Student Spotlight – Preston Vaughan

Preston Vaughan has been attending Hillcrest his entire life; for 15 years, beginning in K-3 and continuing through his graduation next May, he has been a Cougar. Now in his senior year of high school, Preston is a member of the HCS varsity soccer team, and he is also the percussion section leader for the One Spirit One Sound band. These activities also feature in his favorite memories from his years at Hillcrest: Vaughan states that beating East Rankin’s soccer team in a penalty shoot out and winning first place overall at the Copiah Marching Competition for the third year in a row are moments he will not soon forget.

When he is not at school or participating in school-related actvities, Preston’s hobbies include playing drums for his church, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.  He is also an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a young man can achieve within the Boy Scouts of America. The years of hard work required for this achievement have given Vaughan opportunities to teach and to step up as a leader, qualities which he now believes are his greatest strengths.  Strength is also the focus of his favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31, which states, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  Preston says this verse is special to him because it “reminds me of the first time I went to Eagle Rock [a Christian retreat in the mountains of Tennessee], where I rededicated my life to Christ.”

Now approaching the end of his time at Hillcrest, Preston has the following advice for lower classmen: “You can’t worry about the past or the future because you have to live day by day.” And as his future leads him toward adult life, Preston plans to attend Hinds Community College in order to study music and percussive arts.

“Skins and Skulls”

As part of their recent study of mammals in their science classes, last Friday, September 1st, our third graders enjoyed Skins & Skulls, a presentation featuring animal hides, skulls, and various facts about mammals. Special thanks to Hillcrest patron Rachel Davidson for facilitating this fun learning event!

Cougar Store Reopens!

Today is the official, grand re-opening of the Cougar Store, just around the corner inside the Lower School building, from 2:00 through 6:00 PM!  We have all new inventory with a wide variety of game-day and school-spirit gear to choose from; plus, many of last year’s items are marked down.  And with only 111 days until Christmas, it’s not too early to start thinking about getting gifts for all the Cougar fans in your house… Come on by and do some shopping!

Student Spotlight – Eddie Martin, Jr.

Senior Eddie Martin, Jr. came to Hillcrest 10 years ago and has become well known all over school as “the funny guy.”  In fact, the Upper School student body voted him as Wittiest last year. However, while he does have the ability to make people laugh, Eddie takes athletics and his grades seriously. He is often recognized by his football and track coaches as one of their hardest workers, and he understands the roles determination and a positive attitude play in all of his endeavors.  Still, Eddie certainly likes to bring the fun to everything he does, and he advises younger students of Hillcrest to “make the most of your time while you’re young.”  His favorite teacher throughout his years at HCS was Coach Ware, whom Eddie remembers also as being someone who “made football and class fun.”

Outside of school Eddie finds enjoyment in hunting, fishing, and hanging out with friends, and he also enjoys working out to improve his athletic skills.  His favorite memory from his time at Hillcrest is another result of his commitment to sports; Eddie states that the season the football team brought HCS to its first playoff game in about 12 years’ time is one he will never forget.

As his high-school years draw to a close, Eddie is beginning to make plans for success in his future. First, he intends to keep his favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 3:5 – 6, as a guide throughout life for keeping strong in his faith.  They state, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Not too straight, though, as after his graduation next May, Eddie plans to attend college, but first, he says, “I’m going to Disney.”

Step Out in Faith!

As we approach the halfway point of the first term of a new school year, it is helpful to remember that while Hillcrest prepares our students academically for success in college, above all, this school is committed to being Christ-centered, rooted in unchanging Biblical truths, and to leading students to view life from a Christian perspective.  To this end, chapel services are an essential element of the overall education of all young people who attend HCS, beginning in the lowest levels of the elementary school and extending through their high school graduation.

Growth in character and conduct, rooted in Christian values, are fundamental to the mission of our school; therefore, spiritual life at HCS carries through the classrooms, the playing fields, and the halls every day.  In order to ensure this occurs, God’s Word is introduced at the Lower School level, with an emphasis on living by the behavior principles promoted in the Bible.  This lays the foundation for understanding the Biblical concepts which are taught when our students reach Upper School: discipleship, godly discretion, wisdom and discernment.  However, the ultimate focus of chapel in Upper School is to encourage each student’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Upper School chapel programs typically include devotions and teachings given by faculty or guest speakers, but some of the most meaningful and memorable experiences come from our students themselves.  When their peers share how God is working in their lives, young people feel a greater connection to one another, helping them to realize that they are not alone.

Upper School students are encouraged, if you feel the Lord’s leading, to share your faith during this year’s chapel assemblies.  If you would like to lead in worship, or to pray, or to give your testimony, please talk to Coach Horner.  “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” – 1 Timothy 4:12