Thank you to all of the students, families, and volunteers who showered our faculty and staff with love during Teacher Appreciation Week 2017!
On Monday, our teachers and staff arrived to find every classroom and office door decorated with encouraging messages and displays of creativity from their students and parents! Thank you to all of the room moms and helpers who made this wonderful surprise possible. The teachers were also treated to a warm breakfast from Huddle House to start the week off.
Teachers walked into a "Snack and Supply" room on Tuesday, overflowing with classroom supplies such as dry erase markers, sharpies, stickers, and post-its, as well as yummy snacks and treats to stay fueled! Teachers were invited to come in throughout the day and take whatever they wanted for their classrooms. There was so much to choose from, nobody left empty-handed!
Wednesday started off with a surprise "Appreciation Station." Teachers were given a golden ticket where they chose, in order of preference, up to 118 gifts! The gifts would be raffled off to the teachers on Friday as a final Thank You for all they do. For lunch, teachers were treated to boxed lunches from the Hilltop Chick-Fil-A, complete with thank you notes to bless and encourage them.
Thursday was a sweet day! GCA parents baked dozens upon dozens of cookies in all flavors, shapes, and sizes for a cookie and coffee bar! The mid-day pick-me-up was very special, as everything was hand-crafted by our amazing families to bless our GCA faculty and staff! …and as a special treat, Mrs. White made her famous and highly sought-after Coffee Punch!
Teacher Appreciation Week concluded on Friday with a fantastic grand finale which included a beautiful luncheon and the golden ticket raffle. Each of our faculty and staff members walked away with an item from the Appreciation Station and as an added bonus, there was so much extra food from the delicious luncheon, we were able to provide the Union Mission with food to feed the homeless that evening!
Thank you to the many parents and families who participated in blessing our faculty and staff! Through the giving of your time, resources, creativity, and prayers, the entire GCA team has been encouraged and blessed by the tremendous outpouring! Thank you!
...And a very special thank you to our own Mrs. Marne Buchanan, who organized the week’s events and worked tirelessly to make each day extraordinary for her GCA team-mates! Marne, you are amazing!
To see photos from each day, visit our Facebook page!
Varsity Football and Girls Basketball Coach Tommy Austin has been selected to participate in the 2017 Marine Corps Coaches Workshop. Given in conjunction with the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders program, the workshop is designed to provide coaches with tools to help develop a culture of leadership within their teams. Coach Austin will head to Quantico, Virginia to participate in the four day long workshop.
Here Coach Austin is pictured with the 2017 Girls Varsity Basketball team receiving the TCIS Sportsmanship Award.
Congratulations to Class of 2018’s Luke Bussel on being selected as a Semper Fidelis All-American!
Presented by the United States Marine Corps, the Semper Fidelis All-American Program recognizes high school students who face life’s battles with the conviction and determination to succeed. Students are selected for the program based on moral character and academic performance in addition to athletic abilities. Most critically, nominees must demonstrate a fighting spirit that improves the lives of their fellow citizens.
Students selected as Semper Fidelis All-Americans receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to attend the Battles Won Academy where they will participate in an immersive Marine Corps experience, teambuilding outings, sporting events, and behind-the-scenes tours of our Nation’s Capital. The selected Semper Fidelis All-Americans will also have the opportunity to network with an elite circle of speakers from all walks of life and various industries who will share their inspiring stories of fighting and winning battles in their own lives. In recognition of the importance of building a support system to enable the success of the next generation, each All-American will be given the opportunity to invite a mentor to attend the event as well. Finally, becoming a Semper Fidelis-All American will make students eligible for select scholarship opportunities only available to program participants.
Save the Date! GCA's Varsity Football program is hosting its first annual BBQ and Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, June 10th!
Cornhole Tournament (10am-2pm): Teams of 2 players (no age restrictions!) will compete in 2 brackets of 32 teams. Limit of 64 teams! $20/team or $10/individual if registered in advance, $30/team or $15/individual if registered day of tournament.
BBQ Tickets (noon-2pm): $10 each. Redeem for a 1lb container of Pork BBQ or BBQ platter. Platters are eat-in or take-out and include coleslaw, baked beans, dinner roll and drink. Delivery available for larger orders!
On Wednesday, March 15th, students in Collegiate Academy’s Honors Physics class shared their innovative weather balloon project with first, third, and sixth graders. Senior Rachel Olsen explained how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills allow students to do amazing things and encouraged our younger Gators to use STEM skills to explore the world around them!
Fellow Honors Physics students Sam Slagle, Andrew Bush, and Moses Waithaka each shared different aspects of the project team’s plan to launch the weather balloon into the stratosphere while our younger students looked on with excitement. Students heard about some of the technology behind the project and one lucky Gator got hands-on interaction with the drone that will be remotely piloted back to Earth by the project team.
The team plans to launch the weather balloon in early April, depending on weather conditions, from a site in Emporia, Virginia. The 1200 gram weather balloon will be inflated with helium and make its ascent while carrying a custom made drone which has been adorned with Gator artwork by GCA student Savannah Williams and outfitted with two data-collecting cameras. The weather balloon will collect data as it carries the drone approximately 100,000 feet before succumbing to pressure and falling back to Earth, at which point the team will begin remotely piloting the drone. Throughout the presentation, our Physics students took questions from their younger schoolmates, including one from a third grader who asked, “Won’t the balloon burn up in outer space?”
Students learned how the project team had to take into account many variables such as weight limitations, potential atmospheric conditions, sourcing of power, and budgetary constraints to make this launch possible. Younger students were very interested in how the drone will be piloted remotely during its descent back to Earth and our Honors Physics students patiently answered many questions, explaining how the project is expected to play out.
GCA’s unique model of having four Academies, serving students from Preschool through Twelfth grade, allows our younger students opportunities to be inspired by and mentored by their older schoolmates, while providing our older students opportunities to grow as future leaders.
Thank you to Mr. Smallman and the Honors Physics class for sharing this exciting project with the school!
The 2017 Dominican Republic missions team has returned safely after a week serving in the D.R. The team of 32, comprised of GCA students, teachers, and other chaperones, spent time supporting local long-term missionaries, serving at two local churches, ministering to children in nearby communities, teaching at The Palms Christian school, and visiting with relationships from past missions trips, sharing God's love throughout.
Thank you to the GCA community for the faithful support of our missions trip. The many gifts of financial support, items donated, prayer, and time were used to bless our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic and shine God's love on those less fortunate. Thank you and praise God for his faithfulness over the missions trip.
To see daily travel logs of our 2017 Missions Trip to the Dominican Republic, please view our Facebook page; or for the full DR 2017 photo album, click here.