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FLIGHT eagles soar

a publication of evangelical christian school

• summer 2013

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.


4 08 | No Place Like Home But the World Beckons

10 | Reaping the Benefits Experiential Learning

14 | College Acceptances

Awards and Achievements

17 | Honoring Legends

Best of Preps, Hall of Honor

18 | Winning People Forever

20 | ENCORE!



An Evening of the Arts

24 | Being the Hands and Feet to the Least of These

28 | Celebrating 10 Years E. Brady Bartusch Award

32 | Alumni Events

Mark Your Calendars!

33 | Faculty & Staff E3 Events

Post Office Box 1030 • 7600 Macon Road Cordova, Tennessee 38088 • 901.754.7217







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A Biblical perspective every subject, every day

From Junior Kindergarten, when the seeds

of learning are first sown, to graduation when our students are scattered all over the world, those at ECS are infused with a love of learning. Ideally, school is not just a building where a child spends several hours a week; it is a place he or she looks forward to going every day! Students who think of learning as an adventure to last a lifetime will not just succeed academically; they will soar as eagles!

Imagine a school that approaches every subject and every activity from a Biblical perspective – that is the difference at ECS. Our school’s commitment to small classes and the intellectual curiosity of classmates makes an ECS education truly special. We provide a unique atmosphere that encourages sharing ideas and beliefs, allowing students to develop a passion for learning while forming strong bonds with both teachers and peers.

Christian Worldview is the perspective from which we teach everything, giving our students a foundation rooted in Truth.

Accreditations: SACS and SAIS

Average ACT: 26

Memberships: TSSAA, TAIS, College Board, ACSI, NACAC, NASSP, SACAC

Twenty-five percent of our graduates have a 4.0 – 5.0 GPA.

ECS offer 24 Honors and AP courses in the areas of math, science, English, foreign language, history, and fine arts.

Fifty percent of our graduates have a 3.62 – 3.95 GPA.

National AP Pass Average: 59% ECS AP Pass Average: 84%

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Sixty-one percent of our faculty holds a Master’s degree or higher.

Why ECS? I remember

Jason (‘98), Stacey (‘98), Tucker and Collier White

Meet our teachers. Speak with our students. Tour our campuses.

Experience ECS 2013-2014 October Oct 2 - Macon (6-12) Oct 17 - Forest Hill (JK-5) Oct 22 - Ridge Lake (JK-5)

November Nov 8 - Macon (6-12) Nov 13 - Forest Hill (JK-5) Nov 20 - Ridge Lake (JK-5)

December Dec 6 - Macon (6-12)

January Jan 15 - Macon (6-12) Jan 22 - Ridge Lake (JK-5) Jan 23 - Forest Hill (JK-5) Call 901.754.7217 or visit

clearly our first Meet the Teacher night at ECS, the week our son would be starting school. As I sat in a tiny, plastic, student chair in front of junior kindergarten teacher Robyn Clay, she prayed, “Dear Father, I thank you for each of these new students and their families. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your plan for their lives. I pray that you use me to show them you.” I knew, right then, that we had made the right decision. You see, ECS has always been our home. Jason and I graduated in 1998. I was a member of softball teams and yearbook staffs, and my mother taught ECS students for over 25 years. Jason played on two state championship baseball teams and is the son of a past ECS Board member. ECS is where our memories were made, where we became who we are. ECS nurtured us, mind, spirit, body. But, as parents of a then four year old son and a one year old daughter, we needed to make a decision that would be best for them. In the months approaching our son’s junior kindergarten year, Jason and I toured practically every private school in the Memphis area, praying that God would give us a clear answer. As an educator myself, this task was extremely important to me. As we walked each campus and spoke to each admissions representative, we learned that most of the schools offered quality things – up to date athletic facilities, top of the line science labs, and happy, smiling faces. However, none of these schools targeted what was most important to us – the hearts of our children – and none had more to offer than ECS. Along with all of the material amenities, ECS provided an atmosphere that nurtured the souls of its students and was proactive in the advancement of God’s kingdom. Feeling we had thoroughly done our research, we knew the answer that had really been there all along. ECS was the right choice for our family. That brings us back to those tiny, plastic chairs on that Meet the Teacher night. Hearing Mrs. Clay’s prayer was an answer to my own. My heart and mind were settled knowing that my son would be taught by a teacher who loved God so much that His love poured out of her. I could see His love in her smile and hear it in her voice. As that year unfolded, it was crystal clear to us that ECS was, in fact, home. That was five years ago and our love for ECS has only grown since. Each teacher has poured herself into our children and loved them like they were her own. These ladies have taught our children the gospel right alongside three digit subtraction and animal life cycles, nurturing their hearts as much as they have their minds. Since we began in 1985, Jason and I have experienced five ECS locations. I was an elementary student at North, and Jason attended East; then both of us were at Macon for grades 7-12. Our son began at Fisherville, and now we are loving Forest Hill. That is a lot of change; but the amazing truth is that no matter the geographical location, ECS remains grounded in providing a Christ-centered, Biblically-directed education. So, why ECS? Simple - the mission of ECS has remained. The people, focus, and spirit of ECS have always provided the feeling of home. ~ Stacey Williams White, ECS Class of 1998 SUMMER 2013 {7}

No Place Like Home

But the World Beckons By Laurel Jones Childs Reprinted with Permission

The following article was written by our very own Laurel Childs while teaching Jr. Kindergarten at Ridge Lake. She now resides in heaven, but her view is still so true! I have taught in the field of early childhood education in public and private schools for 26 years and was shocked to read Emily Ford’s column “Pre-K Is Not the Best Answer for All.” I applaud Tennessee efforts to put the focus on education where it begins – in the early years. Ford wrote that she fears making Pre-K classes available to all children, regardless of need, would raise unfair expectations about what 4 year olds are expected to learn. But we are not in Kansas anymore. Educational standards have already been raised!

