impending end-of-the-year research papers? You're in luck! Thesaurasize is a quick and efficient way to use your iPad to look up synonyms for words. This app boasts the largest collection of synonyms for the English language that can be found anywhere! Try it for free HERE.

Do you have a lot of forms that your student has to have you sign? Forms for things like field trips, special events, etc.? Has your child ever lost the form, and you had to complete the whole signing/scanning/faxing process all over again?! That can all be a thing of the past! DocuSign for your iPad or iPhone can save you time by signing documents directly from your mobile device. You can download it for free HERE.

National Football Foundation Scholar-athlete Awards
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Congratulations to senior Darron McWhorter who earned a $1000 scholarship from the National Football Foundation San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena and Whittier Chapter at their annual banquet honoring scholar-athletes. 43 scholar-athletes were honored for maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA in college preparatory classes, and demonstrating outstanding citizenship, leadership and community service. Darron was chosen following the nomination from MHS with approval of both his counselor and principal. Fox Sports analyst and former USC football player, Petros Papadakis, was the keynote speaker at the banquet, focusing his remarks on preparing athletes for life after sports.

Elardi Excels at Equestrian Jumping
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Congratulations to Alex Elardi who recently placed 1st in “The Hits Desert Circuit” national and international A-Circuit Jumpers Equestrian Division. This competition was the kick start to the season, welcoming over 3000 competitors from all over the nation, including Canada and Mexico. Alex placed 1st in the 16-17 age group out of 50 riders. She also placed 3rd in the “level 4” combined professional and amateur division out of over 70 riders. Alex is well on her way to collecting enough points to qualify for the big class at the end of the year.

Alex comes from a riding family and has been riding since she was three years old. She rides a Dutch Warmblood named Topaz out of the Bellaventage Stables in Bradbury. Alex loves the adrenaline rush of jumping and the sense of relationship with her horse. She belie

ves she is able to reflect God’s glory by investing in the talent He has given her. She also senses the majesty of God’s creation in time spent with these beautiful creatures.

Praying Through Our Departments: Theology and Campus Ministries

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Theology and Campus Ministries Departments. These staff and faculty have the privilege and responsibility of teaching about God's Word and other aspects of our faith with our students on a daily basis. Read more HERE.

MHS College Tour Deposit Due April 11
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In partnership with IST Campus Tours, Maranatha High School will be conducting a college campus tour through Northern California this summer from June 2 to June 6. Students will be visiting the following universities:

Stanford University       
UC Merced       
San Francisco State University
UC Berkeley   San Francisco University   San Jose State University
UC Davis   Santa Clara University   CSU Monterey Bay
UC Santa Cruz   Cal Poly San Luis Obispo   Westmont College
UC Santa Barbara        

Mr. Ryan Bell, Ms. Teby Wammack, and additional faculty will chaperone the tour. A $100 deposit is due to the counseling department by April 11. At least 30 students are needed in order to run the college tour. The full payment of $809 will be due by May 9.

Click HERE for the tour registration form. A Travel Release form and deposit will be required after you register. Please contact the College & Guidance Counseling Office with any questions at (626) 817-4030.


Course Catalog and Summer Academy Brochure NOW Online
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The 2014-2015 Course Catalog and 2014 Summer Academy Brochure are now online. Click HERE for the Course Catalog. Click HERE for the Summer Academy brochure. The deadline for registering for the Summer Academy is Friday, May 2, to avoid a late charge.


Dads' Dinner
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Calling all dads! We look forward to welcoming fathers of incoming, current, and alumni Minutemen to our 3rd Annual Dads' Dinner on Tuesday, May 6. Maranatha is hosting a complimentary barbeque tri-tip dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Dr. Gyertson, John Rouse, Brian DeHaan, and other leaders will be on hand to fellowship and welcome new MHS dads into the community.

Please RSVP to Lauren Obregon at (626) 817-4071.

Class of 2014 iPad Purchase Options
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Attention Class of 2014, the Technology Department is working to finalize the details of the iPad purchase program for seniors. Stay tuned to the Minutegram as we will be making an announcement soon on how our graduating seniors can take their iPads on to college!

Victor Escobar Receives Eagle Scout
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Congratulations to senior Victor Escobar for earning his Eagle Scout award! Victor has been part of the Boy Scouts since he was ten years old and has been a member of Troop 266 for the past six years. He has enjoyed all the outdoor activities, especially the high adventure events. For his Eagle Project, Victor chose to serve his elementary school, San Gabriel Christian School. He repainted the parking lot lines and trimmed the shrubbery around the parking lot. He was grateful to be able to leave something behind that he knew his alma mater would appreciate. Victor is currently waiting to hear from a few more colleges but he wants to go to a liberal arts school and pursue a career in law. He is also interested in learning about a career as a firefighter.

Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day is just two weeks away! Taking place on Wednesday, April 9, over 300 guests will join us at Maranatha for a breakfast, program, and campus tour. If your child(ren) do not have grandparents or their grandparents are not able to attend, we encourage you to invite a special family friend to join us in their place. Extra invitations are available at the Student Center Reception Desk.

This very special morning brings the Maranatha community together to honor our grandparents and special friends. Former faculty member, parent of alumni, and current grandmother Marilyn Johnson will emcee our program. Dr. Gyertson and Dr. Purghart will welcome our guests and share recent campus highlights. The Mixed Ensemble and Orchestra will perform, and student ambassadors, chaplains, and cheerleaders will welcome, serve breakfast, and speak. Finally, parent volunteers will provide invaluable support as they serve throughout the day. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the SIGN UP GENIUS website to register.

Questions about Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day? Please contact Lauren Obregon in the Advancement Office at (626) 817-4071 or visit

Upcoming Voting Opportunity for 2014-2015 Parent Association Officers
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Parent Association Board is proud to announce the new slate of Parent Association executive board positions for 2014-2015. The proposed slate will be voted on at the April 30th Parent Association meeting. The position of P.A. President is slated for Marlene Goldfarb and Kris Rinkus-Laski. The position of Secretary is slated for Elise Campbell and the Prayer and Care position is slated for Rene Bancroft. Please join us in praying for these amazing women who are committed to strengthening the involvement of parents here at Maranatha and benefitting the students, faculty, and administration.

With Marlene Goldfarb moving to the president position, the position of Hospitality Chair is now vacant. If you are interested in this position or would like to nominate someone, please email with your nomination. Please see the following job description.

Hospitality Chair:
 The duties of the Hospitality Chair shall be to welcome and foster community within the MHS parent community through hospitality.  This Chair will oversee Parent Association refreshments, welcome committee and events, PA end-of-the-year celebration, and various other community building endeavors.

iPad Connection
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

 Take control of your own education by equipping yourself with resources. Check out these twenty fun education apps HERE.

 Learn about the 20/20/20 rule and make sure you are advising your students how to properly view the iPad when spending long periods of time reading or studying in this informative article titled "Apple on Your Eyes".

Praying Through Our Departments: Physical Education & Athletics

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Physical Education & Athletic Departments. This includes our Physical Education staff, Athletic Administration, Athletic Trainers, Booster Club volunteers, and the numerous coaches that serve our students. These are the men and women who help our athletes learn more than just how to win or how to sacrifice for the game, but how to serve the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. These are the men and women who mentor our students and set our athletes apart to honor and serve the Lord. Read more HERE.

Booster Club Auction ONLINE now!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maranatha High School's Booster Club proudly announces the launch of their annual auction in conjunction with their golf tournament.  This year, for the first time, the auction is being held online to allow bidders the opportunity to bid from home, work, the golf course, the grocery store... wherever they might be!

You can now view the auction items online from your computer, tablet, or smartphone, register as a bidder, and start placing bids on your favorite items.  If someone outbids you, take advantage of the text or email notifications so you can keep "in the game."

Click HERE to view the auction from your computer, or

click HERE to view the auction on your mobile device.

There are many great items on which to bid, such as Lunch with our Headmaster, Principal for the Day, Premium Dodger tickets, Disneyland tickets, Stonefire Grill delivered dinner for a party of 25, the always popular 8 reserved seats and two parking space at Lake Ave for graduation, the reserved personalized parking spot in the Visitor’s Parking lot, foursome entry to the 2015 tournament, golfing at Brookside, Booster Club membership, and much more!

The net proceeds from the auction and golf tournament will benefit Maranatha's athletic programs.

If you would like more information about the March 28 Golf Tournament at Brookside Golf Club or the Appetizer Reception to follow, please click HERE.

Photo Club Mimics Famous Photographer
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Last week, the Photo Club held its 2nd “Jump Photo Shoot” of the year on the field at lunch. They positioned a white backdrop on the field and welcomed all students to come take shots jumping. The intent was to provide a fun use of photography for the campus and then post the photos to a photo sharing site where students can print or repost the image on social media. Of course, Photo students know that these photos have a historical context.  Philippe Halsman, a famous celebrity photographer from the mid twentieth century, asked his subjects to jump before shooting serious portraiture, to help them loosen up and feel less awkward in front of the camera. He's now known for his Jump collection of politicians, royalty, and movie stars from the 50's including Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Richard Nixon, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. “Although we've done this for 8th grade visitation days,” noted Mrs. Schlenker, “we thought it would be a fun and unique way of capturing our student body and staff as well.”

The Club’s Advisor, Mrs. Schlenker says, “The main purpose of the Photo Club is to find opportunities to spend time together around the joy and art of photography. Our hope is to plan excursions to local destinations to shoot beautiful and interesting scenes, to be an organization on campus that can be called on to document student life for publications and sites other than the school yearbook, and to use our talents in service to the Lord and the local community.” The club has already had discussions about teaming up with local Harambee Ministry to share their talents. Anyone who loves photography is welcome and encouraged to join. They meet roughly every other Thursday. As Mrs. Schlenker says, “The act of photography is a great way to meditate on the intricacies and beauty of the work of the Creator. This can happen while shooting the natural world, or honoring His people with portraiture and documentary photography.”

Maranatha Artists Win! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This year, Maranatha was limited to four entries in the Pasadena Woman's Club Art Contest, and all four students placed!  The contest is open to all schools in the Pasadena area and there were quite a number of entries. All first place art will be displayed at the Pasadena public libraries and will go on to a California State competition this summer. Congratulations to the following student artists:

  • FIRST Place Portrait: Aimee Niu (2nd year in a row!)

  • SECOND Place Senior Art Division: Michael Carter

  • THIRD Place Still Life: Rebekah Liu

  • Honorable Mention Still Life: Emily Yan

To view artwork click HERE.


Redeeming St. Patrick's Day
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated around the world and is commonly known for shamrocks, leprechauns, and raucous celebrations plastered in green. It is believed that St. Patrick died on March 17, around 460 A.D. and that is the reason we celebrate the holiday on this day. Although he was not himself Irish, Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland.

St. Patrick, although not officially canonized as a saint, was indeed a successful missionary. At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by raiders and transported to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. During this time of isolation, he turned to God and developed a deep relationship with Jesus. After escaping, he returned to Britain and enrolled in seminary and was eventually commissioned as a priest. After some time, Patrick heard from God in a dream, and was told to return to Ireland to preach the Good News.

As a missionary, Patrick was well ahead of his time. Using his knowledge of the Irish language, his strategy with the pagan clans was to first convert the tribal leaders who would then convert their clans with their influence. He was also known for praying for the sick, preaching the Bible, and using the arts to compel people to put their faith in Jesus. He was able to contextualize Christianity for the people by incorporating traditional Irish ritual. For example; he superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. Read more HERE.

Apply Now for Local Hands-on Foundation Experience for Students
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SPARC (Student Philanthropists Advancing Real Change) youth philanthropy program is an amazing program where students get hands-on experience operating a foundation and awarding grants to charitable organizations in our community. Students research organizations, make site visits, and are 100% responsible for awarding thousands of dollars each year to area non-profits.  Maranatha students have been a part of this beneficial program for the last five years. Incoming 9-11th grade Maranatha students are invited to apply now! Applications are due on April 11. A Parent Info meeting is available on March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at High Point Academy. Please visit to apply now.

3rd Quarter Report Cards Now Available!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

To access the Quarter 3 report cards, please use the following instructions:

  1. Log into NetClassroom
  2. On the green menu bar at the top, click on “<Student’s name> Grades”
  3. There will be a drop down menu with an option that says “Report Card”. There should also be a red “New!” next to it as well.
  4. When you click on that, it will open in a PDF. If you have trouble viewing this document, please confirm that Adobe Reader is up to date on your computer.

As a reminder, these grades are not a part of a student’s official transcript, however quarter grades must be at a C average or higher, or eligibility may be affected. Any affected student will be contacted directly by his/her guidance counselor.

Parent Association Meeting This Wednesday
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All parents are invited to the monthly Parent Association Meeting & Coffee this Wednesday, March 19 at 8:30 a.m. in the Commons (3rd Floor Academic Center). Besides great fellowship and school updates, we will be blessed to hear from some of our student chaplains.

Yearbook Senior Tribute Proofs

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

To all parents who ordered Yearbook Senior Tributes: 

The Yearbook Staff is finalizing designs for insertion in the Yearbook. Please expect a proof from, within the week, sent to the parent email address given on the order form. Proofs will be sent on orders that were designed by the staff AND as confirmation to those parents who prepared their own artwork. Please reply with revisions or final approval right away.

ASB Cabinet Elections

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ASB Applications are available! If you are interested in serving on the ASB Cabinet during the 2014-2015 school year, please fill out an application (available online below or at the Academic Center front desk) and turn it into Mrs. Graves (AC102) by March 24, 2014. Cabinet positions include: Student Body President, Student Body Vice President, Historian, Treasurer, Secretary, Public Relations and Spirit Commissioner. There will be a mandatory meeting for all applicants on March 24, 2014 at lunch in the commons to explain the speech and voting process. If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Graves at

Student Body President Application
Student Body Vice President Application
Historian Application
Treasurer Application
Secretary Application
Public Relations Application
Spirit Commissioner Application

“The Show” was a Hit!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If you missed “The Show” on Saturday, you can see pictures from this wonderful event on Marantha's Facebook page. Over 300 people attended the tasting and over 700 people attended “The Show”. Dr. Gyertson noted, “The professionalism of every act was superb. The staging and execution of the evening was energetic, uplifting and engaging. At each turn the headliners made sure that God got the glory and Maranatha was endorsed. The food court was well planned, with each of the food service entities doing a wonderful job of providing the best of the ‘tastes of our town’.  Chef Jason and the Minuteman Café stood so tall among the others present. I was so proud of our employees and volunteers, including our student Ambassadors, who willingly took on the extra duties to support this effort.”

Maranatha would like to extend a special “Thank you” to JR Ossman, the Event Chair, and Karin Wentzel, the PA President (shown above) who did the bulk of work and organization for this fun event. Dr. Purghart relayed, “It was such a celebration of life and love, all in glory to God. I really cannot express my thanks in words, for the dedication of the coordinators to Maranatha and to the teachers. You are appreciated by so many!”

iPad Connection
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Students: With the free MyScript Calculator app, you can perform mathematical operations naturally using your handwriting. You just write the mathematical expression on the screen, then let MyScript technology perform its magic, converting symbols and numbers to digital text, and delivering the result in real time! Download it for free HERE.

Parents: Now your child can study SAT vocab by playing games. Need we say more? Featuring nine addictive games designed to build essential SAT, PSAT & GRE vocabulary, the SAT Vocab app is perfect for students preparing for the SAT exam as well as adults continuing their lifelong quest to become expert wordsmiths. 

More than just a vocab builder, this app replaces the tedious flashcards used in traditional learning apps with rich and unique games. That means you’ll actually enjoy learning key elements of the SAT such as antonyms, context, and spelling, all while boosting your ever- expanding vocabulary. Download it HERE.

Praying Through Our Departments: Math

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Math Department. Last Friday, the Math Department celebrated Pi Day (3.14). Though we call the Bible “God’s Word”, it is also packed full of numbers, from numbering the very hairs on our head to the stars in the sky, to supplying a specific plan for building the ark and the temple, to prophesy of events that would happen years later. The Math Department has the unique opportunity to explore the invariable truths of numbers and formulas and see it through the lens of God’s handiwork. Read more HERE.

Praise & Prayer Night 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We hope you’ve marked your calendar for Monday night, March 31.

God has been moving powerfully at Maranatha! We invite you to come to the All-Community Praise and Prayer Night with your whole family. We are so excited to see how God wil continue to work at Maranatha when we all come together in worship and prayer for our community! Parents, students, staff, and friends are invited to kick of Spiritual Emphasis Week by praising God for his goodness and praying for His continued guidance over our community. Our Praise and Prayer Night is hosted by the Headmaster's Office. This will be a great time of celebration led by our student and staff worship team, student chaplains, and MHS staff. We hope you and your family can attend! 

Monday, March 31

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Maranatha High School Gym

For more information, visit

Maranatha Welcomes New Controller
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

As Maranatha grows, so do the complexities of our Finance Office. In a school with a budget over sixteen million dollars and countless departments, clubs, teams, and events, it takes a great deal of time and sophistication to manage all that goes on at MHS. To lend a hand to all this complexity, the Finance Office is pleased to add the position of controller to the department. The controller supervises the accounting department and assists the CFO in developing and interpreting in-depth, departmental cost breakdowns. This aids in the organization’s knowledge of where expenses and revenues are being used and can then help determine where they can best be deployed to further the mission of the school. Maranatha is thrilled to announce the selection of Phillip Tellgren to this new post.

Mr. Tellgren holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Saint Bonaventure University and has taken advanced accounting coursework at Saint John Fisher College. He is an Accounting and Finance Executive with over fifteen years of progressive financial leadership growth in the transportation, restaurant, not-for-profit, and banking industries. He has a background in computerized financial systems, process improvement, and reporting which has benefited executive leadership in the companies for which he has worked. He also comes to us highly touted for his excellent customer service as well as his interactive and relational nature. Read more HERE.

Prom 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Maranatha's Junior Class is proud to announce that Prom 2014 will be held at the Peterson Automotive Museum on April 4, 2014. The theme this year is “Masqued in Mystery!” Tickets will be on sale at lunch for $75 up until prom week, when the ticket prices will increase to $80. If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Graves at Download the DANCE CONTRACT, GUEST DANCE CONTRACT, and RELEASE FORM by clicking on these links.  All forms are due by April 2.

Senior Send-Off
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seniors, the Alumni Office has planned a special party to induct you into the MHS Alumni Community! Taking place on Tuesday, March 25 during lunch and 7th period, the Senior Send-Off will be a time of equipping you for your new role as Maranatha alumni. You can look forward to pizza, ice cream, and a special gift from the Alumni Office, as well as other surprises. The Alumni Office looks forward to celebrating with you soon!

MHS Golf Tournament is Just Two Weeks Away!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Maranatha’s 17th Annual Booster Club Golf Tournament is now just one week away! The golf foursomes always have a great time in what is sure to be a beautiful California day on home turf at Brookside Golf Course.

After some leisurely or spirited golf (it’s up to you), a relaxing appetizer reception awaits with wonderful auction items to partake in. Auction items include Lunch with our Headmaster, Principal for the Day, Premium Dodger tickets, Disneyland tickets, Stonefire Grill delivered dinner for a party of 25, the always popular 8 reserved seats and two parking spaces for graduation at Lake Avenue Church, the reserved personalized parking spot in the Visitor’s Parking lot, foursome entry to the 2015 tournament, golfing at Brookside, Booster Club membership, and much more!

Please REGISTER HERE this week to join us on Friday, March 28, 2014 for golf, the casual appetizer/auction reception, or both! Register by March 16 for the Earlybird Golf deal of $175 which includes the auction reception. If you prefer to come to the reception only, the cost is just $35. All proceeds from this event will go to support our amazing student athletes!

For questions, please contact Event Coordinator Scott Chamberlain at (626) 590-2170 and

Maranatha Student Award for Ministry Families
Friday, March 14, 2014

Maranatha High School is honored to announce two yearly awards to bless and commission Maranatha students of ministerial, missionary, and other full-time Christian service professionals.  These awards are given annually to two students who exemplify a “servant-leader” heart, both at their school and in their community.  The awards are in the amount of $5000; divided equally each semester and applied directly to the two students’ school accounts.  Recipients of the award may apply for additional years but preference normally is given to first-time award requests.  This award is based on two Scriptures.  The first is II Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”  This award is “seed” money to bless the Maranatha students of ministerial families, knowing that God provides the harvest.  The second Scripture is Mark 10:45:  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  In the same way, Maranatha desires to commend and bless students who choose to follow God’s calling to serve others. Read more HERE.

iPad Connection
Friday, March 14, 2014

Students: Are you looking for an easy way to create flashcards to help you study? Check out Flashcards [+] for free on the iTunes App Store! Create your own flashcards with rich text and pictures, or choose from pre-made flashcards on hundreds of subjects!

Parents: Do you follow your student's progress at Maranatha on Edmodo, Schoology, but find it hard to get free time to log on to your computer to check on them? There may be a more efficient way to follow your student's daily progress! If you have a smartphone or other mobile device that uses either the iTunes or Android store, then try downloading the mobile apps for Edmodo and Schoology. They are free, and you won't have to keep logging in to your account each and every time!

Click the icons below to download any of these apps.

Prayer for our Departments: Advancement
Friday, March 14, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Advancement Office. As we press through the season of lent, preparing our hearts for Easter… we remember Jesus’ story is the greatest story ever told!  May we all be “marketers” for His kingdom, and loving “advancers” of the redeeming love of Christ.

 Read more HERE.

Maranatha Prepares for Accreditation
Thursday, March 13, 2014

By: Michelle Purghart, Ed.D, Principal

Maranatha received accreditation for six years in 2010 by the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) agencies. In preparation for a spring 2016 visit, Maranatha is now preparing for a comprehensive analysis of every area of the school, from the academic program to finance, to facilities and co-curricular offerings, as well as the strategic plan. The process of accreditation is a time to ensure that Maranatha is optimized in efficiencies and effectiveness, providing the highest quality of life-transforming experiences in the most accessible and affordable ways possible. Since the reaffirmation of accreditation usually begins two years prior to the visit, Maranatha has begun planning the steps for the self-evaluation process at this time. Although evaluating the success of student learning in a Christ-revering context is ongoing, the accreditation protocol ensures that all stakeholders are involved in the process of setting next steps to take Maranatha to the next level of excellence. 

Maranatha is in the process of choosing its Leadership Team for the accreditation subcommittees and will then be adding all faculty and staff to one or more of the committees. Students, parents, and trustees will also be asked to serve on all of the committees. This inclusive process allows for a great deal of buy-in from all stakeholders to the future direction of Maranatha High School. Read more HERE.

Athletic Director to Receive Award
Thursday, March 06, 2014

Maranatha’s Athletic Director, Brian DeHaan, will be honored as the Norm MacKenzie Athletic Director of the Year at the California State Athletic Director Association (CSADA) Conference in April. The award letter states, “Your peers have recognized you for the work and dedication that you have given to your school, community, and section.”  Brian was nominated by the CIF-Southern Section as their representative at the State level. This is Mr. DeHaan’s 7th year of service as Athletic Director at Maranatha High School and the CIF-Southern Section, but the first under the CSADA umbrella. Brian has been honored in the past as the 2009 and 2010 Pasadena Star News Baseball Coach of the Year, 2010 CIF Division 5 Baseball Coach of the Year, as well as the 2005 Azusa High School Coach of the Year, where his passion for impacting the development of young people through athletics got started.

Dr. Purghart explains, “We are so proud of Brian's work as Maranatha's Athletic Director over the years. He has elevated the Athletic Program in terms of skill development, professional ethics, mentorship, athleticism, coaching staff, and overall league standing, all in a committed Christ-revering context. Each year the growth of the program is evident under his leadership, and it is wonderful that he has been recognized for his efforts, dedication and overall leadership. Brian is truly deserving of this award, and I am privileged to call him my colleague.”

Maranatha Science Fair Results

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Last week our future scientists had the chance to show their stuff at Maranatha’s 3rd annual Science Fair.

Finalists were selected by a panel of judges including Research Scientist John Hillard, Neurologist Dr. Charles Niesen, Osteopath Dr. Hoang Tran, Computer Research Specialist Chen Tiow, MD Candidate Leanna Wise, Mechanical Engineer Nick Wise, and Human Resource Manager Cindy Nam. After an initial review, the board finalists sat for oral interviews. 

The Awards Ceremony was held on Wednesday, February 26.  Some special awards were given for:

  • Best Use of Photography: Lance Lorca
  • Most Creative Science Fair Project: Amanda Jiang
  • Best Design: Keila Asaoka

The top project in each category was as follows:

  • Lower Life Science: Evelyn Thoen - The Effects of Freezing on Bean Seeds

  • Upper Life Science: Sarah Dixit – White Noise
  • Lower Physical Science: Ryan Cain – Viable Applications of Magnetic Levitation in our Future

  • Upper Physical Science: Daniel Minassian – Data Track Spacing on CDs and DVDs
  • Behavioral Science: Keila Asaoka – That Makes Cents

  • Team Behavioral Science: Emma Cate and Lydia Dreyer – Study Habits
  • Team Life Science: Michael Carter and Brett Richey – Procedural Memory of Ecuadorian Crabs
  • Team Lower Physical Sciences: Mary Zheng and Chloe Jia – The Current in Series and Parallel Circuit

  • Team Upper Physical Science: Jacky Vasantachat and Alyssa Wentzel – The Affect of Color on Heat Absorption

Read more HERE.

Science Olympiad

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Congratulations to the Science Olympiad Team for their performance at the Los Angeles County Science Olympiad held at Occidental College last week. We had 14 students compete with schools of all sizes in multiple events with Mr. Wurtz as their coach. Students Nancy Zhu and David Zhang got first place in the "Boomilever" competition and Flora Liu and David Zhang got first in "Elastic Launched Glider". We also got 6th place in "Scrambler". Students received individual medals for those events. Some students took tests that they had prepared for the day of the Olympiad, but the students mentioned above worked for months designing and building their glider and boomilever that were tested on Saturday. See full results HERE.

Missions Students Need your Help
Thursday, March 06, 2014

Over 125 students and staff at Maranatha are in the process of raising approximately $175,000 to participate in f

our different missions’ opportunities locally in Pasadena, as well as in New Orleans, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Currently our teams have raised almost $40,000 and they need your help to get them all the way!

So far, we have asked students not to solicit current families, so we look to you to be generous with our students. What an exciting opportunity to support our future leaders who already have a desire to give back and make a difference in our world!

Missions donations may be made on Maranatha’s website: Under “designation”, please select “missions” and feel free to make your gift in honor of a particular team or missionary if desired under the comments section. (See student teams and missionaries at bottom.)

Aside from seeking financial partnership, several Maranatha student missionaries are also offering up their skills and services to raise funds for the 2014 short-term missions. Please do not hesitate to contact the missionaries listed below to give them an opportunity to earn their support. Call or click their name below to email them.  Students may come in pairs unless mutually agreed upon with the parents. Read more HERE.

Praying Through Our Departments: English Department and Learning Lab

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our English Department and Learning Lab.

English Department: Abby Barrantes, Kristen Johansen, Marilee Malott, David Martinez, Pat Mesisca, Tiffany O’Rourke, Vonnie Savage, and Kerry Roche

Learning Lab:  Becky Kuchenski and Gretchen Pleuss

Read more HERE.

Senior Rafting & Grad Nite!
Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Senior Class has two very exciting opportunities coming up right before Graduation. Our Senior Class will attend Grad Nite at Disneyland on May 24, 2014 and will also attend our annual Senior Rafting Trip from May 27-29 on the Kings Rivers in Yosemite National Park. To sign up for these trips, please fill out the registration form and return it to Mrs. Graves by March 21 to reserve your spot.

If you have any questions please feel free to email Mrs. Graves at Read more HERE.

Play Pictures?
Thursday, March 06, 2014

Weren’t able to see the play “Fools?” At least you can see pictures of it, and many more Maranatha events like the Science Fair, on Facebook. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram today at MaranathaHighSchool, or Twitter at: Maranatha_High.

iPad Connection
Thursday, March 06, 2014

Parents: The 4th quarter of our school year is almost here! This means that Spring Break is quickly approaching! Are you looking for fun and educational apps to keep your student's brain functioning at the high level? With the free Learnist app, you and your student can learn amazing things from experts from all over the world! Things like the Physics of Snowboarding, Science Experiments You Can Do with students, or even exploring the Blue Mountains of Jamaica! Download it for free here.

Students: Do you have classes that require you to find articles about current events on a consistent basis? If so, the new TIME Magazine app for your iPad Mini could be the app for you! It is a free app that has bookmarking and archive capabilities. This means that you can also view past and commemorative issues of the magazine as well! Try out the app for free here.

Headmaster Provides Context Through “Maranatha 2020” Document

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

During his first six months, Dr. Gyertson spent time on an intensive strategic analysis that included listening and evaluating the state of Maranatha as well as reflecting on where Maranatha might be able to go in the future. This was a key first step, laying the groundwork for the upcoming reaffirmation of our accreditation which will start in earnest this summer. The goal of accreditation is that a school would perform a thorough self-assessment and then develop a growth and improvement plan to guide the school over the next six years until the next reaffirmation in the year 2020.

Through analysis and reflection, Dr. Gyertson has set the stage for our upcoming accreditation journey in his “Maranatha 2020” document. With a new leader, it’s common to wonder what their vision is. This document can be viewed somewhat as a casting of that vision, but more as a framework for setting that vision together. As Dr. Gyertson says, “My job is to catalyze discussions on where we could go – not to define it.” Our Headmaster sees himself more as the conductor of an orchestra of which everyone plays an instrument and has expertise and interpretation to bring to the overall arrangement. Dr. Gyertson’s “2020” document lays out the major themes of Maranatha’s overture.

As you read the “2020” document, you will see three clear themes. First, Dr. Gyertson seeks that Maranatha would be about, “stretching minds, cradling hearts, and equipping hands so students can discover and embrace the future God already has planned for them.”  Secondly, Maranatha needs to optimize everything we are doing to provide the highest quality life transforming experience. Finally, we need to be “future oriented in curriculum, programs, and methodology so students are exceptionally prepared for the callings they will serve.” Within these parameters, Dr. Gyertson has laid the possibility of greater opportunities for Maranatha to be a strategic global resource for Christ-revering, life-transforming education. This is where the conversation starts and as members of our community, you are invited to be a part of it. Read “MARANATHA 2020” by Dr. Gyertson today!


MHS Presents Fools this Week!
Thursday, February 27, 2014

Neil Simon’s comedy Fools will run February 27 through March 1, 2014 at the Ambassador. You will laugh at the absurdity of this little Russian village cursed with Chronic Stupidity, and feel very much a part of the town as you sit on stage with an audience of just 160 per performance!

Tickets are now on sale: $10 for the general public and $8 for students. Performances start nightly at 7:00 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m.  Guests can save $1 per ticket by purchasing their tickets in advance online at Because of the unique way this show is being staged, seats are truly limited… so get yours early.

     Volunteers are still needed to help usher, or assist with the concessions, etc.  If you'd be willing to volunteer a few hours of your time, we'd be most grateful!  Visit SignUp Genius HERE to view the available opportunities and time slots.

Maranatha Staff Making Connections

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Members of Maranatha’s faculty, staff, and administration often have opportunities to extend their reach beyond the walls of our Maranatha campus. We will be highlighting these opportunities from time to time in the Minutegram to offer a glimpse of the broader connections Maranatha’s staff make on a day to day basis.

Dr. David Gyertson, Headmaster

Dr. Gyertson was asked to sit on the Biola University Board of Trustees and recently attended their training session conducted by Dr. Greg Baylor, a leading constitutional law litigator on the trends in religious liberty for faith-based organizations.

In February, he attended the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities annual conference, held this year in Los Angeles. This association includes over 175 Christ-centered colleges and universities in the US and around the world including Biola, Azusa Pacific, Westmont, Point Loma, Wheaton, etc.  He participated in a workshop of former Presidents discussing several topics including the future of Christian higher education.

Just last week, Dr. Gyertson spoke to a group of first-time Christian University Presidents in Phoenix on the topic of challenges facing leaders of Christ-Centered educational institutions. Read more HERE.

Chapel Series Starting this Week: "Why"
Thursday, February 27, 2014

By: Joel Murphy ’97, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries
Mark 2:8 “Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things…?”

I think each of us knows from our own experience that we are hard-wired with an insatiable curiosity to ask questions and seek explanations. Just spend time with my 3-year-old daughter, Tatum, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve been created with a fixation to probe into the depths of spirit, mind, and body like no other creation.

Throughout our human experience, in every season of life, our desire for knowledge, truth, and wisdom remains steadfast. Early on, for a variety of reasons, children demonstrate an uncanny ability to live in this intrinsic truth-seeking capacity. Developmentally, we then spend a host of the later years questioning our initial findings. As we’ve grown, we’ve deemed them either intellectually incomplete or with such a biased presupposition that it tainted the outcome. Now, it should be noted that this is actually a very healthy exercise to partake in; our faith and experience should always seek understanding (St. Anselm). Read More HERE.

Trademarking Maranatha’s Logos
Thursday, February 27, 2014

As exposure and recognition of our school continue to grow, we have undergone the process of trademarking our school marks (logos) in order to preserve our school’s identity. We are working with our attorney and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register our logos to ensure exclusive rights to these identifying marks. 

Trademarking of our “M” logo, logotype, and school seal (seen below) will help preserve the integrity of the school’s mission and beliefs as we deliver on our promise to provide a Christ-centered, college preparatory education.

As always, the use of Maranatha’s marks is limited to the school’s discretion and permission must be obtained to utilize them. Please contact the school’s Marketing Office if you’d like more information.

“The Show:” Maranatha’s Annual Benefit Hosted by the Parent Association
Thursday, February 27, 2014

Students enjoyed a special sneak peek of “The Show” at the lunchtime “Mini-Show” today. In addition to hearing Linda "Peaches" Tavani of Peaches & Herb sing, students enjoyed fun competitions and give aways. Junior Emma Hausler also sang for a chance to perform at "The Show." If you weren’t able to attend, ask a student all about it. Read more HERE.

Emcee Steve Tavani and Linda "Peaches" Tavani led a high-energy lunchtime jam today to promote the upcoming annual benefit "The Show" on March 15.  Seen here closing the show with "Lean on Me".


Praying Through Our Departments: Science

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Science Department.

Go outside and meditate on God’s handiwork; or look in a microscope and praise God’s minute attention to detail. Stand amazed! Be still and aware He is the Alpha and Omega, the Creator-God; He is interesting, mysterious, awesome, wondrous, all powerful, unique, eternal, creative, beautiful, beyond, and yet intimately involved. Our Science Department has the awesome privilege to teach our students all about God’s creation and the intricate attributes therein.

Please pray for: Allen Jang, Jennifer Magnone, Lonnita Smith-Russell, Shaneka Woods, and Brian Wurtz. Read more HERE.


iPad Connection
Thursday, February 27, 2014

Students: Are you having trouble lately logging on to the Internet here at school? If so, please follow the simple steps in this great tutorial created by our IT Director, Stephen Wyles. Click HERE to view the tutorial.  Questions and concerns for this and any other technology-related issues can be submitted from this site as well.

Parents: If you're student is having any kind of technical issue with their iPad, we are here to help! Please email your issue to the Technology Help Desk at, and someone will generally be in touch with you within 24 hours!

Seattle Seahawks Coach Seto Speaks at Maranatha

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Just nine days after winning the Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks Defensive Passing Game Coordinator Rocky Seto spoke to the entire Maranatha student body at a special assembly. As a committed Christian, Coach Seto’s theme was, “Jesus is Better than the Super Bowl,” a perfect fit with our intentionally Christ-centered mission.

The assembly opened with the “Making of a Champion” video which shared about Coach Seto and a number of other Christian Seahawk coaches and players. Then Coach Seto’s local pastor, Reverend Cory Ishida, of Evergreen Baptist Church, introduced Rocky.

Coach Seto shared a number of important messages about hard work, using our gifts, and fame. First, he shared what a long road it was to get to the Super Bowl. Excellence does not come without years of hard work. He revealed that Head Coach Carroll emphasizes effort and hard work even before technique. Relating that to the Christian faith, he shared, “Jesus is the center of our lives and we need to keep the main thing (Christ), the main thing.” Coach Seto also encouraged students to use their gifts, whatever they may be, to honor Christ. He urged students to strive for excellence and use their opportunities and leadership in the world for good. Finally, he shared a little about fame. On waking up the day after winning the Super Bowl Seto said, “I was exactly the same person.” Even as a young player at USC, Rocky realized that “as great as it was playing for USC, something was missing.” Coach Seto understands that buildings, logos, clothes, and fame are all temporal and his faith in Christ is the one eternal thing in life.

After the Super Bowl, reporters and fans rushed the field to congratulate the winners. What you may not have seen on TV is what Coach Seto and a number of other players did; before speaking with reporters, they met on the 50 yard line and thanked God. Students and staff were grateful to hear this inspiring message of faith and the work of God’s hand in the NFL.

Athletic Director Brian DeHaan said, “Rocky is a ‘San Gabriel kid’ and he has always found a way to give back to the community he comes from.  His message of meeting the needs of others by sharing the love of Christ transforms lives and relationships. Maranatha is blessed to have a friend like Rocky who speaks truth into the lives of those he meets. The video showed has been viewed by over a million people worldwide and both Rocky and those featured in the video understand that God gives so we can abundantly proclaim Christ’s love and glory.”

Pictured above (L-R): Rev. Cory Ishida, Dr. Gyertson, Coach Seto, and Brian DeHaan

Stay Connected with Maranatha through Social Media
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Looking for more ways to stay on top of Maranatha’s news? For all our social media enthusiasts that delight in regular updates right to your phone or other mobile device, join us on Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter (not to mention Youtube and LinkedIn). Please like, follow, or subscribe to MHS social media today!

     Facebook      MaranathaHighSchool
  Instagram   MaranathaHighSchool
  Twitter   Maranatha_High
  YouTube   MaranathaPasadena
  LinkedIn   Maranatha-High-School
Maranatha Student Award for Ministry Families
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Maranatha High School is honored to announce two yearly awards to bless and commission Maranatha students of ministerial, missionary, and other full-time Christian service professionals.  These awards are given annually to two students who exemplify a “servant-leader” heart, both at their school and in their community.  The awards are in the amount of $5000; divided equally each semester and applied directly to the two students’ school accounts.  Recipients of the award may apply for additional years but preference normally is given to first-time award requests.  This award is based on two Scriptures.  The first is II Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”  This award is “seed” money to bless the Maranatha students of ministerial families, knowing that God provides the harvest.  The second Scripture is Mark 10:45:  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  In the same way, Maranatha desires to commend and bless students who choose to follow God’s calling to serve others. Read more HERE.

College Tour Survey
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Guidance and College Counseling Office is looking for information to help plan the next MHS College Tour. All 9th-11th graders should have received a College Tour Survey inquiring about their college tour preferences and expectations. Please make sure your student checks their Maranatha email in order to fill out the survey and provide the counseling office with the information requested. If any student cannot access their Maranatha email, please have them submit a tech ticket at or visit the Service Center at the appropriate times.

Praying Through our Departments: Human Resources, Facilities, and Security
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we are praying specifically for our Human Resources, Facilities, and Security Departments.

HR: Lori Diamond, Ty’esha Jones

Security: Tamara Horton and the Off Duty Officers (ODO) Team

Facilities (TKC): James Domingo, Mel Puentes, Chito Bualuay, Marina Dominguez

Read more HERE.

Senior Graduation Name Notice
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Senior families, please be sure to respond to the graduation name email sent to you last week. The graduation diploma name will only include the student's first and last name as listed on NetClassroom.  Please email Senior Class Counselor, Gary Ho, if you would like to include one of the following on the diploma:

  • middle name
middle initial

  • suffixes (i.e. Jr., II)
any changes to the name

Please email Mr. Ho by February 20, as diplomas will be ordered soon.

iPad Connection
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Students: Are you currently gearing up for an amazing mission’s trip this spring? If so, you may be able to use the technology we have available here at Maranatha to introduce yourself, and your team, before you ever get on the plane, using Skype. Ask your team leader what they think of the idea, and your team can take it from there. Skype can also be a great vehicle to keep in touch with all of the great people you meet even after the mission trip is over. Wouldn't it be great to see how your ministry affects your new friends for years to come? You can download the Skype app on your iPad for free HERE

Parents: Maybe you've been wanting to put a face with the name of a teacher that your student is always talking about! Perhaps you only know their name and what they teach here at MHS. If this sounds like you, then we invite you to take a few minutes to get to know your child's teachers a little better! Click HERE.

MHS Student Selected for Prominent Ryman Arts Program
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Congratulations to junior Gabe Seace, recently accepted into one of the nation’s top youth arts programs, the

Ryman Arts Program for young artists. Application to the Ryman Arts program is competitive and only a limited number of new students can be accommodated each semester. A committee reviewed Gabe’s drawings, essay, and completed application, looking primarily at his talent and motivation. Gabe will receive a full scholarship covering the cost of instruction, art supplies, field trips, and public transportation reimbursement. Gabe will attend classes weekly, taught by master teaching artists, for 3 ½ hours/week over a twelve-week semester, with the chance to complete two full years of study.

"The Ryman Arts Program is a real honor and Gabe was in competition with students from all of L.A. County,” shares Diane Barnhart, our Arts Department Chair. “We have been very successful as a school in sending our students through the Ryman program, with at least twenty students particpating over the years.” Ms. Barnhart added, “Gabe is a very imaginative young man and enjoys creating wild science-fiction worlds with new vehicles and structures that have yet to be invented, or create a new world out of things that already exist (such as the still life example below done in stipple - dots of ink to make up the shading). He loves to draw these scenes with intricate detail and lots of action.”

Gabe is a junior right now, but is looking at his options for studying art in college.

Reflections from Dr. Terrence Roberts of “Little Rock 9” at Chapel Last Week

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Maranatha High School was pleased to welcome Dr. Terrence Roberts to speak at chapel last week.  As part of the “Little Rock 9”, Terrence Roberts was one of nine African American students to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. He shared about his experiences of getting hassled and beat up on a daily basis, despite the military protection. Dr. Roberts knew from an early age that he was in charge of his education and said that is why he jumped at the chance to get the same education that white Americans had, regardless of the risks and persecutions he would face.

Dr. Gyertson said, "Dr. Roberts did an exceptional job of communicating the realities of what the nation has faced and continues to address as we seek racial reconciliation and equal opportunity for all. His gracious approach to these issues, winsome personality, and effectiveness in taking a very complex and difficult topic and translating it in ways that helped all of us better understand our ongoing responsibilities to work for justice, righteousness and forgiveness were informative and motivational.  We were blessed by his presence among us as we celebrate and consider the important implications to be addressed as part of Black History Month at Maranatha."

Dr. Roberts reminded our students that they are each special and unique. He encouraged them to be bold and to make a difference in the world. He asked them to think of “the last time they did something for the first time.” He also made it clear that racism is a choice and that we each have the choice as to how we will view and treat others that look different than us.

Our students and staff appreciated Mr. Roberts’ words of encouragement and his themes of: education, faith, and worth. Many students stayed afterwards to shake his hand or give him a hug and get a picture with this inspirational man.

Student Missionaries Need Your Help
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This spring and summer over 125 students and staff will be venturing on missions trips with Maranatha to: Pasadena (Harambee Center), Nicaragua, New Orleans, and the Dominican Republic. The vision for MHS missions is two-fold: that students would effectively serve the missionaries and target communities that we partner with, as well as experience dynamic transformation and a broadened worldview that they can bring back to our own community.

The total cost to send our missionaries is approximately $175,000. If you have ever had a student involved in a short-term mission, you know the expense is well worth it. Because of the high number of student missionaries this year, Maranatha has asked the students not to solicit our current parents, to avoid multiple asks for some families. In place of students asking families individually, the school mailed all MHS families a Maranatha Missions brochure this December. (Click HERE for a digital copy.) So far, approximately $27,500 of the $175,000 goal has been raised.

Please take a moment to review the brochure you received and support our missions’ students with a gift to the MHS Missions Fund. All money raised will be split between the four teams as needed. If you prefer to offer your support in honor of one of the student missionaries...Read more HERE.

Praying Through Our Departments: Social Science
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we pray for the Social Science Department.

Romans 15:4  “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Social Science Faculty: Ben Winslow, Rebekah Schaller, Scott Sommers, Charles Hampton, Joe Zambrano, Sharon Chung, Ryan Bell, Sharon Dandorf, Gary Ho. Read more HERE.

Newest Member of our Social Science Department: Charles Hampton
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Charles Hampton had been finishing up his teaching credential and substitute teaching at MHS when a position teaching A.P. World History and Honors Modern World History opened up.  He was thrilled to be offered the job and joined our Social Science Department this fall.

Mr. Hampton’s favorite aspects about working at Maranatha so far are, “Being able to share my faith in the classroom and the great students and teachers I've met.” He enjoys that; “A Christian school provides a community and environment for students that helps shield them from the lies that they encounter on a daily basis. A Christian school, filled with faithful students and teachers, can help teach students how to live in the world and yet not be of the world.”

Mr. Hampton has a B.A. in History from Westmont College and a Master’s in Teaching with a California Teaching Credential from Point Loma Nazarene University. He loves teaching history because, “I love tying topics to either our lives as Christians or to current events, because those lessons show students that things in history can be incredibly relevant to students’ lives.” Additionally, Mr. Hampton is also able to incorporate his military background into the classroom. “My deployments (in the Marines) took me to many places (such as South Africa, Egypt, the Congo, Israel, and Saudi Arabia) that I mention in class, and my first-hand experiences help spice up instruction."

Mr. Hampton is in his 6th year of marriage. His wife is a registered nurse, but is currently staying at home with their 3-year-old.  The couple is expecting another child next year. 

Parent Prayer Opportunities at MHS

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Part of the Parent Association’s mission includes praying for the school. Please keep in mind three wonderful opportunities to join with other parents in prayer for our students and staff each week.

Moms in Prayer: 1st and 3rd Tuesday (Commons at 8:00 a.m.) – Adrienne Duran (

Prayer Shield:  2nd and 4th Wednesday (Commons 8:00 a.m.) – Cynthia Kelartianian (

Prayer Walk:  Every Friday (meet at 8:00 a.m. at Student Center Front desk) Franci Maharaj ( or Adrienne Duran (

Please contact the individual group leader if you have questions about their specific group or Tammy Johnson, our Prayer and Care Chair, with any general questions. (

Spanish Spelling Bee at MHS
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Several students recently participated in Maranatha’s first Spanish Spelling Bee contest. Our Spanish Faculty, Ms. Breitenbucher, Mrs. Harrison, and Mrs. Barrantes served as the contest judges. The two finalists/winners were Daniel Minassian and Nate Mata who will go to Azusa Pacific University on April 12 to compete against other high schools. This will be the second year that APU has hosted a Spanish Spelling Bee for high school students in California.

Evening PA Meeting Next Week
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Next Tuesday, February 18, the Parent Association will host an evening PA Meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Important school updates will be shared and our new Theater Faculty, Jeremiah Blessinger will speak. Please join us for fellowship and, as always, receive one PVP hour just for attending. We look forward to seeing you.

The Parent Association is also working on filling PA Board positions for the 2014-2015 school year. They would like to announce that the position for PA President is open.  The job description is attached HERE. Please email Melea Fisher if you are interested.

More PVP Opportunities
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Do you need to complete your PVP hours?  Click HERE to see the Volunteer Opportunities web page. There are multiple ways to fulfill those 20 family hours and support our school. For example, the Admissions Department and ASB both have events coming up:

ASB: Help is needed for the Valentine’s Day BBQ this Friday. All proceeds go to our Junior Class to raise money for Prom. Click HERE to volunteer on SignUp Genius.  

Admissions: We all remember being the parents of an incoming freshman.  The Admissions Department will be hosting Fresh Start Day, a day where incoming freshmen and their parents come to learn about high school life.  We need volunteers to donate items as well as help with the event.  It is a great way to greet incoming parents and really show them how great our school is. Please click HERE so you can sign up on SignUp Genius.  If you have any questions please contact Fawn Zappia at (626) 833-2359 or

iPad Connection
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Parents: As you know, Maranatha is proud to have implemented a 1:1 iPad program this school year. One of the biggest issues some of our students have had is coming to class with little or no battery power on their iPads, and have no charger with them at school. One way you can help your student be on top of all of their schoolwork, and help them get the most out of their iPad learning, is to make sure that they have a dedicated spot to charge their device. Help them get into a routine every night. Once they have a full charge, the iPad can function for the entire school day!

Retraction: We would like to retract last week's iPad Connection Minutegram article (2/3/14) under “Parents”. Enabled parental controls conflict with Maranatha's eLearning Handbook. Please make sure that devices are disabled at school in order to be aligned with Maranatha policies. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Read more HERE.

Hannah Rae Finchamp Signing 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Last week senior Hannah Rae Finchamp signed to bike, run cross country, and swim for Lindenwood University. As an elite, world champion athlete, Hannah could have gone straight to the pros. However, as a 4.0 student, she also values continuing her education and getting the “college experience”. At Lindenwood University in Missouri, Hannah will be able to compete in all three of her top sports and maintain her personal goals in tandem with the excellent training she will get as a Lion. Congratulations, Hannah Rae!

Keeping the SLR (Spiritual Life Retreat) Fire Burning
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Students came back from this year’s Spiritual Life Retreat in awe of how the Spirit moved during the retreat, giving a fresh touch to so many and inspiring students to make fresh commitments to following Jesus. Like with any “mountain top” experience, the fear is that the fire ignited at the retreat will dwindle once back at home. In this case, however, the students long to keep the fire burning bright.

Since the retreat, our students have led a variety of spiritual disciplines (prayer, worship, confession, fasting, etc.) throughout the last two weeks. “We're watching groups of 100+ students humble themselves by seeking the face of God through prayer, repentance, and restoration,” commented Mr. Murphy, our Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries. Every morning since the retreat, approximately 100 students and staff have gathered in the Commons at 7:30 a.m. for a student-led worship and prayer time. Additionally, last week’s mentor groups were invited to an optional time of worship in the gym, to which over half of the mentor groups elected to come. A few classes have even taken time over the last two weeks to process what happened at Spiritual Life Retreat. Read more HERE.

Chet and Sarah Crane Update

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Over the last 49 years, Maranatha has been privileged to have a number of dedicated leaders. Our last Head of School, Chet Crane served Maranatha from 2002 to 2012. His wife, Sarah, continued to teach French here until her recent retirement. During Chet’s tenure, Maranatha moved to a beautiful new campus home, elevated its academic standing, started an international program, increased visibility in the community as well as enrollment, and refinanced the bond, giving the school a strong financial footing.

Dr. Gyertson noted, “As the Headmaster I know that my work is only possible because of the faithful service of those on our faculty, staff, and administration who over the years faithfully served our cause of Christ-honoring, college preparatory education. I am privileged to build the next stages of our mission on the foundation laid by both Chet and Sarah. Their commitment to Maranatha during some of the most critical years in our history is both an example to and a blessing for me.”

After partnering with the Cranes for over eleven years, many members of our community have wondered about the Cranes’ next steps and how to lift this family up in prayer. Read more HERE.

Praying Through our Departments: Admissions

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting up our departments in prayer each week. This week we pray for the Admissions Department.

