Upper School Blog, Week of 10/29


Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are important dates that you do not want to miss:



Congratulations to the following students who are advancing in the Humanities Scholar Bowl Competition. After phase 2 in January, four students will be selected to advance to the final round, a game show style competition that will take place on March 31.


Rachel Abbott

Lexi Berger

Jake Haskell

Abby Lowder

Carly Tower

Caroline Wendzel


Chelsea Han

Grace McGowan

Evan Stone

Olivia Tracy


Melanie Pearce

Finalists will compete for these scholarships and awards:

1st place: $3,000 scholarship & $600 cash prize

2nd place: $2,000 scholarship & $300 cash prize

3rd place: $1,000 scholarship & $100 cash prize

Anna Gay Wins US Open Women’s Tricks Title

Anna Gay

Congratulations to Anna Gay (10th) who won her first career U.S. Open women’s tricks title in the 22nd Nautique U.S. Open Water Ski Championship last weekend.

Some of the world’s top water ski athletes competed for cash prizes and U.S. Open titles in men’s and women’s slalom, tricks, jumping and overall. Anna scored 9,920 points, which tied her personal best score. Click here for more information.


Alternative Lunch – Wednesday, November 4

The First Academy will be having an alternative lunch on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. The Upper School Royal House is offering an alternative lunch for faculty, staff and students in Grades 5-12 to purchase that day. The lunch includes a Chick-fil-a meal for $5.50:

1 Chick-fil-a sandwich
Extra Chick-fil-a sandwiches will be available for an additional $3.50.

To order, please visit Please submit your order by Monday, November 2, at 3pm.

Once your order has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation page and an email within 15 minutes from Larissa Galloway confirming receipt of payment. You do have the option of ordering for multiple students. Food will be distributed in the Natalie Thomas Gymnasium lobby.

Haiti Shoebox Drive

Each year The First Academy students, families and staff raise hope and help for Haiti. Show your support this year by filling a box!

Volunteers are needed to help sort and pack the shoeboxes. Click here to sign up.

Important change: In lieu of sending in checks or money with your shoeboxes, please use this formstack to pay for shipping costs for each shoebox ($7 per box). Donations are also welcomed. Click here to submit payment.

Upper School shoeboxes are due on December 4.

Upper School Ceramics Raku Firing


Pictured: a student participating in last year’s raku firing

TFA is on fire again! On November 13, students from the Ceramics program will experience the RAKU firing process on campus! Ceramics III, IV, and AP Ceramics students will perform this pottery firing process throughout the school day, while Ceramics I, II, and Middle School Ceramics classes will join during their class periods to watch.

Raku is a pottery technique originating in 16th century Japan. Rather than loading glazed pottery into our TFA electric kilns to cure the surface at 2000 degrees for 24 hours, the Raku process uses an actual 30 minute flash fire process! Similar to original pottery firing techniques in Biblical times using large underground wood-fed pit fires, Raku employs propane gas to bring the pottery to near 2000 degrees rather quickly. Tune in for an update soon!


Annual Guidance Meeting

The annual Henry Chapel Guidance Meetings for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades are scheduled for Wednesday, November 18.  In this meeting, all attendees will hear important college information from four different institutions. The four representatives are from Grove City College, University of Central Florida, Auburn University & Palm Beach Atlantic University. In addition, Dr. Natalie Holter will give a presentation on SAT/ACT Test Preparation, and a member of the TFA Guidance team will cover various college and academic updates.

Specific meeting times for each grade level meeting are noted below.  All meetings will be held at Henry Chapel.

While students are required to attend, parents are also strongly encouraged to come!  We hope to see you there!

11th: 9:00 – 10:00

10th: 10:30 – 11:30

9th: 12:00 – 1:00

Save the Date – Veterans Day Service

Please join us for our annual MS & US Veterans Day Service at 10:00am on November 4 in Faith Hall.

Cafe on the Rock Schedule

Upper School students are permitted to order lunch from Cafe on the Rock according to this schedule:

Seniors: Mondays and Tuesdays

Juniors: Wednesdays and Thursdays

Sophomores: 1st and 3rd Fridays

Freshmen: 2nd and 4th Fridays

Students are required to order online here before 10:00am: