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ISSUE 24 / 2015

Ac a d e m i c E xce l l e n ce | B i b l i c a l Va l u e s | Cu l t u ra l I m p a c t

281.469.8829 • K-12

Honoring the Lord Jesus Christ by providing students an education based upon academic excellence and biblical values IN THIS ISSUE Admissions page 4

CCS recently celebrated its 37th year, and we’re on track to welcome close to 700 K-12 students in August. Admissions events for the 2016-2017 school year have been scheduled for prospective families to gather information and tour the campus.

Fall Events page 5

You’re invited to join us this fall for these fun-filled, family events: Blue and White Night, Homecoming and the Fall Talent Show.

K-12 Highlights page 8

The second semester was filled with educational events and student achievements. Technology upgrades were also implemented across campus.

Class of 2015 page 20

Seniors were accepted to 66 different colleges and universities across America and received prestigious scholarships to attend the college of their choice. Congratulations, Class of 2015!

Capital Campaign page 24

CCS will never be defined by its buildings. However, buildings will continue to serve as an effective vehicle to advance our mission and as a place where our community comes together to grow and nurture our students. The generosity of those who gave in the past made it possible for our current families to enjoy the campus we have today. Now, it’s our turn to grow and to bless both current and future families.

Alumni page 35

4 5

Graduates are making a difference all across our nation and throughout the world. We hope you enjoy reading alumni news for a few of our 583 graduates who are highlighted in this issue.

Sponsors page 39

Thanks to our CONNECTION sponsors who partner with us to communicate CCS information to more than 5,000 readers.


11123 Cypress N. Houston Rd. • Houston, TX 77065 The CONNECTION is published bi-annually. Correspondence may be directed to Thanks to our graphic artist and to our photographers G. Michael Photography, Jack Potts Photography, Yearbook Editor Rachael Lechman, and CCS employees, students and volunteers.


Our Human Condition

One thing I frequently enjoy while on road trips is listening to motivational speakers. One of my favorite personalities is the late Zig Ziglar, who once said: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily.” I think all of us have found this to be true. We can be excited and enthusiastic about life one day, and dejected the next. Even on a good day, sometimes a negative comment or an unexpected setback is all it takes to send a person into a tailspin of self-doubt and despondency.

Recognizing the truth of this human condition, the apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:11: “Never be Mr. Stephen Novotny lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving Executive Director the Lord.” If Jesus Christ is Lord over every aspect of our lives, the application of this biblical admonition should not be limited to the “religious” aspects of our Christian walk. Instead, I believe this admonition to remain motivated and zealous applies to every aspect of our lives: walking the dog, cleaning the garage, doing homework, finishing a sales presentation at the office, exercising at the gym … you get the idea. At Cypress Christian School, we stand for the proposition that if we are in Christ, all parts of life are His, have a spiritual component, and therefore deserve our best effort and zeal.

Since all can be forgiven, and since there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Christians have a good reason to have high levels of motivation and zeal in every facet of life.

Furthermore, since all can be forgiven, and since there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Christians have a good reason to have high levels of motivation and zeal in every facet of life. Yet most of us experience times of discouragement, fear, worry or apathy. So how can we follow Paul’s instruction and increase our zeal during those low times in our lives? In addition to asking God for His help and renewing your mind on biblical truth, here is some time-tested and proven advice that helps restore motivation and fervor: 1) Get enough sleep; 2) Exercise often; 3) Focus on good things; reject useless speculation and fear; 4) Avoid comparing yourself with others; 5) Practice thankfulness; 6) Forgive yourself and others quickly; 7) Seek to find and be around positive and motivated people who are also trying to serve the Lord with thankfulness and enthusiasm.

By consistently following this advice you will enjoy more success as you endeavor to live a life characterized by zeal in serving the Lord.



Ad m iss io ns

Cypress Christian celebrated its 37th year of serving families in northwest Houston on April 10, 2015. Once again, CCS is experiencing strong enrollment numbers heading into fall. With close to 700 Welcome new Warriors K-12 students scheduled to fill the classrooms during the 2015-2016 school year, it will be another busy and fun year on the CCS campus. Admissions Director Angie Ramirez (shown below on left) said: “I love being a part of what God is doing at CCS. To know that families are excited to link arms with us in the mission of academic excellence and biblical values reinforces the need for a school like CCS. I am so grateful to be a part of the Warrior family. As I see my own children grow academically and in their walk with the Lord, I am reminded of Proverbs 22:6: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.’”

Former Admissions Director and Alumni Parent Vicki Moore (shown at right in picture) reflected on CCS: “I tell people about CCS every chance I get. As I look back on my life, I consider having my children at Cypress Christian one of the smartest decisions I ever made. CCS impacted their lives with a quality education, with awesome, godly friends and with biblical training from wonderful teachers who modeled what they taught. My children continue to have a close personal walk with the Lord and are passing their heritage of faith down to their children (my grandchildren). I praise God for CCS!”

Admissions 2016-2017 Events K-12 Fal l Preview

5, 2015 r e b m e Nov

Applications Accepted for 2016-2017 Beginning November 5, 2015

Prospec ti Studentve Visitor D ay Novem

ber 10, 2015

Admissions Office: 281.469.7745 or For more information:



E s TH nt ! VE TE ve SA DA 15 E 20


L Christian Band Hawk Nelson to Perform at Blue & White Night August 14, 2015 Faculty, staff, K-12 students, their families and alumni will join together at Warrior Stadium to kick off the 2015-2016 school year and dedicate it to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! This will be an evening full of fun, food and fellowship. Included in the program will be the introduction of our Warrior cheerleaders and fall sports teams, a fun drama skit performed by fine arts students, and a special message from Executive Director Stephen Novotny.

A huge thank you for Blue & White Night sponsor

The evening will conclude with praise and worship by Grammy nominee, Hawk Nelson. The Christian band is well known for their hit single, Drops in the Ocean, which was inspired by the realization that God is for us, not against us.

Homecoming Week September 14-18, 2015

The week-long celebration for K-12 students will include dress-up days, contests, a parade, pep rally, tailgate party, homecoming court, football game and alumni coming home to CCS.

For more information about the band:

Fine Arts Fall Talent Show September 26, 2015

to miss You don’t want this showcase nt. of amazing tale

Event details are available on the school website:



Advancing the Mission of Cypress Christian School Thank you for supporting Cypress Christian School! Home of the Warriors

Thank You! What a mighty God we serve! Thanks to each and every donor, including our Heritage Circle members, for helping us to exceed our 2014-2015 Warrior Fund goal of $450,000.

Completed 2014-2015 Warrior Fund Projects The projects listed below were completed as of May 31, 2015.

4 Installation of additional safety-monitoring cameras 4 Completion of next step of IT initiative – every student can access their desktop remotely and on campus 4 Installation of ice machine in elementary lunchroom 4 Resurfacing of student parking lot 4 Enhancements to baseball and softball fields 6


4 Purchase of new bus and updates to

bus wraps 4 Creation of new pathway from behind secondary A building to secondary teacher workroom 4 Replacement of kitchen and bathroom countertops throughout campus 4 Funding for faculty and staff professional development 4 Funding for tuition assistance and benevolence

Join us for a Warrior Mission Tour Academic Excellence | Biblical Values Cultural Impact Behind our impressive test scores and award-winning fine arts and athletics programs is a school on mission to impact our culture. Take a journey into the heart of our school to discover who we are, what we stand for and why we do what we do.

