Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

Every year, I like to send our faculty and staff off for the summer with some appreciative and encouraging words. This year, it was important to me to share how I learned from The Living Curriculum through what, at times, was a challenging school year. Below are the words that I shared at our year-end meeting on June 1.

Three Lessons I’ve Learned From You – The Living Curriculum

When I reflect on this year I will think of you and the words of 2 Corinthians 3:3 which says, “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and known and read by everyone you meet!” That’s a picture of The Living Curriculum.

Your lives have been a testimony to the power of the Living God and the truth of the Gospel. The three lessons you’ve taught me are these:

In our weakness He is strong

Tim, Christie, Sheri, and so many others have taught me what it looks like to rely on our Heavenly Father in the face of the fear and uncertainty that health challenges bring. You’ve given witness to the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Thank you for blessing my life and teaching me a powerful lesson.

No matter how steep the climb, we can still walk in a manner worthy of the one who calls us

Elaine lost her father, Juan’s son has been in the hospital for weeks, others have struggled through family upheaval yet these, and so many others continued to “walk worthy” day in and day out.  The Apostle Paul writing to the Church at Ephesus said, “In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do…I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. Press on, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” I’ve watched you bear enormous burden and struggle with the most troubling issues of life, yet continue to walk worthy. Thank you for showing me what courageous faith looks like.

What some meant for evil God can still use for good

Each of those who helped us weather the difficulties we faced early last year demonstrated steadfast trust and abundant hope. Garry and Kacey, two new leaders, believed in their hearts that God was going to bring about His will and His good pleasure even in the midst of the storm. They were resolute and believed what Joseph said in Gen 50, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good in order to bring about this present result.” Today, we are a stronger school and we are better teachers and leaders for all that God taught us during a difficult season.

So, to each of you, THANK YOU! Thank you for walking alongside me this year and thank you for bearing one another’s burdens so graciously, it hasn’t been easy, but God never promised us a smooth ride. Thank you for teaching me that God’s grace is more than enough, because of HIS Grace we can accept the past, we can embrace the present, and we can look expectantly toward the future. Thank you for being the Living Curriculum at The First Academy. Your faithfulness, optimism, and courage each and every day is what makes this a great place!

As we enter the summer months, let me leave you with these words:

“Every time you cross my mind, I thank God for you. Each thankful thought is a reminder to pray for you with a glad heart. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (Phil 1)