The Spencer Family Story


spencer family


We have a daughter who is in high school and a son who is in elementary school at HCA. Our daughter transferred from public school to HCA 2013/2014 school year. Within the first six weeks we have seen a positive difference in her attitude, her study habits and her grades. We are excited about her progress and the positive influence within the HCA environment.

Our son is in his second year at HCA and he loves it! With the small class sizes he is able to get a complete understanding of his assignments. He is doing very well and we appreciate the Christian environment, the love and care our children receive. Comparable to the amount of tuition cost, the level of education our children are receiving is priceless!


The Plymel Family Story


Plymel family

Plymels' Story– HCA Parents 



     We are The Plymels...Mike and Teresa, with our daughters Cassie(4th) and Jenna(2nd). We also have an older son and daughter, their spouses, three grandchildren and a USMC nephew. We  attend Abundant Life Church of God where we teach Little Lambs(K4-K5). Mike is a Navy Veteran and Army Reservist Veteran. He loves to hunt and fish, is an avid Civil War Historian, and also coaches our church softball team.  Teresa is Chairman of the Lowndes County Family Violence Task Force. We are a family who prays about everything. We have a family devotion and prayer time each night where our girls share their prayer requests and praise reports. Faith and family.

     Our girls’ education began at Carpenter Kids Preschool for their pre-school and kindergarten years. We watched them grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. We absolutely loved our CKP family and the guidance and education our girls received. It was there that we began to realize, “Christian education does not pays.”

     After the girls graduated kindergarten, we moved them to another Christian school. There, we watched with pride as they continued to grow. We saw our girls grow tremendously in spiritual strength, knowledge of The Word, and in Christian character. Although they excelled academically, we began to feel that they could be challenged more. Wanting our girls to have the best opportunity to advance in every area of life, we began to pray about possibly moving to a different Christian school. Our decision to change schools was not made in haste, nor in anger.  Again, we loved our school family and developed an even stronger belief that, “Christian education does not pays.”

     We prayed for months, then checked into every (and I mean every) Christian school in our area. We felt drawn to HCA. To say we were impressed with the academic excellence, the emphasis on Christian teachings and principles, as well as the athletic, art, technology, and foreign language programs would be an understatement. I then toured the school. The staff was so sincere and real, I almost immediately felt like part of the family. I called my husband, “This is the place.” Then our girls shadowed for the day and loved it. Confirmation, this was the place! We knew in our girls will be challenged academically, continue to grow spiritually, and be encouraged to pursue other areas of interest.

     This is our first year at HCA. The transition has been very smooth. Our girls came to HCA with a great academic and spiritual foundation to build on. Every expectation we had has been met and exceeded. We are certain our girls will be prepared for college (many years from now) as well as be ready to face the world as strong, confident, well educated young women. Our prayer is that they continue to build on the Christian foundation that has been laid for them.

     We believe, whatever our children’s grades are, they are at least a letter grade higher being in private Christian school than they would be otherwise (our older two were raised in public school, Class of 2006 and 2008).To quote my husband, “We’re going to spend that money on the girls anyways, so why not invest it in them?” Highland Christian Academy is where we feel God lead us to invest into our children’s lives.





The Nizio Family Story


john Nizio





John’s Story – HCA Board Chairman

I come from a family that had a great sense of adventure in their walk with God, and the ability to listen to their heart. My great, great, great, grandfather had the courage to follow his dreams. Originally from Italy, he traveled across Europe in 1776 to follow his passion for music, and he became a Church organist in Loszniow, Poland. In 1850, my great grandfather built a wheat flour mill powered by a creek. Since then, all generations have worked in the grinding of natural products and had a love of water. My father also had the courage to follow his dream. After fighting on the allied side and being a POW for 5-1/2 years in WWII, he had the opportunity to come to America. In 1990 I traveled with dad back to Poland….and I met the woman I love; Danusia and I have been married now for 19 years and have two beautiful children – Josh and Hannah.

In recent years, I have come to appreciate the magnificent work of our elder Brother Jesus to bring us in to the kingdom. His sense of destiny combined with a great passion for us accomplished our rescue….even as it is written “Jesus, who for the joy set before Him (yes, that joy would be you and I), endured the cross, despised the shame, and has set down at the right hand of God”  (Heb12:2).  And He brought us Life…His Life…”for it is God who is at work in you” (Phil 2:13). I share this because knowing ones story is important.

