UMS Celebrating University-Model Schools and Families 速
l a n r u o J
L URA G U INA SUE! IS
NAUMS Executive Director Barbara Freeman How a Pilot Program Can Help Launch Your School How Leadership Training Can Improve Your Staff Tips for a Successful College Search
Editorial Advisory Board Barbara Nicholson Freeman, M.Ed. Executive Director National Association of University-Model Schools® Arlington, Texas www.naums.net
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 Andrea Howey Director of Events & Marketing National Association of University-Model Schools® Arlington, Texas www.naums.net
Barbara Van Wart NAUMS Board of Directors National Association of University-Model Schools® Arlington, Texas www.naums.net
Volume I, Number I
HJP Published bimonthly by
Hudson Jones Publications, LLC Houston, Texas • Tulsa, Oklahoma 281-602-5400
Director of Advertising Jo Anne Hudson email@example.com Bob Cree Administrator Community Christian School Westfield, Massachusetts www.ccsfamily.org
Audra May Executive Director Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy The Woodlands, Texas www.legacypca.org
Terri Turley Administrator Oaktree Academy Virginia Beach, Virginia www.oaktreeacademy.org
Aaron Weast Administrator Logos Preparatory Academy Sugar Land, Texas www.logosprep.com
Editor Daron Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Entire contents ©2011, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without written permission of Hudson Jones Publications, LLC, is prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for content of any advertisements solicited and/ or printed herein, including any liability arising out of any claims for infringement of any intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks, trade dress and/or copyrights; nor any liability for the text, misrepresentations, false or misleading statements, illustrations, such being the sole responsibility of the advertisers. All advertisers agree to defend, indemnify and hold the publisher harmless from all claims or suits regarding any advertisements. Due to printing and ink variances, the publisher does not guarantee exact color matching. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publisher or staff. Readers’ views are solicited. Publisher reserves the right to publish, in whole or in part, any materials or correspondence received from outside parties. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.
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january-february 2011 3
How NAUMS Came To Be
TECH HEAD Paige Jones, Director, Legacy Prep (TX)
By Barbara Freeman, M.Ed., NAUMS Executive Director
Through Love Serve One Another
By Kira Wilson, Administrator, Veritas Academy (FL)
Plant a Seed, Grow an Oaktree By Terri Turley, Administrator, Oaktree Academy (VA)
The Wisdom of Team Leadership
Grace Prep Serves Virginia Community By Cheryl Hinzmann, Administrator
By Dr. Michael Chrasta, Dean, Lucas Christian Academy (TX)
Launching Logos Prep By Aaron Weast, Administrator, Logos Prep (TX)
UMS 7th Graders Reflect on Creation Theory From Legacy Prep (TX) 2
Making Sense of College Search & Selection By Dr. Brad Moser, University of the Southwest
Pilot Program Key in Getting Cross Classical Academy Off the Ground Jonathan Bell Interviews Mandi Moore and Joyce Baker www.umsjournal.com
Building a Legacy By Audra May, Executive Director, Legacy Prep (TX)
Introducing Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy By Amie Weir, Administrator January/February 2011
a word from the executive director
The Lord’s Blessings
How Came to Be By Barbara Freeman, M.Ed. Executive Director National Association of University-Model Schools® www.naums.net
he University-Model School® is near and dear to my heart, and for the past 20 years, it has been a major part of my life. I was first exposed to this model of education when my daughter and her husband, in Arlington, Texas, made the prayerful and pivotal decision to withdraw their children from public schools and enroll them in Grace Preparatory Academy, the nation’s first University-Model School®, which opened in 1993. At that time, I was serving as a public school principal, and the thought of my grandchildren not being in school all five days a week was somewhat disconcerting. However, my sister was a homeschooling parent, so I knew of the value of working at home with your children. As an educator, I also knew that true parental involvement was one of the six essential characteristics of an effective school.
My plan was to watch and wait. Over the years, I saw my grandchildren, in a UMS environment combined with the love and support of their parents, grow into mature adults who love the Lord and have a true love and compassion for His people. Much of this I attribute to the opportunity afforded them through the educator-parent partnership offered by the UniversityModel School®. The passion I have for this model of education is the direct result of seeing it work in my own family! When the Lord opened the door for me to move to Fort Worth, Texas, in 1999, I took advantage of this opportunity to retire from public education after serving 33 years. I entered the world of Christian education, serving as high school principal and superintendent of a successful, traditional Christian school in Fort Worth. Since this school was an athletic rival www.umsjournal.com
of Grace Prep, I also had an opportunity to observe this educational model in action, literally from the sidelines. Through this experience, I met Barbara Van Wart, one of the main founders of Grace Preparatory Academy. She told me how God led a small group of parents to Parent-Based Education (PBE), later becoming the University-Model School® (UMS). Barbara told me of their struggles to open during the early 1990s. She described how well the experiment worked and how this educational option, for parents looking for a better way to educate their children, spoke to others across the United States. For several years, Barbara faithfully led workshops to teach other parents how to start schools of this type. She shared her vision for a national association that would lead this new movement. In the opinion of Grace Prep founders, it would be important to have a leader with a strong educational background in both public and private Christian education. She knew there would be a need to defend this new model of education. Through discussion and much prayer during the next two years, the National Association of University-Model Schools® (NAUMS) was formed, and I was offered the opportunity to become the first director. I humbly accepted the position. NAUMS opened its doors in 2002, even though the first office door was to my bedroom. Nonetheless, God tells us in His word not to “despise small beginnings,” and with the strong, sacrificial support of Grace Preparatory Academy, the inventor and catalyst behind this movement, we were off and running. As we enter a New Year in 2011, I am indeed humbled by all I have observed over the past nine years – parents tearfully calling, excited to hear about the UMS, bravely starting new schools all across the United 3
States. As we have grown from 12 to 51 schools in 18 states, I marvel at all God has accomplished from the “small beginning” at Grace Prep in Arlington, Texas. As more and more parents realize their need for a better way to educate their children and for strong support in today’s culture to withstand the constant battle to “take their children,” they turn to the University-Model School®. And as an educator of 46 years, I wholeheartedly endorse this cutting edge model of education as the best and most effective option in the entire educational community for educating our children. It is the best way for schools to “strengthen America’s families and values by helping parents prepare college-worthy, character witnesses of Christ for the next generation (which is the UMS vision).” The mission of NAUMS is to share the UMS vision with Christian families around the world, but we need your help. There are many hurting families to be reached and much work to be done. There is much support to be given to starting new schools and helping existing schools. Much prayer is needed to sustain this movement. NAUMS must grow if it is to play an integral role in partnering with parents
In my opinion, the magazine you hold in your hands will be a major vehicle in leading others to the University-Model School, including those who can and will support its vision and purpose. to raise their children to be equipped disciples of Christ. Please pray that Christian philanthropists, and others of means, will
