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Congratulations to the Eagles varsity football team on another great season! “This team won our first Region championship since moving into Division II three years ago, going 11-1 on the season. We showed great resilience throughout the season, and I think our senior leadership was the catalyst for that. With only six seniors, we had a very young team. However, those six all played key roles in our success on offense, defense and special teams. Heading into the off-season, our returning players are dedicating themselves to improving on our semifinal appearance from this season,” said Head Coach Jeff Brothers.
Many members from this year’s team have received additional accolades for their performance this year.
Division 2A West Region Defensive Player of the Year - Harris Adams
Division 2A West All-Region Team
1st Team - Dakota Owens, Martease Edwards, Darian List, Micah Fann
2nd Team - Jaelyn Marsh, Aaron Gray, Nick Bozich, Matt McClary, Jacob Bates, William Spence, Brayden Bonds, Lucas Kline
Honorable Mention - Josh Strickland, Aiden Humes
Division 2A West All-Academic Team - Nick Bozich, Matt McClary, Cavin Phung
Tennessee Sports Writers D2A All-State - Harris Adams, Martease Edwards, William Spence
Tennessee Football Coaches Association All-State - Dakota Owens, Micah Fann, Harris Adams, Aaron Gray
National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award – Aaron Gray
Burlsworth Award -Aaron Gray
Nipper-Hancock Civitan Award – Brayden Bonds
Academic Achievement Award – Matt McClary
Senior Eagle Award – Micah Fann
Seniors Micah Fann, Dakota Owens, and Aaron Gray all have offers to play at the collegiate level.
We are so proud of all that these talented young men have accomplished this year and look forward to great things ahead! Go Eagles!
The fall sports season has been great for the Eagles, with many teams and individuals making great strides! Sophomore golfer Chase Wright had a great season and finish 4th in the district which qualified him for the region tournament where he finished 4th out of 60 golfers.
Our high school girls soccer team finished 3rd in the district and made it to the 3rd round of the region tournament. This is the farthest an NCS girls soccer team has gone in the history of the program. They also made history with an overall record of 11-3, giving them the most wins ever in a season. The middle school girls soccer team is 5-0-1 and will play in the semi-finals of the TIAA on Tuesday.
Another record-setting program was our girls high school volleyball team. These athletes went deeper into the tournament than they ever have before making it to the first level of the state tournament. Their overall record of 27-9 gives them the most wins in the last five years. Another highlight of their season was winning their way to the finals at a gold level tournament held at Kenwood High School.
The cross-country teams continue to grow as well. New NCS 7th grade runner, Alexis Redmond, placed 16th out of 72 at a big meet. The middle school team had a great showing at the Division A finals overall with Jacob Ellis coming in 7th place and winning a medal in the varsity boys' race. The NCS boys' team placed 6th in boy's overall.
In football, our 5th and 6th grade Eagles had an outstanding season with a record of 7-1, tying for first in their league this season. The middle school football program worked hard and continued to build towards future success. Our high school football team finished the regular season undefeated with a record of 10-0 with a win against Trinity Christian. They are in great position going into the playoffs and hope to make another trip to Cookeville to prove themselves as state champions.
We are so proud of all of our athletes and look forward to continued growth and future successes! Go Eagles! We are NC!
Last summer, the NCS teachers began training in Cooperative Learning through Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshops. Cooperative learning is a way to increase student engagement by organizing lessons so that students are involved in showing what they know by speaking because we know that we "retain a great deal more of what we say than what we hear." Cooperative learning structures also support social/emotional development and classroom management. When using cooperative learning structures the students have positive interdependence, individual accountability, equal participation, and simultaneous interaction. This picture shows a team building game with a balloon. Through team building, students come to know, like, and respect their teammates. In the process, a group of virtual strangers becomes a powerful learning team.
What Does it Look Like?
A cooperative learning structured class would include healthy noise rather than just a quiet class. Instead of students being told to “keep your eyes on your paper” the students are engaged with one another by helping their partner or group to solve the problem. Students may be up looking around at what classmates have accomplished and produced rather than sitting quietly.
When cooperative learning is properly implemented, it is a powerful approach resulting in positive outcomes. This success is based on four basic principles. When these principles are in place, cooperative learning produces positive interdependence, individual accountability, equal participation, and simultaneous interaction. As these principles are implemented in the classroom, we, as teachers, unleash the full potential of cooperative learning. This empowers NCS to create classrooms where students work together, acquire social skills, care about each other, and achieve more. This helps NCS educators be effective teachers where students learn to their full potential.
Cooperative learning has the potential to be a solution for four different crises: achievement crisis, achievement gap crisis, race relations crisis, and social skills crisis. Kagan says, “Cooperative learning provides in the school a surrogate, stable community in which prosocial values and skills are nurtured and developed.” In addition to these positive outcomes, cooperative learning also can improve communication and language acquisition skills, self-esteem, increased motivation, decreased discipline issues, and improve critical thinking.
Our teachers here at NCS are using cooperative learning strategies in their classes. Check out these strategies in action in the videos below!
Nashville Christian high school students brought the events surrounding Bloody Sunday to the main stage. Set in Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s, Laura Lundgren Smith’s The Shape of the Grave introduces us to Colleen who is desperate to find meaning in her own life after tragedy has taken half of her family. NCS actors spent weeks exploring Irish history, eating Irish food, and interviewing the author of the play. When asked why Lundgren Smith chose to write this historical play for young actors she replied, “because people underestimate teenagers.” NCS actors also worked with renowned acting and dialect coach Jill Massey on their Northern Irish accents to accurately portray this historical piece of literature that has modern-day relevance. Veteran US Marine Jordan Pritchard shared his experience behind the wire in Afghanistan, and our actors have found the insights he offered extremely valuable in informing their acting.
This was a fantastic show for anyone who wants to open a dialogue about the power of understanding history, the importance of avoiding violence, or the despair that can accompany circumstance. Madison Gupton, a junior, played the main character Colleen and stated, “It’s important to see this play, especially today since the world is so divided, and there is so much fighting everywhere. This play makes you step back and think about the bigger picture.”
The Shape of the Grave was performed in conjunction with Annie Jr. on October 5th and 6th.
15 days. 47 people. Innumerable hours traversing Ireland and the United Kingdom by bus. Less than innumerable bathroom breaks. Nashville Christian students, teachers, parents, and faculty set off to Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales this summer to explore some of the notable sites these countries have to offer. Here’s what you missed on the 2019 NCS International Trip.
We started off in Ireland on a tour our bus driver Francis called the “ABC tour” (another bloody castle tour). We saw many castles, all of which were striking and worth exploring. To get a unique view of Ireland we did a jaunty tour at Killarney. We piled into the horse-drawn carriages and enjoyed picturesque views of the Irish countryside. The color green seemed different in Ireland: brighter, cleaner. No one could deny how beautiful the country was.
After our adventures in Ireland, we took a ferry to Wales. We went to an unfinished castle and struggled to find a staircase that actually led anywhere. Getting lost in a castle in Wales was a treat. Speaking of treats, at nearly every stop, somebody (or everybody) bought some ice cream. This sweet treat was the featured dessert of our trip. It seemed like every city had the best ice cream in the world.
Now in the UK, we boarded a new coach and started our trek. We drove through Wales and stopped a few times to enjoyed the views before we arrived in Edinburgh, our home for the next few days. With our free time in the city, we shopped, hiked, and ate. A few of us climbed Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano. Our tour guide Margaret left us for a few days to have tea with the Queen. We helped her with her fashion choices before the big day, too. Personally, Edinburgh was one of the best stops for me, and I really enjoyed goofing around with friends and teacher. That was the best part of the trip, honestly. I was able to bound with my old teachers on a more personal level and also got to know people from school that I had very few interactions with before this.
In the last days of the trip we saw Stirling Castle and Windsor Castle. We also explore Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Shakespeare’s birthplace, as well as English poet William Wordsworth’s house and garden. I loved seeing the homes of people I have learned about in history and English class. It was a fascinating way to connect the past to the present. Walking Wordsworth’s garden, I understood why he was inspired to write so much poetry about the value of life and living it truly. I never wanted to leave.
All in all, this trip was one of the best of my life. I got to bond with everyone, and I saw some of the magnificent wonders this world has to show us. It inspired me to keep exploring. I encourage you to go on one of these trips. I learned a lot about the United Kingdom and its history, but I learned even more about the people I so often interact with without truly getting to know. I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone who can take advantage of it. I’m truly glad that I did.
For the past couple of months, the NCS National Honor Society has asked our school community to donate items to Becca's Closet. Becca's Closet began in South Florida when a young woman named Rebecca Kirtman launched a dress drive to provide prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who could not afford them. That first year, Becca collected and donated over 250 dresses and helped hundreds of girls attend prom. Rebecca was killed in a tragic car accident in 2003, but her mission continues, with multiple chapters being formed across the United States. The National Honor Society at NCS decided to join the cause and the Nashville Christian community came through! Yesterday, the NHS officers were thrilled to take all the donated items to a local chapter of Becca's closet. We want to send a big THANK YOU to all who gave! For more information about Becca's Closet, go to www.beccascloset.org.
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.
It was a tough loss last night for the NCS boys varsity soccer team, but what they have accomplished this season has been historic! In 2018, the Eagles won only one of their seven district games, scored only nine goals, conceded 32 and were ranked sixth going into the first regional round where they lost 6-2 to BGA.
But this season tells a different story. Again, the Eagles played seven district games, but they won five, scored 23 goals in regular season district play and only conceded eight! Junior Tristan Hogan and senior Zach Clark scored eight goals each! Our winning record gave the Eagles a number four seeding going into tournament play, allowing us to bypass the first round for the first time in school history. On Saturday, May 4th, we hosted the Eagles from Ezell-Harding at and won 4-1! Last night their season ended with a tough loss to a talented CPA team in the regional quarterfinals. About this year’s season and team,
Athletic Director Ronnie Seigenthaler said, “It has been a pleasure to watch our boys soccer team compete this season. I am proud to say that when they take the field, you see a competitive skill level and a strong chemistry on this year’s team. I am proud of all they have accomplished.”
We are all so proud of these players and coaches for all of their incredible growth and achievements! Go Eagles!
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!
With bullying, school shootings and teen suicide on the rise, NCS senior Tollie Boone was inspired to create this powerful spoken word and song in response – Only Yesterday.
"When I started writing this, it was just a short little poem that I really thought nothing about. It was just something to get off my brain to help me fall asleep. After I finished writing, I realized that this world isn’t as safe as it was when I was younger. I used to be able to go outside and not have to worry if someone was going to hurt me. Now in today’s society, we have to increase security and make rules more strict. Keeping people out only invites more problems in. The only way we can help someone is if we ask. We can’t keep ignoring one another thinking that one day we will say something to them. That 'one day' we have now might not always be there. Galatians 6:10 says, 'Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people…'"
Act well your part; therein lies all the honor. This quote from Alexander Pope is the motto of the International Thespian Society. The ITS group at each school is called a troupe and is usually led by the theater teacher. Students are inducted into this theater honor society based on points earned in a variety of areas including technical theater, production, and performance. Nashville Christian School has both a Junior Thespian Troupe for 6th-8th grade students and a High School Troupe for 9th-12th grade students. Induction qualifications for the junior troupe are 50 points, while 100 points must be earned for induction into the International High School troupe.
