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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Hickory Grove Christian School: Should my child attend Awana?

Hickory Grove Christian School: Should my child attend Awana?:   Parents often ask, “What can I do to help my child become the person I want him/her to be?” My reply is to be intentional in all that you...

Should my child attend Awana?

Parents often ask, “What can I do to help my child become the person I want him/her to be?” My reply is to be intentional in all that you do. Children learn by watching, hearing, seeing and doing.  If you want your children to be good listeners and respond the first time, they need to see you being a good listener and responding the first time.  If you want your children to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord, you need to give them opportunities to learn about the Lord and His goodness.  You have them enrolled in a Christian school; you should be attending church regularly and having family time related to Christ.  Show by example because children  learn by example.

Another great opportunity that parents have to strengthen their children’s relationship to the Lord is by enrolling them in Awana.

What is Awana?
Awana is a program that has been intentionally designed to introduce and teach children about Christ and His Word.

It reaches children for Christ through fun scripture experiences that lead them to know, love and serve Him.

Why Should I take my child to Awana?
Awana can positively impact and shape the life of a child.
Active involvement in Awana can strengthen the family.
Our children offer us the greatest opportunity to change the world while impacting it through the knowledge, love and serving of Christ.

Questions Parents May Ask...
I am making plans, setting schedules, and maneuvering through the beginning of a school year; why should I enroll my child in a program that is scheduled in the middle of the week, that begins at 6:15 pm and ends at 7:30 pm, which is past my child’s bedtime and not to mention I would have to study yet another thing with them during the school year?

My child attends Sunday School each Sunday - or at least most Sundays - and even attends a Christian school where scripture memorization is a requirement, and he/she even gets a grade for it! Isn’t that enough memorization?

My family and I just need to stay home, do homework, have some outside play time, do a family devotion, enjoy our time together, get to bed at our set bedtime. Why should I add yet another “to-do” into our family routine?

Our Response...
From a purely worldly perspective, I would agree that all the above questions present viable reasons to not enroll your child in Awana.  But we are not of this world. Our perspective, our focus is on the teaching of God’s Word:

You shall teach them [God’s Words] to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  Deut. 11:19

God has entrusted this child to you. I would say that nothing can replace the value of learning God’s Word. Children have a much easier capacity for memorization than adults. Now is the time to allow God’s Words to not only find root in your children’s memories, but in their hearts as well.  I urge you if possible, enroll your child in Awana and watch the growth that occurs throughout the course of the year. Children can do several things for extracurricular activities.  I challenge you to make Awana one of them.

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 119:11

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides

John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides, an autobiography edited by his Brother

Paton, J. G., & Paton, J. (n.d.). John G. Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides: An autobiography edited by his brother.

In the 19th century, John G. Paton embarked on a journey as a missionary to the New Hebrides, which is known today as Vanuatu. The autobiography (published by Banner of Truth) that Paton started and his brother completed is one of daring, commitment, and fortitude. It provides an example for those of us that are walking day to day with the struggles of this world to strengthen our resolve, improve our prayer lives for our children, to embrace the challenges of sharing the gospel with those that are not like us and to be forever inclined to the work of the Lord.

John Paton was born into a solid, Christian family in 1824. His early life in poverty was followed by cutting his missionary teeth in the slums of Glasgow, Scotland. However, it was the cannibals of the South Seas that beckoned him away from the isle of Europe to the island east of the coast of Australia in the South Pacific. Paton’s voyage was not the first missionary foray to the island as John Williams and James Harris had both attempted the evangelical work with the natives. Both missionaries  were clubbed to death after only a few minutes on the island. Paton would face similar attempts on his life.  Although faced with many heartaches, loss and sickness, Paton devoted his life to making Christ known to the cannibals in this distant South Pacific land.

A cursory timeline of Paton's life on the island is incredibly dire and foreboding. Paton and his wife arrived on the island on November 5, 1858, he had his first child on February 12, 1859 and he watched his wife die less than a month later on March 3, 1859. Three weeks to the day of his wife’s death, his infant baby died, and the mourning husband and father laid both family members to rest in a grave dug by his own hands. Paton’s solitary life continued with only his trusted dog sleeping by his side each night to warn him of possible danger from the cannibals who lived in the bush in the woods right next to his home.

Besides the near devastating family loss, other events tormented Paton in his work and made sharing the gospel difficult. One of the most extraordinary days transpired when one of the wild chiefs of the region followed him around with a loaded musket pointed at his head for several hours. Paton responded by continuing to work and speaking to him with kindness in between prayers for his safety to the Lord. Paton was sure that the prayers  were answered as the Lord restrained the chief from shooting throughout the day. In response to the many hardships and blessings Paton encounters in the wild he states,  "I spoke kindly to him, and attended to my work as if he had not been there, fully persuaded that my God had placed me there, and would protect me till my allotted task was finished. Looking up in unceasing prayer to our dear Lord Jesus, I left all in his hands, and felt immortal till my work was done” (p. 117).  His prayers are a sound tribute to our Father above in the midst of terrible difficulty.

