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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!
Another great video by NCS parent Patrick Sheehan! See the strides made by our middle school wrestling team this year. Seventh grader Peyton Woodard and eigth grader Lucas Kline became the first HVAC wrestling champions in Nashville Christian School history! These guys exemplify what it means to be COMMITTED!
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.
When Nashville Christian PE teacher and soccer coach Sarah Bedell heard the Harlem Globetrotters were coming to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, she immediately got to work on getting them to visit Nashville Christian School too.
“I got the idea for the Globetrotters when I showed my K-2nd graders a promo video for them when I was teaching them the skill of basketball. I looked online to see if they were coming to town during the week so I could make a field trip out of it. When I saw that it was a weekend game, I researched how we could bring them to NCS. I was contacted by the Globetrotters and was told about the Bullying Prevention Program they do for schools. All we had to do was sell tickets for their game,” said Coach Bedell.
A deal was struck that if our families purchased $1000 in tickets for the show at Bridgestone, they would come visit our school. Our families rose to the occasion (as usual) and purchased more that $2000 worth of tickets!
On Monday, January 22nd, Globetrotters Swish Young and “El Gato” Melendez came to speak to all of our elementary and middle school students about bullying. They shared what they call the ABCs of bullying prevention: Action, Bravery, and Compassion. They kept students engaged by asking for volunteers and several students got to learn a few new tricks.
To learn more about the Harlem Globetrotters’ ABCs of Bullying Prevention, go to http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/community/abcs-bullying-prevention.
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 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:
For the last 15 years, NCS has participated in the annual Jr. Beta convention, hosted at the Opryland Hotel. Students from all over Tennessee travel to Nashville and compete in various competitions that test your brain, leadership, team-building skills, and creativity. You also get to make new friends and build friendships with others along the way.
This year, Nashville Christian School competed in various competitions such as poetry, quiz bowl, photography, sculpting, and much more. 8th grader Madison Turner placed fifth in the sculpture competition. Speaking for myself, I know that everybody on this trip learned so much while doing things they enjoyed. I can’t wait to see what we will achieve next year in Jr Beta.
The 7th and 8th graders had a fantastic time at the spiritual retreat this fall. We were excited to have Coach Kayce Green and her husband Josh lead the worship songs. Jordan Davis, student minister at Church of the Hills, and Chandler White, a senior here at NCS, were our featured speakers and Scott Huddleston, youth minister at Western Hills, also joined in on the fun. The theme was friendship and choosing good relationships that help to glorify God. There was some quiet, reflection time set aside to focus on these friendships.
Of course fall retreats also mean fun! Prior to the rain moving in, there were lots of games including dodgeball, kickball, volleyball, and an all-time favorite, human foosball. When they moved indoors, the students had a blast playing “over the mountain” which gave the adults a big laugh.
Many friendships were strengthened over the retreat while our students spent time growing closer to God. A big thank you to Landry Smith, our campus minister, and our middle school faculty and staff for making this event possible. We also appreciate our parents for sharing your child with us this weekend!
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!
On Thursday, August 24th, we had many students give speeches as they ran for house representatives. We are proud of the courage and hard work the students put in on this task. Congratulations to the following winners:
House of Honor:
President - Hunt McClary (right), 7th Grade Representative - K.Y. Young (left), 6th Grade Representative - Ty Petty (center)
House of Truth:
President - Macey Paszek (left), 7th Grade Representative - Jordan Upchurch (right), 6th Grade Representative - Taylor Dahl (center)
House of Service:
President - Ella Spitzer (left), 7th Grade Representative - Karlee Downing (right), 6th Grade Representative - Everett Morrison (center)
House of Faith:
President - Jacob Bates (center), 7th Grade Representative - Donovan Smith (left), 6th Grade Representative - J.T. Robbins (right)
We are looking forward to a great year with these leaders!
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.
Algebra 1 students put their math skills to work and created a "Math Escape Room" for 4th and 5th grade students related to their math standards. They started out by visiting Breakout Nashville to try it for themselves and learn how it is done. Breakout Nashville is a popular new form of entertainment where players have an hour to break out of a room by cracking codes, solving riddles, piecing together puzzles and finding clues. After the Algebra I students escaped the room they played, they were able to meet with some of the game creators to talk about what goes into making a successful escape room. They then spent several weeks designing a math-based escape room for elementary students.
Once the escape room design was complete, the 4th and 5th graders were ready to try their hand at making an escape. Each group was given 30 minutes to solve a mystery. The backstory they were given was:
You and your friends are at a birthday party. The parents have left to get food for the party, and you have decided to find the birthday presents and get out before they come back.
Each group had a different approach to working together and solving clues. Some groups took it all the way down to the last second, but every group managed to put their math skills to work and escape with the presents! Here’s what some of them had to say about this unique math lesson:
Each year the 7th and 8th graders take a special trip to an exciting new city. Every other year, the trip is to Washington DC, so that each NCS middle schooler gets to have that experience, but their other year, they travel to a different destination. In the past few years, the middle school has visited St. Augustine and Philadelphia. This year, they travelled to the third most populated city in the U.S., Chicago! Brian Bishop, the Middle and High School Principal, was on this year’s trip and kept us updated each day on their adventures.
