Coram Deo Academy
â€œ The process of getting to know something or someoneâ€?
Coram Deo Academy
Welcome to the first of three annual editions of Cognitio. Each seasonal edition will feature additional members of our excellent faculty and student leaders. Over the next few years we will introduce you to all the CDA teachers and several of our student leaders. The student leaders represented in Cognitio are elected by their peers and are either House Presidents or Senior Class Officers. A classical Christian Education utilizes the Trivium of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric to provide students with the tools of lifelong learning and instill in them a love of wisdom. The reason this type of education is so effective is that these three tools also cooperate with the God-authored design of the mind and are suited to support each level of a childâ€™s formative academic years. The first tool, Grammar, is the learning of people, places and things. This naturally appeals to young children who eagerly look for these in their Bible, phonics, math, history and language lessons. The second tool, Logic, is the understanding of the rules that govern those things previously learned. Middle-school students are typically attracted to this style as they learn to associate things and connect ideas in their classes. Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. High school students easily learn to apply sophisticated reasoning and strive for eloquence in their studies and in the totality of their lives.
Administrative Assistant for Grammar School FM Admissions Coordinator
Administrative Assistant for Logic and High School Registrar
Grammar School Director
Administrative Assistant for Logic and High School
Testing and Guidance Coordinator
Table of Content s page 3-4
Letters from the Directors
Grammar School Instructor- Tara Hargrove
Logic School Instructor- Kristan Williams
page 9-10 High School Instructor- Wendy Powell page 11
Student Leader- Alicia Magee
Student Leader- Holyn Duyck
Student Leader- Gill Lipton
Letters from the Directors Grammar School
by Charlotte Campbell
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the story of the farmer that went out to sow his seed and along the path he dropped seeds on rocky ground and the birds ate it, and he dropped seeds in the thorns and it was choked out, and then he planted the seed on good soil and it then flourished and produced a harvest. So it is when seeking the right environment to plant the seeds of learning in your child’s grammar years. Many people agree that Christian education is a bulwark against the rising tide of humanism and secularism battering the conscience of our society today. To resist the onslaught to Christian education, CDA is collaborating with believing parents therefore, assuring Scripture is taught at school to support a student’s Bible studies at home and church. We patiently teach our children foundational principles now so they will be ethical leaders in the future. There is always great rejoicing when the harvest is gathered, but first there must be an abundance of plowing, planting, watering, and believing in God’s mercy to produce a bountiful crop. It is our desire that your child thrives in the rich topography at Coram Deo Academy. Although it takes time to cultivate an educational harvest, the investment is well worth the effort when children are grounded in a Christian worldview along with their lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. -Isaiah 44:3
by Polly Dwyer
Kindness. It is one of the best character traits that a person can have. The earliest mention of it is in Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” It is one of the eight fruits of the Spirit identified in Galatians 5:18. As parents, we teach our children to be kind. In the middle years, as the students start to develop their own identities, they also start to notice differences in each other. While it would be logical to think that these differences were placed there by God and therefore are good, logic school students are not always logical in their thinking. Young teens have left the grammar school and are quickly moving toward high school. This age student usually loves being on teams. They are active and laugh frequently, but also see the glass as half empty. They think everyone is looking at them and talking about them. Yet, they love to talk about themselves. This age of student is exciting and stimulating, frustrating and exhausting to us as parents and to themselves as individuals. “Middle-school students are less interested in finding out facts than in asking “Why?” The second phase of the classical education, the “Logic Stage,” is a time when the child begins to pay attention to cause and effect, to the relationships between different fields of knowledge..., to the way facts fit together into a logical framework.” – Susan Wise Bauers