Danger was continuous. On another evening, a native, Ian, held a dagger to his heart as Paton silently prayed  for what seemed like an endless period of time that the tip of the knife which rested next to his heart would be withdrawn.  Once again, Paton’s prayers were answered as he was allowed to run away to safety. On another occasion, Paton was forced to hide from searching natives for ten hours in the top of a tree. Paton poignantly describes the alarming peril of time in this way:

Yet I sat there among the branches, as safe as in the arms of Jesus. Never, in all my sorrows, did my Lord draw nearer to me, and speak more soothingly in my soul, than when the moonlight flickered among those chestnut leaves, and the night air played on my throbbing brow, as I told all my heart to Jesus. Alone, yet not alone! If it be to glorify my God, I will not grudge to spend many nights alone in such a tree, to feel again my Savior’s spiritual presence, to enjoy His consoling fellowship. (p.21).

Throughout the Bible, other Biblical characters faced similar hardship with great joy. As I think of Paul sitting in a Roman prison as depicted in Philippians 1, I am encouraged by his example. Paul demonstrates great spiritual maturity which is an example for us all. I want to follow the example of one John G. Paton and be as committed to the task at hand as those that risk life and limb for the sharing of the gospel. Today, this sacrifice happens on a regular basis around the world while we live in a life of seeming comfort here in the United States. Lord, help me to be a Paul and a Paton, excited for the work that we face now and will face in the future. Let  me be filled with contentment and be a source of encouragement like Paton and others who know hardship and yet suffer well.

Note: John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides, an autobiography edited by his Brother is on Pastor Clint's recommended list and is on sale in our bookstore.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Athletic Perfection

What is athletic perfection?  An undefeated season? 100 yards rushing average in football?  Throwing a perfect game in baseball?  Are these accomplishments really perfection?  

In Matt 5:48 Jesus says “Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Is Jesus saying he expects me to hit every free throw in the next basketball game?  Will he be pleased if I do?  No, remember Jesus looks at our heart, our attitude, and our motivation.  He is not checking our stats and our win-loss record!  In the Sermon on the Mount, Chapter 5 of Matthew, Jesus redefines for his listeners what perfection is.  He says sin, or missing perfection, is not just in your actions, it is in your thoughts, your attitudes, and your heart.  Jesus isn’t concerned with our stats on the playing field.  He is concerned with what is in our hearts and minds as we play.

At Hickory Grove we strive to know Christ and make him known through athletics.  We want to exalt him at every opportunity we can.  We want to win games and hang championship banners as much as any other school, but we have goals beyond that!  I believe if our only goal is to win we have set our sights too low.  I think Jesus in Matthew 5:48 wants us to shift our focus onto our hearts and minds as we compete.  We should be thinking his thoughts and be motivated to glorify Him through our play. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for man.”  We need to stop focusing just on our physical performance but also on our internal performance!  

As Hickory Grove athletics move forward into the 2016-17 school year, we will strive to have athletic perfection.  No matter what the scoreboard says, we will strive to live out Colossians 3:23 and have our attitude and hearts focused on the right thing.  We are not going to take down our scoreboards, but we know that true athletic perfection lies beyond the scoreboard.  

Athletic Director

Jim Rhodes- Athletic Director

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Transition to 10-point grading scale

When NC public schools announced their move to the 10-point grading scale for the 2015-2016 school year, many private schools implemented the 10-point scale that same year.  HGCS administration decided to wait one year and transition to the new scale for the 2016-2017 school year.  This decision gave us the chance to ascertain the overall effects on our students and our staff.  In addition, I was also able to collect helpful feedback from other private school administrators whose schools made the transition last school year.  They all agreed that it was both seamless and beneficial.

So what does this change mean for your student? Most of you will find this transition smooth and advantageous.  With so many factors involved in student grades, there are no absolutes; however, we believe most of you will discover solid A students will most likely maintain their present status of A. Students in the B+,C+, or even D+ will probably benefit from having a larger threshold (10 point versus 7 point scale) and possibly earn a higher letter grade.  We hope this new scale will encourage students who may struggle a bit academically: a failing grade will now be between 59-0 as opposed to 69-0.  

High achieving students will notice that teacher expectation for A work will increase.  This change will not translate into more work but more rigorous coursework.  All students will be encouraged to think on a higher level through learning activities that promote evaluative and analytical type thinking.

