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STEM

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ACADEMIC AWARDS

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A SPECTACULAR FUTURE 22

ALUMNI NEWS

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The Path Forward — Leads to Full STEAM Ahead Recently a group of leading Christian educators from across the U.S. spent three days studying GAC. In their examination of qualities of the top 10% of Christian schools nationally, their good findings were many, but two stood out for me. GAC is not just in the top 10%: they consider it among the top 1%. Second, while many Christian (and other) schools talk a good game about innovation, GAC teachers are among the very few that are actually doing it. Schools are among the most resistant groups to adopt needed progress. They meander along, year after year, fighting fires or remain content with their status quo. If what worked in 2000 or even 2015 was good enough, then surely it will be good enough in 2020. They may not say that aloud, but they run with that as an unspoken presumption. Christian schools can be among the worst, often looking backward to the “good old days” that weren’t nearly as good as our nostalgia remembers. And it’s a shame— because students pay for that complacency. I’m so glad GAC dreams of what can be, asking the “why not” questions—and answering them with the urgency they demand. Part of what many parents love about our school is we never stand still. That’s not out of any frenetic disorder, but because our mission—students’ future needs and their tomorrow in Jesus—is in constant forward motion. With that in mind, this summer of 2016 is an historic breakthrough. Surpassing our goal with over $30 million in marvelous, sacrificial gifts, the Path Forward campaign is now launching GAC as among the strongest, deepest, and most innovative Jesus-centered schools in the U.S. Standing on the pillars of Academics, Arts, Athletics, Faith, and Future, an even stronger GAC is now advancing in every way. While buildings,

fields, and facilities advance, of more importance, teachers and staff win too. Great learning and great godly people are the underpinnings of everything that makes learning marvelous. This magazine shares a glimpse of what all is coming to life right now in the Path Forward. But you know GAC…there’s more ahead, in STEAM. Not someday, but in the next 18 months. STEM and STEAM are competing acronyms these days (Science-Technology-Engineering-ArtsMathematics), and educators are occasionally arguing about which is right. My view? They are both right! GAC has already demonstrated powerful advancement to the “A” of STEAM (Have you seen the Art & Design Center opened in 2015? Or the new Performance Hall coming in 2017 for the School of Dance and choirs? Or the redesigned Williams Fine Arts for orchestra, band, theater, and practice space?). But in addition to the Arts, new energy and funding is bringing STEM to GAC in transformative ways. We have committed that our classes, resources, facilities, and teacher-leaders, from Math and Technology to Engineering and Sciences, will have emerged as one of the premier programs of any school – private, Christian, or otherwise – in the Southeast. Yes, that’s a tall order. But GAC hasn't been called to complacency. Our kids and our cause for Christ are far too important for that. Thank you for believing in us. For your transformative support of the Path Forward. For joining us in the Great STEAM Advance! And pray for GAC every day, and ask the Owner to take His school, His teachers, and His children to new heights.

DR. DAVID FINCHER, PRESIDENT


contents

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VOLUME 17 SUMMER 2016 NUMBER 2

14 38 32

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ACADEMICS

10 TEST SCORES – DO THEY MATTER? 12 SENIOR HIGH ACADEMIC AWARDS 18 FINE ARTS 22 A SPECTACULAR FUTURE 32 SPARTAN ATHLETICS 34 CELEBRATION DINNER 36 20 YEARS OF MISSIONS

FRONT COVER GAC is making great strides in STEM-related areas. The sciences offer a grand opportunity to study the marvel of God's handiwork. No one should do it better than Christian schools. (ILLUSTRATION: Danny Flanagan) EDITOR Jamie Dalton CONTRIBUTORS Jamie Dalton, Christy Dixon, Brian Dolinger, Dr. David Fincher, Tammy Hughes, Heni Jordan, Becky Martin, Ronnalee Strickland, Katherine White GRAPHIC DESIGN Danny Flanagan and Fritz Miller for Fritz Miller Studios, Inc. PHOTOGRAPHERS Mary Helen Bryant, Gwinnett Daily Post, Heni Jordan, Mario Lozano, Glenn Martin, Mark Mason, The Olympian Yearbook Staff, Reynolds Photography, Gary Richey PRINTING Data Supplies, a Smart Source company The Communications Office at Greater Atlanta Christian School publishes GACS Today semi-annually in winter and summer. MAILING ADDRESS Greater Atlanta Christian School 1575 Indian Trail Road Norcross, Georgia 30093-2614 WEBSITE www.greateratlantachristian.org Greater Atlanta Christian School practices a non-discriminatory policy of admissions.

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CRITICAL THINKING: In all STEM classes, students sharpen their analytical skills, preparing them for a world of challenges waiting to be overcome.

STEM: Much More than an Acronym By Brian Dolinger, Junior High Principal & K12 STEM Advance Officer

I

f you walk into the Junior High building at just the right moment, you might be showered with bubbles. It is not uncommon to run into students applying their learning through testing prototypes created in MakerSpace. For this project, students researched their topic, bubbles, and the science behind their formation, digitally designed their own bubble wand, sent it to the 3D printer, tested their creation by blowing bubbles, and then analyzed and reflected on their designs. This is an example of meaningful STEM learning taking place at GAC. STEM is an acronym describing four disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEAM, its artistic sibling, adds an “A� for the arts. A quick internet search of either term yields a multitude of programs, specialized schools, camps, seminars, certifications and more. It is obvious that there is much underway in education regarding this concept. RESILIENCE: Fall down four times, get up five. STEM learning encourages students to learn from their experiences, reflect on choices, and improve the next time around.

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illustration by Danny Flanagan


CREATIVE CONFIDENCE: We are all created by God to be creative beings. STEM learning gives students opportunities to develop confidence in their own creativity. With the great emphasis being placed on STEM and STEAM programs around the country, there is danger of falling into to the alluring bandwagon of trends and buzzwords. Effective schools must strike an appropriate balance between innovative risk and analytical, research-based decision making as they sift the meaningful from the fleeting. The STEM focus in many schools encompasses courses, resources, facilities, curriculum, and personnel. At GAC, we are making great improvements in our STEM-related areas. However, we are about much more than acronyms and trends. At GAC, we desire our students to be deep, analytical thinkers, researchers, problem-finders as well as problem-solvers, well equipped to tackle the challenges of the world for God’s kingdom and His purposes.

Our students leverage powerful technological tools every day as an integrated part of their learning. STEM concepts are not something new to GAC. We have a long history of successful outcomes in the areas of STEM, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop growing or improving in all we do; in the past several years, GAC has experienced substantial growth in these areas. Our students leverage powerful technological tools every day as an integrated part of their learning. They explore the world through our Environmental Learning Center. Creativity and problem solving are fostered and developed in MakerSpace. Students participate in real-world experimentations and discovery through a wide variety of available courses including anatomy and physiology, marine biology, robotics, computer science, environmental science, calculus, and multi-variable analysis. However, we would be remiss if we stopped there. There is so much more on the horizon.

HANDS-ON LEARNING: Reading about STEM topics is much less meaningful than first-hand experiences. Get messy. Get involved.

photographed by Mark Mason

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REAL-WORLD APPLICATION: Taking STEM learning from theory to practice makes it come alive.

"The sciences offer a grand opportunity to study the marvel of God's handiwork. No one should do it better than Christian schools." - Dr. David Fincher

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arlier this year, GAC made a powerful commitment of time, resources, and energy to a new STEM initiative that will shape learning in profound ways. As the STEM Advance Officer, my challenge is to help make holistic, informed, and energetic K12 progress in STEM possible. • Renovations are currently underway in the newly named SciTech building, formerly the home of the IT department. • New, specialized classrooms will be available fall of 2016, including our new engineering and robotics lab. • Slated to begin in 2017, a full renovation and expansion is planned for Fields Science Hall. • New equipment will be filling these learning spaces as well as the science labs in the Junior High redesign.

intentional integration and alignment of our curriculum across all schools, from our youngest learners through our seniors. • We will be pouring into our amazing GAC educators, providing them with additional training and learning opportunities. We will continue to build a coherent program of excellence that develops the creative, inquisitive nature placed in us by our Creator. • GAC is almost doubling the STEM-focused learning space on campus

• This fall, Elementary students will enjoy taking their learning outside of the classroom in what is being called the Floating Classroom. Students will study ecology and marine sciences in the field on our new floating learning environment. • Our existing menu of offerings in the Junior High will continue to expand as we bring new courses to life like coding and robotics. • Additional resources will be focused on the

COLLABORATION: Working together, students and teachers share in their learning experiences. 4

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photographed by Mark Mason


Computer Science: AP Computer Science AP Computer Science Principles App Development Design Thinking Introduction to Programming iStudio Programming & Games Fundamentals of Web Design Junior High Coding (coming 2016)

"We are almost doubling the STEMfocused learning space on our campus. Our students are getting state-of-the-art facilities with STEM classrooms, laboratories, and research resources. Imagine seeing a green roof come to life, studying marine ecosystems in a floating classroom and learning the benefits of solar panels – all at school!" – Jamie Dalton

MATHEMATICS:

Pre-Algebra Honors Pre-Algebra Algebra 1, 2 & 3 Honors Algebra 1 & 2 Honors Geometry Trigonometry Honors Analysis Precalculus 12 Honors Precalculus AP Statistics AP Calculus AB AP Calculus BC Multivariable Calculus AP Statistics

Robotics/Engineering: Design Thinking Robotics I Robotics II (coming 2016) Junior High Robotics (coming 2016) Engineering (coming 2017)

Physical Sciences: Physical Science Chemistry Honors Chemistry AP Chemistry Honors Physics AP Physics AP Physics C Astronomy (coming 2016)

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ur success in realizing our mission of helping each student grow as Jesus did, centers us on people over programs, futures over facilities, and purposes that are greater than our own. Our STEM focus will accomplish much in our facilities, resources, and programs, but the greater gains will come through the meaningful learning and life shaping, accomplished through the relationships between our caring, dedicated educators and our amazing students. We are privileged and blessed to be able to develop and equip our students to launch into their next stages of life fully prepared and inspired to carry us into the future.

