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An Interview with Ryan Turbeville (Class of 2005)

September 27, 2017
By Karen Whelan, Director of Development and Alumni Relations

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with NCS alum, Ryan Turbeville, class of 2005. Ryan played football and was the president of the senior class, salutatorian, and voted "Most Likely to Succeed."

What is it like to be in real estate and development at this time in Nashville?

Real estate in Nashville is highly competitive. It's getting harder and harder to find deals where the numbers make sense. Someone told me a long time ago that they made all of their money on the deals that they didn't do. I try to keep that in mind and not be over eager or too leveraged. It's important now more that ever to work with a professional who can help you navigate tough negotiations and multiple-offer situations.

What sets you apart from other agents?

My team is consistently one of the top five teams in the nation for RE/MAX. We do that by utilizing the latest technology and not being afraid of change in an industry where many still cling to the status quo. A small example of that is that I shoot all of my listings in virtual reality so that out-of-state buyers can view the property just like they were there. Also, being a developer I have a better grasp on urban neighborhoods, construction, zoning/land use, and investment principles than a typical agent.

You recently presented an affordable housing solution at Pitch Nashville and won. What can you tell us about that?

The only real way to create more affordable housing is to drastically reduce the cost of building a home. This can only be done through innovation, but the current system makes it almost impossible. My idea is to create a prize where teams from throughout the world could compete to build a prototype that would solve this. The prize would be land donated by the city and $10 million raised privately. The city would also need to create a zone where existing building codes and regulations don't apply, allowing the freedom to innovate. If you provide people with the freedom and the incentives, then innovation is possible.

What impact did NCS have on you?

I made many lifelong friends at NCS. I was not only prepared for college in the classroom but through sports and other activities I learned what it was to be successful as a man.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us...a memory at NCS, those who influenced you the most...anything at all?

I have too many memories to pick just one. I would like to say thanks to all of my teachers and coaches for all they did for me and apologize for the times I had a little too much fun at their expense.

Tags: alumni, luminous

Lisa Frensley Phillips (class of '84) has "Ears of Experience"

January 24, 2017
By Karen Whelan, Director of Development and Alumni Relations

We recently spoke with NCS alumna Lisa Frensley, class of 84 about her memories of Nashville Christian and how she is now giving back to her Alma Mater. Lisa books Disney vacations through a company called Ears of Experience, and will give 10% back to NCS for anyone associated with our school. 

What impact did NCS have on you?  
NCS was a major part of my life from 5th grade - 12th.  My Uncle, Ronald Harris, was the Headmaster during that time so my family was very involved to say the least!  I feel it was such a well-rounded education book-wise in addition to our chapel services each Wednesday, the athletic programs, and the many caring teachers and volunteers who helped teach me in those critical formative years.

Have you stayed in touch with any friends or faculty from NCS?
Yes-Facebook has allowed me to be in contact with many friends!

Tell us about Ears of Experience and what it is like booking Disney trips. 
Ears of Experience is a reputable travel planner agency authorized by Disney to book and plan trips. It is the same as booking a trip directly with Disney; however, you receive all my concierge services at no charge at all.  The tips I give you are tried and true from all of our agents. We will save you time standing in lines at the rides and provide you with the best restaurant recommendations for families as well as adults only!  I have been a planner all my life, and booking Disney vacations is a passion for me. I love making others dreams come true.

What is the benefit of booking through Ears of Experience versus directly with Disney? 
Ears of Experience gives you all of the experience of over 200 agents to provide you with tips, tricks, and helpful hints as well as saving you money. If Disney specials come out, we can adjust your package to save you money in that way. Even if someone has booked their vacation through Disney, if it is in a 30-day window, they can contact me, and we can transfer it to Ears of Experience with no charge for my services.  Also, you are connected to me directly and can contact me quickly via text, email, website or phone call to make a payment or ask questions. I also provide you with a typed itinerary with your dining, fast passes and tips such as the best area to stand for the parade, best bathrooms for families and so much more!

What is the best way to reach you to start booking a trip? 
I can be reached in whatever way is most convenient for you - cell phone, text, email, Facebook or website. Here is my contact information:
Cell number:  704-324-1534 
Email:  Lphillips@themouseexperts.com  
Facebook:  Lisa Phillips, Ears of Experience
Website:  www.itbeganwithamouse.com

Can you tell our alumni about the partnership between Ears of Experience and Nashville Christian School? 
I'm so excited about beginning this journey with NCS and Ears of Experience. When anyone books any kind of Disney vacation (Disneyland, Disney World, a Disney cruise, Adventures by Disney, Disney Aulani (Hawaii), Disney Hilton Head) and they contact me to book their trip, I will send 10% of the sales profit from each trip back to NCS to use however they choose!  

You mentioned that you also do wedding planning. Do you have any memorable stories?  
My wedding planning business, Best Wishes, includes many memorable brides and their families.  One of my most memorable was planning for the family of a past Olympian who medalled in the Equestrian events and has a statue of himself at Churchhill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is located.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 
I'm excited to partner with my alma mater and to be able to give back a portion of all that was given to me over the years at NCS. The memories of my small 40+ graduating class are something that can never be taken away or replaced. We were such a close-knit class back then, and it was an education that I don't believe could have been achieved anywhere else. I'm truly thankful my parents enrolled my sister and me there.

 

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Tags: alumni, luminous

An Interview with 2011 Graduate Cassi Wright

August 31, 2016
By Karen Whelan/Cassi Wright

Cassi Wright began mastering her artistic talents starting in the 6th grade at Nashville Christian School. Since then she has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, finishing with her senior thesis, The Hallowed Woods. NCS Director of Alumni Relations Karen Whelan recently caught up with Cassi to talk about where her passion for art is now taking her...

I looked at your thesis on your website, cassiwright.wordpress.com, and am fascinated with how you combine your art with your faith.  Can you share how this came to be?
My faith was increased when I started having dreams at night from God. I knew these dreams were from Him because scriptures would be spoken to me in the dreams. The art I make comes from being inspired by what I learned from studying these scriptures. The dream that inspired my senior thesis was from a scripture I had never read before.  In this dream I was walking down a narrow path lined with tall trees. It was sunrise, and light was peeking through the treetops. I could smell a strong scent of cedar, and I heard a man’s voice behind me, and he said, “This is the glory of Lebanon” over and over, and I repeated that phrase as I walked. I woke up from this dream feeling inspired and curious about what was spoken to me. I immediately looked up the phrase and came to find a specific passage from the Bible: The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. —Isaiah 60:13  This word gave meaning to what I had seen in the dream and inspired my writings on my senior thesis. My senior thesis writings and research can be found at cassiwright.wordpress.com

I noticed your most recent medium of art is pyrography? Tell us about that.
I am a self taught pyrographer and I have been using this medium for almost 12 months now. Pyrography is a combination of greek words that mean “writing with fire." I have found the practice is very similar to the process of painting with water color. Just like in watercolor painting I build up layers of shading with pigment I also build up layers of burn in pyrography. I was able to pick up the practice of pyrography so quickly because I had spent so much time doing water color paintings. I found the practice after having the Isaiah 60:13 dream. The dream made me want to work with all kinds of wood and in researching art practices that use wood pyrography resonated with me the most.

Do you have a favorite medium?
Pyrography is by far my favorite medium. I love the different wood grains I get to work with and the smell of the burning wood. But this practice has meant so much to me because I am getting to work with fire. Why fire resonates with me is because of my belief about baptism. In Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 we are told that our Messiah will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. What I love so much about this verse is I get a picture of how baptism should look. That this baptism changes everything and my life will never look the same. It is like in pyrography once fire touches the wood it is changed forever, there is no erasing with this practice. I think about a forrest fire. When we see forrest fires we think about loss. But something pretty incredible happens after that loss. Everything touched by the fire bursts with a new life. Our life in the Holy Spirit should look like this where the old self is changed by His fire and new life in Him can begin. We cannot remain the same if we experience His purifying fire through the baptism of His Spirit. I believe that this is how the life of a Christian should be.  I love Pyrography because the process reminds me of my baptism and how change by fire is irreversible.

Is your art on display anywhere?
My series, "The Hallowed Woods”, will be on display in the Brentwood office of Dr. Joseph Mclaughlin, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Child Psycologist. 

What impact did NCS have on you?
There are a lot of ways NCS has impacted me.
One of the ways was NCS encouraged me to become a master in my talent. I was allowed to take art everyday from 6th-12th grade. Not many schools let students customize their schedule to their interests, I am extremely grateful that they recognized my talents and allowed me to pursue them during the school day.

Have you stayed in touch with any friends or faculty from NCS?
I have stayed in touch with Donna Torrez and see her as someone who has discipled me in faith and practice as an artist. I have always been inspired by her walk and ability to hear Holy Spirit in her day to day life. Donna was the first person I encountered who as an artist used her work to spread the good news. Studying under Donna gave me a desire to hear the Holy Spirit in my own life and invite Him to work through my art.