Just about everyone knows John Rouse and his faithful assistant Debbie Middlebrook in the Admissions Office. Our International students are especially fond of Mrs. Wunderly, our International Program Director.  All three Admissions team members are shining lights for Maranatha, for our students, and most importantly for Jesus. Read more HERE.

One More Chance to Take a “Closer Look” at MHS
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

If you missed Open House or know a prospective family that missed it, there is still one more event for families to get to know the heart of MHS in person. We invite families to take “A Closer Look” at Maranatha on Tuesday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center. Families will hear from faculty, students, and administrators in a casual setting and get all their questions answered. RSVP appreciated, but not required to Click HERE for more information about “A Closer Look”.

New Employment Opportunities at MHS

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Over the next few weeks, Maranatha will be announcing a number of employment positions. We ask our community to be in prayer with us for “God’s best” in filling these roles. A few of these openings are already posted on our website under EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.  Please review them to pray for the positions by name. Furthermore, if you know a qualified candidate for one of these positions, please encourage them to apply.

PVP Needs

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

For many years, the Parent Volunteer Program has proven instrumental to the success of our programs and events at MHS. Parents looking for ways to help the school and earn PVP hours can find opportunities on our website on the “Current Volunteer Opportunities” page under the “Parent Info” tab.

Here are just a few volunteer opportunities available now:

  • Gift Box Assembly: Tuesday, February 18 - Friday, February 21
  • Performing Arts production of Fools: volunteers needed - click HERE 
  • Snacks and water supplies: needed for Advancement
  • History/Archiving Project: Preparing for the 50th Anniversary with Advancement
  • Grandparents’ Day: Volunteers will be needed, check back on the “Volunteer” web page soon.
  • Microwaves Needed: in Student Center for Break and Lunch
New Chapel Series

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

by: Joel Murphy ’97 Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”  1 John 3:18

I often joke around with my students that I’m incredibly healthy and do a fantastic job of loving people when I’m by myself. It’s just when you put me in relationships that both seem to go awry. I think there’s probably a bit of truth in this irony for each of us.

Accepting the full and enveloping love of Christ is arguably the most difficult thing to do for most. In truth, we either accept all of it or none of it. For many of us, we create elaborate systems of performance where our worth is measured and verified. We hustle through labyrinths of rules and roles all in the name of earning the gift of grace.

Our first series of the year, “I love you because…” was strategically chosen because of the weighty emotional undertones communicated during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the Spiritual Life Retreat. Our hearts and minds are fresh with the recent opportunities provided to examine the way in which we love ourselves, our enemies, and even Christ.

We recognize reviewing one of these areas often provides enough material for conviction and opportunity for growth. Collectively reviewing all three can be downright scary. Yet, as followers of Christ, our admonishment to love and put feet to faith is clear from 1 John 3:18, “Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” As if this isn’t difficult enough, we increase this demand with Jesus’ words in John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Quickly, love has just become near impossible. 

I invite you to join us in a series where we explore the most powerful agent of change humanity will ever experience - love. Moreover, the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

Talking Points:

  • What draws you into those whom you “love”? Intelligence? Humor? Integrity?
  • What type of people is difficult for you to “love”? What do you think this says about you?
  • What type of people does Christ seem to have a heart for? Do you?
  • What ways could you tangibly love, in word and deed, those around you? More specifically, how can you love those who you’re hesitant to?

Lives Transformed at Spiritual Life Retreat
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

This weekend over 290 students, staff, and pastors attended Maranatha’s Spiritual Life Retreat. The weekend was packed with intentional community, deep worship, and building faith! Students enjoyed four key chapel sessions led by one of their favorite speakers, Pastor Brian Holland of Pomona First Baptist. Students entered into each session with worship led by a full worship band from The Gathering, a missional Church located in Azusa, well prepared to hear from the Lord. Even before worshipping together, there were several opportunities for community. Group games, led by emcee Noah Daniels, helped the students from varying grades get to know each other and build community. Games ranged from cracking eggs on each other’s heads, to full contact musical chairs, eating a variety of disgusting food items, and a lively talent show.  An extra time of connection in small groups, led by Student Ministry Team members, not only helped solidify the teachings, but continued to develop community and provide a more intimate time to process. A variety of youth pastors were on hand to help shepherd the students and give them an opportunity to connect with a local church should they need a greater connection. In addition, the youth pastors led several optional seminars on Sunday afternoon on worship, prayer, and community. Read more HERE.

MHS Welcomes New Dance Faculty
Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maranatha High School is pleased to welcome Anna Gradwohl as our new Dance instructor. Anna is originally from Minnesota and received her B.A. in Dance Performance from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. Over a year ago, she and her husband, Brian, moved from Florida to Pasadena so Brian could attend Fuller Seminary for his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Mrs. Gradwohl has extensive experience in performance, teaching, and choreography of a variety of dance styles. Her collegiate studies focused on modern, ballet, jazz, tap, musical theater, somatics, improvisation, Alexander technique, ballroom, liturgical, choreography, partnering, and Pointe.

She has over 18 years of dance performance experience, as well as 6 years of part-time experience teaching dance. Her performance experience includes, but is not limited to, annual showcases, numerous state/national dance competitions, collegiate student choreography works, international guest choreography pieces, church outreach performances, and Madame Butterfly (Palm Beach Opera). Read more HERE.

Annual Enrollment for the 2014-2015 Year
Thursday, January 30, 2014

It is that time of year where freshman through junior families enroll for the 2014-2015 school year. Last week we emailed families regarding the annual enrollment and Smart Tuition process. As mentioned, all Smart Tuition accounts will reflect the $750 annual enrollment fee on February 1, which will be due by February 10.

Maranatha, recognizing the tough economic times we have all been experiencing, has worked diligently to maintain a flat tuition rate over the last three school years. As our expenses have risen, and in order to continue to offer the Christ-centered, college preparatory education we are committed to, the tuition rate has increased just slightly by 2% for the 2014-2015 school year. This increase ($335.00 annually or $27.92 monthly) will enable us to fund our commitments to our students as well as our financial obligations to our staff and vendors.

Smart Tuition offers a 12-month plan, as well as quarterly, semi-annual, and annual plans. Smart Tuition will be due on or before the first of the month for your selected plan with a 10 day grace period. During the week of April 14 - 18 you may change your payment plan to a full pay, 2 pay, 4 pay, or 12 month plan. If you like the plan you are currently on, you do not need to do anything. Ancillary fees (such as technology, apps, sports, labs and others) are in addition to tuition and may vary by each student’s classes/activities. If you have any questions regarding your account activity, contact the Smart Tuition SmartParent Help Center at 1-888-868-8828.

Please keep in mind that the optional Maranatha Tuition Benefits Plan is also available. This plan is designed to provide assistance to meet tuition obligations in certain cases of withdrawal. This information was also emailed last week for your reference. We are pleased to partner with you for your child’s education.

Annual Giving Campaign – The Opportunity Fund
Thursday, January 30, 2014

At Maranatha, our parents are the cornerstone of the school’s annual giving campaign. This year, there is an ambitious effort to raise additional dollars to provide tuition assistance for deserving, qualified students who want a Christian, college preparatory education. Our message is one of hope and we want to extend that hope and opportunity to all students who desire to attend Maranatha High School.

Our annual giving campaign also offers other opportunities to give:

General Gifts – Unrestricted dollars that are used where needed most throughout the school to support budgeted campus improvements, academic programs, athletics, the arts, extracurricular and co-curricular activities

Scholarships – Merit-based grants such as academic achievement recognitions like The Principal’s Scholarship, Headmaster’s Scholarship, and other grants to specific categories of students such as the Ministerial Family Assistance Scholarship to those who meet the performance and other related qualifications

Missions and Global Outreach Experiences – Gifts designated for our mission activities at home and abroad to give students the opportunity to help the least, the left, and lost in keeping with our Christ-centered priorities of outreach and service

Tuition Assistance “The Maranatha Opportunity Fund” – Need-based grants to families with demonstrated and verified financial limitations so their eligible students can afford and then participate in the Maranatha experience

Other Designated Gifts – Contributions of cash, gifts-in-kind, and appreciated assets to fund mutually agreed upon projects that help expand our mission and advance our priorities

We ask that you please give today by logging onto our website at or call or stop by the Advancement Office. Contact Patrice Cablayan, Associate Director of Annual Giving, at 626-817-4070 for more assistance.

Please note, you will soon receive an Annual Giving Statement in the mail for calendar year 2013 to help with your taxes.

Computer Science Club
Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maranatha High School really is a place where individual talents are nurtured and developed. This is so aptly displayed in our brand new Computer Science Club. At the beginning of this year, senior Nathan Lee approached Mrs. Chung to ask if she would sponsor the club. Despite only a basic knowledge of computer science, Mrs. Chung did what you’d expect of our supportive MHS faculty; she said “yes!”

Mrs. Chung actually started learning HTML and designing simple websites way back in the late 90’s, when it first became popular. “I liked using HTML instead of the preset templates because it gave me the freedom to make it exactly how I wanted it,” she said. “I agreed to chaperone this club because technology is always changing and sometimes our students can be the best teachers to teach us new things!”

The club has started with about 10 students. “Though that may be small,” the president and founder Nathan Lee explains, “I believe there is strong interest in these 10 people.” The purpose of the club is to expose and teach other students what programming is and how to program. During club meetings, students learn how to program through a web app called Codecademy and plan to try other apps as they progress.

“I hope this club can be the first step to start a computer science class here,” Nathan added. “There are so many opportunities in the technological world, and our iPad program has great potential for learning and teaching programming. In addition, many colleges have great and emerging computer science and engineering programs, and I hope people who don't know what to study in college can choose to study this wonderful (and lucrative) subject. Even though everyone has an iPad, not everyone understands what it took to make the hardware and the software inside.”

God created us as intelligent human beings with the ability to master new and challenging concepts. “I want all the students at Maranatha to be scholars for God and be able to learn something difficult and interesting that may become their future career," said Nathan. The club’s verse is Ecclesiastes 1:13a, “And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven."

All students are welcome to come check out the Computer Science Club that meets every Thursday at lunch in AC 111.

Pharmacy Technician Program (through HOSA)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), a nationally-recognized vocational exploratory program in the health sciences, serves as an amazing opportunity for Maranatha High School students that have interest in future careers in medicine. Maranatha’s HOSA Chapter has partnered with PassAssured, a comprehensive online program, to offer a Pharmacy Technician course to any MHS student that is at least 17 years old for the remarkably low price of $250! The cost of the typical online Pharmacy Technician course is more than $1,000!

This one-semester online course, approved by the California State Board of Pharmacy, would lead to certification to work as a Pharmacy Technician at any pharmacy in California. Graduates would be also be eligible to take the exam for national licensing in order to become eligible to work in all 50 states. The HOSA Program will meet twice a week. Starting in February, one of those weekly lunch-time meetings will be dedicated to lectures on the Pharmacy Technician Program. Interested students who are not of age will be prepared to take the course and pass the exam when they turn of age. Please contact HOSA Advisor Dr. Jang with any questions.

MHS Students Celebrate Chinese New Year This Week

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year is the most important Chinese holiday and falls on the first day of the Chinese calendar. This year the holiday will be celebrated on Friday, January 31 ushering in the “year of the horse”. The holiday is marked by family reunions, great food, red decorations, fireworks, and gifts of money in red envelopes. Many of our students will be celebrating the holiday this week. Our international students, in particular, will be holding an authentic Chinese feast on Thursday, January 30 on campus. A few students may even be traveling home to be with family. Even though the holiday has elements of “luck” and Chinese folklore, as a Christian, international junior Fifi Huang says, “The holiday is still an important festival because we celebrate with family and friends.” For those who do not traditionally celebrate this holiday, Chinese New Year provides yet another opportunity to experience a different culture and demonstrate love as we ask about and show interest in another’s culture.

Cap & Gown Pictures Available
Thursday, January 30, 2014

Seniors! Cap and Gown pictures are now available at Nick Boswell Studio (call 626.799.2120). Nick Boswell Studio also offers on-campus photos for those who would like to have outdoor photos. No sitting fee is required for additional photos.

For more information, please contact Ms. Cuellar in AC209.

Praying Through our Departments: Guidance and Front Desk

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting our departments up in prayer each week. This week we pray for our Guidance & College Counseling Department and our Student Center Front Desk.

Guidance: Ryan Bell, Sharon Dandorf, Gary Ho, Teby Wammack, Caren Carrillo

Front desk: Ivy Cabezas-Jones and Sue Lange

A few specific prayer requests are as follows:

  • Guidance Department:  Please pray that our counselors might have God's wisdom as they counsel students and create best practices to support our school.

  • Teby Wammack: good health as she trains for the LA Marathon relay with World Vision in March.  
  • Ivy Jones: Please pray for her daughter, Brooke experiencing health issues. Pray that she learns how to live with her health problems as she attends college classes.

In addition, please continue to pray for the amazing work the Holy Spirit has begun in so many of our students and especially for those who have recently come to accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. Read more HERE

Tech Department Update

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Starting February 3, 2014, all students will be required to log into Maranatha's firewall before accessing the internet while on campus, using the same credentials that students use to access the Maranatha wifi and email accounts. We are implementing this change to ensure we maintain a more accountable and secure environment for our students.

Instructions are posted under the Student section of our SUPPORT SITE. Questions and concerns for this and any other technology-related issue can be submitted from this site as well.

A Look Behind the Front Desk
Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.  Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:1-2

If you have been to campus this semester, you may have noticed a change to our reception area in the Student Center. For some time, the school has been looking to enhance the entrance area in order to provide the best customer service for our visitors and security for our students and staff.

Kris Dreyer, our Chief Finance and Operations Officer, stated, “In order to make the best first impression possible, along with the need for functional space and clutter control, we have designed and renovated the school’s front lobby. The new configuration is comprised of modular office pieces which provide for a new desk, new visitor counter, and storage space for our PA system, electrical connection, and our IT fiber lines. It also includes various file cabinets for storage of items dropped off during the day for students, sports teams, or clubs. The new arrangement will allow for a more functional working space.”

Ivy Cabezas-Jones, our Student Center Receptionist, notes that the new front desk configuration gives clear direction for guests. Before the changes, she noticed that a number of visitors were confused about where to go when they walked in and, despite the signs, many would bypass the front desk area altogether and simply enter the campus without checking in. Now that the desk is more centered in the entrance way, it is obvious where visitors should go and Mrs. Jones is better situated to ensure that all visitors have signed in and have the proper identification. As Tammy Horton, Director of Security puts it, “The new front desk changes have enhanced our ability to meet and greet both parents and visitors, allowing us to point people in the right direction and create a more hospitable environment.” Read more HERE.

Method Test Prep
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Last month MHS introduced our teachers, students, and parents to Method Test Prep.  Method Test Prep is an SAT software program that engages students in mini lessons focused on the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed on the SAT. Method Test Prep provides students with instruction on targeted topics in math, reading, writing, and vocabulary building. These effective lessons prepare pupils for success on the PSAT and SAT.  Students are able to focus specifically on their strengths and weaknesses, and then review areas where they require improvement. This personalized approach is why Method Test Prep was Maranatha’s program of choice. Read more HERE.

Praying for our Departments: IT and Academic Administration

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting our departments up in prayer each week.

This week, please pray for our Academic Administration and IT Department including: Michelle Purghart, Karen Cuellar, Tiffany O'Rourke, Gretchen Pleuss, Dianna Fowler, Stephen Wyles, Tim Parent, Neil Barizo, Clay Dulgarian, Christie Akins, and Linda Gutierrez. Read more HERE.

iPad iOS7 Upgrade Update
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The IT Department would like to thank our families for your cooperation and patience while we worked through the challenges onset by the recent Apple iOS7 upgrade. Our technology staff is equipped to respond to all the known issues with iOS7 and have the confidence needed to support the devices on our campus. If you would like to upgrade your device to the iOS7 operating system you may do so, but please be aware of the following:

  • This upgrade is NOT required for the 2013-2014 school year.
  • There is no reversal to this upgrade.
  • You should backup your device before upgrading, the first step to any upgrade!
  • Some of your previously installed apps may need to be upgraded or deleted and reinstalled after the upgrade to work properly. We have confirmed that all the school-endorsed apps work with iOS7, some of your personal apps may not.
  • MHS is not responsible for extra-curricular apps or materials on the iPads.

The IT Department is happy to help! Please visit for tutorials, email with questions and concerns, or come by Room AC312 during school breaks, or before and after school for assistance with this upgrade.

iPad Connection
Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Are you working on a paper or presentation for class and need more time in the day to dedicate toward getting that A? You can work from anywhere by storing/creating your work in your Google Drive. If you are writing a paper, you can create a Google Doc or if it's a presentation, Google Presentation! Storing your work in your Maranatha Google Drive account will allow you to access it from anywhere, at any time, from your iPad or any other device. This is especially great for athletes and students who are involved in extra-curricular activities. Click HERE to learn how.


Technology affects us in so many ways that we often do not pay attention to how much it enhances our lives. However, it can also be challenging and frightening when trying to manage technology in our household. Being informed is always a great start! In order to promote and support the proper use of technology, parents must talk the lingo, as well as offer students information to learn about being responsible digital citizens. The way young people use technology today has evolved, and will continue to as time moves forward. Let's be the influence they need for a positive evolution! Click HERE to read more about digital citizenship.

MHS Football Players Make History
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We are pleased to announce that junior Eli Snyder and Caleb Devine, and senior Matt Hall earned 1st Team All-CIF in the Northwest Division. This is the first time Maranatha football players have earned All-CIF honors in the Northwest Division!  Click HERE for the All-CIF listings.

The Pasadena Star-News also recognized several Maranatha players with All San Gabriel Valley mention.  Eli Snyder, Xavius Boone, and Dexter Meyers were named All-Area First Team.  Darron McWhorter and Tanner Richter were named All-Area Second Team.  And Baile McDavid and Matt Hall received Honorable Mention.  Click HERE for the Star News article. Read more HERE.

MHS Tennis Teams and Coach Shine Bright!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Girls’ Tennis
This fall, we were pleased to congratulate the Girls’ Tennis Team who were undefeated in league and won the Olympic League for the second consecutive year, going 12-7 overall. Congratulations to Coach Arthur Hsieh and his assistant coach, wife Sandra Hsieh. Read more HERE.

Boys’ Tennis
The Boys’ Tennis Team won league last Spring in a tight race and lost in a nail-biting match in the CIF semi-finals, going 8-1 in league and 15-6 overall. Coach Arthur Hsieh and his assistant coach Jon Lee are looking to add to the team. “Last year,” Coach Hsieh says, “we were one player away from winning CIF!” This year, the team is hoping to fill spots from graduated seniors and they have room to grow. The Boys’ Tennis Info Meeting will be on January 22 during lunch. Tryouts will be held February 4-6 and players will need to be there all three days.  Arrangements can be made for anyone in a winter sport. Read more HERE.

Coach Hsieh Named Coach of the Year!

Congratulations to Coach Arthur Hsieh who was named All-Area Coach of the Year for the Girls’ season this fall after being named All-Area Coach of the Year for the Boys’ season last spring. Read more HERE.

NetClassroom Update
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our NetClassroom URL address has changed! Many families have bookmarked the NetClassroom link and are now experiencing errors. When accessed through the MHS website, there will be no problems, but if you have the site bookmarked, please update your bookmark with this new URL address:


Admissions Events this Week!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Closer Look

If you missed Open House or know a prospective family that missed it, there are still two more events for families to get to know the heart of MHS in person. We invite families to take “A Closer Look” at Maranatha this Tuesday, January 14 or Tuesday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center. Families will hear from faculty, students, and administrators in a more intimate setting and get all their questions answered. RSVP appreciated, but not required to Click HERE for more information about “A Closer Look”.

Middle School Recognition Night

Middle School Recognition Night will be held this Friday, January 17 on campus. This event allows middle school students and their families to get a flavor of Maranatha High School spirit while attending, as our guests, any of our home soccer or basketball games that night. Visitors will check in between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in front of the Gym and will also receive a voucher for some complimentary concessions. Click HERE for the Middle School Night Flyer.

We look forward to welcoming our visitors!

Praying Through our Departments
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

During the first semester, our Minutegrams highlighted the various departments in our school. This semester we will ask each department for their specific prayer requests and will focus on praying for each of these departments. Please join the Headmaster’s weekly prayer group in lifting our departments up in prayer each week.

To kick us off, we have chosen to start with the Headmaster’s Office. Please pray:

  • The Holy Spirit would guide our Headmaster as he interacts with staff and families.
  • Pray that he glorifies the Lord in all he does and says.
  • Pray that he would trust in God’s sovereign wisdom and ability to determine his present and future, Maranatha’s present and future, and God’s plan for the present and the future throughout the world that He loves so much.

Habakkuk 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” 

(L-R): Jane Tawel, Executive Assistant to the Headmaster, and Dr. David Gyertson, Headmaster

Mixed Ensemble Auditions

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Attention singers: Mixed Ensemble auditions for 2014-2015 are almost here. If you are interested in singing in Mixed Ensemble next year, auditions will be held on Tuesday, January 21 and Wednesday, January 22 at lunch in Mr. Kolberg's room, PA1. Please sign up for a time slot on the sheet posted to the door of PA1. You must prepare one song and bring sheet music and your completed audition form (available in room PA1) to your audition. If you have any questions, please direct them to Mr. Kolberg.

iPad Connection
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
     Parents: As a parent of a Maranatha student, you have seen the great ways that teachers are using the iPad Minis to engage your young adults on a daily basis! Unfortunately, sometimes young adults can mismanage their time. Time that students could be completing homework or projects is spent instant messaging or gaming! If you would like to have more control over the amount of time your child has access to their iPad in the evenings, then the Parent Time Lock app is for you! With this app, you can easily set time limits. Once time is up, the iPad will lock. (Their iPad will remained locked until you turn the app off, or until it automatically resets the next morning.)
  Students: Have a big exam coming up soon? Are you having trouble retaining all of the information that your teachers are giving you on a daily basis? If so, this might be a great app for you to check out! The Eidetic app will quiz you throughout the day or week to help you increase your retention of terms, facts, quotes and numbers! It is a free app, so give it a try and see how your memory improves!


Welcome New Theater Faculty

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maranatha is pleased to introduce Jeremiah Blessinger to the Maranatha family as our new Theater Faculty/Director.  Mr. Blessinger has taught and directed theater for almost a decade in the Christian high school setting and has over 15 years of professional film and theatrical experience working in the Industry as a screenwriter and assistant director for various L.A. theater companies. 

Mr. Blessinger has a fascinating testimony that started when he was born into an authentic 1970s motorcycle gang. “In hindsight," he says, “I saw God’s hand leading me towards grace and salvation through friends. When I was nine, I accepted the Lord into my heart at a small Baptist church in the desert of Arizona, but it wasn't until I was 17 that I felt the call of Christ to discipleship.” Jeremiah graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and hopes to begin pursuit of a Masters in Fine Arts in Theater this year.

Mr. Blessinger is excited to return to his passion of working with youth. He shares, “My passion lies in developing young performers in their talents. However, it’s far more important to me, as a theater director, to also shape their character. They may not go on to be actors, but they will go on to be part of their community!” He considers it a blessing and a joy to be able to openly guide students in their pursuit of faith, noting that “Biblical truths bleed into everything we do. Through faith we can help students see who they are and how they value themselves, and also give them the courage and confidence to pursue the arts.”

Mr. Blessinger is enthusiastic about his new role and has been working throughout the Christmas vacation to prepare for his classes and the winter play.

Spiritual Life Retreat 2014: "As One"
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

By: Joel Murphy '97, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

There are still spots available for the 13th annual Spiritual Life Retreat, “As One.” Through workshops and worship, through snowballs, small groups, and spiritual disciplines, “As One” we explore what it means to live lives rooted in humility, repentance, restoration, and the life abundant for which we have been created. The prophet Ezra in 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides both a prescriptive and descriptive account of prayers and actions which allow the Spirit to work mightily in and through the lives of believers everywhere to birth…revival!

Join us for an amazing time of renewal, inspiration, and shared commitment over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 18-20. Pastors Brian Holland of Pomona First Baptist, Jesse Oakes of Lake Avenue Church, Justin Cox of Fellowship Monrovia, and James Burke of Foothills Community Church, along with 300 of your closest friends will all be there! Sign-ups are limited, so register now. The cost is $150 which can be billed to your school account. For questions, contact Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries Joel Murphy at or (626) 817-4092, and visit our website for further details.

More Success for our Speech & Debate Team
Tuesday, January 07, 2014

On Saturday, December 14, the Maranatha Speech team competed in the Southern California Debate League Fall Varsity Speech Tournament at Arroyo High School. After a twelve-hour tournament, Maranatha was again victorious! Sophomore Stacy Rasmussen won the first place trophy for Interpretation, and freshman Lucas Lovejoy and senior Darron McWhorter earned trophies in Platform Speech. Juniors Romana Brennan, Andrew Howard, and Joel Wunderly advanced to semi-finals in Impromptu finishing in the top 30 of a category featuring over 100 competitors. In the end, Maranatha earned the first place team trophy for the small school division.

Pictured: (left to right) - Nick Popham ’10 (Assistant Coach), Joel Gilmore
(freshman), and Mr. Mesisca ’92 (Head Speech & Debate Coach).


iPad Connection
Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Students and Parents: Several teachers at Maranatha are excited about the Notability app! Just ask our very own Mrs. Graves; she is already using it in class! It's the best-selling note-taking app from iTunes.  Click HERE to read a full description.

Notability costs $2.99 to install and is well worth it to take notes in an organized and thorough manner. Notability also allows you to add Sketchnotes, video recordings and import documents or PowerPoints from Google Drive, as well as adding web page clippings to your selected note file. Watch this short demo to get started:

Technical iPad Issues?
Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Please remember to bring all technical iPad issues and repair needs directly to the Tech Department at MHS, and not to the Apple Store.  Thank you!


