Congratulations, Spellers!

Congratulations to our 5th, 6th and 7th grade Spelling Bee teams! 

Saturday, February 1st, our student teams and individual speller Dennis Choi represented Regents Academy very well at the Lufkin Kiwanis District Spelling Bee held at Lufkin High School.

The 5th grade team led by Will Baker (captain) and including Davin Garza and Servet Satir placed second in the K-5th division among 14 competing teams. The 6th grade team of Emma Rasberry and Jericho Maness, under the leadership of Armaan Rajani, placed second in the 6th-8th grade division, losing only to our 7th grade team of Abel Ketchen, Jean Choi and Ella Furniss (captain), who won first place in their division. All three teams came home with two-foot trophies and medallions. Regents Academy school spelling champ Dennis Choi did a great job among stiff competition in the individual bee, placing in the top five.

We are very proud of all of these spellers and all of the class teams who represented Regents Academy at the District Spelling Bee. Congratulations!

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A Truly Beautiful Education

Just as the Bible teaches us that Christ is good, so the Bible also teaches us that He is beautiful. He is so beautiful, in fact, that the Bible tells us to worship Him “in the beauty of His holiness.” And we long for the day when we will worship Him in the new creation, which the Psalmist describes as a place where we behold “the beauty of the Lord.”

Because Christ is the Lord of Beauty, He is the objective standard of beauty. Beauty reflects His character, and thus is not something that is hopelessly subjective. Beauty is not “in the eye of the beholder” if we are the “beholder,” since this would make us the measure of beauty instead of Christ. Something is beautiful only if it reflects His beauty.

But what does this view of beauty have to do with the education we give our children? Simply, put, everything. It certainly impacts visual arts, choir, orchestra, and all the arts, but it also impacts much, much more.

Think of the story we tell our children when we give them a non-Christian education. Far from telling our children the beauty of creation and our redemption in Christ, non-Christian schools tell our children a rather ugly story—that matter, with time and chance, coalesced into protein soup out of which evolved upright bonebags who return to the ooze when they die. Or that anything goes between consenting adults. Or that life is a mere choice. Sheer ugliness.

As God’s people, we alone have been given the only truly beautiful story to hold before our children because beauty itself is wrapped up in the Lord of Beauty. He created us beautifully. He placed us in a garden filled with beauty. We fell into ugliness by sinning against Him. But as our Lord of Beauty, He redeemed us by effacing the ugliness of our sin and “beautifying us with salvation” so that, one day, we will “behold the beauty of the Lord” forever.

To give your Christian children a truly beautiful education means giving them an education centered in Christ, the Lord of Beauty. At Regents, we don’t just talk about beauty. We actually worship Christ as the Lord of Beauty. And we strive to see His beauty all around us in creation and redemption. We also strive to teach our students how to live beautifully before the Lord. 

Thank you, parents, for joining us in this beautiful journey of educating our children for Jesus Christ, our Beautiful Savior.

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Surrounded by His Words

The Bible tells us plainly to give our children a distinctively Christian education at all times.  In a glorious passage, God declares, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up . . . You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4-9).  

God teaches Christian parents six truths in Deuteronomy 6.  

First, God Himself speaks directly to us—“I command you today.”  This passage is not someone’s opinion but rather comes to us directly from the very mouth of God.

Second, God speaks to us as parents—“And these words that I command you today.”  He speaks to all believing parents who love Him, to those Stephen called “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38).    

Third, God directs us to place His words in our hearts—“And these words . . . shall be in your heart.”  He promises to write His Word on our hearts and gives us His Spirit to guide us by His Word of truth (Ezek. 36:26-27).

Fourth, God tells us to surround our children with His words—“You shall teach them . . . to your children” because our children matter to Him (Matt. 19:14).  Our children belong to Him, and He gives them to us and tells us to raise them for Him and His glory.

Fifth, God encourages us to teach His Word to our children in a certain kind of way—diligently— “You shall teach them diligently to your children.”  We are to teach our children His words intentionally and purposefully. 

Sixth, God helps us see that we are to surround our children with His words everywhere and at all times—“You shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. . . You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

So God commands us as Christian parents to surround our children diligently with His loving and joyful words from the time they get up until they go to sleep at night, whether they are walking or sitting.  Simply put, our children belong to God all the time, including the hours from 8:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, August through May.  

At Regents Academy, we serve Christian parents by helping parents to diligently surround their children with God’s words everywhere and at all times.  In every class, at every place on our campus, we strive to teach our students to think like Christians, to apply God’s Word to every area of their lives, to see through the lens of God’s story of the world, to worship and serve their Creator and Savior. Together we are obeying God’s words in Deuteronomy 6, and we trust Him to add His blessing and favor so that our obedience is fruitful in our children’s lives. To Him be the glory!

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Juniors and Seniors Tour SFA Research Lab

A group of science-minded juniors and seniors spent Wednesday morning visiting the research lab of Dr. Shiyou Li, Director of the National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops, a collaborative effort with the SFA Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. The students learned about Dr. Li’s three decades of research at SFA, where he and his research team have studied the chemical compounds of more than 1,300 species of native and invasive plants and have isolated more than 2,000 compounds, 186 which had never been discovered prior to their research. 

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Li has not only discovered an alternative source for the primary chemical compound found in some chemotheraphy drugs, but he has also discovered a “cheaper” source of shikimic acid, a key chemical used in the production of Tamiflu (a common medicine prescribed by doctors for patients battling the flu). Additionally, Dr. Li might be best recognized for his work over the past two decades with endocides and their role in managing invasive insect and plant species, most notably giant salvinia, the pesty plant that’s taken over many local lakes, ponds and creeks.

