Matt Reisberg said Camille Echegoyen goes above and beyond in whatever she does.
Reisberg, Carroll Christian School’s principal and the varsity coach of both the boys and girls basketball teams, has known and mentored Echegoyen for seven years. He coached her on the basketball court for five of those years.
Echegoyen is a member of the Carroll Christian School’s graduating class of 2020, graduating with the school’s Honors College Preparatory Diploma as the class salutatorian on May 29 in a ceremony that abided by Gov. Larry Hogan’s social distancing practices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“She has amazing parents that have the heart for mentoring, teaching and instructing,” Reisberg said. “They are always there. It doesn't matter what she’s doing, she sings, she does solos and she’s in the choir ensemble, sports. If it can be done, Camille can do it and she can do it well.
“Right behind her, you will see her mother and father cheering her on and taking the opportunity to mentor her.”
Maryland schools closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the pandemic. Echegoyen said adapting to virtual learning wasn’t too difficult, but she missed the social aspect of being with her classmates and teachers on a daily basis.
Not only did she perform in the classroom, she stood out as an exceptional three-sport athlete as well.
Echegoyen excelled in volleyball, basketball and soccer at Carroll Christian. She finished her basketball career with 1,257 points, 10 points shy of former Patriot Kristen Douglas’s record. She compiled 888 rebounds, 611 steals and 442 assists as well.
“I think I’ve changed tremendously,” Echegoyen said. “I would say I was a bit more immature as a freshman but I’ve come a long way with my level of maturity. I would say all of us have with everything going on, but I feel like I’ve come a long way since then with academics and sports as well.”
Echegoyen said she is proud of her athletic achievements, but even more proud that she didn’t reach this level of success alone. One of her closest friends and teammates, Sydney Wooden, also surpassed the 1,000-point mark this winter.
“The sports seasons are always fun to look back on because we made so many memories through those,” Echegoyen said. “Through the sweat and tears, we were able to play for each other and for the Lord. Some seasons were harder than others, but I see coming so close to the school record as an accomplishment.”
Carroll Christian’s purpose is to provide a Christian alternative to the community’s educational options, according to the school’s website. The faculty and staff work to partner with parents to prepare well-rounded children to be ready to serve the Lord.
Faith has played a large part in Echegoyen’s academic and athletic success and she said the school’s retreats, revivals and chapel services impacted not only her, but the entire student body as a whole.
The school begins the year with an annual retreat, designed to help the elementary and secondary school students get to know one another and make memories. A Winter Revival is held every year as well, an event where speakers are invited to attend and inspire students, religiously.
Weekly chapel services offer an opportunity for students to gather together as a school and worship. The services also helped Echegoyen’s class maintain a solid sense of leadership, she said.
“I like being known as someone that took a stand for the right thing,” Echegoyen said. “That’s something I struggled with freshman and sophomore year, trying to find myself in that. Looking back, being known as someone who did take chances, someone who was a leader in doing the right thing that pleased not only the staff and teachers, but pleased the Lord as well.”
Without the revivals and chapel services, Echegoyen believed her class and the rest of the student body would have lost the “fire” they originally entered the school year with.
Echegoyen also served as the school’s student council president this year, and Reisberg said leadership came easily for her.
“She has a heart for other people and a heart for doing what’s right,” Reisberg said. “You can really count on her. Watching her grow all these years, you see a sweet and smiling spirit that is there … when she is smiling, she is at her best.”
Echegoyen plans to attend Pensacola Christian College this fall and study nursing. She said she would love to continue playing basketball, and will play if her schedule allows it.
“People might say I’m crazy to do three sports with a bunch of academics and being so involved in school but it’s just who I am,” Echegoyen said. “Keeping busy molded me into who I am today because with that it was able to keep me on the right track and focus on the right things.”