Engaging Over Summer

Over the summer many Charlotte Christian students and faculty are continuing their education by participating in a variety of programs, conferences, trips, and internships that will take place locally, around the country, and across the globe. Summaries from their experiences will be posted here throughout the summer.

HOBY Leadership Conference

Rising junior Morgan Brown attended the North Carolina West Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Conference at Wake Forest University. During the three-day leadership program HOBY Ambassadors developed their critical thinking skills, learned about their personal leadership styles, and formed an appreciation for community service. They attended panel sessions featuring prominent speakers from government, businesses, media, and educational communities.

“I was blessed with the privilege of representing CCS at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar,” shared Morgan. “The seminar provided me with new friendships and leadership tools that I will continue to implement into my daily life. At the seminar, I was able to increase my understanding of what true leadership is. In addition, I learned how to lead through serving the community while participating in various volunteer opportunities.”

Marine Quest at UNC Wilmington

Rising senior Camille White attended Marine Quest at UNC Wilmington for the third consecutive summer. She attended the Underwater Ichthyologist and Shark Conservation camp where she completed three scuba classes and six dives - including visiting several famous wrecks! Her classes covered open water certification, fish identification and shark conservation. She also visited a salt marsh, snorkeled and toured UNCW's Center for Marine Science.

"My favorite part of camp was my dive in the infamous Hyde Dredge Wreck as I swam with 10 sand tiger sharks. This camp allowed me to gain my Fish Identification and Shark Conservation specialties which helps me get closer to my goal of becoming a Divemaster."

Rice 'n Beans Ministry

CCS middle, JV and varsity football teams served the homeless in the community this summer with the Rice 'n Beans Ministry. Rice 'n Beans is a non-denominational, faith-based effort to address the plight of the hungry and homeless men and women on the streets of Charlotte. Student athletes helped prepare and serve meals and distribute clothing.


Get Your Teach On National Conference

CCS First Grade Teachers Mrs. Jennifer Dunn, Mrs. Molly French, and Ms. Alex Kemp attended the Get Your Teach On National Conference in Dallas, Texas. The first grade teaching team attended the four-day conference for K-8 teachers to learn best practices and how to create an engaging and rigorous classroom.

Baltimore Mission Trip

Rising senior Caroline Hood went on a mission trip with her church to serve the inner city area of Baltimore, Md.

Dominican Republic Mission Trip

Rising senior Thomas Spangler joined with Mission of Hope to serve in the Dominican Republic with his church youth ministry. The team served in impoverished areas in the city of Santiago De Los Caballeros and were involved in construction and painting projects as well as ministry at youth camps.

Ukraine Mission Trip

Rising sophomore Caroline Drummond served in Ukraine at Irpin Bible Church along with her church’s student ministry. She worked at a preschool Vacation Bible School as well as a youth sports festival.

UGA & WFU Business Programs

Rising senior Neely Hicks attended two business programs this summer at the University of Georgia and Wake Forest University. The Accelerated Business Program at UGA provided an inside track on the various fields of business and time with top executives from Chick-fil-A and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Business Institute at WFU shared the aspects of business needed to launch and run a company and concluded with a ‘Shark Tank’ product presentation, in which students pitched ideas to potential investors showcasing the knowledge they gained throughout the week.

“Both of these programs proved to be very beneficial to me and I learned a lot about different areas of business,” shared Neely. “I heard from people who worked for AT&T, PwC, Champion, and so many other successful businesses. I enjoyed hearing from the speakers and learning from professors that are highly thought of in their field.”

Trent Lott Leadership Institute

Rising senior Lindsay Noonan was selected to participate in the Summer Leadership Institute for High School Students. The institute is a partnership between the University of Mississippi’s Lott Leadership Institute and the Division of Outreach’s Summer College for High School Students. The goals of the program are to develop leadership skills in young citizens and prepare them for college. The Summer Leadership Institute brings together student leaders from across the Southeast to earn college credit on the UM campus and to begin the study of leadership.

“I was put into a team where I learned about personality types and how to work well with others who have different personalities than I do. Our counselors also helped us format leadership resumes and how to work together to accomplish a task such as coming up with a product that is not on the market. We also served at the boys and girls club where we braided hair, played basketball, and talked about the upcoming school year. Lastly we learned what it takes to be a great leader and how to show others by example and different ways to accomplish goals."

Principal Speaking Engagements at SAIS & ISACS Conferences

Middle School Principal Ken Rogers was invited to speak at a couple conferences this summer. 

Mr. Rogers shared a session on "The Counselor's Role in Facilitating Parent Engagement" at the Institute for Strategic Leadership hosted by Serving and Accrediting Independent Schools (SAIS) in Atlanta.

