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A Culture of Academic Rigor



Publisher Debbie Davis Editors Heather Bennett Debbie Davis Sierra Gibson Cindy McLeod Graphic Designer Karen Mitchell Contributors Dr. Gary Arnold Heather Bennett Debbie Davis Carla Kenyon Cindy McLeod Dr. Justin Smith Photographers Michael Baxley Sarah Glenn Crabill Shannon Earls Jonathan Funk Karen Mitchell Little Rock Christian Academy 19010 Cantrell Road Little Rock, Arkansas 72223 501-868-9822 Little Rock Christian Academy Mission Statement To serve families, churches and the community by providing a PK-12th grade education, characterized by excellence in the pursuit of truth from a Christ-centered worldview.



















DR. ARNOLD I’ve had many teachers who taught us soon forgotten things, but only a few like her who created in me a new thing, a new attitude, a new hunger. I suppose that to a large extent I am the unsigned manuscript of that teacher. What deathless power lies in the hand of such a person. Last August, Mrs. Terri Swedenburg, an exemplary LRCA upper school teacher of history and oral communications shared with me this verse by John Steinbeck. At the bottom of the note, Mrs. Swedenburg added: “My prayer for LRCA is that this year we will all be 'that teacher'." I urge you to turn the page and encounter the fruit of a school loaded with “that teacher” zealous to open a student’s eyes to a new thing, sculpt in them a new attitude and generate a new hunger for learning, discipleship and achievement. My hope is that you will sense that we are, indeed, “running with horses.” (Jeremiah 12:5) At the same time, my greater hope is that we will grasp and agree with the wisdom of God who exclaims through David:









A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:17-18)

Gary B. Arnold President / Head of School




Warriors Make J-Term Intentional


Written by Debbie Davis, Director of Communications odeled after the college January term idea, "J-Term" is designed to increase learning opportunities for high school students. These classes and experiences give students an opportunity to learn in areas of passion, discover their gifts, explore new skills, and consider where God may be leading them in their lives. The "block" nature of J-Term allows for focused, in-depth study and deeper relationships with teachers and a smaller group of students.

J-Term 2018 will be remembered as one of the most intentional weeks of the year. Warriors studied in six locations around the world, experienced specific careers through intensive internships, and stretched their limits through unique courses or mission work here in our own city. Some of our seniors reported on the impact of these trips.


J-Term Houston

uring our week in Texas, Houston J-Term was able to impact many people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Each day, the team split into two groups that visited different sites. For four days, Group 1 went to the 3rd Ward, where they helped repair a house. A tree had fallen on this home during the hurricane, forcing the family of 16 to evacuate. Our group teamed up with Agape

Ministries to insulate, hang drywall, conduct demolition and tile the roof. Group 1 also visited a house in the 5th Ward, where they cleaned up rubble and debris that had collected in the yard from both Hurricane Ike and Harvey. Group 2 worked at several different sites throughout the week, including a community garden, two warehouses and a home in Crosby, Texas. Students and teachers painted the home that the family had lived in for generations. Our team was grateful to be able to keep this family in a home it has enjoyed for many years. Through simple acts of service like hanging drywall, planting gardens, filling backpacks and painting, our team was able to leave a lasting impact on the city of Houston. Nicholas Powell, LRCA Senior


J-Term France

-Term France was a once in a lifetime excursion to Northern France. The trip was full of tours of astonishing castles, cities, chateaus and cathedrals. Guided by an Education First (EF) tour guide, we had the opportunity to explore the cities of Normandy, Caen, Tours, St. Malo, Amboise, Arromanche and Nantes. Our guide was knowledgeable about French history, culture and language and did an amazing job entertaining our group. I enjoyed discovering a country that is so different from the United States while eating French croissants, drinking cafe au lait and exploring beautiful castles! À bientôt en france! Jordan Burks, LRCA Senior




J-Term Bahamas ven with the early morning departure time of 4:00 a.m., the J-Term Bahamas group was overjoyed at the airport to be traveling together and spreading the gospel.

Our trip commenced with assisting teachers with redecorating their rooms and filing papers. We also provided lunch for the teachers and played with children in the surrounding communities. Each day was extraordinary. Over the weekend we had the opportunity to do some sightseeing. We visited a reserve to learn more about God’s creation and climbed a three-story tower that allowed us to see the beauty around us. We went to a Bahamian cultural celebration called Junkanoo. We worshiped at a local church and went to a gospel concert for Junkanoo. We were featured on national television while singing “10,000 Reasons” for the Bahamians.

While we were there we bonded and learned something unique about each other. Each student gave a devotional and they were all phenomenal. We weren’t ready to leave the island, and tears were shed when it was time to go our separate ways. New friendships were formed and the gospel was shared. It has been my favorite J-Term experience. The 2018 Bahamas J-Term mission trip was life-changing. Paige Fox, LRCA Senior

The trip concluded with visits to four schools. At the schools, we performed skits and sang with the children. After our presentations, we played with the children and helped them with their schoolwork.

J-Term Jamaica


-Term Jamaica is a great opportunity to see the world and serve. This was my third time to take part in the Jamaica trip, and it was definitely my favorite. We continued construction at the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf by hand mixing concrete to build the roof of a new school building. We also conducted a Vacation Bible School for an orphanage, and then concluded our week by serving at the West Haven Home for the Disabled. There we were able to spend time with the residents and assist with their meals. The work that was accomplished, and the relationships that were formed on these trips were unlike anything I have ever experienced. I will always remember J-Term Jamaica as one of the highlights of my time at LRCA. Anders Nowell, LRCA Senior


J-Term Passion

assion 2018 was a life changing experience that I would highly recommend. We heard from awesome speakers including Louie and Shelley Giglio, Priscilla Shirer, Levi Lusko, Tim Tebow and Sadie Robertson. We many never get over all the amazing truth that each of these speakers shared with us. We were also blessed by some of the most gifted artists and musicians leading us in worship. They used their gifts to show us that it's not about a stage, but about pointing people to the name above every name. Being encouraged by God with over 12,000 believers between the ages of 18-25 was an incredible way to start the new year! Faith Briggs, LRCA Senior THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018


J-TERM TRIPS J-Term Ireland


he history, views, people, and many sites to see in Ireland contributed to the best trip of my life. The visit to the Cliffs of Moher, despite the high winds blowing us over and covering us in mud, was definitely a highlight of the trip. We were also able to tour some of the best sights in Ireland including the Cahergal stone fort, the Blarney Castle and the city of Dublin. I also had an opportunity to Irish dance, in an Irish pub, which is a memory I will never forget. Through this trip I learned how awesome it is to visit another country and experience a different culture even if it is for just a few days. Carson French, LRCA Senior

