Monthly Archives: May 2011

Did You Know?

  • Did you know that two 2011 Regents graduates received appointments to two of the most prestigious universities in the nation – the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Air Force Academy, and their graduating class won scholarships worth over $800,000?
  • Did you know that Regents families helped the school raise nearly $30,000 in donations through the BIG Serve–money that goes directly to servicing the school’s building debt?
  • Did you know that next year Regents will inaugurate a student mentoring program to help new and struggling students and provide opportunities for older students to be leaders to the younger students?
  • Did you know that Regents athletes had great success this year? Our junior high soccer team placed third in the CSAC tournament, our junior high boys basketball team placed third place at the CSAC tournament, the high school basketball team went to the playoffs for the first time ever, and three high school students placed at the TAPPS state track meet.
  • Did you know that Regents high school students won the TAPPS Speech and Academic district competition against 8 other schools and placed 6th in the state as a team (out of 26 schools), with several students winning top-3 honors in the state individually?
  • Did you know that in 2010 a Regents student was named a National Merit Commended Student for the fifth year in a row?
  • Did you know that Regents Academy has begun the accreditation process with the Texas Association of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS) that should be completed by the end of next year?
  • Did you know that our school has completely revamped our secondary science curriculum and instruction, and over the last year we have greatly improved our secondary math curriculum?
  • Did you know that Regents junior high and high school students just completed their inaugural year of drama, with productions of “Fairy Tale Courtroom” and Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors”?
  • Did you know that your student can take dual credit courses during high school, as long as certain conditions are met?
  • Did you know that every day Regents students are nurtured in a loving Christian atmosphere with a student to teacher ratio of 8 to 1?
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Acknowledging Achievement

In the Disney movie The Incredibles (and this is probably the only Disney reference you will ever hear from me in this space!), the superhero mom tells the super-fast son, “Everyone’s special, Dash,” to which he responds, “Which is another way of saying no one is.” If there is such a thing as excellence, then this must be true.

Of course, every child is created in God’s image and is treasured by Him. Also, any child who works to his potential should be praised and encouraged, whatever grade that work happens to merit. But when a child achieves academic excellence, this achievement ought to be acknowledged, for at least three reasons.

First, the recognition of good work is endorsed in the Scriptures from the writings of Solomon (Proverbs) to those of Paul (Romans, Ephesians, 1 Timothy, etc.). Also, demonstrating that excellent work is not overlooked or taken for granted, but rather is noticed and commended, will, we hope, encourage excellence among all the students. Finally, we should draw public attention to the high quality of work achieved by our students to the glory of God and their parents.

My point in all of this is to say that I am happy that at the end of each year Regents Academy acknowledges the academic excellence of its student at the Academic Awards Ceremony. This is not just a ceremony for those receiving an award, but it is an event for the whole community, when we celebrate the blessings God has given us and the achievement that He has made possible.

So let me put a plug in for our Academic Award Ceremony, which is next Tuesday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. at New Hope Church. And while I’m at it, let me encourage you to attend the Regents Graduation Ceremony, which is next Thursday, May 26, at 7:00 p.m. at New Hope also. Both events are opportunities to mark milestones of achievement in the lives of our students, and they are worth the effort of being there.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). I’ll see you next week when we will have the opportunity to do just what this verse of Scripture encourages.

And let me say in closing how thankful I am for you – the Regents Academy parents and grandparents – for a great year. It is such a pleasure serving you all, and I pray God’s richest blessings for you and your family over the summer. Enjoy your time together as a family!

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Kudos to the Regents high school for their recent performance of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors.” They did a fabulous job, performing before an audience of parents, students, and friends of the school. The play was adapted and directed by Mrs. Ashley Bryant. Each high schooler participated

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Huzzah for the 7th and 8th Grade Feast!

