Archive for nacogdoches

Apr
12

Sheriff Kerss Visits Regents

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Regents Academy was very glad to welcome Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss to campus on April 11.

Sheriff Kerss made a presentation to the 9th grade government class and was joined by the 6th graders as well. Sheriff Kerss explained where the office of sheriff came from, what his job entails, and what the sheriff’s office’s responsibilities are.

We appreciate Sheriff Kerss’s generosity and service in coming to visit our students.

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Oct
04

Missionary to the Savages

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Who:  Kara Bertke, 6th grade teacher

When:  Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where:  Regents Academy, Nacogdoches, Texas

Why:  Attempt to tame the savages (a.k.a. 6th grade students)

How:  After reading Sandra Boswell’s Prototcol Matters and finding that I have more gray hair than I care to own up to, I have realized that it doesn’t take a lot to raise children with high self-esteem.  It does, however, take much of the right thing!  The most important concept that our children must understand to have confidence in themselves is that Christ did it all for them on the cross.  Their sins were forgiven and they can’t work hard enough to make our Father pleased with them.  Their value, worth and salvation is found in Christ alone.  Christ has fought the fight for them and their sins are washed clean by His precious blood.

The next skill that children need in order to grow strong and grounded is manners.  A child who knows and has applied manners in a variety of situations and with people of mixed  age and gender has such an advantage in life.  When a young man knows that he shouldn’t sit before all the ladies at the table have been seated first, he is at a great advantage in life.  A young lady who knows how to graciously accept a door being held open for her is light years ahead of what our generation today breeds.  It is because of these convictions that I remind my students daily of Christ’s love for each one of them, and it is because of these convictions that I arrange to have an etiquette meal brought in to 6th grade once a quarter.

Using Protocol Matters as a diving board, I try to plunge as deeply as possible into all the do’s and don’ts that make up our world of manners.  It is tricky to present these rules as being something that will benefit my students in the coming years without it sounding like Mrs. Bertke is just trying to add more no-no’s to our life!  After a brief and joyful discussion about the importance of manners, we get down to the nitty-gritty!  I teach my students the details of how to approach a table, when to be seated, which hand is used to place their napkin in their lap as well as appropriate table talk.  I always tell my students that they will receive a grade for their attention to their own manners, and we proceed to partake of a delicious meal that a parent brings in.

The happiness and warmth that is shared during our etiquette meals is indescribable.  The students are actively thinking of their neighbor and how to include all those around them in the table’s discussion.  The gentlemen are actually acting like gentlemen!  The ladies are considerate of the food that is being placed in their mouth.  It is a time for their teacher to sit back (not literally) and enjoy watching my active, rambunctious, and occasionally gross students interact in a civilized and courteous way that is reflective of the wedding feast that we will partake of in glory.

Praise God for our school.  Praise God for our country.  Praise God for our headmaster that allows me to slightly disturb the regular rhythm of our school day so that we might send out straight and strong arrows into the world of darkness which, upon hitting their mark, may do so with graceful manners!

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Congratulations to Regents Academy senior Kelsey Kunk, who has been awarded the Loyalty Fund Scholarship from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Kelsey will receive $20,000 through the Loyalty Fund scholarship, which each year is awarded to 10 high school students who are accepted to UMHB by the end of their junior year. This highly coveted scholarship is given to young men and women who are Christian leaders in their community, church, and high school.

Congratulations, Kelsey! You have made your parents, your church, and your school proud.

Categories : student news
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Aug
13

Is ‘Obey’ a Four-Letter Word?

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I once read an article about parenting with the headline, “’Obey’ is not a four letter word.” Indeed. I see a lot of parents in Wal-Mart who seem to think it is. But a biblical view of parenting teaches us otherwise.

The Bible very rarely speaks directly to children, but when it does so it is unequivocal. “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex 20:12). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph 6:1). And parents are likewise unambiguously commanded to be in authority over their children, instructing them in God’s ways. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them [God’s words] diligently to your children,” said the Lord to His people (Deut 6:6-7).

But what does it mean for children to obey?