J-Term New York


-Term 2018 offered endless possibilities, but few were filled with as many bright lights and “snowing” opportunities as the first ever, six-day J-term trip to New York City. Along with the spectacular views of New York from experiences such as the Top of the Rock, a Times Square walk through, a guided tour of Carnegie Hall and a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, students also viewed historic landmarks such as Trinity Church, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the 9/11 memorial. Students that attended the Performing Arts specialty of the trip attended a two-day musical theater workshop with authentic Broadway teaching and choreography at Pearl Studios and worked with Broadway actresses Jennifer Dinoia and Janet Dacal. Meals were enjoyed at a variety of delicious restaurants such as Carmine’s Italian, the infamous Serendipity, Junior’s Cheesecake, a traditional New York deli and a pizza kitchen. Although students signed up for a trip to New York, they didn’t need their passports to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, Paris, France, Egypt and Israel while viewing two new Broadway shows, “Anastasia” and “The Band’s Visit,” and were able to speak with the actors in a talkback. On Sunday morning, students enjoyed a “restful” experience while listening to a church service performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Of course, no trip to New York is complete without its fair share of shopping, especially with a group composed entirely of girls. Students shopped at Dylan's Candy Bar, the Juilliard Store, a Broadway Shop, the New York Public Library gift shop, Bloomingdales, and gift shops at the Whitney Museum and the


Metropolitan Museum of Art, two other destinations that were visited. The perks to visiting New York in January were the enjoyment of ice skating in Rockefeller Center while viewing the infamous Christmas tree and gorgeous decorations, but a small downfall was the temperature, literally, dropping to -1 degrees as students walked blocks at a time and traveled on the subway right in the middle of Blizzard Grayson. Finally, students headed home with full hearts, bellies and camera rolls and blessed with an unforgettable experience to the Big Apple. Lily Margaret Greenway, LRCA Sophomore










Jinny Yoon and Shea De Bruyn - Saline Memorial Hospital • Jinny and Shea interned with a cardiologist and learned about patient care, diagnostics, the latest devices and surgery.

2. Jacob Baker - Jacob interned with WS2- Wireless Security and Wireless Solutions, where he was able to learn about the latest technology and presented new ideas at Verizon headquarters.


3. Emma Minden - Emma interned with Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin at the Arkansas State Capitol. Emma handled constituent casework helping problem solve for the citizens of Arkansas.The internship furthered her interest in a career in politics. 4. Meg Sinha - THV11 • Meg learned news gathering and reporting skills while assisting producers at THV11. 5. Ty Carnahan - Garver Engineering • While visiting the Broadway Bridge, Ty learned about the bridge construction process and different types of bridges.


6. Abby Blankenship - Green Mountain Animal Hospital • Abby learned about all aspects of animal care including surgery and emergency care. 7. Hannah Davis - Arkansas Children's Hospital • Hannah shadowed in occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, speech, pharmacy and the NICU. She even spent time with the med flight team.

"Six years ago Craig O'Neill gave a speech at my 5th grade graduation and joked that I was going to steal his job after I gave my speech as student council president. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview him and sit side-by-side with him at the THV 11 news desk!" - Meg Sinha, LRCA Junior THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



The Science Behind Written by Carla Kenyon, Director of College Guidance


t Little Rock Christian Academy, we are dedicated to helping our students reach their highest potential and watching them succeed after their high school years. The challenge lies in discovering each student’s unique set of talents and understanding how those talents will drive college major, career and even life choices. That’s why we’re excited that LRCA has recently partnered with YouScience, creator of the innovative new program called the YouScience Profile. YouScience is an exciting new tool being offered directly to LRCA families for the first time. Currently we are providing this service for our sophomores, juniors, and seniors

"When we use our aptitudes, we are most happy and satisfied as we feel we are “in the zone” rather than engaged in a frustrating, uphill battle. Sooner or later we all figure it out – that “aha” moment when we understand who we are, how we think, what we should do with our life. But what if we could do it sooner?" - YouScience Assessment Team as results remain consistent after about age 15. In future years, sophomores alone will take the assessment, and we will utilize their results throughout senior year. With this program, students will discover their unique “blueprint” through the revolutionary intersection of aptitudes, interests and personality. It’s a completely new way to understand where a student will succeed and allows LRCA to deliver even more effective and accurate guidance.


COLLEGE GUIDANCE The YouScience Profile is not a self-report measure like many current assessments which measure what you already know about yourself. Since interests are highly dependent upon exposure and worldview, they change over time and with life experiences. Often the reason students take assessments is because they struggle to identify their strengths and need new information and insights. It is important to understand that aptitudes reflect how quickly and easily one can learn skills and abilities in particular areas. Aptitudes may be considered as the natural abilities God has given us. Because of their stable nature, aptitudes serve as a reliable navigational tool throughout a lifetime of decisions. When we use our aptitudes, we are most happy and satisfied as we feel we are “in the zone” rather than engaged in a frustrating, uphill battle. YouScience is an online, scientific program that takes students through a series of assessments and interest questions designed to determine results in the 11 key aptitudes utilized in the working world. The results include a review of the student’s strengths, suggested environments where he will succeed, detailed information on possible careers that match those skills and

interests, majors that map to those careers, and much more. One of the most helpful aspects of the results is the “Describing You” section. Students can effectively utilize this personalized verbiage for resumes and for talking points in internship and job interviews. The Little Rock Christian Academy College Guidance team helps students review and interpret these comprehensive results. Recently, Michael and Christy Wisinger, parents of senior Isa Wisinger, had this to say following the discussion of Isa’s results. “We loved going over the YouScience results! It was interesting, as a parent, to see where the test identified strengths we had also identified in Isa. It was very practical and helped us to start narrowing school and career choices. Our favorite part of YouScience is that it actually proposed specific jobs at which Isa would excel, and it supplied education and salary details.” The LRCA College Guidance office strives to assist students in making informed decisions regarding college courses of study and other career-related choices. YouScience promises to promote a cost-effective and enjoyable journey through the collegiate and career-preparation years.

What is Measured in YouScience Exercises?




The Harkness Approach Brings Student-Centered, Discussion-Based Learning to LRCA Written by Dr. Justin Smith, Upper School Principal


f this beautiful large wooden, oval table could speak, it would tell of ideas being wrestled and wrangled, of passionate responses, of quiet reflection, of unique insights, of agreement and disagreement, of curiosity and problem-solving, of learning to communicate in a group. All this and more has flown across this beautiful table since school began as our LRCA students have engaged in Harkness discussions. A bit messy, these discussions always hold an element of unpredictability, but with training and practice, are something to which both teachers and students look forward. To prepare, students are asked to


read, annotate, and do their best to understand and interpret carefully selected texts. Students sit facing one another in some version of a circle and then discuss the text, looking for meaning and connections. The teacher acts as facilitator, guide, and coach and discussions typically ebb and flow: a question, a response, a pause, a connection outside the classroom, more questions and so on. Unlike teacher-centered instruction, this method of student-centered teaching invites students to participate in a way that makes it hard to resist “getting into the fray.” The Harkness table offers a neutral, safe place for students to test out ideas,

HARKNESS METHOD interpretations, and applications with peers and an expert teacher. Not only do students grow in their understanding of content, they also develop invaluable communication skills as they navigate discussions and learn to learn from others, digging deeper and using textual evidence to support their points. I think we all agree these skills transcend the classroom and will serve students well in life.

