According to the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), since the nineteenth century “Laboratory instruction was considered essential because it provided training in observation, supplied detailed information, and aroused pupils’ interest.” Hillcrest Christian School has a distinct advantage over many other schools in the metro Jackson area because our Upper-School science classrooms feature well-equipped labs.
Labs are an essential component of upper-school science classes at Hillcrest. HCS instructors understand that the ultimate goal of learning is not simply knowing facts, but being able to prove understanding of one’s knowledge through application. The laboratory setting gives students the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice in a supervised and controlled setting.
Rumor had it that these girls weren’t going to win a single game this season, but the negative people who made this prediction must have forgotten to tell the 2016 Lady Cougars softball team. They may be a young group, still figuring out all the “ins and outs” of working together, but these young ladies appear to be fast learners, and they play to win. This was most evident in their tournament this past weekend; the Lady Cougars went 2 – 0 with wins over Newton and Central Hinds.
Their next home game is Monday versus Copiah; both the junior varsity and varsity teams will play.
Connor McDavid is making the most of his ninth and final year at Hillcrest. His love of history has made him a valuable member of the Quiz Bowl team, and his size and determination are assets on both the offensive and defensive lines of the Cougar football team. He is a member of the golf team as well. Outside of school, Connor enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding.
Connor’s advice to lower classmen at HCS is to “live for today because you are not promised tomorrow.” Connor himself takes this advice to heart, and he believes his greatest strength lies in his drive not to let anything stop him or slow him down. This is most evident in the struggles he has overcome with his health since the age of 10. Since that time, he has undergone numerous surgeries and has re-learned how to walk four times. And as if that weren’t enough to convince many people to give up, Connor was diagnosed with occular melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer of the eye, when he was 13 years of age. He recalls, “Everyone told me I could quit football, and it would be okay because I had a reason to quit, but I continued to play because I wanted to prove that I wasn’t going to let anything ever stop me.”
McDavid has been impacted in more ways than one by the sports in which he has participated at Hillcrest; he credits his coaches not only with making him a better athlete, but also with bringing him closer to the Lord. Perhaps this has led to his decision to attend Mississippi College after graduation in order to pursue a career in teaching and coaching football. No doubt, his story of perseverance in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles will be an inspiring one to the next generation of gridiron athletes.
Josh Horner, a class favorite and Prom King of Hillcrest’s Class of 2000, was a highly awarded football player during his high school years. In his senior year, he shared the bench-press record and was co-named MVP for football, and he earned the MPSA (now MAIS) All-Star linebacker, All-Conference and All-District linebacker and offensive line, and best defensive back and offensive lineman awards. These led to his receiving a football scholarship to Belhaven College where he played as a linebacker. Horner then finished his bachelor’s degree in coaching at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004.
Josh worked as a firefighter and EMT for five years, most of that at the Clinton Fire Department, during which time he laughingly states that his most heroic acts were saving “a couple of dogs and an attempt to save a cat” from house fires. He then briefly worked at the Flowood Fire Department before returning to Hillcrest in order to teach and coach in 2010.
Horner’s career path changed drastically in 2012 when he surrendered to the Gospel ministry. That decision, along with his love of reading, learning, preaching and teaching God’s word, and helping others led him right back to Hillcrest, where he serves as high-school Bible teacher. Josh also is Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Byram and is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral leadership at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Josh and his wife Jessica have been married for ten years and have two children, Brock, who is 7-years-old, and Rhett, who is 2. The Hillcrest family is blessed to have not just this Cougar alumnus, but his entire family, as daily fixtures on campus.
Last Wednesday in Upper School Chapel, Coach Estabrook shared a message of encouragement from Psalm 33:1 – 3, which states, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him…. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” He reminded us that joy is a choice; no matter how we feel at any given time, the people of God can, and should, choose to be joyful. He further pointed out that the command to “play skillfully” reminds us to give God our very best in everything we undertake. Then, Coach Estabrook read Psalm 34:3, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together,” which shows the need for corporate praise and points out that when Christians work together, we are more powerful than we know.
This message served (and serves) as an encouraging reminder that in everything that we — the administration, faculty, staff, students, and family — at Hillcrest do, if we choose joy, make every effort our best, and work together, we will easily accomplish our school’s mission statement:
Hillcrest Christian School is dedicated to reaching students for Christ, emphasizing academic excellence, and incorporating Christ-like values in all extracurricular activities. We endeavor to operate Hillcrest Christian School on the following Biblical principles found in Colossians 1:9-12:
Operate in a manner worthy of the Lord (v. 10)
Seek to please the Lord in every aspect of the school (v. 10)
Expect growth in character and knowledge (v.10)
Rely upon the Lord (v. 11)
Cultivate an atmosphere of joyful thanksgiving (v. 12)