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FLIGHT eagles soar

a publication of evangelical christian school

• fall 2012 FALL ~ FALL 2012 2012 •{1} 1}

The mission of Evangelical Christian School is to provide the Christian family a Christcentered, biblically-directed education that challenges students to know the Lord Jesus Christ and to develop the vision and practice of excellence in academics, character, leadership and service to others. {2 FLIGHT MAGAZINE {2} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar



08 | Early Childhood Education Child’s Play

10 | College Acceptances

Awards and Achievements

14 | Athletics

People are watching!


15 | Middle School

Heart of a champion

18 | For God so Loved the World


Embracing Globalization

19 | Youth in Government Outstanding Delegates

20 | Big Eagle, Little Eagle

Service given and modeled


25 | Alumni

Where are they now?

28 | Faculty and Staff

What did they do this summer?

Post Office Box 1030 • 7600 Macon Road Cordova, Tennessee • 901.754.7217

TRADITIONS FALL ~ FALL 2012 2012• {3} 3}

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Have you experienced today’s ECS?

We are a community of almost 1000 students and more than 80 teachers – an extended family – that pursues both the highest standards of academic excellence and the thorough development of mind, body, and spirit. Imagine a school that approaches every subject and every activity from a Biblical perspective – that is the difference at ECS!

Lower school students receive enrichment through field trips, speakers, hands-on experiments, and community involvement.

Evangelical Christian School combines the intimacy of a small school with the resources, programs, and curriculum of a much larger institution. Our intentional smaller size lends itself to maintaining the advantages of a family atmosphere. Our size is a major strength.

• Courses offered in upper school – 101 • Advance Placement Options – 9 2012 National Pass Average - 59% 2012 ECS Average - 84% • Average ACT Score – 26 • 25% of our students have a 4.0 – 5.0 grade average • 50% of our students have a 3.62 – 3.95 grade average • 50% of our Upper School faculty have a master’s degree or higher

The school’s commitment to small classes and the intellectual curiosity of classmates make an ECS education truly special. Here students develop skills valued in the 21st century workplace – knowledge of science, math, and English; familiarity with technology; and the ability to communicate and work well with others, particularly in a global environment.

“Our focus is providing curricula rooted in truth, therefore developing the biblical worldview, seeing all things from God’s point of view.” {6} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

College-preparatory and honors-level classes begin in the middle school, with the addition of AP and Dual Enrollment courses in the upper school.

Accreditations: SACS and SAIS Memberships: ACSI, College Board, NACAC, NASSP, SACAC, SACS, SAIS, TAIS, TSSAA

Academics Meet our teachers. Speak with our students. Tour the campus.

Experience ECS October 3 & November 27 Experience Macon (6-12) 8:30am – 10:30am

November 13

Experience Forest Hill (JK-5) 9:00am – 11:00am

Novermber 15

Experience Ridge Lake (JK-5) 9:00am – 11:00am

Why ECS? A Parent Perspective

“Prior to having children, an ECS student worked at our animal hospital. The student displayed integrity and maturity that left a lasting impression upon us.  When we visited the school, we were warmly greeted and given attention that made us feel connected to the ECS faith community.  While attending an ECS program we encountered an overall caring atmosphere. The teachers and staff showed a genuine interest in our children’s spiritual and academic development.  Over the last nine years these first impressions have been affirmed countless times.  Our children have grown, we have grown, and our faith has grown.  We are truly blessed to be a part of Evangelical Christian School.”                    Sincerely,  Cindy and Jon Romines ~ FALL 2012 {7}

Early Childhood Education The Early Childhood Education Department at Evangelical Christian School is comprised of Jr. Kindergarten and Sr. Kindergarten. ECS embraces an individualized curriculum that moves each child at his or her own pace. Our approach to learning incorporates traditional models of education while integrating technology through the use of iPads as well as computers and SMART Boards in the classrooms. As children are first learning letters and numbers, they use many different handson experiences to solidify reading and writing skills. iPads, in particular, are excellent tools for kinesthetic learning and engaging the child with bright colors, sounds, and movement. All

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students love technology and touch pads open new possibilities for the young ones to explore while practicing simple math sentences and letter sounds. Interactive learning has become somewhat of a catchphrase among independent schools. Many parents assume that technology is the core of interactivity. At ECS, it is not laptops and iPads themselves that make our classrooms places of interactive learning. It is our teachers’ intentional commitment to creating an environment in which our students engage with all their senses as they interact with what they are learning.

