A Word From the Head
September 18, 2014
Mr. Rod Gilbert, Head of School
THRIVE and Span of Care
In the last two weeks I have focused on the Regents initiative called THRIVE, that was developed in 2011 from the belief that our teachers are the most cogent and substantive symbols of Regents. As carriers of the image of God into each classroom, our investments should be first and foremost to strengthen our teachers. You may recall our Teacher Job Description and Teacher Self-Evaluation that were attached to these articles. Today I want to showcase another aspect of this initiative called “span of care.”
We have been blessed by continuous growth every year since Regents was founded in 1992. With that growth we added students and teachers, but we did not always expand our administrative staff. Administrators became spread too thin in our organizational structure. We changed that in 2011 after much consultation and visionary leadership from our board and senior staff.
Today, no administrator has more than 15 people to develop, support, and evaluate. To put this in historical perspective, in Mrs. Howell’s 2007-2008 year as Head of Grammar School she had 43 direct reports. With that manageable number we can effectively come alongside and strengthen the core of education – the teacher’s heart and mind.
Even with this organizational restructuring, we have a lower number of administrators than most other schools with 1000 students. There are several reasons for this -- but one that is unique to our school and deserves highlighting. Parents.
Just one look into the Regents Parent Council (RPC) and its 30+ subcommittees would boggle the mind. Beyond RPC there are many, many other avenues of parent volunteers. Sports teams, college guidance, senior thesis, field trips...
I firmly believe that a major part of the Regents experience rests on the efforts and involvement of our parents. Thank you for making this a warm and cohesive community.
How would you evaluate yourself as a mentor of children? Do you have the self-awareness and sense of confidence in Christ to be honest and vulnerable about your ability to truly guide them? I am not just talking about parenting. How would you evaluate your skills at coaching a flag football team where you manage the children, their parents, and volunteer parents who are coaching alongside you?
To be vulnerable and honest takes courage.
If I were to pick just one question to be painted on our walls, etched into the windows, and slated on banners, it would be: What defines an excellent teacher at Regents?
After 28 months of Vision 20/20 Phase 1 Construction, we are crossing the finish line. Whew! It was a wild ride!! Here are the five most common questions about our campus construction that we have received this summer...
Join us Thursday, September 4 at 8:30 a.m. at the home of Stacey and Mark Moore, 6000 Eleos Circle, as we welcome new moms to Regents and honor the mothers of the Class of 2015. All moms are invited. We hope you will plan to attend this special morning tradition. It is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate new friendships while celebrating a new school year and learning about upcoming RPC events. Click here for invitation.
Yes, the word "dad" is a verb. How do you dad? Almost all commercials and sit-coms typecast us dads as incompetent, big children. It's insulting! Do yourself a favor and check out this YouTube commercial that really hit home for me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GYxH2-WeZY.
Summers 2012 and 2013 were about asphalt, floodplains, concrete, bricks, trees, modulars, irrigation, berms, water flow, limestone, and building Rhetoric Hall.
In Summer 2014 we advanced two highly needed and complex software systems, representing Phase 2 of our Information Technology (IT) strategic plan.
School is almost here! I am looking forward to seeing old friends and forging relationships with the new families in our community. As we approach the starting point of a new school year, I want to share some thoughts about another starting point - the first of seven classical/cardinal and theological virtues.
Did you know that you are NOW in a triumphant parade as fellow Christians? Did you know that you are an aroma of life for people all around you? Did you know that you exude light for others to see? Sounds fantastic! You are a good smelling parade that lights up the world. What does that mean?
The word rememberwhenisms – though not in the American Heritage Dictionary – nonetheless holds an important role in the human heart. It usually goes with, "Hey guys, remember when we took that tractor out of the barn and . . . ." or "Remember the year it rained so hard at the football game that we crammed ALL of the fans into the Event Center?"
The Regents Parent Council (RPC) functions as probably the BEST and MOST EXCELLENT school-parent group in the United States. Yes, I am biased, but I am also right. I have been reflecting on the dynamism of our RPC because it has been such a great RPC year – once again – and because I am delivering a workshop speech at an educator's conference this summer about our RPC.
Last week I attended a conference in Boston and had the extra bonus and privilege of visiting my daughter Katie, a sophomore at Gordon College. As I sat with her having coffee on the beach, thoughts of ditching the conference and spending the weekend with her had to be pushed back like the dirt the giant bulldozer is moving on our fields across the street. This summer Katie will be working at Oxford in London. True to the Regents mission, her heart has filled with knowledge and emotion and she has confidently set sail for the adventures ahead.
