Imagine Magazine Fall 2020

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�imagine� MAGAZINE

FALL 2020


About the Cover: Wow! What a difference a few months makes. Since the last Imagine publication, much has changed in our world and on our campus. Have we entered into a season of a “new normal”? One thing that will always stand true and normal is that we know that God is still in control and that He is with us every waking moment of the day. I pray often for our families, and I rest comfortably knowing that God listens to my earnest prayers for each of you. The last quarter of the academic year did not end as we have ended school for the last 74 years. Class parties were cancelled, Mount Dora Children’s Home benefit dinners were postponed and eventually cancelled, end of the year awards ceremonies and events were cancelled, and hour upon hour was used to transition the campus to a fully remote learning environment over spring break. As I look back at the last several months, I couldn’t be prouder of the MDCA/CH response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MDCA/CH community was able to celebrate the amazingly talented Class of 2020 and send them off with an in-person graduation ceremony. God gave us a beautiful morning to hold the first ever outdoor commencement ceremony on the stunning athletic field at Bulldog stadium. The work did not stop with sending off our amazing senior class. It only began. I have spent months in strategic planning mode with my executive leadership team to plan a safe and healthy return for our students and their families who elect to return to campus this fall. A menu of options has been prepared for the MDCA/ CH families to help them select the best fit for their individual family needs. MDCA has a traditional school day option, a hybrid learning option for those desiring to do school remotely, and if needed, the school is positioned to deliver all instruction via remote learning. As we have moved into a new school year and the 75th year of Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home, I am excited to see what God has in store for our community. We will continue to “Educate for Life and Eternity”, and we will work toward loving and respecting everyone more than we ever have before in our history. The future of MDCA/CH is extremely bright, and I hope you will join us in the quest to make our 75th year our best year ever. This year will be challenging. We will rely heavily upon our community to help make this year successful. We will lean on our generous donors to help us offset expenses needed to make our campus the safest environment possible. Most importantly, we will rely on God just as we have since the first day students walked into classrooms on September 10, 1945. Let the 75th year commence!

Seniors Kiandra Smith and Aryana Brown celebrating after their graduation ceremony.

Editor / Director of Public Relations Kayley White Design Kendall Winningham Editors and Contributors Diana Bay Cindy Brown Shannon Davis Tim Deem Lori Hadley Dave Hogan Amanda Nunez Kathy Pruitt Photographers Cindy Brown Kayley White Malcolm Yawn Printing Ford Press Imagine Magazine is published by Mount Dora Christian Academy & Children's Home for the parents, friends, supporters, and alumni of Mount Dora Christian Academy & Children's Home.

In Him, Brian Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children's Home 301 W. 13th Avenue Mount Dora, FL 32757 2 | Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 Letter from the President 4 Development 6 Social Services


7 Athletics 8 Academics 12 Faye Shyers' Retires


14 75th Anniversary 24 Graduation 16 26 Student Life 28 Alumni Spotlight 30 Memorials and Honors

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DEVELOPMENT MDCH HOSTS FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL BENEFIT DINNER With the COVID pandemic, this year has created many challenges for Mount Dora Children’s Home, but one of the most challenging has been our inability to get out and visit with all our supporters. In a normal year, we visit churches, call on supporters, and host several benefit dinners. After canceling our third straight benefit dinner and in an effort to stay connected, Mount Dora Children’s Home hosted its first-ever Virtual Benefit Dinner on August 29. Our goal was to replicate our usual benefit dinner format as closely as possible while allowing our friends to engage with us in a safe environment. By videotaping the speakers and streaming the presentation over the internet, individuals could watch from home, host a small-group viewing, or set up an event at their church while exercising social distancing. Since each city, state, and church’s situation was different, they had the option to promote the event in the manner they felt best suited their region and their church family. It is always challenging to begin to recognize all the people involved in a production of this size, but there were certainly some key people who carried the lion’s share of the load. Trent Wheeler, Senior Development Officer, quarterbacked the program. He did much of the scripting and

pulled together a team of exceptionally talented people. Brian Holtin, a former teacher at Mount Dora Christian Academy, served as the editor of the video production while Dave Hogan and Kayley White worked on marketing and public relations. We are especially grateful to all our speakers: Tim Deem, Zorilyn Cheverez, Dr. Brian Mast, and Dr. James Moore. Their presentations were clear, timely, and informative. We were truly excited at the response from all of those who viewed the event that evening, and the hundreds who have logged in to watch it since. Your support serves as such an encouragement to everyone who participated in this effort. You are the real heroes of our first-ever Virtual Benefit Dinner. You truly are the lifeblood of this organization and it would have been a much more difficult year without your continued encouragement and support.

THE JOY OF GIVING The COVID-19 crisis has created a lot of financial uncertainty for everyone; especially for those who are retired or nearing retirement age. When people panic, they start to second guess themselves. Is the stock market still a good place to invest? Should we consider alternative investment opportunities such as annuities, bonds, or CD’s? Money is often their biggest concern and source of stress. Here are three common reactions that many people use to ease their fears. Overspending. It’s really easy to sit at home in front of your computer and search Amazon and other websites for something to take your mind off what’s going on around you. That “Place Order Now” button can be irresistible and may offer temporary relief from anxiety. But often, shopping only makes anxiety worse, especially when the bills arrive. Hoarding. Remember when everyone was having a hard time finding toilet paper? Accumulating stuff may make you feel more secure, but at what cost? Just because your shelves are full of things you may never need, does that really make you feel calm? And hoarding money is often risky and may cause you to miss out on buying opportunities as markets rebound. Frugality. Some people become so worried about money that they forego spending on just about everything. You can miss out on simple joys like treating yourself to a nice meal, a short vacation, or handling necessary expenditures like home repairs (which may end up costing you more in the long run). You can save yourself right into misery. Our advice is to remain calm and stay the course. Your investment strategy is probably sound and will weather this storm. Don’t put off tithing and continue to give as you have been prospered to your church and favorite charities like Mount Dora. Finally, take comfort in knowing that God is still in control, and no matter what happens, He is there to take care of you. 4 | Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020


SUMMER AT THE THOMPSON HOME The COVID pandemic made this a different kind of summer for the kids at Mount Dora Children’s Home. Most camps did not meet, there were no mission trips, and theme parks were closed. As a result, house parents Troy and Becky Allen got creative. They took the girls from Thompson House to Weeki Wachee Springs for tubing and to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for white-water rafting. The girls also did extra chores around the home, including cleaning the van.

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Football - Warner University


Baseball - Saint Joseph’s College


Discus - Harding University


Basketball - Trinity Baptist College


Discus - Harding University

Track & Cross Country Harding University


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Basketball - Flagler University

Softball - University of Central Florida

WELCOME NEW BULLDOGS Lisa Campbell - VPK Assistant: Lisa is a native of Flint, MI. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Ken, and they are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year. They have two grown sons, Jeremy and Jason. Lisa has over 15 years working with preschoolers and received her CDA in 2008. She enjoys spending time with my family and reading. Amy Hillin - Lead 2-Year Old Teacher: The Hillin family comes to us from Nashville, TN with their son, Henry. Amy has a background in both childcare and communications. After graduating from MDCA, Amy graduated from Lipscomb University in 2011 with a B.A. in Public Relations and Mass Communications. Amanda Trommsdorff - VPK Assistant: Amanda was born and raised in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida and earned a BA in Mass Communication. Amanda also holds a teaching certificate in English and ESE. Her family enjoys being outdoors, taking her pup for walks, riding bikes, and relaxing at the beach. Maegan Benton - Secondary Art Teacher: Maegan is from Tallahassee, FL. She has a degree in Art Education from Florida State University and has been teaching art since 2007. All three of her children are attending MDCA this year and they are thrilled to all be on the same campus. Ken Campbell - Secondary Bible Teacher: Ken is from Flint, MI, and moved to Florida 20 years ago so that his sons could attend MDCA. Ken has served as the minister for the Burlington -Santa Fe Church of Christ for the past 15 years in Branford, FL. He has been in the ministry for over 37 years both full -time and part-time. Ken enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

ACADEMICS Cary Hadley - Secondary World Languages Teacher: Cary speaks English, Spanish, and French. He has studied and worked in Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentine, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Cuba, Haiti, and Peru. Cary has a BA in Spanish & Bible from Lipscomb University and a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Grand Canyon University. He has been married to his wife, Lori, for 32 years and they have 3 sons: Andrew, Aaron, and William, who all graduated from MDCA. Cary loves to read, watch movies, listen to music, and EAT! Reid Hillin - Secondary Bible Teacher: Reid has been the associate head coach for girls basketball for the past three years at Lipscomb Academy. Prior to that, he was the head boys basketball coach at Ezell Harding Christian School in Antioch, TN. Coach Hillin specializes in player development, team identity, and spiritual formation. Mike Kintz - Head Football Coach and P.E. Teacher: Coach Kintz is originally from Eastlake, OH. He played football at the University of Findlay where he was coached by Hall of Fame Coach Dick Strahm and was a member of the 1997 NAIA National Championship team. Injuries cut his career short, so Kintz transferred to Bowling Green State University where he graduated with a BS in Education. He has served 17 years coaching and teaching in Seminole County Schools where he most recently served as the Athletic Director. Osmond Pipe - Secondary Bible Teacher: Pipe was born on the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He has his Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry from Harding University where he also obtained his Master’s in Professional Counseling and a Master’s in Business Administration. Pipe is currently working on his Master of Divinity with a concentration in Biblical Studies. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Roan, and their 3 children, Destiny, Trinity, and Denzel.

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Diane Ross - Secondary Science Teacher: Diane and her husband, Kevin, have three children: Hudson, Olivia, and Elliott. The Ross family comes to us from Searcy, AR where they have lived for the past 10 years after attending Harding University. Diane has a degree in education and she has spent the past eight years teaching 8th-grade math. Melanie Champion - Third Grade Teacher: Melanie was born and raised in Michigan and moved to Florida with her husband Eric in 1998. She has her degree in elementary education from Eastern Michigan University. Melanie has taught in Michigan, TN, and here in Florida for over 20 years. Melanie thoroughly enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband and three daughters, heading north in the summer to Michigan, and working on her horse farm in Eustis. Stephanie Garnder - Kindergarten Teacher: Stephanie is originally from Conway, SC, and has over 20 years of teaching experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina and she has recently earned her CEU. Stephanie and her husband have been married for 26 years and are blessed with three children. Cleta Horton - Elementary Principal: Cleta and her family are alumni of MDCA. Her husband, Doug Horton, is also an educator at MDCA. Their three daughters, Dakotah, Sydney, and Mackenzie are all alumni of MDCA. She has been in education for 31 years. Since graduating from the University of Freed-Hardeman, she has served as a teacher, academic coach, and curriculum resource teacher in several communities throughout Tennessee and Florida. Cleta is a seasoned educator who has dedicated her life and career to acting in the best interest of students. Kevin Ross - Information Technology: Kevin comes to us from central Arkansas. He received his Bachelors in Web Design and Interactive Media from Harding University. Kevin has spent that past 10 years at a software company in AR working in web design, graphic design, and video production. 8 | Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020