I love working with young teenagers because they are so filled with joy when they are around their peers. They think they can do all things and they will try most things at least once. Logic school students are sensitive and have a strong need for approval from others; thus, deflating comments or criticism can have negative effects. While they are acutely cognizant of their needs, they can be thoughtless in their relationships toward one another, not realizing the effects of their own words. Because of their nature, they often change moods while traveling through the â€œmiddleâ€? of their school years. It is important in these years to teach and model kindness and self-control. Enjoy these years, even with their concerns, by stopping to marvel at some of the most amazing creations of God. Every day is new to them. They exemplify Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. English Standard Version (ESV)
by Polly Dwyer
At Coram Deo Academy, we are dedicated to being and creating servant leaders. In our current culture, we struggle with even a basic definition of what that means. The characteristics of a servant leader may include listening, empathy, self-awareness, ethics and values, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, and stewardship. However, you also find statements that say every person should reflect upon these characteristics and determine how they can be useful for their personal development. While there is nothing incorrect in this statement, I find that we as Christians have a stronger model for servant leadership than man. Christ, who could have ruled the world, humbled Himself to make Himself a sacrifice for man. Our mission is to train ethical servant leaders and wise thinkers who will shape culture for the glory of God. As our students travel through the curriculum, they study leaders, cultures, and problems. They are taught to analyze history and literature; they explore the natural world through science and make predictions. In math, they deal with the visible and invisible and work with the rational and irrational. Servant leadership is a lifestyle that is taken on by the Christian so God is praised and man is humbled. Whether that includes seeking personal development is arguable. That it includes seeking spiritual development is undeniable.
Tara Hargrove Grammar School 3rd Grade Teacher
Even when it means doing cartwheels in class, Tara Hargrove is all about motivating her third-grade students. Native Louisianan Mrs. Hargrove has lived in Texas since 2001, but still loves fresh Louisiana seafood from the Gulf. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Tim, for thirty years. God has blessed them with three sons– Zachary, Austin, and Dylan. Two of their sons are working and in college, and the youngest is a junior in high school. Outside of class, Mrs. Hargrove enjoys travel, music, and art. With the help of her sons, she has also discovered some new loves: camping, hunting, fishing, sports, and the great outdoors. Read the following answers to see how Mrs. Hargrove uses cartwheels to motivate her class and to learn other interesting aspects of her life. List the colleges you attended and the degrees you have earned: • University of Texas – Austin – B.S. Communications • University College – Cardiff, Wales, U.K. – Postgraduate Diploma Journalism • University of New Orleans - M.A. Political Science/International Relations Share with us some of your accomplishments and accolades. After graduating from UT – Austin, I received a Rotary Foundation scholarship to study journalism in Wales for a year. I was the only American in my program with 17 other British students. As part of the requirements of my scholarship, I visited and spoke to Rotary Clubs in Britain sharing cultural information about my home state, Louisiana, and the United States. While there I traveled extensively in Europe which has enhanced my teaching of medieval history/geography in the third grade at CDA. Another accomplishment was being selected as Outstanding Teacher while teaching 5th grade English/ Social Studies at St. George Episcopal School in San Antonio, Texas. In 2005, I was selected as one of four teacher-leaders to escort a group of San Antonio high school students on a trip to Australia and New Zealand sponsored by the People to People Student Ambassador Organization. It was an amazing journey with students, some of whom had never been out of Texas. We met political leaders and experienced the indigenous tribal cultures of the Aborigines of Australia and the Maori of New Zealand. We spoke with scientists working in Antarctica, stepped out of our comfort zones by rappelling down cliffs on the south island of New Zealand, and enjoyed many other incredible adventures down under.
What is a valuable life lesson you have learned? My pastor once explained that the Commandment to “Honor your father and mother” meant not only obedience, but to care for them in their old age. My father died in a car crash when I was 19, so for these many years I have only had my mother. Two years ago we moved her to Texas to live with us as she went through a period of medical care to diagnose Alzheimer’s. She has been such a large part of the lives of my sons, and I am so grateful to God that we were able to have this time with her before the disease progressed and necessitated placing her in full time nursing care in Louisiana near family. The lesson was the true meaning of “honor” in the Commandment. We gathered at Thanksgiving to celebrate her 90th birthday.
was to show them what life in a stable Christian family was like.
