For 42 years, Hesperia Christian School has been one of the most important institutions in our city. George Beardsley, Sr., who would become one of Hesperia's first mayors, played a key role in getting the school off the ground. So did Jack Hamilton, a former HCS administrator who served on the Hesperia Unified School District's board of trustees for two decades. The list of HCS alumni who are making a difference in the Victor Valley — and beyond — is long and impressive.


The school is great not only because it offers a fine education for those who prefer a Christ-centered environment. Through the years HCS administrators have made it a mission to educate students irregardless of a family's economic status. But times are tough, and HCS is faced with difficult decisions.


That's what makes last week's Patriot Hour of Hope so important. Everyone — that means you and I — has the chance to help the school continue keeping the door of opportunity open to all students.


To become a founding member of Patriot Partners for Education, donors have three levels of giving: Patriot Possibilities: $1,000 per year for five years; Patriot Promise: $5,000 per year for five years; $10,000 per year for five years. But all donations are welcome, large or small.


"We truly appreciate whatever level of support you can give," said HCS parent Bill Hague. "$1,000 a year would enable a child get tuition for each of the next five years."


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This from Sultana High School special education teacher Barbara Jacobs:


"A former special needs student, Humberto Cervantes, obtained his goal on October 6, 2009 by being hired by the Hesperia Unified School District as a full-time custodian at his former high school, Sultana High School. Humberto is now a full-fledged staff member at Sultana with full benefits. He had been a substitute custodian for two-years. He will now be the second full-time classified employee hired here at Sultana High School. Angelica Lopez received her five-year pin this year."


Congratulations to both of these fine former students who are part of the Hesperia team.


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A group of mountain bike riders from the Hesperia Star and Daily Press participated in last weekend's "Ride in the Rocks" event in Lucerne Valley. The event served as a fundraiser for the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation Educational Foundation.


While your Hesperia Star editor chose the 10-mile "Tame" ride, an adventurous group consisting of Daily Press photographer Jim Quigg, marketing director Claus Enevoldsen, facilities manager Harry Pontius and the newspaper's toughest staffers — its printing press crew — participated in the main event, the 21-miler.


Great job, guys. Next year I'll join you on the long ride.