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

  • March 2-3: WrAP Testing (alternative schedule)
  • March 7: Senior Ski Trip Mandatory Student Lunch – Student Center, 12:50pm
  • March 8-9: US Alternative Lunch
  • March 9-13: Senior Ski Trip – Breckenridge, CO
  • March 9: US Monday Bell Schedule (no chapel)
  • March 10: End of 3rd quarter – 12:15pm dismissal
  • March 15-18: State Thespian Competition – Tampa, FL
  • March 20-24: No School – Spring Break


Ceramics Students Participate in Raku Firing

US ceramics students participate in raku firing. US ceramics students participate in raku firing. US ceramics students participate in raku firing. US ceramics students participate in raku firing.

On February 24, Mrs. Collins’ Ceramics III, IV, and AP students experienced the Japanese Raku firing process on campus! Ceramics II and Ms. Duresky’s Middle School Ceramics classes came out during their class periods to watch the fun. Rather than loading glazed pottery into our 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 in underground wood-fed pit fires, propane gas fire brought the pottery to near 2000 degrees rather quickly. In addition to the lesson, students enjoyed burgers on the grill, s’mores over the kiln, and line-dancing between the firings!

More importantly than learning the history and techniques involved, students also learned some very powerful spiritual lessons. Because a Raku kiln is opened during the hottest segment of the firing, students are able to witness and relate it to the refining fire of the Holy Spirit. How it would hurt if the clay were alive, as we – the clay – are alive, but how critical the process is to remove impurities and make us strong and stable. At the very hottest point of the firing, when the clay almost gives up and disintegrates, the lid is raised to reveal the beautiful glowing pots, so hot that the surface is reflective, allowing the Potter to actually see him/herself! In the same way, after we experience a refining fire of the Holy Spirit, we reflect the image of our Potter even more. Only after we have been through this process (maybe multiple times), do we reach the ultimate purpose we were originally created for.

Orlando Shakespeare Competition

Alex L. at the Orlando Shakespeare Competition

Alex L. at the Orlando Shakespeare Competition

On Monday, February 27th, Alex L. represented The First Academy at the 34th Annual Shakespeare Competition organized by the English Speaking Union. As TFA’s champion, he recited a monologue and sonnet to a panel of Shakespearean experts. Be sure to congratulate him when you see him!


Alternative Lunch – March 8th & 9th

Students and Parents,

We will be having alternative lunches on Wednesday, March 8th and Thursday, March 9th. The Junior Class is offering an alternative lunch for students in grades 5-12 and faculty to purchase those days.  Kindergarten through 4th grade will have separate arrangements and will need to check with their teachers for information.

Wednesday’s lunch will be a Chick-fil-A Sandwich with chips & a water for $6.50. Extra Sandwich for $4.50. Thursday’s lunch will be Panda Express with meat options of orange chicken or teriyaki chicken and sides of fried rice or lo mein noodles.

To order, please visit Please submit your order by Tuesday, March 7th at 12:00pm (noon).

When you submit your order, you should receive a confirmation page. You may need to scroll back to the top if your screen goes blank. You should also receive a confirmation email within 15 minutes from Larissa Galloway confirming receipt of payment. You do have the option of ordering for multiple students. Food distribution will be in the gym lobby.

Please remember that if you don’t like these options then you are welcome to bring something from home.

Note: The change in price for CFA is due to price increase and an added delivery fee.

US Chapel Recap 2/23

by Kyle H.

This week in chapel we received a message that was truth filled and intentional on the lies we believe and how to combat them. He took us back to Genesis 3 in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve committed the first sin and ate from the forbidden tree. We gained wisdom on the root of the sin committed and the doubt that spurred the action. One lie we believe is that there is more to be gained by disobeying God than by obeying Him. What Adam and Eve did when they disobeyed was believe the lie that God was not for their best interest. When Jesus came to earth he came so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

When the lies of the Enemy are loud enough to convince us that God is against us, then we will think we have to go around God for a full life. These crooked paths only lead us into idolatry. A great reminder given to us was that idols never love us back; God is the only One who can do that. We finished off the day with some Spirit filled worship and were encouraged to trust Jesus in every part of our lives.


IMPORTANT WrAP INFORMATION – The Standardized Writing Assessment Program (WrAP)

On Thursday March 2nd and Friday, March 3rd,  TFA students in grades 3-11 will participate in the Standardized Writing Assessment Program (WrAP). Students ARE permitted to utilize dictionaries and thesauruses during the 2-day writing assessment.

Materials needed for the WrAP:

a) 2 sharpened #2 pencils & 2 ink pens (blue/black)

b) Thesaurus (can be electronic)

c) Dictionary (can be electronic)

d) 4-5 pages of loose leaf notebook paper

*electronic spellers (ie: Franklin) are not permitted

Students in Grades 3-11 will be provided with 90 minutes for the standardized assessment.

  • Day 1: Thinking Map and Rough Draft
  • Day 2: Final Draft

*Students in grades 9-11 will report directly to their testing locations; seniors will report to the Student Center to work on senior thesis.

Library Closure

The library will be closed for WrAP testing from 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 2nd and Friday, March 3rd. Lower School students should report the gym for morning care on those two days.  Thank you for your understanding.