Jackie Jennings - First Grade Teacher: Jackie is originally from Jupiter, FL. She moved to Tavares, her husband’s hometown, after graduating from UNF with a major in Communications Advertising. Jackie has a professional teaching certification in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career at Leesburg Elementary where she earned Rookie Teacher of the Year. She stumbled upon MDCA while searching for a school for her son, Kingsley, to grow into, and MDCA captured their hearts! Stacey Johnson - First Grade Teacher: Stacey was born and raised in the Central Florida area. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1998. Stacey has been teaching in the Central Florida area for 19 years. She has taught kindergarten, first, second, and third grade as well as reading intervention. Stacey enjoys going to the beach, camping, and all things Disney. Katie Kintz - Fourth Grade Teacher: Katie comes to MDCA from Seminole County Public Schools where she has served in various teaching positions ranging from 3rd grade to 8th grade for the past 11 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary and middle school education from Harding University. Katie is extremely excited to be joining MDCA alongside her husband who is serving as the head football coach. They have two sons attending MDCA this year. Lorri Mast - Fifth Grade Teacher: Lorri comes to us from Lipscomb Academy where she served as a 6th-grade writing and grammar teacher. She has served nearly 20 years in Metro Nashville Public Schools as a teacher, an assistant principal, an instructional coach, and a literacy coach. Lorri has her Bachelor’s in elementary education as well as a Master’s Degree in administration and supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, and their two children.

Brandi Perkins - Elementary Music: Brandi was born and raised in Louisiana where she received her Bachelor’s degree in music education. She moved to Florida and taught music for a few years before heading to Ohio to receive a Master’s degree. Upon moving back to Florida, her husband, Brandon, became the band director at MDCA. “I fell in love with the campus and the students while assisting the band at the football games and concerts. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to teach elementary music at MDCA.”

Sue McGranaghan - Accounts Receivable: Sue has worked in the Business office since the end of March. She is from Vermont and has lived in Florida for five years now. She is a mom of four and loves spending time with family and friends. Her husband, David, works in our maintenance department at MDCA and their two daughters attend MDCA.

WE APPRECIATE YOU! Allison (Lynn) Jenks (elementary)


Jennifer Marcussen, Tonja Rambow, Mike Hill, and Sara Hill

5 Years of Service: Natalie and Josh Swearingen, Diane Singer, and Laurie Brooks

10 Years of Service: Amanda Nunez 20 Years of Service: Mike Wacaster, Jackie Hanegan, Steven Hayes, and Laura Barker

30 Years of Service: Chuck Shepherd and James Moore 35 Years of Service: Mike Hill

Second Grade Teacher Alllison (Lynn) Jenks married Michael Jenks in Oklahoma this past summer. After School Program Director Kaila Shelley and her husband had their second baby on May 16th. Elliot Huss Shelley weighed 9.3 lbs. Spiritual Formation Director Carter Robison and his wife welcomed their second baby girl, Reese, on February 13th.

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Faye Shyers Retires After Third-grade teacher, Faye Shyers, has taught several generations of students at MDCA, and after forty-six years, she retired. Shyers grew up in Nashville, TN, and attended Lipscomb University, where she met her husband, Larry. They got married in the summer of 1970. Orville and Mildred Boyd interviewed both Shyers and her husband on the sidewalk of Lipscomb University and hired them right on the spot to teach at Christian Home and Bible School. With one year of school left, she did not have her degree yet. Shyers taught at the Bible school for one year and then returned to Nashville to finish her degree. Lipscomb allowed her to student teach under Boyd, who was the elementary principal and firstgrade teacher at the time.



“I would go to the classroom first thing in the morning and I would wait (while kids arrived), Mrs. Shyers said. I just started teaching the Bible, and Boyd would come and peek in the window and see me teaching the Bible then she would go back to her office to work. I pretty much did most of the teaching that year.”

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It was her third-grade teacher, Mrs. Shelton, who made her want to become a teacher. Mrs. Shyers was very shy in school, and Mrs. Shelton talked to her and made her feel comfortable and loved. Mrs. Shyers’ favorite thing about teaching was noticing that the students understood. “You see that student, and the light bulb goes off, and they understand,” Mrs. Shyers said. “That’s a feeling you can’t get with anything else.” Her advice to younger teachers is: “A bad day is just a bad day. It’s not a bad week. It’s not a bad month. It’s not a bad year. It’s just a bad day. Have the best relationship you can with your students and with their parents. Always be on time to school or to meetings. When something is due, have its due before it’s due.” Mrs. Shyers always loved the first day of school. “It’s so exciting, and you didn’t have any ideas or expectations about any children.” It is something that she will miss along with her students, peers, and friends. But, she will not miss getting up at 4:30 in the morning! Shyers does not have any big plans for retirement. Right now, she wants to not have the stress of doing lesson plans. She wants to enjoy life and have some peace and quiet. The retirement party for Mrs. Shyers was held on June 14th in the MDCA student center. Students, alumni, and family joined in a celebration of her time at MDCA. After 46 terrific years, Mrs. Shyers will be missed on our campus! When asked what her advice to her students is, she responded with Phillippians 1:9-11. “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between good and bad and choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God.”