On May 10, the seventh and eight grade class had a Medieval Feast, complete with costumes, candles, and lots of delicious food, all eaten with fingers of course. In line with their study of Christendom this year, the 7th and 8th grade Omnibus teacher, Mr. Roy Bradley, had the students prepare research papers on various medieval subjects, and the students presented short summaries of their papers at the feast.

Many thanks to the committee of moms who prepared the food, decorated, and planned the event.

Huzzah! The comely maidens and noble gents verily did wondrous well!

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Quilts for Seniors

We have a number of great traditions at Regents Academy. But I have to say that one of absolute favorites is Mrs. Vicky Lymbery’s yearly gift of a unique, hand-sewn quilt for each senior that she present to them at a lunch that she  prepares for them. She is a woman of many talents! And she dearly loves her students.

Pictured below are Mrs. Lymbery and this year’s five seniors with their quilts: from left to right, Adrienne Duke, Kelsey Kunk, Jacob DeLoney, Ashli McDonald, and Ashley Hermenitt.

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Regents Academy Public Statement Regarding SB 1214 (UIL bill)

Regents Academy is encouraged at the prospect of allowing private and parochial school students to participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) extracurricular contests through the enactment of legislation such as Senate Bill 1214.  Since 1909, the UIL has been a highly respected association providing opportunities for students to participate in a wide range of competitive events.  Regents Academy believes that opening up these competitive opportunities to a larger group of Texas students, who would otherwise have limited access to similar contests, would be a positive change benefiting Texas students.

As a private school, Regents Academy has been fortunate to be able to offer its students the ability to participate in a broad range of extracurricular competitive opportunities through organizations similar to UIL including TAPPS and CSAC. TAPPS (the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) provides opportunities for high school students in private and/or parochial schools to compete in academic, athletic, art and music contests. Additionally, Regents Academy middle school students compete in various sports events via the 25-member Christian Schools Athletic Conference (CSAC). We have been pleased with the role TAPPS and CSAC have played in the extracurricular lives of our students as our students have enjoyed much success through both organizations.

Only last week at the TAPPS State Track and Field Championships held at Baylor University in Waco, Regents Academy had three student-athletes score in five  events and place in the top six spots, with one student placing 2nd in her event. Additionally, Regents Academy is a past state champion in the TAPPS 2A Division for Speech and Academics, and the boys’ high school basketball team qualified for its first TAPPS State Basketball tournament earlier this year. Regents Academy is very pleased with its affiliation with both TAPPS and CSAC.

Regents Academy continues to work with the TEA-recognized Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS) to finalize its application for accreditation. Once completed, Regents Academy will be qualified to reconsider which extracurricular association is best for its students, whether that will be TAPPS, CSAC, and/or UIL. Until the UIL/private school initiative currently known as SB 1214 becomes law, it is premature for Regents Academy to offer additional comment on this pending legislation.

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On Not Growing Weary in Well-Doing

We are nearing the end of the school year. It is the season of late evenings, multiple commitments, papers and exams, recitals and long practices, and, often enough, bone weariness. Are you tired? Are you trying to endure till summer?

The Apostle Paul wrote these encouraging words at the beginning of his First Letter to the Thessalonians: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father” (1:2-3).

Our labor for our families and for our school are a labor of love that call for endurance. The Scriptures encourage us to endure to the end and be faithful to the Lord. The things you, as a parent, do to serve your children can be exhausting, but parenthood is a high calling that is worthy of hard work. And the work you do to educate your child so that he or she will be trained with a classical mind is well worth it also. So enduring to the end in our labor of love is our calling.

Pastor John Piper encourages us with these words, from a sermon on this passage in 1 Thessalonians:

Absolutely indispensable . . . is the power to keep going month after month, year after year, even decade after decade in the path of obedience. And for many of us that will mean long-haul endurance in a particular ministry in spite of emotional and relational and spiritual and financial obstacles, even when the encouragements of the limelight and the attention and the glory and the admiration are gone, and we feel like the joys of life are passing us by.