Finding Purpose in Discussion Closely Read a Text, Then Talk About It If ever there was a time and a place for education to be more meaningful, and for learning to be deep, this is it. Content in the 21st century is ubiquitous. At the swipe of a finger, click of a trackpad, or a question posed to Siri, students can access content in the information age faster than ever before. It has also changed the way educators curate lessons. Therefore, one must ask the question, how will students be challenged to think cogently, form questions thoughtfully, write precisely, and collaborate effectively? A friend and colleague, Dr. Peter Vorkink of Phillips Exeter Academy, commented, “There is a difference between education as intellectual and spiritual formation, and education as information transmission. At its best or ideal, the Harkness method does the former, and not really the latter.” When educators and parents consider the purpose of education, at its core we desire a program that fosters intellectual and spiritual formation, provokes

“Harkness gives me a great opportunity to engage in classroom discussions. Hearing the thoughts and viewpoints of my classmates is interesting. I really enjoy Harkness, it keeps me engaged and active in my learning.” Lawson Howard, LRCA Junior

students to think and develop questions, and produces learners who seek to engage in meaningful ways with their community. In the following paragraphs I will expound upon the underpinnings of Harkness pedagogy to inform the families of Warriorville of the important work our humanities teachers are engaging.

Harkness in Warriorville

Educators at Little Rock Christian Academy are leaning forward into Harkness pedagogy like never before. Teachers spend extensive time carefully selecting readings and texts which will meet learning objectives and elicit robust academic dialogue. Selections include poetry, songs, artwork, math problems and more. Texts are skillfully chosen at levels of complexity which require deep individual thought and collaborative analysis. Through class discussion, students delve into content in ways which will form deeper understanding and produce higher retention levels. This phenomenon has been observed for many years on campuses in elite New England boarding schools and prestigious private schools across the country. When students engage with a text in meaningful ways, annotate with purpose, comment on the material, and listen to various perspectives, learning at the table is palpable. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald once eloquently stated, “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” The goal of a Harkness discussion is not solely consensus; rather, it is gained perspective. LRCA English teacher, Mr. Loren Rugen adds, “I desire to see how much students want to understand the text.” He further explained, “the beauty of Harkness is that [a student] can display his or her effort through a variety of methods, depending on the strengths of individual students. Methods such as homework completion, annotating, talking, listening attentively, asking thoughtful questions, providing clarifying answers, and staying on topic by directing the group back to the text.” Emphasis on growing students’ desire to think and learn is an important tenet of Harkness learning. Mr. Rugen also values the way Harkness discussions help students understand different perspectives. “Anyone can talk, anyone can listen, and everyone benefits.” As LRCA English teacher, Mrs. Lauren Kopf proffers, “Harkness puts more pressure on students to be involved with the texts they're encountering, to practice critical thinking and reasoning, and to develop their public speaking skills. Those goals do not replace the content; they simply enhance it. I think the end game with Harkness is to transform our students into responsible citizens who are not only well-informed, but also articulate. There's no point in knowing what we know if we aren't able to communicate well with others!” Amen. THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018


HARKNESS METHOD As learners move throughout the educational program at LRCA, the learning continuum moves from grammar to logic to rhetoric. Evident in the upper school, we observe teachers committed to creating fascinating lessons designed to capture the imaginations of students, challenge them to grapple with complexity, and create a space where they can refine their thoughts on things ranging from literature, Scripture, historical documents and theology to scientific discoveries. Through intellectual discourse, students form the habits of mind that will not only prepare them best for university, but also for a life well-lived.

How We Learn

We often learn by listening to others’ observations, but learning at deeper levels typically ensues when we combine listening respectfully and taking action in the process, functioning not solely as an audience but as explorers committed to thinking and learning. It is not to say that studying in isolation does not have advantages, but we often comprehend phenomena more fully when we engage with others in the learning process. At LRCA, our efforts target student learning through independent thinking, and then subjecting preliminary thoughts and arguments to critical review. LRCA’s educational focus, then, is not on teaching what to think but on learning how to think. In Philip Ryken’s book, Liberal Arts for the Christian Life, Kenneth Chase comments that, “Good students are not pawns, following directions mindlessly; nor are they life-less sponges, merely absorbing information.” Ryken, the president of Wheaton College, is an avid supporter of a broad and deep education that encourages students to think critically, communicate clearly, problem-solve effectively, and collaborate meaningfully. Students at LRCA are charged with the mission of active participation, fully immersed in learning, listening, and speaking. For it is in these acts that the student will become himself or herself - the person God has intended.

Uniquely Better

How, then, are we uniquely better? Few schools are adaptive enough to make pedagogical shifts to enhance student learning, yet at LRCA we have talented educators and motivated students who embrace active learning. Pursuing excellence in teaching and instruction is an expectation in Warriorville and Harkness pedagogy makes us uniquely better. For more than 85 years, schools like Phillips Exeter Academy and The Lawrenceville School have situated students around oval, wooden Harkness tables in all disciplines. This studentcentered, discussion-based learning has proved to be a timeless and meaningful way to educate secondary students. In recent years, private boarding and day schools from coast to coast have 12 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

HARKNESS METHOD “Harkness puts more pressure on students to be involved with the texts they're encountering, to practice critical thinking and reasoning, and to develop their public speaking skills. Those goals do not replace the content; they simply enhance it. I think the end game with Harkness is to transform our students into responsible citizens who are not only well-informed, but also articulate. There's no point in knowing what we know if we aren't able to communicate well with others!” - Mrs. Lauren Kopf, LRCA English Faculty adopted a more active approach to learning. The stark contrast of the strictly passive learning environment where teachers lecture for the majority of the period, versus the forward thinking classroom where teachers leverage the students’ abilities to think, problem-solve, and create is blatantly evident. Filed under the auspices of constructivist learning pedagogy, the Harkness approach to teaching and learning requires students to form

thoughts and ideas based on textual evidence, peer perspective, teacher questions, and prior knowledge. Students often come to the Harkness table with a limited understanding of a reading, but, through discussion, they leave class with a deeper, broader, and formed understanding. We learn in community. We grow through fellowship. The Harkness table provides a great venue to grow better thinkers and communicators for the glory of God.






Warrior Award

Jackson Landers

5A Central

5A Central

Ben Blocker

Sean McKinney

Conference Champions

Conference Champions

Rebecah Ortega

Parker Moore

6th in State

5A State Champions

Coach of the Year -

Coach of the Year -

Christy Nipper

Christy Nipper 5A All-State Audrey Funk Allie Parkinson Allison Risius

FOOTBALL 5A Central Conference Runner Up

5A All-State

State Qualifier

Ladrius Burnes

Jackson Bowersock

5A Central All Conference

Trey Harris

Drake Bradley-McClinton

Grant McElmurry

Chris Hightower

Warrior Award

Justice Hill Davis Lee MJ Loggins Luke Shuffield Alex Veasey John Woodard


Trey Harris

5A Central All Conference Kate Barnes Ben Blocker Shea De Bruyn Grace Ann Dickey Audrey Funk Laurel Anne Harkins

Rebecah Ortega Allie Parkinson Witt Parkinson Allison Risius Harrison Roberts


3rd in 5A Central Conference

5A All-State

State Qualifier

Reagan Leverett Jamie Zakovec

5A Central All Conference Hannah Davis

Warrior Award

Tori Malak

Macy Tingle


5A Central All Conference

5A All-State

5A Conference

Hannah Frueh

Eli Pierce

Runner Up

Jacob Frueh

Taylor Shaw

4th in State

Carson Griffin

Warrior Award


Eli Pierce Jack Ruddell

5A Conference

Samantha Shaw

Runner Up

Kyle Lee Ella Beth Wengel

Taylor Shaw

4th in State

Ella Beth Wengel Anna Young



5A Central All Conference

5A Central

Benjamin Brandt

Conference Champions

Luke Hankins

5A State Champions

Thomas Proctor

Coach of the Year -

Tucker Teague

Brandon Cowart

Chase Venn


Briahna Willis

5A Central

5A All-State

Conference Champions

Benjamin Brandt

4th in State

Thomas Proctor

Coach of the Year -

Tucker Teague

Caitlin Jones

Chase Venn

State Medalist

Briahna Willis

Chase Venn

Warrior Award Thomas Proctor Abby Blankenship THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



Winter Sports: Turning Up the Heat on the Competition Written by Heather Bennett, Advancement Assistant Baby it’s cold outside, but Warrior winter sports are heating up! Swimming, wrestling and now, bowling, afford Little Rock Christian students even more exciting indoor team sport options.

