Merry Christmas!

I’ve been a little under the weather this week, so I have really missed being around our wonderful students at Trinity.  However, I did want to take just a few moments to tell you how much I appreciate your tremendous support of the Lord’s work at TPS.  We are blessed to be part of a special school – a family, really.  That blessing truly warms my heart this Christmas season!

As I write these words, our middle and upper school students are completing their final exam of the semester, our fifth grade choir is performing in Willet Hall, and our lower school students are preparing to lead the school in the traditional singing of Christmas carols.  PTO volunteers who decked the halls with Christmas finery just before the Thanksgiving break have taken everything down and stored it away for next year, and teachers are preparing to adjust their thermostats, turn out the lights, and shut the school down for two weeks.

My prayer for all of us is that we will use the days ahead to reflect on the wonderful gifts we have been given.  While the temptation is to think about those material gifts we would all like to receive, it is important to pause and realize that we are already filled to overflowing with tremendous blessings, and that we truly want for nothing.

First, there is the gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – the reason for the season!  Without him, life’s trials and tribulations would be unbearable.  Christ is our hope – the greatest gift ever given.

We also enjoy the gift of human relationships.  These come in many forms, and include our closest loved ones, dear friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.  I am convinced that we will one day answer to God as to how we cultivated these relationships.  People really are that important.

Finally, we have the gift of purpose in our lives.  Each of us has been called to specific Kingdom-building work.  Have you discovered yours?  A critical task for us is to help your children discover their true purpose, and give them the tools to pursue it with abandon, all to the glory of God.

My prayer for you is that you will take the time in the coming days to reflect upon how blessed you truly are, and how you may be a blessing to others.  In the meantime, I will pray prayers of thanksgiving for each of you, and ask the Lord to shower his blessings upon you.

Wishing you and yours a happy and holy Christmas!

Kerry Palmer, Head of School

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been a special day here at Trinity.  Parents have been hanging our Christmas greenery around the school, first-graders enjoyed a feast as pilgrims and Indians, treats were handed out to faculty and staff by the SGA, and an all around good feeling permeated this place.  The “specialness” that is Trinity School was alive and well!

Our middle/upper school chapel was especially special today.  Guest artist Ricky Trione joined us to show how his artwork glorifies God.  However, Ricky isn’t just any artist – he is blind.  Two tragic accidents, separated by seven years, took Ricky’s sight.  But they didn’t take his love of art and his desire to praise his Creator with his gifts.  The picture below was a gift by Ricky to the school this morning, and is evidence of what the Holy Spirit can do.  Yes, believe it or not, this was painted by a man who hasn’t seen with his eyes in over fourteen years!

I am the Vine

 

Later in the day, Ricky spent time with our lower school students showing them how he paints without seeing.  Using a model of a turtle, Ricky is seen in the photo below sketching the turtle, much to the amazement of his new lower school friends.

Ricky drawing turtle

 

Good Sportsmanship Award

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to accompany Coach Hilliard, Coach Lassiter, and Coach Ragsdale to a banquet hosted by the Central Alabama Football Officials Association.  We were there to accept the Good Sportsmanship Award — for the third year in a row!  A picture of Coach Rags accepting the award appears below.

This award is a testament to our coaches, cheerleaders, dancers, band members, student section, and parents, for the classy way in which you conduct yourselves as hosts on Friday nights.  Congratulations to each of you, and let’s continue to glorify our Lord by doing things the right way at our athletic events.

Sportsmanship award

 

Gray’s House

Those of us who knew Gray Godwin are remembering him as we arrive at the one year anniversary of his passing last Thanksgiving.  Gray was one of the finest young men I have ever known, and I choose to remember him this Thanksgiving by expressing my thanks to God that Gray was a part of my life – even if for just a short period.

My dear friend, Claude McRoberts, asked that I issue a special invitation to each of you to attend the dedication of Gray’s House in Haiti this Sunday morning at 10:30 at Trinity Presbyterian Church.  The ceremony will last approximately 15 minutes, and will allow you to attend your own church if you like.  Of course the fine folks at Trinity Church would be happy to have you as a guest as well. I hope you can make it, as I know that it will be a blessing!

Thank You

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for investing in Trinity School.  We love our families and we treasure your children.  I wish for you a happy, restful, Thanksgiving full of good food, family, and the making of special memories!

As always,

It’s GREAT to be a WILDCAT!

Kerry

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Thank You and Happy Homecoming!

Happy Friday!

