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DREW BURLINGAME, Class of 2005
Drew was a student at TCS from Pre-K3 through the 12th grade and was a member of TCS’ first graduating class. He graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College in 2009 with a BA in Ancient Languages and in 2011 with an MA in Biblical Exegesis. While in school, he actively participated in Wheaton College’s inner-city Chicago evangelism team and lead several teams to the Andes in Peru on missions trips. He married his wife Sarah on May 24, 2008, and together they served on college staff at their church and participated in a mission trip to Albania, as well. Drew completed a 2 year pastoral internship at his church and worked as an adjunct instructor of Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton College.
In the fall of 2012, Drew began a fully funded position as a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago in the field of Northwest Semitic Philology. This program is considered the top program in the world in this field and grants positions to 1-2 students every 2-3 years. Drew and his family are humbled by God’s hand of blessing on his life since his time at TCS. They are grateful for the excellent education he received at TCS, which prepared him for his college experience. Above all, they credit God’s great grace, which allowed Drew to receive spiritual training at TCS. This training helped to lay the foundation of a Biblical worldview in Drew’s life, which is of paramount importance for all Christians as they go into the world today.
Drew and his wife Sarah, who is a teacher at Covenant Classical School in Naperville, IL., currently reside in Downers Grove, IL.
AARON BENNETT, Class of 2005
Aaron graduated from Baylor University with a double major in Management and Marketing. He was a member of Baylor’s Student Foundation for two years and had the opportunity to be the Co-President his senior year, leading the program and their many events, such as Freshman Follies and the Bearathon (a half-marathon fundraiser for student scholarships). Aaron also led programs such as high school recruiting fairs and raising/awarding scholarships to deserving students.
Aaron currently works at Marco Display Specialists in Ft. Worth where he has been employed for four years. He began as a branch project manager and is now the company’s purchasing manager who handles all material buying and service contracts.
In his leisure time, Aaron enjoys keeping in touch with old and new friends, both from TCS and Baylor. He enjoys going to Baylor games and catching Rangers, Mavericks or Cowboy’s games. He also enjoys the Ft. Worth stockyards and catching concerts at Billy Bob’s when he can.
Aaron attends Christ Chapel and is in a small group there. He plans on volunteering his time in the coming months to their youth group because high school was a pivotal time in his life and his youth group had such a positive influence on him. Aaron says that TCS was a key part of his life because it pushed him to reach for more in his life. He enjoyed the smaller classroom environment and the ability to integrate a Christian philosophy into the classroom on a daily basis. He says that it is probably one of the reasons he chose Baylor because it so closely matched what he was accustomed to. He enjoyed the opportunity to play sports and get involved with a key group of guys with whom he maintains close relationships today.
BRITTANY BREEDLOVE DOULAYE SEYDOU, Class of 2006
Brittany holds a BA degree in International Relations with a concentration in European Studies and French from the University of Arkansas. She graduated with honors and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She is the Program Development Officer for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. Prior to joining Samaritan’s Purse, she was a Journeyman for the International Mission Board in Niger. Brittany was married in 2012 and is currently living in Niamey, Niger with her husband who is in his final year of medical school. They enjoy traveling, watching movies and taking long walks. Both Brittany and her husband feel called to aid the sick so they enjoy treating sick members of their church and community as well as organizing medical treatment for sick and handicapped children from remote villages. Involved in their local church “Hosanna”, they continue to support and encourage new believers and evangelists from their previous ministries. Brittany says that through Christian leaders and mentors who invested in her during her time at TCS, she gained a greater desire to serve Christ and the nations. She says that her education at TCS challenged her academically and became the foundation for her future studies. She says that the writing skills she gained through English classes at TCS have been a great asset to her in her work writing grant proposals for humanitarian projects.
DEE ELLISON, Class of 2008
Dee holds a BA degree in Physical Education from York College in Nebraska and graduated in May of 2013. After graduation from TCS, Dee received a full scholarship to play basketball at Grayson County College where he was a starter. He then transferred to York College where he was ranked #5 in the nation in assists. After college, Dee was recruited and played professional basketball overseas in Melbourne, Australia for the Bulleen Boomers from 2012-2013 and will possibly return in 2014. He is currently the head JV and Asst. men’s basketball coach of the York College Panthers, his alma mater. Dee is engaged to be married on June 7th of this year to Angel Gray, whom he met at York College.
Dee says that he enjoys basketball and family time. He loves coaching AAU basketball in the summer. Dee and his father coach an AAU basketball team in the summer called I.O.C.B., the same team Dee played on when he was in high school. He says that playing on that team taught him to be a man of honor and courage and a man after God’s heart. “We never entered on the court without prayer and I will always remember the devotional times we had.” Dee says that he feels blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to graduate from TCS. “I have met amazing people and have friendships that will last a lifetime.” Dee goes on, “Not every family can afford a private school with Christian values and we were one of those families but God truly showed my family and me favor! I plan to pay it forward and be a blessing to others.” While attending TCS, Dee played varsity basketball for four years and won 2 state championships, played baseball, and ran track where he placed in the top 10 in a state meet. “There are so many teachers I could give credit to but I will just say thank you to them for pushing me and never giving up on this dyslexic young man.” To all current students Dee says, “Take head to what you are learning, take in every opportunity to excel, and listen to your teachers. You don’t want to look back and wish that you had pushed yourself harder! Enjoy your friends, get involved in activities and be a blessing when you can. Most of all, enjoy the love of Christ! In closing, my mother has always said that the poorest person in the world is not the one without a penny; it’s the one without a dream! So DREAM BIG and remember Psalm 37:4 and Jeremiah 29:11.”
