Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

Near the beginning of each semester, I take some time to reflect on the school year thus far. During this time, I count the many blessings we have experienced as a school, explore opportunities for growth, and reflect on some of the high points that are worth celebrating. A few moments, in particular, stood out to me from the first half of the 2018-2019 school year. The two stories below reinforce that we are truly living out our mission statement at TFA. The first is a story about one of our outstanding student leaders. The other is about a TFA family who organized an important local missions project for our Middle School students.

Each day in our classrooms we have students who are being prepared for Kingdom impact. One such student is Caleb Gordon. I’m praying Caleb will be an impact player for the Gospel in the fields of science and medicine. His mom is one of our outstanding MS science teachers and his wonderful sister is Michaela (9th Grade).

For the last two summers, Caleb has worked on a neuroblastoma research team at Nemours Children’s Hospital where his father is a physician. Their abstract “The Killing of Human Neuroblastoma Cells by the small molecule JQ1 can be rescued by MYCN” has been accepted for an upcoming presentation at the 14th American Surgical Conference in Houston. Pray for Caleb and his team as they present their research in Texas.

Just before Christmas break, Denice Milhausen sent us an email. She is a terrific TFA mom who organized a local missions project for MS students. It was called “Pajamas and a Book” for the students at Palmetto Elementary – a Title One school near the Millenia Mall. They currently have over 25 families that are registered as homeless. Students, families, and their friends were able to provide a new pair of pajamas and a book to 392 children. The teachers and leadership at the school were overwhelmed when the students from TFA prayed over the gifts and the children at Palmetto Elementary school. Denice said in her note, “Thank you for providing a wonderful environment for our children, one in which gives them the strength and faith together to share their blessings with the community.”

Our students and families serve, they participate, they value wisdom and character. The partnership between the school, the church, and the home is an integral part of who we are as a school. I know there are many more stories like these that I could share and I am so thankful for that. Stories like these are what makes TFA special, what sets us apart. Thank you for making an eternal investment in your children by choosing Christian education and choosing The First Academy.