In January 2012, we issued our first student visa to Nicholas Shao from China, who made school history by becoming the first international student to graduate from First Presbyterian Day School with the Class of 2013. Since then, FPD continues to seek ways to broaden the international experience while teaching from a Christian world view. FPD has hosted international students from China, Korea, Vietnam, Spain, and Italy.
FPD students have been accepted to colleges such as Princeton, MIT, Dartmouth, Brown, Emory, University of North Carolina, Georgia Institute of Technology and many other world-renowned universities.
Come See FPD
First Presbyterian Day School is located in the southern part of the United States, just a short drive from the city of Atlanta. The school has strong English and academic support for international students, an impressive 20 AP course offerings, extensive college counseling, and a wide selection of co-curricular opportunities including a robotics club, foreign language clubs, and fine arts offerings. FPD was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in recent years. We desire to impact the world by preparing our students for the nation’s finest universities. Graduates of FPD have attended colleges and universities such as MIT, Northwestern University, Georgia Tech, and the University of North Carolina.
International Program Staff
International Program Director
Christen McCommon joined FPD in 2016 as Enrollment Assistant. She and her husband, both graduates of FPD, later served as host parents at the Jones Family International Residence and she was named International Program Director in 2017. Christen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. She previously served as the Program and Events Manager at the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research in Atlanta, Georgia.
Host Family Coordinator
Tracey Elliott has been helping with FPD’s International Program since the program began. She and her family have served has a host family family. Tracey now helps coordinate host families with students and provides support throughout the student’s stay. She has a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southwestern. She has been married for 27 years and has two children. She serves as the Hospitality Director for MOPS International and Assistant to the Cotillion Director of Socially Savvy.
Christina Bowker has served as the ELL teacher at FPD since 2016. She graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education. While teaching English in China for a summer, Christina’s love for international students grew. She decided to specialize in teaching English to speakers of other languages and received a Master of Arts in TESOL from Cornerstone University.
International Homestay Program
Our students are hosted by families connected to our school or live in our Jones Family International Residence adjacent to campus. We believe a home environment allows our international students to have an authentic American experience.
Jones Family International Residence
The International Residence is hosted by a loving faculty couple, John and Mary Evelyn Howard, who have served as host parents for three years.
John is a native of Georgia and Mary Evelyn of Mississippi. They have been married for 35 years and have three adult children. John holds a bachelor’s degree in History & Religion from Samford University, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Theological Seminary, and a masters in History from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. Mary Evelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. They have been blessed with 35 years of ministry together including student ministry, missions, both national and international, pastoral, and Christian education.
Students may also be connected with local families serving as host parents. We take great care in partnering each student with a wonderful, loving family who will serve as their host family during their stay.
“The school did a remarkable job matching us with the right student and the right student with us. It was a blessing to see her grow as part of our family. Now that she has graduated and in college, we still stay in contact. She sends us notes and we send her care packages. It has been a real joy.” – Charlie Parrish, FPD Host Parent
For more information, please contact Christen McCommon, International Program Director.