Former NCAA Head Coach brings more than 35 years of college experience
Prestonwood Christian Academy Plano (PCA Plano) announced Vic Shealy as new Lions Football Defensive Coordinator. He will begin his role on July 1.
Shealy comes to PCA Plano after serving ten years as the first head coach of Houston Christian University. He was previously the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the University of Kansas.
“We are excited to welcome such a high caliber person and coach in Vic Shealy to PCA,” said Dr. Michael Goddard, PCA School System Superintendent. “He and his wife Holly have been looking for a place to serve with church and school connected, and they will be making Prestonwood their home. Having another former NCAA Head Football Coach on our staff helps prepare our Lions spiritually, academically and athletically for today, and for what their dreams hold for tomorrow.”
During his tenure at Houston Christian University, Shealy oversaw the quick ascension from a start-up program to a nationally ranked team in Division I. Two of his players were signed to NFL active rosters.
“I feel blessed to join the PCA community and Lion football,” Shealy said. “I have been fortunate in my career to coach at some tremendous programs, and I consider PCA and Coach Yantis to be second to none. I’m looking forward to getting to know the faculty, staff and families at PCA and most importantly, the opportunity to impact the lives of our players both in the game of football and spiritually.”
Shealy joins a strong PCA Plano program that has won five Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) state championships (2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017) and qualified for the playoffs in 14 straight seasons and is under the leadership of Head Coach Donnie Yantis.
Prior to working for University of Kansas, Shealy spent five years in the Defensive Coordinator role at UNLV and University of Richmond and six years as a Secondary Coach at the United States Air Force Academy. His first head coaching job was at Azusa Pacific University. Shealy’s 1998 team was National Champions, and he was named the NAIA National Coach of the year. His other coaching roles included two stops at Austin Peay State University and two at Mars Hill University.
Shealy was a quarterback at University of Richmond, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts. He later earned a Master of Science in Education from Baylor University, where he had his first coaching job as a Graduate Assistant Coach at Baylor University from 1984 to 1986.
The 147 seniors in the Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) class of 2023 have garnered more than $13.1 million in scholarship offers. PCA honored the seniors at a special ceremony this morning, including three students who have received full academic scholarships.
Ben Smith received the Honors College Scholarship from Texas A&M Commerce. He participated in an interview process that rated him on educational skills, ability to think critically and creatively, and ensuring he would be a good fit with the University. “Ben has used ingenuity to create a small business with a few of his friends that focuses on character creation for video games,” said Amber Beckles, PCA Plano Guidance and College/Career Counseling Lead. “His entrepreneurial spirit will be a great asset to Texas A&M Commerce. I know that Ben will use the talents and gifts he has been given to glorify God and impact the culture for Christ.”
Isaiah Lawshe was awarded the Williston Jones Diversity Leadership Scholarship at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Historically the scholarship is awarded to the top five percent of the applicant pool for Coe College. “Isaiah has dedicated himself to both his academics and swimming throughout his high school career,” said Beckles. “His commitment and strong work ethic have brought him to this very moment. Isaiah’s heart for the Lord and desire to serve others is evident in all that he does. I look forward with excitement to seeing how God uses him at Coe College in the fall.”
Brody Douglass will attend Harvard University on a Navy ROTC Scholarship. He went through an extensive application process with Harvard in addition to the completion of a rigorous scholarship process for Navy ROTC. “Brody has been determined and extremely diligent all throughout his high school career,” said Beckles. “He has developed a strong passion for learning and education. I have no doubt that Brody will leave a lasting impact on the community at Harvard and in NROTC. I believe that he will continue to follow in the footsteps of the legacy that was set before him, keeping Christ at the center of it all.”
The strong scholarship offering follows the school’s announcement of its historic number of National Merit Scholar Finalists. Four seniors, Benjamin Anderson, Brody Douglass, Ian Graham and Matthew Huang placed in the top 1% of more than 1.5 million students across the nation.
Prestonwood Christian Academy is made up of six schools serving students across the Dallas Metroplex and virtually throughout the world. More than 2,000 students are enrolled at four campuses: PCA Plano (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA North in Prosper (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA Hybrid (a three-day in classroom/two-day at home program) and PCA Online. St. Timothy Christian Academy in Plano serves students with learning differences, and The King’s Academy provides a Christian education to students in South Dallas. The PCA School System has been recognized as having one of the strongest Christian education programs in the country providing intentional biblical worldview training and integration. PCA places great value on the growth of students’ spiritual health in addition to their scholastic endeavors and co-curricular activities. Tantamount to its Spiritual Development plan is PCA’s rigorous Liberal Arts academic program. From the first graduating class in 2002 through the class of 2022, graduates have been offered more than $169 million in scholarship for academics, arts and athletics from universities and other institutions of higher learning. PCA is now accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year. Go to prestonwoodchristian.org/admissions for more information.
Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) School System appointed Mrs. Lea Ann Beem as the new PCA Plano Upper School Guidance Counselor. In this role, Mrs. Beem will facilitate students' understanding of higher education's meaning and purpose and foster their intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong learning.
“We are thrilled that God has called Mrs. Beem to PCA as she brings years of experience and expertise in supporting students through academic, college, and career counseling,” said Dr. Shannon Cole, Chief Academic Officer. “Throughout the interview process it was evident that she was fully dependent on God and His will for her to serve and support students through her calling.”
Beem joins PCA after six years as the Guidance and College and Career Counselor at Wylie Preparatory Academy. She also served on the school administration team as the Director of Educational Services, overseeing various departments within the school. Prior to WPA, Beem worked with the YouScience Corporation where she sought to help young people plan their next steps beyond high school. The company’s program helps 16–26-year-olds find their hardwired design given by God and leverage that with majors and job trends.
