KINGâ€™S RID GE CHRISTIAN SCHO OL
FA L L / W I N T E R E D I T I O N 2 0 2 0
MISSION King’s Ridge Christian School is a Christian community providing a college preparatory education equipping students to know, to serve, and to believe.
VISION King’s Ridge Christian School will become the number one choice for a Christ-centered, academically excellent college prep school and a place for students to build character, discover their unique purpose and calling and grow to make an impact that extends far beyond the King’s Ridge Christian School campus.
PASSION Our passion is to bring every student into a personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ while equipping them to do with excellence all that God has called them to do.
BE STILL is published by the Office of Communications and is free of charge. For additional information, please call 770.754.5738 or visit our website at www.KingsRidgeCS.org. Disclaimer: King’s Ridge Christian School makes every effort to ensure that all names and listings are accurate and complete. If an error has been made, please accept our sincerest apologies. ©2020 King’s Ridge Christian School
Front Cover Artwork: Brenda Bowman, KRCS Middle School Teacher
Note from the editor “It took me 42 years to write this song, and five minutes to sing it. – Don Henley, The Heart of the Matter I have always loved this song. Even though it was released over thirty years ago, “The Heart of the Matter” is one of those rare songs that becomes more poignant as you age. I kept hearing this song on various radio stations throughout last year, and one day, in particular, it resonated. While the introspective ballad frames a past relationship ultimately with forgiveness, “The Heart of the Matter” strikes a chord because its themes are universal and especially symptomatic of our current times. For example, consider this line, “The more I know, the less I understand/All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again.” You can say that again. All of us have had to relearn everything in our personal and professional lives since the COVID-19 pandemic hit almost a year ago. Amid all the chaos there has always been one certainty at King’s Ridge Christian School. We are doing everything we can to keep our campus open with as much normalcy as health and safety guidelines permit. This is imperative because getting to know students – the unique person God created them to be and helping them discover their driving passion – is at the very heart of our school’s mission. And as we learned last spring, relationships flourish best face-to-face versus online instructi n and Zoom Cloud meetings. A recent KRCS graduate shared, “King’s Ridge was not just the place I went to school; it’s my home away from home. I’ve built a family there consisting of teachers, coaches, administrators, and friends.” Another stated, “My teachers have impacted me more than any other person in my life. As a result, I have formed strong relationships with lots of them. I would not be who I am today without my journey at King’s Ridge Christian School.” As with all relationships, some are fleeting while others last a lifetime. The emotional bonds and interactions that are formed and shared impact each one of us throughout our lives. It is always our hope and goal at KRCS that each student knows even when “There are people in your life/Who’ve come and gone” we are always here for them at King’s Ridge Christian School. Michelle Azzi Director of Communications
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Letter From Head of School
Letter from Head of School Welcome to the fifth edition of BE STILL magazine. It’s a terrific issue and shares amazing things about King’s Ridge Christian School. Our focus for this edition is relationships; relationships with one another, God, and the community. God is good, and His love endures forever through the meaningful relationships established here. As you may remember, our strategic vision for 2020 had five areas we planned to focus on (SV 2020 report). The fifth area of focus was Community, described as the desire to “strengthen and enrich the tapestry of relationships which define the King’s Ridge Christian School community.” So what exactly does this involve? When you look at the action steps you will see they define our desire to be a school where students are known, taught, nurtured, and loved collectively by teachers, administrators, parents, and other students, and the inherent value that such an environment brings to each student’s success. One does not truly understand the power of this dynamic until it is gone. In March of 2020 our school closed due to the threat of COVID-19. The novelty wore off after about week two, and each of us began to realize how much we missed being together. I recall the Senior Parade in May and how I was filled with joy to see the seniors and their parents driving by while the faculty and staff lined the campus streets to congratulate them. After a long summer of planning and preparations, we were finally able to start school, and all students were able to be on campus every day by early October. One day in particular I remember standing at the center of campus and seeing students eating lunch on the patio, students running and playing during PE, and students and faculty talking in the quad. At that moment my heart was full, knowing this is the tapestry of relationships at KRCS. Another of our action steps states that we want to build a community inclusive of supporting parent partnerships and valuing families committed to the school’s mission. This involves active involvement in the lives of their children and our Christian school community. Even though we currently have to limit parent participation on campus due to safety procedures, seeing parents in the carpool line has been incredible. It has also been a joy to see them cheering for their children at athletic and fine arts events. It all goes back to the relationships built daily on our campus. As several parents have shared with me, you feel the power of these relationships as you see your kids at school and filled with contentment as they are engaged in these relationships every day. BE STILL - 4
There are several additional key differentiators at KRCS that come to mind when I think about strengthening and enriching relationships. Some examples of these are our new counseling department made up of a most talented group of individuals who have a true calling to work with our students. They have been offering in-person grade-level parent meetings, one-on-one meetings with students starting in Middle School, and so much more. Christian Life faculty are developing a curriculum that will teach our students the truth and the power of the most significant relationship, one with Jesus Christ. Christian Life has also been intentional in planning chapel times, service days, and retreats. The Co-Curricular (Fine Arts, Athletics) departments have done an incredible job collaborating so our students can participate in both. They’ve also worked closely on the development of relationships in activities that students are really passionate about. Lastly, you will recall that another strategic vision for 2020 was the area of Academics, as stated in the overview section as the second key area of focus. Our focus here was described as, “We will continue to emphasize and hone what we do well, including building strong relationships between faculty and students and preparing students for college life.” Every teacher, staff member, and employee at KRCS is committed to this vision. I wish every parent could spend a day in the shoes of their child. Seeing and experiencing firsthan the incredible love, passion, and care the faculty has for each student is a sight to see. It reminds me of last year’s “Lifers.” A Lifer is a student who has been enrolled at KRCS for thirteen consecutive years, culminating in graduation. All thirteen Lifers from the Class of 2020 stated their teacher-student relationships formed at KRCS were the most important memory they will take with them. To me, hearing this means we met and exceeded our strategic vision focus. Nothing could make me happier. To God be the glory! Dr. Jeff D. Williams Head of School
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But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 PETER 3:18
The Trip This past July the seven selected Prefects for
sobering, and from Sierra with stupefying
the 2020-2021 school year traveled to Aspen,
intelligence, break whistle. Break whistle is what
Colorado, to spend five days and four nights in
we yelled at Sierra every five minutes or so. She
the wilderness. The trip challenged the Prefects
would then blow the whistle to let Dr. Williams
to grow as leaders, to depend upon the others
know we were out of breath and wanted to stop
as a team, and to strengthen their faith in the
for a break. Although all these words describe the
Lord. Dr. Jeff D. Williams, Head of School, led
Prefect trip, the word that perfectly impounds all
the group by navigating the trails and picking the
of our experiences is “important.” On this trip
campsite. The Prefects were also accompanied
we learned to work together, to lead each other,
by faculty members Bo Towns, Director of
to pull each other out of hard experiences, and,
Christian Life, and Kaile Carroll, Upper School
ultimately, we became Prefects.
