High School Team
Nineth Grade Homeroomkennylee@newlifeacademyrm.com
Tenth Grade Homeroom
I was born in Nash County. I have lived in this area most of my life. I am a graduate of North Carolina State University where I came to know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is also where I earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in the fields of Biological Sciences and Botany in 2001. After graduation, I worked as a Chemistry Lab Technician in a Pharmaceutical Production Laboratory for over 4 years.
In 2005, I began pursuing a Masters of Divinity in Christian Ministry with Biblical Languages from Southeastern Baptists Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. I earned that degree and was ordained a Southern Baptist Minister in May of 2010. Since 1998, I have served in various ministry positions across the state of North Carolina. Positions ranging from volunteer youth director to senior pastor. I strongly desire to serve Jesus Christ the remainder of my life. I want to see families and churches live out our faith with authentic zeal. In addition to teaching, I serve area churches as a Transitional Pastor, and I am a blogger at zealoushomes.com, a blog about faith, family, and ministry.
During a VBS, a pastor scared me so much with the thought of going to Hell that I went forward to collect my fire insurance. At the age of 12, I was publicly dunked in a warm pool of water. It all seemed so formal, magical even, but as I wiped the snot away from my nose the only thing I remember thinking was, "Okay, I'm good now! I don't have to worry about Hell anymore!"
For the next 10 years of my life, not much changed. I tried to be a good person, but Christ was not much of a factor in my teenage years. The church that dunked me did not actively try to follow up with any discipleship, so naturally I was in the process of conforming to the world and growing up a pagan who was dunked at a church to collect my fire insurance.
As a teenager, I was a pretty good kid. I didn't party. I didn't drink alcohol, do drugs, or smoke. However, no matter how good I was, I never felt good enough. I always felt something was missing. When I started college at North Carolina State University in the Spring of 1998, I tried really hard to be a good student. I studied hard and tried to hang out with new friends. Unfortunately, my new friends who lived next door in the dorm were heavy drinkers who loved to party. Despite their influence, I never acquired a taste for their lifestyle or their alcohol, though admittedly I tried for a season to be like them. I hung out with them regularly, cussed like a sailor when I was with them, even tried to drink a little, but couldn't bear the taste of alcohol (thankfully)! So I became the coolest designated driver for a semester.
When Summer break came, I went home promising myself that I needed to make a change for the better. During the Fall semester, those old friends had quit school, so I had a clean slate. I attended a meeting called "Prime Time" hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ. I asked about
their weekly men's bible studies. Soon two guys knocked on my dorm room door. Cary Osborne and Alan Huffman came in and began to tell me about the bible study they lead in my dorm. They shared a little yellow booklet with me titled "The Four Spiritual Laws," but I told them I was already a Christian. I attended their bible study for a few weeks and really bonded with the other guys in the group. While I enjoyed their companionship, their relationship with this Jesus guy was unlike anything I had ever witnessed. It made me feel inadequate, fake, like I didn't really belong to their group, but I wanted to be as happy and joyful as these guys were.
September came around and they asked me if I was going to go to their annual Fall Retreat. It sounded like fun so I agreed to go with them (not knowing that it would forever change my life). They had lined up a retreat pastor named Dan Hayes. He spoke to the nearly 100 NCSU Crusaders gathered at the retreat on the topic of "Fireseeds of Spiritual Revival."
During the talk, I had the most uneasy feeling in my soul. As he talked, I realized the he was talking about a relationship with Jesus Christ that I knew I did not have. He talked about how to have a relationship with Christ, not about how to avoid Hell! He gave an unusual invitation. He didn't ask for me to go to the front and pray with anyone. He said, "If you want a relationship with Christ, go out and find you a quiet place and talk to God about it tonight before you go to bed." So I got in a canoe and made my way out into the middle of the lake in the dark and there talked to God for probably a couple of hours!
When I came back onshore, I quickly found Cary and Alan to share with them the good news of the transformation I was undergoing. The next day, I realized that there were about 20 other students who gave their life to Christ the night before. It was an amazing time of worship that followed as we celebrated the Grace and Mercy of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. For the first time, I wasn't just singing songs; I was worshiping my Savior!
Eleventh Grade Homeroomtarahpoelman@newlifeacademyrm.com
Twelfth Grade Homeroom
I grew up in Eden, NC with a very close knit family. We moved to Nash County when I was 19 and that is when I met my husband, Christopher. We quickly fell deeply in love and are celebrating 9 years of marriage. We were married 3 years when God blessed us with our miracle baby, Abygail. I have served in various ministry positions over the years, but currently I just celebrated my 5th year as the youth pastor at Gold Valley COGOP, my husband and I are junior camp directors at Camp Maranatha, and I serve on the state youth board for the Church of God of Prophecy.
I have been serving the Lord for as long as I can remember. God has led me through so many seasons of life. I don't know where I would be without Him! I truly have a passion and calling for youth ministry and I believe with all my heart that teaching at NLCA is just another step in that ministry!
High School Art
All my life I wondered why God gave me such a “mixed” bag of talents. Now that I’m here at NLCA I know why. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to love all these children. Each one is a blessing in their own way.
I feel very blessed that I would be allowed to teach children about God’s artistic beauty in everything around us.