Written By: Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

With the stock market as robust as ever and with real estate gaining strength each quarter, there are more than enough investment opportunities to bolster our financial portfolio. But what about our eternal portfolio? What are the eternal investments that are truly priceless? One of my greatest joys as Head of School at The First Academy is the opportunity to invest in the lives of students.

This weekend the Class of 2015 graduated. They were first graders when I arrived in 2003. My son, Stephen Jr., is a member of this class (see photo above). Many of them have spent time in our home and I’ve coached several of them in youth basketball across the years. They are a special class to me. However, they are more than just one of my favorite groups of students, they are also statistically one of the most outstanding classes to graduate from The First Academy.

Let me give you an overview:

• There are 120 graduates – this makes them the largest graduating class in the history of our school.

• There are 24 students who are 13-year seniors – these students attended TFA from kindergarten through high school graduation.

• They earned $17.2 million in scholarships – no other class has accumulated such recognition for their accomplishments.

• They logged almost 15,000 hours of missions and community service work.

• This is a class made up of leaders – 90% of them participated in the arts, in athletics and in student activity associations during high school.

• There are 3 Eagle Scouts and 6 sets of twins.

• There are 26 AP scholars and 39 royal scholars – the most in TFA history.

• This class set records in the arts – they had the first ever Thespian “Critics Choice Award” (Olivia Bennington) and the first ever male student to win an individual superior at State Thespian Competition (Stephen Whitaker, Jr.).

Thank you to the parents, grandparents, coaches, and teachers who made an eternal investment in the lives of these students. The course of human history has forever been changed because you taught the Class of 2015 to choose character before career, wisdom beyond scholarship, service before self, and participation as a way of life.



Steve D. Whitaker, Ph. D.
Head of School