Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:51 PM
Academic Aces: Community Christian
The Wilson Times talked with the top seniors from each private school in the area about their high school experience, their plans for life after graduation and about what it's like to juggle academics, sports and part-time jobs.
The students highlighted in today's edition were selected by the administration at each school based on their grade-point averages as of early May.
Graduation at Wilson Christian Academy is Friday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium in the school's fine arts building. Graduation for Community Christian School is Friday at 7 p.m. at Raleigh Road Baptist Church. Graduation at Greenfield School is May 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the school.
Janae Brown has studied piano for 13 years now. She’s just starting to teach piano lessons to others.
Music is a big part of Janae’s life. She even plans to minor in music performance when she goes to Liberty University this fall.
Janae’s primary area of study in college will focus on business management and human resources. Janae, 18, wants to eventually work in the hospitality industry. But the Community Christian School senior is open to following God’s plan for her life.
She had considered attending Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte after learning about the school during a college fair at Greenfield School. But when Janae visited Liberty, she felt like that’s where God wants her to be.
Janae, 18, has been at Community Christian School for eight years. Her family moved to Wilson from Greenville, S.C. Janae said her parents wanted her in a Christian school again. She started at Community Christian in fifth grade.
Janae has found her place within the Community Christian family. She’s participated in the Student Government Association, the BETA Club, the Debate Club. She’s been a cheerleader for seven years and played soccer for four years.
Janae volunteers for the American Red Cross and at The SPOT. She also helps lead an Awana club.
During her free time, Janae enjoys listening to Justin Bieber music and watching "The Apprentice.” She just loves Donald Trump. Janae also enjoys watching the Disney channel and the show, "Psych.”
She’s in the middle of reading "Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis.
Janae said in ninth grade she was really looking forward to high school. It hasn’t sunk in for her yet that high school is now over.
Janae is the daughter of Gasford and Lorraine Brown.
The reality that high school is over hit Jesslyn Boyette one morning last week.
Jesslyn said she woke up and realized that she’s not coming back to Community Christian School when school resumes in August and she will be moving on with her life.
This fall, Jesslyn will be among the freshmen at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Jesslyn plans to study nursing. She debated going to either Wilmington or Barton College. Jesslyn said it would have been easier to go to Barton. But she didn’t feel at peace about going to school there.
After touring the campus in Wilmington, Jesslyn said she felt like that’s where she’s supposed to be. Jesslyn wants to use her college years to find out who she is before moving into the future.
Jesslyn, 18, has been at Community Christian School for 13 years. There’s 18 seniors at the school this year. Jesslyn said the class has gotten really close this year. They bicker, she said, but don’t hurt each other’s feelings.
As sophomores, this year’s senior class lost one of their classmates due to a rare medical problem. Jesslyn said losing their classmate brought the group closer.
Jesslyn has been active in school. She’s played basketball, volleyball and soccer. She’s president of the senior class and has participate in the Student Government Association. Jesslyn is a member of the Beta and Music clubs.
She plays bass in a couple of church youth worship bands.
Jesslyn attended and now volunteers during the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminars. HOBY as it’s known is one of the nation’s leading youth leadership development programs.
Outside of school, Jesslyn also works part-time with the Wilson Parks and Recreation Department. She helps with soccer during the spring and fall. During the summer, Jesslyn works at Williams Day Camp.
During her free time, you might find Jesslyn watching the latest episode of "30 Rock” or another of her favorite NBC comedies. She’s just finished reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "This Side of Paradise” and has read several of his short stories this year.
Jesslyn is the daughter of Tony and Ginger Boyette.
Chad Higgenbottom is interested in possibly running for political office one day. The Community Christian School senior loves classical music but doesn’t know quite yet how to characterize his musical aspirations.
Chad, 18, will be studying international relations and minoring in music composition at Liberty University this fall. He can see himself working in Constitutional law at some point. He chose Liberty because of its government school.
Chad said he chose Liberty because he thinks it will provide him strong politically conservative thoughts and give him the knowledge he says he needs to "combat the liberal paradigm shift of the world.”
"I believe God wanted me specifically to train there,” Chad said.
Chad enrolled at Community Christian School four years ago after the school he was previously attending — Johnston Christian Academy — closed. Chad knew some things about Community Christian. He toured it and decided to give it a shot.
Chad said he has periods of nostalgia when he stops to think about graduating. He recalls how their class grew in numbers back in their sophomore year. Chad likes how students at Community Christian get involved in activities and can follow their interests.
Chad is the student body president. He’s served in the Student Government Association, Beta Club, Debate Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Music Club. Chad played basketball and soccer for the school. He played football one year but soon realized he wasn’t good at football.
Outside of school, Chad plays in three contemporary worship bands. His musical talent includes playing the piano, bass guitar, a couple of woodwind instruments and, yes, even the ukulele.
Chad said he’s started doing some music recording and plans to do more in the future.
During his free time, Chad watches professional football and basketball. He’s read "Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand that discusses objectivism and politics and the economy.
Chad is the son of Mike Higgenbottom and Melody and Darryl Mitchell.