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ALMA MATER “Underneath the whispering pine trees, dear ole Mount Dora stands, through the years of Christian standards Built by Christian hands. Bible School, dear Bible School, how proud we are of thee. Worthy of our Alma Mater, may we ever be. Here we come to learn of Jesus and his blessed will. By his lasting love and kindness, He will guide us still. Bible School, dear Bible School, how proud we are of thee. Worthy of our Alma Mater, may we ever be.”

75 YEARS IN THE MAKING On September 10th, 1945 the doors were opened to welcome in students to the Christian Home and Bible School. We decided to honor that day in a small celebration of our own on September 10th, 2020. The campus was decorated, and a cake was served to all of our students. A lot has changed over the years. We’ve added new facilities, staff members and students have come and gone. Even our name has changed, but one thing has remained the same: our mission of educating children for life and eternity. For 75 years, our campus’ whispering pine trees have told stories of sacrifice, love for family and youth, a need for Christian education, and changed lives. Our theme for this year has been 75 years stronger, for many reasons. If you know about MDCA, you know about the tight-knit community that it holds. Our community has gone through a lot together. We have welcomed alumni back to campus, we’ve persevered through the

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recession in 2008, we’ve gathered together to worship, and we’ve come together to celebrate new life, and to mourn over those who have gone on ahead. Through all of the challenges that the outside world has thrown our way, we have remained strong. Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Thanks to the persistence and the sacrifice of families like the Nortons, Walters, Chastains, and Starlings, Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home is still standing today. What started as a dream in the 1940s has turned into a reality as our school has grown over the years. We look back on our traditions with joy as we move forward into the future and we are very proud of where we are today. We are extremely thankful to have continued to serve in Christian education for 75 years.

REFLECTIONS “I entered the Bible School in ninth grade, 1948, and graduated in 1952. I returned to Mount Dora in 1956 to teach Bible, English, and direct the high school chorus. In the late 60s, I began administrative duties and moved gradually into the future administration as the secondary principal and continued to direct the high school chorus until my resignation in 1983 to take on full time preaching. Some of my favorite memories include: beginning a relationship with a beautiful young ninth-grader who, four years later, became my wife, my first basketball victory of the new program, a victory over Montverde Academy, winning the district basketball championship, and qualifying for STATE in 1957 while I was coaching the team. The greatest memories of my teaching years were those made as choral director - the music and the camaraderie that was enjoyed with the students as we traveled from key west to Southern Ohio even in rehearsals.” Vernon Means (Class of ‘52) “My favorite memory from being a student at MDCA was winning the state in track as a team.” Cleta Horton (Class of ‘84) “I went to Mount Dora Bible from kindergarten through 12th grade. I learned so much at the school. The most important thing I learned was how to be a Christian man. I learned this from other students like Shannon Ayers and from coaches and teachers like Monty Boyd, Benny Hunton, Mitsy Brown, and many more. I was baptized after my senior year and have come to realize that this school was the best thing that ever happened to me. If not for MDCA, I would have never gone to Harding and met my wife! All three of my kids went to MDCA from kindergarten through 12th grade, and my two oldest daughters, Marissa and Mikayla, are now teaching and coaching at the school. My son Caleb is in college now and wants to be a teacher and a coach. The paths that all three of my kids have taken or are taking is due to the great teachers and coaches that have influenced them for the kingdom of God at MDCA. My prayer is that they will have an impact on the student body that my teachers and coaches had on me! I pray that the school can continue to influence young people to seek the Lord and be buried with Him in baptism and serve Him all of the days of their lives! Thank you, MDCA for all you have done for me and my family over the years! I love this school!” Bill Baker Class of (‘84) “I have been a principal, teacher, athletic director, coach, and parent at MDCA. My favorite memory was chapel and the Christian bond between the administration, teachers, children’s home, staff, students, and parents that made it easy to be on campus every day.” Jack Cole “Most of the memories I have of the 49 years I taught and coached at MDB were on that beautiful patch of green and brown at the bottom of the campus. I remember the night that a bird flew over and dropped a fish on my shortstops head during a game. I remember hosting the state tournament and having to gas and burn the clay to dry it out after heavy rain. Blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of prayers have gone up from that piece of ground, but hopefully, a lot of young men have discovered a few life principles that have helped them find their way in this world and on to the next.” Benny Hunton Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 13


July 1944 About 100 people met in Mount Dora and decided to purchase 70 acres. Five men were selected to serve on the original board of trustees including Austin Allen, J.W. Collier, Joe Dasher, Oscar Starling, and George Walters.

September 1945 School officially opened in the 5th Avenue church building with 55 students and eight children in the Home program.

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May 1948 Third senior class was graduated.

May 1946 First senior class graduated with three students.