Christian Education Teacher. Publicity Prefect, Andrew White, shares his experience about this
After meeting in the airport and flying from
Atlanta to Colorado, we enjoyed our first night at the Pokolodi Lodge where we spent the evening
In Hollywood many movies follow the same
doing devotions and getting to know each other
formula, one in which people from different
before the hike the next day. In addition to
groups who tend to not get along are forced to
devotions and as a way to get to know each other,
interact with one another. The characters in these
we did ice breaker activities. As we spent our last
movies often become friends of the best sort.
night with our phones texting our friends and
The Prefect trip follows the same formula. We
family, Clay and I discussed how we felt as though
were seven different kids from different groups
we were going off to war, or something crazy like
with different opinions about each other. To be
that. We went to bed nervous that first night, not
honest, at least from my perspective, the opinions
sure what to expect in the following days.
we held for one another were not fond ones, but by the end of the trip we weren’t just working
After the first night the generous people of the
companions but friends. The fact of the matter is
Pokolodi Lodge drove us to the trail head. We
I would have never changed my opinions about
walked until our legs ached and our stomachs
the other Prefects if it wasn’t for this trip.
were shrunken before we stopped to chow on the most delicious PB&Js. The first day, according
I asked each Prefect if they could describe the
to Mr. Bo Town’s Fitbit, we walked 10.82 miles,
trip in one word. The words given were: unifying,
most of which were at an incline. Even after this
exhausting hike we still had to set up camp.
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After setting up camp we had dinner and
day. The first thing we did when we arrived at
devotion. Later, we all went to the river so we
the lake was to pray, and then we had PB&Js
could see God’s glory as the sun fell. While
again. This is when I realized we would have
walking towards the river we gave Mr. Towns
the same meal every day for lunch for the
the new nickname of “Uncle Bo.” As we
next four days. After lunch we all took naps
returned to our tents to sleep, we realized for
during a four-hour rainstorm and then later
the first time we’d be sleeping on the g ound.
enjoyed one of the many secret Prefect dinner traditions. We had mac and cheese, ramen,
The second day on the trail validated the
mashed potatoes, and canned chicken.
fact that the first day was the hardest and we would continue to be sore on this trip. We
As delightful as it was, I don’t think I will be
woke, had oatmeal, a devotion, and started
eating any of these things again any time
walking. We walked 10.44 miles, did our first
soon, well, maybe in college. Before going to
creek crossing, and found ourselves at one
sleep I remember having a long conversation
of the most beautiful places in the world,
with Clay about our lives. We could hear a lot
Snowmass Lake. We made great time that
of laughter from the girls’ tent.
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The Trip The next day we woke and did our only day hike
packs. It was almost as hard as the first day,
and first summit. This was the day that Clay stood
but because of the struggle we had already
out as the most athletic in the group. In the days
faced, it wasn’t. The most important part of
before, Clay and I played a game where we each
the trip was struggling through the early days
said a random food, animal, celebrity, etc. Then
so we could win in the later days. When we
we hypothetically paired them in a fight and chose
were hiking up the mountain and were on a
the winner. We started doing this as we usually did
switchback with a steep drop to the left, Clay
but as the elevation rose and the break whistle
was walking ahead of me and he almost fell but
was blown more frequently, I struggled to get the
thankfully caught himself. That day I felt like I
faintest words out of my mouth. Clay was walking
was slipping from the group, only to find out
along unfazed, continuing to give theoretical
later that I wasn’t the only one struggling. We
fights between things like otters and penguins.
all were. By motivating each other and with the
We summited the pass and it felt like God took
guiding hand of God, we were able to make it
a weight off our shoulders. We went down the
to the summit. Just like the previous day, Clay
mountain and as God placed words back in my
was a “Chatty Cathy” who seemed unphased
mouth I resumed the theoretical fights. Later
by the elevation. We made it to the summit and
that night it was my turn to give devotions with
it just felt right. We all stood there, relieved
Anna, which was a wonderful opportunity to get
and in awe of God’s creation. We stood on the
to know her. Before the trip we had probably only
pass, basking in God’s glory, eating honey and
talked three or four times. That night we played
crackers while looking over the beautiful Rocky
charades and might have woken the rest of the
campsite, but it was a great bonding activity. That was the last night of the trip. When we got The saddest thing about the trip was while we
to the campsite we were all ready to go home
were sleeping a bear walked through our camp
but we didn’t want to leave our bubble. The
and I missed it. I heard people screaming “No
bubble we had created amongst ourselves. The
bear!! Go away bear!!” I thought it was just a
bubble that wasn’t affected by the coronavirus
dream because of how bad I wanted to see a
because it was just us. Of course we all wanted
bear. That was our last night at Snowmass Lake
to see our friends and families, but there is
and the last shot at seeing a bear.
something peaceful about being severed from the rest of the world. We got to our campsite
The next morning we completed our second
and we took a nap, just as we did every day.
summit, but this time we did it with 40-pound
Later that night we played games as dinner
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was cooked. Bonnie and I made an agreement
gave us a meaningful devotion that night and
not to eat until we got to the Pokolodi Lodge
we discussed and brainstormed ways to bring
because we wanted something other than
our bubble back to King’s Ridge.
canned chicken. We went to bed and Clay and The unique thing about our Prefect group was
I had another late night conversation.
that we never split up. The number of times As we walked back to the lodge, we saw a lot of
we wanted to fall back and walk slower but
people who were starting their first day on the
didn’t is a true testament to the resilience of
trail. We could see on their faces how bad we
our group. When one person needed to stop,
smelled. I looked and felt crusty, and I could see
we all stopped. We carried each other all 51.29
the validation of my opinion in their eyes. When
miles of the trip. After the trip I knew I could
we got to the Pokolodi Lodge we all showered,
count on the others to have my back in the
cleaned our things, and finall , we ate. We ate
year to come. The forced interaction proved
till we were sick because the small amounts
to me that it didn’t matter what made people
of canned chicken, PB&Js, and oatmeal had
different from each other. What mattered is
shrunken our stomach. Clay and I both ordered
what made us similar to one another. I knew
two meals, downed them and then went to the
I had created unlikely companions in the walk
hotel and napped, watched TV, called friends
of life. We became Prefects, and that was the
and family, and then ate more food. Uncle Bo
goal of this trip.
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Homecoming “As we navigated the challenges amid the pandemic, our students and teachers were determined to pull off Homecoming Week. We were able to safely hold a parade, pep rally, football game, and dance that created wonderful memories for our students and community. And we celebrated our blessings to be at KRCS!” – Dr. Edward J. Spurka, Head of Secondary Education
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Musical “In mid-November, I had the wonderful opportunity to see my high school’s production of “How to Succeed in Business Without REALLY Trying.” While words literally cannot express the full force of pride and joy I still hold close to me days after the fact, I’ll do my best. We enjoyed an incredible show! The KRCS Fine Arts department successfully did what Broadway and most universities seemingly cannot do these days. They performed six sold-out shows of a full-blown on-stage musical over two weekends, using two separate casts, all normally performed and with protocols in place for the audience’s safety. Simply outstanding! A special thank you to everyone involved in the KRCS Fine Arts program. Most especially to KRCS Director of Fine Arts Holly Krig-Smith, Show Director Kathy Winchell, Music Director Jenny Piacente, and Choreographer Annie Dietz. The talented cast and crew gave us an incredible and unexpected gift and a memory we will always cherish.” – Ben Reardon, KRCS Class of 2018
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Counseling Achieving A Meaningful, Purposeful Upper School Experience: An Intentional Balancing Act
on the importance of being well-rounded and on how to create balance within academics and social, spiritual, and physical health. To do this, KRCS counselors work with students on four key areas, thus ensuring that students attain their
At times students can become single-minded,
post-secondary goals. These four areas are:
focusing only on academics. While good grades are
Guiding academic choices
certainly an important goal for every student and
Supporting academic achievement
a key to college admissions, grade point averages
Developing social and emotional well-being
should not define students or consume every waking
Initiating, supporting, and managing college
hour. A life filled only with textbooks, essays, and
planning and applications
standardized tests is not spiritually meaningful, socially purposeful, or physically healthy. Thus, as a
Through one-on-one meetings, small group advisement
college preparatory school, KRCS strives to provide
lessons, large group presentations, family conferences,
students with rigorous academic preparation as
and daily informal settings, counselors seek to know
well as social, spiritual, and physical fulfillment, all
each of the students as individuals with unique talents,
necessary for college and life beyond.
