Making the Houses Home: Learn More About PRCA's Houses

by Hayley Bigelow & Viky Bazua, both class of 2023

Two years ago, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy implemented a House System within our high school. The houses are there to support lateral (across grades) rather than horizontal (within grade) relationships. Every high school student was sorted into one of  four houses, Ten Boom, Carmichael, Bonhoeffer, and Lewis. Each house was named after a patron of the faith, someone who fulfills all the parts of PRCA’s Portrait of a Graduate which include being a Courageous Christian, Virtuous Steward, Servant Leader, Truth Seeker, and Justice Keeper.    

Ten Boom House
About the Patron: 
Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983) lived in occupied Holland during WW2. Corrie Ten Boom and her family protected Jews in their home until they were caught. Corrie was arrested and taken  to Ravensbrück, a German concentration camp for women, where she watched her family die around her. Corrie kept her faith in God the entire time. After she was released, Corrie shared her story around the world, speaking in over 60 countries and authoring many books.  

About the House
Q&A with Mrs. Sarah Kirk (Junior AP English), Ten Boom House Dean:

1) Why was Corrie Ten Boom chosen for this house?
“Corrie specifically was chosen because of the way that she lived out her life of faith in Holland during the Nazi regime….She just kept doing the next right thing, and so she was faithful to learning how to be a watchmaker, then she was faithful to recognizing wait a minute some of our neighbors are in need specifically Jewish neighbors….It was her courage, it was her faith, it was that is was a family situation.”

2) What do you want this house to be known for?
“Courage. It is one of the reasons we have [chosen]the wolf, someone who defends those who have no voice, so justice keeping…. I hope Ten Boom is that house, that thinks of others and lives courageously by faith.”

3) Why is the wolf for Ten Boom house?
“The wolf lives in packs, and so it hunts in packs, and it definitely something that defends when it needs to…. It has that piece of the Lord that is fierce and a Justice Keeper.”

4) What does your house mean to you? 
“Personally, Sarah Kirk, my oldest, Cory Kirk, is named after Corrie Ten Boom, that’s how much it means to me…. Corrie Ten Boom is one of my life heroes, because I love who she is. We named our sons intentionally so that they would have a purpose and a focus of what to live up to so there’s that piece. I hope my son Corrie will live courageously and fiercely and  defend those.” 

Carmichael House
About the Patron:
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) was born in England but served as a missionary in India for most of her life. In India she opened an orphanage for children being sold or given to Buddist monks. She took in these children as her own, protecting them from the cruel life they had been condemned to. For Amy Carmichael, it was not about her, but about the children, and God. Even in her later life she refused to have people write and talk about her. 

About the House
 Q&A with Mrs. Susan Wixon (Senior Regular and Freshman Honors English), Carmichael House Dean:

1) Why was Amy Carmichael chosen for this house?
“Amy Carmichael was chosen because she is definitely a patron of the faith, a really great example of Christian love. …. Her orphanage still stands today…. They [the children] called her Ama, because that means mother, and so she became a mother to orphaned and abandoned children in India…. She spent the rest of her years, over 40 years in India, that’s what she dedicated her life to, never got married, never had her own kids.”

2) What do you want this house to be known for?
“Amy Carmichael was all about loving others well,....what loving others well really means is doing Christ’s love, a godly love, being able to lay oneself down for somebody else. And that’s exactly what she did. We really want people to understand and follow in her footsteps of what it means to love one another well.” 

3) Why is the elephant the mascot for Carmichael house?
“Well, because, essentially, there are elephants in India. [The Carmicheal house elephant is actually an African elephant.].... Elephants are also very family orientated.”

4) What does your house mean to you? 
“We kind of ended up with Carmichael, I hate to say it that way, but I even said, I don't know who that is. I'm gonna have to go Google her. But it’s so interesting to me how much her life really represents, how much of her life I want to embody, there are a lot of pieces of her I so look up to. We all have different people that we really love that trait and we really want to be like that trait. There are so many pieces of her that I want to be like…. I love the idea of taking in the children and being a mother to those who don't have mothers. I love that concept, especially when I think about why I got into teaching.”
Bonhoeffer House
About the Patron:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a German theologian who was passionate about the unification of Christians worldwide. Living during the reign of Adolf Hitler, Bonhoeffer took part in countless anti-semitism protests. He was also the founder of the Confessing Church, a movement focused on unifying the German Protestant church against the Nazi reign. Perhaps the most well-known fact about Dietrich Bonhoeffer was his involvement in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Sadly, the plot was discovered and Bonhoeffer was arrested due to letters found linking him to the conspiracy. He was later tried and sentenced to death by hanging. Dietrich Bonhoeffer died a martyr for the church and was remembered as the voice who defended the innocent and fought for justice.

