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GAC is a great school.

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GAC’s Accomplished Musicians Join With the State’s Finest for JanFest

Ten GAC High School students traveled to Athens over the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend to participate in the prestigious JanFest, one of the oldest and largest high school band festivals in the Southeast. Hosted by the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia, JanFest welcomed 2,000 students onto campus for the 70th Annual January High School Band Festival. This four-day event is open only to invited musicians who represent the most accomplished among their high schools across the state of Georgia and the Southeast.

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Gabriel Uribe and Lizzie Joiner are named “20 Under 20” by Atlanta INtown and Reporter Newspapers

As we enter into the new year, we are thrilled to announce that GAC Seniors, Gabriel Uribe and Lizzie Joiner, have been named "20 Under 20" in Atlanta INtown and Reporter Newspapers, respectively. Both publications annually recognize youth in the area who make a difference in the community through volunteerism and philanthropy.

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Kaitlyn Williams, Trey Dixon, and Camille Hollier are Peachtree Corners "20 Under 20"

GAC is thrilled to announce that Kaitlyn Williams, Trey Dixon, and Camille Hollier have been selected and featured as “20 Under 20” in Peachtree Corners Magazine’s December 2019/January 2020 edition. This honor celebrates Peachtree Corners students ages 19 and younger who have impacted the community in a significant way through leadership, and/or personal achievements.

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A Tale Of Perseverance And Passion: Meet Katie Jones '14, Owner Of Buckhead Art & Company

Buckhead Art & Company occupies a large, bright showroom in the Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors flood the space with light, illuminating bright white walls and cement floors covered in paint. A substantial array of works line the walls in a variety of styles from abstract to figurative, framing a set of plush couches in the center of the space. Behind a raw wood desk is a friendly face: owner Katie Jones.

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Everyday STEAM, Extraordinary Results

Do you remember the wonder you felt as a child? When a cardboard box held endless possibilities and each star in the sky fired your imagination? We often associate wonder with childhood because it is a feeling of looking at something for the first time. Humans were created for wonder, and our teachers in our Village and Elementary School want students to experience it every day, particularly with their STEAM curriculum. 

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This is the story of us

Together, we are raising a generation of bright, inspired, generous people. We share in a community where high academic rigor is matched by active faith and a deep commitment to caring for one another. We live out our passions, our curiosity, our faith, and our pursuit to…

be_greater

Join our faith-infused academic community to provide an education for your whole family from a team who cares actively, innovates wisely, nurtures with intentionality, and operates with excellence in every endeavor.

This is the story of us

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forward-thinking Innovation

Research informs decisions on every level at GAC, from classroom layout to daily schedules to technology resources.

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GAC is leading the way among Atlanta private schools with online learning.

The start of every school year isn’t anything like the courtroom scene Mary Lynn Huett had mastered after law school, or even the legal services department she ran later on for a national trade association.  No, it’s usually a jury of 20 restless high school teenagers who have signed up for her honors chemistry or AP chemistry course. This is the kind of jury she loves most. 

The start of every school year isn’t anything like the courtroom scene Mary Lynn Huett had mastered after law school, or even the legal services department she ran later on for a national trade association.  No, it’s usually a jury of 20 restless high school teenagers who have signed up for her honors chemistry or AP chemistry course. This is the kind of jury she loves most. It’s what invigorates her about teaching and gives meaning to her work. “I genuinely like high school kids. I like who they are and the potential I see in them, a glimpse of who they will become as adults.”

Mary Lynn started off very much like one of her high school students, working in an upper-level chemistry course that turned out to be a surprisingly welcomed and enjoyable challenge. “My early interests had a lot to do with the high school chemistry teacher who encouraged me in  a field that, frankly, was not overrun with females at the time and that I didn’t have any inkling I would enjoy.” Her high school passion became her college calling, and she majored in chemistry at Wake Forest University. Her minor? Art history, also due to the influence of her AP Art History teacher in high school.