Students are recognized for theatrical achievements and also earn scholar recognition for maintaining high GPA’s during their stage productions. Here at NCS it is not unusual for our thespian students to be on the honor roll and president’s list! We have had a few seniors graduate with the highest honors offered by the ITS. Jack Forte (2018) and Laura Pickard (2016) both graduated as International Honor Thespian Vice President's List Scholars. Joey Hendricks, Hendrick Shelton, and Maggie Shivers all graduated in 2016 as National Honor Thespian Vice President's List Scholars. The time it takes to reach these levels of excellence means that the thespian troupe members spend a lot of time together. Senior Tollie Boone says, “The thespian club at NCS has given me a group of people that I consider my family. They have helped me overcome many obstacles in my life and also helped me become more confident in myself. I can always count on my thespian family to have my back through everything.”
Tollie is a great person to speak to about the troupe. Last year, she became our first student to reach the level of International Honor Thespian during her junior year. She earned this honor while maintaining a scholar level GPA, playing basketball and being a hydration engineer for the football team! Her passion for performing and love for technical theater have combined to keep her involved in nearly every performance on the NCS stage. Tollie started her theater career with minor roles such as a munchkin in Wizard of Oz, but grew to lead shows as James in James and the Giant Peach and Adelaide in Guys and Dolls! Most recently she was seen as Kyler in Bring it On!. What many people don’t know is that Tollie is an exceptional lighting designer and brings her expertise to almost all of the shows that are produced at NCS. She plots and programs the lighting for every scene in each production.
When asked about her reaction to achieving this level of recognition as a junior, she replied, “I was super happy. Being the first junior to achieve that as well made it even more special. It took so much time and dedication to the theater department performing and helping backstage but it paid off.“ Tollie spent a week this summer with fellow thespians Helina Butler, Taylor Dahl, Michael Dubois, and Megan Parker training in Princeton, New Jersey at the New Beginnings workshop with Peter Sklar. That experience culminated in a showcase where they performed monologues on stage at the Orpheum theater in New York. Tollie and Taylor will be returning for another intensive session over the Christmas and New Year’s break. Tollie plans to major in theater in college.
NCS is proud of both our current thespians and aspiring actors and their work on and off the stage. As each of them strives to follow the path God sets before them, we know that they will continue to use the talents He has given them to glorify Him. Make sure to catch this year’s performances and support the fabulous young people that make up the Fine Arts program at Nashville Christian School.
The Eagles were flying high, literally, in this year’s spring musical, Bring It On. The cast came together with an unforgettable, high-energy performance with a perfect combination of adolescent humor and gravity-defying stunts. There were several newcomers to the stage as well as some seasoned veterans to round out a dynamic crew. We asked senior Chandler White to tell us more about his experience as a first-time participant in an NCS drama performance. Here’s what he had to say:
Rapping. Basketball. Dancing. Stunts. Cheerleading. How could I possibly say no to that combination? I have always been a super athlete, playing sports at any time of the day against anyone. However, I have never tried a play or even wanted to be a part of anything related to theater. However, this year proved to be a little different.
After weeks of my friends convincing and pushing me, thinking about my opportunity to try something new, and Coach Kayce encouraging me non-stop, I decided to audition for “Bring It On: The Musical!” This decision proved to be the best decision that I have ever made!
There are plenty of ups and downs with everything in life. However, I can honestly say that this play was coasting up the entire time. The best part of this play was the community that we were able to create. The message of the production was, simply put, “Make the most of your opportunities and be the person that you want to be.” Each and every individual in the play made the most of the moments we had together and have now taken themselves and created the person that they wanted to be.
The time that we put into this play was almost unbelievable! We spent hours, days, weeks, months practicing all the different lines, choreography, stunts and motions. I would probably say that the most difficult part of this play was breaking out of my comfort zone to sing and dance. However, after taking a few lessons in both and realizing that everyone supported me and was there for me, I was very surprised that I could do it! Before I knew it, I had become a true showman!
The messages behind this play were so impactful and powerful that most people overlook them. However, they stuck with me. I have taken away many valuable lessons that have allowed me to strengthen relationships, develop my individual self, and enjoy the life that I have been given. If I could leave anyone with one small thing that would impact their lives forever, I would tell them this — try a play. It’ll be one of the greatest decisions that you ever make.
Click here to view all of the great photos from the show!
We have a few new teachers who joined the Nashville Christian School staff this year, and we wanted to help you get to know them a little better. Mr. Goff teaches Algebra and Pre-Calculus in the high school, but here are a few things you might not know about him:
Tell us a little about your background:
I grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and went to school at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where I met my wonderful wife, Colleen, in a Biology class. Colleen works in interior design and architecture, and together we have two puppies - Mies and Mobi (9 and 8 months old). Mies is a Mini Australian Shepard (named after Mies van Der Rohe, a famous German architect), and Mobi is an Australian Cattle Dog (named after August Mobius, a famous mathematician).
What is your favorite thing to do?
My (two) favorite things to do are to cook, and to play the board game Patchwork with my wife.
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing a student's face when they realize they understand a difficult math concept.
What is your least favorite part of your job?
That I can't bring my dogs with me.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would love to work in journalism or be a political commentator.
You teach high schoolers – if you could go back and give your high school self any advice, what would it be?
Don't pressure yourself into knowing what career you're going to have or what major you'll be before you graduate high school. As of 2013, the average college student changes their major 3 times, and the average person changes careers 5-7 times over their lifetime. Be flexible, take classes in subjects you love, and make strong connections with your teachers in high school (and professors in college).
If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
I mean... can I just be Spider-Man?
What is the best book you have ever read?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, followed very closely by One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
Throughout high school, I got better grades in English than in math (and I won 5 different poetry contests my junior and senior years).
The NCS High School Wrestling team wrapped up a successful first regular season in DII this past weekend in Memphis. The Eagles wrestlers competed against the top 8 teams in the DII West region for a shot to go to the State Duals Tournament in Williamson County. The team fell just short, losing by one match to a tough BGA team. The team finished out their inaugural DII regular season with a 7-2 record against regional opponents.
Highlights of the season include:
- Junior Joseph Curley setting the school record for takedowns in a season with 80 (and counting!)
- Junior Adam Young being ranked in 1st in the state in his weight class.
- The team showing well in the Charlie Bruce Duals in Alabama, placing 3rd in their pool and 5th overall, beating Tate HS out of Florida.
- The team had medalists in all 3 individual tournaments they competed in this season, including Joseph Dyer getting a 7th place finish at the Father Ryan Invitational, widely regarded as the toughest tournament in the area.
- Several 8th graders moved up and contributed to the varsity team this season, with several scoring match-winning pins and being named wrestlers of the week.
The team now focuses its attention on the DII West Region Individual Tournament which will be held at Christian Brothers HS in Memphis next Friday and Saturday (Feb 9th and 10th). The top 4 wrestlers from each weight class will advance on to the State Tournament to be held Feb 15th - 17th at the Williamson County Ag Center.
For the 3rd year in a row, Nashville Christian took a group of thespians to compete and perform at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, GA. This year’s event included more than 6,000 students and educators from 130 educational musical theater groups representing 30 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Student groups perform 15 minutes from MTI’s Broadway Junior Collection for adjudication by leading theater professionals. Groups are rated in the areas of music, acting, dance and overall performance. The adjudicators offer constructive criticism to each group to encourage further learning in key areas. NCS students earned high praise for their performance from James and the Giant Peach, Jr. You can see their performance below.
Throughout the weekend, NCS staff and students attended workshops taught by broadway professionals. Senior Jack Forte and junior Annmarie Alexander were chosen as festival All-Stars and got the opportunity to attend a special workshop and participate in the awards ceremony. 8th grader Justin Littrell and sophomore Emily Batty were selected to participate in the Broadway Jr. Slam where they had just one hour to rehearse a song and dance for presentation on the main stage.
Nashville Christian senior thespian Ryan Leflar said, “As a senior going to JTF I was very devastated that last night and the last day. This experience has given me such a unique opportunity with a talented group that has become a family. I will miss everyone dearly and I hope to take this experience with me to college to better myself.”
See the group's full performance for adjudication below!
Plans are already being made for next year’s trip to the Junior Theater Festival with hopes of earning a trophy and a spot with other top performers onstage on the final day of the event. Stay tuned for information about upcoming auditions!
The process of planning this event for the kids was something we were really working hard to achieve and looking forward to doing. We started off thinking of ways to gather and fundraise for all of the items to take to the kids, and this is when we got the idea to involve the whole student body. However, we also wanted to give the students some incentive for helping out with this project. We asked each of the math teachers individually if they would consider giving the students two points on their midterm if they were to donate, and it was a success. Immediately after making this announcement, the items started flowing in, and soon after it was time to pack up and take off.
It was 7 AM, but I have never seen everyone so energetic. We were so excited to walk through the doors of JE Moss and see those children. I knew immediately that this was going to be a great experience. We all split up into different classrooms, there were four in total, and got started with our day. On top of the gifts, we provided them with a variety of foods. The classroom Jolie and I were in happened to be most excited about the donuts. The kids were so grateful for every little thing, and the look of pure excitement on their faces was one I will never forget. However, just when they thought it was over, we brought out the presents. Immediately, the kids were screaming and jumping up and down with joy, and you couldn't help but smile. They all got seated and opened their presents only to scream even louder.
This experience was so humbling and inspirational all around. I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for being given the opportunity to be a part of this.
This year, the Fine Arts Department added an additional show to their schedule with a special presentation of Steel Magnolias. Faculty and staff were invited to audition for the show and the final cast included Nicole Arnold as Clairee, Julie Shaver as Truvy, Kathy Gupton played M’Lynn, and Kayce Green doubled us as director of the show and Ouiser. The role of Shelby was played by senior Makenna Paszek and Annelle was played by junior Tollie Boone.
Their performances did exactly what they were meant to do, drawing “laughter through tears” from mesmerized audiences. We interviewed the cast members about the experience:
What made you decide to audition for this show?
Makenna: I decided to audition for the show because my mom had said she really loved the movie and thought I would make a great Shelby. I hadn’t heard of it before auditions, but decided to watch the movie and fell in love with the story.
Tollie: The movie is one of my all time favorites that I love watching with my mom. Also I wish to continue in acting as a career and I had never done a straight show before and so I thought this would be the best show to learn another way to act.
Nicole: My decision to audition for the show was based on the enjoyment I get from being on stage and the insights that putting myself back in "acting shoes" gives me when I direct students. Reminding yourself of all the apprehensions and challenges that your students face helps you to relate to them more when mentoring and instructing.
Kathy: Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite movies. My friends and I quote lines from it all the time. When I saw that NCS was planning to do a high school/faculty production of it, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.
Julie: Actually, Kathy Gupton signed me up for the audition and printed out a monologue for me to use! ☺
Kayce: I wanted to just direct but in the audition Nicole and Trisha made me read for Oiuser.
What was the best thing about the experience?