Laurel Childs

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With the explosion of the computer/information age, abilities and expectations have soared faster than the tornado that snatched Dorothy up from the security of her farmhouse. Young children today live in a new world where critical thinking skills, processing and comprehension of the task at hand can be done for them with a touch of a button. Ask any teacher who has taught more than 10 years…they will tell you that the standards have been raised, but not by any “misguided expectations of the teacher.” Through technology the world has become smaller and our classrooms have lost their walls. Do you wonder why Barney does not appeal to 4 and 5 year olds anymore? Because they have the experiences and cognitive abilities to realize that

Any quality pre-kindergarten classroom is a happy, busy, action packed place with learning and play opportunities around every corner.

Building Blocks purple dinosaurs like Barney did not exist, and then go on to tell you the names and food preferences of real life dinosaurs! When my generation was in elementary school, we learned to read in first grade, and began to “read to learn” in second or third grade. Today, 5 year olds in kindergarten learn what was once taught in first grade and pre-K classes at what was once kindergarten level. And the kids can’t learn it fast enough. They are sponges, wanting to know more, learn more, experience more. How sad it would be not to offer the opportunities of pre-kindergarten to all children regardless of financial need. I agree that 4 year olds are very young; their fine and gross motor skills are still works in progress and their social skills are just beginning to emerge. That is why time spent in pre-kindergarten should be a precious time and not a pressure time. As Ford correctly noted in her column, normal behavior for 4 and 5 year olds includes being talkative and energetic, which is why any quality pre-kindergarten classroom is a happy, busy, action packed place with learning and play opportunities around every

corner. In pre-kindergarten, a child and parent should expect to find loving and supportive teachers who encourage language and word knowledge, and who guide and direct activities to expose children to the letters, numbers, listening, and pre-reading skills that will make them confident learners as they enter the world of kindergarten. In pre-kindergarten, children are not just keeping busy by building with blocks and playing –they are learning the processing and mathematical skills needed to solve problems, the social skills needed to live peacefully together, and the language skills and letter skills needed to communicate clearly in this world around them. For many of us, there truly is no place like home. But I believe that pre-kindergarten should never be viewed as a threat to childhood, but as a place where children can still be children while they learn about rainbows, lollipops, and scarecrows. And they know that someone is at home waiting to hear about their day!

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Reaping the benefits of

Experiential Learning By Jenny Shorten


the heart of all learning is the way we process experiences, especially our critical reflections on our experiences. Aristotle once said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” This year, we have had the opportunity to engage our students in critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them. Sixth graders studied The Age of Exploration in Mr. Webb’s class and were delighted when he said that they would learn about the Columbian Exchange in a unique way. The Columbian Exchange, also known as the Grand Exchange, was a dramatically widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations (including slaves), communicable diseases, and ideas between the

American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following the voyage to the Americas by Christopher Columbus. During this time, exciting new food was introduced to different parts of the world - sugar, tea, and coffee came from the Eastern Hemisphere to the West and tobacco, potatoes, and chocolate came from the West to the East. Before 1492, there were no tomatoes in Italy, no pineapples in Hawaii, no potatoes in Ireland, no oranges in Florida, and no cattle in Texas. What better way to celebrate this amazing exchange than to indulge in a day of chocolate. That’s right....chocolate. Mmmmmm! A very special and important committee of sixth grade moms called “the Chocolate Chicks” was formed. They chose an M&M theme and planned all the yummy decorations around a giant M&M. Sixth grade parents donated chocolate SUMMER 2013 {11}

cakes, chocolate fudge, chocolate pretzels, chocolate cupcakes and more. A giant chocolate fountain oozed thick creamy chocolate, and chocolate milk was plentiful. The sixth grade students indulged in this decadent feast and then invited the seventh and eighth graders to share in the fun. As they sampled chocolate in every size and form, Mr. Webb showed a video on chocolate through the ages and its importance in history. If fun is a powerful

aspect of effective learning, this lesson was extremely effective! Model United Nations is a popular experiential learning experience in both upper and middle schools. Model UN is a program sponsored by the YMCA with the goal of furthering understanding about the United Nations, educating participants about world issues, and promoting peace and the work of the United Nations through cooperation and diplomacy. The value of the Model UN experience for our students is based on the benefits they gain from participation. Many different kinds of talents can be developed from involvement in Model UN such as teamwork, expository and persuasive writing, debating, and negotiation – skills that are important for personal development and future success. What our students really love about Model UN is that they get to simulate member states representation in the bodies of the United Nations. Simulations include several of the six committees of the General Assembly. These committees each specialize in a different topic for debates. Students are also able to simulate the Security Council and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). {12} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

This whole experience affords students an understanding of how the process of international debate and negotiation (diplomacy) functions. This is especially important now in the post-Cold War period when the world is quickly becoming more interdependent. In this interdependent world, Model UN makes for informed global citizens who not only understand the decisions our nation makes but also how those changes affect politics nationally, regionally, and globally. This year, many will remember ECS because of two controversial proposals that kept the Security Council and Secretariat arguing for hours. The Russian Federation, with ECS delegates Joshua Tonkel, Fisher Smith, and Kaje Odiorne, offered to enrich Iran’s uranium in order to prevent using the uranium for nuclear weapons. Naturally, there was an outcry, followed by heated debate. This is exactly what our students hoped for, and they were delighted when they were sent to the Security Council and Secretariat. Unfortunately, the student world is not ready to trust Russia and the proposal was not passed, but the delegates all won Outstanding Proposal Awards. The YMCA Youth in Government program offers

similar benefits for our students, but also helps to create the next generation of good citizens. Participation in YIG demystifies local, state and national governmental systems so our students will know how to effect change within these systems. Hopefully, it expands their horizons so they will understand their role within a global society. As part of Youth in Government, student legislators write and debate bills, attorneys try and appeal cases, and reporters publish a newspaper and create a nightly newscast. These experiences provide intensive,

