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Artwork by senior Addison Basham

Features 1 CLASS OF 2018

Recognizing the achievements of this year’s senior class.


Five student groups were named recipients for the third annual Knight Tank competition.



Students take ownership of the robotics program through the design and engineering processes.


The new center creates a culture of writing with the help of peer tutors to aid in the writing process.

Send story ideas to laura.goodyear@charchrist.com Send alumni news to alumni@charchrist.com Send address changes to margaret.jackson@charchrist.com


Dear Charlotte Christian Community, After the resurrection, Jesus returned to the disciples to give them their marching orders for the months and years to follow. “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.’” (Matthew 28:16-20) Each June as I hand our newest graduates their diplomas I think of this verse. Like Jesus we send our disciples, our students, to the nations, and prayerfully we send them bearing the name of Jesus Christ. Matthew’s passage reminds us that the disciples were both worshipping and doubting. Jesus delivered this charge, known as the Great Commission, not long after Good Friday and Easter. The disciples were riding a wave of mixed emotions. They were about to enter a world that was unknown, and the familiarity of Jesus’ presence would no longer be with them each and every day. Like the disciples, our graduates head to college campuses around the country without mom and dad’s direct influence. They are leaving the familiarity of the Charlotte Christian hallways and the consistent influence of their teachers and coaches. The disciples saw Jesus on the cross and then saw Him in the flesh following the miraculous resurrection, yet they worshipped and doubted. I know that our students leave us with similar mixed emotions. Some are confident of who Jesus is in their life, while others have lingering doubts. Matthew reminds us that doubt is normal, after all, if those closest to Jesus doubted, it would be normal for us to have the occasional doubt. Jesus took a misfit group of uneducated men and sent them into the world to spread the Gospel message. Those men changed the world, and their impact reaches all the way to Charlotte, North Carolina and Charlotte Christian School. Likewise we send a fresh crop of alumni into the world, and we do so hoping and praying that they will use their amazing education, overwhelming blessings, winsome personalities and solid foundation to introduce others to Jesus. God Bless,


Barry Giller Head of School

GRACE BAKER University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ETHAN BARNES University of South Carolina MICHAEL BARTHOLOMEW High Point University

Class of2018

ADDISON BASHAM Regent University MAIZIE BATTLE Appalachian State University JONAH BEAMON University of South Carolina CARY BENSON George Washington University CARTER BLAND University of South Carolina CAMRYN BOBO Auburn University ANDREW BRANNON North Carolina State University ALEXANDRA BROWN Coker College MALLORY BROWN University of South Carolina TERRELLE BROWN Wheaton College, IL JOSH BUWICK Appalachian State University CALLIE CAIN University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill RILEY CARLTON Hampden-Sydney College STEADY CASH Liberty University RYAN CHAFFIN University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill HANXI CHANG Northeastern University ALEX CHERNE University of Utah ASHTYN COLE Appalachian State University BRYNN COLLINS North Carolina State University 1


KIARA CORNELIUS North Carolina State University

MATTHEW FAULKNER Appalachian State University

JACK CURRY Appalachian State University

CHRISTIAN FURNARI Appalachian State University

MATTHEW DONNALLEY University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

COLIN GALLAGHER Coastal Carolina University

CAROLINE DOYLE Appalachian State University BEN DUYCK University of North Carolina at Charlotte EVANGELIA EDWARDS University of North Carolina at Asheville JADON ELKINS Furman University HAYDEN FANCHER North Carolina State University CAROLINE FARLEY Elon University HANNAH FAULKENBERRY University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

JACOB GILLER Appalachian State University KEATON GUM Auburn University LILA HAMILTON University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MAC HAMILTON North Carolina State University OLIVIA HAMILTON University of South Carolina JULIA HANNUM Baylor University MATTHEW HAYNES University of Alabama GRIFFIN HICKS North Carolina State University

ELIZA HO University of North Carolina at Charlotte LAUREN HOGG Clemson University ALLISON HOLBROOKS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill BEN HOLT Clemson University JACKSON HORNER University of South Carolina WILL HUFFENUS Lafayette College CHLOE JACKSON East Carolina University REGAN JACKSON George Washington University JONATHAN JAGIELSKI University of South Carolina, Sumter SAVANNAH KASAY University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BRYAN ROGERS Butler University NIKOLE SCHULER Wofford College JACK SCOTT Elon University SARA SHEPHERD University of Alabama PHOEBE SON Davidson College PEYTON SOWELL University of Tennessee, Knoxville DALLAS THOMLEY Belmont University CAROLINE THOMPSON Wofford College MADISON URBAN University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill JOSHUA VINTEN North Carolina State University COLE VON CANNON University of South Carolina AUSTIN KNOTTS Furman University

MEG MARTIN North Carolina State University

MOLLY PARSONS Stetson University

JULIA KOCHER Pennsylvania State University

REID MAYERS Texas A&M University

RACHEL PARSONS Clemson University

SAM KOROLOS Texas Christian University

HAILEY MCNAUGHTON Anderson University, S.C.

WILLIAM LANG Belmont Abbey College

GRAY MCNEISH University of North Carolina at Asheville

XAVIER PEARCE Queens University of Charlotte

ELIZABETH LEATHERMAN Furman University RACHEL LEE University of South Carolina LIZZIE LINEBERGER Anderson University, S.C. LYNDON LLOYD Biola University ALEX LOEB Davidson College CHRIS LOHOFF-GAIDA University of South Carolina WILLI LOHOFF-GAIDA University of South Carolina

ASHLEY METZ University of South Carolina DREW MICHAUD University of Alabama JACK MITCHELL University of North Carolina at Charlotte JACKSON MITCHELL Liberty University SIDNEY NALEWAJA Samford University ALEX NATIONS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

FRANCESCO PEJRONE Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali EMMA PFEILER University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill HUNTER PHALEN Vanderbilt University CARSON POOLE North Carolina State University BLAKE PRESTON Liberty University GABE REYNOLDS North Carolina State University JOSHUA RODDY North Carolina State University

LILY WALTON North Carolina A&T State University LUKE WARNER James Madison University ALEX WARPULA Anderson University GARRETT WEAVER North Carolina State University LEILA WEBSTER Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University CAROLINE WHITE Wofford College MADISON WHITING West Virginia University LAUREN WIGGINS Baylor University JUSTUS WOODS Stanford University JAJUAN WRIGHT George Washington University

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Spending all 13 or 14 of their JK-12 school years on the same campus is uncommon for most students. Current Charlotte Christian seniors who began their educational journey atop the hill in the Early Education Building have a unique perspective in that they have been a part of the CCS community for almost 75% of their life. Three lifer seniors, Camryn Bobo, Matthew Donnalley, and Jajuan Wright, recently reflected on their time spent at Charlotte Christian, things they remembered, and ways the school has impacted them. Though many years ago, it is clear that lower school teachers, especially Mrs. Becca Edwards and Mrs. Betsy Windham, made quite an impact on the lives of these students. “I will always remember Mrs. Windham,” shares Camryn. “She loved me even when I did something wrong in class, and to this day, every time she sees me, she never fails to give me a hug.” “When I was in JK, the eye doctor told me I needed glasses,” shared Jajuan. “When my mom told Mrs. Edwards, she said she would wear her glasses the first couple of days so that I didn’t




feel uncomfortable. Mrs. Edwards did exactly what she said and wore her glasses the remainder of the week.” Aside from describing Mrs. Edwards as a “fantastic influence in my life ever since JK,” Matthew also mentioned Mrs. Dunning and Mrs. Nelson (current second grade teacher) as additional teachers he remembers enjoying. It wasn’t just the teachers, though, that stood out – some of the co-curricular activities were memorable as well. “My favorite lower school memories are the Boosterthon Fun Run and Field Day every year. And of course, I’ll always remember Mr. Petrey (former lower school principal) singing the ‘Good Morning’ song,” said Matthew. In addition, all three students took advantage of the opportunity to participate in on-campus athletics, with Matthew and Jajuan playing intramural and interfaith basketball and Camryn participating in intramural cheerleading.

When recalling favorite memories of their time in middle school, the students mentioned their first trip to Windy Gap where Jajuan fondly remembered jumping on the blob for the first time, sixth grade Middle Ages Day and the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C.

