Monday, February 13, 2017

Celebrating Black History Month at Hickory Grove Christian School

To honor the African American contribution to United States history we have planned several activities and events to celebrate Black History Month.  Students have been excited about helping with the many student led activities being held throughout the month.

Our 7th grade students used IPADS to create interactive digital presentations highlighting African Americans in the fields of science and math.

Students in grades 6-12 are creating several displays, one honoring Dr. Martin Luther King and the other spotlighting various African Americans who have made significant contributions to society.

High School students will have the opportunity to attend African American History seminars held by Mr. Coltrane each Friday during lunch to learn about the rich history of African Americans.

Our art students have created a dynamic art display featuring important African American figures that will be displayed in the cafeteria.

Our performing arts students will hold a mini concerts showcasing African American song and dance during high school lunch.

I have been blessed by the hard work and enthusiasm our students and staff have put forth for these projects and performances.  As the month progresses we will post pictures and videos highlighting all of these events on our social media sites and blog post.

Wanda Royal

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Spirited Night of Basketball


I just wanted to pause and share how proud I am of the students at Hickory Grove Christian School. I love sports and personally witnessed over this first semester the hard work, dedication, and fortitude that our students have put into their craft. I would like to share what has become a common occurrence over this first semester an example of this type of herculean effort that I have watched in multiple events whether athletically or in one of the other endeavors that our students pursue ranging from the arts to the books. 

Charlotte Country Day has more than twice the number of students as Hickory Grove Christian School, but on Tuesday night I watched as our JV Boys Basketball team came from eight points down in the 4th quarter to win. It was a gritty, hard-fought win that our boys can hang their hats on as a signature win. Following the JV game, our undefeated varsity girls battled through three-quarters in a highly contested game to put the Buccaneers away by ten points to remain undefeated. These girls continually leave everything on the floor when they play and currently offer one of the best records in Charlotte as an example of their successes. 

Lastly, I watched a completely undersized HGCS varsity boys team display their trademark, "never say die" attitude battle from being down by a huge margin in the first quarter to have a chance to win in the last minute. It was a gutty, enjoyable performance against an athletic and super talented team, despite the result. Each of these teams should be proud of their efforts. As a school, we are proud of how they displayed this work ethic on Tuesday night and each and every game. 

Finally, these games were played in front of a large group of spirited, yet respectful, group of students. These students (Manford's Madmen) never sat down for the entire game. They displayed the type of atmosphere that makes high school such a wonderful experience. Our athletes felt supported. This raucous "6th man" provided a huge advantage for our teams. 

If you have not seen any of our sports teams play, then I encourage you to come out and support these student athletes. If you have not attended a drama or a band performance or any other activity that supports your friends, then please do so. These sports mentioned here represent only a few of the dedicated students that we have here at HGCS. Their efforts should not diminish the hard work that those that are involved with the arts, clubs, academics, etc put in each and every day but provide just a glimpse of what goes on here at HGCS after the last bell rings. 

God is honored when we take the gifts that He has given us and maximize them for His glory. You are doing this on a daily basis, and we as a school appreciate it. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Does It Matter That My Child is Tardy to School?

     Life is full of surprises, and some of those happen on school days; however, we as parents should make every effort to not allow the unexpected  to prevent us from getting our children to school on time.

     The occasional tardy slip issued to your child will not be monumental, but when the occasional slip becomes the frequent slip, the tardiness can have lasting effects on both your child and his/her classmates.

     School is a predictable, structured, and organized place for students. They depend on that structure; they know what to expect and when to expect it. They know that the main purpose of school is to learn and grow both academically and spiritually. Routines are set in place to help them accomplish this goal. When students are repeatedly tardy, these routines are disrupted for both your child and his/her classmates. When a student enters the classroom late,the attention is drawn away from the teacher or assignment , and the late student becomes the focus. Some studies state that when a disruption occurs, it takes, on average, seven minutes before the students are back on task again.

     Morning activities are extremely important. Each day teachers prepare morning lessons that either introduce new topics that will be covered later in the day or review work that reinforces previously taught material.

     Elementary students depend on their parents to get them to school on time to get their day started in an organized and orderly fashion. Students can be taught organizational techniques such as packing their backpacks before bed and sitting them beside the door, laying out school clothes before going to bed, packing school lunch (except for perishable items) the night before and going to bed on time.  As parents, we are our children's primary role model, and we must model this for them.

     We can all agree that our children’s spiritual and academic needs are vital. To ensure that we give them every opportunity to succeed, please take the necessary steps to make sure your child arrives at school ready for a great day of learning.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Governor's School of North Carolina

The Governor's School of North Carolina is a summer program for gifted and talented high school students. This residential program for rising seniors (and rising juniors if they are selected for performing/visual arts) is located at Salem College in Winston-Salem or Meredith College in Raleigh. Although, this is a program administered by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, it may be worthwhile program for particularly mature students.

Areas of academic interest include English, Spanish, French, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science, Art, Choral Music, Instrumental Music, Dance and Theater. The emphasis in all disciplines will be in contemporary texts, compositions, artistic expressions, issues and ideas and theories that flow from them. However, it is especially important to consider your child's ability to incorporate a Biblical Worldview filter as they approach their preferred discipline.

The majority of the cost are funded by the state of North Carolina. Deadline for nomination is November 15, 2016. The program will run from June 18, 2017 through July 26, 2017. Details can be found at the link below.