Makenna: Throughout auditions, rehearsal, and the show, I grew in my relationships with the other cast members. Having a small cast means a lot of bonding. It was really great to see the faculty members outside of their jobs. We all became super close during the time spent on this show. They all made it a wonderful last show for me.
Tollie: Getting to know the teachers involved during and after the show and being able to go to them if I need anything.
Nicole: The best thing about the experience was the camaraderie developed between the cast and the support that we were able to give one another.
Kathy: Getting to know the other cast members better and being able to work with them on the stage was the best experience. I literally laughed my way through every play practice. I also enjoyed watching myself grow and improve from beginning to end.
Julie: It sounds cliché, I know, but the best thing was definitely the camaraderie among the cast and crew. What an amazing group of people!!
Kayce: The best thing was the therapy it provided when it comes to how and when to grieve. I think that was the biggest part that everyone that was in the show and in the audience related to. Everyone has had to grieve, and we are never done grieving the loss of a loved one. The more opportunities we have to experience such a strong emotion together, the more people realize how much we all have in common.
What was the biggest challenge?
Makenna: The biggest challenged I faced was being pushed as an actress. I have never done a show as serious as this one was and I had to overcome some obstacles. I had to really get in the mindset that diabetes is something that seriously affects some people in the world and it wasn’t something I could take lightly. This show was a very emotional one for sure.
Tollie: Having to act like I was pregnant was probably the hardest thing for me. It was so uncomfortable sitting and even standing. I had to learn how to walk with the belly and it was just an overall strange experience.
Nicole: The biggest challenge was balancing time and schedules while being a mom, teaching, directing the elementary show and working on our JTF performance.
Kathy: Learning all the lines and cues and ways to deliver the lines was a challenge. Trying not to laugh when Makenna and I were doing the scene where we argue after she tells me she is pregnant may have been the biggest challenge. There was a time during the last week of practices where we could not look at each other and say our lines at the same time without laughing. Thankfully Mrs. Arnold gave us some exercises to do to get through the giggles. While not necessarily a challenge, effectively portraying M’Lynn’s grief in the last scene was something that I worked the hardest on.
Julie: Definitely learning my lines: I didn’t realize how many lines Truvy had in the play! Oh! And all the late nights at practice. I am usually in bed by 8:30!
Kayce: The challenge for me was seeing this from both perspectives. Being on the stage as a director, while acting was totally challenging. Two hats, one very specific and one very broad, figuring out the story and telling it and also, designing it so others can tell it was very hard. It was like plotting the map and then manning a portion of the ship was very difficult.
Anything else you want to say about your experience or that you want people to know?
Tollie: Another thing I loved about this show was being able to perform it for my bible teacher Coach McPherson and his wife and seeing their faces all smiling while watching the show. Being able to put a smile on their face was very heartwarming.
Nicole: I want people to know that we have very talented faculty and students and we need to get more people on campus to experience the impact of quality live theater.
Kathy: I think that everyone can identify with each of the characters in some way or another. I see people that I know in each of the characters and the other actors did a phenomenal job of bringing them to life. I hope that the play and characters touched everyone in some way that was helpful for them. The theater department does an amazing job. There were nights that they did not leave until after midnight to get the stage and costumes completed. It is hard to fully cover everything that they did to prepare for the play. A huge shout out to Kayce’s amazing direction and set design skills and Mrs. Arnold’s spot-on costume design!
Julie: It was truly an amazing first acting experience. I really appreciate my castmates and especially Kayce’s expertise and advice!
Kayce: I would like to say thank you to my husband and my daughter. They are my world. Thank you to: Kathy Gupton, whose calm, reflective, and quietly strong M’Lynn broke my heart in auditions. Julie Shaver’s clear, unapologetic Truvy, who steers us all along, Tollie Boone for her artist’s heart, Makenna Pazeck for her brilliant, fiery stubborn portrayal of Shelby, and Nicole Arnold, whose Clairee is beautifully timed, and is certainly the yin to my Ouiser yang. And to God, for the incredible way he steers my life every day. He is in and behind every story that we tell. Everything leads back to Him.
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 Praise and Thanksgiving service was once again a special time for the Nashville Christian family to worship and share a meal together.
After a short morning of classes, students, parents, staff and friends dropped off their delicious dishes and gathered in the gym for a special program. The first graders were dressed in their newly-designed handprint turkey shirts for their reading of Psalm 100. We also enjoyed performances by the NCS Entertainers and the Middle School Chorus.
Our special speaker this year was a new Nashville Christian parent, Dennis Ferrier. Mr. Ferrier is a reporter with Nashville’s Fox 17 and has won multiple prestigious awards for his investigative work. He told us the story of Black Hawk pilot, Michael Durant, and his hero, Gary Gordon. Gary Gordon knew from the age of 10 that he wanted to be a military hero and set out to research how to do it. Mr. Ferrier encouraged everyone, even the very youngest Eagles, to make their own mission statement and to ask for guidance and help from the Lord as we set about serving Him.
After some final words and a prayer, everyone headed for the tables full of Thanksgiving favorites – turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and so much more. Following the feast, the leftovers were packed up by a group of students and staff and taken to the homeless. It was a wonderful day of reflecting, expressing thanks and serving others. Here are some photos from the day:
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!
An important part of senior year is Job Shadow Day. Not only are our seniors trying to decide where to go to college, but what they want to do for a living. This year's students explored lots of different careers and here's what some of them had to say about what they learned:
I loved job shadow day! I got to meet an up and coming country music artist, Jay Allen, and got to sit in the recording studio with him. I also got to learn a lot about promotions in the music business. - Makenna Paszek
I shadowed a professor of music at Lipscomb University. I took his music theory and classical piano classes. - Will Batty
Job shadowing a dance teacher was actually very informative for me. Seeing the varying levels of communication between Payton with the little kids, the middle school kids, and the advanced kids was really interesting because that is something I have a hard time with. I learned about the realities of doing something in the arts for a career, not just the fun hour classes at the studio, but the work that goes into it. Overall it was a really fun experience. - Ryan Leflar
I job shadowed my youth minister and friend David Lee who is a building contractor, and also works for the Gospel Advocate. My experience was fun and entertaining, as I followed him around and helped put up dry wall, mail packages, and other things. I spent abou 4 hours with him doing this and enjoyed it. - Will Connelly
I enjoyed my job shadow day. I shadowed the finance department at Healthtrust. I learned how what I'm learning in statistics class relates to the real world. - Warren Hanson
I had a great time at Dr. Manning’s dentist office for shadow day. I was able to watch a hygienist clean teeth, and Dr. Manning put in a couple crowns for people who needed them. I also was able to watch a tooth be made, very cool. - Cassidy Rice
I went to see the post production center of CMT. I watched an experienced editor work on an interview of the new American idol judges. It was a fun and interesting experience. - Cade Thompson
My job shadow experience made me feel somewhat amazed. I never thought that even a business as relatively small as where I shadowed (Compass Cinema) could be so productive. - Ford Hulgan
I enjoyed going to Hunt Memorials with my dad and Charlie Hunt. We went to a location and put up monuments. We then went back to their office, and my father showed me how to design stones on his computer. - Maverick Marlin
I spent my job shadow day with an actor that is married to my mom’s friend. He has been in multiple films and tv shows; his most recent being Barb’s father in season 2 of Stranger Things. - Jackson Forte
On my job shadow day, I shadowed Seth Gunnells, a web developer at GS&F. He has helped develop many high caliber websites, such as LP’s website. Throughout the day, I met with several different people who explained what a typical work day would be like. It helped me determine that computer science is actually what I want to major in. - Chad Kinnard
For my job shadow at Bellevue Animal Hospital, I was able to help out with a dental appointment on a dog, assist with antibiotics for a dog with an ear infection (turns out it was Libby Weatherly’s bulldog), help re-bandage an 8-week-old puppy’s broken leg, and sit in on regular checkups with other cats and dogs. I really enjoyed spending my day at the vets office, and it really solidified my decision to major in pre vet next year. - Sara Wilson
I shadowed an eletrical engineer for job shadow day. He works from home so I went to his house, shadowed what he did, and then had lunch and asked him some questions about engineering and Tennessee Tech. - Nick Mynatt
My Job Shadow experience was quite interesting! I shadowed my Dad's team, which included IT Auditors, Cyber Security phishers, and data analysts who worked for LifePoint Hospitals. I spent a full day, from 8am-5pm, learning about the job, the company, and the specifics. Overall, I had a great day learning about Computer Sciences and enjoying a day to live in the real world. - Chandler White
For my job shadow I went to Civil Sites Design group. They have a new building that overlooks downtown and I got to go see some Job sites. I learned a lot about the different architecture and engineering jobs that are out there and I think that’s what I would like to do when I get older. - Brooks Cummings
I got the opportunity to shadow two home health nurses and go on two home visits in the low income public housing area. These mothers are faced with multiple social issues due to their low socioeconomic status therefore they welcome the nurses to come into the home to teach them parenting skills and child development. While on the visits, I watched and listened to the nurses carefully on how they acted with the children and spoke with the mothers. I enjoyed being able to learn about the struggles that some people face in my very own home town. I cannot wait to become a nurse and help these people in my surrounding area! - Libby Weatherly
I was able to job shadow a Engineer for Skanska construction company. I got to see what it was like being a higher chained engineer on a job site. We were working on the new LifeWay building downtown and I was able to meet the owners of the building. It was an insightful experience that I will never forget. - Nathan Gaidos
On Monday, October 9th, several of our English students had the privilege of watching a powerful performance of Stand, a new play by Jim Reyland that brings a new perspective to homelessness. Stand has only two characters: Mark, a salesman, and Johnny, a homeless man struggling from years of drug addiction. It is a true story based on Reyland’s relationship with John Robert Ellis, a homeless man he befriended and tried to help for nearly a decade before Ellis was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2011.
The show is part of TPAC’s Humanities Outreach in Tennessee and ticket sales benefit Room in the Inn, a Tennessee organization that offers emergency services, transitional programs, and long-term solutions to help people rebuild their lives. The Founding Director of Room in the Inn, Charles Strobel, was in attendance and spoke to our students after the performance and answered their questions. Here’s what some of our students had to say about how they were impacted by Stand.
The thing about the play that was so impactful to me was the realistic portrayal of recovery, showing how it’s more of a two steps forward one step backwards kind of process rather than a straight line constantly going upwards. I liked how the two characters helped each other equally, and the relationship they shared. – Jolie Harper
I like that the man [Mark] stepped out of his normal routine and helped the homeless man. I learned that sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone and help others. – Hampton Taron
It was super eye-opening as to how we should treat others no matter the circumstances they are in. - Anna Jones
I thought the play was very deep on how you may think you are better than homeless people, but you are really just the same but with more money. And other people who may be homeless don't always have the childhood and conditions it takes to be successful, and they end up that way, all by things they can't control. - Hope McWright
I learned that homelessness isn't easy to get out of. It is not necessarily about being lazy, but about falling into a cycle of hopelessness. Homeless people aren't treated with the same respect as other people are and that was really impactful to me. –Annmarie Alexander
I found the fact that the man took a lot of time to befriend and take care of the homeless man very impactful. I see homeless people people all the time, but this man had the courage to help him on a personal level. – Riley Griffin
Addiction is a serious thing, and its not easy to walk away from as people may think. Also, homelessness is a serious thing that many people ignore, but there are those who recognize it like Mark did. What we don’t realize is that the homeless can help us too. They give us a whole different view of life. – Ben Simpson
The act of helping someone is where the real worth is, not whether or not they've recovered. It's a 'journey is more important than the destination' type situation. – Nate Lewis
This was my second time seeing Stand as I first saw the play on a drama field trip freshman year. I believe that this time I put more thought into the idea that it may not have been Jonny's fault for the situation he was in. I took away that some people may have genetic traits that simply make them more likely to become addicted to substances and that substance abuse may be less of a choice and more of a trap people fall into. – Dominic Stephens
Charles Strobel encouraged students that the best way they can help right now is to support the larger systems which are already in place and change the conversation about the homeless. Room in the Inn currently has 190 congregations in Middle Tennessee that provide food and shelter, a downtown campus, and over 6,500 volunteers. To learn more about how you can help Room in the Inn, go to roomintheinn.org.
