Student Spotlight – Ansley Myers

Not many students are able to say that they have only ever attended one school throughout their lives, but senior Ansley Myers can.  She started kindergarten at Hillcrest, and she is finishing her last days of high school here as well.  She has made many fond memories over the years here; in particular, she remembers getting new chairs for Mrs. Matthews’s sixth-grade classroom.  Ansley recalls, “They came in big boxes.  That afternoon, we took them outside, colored those boxes, and got inside them, playing ‘imagination.’  As simple as it sounds, it was one of the most memorable moments.”  Beyond that, she has created more memories in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities: Ansley is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Vice President of Honor Society, yearbook editor, as well as a member of the varsity soccer and track teams.  On top of all that, she believes that her 13 years at Hillcrest have “completely prepared [her] to enter the ‘real world’.”  Ansley states, “The teachers and the education they have provided gave me the ability to score high on my ACT, get accepted into honors college, and have my four years of college completely paid for.”  In fact, she earned a 33 on the ACT, sealing her place as the school’s 2017 Star Student, and adding to the list of honors and scholarships she has been awarded.

These accomplishments haven’t always come easily in her life, however; Ansley remembers going through some hard times a few years ago until she encountered James 1:2-4 in her Bible.  Those verses state, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”  From those words, she took away two important lessons: first, to remember that the Lord is always in control, and second, in every circumstance to “Choose joy.” Since then, Ansley has sought to encourage her peers, to be the kind of easy-going person others can feel comfortable around, and to be a leader.  She has continued to strengthen these characteristics not only at Hillcrest, but also as a worship leader for her church’s youth group and as a worker at Camp Crestridge each summer.

As she prepares to leave HCS, Ansley has the following advice for younger classmen: “Be sure to make friends among all groups of people because you never know who will still be around from year to year.” Undoubtedly, she will take her own advice as she heads to Ole Miss in August to major in Biomedical Engineering, and then continues her education at medical school in order to become a physiatrist (a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation).

Junior Varsity Track

Many of our Junior Varsity members of the track and field team performed exceptionally well at their last meet (the district meet!!) on April 18th.  Following is a list of those who took 5th place or better in their events:

Girls’ 300 hurdles – Ja’Mila McDuffy = 4th place, and Mollie Talley = 5th place

Girls’ 800 Relay – Maddison Turner, Addie Cothern, Gabby Evans, and Aaliyah Dixon = 2nd place

Girls’ 400 Relay – Maddison Turner, Addie Cothern, Ashley Estabrook, and Aaliyah Dixon = 1st place

Girls’ 100 Hurdles – Callie Matthews = 4th place

Girls’ 100 Dash – Aaliyah Dixon = 1st place, Maddison Turner = 2nd place

Girls’ 1600 Run – Annellise Bell = 1st place

Girls’ 400 Dash – Maddison Turner = 1st place, Ashley Estabrook = 5th place

Girls’ 800 Run – Brooke Bankston = 2nd place

Girls’ 200 Dash – Aaliyah Dixon = 1st place

Girls’ 1600 Relay – Maddison Turner, Addie Cothern, Payton McCoy, and Aaliyah Dixon = 1st place

Girls’ Long Jump – Aaliyah Dixon = 2nd place

Girls’ High Jump – Trinity Powell = 2nd place

Girls’ Disc – Payton McCoy = 5th place

Girls’ Shot – Payton McCoy = 4th place

Boys’ 800 Relay – Bryce Wimberly, Maurice Young, Tyler Estabrook, and J.C. Harris = 1st place

Boys’ 3200 Relay – Taylor Breaux, Nathan Bridgers, Ethan Bridgers, and Jack Beazley = 3rd place

Boys’ 400 Relay – Bryce Wimberly, Maurice Young, Tyler Estabrook, and J.C. Harris = 2nd place

Boys’ 100 Dash – Tyler Estabrook = 3rd place

Boys’ 1600 Run – Ethan Bridgers = 5th place

Boys’ 400 Dash – Cody Uthoff = 2nd place, Kentavious Davis = 5th place

Boys’ 800 Run – Taylor Breaux = 4th place

Boys’ 200 Dash – Maurice Young = 3rd place

Boys’ 1600 Relay – Taylor Breaux, Maurice Young, Cody Uthoff, and Bryce Wimberly = 2nd place

Boys’ Long Jump – J.C. Harris = 1st place, Tyler Estabrook = 3rd place

Boys’ Triple Jump – Bryce Wimberly = 4th place

Boys’ Disc – Tyler Estabrook = 4th place

Congratulations to all!!

