2023 Upper School Award Ceremony


Photo by: Emma Ashcraft

Upper School Principal Laura Smith opens the ceremony with prayer.

Abigail Thomas, Editor In Chief

On Friday, May 5, students and parents filled the Student Life Center for the McKinney Christian Academy 2023 Upper School Award Ceremony. McKinney Christian Academy exists to honor Jesus Christ by teaching students to live biblically through education of mind, body and spirit. Colossians 3:23 scripture says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” MCA acknowledged the students who worked hard and exhibited Christian character. The ceremony began with Academic and Diligence awards. The Academic Award is given to the student in each course with the highest grade average. These students received a medal of recognition. The Diligence Award recognizes the student identified by the teacher as being the most diligent in the course. The diligence award students received a certificate of recognition.

Bible Department:

Systematic Theology: Anna Holm (Academic), Mackenzie Hope (Diligence)

Christ and Culture: Joy Allen (Academic), Jude Westra (Diligence)

World and Church History: Joy Allen (Academic), Ken Quan (Diligence)

Old Testament Survey: Kyla Chastain (Academic), Kaylin Starling (Diligence)

New Testament Survey: Kaylin Starling (Academic), Ella Wedemeyer (Diligence)

Apologetics: Abby Thomas (Academic), Tyler Swearingen (Diligence)

Philosophy: Connor Wible (Academic), Angelina Li (Diligence)

English Department:

World Literature 1: Jadyn Chastain (Academic), Adam Gicheru (Diligence)

World Literature 2: Joy Allen (Academic), Havilah Mahadi (Diligence)

American Literature: Morrissey Smith (Academic), Connor Jarzombek (Diligence)

Senior English Composition: Abby Thomas (Academic), Belle Kanz (Diligence)

Foreign Language Department:

Spanish 1: Lizzie Gutschlag (Academic), Kody Zbranek (Diligence)

Spanish 2: Bri Northam (Academic), Makennah Vann (Diligence)

Spanish 3 Honors: Cal Emley (Academic), Jacob Webb (Diligence)

American Sign Language 1: Davie Kitzmiller (Academic), Savannah Goodwin (Diligence)

American Sign Language 2: Libby Davenport (Academic), Cash Etheredge (Diligence)

Math Department:

Algebra 1: Kody Zbranek (Academic), Avery Schall (Diligence)

Algebra 2: Bri Northam (Academic), Judd Witte (Diligence)

Algebra 2 Honors: Zach Golle (Academic), Jaden Brock (Diligence)

Geometry: Anna Holm (Academic), Lizzie Gutschlag and Cash Harrison (Diligence)

Intermediate Algebra: Wyatt Tessier (Academic), Marisol Sanchez (Diligence)

DC Statistics: Lexi Pogue (Academic), Danie Morales (Diligence)

DC College Algebra: Dance Morales (Academic), Kathryn Chambers (Diligence)

DC Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry: Jackson Iseneker (Academic), Trinity Souther (Diligence)

AP Calculus: Connor Wible (Academic), Abby Thomas (Diligence)

Science Department:

Biology: Anna Holm (Academic), Mackenzie Hope (Diligence)

Chemistry 1: Katia Gordon (Academic), Casey Gerardis (Diligence)

Honors Chemistry 1: Jude Westra (Academic), Leslee Buchanan (Diligence)

Physics: Kyla Chastain (Academic), Wyatt Tessier (Diligence)

AP Physics: Jackson Iseneker (Academic), Ella Wedemeyer (Diligence)

Environmental Science: Belle Kanz (Academic), Sarah Rawls (Diligence)

Honors Anatomy and Physiology: Alexa Harriman (Academic), Sarah Krusing (Diligence)

AP Biology: Abby Thomas (Academic), Morgan Davidson (Diligence)

Social Studies Department:

World Geography: Meisey Martin (Academic), Jordan Rutledge (Diligence)

US History: Kaylin Starling (Academic), Landen Jones (Diligence)

Dual Credit History: Ella Wedemeyer (Academic), Matthew Meeks (Diligence)

US Government: Abby Thomas (Academic), Marisol Sanchez (Diligence)

AP US Government: Connor Wible (Academic), Angelina Li (Diligence)

Academic Electives: 

JAVA: Alex Zhang (Academic), Andrew Wu (Diligence)

AP Computer Science Principles: Wendy Wu (Academic), Eric Gressel (Diligence)

Graphic Design 1: Jordan Rutledge (Academic), Aiden Ewing (Diligence)

Graphic Design 2: Hannah Reynolds (Academic), Katie Ballard (Diligence)

Debate 1: Dylan Neuner (Academic), Bri Northam (Diligence)

Advanced Debate: Bradley Dovel (Academic), Luke Mohler (Diligence)

DC Speech: Karson Kuykendall (Academic), Abby Thomas (Diligence)

Speech: Lisa Zhang (Academic), Alex Zhang (Diligence)

Health: Joy Allen (Academic), Ella Van Voorst (Diligence)

Personal Finance: Jacob Webb (Academic), Emily Barnhill (Diligence)

Robotics: Ray Kang (Academic), Nathan Roach (Diligence)

Newspaper: Audrey Wedemeyer (Academic), Kody Zbranek (Diligence)

Newspaper Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Krusing and Abby Thomas

Broadcasting: Matthew McDowell (Academic), Lily Jornod (Diligence)

Yearbook Overall: Nate McMahon (Academic), Max Luna (Diligence)

Lower School Yearbook: David Roller (Academic), Leslee Buchanan (Diligence)

Middle School Yearbook: Liam Corley (Academic), Mia Gunn (Diligence)

Upper School Yearbook: Tucker Scott (Academic), Jude Westra (Diligence)

Yearbook Editor-in-Chief: Belle Kanz and Emilio Sanchez

Timothy Awards:

In recognition for demonstrating a commitment to Christ, willingness to serve others, teachability, and for exhibiting Christ-like speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, the following students, one girl and one boy per grade, received the Timothy Award. The Timothy Award is inspired by the Bible verse 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Freshmen: Anna Holm and Kody Zbranek

Sophomores: Courtney Arnold and Cal Emley

Juniors: Grace Krause and Tucker Scott

Seniors: Marisol Sanchez and Tyler Swearingen


Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Seniors Lily Jornod, Brooke Jensen and Kate Nordhaus are recognized in front of the stage.

    Photo by: Emma Ashcr
  • Praise Band leaders freshman Avery Schall and junior Kylie Mullins are recognized.

    Photo by: Emma
  • Mrs. O’Hanlon presents junior Cash Etheredge with the diligence award.

    Photo by: Emma As
  • Freshman Lizzie Gutschlag hugs Spanish teacher Mrs. Litwin.

    Photo by: Emma
  • Sophomore Tara Cuccia, junior Jackson Iseneker and freshman Savannah Goodwin hold their awards.

    Photo by: Emma Ashcraft
  • Freshman Anna Holm is presented the Timothy award.

    Photo by: Emma
  • Bible teacher John McGinn presents freshman Mackenzie Hope an award.

    Photo by: Emma