As you may imagine, it has been a fun week here at Trinity! Our students have enthusiastically participated in our dress-up days and spirits have been high.  The week was filled with powder puff games, pep rallies, visits from grandparents and preschoolers, and a general feeling of excitement.  To top it all off, the skies cleared, and we enjoyed a fantastic parade with sun peeking through.  Our usual tent is up, and we are looking forward to welcoming alumni back to school for a great game tonight. We hope you will join us!

SAIS Survey

Before I head out of here, I want to be sure and thank those of you who participated in our SAIS survey.  This scientific survey had a tremendous response rate, and we were excited about the results we received.  Responses indicate that our constituents agree that we are delivering on our Mission, and that we are making improvements in this area.  We also received some great feedback that will allow us to “sharpen our sword” and become the best Christian school around.  Thanks for letting us know how we can take our game to the next level.

It is my deepest joy and honor to serve as your head of school.  I pray God’s richest blessings for your family, and ask that you continually keep our school in your prayers.

I hope to see each of you tonight!

GO CATS!

Kerry Palmer, Head of School

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‘Tis the Season!

Good Afternoon, Trinity Families!

Cold

Well, as you might have guessed from the title, we are entering that fun time of year when every virus known to man strikes the school.  This week, we have seen students from every age group come down with various illnesses.  While there is certainly no cause for alarm, I thought I would share with you what we are doing here in an attempt to head this off, as well as give you a heads-up about prevention information that will be coming your way shortly.

What We Are Doing

We have contacted our cleaning service, asking them to thoroughly disinfect our classrooms and restrooms this weekend.  I am also asking teachers to be vigilant when it comes to wiping down desks and other classroom equipment.  Our goal is to make the learning environment as clean and as healthy as possible.

How You Can Help

As parents, you can help us in the following ways:

  • If your child is sick, please keep him/her at home.  We will work with you regarding missed assignments.  Keeping your child at home will aid with recovery and will keep the illness from spreading through the classroom and the school.
  • Talk to your children about good sanitary habits.  The simple act of hand-washing is one of the very best prevention methods.  We have hand sanitizer units mounted throughout the school for everyone’s convenience.
  • Remind your children to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze.  This will help tremendously.

Be on the lookout for further information from Susan Owen, our nurse-on-call.

Parenting Seminar 

2014_ParentingSeminar

First Baptist Church will be presenting a seminar on parenting teens on Sunday, October 5.  Mark Gregston will share his insight on raising young people during these challenging times.  The event is free and open to the public, but you must register.  You may do so by clicking here.

Have a great weekend!

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The Accreditation Process

Happy Friday, Trinity Family!

I hope you and your children have enjoyed this past week. As usual, lots of exciting things are going on around campus, and we continue to be pleased with what has been a smooth opening of school.

Yesterday, you should have received information regarding an accreditation survey.  Every five years, accredited schools must conduct a self-study, followed by an on-site visit, in order to maintain accreditation status. As hard as it is to believe, that time is upon us once again! We appreciate the time you take to complete this survey instrument, and remind you that the data collected will help us make Trinity better and better.

sais-logo

Just What is SAIS?

Trinity was originally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (known for years as SACS, and now as AdvancEd) in 1979. The school has maintained this accreditation ever since. However, as AdvancEd primarily deals with public institutions, our Board of Trustees felt that we should add a layer of accreditation better suited to the needs of independent schools.  With that, we began the process of pursuing accreditation by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) when I arrived on campus in the fall of 2008.

While AdvancEd issues accreditation based on a set of national, public school standards, SAIS takes the process a step further by comparing the school with its mission statement. The essential benchmark for the entire process rests with the question, “How well does Trinity School deliver on its Mission?” 

When the process is complete, the school holds dual accreditation with AdvancEd and SAIS.  In other words, we take the minimum standards of public-school-oriented accreditation and couple it with the rigors of a thorough SAIS evaluation — a real win-win!

Why is the Survey So Important?

As you may imagine, ascertaining the extent to which Trinity delivers on its Mission Statement depends heavily on feedback from our stakeholders.  This is why I urge you to take a few minutes of your time and assist us in this most important data-gatering process.  Your input will help both our visiting team and the administration of the school in crafting a growth pattern for the next five years.

Thank you for your continued support of our school and its programs. We appreciate you!

GO CATS!

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A Grand Opening!

Another school year is underway at Trinity, and the start was a smooth one.  During our half day together, fellow Wildcats gathered for some teacher introductions and a prayer time. I then had the opportunity of commissioning our seniors as the leaders of the student body during the year.

