Monthly Archives: February 2015

No school Wednesday, February 25

Because of inclement weather, there will be no school tomorrow, Wednesday, February 25.

The teacher luncheon and in-service planned for tomorrow will remain as scheduled. Teachers will arrive at the school at noon.

We WILL be having our BIG Serve Kick Off ice cream social tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Please come!

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Early Dismissal and Late Start

Because of inclement weather, Regents Academy will dismiss students early today. KPrep-2nd grade will dismiss at 12:45 p.m. and 3rd-12th will dismiss at 1:00 p.m.

Classes will begin at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

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A Visit to Austin

Regents 9th and 10th grade students visited Austin this week, along with David and Nicole Alders. Our group toured the capitol, observed the House of Representatives in session, and had our picture taken with Senator Robert Nichols and Representative Travis Clardy. The students were also able to visit the George Bush Presidential Library and the Bob Bullock Museum, to round out a fun and educational trip.


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The Fruit of a Christian Education

We believe that providing children with a classical Christian education is one of the most important businesses on earth.

Classical Christian education is not just a means to get into college or a path to making money. Instead, it is a cultivated illumination and wisdom, a habit of heart and mind. Like physical health, it is good in itself. But it is also useful as a means of preparing students to fulfill the various callings in life God gives. When a man or woman is well educated, he or she is a better person and therefore a better husband or wife, mother or father, son or daughter, employer or employee, friend, citizen and saint.

What loftier vision could there be for a school to embrace than that of shaping its young men and women (in the language of Psalm 144:12) to be “as plants grown up in their youth,” and “as pillars, sculptured in palace style”?

The process of education aims at a final end, a singular goal. While many these days think the final goals of a program of education are grades, college admission, credentials, prestige, money, or personal advancement, Christian education is motivated differently. It is motivated by love.

This goal is made clear in an episode in the gospels when a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment in the Old Testament was the greatest of all. Jesus responded with these well-known words: “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22: 37-39). Jesus stated that supreme love for God as the greatest commandment is complemented by love for neighbor as the second greatest commandment, and that together these two requirements from Deuteronomy 6 and Leviticus 19 summarize the entire Old Testament. God’s whole purpose for humanity is revealed here, and it means that everything people do ought to be aimed at fulfilling these two greatest commandments. The purpose of life is learning to love.

Christian education is certainly no exception. All studying, teaching, and learning; all administrating, leading and guiding; all the curricular and extra-curricular activities; and, indeed, the total culture of a Christian school, ought to contribute to the fulfillment of this one overarching goal of fostering in students, and in the whole school family, a richer, deeper, fuller love for God and love for others, the two greatest loves of all that are bound up together.

This high calling of Christian education was not lost on earlier generations. Over seven hundred years ago, Bernard of Clairvaux taught that love trumps a variety of inferior motivations for education. He wrote,

There are many who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge: that is curiosity. There are others who desire to know in order that they may themselves be known: that is vanity. Others seek knowledge in order to sell it: that is dishonorable. But there are some who seek knowledge in order to edify others: that is love.

The primary goal, then, of Christian education ought to be unadulterated Christian love, and its greatest concern isn’t really to produce successes, but rather to produce saints.

And these saints, all decked out in their educational gifts — gifts of the mind and character of Christ, of faith, hope and love, of truth, goodness and beauty — these saints, well-equipped in love, are the true fruit of a Christian education.

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“How Much?”

I recently had a conversation with a kind lady who is interested in teaching at Regents Academy. We talked through some preliminary matters. But I knew I was in the heart of the conversation when she asked, “How much do teachers at Regents make?” It’s a fair question; however, it is one that I secretly wince at. I thought you might be interested in hearing how I responded.

That’s a really good question. And I have a straight answer for you: not enough. Our teacher pay is low. But before I give you a specific answer, let me preface it with a few thoughts.

We are an independent, board-run Christian school. We don’t receive any funding from the outside: from government, from taxes, from a sponsoring organization, or from an endowment. All our income is from tuition and from fundraising. So this means we pay our teachers what our tuition will support. And our tuition is low, at least compared to other schools like ours. But our tuition is at a level that the school board believes our community can support. A few of our families could probably afford to pay more, but most of our families are paying all they can.

One consequence of low teacher pay is that our teachers aren’t punching a clock. They are not here for the cushy salary – that’s for sure. Our teachers are here because they love teaching and they love this school. They feel a wonderful freedom to engage in the craft of teaching in an orderly, loving, and inspiring context. They could leave tomorrow and find teaching jobs making much more, but they don’t want to. Their own children are being educated here, so they are truly in community with others who are sacrificing to provide the kind of excellent education that truly can only be found here. There’s just nothing else like us between Longview and Houston. We’re it, and our teachers sense that the mission and vision of this school is special. God is blessing it, and they want to be in on it.

Still, our teachers need to live. They earn every penny they are paid, and then some. The reality is that every one of our tuition-paying families receives an automatic scholarship funded by our teachers. The teachers don’t make a financial contribution directly, but they fund the scholarships with their sweat, love, and dedication. The gap between the amount of tuition paid and the actual value of the education given is covered by the sacrificial giving of our staff. And this is why we don’t feel any guilt asking school families to join in with fundraising efforts. It’s really the least they can do. Also, Regents parents do a lot to show appreciation to teachers, for which I am very thankful.

Having said all that, our school board is trying really hard to raise tuition at a careful pace in order to raise teacher salaries (which have risen substantially in the last few years), while balancing the growth needs of the school. They are working hard to find the proper balance.

If you want to teach at Regents, you have to come into it with your eyes open. We ask a lot of our teachers, without a lot of tangible reward. We look for ladies and gentlemen who love Christ, who have the God-given ability to teach, who love families, and who are properly credentialed. Then we ask them to step into what is to most a brand new teaching philosophy and excel at it, while loving learning and displaying the best of Christian character as an example to their students. That’s a high calling! But our teachers find that it is among the most rewarding experiences in the world. The tangible rewards might be low, but the intangible rewards are through the roof.

So, that’s a lot of words. To answer your question our beginning salary for full-time teachers is about one third what beginning teachers make in our local school district. Are you interested in filling out an application?

That’s pretty much how the conversation went. I meant every word of it. And I consider it a high privilege not only to be counted among the members of a faculty with such a high calling, but also to be the leader of this particular group of dedicated, talented, and Christ-loving teachers and professionals.

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2nd Grade Christmas Tree

After a trip to the Christmas tree farm, the 2nd grade class, along with their teacher Mrs. Lisa Porter, picked out their own tree and put it up outside their classroom window. Then the class made bird-friendly ornaments to decorate it with.

2nd Christmas tree

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