Category Archives: Classical Education

The Mission of Annapolis: A Grandparent’s Testimony

My name is Diane Carter.  I’m a teacher here in the upper schools as a science and Bible teacher and have been for most of the years since the doors opened over 20 years ago.  I’m also a parent here–my four children having passed through the halls of Annapolis with my last one sitting here today, a junior.  I’m also a grandparent with a grandson here in kindergarten.  I’ve been asked to address you this morning to share my heart as to why I have such a deep and long participation as a teacher in Classical and Christian education. I also hope to communicate with you why my husband and I have made such a long-term investment in Annapolis as our choice to help us educate our own children and why our children are now choosing Annapolis for the grandchildren.

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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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Whatever Happened to Manners & Morals?

Dear Annapolis Friends and Families (and any other featherless bipeds who happen to read this weekly letter),
Yesterday in chapel, Mr. Lockyer, Annapolis’ Grammar School Principal, publicly praised the actions of a third-grade student, Brody Williamson, who regularly helps a younger student out by carrying his fencing equipment to and from the dance studio where the two engage in all manner of dangerous swashbuckling endeavors after school. I was truly encouraged by Brody’s example of selflessness and service and was reminded afresh that kids these days aren’t all bad! Thank you, Brody, for restoring my hope in humanity’s future!
Though a small kindness, Brody’s action illustrates a BIG part of Annapolis’ mission: the restoration of respect for good ol’ fashioned manners and morals.
Admittedly, we are swimming upstream in our current culture of casual crudeness. It’s no secret that good manners and virtuous morals are decreasingly important to our society and that coarseness, rudeness, moral relativism, corruption, and depravity rule the day. For those who care, this trend is deeply concerning as it signals the onset of a new dark age of barbarism that threatens to engulf us completely. But what can be done to restore respect for things and people? How can Annapolis encourage thoughtful manners and virtuous character in our students and staff?

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ACA Students Rank #1 in Region on PSAT

According to the Texas Education Agency’s latest published data for average SAT scores in South Texas, Annapolis students rank number one in the region, outscoring every public high school by triple digits including top ranked London by 141 points!  Here’s the data:

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All in the Family: A Thank You Letter from Patti & Caleb Terry

We at Annapolis cherish the opportunity to impact the lives of our students and their families.  However, it warms our hearts even greater to receive positive feedback about our mission in providing high quality, academically-driven, and God-centered education.  We invite you to read the following testimonial from one of our newer families, Patti and Caleb Terry.

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God’s Promise to be Slow to Anger

The gifts and promises of God are great for us. They prove to us the love and kindness and beauty of God. But do we know how big and righteous God is?

Do we really know how holy, holy, holy, high and exalted God, the Creator of the universe really is?

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God Promises to be our Strength

As we get ready to hear another story about one of God’s promises, I want to ask some questions. Have you ever been nervous about having to do something? Have you ever had to ask a stranger a question—maybe for directions–and you felt nervous about it? Or have you ever had to speak in front of your whole class—maybe to give a report or a speech?  Did you feel scared to do it?

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