Mary Lynn had a transformational summer after her junior year in college. Accepted for a prestigious study abroad program at Oxford University, she discovered something that would completely change her trajectory. “We spent the entire summer studying and discussing environmental issues on a global scale. It helped me see that law school would be a way to tie together several of my interests.” She would go on to pursue her JD degree at the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas, where her emphasis was environmental and energy law. Her first cases out of law school were focused on corporate transactions and litigation, but she would eventually move into regulatory affairs, litigation, and advocacy on environmental matters in Washington, D.C. She would practice for 12 years before trading in legal briefs for chemistry textbooks. “When I left law to teach, I promised myself that if I didn’t like it, I would go back. The truth is, I was hooked in the first two months.” Mary Lynn had to learn the science and art of teaching, but she had a leg up due to her 20 years of experience serving in youth ministry. “The transition to teaching teenagers was natural for me.”

But Mary Lynn didn’t leave all of her legal training behind. In fact, she brings some of it into her classroom. “I see how vital critical thinking and analytical skills are. Much to their chagrin, my students end up applying and analyzing information, not just memorizing and storing away knowledge. I want them to think critically at every level. I have seen so many applications of that in real life. If you can think and problem solve, it doesn’t matter what the topic is. I am under no illusion that anybody is going to run up to these students and ask them to recite the molar mass of argon. But they will say, here’s a problem in the workplace and we need help solving it. Anyone can Google an answer, but what creative resources and problem-solving skills can you draw on to help us over this hurdle? And that is what I want students to take away from these courses.”.

There are many things that Mary Lynn loves about GAC. “Not only does this place provide so many open doors for students to discover their gifts and talents, but it also does a great job of offering opportunities for students to think beyond themselves and to give to others. By nurturing both academics and service learning, GAC gives student tools to weave a deep faith into their lives for the long-term”.   

Mary Lynn is a testament to how formative a high school experience can be and she hopes to leave her students with the same inspiration she once received. If nothing else, they’ll end up with a very worn out laboratory notebook. And the discovery of something new about themselves in the process.

Read More about Meet Mary Lynn Huett: High School Chemistry Teacher

This week, GAC hosted a national conference for its teachers and Ethos partner schools on Neuroeducation: Teaching Models Informed by Neuroscience. This conference featured Dr. Mariale Hardiman, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

This week, GAC hosted a national conference for its teachers and Ethos partner schools on Neuroeducation: Teaching Models Informed by Neuroscience. This conference featured Dr. Mariale Hardiman, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

She presented on the Brain-Targeted Teaching® Model, a research-based framework she developed which connects the field of neuroscience and education and provides a cohesive structure for interpreting research findings and putting them into practice. This conference provided a sound framework to help educators and administrators enhance their teaching practices and achieve new heights in education.

Dr. Hardiman presented the most current research in neuroscience and how it connects with education. She also shared practical strategies that teachers can use to implement the best in neuroscience research in their school, considering everything from the physical to the emotional climate of the classroom. The goal is to ultimately improve student learning and outcomes. 

This conference is just one of the many ways that GAC is leading the way in research-based education among Christian schools in Atlanta. As part of its partnership with Johns Hopkins, GAC will serve as a laboratory school, engaging with the university in research studies to advance the field of neuroeducation.

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personalized Academic Preparedness

GAC consistently satisfies the highest standards of teaching and learning excellence.

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Learn about our academic opportunities for the whole family, meet our faculty, and discover our commitment to academic innovation.

GAC Earns Global Recognition for AP Exam Scores

To get a top score on an AP exam — a 5 on the 5-point scale — is a significant achievement that often enables students to get college credit. To get a perfect score is a rare occurrence. Out of over 300,000 students around the world who took the AP Government exam last May, only 113 got every answer right. Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, Georgia boasts two of these students: Jack Hollier and Victoria Huynh.

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fuel each Student's Purpose

Each student is an individual. We value his or her distinct background, passions, and ability to contribute to peers, the school, the community, and the world.

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Across the arts, missions, athletics, STEM, and much more, each student can find great ways to nurture their passions.

Each year, GAC students have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Greece to work alongside Hellenic Ministries, an organization that serves refugees in the area. For most, this is an incredibly meaningful experience. For senior Katie Williams, the trips she has taken to Greece since her freshman year inspired her to create an entire AP art portfolio based on the experience of the refugees she met.

