News, 2012 - 2013

May 25, 2013


Last evening the students finished their school year with a Closing Program and graduation of the Class of 2013. From Kindergarten to the Senior class, they did very well with singing and recitations, and now they've earned a break. They got a lot of work done this year, too! We have an excellent group of students, and we are proud of them!


Today we met on campus for a picnic and several softball games, including the famous Fathers-vs-Sons game. The dads' team jumped out to an early lead, but it wasn't long until the Sons' team was catching up. It was a close game for a couple of innings. The dads put up a tremendous effort, and we commend them for it.


School is over, summer is here; enjoy it while you can! Have a great summer, everyone!


May 10, 2013


The End-of-Year Field Trip finally arrived today. Our destination: John F. Kennedy Space Center, on Merritt Island near Cape Canaveral, Florida. This is the launch site for all manned U.S. space flights since 1968.


After meeting at the school house at 7:00 am, we headed north and east, crossing the state in a nearly three-hour drive. The students entertained themselves by playing games, sharing electronic devices, arguing, laughing, crying, telling stories, and generally just having a good time. It helped that we had a bathroom break about half-way through the trip.


Kennedy Space Center has rocket exhibits, Imax documentaries, interactive consoles for guiding space-ship dockings, air-conditioned gift shops, an out-door water fountain obviously designed for students to run through, and even an opportunity to meet a real, live astronaut.


It was fascinating to see how life changes simply by being in Zero-G space orbit: your tools float beside you until you need them (handy!) but also, water doesn't run "down" (unhandy!) Sleeping is done "standing up," because, without gravity, there is no such thing as lying down. The distances described in pictures taken by the Hubble telescope are mind-bending; we live in an amazing universe. God's imagination is astounding, and He created a universe that is not only stunning but unfathomable. So far as scientists can tell, the frontier of space is without boundaries.


We left KSC at 4:00 pm, and drove to a Cici's Pizza in the Lakeland area. The students didn't mind eating pizza for supper at all, you could just tell. Our seven-vehicle caravan arrived back at the school house soon after 8:00. It was a good day.


April 30, 2013


The Honor Roll students in the big room went on their field trip today. We spent the morning at Enzymedica, where we toured the offices and production center of this supplement manufacturer. Dave, their Director of Education, was the tour leader, and he told us who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Enzymedica is known world-wide for their high-quality digestive enzyme supplements. They process about 10,000 units (bottles) per month in their Venice facility. We saw everything from the advertising department to the assay department, including the walk-in cooler where several students were stuck for about 15 seconds. Sadly, most of the building was off-limits for photography, so we have only a few pictures of our time there.


After the tour, the students voted (8 - 7) to have Chick-fil-A for lunch. It was tasty. A customer satisfaction representative was offering pepper from an enormous pepper mill that was inscribed with the reference of Revelation 3:17. Next, we went to Colonial Oaks park, where we found a painter working on one end of the gym and another fellow playing basketball at the other end. We hung around for a little while, then headed out to Island Park to enjoy the bay-front breezes and dip our toes in the water. The young men enjoyed climbing the banyan trees, then worked on catching jelly-fish off the promenade. Meanwhile, some of the young ladies were entranced by the abundance of snails along the water's edge; they decided to have a snail race on the docks. Since neither Lori nor Abigail named their snails, we don't know which one won.


We went to 7-Eleven for Slurpees before returning to the school house.


March 8, 2013


Well, today was a big day! The students challenged each other in Track & Field, and the competition was both friendly and tough. They did their best in all the events: Long Jump, High Jump, Baseball Throw, Volleyball Bump, 50- and 75-yard Dashes, 300-yard Relay, Basketball Free Throw, Jump Rope, Softball Catch, and Rope Climb.


Win or lose, they showed excellent character by cheering for their competition, congratulating winners, and encouraging those who didn't win. Their spirits and attitudes were beautiful, and made the day enjoyable and successful.


Thanks to the school board and parents, we had a tasty lunch for our noon break, then headed back out into the field to finish the last several events. Afterward, the students gathered around the ribbons board in the school house foyer to collect their ribbons before going home.


We will all sleep in tomorrow morning, especially with time change hitting this weekend.


March 1, 2013


Today was Clash Day for grades four through high school. It was pretty bad.


You don't even want to know. But they had fun with it!

February 27 and 28, 2013


Grades Kindergarten through Third had a Field Trip on Wednesday, going to play at the Urfer Park first, then they visited the library before going to the Pinecraft Post Office. After a tour of the Post Office, they went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. When lunch was over, they went back to the park to play awhile, before returning to the school. They had a great time!


On Thursday, they had Dress-Up day. Lots of creativity went into the costumes, and the students really enjoyed playing the roles of their characters. Especially the cowboys.

