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Canadian Olympic Pole Vaulter Training at CAK 

September 25, 2019
By CAK Communications
pole vaulting

Elite pole vaulter Kelsie Ahbe is training at Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) under Coach Jim Bemiller. After being an Olympic finalist in 2016 (top 12), Ahbe's ultimate goal is to medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.  Currently, she is training to compete at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar (Sept 27 & 29).

"I train at CAK because it is a very welcoming environment," says Ahbe. "As an elite athlete, it is difficult to find places to train, but CAK has been generous to give me access to the track and pole vault pit."

Coach Bemiller also coached Olympic gold medalist (2004) and former Vol Tim Mack.  Due to Bemiller's experience, Ahbe says "I believe I am in good company and have a shot at winning a medal in 2020." 

She also enjoys seeing so many CAK athletes practicing each day beside her.  "I hope I can inspire them with my athletic journey!" 

CAK is honored to have Ahbe on campus and looks forward to the 2020 games! 

 

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces New Boys Lacrosse Coach Drew Wassenaar

August 12, 2019
By CAK Communications

August 12, 2019 (Knoxville, TN) – Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is pleased to announce that Drew Wassenaar has accepted the offer to become the head coach of High School Boys Lacrosse team. Wassenaar is not new to CAK, he has been an assistant coach since 2018 and brings a wealth of experience with him into the head coaching role. 

"During my time at CAK, I have predominately spent most of my focus on the offensive side of the ball," says Wassenaar. "I’m most looking forward to taking on the head coaching role at CAK, to help continue the success we’ve had the past two years." 

The relatively new lacrosse program has exploded at CAK where the Warriors have made the playoffs for the past two years. "I’m most excited to be a part of this family," continues Wassenarr "and want to help this program get to the next level." 

Wassenaar has played lacrosse since he was in 6th grade when he fell in love with the sport. He went on to play at the collegiate level at North Greenville University and Tennessee Wesleyan University where he led his team in goals every year. Wassenaar brings accolades including being named All-Conference Player multiple times while in college. He was also Rookie of the Year, Academic All-Conference, All-Tournamenet Team, Team Captain, 1st Team All-American, and Conference Player of the Year. 

Not only can Wassenaar play, but he is also an experienced coach. Most of his experience is with Smokey Mountain Lacrosse and D1 Sports in Knoxville. During his years coaching, many of his high school athletes went on to earn college scholarships, including some at D1 schools. 

"Lacrosse is one of our fastest-growing sports at CAK," says Ried Estus, CAK Director of Athletics. "Coach Wassener was the logical hire of course, but we would’ve wanted him even if he hadn’t coached for us the last two years.  He's passionate about lacrosse, young people and his faith. Our lacrosse program is in very good hands." 

Wassenaar holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from North Greenville University and an MBA from Tennessee Wesleyan. 

As the youngest of six siblings, Wassenaar likes hanging out with his family during his free time, watching movie marathons or doing anything outdoors. He attends Central Baptist Church of Bearden. 

Christian Academy of Knoxville is an independent, Christian private school serving around 900 students in grades pre-K through 12th grade. The CAK Way is infused into our students, parents, faculty and staff to love God, love people, model Jesus, and make decisions that are best for our students.

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces New Director of Special Events, Missy Standifer

August 06, 2019
By CAK Communications

August 6, 2019 (Knoxville, TN) – Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is pleased to announce that Missy Standifer has accepted the offer to become Director of Special Events. Standifer brings 28 years of experience in ministry, event planning, public relations/marketing, sales, and non-profit management to CAK. Most recently, she was the Director of Development/Public Relations at InterFaith Health Clinic in Knoxville. 

"I am so excited to have Missy on our team," says Interim Head of School, Dan Perryman. "She brings tons of experience and a 'can-do' attitude. In her short time here already, she has been such a blessing and encouragement to our team!" 

Standifer will be responsible for organizing events such as the Back to School Picnic, the Legacy Event, and our annual Candlelight Christmas Dinner. She is replacing Monica Rogers who was at CAK for five years, and left to spend more time with her family while working from home. 

