Monthly Archives: April 2020


Announcing Dr. Preston Atwood, New Headmaster of Regents Academy

Thank you to all our families and staff for working so hard to make this unusual school year a success! Transitioning to online schooling has been a difficult endeavor and we appreciate your patience as we embrace this new reality for the remainder of the school year. The school board has been hard at work as well, and we are happy to announce that our search for a new headmaster is complete. Please join the board in welcoming Dr. Preston Atwood and his family to Nacogdoches in June of this year. They are a delight and we cannot wait for you to meet them!

Dr. Mark Sowell, board chairman

About Dr. Atwood

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Preston earned his B.A. in Humanities at L. R. Scarborough College, his M.Div. and Th.M. at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of Wisconsin (Hebrew Bible major; Greek minor). Along the way, Dr. Atwood held numerous administrative appointments at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2010-2014), The University of Wisconsin (2014-2019), and the National Association of Professors of Hebrew (2015-2017). He has also been the recipient of many grants, fellowships, awards, and scholarships, affording him opportunities to present his scholarly research in many countries and states, including a summer-long research stay in Jerusalem, Israel. He enjoys fishing, composing music, building rockets with his sons, drinking Mediterranean coffee, and taking his wife out to non-chain restaurants. Preston currently serves as the headmaster at Grace Classical Christian Academy and will transition to Regents Academy this summer.

About the Atwood Family

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Almost 12 years ago, Preston Atwood bowed his head and whispered a prayer through Emily’s veil after they lit a unity candle. The song that played repeated the line, “God’s glory is my reward…” Obviously, no one praying that prayer can expect a life without valleys, but the Atwoods have experienced their fair share of mountain-top experiences. Along that journey, the best of their blessings are their children: Titus (8), Naviah (7), Xara (6), John Mark (4), Creed (2), and Soren (11 months). This big-little family often entertains itself outside with hobbies such as fishing (or ice-fishing when they lived in Wisconsin), walking (or scootering/biking/stroller-ing), and gardening (i.e., playing in the dirt). International travel is one hobby they engage in, both literally and through imagination by using pictures and Emily’s culinary skills to cultivate a global perspective. When they find themselves adventuring together within the walls of their own home, it often involves singing around Preston’s piano or guitar, reading a classic book out loud, or crafting with the most random objects imaginable.

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School Closure Extended

On April 17 Gov. Abbott announced that Texas public and private schools are officially closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This means Regents Academy will continue with distance learning until the end of the school year. 

I know this is not what we had hoped and that many of us will be tempted to be downcast or frustrated. Certainly, it’s hard news to hear that our children and teachers won’t be able to be together before the end of the school year. But I want to encourage us all to trust the Lord and, in the words of St. Paul, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58).

Keep an eye on your inbox in the days ahead. We will share more details about the coming weeks and the end of the school year as the time approaches. After spring break we settled in for a time of distance learning, and now that time is being extended. Let’s finish the year strong as a school family. Though we are separated by space and geography, we are not divided in purpose or resolve. We will work together to give our children a classical and Christ-centered education. And let’s reach out to one another, pray for each other, and encourage our friends.

I miss seeing you all and look forward to seeing you again! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Mr. V, or Mrs. Henry if you have questions or concerns.

Wishing you health and strength for the days ahead,

David Bryant, Headmaster

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Belonging in a Time of Isolation

Feeling alone? Feeling anxious? Feeling like you’re living in a human silo, unable to connect to the other human silos? If so, you’re certainly not alone. These days of shelter-in-place are strange and disquieting days for us all. But God gives us hope and peace in the midst of the uncertainty.

I highly recommend the article “Belonging in a Time of Isolation” by Kelly Kapic, published at the Gospel Coalition’s website. It’s good encouragement for us all.

The pandemic is not just affecting one city or one region; we are experiencing this shared trauma as the entire human race. [. . .] We must courageously resist this isolation. Not by violating the government’s sober instructions, but by learning afresh to cultivate communion with God and neighbor in this surreal season.

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Major Re-Branding Program Announced

Regents Academy is proud to announce an exciting new re-branding program, effective today.

Regents Academy is in its 19th year serving the Nacogdoches community by providing a classical Christian education for scores of families. However, since its inception there has been confusion and intense debate among these families over the pronunciation of the G in the word Regents. 
Should the letter be pronounced as a soft G, as in gym, or as a hard G, as in gum? For too long, the confusion has harmed the school’s image.
But those days are now in the past. 

Henceforth, Regents Academy will be known as Reejents Academy. Never again will a student ask her teacher, “Is the G in Regents pronounced like GIF?” and the teacher have to turn her head away in shame and confusion. With the new name of the school clearly announcing its obvious pronunciation, Reejents Academy will project clarity, confidence, and class to the world.

“These are uncertain times, and uncertain times call for certainty in our pronounciations,” said Headmaster David Bryant. “We put together a committee called the Best Approach to Rebranding Phonetically (or BARPH for short), led by Mrs. Nicoal Alders, and it has done stellar work in rebranding the name of Reejents — that’s with two EE’s and a J, by the way,” he added with a wink. “Now the excellence of the spelling of our school’s name will match our excellence in every other area.”

The re-branding will go into effect immediately.

“Yes, we considered moving to the lesser known but more clear spelling of Academy with a CK instead of just the C, but BARPH decided that one spelling clarification at a time was the wise thing to do,” added Bryant. “Phonics can be fun!”

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