Dawn Snellenberger interviewed Class of 1996 alumna Joy (Williams) Press. Joy is married to Mr. Keith Press, our high school science teacher, and she currently runs a daycare out of their home so she can also care for their newest family addition.
When chatting with families, we hear comments about how special the CCS community is. Few people, however, have had the extended exposure to the school’s community like Joy and Keith Press!
Joy (Williams) Press began attending Cornerstone in the ninth grade after previously attending public school. She recalls her days at CCS fondly. She felt it was a safe haven for her, and she appreciated the strong biblical worldview it gave her. She found that her knowledge of the Bible and experience of being with other believers from various churches was a true asset when she went away to college. Cornerstone prepared her to think biblically, and she had a greater appreciation for the larger Body of Christ after going to an interdenominational school where people sometimes differed doctrinally.
Keith also attended CCS while he was in Grades 5-9. Even though they both attended CCS during some of the same years, their paths did not cross until after they both began teaching at the school. Keith accepted a teaching job in the McLain building where he taught math and science, and he coached soccer. At the same time, Joy was serving as a middle school teacher and cheerleading coach.
While working among the CCS community, they fell in love and eventually married in August 2006.
In the next few years, they both had job changes, but the CCS community continued to play a significant role in their lives. Joy moved from a teaching position to becoming the assistant principal, and Keith left CCS to work in the chemistry field, only to return once again to CCS as a teacher. It was while Joy was serving as the assistant principal that God planted the idea of adoption in her mind.
One of Joy’s responsibilities was to give tours to prospective parents. She began to meet several families who had already gone through the adoption process. While it seemed like a lofty (and expensive) goal, she and Keith could not get past the undeniable tug of adoption on their hearts. They decided to take the first step in the process by completing a home study. Shortly afterwards, they received a check for $2,000—the exact cost of the home study! They knew God was indeed leading them forward.
With a mixture of fear and faith, the Presses decided that Joy needed to step away from her administrative position at CCS and open a home daycare in preparation for when their own baby would come home. For anyone who has ever gone through the adoption process, you know it can be grueling! There were difficult moments while they waited, such as when Keith needed major back surgery in the fall of 2017. But Joy and Keith trusted God for a miracle and relied on their community for help.
On August 15, 2018, Joy and Keith were selected to become the parents of a baby girl, who was expected to be born within a week’s time. In quick order, they bought airline tickets, packed, set things in place to bring a baby home, and wired the last of the funds for the adoption. Once again, their community—consisting of people from Cornerstone, their church, family, and friends—rallied to help them. By the time they boarded the plane to pick up their baby, all the funds had been miraculously wired to the adoption agency.
Joy and Keith are now the proud parents of Rachael-Lynn Alissa Press, who was born on August 22. They are doing all the things new parents do: adjusting to being a family of three, taking turns sleeping, and standing in awe of the miracle God performed in their midst! In one of Joy’s recent Facebook posts, she said, “THANK YOU for all of your prayers, love, and support on this journey. We are so amazed by the community that we are a part of." Their CCS community rejoices in what God has done on their behalf!
Are you an alumnus or know someone who would be willing to be interviewed? Please contact Dawn Snellenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story with her.