As parents, most of us have already been exposed to the 10-point scale through our college experiences.  If you are like me, you only have fond memories of the 10 point scale.  I loved knowing that an 80 was actually a B --a hard earned B at that!

No matter the grading scale, HGCS is still committed to serving the WHOLE child, seeing the big picture.  Grading scales are just a small piece of this puzzle.  Our teachers are still devoted to using best practices in the classroom to promote student involvement and learning.  

Our ultimate goal is not a number on a report card; our ultimate goal is to provide a Christ-centered education that promotes student engagement, produces lifelong learners, and provides students the opportunity to grow and learn in an interactive environment.

I encourage you to attend our first parent meeting in September where we will address this subject again.  Until then, I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.

Wanda Royal
Middle/High School Principal

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers

Smith, C., & Denton, M. (2005). Soul searching: The religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

It is becoming apparent that our students, even in a Christian school, often struggle with what we as parents and educators believe is important for the Christian lifestyle. They often seem to miss the easy stuff, and it is really not surprising considering the messages that we hear from culture. Soul Searching is a book that seems to have nailed down the importance for parents (I am included) to get the message right that we are attempting to deliver to our children.

When listening to religious pundits and even scholars in our own Southern Baptist tradition, our American youth are on the precipice that seemingly is leading to a tumultuous fall into heartache and pain. Is this view warranted? Have our youth fallen into a miry trap that has a future of gloom promised? Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton delve into a comprehensive, sociological study of youth and their views on religion and how it might relate to future outcomes in their book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Smith and Denton attempt to answer questions about American youth in regards to their character, the extent of their spiritual seeking, and more specifically how religion affects adolescent moral reasoning and risk behaviors for the future. I suggest this book to you as we continue to try and raise decidely Christian youth who are able to engage with culture in a positive way.

Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, and the Center for Social Research at the University of Notre Dame. Co-author Melinda Lundquist Denton researches the intersection of religion and family life in the United States, with a current focus on the religious lives of adolescents. Dr. Denton’s primary work is with the National Study of Youth and Religion, a longitudinal mixed-method study of youth and young adults in the United States based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Notre Dame University.

Smith develops a unique and engaging blend of technical analysis of data with personal anecdotal support for clear imagery of American youth. This study included a national representative sample including teens from 45 states. The research for this book came out of the National Study of Youth and Religion from July 2002 to March 2003. focusing on teenagers, age 13-17. In addition, a parent in each household was interviewed. In the spring and summer of 2003, 267 in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted.  The authors believe that this is the “largest, most comprehensive and detailed study of American teenage religion and spirituality conducted to date.” By the author’s own admissions, the findings in the survey provided important and fairly comprehensive starting point for deeper analysis.

Data included surveying individuals in the immediate context to determine their viewpoint and posed similar questions posed to parents. In other words, parents and adults in congregations were surveyed on the same items to determine if there is a correlation in their perception of the same items. The goal of the study was to catch the big picture of the religious beliefs of teens at the national level. Most importantly, the generalizations from the data seemed to point out that there is a significant correlation between those that had a serious faith and better outcomes in life and to discover and theorize why this is so. There were many not so surprising findings in the study which included the following:
  • Most teens could not articulate their own belief.
  • Most teens had not had a serious adult who was interested in their beliefs.
  • Most teens are moralistic therapeutic deist (this is a belief that God does exist but He only wants them to be happy and satisfied in life). 
  • Most teens held a belief that was pluralistic (that a variety of religious views are acceptable).
  • A minority of teens have a real faith that includes a good understanding of their belief.
  • The one factor that seemed to glaringly rise up in their data was that the parents’ faith was the most significant factor in the faith of the teens and in later outcomes in life.

The authors were able to successfully tease out the value of the role for parents in the religious lives of teens. In most media outlets, the anecdotal evidence seems to portray teens as a lost individualized generation seemingly at odds with parents. Generally, positive relationships (particularly with parents) leads to a positive understanding of religious practices and better outcomes in life. The outcomes included grades, addictions, and future family structures. This study is a warning shot across the bow for churches, schools, and youth leaders today. The authors dug deeper into the evidence suggesting that greater religiosity is significantly associated with more positive adolescent life outcomes and seek to reflect theoretically why and how this is so.

The authors generalized that if there is indeed a significant number of American teens who are serious about their faith, there is also a much larger number who are unable to articulate their beliefs on religion and their faith. The authors believe that this faith could be characterized as bland or a mush faith. Although faith may be a language that they speak, it is a second language at best. They are simply not practicing their faith and unable to speak about it well.

As the head of a Christian school, any study that seeks to analyze how successful we are as a school at fulfilling our vision is useful. Christian schools often seek to help students develop their faith by helping them to know Christ and then to make Him known to the world. Although, there are a number of groups surveyed in the group that are not relevant to our context, there are several groups that seem to fit our school makeup. Many of the teens in this book have a similar faith disposition and the information that they share is insightful and potentially helpful in analyzing our own educational situation. 