CLASS OF 2018 seniors By The Numbers

“Middle Ages Day was a day I won’t forget,” said Camryn. “It was so fun to see everyone’s crazy outfits and eat food that we would never normally eat.” As far as teachers that impacted them, Matthew remembers Coach Andy Ross, Mr. Karl Simon, and Mr. Luke Boythe as ones that “helped me grow as a man.”


“Mrs. Diep Stamps (eighth grade science) was a teacher that I could trust, and I knew she would listen to me,” said Jajuan.

in College and University Scholarships (through May 24, 2018)

When asked what they will miss, each student shared that their teachers and friends would be at the top of the list. Matthew and Jajuan shared that they will miss the lunches in the Dining Hall, and Camryn will miss going to Windy Gap each fall. Though their journeys varied, the seniors shared a common theme - Charlotte Christian played an integral role in making each student the person they are today. “CCS has impacted me in many ways. The school has left me with wonderful friends that I will always treasure and continue to build strong relationships with and has helped me grow in my faith and as a person,” said Camryn. “CCS is like my family,” said Matthew. “I know that no matter where I go in life, I will always be welcomed back on campus. The teachers and staff have cared for my family and me and have been positive role models in my life. I feel prepared to defend my faith as I head off to college. CCS has equipped me academically to thrive in college and also has helped me figure out how to make my faith my own.”

College Acceptances

Lifers (started in JK, K, or Grade 1) Honors Graduates

(cumulative GPA of at least 4.5)



During high school the three students were involved in a wide variety of activities. Matthew played football and lacrosse and was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, the Spikeball club and Spanish club. Jajuan played basketball and baseball and was president of the Health Careers club and a member of the Photography club and Latin club. In addition, he helped plan the Black History Month assembly his junior year. Camryn was a varsity cheerleader, co-founder of the Special Olympics Club and a two-year member of the Accolade yearbook staff.

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Former eighth grade English teacher Mrs. Kylie Crowley developed a relationship with Camryn that is still continuing today. “I was in a class with all girls and have never enjoyed a class so much. Mrs. Crowley was good at forcing us out of our comfort zones so we would be more prepared for high school. Even to this day, I babysit for Mrs. Crowley, and every time I do, she takes her time to catch up with me.”

Earned During Upper School Career

College Athletic Signings


5 5


Gold & Silver Key Combined Regional Writing Awards

Gold & Silver Key Combined Regional Visual Art Awards National Merit Scholar and Commended Scholars Total

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Based on the popular Shark Tank television show, the Knight Tank initiative began in 2016 as a competition to encourage students and teachers in developing and implementing new and innovative programs to enhance educational experiences. In the third annual Knight Tank competition five winners were announced as recipients of the 201718 Knight Tank awards. This year, 11 proposals were submitted, seven of which advanced to the presentation round to compete for Knight Tank funds. In this round, each team presented their idea to a panel of judges that included Head of School Barry Giller, Chief Financial Officer Terry Efird, former Board of Trustees member and entrepreneur Charles Saleh and current Board of Trustees member and entrepreneur Jim Secunda, and Chief Operating Officer Shannon Edwards.


The 2017 winning proposals:

American Sign Language Club

Junior Claire Burch learned American Sign Language (ASL) through an online course and wanted to share with her classmates. “I thought it was cool to learn sign language,” said Claire. “I took this class online and learned more about the deaf culture and wanted to tell more people about it.” She pitched the idea to create an ASL Club to the Knight Tank program with the intention to teach upper school students how to sign as well as incorporate a mission aspect to the club. She received funds from the Knight Tank program to use for teaching and sponsoring a deaf student in Jamaica at an orphanage named Seymore. The club was formed with faculty advisor Mrs. Emily Fair and 20 students signed up, meeting four times this past school year. At the beginning of each meeting Claire showed videos of how people use sign language in everyday life and the group would practice signing the alphabet. As the year went on, they learned introductory sign language words and questions and played ASL hangman to practice.

Proverbs 17:17 “Buddy” Bench

Lower school students and siblings, Hudson Tillman and Hampton Reece Tillman, partnered with Mrs. Tracy Jackson, third grade teacher, to pitch the Proverbs 17:17 or “Buddy Bench” idea as part of Knight Tank. Hudson and Hampton Reece were new students this past year at Charlotte Christian and saw the need to help lower school students find new friends while playing outside during recess. The bench will allow students to share, care and respect one another when students are looking for friends with which to play. Proverbs 17:17 states, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” “We wanted to do this so it helps friends make new friends,” said Hampton Reece. “You always want to be on the lookout for students on the bench to make sure they have a friend.”

“I was surprised how many people showed up at the first meeting,” said Claire. “A lot of people were interested to learn more.” Next year Claire has plans for the club to learn to sign the school’s benediction to share at the end of a chapel. She would love to grow the club to teach ASL to lower and middle school students and maybe eventually take a J-Term trip to visit the deaf orphanage where the sponsored student lives. 2017-18 ISSUE 2 n


Digital Music

The Digital Music program at Charlotte Christian has exploded over the last several years creating a culture of music composition and creativity on campus. Five years ago the upper school offered a Digital Music I class under the direction of Orchestra Teacher Don Humphries. It was so well received that Digital Music II was formed last year and with interest still growing, a Digital Music Club was created this school year by senior Josh Vinten and freshman Preston Weller. “It all started last year when I was taking Digital Music II with Mr. Humphries,” said senior Josh Vinten. “I have been part of the Digital Music program since my freshman year and back then it was very small with almost no equipment. People loved it and were good at it but were limited with the equipment we had. People could do so much more if they just had access to more equipment so that motivated me to participate in Knight Tank.” Josh and Preston, along with help from Mr. Humphries, pulled together a wish list to help take the Digital Music program to the next level. The funds from Knight Tank were used to purchase the following new equipment to build a mini-music lab in Mr. Humphries’ office that includes keyboard; music production system; and synthesizer/loop recorder. “There is a hunger from our students for this new avenue of the arts,” said Mr. Humphries. “It’s unscripted. It’s part tech and part programming and is fun to see the growth of this non-traditional class. My office is now like a small music lab where students have a place to work through their pieces using state-of-the-art equipment.”

Global Knights

Global Knights earned a spot as a Knight Tank recipient with the goal of bringing more global awareness to campus. The groundwork for this group was started this past semester with the majority of the work to take place next year. One of the first initiatives they requested was to add a Cultural Prefect for the upper school leadership system for the 2018-19 school year. This prefect will be tasked with several things including facilitating an upper school Global Knights Club that mentors a middle school Global Knights Club. Global Knights student participants included: Abbi Snyder (grade 8), Marissa Santaniello (grade 8), Samuel Castelan (grade 7), Elena Ong (grade 7), Lily Golzar (grade 7), Elena Alegria (grade 8), Katie Hayes (grade 8), Camilla Pejrone (grade 8), Abdo Abadega (grade 8), Julian Segovia (grade 8), Jadon Elkins (senior), Hannah Brandon (sophomore), Brian Segovia (junior), Emma Grace Sikora (junior). Faculty representatives are Senor Fermin Abarca, Mrs. Angelina Ferrari and Mrs. Libby Sikora in the middle school, and for the upper school, Mrs. Rhonda Nieto and Mrs. Renuka Szymborski.

Sewing Hope

A Sewing Club was formed in the middle school to provide girls with the opportunity to learn the lifelong skill of sewing. The group was led by eighth grade student Olivia Jackson and Mrs. Jennifer Pait, academic services coordinator. “I’ve always had a passion and desire to sew and create new and different things,” explained Olivia. “I have made pillowcases and headbands for the homeless and thought it would be cool to share my passion with other girls at the school.” With the funds received from the Knight Tank program, the group purchased materials to set up four sewing stations that included sewing machines, thread, bob and thread, rotary cutters and fabric. During the club time, 11 sixth and eighth graders learned about the parts of a sewing machine, how to thread a needle, sewed sample pillowcases and created headbands from a pattern. “The Knight Tank program has definitely been a blessing because it has allowed us to open up the world of sewing to more girls and create that interest in them,” shared Mrs. Pait.