Upcoming Warrior Mission Tours August 20 September 10 September October 8 October November 5 November December 3 December

24 22 19 17

Information | Registration

Giving Opportunities 4Online Donations 4Matching Gifts 4Gifts-in-Kind 4Gifts-in-Honor 4Gifts-in-Memoriam 4Planned Giving 4Stocks 4Savings Bonds 4Real Estate 4Sponsorships 4Warrior Easy Funds

Join the Heritage Circle

The Heritage Circle partnership was created to build a stronger foundation for expanding school programs and to provide a stable future for Cypress Christian. Your gift of unrestricted funds will allow CCS to accomplish these goals. To join:

Mail: Cypress Christian School, Advancement Office 11123 Cypress N. Houston Rd., Houston, TX 77065 Online: Information: Tax Deduction CCS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.




Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Elementary students welcomed more than 500 grandparents and special friends to the CCS campus. The event included a photo booth, fun and educational classroom activities, a chapel service with pledges, songs, scripture and student presentations followed by a reception. Elementary Principal Robert White praised guests for their investment in the lives of CCS students. To view chapel service video and event photos:

Donuts with Dads

Librarian Amy Mitton said: “Donuts with Dads was a huge success with many of our dads taking time out of their busy schedules to enjoy breakfast and shopping with their child during the spring book fair. We have the best dads around!�

Kindergarten Bedtime Stories with Cookies and Milk

A record number of incoming and current kindergarteners and their families enjoyed delicious treats, cold milk and delightful stories. The little Warriors loved seeing the kindergarten teachers and the elementary principal dressed as characters from some of their favorite books.

Brandon Vick Memorial Run-4-Fun The weather was perfect for this annual fundraising event. Thanks to staff, faculty, volunteers, runners, donors and sponsors (see page 46) who helped make this event a very successful one, yielding $48,000. To view the list of winners and race results:





Kindergarten From the processional to the recessional, 41 kindergarten graduates and their families enjoyed a very memorable evening which included the kindergarteners reciting Bible verses, singing, dancing and accepting their diplomas. A reception followed the program with lots of fellowship and desserts! Fifth Grade Students, parents and teachers gathered in the gym for the annual fifth grade luncheon to celebrate a great end to elementary school and a look ahead to middle school. Fifth Grade


Rodeo Art Competition For the first time in school history, all elementary art entries earned a first place blue ribbon. In addition, three students earned a finalist award. ACSI Art Festival The elementary art department submitted 21 pieces of artwork in three different grade level divisions with students winning 15 medals. ACSI Speech Meet Students brought home two gold medals, three silver medals, three bronze medals, 15 superior ribbons and 13 excellent ribbons. ACSI Area Math Olympics Students in grades 3-5 earned third-fifth place awards in computation and reasoning. ACSI Spelling Bee Nine students in grades 3-5 participated with two students earning first and second place.

Articles, pictures and award recipients:




Living Wax Museum

Sixth graders hosted friends, family, students and teachers at the Living Wax Museum to honor heroes of our faith and history. Students dressed in costumes and gave monologues as a culmination of their unit on biographies. Heroes of our faith Corrie Ten Boom, C.S. Lewis and Jim Elliot were represented. Also on hand were heroes of our history: Alan Shepard, George Washington, David Livingstone and Daniel Boone. Costumed sixth graders also walked the hallways of the elementary building to show the younger students what they can look forward to in middle school.

Code Blue

Seventh grade science students worked hard for more than a month becoming “doctors” in the Code Blue Project. Students learned from professionals, including CCS parent and registered nurse Mrs. Jill Fisk, what “Code Blue” means and how doctors and nurses respond to this kind of emergency. Mrs. Fisk showed them a crash cart filled with the essentials to handle this kind of situation. Seventh graders also learned about the electrical system of the heart and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) during the Code Blue project. Each student had an opportunity to practice this life saving technique and practice using a training version of an AED (automated external defibrillator).

Texas History Fair

The Texas History Fair is an annual event integrating skills from English, writing, history, and Bible classes. Students immerse themselves in the life of a historical Texas figure by researching, writing and creating a scrapbook which incorporates several genres of writing. Sixty-three seventh grade students presented their projects to parents, classmates and a panel of judges.

ACSI Speech Meet

The top sixth grade winners of the ACSI Speech Meet earned superior ratings and one bronze medal in poetry. Students in seventh and eighth grades took first place in half the events, earning five gold medals plus four silver medals as well as ribbons for superior and excellent ratings in dramatic poetry, humorous poetry, dramatic reading, humorous reading, original speech, Bible memorization and application, puppets, humorous costumed monologue and dramatic costumed monologue. 10


Admissions Science Fair

Sixty-three science projects were exhibited by eighth grade students who worked over a period of two months to complete their entries. Students were required to identify a topic, conduct an experiment, collect data, perform scientific research, write a full research report, create a display board and prepare and deliver a presentation to judges. Students worked closely with middle school teachers to accomplish their award-winning results. Four top winners from the CCS Science Fair participated in the ACSI District Science Fair and were awarded medals – two gold and two silver.

ACSI Math Olympics

Thirteen students in grades 6-8 who competed in the local Math Olympics competition advanced to the ACSI Area Math Olympics. Seven students brought home top awards from the area competition including first, second and third in computation and second and third in reasoning.

ACSI Spelling Bee

Middle school students placed first, second and third at the ACSI Spelling Bee with one student placing second overall and advancing to the regional competition.

Articles, photos and award recipients: CONNECTION




Middle school and high school Destination Imagination teams competed and placed in the Regional DI Tournament with two teams advancing to state. In DI, students learn to work as a team which requires collaborative problem solving, patience, persistence, identification of each individual’s strengths within the team framework, ethics and flexibility. The purpose of the organization is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. For more information:


Biology students were challenged to keep calm and take part in several dissection projects throughout the year. Shown are students taking their study of amphibians to a deeper level by inspecting the parts of the frog anatomy. In chemistry, Dr. Longridge kept her students engaged in learning both in and out of the lab with fun second semester projects. In the lab, students studied electromagnetic radiation (light), conducted flame tests with different metals and observed the colors that resulted. In the classroom, students studied bonding and molecular structure. They built models and identified the molecular geometry and resulting properties.

TAPPS 4A State Speech Meet

High school students competed in duet acting, prose interpretation, poetry interpretation, solo acting and original oratory categories in the state speech competition with five of the pieces placing in the state finals and two claiming the state runner-up title.

Articles, photos and award recipients: 12


K-12 Technology Update

Schools face many choices on how best to provide technology resources for their students. Cypress Christian School has studied the pros and cons of various solutions (one-to-one laptop programs, bring your own device, school-issued tablets, etc.) and has decided on a different tack. Rather than invest in individual pieces of hardware, the school created a solution that allows CCS students, from nearly any Internetconnected device, to remotely connect to a school “desktop computer� through a web browser. While connected, the student has access to his or her files, Office 2013, and other student resources

that were formerly accessible only while on campus. Since last summer, more than 160 student computers have been installed throughout campus, and existing computers were upgraded with additional RAM to improve performance. With these additions, students have access to Microsoft Office applications and content-filtered Internet. The student computers run Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server technology, which allows one machine to service up to ten individual students at one time, lowering hardware and support costs and minimizing downtime. This project was possible thanks to anonymous donors.

Additionally, with their Office 365 account, each student now has the ability to download and install Microsoft Office on five of their own devices including phones, tablets, personal home laptops or PCs, regardless of the operating system (Windows, iOS or Android). Students are also able to use Microsoft One Drive to securely save and store up to one terabyte of files and documents, and they have access to an internal school email network shared with other students and teachers. CONNECTION


Serving God, Serving Others

Serving God and others through worship

Our theme in the elementary school this past year has been “Serving God, Serving Others.� This theme served as an excellent teaching tool at the elementary level.