EARTH/ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AND LIFE Sciences:

CREATING SOLUTIONS: Students engaged in STEM learning work to solve real challenges facing our world.

IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS: STEM learning encourages students to look deeply into their world and find the opportunities for growth and improvement.

Environmental Science 6th Grade Earth Science 7th Grade Life Science Environmental Science Biology Honors Biology AP Biology Honors Anatomy/Physiology Marine Biology (coming 2016)

Square Footage for STEM Learning Spaces: Existing Fields Science Hall 10,184 square feet New addition to Field Science Hall 3,168 square feet (coming 2017) Remodel of current IT building 4,100 square feet (coming 2016) Total new STEM learning space 17,452 square feet

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ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

SPARTAN

SPOTLIGHTS

AC A D E M I C S

The Elementary Reading Bowl Team competed in the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. They competed in six rounds with a 4-1-1 record.

The Mock Trial Team competed in the Gwinnett County Mock Trial Tournament along with nine other local schools at the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center. Our students were evaluated in competition with other schools by actual Gwinnett judges and adult attorneys. The fictitious case was developed by Georgia State Bar Association lawyers for high school students across Georgia. Each school argued both sides of the case in two courtrooms at the same time in each round. Micaiah Kimble-Glover and Lacey Shaffer were named Best Witnesses and Laura Fazekas and Sydney Hicks were named Best Attorneys.

Congratulations to our beloved Administrative Vice President, Bill Burton, on being named Educator of the Year by the National Christian School Association (NCSA) at their annual conference. Bill was honored for his 45 years of work in Christian education.

The Junior Varsity Academic Team finished in 3rd place at the state championship. The team compiled a 7-3 record against exclusively AAA and AAAA schools, including three wins against Blessed Trinity and Buford, and performed at a high level throughout the competition. Team members include Jack Hollier, Wynn Kwiatkowski, Jalen Newman, Pranathi Singareddy, and Rebekah Wheadon.

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seventh and eighth graders were inducted into the GAC chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. The inductees demonstrate evidence of scholarship, leadership, citizenship, service, and character in their lives. They also prove to be active in their communities, leaders in the Junior High, serve their fellow man, and do what is right while being scholars.

Throughout the year, six Elementary web design teams created apps based on a specific interest using the MADLearn platform. To determine which app would be submitted to the MADStore (MAD-Learn hosts the apps for others to preview) and the App Store, a panel of three judges used specific criteria to compare the apps, “Shark Tank” style.

THE WINNERS ARE... Best Design – “Marvel Cinema” Christian Brown, Sophia Nguyen, and Loleyi Oluwatomisin Best Idea – “CoolReadz” Yash Ghanate, Jonathan Pugh, and Akhil Sakironda

Mr. & Miss GAC

Fernando Uribe and Micaiah Kimble-Glover

Overall Winner – “Kitchen Frenzy” Hannah Rainge and Amari Riley

Mr. & Miss Spartan Spirit

Ford Higgins and Micaiah Kimble-Glover

Mr. & Miss Spartan

Village and Elementary families and friends helped make the 2016 Jump Rope for Heart a tremendous success. With 100% participation, $40,711.34 was raised for the American Heart Association.

Myles Hinton and Jasmine Jones

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Every year, students across the country take the National French, Latin, or Spanish Exams. This year, GAC had more students earn medal status SPARTAN than any other year. In order to receive a SPOTLIGHTS AC A D E M I C S medal, students must earn top scores. Gold Medal Winners (top 5% in the nation)

Nataly Beacham Caroline Bower Sam Collins AnnaBelle Hellinger Jack Hollier Victoria Huynh Abby Jenkins

Elise Karinshak Hunter McIntosh Jack Olson Eunice Park Hanbyul Ryu Lacey Shaffer

Silver Medal Winners (top 15% in the nation) Cooper Hanft Alex Hines Arash Husain Lindsey Jackson Zaria Miller Lauren Mullininx Jalen Newman Connor Pellegrini Miriam Tomblin

Bronze Medal Winners (top 25% in the nation) Audrilyn Baldwin Jacob BrechbĂźhl Sylvie Chen Naja Crump Bryn Evans Melanie Gonzalez

Jared Hamilton Anna Hedges Celeste Hosfeld Lindsay Jason Jackie Jefferson Pruitt Martin

Kendall Parrott Karlie Roper Pranathi Singareddy William Skidmore Jake Stephens Reagan Street

Molly Sullivan Mary Thomas Ibitola Toyin-Adelaja Caroline Wigmore Carson Wilde

FRENCH MEDALISTS 8

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SPANISH MEDALISTS

Latin MEDALISTS

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TEST SCORES,

DO THEY

MATTER We control the number of standardized tests our students take each year, avoiding the avalanche of testing mandated by federal, state, and local bureaucracies. Because of our independence as a unique Christian school, GAC is able to deeply value learning time over testing time.

This year, we limited testing to only a portion of days (3 for Junior High, 5 for Elementary). In today’s frenetic world of national testing, that’s unheard of. For us? Quite intentional.

W

hile we care about significant achievement and invest in it, there’s more to our agenda than great test results. Our mission is to “help each student grow as Jesus did in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and man.” We’re taking our students from children of promise to men and women of character and significance. The results are exceptional. Our students in 3rd-5th grades grew in achievement an average of 1.85 years per school year (the national average is 1 year, per year as one might expect). And our Junior High students’ results are soaring past the national averages. • 6th graders, collectively, are averaging almost 2 years above grade level in all subjects • 7th graders tested in average score this spring at a 10th grade achievement level 10

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• 8th graders came in at an average grade equivalent of 12th grade, 4th month • Mathematics showed substantial gains with 8th graders on average gaining two years of achievement in one year • Vital reading & written expression collective results are up significantly from a low of 2 years growth in one year to above measurable limits (college level plus) • In Junior High, across all subjects, GAC ranges from 1 year 3 months above grade level to 5 years+ above grade level (testing does not measure beyond freshman year in college equivalency) We are seeing collective growth and achievement well above grade levels and at a more accelerated pace.

photographed by Name Here


Standardized assessments do not even begin to assess all of what makes our students special and unique. The test creators do not know the students the way their teachers do and certainly not the way their families do. The test itself cannot appreciate the art they create, their performances in dance and drama, or the sports and instruments they play. They do not consider all of the amazing destinations to which our students have traveled or all the stories they are able to tell. The results do not reflect how honest and thoughtful our students are or how hard they try each and every day. They do, however, provide a glimpse into how our students are growing both individually and as a group. They also allow our teachers to better understand each student and work to differentiate their instructional approach to ensure we are helping each student grow and find success.

Average Number of U.S. Testing Days

The longer students are with us, the stronger they become. GRADE LEVEL CORE TOTALS 3rd grade: top 10% nationally 4th grade: top 3% nationally 5th grade: top 1% nationally

CORE COMPOSITE GRADE LEVEL EQUIVALENCY 6th graders = 8th grade, 4th month 7th graders = 10th grade, 0 months 8th graders = 12th grade, 4th month

GRADE LEVEL EQUIVALENCY GROWTH LAST YEAR COMPARED TO THIS YEAR

6th grade (not available since this is the first year to take the new IOWA Assessment) 7th grade – 1.9 years’ growth in one school year 8th grade – 2.3 years’ growth in one school year

Average Number of GAC Testing Days

39 5(ELEM) 3(JH) Source: Vocativ calculated numbers based on a report by the Council of Great City Schools. photographed by Name Here

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SPARTAN

2016 SENIOR HIGH ACADEMIC AWARDS

SPOTLIGHTS

AC A D E M I C S

Not only are our Senior High students remarkable examples to their younger peers, but they also excel academically, are champions in co-curricular programs, and serve as positive spiritual leaders on our campus. We celebrate with these students on their accomplishments.

Elise Karinshak

VALEDICTORIAN

Rebecca Buechler The student with the highest GPA in the senior class.

SALUTATORIAN

Adebisi Thompson The student with the second highest GPA in the senior class.

AnnaBelle Hellinger

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

Elise Karinshak (9th), AnnaBelle Hellinger (10th) & Abby Kettle (11th – not pictured) Students with the highest GPA in their respective grade.

CITIZENSHIP AWARDS Sam Collins (9th), Rebekah Wheadon (10th), Imani Golden (11th) & Colin Poole (12th) Awarded to one student from each grade level who demonstrates the following: • Participates in community service • Shows a positive attitude toward classmates, school, and community • Displays an understanding and appreciation of civic responsibility • Possesses strength of character and the courage to do what is right • Promotes citizenship with their school or community through other activities

Sam Collins

Imani Golden

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Rebekah Wheadon

Colin Poole

photographed by Glenn Martin


Bryan Collins Demonbreun Scholarship – Melissa Gray A scholarship in memory of GAC graduate, Bryan Collins Demonbreun, who passed away after his first semester at Lipscomb University. The recipient is a student in good standing with at least a B average, demonstrates citizenship and leadership characteristics, participates in co-curricular activities while a student at GAC, demonstrates a positive Christian influence on their peers, and intends to attend Lipscomb University.

y Melissa Gra

Military Awards Ford Higgins (U.S. Naval Academy) Alex Rowe (U.S. Military Academy) Governor’s Honors – Rebecca Buechler A four-week summer residential program designed to provide challenging and enriching educational opportunities for intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students.

Atlanta Journal Cup – Bethany Wood Recognizes a senior who stands above the rest and is a pleasure to teach; student also excels in academics, community activities, and leadership.

