Where would we be without our devoted and beloved Mrs. Howell? As our only remaining founding family member on staff, she is in many ways the backbone of our school. In the 5th and 7th grades at the time, her children were among the first students to attend Trinitas. She joined Mr. Trotter in the office after her first year as a parent, and has been on staff ever since. The Howell’s daughter Ashley is our first alum to bring her own children here as students. Mrs. Howell quietly and diligently works each day and blesses us with her patience, wisdom, and creativity. Thank her when you have the opportunity, for her tireless efforts to keep the “trains running on time” and keeping us all in line. She is amazing!
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Our Trinitas Knights baseball team marked the mid point of their season last week. They played Bayshore Christian Friday night and while they did not end up victorious, they fought hard and continue to get stronger each game. They did have a huge win last Tuesday against West Florida Baptist with a final score of 6 to 0. It was a tight match up until the fourth inning when the bats “came alive” and runs started coming across the plate. With a big cheering squad to pull them through, the momentum kept them going strong. Come be a part of the fun again tomorrow night for our last regularly scheduled home game (Brent Ball Park), March 28th at 4:30 PM as we play Lighthouse Christian. The final games are as follows: 4/4 at Lighthouse at 4:30 PM, 4/6 at Santa Rosa at 4 PM, and 4/18 at Aletheia at 4:30 PM. We will host our regional tournament at Brent park on 4/21 and 4/22, followed by the final tournament hosted by Central Christian on 4/28 and 4/29. Look forward to seeing you there! Go Knights!
A couple of weeks back I wrote about the need for parents to help their children mature spiritually so that their faith is not something they cast off as soon as they leave the home. Of course, there are lots of scriptural principles for our teaching our children to love God in word and deed. Two of my favorites are from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 6. The first is a promise of generational blessing to those who love God and keep His commandments; the second is a command to parents to teach our children God’s words and ways every minute of every day. Perhaps the most often quoted of these kinds of passages is Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” It is abundantly clear to me that even though we are supported in our work by the church and (if we are so blessed) the Christian school, the responsibility for training our children in the faith still rests with us as parents.
It can be difficult, however, for parents to know where to start in this training, so let’s start at the beginning. From children’s first ability to comprehend, it is important for them to see dad and mom walking steadfast in the faith: praying, reading the Bible, going to Church every Sunday. All of those things are important, yes, but also children need to see dad and mom making everyday decisions based on God’s word. They need to see that dad and mom’s way of thinking about and doing everything is founded on pleasing God. Children need to see dad and mom loving God and loving neighbor, not only in word, but also in deed. What I am describing is what the Greeks would have called paideia—a culture that educates toward a way of being.
In order to raise Christian children to be practicing Christians, we need to create in our homes a paideia of God. In addition to the passages mentioned earlier, Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” One way of provoking our children to wrath is by expecting them to become mature, faithful, lifelong Christians based solely on what they get at church and school. Not only is that outcome unlikely, it is actually the perfect recipe for a half-baked hypocrite. Children will worship what dad and mom worship, whether it is money, fame, leisure, fill in the blank; the children will bow down to whatever the parents bow down to. The parents cannot, for example, worship their careers and expect their children to worship something different.
The best way to be sure our children will carry on in the faith is for us to carry on in the faith as a witness to them every minute of every day. We could discuss practical training—how to teach your children to pray, for example—but all of that put together will be at best a half-measure without a paideia of God in the home. I said earlier that training children in the faith must begin at the beginning. We are that beginning, and we cannot hand down a faith to our children that we ourselves do not possess. I have said before, but it bears repeating, that we are not the Holy Spirit; we do not save our children. God does the saving. But the way we as parents live before our children is the premiere human influence upon how they will view the faith and eventually live it out for themselves. If parents live their faith every minute of every day in both word and deed, if they put the One True God at the head of all they do in theory and practice, then there will be a paideia of God in the home. Everything else will flow from that, for that is the true beginning of training children in the faith.
The 5th grade participated in the annual celebration of early American history last week. With authentic attire and presentations given “in character”, it was an educational feast for all to enjoy. They relished dressing up and learning all about our founding fathers. Thank you to all that participated, cooked, and helped host this memorable day!
Congratulations to all of our summer and winter athletes who were recognized this morning at our Athletic Awards Ceremony! After powerful words from Mr. Gilley about the character and virtue building aspects of athletics, Coach Kivisalu introduced Mr. Joel Dunham, our long time basketball coach. Coach Dunham awarded his dedicated players medals, letters, pins, and bars. An All Conference Award and Defensive MVP was given to Master Brandon Peterson. Master Tim Parsley was awarded the Offensive MVP and Master Kevin Dulion was recognized as the most improved player on the team. With a final and emotional tribute to his eldest son, Coach Dunham awarded Clark with the 110% trophy.
Mrs. AJ Traylor then took the stage to introduce the 2016-2017 Cross Country team. With an amazing 4649 cumulative miles run over the season, Coach Traylor beamed with pride at her team’s accomplishments and hard work. With three boys running sub 19 minute 5K’s and one of our girls running the fastest 5K in TCS history, she had many reasons to be proud. Medals, pins, bars and letters were awarded and conference medals were handed out. First place in the men’s division went to Master Isaac Hennessey, followed by Master Tucker Gregg in second place and Master Evan Hennessey in third. Miss McKinley Traylor won second place in the women’s conference. She was also given the award for fastest time, as was Master Gregg. Most improved time went to Miss Ashley Cook. The coveted and hard earned 110% award was given to “Team Alpha”, Isaac and Evan Hennessey, Tucker Gregg, and McKinley Traylor. Congratulations to all on a job well done!