hear about the University-Model School®, embrace our vision, and have a strong desire to support our mission. If you, or someone you know, can help, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. On behalf of the NAUMS, Inc. Board of Directors and staff, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to Daron Jones and Jo Anne Hudson for making UMS Journal possible. In my opinion, the magazine you hold in your hands will be a major vehicle in leading others to the UniversityModel School®, including those who can and will support its vision and purpose. I also want to thank the hundreds of courageous parents and others who have started schools and continue to work toward the sustainability of UniversityModel Schools® across this great nation. In my heart, I know God is well pleased with your efforts and dedication to His Kingdom work. Thank you, as well, for your support of the national ministry. Without your efforts, NAUMS would not have the opportunity of partnering with parents to strengthen our nation and help our children become character witnesses of Christ for the next generation. UMS
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The Students at Floridaâ€™s Veritas Academy Share Godâ€™s Blessings with their Community through Good, Old-Fashioned Hard Work (and a Hug or Two)
By Kira Wilson Administrator Veritas Academy
Our freedom in Christ
should provoke us to serve others as an expression of our gratitude and love for the Savior (Gal. 5:13). As a way of applying this principle, Veritas Academy (Largo, FL) has established four partnerships in our community that will give our students the opportunity to serve others during the year. We have scheduled two project service days this year. The first of these occurred on November 19, 2010, and was quite an adventure and a great lesson for the students. 5
uled for the Heron House, were disappointed in the news that their project had been canceled. There were instead given a list of chores to do in and around the school, including trash pick-up, sweeping and mopping floors, cleaning our classrooms, and raking the grounds. The 7th and 8th grade students, with rakes in hand, walked to a nearby mobile home park filled with elderly people in need of help. The students washed windows and cars, painted a picnic table, and raked many, many piles of pine needles. Did I mention there were a lot of pine needles? SOMETIMES ALL IT TAKES IS A HUG The students prayed for an elderly woman after providing her with help and
There are numerous ways your school can serve your local community. The students and staff can find opportunities on their own, or partner with local organizations. Here’s how to get started: • Look for programs based in your community. Call and ask if they need help. TURNING A NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE Our Community Service Day was fully planned out. We confirmed all our projects, communicated with our parents the items students would need to bring (rakes, garden gloves), and made sure all the items we needed were procured (trash bags, water, cleaning solution and sponges). However, our group of ready and willing students suffered a setback before they could even set out to serve. We received a call from the Heron House (ALF), where our 12th graders were 6
scheduled to serve, canceling because of an intestinal virus spreading through the facility of 120 residents. Grateful for the heads-up, we looked for another opportunity for the students in that particular group. After an assembly to inspire service, remind them of who they represent (parents, school, church, and ultimately Christ), and instructions for each group, all the students headed out about 9:15 a.m. to spend the day serving in the community. The 12th graders, who had been schedwww.umsjournal.com
• Visit your town’s website or chamber of commerce for volunteer opportunities in your area. • Collect coats and blankets for the homeless or serve food at a local foodbank. Other resources: servenet.org networkforgood.org January/February 2011
she got a hug from one of our parents. The woman said it had been a long time since she had received a hug. With that comment she was showered with hugs from the kids, tears in her eyes. I was so grateful that our small school could make a difference in this way. Meanwhile, the 9th and 10th graders took up their rakes and walked in the other direction to Heritage Village, a lovely county historical park and museum covered in a thick forest of pines. The curator was ecstatic to have our students help them, as they had been forced to downsize their staff. The students’ primary job was to clear brush away from the historical houses, church, and stations to provide a greater measure of protection in case of fire. The students hauled off more than 50 large wagons of debris. The 11th grade students spent the day at the Indian Rocks Thrift Center, a large facility that provides assistance to the students at Indian Rocks Christian School and Veritas, who embark on mission trips each year. The students spent their time sorting clothes and tagging items. January/February 2011
A DAY OF MEMORIES AND MEANING After a hard day of work serving the community in various valuable ways, the students returned to school to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie. Each shared something they were thankful for before leaving for their Thanksgiving break. I think helping to decorate the Heron House for Christmas would have been more fun – but the day wasn’t supposed to be about fun! Serving others selflessly brings you closer to Christ, and I am sure all the students found their service rewarding. And speaking of service in the Lord’s name, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve such a great group of students. UMS
THE AUTHOR You can reach Kira Wilson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can catch up on all that Florida’s Veritas Academy has going on at www.veritas-ircs.org. www.umsjournal.com
How God Brought Three Families Together to Bring UMS Sweetness to Sugar Land, Texas By Aaron Weast Administrator Logos Prep
A Labor of Love
s this school year began,
it was declared to be one of celebration, as the Logos family felt we had so much for which to be thankful, and much to celebrate. God has provided for our school in astounding ways, and it is hard to believe that Logos is only five years old. The groundwork for Logos Prep began as far back as 2003, when David and Marcia Fox began a program called Academically Reinforced Classes (ARC), designed to provide support for the homeschooling community by offering excellent instruction by qualified teachers. ARC was highly successful, but the Foxes were interested in something more. Upon hearing about UMS, they arranged to tour Grace Preparatory Academy, the test school in Arlington, Texas. They knew this was an exciting educational model, but the time had not yet come to bring it to Fort Bend County. What they could not know was that in 2000, the McIlvoy family had become a part of the UMS family. Tammy McIlvoy had accepted a teaching position at Grace Preparatory Academy, and, along with her husband, enrolled their daughter in first grade. PLANTING THE UMS SEEDS This was an educational model to which the McIlvoys were fully committed, and they expected their children to attend Grace Preparatory Academy through graduation. However, God had other plans for them, and moved their family to Fort Bend County in 2004. They arrived with a vision to start a UMS in their new community. Just as the McIlvoys were leaving Grace Preparatory Academy, Jason and Marcy Nigg were enrolling one of their children there, also planning for a nice long stay. Again, God intervened, and they moved to Fort Bend County a mere three months into the school year. Like the McIlvoys, they too were interested in the possibility of a UMS in their new community. In January 2005, the McIlvoy, Fox, and Niggs families were brought together, and plans began to transition ARC into a UMS. In August of 2006, Logos Preparatory Academy opened in Sugar Land, Texas, as the largest UMS start-up school to date. Logos Prep became NAUMS certified in 2007. They began meeting in First Colony Bible Chapel, a space they would outgrow January/February 2011
In addition to strong academic standards, Logos Prep has a monthly character study built around II Peter 1:5-8. They focus on a different character trait each month, and provide incentives for students to commit the verses to memory.
