The following is the text of the remarks given at the 2018 Liberty Dinner by Mrs. Rachel Greb, Dean of Academic Affairs
Good evening, and thank you. It’s wonderful to be here this evening – thank you, Mrs. Kozak & students for leading us in the National Anthem, and thank you, Dr. Calvert for leading us in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. What a perfect way to set the tone for this evening.
In the very few minutes I have here, my task is to provide an update on how things have been going at Oakdale in the last year – a sort of “State of the School” if you will - and to bring some understanding and explanation of what I believe makes Oakdale Academy so special and why we are here tonight celebrating our 7th year.
There is much to be said about how things are going. One word captures it all: GRATEFUL.
In our 7th year I am:
- GRATEFUL to be celebrating 7 consecutive years of growth
- GRATEFUL to have our 5th graduating class go out into the world in a couple of months filled with Character, Truth, and Wisdom
- GRATEFUL to have dedicated and loving teachers who pour into our students every day
- GRATEFUL that as a school community, we worship an Almighty God who, in His faithfulness, provides for all our needs
- GRATEFUL to be a part of this Little School That Could
- GRATEFUL to be completely independent of government funding so that we can provide a classical Christian education without strings attached
- GRATEFUL for all of you, here supporting our Mission this evening.
I’d like to talk for a moment about this year’s graduating class. Most of them have been with us 6 and some 7 years. But just taking into consideration their 4 years of high school at Oakdale Academy, between them, our senior class have memorized and recited more than 40 passages of scripture or literature, they have led the way to 4 state championships, they have taken leadership roles in a positive and healthy student culture in the whole school, they have read challenging great works that many adults find intimidating - such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, Dante’s Divine Comedy, The Tale of Two Cities, Crime & Punishment, and Paradise Lost. They are currently preparing their senior capstone papers and presentations to defend to a faculty panel at the end of the year.
I am truly blessed to know this group of remarkable young people and am proud of them and how they represent Oakdale. But their academic accomplishments only tell part of the story – they have also participated in 10 different mission trips both domestic and international.
They have led chapel at our school.
They have led bible studies, volunteered at hospitals, worked at camps, led wrestling practices for younger teammates, volunteered at their churches, and babysat younger siblings. (Did you know that it is not possible to earn a varsity letter in babysitting younger siblings?)
They have done most of these things without thoughts of accolades or recognition.
In short, they have inspired all who know them (including their teachers and administrators) to live up to the Mission of Oakdale Academy:
To demonstrate Character, Truth, and Wisdom in order to be prepared for a life of service to God, family, community, and country.
So tonight I thank you for your support as we continue to work hard at this Mission, as we partner with parents in this sacred duty of educating students in a way that is Christ-honoring.
Hopefully tonight you have met some of our students and you are inspired by them as well.
I hope you enjoy what we have for you this evening...Thank you, and may God bless you.
In His service and for His glory,