Describe a favorite moment in life? One of the most profound events that affected my whole family was when we were host family to a Belarussian boy named Oleg. He was one of forty orphans brought over on a church mission project through the school where I taught in San Antonio. Oleg was the age of one of my boys, and stayed with us for six weeks. He spoke no English, so we had to learn to communicate through books and the computer.
If you were to give one piece of advice to CDA students, what would it be? I would advise them to take advantage of every educational opportunity the Lord places in their paths, and to cherish their families who give them two things no one can ever take away from them a great education and firm spiritual foundation.
While here they received much needed medical and dental care. Oleg had a wonderful talent in woodcarving, and while here we sent him to a workshop to learn more. Sending him back was very hard for my family. We lost touch through time, but know that God gave him a talent in woodworking, which should have allowed him to be able to find a job in Belarus. He is always in our thoughts and prayers.
Is there something special you are known for by your students, family, or friends? In third grade, we do a lot of singing about everything we are learning! Music makes learning so much fun. I have been told by former CDA students that what they remember most about What Bible verse is foundational in your life? my class was when I turned a cartwheel because Isaiah 40:31 – I look at this verse in a needlepoint the whole class made a 100 on a written test. To my mother did for my oldest son. In it I am re- this day, that is a promise I make to my students minded of the courage she has shown in battling to encourage them to try hard for this goal. This Alzheimer’s. This inspires me to have courage in year I have already had to do it once for one of times of adversity, and to pass this on to my boys, my classes. It is not an easy task (either for the students or the teacher)! knowing full well that God is in control.
Because of government political restrictions in his country, American adoptions were forbidden at the time. Most of these orphans were about to reach the age of 16 when they would be released from the orphanage with $200 and sent away on their own. The purpose of the mission
Krist an Williams Logic School 5th Grade Teacher
If you ask fifth grade teacher Kristan Williams how people describe her, she would say, “I think my family, friends and students would definitely call me “unique”, but I am afraid to ask why!” Mrs. Williams’ vivacious personality is evident in all aspects of her life and character. She is proud to hold a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies/Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading and English. Before joining the faculty at CDA, Mrs. Williams had the opportunity to help open and nurture the first University Model School in the Woodlands, Texas, area. The knowledge and experience she gained during her time at that school has now become a blessing to her students at CDA. Read Mrs. Williams’ interview to discover more about her passion for serving her family and Coram Deo Academy. Tell us about your family. I have an extraordinarily wonderful husband, Cory, who I have been married to for almost 19 years. Together God has blessed us with Jenna who is our oldest and in 9th grade, Allyson who is in 6th grade, and Trevor who is in 2nd grade. We are a CDA family! Where do you attend church? Our family has been in North Texas for a year and a half now, and we have been members at First Baptist in Justin for a little over a year. Our church family and the church as the body of Christ are very important to us. List the colleges you attended. I started my college career at the University of Texas at San Antonio, then after marrying my hubby and moving to Houston, I finished my degree at University of Houston Clear Lake – I am officially an Egret…I know not a very impressive mascot, is it? Share with us some of your accomplishments and accolades. Well, my most fabulous accomplishments were, by far, recognizing who God wanted me to marry, marrying him and having my three kids – of whom I am very proud! What interest do you have outside of school? Horses, Horses, Horses! Oh, and I love to read and cook and have dinner with my family. We have hilarious conversations at the dinner table!
What is a valuable life lesson you have learned? To do your job, whatever that may be and in whatever capacity, with all your heart, being joyful, focused on God and His righteous path, and doing all things as to the glory of the Lord.
The first part I need reminding of daily, the second portion just excites me and I can’t wait to see it all!
Describe a favorite moment in life? My salvation, wedding, and birth of my kids, of course. I really loved the day I graduated from college, I can remember thinking, “I sure hope they don’t come by, grab me and tell me it was all a mistake and that there is one class missing from my transcript that they forgot to tell me about.”