aspirations, struggles, and strengths. Counselors act as guides, encouraging students to build resiliency,
Research supports this call to students for a balanced
self-confidence, and independence, qualities which are
life. According to the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance
crucial for success in college and beyond.
Program, “Students often prioritize academics at the expense of personal factors, including relationships
During the 2021 spring semester students will select
and exercise. This can lead to a decline in academic
courses for the 2021-2022 school year. Counselors
performance, as general health and well-being are
and teachers will both play a crucial role in helping
critical to optimal academic functioning.” (2020) And
students make well-informed, intentional academic
perhaps most surprising is that college admissions
choices that match their interests and strengths, as
departments tell counselors that a high school resume
well as helping them achieve their college goals.
fi led only with academic accolades is not what they At the same time, counselors will emphasize the
seek in applicants.
importance of being involved in extracurricular activities, The Upper School counseling department at KRCS
athletics, and community service in order to create a
focuses on developing the whole child; one who
balanced school year that builds the intellect, spirit,
successfully balances academics, extra-curricular
and body. The KRCS counseling team truly believes
interests, the arts, a spiritual relationship with Christ,
that the well-balanced student is best prepared “to
and athletic pursuits. Counselors educate students
know, to serve, and to believe” now and in the future.
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Meet The Upper School Counseling Staff Amy Price, Coordinator of College Counseling Ms. Price has thirty-three years of experience working with high school students, first in the classroom as an English teacher and department chair and then as an assistant principal and dean of academics. As a high school administrator Ms. Price focused on curriculum, specifically building master schedules which met the needs of each studentâ€™s college/career goals and their interests. Ms. Price has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia.
Judy Cinesi, College Counselor Ms. Cinesi has been a certified college/school counselor in private Christian schools for the past sixteen years. She is an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC), and the School Counselor Advisory Board at Georgia State University. Ms. Cinesi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Science degree in School Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.
Tara Tenore, College Counselor Ms. Tenore has worked for nine years as a certified school counselor and classroom teacher. She enjoys helping students identify their interests, abilities, and unique gifts and talents, a process that culminates in post-secondary planning and college applications. She holds memberships in both NACAC and SACAC. Ms. Tenore graduated from Thomas More College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She then earned a Master of Education degree in School Counseling from Augusta University.
Ray Lian, College Counselor Mr. Lian has a college admissions background having served as the Associate Director for Recruitment at Brenau University. In that position he was a member of the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (GACRAO) which gave him a strong foundation for relationships with college representatives. Mr. Lian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in History from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Brenau University.
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Season: We made the playoffs! Won three
Terry Crowder, Head Football Coach & Program Coordinator Preseason: This being my first year at KRCS, I was extremely proud of the varsity football team and our accomplishments given the extremely tough conditions facing any program during a pandemic. Starting in June we had to break practices up between three different sessions while not having more than 20 total participants for any one practice, and that included coaches!
games and could have won two. Injuries were a factor as was COVID-19 in the cancelling of the Mt. Paran game. We fought every game, played very well defensively at times and offensively as well. I am very excited to see what the future holds as we build this program into becoming a state power. Go Tigers!
Chris Leffle , 7th/8th Grade Football Coach 7th/8th grade football had a solid season going
We were still able to condition and put in the most
3-3 overall. The 16 players were a small but
basic of offensive and defensive plays. The month
determined group. These young men learned a
of July saw us finally able to come together as a full team. There was importance placed on: 1) Being on time, 2) Wearing only KR colors and 3) Coming to practice every day. The football team bought into these three basic rules and I saw
new offense and defense which meant position changes for many. The competition, drills, and high expectations during practice will help each player prepare for success at the varsity level.
improvement every week. August saw the season
Pat Sullivan, 5th/6th Grade Football Coach
being moved back to the end of September. I
We had a great season and overcame a lot of
have never practiced so much with a football
adversity with COVID-19 and schedule changes.
team before our first game. Huge challenges
We had several first time tackle football players
arose as we had to fight boredom, injuries, and
and the boys had fun and learned a lot. Regular
heat for two solid months before our first game
season record was 4-2, and we made the playoffs.
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dedication to the 6:30 AM workouts paid off
Kaile Carroll, Head Cheerleading Coach & Program Coordinator What a joy this season has been with these studentathletes! All of our cheerleaders are dedicated, hardworking, respectful, and true leaders among their peers. We have watched them improve and try new skills all season. Their character, leadership, love for the school, and love for the Lord is what stands out the most to us as their coaches, and we couldn’t be prouder of them! Though this season looked different in many ways, the Lord gave us many answers to prayer: the ability to have camp, pep rallies, games with fans, and practices together as a whole team. Between cheering on our Tigers to playoffs, celebrating an amazing senior night, welcoming students in during carpool, and participating in workouts and morning practices, these girls gave their all in every area this season. We look forward to another wonderful year next year!
throughout the season and our athletes shined at the Class 1A Private Area Meet. King’s Ridge co-hosted the meet with St. Francis at Allatoona Creek Park in Acworth. Some highlights for the Area Meet included a 2nd place finish by Isaac Martin in the Men’s Varsity race, 4th and 6th place finishes by Rachel and Emma Smith respectively in the Women’s Varsity Race, and a 1st place finish by Brice Floyd in the JV Race. Isaac, Rachel, and Emma all qualified for the GHSA State Meet which took place in Carrollton on November 7th. The Boys’ Varsity team also qualified for the GHSA State Meet based on the 4th place finis in the Area Meet. This is the first time King’s Ridge has qualified for the State Cross Country Meet. At the State Meet Isaac placed 22nd out of 205 runners. The coaches are incredibly proud of our athletes for their commitment to their sport and their support of their teammates. They are also excited for the future of the program.