It is obviously possible to do what you’re told with a heart full of rebellion. Is the standard mere external, compulsory compliance? I am reminded of the little boy sitting in the corner who told his mother, “I may be sitting down on the outside, but on the inside I’m standing up!”

The biblical standard of obedience is captured well in the dictum, “We obey right away, all the way, with a good attitude every day.” This is something that children hear around the halls and classrooms of Regents Academy quite often.

Obey right away. Slow obedience is no obedience. Prompt obedience is evidence of a heart that is willing and ready to obey. This heart-readiness to obey honors the authority and position of parents or teachers and therefore honors God.

Obey all the way. True obedience is complete and thorough obedience. If I tell my daughter to place the dirty glass in the dishwasher, but she places it in the sink instead, I don’t do myself or my daughter any favors if I say, “Well, at least she got close. At least she didn’t leave the glass on the table.” Obedience means obeying all the way, not just half the way or most of the way.

Obey with a good attitude every day. Sour-puss obedience is dishonoring to God. God desires our joyful obedience to those in authority over us, and He desires this same joy of our children. Obedience that says with facial gestures or posture, “I’ll obey but I don’t like it” may be compliance, but it’s not obedience.

We must train our children to obey. Our children are sons and daughters of Adam and are born with a bent toward selfishness and rebelliousness. But we must seek to capture their hearts and win their loyalty. Children who are thankful, joyful, loyal to their parents are children who obey from the heart. Only the gospel of Christ produces this kind of heart obedience, so we are reliant on God to give us and our children His grace. We must pray for our children diligently.

This year at Regents Academy teachers are joining parents in this training process, training children, both young and old, to obey from the heart. Like any training process, there is pain involved – the pain of correction and discipline. But there is also great joy when children are heartily obedient and readily loyal to those who are charged by God to instruct them.

You love your children and want the best for them. That is why you have them at Regents. We are aware of that great trust, and we will do everything in our power to love our precious students and strive daily to train them toward obeying right away, all the way, with a good attitude every day.

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Aug
02

The Case for CCE, chapter 6

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In chapter 6 of The Case for Classical Christian Education, Douglas Wilson takes up a theme that seems missing in many treatments of the philosophy of education: “the Centrality of Worship.”

Several years ago I read a book that purported to be a statement of the Christian worldview. But there was something about this book that separated it from others I had read. The author asserted there was a glaring blind spot in most Christian books about worldview — they glossed over the Trinity, or they at least treated the Trinity as a tertiary truth. The author’s point was that the Trinity is the most essential truth about God and therefore about reality, yet this essential truth got only sideways treatment in many books about worldview. He was attempting to orient his whole statement of the Christian worldview around the Trinity. It was something of a paradigm-changer for me.

Wilson’s treatment on the centrality of worship in education is a paradigm-changer also.

Is not a human essentially a worshiping creature? Are we not created for worship, so that we are bent either toward idolatry or, by God’s grace, toward worship of the true God? We cannot ignore this truth when we begin talking about education, as if education is a tightly sealed, airtight compartment that concerns rational, intellectual, or vocational matters only. Children are worshipers, not just empty containers into whom we pour multiplication tables, principles of grammar, Latin vocabulary, and history facts. Their education leads them toward worship.

In other words, “worship is central to life; therefore, it is central to education for that life.” Wilson makes several salient points.

  • Worship is incarnational. “We have to learn how to worship. And then, having worshiped, we are sent out into the world to study it, subdue it, replenish it. But education and learning follow worship and proceed from it.” In other words, “sitting in neat rows in a classroom, doing push-ups with the brain” is not enough — students must learn how to worship in a local church in order to be complete, and in order for their education to cohere into a complete life.
  • Worship is centered on Christ. “Jesus Christ is the arche, the One in whom all things hold together (Col 1:18). But Christ is not a mere word we use; Jesus Christ is the Son of God, seated at the right hand of the Father. There is no Christian worldview where He is not present.” And He has promised to be present among the people who worship Him and Him alone. Education in His presence, worshiping Him as Lord, is the only true education. Therefore, “education that does not begin and end in heaven is not true education.”
  • Finally, “a classical Christian school will not succeed in its mission unless it has the strong support of a worshiping community.” And let me say at this point how thankful I am for the support Regents Academy receives from the churches of the Nacogdoches community. Our school cannot succeed if it is not linked up with local churches who recognize a common goal of exalting and worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ and who are partnering with parents to train up children in the way they should go.
  • One final quote: “The major reason why worship is central concerns the children. Worship is the point of integration for all Christian living, including the living that goes on at the school. When children who are members of the race homo adorans worship God rightly, everything comes together in their lives. When they do not, everything is out of joint.”
Jul
30