Each year, GAC students have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Greece to work alongside Hellenic Ministries, an organization that serves refugees in the area. For most, this is an incredibly meaningful experience. For senior Katie Williams, the trips she has taken to Greece since her freshman year inspired her to create an entire AP art portfolio based on the experience of the refugees she met.

“These trips opened my eyes to the refugee crisis. We feel like we’re so far away from it but it’s a part of so many people's’ lives and it’s hard not to address it. I feel that attention needs to be called to that and I wanted to do that through my art.”

Through her art, Katie has sought to bring to life both the physical and mental struggles that refugees experience. Her piece “Hiding” captures the nature of suffering in a poignant way by showing a statue curled up in a fetal position and hemmed in from all sides by a wood enclosure that is tightly wrapped around the statue’s frame. There is no room to move, perhaps even to breath. “Where they are trying to escape, the places they are trying to get into are not letting them in,” says Katie. A striking feature of the statues in all her pieces is that they are faceless. “They don’t have an identity. I think this is how people see refugees a lot of the time.”

Her second piece, “Leap of Faith” represents the struggle of refugees to leave their homes by showing a statue perched precariously at the top of a tall slender pole. Katie considers: “Even though it’s a place of war and danger, it’s still their home. It’s hard to step out in faith.” In refugees is also the desire to push forward and “hope against all hope”. This is represented in Katie’s piece called “Hope” which features a statue pushing against a blue hand. The blue color is inspired by something Katie learned which is that Syrian refugees weave blue throughout their clothing to represent hope.

The fourth piece, and Katie’s favorite, is a self-reflective piece meant to draw the observer in an interactive way by having them look into a mirror. There she hopes they will see that what has happened to refugees can happen even to them. But as in the art piece, even as it happens to you, you can’t see what is going on, which having the mirror facing the opposite direction as the statue is meant to convey.

While Katie’s future as an artist is secured, she feels her calling is to teach in the older elementary grades. But while she may never have the chance to walk her students through the depth of understanding she achieved through her art portfolio, she will have the opportunity to bring them even just one step closer to empathize with the people around them, or even across the world. This understanding is something that is cultivated in GAC students through trips such as the Greece mission trip. Says trip leader and teacher Mandy Richey, “Working with refugees in Greece offers GAC students a worldview of God’s Kingdom.  It’s often easy to get used to ‘church’ being the building where we go on Sunday and the people we worship with each week. But in Greece, we see the Kingdom of God differently.  We see people from across the globe, especially the Middle East, who have come to know Jesus and He has changed their lives. We see that God’s love truly extends to all people on Earth.  And these refugees become our friends. We become Facebook friends and follow each other on Instagram. We look forward to seeing them again each year. Sometimes we won’t see them again on earth, but we forge bonds that will extend into eternity.  We are a part of the Kingdom together.”

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

Read More about Finding Meaning in Suffering: The Impact of Greece Mission Trips

Children who love to read will many times begin writing stories and creating fantasy worlds at a young age. This was the case for GAC junior Navya Sarikonda. As a child, she was a voracious reader, which her father credits to the Accelerated Reading Program beginning in Lower School. Her father recalls her in the first few years of elementary school consuming books faster than she could check them out from the Henderson Media Center. 

Children who love to read will many times begin writing stories and creating fantasy worlds at a young age. This was the case for GAC junior Navya Sarikonda. As a child, she was a voracious reader, which her father credits to the Accelerated Reading Program beginning in Lower School. Her father recalls her in the first few years of elementary school consuming books faster than she could check them out from the Henderson Media Center. 

Mornings and afternoons, she was fused to a computer taking the infamous Accelerated Reader tests... after test after test. When limitations came on the number of books she could check out, she upped the anty by checking out books with double, triple the amount of pages and increasingly higher reading levels (all of which resulted in higher scores for the AR tests).

In December of 2018, GAC junior Navya Sarikonda crossed over from aspiring writer to author of her first novel. After four years of developing a fantasy story, Navya’s self-published novel The Enchanter’s Child boasts a full 280-pages now available in the Spartan Store and with online retailers.