KELSEY HERMANSON RUSSELL, Class of 2008
Kelsey graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in May of 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Masters of Science in Management Information Systems. While at A&M she was on the Dean’s Honor Roll and placed 3rd in the Raymond Ideas Challenge in 2012. She also served as Outreach Committee Chair for Christian Business Leaders from May 2009-May 2010. After graduating, Kelsey passed all four parts of the CPA exam and is in the process of becoming a licensed CPA. Her husband Daniel Russell, whom she married on January 4, 2014, graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Geography/GIS and a Master of Geoscience in Geography/GIS/Remote Sensing. Kelsey currently works at PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) in Dallas, Texas. She and her husband attend Watermark Church in Dallas.
Kelsey says that TCS provided her with the understanding of how to study and succeed in her classwork. She especially credits Sandy Truly for helping her improve her writing skills and public speaking. She was also able to take two missions trips to Mexico, facilitated by her Spanish teacher, Mrs. Meyers. Through the opportunity to take dual-credit classes at TCS her senior year, Kelsey was able to lessen her strenuous college workload and graduate with a bachelor and masters degree in five years.
Kelsey also mentions that the many service projects performed by TCS, including Care-a-Thon, instilled in her a desire to minister the gospel through serving others. These service projects also played a large role in her decision to lead her university’s Organization Outreach team for a year.
LEAH THOMAS, Class of 2008
Leah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Evansville with a B.A. in Archaeology and Art History and will graduate in May 2014 with an M.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, Mortar Board, Phi Eta Sigma and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was also the recipient of a UExplore Undergraduate Research Grant, which she used to fund her internship at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in 2011.
While at the University of Evansville, she held positions as a Resident Assistant and International Orientation Leader. She also interned with the Sid Richardson Museum, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. More recently, Leah has been working as an independent contractor for the North Carolina Museum of Art to research a group of seven late Tudor portraits. During the summer of 2013, she spent a month in London as part of this research. She is also a Graduate Assistant at UNC Chapel Hill.
Leah says that as she thinks back on her time at TCS (1st grade-12th!) she can say that her education prepared her to succeed in college. For her particular field of art history, research and writing skills are an essential foundation. She remembers learning these skills from a very early age at TCS, from making the Texas and Nations notebooks with Mrs. May and Mrs. Meeks, and then developing those skills to a higher level with Doctora Stricker and Mrs. Landrum.
SAMANTHA HOOVER, Class of 2009
Samantha Hoover graduated Cum Laude and with Foundational Honors from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences. She was a President’s Endowed Scholar, on the Dean’s Honor Roll, inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success and was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Also while at A&M, she was Nursing Representative of the Class Council, Deputy Commander of TAMHCS Disaster Day, and the Student Affairs Committee Chair for Global Health Organization. Samantha was also a fundraising leader for disaster efforts in West, Texas and the Dominican Republic Country Coordinator for LT Jordan Internships Abroad.
In her free time, Samantha loves to cook and even had a recipe published in a magazine! She is involved on the hospitality and children’s ministry teams at her church, Living Hope, in College Station.
Samantha says that TCS taught her that she could excel in any area if she put forth effort and pushed herself. She says, “I love TCS because it was small enough that I could make a truly significant impact. So, be involved!” She says that TCS empowered her to be bold and to be a leader for Christ. In closing, Samantha says, “everyone has so much to offer those within their sphere of influence and you can reflect the love of Christ by simply living”.
EMILY KIRBY, Class of 2009
Emily graduated magna cum laude from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communication Studies and a Business minor. Emily played volleyball for TCU and was awarded the Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship by the Big 12. This past fall, Emily began law school at the University of Texas in Austin.
When Emily is not studying, she’s busy watching college sports and cheering for her favorite teams and spending time with law school friends.
Emily says that TCS impacted her in many ways, for which she’s very thankful. She says that the academic environment gave her the opportunity to become comfortable speaking in a classroom setting and engaging in constructive discussions with classmates. These skills have helped her throughout her education and have been incredibly useful at law school. She goes on to say that while at TCS, she was able to develop close and long-lasting relationships with many of her teachers. Because relationships like these were the norm, she found that it is equally possible to build relationships with graduate professors (even at large universities!). She built many solid friendships with people that she still maintains today. Spiritually, TCS helped her become secure in her faith during some of her most impressionable years. She continues, “I am constantly thankful that I was surrounded by the leadership and students at TCS, because they helped me build a strong foundation to stand on when I moved away to college. I gained a solid understanding of Biblical principles through the Bible classes over the years. Most importantly, I gained security in my ability to be unashamed in attempting to follow those principles and the confidence in who I was as an individual. I also learned the value of service to others and plan on continuing to make that a priority as I move towards a legal career.”