Since 1971, Atlantic Christian School has graduated nearly 500 alumni. These students have gone on to pursue careers in education, medicine, media, ministry, the armed forces, and public service, to name a few. Looking back on their years at ACS, our alumni often tell us that ACS “made a difference in their lives.” ACS holds several alumni events annually — including a fall Homecoming Alumni Soccer game and winter Alumni Basketball games. We are inspired by the stories that our alumni and former students share with us about how God is working in their lives and using them to make an impact for Christ in this world. Here are some of their stories:
Pastor Bob Stahler (’82) is pastor of the Great Commission Baptist Church in Cape May Courthouse, where he has served since 1988. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission for 17 years, serving three as its Chairman. Pastor Stahler returned to ACS to participate in the June 2013 commencement as the keynote speaker. He earned a BA in elementary education at Asbury College and a MA in religion at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Marcy met at Asbury College. They have eight children who over the years have traveled with them on eight missions trips, six of them to Johannesburg, South Africa. Bob said the teachers at ACS had a great influence on him and prepared him for ministry. “The public speaking class I had with Mrs. McNeal taught me more about preaching than any class I had in college or seminary,” Bob said.
Bill Robinson (’87) is head coach of the Milligan College Buffaloes Men’s Basketball team in Tennessee, a position he has held since 2009. Coach Robinson went to Milligan after establishing a winning tradition as head coach for 12 seasons at Montreat College, a Christian college in North Carolina, where he earned over 200 career wins. He has an outstanding reputation for recruiting and developing some of the finest student-athletes at the NAIA level. Prior to Montreat, Coach Robinson served as the head men’s basketball coach at LeTourneau University in Texas, where at the age of 25 he became the youngest head coach in the nation. Bill earned a BA in physical education from The King’s College in New York and a master’s in health and kinesiology from the University of Texas at Tyler. A native of Ocean City, Robinson competed at the varsity level in soccer, basketball and baseball while at Atlantic Christian, earning 12 varsity letters. He served as team captain and was voted team MVP in all three sports. As a junior at ACS, Bill led the nation in scoring with 39.8 points per game and was named USA Today All-American honorable mention in basketball. He was the first ACS student-athlete in school history to earn over 1,000 points during his basketball career. Bill and his wife Barb have three children. His mother, Nancy Robinson Craven, worked as a teacher for 21 years at ACS and served as principal from 1989-1993.
Pastor Kevin Goos (’88) is senior pastor of Awakening Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he has served since 1998. His church was one of 15 selected in the U.S. to offer a leadership development and mentoring program for college graduates seeking to enter the ministry. Kevin is a graduate of Houghton College and is a strong advocate of Christian education. He and his wife Barb have four children who attend Evangelical Christian Academy in Colorado Springs, where he is also the high school soccer coach. “For many families, paying for a Christian education is a sacrifice, but what is more important than investing in our children?” Kevin said. He said studies show that 3 out of 4 students who go to Christian school are following the Lord as adults, whereas only 1 out of 4 who attend public school are following Christ as adults.
David Stabler (’89) has ministered for the past 21 years in 32 nations as a missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). For the past 4 years, he has been based in a YWAM center in Orlando where he trains future missionaries. David came to ACS in his junior year, a change that became a turning point in his life. “At ACS, I was able to grow and develop my faith and I rededicated my life to Christ,” David said. “I grew up in a Christian home, but ACS helped lay a solid foundation for what I’m doing now.” David also served as the youth pastor at Praise Tabernacle from 2002-2004. He and his wife Rebecca have been married 17 years and have three children.
Ryan Atkinson (1996-8th grade) is lead pastor at Lakewood Chapel in Mays Landing, NJ. He first served for three years at Lakewood Chapel as the youth pastor and was ordained pastor in 2012. He is a graduate of Cedarville University in Ohio. He and his wife Sarah have one daughter and reside in Mays Landing.
