“After Valley” highlights select Valley Christian alumni of all ages, from our first graduating class of 1986 to our most recent graduates.
Sam Pagel ’07
This “After Valley” profile was originally posted in November 2014.
What did you do after Valley? Where did your life take you?
After graduating from Valley Christian in 2007 (best class in the school’s history), I attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. I graduated with summa cum laude honors in 2011. One month after graduation I took the advice of another VCHS alumnus and filed documents to set up an LLC for my freelance video production work. Six months later I quit my full-time job at Wells Fargo and put all my time and efforts into my business, 88 Productions. Fast forward to today and I’m still running my business full-time. It’s my dream job! God has been gracious to continually bring me great clients.
In April of 2013 I asked a girl out for tea. Six months after that, on top of Piestewa Peak, I asked her to marry me. My wife, Ashley, and I were married on March 21, 2014 and live in Chandler, Arizona with our son Henry our dog, Sadie.
Tell us a little about your daily work:
I get to do what I love everyday – create and build things. I run my business, Pelican Media (formerly 88 Productions), which is a digital media agency. I specialize in video production, website design and development and other digital media services. You can see my work at http://pelicanmedia.net.
What’s one surprising thing we don’t know about you?
When I asked my wife out to tea for our first date – she was the first girl I had ever asked out and the first girl I ever dated! I never thought I would meet my wife at Valley but in the summer of 2011 our church, Grace Bible Church, began meeting in the VCHS gymnasium. I met my wife, Ashley, through our church so, technically, I kind of met my wife at Valley.
While you were at VCHS, which teachers, coaches or classmates had the biggest impact on you?
Dan Kuiper’s biology class was one of the first classes I had at Valley and I still think about it today. Mr. Kuiper’s desire to not only teach about biology but also to teach about God and His creation was very impactful.
Mr. Lara had a big musical impact on me – I got to be a part of Valley Rhythmics with him. His band, Sol Trak Union, played at my wedding.
I played soccer all three years I was at Valley so I have a lot of great memories with Coach Schanaker.
I’m still great friends with a lot of my teammates from soccer – a lot of us still play together in different leagues around the state.
How do you stay connected with your friends from Valley and VCHS?
I’m still great friends with a lot of my soccer teammates. We still play soccer in leagues around the state. I also go to church with a couple alumni at Grace Bible Church (which meets in the Valley Gym).
What’s one lasting memory you have of VCHS?
When I think of my time at Valley I think of the three years I got to play soccer. I loved every one of my teammates and just have so many great memories including being undefeated on our home field all three years, never losing to Phoenix Christian or Northwest all three years and being the #1 seed in the state 2 out of 3 years.
Do you have any advice for current students?
My advice would be to attend Valley in such a way that when you graduate and move on you have no regrets. Work hard, impact the lives of those around you and leave a legacy at the school. You only get to go through high school once!
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