Serving God and others through friendship



Serving God and others in the classroom

Serving God and others through fundraising events

Serving God and others through gifts

It is so exciting to point young people toward the true purpose for life. It is evident that people are searching for significance and meaning to life. Many have determined their purpose in life to be the pursuit of personal happiness. We are constantly bombarded with messages that in essence say, “If it feels good and makes you happy, then do it!” Self-gratification, while providing a momentary pleasure, does not provide lasting fulfillment of the soul’s inner need. At CCS we teach the students that there is a grand and glorious meaning to life that is to be found in Jesus Christ! We have the ability to live each day with purpose that brings true joy and happiness to the soul. This joy commences with salvation of the soul through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and continues when an individual shifts his or her focus from self to serving God and others. While this philosophy runs contrary to the prevailing philosophies of the unbridled pursuit of

Serving God and others through prayer

personal happiness, it nevertheless is true because it is based upon God’s Word. II Corinthians 5:15 says that “He [Jesus] died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” Now that is a reason for living that gives purpose, direction and meaning to life. Our teachers are committed to directing their students to develop a lifestyle focused on bringing honor to the Lord and to serving other people. I am blessed daily by students who demonstrate acts of service such as holding the door open for others or sweeping the sidewalk clean of debris. I watch as our teachers pull students aside privately to disciple them in developing behavior that pleases God and focuses upon others. These virtues are demonstrated in the little things like taking turns in line, demonstrating respect to teachers, using words of kindness to other students, singing to the Lord in chapel, and working diligently on their classwork.

Romans 12:11: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

MR. ROBERT WHITE | Elementary Principal We thank our families for the opportunity to serve them and their wonderful children. I am delighted to be part of such a thriving spiritual community that is striving to fulfill our life’s purpose of glorifying God by serving Him and serving others.





Living God’s Truth

Eighth graders pray at the foot of the Supreme Court in D.C. In Romans 12, Paul describes desired attributes in the life of a believer: we offer our body as a living sacrifice (v. 1), we are transformed by the renewal of our mind (v. 2), we use our spiritual gifts (v. 3-8), we love with sincerity (v. 9), and we are fervent in spirit (v. 11). The struggle with Romans 12:11 is not in understanding the text, but in living the truth of the text. What can we do to keep our spiritual fire burning brightly for Christ? How do we restore a spiritual fire that has grown cold? Sometimes students in a Christian school risk losing their fervor for the Gospel and the redeeming work of Christ because they are surrounded by Bible classes, chapel services, Christian coaches and teachers, and biblical principles integrated into every subject. At first glance, that may sound very odd; but one of Satan’s schemes is for us to become lukewarm and complacent in our commitment to live out our faith. To avoid a life of mediocrity, we must engage in spiritual warfare to maintain our spiritual zeal. The community at Cypress Christian School plays an essential role in promoting spiritual zeal. 16


Students start each day with prayer.

We spur one another toward a fervent spirit by building relationships and encouraging each other. Classrooms, teams and organizations are important small communities on our campus. Teachers, coaches and mentors intentionally demonstrate what it means to connect with God and allow Him to brightly burn in our spirit. Teenagers observe adults who deal with stress, busyness, anxiety, frustration, failure and loss. Community requires transparency among the members in order to flourish. Students are astute at locating those who would “talk the talk, but not walk the walk.” We desire to build a strong foundation of biblical instruction so that our middle schoolers will grasp the wonder of God’s love and grace. We also desire to build a strong community that can do life together and demonstrate how to put on the full armor of God because there is a battle going on for the condition of each teenager’s soul. Serving the Lord is also key to keeping our spiritual fervor. We see this connection in Romans 12:11: “be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The world thinks that if we focus on ourselves we can find contentment; but that simply isn’t true. Living outside ourselves is practiced at CCS when our National Junior Honor Society students spend a Saturday morning preparing meals that will bring physical nourishment to children throughout the world. The habit of service is developed by sixth graders making posters of encouragement to send to a fellow Warrior. Students learn to focus on others when they sweep the lunchroom to prepare it for the next group of hungry teenagers. Serving others in Jesus’ name enhances spiritual zeal and makes us more like Christ. There is a connection between “being conformed to the pattern of this world” and a lack of spiritual fervor. When we are conformed to the things of this world, then our spirit loses its desire for the things of God. Students are required to put away some of the things of the world while at school: cell phones, social media, secular music and status clothing.

Middle schoolers are given the opportunity to mentor younger students.

Sixth graders made posters to encourage a fellow Warrior. Providing a dedicated academic environment is one reason for eliminating these distractions, but there is also a more important spiritual element at work. In order to grow close to God, students need opportunities to hear from God. Drawing away from the distractions of our culture allows our children to be drawn by the fire of God’s love and wisdom into a life that is wholly submitted to God. Romans 12 calls all believers to keep their eyes on Christ. He never lacked in fervor and never tired of serving His Father. Naturally, the fire in our spirit wanes at times, blown cold by distractions of our lives. The fuel for our spiritual fervor is the Spirit of God.

National Junior Honor Society Service Project

Godly coaches train athletes throughout the season.

Drama presentations reinforce biblical values.

MRS. IVA NELL RHEA | Middle School Principal One of our goals at CCS is to teach students disciplines which enable them to keep the fire of God’s love burning brightly. Watching the truth of God’s Word lived out in our students is a goal that is worthy of our best.



Culture of Service 1 1. Senior Kristin Beach holds a child at the orphanage in Costa Rica during the annual senior trip. 2. Senior Summer Galloway enjoyed mentoring younger students while at CCS. 3. High school principal Dr. Chris Witschonke and National Honor Society president Cale Soudelier gave blood at the NHS-sponsored blood drive.


4. Senior Todd Akin spent time serving others while on the annual senior trip to Costa Rica. 5. Admissions Director Angie Ramirez enjoyed lunch with the outgoing seniors in the CCS Ambassador Council.

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5 4

As another group of seniors graduates from CCS, it is fitting to reflect on all that we as a school hoped to pour into them. While they may no longer be CCS students, they are now trained warriors for Christ. It is my hope and prayer that one of the attributes our graduates take with them is a heart of service. Each year, high school students are required to complete 10 hours of outside service as a part of the Bible curriculum. However, it is astounding to look at the number of hours logged beyond the requirement. Our students track their service hours through the Presidential Service Award website. As of May 1, the CCS Class of 2015 had logged approximately 7,600 hours of service. With a graduating class of forty students, our seniors far exceeded the 10-hour-perstudent requirement. In addition, we have many students participate in service activities which go unlogged. For example, we had several seniors participate in the MS 150 bike ride from Houston

to Austin this year, and several others participated in mission trips during their summer vacation or during Spring Break. In the final service project of their high school career, seniors served at an orphanage in Costa Rica while on their senior trip. None of this is said as a manner of boasting, but in a spirit of amazement. We desire our students to develop a heart of service – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). However, our students have not just developed a heart of service; they have created a culture of service. This culture will be the greatest legacy passed on by the seniors. I look forward to watching how our next group of seniors finds ways to serve their community, their church, their fellow students, and ultimately their Lord and Savior. As each group of seniors graduates, it will be through this heart of service that they are able to make an impact for our Father’s heavenly Kingdom.

Staff, faculty and coaches prayed over the seniors during their final chapel as CCS students.

DR. CHRISTOPHER WITSCHONKE | High School Principal As of May 1, the CCS Class of 2015 had logged approximately 7,600 hours of service. None of this is said as a manner of boasting, but in a spirit of amazement.



