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Kayce Green, Fine Arts Director at Nashville Christian School, was selected to attend the 2019 Tennessee Arts Academy this past July. She was one of only 15 administrators chosen out of hundreds of applicants. The Academy, the nation's premier summer teacher training institute for K–12 arts education, invited more than three hundred and fifty K-12 public and private school teachers from across the state to attend the week-long session. A program of the Tennessee Department of Education, the Academy has been held annually since 1986 on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
This year the Academy's nationally and internationally renowned instructors came from across the United States to teach a diverse range of classes in music, theater, visual art, and dance as well as special classes in arts leadership, administration and assessment.
There were many special moments throughout the week, starting with TAA’s opening performance on July 14th by the cutting-edge ensemble Presidio Brass. On Wednesday night, July 17, the most anticipated event of the Bravo! Awards Banquet and Performance was the presentation of the TAA Lorin Hollander Award to arts and education advocates Jeanette and Bill Watkins and the TAA Distinguished Service Award to the acclaimed Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun (Newsies, The Will Rogers Follies). Following the awards ceremony, an inspired performance by Broadway star Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King,Ragtime) was presented.
Other major highlights of the week included a speech on Monday to the TAA participants by the noted St. Olaf Choir conductor Anton Armstrong, followed on Tuesday by a presentation from the best-selling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Award recipient Jeff Calhoun and performer Alton Fitzgerald White also addressed the participants. Rounding out the week were performances by Nashville Ballet (72 Steps), Nashville Children’s Theatre (Tuck Everlasting), and the percussion ensemble Sympatico. At Friday’s concluding Finale Luncheon, the Joe W. Giles Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the award- winning, long-serving Tennessee visual art educator Donna Anderson, followed by a performance of the Tennessee Arts Academy Chorale, under the direction of Alan McClung. Nashville Christian School was honored as a Tennessee Arts Academy School of Distinction at the luncheon.
The teachers and administrators trained at the Tennessee Arts Academy each year impact over 150,000 Tennessee students all across the state when they return to their individual school districts and classrooms in the fall. The Academy's advanced curriculum, cutting-edge methodology and unique philosophical perspective maximize participants' learning experiences. NCS Fine Arts Director Kayce Green said, “It was enlightening to learn a great deal on how much the public schools and state standards are researched, written, applied, and documented in the state systems compared to private schools. This conference allowed me to see what works across the board, what we are doing well, and how we can improve. I was able to compare our fine arts opportunities with other schools and systems, and I personally had the distinct opportunity to help with defining teaching standards across the state and finalizing the provisions and prerequisites for schools both private and public to be able to apply to become Tennessee Arts Schools. I also spent some time working towards writing and applying for fine arts grants and scholarships. I was very encouraged about the fine arts program we offer at NCS and look forward to its continued growth and development.”
8th Grade Renewal is always a special celebration for our middle school. It is a time to celebrate our graduating 8th grade class, say goodbye to middle school, and recognize them as new high school students. Brett Posavac and Donovan Smith were chosen to represent the middle school student body as leaders of their class through their excellent academic accomplishments. Both students spoke during the ceremony of their memorable middle school experiences. They talked about the accomplishments of their classmates, overcoming struggles, and the amazing middle school memories that were created. They also encouraged their classmates to continue to support each other as they proceed through the next four years of their academic careers.
Donovan Smith was also the winner of The Eagle Award. This award goes to an 8th grader who has lived out our school's mission throughout the year. Our mission is to be a Christian, authentic, dynamic school equipping students to be global leaders. The winner is chosen by the middle school faculty and staff and here's what Donovan's teachers had to say about him:
Donovan always has a smile and goes above and beyond what is asked. He is eager to learn and never hesitates to ask questions to be sure there is full understanding of the content. He seeks others who may be struggling with making friends and goes out of his way to be sure he is making a difference in our world. Donovan Smith is a Christian, authentic, dynamic leader who is making a difference in our world.
Congratulations to all of our graduating 8th grade students!
This year's valedictorian, Abby Shivers, is ready to head to the prestigious University of Chicago in the fall to double major in neuroscience and psychology with a minor in Spanish. The University of Chicago had a very selective 5.9% acceptance rate this year (tied with Yale University), but Abby will get to go for free with over $748,988 in college scholarships awarded to her! We recently sat down with Abby to talk about her journey through high school and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:
What made you decide to go to the University of Chicago?