Jessica Davey Kalisa (’02) is Vice Principal and Curriculum Director at the Kigali International School in Kigali, Rwanda. Jessica holds a Masters’ degree in international global education from Drexel University and is also a certified international peace negotiator. She and her husband Flabien, who married in 2010, have a 3-year-old son Kirenga, and a 1-year-old daughter Michaela.
Tiffiny Butler (’03) played every sport at ACS and chose to attend Eastern University to become an athletic trainer. After receiving her BS in biokinetics, she earned her MA in athletic training at Temple University. But while at Temple, Tiffiny had her first experience doing research and earned her PhD, enabling her to teach at the college level. During her four years at Temple she taught anatomy and physiology and found that she loved interacting with the students. “It’s all about what God wants to do with you,” Tiffiny said. “He will equip you with what you need.”
Tim Richvalsky (’03) became an Atlantic City police office in January 2013 and is a member of the NJ Air National Guard. “At ACS, I learned to think Biblically,” Tim said. “I developed a Christian worldview that has influenced how I live my life and guided the decisions I have made.” Tim is married to another ACS alumnus, Ariel Nothaft (’05) who is teaching high school English at Atlantic Christian School. She earned her BA in English literature from Eastern University’s Templeton Honors College and was a copy editor for the campus “Waltonian.”
Lauren Miller Carney (’04) is teaching third grade at ACS, where she has served since 2010. She earned her BA in elementary education from Eastern University in 2008. After graduating, she began substitute teaching at ACS before coming on as a full-time faculty member. Lauren feels blessed to be back at ACS, a place that she said felt like home when she was a student here. “God sent me right back home and I love being here,” Lauren said. She and her husband Dan reside in Egg Harbor Township and she is active in junior church and the youth group ministry at Ocean City Baptist Church.
Chris Masi (’05) was accepted in the fall of 2013 into the highly competitive NBC Universal “Writers on the Verge Program,” a prestigious writing fellowship in Hollywood. Masi was one of 8 writers selected to participate in the program out of over 2,000 writers who submitted spec scripts. The script that Chris wrote, and that won him a position with the Writers on the Verge, was a script for the HBO show, “The Newsroom.” Currently, Chris is the Writer’s Assistant on the hit show “Graceland” on the USA Network. Previously, Chris worked with USA’s “White Collar.” Chris received his first on-screen “Story By” credit on the 10th episode of “White Collar” season 5 that aired in the fall of 2014. Chris earned his degree in Film, Radio, and Television at Biola University in 2009. On a visit to ACS in the spring of 2013, Chris spoke about the challenges of finding job in the television industry with juniors in the ACS 21st Century Life and Careers class. “ACS gave me the foundation of a Christian worldview and the values that build Christian character, which help me keep everything in perspective,” Chris said.
Lindsay Stringer (2005-8th grade) is working in the research lab for a pharmaceutical company in Vienna, Austria after graduating from Penn State University in June 2013 with a degree in bio-behavioral health. While in Austria, she is also working on polishing her German language skills.
Christina DeLellis Raine (’06) is pursuing her love of dancing and will be part of the 2015 cast of the “Celebrate the Season” Christmas show in Orlando, Florida’s Magic Kingdom. This will be her third Christmas season with the cast. From January to March 2015, Christina also danced in a nightly variety show with the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. A member of the Actors Equity Association, she teaches part-time at the Encore Performing Arts Studio in Egg Harbor Township. She is married to ACS alumnus Jeff Raine (’06) and they reside in Egg Harbor City.
Amy Marino Pibernat (’06) is pursuing a successful career as an interior designer with Noble Hampton, Inc. in Northfield, New Jersey. Amy earned her BA in Art with a concentration in interior design in 2010 from Anderson University. Amy chose Anderson because it was a smaller Christian college “that would be just like my experience at ACS as well as match my interest in interior design.” Amy also met her husband Marc at Anderson and they were married in May 2011.