Diving Right In

“Coaching the swim team gives me the chance to connect with a different group of kids,” shares Coach Brian Gibson about one of his favorite aspects of being the Head Coach of the Swim Team. Coach Gibson is also a member of the football coaching staff. Although for some years, LRCA had no swim team, it steadily gains in popularity with 30 swimmers in 2018. The club is becoming more competitive and successful. “We’re returning nine state qualifiers from last year including five all-state members,” explains Coach Gibson.


WINTER SPORTS Adrenaline Rush in the Ring

In his third year as Head Wrestling Coach, Dustin Grimmett shares, “I just love the intensity of the sport. It’s hard to find a more intense sport at the high school level. Wrestling teaches young men toughness. It can be hard in this day and age to put kids in situations that teach them how to fight through adversity. Wrestling accomplishes that.” This year’s team theme is, “through the fire”. Coach Grimmett references 1 Corinthians 3:13-14, “…the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.” He expects this year’s competition to reveal the quality of their work resulting in ultimate success at the end of the season.

Right Up Their Alley

The first ever Little Rock Christian Bowling Team is up and ROLLING! Students showed enough interest last spring to result in the creation of two teams this school year. Coach Matt Lane describes, “I think they enjoy competing against others and the comradery with their friends and classmates. For some, this is their first sport or the only sport they play and they enjoy putting on their LRCA bowling shirts and competing for their school.” Coach Lane says his favorite aspect of the team is, “seeing the students in a different setting, competing and learning lessons about teamwork.” Coach Lane looks forward to even more student interest and building on the inaugural team’s success in coming years. As with all LRCA athletics, success is measured as winning in life, not just in competition.




A Championship Season for Warrior Basketball Written by Cindy McLeod, Director of Advancement


he sights and sounds in Warrior Gym remain familiar. For sixteen years, athletes have practiced and competed here at a high level. Every year, teams have their eyes on a championship.

Once again, this year, the women’s and men’s basketball programs have their sights set on ultimate success. Warrior teams are talented and successful, but a closer look inside the gym indicates a program where a championship means more than winning games. It’s making a difference in kids’ lives! Don’t think Warrior basketball begins in high school….or even middle school. It spans a wide array of ages. Warrior Gym and the Athletic Training Center gym are booked solid as two high school varsity teams, seven junior high teams, and another fifteen elementary teams vie for time on the court. Basketball season means over 85 junior high and varsity home games between November 6 and February 15. Add in elementary games, practice time for all the teams, as well as volleyball and spirit squad needs, and other school events. Time on the courts and in locker rooms is in short supply. Practices begin early in the morning before school and continue into the evening in both campus gymnasiums. Ronald Rogers, in his fourth year at LRCA as the Head Coach of the Lady Warriors, also leads the elementary basketball program which is designed to lay a firm foundation of fundamentals. “Skills and Drills” sessions are offered for all first through sixth graders interested in basketball. Two separate clinics allow coaches to teach basic fundamentals and teamwork by age group. 18 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

Competitive play begins in third grade, coached by a cadre of parent volunteers. At the elementary level, all participants experience the thrill of playing in games that consist of four 8-minute quarters. Games began in December and will conclude with exciting tournament competitions at each level in mid-February.

BASKETBALL As girls mature through junior high and high school, the women’s program increases in strength and level of competition. Coach Rogers says, “Hard work pays off is our motto.” He tells the girls, “Everything is not going to go your way. You will have bad days, but you have to get through it.” Coach Eric Allen works with the girls on strength and conditioning. The seventh and eighth graders do developmentally appropriate band and box work. The high school girls spend regular time in the weight room to learn proper techniques. Varsity athlete Reagan Bradley, a junior, has been playing basketball since she was six years old and is now enjoying conversations with Division I colleges about potential scholarships. Coach Rogers attributes her success to her hard work and dedication. “Playing with this team is so fun,” according to Reagan. “We are like a family, like sisters, and we do everything together. Basketball is an investment. It takes spending time in the gym to be good and make your team good.”

Coach Clarence Finley runs the men’s basketball program like a genuine patriarch. His long coaching resume has prepared him to train coaches and players alike. Playing for him is fast and furious. His coaches work with players on skills and drills all summer, and on weekends during basketball season. Eighth grade through high school teams also attend team camps during the summer. Coach Finley hopes to host a seventh grade camp at LRCA this summer to meet the need he sees for that age group. As thrilling as the varsity games can be, Coach Finley’s enthusiasm for his seventh graders is evident. While their bodies are developing and may not be quite the right fit yet for highly competitive basketball, these players all need training. So, Coach Finley works directly with them alongside Coach Brandon Cowart to coach two teams. Working with both teams every day optimizes the opportunity that each young man has to advance as his body and skills develop.

In his second year at Little Rock Christian Academy, Coach Finley is enjoying the opportunity to share Christ with Warrior athletes as well as those from other schools. By hosting a tournament with Fellowship of Christian Athletes over Thanksgiving break, he was pleased to give each participant a copy of The Heart of an Athlete devotional. Coach Finley acknowledges that LRCA competes in a very tough conference for basketball. The boys are matched up with incredibly athletic teams from larger schools. That makes strong fundamentals essential for success, which means practice, practice, practice all year long. Team practices at all levels are intense to prepare players mentally and physically. They rehearse a variety of game type situations at a fast pace.

Athletes like Will Strickland are the heart of the program. Will’s tough academic schedule as a senior includes AP Biology, AP Calculus, and Organic Chemistry, yet he maintains a high grade point average in order to prepare for a pre-med curriculum in college. He says it takes a lot of time to excel as a student and athlete. Homework and extra personal time shooting in the gym take up several hours every night. Will came to LRCA in sixth grade and gives basketball credit for his success in school. Coach Rogers and Coach Finley both credit their coaching staff with strengthening the LRCA basketball program. Dedicated men and women lead our student athletes in the right way. Assistant coaches are always learning, and they mentor their athletes in the same manner they would their own sons and daughters. A typical day in the life of any coach may include early morning practices, counseling sessions, cleaning the gym and locker rooms, driving a bus, teaching class, washing towels and uniforms, afternoon practices, and games in a far corner of the state. Coaching is not for the faint of heart. Warrior coaches are giving it all to build winners on and off the court. Now that’s a championship! THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



\Star Warriors: Football Homecoming

Written by Heather Bennett, Advancement Assistant


omecoming week (September 18-22) landed on the LRCA campus a little earlier this year with the fun factor firing up Star Wars-style! The Student Government Association and the Homecoming Committee planned the theme in light of the school’s and the movie series’ 40th anniversaries coinciding in 2017. The worldwide cinematic phenomenon inspired a host of intergalactic dress up days and events leading up to the Friday night football face off against Beebe. The football Warriors blasted the Badgers with a final score of 48 to 28. Senior Claire Fortson, daughter of Grant and Jaime Fortson, was crowned the 2017 Homecoming Queen. Claire is a Warrior whose inner and outer beauty, grit and determination are truly out of this world. Claire enrolled at Little Rock Christian in 6th grade at the same time as her cousins John, Jackson and Sunny Woodard. She says of the experience, “I was so excited to come with my cousins! And, I have amazing friends.” She goes on to say of her teachers over the years, “They have had a huge impact on my life. I love all the teachers. They really try to grow relationships with you.” At the same time Claire became a Warrior, she also started cheering. Her mother Jaime shares that Claire wanted to do back handsprings like her older sister, but Jaime was a little apprehensive and concerned for Claire’s safety. Jaime smiles warmly, “Then Claire just started doing back walkovers on her own!” And, Claire didn’t stop there. She progressed to back handsprings and is currently working on round off back handspring tucks. She also has aspirations of cheering on the collegiate level.


