Student Spotlight – Katelyn Foster

Senior Katelyn Foster started school at Hillcrest for her K3 and K4 years; after a few years at another school, she returned to HCS in fifth grade. Katelyn is a member of Student Council, serving as Treasurer or Secretary/Treasurer since her 8th-grade year.  She further keeps busy as an Honor Society member, a school leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a member of Mu Alpha Theta, an athlete for both the tennis and archery teams, and she serves as section leader of the saxophones in the One Spirit One Sound band. Being part of the band family led to her most memorable moment at HCS: it happened last year when they took top honors — all superior ratings, first place in their division, and overall best band — at the Copiah Marching Festival for the third year in a row.  Katelyn says this will continue to be one of her favorite memories because, “After we received our trophies and applause, the band huddled together and prayed over the trophies, thanking God for our win because without Him, the band would be nothing.”  Katelyn is also a stellar student who says she has discovered a newfound love for history since entering Ms. Flemmons’s class last year; she states, “She makes history interesting and brings it to life.  Plus, she prays before every class and cares for her students.”

Outside of her many school activities, Katelyn enjoys volunteering at her church, hunting, fishing, spending time with family and friends, and “of course, learning more about otters.”  This otter-obsessed young lady even paid tribute to her love for the cuddly critters on the back of her senior jersey, which reads “The Princess and the Otter.”  Like the adorable animal she loves, Katelyn definitely has a playful side, but she is best known around Hillcrest as being responsible, trustworthy, loyal, considerate, friendly, and a hard worker whose love for the Lord is evident.  She says that the words in 1 John 4:8 — “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” — guide her and remind her that when we go through hard times, we can always find love in God because He is the definition of true love.

Finally, Katelyn wants lower classmen to remember that they don’t need to worry about the big OR the little things in their lives; she reminds them to “have faith in God, and He will get you through all your worries.”  After she graduates next May, Katelyn plans to attend a community college and then to continue on to a university in order to pursue a major and a career in radiological sciences.

Where Are They Now? – Meredith Parker

Meredith Parker, a graduate of the Class of 2013, was one of Hillcrest’s most active students during her 14 years as a Cougar, trying her hand (and succeeding) at seemingly every activity offered. Not only was she in the top 5 percent of her class academically, Meredith was a cheerleader, a member of the Envirothon and Quiz Bowl teams, a Student Council officer, President of both Honor Society and the Student Body, a participant in Youth Legislature, and more.  Her achievements were recognized and rewarded during her senior year when she was elected as Most Likely to Succeed by her peers, selected as Hillcrest’s recipient of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, AND chosen by the faculty and administration to be a member of the Hillcrest Hall of Fame. These accomplishments led to her receiving a scholarship to Ole Miss, where she graduated Cum Laude this past May with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and English.

During her time in college, Meredith worked as a reporter and producer at NewsWatch Ole Miss, and wrote for both the Meek School Magazine and the Daily Mississippian.  She also interned at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, with HLN’s Weekend Express.  Parker may be most recognizable, however, as one of the newest faces to join 16 WAPT News, where she is a morning and weekend reporter covering Jackson and Central Mississippi.

The message Meredith has for current HCS students is a quote which she says has stuck with her “for a while now: ‘You can grow up to be anything, so grow up to be happy and kind.'”

Why Summer Reading?

Parents, you have very likely been subjected in recent days to your children’s complaints about summer reading and the tests which accompany those assignments.  It is even possible that you yourself have thought, “We didn’t have to do that when I was in school; why do my children have to do it?”

First, the practice of summer reading helps to prevent the “summer slide” — a decline in the knowledge and abilities which students are expected to recall and use when they return to school.  Next, summer reading — any independent reading, actually — promotes self-sufficience and critical thinking; Hillcrest is preparing students not only for success in college, but for accomplishment in the work force as well. Consider the following: Anyone who has ever worked for someone else knows that if your boss always has to tell you what to do and how to do it, he or she does not really need you and will soon find someone else who can and will do the job.  The most important reason for summer reading, however, is this: The only way to improve at any skill is to practice it regularly.  Teachers are often told, “I read it, but I didn’t understand it.”  Just as one would not expect automatically to be an expert when playing a sport or an instrument, students should not assume that simply being able to read means that they will instantly be good at it; therefore, in order to improve reading comprehension, students must practice reading on their own and must do so consistently.

English 11 students testing on summer reading, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

So, while these explanations probably won’t completely stop your children’s flow of complaints about summer reading, maybe parents can use them to silence the moaning and groaning for a few brief moments.