Without the endurance of hope, the work of faith and the labor of love will prove to be no real work of God but only the love of the limelight. We do not live in a generation that puts a high premium on endurance in relationships or jobs or in ministry. And we are very much children of our age. If we follow Scripture here, we will be swimming against the tide. So be it! This is a call for the endurance of the saints!

I have been cheering the Regents students on lately with these words: “Finish strong!” Let’s all finish the year strong as parents and teachers also. Our work of faith and labor of love call for endurance. I pray that the Lord will give you that endurance till the end!

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Fund-Raising: A Key Ministry as a Labor of Love for Our Students

Here is a post by Regents Board member Michael Kunk:

Have you ever said to yourself “Another Regents Academy fund raising project?  Enough already!!!”

Asking families who already pay tuition to participate in Regents – activities is a difficult thing to do and the Regents Board appreciates and understands the frustration continual fund raising efforts may cause Regents families.  Fund-raising is commitment to a cause.  It can be time consuming and frequently involves asking friends, family, co-workers and business associates for assistance with an entity or project they know little to nothing about, or for a cause they may not fully understand or support.  If you are like me, asking someone to participate in a fundraising event is uncomfortable at best, and at its worst, something to avoid at all costs and akin to surgery or a root canal.
That being said, “Why fund raise?”

Regents Academy has an annual budget of just under $500,000 per year.  From that, we pay our staff, fund school operating expenses and educational expenses, and service the building debt of Regents Academy.  Approximately 20% of our income is derived from fund-raising activities, which is committed in a host of special projects, purchase of costly items, student needs or used for the benefit of the school as a whole.  Without it, our limited resources would have to be stretched to include the cost of items currently paid through fund-raising programs such as playground equipment and building debt service (just to name two), further reducing the available cash to cover the daily operating costs of Regents Academy.

Did you know?  The median pay for a full-time staff member at Regents is a meager $11,000 per school year!  That’s right: $1,100 for each month school is in session.  Our staff’s dedication and sacrifice for the educational benefit of your children cannot be underestimated.  They work long hours and sacrifice time with their families to educate your child(ren) about the world our LORD has created and which we get to enjoy.  Also, many of our staff are volunteers who take no pay and continually work long hours in their respective areas – strictly out of the goodness of their hearts.  The Regents family is eternally grateful for these efforts because, as a direct result of these numerous sacrifices by so many, Regents Academy is able to keep tuition low and still provide what the board feels is the best Pre-K through 12th grade education within driving distance of Nacogdoches.

I am often times asked “What is the fair value of the COST of a Regents Academy education?”  While that is a difficult question to answer as it involves issues like grade level tuition differentials, elimination of fund raising activities/volunteerism and fair compensation,  I have a basic formula that can be applied as follows.  In a rough calculation, tuition would first have to increase 25% just to cover lost revenues from fund-raising activities.  It would have to increase another 10% to replace volunteerism at Regents and at least 30% to raise the pay for all staff a minimum standard wage of $20,000 ($2,000 for each month Regents is in session).  In this scenario, standard tuition for a child in high school would increase from approximately $4,600 to well over $8,000 annually!  Frankly, this is a tuition cost that is out of reach for most of our Regents families.

So is the answer fund-raising activities?  I would submit the answer to that question is definitely Yes.

Fund raising efforts lower the educational cost for everyone and keep our limited funds available for operating expenses and staff wages (already far below market and other local educational institutions). Volunteerism (a form of fund-raising) also helps keep costs down and allows Regents Academy to charge a fair and balanced tuition rate to all who attend.  Fund-raising also allows Regents Academy to fulfill its Christian mission by funding special discounts for families, in need due to short-term financial distress, or who otherwise could never afford a Regents Academy education.

So the next time a fund-raising event comes around, I encourage you to look at it as a labor of love for the children of Regents Academy. An opportunity to make a real difference in a child’s life who will receive the benefit of a classically trained mind.  An opportunity to serve those who sacrifice daily to educate your family to the best of their abilities.  An opportunity to serve God and glorify His name.

