A Word From the Head
May 22, 2014
Mr. Rod Gilbert, Head of School
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?”
In our administrative team meeting this week, we spent time giving many rememberwhenisms. One of our team members shared about the year the septic did not work properly on our Tarrytown campus, and the parents discovered PlugIns. Dads showed up and put one in every plug. Yuck! Another recounted when grades 5 – 12 were all in the Logic Building.
Did you know that we once used the Regents parent’s collective fine China and silver for Grandparents Day (which they unanimously voted to NEVER do again), or that before we had Café Regents we ordered a fast food of the day for the student’s lunch, or that all of the boys wore seemingly flame-retardant green pants as their school uniform? It is cliché, but it is something akin to “Those were the days…..”
Our Holy Spirit has a way of sanctifying our memory. Were all things good in the early days? Of course not. It is the same way with our families. God somehow superintends into our souls and helps us remember the past with fondness and appreciation. This gentle memory skill deepens our appreciation and love for life.
So, now as we finish 13-14, it is good to remember the good times of this year. Was it all perfect as wagging puppy dog tails? No. Did we all have good experiences that will come to our minds in 15 or 20 years? Yes. I remember sitting with Coach Beck and Sam at Austin’s City Hall praying about their vote on the athletic fields. My heart pounded and my mouth was dry. After so many years of being in the fight, I was not convinced that it would really happen. And yet, today I watched our construction team as they installed beautiful green sod. Ten years from now I hope to be at a game where I will recollect sanctified memories of 13-14. In 2024 I will think, yes, 2013-2014 was a great year to remember.
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.
How about taking a twist on your Christmas wish list? Instead of making a list of what you wish you had, can you make a list of 1,000 things that you have already that you are thankful for? That was the challenge in Anne Voscamp's little book called One Thousand Gifts. Faced with life's challenges, Anne penned a memoir that introspectively highlights her journey to find 1,000 things that she is thankful for.
8.75% - 17-23% - $400,000 – Three numbers that define our tuition assistance program.
With over 900 in attendance at the gala Saturday night, we raised $400,000 to be used towards tuition assistance. Many thanks to the gala volunteers and attendees who made this event such a great success. We are truly humbled at the outpouring of generosity by our community.
There is a resurgence of the classical education movement in the United States, and it is being featured in news publications you would not expect. In June, CNN wrote an article about this called 'Classical schools put Plato over iPad.'
Here's the interesting deal about Regents' gala this year – you decide the ticket price. There is no set amount. The goal is 100% participation of all families and staff at the event. Dust off your boots and jeans. Keep it casual and fun. Register online now. And, don't miss the three cool blind bid opportunities that close out this Sunday.
Each fall, we present a light-hearted talk to the high school students about dating, sex, and monogamy. The jokes are as corny as a field in Iowa and the maxims get right to the point. The goal is to help relax the students about the whole world of dances and dating.
Last week I led off my "Word" article with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt about contentment. Lo and behold, ol' Teddy is on my mind again for some reason. As much as our President Roosevelt was admired for his leadership and masculinity, there was another side to him worth noting. He loved being around his children.
"Comparison is the thief of joy," Theodore Roosevelt aptly affirmed. This rough-riding man's man probably had himself in mind, but I believe this life principle is a major struggle for our precious daughters far more than Teddy would have considered. Out of our 1,000 students, Regents has 510 girls, and ALL them have fathers.
You only need to read the title of this article in order to get the point. Do not use your phone while driving, and especially not during carpool driving. I hope you are NOT reading this article while in carpool. That would be ironically dangerous.