Today is "College T-shirt Day" for our 74 seniors. You can feel their excitement as they anticipate the future that their college choices may bring. But before they can finish the final stretch in their high school careers, there is one more big and exciting hurdle – Senior Thesis presentations.
Paul says that we often entertain angels and we are not even aware that they are watching. That goes for people too. People are watching you and me. Guess what? They are watching our Regents students off campus as well. Mr. Acosta sent me this email recently about the outcome of a married couple watching our students.
You possess a treasure deep in your soul if your grandparents demonstrated a belief in the material, bodily, historically truthful resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Silver and gold are nice. Resurrection of the Savior transforms. In fact, Paul affirmed, if we do not have the resurrection, then we have NOTHING.
Last week I talked about the blending of Word and Life as a part of a teaching and mentorship model. Let's take it one step further. Here is a light-hearted story that happened at our Regents Cup on Monday.
The blending of WORD and LIFE is beautifully explained in the first two chapters of I Thessalonians by the Apostle Paul to his friends. In short, he gave him the Word of God and he also gave his life. He ends the passage by saying, "You (my disciples of Thessalonica) are my joy and my crown." Have you ever been a mentor's "crown"? Are there people in your life who you are mentoring who KNOW by your investment of Word and Life that they believe in their hearts that you see them as your CROWN and JOY?
Mrs. Melanie Sharpless, our new Head of Grammar School, visited campus earlier this week. As she finishes out her duties as Head of School of Logic in Dallas, we communicate frequently about her transition to leadership in our Grammar School. She spent time with many of you – the Grammar School Team, Senior Staff, Regents Parent Council - but not all of you. That will come in due time. For now, I must say that I am encouraged by the mutual enthusiasm between her and our community.
Jesus demonstrated His desire for our hands and hearts to be busy with His kingdom work when he fed the 5,000 with the help of the disciples and a little boy. If He can conquer the grave, then He can miraculously feed 5,000 without help. His call for us to serve is why Ministerium occupies the fourth quadrant of our school crest. The Standard states, "Our worship, love, and devotion to God are not complete unless they then flow out of words and deeds to our fellow man." Below are a few ways our Upper School has been engaging in Ministerium this year.
As I write this article from my desk in Austin, five staff members, 31 parent chaperones and 75 juniors are somewhere in Paris. Today is day five of the junior's twelve-day Europe class trip.
As Dr. Swan stated last week, nothing makes us prouder than when our students achieve their goals and use the gifts God has blessed them with to serve this world. But how can we help our students decide what it is they want to do when they graduate from Regents?
This week's article is written by one of our School of Rhetoric science teachers, Dr. Christina Swan. Dr. Swan received her Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from UCSD and studied HIV gene therapy. She continues to do virus research during her summer break at UT so she can stay on top of the latest science advancements and bring that knowledge back to the classroom.
It is with great zeal and excitement that we are announcing our new Head of Grammar School, Mrs. Melanie Sharpless. She will begin full-time duties on July 14. This wonderful news is the culmination of a comprehensive search and multiple rounds of interviews conducted over the past two months, led by our Head of Grammar School Task Force.
Four Texas inclement weather days in less than two weeks begs a story. Today's decision to delay was made by information from our early morning spotters, weather reports at 5 a.m., and the flash ice storm experience last week.
I read Cold War spy novels because I need the escape from the cascading amount of technology all around me. That conclusion only landed in my heart recently. During our last two ice days, I nearly finished John Le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and I have my eye on his seminal work The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Those books have dropboxes and slow, quiet espionage. There are no satellites, no GPS's, no texts, and no internet. I never thought I would say this as a "Red Dawn" age kid, but I miss the simple life of the oppressive Cold War.
Regents donors stepped up to meet the goal to raise $3M by December 31, 2013, taking full advantage of the generous matching challenge. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Vision 2020 campaign along the way.
Dr. Annie Bullock teaches 11th grade apologetics at Regents. She recently sent an email providing a glimpse into her student's upcoming discussion topics. As a parent of an 11th grader, I received the letter – and I thought you would like to see it as well. Our children are fortunate to have teachers who mentor with such depth. Enjoy the read -
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let yourself be light; From now on your troubles will be out of sight..." For the last week, Bing Crosby has been singing that wish to high school students to announce the beginning and end of each class—he has been our 'bell of the week.' Playing with changing bell tones in the School of Rhetoric is a lighter counterpoint to the 'troubles' of finals.
Regents gained approval on Tuesday night to go forward with plans to develop our West Campus property. By "West Campus" I mean the acreage across the street, which includes the Science and Nature Center.