Mr. Rogers shared a session on "Thick Skin, Soft Skills: Real Life Communication Strategies for New Division Heads" at the Academy for NEW Division Heads hosted by Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) in Chicago.

Greg Tang MATH PLUS National Conference

Third Grade Teacher Jill Harouny and Second Grade Teacher Abigail Dye attended the Greg Tang MATH PLUS National Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The duo learned important math concepts such as daily routines and activities that fill gaps of understanding and how to encourage mastery and develop advanced thinking skills that students need for higher math.

AMLE Institute for Middle Level Leadership

Middle School Assistant Principal Karl Simon attended the Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Hilton Head. The AMLE Leadership Institute helps leaders create the most effective educational experience for young adolescents.

NC State Engineering Camp

Rising senior Hannah Brandon attended an engineering camp at North Carolina State University. The College of Engineering hosted the residential camp to give high school students the opportunity to experience engineering and get a glimpse of college life while staying on the NC State campus in Raleigh.

“I thought this was a great experience to learn more about different aspects of engineering,” shared Hannah.  “I'm glad to have had the opportunity to work hands on in aerospace engineering.”

Wake Forest Summer Immersion Program in Psychology

Rising senior Hannah Paschall attended the Psychology Institute at the Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program.  Students received hands-on experience through: scientific observations of real-life behavior; sheep brain dissection; performed hands-on demonstrations of the senses; experienced illusions and shifts in perception, and learned how these are processed by the brain as well as visited a marketing firm.

“I loved participating in the program!” said Hannah.  “My favorite things were visiting a marketing firm and dissecting a sheep brain!

Wake Forest Summer Immersion Program in Leadership

Rising senior Vivian Lang attended the Wake Forest Summer Immersion Program in leadership.  The program offered team-building opportunities by challenging the students and how to lead their peers; worked with Wake Forest faculty to develop personal leadership skills; visited with community leaders from corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to glean leadership lessons in practice and gained exposure to and application of motivation and leadership techniques.

“I attended leadership classes with Wake Forest president Dr. Nathan Hatch, participated in a ropes course to learn about courage, visited a food bank to learn about serving others, and in general developed a great leadership profile!”

Van Lunen Center

Head of School Barry Giller taught at the Van Lunen Center in Michigan that focuses on executive management training for heads of school in Christian education.  He shared with 44 heads of school from across the U.S. and Canada who have all been in their role for less than eight years and are part of a year-long fellows program.  Mr. Giller shared a session about financial management and sustainability.

Governor's School

Rising senior Marisa Bartholomew attended the North Carolina Governor’s School this summer.  The Governor's School of North Carolina is a five and one-half week summer residential program for intellectually gifted high school students, integrating academic disciplines, the arts, and unique courses on each of two campuses. The curriculum focuses on the exploration of the most recent ideas and concepts in each discipline, and does not involve credit, tests, or grades.  Marisa participated in the English track that focused on modern and postmodern fiction, poetry, and drama.

“Governor's School has really given me a taste of what college is going to be like, and I have had a wonderful time getting to know the teachers and students,” said Marisa.  “My favorite part of this entire experience has been getting to talk with others about their own worldview and beliefs and getting to see different perspectives of others while staying firm in my own worldview. I am so incredibly thankful to Mrs. Foxx and Mrs. Cassier for helping me get into this amazing program. I have been able to grow stronger in my personal relationship with Christ over these past few weeks, and I am so thankful for this season He placed me in to grow closer to Him. I can't wait to bring all I have learned here at Governor's School back to Charlotte Christian this fall!”

University of Notre Dame Summer Program & University of Michigan Summer Discovery

Rising senior Harrison Zuckerberg attended two college summer programs.  At the University of Notre Dame he participated in a two-week course called Christianity and the World Religions that explored the basic teachings and spiritualities of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, and how they relate to Christianity.  He also participated in the Summer Discovery program through the University of Michigan.  At the Sports Management Academy he took two courses: Behind the Marketing of Sport in the US and Sports in Society.  They discussed why sport is such an important piece of the fabric of society in order to generate revenue effectively and efficiently as well as explored the impact that professional and collegiate athletics have on American society.

NC State University Grow Academy

Upper School Science Teacher Stephanie Switzer attended Grow Academy at NC State University this summer for her professional development.  Grow Academy is a collaborative effort between Horticultural Science, Crop and Soil Sciences, Plant and Microbial Biology, Animal Science, Poultry Science, and Molecular and Structural Biochemistry at NC State. The Academy empowers high school science and technology educators with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on curricular activities to teach NC Standards for Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science Common Core concepts in an agricultural and life sciences context. 

"This was an amazing professional development course which I will definitely be using in my AP Environmental Science class," shared Mrs. Switzer. "It helps put the course material into the larger context of hunger and pollution throughout the world and how the course material is actually being used to help alleviate hunger around the world and here in N.C. It cemented for me our Biblical stewardship role and the myriad of ways these students can and will impact the world today and in the future."

