South Okaloosa and Walton County Students Among Distinguished Group of Rocky Bayou Christian School
South Okaloosa and Walton County were well represented in Rocky Bayou Christian School’s baccalaureate/commencement at Generation’s United on May 29.
The class itself may have only been comprised of 47 students; however, their accomplishments were anything but small with many of them going on to the colleges of their choice and being awarded more than $2 million in scholarship money. RBCS is honored to highlight the following graduates of the Class of 2015 from South Okaloosa and Walton Counties:
Josh Birdsong was a member of the debate team, theatre, and golf team. He was the SGA Academic Prefect, the Beta Club Chaplain, and the Troupe 7784 President of the Thespian Society. He placed 1st in Poetry and Debate and 2nd place in Comedic Monologue for FACCS High School Fine Arts. He also placed 2nd for Comprehensive Math at the Tri State Math Olympiad in Dothan. Birdsong was awarded the Good Christian Character Award, the Philemon Award, and the Association of Christian Schools International Distinguished Christian High School Student Award for Excellence in Academics, Fine Arts, and Leadership. Birdsong will attend Northwest Florida State College as a Florida Academic Scholar with more than $130,000 in scholarship offers toward his college education.
Logan Carollo will attend Northwest Florida State College. During his time at RBCS, he was a member of the basketball and track teams and served as a youth group leader in his church, Resurrection Catholic Church.
Cameron Esses is a lifer at RBCS, having spent his entire school career at Rocky Bayou Christian School. He was a member of the Beta Club, Spanish Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and the RBCS Marching Band. He served as the SGA Advancement Prefect and Varsity Soccer Captain, was an academic team state and local champion, and earned the honor of Army Reserves Scholar Athlete. Esses received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence and the DCHSS Award for Academics, Athletics, and Leadership. Cameron also received the Philemon Award. He will attend Duke University on an ROTC scholarship, earning over $215,000 in scholarship assistance toward his college education and was named a Florida Academic Scholar.
Trent Jarosewicz will attend Mississippi College on the Heritage Scholarship and a football scholarship, earning $52,000 in assistance toward his college education. He was a member of the Varsity football team and as such was awarded All-Conference, All-Area, and Honorable Mention for All-State football. He was also a member of the Varsity basketball team and a Destin Community Center volunteer.
Douglas Linder served as a member of RBCS’s choir, Leadership Trek, and Beta Club. He was a Varsity Swimmer District Champion and Regional finalist. He also served as an American Red Cross volunteer. Linder was awarded the Man of Valor Award, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Award, and the Good Christian Character Award. He will attend Northwest Florida State College in the fall.
Liana Masih served as a Camp All-American counselor and was a member of NWFSC Dance. She was a member of RBCS’s Leadership Trek and a member of the RBCS Social Committee. Masih will attend Troy University in the fall on their Chancellor’s Award academic scholarship that will provide full tuition for her college education.
Logan McCullough will attend Northwest Florida State College in the fall. He spent his entire school career including kindergarten at RBCS, making him a “lifer.” During his time at RBCS, he was a part of the weightlifting team. He was awarded the President’s Award for Educational Achievement. McCullough was also a Heritage Church and North Bay Baptist Church volunteer.
Casey Ponder served as the SGA Athletic Prefect. He was a member of both the Varsity golf and the track team and served as Varsity basketball captain. He was a captain of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was awarded the Philemon Award. He will attend Bryan College on both academic and basketball scholarships with over $115,000 in scholarships toward his college career.
Josh Preston will attend the University of West Florida as a Florida Academic Scholar, having been offered over $278,000 in scholarships from five different schools. Preston has attended RBCS on both the Destin and Niceville campuses since K4, making him a new kind of RBCS lifer. During his time at RBCS, Preston was a member of FCA and the Varsity football team and served as Captain of the Varsity basketball team.
He was District Champion and State Winner for the track team and was named to the All-Conference, All-Area, and All-State football teams.Preston was also awarded the Philemon Award and was the Senior High School Male Athlete of the Year.
Bailey Tolbert served on the RBCS Varsity football and Varsity basketball teams and was a member of the Outdoorsman Club. He traveled to Costa Rica and the Adullam House for mission trips during his time at RBCS. He was awarded the President’s Award for Educational Achievement and will attend Haney Technical University in the fall.
Bailey Townson will attend Northwest Florida State College in the fall. He was awarded the President’s Award for Educational Achievement and the Good Christian Character Award. Townson also served as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
Jessica Vermillion was a member of the Beta Club and the Secretary for Thespian Troupe 7784. She was SGA Social Prefect and placed 1st in Dramatic Monologue for FACCS High School Fine Arts. Vermillion was also crowned this year’s Homecoming Queen. She was awarded the Spirit of Prudential President’s Gold Award for Excellent Volunteerism, the President’s Award for Academic Achievement, the Outstanding Christian Character Award, the DCHSS Award for Fine Arts, Leadership and Service, The Moses Award for Service, and the Jostens Servant Knight Award for her exceptional service hours. Vermillion will attend Northwest Florida State College in the fall, hopefully as a Florida Medallion Scholar.
Wade Wiederhold will attend Northwest Florida State College in the fall. During his time at RBCS, he served as SGA Discipleship Prefect and as a member of the Varsity soccer and tennis teams. He was awarded the Defensive MVP Soccer Award, FCA Beyond to God Soccer Award, Faithful Knight Award, Outstanding Christian Character Award, Philemon Award, and Barnabas Award for Encouragement.
Sam Williams served on RBCS’s Outdoorsman Club, wrestling and weightlifting teams. He was awarded the President’s Award for Educational Achievement and will attend Northwest Florida State College.
Vanessa Wyn was a member of National Society of High School Scholars and volunteered her time as a library, childcare, and dance studio volunteer. She also taught voice and piano lessons. Vanessa was awarded both Taylor University and Belhaven University Academic Awards. She will attend Cedarville University in the fall on both an academic and the Principal scholarships. Wyn also earned the Florida Medallion Scholar Award.
The Rocky Bayou Christian Academy is the secondary department of Rocky Bayou Christian School. RBCS, a K-3 through 12th grade Christian school, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or ethnicity in the admissions of students per USC 2000d.
RBCS began its ministry with a twenty-two member student body in 1973. The present enrollment is over 750 students, which includes students bused from as far away as DeFuniak Springs and Hurlburt Field. The school also offers a special education ministry and has developed Christ-centered early childhood curriculum materials which are being used nationwide by Christian day schools and homeschoolers.
For more information about Rocky Bayou Christian School, see www.rbcs.org or call 850-678-7358.