State of the School Address
Posted by Dr. Stanton on March 11, 2019
Good evening. Thank you so much for your warm welcome and to all who made my transition to Oakdale so smooth. It has only been 33 days since I started as Headmaster and I can tell you it has been such a joy to come to work each day and to experience a school such as ours.
This evening, I can tell you assuredly the State of our School is STRONG!
Allow me to describe for you why that is and the measurements I have employed over this past month. Much of this is from the perspective of our dedicated faculty and staff, but a great deal comes from me and my own observations.
Our day begins with our Opening Ceremony, where we honor our Flag and those who have served our Nation with the Pledge of Allegiance as well as a patriotic song.
Then, we turn our attention to our primary purpose – to honor God – as we collectively pray for our school and each other.
We move to celebrating academic successes and birthdays.
We have student recitations where our students stand in front of the entire school to recite a passage of Scripture or a selection based on their studies for the year.
To date, I have heard from a myriad of scriptural passages as well as orations and passages from Pericles, Beowulf, Edgar Allen Poe, Dante, Homer, and Thucydides.
Finally, I give a charge for the day – something to keep in mind for our faculty, staff, students, and parents.
As everyone moves to classes, they begin their work – the work the Lord has set out for them.
From a calculus class, where the single student in the class is moving from simple understanding of principles to learning deeper applications and an appreciation of the beauty of calculus.
To civics and economics, where students learn how limited government and free markets empower individuals to make choices for their own lives;
Middle school historians – 12 to 13-year old's – question how the Roman Republic rose; why the Roman Empire fell, and what culture, law, and art reflects about the deepest loves in the hearts of men and women.
Our second graders go above and beyond with optional writing assignments to incorporate their weekly spelling words. Our budding authors haven penned science-fiction stories, life lessons that affect their spiritual walk, and a creative drive that brings joy to all.
Fifth graders were tasked with an essay on "Why I love my school" and the pervading answer was the way students treat each other – they are encouraged by classmates, have no fear of bullies, and that everyone is loved. Their character matters and it is observed daily in our halls.
On Valentine's Day, we celebrated love, but not the fleeting love of cards and candy, but the greatest love – that our Savior, Jesus, chose to come down to earth and die on the Cross for each one of us.
Our student-athletes compete with a God-first mentality and have earned a state championship in boys' soccer; three-time state championship in wrestling, and we are adding additional sports, including baseball this spring.
Back on campus, our House System thrives with an expansion to now four houses for this year. These student-led groups focus on fellowship, competition, and accountability.
Weekly, Upper School girls meet and lead each other in a study of the Bible – encouraging one another and showing Christ's love for each other.
Our Chorale sang at a local church and at the Oakland County Domestic Violence Prevention Awards,
While our Kindergartners have mastered short vowel sounds and are moving to 'magic e' long vowel sounds, even to the point of reminding their parents that magic e words change the letter to a long vowel, as with the Book of Job. (focus on long "o")
After our lunch, which we eat together – Upper School, Lower School, and staff at the same tables – students clean off the tables, sweep the floor, and simply serve each other.
Our French students continually engage with their curriculum and enjoyed a day of French cuisine, but rather than simply eating, they described the tastes and understood the importance these foods play in French culture.
Students in our Apologetics class are searching for and determined to find Truth in a world that rejects it. They study C.S. Lewis, deliberate, and wrestle with the questions of our faith in order to know how to best serve the Lord.
Our seniors are working diligently at their capstone projects, focused on biblical understanding and the reasons so many young people are leaving the church.
The world is a place where, more and more, people are doing 'what is right in their own eyes' as in the days of Noah.
The world is a place where citizens in Florida are fined for light pollution in order to protect the lives of baby sea turtles finding their way to the ocean and where the State of New York – and seven other states – have laws that allows for the murdering of a child up until and after birth.
The world is a place where character is old-fashioned and out of style; where honor and strength are downplayed and relegated to the sidelines.
The world is a place where truth is what one defines it as and it is ever-changing.
The world is a place where wisdom is not marked by the indwelling of the Spirit, but by how well you conform to the whims of the day.
These are the not the ways of Oakdale Academy!
Our Mission at Oakdale Academy is "to instill Character, Truth, and Wisdom in our students in order to prepare them for a life of service to God, family, community, and country through classical Christian education."
At Oakdale, we point them to the Truth of God and in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
At Oakdale, we wrestle with Classical texts as the foundation for our Western traditions;
At Oakdale, we believe in the foundational principles on which this civilization flourishes and the works that provide us with the understanding and challenges to continue to improve.
At Oakdale, we set high levels of academics and behavior.
At Oakdale, we study the beauty of language - English, French, and Latin;
At Oakdale, we focus on grammar, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, history, literature, science, and the arts to provide Renaissance students who will go out and serve the Lord with the knowledge to defend their faith and standards.
At Oakdale, we understand the way in which our Lord revealed Himself to humanity and how He is intricately involved in our world and in our everyday lives.
At Oakdale, we echo the call of 1 Peter 3:15: "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you."
At Oakdale, we insist on an acknowledgement of objective standards of correctness, logic, beauty, and truth as opposed to a subjective, ever-changing set of values.
At Oakdale, we remember this quote - "Children are souls to be nurtured, not products to be measured."
Ultimately, this the Lord's school and these are His children - we are here to assist in pointing them to the Truth of Jesus and to the knowledge to grow and then defend their faith in service to Him.
We fulfill the words of the Psalmist who said, "Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them."
Here, we do that together, because together we are called to follow Paul's admonition in 2 Corinthians 5:20; "...we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us."
We do this together, because together...
We Are Classical | We Are Christian | We Are Oakdale!
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