ALUMNI LIVING OUT SERVANT-LEADERSHIP
The faculty and staff at Mount Paran Christian School are thrilled to learn about all of our alumni accomplishments in college and beyond. So many graduates have gone on to higher degrees, missions work, entrepreneurial businesses, weddings, and having children of their own. Check back to this page periodically for additional news about fellow classmates and where they are now. We also encourage you to follow us on the Alumni Association Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds for updates.
We want to stay in touch with all alumni! Please be sure to send us your updated information for Class Notes in the Wingspan magazine, and let us know about some of your recent endeavors!
MPCS Alumni Return to Campus to Invest in Current Students
Katie Meriwether '09 and Matt Smith '13 both work with the high school and college ministries at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church in Kennesaw, and Matt also works with the campus ministry at Kennesaw State University. Katie and Matt came to the last senior advisement period and spoke to the seniors about remaining faithful to their calling during their freshmen year at college. Their words were transparent and encouraging to the seniors, who appreciated someone speaking with them who has been where they are today.
Philip Ian '09 came to the MPCS campus recently as part of MPCS Language Awareness Week. Philip is an instructor with the ALIF Institute, whose mission is to foster understanding and appreciation of Arab culture, including language, and to engage Arabs and non-Arabs alike to achieve this mission. Philip studied Arabic as part of his formal education, studying abroad in Morocco and studying linguistics at The University of Georgia.
Luke Van de Vate '13 was on campus for an interactive presentation for third graders as a part of lower school STEAM Day. Third grade had the challenge of building a bridge so that the Gingerbread boy can escape from the fox! Luke served as the community “expert” to the third graders in helping them form a real-world connection with their bridge challenge. Luke graduated from Vanderbilt University with an Engineering degree and is now working for C.W. Matthews.
Ashleigh Youra '13 and the Mount Paran Christian School Beta Club teamed up last winter on a project called "Winter Blessings.” Beta Club collected hats, gloves, granola bars, and wrote notes of encouragement, while also providing $5 McDonald’s gift cards, hand warmers, and water bottles to those in need. This project began when Ashleigh expressed a desire to do something to help homeless people this winter and subsequently approached the Beta Club at MPCS. They collaborated and made it happen!
With approximately 30 students listening, Mallory Pettet '14 shared her heart with MPCS students to support PromRED, an organization created by Mallory and other MPCS students several years ago. PromRed is committed to freeing people caught in some form of slavery around the world. Each year, MPCS students support PromRed by raising financial support and by designating some of their personal prom expenses to the organization.
An annual tradition at Mount Paran Christian School, Senior-College Day is held in early May of each year, just prior to the seniors graduating. This year, David Ian '11 and Hannah (Rainey) Ian '12 spoke briefly to the senior class and encouraged them to continue to develop and grow as followers of Christ as they attend college this fall. David is pursuing a Juris Doctor (law degree) at UGA and is working with a prosecutor in Athens, while planning on entering into the field of criminal prosecution or federal or state law enforcement.
Dr. Kayleen Davidson '04 served in the United States Navy for five years after going through the Wake Forest School of Medicine on a military scholarship. She was promoted to Lieutenant Commander this September. Kayleen was an intern of medicine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and then went to flight school in Pensacola, Fla., to become a Flight Surgeon, which is what she is currently doing. Flight Surgeons are doctors who take care of pilots, aircrews, and aircraft maintainers. She spent two years in Kingsville, Texas, a training squadron, flying T-45s and is now at Whidbey Island, Wash., with an E/A-18G Growler squadron. Kayleen says, "Being a flight surgeon is hard work, but so much fun! Not sure I would have believed I would be doing this back when I was at MPCS, but I'm really enjoying myself and grateful for how well MPCS prepared me!"
Jack Rowan '15 recently graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Building Science. One of the organizations Jack has been fortunate enough to be a part of since being at Auburn is the War Eagle Girls & Plainsmen. With origins going back to the 1960s, the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen are charged with the duty and honor of representing Auburn University students to faculty, administrators, and the community. Jack says of his experience,"This has been an incredible experience for me as an Auburn student and has given me some awesome opportunities. Auburn University is an incredible place that has pushed me in my faith, given me an education that is second to none, and allowed me to make lifelong friends!"
