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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.

YoungLife Work Crew

Rising senior Sophie Howard worked for a month on the work crew for the YoungLife at Windy Gap.

Samaritan's Feet Mission Trip

Upper School Science Teacher Jessica Simmons traveled to Uganda with Samaritan's Feet and served children in the local schools, churches and remote villages by washing feet, distributing shoes and sharing the gospel. She was joined by several educators on the trip and they had the opportunity to learn about the Ugandan school system and how classes are structured. "My time at the schools gave me such an appreciation for our school and the opportunities given to our children," shared Ms. Simmons. "The biggest lesson I learned while there was that God does not need us to say a word in order for Him to reach people. The Holy Spirit transcends language barriers and all we need to be is a vessel."

Van Lunen Fellows

Upper School Principal Shonn Brown is participating in the Van Lunen Fellows program through Calvin University. The program supports a select group of Christian administrators that are put into cohorts for a year-long training  in executive management in Christian leadership.

Teaching Fellows Institute

Three CCS teachers participated in the Teaching Fellows Institute this summer - Mrs. Stacy Caldwell, middle school math teacher, Ms. Jill Harouny, third grade teacher, and Mrs. Rhonda Nieto, upper school Spanish teacher. The purpose of the Teaching Fellows Institute is to recognize and honor the Charlotte area’s outstanding teachers and to provide opportunities that further develop their leadership and professional expertise. 

Baylor University Master's Program Educational Leadership

Upper School Broadcasting and Film Teacher Chad Fair is pursuing his master's degree in educational leadership from Baylor University. This summer his cohort participated in a 10-day intensive where they spent time in-person to attend classes and build relationships that provided a foundation for their online program.

Nashville Eagles Coaching Academy

Varsity Girls' Soccer Head Coach Amanda Naeher was invited to speak at the Nashville Eagles Coaching Academy, a faith-based soccer coaches conference. She led a field session for coaches to observe as well as a classroom session on implementing and maintaining culture on teams.

AP Reader for College Board

Upper School Chemistry Teacher Stephanie Switzer graded AP Environmental Science exams for the College Board. Upper school teachers work as AP Readers to help gain an in-depth understanding of the AP exam and better assess their students' work. 

Brown University Pre-College Program

Rising junior Ella Voloshko was accepted into the Brown University Pre-College Program in Providence, Rhode Island this summer. The program is designed for high school students to learn more about the college experience through attending a college-level course while living in the Brown University dorms and participating in many social activities that are offered. Ella attended a class called “Set Theory: The Dazzling Foundation of Abstract Mathematics” where she learned about mathematical reasoning and logic. She enjoyed everything about her experience, but most of all she loved the many new friendships she made with other students from around the world.

Kidventure at OshKosh

Harvey Fisher, rising first grade student, participated in Kidventure at OshKosh in Wisconsin. Through this experience, he reconstructed model airplanes, built and shaped propellers and took a ride in the Ford Tri-Motor. Harvey had the opportunity to meet Kevin Larosa, the aerial coordinator and lead camera pilot for TopGun: Maverick.

National Student Leadership Conference on Theater

Rising junior Whitney Johnson attended the National Student Leadership Conference eight-day theater program where she spent time both in New York City and on the campus of Fordham University. Whitney participated in master classes and discussions with top New York artists from acting and voice to stage design and production. The highlight of the camp was when her group won the "Tonie" for Best Overall Production for a short play they wrote, designed the costumes, set and lighting for and performed on the final night.

YoungLife Work Crew

Rising senior Emma Dunnagan worked for a month at YoungLife Malibu Club in British Columbia, Canada. "This was truly the greatest experience of my life," shared Emma. "On work crew, I learned so much about seeing Jesus in the people around you and growing in a relationship with Him together. The Lord was so present in such a remote place and that was evident from the moment we stepped off of the boat at Malibu. It was truly the most beautiful place I have ever been and I’ll talk about it for the rest of my life."

Distinctive Teaching and Learning Conference

Upper School Bible Teacher Rhett Davis was invited to be a speaker for the Distinctive Teaching and Learning Conference hosted by College of Education of Columbia International University. The one-day professional development conference hosted Christian educators as they prepare for the 2022-23 school year.

American Welding Service

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.

Israel In-Depth Study Tour

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."

Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program - Medicine

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.  

CESA Summer Advancement Institute

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).

Hammond School Admissions Office

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.

Coaches Time Out

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.

Salamanca, Spain Language & Cultural Immersion Trip

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!”

Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program - Biosciences & Engineering Institutes

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."

Vanderbilt University Summer Academy - Rhetorical Advocacy and Criticism Class

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."

Sigmon Theatrical Team

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.

Appalachia Service Project

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.

High Point University Office of Communications

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.

Christian Educators Conference

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.

American Classical League Summer Institute

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.

SAIS (Serving and  Accrediting Independent Schools) Summer Conference

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.

Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program - Debate and Public Advocacy Institutes

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!"

North Carolina General Assembly House and Senate Page Program

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.

HOBY Leadership Conference

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."

Black College Institute - Virginia Tech

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."