OCS Family Spotlight
Introducing the "New Family Spotlight"! In additional to our regular feature of the OCS Family Spotlight, we'd like to feature some of our new families who joined us this past school year. We love hearing stories from our new families about how the OCS impacts their families’ lives! Each week we will feature a new OCS family who joined us this current school year and their family on our “New Family Spotlight” feature! Stroll further down the page to read the stories of our more "seasoned" families.
Courtney Family - Jason, Patricia, Keira (6th grade), Keigan (3rd grade)
We initially heard about OCS through friends. We love that it is a faith based school with a focus on academics. We love the culture of the school, support of the community, and the camaraderie amongst the students. We love the spirit wear!
Keira really enjoyed playing “Sourwood Mountain” with the Middle School Orchestra. She raves about Chapel and being moved by the worship, the talent, and being in community with everyone.
Some of the activities we’ve participated in include: Keira joined the Middle School Kindness Club during advisory hour. Patricia volunteers any chance she can although limited due to the pandemic The last activity was with the PTF. It was the post-it notes project! Leaving encouraging notes for the middle and high schoolers to fill their hearts was such a great idea, so fun!
Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful to integrate us in, Even with the restrictions of the pandemic which have limited so much.
Sanchez Family - Manuel, Viviana, Adrian (6th), & Alexa (4th)
Education is the most important heritage for our children besides the Christian faith. They have always been attending private school. Their prior school did not offer Middle nor High School. So it was time for a change when Adrian moved into 6th grade and we started looking for his preparation into college. The previous school was not a religious school. Therefore it was very important to us to find a school that would allow our children to freely express their beliefs in the Christian faith. That will not only encourage but will actively support their growth in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Another important criteria for us was a school that would offer opportunities like AP Program in High school. After evaluating a couple of options we decided for OCS. We live in Oakland Township, so we were familiar with the school and we also have a couple of friends whose children attended OCS in the past and they recommended it to us.
We have felt welcomed from the beginning, the teachers and classmates have helped my kids to be integrated pretty quickly. Even though we have had little interaction with other families so far due to the pandemic. They both enjoy chapel and are learning important fundamentals in the faith and also how to defend their beliefs when they will be challenged. Both children were in the ski club. Adrian participated in the Science & Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit representing OCS and he was awarded Second place for his project "How Fast an Alka-Seltzer tablet Makes Gas?". He was also nominated to participate in the 2021 Broadcom Masters Science Fair.
What’s unique about Oakland Christian School is the online education platform and more importantly, the ability as parents to be able to oversee their students’ progress without having to be in constant contact with the teachers. This has been an extremely valuable tool for us this past year during the pandemic. And it will continue beyond this year. The teachers are always available when you need to speak to them.
The preparation to transition to online learning was solid. In Middle and Elementary school, online learning was not required this year, but we felt that the infrastructures were in place. And they were ready anytime when there is a quarantined situation, to make the switch seamlessly. Especially compared to last year when so many schools were scrambling to make the online learning successful.
The school and Elementary communications keep us up to date with the school activities and how they have handled the pandemic. This has been very important to us. Alexa's teacher, Mrs. Hosmer has been a great support to her and definitively helped her to quickly integrate in the classroom. She is truly a blessing. The teachers challenge them but also offer so much support and praises to our children.
Brooks Family - James, Debra, Jaycee (8th), Molly (5th), Landri (3rd) and James Jr. (1st)
We were drawn to OCS because we knew our children would get a top notch Christian education. We are a military family and when we were told we were moving to this area we reviewed the Christian schools in the area and OCS stood out in academics, fun activities for the kids, sports, and everyone was so friendly.
Chapel is actually one of our kids favorite activities during the week. They come home singing and signing songs they have learned and always have a lesson they are eager to share. The sports activities are also a favorite.