Honor Society / Student Council Leadership Day

Today was Hillcrest’s second annual Leadership Day for members of Honor Society and Student Council. These students often take on more-than-average amounts of responsibility and work diligently to keep their grades high, so this is their reward. Members are allowed to dress up and are treated to Chik-Fil-A biscuits during break; then they have the privilege of hearing speakers who have been “in their shoes” and who will inspire these students to continue to excel in order to achieve their goals.  Finally, these hard-working students dismiss early from school and have a free afternoon to spend as they please. Who says hard work doesn’t pay off?!

One of this year’s invited guests was WAPT weatherman and Hillcrest alumnus Adam McWilliams, who spoke not only about his years at HCS, but also about working in the exciting (and often crazy!) television industry.  As part of his message to students, he encouraged them to stay rooted in God’s Word and to remain steadfast in their faith, no matter the obstacles which the world tries to throw in their paths, especially once they leave Hillcrest.  MaryBeth Davis, a graduate of the Class of 2014, then spoke to Honor Society and Student Council members about “life after Hillcrest.”  She discussed the problems of homelessness and human trafficking which exist in the metro Jackson area, as well as her work with the OR Project, which seeks to help people who find themselves in those desperate situations.  MaryBeth also reminded students that the Lord “has incredible plans for you, but you have to step out and be obedient” first.  How fortunate we are at Hillcrest to have successful alumni who return not only to share their stories with our students, but also to share how God works in their lives.

Student Spotlight – Spurgeon Sanders

Spurgeon Sanders has been a Cougar since third grade; now in his final year at Hillcrest, he serves as Drum Major and as a member of the “pit” of the One Spirit One Sound band, is President of both Honor Society and of Student Council and the Class of 2017, AND he is a member of the Quiz Bowl team and the Yearbook staff. When asked why he feels it is important to be so involved in a wide variety of activities at school, Spurgeon states, “High school, or life, really, is short, and there’s no time to look back with regret, thinking you’ve missed something.  Life is always going to be full of choices and risks: take them.  The only risk you should avoid is the risk of doing nothing.  I don’t want to look back on my life and think about what I didn’t do.”  His advice to lower classmen at HCS is along the same lines: Spurgeon advises, “Give everything but up.” Outside of school, his pursuits are somewhat more relaxed; his hobbies include traveling, painting, reading, and writing.

Spurgeon’s creative nature, organizational and planning skills, ability to focus, and his willingness to lead are the qualities he believes to be his greatest strengths. Not only does his impressive resumé attest to that, but a Greek word, meraki, which he discovered several years ago drives him and “has really become the byword for my life.  It means ‘to put something of yourself into your work; to do something with soul, creativity, or passion.’ When I saw this, it was very refreshing: I think, in general, there is this kind of stigma around being passionate about something, when in reality, it is a truly wonderful thing to find something you can care deeply about.”  To this end, after graduation Sanders will attend Mississippi State University in order to pursue his passion for architecture, and he will also work toward completing the Cursus Honorum, a rigorous curriculum for students admitted to the Shackoul’s Honors College.

Finally, Spurgeon shares his favorite Bible verses, James 2:18 – 19, which state, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” He finds these words “to be a powerful reminder that Christianity is not an idle religion. We do not pray to a dead God, and therefore we should not serve Him as if He were dead. He is very real and powerful; even the demons know that, and if we are to be the ‘Light of the World,’ we must produce a flame, not just believe that sparks exist.”