These verses are meaning a lot to me right now since life is moving very, very fast.
Do you have a nickname? My nickname from my family growing up was Kia, which were my initials – and no I will NEVER tell you what the “I” in my initials stands for! If you were stranded on a deserted island and you only were able to have your Bible and one other item, what would you choose? My husband, and I hope he has a satellite phone.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
If you were to give one piece of advice to CDA students, what would it be? I tell my students and my own kids that God does not make junk, you are His creation, His child, and He made you special in so many ways and with so many gifts – use them! I also would tell them to hang in there! What is your favorite attribute of God? Infinitude. God knows no boundaries. He is without measure.
What Bible verses are foundational in your life? All of them! But, I really like being reminded of these: He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10
High School English, Literature, Theology
“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any there is left I buy food and clothes.” –Erasmus As her favorite quote, this statement from Erasmus provides a hint to one of Wendy Powell’s great loves—reading. She is also passionate about teaching. One of the founders of CDA, Powell has taught for the school longer than most. Her expertise, enthusiasm, and wisdom provide an invaluable asset as chair of the English department and to the school as a whole. Over the years, Powell has taught various levels of English at CDA, but she currently teaches eighth grade English, 10th grade Theology, and 11th grade AP Literature. Powell’s accomplishments tell more of her commitment to excellence. She was a National Merit Commended scholar and graduated with honors in 1983 from Baylor University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English. She worked in association management at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, publishing a monthly newsletter and an annual magazine, as well as planning educational and political events. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, Powell homeschooled her own children for seven years before founding CDA. We interviewed Mrs. Powell to learn more about this exceptional teacher’s life and viewpoints. Tell us more about your family. Mark Powell is my husband of 29 years. I have five children and one grandchild: • • • • • •
Elizabeth, 26, CDA class of 2004 married to CDA 2004 graduate Michael Douglass Daniel, CDA class of 2007, UNT graduate with BA in History David, CDA class of 2009, senior at UNT, major: Criminal Justice, minor: English Ben, current CDA senior Rebecca, current CDA freshman James Douglass, grandson born on July 2, 2012
What interests do you have outside of school? Bible study, reading—especially British literature of the 19th century and children’s literature, football, current events, hiking. I grew up in a family of avid Redskin fans in Washington D.C. I stopped watching football for several years because I just cared too much about the outcome—and because I married a Dallas Cowboy fan. Some day I would like to teach literature to underprivileged children. I believe that becoming an avid reader is a key element to developing not only as a student, but also as a person.
With four children still at home, when I am not grading or preparing lessons, I am usually cooking, doing laundry, or buying groceries. My family consumes nine gallons of milk a week!
Do you have any pets? I have two black Labrador/Springer Spaniel mix dogs named Freya and Loki. What is a valuable life lesson you have learned? My husband taught me to “run to trouble”— whether it is a difficult relationship, a mistake I’ve made, or an overwhelming task—avoiding things never helps. People are typically understanding when you admit your mistakes and do your best to fix them. You don’t find happiness by looking for it, because it usually appears when you are least concerned with yourself. Live to serve God by doing the tasks He puts before you and loving the people He brings into your life. What Bible verses are foundational in your life? Isaiah 58 and Matthew 5-7 (The Sermon on the Mount) vividly convey the character of a citizen of the kingdom of God in a way that both convicts and inspires me. Describe a favorite moment in life? One favorite moment was taking a train ride up the coast from London, England to Edinburgh, Scotland as a high school senior. The majesty of the spring landscape—the vivid green countryside contrasted with the North Atlantic crashing into the cliffs along the coast—gave me a great sense of the presence and the glory of God.