Cross Country Karen Coleman, Head Cross Country Coach & Program Coordinator King’s Ridge Varsity Cross Country had a great season this fall. We had 28 runners and participated in nine meets this season. The
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Athletics Shelby Pope, Middle School Cross Country Coach
the JV team, with catchers Saylor Adamski (9th) and Avery Adkin (8th) anchoring the infield. Newcomer
The Fall 2020 Middle School Cross Country season
to the program, Abbey Walker (10th), immediately
was amazing! Despite some uncertainty/changes to
made an impact offensively with her power and
protocol due to COVID-19, our MS XC Tigers
speed and defensively by her range and athleticism
brought their best effort to each practice and each
in center field. Offensive leaders for this team were
meet. Our end-of-the-season Metro 10 Championship
Avery Adkin with an impressive .688 average on the
meet was the cherry on top of such a great season.
season and 10 runs scored and Saylor Adamski who
Overall, out of ten teams, our MS Boys’ team got
finished the season with a .455 average and 10 runs
2nd place - Loden Kohrman got FIRST PLACE (out of
scored. This team will bring a lot of confidence into
72 runners) and Ella Farwell got SIXTH PLACE (out of
the 2021 season with everyone returning and ready
70 runners)! We are so proud of our student-athletes
for a region schedule as a varsity team.
and can’t wait for next season!
Softbal Crissy Watkins, Head Softball Coach & Program Coordinator and Director of Athletics The softball program is clearly heading in the right direction with a lot of passionate and talented players currently involved in the program. With no seniors or juniors this year the team formed a strong JV team
The Middle School team had an impressive season
consisting of 4 Upper School players and 7 eighth
as well, again making it to the Metro 10 playoffs for
graders. This group worked hard all season which led
the second year in a row. The talent on this team is
to only two losses in the season. The team defeated
extensive, but even more impressive was the positive
two varsity teams and pulled together to defeat a
energy within these young ladies. The team was led
tough Roswell team. Pitching duties belonged to
by the 8th graders who played most MS games in
freshman Emerson Jackson and Anna Seoane for
addition to all of the JV games. Many of these young
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ladies can play multiple positions which gave the coaches a lot of options when it came to the lineup. A bright spot for this group was the talented 5th grade group who were not intimidated by playing older players. Pitcher Karina French (5th) shared pitching responsibilities with Anna Seoane (8th) with Avery Adkin (8th) catching for both of them. Newcomer Skylar Adamski (7th) wasted no time contributing for the Tigers, leading the team offensively with a .556 average and playing wherever she was needed on the field. The potential and talent within the program is encouraging to the coaches, and they can’t wait to get back to work for next season.
digs in a thrilling 5-set game with Galloway, besting the previous school record of 25. Junior libero Olivia Melnikoff secured her 326th career dig and is on track to become the team’s first player to hit 500. And Lily Kuck, the lone freshman on Varsity, led the team and finished 5th overall in the region for kills at 107 (also breaking the school record). Junior Varsity Volleyball experienced a shorter but still impactful season. The team consisted of all freshman and three eighth graders who played up. They were led by Sydney Drye in defense and Sophia Afanador in offense with a notable program win over Denmark. Middle School Volleyball experienced growth as a program with 22 girls playing on two teams. Despite playing in a tough Metro 10 area, the teams pulled out great wins and showed promise for the program’s
upcoming years. Seventh graders Avery Russell and Constance Schilling led the way for the A team,
AJ Jones, Head Volleyball Coach & Program Coordinator
along with several other talented players. The future is bright for this program!
Varsity Volleyball experienced a challenging season with a multitude of injuries among key players to start things off in September. The girls kept their spirits high and played up to their competition, notching some key wins in both region and non-region play during that time. Over the course of the season the team experienced significant growth in their game which resulted in several school records being broken. A few notable performances through the season: Cali Bryan, in her sophomore season, garnered 26
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Letter to My Younger Self Dear seventh grade Lukas, Don’t be so afraid of change! I know you like how well everything is going; you’re doing well in your classes, your teachers (probably) like you, and you have a good group of friends. Over the next few years a lot of things are going to change; don’t worry, it may seem a bit rough at first but it will get better quickl . When you begin your 8th grade year, many things will seem to have changed; your video production class is entirely different, you have a new group of teachers, and you’re now taking classes that count as high school credit. Don’t worry; these teachers will like you just as much and even though you won’t have Mr. Reid as your teacher for three years in a row, math will still be fine. Also, your classes will be fine as well. They may equire a bit more studying, so stay on top of that! Yes, your video production class is entirely different. N ot only is there a new teacher you don’t know, but the room has also changed and the entire content of the class has changed as well. At the beginning of the year you may find you want to leave the class because of all these extreme changes. I strongly recommend you don’t leave; it will be better than you expected. In the event you do leave the class, you should know that you’ll be joining the class again in the second semester, but you’ll be the only student in it. Don’t leave that one, even when you’re asked if you want to! By staying you’ll realize this is an improvement over the previous class and that your initial fear of Mrs. Winchell was unfounded. After this single semester class you’ll realize the change is for the better. That class will lead you to a very great group of people in the Upper School. All you need to do is continue on! The Upper School may seem like a big and different place, but for the most part everyone you know will be there, and you’ll also make more friends. In Upper School you will feel much less separated per grade. For example, as a freshman I had junior friends; I never expected that in Middle School. Make sure you get involved in clubs and other activities; this will help you meet people and help you learn more. One thing I recommend is to join the musical or some other Fine Arts group. Here there
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are people from all grades who quickly get to know each other. Some of the friends I met there I still talk to, even though they have graduated. You will be given a lot of opportunities. Apart from joining clubs I recommend you don’t say “no” to too much. Over the next few years you’ll be given options for whether you want to enroll in a hard class, whether you want to go out with friends, whether or not you want to join a club, or whether you want to accept an offer. Don’t always immediately think no. Think of what good could come out of saying yes! There’s not much worse than feeling left out and by saying no to things you, unfortunately, force yourself to be left out. When given an opportunity try it instead of not trying at all! Yes, I did leave that video production class but I at least tried it. Without trying you’ll never know how good something might be. By adapting and agreeing to new things many options will be available to you that I didn’t have. I could have had these options, but I was often too quick to say no without considering the benefits I would receive from saying yes. I was afraid of change. So, please, be more accepting of change and say yes more often to the opportunities you are given. Oh yeah, and also remember to have good time management. Lukas Holliger Rising KRCS twelfth grader
TO KNOW - 21
Looking Back Being almost done with my 13 years at King’s Ridge Christian School has caused me to reflect on all the people who have helped mold me into who I am today. Each teacher I had added more and more to my knowledge and my character. One teacher who helped me exponentially was Mrs. Dilbeck. Before having her for math in my seventh and eighth grade years I had absolutely no confidence in my academic abilities, but she instilled in me the belief that I was smart and could handle harder classes. Unfortunately, as I started high school, I lost that belief in myself. Mr. Bayless, my sophomore chemistry teacher, taught me once again that I was smart and that I needed to believe in myself. Sierra Haschak, also a senior this year, was by my side all of my sophomore year telling me I could do great things academically. I am grateful for these three people, and many more who have given me confidence in my academic abilities. I am beyond excited to further my education in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Samford University. Alongside my “academic instability” I had constant stability with the Fine Arts program at King’s Ridge. On any given day I felt I could have gone to Mrs. Piacente, Mrs. Krig-Smith, Mrs. Winchell, or Mrs. Dietz for any problem I was having. Trust me, I utilized that stability as often as I could. Since sixth grade Mrs. Dietz has been an amazing woman to lean on for any problems I had, and she helped tremendously through these past four years. Our relationship grew from starting the first Varsity dance team at KRCS and flourished with each musical. All this to say, I am extremely thankful to multiple aspects of my school. Throughout all of my uncertainties I have always had a home at King’s Ridge Christian School. Anna Galbreath KRCS Class of 2021
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TO KNOW - 23
Admissions schools like the world had never seen before. The Admissions Department’s phone rang off the hook. Emails for inquiries and tours poured in. We were able to conduct them safely, one family at a time. King’s Ridge was blessed with 197 new students for the 2020-2021 school year. Who would have thought that a pandemic could bring such wonderful families and children to our doorways? What a blessing and a silver lining during such troubled times.
Last year we were faced with an unprecedented situation. Face-to-face school, as we have known it, came to a jarring halt in the spring. Children and parents were thrown into a situation that was foreign to many. Homeschooling children while trying to work was a challenge. At King’s Ridge, we were fortunate that many of our students could persevere through their studies because of their ability to use technology that was already in place. Even our youngest students managed
This pandemic caused families to rethink their
to participate in “in-class” instruction. Was it the
lifestyle. Faith, family, friends, and education
optimum experience? Maybe not for some, but
became the forefront of their thoughts. We
we learned from the experience and ultimately
saw families relocate from various parts of the
grew personally and professionally.
country to be closer to loved ones. We saw quite a few families leave the Buckhead area
When several local school districts announced
and move to Alpharetta/Milton. We saw the
in July that they would start the school year
world slow down and emphasis on family-time
virtually there was a sudden interest in private
became prevalent. At KRCS we embraced each
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family as they entered the campus and greeted
prayerful that new friendships have been made
them with what we hoped was the warmth and
regardless of the distance. We have had to
attention they deserved. We were grateful that
think outside the box and innovate ways to
God was at work and led them to us.
connect. While the rest of the world has hit the pause button, we have been blessed to remain
Since the start of the school year we have been
operational and do what we do – educate
fortunate to tour many of our new families who
and love children. We can only pray for God’s
are now interested in bringing a sibling or two.
continued hedge of protection around our
There is no greater compliment than to add a
sweet families and campus.
child once you have experienced the love and academic rigor that King’s Ridge has to offer.
The Admissions Department would like to
Parents are seeing us operate at about 80% of
thank you for your continued support and
our potential, given the COVID-19 restrictions.
believing in King’s Ridge Christian School’s
We long for the day when we can return to our
mission, vision, and passion. We owe you an
enormous amount of gratitude for bringing great families to our community.
Our Parent Connectors have been invaluable in forging relationships with our new families
so they feel a part of our community. We are
Director of Admissions
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. – Ephesians 1:16
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Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 JOHN 3:18
Cape Day children raised over $2,700 the first year! And they designated their contribution in honor of Mrs. Weber, their superhero, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, gone through chemo, and was now cancer-free. The following year the students raised over $2,300. In 2020 the students outdid themselves, raising over $5,000 for CHOA! There were many great stories from the children on how they earned their donation, but one student’s effort stood out. Ellie Bearden, a firs grade student in Mrs. Judge’s class, contributed $400 on her own. It was a joint effort with her
Who Doesn’t Love to Wear a Cape?
parents (Heather and Bryan) and her grandmother, Nana (aka Teresa Parton).
The Lower School students have certainly been superheroes, helping others by participating in
Ellie had a lemonade stand in 2019 to earn
Cape Day for the last three years. Cape Day is an
money and wanted to do something different
annual fundraiser benefiting Children’s Healthcare
this year. Making and selling cookies was not
of Atlanta (CHOA). It is held in the fall and all are
an option with COVID-19 so she decided to
invited to donate and then wear their capes on a
make and sell healthy dog and cat treats (with
special day. It is to recognize the superhero spirit
pumpkin puree). She made bone-shaped treats,
of the children battling illnesses at CHOA.
hearts, and assorted Halloween shapes and sold them; five t eats for $3.00.
Cape Day at our Lower School began in October of 2018. KRCS lead nurse, Mrs. Weber, shared the
The orders started to pile up so they called on
information regarding Cape Day the year before,
Nana to help. They wound up making hundreds
but we were unable to participate at that time.
of treats. One donor (whose son had a brain tumor two years ago and was treated at CHOA) donated
The children were encouraged to do chores to
$100, but Ellie earned the rest of the money.
earn money to contribute. They could purchase a cape directly from CHOA or wear one of their own. With almost 100% participation, the
Debora Daniel Pre-First Teacher
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Ellie’s Dog and Cat Treat Recipe Ingredients
q 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
q Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
q 1/4 cup peanut butter
q In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle
q 2 large eggs q 2 ½ – 3 cups whole wheat flou
attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 and 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. q Working on a lightly flou ed surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. q Place into the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
TO SERVE - 29
Service Day Why We Serve
sleeping. They prefer texting to talking, even
This is my 25th year of teaching high schoolers, and I absolutely love them. In this wonderful four-year period, they become increasingly independent and begin to contemplate their places in the world. What a wonderful time to work with young people as they consider their gifts and how they will put them to use for good. However, in the past five years particularly, I have noticed, and they have told me, that the rise of technology and the allure of social media have had an isolating impact on our precious children. They worry about missing out on something important and are never far from their phones. They lose hours every day in cyberworlds, often when they ought to be
when they sit in circles with friends, heads bowed and fingers scrolling through TikTok feeds or double tapping an Insta post. They become hyper self-focused as they worry about their number of followers or the number of likes a pic receives. Technology is not going away, so how do we counter its deleterious effects? How do we pull our teens back into life? One answer to those questions is that we must give our young people opportunities to serve. On the Upper School Day of Service, faculty serve alongside students in the hopes of cultivating hearts for service. I helped to organize and run the Christmas Shop, and whereas most eyes in the Shop were focused on little people who eagerly came in to buy Christmas presents for their parents, I was watching our seniors. They all showed up completely decked out in tacky Christmas sweaters, Santa hats, blinking lights, and themed PJ pants. We donned our special Christmas masks and before going over the plan, we prayed that the Lord would be present as we worked together to make this day special for the Lower School students and their families. The Lord showed up. I watched as our seniors patiently
children pick their gifts and make wrapping choices. Others made tunnels and cheered as
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students came to the gym. The senior boys
We must give students opportunities to see that
welcomed students and kept gifts on the tables,
being present for someone else, putting othersâ€™
managing the inventory so that students at the
needs ahead of their own, and acting for the
end of the day had as much of a selection as the
good of another pulls them from a world that
students at the beginning of the day. Many of
increasingly tells them to focus on themselves.
the girls opted to wrap, helping the little ones
By setting aside this one day on which we
make their packages something they would be
acknowledge the value of service, we hope that
proud to put under the tree.
we are building servant leaders whose lives will be modeled after Christ who came not to be
They arrived early, they moved boxes from the
served but to serve.
Upper to the Lower School, they helped set up the tables, they ran errands, they worked as a
team, and they sat with the kids as Mrs. Claus
English and World Language Department Chair
read them a story. Hereâ€™s the best part - most of them made the beautiful discovery that in making the day exciting for someone other than themselves, they had a wonderful time.