This past weekend, NCS elementary, middle and high school fine arts students performed in the One Act Weekend featuring Alice in Wonderland Jr. and Schoolhouse Rock Live! The middle school performance of Alice in Wonderland Jr. was directed by one of our very own students, junior Anna Jones.
Anna has performed in many shows at NCS, including Lion King Jr.(Rafiki), Into the Woods(Little Red), Guys and Dolls(General Cartwright), and James and the Giant Peach Jr.(Earthworm). This was her first time acting as student director of an NCS performance. We recently interviewed Anna about the experience and here is what she had to say.
Why did you decide to take the role of director for Alice in Wonderland Jr.?
I have always wanted to be in the staged version of Alice in Wonderland and when I heard the middle school was doing it, I knew that I have to be involved somehow. I applied for a position on the team by writing an essay, and here we are.
How is directing different from acting in a show?
It is completely different from acting. Directing is super hard. There are so many things that the director has to do that I didn’t even expect. I have learned so much from directing this show that will actually help in acting.
What has been your biggest challenge in directing this show?
Probably being able to communicate my vision for the show to little kids. When you are imagining something for a scene and you want it done, it becomes challenging trying to get kids to do it right.
You are directing students from elementary and middle school. Tell me about your experience with the cast.
It has been amazing. They all have so much energy that has been fun channeling into their passion for theater. The middle schoolers have been such good influences on the elementary students as well.
What should audiences know about this show before coming to see it?
That I just wanted the kids to have fun during this show. Above anything else, I wanted this to be a fun and positive environment for these kids.
Is there an underlying message or thought you want audiences to take away from this show?
The big question in this show is “whooo areee youuuu?” Alice goes through wonderland and changes a lot and however much she changes, she always finds out that somebody doesn't like her, and she doesn't quite fit in. Through the show she learns who she is. I want audiences to think about that question throughout the show and find out what it means to them.
What are your hopes for the future of NCS theater?
I really hope that we keep growing and blossoming like we have these past two years. I really want people to keep joining the theater program and experiencing what's it like to be in the middle of it.
If you missed the performance, you can watch it here!
Ask any one of the NCS students who spent two weeks in Europe what their favorite part of the trip was, and you’ll likely get many different answers.
Maybe it was the last night in Normandy, when we walked barefoot on Gold Beach, where the British forces landed on D-Day, the cool winds of the English Channel not enough to stop one student from diving head first into the frigid water and swimming to the remains of the artificial harbors.
Maybe it was the next night, in Paris, when we all ventured to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and made it down just in time to see the light show, some of us thinking, in hindsight, the elevator really would have been better than the stairs.
Or, for some, it was the morning in the Alps, driving past the crystal blue rivers on the way to Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s mountain retreat, where he only visited fourteen times to entertain people of significance, but many of us would have stayed forever given the chance.
And, in between, the moments no less significant: walking where bunkers once stood at Dachau Concentration Camp and feeling the emotional pull of the events that occurred there decades ago; a moment difficult to label as a favorite, but still meaningful in its own right. Or the American Cemetery, in Normandy, hearing the Star Spangled Banner play as the waves of Omaha Beach rolled in the distance. Touring through Notre Dame during mass, as the late afternoon sun streamed through a stained glass window onto a priest in red robes, or having our first (and possibly last) sauerkraut on the last night in Munich.
Maybe it was running after a train in London after spending too much time gazing at Big Ben and the Elizabethan Tower lit up at night, watching the Glockenspiel in Munich perform its nightly show, seeing the Mona Lisa, or touring the gardens at Versailles.
Or, maybe, the best part was looking around at dinner, seeing the exhausted, happy looks on everyone’s faces, and the agreement that, even after two weeks together, we could have gone two more.
For two weeks, NCS students toured five countries with the purpose of experiencing the history of World War II firsthand. They explored Churchill’s London war room, touched the Nazi bunker walls in the Alps, and stood in foxholes Allied soldiers used during the Battle of the Bulge. They wondered how a cathedral in Cologne escaped destruction from Allied bombing, and learned how a country learns from its mistakes at the Topography of Terror Museum in Berlin before laying hands on what remains of the wall that once divided a country in two.
Ask any one of the NCS students who spent two weeks in Europe what their favorite part of the trip was, and you’ll likely get many different answers. Ask them if they’d do it again, and you’ll likely only get one answer.
For a student perspective on the trip, see junior Hope McWright's story here.
The Nashville Christian Skeet and Trap Team currently has two High School Squads and one Middle School Squad which consists of 11 student shooters. All squads are focused on the sport of trap shooting. The team has been shooting each weekend at either the Nashville Gun Club or Montgomery County Shooting Complex. These shooters shot several weekends in April in windy, rainy, cold conditions. They are dedicated!
NCS will be represented at this upcoming weekend's TN Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP) Regional Shoot. The high school will have one team consisting of Nate Lewis, Chase Morris, Luke Robbins, and Nathan Gaidos, and the middle school will have two shooters, McClure Gill and Devin Ray.
In late June, the TNSCTP will host the TNSCTP State Shoot. SCTP Teams from all over the state will compete. Shooters must have certain qualifications to shoot, and our team members are currently working toward the qualification goals. The team’s goal is to represent NCS at the SCTP National Championship in Ohio. There are college scholarships and lots of opportunities to grow with the sport.
This program is all about discipline. All shooters are required to have passed the TWRA Hunters Education and several safety meetings prior to getting on the range. Our shooters have really bonded and work together as a team. We have parents, grandparents, and friends come out weekly to support the team. Mr. Carlucci is the only NRA Certified Shotgun Coach currently, but this fall NCS parents Randy and Kathy Gaidos (Class of '92) plan to be NRA Certified Shotgun Level 1. This will allow the program to expand as there must be an NRA Certified Coach on the field at all times. Currently, Mr. Carlucci and Mr. and Mrs. Gaidos spend about three hours at the range each week working with the shooters. They hope to have multiple squads in trap, skeet and possibly sporting clays as well in the future.
Anyone interested in joining the team in the fall needs to pass the Hunter's Ed class over the summer. You will also find a sign up table with more information on registration day in August. The team plans to shoot on Sunday afternoons at least once a month in the fall. We look forward to watching this great new program grow! You can view their full schedule by clicking here.
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!
Once again, the NCS drama department produced a fantastic show with Guys and Dolls, an award-winning musical based on two short stories of Damon Runyon written in the 20’s and 30’s about some lovable hustlers, gamblers and showgirls in historic New York City.
The plot highlights the lives of these characters with a storyline based around the romances of two oddball couples. One comedic couple is nightclub performer Adelaide who has been engaged for 14 years to Nathan Detroit who runs “the oldest established, permanent floating crap game in New York.” The other couple is big-time gambler Sky Masterson and innocent mission worker, Sister Sarah Brown.
Leading the well-cast ensemble were seasoned NCS performer Jack Forte as Nathan Detroit and newcomer to the stage, Bryce Pemberton as Sky Masterson. Bryce is regularly recognized as Nashville Christian’s starting quarterback; however, he showed he is multi-talented with his sly, charming and loveable portrayal of the Bible-quoting gambler. Many other first-time performers stepped off the ball fields and gym floors, and ultimately out of their comfort zones, to try the stage.
“It was great to step out of my comfort zone and see another side of NCS besides athletics. It was cool to see the actors in their element and how they carried themselves. Also the amount of work that they put in to put on a show is insane.” - Will Irwin
“It was very different from what I'm used to, but very fun and funny. It was definitely a good experience!” - Slater Howard
Maggie Shivers (Nicely-Nicely Johnson) and Annmarie Alexander (Benny Southstreet) played the sidekicks to Nathan Detroit with charm and moxie. Leading lady Abby Shivers played the stiff then liberated missionary, Sarah Brown, so believably, and Tollie Boone was perfect as the ever-frustrated and long-engaged Adelaide. Another newcomer to the stage was Tanner Goodman as Big Jule, a serious gambler from Chicago. Tanner was a great combination of grouchy gangster and gentle giant against stage veteran Justin Littrell’s hilarious performance as Harry the Horse. All the guys and dolls are too numerous to name, but they brought the laughs and wowed the audience like never before.
Here’s what Fine Arts Director Joey Boone had to say about the show:
“Once in a while a show comes along where it feels like God smiled a little extra on you, and things just fall into place. While it still takes LOTS of hard work on everyone's part, it just seems like everyone is in the right role both on and off stage. Well, in my opinion, that was Guys and Dolls. From the costumes to the cast to the students working backstage…the set, the lights, the parents helping behind the scenes at rehearsals, I just could not be more pleased. In the twelve years I have been here, that was the smoothest running show to date. Everyone put their best foot forward, and it paid off. I am proud of them all.” - Joey Boone
Kayce Greene directed the show and was proud as well. This is Kayce's first year in the drama program, and she has helped take it to another level. Here’s what she had to say about her first run directing an NCS production:
“I wanted to personally thank everyone for being involved in the show, whether you were in it, came to see it, you donated, you helped labor a little bit or a lot…I can't tell you how much you made a huge impact on the show and these kids' lives. The show came off better than I think any of us could've imagined, and I am extremely grateful to the kids and to all of you. I dream of a school filled with athletic and arts programs that span all grade levels and grow a REAL sense of community! These kids and everyone involved helped that come to light. This particular production will live in my memory forever for so many reasons. I can’t wait for the next one!” – Kayce Green
Enjoy these photos from the show and stay tuned for “Luck Be A Lady” at the end.
Here are some fun facts about the production. Did you know?
- Number of people in the cast and crew = 65
- Number of 6th graders = 6
- Number of 7th graders = 10
- Number of 8th graders = 4
- Number of Freshmen = 4
- Number of Sophomores = 9
- Number of Juniors = 7
- Number of Seniors = 11
- Students working behind the scenes during the show = 9
- Number of lights on the stage = 358
- Number of costumes originally built = 37
- Number of costumes “pulled” = 104
- Number of buttons sewn = 127
- Man hours to create a Mission Cape = 4
- Mission Capes and Jackets created = 14
- Props in the show = 32
- Man hours to make the Roxy sign = 10
- Number of batteries used in the show = 1,632
- Average time to block a scene = 2.5 hours
- Hours of rehearsals = 122
February 27th through March 23rd was Spiritual Emphasis Week at Nashville Christian School. Elementary students used a theme of SOAR (Seek God, Obey Him, Attitude of Service, Respond to Him). They kicked off the week with a program from SOAR South, an organization who educates about birds of prey by sharing the birds they have rescued and worked to rehabilitate. The students learned about the different attributes the birds were created with that make them unique and able to thrive in the wild.