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A key aspect of the robotics programs at Charlotte Christian School is independent learning driven by the students themselves. The students take ownership of the design and engineering process whether they are in lower, middle or upper school. The robotics program is an example of the school’s desire to prepare students for jobs and careers that may not even exist yet, particularly in the fields of engineering and technology. “What I like about robotics is that it has been built out of student interest,” says Middle School Technology Facilitator Kaylah Holland. When upper school students approached middle school administration about starting a program at that level as well, the principals were already on board. From there, lower school students began to show interest by watching their siblings participate in the pilot programs.

The lower school RoboKnights have participated in the VEX Robotics World Competition for the last two years. This year’s girls’ team placed 75th out of 400 teams in their division, and the boys reached the finals, placing 16th out of 80 teams. “We do robotics because it’s a hands-on experience for students to demonstrate their STEM skills,” said Director of Technology and Innovation Steve Beezhold. “They problemsolve, collaborate, and learn design principles.” Mr. Beezhold advises the upper school RoboKnights club, but is quick to point out that he only offers opinions to the students to allow them to creative freedom and learning independence.

Lower School STEM Coordinator Dana Brickner oversees the lower school RoboKnights teams. “The teams are a great starting point for lower school students to see what robotics is all about before they get into further coding in middle and upper school.” “We introduce robotics starting in JK when they’re coding their bee bot,” says Lower School Technology Facilitator Ruth Wilson. “They are learning the mindset of programming so they are thinking logically and sequentially.” These were the building blocks put in place academically six years ago in order better prepare our students for the technology they will be facing as 21st century learners.

From design and programming to the competition floor, the students are solely responsible for what they create and how they perform. “There are no instructions. They go through the engineering and design process themselves. They write every line of code. They put every screw and nut and bolt together,” says Mr. Beezhold. “When lower school students come to me with a question in class, I’m more likely to answer them with a question that guides them to coming up with an answer,” explains Mrs. Brickner. She encourages the students to experiment with the knowledge and tools available to them already rather than giving them the answer outright. This Socratic method of teaching encourages critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving between the students. The middle school RoboKnights achieved the VEX excellence award at their regional competition, honoring their collaboration, engineering, and design. They also won the design award at the state level.



Mrs. Brickner notes that Sheldon takes it upon himself to check in on the lower school RoboKnights to give them tips and assistance. Fourth grade student Reed Maier says, “It’s really cool that he comes to see us and teach us about robotics.” Reed doesn’t have any older siblings at the school, so he credits Sheldon for showing him what robotics will be like in the upper levels. Amelia Sadowski, another fourth grader, says she plans to help with the lower school RoboKnights when she gets older. “Robotics will always be one of my favorite things to do,” she says. “It’s challenging and it gives you a good goal to work for. There’s always a new competition.”

“They learn life skills,” shares Ms. Holland. “It’s a realworld, practical way of applying STEM-based principles in a teamwork environment under the stress of competition.” Framing the work in competition also teaches the students how to perform well under pressure and to do so with integrity. Mrs. Brickner recalls the lower school RoboKnights boys’ team last year practicing self-advocacy in order to reverse an unfair score during a competition. Using their communication skills and working as a team, they had to make their case without adult supervision. “For a match to be redone is pretty rare,” says Mrs. Brickner, “but the students were able to effectively convince the judges they deserved a rematch due to field judge interference.” Junior Sheldon Jackson is planning to study computer science in college as a direct impact from the RoboKnights club in upper school. Ms. Holland says Sheldon was unsure what club to join in upper school his freshman year. When forced to make a decision with his parents, he ended up in robotics. “He’s already applying to schools for computer science because he loves robotics so much.”

“When we arrived at the competitions and worlds, and they saw there are college teams competing here, they realized, ‘I can do something with this,’” says Mrs. Brickner about the lower school RoboKnights. Already, the students are seeing and understanding that while they are having fun designing and programming their robot, they are also preparing for a future that is still evolving. Mark Trotter (’17), former team captain of the upper school RoboKnights, now studies engineering at Clemson University. Even now, the program is impacting students by giving them the tools and techniques to succeed outside of Charlotte Christian School.

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the ccs

Writing Center


Creating a culture for writers seeking the best

In 2010 Mrs. Jessica Ramsey was teaching English 9 in the upper school and had an idea to have a Writing Center at CCS. It was just an idea at the time, and she tabled it until her own career shifted in 2016. Mrs. Ramsey transitioned to the MS/US media center specialist position and the idea resurfaced, so she pitched it to administration and received a resounding “yes.”

The Writing Center had a soft launch in January of 2017 as Mrs. Ramsey researched and refined the program guidelines and structure. She reached out to the staff at Valor Christian (Denver, Colo.) who had launched their own writing center and then in the spring of 2017 she was able to visit Valor and see their Writing Center in person. The collaboration and guidance of colleagues across the country as well as from other Charlotte Christian English teachers culminated with the official launch and opening at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. The CCS Writing Center is open to students in grades 6-12 to receive assistance in all manners of writing – speeches, college essays, history papers, research papers, and thesis statements. “Teaching writing works best when it is taught like piano lessons, sitting side-by-side. Every writer is different and has different needs and places to improve, it can be intimidating and vulnerable to write,” said Mrs. Ramsey. Mrs. Patty Shropshire, middle school language arts teacher, has been a huge proponent of the Writing Center and made time to educate her students about the benefits of writing guidance. “My sixth graders love to go there. I’ve seen great improvements in student writing after they have gone for help. I encourage them to make appointments when they are revising or editing their writing each unit. Mrs. Ramsey is such a talented writer and teacher, the students love her and they really enjoy the opportunities to work with upper school students as well.” The Writing Center has 12 upper school students who serve as peer tutors. The peer tutors are recommended by their English and history teachers based on excellence in writing and must also be current juniors or seniors. Peer tutors do not assist with college essays, and they do not tutor students who are in their same class. Peer tutors receive credit on their transcripts for their service. Class of 2018 Valedictorian Madison Urban served as a peer tutor for middle school students. “The most rewarding part was when they started to make their own suggestions or started making the connection of what I had been saying,” said Madison who will attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. Senior Regan Jackson was selected by Mrs. Ramsey to be a peer tutor as she had previously tutored in other subjects as well. Regan enjoyed tutoring this year and will attend George Washington in the fall. “Writing is something that comes naturally to me, so being able to use that skill to help other people who need help in the course, and knowing that I’ve explained a topic or finally helped them figure something out - that’s the most rewarding.” Mrs. Ramsey watched as the peer tutors became more confident and empowered to help their classmates noting that, “working with another student helps the tutor as much as the other student. We have strict rules, and we are not an editing service. We are here to help people become better writers. We want to ask more questions than give answers and build competent, confident writers.” Mrs. Ramsey wants to involve more peer tutors as the Writing Center grows and desires to build more proactive relationships with teachers. “When a teacher involves me in the writing process, it really helps the students reach out for an appointment.” Although Mrs. Ramsey is no longer in

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the classroom full-time, you can still find her teaching. She meets with teachers to review writing standards in the curriculum, presents to English classes as a guest speaker and teaches classes based on certain needs, such as proper citations, thesis writing or planning and mapping out a large writing assignment. There are other opportunities to grow the Writing Center, and Mrs. Ramsey hopes this year’s inaugural year will be a good foundation (with more than 500 sessions in the books) for future growth. She would like to teach MLA citations and research in a more robust manner and then after a student masters this, move on to Chicago and AP Styles. “When students get writing assignments, I want them instinctively to think about making an appointment in the Writing Center. This isn’t remedial help, it is for everyone because everyone needs help writing.” Mrs. Renuka Szymborski teaches English 11, English 11 Honors and AP Language and has been recommending students to utilize the Writing Center throughout the year. “Students know they can turn to the Writing Center to help with all stages of the writing process, from ‘I have no idea where to begin’ all the way to last minute proofreads and everything in between. They also hear the same message about method and writing techniques. The Writing Center is another resource and an extension of the classroom.” Most colleges and universities have Writing Centers, but to bring the concept to secondary education was entirely new and uncharted waters. CCS is one of the only local private schools with a Writing Center, and the collaboration is already seeing rewards. Director of College Counseling Jodi Foxx recognizes the gift this program brings to our upper school students as they are inundated with lengthy writing assignments as well as preparing college essays and applications, “It has been an invaluable tool for our seniors who are preparing college application essays. They receive expert assistance with their essays from someone who knows them well and is able to help bring out their best. The vast majority of our seniors tap into the resources available in the Writing Center as they prepare college essays, and their applications are stronger as a result.” Mrs. Ramsey taught English for 11 years and has now been the MS/US media center specialist for two years. She remembers well the impact that sound writing guidance had on her as she was in graduate school getting a master’s degree in English Literature. There were a couple professors that sat with her one-on-one and gave her specific writing advice, and now she is emulating that for students at CCS. “I want to create a culture of writing at CCS. To have writers who seek the best and who write with creativity and curiosity. No one escapes writing and I want to get students in the habit of going through the writing process.”

