You are here
June Headmaster Highlights
Hello Parents and Friends!
I am reminded that over time the days get longer but the years get shorter. So before the rest of the summer skips by, I want to remind you of a few things.
As we look forward to the 2017-2018 school year, we want to reiterate to families that they are automatically re-enrolled at Grace Academy. If you plan to un-enroll your child at Grace Academy, please notify our Registrar, Ms. Joann Buwalda at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
As some may already know, we bid ‘adieu’ but not ‘good-bye’ to our Principal Alex Lehman who will return to his former social studies teaching position this fall.
Additionally, our Athletic Director Zack Morgan moves on to a new challenge as assistant soccer coach at Waynesburg University accompanied by his wife Kimber Morgan, director of marketing and communications. Zack refined and expanded a highly successful athletic program leaving a legacy of excellence both administratively but also spiritually. Many thanks to our Morgan duo for their contributions to our school.
We will return to an administrative model formerly used by Grace Academy, which is prevalent in most private schools. Along with the Headmaster, our school will return to Lower School (elementary) and Upper School (middle and high school) model with two principals directing, respectively.
Here are some major personnel changes:
- Mr. Warren Barrett comes to serve in the Upper School as Principal after a four-decade tenure in the WCPS as a school principal. Many of you remember his father served for over 25 years as the Pastor of the Assembly of God on Wilson Blvd. in Hagerstown.
- Ms. Christina Hammer-Atkins will be our Lower School Principal, while continuing to serve as our professional development specialist.
- Mr. Kevin Smoot joins us as the new Dean of Students. Many of you know Kevin from his leadership at Broadfording Christian Academy, and more recently as the Assistant Pastor at Rehoboth United Methodist Church in Williamsport and former area director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
- Mr. Kevin Borg comes to us as the new Athletic Director from New Life Christian School in Frederick, bringing with him decades of administration experience.
- Ms. Jessica Klick will assume duties as our Communications Officer after a well-respected tenure at Heritage Academy. Jessica is a graduate of Grace Academy and we welcome her home.
We wanted to draw attention to our new Cybersecurity and American Sign Language courses we will offer our students this fall at the Upper School level.
As we continue to advance the educational experience of your child, Leadership has decided to implement the modifications below based on parent survey feedback, teacher insights, and Grace Academy Board support. These modifications will be reflected in the 2017 - 2018 Parent/Student handbook.
Student cell phone use will not be permitted during regular school hours. This means the student must turn off/mute and lock his/her phones in his/her locker from 8:20 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Emergency calls should be directed towards our main office, per usual.
- Additional lockers will be provided for Fall 2017. We will issue every student a padlock for a refundable fee upon its return at the end of the school year. In addition to laptops, we want to ensure the safety of student property.
- We will continue our tradition of parental entry to the school upon drop off and pick up. However, during the course of the day, we plan to strengthen our security measures with a mag-lock and camera at the front doors. Office staff will grant access to parents and visitors via intercom to enter during regular school hours. We are committed to your child’s safety. We plan to have this important security measure in place by the fall, and we will stay in touch as we progress. If you are new to the school, we have enclosed the drop-off procedure which we have used at Grace Academy since January 2017. We will review the procedure at Back to School Nights in August.
**Please note that for a smoother program, we will offer an Elementary Back to School Night on Tuesday, August 29 and MS/HS Back to School Night on Thursday, August 31, both commencing at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Academy.
We wish our Grace Academy community an enjoyable summer, and we look forward to keeping you updated as we near our first day of school on Tuesday, September 5.