The Classical School Blog, Week of December 8th



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

A Message from Sarah Donovan, Principal of Extended Educational Programs

Every Monday morning at 7:30am you will find The First Hope team meeting outside of the elevators for a time of togetherness in reviewing the upcoming week’s events and prayer. It’s a special time together and something I look forward to every Monday morning (imagine that-looking forward to a Monday morning :). Last week, one of our teachers, Amy Moore, shared this poem in her devotional. I loved it and wanted to share it with the masses. The loving inspirational message is below.

You are who you are for a reason.
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You’re just what he wanted to make.The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the Master’s seal.No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart.
So that into his likeness you’d grow.You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!By Russel Kelfer


A Message from Joe Fana,  Principal of The Classical School

Last week, we explored the concept of Advent.  A lit candle represents a unique concept symbolizing Christ’s arrival each week leading up to Christmas.  The first candle symbolized the prophesy of Christ’s coming in the Old Testament.

The second candle, sometimes referred to as the Bethlehem candle, represents the preparation of receiving the Lord.  This candle reminds us of the preparation Joseph and Mary took to welcome Jesus into our world.  We find in Luke 2 that there was to be a census of the entire Roman Empire, so Joseph, a descendant of King David, was required to return to Bethlehem.  May we find gratitude this Christmas that our great King on High, humbled himself to be born in a lowly Bethlehem manger – for us, the Children of the Lord.



Varsity Sapphires

Last week, during the TCS high school chapel, the TFA Varsity Sapphires performed a dance routine to the song “Undivided” by Hannah Kerr. Two of the girls are TCS students, Charlotte and Catherine. These ladies did a beautiful job!

Sapphires performed a dance routine for the TCS chapel.        TFA Varsity Sapphires following their performance for the TCS chapel.

Students Sharing Christmas Spirit

Several of our TFA family, including TCS 1st grade student Annabel J, visited the Westchester Retirement Home last weekend. A TFA high school student played Christmas Carols on the Steel Drums while the girls used dance to share God’s love and Truth, and the students handed out cards and candy. Residents shared their hearts with the team, who witnessed the love of Jesus to them. After the team shared with Westchester, they spent the afternoon making Christmas cookies and then taking them to a list of families they had compiled who needed some Christmas cheer and encouragement.


TCS and TFA students perform a dance routine at a local nursing home.



New High School Math Teacher

Please join us in welcoming our new high school math teacher, Jennifer McDaniel. Mrs. McDaniel will be taking over for Mrs. Grant starting in January, but will begin the transition this week. We are excited to have her join the TCS family!

Jennifer is a native Floridian with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and over 20 years of diverse academic, technical, and management experience focused in Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM).  Growing up on the Space Coast, where rocket launches were a common sight, she was inspired to choose a STEM career.  She has worked for top fortune 500 companies and organizations such as AT & T Bell labs, Lucent, Lockheed Martin, Disney, RCA, UCF, Schwartz Electro Optics, Girl Scouts, and her own company Sunesis Solutions Inc.  Jennifer has a passion for learning and teaching! Currently, she leads a FIRST Lego League Girl Scout Robotic team.  Over the years Jennifer has taught at UCF, Trinity Lutheran, The Christ School, Lake Mary Prep, Girl Scouts Robotics & STEM workshops, music and Sunday school at Delaney Baptist Church. One of her favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way she/he should go, and when she/he is old she/he will not depart from it.”  We are here to plant the seeds of knowledge rooted in the foundation of Christ.  Jennifer is excited to share her talents, gifts, experience, and knowledge in the classroom.


Jen McDaniel is the new high school math teacher for TCS.


TFH Store

The annual First Hope Christmas Shop will be held on Tuesday, December 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The TFH Christmas Shop is operated by the Transitions+ Secondary students from The First Hope alongside parent volunteers. These students gain valuable, real-life experience running the shop as students from TFH & TCS visit with their classes during the day. All students K-12 will have the opportunity to buy small gifts for family, friends, teachers and even pets! You are also welcome to purchase items from the store for your family and friends! It’s an amazing event that the students really enjoy and 100% of the proceeds go directly back to The First Hope.


TFH Ornament

We are very excited to announce an exclusive item being sold at the TFH Christmas Shop this year! The HOPE Ornament is a handcrafted piece made by The First Hope’s Transitions+ Secondary students. The word HOPE is spelled out with Scrabble pieces, and an anchor is found at the top, which not only symbolizes hope, but is a main part of the new First Hope logo! 100% of the proceeds from the TFH Christmas Shop goes directly back to The First Hope. Quantities are limited – only 40 HOPE ornaments are available! If you would like an ornament, please make sure to send an additional $5.00 with your student to the shop along with a note so we know to include one in his/her purchase!


Ornament created by First Hope students and will be available for purchase at the TFH Holiday store next week.


TCS and TFH Parent Volunteer Sign Up

Parents: Please click here to see how you can volunteer around TCS and TFH. We are so thankful for our parent volunteers and appreciate any help you can provide!


High School Volunteer Hours

High School students need 75 or 100 hours to qualify for Bright Futures scholarships, depending on which type of scholarship the student qualifies for. Students should go here to print the form. Please do not submit the online form, as this will go to TFA Upper School. Please print the PDF version and then turn in to Mrs. Mayberry.


College Acceptance

Seniors: Please remember to keep Mrs. Mayberry updated with your college acceptances via email. We want to celebrate with you!

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