Writing this column is one of the hardest things I’ve done this year. When it was time to write:
I deep-cleaned my apartment.
I did the dishes.
I graded 80 expository essays.
My computer screen stared at me accusingly as I did everything in my power to ignore the thoughts churning through my mind: “What if these 300 words aren’t good enough? What if I don’t have anything to say that someone else couldn’t have said? And it has to sound good -- I’m the Composition teacher!”
What struck me as I finally sat down to face the blank document before me is that it takes courage to be honest and to share part of yourself through writing.
In my sixth grade Composition classroom, vulnerability is important -- and scary. At the beginning of the year, I tell my students, “You will share your writing!” and they do -- from sharing creative “Where I’m From” poems to the introduction paragraph of argument essays. My students become accustomed to putting their work under the Elmo and reading it to their peers.
Out of all the writing my students have shared this year, I’ve been most impressed by their Quickwrites. The assignment is simple: Write a response to another piece of writing in three to five minutes. Students can borrow a word or phrase from the original piece. Some students write reflective paragraphs while others gravitate toward writing poetry or funny narratives. The beauty of the Quickwrite is that it is a tool to force students to write without self-censoring. When you only have three to five minutes to write, you have to write from who you are. It is a greenhouse for vulnerability.
What has struck me again and again is how creative and insightful our students are -- and how authentic and vulnerable they are willing to be with each other.
Vulnerability is hard, but it’s important in both writing and relationships. God calls us to live in community with each other, and there is no community without authenticity. I am thankful for the sixth graders who inspire me in the practice of sharing my thoughts, even when it scares me.
Allison Jackson is in her sixth year at Regents as a staff member. She is a veteran teacher that brings enthusiasm and joy into the classroom. Allison inspires students to want to know more and loves on them well. She loves seeing God’s signature in the encoded language of DNA in every cell, funki fungi, beautiful bluebonnets, and mesmerizing monarchs. She loves middle school students, is passionate about the wonders of the natural world, and is ever so grateful for the discipleship-centered approach of classical, Christian education. Allison earned a biology degree with a chemistry minor from the University of North Texas and worked in labs on and off campus. She feels called to teaching and has done so in a variety of venues including public school, summer science camps, tutoring, and her current role with Regents. Allison also had the privilege of founding a classical, Christian school near San Antonio, Texas, where she served as a board member and taught a variety of classes. Allison and her husband Lee have two Regents students (class of 2018 and 2020).
Our 9th, 10th, and 12th grade students all went on ministerium class trips this week where they worked with several non-profit and mission organizations. The word “mission” is from the Latin for “a sending off.” Our God is a missional God, one who sent his Son for us and our salvation, and who in turn says to us, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” (John 20:21) Our primary purpose on these trips is to obey the command of Christ to serve others. Along the way, other ends are served. The concentrated time we spend together caring for others helps us foster relationships between students, as well as between faculty and students. Moreover, as they find themselves in situations that may be out of their comfort zone, students are challenged to develop physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
"As a leader, it is my role to serve, protect, and advance the mission of Regents...It is my vision that The Regents Podcast will giving a microphone to our mission as a school, for our community and the classical Christian school movement as a whole."
We have a cave on campus! It is called Cave X, and it is the third deepest known cave in Travis County. We have 4.5 acres set aside for conservation of this cave. It occasionally is checked on by the Texas Speleological Survey but only with proper equipment as it is a tight squeeze, has low oxygen levels, and home to a variety of cave-dwelling spiders, crickets, beetles, and shrimp.
The study of Fine Arts has been a key element of classical education. Plato, for example, stressed the importance of the arts in the educational pursuit. At Regents, our fine art education embraces the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, and visual art.
While studying fine arts can significantly develop the brain, boost learning in other academic fields, and help create observant, “out of the box” thinkers, these are not the main reasons we’re so passionate about fine arts at Regents. We want the arts to connect deep into the very fibers of our students’ souls. We believe that we are created in God’s own image, and that He is the ultimate creator. Our fine arts faculty want to cultivate kids’ love of the arts and help them make art at a high level; but more importantly, we want them to realize that even their ability to make the art is a gift from God. And when they paint a portrait, act in a play, or perform a moving piece of music, these can be acts of worship.
I remind my students often that God has given them their talents and abilities and that these gifts need to be shared with others. I’ve seen our high school students perform brilliantly through the years in theater productions, music concerts (band, choir, and orchestra), and dance performances. I’ve also seen these same students showcase mesmerizing visual art in exhibits. And still, it can be just as rewarding to see 5th grade students perform at a nursing home and then go around meeting the senior citizens and talking with them. I see the elderly reach out to meet them, wipe tears, and share their own stories from their youth. I watch generations come together in a beautiful way. And during these interactions, I see my students begin to understand the redeeming power of art.
We have meteorologists-in-training on campus! Each December, 5th graders have the pleasure of interacting with local KXAN Meteorologist David Yeomans. Students love hearing about his passion for weather and journey into Meteorology. In addition to hearing from Mr. Yeomans, every 5th grade classroom is equipped with weather data monitors which are connected to a wireless weather station on the rooftop of Grammar Hall. This equipment supports the 5th grade Weather Unit by providing students with endless weather data for the Regents campus. For example, the plaza has had 3.02 inches of rain in 2019.
