At the Upper School Convocation on May 15, Math Department Chair Cynthia Vick presented Bible Department Chair Rick Allen with the Golden Apple award for outstanding teaching. Principal Heather Lytle gave Upper School Assistant Shannon Brown the Red Apple award for exemplary service.
Mrs. Vick said of Mr. Allen, “He has been a herald for the Warrior Way, as he teaches with excellence, displays leadership, instills moral character, devotes himself to the service of our students, and connects them with our community.”
Several students commented on the impact Mr. Allen had made on them personally: “He gives us truth, and he doesn’t try to sugarcoat it”; “He makes the Bible relatable so we can understand it”; and “He has made me more prepared for college, for marriage, and for life.”
Mrs. Vick added, “When Mr. Allen came to Liberty five years ago, he brought with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. In class, he shares openly and honestly, and asks the tough questions, as he challenges students to think, to question, and to defend.
“He has left an impressionable mark on his students and this school, as he equips and holds his students to a high standard, all the while encouraging them.”
In the staff award for the Red Apple, Mrs. Lytle said that Mrs. Brown shares her light and love for the Lord each day with students and teachers alike.
“Whether on the phone with parents or face to face with students, she displays grace and kindness,” said Mrs. Lytle. “Mrs. Brown adds Scripture and encouragement to hall passes that show her heart for students and her desire for them to be surrounded by the Word of God.
“She sees her job as her ministry, and we are blessed every day by this woman of God.”
At the Middle School convocation on May 17, STEM and Applied Engineering teacher and Solar Car sponsor Brent Dragoo received the Golden Apple Award for teaching.
“This gentle giant wears many hats at Liberty and serves the school with excellence,” said Science Department Chair Sue Gallo. “He is a Warrior who daily walks out the seven pillars of the Warrior Way.”
Dr. Dragoo came to Liberty in 2006 as the school’s athletic trainer and physics teacher.
“He has not only attended every sporting event, but even more importantly, he has ministered to our athletes,” said Mrs. Gallo. “Since then, he has stepped in and taught nearly every class within the science discipline.”
In 2006, Dr. Dragoo also began working with the solar car team, which saw the car travel five miles that year. With modifications and a redesign, the car has traveled more than 7,000 miles today, winning second place in a race last summer.
“He has spent countless hours after school and on the weekends training each new solar car team,” said Mrs. Gallo. “For the past 12 summers, Dr. D has traveled, at approximately 30 mph, from Dallas to Austin, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and even Australia. Dr. D and his solar car team have shown the excellence of Liberty across the country and even on the other side of the world.”
Additionally, Dr. Dragoo has served as a leader on the Middle School Spring Break ski trip since 2012 and on the eighth grade Wilderness Trip each May since 2010.
“He is an encourager, a trusted friend, and a mentor to our students,” said Mrs. Gallo. “In addition to announcing games and leading in roles in the community, he gives selflessly of his time and energy to be an exceptional teacher to our students at Liberty.”