Throughout the week, middle school and high school Bible classes taught Bible lessons and prepared skits to share with elementary classes. Students also wrote prayer requests and praises on cards posted in the commons area in the high school and in the main hallway of the middle school. Several classes also be made cards to take to a local nursing home.
We had a week filled will special speakers for all students. High school students enjoyed a special chapel with Christian magician Steve Bargatze who shared his magic along with his powerful testimony in one of our most moving chapels to date.
At the end of the week everyone enjoyed a whole-school chapel lead by Jimmy Hampton. Mr. Hampton is a former NCS campus minister. He taught on walking with Jesus and keeping Him as your companion through times of challenge and times of victory.
On Friday afternoon, high school students left for the Spring Spiritual Retreat. The theme of the retreat was “There Is No BC.” Students were encouraged to look at the Bible in a new light, seeing it as one story that is all about God’s redemptive plan through Jesus. There was also time for fun and relaxation with an intense game of Family Feud, a skit competition, and a few brave souls who zip-lined into the icy cold waters of the lake. Here’s what some of them had to say about the retreat:
“The retreat was very fun. I was a big fan of the food. I really enjoyed the amount of free time we got, and I felt the reflection on the last day brought everyone that went a little closer together. I had a really great time and look forward to going next year.” – Kayli Mothershed
I thought the retreat was enlightening. I was happy with how many people opened up in the end and talked out loud to the group. Finally I loved how much more we worshipped God when we were there.” – Charlie White
“My favorite part of the retreat was when Coach Kayce led the singing in the worship part. Also, on the last day when all the seniors got up and spoke was both moving and inspiring.” – Kylee Boen
“The retreat this year was really fun. I think this year we had a more tight-knit group, and it was all around a great time. The message throughout the whole week was really good because I had never thought of the Bible in that way. I really enjoyed the quiet time and how Mrs. Robinson came up with the whole activity we did. I also really enjoyed doing the skits and getting to impersonate the teachers. I also loved getting to play handball with Coach Brothers and Coach McClary and getting to play cards during free time with them and Mr. Morrison. I just loved getting to hang with them and stuff.” – Bobby Clark
“I went on the retreat, and I had a great time. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with friends and with God. My favorite part was the alone time we got to have after each devotional message, it really helped me think about what we had just learned.” – Warren Hanson
Overall it was a great week for spiritual growth at Nashville Christian School! Here are some additional photos from Spiritual Emphasis Week for you to enjoy!
Seventeen Nashville Christian physics students were excited to attend the annual Lipscomb STEM Day event last month. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
On this field trip, our students experienced hands-on activities in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics, engineering, and psychology. In one session, they learned basic computer coding, and in another, built models to demonstrate how civil engineers add strength to buildings with trusses. The students then spent some time in the lab learning about the chemistry of fireworks, flame-testing various chemicals to record their unique colors! They also used spectroscopes to identify the absorption spectrum of elements.
Careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy. Through STEM, Nashville Christian Students are becoming critical thinkers, increasing science literacy, and becoming the next generation of innovators!
On January 20th 2017, the NCS TSA took part in the Middle Tennessee Regional Conference. TSA stands for the Technology Student Association and they compete in three STEM related competitions throughout the school year. This was the 3rd year that the High School TSA team competed and placed at the Regional Conference. This year’s High School Quiz Bowl team, comprised of Kobe Word, Dominic Stephens and Maggie Shivers, placed 2nd after losing a close match in overtime. Quiz Bowl is a game show type competition where students are asked STEM related questions. The team looks to carry on their winning performance to the State Conference in April.
For the first time ever, NCS was able to take a Middle School team to compete this year. Six students competed in three events, with all three events placing and bringing home hardware. Emma Nguyen took part in Digital Photography and placed 3rd. Mikey Dubois and Cavin Phung took part in Technology Problem Solving also placed 3rd. McClure Gill, Griffin Moore and Tate Allen took part in a competition called Inventions and Innovations where teams came up with an invention or a process to help solve a problem. The team then pitches their idea to an “investor” Shark Tank style. The NCS team’s water filtration device brought home a 2nd place plaque.
The High School and Middle School teams are now preparing to compete in the State Conference in Chattanooga in April. The State Conference will offer a larger venue and more students will be competing in a larger number of events. The teams will compete in the same events as they did in Regionals plus a handful more. 15 or more students are looking to make the trip and compete in events like Flight, Video Game Design, Forensic Technology and Stem Animation.
NCS also recently purchased two brand new Vex Robotics kits for Middle School and High School. Vex is a partner with TSA and will hold a competition at the State and National conferences this year. NCS looks to take both High School and Middle School teams to compete this year.
Congratulations to senior Sonja Shelton on scoring her 1000th point this season! She joins a very prestigious group of talented basketball player here at Nashville Christian, and we are so proud of her achievements both on and off the court. Here is what Coach Brandon Wood had to say about Sonja:
“Sonja is a 4-year starter that's made first team all district the past two years. She's also led the team in scoring and steals the past two years and leads the team in points, assists, blocks and steals so far this year. Sonja is a very skilled player and has played every position in her 4 years, from point guard to post. As a freshman and sophomore, Sonja guarded the other teams best player in almost every game. Sonja was a good scorer then, but by putting extra time in the gym working, she has turned herself into a great scorer. In the end though, I believe she would trade every point for a district championship with the team, and that's really what makes her special.”
Congratulations again Sonja, and thank you for all you do for your teammates and Nashville Christian School!
The Christmas season at Nashville Christian School has been full of festivities. Students have been seen from preschool through the 12th grade wearing Christmas pajamas, giving gifts, eating cookies, singing carols, and taking pictures with Santa Claus! But more importantly, our students have remembered the true meaning of Christmas by serving others.
Elementary students have collected Change for Children to be donated to Timothy Hill Ranch to buy presents for at-risk children. They also filled boxes with goodies for Hope for Haiti, collected can tabs for The Ronald McDonald House, collected donations for Children and Adolescents at Vanderbilt Behavioral Health Hospital, and sang Christmas carols to residents at The Meadows retirement home. Middle school students led the charge to provide Christmas stockings for the 200 Angels on the ARK Angel Tree in Pegram, TN.
High school students were rewarded with milk and cookies, dress up days and photos with Santa during morning break for bringing in their Toys for Tots. Class officer Katie Cain said, “I think it went really well! When I went to deliver the toys to a Toys For Tots receiver, they had nothing so far. So it was so nice to see that we were not only helping the kids but helping them. I think it got everyone in the spirit, and everyone loved break.”
It gives us great joy to see our students growing spiritually, evidenced by their heart to serve others during a time when many are thinking of what they want for themselves. We are so grateful for the Nashville Christian family and we wish you a very merry Christmas and a blessed new year!
The Eagles Wrestling program kicked of their 2016-2017 season this past October. The Middle School got things started with a record turnout of 15 kids, including many 6th and 7th graders who were new to the sport. The young Eagles squad also moved into a new conference this season, wrestling in the HVAC against other area private schools. With their numbers up, NCS was able to field a wrestler at just about every weight class, making them extremely competitive in their inaugural HVAC season. The Eagles defeated DCA, Grace Christian, FRA and Ensworth. NCS wrestlers wrapped up their season with an excellent showing at the HVAC tournament. Three wrestlers, Ian Rogers, Joshua Cottrell and Richmond Flowers, brought home hardware.
The High School Eagles wrestling team has had several wrestlers place in the State Tournament over the last two seasons and look to build on that success this year. The team most recently traveled to the Charlie Bruce Duals Tournament in Fultondale, Alabama to compete with teams from all over Alabama and Florida. The team won 70 percent of its head to matches with dominant performances from several wrestlers. Adam Young, Joseph Curley, Joseph Dyer, Aaron Gray and Cade Thompson all finished the weekend undefeated. 8th grader Ian Rogers went 4-1 over the weekend.
The High School team will be working Christmas break in preparation for four tough regional matches at the beginning of January. NCS will host Hume-Fogg and MLK on January 5th and East Lit and Stratford on January 10th. These matches will be pivotal in the Eagles’ goal of a regional championship and earning a trip to the State Duals Tournament. Also in February, the team will take part in the Region 3 Individual Tournament at Page High School. This tournament will determine who will wrestle in the State Tournament in mid February.
Congratulations to the accomplished students inducted into Nashville Christian School’s chapter of the National Honor Society this morning! Caroline Armstrong, Grace Curley, Nathan Gaidos, Maverick Marlin, Cassidy Moore, Emily Osborne, Abbie Page, Bryce Pemberton, and David Whelan were recognized in a special ceremony today followed by a small reception with family and friends.
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, the NHS serves to recognize students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
These nine distinguished students have certainly excelled in each of these areas, and we are so proud of their hard work and example. They have worked with diligence in the classroom, and served their school and community with passion and distinction.
We are proud of you!
This is NCS freshman Tristan Hogan's second year playing soccer with Aris FC Black U15 based out of Brentwood, TN. His team was recently the first from this club to win a state title!
Over the summer Tristan's team qualified to play in the Tennessee State Cup on November 4 - 6 in Murfreesboro, TN. On November 6th, the finals were played at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro, and Tristan’s team, Aris FC, won against Lobos of Memphis, TN 3-0! The team is coached by Diego Figueroa of Peru. Coach Figueroa played at Belmont for four years at Belmont and this is also his first state championship with an ARIS FC team.
Tristan and five of his teammates are also the Southeast Regional Champs for 3v3 Live in the U15 boys bracket. This is where you have only 3 players on the field at a time with no goalie. Over the Thanksgiving holidays, they played in the Nationals Finals in Nashville at Edwin Warner Park and took 1st in the Silver Division!
The team is now preparing to play in the Region 111 South Presidents Cup June 13 - 18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Mohawk Soccer Complex. Tristan would like to go on to play college ball and perhaps make the Olympics Development Team one day.
Congratulations Tristan! We're so proud of you hard work and great accomplishments!
In late October, Lisa McPherson, wife of our high school Bible teacher and basketball coach Mike McPherson, was diagnosed with ALS. ALS is a terminal disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord causing muscle weakness and eventual failure. Currently, there is no cure for ALS.
The McPhersons learned of a treatment not yet available in the U.S. that showed some promise and planned a trip to a hospital in Bangkok. It was going to be expensive, but Nashville Christian School senior Abbie Page was so impacted by the news, she had to help.
“One day we were sitting in Bible class and Coach McPherson was in tears telling us that his wife had been diagnosed with ALS. He is such a strong person and to see him break down like that really let us know that he needed our help. He told us a little bit about the trip they were going to have to go on, and a little bit about how much it would cost. He asked all of us to keep his wife in our prayers, so for many weeks we did. I prayed almost everyday not only for Mrs. Lisa’s health, but also that God would show me a way to help them. I figured even the littlest thing could help. So I decided to put together this fundraiser for Coach Mike and his wife because if I was in their situation, I would want someone to do the same thing for me,” Abbie said.