Is there something special you are known for by your students, family, or friends? Reading. I’ve loved reading ever since I was a small child. I own hundreds of books and am most at home in a library or a used bookstore. All five of my children are avid readers and I do my best to teach all my students to love reading as well. If you were stranded on a deserted island and you only were able to have your Bible and one other item, what would you choose? Why? I would certainly choose the works of Jane Austen. Austen bears re-reading better than any other author I know. I have at least three copies of all of Jane Austen’s works—a beautiful leather bound copy, an everyday copy I can read while I eat or load the dishwasher…. and a small, boxed set that I keep in my classroom in case of an emergency. If I wasn’t stranded with my husband, I probably wouldn’t make it too long unless God sent manna or ravens with food. Mark is the repository of most of the “practical” education in the family. As children, we both loved the book My Side of the Mountain, about a boy who runs away and “lives off the land” in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Mark and I would like to retire to a cabin in Colorado or a cottage in the Scottish Highlands someday and be “out in nature.” For now, I just read William Wordsworth’s beautiful nature poetry.
Also, the miracle of giving birth to a living soul— is indescribable. I think that’s why I had five children—that, and God knew I was so innately selfish, that it would take five children to finally get my focus off of myself.
President: House of Lewis
“To me ethical servant leadership is about being a role model. One must be able to do the same things she is asking others to do and must even do things she might not ask others to do. Students must lead by example, letting Christ shine through them at all times.” Senior Alicia Magee describes CDA’s mission statement in her own words perfectly. While she has clearly learned a great deal during her schooling here, this very well may be more important than any other lesson learned during her enrolled since 2004 years at CDA. Alicia does more than just give a definition of ethical servant leadership. As the president of the House of Lewis and a small group Bible study leader for second graders, she lives it out, as well. She has applied to several universities and plans to major in computer engineering with a minor in business. Because she has made summa cum laude during all her high school years, she will certainly have her choice of schools to attend. Outside of the classroom, Alicia has a love for speech, debate, and drama. The following interview with Alicia gives you an idea of the personality that lies behind this exceptional student. Tell us about your family. I live with my mom, Sherryl, and my dad, Steven. I don’t have any siblings, but I do have two dogs, Toffee and Syrus! Describe a favorite moment in your life? A favorite (recurring) moment in my life is probably the moment after a curtain call during a play. I feel accomplished, excited, and relieved, and I’m always so excited to see how everyone liked the play. Do you have or did you ever have a nickname? How did you get it? I’ve had literally dozens of nicknames, but one of the most unique was Clock Buddy. In 7th grade, I was in math class with the 8th graders. Math was right before lunch, so, naturally, everyone always wanted to know how close we were to getting out of class. I was the only student who had a watch, so about every 5-10 minutes, someone was asking me what time it was. Eventually Greer Garland gave me the 11
name of Clock Buddy, and that class referred to me as such for quite some time. If you were stranded on a deserted island and you only were able to have your Bible and one other item, what would you choose? Why? I’m tempted to say my computer because, let’s face it, most teenagers feel like they couldn’t live without it. But I’m going to have to go with my piano. Whenever I feel upset, I play my piano, and I love to compose pieces! What is your favorite attribute of God? Why? My favorite attribute of God is His omniscience. I love that He knows everything I’m thinking and that He can understand my circumstances. I also love that He knows everything about physics, calculus, and the (probably) impossible theory of time travel, but that’s a different story!
Senior Class Events Coordinator
Holyn Duyck uses her leadership skills both on and off the court. This accomplished volleyball player spent three years as varsity captain, and also holds a leadership position as Steward of the House of Wallace along with being Senior Class Events Coordinator. Using what she has learned at Coram Deo Academy, Holyn plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing followed by a Master’s degree in Physician’s Assistant School. She plans to apply to St. Mary’s College, Dallas Baptist University, Baylor University, or Texas A&M in pursuit of these degrees.
enrolled since 2007
See what Holyn has to say about her life and what it takes to be successful. Tell us about your family.