Not only has the GAC community supported Navya from the beginning, but she has also sought out the mentorship and encouragement from seasoned authors like Anna Howard Creel who had this to say about her book:

"The Enchanters' Child is a great story with a strong premise. Navya has come up with a nice tone of mystery and introspection, and a totally new fantasy side of the world. It's an edgy and somewhat dark ride compelling readers to find out what is going to happen next...It wrenched many emotions out of me, including disbelief, sadness, tension, worry, hope, and too many others to list."
- Ann Howard Creel, author of The Magic of Ordinary Days and The Whiskey Sea.

http://www.khabar.com/magazine/community-newsmakers/budding-author-navya-sarikonda-shares-her-passion-for-writing

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faith Infused

GAC is an academic community where faith is lived out in the classroom, across campus, and between peers.

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We are a community helping students to grow to be faithful as Jesus was.

"I knew that I wanted to influence students' lives and make a difference for the Kingdom. I had several teachers and mentors that were incredibly influential in my life, and I wanted to be able to pass that along to my students."

Derek Wilson’s teaching prowess covers a great span: from the most rigorous, post-AP course offered at GAC to the most fundamental, traditional course offered to high school students, many of them who are new to the United States.

The post-AP course is called Scholar Capstone, a research and writing course that challenges students to delve into weighty subjects such as the ethics of race, gender, disability, war, reproductive technology, and genetics technology, among others. Students read college-level course material and discuss the finer points together seminar-style. They are required to write a 15-18 page term thesis paper on a topic of their choice, and after fine-tuning it over a period of months, present their paper to a panel comprised of teachers, deans, principals, and students.

Paper topics run the entire gamut: from the morality of bio-enhancement to the use of genetic engineering on embryos to the Christology of second-generation immigrants. While it may sound intimidating, Derek says, “It’s a really neat and good experience for them, and next year, students will be able to earn three hours of dual college credit for the course.”

The bell rings, and Derek is able to switch gears to teaching with an entirely different paradigm. Bible 101, a class developed to meet the unique needs of GAC’s international students. “Students come in not knowing anything about Jesus. Most of them think Jesus is a white American. Or they think that most Christians aren’t intellectual. What they learn at GAC is mindblowing,” Derek explains. During the course, these students are paired up with an American student, who helps them understand what it means to believe. This relationship is mutually beneficial, fostering a sense of understanding and new perspective for each student.

Derek has been teaching Bible to high school students for the last 10 years (the last five of which he has served as the Department Chair). He majored in Spanish Language and Literature and minored in Bible at Harding University and also earned a Master’s degree in Christian Ministry at Abilene Christian University in 2014. Currently, he is working on his Doctorate in Educational Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Derek discovered his calling in 2006 when he took a job teaching English at an institute in China while also working as a missionary with an underground church. He returned to the States in 2007 to begin teaching at GAC. “I knew that I wanted to influence students’ lives and make a difference for the Kingdom. I had several teachers and mentors that were incredibly influential in my life, and I wanted to be able to pass that along to my students. After teaching my first year, I knew I loved it, and that it was something I wanted to continue.”

Derek is able to switch gears in yet another way: hands-on mission work and leadership. In 2009, he helped found the Atlanta Mission Junior Board, Atlanta’s oldest and most established homeless shelter which connects suburban students with homeless men. During the summer of 2010, Derek worked in Kosovo in an outreach to Muslims. He leads several mission trips each year, and these take him to China, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, with groups ranging from 20-70 students.

Derek has proven himself to be a deep thinker and a well-rounded servant. No matter who you are, what your background is, or what your intellectual or spiritual pursuit is, Derek Wilson has something meaningful to offer every GAC student who is lucky enough to enter his classroom or work beside him.

Read More about Meet Derek Wilson: High School Bible Teacher

Each year, GAC students have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Greece to work alongside Hellenic Ministries, an organization that serves refugees in the area. For most, this is an incredibly meaningful experience. For senior Katie Williams, the trips she has taken to Greece since her freshman year inspired her to create an entire AP art portfolio based on the experience of the refugees she met.

Each year, GAC students have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Greece to work alongside Hellenic Ministries, an organization that serves refugees in the area. For most, this is an incredibly meaningful experience. For senior Katie Williams, the trips she has taken to Greece since her freshman year inspired her to create an entire AP art portfolio based on the experience of the refugees she met.