Lean Six Sigma Class at NC State University

Rising seniors Luke Drees, Jack Fagan and Nathanael Haynes, along with Upper School Physics teacher Rob Mina, attended a Lean Six Sigma class at NC State University.  The group learned how to use statistical techniques to measure, analyze, and improve business processes.

Elevate Leadership Lab at Gordon College

Upper school students Hannah Brandon, Carson Chow, Ethan Eshleman, Jack Howard, Andrew Knotts, Zane Rutledge, and Kristen Snyder attended the Elevate Leadership Lab at Gordon College.  The annual Leadership Lab is a seven-day entrepreneurship and community development program for high school juniors and seniors. The students are challenged to take real-world action in response to social problems. The institute focuses on helping students integrate concepts of Christian faith and leadership in their own lives.

This year rising senior Hannah Brandon and rising junior Zane Rutledge were part of the team who earned first place for the storytelling event, BranchOut.  The event will be hosted at Boston Trinity Academy and allows teenagers from all ethnic backgrounds to come together in a safe environment to express themselves, share personal stories and get to know one another.  Through the sharing of personal narratives, they can help people rethink preconceived assumptions about an individual based on their ethnic background or race.

Rising senior Ethan Eshleman was on the team who earned second place for their program, Peers Against Vaping, to stop the normalization of vapes and juuls.  The program aims to create a P.E. curriculum led by high school students for middle schoolers that combats the problem of teen vaping through awareness, experience, and mentorship. It will be implemented at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga., where the goal is for current sixth graders to graduate vape free. 

Rising seniors Jack Howard and Kristen Snyder were part of the team who earned third place for their convention, OurTurn. It is a day-long interactive convention which aims to empower high schoolers in Charlotte, to effectively engage with the political community by providing them with entry-level knowledge of local and national politics and an opportunity for discussion with community assets at informational booths.  Scheduled for this September, this convention is strategically located on the weekend before the North Carolina Ninth Congressional District Special Election, allowing teens an occasion to be immersed and informed in their current political climate.


Faith Ministry Mission Trip in Mexico

Rising senior Boone Foster traveled to Reynosa, Mexico with this church youth group to build houses with the group Faith Ministry for local families.  

"My experience in Mexico was an amazing time, to say the least. Our group had the opportunity to build three houses, as well as pour three roofs for various families living in Reynosa. Our trip to Reynosa was life-changing for everyone and we know that three more families will have roofs over their heads and that our church youth will forever have the memories of serving in the wonderful community."

Global Education Allies Trip to Finland

Kindergarten Teacher Courtney Broocks traveled with Global Education Allies to Finland to visit universities to learn about teacher preparation and accreditation as well as to preparatory schools to learn and discover new parts of the education system and the Finnish culture.  She met with educators from more than 22 states and three different countries. Other trip highlights for her include visiting the Helsinki Library and an educational Nature Reserve as well as traveling to Russia during her time overseas.

"Finland strives to create lifelong learners," shared Ms. Broocks.  "They aim to develop the whole child and have a strong emphasis on collaboration over competition and have created a culture of what is best for the whole.  I really enjoyed my trip and feel inspired to translate what I have learned into my classroom!"

Martha Guy Summer Institute

As part of the Martha Guy Summer Institute, rising senior Neely Hicks spent a couple of weeks taking business classes at Appalachian State University.  She also had the opportunity to travel with the group to Washington, D.C. and New York to visit World Bank, Nike Government Relations and the New York Stock Exchange.

The Martha Guy Summer Institute for future business leaders was created to give high achieving high school students, interested in pursuing a college degree in business, a premier summer experience exploring the different disciplines within business, exposing them to regional business leaders and developing leadership and professional behavior skills needed to be successful in the business realm.


NC State Design Camp

Rising senior Lillie Wetmore participated in the NC State Design Camp where she learned more about their design program and process at the university.  "It was a very inspiring and informative experience and I met lots of amazing professors, students and friends who helped me to pursue design!"



Bosch Rexroth Job Shadowing

Rising senior Jack Howard participated in a job shadow opportunity with Bosch Rexroth to learn about multiple facets of engineering and jobs available in that field.

"Job shadowing at Bosch Rexroth this summer was an informative experience that has shaped my plan for both my college search, and eventually my career path. I came away even more intrigued and excited to learn more about the field. I highly recommend either job shadowing or interning; it is a great way to get workplace experience before applying for a full-time job."


NC State Engineering Camp

Rising senior Jack Howard attended an engineering camp at NC State University where he learned about robotics and computer programming.  His team earned second place for their robot's performance that week.