Many are familiar with the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in the summer of 2014, and Abbie decided to bring it to the forefront once again.
“It was a bit of short notice, but my mom helped me out a ton by getting the flyers out, getting t-shirts made, and helping me organize the whole thing,” she explained.
On November 3rd, many supporters from the NCS family gathered on the football field to take the challenge. Several students raised money for the event and got icy cold water dumped on their heads. Meanwhile, Coach McPherson got his own bucket of ice dumped on him on the other side of the world in Bangkok, Thailand.
Abbie was overwhelmed at the show of support saying, “I’m very thankful for everyone who donated and participated in this because it could not have happened without them. Everyone who contributed made a huge difference, and I am so thankful I had so much help from our NCS family with getting this together. Many people were there before to help me set up and some of the participants were some of the football players, the whole girls basketball team, some coaches and administrators, and a few others. There were so many donations and we raised over $2200.”
We are so thankful for the loving, supportive Nashville Christian community who helps carry and lift each other up in times of need. Please enjoy this video of the special event, and hear a special thank you from the McPhersons.
The High School Spiritual Retreat at Deer Run in Franklin, TN was an incredible opportunity for experiencing a deeper connection with God and stronger relationships with peers and adult mentors. Students selected three activities to do from low-ropes course, high swing, paintball, climbing tower, archery, and leap of faith. Campus Minister Brian Tipps said, “I feel humbled by how open our teenagers were to new experiences and seeking God in a variety of activities and settings while at Deer Run. I am proud of them for how inclusive and supportive they were of each other through the challenges presented to them. I also feel grateful that our school’s leadership and community of parents promote and support these unique spiritual efforts and opportunities for our teens and adults to build stronger relationships with God and each other.”
Here’s what some of our high school students had to say about the Fall Spiritual Retreat:
I thought that the retreat was one of the best ones yet! It was really cool how everyone no matter what grade was able to bond with each other and build one another up. My favorite memory will be all the Seniors sitting around the campfire and getting to spend quality time together as a class. - Elizabeth Mays
As I expected, I had a great time on the retreat. I bonded with people I didn’t know, and I learned a lot about new people. - Noah Schurman
I had a really good time getting to hang out with all my classmates and teachers outside of school. I never regret going on the retreats. - Katie Cain
This retreat really opened my eyes to the true potential of all the people I thought I knew. With relaxation and free time on our side, we were able to make bonds with people that we never even get to talk to during a normal school day. God moves in mysterious ways, and one way He moves (on these retreats) is through others. - Chandler White
The following weekend, our 7th and 8th graders had their Spiritual Retreat at Camp Lake Benson in Bon Aqua, TN. Once again, it proved to be an incredible time to grow spiritually and bond with each other outside of the normal classroom structures and academic pressures. We took the largest group of student campers and adult counselors in five years, so the energy in the group was noticeably at a high level. The focus was on seeking God through different opportunities during time together.
"The middle school students had a great time on the retreat. They loved the human foosball court, scavenger hunts and team-building activities. They were also able to connect with teachers and staff on a spiritual level discussing what it looks like to seek God in their lives. As one kid said, 'The food was good, the games were fun and I hardly slept,' said Middle School Counselor, Melissa King.
Our students were extremely cooperative and engaged in the activities and devotionals alike, which were all designed to engage their hearts, push their thinking, and encourage them to grow in their understanding of themselves in relationship to God. About 20 of our students indicated they had never participated in a retreat, so we are glad this was a fun and positive first experience for them!
Here are some photos from each of these great weekend events:
This fall, our athletic teams once again enjoyed great success and won some well-deserved accoclades. Here are the teams and individuals who received special recognition for their hard work this fall:
High School Volleyball
Sonja Shelton - District Offensive MVP, District Tournament Team, All Region Team
Rachel Wiley - District Defensive MVP
Abby Varner - All District Regular Season Team
Kallie Nixon - All District Regular Season Team, District Tournament Team
Brittan Jarrell - All District Regular Season Team, District Tournament Team
Middle School Volleyball - HVAC A Champions - Beat Ezell Harding in Round One, Harding Academy in Round Two and DCA in the championship game.
High School Girls Soccer
Ebby Jones - All District
Grace Curley - All Tournament
Middle School Soccer
Emma Oberbreckling - All District
This fall was full of fun for Nashville Christian School students. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade visited Honeysuckle Hill Farm where they took a hayride, picked a pumpkin, visited a petting farm, jumped on some giant jumping pillows, and even learned to milk a cow!
3rd Grade had an awesome time at Kentucky Down Under – a park full of Australian animals! Students got to feed a baby kangaroo, and saw emus and a giant tortoise just to name a few. Some lucky 3rd graders got to feed and pet an Australian mountain cavy who was rather shy and skittish. Another highlight was visiting Mammoth Cave.
4th and 5th Graders had an amazing time at Discovery Park of America - a world-class entertainment and educational experience with more than 70,000 square feet of exhibits focused on nature, science, technology, history, and art. Students also enjoyed beautiful weather while exploring the 50 acres of gardens, grounds and exhibits focused on history.
Middle school students made a service field trip this month. They filled 2000 backpacks with 7000+ meals (8799 lbs. of food) at Second Harvest and packed supplies at the Disaster Relief Center for hurricane relief.
Freshmen and sophomores went to TPAC to see a performance of Romeo and Juliet, while seniors spent a day job shadowing with surgeons, teachers, airline pilots, business professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and so much more!
From Kindergarten through 12th Grade, Nashville Christian is a fun place to learn, offering many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. When you start at Nashville Christian School, you can go anywhere, and these talented students are certainly going to go far!
The NCS seniors recently spent the day career shadowing. This one-day event gives them the opportunity to spend the day with someone employed in a possible career of interest. Students "shadow" this individual at his or her place of work in order to gain valuable insight about what a given career involves before committing time, energy and money on training and/or on a post-secondary degree. It also helps them gain information and build connections with people in their career field of interest.
The class of 2017 spent time learning from surgeons, teachers, airline pilots, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists just to name a few. Brendan Batts followed attorney Matt Milligan. “I learned the relationship between defense and prosecuting attorneys and how each one’s role is important, as well as how they should treat people…He told me about how an attorney can influence people the way Jesus did.”
Caroline Armstrong shadowed at Fox 17. “I ended up shadowing someone in each department so that I could experience the entire studio,” she said. Blake McKinney and Abby Glaus shadowed with Alaska Airlines and got to do just about everything but fly a plane! Blake said, “I got an amazing opportunity. Most people are not able to get as close and personal with planes as I did. We got to see the airline industry from prep for a flight until departure.” Abby said, “It broadened my perspective of the jobs available in and surrounding the airline industry, and I can safely say it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever been able to do.”
When you start at Nashville Christian School, you can go anywhere, and these talented students are certainly going to go far! Here are just a few of these amazing seniors:
"Brittan has been a steady performer all season for our volleyball team. She has helped lead our girls to the #2 seed in the district tournament and served as a water girl for the football team. She has a servant's heart and a genuine love for her temmates and classmates here at Nashville Christian. " – Jeff Brothers, NCS Athletic Director
The Check Your Game Athlete of the Week is a program designed to encourage young athletes by not only recognizing their efforts on the field but equally, or more importantly, acknowledging their actions outside of the game.
This program is designed for coaches to use to encourage and inspire athletes to give their best in their sport as well as in life. Coaches might nominate a Check Your Game Athlete of the Week for things like working exceptionally hard, demonstrating outstanding teamwork, overcoming personal obstacles, good educational performance, standing up to peer pressure or anything else that shows great sportsmanship or integrity.
“Brittan is an exceptional athlete and teammate. She is determined, analytical, and hungry to know every aspect of the game. She is a natural leader and risk taker, making excellent offensive decisions and fearless defensive moves. In the last three years, she has played on varsity as the DS/Libero leading in serving aces and secondary in digs per set. Her serve receive for the last 4 years is a 2.6. (Most D1 liberos are expected to pass at a 2.5 or above out of 3.0) This year for the better of her team has moved to the very difficult and demanding setting position and opposite (right side) hitter. She has worked tirelessly to understand the offensive part of the game and to technically perfect her sets. She has helped her team advance their offense to a faster pace than NCS volleyball has seen in the past. While setting for three rotations she leads and maneuvers the Lady Eagles into success, and while passing and hitting for three rotations she helps her team start or finish the offense by being an outstanding passer or a smart controlled hitter. Outside the court she is in high demand as a softball player, she excels in the classroom, and is strong in her spiritual leadership. We are very proud of this joyous, caring young woman.” – Kayce Green, NCS Volleyball Coach
Congratulations Brittan! We are proud of you!
Caroline Armstrong, Abby Shivers, and Maggie Shivers are some of Kingston Springs most talented teenage residents who have been working hard as first-time student directors for the upcoming one-act weekend at Nashville Christian School. The two productions, both featuring Roald Dahl’s famous work, are Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Peach Jr.
Caroline Armstrong is a senior and is new to the drama program at NCS and is the student-director for Fantastic Mr. Fox. Caroline is no stranger to foxes or any other wild animal for that matter. Her family owns Armstrong Animal Adventures, a company that provides animal education programs for children. When asked why she wanted to direct, Caroline explained, “I originally wanted to direct for the experience; however, after I started, I learned how much fun it was to work with such a diverse group of people. I love to work with the kids and help them further their knowledge and skills.”
Abby Shivers is a sophomore and has been a part of the NCS drama program since elementary school. While typically found on the stage in a starring role, she took her first turn at directing the middle school production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Jr. as a freshman. Now she is undertaking the direction of James and the Giant Peach Jr. with her older sister, Maggie. “It’s definitely different directing than it is actually performing on the stage. I’m used to just memorizing my lines, learning choreography and music, and then performing on stage. There are so many more responsibilities for a director! Instead of just worrying about yourself, you have to organize the whole show. Every week, working around actors’ schedules in order to plan out the week is so much harder than one would think! Then, following up everything with microphone lists, prop lists, costume lists…so many lists!” Abby shared.
Maggie Shivers, the second half of the directing duo for James and the Giant Peach Jr., is a senior who has been on the stage even longer than her sister and makes great contributions to set design with her artistic abilities. Last summer Maggie was selected to participate in the iTheatrics Summer Broadway Workshop in New York City. Maggie shared, “I wanted to direct a show before I graduated from high school, and as a senior this was my last chance. I wanted to have the opportunity to lead and work with younger kids in our drama department. I will take the memories and lessons from being in charge of this show, and being able to direct with my sister will give me a great memory as well.”
The Nashville Christian School One-Act Weekend takes place on Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2. On Saturday, Fantastic Mr. Fox will be at 2 pm and 6 pm, and James and the Giant Peach Jr. will be 4 pm and 8 pm. On Sunday, Fantastic Mr. Fox will be at 2 pm and James and the Giant Peach Jr. at 4pm.