“I am passionate about working with kids and families," says Standifer. "Putting my gifts to use at CAK is a dream come true. I am excited to have a chance to plan events that help bring our CAK community together and allow parents and kids an opportunity to serve and have fun at the same time.”

Standifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, a Master of English Education from Auburn University, and a Master of Theological Studies from Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. 

She is also a CAK parent. Her son, Noah (12) is starting his second year at CAK this fall. She also has a son, Caleb (13) who attends Hardin Valley. She and her husband, English, have been married for over 14 years at attend First Baptist Concord. Standifer enjoys reading, journaling, exercising, and all things football. 

Christian Academy of Knoxville is an independent, Christian private school serving around 900 students in grades pre-K through 12th grade. The CAK Way is infused into our students, parents, faculty and staff to love God, love people, model Jesus, and make decisions that are best for our students.

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces Terry Gibson as Chief Administrative Officer

July 03, 2019
By CAK Communications

July 3, 2019 (Knoxville, TN) – Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is pleased to announce that Terry Gibson has accepted the offer to become Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Gibson brings a wealth of knowledge with a background in business to help the school align goals with operational policies and procedures. This leadership position reports to Head of School Dan Perryman.

"I am excited about the experience that Terry brings to CAK,” said Perryman. “His ability to analyze operations and provide viable solutions to problems is an invaluable skill. I look forward to working with Terry.”

Gibson is retired from Smiths Detection where he worked for five years as President of US Operations and Vice President for Global Services. Since retirement, he has served on CAK’s Board of Trustees, and is often seen volunteering around campus and working with the middle school robotics team.

“The opportunity to serve God and support the CAK community is exciting to me,” says Gibson. “I am eager to work with our faculty, staff and families as we seek God’s guidance and implement His visions for the school.”

As a CAK grandparent, Gibson has a heart for the Warrior mission and vision. He and his wife, Betsy, have been married for 45 years and attend Fellowship Church. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Amber, and five grandchildren – Emma (16) and Ethan (14) both who attend CAK, and Olivia (11), Kalbe (12) and Ryley (21), who reside in Florida.

Christian Academy of Knoxville is an independent, Christian private school serving around 900 students in grades pre-K through 12th grade. The CAK Way is infused into our students, parents, faculty and staff to love God, love people, model Jesus, and make decisions that are best for our students.

Posted in Press Release

Rich Fulford selected to become new Head of School at Christian Academy of Knoxville

May 22, 2019
By CAK Communications

The Board of Trustees of Christian Academy of Knoxville is pleased to announce that Rich Fulford has been selected to become the next Head of School. Fulford is currently Assistant Head of School and Middle School Principal, where he has served since 2016.

“To say that I am excited would be an understatement,” says Fulford. “Interestingly, our sermon series this month at Northstar Church has been ‘Nothing Just Happens,’ likewise, this didn’t ‘just happen.’ I am convinced, just as three years ago when God invited me to work with Him at CAK, that He has once again called me to join in greater service to Him as Head of School.”

For the past year, Mr. Dan Perryman has been serving as CAK's Interim Head of School. “Mr. Perryman has been a stabilizing force having led CAK through natural disasters and transitions in leadership, as well as having overseen growth in enrollment and successes in academics, the arts, and athletics,” says Will Ferguson, President of the Board. “We are thankful for his humble guidance, and look forward to his ongoing involvement at CAK.”

For the 2019-2020 school year, Mr. Perryman will continue to serve as Interim Head of School with Mr. Fulford assuming his responsibilities as Head of School on July 1, 2020.

“The search for a Head of School is both challenging and rewarding,” continues Ferguson. “In Rich we found a candidate who reflected a love for Christ, a passion for Christian education, and an appreciation for how CAK can impact our students both academically and spiritually.”

