Make Haste…Slowly

Today we recognize the academic achievement of students from the second quarter.  We are now halfway through the school year.  I am guessing some of you are quite pleased with your grades so far this year.  Some, I would guess, are a little disappointed and would like to do better.  

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Good Tidings of Great Joy for ACA Parents in 2018

Dear Annapolis friends and family (including Dufflepuds, Marshwiggles, Fauns, and other friendly Narnians),

The fog of Christmas holiday cheer has receded and a new year has finally dawned. Gone are the holiday parties, late nights, sleeping in, and marathon Netflix binge watching! A new era of dieting, exercise, and self-improvement resolutions has arrived. My own personal resolution involves growing my beard to James Harden proportions!  While the end of 2017 might not be the end of the world as we know it, I still feel fine. Here’s why: 2018 is shaping up to be one of best years ever for ACA families.

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Hope

One of the most important parts of any plant is its roots. The roots are where a plant finds its stability. As the roots grow deeper and wider, the plant is able to grow taller and be able to withstand the wind because it has such a solid base. A plants roots also draw in the nutrients and energy that the plant needs to grow. The better and more nutritious the soil, the better the nutrients that the roots can draw up to the plant itself.

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Sowing and Reaping

I know not everybody grew up on a farm so I will give you a quick lesson on farming.  When you eat an apple, that apple was not born at the local grocery store.  It was grown on a tree.  That tree didn’t just show up either.  That tree grew from a seed.  An apple seed to be more precise.  It took years and years for it to go from a seed to a sapling, to a full grown tree.  If I gave an apple to you and you ate it down to its core and you gave me the seeds and I planted them and something started growing from that seed, you would not come up to me and say, your grapefruit tree is growing.  Right?  Why not?  Because there is a law of nature.  You don’t plant a peach pit and get strawberries.  There is a consistency between what is planted, what is grown and what is harvested.  An apple seed will grow an apple tree from which you will be able to harvest apples from.

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New Life in Christ

The Bible is a Truth to be obeyed or given adherence to.  So, what happens when we don’t obey?  It usually doesn’t end well!  Obeying creates safety for us that God provides because of his great love for us.

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Like A Tree

I grew up on the farm that my great-grandfather farmed.  The white barn on the property is over hundred years old and is still a working barn.  I remember as a boy walking into the tack room and seeing pictures of his teams of draft horses placed among the actual yokes and harnesses that those horses were hitched up to plow and pull the farm equipment to take care of his 80-acre farm.

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Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Dear Annapolis families and friends (and other bezoomy chelovecks and devotchkas!),

In the perennial size matters debate, bigger is usually better, right?  Not when it comes to schooling.  I’ve spent my whole life in small, private schools.  I graduated high school from Annapolis Christian Prep School (the predecessor to Annapolis Christian Academy) the proud salutatorian of the class of ’94 – a class of four graduates!  I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale college (1,200 students) and my master’s degree from St. John’s College (800 students), both small, private liberal arts colleges. For the past decade, I have served as head of school for Annapolis Christian Academy and seen the school grow from a mere 180 students to almost 300 students over the course of my administration.  My experience in small, private schools has left an indelible mark on my character for which I am profoundly grateful and I am convinced more than ever that small, private schools like Annapolis are simply the safest and most effective model of schooling.  Period.

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Calling

I grew up on a farm and one of the things I hated the most was during the summer was when my mom would make a list of chores for me to finish before I could do anything else.  The thing that I wanted to do more than anything else was to go fishing but I knew I had to do chores first.  Of all the chores that my mom could write down, the worst ones were cleaning.  This wasn’t vacuuming or dusting, no it was cleaning up after animals.  You see we had a fair number of chickens and horses and they would spend their nights in the coop or stall and they would make their mess inside.  Someone, usually me, had to keep these buildings clean.  It was a hot, dirty, smelly job.  In the 1500’s, people would look at someone who did those kinds of jobs and think, only people who work in the church are really doing the work of God. Today I am going to talk briefly about an idea that Martin Luther brought forward during the reformation that was completely revolutionary for its time.  It was the idea of calling.  He insisted that the farmer shoveling manure and the maid milking her cow could please God as much as the minister preaching or praying.

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My Why

Dear Annapolis Friends and Families (and other concerned citizens),

I recently returned from a head of school retreat hosted by the Society for Classical Learning. We were a motley crew of 40 battle-hardened, classical Christian heads of school with plenty of stories to share and scars to show. There was lots of coffee drinking, khaki pants and loafer wearing, and lamenting the general decline of Western Civilization brought on by the ubiquitous presence of hand-held, soul-destroying digital devices. We were a sight to behold; but it was a truly wonderful time of fellowship and renewal of vision as we were challenged to think through the big “why.”   Why do our schools exist?  Why in the world did we ever choose to subject ourselves to careers in Classical Christian school leadership?  Stuff like that.

So, maybe out of a self-flagellating compulsion to confess, or maybe even out of a repressed desire to simply say “I’m sorry,” for better or worse, I leave to posterity my personal confession, my why:

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Happy Classical Christian Halloween?

Dear Annapolis Friends and Families (excluding all ghosts, gouls, or goblins who may be disguised among us),

Today is Halloween. To quote Jim Geraghty, “We live in a world with North Korean nukes, opioid addiction, Antifa, Russian hackers, a mass shooting in Las Vegas that still lacks a revealed motive, and monsters like Harvey Weinstein. Honestly, by comparison, ghosts and goblins are kind of relaxing!”

I have a confession to make: I was raised a Halloween “teetotaler.” Growing up, my parents had strong convictions that Halloween was demonic, evil, and rooted in occult practices dating back to the pagan Celtic druids and the festival of Samhain (pronounced “sah-wain”) marking the end of the harvest season and commemorating the dead.

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