“After Valley” highlights select Valley Christian alumni of all ages, from our first graduating class of 1986 to our most recent graduates.
This “After Valley” profile was originally posted in March 2018.
What did you do after Valley? Where did your life take you?
Life took me to Annapolis, Maryland as a member of the class of 2019 at the United States Naval Academy. I declared my major as Political Science at the end of my Plebe (freshman) year. I am now a Second Class midshipman (junior) and serve as Sixth Battalion Sergeant Major. I am also a member of the Navy Cheer Team. I will put in my final service selection preferences at the beginning of my Firstie (senior) year. In November 2018, I will learn what community I will serve for the next five years. I am between service selections: Surface Warfare (ships) or Marine Corps Ground. Through prayer, I am hoping God reveals which path I should choose!
Tell us a little about your daily work:
Depending on the day, I have morning workouts at 0530. At 0700, I have Morning Quarters formation with my company to ensure proper accountability. From 0755-1145, I have classes. Noon Meal Formation goes at 1205, followed by noon meal. Training period takes place from 1245-1315. I usually have meetings during this time. 1315-1520 are afternoon classes. Sports period (a time for sports or individual workouts) begins at 1520 and ends at 1800; this is when cheer practice takes place. Evening meal is open form 1800-1900. 1900-2000 is extra-curricular time usually used for meetings or clubs such as ASL club, followed by Study Period (2000-2300). Then midshipmen go to sleep and start the day again!
What’s one surprising thing we don’t know about you?
I still have never been to the Grand Canyon. Seriously. Born and raised in Arizona and have never been. More seriously, I did not want to go to the Naval Academy initially. I am grateful, however, to have this experience and receive an incredible education from an amazing school. I love the Academy and the standards it sets before me. It is never easy, and certainly meets me with the challenge, but it has developed me into a morally, mentally, and physically capable person.
While you were at VCHS, which teachers, coaches or classmates had the biggest impact on you?
This is difficult to narrow down. I loved all of my teachers at Valley. Mr. Kuiper always held me accountable. Dr. Tonkinsont taught me more about the Bible than I think I could learn from anyone else. Mr. Streeter was a great mentor and the best yearbook advisor. Ms. Clausen was my role model and I always strove to be like her. Mr. Nelson was by far the most caring teacher I have ever had (and helped me with calculus!). Mr. Timmer always made me laugh (don’t worry, you’ll get a ride in Air Force One, promise still kept). Troy Hanzal taught me how to workout (but seriously!).
How do you stay connected with your friends from Valley and VCHS?
Social media and text messaging. I have grown apart due to my location and busy schedule, but they are always a phone call away. I love looking at everyone’s social media and keeping up with their lives. We always tend to pick up where we left off.
What’s one lasting memory you have of VCHS?
Trojan Tournament!!! So much fun. (’15 rocked!)
Do you have any advice for current students?
Shoot for your biggest dreams; you can do anything you set your mind to. Also, no matter what, keep your integrity. Your honor is vital. “I think character is permanent, and issues are transient.” -Admiral James B. Stockdale Oh! And BEAT ARMY!
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