HOMECOMING Claire credits God, her family, friends and LRCA with the success she has enjoyed inside and outside of the classroom. “People love me and don’t focus on my disability,” she shares. Claire was born with Down syndrome, but it doesn’t stop her from charging ahead. With an eye on her future, she plans to major in education at either the University of Central Arkansas or the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “I want to be able to invest in other people’s lives and show them that disabilities do not define who you are. Just because you have a disability, it doesn’t mean you can’t do things.” She goes on to share that she has thought about opening up her own school one day. Of the many great experiences Claire has had at LRCA, participation in Homecoming has truly been one of her favorites. She was also on Basketball Homecoming Court her freshman year. “I loved being on the Court with good friends and riding in the parade with my dad. It was just an honor to be there.” Jaime says of Claire’s involvement, “I was so excited. I knew it was going to mean a lot to her, and the other girls were an inspiration to her.” “I was really happy and surprised when they announced me as Queen,” Claire says with a grin. “I loved seeing Olivia Strauss (2016 Homecoming Queen) and Ken Shew (2016 Senior Class Officer). Olivia crowned me and Ken gave me a football signed by the team.” She goes on to say she looks forward to coming back next year to crown the 2018 Homecoming Queen and has already asked her cousin John Woodard to escort her onto the field. Warriorville looks forward to seeing you again next year, Queen Claire!

Dress Up Days

Monday – Vintage Cartoon Day Tuesday – Fake an Injury Day Wednesday – This to My That Day Thursday – Surf and Turf Day Friday – Class Theme Day (9-Droids, 10-Wookies/Aliens, 11-Clone Troopers, 12-Jedi) The Homecoming Court Mother/ Daughter Brunch was held Thursday, September 21 at the home of Lynette Bowersock. The annual event hosted by the Homecoming Committee honors the court and their mothers.

Homecoming Court Freshman Maids Sophia Baden, Emma Martin Sophomore Maids Scarlett Bates, Anna Young Junior Maids Caroline Carter, Rachael Rainey Senior Maids Claire Fortson, Olivia Havens, Maggie Pinkston High school class competitions were intense and cosmically creative. Hallway decorations, parade floats and pep rally spirit contests saw droids, Wookies, aliens, clone troopers and Jedi bringing their A game! The seniors won for best hallway design. The freshmen won for best parade float. And, the seniors won for most school spirit.




A Culture of Academic Rigor Written by Dr. Gary Arnold, Head of School


alking the streets of Portland, Oregon last summer, my eyes locked onto a storefront sign that read, “You did not wake up to be mediocre.” Ironically, it was a mediocre sign in an unexceptional, runof-the-mill, second-rate, middling storefront. Nonetheless, the message of the faded sign was true. I did not wake up to be mediocre today. Neither did you.

So it is with Little Rock Christian Academy. We did not wake up today to be average. We did not work this hard for so long to be commonplace. This year we encouraged our faculty, staff and students to “run with horses” – from Jeremiah 12:5 - “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you run with horses?” Literally, the passage is more accurately translated “compete with horses.” That said, I write to tell you, we are training ourselves as Warriors to compete with horses and to run for the roses. And, to do so in a way that honors the name of Jesus. Whether it be in matters of faith or intellect, there is no excuse for lukewarm. In every aspect of our mission, we aim to be refreshing. To be sure, mediocrity does not breed fast horses. Neither does “drill and kill,” rote instruction. Neither does homework for the sake of homework. Or, teaching to the test. Or, the sage on the stage. So, what does breed fast horses? At the risk of using educator jargon, I offer four essentials for strengthening a culture of academic rigor in school: challenge, engagement, understanding and enjoyment.


Real rigor starts with challenge. If we’re not challenging your child to think and struggle, we need to hear from you so we can amp it up to a more individualized degree. In learning somewhere, there is a sweet spot between easy and impossible where the brain is stretched in ways that are new, demanding and downright uncomfortable. Psychologists call it the zone of proximal development. We call it challenge. No matter what you call it, the key is that new learning takes place in ways that prompt cognitive struggle and, at the same time, offer guiding support. 22 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

ACADEMICS Strangely, some people worry that too much education or a demanding school will diminish or compete with one’s faith. Others worry that too much faith-talk will dilute or weaken one’s education. But, I ask: Why should one’s faith be threatened by the intellect or one’s intellect be compromised by faith? Why not let both excel? At the same time, in the same place.

Rigor Outside the Gates

Academic rigor doesn’t start at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. Academic rigor is a mindset that flows into your home and from your home. Here’s what we can do together to keep academic rigor alive and well at LRCA and in the lives of your children.

Keep the end in mind. What end, you ask? Discipleship, lifelong learning and, for Christian high schools, strong college


Aim high. Human nature is like gravity. It pulls us down and causes us to miss the mark. Many an archer will tell you to aim high - a little above the bullseye – and the arrow will find the

target, even as gravity and distance try to pull it down.

Expect more. Expect your child to work even harder. Your child is very capable. Hard work builds character and the resiliency


The second dimension of real rigor is engagement. Responsibility for this falls primarily on the teacher. That is why the art of teaching and the professional skill of the teacher are so prized. That is why we need to do more to reward it.


A significant benefit to this approach to academic rigor and learning is, quite frankly, enjoyment. When challenged, engaged and lit up, the student experiences joy. You experience more joy as parents and the teachers experience joy. All this reinforces and compounds the learning.

Be an example. Have you noticed that your son or daughter walks like you, talks like you, acts like you? More than not, they do. So it is with reading, asking questions, talking about ideas.

Do those things and watch your children follow suit and prosper.

Support the teacher. Your teacher is acting in the best interest of your child. Really. Whether it is through encouragement,


When healthy challenge and authentic engagement connect, a lightbulb turns on. The student experiences the grand “Aha!” – the sweet, sweet sound of understanding. A major break-through for us this year occurred when we unleashed the Harkness method of discussion and understanding in our high school Biblical Worldview classrooms. Challenging material, face-to-face engagement and lightbulbs that lit the room. (Upper School Head, Dr. Justin Smith has more to say about that in this issue.) Bottom line: a school culture that arouses curiosity and rewards questions will, in the end, prepare the most resilient, motivated and aspiring students.

required for a successful adult life.

correction or workload, your teachers know what’s coming down the road and want your son or daughter to be prepared and


Bust the myth. I hate to admit it but there are some Christian schools across this land that are stuck in mediocrity. God is not glorified. Families are under-served. Children are underprepared. Not so with Little Rock Christian Academy. At LRCA, we keep the end in mind. We aim high. We expect more. We set an example. We honor our teachers.