It was a day of giving for the Trinitas families and students last Friday. Over 40 pints of blood were donated by both the rhetoric students, parents, and faculty. Thank you to all that took time out of your day to supply this life giving donation to those in need. One Blood expressed an urgency in the community and were extremely grateful for our contribution to the blood supply. Way to go Trinitas family!
This past Saturday the Pensacola Music Teachers Association hosted the annual Sonata Contest at UWF. Over 506 students and 58 teachers participated. Our Trinitas music students performed quite well, with many of them placing in the top 3 of their division. Overall, we had 14 students participate with eight in piano, four in voice, and two in strings.
Laura Looper (a student of Sewell Griffith) placed first in voice, singing a medley of hymns and a 17th century song by Scarlatti. Chris Dunham (a student of Ed Varela) placed first in piano playing Sonatina in C major. Congratulations to both! The other winners and participants are listed below:
Olivia Varela – 2nd Place, piano
Jonny Taylor – 2nd Place, piano
Jackson Cowart – 3rd Place, piano
Ashley Cook – Participation, piano
Clark Dunham – Participation, piano
Carl Dunham – Participation, piano
Emma Todd – Participation, piano
Alex Johnson – Honorable Mention, voice
Jillian Todd – Honorable Mention, voice
Lauren Pardue – Participation, voice
Sadie Reed – 2nd Place, violin
Lily Reed – Honorable Mention, violin
Mrs. Phillips’ Latin class has been full of fun and surprises thanks to our dear friend, Mrs. Emily Shafer. Each week, Mrs. Shafer mysteriously appears with a mid-day coffee latte “pick me up” for our beloved Mrs. Phillips. Last week, the class surprised her with latte mustaches to accompany the “latte surprise”. Thanks to Mrs. Shafer for her devotion to our staff and for keeping us guessing on when the next “latte appearance” might be……..
The Junior and Senior students and parents reported a wonderful and snowy trip to New York City last weekend. With 48 in attendance, much ground was covered in the city. They saw the Cloisters, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a Metropolitan Opera performance and/or the Phantom of the Opera. They toured the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum, CNN, and walked in the snow through Central Park. They had a breathtaking view from the top of the Empire State building and sketched their own art at the beautiful Frick Museum. They ice skated in Rockefeller Center and paid tribute to 911 victims at the memorial erected on the victims’ behalf.
They crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on foot to have one final delicious meal at Juliana’s pizza (voted best pizza in the US!). There was beautiful white snow on the ground and smiles from ear to ear! Thank you to all that participated and organized this trip of a lifetime. It was unforgettable!
Our junior and senior classes have just returned from five days in New York City. Some schools would call it a junior-senior trip; we call it an aesthetics trip. On a Trinitas aesthetics trip the main mission is to discover beauty that we can’t discover at home. We go in search of music, dance, art, architecture, and food. It isn’t that we don’t have those things in Pensacola; it’s just that we can find more of them in places like New York City and Washington DC.
On the first night in New York City, about half of the students enjoyed seeing Ludwig von Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center. The other students attended Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Students appreciated the abundant beauty of the costumes, the voices, the stories, and even the ornate beauty of the opera houses themselves.
Great architecture has all sorts of aesthetic implications. Students delighted in the worshipful architecture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They also enjoyed the grand and ornate architecture completed by some of the captains of industry during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The J.P. Morgan Library and The Frick Museum in particular are reminiscent of ornate European estates with their indoor gardens and wood paneled studies; now they house some of the greatest private art collections in the world and are open to the public. No trip to New York City is complete without seeing the Empire State Building; our students spent an evening viewing the city from this magnificent structure.
Few places offer the aesthetic satisfaction of an art museum, and we visited five of them on this trip to New York. From ancient to modern and sculpture to painting, some of the world’s most beautiful and famous art was available to us in the city. We visited The Cloisters, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum, The Frick, and The Guggenheim. The students were well prepared for what they saw because they have been researching many of the most notable works and presenting their findings in class for several months. One evening ended with a wonderful group discussion about the works we had seen that day.
Our students were also tasked with finding aesthetically pleasing food on this trip. On two separate evenings students and chaperones were given time to search out a fine dining experience that they could not have had at home. Russian, Irish, and Italian themes were predominant among the group, but some kept it American, choosing to attend restaurants owned by famous American chefs. The dishes were varied and delicious: borscht, desserts with caviar and gold, kulebiaka, duck, lamb, octopus, and other decadent treats the students are sure to remember.
We also toured CNN New York for a back-scenes look at how the news is produced. Students were treated to a private tour by none other than Kyle Blain, a member of the CNN “K File” team.
Of course, we took a break for ice-skating at Rockefeller Center to make our New York City experience complete.
If this doesn’t sound like a normal junior-senior trip, that is because the aim of the Trinitas aesthetics trip is to introduce students to aesthetic experiences they cannot have at home. Sure, we have opera and museums and architecture and great food in Pensacola, but this trip gives our students a wider view of the world. Students can get pop-culture and pop-music and cheap food anywhere; this trip is about giving them what they don’t have readily available to them everyday. It is indeed part of their education, but it is the part that is most like an elegant dessert—one with gold leaf and caviar, perhaps.