The Christmas Story
Tuesday, January 07, 2014

By: Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries Joel Murphy ’97 and
 Student Chaplains Madie Johnson '14 and Reid Newman '14

I was having a conversation a couple weeks ago with my chaplains, where I stumbled onto a rather innocent question, “What’s the story of Christmas?” Seems like an overly simple question, doesn’t it? But, if you pause and ask yourself this, what do you come up with?

Sadly, some answer this question with a growing sense of disenchantment with the Christ child. Some respond with a rather diminished role in the story as they assume a role as a passive observer rather than an active participant who still lives in this story. Perhaps the sentiment of the story still evokes emotions today but it fails to provide meaning to the days or weeks after Christmas. Whatever it may be, it’s important to understand that our re-telling of this story and journey into answering this question shapes not only our current perspective on the miracle of Christmas but it ultimately informs the way in which we think and live in the knowledge of the Emmanuel, Christ with us. Read more HERE.

Maranatha Opportunity Fund
Tuesday, January 07, 2014

We thank all of our parents for your participation in the Maranatha Opportunity Fund and also for those who have participated in our past annual fund drives. One of the essential ingredients in maintaining a strong Christ-honoring college preparatory school is parent participation. We value our parents who have intentionally sent their children to us giving them the opportunity to discover the effects of Christ’s teachings in their lives.

As this year is coming to an end, we ask that you consider a gift to the Maranatha Opportunity Fund today. For tax purposes, it is your last chance to reap the benefits of an additional 2013 tax deduction. But what is more important, is that you are joining forces with us by giving all students and potential students the opportunity of a Christ-revering education at Maranatha High School. Please help us by making 2013 end strong by sending in your gift by December 31, 2013.

To donate please click this link or mail in your gift to Advancement at 169 S. Saint John, Pasadena, CA 91105 or call me, Patrice Cablayan, at 626-817-4070.

Please note:
Gifts of appreciated securities to Maranatha entitles donors to a charitable deduction for its full current market value offering a two-fold tax savings by  also circumventing the tax due on the capital gain at the time of the gift. Stock certificates may be physically given to our Advancement office or stock may be transferred electronically through DTC for shares that are currently held at a bank or brokerage house. Instructions for transferring stock are located on our website for both physical delivery and electronic DTC transfers. (Click HERE for more information.) Please send an email to to alert Advancement of these types of transactions.

Wishing you blessings during this holiday season,

Patrice Cablayan
Associate Director of Annual Giving

Maranatha Subscribes to an SAT Test Preparation Program
Friday, December 20, 2013

In an effort to increase student SAT scores, Maranatha has subscribed to Method Test Prep for students and teachers. Method Test Prep is an SAT software program that engages students in mini lessons focused on knowledge and skills necessary to succeed on the SAT. Method Test Prep provides students with instruction on targeted topics in math, reading, writing, and vocabulary building. These effective lessons prepare pupils for success on the PSAT and SAT.  Students are able to focus specifically on their strengths and weaknesses, and then review areas where they require improvement. This personalized approach is why Method Test Prep was Maranatha’s program of choice.  READ MORE

Maranatha Welcomes Three New Board Members

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Maranatha High School would like to welcome three new board members to our Board of Trustees. We are so grateful for these volunteers that take on this significant role of leadership in our school and give of their time, talent, and treasure on behalf of Maranatha. John Davis, Chairman of our Board of Trustees shares, “We were pleased to add three new board members: Steven Chang, Victor Dorado, and Alan Hall. Each of them has prior involvement with Maranatha and brings unique skills to the board. We are excited about their joining the board and look forward to their contribution in the years to come.” Dr. Gyertson added, "These new Board members understand and embrace their critical role as Maranatha's "Board of Elders" giving direction to the spiritual vitality of our Christ-centered mission as well as superintending the policies and personnel that help us achieve our high standards of quality college preparatory education in an intentional Christian context." Please help us welcome them and thank them for their sacrifice the next time you see them. Read more HERE.

Department Spotlight: Mathematics and Science
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Maranatha has graduated many students who have headed off to prestigious university Math, Science, and Engineering programs. It’s no wonder our graduates excel after reading about these two departments HERE.

PA Meeting & Coffee
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Please join us this week for our last Parent Association Coffee and Meeting of 2013! This Wednesday, December 18 at 8:30 a.m., we welcome all families for some Christmas cheer. Although the students don't start exams until 9:00 a.m., we are keeping the same time for our meeting and will enjoy an extended time of fellowship before the meeting begins. Aside from the great fellowship and PA updates, we will hear from Dr. Gyertson who will share his holiday chapel message, and Dr. Purghart will give us an update on academic and student programs.

In the true spirit of Christmas, we are asking everyone to bring canned goods to the meeting. Our donations will be delivered to Elizabeth House, a pregnancy crisis shelter. Located in the heart of Pasadena, the mission of Elizabeth House is: “to provide shelter, hope and support to homeless pregnant women and their children, addressing the physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic needs in a nurturing atmosphere.” Their goal is to provide a comprehensive program of case management, counseling, educational classes, prenatal care, and resources throughout the pregnancy and beyond.

January is "Bring a Friend to School" Month
Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Admissions Office is pleased to announce “Bring a Friend” Month! All students are invited to host a local 8th grade friend or neighbor as a shadow during the Maranatha school day in January. Both the MHS student host and visiting friend will receive a coupon for complimentary lunch in the Minuteman Café! To schedule a “shadow” day for your friend, simply call or email Mrs. Middlebrook in the Admissions Office at (626) 817-4021 and give her the date you will be hosting your friend and the name and current middle school of your visiting 8th grade friend.

If you missed Open House or know a prospective family that missed it, there are still two more events for families to get to know the heart of MHS in person. We invite families to take “A Closer Look” on Tuesday, January 14 or Tuesday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. Families will get to hear from faculty, students, and administrators in a more intimate setting and get questions answered. RSVP appreciated, but not required to

Speech & Debate Team Wins Again!
Thursday, December 19, 2013

On the weekend of November 22-23, the Maranatha Speech & Debate Team competed in the annual Alhambra Moor Debate at Alhambra High School. The debate featured students Shehan Wijesinghe, Harrison Porter, Nick Craft, Stephen Enloe, and Victor Escobar in the Lincoln Douglas category and the teams of Sage Palonco with Matthew Harrington and Billy Birkholz with Andrew Howard in the Public Forum category. (See group photo below.)

Lincoln Douglas debate is a one-on-one, courtroom-style, values debate and this year the debaters argued “Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.”  Seniors Harrison Porter and Shehan Wijesinghe each finished with a record of 3-1 and advanced to the finals. Shehan won a trophy for the Minutemen.

Public Forum debate is a team debate with intense cross-fire examination questioning and quick rounds for developing cases and rebutting opponents. The Public Forum debaters argued “Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the NSA outweigh the harms.” The Birholz-Howard team finished 3-1 and the Palonco-Harrington team advanced to the finals and finished with a record of 4-1.

Mr. Mesisca said, “I am extremely proud of our debaters this year. I have had the opportunity to coach debaters, like Shehan, and observe their growth as public communicators over a four-year span. But, coaching the freshmen, like Matthew Harrington, who work so diligently for three months and then advance to the finals gives me confidence that the Maranatha Speech & Debate team will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come!”    

Ginger Bread Contest Donation Thanks!
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Art Club Advisor, Ms. Barnhart would like to thank all the parents who donated items toward the Art Club's Gingerbread Contest! We had so many things brought in we hardly had to buy anything this year! We are so grateful to all our donors and want to let you know how much fun the students had! Thanks for helping us spread a little Christmas cheer through the use of our God-given creativity.


Upcoming Alumni Athletic Events
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Maranatha is excited to host a number of alumni athletic events during Christmas break!

SWIM: The Alumni Swim Lunch and Hang Out will take place on Monday, December 30 at the MHS pool. Past and present swim team members are invited to meet at 12:30 p.m. for lunch, games, and relays. If you have questions, please contact swim coach Joe Zambrano at 

CROSS COUNTRY: The annual Rose Parade Route Run will take place on Tuesday, December 31. Runners will meet in the MHS Student Center parking lot at 5:30 p.m., and anyone is welcome to join them. Questions can be addressed to Brian Sacripanti '11 at

SOCCER: We are still ironing out the details for the Alumni Soccer Game which will take place after Christmas. Those interested in playing or watching the game can contact Eddie Arnett '96 at For those on Facebook, please be on the lookout for the upcoming 
event page next week.

We look forward to seeing our alumni on campus soon! If you capture fun pictures at the events, please send them our way:!

Keeping the Lights on for 36 Years: Celebrating with Facilities Staff Walt Corson
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Most people are in awe when they first set foot on our campus as they admire the pristine grounds and well-maintained facilities. Maranatha High School has been so blessed with such a gorgeous campus and most of us probably never consider all it takes to keep our facilities looking so nice and running so smoothly. One man, in particular, has an in-depth knowledge of what it takes as he has spent a lifetime caring for this campus that Maranatha calls home. This past August marked Walt Corson’s 36 year anniversary of working on these campus grounds. (Continue to full story)

Department Spotlights: Theology and Social Science
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Read about the Theology Department's passion for Scripture and relationship with God, as well as the depth of study and application in the Social Science Department HERE.

Student Places 5th in Chess Tournament

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Congratulations to sophomore Jack Ding who recently placed 5th in the 49th annual 2013 American Open Chess Tournament held in Anaheim. The American Open Tournament is composed of three divisions: Booster, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. This was Jack’s first tournament and he participated in the Junior Varsity section which is for intermediate players that hold an active USCF (U.S. Chess Federation) membership. He competed with 242 Junior Varsity participants and 34 others who made it to the final of the K-12 rated U1200 division. The tournament was run with a USCF 5 Round Swiss System with a time control of 30 minutes per game.

Jack is a member of Maranatha’s Chess Club and plans to participate in more tournaments in the future. Since he is taking ASL class in school, he also hopes to teach chess to Deaf students through Sign Language.

Come Enjoy an “Evening of Christmas” this Friday!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

By: John Wells, Performing Arts Faculty

“An Evening of Christmas,” our all-school celebration for the Christmas season, takes place this Friday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ambassador Auditorium.  It will be a night of music, dance, and drama to celebrate the season and, more importantly, the reason for the season.  Our choir, mixed ensemble and orchestra will be providing the music.  Our dance classes and dance team will be providing the dance, and our theater classes will be providing the drama. This year the theme is “Agnus Dei.”

Included in the evening’s festivities will be our opportunity to minister to the children of Hillsides, who will be our honored guests for the evening. Our mentor groups have been busy collecting items that the children need to present to them at a special ceremony after the concert. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and can purchased at the door on the night of the event. Come join us as we celebrate the birth of our Savior together, enjoy the ministry of our performing arts, and minister to at-risk youth.

Spiritual Life Retreat 2014: "As One
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

By: Joel Murphy, Director of Campus Ministries

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

January typically embodies a season pregnant with personal hopes of recommitment and ambition for the New Year. Some place their hope in the perspective of upward mobility. Others place their efforts towards expanding their influence. For the students and staff of Maranatha High School who participate in the 13th annual Spiritual Life Retreat, “As One,” we choose to place our hope in the renewing ministry and power of Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Through workshops and worship, through snowballs, small groups, and spiritual disciplines, “As One” we explore what it means to live lives rooted in humility, repentance, restoration, and the life abundant we have been created for. The prophet Ezra in 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides both a prescriptive and descriptive account of prayers and actions which allow the Spirit to work mightily in and through the lives of believers everywhere to birth…revival!

Join us for an amazing time of renewal, inspiration, and shared commitment over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 18-20. Pastors Brian Holland of Pomona First Baptist, Jesse Oakes of Lake Avenue Church, Justin Cox of Fellowship Monrovia, and James Burke of Foothills Community Church, and 300 of your closest friends will all be there! Sign-ups are limited so register now. The cost is $150 which can be billed to your school account. For questions, contact Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries Joel Murphy at or (626) 817-4092, and visit our website.

MHS to Serve in Rose Parade Again

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

By: Brian DeHaan, Athletic Director

It’s that time of year when the Athletic Department, spearheaded by the Baseball program, organizes volunteers to walk in the Rose Parade.  For those who are new to the community, the walk comes with service, and it truly is one of the most memor

able experiences you can partake in. For the past five years Maranatha has fully staffed the Rose Parade “Pooper Scoopers.” 

On January 1st volunteers will meet on campus in the early morning, usually around 4:00 a.m., before walking to the Wrigley Mansion for a Rose Parade breakfast. This short walk affords a unique opportunity to see the floats on Orange Grove as they are staged in preparation for the parade.  After breakfast the volunteers return to campus where each participant is issued the standard Rose Parade white coveralls and organized into three-person teams.  Each team member mans a trash can on wheels, a broom, or a shovel.  Once teams are organized the crew of approximately 75-80 volunteers leaves the gymnasium walking down St. John toward Colorado Avenue.  Once at Colorado the parade begins and teams enter the parade behind each equestrian unit to begin the walk and the occasional scoop.  At the conclusion of the parade volunteers turn in the gear and are served In and Out. 

Details for drop off an

d pick up will be coming, but if you are interested, feel free to sign up soon as spots fill fast. This is an incredible time of laughter, community, and it will be a memory you will never forget.  In the words of senior Helio Higley "It's really fun, you have to do it!"

Please sign up on this LINK and then print out the form and turn into the Athletic Department or the Student Center front desk by Tuesday Dec. 10! 

Above: Faithful volunteers from our MHS Staff included Eddie Arnett, Brian DeHaan, and Joel Murphy.

Department Spotlight: Modern Languages and Physical Education
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Did you know that all students in Spanish, French, and ASL have an opportunity to practice their skills outside of the classroom? Did you know that students in P.E. classes have projects and take a final? Learn more about these two departments this week by clicking HERE.

Final Exam Schedule
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

UPDATED 12/3/13:  There are two weeks of classes remainging before finals.  The first semester final exams will take place on December 16, 17, and 18.  Please note the dismissal time for Tuesday and Wednesday is 12:30 p.m. (the Minuteman Cafe will NOT be serving lunch those two days), and the dismissal time for Monday is 2:45 p.m.

Gingerbread Contest
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

All students are invited to participate in a longstanding tradition of the Art Club-sponsored Gingerbread Building Contest. On December 11, MHS will enjoy an extended lunch to allow ample time for the many participants to share their creativity through a themed Gingerbread Building Contest.  The cost to enter the contest is just $5. For more information, or to sign up, please see Art Club students: Calvin Yao, Elisabeth Gilmore, Katie Carmichael, or Ms. Barnhart in AC105. Click HERE for the modified schedule for that day.

If you’d like to earn some PVP hours, the Gingerbread Contest is in need of a lot of supplies. Please contact Ms. Barnhart if you are interested in supplying any of the following: 30 boxes graham crackers, 20 tubs of frosting (mostly white, and a little chocolate), 2-4 boxes of Fruit Loops, 4 large bags plain M & M’s, 3 bags of peppermint candies, 2 bags of Coconut, 2 large tubs of Red Vines, 5-8 boxes of ‘Nilla Wafers, 5 bags of small marshmallows, 6 bags of gum drops, 3 bags of Red Hots, 2-3 large containers of sprinkles, other small candies, chocolate chips or cookies (no peanuts, please!), plastic knifes – 200, heavy duty foil, plastic wrap – 2 large industrial-sized rolls to cover tables, newspapers to cover the tables, toothpicks, heavy cardboard – 22  approx. 9X12” (for working surface), small bowls – 100, paper plates – 100, and napkins – 1 large package.

Young Alum Lunch Coming Soon
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

We are pleased to host our annual Young Alumni Lunch on Wednesday, December 18 for our college-age alumni (Class of 2010-2013). This free casual event will feature a catered lunch and photo booth. The lunch will be held in the MHS Student Center from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Please pass this message along to any "young alum" you may know and encourage them to attend the lunch and register by visiting the event's webpage. Contact the Alumni Office with any questions at (626) 817-4071 or

Congrats to our Latest Eagle Scouts
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Congratulations to three seniors, Davey Bunn, Ben Hynes, and Nick Stalick, who were recently awarded the highest rank in the Boys Scouts of America – the Eagle Scout award. Besides many years of scouting and learning leadership in Troop 21, each spent time improving a local non-profit through their Eagle Scout project. Davey Bunn spent extensive time at the L.A. Arboretum replacing and improving a wildlife viewing fence and a walkway. Ben Hynes worked to make repairs and improvements at the Pasadena History Museum. Nick Stalick worked at a confidential women’s shelter in Glendale enclosing a play area through landscaping to increase safety for the children. These young men are models of leadership, espousing the qualities of courage, compassion, and integrity.

Student Signs with Biola University
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

On Tuesday, November 12, Anjie Amezquita signed her letter of intent to play softball at Biola University in La Mirada.  Students and staff had the privilege of celebrating this great accomplishment with her family, friends as well as past present and future coaches during a signing ceremony and celebratory lunch.  The head Biola softball coach and her assistant both attended the festivities and eloquently spoke about their anticipation and excitement for Anjie to join their program. During the celebration, current Maranatha Softball Coach Scott Sommers also shared his thoughts about Anjie and her athletic giftedness but most importantly her contagious positive attitude and love for the Lord.  Angie accepted a partial athletic and academic scholarship to attend Biola University. 

Our Athletic Director, Brian DeHaan, asserted, “We are very proud of Anjie’s accomplishments and the young woman she has become. Anjie has been a leader on and off campus and to see her continue in the Maranatha tradition of playing at the collegiate level is a blessing to our community.”

iPad Connection
Wednesday, December 04, 2013


Here at Maranatha, not only do our teachers use NetClassroom for taking attendance and assigning/grading student work. The majority of our faculty also utilizes two specific learning management systems; Schoology and Edmodo. Many times, you can get a more up-to-date snapshot of what grades your child is earning, (and a more accurate portrait of what your student does on a daily basis in class), by following their progress on one of these websites. All you need to do to gain access is email the teacher and request a "parent access code”.


Are you taking a foreign language course here at Maranatha? Or learning a foreign language on your own in your spare time? There is a great free app available on the Mac App Store called "Voice Translator". With this app, you can speak or type a phrase, and this app will teach you how to speak and write that phrase in 34 different languages. This is also a great travel companion for anyone planning to embark on an international mission trip this year. Check it out!

Department Spotlight: English and Arts
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

As we continue our spotlight on the many departments that make up our great school, this week we focus on our English and Arts Department. (continue to full story)

iPad Connection
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Students, are you tired of creating the same old PowerPoints for every class?  If so, try some newer multimedia presentation apps on your iPad, that you can use to "wow" your teachers.  Of course, if your teachers specifically request a PowerPoint, then please use PowerPoint. However, if your teachers are open to another option, try downloading the "Prezi" and "Shutterfly" apps. These will definitely help you stand out from the rest of the students. They are completely free, so you don't have anything to lose!

Click HERE to download Prezi for free

Click HERE to download Shutterfly for free

Maranatha Senior Wins World Championship
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Maranatha High School senior Hannah Rae Finchamp successfully defended her World Championship title recently at the 2013 Xterra World Championship Triathlon in Maui.

At the 2012 Xterra World Championship, Hannah wasn’t just the fastest woman in the 15-19 division; she was the fastest amateur woman in the entire field! She finished 13th overall, ahead of six pro women, and more than seven minutes ahead of the next age group female. In 2012, she won the overall amateur titles at both the Xterra National Championship and Xterra World Championship, and also placed 8th among a very competitive field at the USAT Junior Elite National Championship on the road. She was also the 2013 High School State Mountain Bike Champion.

This year, she was anxious to defend her World Championship at Xterra, and during the last week in October, she did just that. She is the only amateur woman ever to win the title twice. Needless to say, going into the race, she did not think she would come out a champion, but Hannah had one of the best races of her life. She had the fastest swim time, run time, 15-19 age group time, under 25 year-old time, and overall amateur woman time! Additionally, her overall time would have placed her 11th in the Pro Women’s category.  (continue to full story)

“Go. Serve. Love” Highlighted During Spiritual Emphasis Week
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Part of being an intentionally Christ-centered community is ensuring the faithful examination of the callings and claims of Christ through a variety of spiritual disciplines whereby all are able to then appropriate these teachings in every aspect of their living, learning, and serving.

Our theme for this semester, "Go. Serve. Love." is anchored to Mark 16:15-16, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole of creation...". We highlighted our theme during our Spiritual Emphasis Week. Through over twenty descriptive and prescriptive two-day intensive workshops led by pastors, local ministries, staff, and other leading experts, as well as mentor groups and chapels, we examined how and why the Love of Christ is most perfectly fulfilled as we bear the hurts, burdens, and sufferings of another. Please join us in prayer as we seek to discover where God is at work in the world today and how we might be able to join in His story of restoration as we "Go. Serve. Love".

Students Personally Interact with The Scarlett Letter
Thursday, November 14, 2013

Last week the junior English classes brought their study of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne to a deeper level. For a number of years the English Department has led a project where students display a struggle or aspect of their identity on a scarlet sign to wear for two days at school.

For those who have not read The Scarlet Letter, the English Department project summary describes it as “a heartbreaking tale of a young woman who was ostracized by her community for the adulterous affair that resulted in the birth of her daughter. In addition, another prominent character, Pastor Dimmesdale, is tormented by his hidden sin throughout the novel, which ultimately led to a detrimental result.” The tone for the assignment is set as follows, “While reading this in class, we discussed the idea of judgment and condemnation that many people feel entitled to convey to others. All the while, we neglect to understand that by doing this we often reject the opportunity to help, and instead, hinder the progress of those individuals’ spiritual life. We are notorious for pointing out the iniquity of others, telling ourselves that because we do not participate in whatever sin they might struggle with, that we are somehow better than them or less of a sinner than they are. As individuals we allow our sins and struggles, outward or hidden, to identify us, hindering our own ability to forgive, reconcile and move forward in our faith.” (continue to full story)

Maranatha Christmas Ornaments On Sale
Thursday, November 14, 2013

Be one of the first people to illuminate your Christmas tree this holiday season with this wonderful Maranatha keepsake, and help our Girls’ Basketball team at the same time! When hung on the tree, these light-up ornaments sparkle. The interior bulb shines a subtle color-changing glow through the metallic ball, emanating a warm, inviting feeling. A light dusting of glittery snowflakes adds an extra touch. The silver ornaments come in a decorative holiday box with the Maranatha logo on the front.

Don’t wait to get yours! To make a purchase, complete the order form HERE and send it to the school with a check or cash payable to Maranatha High School with “Girls' Basketball” in the memo line. You can also charge it to your MHS account. If you happen to be at school, purchase one at the Student Center front desk while supplies last.

Congrats to New Freshman Leaders!
Thursday, November 14, 2013

The freshman class held elections last week to choose the students who would represent them this school year by serving as their class president, vice president and representatives.  Congratulations to the following freshmen who will now serve in our ASB.

  • Freshman Class President: Skyye De Catur 
(pictured here)
  • Freshman Class Vice President: Ricci Cofinco
(pictured here)
  • Freshmen Class Representatives:  Nigel Jackson, Briana Alexander, Danielle Lee, Keila Asaoka, and Rosa Llanto

Thoroughly Modern Millie Coming to MHS Next Month!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

By: John Wells, Producer

Just below me in our dance/drama studio here at Maranatha, a rehearsal is going on for our upcoming show in the Ambassador Auditorium, Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Every time I see or hear these talented young people rehearse I get more excited about the show.  A show filled with love, humor, dance (the Charleston of course), performed by our talented students in the Ambassador... what more could anyone ask for?

Based on the popular movie, “Millie” is a musical about an enterprising young woman, Millie Dillmount, who just arrived off the bus from Salina, Kansas in 1920’s New York City.  She’s ready to take the Big Apple by storm and make it hers; to find success, maybe love, but mostly ‘modernity’ in the city of her dreams.  It doesn’t take long for her plans to be challenged by love and intrigue.  But Millie is not to be deterred.  Filled with flappers, dashing leading men, and a dragon-lady of a villainess you will love to hate, “Millie” will leave your heart filled with laughter, dance, and song.

The musical opens in the Ambassador Auditorium, Thursday night, November 21 and runs through Saturday night, November 23, with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday.  All other performances begin at 7:00 p.m.  Reserved seats can be obtained by calling (626) 817-4000 ext.1943, or online at  Don’t miss the fun!

Department Spotlight: Admissions
Thursday, November 07, 2013

With over 15 private high schools in the San Gabriel Valley, we know the high school selection process can be grueling. Our Dean of Admissions, John Rouse, considers it a privilege to walk with families as they make this important decision. He says, “As we begin the task of selecting the incoming class, it is our prayer that God would guide this process of partnering with families desiring to have their student experience a college preparatory and intentionally Christ-centered high school. It is thrilling to share how our school changes and challenges young lives. Our goal is to seek out those students and families who desire to take full advantage of the opportunities here at Maranatha.”  (continue to full story)

Mixed Ensemble on the Road 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Last Friday, our Mixed Ensemble participated in the 2013 Fall Choral Festival, hosted by Westmont College. The festival is a high school invitational event designed to get choirs together to sing for each other, participate in adjudications provided by the Westmont Music Department faculty, and perform for the community. Each choir prepared a few pieces and performed them for each other during the afternoon. Later, the choirs had the opportunity to participate in two performances. During the evening performance all the participants joined together to sing "Cantique de Jean Racine" by Gabriel Faure, as a mass choir.

According to Maranatha's Choir Director Aaron Kolberg, “The Fall Choral Festival is such a rewarding experience for the students; to be introduced to new music and ideas, to share their gifts with their peers and appreciate the talents of many other high schools in Southern California. It is such a blessing, and we are grateful that we are able to participate in this annual festival. The faculty at Westmont is very knowledgeable and gracious to host this great event.”  By participating in the festival, our Mixed Ensemble students were exposed to different choir sounds and techniques, repertoire, and performance practices. They also had the privilege of learning from Westmont faculty who offered advice and techniques to each group. Our students got to eat with all the other schools, offering a chance to meet new people and gain perspective regarding other choral programs and schools.  As it is hosted by Westmont College, it is very much a Christ-centered event, with the entire repertoire being sacred. This is the 4th year Maranatha has participated in this event.