“These trips opened my eyes to the refugee crisis. We feel like we’re so far away from it but it’s a part of so many people's’ lives and it’s hard not to address it. I feel that attention needs to be called to that and I wanted to do that through my art.”

Through her art, Katie has sought to bring to life both the physical and mental struggles that refugees experience. Her piece “Hiding” captures the nature of suffering in a poignant way by showing a statue curled up in a fetal position and hemmed in from all sides by a wood enclosure that is tightly wrapped around the statue’s frame. There is no room to move, perhaps even to breath. “Where they are trying to escape, the places they are trying to get into are not letting them in,” says Katie. A striking feature of the statues in all her pieces is that they are faceless. “They don’t have an identity. I think this is how people see refugees a lot of the time.”

Her second piece, “Leap of Faith” represents the struggle of refugees to leave their homes by showing a statue perched precariously at the top of a tall slender pole. Katie considers: “Even though it’s a place of war and danger, it’s still their home. It’s hard to step out in faith.” In refugees is also the desire to push forward and “hope against all hope”. This is represented in Katie’s piece called “Hope” which features a statue pushing against a blue hand. The blue color is inspired by something Katie learned which is that Syrian refugees weave blue throughout their clothing to represent hope.

The fourth piece, and Katie’s favorite, is a self-reflective piece meant to draw the observer in an interactive way by having them look into a mirror. There she hopes they will see that what has happened to refugees can happen even to them. But as in the art piece, even as it happens to you, you can’t see what is going on, which having the mirror facing the opposite direction as the statue is meant to convey.

While Katie’s future as an artist is secured, she feels her calling is to teach in the older elementary grades. But while she may never have the chance to walk her students through the depth of understanding she achieved through her art portfolio, she will have the opportunity to bring them even just one step closer to empathize with the people around them, or even across the world. This understanding is something that is cultivated in GAC students through trips such as the Greece mission trip. Says trip leader and teacher Mandy Richey, “Working with refugees in Greece offers GAC students a worldview of God’s Kingdom.  It’s often easy to get used to ‘church’ being the building where we go on Sunday and the people we worship with each week. But in Greece, we see the Kingdom of God differently.  We see people from across the globe, especially the Middle East, who have come to know Jesus and He has changed their lives. We see that God’s love truly extends to all people on Earth.  And these refugees become our friends. We become Facebook friends and follow each other on Instagram. We look forward to seeing them again each year. Sometimes we won’t see them again on earth, but we forge bonds that will extend into eternity.  We are a part of the Kingdom together.”

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

Read More about Finding Meaning in Suffering: The Impact of Greece Mission Trips

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relationships At the Center

Relationships thrive across GAC from inside the classroom, across every grade level, and throughout school hours.

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From serving in the local community to lending a hand overseas, GAC students discover and model what it means to respond to the needs of others. Students serve alongside their teachers, building bonds that will last a lifetime.

An organization’s culture is not something that can be imposed or something that is born from a strategic plan. It comes from within and is as natural as breathing. For GAC, an innate part of its culture is the spiritual community that has defined it from the very beginning when a visionary group of men and women gathered together to pray over the undeveloped land. Today’s grassroots efforts among faculty, staff, and students to meet, pray, and meditate on God’s Word demonstrates that this commitment to spiritual community goes beyond Bible class and chapel.

An organization’s culture is not something that can be imposed or something that is born from a strategic plan. It comes from within and is as natural as breathing. For GAC, an innate part of its culture is the spiritual community that has defined it from the very beginning when a visionary group of men and women gathered together to pray over the undeveloped land. Today’s grassroots efforts among faculty, staff, and students to meet, pray, and meditate on God’s Word demonstrates that this commitment to spiritual community goes beyond Bible class and chapel.

“Through faithfully meeting each week, we uncover the resources we need to empower each other to more fully serve our students,” says Richard Burnett who, together with Brandon Johnson, leads a faculty and staff Bible study that meets before school each Thursday at the Starbucks across the street. Drop in at 6:30 and you’ll encounter many familiar faces. These individuals seek authentic fellowship, cover their students in prayer, and ask God for wisdom for how they can seize more opportunities to disciple their students. Rich shares: “With GAC’s standard of excellence, it’s easy to get wrapped up and consumed by performing at the highest level. This Bible study helps us refocus on the most important thing. To us, it’s a pretty sacred thing. We pour into each other and love on each other.”

