John Geiss – Class of 2002
A member of Bethel's very first graduating class, I attended for 5 years. There were many times good and bad, too many of both to pick just one or two as an example, but it was school... I got full time employment at several places over the years. I was a Wal-Mart cart pusher, or as I liked to call it, a cart retrieval specialist, for about 9 months in high school. I worked at Daylight Donuts for five years and a few warehouse jobs, and the last couple years detailing vehicles. I have several certificates of completion of various firefighter training classes including EMT, interior firefighting, and railroad emergencies among others. I was also on LOH fire department for about five years in Franklin County. I am engaged to be married and I enjoy taking my Corvette to car shows occasionally.
Update- John currently works at American Eagle and is married to Sarah Hook-Geiss. They are parents to two little girls, Jayden Rae Geiss, born June 2014 and Bristol Fae, born May 2017.
Jan (Geiss) Schoenberger - Class of 2004
I attended BCA from 6th-12th grade and graduated in 2004. After being out of high school (and college, now), I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have gone to public school all those years. I then think about all the amazing times I had at BCA that I would not have had in the public system. I was able to not only get one-on-one time with every one of my teachers every day, but I experienced so many different age groups which taught me how to treat people no matter their level of schooling or knowledge. I built many amazing friendships (with the teachers too!) and still talk to those people 8 years after graduating. My classmates and teachers became a family to me...sometimes including arguments that would get my recess taken away, haha. I especially loved the "end of the year" trips we would go on at the end of each school year. It was a great time to experience everyone outside of school on a trip that was meant to be fun (and yet there was somehow always something educational...). I may not have experienced the "typical" teenage life that would include dating and parties, but I also didn't end up as a pregnant teen on reality TV. BCA provides an amazing foundation for a person wanting to go into the world with Christian knowledge and beliefs.
After graduating from BCA, I attended Friends University in Wichita, KS and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree focusing in Zoo Science. I went to Toledo, OH in 2009 for a three month elephant internship, and then returned to the Toledo Zoo in 2010 for a temporary elephant keeper position. I now have a full time job at the Topeka Zoo doing what I have dreamed of my whole life...being an elephant keeper.
Fall of 2014 Update – Jan currently works as a keeper at the Emporia Zoo and is married to Brent Schoenberger.
Note: The picture was taken by the Topeka Capital Journal and was featured on the front page.
Jordan (Sevedge) Chase - Class of 2008 - Valedictorian - Summa Cum Laude
During her 5 years at BCA Jordan came to think of it as a second home. If she was troubled she knew that she could always talk it over with a member of the faculty. She viewed the whole environment as encouraging and when she left, it was with the knowledge that she had made lifelong friends and the gumption to do whatever she set her mind to. One of the most valuable things she learned was that teamwork is everything and that you can get along with anyone, no matter who they are or where they come from. Also, that Mrs. Callahan knows all. After graduation Jordan continued her education in Graphic Design at Johnson County Community College before going to work for American Eagle Outfitters as an Ops Clerk where she enjoys solving any problems that come down the line. She hopes to return to school and achieve her Liberal Arts Degree and one day find a job where she can travel the country and see the world.
Update – Jordan currently works at Dot's Pretzels in Edgerton, KS and also teaches weekly Art classes at Bethel. She and Colt Chase are parents to a little girl, Alayna, born December 2013, and a little boy, Remington, born December 2015.
Patricia "PJ" Hargrove - Class of 2012 - Valedictorian -
Summa Cum Laude
Coming to Bethel from a homeschool background in second grade, Patricia continues to value the many close friendships she gained during her eleven years at the school, both with her fellow students and her teachers. An avid reader with an active imagination, she especially enjoyed her courses in Art, History, Literature, Drama, and English, using the skills she learned to further her personal endeavors outside of school. Including co-authoring (with fellow alumna Jordan Chase) and later authoring, scripts which were produced by Bethel as their annual Dinner Theater.
Patricia believes that the family-like atmosphere played an essential part in her growth, giving her a firm basis in faith, responsibility, acumen and helping her to mature into the young woman she is today. She is currently working as Administrative Assistant and Paraprofessional at Bethel while pursuing a future in the Arts and the Publishing Industry.
Summer 2022 Update - Patricia currently works as an Insurance Agent at Porter-Spears & Bundy Insurance Agency in Ottawa, KS. She is still often found volunteering for Bethel events when not pursuing her other interests.
Alexandria "Xandi" Diehm - Class of 2012 - Salutatorian - Summa Cum Laude
Though she only attended BCA her senior year, Xandi wishes she could have come before that, as she recalls it as her best year of high school. She looked forward to coming to school every day for the camaraderie and fun that came on a daily basis. While at BCA she gained confidence in her own abilities and made many new friends along with participating in many of the school activities. She is currently attending MidAmerica Nazarene University pursuing a double major in Psychology and Sociology with hopes to have a career in the field of behavioral science.
Update - Xandi graduated from MNU with a degree in Phychology and is currently working at the Southside Pet Hospital and enjoying some entrepreneurial pursuits while planning her wedding to fiance Dakota.
Spencer Shoemaker - Class of 2012 - Cum Laude
Spencer is Bethel's second student who has graduated after starting at the school in Kindergarten. During his Junior and Senior, year Spencer took welding classes at Neosho County Community College's Ottawa Campus. After graduating from Bethel, he worked for Select Steel in Ottawa before going to school full time at Johnson County Community College. Spencer graduated in May 2018 from JCCC with an Automotive Technology Degree and Metal Fabrication/Welding Technology Degree.
Summer 2022 Update - Spencer currently works as a Diesel and Agricultural Technician at KanEquip in Ottawa, KS while also jointly operating the family farm with his father.
Chelsea (Engle) Hash - Class of 2012
Though she was a part time student at BCA only her senior year, Chelsea enjoyed her time with the students and staff. She learned that hard work is ultimately rewarding and that a challenge is not something to fear but to embrace. She is currently attending Neosho County Community College pursuing an Associates Degree in Art with hopes to continue in Graphic Design or Illustration.
Fall of 2014 Update – Chelsea currently works in the USD 231 school district and is married to Jake Hash.
Austin Braddock – Class of 2014 – Cum Laude
Bethel Christian Academy took me from being a living miracle having procrastination work habits, horrible social skills, that couldn't focus more than 15 minutes, who cried at a drop of a hat, to a hard working college student getting an A.A. Degree in Disaster Management with a 3.8 GPA. During my Bethel years, I attended several mission trips where I was a student leader and used the maturity that Bethel Christian Academy instilled into me to bring a Godly, and energetic atmosphere to the camp.
BCA has taught me to be a leader without a position. The best leaders are the leaders that aren't elected but are leaders by their example. I plan on finishing Hesston College, and moving on in life knowing my life started at Bethel.
Summer of 2018 Update - Austin graduated from Hesston in May 2017 and has just completed his Junior year at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, OK where he is working towards a teaching degree.