Congratulations, CCS Class of 2015!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ First row l to r:

Dana Mickey Abby Martinez Sabrina Tovar Kristin Beach Allie White Summer Galloway Lauren Cater

Second row l to r:

MaKayla Stowell Rebecca Cecil Avery Barbisch Jessie Floyd Precious Ademola Brenna Etheredge Anastasia Cowen Quinn Roberts

Third row l to r:

Todd Akin Jordan Crowhurst Bailey Comeaux Zach Usry Allison Sommers Dai’ja Coleman Lauren Conley Noelle Horan Nathaniel Lira

Fourth row l to r:

Caleb Fowler Seth Doggett Orlando Garza Ryan Gibbs Taylor Broadway Andrew Martinez Travis Vick Josh Bretz

Fifth row l to r:

Lee Campbell Daniel Rodriguez Anfernee Skinner Ben Holman Jake Fredrickson Julian Logan Francis Ajibero Will Echols

College and University Acceptances Seniors in the Class of 2015 were accepted to 66 different colleges and universities across America. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Trinity University Texas A&M University – Liberty University Abilene Christian University University of Alabama College Station Lone Star College – CyFair Baptist College University of Alabama – Texas A&M University – Lone Star College – Tomball of Health Sciences Birmingham Corpus Christi Louisiana State University Baylor University University of Houston Texas A&M University – Maryville University Blinn College University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Galveston Master’s College & Seminary Cedarville University University of Mississippi Texas Christian University Michigan State University Clemson University University of Missouri – Texas Lutheran University Millsaps College Concordia University–Texas Columbia Texas State University Oklahoma State University Dallas Baptist University University of South Carolina Texas Tech University Pensacola Christian College Dallas Christian College University of North Texas The University of Texas – Sam Houston State University East Texas Baptist University University of Oklahoma Arlington Samford University George Mason University University of St. Thomas Savannah College of Art & Design The University of Texas – Grand Canyon University University of Tennessee – Austin Schreiner University Greenville College Knoxville The University of Texas – Southwestern University Houston Baptist University University of Tulsa Dallas St. Edward’s University Howard University Virginia Tech Stephen F. Austin State University The University of Texas – Johns Hopkins University Webster University Pan American Tarleton State University Lamar University Wheaton College–IL The University of Texas – Temple College Langston University San Antonio LeTourneau University 20


Valedictorian | CCS Faculty Scholarship for Academic Excellence Travis Vick earned the distinguished honor of being named Valedictorian for achieving the highest grade point average in his class. Travis was awarded the Texas Education Association’s Highest Ranking Graduate Award as well as the CCS Faculty Scholarship for Academic Excellence for demonstrating outstanding effort to achieve overall academic excellence. In addition to this award, he is a state winner in the Joshua Expeditions Outstanding SBACS (Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools) Scholars Award Program. In the fall of his senior year, Travis was recognized as a Commended Student in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Travis is the son of Dale and Celeste Vick and attended CCS for eleven years. His life verse is Romans 12:1-2. He plans to attend the University of Oklahoma. PHOTOGRAPHY BY G. MICHAEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Salutatorian Nathaniel Lira earned the title of Salutatorian for achieving the second highest grade point average among his peers. In addition to this honor, he is a national winner in the Joshua Expeditions Outstanding SBACS (Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools) Scholars Award Program. In the fall of his senior year, Nathaniel was recognized as a Commended Student in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program and recognized as an academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school student by the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). Nathaniel is the son of Mario and Ruth Lira and attended CCS for twelve years. His life verse is Psalm 139:23-24. He plans to attend Johns Hopkins University.

Footprint Recipients Students who attended CCS from kindergarten through their senior year were recognized for the footprints they have left on the hearts of those at CCS throughout their K-12 educational career. Those students are: (front l-r) MaKayla Stowell and Jordan Crowhurst; (back l-r) Julian Logan, William Echols, Avery Barbisch and Todd Akin. CCS Fine Arts Scholarship Avery Barbisch and Bailey Comeaux were presented this scholarship for overall excellence in the arts. Avery plans to attend Savannah College of Art and Design. Bailey plans to attend the University of North Texas.

Thank You from Class of 2015 “We have been blessed by all of you. Teachers of CCS, you made our education worthwhile. Nothing can replace the opportunities and learning experiences you’ve given us. Parents, thank you for helping us to stand every time we fell, and for continuing to help us still: from our cautious baby steps to our confident walk into the graduation ceremony. Each one of you has been a picture of what Christ can do through just one person. You showed us that we can do great things. Moreover, you encouraged us that we are able to do even greater service in His name hereafter. Now we take strength in that same hope, for ‘The Lord is our light and our salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of our lives – of whom shall we be afraid?’ (Psalm 27:1)” Scholarships Seniors accepted prestigious scholarships to attend the college or university of their choice from institutions and organizations across the U.S. Please see pages 22-23.



Seniors Accept Prestigious Scholarships from Institutions and Organizations Across the U.S. 1

1. Travis Vick (Valedictorian) | University of Oklahoma State winner in Joshua Expeditions Outstanding SBACS (Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools) Scholars Award Program


2. Nathaniel Lira (Salutatorian) | Johns Hopkins University National winner in Joshua Expeditions Outstanding SBACS (Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools) Scholars Award Program 2

3. Precious Ademola | Abilene Christian University Dean’s Award | Multi-Cultural Award


4. Avery Barbisch | Savannah College of Art and Design Academic Honors Scholarship | Achievement Honors Scholarship Student Incentive Scholarship


5. Rebecca Cecil | Baylor University Provost’s Gold Scholar


6. Dai’ja Coleman | The University of Texas – Pan American Full-tuition Athletic Scholarship 7. Bailey Comeaux | University of North Texas Fine Arts Scholarship


8. Will Echols | Texas A&M University Finalist in Joshua Expeditions Outstanding SBACS (Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools) Scholars Award Program


9. Ryan Gibbs | LeTourneau University Founders’ Scholarship | Trustee’s Scholarship | Texas Tuition Equal Grant


10. Julian Logan | University of Oklahoma Community Enrichment Scholar (Academic and Leadership) Stepney Scholarship | College of Engineering Diversity and Inclusion AT&T Summer Bridge Program for Incoming Freshmen Scholarship


11. Dana Mickey | Texas A&M University Chevron REACH Scholarship



12. MaKayla Stowell | University of Alabama University Scholarship 13. Zach Usry | University of Oklahoma Academic Scholarship 14. Allie White | Cedarville University Full-tuition scholarship through partnership of Cedarville University and SBACS (Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools) Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award and Scholarship Scholarships listed reflect information received as of May 23, 2014. Photos by G. Michael Photography





Memorial Scholarships In honor of these loved ones who have gone home to be with the Lord, CCS – in partnership with family members and friends – has established the following memorial scholarships:

Travis Chaffin Scholarship Travis was a young man who loved the Lord with all his heart and loved to play the game of baseball. To his classmates and teammates he was an encourager – someone who helped you evaluate what you were doing without being overly critical. To his teachers he was someone who always worked hard to achieve the best he could. To everyone he came in contact with, he was a shining light for Christ. Three young men who exemplify this godly character will share the Travis Chaffin Scholarship this year: Jake Fredrickson, Andrew Martinez and Josh Bretz. Jake plans to attend Temple College; Andrew plans to attend Oklahoma State University; and Josh plans to attend Grand Canyon University. Andrew Gladney Heart of Gold Memorial Scholarship CCS alumnus Andrew Gladney (‘05) was a young man who loved relentlessly, faithfully and genuinely. He was also generous, full of laughter and a little bit of mischief. This scholarship was established to recognize the graduating senior who has a “Heart of Gold” – one who: loves and accepts all both inside and outside the CCS community; endears others without favoritism; participates wholeheartedly in activities to reflect Christian character and sportsmanship; and diligently pursues and excels academically according to his/her ability. Seth Doggett was awarded this scholarship and plans to attend Houston Baptist University. Will Rhodes Athletic Scholarships William David Rhodes was a dedicated young man who was abundantly blessed by God athletically and academically. He excelled as a baseball and football player and was a leader both on and off the playing field. Will loved the Lord and this inner joy was displayed in his daily activities. This scholarship was established to recognize CCS students who have made public profession of their faith in Jesus Christ, have demonstrated Christ-like behavior to fellow students and athletes, and have been living witnesses to others as they led their teams and followed their coaches. Will Echols and Dai’ja Coleman received this scholarship. Will plans to attend Texas A&M University and Dai’ja plans to attend The University of Texas – Pan American. Spirit of Paul Scholarship This scholarship was established to encourage students to develop and display the driving spirit and perseverance of the Apostle Paul, who accomplished much for the early church. This CCS scholarship is funded by donations given in memory of loved ones. For 2015, gifts were received in memory of Terry Copeland and in memory of Edith Van Beek – who worked with her husband, Jerry, on the founding committee of Cypress Christian School and supported CCS with her time, money and prayers for more than three decades. Quin Roberts was awarded this scholarship and plans to attend Tarelton State University.