But there is more that happens on campus each week. Middle School Dean of Students Dana Davis leads a group that meets regularly on Friday mornings to pray. Says Mr. Davis, “While we pray about all kinds of things, our goal is to always pray for GAC mission teams serving in our city, our country, and abroad. It is God’s favor that has allowed so many students and teachers to go out with the intent to love as Jesus does. We know we fall short, but He has protected us and enabled us to participate with Him in His work all over the world.” This group, with representatives from each school level, has been meeting for over four years and it has been grounded in the promise that where even two or three gather, God is right there with them.

The desire for fellowship has extended from faculty to students, and Brandon Johnson has watched as a group he started with three students over hash browns and grits at Waffle House has grown over the years. “When I started at GAC, I felt like God was pushing me to walk deeper in my faith. I wrestled with the verse, ‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to you. Go and make disciples’”. “The Waffle House group is not a Bible class,” Mr. Johnson shares. “It’s living life alongside each other. There’s no bad question. It’s a safe environment to proclaim Christ.” The fruit of this group has been that now these same students lead a student group that meets at the Cross Tower each Wednesday. Mr. Johnson has witnessed the verse that first prompted his quest come to life with students “going and multiplying”. There is nothing more fulfilling for Mr. Johnson than to hear a student say, “Coach, I’m ready”. When he hears that, Mr. Johnson knows what they mean--they’re ready for a full life in Christ. The ethos that defines our school starts with students, faculty, and staff such as these.

Read More about Building Spiritual Community on Campus

It’s rare to meet a teacher qualified to teach as many subjects as Dr. Paul Cable. With a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Languages from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Wheaton College, Paul could easily fill the role of three teachers at GAC. So of all subjects why choose languages?

It’s rare to meet a teacher qualified to teach as many subjects as Dr. Paul Cable. With a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Languages from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Wheaton College, Paul could easily fill the role of three teachers at GAC. So of all subjects why choose languages? “I fell in love with languages initially because I loved reading the Bible in the original text. I love the Scripture and the ability to be able to study it in depth. And along the way, I think the Lord molded me to love languages, which is his mercy to me as someone who didn’t love languages in high school and college.” Of the six languages that Paul can read, he teaches Latin to students at GAC and Greek and Latin to students enrolled in GAC’s online school, Ethos.

Paul has published a peer-reviewed article and book reviews in some of the leading academic and Christian theology journals. He has also given numerous lectures and academic paper presentations from topics as diverse as the literary function of the Babel narrative to the ecclesiology, ethics, and imitation of believers in Philippians. Before coming to GAC, Paul taught at the college level and for an online classical academy for middle and high schoolers. He has always known that he wanted to be in the classroom full time so the opportunity to come to GAC was a boon for him.

Paul’s faith walk influences his teaching deeply. “The major way that God reaches out to us by the Spirit is through his Word. We are also made in his image as people who need and love to communicate. And every student who walks into my classroom, whatever they think about themselves, I tell them, ‘You can do this already. It’s how God has created you.’ It’s my goal to teach them how to use language beautifully and as a way to build each other up.”

“There is something unique about teaching languages. A lot of times, you get students who may struggle with traditional academic subjects. But I don’t know that about them when they walk in the door. I have had students with a very high facility for language and they’ve never had that experience of success before. As a language teacher, I get to experience the first time a student feels naturally gifted at something at school. And that’s one of the best things about teaching. And these stories are refreshingly common in the classroom for a language teacher.”

There are many reasons why Paul feels blessed to be at GAC. One reason is the way GAC encourages teachers to engage in mentoring relationships with students. “There are students I get to teach for two straight years. And I get a chance to watch them grow. And as a middle school teacher, I get to be there and shape students when they are first starting to look up out of childhood and into adulthood and realize who they are. And the kids will come in and just want to talk and share. I had a student who would come in and he would want to talk about lawn maintenance. This came about because I told some silly story in Latin about how badly I had cut my grass. And the student is clearly a savant at lawn maintenance and grass. He would come in and we would talk after school about nitrate levels in the soil. As that relationship grew over a couple of years in the classroom, I started to notice that when I said something in class, he knew that I cared about things other than just what I am talking about in class. That I cared about him in general. And it’s a way of building trust.”