We strongly believe that leadership is developed by doing. This year our upper school students provided leadership for our middle school Youth in Government program with tremendous success. Sixty middle schoolers participated, which was the largest number of students from any school in Memphis. Logan Garrison, President of the Government Club at ECS, together with upper schoolers Kaje Odiorne, Fisher Smith, Andrew Shorten, and Ian Romines, worked with all the middle school students, perfecting their bills and teaching them the art of debate. At the Middle School Conference, six of the fourteen bills put on the docket were from ECS and they all passed in the General Assembly. For lower school PACE students, JA BizTown was a most beneficial experiential learning event. Elementary school students are not old enough to drive, work, vote, or be the boss; but that did not stop them from operating banks, managing restaurants, writing checks, and voting for mayor at JA BizTown. This unique program offered by Junior Achievement

Hands-on Insight hands-on insight into the mechanisms and subtleties of the state government process. Thirteen of our students, together with about seven hundred other students from all over Tennessee, converged on the State Capitol in April to take the places of our real government officials. Five of our students were officers: Logan Garrison – Chief of Staff, Ian Romines – Chief Engrossing Clerk, Andrew Shorten – Sergeant at Arms of the Red House, Hannah Haley – Floor Leader of the Red House, and Sheridan Berry - Sergeant at Arms of the Red Senate. Fisher Smith was Commissioner of Homeland Security and the rest of the students were senators, representatives, and press corps members. About 270 bills were presented in Committee and all six ECS bills were placed on the docket. Three students were nominated to represent Tennessee at the Conference on National Affairs – Logan Garrison, Hannah Haley, and Sheridan Berry. Only twenty five representatives from all fifty states are sent to this conference held in North Carolina in the summer.

of Memphis enabled them to combine in-class learning with a day-long visit to a fully interactive simulated town facility. Students loved to run businesses, pay taxes, and vote for mayor. It enabled them to experience what adults do every day and gave them a greater understanding of how an economy works. The most popular place to work turned out to be Chick-fil-A even though the job required vigorous cleaning of all the tables and keeping the area spotless. This hands-on experience taught students more than they would ever learn from a book, and it generated excitement for careers in the future. Finally, through the experiential learning process, our students have actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, expressing curiosity, solving problems, and assuming responsibility. Confucius said,

I HEAR AND I FORGET. I SEE AND I REMEMBER. I DO AND I UNDERSTAND. We look forward to another year of experiential learning in 2013-2014! SUMMER 2013 {13}

Class of 2013 College Acceptances

The Class of 2013 received 8.8 million dollars in scholarships from 49 colleges and universities in 17 states.

COLLEGES ACCEPTANCES & MATRICULATION FOR CLASSES OF 2009-2013 Alabama-Birmingham, University of Alabama-Huntsville, University of* Alabama State University Alabama-Tuscaloosa, University of* Alaska-Anchorage, University of AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts American University Appalachian State University Arizona State University* Arizona, University of Arkansas State University Arkansas, University of* Art Institute of Tennessee* Auburn University Austin College Austin Peay State University Baptist College of Health Sciences* Baylor University* Belhaven University* Belmont University* Berea College Berry College Birmingham-Southern College* Bob Jones University Boise State University* Boston College Brown University* Bucknell University* Butler University California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego, University of California – Santa Barbara, University of Calvin College

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Carson-Newman College* Cedarville University Central Florida, University of Charleston, University of Chicago, University of Christian Brothers University* The Citadel Clemson University Colorado-Boulder, University of Colorado Christian University Colorado State University* Cornell University* Cottey College Covenant College* Creighton University Dartmouth College* Delta State University* Denver, University of DePaul University Drexel University Duke University East Tennessee State University* Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Emory University Evansville, University of Florida Gulf Coast University Florida Institute of Technology Florida Southern College Florida State University* Florida, University of Freed-Hardeman University* Furman University George Washington University Georgia Institute of Technology* Georgia, University of Gordon College* Harding University* High Point University* Houston, University of* Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, University of Illinois College Indiana University – Bloomington James Madison University John Brown University

Johnson and Wales University Kentucky, University of Lee University* Lehigh University Liberty University* Lipscomb University* Louisiana State University* Maryville College Master’s College and Seminary Memphis College of Art* Memphis, University of* Mercer University Miami, University of Michigan, University of Middle Tennessee State University* Millsaps College Mississippi College* Mississippi State University* Mississippi, University of* Missouri-Columbia, University of Mobile, University of* Montana State University* Murray State University* New York University North Alabama, University of* North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Florida, University of North Georgia College and State University* Oglethorpe University Oklahoma Baptist University* Oral Roberts University Oregon, University of Ouachita Baptist University* Palm Beach Atlantic University* Pellissippi State Technical Community College* Pepperdine University* Presbyterian College Purdue University Regent University* Rhodes College* Roanoke College Rollins College* Saint Louis University Samford University*

Savannah College of Art and Design Sewanee: The University of the South South Alabama, University of South Carolina, University of South Florida-Tampa, University of Southeast Missouri State University* Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia Southern Methodist University Southern Mississippi, University of Southwest Tennessee Community College* Southwestern University Spelman College Spring Hill College St. John’s University – Queens Tennessee Technological University Tennessee-Chattanooga, University of* Tennessee-Knoxville, University of* Tennessee-Martin, University of* Texas A&M University* Texas Christian University Texas-Austin, University of* Texas-El Paso, University of Trevecca Nazarene University* Tulane University Tusculum College Union University* United States Naval Academy* Vanderbilt University* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University* Wake Forest University* West Alabama, University of West Florida, University of Western Kentucky University* Westmont College Wheaton College* Williams College Wofford College* Xavier University Youngstown State University* *Matriculation