Progress Report Raised to Date

$3.1 Million with Working Goal of

$3.3 Million Completed

In Process


Final design plans

Feasibility investigation

Geotechnical investigation

Topographical survey

Utility & drainage study Board President Chad Braun signs the plat mylar for recordation

ht g i l t o p S Donroy rand Melinda oglu k u d Bo


What would you say to others to encourage them to give to the campaign? Being able to sow into the lives of the children currently at CCS as well as the generations to come is such a privilege. Having this new facility will allow CCS to shine even brighter as a beacon for God in northwest Houston. School families, students and community members will benefit from the additional space to participate in many more special events highlighting how God is working in and through the students at Cypress Christian.




The Executive Director Our school is not merely a set of The generosity of those who gave academic programs or a group in the past made it possible for our of buildings, but instead is a current families to enjoy the campus vibrant community, a community and facilities we have today. Now it’s built on a commitment to our turn to grow and to bless both academic excellence, biblical current and future families. values and cultural impact. The new campus life center We serve a great God, and He is at and gym will serve the CCS work at CCS. If you have not had community in the coming the opportunity to participate in the years as we meet together for Advancing Excellence campaign, Stephen Novotny fine arts and athletic events, there is still time, and I would love chapel services, academic competitions, the opportunity to sit and talk with you. and many other community-building events. We continue to work toward our goal of CCS will never be defined by its buildings. $3.3 million, and every dollar raised above However, buildings will continue to serve as this will reduce potential debt. I hope you an effective vehicle to advance our mission will join me in being a part of the exciting and as a place where our community comes things that are happening here at Cypress together to grow and nurture our students. Christian School.

Future Campus Life Center and Gym Activities

Grandparents Day

Chapel Services Science Fair

Veterans Day Living Wax Museum

Fine Arts





Valiant Warriors Senior athletes Dai’ja Coleman and Will Echols (shown below) were recognized for exemplifying excellence in athletics, leadership, determination, sportsmanship, Christian character, academic achievement and integrity in their sports, in the classroom and in their spiritual walk.

Tiffani Briggs, Kylie Miller, Hannah Gould, Dai’ja Coleman and Athletic Director/Coach Marsha Martin

“In our first year in the TAPPS 4A division, we met the challenge well,” said Athletic Director Marsha Martin. Eleven teams advanced to post-season play, and two athletes earned the TAPPS 4A State Track and Field Champion title in their events – Dai’ja Coleman in triple jump and Tiffani Briggs in the 200 meter dash. To end the year on another victorious note, Dai’ja was named TAPPS 4A Female Athlete of the Year. Coach Martin added: “As we stated from the beginning, the success of CCS athletics will be measured by how we compete, not by the points we score. Our Warriors worked hard and maintained their Christian standard of excellence which is what really counts.” Senior Dai’ja Coleman Named TAPPS 4A Female Athlete of the Year Dai’ja (at right) was nominated based on her significant contributions to athletics and for her strong academics. She competes on a level few can maintain, is a team leader and encourager, and excels in helping her team be the best they can be. With a strong work ethic and desire to do her best, she rises to the occasion no matter the circumstances. While at CCS, Dai’ja earned multiple honors for her work on the basketball court and on the track. She was recently named Valiant Warrior and awarded the Will Rhodes Athletic Scholarship. Dai’ja has accepted a full-tuition athletic scholarship to The University of Texas – Pan American to compete in track and field.

Multi-Sport Awards The Warrior Athletic Department recognized seniors who have played at least two sports each year for at least three years of high school including their senior year. The CCS coaching staff is thankful to these seniors for committing their time to play for CCS for the majority of their high school career. This year’s recipients are Dai’ja Coleman – basketball, track and field; Seth Doggett – football, soccer and baseball; Will Echols – football, soccer, baseball and track and field; and Allison Sommers – basketball and softball.

Dai’ja Coleman

Seth Doggett

Will Echols

Allison Sommers

Ryan Gibbs Commits to Play at LeTourneau Senior Ryan Gibbs will join the LeTourneau University Yellowjackets. See page 22 for scholarships Ryan accepted. Ryan was the starting catcher for the Warriors’ TAPPS 3A state championship run in 2014, and he earned honors in the division. Ryan’s tremendous work ethic helped him earn the role of captain during his senior year where he led the Warriors into the playoffs at the 4A level. Ryan Gibbs



TAPPS 4A VARSITY ATHLETICS Winter and Spring Achievements

4Cheer earned Fellowship of Christian

Cheerleaders Texas Showdown Cheer Competition Grand Champion award 4Girls Basketball ended first season in TAPPS 4A Sweet 16 4Boys Basketball finished strong in TAPPS 4A District play 4Swimmers competed at TAPPS Division II State Swim Meet 4Girls Soccer advanced to TAPPS 4A Area 4Boys Soccer ended in TAPPS 4A Elite 8 4Track and Field athletes earned state championship titles 4Baseball advanced to TAPPS 4A State playoffs 4Softball advanced to TAPPS 4A State playoffs 4Golfers advanced to Regional tournament

Articles, pictures, award recipients and stats:

Football Home Opener – September 4, 2015 Schedule and tickets:




Sword and Shield Awards

Eighth grade athletes Amanda Boyd (top left) and John Dotson (top right) were recognized for exemplifying excellence in athletics, leadership, determination, sportsmanship, Christian character, academic achievement and integrity in their sports, in the classroom and in their spiritual walk.

4Girls Soccer ended season 7-0-1 4Boys Soccer earned back-to-back undefeated

regular seasons 4Boys Basketball B Team won CCS tournament 4Girls Basketball B Team earned District Championship 4Boys and Girls Basketball A Teams competed well in NHAL District 4Baseball finished first in District 4Softball finished third in NHAL District 4Track and field girls teams won NHAL District Division 1 and Division 2 at district meet 4Track and field boys earned NHAL District Division 1 Runner-up title

Articles, pictures, award recipients and stats:

LITTLE WARRIORS Our little Warriors enjoyed another great spring season. They played hard and were able to spend some time practicing with our big-league Warriors.



Vincent Salario

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)

After a courageous fight against cancer, junior Vincent Salario passed away on June 17, 2015. Vincent was a long-time Warrior and would have graduated with his classmates in May 2016. However, for reasons known only in heaven, his life on earth was shorter than any of us would have expected, and he made the ultimate graduation to be with God.