Dominique Simmons is a Physical Education Teacher, Head Girls Varsity Coach, and Girls Basketball Program Director. Previously Dom served as a part-time JV Head and Varsity Assistant coach. Dom completed her undergraduate studies at Simpson University (B.A. Psychology) and played collegiate basketball. Dom went on to complete her graduate studies at Liberty University (M.A. in Counseling & Life Coaching and Doctorate Educational Leadership). Dom relocated to Texas after playing professional basketball overseas. In her free time, she enjoys playing in the Women’s D-League, strength training, reading books on personal and professional development, writing poetry, and developing Life Coaching videos and curriculum. She enjoys being at Regents because she able to mentor and empower others, be challenged, learn new things, and most importantly grow as a woman of God.
"Dom is a stud! She flat out gets it. She's a great PE teacher and embraces our mission to help raise up young ladies in the Lord through basketball. She also pushes the girls to the be the best basketball players/team they can be." - Beck Brydon, Athletic Director
Mock Trial heads off to the state competition today in Dallas. They will be competiting against 27 other schools from across Texas. Our team has already won Regionals where they also won Outstanding Advocate and Outstanding Witness.Team Members: Claire Baxter, Leah Dawson, Josh Day, Raleigh Dewan, Lucy Gifford, Case Harris, Cole Harris, Thomas Hartman, Alex Kemsley, Allison Rodrigues, Hana Takamatsu, Blake Usry, Paige Usry, Evelyn Voelter, and Hunter Walker
Melissa Frye, Assistant to the Head of Grammar School
In addition to being a long-time Regents parent (Trey - 2008, Hannah - 2010, Josh - 2014), Mrs. Frye has served as the Assistant to the Head of Grammar School for over a decade. Each and every day you can find her helping administrators, teachers, parents, and students in the Grammar Office and hallways. If you have ever wondered who pays such special attention to all of the intricate details of the Grammar program, it is Mrs. Frye. From managing student school supplies to field trip logistics and beyond, she is the heartbeat of the Grammar School.
Regents 4H, along with fellow teammates from Travis County 4H, successfully competed in the San Angelo and San Antonio Consumer Decision Making Contests. The weekend began with a 3rd place finish for the Senior Team, including our own Taylor Schmidt. Both the Senior and Junior teams had excellent showings in the San Antonio Rodeo competitions, including a 4th place finish for both the Senior and Junior teams in the rodeo competition and a 2nd place finish in District 10 for the Senior Team and a 1st place ribbon to the Junior team. The Championship team includes Dylan, and Bella Samuel and Rose Mary Jones. With the 2nd place finish in District, Taylor Schmidt will continue on to the State Championships this summer in College Station. Congratulations to all!
Whether serving in a school, food distribution center, homeless ministry, pregnancy center or in our own backyard, our Ministerium days continue to provide our students and our faculty the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ as we humbly serve our community.
Cate and Clay Pruitt lead Student-Led Prayer every Wednesday morning in hopes that their peers would experience God in a new way, the same way they did when several students started began Student-led prayer a few years ago.
One of the highlights of our grammar students’ nature studies class is the seasonal garden. The fall garden gets our attention at the beginning of the school year, and carrots are a favorite with all grades.
Our seniors did an excellent job competing against some of the strongest math programs in central Texas at the Texas Lutheran University Calculus Showdown. We're looking forward to the finals in March!
The gold stoles worn by our seniors represent servanthood. In ancient times a stole was used by servants to wash the feet of a superior, so a stole wrapped on a Regents senior symbolizes the use of a towel during a foot washing. This symbol of foot washing which Jesus demonstrates for us calls each believer to a life of selfless service.
During the Baccalaureate service before graduation, the current seniors pass their stoles to the rising seniors. This symbolizes the passing of servant leadership from one group of students to the next. Keep an eye out on Monday at All School chapel for the seniors in these gold stoles!
Grammar Spanish teacher Senora Marcia Morales is the longest serving faculty member at Regents, having taught here for 25 years.
“During my first year at Regents in 1994, I was the only Grammar Spanish teacher. I felt blessed being part of this environment where I heard the words of God in the classroom. My heart was filled with gratitude and joy from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Regents is a school where the students are prepared to preserve values of Love for one another to respect and be humble. After 25 years at Regents, I still feel the same joy and gratitude for my students, families, and all the Regents staff I work with.
"Yesterday, we celebrated the commitments of five student-athletes extending their athletic and academic careers.We celebrated five families that contributed greatly to their success.We celebrated a community of coaches, teachers and friends who all rallied together to support these student-athletes in their athletic and academic achievements."
Prayer. When you hear that word, what comes to your mind? For some, immediate guilt assuages you as you think you need to do more. For some, dismissal forms rooted in past disappointments as you think “why bother?” For some, a smile lights up your countenance as you remember your last encounter with God. Laying those feelings aside for a moment, let’s look at prayer as a conversation with the Lord.
The next time you see a high school student walking across campus, stop and pray for them. Pray that in the midst of transitioning from child to adult they feel loved and cared for by their whole community and that the Lord would capture their hearts.