Prior to coming to CAK, Rich was the Assistant Principal at Knoxville's West Valley Middle School. While there, he was part of a team that implemented a 1:1 technology program, which he also helped implement at both Farragut Middle and CAK. Also at CAK, Fulford added an Honors Program to the middle school.

Fulford holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Business from the University of Tennessee, where he was also a two-time NCAA All-American Track and Field Team member and competed in the 1992 Olympic Trials. He went on to serve as a graduate assistant and administrative assistant with UT's Athletic Department while studying to receive a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration. Fulford also holds an Ed.S in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University.

Fulford and his wife Marteal (“Teal”) have been married over 22 years and have four sons: Gabel (17), Ethan (15), Silas (12), and Owen (11). They attend Northstar Church in Knoxville.

For media inquiries, please visit our media page

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces New High School Wrestling Coach, Marquis Dotson, III

April 29, 2019
By CAK Communications

Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is excited to announce the hiring of Marquis Dotson, III as head coach of the high school wrestling team. Dotson has over seven years of professional experience as a teacher, coach, and music minister. 

Most recently, Dotson coached at Fulton High School where he spent four years. During that time, Dotson’s team produced the school’s first state medalists, as well as a state champion wrestler. The Falcons also had their first group of wrestlers ever to sign with a collegiate program. 

Prior to his time at Fulton, Dotson coached a Chattanooga Central High School where he helped lead the team to their 2011 and 2012 state dual championships. 

“Coach Dotson was an easy choice to lead our wrestling program,” says CAK Director of Athletics Ried Estus. “He has a track record of success developing multiple state championship teams, and more importantly, he has a legacy of developing relationships with and making a lasting impact on the young men in his programs.” 

Dotson is taking over the team from Coach Chris Hawkins, who led the Warriors to the Division II Invitational Championship in duals. They are also nominated as the PrepXtra Team of the Year.

“Coach Hawkins invested all he had into building our program,” continues Estus, "and then led us to the one coach he was willing to turn it over to.” 

“Coach Hawkins has done a great job with the wrestling program,” says Dotson. “I am excited to continue what he started, and with the group of kids we have at CAK, I know with hard work and training, we will be successful. I’m looking forward to also building parent, faculty, and student support, and growing the culture of wrestling at CAK.” 

Dotson holds a Bachelor of Music from Virginia State University, and a Master of Church Music from Lee University. He resides in Knoxville where he attends Faith Promise Church, and enjoys coaching wrestling, and playing, teaching and listening to all types of music. 

Interested in attending CAK? Find out more by visiting our admissions page. If you are a journalist looking for more information, please visit our media page

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

April 17, 2019
By CAK Communications
Photo of Sam and Cole

The class of 2019 at Christian Academy of Knoxville is proud to announce that Sam Klauer is Valedictorian and Cole McDaniel is Salutatorian. 

Sam Klauer is a scholar-athlete who has accomplished much during his time at CAK. As a National Merit Finalist, Klauer has achieved the highest academic average in many courses at CAK including Honors Spanish III and IV, AP English III, AP Statistics, AP Psychology, Honors Biology, and Honors Algebra II, while receiving the Outstanding Student award in several others, such as AP Calculus BC and AP Chemistry.  Sam is a National Spanish Exam Silver medalist in both Spanish III and Spanish IV. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, achieved “Excellent” from the ACSI Creative Writing Festival, and was a finalist in the Optimist’s Club Essay Contest.

Klauer is a 4-year varsity letterman, the captain of the CAK soccer team, an all-district player, and he scored the “go ahead” goal as a freshman in CAK’s soccer state championship in 2016. Sam is the son of Dr. Kevin and Tamara Klauer. He is planning to attend the California Institute of Technology to study applied mathematics and aerospace where he will also play collegiate soccer.

Cole McDaniel also strongly excels in academics and is a National Merit Commended Scholar. He is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National English Honor Society. McDaniel received the highest academic average in Honors English I and AP Statistics, and earned the Outstanding Student Award in Spanish I. Additionally, he is a National Spanish Exam Silver Medalist in both Spanish I and Spanish III, and a National Spanish Exam Gold Medalist in Spanish II and Spanish IV. McDaniel sets a strong Christian witness example as the student senate chaplain and a member of the worship band.