I was really torn between Emory and the University of Chicago for about a year and a half. When it came down to it, Emory was closer to home, but the University of Chicago was more academically rigorous, and they have a lot of opportunities for research and internships. They have revamped their entire career advancement program, and when I get there, I’ll have a college counselor and a career counselor. They have more undergrad internships with Chicago-based companies available for U of Chicago students than they actually have students at the university. All of their internships guarantee that you will get actual work experience, and they are all paid internships.
At what point in your high school career did you realize you were in the running for valedictorian and how did that drive your decision-making?
I always had the mindset that Sydney Cantrell would be the valedictorian because she was ahead of me in math. It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I realized if I took all the hardest classes available, that I might be able to pass her. I knew I wanted to apply to a strong academic school, and I knew taking all the hardest classes would help me towards that goal as well.
What was the college application process like?
U of Chicago’s application process is a little different from the rest. This year, they changed to where they don’t require standardized test scores, though you can send them in if you feel they are a good reflection of you as a student. I ended up sending mine in. They also look at your transcript to see if you are taking the most advanced classes offered at your school and how you did. They look at your common application essay, which goes to every college, but they also have their own writing supplement with two questions. First is the “Why U of Chicago?” essay where you explain why you want to go to their school and what makes you a good fit for them. When I was doing that one, I made sure to mention specific classes and campus events I knew they had that I wanted to participate in. The other writing portion is called the “U of Chicago Supplement,” which is one of the things they are known for. They give you some very strange prompts to choose from. The one I ended up doing was, “Find x.” That was all it said. It was so vague, I thought this was an opportunity for me to show them how I could take nothing and make it go to something.
How did you feel when you found out you got accepted?
I wasn’t expecting to get in. I knew I had the capability. I had the scores, I had the numbers, I had extra-curricular activities. But with hard colleges, if you’re not the exact type of puzzle piece they’re looking for, you’re not in. I knew the day I would find out and that it would be afternoon. I was getting ready to go home, and I knew I hadn’t received an email, but I decided to log in to my portal and see, and it said “status update.” I clicked on it, and it said, “Congratulations,” and I just started screaming. It was a really big shock.
In what ways did Nashville Christian prepare you that made a difference?
I think the major thing that influenced my application was the ability to be involved. At really big schools, it’s hard to be involved in a lot of different things and still try to get good grades. Here I can do a lot of things, TSA (Technology Student Association), National Honor Society, Spanish, Thespian Society, and be able to do them all well. And Mrs. Harper. She’s a really good writing teacher. I always hated writing, but my junior year I ended up getting really good at writing in her class, and I just always loved her as a teacher. During the application process, she sat down with me and really helped me go over my essays.
So you were awarded quite a lot of scholarship money. Tell us about that process.
I was pretty scared about money because U of Chicago is very expensive. But they are very good about giving merit-based scholarships. They gave me quite a bit of merit-based scholarship money. I also applied for a big scholarship called the Elk Most Valuable Student Scholarship. I made it all the way to the national level, and they gave me $1,000 per year. But through that process, your district also looks at the applications and gives local scholarships. For our county, they chose three males and three females, and I was chosen as one of those for $2,000. The other big scholarship I applied for was a Scarlett Family Foundation STEM Scholarship. They ended up giving me $15,000 per year.
How did you find scholarships?
Our college counselor, Mrs. King, uploads a lot of scholarships through Naviance, a college-planning tool that we use. Then some weekends I would spend a couple of hours looking up scholarships, and I applied for a lot of those. That’s how I found the Elk Most Valuable Student Scholarship.
What advice would you give to younger students who are driven and want to go to a prestigious school?
You have to try really hard. And you have to take ownership. Once you get to your junior and senior year, all of your classes will be college level. So you have to have self-awareness. You have to take a lot of time outside of class. Right now, I’m getting up at 5:00am every morning to do AP Calculus review because the exam is in a couple of weeks. There’s a lot of outside effort you have to put in so you have to have a certain level of commitment. And definitely go ahead and start looking at colleges your sophomore and junior year to figure out what would be a good fit for you.
What are you looking forward to the most about going to college?
Probably just being in Chicago itself. It’s a very “foodie” city and that’s exciting. The school is really close to Hyde Park, which is nice. And I’m just excited to get going with my future.
Art Wee k is always highly anticipated each year as the gallery walls go up in the commons and student work from all year is put on display. This year’s artwork did not disappoint, and there were many notable pieces.
