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A Christ-centered, caring community achieving educational excellence in pre-kindergarten 3 through grade 12. 

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CJ Hobbs ‘23 claimed first place, while Lauren Baker ‘24 and Sara Griffin ‘26 both earned top-10 medals at the Soaring Eagles

SBS runners represent and win big at the annual Soaring Eagles Cross Country Invitational.

Second Baptist School hosted 600 runners on the Second Baptist Church West campus on September 24, for its annual Soaring Eagle Cross Country Invitational. For the Eagles cross country runners, the journey to the TAPPS state championships on October 31, had commenced. Head coach Dr. Chris Hobbs shared that the runners have made vast improvements this season, “demonstrating the type of persistence in training that is referenced in the New Testament when Paul challenges us to ‘run with endurance the race set before us.’ in Hebrews 12:1.” Persistence leads to excellence, and the cross country team is proof of that. 

Excellence was exemplified by the SBS Eagles with CJ Hobbs ‘23 claiming first place, Lauren Baker ‘24 and Sara Griffin ‘26 earning top-10 medals, and Carson Ford ‘26 and Owen Osowski ‘26 both setting new personal records.

“With this being my senior year, I set goals to break all the school records I set last year,” said CJ Hobbs. “Along with my performance, I want to instill a passion for cross country in the underclassmen, so the program will continue to thrive beyond my graduation.” 

Indeed, CJ Hobbs has maintained the success of his all-state junior campaign by medaling three times this season, including two first place medals. CJ recently picked up his first college offer from Dallas Baptist University and is actively being recruited by Arkansas State, University of Memphis, Campbell University and Oklahoma Baptist. 

Freshman Sara Griffin has burst onto the scene, gathering three top-10 medals in her first varsity season and setting three personal records in four weeks. 

“It feels amazing to start the season so strongly!” exclaimed Sara Griffin ‘26, “I prepare for meets by showing up for practice every day and putting in the work my coach tells me will help me get better, and I always do my best.”

Lauren Baker ‘24, the 2020 state champion runner-up, has returned to the course after a challenging 2021 season. Lauren has returned to form, competing twice and medaling twice.

“I can definitely say that the two races I ran have far exceeded my expectations,” shared Lauren Baker. “It feels great to perform well at Second Baptist School’s home meet and to represent my school and God.”

It’s that heart for God and commitment to excellence and perseverance that allows our students to rise to the next level.

“Our SBS community should be proud of how committed this cross country team is to training and representing our school. These athletes are as tough as they come, relentlessly consistent, and I anticipate the improvement will continue to be obvious,” emphasized Head Coach Dr. Chris Hobbs.
 
While winning is the objective in any competition, medaling is not the priority of our Eagles cross country team. It’s running the race with perseverance and running to finish it well.
 

Students pray together at One Day.

Senior Isabella Ventura shares her perspective on One Day, a spiritual emphasis day for students on the SBS campus.

Walking into the doors of the Atrium, I pondered what could await me inside. One Day. A day of community; a day of expression; a day of growth. A day of spiritual emphasis, with over 1000 middle and upper school students from Second Baptist School campuses along with Woodlands Christian Academy. Although all these phrases voiced by the school faculty had given me a glimpse of the event, I had no idea what was about to unfold.

Moments later, I found myself amongst hundreds of students in the Worship Center. Coming from different schools and distinct backgrounds, we all sat together as keynote speaker Shane Pruitt’s voice rang across the enormous auditorium. With captivating charisma and contagious passion, he bestowed upon us a distinctive quote:

Gen Z is a revival generation.”                         

Revival. According to the Oxford Languages, “revival” is “an improvement in the condition or strength of something.”

Pruitt’s assertion was intentional. Moments prior, he had described several hardships my generation faces: with an increase in mental health disorders among children and young people, Gen Z is more depressed and anxious than any of its predecessors. Gaining access to infinite information online and witnessing a variety of sensitive controversies, our generation is walking out into an atmosphere never experienced before. 

Yet Pruitt selected the adjective “revival.” Improvement, condition, strength

Teachers, parents, and faculty at Second Baptist School constantly encourage us to be bold and wise, using our knowledge to alter our community and world. Growing up consistently hearing such a message, it can often be easy or convenient to forget the weight of those words- “We are the future, but we are also the present.” 

It is a daunting task and an inevitable one. Yet throughout the years, I’ve realized that those around me have taken a duty as vast as the ocean and taught me to view it as a drink of water–to take it sip by sip.

When my teammates push me to the absolute limit in the second half of a soccer game, demanding excellence and energy despite our mutual exhaustion, they are all improving me. Whether tackling influential literature in English or discussing difficult topics in the Bible, I am exposed to the current condition of our world. And as we support and rely on one another in all our endeavors, we can reach out and grasp our undeniable strength. As we enter every moment together, big or small, and embrace it, we take a step closer towards revival. 

Our generation is out-spoken and strong-minded and often brutally honest to the point of appearing offensive. But we grow together, taking all the pieces of our lives–every idea and each perspective–and putting them together to construct a beautiful picture. 

As Shane Pruitt stood on the stage, eyes blazing with emotion, he had something he wanted us to hear, a message he wanted each and every listening student to remember- “You are the church right now.”  

Reviving the world around us isn’t an ambition to plan for the future. It starts at this very moment–or no, it’s been ongoing since the very beginning. With my beloved peers around me, the endless opportunities SBS offers me, and God’s guiding hands on my shoulders, I fearlessly embrace what lies ahead, knowing I’m being equipped in each and every moment. 