An HCA Story

 God has been at work at HCA; knowing the story of HCA is also important. You see, it’s not just the students that learn; the board, the administration, and the faculty have all been willing to “ask, seek, and knock” to continuously improve the experience of learning for students. And this journey has taken us all over the world and led us to become the only independent Christian School in Valdosta.  As one example, we began a learning curve about 3 years ago on the subject of dyslexia. We found out that Dyslexia is a “learning difference”; not a disability. It may interest you to know that almost 20% of the population has some form of dyslexia, and that 90% never get diagnosed. We partnered with Woodland Hall Academy – Dyslexia Research Institute (DRI) in Tallahassee to begin to understand how to improve learning by understanding this “learning difference” such as:

- Combining graphics with vocabulary/science definitions.

- Learning to “speak” the steps to solve a math problem before working it.

- Taking a break every 15-20 minutes when doing homework.

- Being intentional in diet choices to limit sugar/starches/and carbohydrates which turn into sugar. Including more protein on test days.

- Reading out loud, especially test questions, softly or in an isolated room. Reading silently is about the poorest way for a dyslexic to learn and comprehend.

- Communicating your love and affirmation to a child with dyslexia, actively and often.

- Very often, the “learning difference” turns into a gift. 

I love this statement found on the DRI web page: “dyslexics and individuals with ADHD can become successful individuals using their talents and skills to enrich our society. They may take their place alongside other individuals with dyslexia or ADHD, such as Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Nelson Rockefeller.” 

Danusia and I have two kids attending HCA this year. In the past, we took a good look at the teachers, and through numerous meetings found out what they are made of.  What sets them apart from other schools is that they genuinely care and have a sense of ownership in the success and future of the school. And the bottom line is, we wanted teachers who “really give a rip” and would participate in helping our kids find out their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. And that is what is remarkable about HCA!





Mr. Stan Alderman Board Member

Mr. Stan Alderman


My story is a simple one.  I was born and raised in Valdosta and I met my wife soon after graduating from high school.  When I was growing up, my family did not go to church, but my wife’s family always did.  So after getting married we started attending her family church.  I “played church” for a long time but finally accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 38 years old.  I regret the years that were wasted, but it has been a wonderful walk since then.  I believe that when Jesus said “you are to be my witnesses,” He gave each of us a particular way to do so.  Some are to be teachers, some preachers, and some (most) are to be LIVING examples.  A great philosopher from Alabama has said, “What you DOES speaks so loud I don’t need to hear what you SAYS”, meaning of course that actions speak louder that words.  What we DO for the Kingdom is so much more important than our “yakkity yak.”  Highland Christian Academy is DOING! My wife and I have been married for 44 years.  I retired from the Valdosta State Prison three years ago, and my wife is the office manager of a business here in town.   We have two children who are married, and we have five grandchildren.  Our oldest grandson graduated from Highland in May of this year, and we still have three grandchildren who attend there.  We have been associated with HCA for more than 10 years and have been amazed at how much has been accomplished by this school.  I continue to be awed by the teachers and staff.  I personally know the commitment, dedication, and especially the sacrifice they have for HCA.  I would almost say they agonize over each student in the sense that they only want the best for them, and are willing to go far beyond just making sure the students “make the grade.”  And HCA students have excelled after graduating, finishing college and becoming productive members of their community.  I have been fortunate to be a driver for the HCA bus for two years (sports and field trips), and I have observed the students when they are away from the classroom, in a more conventional setting.  It is wonderful to see how well they conduct themselves, how they share with each other (joys and sadness), and how they evoke praises for HCA wherever they go.  When you are continually seeing HCA student successes in the newspaper, and are hearing others say what a great school it is, you know there are “positive and encouraging” things going on there.  Scripture says, “without a vision, the people perish.”  The school board has a vision for the future of HCA.  We have a goal of 250 students, we have a goal of a new facility (with a gym!).  But the real, basic goal, the mission, the target, is educating our students, preparing them, and sending them out – so they can be witnesses.  It’s important to have a goal, but to reach a goal you have to have a team.  YOU are a part of that team.  You have an opportunity to bring others to HCA, to share what the school means to you and your student, to “own” the vision.    




Your Story








Your Story

This year, you are invited to participate in communicating what you believe about HCA to others. When you ask yourself - “What led us to send our kids to HCA? What led us to think HCA was best for our kids and worth the financial cost?”  There is a reason or belief.  I would encourage you to take a good look, go beyond what you “think” and get to “what you know and believe”. Then, step out and begin to use that language to communicate to other parents about why your kids go to HCA. You can have a part in helping us reach a goal of 250 students. Reaching this goal will help us insure affordable tuition, improve opportunities and expand programs for students, and lead to a path for increased facilities. In the month’s to come, you will read other board members stories and learn what is significant to them about HCA.  Join with us and share these stories as well as your own! It’s time to Love your School – OUT LOUD – tell somebody why they should consider HCA!