TC Christian is blessed with many wonderful and hard-working students who diligently apply themselves in the classroom, the sports arena, the stage, and in service to their churches and communities. As the 2018-19 school year draws to a close, three Seniors stand out for their academic achievements. Co-Valedictorians, Emily Bluck and Lily VanBrocklin, and Salutatorian, Grace Phelps, have earned the distinction of maintaining the highest GPAs in their high school careers. In the process, they have also been successful Varsity athletes, stage performers, and community volunteers.
Lily and Emily joined other area Valedictorians for the annual ‘Best Of Class’ recognition luncheon at Crystal Mountain Resort. TV 9&10 was on hand to capture the event. The 3MT caught up with each of the girls to find out how they enjoyed their time at TCCS and what the next step looks like.
Emily Bluck – Co-Valedictorian
What do you love about Traverse City Christian School? I have always been so drawn to the community at TC Christian, and I love how we put such an emphasis on building and growing a Christ-centered community. Not only are events like Friend Fridays, Spirit Weeks, and small groups fun and exciting, but they also provide such a great foundation for our Christ-centered community. I love TC Christian for all the opportunities it lends to students to be involved and intentional in their relationship with others and with God. The atmosphere here is unparalleled to any other school I know, and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. I am so excited to see how this school continues to further God’s Kingdom in the future.
Describe one of your favorite teachers. Although I am so grateful for each one of my teachers and the different roles they have played in my life, I have enjoyed Mr. Broderick’s classes the most. I am so thankful for all the tools he has equipped me with in regards to defending my faith and knowing why I believe what I believe. Also, as if the material he teaches isn’t invigorating enough, he teaches it with great humor, wit, relevance, and intelligence.
In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Traverse City Christian School? Since attending TC Christian, I have grown significantly in my faith. While attending public schools through eighth grade, I had not fully realized that God and His truths are applicable to every aspect of my life. I love that I can sit in class and apply Biblical truths to History, Science, English, and more in a room full of people who are learning and growing right alongside me. Being reminded that God is involved in every aspect of my life has led to my closer relationship with Him in relying on Him in all areas, being able to learn more about Him each day, and being encouraged to glorify Him in everything I do.
How do you feel that TCCS prepared you for graduation, college, and life? I am so grateful for the way TCCS has prepared me for graduation, college, and life. I have been so encouraged throughout my educational career by my teachers to do my best and go the extra mile, and I believe those habits will serve me well in the future. I have learned so much more here than just what can be found in a textbook, and I feel prepared to implement these lessons out in the real world.
What are your plans after you graduate? This fall, I will be attending Calvin College. I plan to pursue a major is Social Work and a minor in Spanish. I am looking forward to possibly studying abroad, as well.
Lily VanBrocklin – Co-Valedictorian
What do I love about Traverse City Christian School? I love being able to learn in a Christian environment. All the classes are taught from a Christian worldview. I especially appreciate being able to learn science from a Christian perspective. We also learn what others believe so we are prepared to understand them and stand up for ourselves or just share what we believe. Even in my math classes, we talk about God and the Bible. Attending a Christian school has definitely influenced my decision to attend a Christian university so I can continue to learn in this way. I know I am more prepared as a Christian because I was able to learn more about my faith and all my other school subjects through this lens of Christianity.
Describe one of your favorite teachers. One of my favorite teachers is Dr. B. I have enjoyed all of the Bible classes he has taught. I always learn so much in his classes. I have loved learning more about the Bible, logic, defending my faith, theology, and Apologetics. I have become a stronger Christian by learning about all those things and it has prepared me to go out into the world to share with others and stand up for my faith. Also, I really enjoy his teaching style. He can be serious and give lectures or have a conversation with us. He explains things so we can understand. It always surprises me how many things we talk about in class that seems like they have nothing to do with the topic at hand, but actually do. He knows exactly what we are going to ask or say in class that will segue into what he planned for us to talk about that day. He really knows what he is doing.
In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Traverse City Christian School? I have learned to rely on God and trust in Him. I know that I cannot make it through a day without Him. When I try to do it in my own strength it does not work.
Traverse City Christian works to create an environment of authentic Christian discipleship and community, and of excellence in all that we do. What’s your experience of that at Traverse City Christian? My favorite part about the community here is the student community. When you walk through the hallways you see elementary, middle, and high school students. We are always saying “Hi” to one another and interacting with each other. When I was younger it meant the world to me to have an upperclassman say, “Hi” to me in the hallway and know me by name.
How do you feel that TCCS prepared you for graduation, college, and life? I think TCCS has prepared me for moving on because it has reinforced what I believe because I was able to learn from a Christian perspective. I have a firm foundation on which I am secure in the Person of Jesus Christ. That will help me as I go off to college and whatever I do after that.
What are your plans after you graduate? This coming fall I will be attending Cedarville University in Ohio. I am majoring in Theatre Performance and I am still deciding whether to minor in Communications or Business. I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me there. I hope to participate in many theatrical productions while at Cedarville. They also have several opportunities for mission trips and I hope to go on many.
Grace Phelps – Salutatorian
What do you love about Traverse City Christian School? I love the community at Traverse City. The teachers take time to invest in each student individually. When walking through the halls, you will see encouragement and service around every corner. I love the family feel and the welcoming attitude from all those around me. A lot of good happens here thanks to the greatness of the Lord Almighty.
Describe one of your favorite teachers I have enjoyed learning from all of the teachers at TCCS. They have each impacted me in a different way. I admire how they seek to get to know their students and aid us on the road to success. They demonstrate God’s love to us through grace, passion, and sacrifice.
In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Traverse City Christian School? Traverse City Christian School has provided me with the knowledge to know what I believe and why I believe it. I have been surrounded by a body of believers who love and support me and help me gain a proper perspective when a conflict comes up. The Christ-like environment at Traverse City Christian has shown me that being a Christian is really worthwhile and makes a difference in the lives of many.
Traverse City Christian works to create an environment of authentic Christian discipleship and community, and of excellence in all that we do. What’s your experience of that at Traverse City Christian? One way I have experienced this at TC Christian is through the Big Brother/Big Sister program. This is a community building opportunity for students to bond throughout different grades. I have really enjoyed getting to know my ‘siblings’ over the years and participating in all the fun events with them. Another way I see this happening at TCCS is through outreach events and service opportunities such as working with Single Mom Ministry, doing a Rake ‘n’ Run, and the Senior mission trip, among many others. There is something so powerful about setting aside your own desires to meet the needs of others. There a lot of cool things that happen when people begin to engage with all the events around them and get involved in a story greater than themselves.
How do you feel that TCCS prepared you for graduation, college, and life? TCCS has grown in me the academic and social skills which I will need to thrive as I pursue a college degree and move on into adulthood. The TC Christian teachers have covered a wide range of necessary topics that have spurred deep thinking and hard work. From role plays that give us a taste of real life situations to college-level learning in English classes to small group conversations and compelling chapel speakers, TCCS equips their students for life after school. It is now up to us to take what we have learned and apply it properly.
What are your plans after you graduate? I plan to attend Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and earn a double major in Elementary Education and Creativity Honors and Innovation.