Grace Peachey, Class of 2016
What is your occupation? I am a Perinatal Sonographer at Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown, PA.
What was your educational path? I attended Mt. Aloysius College and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Ultrasonography.
What is your greatest memory from attending BMS? I really enjoyed participating in athletics – field hockey and basketball.
What is something you appreciate about your education at BMS? The writing tips and skills that I learned from Mrs. Quinn really helped me at the college level. I didn’t think I would need to be writing as much in the healthcare field, but it has been very helpful.
Larry Kauffman, Class of 2001
Can you describe your educational and career path following graduation from BMS? I took a year off after high school and went to Brazil on a YES team. Then I attended Messiah College and graduated in 2006 with Major in Communication and Minor in Business Administration. For several years after college, I worked at Renno's Lawn Service. In December 2008, I began working at The Stewardship Group, basically as a receptionist. In 2009, I earned my insurance license and in 2019, became the manager of the Property and Casualty Department. I was promoted to Vice President in 2016 and purchased the agency in December 2018.
What are some memorable experiences from your time as a student at BMS that helped to shape your career choices? I always enjoyed and did well at writing and presenting. Those skills have certainly helped me in my current career. BMS also provided me the opportunity to be heavily involved in several things: Basketball, School Play, Yearbook editor, etc. that I may not have got the chance to do at another school. I don’t think I ever thought I’d end up being an insurance agent, but many of the experiences I had and the relationships I developed at BMS have certainly helped me in my business.
Were there any particular teachers, coaches or peer groups who had a significant impact on your life? How so? My class was Mrs. Glenna Young’s first class at BMS (6th grade). Her ability to teach and her patience and care for each of us will always be something I remember. Mr. Vincent Anastasi was English teacher my senior year. He was only at BMS for one year but had a real impact on me academically (one of the reasons I did well with writing etc.) and also as a mentor when it came to life. Mr. Ryan Booz (choir and music) impacted me a lot as I developed and grew into my faith in my high school years. Alan Miller was always a great support and remains so. I was also impacted very positively by my basketball coaches: Neil Renno (Jr. High), Elwood Byler, Don Mathews, and Mike Hartzler.
As you reflect on how others invested in you at BMS, are there any other thoughts that come to mind? I’m grateful that my parents choose to send me to BMS and made sacrifices necessary to do so. I’ve always been grateful about how many of the middle school, high school teachers were patient enough to stick with me through the years as I developed and matured. I had an ornery phase but that didn’t stop them from mentoring and caring for me as I grew up at BMS. Was really cool to develop relationships with teachers and staff through my time at BMS.
How did your experience at BMS help to prepare and equip you for life, service and leadership? BMS gave me opportunities to develop as a leader where in a larger environment I may have just been part of the crowd. At BMS, I was able to be involved in different areas of leadership (yearbook editor, basketball captain, worship leader, etc.). I have been leading worship corporately for many years and am currently worship director at my church part time. I got my first chance to do that at BMS. Attending BMS also gave me a perspective of service. I don’t think I would have had the desire to spend a year in missions prior to college had it not been for BMS making that a part of my worldview.
How do you feel that God has used your current occupation to impact the community around you? That’s the best part of my job, getting to interact with many people from many different backgrounds. Being an insurance agent is all about gaining trust, and fostering relationships with our clients. I am not a “salesman”, but some of the tools I began to develop at BMS have allowed me to build relationships and continue a successful business so far. As the business continues to grow, right here in Belleville, I’m grateful for opportunities that we will have to give back and to bless people’s lives locally. Our philosophy here is right out of Phil 2:3, treat others the way that we would want to be treated. God has been gracious to me in my life, I enjoy working in a job that I can look for opportunity to extend that grace and understanding to others.
Josiah Yoder, Class of 2016
What is your occupation? I am a wildlife technician for the USDA under Nevada wildlife services.
What was your educational path? I graduated from high school and began working for an outfitter as a guide building my work experience and learning the trade.
How did your BMS experience help to prepare you for life? Going to BMS with its small class sizes and environment helped me with building personal relations and being able to hold conversations with people.
As you reflect on how others invested in you at BMS, are there any other thoughts or ideas that come to mind? I realize now that the schedules and deadlines set by staff is more relatable to real life, as it was preparation for work and the schedules and deadlines set by employers. I am thankful for the examples placed by the staff at BMS and the way they set examples for us.
Rhonda (Harshbarger) Gibbons, Class of 1985
Describe your educational and career path following graduation from BMS I graduated from Hesston College in 1987 with a degree in business management. Harshbargers Sub n Malt was opened in March of 1989. After 31 years of operation and a lot of changes, we now have two locations (McVeytown and Mifflintown) and have expanded into catering and manufacturing ice cream and ice cream cakes throughout Pa.
What are some memorable experiences from your time as a student at BMS that helped to shape your career choices? The most favorite memories at BMS for me were being in the touring choir. I enjoyed singing and playing the piano. I feel that Ray French's passion for music rubbed off on me and I carry that with me even today as my sisters and I enjoy singing together and sharing God's message through song.
Were there any particular teachers, coaches or peer groups who had a significant impact on your life? How so? I feel all teachers at BMS have a huge impact on your life. You are an individual to them not a number. They give you encouragement and guidance to be all you can be through your school years. I really appreciated Ms. Lehman my field hockey coach. I feel she had a huge impact on my life. She saw potential in me that I didn’t even see and encouraged me to be my absolute best. My husband Richie and I have a 13-year-old son Dakota. We are grateful that he carries on the tradition and attends BMS.
How do you feel that God has used your current occupation to impact the community around you? The most rewarding thing about my business is God enables us to give back to the community in many different ways. I truly believe we make a difference. Our mission is to show God's love through our giving.