Alumni Connection Newsletter | Spring/Summer 2018
Alumni Connection a semi-annual eNewsletter with updates from the school, exciting alumni news, and more. If you have story ideas or alumni updates, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
2018 State of the School Address
Earlier this week, we launched a series of five short videos that comprise the 2018 State of the School Address. Please click the link below for updates on the state of Village Christian from Head of School Tom Konjoyan:
McClure Set to Cycle Cross-Country for Charity this Summer
One night in a bed.
That’s how Village Christian Class of 2014 alum Joey McClure’s summer is shaping up.
McClure will be cycling across the country beginning June 1 with a non-profit called The Ability Experience to raise funds and awareness for the inclusion of all people with disabilities, he says.
The ride is scheduled to start in Seattle, Wash., with McClure’s group riding through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia, before ending in Washington, D.C. on August 11.
“We want to build ourselves as men of class – volunteer, giving time, putting yourself in others’ shoes,” says the former Village lifer, who is now in his third year studying Business Management at Long Beach State. “No matter where you come from, what you look like, or what kind of disability you are living with, you deserve to be included in everything that everyone else can do.”
McClure’s goal is to raise $7,000 before the ride kicks off.
Along the way, the group will complete daily rides of more than 100 miles, including grueling stretches over the Rocky Mountains and across the Great Plains.
Service days with organizations run by The Ability Experience, which was founded by McClure’s fraternity Pi Kappa Phi, will be mixed in as well, giving riders the opportunity to help out and spend time with persons with disabilities along the way.
Most nights will be spent sleeping in churches and gymnasiums.
“We are going to push each other and are going to strive for this greater cause,” says McClure of his motivation. “That’s the drive we really need.”
Prior to signing up for the ride through his chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, McClure says he hadn’t been much of a cyclist.
To prepare, he’s undertaken a six-month training program that includes daily rides and longer weekend routes.
New riders also have mentors to coach them through the training process.
And when it comes to mentors, McClure is quick to point back to long-time VCS teacher and coach, Dean Lagasse.
He recalls lunches with Lagasse, PE class, and trips to Mexicali.
It all set him on a course for this summer’s enormous challenge.
“The big reason I wanted to do this was because of the values Village instilled in me through the 13 years I was there,” McClure says. “In order to become the best man I can possibly be, I need to push myself at a young age and have a really good foundation of serving, understanding, and inclusion, which can help me in every other aspect of my life.”
If you would like to support McClure in this incredible endeavor, click here to visit his fundraising page.
Football Ready to Return Strong in 2018
Mark Your Calendar
Homecoming is set for Friday, October 12 against Maranatha!
In December 2017, Richard Broussard was hired to become our new Director of Football / Head Coach. He has wasted no time connecting with families and helping rebuild the football program.
Please see below for a program update from Coach Broussard:
My goal as Director of Football is to bring the rich tradition back to Village Christian School by playing a fast and physical brand of football, all while giving glory to God.
Our high school program has been lifting at 6:30 a.m. three days a week in preparation for our return to varsity football. The Class of 2019 is coming together nicely to bring football back to Village, and we will be indebted to them forever.
Our middle school program has been hitting the weights as well, also working out three days each week.
Spring ball is a month away beginning April 16, when we will hit the field for football skills and drills. We also have a full 10 game schedule playing teams around Southern California for a 6 game preseason, in preparation for an Olympic League title run.
I implore you to contact me a share football stories from the past and any traditions that were present while you were a student at VCS.
Coach Broussard can be reached at email@example.com.
Dr. Kendrick's Return to Her Roots
A lot can change in 20 years.
Just ask Dr. Megan Kendrick.
An active and proud member of the Village Christian Class of 1997, Kendrick – then McLeod – now has her doctorate in Urban History from USC, teaches full time at VCS, and has three children also attending her alma mater.
“I remember the first few weeks driving up Penrose and coming up to campus, it felt surreal because I spent so much of my life on this campus,” says Kendrick, who began teaching at Village for the 2016-2017 school year. “It felt very familiar and comfortable, and a little bit like home in many ways, but I did notice differences, obviously.”
Megan married Aaron Kendrick (Class of 1996) in 2001, and now has twins in middle school and another daughter in Elementary.
They are three of the 102 legacy students – children of alumni – currently enrolled at Village.
“It is weird, but it’s getting a little less weird,” Kendrick says of seeing her kids walk through the same halls where she attended school. “I’ve got a picture of [my daughter] Cora in my drill team outfit on spirit day. It’s pretty special, though. I think the biggest draw [to VCS] is the community, and the number of alumni students is testament to that. It’s a special place where relationships are built.”
For Kendrick, those relationships included Mrs. Parker, Mr. Endacott, Mr. and Mrs. Hagberg, and Mrs. Fickett. They all shaped her experience at VCS, as well as set her on her course for the future.
As did her time in history class, specifically AP US History, which helped foster interest in the subject that would take her all the way to a Ph.D.
Activities were engaging, and students were forced to defend their thinking.
Her writing developed, and before long, she was preparing for her freshman year at Cal State Northridge.
After completing her degree at CSUN, she began her graduate work at USC, while also starting a family.
In fact, she mailed off her doctorate dissertation the day before her youngest daughter was born and defended it on her birthday – December 4, 2008.
She began teaching history as adjunct faculty at a few local colleges before finally landing at VCS, where she now teaches a variety of history classes.
Beyond Village, what ultimately drew Kendrick to history was her family.
“I was very close to all four of my grandparents, and I just loved hearing their stories,” she recalls. “I loved hearing about what life was like when they were my age. I loved sitting and pondering some of the decisions they made that transformed not only their life but also had a ripple effect on my own life and experience and opportunities.”
That’s exactly what she aims to provide her students.
Now on the other side of the VCS desks, she says her time as a Crusader impacted the way she teaches today. She looks to empower students to think critically and apply information, much like she had to do back in AP US History and in her heart-to-heart conversations with Mrs. Parker.
While the challenges students face today are very different than they were 20 years ago, with teachers like Kendrick in the classroom, much can also stay the same – namely, the importance of relationship, empowerment, and the desire to see students succeed.
After all, what happens during their time at VCS will have a ripple effect on the rest of their lives.
Join Us for VIVA VCS on May 5 at The Rose in Pasadena
Where will you be on Cinco de Mayo? Join us at The Rose in Pasadena for a special celebración you will not want to miss!
Planning for the 2018 VIVA VCS Dinner Auction is well underway, and this year’s event promises to be an incredible time full of fantastic entertainment, delicious food, and making memories with this amazing community.
Proceeds from this exciting event will benefit tuition assistance and teachers’ compensation initiatives.
2017-2018 Annual Fund
We are more than half way through the 2018 Village Christian Annual Fund, and our amazing community has helped raise just over 70 percent of our $325,000 goal for the school year. Every little bit helps and has an immediate and lasting impact on our students and teachers.