I recently gave a tour to a family that was moving to the area from Virginia. They were very impressed with our facility and all we have to offer. Tours are one of the most informative ways to help parents understand our school and how it works. Seeing the rooms and all we have to offer is very effective in answering questions, even before they are asked. Many times while school is in session we have the opportunity to stop and let the family speak to our students. This is a little harder to accomplish in the summer, although we do have camps and summer workouts going on with our students. While some of our students are more nervous than others, they are a great representation of our school as they converse with families. We also frequently have the opportunity for families to meet teachers and ask questions of them. Again, summertime is a bit sparser in this category. I believe our best tours go on while school is in session.
Two comments I frequently get on tours are, “This is a very nice facility” and “The students seem so happy here.” Both are very accurate observations. I believe our facility would rank in the top 10% in the country for Christian schools. Our facilities department does an outstanding job of continually keeping things current, clean, and in good repair. We’ll look closer at some of the special features in a bit. As far as happy students go, ours love to be here. One of the biggest reasons for having friendly students is our mission trip experiences. Each year, high school students can elect to go on a mission trip. They have four opportunities in high school. Every trip they go on they travel with different students. Rarely when a trip is formed do any of the students know all of each other’s names, but when they come back, they have a relationship with students they barely knew at the onset. This goes a long way in breaking down the “clique” walls that can form in schools and has made all the students more outgoing and friendly. They genuinely enjoy the environment, their classmates, and our faculty. It is not unusual for many of our alumni to come by to say goodbye when they leave for college in the fall. It becomes an extended family for them.
Some of the favorite areas on our tours include:
The Fine Arts department – Our art room is loaded with student art work that shows the depth of their instruction and ability. They are taught painting, drawing, clay, sculpture, print making and photography and much more. They choir and band suites are impressive with the space that was allowed for them as well as the rows of trophies and awards earned over the years.
The gym – The double sized gym always gets the attention of new families. Its size and its red, white, and blue color scheme make it a showplace. The floor is stripped and refinished each summer so it always looks like it is new. This past fall we had some alumni return and ask why we put in a new floor after they left. I assured them it was the same floor, just refinished. Next to the gym is our weight room. It is rare to find a time when someone is not using it. It boasts all of the equipment necessary rivals that of a medium size college workout space.
The Digital Arts suite – Contains a fully functioning television studio where our morning news program is produced and aired. It also has the computers and equipment to offer classes in web design, music studio, electronic journalism, digital photography, and video editing. We have the ability to live stream chapels, assemblies, and sporting events.
The Emperor’s Perch – There is a back balcony that overlooks our athletic fields that cover much of our 55 acre property. It reminds me of where a Central American dictator might stand to overlook his kingdom. It gives a beautiful view of our athletic complex.
If you’ve never been on a tour, feel free to stop by and see all we have to offer.