January 23, 2020 | Casey Vaughn |
What grade level did you start at The First Academy?
What were the reasons you or your parents chose The First Academy?
I was looking for refuge, so to speak, from a bad environment at my last school, and when I saw how nice everyone was here, and how welcoming the faculty and staff were, it seemed like there really weren’t any other options for me. The technological advancement of this school is amazing. As a tech guru, I’ve been in the Genius Bar for 3 years, and I’ve loved every bit of it. Looking back, I can’t imagine where I would be without going to TFA.
Are you involved in extracurricular activities? If so, what are they and have you received awards in these activities? (These can be affiliated with TFA or outside of school)
I’m in the TFA Marching band, I played for Royals Steel, I play Varsity Volleyball with some of the best guys I know at this school, and I actually founded the TFA eSports club. For the marching band, we worked our way up to the top 50 bands within the state across all divisions.
Which colleges are you planning to apply to or have you applied to thus far?
Auburn, Mizzou, UF, UCF, and FAU.
What do you plan to study in college and what are your long-term career goals?
I’m looking to study Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and work either as a Walt Disney Imagineer, or as a Commercial Pilot.
Who are some of your favorite TFA teachers, and why? These can be K4-12.
Mr. Hazzard and I share a lot of similar interests and crack a lot of jokes, while at the same time being able to get stuff fixed around TFA. Mr. Harrison is basically the king of memes at TFA. After a rough lesson, he’s able to cheer us up real quick with a series of funny videos. I remember once, we had a class-long debate if the earth was flat or round. (It’s round) Mr. Snyder, Mrs. McWilliams, and Mrs. Headly were the saviors of our fine arts program at TFA, and I can’t thank them enough. Mrs. Crawford was the teacher who put Auburn on my radar for college applications, and really, REALLY helped me with my research paper that year. Mr. Kowars inspired me to join a podcast, and we had some really good conversations about the Cleveland Browns. Mrs. Oswald is super cheerful, energetic, and is really able to help students get back on their feet when they stumble academically.
In one sentence, what did being a student at The First Academy mean to you?
Being there for others when they need it most.
How has TFA made a difference in, or impacted your life?
TFA really improved my walk with God. When I came here, I was in a dark place, but with the help of good friends and supportive faculty and staff, I was able to get closer and closer to Him.
Do you feel that The First Academy has prepared you for life after graduation?
What is your favorite memory at TFA?
The New York trip of 2019 was absolutely legendary. The shows were amazing, the feeling of discovery surrounded from some of my best friends was awesome, and Coach Grove proved to us that he is the king of comedic relief.
How have you grown in your walk with Christ since coming to TFA?
At TFA, you’re surrounded by people who are caring, supportive, and kind. This isn’t just because they want to have friends, but because they know what we need to do as Christians. That kind of compassion is a guiding factor for me in my walk with Christ. I’ve been going to more Bible Studies, going to more of my church’s Youth Group events, and I’ve really taken a liking to Apologetics with Dr. Toenges.
What was one spiritual insight you gained at TFA that has impacted your life the most?
No matter what life throws at you, like a house fire for example, God has a plan for every one of us. Looking back, that event humbled me and allowed me to mature very quickly over the summer.
What does the school year theme, “Stronger Together,” mean to you and how have you incorporated in your day to day life this year?
It means that we can take on any major challenge as long as we stick together. Cheering on others when they succeed, but being there to comfort them when they stumble and fall.