Governor’s Honors Nominees Sylvie Chen, Mason English & Alexandra Hines

Ray Kroc Award – Fernando Uribe Recognizes a senior who has earned the respect of teachers and fellow students through selfless contributions to the school and/or the community. This youth achievement award is given by McDonald’s.

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony Award – Mason English An award given to a junior who demonstrates the following:

STAR Student – Parker Bryant Recognizes the senior who scored the highest on a single test date on the three-part SAT.

Alex Rowe

• Commitment to understanding and addressing difficult social issues • Leadership and dedication to community action • Strong grades and rigorous courses taken in the humanities and social sciences

AP Scholars with Honor Parker Bryant, Madeline Holly & Julie Vo Julie Vo

Ford Higgins

Mason English

AP Scholars Laura Fazekas, Kaylar Fu, Allie Gray, Lindsey Jackson, Yvonne Ma, Taylor Moore, Jake Stephens, Connor Tarpley, Adebisi Thompson, Jonathan Waters, Carson Wilde, Anne Winfrey & Cyril Wu

Georgia Certificate of Merit Connor Castleberry, Madison Dye, Mason English, Bryn Evans, Alexandra Hines, Amelia Keller, Abby Kettle, Hanbyul Ryu, Annika Thesing & Anna Zhang National Merit Commended Parker Bryant, Rebecca Buechler, Lindsey Jackson, Tylor Lee & Bethany Wood

Bethany Wood

Fernando Uribe

Parker Bryant

Agnes Scott Book Award Bryn Levengood Recognizes a junior girl who demonstrates academic excellence, service to others, high moral character, leadership ability, and a desire to be an effective change agent in a global society.

Harvard Book Award Alexandra Hines Recognizes the outstanding junior as measured by scholarship, character, and achievement in other fields.

Bryn Leve ngood

Note: There are so many student awards that we couldn't list them all! Contact the Communications Office at communications@greateratlantachristian.org for a complete listing. photographed by Name Here

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Class of

2016 }

“Are you ready to be more – much more – than your circumstances say you can be?

Go and shape the character of your heart, your future family, your future contribution to the kingdom of God.” – Dr. David Fincher, 2016 commencement speech

550+ acceptances to

160

Heart of Service Award Joshua Pickens

Jesse C. Long Award of Excellence Berkley Boglin

different colleges & universities

$9,500,000 million dollars in scholarships offered 14

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H.A. Fincher Bible Award Brandon Toomey

Jacqulin Long Bible Award Dynasty Riley photographed by Glenn Martin


MATRICULATIONS &

NOTABLE ACCEPTANCES

CLASS OF 2016 DR. FINCHER POSED THESE QUESTIONS TO THE NEW GRADUATES: Will you be a cynic or a builder? Will you aim to rise above difficulties even if your circumstances say there’s no way you can? Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your godly convictions when criticism comes? Will you admit when you’re wrong or will you apologize and change? When there’s conflict, whose choice will win out – God’s or yours?

Valedictorian Rebecca Buechler Salutatorian Adebisi Thompson photographed by Name Here

Abilene Christian University Agnes Scott College Alabama A&M University Anderson University – SC Arizona State University Armstrong State University Auburn University Auburn University Montgomery Augusta University Bellarmine University Belmont University Bentley University Berry College Brimingham-Southern College Boston College Brandeis University Brenau University Brigham Young University Bucknell University Carnegie Mellon University Catawba College Centre College Cincinnati Christian University Claflin University Clark Atlanta University Clark University Clemson University College of Charleston College of the Holy Cross Columbus State University Concordia University Chicago Drexel University Elmhurst College Emory University Fairfield University Faulkner University Fisk University Florida Southern College Florida State University Furman University Gardner-Webb University Georgia College Georgia Gwinnett College Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Military College Georgia Perimeter College Georgia Southern University Georgia State University Hampton University Harding University High Point University Indiana University at Bloomington Iowa State University Iowa Wesleyan College Ithaca College Jacksonville University Kennesaw State University Lee University Lesley University Lipscomb University Louisiana State University

Loyola University Marquette University Maryville College Mercer University Miami University Michigan State University Middle Tennessee State University Millsaps College Mississippi College Mississippi State University Morehouse College New York University North Carolina State University Northeastern University Oglethorpe University Oklahoma Christian University Pace University, New York City Palm Beach Atlantic University Pennsylvania State University Pepperdine University Piedmont College Presbyterian College Purdue University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rhodes College Samford University San Diego State University Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah State University Seattle University Sewanee: The University of the South Shorter University Southern Methodist University Spelman College Stetson University Syracuse University Tennessee State University The George Washington University The New School The Ohio State University The University of Alabama The University of Alabama at Birmingham The University of Alabama in Huntsville The University of Arizona The University of Georgia The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The University of Tampa The University of West Georgia Trinity College Tulane University United States Military Academy United States Naval Academy

University of Arkansas University of California, Berkeley University of California, Davis University of California, Irvine University of California, Los Angeles University of California, Merced University of California, San Diego University of California, Santa Barbara University of California, Santa Cruz University of Connecticut University of Florida University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Kentucky University of Maine University of Maryland, College Park University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Massachusetts, Boston University of Miami University of Mississippi University of Missouri Columbia University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of North Carolina School of the Arts University of North Georgia University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Richmond University of South Carolina University of Tennessee, Chattanooga University of Tennessee, Knoxville University of Toledo University of Virginia Valdosta State University Vanderbilt University Virginia Tech Wagner College Wake Forest University Western Carolina University Wheaton College Wingate University Wofford College Young Harris College

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CLASS OF 2016 ANNUAL FUND HONOR LIST

A

s the members of the Class of 2016 graduate and embark on an exciting new chapter, we as family and friends reflect on their experiences and accomplishments. The following parents and grandparents chose to honor their 2016 graduate with a gift to the 2015-16 GAC Annual Fund. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to watch the Class of 2016 grow during their time at Greater Atlanta Christian. We rejoice with them as they step into the next phase of life, and we send them the best wishes for success in the future. In honor of Njisane Adesegun Nok and Jana Adesegun

In honor of Rebecca Colehower Jonathan and Debbie Colehower

In honor of Madison Averill John and Melanie Averill

In honor of Reilly Corkran Ed Corkran

In honor of Desirae Banks Compton and Leniecia Powdar

In honor of Madison Crane Shilo and Priscilla Crane

In honor of Macy Bazzell Dwayne and Debbie Bazzell Barbara DeCrescenza

In honor of Paula Cuadrado Hernan and Irma Cuadrado

In honor of Hannah Beasley Charles and JoAnna Beasley In honor of Emily Becker Mark and Jo Anna Becker In honor of Buck Blanz Bob and Kim Blanz In honor of Berkley Boglin Major and Bernadette Boglin In honor of Scott Boyle Patrick and Melissa Boyle In honor of Stephanie Breon Stan and Karen Breon In honor of Lauren Brown Bob and Deborah Brown In honor of Jessica Brown Frank and Pam Brown In honor of Parker Bryant Todd and Mary Helen Bryant In honor of Rebecca Buechler Phil and Cheri Buechler In honor of Taylor Burdett Kent and Denise Burdett In honor of Anthony Carter Anthony and Rose Carter In honor of Elvis Chen Jeff and Rosa Chu In honor of Krison Chen Greg and Jill Morris In honor of Hannah Cheshier Michelle Cheshier In honor of Emily Clark Gordon and Jennifer Clark In honor of Mary-Kathryn Clark Frank and Christine Clark In honor of Braden Clinebell John and Julie Clinebell In honor of Devin Cochran Jerome Jackson and Emmie Cochran-Jackson In honor of Derek Coffman Bonnie Coffman

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In honor of Malcolm Cunningham Malcolm and Dee Dee Cunningham In honor of Gabe Davenport Rod and Leah Davenport In honor of Jaewon Drake Barry and Haesun Drake In honor of Miranda Earley Chris and Pam Earley In honor of Vivienne Emde Frank and Linda Emde In honor of Geoff Fang James Fang and Judy Chu In honor of Laura Fazekas Courtney and Langhorne Fazekas In honor of Rachel Finazzo Pete and Kimberlee Finazzo In honor of Kaylar Fu Ron and Jackie Swann In honor of Victoria Garner Barry and Steffanie Garner In honor of Jessie Gong Monty and Melanie Joseph In honor of Melissa Gray Jerry and Denise Gray In honor of Allie Gray Bob and Susanne Gray In honor of Richard Hamryka West and Helen Hamryka In honor of Katherine Harper Gene and Karen Harper In honor of Bennie Harris Bennie and Frankie Harris In honor of Lauren Harvey Jim and Robin Harvey In honor of Zachary Henderson Jeff and Wendy Henderson In honor of Ford Higgins Rick and Betsy Higgins In honor of Karissa Hill Isiah and LaShandia Hill In honor of Brad Hodoval Scott and Suzi Hodoval