We would recommend OCS to anyone looking for Christian education. My children have felt so much love from their teachers. Although COVID has made some things a little different, OCS has gone above and beyond to try to make things as normal as possible. Oakland Christian School offers a faith based, Godly education and we are most thankful! We move around a lot and it usually takes months before our kids are really known by the faculty and staff at the school. At OCS it was not the case, our kids were treated like family and known by name immediately. It was so refreshing!
Plaum Family - Judith, Joerg & Emma Tallulah Plaum (Kindergarten)
This is our first year at OCS. We had only moved to Michigan from Germany in 2018, and with Emma still being young we hadn't thought about her school options much, before the pandemic hit. But we had heard other families from our church praise OCS in the highest and were only slightly familiar with the school. When we experienced that remote learning was not something we wanted to pursue any longer in the summer of 2020, Emma was able to start Kindergarten in Mrs. Morga's class this past Fall.
Emma's Kindergarten year at OCS has been a huge blessing, and it's still going strong. She has not only progressed a great deal academically, Emma discovered her love for worship and has grown in her personal relationship with Jesus. All this is chaperoned by loving and caring fellow Christians.
We’ve been involved in some OCS activities despite health restrictions this school year. We had fun doing a photo project with Teresa Tyler, participated as a tour guide at the Open House, enjoyed the virtual LifeBuilders auction and Judith started subbing in the elementary.
We felt incredibly welcomed and extraordinarily cared for by all staff members & the PTF and were able to build meaningful relationships from day one. OCS proves to be the loving, caring, academically challenging and faith based environment we had been looking for. The Oakland Christian community is a true blessing.
Usztan Family - Boris, Christina, Taras (OCS 6th Grade), Vladimir (4th) & Ivan (3rd)
We loved OCS from the minute we walked in! We were welcomed with open arms. Taras started in 6th grade last October and next school year in the Fall, our other two younger boys will be attending 4th & 5th grade here at OCS!
We were drawn to our son’s relationship with God and knowledge of the Bible growing by attending OCS. We love the challenge academically and how the staff help our son be successful. Everyone has been so kind and loving. You can see how much every staff member cares about the success of the students and their individual walk with God.
We love everything OCS has to offer. For a small school there are many extracurriculars for the kids to participate in. Taras is playing basketball now and looks forward to football in the fall. We are looking forward to the upcoming 5K! We enjoyed participating in the LifeBuilders auction.
OCS is unique in regard to the amazing staff they have and everything they pour into the children. The students are receiving a high quality education along with highly educated, God loving teachers and staff providing guidance and character building. We have been amazed at how welcoming every teacher and student has been! My son is now playing the trumpet and loves it! He enjoys all his classes. He feels challenged and also feels encouraged to rise to the occasion and be successful!
Dinverno Family - Matt, Elena, Isabela (10th) & Shane (6th)
Our children's education is a priority. You only get one shot. Our local school district was not providing a quality education for our children so we decided to look for a school that was. We were drawn to OCS because we have always heard amazing things about the school and loved that Faith is first in all things which is a pillar in our family.
We love that Faith is first in every class in every experience. The STEM program for 6th grade is phenomenal. In high school, we love hearing about the "real" stories from teachers about how they came to follow Christ to help the students relate.
Ways we’ve gotten involved this year include being the OCS Ski Club sponsor and helping out with the PTF, and the basketball team for Shane in 6th Grade. These are great ways to connect in the community of OCS even in the time of restrictions.
Mrs. Frazee has been a great resource as we navigate a new school. She’s always accessible, always wanting the best for the students. My advice for new families is to start plugging in to something when you come to the school. For your kids and for the parents, it's a great way to get connected quickly!
Photo credit: Aly Darin Photography
Budzinski Family - Jesse, Amber, Cora (3rd), Sienna (Kindergarten), Mila & Brooks
Our family was drawn to OCS from its reputation in the community as being a school that teaches Biblical principles coupled with strong academics. We also felt very welcomed by the staff and current families that attended OCS to become a part of the school family. We knew our kids would thrive in a place like OCS and be shown and taught the Love of Christ in their classrooms while also being challenged academically.
