Shane Priest is an IRCS graduate from the Class of 2014. In August of 2011, Shane’s family moved to Largo from Nashville, Tennessee. He was entering his sophomore year. I asked him why his parents chose to send him to IRCS, he replied, “It was always important to my parents to send me and my brothers to a Christian school. The combination of strong Christian principles and superior academics made IRCS an easy choice to attend school.”
Another question I ask all of our graduates is, “How did IRCS prepare you for college.” Shane said, “IRCS surrounded me with faculty that not only wanted to push me to be the best student I could be, but also the best person I could be. When I arrived at IRCS I was an immature kid, but the leaders that were put around me (teachers, staff, coaches) helped show me what it meant to be a man. I still had vast room for growth when I graduated from high school as I do to this day, but IRCS provided me with a great foundation that carried over into my college years.
One of the biggest areas of impact while students are IRCS is the opportunity to participate in an extensive missions program. The mini-mester has sent IRCS students all over the world. They have served in 27 countries and 14 states. Shane was able to participate in outreaches to Costa Rica, Shepherd’s Village, and Dominican Republic. All three opportunities were different but he felt that all three were beneficial and enjoyable trips.
Another of my standard questions I ask is if they have a favorite memory from high school. Shane replied, “My favorite memory from high school would be my time spent in the Dominican Republic with my fellow baseball teammates. It was a great experience to use a sport we all were passionate about as a means to share the gospel. There aren’t many high schools in the country that provide their students with that kind of opportunity.”
So was there a teacher that impacted your life while you were in high school at IRCS? “Several teachers had a lasting impact on my life, but one in particular would be Mr. Hayward. I had the privilege to take Mr. Hayward’s AP Human Geography class. Mr. Hayward showed everyone tough love. He wanted the best for us, but he was going to make you work for it. My time in that class taught me that if I wanted to be successful in college or in any aspect of my life I was going to have to work for it.”
Shane did learn to be successful and he recently graduated from University of North Alabama with a Finance degree. Shane was a standout on the baseball diamond and also in the classroom. His senior year he was named All-Conference in Baseball. He also won numerous awards and was a guest speaker at a FCA youth function in Alabama.
Shane recently signed a professional baseball contract to play baseball in Germany this spring. Shane becomes the first IRCS grad to sign a professional baseball contract. He is an outstanding young man and an excellent role model.
I asked Shane how he chose his current career path. His answer was, “I graduated from UNA with a professional Finance degree and one day hope to pursue that business field in the future. However, for the time being I have chosen to sign a professional baseball contract with the Cologne Cardinals in Cologne, Germany. I have always had a desire to see the world and even pursue a career in international business. In light of my arm surgery proceeding the conclusion of my senior season, I saw this opportunity with the Cardinals as the perfect chance to continue my lifelong passion of playing baseball while experiencing a new culture.”
Thank you, Shane, for being willing to share about your experiences here at IRCS. We are grateful for the time we were able to spend with you here and are proud of your accomplishments.