In honor of Jacob Hoffman Sean and Kathy Cassidy

In honor of Chloe Kwiatkowski Jeff and Kimber Kwiatkowski

In honor of Madison Holcomb Bryce and Mary Lou Holcomb

In honor of Larin Lazar Solomon and Mihaela Lazar

In honor of Madeline Holly Dale and Colleen Holly

In honor of Thao Le Nhon Pham

In honor of Adia Hu Xinzan and Yunhui Hu

In honor of Tylor Lee Daniel and Michelle Lee

In honor of Lindsey Jackson Brian and Tiffany Jackson

In honor of Carter Lewis Kevin and Mary Lewis

In honor of Robert Jackson Andy and Mary Jackson

In honor of Yvonne Ma Steven and Angelique Allen

In honor of Aiden Jarrett Kim Jarrett

In honor of Caroline Mainous Beau and Jennifer Mainous

In honor of John Jefferson Fred and Felicia Jefferson

In honor of Dana Markert Dave and Dorothy Markert

In honor of Isaiah Jelks Phil Jelks

In honor of Connor Markham Gil and Kristin Markham

In honor of Brittany Jhin Eddie and Teena Jhin

In honor of Steve Martinello Bob and Christine Martinello

In honor of Colton Jones Rusty and Kim Jones

In honor of Ben Masters Paul and Jennifer Masters

In honor of Alexis Joy John and Renee Joy

In honor of David Mathew Cherian and Anu Mathew

In honor of Michael Keeton Lianne Keeton

In honor of Stephanie McIntosh Steven and Myrna McIntosh

In honor of Matthew Kenworthy Randy and Ellie Kenworthy

In honor of Blair McQueen William and Tia McQueen

In honor of Alex Kim Mi Cho

In honor of Owen Meng Scott and Teresa Harsh

photographed by Glenn Martin


In honor of Brenna Miller Dan and Dee Miller

In honor of Nelson Stewart John and Lindsay Stewart

In honor of Joi Moore Efrim and Bea Moore

In honor of Kennedy Street Jeff and Tracy Street

In honor of Taylor Moore Kenneth and Robyn Moore

In honor of Avery Strickland Lee and Ronnalee Strickland

In honor of Mallory Morris Mike and Carol Morris

In honor of Liam Sullivan Tom and Mary Carol Sullivan

In honor of Logan Moss Charlie and Michelle Moss

In honor of Mahima Sultan Malek and Hafiza Sultan

In honor of Theresa Nguyen Jimmy and Lan Nguyen

In honor of Connor Tarpley Russell and Crystal Tarpley

In honor of Yoonhee Noh Paul and Clare Huh

In honor of Anna Taylor Scott and Sherri Taylor

In honor of Thomas Oglesby Bob and Kelli Oglesby

In honor of Erin Thiel Rick and Marcia Thiel

In honor of Jalon Parker Patrice Hill

In honor of Nathan Thomas Brian and Ginger Thomas

In honor of Justin Parker Tom and Hayley Parker

In honor of Adebisi Thompson Ngozi Onyekaba

In honor of Basil Peterson Kurt and Gingie Peterson

In honor of Leah Thompson Stan and Pat Thompson

In honor of Josh Pickens Steve and Heather Pickens

In honor of Sebastian Tine Sebastian and Delilah Tine

In honor of Colin Poole Greg and Jill Morris

In honor of Brandon Toomey James and Lea Long

In honor of Will Primos Bill and Genevieve Primos

In honor of Cassie Townsend Tom and Bettye Townsend

In honor of Mike Raymond Brian and Andrea Holliday

In honor of Fernando Uribe Fernando and Maria Uribe

In honor of Anjali Reddy KP and Tammy Reddy

In honor of Julie Vo Ben and Nga Vo

In honor of Stephanie Reynolds Pat and Angela Reynolds

In honor of Huidi Wang Monty and Melanie Joseph

In honor of Brooks Rice Rick and Jill Rice

In honor of Euphy Wang Caleb and Addi Panter

In honor of Katie Richardson Steve and Kathleen Richardson

In honor of Brandon Washington George and Michelle Washington

In honor of Dynasty Riley Jovan and Sheri Riley In honor of Travis Ross Lamont and Rhonda Ross In honor of Emma Rush Dusty and Crystal Rush In honor of Mary Russell Jeff and Lisa Russell In honor of Sarah Russell Jeff and Lisa Russell In honor of Matthew Santa Ana Scott and Lisa Santa Ana In honor of Zachary Savage Tom and Lisa Savage In honor of Caroline Scott John and Rita Scott In honor of Stone Shallat Chuck and Renee Shallat In honor of John Shin Je Seop and Young Ai Shin In honor of Benjamin Shipp Bryant and Ginny Shipp In honor of Drew Shumard Bob and Carrie Shumard Ken and Joyce Shumard In honor of Alexandra Skidmore Carolyn Davis Steve and Monica Skidmore

In honor of Jonathan Waters Mike and Joannie Waters In honor of Chris White Andrew and Nicky White

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations – that’s what I had in mind for you” – Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

In honor of Caroline Wigmore Steve and Chris Wigmore In honor of Carson Wilde Chris and Amy Wilde In honor of Sam Williams Greg and Jen Hoffman In honor of Michael Williams Van and Terri Williams In honor of Jordan P. Williams Floyd and Carla Williams In honor of Anne Winfrey Tim and Leslie Winfrey In honor of Tori Wisted Dan and Kathy Wisted In honor of Bethany Wood Ben and Dawn Wood In honor of Catie Wood Lee and Kelly Wood In honor of Cyril Wu Brad and Kim Kinser In honor of Marcus Young Michael and Rachael Young

In honor of Steffen Smith Steve and Pat Smith

THESE MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2016 STARTED THEIR JOURNEY IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD VILLAGE AT GREATER ATLANTA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE NUMEROUS YEARS OF SERVICE, DEDICATION, AND SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES HAVE GIVEN TO GAC. In Alphabetical Order:

Berkley Boglin, Parker Bryant, Reilly Corkran, Miranda Earley, Vivienne Emde, Melissa Gray, Katherine Harper, Robert Jackson, Isaiah Jelks, Mike Keeton, Chloe Kwiatkowski, Dana Markert, Mallory Morris, Colin Poole, Stephanie Reynolds, Matthew Santa Ana, Zach Savage, Caroline Scott, Ben Shipp, Kevin Shrake, Steffen Smith, Nelson Stewart, Liam Sullivan, Connor Tarpley, Anna Taylor, Carson Wilde, Jordan Williams, Sam Williams, Tori Wisted

In honor of Jake Stephens Tad and Diane Stephens

photographed by The Olympian Yearbook Staff

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FINE ARTS

SPARTAN SPOTLIGHTS

FINE ARTS

Excellence in the arts is part of our history. GAC’s extensive offerings in visual and performing arts during the school day and on campus after school, provide students at all levels the opportunity to explore their interests and grow their talents in the arts. We are proud of our Fine Arts program and love celebrating our students’ achievements in the arts. Congratulations to both the Symphonic Band and Concert Band and their directors on earning Superior Ratings from all three judges for their stage performances at the Large Group Performance Evaluation. The bands were also judged on their ability to play a piece of music they had never seen before (sight-reading). Each band earned a Superior Rating from the sight-reading judge as well.

LGPE judges commented on the GAC bands saying, "These bands display exceptional artistry and musicianship. What an honor to be present for a performance of this caliber."

Band

The following students were named District Honor Band and/or All-State Band members: Christian Alston, euphonium

Ivy Lee, flute

Will Brooks, trumpet

Tylor Lee, clarinet

Ella Bugg, trombone

Steven Martinello, trombone

Tucker Denton, trumpet

Ben McCarty, French horn

Vivienne Emde, bass clarinet

Wes McDonald, trombone

Pragya Ghanate, tenor saxophone

Talia Miller, alto saxophone

Kevin Han, alto saxophone

Navya Sarikonda, flute

Alex Hines, clarinet Jack Hollier, trombone Tyler Jhin, percussion

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Zach Musser, tenor saxophone Rachel Stiles, oboe Michael Zhu, clarinet photographed by Name Here


These seniors knocked their auditions out of the park and earned coveted spots in college-level marching bands or concert bands.

Vivienne Emde will attend Belmont University and play the bass clarinet in the concert band. She will play the soprano clarinet in the Vanderbilt University marching band.

Travis Ross will attend the University of North Georgia and play the bassoon in the concert band.

Black & White Gala Piano Competition

These students are incredible musicians and blew the judges away to win the 2016 Black & White Gala Piano Competition. Overall winner: Zachary Musser, Chopin's "Scherzo No. 2, Opus 31"

Robert Jackson will attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and play the tenor saxophone in the marching band.

Joseph Taylor will attend Purdue University and play the alto saxophone in the marching band.

Senior High winner: Katelyn Choe, Beethoven's "Sonata Pathetique Opus 13 III Movement Rondo" Junior High winner: Victoria Choe, Mozart's "Sonata in G Major, K283; Ist Movement Allegro"

Katelyn Choe (viola) and Emily Wyche (viola) were selected for the 2016 All-State Orchestra. The Junior High Orchestra and the Senior High Orchestra received Superior Ratings from all judges at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation.

photographed by Mario Lozano, Glenn Martin, and Carolyn Shaffer

Orchestra

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Drama The cast of the One Act Play “John Lennon and Me” won the State Competition at the Georgia Theatre Conference. Rachel Finazzo was recognized as an All-Star Cast member. Several “Mary Poppins” cast members received welldeserved nominations for the 2016 Shuler Awards. The awards program celebrates excellence in high school theatre. Connor Tarpley – Best Performance by a Leading Actor Rachel Finazzo – Best Performance by a Featured Performer Parker Jennings – Best Performance by a Supporting Actress Cast – Show Stopper Award for "Step in Time" Bethany Wood – Honorable Mention for a Performance by a Leading Actress

Parker Jennings won the 2016 Shuler Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Mrs. Banks in “Mary Poppins.”

SPARTAN SPOTLIGHTS

DANCE

GAC DANCE TEAMS EXPERIENCED BIG WINS THIS SEASON

FINE ARTS

Georgia High School State Dance Competition State champions, Performing Arts division (4th year in a row) Jada Jones, Solo division – 1st place State Champion Nicole Smartt, Solo division – 2nd place Team, Pom Division – 2nd place Team – 2nd place Overall Dance Team UDA Georgia Dance Championships Junior Varsity, Jazz Division – 1st place Junior Varsity, Pom Division – 1st place Elementary, Jazz Division – 1st place Elementary, Pom Division – 1st place Showstoppers Dance Competition GAC Dance Teams Production Dance – 1st place overall teen advanced super group, double platinum Starpower Dance Competition Mini Dance Team Jazz, 1st place overall small group (age 7-8), 5 stars, 1st place jazz

Nine dancers received their official induction certificates and pins at GAC’s first National Honor Society of Dance Arts ceremony at GAC. Isabel Stecher is the first student to letter in the Fine Art of Dance in the history of GAC Inductees include: Natalie Colehower, Melanie Gonzalez, Maya Joglekar, Emma Martin, Rosemary Osbon, Nicole Smartt, Isabel Stecher, Nancy Kate Walker, and Jordan Williams.

