April 3, 2022

Alumni Newsletter – Spring 2022

Alumni on Campus

Alumni Basketball Coaches

CCS welcomed back four former Warrior basketball players to help coach varsity and middle school teams: Kenny Ellis (‘07), Ryan Leatch (’17), Hannah Gould Stevens (’16) and Daija Coleman (’15). Secondary Warrior basketball players were blessed to have these four alumni coaches guide and encourage them throughout the 2021-2022 season!

Alumni Cheer Coaches

Cypress Christian School is excited to announce new additions to the cheer program for the 2022-2023 season. Additionally, CCS will launch the Warrior Dance Team! The cheer and dance programs will work together to form the Warrior Dance & Cheer Program as the premier spirit, serving organization to the entire athletic department! CCS parents, Morgan Groll and Jennifer Mestayer will lead the program with enthusiasm and a Christ-centered perspective, emphasizing excellence in cheer and dance and leading young ladies to be excellent leaders and Warriors for Christ.

Coach Morgan Wright Groll (’13) has accepted the position of Head Varsity Cheer Coach at CCS. Coach Groll moved to Houston, TX, in 2010 and attended CCS during her high school years, where she met her husband, Jason Groll (’12). They have since had two children, Ella (six), a kindergartner at CCS, and Zachary (three). Over the past two years, Coach Groll has worked at CCS as a substitute teacher and most recently served as the Middle School Cheer Coach during the 2021-2022 season. Coach Groll will be continuing her work at CCS as our new Head Varsity Cheer Coach. She has spent her entire life in the cheerleading world, and she is excited to help build upon the foundation of the program she cherished as a cheerleader ten years ago. She began cheering on the football sidelines from ages five to ten, then she participated in competitive cheerleading for five years before her move to Texas, where she cheered for CCS during her junior and senior years. Since high school, Coach Groll has spent time choreographing for other schools and continuing her passion for athletics as a Cross-fitter and runner. After enjoying a successful year filled with growth and bonding with the middle school cheer team, she is looking forward to impacting varsity cheer!

Natalie Kirtley, wife of  Justin Kirtley (‘04), and mom to Carlee (CCS fourth-grader) and Lylsa (five), will be assisting the Warrior Dance & Cheer Program. Kirtley served as a part of the coaching staff at CCS from 2007-2012 as the Varsity Head Cheer Coach.  As head coach at CCS, she led the team to two victories at NCA (‘08) and Cheer Power (‘10), both in the small school division competition. She had the honor of coaching and sending off one of her cheerleaders to become the first NCAA Division I signee to The University of Oklahoma for cheer! She also had the privilege of mentoring and coaching Coach Groll. She knows Coach Groll’s talents and heart will help mold these girls into great cheerleaders and great leaders in our school.

Coach Kirtley was a competitive cheerleader in high school and later a tumbling instructor at a gym in Georgia. She recently rejoined the CCS coaching staff for the 2021-2022 season as the Pom Squad Coach for the basketball season. As the program grows, she is so excited to see the expansion of opportunities for our girls with cheer and dance! She will now become the assistant to the Warrior Dance & Cheer program. Coach Kirtley is excited to bring her heart and knowledge to the program. She will help these wonderful coaches create a dynamic spirit service organization.

Warrior Ministry


The Cypress Christian School library hosted author and CCS alumna, Koedi Nealy (’21). Koedi is the author of the book “Pennies from Heaven,” a fiction book based on personal events which teaches children that although they are young, they can do great things for God. In honor of her book and visit, CCS participated in a penny drive competition benefiting Graced Ministry, a foundation dedicated to helping homelessness one penny at a time. Koedi also shared her message with students in chapel.

Koedi is attending Southern Methodist University. She serves as founder and president of Graced Ministry 501(c)(3). A vision of helping change lives one penny at a time at the age of seven set Koedi on a path of years of perseverance and countless pleas for help. The non-profit, Graced Ministry, became a reality when she was 13 years old. Her greatest passion is mentoring and working alongside other youth and inspiring people of all ages to use change for change.

To read more about Koedi and view photos of her journey of helping the homeless, please read her interview where she was recently featured in the online publication Voyage Dallas.

For more information about Graced Ministry, please visit GracedMinistry.org.

“One Penny can’t help anyone, but all my pennies together can!”

– Gracie, “Pennies from Heaven”

Warrior College & Career

Catherine Kaliszewski Perri (’09) graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with her masters in social work and now holds a Master of Social Work license. Cat is a full-time therapist under supervision at a residential rehabilitation center working with individuals who are recovering from substance abuse and mental health. She will soon start supervision to work toward her clinical social work license to be able to provide therapy without supervision. Her long-term goal is to have her own practice and work with different populations in mental health care. Cat earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Houston Baptist University. She and husband Matthew live in San Antonio where he is the owner and coach of MVP Track Club and store manager for IRun Texas.