Sophomore Bett Hoyt took Best in Show with her incredibly detailed underwater seascape pottery piece titled Under the Sea. Senior Annmarie Alexander has won multiple art awards during her time at NCS including thousands of dollars in college scholarships. She won the Faculty Award with her piece entitled God’s Canvas. Earlier this year, her piece Yellowstone won her a $12,000 scholarship from the Scholastic Art Show in the Cheekwood exhibit.
Because of a power outage at the school, we were unable to have the Visual Arts Reception and Awards as planned. However, we wanted to make sure to recognize all of our winners:
Art I - Madison Turner
Art II - Lexi Hardaway
Art III - Allie Grace Greenlee
Art IV - Tollie Boone
Congratulations to all who placed this year! You can see all of the high school artwork on display in the slideshow below.
The Belmont University Department of Art and Tennessee Art Education Association is proud to announce the 11th Annual Middle TN Regional Student Art Exhibition. This year, they received a total of 790 received student entries, only 96 were selected for the exhibition. One of those students was our very own senior, Annmarie Alexander!
This year's panel of jurors included Dr. Jeremy Blair (Assistant Professor of Art Education at TN Tech’s School of Art, Craft & Design), Jianna Mirabelli (Art Educator at Inglewood Elementary School), Tom Stanford (Photography Coordinator at Nossi College of Art), and Caitlyn Henneberry (Belmont University Art Education student). They were presented with quite the challenge, selecting works to represent the Middle TN region. We are so proud of Annmarie and her incredible talent, guided under the leadership of NCS art teacher Donna Torrez.
Annmarie's artwork will be on display in the through January 25th at the Leu Center for the Visual Arts located at 1900 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37212. Congratulations Annmarie!
The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce recently held their first Bravo! Bellevue awards event to celebrate the best of Bellevue. We are proud to announce that Nashville Christian School was chosen for the prestigious Cornerstone Award!
The Cornerstone Award is a special presentation to a Bellevue business that is essential not only to the chamber but to the Bellevue community as a whole. The recipient has not only contributed to the economic well-being of Bellevue but is also a business that gives back to the community through charitable work, service projects and participation in chamber initiatives.
Amy Napoli, CEO of the Bellevue Harpeth Chamber of Commerce said, “Nashville Christian School has been a cornerstone in the Bellevue community since 1971. Nashville Christian is rivaled by none in their support of the Chamber. Through their financial commitment and by opening their doors to host Chamber events, Nashville Christian has played a significant role in the Chamber’s growth and success.”
Because of your commitment to our mission and vision, support of our school, and service to the Bellevue community, we are proud to share this honor with you, the Nashville Christian family. Go Eagles!
The Elementary Art Show was such a great night of celebrating the creativity our our youngest eagles. Everyone was excited to see their artwork framed and show it off to their families. It was great to see the students that received ribbons beaming with pride. Families got to slow down from their busy schedules and enjoy some time to do art together. How often does that happen? We had origami, drawing, spin art, and even shrinky dinks.
We also took time on this special night to honor someone very special to the Nashville Christian family, Mrs. Fran Sexton. Fran blessed Nashville Christian School and its students for thirteen years. Mrs. Sexton has served as a second grade teacher, art teacher, and administrator. When students were asked to share thoughts about Mrs. Sexton they were quick to respond, lovingly.
Here's what some of her former students had to say about her:
"I remember the bird painting we did. I loved that project." - Griffin Smith
"She pushed us to perfection." - Peyton Woodard
"I remember the beach project that we did and still have it hanging on my wall." - Julia Belle
"She let me stay after class to work on a special project that is still hanging on my wall at home." - Millie Boone
"We did different projects that I thought would turn out weird, but they always turned out cool." - Devin Ray
Mrs. Sexton served as a mentor to our teachers and always spread an attitude of positivity. Her love for the school continues when she visits just to say hello. We miss seeing Mrs. Sexton every day and wish her the best in her retirement.
What a great night, and we can't wait until next year's art show!
Congratulations to the ribbon winners:
First place: Olivia Cart, Red and Blue Makes Purple Cat
Second place: Walker Overbay, Pears Still-Life
Third place: Malachi Payne, Yellow and Blue Make Green Frog
First place: Duncan Holt, Pears Still-Life
Second place: Cooper Daugherty, Rousseau Inspired Tiger
Third place: Scout Green, Romero Britto Face
First place: Joshua Peffer, Rose Window Design
Second place: Peyton Kubik, Cutouts Inspired by Matisse
Third place: London Biggs, Landscape with Rocks
First place: Ellie Sheehan, Landscape with Rocks
Second place: AJ Page, Landscape with Mountains
Third place: Isaiah Moore, Toucan
First place: Bryson Elizer, Self-Portrait
Second place: Landan Cooper, Self-Portrait
Third place: Caleb Hamilton, Football
First place: Christopher Mitchell, Self-Portrait
Second place: Mia Ryckman, Self-Portrait
Third place: Jane Claire Gill, The Wave
Earlier this week, America watched as a new Miss Universe was crowned for 2017. Did you know Nashville Christian has its very own beauty queen – Miss Tennessee Jr. Teen, sophomore Emily Batty! We recently spoke to her about her journey to Miss Tennessee Jr. Teen and what the future holds for this reigning queen.
When did you start doing pageants?
I started doing pageants when I was a baby, because my mom did them when she was a little girl.
What is your favorite thing about competing in pageants?
My favorite thing is definitely the opportunities that come with being in pageants. Just recently I won $1,000 and a trip to Disneyland and with my family over thanksgiving where I will get to meet girls from all over the country.
Besides Miss Tennessee Jr. Teen, what other titles or awards have you won?
Miss Middle Tennessee Jr. Teen and World’s Universal Beauty have been my most recent titles.
What are your responsibilities as National American Miss Tennessee Jr. Teen?
My biggest responsibility is to go out and serve my community.I have done things like the ALS Walk, Buddy Walk, and donated and read to the elementary schoolers so far this year. I am also expected to be a positive role model for young girls and represent Tennessee at the National Pageant in Hollywood, California.
What is your most memorable moment in competing in pageants?
My favorite memory is definitely hearing my name called as the NAM TN Jr. Teen. I had absolutely no idea that I had won, and it was so awesome to feel all the love and support from my family and friends.
What are your future pageant plans?
this year, I plan to compete for Miss Tennessee Teen USA and ultimately Miss Teen USA.
The Eagles football team ended their season with a lot to celebrate and be proud of. The team boasted not one, but two Mr. Football finalists, with senior Brant Lawless being named the Tennesse Titans Division II – Class A Mr. Football for 2017. Brant had 35 tackles for the regular season, 10 1/2 tackles for a loss, 9 1/2 sacks, and one fumble recovery. Brant was also selected for the 2017 Toyota East/West All Star Game and was named an Army All-American. We are so proud of Brant and can't wait to see him on Saturdays next year playing for the University of Tennessee.
Junior Xavier Myers was our second Mr. Football finalist, and while he may not have won it this year, his accomplishments on the field left everyone impressed. For the regular season, he had 31 touchdowns, with 185 carries for 2,174 yards rushing.
The All-Region Team was recently named, and there were lots of talented Eagles on the roster.
D II – 1 A West All-Region Team
Offensive Player of the Year: Xavier Myers #26
Defensive Player of the Year: Brant Lawless #34
Athlete of the Year: Jesse Watson #4
1st Team Offense:
OL: Jack Elliott #76, Maverick Marlin #79
1st Team Defense:
D-Line: Jack Elliott #76
Linebacker: Sid Morris #22
DB’s: Bobby Bowling #3, Zach Young #12
2nd Team Offense:
WR: Bobby Bowling #3 – Nashville Christian
OL: Warren Hanson #64 – Nashville Christian
2nd Team Defense:
D-Line: Aaron Gray #73 – Nashville Christian
LB: Jesse Parrish #50 – Nashville Christian
Will Irwin #5, Hayden Jarrell #53
Academic All-District Team:
Jack Elliott #76, Chad Kinnard #16, Will Irwin #5
Great job Eagles! We are proud of you and look forward to another great season in 2018. We are NC!
Congratulations are in order for the yearbook staff! The 2016-2017 yearbook has been chosen by the employees at the Walsworth printing plant to be included in Walsworth’s Gallery of Excellence! This is the 4th time the Nashville Christian School yearbook has been included in the gallery, and it means that our yearbook will be one of the example books used by Walsworth’s sales representatives to show their schools and workshops. It will also be displayed at regional, state, and national conventions and workshops, and parts of the book may also be used as examples in Walsworth’s educational materials. Congratulations Cate Maclellan, Matthew Magrum, Warren Hanson, Sara Wilson, and Karen Montesinos!