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photographed by Name Here


STUDENTS RECEIVE NATIONAL MEDALS

ART

The Scholastic Awards are the nation’s largest, longest running, most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens. Students in grades 7-12 this year submitted nearly 320,000 works of art and writing nationally. Students receiving National Medals are within the top 1% of all submissions. Several of our very own Senior High artists received national Scholastic Awards for their pieces of art. “Warmth” – John Shin, Gold Key Award & Best in Category (Photography Category)

“Ready for the Day” Sandra Park, Gold Key Award (Drawing and Illustration Category) “Long Summers, Short Winters” Teni Pearse, Silver Key Award (Painting Category)

“Looking Through a Mirror” Sonja Singhal, Silver Key Award (Photography Category)

“The Patient Wolf” – Kennedy Street, Silver Key Award (Printmaking Category)

“Art in Sports” – John Shin, Silver Key Award (Digital Art Category)

Artwork by Kennedy Street was selected as the winner of the Southern Teachers Agency 2016 Student Art Contest. Her painting will be published in their academic year art calendar.

“As Technology Advances” – Julie Vo, Silver Key Award (Painting Category) “A War Against Innocence” Julie Vo, Silver Key Award (Drawing and Illustration Category)

“American City of Lights” – Julie Vo, Silver Key Award (Painting Category)

Five fifth graders represented GAC’s music program at the Statewide Elementary Honors Chorus gathering in Athens, GA. Led by music director Dr. Robin Hensley, these students had an incredible experience learning new music, performing with a large group of vocal musicians from across the state, and expanding their musical talents. Anna Hanson, Lilly Martin, Morgan Collins, Ella Ostapiuk, and Joseph Connel

Congratulations to studentartists Caroline Doctor and Sandra Park on being selected as All-State Art Winners.

Choir Four students represented GAC in the All State Chorus. Ethan McDonnell, Tenor 1 Gavin McDonnell, Tenor 1 Lacey Shaffer, Alto 2 Madelyn Shaffer, Alto

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REMARKABLE SUPPORT MAKES FOR A SPECTACULAR FUTURE Greater Atlanta Christian School is on the fast track forward. It’s in our DNA to strive for the absolute best in researchbased learning aligned with powerful character-building programs and people. Because of the financial support of many who gave sacrificially to GAC’s capital campaign, the Path Forward, it will be possible for the GAC students of today to advance to incredible new levels.

$30M!

THANK YOU! $29.7M (GOAL) $27M $24M $21M $18M $15M

The Campaign for Greater Atlanta Christian School

When the Path Forward, the largest capital campaign in GAC’s history, began in 2014, a $29.7 million goal was announced. Fast forward to 2016 – with the help of GAC families, friends, foundations and other supporters, we've exceeded our goal by reaching $30 million. The additional support will provide funding for the difference between estimated and actual costs. Initiatives include renovations to six different existing facilities, including the two original academic buildings built in 1968, and the addition of four new facilities. When construction is complete, there will be over 180,000 square feet of new or completely renovated space on campus.

$12M

President Dr. David Fincher shares there is a bright future ahead for GAC: “Due to early gifts, several projects in the new plans are completed or are underway. To date, only about 30% of the projects are completed. None of these major advances would have been possible without the massive support of GAC friends and supporters from across metro Atlanta.”

CURRENT SH JACQULIN T. LONG HALL

BEFORE SH JACQULIN T. LONG HALL

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photographed by Mario Lozano


CURRENT JUNIOR HIGH BUILDING

CURRENT JUNIOR HIGH CLASSROOM

FACILITY INITIATIVES COMPLETED THUS FAR INCLUDE: • The transformation of the existing business building into the new Art and Design Center, doubling the space of our growing Visual Arts program. • The new Environmental Learning Center expands outdoor learning for elementary students, including a chicken coop, student-directed greenhouse, and edible garden. • The new Cross Tower and Center Stage located at the heart of campus provides additional worship space, a place for baptisms and other special events. • The redesigned Strickland Plaza expands Junior High and Senior High’s outdoor learning space. • More space is now available for athletic teams and their training in the new Hoover Field House. • More field and practice spaces are available for lacrosse, football, baseball, and softball through the new MultiSport Complex.

COMING FALL OF 2016 The finishing touches will be completed in the Junior High Building and the Senior High Complex in time for the 2016-17 school year. The Senior High buildings were the first built

on the GAC campus. Students and faculty wil have access to more collaborative and interactive classrooms for teaching and learning.

UPCOMING CONSTRUCTION COMING BY FALL 2017 • The new Performance Hall is set to begin in January 2017. • Renovation to create additional space in Williams Fine Arts Center for band, orchestra, School of Music, and other performing arts programs will begin summer of 2017.

PROGRAM INITIATIVES BROUGHT TO LIFE BY THE PATH FORWARD The Path Forward campaign also covers academic areas like the Leadership Initiative (K-12). Through specially designed curriculum, mentoring, and annual speakers, students will gain leadership training with character building, including a new Entrepreneurship course for seniors. Additionally, $3.2 million will be set aside to provide ongoing professional development for teachers and to recruit the best educators for GAC students. For more information about Path Forward initiatives and projects, visit www.greateratlantachristian.org/path-forward.

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Annual Fund Leadership Giving The Jesse Long Society is the leadership-level giving circle of the Annual Fund. Many GAC families are blessed financially and want to share those blessings. Those contributing at the $2,500 level or above gain membership in the Jesse Long Society. Jesse Long, the first president of GAC, knew that it would take sacrificial giving to make GAC the vibrant school it is today. These gifts to the Annual Fund help cover expenses such as utilities, salaries, security, connectivity on campus, and more. The Annual Fund would not be successful without the support of the JLS members each year. Membership in the Jesse Long Society comes with valuable benefits such as special invitation-only luncheons with the principals, mid-school year breakfast with Dr. Fincher, and more, depending on the level of contribution. You can become a member of the Jesse Long Society today and receive a special gift by making a pledge of more than $2,500 for the 2016-17 Annual Fund. For more information about this membership opportunity, please visit www.greateratlantachristian.org/giving or contact Heni Jordan, Leadership & Planned Giving Officer at hjordan@ greateratlantachristian.org or 770-243-2209.

Planned Giving: The Legacy Society Most of us have been working for decades to accumulate our savings. But many of us haven’t considered creating a will to outline how our estate should be handled upon our death. Forming a will requires serious conversations and serious considerations. Making a planned giving strategy is an important part of will preparation. The Legacy Society was created to provide GAC supporters the opportunity to include the school as a beneficiary of their estate. GAC has its very own estate and gift planning workbook to help walk you through the process. You may request your copy of this new tool at gacslegacy.org. For the protection of your loved ones and to avoid expensive and extensive litigations by the state, please start planning for the future. If you would like more information about making GAC part of your planned giving, or if you have already done so and would like to notify GAC, please contact Heni Jordan at hjordan@greateratlantachristian.org or 770-243-2209.

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photographed by Heni Jordan


IMMEASURABLE BY CHRISTY DIXON, GAC PARENT

W

e have five children, three of whom currently attend GAC. One day we hope to have all of them at the same school.

I love my children and I love teaching. My desire was always to homeschool our children during the early years and to send them to school starting in middle school. Two years ago we adopted a little girl. After a year of homeschooling we realized I needed to be a mom to her rather than a teacher. As we prayed about sending a third child to GAC, God opened doors for us financially through Georgia GOAL. GAC has everything that we want for our children. The ability to have all of our kids on one campus is so comforting as a mom, and knowing that there are programs offered in their areas of interest is incredible. I am confident that is just one way GAC is a step above other places of education.

IMPACT into a sweet, confident, friendly little girl through the care and compassion of the GAC community. The Georgia GOAL program and the generosity of the GAC community have impacted our lives beyond measure. Our children are well aware that their education is a gift made possible by countless contributors that we may never have the opportunity to meet. Each year we are humbled as awards are provided making it possible for our children to attend the next school year. I know God has a master plan, but if I could make one selfish request it would be that you please consider contributing to this amazing scholarship program. Your hard earned money will go straight to benefit amazing kids who are being transformed into incredible people because of your gift. YOU are making a difference. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

In addition to the high level of teaching my kids receive, each of them has had countless opportunities to develop into well-rounded leaders and contributors to society. Trey (rising 9th grader) has a huge passion for music and leading worship. GAC has fostered this passion by allowing him to be a part of the chapel band. Kearston (rising 8th grader) has a passion for service and has been able to work in orphanages, mentor elementary students, and assist in povertystricken areas of Atlanta and New Orleans. Jaleesa (rising 2nd grader) has flourished

Submitting your application has never been easier or earlier – GOAL is ready for your 2017 submission today! To find out how you can be a part of the Georgia GOAL program, visit greateratlantachristian.org/ Georgia-goal.

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THE SPARTANS GAVE FANS REASON TO CHEER

DURING THE 2015-16 ATHLETIC SEASON.

The following 9 teams finished in the Final Four or better in 2015-16 and will be added to the sports banners in the Spartan Hall of Fame. • • • • • • • • •

Football, Final Four Girls Basketball, Final Four Boys Tennis, Final Four Girls Soccer, Final Four Boys Soccer, Final Four Boys Lacrosse, Final Four Baseball, Final Four Girls Track & Field, State Champions Boys Golf, State Champions

WRESTLING

SPORTS

This spring ends GAC's sojourn in Class AA. Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, the Spartans move up to Class AAA with overall stiffer competition, especially at playoff time. Go Spartans!