To schedule an appointment in the Writing Center, please visit the “Media Center Course” in Canvas or you can scan the QR code with your phone’s camera. Appointments can be either 15 or 30 minutes in length.





Kelly Goley

We continue our series on getting to know the different academic departments around campus. This issue we feature the Fine Arts department.

Leslie Niessner

Mrs. Kelly Goley serves as the director of fine arts, teaches AP music theory and honors choir and is in her 14th year working at Charlotte Christian. She earned her degree in music education from Meredith College and has continued her studies in vocal performance and pedagogy at Queens University of Charlotte. Kelly and her husband, Will, have two sons who graduated from CCS, Alex (’07) and Patrick (’09).

Mrs. Leslie Niessner is the assistant director of fine arts teaches band in the lower and middle school. She recently completed her third year teaching at Charlotte Christian. A Charlotte native, she earned bachelor’s degree in music education from Indiana University and her master’s degree in instrumental conducting from Winthrop University. Leslie and her husband, Jay, have two sons.

Why is your subject the best one to teach? I love taking a piece of music from the printed page to a concert-ready performance. I love the team aspect of choir and the camaraderie that develops over the year. In AP Music Theory students learn to analyze music and create their own works. I love the lightbulb moments that happen when students realize that they are composers!

Why is your subject the best one to teach? Teaching band affords me the opportunity to watch my students grow before my very eyes. From their very beginning sounds until they play their final notes as a senior, I have the blessing of helping my students develop their skills to entertain others and glorify God. When students come to band class, they come to play and escape from the stresses of their day, which brings out the best in each one of them. I love being a part of their musical journey, but I also love watching their confidence and camaraderie grow over the years.

What do you like most about working at CCS? CCS is my village, my community. To work alongside other believers with the same goal in mind is so satisfying. I honestly look forward to coming to work every day! The relationships I’ve developed with students and colleagues alike are extremely valuable to me.

What do you like most about working at CCS? I love working with a Godly department of arts professionals at CCS! Our fine arts department at CCS is truly a living example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, which enables our students to experience a tremendously well-rounded fine arts education.

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Pete Baglia

Mr. Pete Baglia teaches middle and upper school visual arts and has been at Charlotte Christian for 17 years. He received his degree in art from S.U.N.Y. College at Oswego, N.Y. and his graduate certificate from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at S.U.N.Y. College at Buffalo, N.Y. Pete and his wife, Debbie, the CCS middle school French teacher, have two sons. Why is your subject the best one to teach? Art is the universal language, and I enjoy teaching a fun, hands-on skill. What do you like most about working at CCS? CCS really values the arts.

Angela Blount

Ms. Angela Blount teaches middle and upper school theater and is in her third year at Charlotte Christian. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Michigan University and her master’s degree in theatre from Miami University. Why is your subject the best one to teach? The students use their imaginations, create and “play” while learning. I connect with the students on a different level, and there is a lot of laughter and hard work as they realize how much work it takes to build or put on a show or present a polished scene. I additionally love seeing the discoveries the students make when they push past their comfort zones or grow artistically. What do you like most about working at CCS? I love that I am able to be vocal about my Christianity and that I am able to daily use the Bible in the classroom, have devotions and pray for students. I used to have to tiptoe around answers that clearly connected to the Bible - not anymore and that has been so freeing! Additionally, it is wonderful to work in a collaborative department that truly supports one another and whose common goal is to present the very best for the students. Ego or career growth are never a factor, it is consistently about the students and the Lord Jesus Christ and how we can allow them to shine while glorifying His name. 15 CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Molly Cain

Mrs. Molly Cain teaches lower school art and is in her second year at Charlotte Christian. She received her degree in art education from Indiana Wesleyan University and is married to Dylan. Why is your subject the best one to teach? Teaching art gives me a front row seat to watch the joy and growth the students experience as they create, a process I love to see unfold. At the end of the year when they got their artwork back, a kindergartener said to me, “I made this?? Look how much I have grown!” His joy in that moment summed up why I love teaching art. What do you like most about working at CCS? I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at a school that puts Christ at the center. In my art room, everything we do points back to the fact that our God is creative, and we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Elisa Dennehy

Mrs. Elisa Dennehy teaches lower school music, directs ACT 3 and is completing her 20th year at Charlotte Christian. She received her degree in music education with a concentration in voice from Appalachian State University. Elisa and her husband, Robert, have three daughters who graduated from CCS, Emily (‘09), Megan (‘10) and Caroline (’15). Why is your subject the best one to teach? I get to teach what I love and have fun everyday! What do you like most about working at CCS? I love that I am afforded the privilege to teach students and watch them grow from JK-fifth grade. Many of my students continue to visit and help with my productions after they move on to middle and upper school. I am also blessed to work with so many extremely talented, fun people.

Bryn Gillette

Don Humphries

Mr. Bryn Gillette teaches upper school visual arts and is in his first year at Charlotte Christian. He received his bachelor’s degree in visual art with a minor in Biblical Studies from Gordon College and his masters of fine arts in painting from Western Connecticut State University. Bryn and his wife, Kirsten, have four children, three of which are CCS students.

Mr. Don Humphries teaches lower, middle and upper school orchestra and digital music and is in his 21st year at Charlotte Christian. He received his degree in percussion performance and a music education with a K-12 Certification from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Don is married to his wife, Dwaina.

Why is your subject the best one to teach? The visual arts provide a place like none other for emotion, spirituality, creativity, imagination, craftsmanship, and risk to converge.

Why is your subject the best one to teach? Everybody loves music. Most people are interested in playing an instrument or writing a song as well. I get to teach violin, cello, ukulele, and GarageBand every day!

What do you like most about working at CCS? The Venn diagram of my life overlaps all of my passion here: artist, father, teacher, pastor, and brother in Christ.

What do you like most about working at CCS? I love the commitment to excellence in the fine arts program, the amazing colleagues I work with each day, and preparing the next generation of Christian artists and performers that will transform the world!

Gordon Hann

Mr. Gordon Hann is the assistant band and orchestra teacher and has been at Charlotte Christian for five years. He earned his trumpet performance degree from the Conservatory in Cincinnati. Gordon and his wife, Olivia, have one daughter. Why is your subject the best one to teach? As much as I love music, and that is quite a lot, I know that it is one piece of a greater whole and that God is where we find all subjects intersecting and finding unity. What do you like most about working at CCS? While I had some degree of freedom to speak my mind about Jesus Christ in my past teaching endeavors and as a performer, here I enjoy expanded freedom and protection to speak His name.

Eric Simpson

Mr. Eric Simpson teaches middle and upper school choir, vocal workshop and serves as the director of ACT 2. He joined the CCS faculty in November of this year. Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Wyoming and has taken graduate classes towards certification and professional development from UNCC, Villanova, and Duquesne. Eric and his wife, Stephanie, have two children. What do you like most about working at CCS? I love that I can promote a lifelong relationship with Jesus to my students. I recently came from many years in public school, and I wasn’t even allowed to talk about Jesus.

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KNIGHTS HEADLINES Cinderella Collaboration

Mr. David Zacarias’ Geometry Honors class and the fine arts department teamed up to provide a real world project for upper school students by way of incorporating geometry in the set design for the upper school musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The class was challenged to create a design for the carriage. They divided into six groups to focus on the design for the different parts of the project: the harness, the front seat, the base, the wheels, back footstep, and the finances regarding the materials needed. The students utilized areas of rectangular prisms and circles as well as ratios and proportions in their design. Once it was complete, they presented their blueprints

to Mrs. Erien Booker, fine arts assistant, who coordinates all the scenes and props for the plays. “Mr. Zacarias came to me with the idea to see if there was a way to incorporate the class with the set design,” shared Mrs. Booker. “We met and I had certain aspects of the carriage that they needed to consider in their design concept. They drew up a design and presented it to me as a class. I took a picture of their design and then several of the students from the class came to help with the construction of it. It was great listening to their presentation and then seeing the end result.”