Kelly Richvalsky Lane (’06) is a nurse with AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She and her husband Chris returned to southern New Jersey after working with two Christian relief organizations in Lyra, Uganda. Kelly worked with Global Refuge International, an international health cooperative, helping train medics in Uganda on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria. Her husband worked with the Timothy Initiative. Kelly and Chris met at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where Kelly earned her nursing degree.
Jeff Raine (’06), a 2012 Police Academy graduate, has been a member of the Pleasantville, New Jersey police force since April 2014. Prior to that, he served in the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department. Jeff is also a Tech Sergeant in the Air National Guard of the U.S. Air Force and recently spent a month serving on a special mission in Bulgaria. Jeff married alumnus Christina DeLellis (’06) in 2009 and they worship at Praise Tabernacle.
Twin brothers Scott Stringer (2006-8th grade) and Chris Stringer (2006-8th grade) are pursuing two very different career paths as they finish their senior years in college. Scott is majoring in finance at the University of Georgia. He worked as an intern in the summer of 2013 in the finance department at Fox News in Manhattan. Scott is also president of the college’s Runners Club. Chris is majoring in aeronautical aerospace engineering at Ohio State University and is president of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Chris has a private pilot’s license and is working on obtaining a commercial license.
Lauren Greeley (’07) is a personal trainer and weight loss specialist at Tilton Fitness and Wellness in Northfield, NJ. She received her BS in Christian psychology and counseling from Liberty University. Lauren, who resides in Ocean City, is planning a summer 2015 wedding to Jordan Calogero. They worship at Coastal Christian.
Marcus Hughes (’07) is in his second year of medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He earned his BS in biology in June 2013 from Rutgers University. “I’m grateful to ACS for the way the teachers and coaches invested their time in me to help me see all that God wanted for me,” Marcus said during a recent visit to ACS. “ACS played a critical role in my personal and spiritual development.”
Carly Harper Witherow (’08) earned her BA in sports ministry from Baptist Bible College and has returned to ACS to coach girls’ soccer. After serving as head coach of the Middle School Girls’ Soccer team for a year, Carly moved up to be head coach of the Varsity Girls’ Soccer team in the 2014 season. She can also be seen on campus substitute teaching. Carly and her husband Eric wed in October 2012 and reside in Marmora.
Alle Nothaft Dorotheo (’08) is a zookeeper at the Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida. She volunteered and interned at the zoo while earning her BS in biology at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She married Justin Dorotheo, a pharmacy school student at Palm Beach Atlantic, in June 2013.
Katy Callahan (’09) graduated from Messiah College in May 2013 with a BS in psychology. She is pursuing a Masters in creative writing. In the 2013-14 school year, Katy worked part-time at ACS in the after school child care program.
Rebecca Evans (’09) took off two years during her college years to go to Australia where she majored in vocals at Hillsong College, a Bible and leadership college. She completed her degree in psychology in December 2014 from Liberty University.
Paul Greeley (’09) has chosen to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force, where he will be studying electrical generation. His initial 4-year commitment will end in 2019. Prior to joining the Air Force, Paul was serving on the staff at the Ocean City Tabernacle.
Amara Mills (’09) graduated in spring 2015 from Cairn University with a degree in social work. She was also a strong midfield player for three years on Cairn’s women’s varsity soccer team.
Taylor Piccinich (’09) graduated in spring 2014 from Oral Roberts University with a degree in exercise science. Taylor, who was a stand-out hitter on the ACS Varsity baseball team, played catcher for two years on the university’s Division I baseball team.
In January 2014, Kim Thomas (’09) went on an 11-month missions trip to 11 countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia to do humanitarian work with the Christian organization called Adventures in Missions. She graduated in June 2013 from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, majoring in English and minoring in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. “I have a heart to serve Christ because of the influences in my life, such as Atlantic Christian,” Kim said. Her missions trip was also highlighted in a September 2014 article in the Press of Atlantic City.
