May 11, 2016
Rachel Brannen Recipient of 2016 Epistle Award
Prince Avenue Christian School has announced the recipient of the 2016 Epistle Award as senior Rachel Brannen.
Rachel is the daughter of Phillip and Jill Brannen and has attended PACS for 12 years. She is graduating with honors with a cumulative GPA of 4.34. She has been involved in the National Honor Society, Beta Club, cheerleading, and Interact Club and is a Georgia Merit Scholar. She attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church where she volunteers with various activities. Rachel plans to attend the University of Georgia where she will study pre-nursing with the plan to become a pediatric oncology nurse.
The Epistle Award is given annually to the graduating senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, best represents what PACS values more than anything else – a Christ-like spirit that manifests itself in a desire to grow in the Lord and serve others for the glory of God.
PACS Chaplain David Shivar explains, “One of the great blessings of serving as Chaplain of Prince Avenue Christian School is the privilege of overseeing and presenting the Epistle Award.” Mr. Shivar says that while the pursuit of excellence is important in every field – academics, athletics, and fine arts, more than anything, the school wants students to know and love of Jesus Christ and to manifest that love by loving and serving their neighbors. “In fact, our pursuit of excellence in those areas is rooted in our desire to glorify God in all that we do.”
Mr. Shivar gives a heartfelt description of this year’s Epistle Award recipient, Rachel Brannen. “Rachel is characterized by a sincerely humble spirit, a committed servant’s heart, and spiritual maturity.”
The very qualities that Mr. Shivar describes are evidenced in Rachel’s career choice. “When my brother was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2009, I spent a large amount of my time in the pediatric oncology unit of his hospital. I was forever impacted by the nurses who loved and cared for my brother and for me during what could have been a scary and unfamiliar time.” Rachel continues, “To this day, I remember those nurses by name. I want to be a pediatric oncology nurse so that God might use me as a comfort and blessing in the lives of families experiencing childhood cancer just as He used those nurses as a comfort and blessing to me.”
Having been at PACS her entire school career, Rachel appreciates and loves many aspects of PACS, but what is most memorable is the lasting impact the teachers and staff have had on her life. “To have been able to spend twelve years in a place where I was not only provided a solid education, but also equipped and strengthened in my relationship with the Lord has been a huge blessing to me.”
When asked what advice she would offer younger Prince students, Rachel characteristically thinks of others. “Know that even during the simplest day of school, God can use you as a blessing of love and encouragement in someone else's life.”