What do you want to be when you grow up? is arguably the most asked question to people under the age of 18. GAC students are well aware that they may not know the answer to that yet, but they are on the journey to discover it. During Wednesday’s Open House, Athletic Director Tim Hardy shared that the journey of discovery is embraced by every aspect of the GAC culture, from the Summer Fellowship program to the co-curriculars, and even through the relationships made that last long after graduation.
GAC drama students presented The Sound of Music to a sold-out crowd last weekend! People of all ages came out in droves to see the beloved Rogers and Hammerstein musical that we all grew up singing. As the awards pile up and the word spreads about the prowess of GAC’s drama program, the shows have become more and more popular.
State championship titles seem to come in threes for the young women on GAC’s 4x100 Relay team. However, two team members have a one-of-a-kind bond: they’re sisters as well as competitors. In their 12 years at GAC, this is the first of goodbyes for these sisters. Jada now attends Harvard University on a track scholarship, while Jasmine remains at GAC to finish high school and her track career.
GAC has invited Dr. Mariale Hardiman of Johns Hopkins University School of Education onto our campus for a 2-day professional development conference in May of 2019. Dr. Hardiman is an expert on the emerging science of neuro-education, which studies how students learn rather than what they learn. She will teach our faculty how the brain acquires and retains information so that we can better design instructional methods, environments, and student feedback to maximize student potential.
The idea for Southern Commercial Roof Tech came to GAC alumni Thomas Vorpahl ('92) and Brandon Barron ('92) during a family vacation. Friends since the 6th grade, they put their plan into action in 2014, opening the doors to their roofing company in a low-rent warehouse with an unyielding commitment to success but zero employees. Since then, their company has been extremely blessed, and Vorpahl and Barron want to return the blessing. They recently gifted GAC with in-kind roofing services.
Today, our GAC family celebrated Thanksgiving at our annual all-school chapel. Students in chapel classes and chapel band led the community in praise and worship, and student body president Chandler Dula offered an inspired message to all students. “One day you might know God as a protector. Another day, you might know Him as a provider or a comforter. We don’t serve a small God. He is a “big G” God and not a “little g” God,” he said.
Ayden Wood, a 5th grade student at GAC, has been selected as one of the winners for the Georgia Music Educators Association Composition Contest. Students from across the state submitted musical compositions that were judged by a panel of esteemed music educators. Ayden is one of 16 students recognized and is the only winner in elementary school.
Wednesday marked one of the biggest days of their young lives for 10 Greater Atlanta Christian School student-athletes. Years of training and discipline have finally paid off for these seniors who have obtained scholarships to continue on as student-athletes at colleges and universities across the country. This showcase of talent, determination, and commitment is something to be expected at GAC. In just the last three years, GAC has seen over 60 student-athletes commit to playing at the collegiate level.
For GAC students, service is second nature (the class of 2018 alone volunteered nearly 20,000 hours during their high school years). Each year, GAC sends hundreds of students on over 20 mission trips. Many are during school breaks which the students give up in order to serve. But what drives these students to be Jesus’s hands and feet both locally and abroad?
Some of our recent GAC graduates are making their mark at Vanderbilt University. Endowed with a love of learning and real-life skills from their time at GAC, these students see college as a welcome challenge that they are well prepared for. Says Molly Sullivan (class of 2018), “Every day, I’m thankful for the foundation that my education at GAC has laid for me and for the role that GAC played in my path to get to Vanderbilt.”
Congratulations to the following students for being accepted into the Georgia Jazz Educators Association Jazz Bands for the 2018-2019 school year: Megan Ruder (bass), Ben McCarty, (trumpet), Aiden Mathers (tenor saxophone), Ike Ogueri (tenor saxophone), and Julian Fernandez (piano).
Senior Chris Hinton becomes the fourth Spartan Football player in the past five years honored with an invitation to play in the 2019 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. “Out of over 1 million high school football players, only 90 are selected to play in this game,” Head Coach Tim Hardy said.
Fresh out of their GAC graduation gowns, class of 2018 graduates Ford Roberts and Kyle Ellis will don Ivy League football jerseys this Fall and play against each other in a Yale vs. Princeton matchup. The game will take place in the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, a picturesque New England autumn setting for two young men raised together in the backdrop of the South on the GAC campus for many years.
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.
The first performance of the school year, “The Very Grey Matter of Edward Blank”, proves to stun both GAC audiences and those at the Georgia Theater Conference. After selling over 450 tickets for the show at GAC, the cast won four awards for their moving performance of the show that tackles the stigmas of mental illness.
Fifth graders participated in “Kickin’ It With Kale” today in cooperation with Georgia Organics and October Farm-to-School Month. Students chopped fresh kale, tomatoes, garlic, and onions before preparing Sukuma Wiki, an east African dish served in Tanzania and Kenya.
Senior Gavin McDonnell was recently accepted into the prestigious All-National Choir of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He is one of only 12 students who successfully auditioned from the state of Georgia. Selection to the All-National choir is considered one of the finest achievements available to high school choral students in the US and Gavin has earned this honor for two years in a row.
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” - Socrates
At GAC, we understand that learning never ends. On top of the formal education and years of experience they bring to the table, our faculty are always hungry for more knowledge and training as the profession evolves. In fact, 76% of them hold an advanced degree. GAC offers the professional and financial support to make this possible for our teachers.
Katie Irwin, GAC Class of 2015, was honored as UGA's Amazing Student for this week and deservedly so! An exemplary student with an impressive resume even as a junior in college, she epitomizes the GAC student, one who is guided by faith, courageous in character, engaged in service, empowered by strengths, driven by passions, shaped by experiences, inspired by vision, motivated by mission, and committed to action.