Drew Aungst (’10) moved to Spokane, Washington in the summer of 2013 to participate in a flight training program with Moody Aviation, a program offered through the Moody Bible Institute. He plans to earn a BS in mission aviation technology and become a missionary pilot.
Derek Puhalski (’10) is majoring in political science and is active in the Republican Club at Catholic University. He interned in the summer of 2013 in the Washington, DC office of Congressman Frank LoBiondo. Future plans include working on a political campaign and attending law school.
Dara Brown Heston (’11) is working full-time at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and on Sundays is the executive chef cooking dinner for 500-600 residents. She also works part-time at Spirit Halloween in Egg Harbor Township. Dara and her husband Mike, who married in May 2014, reside in Sweetwater.
Maryah Coleman (’11) is co-owner of the 2nd Chance Sneaker Boutique in Absecon, NJ, a place where used sneakers can be bought, sold, traded, and consigned. In the summer of 2015, the Boutique donated more than 40 pairs of footwear to the Hustle Hard Training Program that conducted a 3-day basketball clinic for children in Kenya. Maryah also served as head coach of the 2014-2015 ACS JV Girls’ Basketball team and was an Assistant Coach of the Girls’ Varsity basketball team. Maryah was a stand-out basketball player during her ACS career, getting into the record book for pulling down 1,000 rebounds in 2011. She was also a starting forward on the 2013-2014 Cumberland County College basketball team that had a near perfect record of 16-1 and was ranked sixth in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Jodi Kelley (’10) is serving in the Coast Guard Reserves. She was a starting guard and co-captain on the Cumberland County College Dukes Women’s Basketball team that was ranked sixth among junior colleges in the nation in the 2013-2014 school year. Jodi set an ACS school record in 2010 becoming the first Lady Cougar in ACS history to score 1,000 career points.
Harrison Zalman (’10) graduated in May 2014 from Arcadia University with a BS in computer science. He lives in West Chester, PA and is working for a financial services company.
Eric Coyle (’11) is majoring in sports management at Liberty University. He transferred to Liberty in January 2015 after completing his associate’s degree at Atlantic Cape Community College. He also played for two years on the ACCC men’s baseball team. For the past six years, Eric has been playing the drums in the Praise and Worship Team at Beacon Evangelical Free Church in Galloway and plans to try out for the campus band at Liberty in the fall of 2015.
Alec Filippini (’11) is a 6’2″ forward in his third year playing on Cairn University Men’s Basketball team and is majoring in business. Alec was named to the 2013-14 CSAC All-Academic Team in the second semester. His career ambition is to coach in basketball and/or football and work in a business.
Morgan Jones (’11) graduated in spring 2015 with a degree in health and physical education from Baptist Bible College and will be working as a PE teacher in the fall of 2015 at Cumberland Christian School. During her four years at BBC, she played on the women’s basketball, softball, and soccer teams.
Deshon “Biggie” Minnis (’11) is making his mark on the NCAA Division I University of Rhode Island Men’s Basketball team as a 6′ 3″ guard, starting in almost three-fourths of the team’s games in the 2014-15 season. Biggie is in his second year at Rhode Island, after transferring from Texas Tech. He is a junior majoring in communications and writing. The Rhode Island Rams are in first place in the Atlantic A-10 and had their best start this year in program history. Biggie is averaging 3.5 points and 2 rebounds a game.
Tiele Piccinich (’11) is pursuing a nursing degree at Liberty University and plans to specialize in obstetrics.
Luke Piotrowski (’11) and his brother Mat (’09) are teammates at Eastern Illinois University, where they are both playing basketball for the EIU Division I Panthers. The 6’11” Luke, who is a forward, transferred to EIU from the University of Richmond. The 7’2″ Mat, who was the first ACS athlete to receive a full scholarship to a NCAA Division I college, began his college career at Boston University, and then played at Southwestern Illinois College, helping that team to a 24-7 record. Mat will be graduating from Eastern Illinois University in June 2015 with a degree in marketing and communications. Both Luke and Mat played key roles in leading ACS teams to five consecutive Tri-State Athletic Conference basketball championships.
