Engaging Over Summer
Over the summer, many CCS students and faculty continue their education and participate in a variety of programs, conferences, mission trips and internships. This annual series will share opportunities our community is involved in.
Rising senior Gannon Caswell participated in a job shadow opportunity at American Welding Service during J-Term this past school year and it turned into a job offer for the summer. "Welding is a field I’m interested in and now I’m getting experience, practice and a good paycheck," shared Gannon.
Rising junior Luke Reynolds participated in an Israel In-Depth Study Tour. "It was a rigorous program of hiking more than 80 miles over two weeks in Israel to experience the land of Jesus. Every day started at 6 a.m. and included teachings from pastors and guides. The tour covered the Holy Land 'from Dan to Beersheba' and emphasized understanding different cultures involved in Bible times and also current political issues."
Rising junior Kennedi Thompson attended a Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program for Medicine. She learned from different types of doctors in the medical field and the various disciplines of medicine. She gained hands-on experience by participating in simulations and labs.
Director of Alumni Relations Reid Fronk attended the CESA Summer Advancement Institute at Faith Lutheran School in Las Vegas, Nev. The institute hosted advancement professionals from schools who are members of the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability (CESA).
Director of Middle and Upper School Admissions JoAnn Calhoun and Director of Early Education and Lower School Admissions Allycia Brown visited with the admissions team at Hammond School. With the recent move of the admissions office to the Hendrick Center, they enjoyed learning how Hammond Admissions provides a front door experience as well as about benchmarking admissions processes.
Six Charlotte Christian coaches attended Coaches Time Out, a conference sponsored by Fellowship of Christian Athletes for coaches and their spouses. Speakers at this year's conference focused on biblical principles of coaching and marriage, mental health of athletes, family discipleship and finances. CCS coaches who attended were Varsity Boys' Lacrosse Assistant Coach Jacob Kaplan, Varsity Football Head Coach Jason Estep, Varsity Girls' Lacrosse Assistant Coach Olivia McCarrick, Varsity Girls' Lacrosse Head Coach Kelsey Kaplan, JV Boys' Basketball Head Coach Daniel Blaze and Middle School Football Head Coach Grayson Bedenbaugh.
A group of Charlotte Christian middle and upper school students traveled to Spain this summer for a language and cultural immersion trip. They spent two weeks in Salamanca, Spain and attended classes in the mornings and participated in a variety of socio-cultural activities in the afternoon. The students attended a language school affiliated with the University of Salamanca and received academic credit for their course. Adventures in the afternoon included walking and biking tours, a tapas tour, a visit to a bullfighting ring and even a flamenco dance lesson. There were lots of activities around the city as their time in Salamanca coincided with the visitation of the former queen of Spain. The group also visited the cities of Madrid, Segovia, Avila, Peña de Francia and La Alberca. During their time in Salamanca, the students and chaperones stayed in homes with host families to give them a better perspective of the Spanish culture.
“Truly an unforgettable experience!” shared Maggie Blakeney (’22). “I feel like I learned so much in such a short period of time. And I didn’t just learn the language, but I learned about the culture too!”
Rising senior Sydney Rohm attended a Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program for Biosciences and Engineering. This institute allows students to explore how the biosciences and engineering fields have evolved from the physical sciences to innovative research and industry products. They had the opportunity to work with faculty in the Wake Forest science departments and learn from research mentors and industry professionals who have taken cutting-edge research and seen it materialize in the real world. "It was a great experience as I explored the various careers in science, participated in a series of labs and research demonstrations, visited the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and interacted with professionals from Cook Medical."
Rising junior Emma Taylor attended the Vanderbilt University Summer Academy and took a Rhetorical Advocacy and Criticism class with a communications professor. The class analyzed historical speeches and popular culture to explore how to apply rhetorical criticism and how to improve arguments and speeches to influence cultural, economic, political and social change. "In class we analyzed presidential speeches as well as the different types of rhetoric and what they can be used for. Outside of class we participated in activities that allowed us to see Vanderbilt's campus as well as explore the city of Nashville."
Rising juniors Jayden Stall and Jeffery Wilson are performing in The Revolutionary Drama with the Sigmon Theatrical team in Kings Mountain, N.C. through July 17. This Revolutionary War drama depicts the struggles and triumphs of the brave people who settled in the Carolinas and founded our nation. As cast members in this five-week immersive drama, Jayden and Jeffery are learning to sword fight, fire replica muskets, dress up in incredible costumes and charge into battle with a professional acting company.
Rising senior Ruth Ann Cypert participated in the Appalachia Service Project with her church and traveled to Kentucky to help repair and replace homes for low-income families. Her group built an accessibility ramp for an elderly parent of a homeowner.
The communications office enjoyed a professional development visit with the Office of Communications at High Point University. They toured the campus and learned more about branding, digital communications and productivity tools.
Middle School Science Teachers Diep Stamps and Beth Tiess and Upper School Science Teacher Jessica Simmons attended the Christian Educators Conference in Dallas, Texas. The four-day conference was sponsored by Creation Training Initiative (CTI) and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to prepare Christian educators with the knowledge and skills in the areas of biblical creation, apologetics and Christian education so that they can equip the next generation to share and defend their faith.
Middle School Latin Teacher Ryan Kaufman and Upper School Latin Teachers Claire Bishop and Kaitlin Pleshko attended the American Classical League Summer Institute in Charleston, S.C. that celebrates, supports and advances the teaching and learning of the Greek and Latin languages, literatures and cultures.
Lower School Assistant Principal Jen Payne, Middle School Assistant Principal Ann Culberson and Sixth Grade Social Studies Teacher John Wilson attended the three-day SAIS Summer Conference in Atlanta, Ga. focused on leadership, belonging, student experience and well-being.
Rising junior Graham Cash attended a Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program for Debate and Public Advocacy. This institute teaches students to build confidence while speaking, arguing and learning to passionately advocate for themselves and others. Students engage in discussion about current events and learn skills such as persuasion, legal reasoning and the art of communication. "I participated in lots of debates and learned about debate tactics and how to formulate good arguments. We also heard from several guest speakers about their work in public advocacy. It was a great experience!"
Rising senior Lily Kate Snyder was selected and served as a page for two weeks for both the N.C. House and Senate through the North Carolina General Assembly House and Senate Page Program. The program offers students the opportunity to learn about and participate in the legislative process of our state and to observe firsthand how our laws are made, as well as the opportunity to work on the House or Senate Chamber floor in the midst of legislative action. Lily Kate assisted the Speaker of the House, senators, house members and staff while participating in daily legislative sessions.
Rising junior Domonique Kay attended the North Carolina West Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Conference. HOBY's mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. "I had the opportunity to meet other rising juniors from high schools across Western North Carolina. We heard from a wide range of panels and speakers about leadership and how we can impact our communities."
Rising junior Kennedi Thompson participated virtually in the Black College Institute, an academic summer enrichment program hosted by Virginia Tech. The program activities are planned using a multicultural perspective though special emphasis is on the African-American identity. "I learned about college and how to navigate it as a minority student. I completed a social justice project involving disadvantaged students and learned about the programs that can help them succeed in college and in a career."