ECS Honors our

Top Graduates of 2013

By Genetta Adair

At Evangelical Christian School’s tenth annual Top Scholars Banquet, ten seniors and their parents attended a ceremony to honor them as the top ten percent of the graduating class of 2013. ECS invited them to The Crescent Club to recognize their outstanding academic work and to award one student with the E. Brady Bartusch Scholarship/Leadership Award. The top ten percent of the 2013 ECS graduating class includes Mary Kate Anderson, Allison Boyd, Parker Cassady, David DeMaio, Katherine Dunaway, Anna Espy, Walker Jones, Caroline Norrid, Anna Rodell, and Patrick Snipes. Top Scholars are members of various academics organizations including the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta and have received multiple scholarship offers. They can be found serving on Student Council and SLI as well as on the field, in the band, on stage and in the community. The E. Brady Bartusch Scholarship/Leadership Award was established in memory of the chairman of the board from 1975 to 1981. His leadership skills propelled the school forward at a critical time for ECS. Because he guided the school with a vision for academic excellence, each student awarded this scholarship must be considered an embodiment of Bartusch’s vision when he was chairman of the board. (See page 28.) Anna Rodell was selected to receive the E. Brady Bartusch Scholarship/Leadership Award this year. The award was

presented at the banquet by Scott Bartusch (ECS class of 1980), who is the son of the late E. Brady Bartusch. “I’m so honored to be selected by my teachers to receive this award, and it was a privilege and delight to meet Mrs. Bartusch and her sons at the dinner,” Rodell said. She has attended ECS since kindergarten and plans to continue her studies at Rhodes College with a double major in Spanish and Biology. In addition to earning the distinction of being named Valedictorian of the Class of 2013, Rodell also received recognition as National Merit Finalist. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, Spanish Club, Servant Leadership Institute where she served as president during her senior year and project coordinator her junior year, and the Bio-Life Club, serving as president her junior year. Rodell has been actively involved with the ECS Drama Department and offered her choreography skills for stage productions. She has volunteered with the Mid-South Food Bank, assisted with choreography for the children’s choir at her church, and shares her love of learning by tutoring weekly at Multi-National Ministries. “God has blessed me so much through ECS,” Rodell said, “and the Bartusch award is just another example of His generosity.”

Anna Rodell receives the E. Brady Bartusch Scholarship/Leadership Award for the ECS graduating class of 2013. The ECS Top 10% of the 2013 Graduating Class: Left to Right –Front Row: Mary Kate Anderson, Allison Boyd, Katherine Dunaway, Anna Espy, Caroline Norrid. Back Row: Anna Rodell, Parker Cassady, Walker Jones, David DeMaio, Patrick Snipes

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Other reconginitions for the 2012-2013 sports season included: Football: Tennessee Titan Mr. Football Finalist: Brent Rooker (Back of the Year) & Walker Jones (Lineman of the Year)

Boys Golf - Division II-A State Champions

Football - Division II-A State Runner-up

Best of Preps: Brent Rooker (Sr) Walker Jones (Sr) Alex Armfield (Sr) Grayson McComb (Sr) Trace Williams (Sr) Cole Heotis (Jr) McKenzie Hill (Jr) Girls Soccer: Best of Preps: Caroline Norrid (Sr) Kate Jamison (Jr) Caroline Jamison (Jr)

Girls Track: Kate Jamison wins Division II West Region Pentathlon; Zairia Brown sets new school record in 100m dash.

Volleyball: Best of the Preps: Brandi Armfield (Sr) Taylor Anderton (Soph)

Cross Check Football - 6th Grade Champions

Boys Golf: Carter Billingsley second overall Best of Preps: Carter Billingsley (Sr) Conner McLeod (Sr) Richard Hoffsommer (Sr) Ben Pearson (Jr) Preston Bryant – Coach of the Year

MS Girls Track - Jordan Ricketts sets new school record in 800 meter run. Molly Martin sets new school record in Shot Put, Discus, and ties record in High Jump. Team gets runner up by one point in Shelby League Championship.

Baseball - Division II-A State Champions

Carter Billingsley was named as finalist for overall winner of boys golfer of the year (Best of Preps) Boys Basketball: TSWA All-State Basketball team: Skal Labissiere (Division II) TSSAA Mr. Basketball Finalist: Skal Labissiere Best of Preps: Skal Labissiere, Kip Owens

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Girls Basketball: Best of Preps : Avery Sippel

ECS Fan Quiz True sports fans relish their ability to reel off stats and trivia. No doubt, that same type of avid fan can be found in our own ECS community. Hopefully, this Fan Quiz will help you confirm your grasp of all things athletics at ECS or better equip you for bragging rights down the road. The quiz centers around two longstanding traditions. The first comes from the 44 years of The Commercial Appeal Best of Prep awards, and the second is athletics traditions within our ECS community over the past 48 years. Let the challenge begin!

The Best of Preps Challenge: 1. ECS won the Best of Preps team championship in the Small Private Division this year. How many times has ECS won the award? In how many divisions? 2. Brent Rooker won the Best of Preps Male Athlete of the Year. He joins how many other Eagle winners, both male and female, from the past? 3. Preston Bryant was honored as Coach of the Year for leading the golf team to their second consecutive state title and 3rd in four years. Who is the only other ECS coach to win Coach of the Year twice? 4. Who are the only brothers in ECS history to

win the Male Scholar-Athlete award? BONUS QUESTION: Who are the only ECS cousins to win the Female Scholar-Athlete award? 5. Chase Clack won the individual sports award for soccer. Name all of the individual sports for boys and girls in which ECS has had an individual winner. HINT: There are six. 6. Name the young lady who was nominated from ECS for Female Scholar-Athlete as well as the name of her dad who is director for the Best of Preps program at The Commercial Appeal.

