Transition news from Pastor John

Transition: movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change

I don’t know about you, but transition and change are words that bring up a variety of thoughts, depending on the situation. I’m sure everyone can think of a transition that brought fear and a transition that brought excitement.

I have been involved with Apple Valley Christian since we moved to the desert in February of 1996. During my time I have seen a lot of transition and change in how I serve at AVC. I’ve done everything from coach, bible teacher, reading dad, room dad, chaperone, and the list goes on! Since February 1, 2009 God has honored me by allowing me to serve as the administrator of His school. I was brought in during some of our darkest times, and had a front seat where I could watch God shine the brightest! Now, God has brought in a new chapter of my time of service at AVC. Moving forward into the 2017-2018 school year Alan Giles will be leading the ship (that Navy reference was for Alan!). Alan is supremely qualified in his talents and abilities and training that is necessary to take us where we need to go as a school. We are looking forward to a period of growth, and are excited as we watch God bring about these changes. The building has a lot of space to expand into, and I have been giving tours now more than ever! We know that this growth will require the type of leadership that Alan can provide.

With Alan coming in, that means a transition for me, and I must admit I am very excited about this transition and the opportunity to work alongside Alan in this way. My new role will include a few different areas like:

  • International Student Coordinator
  • Bible teacher
  • Spiritual development/Campus pastor
  • PR (Think coffee cup in the morning)

Basically, my job is summed up in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”

AVC has had over 40 years of “training Christian leaders committed to excellence”, and I believe that our best and brightest days are ahead of us. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email Alan, or myself.

I can’t wait to see you around campus!

Pastor John

Introducing Alan Giles

A Letter of Introduction
From Mr. Alan Giles

Dear friends and families of Apple Valley Christian School,

As you have seen from our various communications outlets, Pastor John will be transitioning to a campus pastor/chaplain role within AVCS and I will be assuming the head leadership position. This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. As the AVCS school board president from 2012-2014, I had the joy of overseeing the excellent staff at AVCS as they wielded their gifts for the Kingdom of God and trained up Christian leaders committed to excellence and I am excited to return to a very similar role within this great institution.

For some of you, you might be wondering who I am and why these changes are being made heading into the 2017/18 school year. I will begin with a brief introduction that goes way back in time. In 1986, my parents enrolled me in Apple Valley Christian School. After being brought up in AVCS through my elementary and secondary years, I graduated from AVCS in 1999. From there I went to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where I graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering and a commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. After serving 5 years as a submarine officer I moved back home to Apple Valley and took a position with General Atomics Aeronautical in Drone Research & Development. Since that time, I have had the privilege of both founding the AVCS Alumni Foundation and being on the charter board, and then the AVCS board president for the formation of an independent AVCS. I have also started and run a small engineering company and, most recently, planted a church here in the High Desert (Ekklesia HD), where I still pastor today. I even coached boys varsity basketball at AVCS from 2012-2017.

When it comes to the development of my leadership skills, I was blessed to have completed extensive leadership training at our nations “leadership laboratory” at the U.S. Naval Academy, earned an advanced Nuclear Engineering Officer qualification in the Navy, earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and am currently completing a John Maxwell leadership certification so that I can continue to train and coach new leaders around the world.

When it comes to ministry, I have been blessed and honored to see God plant a church through our home. I pastor, lead and preach regularly. I am actively involved in global missions in countries such as Albania and Ukraine, and I have a heart for church planting, hoping and working towards seeing our church send out church planters both locally and around the world.

As a husband and father, I am committed to Christian homes, family-driven faith and seeing children raised up in the way they should go.

In short, I know and love AVCS and the children that make the ministry here so important. I know and love the art of leadership. I know and love our High Desert. But most importantly, I know and love Jesus and recognize very clearly that we have all been created to Glorify God with our lives.

So why the changes at AVCS? In short, I believe it was just God’s timing that a few changes be made to AVCS’ leadership structure in order to begin to strengthen the long-term future of our school. I am committed to training Christian leaders who are committed to excellence. I define excellence as the persistent pursuit of perfection. Will we achieve perfection? Not in this life. But if we persistently pursue it… then I believe we can achieve excellence. Will there be some changes at AVCS over the next months and years? Yes, of course. Will AVCS be perfect? No, never. Will we persistently pursue perfection? Yes, with tenacity.

What will Pastor John be up to? I think you will quickly come to see that Pastor John Richart and I have been friends for many years and have both been used by God for His Kingdom in many ways both individually and in partnership. We each have different skill sets, strengths and weaknesses and work extremely well together. John Richart and I have transitioned AVCS two times (I Ave & Ottawa Building), have planted a church together, been on missions trips together, are currently serving on an elder board together and even have a shared affinity for all things bacon related. Pastor John and his wife, Joy and their children are close family friends and we continue to remain in step in ministry together.

John will be… well… Pastor John. He will be teaching a couple of Bible classes, overseeing chapels and spiritual formation for both students and staff and greeting you in the parking lot with his Packers mug just like normal. I think we will enjoy watching him leading staff & student retreats, missions trips, spiritual emphasis week, chapels and of course… the annual cheeseball contest! In short, Pastor John has been and will continue to be a part of AVCS as well as a close friend and partner in ministry.

Finally, what will be changing? I have already begun to work closely with key staff members on next year’s goals and objectives and on building systems and teams that will lead us into the future. I believe that organizations that have the right people in the right systems freely doing the things that God has designed them to do achieve excellence. Let me say that again. Organizations that have the right people in the right systems freely doing the things that God has designed them to do achieve excellence. That’s what we’re after.

Some of my personal goals for AVCS over the next few years are to:

  • Increase the level of discipline and accountability within the staff
    and student body.
  • Increase the flow of communication between the all levels of the
    AVCS family.
  • Increase the parental involvement at every level possible (more
    to follow).
  • Place an emphasis on the leadership development aspect of our
    children’s upbringing.
  • And, most importantly, to be distinctly Christian.

Feel free to email me any questions you might have ( Feel free to say hello and introduce yourself as you begin to see me on campus more frequently. Feel free to attend one of the parent meeting/Q&A evenings next week to ask me any questions you would like to ask.

Please pray for the staff as they finish strong, for the class of 2017 and all of the children who have worked hard to move one step closer to graduation. And I covet your prayers as we begin to look forward to the 2017/18 school year.

More to follow so stay tuned…

God Bless,

Alan Giles

Boots & Bling Silent Auction – Great Success!

Silent Auction Charity Fundraisersilent-auction-flyer-2016


Our Boots & Bling Silent Auction was a great success!  Lots of fun and a very “Lively” Live Auction.

Don’t miss out on this fun event next year in November – plan on coming and having an exciting time.

If you are interested in helping in the planning or in the actual auction next year, please contact Michelle Littell… or 760.995.3516

ATTENTION!! New policy regarding electronic devices! 1-30-2017

Cell Phone, Translator, and Electronic Policy

  • Cell phones, tablets, iPods, iPads, or other such devices are prohibited during school hours. These devices must remain out of sight for the duration of the school day including lunch, break, and passing periods. Any cell phone, tablet, iPod, iPad, etc. that is not out of sight will be taken and held in the front office.
  • Laptops are permitted for approved academic purposes only.
  • Only approved translators that do not have Internet or Wi-Fi capabilities are acceptable during school hours and must be pre-approved by the front office.

The approved translators are:

The ECTACO Partner EV500 and the ECTACO Partner 500AL PRO.

Both are multilingual and will meet the needs of all our international students. The EV500 is $139 and the Pro is $179. They can be purchased from this site: or by calling 1-347-728-1354.

  • We strongly urge parents to require their students to leave all other electronic devices at home. If these devices are on campus they must be safely put away in a backpack, bag or locker. If visible at any time, they will be taken and held in the front office.
  • Parents needing to contact students may do so through the front office, or expect texts and phone calls to be returned after school

Occasionally circumstances arise where the contents of pictures or messages may be in question on students’ electronic devices. We reserve the right to view the contents of such electronic devices when these circumstances arise.

The consequences of having these items taken during school hours are as follows:

  1. First Offense: For a period of five (5) days the student will turn their electronic device(s) into the front office upon arrival at school and may pick it up at the end of the school day. Parent or guardian will be notified.
  2. Second Offense: A parent or guardian will have to pick up the electronic device in the office.
  3. Third Offense: In house suspension.
  4. Further Offenses:  Each further offense will have an additional day of suspension added (e.g.  fourth offense – 2 days’ suspension, fifth offense – 3 days’ suspension).  Parent/Guardian will be called and requested to check for electronic devices prior to coming to school.
  5. These consequences will be reset at the beginning of each semester.

Opening Day!

Opening Day Prayer

If you know anything at all about the story of Apple Valley Christian School, particularly the events over the last two and a half years, you’ll know why there are really no words to adequately describe the emotions felt as we launched our first day in our brand new school building this morning. The sign said it best–“Welcome Home, Warriors!” And that is what we felt–right at home. In the midst of the grand hallways and 25-foot ceilings, there was a sense of closeness, warmth, and love. Huge smiles. Tears of joy. Excited chatter. And best of all, a prayer of blessing over the students, teachers, and building. We stand back amazed at what God has done, and we look forward to whatever else He has in store. Thanks, God. It feels good to be home.                          …. by Joy Richart

Select this link to see a video of our Opening Day Celebration!

Select this link to see the article in the Daily Press!

AVCS Returns to Apple Valley – August 2014!

AVCS Elevation photo


Check out the details of our new location in this article in the Sunday Daily Press, written by Rene De La Cruz…

Christian school set to return to Apple Valley

AVCS absent from town nearly two years

December 15, 2013 8:00 AM
Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer


APPLE VALLEY • After departing its hometown nearly two years ago, a local private school has announced plans to move back. Alan Giles, board president of Apple Valley Christian School, said the school has secured a 45,000-square-foot building on Ottawa Road to teach its more than 200 students in 2014. “We signed a long-term lease with an option to buy on Monday,” said Giles, 33, an alumnus of AVC and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “We have a growing and healthy base of students at our pre-K- to 12th-grade school, and we need a place to move our growing family.” The school moved to Hesperia in 2012 after the elders at Apple Valley Baptist Church, the school’s overseeing body, laid off 11 teachers including John Richart, the school’s administrator, and told AVC they planned to shut down the school at the end of the year. Financial challenges, which included declining enrollment costing the church hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2005, was the main factor for the move, according to a church release. A campaign led by Giles, AVC alumni and families associated with the school raised thousands of dollars, making it possible to rehire teachers and eventually move the school to a 15,500-square-foot campus on I Avenue in Hesperia. Giles said the new Apple Valley campus, on the corner of Ottawa and Nomwaket roads, should be ready by August after they submit plans to the town of Apple Valley in January. The plans include construction of 20 classrooms and office space and the installation of a playground. Giles said over the year, AVC has experienced a 20-percent increase in attendance, the biggest jump in more than eight years for the school, which began in 1976 as a ministry of the Baptist Church. The school has remained strong, attracting foreign exchange students from 15 countries including Lithuania, Germany, Turkey, China, Japan, China, Vietnam, Korea and Brazil, according to Giles. “God has been incredibly good to our school,” Giles said. “Our teachers and staff have been loyal and committed during this entire process.” “Our families and staff are excited about the news,” Richart said. “Even our Hesperia families that we picked up in the move are excited and are working on carpooling plans.” Richart said he didn’t think the school would find a new location after he signed a two-year lease on the Hesperia facility. “Seems like God is always surprising me,” Richart said. “I guess the impossible is always possible with him.” For more information on the school, visit or call 760-995-3516. Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or at

Auction a great success!

Thank you to all who came and contributed to make this year’s dinner and silent auction a great success.  We raised almost $10,000!  All who attended had a great time.  We look forward to making our dinner and silent auction next year even better!

If you missed out this year, please look forward to attending on November 15, 2014!

Accreditation: Chairman response

What a great week we had with the ACSI/WASC Accreditation Visiting Team!  They were particularly impressed with the ability of our students to articulate their ideas and beliefs.  Please read the response below from the chairman of the accreditation visiting team:

The visiting team, representing the Association of Christian Schools International and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, wishes to express appreciation for Apple Valley Christian School and its commitment to school improvement.

  • We commend the board for seeking to maintain its status as an accredited school.
  • We commend the administration for leading the staff through the rigors of self-study and preparation for the visit.
  • We commend the faculty and staff for spending focused time in evaluating every aspect of the school and developing a picture of what the school is today in order to prepare it for tomorrow.
  • We commend the parents for committing themselves to the school by entrusting it with their children and accepting the financial burden of support for this commitment.
  • We commend the students for their openness and candor as they shared their perspective of life at Apple Valley Christian School.

It has been a distinct pleasure to be a part of this experience in the life of the school. The entire visiting committee is grateful for the opportunity to serve the school in this way.

We trust that our report will be a useful tool and serve the school well as it pursues its preferred future.

The committee has sent our report and recommendations to the ACSI and WASC Accreditation Commissions. It is these commissions that make the determination of a schools’ accreditation status and they will notify the school of their decisions later this spring.

The committee was very pleased to see how the Apple Valley School Community rallied to keep the school alive and all the work that is being accomplished to help it thrive now and in the future!

Thank you for your hospitality to our team,

Dr. Cecil Swetland

ACSI-WASC Visiting Committee Chairman