Due to the current state of the country, we know it has been slightly different than past years to get involved and participate. However, we have been very thankful that the teachers have kept us informed on all the classroom activities and keeping things fun and exciting for the kids! We look forward to being able to be more involved in person in the future. As a first year family we have only had close experiences with Mrs. Morga and Mrs. Ream. We have been blown away by how much they pour into our daughters and how they really focus on not just teaching them school work but also on developing their characters and encouraging them to make wise decisions and grow their relationships with the Lord. We are so happy with our decision to send our kids to OCS!
OCS is truly a one of a kind place! From the frequent emails and devotionals encouraging the OCS families with scripture and prayer over our children to the teachers who continually update us as parents and pray over our students, I don't know of another school who strives to provide an excellent education along with instilling strong Biblical values all while making education so exciting and fun quite like OCS does.
David, Rachael, Carson (7th), Ava & Mia (4th), Sydney (2nd)
This is our first year at OCS. We were drawn to OCS by the small class sizes, the way they have safely planned on students attending in-person, and how warm and welcoming everyone was.
We would like to thank Susan Brock, Kelly Wood, and Teresa Tyler for helping us get all four children enrolled, getting them uniforms to start school, and helping them be prepared to have all they needed when school started. Our children walked in knowing these kind and familiar faces the first day and it made all the difference!
OCS is like a family. All the staff and faculty are so warm and welcoming. Everyone has been friendly and is so willing to meet our children’s needs. We are so blessed to be here!
Marty, Sunny, Isaac (4th Grade), Caleb (2nd Grade), Silas (1st Grade)
This is the start of our seventh year. We had our first experience with the preschool at the OCS Clarkston campus and have been blessed ever since. The teaching is phenomenal and it is reassuring to parents that each teacher is reinforcing the biblical principles that we teach at home.
The boys have participated in flag football & soccer club. We’re looking forward to more to come as they get older. We love going to the varsity football games on Friday nights and rooting for our Lancers! We also love attending the chapels to participate in worship with our children.
What initially drew us to OCS was the Christian education. Their reputation for a Biblical worldview and excellence in academics. What’s unique about OCS is that they’re uncompromising on Biblical teaching. Teachers have gone above and beyond to meet each boy’s personality, interests and learning styles. As parents, we couldn’t feel more blessed!
Mike, Jamie, Olivia (2nd Grade), Stephen (1st Grade), and Emmanuel
We have been at OCS for 3 years. What initially drew us to OCS was the Christian education. What’s unique about OCS is the love that is felt the second you walk through the doors!
Some of the activities that our children have participated include: Olivia and Stephen have played soccer. Olivia did cheer. Stephen is playing flag football this year. They both did the art club and loved Mrs Hosmer's Christmas workshop!
We have been so blessed by our children’s teachers. The love that they pour into our children is such a beautiful example of Christ’s love for all of us!
Photo credit: E.C Campbell Photography
Kevin & Madeline, Mason (12th Grade), Lucas (9th Grade), Colin (7th Grade)
We have been at OCS for 10 years. What initially drew us to OCS was first and foremost a school where our kids could talk about Jesus. We wanted them in a Christian environment where they would be challenged and grow closer to God. We can guide them at home, but kids are in school so many hours a day. We wanted them to be with Christian teachers and leaders who love them and help them to deepen their love for Jesus. With 3 boys, sports is also a big priority. We love that OCS offers so many different programs. We have good competition, and great coaches. We also knew that OCS offered really good academics.
Some activities my kids have been involved in include football, basketball, baseball, National Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society, Battle of the Books, and Strings. I (Madeline) have always loved being involved in my boys’ activities. I have been a room mom during the elementary years, have been a chaperone for many field trips, was involved with the PTF, and have volunteered for many athletic events. I now work in the EEC as a preschool assistant. I have been there for 6 years, and still love seeing their little faces each day. Kevin has been involved in coaching football, basketball, and baseball throughout the boys years.