TO SERVE - 31
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Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. â€“ Proverbs 11:25
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Interact Club Giving Back
King’s Ridge students awarded the Rotary International Citation Oct 16, 2020 The King’s Ridge Christian School Interact Club has been awarded the Rotary International Citation with Platinum Distinction for their community service during the 2019-20 school year. The Platinum Award is the highest designation given to an Interact Club and recognizes clubs that support each of Rotary’s strategic priorities by completing specific activities. The club hosted Rotary Action Group Against Child Slavery (RAGAS) at one of its Upper School Chapel meetings, created and promoted a social media campaign about Rotary’s work toward polio eradication, sold doughnuts to support “World Interact Week,” and introduced club members to Rotary programs for young leaders. But the project the KRCS students have become most known for, and are passionate about, is Moonlight Sonata, an intergenerational prom for Alpharetta-area senior citizens. Over 75 seniors were in attendance for the 3rd annual event last year – the club’s largest to date. Former club board member, Cambri Driskell, who spearheaded the first three events, is now a freshman at Vanderbilt University and has passed the reins to board member Sierra Haschak. And although the immediate future of Moonlight Sonata is uncertain due to COVID-19, the club’s leadership remains optimistic. “We loved serving the community last year through our Moonlight Sonata event, and are excited to continue the club this year with other projects and events,” says Haschak. “We are beyond grateful for the Platinum Citation from Rotary International and to the Rotary Club of Alpharetta for all of their guidance and support.” The KRCS Interact Club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Alpharetta and is open to King’s Ridge students ages 12-18.
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Kingâ€™s Ridge students awarded the Rotary International Citation
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BUSINESS SPONSORS (as of December 2020)
Northside Georgia’s Own
Trotter & Patel Scottsdale Farms
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UPGRADE YOUR EXPERIENCE (as of December 2020)
W. Smith Family
TO SERVE - 37
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. 2 PETER 3:18
Ten Things You Donâ€™t Know About Me Clint Boling Offensive Line Coach 1. I graduated from UGA with a B.B.A. in Risk Management. 2. I met my wife Kelly in Athens at UGA. 3. I have a three-year-old and a two-year-old daughter. 4. I have a nine-year-old chocolate lab named Mac. 5. I spend my free time playing golf. 6. I also played basketball in high school. 7. I enjoy cooking and smoking meat on the grill. 8. I played for Coach Crowder and Coach Satterfield at Chattahoochee High School. 9. I grew up a big UGA fan and committed to the sport after they offered me a football scholarship. 10. I was voted a team captain in high school, college, and in the NFL.
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Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me Marshall Hene Class of 2023 KRCS Mascot - Samson 1. I used to do triathlons. 2. I love spicy foods. 3. I am 6’ 2”. 4. I have taught myself how to play the piano. 5. I love fishing 6. I have two dogs and a fish 7. I love haunted houses. 8. I started the guitar club. 9. I can drive a stick shift. 10. I love camping.
TO BELIEVE - 41
The King’s Ridge Christian School Fine Arts
the support of the Fine Arts Association led by
Academy, founded in 2016, offers students the
parents Deborah James, Rebecca Meeker, and
opportunity to engage in a unique co-curricular
Dawn Bye, the Academy was born.
professional-level arts training in the context of
In a step of faith, Jenny Piacente became the
Christian school culture.
Academy Music Coordinator. Three faculty instructors, N icholas Wheeler, Jenny Piacente,
KRCS families were seeking the opportunity
and Robert Vore, taught piano, voice, violin,
to keep their children on campus for private
drums, and guitar in 2016. Within months the
Academy grew enough to be able to host the
demand in the curricular day increasing with
first annual Academy student recital in May
the implementation of the Middle School piano
of 2017. Featuring 51 performances by KRCS
lab, vocal arts, and theatrical productions and
students, kindergarten through seniors, the Lord
the desire to train on a personal level with
was glorified th ough their gifts and talents.
professional instructors that are masters in their field, the after-school Academy lessons began.
The Academy has also offered a space for the Worship Arts to thrive under the direction of
The Fine Arts Academy was conceived in 2014
Alex Young — not only for rehearsals but for two
by then Director of Fine Arts, Brent Davis. The
weekly chapels. The students support Christian
Lord placed on his heart a vision ‘to create
Life and the community by leading worship as
a comprehensive Fine Arts Academy that
musicians and vocalists.
integrates Christian Life through excellence in training and mentorship where students can
The Lord, having larger dreams than our own,
discover and explore their gifts and talents
led an accomplished dancer and choreographer,
through Instrumental Arts, Multimedia Arts,
Annie Dietz, to the KRCS community. Not only
Theater Arts, Visual Arts and Vocal Arts.’ With
is Mrs. Dietz a professional in her field, she is
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a mentor and Christ-like example of marriage
instruction being held across the campus in
and motherhood. Families invested time and
classrooms and closets if necessary, a common
resources to convert a former space above
safe space was needed to meet the demand of
the Student Center stage into a small and
nine instructors, two dance teachers, and five
beautiful dance studio that Mrs. Dietz quickly
filled with passionate students. From Pre-K after-school dance classes to Upper School
In January of 2020 the completion of the
musical production choreography rehearsals,
Upper School building and transfer of classes
the Student Center dance studio was quickly
opened the modular unit classrooms. Seen
outgrown. In 2018 Mrs. Dietz also began the first
as an opportunity to consolidate all Academy
KRCS dance team with fourteen Middle School
programming to one secure location, the
students, now known as the JV Tigerettes.
modifications began. With the expertise of Director of Facilities, Keith Allen, and his team,
Quickly the entire program reached over 100
a beautiful space has been created.
weekly private lessons. In 2019, with private
TO BELIEVE - 43
Fine Arts Academy Today the Academy houses two large dance
Fine Arts focus is to prepare each student with
studios, four private instruction studios, one
expert professional instruction which develops
multi-use studio, and one acting studio.
them as artists that glorify Him with their talents
Curricular classes during the day can utilize the
given by their Creatorâ€Śto become future
space for music, acting, and dance. After school
Christian leaders that impact HIS kingdom in
the space is buzzing with students Pre-K through
the studio, on the stage, or in the boardroom.
Upper School. Over 175 students participate in private instruction and group dance classes
Our vision is to continue to engage young minds
each week with thirteen instructors. The space is
and hearts in the arts, resulting in creative and
also utilized to support the KRCS award-winning
aesthetic thinkers that are educated consumers
performing arts musical productions under the
of the arts who will influence the world with their
direction of Kathy Winchell.
gifts and talents. The Fine Arts Academy facility will further this vision to serve Kingâ€™s Ridge and
2021 brings the return of instrumental music at
the Upper School with a varsity drumline. The Lord has led the gifted Joel Terning to KRCS as
We look forward to the opportunities our students
our Middle School instrumental and vocal arts
will have to discover the potential of their God-
teacher who has willingly shared his talents across
given artistic talents under the leadership of
the campus. This includes taking up the direction
the members of our Fine Arts faculty and invite
of the drumline through the Fine Arts Academy.
you to attend one of our upcoming Fine Arts productions, recitals, concerts, or shows.
Beginning with the faithfulness of sharing a vision to the obedience of seeing it to the next
season, the Lord has gifted this space. Instructors
Director of Fine Arts
who have been called to not only teach with excellence but love with their whole heart serve each day. We are grateful for the support of the administration, faculty, and parents to serve the students in exploring their creativity and appreciation for the arts. The department and
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Timeline Lessons Begin
FALL 2016 SPRING
The Academy brought four additional private instructors along with partner Rooted Music to begin a Lower School group piano program. JV Tigerettes founded.