The ECS Challenge: 1. Who was the first football coach in ECS history, what year did he start the program, and where was the locker room for the first team? 2. The Legacy Center was built in what year to expand our growing boys and girls basketball program which had outgrown the current MS gym? Where did Eagles boys and girls basketball play prior to the MS gym? BONUS QUESTION: Where did the boys basketball team dress out before games in the

years before the current MS gym was built? 3. How many state championships by sport did legendary Coach and Athletic Director Jim Heinz win during his 28 years at ECS? 4. This past year, who were the recipients of the Coach Heinz award recognizing athletic excellence for guys and girls? 5. When was the Hebrews 11 Hall of Honor established and who were the first recipients?

Hopefully, you were challenged and encouraged by this reminder of the rich history of competitive excellence that has always been a part of ECS. Perhaps no area of school life provides a greater opportunity for living out our mission. The testimony of our fans, coaches, and student-athletes before, during, and after games, at home or on the road, and in victory or defeat truly shows if we are living out a Christ-centered, biblicallydirected athletic program. Prayerfully, traditions, past and future, will continue to further the mission of athletics at ECS! Turn to page 31 for answers to the ECS Fan Quiz. SUMMER 2013 {17}

Winning People By Alan Durham


Our former Headmaster Mr. Steve Collums for as long as I can remember referred to athletics at Evangelical Christian School as “co-curricular.” I always had the picture in my head that he meant for athletics at ECS to “run alongside” of academics in an effort to aid, enhance, and complete its mission beyond the classroom setting. Never in all my years at this school did it occur to me that winning should trump the lessons and relationships that come through the daily strivings of practice. Winning alone, even winning them all, cannot be co-curricular. In 1999, as the last seconds rolled off the clock securing a 13-0 state championship win, I stepped across the white sideline and onto a field of wild, jubilant mayhem. Players, coaches, and fans swarmed the field high-fiving, hugging, shouting, cheering, crying …displaying every possible emotion in the immediate aftermath of that victory. That kind of scene floats in the dreams of every high school player. It had floated in mine as a coach. We all came to know it as the “The Dream Season.” And that day, dreams became reality on the turf of Vanderbilt Stadium. Yet, twenty minutes into the celebration, I distinctly remember asking myself, “Is this it?” The power of the moment had fled almost as rapidly as it had burst out at the expiration of the clock. Glory proved fleeting and it would only pause for a very short while before it dashed on leaving behind the sobering recognition that we would have to do it all again the next year if we wanted this feeling. {18} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

Fast forward to 2013. Once again I found myself treading the turf of Vanderbilt Stadium, only this time our team would not be playing there for a championship. We were walking through … practicing. We were on our way to another stadium and yet another state championship game. The tunnel, the turf, the stadium ambushed me. I found myself walking alone on the same sideline I had walked 14 years earlier but now with tears streaming down my face. I sat on a bench and wept. I wept because the game of football had revealed the character of those young men to me and I missed them. I loved them. I loved the process of coaching those boys and watching them grow into men. Frankly, that is what we do in athletics at Evangelical Christian School. We love the process. Winning just does not last long enough. Winning is just window dressing for the process called coaching. Our Athletic Director Geoff Walters seems cagey to some people when they ask him about the prospects of our teams and he replies, “I’ll tell ya in about 15 years.” What he means is that the success of our athletic program has nothing to do with wins and losses but has everything to do with the process of helping young people live lives of integrity and influence for Christ. A recent conversation with Bill Edwards (2000), member of that 1999 Dream Season, confirmed yet again the long lasting

power of an athletic program committed to the process of growing young men and women of integrity. “We had a group of godly men who invested in us not only as athletes but in life! The coaches at ECS spoke truth into our lives and modeled for us what it means to be a godly man, husband, father, etc.” Bill went on to say, “The influence that the coaches had in my life and many others is absolutely priceless, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of that community. You just don’t find that same commitment at the next levels.” Having played D-1 college baseball and spent a good deal of time in the minor leagues, he has encountered plenty of coaches. Kelsey Huggins (2011) explains that the chief lesson of her ECS athletic career centered on grace. “The most valuable lesson I learned was one about grace. Our coaches not only taught us the skills and strategies to succeed on the field, but they showed us how to play with humility and walk away from a game with dignity. Looking back, I don’t remember the games we lost or the good plays I made. Instead, when I look back on my recent days as an ECS athlete, I remember the grace and love my coaches and teammates showed me.” Kelsey has gone on to share those lessons of grace while working in Africa and Guatemala over the past year.

himself in the lives of young boys and keeping the process that began at ECS going. Countless other examples of the impact of the ECS athletic program live on in the likes of Barrett Jones and Morgan Cox, but theirs is a big stage. Many more former ECS athletes play on smaller stages all over the world. Some of them are PE teachers, restaurateurs, preachers, missionaries, soldiers, cadets, moms and dads. Some sell stocks and bonds and some of them raise chickens in Africa. What they do does not matter so much as why they do. And the why comes from an understanding that all of life is practice for eternal life. And practice matters. I think the tears that clouded my vision last fall at Vanderbilt served as a fitting prism to see clearly once again that we are about something infinitely more important than a winning season. We are about winning people. Forever.