As a school, we must stress the importance to you, our parents of the need for their involvement in the lives of their children. As a church, the study pointed out that religious traditions are being corroded from the inside of the church and not outside the church as it is the church that waters down its own beliefs. As a church, we seek to not be that church. The results of this book seem to point a hopeful picture for those parents that are actively engaged in their lives but conversely paints a bleak picture for those parents that are not unable to articulate their own faith as a model for their children.  I ask that you consider picking up this book this summer to help us all in the educational process of our children.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Number Your Days

In Proverbs 6:6-8, Scripture tells us, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Here we are in the middle of June and school has been out for two weeks. One would think that school is a lifeless place during this time of year, but you might be surprised at the amount of hard work and activity that is running throughout our campus.

Coaches Pondo, Sanders, and Gaines have enjoyed daily four-hour workouts with hardworking students each day. Many of these same student-athletes walk from the football field and run directly to the gym where they have often been seen there eating lunch before they go into the gym for their second workout of the day in basketball with Coach Rhodes. Both the football and basketball workouts have been well attended each day.

There is an eagerness among coaches and players alike as Coach Rhodes has often started a countdown clock 90 minutes early to signal the start of practice and unbelievably there are already enough players at the gym waiting on practice to start. Many of these players had already completed individual workouts earlier in the morning before coming to the gym. These young men, though, had to wait for the young ladies to finish their morning workouts with Crystal Rhodes. While Mrs. Rhodes is working, Mr. Rhodes has been filling the morning conducting interviews for sports that will not start until four months in the future.

Similarly, in the building other staff are busily preparing for next year. Principal Rhonda Brown has been putting the finishing touches on a summer math remediation program, preparing professional development for new Readers and Writers Workshop and organizing an after school enrichment program (details are forthcoming) for next year. Greg Lineberger has been meeting with students and planning summer remediation and adjusting schedules for students. Adam Hamilton has been planning a full slate of Chapel services for next year based upon a partnership that we have established with Radical which is led by IMB President David Platt. Billy Hutchinson has been developing online courses in our new learning management system for teachers and students that will be ready before the first day of school. Laney Corbett has begun developing lessons to turn her classroom into a blended classroom with a face-to-face environment and online components. The list goes on with countless others who are at home or who are taking well-earned vacations before beginning a work of summer preparation.

Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Many people do not value each day and likewise do not fill it with the work that God has called them to do. I would not say that this is the case with the students, faculty and staff of Hickory Grove Christian School who have been busy preparing for next year. God calls us all to work heartily as unto the Lord. I encourage you to be about God's work each day this summer and realize that our days are numbered. Let us work hard and serve the Lord faithfully each day. Enjoy your summer!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

End of Year Letter form Mr. Quesinberry

Dear School Family,

Tonight, we will graduate sixty-five seniors from our graduating class. Twenty one of these students have spent their entire educational life here at Hickory Grove Christian School.We will open our doors that are designed to protect them from outside influences and yet allows them to grow into adults that will impact the world. These students will enter the likes of West Point, UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill,and UNC Wilmington, Columbia International University, East Carolina, and Western Carolina. They will go to faraway places like Mississippi College, Baylor University,the University of Miami, Georgia Tech, and Towson State. They will begin careers as police officers, teachers, and many yet undecided fields and play sports like soccer, softball and basketball. They have come to Hickory Grove Christian School from Bosnia, China, Vietnam and numerous other far and distant lands and they will return to many of those places different than when they arrived.

It has been a good year--not a perfect year, but a good year. It has displayed moments full of joy and happiness and moments of tears. Some of our students have come to know the Lord, others have decided on careers, and others developed a deep affection for our Lord. But, through it all, God has walked with us. He has led us, disciplined us and grown us--all for His Glory. God's guidance is not ending with the end of school, but it just continues.

The end of school is a bittersweet moment in the lives of students, teachers, and all who are connected with the school. For some, they are leaving Hickory Grove and heading out to a world full of wonder and awe. It is a world that seeks to lure our students and reject our students at the same time. It has always been our desire to prepare our children, our students for a landscape that is remarkably different than the landscape that we left ourselves just a few years ago. And as a faculty, we are different, too.

It is my prayer that we will continually huddle under the umbrella of God as we teach, learn, graduate, and move on to our next destination. Lord, let our footsteps be strong and confident; let our speech be seasoned with compassion; let our focus be upon the goal of an eternal Kingdom that compels us to live with great passion for our Lord. I hope to see you again soon. Have a great summer!

In His Service,

Jimmie Quesinberry
Head of School