February 19, 2013


Miss Susie's class had Pet Day today, and it was great! Abrianna brought her tiny turtle, Colton brought his baby goat named Brindle, and Garret brought his rabbit, Slippers. The children really enjoyed playing with them. It made the day fun!

February 16, 2013




Sarasota County was hammered last night by a hard frost, as temperatures dipped into the low 30's. Orchids, bromeliads, and other vulnerable tropical vegetation have suffered significantly. Some blades of grass have even turned brown.


Experts are advising residents to stay indoors as much as possible. When venturing outdoors, you should wear multiple layers of clothing, to avoid loss of body heat, which could lead to frostbite and, in severe cases, death.



February 14, 2013


Our school's 6th Annual Fundraiser Banquet was held this evening, with a near-capacity crowd showing up for a delicious meal and great fellowship. The students did a fantastic job of serving our guests, and they earned some compliments for their great work!


Special thanks to Mr. Alvin Zook of Virginia for his work in preparing the smoked beef brisket, barbecued chicken, and grilled potatoes; the food was savory, and folks appreciated it!


Thank you all for your support of our school. With God's blessing, this work will make a difference in our families, churches, and communities for years to come.


February 14, 2013


Valentine's Day! Lori's and Wesley's and Megan's mom made cookies for everyone at school, and brought them in today! What a treat! They were delicious! Thanks, Katie!


Tuesday, February 5




For Jesus!




Friday, January 31


Hat Day:

Wednesday, January 30

The Honor students took a field trip to the printing facilities of the Sarasota Herald Tribune today. Print production manager Jack Howell met us in the foyer and gave us a complete tour of the whole production floor, after giving us an overview in the break room.

He showed us the process of receiving print layout data from the downtown offices of the Herald Tribune, and how that layout is transferred to metal plates by etching them to hold the images. Those plates are then fitted into the presses, where massive rolls of paper run across various cylinders, applying (as needed) the the layers of colors required to complete the full-color newspaper pages. After being chopped to size, the pages get clipped to a belt and run downstairs, where they are stacked, coupons and other inserts are added, and finally bundled on pallets awaiting delivery.

Today, the presses were running the Sunday comics section, and Mr. Howell showed us a big stack of folded comics sections, ready for distribution. He told the students that they could each have a copy if they liked; of course, the students were rather pleased to accept this generous offer, and helped themselves without hesitation.

We had a little time left before lunch, so we explored the park at the 10th Street Boat Docks. The students found:
1. A dead fish
2. A horseshoe crab (also dead)
3. A sand fiddler crab (Eeeww, it's alive!)
4. Two lightning whelk seashells

5. A man living in the weeds along the beach


Twenty students voted for lunch at Chick-fil-A, with only one abstention, so we piled in there to eat. While we were there, a Customer Care employee asked us about our group of students. When he learned they were Honor Roll students, he asked which student was the youngest. We told him it was Lori, so he gave her a free ice cream cone. When Vinn saw what he did, she teased him that she's the oldest in the group... so he returned a minute later with a cone for her, too. She said it was delicious!


The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Colonial Oaks gym (with the A/C on! Amazing!), until it was time to head out to 7-Eleven for Slurpees.


The end.

Friday, January 25


Balloon Day in the Big Room!


Choose your balloon + pop it during study period + win a prize = Yay!


So. Much. Fun.

Some of the prizes:

Tuesday, January 15


The Honor Student's Field Trip took them to visit the SS American Victory in the Port of Tampa. Our tour guides were two elderly gentlemen named Don and John. Don took the younger half of our group, while John worked with the older half of the students.


They showed us several decks, including crew and officers' quarters, the gun deck, and the hold. We saw the oil-burning steam engines and the galley and mess hall, too. Our young men were enthralled with the five- and six-inch guns, rotating the base and sighting down the rifled barrels, while the young ladies noticed the "awesome" American Victory signage and were suitably horrified at the toilet facilities.


We learned a little about her history: she was built to haul cargo and supplies in World War II, and later served during the Vietnam conflict. According to our tour guide, she never sustained any damage from enemy fire, and had guns only for protection from German U-boats and other vessels, never for attacking. She was decommissioned around 1988, and has been used as a museum ever since, though she still sails Tampa Bay twice a year.


After walking the gang-plank, we headed south to vote-winner Chick-fil-A for lunch, then played Down-hill Kickball in the Colonial Oaks field, because the gym was under construction. To finish the day, we stopped at 7-Eleven for Slurpees before returning to the school house at 3:00.

Thursday, December 20


Last night the students presented their annual Christmas program, and they did a great job! Solos, duets, quartets, recitations, and anthems were all performed with aplomb, and the evening flew by quickly.