• Mom – Mary • Dad – Lanny • Little Brother – Will
Share some of your accomplishments. • • • • • • •
4 Year Varsity Volleyball player 3 Year Team Captain 2009 Newcomer of the Year 2009-2011 1st Team All District 2011 2nd Team All-State 2011 District MVP 2011 All-State Academic
What does “ethical servant leadership” mean to you? Ethical servant leadership means selflessly serving the people around you by making ethical and moral decisions in your leadership positions. It’s not just about being willing to lead, but about serving others and doing so by setting a good example. Being a leader gives you a fantastic opportunity to continually serve those around you. What was your best class at CDA? I think my best class at CDA was rhetoric. It really challenged me and helped me grow as a writer and speaker.
What was the “secret” to success at CDA? The secret to success at CDA is without a doubt time management. School can be hard sometimes, but CDA never gives you anything you can’t handle, if you give yourself enough time to do it. What are your hobbies? I love playing volleyball in any setting. Besides that, I enjoy reading and listening to music whenever I have some free time. What is your favorite meal? My favorite meal consists of any combination of meat, noodles, and potatoes. I am in love with these three types of food! Do you have a favorite quote?
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan
What is your favorite attribute of God? My favorite attribute of God is love. His love is so incredible. He always takes care of us and has a plan for our lives because He is a loving God. The fact is so comforting to me. It also makes me want to show God’s love to others. 12
Senior Class President
Between student leadership, serving in his church, playing piano and sports, and racing karts, Senior Class President Gill Lipton exemplifies what it means to be a well-rounded Coram Deo Academy student. Gill plans to attend Texas A&M after graduation and major in mechanical engineering. Gill’s interview tells more about his accomplishments and character: Introduce us to your family. My parents are Dr. Martha Storrie and Dr. Stuart Lipton, and I have two sisters: Beth Elaine, who graduated from CDA in 2010 and is attending Oklahoma City University, and Jeanette, who is a sophomore at CDA. Share some of your accomplishments and accolades. I was chosen to be the Varsity Soccer Captain last season, and have received all-district awards in both soccer and football. In piano, I have played in the State Finals at the Student Affiliate contest and have won multiple contests in the Dallas area. I also race karts, and won my class in the Texas ProKart Challenge this season. Are there committees or teams you serve/play on at school, church and in the community? I play on the Varsity Soccer and Football teams, and am a leader for the 8th grade guys’ Bible study at my church. What does “ethical servant leadership” mean to you? Making the decisions that are the best for those under your leadership, instead of those that are the best for yourself. What is a common conflict or concern in school and how would you advise a peer to handle it? Procrastination and laziness are hard to deal with, especially when you try to justify it by saying that 13
enrolled since 2002
you’re tired or have “senioritis”. To get past this, I tell myself to just get over it and do my work, so I can relax later. What are your hobbies? I love motorsports, and am fortunate to be able to race karts. This is my passion, but I also enjoy rock climbing and playing piano. Which Bible verses are foundational in your life? Philippians 4:6-7 I like these verses because I’ve been stressed by big decisions this past year and talking to God helps to hold back anxiety in those moments. What’s your favorite meal? Barbecued brisket, sausage or ribs with Texas toast, mashed potatoes, green beans, fried okra or French fries, topped off with cherry cobbler and sweet tea. I love the mix of flavors, as well as the relaxed and friendly nature of meals built around barbecue. What is your favorite attribute of God? The simple fact that He loves us. We don’t deserve anything at all from Him, because we have no hope of living up to His standards. In spite of this, He gives us salvation and countless blessings, for which I am so thankful.
is to train ethical servant leaders and wise thinkers who will shape culture for the glory of God.
Christian CDA seeks to nurture children in an atmosphere consistent with historic Christian belief through a faithful and committed faculty while restoring the biblical priority of the family. Classical CDA educates youth in a historic Christian worldview through a rigorous Trivium-based curriculum. Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of each subject are acquired with increasing sophistication as age, grade level and ability rise. Collaborative CDA is a genuine school-home collaboration, where students receive professional instruction on campus two to three days per week and work at home under the tutelage of their parents for the balance of the week allowing the family to be the primary influence on the childâ€™s life.