within two short years. Plans were made to secure a larger space and begin the process of accreditation. God provided an opportunity for the school to relocate to the campus of Sugar Creek Baptist Church, a large church in Sugar Land, with ample space and facilities that would meet our needs. The quality of our partnership with this church has far exceeded any of our expectations, and we are continually grateful for our relationship with them. GROWTH AND ACCREDITATION I came on board as Administrator in 2008, and began the school year in a new facility, driven by the goal of achieving accreditation status. It was a monumental task, as the school was barely two years old. What a year of growth that was for our www.umsjournal.com
Just the Facts
Location: Sugar Land, Texas Doors Opened: 2006 No. of Students 1st Year: 225 Current Student Population: 305 Current Grades Levels: 1-12 Website: www.logosprep.com 9
Aaron Weast’s Life Scripture Verses: “I looked for a man
among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it…” Ezekiel 22: 30 “Do all that you have in mind, his armor-bearer said. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” 1 Samuel 14:7 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5: 22-23
staff! We came together to hone our vision, strengthen our procedures, and identify ways we could better meet the needs of our growing school family. We achieved our accreditation status in the spring of 2009, solidifying our credibility in the community. We were approached by our friends at the church last year with information regarding yet another growth opportunity. The church had long housed one of the campuses of another large private school in the area. That school had decided to consolidate their campuses, leaving unoccupied classroom facilities. We were given the opportunity to move Logos Prep to this space, providing us with many more classrooms, a more centralized office space, and a gym. After much prayer and lengthy discussions among our Board of Directors, our key staff, and our school families, a decision was made to make the transition to the new facility. It has been such a blessing to be in our new home! OFFERING QUALITY PROGRAMS With our location seemingly secure for the foreseeable future, we have been able to focus on improving the quantity and quality of the programs and services we provide to our families. We have been able to streamline our registration process and our communications. We now offer an online store to allow our students to purchase school uniforms and spirit wear. We instituted a six-man tackle football program, and just completed our first season, complete with tailgate parties and a homecoming celebration! We have an active Booster Club, a Student Activities Leadership Team, a National Honor Society Chapter, and we are hosting our first school-wide spelling bee this winter, with the winner eligible to compete at the national level. One program we are most thrilled about is the implementation of a character study, started last year by a group of parents committed to enabling our students and families to learn the meaning of true character, and practical ways to exhibit these traits in their daily lives. They have built a program around II Peter 1:5-8, focusing on a different character trait each month, and providing
Logos Prep knows the importance of a balanced and vibrant athletic program to a University-Model School’s long-term viability. The Lions just completed their first season of six-man football.
incentives for our students to commit the verses to memory. We have monthly gatherings for our students, where they can come together outside of class to fellowship together and hear a speaker from the community address our monthly character trait. We have had a great response from religious leaders in the community when approached to speak to our students. We hope you can see why Logos Prep has much to celebrate. We are humbled by Godâ€™s exquisite attention to detail, the generosity of our families, and the dedication of our tireless staff. We canâ€™t wait to see what the next five years will bring, not to mention the many years to come! UMS January/February 2011
THE AUTHOR UMS Journal is thrilled to have Aaron Weast (email@example.com) as a charter member of our Editorial Advisory Board. He and his wife, Deena, have been married for 22 years. They live in Sugar Land with daughters Bradley (15) and Grayson (11) and son, Weston (13). Aaron is the Administrator of Logos Preparatory Academy. He served as the Administrator of Faith Academy in Marble Falls, Texas for 10 years. Prior to coming to Faith Academy, Aaron served as the Administrator of Camp Buckner for over 10 years and had been in the camping ministry for 15 years. He also serves as an advisor, consultant, teacher, and trainer for NAUMS. www.umsjournal.com
l l Creation Theory l l l l l l l l l l l l ums seventh graders reflect on
The seventh grade Life Science class from Legacy Prep (The Woodlands, Texas) recently studied several theories of creation and evolution. The students then wrote an essay stating what they believed in. Here are some thoughts from some thoughtful students.
On the Gap Theory, which states that On Theistic Evolution, there was a first creation that God a theory that mixes destroyed and that we are part of a Bible and evolution... re-creation... “I don’t believe this because God wouldn’t have left those billions of years out of the Bible, the things that were created wouldn’t have lived that long, and death didn’t enter the world until Adam and Eve sinned.” Maddie Crowder “God would not leave a billion years unaccounted for in the Bible, and he would not have had to destroy a ‘first’ creation, as there was no sin before Adam and Eve.” Chandlyr Mickan
“If something important happened, such as if the Gap Theory was true, then it would have been recorded in the Bible.” Cole Howden
“…God created things in the beginning with diversity. It didn’t slowly evolve over time.” Megan Murray “I believe this theory is limiting God’s power, saying that He isn’t powerful enough to create something in the blink of an eye.” Hope Rutledge
“I think it is very dangerous to try to change the meaning of Genesis 1 just because it seems impossible that creation only took seven days. We should not try to make God like us, but must trust that he is big enough to do what he says.” Travis May “One verse that stands out to me is, Genesis 1:5, ‘God called the light “day” and the darkness he called “night”. And there was evening and there was morning- the first day.’ In that verse it says that each day is morning and evening so it supports that each day is 24 hours.” Jessica Lawrence “To me the literal view of creation seems like the most reasonable, and I think it gives the most glory to God, and does not limit his power.” Amber Condley
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“It further states that God had a perfect world, one that included no sinners. This theory made me question why God would choose to destroy a perfect world.” Gabby Hogan
“God did not need to use evolution. All he needed to do was say it and it came into existence.” Ben Portilla
On the Literal View of Creation, which states that Genesis 1 should be read literally...
On Evolution, the theory that organisms came from a common ancestor, by changing from one kind of organism into another...