Headmaster Shapes Maranatha and the Community at Large
Thursday, November 07, 2013

In his first six months as headmaster of Maranatha, Dr. Gyertson has been spending time getting to know Maranatha, as well as working closely with our Board of Trustees and the school’s leadership team. He has also spent significant time in the greater Pasadena community meeting with leaders in a position to support or impact Maranatha. He has met with several pastors as well as community leaders such as the President of Fuller Seminary, the Mayor of Pasadena, Pasadena City Council members, the Chief of Police, local heads of schools, and media heads. With each visit, Dr. Gyertson strives to increase the visibility of Maranatha, convey our vision, enhance community relationships, and explore ways to partner together to serve not only Maranatha, but the greater community around us.  (continue to full story)

Department Spotlight: Technology
Monday, November 04, 2013

Our newly overhauled Technology Department has recently implemented a 1:1 eLearning Program by deploying more than 800 iPads to students, faculty and key staff. The new MHS Technology Department consists of three key elements: Instructional facilitation, Infrastructure, and Support.

The Technology Department is now capable of providing 21st century learning tools and professional development to the faculty and staff, empowering them to lead our students into a world driven by a digital culture.

Each day the support team staffs the Technology Support rooms, ensures students have the technology needed to learn and study, keeps track of iPads, manages device needs and claims, and responds to staff and student technology needs. Mr. Stephen Wyles, Director of Technology, states, “We will do anything! Customer service to the classroom is our number one goal and we do not turn away any question, concern, or problem brought to our attention.”   (continue to full story)

iPad Program: 1st Quarter Progress Report
Monday, November 04, 2013

The Educational Technology and Information Technology teams have worked diligently and expeditiously to fulfill a vision for the launch of the 1:1 eLearning program at MHS. Along with administrators, faculty and other stakeholders, these technology teams pulled together expertise and researched-based information in order to successfully unveil the eLearning program this year. As we have now completed our 1st Quarter, we’d like to take some time to reflect on what we have accomplished and assess our progress.

Gearing up for iPads: the Nuts and Bolts
After researching and visiting Apple Distinguished schools that have previously launched 1:1 programs and getting the approval from the Board of Trustees in March of 2013, it was quickly realized that there was a great deal to accomplish within a small window of time. There were many undertakings that needed to occur in order to successfully implement the 1:1 eLearning Program for approximately 680 students and 50 teachers. The implementation plan for effectively integrating this technology included: gathering information, developing a plan, providing training and professional development for faculty, purchasing hardware, preparing students and parents, building an appropriate infrastructure and choosing appropriate management solutions program, rolling out the iPads, purchasing and distributing eResources, enrolling and managing devices, and testing network and firewall boundaries.  (read the full story)

Congrats to our CSF and NHS Members
Monday, November 04, 2013

We congratulate the 158 Maranatha students who qualify for membership in the National Honor Society (NHS) and/or California Scholarship Federation (CSF).

The National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are the nation's premier organizations established to recognize outstanding high school and middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NHS and NJHS serve to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921. Students must have minimum of a B average and complete a certain number of peer tutoring hours each year.

Since the organization’s inception in 1921, approximately 1400 CSF chapters have been approved. The purpose of CSF is to foster high standards of scholarship, service, and citizenship on the part of high school students in California. Like others, Maranatha’s chapter fosters the recognition, motivation, and education of academically talented students.

Senior Crowned Sierra Madre Rose Float Princess
Monday, November 04, 2013

This weekend, senior Tessa Brandstater was crowned Sierra Madre Rose Float Princess. After an application process including an interview with a panel of judges, Tessa and two other girls were chosen by the Sierra Madre Rose Float Association to represent Sierra Madre. Her official title is 2014 Princess Sierra Madre Rose Float Association. Tessa and the other princesses will be taken shopping to buy special outfits that they will wear at different Sierra Madre community events throughout the year. She will speak before the City Council, the Rotary Club, the Garden Club and several others. She will also ride in the Sierra Madre Fourth of July Parade. She will miss some school to represent Sierra Madre and speak at several events. Tessa and her family will spend a lot of time volunteering with the Sierra Madre float decoration. On New Year’s Day, Tessa will ride in the Tournament of Roses Parade on the Sierra Madre float titled "Catching the Big One". The float represents a gigantic colorful fish jumping out of the water and almost knocking over a boat – with the three princesses in it.

Department Spotlight: College & Guidance Counseling
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The mission of the College & Guidance Counseling Department is to nurture, guide and advocate for our students and families as they prepare for college, career, and life after high school. Ryan Bell, the Dean of College and Guidance Counseling describes it this way, “The Counseling Department is here to provide students the daily resources they need to successfully navigate high school in terms of their academics, personal/social/spiritual development, and college/career readiness.”

The College & Guidance Counseling Office consists of four counselors and a registrar. The counselors serve students by grade level, and beginning this year, will move up in grades with their students. By the time their students are applying for college, the counselor has a vast knowledge of each one including their passions and successes. They will not only be able to write a comprehensive recommendation for each student, but will be better equipped to help the student identify college options reflecting their educational and career desires. The registrar supports the office by maintaining records, managing transcripts, helping with NetClassroom, and working on the Master Schedule.  (continue reading here)

International Student Host Families Still Needed
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We have wonderful international students looking for Christian host homes while they attend Maranatha.  Would you consider hosting a student?  Host families provide a dedicated bedroom, all meals, and transportation.  To help offset costs, families receive a stipend of $1100/month.  If you have room in your home and heart to care for a student who is far from home, please contact us right away: Brandi Murphy, (626) 222-6422, brandimurphy7@gmail.comClick HERE for more details on what’s involved.

Maranatha to Offer British Isles Trip over Spring Break
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

By Dr. Michelle Purghart

Maranatha is excited to invite students to travel to the British Isles during their Spring Break (tentative trip dates are 4/14/14-4/23/14). The trip itinerary will include destinations such as Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh and London. Highlights will be visits to Edinburgh Castle, Big Ben, London Tower, Buckingham Palace, the Titanic Belfast, and Robert Burns’ Birthplace Museum. If you are a fan of British culture and countryside, this is the adventure for you. Tour guides will brief participants not only about the history, but also about the literature and art surrounding the area. The trip will be arranged through EF Educational Tours with chaperones from Maranatha faculty and staff. Any questions can be directed to Dianna Fowler at (626) 817-4090 or Dr. Michelle Purghart at (626) 817-4045.

If you are interested in signing your son or daughter up for the trip, it is on a first-come, first-served basis.  We are limiting attendance to 42 student participants, and parents are welcomed to travel with their children if desired. Please feel free to review the entire itinerary online at Once you are on the website, click on the tab at the top labeled “students” and then go to the bottom right hand side of the page and enter the following tour number: 1508605EU.  You can also sign up for the tour immediately on the same website. The total cost for students is $3290, which includes airfare, all transfers by bus and train, entrance fees, hotels, and breakfast and dinner daily.  I hope that some of you will take advantage of this great opportunity.

Speech & Debate Alumnus Excels
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Alumnus Nick Popham ’11 recently won first place in a Northern California Collegiate Speech Tournament and second place in a Southern California Collegiate Speech Tournament for his presentations in Dramatic Interpretation for California State University, Northridge. The combination of these two accomplishments allowed him to automatically progress to the collegiate national qualifying tournament. Nick excelled in sports and Speech & Debate as a student at Maranatha and decided to pursue collegiate Speech & Debate as he entered into his sophomore year of college. In addition to a busy college-student schedule which includes extensive travel with his collegiate Speech & Debate team, Nick has been donating his time this fall as an assistant Speech & Debate coach to Mr. Mesisca on Fridays.  "Watching Nick's progression in Speech & Debate from his high school success to his collegiate success encourages me.  His passion and talent demonstrated for our current students every Friday provides an additional motivation for our team as we continue to build on a legacy of success that Nick and several others helped establish," reflected Mr. Mesicsa. 

The Maranatha Speech & Debate team entered the 2013-2014 season ranked 13th in the Area and in the Top 100 in the State of California. The Maranatha Speech & Debate Team is currently preparing for the upcoming Fall Debate Invitational at Alhambra High School on Saturday, November 23 and the Fall Varsity Speech Tournament at Arroyo on Saturday, December 14. Maranatha is looking for adults who would like to earn PVP hours as judges for these tournaments. Please contact Mr. Mesisca to sign up as a volunteer at these tournaments.

Club Highlight: ASL Club
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not many schools are fortunate enough to have an American Sign Language (ASL) program. Many alumni have been blessed to participate in one or more of the three levels of ASL offered at Maranatha and use their skills extensively in their careers and Christian service. To augment the ASL curriculum, Maranatha also offers an ASL Club, led by ASL Faculty Sharon Chung. The ASL Club meets every Monday at lunch in AC111. Anyone is welcomed to join and there is no need to know ASL. During meetings students enjoy food, watch ASL music videos, learn to sign songs, and/or play ASL games (not all games require knowing ASL). 

The club also aims to host two activities per semester including a Deaf-related event like a Deaf expo, and a “Deaf Lunch”. For the “Deaf Lunch”, students gather at the Santa Anita Mall and spend the afternoon in fellowship with good food and friends and without words! Students are only allowed to sign for the entire experience including ordering food "as a Deaf person". They must attempt to figure out alternate ways to communicate, an experience that gives students a good idea of what it's like to be “Deaf" for the afternoon

The ASL Club recently took a field trip to Universal Studios for Universal’s Deaf Awareness Day. Thirteen students were able to attend and had the opportunity to sign with members of the Deaf community as well as watch interpreters translate many of the shows. Mrs. Chung said, "It was a great day for students to be able to apply what we learned in class to real life. Everyone had a blast and I loved watching the students interact with the Deaf community." Student Matt Ross commented, "I enjoyed the ability to go out and see the normal social structure of the Deaf society at work. Also it was interesting to 'pretend to be Deaf' and sign with my friends to see other people's reactions toward Deaf people."

Parents in Touch Week (November 4 – 8)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We are launching a week of parents getting in touch with other parents to just simply ask how they are doing. This will also be a great opportunity for prayer requests or to join them in celebrating any significant praise reports.

Our grade level parents are still looking for volunteers! Please use the Parent Directory located in NetClassroom to contact the following people:

  • Ryan Newman, Senior Class
  • Frances Ciulla, Junior Class
  • Eva Basler Demirjian, Sophomore Class
  • Rebecca Hurte, Freshman Class

You may also contact Lauren Obregon in the Advancement Office at (626) 817-4071.

MHS Family Directory Available!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wanting to get in touch with another parent at Maranatha? The Maranatha Family Directory is available on NetClassroom and includes student and family contact information as well as a list of students by grade and a cross reference of parents and students by last name.

Maranatha families may access the Directory by logging into NetClassroom with your password and clicking on the “Student’s Classes”, then “Class details”. There will be a drop down menu to choose the class – choose “Stu Resource” and on the right hand side of the page there is an area labeled “Documents”. The Directory can be found there as a PDF.

Please be aware that the Directory is intended for use by Maranatha families and students only and may not be used for commercial use or solicitation. Please contact our Database Coordinator Sandee Holt at or (626) 817-4073 if you need to update or change your information.


Student Missions Applications Due this Week!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

As an intentionally Christ-centered school, Maranatha High School seeks to integrate faith into every aspect of our living, learning, and serving. One opportunity given to the student body to grow in an understanding of service to the world is our missions program.

Don’t miss out on a life changing opportunity! Student Missions Applications are now available. Applications are due this Friday, October 18. There is one application for all four Mission Opportunities: Nicaragua, Pasadena, New Orleans, and Dominican Republic. Applications are available HERE as well as the Student Center and Academic Center Front desks or though one of the Mission Trip leaders:  Mr. Newkirk, Mr. and Mrs. Rouse, Mr. Randolph, Mr. Winslow, Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Obregon, or Mr. and Mrs. Zambrano.

2013-2014 Short Term Mission Trips

  • Northwest Pasadena - Harambee Ministries - Spring Break, April 15-19, 2014
  • Nicaragua - El Salero – Spring Break:  April, 2014 (approx. 14 days)
  • Dominican Republic - Mission Emmanuel –July 1-10, 2014
  • New Orleans – MHS partners with Lake Avenue Congregational Church of Pasadena and New Life Church of New Orleans –July 26-August 2, 201 

By expanding our missions program, we hope to offer more opportunities for students to be able to serve in new contexts and wrestle with tough Kingdom issues such as poverty, justice, service, and sacrifice.

Department Spotlight: Athletics
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

By: Robbie Ortlund ’14

Multiple departments work very hard to make Maranatha a Christ-centered school that provides an excellent experience for its students.  A tremendous example of this can be found in the Athletic Department under the leadership of Athletic Director Brian DeHaan and Assistant Athletic Director Eddie Arnett.  Together, the two have embraced the rich history of Maranatha’s athletic heritage while raising the bar of excellence with their Christ-centered approach.

Maranatha’s mission is both enhanced and furthered by the Athletic Department in many ways.  The most evident way can be found in the changed lives of student athletes as they are strengthened and empowered spiritually, socially, and physically. The athletic program develops the character of young people and is an extremely memorable experience for the 60-70% of Maranatha students who participate. The athletic staff of over 80 coaches is composed of men and women, young and old, who have dedicated their lives to Christ. Everyone plays an important role; from the freshman team assistant coach to the varsity head coach. Mr. DeHaan makes intentional efforts to ensure that faith is at the head of all sports and Christ is at the center of the athletic program. “We live the mission daily,” he said, “It’s a passion to ensure that all athletes are able to build upon the gifts and the platform that God has given them.” All teams are required to fulfill a service project and serve the community. “Identity is not found in first being an athlete, but rather an athlete’s identity is first in Christ.” As Mr. DeHaan stated, “Student athletes find their identity in Christ and build their lives around Him; value is found in using our gifts to glorify Christ rather than ourselves.”   (full story here)


Cultural Celebrations at MHS
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our International Program offers the Maranatha community many unique opportunities to learn about the world and expand our international awareness and vocabulary. Besides the cross-cultural friendships established, we have the opportunity to celebrate the traditions that remain near and dear to students so far from home.

Recently, Maranatha had the privilege of celebrating the New Moon Festival, a traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Typically on this day, members of the family come together to eat moon cakes and drink tea while talking and watching the big moon in the sky. This year, international students shared moon cakes with Maranatha classmates and staff as a way to commemorate the holiday.

On Monday, October 14, Maranatha celebrated Japanese Sports Day! Students wore red and white in honor of the festive day and were invited to participate in games and activities on the field during lunch.

We often forget the impact we have on others and the significance the celebration of these holidays can hold to our international friends. One student was almost speechless when told that ASB wanted to help with Sports Day, until their excitement took over and they started to think of all the games we could play. The opportunities we have now are just a small taste of what it will be like to stand before God’s throne, “with every nation, tribe, people, and language.” (from Revelation 7:9)

Football Team Lookin’ Sharp
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You may have noticed some new football uniforms over the last two weeks. Maranatha would like to thank Under Armour, Riddell and Warner Bros. for the generous donation and partnership. Through this donation, the Football program received 55 custom chrome helmets, 55 top of the line shoulder pads, and two sets of Under Armour uniforms.  Each varsity player also received a new pair of custom cleats, custom Maranatha gloves, two pairs of custom socks, compression layered gear, and integrated girdles. The Maranatha Athletic Department is grateful to have been selected for this generous gift.

Mothers of Alumni Lunch
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our Mothers of Alumni on-campus luncheon is just two weeks away. While the MHS students are away, the mothers will play! This is a free event hosted by the Alumni Office. We will be enjoying a casual lunch catered by Green Street Restaurant. Dr. Gyertson will take a moment to share his heart for MHS, and there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with fellow MHS mothers. Campus tours will be available at 1:00 p.m. for those who are interested in seeing recent improvements to our beautiful campus.

Please mark your calendars and invite your friends! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Please join us for the annual
Mothers of Alumni Luncheon
Friday, October 25, 2013
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Maranatha High School Student Center
Click here to RSVP TODAY!

MHS Scarves
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cozy Maranatha scarves are here! The scarves are reversible - white on one side and navy on the other, and sell for just $20! To purchase, please contact Robin Schober at or purchase them at home football games and at the Booster store.  Scarves can be charged to your Maranatha account. All proceeds will support the soccer program, helping to cover the cost for additional equipment for the teams.  Thank you for your support!

Book Drive Continues
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

October is National Book Month! Help educate a child even beyond Maranatha by donating books to Maranatha’s Book Drive.

This year, Jorge Castello, one of our seniors is putting feet on his faith and inspiring our community to get behind a worthy project. Jorge has organized a book drive to help the Hollenbeck Youth Center start a library and promote education and learning in a poor community.

The Hollenbeck Youth Center is an organization located in Boyle Heights, one of the poorest neighborhoods in East Los Angeles. The Hollenbeck Youth Center's primary focus is to deter teens from gangs and violence, and instead foster a safe, positive environment that encourages education and opportunity.

“In a neighborhood where education, hope, and opportunity are lacking, we can have a major impact on the lives of these children by providing them with books that they can use to read and enjoy. We have a great opportunity to help a community that is in need and to further education; the choice is ours to help them,” said Jorge.

Donated books can be new or used and may be dropped off in the Book Bin at the Student Center front desk. The Book Drive will end on October 17, during our second mentor group meeting.

If you or the students have any further questions, please contact Jorge Castello. You can email him at, call/text him at (323) 775-7523, or simply talk to him at school or when you see him on the football field. If you have books in bulk, Jorge is happy to pick books up from your home or office.

Need PVP Hours?
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

New opportunities to serve your school, meet other families, and get your required PVP hours are available on a regular basis. If you still need to complete your 20 hours or earn a few extra, please remember the red “Volunteers Needed” button at the bottom of each Minutegram will take you straight to the PVP Opportunities page on our website. Some current needs include:

Open House: Saturday, November 9: This is a great opportunity for working parents to serve! Set up and clean up help is needed as well as plenty of food donations. Click HERE to volunteer with SignUp Genius.       
Bottled Water is always needed by the Admissions, Marketing, and Advancement Offices for volunteers and events. Feel free to drop off cases to the Student Center and label for “Marketing”.  

Maranatha Celebrates Four Rose Court Finalists!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

In September, almost 1000 young ladies tried out for one of seven spots of the 2014 Rose Court. Several Maranatha ladies made it through many rounds. Four young ladies; Olivia Connolly, Adele Higley, Candace Raymond, and Sierra Wessen; made it to the final round of just 30 girls. On October 7, over 75 staff and students made the trek up the street to the Tournament House to cheer on our four young ladies. Maranatha has enjoyed four princesses over the last three years. Although we did not come back with a Rose Court princess on October 7, we certainly celebrate with these four girls that represented Maranatha so well!

Above: Students cheer on our four finalists (front and center).

Department Spotlight: Advancement
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

As a school, our academic and athletic programs often are the most visible departments on campus. However, just as Paul suggests in his letter to the Corinthians, the Maranatha body also has many parts. In upcoming Minutegrams we will highlight several other departments introducing you to their functions and explaining the important roles they play in the “body of Christ” at Maranatha. In this issue we feature the Advancement Office.

Tucked away in the southwest corner of the second floor of the Student Center is the industrious office of Advancement, reporting directly to the Headmaster. Dr. Gyertson states, "Maranatha's Advancement team helps tell the stories about and raise the additional resources needed to support Maranatha's calling to be a quality college preparatory institution in a Christ-centered context.  They support my central responsibility as Headmaster to communicate the vision and mission of Maranatha to our constituencies performing the many functions and facilitating the various activities needed to connect our campus community.  I am blessed to be leading a dedicated team of hard working professionals committed to doing their various assignments for the glory of God!"   (read full story here)

Celebrating Staff Mileston
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

This year, Maranatha honors six staff celebrating a milestone year of service! Congratulations to the following staff on their contribution to Maranatha.

Ed Newkirk – Theology Faculty, 30 Years
  Mr. Newkirk has taught, coached, mentored at, and seen his four children graduate Maranatha over the last thirty years. “Maranatha is a unique place where we have great families with great kids coming together, and a place where teachers and coaches have the opportunity to be the ‘living curriculum’. God has called me to Maranatha and I love teaching here! My family and I will always be grateful to the families and faculty of Maranatha for their unconditional love and support.”

Anne Stapleton – Bookkeeper, 15 years  
“It is a blessing for me to work at MHS where honoring the Lord Jesus Christ is the primary focus in all things. And it has been exciting to see how the Lord has led MHS from its humble beginnings to our beautiful campus – I started working in a trailer on Canon Street in Sierra Madre and am now in a real office. The real blessing for me has been working with wonderful Christians who have become some of my best friends.” Mrs. Stapleton has seen both of her children graduate Maranatha and reflects, “I will always be grateful to the teachers at MHS who had such a significant impact on my children academically and in their walk with the Lord.”

Eddie Arnett ’96 – Assistant Athletic Director, 10 years
  “My greatest joy in working at Maranatha is the privilege of loving high school students and pouring into their lives. As a Maranatha alum, there were multiple people that invested in and pushed me to live out the Lord’s calling on my life. I consider it a true honor and privilege to come back and do the same for our current students.” One of his favorite recollections is working to connect our alumni athletes to current athletes. “It is important that our kids see the long legacy they are blessed to be a part of.”

Sarah Crane – Languages Faculty, 10 years 
 Mrs. Crane is a true Francophile and enjoys sharing her passion of all things French with her students in her class and in the school’s academic trip she leads to France. “Traveling with students,” she says, “offers so many adventures and the opportunity to observe 'wonder' in their eyes as we explore and learn from other cultures!” Mrs. Crane enjoys the ability to share not only her love of language, but her love for the Lord.

Becky Kuchenski – Learning Lab Faculty,  10 years  
Mrs. Kuchenski sees “teaching as a great way for me to use my gift of exhortation. I love encouraging and pushing students to be their best.” She also loves inspiring students to seek out what God is doing in their lives and to always remember that their identity is in Christ. As she looks at her past ten years, Mrs. Kuchenski comments that her favorite thing is “seeing students’ lives change and seeing them find their identity in Christ.”

Brenda Schlenker – Art Faculty, 10 years 
 Mrs. Schlenker has eleven years experience as a full-time graphic designer and continues to work part-time as a freelance graphic designer/photographer. She shares, “We were created in the image of the One who creates. I love having the opportunity to encourage a visual means of expression to the next generation, providing tools and a place to discover an artistic voice that is inspired by the Author of Creativity.”

Read all our faculty bios HERE.

2013 Homecoming Court
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

One of the most exciting things about Homecoming for the students is the Homecoming Court. If you missed this year’s Court, the names are listed below:

  • Freshmen Prince and Princess: Kyle Takata and Leilia Toomalatai

  • Sophomore Prince and Princess: Cameron Smith and Sophie Peterson

  • Junior Prince and Princess: Baron Burems and Taylor Chamberlain

  • Senior Prince and Princess: Baile McDavid and Gabby Masuda

  • Senior Prince and Princess: Jorge Castello and Candace Raymond

  • Senior Prince and Princess: David Bun and Olivia Connolly

  • 2013 Homecoming King and Queen: Nick Scanlan and Madie Johnson (shown here)

Read the full article in our Minutegram HERE.

MHS Stylus Pens on Sale
Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Girls' Basketball team proud to announce their new fundraiser item: the MHS Stylus Ballpoint Pen! Quickly alternate between ballpoint pen and stylus functions with the integrated pen in the stylus tip. Navigate through your apps, programs and electronic files with ease. The stylus provides precise touch and control, while protecting your touch screen from fingerprints and smudges. It is easy to carry and can be clipped onto the MHS iPad Mini cover or anywhere you might carry a pen.  It is compatible with any touchscreen devices including iPhone, iPad and Smartphones.  Don’t wait to get yours as supplies are limited. The cost is $5.00 each and can be charged to your MHS account. Stop by the front desk in the Student Center and see Ivy to get yours today!

Parent Association Office Hours
Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Parent Association is pleased to announce their office hours are Monday through Friday mornings from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. beginning in October. During these hours, a Parent Association Board member will be available if anyone wants to stop by for coffee, has questions, or needs information about the P.A.


Maranatha Enhances Campus Safety Services
Tuesday, October 01, 2013

In a continuing effort to provide excellence and the highest quality care for our students, Maranatha High School is making extensive upgrades to our Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness services.  A number of enhancements are being made over the 2013-2014 school year to proactively ensure the safety of Maranatha students, staff, and campus guests twenty-four hours a day.

As Dr. Gyertson notes, “We are blessed to be in a highly visible and accessible location in the heart of Pasadena. These enhanced safety and preparedness services will help us provide the most comfortable, convenient and secure campus for our mission of providing a quality Christ-centered college preparatory education at Maranatha.”

Dr. Gyertson also shared last week in chapel that the hallmark of the nation’s first “Minutemen” in colonial times was to be “always prepared – able to respond on a moment’s notice.” This motto of the Minutemen is Maranatha’s guide in upgrading our campus security.  Tammy Horton ’00, our Director of Campus Security, has been working diligently this summer to make sure her staff exemplify that motto so that all campus staff are ready on a moment’s notice to ensure our students’ well being.

One of the first enhancements implemented at Maranatha involves joining forces with “Off Duty Officers” (ODO), a contracted security team that provides highly trained ex-law enforcement and military personnel experienced at serving in an educational context. Under the direction of Ms. Horton, ODO deploys a lead officer during peak campus hours as well as two other security officers during each of the three daily shifts. One of these security officers is stationed at the Visitor’s Lot to ensure all guests are identified and receive a Visitor’s Pass before entering the campus. Beginning this fall, the Underground Parking Garage gates will be closed during the school day. Students parked in the lot have access to leave for approved appointments if they are properly checked out through the front office.

