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In Alamo City, Christian school leaders urged to remember their calling

Remember the Alamo?
Scott Harsh, senior high principal of Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, Ga., had a different message for the crowd gathered inside the Alamo building on a recent Wednesday.
“Tonight, I say to you, ‘Remember our calling,’” Harsh told National Christian School Association annual conference attendees. As leaders of K-12 schools associated with Churches of Christ convened in San Antonio, Harsh reflected on the spiritual lessons he learned during a faith-building bout with cancer.
Dale Horn, high school principal of Alabama Christian Academy in Montgomery, said: “The entire conference could have been summarized when Scott talked about his 8-year-old son, Garner, saying, ‘Dad, I think I know why you got cancer. It was to show us when something really bad happens, we can still trust God to take care of us.’ Now, that was powerful.”
The three-day conference drew about 200 leaders from 45 Christian schools in a dozen states. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge” from Proverbs 1:7 served as the theme.
Topics ranged from creating a digital learning environment to handling internal conflict to inviting students to participate in the creative activity of God.
National awards were presented:
Educator of the Year: Kay Robbins of Abilene Christian Schools in Texas.
Teacher of the Year: Steve Hawley of Westbury Christian School in Houston.
Coach of the Year: Tim Taylor of David Lipscomb High School in Nashville, Tenn.
Administrator of the Year: Mark Niehls of Coventry Christian Schools in Pottstown, Pa.
Philip Patterson, president of the Oklahoma City-based NCSA, said each of the award winners represented hundreds of dedicated Christian schoolteachers, coaches and administrators.
“Each and every one of you has award-winning people in your school,” Patterson told attendees.
Eight Christian schools were recognized for receiving first-time or renewed NCSA accreditation:
Christian Academy of Greater St. Louis;
Christian Heritage Schools of San Antonio;

East Texas Christian Academy of Tyler, Texas;
Harding Academy of Searcy, Ark.;
Harding Academy of Memphis, Tenn.;

Jackson Christian School of Tennessee;

North Texas Christian Academy of McKinney;
San Angelo Christian Academy of Texas.
While focused on K-12 education, the conference drew support from Christian universities.
Reception and meal sponsors included Abilene Christian University, Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., Harding University in Searcy, Ark., Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City.
In interviews with The Christian Chronicle, conference attendees discussed ways in which God is blessing their schools.
Just a few examples:
Jason Knight, high school Bible teacher and Bible department chairman at Harding Academy of Memphis:

“In the past decade, we have been blessed to see our faculty make a wholesale shift toward ministry, not    simply education.
“Our classes are just as rigorous as they were before, but now we see our greatest task is to help our students meet the transforming presence of God. This is happening in calculus and English as much as in Bible.
“Our coaches are as concerned with helping our athletes live like Jesus as they are with winning a state championship, and we have done that a few times recently, too.”
Shirley Maxey, superintendent of Oklahoma Christian Academy in Edmond, Okla.: “God’s hand of blessing is continually upon us. When we need students, he sends students. When we need to fill a certain position, he provides. When we need to have funds for a special project, he provides the funds.”
J. Lynn Watson, president of Middle Tennessee Christian School in Murfreesboro: “God has blessed us with students who are very concerned about serving others. For several years, we have had students at elementary and secondary levels volunteer for a variety of projects, including Hurricane Katrina cleanup and tornado cleanup.
“This year, our secondary principal, Todd Miller, started a Matthew 25 project that has students feeding homeless members of our community every week. The response of students and the support of teachers and parents have been great.”
Linda Smock, principal and CEO of Gulf Coast Christian School in St. Petersburg, Fla.: “The Parent Teacher Friend Association has raised the money to build a sports pavilion, and construction is to start this summer.
“About 10 years ago, one of our (students’) families became Christians, and they have remained faithful.
The mother is now our business manager and in charge of preschool education for the church. The dad is the treasurer of the church. Their teen plans to attend a Christian college next year. They have been a major blessing both to the school and the church.”

Filed under: Partners

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