“The whole point of evolution is to disprove the work of God.” Tray Wright
“…this world is so diverse and perfect, that it couldn’t have happened by chance. There had to have been a Holy Maker behind this.” Jake Koppelman
“Evolutionists say that there are many icons of evolution that prove evolution is true. However, all of the icons have problems with
them. For example the embryos that Haeckel drew were fake. Another icon is the four winged fruit fly. Evolutionists say that the extra wings were created by a mutation that affected the development process. However, the fly was crippled and could only survive in the laboratory. Evolution is a made-up theory that people have thought up because they don’t want to believe in God.” Garrett Chevalier www.umsjournal.com
“What are the chances that over time, something can evolve into a perfect creation? Only God can create something that perfect.” Kasen Jones “This cannot be true because God created us in his own image and God is not a monkey.” Jenna Williams “Evolution, I think takes more faith to believe in than any religion.” Caroline Shook January/February 2011
I Plant a Seed, Grow an Oaktree
n the fall of 1992, I was homeschooling my four children, ages 8, 10, 12 and 14. I began some intentional prayer times asking God to lead me and my husband to a school situation that would reinforce our values and provide additional academic and social opportunities for our kids. I’m sure you have heard it often said, “Be careful what you pray for.” God clearly spoke to my spirit and said I should start a school just like that! After calls to attorneys, much research, and more prayer, we opened
By Terri Turley Administrator Oaktree Academy January/February 2011
When we asked the Lord what we should call the school, He led us to Isaiah 61:3: “They will be called OAKS of righteousness, a planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.” 14
our new school in September 1993. When we asked the Lord what we should call the school, He led us to Isaiah 61:3: “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.” And so Oaktree Academy opened its doors to 50 friendly foundational families that first year! In those beginning years, Oaktree was more of a network of like-minded homeschooling families in our Virginia Beach, VA community. We grew in numbers and in services provided. However, in 2003, one of our families told me they had relatives in Texas and that their children attended a school similar to ours and that there seemed to be a new movement of Christian education with these schools. After a few phone calls, I met Barbara Freeman, who is now the head of NAUMS, who graciously explained University-Model Schooling and shared the vision for the growth and expansion of this new ministry. We became fast friends and I was delighted to begin the transition of Oaktree to a full University-Model School. Oaktree Academy was certified as a UMS in 2006 and received CITA/SACS accreditation in 2008. During the school’s 18-year history, we have encountered many challenges and seen many changes, but God has carried us through each season with His abundant grace. Currently, we serve 213 students from K-12th grade and are exploring options to open a second campus in our area. A full sports program, clubs, and many other annual events now round out our school offerings. We have graduated 407 students and are blessed and excited that several of those graduates now have their own children at Oaktree!! We are excited to be a part of the NAUMS family and firmly believe in the vision and mission of this ministry, trusting that God will use it as a catalyst for growth in Christian education in the coming decade! UMS
THE AUTHOR You can contact Oaktree Academy Administrator Terri Turley via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. January/February 2011
in my opinion...
The Wisdom of Team Leadership By Dr. Michael Chrasta Dean Lucas Christian Academy
ne of the most helpful lessons I’ve learned as a Dean at Lucas Christian Academy is the wisdom of working together as a team. I work with two remarkable people, Julie Montgomery, our head administrator and Academic Dean, and Lucy Allen our Dean of Student Life. I would say we have learned a priceless Kingdom principle in our times together. Each person is specially equipped by God with a set of gifts and interests which are designed to function not independently of others but with others in mutual relationships. In open conversations initially, and then by logging much time together, we discovered those gifts in one another and have learned since then how to work with them in the best interests of the school and in service to the Lord. What probably links us most closely together is the mutual desire to see God work in every aspect of the school and the willingness to allow that to happen. We spend a lot of time, before the school year even begins as well as during various times throughout the term, in prayer. We ask God to show us Kingdom ways to do everything. “Lord, how do you want us to do athletics? What is a Kingdom vision for sports or fine arts or our curriculum?” We often ask for wisdom and direction. We pray for resolution to numerous conflicts that crop up during the year. We pray for families having trouble adjusting, we pray for students in crisis, as well January/February 2011
We experienced a powerful breaking in of God upon our meeting. I think we all wondered if this was what we would experience in the coming year. We all knew this was significantly different from what we had known. What we did not know was what He had in mind that summer and fall. www.umsjournal.com
as for special events, service projects, finances. Our one desire is that we would know God’s heart and how to implement His ideas and then have the courage to stand fast and do what He has told us to do. Many people have heard of us because of the gift we received this year from the Kohl’s contest. What people don’t know and what they must know if they are to know the truth, is the encounter with God that we had as a team when we took our annual retreat the summer before the school year even began. At that retreat we literally saw God redirect our focus toward one another, to get our personal issues out of the way. I now know that this was important to Him on that day because He really did want to reveal Himself to us but He could not until we got relational and personal issues addressed. (This happens a lot; we set down with an objective or task to accomplish and we discover blocks or frustrations that alert us to the fact that God wants something else addressed first) Task was uppermost on our minds; truthful, sincere relationships were uppermost on His. After we took care of these (and walked through repentance, tears, and more prayer) and talked honestly about what was happening inside each of us, we turned to brainstorm the upcoming year. As ideas began to pour into us, at one point we all felt the presence of the Lord in a special, powerful, and tangible way. I remember feeling Him right there in the room with us; the room was “heavy” with His presence. All we could do was fall on our faces in worship. So there we were—all three of us prostrate on the carpet, praising and thanking God— when we were supposed to be “working.” We experienced a powerful breaking in of God upon our meeting. I think we all wondered if this was a sign for what we would experience in the coming year. We all knew this was significantly different from what we had known; what we did not know was what He had in mind that summer and that fall. That summer a group of parents were inspired to draw other families to the school. Parents volunteered to paint and landscape the grounds. We had a football fundraiser that exceeded our expectations by several thousand dollars. We had a fundraiser for a new playground and it too exceeded our expectations by several thousand dollars. Then came the Kohl’s contest. Julie saw a notice for it and passed it off to a parent who inspired other parents to form a team and go for it. This team then involved our entire community in going out to get votes on Facebook for our school. The $500,000 prize was just what we needed to pay off our land in order to start building. After that we had a church donate a van to the school. They could have sold it at a good price but they felt led to bless us with it instead. Another company has offered to put in all the air conditioning for the new building. And just this week we received a letter from a local foundation awarding us with $25,000 for the gym floor in our new building. No one person can explain this or take credit for 15
it. Even we three could not take credit for it by claiming it was our prayer that did it. Remember, at our meeting, our objective was to do tasks. But He came wanting to strengthen our relationships. And when He did, we were able to finally hear what He had to say. It was simply God’s doing. There is great wisdom here: crucial to hearing the voice of the Lord is the quality of truth and love in our relationships with one another. If we get the relationships right, and maintain them constantly, His revelation will be on its way. Through team leadership, responsibilities are given to those with the gifts, passions, and anointing to do that work. Yet oddly enough, very often God’s plan for that particular area does not come through the particular leader responsible for that area. His plan is often revealed in team meetings when the Holy Spirit prompts other team members to speak into that particular area. Some of the best things that have happened to our athletics program, for example, a program which I manage, came from people other than me. It was a parent who alerted us to the Joe Ehrman ministry some years ago Dr. Michael Chrasta with Lucy Allen and Julie Montgomery.