We have had so many good memories here at OCS. We would choose this school all over again if we had a second chance. We love the positive Christian atmosphere, and how the teachers genuinely care for our kids. What is unique about OCS is that they teach the kids to embrace their faith and to live it out each day. Also, because it is a small school, we are able to really get to know the other families and develop some lifelong friendships.
Sebastian & Kris, Francesca (OCS 10’), Jack (Ocs 11'), Alexandra (OCS 12’), son-in-law Adam Exelby (OCS 12'), Isabella (OCS 15’), Victoria (OCS 17’), Antonina (OCS 19'), & Sophia (11 grade)
Before we get started, I don’t want you to view this like one of “those” family Christmas letters you dread reading. We have a lot of children. :-)
Our children are uniquely designed by God. With that being said, throughout the years our children have been involved in so many activities. Athletics plays a large part for many of our children. Our son was involved in football, baseball, bowling and golf. The girls were involved in cross-country, track, bowling, volleyball, basketball, soccer and cheerleading. Cheerleading was out of their comfort zone but taught them how to use their voice and get in front of a crowd. We love that some of our children could achieve All-American, All-State status while others were just happy to be a part of a team and grow as individuals.
Our children have also been involved in OCS mission trips to China, Costa Rica and Mexico. On those mission trips, they learned that some of the happiest people were the poorest people. One of our girls went on the Europe trip. That trip was an amazing cultural experience. Our children have been involved with the National Honor Society, student council, peer tutoring, LEAD, Band, Side by Side, Home Economics club, Eco Club, and book club. Furthermore, our children have developed beautiful relationships with some of the International students.
We became part of the OCS family back in 2007, we have always desired a Christian education for our children from preschool through college. We want them to learn through the lens of the Word of God. Years ago, our first meeting with Doc Johnson, we felt comfortable with the Christian and spiritual aspect of OCS as well as the high academic standards. The students would gather, on their own, to have once a month student-led teaching and worship bonfires.
I’ve always dreamed of having a large family and being a part of each of my children’s lives. I have been a team mom, field trip chaperone, volunteered at athletic events, PTF, substitute teaching, room mom, lunchroom mom, transition committee and continue to assist the elementary staff with projects. I love laminating for the elementary, it’s free therapy. The paper goes in plain and comes out shiny!
What’s unique about OCS is that we appreciate the multi-faceted Christian thinking from a diverse group of dominations and non-denominational church members. We love the spirit of the school. OCS can balance high academics, “heart” work, spirituality and have fun while doing it. The OCS student body has always embraced their peers for exactly how God created each individual regardless of their economic status, personal shortcomings or disabilities.
My advice to new families is to enjoy each and every opportunity to be involved in your children’s lives. They grow up quickly! You truly get what you put into it. Our family is still very connected with many OCS families from our initial years and enjoying the current families.
Michael (1987 grad), Sarah (1988 grad), Kayla (2015 grad), Zachary (2017 grad), Seth (2020 grad), Micah (11th grade), Lydia (10th grade), Brand New Son-In-Law Zachary Bouren (2015 grad)
Mike began his OCS journey in 1983, I (Sarah) did in 1984, and our kids in 2008. Mike and my parents both wanted a strong Christian education and sacrificed greatly to afford for us to go there.
My mom, Freddy Kemler, worked as the secondary admin for 25 years (retired in 2008) and it was always Mike and my dream to send the kids to OCS some day since the school had such an impact on our lives. We too knew the sacrifice was big but were willing to give it and have never regretted the decision.
We love all the sporting activities the kids are involved in and go to all their games, Mike is the Varsity Softball coach and has coached Middle School baseball and basketball boys and girls. I am typically volunteering as the team mom for any of the sports the kids are playing and ran the Spiritwear booth for 8 years. I am now serving on the committee to start the boosters club. Some of the activities my children have participated in included: Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Bowling, Baseball, Softball, Orchestra, Band, Student Council, NHS, and LEAD.