2017 FALL 2017 MAY 2018
Varsity Tigerettes founded.
Nine instructors, two dance teachers, and five g oup dance classes served over 100 students.
JANUARY 2020 FEBRUARY 2020
Tiger drumline founded. Over 125 students train privately with three group dance classes.
74 students performed in the Academy recital. As the program drew more students, the need for additional teachers and space was evident.
The first Lower School Dance classes begin in the Academy.
1st Academy Recital
The Varsity Tigerettes have become an award-winning GHSA competitive squad going to state in 2020.
FALL 2020 2021
TO BELIEVE - 45
Return of Lower School dance classes to the Academy.
Rekindled A Rekindled Relationship
arts and craft shows and from being in other
“When I began working in the store full time, I knew I wanted to sell gifts that had meaning,” says Heather Weldon, King’s Corner Store Manager. “I loved the idea of having a candle in our inventory, but everyone sells candles so I wanted it to be
people’s homes that ceramics are purchased but not really used. He wanted to find a way to encourage consumers to give these items a purpose. And from that, Rekindle Candle Co. was born.
special - to have a purpose.” And although Heather was actively searching for just the right product, she did not find anything that stood out. Then, one night, while scrolling through social media she found a boutique carrying locally made candles that seemed to meet all of her requirements. The company was called Rekindle.
Mewbourne began selling candles in recycled containers: mason jars, tin cans, and ceramics from his own kiln or through collaborations with other local artists. He made the candles from soy wax, a cleaner alternative for the environment In 2016, Matt Mewbourne, then a UGA student
and with wood wicks sourced from sustainable
majoring in Sports Medicine, found himself
lumber mills. From their sales online and at
contemplating a return to ceramics-making.
farmers markets, the company began giving
But he remembered from past experience at
back to the Athens community.
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“My faith is very important to me, which is
back immediately that he and his wife love
probably the main reason I started Rekindle. I
King’s Ridge Christian School. His wife, and
wanted to partner with others to love people
also Rekindle Co-Founder, is Kayley Anderkin
and be a steward of creation,” Mewbourne says.
Mewbourne, KRCS Class of 2012.
He and his staff have expanded to a storefront in Monroe, selling higher-end products while
According to Heather, “This was a complete
maintaining their grassroots efforts and support
God connection. I am so proud to tell the
of charities in Athens and now Monroe.
Mewbourne’s story and carry the Rekindle products on our campus. I found them
Heather Weldon did her research and found
completely by happenstance but they were
Rekindle to be “an all-around great company
exactly what I was looking for.”
with an amazing story” offering exactly what she had in mind for the school’s store. Her next step would be to contact the owner, Matt Mewbourne. In her email to him she explained her position and her search for just the right product for her small, private Christian school in Alpharetta called King’s Ridge. Matt wrote
Kayley is a full-time photographer in Athens (kayleylorraine.com) and spends most of her days photographing weddings, families, and seniors but also has a passion for visual branding. She takes all the photographs for Rekindle and handles the company’s visual branding as well. Kayley says, “It’s so much fun to be married to a fellow entrepreneur and watch our passions come alive in each other’s businesses.”
TO BELIEVE - 47
Beyond The Ridge WEDDINGS Ashley Merkin ‘12 married Ben Luppino at Longview Vineyard in Macclesfield, South Australia, on November 3, 2020. The Luppinos will reside in Australia. (1) Carly Malkiewicz ‘17 married Kyle Wade on November 20, 2020, in Athens, Georgia. (2)
SUMMER 2020 ENGAGEMENTS TJ Fuller ‘11 and Cameron Ping (3) Tanner Hamilton ‘12 and Hannah Mahoney (4) Sam Hughes ‘13 and Maddy Walters (5) Will Reagan ‘13 and Reagan Rowlett (6) Kelcie Winters ‘15 and Duncan Brookover (7) Olivia Kolkana ‘16 and Jack Coning ‘17 (8)
Lauren Palmore graduated from Georgia Tech in 2017 with a degree in Computer Science. She is currently living in San Francisco and is a Software Engineer at Salesforce on the Einstein Platform team. Lauren is pictured here on a hiking trip near Seattle. (9) Parisa Poorak pursued her dreams of being a therapist by studying Psychology at Samford University. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2016 then went straight to The University of Alabama to obtain her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Parisa graduated from UA in 2019 and now works as an Associate Professional Counselor at Johns Creek & Alpharetta Counseling. She loves her career and is passionate about working with teenagers, individual adults, couples, and families. In her personal life, Parisa got engaged to George Morris (a 2011 St. Francis graduate) on May 26, 2019. The couple was hopeful to get married on October 10, 2020, but COVID-19 has made different plans for them. They now plan on marrying in October 2021 at Parisa’s family home, the location of many KRCS homecoming and prom photo parties back in the day! (10)
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TO BELIEVE - 49
Beyond The Ridge 2016
from the University of Georgia - in Journalism
Christina Wilson ‘12
from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass
This year has obviously been quite the experience
Communication and in Communication Studies
for humanity, and being together more than usual
from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
might mean that some couples have had no
She is currently pursuing a commercial pilots
choice but to face their relational struggles. That’s
license in airplane and helicopter aviation.
where I come in. I graduated from King’s Ridge in
In the fall she will return to the University of
2012 and from the University of Georgia in 2016,
Georgia School of Law as a UGA Scholar, a
never imagining either time that I would end up
Caroline Henriksen received dual degrees
scholarship offered by the School of Law to
in Manhattan, Kansas, also known as The Little
17 UGA undergraduates for excellence in
Apple. However, here I am in the northeast part
undergraduate study. Previously, while in Athens,
of Kansas where the first snow comes in October. I
Caroline assisted in the creation of a service
graduated this May earning my master’s in Couple
organization that is now a registered non-profi
and Family Therapy from Kansas State University.
serving the Athens community. She was also on
Fortunately, I was able to find a job in Kansas City,
the executive board of UGA Miracle and the
Missouri, as a therapist, primarily working one-on-
Service Board of Zeta Tau Alpha. Outside of
one with adults and with couples.
Athens, Caroline worked as an undergraduate intern for a federal program in Atlanta focused
My job as a clinician at the Kansas City Relationship
on the rescue and rehabilitation of women
Institute is to help partners explore how they
and children who have been the victims of sex
want to be within their partnership so that those
trafficking. (11 - featured right)
relationships feel fulfilling, supportive, and loving. Becoming a therapist has been a journey, and will
M cKenzie Callaway is a freshman at UGA
continue to be as I work toward full licensure, but it has already pushed me to identify my own growth
majoring in Elementary Education. She is
areas so I can help others grow as well. Sadly, it
involved at Athens Church as a preschool small
has been quite a while since I have visited King’s
group leader, with UGA Wishmakers on campus
Ridge but I am still grateful for the education. It not
(a school organization supporting Make-A-Wish
only helped me build a foundation toward higher
Foundation), and in Alpha Chi Omega as part of
education, but also taught me how to establish
the philanthropy team. (11 - featured left)
and maintain meaningful relationships. That is a skill that is invaluable for me on a personal and professional level. (12)
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Ethan Scott ‘15
I had not experienced before. In May of 2020
I graduated from King’s Ridge in 2015, after
I accepted a full-time position as the associate
which I attended Sewanee: The University of
director of Children, Youth, and Family ministry
the South where I majored in Psychology and
(CYF) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Midtown.