Sam Beckmeier (’19) is an undergraduate student at Baylor University working toward a degree in film and digital media. He has been working as a videographer/editor with Baylor Athletics and was honored to shoot footage at the both the Big XII Championship and Sugar Bowl football games. His job consists of shooting and editing content for Baylor sports teams’ social media pages. After football season, he began shooting footage for Baylor Men’s Basketball – the 2021 national champions of college basketball. Sam has also helped with some CCS videos! He shot and edited a virtual campus tour video and also some “Friday Night Lights” videos after coming back to shoot at a home football game. Photo of Sam by Brittney Matthews – Instagram: @matthews_photography99

Warrior Weddings

Congratulations to newlyweds Shannen Longridge Humphrey (’13) and husband, Ryan. Shannen says, “I married the love of my life, Ryan Humphrey, on December 18, 2021, in Weatherford, TX. Our desire for the wedding day was that the gospel be preached and that the love of Christ would be evident. We felt that goal was accomplished and had the best day ever. We could not have asked for more, and felt so loved by everyone who celebrated with us!” 

Also, congratulations are in order for Shannen’s recent educational and career accomplishments. Shannen holds a B.A. in biology with minors in Spanish and STEM from Texas A&M University and recently completed her master of physician assistant studies degree at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and passed her board exam. She recently posted her exciting news, “I got the news that I passed my board exam today and am officially a PA-C!! I praise God for all He has done and the blessings He has poured out. In the course of three months, I married my best friend, got to go on our honeymoon, graduated PA school, turned 27 and accepted my first big-girl job with Direct Orthopedic Care in DFW. I am so excited to be doing what I love and helping people for the rest of my life.”

Ryan is a cybersecurity professional for Southwest Airlines. The couple attends Doxology Bible Church.

Shown in photo: Bridesmaids/Sisters/Fellow CCS Alumni Samantha Longridge Odom (’16) and Sarah Longridge (’11), Alumni Parents Kent Longridge and Lisa Longridge (CCS Science Teacher), Groom Ryan Humphrey and Bride Shannen Longridge Humphrey (’13). Photo by April Pinto

Rob Miller (‘13) married his sweetheart Courtney Leonard in Liberty Hills, TX. Rob’s sister and fellow alumnus Martha Miller (‘11) served as a bridesmaid alongside groomsmen and CCS alumni Dan Crozier (’13), Travis Wilhite (’13) and Matt Bancroft (’13). Tim Starbuck (’13) read a passage of Scripture at the ceremony. The couple lives in Pflugerville in the Austin area where Rob works for Chatsworth Products Incorporated as a mechanical engineer and Courtney is a recruiter for Google. Rob graduated from Texas A&M (’17) with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Courtney graduated from University of Texas-Austin (’17) with a B.S. in chemistry. Rob and Courtney are members of Hyde Park Baptist Church where they serve in the children’s ministry.

Michael Boyd (’14) and Samantha Flanigin were married on November 20, 2021 at Hidden River Ranch in Lampasas, TX. They met a week before graduating from Texas A&M University in 2018, and dated long-distance while Michael worked in the construction industry in Tulsa, OK, and Samantha worked as a teacher outside Austin, TX. Michael’s groomsmen included fellow CCS alumni: Dan Crozier (’13)Will Echols (’15), Calvin Novotny (’14) and Hunter Vick (’14). Shortly after the wedding, the couple moved into their new home northwest of Austin. Michael holds a B.S. in construction and is a project manager at Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. Samantha holds an education degree and teaches first grade in Leander ISD. The couple attends church at The Austin Stone Northwest. Photo by Alyssa Martin Photography

Welcome, Little Warriors

Kyle Francis (’11) and wife Danielle welcomed their baby daughter Emma Grace in June 2021. Their family lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and they attend Christ Community Church where they are active in leadership and ministry. Kyle, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is a design engineer for Walsh Engineering Services. Danielle is enjoying taking time off from teaching high school math to stay at home with Emma. Congratulations, Kyle and Danielle!

Kayla Dornbusch Justice (’12) and her husband Jacob welcomed their son Jameson Wayne Justice on October 31, 2021. Jacob and Kayla met at CCS in 2010, dated throughout high school and college and later married in March of 2017. Kayla is a third grade math and science teacher for Cypress Fairbanks ISD, and Jacob is employed by Enterprise Products. The family attends Community of Faith in the Cypress area. Photo by LP Photography

Alumni Parent

Join us in welcoming our new Director of Advancement – Craig Soudelier! His son, Cale Soudelier (’16), graduated from CCS. Mr. Soudelier comes to CCS having held leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies and he has been a successful private business owner. He is a strong communicator and lover of people. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to build meaningful relationships and invest in people. We are thankful he has joined the CCS Team! Read more: Announcing Craig Soudelier as Director of Advancement

If you have news to share, Submit Alumni News or email [email protected].

To read alumni news throughout the month, follow the Cypress Christian School Alumni Facebook page Facebook.com/CypressChristianSchoolAlumni and the CyChristianAlumni Instagram account. To read previous alumni newsletters: CypressChristian.org/Alumni/Alumni-News.