Shown in the first two photos is Vincent’s brother, CCS alumnus Tony Salario (’13)

We will long remember Vincent’s smile, his enthusiasm, the mischievous twinkle in his eye, and his love for his family and friends. Those things were always evident to those who were fortunate to be with Vincent in the hallways, in the classrooms and on the athletic fields at CCS. He will be greatly missed. But in this time of grief and loss, our faith can rest securely in the same place Vincent placed his faith: in the love and power of Jesus Christ our Lord. CONNECTION


fine a rts drama

Sixty-two students including members of the high school choir and advanced high school drama class delighted more than 350 guests with their performances at the Spring Talent Show. In addition, beautiful secondary student artwork was displayed. The video and photo gallery can be viewed via the CCS website. Be sure and watch the Warrior version of “We’re All in This Together.” You’ll be glad you did!



fine a rts drama 40s that portrayed the “can do” attitude of the younger generation. Drama Director Blythe Kirkwood said: “This is one of the most talented groups of middle school students I’ve ever worked with. They worked hard and took ownership of their performances and it showed.” High School Drama Delighted Audiences with “Château La Roach” Audiences were swept away to the beautiful Château LaRoche for a weekend get-away, where they were

Sixth Grade Musical Theatre Class Presents “The Prodigal Clown” In this circus-themed, colorful retelling of the parable of the prodigal son, students and audience members were challenged to look at the story in a different light. “So often we breeze past familiar Bible stories instead of really diving in to how it applies to our lives today,” said Drama Director Blythe Kirkwood. “This show helped us to look at ourselves as one character or the other – the faithful, but bitter son, or the rebellious, yet repentant son. I pray that the telling of this story touched even just one person’s heart.” Middle School Musical Theatre Presents “Golly Gee Whiz” Audience members raved about the talent the middle school drama students displayed in this adorable and entertaining musical. “Golly Gee Whiz,” is a loving tribute to the terrific Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland Hollywood film musicals of the 1930s and

greeted by a friendly host of... cockroaches! This play was crawling with slapstick humor and circus-like stage action. “Château La Roach” delighted playgoers with lively and fast-paced dialogue and tons of physical humor. “The students worked hard to put this show together in just a few weeks. They overcame obstacles and put on a hilarious show,” said Drama Director Blythe Kirkwood. Drama Awards and Thespian Induction Ceremony The drama department celebrated their achievements, honored the students who worked so hard, and thanked God for their incredible year. The CCS International Thespian Society Troupe #7062 was proud to honor 14 students for their outstanding performances, induct 10 new members and announce new officers. Drama Director Blythe Kirkwood said: “I am so honored to be a part of the CCS fine arts program. We are growing by leaps and bounds, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.”

Articles, pictures and award recipients: CONNECTION


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L OCA L ACSI Art Festival Fourteen artists earned awards in various categories: one best of show, eight gold medals, seven silver medals and two bronze medals. Two of the award-winning drawings shown above are by artist Avery Barbisch and artist Hannah Hurst. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Competition Winners included gold medalist Avery Barbisch and first place winners Tatiana Nadal and Joelle Rodriguez. Additional winners via website link below. Pearl Fincher Museum Art Contest and Juried Exhibition Winners included Avery Barbisch – Jurors’ Selection, Division I and Tatiana Nadal – Jurors’ Selection, Division II.

Artists Place at Top in TAPPS 4A State Art Competition State finalists with their artwork are shown l-r: Avery Barbisch and Olivia Crozier, Joelle Rodriguez, Hannah Hurst and Chris McKnight.



Art Honor Society Featured in Magazine The winter edition of the “NAHS (National Art Honor Society) News,” a publication of the National Art Education Association, featured an article about the CCS National Honor Art Society (Chapter 5791970), and featured artwork from the following high school art students: Avery Barbisch, Hannah Gould, Emily Fredrickson, Hannah Hurst and Chris McKnight. Art teacher Beth Brubaker said, “I am thankful to be able to instruct CCS artists on how to impact the world for Christ through art.”

Articles, pictures and award recipients: 32


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Student Artist Places in Top 25 in Space Foundation International Contest Student Chris McKnight’s artwork (at left) was selected as one of 25 talented winners from among more than 3,680 global entries representing 53 countries including the U.S. Students Win Art Awards from Artsonia Online Museum Since the fall of 2013, more than 5,650 pieces of middle school and high school artwork have been published on the worldwide online student art gallery – CCS consistently ranks at the top in the state and nation with more than 12,000 art lovers visiting the CCS page. This site also helps CCS raise funds for art supplies as the company donates 20 percent of every purchase of art keepsakes to the art program.

CCS students received art awards from Artsonia including seventh grader Jillian Welch who was awarded the Student Hall of Fame award for receiving three ribbons on her portfolio, reviews and artistry. Additional winners include artists of the week Tiffani Briggs and Emily Fredrickson and finalists Francis Ajibero, Brooklyn Bretz, Caleb Fowler, Hannah Hurst, Madison Kostak, Tyler Landau, John Macune, Chris McKnight, Tati Nadal, Lina Parodi, Christian Vasquez and Jillian Welch. View student artwork on the online museum via Art Student and Art Department Wins Artsonia Cash Awards Emily Fredrickson was selected as an Artsonia Artist of the Week. Emily received 1,205 votes from website visitors. In recognition, Emily received an award plaque and a $50 gift certificate from Blick Art Materials. Additionally, Blick generously donated $100 to the CCS art department.

fine a rts choir Worldstrides Heritage Festival

The Warrior high school choir competed in the 2015 Worldstrides Heritage Festival. The choir was the smallest to compete, but still won top honors. Adjudicator Award Trophy The choir received this trophy for earning a score of 95 out of 100. Choir Director Luke Kirkwood said, “The event host explained that this award is the most difficult to achieve.” Plaque The Warriors earned a gold performance rating. Outstanding Choir Trophy The judges agreed that the Warrior choir was the top choral group that competed in the event. Choir Director Luke Kirkwood said, “We competed against five other choirs, and one of the choirs had 105 students.” Ovation Award Abbie Wynans was recognized for her consistent effort in the choir this year. She received the Ovation Award for persevering through a major surgery that made standing and participating very uncomfortable. The award description reads: “This student represents that spirit of determination, inspiration and service to others that exists in all of us.”

Choir Sets Records at TAPPS 4A State Competition

The choir earned a superior rating on the concert and sight-reading resulting in a sweepstakes trophy – the highest award for choirs. Ten soloists earned superior medals which is the most choir students ever to bring back superior awards.

Articles, pictures and award recipients: CONNECTION


A heartfelt “thank you” to all who attended and gave so generously at the Next Step Fundraising Breakfast held in March 2015. This event is held each spring to provide unrestricted funds for upgrades to academic programs, school facilities and technology, and provide funding for faculty development and student benevolence. This year’s program began with the musical talents of CCS junior Dan Pham and the third grade choir, delighting guests with uplifting melodies. Guests also enjoyed hearing from CCS parents Chad Braun, Jim Boyd and Shannon Moore, as well as alumna Allison Mayo Williamson (‘11). These speakers shared how CCS has impacted their families and has helped set the course for lives characterized by academic excellence, biblical values and cultural impact. New Warrior Video A highlight of the morning was the unveiling of the “I Am A Warrior 2015” video featuring interviews with alumna Gabbie DiGiacomo (’14), CCS junior Cale Soudelier, alumnus Josh Graber (’06), alumna Allison Mayo Williamson (’11) and CCS founding member Jerry Van Beek. We invite you to view the video via the CCS website. Executive Director Stephen Novotny Stephen Novotny (shown in photo with CCS founding member Jerry Van Beek) expressed gratitude for those who have sacrificially given and paved the way for CCS to provide a quality Christian educational option in our community. He said: “CCS is focused on its mission of providing students an education based on academic excellence and biblical values and on building Warriors for Christ to fill the critical need that we have in our nation today. Every day our children are memorizing, analyzing and internalizing knowledge Every day our children are of the sacred scriptures through the memorizing, analyzing and scholarly and practical work in their internalizing knowledge of Bible classes. With this training, the sacred scriptures. graduates are prepared to go out and positively impact the world. I invite you to join me in training Warriors for the next generation.” Current/Alumni Parent Jim Boyd Jim Boyd, father of current CCS students Amanda and Emily and alumni Alyssa and Michael said: “Cypress Christian families, teachers, friends and coaches walk beside us, help us train up our children and steer them onto a path of righteousness and excellence. One thing we have come to expect from CCS is that when we drop our kids off in the morning we get them back better in the afternoon.” 34