We did not wake up to be mediocre today. The Lord’s reputation is at stake. We want to serve you well. And, most importantly, we want your children to be more than ready – to reach their highest potential, empowered by an engaged innovative faculty and grounded in a Christ-centered worldview.

Strangely, some people worry that too much education or a demanding school will diminish or compete with one’s faith. Others worry that too much faith-talk will dilute or weaken one’s education. But, I ask: Why should one’s faith be threatened by the intellect or one’s intellect be compromised by faith? Why not let both excel? At the same time, in the same place. For me, that place is Little Rock Christian Academy. As partners in the education of your children, let me shift the vocabulary from the schoolhouse to our homes. THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



Johnny Watson - Athletic Director, Dr. Gary Arnold - Head of School and Jim Fink - CFO Pictured on future site of Indoor Facility

Incredible New Facility Rising Up Written by Cindy McLeod, Director of Advancement


eavy equipment began moving dirt on the Little Rock Christian Academy campus immediately after Thanksgiving break. Trucks and bulldozers appeared ahead of schedule to begin site work on the land for the new indoor Warrior Athletic facility, work that included enclosing the old ditch. For years “the ditch” that ran alongside Warrior Field delighted young students (and terrified parents) with the thrill of discovering what might lie in the water flowing through the front acreage. The wooden bridge that crossed over the ditch toward Warrior Field welcomed the sound of football and soccer cleats. The rare find of a cool spot during hot summer and afternoon practices was provided by a few small pines along the banks. God’s provision of a new indoor athletic facility for Little Rock Christian includes enhancing the south side of campus, removing the ditch and reclaiming approximately two acres of valuable land. Storm drainage piping has been installed for function and aesthetics, allowing the contractor to pave a parking lot in that area, control erosion, improve accessibility to Warrior Field, and increase safety for children and guests. The enhanced landscaping, curbing and lighting will provide a consistent look with the more contemporary parts of campus.


FAST FACTS • 50,000+ Square Feet • 48' by 176' wide • 256' long

• Full fifty-yard artificial turf field • Warrior Store

• Coaching Staff Offices • Training Room

• Wrestling Room • IT Offices


The project, provided by a magnificent gift from an anonymous foundation, has also proven to be a blessing for two other charitable organizations in Little Rock. The former Warrior Athletics building, a “temporary” building which launched the Cantrell Road campus in 1997, has been donated to Giving in Kindness in Arkansas and Total Outreach for Christ Ministries. Movers began hauling it away during the first week of December. In eleven separate sections, we said goodbye to a building which had seen 20 years of use, initially as classrooms and then ultimately as athletic offices, a wrestling practice facility, athletic training space, and the Warrior Store.

school’s IT office will also be moved to this location. Anticipated opening of the facility is July 2018. The year 2018 rings in a new era for present Warriors and the next generation. As this incredible facility rises up, we give glory to God for His abundant provision.

As soon as the site was cleared, construction began on the new indoor athletic training facility, a 50,000+ square foot building which will measure 48’ high by 176’ wide by 256’ long upon completion. At its core will be a full fifty-yard artificial turf field that will be used for football and soccer practices, as well as for spirit squads and track. The indoor field will also provide prime space for some physical education classes and activities at elementary, middle school and junior high levels. The baseball and softball programs will benefit from indoor space to practice batting and field work during inclement weather. Additionally, this building will house the new Warrior Store, coaching staff offices, a training room, and wrestling room. The THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



Drama Department Blossoms During Steel Magnolias Production


Written by Debbie Davis, Director of Communications

he LRCA Drama Department fully blossomed based on the rich portrayal and fantastic set and costume designs during the fall production of “Steel Magnolias.” Director Kay Basham said, “We are legit! This is grad school level acting and repertory theatre quality tech work and design. If our drama department was a football team, we just won the state tournament!” If you missed the four performances in November, you missed a thing of beauty. Set in Truvy’s Beauty Salon in northern Louisiana, six female characters share their lives, loves and losses with hugely funny lines woven into a poignant story filled with the kinds of events to which any audience member can relate. Do you remember silk track suits and 80’s big hair? Well, LRCA parent Emily Garner and her student team of costume, hair and make-up designers brought it all to life on the stage. Some of the technical challenges involved using wigs and styling hair on stage while remembering to act along with incredibly quick costume and hairstyle changes between scenes. These scenarios were carefully choreographed and coordinated with a team backstage. The production benefitted from a student-led scene crew as well. Between each scene, furniture and props were set up, moved, or hauled off the stage. The sound team was also busy with effects,


from gunshots and dogs barking to everyday noises such as lamps, radios and telephones which appeared as if the actors were turning them on and off. Mrs. Basham is proud of her students and declares, “We have a theatre school going on in Warrior Hall. Our students are going on to elite acting schools, making college improv teams, and receiving significant vocal scholarships. If you want your child to develop skills they can use their entire lives, enroll them in the LRCA drama program.” Mrs. Basham is also encouraging Warriorville to prepare themselves for the spring musical, “The Sound of Music.” “Honestly,” says Mrs. Basham, “these students will amaze you.”





Heidi Denny, Carly Faulk, Ashlyn Davis,

Costumes for Annelle and Truvy -

Ms. Elizabeth Hill

Costume Facilitator - Rachael Rainey Grace Caroline Gardner

Costumes for Ouiser - Emilee Hagewood Costumes for M’Lynn and Shelby -

Kissten Tinkle, Mairyn McGilvray, LIGHTING AND SOUND ASSISTANT Annelise Duke

CAST OF CHARACTERS Truvy Jones Meg Sinha

Annelle Dupuy-Desoto Taylor Moran

Clairee Belcher Harrison Kuhn

Eden Wilkerson


Lyndsey Gardner


M’Lynn Eatenton

Lela Miller

Ouiser Boudreaux

Assistant to Emily Garner -

Hannah Van Brimer Emma Knecht

Shelby Eatenton Abby Jolliff

Ashton Dollar Allie Mooney Radio DJ

Chris Roach




Fine Arts Awards and Placements 2017-18

High School All Region Band Members

All Region Orchestra Members

Performing Arts: Instrumental Arkansas Showcase of Bands-Marching Warriors • Most Outstanding Visual Effects • Most Outstanding Color Guard • 1st Division Percussion • 1st Division Color Guard • 1st Division Drum Major • 1st Division Overall Band

AR Band and Orchestra Association: Junior High All Region Orchestra (South Region): • Alex Bratton - Tuba, 1st Chair • Katelyn Lyle - Violin, 1st Violin, 4th Chair • Helen Pitman - Cello, 6th Chair • Isabella Adeola - Violin, 1st Violin, 9th Chair • Paul Douglass - Violin, 2nd Violin, 9th Chair • Jewelia Black - Violin, 2nd Violin, 16th Chair

Carnegie Hall International Honors Orchestra • Katelyn Lyle-Violin (Performed June 2017) • Madi Stearns-Violin (Performance February 2018)