“I thought that the project was a really cool way to see geometry in real life, especially when it came to life onstage,” said freshman Katie Gowan. “The most challenging part of the task was finding a way to make each of the individual design components fit together, and figuring out how to make sure it would support Cinderella during the play. When I finally got to see the show it was amazing to see what a great job Mrs. Booker had done with our designs and making it really come to life.”

Blumey Teen Critic

Junior Maya Cauthen was selected for the 2018 Student Critic Program in association with the 7th Annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards Program presented by Wells Fargo. Maya was on the team of 14 area high school students who reviewed theater productions of the 46 participating schools. Each student critic attended three shows and then wrote reviews and submitted them to the Blumenthal. Maya previewed Lincolnton High School’s All Shook Up and theHUB@CBTC’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Unfortunately her third musical she was asked to review was canceled due to sickness in the cast. “This was an opportunity for students to delve into the world of being a critic,” shared Maya. “It was a great experience to grow as a writer. I was able to learn how to write a proper review and received good feedback. I liked Lincolnton’s play the most. I was really blown away by their diversity in race and voice types.” The goal of the Student Critic Program is to foster critical thinking and writing skills among high school students and to involve as many students as possible in the Blumeys. Each student was chosen through an application and selection process and then participated in a seminar on how to write a good review by a local journalism professional.


MLK50 Conference

This past April marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In remembrance of Dr. King’s legacy, a national conference was held in Memphis, Tenn. hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition as an opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King and the state of Christianity now 50 years later. The conference focused on Christians reflecting on the current state of racial unity in the church and the culture and how to pursue unity. Seventy-five speakers from across the nation represented pastors, seminary presidents, foundation directors, college deans and faculty, and authors joined panel discussions regarding the gospel and embracing diversity.

Model United Nations Club

“It’s really important for teenagers to know what is going on in the world,” explained junior Tracy Pham and CCS Model United Nations Club founder. Tracy experienced this globalmindedness first hand this past summer when she returned to her home in Vietnam and participated in a Model UN Conference and received the outstanding delegate award. She enjoyed the opportunity and wanted to create this club at school. With the support of faculty sponsor Mrs. Dawn Young, Tracy formed the Model UN Club and accepted 14 members this school year. During club times Tracy would lead discussions on learning the terminology of Model UN and research for upcoming competitions. In their first year the group participated in the Appalachian State Model UN Conference (pictured) as well as were invited to observe the local Charlotte Model UN conference with the offer to compete next year. In preparation for each conference, students would be given a country to learn more about as well as a topic to represent in a debate format with other students to find possible solutions. “I think it is really important as a Christian school that we understand how to dialogue with the world and their perspectives,” said Mrs. Young. “It is a great opportunity for students to get into character, practice debate skills, present and think quickly on their feet. I enjoyed the experience this year and am excited that Charlotte Christian can now participate.”

Middle school Bible teachers Mr. Luke Boythe and Mr. Sam Brady attended the historical event, MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop. “My hope and goal was to be able to listen and hear and try and understand,” shared Mr. Boythe, middle school spiritual life director. “Not to have the answers but to have some humility and to understand how to be one step closer to reflect Revelation 7 on our campus.” Revelation 7:4-9, “And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel . . . After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” Mr. Brady was impacted by a story he heard in one of the breakout sessions where Mr. Reggie Davis, the ministry director of Streets Ministry in Memphis, shared how a 13-year-old Muslim boy stood up for him in a town hall meeting about racial inequality in America. “The Muslim student made the statement that if the issue was important to Mr. Reggie, then it was important to him, as a way of reflecting how to approach these conversations with empathy.”

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On April 29, CCS and Charlotte Smarty Pants, an organization geared towards Charlotte moms that serves as a resource on a variety of activities, events and motherhood-related topics, hosted a Social Media Parenting Town Hall entitled “Empowering Parents to Navigate the iGeneration.” The free event was open to the public and attended by more than 150 parents. The town hall was designed to engage parents as they navigate the social media and technology their children are using on a daily basis. The afternoon began with short introductory presentations and then parents were able to select from these breakout sessions to attend: “Social Media and Health: Is Your Child Addicted?,” “Social Media 101 – SnapChat, Instagram and Musical.ly,” “Beginner’s Guide to Navigating the Social Media World,” and “Summer Strategies for Unplugging.” The collaboration brought together community members including pediatricians, psychologists, counselors, camp directors and technology experts to help parents feel informed and in front of the ever evolving technology environment that saturates the daily lives of adolescents. CCS Middle School Technology Facilitator Kaylah Holland helped lead the breakout session “Beginner’s Guide to Navigating Social Media.” Ms. Holland is a Google Certified Trainer and Innovator and an Apple teacher and is often asked to lead professional development seminars with Google and Future Design School as well partnering with parents to discuss technology, its use and how to prevent addiction to it. Also on the panel were Middle School Assistant Principal Karl Simon; Lower School Technology Facilitator Ruth Wilson; a technology facilitator from Charlotte Latin School; and Mrs. Cathie Broocks, founder of Rooted and Grounded Education.


“Social media is at the core use of technology for students,” shared Ms. Holland. “We had an excellent session reminding parents to mentor their students with social media and technology use. We also discussed balancing our time, forging a community of parents, and how to deal with the effects of technology on the brain.” Mrs. Cameron Uher has two CCS lower school students and attended the event to hear from community professionals. Although her children have not yet been introduced to social media, they have been introduced to technology in general, and she wanted to gain perspective and footing in the digital world her children would soon be entering. “We have implemented much stricter guidelines around screen time this year, and my kids are happier and do not miss the extra screen time and rarely even ask for it! I really liked the advice of walking beside your child and modeling and monitoring appropriate behavior of how to engage with social media as it begins. I love CCS’s digital citizenship policies and how our kids will be taught to be ‘nice online.’”

To keep informed about upcoming parent education opportunities, please check the “Parent Education” page at www.charlottechristian.com/parenteducation or scan the QR code with your phone’s camera.


During the 12th annual Knights Fight Hunger week all three divisions collected assorted styrofoam food service products and canned goods for the Harvest Center. The community efforts at CCS culminate each year in providing the practical and volunteer support needed at the Harvest Center, which is a local ministry that serves meals to the homeless members of our community. This year, students wrapped 20,000 forks and napkins to go with the collected food trays, bowls and cups. This year’s totals were: 11,338 clamshell food trays, 11,943 bowls, 68,673 cups, and 142 six-pound cans of food.

YOUNG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT In January, a Young Women’s Leadership Summit, organized by GenHERation and Ms. Katlyn Grasso, was held at Charlotte Christian in the Alkire Auditorium. Ms. Grasso, founder and CEO of GenHERation, led the summit entitled, “Passion, Potential and Purpose – Discovering Your Unique Gifts to Lead.” The event was for young women to encourage the development of their leadership potential, and approximately 140 ladies attended from CCS and the greater Charlotte community. Prior to the event there was a round table dinner event held in the Huge Gallery where close to 20 CCS upper school students attended and were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues and obstacles and how to overcome them. Junior Martha Ann Langdon attended both the round table and the main event. “I absolutely loved getting to talk to and hear from Katlyn Grasso. Her drive and motivation was contagious, and it got me thinking about how I could do something like she did and be part of something amazing. I actually got to pitch an idea to the audience, and I helped Regan Jackson (class of 2018) get Ms. Grasso to consider utilizing Regan’s designs! It truly was an amazing event, and I would love to hear her speak again!” GenHERation is a community of more than 60,000 members that works to empower young women to become leaders in their spheres of influence. The initiative was a product of the President’s Engagement Prize that awarded $150,000 to develop an innovative project that “has the potential to change the world.” This coming July 20-31 GenHERation is coming to Charlotte for Discovery Days 2018 providing immersive summer day trips for high school and college women the opportunity to visit the most innovative companies in America. Students will engage with female executives, participate in skill-building simulations and earn exclusive rewards and scholarships. Visit generation.com for more information.

