The 2017 Trinitas Art contest winners were announced at morning meeting Friday, May 12th. The recipients in the categories of painting, sculpture, photography, and drawing are listed below. The Best of Show award went to Miss Abigail Tenniswood for her “Finger Fish”. After seeing paintings by Iris Scott in New York City, she was inspired to complete an oil painting using her fingers in lieu of a paint brush. Other winners, Tim Parsley and Bryce Barnes who won 3rd place in the painting category, also mimicked a beloved artist, Jackson Pollock. Mr. Pollock was the inspiration for Mr. Parsley’s senior thesis and his attempt to replicate his work was well received.
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The Drama Club presented Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream last weekend with tremendous success and fan fare. With Friday night sold out and over 230 in attendance, the students were in rare form and delivered a wonderful performance! As the love affair between Demetrius, Hermia, Helena and Lysander unfolded, the laughs and twists were everywhere. Saturday was also well attended and patrons enjoyed their fairy kiss treats and scones during intermission. The Drama Club would like to thank Miss Brittany Hartke for her tireless leadership and efforts, Miss Charity Robson for her expertise and creativity directing the fairies, and Mrs. Miranda Varela for creating the amazing set which helped to convey an authentic looking garden scene and for directing the Athenians. It was a large “team effort” with excellent results! Well done Trinitas!
Congratulations to Miss McKinley Traylor for scoring in the top 50,000 juniors nationwide on the PSAT and being invited to enter the National Merit Competition. She will continue to the next level of competition in the fall. With this honor, McKinley joins the 15% of Trinitas juniors who have qualified for the National Merit Competition.
In Ecclesiastes 4:12 the “preacher” says, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Christian parents should apply this concept to the education of their children. When the parents, the church, and the school are all preaching the same message, the result is true education for Christian children—the kind of education that forms virtue and points children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). Borrowing a term from the Romans, we can call this “threefold cord” of parents, church, and school an education triumvirate.
Parents, of course, are the first cord. They bear the responsibility for educating their children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Deut. 6:6-9; Eph 6:4). No other entity can take the parents’ place in this calling. God plainly requires parents to educate their children in such a way that they know Him, that they know He created everything, that they know He even now reigns over all of it, and that He requires them to be holy.
The church, the second cord, could easily be the first mentioned in this triumvirate because it bears the responsibility for training Christian parents and then coming alongside those parents to train children. The church must preach the unfiltered word of God, making plain to parents what God requires of them concerning their responsibility to raise Christian children. No other entity, not the government and certainly not pop-psychology from Good Morning America, is responsible for training Christian parents in how to raise Christian children.
The Christian school is the third cord. The school is responsible for continuing the work done by the parents in the home and the pastors and teachers in the church. The school is to give children their reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic in a way commensurate with what the child learns at home and at church. The school is to teach the child to apply Colossians 3:23 to his studies. The school is to take a part in helping the child become a winsome, fitting vessel of the Gospel who can articulate precisely and communicate clearly. The school is to come alongside parents and church to help the child understand what it means to live a Christian life in this world. Christian children spend about thirty-five waking hours at school every week—this is an important cord.
When these three work together, it truly is a beautiful thing for the Christian child—an education triumvirate. Children who receive this kind of education hear a consistent message from parents, church, and school. There is harmony in their world; everything makes sense. Children flourish under this triumvirate and are far more likely to continue in the way they should go.
The Trinitas seniors recently finished their senior thesis project. It was as if the weight of the world fell off them on that day. They have been living with their topics and all the research and writing and re-writing for a year now. It felt good for them to turn in those papers and defend them before a panel of board members and faculty. It felt good for them to look back on their work well done and know they had accomplished that massive and daunting project they set out to accomplish a year ago.
Trinitas is not the only school that requires seniors to write and defend a thesis as a requirement of graduation. Thesis papers and sometimes a defense of those papers is a requirement in most classical schools and some prep schools as well. The requirement is in keeping with the Trinitas goal of teaching students how to think, not what to think.
The thesis paper requires research of a topic the student probably learned something about in class but ideally goes far beyond the scope of material covered in class. Students will read between 1,000 and 2,000 pages to get comfortable with their topics; then they write papers approximately fifteen pages in length. Of course, they’ll probably write more than one paper like that in their first year of college. Even though they aren’t in college yet, thesis gives them a good taste of what is coming in the years ahead.