Building trust and loving students is a core belief for Paul. “There are more aspects of love than just experiencing happiness with them. Telling them the truth, caring for them, being fair to them, which involves both challenging them when they need to be challenged, and recognizing limitations and being fair with those. A teacher has to love his or her students enough to be honest with them, to repent to them when they sin against them, to be fair and prepare them in the classroom. I think a teacher has to love his or her students in ways that the students don’t always read as love but that’s prioritizing them over yourself. It’s similar to parenting in some ways.”

Paul genuinely cares about modeling an interest in his subject matter, and this enthusiasm is infectious for his students. “I consider myself a huge dork. I’m jealous of everyone’s curriculum. I am jealous when the history teacher gets to teach World War 2, or when the science teacher gets to teach about mitosis, or when the math teacher gets to teach about slope intercept form. I’m interested in a lot of stuff. What I try to do is be really interested in what I am teaching and exemplify that “this is interesting and worthy of your interest” by being interested in it myself. I try to model for students what it means to be interested and curious, and hopefully encourage lifelong learning.”

Paul’s curiosity about learning has led him to develop an expertise in online education, first with Memoria Press Online Classical Academy and now with Ethos School. “With online teaching, I learned how important human contact is. There are different technologies and best practices, but the real challenge is how, as a teacher, do you enter into a formative relationship with a student in a remote way.  And it’s not efficient but it’s the only way to do it right. People are formed by example and love; they are not formed by forum posts. They are formed personally. That is what I love about what Ethos School is doing through all of the points of contact with kids. It’s about really forming people, not just dumping information on them and testing them on it. I think with Ethos School, we’ll be able to combine that contact with the best practices that the technology we have allows us to do in a way that is sustainable.”

Besides teaching Latin, Paul also coaches GAC students in varsity debate. “Students tend to come in thinking they are going to argue, but they learn that real argument takes a lot of work and compassion. You have to legitimately understand both sides of the argument so well that you can present the best version of both sides. It equips students to understand the best version of an argument that they disagree with in the real world. As people, we tend to ‘other’ the people who hold a position we disagree with. What debate allows us to do is learn to do to others as we would want them to do to us, to love other people well by taking them seriously in their thoughts and their ideas.”

 

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for the Whole Family

With countless academic and extracurricular opportunities near and far, GAC is a community where every member of your family has a place.

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More than 1,600 students attend GAC, spanning grades pre-K-12. Learn about their lives at GAC.

We rolled out the red carpet for hundreds of GAC grandparents today on our favorite day of the year—our annual Grandparents Day. Spartans of all ages toured classrooms with their grandparents, introducing them to friends and teachers. Grandparents and grandchildren together enjoyed performances including choir, band, orchestra, drama, and dancing ensembles.

We rolled out the red carpet for hundreds of GAC grandparents today on our favorite day of the year—our annual Grandparents Day. Spartans of all ages toured classrooms with their grandparents, introducing them to friends and teachers. Grandparents and grandchildren together enjoyed performances including choir, band, orchestra, drama, and dancing ensembles.

“I bet it’s a little more fun to be a grandparent than a parent,” President Scott Harsh, a father of three himself, predicted with nods of agreement, clapping, and laughter from the crowd. Dr. Harsh highlighted the success of our students in academics, sports, the arts, and in growing their faith. The extra warmth and wisdom grandparents brought onto campus was appreciated by all, and we hope grandparents felt the love too as we showed them the very best of what goes on here on our beautiful campus. The partnership between home and school is part of what makes GAC a special place, shaping and enriching the daily lives of everyone in the Spartan community.

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By the Numbers

1600+

Students in pre-K - 12th

89

Zip codes across 12 counties are represented in GAC's student body

200+

Students and faculty serve on mission trips each year

60+

STEM courses in middle
and high school

40+

Performing and visual art electives

62

Athletic teams across 14 sports

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Spaces Students Thrive

Our learning environments are living, breathing spaces that nurture the spirit of education and inspire students and teachers alike to believe that teaching and learning can be the silver bullet to maintaining and creating a better world and life for all.

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High School Complex
Nasmyth Environmental Center
Sara D. Williams Fine Arts Center
Naik Athletic Training Center

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High School Complex
Both Long Hall and Tidwell Hall are original structures to GAC when it opened to students in 1968. The 34,000 square foot High School Complex was redesigned and fully renovated in 2016 based on extensive research of best practices of innovative education and needs of the 21st century student. Interactive, engaging learning is facilitated by glass walls that allow for natural light, flexible furniture, and portable technology that is easily adapted to hands-on, experiential, project-based learning. The collaborative, alcove settings provide a place for students to gather in small groups to work on projects.
Nasmyth Environmental Center

Equipped with a sizable chicken coop, turtle pond, 2,300 sq ft greenhouse, food forest, vermiculture, and aquaponics, the Nasmyth Environmental Center provides hands-on learning space for students to witness and engage in sustainable practices. The Nasmyth Environment Center is named after long-time board member and GAC friend Fernando Nasmyth and his wife.

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Sara D. Williams Fine Arts Center

The Sara D. Williams Fine Arts Center is one of the most vibrant areas on campus. Students participate in a vast array of performing arts including: Band, choir, drama, and orchestra. The facility also houses the School of Music which features 8 private music lesson studios. The Clifton Jones Theatre is home to eight drama performances a year. Talented instructors combined with numerous rehearsal spaces make it possible for even more students to perfect their skills in the performing arts. This building was named in honor of a GAC grandmother who is a big supporter of the arts.

Naik Athletic Training Center

In "The Naik" athletes can work out in the multi-faceted venue with batting cages located on the main floor and additional strength and conditioning equipment on the second floor. Named in memory of Shanil Naik a beloved GAC student-athlete, the 2-story facility is used by GAC athletes of all skill levels.

Learn more about GAC's state-of-the-art facilities by taking our virtual tour.

We are a Community

Nataly Beacham

“GAC provided me with many opportunities to explore out of my comfort zone and discover myself. I was blessed with extremely supportive teachers, counselors, and friends who encouraged me to take risks and believe in myself and my dreams.”

Class of 2019

Shawn Ohuabunwa

“I learned the importance of education; I developed my passion for basketball; and lastly but most importantly, with the guidance and help of adults (teachers and other figures) and my peers, I cultivated and developed my true personalized genuine relationship with Jesus Christ at GAC.”

Class of 2019

Elise Karinshak

“The environment provided so many opportunities for exploration and growth. Academically, my teachers have been phenomenal not only in teaching me and helping me develop a solid foundation, but also in helping me grow as a critical thinker and creative problem solver. They have equipped me to handle complex subjects in college and beyond. I also found myself in many activities as I grew up. Through exploration of these opportunities, I was able to find my passions develop many skills, both athletic and artistic.”

Class of 2019

Chandler Dula

“GAC helped me develop confidence and an eagerness to learn. When I first began at GAC in 6th grade I was like many other middle schoolers, worried about lunch and fitting in. As I got older, I started viewing GAC as something entirely different, an opportunity, a space to cultivate my identity and strengthen the foundation of my faith in God. Every teacher I had showed a true interest in my development but also the development of my curiosity. The confidence I gained to be wrong, to ask questions, and to lead all was strengthened during my time at GAC in ways that will only become more apparent during my next educational transition.”

Class of 2019

News

GAC’s Accomplished Musicians Join With the State’s Finest for JanFest

Ten GAC High School students traveled to Athens over the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend to participate in the prestigious JanFest, one of the oldest and largest high school band festivals in the Southeast. Hosted by the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia, JanFest welcomed 2,000 students onto campus for the 70th Annual January High School Band Festival. This four-day event is open only to invited musicians who represent the most accomplished among their high schools across the state of Georgia and the Southeast.

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Gabriel Uribe and Lizzie Joiner are named “20 Under 20” by Atlanta INtown and Reporter Newspapers

As we enter into the new year, we are thrilled to announce that GAC Seniors, Gabriel Uribe and Lizzie Joiner, have been named "20 Under 20" in Atlanta INtown and Reporter Newspapers, respectively. Both publications annually recognize youth in the area who make a difference in the community through volunteerism and philanthropy.

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