AR Band and Orchestra Association: Senior High All Region Band (Region 1): • Alice Li - Flute, 1st Band, 2nd Chair, All-State Qualified • Emelia Belin - Oboe, 1st Band, 2nd Chair, All-State Qualified • Wendy Bae - Clarinet, 1st Band, 10th Chair, All-State Qualified • Grace Bornemeier - Clarinet, 1st Band, 15th Chair, All-State Qualified • Nathan Dodson - Trumpet, 1st Band, 9th Chair, All-State Qualified • James Ivester - Trumpet, 2nd Band, 5th Chair • John Ivester - French horn, 1st Band, 1st Chair, All-State Qualified • Will Walther - French horn, 1st Band, 3rd Chair, All-State Qualified

Sydney Opera House International Honor Orchestra • Madi Stearns- Violin (Performed July 2017) • Lilium Jones- Violin (Performance June 2018) AR Band and Orchestra Association: Senior High All Region Orchestra (South Region): • Madi Stearns - Violin, 1st Violin, 8th Chair, All-State Qualified • Lilium Jones - Violin, 2nd Violin, 2nd Chair, All-State Qualified • John Ivester - French Horn, 2nd Chair • Emelia Belin - Oboe, 2nd Chair • Will Walther - French Horn, 4th Chair • Jacquelynn Horsey - Viola, 8th Chair, All-State Qualified

AR Band and Orchestra Association: Junior High All Region Band (Region 1): • Libby Carpenter - Oboe, 1st Band, 2nd Chair • Jacob Morrison - Trumpet, 1st Band, 5th Chair • Ashley Ligon - Clarinet, 1st Band, 19 Chair 28 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

FINE ARTS • • • •

Alex Bratton - Tuba, 1st Band, 8th Chair Veronica Ivester - Flute, 2nd Band, 5th Chair Jenna Johnson - Percussion, 2nd Band, 11th Chair Asher Hodges - Bari Sax, 1st Alternate

Performing Arts: Choir AR Choral Directors Association: Senior High All Region Choir (Region 2) • Meg Sinha - Alto 1, 2nd Chair All-State Qualified • Grace Caroline Gardner - Soprano 1, 7th Chair All-State Qualified • Cheyenne Collins - Alto 1, 12th Chair All-State Qualified • Rose Johnson - Soprano 1, 15th Chair All-State Qualified • Faith Briggs - Alto 1, 18th Chair All-State Qualified • Carly Faulk - Alto 1, 25th Chair • Katie Martin - Alto 2, 35th Chair • Mary Claire Banks - Alto 2, 36th Chair • Allie Mooney - Soprano 2, 54th Chair • Emma Knecht - Alto 2, 58th Chair • Thomas Garner - Bass 2, Alternate • Kylie Robinson - Alto 1, Alternate AR Choral Directors Association: Junior High All Region Choir (Region 2) • Lyndsey Gardner - Alto 1, 5th Chair • Allison Kirtley - Soprano 1, 9th Chair • Leigha Heard - Alto 1, 9th Chair • Kennedy Burkett - Alto 1, 11th Chair • Sophie McFarland - Alto 1, 12th Chair • Kaitlyn Hawkins - Alto 1, 20th Chair Performing Arts: Theatre AR Educational Theatre Association: Regional One Act Festival. Invitation to State Showcase • Jenna Auel • Hannah Van Brimer • Covington Crain • Ashlyn Davis • Heidi Denny • Carly Faulk • Katy Flamik Erin Foley • Lily Margaret Greenway • Emilee Hagewood • Emma Knecht • Grayson McCarver • Lela Miller • Maxton Miller • Rachael Rainey • Eden Wilkerson • Lexie Welborn

High School All Region Choir Members

Junior High All Region Choir Members

Junior High All Region Band Members

All Region Thespian Group THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



Traditional Art Meets Technology Written by Debbie Davis, Director of Communications


n today’s society, it seems that everything is digital and computerized. We use our cell phones to talk, text, read and take photos and videos. Now, even art has gone digital. So what is digital art?

What is Digital Art?

Digital art can be defined as anything of a visual nature that artists create with the aid of a computer. It is linked to science and technology, which are fundamental to its creation. “Digital art is like any other art,” says digital arts instructor, Miss Cait Crowell, “only it is created using a computer rather than the more traditional art tools.” There are many types of digital art such as graphic illustration, 3D models, digital photo artwork, digital painting, web sites, images generated by computers, animations and games. Digital art combines art, math, science and technology.

Why is Digital Art Essential?

The use of digital art has rapidly become a primary method of communication in our fast-paced, visually-oriented culture. Proficiency with current technology is becoming increasingly important for success in today’s world. Creative, innovative minds are much sought-after in all fields. The digital artist in particular now holds an important place in modern society as a generator and conveyor of ideas. 30 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

Artwork by: Madison Schrader, LRCA Senior

Artwork by: Nicholas Powell, LRCA Senior

Digital Arts Curriculum Evolves at LRCA

The Little Rock Christian Academy digital arts curriculum came to life in 2013 when Warrior Hall was erected and a state-of-the-art Macintosh computer lab was introduced on campus. The “Mac” is the most widely used platform in art schools and in the graphics industry. Course descriptions were developed for Digital Photography, Digital Illustration and Advanced Graphic Design. Digital Photography and Illustration are semester courses and are prerequisites to the year-long Advanced Graphic Design. While these courses are offered to 10th-12th graders, the creation of a junior high digital arts curriculum was developed for the 2017-18 school year with many 7th and 8th graders seizing the opportunity to use their creative spirit and broaden their scope of technology. The 3D digital printer is a favorite amongst junior high and high school students. The 3D technology allows the students to combine their artistic and engineering skills. •

Digital Photography focuses on design and technology based around the Adobe Photoshop software. The class focuses primarily on photo editing and design composition incorporating student photography into these components. Students learn to express themselves through digital mediums using design and photography to emphasize their messages. Digital Illustration emphasizes design and technology using the Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign software. Students cover advertising, publication design, typography, composition, illustration and logo creation. Advanced Graphic Design builds on the skills from previous digital art courses. It expands on the concepts of typography, advertising, photojournalism, branding, web design, layout composition, animation and portfolio development. Students expand their knowledge of the Adobe Design Suite software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash and Bridge. This course is project-driven and students must learn to master time management to succeed. At the completion of the course the student has compiled a portfolio that can be presented for scholarship and college admission opportunities.

The Future of Digital Arts

Digital art is widely recognized as part of the arts. Knowledge of visual design and digital technologies to manipulate multimedia is now essential. Digital artists will find an increased demand for their work in this increasingly non-textual, multimedia world. By learning foundational skills in high school, these budding artists will have increased opportunities presented to them not only by colleges and universities, but by future employers.

