Class of 2013
My NCCS adventures started in 2004 when I started the school year as a fourth grader. Between 2004 and my graduation in 2013 I made so many wonderful memories. My high school days at NCCS were some of the best days of my life. After so many years together, my class had bonded so well, we were practically a family. I enjoyed being very involved with NCCS; I was on student council, the track team, and I even worked there.
Besides having a blast with my friends at NCCS, I also learned some really incredible things from my teachers. I remember them always saying, “You’re going to need this for college” and surely enough I did. After graduating in 2013, I attended Olivet Nazarene University as a Fashion Merchandising student. During my freshman year of college I used many of the tips my art teacher gave me throughout high school.
Now that I am in my sophomore year of college I have tried stepping out of my comfort zone. I spent the past semester studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan. I attended Tokyo Christian University for three months; it was a mind blowing experience! I learned more in Japan in three months than I ever could have imagined. Since TCU is an international school I really enjoyed meeting people not only from Japan, but also from Africa, Germany, India and China. This experience really opened my eyes to new types of fashion, and how to understand people with different cultural backgrounds. During the trip, the twelve other American students and I became really close friends; at times I felt like I was on another NCCS senior trip! Although my time in Tokyo was absolutely amazing, I am so excited to be back at home with the people who taught me everything I needed to know to succeed on a trip like this.
Class of 2008
After graduating from North County Christian, which I attended kindergarten (1995) through 12th grade (2008), I entered Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. Throughout my four years there I studied Sociology and Psychology and in 2012 graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. While at Truman, I participated in numerous organizations including Association of Black Collegians, Lambda Alpha Epsilon (criminal justice fraternity), Women's Resource Center, Court Appointed Special Advocate and much more. After graduating, I worked with adults and children with developmental disabilities for a year.
I returned to St. Louis in 2013, and dedicated a year of service to AmeriCorps, working with a non profit education organization called College Bound- St. Louis, in which I was a college mentor for students dispersed throughout the nation. Following my year of service, I accepted a position with College Bound where I currently work as the development assistant. I also work as a health distributor with It Works! Global in which I hold the position as a ruby executive. In my spare time I enjoy working with youth, working my health and wellness business, and traveling. I am a member of Faith Church in Earth City, where I volunteer at the information desk. I currently reside in North County, St. Louis.
Class of 2006
Timmy McGuire came to NCCS during his sophomore year of high school and soon became a vital part of the class of 2006. He loved the small classroom atmosphere and how the teachers really cared about him; not just academically, but spiritually as well. He could easily see that they were not just there to teach the books, but to teach him how to live and be successful in life. After graduation, Timmy continued his education at Florissant Valley Community College and then went on to earn his A.A.S. Culinary Arts degree in 2012 from L’Ecole Culinaire.
If you know Timmy well, you know that he is never home. Besides completing his degree, he worked at the Grandview Schnucks from 2007-2014 as a customer service team member. In 2010, he was hired by the Ferguson/Florissant School District as a cook at McCluer High School. Upon completing his culinary degree, he moved up to the kitchen manager position at Vogt Elementary, where he continues to serve kids with his big ‘Timmy Smile’ every day. On the side, Timmy makes cakes for special events..
Timmy attributes NCCS as having a huge impact on his life, which has helped him grow closer to the Lord and provided many people in his life to look up to and call friends.
Class of 2004
I began attending North County in the 6th grade and graduated high school with the class of 2004. I am so grateful for NCCS and how it prepared me mentally, spiritually and socially for college. My teachers were amazing and always took the time to listen when I didn’t understand something or when life was just hard. I attended Hannibal LaGrange, Florissant Valley Community College and UMSL. Yes, a little all over the place but that’s just because I switched my major 3 or 4 times. I finally decided on Business Administration and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!
Four and a half years ago I went through the biggest change of my life – a heart transplant. I have stared at death straight in the eyes and I now realize that life is so short and so beautiful. Cherish it.