Early in May, Palmer Albertine (2000) delivered the chapel message centered on his relationship with his best friend and teammate from that 1999 team. Palmer’s passionate retelling of Brandon Fitzhugh’s (2000) tragic death was a powerful example of the same grace that Kelsey mentioned. His love for Brandon, whose life was spiraling out of control, was forged on the athletic fields of ECS and in an environment where Palmer was certain that “…their [coaches] real concern wasn’t about winning games, but about winning the eternal game.” That eternal perspective finds Palmer as an elementary PE teacher and coach at Presbyterian Day School where he is now investing

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ENCORE! featuring lower, middle and upper school students

In 2011 a Fine Arts Task Force made up of principals, teachers, parents, and students developed a vision and a plan to promote the arts at ECS. According to middle school principal, Chuck Smith, the excellence of the Fine Arts program at ECS had become a well-kept secret and the task force believed it was time to bring it to the forefront. A concept began to emerge that afforded opportunity for all the various arts at each of the three ECS campuses to be displayed in one grand event. After months of planning, Encore finally came to life. Upper School Fine Arts Department Chair, David Butler, art teacher and ECS alumnus, remarked that Encore was a first at ECS in its inclusion of K-12 students as well as all areas of the arts. He also commented that the fine arts teachers from the three campuses have never had occasion to plan and develop a project together. Watching the general idea for the event become reality as the details grew from input from lower, middle, and upper school teachers was amazing. Even though it was the first time the group had worked together and each had to prepare a part of the program separately, the teachers fed off each other’s ideas resulting in a production that was certainly bigger than the sum of its parts. The other fine arts faculty members at Macon include Harrison Howle (MS/US choir), Stephen Womack (MS/US band), Lorraine Cotten (US drama), René Cave (MS drama), and Lisa Field (MS art). The Forest Hill teachers

are Paula Threlkeld (music) and Anne Smith (art). Maria Thomas (music) and Natalie Alessi (art) teach at Ridge Lake. In addition to the hard work and creativity of the fine arts teachers, David observed that art students (and their parents!) were excited to see a format in which they would be recognized and celebrated. He sensed in their preparation that everyone involved was optimistic that this new event would turn out well, and that excitement was evident in the result. Highlights of the evening included live demonstrations by artists as they painted and created works on the pottery wheel. Excerpts from Willy Wonka, Jr., Anne of Green Gables, and The Wizard of Oz were performed. Music was presented by the lower school Go Choir as well as upper school choir members, and the band played several pieces from The Phantom of the Opera. It was a definitely a variety show of talent with acts seamlessly moving on and off “center stage” in the middle of the Legacy Center gym floor. Response and feedback regarding Encore have been overwhelmingly positive. Organizers, participants, and attendees alike agree that it truly exceeded expectations. As a first-time effort, Encore proved to be unifying for those within the Fine Arts department, for artists from kindergarten through upper school, and for parents and guests. Many were astounded at the depth and breadth of talent displayed, and the reaction from all can be summed up in one word: ENCORE!! SUMMER 2013 {21}

Fine Arts

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Art is born when the temporary touches the eternal. G.K. Chesterton

SUMMER 2013 {23}

{24} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

Being the

Hands and Feet Lower School Service

Middle School Service

Fifth Graders Serve Throughout Memphis

Empty Bowls Project

Fifth grade students from ECS Ridge Lake stepped out of the classroom to help provide service to others. The students partnered with other fifth graders from New Hope Christian Academy to rake leaves at For the Kingdom Camp in the Raleigh area. From there, Ridge Lake students traveled toward downtown Memphis to the Neighborhood Christian Center. At the center, students were given the task of creating jewelry that will be sold to raise money to help feed over 10,000 Memphis area residents during the holiday season.

The 8th grade middle school studio art class had the opportunity to participate in the Memphis Empty Bowls Project this fall. Students made and decorated clay bowls to donate to this project to help raise money to fight hunger in our community.  People in the community bought tickets to a delicious dinner and took home one of the donated bowls as a reminder of the empty bowls every day in the Memphis area.   Each bowl donated raised money to provide up to 30 meals.  This is a national project that began in 1990 to help support local food drives in communities to fight hunger. SUMMER 2013 {25}

Upper School Service Work at New Hope’s Urban Farm Urban farm? This apparently contradictory phrase accurately describes the effort at Memphis’ New Hope Christian Academy.  New Hope is an urban Christian JK-6th grade school that is deeply involved in the surrounding community. One vision the school is pursuing is to develop an urban farm and nature area. The long-term goal is to provide all the fresh produce needed for their cafeteria as the students are learning the necessary skills required to tend and sustain the farm.

it as more than simply a “service project.” As sponsor of the Servant Leadership Institute, Noah emphasizes that service is not something a Christian does; it is part of the Christian’s lifestyle. STREETS Ministry Every Friday afternoon, thirty or more SLI students hit the streets….Streets ministry,

ECS has had a long relationship with New Hope. Many of their graduates come to ECS in seventh grade. Recently, a group of six ECS football players, accompanied by upper school teacher Noah Brink, spent some time working at New Hope’s developing farm. Noah Brink commented that the urban farm provides a great opportunity for ECS guys, especially athletes, to contribute time and effort. Frequently athletes are unavailable to participate in afterschool service due to practices and games. He hopes to see groups of students take ownership of their involvement with New Hope’s farm, and view

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that is! Servant Leadership Institute members, accompanied by Spanish teacher Dawn Shute, spend about 1½ hours each week with elementary-aged kids at Streets. When they first arrive, the ECS students play with the children in a large group. They then divide them into groups by grade and gender, and several SLI members go with each. During group time, they dance,

sing, prepare skits, and read Bible stories. The groups compete with each other to win candy. All the activities are designed to promote and deepen relationships between the SLI students and the Streets children. According to their website, Streets is a Christian ministry committed to serving the youth of Memphis. Streets has been serving the students of the 38126 zip code—the third poorest in the nation—since 1987, and more recently, the ministry has expanded to the Graham Heights community. In these neighborhoods there is easy access to drugs, high rates of teen pregnancies, an overwhelming high school drop-out rate, and very little relational and family stability. Streets provides a safe haven for students after school, a staff who loves the students unconditionally, and programming to meet specific needs of students. These programs aim to instill a sense of confidence, empowerment, and belonging in some of Memphis’ toughest neighborhoods.

to the least of these

SUMMER 2013 {27}

10 years celebrating

e. brady bartusch award I have many fond memories of firm. To ballets, bars, galleries, Thursday night Bible Club at Mrs. and restaurants. To wonderful, strong Christian communities. Moore’s house.