Child’s Play How serious are you about your child’s academic success? In a generation of “helicopter parents,” competitive soccer leagues at four years of age, academic enrichment centers, flash cards, and apps of every kind, it may surprise you to hear “Let them play!” There is nothing simple about “child’s play” in the real sense. Children were made to play! The brain gets a true workout when little ones are left to play with no technology or organization. It is through make believe that a child can see a situation from a different perspective: You be the mom this time and I’ll be the child. Playing teaches cause and effect: What happens when I run my car into a tower of blocks? A seemingly simple game of backyard baseball takes organization and negotiation. Where do the bases go? What makes a homerun a homerun? How do we balance the teams with players from five years old to nine years old? When we allow it, children

will get really good at play but we must give them opportunities to be in charge of their own time. Researchers Erika and Christopher Christakis point out, “Through play, children learn to take turns, delay gratification, negotiate conflicts, solve problems, share goals, acquire flexibility, and live with disappointment.” These are vital life skills as well as classroom skills. At ECS, we are in the business of helping students grow intellectually as well as in other important ways. Parents need to understand that the dynamic relationship between being academic and being playful is not an either/or situation. Playtime is a time of intellectual growth and stimulation. Let your children do what children were made to do, and trust the process! ~ FALL 2012 {9}

Class of 2012 College Acceptances

The Class of 2012 received 7.8 million dollars in scholarships from 42 colleges and universities in 19 states.


PRIVATE AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts American University Art Institute of Tennessee* Averett University Baptist College of Health Sciences* Baylor University* Belhaven University* Belmont University* Berea College Birmingham-Southern College* Bob Jones University Boston College Brown University* Bryan College* Bucknell University* Calvin College Carson-Newman College* Cedarville University Charleston, University of Chicago, University of Christian Brothers University* Colorado Christian University Cornell University* Cottey College Covenant College* Dartmouth College* Drexel University Duke University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Emory University

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Evansville, University of Freed-Hardeman University* Furman University George Washington University Gordon College* Harding University* High Point University* Houghton College Ithaca College* John Brown University* The King’s College Lee University* Lees-McRae College Lehigh University Liberty University* Lipscomb University* Maryville College Master’s College and Seminary Memphis College of Art* Mercer University Millsaps College* Mississippi College* New York University Oglethorpe University Oklahoma Baptist University* Oral Roberts University Ouachita Baptist University* Palm Beach Atlantic University* Pepperdine University* Presbyterian College Regent University* Rhodes College* Roanoke College Rollins College Saint Louis University Samford University* Savannah College of Art and Design Southern Methodist University* Spelman College St. John’s University-Queens Texas Christian University Tulane University

Tusculum College Union University* Vanderbilt University* Westmont College Wheaton College* Williams College Wofford College* PUBLIC Alabama-Birmingham, University of Alabama-Huntsville, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, University of* Alaska-Anchorage, University of Appalachian State University Arizona State University* Arizona, University of Arkansas State University* Arkansas, University of* Auburn University* Austin Peay State University California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Central Florida, University of The Citadel Clemson University Colorado State University* Colorado, University of Colorado School of Mines Delta State University* Denver, University of East Tennessee State University* Florida State University* Florida, University of Fort Lewis College* George Mason University Georgia Institute of Technology* Georgia, University of Henderson State University Houston, University of* Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Indiana University – Bloomington

Jacksonville State University Kent State University Kentucky, University of Louisiana State University* Memphis, University of* Miami, University of Michigan, University of Middle Tennessee State University* Mississippi State University* Mississippi, University of* Missouri-Columbia, University of Montana State University-Bozeman* Murray State University* North Alabama, University of* North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Georgia College and State University* Oregon, University of Purdue University South Carolina, University of South Florida-Tampa, University of Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia Southern California, University of* Southern Illinois University – Carbondale* Southern Mississippi, University of Southwest Tennessee Community College* Tennessee Technological University Tennessee-Chattanooga, University of* Tennessee-Knoxville, University of* Tennessee-Martin, University of* Texas A&M University* Texas, University of* United States Air Force Academy* United States Coast Guard Academy* United States Naval Academy* Virginia Military Institute Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University* West Alabama, University of Western Kentucky University* Youngstown State University* *Matriculation

Awards and Achievements Four 2012 Evangelical Christian School seniors received Letters of Commendation for their outstanding academic promise in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. This year, nearly 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Lauren Butler

Robinson Littrell

Will Scott

Tori Siano

Lower School • • • •

ACSI Creative Writing Festival – Five “Superior” and fourteen “Excellent” awards Creative Communications Poetry Contest (97 ECS students had poems published.) Lower School was given the “Poetic Achievement Award” – awarded to top 10% of schools. ACSI Geography Bee – ECS won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in every grade level.