CHAMPION

Class AA Individual State Wrestling Champion – Aiden Jarrett Scholar-Athlete Award: Aiden Jarrett Second Team All-County: Aiden Jarrett Honorable Mention All-County: Sam Collins, Austin Phan & Ian Politz

SPOTLIGHTS

INDIVIDUAL

Aiden Jarrett was one of 138 wrestlers nationwide to be named as a 2016 High School Academic All-American by the National High School Coaches Association.

POST-SEASON AWARDS

SPARTAN

BASKETBALL Sophomores Robyn Benton and Caria Reynolds were named to the 2016 Georgia High School Association All-Tournament Team. Clarke Permenter and Jacob Hoffman were nominated to play in the Gwinnett County All-Star Games. Jacob was the high scorer with 21 points. photographed by Glenn Martin,

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Gwinnett Daily Post, Reynolds Photography, Gary Richey

Jacob Hoffman Clarke Permenter


Ben Shipp – Gwinnett Daily Post Male Golfer of the Year & Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association AA Player of the Year

GOLF The boys’ golf team secured the Region 6AA championship title with a 10-under, 278, beating second place Lovett by nine strokes. The low medalist and individual Region Champion was senior Ben Shipp, who shot a 9-underpar 63. This is the lowest score in high school competition ever posted by a Gwinnett golfer. Also scoring for the Spartans were Conner Conkel, Steffen Smith, and James Walton.

Ben Shipp, Jonathan Waters, and Steffen Smith were named Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association All-State Golfers.

Senior and NC State signee Ben Shipp finished the course with four straight BOYS birdies to place as the state individual BOYS GOLF TEAM WINS FIRST runner-up. The team shot a score of 302. Jonathan Waters GOLF STATE AA CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE shot a one-under-par round of 71 to finish 3rd in the state AA individually, his best performance of his high school career. Gary Richey was named Coach of the Year by the Gwinnett Daily Post.

GIRLS GOLF TEAM

Tess Davenport finished 3rd individually in the State AA Championship with a 2-over par round of 74. Tess also received Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association All-State Team award. Jonathan Waters gacs today | summer 2016

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JUNIOR HIGH STATE MEET

JUNIOR HIGH REGION MEET Both of the Junior High Track and Field teams won the Region Meet with an outstanding victory against Pace Academy, Wesleyan, Holy Innocents', and Lovett.

Girls Region Results: GAC 310, Wesleyan 124, Holy Innocents' 81, Pace 54, Lovett 48 Boys Region Results: GAC 250, Lovett 149, Wesleyan 109, Holy Innocents' 71, Pace 55

Twenty-three GAC Junior High athletes competed against 1,300 other athletes from middle school teams across the state at the Georgia Middle School State Track and Field Championships. Myles Hinton placed 1st in the Shot Put and 2nd in Discus and was awarded the Top Male Field Event Athlete of the Year. Jasmine Jones broke the state record for the 100M Hurdles with a time of 14.14 seconds. The Junior High girls team placed 2nd overall against 36 middle school teams. Myles Hinton

TRACK & FIELD VARSITY GIRLS STATE

VARSITY BOYS STATE

The girls’ track and field team won the 2016 State AA Championship. All ten girls who went to the state meet scored points to help the team. Stephanie Reynolds won the individual state championship for the 100 hurdles. This is the fourth state title for the Lady Spartans team who also won in 2005, 2009, and 2012.

Senior and Vanderbilt University football commit Devin Cochran is the AA State Track & Field Champion in the Shot Put with a throw of 53-03.50. Alex Rowe placed 3rd in the state in the Long Jump with distance of 22’ 0.25”.

Top State Meet Results:

Varsity Girls Track & Field Team – 2nd Overall in Region 6AA

• Stephanie Reynolds: State Champion 100 Hurdles; 3rd place High Jump

VARSITY REGION

Jada Jones

• 4x100 Relay Team (Stephanie Reynolds, Kennedy Street, Jada Jones, Nia Brown): State Champions • 4x400 Relay Team (Stephanie Reynolds, Kennedy Street, Jada Jones, Nia Brown): 2nd place • Nia Brown: 2nd place 100 meters; 3rd place 200 meters • Danielle Shipp: 2nd place high jump • Jada Jones: 2nd place 100 hurdles; 3rd place 100 meters

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Varsity Boys Track & Field Team – 2nd Overall in Region 6AA

Devin Cochran

Stephanie Reynolds

Congratulations to Coach Brad Kinser on being named the Gwinnett Daily Post Gwinnett County Girls’ Track Coach of the Year.


LACROSSE

VARSITY BOYS The Varsity boys lacrosse team won the Area Championship and advanced to the state A-AAAAA semifinals. Spartan lacrosse players received honors at the close of their season. • Brad Hodoval: Player of the Year All-County; 1st team All-State; All-American Goalie (he received all three honors for the second year in a row) • Kevin Shrake: Player of the Year All-County • Lloyd DeLatour: 2nd team All-County Midfield • Ford Higgins: 1st team All-County; 2nd team All-State Attack • Taylor Key: 2nd team All-County Goalie • Connor Markham: 1st team All-County; 1st team All-State Defender • Justin Parker: 2nd team All-County Attack • Jonathan Rose: 2nd team All-County Midfield • Catie Wood: 1st team All-County Attack

YOUTH GIRLS LACROSSE The girls’ youth lacrosse team won the Gwinnett Lacrosse League Lightning Division (3rd-5th grade) Championship. The team ended their season with a 10-3 record and defeated the #1, #5 and #6 seeds in the 2016 tournament. This is the fourth consecutive championship for the GAC girls.

BASEBALL The Varsity Baseball Team ended another strong season in the State AA Championship semifinals. The following baseball players received post-season honors. First Team All-Region: Gabe Davenport, JP McGuire and Andrew Schultz Second Team All-Region: Carter Lewis and Erik Smith

MR & MISS SPARTAN SPIRIT Ford Higgins (football) and Micaiah Kimble-Glover (tennis)

VOLLEYBALL Senior volleyball player Emily Becker was selected as an Esmark High School All American. She received this award for her outstanding talents and excellence in character, commitment, and kindness during the 2015-16 school year.

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SPRING ATHLETIC Signers These studentathletes have committed to play their sport at colleges and universities across the country. Good luck, Spartans!

Kaylann Boyd Soccer Vanderbilt University

Melissa Gray Soccer Lipscomb University

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Emily Becker Volleyball Georgia Institute of Technology

Buck Blanz Basketball Millsaps College

Devin Cochran Football Vanderbilt University

Malcolm Cunningham Football Georgia Military College

Bennie Harris Soccer Lipscomb University

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Ford Higgins Football United States Naval Academy

SOCCER

The Lady Spartans captured the Region 6AA Championship title with a 3-1 victory over Pace Academy. With 15 minutes to go, goalie Melissa Gray saved a penalty kick to help the Lady Spartans keep their lead.

Brad Hodoval Lacrosse Mercer University

Aiden Jarrett Football Centre College

Alex Rowe Football United States Military Academy

photographed by Mary Helen Bryant, Mario Lozano, Glenn Martin, Mark Mason


Tennis

The doubles team of Parker Bryant and Stephen Lamb were named to the 1st team All-County. Alex Kahn was named to the 2nd team All-County.

SUPER

Kaylann Boyd Soccer

Andrew Schultz Baseball University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Brad Hodoval Lacrosse

Ben Shipp Golf North Carolina State University

ATHLETES

Alex Kahn Tennis

Steffen Smith Golf Gardner-Webb University

Ben Shipp Golf

Liam Sullivan Football College of the Holy Cross

Steffen Smith Golf

Brandon Washington Marcus Young Football Football University of Maine Birmingham Southern University

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T H E U LT I M AT E S PA RTA N

“MR. BURTON HAS BEEN THE SOUL OF THIS SCHOOL. WITH A POWERFUL FAITH, A SWEET SPIRIT, AND AN UNMISTAKABLE PRIDE IN THIS PLACE, HE SHOWED GENERATIONS OF SPARTANS HOW TO LEARN, HOW TO LEAD, AND HOW TO LIVE.” – Alan Blinder, Class of 2008

A

fter 46 years of dedicated ministry, Bill Burton is retiring. He came to GAC in August of 1970 as a 21-year-old with the dream of becoming a high school boys' basketball coach and math teacher. Bill laughs when he talks about his plan to be at GAC for two years and then return to the Nashville area. “The Lord had other plans for me and for the Burton family, for which I am very grateful.” Bill was one of GAC’s first faculty members and fondly remembers the school’s humble beginnings. He continues to be amazed at what God has accomplished through so many people over the years. Dr. David Fincher shares that Bill has always been a great encourager on campus: “Almost since the beginning of the school, Bill has been GAC’s biblical Barnabas. He’s called faculty and staff up to be supporters of our students. Bill has lived that out himself every day. His heart is giant, and his wisdom has blessed many families and staff.” While Bill and early leaders had great vision for GAC and what the future held for Christian education, he had a counselor’s heart, a great desire to show students the

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importance of a Jesus-filled life, and a zest for competition that remains unmatched. Bill has led the charge for countless Spartan teams and has helped set a tone of excellence in Spartan Athletics that ripples through our DNA. He is, and will always be, the ultimate cheerleader. He shares, “I admit that I probably get carried away too often. In my opinion, having great school spirit makes school life more fun for everyone involved. My wife says that she doesn't think I will ever grow up and she is probably right.” Baseball coach Robbie Wilson says Bill’s passion is what has impacted him the most: “His passion for GAC, his passion for the students here; his passion for athletic teams; and ultimately his passion for the Lord. This is what makes Bill exceptional.” Bill’s personal walk of faith and humble spirit have influenced thousands of children and adults. As Bill signs off in his official role as Administrative Vice President, he shares, “My family and I have been most blessed to be a small part of the GAC story. Our school is in good hands – the Lord's hands – and I fully believe that the best years for GAC are still ahead.” Bill, the great encourager, has made a lasting difference at GAC.