Wednesday, May 10
I wanted to take a moment to update you on our tour of Chicago (with a brief scenic stop in Lafayette, IN). We did have a bit of a hiccup today as the boys' bus had a busted belt. This gave us a moment to enjoy the scenes of a really flat (and empty) field. However, never fear, there were several "certified mechanics" among the staff and parents along on the trip who were able to put the bus back together again. This delay did cause us to get into Chicago a little late. However, we were able to enjoy a scenic boat ride through the city with great views of the architecture and Sears Tower. We were able to enjoy famous deep-dish pizza at Gino's East Side Pizza. We won't discuss who ate the most (Coach Frazier). After this, we went to everyone's favorite, famous site of Chicago...The Mall! There was much rejoicing on the girls' bus. We did have a wonderful and real experience of "The Windy City" as we walked to the mall in a bit of a rain/wind storm. After all of that, we have now crashed in the hotel and are looking forward to some great events and locations tomorrow. All is well and everyone is safe in Chicago. Hope you are enjoying the warm weather there in Nashville. It is a brisk 53 and windy here....
Thursday, May 11
Once again, we have enjoyed a long day full of fun things to do. We started early this morning at the Museum of Science and Industry. This was a really large science museum with a lot of neat things to do. One of the main attractions was a real German U-boat submarine from World War II. After this, we went to Navy Pier for shopping, lunch, and fun. Many chose to ride the giant Ferris Wheel, though some regretted it once they were at the very top. Others chose to try the Mirror Maze and have the bruises to prove that they took a few wrong turns. After this, we took a guided tour of the city with a few stops along the way. These stops included Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory and Millenium Park. Finally, we drove, 26 miles outside the city (a comfortable 80 minute ride in afternoon traffic) to enjoy Ye Olde Medieval Times Dinner Show. All the Lords and Ladies enjoyed a medieval feast while watching jousting, sword fighting, and other medieval games and tricks. We all cheered as each Knight died on the battlefield in sword battle (actually, it was a completely non-violent production, totally safe for all the kids to enjoy)! Once again, everyone is completely tired, and I am sure they will go straight to sleep when they finish packing.
Friday, May 12
We are currently on our way home, just north of Indianapolis. We had another fun and easy day in Chicago. We began by visiting the Hancock Building (one of the tallest in Chicago) for a 360 degree view over 1,000 feet up. Several of our people "tilted" over the edge to look straight down! We then travelled to the Shedd Aquarium (along with thousands of other school tours) to see some amazing sights. Baluga whales, dolphins, and pythons were among the animals we visited. Finally, we went to the Adler Planetarium for a video presentation. All is quiet on the buses (at least the girls' bus anyway), and we are headed home with about 5 hours and 30 minutes of drive time remaining. With a supper stop included, I think we should be home around 11:00 pm. Thank you for sending your children with us! We have had a great time as always and our students behaved very well. See you all tonight.
So it was another great adventure for the 7th and 8th grade. Everyone made it home safe and sound with many great memories to reflect on. Next year they will head back to the nation’s capital once again. What a great opportunity for our middle school students to share an adventure and see another part of this great country!
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!
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.
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!
When Nashville Christian 7th grader Kate Pearson started a book club with her friends last year, she never dreamed they'd be celebrating the launch of her first book a few months later! This adventure was all born out of the friendships Kate has at Nashville Christian School. Last year she and her friends started a 6th grade reading club and began to “crowdsource” a book together. Each would write a chapter and then email the story to the next person. Kate was having such a good time, we decided to find a summer camp for writers.
A Novel Idea (ANI) is a 30-day writing camp designed to teach kids how to write and publish their very own novels. During the summer, Kate learned new technical writing skills, gained an understanding of a novel’s framework, and organized and produced a final manuscript on a very tight deadline. The ANI program nurtured and challenged her to find her voice, conquer her “inner critic” and bring her imagination to life. As Kate put it, “writing a novel taught me that I really can do anything I put my mind to!”
Here’s a synopsis of her book, The Selected:
Identical twins Natalie and James uncover a shocking discovery at their new boarding school that will change their lives forever. While just getting settled in the new school, everybody back home gets kidnapped, and it’s up to Natalie and James to save their mom, aunt, and newborn cousins from the mysterious group called THE VOID. Alliances change, but Natalie and James can’t give up, or they’ll lose their family forever.
The Selected is now available for purchase online at this link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/kate-pearson/the-selected/paperback/product-22936941.html
Congratulations Kate! We know this is the first of many books to come, and we look forward to seeing where God takes you and your talents! We are NC!
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 Justin Littrell, Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior Student of the Month! Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Each month, they will be honoring a student who “displays the exemplary qualities of dedication, passion, leadership and spirit.” Of the hundreds of outstanding applicants, they selected NCS 7th grader, Justin Littrell for the month of November.