Opening Assembly 2014

Opening all-school assembly on the first day of school.

Earlier this week, our teachers participated in three intensive days of professional development aimed at helping us make good on our pledge to provide your child with the highest quality education delivered through a Christian world and life view.  Our particular academic focus was the area of assessment. Dr. Sara Wright challenged our teachers to work toward the development of higher order thinking skills in all areas of instruction.  Dr. Bill Davis, from Covenant College, provided a similar challenge with respect to worldview integration. It was a healthy time of robust learning for our faculty.

Covenant Lecture

Dr. Davis teaching the Trinity faculty on biblical worldview integration.

Welcome New Faculty

We are delighted to welcome the following new faces to Trinity this year. I hope you will have the opportunity to meet theses fine educators sometime very soon:

Dr. Sara Wright – Academic Dean

Ms. Wendy Cho – Lower school music

Ms. Kaylan Campbell – 9th grade English

Mr. Ryan Gregornik – Upper school, 8th grade Spanish

Mrs. Terri Price – Pre-Calculus

Mrs. Kelley Rouze – AP Calculus

Mrs. Nancy Slocum – AP European history, AP United States history

Mrs. Heather Snyder – Algebra I

Mr. Tim Williams – Maintenance Department

6th gr locker

The photo above illustrates the Trinity Difference better than anything I could pen here. We are honored to have been called of God to this work, and we pledge to you our very best effort as we navigate this year together.

God bless!

Kerry Palmer, Head of School

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Year Forty-Five

Welcome Back!

Upon the opening of school next week, Trinity School will embark upon its 45th year of existence. I sometimes wonder if the first students to walk these halls would recognize the school today. Sure, we still have the familiar red tile floor in the front hallway, and many of our classrooms are essentially the same. In fact, alumni from all eras frequently tell us that the school even smells the same! While that may be true, much is different about today’s Trinity, and the future of our institution is bright.

While we are larger, have more buildings, and learn on computers, the focus on our mission hasn’t wavered. This means that we are clearly a student-driven school. For, you see, our Mission Statement is all about our students and how we can best serve them during their “Trinity Journey.”

As we begin another year together, a brief refresher on our mission is in order. Here it is:

To glorify God by providing for students the highest quality, college preparatory education, training them in the biblical world and life view, thus enabling them to serve God in spirt, mind, and body.

Highest quality . . .

On my office wall, I keep a framed letter from Dr. William D. Revelli, the famed director of the University of Michigan Band from 1935-1971. During my college years, I wrote and asked him if he still believed that bands could attain the level of excellence enjoyed during his era. He responded in the affirmative, and further stated that we should always be “searching for perfection.” He further encouraged me to “have fun in the search.”

Highest quality college preparatory education” is a lofty goal. However, I believe that it keeps us reaching and stretching. It causes us to search for perfection. Hopefully, we can take Dr. Revelli’s advice and have fun in that search.

We are committed to giving you your money’s worth when it comes to academics here at Trinity. To that end, our new academic dean, Dr. Sara Wright, is leading us in a year-long study of assessment methods that should broaden our teacher’s ability to determine where your child is in their learning, and adjust accordingly. We refuse to rest on our laurels in this area.

Biblical world and life view . . .

A prospective parent recently called to ask how we differed from one of our major competitors. She had come to the conclusion that both schools offered outstanding, robust academic, athletic, and artistic opportunities, and she was in a quandary as to which to choose.  Well, this is the easiest of questions to answer here at Trinity. Our educational program is delivered exclusively to the glory of God, and is offered through a biblical perspective. In fact, we strive to do this in such a way that our kids look nothing like the world when they graduate. Again, another lofty goal. Another “search for perfection.”

In order to take our game up several notches in this area, we are devoting a tremendous amount of time and energy toward training our teachers as to how to teach their subject matter through a biblical worldview perspective. Dr. William Davis, from Covenant College, will be here next week to engage our teachers in biblical world and life view training. This will follow a presentation by Rev. Patrick Curles, the current vice president of our Board of Trustees and a minister at Trinity Presbyterian Church. These sessions will kick off an intensive season of professional development. Our goal is to make Trinity a leader in this important area.

As you can see, we have been working hard to ensure that your financial investment in Trinity School is a wise one. We believe it is. We also believe that our world will be a better place because of the students we will be sending forth to lead it.

I hope you enjoy your remaining days of summer vacation, and I look forward to seeing each of you as we begin an exciting new year together!

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