and motivated us to send a team to one of his conferences where we learned new kingdom principles for athletics. It was another parent who alerted us to the Truth Project that eventually swept our school. Likewise, other team members have spoken into various areas to resolve issues, make suggestions, and generate ideas with which I had nothing to do. A leader over an area or program has one main duty: to know the will of God for that area and carry it out—whether or not the ideas come from him or someone else. It is a sad thing to see leaders who believe they oversee a program because of their particular expertise. Although that might be partially true in some cases, and their expertise is even often useful, I have found that more often it is someone’s willingness to see God work, someone who knows he or she has nothing to offer unless God gives it, that accounts for innovation and success in that area. Ever since I learned this truth my favorite prayer has always been: “Lord I cannot do this thing. Please show me the way and give me the strength and wisdom to do it.” I like it that way; it takes the heat off me and puts it all on God. Crucial to a healthy team environment is trust and crucial to trust is speaking the truth in love. Without a doubt it requires a level of mutual maturity to do this well. We all get thrilled when we know we are right, when we are confidently on the side of truth. But very often speaking that truth in love is something in which we all need to grow. It takes time and practice as well as the virtues of honesty 16
and humility. It takes the willingness to admit wrong, repent, and ask for forgiveness in order to do it well. These virtues and abilities, of course, emerge as we continue to draw closer to the Lord. It’s the only way we can get them. And so, the quality of a team’s effectiveness toward one another and towards the school rests on each team member’s measure of commitment to the Lord. Without that commitment the virtues we need to remain in healthy relationships begin to erode, then team dynamics begin to erode, and soon the ship has no captain and no rudder. We do not even think of it now, but we have learned to work together in a naturally safe environment that allows for differences to exist and conflict to occur. And we are growing at speaking the truth in love. I remember Julie reminding us some years ago that here at LCA we are going to embrace conflict, not run from it, and since then that is what we have tried to do. Over time, as we have learned to work together (and it does take time for healthy teams to form) we have learned how to speak to one another and say even hard things to each other in constructive rather than destructive criticism. What a blessing it is when your friend and co-worker can point out areas of error or weakness with no diminishing of esteem, honor and love toward us! Finally, there is great security and confidence among us knowing that we shoulder the burden of managing the school together in our various ways. Although it has probably taken me longer to learn this, I do not have the luxury of merely thinking about my own turf, the areas for which I am responsible. My value to the team depends on my willingness to care about areas for which I am not responsible and might not even care about. To be a leader with integrity I am obliged to care about all of it, all the people and programs of the school, not merely those under my direct supervision. So much more can be said about the wisdom of team leadership—how it works, tools that we need to make it stronger, how we handle very difficult problems—but the essential principles I have outlined here. My prayer is that wherever we have teams leading our schools at any level, that they will understand and commit to heart that God puts particular people together at various times for His reasons, and so the burden remains upon us to love and cooperate with one another to allow His Spirit to reveal His Kingdom to us in all our schools. UMS THE AUTHOR Dr. Michael Chrasta (email@example.com) is Dean of Family Education and teaches 12th grade Honors Western Civilization III at Lucas Christian Academy in Lucas, Texas. He has a BA in English and Reading from the University of Iowa; an MA in English from the University of Wisconsin; an MA in Public Policy from Regent University; and a Ph.D. in Humanities-History of Ideas, UTD. He’s been at Lucas Christian since 2002.
Preparing for the Journey
Making Sense of College Search & Selection By Dr. Brad Moser, University of the Southwest
ill Gates (Microsoft), Michael Dell (Dell), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are all well-known multi-billionaires. Besides being mentioned on the list of wealthiest Americans, these founders and moguls have something else in common: none of them graduated from college. Entrepreneurs of this caliber are living proof that it is quite possible to succeed without a college degree. However, when students are making decisions about their futures, they should still consider other important facts. For instance, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data which reveal that, in the future, the number of jobs requiring a college degree is expected to increase. Information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau has consistently demonstrated that college graduates will, on average, earn more annually and over the course of their lives than those who do not hold a college degree. Although not every student will choose not to attend college, for a large number of others, the decision to earn a college degree has already been etched in stone. While there may be a great sense of peace in actually making the decision to go to college, the fact remains that the process of finding the right college can sometimes be a stressful exercise. Fortunately, there are several things that students and their families can do to reduce stress levels and increase the likelihood that the college search and selection process will be successful.
Where Do I Begin? Before you ever start the search and selection process, here are a few very important points to keep in mind: 1. Know who you are. We know that we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God has a distinct plan for each of our lives. He has equipped each and every one of us with special talents, skills, interests, and abilities that may be used to honor Him, bless others, and give us a deep sense of fulfillment as well. Before you select your college and, especially before you choose a major, high school students should talk with a guidance counselor or career advisor, take one or more career assessments that are available, and give purposeful thought to career fields that would be the most suitable for you. (Note: Even if you are highly certain of what career you want to pursue, take a few career assessments anyway to confirm your choices!) 2. Find the major that matches. Once you have a better sense of who you are and what career areas offer the greatest potential for you, begin exploring the educational background and training required for your field. The Bureau January/February 2011
of Labor Statistics provides access to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.bls.gov/oco/ ooh_index.htm), which is an excellent source for finding information about the nature of various jobs, the training requirements, earnings, future outlook and much more. Tips for Successful Search & Selection 1. Explore colleges that offer “major” possibilities for you. Quite simply, once you have an idea about career options and the majors that will help you reach your goals, begin further exploring colleges that offer major(s) that will be the most helpful for you. Although you do not have to necessarily choose a major before you choose a college (and you are free to change your major!), knowing your degree path can provide a tremendously helpful starting point. 2. Name brand or not? You might be interested to know that attending a college with a nationally recognized brand does not increase the chances that you will be successful at that particular school. Often, students select a college because it has a familiar name or recognizable school mascot for their sports programs. Better recognition does not necessarily equal a better school, and that is why many students find that they can enjoy a very high-quality experience even though their college of choice may not have a high-profile. 3. One size does not fit all. In the United States, we are extremely blessed to have thousands of great colleges and universities. Some of these schools have 25-30,000 or more students, while many others may enroll just a few hundred. In some university systems, a freshman class may have a roster of several hundred students, while smaller schools may offer average class sizes of 12-15 students. It is important to know whether you can learn best in a smaller campus atmosphere or if you are capable of thriving at a school of significant size. In addition to the size of the university and its typical class, there are some other key areas that may help you determine whether or not a school is a good fit for you. Find out about athletic programs, quality of campus housing and dining options, activities and events that take place on campus, and other similar things that will impact your quality of life outside the classroom. 4. Be sure the price is right. As you are exploring the rates of college tuition, room and board, it may also be wise for you to consider additional costs and fees you might encounter. Besides posted rates for “big ticket” items, find out about expenses like parking fees, library fees, technology fees, housing deposits, www.umsjournal.com