April 1949 New dining hall opened to staff and children.

February 1947 Ground was broken for a new children’s cottage.

The 1950’s January 1955 Home program accepted 14 homeless children, raising the total in care to 55.

1952 Orvel Boyd named as President

February 1957 Boys basketball team advanced to the State Tournament for the first time.

May 1951 Alden Norton was appointed Acting Superintendent.

Summer 1950 Construction of new Boys Dormitory begins.

July 1953 Christian Home and Bible School received its child care license from the State Welfare Department. Imagine Magazine ¡ Fall 2020 | 15

The 1960’s MDCA THROUGH THE YEARS March 1961 Boys basketball wins State Title. Jack McDonald named tournament MVP.

Summer 1960 Enrollment hit 200 in the school and 45 in the Home. 16 | Imagine Magazine ¡ Fall 2020

August 1967 Donnelly Estate Trustees deeded three acres on 13th Ave. to the Home and School.

June 1965 Twentieth Senior class graduated 20, a record number. July 1966 Van Ingram was appointed supervisor of the new Social Services Department.

March 1968 The Florida State Department issued an adoption license to the Home.

The 1970’s May 1977 Board gave the approval to build a children’s cottage on campus for older girls.

March 1972 Rusty McCain named to Florida All-State Basketball Team. May 1973 Cliff Harden and Paul Spicer appointed to the Exectuive Board.

November 1971 New cottage at Wildwood constructed.

May 1979 Cletus Stutzman appointed executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer.

April 1975 Florida Symphony Orchestra performed a concert in McGehee Memorial Field House. Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 17


December 1980 Christian Home and Bible School received full accreditation at the National Convention of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

June 1981 Orvel Boyd retires after 29 years. Cletus Stutzman was appointed President of Christian Home and Bible School.

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May 1987 Tena Hauge sets state high jump record at 5’8”. November 1989 Boys cross country team wins the state championship.

May 1982 Girls track team won state championship. February 1985 Elementary and junior high took the “Best of Show” in the Mount Dora Art Festival.

The 1990’s September 1990 James Moore was introduced as the 5th president of Christian Home and Bible School.

May 1991 Cletus and Carolyn Stutzman Appreciation Dinner hosted by staff and board.

August 1991 New media center named Gentry and Jeanette Stults Media Center.

1995 Christian Home and Bible School Celebrates its 50th Year.

February 1992 Lauren Boyd won the regional basketball freethrow contest. March 1992 Heather Kingery won Lakes and Hills Conference, Spelling Bee.

May 1999 Varsity Softball takes state title.

June 1993 Coach Mike Hill is named “Central Florida Coach of the Year.” Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 19

The 2000’s MDCA THROUGH THE YEARS 2000 Girls varsity golf had an undefeated season coached by Mrs. Jeannie Reed and took 2nd in districts and 1st in county.

November 2000 Dedication of the Marie Bolles Wright Elementary Building. 20 | Imagine Magazine ¡ Fall 2020

Fall 2005 Football program begins with former FSU and NFL star Lonnie Johnson as first coach.

January 2004 Leslie Windram, Jantzen Cole, Barton Vaughn, and Paul Noe are inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame. Spring 2005 Bulldog band and chorus received two superiors at the competition at the University of Tampa.

2009 The gym gets a new ceiling, lights, stage, and a brand new wood floor. The floor is dedicated to Jack McDonald. The gym was named after Bob and Sandy Brackett.

The 2010’s 2011 Five juniors launch The Way, a student-led service club named after the early christians described in the book of Acts.

2014 For the first time in school history, the varsity football team was undefeated in the regular season. Summer 2015 Christian Home & Bible School’s name changed to Mount Dora Christian Academy.

2013 Mrs. Rosemary Thornhill retires after 46 years teaching and directing the preschool.

February 2015 Grand Opening of the Jerome B. Thompson Science Center and Samuels Student Center.

August 2017 Grand Opening of Bulldog Stadium at Tom Jett Field.

2017 Elementary school is given Blue Ribbon Award.

2019 Dr. James Moore retires and Dr. Brian Mast becomes the new President of Mount Dora Christian Academy.

2020 The Preschool Playground and Media Center are renovated.

2018 Lori Hadley named the first female Head of School. Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 21

CLASS OF 2020 This year’s graduation ceremony was like no other. Due to COVID-19, graduation had to stay within the CDC social distancing guidelines. The administration decided to have the event at Bulldog Stadium, straying away from the traditional ceremony in the gymnasium. Seniors were seated out on the field, six feet apart, while secondary faculty and staff were spaced out on the track. Families and friends of the graduates stayed in assigned seats throughout the stadium in order to remain socially distanced. The commencement speaker for the event was Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Rebekah Gregory who shared her story of thankfulness through trials. The valedictorian was Cole Kainz and the salutatorian was Dylan Van Note who was not able to attend the ceremony due to the risk of COVID-19. This year would have been the year that Nathan Hayes, son of Cherie and Coach Steven Hayes, would have graduated. Nathan passed away as a fourth-grader in 2011 and the MDCA community has always had a desire to honor Nathan’s memory in many ways. As the names of graduating seniors were being called, Cherie Hayes walked across the stage to receive Nathan’s diploma. A tree dedicated to Nathan has been planted on our campus as a reminder of his legacy. We are so thankful that our students still had the opportunity to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas in light of the current situation.

