Everything listed under: Head of School

  • Great Expectations

    This week in Chapel, I shared a story about our dog, Merlin. Merlin lives up to his name; he’s a wizard at escaping. It was through his escape tactics that we met Merlin. Before Merlin was our dog, he belonged to our neighbors and they would text us frantically to ask for help when Merlin escaped, and Jon would run around the neighborhood to find him and bring him home. Eventually, Jon offered to walk Merlin in hopes that regular walks would make disappearing acts less frequent. This was a win-win for everyone. Jon really wanted a dog, Merlin really wanted a walk. About two years ago, our neighbors moved to the country and asked if Jon would consider keeping Merlin permanently. And that’s when Merlin became our dog. We’re very thankful that this little Silky Terrier is part of our lives.

    Like all of us, Merlin has a story. He was rescued from the streets of Chicago by a friend of our neighbors as a little puppy. If you’ve been around dogs, you can tell by the way he crouches and hides that he’s had hard life. Because of his traumatic past, it’s hard to be tough on Merlin… at least it’s hard for me. It’s not hard for my husband, Dave. He believed that we were making excuses for Merlin and allowing him to behave badly just because he’s had a hard life. You see, when Merlin wants a walk, which he always does, he pesters us until we agree to walk him. When we finally give in he jumps around in circles and pounces all over the place so that it’s impossible to get the leash on him. Dave would have none of this. He refused to allow Merlin to behave in this way.  He was bound and determined that Merlin would sit calmly on a designated chair and let Dave put the leash on him in order to go for a walk. 

    Because of his traumatic past, it’s hard to be tough on Merlin… 
    at least it’s hard for me.

    I confess that I played the part of the nagging wife on this one.  “Honey, he’s not capable of doing that,” I said foolishly. Because of Merlin’s early struggles and pain and suffering as a puppy, I determined that he was incapable of learning something new. I was wrong. It took a few weeks of consistent and insistent effort, but Merlin eventually did learn to sit still and let Dave put the leash on him before heading outside. My husband’s high expectations allowed Merlin to change. And now, the rest of us reap the benefits because Merlin calms down when we put the leash on him too (if we hold the same high expectations).

    Because each of us are made in God’s image, we are infinitely more capable of change than Merlin or any other creature. Being image bearers of God Himself makes us creative, intelligent, inventive, and able to change. Animals make the same kinds of homes and nests they’ve been making for centuries, but humans invent new and better ways all the time. Often what keeps us from applying this same creative effort in our own lives is that we are content with low expectations. We dwell in the past and make excuses instead of change.

    Christ provides the means, the motive, and the opportunity to change as we embrace the struggles in our lives. Each of us has experienced struggle and difficulty and if we lean in to the hard things and listen to feedback from others, we can change. Our teachers want the best for our students and want to help them continue to revise their story. In our house huddles, each house leader asked everyone to consider where they could set higher expectations for themselves. As I listened to these discussions, I heard adults talk about better time management and I heard students talk about wanting to be more obedient and focused. May God renew our minds by the power of His Word so that we are transformed more and more as we seek to follow Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

    As presented by Mrs. Collins to our student body in Chapel on Friday, September 7, 2018.

  • Rainbows

    After the flood in Genesis 8, God sent a rainbow to remind Noah and his family of His love. He would bring beauty from the destruction of the flood. After being flooded by Hurricane Harvey, God has sent Covenant Academy many rainbows as well. Below are before and after pictures of our Kindergarten classroom as an example of one of God's rainbows. All of the rooms (except the modulars) will have this same flooring, trim and wall color. Hard to believe after all that water and dust, isn't it?

    There were several volunteers at the school today but the task was daunting and difficult. Just when they were feeling overwhelmed, a team of firefighters from California and other volunteers from Ohio joined with them to move our furniture into Patriot Hall for cleaning. Everything was moved in time for them to see Dr. Smith's "Remember the Alamo" at our alternate location. This kind of blessing has happened over and over again and it is such a gift to re-tell the countless ways that God is providing blessing amidst this challenge.

    Did you know that a school in Canada had a car wash to benefit our school? Did you know that an equipment company stopped by to loan us the use of a front end loader (to fill our dumpster) at no charge? Today I shared with the students that in the midst of all this, we also received a very generous donation of $100,000 to help us as we recover. The donor survived Hurricane Katrina and knows the challenges that we are facing and wanted to bless us. Isn't that incredible? I'm humbled by God's provision and grateful to see His hands and feet at work.

    God told Noah, "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." (Genesis 9:16, NIV)

  • Reconstruction Begins!

    I'm happy to say that reconstruction will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7! The construction crew will hang sheet rock in the most critical classrooms first so that we can get back to our campus as soon as possible. They will be working long days and even weekends to make this happen and I'm so very grateful! When we are able to get back on our campus they will work at night so that we can continue to make progress. Thank you again for your help and patience throughout this situation. We would not be able to start tomorrow were it not for your help! Harvey hit us hard but by God's grace we are stronger than this struggle and we'll get through this together.

    Our alternate location starting September 11 will be on the Northwest Forest Campus on Telge Road (between school and Jarvis). Cy-Hope has graciously offered the use of The Alamo and Hope Lodge for us to meet until we can get back to our own campus. You read that right, we will be having school in The Alamo! It's a full-scale replica of the original church where the famous battle took place and it provides a unique opportunity for us to be together as a community as we heal and move forward. I heard it said that our students will have a whole new understanding of the phrase, "Remember the Alamo!" Don't worry, we'll be sure to teach them the original meaning as well.

    Like all of you, Harvey has been a devastating blow for me and my family. Like you, my plans and priorities for the beginning of the school year were suddenly and swiftly wiped out by this disaster. I am reminding myself each and every moment that in Christ I am not defined by this disaster. I am defined by my identity in Christ and in Him I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). This flood is a moment in our lives and though it's not the moment I asked for, it's the one I was given. And so, like every thing else that God gives me, I must steward it well. That's what I will be focusing on: stewarding this moment, this crisis, this learning opportunity that God has given us in such a way that He says to us, "Well done good and faithful servants." God knows the plans He has for us, they are for hope and a future and they are often harder than we think we can bear, but He gives us more grace when we humble ourselves (James 4:6)

    I want reassure you that as I make decisions about our alternate campus time, I will be seeking to be faithful in my stewardship of this moment in our lives as well as remaining faithful to our academic goals and standards.