What’s unique about OCS is the closeness you have with other families. They really are all family to us and have many VERY close relationships that started at OCS. The teachers really do love our kids. They want them to succeed and want to partner with the families to ensure they do succeed. They are easy to talk to and go the extra mile. Since we are a sports oriented family, we love the fact that our kids can participate in any sport. In many large public schools, sports are very difficult to get involved in unless you have been playing it all your life and are a high level player. The coaches pray with and for the kids and are more concerned with the character than the skill. Although we have top-notch coaches that really do know and love the game.
To new families, seek out someone who you can ask all those "silly questions". So many times we take for granted that those of us who have been around for a long time know things that new families do not. We would love to come alongside and help navigate with them.
To the teachers, in this uncertain time, know that we parents love and appreciate all you are doing and know it isn't easy how much you have had to change the way you are teaching. We are continually praying that you receive an extra measure of patience and endurance.
Photo credit: Liz Erban Photography
The Miller Family - Jim, Shannon, Sydney (OCS Class of 2019), Avery (10th Grade), Bridget (8th Grade).
We’re beginning our sixth year at OCS this Fall. What initially drew us to OCS is the Christian environment. Activities that our girls are involved in include: soccer, volleyball, softball, strings, Honor Society, LEAD, and Geo Challenge.
Programs and activities around campus that we’ve loved volunteering are class field trips /activities, sports volunteer opportunities, and the SCRIP gift card program.
What’s unique about OCS is that the teachers display the love of Christ to their students. As the world is becoming a darker place, OCS seeks to walk with the Lord.
Lopes/ Kubinski Family
Jessie, Ben, Efraim, and Hannah Lopes - Ben Lopes (10th) Efraim Lopes (5th) Hannah Lopes (4th)
We’ve been at OCS for 6 years for the kids (since 2014), and I (Jessie) am an OCS alum from the Class of 2000. Efraim plays basketball and was in the Elementary Robotics team. Ben is on the worship team. Hannah and Efraim are in the Spanish Immersion program.
God opens a way, and easily leads you there. When we arrived back, it felt like we stumbled upon OCS but really it was God's kind hand guiding our path. He has many beautiful purposes in where he plants our feet.
One of my favorite things at OCS is praying with a few teachers Monday or Tuesday mornings every week before school on campus. What a foundation this laid to dedicate our weeks, and lift them up to the mighty God who would carry us and all our burdens throughout that week so faithfully. Covering the teachers and students (with the teachers) in prayer was always my favorite. I also love volunteering at the used uniform sale! It has always lightened my load and blessed me. I have always felt clothed and provided for through this sale, and God's hand has always been present in clothing us beautifully!
There are pathways around every corner to find Jesus! He is hidden in different aspects of the culture at OCS and I love the way we encounter him. I love the open spaces, teachers, mission trips, student prayer and Bible study, worship team, and endless other ways that Jesus meets the people of Oakland Christian, and they experience him in a new, personal, and intimate way.
I believe the best days of OCS are yet to come. There is a beautiful field there with ground to be worked on and foundation to be laid, so a more beautiful and diverse landscape can come up...a place where God's Spirit is comfortable to stay and abide, transforming the lives within into their God-given purposes and destinies so that no one leaves their gifts unused. We love OCS!Franey Family
The Franey Family - Brian, Lisa, Alaina (11th Grade), and Abby (9th Grade)
We began our OCS journey when Alaina was going into 3rd grade and Abby in 1st. My (Lisa) dad was a public school teacher and I taught in the public schools for 8 years. I was grateful to share the love of Jesus in this ministry. However, as our children grew we became more and more concerned about these vital years. Before we visited OCS for the first time, we prayed for clear signs to guide our decision and God was faithful to answer! From the moment we stepped in the door, we felt His peace and presence. Many Spirit-led conversations and interactions with staff members made our decision clear. OCS was the place we wanted our children to be "trained up in His Word" so that when they leave this place they are fully prepared to step into the joys and challenges of adulthood!