MATRICULATIONS SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS Mr. and Miss MDCA: Tom Valente and Anniston McCall Christian Leadership Award: Tom Valente and Anniston McCall Christian Athlete Award: Dylan Sword and Caroline Davis President’s Award: Tom Valente and Madison Hiteshew Scholarship money: $2,518,174 (and growing) Hours: 7,066 service hours AP Scholars with Distinction: 2 AP Scholars with Honor, 2 AP Scholars Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients: 12 6 Florida Academic Scholars, 7 Florida Medallion Scholars Athletic College Scholarships: 9 Student-Athletes received scholarships for Track & Field, Basketball, Softball, Cross Country, & Football 22 | Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020

American University The DAVE School at NUC University EPIC Flight Academy Flagler College Florida Southern College Florida Southern University Florida State University Harding University Iowa State University Lake Sumter State College Marine Corps Oakwood University Polk State College Santa Fe College Seminole State College Stetson University St. Joseph’s College of Maine Tallahassee Community College Trinity Baptist College University of Central Florida University of Florida Valencia College Vanderbilt University Vocational Academy of Makeup and Prosthetics (VAMP) Warner University West Point



“Imagination is more important than knowledge” -Albert Einstein

After 28 years of use, the old preschool playset needed to be replaced. It provided thousands of hours of enjoyment for our children. When looking for a new play structure, we wanted something large enough for many children to use, something able to withstand the beating sunshine, and something safe for our children. It is essential to provide a safe place for our children to play and a place where they can develop their coordination, balance, and gross motor skills. Outside play cannot be replicated inside the classroom walls. Kids need to run, play, and climb. Our new play structure is made from a composite material created from 62,000 recycled milk jugs. The ground is covered in shock-absorbing turf. It was important for us to use materials that will last another 25 plus years in the Florida sun and rain. Planning for this project began over two years ago and our students were finally able to play on the new playset on August 14th. Grants and private donations made this project possible. It is a blessing to have such a beautiful, safe place to play!

For years, students and teachers have benefitted from the resources found in the Stultz Media Center. The media center serves every student on campus. Faculty, staff, and parent groups frequently use the media center for professional development, informational meetings, and other gatherings. Any building with such high traffic will eventually need refreshing. However, this refresh is more than simply cosmetic. The Media Center was originally built in 1962 and was remodeled in 1991. This most recent remodel brings the building and space into “the future” in 2020. This latest update to the media center allows students to have access to today’s technology while maintaining much of the charm and history of the original building that has served students so well over the years. The highlight of the update is the new Maker Space area. In this space, students have access to both high-tech and low-tech equipment. 3-D printers, a laser engraver, and a space built for the perfect video-shoot are the stars of the show. These resources, along with a variety of other tools, give students the perfect space to work on a project for the science fair, create a visual for a class presentation, record a video, or build a prototype. The Maker Space is available to all students in grades 6-12 and requires a short orientation to learn how the equipment operates and how to do so safely. “I believe that the renovated space will be even more inviting to all, not just to students who are big readers.” - Anne Elenz


Guests to the media center will also notice the vibrant and colorful space reserved for the younger students in preschool and elementary. Featuring a wide selection of books to choose from, carpet wrapped risers provide a perfect spot for reading, storytelling, and library skills lessons. An iPad station, new furniture, and new lighting complete the look for preschool and elementary students. The circulation desk has been replaced with a streamlined self-service kiosk for check-in and check-out. Secondary students and adults will appreciate the common area’s beautiful armchairs, high-top tables, and charging stations. The new space has been designed to accommodate a variety of audiences of all ages. “Our updated media center will provide our students with the materials and resources they need to hold their dreams in their hands. I am so grateful to all who had a part in making this dream a reality.” - Lori Hadley We continue to raise funds for this remarkable renovation. We have been blessed by gifts from several families and foundations and have a donor who has agreed to make a matching gift up to $25,000 for every new dollar raised. Please contact our VP of Development, Tim Deem, if you would like to make a donation and help us maximize this very generous gift. General Contractor: Glen Phillips Designer: Lisa Malloy Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 23

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Class of 2004 Kristen Krueger (Sober) and her husband Michael welcomed their baby girl, Winter, into the world on August 21st. Class of 2005 Trent Dotson is engaged to Brittany Buckham. Class of 2009 Kristen Bay eloped on June 20th to Billy Buck and had a formal ceremony on October 1st. Phillip Shepherd got married to Hillary in July. Class of 2010 Melanie Spicola received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Florida A&M University. Jeannine Yawn is engaged to Drew Amann. Class of 2012 Caitlin Summers (George) and her husband, Blake, are expecting a baby boy in October. Class of 2013 Raleigh Bevil has decided to join the Army. Carson Barker and his wife, Briana, had their baby boy Kasey on September 26th. Josef Allyne received his Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at UCF. He has founded “Alleyne Athletics” an elite performance training program for athletes ages 9 and up. Visit to view his story.