Chris Zalman (’11) served two years in the Israeli Army, which included being stationed in Gaza. Now back in the states, he is considering schooling and employment options.
Shereesha Richards (’12), the All-Star forward who led the Lady Cougars to three Tri-State Christian Athletic Conference championships and two national championships during her three years at ACS, is now one of the best college players on the East Coast playing for the Division I University of Albany. A native of Jamaica, Shereesha also had the opportunity in the summer of 2014 to play on the Jamaican Women’s National Basketball team. Now in her junior year at UAlbany majoring in sociology with a minor in criminal justice, Shereesha has been named the America East Conference “Player of the Week” 13 times during her outstanding college career. The week of January 28, 2015, Shereesha was named to the NCAA “Starting Five” after averaging nearly 30 points in three UAlbany victories the prior week. She is currently third all-time in UAlbany women’s basketball history in scoring having made the 1,000 point club and leads the America East Conference in points per game, rebounds, and field goal percentage. Due in large part to Shereesha’s leadership, UAlbany has been undefeated this year in conference play and has earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.
Katherine Swan (’12) spent almost five months in Paia, Hawaii in 2014 volunteering in the hospitality department at the Youth With a Mission base. After beginning her undergraduate studies at Atlantic County Community College, she will transfer to Arcadia University in the fall of 2015 to pursue a degree in art therapy.
Ben Chapman (’13) is majoring in physical education at Cairn University. Ben, who was a standout pitcher and hitter during his high school career at ACS, plays on the Cairn Mens’ Varsity Baseball team. Ben also works with K-12th grade homeschool students who come to Cairn for gym class. “It’s a great ministry opportunity and I get the experience of teaching them various sports,” Chapman said.
Kelsey Robinson (’13) is carrying an impressive 3.9 GPA as she pursues her major in health science with a focus on physical therapy at Stockton University. She is also working as a certified nurse assistant at Wesley Manor in Ocean City.
Hannah Schalles (’13) is in the preferred pharmacy program at Cedarville University. She values the close Christian friendships that she made during her years at ACS. Her favorite class at ACS – Pastor Matt Mouliert’s Bible Leadership Class. “What I learned in that class really strengthened my faith, where I could know that there is concrete evidence for what I believe,” Hannah said.
Tatiana Tennant (’13) is a fashion merchandising major at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in Manhattan. In the spring of 2015 she studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia and is pursuing an internship with DKNY in the fall in product development.
Jordan Vargas (’13) transferred to Waynesburg University, a Christian college in Pennsylvania, in January 2015. He is one of 80 students that were selected out of 200 applicants for the school’s nursing program. He also plans to play on the Yellow Jackets’ varsity men’s basketball team, which competes in the DIII Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Vargas transferred to Waynesburg from Louisiana State University of Alexandria. During his ACS basketball career, Vargas led the Cougars in scoring and three-point shots for two consecutive seasons from 2011-2013. He was named the 2012-2013 MVP in the Tri-State Christian Athletic Conference and made his mark as only the 5th ACS player to score 1,000 points.
Jamie Zalman (’13) is a junior at Baptist Bible College majoring in sports ministry with a minor in counseling. She plays on BBC’s Women’s Softball team. At ACS, Jamie played third base, was a TSCAC league All-Star, and played on the 2012 softball team that took first place in the league in the regular season and won the league championship. In May 2014, Jamie went on a missions trip to Ecuador doing ministry outreach through soccer and softball clinics and street evangelism. In June 2015 she traveled to Guatemala for two weeks on another missions trip, ministering to children, including visiting orphanages, and using her Spanish language skills.
Alumni – We want to hear from you! Please send us news about how God is working in your life. Feel free to send photos as well. Email alumni news to: firstname.lastname@example.org