GCA Family and Friends, On behalf of the Administration and Aber family, thank you for your incredible generosity today! By 4:00 Friday afternoon our lobby was filled with water bottles, diapers, sheets, towels, etc. Mr. Aber needed to rent a truck instead of a U-Haul trailer in order to load everything that was brought in. Many of you also donated to his Go Fund Me account to help make this trip possible and brought in gift cards and other donations. When the GCA family shows up, they show up in a big way! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done!
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' - Matthew 25:40
The 2017/18 school year has officially kicked-off! There was a lot of excitement in the air today as our school hallways were once again filled with our awesome Gator students!
In our Beginnings Academy (Preschool 2.5 -Kindergarten), students toted in new nap mats and backpacks half their size as more than one teary eyed parent watched their little one start their first day of school ever. In Foundations Academy (1st-3rd), students joined their teachers at drop off, being welcomed by hugs and smiles from classmates. In Bridge Academy (4th – 6th), students entered the new world of second story classrooms and for 6th graders, lockers! In our Collegiate Academy (7th-12th), students started the day in the gym, being introduced to the Collegiate Academy Faculty and Staff before hearing from our Founder and Superintendent, Dr. White. Collegiate students then signed their Honor Code Pledge, received their schedules, and were on their way!
As we begin another year, we are thankful for the many students who spend their school days with us and for the parents and families who invest in their children at GCA. Thank you for your partnership and prayers! Go Gators!
Faculty and Staff took a break from their work preparing for the year ahead to view the eclipse! Several students came out to join Mr. Smallman, GCA’s resident Astronomy expert, as the Gator team watched the eclipse using viewing glasses and a telescope outfitted with a solar lens.
Special thank you to Dr. Barbara Buckner, Educator and Development Specialist for NASA, for the solar eclipse viewing glasses, and to the NASA grant program administered by University of Virginia for the high-powered telescope!
Summer is a great time to dive into a good book! Whether it’s at the beach, next to the pool, or before a much later than usual bedtime, summer reading helps students start the school year strong next Fall. Click here for Summer Reading materials by grade levels.
To mark the end of the school year in the Foundations and Bridge Academies, separate award ceremonies were held to acknowledge and recognize the many achievements of our students. In addition to the hard-won awards such as Highest academic average, perfect attendance, and spelling bee champ, students’ God-given spiritual gifts were recognized.
The Diligence Award, the Mind of Christ Award, the Sunshine Award, the Good Samaritan Award, the Quill Award, the Encourager Award, the Quick Wit Award, the Thorough Thinker Award, the Integrity Award, the Inquisitive Spirit Award, the Happy Heart Award and the Songbird Award were a few of the many awards paying tribute to the very special spiritual gifts each student has been given by God. It is a joy to see each student grow throughout the year and to see strengths and gifts come to light.
As we close out the year in our Lower School, we reflect on the many students and families we have served and praise God for another successful year. We will continue to pray over the summer for God’s blessing and protection on all of our Gator families, past and present, and look forward to seeing everyone again in the fall!
On June 7th, Bridge Academy Principal, Mrs. Tracy Cox, spoke to rising 6th graders, families, and friends in a commissioning ceremony. Similar to the commissioning of a newly built ship, the ceremony served as a way to acknowledge students' readiness to move forward into the Collegiate Academy with a sense of purpose.
Two recent graduates from the GCA Class of 2017 spoke to students during the commissioning ceremony. Morgan Ragsdale encouraged rising 6th graders to keep a larger perspective as they begin their Collegiate years. Sharing from his own experiences, Morgan went on to say successes and failures over the next few years will be empty without Jesus being the main focus of life; that with Jesus, those successes and failures will be worthwhile because they are part of a larger purpose. Alternatively, Morgan pointed out, without Jesus at the center of life, there will be emptiness even with great success.
Fellow Class of 2017 graduate Bailey Riddick likened students’ progression to the Collegiate Academy as an adventure and wisely reminded students that all adventurers need to be equipped! Bailey laid out a three-and-a-bonus step plan to help students succeed! Step One: Let God be first in your life and your foundation in everything you do; Lean on God in all you do and He will direct your steps. Step Two: Find leaders and teachers who will guide you and strengthen you both academically and spiritually. Bailey added, students will have no problem finding teachers in the Collegiate Academy waiting to help build them up and prepare them for the adventures ahead! Step Three: Be yourself and be a friend; Never let others dictate who you are or what you should be to “fit in.” Bailey’s bonus tip: Be a risk taker; try something new and step out in faith!
Principal Cox shared the class verse, Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves" and challenged students to remember we live in a selfish world but our Savior modeled humility in giving up his status and power as a deity and becoming man to serve each and every one of us! Principal Cox encouraged students to enter their next educational phase with this in mind and strive to imitate the humility of Christ in being selfless and caring toward one another.
Each student was presented with a plaque featuring original artwork created by art teacher Mrs. Cheryl Leader, inspired by the class verse. The ceremony concluded with students being joined by their families for a special prayer over the class.
Congratulations to the class of 2023! We are excited to watch you continue your walk with God at GCA!