Welcome, Ruth Hoffmann

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I am very pleased to announce that Regents Academy has added Miss Ruth Hoffmann to its faculty. Miss Hoffmann is our new 5th grade teacher for the 2010-2011 school year.

Originally from Washington, Miss Hoffmann spent the last four years in Moscow, Idaho, as a student at New Saint Andrews College. A graduate of NSA, she has a bachelor of arts in Liberal Arts and Culture. She aspires to give her students a love of the written word and train them to see themselves as characters in God’s story of the world.

Miss Hoffmann has three siblings, loves horses and horsemanship, and is excited about East Texas humidity and mosquitoes (the first two have been positively verified). She will arrive in Nacogdoches a bit later in August.

Welcome, Ruth!

Categories : hellos and goodbyes
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Jul
13

Avoiding Lord of the Flies

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Here is another reason Regents Academy strives to inculcate proper manners in its students:

Manners are minor morals. They are the everyday ways we respect other people and facilitate social relations. They make up the moral fabric of our shared lives. They need to be taught.

— Author and education professor Thomas Lickona

Children do not naturally come by manners. Leave them alone, and, well, have you read Lord of the Flies? Manners must be taught, trained, reinforced, modeled, corrected, and then trained some more.

This is an essential component of a Christian education.

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Jul
11

What is “Education” Anyway?

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Here is Noah Webster’s definition from his landmark 1828 dictionary:

The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

Notice how all-embracing this definition is. Notice how it includes not just an intellectual, rational component, but also “temper” and “manners and morals.” True education, true Christian education, is all-encompassing — it teaches the whole child in obedience to the whole Word of God. If we think of education merely as what goes on when students are learning subjects or merely as a rational exercise or merely what goes on at a school building, we are thinking wrongly.

Education is all-encompassing. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 reminds us of this reality:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

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Jun
24

Sparking Wonder

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Blogger Jessica Hagy makes sense of the world by reducing thoughts to simple graphs on index cards. I don’t see any indication that Jessica is a Christian, but with this card she shows that she understands at least a bit about education in the Triune God’s universe.

What do we do in Christian education? We ask enduring questions that fuel wonder and spark desire for wisdom and understanding. An unboring life, indeed.

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Jun
23

Hello, Roy Bradley

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God has been very gracious to Regents Academy. We see His grace and providence at every turn — buildings, books, playgrounds, SAT scores, science labs, and all the rest. But there is no clearer evidence of His goodness than the people He has gathered into our community. St. Paul wrote to the brethren in Philippi, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” The parents, children, board members, teachers, and friends of Regents Academy are precious gifts from the Lord’s hand. Every time we see their faces, we ought to be moved with profound thankfulness.

The newest face in the Regents Academy faculty is Mr. Roy Bradley. The Lord’s guiding hand has been evident as He led Mr. Bradley and his family to our school, and we are indeed thankful.

Mr. Bradley will teach omnibus, logic, and government in our Logic and Rhetoric schools. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a B.A. in philosophy and music, and he has completed graduate work at Truett Seminary in Waco and B.H. Carroll Theological Institute in Arlington. Roy and his wife Christy have two children: Aaron (2) and Claire (5 months).

They moved to the area from Houston, and if you are at the school these days, there is a good chance you will see him around. If you do, introduce yourself and take a moment to begin getting to know him. He is a bright, energetic, personable man who is going to do a great job in the classroom.

Categories : hellos and goodbyes
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