“THE SCHOOL’S SPIRITUAL MISSION HAS BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF MY CAREER.” – Bill Burton

“WITHOUT A BILL BURTON, THERE WOULD NOT BE A GAC TODAY AS WE KNOW IT.” – Jackie Bradford

Honor Bill and Linda Burton's many years of service by supporting spiritual growth at GAC. For more than four decades, Bill and Linda have prayed for, mentored, and encouraged GAC students and families. We'd like to continue their impact by establishing the Bill and Linda Burton Christian Life Endowment to advance the spiritual development of GAC students. When you give a gift to this endowment, students are able to: • Attend mission trips • Learn from Christian speakers and musicians • Learn how to plan, produce, and lead student chapels • Be changed by attending spiritual retreats photographed by Name Here

If you wish to join us in honoring Bill and Linda's legacy at GAC, you may give today and add to this named endowment. Help the Burtons' impact continue for future generations. Send your donation to: Greater Atlanta Christian School Attn: Bill and Linda Burton Christian Life Endowment 1575 Indian Trail Road Norcross, GA 30093 Or visit www.greateratlantachristian.org/giving Questions: Contact Ronnalee Strickland at rstrickland@greateratlantachristian.org gacs today | summer 2016

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Faculty, staff, board members, and special guests had reason to celebrate on May 6! It was an evening to acknowledge those who selflessly give their time, energy, and prayers to the GAC community. AT GAC, EVERY DAY IS A GREAT DAY TO BE A SPARTAN!

H.A. Fincher Spirit of Excellence Award Tim Ball – Senior High Human Anatomy Teacher and Varsity Boys Lacrosse Head Coach • Exhibits selflessness and devotion to students • Demonstrates outstanding professional qualifications • Inspires excellence in students

• Provides many years of service to GAC • Promotes spiritual direction for students • Goes above and beyond their responsibilities

Outstanding Staff Member & Educators of the Year: Joann Waldrop Senior High Science Teacher

Robert Moloney Elementary 5th Grade Teacher

Joanne Buckner Finance Office 34

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John Lee Junior High Math Teacher photographed by Glenn Martin & Mario Lozano


Ministry Milestones

Retirees:

5

YEARS

BIll Burton (46 years)

Janice Stroud (35 years)

10 YEARS

Judy Tenney (35 years)

Ben Born (28 years)

15 YEARS

Kimbra Wiseman (17 years)

Charles Butts (12 years)

Event Sponors: Platinum Circle Sponsors:

20 YEARS

April Beasley Matt Beasley Jen Clark JD Cooper Laura Ellard Cheryl Graminga Christy Hill Anne Hood Theresa Johnson Caroline Keyes Kathy Klueber

Tina P. Martin Malia Mixon Mandy Morris Kim Osborne Britney Ray Crystal Rush Josh Thomason Dan Voelzke Megan Wilson Alicia Wood

Kristi Buce Rosa Vestal Regan Burnett Catrina White Amy Chamblee Wes York Chris Landreth Jennifer Lofton Robert Moloney Dana Pritchett

Elaine Adams Gerry Hill Lianne Keeton Edison Quevedo

Julie Bridges Jill Morris Mandy Richey Jackie Swann

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John Connel Thom Jacquet

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Sandra Baggett Beth Christian

Marsie Walton Jennifer Warren

YEARS

Gold Circle Sponsors:

YEARS

Bill & Gary Long Red Circle Sponsors:

35 YEARS

Gary Crane Dana Davis Judy Tenney Janice Stroud

Patrons & Athletic Boosters photographed by Name Here

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CELEBRATING

YEARS

“I believe that our students are beginning to understand the concept that we serve the Lord by serving each other.” David Fincher shared these thoughts with the Board of Trustees in October 1996 after GAC took almost 50 students on the school’s first mission trip. Led by chaplain Matt Elliott, the first mission team traveled to the City of Children orphanage in Ensenada, Mexico. Since then, thousands of GAC students and teachers have served all over the world, sharing the love of Christ with others.

OF MISSIONS

“WHEN A STUDENT SERVES, HE OR SHE WILL SEE JESUS IN A CLEARER, MORE POWERFUL WAY. FOR TWENTY YEARS, MANY OF OUR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS HAVE EXPERIENCED THE JOY OF THE FATHER AS WE FOLLOW HIS SON’S INSTRUCTIONS TO ‘GO INTO ALL THE WORLD.’” – DANA DAVIS

Over the past 20 years, students and teachers have served in 23 locations in the United States and 25 locations abroad (indicated in red).

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GAC sent 22 mission teams out into the world during the 2015-16 school year. summer 2016 | gacs today


YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! It’s almost time for our annual four-week fundraising blitz. Every fall, the GAC community steps up in support of the Annual Fund. Help support GAC’s annual operating budget and make special projects around campus possible by making a pledge or gift to the Annual Fund. You can immediately impact your child’s experiences at GAC.

PLEDGE NOW TO RECEIVE YOUR 2016-17 CAR MAGNET!

Last year we saw incredible participation by our community. We hope to go above and beyond this year and achieve 100% participation from everyone!

PARTICIPATION RATES (2015-16): 98%

Parent Participation

100%

Faculty & Staff Participation

100%

Board Participation

Did you know that tuition only pays for approximately 85% of GAC’s operating budget? Your pledge or gift to the Annual Fund helps close the gap and make technology improvements, campus security, utilities, maintenance, and so much more possible for students.

15%

• Annual Fund • GAC Endowment • Miscellaneous Income

photographed by Name Here

The Annual Fund supports the GAC operating budget

When we exceed our Annual Fund goal, special projects are funded. This year’s initiative will focus on advancements in STEAM (ScienceTechnology-Engineering-Arts-Math).

NEW THIS YEAR! All students whose families pledge or give to the Annual Fund will receive an Annual Fund T-shirt. Pledge or give by August 8 to receive yours at Spartan2gether. T-shirts will be available after that date in school lobbies. Students may wear T-shirts as Spirit wear on Fridays and during the first ten days of the Annual Fund!

85% • Tuition

All gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible. For more information, or to make a pledge or gift, visit www.greateratlantachristian.org/annual-fund.

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THE SPARTAN STORE

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

store.greateratlantachristian.org

SAVETHE DATE

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Monday, August 8 Spartan2gether

Friday, September 30 Homecoming

Friday, November 4 Grandparents’ Day

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summer 2016 | gacs today


A L U M N I

NEWS Our alumni keep the spirit of Greater Atlanta Christian School alive. Our graduates honor school traditions, serve as a connected network and share the good news of GAC with others. You are always a Spartan. Mark your calendars for Homecoming 2016 on September 30.

∞ S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

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CLASS OF 2013

jacob baker

CLASS OF 201 2

carter graham hughes

Jacob Baker graduated from Harding University in May 2016 with a degree in Healthcare Management. He is engaged to Bailey Webster who will graduate this December from Harding University with an English degree. They plan to spend a year in China teaching English in a Chinese university. « Rebekah Garland Hensley graduated from Salem College in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. This summer, she has been accepted to participate in the Southampton Writers’ Conference at Stony Brook in Southampton, New York. Carter Graham Hughes and Rebecca Erin O’Halloran were married in October 2015 at the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas. Carter and Erin currently live in Searcy and will graduate in December from Harding University. « Kalif Raymond signed to play football with the Denver Broncos. Running a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, he is a force to be reckoned with on the field. The Spartans can’t wait to cheer for him in the NFL. Caroline Reed graduated from Harding University with a degree in History and will be attending Southern Methodist University's School of Law in the fall.

CLASS OF 2011 Malcolm Brogdon is the first basketball player to be named both the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Malcolm was also named as one of four finalists for the coveted Naismith Trophy, which goes to the top collegiate player in the nation.

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

Paige Hankerson attends Louisiana State University and is pursuing a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Political Science. She is in the LSU Air Force ROTC program and is training to become a United States Air Force Officer. Cadet Hankerson was recently featured on the front page of the Louisiana State University newspaper, The Daily Reveille, which recognized her participation in the Air Force Military Traditions’ Customs and Courtesies program.

CLASS OF 2010 clarke v. boards

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summer 2016 | gacs today

Clarke V. Boards married Eric Simmons in January 2016 Trackside. Clarke attended the University of Kentucky she was a student athletic trainer and graduated with a in Exercise Science in 2014. Eric, also a 2014 graduate

at 550 where degree of the


University of Kentucky, was a member of the UK football team and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics. The couple lives in Richmond, Virginia, where Clarke is employed by Tide Water Physical Therapy group and Eric is employed by Tyson Foods. «

michael turner

David and Lindsay (Adams) Lundeen have relocated from Colorado to Missouri with the United States Army. Lindsay has completed her first year of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters Program through Wake Forest University (with a 3.97 GPA) and will begin the internship portion in August 2016. Taylor Martin is in graduate school at Castleton University in Vermont pursuing a degree in athletic leadership. She is also the Assistant Women's Lacrosse Coach at Castleton.