Peyton Rusk '15 recently received the Bear Bryant Award for the All-Girl Cheer Program at The University of Alabama. This award is given for the teammate who exemplified leadership and is seen as the most valuable member of the program. Peyton has cheered all four years of college and recently graduated with a degree in Public Relations.
“February 13, 2019, was one of the greatest days of my college career!" shared Rene VanHorn '15, as she expressed her joy over her decision to be a part of the fourth Make-A-Wish Reveal at the University of North Georgia. The money the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee raised allowed them to grant young Hope's wish that she could go to Disney to dine with the princesses! Renee said that it was a humbling and amazing event and was thankful she could be a part of it. Renee just recently graduated from UNG as a business management major and said about her four years there, "I am forever grateful that the LORD guided me to UNG four years ago!"
Congratulations to Macey Dawson '16 on her selection to the Sea Island Scholars Retreat this summer! Macey and 10 other women were selected for their achievements both inside and outside of the classroom. They will take part in a professional development retreat in Sea Island and have access to an incredible circle of mentors. Macey is one of only two student coordinators with Terry Women's Initiative, an organization committed to student success that provides an array of experiences and resources designed to promote the confidence and leadership skills needed for students to achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals. Macey is pictured front and far-right.
Congratulations to Kelly Hutchinson '16, who was crowned earlier this month as the new Miss Alabama USA. A senior at Auburn University, Kelly is studying communications with a minor in marketing and plans to pursue an advanced degree in law. At Auburn, Kelly was a member of the Auburn Tiger Paw dance team, served Auburn Panhellenic as a cabinet member, and is a member of multiple honor societies. She passionately serves her community through support for the American Cancer Society. Kelly shared, “I loved my time Mount Paran Christian School so much and am so thankful for the foundation it provided me. It is amazing to have the support of my MPCS family!” Kelly will spend the next several months making appearances and preparing to represent Alabama on a national level in the Miss USA pageant next year.
John Allen Knox '16 grew up a big-time Auburn University fan and has always been very vocal about his passion for the school. "I have grown up going to football games with my friends and families and have always heard the mic-man leading the crowd in cheers," he shares. "This past year when I heard the spot would be open for tryouts, I went for it and ended up getting the role." As mic-man, John Allen's responsibilities include being an ambassador for the school, to be the hype man and get the student section into the game, and to lead the cheers for the stadium crowd. "The coolest thing that I get to do is being the mic-man, leading the crowd in the middle of the field during pre-game cheers. This gets everybody fired up and ready for kickoff. This opportunity has really been great for me because it has allowed me to have a platform and get to use it for Christ. Many people see how I act and know who I am due to this position, and it serves as a constant reminder to live not for myself but for Christ."
Cassidy Reese '16 recently received the Jordan Lockwood Peer Tutor of the Year award for her contributions in the Georgia Tech Writing Center. “Comm Lab,” as it has been called, provides peer tutoring to other Georgia Tech students in their writing, whether for research papers, class assignments, resumes, grant applications, or whatever writing needs a student at any level of Georgia Tech might have. Cassidy was specifically recognized for being the most requested tutor, as well as for her project leadership work on workflow software assessment; webpage development; graphic design; and development for writing center workshops, events, and activities offered to students. This award was categorized as an institutional award, meaning it was a campus-wide support of all programs, as opposed to specific to one college within the university. Pictured with Cassidy is her mother, Julie Ray, long-time CFO at Mount Paran Christian School.
Fourth Class Midshipman Trevor Brooks '18 currently serves in the Navy while attending the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. During his first semester at the academy, Trevor has had the opportunity to participate in incredible opportunities, such as participating in Senator John McCain’s funeral, attending a private tour of the White House, and meeting Medal of Honor recipients, all while completing coursework and military training. Trevor plans to pursue a degree in Math with Economics (minor in Spanish) with the ultimate goal of becoming a commissioned officer in the Navy or Marine Corps. Trevor’s company, the 20th Company, was the Color Company (recognized as the most outstanding) of the Spring 2019 semester. He finished his freshman year ranked in the top 10 percent of his class and has been honored on the Academy’s highest list, the Superintendent’s list, both semesters!