In addition to his academic accolades, McDaniel is a scholar-athlete. He is a four-year varsity starter on the CAK Tennis team where he helped his team win the 2017 state championship. He is the 2017 Individual Tennis Singles Regional Runner-Up, and also founded the CAK Bowling Club. Cole is the son of Dr. Lee and Christin McDaniel. He is planning on attending Berry College where he will major in Finance and play collegiate tennis.

Congratulations to both Sam and Cole! 

Find out more about Christian Academy of Knoxville at cakwarriors.com. Journalists with media inquiries, please click here
 

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces New High School Cheerleading Coach, Brooke Cunningham

March 06, 2019
By CAK Communications

Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is excited to announce the hiring of Brooke Cunningham as head coach of the high school cheerleading squad.

Cunningham grew up in the Halls community and has been involved in cheerleading since she was six years old. Formerly serving for five years as CAK’s middle school cheer coach, Cunningham most recently has been leading the Christian Youth Football elementary cheerleading team.

"I'm super excited to be involved with the Spirit program at CAK again," says Cunningham. “I coached a few of the girls when they were in middle school, and I am looking forward to working with them as well as the rest of the team."

Cunningham cheered at the collegiate level at East Tennessee State University and was on staff with the Universal Cheerleading Association. After completing a Communications degree, she went on to receive a Masters in Sports Marketing and Management at the University of Kentucky.

“Brooke definitely has the charisma and infectious personality to lead our cheer team,” says CAK Director of Athletics Ried Estus. “I’m confident she’ll develop meaningful relationships with our girls, and they will surely respond to her energy.”

“My goal for the cheerleading program is to continue building upon their teamwork, leadership, and athletic skills,” continues Cunningham, “and for the team to encourage our school and community both spiritually and athletically."

Cunningham resides in Knoxville with her husband, Matthew, and their children, daughter Leighton, and sons Bryant and Grayton. The family attends Fellowship Church.

There will be a high school cheerleading parent interest meeting on Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. in the high school commons. Try out clinics will be April 2-4 with the actual try-outs taking place April 5. 

Interested in attending CAK? With over 50 athletic teams from elementary to high school, your child is sure to find a place to connect. Reach out to us at admissions@cakmail.org or schedule a campus tour. 

Posted in Press Release

Seven CAK Athletes Sign to Play at the Collegiate Level

February 08, 2019
By CAK Communications
Photo of Students

Christian Academy of Knoxville is excited to announce that seven of our student-athletes recently committed to play at the collegiate level on National Signing Day 2019! At a ceremony held on Friday, February 8 in the CAK High School Commons, a packed house watched as the following student-athletes signed with their choice of college. 

Claire Brock – Emory University, Basketball

Accolades:
Junior/Senior – Co-MVP, All District Team, All District and Region Tournament Teams
Sophomore - District MVP, All District and All Tournament Teams
Freshman - “Newcomer of the Year,” All District Team

Annalise Cole - Wheaton College, Softball

Accolades:
Junior - CAK Defensive Player of the Year
Sophomore - CAK Warrior Award, District champions; Region champions, State champions
Freshman – Coach’s Award, District champions, Region champions, State champions

Jack Flynn - Carson Newman University, Football

Accolades:
Senior – (Football) Team Captain, 1st Team All Region, Knoxville Focus Coach’s All Knox Co Football 1st Team, CAK Iron Warrior Award, (Track and Field) Regional and State finalist in discuss, Regional finalist in shot put, (Lacrosse) Team Captain
Junior – (Football) All Region Honorable Mention, CAK Iron Warrior Award, (Lacrosse) Team Captain
Freshman & Sophomore – Lacrosse Team Captain, Track and Field and Football letterman