At the end of the formal program, our Administrator invited all school alumni to join current students on stage for rousing renditions of Joy to the World and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It sounded splendid!


The students worked very hard on their presentations, and it showed. Excellent work, students! It was a wonderful program! Thank you.


Enjoy your Christmas vacation!


Tuesday, December 11


Practice is well under way for the Christmas program: students are polishing their singing, memorizing their lines, and trying to remember where to stand. They are doing very well. It's going to be an excellent program! Mark your calendar!


Date: December 19

Time: 7:30


Also, today was a rainy day, so the students in grades four through high school played a game indoors during lunch break. They had a ball!

Friday, November 30


This evening marked our annual Science & Art event, with each student bringing either an art project or a science experiment to school. They brought some really neat stuff, and it was clear to see that they put a lot of time and effort into making their projects worthwhile.


Some students brought food crafted as art, while others did crocheting or sewing or woodcarving or model assembly or melty-beads or floral arrangements for their project. Kelsey G. and Lori M. won first and second place (respectively) for their art projects, while Javin H. and Anthony Y. won first and second places for their science entries. All the students projects were very well done, and we enjoyed seeing them. Good work, students!


Thanks to the school board's planning, we also enjoyed a pizza supper, which was quite tasty! Our supper included potato chips donated by Dave D; thank you! We also had a good time with guessing games: how many Jelly Bellys/chocolate covered coffee beans/Fruit Runts/Sour Patch Kids candies were in each box? The winners were quite pleased with their loot, which was generously donated by Bulk-n-Natural Foods. Good planning and fine fellowship made for a very pleasant and successful evening.


Monday, November 19


The High School students went to Lakewood Retreat last weekend for a camping trip. The weather cooperated beautifully: cool during the day, partly overcast skies, chilly at night, no rain.


We left Friday after school, and arrived at the campsite about an hour before dark. This kept us hustling to get set up before sundown, and we only just made it. Hamburgers were on the menu for supper, and we grilled them over the open fire.


The students stayed up late that night.


On Saturday, we had breakfast (bird dogs with all the fixin's) around 10:00, then we walked the nature trail back to the treehouse, where we took group photos. Also, the students learned that goats like to eat oranges. Afterward, everyone headed up to the game room for awhile. Later in the afternoon, the students played table games at the campsite. We had grilled chicken breasts and Olive Garden salad with toasted garlic bread for supper at 5:00. Before quiet time that night, they had a quick walk to the lake, with the Hatchet Man stalking them silently.


The students didn't stay up so late this time. They were tired.


Sunday morning, the men were up and sitting around the fire (getting hungry) for over an hour before the ladies showed their faces. They were sleeping late, because they had nightmares about the Hatchet Man. It was about 9:00 before we ate cinnamon rolls and left-over scrambled eggs for breakfast. After chapel around the fire, we hung out at the game room until it was time to prepare lunch, which was taco salad and fire-toasted garlic bread.


We broke camp, loaded everything (except one hoodie; it's still in the game room), and left around 2:00.


And it was very good.


Monday, October 29


Today the First Grade students had an interesting science class. They learned about their hands, and the importance of their thumbs.


During the hands-on part of the class time, they tried lots of different things, including writing their names without using their thumbs, and trying to pick up small items without the use of their thumbs.


They were amused as they watched each other struggle with these simple tasks, and there was quite a lot of giggling at each other.


Wednesday, October 24


Our guest speaker for chapel this morning was Monroe M. He gave us the story of the Gibeonite's deception of Joshua and the Israelites. Just as he was ready to begin his story, there was a knock on the door, so he opened it to find a woman who introduced herself as a Gibeonite who had traveled a long distance to ask for terms of peace. She certainly looked like a Gibeonite!


Monroe used the story to remind us that we need to ask God for wisdom when making decisions; otherwise, we may make decisions that we will regret later.


As it turns out, the Gibeonite woman was Monroe's wife, Katie. We enjoyed your chapel presentation, Monroe and Katie! Thank you.

Tuesday, October 23


Your Honor Roll students were given a tour of CAE Healthcare this morning. They manufacture dummies for medical training purposes. It was great!


We began the morning by leaving school at about 8:45, and going to The Hill on Palmer Blvd., where we enjoyed a few minutes of crisp morning air on a walk around the mountain. We left there around 9:15, for our 9:30 appointment at CAE Healthcare.


We were cordially welcomed by Ms. Carla Stickleman, Senior Executive Assistant to the President, and her assistant and Receptionist, Shawn. They took us to the second floor, where Ryan Macdonald gave us a brief overview of career opportunities in the Conference Room. Then we were given a quick walking tour of the administrative offices, including the President's corner office, overlooking the pond, where they use massive binoculars to watch gators.