Michael Turner and Kaitlyn Chandler were married in June 2014. Kaitlyn graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2013. Michael graduated from UGA in May 2014. Michael is currently a student at Georgia State University School of Law, and Kaitlyn works as a 4-H Club Program Assistant with Gwinnett County Extension Service. They currently live in Snellville, GA. »

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

Karen Wood is engaged to Russ Martin. Their wedding is planned for August 2016 at Perimeter Church. Russ is a 2014 graduate of Georgia Tech and is a project engineer with Marel Stork in Gainesville, GA. Karen graduated from Georgia College and State University in 2014 and is a marketing associate with BIS Benefits, Inc. in Alpharetta. After honeymooning in Banff, Alberta, Canada they will live in Duluth. »

CLASS OF 2009

»

Michelle Buckner graduated from the University of Chicago in August 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Physics. In October 2015, Michelle accepted a position in the Trade Support division of Gelber Group LLC, a proprietary trading corporation located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

michelle buckner

karen wood

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luke davis

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

Luke Davis and Hannah Grace Walker were married in December 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. Luke received his master’s degree in Finance from Vanderbilt University and is employed by Chickasaw Capital as a research financial analyst. Hannah Grace is a graduate of Mississippi State University and is employed as a middle school math teacher at Houston Middle School. They currently live in Germantown, Tennessee. «

CLASS OF 2007

»

Sam Arthur and Jessi Deacy were married in May 2015 in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. They currently live in Brookhaven, GA. Sam is a Financial Advisor and District Director with Northwestern Mutual. Jessi is a Development Coordinator at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They are University of South Carolina athletics fans and enjoy traveling as much as possible.

matt and courtney (guy) meng

Matt and Courtney (Guy) Meng live in Augusta, Georgia. Matt graduated from Medical College of Georgia in May 2015 and is an orthopedic surgery resident. «

sam arthur

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summer 2016 | gacs today


ALUMNI HIGHLIGHT

JAMES "JHART" ABRAHART • CLASS OF 2006 of networking and playing my songs to anyone who would listen, and my music found its way to Universal Music Publishing. After a couple of meetings, I was offered a publishing deal in late 2011. Immediately after the ink on my publishing deal was dry, I decided to move to Los Angeles to be as close to the action as possible. Since then, the pieces of the puzzle have slowly but surely fallen into place. I had a breakthrough at the end of 2012 when one of my songs “Take You” was recorded by Justin Bieber and landed on his multi-platinum Believe album.

I attended GAC from 8th grade until I graduated, and I always think back on my time there very fondly. I owe a lot of my work ethic and willingness to create something that will leave a lasting impression to my time at GAC. Although I sometimes struggled as a student, some of my favorite teachers like Jenny Runkel, Karen “Coach K” Blackman, Clif Jones, and Cindy Lawrence really pushed me and constantly encouraged me to follow my passion and be the best at whatever I decided to pursue. When I left GAC, I attended Savannah College of Art and Design, originally as a film student, but during my last year in high school I had slowly fallen in love with music. I started creating tracks and recording my own amateur songs in my parents’ basement, sometimes staying up till late hours at night to finish them (much to their concern).

Today I am lucky enough to be included in the small circle of top-tier popular music songwriters, and I can honestly say the world-class education and strong spiritual foundation I received at GAC set me up for everything I’ve had to tackle so far. Living in Los Angeles is not easy, especially working in entertainment, and were it not for the guidance and values I learned and retained during my high school years, I don't know that I wouldn't have buckled under the pressure. I am extremely grateful for my teachers, classmates and the entire faculty and staff at Greater Atlanta Christian School, and the lasting effect each of them has had on me.

I eventually left SCAD to pursue music when the little voice of intuition became too much to ignore. I scoured for an internship or any sort of opportunity, asking friends, friends of friends, friends of family and so on. Eventually, I landed an internship and slowly worked my way up from cleaning music studios and taking food orders to an assistant role. Fast forward a year or two

RECENT RELEASES: "Company" by Justin Bieber "Mark My Words" by Justin Bieber "Wasted Time" by Keith Urban "Dangerously" by Charlie Puth "Don't Look Down" by Martin Garrix and Usher

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S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

Upon graduating from GAC in 2006, I set out on a mission to conquer the music industry as a songwriter. Although I still have a lot more to do, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest stars in the world, including Justin Bieber, Keith Urban, Usher, Jason Derulo, Idina Menzel, and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few. To date, my output as a songwriter has amassed over $7 million in sales, I’ve contributed to seven Billboard #1 albums, written songs that have been featured in movies, commercials and prime time television, and reached a global audience.


kelly (van hooser) carter

Stacy (Elrod) Peters and William Joseph Peters were married in June 2014. Will is the new Defensive Coordinator at Apalachee High School and serves as the strength and conditioning coach. Stacy teaches second grade at Commerce Primary School and has served as a small group teacher at Athens Church for the last five years. Stacy and Will are proud to announce the birth of their son, Luke William, born in December 2015. The Peters family lives in Bogart, Georgia. »

nathan pew

CLASS OF 2005 Landis Beck married Dallas Simmons in 2012. They live in Franklin, Tennessee and have two boys, Beckham (2) and Atley (5 months). Kelly (van Hooser) and Clint Carter, along with big brother Austin (4) and big sister Cate (2), announce the birth of their third child, William Price Carter. The Carters live in Franklin, Tennessee and attend Brentwood Hills Church of Christ. « Matt Knauss has been selected as the new football head coach at Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nathan Pew married Camie Smith in April 2015. Nathan received his MBA from Mercer in December, and Camie received her master’s in Education last July. Nathan works at Lightning Production Rental, and Camie teaches second grade. They purchased a new home in January and currently live in Dacula. «

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

stacy (elrod) peters

CLASS OF 2004 Blake and Caitlin (Khouri) McNiece welcomed a daughter, Chandler Gayle, in January 2016. The McNieces live in Smyrna. »

mandi meng

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summer 2016 | gacs today

Mandi Meng married Scott Kotchko in Cabo San Lucas in December 2015. Attendants included Cammy Hebert, Lindsay Licata Jones, and Katy McDonald Carson (‘04) and Matt and Courtney Meng (‘07). Mandi and Scott live in Manhattan where Mandi is the Director of Digital Communications for French Connection USA. «


caitlin (khouri) mcniece

CLASS OF 2002 Sherill Baker is now the assistant basketball coach at Kennesaw State University.

»

Melea Scott Connett and her husband, Mark, welcomed their third child, Reed Stephen, in November 2015. Kinley (8) and Caroline (3) are very proud big sisters. The Connetts live in Peachtree Corners.

»

Ellen (Blount) Hake and husband, Brian, welcomed daughter, Caroline Elizabeth, in January 2016. Caroline joins big brothers, Carter (5) and Mason (3). The Hakes live in Roswell. melea scott connett

∞ S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

ellen (blount) hake

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∞

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

trey kitchens

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summer 2016 | gacs today


∞ S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

zachary tisher

Trey Kitchens currently lives in Atlanta. After spending four years with Merrill-Lynch, he began working for Dell SecureWorks in July 2011 and is now Account Executive responsible for sales in Central/ South Florida. In 2010, he joined the Atlanta Triathlon Club, finishing his first IRONMAN competition (140.6 miles) in Louisville in 2012. He was also a Finisher in the 2013 Inaugural Lake Tahoe IRONMAN. Trey enjoys swimming, cycling, running, traveling the world, and spending time with his friends. «

elizabeth hawkins

«

Beaumont “Beau” James Tisher was born in November 2015 to Janelle and Zachary Tisher. Zach runs Information Security Third Party Risk Management for The Home Depot.

CLASS OF 2001 Elizabeth Hawkins met Fritz Vaughan while working in Washington, D.C., and married in 2009. Prior to the birth of their two daughters, Elizabeth focused her career on government service and politics. She has served as staff for President George W. Bush in The White House, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and then-candidate Commissioner Gary Black. The Vaughans recently moved from NYC back to D.C. where Fritz is an attorney and Elizabeth stays home with Waverly (2) and Mary Winifred (7 months). »

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allison wheeler and cameron melson

CLASS OF 2000 Lane and Kristi (Bodenbender) Mershon welcomed son, Chase Matthew, in March 2016. Chase joins big brothers, Blake and Colton. The Mershons live in Woodstock. »

Allison Wheeler married Cameron Melson (2003). Ally is Chief Operating Officer of Fab’rik Boutiques and Cam is Vice President at ISG Partners. The Melsons live in Atlanta. «

CLASS OF 1993 Ray Godleski and Hope Lewis Mullins (1996) were married in December 2014. Hope has a daughter (10) and a son (6) combined with Ray’s two daughters, ages 13 and 10. They are enjoying learning how to be a family of six! Ray is an Investment Advisor Representative for TransAmerica Financial Advisors and a Residential Sales Specialist with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners. Hope is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Athens Technical College. «

CLASS 1991 ray godleski and hope lewis mullins

Andrew Robertson won Best Director in Sydney at Australia’s Fantastic Planet for his recent film “Refuge.”

»

S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

CLASS OF 1998

andrew robertson

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summer 2016 | gacs today


lane and kristi (bodenbender) mershon

∞ S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 ALUMNI NEWS

IN MEMORIAM Ann Tabor Baur (1955-2016)

Marlin McKeever (1966-2015)

GAC Class of 1973

GAC Class of 1984

John B. Chaffin (1947-2016)

Lofton Phillips (1926-2016)

Junior High & Senior High Choral Director 1992-2009

GAC Board of Trustees member 1967-2001; GAC Senior Board member 2001-2016; a generous giver and good encourager; his enthusiasm helped bring outstanding students to GAC.

Pam Garner Ledford (1963-2015) GAC Class of 1981

J. Paul Littrell (1918-2015) GAC Board of Trustees member 1973-1983; GAC Senior Board member 1984-2015; a long-time friend of the school, WWII veteran and Atlanta businessman.

Edgar Walton (1922-2016) GAC Board of Trustees member 1967-2000; GAC Senior Board member 2000-2016; his wisdom and support gave deep heart and thoughtful balance in shaping GAC's future.

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Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID

Norcross, GA Permit #11

1575 indian trail road norcross, georgia 30093 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED Greater Atlanta Christian School Incorporated admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other administered programs.

Encourage your friends to take the next step. Invite them to an Open House and share your GAC experience. Find upcoming dates at greateratlantachristian.org/schedule-a-visit.

GACS Today Summer 2016  
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