Harvest Christian Academy announced today that Dr. Judith Bethge has been appointed as principal for the Upper School (grades 9-12) for the 2019-2020 school year. Talbott Behnken, who has been serving as both upper school principal and superintendent of HCA, will be focusing solely on the duties of superintendent.

Dr. Bethge received her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, her Juris Doctor from The University of Illinois College of Law, and her Doctorate in Education from Liberty University with a focus on curriculum and instruction.  She has served as a classroom teacher and leader at HCA for five years. She also has served as a Criminal Justice instructor for the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus and as an adjunct instructor for Louisiana State University. The educational experience that Judy brings is complemented by her legal background serving families in the field of law.

Since rejoining the staff at HCA, Dr. Bethge has initiated the International Student Program, which will begin during the next calendar year. This comes in addition to her leading the Spanish language team and curriculum oversight.

With an average SAT score of 1190 (top 2% of schools state-wide) and $1.7 million in scholarship dollars earned by graduating students in 2018, HCA is already one of the top performing schools in the Fox Valley. The addition of Dr. Bethge to the leadership team carries great promise for the continued success and growth of the high school program.

Superintendent Talbott Behnken shared: “Dr. Bethge has all the attributes you look for to lead a high school: a firm commitment to Christ and to the calling of Christian education, a passion for high school students’ growth and learning, a commitment to leading and growing our outstanding staff and relentless desire to drive HCA to become the most outstanding Christian school in the area.”  Behnken added: “We could not be more excited to see how the Lord uses Judy’s gifts and passion to grow the Kingdom.”

Dr. Bethge shared: “We remain focused on taking ground for the Kingdom of God through rigorous academics, intentional discipleship, and opportunities for all students to discover and develop their talents and passions. In partnership with you, we are raising the next generation of Christian leaders and thinkers—ready to step into all that God has for them.”

Dr. Bethge will immediately step into leading in academic planning and staffing for the next school year as well as communications to our community about our upper school program. We intend that she completes her teaching responsibilities as a Spanish instructor through the end of the semester, before taking on the full-time principal role on June 1.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Bethge on her new role and in gratitude for the Lord’s continued generous provision to HCA!