2016 ACCS Conference

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Greg Vigil, Board Chairman

I have attended this conference for five consecutive years and always come away refreshed and encouraged to learn from those who have gone before us who are willing to share lessons learned along the way. This year, I was especially challenged by a speaker on the Value Proposition of private education. It is my hope to invigorate our staff and board culture with a deeper passion and understanding that increases the value of an education at Arma Dei Academy for our students and parents.

Eric Walters, Board Member

As a board member I was impressed with the critical importance of communication to our school. Good communication is absolutely essential in so many ways. One example is how important the connection between our excellent faculty and parents is to the success of the school. Regular conversations between faculty and parents is a critical aspect of helping us deliver on our promises to families and giving them guidance on how their children can best develop. Another example is for school leadership to clearly articulate our strategic plan for the school and welcome parents and faculty to help us refine it. Finally, the communication between our faculty as they share what they’ve learned from personal training or conferences or from observing one another. As we grow we’ll need to spend more time listening and communicating with one another to ensure we are following where the Lord is leading us as we seek to educate his children.

Robi Marshall, Principal

The ACCS conference was an exceptional experience. Surrounded by educators of all ages, each was reminded that it takes 1600 hours to form a habit within our lives—and the habits of loving what is true, beautiful and therefore good must be established and strengthened continually in our own lives. As they are, we reflect God, the original, and we become the derivative, a reflection. We have great opportunity to reflect him to others. Thus all teaching should be about what we love, rather than what is despised or hated. Ours is the privilege of introducing others to the ancient rich banquet God has prepared and delights to serve. And this echoes John Milton’s wise words, “the end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, and to be like him.

Dina Ogg, Admissions

The ACCS conference was a great opportunity for me in my role as Director of Admissions at Arma Dei. Not only did I get to experience classroom education, I was impressed by the workshops I attended that will help further advance the school not only in sustainability and enrollment but also in working with and connecting parents. I acquired much information from experienced professionals and experts in the field of classical Christian education that were directly applicable to our school I am excited to develop a plan and take action to implement some of the ideas I learned.

Katheryn Pranno, Communications

The practical training, discussion of advanced topics, opportunities for networking, and a Christ-centered, worshipful environment is something I look forward to at the ACCS Conference. This year’s conference was no exception. I was especially impressed by the encouragement toward humility as teachers, administrators and leaders in our respective schools. “If we don’t care about our egos,” one speaker remarked, “God can do marvelous things in and through us!” Each of our positions at Arma Dei Academy and in the larger Body of Christ is a calling to bring glory to God as a minister of the Gospel. Plenary speaker Douglas Wilson reminded us that as role models, what our teachers and parents look like now are who are students are destined to become. I am so motivated to partner with our parents to make humility, unity, and Christlikeness priorities as we strive to leave a godly legacy with our kids.

Rachel Senia, 4th grade teacher

This ACCS Annual Conference entitled “Repairing the Ruins” succeeded in pointing out parts of the education process and motivation that has been lost or distorted in our modern society. I especially appreciated Douglas Wilson’s reminder of what the “Face of a True Teacher” looks like. He said, “The face of a true teacher faces Jesus Christ, and reflects Him. The face of a true teacher is the face of a Christian.” We are images of the one, true God, and we must be content to express Him not ourselves. As we keep our eyes and hearts on Christ, we will reflect Him as a mirror. Students will see Him in the subjects that we teach and begin to think biblically so they may glorify and reflect Him also.

Kendra Owsley, 4th grade teacher

Inspiration, hope, and collaboration comprised the time we had at the Association of Classical Christian Schools conference. With visuals and elaborate stories, Professor Grant Horner shared how to bring the sublime into the classroom. I was motivated to thoroughly research my subjects so my students can grow in their love for grandeur and awe-inspiring beauty. A teacher gave a presentation to remind us to focus on the salvation we have in Christ and the power we are given by God as we teach. The team building we had as Arma Dei Academy was refreshing and uplifting by sharing meals, singing praises to God, and growing in knowledge together. It was a pleasure to grow from this conference through the inspiration, hope, and collaboration so our students at Arma Dei can be “fit rulers someday,” as we live as children of the King.

Brittany Sommer, Kindergarten Enrichment

During my time at ACCS there were quite a few conference sessions I really enjoyed. The one that really stood out to me though was The Sins of the Classroom by Matt Whitling. I really enjoyed his outlook on classroom management. Matt talked about how children need to be told your expectations, they need to be trained, and they need to practice over and over again. He gave great examples of teaching students to line up. First, you tell them what you want them to do. Then, you must train them how to do it through examples. Last, you practice over and over again until they have it down. Matt said once they get to this point and they are doing things correctly praise them for it! I think his outlook on classroom management can also be used in helping students understand curriculum. Young children need to practice and need to know what is expected of them. Matt is a great speaker and is very inspirational. I look forward to learning more from him in the future.

Naomi Toews, Versatile Teacher

Something N. D. Wilson said stuck with me and reminds me to not get stuck looking at myself, “Rhetoric is not about you [the speaker] being liked or not liked. It’s about the delivery of a package.” This leads me to stop and ponder how precious the package is that we who trust Christ have been entrusted to deliver. Having been reconciled in Christ to God, we are now entrusted to carry this message of reconciliation to the world. My desire is to be so fixed on God and responsive to His Spirit that concern for the image people have of me never stands in the way of faithfully delivering this precious message. I look forward to partnering with families to bring up children who are secure in their identity as beloved children of God and fearless in ministering reconciliation. Children who with logic, spirit, and love will deliver to the world messages which will remedy problems, restore relationships, and lead people to peace with God through Christ.