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Archive for the ‘Headmaster Messages’ Section

A Word From Mr. Satterly—December 14, 2017

December 14, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

Dear WA Community,

As this edition of the eNews serves as the last of the calendar year, I offer a poem to hopefully help usher in Christmas (my apologies in advance to the English department). Our campus has been beautifully decorated, including at least seven Christmas trees, and carols have been playing in offices for at least a month. While everyone is looking forward to the break, the most important thought of the season is the majesty of the coming of The Christ. Wishing you a Merry Christmas…

’Twas the week before Christmas break and all through the school
     echo sounds good cheer from the halls to the pool.

With lower school celebrations and upper school exams,
     the days dwindle quickly before the holiday plans.

For teachers and students, time grows nigh
     as soon we will remember the star in the sky.

The star that marked the birth of our King,
     for whom we join our voices to praise and to sing.

The high school choir at Epcot marked the start
     while the lower school chapel provides the last part.

It is a time to sing and to give good gifts
     that give each of our spirits an end-of-year lift.

Upon our return, we will shift our thoughts
     from the gifts that were given, both made and bought.

The focus now clearly on a new day,
     a semester filled with classes, games, and the school play.

With the sight of Commencement just beyond reach,
     it is with that end in mind we will continue to teach.

Grace and Peace,

Joel-Signature

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster

A Word From Mr. Satterly—December 7, 2017

December 7, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

Dear WA Community,

South Florida is a unique place to live. Perhaps that is no more evident than during the Christmas season. In some ways, we have to fabricate the trappings, after all, palm trees don’t hold tinsel very well nor does “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” make much sense. While it might be easier to feel like Christmas in colder places like Chicago or Boston, the universal truth of Christmas, “In the beginning was the Word…” is both timeless and universal.

At Westminster Academy, we usher in the Christmas season with lots of decorations around campus including at least six trees, music programs, and various celebrations. Just this week the breezeway was jammed with poinsettias, and we are even holding an ugly Christmas sweater contest as part of a food drive. Before we simply dismiss all of this as typical holiday season fare, consider what we are truly celebrating—Jesus coming to reclaim that which is His. Such an amazing thing!

Perhaps you are like me, struggling with finding appropriate gifts for everyone on your list. (Men, if you need a hint, jewelry is always a good idea!) My mother-in-law was such a good gift giver; she always seemed to know just the right thing to give. Those who have that insight are such a blessing. As you work down your Christmas list, please consider including Westminster Academy. Year-end giving is key to our annual fund which provides tuition assistance and program enhancements. At the top of our Christmas list is funding for the renovation project for the Dr. Kenneth P. Wackes Media Center scheduled for this summer. Please contact Sarah Hajduk, Director of Development, for more information.

Grace and Peace,

Joel-Signature

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster

A Word From Mr. Satterly—November 30, 2017

November 30, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

Dear WA Community,

For many years, a debate has raged among the most learned—“Which is the superior holiday, Christmas or Thanksgiving?” A truly profound question with no simple answer. For example, Christmas does feature the incarnation of the living God or as John puts it… “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” On the other hand, it includes frenzied shopping, the most current toy rage, corny movies, and weird fruitcake. Thanksgiving, however, features deep-fried turkey (which any Southerner recognizes is the best way to cook anything), a seemingly endless supply of desert, and a sugar-induced semi-coma with bad football on in the background. Thanksgiving has, it seems, given birth to another national holiday—Black Friday along with its new sibling, Cyber-Monday.

For the record, I have always come down on the side of Thanksgiving—which may be reflective of my underappreciation of the reality of the gospel while overvaluing the temporal satisfaction linked with a satiated palate. Yet I work with a bunch that is clearly on the Yuletide side of the equation as evidenced by the presence of a fresh Christmas tree in our office upon return from last week’s break.

After enduring the ebb and flow of this debate for many years, I submit the answer is BOTH. Perhaps we should consider these two holidays in tandem—the bookends to a season. Thanksgiving harkens us to reflect upon the many blessings bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Father, to consider the events of the past year with an eye toward God’s faithfulness. Christmas affords us the opportunity to celebrate the specific event that changed human history forever—Christ’s birth. As a people and as a community, we have much to celebrate for God is indeed good and His love endures forever.