Other improved campus safety measures planned for the next few months include the addition of several more security cameras, with a focus on our buildings’ interiors, entrance and exit doors, as well as the parking structure. We are replacing the current locking mechanisms around campus with key card access. Key cards are easily programmed and assist in monitoring building access. We also plan to place several “Emergency Notification Buttons” in the parking garage that when pushed will alert security staff.

Disaster Preparedness also is a key focus of the campus safety upgrades.  One of the important measures consists of enhanced staff training and drills so that everyone knows what to do when seconds count. Over 50 staff and coaches recently received CPR and First Aid instruction with another round of training to come. All coaches are

required to have CPR certification. Four additional Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been mounted around campus for a total of seven AEDs. Studies suggest that in the event of a cardiac arrest these life-saving devices increase survival rate by 60%.

The Campus Safety Team is planning one drill or disaster training per month to ensure staff and students are prepared for a crisis. Maranatha is partnering with Pasadena Police and Fire in the coming months to simulate a major emergency on our campus and learn from the Response Team’s methods. Though Maranatha already has several days worth of food, water, and emergency supplies for the entire staff and student body, we have also recently invested in emergency backpacks that are strategically placed around the campus should the emergency supplies be inaccessible.

We believe these efforts enhance the safety and security for our students and our entire Maranatha community. And we appreciate your co-operation with our security personnel as they serve our needs in this important area. Please contact our Director of Security, Tammy Horton, should you have any questions at

Senior Portraits Available
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Senior Portrait proofs are now available! Please stop by Ms. Cuellar's office (AC 209) this week to pick up your senior portrait proofs. Once you take them home, you will email the photographer Nick Boswell at with the image number for the yearbook photo of your choice. Instructions are included on the cover page of the packet.  If you have any questions please contact Ms. Cuellar.  


MHS Senior Named “Miss Energetic
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Congratulations to senior Crystal Yeap crowned Miss Energetic in the Miss Asia West Coast contest, a contest leading up to the ATV Miss Asia pageant.  The ATV Miss Asia Pageant is an annual Hong Kong-based beauty pageant organized and broadcast by Asia Television Limited (ATV), the second largest TV studio in Hong Kong.

Speech and Debate Underwa
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

By: Pat Mesisca, Speech and Debate Advisor

On Saturday, September 21, Maranatha sent 34 students to compete at Gabrielino High School for the annual Icebreaker Speech Tournament.  The Icebreaker is a great opportunity for rookie students to learn how speech tournaments work and an opportunity for veterans to increase their standing in the National Forensic League.  Entering the 2013-2014 season, the Maranatha Speech and Debate team is ranked 13th in the District and in the top 100 in the state of California.  We have had a very successful recent history in Speech and Debate competition and it is exciting to have a new season underway.  I hope you will attend one of the upcoming tournaments.  As one parent commented, "These tournaments highlight student academia at its best!"

Fall Schedule:

  • Novice Speech: Saturday, November 16 at Gabrielino HS (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Novice Debate: Novice, JV, and Varsity Debate: Saturday, November 23 at Alhambra HS 
(8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) *
  • Varsity Speech: Saturday, December 14 at Arroyo HS (8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.) *

* We need adult judges at the Varsity tournaments in order for our students to be able to compete.  Anyone willing to be a judge on Saturday, November 23 or Saturday, December 14, please contact Pat Mesisca.

Student Inspires Maranatha Book Drive
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One of Maranatha’s four core values is "service". This year, Jorge Castello, one of our seniors is putting feet on his faith and inspiring our community to get behind a worthy project. Jorge has organized a book drive to help the Hollenbeck Youth Center start a library and promote education and learning in a poor community.

The Hollenbeck Youth Center is an organization located in Boyle Heights, one of the poorest neighborhoods in East Los Angeles. The Hollenbeck Youth Center's primary focus is to deter teens from gangs and violence, and instead foster a safe, positive environment that encourages education and opportunity.

Because of his father’s involvement with the center, Jorge has been volunteering there since he was young. He has helped with projects in the past, but has volunteered to spearhead this one - the creation of a library for the center. Jorge is looking for donations of books for toddler through high school age, including dictionaries and other research materials. He is also hoping to secure donations of bookshelves and furniture for the library that they hope to unveil this fall.

“In a neighborhood where education, hope, and opportunity are lacking, we can have a major impact on the lives of these children by providing them with books that they can use to read and enjoy. We have a great opportunity to help a community that is in need and to further education; the choice is ours to help them,” said Jorge.

The drive was announced in mentor groups last week. Each student was encouraged to donate at least 1 or 2 (or more) of their favorite books from their childhood. Books can be new or used and may be dropped off in the Book Bin at the Student Center front desk. The book drive will run through most of October, which is "National Book Month,” and end on October 17, during our second mentor group meeting.

If you or the students have any further questions, please contact Jorge Castello. You can email him at, call/text him at (323) 775-7523, or simply talk to him at school or when you see him on the football field. If you have books in bulk, Jorge is happy to pick books up from your home or office.

Advanced Placement Results at MHS
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Advanced Placement Results at MHS

By: Michelle Purghart, Ed.D., Principal

Maranatha is pleased to report great accomplishments in Maranatha’s Advanced Placement (AP) program.  Over the last few years, the number of students taking AP classes has grown tremendously, as has the pass rate.  We are very proud of our students for all of their hard work and effort, and we are so pleased with MHS faculty who has prepared their students so well in each of the disciplines.

As shown in the bar graph above, MHS students are outscoring their California state counterparts in the AP program each year by approximately 10 percent.  In 2013, we see that percentage rise to almost 20 percent.  Maranatha’s growth in the AP pass rate is also noteworthy because we can see a steady climb from 2011.  A pass rate of 82% last school year makes Maranatha competitive with the best private schools in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.  Maranatha anticipates the AP scores to improve again this year, and we have set a minimum pass rate goal of 85%.  If we anticipate the California mean pass rate to stay the same at 63%, as it has for the last four years, Maranatha will be outscoring the mean pass rate for the State by over 20%.  We look forward to viewing Maranatha’s 2014 results, but we have a great deal of work to do before that time.  If your child is in an AP class, please encourage them to study daily, as they are in a college level class that requires review even when no homework is assigned.

Thank you again for partnering with us to produce the best students possible, to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapel Series 2 :Fruit of the Spirit
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

By: Joel Murphy, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministries

As we continue through the overarching theme for the year of “Hope”, the second chapel series moves past focusing on hope as a noun and looks at hope as a verb. Our conscious effort to believe in the hope that Jesus brings translates into how we live our lives which makes hope a verb.

In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul provides a list of nine virtues called the “Fruit of the Spirit”. These nine manifestations which the Holy Spirit endows the Church; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the hallmark of a Spirit-filled life in Christ. It’s this fruit which evidences God’s active work both in and through us to accomplish His redemptive nature. Interesting to note is that all of these expressions are both something you are and something you do. And herein lays the tension.

Throughout this next series we’ll explore the daily reminder that the fruit of the Spirit stands in stark contrast to ‘the works of the flesh.’ We live in the constant awareness that apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot love, be patient, be kind, self-controlling, or any of the other manifestations of the Spirit.

So, where do go from here? How do we become and share the fruit of the Spirit?  For believers to cultivate this fruit we must fully submit our lives to the Father. Through the daily emptying of ourselves, we choose to live in the recognition that it’s the Lord who provides and sows the seed.  The nurturing of the soil is left to the transforming work of the Spirit. The Church is to traffic the hope of the harvest.

To view the 2013-2014 chapel series, click HERE.

Volunteer Opportunites
Monday, September 23, 2013

Getting parent service hours can be easier than you may think!  There are multiple ways to earn your Parent Volunteer Program (PVP) hours, some of which can be done from home or while enjoying a sporting event.  A current list is available on our website HERE.  Also, for your convenience, we are adding a link to the bottom of each Minutegram so you can check back as often as you like.

Here are just a few of the volunteer opportunities with which our Advancement office would love your help:

Mailings:  Volunteers needed for stuffing envelopes for mailings on these dates:

  • September 25, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • September 26, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • September 27, (time to be announced)

Parents in Touch Week  (November 4 –8)
We need volunteers to call parents from their class to inquire how the family is doing, and ask if they have any prayer requests or praise reports. We need as many callers as possible for each grade level. We have four Grade Parents who will be leading this week long effort. Our volunteers are welcome to make these calls from their homes. Class lists will be divided up and distributed as well as a script provided to each caller. If you have any questions, please contact Patrice Cablayan or Lauren Obregon in the Advancement office, or your class parent.

  • Rebecca Hurte – Freshman Class
  • Eva Basler Demirjian – Sophomore Class
  • Fran Ciulla – Junior Class
  • Ryan Newman – Senior Class

Homecoming (Friday, October 4, 3:30-7:00 p.m.)
Homecoming is a fun and exciting time and we need several parent volunteers to help the Advancement office with set-up and clean-up for the Alumni Reception, or assisting at the Alumni Tent.  Please contact Lauren Obregon (626) 817-4071 or


International Student Program Integration
Monday, September 23, 2013

by Helio Higley ‘14

It is unbelievable how much the International Program has grown here at Maranatha. Did you know Maranatha began accepting International students as early as the 1970’s? Back then there were only three to eight students, but now there are about eighty-five students. The program has expanded significantly. Currently at Maranatha there are students from South Africa, China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and Honduras.

A goal of our International Student program, led by Melissa Wunderly, has been to seek greater interaction between our international students and our non-international students. Several steps have been taken to further integrate our international students including enhancing the International Summer Program by involving many of our current students so that when the international freshman start in August, they already have American friends. International students have also been integrated into the regular Theology curriculum this year. The international students enjoy many cultural celebrations and are encouraged to bring their American friends to learn about their culture and the other cultures they celebrate. Finally, this year, the International Student program has been excited to unveil a new “International Buddy Program” where each freshman international student is paired with an American buddy. Buddies will meet at least monthly for games, outings, or other activities in the hope that these new friendships will be a benefit to both international and American youth. Last Tuesday the international students and their buddies bonded by asking fun icebreaker questions over a delicious ice cream treat.

Above all, Maranatha's focus rests on discipleship to the International students, as with all pupils. As our principal Dr. Purghart mentioned, “It is our hope at Maranatha that the international students be exposed to a Christian world view and understand a Christian life style. We pray that God will work in the lives of these students and that they accept Christ as their Lord and Savior or build their relationship with Christ while at Maranatha if they are already Christian." Our international students are at varying stages in their faith journey, and MHS hopes to be a support system for them. MHS's goal is also to have the International program benefit American students by the friendships they make, the cultures they are exposed to, and the global perspective that is offered in classrooms when students come from various countries.  Maranatha is continuing to diversify the program and build on the successes they have seen thus far.

New Staff and Faculty Profiles

Monday, September 23, 2013

Maranatha is privileged to retain a high quality of faculty and staff who not only possess stellar qualifications, but a solid faith in the Lord. To allow our families to get to know our new staff, we have been pleased to highlight them as they have joined our community.  Below are a few staff we have yet to highlight in recent staff announcements. Please help us welcome them to Maranatha. In addition, we are proud to showcase all our faculty bios on our website under the Academics tab. Click HERE to read more about our first-rate faculty.

Tim Parent

Mr. Parent joined Maranatha High School at the end of last school year as our Systems Support Specialist.  Tim has a B.A. in Information Management from California State University San Bernardino.  He comes to us from Long Beach Unified School District where he was a Computer Support Technician.  Mr. Parent is both CompTIA Network+ Certified and CompTIA  A+ Certified. Tim says, “I feel very blessed to have found a career path that I absolutely love and that God has a great plan for me.”

Lonnitta Smith-Russell 
Ms. Smith-Russell has twelve years experience in instructing a myriad of sciences. She will be teaching Chemistry and Honors Chemistry here at MHS. Ms. Smith-Russell says her greatest strength is her love for humanity.  She is excited for the opportunity the Lord has given her and believes that, “Morals and the pursuit of knowledge go hand-in-hand. When we integrate our Christian viewpoint in an ethical manner, it produces students who are aware of the ways they can impact society and forges links to our beliefs in an empowering way.”  Ms. Smith-Russell has a B.S. in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from Norfolk State University in Virginia and is pursuing an M.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Science.  She holds a Virginia Teaching/Professional Licensure and is a member of the National Education Association and the National Science Teachers Association.

Joy Thompson

Mrs. Thompson is teaching New Testament Theology and Jesus and the Gospels. She has a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Life Pacific College and an M.A. in Theology and the Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary.  Mrs. Thompson has over 5 years of instructional experience and is excited to join the Maranatha community, saying, “I want to teach at a Christian high school so that I can empower students through learning, but also enrich their spiritual and personal growth through relationship.  I seek to be a mentor and model to my students, and be decidedly for them, their dreams, and their success.”

Another Strong Enrollment Year for Maranatha
Monday, September 23, 2013

As we begin a new school year, it is exciting to see many new faces on campus.  Our Maranatha community has grown again this year, now totaling 679 students - our highest level in 5 years!  A large freshman class (174 students) for the second year in a row, combined with a high re-enrollment rate, increased the school's enrollment to a near record level. 

Headmaster Dr. David Gyertson remarked, "Having had the chance to get to know several freshmen on retreat I am impressed with their quality and energy, as well as the spiritual interest. We are blessed and privileged to be able to serve God's purposes in their lives. Special thanks to our Admissions team for their excellent work with this class." 

Our new freshman students (87 boys and 87 girls) come to Maranatha from 53 middle schools, and represent 67 church affiliations. Twenty-eight of them have siblings who are currently at MHS or have already graduated. 

We also welcomed 49 upperclassmen who transferred to Maranatha this year. Current enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year consists of 174 freshmen, 194 sophomores, 160 juniors, and 151 seniors.  

"God's blessings are clearly at work at Maranatha," commented Principal Dr. MIchelle Purghart. "We are so grateful for the new families who have trusted their children to us and for those who continue to partner with us. We do not take lightly our responsibility of preparing every student for college in a Christ honoring context. We thank our faculty for keeping Maranatha's mission in their hearts, so that every student continues to experience the important difference teachers can make as their lives are transformed."


CSF and NHS Deadlines

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Maranatha is proud to sponsor the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. The deadline to apply for both is this Friday, September 13. A $2 application fee is required for each application. Both applications are available on our website.  Click HERE for the CSF application, and HERE for the NHS application. Please note that freshmen may only apply for CSF starting the second semester, but may apply for NHS now. Please turn in completed applications to Ms. Fowler (Academic Center Front Desk) and contact her with any questions at


MHS Family Directory Available On NetClassroom Now
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Maranatha Family Directory is now available on NetClassroom and includes student and family contact information as well as a list of students by grade and a cross reference of parents and students by last name.

Maranatha families may access the Directory by logging into NetClassroom with your password and clicking on the “Student’s Classes”, then “Class details”. There will be a drop down menu to choose the class – choose “Stu Resource” and on the right hand side of the page there is an area that says “Documents”. The Directory can be found there as a PDF.

Please be aware that the Directory is intended for use by Maranatha families and students only and may not be used for commercial use or solicitation. Please contact our Database Coordinator Sandee Holt at or (626) 817-4073 if you need to update or change your information.


Past Board Presidents Visit Campus
Wednesday, September 04, 2013

In a desire to ensure that we do not lose the historic evidences of God’s help and interventions, current Board chair John Davis and Headmaster Dr. David Gyertson hosted a prayer breakfast with past Board Presidents.  The goals included honoring these leaders for their service and sacrifice, informing them of how we are building on their legacies for the future and inviting them to be an active part of our future. As we prepare for the 50th anniversary in 2015, we will be sharing many of their stories that make up the “Maranatha Miracle”. The breakfast concluded with a time of prayer for God’s direction and blessing. Dr. Gyertson said, “This gathering helped me to better understand the God-directed history of Maranatha. I am thankful that these leaders are willing to meet with me on a quarterly basis so that I can benefit from their insights, advice and wisdom”.  

pictured here L-R: John H. Davis, David Poole, Dr. James Miser, George Hausler)

Maranatha Files New Articles and By-Laws
Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Board of Trustees is happy to announce that it recently approved changes to its primary corporate documents. The documents had not been updated for many years. As a result of these changes, Maranatha has now been classified by the State of California as a religious organization. Previously, Maranatha had been classified as a public benefit corporation. Other changes include the elimination of membership included in the corporation (membership ceased being a legal requirement in 1980) and establishing the position of Headmaster.

The board has been reviewing its governance and board policies. It is part of the board’s focus on ensuring that Maranatha’s vision, mission and core values are consistent with who we are and are clearly communicated. Furthermore, we believe the classification of Maranatha provides some legal benefits for us primarily in employment related matters. In order to facilitate the transition back to being a policy board, the board is also reviewing its board policies. We believe that these changes will help us take the next steps in our mission to be a center for a quality college preparatory education intentionally anchored to the Christian faith.

If anyone in the Maranatha community wishes to review the revised corporate documents, please make an appointment with Jane Tawel in the Headmaster’s office.

Tailgate Party at First Football Home Game
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Are you excited for the Minuteman Football season to begin? Do you enjoy good food and hanging out with friends? Then make sure to attend the Booster Club Tailgate BBQ on Friday, September 13th. Tri-Tip, Chicken and all the fixings are on the menu for the party, which will be held on the South Lawn between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. before the first Varsity home game of the season. Pull up your car, truck, or SUV and bring your appetite, as you will not leave hungry! Please submit an order form (PDF HERE or online HERE) before September 3rd to guarantee your spot for a great time and let’s support our Minutemen!

iPad Insurance Program Now Available
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Insurance for the iPad Minis is now available for all MHS families. The enrollment fee is only $79 per year!  To learn more about the coverages afforded by this optional program, or to enroll, please complete the Student iPad Insurance Request form on our website.  In the event your iPad is inoperable, damaged, lost or stolen, you must complete the Student iPad Replacement Request form on our website, regardless of whether or not you elected the optional insurance.  
If you have any questions about the Insurance Program or how to obtain a replacement iPad, please visit our Support Site, email us, or come by our Technology Service Center located in room AC312.

Dr. Gyertson Speaks at Lake Avenue Church
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This Sunday, August 25, our very own Dr. Gyertson preached at Lake Avenue Church. He spoke at all 3 services, finishing up a series for Dr. Waybright on following God’s calling to spread the love of Christ to the world.  His message was entitled “The Life-long Yes” as a reflection of how willingly and quickly those called by God in the “First Church” in Acts, who despite uncertainly and persecution, said “yes” to following Christ. Dr. Gyertson focused on Psalm 27 as an encouragement to develop a “no excuses” lifestyle and to say “yes” to all that God calls us to in our generation.

Club Rush Next Week
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wanting to get involved or try something different? Why not join a club? Maranatha offers over 20 clubs including existing favorites such as Art Club, Speech & Debate, California Scholarship Federation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Adventure Club and some new clubs such as East Asian Pop Culture Club, International Students Bible Fellowship, and British Culture Club.  Club Rush is the perfect way to get started by speaking with club advisors and members about their club activities and guidelines. Please join us next Tuesday, September 3, during lunch, on the main walkway between the Student Center and Academic Center. Club representatives will be available to answer all your questions.

Conversation with the Headmaster: The Maranatha Miracle – Past, Present & Future
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We look forward to seeing you at a Conversation with the Headmaster: The Maranatha Miracle – Past, Present & Future. All current parents, guardians, and host parents are invited to join Dr. David Gyertson, and other key campus leaders, for a special evening of updates, discussions, and prayer as we explore the next steps in the mission of Maranatha High School.
Please join us either Monday, September 9 or Tuesday, September 17 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. in the MHS Student Center.  Dessert and coffee will be served.
If you have not already responded, please RSVP by emailing Lauren Obregon at


Students Encouraged to be Ambassadors of Hope
Monday, August 26, 2013

Students were welcomed back to campus in a number of ways last week. From our Freshman and Transfer Student Orientation on Wednesday, to the first day of school on Thursday, and a fun-filled Uprising event on Friday. As is tradition, Maranatha started Uprising with chapel to honor God and corporately celebrate and kick off the new school year. Dr. Gyertson encouraged our students and staff to celebrate together the hope we have in Christ. He made note of the verse that is on the back of every Uprising t-shirt, 1 Peter 3:15-16a as our theme verse for the year:
“But in your heart revere (sanctify) Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.”  
The Pasadena Community Church Worship team did a fantastic job leading our first communal time of worship. We know God is present in the praises of his people. Last Friday His presence was certainly felt, inspiring some to dance or clap, and even inspiring Dr. Gyertson to join the worship team for a song on his tambourine.

Maranatha Staff Find That Being Prepared Can Also Be Fun
Monday, August 12, 2013

A group of Maranatha faculty, staff, administrators, and coaches gathered last Friday to receive training in CPR, First Aid, and the use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).  While they took their CPR training seriously, they did manage to have a little fun (and make some new friends).

Trainings such as these are an important component in the school's safety preparedness procedures.  Safety and response training, disaster drills and enhanced security staffing create a safer learning environment for our students and staff. 


Dr. Gyertson Authors Article on Leadership Transitions
Thursday, August 08, 2013

Our Headmaster recently had an article published in the Summer Edition of Outcomes magazine of the Christian Leadership Alliance on the topic of leadership transitions for faith-based nonprofit organizations. Dr. Gyertson has been a Senior Fellow with the Engstrom Institute of the Christian Leadership Alliance. CLA is an association serving the leadership development needs of faith-based organizations around the world. Dr. Gyertson regularly publishes materials, conducts workshops and does executive coaching on leadership development, spiritual formation and organizational advancement. The article can be found on our web site on the Office of the Headmaster page, or by clicking HERE. We have posted it with the permission of the Christian Leadership Alliance. You can learn more about CLA at

Maranatha Files New Articles and By-Laws
Monday, August 05, 2013

The Board of Trustees is happy to announce that it recently approved changes to its primary corporate documents. The documents had not been updated for many years. As a result of these changes, Maranatha has now been classified by the State of California as a religious organization. Previously, Maranatha had been classified as a public benefit corporation. Other changes include the elimination of membership included in the corporation (membership ceased being a legal requirement in 1980) and establishing the position of Headmaster.

The board has been reviewing its governance and board policies. It is part of the board’s focus on ensuring that Maranatha’s vision, mission and core values are consistent with who we are and are clearly communicated. Furthermore, we believe the classification of Maranatha provides some legal benefits for us primarily in employment related matters. In order to facilitate the transition back to being a policy board, the board is also reviewing its board policies. We believe that these changes will help us take the next steps in our mission to be a center for a quality college preparatory education intentionally anchored to the Christian faith.

If anyone in the Maranatha community wishes to review the revised corporate documents, please make an appointment with Jane Tawel in the Headmaster’s office.


Maranatha Announces NEW Ministry Families Assistance Grant
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Board of Trustees of Maranatha High School wishes to announce the establishment of an endowment fund to provide financial grants for Maranatha students whose parents are in full-time Christian ministry. The Board has designated $400,000 to seed the fund with the goal of raising additional contributions to create an endowment to attract the children of ministerial, missionary and other full-time Christian service professionals. Two individual one-year grants will be awarded in the amount of $5000 each for the upcoming 2013-2104 academic year. Student recipients may re-apply for additional years, but preference normally is given to first-time grant requests.

To be eligible for grant consideration, the student applicant should:

  • Be a dependent of a parent/guardian in full-time Christian service in a ministry organization or agency recognized as tax exempt by the IRS. Proof of and contact information for the Christian organization the parent/guardian is serving is required.
  • Demonstrate through a 200 - 300 word written essay, a clear sense of God’s work in his/her life and how he/she believes Maranatha could play an important roll in advancing that work.
  • Provide a personal reference from another Christian adult, other than his/her family, attesting to the student’s Christian character and commitment. This reference should be approximately 100 words in length. The name, address and contact information for the reference should be included.
  • Have at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 cumulative grade point average scale or equivalent in the most recent year of their educational program. Please provide a transcript or other official grade summary with the name of the school or certifying agency and contact information. If home schooled, please provide evidence of academic achievement in a form recognized by Maranatha’s Office of Admissions.

Grant application packages are reviewed by a committee chosen by the Headmaster. The deadline for applications for the 2013-2014 academic year is July 1, 2013.

To apply, please send the above noted materials with a letter of interest to:

Maranatha Ministry Families Assistance Grant Application
c/o Office of the Headmaster
Maranatha High School
169 S. Saint John Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105

Contact Jane Tawel, Executive Assistant to the Headmaster, at or (626) 817-4013 if you have any questions.

If you would like to contribute to this endowment fund so that Maranatha can expand its grants to a greater number of qualified students, please contact our Associate Director of Advancement, Patrice Cablayan, at or call (626) 817-4070.


Introducing iPads for Every Student!
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Maranatha High School is excited to be leading the way in adopting the iPad Mini in every class, for every student.  Recognizing the ever-increasing importance of digital technology in the lives of students worldwide, Maranatha High School will launch its 1:1 program this fall.  Students will engage in digital learning across the curriculum.

Maranatha’s principal, Dr. Michelle Purghart, advocates the use of iPad Mini's to enhance student learners at a higher cognitive level.  She asserts, “The educational applications, streaming video, virtual field trips, blog participation, diagnostic feedback, and individualized instruction that will be available to students and teachers are sure to increase interest and improve student performance.”

 Maranatha faculty are proponents of using instructional technology “to differentiate instruction and provide students with real time analysis and assessment of their learning” states math teacher Kimberly VanSpronsen. The energy across campus is infectious as Maranatha continues to strive for excellence in every area, graduating students who lead lives of purpose and distinction to honor Jesus Christ.


