Senior Spotlight – Lena Adams

Lena Adams was born in Chernivsti, Ukraine, the only member of our Class of 2017 born out of New York State!  She lived in orphanages in the Ukraine before her mother decided to adopt her at the age of 8.  Many of the Ukrainian babies were very sick, drawing her to some of the older children there.  She saw Lena’s picture in a book and eventually met Lena in person.  The two visited several times during nearly six weeks in the country and eventually both decided this would be Lena’s new family.  On July 29, 2005, a court in Ukraine made the adoption official.

Lena came to Oakland, California with her mother, becoming a member of the family and a new US citizen.  Lena eventually moved to the Albany area where she attended schools in the Shenendehowa District.  She went to St. Ambrose for one year before starting at LCA nearly four years ago in ninth grade.

Lena’s mother grew up in the Capital District and graduated from Dana Hall in New Hampshire before going off to Skidmore College to major in English.  Before college she had worked as a seamstress.  Mrs. Adams uses her training in English today as a technical writer.  Lena’s father Bob graduated from high school in California and spent time in the Army before moving to New York State and working as an electrician.

Lena recognizes that God has directed her steps into her family and thanks God that she was adopted by a Christian who has raised her to love the Lord.  Lena accepted Christ as her Savior not long before starting the ninth grade.  She attends Clifton Park Community Church where she is involved in the youth choir and vacation Bible school.

Lena has several lasting memories of her years here at LCA.  Two years ago, her class took a field trip to New York City where Lena enjoyed being able to see the Statue of Liberty up close and even being able to climb inside it.  Just walking around New York City and seeing the sights was a real treat for Lena.  Lena has also been blessed with two special friends, classmate Victoria and sophomore Zaresh.  She will always remember laughing and joking around with them.  Lena will remember and be thankful for her time at LCA and the administration at the school.

Lena also had a memorable Senior Trip this year, traveling through several new states for her.  She enjoyed her first time in Washington, DC, seeing the monuments, memorials, and Capitol buildings.  During the time at The Wilds camp, Lena enjoyed white water rafting for the first time as well as all of the spiritual challenges there.

This fall, Lena plans to take classes to get certified to work with children with disabilities.  She has the experience of working in programs for children with learning and physical challenges and hopes she will be able to make a difference in the lives of these needy children.  Lena’s life verse comes from Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Senior Spotlight – Seless Terry

Seless Terry was born in Westchester County and was adopted before her second birthday by Phil Terry and Cathy Belanger. Her father worked as a sales manager as Seless grew up, living in Broadalbin.  Seless attended school in Broadalbin and in Fonda before coming to LCA in sixth grade back in 2010 when her family moved to Ballston Lake.  Seless’s mother worked as an accountant, owning and managing several of her own businesses.

Seless has been blessed to grow up in a large family with nine siblings: Timmy, living in Virginia; Brian, living in Glenville; Ben and Kayla, living in Perth; Abbey, living in Clifton Park; Danielle, living in Florida; Alex, living in Saratoga; Jimmy, living in New York City; and Meka, an LCA alumnae who is living at home.  Seless lives with her father, her sister, and her step-mother Candice in Ballston Lake today.

Seless grew up attending Perth Bible Church before moving to this area and attending Grace Fellowship.  She now attends Living Hope with her father and step-mother.  Seless accepted Christ as her Savior at age 4 after hearing her father speak about Jesus with her brother.  She was baptized at Living Hope earlier this year.  Seless has served her churches in children’s ministries, as a greeter, and in small groups.

Seless has many great memories of her years at LCA.  She quickly recalls special friends Jasmine, Kaitlyn, and Elsa, all LCA graduates, who helped her learn volleyball and basketball.  Seless remembers that all three of them pushed her forward to do better.  In addition, Seless has appreciated present LCA students Victoria, Lena, and Zarash, who have been an encouragement to her.  They all will make her laugh when she has a bad day.  Seless points out that Victoria and Zarash “are crazy!”

Seless remembers how LCA junior Joshua Arthur loves to make fun of a story she tells of a kid whose father only gave him one piece of candy for Halloween.  Seless also points out that Mrs. O’Rourke makes that story come together and makes everyone laugh as Seless tells it!

Seless will always appreciate the ministry of North Colonie teacher Mrs. Hogan.  Not long after they first met, Seless needed to apologize to Mrs. Hogan for fighting with her.  She remembers that Mrs. Hogan “laughed so hard” as they went on to spend some time together.  Seless appreciates how Mrs. Hogan will make a story come alive and the way that Mrs. Hogan was so excited and happy that Seless could once report that a main character had died at the end of a story she was assigned to read.

