What have you been up to since you left Pinecrest? I attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where I majored in American Government and Legal Studies. After graduating in 2016, I returned home to attend law school at Georgia State University. In Spring 2019, I graduated and accepted an associate position at Southeastern Legal Foundation. It is a public interest law firm located in Roswell, GA, that specializes in constitutional law--namely, the preservation of individual liberties and the promotion of our nation's founding principles.
How did Pinecrest prepare you for college and beyond? Throughout my 10 years at Pinecrest, there were constant reminders that each and every one of us is loved beyond comprehension. Through the examples of teachers, friends, and parents, Pinecrest taught me to try to imitate that love. In college and law school, when faced with challenging moments or relationships (especially my relationship with myself!), I remembered that our value comes from who we are, not what we do. And with the understanding that we are loved unconditionally, there is no such thing as failure--what a relief!
How did your years at Pinecrest influence your career path? Through extracurriculars like student government, I learned a great deal about leadership. As president my senior year, there were significant changes occurring at Pinecrest. I learned that leadership requires placing the needs of others before our own, communicating clearly and with charity, and prioritizing certain values, even at the risk of seeming uncool. These lessons have been invaluable as a lawyer, because the legal profession depends upon understanding the needs of our clients and communicating those needs. At the same time, we must take an oath to maintain our ethical code, even when it goes against our clients' wishes.
What is your favorite memory of Pinecrest? When I think back on my Pinecrest years, the first thing that comes to mind is spending time with my friends and their families. Our parents were our teachers and administrators, our siblings and their friends would greet us in the hallways, and even grandparents would attend events like Mass and football games. Pinecrest puts faith and family first, and I will always appreciate the community we share.
Was there a teacher at PA who really influenced you? Pinecrest is blessed with wonderful teachers who have made so many sacrifices for their students. Those who most influenced my career path in high school include Carla Chwat, Kristen Falk, Chris Vicknair, Chris Kane, and John Tarpley.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I am getting married in May 2020, so I look forward to raising a family and hope to remain in the constitutional law world for many years to come!
What advice would you give a PA high school student? You are in the unique situation of attending a school where there are so many opportunities to strengthen your spiritual life. Don't take that for granted! I encourage you to lean on your faith and friendships now, because down the road there will be moments when it feels like that's all you have. And, truth be told, that will be all you need.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.
SEMPER ALTIUS = ALWAYS HIGHER
The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.