24 | Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020

Class of 2014 Christina McKinney received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of North Florida Brooks College of Health and moved to Wyoming. She is also engaged to Jacob Muzzarelli. Ashley Blanchard had a baby boy named William back in 2019. Next month is his first birthday. Cara Ruger (Griner) and her husband are expecting a baby in January. Zach Brock married Victoria Trueheart on August 22nd. Class of 2015 Brock Michael is a part of the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army and is going through Ranger training school at Fort Bragg, NC. Megan DuBose (Chapman) had her baby girl, Cora Grace, on July 24th. High school sweethearts, Ashton (Davis), and Zac Ward (‘14) got married in March. Matthew and Lindsay Conod (‘12) are expecting twin girls! They are due in October. Peyton Parent got married to Forrest Wooster in April. Class of 2016 Jeremiah Pierre and his wife Megan are expecting a baby boy in October. (Judah Theo Pierre) Mark Gordon is the first basketball player to graduate from MDCA and go pro! He will be playing basketball in Germany with the BG Dorsten club. Class of 2017 Jessica Trentham got engaged to Brady Walrath.

JOIN OUR ALUMNI NETWORK -On Facebook: Search for “MDCA Alumni” or type into your browser. Then, click the blue “Join” button and answer the questions. -On our website: Then, click the “Register” button in the top right. -We would love to know what is going on in your life! Let us know about graduations, awards, a wedding, a birth, job changes, promotions, etc. Please email your news to We cannot wait to connect with you! Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 25


Memorials February 27, 2020 to August 27, 2020 Carl E. Adkins, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Bush Mr. and Mrs. William J. Edmondson Mr. and Mrs. Billy R. Nix Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Pigg Salem Creek Church of Christ Mr. and Mrs. William Weaver Austin & Violet Allen Mrs. Mary Beth Williamson Monty Boyd Mrs. Adrian H. Boyd Orvel H. Boyd Mr. and Mrs. Garry D. Allison, Jr. Mrs. Adrian H. Boyd Billy Brown Mr. and Mrs. Paul Harris Mr. and Mrs. Jack McDonald Belinda K. Bryant Mr. and Mrs. Steven Berg Mr. and Mrs. Theron L. Golleher Dr. L. D. Burbank Mrs. Laurie B. James Doris Butts Mr. Ray F. Butts John Carpenter Mrs. Joanne C. Peck Lib Carpenter Mrs. Joanne C. Peck Mary Caruthers Mr. and Mrs. John R. Hermle Mr. and Mrs. William W. Mikell Randy Casson Ms. Aldine Bruce Mr. and Mrs. Tom Collins Ms. Martha Hall Patricia Jo Karr Mr. and Mrs. Charles Killian Mr. and Mrs. Billie J. Queen Mr. David Samples Mr. and Mrs. Everett C. Smith Scott Chambers Mr. and Mrs. Robin B. Leonard Jean Clark Central Church of Christ Mary Frances Clark Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Barnes Ms. Aldine Bruce Mr. and Mrs. John O. Burkett Mr. and Mrs. Steve Cargle Ms. Frances Clark Mr. and Mrs. Tom Collins Ms. Martha Hall Ms. Dorothy C. Harbin Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Holcomb Patricia Jo Karr Mr. and Mrs. Charles Killian Ms. Betty Lamberth Mrs. Myra Messer Mr. and Mrs. Billie J. Queen Mr. David Samples Mr. Willis E. Smith Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Whitmire James L. Cline, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Clark Boyd Mr. and Mrs. Dale Boyd Mrs. Alice T. Carter Mr. and Mrs. Todd Creech Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Deem Mr. Ronnie L. Dowell Mr. Daniel Doyle Ms. Lillie D. Dunn Mr. and Mrs. Timothy F. Grater

26 | Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020

Mr. and Mrs. William M. Green Mr. and Mrs. Davis G. Henry Mr. J. Allen Henry Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Henry Mr. and Mrs. David Higgins Mr. and Mrs. Chris Luck Dr. and Mrs. Mark H. Luck Mrs. Jean McCarver Mr. and Mrs. Jack McDonald Dr. and Mrs. William R. McKissick Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Moon Lonnie M. Moore Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Thompson Dr. Marvin E. Trott Mr. and Mrs. Ken Weinhardt

Ernesteen Kerby Mrs. Cheryl Harris Mr. and Mrs. Robert McCray

Lucille Conway Mr. and Mrs. William R. Hendricks

Marguerite Limbrecht Mr. and Mrs. Andrew H. Limbrecht

Ray Cooper Ms. Aldine Bruce Mr. and Mrs. Steve Cargle Mr. and Mrs. Tom Collins Ms. Martha Hall Ms. Dorothy C. Harbin Patricia Jo Karr Mr. and Mrs. Charles Killian Mr. and Mrs. Billie J. Queen Mr. David Samples Mr. and Mrs. Everett C. Smith

Linda Logan Mr. and Mrs. William R. Hendricks Linton “Lin” Longino Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Holloway Trystan Lord Mrs. Martha Harmon Mrs. Mae Lewis Mrs. Ethel Stevenson Mr. Paul Worthington

