The Paul Piper Distinguished Alumni Award is given each year to thirty-year graduates of Briarcrest Christian School who have shown outstanding achievement in their professional careers and/or have been recognized for their influential leadership and support of educational, civic, religious or charitable causes. The recipients for 2009 are:
Mrs. Barbara Calhoun Cargill graduated from BCHS in 1978. During her senior year, Barbara was voted by her senior class as Best All-Around and Most Likely to Succeed in the senior Hall of Fame. She also was voted Miss Briarcrest as well as named in Who’s Who and Teenager of the Week. She was a top 20 scholar in her senior class. Barbara graduated from Baylor University with an undergraduate degree in education and a Master of Science in science education from Texas Woman’s University. She taught high school science in the Dallas area and received teaching awards such as “Thanks to Teachers” National Excellence Award, the A. J. Sales Educational Award and a National Audubon Society Award. In 1995, after being inspired by her sons’ love of nature and science, Barbara founded Wonders of the Woodlands Science Camp where she combined her passion for science and her interest in creative, hands-on learning. This outreach ministry of The Woodlands United Methodist Church attracts over 1,200 campers each summer and benefits children throughout the year. Along with a team of dynamic certified teachers and fantastic curriculum, Barbara continues to serve as the director and credits God’s blessing and hands-on science to the program’s success. In January 2009, Barbara was sworn in for her second four-year term as a member of the Texas State Board of Education representing 1.6 million people in 24 counties of east Texas. She works diligently to be a conservative voice for her constituents as the Board oversees issues such as textbook adoptions, curriculum standards, charter schools and graduation plans. Barbara is a sustainer with the Junior League of North Harris county and works with the youth at her church, judges at local science fairs and is on the PTO Board at College Park High School. She and her husband, Terry, have three sons, 18 year old twins Chase and Blake and 16 year old Connor. Barbara credits Briarcrest as a special school that laid a strong Christian foundation for her as she strives to serve God daily in her roles as a mother, teacher and volunteer.
Captain Paul Pearigen is a 1979 Briarcrest graduate. He graduated magna cum laude from The University of the South in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He then completed medical school at Vanderbilt University, graduating in 1987. Following residency training in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, he completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacology & toxicology at the University of California at San Francisco. He began active naval service in 1992. Captain Pearigen served for over five years as Residency Program Director and Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), with 100 Navy emergency medicine residents undergoing training during his tenure. Captain Pearigen was subsequently named Director for Medical Education and member of the Executive Steering Council at NMCSD, the Navy’s largest teaching and tertiary care medical treatment facility. In 2002, Captain Pearigen was the central medical planner for several civic assistance (i.e. humanitarian) activities conducted by Navy and Marine medical and dental personnel in Timor L'este (aka, East Timor). He was involved over the years in planning as well as supply of needed equipment and hundreds of personnel to multiple humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions around the globe that have been conducted by USNS MERCY, one of the Navy's two hospital ships, as well as by other Navy ships. Beginning in 2002, Captain Pearigen served as Commander Amphibious Task Force (CATF) Surgeon with the USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) Amphibious Ready Group-11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) operating in the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Shortly after that deployment, Captain Pearigen was selected as the first Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) Surgeon, becoming the principal medical advisor and planner for ESG-1, a unique Navy-Marine Corps combatant battle group. ESG-1 deployed from August 2003 to March 2004 in the global war on terror, during which Captain Pearigen was the Senior Medical Authority Afloat for over 5400 Sailors and Marines aboard 6 surface amphibious and combatant ships and one submarine of the USS PELELIU (LHA-5) ESG. Captain Pearigen returned to Naval Medical Center San Diego where he served as Chairman, Emergency Medicine from September 2004 to August 2005. He then reported to the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine & Surgery in Washington, DC, serving as Executive Assistant to the Surgeon General of the Navy from August 2005 to March 2007. Captain Pearigen reported as Deputy Commander, Naval Medical Center San Diego in April 2007. His leadership at this facility with 6200 staff and an annual total obligation authority exceeding $500 million resulted in advances in quality, evidence-based health care, unprecedented margins in Navy Medicine’s performance-based budgeting model, opening of the Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (C5) Center, Navy’s state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for amputees and other wounded warriors, and deployment of over 1500 personnel as augmentees supporting combat & humanitarian operations worldwide. Captain Pearigen assumed duties as Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton July, 2009. Captain Pearigen is board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and attained subspecialty certification in Medical Toxicology. He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal in addition to unit, service, and campaign awards. He has also achieved designation as a Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer.