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Enjoy summer with MHA camps

Mason, OH – Mars Hill Academy has summer camps for the entire family!

"We are pleased to offer a variety of summer camp activities to enrich students’ and parents’ experiences and foster a sense of wonder," said Mrs. Lisa Knodel, Marketing & Communications Director for MHA. "Our leaders invest their time and energy in these camps out of a genuine interest in the activities offered and a desire to share their wonder with others."

Camps, which are open to the community, begin the week of June 4 and are offered throughout the summer. Highlights include: 

  • Pre-K camps 
  • Volleyball and basketball
  • Astronomy and keyboarding
  • Crafting and sewing
  • Performing arts and music
  • Stained glass
  • Adult enrichment classes

Visit for more information and to register.

MHA hosts one-of-a-kind 5K kilt run

MASON – Mars Hill Academy will bring a bit of the Scottish Highlands to Mason with its first annual 5K Kilt run and walk Saturday, June 16 – complete with a bagpiper.

"Grab your shoes and throw on a kilt! This Father's Day weekend event will be fun for the whole family," said event organizer K.C. DeBra.

The chip-timed race – which is open to all, not just MHA students and parents – will be held on an official, measured 5K course at Corwin Nixon Park, 6249 Mason-Montgomery Road in Mason.

"This scenic course is flat with minimal elevation on a paved bike path. This is the perfect course to set your personal best," Mrs. DeBra said. "An award ceremony and celebration will commence immediately following the kilt run with lots of fun for the kids - hula hoops, bubbles, face painting, and much more!"

Cash prizes will be awarded to the overall top male and female winner. Medals for the top male and female finishers will be awarded in each of six age divisions: 14 and under; 15-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; and 60 and older. There will also be a best-dressed prize for the runner who most embraces the Highlands theme!

Packet pick-up will be held Thursday, June 14 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. at Mars Hill Academy, 4230 Aero Drive in Mason. Late registration (cash and check only) will be held Saturday, June 16, beginning at 7:30 a.m. with the 5K race starting at 9 a.m.

A Kids Fun Run for ages 12 and under and 100 Yard Dash for ages 5 and under will begin at 8 a.m. Participation ribbons will be awarded to all children entrants.

Pre-registration is $30 for the 5K, $10 for the kids fun run, and $5 for 100 yard dash. The cost beginning Monday, June 11 will be $40 for the individual 5K race. Anyone registered for any of the three races by Monday, June 11 is guaranteed to receive an official tartan race drawstring bag.

Registration may be completed online at

For more information, please call Mars Hill Academy at 513-770-3223, visit, or email


MHA teaches alumni “how to make a life”

The year was 2006, and students could be found tearing down the Mars Hill Academy classrooms each Friday, transforming North Cincinnati Community Church in Mason back into a house of worship. On Monday morning, classrooms reappeared. 

“We didn’t complain – we knew it wasn’t what other schools did, but it was part of being a student at Mars Hill,” said Miss Amanda Hall, a 2006 alumna. “When there was no space for our Spanish class, we had Spanish conversation time at Panera.”

MHA provided an outlet for her love of music – she was a member of the first Chamber Singers and Madrigal dinner and performed in the school’s musicals. Those years at MHA had a profound impact on her life. 

“Mars Hill gave me the tools of learning – how to study, read carefully, write well, give presentations, speak in front of people,” she recalled. “My teachers passionately loved their subjects and were experts in what they were teaching. Their love for learning was contagious.”

In fact, it was so contagious, Miss Hall caught the bug herself – and joined the teaching staff in Fall 2013. 

Miss Hall, who is engaged to be married this summer, roomed with classmate Betsy Peters Howard at Hillsdale College where she majored in both music and Spanish while Mrs. Howard earned her degree in English, Spanish, and religion. Miss Hall went on to earn her Master’s in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and Mrs. Howard earned her Master’s in English Literature at the University of St. Thomas. Mrs. Howard currently is working toward her PhD in English Literature from the University of Minnesota. 

“I am profoundly thankful for the six years I spent as a student,” said Mrs. Howard, extolling that “unique sense of shared life that Mars Hill gives to its students—what I would call a spirit of holding ‘uncommon things in common.’”

Today, she  applies the skills  learned at MHA as an English instructor at the University of Minnesota and adjunct faculty at Bethlehem College and Seminary. She also founded Wandeling Press — a collaborative, women's publishing house for children’s books – with Laura Kern, wife of former MHA teacher David Kern.

“A classical liberal arts education, such as the one Mars Hill provides, seeks to connect students of today with authors and texts and readers of countless generations in succession,” she said. “A Mars Hill education exists to extend the fame of God’s name, as it offers an education in a wide range of disciplines.” 

Ben Cox, who graduated in 2008 with Mrs. Howard’s brother Michael Peters, finds himself in a completely different discipline – he currently is serving in a neurology residency at Mayo Clinic Rochester. 

“Mars Hill did much more than teach me how to memorize or how to pass tests; it taught me how to think,” he said. “As a neurology resident, I see very complex diseases that affect the most complex organ system in the body, the nervous system. I've learned a lot of medical science in college (Grove City), medical school (University of Cincinnati), and residency, but the basic process of being able to logically think through a complicated issue, figure out what assumptions are being made, and explore alternative explanations is something I learned at Mars Hill in eighth grade Logic class.”

Dr. Cox reflected fondly on “the most influential years of my life” – playing in the Celtic band The Real McCoys, performing on stage, and jumping kilt-clad into the pond with Michael Peters after their last final. That fateful dip is now an MHA tradition for seniors.

“The most important lessons I learned were the unspoken lessons of seeing Christ modeled daily in my teachers and peers. MHA gave me a taste of what living in Christian community is like and this, above anything else, prepared me for life,” he said. “Mars Hill taught me that education is not just about how to make a living, but about how to make a life.”



Alumni Amanda and Betsy: A photo from the Mars Hill Academy archives shows Miss Amanda Hall (top left) and Mrs. Betsy Peters Howard (top right) as students performing during the school's production of "Bamboozled."

UCD_9545: Mars Hill Academy 2008 graduate Dr. Ben Cox

Hall_Amanda: Mars Hill Academy 2008 graduate Amanda Hall now teaches music at the school.



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