Douglas Williams (‘05) Economist at The Jerome Levy Forecasting Center (New York, NY)

What advice would you give to future recipients? Live intentionally in all things–or, said another way, take every thought captive. This phrase means more to me each and every day. Our time is limited on this earth, and God has created it for us to enjoy and glorify Him. Waste nothing. Read the Bible more than you read Facebook. Exercise more than you watch TV. Eat good food more than you eat bad food. Wake up early. Introduce people. Reach out to the marginalized.

Where has life taken you since graduating? To Mississippi for undergraduate. To France and Spain in between undergraduate and graduate work to walk a 1,000 mile Catholic pilgrimage. To Vancouver, Canada for graduate school. To Whistler during graduate school, where I enjoyed the best snow season in recorded history. To New York City for work at an economic forecasting

What is your favorite ECS memory? My favorite memory was working with all of my best friends to put on Fall Fest during the fall of 2004. We carefully planned a surprise hiatus from the usual hoedown tunes in the middle of the line dance. The lights went off, then strobe lights hidden in four quarters turned on, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” erupted from the speakers. We all

Brad Washam (‘04) Memphis, Account Manager, EM Printing What advice would you give to future recipients? In our society, it is easy to try take on the world in one’s own strength. Because the Lord blesses us with gifts, we can often do it ourselves and make it work for a season. Learn how to lean on the Lord in areas of strength and weakness with prayer, Scripture, and Christian community, and you will never lose your joy. What is your favorite ECS memory? It is difficult to pick only one because I was a 13-year club member, but {28} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

went crazy for four minutes. It was sheer youthful bliss. I like to imagine it was one of the first flash raves.

David Finfrock (‘06) Middle East, University Instructor Married to Jessica Where has life taken you since graduating? After graduating from ECS, I attended the University of Alabama where I studied Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, Crosscultural Communication and Leadership, and then went on to do my MA in Applied Linguistics. It was a special time in life to study there and begin working with international students on campus. After finishing undergrad, I married Jessica Triplett, whom I had met at Alabama also. Currently, we live and work in the Middle East where I teach English at a local university. We are enjoying life abroad, and God is teaching us a lot about how much His ongoing work in us is the spring-board for our engagement with the world around us.

that foundation to pursue your goals, all to the glory of Him.

Kyle Cummins (‘07) University of Memphis School of Law Married to Kacey Albright Cummins (‘08) Where has life taken you since graduating? I graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University in 2011 with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. After graduation I entered the University of Memphis School of Law. I was recently selected Editor in Chief of the University of Memphis Law Review. This summer I will be an associate at Butler, Snow, O’Mara, and Stevens for the first half and Bass, Berry, and Sims for the second half. I intend to practice law in Memphis upon receiving my Juris Doctorate in May 2014. My wife, Kacey (Albright), and I were married on May 26, 2012.

K atie (Short) Saunders (‘08) St. Louis, Missouri – TEKsystems Married to Jeff Saunders

Where has life taken you since graduating? UTKnoxville: Chancellor’s Honors Program; Major: Communication Studies; Minor: Spanish; Award: Top Scholar (graduated with the highest GPA in the Communication Studies program); St. Louis, MO: TEKsystems (national’s largest IT staffing/services company); In Fortune’s Top 100 Places to Work list for 2012 (#79); National Recognition: Best of Staffing – Client Satisfaction/Talent categories; Personally, I started as a recruiter in June 2012 and was promoted to Account Recruiting Manager in February 2013; I now What advice would you give (with my partner) manage all the to future recipients? Value software development staffing needs What is your favorite ECS your time at ECS. Learn and read for TEKsystems at MasterCard memory? everything you can, and watch International’s headquarters. That is a tough question. I think I the ECS faculty closely. Let that would have to boil it down to the education be the jumping-off point What advice would you give relationships I had at school with of your study of theology, worldview, to future recipients? Use it as various teachers and friends. I was and whatever academic endeavor you an inspiration to contribute all you challenged to pursue Christ, to love choose. Every industry, every sector can to whatever context you are in. Him with my mind, and to excel of our country and our world needs Also, use it as a push to recognize academically. My years at ECS are thoughtful, well-reasoned, confident others when you are in positions of a fond memory and blessing I am Christians who know what they leadership. You often have no idea truly thankful for. believe, why they believe it, and how how deeply it will affect them. to apply it to “secular” fields. Use SUMMER 2013 {29}

10 years celebrating

e. brady bartusch award

Jordan Ross (‘09) Samford University, Class of 2013

people in our lives, and any work or accomplishments are ultimately empty if they are not celebrated in the context of relationships, with God and with others. Relying on God’s grace and empowerment is not natural because we want selfsufficiency. One blessing found in relationships is the realization that on our own we are insufficient. We function best as members of communities, and I pray that we will work hardest for the most important community, the body of Christ.

He uses broken and goofy people. I kept thinking: You want to use me? And in that resounding “Yes, I can use even you,” God surprises me every day by giving me bigger dreams that only He could dream. Lewis said, “He is the Dreamer; I am His dream.” What is your favorite ECS memory? Mrs. Jernigan’s 4th grade class, feeding us gummy worms after class; Mrs. Stubblefield’s hugs; Coach Carruth teaching ninth graders about metaphysics and epistemology, God bless his heart; Ms. Eubank falling out of her chair after I gave Lady Macbeth’s insanity speech; and Mrs. Arnwine’s Latin IV class. Only five people in the world know how amazing it was. We fell in love with Vergil. Dog Days, Fall Fests, Pep Rallies, Friday night football games, and the teachers. What a place.