Alumni Speaker


Alumna Allison Mayo Williamson (’11)

llison (shown below with her mother, Peggy Mayo) spoke to the Next Step audience about the investment CCS faculty, staff, coaches and administrators made in her life from kindergarten through 12th grade. “Beginning in elementary school, I learned that God was a big God. Through spending time in the Bible, I learned that He was the only true God. At that age, I had a big view of God as my Creator who was worthy of worship. Then in middle school, I learned more about what God thought of me and who I was in relation to Him – the daughter of that all-powerful God and Heavenly Father who had value and purpose. And in high school at CCS, I learned how to apply these things that I had been taught in elementary and middle school. In my freshman Old Testament Survey class, I learned that God uses broken people. In my sophomore New Testament Survey class, I was reminded what it means to have a growing relationship with God. Also in high school, I remember what I desired most was for God to be visible in my life - that when people looked at Allison, they would see Jesus’ characteristics and understand Him better. I was in no way perfect, but I was learning what it meant to ‘let your light shine’ for Christ, even in the midst of trying times. During my senior year, some of my friends and I decided to pray together and seek God about His

About Allison


plans for us in college. I chose to attend Texas A&M University, and when I arrived on campus I had several friends from CCS by my side. As a college freshman, I had many choices on how to get involved, and I wanted to continue to serve God in this next step of my education. I chose to get involved in Impact, Texas A&M’s Christian freshman camp, and in CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ), whose focus is on the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 and making disciples of all nations. While in college, I have embraced my love to invest in other girls’ lives. This absolutely began at CCS, and was fueled by Ladybugs, a high school girls mentoring program. When people ask me what I want to do with the rest of my life, that’s it! God brought to my mind all of the ways that He had used people at CCS to grow in me a love for ministering to others. He had shown me what a privilege it was to grow up around people who invested in me and wanted the BEST for me. I saw that ever-increasingly at CCS, and I wanted to pass that along. I am a product of God’s work through CCS – a return on individual investments by employees and supporters of the school. When you look at your kids, grandkids, and friends’ kids who have attended or are attending CCS, you look at the product of your and someone else’s investments in the school. Thank you for investing in me.

Allison graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2014 with a degree in communication and minors in business administration and creative studies. She and her husband, Matt, live and work in College Station, TX, and continue to serve in CRU and serve in the fifth and sixth grade ministry at Grace Bible Church. Matt and Allison were married in December 2014 surrounded by family and CCS friends. Her bridesmaids included CCS alumnae Alyssa Boyd (‘11) (maid of honor), Amanda Wilhite (‘11), Anne Yalamanchili (‘11), and Hannah Blume (‘11). CCS alumni who attended the wedding included Allie Aimone (‘12), Gabi Bourn (‘11), Elyce Hornor (‘11), Sarah Longridge (‘11), Shannen Longridge (‘13), Josh Martinez (‘11), Martha Miller (‘11), Natalie Moore (‘11), Kelsie Suter (‘11), Lexus Van Pelt (‘11) and Nikki Vance (‘12).

The Next Step Fundraising Breakfast is held each spring. For more information: CONNECTION



Kelsie Suter (‘11) spoke to CCS eighth graders in Washington, D.C., in May 2015 during their annual class trip. At the time, Kelsie was serving in the office of Congressman Michael McCaul in D.C., as part of the Texas A&M University Public Policy Internship Program. She said, “I was honored to represent Texas A&M in the congressman’s office and really enjoyed visiting with my fellow Warriors!” Kelsie graduated summa cum laude in May 2014 from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in international studies with a focus on commerce and minors in business administration and Spanish. While at A&M, Kelsie participated in multiple organizations, including Impact, the Texas A&M Women’s Chorus (where she served as chaplain), and Creative Writers of Aggieland, which she co-founded with several others. She was an active volunteer with Courtney Cares, a therapeutic riding program that partners with Parsons Mounted Calvary to provide lessons to children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Kelsie attended Central Baptist Church and served on two leadership teams within the college ministry. She was also inducted into several national honors organizations, including Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Lambda, the Golden Key Club and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. During the summer of 2014, Kelsie taught English in Costa Rica for ten weeks through International Volunteer HQ. Kelsie plans to continue her education at the Bush School of Government and Public Service to earn a master’s in international affairs.

Artwork for Orphanage

Alayna Matranga Goodson (’07) and her family (including former CCS drama teacher Lisa Matranga) helped raise $100,000 to build an orphanage for 12 girls called Messiah House at the Tree of Life Children’s Village in Zambia, Africa. Alayna partnered with CCS secondary art teacher Beth Brubaker and her students to help decorate the orphanage with 9 x 12 canvas paintings of Africa (animals, landscapes, designs and more). James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Read more:

Alumni Events/News Alumni Volleyball Game

Substitute Teacher

Kit Rhea (’12) enjoyed subbing for secondary students at CCS in May 2015. Kit is a senior at Hardin-Simmons University studying education with plans to graduate in May 2016.



Saturday, Aug. 8

Blue & White Homecoming Festivities Night Friday, Aug. 14

Friday, Sept. 18


Additional Alumni News: Submit Alumni News:

ALUMNI GRADUATIONS Leslie Follmar Creath (‘99) graduated from Southwest Baptist University with a Master of science in education/curriculum and instruction. She has been a middle school teacher for the past 11 years, and recently accepted a position to be the Instructional Coach at Willard Middle School outside of Springfield, MO. Leslie’s husband, Matthew, is the Associate Missions Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Springfield, and she is active on the worship team and in the women’s discipleship group.

Samantha Ridder (‘08) graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2011 with a B.A. in psychology-precounseling. She then attended Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where she earned a Master of science in marriage and family therapy. Samantha is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA) for CCS parent Tom Stevens, LPC, RPT. She has a passion for helping families thrive in the most challenging of life circumstances.

Alyssa Boyd (‘11) graduated from Texas A&M University, earning a B.A. in communications and a minor in English. She interned at Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX, in the communications department, and she is now on staff for CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) in College Station. Alyssa is shown in photo in the middle between fellow CCS alumnae Kelsie Suter (’11) and Allison Mayo Williamson (’11). Information:

Cody Franklin (’11) graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in forestry and a minor in recreation, park and tourism sciences.

Natalie Moore (‘11) graduated with Liberal Arts Honors and University High Honors with degrees in psychology and Spanish literature from The University of Texas at Austin.

Sarah Witty (‘11) graduated magna cum laude from LeTourneau University. She earned a B.S. in computer science with a minor in mathematics, and she received the Outstanding Senior in Computer Science Award. She accepted a position as a software developer for Faithlife Corporation (formerly Logos Bible Software) in Bellingham, Washington.

Calvin Novotny (‘14) graduated from the Ranger Selection and Assessment Program (RASP), donned the tan Ranger beret for the first time, and officially joined the 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment. One of our nation’s elite special operations units, the 75th Ranger Regiment is the U.S. Army’s premier raid force, and the most proficient and elite light infantry force in the world. Proud father and CCS Executive Director Stephen Novotny enjoyed the special honor of pinning Calvin’s Ranger unit patch on his uniform for the first time. Mr. Novotny said: “It was a proud moment to watch Calvin graduate and become part of this special operations unit. Not only am I a proud dad, but I am thankful CCS is preparing young people for the most demanding professions, and that our students are graduating and serving others in truly sacrificial ways.”