required books and materials, and other factors that might impact the bottom line. On another note, do not strike a college off your list of possibilities based on published tuition rates alone. There are numerous federal grants and sources of aid that might be available, and many colleges offer at least some form of institutional scholarships or aid so, in effect, very few people end up paying “sticker price” when all is said and done. Sometimes, Christian students and their families desire to engage a private, Christian college but fear that it is not as affordable as some public alternatives. Private schools may be more affordable than you think, so inquire about and explore all avenues that the school can offer you before making a final decision. 5. Seeing is believing! There is no substitute for visiting a college in person, seeing it for yourself and spending time on campus. Even if you think you know a college extremely well and feel you’ve done all of your homework about the school, dig deeper anyway. Most colleges feature preview weekends, host campus tours for individuals and groups, and are more than happy to provide prospective students with opportunities to explore their campuses. Take advantage of these options and, last but not least, ALWAYS visit two to three colleges or more before you make your final decision about where you will begin your college journey. An individual’s college experience is, for better or for worse, certain to be a life-changing event. Although there may be no paint-bynumber, magic formula approach that will tell you exactly what to do and which college is the perfect fit for you, the fact remains that you can greatly streamline the process to increase the chances that the college you select is, in fact, the right one for you. Above and beyond the ideas mentioned here, be sure to talk with school administrators, friends, ministers, and others who can help provide a broad perspective on this process. Of course, Christians also have the assurance that, when we seek the Lord, He is faithful to give us the wisdom and guidance we need to discover His very best plan for our lives! UMS THE AUTHOR Dr. Brad Moser is Vice President for Enrollment at University of the Southwest, a private, Christ-centered university in Hobbs, NM. He is a licensed professional counselor, has taught several career development courses and offered numerous workshops on career and related topics. 17
Pilot Program Key in Getting Cross Classical Academy Off the Ground In this exclusive interview, Mandi Moore and Joyce Baker explain how a Pilot Program can make your UMS launch a smooth ride By Jonathan Bell
Students from Cross Classical Academy’s Pilot Program Kindergarten Class (L to R): Hannah Davis, Harrison Davis, and Cameron Moore.
t’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention. If the adage is true, one needs look no farther than Cross Classical Academy, Brownwood, Texas’s newest educational option, for evidence to back it up. At first glance, Brownwood may seem like an unlikely location for a UniversityModel School®. Two hours from Fort Worth and eighty-five miles from Abilene, the local commercial hub and county seat (the Greater Brownwood area, which includes neighboring Early and a few outlying areas, claims about 30,000 people) is typical of many small towns throughout Texas. Demographically, Brownwood is short on disposable income. The median household income here hovers around $33,000—not destitute, but a good measure below the state average of $50,000. Culturally, its residents are at heart rural people, many of them farmers and ranchers, and they live here either because they have for generations or because Brownwood offers the conveniences of town without the bustle and infringements of a larger city. It’s the kind of place where shopkeepers still know their customers—and often their spouses, children, and pets—by name, where boys are groomed for high school football nearly from birth, where the town slogan is “Feels Like Home.” Yet knowing the challenges a UMS would face in a town like this didn’t dissuade a courageous cadre of Brownwood residents from plunging ahead. Cross Classical Academy, the brainchild of 35-year-old Mandi Moore, launched a pilot program last Fall in preparation for its official opening in 2011. Together with 50-year-old Joyce Baker, a former elementary teacher and mother of four grown children, Moore has quickly propelled the fledgling school into the local spotlight, offering an alternative to parents who desire to provide a Christian Classical education for their children. Moore, whose unassuming title is Administrator, heads up the school’s organizational and marketing efforts. As Dean of Academics, Baker is teaching the inaugural kindergarten class and developing next year’s academic curriculum for all grade levels. I sat down with Mandi and Joyce for some insight into their vision for Cross Classical Academy. Brownwood, Texas seems an unlikely spot for a UniversityModel School. What inspired you to start a school like this here? Mandi: For me, the school really grew out of my own needs. A few years ago, I began prayerfully examining education options for my daughter Cameron [now age 5]. I served as a volunteer mentor in public schools for three years. I knew of the sole Christian school in Brownwood. I had looked into homeschooling. However, I knew Cameron’s gifting, her strengths, her weaknesses, and her personality were not well suited to any of these options. Furthermore, I was reluctant to have her removed from family life forty hours a week, and I preferred an option that allowed for high parental involvement. Through a series of steps—including visiting several other UMS schools in Central Texas and attending a NAUMS New School Workshop and National Convention in Fort Worth—I became convinced that the UMS model was a perfect fit for my family. In the ensuing months, my husband and I began to feel that the Lord was leading us to make the University-Model an available option to the families in our community. When did the process start for you? Mandi: May 2009. Over the next few months, I researched what exactly launching a school would entail and began developing an agenda and a calendar. By summer, the Bakers were
on board, but we were still operating under the assumption we’d be starting in 2011. Joyce: It wasn’t until April of 2010 that we decided to open kindergarten for Fall 2010. By the end of June, I had completed first drafts of 75% of the school documents. It was a tough job. My family takes a mission trip to Eastern Colorado each year, and there were many nights after long days of VBS when we’d sit up working on enrollment applications and the handbook, knowing we had to be up at 6:30 the next morning. I spent the month of July selecting the kindergarten curriculum.
ADVANTAGES OF A PILOT PROGRAM WHEN LAUNCHING A UMS • Serves as an effective marketing tool • Allows administration, teacher, parents, and students to gain valuable experience • Assists in developing curriculum • Smoothes transition for opening year • Requires less time to launch
CHALLENGES • Doubles the workload of the founding board Tell me a little about the idea for a pilot • Requires ability to adapt to change quickly and program. What’s going to be the differeffectively ence between this year, for example, and
participants need to have pioneering spirits, be willing to share constructive criticism, and demonstrate support of the model. That has been crucial to our pilot’s success. I could imagine a number of different goals for the next several years—enrollment growth, added grade levels, perhaps acquiring your own facilities. What are yours? Mandi: I want to see outcomes— spiritual growth in our families. If we “seek first the Kingdom of God,” I feel we will inherently reach other school goals. As families and parents experience first-hand the many benefits, their passion for the school will be evident to our community. We anticipate growth as a result. Another overarching goal is for churches to realize the value of investing in future generations. If you look back to this nation’s founding, the church used to be the number one influence over education. Now, government is the major influence. We want parents and the church to take a leading role in education again to make sure it aligns with their own values and faith. I can look around and see how drastically the education system has changed since my grandmother taught in public school. She was able to freely share her faith and utilize the Word of God in her teaching. My memories of her and the impact she had on many lives inspire and motivate me to provide this type of education for my children and my community.