The founder of GAC, Jesse Long (1932-2014), was recognized for his great contribution to this part of the county on September 18th at 10:30 a.m., when Representative Clay Cox re-named I-85 at Indian Trail Road, Exit 101, as the Jesse C. Long Interchange. This interchange is symbolic of the GAC story in many ways.
Not every high school football team is invited to play the top football programs in other states. That’s what made last week’s game against the Prestonwood Christian Academy Lions in Plano, Texas a marker for the GAC Spartans football program. Although the team did not come home with a win, the team gained unparalleled experience in stepping up their competition on a national scale.
Senior Victoria Huynh was recently selected as a semifinalist for the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition. She is among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, which represents less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors.
If you have played one of the retail Escape Room games that have been popping up in recent years, then you know what it takes to play Breakout games: collaboration, critical thinking, and a bit of creativity.
The Breakout games offered in the Liles Media Center are crafted uniquely for GAC students. Mrs. Bonnie Baker works hand in hand with teachers to develop games that reinforce learning taking place in the classroom. Introducing teenagers to key vocabulary and context is seamless when paired with an engaging way to absorb it. High school students have played “Julius Caesar review”, “The Great Gatsby Getaway”, and the Harlem Renaissance.
GAC's Christopher Hinton is a 2019 five-star defensive line recruit and a Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six selection. “Christopher is an unbelievable young man. He’s obviously gifted and a national recruit, but he’s even better as a person. He’s very mature, motivated, selfless but he also pours into his teammates, and he has a really bright future beyond the football field as well."
And we're off! The 2018-19 school year has begun. This morning all GAC students gathered to celebrate and worship together as a school family. “Remember who you are and whose you are,” GAC President Dr. Harsh reminded students.
In order to accommodate our students’ best interests, GAC has adjusted the school day hours. Classes will now begin at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. each day. This new schedule will allow students to sleep later, which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a “best practice.” The biological sleep rhythms of adolescents naturally align with a later school day.
On July 1, Dr. Scott Harsh will become GAC’s third president. While he will be new to this role, he is not new to GAC. He has served for the past 22 years as a math teacher, wrestling coach, Dean of Students, HS Principal, and VP of Academic Affairs at GAC. “The love and wholehearted commitment to GAC has become a blazing fire in his life,” said current GAC President Dr. David Fincher.
Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 217 into law, increasing the annual cap on the Georgia Education Expense Credit Program from $58 million to $100 million. The increase will allow GAC to help more deserving, qualified students have access to a GAC education. Please consider supporting GAC by participating in GA Goal. This program allows taxpayers of Georgia to redirect and pre-pay a portion of their state taxes to an independent school of their choice. In 2017 alone,GAC donorsbenefitted over 100 students at GAC. Since the program's inception in 2008, 236 students have benefited, with an average award totaling $5,819. The application portal to participate opens June 1.
Senior Parker Jennings becomes the only individual to win three consecutive Shuler Awards. Last Thursday, Parker was bestowed her third Shuler for the "Best Performance by a Leading Actress" Award for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in the GAC musical My Fair Lady.
Last Friday, notable alumni returned to campus to share their stories with our High School students. As leaders in their fields, it was easy for students to see what was possible with a GAC education beyond high school.
Our hearts remain broken after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year. One month after the event, on March 14th, as schools nationwide staged walkouts in protest, here at GAC we took a different approach. We invited faculty and
students to gather in His name before school to pray for our community, our leaders, our nation, and for all victims of violence. As Proverbs 3:31 reminds us, “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.”
The courtroom is filled with brown bears, attorneys, and citizens. Judge Randy Rich, gavel in hand, presides over the packed Gwinnett County courtroom.
You know the story. A family of bears living in the woods leaves their log cabin to go for a walk. Meanwhile, a curious girl named Goldilocks wanders into the empty home, eats the bears’ porridge and tests out all of their chairs and beds.
It’s a fantastical fairy tale, but in reality Goldilocks has committed a crime! Dressed in character, GAC 4th graders hold a mock trial each year, trying Goldilocks for breaking and entering in this court case of The State vs. Goldilocks.
NORCROSS — Just when Tuesday night’s Class AAA quarterfinal began to slip away, Mary Martha Turner took charge.
The Greater Atlanta Christian girls basketball team’s lead had slipped to a single-possession edge, for the first time since early in the first quarter, with barely more than a minute left. Beach drove for a basket, but Turner blocked it, grabbed the rebound and made two free throws.
Classroom turned coffee shop, this 5th grader spoke her truth to her inspiration: Her PE teacher.
The stage is set. The classroom…transformed into a neighborhood coffee shop with ambient lighting, tablecloths, beanbag chairs, and cups of hot cocoa. Poetry slamming requires dual emphasis on writing and performance: the poems come alive as the students perfect not just the words they’ve written, but also how they say them out loud.
Directed by GAC's new drama teacher Kristy Winkes, the show features more than 40 students, hundreds of spectacular costumes and the largest set the school has ever built for a show. The experience starts in the theatre lobby adorned as a London market with flower carts, vendors, and opportunities to take red-carpet selfies.
Greater starts to a new year require new material; rather than jumping back into the routine of last semester, we begin 2018 with six-days of mini-courses that help our High School students reorient themselves for a new year of scholarship.
With choices ranging from Intro to Coding, Canoe Building, Forensic Chemistry, to Performance Theater, these mini-courses introduce students to new paths of interest or can further apply their studies to real-world scenarios or careers.