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MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE FAIR REGIONALS Six Charlotte Christian middle school students presented their science fair research projects at UNCC. Eighth grade student Rachel Noonan placed third in the physics and mathematics category, advancing to the state level at the NC Science and Engineering Fair. Rachel was among 14 middle school students who received a special award from Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars).

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLAR Senior Josh Roddy was named a 2018 National Merit Scholar. Josh was awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) and will attend North Carolina State University in the fall.

KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE The Reading Knights program recognized 72 fifth grade students as Reading Knights of the Roundtable for participating in the program all years of their lower school career. Lower school students read 20,009 books during the 2017-18 school year.

SENIOR HONORS GRADUATES Twenty-five seniors were recognized as honors graduates for maintaining a GPA of 4.5 or higher during their high school academic career.



Fourth and fifth grade students designed and built a catapult to launch a marshmallow in this year’s STEM Challenge. Students were given 1 hour and, 15 minutes to create and test as needed. Using the materials provided, students had to use what they had learned in engineering, math and science to build their catapult, making for a fun afternoon of hands-on science. Congratulations to the fourth grade winning team of Josiah Amasa, Peter Caswell, Luke Ramsey, Will Parrish, and Marshall Martin and the fifth grade winning team of Beckett Vance, AJ Jamison, Owen Farrell, and Shepherd Miller.



Charlotte Christian School visual arts and creative writing students in middle and upper school won a total of 54 awards at the 2018 Mid-Carolina Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Competition. CCS accumulated 10 Gold Keys (pictured), 16 Silver Keys, and 22 Honorable Mentions. The competition featured more than 1,900 individual art entries and senior portfolios representing the best from public and private schools throughout Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties.

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Senior Ashley Metz was named the South Charlotte Cup Athlete of the Month in March as well as a Charlotte Observer Player of the Week during the 2018 season. Ashley’s batting average was .818 this year and included the rare feat of hitting for a cycle – a single, double, triple and homerun all in the same game against Hickory Grove. Senior Hannah Faulkenberry was named the Charlotte Observer Player of the Week in midApril. In the week prior to her recognition, Hannah went 6-for-6 at bat with four home runs and 10 RBIs.




On Feb. 7 six CCS student-athletes signed to play collegiate football: Riley Carlton (Hampden-Sydney College); Ben Duyck (University of North Carolina at Charlotte); Griffin Hicks (North Carolina State University); Jack Mitchell (University of North Carolina at Charlotte); Bryan Rogers (Butler University) and Justus Woods (Stanford University). On May 17, four more student-athletes signed their NCAA letters of intent to participate in collegiate athletics: Luke Warner (James Madison University, football); Lily Walton (North Carolina A&T University, volleyball); Alex Brown (Coker College, ladies’ soccer) and Terrelle Brown (Wheaton College, football).



This past winter and spring saw athletes break long-held school records. Junior Kaitlin Walker (ladies’ basketball) broke a record with 27 rebounds in a single game on Dec. 27 against Augusta Prep. Junior J.C. Tharrington (basketball) broke Stephen Curry’s three-point record in a season of 171 with 174 his junior year. J.C. also scored 1,000 career points this past season. Senior Blake Preston (basketball) accumulated a new career blocked shots total for the Knights with 213. Sophomore Chloe Lichtenberger (swimming) broke the 100yd butterfly with a time of 1:03:27. Senior Rachel Lee (swimming) broke the 100yd breaststroke with a time of 1:05:31. Freshman Zach Brown, junior Blake Frasier, senior Gray McNeish and sophomore Wes Turley set a new record for the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49:8. Senior Christian Furnari (wrestling) accumulated a new career wins record of 103. Sophomore Morgan Shrader set a new record in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.41. Sophomore Logan Jones broke the 400m record with a time of 49.15 and freshman Henry Rutledge set a new long jump record with 22’9”.




The CCS Sports Broadcasting Team experienced a Charlotte Hornets basketball game from behind the scenes. Seniors Hunter Phalen and Hayden Fancher, junior Brian Segovia and freshman Joseph Sachtleben started the evening with a Q&A session with production and technical managers that oversee the visual and audio presentations of Hornets games on radio, television and in the arena (freshman Bryson Byrnes not pictured). The team spent time with Steve Martin, long time radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Hornets, who recently announced his retirement. The team also spent time in a mobile production truck to see the elements come together for a seamless broadcast, then were able to enjoy the rest of the game as they watched from their press level seats.




The varsity baseball team captured its 19th CISAA conference title, the fifth in six years, and reached the NCISAA state championship before falling to Wesleyan Christian in two games. Following a championship in the Hall of Fame Classic in Florida in March, where junior Shane Russell was named the tourney MVP, the team finished the season with 25 victories and a 10-0 record in conference play which included two huge victories over rival Providence Day. Senior Jonah Beamon and juniors Trey Donathan, JT Killen and Matthew Siverling were named to the NCISAA all-state and all-conference teams along with seniors Jonathan Jagielski and Reid Mayers who were named to the allconference team. 2017-18 ISSUE 2 n










Seussical, Jr. was the first musical to be staged in the new Alkire Auditorium. The show featured Caroline Noonan as “The Cat in the Hat”, Chandler DeBoer as “Horton”, Claire Pannell as “Gertrude”, Emma Isom as “Mayzie” and Faith Giller as “Mrs. Mayor.” Seventy-three students participated in Seussical, Jr. Fine Arts Assistant Kim Marco says she was brought to tears during the opening of Seussical, Jr. “To be the first show in the Alkire Auditorium and to see the cast, sets, lights, sound and costumes all come together in such a big way was truly spectacular!” says Mrs. Marco.




The middle school ACT 2 drama team competed in the 2018 North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) Middle School Play Festival and the team earned a superior rating for its play, Juliet and This Guy Romeo, as well as the Festival Spirit Award and Excellence in Physical Characterization. Seventh grader Brogan Hall and sixth grader Aidan Hinson both earned Excellence in Acting awards. The upper school ACT 1 drama team competed at the North Carolina Thespian Festival (NCTC). Individual honors were given superior ratings for sophomore Lilly Mull for solo musical; junior Annslie Burris and freshman Mary Elizabeth Johnson for duo acting; and senior Colin Gallagher and freshman Mary Elizabeth Johnson for duet musical in addition to several individual honors for excellent ratings.


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Cinderella, this year’s upper school production, was the second major performance to use the new Alkire Auditorium. Twenty six upper and middle school students made up the cast for the musical, a surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale. Featuring beautifully-designed costumes and wellknown songs, the production was a crowd favorite. Based on their performances in the musical, seniors Colin Gallagher and Phoebe Son scored in the top 25 for the Blumey Awards’ Best Actor and Actress categories. Colin was recognized for the role of “Topher”, and Phoebe for her role as “Ella”.

HONORS BANDS RECIPIENTS Five students earned 10 placements into honors bands this year including the NCAIS Invitational, South Central District, UNC Pembroke, and UNCC Invitational. Congratulations to Hannah Brandon, Katie Hayes, Donald Moore, Ben Stokley and Josh Vinten.

MIDDLE SCHOOL SPRING EXPO The first Middle School Expo was held in May as an opportunity for the middle school community to celebrate the year’s artistic accomplishments. Parents, students and teachers enjoyed an evening listening to performances and viewing student-crafted atwork, all cultivated over the course of the school year in their elective curriculums.

GUEST COMPOSER VISITS BAND CLASSROOM Band teacher and composer Mekel Rogers visited the middle school band class this spring to guide them in rehearsing a composition he wrote. Mr. Rogers has been teaching and writing for middle school band since 1995. His piece “Snap, Clap, Swing” was featured in this year’s Middle School Art Expo. 2017-18 ISSUE 2 n



Master Campus Plan: Phase 2

In November 2017 the two-story, 21,000 square foot Center for Worship and Performing Arts was dedicated with a special chapel, completing phase 1 of the Master Campus Plan. The next phase expands growth to the north side of campus with the addition of a competition field and tennis courts. As the lacrosse and soccer programs have expanded, there is a significant need for another practice and game field. The additional space will give more flexibility in scheduling athletics after school with a practice field located adjacent to the Early Education Building. At the far north of campus, six tennis courts will be built, bringing our tennis teams on campus to practice and compete. Phase 2 will also include additional parking and a building for storage, concessions and restrooms as well as a loop road to help with the flow of traffic. With the goal of starting these projects by the summer of 2019, work is already underway in preparation for this project. If you are interested in supporting projects in Phase 2, please contact the development office.

Thank you to the Charlotte Christian community for helping us sprint to the finish of the 2017-18 Annual Fund campaign. We wrapped up the year with close to $540,000 raised in cash and pledges.


Ladies’ Luncheon with

Meredith Brock

On Thursday, March 8 more than 150 ladies attended the annual Charlotte Christian Ladies Luncheon in the Crown Room at Calvary Church. Originally scheduled for January, but postponed because of inclement weather, the luncheon brought together CCS employees, parents, alumni, alumni parents and friends of the school, for a time of fellowship. This year’s speaker was Charlotte Christian parent Mrs. Meredith Brock, executive director of strategy and business development at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Mrs. Brock shared her journey of growing up in Idaho in the bleakest of circumstances and how God moved mightily on her behalf when she surrendered her life to Him at 17. She spoke words of encouragement and inspiration to those in attendance and reminded the ladies that God has a plan for their lives.

‘18 charlotte christian school

Sporting Clays Tournament

The fourth annual Sporting Clays Tournament to benefit the Annual Fund was held on Friday, April 27 at Meadow Wood. The sold-out event raised more than $20,000 with 110 friends of Charlotte Christian participating. During the tournament, teams of four cycled through 15 different shooting stations on the course from 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. In addition, participants had the opportunity to bid on items through a silent auction. The event concluded with a catered lunch and an awards ceremony. A special thank you goes to Seedspark for being this year’s title sponsor. Save the date for next year’s tournament to be held on May 10, 2019.

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ANNE MARIE GAINES (’08) Anne Marie Gaines, a 2008 alumna of Charlotte Christian School, is the owner of AMG Design Co., a design firm specializing in branding, website and graphic design for a wide variety of clients. Anne Marie credits much of where she is today with the impact Charlotte Christian had on her life. While a student at CCS, where she began in ninth grade, Anne Marie played soccer, basketball and volleyball and has fond memories of her four years spent on campus. “I remember how much fun I had in high school,” said Anne Marie. “We had so much school spirit, everything from cheering at the basketball games to wearing your favorite player’s jersey during the week. I remember senior lunches and going off campus with friends. I remember Windy Gap and learning what it meant to worship God in a way where I truly felt His presence.”

While at CCS, Anne Marie also helped start the Artists in Action club, along with fellow student Adam Hill, and credits former art teacher Mrs. Eva Crawford with igniting her love of art, which then in turned fueled her future career. “I remember being in Mrs. Crawford’s art classes and discovering how passionate I was about art. I would even go to her classroom during lunch to work on projects because I truly loved it that much,” shared Anne Marie. Following her graduation, Anne Marie enrolled in the UNCChapel Hill where she earned her degree in journalism with a specialization in editing and graphic design. She reflects fondly

May 1, 2015 • Meadow wood 29 CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

on the way Charlotte Christian faculty members prepared her for this next step in her educational journey. “I always knew my teachers genuinely cared about me and would do anything they could to help me succeed. I remember being extremely nervous for college scholarship interviews, and several of the staff sat down to do a mock interview with me. This gave me knowledge and experience I needed to go into interviews with confidence and ultimately helped me get several scholarships.” As she reflected on her time at Charlotte Christian and where she is now in her career, the impact CCS had on her life, through teachers and her fellow students, is something she sees every day. “I absolutely love what I get to do, and so much of what I’ve been able to accomplish can be attributed to the seeds that were planted while I was at Charlotte Christian. Mrs. Crawford helped lay the groundwork for my education and knowledge of art and design. There are also countless relationships and connections I’ve made through CCS and its alumni that have helped me professionally.” More important than the influence on her career, however, is the impact the school made on Anne Marie’s spiritual and personal growth. “The spiritual foundation that CCS laid was invaluable for not only developing my intellectual faith, but also my emotional faith,” said Anne Marie. “There are so many things I learned that I might not have used at the time, but that I have used since I graduated. I am still so close with many of my classmates and their families. For example, one of my best friends and business partner, Traci Potocnik, graduated with me, and I can’t imagine life without her! It’s also great to see the way that God is using CCS to make a bigger impact. A few years ago I went to Kenya with the Thompson family to see the work that Care for Aids, an organization started by CCS alum, Nick Gordon, is doing. It’s really cool to see how God is using students from a small school in Charlotte to make such a big difference.”


ALUMNI ATHLETES CCS alumni have continued to find success at the collegiate and professional levels. David Kocher (’14) was named to the AllBig Ten Tournament Golf Team for the third time in his career at the University of Maryland. Jeb Blazevich (’14) just finished his college career at the University of Georgia and this spring was able to attend minicamps with the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans. Jeb received the UGA Athletics Sportsmanship-Ethics Award. Luke Bard (’09) had his MLB debut pitching for Los Angeles Angels on March 31. Luke used his 55-grade slider to bring in his first major league strikeout. Jackson Kowar (‘15) and Reece Hampton (‘15) were both selected in the 2018 MLB Draft. Jackson was selected 33rd overall by the Kansas City Royals and Reece went in the 12th round by the Detroit Tigers.

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REID’S FINE FOODS ALUMNI NETWORKING EVENT Approximately 60 alumni and friends gathered on Feb. 1 for a networking event at Reid’s Fine Foods at SouthPark. The goal of the event was for professionals of all ages and expertise within the Charlotte Christian community to meet and interact. Current CCS parents and board of trustee members from across multiple industries joined alumni for this event.

MARCH MADNESS VIEWING PARTY On March 17, the CCS alumni council hosted a March Madness Viewing Party at the Dilworth Grille. More than 50 alumni and their families gathered to watch hoops and cheer for their team.

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BASEBALL TAILGATE More than 30 alumni gathered on Friday, May 4 to enjoy the beautiful weather and watch the varsity baseball team take on Providence Day in the final home game of the season. A food truck from Papa Murphy’s provided dinner for the alumni and their family members as they enjoyed the Knights’ 6-5 victory over the Chargers. 2017-18 ISSUE 2 n


CLASS NOTES Send your alumni news to: alumni@charchrist.com


Rachel Redmond is a member of the club swim team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She competed in the National Collegiate Club Swim Meet and placed fourth overall out of 83 teams. Also on the team are class of 2016 members Baxter Bradbury and Sarah Redmond.


Maddie Moore (‘15) and Derrick Wood (‘15) were engaged and plan to marry December 2018. The couple were high school sweethearts and are thankful for the support they received and the lasting relationships that were made with many of their CCS teachers.


Luke Dexter graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in business management. After graduation he will move to Phoenix, Arizona to work for the Internal Audit Department at Wells Fargo. CJ Nash III graduated from Guilford College with a degree in forensic accounting. Akanima Okpokowuruk graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in biology on May 21. This fall she will study nursing in the Accelerated BSN program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Drew Paden graduated on May 11 with cum laude honors from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management with a BS in management information systems. He has been hired by Accenture in New York City as a digital analyst. Dallas McCorkle (‘14) and Megan Perelli (‘14) will marry this summer. Dallas will attend Liberty University’s Medical School and Megan will pursue her graduate degree at the School of

Divinity. Prayers are appreciated as they take this next step in their journey of marriage and life. Allie Seelig graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in biology with sustainability studies and French minors, summa cum laude. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in teaching in science education at North Carolina State University. Harris Wilson graduated this past December from North Carolina State University. He majored in agricultural business management and minored in economics, magna cum laude. He is a management development associate at Butterball in Raleigh.


Chandler Goodson is living in Charlotte and is a senior auditor at Wells Fargo and is a Young Life leader and varsity basketball assistant coach at East Mecklenburg High School.


Rachel Redmond (‘16)

Brittany Gendron (‘10)

Maddie Moore & Derrick Wood (‘15)

CJ Nash III (‘14)

Megan Rollins Coward (‘08)


Courtney Culberson Whittington (‘07)

Akanima Okpokowuruk (‘14)

Laura Freeman Storey (‘07)

Drew Paden (‘14)

Kerry Tipple Watkins (‘06)


Amanda Hudgins Funderburg graduated from South Carolina College of Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy program this May. She will begin her career as a pharmacist with Cannon Pharmacy in Charlotte.


Julia Buwick received her master’s degree in education this May from the University of Georgia. She will be entering the field of professional school counseling as a freshman counselor at Jackson County High School in Jefferson, Georgia. She would like to thank Mrs. Foxx for her support and guidance as she explored this career path! Andrew Frowine recently accepted a new sales position with MapAnything in Charlotte. Tyler Simmons received his master’s degree in sport management (MASM) from Wingate University in May. Ryan Watkins is engaged to Kristin Hendricks of Ellicott City, Maryland. The two met while attending the University

Megan Perelli & Dallas McCorkle (‘14)

Elliot Engstrom (‘06)

Harris Wilson (‘14)

Katie Swicegood Fulp (‘06)

of South Carolina where they both graduated in 2015. The couple is planning a wedding in Charleston, S.C. in 2019.

Laura Freeman Storey and her husband, Nathan, welcomed their first child, a son named Shepherd, on April 19, 2018.


Kerry Tipple Watkins and her husband, Will, have a five-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. The family has lived in Greenville, S.C. for seven years where Will works for the Greenville County Sheriff’s office.


Elliot Engstrom and his wife welcomed their first child, Evelyn Jane, this past February. The couple moved to Shelby this June where he started a new job as a senior staff attorney for Cleveland County.

Brittany Gendron graduated with honors and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Miami this May. She is currently interviewing for a job in Atlanta, Dallas, Anaheim or Charlotte. Megan Rollins Coward and her husband welcomed a son, William Hunnings Coward, on March 20. He weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. Megan’s husband recently graduated from medical school at the University of South Carolina and the family will move to Murrells Inlet, S.C. for his residency.


Courtney Culberson Whittington graduated from Lee University DAL program with a bachelor of science and a concentration in counseling.

Chandler Goodson (‘13)


Katie Swicegood Fulp and her husband, Sam, welcomed a baby boy, Samuel Fulp, on Feb. 15, weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces. Elizabeth Newton works for Cory’s Audio Visual as a live events account manager. She was recently named one of the nine young professionals leading the way into the next iteration of the audio visual industry by System Contractor News, a nationwide publication.

Amanda Hudgins Funderburg (‘12) Ryan Watkins (‘11)

Elizabeth Newton (‘06) Megan Jones Sharp (‘06)

Michelle Furlong Tanner (‘05) Zak Kamm (‘01) 2017-18 ISSUE 2 n



Austin Young, his wife, Kayti, and their family are preparing to return to serve in the Middle East in July. Please pray for the work and for the Lord’s will to be accomplished!

Megan Jones Sharp and her husband, Justin, welcomed their first child, Sutton Gibbs Sharp, on Aug. 17, 2017.


Michelle Furlong Tanner and her husband, Ford, welcomed their first child, Jack Royle Tanner, on Oct. 7. The family resides in Matthews, N.C.


Christie Smith graduated from Denver Seminary in May 2017 with a degree in Christian formation and soul care.


Sarah Mescher Sutton and her family will be moving to the greater New Orleans, La. area as her husband, Scott, accepted a new position with Entergy. The family is excited for their move and welcomes visitors!

Zak Kamm and his family welcomed Solomon David into the world on Jan. 11, 2018.


Cory Lundeen and his wife, Meagan, celebrated four years of marriage on May 25 and are expecting their first child, a baby boy, in mid-September. Cory works for Habitat for Humanity and Meagan teaches fourth grade. Cory and Meagan have renovated three houses in the last three years but have now agreed to settle down with a little one on the way! Holly Chudalski Sharp her husband, Kenny, welcomed Caldwell Jane Sharp into their family on May 3, 2018. Callie Jane joins older siblings Elsie (6), Caroline (4), and Jack (2). The Sharp family lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.



Todd Fuller has been married to Elizabeth Shaw from Akron, Ohio since 2005. The couple has three children: Emma, a rising third grader; Grant, a rising kindergartener; and Elise is in preschool. Todd has worked at Bank of America since 2016. Gresham Hill recently signed a new artist, Land of Color, to his management company based in Franklin, Tenn. Land of Color joins several other Christian artists managed by Gresham including Rush Of Fools, The Maze, and 321 Improv.


Charles Todd and his wife, Holly, celebrated 25 years of marriage. The couple has five children: Emma, 21; Luke, 17; Simon, 15; Aaron, 12; and Cora, 10. Charles is the chief operating officer for Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and lives in Fairfax County, Virginia with his family.

DISTINGUISHED ALUM OF THE YEAR Charlotte Christian will present a Distinguished Alum of the Year Award. The alum will be recognized for their extraordinary achievements in their field of work; outstanding contributions to the welfare and advancement of Charlotte Christian; and exceptional acts of service. Please visit charlottechristian.com/alumoftheyear to nominate an outstanding alum. Nominations will begin July 1 and go through Sept. 10. The recipient will be selected by a committee and recognized during Homecoming on Oct. 5, 2018.

ALMABASE: Austin Young (‘01)

Sarah Mescher Sutton (‘01)

Todd Fuller (‘92)

Gresham Hill (‘92)


Alums Staying in Touch Charlotte Christian is rolling out a new communications platform via the website for alumni. This website will be a great place for alums to stay engaged with Charlotte Christian, network with fellow alumni, and connect with opportunities to serve. Once the site is published later this summer, alumni will be sent an e-mail with information on how to sign up and access the platform. In order to receive e-mails from the school, please submit your current e-mail address to www. charlottechristian.com/alumupdate.



to Veteran Employees

We are thankful for our employees and their impact on Charlotte Christian. This year there are four veteran employees who are being called away after a combined 81 years of service to the school.

Mrs. Letha Fuller

Mrs. Kim McGinn

Upper School Administrative Assistant Served at CCS for 19 years

Upper School Chemistry Teacher Served at CCS for 24 years

Mrs. Letha Fuller served as an administrative assistant for the development office, head of school office and then for the past 11 years in the upper school office. She has also been involved as an advisor for the Girls’ Golf Club, Freshman Class Co-Advisor, Jordan Driving School liaison and faithfully worked the admissions gate for numerous home Friday football games. She will stay on part-time in the upper school through the end of September.

During Mrs. Kim McGinn’s time in the upper school she taught all levels of chemistry as well as physics and AP Environmental Science and served as an AP Reader for the AP Chemistry exam. She also has been involved as a class advisor, a Student Government Association advisor and the National Honor Society advisor and coordinated and chaperoned numerous mission trips. Mrs. McGinn looks forward to spending more time with family and friends as well as serving with Mercy Matters, a local ministry focused on providing basic necessities for children and families.

Mrs. Lisa McCorkle

Mr. Ryan Runge

Health Room Head Nurse Served at CCS for 16 years

US Math & Science Teacher Assistant Technology Coordinator Served at CCS for 22 years

Mrs. Lisa McCorkle spent her time at CCS as one of our school nurses as well as head nurse of the health room. She has provided numerous healthy initiatives by ensuring the campus was outfitted with multiple AED units, provided flu shots on campus for employees, and encouraged CPR training to name a few. She also created the Health Careers Club for upper school students interested in the medical field. She will stay on part-time in the health room through the end of September.

Mr. Ryan Runge has been a cornerstone in the upper school science and math departments for more than 20 years. During his tenure at CCS he has taught Conceptual Physics, Physics Honors, Pre-Calculus, Calculus III, AP Physics, AP Computer Science, and AP Statistics. He has also worked part-time in the school’s tech department since 1998 creating teacher and course scheduling, and managing the school’s database administration software. Mr. Runge and his wife, Emily, plan to take the next several years to travel all around the world doing a combination of volunteering, missions work, and traveling. 2017-18 ISSUE 2 n






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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.


Breckenridge Senior Trip Middle Ages Day Lower School Field Day March ​for​ Life Eighth Grade Promotion Upper School History Day Principal’s Cup Recipients, David Ntim & Olivia Jones J-Term Nicaragua Trip Fifth Grade Promotion Foreign Language Honor Society Digital Citizenship Student Team Environmental Club at ECO Games Grandparents’ Day National Day of Prayer All-District Honor Band, Katie Hayes President’s Cup Recipient, Terrelle Brown

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7301 Sardis Road Charlotte, NC 28270 (704) 366-5657 Fax: (704) 366-5678



Profile for Charlotte Christian School

Voice 2017-18 Issue 2  

Voice 2017-18 Issue 2