Yearly Archives: 2015


A friend passed on to me a fantastic article written recently by Marvin Olasky, editor of WORLD magazine. Our vision at Regents Academy lines up wonderfully with what Mr. Olasky shares.

By Marvin Olasky

E=mc2 is a simple equation compared to the mystery of what goes into good education. But I’ll take a shot at proposing an education equation.

(1) Start with the three Rs, reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic.

(2) Move quickly to the opening line of a great John Newton hymn repopularized by Jars of Clay: “Let us love and sing and wonder.” If children don’t develop a sense of wonder about this astounding, God-created world, they’ll miss a lifetime of excitement. Music, art, history, science, foreign languages, and more should all make school wonder-full.

Our new testing regime doesn’t leave much time for wonder, and educators pay attention to the W only if they answer accurately a basic question: Who are my students? Are they animals with above-average intelligence (compared to horses and caterpillars, but maybe not dolphins)? Are they low-grade computers with below-average memory and above-average weight (compared to a MacBook Air)? Or are they human beings created in the image of a God of wonder?

(3) Add a C for specifically Christian education, for only in Christ do all things hold together. If students don’t understand that God created us, they are likely to become practical atheists. If they don’t understand that God gives history meaning, they are likely to become nihilists. Schools cannot give kids faith in Christ—only God can—but they can help students recognize their need, yearn for meaning, and not be content with wasting their lives.

Please do take Christian education seriously: No other work is more important.
If teachers want to be educators rather than prison wardens, it’s vital for them to think Christianly about their students. If they see students as bucking broncos, they’ll think the job of schools is to break them. If they see students as fleshly computers, they’ll want to perform an information dump. But if they understand that students are God’s children and have souls that never die, they’ll understand that just teaching to the test fails the biggest tests.

(4) The G is for the four-letter word that more than any other determines educational and occupational success: grit. University of Pennsylvania professor Angela Duckworth developed a “grit scale” and found that undergraduates with determination were more likely to obtain high grades than those with higher SAT scores but less grit. The grittiest West Point students she tracked did better in cadet training than those who scored higher on traditional aptitude tests.

Part of grit involves fighting the desire for immediate gratification, an impulse measurable at age 4 via the marshmallow test, which starts with a small child in a room with a marshmallow and an adult. The adult tells the child he’s leaving the room to run a short errand. During that time the child is free to eat the marshmallow—but if he waits until the adult comes back, he can then eat not only that marshmallow but a second one as well.

Children’s ability to wait for gratification varies enormously. When Stanford psychology professor Walter Mischel, inventor of the test, looked in on those 4-year-olds a decade later, he found the impatient eaters had “lower SAT scores, higher body mass indexes, problems with drugs and trouble paying attention. … The seconds of time preschool children were willing to delay for a preferred outcome predicted their cognitive and social competence and coping as adolescents.”

Another study showed self-discipline to be twice as important as IQ in predicting grades of eighth-grade students. One large study, which traced about 1,000 New Zealanders from childhood through age 32, similarly found that those with less childhood impulse-control were more likely to be alcoholics or drug abusers, overweight or unhealthy—and were more than three times as likely to have been convicted of a crime. So, schools along with teaching the three Rs, W, and C need to do all they can to develop G for grit.

So, that’s my formula: E=R3WCG three Rs times Wonder times Christian understanding times Grit. We need all of those elements: A Christian school that has chapel yet doesn’t encourage wonder and grit among its students is wasting money and lives. But don’t take school formulas too seriously: Kids are individuals and flexibility is important. Please do take Christian education seriously: No other work is more important. May God bless all those who make large sacrifices to bless other parents and children.

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What is the Proper Goal of Education?

Some wonderfully incisive thoughts from our school chaplain, Pastor Randy Booth:

What is the Proper Goal of Education?

Is the proper goal of education to insure a good job and income for adult life, or, is man’s chief end to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loose his own soul?”

The child is created in the image of God. To remove this central fact from the child’s education is to pervert the God-given intent of education. The goal of moral education (and all education is to be moral) is to teach the child to distinguish that which is genuinely good from evil?that which is true from false?on God’s terms. Fallen men seek to do this one their own terms, even as Adam and Eve did in the Garden. Hebrews 5:14 tells us that only those who have had their sense “trained in the word of righteousness can discern good and evil.”

How can an education that is based partly on the assumption that the child is created in the image of God and partly on the assumption that the child is but an animal, possibly produce a unified life? This can only lead to a divided life and confusion! This is strongly condemned by our Lord in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters.” The most fundamental truth?that the child is the image-bearer of God?cannot be ignored or diluted except at a devastating cost.

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Butter Braid!

Regents seniors served up delicious samples of Butter Braid during morning pick-up. What a good-looking group!


Regents families sell tasty Butter Braid pastries as a way to raise needed funds for our school. The deadline for orders is Friday, September 18.

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Meeting Senator Cruz

The Regents Academy government class had the opportunity to meet their United States senator, Ted Cruz, on a recent visit to Tyler. Pictured, from left, (front) David Henry, government teacher, Jake Higginbotham, Wesley Young, Luke Higginbotham; (back) Alex Williams, Emma Terrell, Anne Elisabeth Alders, Senator Ted Cruz, Sarah Grace Alders, Avery Gound, and Annaleigh Andrews.


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Why Obey?

Obedience is a very important ingredient in the culture at Regents Academy. Teachers stress it, as do I. One of our school’s slogans is, “We obey right away, all the way, with a good attitude every day.” The Bible speaks to children and commands them to obey parents and all authorities over them. Though “obey” may be regarded as a four letter word by some, for our students joyful obedience is a virtue, a beautiful adornment for a well-ordered life.