ALUMNI WEDDINGS Keeley Lambert Jones (‘07) married Clayton Jones in November 2014. (Photo by Pill Photography) Keeley received her B.F.A. in acting from Texas State University. Since moving to New York City, she has studied at Upright Citizens Brigade, Maury Ginsberg Film, and Matthew Corozone Studios. As a model, she has worked extensively in petite, fit, footwear, bridal and lifestyle. Clayton graduated from Texas A&M University with an architecture degree and is studying acting post-grad. Keeley and her husband minister to others through the CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) organization called “Transform.” Keeley is thankful God is using her and Clayton to reach New York City residents for Christ. Keeley said, “God has given both of us a strong calling to minister to actors and those we meet in the entertainment industry. I am thankful God gave me a husband whose passions align with mine. We are partners for the Gospel.” Read more:



ALUMNI WEDDINGS Allie Borkovich Bloodworth (‘08) married Dillon Bloodworth in December 2014, with the following longtime CCS friends and fellow graduates by their side: Aubrey Hill Allison (‘08) and husband Nick, Michelle Van Rieg Stanton (‘08) and husband Brett, Ben Thomas (08), Samantha Ridder (‘08) and Micah Finley, Angela Wynans (‘08), Payton Lambert (‘08), Josh Rhodes (‘08), Lindsay Adam Santos (‘08) and husband Ricardo, Ryan Vento (08) and wife Krystal, Christian Johnson (‘08), Rachel Wrobleske Hall (‘08) and husband Grant. Also, Allie’s brothers and fellow alumni were part of the wedding party: Jake Borkovich (‘13) and Bray Borkovich (‘05). (Photos by Tucker Images) The couple met at Texas A&M University through “Impact,” an organization that reaches out to incoming freshmen with the hope of connecting them to the body of Christ on campus. Allie completed her third year of medical school through UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch). She will graduate in June 2016 and begin residency training in pediatrics. Dillion is a drilling engineer for BHP Billiton. Amanda Wilhite Stamper (‘11) married Brenton Stamper in April 2015. (Photo by Sarah Ainsworth Photography) Her bridesmaids included CCS alumnae Alyssa Boyd (‘11) (maid of honor), Martha Miller (‘11), Natalie Moore (‘11) and Allison Mayo Williamson (‘11). Her brother, Travis Wilhite (‘13), was a groomsman. The house party included alumnae Hannah Blume (‘11), Gabi Bourn (‘11), Sarah Longridge (‘11) and Anne Yalamanchili (‘11). The couple met while leading small groups at their church in College Station. Amanda graduated in May 2015 from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in middle grades language arts and social studies and a minor in history. She will teach sixth grade world cultures at Campbell Middle School in Fall 2015. Her husband, Brenton, graduated from Texas A&M in 2014, with a degree in agricultural and biological engineering and works for Environeering in Houston. They attend Houston’s First Baptist Church. Ryan Vento (‘08) and Krystal were married in October 2014. (Photo by Allure Photography) CCS alumni/ brother Eric Vento (‘05) was a groomsman along with fellow CCS graduates Ben Thomas (‘08), Josh Rhodes (‘08), Nik Yalamanchili (‘08) and Christian Johnson (‘08). The couple lives in the medical center area of Houston, and attends Bayou City Fellowship. They were both baptized at BCF in June 2013, and they serve on the Host Team. Ryan graduated from the University of Houston and is a state-certified insurance agent for Pathfinder/ LL&D Houston, specializing in property and casualty for non-profits. Krystal is an outpatient neuro physical therapist at the Houston VA Hospital.

ALUMNI COLLEGE, CAREER, MINISTRY AND FAMILY Michael Patterson (‘99) and wife, Tiffany, welcomed their daughter, Tannith, in November 2014. “She is a miracle baby,” said Michael. “Tiffany developed complications that could have taken the life of both mother and child. We are thankful to God for protecting them.”

Caroline Carthey (‘07) has always had a love for the arts, which flourished while at CCS. Currently her talents are at work through her side business, Caroline Hand Lettering & Design. During the day, she works for The Vanderbloemen Search Group as a lead researcher. In the evenings she attends art classes at the Glassell School of Art (MFAH). Caroline is a member of Antioch Community Church where she is a social media manager and life group leader. Read more:

Michelle Van Rieg Stanton (’08) and husband, Brett, are the proud parents of Hudson, born in November 2014. After many years of working in bakeries across Texas, Michelle has started her own business in Houston called Piccadilly’s Cake Co. & Bakery. Michelle provides delicious desserts for CCS families and alumni and greatly enjoys her profession. Information: 38


Katrina Boulter (‘09) is enrolled in the accelerated nursing program at UT Tyler. She said, “It was a long road getting here, but God answered my prayers in a big way and I am so thankful.” Her goal is to become a pediatric emergency nurse and hopes to someday work as a nurse aboard Mercy Ships. Nick Hanson (’11) and wife, Stephanie, are team members of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where they both have attended college. Stephanie graduated in May 2015 and Nick will graduate in December 2015. Nick and Stephanie will minister to students on campus, across the U.S. and the world. This summer, Nick travels to Russia to help lead a camp for future Christian leaders, and Stephanie will invest in young women in the U.S. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 Information: Lauren Davis (‘12) attends the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor pursuing a degree in business administration and marketing. She is the vice president of programming for the UMH chapter of the American Marketing Association. Lauren attends Vista Community Church and is active in the Young Life program at Belton High School. She is a leader for the group and enjoys this role as well as her role as Bible study leader for sophomore girls. She strives to show them the love of Jesus and how to follow God in each area of their lives. Cameron Tipton (‘12) is the Student Body Chief Justice at West Texas A&M University. He is pursuing a degree in psychology and a minor in English. Cameron is also on the leadership team of the West Texas A&M Wesley Foundation where he leads a weekly small group Bible Study. Read more: Blessing Ajibero (‘13) is involved in an outreach called Burmese Refugee. She helps coach soccer and prepares devotionals for the boys in the group. Blessing says, “These kids have been through a lot coming from their country (Myanmar/Burma), and are finding it hard to fit in. They share a huge passion for soccer, and that gives me great joy because I can relate with them through the sport. Our ultimate goal is to glorify God in our play.” Olivia Roberts (‘14) is a pre-nursing student at Kansas University. She says she is blessed to be there and has seen God’s faithfulness and His ability to change hearts for His glory. Her roommate made Jesus her personal Lord and Savior which was a wonderful answer to prayer. Olivia traveled to Panama as part of a medical brigade with Jayhawk Health Initiative, and she is serving at Camp Hope. Psalm 73:28: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”


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Invest in your child at Rhythm Music School in one of our enriching, FUN-based and exciting music programs. We offer piano, preschool piano (3-5), guitar, violin, voice and drum lessons. Call 281-206-2607 and schedule your lesson today!

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The specialists at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine are honored to serve the growing Northwest Houston community. Left to right:

Daniel Le, MD, Joint Replacement Travis Hanson, MD, Foot & Ankle Korsh Jafarnia, MD, Hand & Upper Extremity HoSun Hwang, MD, Neck & Spine Plinio Caldera, MD, General Orthopedics

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4/29/2014 11:23:14 AM

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For any standard 3% commission on either the buyer or seller side, our family will donate 1/2% of the commission from CCS families, faculty or staff, or from referrals from the same, to the Cypress Christian Advancing Excellence Capital Campaign.


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Some employers offer a matching gift program that could double or even triple your donation to CCS. Also, if you or your spouse volunteer at CCS, your company may donate money to our school. Please contact your employer for eligibility requirements.

Orthodontic CARE in friendly and professional

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Cypress Christian School CONNECTION Magazine Summer 2015  
Cypress Christian School CONNECTION Magazine Summer 2015