6 Alumni Share How GCS Prepared Them For Success
From receiving a top-tier education to being at the top of their professions, Goshen Community Schools graduates have been on a rewarding journey. They’ve taken what they’ve learned and used it as a springboard to success. Here are just a few of their stories.
Warren Kay graduated from Goshen High School in 2012 and the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2016. He is an Army engineer officer serving as a Sapper Platoon leader, and lives on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
Kay’s experiences at GCS helped prepare him for his job as an Army officer in key ways.
“The emphasis on effective writing and communication in the English and Language Arts curriculum has been particularly beneficial in helping me prepare written or oral products for audiences at every level of hierarchy in my military experience,” he said. “I also appreciated the passion for learning and problem solving that was impressed upon me in my various math and science classes. It has helped me maintain my desire to never stop learning.
“In addition to my learning in the classroom, my involvement with various sports in middle school and high school helped me to learn how to build a team, and the different ways that a leader can affect the culture and success of that team,” he continued. “I particularly found that the Stay in Bounds Ambassador program helped give me the opportunity to reflect upon, and teach, concepts that are valuable in training and mentoring soldiers. In both my academic and athletic experiences at GCS, I reaped the benefits of engaged teachers, coaches, and leaders. This has continued to inspire me as I lead soldiers in the Army.”
Reuben Gingrich is a 2007 GCS grad and later studied at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is a professional musician and lives in Los Angeles.
Gingrich considers himself very lucky to have been a part of GCS’ music program.
“I have to give credit to three of my teachers – Max Mault, Chris Smith, and Tom Cox – for constantly pushing me to grow as a musician,” he said. “When I got to Goshen High School, the percussion ensemble program was just starting, led by Chris Smith. Chris would write the craziest music and drum set parts for me. Every year he would write even harder music that I would have to somehow figure out how to pull off! One great memory is of sneaking off to the band room during lunches to practice and work on all the new music that was being thrown my way.
“I am grateful to have had teachers that were inspiring and truly cared about the growth of their students,” Gingrich said. “GHS helped to instill a work ethic in me that I have continued throughout my career as a musician.”
Heidi Shenk graduated from GCS in 2002 and later studied at Syracuse University. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and is the owner/designer of Row House 14, an independent greeting card and stationary goods brand.
“I was fortunate to have a couple teachers, Marilyn Graber and Cindy Cooper in specific, who gave me autonomy in their classrooms,” Shenk said of the Goshen schools experience. “This autonomy allowed me to retain my independence in thought and creativity and pushed me to continue thinking outside the box. I didn’t grow up in the standard societal mold, so having teachers who supported that individuality gave me the space to pursue whatever I was passionate about.”
Rafael Chavez graduated from Goshen High School in 2005 and Goshen College in 2009. He lives in Goshen and is a Spanish teacher at Goshen High School and a freelance musician in the local music scene.
“GCS was very supportive of my musical career,” Chavez said. “At Goshen High School we have a lot of great music programs and I was able to put into practice my musical abilities in different contexts. I was part of the jazz ensemble and at the same time, I was part of a high school rock band that was very active in the local scene. I was also able to participate in the Winter Percussion ensemble and I even got to serve as an accompanist to some of my friends’ recitals. All these musical experiences have shaped the way I work in the classroom and on stage.”
LaMarous Schrock graduated from Goshen High School in 2010 and did an apprenticeship through PHCC for plumbing. He lives in the Waterford area of Goshen and is a journeyman at Goshen Plumbing & Heating.
“Although school did not highlight trades in particular, Goshen Community schools helped prepare me for my current career by offering several construction/design classes,” Schrock said. “Through building trades I have learned the basics of how today’s residential homes are built and through CAD I’ve learned how to efficiently read and interpret blueprints.”
Daniel Driver graduated from Goshen High School in 2008, Goshen College in 2012, and the Indiana University School of Medicine in 2016. He lives in Indianapolis and is a resident physician in internal medicine and pediatrics at Indiana University.
Driver credits Goshen Community Schools with planting the seed of scientific inquiry in his mind.
“I was part of the marine biology program for several years in high school, and multiple science teachers at GHS (Michael Nolt and Carl Weaver come to mind) really fostered my interests in science and helped me decide to pursue a biochemistry degree at Goshen College, which ultimately led to my current career path,” he said. “They were fantastic mentors, encouraging me to think about science in a very practical, applicable context. Mr. Weaver taught an especially relevant science elective called ‘Genetics and Ethics’ that was incredibly formative. The class gave us frequent opportunities to wrestle with very real ethical and political issues in the medical/scientific field, and the ‘lens of critical thinking’ that it helped me form is one that I still apply to real-life situations on a daily basis as a physician!”
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