Silent Auction: November 5, 2016

Hickory Grove Christian School has attempted to make it a practice to limit the number of fundraisers that we attempt each year. There are typically two major events each year and one of those coming up next month. The HGCS Dinner and Auction will be held on Saturday, November 5 in the Family Life Center. The auction Preview begins at 5 pm and Dinner/Program at 6 pm. Our speaker is fellow believer and Major League Baseball player, James McCann, catcher for the Detroit Tigers. James has generously waived his speaker’s fee for the evening. He was a standout both academically and athletically at the University of Arkansas and even though he is in his early twenties, he has an amazing life story that I feel certain that you will enjoy hearing.

Would you consider joining us Saturday, November 5? You can help in three ways:
  1. Purchasing individual tickets or a table of eight. Then, invite your friends and family to a wonderful evening while supporting Hickory Grove Christian School (for those purchasing a table of eight, you will be listed as a Table Sponsor on the program)
  2. Helping promote the event on your Facebook page or in conversation with your friends and family
  3. Donating to the class gift baskets (click here to view your child’s grade basket theme )

There are a total of 300 tickets available so let’s fill the gym for James and for HGCS. Tickets go fast for this event so you will want to get your tickets early!

Here are a few of the 120 great auction items that will be available:
  • Myrtle Beach condo for a Weekend Getaway
  • Palace Theater Christmas; Show tickets which include a $25 dinner certificate and 2-night stay at Grand Atlantic Resort in Myrtle Beach
  • Tickets to sporting events (includes Hornets)
  • “Experiences” such as a student taking on the role of “Headmaster for the Day”
  • Amazing Grace mountain cabin
  • Autographed James McCann jersey
  • Class Gift Card Baskets,
  • pottery, jewelry, art, handcrafted items and much more!

You can follow the event on Facebook at HGCS Dinner and Auction so you can keep up to date on what is happening and see a listing of all prizes.

Once again, thank you so much for your help throughout the year. Without your help, many of the projects that we have on the horizon are nearly impossible. We sincerely appreciate any help that you can provide, especially with the Silent Auction!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Senioritis - noun

“A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”1

During my 20 plus years as an educator, I’ve seen the effects of senioritis on many students.  Some are able to stand firm until at least March; others lose their way much sooner. Now, as a parent of a senior, I am experiencing this academic stalemate firsthand. Not even a principal’s son is immune to the pull of cultural influences and educational burnout. High school seniors are constantly trying to juggle numerous after-school activities, maintain a social life, and apply to various colleges. Typically, as the year progresses, friends become a top priority and school work becomes less important. Ironically, once students receive those coveted college acceptance letters, they view high school as over, as done!

Unfortunately, senioritis can be very contagious, but hard to cure. The negative consequences of slacking off during the senior year are often underestimated. Students fail to comprehend that though they may no longer care about their last semester grades, admission officers certainly do.  Universities look at all four years of high school-- from beginning to end.  High school is not over, not done until guidance sends out that last transcript -- complete with both fall and spring senior semester grades. Colleges can and do rescind acceptances.  

The point of my message is not to add another worry to your list, but to give you some advice on how to combat senioritis.

  1. Prayer- Pray for God to reveal His purpose to your senior and that he/she will respond with an open heart.  Pray that your student will look to God for guidance and for endurance to finish strong.
  2. Make a Plan- Fill your calendar or day planner with important deadlines for applications, assignments, and other events. Help your senior map out what has to be done--be that high school activities or college preparations.
  3. Communicate - Communicate with your senior; remember this season of life is exciting and happy, but also a bit sad and scary-- though they may not want to admit the latter feelings. Trying to process all these emotions at once can be overwhelming.  To a senior, everything in school is his/her “last” ...last prom, last homecoming, last big game, last chapel (insert tears here).

As a high school principal, I have the privilege to experience these “lasts” with each senior class as well as the task of helping them fight senioritis. I am blessed to be able to walk alongside you as parents, as we guide the class of 2017 to a strong finish.

1English Oxford Living Dictionary

Friday, September 30, 2016

Meet the Dean of Boyce College

This year, Hickory Grove Christian School will have the privilege of graduating 83 seniors; 81 juniors are scheduled for graduation in 2018.  With graduation comes joy and worry. One of the dilemmas which parents face hinges on where their child will attend college. Increasingly, many colleges and universities are strengthening their stand against the views that are held by Hickory Grove Christian School. Fortunately, that is not the case for all schools.

One school in particular that seeks to engage the culture with a Biblical Worldview is Boyce College. Boyce is the undergraduate institution affiliated with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (President Al Mohler) in Louisville, KY. Hickory Grove Christian School and Hickory Grove Baptist Church have the unique opportunity of hosting "Meet the Dean of Boyce College," Dr. Matthew Hall, on Tuesday evening (October 4, 2016).

Local alumni and prospective students seldom have the opportunity to interact with a dean of colleges without traveling to the college or university. Do not miss out on this special event. Seating is limited, and a meal will be provided. Contact Sheila Chaney ( to reserve your seat.

Boyce College is a place where students will be able to receive both a Christian education and sound academic preparation. If you have ever considered a Christian ministry or seminary, then “Meet the Dean” is a wonderful opportunity to explore your college possibilities with one of the finest Christian colleges in America.