But there is a danger in stressing obedience. We must be careful never to give children the dangerous illusion that if they have obeyed their parents and teachers, then they are acceptable to God. That would be a terrible cause of stumbling and a sure way to insure a millstone will be hung around our necks. Instead, we must be consistent in communicating to children – both with words and with example, in discipline and in instruction – that they cannot obey their way to acceptance with God. Instead, they (like us) need Jesus Christ to be their Savior, who transforms us so that we love doing what is pleasing to Him, obeying human authority included. This is to say that we require children to obey, but we always want to lead them to ask, Why obey?

This is precisely the question author Paul David Tripp asks in the article I am sharing with you now. It is the best of news (for us and for our children) that we are set free from trying to win God’s favor by obeying Him well enough. It is also good news that our obedience is established by His grace toward us.

Why Obey?
By Paul David Tripp

There’s simply nothing you can do to gain God’s favor.

You have to accept this and remember it: you will never be righteous enough for long enough to satisfy God’s holy requirements.

Your thoughts will never be pure enough. Your desires will never be holy enough. Your words will never be clean enough. Your choices and actions will never be honoring enough. The bar is simply set too high for us to ever reach.

We all live under the same weight of the law, crippled by the inability of sin. We’re better at rebelling than submitting, more inclined to arrogance than humility, more skilled at making war with our neighbors than loving them. We leave a trail of evidence every hour that we’ve fallen short of the glory of God one more time.

So what’s the point of obedience in the Christian life? Well, this hard-to-swallow pill of bad news is actually the doorway to eternal hope and joy, not depressive self-loathing. How? It’s only when you accept who you are and what you’re unable to do that you begin to understand and celebrate the necessity of God’s gift of grace.

Let’s put the bad news and the good news together. The Apostle Paul writes, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” but that’s only half of the story. He continues, “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Romans 3:23-25, ESV)

A propitiation is an atoning sacrifice. The sacrifice of Jesus appeased the wrath of God and created a reconciliation between God and all who place their faith in him. In more simple words: you don’t need to obey to gain God’s favor.

Don’t misunderstand me: grace doesn’t make obedience optional. Obedience is the life-long calling for followers of Christ. But, your obedience is never a fearful payment. It’s a hymn of gratitude to the God who met you where you were and did for you what you could not have done for yourself.

Your obedience doesn’t purchase God’s love for you; Christ’s blood is the only purchase that could do that. Rather, your obedience is a thankful expression that you understand the significance of God’s love being placed on you.

So today, humbly admit that you’re more messed up than you think you are. And commit once more to a lifestyle of obedience, not because Jesus needs you to, but because you understand how much you need Jesus.

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Welcome, Rebecca Higdon

Regents Academy is very happy to welcome its new Art and Drama teacher, Mrs. Rebecca Higdon to its faculty for 2015-16.

The school’s longtime Art and Drama teacher, Ashley Bryant, stepped away from the position after the 2014-15 school year, and Mrs. Higdon has stepped into this role of inspiring creativity for Regents students. Mrs. Higdon will bring wonderful enthusiasm, creativity, and joy to our campus, and we welcome her!


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Welcome, Anna Vermillion

We are glad to welcome a new teacher to our excellent faculty for 2015-16. Regents Academy’s new KPrep teacher is Mrs. Anna Vermillion, wife of Regents Academic Dean Lance Vermillion. Mrs. Vermillion is certainly no stranger to our community, and she brings a wonderful knowledge of classical Christian education and a kind, peaceful demeanor to our 4-year-old classroom.

After our much beloved Kindergarten teacher, LaWanna Smith, retired last year, our previous KPrep teacher,  Janet Duke, moved up to teach Kindergarten. It is a great blessing now to have Mrs. Duke and Mrs. Vermillion teaming up to teach our youngest students.

Welcome, Mrs. Vermillion!


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New Building on the Way

Regents Academy continues to grow (for which we thank the Lord), and so we continue to need space. In order to meet this need, the Regents board decided to install a new portable building on the south side of our main building in order to provide space for two additional classrooms. The 5th and 6th grade classes will meet in these new classrooms. The building is being completed right now and should he put in place next week.

This building is sturdy, attractive, and spacious, and it will supply much needed classroom space. The classrooms will be ready to go by the day of orientations.

Here are a couple of pictures that show the progress being made by Lunsford Buildings in Center.



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Indispensable Supports

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity [happiness]. Let it simply be asked, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligations desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”

And let us w̲i̲t̲h̲ c̲a̲u̲t̲i̲o̲n̲ indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. ‘Tis substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it [free government] can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

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The First Natural Bond of Human Society

Forasmuch as each man is a part of the human race, and human nature is something social, and has for a great and natural good, the power also of friendship; on this account God willed to create all men out of one, in order that they might be held in their society not only by likeness of kind, but also by bond of kindred. Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife. Nor did God create these each by himself, and join them together as alien by birth: but He created the one out of the other, setting a sign also of the power of the union in the side, whence she was drawn, was formed. For they are joined one to another side by side, who walk together, and look together whither they walk. Then follows the connection of fellowship in children, which is the one alone worthy fruit, not of the union of male and female, but of the sexual intercourse. For it were possible that there should exist in either sex, even without such intercourse, a certain friendly and true union of the one ruling, and the other obeying.

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage (De Bono Conjugali) 401 A.D.

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