“I never thought I’d be standing here,” mused Kendal as her spring 2020 graduation ceremony approached. It’s not that Kendal didn’t think she wouldn’t graduate; she knew that would be no problem. Kendal was reflecting on the fact that the PVCP faculty had unanimously named her Valedictorian of the Class of 2020. How could a “C-average-student” rise to the top of her class in a few short years?
Kendal’s earliest memories at Paradise Valley Christian Preparatory are as a rough-and-tumble preschooler on the playground. Like so many, her parents longed for her to be part of an academic community that shared their values, and PVCP definitely hit that mark. But Kendal concedes she was never really interested in academics. “I used to make excuses saying, ‘I’m an athlete, not an academic.’”
By the time Kendal reached 8th grade, she had fully staked out her reputation as PVCP’s star athlete. She was an okay student, but on the court is where she really thrived. Kendal’s mother, Janette, remembers worrying whether Kendal should continue on at PVCP for high school, given its reputation for rigorous scholarship and a robust humanities program. Janette probed Kendal further: “Are you sure this is really what you want to do?”
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Kendal remembers going through a period of intense introspection in which she concluded that while gifts might be given, talents are developed. And just as she had honed her athletic skills over the years, she realized she could excel academically as well. While academics might not be her natural gifting, she could apply discipline just as she had successfully done in sports for years. That was all the spark she needed.
Fully utilizing PVCP’s small class sizes, personalized attention, and student-faculty tutorial program, Kendal saw her grades gradually begin to improve as she progressed through high school. Not only that, but Kendal maintained her athletics as well, playing multiple sports per season, leading the Panther Women’s Basketball team to victory at the 2020 state basketball championship, and being named MVP of the game and CAA Basketball Player of the Year.
The hard work began to pay off as college scholarship offers flooded Kendal’s inbox. The final count was more than $1.3 million in offers, although her mother admitted that at a certain point, they simply stopped counting.
Reflecting on her time at Paradise Valley Christian Preparatory, Kendal is adamant that this is where she needed to be. “I’m not sure I would have thrived like I did anywhere else,” Kendal confessed. “As I talk with my friends who attended other schools, I realize that PVCP is not like anywhere else,” she added. “Yes, the academics are challenging, but faculty are fully invested in students and help develop in them the tools they need to succeed.”
“PVCP not only deepened my faith, but the teachers showed me how to think critically and recognize that I have a purpose in this life,” shared Kendal. She added, “I challenge anyone who is interested in developing their talents and finding their unique place in the world to give PVCP a look. At PVCP you’ll find a supportive team to cheer you on as you become the person you were called to be.”