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!

Student Spotlight – Alana Price

For 6 years Alana Price has brought her bright smile to Hillcrest’s halls; she carries her cheery nature onto the softball fields for the Lady Cougars, as well as onto the football field during halftime performances as part of the One Spirit One Sound Color Guard.  When she’s not at school, hanging out with her friends, watching her favorite shows on Netflix, playing with her dog Riley, and singing are the activities which make her happiest.

Alana tries to help to others when they are struggling; she wants people to know that she is trustworthy and will truly listen to what they have to say.  It’s no surprise, then, that her favorite Hillcrest teacher shares those same qualities; librarian Sandra Bridges “listens to you when you have a problem and does everything she can to help you.  She helps me so much in my walk with Christ.  She is a perfect example of who I want to be when I grow up.”  Mrs. Bridges’s faith in the Lord is an inspiration to Alana, who wants to remind her classmates that “it’s ok to love God.  He loved us first, so we don’t need to be afraid to love him back.  Put him first in everything you do, and trust in him to guide you.”  Along those lines, the Bible verse which guides Alana is Romans 10:9, which states, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  She credits this verse with showing her that she should never be ashamed to share her love of Christ with others.

After she graduates in May, Alana plans to attend either Hinds or Holmes Community College, most likely majoring in athletic training and minoring in theater and drama.  She also intends to continue participating in color guard.

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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Student Spotlight – Kaitlyn McBride

Senior Kaitlyn McBride is a relative newcomer to Hillcrest’s halls, having attended for only 3 years. However, it did not take her long at all to make new friends and fit in as a Hillcrest Cougar; Kaitlyn is a member of the National Honor Society, plays tennis and volleyball, serves as a basketball statistician, and she plays clarinet in the One Spirit One Sound band.  In fact, if she were asked by someone considering transfering to HCS, she would tell that person, “HCS is an amazing school, academically and spiritually.  When I got here, I knew no one, but I was immediately welcomed with open arms.  After a few weeks at HCS, I already felt like I was family.”

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Family and friends are important parts of Kaitlyn’s life.  When she is not busy with one of several school-related activities, McBride enjoys spending time with her mom, hanging out with friends, and watching a lot of Netflix.  The theme of family also plays a significant role in her favorite memory from her time at HCS: winning first overall/best band at the Copiah Marching Band Festival three years in a row as part of the band family.  Kaitlyn states, “After all of the hard work, sweat, tears, bug bites and sunburns… it felt amazing. #3-peat!”

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Matthew 6:34 is Kaitlyn’s favorite Bible verse: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  This, she says, is a constant reminder that God is in control, and her worries should be left at His feet.  Those words will, no doubt, help guide her in the future as well, since after graduation Kaitlyn plans to attend the University of Mississippi and take on the demanding field of pharmacy.  Finally, her advice to her peers and to lower classmen as she prepares to leave Hillcrest is, “Follow your dreams, but get an education first.  Stay close to God, and don’t be afraid to be yourself.”

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.