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Highland Christian School on receiving end of good sportsmanship from rivals

The Highland Christian School football team, seen here during practice Sept. 11, received no putdowns or negative comments from their Lummi rivals Sept. 5. - Kirk Boxleitner
The Highland Christian School football team, seen here during practice Sept. 11, received no putdowns or negative comments from their Lummi rivals Sept. 5.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — As the staff, students and families of Highland Christian School recover from their ex-principal being charged with child rape, they've found support even from their athletic rivals.

During the HCS football team's Sept. 5 game against Lummi, HCS football coach Don Kurtzenacker reported a notable display of "top-notch" sportsmanship from the opposing team.

"In a nutshell, there were no putdowns or any negative comments from them," Kurtzenacker said. "Obviously, you're not going to be nice to each other during competition, but there were prayers and hugs shared."

Kurtzenacker attested to the increased level of scrutiny that all teachers and coaches, including himself, have received in the wake of ex-principal Mark Brown's charging and subsequent dismissal.

"We're taking care that our students are matching the mission and purpose of Highland Christian School," said Kurtzenacker, who's sat in on several open-door HCS board of directors meetings. "We've been through a rough patch, but the core of our school remains solidly committed to providing excellent educational opportunities for kids in a Christian-centered learning environment. Everything is focused on Him," he added, referring to God.

Kurtzenacker noted that the board had brought in professional consultants to help steer them toward the proper path to recovery, and emphasized that Brown's actions should not be held against the school or its students.

"The kids, the families and the teachers had nothing to do with this," Kurtzenacker said. "They did nothing wrong."

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