About the House
Q&A with Mrs. Jessica Black (Junior English), Bonhoeffer House Dean:

Why was Dietrich Bonhoeffer chosen as a patron for one of PRCA’s houses?
“It was a long list [house patrons] and they ended up voting. The four that were chosen are our houses. But Bonhoeffer specifically, was chosen because of his courage in the face of injustice.”

What would you like this house to be known for?
“Courage. Courage is something I would love Bonhoeffer house to be known for. People who speak up for students who aren’t fitting in, or students who don’t feel like they have a place to go. Just be the hands and feet of Jesus, really. The people who reach out and see like even outside of our school like the least of these as they’re described in scripture. To speak out for them, to reach out to them, to love them well. And to share the gospel through that courage and through that love because I think that’s what Bonhoeffer stood for.”

 Why was the owl chosen as the mascot for this house?
“They [designers of Bonhoeffer logo] chose an owl because typically in US folklore, they are signs of wisdom. They are creatures who are very patient, very calm, and very stoic until it’s time to act, which is very much Dietrich Bonhoeffer.” 

What does Bonhoeffer house mean to you?
“What Bonhoeffer house means to me is a lot of different things. On the side of having Bonhoeffer as our patron and working to live out a life where I stand out against injustice. What Bonhoeffer house means to me is accountability because as a dean of Bonhoeffer house, I feel compelled to be that voice against injustice for the gospel and for his people...and then Bonhoeffer house means to me, as cheesy as it sounds, it really does mean family to me.”

Lewis House
About the Patron:
Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), was an Irish scholar and author best known for writing the widely loved series, The Chronicles of Narnia. He, of course, wrote many other things including Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and Out of the Silent Planet. As a young man, Lewis was a brilliant student and was accepted into Oxford University. He studied there for a year before volunteering to fight in the British army during the First World War. Lewis fought valiantly during the last few months of the war when he was injured and sent home. There he finished university and became a teacher. Many don’t know that the famous author struggled in his faith when he was young and even walked away for a period of time, but Lewis returned to the faith stronger than ever. The great C.S Lewis became passionate about apologetics through his novels and influenced the whole world with his writings. 

About the House
Q&A with Mr. Chad Brown (Spanish), Lewis House Dean:

Why was C.S. Lewis chosen as a patron for one of  PRCA’s houses?
“He is one of the great theologians of the 20th century and I think also if you think of a classical education, you think of the great books. You think of Mere Christianity, The Abolition of Man. These are the great books and I think you also think of the Narnia series and all of us as kids grew up on the Narnia series. So I think that’s why.” 

What would you like this house to be known for?
“Mr. Peyton and I both have a desire to make it a ‘serve others’ house, meaning that, every time you see a need in the community or a need in the school that we would be able to serve and put others first."

Why was the stag chosen as the mascot for this house?
“The stag was chosen because of CS Lewis's writings period. It pays homage to Chronicles of Narnia specifically.”

What does Lewis house mean to you? 
“I think it means comradery.”

Each house is different. From doing the next right thing, caring for the community and loving those who need it, to having courage when others don’t, these diverse houses set the grounds for all of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy and her students. 

To us, the House System gives us a sense of belonging and a sense of pride to be a part of something so special and so unique. It plants a sense of importance in each student to know that  one day when we’ve moved on and graduated from PRCA, we weren’t just part of a dearly loved class of students, but a part of a smaller, tighter knit family found in his/her house. It is an honor to be a part of the house system and to be involved in continuing the legacy of these great heroes of the faith that are our house patrons.
Grammar School (grades DK-5)
6450 N. Camino Miraval, Tucson AZ 85718
Phone: 520.529.7080
School office hours: 7:45 AM - 3:30 PM
Upper School (grades 6-12)
9500 N. Oracle Road, Tucson AZ 85704
Phone: 520.797.0107
School office hours: 7:50 AM - 4:15 PM
South Campus (grades K-1)
5951 S 12th Ave, Tucson AZ 85706
Phone: 520.797.0107
*Coming Fall 2022!
"The mission of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy is to teach our students to become like Christ through a classical Christian education within a covenantal community."

“All for Christ and His Kingdom”