What lies ahead for Cassi Wright and Cassia Tree Studio?
What lies ahead for me is putting all of my time and energy into my work through my business Cassia Tree Studio. I am self employed working full time doing creative jobs like custom painting, woodburnings, photography, logo design and Illustration. I have been asked to display my work at different conferences and churches in the U.S. and I plan to travel and do those for a while. I find a lot of joy in meeting new people and sharing my creative experience with them. I love the connections that I make and the stories people share with me about how Holy Spirit speaks to them. My heart’s desire and what I am saving up for is a trip to Israel. I would like to set up a creative space there to raise up the next generation in creating art from a relationship with God’s Spirit.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us...a  memory at NCS, those who influenced you the most...anything at all?
There were so many incredible people who impacted me at NCS it would be hard to write about all of them. The best way I can think to do it is by sharing a few names of some staff members and a word about what I learned from them.

  • Donna Torrez- A lifestyle of Worship and communion with the Spirit
  • Kristen Hooper (Brown)- Praying through the scriptures, Asking God for Wisdom (lesson on Solomon in 7th grade)
  • Greg Hines- The Value of Researching the Scriptures, Having a voice and answer to why I believe what I believe
  • Brian Tipps- The value of asking good questions and searching out others hearts
  • Stephanie Harper- Story telling and developing my voice in writing
  • Karen Shivers- Finacial responsibility and Planning, Strategy
  • Natasha Fincher- Endurance, goal setting, and work ethic
  • Mr.Carlucci- the value and power of story telling and memorization
  • Eric Fruechtemeyer- Authenticity and Honesty
  • Connie Jo Shelton- Passion and Vision

 

Tags: alumni, luminous

An Interview with Maggie D. Weatherman (class of '78)

April 25, 2016
By Karen Whelan

As Director of Development and Alumni Relations, I was excited to get the chance to interview 1978 graduate, Maggie Weatherman when she recently visited our campus for the baseball team's Salute to the Troops. 

LUMINOUS:  It was so nice to meet you at the NCS baseball game honoring our military.  I believe you were the only Colonel present. What inspired you to join the military?
MAGGIE:  My father, a career Air Force pilot and Silver Star recipient, was my main inspiration. Growing up a military brat gave me an appreciation for the military.

LUMINOUS:  Tell us more about your military career.
MAGGIE:  I entered the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corp in 1988 and was stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina as a 1st Lieutenant JAG. I soon found I loved being in the courtroom and trying cases.  I served as a prosecutor, defense counsel and senior defense counsel while on active duty.  I also met my husband who was an active duty pilot.  After having my first child I went from active duty to the Reserves.  While serving in the Reserves I’ve had 14 different assignments, deployed to the Middle East, traveled all over the world, tried many cases as a senior attorney, and met lots of amazing people. It’s been an incredible journey. I am extremely blessed to have had so many great opportunities and develop so many lifelong friendships.  

LUMINOUS:  In addition to your career, you also coach a swim team and a mock trial team.  What else do you enjoy doing?  
MAGGIE:  I’m involved with my church and really love working in the children’s ministry.   I’m involved in some local organizations and enjoy helping the kids in our community.  I enjoy working out, running 5ks, gardening and traveling with my husband and daughters.   And in the fall, I enjoy Tennessee football!

LUMINOUS:  I enjoyed taking you on the tour of our campus.  I know a lot has changed since 1978! What was it like being back on the Nashville Christian campus?
MAGGIE:  It was definitely a trip down memory lane.  It was great being back in a place with so many fond memories.

LUMINOUS:  How did attending NCS impact you?
MAGGIE:  During my Junior year we had a teacher, Mr. Widick, who took us through the book of Acts.  Studying Paul, his love for Christ and his unending perseverance still impacts me to this day.

LUMINOUS:  You mentioned that you plan on being an annual donor to NCS, which we greatly appreciate!  Can you share why you feel it is important to support NCS?
MAGGIE:  First I want to thank the baseball coach the team and the fans for honoring veterans.  It was a very humbling experience.  Second, it was such a blessing to hear the heartfelt prayer before the game.  With so many schools being forced to erase all mention of Christianity, I believe it is extremely important to support schools that proudly proclaim they are Christians.  

 

Tags: alumni, luminous

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