Gala Funds Support Teachers’ Requests and Programs
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Maranatha High School’s Board of Trustees is pleased to share with you the fundraising results of the 2013 Annual Gala featuring Former First Lady Laura Bush.  In accordance with the Gala’s theme, “Celebrating our Teachers”, the net revenue will be distributed as follow: 70% of the funds will be applied towards classroom needs and instructional support specifically requested by the faculty, and 10% will be allotted to each of our 3 auxiliary groups in appreciation for the role each of them played in making the event successful.  We are delighted that 100% of the items requested by our teachers will be funded.  Additionally, there is still a small amount of the funds left to distribute throughout the new school year as needs arise.

The Gala’s net revenues totaled $106,799.80.  From that total the teachers’ requests and programs received $74,759.86 and the auxiliary groups, Friends of Maranatha Arts, Parent’s Association, and the Athletic Booster Club each received $10,679.98. 

Quite a few of Maranatha High School’s academic programs will be enhanced though these revenues.  The Science Department will receive additional gas & water hook-up, drains, and white boards.  The Modern Language Department will receive smart boards and reading materials.  Our new Film class will receive cameras, lighting and editing equipment.  Visual Arts additions include sinks, photo lab needs, white boards and room alterations.  Additional software will be purchased for the Mathematics Department.   Our new “One to One” technology program, providing each student and teacher with an iPad Mini, will receive funds to enhance faculty training, including workshops and apps that the teachers will use for assessment of their classes. 

Maranatha High school is extremely thankful for its community’s continued support.  The school has been greatly blessed and we are excited about the coming school year and providing an innovative college preparatory education in an intentionally Christ centered context.

Jude Oliva Promoted to Head Football Coach
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Maranatha has announced the promotion of Jude Oliva as our new Head Football Coach. Maranatha is committed to the continued advancement of our athletic program and Jude Oliva brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will continue to further Maranatha’s pursuit of athletic excellence.
Maranatha Athletic Director Brian DeHaan stated, “Maranatha is blessed to have the opportunity to promote Jude Oliva, 2011’s Pasadena Star-News Coach of the Year, Mid Valley Coach of the Year, and Almont League Coach of the Year. He led two teams to a CIF Championship and we look forward to that success at Maranatha.”
Headmaster Dr. David Gyertson commented, “Coach Oliva brings to us that unique combination of seasoned and successful coaching skills with a commitment to Maranatha’s mission of quality college preparatory education in an intentional Christian faith context.” Former Head Coach Peter Karavedas has accepted a position at Sunny Hills High School where he will begin as the Assistant Head Football coach this summer.
Coach Karavedas said, “The last two years at Maranatha have been an absolute joy. Maranatha has been a phenomenal place to coach and teach; the students are great, and the community has been a terrific support. The foundation of Maranatha football was already set, but I am proud of what we added to this program, where it’s at and where it’s going. I am excited about Minutemen football in 2013 and the direction of the program under Jude’s leadership.”

Student Chaplain Program Grows
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

During a recent chapel, this year’s chaplains washed the feet of next year’s incoming group. This servant’s heart is part of what makes our student chaplain program a unique facet of Maranatha. It promotes Christian fellowship, community, and worship as well as encouragement to others. Over the last three years, Maranatha
has been blessed with a steady increase of students seeking to use their talents and gifts to advance and build His Kingdom. Noticing this trend, Maranatha’s Student Ministry Department, under the direction of Joel Murphy, engaged in meaningful community dialogue to create two new ministry teams to serve alongside the traditional chaplain role. We pray that these teams will diversify the ways in which our students serve, lead, and receive. This process resulted in Team Barnabas and Team Timothy. The purpose of Team Barnabas is to exhort the community of MHS through the discernment of God’s voice and intentional acts of service in response. Team Timothy will develop leaders by cultivating the knowledge, skills, and character necessary to embark on the unique leadership journey God has planned. Chaplains will continue to their ministry to guide and serve the community of MHS through knowing Christ, growing others in Christ, and sowing the seeds of Christ’s love. We’re excited about what this next year holds and appreciate your covering in prayer.

Lori Corbin Channel 7 KABC-TV News interviews Chef Jason Francisco
Monday, June 10, 2013

Recently, Lori Corbin from Channel 7 KABC-TV News visited Maranatha High School's Minutemen Cafe' and interviewed Chef Jason Francisco on the cafe's recent tranformation and it's success. Click HERE to view the interview.


Voted Best Private School Second Year in a Row!
Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Maranatha High School was voted “BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL” in the San Gabriel Valley for the second year in a row by the readers of the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and Whittier Daily News in their 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. We are grateful to all those who expressed their confidence and commitment to Maranatha by voting for our school. The support this demonstrates to our community is a strong testimony to Maranatha’s exceptional programs and outstanding families.


Dads' Enjoy Steak and Fellowship
Monday, June 03, 2013

Maranatha's current fathers were welcomed at the Annual Dads' Dinner on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.  Maranatha's very own Chef Jason Francisco prepared a wonderful tri-tip dinner for the fathers. It was a great time for the dads to connect with each other and hear an inspirational message from our new basketball coach Tim Tucker.

Incoming Mothers’ Welcomed to the Maranatha Family
Monday, June 03, 2013

As many new mothers to Maranatha High School walked up to the beautiful surroundings of the campus, happy faces welcomed them to the “Maranatha family” at one of the first new parent events - the Incoming Mothers’ Luncheon. Joy and laughter filled the air of the outdoor gathering in front of the Ambassador Auditorium fountain, as mothers were telling stories of their children and sharing information and resources. The women also had the distinguished opportunity to hear new headmaster, Dr. David Gyertson speak about his passion for Christian education and the important role it played with his own daughter.  He also remarked, “Maranatha High School offers a quality college preparatory education in the context of an intentional Christian faith, preparing the next generation for a lifetime of learning, living and service.”

Students Hayden Barz and Regina Pullens shared about life as a freshman at Maranatha High School and how the students and faculty have welcomed them to the Maranatha community. Senior, Kate Benuska, gave a heartfelt address to the ladies about how she has been transformed into a young woman filled with confidence as she no longer looks to her grades for her worth but to the whole person God has created her. She thanked her teachers and the entire Maranatha family for her wonderful high school experience and commented, “Maranatha is the only High School she could ever imagine transferring to.”

Current mother, Vicki Rekedal, also shared her joys and challenges of having teenagers in high school and how delightful her experience has been at Maranatha High School.  She shared her “suitcase” full of necessities for a high school mother which included a Bible, a smart phone - with camera, and the Maranatha website calendar downloaded onto it. The day was an inspiration to all the ladies who attended and the beginning of lifelong friendships at Maranatha High School.

Speech Tournament
Monday, June 03, 2013

On Saturday, April 27 Maranatha hosted the 3rd Annual Pasadena Bar Association Speech Tournament where 120
students (pictured below) competed in front of 50 lawyers and judges in the Pasadena Bar Association hoping to win cash prizes. In the end, Maranatha won the second place team trophy and a $500 donation to our speech program. Also, for the second year in a row, Maranatha’s Jessica Demasi finished in the Top 2 and earned a chance to compete for the first place individual prize of $5,000 on Thursday, May 9 “Law Day” at the Pasadena Convention Center. As a team, Maranatha placed 10 students in the Top 30 semi-final round. And, sophomore Joel Wunderly was ranked #7 overall

This tournament ends the most successful Speech and Debate season in the history of Maranatha High School.
Never before have we had so many students compete in tournaments and earn as many team and individual honors. Congratulations!

"One Story" - Celebrating Our Teacher
Thursday, May 30, 2013

If you could tell just one story of how a Maranatha teacher has influenced your life, what would it be?  (click here to view video)


ACT Boot Camp at MHS
Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Princeton Review ACT Boot Camp is coming to Maranatha High School on Saturday, May 18 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The cost is $199 for the day and lunch is provided. Sign up at or contact Jenny at If you have further questions, please contact Gary Ho in the College Counseling and Guidance Office.

Grandparents' Day 2013
Thursday, May 09, 2013

It was a grand day and spring was in the air on April 24, 2013 as Maranatha High School celebrated Grandparents’ Day!  Smiles, hugs and handshakes from Student Ambassadors greeted grandparents and special friends as they arrived at the Maranatha campus.


Shirley French, a Maranatha grandparent, opened the event by welcoming approximately 275 grandparents and special guests to a full breakfast prepared by Maranatha’s Minuteman Café.  The program included student performances by the school’s Theatre Arts, Orchestra, Mixed Ensemble and Dance Team. 


In attendance on this special day were several three-generation families indicative of the rich, cherished heritage of Maranatha High School. Theology Department Chair (and Maranatha grandparent) Ed Newkirk spoke of the joys of having grandchildren.  Student Jessica Demasi ’13 spoke on behalf of her peers about the love, dedication and wisdom given by grandparents, and how grateful all the students are for such wonderful examples in their lives.

The event concluded as students gave their grandparents, family and friends a personal tour of Maranatha's campus.

Senior Graduation Information
Thursday, May 09, 2013

On May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center, senior parents will come hear important information regarding graduation. Senior families will also be given 10 tickets each for graduation (if you require more or only need a few that you can share with others, please contact Sharon Dandorf at

On May 23 there is a mandatory graduating student rehearsal at 1:00 p.m. at Lake Avenue Church.

On May 31, at 6:00 p.m. the Baccalaureate is being held in the Ambassador Auditorium (no tickets required).

June 1, at 10:00 a.m. graduation is being held at Lake Avenue Church (doors open at 9:00 a.m., tickets required).

AP Exam Information
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

This year, Advanced Placement (AP) exams are being held May 6 – 17 and will be administered at Maranatha High School in the Research Center. AP students have been given an AP student/parent bulletin for your review. Please make sure that your student arrives on time with necessary materials and make sure to provide arrangements for pick up immediately after the AP exam. They will be excused from their regular classes on the AP Exam day ONLY. We do not have supervision for them before or after an AP Exam. Please contact Sharon Dandorf in the College Counseling and Guidance Office at with any questions.

Welcome Dr. Gyertson
Monday, May 06, 2013

Maranatha extends a huge welcome to Dr. David Gyertson who officially assumed his role as the Headmaster of Maranatha High School last week. Dr. Gyertson has hit the ground running, meeting with administration, spending time with students, and speaking at Maranatha engagements. We are delighted to welcome him and his wife, Nancy, to the Maranatha family!


Final Exam Week Information
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Concert: Sanctus
Monday, April 29, 2013

Maranatha High School Performing Arts are pleased to invite all families to the spring concert, this year called “Sanctus” because the vast majority of musical and dramatic performances will be sacred in nature. This concert is put on by our choir, mixed ensemble, orchestra, dance, and theater classes. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students for the May 10 concert (7:00 p.m.) in the Ambassador Auditorium.

International Student Host Families Needed
Monday, April 29, 2013

International students attending Maranatha High School are seeking loving Christian families for this summer and the 2013-14 school year!

Homestay Families Provide
1. A private bedroom and meals
2. An English speaking home environment
3.Transportation to and from school and to student activities
4. A family environment—and possibly siblings—with plenty of TLC and the protection and guidance that all teens need.

The Students
•Most are from China or Korea
•All are functional in English (but want to improve)
•Are typically quiet, well-mannered, and very hard working
•Nearly all come in 9th or 10th grade and will stay to graduate
•Are preparing to attend the very best universities
•Will return to their countries as professionals and leaders

Homestay Support
1.Families and students provide detailed profiles and are carefully matched for best possible compatibility through My American School
2.Training and orientation provided for both families and students
3.Ongoing support for host families throughout the year
4.A stipend for time and expenses of $1100/month/student

If you have room in your home and have a heart for impacting our international students for Christ, hosting may be for you. For further information and a hosting application, contact Homestay Coordinator, Brandi Murphy at Don’t delay; students are now being matched for the 2013-14 School Year.

Dads’ Dinner
Friday, April 26, 2013

We look forward to welcoming our dads on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 for dinner! Each year Maranatha hosts a tri-tip dinner, this year catered by our very own Chef Jason, for all our current fathers of MHS students. It’s a great time for dads to connect with each other and hear an inspirational message from our new basketball coach Tim Tucker.
Tim Tucker has recently joined Maranatha as our new Head Boys’ Basketball Coach. In his 19 seasons as head coach of the Pasadena High School Varsity Basketball team, Coach Tim Tucker has solidified an impressive reputation as being a formidable motivator and leader among the basketball community in Southern California. He was selected the CIF-SS Coach of the Year for 2010-2011, 2004-2005 and has been selected the San Gabriel Valley’s Coach of the Year several times. Most recently his 2010-2011 team won the CIF-SS 3AA Championship and were CIF-State quarterfinalists.
Tim Tucker played college basketball at the University of Wyoming and at Westmont College where he still holds school records in assists and steals. Coach Tucker’s enthusiastic, yet passionate approach to coaching and teaching makes him the focus of considerable admiration within the coaching profession. Maranatha is thrilled to offer Tim Tucker’s ability to motivate, inspire, and share his faith to our young men.

Maranatha High School Celebrates Eden Day
Friday, April 26, 2013

On Earth Day, Maranatha High School hosted their first annual Eden Day to celebrate the origins of all food, and the official Grand Opening of the Maranatha Minuteman Café.  Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez, and Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh joined other dignitaries, guests, students and faculty at the campus for the celebration, which included a ribbon cutting for the Minuteman Café.  Attendees enjoyed free food samplings prepared by Chef Jason along with his personal army of Cooking Club students and Le Cordon Bleu interns, as well as live music and vendor booths handing out samples and gifts. 

Maranatha’s Annual Golf Tournament
Friday, April 26, 2013

On Friday, April 19, ninety parents, students and friends of Maranatha High School competed in the 16th Annual Booster Club Golf Tournament held at Brookside Golf Club.  The golfers enjoyed a putting contest and barbeque lunch followed by a noon tee off.  The day concluded with a reception, awards ceremony, and silent auction.  This successful annual fundraiser unites family, friends, staff and students for a day of friendly competition and camaraderie, while benefitting Maranatha High School’s athletic programs. 

Dr. David Gyertson Appointed Headmaster of Maranatha High School
Friday, April 26, 2013

After a national search conducted by the Dingman Company, a retained executive placement firm located in Thousand Oaks, California, the Board of Trustees of Maranatha High School elected Dr. David Gyertson as the new Headmaster for the institution. Dr. Gyertson was the unanimous recommendation to the Board by a search committee made up of representatives from the School’s administration, faculty, staff, parents and alumni. He will begin his duties May 1, 2013.

Dr. Gyertson brings substantial executive leadership experience to his new role having been President of three Christian Universities – Regent University (Virginia), Asbury University (Kentucky) and Taylor University (Indiana).  Most recently Dr. Gyertson has been Distinguished Professor of Leadership Formation and Renewal working with Doctoral students in the School of Education as well as the School of Business and Leadership at Regent University in Virginia. 

Dr. Gyertson was a Senior Fellow with the Engstrom Institute of the Christian Leadership Alliance (Azusa, CA) with a special research and consulting focus in Executive Leadership for Nonprofit organizations. He serves as a Senior Fellow for the Council for Christian Colleges and University (Washington, D.C.).  He has a broad and varied background in education, publishing, consulting, executive coaching, ministry and media.

Dr. Gyertson holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University with a concentration in education administration and management. He is an ordained minister having served senior pastoral positions in Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Dr. Gyertson is published in the fields of applied theology, colonial and church history, education and leadership studies. Among his published works is “Faithful Stewards: Board Governance Principles and Practices for Faith-Based Nonprofits” (CareNet 2009). His book chapter “Christian Leadership and the Identity and Mission of an Organization” was published in “Christian Leadership Essentials” (B & H Publishers 2011). Dr. Gyertson was the senior editor for “Nonprofit Leadership in a For-profit World” (Standard Publishing 2011), and he was the creator and Executive Editor for the twenty volume curriculum series “Living By the Book” jointly published by CBN Publishing and Zondervan Publishing.

In accepting the appointment, Dr. Gyertson said, “I am humbled and privileged to have this opportunity to work with an institution like Maranatha that is deeply committed to providing a quality college preparatory education in a meaningful, faith-informed context. Maranatha’s history of investing in the development of the whole person academically, socially, physically and spiritually positions it as a major resource for preparing the next generation of young leaders for our rapidly changing world.”

Mr. John H. Davis, President of the Maranatha Board said, “We are pleased to have someone of Dr. Gyertson’s experience, training and character to help lead Maranatha High School into its next season of service to the greater Pasadena educational communities and beyond.”  

At the Board’s request, David will be on campus periodically between now and May 1 to advise on current administrative matters, advance strategic planning discussions and meet with members of the Maranatha and local community.

David is a Flotilla Staff Officer with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. His wife Nancy is a retired elementary school teacher. They have a daughter and son-in-law, as well as two grandchildren, who live in Burbank, CA.

Masters in the Park
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Maranatha is proud to again host the Ninth Annual “Saturday in the Park with the Masters”, where all art enthusiasts are invited to come and learning from and paint with some of this area’s finest painters and instructors. This event will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 10 am to 4 p.m. at Maranatha. Registration
forms are available from the Art Department; however, the Mid-Valley Arts League has extended a complimentary invitation to Maranatha families.

Drop Off and Pick Up Dangers
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We have had a number of students get dropped off on Green Street and Del Mar as well as a number of parents turning on Del Mar despite the “no right turn” sign for MHS cars. The most dangerous thing that is occurring is parents making U-turns in the middle of the street, oftentimes causing near accidents and most definitely interrupting the flow of traffic. Please help us follow our CUP (Conditional Use Permit) by dropping off in the underground parking garage only (unless your car meets the height requirement to drop off in the upper parking lot). More importantly, please do your part to help MHS be a good neighbor. To learn more about Drop Off and Pick Up guidelines, please see the “Contact Us” tab of the website or click HERE. Please contact our Director of Security, Tammy Horton at (626) 817-4091 with any questions.

Dean of Ministries Speaks at APU
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Easter Break, our very own Dean of Ministries, Joel Murphy ’97, spoke at Azusa Pacific University’s “Mexicali Outreach”.  Mr. Murphy gave 11 sermons over 5 days between March 30 and April 5. The theme for the week was “One Hope” and will focus on Ephesians 4:4-6. In the spirit of training up our youth, Joel brought the chaplains who serve as part of the “Barnabus (Encouragement) Team”, offering prayer, words of affirmation, and service. Students Caraline Dirks and Sheldon Galindo also helped lead worship as part of the worship team.

Maranatha Minuteman Café Profiled in the News
Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The “Food Revolution” at the Maranatha Minuteman Café was recently recognized in an article by the Huff Post. The article acknowledges Maranatha’s recent transformation to a fully functioning cafeteria with fresh, locally grown produce and from-scratch recipes used daily. The author uses the Minuteman Café as a model for other Los Angeles and nation-wide schools to follow. Chef Jason Francisco is applauded for his innovative ideas such as our after school “Meals To-Go” program, working with local vendors to help promote healthy eating, and recruiting students from the Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena. To read the article click HERE.

Grandparents’ Day 2013
Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Save the date of Wednesday, April 24. for Grandparents’ Day. Invitations were mailed last week. If your
grandparents have not received an invitation, pleasecontact Lauren Obregon at (626) 817-4071 Registration can also be made by clicking HERE. If you do not have a grandparent available and would like to invite another special friend/family member, please contact Mrs. Obregon.

Annual Gala - A Huge Success!
Monday, April 08, 2013

On March 16, Maranatha held our annual gala “Celebrating Our Teachers.” Maranatha is blessed to have so many people support our school. We were honored to have both Laura Bush and Michael W. Smith as part of our program. Mrs. Bush addressed our guests about the important role of teachers in the lives of children.

We want to thank the over 750 people who attended the event making this a signature event in our school’s history and the Pasadena community. We also want to thank the numerous volunteers who supported the effort; from parents, to parents of alumni, ambassadors, cheerleaders, the dance team, the MHS Orchestra, and more. The school extends a special “Thank you” to our Gala Chair, Lisa Hausler, and her dedicated committee members. Lisa spent countless volunteer hours ensuring that every detail of this event ran smoothly.

The funds raised at this event exceeded our expectations and will go to support our teachers as they prepare
students for lives of purpose and distinction. Gifts received support the school’s mission and our valued teachers. This includes program and ministry outreach, training for technological innovations, teacher enrichment programs, and increasing the recruitment and retention of teachers of faith and distinction.

If you’d like to see the special tribute video shown at the event for our teachers, please click HERE. It was a lovely evening that helped raise the school’s visibility and made more people become aware of the work we do at Maranatha.

If you would like to view candid photos of the event click HERE.

Art Contest Winner
Monday, April 08, 2013

We are pleased to announce our student winners in the annual Pasadena Women’s Club Art Competition! According to Jayne Thomas, the chair of the Arts Committee, competition was much tougher than usual this year with many more schools participating and nearly twice the number of art pieces submitted this year over last. But, even with the stiffer competition, Maranatha students did very well. Congratulations to the following winners:
• Aimee Niu: First Place (for her portrait of our very own Allen Brown! - shown left)
• Benjamin Tong: Third Place
• Katherine Yao: Honorable Mention

Senior Rafting Trip: Reserve Your Spot
Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Seniors are encouraged to reserve their spot immediately for the Rafting Trip on May 28-30. The cost for the three-day excursion is $350. Payment options are available, provided parents turn in the reservation form and a $100 deposit by Friday, March 1. View the trip information and payment information forms on our website, under “Quicklinks.”

Support the Boys’ Soccer Team
Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Some of you may have seen the Boys’ Soccer Team sporting these fine-looking red and blue reversible scarves this winter to stay warm while showing their Maranatha team spirit. These scarves are available for purchase for students, family, friends and faculty. These are great for staying warm or even waving them to show support for our school and sports teams. The cost is $20. There are about 18 scarves left and all proceeds go directly back to the soccer program which helps cover the costs for additional equipment for the teams. If there is enough interest, we can order more. If you are interested in purchasing any, please contact Robin Schober. They can be charged to your Maranatha account if desired.

Parent Tasting in the Minuteman Café
Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Ever wish you could try the food your Maranatha student is raving about? Or just curious what is available to eat at the Minuteman Café? Well, here is your exclusive chance to try a sample! Parents are invited to the following two complimentary tastings.

Freshmen & Senior Parents
Friday, March 15th from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Sophomores & Junior Parents
Friday, March 22nd from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to Chef Jason at so he can plan for food. Buffet tasting will begin at 2:00
p.m. followed by an informal meet and greet before student pick up at 3:00 p.m.

Mountain Bike Team
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Sunday, February 24, Maranatha’s Moutain Bike Team competed in the first race of the 2013 Southern California High School Mountain Biking season at Vail Lake in Temecula, California. Veteran rider, Hannah Rae Finchamp, took 1st place in the Varsity Girls division. New racers, seniors Dawson Chung and McKenzie Anderson, both competed strong in their fields. They competed with over 300 other high school riders. Shown in picture to the right is (L-R) Coach Joe Zambrano, Dawson Chung, Hannah Rae Finchamp, McKenzie Anderson, and Coach Gil Obregon.

Rotary Club Speech Results
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On January 31, the Speech and Debate Team participated in the Rotary Speech Tournament at the Pasadena
Congregational Church.

Congratulations to Joel Wunderly, Jake Metzger, Sussana Xu, and Jasmine Kwong for progressing to the Altadena
Semi-Finals (date, time and location TBD).

And congratulations to Charlie Pan, Liz McAllister, Johnathan Macali, and Stacy Rasmussen for progressing to the
Pasadena Semi-Finals (date, time and location TBD).

A special Congratulations to Andrea Clark for winning “first place” in the first round of the Rotary Speech tournament. Andrea has secured a spot in the Club level finals to be held on March 13, 2013 (location and time TBD). Andrea will compete against the winners of the two semi-final rounds!

Pat Mesisca, Speech & Debate Advisor commented, "Maranatha is well-represented throughout the local community! I am grateful to be a part of the representation through speech and debate! GO MINUTEMEN!"

Science Olympiad
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Saturday, February 23rd, Maranatha students competed in the Los Angeles County Science Olympiad. The Science Olympiad is a national competition in which more than 16,000 elementary, middle, and high school students participated last year. The Los Angeles County Science Olympiad is the largest regional event in the country. In our first year fielding a team, Maranatha placed 19th out of 48 high school teams (and 2nd among the 11 private high schools entered in the competition).
Maranatha’s team was led by several outstanding performances. David Zhang, Eliza Lo, Nancy Zhu, and Flora Liu
placed 2nd overall in the Elastic Launched Glider event, 3rd overall in the Boomilever test, and 10th in the Robot
Arm competition. Sophie Guo and Jacquie Dong earned a 7th place finish in Technical Problem solving, and Anchit Roy and Oscar Wang finished 12th in the Remote Sensing event. Nate Aasland, Trista Cao, Michael Kwong, Celine Song, Emily Yan, and Egyn Zhu also contributed to the team’s overall placement.
The Maranatha Sci-O team joins other extracurricular science experiences at Maranatha. Our SHArK/SEAL research team attended a conference, hosted by the CCI Solar research group at CalTech, in Huntington Beach on January 26th. The students are continuing their research, which they will present at a conference hosted by CalTech in May. The Maranatha Science Bowl team competed with 23 other L.A. and Orange county high schools at the DOE Regional Science Bowl competition at JPL on February 2nd. At the end of the competition, our team received the Sportsmanship award. To honor their award, JPL and the Wrigley Institute at USC have partnered together to offer the students a day trip to Catalina Island this spring. shown in picture above is (front row L-R) Flora Liu, Eliza Lo, Nancy Zhu, Trista Cao, and Sophie Guo (back row L-R) David Zhang, and faculty Allen Brown.