German & German Studies. I spent a great deal
This position came as a true blessing in the
of my time at Sewanee in the university choir
middle of the pandemic, and it allowed me to
which allowed me to worship several times
expand my ministry’s focus to children as well as
a week and sing in church every Sunday. My
youth. At St. Luke’s I have been recording weekly
intention during my undergraduate years was to
children’s chapel videos where I sing Christian
pursue a career in Clinical Psychology; however,
songs, read books, and use the stories to talk
I believe God had a different plan for me, and
to the kids about faith, Christianity, and God’s
my call towards ministry grew stronger. I spent
presence in the world. We have also been able
my summers during college working at Camp
to provide spiritually engaging programming,
Mikell, a summer camp in Toccoa, Georgia,
such as a virtual vacation bible school, a virtual
owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese
youth retreat, and weekly Zoom Sunday school
of Atlanta. The three summers I spent working
classes for both children and youth. The main
at Camp Mikell helped me to further realize my
focus of my ministry is to develop an inclusive
passion for children’s and youth ministry, and to
place of worship and Christian education where
prepare myself for the work I am doing today.
both children and youth learn to see God in one another. I plan to eventually go through
After graduating from Sewanee in 2019, I
the discernment for the Episcopal priesthood to
accepted a year long, part-time position as
hopefully expand my ministry to its maximum
the interim youth director for an Episcopal
potential. In the meantime, I am so thankful to
church in Dunwoody. I immediately fell in love
be able to do the work I am doing today, and I
with the work I was doing at that church, and I
am looking forward to the day when I am able
experienced a growth in my own spirituality that
to spend more time at St. Luke’s in person. (13)
TO BELIEVE - 51
Beyond The Ridge Sam Owens ‘16
Catherine Smith ‘20
I graduated from King’s Ridge in 2016 after
My first semester of college definitely did not
having attended KRCS since kindergarten. It
go as planned. N othing could have prepared
was all I knew. During my high school career I
me for transitioning to semi-adulthood during a
played football and tennis. While looking for
global pandemic which has caused so much fear.
colleges I knew there was only one real option
Thankfully, I have been able to find community
for me, attending The University of Alabama.
within my college through Kappa Delta sorority
“Bama” was my dream school, and I wanted to
and with new friends in my residence hall.
experience all the university had to offer. Although I had to study and work hard in my While at Alabama I had the opportunity to
classes, the skills I learned at King’s Ridge
become involved with the football team during
equipped me to be as successful as I wanted
the 2017 season, helping with practice and some
to be. I cherish the friendships I made at
home games while training to be a manager for
King’s Ridge from the Lower School all the way
the team. Alabama went on to win the National
through my time at the Upper School. Without
Championship against Georgia that season.
those relationships I wouldn’t have been able to
That was a highlight for sure. Beginning spring
get through this semester. I’m so grateful those
semester of 2018, I started working full time
friendships and bonds will last past high school.
as a manager. During the 2018 season I was
This year has been a struggle but I am excited
the Running Backs Manager and was also in
to see what next semester has to offer! (15)
charge of game balls during games. During the 2019 season I worked with the running backs again but also started working with the offense, signaling the formation through boards. Now in 2020 I am finishing up my last semester at Alabama. I will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a specialization in Banking and Financial Services. I am continuing to work for the Alabama football team to finish out this season. (14)
BE STILL - 52
Stay Connected Alumni and Public Relations Coordinator Mary Beecham oversees alumni relations at KRCS. Please contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org with contact information, updates, or any questions about our alumni programs. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/kingsridgealumni Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kingsridgealumni
TO BELIEVE - 53
My King’s Ridge Christian School story began
number – I was a student, an athlete, an actress,
in an former Bruno’s grocery store where cart
a singer, a representative, a captain, a tutor, a
returns and glass doors welcomed those of all
missionary, a friend, and so much more, but
walks of life into a lobby in which friendships were
most importantly I was a beloved child of God
forged and community cultivated; where frozen
with a unique purpose in this world.
food sections were transformed into engaging classrooms full of eager minds; where loading
N ot only did King’s Ridge equip me with the
docks disappeared in the midst of endless P.E.
resources and tools to help me achieve more
adventures and imagination filled recess; where
than I ever thought possible for myself, but they
numbered checkout lines became carpet squares
provided me with an internship opportunity as a
lined with grateful hearts and lifted hands in
teaching assistant which led to English Literature
praise of the One who made all of this possible.
and Secondary Education degrees from Saint Mary’s N otre Dame and a master’s in English
Over the course of my years as a student at King’s
Education from the University of Georgia. More
Ridge, from my Kindergarten days through my
twelfth-grade year, I did not simply see my
finding my faith – a faith that has made me into
beloved second home change, I watched it
the person I am today; a faith that has led me
grow. No matter the classroom or the stage, no
back to the Christian community I fell in love
matter the field or the court, KR is more than
with all those years ago.
King’s Ridge supported me in
a building – it is a Christian community rooted in the unconditional love of God above, our
I am blessed to say that God has led me back
namesake. At King’s Ridge I was more than a
to my second home, my King’s Ridge family, as
WHY KRCS? - 55
an eighth grade English teacher, advisor, and
world knowing that no matter what this life brings
coach. The faith I discovered and the relationships
they are children of God with a unique purpose.
I formed in my years at King’s Ridge Christian School left a lasting impression on me that
On my last day of my senior year of Upper
I desired to embody as a teacher for my own
School at King’s Ridge, my English teacher (and
students, and what better way to carry on that
inspiration for being a teacher) read to us the
legacy than to return to the community that
following wise words from the great Dr. Seuss:
inspired my passion and my purpose – as a teacher.
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!”
Once a member of the King’s Ridge Christian School family – always a member of the King’s
Each day we wake is a gift from God, and what
Ridge Christian School family. I went from being
we do with each day is our gift to God. Truly,
a student to being a teacher, from being an
God has given me the gift of King’s Ridge
advisee to being an advisor, and from being an
Christian School, and I pray that He will continue
athlete to being a coach. As I have grown into
to bless the students, teachers, parents, and
the person I am today, I realize I am still that same
community members who have the blessed
child of God that walked through Bruno’s grocery
opportunity to experience such an incredible,
glass door on the first day of kindergarten. The
faith-filled community. King’s Ridge is more than
same child of God who walked across the Upper
a building, more than a number, more than a
School graduation stage to receive a diploma in a
moment – King’s Ridge is a family, a faithful
building she watched being built from the ground
Christian community, a blessing.
up, that same child of God who joyfully find herself teaching the hearts and minds of King’s
Ridge students who will make their way in the
KRCS Eighth Grade English Teacher
BE STILL - 56
King’s Ridge Christian School is a Christian community providing a college preparatory education equipping students to know, to serve, and to believe.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
2765 Bethany Bend Alpharetta, GA 30004 770.754.5738 www.KingsRidgeCS.org