Once the paper is turned in at the end of the third quarter, students begin preparing to defend their theses. This is the part that really makes them nervous. During the defense, students present a summary of their papers in a room packed with family, faculty, and board members. After each student presents his or her summary, a panel of six faculty and board members peppers the student with questions. Many of these questions will not be directly from the text of the student’s paper but will instead ask the student to extrapolate by applying his or her position on the topic to real world scenarios. This is the most uncomfortable part of the thesis defense for students and parents, but it may be the most important as well. Trinitas aims to graduate students who can think on their feet, especially concerning a topic they have researched for a year. We are sending these students out into what can be a cold and hostile world, and we want them to be able to think on their feet well enough to give an answer to the world for the hope that is within them (1 Peter 3:15).
I am happy to report that all Trinitas seniors defended their theses well this year and can pass out of the halls of Trinitas and into the great wide world knowing they have accomplished much. Well done, Class of 2017!
Come one, come all. Tickets are now on sale in the office for our drama production Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tickets are $5 per person. Show times are Friday, May 5th, at 7:00pm and Saturday, May 6th, at 1:00pm and 7:00pm. Get your tickets early. We normally sell out for both evening shows. Concessions will be available at all shows.
The 3rd and 7th grades enjoyed exploring caves and discovering dark treasures underground at the Marianna Caverns on May 4th. They traveled to Marianna, Florida to experience the beauty of this geological marvel. The students were able to implement their studies in science as they learned about various rocks and rock formations at this amazing state park. After adventures in hiking, watching for bats, and finding salamanders in the cave, the students relaxed with a picnic on the grounds.
The book Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, served as the model for our 2nd grade Prairie Day last week. They made heart shaped cakes similar to the ones Mr. Edwards brought Laura and Mary for Christmas and learned to square dance together. With long lacy dresses and bonnets in tow, the girls created beautiful beaded necklaces and churned butter. The boys chopped wood for the fire, plowed, and helped make candles. After eating pancakes on the griddle, the dishes were washed outside in a very authentic manner. It was a memorable day of appreciation for the pioneers that have gone before us and the benefits we have gained from their experiences.
The strawberries were bountiful at the Akers of Strawberries farm on March 29th! The kindergarten and senior classes enjoyed harvesting pallets full of beautiful red berries last week. After gathering their summer time treats, they cooled off with fresh yogurt and strawberry shortcake. It was a perfect day for a picnic on the grounds, piggy back rides, and fun on the playground. This trip brought everything full circle for seniors Parker Gilley, Caleb Price, and Bennett Looper, as it was just 12 short years ago that they too were in kindergarten here at Trinitas and on the same field trip. My how time flies! Godspeed to our Seniors and may God bless you all.
We Americans are pretty independent people. In fact, independence is often considered a hallmark of Americanness, a particular American virtue if you will. For the next few minutes, however, please allow me to celebrate the antithesis to personal independence, that is, the virtue of community. I have been inspired recently to extol the virtues of community by the many parents and students at Trinitas who work behind the scenes to support each other and the school.
The end of the school year is a time when teachers are rushing frantically to get in all those last minute field trips they haven’t had time for during the year, and this year has been no exception. So much coming and going of whole classes of students—and sometimes two classes at a time—has been happening in recent days that I can hardly keep up. But the community has met the challenge to make sure we have parents in place to plan, drive for, and chaperone field trips—and often at the last minute because of unforeseen weather changes. Because of so many parents’ willingness to sacrifice their time and talent, field trips and feast days have been exactly what they’re supposed to be for our students: fun and educational.
A few students in the Grammar School have needed a little extra help this year with one class or another, and I have been amazed at the way our older students have been willing to meet those needs. Teenagers happily working with younger children is not as common in the world as we might wish it was, but it is alive and well at Trinitas. One testimony to a thriving community is the lack of division based on age. Our students clearly feel a connectedness to each other regardless of age, and that makes for a sweet spirit in the school.
Finally, what a blessing our golf tournaments were! And what a testimony to our community as well. We really went out on a limb hosting two tournaments this year instead of one, but again, the community rose to the occasion. Though all the planning and the work and the cleanup that were done proved to be an amazing accomplishment, I am amazed more by the generosity of our volunteers and supporters. These golf tournaments raise money primarily for tuition assistance, but the volunteers were representative of our entire community, not only those families who actually receive tuition assistance. This is the sort of cooperation that not only testifies of the community but strengthens community across barriers that could divide.
If Americans are known for being independent-minded, Christians are known for being community-minded. So what do you get with an American Christian? I can’t speak for every place, but I know at Trinitas, we get like-minded families who live and work together in peace, sharpening one another as iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17). Thank God for community!