next year? Why not just call this your first year? RECOMMENDATIONS Mandi: This year is much smaller: a select group from a single grade level. In • Great option for new schools located in 2011 we’ll open grades K-5, with plans to add a grade each year up through communities with limited exposure to the 8th grade. As for the reasoning, it UMS model came back to our family. Initially, I’d planned to home-school Cameron • Participants must be committed to the model, during kindergarten [this year], and flexible and able to give constructive feedback then enroll her in Cross Classical when we opened next fall. But things quickly • Limit the size (just a few students in only one started coming together. Another family expressed an interest in starting imgrade level) mediately, and we began to view a pilot program as a great way to introduce our community to the UMS concept. It model works. As an administrator, I highly typically takes twelve to eighteen months to value the experience I gained last year as Joyce: Families catching the vision, recogopen a school once you’ve committed to it. a parent in the model, which allows me nizing the importance of targeting their We were able to establish a less formal pilot to offer a unique perspective to potential children’s hearts. That needs to start with the program in half the time. parents and staff. community around us. I want to see Christian families awaken to the realization that Joyce: Having a pilot year is helping us to And the biggest challenges? we have to be more intentional and more! develop the curriculum. A school can be Joyce: The workload—it doubles your workMore Deuteronomy 6 with our families! We successful when using a consistent and load, because you must plan for the opening can’t rely on other people to do that for us proven curriculum. But if you’re working year and also teach right now. At times, I any more. Even the good public schools— with co-teachers, you must ensure parents focus all of my time on the teaching and aland we do have some good public schools can successfully utilize the curriculum in low the rest of the board to shoulder my ad—because of government mandates and the home. The experience we are gaining this ditional responsibilities. Sometimes, we have year will enable a smoother transition for to really carry each other. We have learned to restrictions, are prevented from promoting and reinforcing Christian values. everybody for our opening year —students, work our hardest doing what we know needs parents, administrators, teachers, and the to be done, trust the Lord, and to understand So you see the ministry aspect really driving community as a whole. that this is a process that requires patience your efforts? and endurance. Mandi: Yes. Obviously, it’s still early—the year’s not even Joyce: Absolutely. half over. But can you name one or two of the Mandi: In general, building an awareness of benefits you’ve seen from the pilot? the program. This is a community without Even with your many supporters in BrownJoyce: Preparation and experience. Next year any previous exposure to the UMS design. wood, you two have functioned as sort of a won’t be perfect by any means, but we want We are having to build that from scratch, tag-team leadership crew thus far. Tell me one to be as equipped as possible. This year is and it’s a gradual process. Fortunately, thing the other person has brought to the pilot, enabling that. even though Brownwood’s a small town, other than just simple manpower—something Cross Classical draws geographically from that’s been indispensable to the school. Mandi: The pilot class has been an invalua population base of 100,000, considering Joyce: Mandi’s passion has been a constant able marketing tool. We’ve conducted the people who commute from outlying encouragement for me. And her prayer supseveral informational meetings for proareas into work. That’s a lot of room to port has been unwavering. It’s uplifting to spective families, and the pilot provides a grow. With respect to the pilot, adjusting to know that I’m not alone in this, that God’s much-needed tangible example of how this many changes is the biggest challenge. Pilot January/February 2011
TECH HEAD Paige Jones is a member of the Board of Directors of Legacy Prep in The Woodlands, Texas. She has been a UMS parent of two for the past five years. Paige is an unapologetic Tech Head. THESE GADGETS RULE MY WORLD
The Founding Family: Dr. Tim Moore, wife Mandi, and children Cameron (age 5), Kevic (age 1).
My iPad, my Macbook Pro, and my iPhone 4. Yes, I am one of those Apple People!
Family Education Week: Teacher Joyce Baker with Pilot Kindergarten students (L to R) Hannah Davis, Harrison Davis, and Cameron Moore.
FAVORITE PHONE APPS Shazam. I use it constantly in the car when I want to know who sings a certain song. When the kids start singing a song I’ve never heard of, I tag it so I can check out the lyrics later.
FAVORITE IPAD APPS The Guardian Eyewitness for its breathtaking photo of the day. I also love Star Walk for the interactive map of the stars. You can take your iPad outside at night and point it at the stars. It will tell you the constellations that you are seeing based on your location. My kids’ favorites are Talking Tom or Talking Roby. I create videos and email them to my kids to congratulate them on jobs well done.
FAVORITE PROGRAMS FOR PLAY
put us together for a reason, and that she’s praying continuously for His will along the way. Mandi: I think the whole Biblical concept of “two is better than one” has really played out. Joyce’s lifetime experience has been critical. She’s already raised four children. She’s taught in public schools, she’s homeschooled, she mentored. She has a perfect and unique blend of skills and experience across various school settings. The dual-generational appeal has been great—here, Mandi smiles teasingly at Joyce—it adds validity and depth. And I must say, the entire NAUMS community has been fantastic. We’ve gotten everything from “Let me pray with you” to “Here’s my card—call me if you ever need anything” to “Here’s a USB drive with our documents. Why don’t you see if you can use any of them?” We’re standing on the shoulders of other NAUMS schools, able to provide a level of excellence we couldn’t provide if not for them. UMS THE AUTHOR Freelance writer and professional musician Jonathan Bell, a graduate of Howard Payne University in Brownwood, currently resides in San Antonio and is employed by USAA. His wife, Katherine, teaches kindergarten and music at Summit Christian Academy, a University-Model School in Boerne, TX. To find out more about Cross Classical and pilot programs in general, email Mandi Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. 20
I love scrapbooking in Adobe Photoshop. I’m a couple versions behind, though, still on CS3. I also use Dropbox quite a bit. Rather than emailing files to myself from work to home, I can put them into my Dropbox on my work computer. They are waiting for me in my Dropbox on my home computer. It’s like having a wireless external hard drive that I can access from any computer.
YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THESE SITES! Zoobuh.com - I think this is a great email application for young children. The parental controls are fantastic. I feel safe with my kids using this email program. Wordle.net - My son’s teacher introduced this site to the class as a way to practice spelling words. The program creates word art from words that you type into the website. Dafont.com - Why use Times New Roman every day when there are hundreds of free fonts to choose from?