Alaina is involved in varsity basketball and volleyball, National Junior Honor Society and will begin serving as a member of the LEAD team this year. Abby participated in middle school volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer. She is also part of the National Junior Honor Society, plays the violin in orchestra, and will be joining the praise band this upcoming year as she enters high school.
Together, Brian and I served on the FOLK team for 3 years, planning events for families at OCS. Brian has truly enjoyed his time as the varsity girls assistant coach and now as the head coach. He joyfully pours into these girls and their families, and reaps the benefits of growing spiritually every year! I enjoyed volunteering for field trips and helping in the classroom during the elementary years, and now enjoy supporting my husband and these amazing girls. The biggest blessing has been being a part of the OCS prayer team since the first year we joined this OCS family! Nothing can compare to praying with other brothers and sisters in Christ and seeing God doing amazing things within His body of believers!
My advice to new families? Embrace this family as your own! You will never regret the time you've spent investing in your children's future! Jesus is at the center of OCS ... and for that we are so very thankful! The staff and administrators truly care about every child and work hard to help them become the best version of who God created them to be!
The LeRoy Family: Brian, Sarah, Mikey, Tram and Charlotte. (Mikey - 6th Grade, Tram - 5th Grade Spanish Immersion, Charlotte - 1st Grade Spanish Immersion)
Our children started at OCS 7 years ago, back in the Fall of 2013. We were looking for a faith based program that also provided strong academics. Athletics were a large part of our decision- we wanted a place where are kids could play sports and have a large variety to choose from. Our kids have participated in football, basketball, baseball, soccer club, art club, and science club.
I love that our students can start in preschool together and travel all the way to graduation together. They really become like siblings who take care of and watch out for one another. This also allows the parents to bond and communicate with each other.
PTF and Lifebuilders are a huge part of my life here at OCS. I love to support our staff and show them how loved they are. Raising funds for the school to be able to provide even more programs and opportunities for students has been a blessing.
OCS has become our family. With all three kids there, being involved in volunteering, sports and after school activities, this school is a part of our everyday lives.Families take care of one another and love your kids like you love them. I know that if I need anything I can count on the staff or families for help. Our social life is really intertwined with OCS and we are so grateful for the friendships we have here. We can raise our kids and grow in our faith together.
Photo credit: Blonde Tulip Photography
The Ahn Family: Chris and Kristi Ahn, Taylor and Cameron Ahn
We began our OCS journey in August of 2012 when our daughter, Taylor, started Kindergarten. We sought out OCS for Christian education. We stayed because the instruction is excellent. We have embraced the community at OCS, it is home. At OCS we can unapologetically declare our love for Jesus. We come together to worship and pray as a body. Our kids are taught to serve others and give all the glory to God.
Taylor is entering 8th grade Fall 2020. She plays the violin in the Middle School Orchestra. She plays Lancer Softball and Soccer. She is a member of the NJHS (National Junior Honor Society). Our son, Cameron, is entering 6th grade this Fall. He plays Lancer Football, Basketball and Baseball. He is also a member of the elementary Robotics team.
There are so many ways to engage in the community at OCS. Chris has served on the school board for many years, but he really enjoys his time in the booth announcing the Lancer elementary football games. Kristi enjoys helping the class with service days and field trips, but her favorite experience is creating the Fear Factor room for the Middle School Lock-In.
One of our favorite events at OCS is the Elementary Fall Fun Night. It is a great time to build relationships with other OCS families in an outdoor setting. We relax and enjoy chili on a cool fall night before heading through the trails to watch the Lancers bring home a football victory.
Photo credit: Devin Parrish Photography