Middle School • • • • • •

Five students placed in the Top Ten at the West TN Middle School Math contest. YMCA Youth Legislature Conference Outstanding Bill and Outstanding Delegate YMCA Model UN students won Outstanding Resolution and Outstanding Delegate. ECS placed 2nd and 3rd in the District Geography Bee in Atlanta. Eight musicians received a “1” rating on solos at the WTSBOA’s Solo/Ensemble Festival. Middle School athletics accomplishments included four Regional Championships.

7th Graders Excel on College Entrance Exam The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is an organization that seeks to identify, recognize, and challenge students with advanced intellectual and academic abilities to reach their highest potential. The 7th Grade Talent Search offers qualifying seventh grade students the opportunity to take college entrance exams alongside high school students, and many of them score exceptionally high.

This past year nine ECS seventh graders who took the ACT as part of the Duke TIP qualified for State Recognition, and three of them qualified for Grand Recognition. ~ FALL 2012 {11}

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It’s been an exciting summer around the ECS Macon campus with many of our athletic facilities having been updated and others still under construction. We can look forward to a new and improved look with the addition of synthetic AstroTurf in the stadium as well as a home-side press box. Terraced seating and a remodeled storage facility at the track and the girls’ soccer field are welcome upgrades. For the first time in ECS history, lighting has been installed on the baseball field. The Legends Field entranceway is also under construction and on schedule for its debut at our fall sports Kick Off as we host the Germantown Red Devils. ECS is looking forward to a banner year and seeing YOU on campus! ~ FALL 2012 {13}

The World is watching! ECS Head Coach Walters received these comments in a letter from, of all people, a football REFEREE! Below is an excerpt from that letter. Hey, Coach Walters, …I saw something during an ECS varsity football game, that has stuck in my mind and I can’t seem to shake it. During the 4th quarter things were obviously getting heated in the trenches when all of a sudden one of your players started yelling “Remember who we are playing for!” First one, then another, and yet another. Within 10-15 seconds, you had four or five players shouting “Remember who we are playing for!” So…thinking it must be one of their team mates that was either injured or something along those lines, I asked your center, “So who are you playing for?” Without any hesitation, he looked me straight in the eye and said “Our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST.” To say it was a surreal moment would be an understatement. It sent chills down my back and I am pretty sure the hair on my arms stood up. Wow, I thought, this is what is right about a Christian education. You, sir, and your whole coaching staff are to be commended for everything that you guys are doing in those young men’s lives, on and especially off the field of play. After 14 years on the football field as an official, that is without a doubt the most profound moment I have ever experienced. My hat goes off to all of your players for having such conviction in the Lord. It was truly my pleasure to share that moment with your players. Lastly, you know you will never get a holding call when you are up by 4 scores in the fourth quarter! hahahahaha!!!!!! Thanks again, Brad Essary Southern Athletic Fields, Inc. {14} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

Heart of a champion What is the heart of a champion, really? According to Coach John Roelofs [ECS Middle School Athletic Director], the heart of a champion looks like this: It was the second week of July last year and the middle school boys’ cross country practice had begun.  A father of two of the runners wanted to meet with me before practice.

Phillip Ginn told me about his son, Jonah, who was entering 6th grade. He told me about Jonah’s many surgeries, his heart transplant, and his dual chamber pacemaker. He told me that Jonah knows his limitations and will walk when he needs to. Phillip went on to tell me that his son is the most checked out (by doctors) student at ECS. I told this dad that I would design work-outs just for his son. With the exception of one work-out (when Jonah went down but quickly recovered), everything went fine.

that he would be well behind the pack, but I got concerned as the clock moved past 25 minutes. I began walking the course back and as I did – here came Jonah. “Are you okay?” I asked. He nodded that he was okay. I walked behind Jonah up to where I normally stood. He was met there by several ECS boys’ and girls’ cross country team members who walked/ran with him and encouraged him across the finish line. This was a practice meet and no score would be taken. It would not have mattered, however, because Jonah finished the race with the heart of a champion. As Jonah went across the bridge and up a hill toward the finish line, ECS parents and even some fans from other schools, stopped and encouraged him, cheering him on to the end of the race.

With tears in his eyes, the dad of one of my other runners The time arrived for our first meet. Phillip, Jonah, and I all turned to our middle school principal, Chuck Smith, and discussed if he should run the full two miles. Jonah said he said, “That’s why I pay tuition to have my son go to ECS.” wanted to, so we all agreed. I would be at my normal spot, cheering the boys up a steep hill. As the meet progressed, all Jonah wants to improve his time each time he races. the runners had passed by me except for one – Jonah. I knew

The Athletics Mission of ECS is to impact the student athlete, family, and community through a Christ-centered, biblicallydirected athletic program which bears the mark of integrity, pursues competitive excellence, and inspires leadership and spiritual growth. ~ FALL 2012 {15}

and the

Under the direction of Lorraine Cotten, ECS Fine Arts Department presented Beauty and the Beast to a packed house each night! From the exquisite custom made costumes to the choreography to the the lighting and sound, ECS students, faculty, and volunteers amazed the audiences. Representatives from the Orpheum’s High School Musical Awards must have agreed for the cast and crew of Beauty and the Beast were given 12 nominations for the annual Orpheum High School Musical Awards!

