Dear Mount Pisgah School Family,
Whew, the pace of Mount Pisgah Christian School moves at a rapid clip! The opening of school seems like a distant memory, the first academic quarter is nearly complete, a Prep School theatre production opens Thursday, and fall region conference play for many varsity teams will soon be upon us. Several Pisgah teams are ranked in the top ten in the Single A classification in Georgia. Go Patriots!
After teaching an intensive Mini-mester course on The History of Baseball to eleven boys and one courageous senior girl softball player, I have spent this semester meeting people, asking questions about past and present, listening to myriad perspectives, and observing the daily ebb and flow of our school. I have been impressed with the commitment of parents, students and teachers to our core mission to develop the whole child - mind, body, heart and soul. The twin pillars of academic engagement and Christian teachings are both clearly prized at Pisgah, in a learning environment where students are nurtured and supported to be successful and to know Jesus.
We frequently read and hear about the Big C’s of 21st Century education that are ostensibly distinct from the previous century: critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration, cultural competency and character development. While I am not so sure these goals represent truly a new era in education, they are all apparent to me in our classrooms and overall educational program. The Big “C’s” for me so far at Pisgah has been Community in Christ. Let me share a quote from a Lower School parent about our Watch Dog Dads, a program in which fathers volunteer, mentor and tutor during school in the younger grades in order to support our elementary teachers.
“I have never witnessed such love and caring for kids as I saw yesterday throughout K-5. I personally saw teachers unabashedly stopping children in the halls to give them hugs. Teachers, who at first glance I thought were stoic, demonstrated … thoughtfulness, and careful planning for the best interest of students. All I can say is “Wow.” The love of Christ filling the halls of each and every classroom was so evident. We are blessed beyond words. The WatchDog program is awesome and what a blessing it is to let me share in this.”
In addition, I spent all of last week with Middle and Upper School students and teachers at Sharptop Cove, a Christian Young Life camp in the mountains near Jasper, GA. What an uplifting experience! As an educator, it was one of the most memorable of my life. The numerous parent volunteers (led ably by cheerleader and worker bee Leigh Ann Bishop!) expressed similar sentiments to the Watch Dog Dad above. The commitment of our people, young and old, to the Mount Pisgah mountain experience was palpable and moving. The love of Christ was present in every aspect of the week’s programming, which included biblical lessons after each meal every day. A group of senior leaders served as chaperones for the Middle Schoolers, staying in cabins, encouraging participation in outdoor activities, and leading prayer time and worship. Other seniors worked in the dining hall and kitchen or on the tech crew. All our seniors entertained the younger students with “senior skits” and a lively country western dance that characterized the most amazing school dance I have ever experienced. Not one student was not smiling, spinning and swaying – for the entire dance!
The school year is off to a good start, and WatchDog Dads and Sharptop Cove are but two examples of the strength of our Christian community. I look forward to experiencing many more!
In His Service,
John D. Marshall
Head of School