Seless plans to move to Virginia after graduation and live with her mother there while she attends Thomas Nelson Community College in nearby Hampton.  Seless plans to study graphics design with a hope to create Christian cartoon movies based on Christian principles.

Seless’s life verse is Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Senior Spotlight – Kallie Parker

Kallie Parker has attended LCA for fifteen years, starting with Mrs. Cole’s K3 class in 2002!  She has been at this school longer than any of her other classmates and will become the fourth in her family to graduate from this school.

Kallie’s mother is from New England, growing up in Middletown Springs, Vermont, to a family of native New Englanders.  By contrast, Kallie’s father grew up in the deep south, all the way down in Charleston, South Carolina.  The two met when she taught his niece in 6th grade.  At first, Kallie’s mother did not want to go out with someone shorter than she!  Kallie’s father was working at a small card shop creating cards himself; Mr. Parker is quite talented in calligraphy.  The two did eventually start dating and finally married after they moved north.

For a time, both of Kallie’s parents taught in LCA’s elementary school program.  Kallie had the unusual privilege of having her own mother as a teacher for a year.  She remembers that her mother would have to go through the names of all three of her siblings—Will, Cheyenne, Sierra—before getting her name correct!  Kallie also remembers that her mother was a very good teacher and especially made science interesting.

Kallie points out that each of her siblings is very different from the others.  Kallie also reports that she could tell plenty of stories of them beating her up as a kid!  All three of the girls loved horses, but Will was always terrified of them, even of the smallest pony in the barn.  Kallie enjoyed riding and showing horses before they moved away from the horse barn.

Kallie has many fond memories of time at LCA with Mickayla Mein, who graduated from LCA last year.  Many of her memories center on getting in trouble after school, especially once when Mr. Fry asked who was supervising the two of them in Mrs. Mein’s classroom one afternoon.  They responded in unison, “Jesus!”  Mickayla and Kallie would enjoy crazy times together and playing together in recess.  Kallie has missed hanging out and seeing Mickayla every day this year.

Kallie has also appreciated the teachers here at LCA.  Mrs. Mein “always pushed me to do better” and was “always there.”  Mrs. O’Rourke listens well and “gives us a hug when we need it” and has always “been there in the hard times” and “gives good advice.”  Mrs. Kettlewood has been “brutally honest, but very loving; puts us in our place, but at the right time, she knows to provide encouragement.”

The only church Kallie can remember is Latham Bible Baptist Church where she has grown up.  Kallie accepted Christ as her Savior at five years old and was baptized about two years later by Pastor Davoll.  She remembers Mr. Lettko (a present LCA school board member) who taught junior church with the help of a stuffed raccoon in a stump—he had to throw it away when “it got gross.”  Kallie has helped Mrs. Henry with junior church herself, working with the 3 to 5 year olds.  Kallie has been involved in many church Christmas plays through the years.

While attending LCA, Kallie has been involved in ensemble, drama club, NYACS fine arts, volleyball, basketball, yearbook, and has served as a prayer group leader.  In her few moments of down time, Kallie admits, “I don’t do a lot,” but she does enjoy reading (especially dystopian fiction) and she also enjoys drawing and writing stories.

Kallie is considering attending Maranatha Baptist University in Wisconsin this fall and studying early childhood or elementary education and minoring in music.  She is also considering a TESL program.  Kallie’s life verse comes from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Matthew Heller

Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have six graduating seniors during the 2016 – 2017 school year.  Many of these members of the Class of 2017 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all contributed a great deal to the ministry here.  Each remaining month during the school year, we will be highlighting one of the seniors in an article published in our Knightline newsletter.  We continue this week with senior Matthew Heller.

Matthew Heller has been at LCA since K5, a true “lifer”!  While Matthew fondly remembers friends Yash and Sagar, only classmate Kallie Parker has remained at LCA this long.  The Heller family heard of LCA through friends at church, the Cunninghams, who have had their two children at LCA as well.

Matthew’s father, John Heller, was born in Troy and grew up there before eventually moving to Schenectady.  He graduated from Mohonasen High School and went away to SUNY-Brockport where he majored in communications.  Eventually Rev. Heller moved back to the area and worked for The Record in management.  Today Matthew’s father works at Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation as well as at H&R Block during tax season.  He also serves as assistant to the pastor at Free Spirit Fellowship in Ballston Spa.

