Highlands “Lifers” Head into Final Stretch of Classes
Highlands Christian Academy is pleased to congratulate 7 of this year’s seniors on attending Highlands for 12 years or more!
These seniors have been together from their elementary years of playing together at recess…through the seasons of classes, athletics, drama productions, homecomings…all the way to the unexpected “school at home” days of their senior year…and now, on towards graduation! The administration, faculty, and staff is proud of this group of “Highlands Lifers” who will be graduating in just a few weeks.
Sydney Blackburn, Highlands lifer and gifted athlete, came to Highlands as a first grader. She has been involved in numerous activities during these 12 years including volleyball, basketball, track, and yearbook. When asked how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected her, she shared that although online learning is going great, “I really miss being in the classroom with my classmates, and all the teachers who spend time helping me with my studies are greatly appreciated.” The things she has enjoyed most about being a student at Highlands are the positive environment, getting to meet new people, and having the opportunity to see progress in her relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sydney’s favorite Bible verse: “Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” – 2 Timothy 2:5
Megan Deshommes, Highlands lifer and accomplished athlete, came to Highlands as a first grader. She followed in the footsteps of her older siblings who are both alumni: Chris Deshommes (Class of 2011) and Harielle Deshommes (Class of 2013). During Megan’s 12 years at Highlands, she has been involved in volleyball, track, basketball, National Honor Society, MOPS, drama tech, student government as a class officer, and yearbook. When asked how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected her, she shares that although online school isn’t terrible and hasn’t affected her dramatically, it’s just not the same as learning face-to face. “I learned that I would rather go to school, than do it online!” she shares. “I miss seeing my friends and teachers at school.” Some things that Megan has enjoyed most at Highlands are the students, class trips, athletic trips, and tournaments. She says, “I appreciate the challenging classes that prepare us for college.”
Megan’s favorite Bible verse: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Anna Foulke, Highlands lifer and gifted actor, first came to Highlands as a K3 student. Her older sister Megan Foulke (Class of 2018) and her brother Eric Foulke also attended Highlands. During Anna’s 15 years at Highlands, she has participated in student government as a class officer, National Honor Society, cheerleading, fall plays, spring musicals, is a member of the National Thespian Society, and is senior president of the Highlands Thespian troupe. When asked how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected her, she said, “The online learning system has been beneficial because it provides more study time and a flexible schedule…I have missed spending time with my friends, and my extracurricular activities the most.” Anna shares that one of the things she loves most about Highlands is the close-knit community of faculty and students, and one of her favorite memories is with elementary art teacher, Mrs. Janet Roads. “I loved learning how to create new things in her class…she always had a smile!” Anna also says, “It has been comforting to know that if I have any questions or concerns, I can speak directly with my teachers to work out the problem.”
Anna’s favorite Bible verse: “He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30
Ciara Huntley, Highlands lifer, talented athlete, and sister of 2015 alumna, Janel Huntley, began attending Highlands in K3. During Ciara’s 15 years at Highlands, she has been involved in volleyball, basketball, track and field, band, drama tech, class officer, yearbook, National Junior Honor Society, and National Honor Society. When asked how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected her, she said, “It’s bittersweet. I miss being on campus, but I also like doing online learning because I can go at my own pace…I miss being with my friends and teachers the most.” Ciara shares that one of the things she loves most about Highlands is that students are able “to build relationships with their teachers.” She shares, “I appreciate that they keep me disciplined with all the work that I am assigned.”
Ciara’s favorite Bible verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17
Jonathan Pereira, Highlands lifer, skilled athlete, brother of Jessica Pereira (Class of 2017), and son of K4 Aide Mrs. Carminah Pereira, began attending Highlands in K3. During Jonathan’s 15 years at Highlands, he has been involved in soccer, track, and volleyball. When asked how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected him, he said, “At first it felt like a long spring break, but after a couple of weeks, I was done with staying at home! Online learning has not been the same as going to classrooms and made me appreciate the value of going to school. I miss hanging out with my friends the most.” He shares that one of the things he appreciates most about his education at Highlands is “the low student-to-teacher ratio, so that teachers can speak to us on a personal level.” Jonathan shares that the soccer program is what he enjoys most at Highlands. One of his favorite memories is from second grade in Mrs. Valdes’ class. He says, “It was a fun class to be in, and some of my best memories are from that year.”
Jonathan’s favorite Bible verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
Kolton Wik, Highlands lifer, all-around skilled athlete, and brother of 2015 alumna who is also Highlands first grade teacher, Kealey Wik, began attending Highlands in K3. During Kolton’s 15 years at Highlands, he has shown his versatility in many sports. He has played baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and flag football. Kolton’s dedication to athletics was honored when he was chosen for the 2020 Justin O’Keefe “Never Give Up” Memorial Scholarship Award. “Each and every game, I always know what I am going to get from Kolton, and that is his very best effort!” shared Athletic Director Paul Pridemore. When asked how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected him, Kolton said, “I haven’t missed school, but I have missed sports!” Kolton shares that his best memories of elementary school were in Mrs. Jackie Valdes’ second grade class because she used unique methods of teaching in her class. Kolton’s advice for underclassmen: “Don’t take life for granted.”
Kolton’s favorite Bible verse: “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” – Psalm 18:32
Nick Vaccaro, Highlands lifer, competitive athlete, and brother of sophomore, Brooke Vaccaro, began his education at Highlands in K4. During Nick’s 14 years at Highlands, he has been involved in several sports including baseball, football, basketball, and flag football. His advice to underclassmen is a good reminder, “Don’t skip school!”
Nick’s favorite Bible verse: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13