ECS was given the award for Outstanding Technical Achievement. {16} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

ECS Nominations Small Ensemble – Silly Girls Hair and Make-up Design Costume Design Scenic Design Artistic Element – Wolves Technical Achievement Featured Actress – Josi Ingram Featured Actor – Austin McCann Director – Lorraine Cotten Lead Actress – Bethany Beckham Overall Production ~ FALL 2012 {17}

For God By Jenny Shorten

so Loved theWorld

At ECS, we embrace the fact that we live and interact in an increasingly globalized world. We endeavor to give our learners the opportunity to reflect and share their own points of view and roles within a global interconnected society. We realize that the great danger today is that the whole debate on globalization is seen almost entirely in secular terms. The challenge for our students, therefore, is to see how we as Christians can express our concerns as Jesus did. How do we provide, therefore, the opportunity for our students to express their thoughts of a Christian Worldview in an environment that brings meaning to them? We provide opportunities for our students to participate in events such as the Tennessee YMCA Model United Nations Conference, the National Geographic Bee, and the ASCI Regional Geography Bee. The Tennessee YMCA Model United Nations Conference consists of approximately 700 delegates from schools all over Tennessee and is the culmination of months of hard work. Before the delegates even arrive at the conference, they have to submit their proposals and in-depth research about their chosen countries. The proposals and research are graded by an independent college. As an example of this research, one of our teams, representing the Dominican Republic, identified a way to help fund United Nations programs by implementing a 1% tax on all international currency trades. This bill was voted through to the General Assembly and was passed with a substantial majority. Adding to this honor, one of this team’s delegates won an “Outstanding Delegate Award.” Not only does the Model United Nations provide our students with learning opportunities, it also provides {18} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

Embracing Globalization

leadership opportunities too. This past year, we had two Security Council members. Tori Siano represented the UK and Logan Garrison represented the USA. Having two Security Council delegates was a great honor for ECS. They worked hard all weekend, solving one international crisis after another. We are delighted that Tori was elected to serve as next year’s President of the Security Council. Finally, Nicola Shorten served as an officer at the conference. In 2009, she was elected Chaplain for the 2010 year. She prayed before the entire conference on Friday and unapologetically asked God to be with every person there – to guide their thoughts and their actions. Nicola was given an officer award; and she ran for election as Vice President of the General Assembly in 2011, and by popular vote was elected to this position. Another opportunity within the context of globalization that we offer our students at ECS is a love for geography and all that it entails. A recent National Geographic survey found that only one in seven Americans between ages 18 and 24 could find Iran or Iraq on a map. While 58% knew about Afghanistan, only 17% could find it on a world map. With this in mind, we are endeavoring to bring geography back into the classroom. In the middle and lower schools, we hold geography bees and participate in the National Geographic Bee. ECS Forest Hill also hosts the Regional ACSI Geography Bee, welcoming students from all over Tennessee. International Week is something not to be missed in the lower school. Every class choses a country and studies it in its entirety. One of our fundamental concerns is how we can pray for that country. Globalization is a reality. We are actively preparing our students to interact with a global community challenging a secular worldview. What are you doing to help?

Youth in Government The Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government Program is an annual conference designed to offer high school students a hands-on experience with state government. Each year about 1600 students from across the state converge on the State Capitol, taking the places of our real government officials. Program participants serve as senators or representatives, as justices and lawyers, as department commissioners and lobbyists, or even as press corps members. ECS sent 14 delegates in 2012.

An Alumna Perspective

About 250 bills were presented in Committee. Of the eighteen bills chosen for the docket from each committee, three were proposed by ECS representatives. At the end of the conference, ECS delegates were awarded Outstanding Statesperson and Outstanding Bill. One ECS student was chosen as one of 25 delegates (out of 1400) to represent Tennessee at the National Conference held in North Carolina.

Why ECS?

“I believe the most important aspect of ECS was an atmosphere in which I could ask questions and be unafraid to fail. I attended the University of Southern California, and I was able to face the most liberal and challenging classrooms in the nation with courage, knowing that I had been fully prepared to seek the Truth. The faculty at ECS not only taught me how to think for myself within the boundaries of a Christian worldview, but they challenged me to become able to intelligently defend what I believe. Thanks to the education and support I received from the ECS family, I am confident to pursue my dreams no matter into whatever field or location they may take me. I came to this school a timid little girl, afraid to make eye contact or speak aloud, but I left this school an independent young woman, sure of herself and ready to make a difference in the world. As I prepare to take the next steps on life’s journey, I know that I will always have a firm foundation in the education and love I received at ECS. That is why ECS!”