Fund-raising at Regents Academy is much, much more than simply raising money for Regents Academy. It is a Key Christian Ministry for the love of the students at Regents Academy and an excellent example of Christian grace, mercy, personal sacrifice and fellowship for our students.

Last, I want to be sure to extend a HUGE HEARTFELT THANK YOU on behalf of the entire Regents Academy family to all who have sacrificed and worked tirelessly for the benefit of our precious students.  Your efforts over the past 10 years are eternal and instrumental in making Regents grow into what it is today.  Your efforts have benefited hundreds of students and have NOT gone unnoticed, evidenced by the overall quality and personal character of our students and graduates.

Thank you again.  You are forever our “Unsung HEROES!”

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What’s So Great About Great Books?

I want to share with you an article found at Memoria Press’s website by classical educator and author Martin Cothran titled, “What’s so Great About Great Books?” Regents Academy teaches the Great Books in our Omnibus classes, and Cothran gives a good, brief explanation why.

There are some books we set apart from the rest and call “great.” What do they got that the others ain’t got? Well, for one thing, they don’t use “ain’t.” But isn’t there something else?

What is a great book, and what makes it different from a book that is not great? Aren’t there differences of opinion on what constitutes a great book? And if so, isn’t this difference of opinion an indication that such greatness is, like we often say of beauty, in the eye of the beholder? And if there is no agreement on what a great book is, then is it even possible to call any particular book truly “great”?

To call something “great” is to attribute to it some combination of three virtues: intellectual, moral, and aesthetic. An intellectual virtue has to do with something’s truth; a moral virtue has to do with the good of a thing; and an aesthetic virtue has to do with a thing’s beauty. Ultimately, however, all of these considerations come into play for a book to be called truly “great.”

When we say a book is “great,” we may mean to say that it communicates some truth. If it is a book of nonfiction, this truth could be a particular truth about God, man, or the world. There are great books of philosophy or history that do this. Plato’s Republic and Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War may relate to us eternal or temporal truths that can tell us of our proper place in the cosmos or of our proper role in this world.

If it is a work of fiction, we still expect that it will communicate truths, although of a more universal kind, communicated in metaphor, parable, or allegory. Homer’s Iliad may speak to us of the folly of wrath. Dante’s Divine Comedy may communicate to us that we are pilgrims seeking the way to God and that we may find reason alone useful for a while, but that eventually we are helpless without Divine Grace.

We may also judge a book great by the moral lesson it teaches us. Aesop’s Fables, like much great children’s literature, is filled with practical wisdom that instructs us concerning what we must do to avoid the common pitfalls in life that often result from greed, ambition, and selfishness. The Bible tells the story of the Good Samaritan as an example of the charity we too should practice.

But there are many books we would not call “great” that instruct or impart knowledge to us or that tell us what we should do. A travel book or a repair manual do these things, but they are not great literature. There must be, then, something in addition to these moral and intellectual qualities alone that makes for a “great” book.

Great literature must not only inhabit our intellect and subordinate our will, but it must also capture our imagination. Without Beauty, Truth and Goodness are simply inaccessible to us. Unless our very desires are ordered to the True and the Good, our desires are ultimately without effect.

John Henry Newman spoke to this very issue:

“Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is not humility, nor is largeness and justness of view faith. Philosophy, however enlightened, however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifying principles … Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man.”

Reason and evidence may yield knowledge, and exhortation may bring about conviction, but what will breathe life into what we know—and know we should do? What will help us to avoid “praising one thing,” as Plato put it, “but being pleased by another”? What will resolve the problem that Allan Bloom once described as the “tension between the pleasurable and the good”?

What is it that will make us whole?

Classical Christian education operates according to the principle that Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are the fundamental criteria, not only of a great book, but of a great education—of which the great books form a fundamental part.

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