Thank you, Dr. Li, for spending time with our students and for showing them a glimpse of the exciting work you’ve been doing.

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A Mission in Submission

One of the foundations of our school is commitment to the absolute supremacy and Lordship of Jesus Christ. Having been raised from the dead in power, He is now seated at His Father’s right hand, so He is “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet (Eph 1:21-23). Our job is to love, serve, imitate, and follow Him, and, further, to teach our children to do so also. This is our purpose as a school. Our school’s mission is in submission to the Lordship of Christ. 

So we can have smart kids who excel academically with curve-busting SAT scores, eye-popping scholarships, and mind-blowing vocational success, but if we’ve not cultivated in them a desire for His kingdom, then we’re in danger of gaining the whole world and losing their souls. 

Lord, deliver us.

Consider the words of the Apostle Paul: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:4-5).

Jesus is Lord of all. He is Lord over civilizations and cultures, kings and rulers, peoples and powers, both visible and invisible things. He is Lord over thoughts and worldviews, philosophies and loyalties, both those things that are devoted to Him and those things that are not. So we must line up “every thought,” every loyalty, everything in our lives with Him and His will. And God has given us mighty weapons to use when we enter into the combat it takes to do this. Our little ones – the children God gives us – are the key weapons God has prepared for us. Education is our work of arming, sharpening, and training our children for battle in the service of Christ and His kingdom. We are always in battle, and we are always called to be faithful to the One who is Lord of all.

As Dutch theologian and journalist Abraham Kuyper wrote, “No single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”

Let me urge you to stay true to the classical Christian vision because Christ is Lord of all.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Col 1:15-18).

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Congratulating VFW Contest Winners

Regents Academy students won the top prize in the high school division and swept the junior high division of the 2019 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) youth competitions which focused on this year’s theme, “What Makes America Great?” VFW Post 3893 Commander Don Kirkley presented awards to the winning students at Friday’s morning assembly.

Sydney Rotramel, daughter of Blaine and Melissa Rotramel, won first place and was awarded a plaque and a check for $100. Jack Mayfield, son of Brian and Jodie Mayfield, placed second and was also awarded a plaque and a check for $75. Third place – which also was accompanied by a plaque and a check for $50 – was secured by Rachel Cunyus, daughter of Michael and Lori Cunyus. All three students are members of Miss Jenna Herrington’s 7th grade writing class.

Commander Kirkley also awarded junior Caroline Alders, daughter of David and Nicole Alders, a first place plaque for her winning audio essay. Caroline also won a $500 scholarship which will be presented to her upon her graduation next May. 

Pictured with the students (from left) are Headmaster David Bryant, Miss Jenna Herrington, Rachel Cunyus, Jack Mayfield, Sydney Rotramel, Commander Don Kirkley, and Caroline Alders.

Congratulations, students!

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Let’s Celebrate Books

Books are a big part of what makes Regents Academy the school it is. In a digital world that seems to be making books obsolete, we persist with a love for good books – paper, glue, ink, and all.

C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “Literature exists to teach what is useful, to honour what deserves honour, to appreciate what is delightful.” Reading shapes students’ loves, character, and imagination, and this is a big part of why Regents students read so much, both in and out of class.

One of our goals as a school is to graduate students who are literate, with broad exposure to books. As our Vision for a Graduate observes, “Educated people are well-read and able to discuss and relate to central works of literature.”

And then, books are powerful. When a book opens, children enter other worlds. Poet David McCord said it best:

Books fall open,

you fall in,

delighted where

you’ve never been.

Hear voices

not once heard before,

Reach world through world,

through door on door.

Find unexpected

keys to things,

locked up beyond


True books will venture,

Dare you out,

Whisper secrets,

Maybe shout,

across the gloom,

to you in need

Who hanker for

a book to read.

This week we are celebrating books. Our library is sponsoring two big happenings:

  • The Book Fair. A wide variety of Usborne books will be available Monday through Wednesday of this week (just in time for Christmas). Students and parents alike can come find a treasured book that will spark imagination and learning.
  • Favorite Fictional Character Day is Wednesday. Students and teachers will come to school dressed as their favorite character from literature. What a delightful way to experience the characters we love in the books we read.

Let me encourage you, parents, to nurture a love for books in your children. Turn off the screens as often as you can and read with your children. Read the books they are reading and read aloud from books you love. Talk at dinner about the books your children are reading.

What a great gift books are!

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Spelling Bee Champ!

Fifth grader Dennis Choi edged out runner-up Jean Choi (yes, his older sister!) in the 14th round of the individual spelling bee to be named the Regents Academy Spelling Champion last week. Dennis correctly spelled “foppery” for his winning word. He will represent Regents Academy in the Scripps area spelling bee sponsored by the Lufkin Kiwanis Club on Saturday, February 1, 2020. The winner of this area competition will win a BIG trophy, a nice lunch at Crown Colony, and will go on to compete in the Houston regional bee in March.

Second through 7th grade teams will also represent Regents Academy at the Kiwanis area bee on February 1st, but this competition is just for fun. The winners of the K-5th grade and 6th-8th grade divisions will win trophies and a free lunch at Crown Colony, but they won’t have any more competitions after this.

We are thankful to the ladies who served as judges for this year’s spelling bee. Mrs. Pat Vanover, Mrs. Anna Polk, and Dr. Carmen Mackey spent their Tuesday morning helping to ensure that the bee ran smoothly. Thank you for your service!

Again, congratulations to Dennis Choi for winning our school spelling bee, and hurray for his sister Jean for winning runner-up! We are proud of both of you!

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