Madeline Littrell, Class of 2007 ~ FALL 2012 {19}

Big Little Eagle Eagle ECS Seniors take steps to impact school community. “We want our Big Eagle to play football with us!” shouted a group of fifth graders when their teacher told them about “Big Eagle, Little Eagle,” a program in which ECS seniors partner with lower school students to develop unique relationships and to serve the school community. “The main purpose of ‘Big Eagle, Little Eagle’ is to impact the younger children in our school by serving them. At the same time, we set out to create a program that would allow real relationships to begin and grow. We think it’s really important for kids to see that even as you get older, serving others should be a big part of your life,” explains a senior class officer.

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How does “Big Eagle, Little Eagle” actually work? The Big Eagle group is divided into two crews, one for each lower school branch. The crews assist with events at that campus throughout the year. Within these crews, the Big Eagles have been divided so that each lower school class has the opportunity to develop a relationship with at least one senior. Each crew will lead at least two chapels for their lower school during the school year. Seniors are diligently working to leave a lasting legacy at ECS with unforgettable friendships and experiential knowledge as the fruit of their labor. 

Why ECS? An Alumna Perspective

“I know that I would not be the leader I am today had it not been for all of the times you poured into my life my junior year. If those everyday debates which wandered from the lectures about Puritans had never occurred, I would not have dealt with struggles in my life when I did. And if those awful, painful nights which resulted from your hard questions in class had been less painful, my walls would have never been broken down. I would never have taken advantage of the incredible opportunities I had at ECS. Because of my time as your student and as an ECS Eagle, I can make a tough decision confidently. Over the next four years, I choose not to just experience college, but I choose to experience God in mighty, humbling, incredible ways.� Kelsey Huggins, Class of 2011 (from a letter to ECS English teacher Alan Durham) ~ FALL 2012 {21}

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Sam Holcomb:

One “good” Egg By Alan Durham Sometimes teaching at ECS makes me feel like a little kid with his nose pressed to a giant window pane, looking out at the world on the other side of the glass in wonder. In my mind’s eye that’s me … only bigger, my nose and forehead pressed against the glass of the window of my corner room in Eagle Hall, straining to look out at the wide world and at what some of my former students are doing … in wonder. The view can be breathtaking. And just the other day I mashed my nose a little flatter against the window and looked out to see Sam Holcomb. Sam Holcomb, class of 2006, is going to sell eggs. Thousands and thousands, if everything goes well. And he is going to raise

6,000 chickens. And get water from point A to point B. And help little kids learn. And help provide jobs for their parents. And share the Gospel … in Rwanda … Africa. Not Arkansas. Not America. Africa. For the next two years. To tell the truth, I had to wipe the fog off the window pane. This proved almost too much to believe. Sam Holcomb, going to Rwanda for two years to manage a chicken farm and to work on a hydroelectric plant to supply water to these same chickens and the people in that town? Sam Holcomb, the kid with the suspect academic work ethic and impulsive personality? The guy who almost didn’t get to play in a state football championship his senior year because he…get this… barked in the face of an opposing player. Yep, like a dog. And got ejected from the game. I ~ FALL 2012 {23}

found him after the game that night behind the field-house weeping bitter tears over his ridiculous mistake. It wouldn’t be his last. I love his story because it is decidedly not the caricature some people have of the “good” little ECS student who goes off to college to study hard in yet another Christian school and become a missionary to pygmies. Sam still needs about 20 hours to graduate from Ole Miss. Listening to him talk, it was pretty obvious he came off the rails more than once in his college career. At one point he decided to join the military because he thought it would give him the discipline he needed, but couldn’t pass the physical because of allergy issues. He dropped out for a while. Went back and messed it up again. Until just a few months ago, he had settled into the idea that he would be the tour manager for his brother Drew Holcomb (2000) and his band, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. He was working with Drew, making decent money, and had decided he was going into the music business. And then, for the lack of a better

explanation, God moved, or better yet, continued to move things in the direction He had ordained from the day Sam was born into the family of Nancy and Hamp Holcomb. It was Hamp who prompted Sam to have lunch with Tom Phillips, the president of Diversified Conveyors Inc., a company that donates at least one third of its profits to charity. And it was that lunch which helped him plot this course for Rwanda.

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According to Hamp, after having lunch with Tom and his wife and hearing about the One Egg Project they were supporting, Sam came home from that meeting and for the next few days had a tough time sleeping. He couldn’t get that One Egg thing out of his mind. It was then that Hamp urged his youngest son to accept the opportunity to go to Rwanda with Tom for a tour of the projects his company supports. Within a month Sam was on a plane bound for Rwanda to tour One Egg Project sites with Tom. A week into the trip “I knew I was going to come here. There’s no way to explain it. Maybe being the youngest in the family, I’m just not used to making decisions. It didn’t feel like a decision, I just knew,” he laughs. “ I mean, man, I was talking to these interns working on their masters in engineering from Dartmouth at one of the project sites, and they keep telling me how much they would love to have this job, and all I can think in my head is ‘I already have it and I don’t even have my degree.’” He is laughing the whole time he is trying to explain the unexplainable, but that’s Sam. I have known him since he was a middle schooler, and this sort of ridiculously absurd kingdom adventure just fits him. He is just living up to his father’s defining question for deciding how his kids should pursue kingdom opportunities: “Why wouldn’t they do it?” That same question freed Drew to pursue music and Clare (1999) to be a missionary with her husband in Panama. Apparently Sam couldn’t come up with a good reason not to do it, so, he headed off to Rwanda in March to manage a chicken house for the One Egg Project. His 6,000 chicken operation will provide jobs and skill training for adults, food for children, and a product for the market place that will in turn impact others in the community. I read this and realize that Sam has indeed found a mission bigger than himself. But I also realize that his quest had its roots in Christian parents whose response to questions about their kids always ended with “… and we’re still praying for Sam.” It involved a community of believers at church and in the community. And according to Sam, it involved coaches at ECS who “let us into their lives” and modeled what it looked like to invest in people. Together this threefold cord helped bind up in his heart the need for meaningful work. Work that would last for eternity. Thanks to Sam Holcomb, the view from my window in Eagle Hall makes the world look a little wider. From it I can see all the way to Africa.

Alumni UPDATE Lifeguard for Destin and Ft. Walton Beach Safety Division before graduating at the top of his class as an EMT. He is certified as a PWC (personal watercraft) operator and uses waverunners with a rescue sled to pull victims to safety in heavy surf. He is currently serving as an Ocean Lifeguard/EMT with Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Rescue, one of the top agencies in the country.

Congratulations to the Cox sisters: Anna Cox (2008) graduated from Samford with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She currently has an internship with Servicemaster in the graphic design department. Anna is also a freelance writer for the Women’s Missionary Union magazine. Emily Cox Todd (2005) received her master’s degree in Family Nurse Practitioner (MSNFNP) and has accepted a job at LeBonheur in the Critical Care Unit. She is married to Ben Todd (2002). Steve True (1991) works in Nashville as a sales program manager and has served for five years in the TN National Guard as a medic. Sergeant True served with his unit in active combat in Iraq in 2009. Steve previously served in the U.S. Army as a medic and was awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge before being honorably discharged in 1995. Both Steve and Todd Robertson (1995) greatly miss their brother Mike True (1987), a deputy-sheriff with the Shelby County Sheriff ’s Office who tragically lost his life in 2001 due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Camille Whitsitt Taylor (2007) graduated with a BS in Psychology from Union University in 2011 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education. She and her husband, Casey, live in Lakeland, Florida. Tim O’Hara (1982) and Lauren Faquin O’Hara (1982) married in 2010 and live in Santa Rosa Beach, FL with their four children. Tim owns a custom residential construction company that specializes in resort/beach property. Lauren owns Lost in Paradise, a gift and jewelry boutique in Seagrove Beach. Lee Smith (2003) has lived in Florida since 2006 where he served as an Ocean

Hannah Sanchez (2011) attends LSU and finished her first year with a 3.9 GPA. Hannah is spent 8 weeks of this summer in China on a mission trip.

Dr. Paul Bonicelli (1982) serves as Regent University’s executive vice president and as an associate professor of Government. Prior to joining Regent, Bonicelli served as provost and professor of Government at Houston Baptist University, as Dean of Academic Affairs and chairman of the Department of Government at Patrick Henry College, and as an assistant professor of Political Science at Grove City College. His career in government includes an appointment by George W. Bush as Assistant Administrator for USAID and service as an official delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. He writes extensively for,, and gives radio and television interviews on foreign policy and politics. Congratulations to Sally Pace (1993) who is serving as President of the Junior League of Memphis Board of Directors for 2012-2013.