"This fine arts program developed my interest in digital arts by exposing me to different types of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I have also learned about photography and what makes the best composition for photos. I will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design and will major in Industrial Design." Carson French, LRCA Senior

“The LRCA graphic design class increased my interest in art. Even though I love art, I am not very talented at drawing or painting. With graphic design I am able to be creative and artistic without being able to draw. It has allowed me to embrace and experience a whole new world of art. This program has prepared me for college by giving me the experience of working with a team to meet a deadline as well as equipping me with the abilities I will need for my major. I will be attending the University of Arkansas and majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Business Marketing.” Madison Schrader, LRCA Senior THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018


ALUMNI UPDATES Once a Warrior Always a Warrior Written by Heather Bennett, Advancement Assistant


The Class of 2007 did more than eat turkey and watch football during the Thanksgiving holiday. They celebrated their 10-year class reunion! The Hamilton-Porter Room in downtown Little Rock’s newly renovated Robinson Center was the venue of choice for their Saturday, November 25, 2017 gathering. Fifty-six attendees enjoyed an indoor/outdoor event feel with spectacular cityscape views and a backdrop of the gorgeously lit Broadway Bridge. The event’s festive vibe was complete with a photo booth, slideshow, music and delicious menu options including heavy hors d’oeuvres, savory pastries and colorful cupcakes.

was just getting to see people I used to see every day as high schoolers all grown up into adults. It was great to meet spouses, see pictures of new babies, give congratulations for great job moves and be excited about what’s next.”

Brooks Rogers shares that his favorite part of the evening was catching up with everyone, and he's enthusiastically looking forward to 2027 at the 20 year reunion. Kendra Stuart Cooke says, “My personal highlight


Alumni updates in The Warrior magazine include current year births and wedding announcements to help fellow Warriors stay in touch. Other alumni news is shared through the LRCA website and social media. Please direct questions or send your Warrior Alumni Updates submissions to See for submittal instructions.


Josh Briggs (Class of 2012) and Shelby Medders Briggs (Class of 2013) welcomed their baby girl Andersen Claire Briggs (8 pounds, 4 ounces) on October 13, 2017. The Briggs family resides in Little Rock. 32 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

Claire Chesshir Foster (Class of 2009) delivered Benjamin James Foster (7 pounds, 11 ounces) on July 31, 2017. The proud papa is Matthew Foster, Dean of Academics and Social Studies Department Head at Little Rock Christian Academy.

Tori High Cochran (Class of 2006) gave birth to Ephraim Grant Cochran (8 pounds, 15 ounces) on November 27, 2017. She and her husband, Kurtis Grant Cochran make their home in Little Rock.

Mallory Murphy Blue (Class of 2007) gave birth to Barrett David Blue (7 pounds, 15 ounces) on November 24, 2017. She and her husband, Adam Blue currently reside in Leawood, Kansas. Mallory’s mother is Jamie Murphy, 7th grade math teacher at LRCA.


Chloe Ruth Wren (Class of 2012) married Keith Barrett McLeod (Class of 2012) on October 28, 2017 at the Dillard family home. Keith is a member of the Little Rock Christian Academy high school math faculty and assists coaching the tennis team and boys’ basketball teams. Chloe’s mother is Christina Wren, elementary front office. Keith’s mother is LRCA’s Director of Advancement.

Emma Von Edwins (Class of 2013) married Austin Huett on December 9, 2017 at The Ballroom at I Street in Bentonville, Arkansas. Emma’s mother, Jill Von Edwins teaches three year olds in the elementary school.

Stephen Curry (Class of 2011) married Abby Root on May 26, 2017 at The Barn at Richwoods in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Stephen is the Associate Vocal Director for High School, Junior High and Middle School at Little Rock Christian Academy. The couple resides in Benton. Stephen’s mother is Holly Curry who is also on staff at Little Rock Christian Academy.

Jack Anthony Berry (Class of 2011) married Kelsey Leigh Pettus on July 22, 2017 at North Oxford Baptist Church in Oxford, Mississippi. They are both Cum Laude graduates from the University of Mississippi and currently reside in Jackson, Mississippi.

Austin Whitesell (Class of 2010) married Jessica Chestnut on November 26, 2017 in Del Mar Beach, California. They make their home in San Diego, California. Austin’s mother, Kim Whitesell, teaches 3rd grade at Little Rock Christian Academy.


Although the weather on Tuesday, January 9 was cold and dreary, it did not hamper the warmth and spirit of the Alumni Council Holiday Meeting hosted by Kirstin Swindler Johnson, Class of 2002. The gathering included council representatives from past graduating classes, Board of Trust Chairman Tommy Vaughan, Head of School Dr. Arnold and members of the Advancement team. Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and dessert selections prepared by LRCA’s very own Chef Karle Johnson. The gracious home and the delicious food were eclipsed only by the incredible collection of individuals who shared ideas and discussed opportunities to further the school’s mission through alumni efforts and strategic support. THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018



LRCA Students Fulfill Mission Through Service to the Community Written by Debbie Davis, Director of Communications


ove and partnership - two of Little Rock Christian Academy's core values. The school's mission statement clearly states that we are here to serve families, churches and the community. You might ask: How will serving others make a difference in the life of our students? Why are we using precious classroom time to serve others? The answer is quite simple. When the students decide to notice, to act, or make a difference, they are taking the first step in changing the world.

Therefore, service is an integral part of the LRCA curriculum for three year olds through seniors in high school. There are opportunities to serve on campus through classrooms, teams, clubs and organizations. Prior to the holidays, each LRCA school division organized their own service project for students and families to provide for those in need. Elementary Students Collect Necessities for Immerse Arkansas The week before Thanksgiving the elementary school collected basic necessities for Immerse Arkansas. Immerse Arkansas exists to prepare older and former foster youth for success by connecting them to existing resources and sustainable networks of support. “The outpouring was huge and so appreciated”, says Courtney Head, PTF Elementary Service Coordinator. “LRCA students packed close to 75 backpacks with gloves, beef jerky, peanut butter crackers, hand sanitizer, deodorant, body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste and much more. These young adults have nothing and items like these are so needed and helpful when living on the streets or attempting to start their lives. Immerse Arkansas is truly grateful for the love and support shown by the LRCA community.” 34 THE WARRIOR • WINTER 2018

Middle School BLASTS Women and Children First with Warmth and Kindness In November, middle school BLAST (Bringing Leadership and Servanthood Together) members collected food items to assemble Thanksgiving baskets for the Women and Children First organization, and they enjoyed personally delivering the donations. Women and Children First is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of and shelters women and children escaping abusive relationships. In December, the BLAST students facilitated a coat drive and collected over 50 new and gently used coats along with several strollers and car seats. Junior High Stocks the Immanuel Baptist Church Food Pantry The junior high student council organized a food drive to collect food for local students in need. As the Christmas break approached, the junior high students were encouraged to bring food for those who might not have enough to eat at home over the holiday break. Collectively, the seventh and eighth grade students gathered over 250 items and donated them to the Immanuel Baptist Church Food Pantry. High School Students Bring Christmas to Seventh Street Elementary Delivering Christmas to Seventh Street Elementary has become an annual tradition for LRCA high school students. This year over 800 gifts and 100 coats, hats and scarves were collected for the students at Seventh Street. The high school band, orchestra, cheer team and pom squad attend the event and present the students and faculty with a Christmas concert. The band and orchestra performed a portion of their 2017 Christmas concert “Christmas Around the World,” which presents the Christmas story in seven different languages. Student leaders, Shelby Griffith and Trinity Abdulkhalik planned and facilitated the heartwarming event.

Jesus tells us time and time again how important it is to serve others as part of leading a Christian life. A genuine commitment to others is ultimately a commitment to Christ. In the book of Matthew Jesus says to the people “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”



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Little Rock Christian Academy 19010 Cantrell Road • Little Rock, AR 72223

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SATURDAY APRIL 7 2:30 P.M. 7:00 P.M.


The Warrior Magazine - Winter 2018  
The Warrior Magazine - Winter 2018