Because of the Christian community of NCCS and Ferguson Nazarene Church surrounding me with love, support, prayers and more, my family and I was able to make it through so much easier. I received cards from the kids at school, visits from old teachers and principals, constant prayer, and my family was blessed with hugs, support and daily meals. I am so thankful for the love of my school and church family.
Shortly after my transplant I met the love of my life, Nathan Johnson! We were married a year later and I moved to Nashville, TN to be with my musician man. Nathan is a guitarist and back up singer for Josh Wilson and Mat Kearney. He also does design work for several Nashville artists.
Currently, I am in property management and assist in managing over 120 condos, homes and duplexes. I love it. My dream would be to work with others and touch the lives of those going down the familiar road that I traveled during my heart transplant experience.
Class of 2004
Soon after graduating from NCCS, Aaron went to Hannibal-LaGrange, where in 2008, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education; majoring in Physical Education with a minor in Coaching. In 2010, Aaron married his sweetheart, Madelyn Rens. Aaron and Madelyn are the proud parents of Amelia Rae, who will turn one this November.
Aaron is in his fifth year of teaching at North Harrison R-3 School District. He teaches elementary physical education, helps in the technology department, and coaches girls’ basketball. The Longs are active members in their church where Aaron is a member of the worship band. Aaron continues to follow the Cardinals and spends as much time as he can during the fall in a tree stand deer hunting. Aaron finds the time to golf every once in a while and loves taking pictures of his lively daughter.
Class of 2004
It was back in 6th grade when I started to attend North County Christian School. I spent the best years of my life growing in every area of my life and have been thoroughly blessed even today in my career.
When I graduated in 2004 I had a pretty solid handle on what I wanted to study in college. I was highly involved and active at NCCS from Sader Athletics to student government. Aside from those great extra curricular groups, I was able to take on a few key credited electives that really paved the way for later goals and aspirations. I remember the Economics, Publications, and Video Editing class got me very interested in marketing/advertising, digital and print media, and video production. The video editing class in particular first launched in 2003. Being one of the first students to join this class sparked my interest heavily. I quickly became the kid that always had a camera attached to my hand!
After NCCS I attended Southeastern University located in Lakeland, Florida. In 2008 I graduated obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio/TV Broadcast. I've had the privilege to work and freelance with many major broadcast networks and various productions throughout my career: ESPN, ABC, FOX, TBN, God TV and INSP Networks. My talent of DJing led me more into the field of radio broadcast, spinning weekly for an FM station while I was living in Miami. I also had the opportunity to DJ at conferences and make a few appearances on various Christian Hip Hop albums.
Four years ago I married my beautiful wife Ileana. We have been blessed with a pretty good-looking boy by the name of Elijah, who is one year old and a ball of energy. In addition to parenting and my career, Ileana and I co-run a creative agency specializing in film, photography, and design.
I never thought I would end up working in ministry but God has His way of placing the called. I presently work in full-time ministry at Church on the Rock as the Video/Media Director.
I find myself bragging on NCCS (even today) and the opportunities I had before heading into college. If you are looking for a place that will train you in what there is to know and grow in the areas of your strengths/talents, NCCS is the place to do that (academia and athletics). There is no getting lost in just being another student there. Every instructor and staff person truly cares about each student. Consider yourself family as you go in and out. You're a Sader for life!
Class of 2000
Joshua Heter has not been sitting idle since leaving the halls of NCCS. He has gone on to earn a BA in Philosophy from Biola University in 2005, an MA in Philosophy from Western Michigan University in 2007 and a PhD in Philosophy from St. Louis University in 2013. Joshua currently teaches at SIUE and St. Charles Community College. Periodically, universities host conferences on random subjects like philosophy. Joshua has had the honor of presenting his work at NYU, VA Tech, and the University of Leuven, in Belgium. While in Belgium, he took the opportunity of traveling by train to visit Paris for a few days. Logic is also an interest of Joshua. He is presently working on a logic textbook manuscript which he hopes to get published some day. Hobbies of Joshua include snowboarding and furniture restoration. He attends The Journey Church in Tower Grove, and spent last summer as a wilderness trip leader at Camp Forest Springs, a Christian camp in northern Wisconsin. Joshua is single and enjoys life as a college professor.
