Senior Spotlight

The Senior Spotlight highlights members of the Class of 2020. Students that are highlighted in this feature have been nominated by upper school faculty and administration as examples of students who are excelling in academics, athletics, fine arts, or service and are actively fulfilling the mission of Charlotte Christian School. A new senior will be featured each week until graduation.

ABOUT ME
In what grade did you start at Charlotte Christian?
I started at Charlotte Christian in Mrs. Doyle’s first grade class.

Why did you or your parents choose Charlotte Christian? 
Two thirds of my life ago, my parents sought a Christ-centered school, well-rounded enough to equip me with both Christian doctrine and excellence in academic, athletic, and artistic programs. Needless to say, we found our home at Charlotte Christian, which has been an integral part of my walk with Christ and shaped me into the person I am today.

What co-curricular or athletic events are you involved with, including leadership roles, both in and out of school?
I ran cross country all four years of high school and ran, jumped, and hurdled my way through three years of track and field. I am a consul (co-president) of our school’s chapter of the National Junior Classical League – which is just a fancy way of saying “Latin club” – through which we compete every year in various classical-themed art, athletic, and academic competitions. This year I was the proud captain of our school’s Academic WorldQuest team, and if not for Lesotho’s flag having an oddly-shaped hat on it, I would have a perfect record in the “World Flags” category across my three years on the team as flag-arbiter. Last summer, I shadowed at Bosch Rexroth for a week to experience the day-to-day tasks of engineers, a valuable experience as I set my eyes toward my own future in the professional world. I also stretched my mind in an online quantum computing class with a professor from Pace University, attended our Screwtape Letters Book Club, and taught the third grade class at my church and the CCS Minecraft Masters summer camp. I have recently been working as a Postmates delivery driver to stave off the boredom and stagnancy of quarantine.

I had the privilege to travel to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip my junior year, and I attend the annual SES National Conference on Christian Apologetics and Youth Apologetics Conference whenever I get a chance. I will especially miss the easy access to these conferences as I travel beyond Charlotte to college, but will try to make it back home every October to soak in the insight of some of the world’s finest defenders of the Christian faith.

HONORS AND AWARDS
Have you earned any honors or awards such as academic honors, honor rolls, athletic awards, fine arts honors, etc.? Have you been selected to attend special conferences or events?
I am a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Junior Classical League Latin Honor Society. I have maintained a Summa Cum Laude Honor Roll through all four years of high school, am a three-time recipient of a Silver Medal on the National Latin exam, and hold various awards for Highest Academic Achievement in my classes. Through the Academic Conservatory program, I have been able to explore my interest in many different areas, and I have earned distinctions in Math and Science; World Languages; Bible, Religion, and Philosophy; and Social Studies. I am honored to have been recognized by my coaches through a Determination Award for Cross Country and the Coach’s Award for Track and Field and to have been selected by Charlotte Christian to attend the 2019 Elevate Leadership Lab at Gordon College.

COLLEGE AND BEYOND
What colleges have you applied to and which ones have you been accepted to thus far?
I applied to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Virginia. I was accepted to all of them except MIT. I will attend N.C. State in the fall, where I have been accepted into the College of Engineering and the University Honors Program.

If you know, what would you like to study in college, and what might be your long-term career goals? 
Though I do not know the exact career God has in store for me, I know I want to study something STEM-related, as my science, technology, engineering, and math classes have always inspired me to push beyond what is expected. I can see myself researching physics, engineering rockets, designing and coding computer software, or theorizing in pure-math concepts, and my college classes and further personal research will be instrumental methods of providence that God will use to guide me to be who He wants me to be.

Have you applied for/received any college scholarships 
I have applied to various scholarships at N.C. State, including the Park Scholarship for which I was nominated by Charlotte Christian. I am waiting to hear back from multiple smaller, more specific scholarships. I have yet to hear from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and am in the process of applying for the Brady Cobin Law Group Essay Scholarship Contest and the Charlotte Knights & Piedmont Natural Gas STEM Scholarships.

CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE
What are your favorite subjects at Charlotte Christian and why? 
Though I have enjoyed almost every class I have taken in upper school at Charlotte Christian, and I applaud all the personal, loving teachers for their strong dedication to teaching their subject matter with the students’ needs first, one particular class that I will always remember is AP Calculus BC, taught by Mrs. Susan Jones. BC Calculus remains the most interesting class I have ever taken and has truly restructured the way I look at math and the world around me. Mrs. Jones did a phenomenal job of helping us through very abstract subject matter, perfectly preparing us for the AP Exam with very reasonable expectations and offered the best small-class environment I could ever ask for.

Another class that transformed how I think was Mr. Brian Henson’s Logic and Debate class. This class provided me with the invaluable skill set of thinking logically and critically, which provides a structure for my Christian beliefs, allowing me to clearly understand and articulate what I know about the world. AP Computer Science, taught by Mr. Mark Sadowski, is another one of my absolute favorite classes, where we learned through combining mathematical and logical principles into practical skills in a way I had never experienced before.

Who are some of your favorite teachers at Charlotte Christian and why? 
Heading into my senior year, I was not expecting one of my favorite classes to be AP European History, but thanks to Mr. Russell McMullen, AP Euro has provided me with unforgettable experiences and a truly hilarious, yet somehow also very productive, classroom environment. Mr. McMullen taught us history with true passion, showing us how European History is both interesting and relevant; I can not think of a single class I took in high school without some tie to a person, concept, or event we learned about in AP Euro. I will never forget my experiences with Mr. McMullen on the amazing J-Term trip to Italy, or the entire senior class doing his Friday Dance to support his free throws during the Winter Week pep rally teachers’ game.

I must acknowledge and thank Mrs. Renuka Szymborski and Mrs. Karen Dean for training me and honing my writing down to a science in AP Language and AP Literature. Their classes required dedication and a strong desire to learn and improve, and without their guidance, I doubt I would be prepared to write in college. I also genuinely appreciate the leadership, consistency, and openness of every teacher in the Bible department: Mr. Jeremy Cummings, Mr. Rhett Davis, Mr. Brian Henson, and Dr. Dean Hardy, the backbones of upper school spiritual life at CCS, who are always willing to answer questions and offer prayers.

I would be remiss if I did not mention genius, mentor, hiker, baker, and friend, Mr. Rob Mina. While I enjoyed his AP Physics, Statistics, and Calculus classes, his devotion to his students shows itself in the countless hours he spends across all the review sessions, book club meetings, and study halls simply helping his students with homework, projects, and life advice. His insight on the Bible and ability to show the beauty of God’s creation through the intricacies of physics are remarkable. Having been in one of the first classes he taught at CCS, we have grown as close friends along with the rest of our Physics class, and we will all continue to keep in touch with Mr. Mina as a mentor and friend as we go off to college.

How has Charlotte Christian impacted you or made a difference in your life? How has Charlotte Christian prepared you for life after graduation?
Charlotte Christian has been more to me than just a school; it has provided me with a group of lifelong friends and allowed me to find my identity in Christ, my redeemer and helper, all while preparing me for the next stage of my life through exceptional academics, administration, and teachers. I will miss CCS’s unique and Christ-centered culture as I head off to a public university, but take heart knowing that it has prepared me with the right attitudes, arguments, and abilities to shine for Christ wherever I go. I owe any potential success to God and will forever be grateful for this school - His instrument - and the unique privilege I have had to attend here; I can only pray that God has many more blessings in store for me in the years ahead.

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