What an outstanding school year it has been. Day after day, I see clear evidence of God at work in the lives of our students and families. I meet regularly with our Head of School, Steve Whitaker, and I am deeply appreciative of my relationship with him. God has worked through him for the past 16 years as a visionary leader for our school and I am excited about the days ahead!
Our shared commitment to excellence is seen in our passion to spread the Gospel and in our eagerness to cultivate a strong church/school relationship. We are blessed to have a vibrant church and school working together to serve families all throughout Central Florida. When we think about our Church/School Relationship, there are five important areas of focus:
Spiritual Formation: I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing our School Year Theme (Built 2 Last – Matthew 7:24-25) lived out in so many different ways. Building on our school year theme, I am confident that our highest priority is to lead every student to look more like Jesus when they leave TFA than when they arrived. The church and school have a common mission to share the Gospel and make disciples.
Admissions: We want to enroll students who support our Great Commission philosophy, Biblical values, and who desire to become Servant Leaders. We will unapologetically communicate with every family that our highest priority is for their children to develop a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Faculty/Staff Attending FBO: We have achieved excellence in classroom teaching, and school leadership, by selecting the most highly qualified faculty and staff possible. Moving forward, we will continue to recruit school employees who are devoted Christ-followers, who meet job-specific requirements, and who faithfully attend the Bible-believing church of their choosing.
Conflict Resolution: It is my greatest desire and joy to pastor people. I am always willing to visit with any family or individual for prayer and encouragement. However, when a TFA parent, student, or employee brings a school complaint or problem to the church, they will be asked to first contact the Head of School, who will work to help resolve the issue as thoughtfully and quickly as possible. School matters are best resolved by those most closely connected to TFA, which includes the Head of School and the School Board. This gives us the best opportunity to resolve issues in a manner that promotes Biblical reconciliation, restoration, and unity among church and school leaders (Matthew 18).
Governance: We enjoy a shared governance framework led by our Church/School Committee which provides general oversight for our mission statement, statement of faith, ownership, bylaws, and the approval of School Board candidates. The School Board has authority over the operating framework, strategic planning, financial management, all personnel matters, all student discipline issues, conflict/complaint resolution involving parents and employees, and policy development and implementation. We are grateful to Scott Boyd, Clark Keator, Jeff Alexander, Charlie Cramer, David Dizney, Bishop Wiggins, Ada Pendas and Hank Miller for their faithful service on our School Board.
My heart as the pastor of our church and school community is to support, encourage, and pray for those on this campus. The Head of School and the School Board are empowered and equipped to run the school and make the decisions they believe are necessary to achieve our shared mission and vision. On those rare occasions when the church needs to get involved in a particular issue, our Head of School and Senior Associate Pastor, Danny de Armas, work together to facilitate that process so my focus can remain on teaching, preaching, and loving our people.
In closing, I believe the blessings of the past will be eclipsed by the joys yet to come. Let’s keep running the race and celebrate the joy we have of investing in the lives of young men and women on our campus!
David Uth, Ph.D.
First Baptist Orlando