Andrew Parks (1998) graduated from Samford in 2002, studied at Oxford, and taught English as a Second Language in China and Thailand. He recently graduated from Fordham University with an MBA in Accounting and is finishing his Master’s in Tax. Andrew lives in New York City and currently interns at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in International Tax. Mallory Clayton Parks (2002) married Andrew Parks (1998) in 2010. Mallory moved to NYC after graduating from Auburn in 2006 and has worked at O Magazine, Country Living, and Good Housekeeping. She is now an integrated advertising account manager at Midwest Living and and has been nominated for a NYC sales executive of the year award. Congratulations to Keri Jamison (2008) on her graduation from the University of Memphis with a degree in Fashion Merchandising/Marketing and for making the Dean’s List. Keri is a buyer for Southern Couture Boutique.

Andy Short (1996) and his family recently moved to the the Los Angeles area so he could begin working for Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX. SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. With a diverse manifest of more than 40 launches to resupply the space station and deliver commercial and government satellites to orbit, SpaceX is the world’s fastest growing launch services provider. In 2012, SpaceX made history when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle to successfully attach to the International Space Station--a feat previously achieved by only four governments. ~ FALL 2012 {25}

Why ECS? An Alumnus Perspective Private schools have become increasingly popular due to growing concerns within the public school system. Memphis is no exception. While the sacrifice associated with sending our children to a private school is significant, ECS has time and time again shown that it is worth the cost. As an alumnus and a parent who wants my children to have the best of everything according to God’s will, I can list several reasons while I believe ECS is the best choice for us. It’s not the academics, although they are excellent.  It’s not the sports, even though ECS has always been competitive, if not the best.  It’s not the fine arts, even though  the  Fine Arts departments are  spectacular when it comes to every facet of music, drama, and visual arts.  It’s not even the Bible program, even though I learned so much about the Bible while attending, and I see my son learning far more than I knew at his age. The primary reason I chose ECS is because I clearly see the Christian values that we teach at home being reinforced by the administration and leadership.  Knowing that my child will be influenced daily by the teachers, assistants, administration, the board, and even those involved with serving lunch and keeping the school clean, would be of concern in many other settings.  Instead, it is a comfort to know that these adults not only love my child, but also understand why God created us and that He loves so much that He gave His only Son to die and rise again to pay the penalty of our sins is priceless. Furthermore, we know that the other children and their families share a similar value system.  It makes me feel so much more comfortable when my child wants to go visit a friend, to know that he is going to a house where Christ is put first! Tuition is a high price to us and we must forgo some things we would like to have.  However, the peace of knowing that the values I teach at home are being reinforced by loving teachers and school leadership makes the decision easy.  My wife and I hope and pray we can always send our children to ECS.   Landon Whittington, Class of 2005

2011. Lauren has lived in Nashville since graduating from Samford University in 2008 and is an account manager for Geneologie, a custom design t-shirt company.

Cher Payne Bork (1992) is the Development Coordinator of Icing Smiles, a non-profit that provides custom celebration cakes for critically ill children. She and her husband live in Lakeland with their two children. Best wishes to Lauren Steele Ivy (2004) and William Ivy who married in September, {26} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

William Parks (1996) recently spent 3 weeks in Africa and is serving as part of “The Cove” Binghampton revival in Memphis. His brother Michael Parks (2001) married Ann Clare Guest in August of this year and works in finance in Memphis. Sister Lizzy Parks (2007) lives in Knoxville and is engaged to Hunter Clay (2006). Derek Doss (1998) has his own dental practice – Doss Dental in Calera, Alabama. Derek and his wife, Margaret, have 2 children, Marley and Frank.

Derek Darmstaedter (2002) was presented his 2nd Emmy Award on March 17, 2012. He was honored at the 26th Mid-South Emmy Awards, a division of the National Academy of Television and Sciences. He is also a free lance videographer and owner of Aspect Visual, a video production company in Nashville. Derek currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, and on May 5, 2012, he married the former Rachel Douget of Alexandria, Louisiana.















ECS Alumni

Flag Football Game

September 24, 2012 Windyke Country Club Memphis, Tennessee Visit for more information. Hosted by ECS Alumni

Friday, August 17 at 7:00pm

Be the first to play on the new TURF field! Interested? Contact Karen Jamison at or 901.754.7217


for the Classes of 1982. 1992. 2002

Friday October 5, 2012 Dinner and Homecoming Football Game

Saturday October 6, 2012 Individual Class Activities

Class of 1982 contacts: Heather Harrod Perkins: Cathy Montgomery Boyd: Nancy Boyd Webb:

Mary Lyn Albritton (2009) is a history major at Belmont University and spent the spring semester studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. When she wasn’t eating haggis or trying her hand at the bagpipes, Mary Lyn explored – Edinburgh, Stirling, the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, and dozens of castles. One of her favorite memories is standing atop Doune Castle, where Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed, “taunting people a second time…”

Will Binkley (2004) received his undergraduate degree from UTK in 2008 and recently graduated cum laude from Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, MS. He is currently studying for the bar exam in Atlanta where he lives with ECS alumnus John Selph (2004). Will is engaged to be married and is an apprentice at the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.

Class of 1992 contacts: Josh Brink: Britton Wilkins:

Class of 2002 contacts: PJ Tashie: Seth Cannon:

ECS contacts: 901.754.7217 Carolyn Monfort: Karen ~ FALL 2012 {27}

FacultySummer andUpdates Staff Vita Swindell, Guidance, Technology and PACE teacher at Ridge Lake, has stayed busy each summer for 16 years as the Director of family-owned Camp Seek ‘n’ Swim. Her daughter Aynne (2008) joined the staff as Assistant Director this summer. Vita is looking forward to completing her Master of Arts in Teaching from Christian Brothers University in December. Paula Cowart, ECS Early Childhood Director, enjoyed traveling to Central Asia to visit her daughter who is in ministry teaching English. The students were thrilled when Paula arrived with a suitcase full of ECS library books!

Forest Hill librarian Tammy Umlauf joined Admissions Assistant Avery Albritton and her daughter Kathleen (2014) on a mission trip to Czech Republic in July. The three were part of a team from Grace Evangelical Church who spent a week at a mountain family camp teaching English to all ages.

Nadia Alm, Forest Hill fourth grade teacher, and her husband Steve were proud parents as their son David (2005) was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the U.S. Army Military Police. Nadia and Steve were honored to have been chosen by their son to pin the bars onto his uniform during the ceremony. After returning from a tour of the UK with 35 of the class of 2012’s best and brightest, AP European History and AP Government teacher Chris Luketic honed her craft at an AP Government and Politics workshop in Little Rock.

Jana (Advancement Coordinator) and Rusty Clayton (American History/AP American History), who also toured the UK with the group of recent ECS graduates, later hiked beautiful Mt. Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont. Rusty is also studying at Union University towards a Masters of Education degree.

In May, thirty-two year faculty veteran and former Air Force officer Dee Baker had the honor of commissioning Kip Weaver (2008) into the Air Force upon his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. On hand for the ceremony were 2008 classmates Jay Crouch, Barrett Jones, and Eric Tabor, 2009 graduates Emily Harlow and Robert Weaver, and 2011 graduate Walter Weaver. Kip is the son of our own Shawn Stanley Weaver (1978, Business Office accountant) and Kevin Weaver (1978). {28} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

Additions to the ECS Fine Arts Department Upper School Band


is an initiative to encourage ECS faculty and staff (“E”) to grow in

mind, body, and spirit (“3”) as well as to participate as a group in community service opportunities. The purpose of E3 is to assist all ECS employees by offering activities and events that develop intellect, physical health, and love for God and for each other.

ECS is delighted to welcome Band Director Stephen Womack to the Fine Arts Department. Stephen is a 1999 graduate of Delta State University with a degree in Music Education. Stephen began his teaching career by creating the DeSoto Central band program in Southaven, MS and later became Assistant Band Director for the nationally acclaimed Munford High School band. Womack later served as Band Director at Ripley High School where the program consistently received superior ratings and placed first in regional band competitions. His most recent tenure has been at Brighton High School where Womack grew the band from 72 to 192 students. Stephen and his wife, Tina Dawn, live in Tipton County and have two children, Katie-Beth and Bryant-Luke. Welcome Womack family!

Upper School Choral Music Harrison Howle has joined the ECS family as Middle School and Upper School Choir and Choral



Mr. Howle received a Bachelor of




the University of Mississippi where he studied voice under Dr. Bradley Robinson. He has performed in various opera, oratorio, and choral ensembles and has conducted groups of all sizes, from small ensembles to 100+member choirs and orchestra. Mr. Howle currently assists in conducting the Independent Presbyterian Church choir, leading worship services and rehearsals for the whole choral program. He is an active member of MENC, ACDA, and WTVMEA and is looking forward to growing the choral music program at ECS! ~ FALL 2012 {29}

1. 2. 1. Junior/Senior Powder Puff 2. 5th Grade Retreat 3. Upper School Field Day 4. 7th Grade Chicago Trip 5. Homecoming Spirit Court 6. 5th Grade Friends 7. Kindergarten Johnny Appleseed Day 8. Sr. K Clown Parade 9. Donuts with Dad 10. Senior Retreat 11. Fall Fest 12. Senior Car Decorations 13. Lower School Field Day 14. Pilgrims and Indians Performance


5. 6.

{30 FLIGHT MAGAZINE {30} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar






11. 12.


14. FALL ~ FALL 2012 2012• {31} 31}

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