Matthew’s mother, Marie, was born and raised in Peekskill.  In fact, her sister today lives in the same house where they grew up.  The future Mrs. Heller graduated from Hendrick Hudson High School and then attended Russell Sage College.  After graduating from there, she went on to the University of South Carolina to earn her Master’s Degree in public health education.  Once she completed her degree there, Matthew’s mother came back to this area and worked at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Rotterdam.  Today Mrs. Heller works at Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County as a volunteer coordinator with adult ESL students.

Matthew’s parents first saw each other in Troy when his mother was waiting at a bus stop.  The two began talking and she missed her bus.  Of course, Matthew’s father volunteered to give her a ride home.  They soon began dating.  When the future Mrs. Heller decided to head off to South Carolina for her graduate work, Mr. Heller decided to lend his car to her so that she would have to see him to return it once she returned!  They were engaged on Valentine’s Day 1981 and married a year later.  They recently celebrated their 35th anniversary together!

Matthew came along in 1999 as the only child of his parents.  Much of his early life has been spent either at LCA or at his church, Free Spirit Fellowship.  Matthew was dedicated there and came to know the Lord on June 4, 2006.  A few weeks later, on Father’s Day, he was also baptized at this church.  Matthew has been involved in the music ministry where he sings and plays the piano and in several outreach programs.  He has also helped his church begin a daughter work in Watervliet where he also helps with the music ministry.  Matthew and his parents have been at church whenever the doors are open, whether for worship, prayer meeting, or even work days!

Matthew has many memories of his time at LCA.  He fondly recalls Mrs. Parker’s “crazy ways to remember things,” Mr. Fry’s jumping on the desk because of a forum post messed up by the class and his sports analogies only Matthew “got,” and Mrs. Walter’s dedication to Scriptures and applying that to her science lessons.

Matthew also appreciates Mrs. O’Rourke putting up with his “Senioritis” this year and being someone he can always talk to about anything.  In addition, Matthew remembers how Mrs. Kettlewood listens to and cares about anything students have to say to her and especially remembers their frequent conversations about the Yankees beating the Red Sox!

Matthew has also enjoyed being part of the “Big Three” along with juniors Josh Arthur and Matthew Mansfield.  They had their first class together in a combined 3rd and 4th grade classroom where they played basketball in PE together.  They continued to build memories through the years.

Playing on LCA’s basketball team has also been special for Matthew.   His best memory of his time on the team came recently, on senior night last month.  He remembers this as “the most emotional game I’ve ever played.”  Of course, coming out with the victory after “the longest quarter of my life” after never losing the lead sealed the memory for him.

Perhaps Matthew’s best memory from LCA has been his time with girlfriend and classmate Macey Ryan.  Macey came to LCA in 9th grade.  Matthew recalls, “She thought I was weird!”  After Macey left for public school for a year, the two began a friendship at the end of 10th grade and began dating in the summer of 2015.  Matthew points out, “She keeps me motivated to finish well.  She encourages me to smile when I’ve had a bad day.  It wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t together for our senior year.”  Matthew says that he is excited to see how God will lead them in the future and how they may grow closer to each other through God.

This fall, Matthew plans to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and major in biomedical engineering.  Matthew is excited about this school and program because “it’s very interesting engineering, a new field.”  He goes on to say, “This allows you to impact people directly with new inventions.”  Matthew appreciates that RPI is close to home and says that this is the kind of place where he could really see himself.  He also is confident that this is God’s will, even though it is not the least expensive school.  Matthew is excited to see how God will help supply the need of paying for his schooling.


Matthew’s life verse comes from Acts 2:38-39, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Senior Spotlight – Macey Ryan

Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have six graduating seniors during the 2016 – 2017 school year.  Many of these members of the Class of 2017 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all contributed a great deal to the ministry here.  Each remaining month during the school year, we will be highlighting one of the seniors in an article published in our Knightline newsletter.  We continue this week with senior Macey Ryan.

Macey Ryan has attended LCA since 8th grade when she transferred here from Oakwood Christian in Troy.  Macey also attended LCA way back in K3 where she first met classmate Kallie Parker and had Mrs. Cole as her teacher.

Macey’s parents both grew up in Troy where they attended many of the same schools, including Troy High.  Macey’s father studied at Hudson Valley and then transferred to SUNY Utica with a major in industrial technology, while her mother stayed local and attended Hudson Valley and studied criminal justice.  Her parents met through mutual friends at a restaurant in their hometown and have now been married for 21 years.  Today, Macey’s father runs his own business, Ryan’s Painting, and her mother works for the New York State Comptroller’s Office.

Macey has one sibling, her brother TJ, who is in ninth grade at LCA.  She describes her brother as, “Good at doing anything but school!”  TJ enjoys building and fixing things and picks up new skills quickly—as long as they aren’t school related!

Macey has lived in only two homes growing up, first in North Greenbush and now in Brunswick.  She grew up attending Brunswick Baptist Church and now attends Free Spirit Fellowship.  Macey has been very involved in her churches, including ministries in Sunday school where she took turns teaching Bible lessons to children and working in the church nursery.  Macey has also volunteered at Brunswick’s Family Fun Day, providing a fun time for children and their parents each summer.  Having grown up in church and in a Christian home, Macey has known Christ since a young age.  She received confidence in her salvation at age 17 and was recently baptized.

During her time at LCA, Macey has enjoyed several special friendships.  Her first real friend at LCA was Mickayla Mein, who graduated last year.  Macey remembers that Mickayla was the first person to talk to her when she started at LCA.  Macey also enjoys her friendship with classmate Kallie Parker.  Macey reports that she and Kallie started as “enemies” but eventually got to know each other.  Macey says, “We just get along really well.  We like the same things even though we are really different.”

Macey also credits classmate and boyfriend Matthew Heller with making “my time in high school better.”  They began dating the summer after tenth grade.  Macey remembers how nice it has been to have a special friend when things were bad.  She praises Matthew highly by saying, “Knowing that you have that person that cares about the problem even more than you just because you are concerned.”

Macey also fondly remembers two of her teachers.  Mrs. O’Rourke has a special place in Macey’s heart because, “She understands everything.  You can talk to her like a friend.  She understands the students.”  Macey believes that Mrs. Walter is the best teacher at LCA because she is “very encouraging and willing to help.  There’s something extra about her.”

As she leaves LCA, Macey offers some important advice to the younger students.  She regrets not participating in some activities because “I didn’t feel pretty that day.”  Now Macey understands, “It’s not worth it.  Don’t let something others think hold you back from opportunities.”

Macey plans to attend Hudson Valley Community College this fall and begin studying to be a respiratory therapist.  Because she has had severe asthma for her entire life, she hopes to help others with breathing and lung problems.

Macey’s life verse comes from Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Senior Spotlight – Victoria Hauprich

Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have six graduating seniors during the 2016 – 2017 school year.  Many of these members of the Class of 2017 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all contributed a great deal to the ministry here.  Each remaining month during the school year, we will be highlighting one of the seniors in an article published in our Knightline newsletter.  We begin this week with senior Victoria Hauprich.

Victoria has attended LCA since ninth grade when she transferred here from Our Savior’s Lutheran where she had attended for two years previously.  Victoria values her family and enjoys talking about the large family God has blessed her with.

Victoria’s father grew up in Ballston Spa where he graduated from high school.  Not long after graduation, he got a job at the Clifton Park Price Chopper where he has now worked for over 30 years.  Victoria’s mother grew up in Glenville.  The two of them met through Victoria’s mother’s brother Dave who became friends with her father and introduced them to each other.  They have now been married for over twenty years.

Victoria has four older siblings.  Her brother Aaron lives in Schenectady and has two girls.  Victoria’s sister Jessie lives in Saratoga and is a stay-at-home mother to her four children and enjoys marathon running.  Victoria has another brother Andrew and sister Jordan who are both attending college in Littleton, New Hampshire.  Victoria also has four younger brothers, all of whom are current students at LCA.

Victoria attends Grace Fellowship in Latham.  She accepted Christ and was baptized as a child.  In a previous church, she volunteered at various ministries including at the Veterans’ Miracle Center and is looking for ways to be involved at her new church.

Victoria has at least one special memory from her time at LCA, when Mr. Fry jumped on top of the desk in the classroom because of poor grammar the class had shown on a research paper for Government class during her junior year.

Victoria has particularly appreciated her friendship with fellow senior Lena.  Victoria reports, “She’s weird.  We’re both weird and together are extra weird!”  Her classmates would likely agree with this statement.

Victoria is still seeking God’s will for what she will do after graduation.  She is considering attending White Mountains Community College in New Hampshire where her brother and sister are current students.  Because of her love for animals, Victoria desires to become a veterinarian.  Victoria claims Psalm 100:5 as a special Scripture passage, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”