Are you a Tech Head? Maybe someone at your school? Let us know at email@example.com. January/February 2011
Grace Prep Serves Virginia Community By Cheryl Hinzman, Administrator
The elementary students put on Peanuts’ Holy Ghost, Charlie Brown.
n August 2003 a group of Christian families from Stafford, Virginia, met to discuss a new alternative in education for their community. The need grew out of their shared desire to be serious and active in carrying out the unique responsibility of parents in the total education of their children. Prayerfully, they agreed to work together to start a new school that represented a different alternative – one that incorporated positive aspects from the others while embodying its own special set of distinctive traits. The result of their efforts was the formation of Grace Preparatory School (GPS), a private school with a vision to serve students in grades K-12 from Stafford County and its surrounding areas. The second UMS school in Virginia, Grace Prep opened in August 2004 for grades 6-10. Grade 11 was added in 2005. Grade 12 was added in 2006, along with grades 1-6. Kindergarten was added in the 2007-08 school year. Now, in 2010, Grace has successfully been named as a candidate for accreditation by AdvancEd, with a goal of attaining this label in 2011. Our mission is to assist parents in educating their children in a way that is both academically excellent and God-honoring, preparing students for a life of serving Christ wholeheartedly. Through a high standard of academic rigor, GPS prepares them to be college-worthy students. God has blessed this ministry with a growing enrollment, competitive academia, an expanding athletic program, and a servant-hearted student body and faculty. With each passing year, the Grace Prep community grows stronger and more sanctified, reveling in the awe of God’s grace. It is truly Amazing! GPS PARTICIPATES IN NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS The Grace Prep Warriors varsity girls volleyball team traveled to Erie, Pensylvania to take part in the National Christian Schools Athletic Association (NCSAA) Volleyball Championship this past October. This was GPS’s inaugural trip to an NCSAA event. Seniors Bethany Conway, Jolee Davis, and Merriwether Underwood received special recognition, along with seniors from the other participating teams. Everyone at the event joined in a time of prayer for them.
(Right) GPS varsity volleyball. (Back row) Jolee Davis, Rene Mason, Rebekah Mason, Bethany Conway, Coach Eashoo. (Front row) Merriwether Underwood, Melody Nordberg, Madisyn Horton, and Maggie Turner.
Pictured with the Warriors volleyball team are Coach Eashoo, chaperones Tammy Mason (far right) and Suey Nordberg (center), along with Coach Jim Brant (back right), GPS’s Athletic Director.
GRACE PREP ACTIVE ON THE STAGE Elementary students from Grace Prep recently staged their version of Holy Ghost, Charlie Brown. In addition, the secondary English students presented scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet in the school’s first-ever Shakespeare Festival. The Shakespeare Festival was championed by Mrs. Terrie Shortsleeve, English Department Chairperson and Shakespeare aficionado. Grace Prep is enjoying its seventh year in the UniversityModel Schooling system. The school has 120 students and is located in the commuting corridor of the greater Washington, DC area. More information can be found online at www. graceprepschool.org. UMS THE AUTHOR You can reach Cheryl Hinzman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. January/February 2011
GPS recently staged its first Shakespeare Festival. (L to R) Bethany Conway, Jenny Hindman, Jolee Davis, Merriwether Underwood, and Drew Jacobs. www.umsjournal.com
Like many University-Model Schools , Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy was born of a Mother’s fierce determination to bring God into her children’s education. Legacy Prep’s Audra May tells the story of how her school was born. ©
Photo by Legacy student Caroline Shook
n January 2003, I found myself, mother of three boys, searching for a Kindergarten that would be right for my oldest son. As a shy six-year-old, I knew that a large, public school classroom probably wasn’t ideal, nor was I excited about the fact that Kindergarten was only a half day. New to The Woodland, Texas community, I was told of a small, private Christian school that offered a Pre-K and Kindergarten program on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. An avid learner, I wanted to be heavily involved in the educational process of my children, and this seemed like a nice option compared to the other models. January/February 2011
Travis, my oldest son, thrived in this atmosphere, along with my other children. Because the model was so effective, I asked the director of the school to consider extending this type of schooling to older students, adding grades 1st and 2nd. The director wasn’t interested, but as you can probably guess, Mom didn’t give up. Taking a chance that other parents might be interested, I began to speak with other families. Months later and expecting my fourth son, this group of parents met to discuss the need for a new alternative in education in ourr community. The need grew out of our shared desires to be serious and active in carrying out our unique responsibilities as parents in the total education of their children. The known alternatives at the time were traditional public (including charter), traditional private, and homeschooling. Collectively, these parents had experienced all three. They had discovered that, while each had its positive aspects, all were in some way less-than-ideal for their family’s needs or life situations. Prayerfully, we agreed to work together to start a new school that represented a different alternative – one that incorporated positive aspects from the others while embodying its own special set of distinctive elements. That’s when we discovered NAUMS, the National Association of University Model Schools. We visited Grace Prepartory in Arlington, the first UMS school, for a New School Seminar in July of 2004. After more prayer, we agreed to pursue a UMS for The Woodlands area. It seemed appropriate that we should begin sharing what we learned with other parents who, like us, were seeking better ways to educate and raise their children. The result of these efforts was the formation of Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy (LPCA) in Spring, Texas, a UMS with plans to serve students in grades Pre-K through 12 from Spring, The Woodlands, and the surrounding areas. Legacy Prep was officially incorporated in May of 2005 and opened for its first day of classes on September 7, 2005. We began with only 43 students, and, now in our sixth year, have nearly 200 children in grades Pre-K through 8th. Plans are now in place to add two high school grades, ninth and tenth, in the upcoming 20112012 school year. God has blessed Legacy with a servant-minded staff, an active parent community, and students who are prepared on a daily basis to become character witnesses for Christ. Our motto is Isaiah 6:8, which says, “Here am I! Send me!” We are determined to partner with parents to equip our children to be unafraid to make a difference in our community, and eventually, in the world. UMS THE AUTHOR You can reach Audra May at email@example.com. You can catch up on all that Legacy Prep has going on at www.legacypca.org.
Introducing Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy
By Amie Weir Head Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org 24
fter much prayer, planning and persistence, Liberty Prep opened its doors on August 23, 2010 with 100 excited students in grades K-8. Liberty Prep is located in Mooresville, North Carolina, in the Lake Norman region just north of Charlotte. It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Since the area was lacking an academically challenging Christian school for their daughters to attend, my husband, Doug, and I teamed up with Kevin and T. Buckner to found Liberty Prep. When I heard about UMS, I called Barbara Freeman, Director of NAUMS, hoping they would send someone to “plant” a school. Instead, Barbara told me that all of the schools have been started by dedicated parents. Although, it seemed like an overwhelming task, when the Lord asks you to do something, it is difficult to say no! Thankfully, He has led, and continues to lead, Liberty Prep every step of the way. Liberty Prep’s biggest challenge now is to find room (and funds) for growth. An additional 55 students are already in the registration process for 2011-2012 and we are expecting more. Praise God! We know He will provide. Thank you to all the UMS schools that have paved the way for Liberty Prep! UMS