Open House

Visitors at the July 30 open house look at new Hillcrest Academy logos. Administrators have said that the feedback on the rebranding of the school has been positive.

Rebranding is just the start for newly named Hillcrest Academy.

Hundreds of supporters packed the lobby of Celebration Hall at the school for an open house unveiling of the school’s new name and mascot on July 30.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” Principal Dwight Gingerich said. “We felt like we had the opportunity to address all types of questions.”

The rebranding, which had been in the works for about 18 months, is part of an effort to boost attendance by attracting more students and families who do not necessarily attend Mennonite churches.

“Historically, IMS has been able to depend on the supporting Mennonite congregations for the majority of our students,” Gingerich said. “Though we continue to enroll the same percentage of students from these congregations, the overall number of students has been decreasing as congregations have become smaller. This forces us to reach out to a new demographic from other denominations.”

As the next step in that effort, Hillcrest is offering 50% off tuition for new, full-time students for the 2019-20 school year.

Director of Advancement Jeremy Ours said that rebranding is just a piece of raising enrollment.

“Rebranding is the key piece to these marketing strategies although it’s not the remedy by itself, but the foundation for us to build on moving forward,” Ours said. “We are excited about our brand as we begin a new part of our journey to a bright future as Hillcrest Academy.”

With the rebranding, there is a lot of work still to be done.

“The gym walls have already been repainted,” Ours said. “But, the gym floor won’t be redone until next year.”

Gingerich explained that the gym floor was last redone in 2010, so refinishing it next year had already been planned.

He said that the school has been in contact with the Department of Education, athletic unions and educational testing services to update the school’s information.

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James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at

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