Dave and Danielle Kuntz
Classes of 2000 and 2001
Dave Kuntz came to NCCS in his ninth grade year and graduated with the class of 2000. He continued his education at Hannibal LaGrange University and graduated in 2004 with a Biblical studies degree.
Danielle DuKate Kuntz attended NCCS from preschool through twelfth grade and graduated with the class of 2001. She continued her education at Hannibal LaGrange University where she earned an Associates of Science degree in 2003. Danielle became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2008 and continues in that position today.
Dave and Danielle married in 2004 and began their life together. Dave gave back to NCCS for 5 years as Bible Teacher and Chaplain of the Middle and High School. He also assisted in many sports activities. During this time, Dave and Danielle became a part of the North Church plant which was made up of many NCCS graduates. In 2009, Dave left NCCS and joined the North Church staff as Co-lead Pastor. Dave and Danielle have two children, Mikail (5 yrs) and Tobin (3 yrs). They are starting the process to become licensed foster parents with the intent to adopt. Dave and Danielle both love running and have completed one full marathon and several half-marathons together.
Class of 1986
I began attending North County Christian School back in 1980...WOW, it’s been a long time. During the next several years, I made a number of lifelong friends and was truly educated well beyond what I realized at the time. Some of the mentors that I remember in particular are Mr. Randy Burns, Mrs. Sharon Keffer and Mr. Ken Rankin. They were preparing me for things that I certainly didn’t think I was capable of.
I graduated in 1986 and spent the next few years at Missouri Baptist College and University of Missouri. I obtained my first job in healthcare in 1988. In 1993, I joined the Air Force, also in the field of healthcare. During those years, I was blessed with two daughters, Megan and Cassie Pennington, who are now 21 and 19 years of age; they currently live in Nashville, Tennessee.
In the Air Force, I was stationed in Columbus, Mississippi, which was culture shock to say the least but it grew on me. I quickly learned how the South works and grew to love it. After my service in the USAF, I went back to school - nursing school. After graduating, I moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and began working in critical care. I was a nurse for a VERY long time….a whole year and a half. It was at that point that I jumped into the business side of surgery and medicine and never looked back. I spent the next several years working my way up through sales, marketing, clinical development, medical writing, research and operations within the business of healthcare.
About a year ago, I launched my own company, Optix International, which is a full-line provider of human tissue and biologics for the field of ophthalmology. Our mission is to provide human tissue and biologics to assist in helping those with disease states in the field of vision. We also are in business to accomplish
the task of assisting tissue donors and their families fulfill the wishes of their loved ones. I am also a Senior Vice President at a media and marketing cooperative for healthcare called 1-800-DOCTORS and a General Manager of the subsidiary, The Ophthalmology Network. I am part-owner or a partner in a number of different organizations in healthcare such as a couple of compounding pharmacies, a biologics company and an amniotic stem cell company (not embryonic). The newest venture I’m really excited about is launching my own pharmacy for the field of ophthalmology.
Over the past 20 years, I have been given the opportunity to travel the globe, which still includes weekly travel around the US. Fifteen years ago it was still a lot of fun but I am currently into month seven of a 36 month plan to stop traveling altogether and I can’t wait to see what is going to be next. I really have little to no idea what I’m going to do at that point. I told Randi (my wife) this morning that I think it might be fun to be a crop duster, you just never know.
I have been blessed to do so many interesting things. I was a DJ for a few years in college, I played drums in several bands, co-owned a convenience store, was a consultant on a Hollywood movie called 21 Grams, owned a small tennis
racquet stringing business, campaigned for various politicians and was one of the only human beings in an airplane the night of September 11 (organ transplant flight). I have been given the opportunity to serve on many boards of directors, most notably for me, The American Liver Foundation and The National Kidney Foundation. I have been afforded the opportunity to obtain degrees in Biology, Nursing, a Masters and a Doctorate. During the entirety of my career since High School, I have in one form or another been involved in healthcare – for 27 years now - and don’t imagine I will change professions, although God is in control.
Four years ago, I met and married the most incredible woman on our planet (and most beautiful inside and out), Randi. Our first date was a Memphis Grizzlies game (how lame is that) and we have been inseparable ever since. She is an interior designer, but as of 2012, took on a much tougher job: stay-at-home Mom. She works a great deal harder than I do every day of the week. Our son, Liam, was born in August, 2012, and we are currently expecting our second child, a little girl, in May of 2015. We live in Lakeland, Tennessee, just east of Memphis; but it looks like we may be heading back to St. Louis.
I’ve thought often of my time spent at NCCS. When I came to North County Christian School, I was going in the wrong direction, but God had a plan and still does. As a direct result of being surrounded by Godly mentors during my time at NCCS, I have kept my passion for living a Christ-like life.
Karen Reed Bryant
Class of 1981
I attended North County Christian School and graduated with the Class of 1981. Thinking back to my high school days, definitely brings about a smile! I am so thankful for the close friendships and fun memories. I wouldn’t trade my time at NCCS for anything. After graduating from NCCS with the Class of 1981, I attended Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in office administration in 1986. The summer following my college graduation I began working at a community college in Illinois as an office assistant. In 2005 I accepted the Coordinator of Marketing/Public Information position with responsibilities that include writing news releases, designing advertisements, course schedules, and direct mail pieces, photographing students and events, and social media. My husband Gary and I have been married for 27 years and reside in a small rural town, much different from St. Louis where I lived for first 23 years of my life. We have two daughters Melanie and Julie. Melanie also attended MNU and received a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. She is a RN on a surgical/trauma unit and is engaged to marry Josh on September 28. Our baby daughter Julie is a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University where she plans to study marketing and Spanish. Our family attends a Wesleyan church where we all take an active role and help in various capacities such as vacation Bible school, church music, Sunday school teacher, and board member. I have many wonderful memories of attending NCCS! My two sisters (Janet and Cathy) and I attended NCCS from junior kindergarten through our senior year of high school and our younger brother David attended through the 7th grade. I’m so thankful my parents felt attending a Christian school was a top priority. It is so important that kids have teachers who are a positive role model and that they learn from a curriculum without a secular influence. It’s exciting to see the growth that NCCS has experienced since 1981 and the current high school facility that God has amazingly provided. Attending a Christian high school and college definitely provided a strong foundation that has stayed with me all through my adult life and that I have passed on to my children.
John Tader (Chip)
Class of 1981
In 1975 my family moved to Florissant, MO for the sole reason of enrolling my siblings and me in NCCS and engaging us in the thriving ministry of Ferguson Church of the Nazarene. I attended NCCS through my junior high and high school years, graduating in 1981. I graduated in the top ten of my class. (A graduating class of 11!) It was during these memorable and formative years in a good Christian school, Christian home, and a strong youth group that my relationship with God developed. I’m forever grateful for the opportunities that were placed before me as a result of those valuable years. During my high school years I enjoyed many meaningful experiences, relationships and friendships. My memories of NCCS friends, teachers and mentors are forever etched in my being. Through the influence of some of my NCCS friends and a “match-maker” teacher, I was compelled to invite a girl named Laura to one of our infamous annual lock-ins! In a momentary lack of judgment, she agreed to attend with me, and that night a relationship began that set the course for the rest of my life. Laura (Clerc) became my wife in 1983 following our sophomore year at Mid-America Nazarene College and remains the love of my life. It was at Mid-America that I studied ministry, graduating in 1985.
