Off to Oxford (England, That Is)

Senior Lauren Parkinson recently has been accepted to the Oxford Honors Scholars Program at Georgetown College in Kentucky.  In order to qualify for this program, she had to have a 28 or higher ACT score and a cumulative un-weighted high school GPA of 3.75. Lauren also had to attend a special program orientation and to interview on Georgetown’s campus.  As a result of her acceptance, she will be awarded a $1,000 yearly scholarship above and beyond any academic awards she receives.

This great honor, however, will require Parkinson to work “above and beyond” the average college student; on top of the credit hours she must earn in order to complete her chosen major, Lauren will also be part of the “Oxford Honors” track of the Honors Program, which requires her to maintain a 3.75 overall G.P.A, to complete 15 hours of Honors Credit, and to write an Honors Thesis, among several other expectations. She will also be assigned a professor as an adviser, and they will have regular meetings and communications, mirroring the Tutorial Method of instruction used at Oxford University. The reward for all of this, though, is that Lauren will have the opportunity to travel to Oxford, England, to attend one term of study at Regent’s Park College during her junior or senior year.

Congratulations, Lauren!

Pageant Winners

This past Saturday night, 18 beautiful young women had the opportunity to primp and put on their finest and then to “strut their stuff” across a stage in Hillcrest’s 2017 High School Beauty Pageant. Though the idea of walking under bright lights before 3 judges and a large audience caused anxiety and fears of tripping onstage, each contestant carried herself with grace. Congratulations to the following young ladies who placed: Fourth Alternate – Addie Cothern, Third Alternate – Sandy Myers, Second Alternate – Kaylyn Turner, and First Alternate – Brianna Foy.  Congratulations, of course, also must go to 2017’s Most Beautiful – Hayley McCann!

From L to R: Kaylyn Turner, Brianna Foy, Hayley McCann, Sandy Myers, Addie Cothern

Though the overall purpose of the pageant is to crown one young woman as Hillcrest’s Most Beautiful, sponsors hope each girl will realize that in everything she does – whether preparing for and participating in a pageant, doing school work, or being involved in extracurricular activities – her ultimate goal should be to spend eternity with God in heaven.  Therefore, each year, the junior class/pageant sponsors choose a Biblical theme for Beauty Pageant; this year’s theme came from Proverbs 31:30, which reads, “Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.”  It is important for all young women to remember that although people tend to focus on appearance, the Lord can see our hearts, and our lives should clearly demonstrate that we belong to Him. As a result, at every pageant, one young woman is presented with the “Spirit of HCS” award. Each contestant casts her vote for the participant who best represents the woman described in Proverbs 31 – one who is kind, selfless, graceful, compassionate, flexible, and who consistently demonstrates a Christ-like attitude. Receiving this award is a great honor, and this year’s winner was senior Alana Price.  Congratulations, Alana!

Eagle Scouts Excel as Leaders

Hillcrest Christian School is proud to claim these 3 young men as our own.  Stephen Dooley and JoJo Moss recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America, and Preston Vaughan is in the process of being awarded this honor.  (Read about his Eagle Scout project in the article, “Nursing students lend artistic hand to scout’s project.”)  And while many of us realize that this is an impressive achievement, we don’t completely understand why.

A young man does not become an Eagle Scout within a few months; it takes years, and only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts complete the work to earn this highest level in Scouting. According to the National Eagle Scout Association, candidates must first advance through the ranks—Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life, by passing specific tests which are organized by requirements and merit badges, demonstrating proficiency in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills.  Of the more-than-130 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout, 13 of which are required in areas including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cooking, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping, and Family Life. In addition, a Scout has a choice between Emergency Preparedness and Lifesaving and a choice among Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming.

Furthermore, at each of his rank advancements, a Scout must conference with his Scoutmaster in order to set goals in line with his talents and abilities and in order that the Scoutmaster may evaluate how well he accomplished his present goal.  Also, at each level after First Class, the Scout must demonstrate leadership by holding positions of responsibility in his patrol and/or troop.  The skills learned in Scouting—citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness—benefit these young men for the rest of their lives, as they enter college and careers, and in understanding the importance of community service.

The Hillcrest family could not be more proud of these 3 juniors and of their achievements!

It’s Beginning to *Sound* A Lot Like Christmas

Last night at Lakeshore Church, the One Spirit One Sound Band and Director Mr. Landrum presented their annual Christmas concert.  This was the first time the 6th-grade beginner band performed in front of an audience, and they sounded fantastic on traditional carols such as “Good King Wenceslas.”  The junior high and high school bands then followed with familiar festive tunes such as “White Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride.”  And, if the music didn’t cause the audience to get into the Christmas spirit, no doubt the parade of “tacky” Christmas sweaters did!

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High Honors for Hillcrest Students

HCS hosted the MAIS District Spelling Bee this past Wednesday, November 9th. Hillcrest’s participants, pictured from left to right, were Lily Thompson (6th grade), Hannah Holm (5th grade), and Kendell Davis (4th grade).

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Congratulations to Lily and Hannah, who will go on to compete in the state competition on January 20th; each placed 2nd for her grade level.

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Also, our One Spirit One Sound band members and director have once again been recognized for their hard work, this time from Governor Phil Bryant.  He sent a letter congratulating them on their “three-peat,” having earned the title of Overall Best Band at the Copiah Marching Festival 3 years in a row.