“God has placed a heart for young adults within me,” said Beem. “I love assisting them in transitioning from high school to their next journey. I believe we are created with a God-given design and passion, and it is my pleasure and great privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of the process of helping PCA students discover God’s plan.”
Beem earned her Bachelor of Arts in Rehabilitation Sciences with an emphasis on Vocational Counseling and Social Work from Arkansas Tech University. She has been married to Brian for 26 years and the couple has three children: Sydney (24), Caleb (22), and Trent (17).
Prestonwood Christian Academy School System is comprised of six schools serving students across the Dallas Metroplex and virtually worldwide. More than 2,500 students are enrolled at the system's campuses: PCA Plano (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA North in Prosper (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA Hybrid (K-4th Grade) and PCA Online. In addition, St. Timothy Christian Academy in Plano serves students with severe learning differences, and The King's Academy provides Christian education to students in South Dallas. The PCA School System has been recognized as one of the country's strongest Christian education programs, providing intentional biblical worldview training and integration. PCA places great value on the growth of students' spiritual health in addition to their academic endeavors and co-curricular activities. Tantamount to its Spiritual Development plan is PCA's rigorous Liberal Arts educational program. From the first graduating class in 2002 through the Class of 2022, seniors have been offered more than $165 million in scholarships for academics, arts, and athletics from universities and other institutions of higher learning.
Congratulations to Prestonwood Christian Academy Plano Upper School History Teacher, Ms. Cindy de León, for being selected as a 2022 University of Chicago Outstanding Educator! The University of Chicago asked incoming students to recommend their outstanding educators - individuals who challenged them intellectually for the first time. PCA Online Alumna Alexis Chen nominated Ms. de León.
Alexis said about Ms. de León: “I always admired how you never try to sugarcoat things or dance around issues, you get straight to the point and everything you do has a purpose. From remaking lessons every year to being a shoulder to cry on and even playing ‘bad cop’ when you let people know they’re being unwise, I’ve never met a better teacher, administrator, or person.”
The University of Chicago said it well: “True learning is a collaborative experience that depends as much on the dedication of the teacher as it does on the motivation of the student, and your dedication to your profession is evident. Thank you for your commitment to your students and to the field of education.”
We echo these thoughts, and thank you for all the time, effort and love you put into being a teacher at PCA!
Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) is proud to announce PCA Plano Upper School teacher, Mrs. Pam Merryman, who teaches AP/Honors English IV and is a doctoral student at Southern Methodist University, was recently named the 2022 Eudora Welty Fellow. Mrs. Merryman used archival holdings at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) this summer to research how Eudora Welty constructed her identity in her writing.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to conduct research in the Eudora Welty archives and am grateful to those who make the Eudora Welty Research Fellowship possible,” said Mrs. Merryman. “Through my research in the Welty archives, I hope to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the personal inspiration and creative process that went into Welty’s writing of her only children’s book, The Shoe Bird. Ultimately, I seek to note how this entertaining tale of Arturo the Parrot and the bird community—who gather from all over the world to learn about the power and value of communication, love, memory, and freedom—provides insight into Welty’s other literary works that also explore these vital aspects of the human experience."
Established by MDAH and the Eudora Welty Foundation, the fellowship seeks to encourage and support research in the Eudora Welty Collection by graduate students. The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States.
“We are so grateful and blessed that Mrs. Merryman is using her God-given talent through her research and that our students are the beneficiary of her passion and expertise,” said PCA School System Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Shannon Cole.
After receiving her BA in secondary education from Howard Payne University, Merryman completed her MA in liberal arts at Southern Methodist University where she is currently working toward her Ph.D. Merryman used the $5,000 fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing primary research at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson.
Interim Upper School Principal, Dr. Chad Nichols, who has worked with Mrs. Merryman for many years, said, “Pam Merryman is one of the finest educators I have had the privilege to know, and that is in part because of her intense scholarship and dedication to being a life-long learner. By constantly honing her skills in literary interpretation, she is able to draw from a constantly growing pool of knowledge to pour into her students as is evidenced by this fellowship.”
About the Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) School System
Prestonwood Christian Academy is made up of six schools serving students across the Dallas Metroplex and virtually throughout the world. More than 2,000 students are enrolled at four campuses: PCA Plano (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA North in Prosper (Pre-K3 through 11th Grade with first graduating class of 2023), PCA Hybrid (a three-day in classroom/two-day at home program) and PCA Online. St. Timothy Christian Academy in Plano serves students with learning differences and The King’s Academy provides a Christian education to students in South Dallas. The PCA School System has been recognized as having one of the strongest Christian education programs in the country providing intentional biblical worldview training and integration. PCA places great value on the growth of students’ spiritual health in addition to their scholastic endeavors and co-curricular activities. Tantamount to its Spiritual Development plan is PCA’s rigorous Liberal Arts academic program. From the first graduating class in 2002 through the class of 2021, graduates have been offered more than $154.6 million in scholarship for academics, arts and athletics from universities and other institutions of higher learning. PCA is now enrolling for the 2022-23 school year. Go to prestonwoodchristian.org/admissions for more information.
About The Eudora Welty Research Fellowship
The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States. The collection includes manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings, and essays that span Welty’s entire life. Beginning in 1957, and over the course of more than forty years, Welty donated materials to the department, primarily literary manuscripts and photographs. At her death the remainder of her papers were bequeathed to MDAH and included unpublished manuscripts and 14,000 items of correspondence with family, friends, scholars, young writers, and noted writers. The collection may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building, 200 North Street, Jackson. The application is available at mdah.ms.gov. For more information about the collection or the fellowship, email April Blevins at email@example.com.