James L. Cribbs Mr. and Mrs. James T. Cribbs Stephen Cribbs Mr. and Mrs. James T. Cribbs Grace Cumings Robert and Lynne Keller Steve Dinsmore Mrs. Thelma Justiss Cheryl Nicole Dunaway Mrs. Frances McManus Rudy Geraci Ms. Catherine Hinckley James Glispie Lake Forest Church of Christ Joan Grant Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Deem Ms. Elizabeth F. Gill Janet Greenwood Mr. and Mrs. Jack Swisher Mary Grow Ms. Arnie F. Clark Ms. Connie Schebler Ms. Judy Sears Ms. Gina Upton Holly Jo Hadley Central Church of Christ Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Deem Lynn Hall Mrs. Sarah R. Hall Herman Hendricks Mr. and Mrs. Vernon M. Hendricks Patricia Edgar Mr. J. Stewart Edgar Tom Houck Mr. and Mrs. Frank Allen Edith Jackson Lake Forest Church of Christ Ms. Gwen H. Purvis Mr. and Mrs. Larry Todd

Jesse Knight Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gilday Margaret Lambert Mr. and Mrs. Gerald W. Ledgerwood Bill Leach Mr. and Mrs. Grady Floyd George Limbrecht Mr. and Mrs. Andrew H. Limbrecht

Sarah McDonald Mr. and Mrs. Larry P. McDonald Shirley Arnold Moore Ms. Janice S. Davis Mr. and Mrs. Jack McDonald Ed and Edna Nelson Mr. and Mrs. John Symonds Ralph Nelson Mrs. Judy Nelson Jim & Doris Noblitt Mr. and Mrs. John Burkett Julie Ann Norman Mr. and Mrs. Knox Norman Almeda Norton Ogden Ms. Arleen N. Barnett Mr. and Mrs. Joel Goss Mrs. Raynette Lawrence Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Mayberry Mr. and Mrs. Jack McDonald Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Pheng Young Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Strealy Pete Ortegel Mrs. Maudeann McKendree Roger H. Peck Mrs. Joanne C. Peck Jeannie Reed Mrs. Adrian H. Boyd Mrs. Cathy Buie Mr. and Mrs. Harry Davis Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Deem Mr. and Mrs. Kurt R. Gustafson Ms. Leigh Love Mr. and Mrs. Jack McDonald Mr. and Mrs. Mack Moore Mr. and Mrs. Drew Norris Mrs. Irene Owens Mr. and Mrs. Jim Pinckney Mr. and Mrs. Robin L. Pruitt Mrs. Dorothy Jo Ray Mr. and Mrs. James Richards Mr. Jesse Thomas Ms. Susan Wardlow

Memorials Continued Janet Russo Richards Mr. and Mrs. Byron L. Boyer Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph G. Bunn CoAdvantage North Tampa Church of Christ Mr. Carmen Squadrito Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Strong Peter Rome Mr. and Mrs. John Holmes Mary Rose Mr. and Mrs. John V. Nelson Teresa Russo Mr. and Mrs. Kasey Oakley Carlyle Ruttledge Mrs. Betty Ruttledge Forrest Schoen Margaret Schoen Mamie A. “Dean” Sexton Central Church of Christ Dan Slaughter Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Blanton Louise Slaughter Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Blanton Phylis Smith Mr. and Mrs. Everett C. Smith Mark Spangler Mr. and Mrs. Garry D. Allison, Jr. Ethel Stevenson Mrs. Marcia Curry

Aldeen Norton Strealy Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Strealy Cletus Stutzman Mr. and Mrs. John Burkett Clara Summerville Mr. and Mrs. Lance Collier Donna Sutton Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Faust Bob Taylor Mr. Kenneth Shaw Mary Terry Mr. and Mrs. Andrew H. Limbrecht Robert Terry, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew H. Limbrecht Gary Tharpe Mrs. Carolyn Tharpe Ebb Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth M. Jackson Dacie Allen Turner Mrs. Mary Beth Williamson Jerry Wagner Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Wagner Gus & Mary Allen Waters Mrs. Mary Beth Williamson

Roger Weaver Mr. and Mrs. Randall Blaylock Ms. Virgene Broumley Dr. and Mrs. Richard E. DeCantis Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Dunham Ms. Fran Goode Mrs. Lora Goode Mr. and Mrs. Gary B. Miller Mr. and Mrs. Tony Moreno Mr. and Mrs. Barry L. Polk Ms. Wanda Ritchie Mr. and Mrs. Mike Sleaford Mrs. Stephanie Terrasi Mr. Jeffrey Tillwick Mr. and Mrs. Brian Vogt Mr. and Mrs. James West Mr. Robert Wiley Ms. Louise Yablon Ensky Webster Mr. and Mrs. William R. Hendricks Joyce West Mrs. Mary S. Parrish Virginia Betts Whitesell Mr. and Mrs. James M. Adair Gail Wineinger Mrs. Rose Ann Treusdell Barbara A. Wright Jerry and Barbara Wright Bobbi Wright Burnsville Church of Christ Mr. and Mrs. Keith Johnson Bill Young Mr. and Mrs. Garry D. Allison, Jr.

Honors Mildred Boyd Mrs. Adrian H. Boyd Ruth Buckner Mrs. Jennifer Gyr Joyce Chaney Mr. and Mrs. Jon Bratcher Wiley Cutts Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Helms Tim Deem Mr. and Mrs. Donald W. Marx Jason Goldtrap Mr. and Mrs. John V. Nelson Dr. James E. Moore Mr. and Mrs. Richard Eads Mr. and Mrs. William L. Evers Mr. and Mrs. Michael Greeson Mr. Robert N. Jones Mrs. Nancy Moses Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Thurman Hillard & Alma Story Mr. and Mrs. Thomas G. Wicks

Imagine Magazine · Fall 2020 | 27

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