Tickets may be reserved by going to: http://www.nashvillechristian.org/fine-arts/one-act-weekend-2016.cfm
Congratulations to sophomore golfer Drew Taylor on being named this week's (September 19th - 23rd) Checkyourgame.com athlete of the week. Drew overcame a tough first hole score to regain his composure and finish the district golf tournament in 5th place to qualify for the regionals. Drew is a fine student and a great ambassador for Nashville Christian School. We are very proud of his accomplishments so far this season. Here is what his coach, Kevin Forte had to say:
"I want to congratulate Drew on being chosen for the 'Check your Game Athlete of the Week.' Drew is fine young man, who lives out his faith daily in the way he carries himself and interacts with people. I think his situation in the district golf championship this week speaks volumes about how Drew handles not only golf but the challenges life puts in our path. Drew has put a ton of time and energy into working on his golf game this past summer and has put himself in position have a successful run in post season tournament play. However, on his opening hole of the district championship he was faced with making a twelve on a par 4. At that point it would have been easy to get angry and give up. But Drew was able to quickly put it behind him, move on to the next hole and continue to play out the rest of round. At the end of the day, Drew played his remaining seventeen holes in two over par and was able to capture the fifth and final qualifying spot to advance to the regional championship. Congratulations Drew!"
Drew will compete in the region tournament tomorrow, September 23rd beginning at 8:00am. We wish Drew the best and know that he will make Nashville Christian proud.
Congratulations to sophomore Xavier Myers on being named September 12th - 16th Checkyourgame.com athlete of the week for his performance in the football game against Pickett County. Xavier scored three touchdowns in the first quarter to help us establish an early lead. He averaged 28 yards per carry for the game! Xavier is an excellent student and a Christ-like servant to his friends, coaches and teachers at Nashville Christian. He is a pleasure to teach and coach.
The Check Your Game Athlete of the Week is a program designed to encourage young athletes by not only recognizing their efforts on the field but equally, or more importantly, acknowledging their actions outside of the game.
"We are excited to recognize Abby Varner as our CheckYourGame.com athlete of the week for her contributions to the volleyball team last week. She is a great student as well as a great player. I am proud of the leadership and godly example she provides to her teammates and peers at NCS." – Jeff Brothers, NCS Athletic Director
The Check Your Game Athlete of the Week is a program designed to encourage young athletes by not only recognizing their efforts on the field but equally, or more importantly, acknowledging their actions outside of the game.
This program is designed for coaches to use to encourage and inspire athletes to give their best in their sport as well as in life. Coaches might nominate a Check Your Game Athlete of the Week for things like working exceptionally hard, demonstrating outstanding teamwork, overcoming personal obstacles, good educational performance, standing up to peer pressure or anything else that shows great sportsmanship or integrity.
“Abby is the epitome of a great leader. She leads by doing, by encouraging, and by demanding excellence of herself and her teammates. She is studious and excels in the classroom. She is empathetic, positive, determined and extremely faithful. The score, the pressure of the game, the ebb and flow of emotion never dictates her attitude or play. She is composed in the most difficult situations and applies coaching immediately. She has played as an outside hitter with the most consistent stats for the last three years, and then stepped up into a completely different, faster, and physically demanding position as a middle. She has worked hard to change her directional speed, her jump height and has studied to understand this new position to be the best for her team. She plays this position with confidence, making aggressive plays on offense and key blocks on defense. She is consistent in both avenues giving us the ability to run a fast offense and an impressive, set defense.” – Kayce Green, NCS Volleyball Coach
Congratulations Abby! We are proud of you!
Each year in May, during Teacher Appreciation Week, NCS students and their families express their love and gratitude for their teachers in a number of creative ways. Because high school students have multiple teachers, NCS parent Ashley Cantrell and the EPA came up with an idea to bless all the upper school faculty and staff. Generous contributions were made and the high school faculty workroom got an entire redesign! The space received new flooring, was repainted, and it is now equipped with a new microwave and large refrigerator. Everyone loves the new space!
Thanks to Ashley Cantrell, the EPA, and all who gave toward this effort to impact the entire faculty and staff with a wonderful daily reminder of appreciation. If you did not get the chance to contribute last May, the room is still in need of a table. Please contact Karen Whelan at 356-5600 or email@example.com to make contributions.
The school year kicked off on August 10th with lots of smiles, hugs, laughter and fun. Kindergarten parents were invited to visit at the Boo Hoo Breakfast before leaving their babies to start the year. First graders toured the school and made a map while the “Sorting Hat” sorted middle schoolers into their class houses. Seniors came to the first day of school wearing decorated crowns and looking ready to rule the school! Here are some photos from around campus on our first day of school.
The Class of 2016 began their senior year devastated by the loss of a friend, brother and teammate. Before the first day of school even started, they began living out their theme verse John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
As they lived out these words, they got busy achieving great things. They truly became “game changers.” This class accomplished great things that most people though could never be at Nashville Christian School and they established a new way of believing around our campus. Here are some of their game-changing accomplishments that have left a legacy at NCS:
- They were the largest senior class to ever graduate from Nashville Christian School
- They earned the most dual enrollment hours in one year of any class - 279 college credits!
- They completed 6,412 community service hours around the city of Nashville
- They were accepted into 60 different colleges in 17 different states in the US
- They were offered $6.7 million in college scholarships
- They won the first football state championship in the history of the school
- They had the first Mr. Football in the history of the school
- They sold out five performances of Mary Poppins, and Lion King, Jr. had the largest cast in school history with approximately 100 students participating
- They had the first student from our theater department chosen to study in New York City
- The girls volleyball team was undefeated in district, was district tournament champion, and competed in state sectionals
- The boys basketball team appeared in the state basketball tournament for the first time in 35 years
- They had the largest wrestling team in school history and a participant in the state tournament championship
- Thye had the state champion in shot put
A 19th century American author, Orison Swett Marden, once said, “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”
Class of 2016, you seized common occasions and made them great! You are leaders in character, integrity and work ethic. Thank you for being game changers and for leaving a legacy for all others to strive to attain. God bless you!
NCS Graduate Austin Bishop and rising Seniors Brady Simpson and Andrew Sullivan share about Day Four on the NY Mission Trip!
Austin Bishop - Group One
Today, we began the morning with a devotional, where we were reminded that no matter how tired we may be, we are to not grow weary from being the hands and feet of God as we serve those who need it. First we went to a food pantry in Harlem, where we had the opportunity to assist people in shopping for their food. We had an interesting challenge because of the language barriers between us Nashvillians and the people of Harlem. 98.6 percent of the people spoke Spanish and zero English. Because of this, we had to work together to understand what they wanted in order to help them shop. Next we went to an Arab-American after-school program and had the opportunity to play games with kids and assist them in their homework. All in all, we grew together as a team to accomplish the mission that was set for us.
Brady Simpson and Andrew Sullivan - Group Two
Yesterday we went on a prayer tour. We started in China Town and Little Italy. We then made our way through Grand Central Station, Upper East Side, Harlem, Madison Square Garden, and the 911 Memorial. We were told not to speak but to observe the surroundings. We stopped in parks, under bridges, in the subway station, etc. Our guide would read us facts and statistics about the area. We learned about serious issues that affect God's people...labor trafficking, sex trafficking, poverty, homelessness, conflicts in community, and took a moment to reflect on September 11, 2001. We then took hands and prayed about the issues these areas face everyday. We are grateful to CSM and their focus on prayer. New York City is prayed over every single day of the summer.
NCS Graduates Michael Pope and Hendrick Shelton report on Day Three of the NY Mission Trip!
We started an early day by leaving at 7:45. We went to a church and led a worship where Brady opened the service with prayer followed by Ebby singing songs of praise. Ben, Bobby and I gave testimonies about life struggles and how the scripture has helped us through it. Coach Brothers led the sermon and Katie then prayed for the offering. To end the service, Andrew prayed for all of us.
After that we gave out cans of food to those who attended the service.
Our next stop was Coney Island where we were challenged to go up to random strangers and start conversations with them and ask them questions like how the New York life is, how they were affected by hurricane Sandy, etc. We met some great people and were able to share why we were in NY.
We wrapped up the day by eating Nathan's famous hot dogs and riding Deno's wonder wheel and seeing an amazing view of the beach and city.
Today could be summed up simply by the word: "humbling." We started out our day serving at the World Vision New York Warehouse. Now at first I that this was an optometrist office, but when we arrived I realized that wasn't the case. What's so amazing about this place is that large companies like Target, Costco, and many others donate their surplus supplies. We packed backpacks filled with school supplies that the company would donate to schools and after-school programs. It's a humbling place because at home we don't face the issue of "do I buy school supplies OR food for my kid?" I mean it's a blessing not to have to deal with this problem, and I'm glad that we were able to help 600 families.
The other part of our day was very interesting, in that we got to have a closer look at homelessness through their eyes. Each person was allowed $2 each, and that was all the money we had to pay for four of us and another homeless person. Thanks to the help of $1 slices of pizza we were able to accomplish it, but it was very difficult looking at places I regularly eat, and not being able to have it because all I have is $2. It was a very eye-opening and humbling experience. Stay tuned for more, this is Hendrick Shelton signing off!
Please keep this amazing team in your prayers as they continue to serve!
On day two of the trip, the team divided up to conquer the city, serving in several different capacities. Group One's word of the day was "Good". Mr. Barnett lead our devotional and told everyone to think about and try to see the good in the day ahead. They began their adventurous day by boarding the subway to Queens to begin a prayer tour. They stopped at different locations to pray for the people, the city, the injustices going on throughout the city and so on. A big issue in Queens is human trafficking. At one point in the tour the team was not allowed to talk was asked to imagine what it is like to not have a voice - just like the victims of human trafficking. Next, Group One went to the New York Common Pantry to serve dinner to the homeless and those that are on welfare. This was eye opening because the people were so grateful for whatever they were served.
Group Two began their day of service with a quick devotion led by Coach Brothers. Their word for the day was “Yes!” After taking the subway to Manhattan, they joined Meals on Wheels at the Stanley Isaac Senior Citizen Center and took hot meals to those in need. The kids loved it, even though it included marching up 25 flights of stairs. Wow! Next they went to South Bushwick Reform Church in Brooklyn. They spent time with Reverend Martin and helped him organize the office, including working with him on his finances. The boys on the team did some handiwork throughout the church building.
Everyone finished up this day of service by indulging in a Venezuelan dinner and a devotional back at their home church. What a special way for team members and recent graduate Michael Pope to spend his birthday – serving others and then celebrating with cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.
It was a great day for our mission team!
Saturday's goal was to spend the day touring the Big Apple! We began the morning in Central Park to enjoy the diversity of this wonderful city. We were able to visit the following spots: the chess and checker house, the "Friends Fountain," Bethesda Fountain, and the statue of Balto.
We headed to the Stanton Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Our ferry was escorted by the United States Coastguard and we were all reminded of how blessed we are to live in America. What an amazing sight to see Lady Liberty!
Another reminder of this blessing came while we visited the 911 memorial. We were humbled by this beautiful tribute to the lives lost on September 11. We had time to take an audio tour narrated by Robert DeNiro which helped to understand the overwhelming circumstances of the time. Stories of heroism, bravery, strength, and sacrifice allowed us to connect with such a difficult time in our nation's history. God bless the USA!