MHS Science Fair
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This week over 150 students who entered the 2nd Annual Maranatha High School Science Fair will display their projects in the Student Center. On Wednesday and Thursday, projects will be judged by an outside panel of scientists. Oral interviews will take place after school on Thursday. All are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony which will be held after school on Friday at 4:00 p.m. in the Student Center. Science Fair Award winners will advance to the ACSI Science Fair at Biola University on Friday, March 22.

Student Raises Money for Homeless
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter was founded in 1987 after 9 homeless people died of hypothermia that winter. It is located in the gym of the Pasadena Covenant Church on Lake Ave and is open every night in January and February, and is weather activated (for cold or rain) during the months of December and March. The Bad Weather Shelter is funded by the City of Pasadena, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, ECPAC (Ecumenical Council Pasadena Area Congregational), and private donations. Last year, the Bad Weather Shelter housed 855 unduplicated individuals, including 107 children over the course of 72 days. Junior Joanna Popoff and a team of her friends have raised $8,000 to date for the 2012-13 Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter with the hopes of raising much more. The shelter costs $110,000 a year to operate, but funding was cut in half this year due to the economic downturn. Joanna’s team of student philanthropists are supporting the shelter by talking to businesses and banks and asking them to donate, raising publicity for the shelter through news articles on their campaign, selling “Friends of the Bad Weather Shelter” t-shirts, and volunteering regularly at the shelter. Joanna says, “The shelter is important because every night people receive a hot meal and a safe, dry place to sleep. Many times families come because they have no other place to go – they have no money and can’t pay their rent.” Joanna has been very inspired by volunteering at the shelter and just recently met a family with 5 kids (2 of which are pictured at right). The father is disabled and out of work and unable to pay rent. The family has benefited greatly from the shelter. If you’d like to purchase one of Joanna’s t-shirts or support the Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter in another way, please click here:

Research Center Update
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Research Center is open from 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. every morning for students to study or come in for help with any writing assignment. Our English Department Chair, Mrs. Marilee Malott, is conducting a writing lab every morning for interested students. The Research Center is also open after school for students who wish to work in a quiet environment. Spanish faculty member, Mrs. Cleonie Harrison, will be in the Research Center daily from 3:15-5:00 p.m. We hope you will take advantage of these times to further your studies.

After School Meals
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Are you hungry after school? Staying late for practice and you don’t know what to do about dinner? The Minuteman Café is now offering AFTER SCHOOL MEALS! Each Monday through Thursday you may order and pay for your choice of the daily specials at lunchtime, then pick up your meal after school. Each meal is prepared fresh, packaged, and ready to pick up after school between 3:15 and 4:30 p.m. Last weeks choices were roasted chicken with a medley of roasted vegetables and garlic potatoes ($4.50) and pasta rotini with marinara sauce ($3.50). There is no quantity limit, so surprise your family and bring home dinner for them, too!

Arts Success!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Congratulations to several of our Photo 2 and AP 2-D Design students placing in the Los Angeles County regional chapter of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards! All students submitted work that ranged from photography to digital art and graphic design. All work will be displayed and the students honored at a ceremony in the near future (TBA) and the Gold Key winner, Miles Schlenker, will go on to a national level competition. Individual winners include: Jack Burrows*, Alley Guscott, Eliza Lo* (each with two Honorable Mentions) Kaylan Putman* and Miles Schlenker* (Honorable Mention) Camille Manalilli* (Silver Key) Senior Portfolio winner was: Miles Schlenker (Gold Key) *The above students submitted work for a contest titled “Citizenship and Creativity”, with this year’s theme: Voting. The rest of the work submitted was unthemed.

Speech and Debate Win!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Saturday, Feb 2 the Maranatha Speech & Debate Team competed in the SCDL (Southern California Debate League) Spring Varsity Tournament at Arcadia High School. In the end, Maranatha won 4 trophies: Script Interpretation: Talin Bourian 2nd place and Amanda Jiang 4th place; Platform Speech: Jake Metzger 1st place (pictured) and Erin Songwang 4th place. Also, senior Joan Kim advanced to the Varsity semi-finals for Dramatic Interpretation and junior Harrison Porter advanced to the semi-finals for Impromptu Speech. The semi-final round at the varsity level includes the top 20 finishers from a pool of 100+ competitors in each category. On Thursday, January 31, the Speech & Debate Team also competed in the Rotary Club Speech Tournament. Results are pending as the judges are still recovering from the 34 student speech contest that lasted over 4 hours. The theme for this tournament was “Peace Through Service”. Please mark your calendars for April 27, as Maranatha is hosting the Pasadena Bar Association Speech tournament on our beautiful campus. This would be an excellent opportunity for our community to experience our speech program firsthand.

SAT Boot Camp
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Saturday, March 2 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 from  1:00 - 5:00 p.m., MHS students have the opportunity to attend a SAT Boot Camp and learn a strategy for every question on the SAT! Catalyst’s weekend-long SAT Boot Camp is the only prep class designed by instructors who have earned more than 20 perfect scores on the actual SAT. 

The course costs $165 per student for the entire weekend and course materials. For more information or to enroll, visit and click the Boot Camp Sign-Up tab on the website’s menu bar.  The deadline to enroll in this special SAT prep opportunity is Wednesday, February 27th at 6:00 p.m.  A portion of the proceeds benefits Maranatha High School.

After Multiple Offers, MHS Quarterback Chooses College Destination
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maranatha Football is excited to announce that after receiving scholarship offers from UNLV, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, and APU, Andrew Elffers has verbally committed to Azusa Pacific University! Andrew is thrilled about becoming a Cougar and feels that APU is the right fit for him, not just as a football player, but as a man. As a standout quarterback, Andrew threw for over 6,000 yards and 63 touchdowns in his career at Maranatha and is ready to take the next step at the collegiate level. Congratulations to Andrew and his family!

Annual Gala with Keynote Speaker Laura Bush
Friday, January 18, 2013

Excitement is building as calls are already coming in for Maranatha High School’s Annual Gala on March 16, 2013 at the Pasadena Convention CenterThis year’s Gala will feature an inspirational evening of conversation with Former First Lady Laura Bush and a musical performance by Grammy Award winner and Christian contemporary artist Michael W. Smith. The theme for the evening is “Celebrating Our Teachers” and Laura Bush, a former teacher herself, will be addressing the topic of education and faith. Proceeds from the evening will be used to support our valued teachers, including program and ministry enhancements, training for technological innovations in the classroom, teacher enrichment programs, boosting the recruitment and retention of quality teachers, a designated performing arts space, improvements to the athletic program and more.

Sponsorship packages are still available, including a special reception, photograph opportunity, or even dining with Laura Bush! See your invitation or contact the Advancement Office for details.

Middle School Recognition Night
Friday, January 18, 2013

On Thursday, January 31, Maranatha welcomes local middle school students and their families to experience Maranatha spirit as our guests. Middle school families will enjoy free entrance to any of the five home games on campus that evening, all against Valley Christian. They will also receive a free Booster Club BBQ (while it lasts) and some complimentary snacks from our Snack Shack. No RSVP necessary.  Please invite a friend!

Girls’ JV Basketball 3:00 p.m.
Boys’ JV Soccer 4:00 p.m.
Boys’ JV Basketball4:30 p.m.
Boys’ Varsity Soccer 5:30 p.m.
Girls’ Varsity Basketball 6:00 p.m.
Boys’ Varsity Basketball 7:30 p.m.

A Closer Look
Friday, January 18, 2013

Invite your friends to come TAKE A CLOSER LOOK at Maranatha. On Tuesday, January 29 and Tuesday, February 19, Maranatha will host two opportunities for prospective families to speak face to face with teachers, students, and parents and get all their questions answered as they choose the best high school fit for their child. 

The two evenings will start at 7:00 p.m. and will be located in the Research Center in the Student Center. No RSVP is needed. Please tell a friend.


Rose Parade "Pooper Scoopers"
Friday, January 18, 2013

The Maranatha High School again participated in the Rose Parade as, what is affectionately called, “Pooper Scoopers.”   The famed “pooper scoopers” began when a Maranatha parent, Brian Flynn, approached our Athletic Director Brian DeHaan with the opportunity. A few years ago, the Tournament of Roses Parade had blind marching bands participating and they thought it would be wise to incorporate “pooper scoopers” into the parade and thus, the partnership began.

In the first year the Maranatha baseball program joined with International Students from Pasadena City College to complete the task.  By the second year the Maranatha community realized the joy that this event can provide and we served the parade with only friends and families of Maranatha.  The softball program and swim program have also partnered in this project and our baseball coach, Matt Shupper has led the project for the past two years.

The students love the experience and the cheers (including “10” signs) they get from the crowds! Brian DeHaan stated, “I greatly appreciate all of the support and encouragement from the MHS community in this project.  I say it every year, but walking the Rose Parade while fulfilling this service is one of the best times a person can have and the fun cannot be described in words.”

Decorate your Tree... Maranatha Style
Thursday, December 06, 2012

christmas ornamentIf you are like most people, you lovingly adorn your Christmas tree with your favorite ornaments each year. For the first time, you can purchase a Maranatha ornament for your tree, or to give as a gift. These keepsake ornaments are available in red or blue and cost just $10 each. Visit the Student Center front desk to purchase your MHS ornaments while supplies last.

Young Alums Return to Campus
Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Please help us welcome our college-age Alums on campus on Tuesday, December 18 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Commons for our annual Young Alum/Faculty Lunch. Our alums love coming back to see friends and faculty. It is always a great time to reconnect and catch up with them. This is a great tradition for all alumni who are in town for the holidays.

Yearbook Tributes Available
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Yearbook tribute forms are now available. Click HERE for the Senior Tribute
Information Page,
HERE for the Order Form, or visit our website under Quicklinks > Forms & Documents.

An Evening of Christmas at the Movies and at the Manger
Monday, December 03, 2012

Evening of ChristmasJoin us this Friday for Maranatha’s annual celebration of Christmas! This year’s Evening of Christmas mixes live performances and multimedia to showcase the talents of our Drama, Choir, Mixed Ensemble, Dance and Orchestra students, enhanced by clips from popular Christmas movies.  The show begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Ambassador Auditorium followed by a family time of carols and holiday snacks in theStudent Center. 

This annual celebration is the perfect way to kickoff the holidays and experience the joy of Christmas with your Maranatha family. Tickets are only $5 and are available at the door, but may be purchased in advance through our website or in the Student Center during lunch time.

Thank You Blood Drive Donors!
Friday, November 16, 2012

On November 14, the Sports Medicine Club hosted their first blood drive for the year in partnership with the City of Hope who brought their blood bus to campus.  The blood drive was in honor of former Maranatha student Jessie Mastan.  Jessie touched many lives as she received treatment at the City of Hope during her battle with cancer. The blood drive was an extraordinary success with 51 units of whole blood collected.  For every unit collected, several lives will be touched and saved at the City of Hope.  Thank you to all the students, parents, and staff who donated!

What's Cooking at MHS?
Thursday, November 08, 2012

The wonderful staff of the Minuteman CafeRecently we have had been tasting some delicious new entrees in the Minuteman Café. We are pleased to welcome new Chef Jason Francisco. Chef Jason was trained at Le Cordon Bleu and he has worked at many different restaurants and venues throughout his career. He was recognized by the National Restaurant Association for his competency in Human Resources Management and Supervision. In addition to his interest in cooking, Chef Jason is an army veteran from the Gulf War. He is also a graduate of California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s in Accounting

Earlier in the year we were able to hire certified Pastry Chef, Lorelei Topalian. She will work alongside Chef Jason creating delicious desserts and pastries. Lorelei comes to us with an abundance of experience not only in the art of baking, but she is also a master decorator.

The kitchen team is made complete by our lovely ladies Etsuko Riordan, Katsuko Tani, and Iyen Boon. These wonderful ladies have served the Maranatha family for many years and patiently serve hundreds of students each and every day with kindness and a smile.

From farm to table, Chef Jason and his crew are looking to serve the finest and freshest foods to our Maranatha family.

MHS Soccer and LA Galaxy Team Up Again
Wednesday, November 07, 2012

MHS coaches take the field with the LA GalaxyOn Monday, October 29th, the Maranatha Soccer program teamed up with the Los Angeles Galaxy, through our partnership, to host the first stop of the Galaxy’s Rally tour as they built momentum for their playoff game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Over 90 kids participated in a skills clinic followed by an autograph session with current members of the LA Galaxy: Bryan Jordan, Bryan Gaul, Rafael Garcia, and Kenny Walker. Alex and Carlos from the Futboleros trick juggling team also came out to teach some juggling skills to the kids while the Galaxy street team provided giveaways to some of the fans in attendance as well. The MLS Cup made its second trip to Maranatha and everyone got a chance to take pictures with it; even the coaches got in on the action!

With Christian music filling the air on the cool October evening, it was an amazing opportunity to praise the Lord through soccer while getting the chance to be up close and personal with professional soccer players all at Maranatha High School. We look forward to all that the Lord has in store for Maranatha Soccer and to more exciting events with our partners the Los Angeles Galaxy!

All the kids that participated in the clinic received tickets to the playoff game and both the MHS Boy’s and Girl’s Soccer teams were there to cheer on the Galaxy.  Go Galaxy, and Go Minutemen!

Teacher of the Month
Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Teacher of the Month Jennifer MagnoneWe continue to honor our incredible teaching staff with our second Teacher of the Month recipient Mrs. Jennifer Magnone, who is new to Maranatha this year, teaching AP and college preparatory Biology. Jennifer also serves as our Sophomore Class Advisor and has joined the Varsity Cheer coaching staff. Her dedication and professionalism are noteworthy, and her walk with Christ is admirable. We are grateful that she has jumped right into the community at MHS. Congratulations, and thank you, to Mrs. Magnone!

Tuition Assistance Applications Available Online
Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tuition Assistance Applications are available beginning November 1. Families interested in applying for financial assistance for Maranatha’s 2013-14 school year, please be aware of the following important information:

The online tuition assistance application with FAST can be found on our website at: You will need to create a username and a password; then, follow the prompts. The cost is $38 paid by credit card online directly to FAST.

In addition to your online application, you will need to submit required copies of your 2011 and 2012 tax returns to FAST as directed. Complimentary FAST document envelopes are available in the Admissions Office as faxed and emailed copies are not accepted.

For questions regarding tuition assistance, please contact Jennifer Zambrano, the Associate Dean of Admissions, at (626) 817-4072.

World Champion at MHS!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Junior Hannah Rae Finchamp recently competed in the X-terra Off-Road Triathlon World Championship in Maui. Over the three-hour grueling course, she swam 1 mile, mountain biked 19 miles, and completed a 10 k trail run. Over 700 amateur athletes competed in the World Championships, including 150 women. Hannah Rae crossed the finish line 1st out of all women and is now ranked #1 in the world for off-road female amateur off- road triathlon! Her time of 3:03:59 was the 7th fastest overall women’s time, including the professionals!

Commenting on her victory, Hannah said, “Though I have gotten to know a lot of people through the X-terra series, this has really put me on the map as I look, hopefully, toward being a pro some day.” More impressive than her success on the course is how Hannah continually thanks God for His presence and blessing in her competitions. Hannah commented, “God has been my rock and my strength, I can’t not give Him glory. He is such a huge part of my racing. I can physically feel Him when I race and leaving Him out of the story would be leaving out a huge part of my race.”

Hannah is grateful for this recent victory and hopes it will be an encouragement to all those that have supported her. She longs to be an inspiration in her field and hopes to shine the light of Jesus through her God-given talents. Congratulations, Hannah Rae!

New Film Club on Campus
Monday, November 05, 2012

Maranatha staff are eager to meet the growing needs of our diverse student population and offer enriching activities for a plethora of talents and dispositions. This week a new student club is starting in response to the desire for an avenue to utilize and express talent in film and video creation. Mr. Wayne Randolph, the club’s advisor hopes the club will “highlight students’ creative talents and give them opportunities to express and grow their talents in new creative outlets.” The inaugural event of the club will be to host a Film Festival of MHS student talent on campus next semester. The different categories of storytelling represented will be: animation, fiction, and non-fiction. Mr. Randolph hopes that students will feel empowered and equipped to capture the amazing stories that can be found right here on our campus.

Tickets on Sale for Maranatha Performing Arts Department's Fall Musical "Little Women"
Saturday, October 20, 2012

This November, Maranatha's theater students will present the classic Broadway musical, Little Women.  Six generations have read the story, this one will sing it. Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic 1869 semi-autobiographical novel, it focuses on the four March sisters — brassy, tomboy-like, aspiring writer Jo, romantic Meg, pretentious Amy, and kind-hearted Beth — and their beloved Marmee, at home in Concord, Massachusetts while the family patriarch is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War. Intercut with the vignettes in which their lives unfold are several recreations of the melodramatic short stories Jo writes in her attic studio.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit our online box office (click here). 

Third Year in a Row for Maranatha in the Tournament of Roses Royal Court
Friday, October 12, 2012

Congratulations to five seniors: Kate Benuska, Randahl Brisco, Jessica Demasi, Carissa Vera, and Hannah Williamson for being selected as part of the 33 semi-finalists in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Royale Court. With over 1,000 girls trying out for the court, this was truly an honor.

Over 70 students and staff ventured up to the Tournament House yesterday to support our five semi-finalists as the Tournament announced the seven princesses. Imagine the cheering when Kate’s name was the last name to be read as a 2013 Tournament of Roses Princess! Over the next two months, Kate will attend over 150 events as an ambassador of the Tournament, our city, and certainly Maranatha!  Congratulations, Kate!

Interested in Joining the Equestrian Team?
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do you love horses but never get a chance to ride? Would you rather clean a stall than your bedroom? Are you interested in learning more about the MHS Equestrian Team?
MHS has limited funds to pay for part of your lessons (from an equestrian fundraising event) so act now to participate! You do not need to own your own horse or be a good rider as you can learn by joining the team. Come to a free one-hour demonstration to learn more about this great opportunity on Friday, October 19 from 6-7 p.m. at Altadena Stables - 3064 Ridgeway Dr. Altadena. If interested, please RSVP to: (626) 797-2021 (Marcy or Terri) as there is limited availability.

There are four competition shows each school year.  Start practicing now so that you can start showing. You will be eligible for a Varsity letter and membership to the United States Equestrian Federation.

Planning for Christmas
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas!  

Poinsettias from the Friends of Maranatha Arts
Buying poinsettias supports performing and visual arts needs. Poinsettias are on sale now through November 27.  Click HERE to get an order form or to place your order online, and pick up your poinsettias on December 5 or 6.  

Christmas Trees from the Booster Club
Support the athletic team of your choice by purchasing a Christmas Tree. Pre-order your tree now through November 4, and pick it up on Saturday, December 1.  More information and an order form are available HERE.  Please contact Jane Mason at with any questions.

See’s Candies from the Parent Association
Our See’s Candies sale is the Parent Association’s only fundraiser to support the annual Staff Wish List which allows our faculty to buy desired items for the classroom such as SMART Boards, iPads, mobile computer carts, etc. Order forms were recently mailed home (or click HERE to download). The sale ends November 16 and you can pick up your candy at school on November 29-30.  Contact Janette Derbyshire ( or Caryn Jacobs ( if you have questions.


Homecoming Celebration
Monday, October 08, 2012

Over a thousand people came to campus last Friday night to celebrate Homecoming 2012! Besides winning both the JV and Varsity football games and welcoming alumni and many other special guests, we were able to celebrate staff and students.

During halftime of the varsity football game, we crowned our 2012 Homecoming Queen Caraline Dirks and King Andrew Elffers.  We also congratulate our entire Homecoming Court:  Freshen Marcus Moses & Thamara Peterson, Sophomores Max Heefner & Romana Brennan, Juniors Noah Daniels & Alley Guscott, and Seniors Michael DeMeester & Grace Jenks, Jamison Vaught & Sara Hogue, and Kyle Bueckert & Julianne Tyler.

NBA All-Star James Worthy Visits Maranatha
Friday, September 28, 2012

James Worthy, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, visited Maranatha High School on September 27 to speak to the students.  The seven-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Champion delivered a message about utilizing your "platform" in life to impact the lives of those around you.  He encouraged students to reach out to others to give them a helping hand up, and to treat others with humility and respect.

After the assembly, the basketball great spent time sharing with Maranatha's Boys and Girls Basketball teams about his college and professional career, as well as encouraging the young athletes to work hard to reach their academic potential along with their athletic goals.  Before departing, Mr. Worthy took time to answer the students' questions and pose for photos.

Parent Association: NEW Evening Meetings and more!
Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Parent Association has a new office! Thanks to the generosity of the MHS Board of Trustees, the PA has a wonderful new location right in the front of the school, adjacent to the upper parking lot.  Now that we have this great space, the PA will be having office hours to allow parents an opportunity to stop by and ask questions, or just to say hello and have a cup of coffee with us.  Please stop by on:

  • Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.
  • Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Due to the frequent requests of parents, the PA is excited to be offering two evening PA meetings this school year. The first will take place on November 14, 2012 in the 3rd floor Commons room in the Academic Center, replacing the original scheduled time of 8:30 a.m.  Social time will begin at 6:45, with the meeting starting promptly at 7:00.  The second evening PA meeting will take place on February 20, 2013 at the same location and time as the November 14th meeting.  This meeting will take the place of the original morning date of February 27th.  The goal of the evening meetings is to allow working parents the opportunity to experience the fun, informative, and inspiring Parent Association gatherings.

Student Late Start Days
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In order to facilitate more frequent faculty meetings and professional development, the school has scheduled six Student Late Start Days throughout the school year. On Student Late Start Days the school day begins at 9:00 a.m., and end at 3:05 p.m.  Students who need to arrive early may go to the Student Center at 8:00 a.m.  Late Start Days are scheduled for August 29, September 26, October 24, January 7, January 30, and February 20. Parents with questions should contact Principal Michelle Purghart at (626) 817-4045.

Weight Room Renovation Made Possible by Boosters
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Art Student's Work Honored
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Congratulations to Katelyn Thordarson's (Class of 2012) whose artwork was chosen by The College Board for their inaugural Call to Artists campaign, earning her the $1,000 scholarship prize! Her original art piece, depicting an old fashione...d Native American chief standing in front of a modern chalkboard filled with math problems, was one of thousands of entries received. The College Board’s inaugural campaign called for artwork reflecting an understanding of and an engagement with diversity in education.  Katelyn's work will be featured in the promotional materials for next year's Native American Student Advocacy Institute (NASAI) conference.

Maranatha's Talented Athletes Featured in Nike Video
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nike has released a new promotional video featuring several of our talented athletes.  You might recognize a couple familiar faces in the national Nike ad campaign: Jeremy Major, Omar Younger, Conner Tapley, Jalen Jones, and Brandon Walker.  Jeremy is a principal character in the commercial ad and it's impossible to miss him!

Click the image to view the video on Nike's YouTube page.

MHS Students Paint Another Public Art Project This Summer
Monday, June 11, 2012

Another mural by Maranatha students is being painted this summer along Del Mar Blvd, just southwest of campus.  The developer who is doing construction in that corner of the property asked our art students to contribute their talents to beautifying the wood fence separating the street from the construction area.

The mural will take approximately 3 weeks to complete.  When finished, it will feature distinctive Pasadena landmarks, including the Arroyo Bridge, City Hall, the Courthouse, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Huntington Library.

The talented group of student artists who are working on this public art project include: Johan Wijesinghe* and Jarrod Suda (the project's designers), as well as Austin Haver-Hill*, David McAllister*, Leeann Huang*, Catherine Yao, Calvin Yao, Ben Tong, Wesley Ching, Jimmy Phillips, Ali Socki, Cessi Socki, Jarrod Equitz, Alisa Sihn, and Crystal Jow.

(* pictured in photo)

Maranatha Staff Featured in Metro Ads
Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Martin White, Senior Accountant, was recently nominated for recognition as an outstanding customer by a LA County MTA Metro operator. Besides recognition and a free Metro pass, Martin will be displayed in several ads with the operator, Mark Moore, on buses as well as in ads in the LA Times and other publications. As any true Minuteman would, Martin proudly wore his Maranatha (staff) shirt to the photo shoot. You never know where you might see Maranatha’s name next!

Alumni Legacy Wall - Seniors, Order Yours Today!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wouldn’t you like to leave a legacy at Maranatha High School? The school is establishing an Alumni Wall this summer titled with our alumni motto: “Students Today... Alumni for Life!” The wall will be comprised of individual metal plaques with custom navy blue engraving, enabling each alum to leave a personalized message for eternity. This summer, the first installment of plaques will go up in the Gym Quad area. It is our hope that each year our senior students, as well as all alumni, will purchase a plaque so those who come after will see the legacy of those who came before.Click here for an ORDER FORM. Thank you!

Parent Association Donations Make a Difference!
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thank you for supporting the Parent Association this year. By purchasing Scrip gift cards, See's Candies, supporting the Used Uniform Sale, signing up your Ralph's card, donating used ink cartridges or cell phones, etc. the Parent Association was able to donate $30,000 to Maranatha this year!

Of these funds, $23,000 will go directly to fund the Teacher Wish List. Wishes that will be granted include: a SMART Board, a projector and screen, manicans for the Kinesiology Class, new computers for several teachers, technology upgrades to improve graphics for the Art Department, a color printer for the Yearbook and Graphic Design classes, International Standard Bible Encyclopedias, professional developmet for some teachers, new paper cutters, an iPad for the Swim Team, and benches outside and on the 2nd floor landing of the Academic Center.

Thank you for making a difference for our teachers and students!

Prestigious Art Competition Win for Maranatha Student
Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Miles Schlenker's winning artwork "Trapped"Earlier this month, Maranatha junior Miles Schlenker had the distinct honor of winning third place in the annual 29th Congressional Arts Competition Forum and Exhibit, hosted by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) at the Huntington Library.   

“Every year, I get the opportunity to see absolutely amazing artwork submitted by high school artists from across the 29th Congressional District,” Schiff said.  “All of the students deserve recognition for their hard work and exceptional talent, and I