I then earned my Masters of Religious Education degree at Nazarene Theological Seminary, graduating in 1989. In 1990 we moved to the Chicago area where I pastored the Hickory Hills Church of the Nazarene for more than 4 years. We then moved to Jefferson City, Missouri in 1994 where I pastored the Jefferson City Church of the Nazarene for more than 8 years. I am currently the Pastor of Discipleship Ministries on the pastoral staff at College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, where I have been serving for the past 10 years. It is a humbling privilege to be in Christian ministry. I still wake up nearly every morning and wonder how and why God chose to allow me to serve Him in this capacity. (I’m certain that many NCCS alumni are equally bewildered at such a reality... if you were to line up the NCCS students of the 1970s and guess which may be called to ministry, I’m pretty sure I would have been the last suspect!) God has blessed us with a loving family including 3 children and their spouses, 2 grandchildren, and another on the way! Steven & Samantha Tader with children Daxon & Annabelle, Elizabeth & Tanner Stevens & ?baby, and Rebecca & Jordan Seifert. They are all living abundant lives and enjoying growing, healthy homes and marriages. We are fortunate to have all of them living in the Kansas City area very near to us. It brings great joy and privilege to enjoy close relationship with our children and grandchildren! Jeremiah 29:11 declares that God has planned for us a hopeful prosperous future. As I look back upon the way He has directed my life, I can be nothing short of grateful for His loving guidance. That loving guidance included the foundation of faith that I received from Godly mentors and peers at NCCS. I continue to anticipate the future that God has planned for me!
Shar(lene) Moss Valdez
Class of 1980
Vonda Miller Dahl
Class of 1980
After graduating from NCCS in 1980, where my father, Ron Miller was the principal for several years, I earned a degree in psychology from Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. My years at MNU also procured my future husband, John Dahl. We married in 1981. After graduation, I worked for Temporary Lodging for Children in Olathe, KS, an emergency facility for teen boys in transition. My husband and I moved to Vermont in the winter of 1984 to help my parents, Ron and Ardyce Miller, launch a counseling and retreat center in the beautiful Green Mountains. During our years in Vermont, all four of our children were born, three sons, Trevor, Ryan, and Cody, and a daughter, Hannah. In 1998, we made the decision to leave our beloved Vermont, and purchased the family farm in Sterling, North Dakota. We tried our hand at farming and ranching, but eventually chose to rent our land to other farmers and focused on other avenues of vocation. My husband, John, is a custom cabinetmaker and general contractor, making his beautiful wood creations in the former haymow of our iconic red barn. My career path has been more circuitous. When our family began, I made the difficult and life altering decision to forego career for a season and devote my full energies to raising our children. During those years at home, however, I began to be drawn to education and often thought of going back to school to pursue an education degree. When my last child entered junior high, I entered the college classroom again and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. I graduated from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, in December of 2011. I received induction into Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities, and was named the Education Student of the Year. Two weeks after graduating, and three days after receiving my teaching license, I was teaching my first group of first graders. Because I already had a degree in psychology, I also concurrently began work on a Master’s degree in Early Elementary Education the same year I began my undergraduate education degree. I will graduate with a Master’s Degree in December of 2013. I love the challenges and rewards of teaching. Everyday is a new adventure and I know I am fulfilling both a dream and a calling. Because I do not have the stresses of a young family, I am able to devote my full energies to my students and hone my craft. I have enjoyed some honors along the way in my short career. I currently serve on a yearlong state committee to revise our North Dakota science standards and consider adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. I have also served as a grant evaluator for the North Dakota State Department of Public Instruction. And most recently, I will be a presenter at the National Science Teacher Association’s national conference in Boston in May of 2014, where along with a University of Mary education instructor, will present my original thematic unit on soil and soil conservation. I love what I do every single day. I am excited for my future. I believe that my strong foundation began with my education at North County Christian School. The memories made and the friendships formed during those years propelled me forward personally and professionally. I am thankful for those precious years in NCCS. I think that it is somehow fitting that I now serve in the public school system after all of those years in private education. I was grounded in my faith and belief system early so that I might go out and be “salt and light” in the pubic sector. I wholeheartedly believe that Christian teachers should not abandon the public school system, but rather serve Christ daily in the public classroom. I began an online diary on my first day of teaching, mostly for my own benefit, but it is a public peek into my world and daily life as a new teacher. The web addresses are: diaryofafirstyearteacher-vldahl.blogspot.com and humboldtdiaries.blogspot.com. If you feel so inclined, come join me on this adventure and be reminded that there is no expiration date on dream fulfillment...