Grace and Peace,

Joel-Signature

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster

A Word From Mr. Satterly—November 9, 2017

November 9, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

Dear WA Community,

Next Tuesday evening, November 14, we will hold our first public open house of the admissions season. Yesterday afternoon, I was reviewing the plan with Austin Elmer, our Director of Admissions. We began talking about all of the wonderful opportunities afforded for students at Westminster Academy. While that was a useful exercise, it paled in comparison to what I witnessed this particular morning.

Early this morning our cross-country team boarded a charter bus to travel to Tallahassee in order to defend their state championship. Immediately beside that bus were two more, filled with our middle school students heading to their spiritual retreat. Both are great examples of the Westminster Academy experience. However, the best was yet to come as I was on my way to lower school chapel and the annual second-grade presentation of Jonathan’s Thanksgiving. What a great start to the day as students sang, conducted a play, and led chapel. It was great to see so many parents as a reminder of our partnership.

While all of these things well demonstrated a commitment to our mission, the most striking thing I noticed was the third, fourth, and fifth-grade students during the singing of a pithy ditty called Thanksgiving Dinner. They were engaged. They did the motions along with the second graders. They sat at the edge of their seats. They reflected what they had learned. This is the essence of what we do—academic rigor and spiritual formation. It was a grand picture and one worth sharing with folks who are not yet here. Perhaps it is worthy of inviting a friend or neighbor to our open house next week.

Grace and Peace,

Joel-Signature

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster

A Word From Mr. Satterly—November 2, 2017

November 2, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

A Word From Mr. Satterly—October 26, 2017

October 26, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

Dear WA Community,

Webster’s Dictionary defines community as “a unified body of individuals.” It seems to me that the key element rests with what in fact does the unifying. To put it another way, the real strength of a community hinges on the strength of what forms a unified body. In his book, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer noted: “The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”

Community, then, is an expression of action and affection, not just an idea or feeling. In recent weeks, our unified body of individuals has had ample opportunity to act by supporting hurricane relief to responding to the tragic death of Lily Pacienza. I am proud of how our school brought relief to St. John in the Virgin Islands and am deeply encouraged about how people have responded to Rob and Jen and the rest of their family in this time of loss.

Let us be a people who love so well that community abounds. In the end, we love as those who have been loved first—this is the strength of our community.

Grace and Peace,

Joel-Signature

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster

A Word From Mr. Satterly—October 19, 2017

October 19, 2017 Posted in: Headmaster Messages

Dear WA Community,

Over the past several months, we have made great strides toward linking our mission priorities with our financial resources. While the lion’s share of revenue comes from tuition, charitable giving remains an important part of Westminster Academy’s financial picture. Your generous gifts address tuition assistance needs, help fund projects, and provide enhancements for our programs.

As illustrated in the PawPrint, this past year our financial performance was strong. This represents a good first step toward building upon the legacy and foundation of our school. This year’s fundraising theme is “All In” and is inspired by II Corinthians 9:8, “so that in all things at all times, having all you need…” We are praying for high participation and abundant results as God continues to build His school. Please see the following note from Sarah Hajduk, Director of Development. I am very pleased to discuss ways in which you can support Westminster Academy.

Thank you for supporting WA through your prayers and financial gifts! Your generosity enriches the lives of students and positions our school to lead the way in Christian education. As of mid-October, we have received over $124,000 in donations. This includes over $60,000 that has been contributed to the financial assistance fund. We will thank all of our generous donors by listing their names or business alphabetically in our Calendar Year-End newsletter, The Lion’s Tale, that will be mailed after Thanksgiving.

We have chosen the theme “All In” for our fundraising efforts this year as we seek to increase participation to meet our goals. Your gift of any amount makes a difference. Please consider a contribution for financial assistance, the media center renovation, robotics, athletics, fine arts or give an unrestricted gift to the area of greatest need. To make an online donation or set up a recurring gift, please visit www.wa.edu/donate or mail a check to our school address. To be recognized in the newsletter, donations must be received by Tuesday, October 31. Please contact Sarah Hajduk, Director of Development, at hajduks@wa.edu or 954.771.4615, ext. 2504 for more information about how you can support WA.

And we know that God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work. II Corinthians 9:8

Grace and Peace,

Joel-Signature

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster