Hillcrest Academy - Review #1

Hillcrest Academy

About the Author:

College Enrolled Bethel University
Home Town, State (Country) Rothsay, MN
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School Football Basketball Student Council Class President

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Culture/Atmosphere At Hillcrest I always felt the benefit of having a very tight knit group of students. There was an added level of comfortability because we were so close as a student body. Small schools are more likely to have a tight-knit relationship, but I believe Hillcrest was even closer than normal. The staff at Hillcrest is driven by the idea of building relationships. I would say that at times they place the relational aspect ahead of academics, and rightfully so. Relationships are the key to just about everything in life. Whether it be at home or in the workforce, being able to connect with others is very important in your ability to be successful outside of school, and Hillcrest understands that.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me at Hillcrest was the relationships that I was able to build. To this day I am able to walk into Hillcrest and have relevant conversations with most all of my teachers and the support staff. I was able to build those relationships at a young age and that definitely impacted me positively as I entered college.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
The only advice that I would give would be to let your guard down and open up. The people at Hillcrest are genuinely concerned about your growth & well-being. The sooner you connect with them the better!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
From the teachers to the dorms and onto my sports teams, I don't know if I can pin point one thing. I just loved the atmosphere. I couldn't stand school before I transferred to Hillcrest and that completely changed. Going to school was actually enjoyable.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Make sure you get a chance to talk to Wayne Stender. Wayne is heavily involved with all of the students, and he actually graduated from Hillcrest. He has a great viewpoint on the school and can answer just about any question you may have!


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academic atmosphere at Hillcrest was very different from the public school that I attended beforehand. Most schools are regulated by test scores and other regulations that do not always provide an accurate result when determining the growth that is taking place. Because of its size, Hillcrest is able to accommodate their students with small class sizes so that students are able to get as much individual attention as needed.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletics program at Hillcrest was very competitive. Throughout my career I was able to win five conference championships between football and basketball in just 3 seasons. What made me proud of our teams was the fact that we used our platform to help impact others. We spent our lunch hours at an elementary school, raking leaves for someone who was physically unable or by speaking to youth about the importance of a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Hillcrest sees the bigger picture, and they use athletics to help teach students that.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Our band and choir programs are very competitive and talented. Hillcrest has a very unique relationship with many small churches across the country. Every year during spring break either the band or choir goes on a tour to either the east or the west coast, depending on the year. I cannot think of a more unique experience them to be 14 years old and have the opportunity to tour the country every year until you graduate.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Being a smaller school, one would think that Hillcrest would be limited. That was absolutely not the case. Each year the school sends a team of missionaries to the Dominican Republic. When I was in high school I was fortunate enough to travel to Chihuahua, Mexico two years in a row. Those trips still have a lasting impact on my life 10 years later. Hillcrest also was involved locally and across the Midwest, looking for opportunities to help impact lives whenever they can. I love the mindset behind this. Hillcrest was about helping others, but also teaching students what it looks like to help others while showing people love and humility like Jesus did.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorm life was my favorite part about Hillcrest. The resident staff was very involved with what we were doing as high school students. While most students at other schools meet in places like the school parking lot or the football field, we just went to the dorms because we knew that's where everyone would be. We were always together and that is how we grew so close.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I love the fact that Hillcrest has worked very hard over the past few years to create an even better dining experience. When I was in high school the food was delicious, but the accommodations were small. Like just about everything else at Hillcrest, when they see in issue they do what they can to fix that issue. The new dining center looks fantastic and I'm sure it accommodates the students much better.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Hillcrest is located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and whether or not you are from a big town or a small town, the people in the community have a really unique way of making you feel at home immediately. The town is growing and there are a variety of things to do!
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life at Hillcrest was my favorite part. With students coming from all over the world the atmosphere at Hillcrest was very diverse. We were exposed to different cultures ranging from the east and west coast all the way to Norway and Korea.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Hillcrest Academy Alumni #1
    Class of 2007
    5 Stars   1/1/2016
    Bethel University
    Culture/Atmosphere At Hillcrest I always felt the benefit of having a very tight knit group of students. There was an added level of comfortability because we were so close as a student body. Small schools are. . .
Recent Articles
Why Are You Only Looking At Very Competitive Schools?
July 18, 2018
It makes sense to cast your net widely when looking at boarding schools. Here's why.
Looking For Some Great Summer Programs?
July 04, 2018
The quality of a summer camp depends very much on the quality and experience of the folks running it. When you select a summer program run by a boarding school, you are getting a program with experienced, well-organized professionals at the helm. More here.
Spotlight on Sports
July 04, 2018
Explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. Athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit.