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Middle school students traveled to Orlando last Friday, February 15, to perform. Just outside Universal Studios at the Lagoon, our talented seventh and eighth‐grade students greeted guests with their music. They performed the “Rite of Stonehenge” by Elliot Del Borgo and “Conquistador” by Deborah Monday.

The middle school orchestra underwent an audio audition for the invitation. Because Universal vets their performers through an audition taped process, they accept only those who meet their expectations. We are grateful for the opportunity. In addition, the students enjoyed a day at Universal. After the midday performance, the students spent the rest of the afternoon at the park. “It was a wonderful team building experience,” said Mr. David Schwartz, Orchestra Director.

No matter how the landscape of education changes, some foundational tools will consistently remain. Teaching children to read is a lasting requirement. Because WA will ceaselessly answer the call to teach literacy, we also continue to hone our faculty’s ability to teach it well with today’s students.

Therefore, we are currently pursuing the Orton‐Gillingham Approach and seeking to develop our faculty and adapt our classrooms with this methodology. The Orton‐Gillingham Approach is an effective way to teach literacy using multiple senses. The method allows children to break down how and why letters and words sound the way they do. This multi‐sensory approach teaches students the rules of the English language in a way they can better understand. For instance, teachers use sight, hearing, touch, and movement to help students connect and learn the concepts. As a result, it effectively allows educators to teach in the way that each individual student learns best.

We had the opportunity to send one of our faculty to represented WA at a training with the Institute for Multi‐Sensory Education. This training will allow all our lower school teachers the ability to form multi‐sensory education in their classrooms. While Orton‐Gillingham is a highly structured approach that will benefit all our young readers, it is also considered extremely effective for teaching students with dyslexia. We thank, Mrs. Julie Reeves, for attending and training our faculty to better serve our students.

Dear WA Community,

One year ago today, the eyes of our nation were riveted as our community faced a horrific tragedy just a few miles to our northwest. Therefore, on this day we join with many others in bowing our heads and lifting our voices—crying out to our Heavenly Father. Today we remember. We weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.

Much has changed in the preceding 12 months.

Certainly, the landscape of Westminster Academy shifted as we made strides to strengthen security and tend to the safety of our students. However, our viewpoint changed as well. With many of our own faculty, students, and families deeply connected with those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, no longer is such a tragedy simply an informed news story. Perhaps they, most of all, hold a deeper understanding of perspective and the realities of living in this world.

At the same time, today we also think about Valentine’s Day. A stark contrast, the day centers around images of cupid, red roses, and assorted candies. While some see this day as deeply romantic, little ones exchange tiny treats pinned to cards with friends. It certainly seems appropriate that our high school choir roamed as Valentine Carolers filling WA hallways with music. For others still, we use this day to reflect on the blessings of marriage. Whether the gesture is grand or small, we spend much of today showing others our affection.

With all of this in view, please allow me a final thought. Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about love. May we enjoy the love of our spouse, or our children, or our friends today. These relationships are good things, but a faint image compared to the love the Father has for us. As the theologian, Francis Schaeffer, memorably wrote, He Is There and He Is Not Silent. Today is a day of very mixed emotions. Wherever you find yourself today, as we journey together, let us never forget how wide and deep His love is for us.

In His Service,

Joel T. Satterly
Headmaster

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semi‐finalists, approximately 16,000 students, represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. They include the highest‐scoring entrants in each state.

Of those 16,000 semi‐finalists around 15,000 move onto the Finalist Scholarship competition. We are excited to share that Ava Gaus and Sebastian Molina have qualified and moved on as Finalists. Congratulations to both of them for this accomplishment!

Join us Under the Big Top! Our annual dinner auction is on Friday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Fellowship Hall!

Our featured item this week is for Miami Dolphins Fans! The Dolphins Experience includes four lower‐level seats and one parking pass to a 2019 Miami Dolphins home game at Hard Rock Stadium. In addition, you will receive four pregame field passes and four post game press conference passes. WA dad and Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Senior Vice President/CFO, Chris Clements, will be present to greet you and guide you through the entire experience! Arrangements must be made by August 1, 2019. You will also receive a Miami Dolphins Goodie Bag with 2 Miami Dolphins Hats, 2 Coffee Tumblers, Signed Dolphins Football by #29 Minkah Fitzpatrick, and a Miami Dolphins Pigskin Pennant.

Make a touchdown by winning this item! Click here to purchase auction tickets to bid on this item. Individual tickets, tables, and sponsor opportunities are available.

If you have further questions, please contact Sarah Hajduk, Director of Development, at hajduks@wa.edu.