Josh Collins '23 National Merit

Congratulations to our Second Baptist School seniors who received recognition from the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

At Second Baptist School, we equip our graduates to perform at the highest levels of their respective fields and disciplines so that they can serve as the next generation of Christian leaders. Rising up to meet high standards of academic excellence, five SBS upper school students have been recognized for their academic achievements by The College Board, and Josh Collins ‘23 has been named a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist. 

“Being nominated as a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist is an incredible honor, but this award is also a reflection of the impact others have had on my life. I am extremely grateful to my teachers and friends at SBS,” said Josh Collins ‘23.

The feeling is mutual. 

“We are very proud of Josh. He is proof that a Christian education prepares you to impact the world for Christ,” said Head of Upper School Jon Konzelman.

Additionally, the following students earned recognition because of their academic achievements in school and outstanding performance on the exams:

Carson Bohannon ‘23: NHRA (National Hispanic Recognition Award)

Daniel Arce ‘23: NHRA (National Hispanic Recognition Award)

Gerardo Vazquez ‘23: NHRA (National Hispanic Recognition Award)

Lou Hughes ‘23: NAARA (National African American Recognition Award)

What’s more, seven students in the Class of 2023 have been named National Merit Commended Scholars: Leighton Chapman, Cole Claypool, Kendalyn Firenza, Max Flessner, Edward Millard, Grace Quach, Isabella Ventura.

So far, this year, when combining Semifinalists, Commended Scholars, National African American and Hispanic recognition awards, 16% of Second Baptist School’s Class of 2023 has received National Merit Recognition. Congratulations to all of our academic award winners!

Extreme Eagle 2022

Middle schoolers turned out for Extreme Eagle 2022 decked out with extreme school spirit.

“Middle school spirit is on full display during Extreme Eagle Day,” said Head of Middle School Ellen Barrett. Every year, middle school students get more creative with their extreme spirit; inflatable props, sparkly outfits and plenty of blue and gold filled the E Gym for the afternoon pep rally. The energy was palpable!

At the pep rally, Middle School Dean of Students Cecil Shorts III was the MC, hyping up the already-exuberant crowd. Middle school fall athletes were celebrated, and Middle School Spirit performed for the enthusiastic audience. Per tradition, the musical chairs game was full of competitive spirit, for teachers and students. In the end, the sixth graders won the spirit contest, cheering the loudest as they shouted, “S-B-S!” 

Teachers, too, demonstrated their best SBS spirit, with grade-level team dress-up themes. Both fifth and eighth grade teacher teams chose a theme based on our school theme for the year, Embrace the Moment, showcasing their creativity and highlighting the favorite “moments” of the school year, including Eaglefest and Flight Night, and the milestones of eighth grade such as Eighth Grade Promotion exemplified school spirit. Onlookers smiled in recognition of these momentous occasions on physical display through the teachers’ outfits.

Eighth grade teacher Loren Hopf said, “Extreme Eagle is so fun because it is the only pep rally that is just for middle school! The students – and teachers – go all-out in their school spirit, and their love for SBS is so apparent. It is a day when we celebrate what we love about our school.” 

“Middle schoolers bring life, fun and creativity to our student body, and they fully exude the joy of the Lord on days like Extreme Eagle. I am proud to see their enthusiasm for their school and for being part of the SBS family,” concluded Ellen Barrett.
 

Best Dressed Individual Awards 

Fifth Grade - Colby Hedges and Gemma Lane

Sixth Grade - Karlyse Firenza and Zach Pahutka

Seventh Grade - Mary Roark and John Abbassi

Eighth Grade - Oliver Dawley and Sophia Buehler

Best Dressed Class: Fifth Grade

Most Spirited Class: Sixth Grade

Photos from Extreme Eagle 2022

 

Class of 2026 participates in games at Stoney Creek Ranch during Freshman Retreat.

Faith and friendship came together at Stoney Creek Ranch during Freshman Retreat.

The bookends of the SBS upper school experience, Freshman Retreat and Senior Retreat, each mark important milestones. For freshmen, it is a time of unification and bonding that will carry them through the rest of their time in high school. 

This year, the Class of 2026 retreated to Stoney Creek Ranch to get away from the new expectations and routines of high school to take a moment to prepare for what lies ahead.

Surrounded by teachers, staff and classmates, students learned important lessons such as how to be academically successful and the value of community. Prefects and Fellows served as student leaders to share their wisdom about the upper school experience at SBS. 

Student Life Prefect Preston Igo ‘23 explained, “The retreat is necessary for all freshmen to get to know each other and for them to begin growing as a class. As Prefects, we helped with making some of the games, activities and stations. We also had the privilege of getting to know the underclassmen by serving as counselors in the cabins.”

Every activity was intentional, geared toward transforming a new group of freshmen into a high school class that will have four years of impact. Team-building games with friendly competition, traditions like class color and student skit performances made the time fly by. Meaningful experiences like Chapel on the lake brought depth to the connections being forged and grew the faith of all students present.

Why is Freshman Retreat important?

“Freshman Retreat let us bond from head to toe!” shared Madison Khalife ‘26, referring to a team-building game involving holding a bucket of water with their toes. 

Freshman Thomas Haun’s favorite activity was the blog and he said the retreat is important because “you get to bond with your classmates.” 

Enoc Lemus ‘26 added, “Freshman retreat is important because it helps us bond as a whole class while learning more about God.” 

“Freshman retreat is important because you branch out and meet new people in your class,” said Sofia Tarazona ‘26.

Friendship, faith and fellowship were the markers of Freshman Retreat for the Class of 2026.