Connie Jo Shelton, President
Once again, we begin again. The "lazy days" of summer are nearing an end and the NCS campus is abuzz with preparations to welcome and receive students for the 2013-2014 school year. It is a good and natural cycle. Ralph Marston, writer and publisher of The Daily Motivator, said it perfectly: "Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work."
Whether you're a returning student, new to our school, or starting school for the very first time, we all share the eagerness and anxiousness of a brand new school year. There is something about going back to school that generates in most of us a natural mixture of excitement and nervousness. We try to imagine what might be in store for us in the coming months: the challenges, the accomplishments, the struggles, the relationships, and the expectations—just to name a few. It is natural and right to encounter such divergent feelings, which brings me to the first part of my letter, our spiritual theme for 2013-2014:
Even in the darkest hour, I will fear no evil. Psalm 23:4
As is tradition, our rising seniors chose this scripture. After much prayer and discernment they chose well from one of the most beloved passages in the Bible, the 23rd Psalm. I am humbled by their maturity to select a scripture that speaks to each of us to fear nothing because He will guide our steps. You will hear more about these leaders-in-training and the ways we plan to press them into growing roles of responsibility and accountability.
Faculty Additions and Alterations
As I too move toward the new year with excitement and nervousness, I find comfort and courage from the men and women of faith with whom I lock arms with—our faculty and staff. These committed educators have made teaching their mission in life.
It is my privilege to introduce new additions to our outstanding faculty and announce new responsibilities for some familiar faces:
Shelley Greenlee will teach 4th grade. Shelley comes to us with 3 years teaching experience in Cheatham County Schools. She has also taught at Brook Hollow Preschool and served as children's ministry director at her church, Charlotte Road Baptist. Her daughter, Ally Grace, is in the 6th grade at NCS. Last year Shelley substituted for us and actively served in the PRO program (Parents Reaching Out).
Thera Allen will also teach 4th grade. In addition to her degree in Elementary Education, Thera has a Masters Degree in Brain-Based Teaching and Learning. She has taught for 4 years in Cheatham County and currently works as a Language Specialist with Vanderbilt University. Thera, her husband Cory, and their two-year-old daughter Emsley are from Cheatham County.
Anna Wilson will be the newest addition to our faculty as a part time high school Math teacher. Mrs. Wilson comes to us from Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School in Metro and has 6 years of teaching experience. She is a passionate teacher and will add great strength to our mathematics department. Anna has two children, Kaleigh and Mackenzie, who are enrolled in the ECLC.
Kevin Quinn will join us as a 9th grade Algebra teacher and a middle school assistant principal. Kevin has sixteen years of teaching experience in Cheatham and Davidson County middle schools, during which he also serve as a head middle school football and softball coach.
Rebecca Sellers will join our high school faculty as a part-time English teacher. Rebecca previously taught English at Boyd Buchannan Christian School and Knoxville Christian School. She will temporarily fill in for Stephanie Harper who will help oversee (in Tennessee) the i3 Grant—a national study designed to measure and assess the impact of teacher development on students in English Language Arts.
Lauren Arrington will step in as our new middle school science teacher. Lauren spent one year at Sycamore High School where she taught Biology, Chemistry, and the Principles of Technology.
Chris Tenpenny has decided to move on to new endeavors next year and will not be teaching at Nashville Christian School. Mr. Tenpenny has been a great asset to NCS since 1997, serving as a science teacher and administrator. We will be forever grateful for his service at our school and wish him the best of success.
Kristen Carney will move from a part-time position at NCS to a full time high school instructor. Kristen has training and certification in Math and Science and will teach Chemistry, Physics, and Bridge Math.
Loretta Passen will move to the LIFE program as a math and inclusion instructor. Loretta is experienced in this area and will be a great addition and support to Mrs. Becker and Mrs. Carlucci.
Jeff Brothers will teach Statistics in high school and reduce his administrative duties to assistant principal for the high school only. Jeff will continue in his roles as athletic director and head football coach.
Mrs. Coleman will be working as our literacy coach during the new school year. Her duties will include assessing student progress; providing intervention services to students in Math and Reading; and overseeing the library, teaching Writing Workshop, some Leadership classes, and 5th grade Math.
Carolyn Blair has joined our Extended Care program. Carolyn is an NCS graduate and has worked at Camp Eagle Pride.
Laurel Frazier, one of our Extended Care workers, will also assist Coach Crosby in our elementary P.E. classes this coming year.
NCS Elementary School Enhances Curriculum and Introduces a Literacy Coach.
The new Journeys Curriculum (for reading, writing, and language arts) integrates whole group and small group settings to accommodate differentiated instruction for multiple levels in the class environment. Students will further enhance their writing skills in a new Specials Class Writing Workshop.
The Every Day Counts Calendar Math is an interactive, hands-on, and technologically integrated program that uses the calendar to re-enforce key mathematical concepts at each grade level. Calendar Math will supplement the current Math in Focus curriculum.
Mrs. Coleman's move into the Literacy Coach position will enhance our ability to intervene when students are struggling AND help us better utilize assessment data to shape classroom instruction.
Introducing a House System for the Middle School: The "Aerie."
An aerie is an eagle’s nest. It is also defined as a house or a fortress on a hill. At Nashville Christian School The Aerie is a House System for the Middle School (MS). This House System is designed to encourage MS students to live out the school’s vision through games and other events that challenge them academically, athletically, spiritually, and socially. Each MS student is "drafted" into a House at the beginning of 6th grade; membership ends upon completion of 8th grade. The Aerie engages all MS students in a competitive environment in which their respective House earns points through various activities and individual merits of positive behavior. The House that accumulates the most overall points at the end of each year is awarded "The House Trophy." A "House Senate" will be formed to provide leadership opportunities for all MS students. Every year an election will be held for each House to select a Senator, a Secretary and a Treasurer; these elected leaders will serve as the MS governing body. The Senate and each individual House will meet regularly with faculty advisors throughout the school year.
This Fall the AdvancED Accreditation Team will visit our campus.
The AdvancED Accreditation Process is an ongoing program of evaluation and external reviews dedicated to helping schools (like NCS) continuously improve. On behalf of our administrative team I want to thank those who participated in surveys, committees, and parent led discussions on school handbooks and policies. All of this intense and painstaking work will guide us in ways through which we can grow and continually improve our school and its programs.
And lastly, but most importantly…
Please join me in prayer: for your family, your student(s), our teachers, our administrators, and our board. I passionately believe that prayer carries us all through times of darkness and doubt; it provides us with peace and purpose.
In His name,
Connie Jo Shelton, President