The holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s prompt reflection on the past year, and that holds true for schools as well as for families. When those of us at Indian Rocks Christian School look back at the past year, we see so many evidences of growth and God’s blessing. We can’t help but have an attitude of gratitude! To borrow a line from a familiar song, “these are a few of our favorite things”:
1. Alumni Making a Difference
They’re almost everywhere, making a difference in the world and representing us well! Samantha (Pigsley) Clapper, IRCS ’08 visited Mr. Kinsey’s Government class recently, and we’re confident that her story was motivating for our current students. A graduate of Liberty University, she now works as a Business Development Manager for Lukos, a Department of Defense contractor. A glance at our school’s Facebook page gives insight into a variety of realms where our alumni land. In November alone we highlighted a new Largo police officer (Andrew May, ’08), a NASCAR driver (Robby Lyons, ’07), and a running back for the University of Buffalo, Buffalo Bulls (Theo Anderson, ’16)! We can’t wait to see how God uses our 2017 grads!
2. Character Being Built Through Athletics
This is the time of year when it seems that so many sports come together: Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Swimming, and Volleyball are concluding their fall seasons while winter sports (basketball and soccer) pump into high gear. With 35 teams spanning 14 sports, our many talented athletes appreciate excellent facilities and high-quality coaching. Who doesn’t love cheering along with our Cheerleading squad as we support Golden Eagle athletes? We’re thankful for the new rubberized track that was completed earlier this year, as well as for the many honors Golden Eagle athletes achieved. The greatest achievements, though, may be in the growth of personal discipline and character that these athletic opportunities provide.
3. Creative Gifts Fostered Here
Whether visual or performing arts, IRCS gives students so many ways to shine! We love to expand creative horizons, and that’s exactly what our high school art students found recently when they visited the Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s also what third graders experienced at the Dale Chihuly glass sculpting collection. In the vocal music area, IRCS recently announced that the High School choir was selected to perform at EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional on December 18. That’s an honor, and one that comes after a slew of recent recognitions for IRCS musicians that range from awards at the Florida Vocal Music Association’s Solo and Ensemble Festival, to freshman Perry Banse’s selection for All State Chorus. Bravo!
4. Grandparents — and Parents — Enrich Our School
Our recent Grandparents’ Day and the ongoing involvement of caring parents help make IRCS the special place that it is. We love our school families! Our school Philosophy and Goals statement pledges that we’ll cooperate closely with parents in every phase of their pupil’s development, and that we will aid families in making their homes God-centered. That’s a responsibility we don’t take for granted. We also know we couldn’t be the strong school that we are without the focused commitment of groups like our Moms in Prayer which support us each week.
5. Moving Closer to Our New STEM Lab
We can’t wait to see our dedicated STEM Lab become a reality, and that reality is coming closer thanks to our recent online auction efforts. Our planned renovation of “Smiley’s Building” near the Ulmerton entrance will yield more than 7,000 square feet for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math activities. In the meantime, we’re making great use of our current classroom space and packing STEM-rich activities into lessons for all grades.
6. Service With a Smile
Our students are continually learning what it means to serve as the hands and feet of Christ. Through ongoing service projects and special, focused opportunities like the Mini-Mester mission trips, our students make memories and change lives. Projects like “Angel Boxes” for Pinellas County foster kids and Pack-A-Sack for local students allow IRCS pupils to make an impact in our local area as well. The Environmental Club recently visited ECHO Farms to learn how world hunger issues are being addressed through sustainable farming. These are all worthy service opportunities that help prepare IRCS students for life beyond high school.
7. Teachers Make It Happen!
Our teachers work hard, and they aren’t just delivering content. Our mission of leading every student to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ while providing the highest quality Christian education in an environment of genuine love and concern for each student and parent requires more than just a thorough knowledge of a specific content area and best-practice teaching techniques. This is a labor of love, and that means love for God and love for our students!
Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for as we head toward the holidays. At the top of our thankful list is the freedom to keep our Christian worldview front and center throughout the school year. In addition to that, the spirit of community we experience here at IRCS is outstanding!
Indian Rocks Christian School is a private Christian School serving Preschool, Elementary, Middle, and High School students in Largo, FL, with a balanced program of academics, athletics, and Christian development in a caring environment. If you’re a prospective parent wondering how a Christian Education could benefit your child, download our infographic today!