In her nominating essay to MTI, Drama teacher Nicole Arnold said, “Justin has a passion for theater that has survived bullying, cancer, and delayed development due to his illness! Although he is in remission, the leukemia he suffered as a young child delayed his muscle development. Choreography is difficult for him. He never learned to skip or ride a bike. However, Justin never quits striving to become a better actor. As we prepared for JTF 2016, I had the blessing of watching him push his personal bar higher and higher as he worked with the ensemble on our adjudication piece. He came back with a renewed fire to accomplish things he hadn't done before that he knew would help him as an actor. Justin knew that choreography was going to be a big part of our new show so he and his mom started working on skipping to build his coordination and agility! He is an inspiration to students and adults alike.”
Justin has participated in several Broadway Junior productions at Nashville Christian School including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie), Fantastic Mr. Fox (Badger), and is currently preparing to play the role of Mufasa in Lion King Jr. for the upcoming Junior Theatre Festival. “Broadway Junior is fun,” said Justin, “I get to be in a show that is so much bigger than myself. We work hard for several weeks to make the show the best we can make it. When we finally put it all together it is a masterpiece. Being in plays makes me feel happy. When I am in a play I can never feel down, there are always people there to help. I like doing plays with my friends. Being in plays gives me confidence. When I am in plays I feel this boost of energy and I feel like I can do anything. Broadway Junior gives me JOY!”
Justin gives joy to everyone else when he performs on the stage, and we are so proud of his achievements in drama. Congratulations Justin!
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!
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
After a week of campaigning and some well-prepared and often entertaining speeches, we are proud to announce the 2016/2017 Middle School Senate!
House of FAITH
6th Grade Representative: Seth Moulton
7th Grade Representative: Luke Page
Secretary: Finn Leary
Treasurer: Daniel Duncan
8th Grade President: Julia Thompson
House of SERVICE
6th Grade Representative: Karlee Downing
7th Grade Representative: Ben Magner
Secretary: Matt McClary
Treasurer: Brennan Vik
8th Grade President: Phoebe Proctor
House of HONOR
6th Grade Representative: Jacey Parisi
7th Grade Representative: Richmond Flowers
Secretary: Emma Bray
Treasurer: Jackson Chalos
8th Grade President: Sarah Hendricks
The Nashville Christian Middle School Student Government has taken a more active approach this year through the election process. It is clear these students want to see the middle school continue to grow and change. As these students become more involved in their roles in student government, we hope to encourage them take more ownership of the middle school. This new group of leaders plans to provide more serving opportunities, fundraisers, middle school meet-ups, holiday parties and competitive house games. We look forward to seeing all the changes that are in store for the NCS middle school this year!
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.
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.
We are excited to introduce our new Middle School Counselor, Melissa King! We recently interviewed Mrs. King about being a school counselor and the challenges and rewards that come along with the job. Here's what she had to say:
Eagle Watch: Why did you decide to become a counselor?
Mrs. King: I decided to become a counselor after spending time in missions. This helped me gain an understanding of the importance of relationships, community and the universality of pain. Although pain and struggle look and feel different for all, we all experience it. My thinking became, "As Christians we are called to spread Christ's love. What better way to do this than through connecting with individuals who are struggling and helping them to realize the healing and freeing power of Christ’s love in all areas of their lives?"
Eagle Watch: Tell us a little about your education and experience.
Mrs. King: I got my BA in Psychology at Florida Gulf Coast University and my graduate degree in Professional Counseling at Liberty University.
Eagle Watch: What kinds of things do you do as school counselor?
Mrs. King: School Counselors have the best combination of relationships with students. My main goal is to be available to help students in such a way that provides opportunity for them to succeed in life emotionally, socially and academically, whether that means providing a listening ear, personal or social direction for increasing life skills or helping with strategies for academic success.
Eagle Watch: What is the hardest part?
Mrs. King: The most frustrating part of this job is working with kids that want change but refuse to work for it. All change takes hard work and lots of effort. If you don't put the time in you won’t get the outcome you want.
Eagle Watch: What is the biggest issue facing our youth today?
Mrs. King: Tough Question! I think one of the biggest issues facing our youth today is a decrease in emotional IQ (understanding one’s own and others emotions correctly). This is created through increased social media and a lack of personalized relationships, and it leads to emotional instability, a clouded view of what reality actually is and the inability to handle rejection or failure. All of these create many of the mainstream issues with youth today.
Eagle Watch: What do you love about your job?
Mrs. King: The Kids! Watching a light bulb come on in their heads. Watching kids use the tools they learn to try to change their environment. Helping kids understand themselves and their own emotions. Helping kids work through difficulties and come out the other side...I love lots about my job!
Eagle Watch: Is there anything else you want to tell us about yourself?
Mrs. King: Just that I am very excited to be a part of the NCS family, and my door is always open!