We ended the night eating the best cheesecake that New York City has to offer! If you ever get the chance to visit, be sure to find Junior's in Times Square.
On Sunday morning, we gathered to worship and share opportunities that we had experienced God on our trip. Mr. Barnett shared a passage from 1st Corinthians 12 that reminded us to celebrate our diversity and allow God to bless us through our differences.
Reflecting on the past couple of days, He has shown is the beauty of diversity within our group and within this city. As we prepare to head to Brooklyn to begin our service, please pray for opportunities for our students to bless others by using their unique gifts.
Imagine students building manufacturing prototypes from their own design plans, writing and producing their own technical videos, and engineering and building solutions to a proposed problem using minimal classroom supplies. Imagine students answering STEM questions about flight, structural design, and leadership protocol, and holding state level offices in an international organization. Now imagine students competing and winning awards at the regional and state levels! This is the reality of our Nashville Christian School chapter of the Technology Student Association, TSA - only in its second year.
This year’s TSA (Technology Student Association) State Conference was another success! Nashville Christian Junior Blake McKinney was the 2015-16 State President and is running for a national office for next year. Junior Maddie Spitzer was elected next years Sergeant-at-Arms for the State. Maddie and Maggie Shivers placed third at state for HS Problem Solving. Blake, Maggie and Maddie also placed third in HS Digital Video at the state level. Kenny Nguyen and Dominic Stephens also attended and competed at the state level in technology bowl and HS manufacturing prototype. We are so proud of these students and how hard they have worked this year. This is a huge amount of recognition at the state level for such a new, small chapter! To learn more, read Amanda Breeden’s recent interview with Maddie Spitzer here.
Our chapter is very excited about competing at the National Conference again this year and helping our own Blake McKinney run for a national office! We are currently fundraising for the conference - a great opportunity for these students to compete against other students from across the nation in STEM-based events. TSA members will be selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to be delivered on Friday, April 29th. To order doughnuts, please see a TSA member or Ms. Shivers. They are $8 a dozen for glazed or $9 a dozen for chocolate, raspberry-filled or Kreme-filled. The TSA will also have a garage sale and are asking for donations. If you have any donations for the garage sale, please give them to Ms. Shivers by Thursday, April 28th!
Any students interested in being a part of the NCS TSA, contact Mr. Morrison or Ms. Shivers about joining next year. We would love for more students to experience the thrill of STEM learning and competition!
As part of Spiritual Emphasis week, our middle and high school students enjoyed hearing the music and powerful testimony of singer-songwriter Megan Moreaux.
Megan was abandoned by her mother at birth and was raised by her drug-dealing father in California. She was often abused by her father’s girlfriend, and found an escape from her traumatic childhood through country music. Though Megan never got involved with drugs herself, she struggled through many abusive relationships and even attempted suicide.
Megan shared that although she was not raised in church and had not heard the gospel, she had an imaginary friend growing up who encouraged her and showed her the right way to live. She now knows that imaginary friend was Jesus who was with her even through her darkest days. Eventually Megan was invited to a Bible study where she came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Megan now writes inspirational songs of hope, healing and love and shares her testimony with others. Her story really penetrated the hearts of many of our students. Here’s what some of them had to say:
I think that Megan was right when she said that the definition of love is when we help and are interested in everybody, even the ones who hate us. We need to be like Jesus and forgive those who hurt us, just like Megan did with both her parents. She broke the chain to her dad’s lifestyle, because of Jesus in her life. I think that she is a living testimony to why God is real.
A lot of people use the word love all the time, but I understand her explanation of love. It is when you put stuff aside and do something for a person. I'm the kind of person that really doesn't like to talk about struggles and really get into detail about my problems, but hearing her story today makes me want to really open up more, because her just standing up there sharing her story was really brave.
I feel like she was talking just to me. I have been dealing with a negative relationship and have similar emotional stuff to work through. The way she emphasized God’s love being unconditional and how He is always with us really helped me.
I believe Megan’s life story was very inspirational. If she can get through that and commit her life to God, then we can get through whatever we are having trouble with, and commit to Him as well. She turned a life that may not have any upside to a life filled with joy and happiness with the love of God.
Megan’s story kind of shocked me a little when I first heard it. How could a child know to stay away from all the drugs and alcohol that she was so used to seeing? She had to have somebody. So, when she told us that the imaginary friend was Jesus, it all kind of made sense. God is our father, and it definitely showed in the story that she told us. If we did not have Him in our life it would be a mess. No matter where you’re raised, what kind of parents you had, and or where you graduate from college, you need Him. That really stood out to me, and I hope that it did for others.
Megan now has a flourishing singing career and has opened for major acts like ZZ Top, Loretta Lynn, and Martina McBride. She continues to write with some of the industry’s top songwriters and shares her story of hope with others. Thank you Megan for being a part of Spiritual Emphasis Week at Nashville Christian School and encouraging us with your unyielding faith and uplifting words and music.
For more information about Megan, and to hear some of her music, go to www.meganmoreaux.com.
The Nashville Christian wrestling team enjoyed another year of success, finishing out the season with 14 dual match wins. The team also had success in individual tournaments with Michael Coley, Gregory Williams, Sid Morris and Adam Young all collecting hardware along the way this season. Participation is also higher than it has ever been in previous years, almost tripling numbers from several years ago. "I have to give credit to our current seniors," said Assistant Coach Jerry Morrison. "Last year as juniors, they really hit the hallways and talked guys into coming out for the team. Our team wouldn't have been nearly as competitive as we were had they not stepped up. I told those guys at the beginning of the season that their legacy at NCS was helping build and shape our wrestling program for years to come."
Seniors Gregory Williams, Michael Coley, Parker Goodson, Joey Hendricks and Sam Palmer all formed the core of an otherwise young team. "Our team is 75% freshman and sophomores," said Head Coach Alan Clark. "The successes our seniors have had this year and last year really set the tone for our younger guys. They were great examples of leadership for our team. It was not uncommon to see our upperclassmen stepping in to help mentor and teach the younger guys during practice."
Leading the way this year were seniors and team captains Michael Coley and Greg Williams. Between the two of them, they have put together quite the wrestling portfolio. Michael had a record of 30-7 this year and is undefeated at the 132 lb. weight class since dropping there in January. He won the Creek Wood Invitational Tournament and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler. Gregory suffered a knee injury during football season and couldn't compete until January. Since returning, he is undefeated with a record 18-0. Gregory and Michael were also named to the Mid-State A/AA Dream Team, which recognizes the top wrestlers in the Mid-State.
The team competed this past weekend at the Region 3 Individual tournament to qualify for state. Michael and Greg were both tournament champions in their weight classes, securing high seeding for the State Tournament, which begins this weekend at the Williamson County Ag Center. Wrestling for A/AA starts Friday Feb 19th at 10am.
Feeling clueless about what’s going on in the Nashville Christian community? We have the cure - Eagle Eye, Nashville Christian’s student-led news magazine show! Eagle Eye is the latest way, using current technology, for you to stay informed about all things Nashville Christian.
The Media & Broadcasting class has put the finishing touches on its latest edition of Eagle Eye, and the video is now available for viewing. Click below and hear what’s happening at Nashville Christian School.
Daniel Bituli has been recruited by the top football programs across the country from Oregon to Miami, but it was his home state of Tennessee that won him over in the end. Daniel has committed to the University of Tennessee but it’s his Nashville Christian football team he is focused on right now. We recently sat down with Daniel to talk about his goals and dreams for this year and in the future as a Tennessee Volunteer…
They have a great future. It’s kinda close to home to where I can come back and spend time with my family and friends but far away enough too. UT has some really good recruits coming in, and I’ve already built a relationship with some of them, so it’s a nice feeling that I’m going to school, and I know some of the players and how they work.
Your parents recently visited UT for the first time, what did they think?
Oh they loved it. They thought it was a great school. I’m glad they enjoyed it, so that definitely helped me choose. They spoke to the man who does chapel for the team and obviously my dad is a very religious person so he really enjoyed that. They liked the facility in general. We saw the psychology facility and it was really good, and the way they set up your schedule really works out.
So you want to major in psychology?
Psychology and social work. I love to be around kids, and I feel like both of those majors would help me in assisting kids, so that’s why I chose it.
What are you looking forward to most about college?
Getting a good education, winning a bowl game and eventually a championship. Oh, and unlimited food. I’m definitely excited about that.
Have you gotten a lot of feedback from UT fans?
Oh my goodness yes. I’m grateful for it. They see my talent, and it’s a really good feeling that so many people say so many good things about me. I love that.
Why make your commitment to UT now?
I wanted to get it done before the season so my teammates and I would not get too distracted by all that. We have a bigger picture of trying to get to state right now. So I wanted to make my decision and then try to focus on the important things for our team right now.
Tell me about Nashville Christian football. It’s your senior year, so what are your hopes and expectations for this year?
Winning the state. That’s all. I want to make my teammates happy, win first in district, go undefeated and, God willing, win the state championship.
What do you think it takes to make a successful football program?
First off you have to have great coaches who really care about you as a player. Coach Brothers knows what he’s talking about. He’s smart on and off the field. He disciplines you as a player and wants you to think smart. Coach Brothers also knows how to develop a great staff. Coach Montgomery knows the game of football. He played in college and has been coaching a long time. He’s seen every level of football. He’s sent players to the league. He definitely knows what he’s doing. Coach McClary was a beast in college. I wish I could have seen him play. He definitely knows what he’s talking about. He’s just a cool guy. Every guy in the locker room just loves having him around and having a great conversation with him. Coach Crosby will push you further than you think you can go. He knows defense really well. And Coach Anderson is a great D-line coach. He played in college so he’s also seen higher levels of football, and he can relate to us because he’s younger.
You also have to have a successful weight program. One of the things I really like about Nashville Christian is we don’t really have one of those amazing weight rooms, but we have Coach Crosby who pushes us further than we think we could go. It just shows that you don’t need a state-of-the-art weight room to get big. It just takes hard work.
And then there are the players. The players all have a good relationship with each other. We all understand each other. We hang out all the time off the field. The guys on our team have a great work ethic. We push each other. We help each other when we’re feeling down. We compete all the time.
And we have an amazing fan base who has supported us through good and bad. Family and friends…all of this is what makes a great football team.
What’s going to be the difference this year? How are we going to win a state championship?
Everyone working as a team. We’ve seen what it takes to make it to the semi-finals. We’ve worked hard the past couple of seasons, but it just showed us how much harder we needed to work to achieve our final goal. We also need to be smart off the field, keep each other safe, and not make dumb decisions.
Tell me about your teammates.
It’s just a good feeling knowing I have my best friends around me all the time. I’ve needed advice so many times and these guys were always there for me. I only see greatness in all of them, and I always tell them that because I might be getting all this attention but that doesn’t mean that they’re not good because they’re good too. They made me, so I want to help them become whatever they want in life. I sure am blessed to have friends like this, and I thank God for that.
What would you tell young guys coming up about the recruiting process? What have you learned from the process?
Stay level-headed and be humble, because the only reason you’re getting as much attention as you are is because of the wonderful teammates you have. To single yourself out would be selfish. You could never achieve your goals without your teammates.