Stewart Howell - University of Tennessee Martin, Football

Accolades:
Senior – Team Captain, CAK Iron Warrior Award
Junior – Team Captain, Team Offensive MVP, All Region
Sophomore – All Region

Annie Lukens - Berry College, Soccer

Accolades:
Senior – All District Defensive Player of the Year, All Region, Team Defensive MVP
Sophomore – Team Defensive MVP, All District, All Region, Knoxville Football Club United 01 Division II State Championship team
Freshman - Knoxville Football Club United 01 Division II State Championship team

Luke Simpson - Carson Newman University, Football

Accolades:
Senior – Football Team Captain, Bulsworth Character Award, 1st Team All Region, Warrior Award, Lacrosse team captain
Junior – Football team captain, All Region Honorable Mention
Sophomore - 1st Team All Region, Soccer state championship team

Will Sterchi - Berry College, Football

Accolades:
Senior - Knoxville Focus All-Area Football Team Honorable Mention, All Region Division II-AA Honorable Mention, CAK Football Warrior Award CAK Football Team Captain

We congratulate all of our Warrior players who are going on to live their dreams! May God shine a light on your path and bless you! 

If you are interested in finding out more about Christian Academy of Knoxville, log onto our website at cakwarriors.com. For athletic media inquiries, please contact Ried Estus, Director of Athletics (865) 690-4721 x132 (o), restus@cakmail.org 

Posted in Press Release

CAK Announces Two National Merit Semi-Finalists

January 24, 2019
By CAK Communications
Photo of Eli and Sam
Christian Academy of Knoxville is proud to announce that seniors, Eli Oaks and Sam Klauer, have been named National Merit Semi-Finalists. 
 
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Each year, approximately 1.6 million students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which serves as an initial screen of entrants. Less than one percent of those entrants move on to become semi-finalists, which is determined by the highest scores. As a college-preparatory Christian school, CAK is thrilled that two of our seniors are semi-finalists this year. 
 
Eli Oaks
 
Senior Eli Oaks has received a number of national awards, including both a silver (2017) and gold (2018) medal in the national French exam, Le Grand Concours. At CAK, Oaks is a member of both the National Honor and National English Honor Societies. In addition, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) awarded him Excellent and Superior ratings at the annual creative writing festival. During the summer of 2018, Eli had the privilege of attending the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities; he considers this his proudest accomplishment to date.
 
Aside from stellar academics, Oaks is a well-rounded student who enjoys singing and playing guitar at a local coffee shop, and has been accepted into the Tennessee All-State Choir. He also leads youth ministry worship and small-group children’s ministry at his Sweetwater church. Oaks also holds a black belt in Tai Kwon Do.
 
Sam Klauer

Senior Sam Klauer is recognized by his peers and faculty for his academic excellence and leadership as a student-athlete. He has achieved the highest academic average in many courses at CAK including Honors Spanish III and IV, AP English III, AP Statistics, AP Psychology, Honors Biology, and Honors Algebra II, while receiving the Outstanding Student award in several others, such as AP Calculus BC and AP Chemistry.  Sam is a National Spanish Exam Silver medalist in both Spanish III and Spanish IV. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society, achieved “Excellent” from the ACSI Creative Writing Festival and was a finalist in the Optimist’s Club Essay Contest.
 
Like Oaks, Klauer's accomplishments reach beyond academics. He is a 4-year varsity letterman and scored the “go ahead” goal as a freshman in CAK’s most recent soccer state championship in 2016.  He enjoys coaching youth soccer and is currently the captain of his FC Alliance soccer team. Sam plans to pursue degrees in mathematics and engineering while pursuing collegiate soccer.
 
Join us in congratulating these two fine young men! 
 
About CAK
 
Since 1977 the Christian Academy of Knoxville has partnered with families to provide a college preparatory education in a Christ-centered environment. CAK has dual accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Presently, students come to CAK from more than 140 churches to fulfill the values of being servants, scholars, and disciples. If you are interested in becoming a CAK Warrior, visit our admissions page
Posted in Press Release
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