Where has life taken you since graduating? I started at Samford University in Birmingham in the fall of 2009, in the two year honors college. Then I dove into my biochemistry major preparing for medical school. I did a medical research internship at Washington University in St. Louis last summer, and in October I received a medical school acceptance from UT-Memphis. After graduation, I will move back Meredith Hawkins (‘10) to Memphis and keep praying for Wheaton College Class of 2013 strength as I jump into medicine. Do you remember your What advice would you give reaction when your name to future recipients? The was called as the Bartusch most fulfilling part was reflecting Award recipient? How has on all the people who had poured it impacted you? I was so into me during the journey. shocked that I remember clapping My parents, closest friends, and for this “Meredith Hawkins,” and teachers – their love and support then realizing it was me. I have had carried me, even in the selfish always remembered that moment times when I thought I was because, in that moment, I was still taking care of myself. Everyone me. I mean that the Lord made me Anna L aura Irvine (‘11) who has received this award has to be oriented toward Him. I am Samford University an individual story. However, no from Him, through Him and to one did it alone. God places other Him for the entirety of my life. Where has life taken you {30} FLIGHT ~ Eagles Soar

since graduating? I am currently of the big picture and Christ’s at Samford University where I am unconditional love for those that majoring in exercise science and earnestly seek Him. minoring in Spanish. I have Physical Therapy school in mind for my future. I would love to be able to do some medical missions in Spanishspeaking countries eventually. I run track for Samford, which has been an amazing experience in many different aspects. I am also in Alpha Delta Pi sorority and have been so blessed with such great friends here. What advice would you give to future recipients? I would say to never take your education for granted. We have all been so blessed to attend ECS whether for a year, five years, or 13 years. I would also encourage recipients to enjoy the relationships they have with their peers and seek wisdom from their teachers. It is so important to live a life full of love and passion for learning, for athletics, for art, for service, for leadership, and for relationships. Never lose sight

become a comfort to you that you will need to reach out for help. Looking for help will provide many opportunities to make friends. To make and strengthen friendships, you will need to manage time.

What is your favorite ECS memory? Remembering the teachers and administration brings a smile to my face. I especially remember and greatly miss the tennis team. I enjoyed the comradeship and brotherhood that still lasts to this day. My senior year was by far the most memorable William J. Scott (‘12) as I had become more sociable and Auburn University willing to reach out of my comfort zone to talk to homeless people and What advice would you give serve my community. My faith grew to future recipients? First and exponentially as I learned to depend foremost, value your time, memories, on others more and to accept and knowledge from ECS. When challenging questions. you begin college, the effort to cultivate a Christian worldview in your life makes a difference. With that said, you will no longer be the smartest on campus. It must

NEW Online Alumni Directory We want to hear from you! Where are you? What are you doing? Go to and click on

then ALUMNI then REGISTER. Contact Karen Jamison with questions at ECS FAN QUIZ ANSWERS: The Best of Preps Challenge 1.) 11; 4, 2.)10, 3.) Jim Heinz, 4.) Barrett and Walker Jones; BONUS: Drace Tashie and Kendall Weaver, 5.) Boys golf, boys cross country, football, girls track and field, boys track and field, baseball, 6.)Allison and David Boyd The ECS Challenge 1.) Mickey Bowdon; 1974; White House basement, 2.) 2006; the Bubble; the Healthplex (formerly Mrs. Moore’s classroom), 3.) Total of seven – 4 in football, 3 in baseball, 4.) Allie Whited and Marcellous Jiles, 5.) 2011; Garry Butler, Steve Collums, Debbie Giltner, John Roelofs, Kevin Weaver ~ SUMMER 2013 {31}















ECS Alumni

Flag Football Game September 30, 2013 Windyke Country Club Memphis, Tennessee Visit for more information. Hosted by ECS Alumni


for the Classes of 1983, 1993, 2003 Friday October 25, 2013 We want ALL Alumni to join us Friday night before the football game for DOG DAY DINNER at 5:30! Saturday October 26, 2013 Individual Class Activities Class of 1983 contacts: Jamie and Julie (Holmes) Hill: Jimmy Darlington: Monti Kennedy McCauley:

Class of 1993 contacts: Keri Fratesi Smith: Sally Sprott Pace:

Class of 2003 contacts: Peter Spink: Drace Tashie Tigert: Allie Etter Byrne:

ECS contacts: 901.754.7217 Carolyn Monfort: Karen Jamison:

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Friday, August 16 at 7:00pm Come out to play on the TURF field!

Interested? Contact Karen Jamison at or 901.754.7217

Mark your calendars!

Eagle Em • por • ium Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 9:00a – 3:00p This year during the Homecoming Weekend, the Alumni De partment and the PTF will host “Eagle Em.por.ium”– a shopping event you won’t want to miss! If you are interested in being a vendor, please contact Karen Jamison at Vendor Applications will be available July 1, 2013 for ECS Alumni and Current Families. Space will be limited.


is an initiative to encourage ECS

Our 2012-2013 events included:

faculty and staff (“E”) to grow

in mind, body, and spirit (“3”) as well as

Line Dancing

to participate as a group in community

Life Choices Run

service opportunities. The purpose of E3

MAM Christmas Shop

is to assist all ECS employees by offering

ECS Family Bowling Night

activities and events that develop intellect,

Macon Campus Beautification Day

physical health, and love for God and for

Oak Hall/St. Jude Run

each other.

SUMMER 2013 {33}

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. Donuts with Dads 7. Kindergarten Johnny Appleseed Day 8. Sr. K Clown Parade 9. Grandparent Lunch 10. Senior Retreat 11. Fall Fest 12. Senior Car Decorations 13. Lower School Field Day 14. March of the Presidents



5. 6.

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11. 12.



FALL SUMMER 2012 2013• 35} {35}

Post Office Box 1030 • 7600 Macon Road Cordova, Tennessee 38088 • 901.754.7217

Flight Summer 2013  

A Publication of Evangelical Christian School

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