Upper School

Upper School

The Upper School offers an exciting, Christ-centered academic program designed to prepare each student intellectually, physically, and spiritually for college and for life. With a diverse array of course offerings, a wireless campus, and each student equipped with a school-issued device, students have significant opportunities to explore their interests in a wide range of disciplines. In addition to academic pursuits, students are encouraged to participate in various activities spanning the arts, athletics, service, and clubs to become fully immersed in the community and develop their God-given talents.

Luke 2:52

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
At Calvary, upper school is a time when students have the opportunity to expand their interests with a wide variety of programs and activities.

Graduation Requirements

Calvary is a college preparatory school. Core curriculum requirements, leading to an academic seal diploma, are listed below. The Guidance Department assists students with course selection. 25 credits are required for graduation. The credit required for graduation are as follows:
• Biblical Studies - 2  • Foreign Language - 3 
• English - 4  • Physical Education - 1 
• Mathematics - 4  • Public Speaking - 0.5 
• Social Studies - 4  • Fine Arts - 1 
• Sciences - 4  • Academic Electives - 1.5 

Browse High School Curriculum

Upper School Staff

List of 11 members.

  • Gracie Ryle 

  • Photo of Doug Pesce

    Doug Pesce 

    Head of Upper School
  • Photo of Jason Mehl

    Jason Mehl 

    Grade Level Dean and English Teacher
  • Photo of Ava Nelson

    Ava Nelson 

    Grade Level Dean and Math Teacher
  • Photo of Vincent Whelan

    Vincent Whelan 

    Grade Level Dean and Bible Teacher
  • Photo of Erin Chadwick

    Erin Chadwick 

    Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Taylor King

    Taylor King 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Daniel Jackson

    Daniel Jackson 

    Grade Level Dean, Asst. Athletic Director, Public Speaking Teacher,
  • Photo of Mikki Thomas

    Mikki Thomas 

    Upper School Counselor
  • Photo of Melissa Vermilyea

    Melissa Vermilyea 

    Assistant to Upper & Middle School Division Heads
  • Kelly Smoltz 

    Counseling Department

Upper School Experience

List of 5 items.

  • Activites

    Career Day
    Class Trips
    Homecoming Week Activities
    Honors Day Events
    Mission Trips
    Quarterly Student Life Events
    Sadie Hawkins Dance
    Spring Musical
    Student Travel
  • National Honor Society

    The Calvary Day School chapter of the National Honor Society has some of the brightest students in our school, but what is often overlooked are the four pillars that are evaluated for a student to be chosen for membership in NHS.

    Those four pillars are scholarship, character, service, and leadership. Each leader not only holds a specific role during meetings but also leads a committee that provides service and guides their fellow members in leadership within and outside of NHS. One way in which our students step out of the mold is by how they are leading in word and deed. They speak about the importance of service and how we do not do it to be seen but to use our talents and gifts for others and most importantly for God. Students complete hours of service not to fill out a form but to bring glory to God, who sees and knows all that they do. They encourage their fellow members to act with good character and stand up and away from peers who are not making decisions that exemplify good character.

    Most of our student leaders are involved in Bible studies and in youth groups. They´re allowing others to pour into them through mentorship and learning opportunities, knowing the value of these extra hours amidst their busy schedules. Academics are extremely important; however, we truly believe in the importance of developing the whole student and equipping each of them to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
  • Student Ambassadors

    Throughout one’s time in high school, there are many ways for students to be involved, but how many students truly take the opportunity to tackle leadership roles that take them out of their comfort zone? When we take a closer look at the people who impact our world in a positive manner, those people are leaders in some capacity. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person is a speaker in front of thousands or holds a political position. Leaders take on many shapes and forms, and so many times the truly effective leaders who make the most impact on lives are the ones who are behind the scenes. Student Ambassadors are group leaders for our new students that come into Calvary. Student Ambassadors are to be an extension of Christ’s hand to those who feel left out, scared, and unsure of the new surroundings they have been placed in. It is more than just New Student Orientation and giving tours - it is the hallway, the lunchroom, and even the weekends. This is a fairly new program but we have seen great success with our new students quickly becoming part of the Calvary family thanks to our Student Ambassadors.
  • Student Life

    “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This verse from Proverbs expresses the focus of Calvary’s newly formed Student Life Committee. These student leaders recognize that a focus on excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts is good, but it is a powerful spiritual focus and a positive social element combined with educational excellence that turns good into great, building the type of family that Calvary has become.

    The Student Life Committee is a group of motivated and hard-working students who have come together with the specific purpose of building and maintaining Christ-centered community among the students.

    They help organize and lead chapels, and along the way, are learning the art of building worship services through corporate prayer and an intentional focus on bringing the Calvary family into the presence of Christ.

    They are learning advertising, marketing, and business skills as they plan such monthly activities as Capture the Flag, Trivia, A Black Tie Affair, Ropes Course trips for each grade, and other events to engage and bind our student community.

    They serve on the planning committee for bigger events such as Spiritual Emphasis Week, the New Year’s Eve trip to Universal and Island of Adventure, as well as our Spring Break trip to Ridgecrest.

    They organize service events, fundraisers, and opportunities to simply allow Calvary to be Christ in our community. They plan luncheons, design t-shirts, create stickers, and recruit other student leaders who are willing to learn how to serve.

    These are really great kids who desire to bring positive change to our school and are taking action to see it happen. I see them doing great things here already: today the school; tomorrow the world.
  • Student Travel

    There are so many important facets to a well-rounded education, and I believe that travel experiences are a key component. It is so critical to provide students an opportunity to see history, culture, and science come off the pages of textbooks. In a 2013 article in the Huffington Post, Karen Rodriguez explains the many benefits of student travel: “You will learn so much more than you do from a textbook, or from a class lecture, or from taking test after test with minimal sleep. Through travel, you have the opportunity to see first-hand the things you’ve learned, to put into practice the skills you’ve acquired. You gain a global perspective and a strong independence that no other teaching method can impart.”
    Calvary Upper School students are given many opportunities to travel with their peers and mentors. As students go through their middle school and high school years we highly encourage all families to make travel a priority. Impress upon your student the need to see the world outside of our city - even to experience the great history and culture of our great city.  Going and doing makes life more meaningful. God’s creativity and love for beauty is so evident throughout our world; let’s not see it just on a page in a book or on a screen.