Next they took us to the manufacturing area on the first floor, where Scott Burten showed us everything from the assembly department to the repairs department to the shipping department to the top-secret (no photos allowed!) Research & Development department. Students watched dummies breathe, heard them talk ("Ouch! That Hurts!"), and even held a dummy's head. They met all the dummies: iStan, Ceasar, Pediatric, and Infant dummies. These dummies train medical personnel so accurately that the dummies will "die" if they don't receive proper care, such as using a tourniquet appropriately, or performing CPR for adequate oxygen. They can even sense the use of drugs and gases, and they respond accordingly.


Our last stop was the training center, where students had the privilege of using an ultrasound wand to monitor heart function, and even a laparoscopic surgery station, where software let them interact in real time with mechanical organs inside a dummy. Several students operated on a problem gall bladder, trying to remove it. All failed miserably. They need more practice before becoming surgeons.


Back in the parking lot, the students voted to go to Subway for lunch. From there, we went to Colonial Oaks gym for Extreme Indoor Kickball and Team Two-square. Following tradition, we finished the day with Slurpees from 7-Eleven.


Thursday, October 18


The students in grades K-3 celebrated with their Fall Festival today. Miss Susie's students invited Miss Resha's student to their classroom for the party. Miss Susie's students sang a song called "The Twelve Days of Autumn" for Miss Resha's students.


After their performance, they munched on popcorn and drank apple cider. A grand time was had by all. Watch them enjoy themselves on this page.

Wednesday, October 10


Steve S. was our guest speaker for chapel this morning, and spoke about how God cleans us up on the inside, and gets rid of the sin in our lives.


He used a pumpkin.

Wednesday, September 26


Today, the students in the Big Room enjoyed popcorn as they studied during the last two class periods. Grades K-3 were invited over for a bowl of popcorn also. Good stuff.

Wednesday, September 26


Connor's and Colton's dad (Vern B.) was the guest speaker for our chapel talk this morning. We enjoyed it.

Wednesday, September 12


Miss Resha's students had a great time doing some baking today! The girls worked up a batch of fudge brownies in the school kitchen, then baked them, while the boys made lemonade. While the brownies were baking, they did a little more work in the class room. After last break, they sat around their table and enjoyed brownies and lemonade. It was great!


Don't you wish you were in Miss Resha's class?

Wednesday, September 12


During second period this morning, the Sunnyside Church Sewing Circle Sisters sang this song for the students in the big room:


We are but a band of seniors,

We are few and weak and small.

But we want to work for Jesus,

And there's work enough for all.


We are the missionary band,

The missionary band,

The missionary band,

We are the missionary band

Doing all we can.


The students were thrilled!

Tuesday, September 11


Today marked the first day of school for three students: Ashlie H., Colton B., and Kyle S.


This is a big deal, people.


They bravely came to school this morning, unsure of themselves and not quite knowing what to expect, but it wasn't long until they were laughing and playing with friends on the playground. They left school with a smile on their faces, so we are looking forward to having them back again tomorrow morning.


We have a few pictures of these precious little ones on this page.

Friday, August 31


Week One is officially over: only 35 more weeks of school! But who's counting? Anyway, you may find a few photos of life at school on this page.


The students in the Big Room celebrated the end of Week One with an All-You-Can-Eat Dum-Dum Suckers Smorgasbord of Seventeen Flavors. (Kind of makes you wish you were still in school, doesn't it?) We strongly suspect that a few students enjoyed too many, and made their tummies unhappy with their recklessness. Also, the students in the Big Room started their holiday weekend early, by taking advantage of Flip-flop Day today.


Enjoy your weekend, everybody!


Wednesday, August 22


The first day of school is behind us, and everything went very well. We have an excellent group of students, and we are confident that this year will be enjoyable and productive.


Board Chairman John G. was our guest speaker this morning, and talked about growing and changing. Our Administrator, Bill Y., also took a couple of minutes to encourage the students to rely on God for help every day. Board Members Stanley M. and Lester G. were also present for chapel.


Miss Susie and Miss Resha settled in with their students, doing a little bit of seatwork, while getting to know each other and learn how things work. Mr. Jason's classroom had a treat at first break, because today is Kelsey's birthday! So that was fun!


This will be a good year.


Monday, August 20


School opens this Wednesday, August 22! The doors open at 8:10, and the opening bell rings at 8:30. We will dismiss at 12:00 noon, so you don't need to pack a lunch.


Thanks for coming to Orientation evening last Friday. Pictures have been posted here for you to enjoy.


See you Wednesday!


Monday, August 13


The 2011-2012 SMS Yearbooks have arrived!


These will be available on the evening of Orientation, which is this Friday, August 17. Get your copies for only $10, thanks to our advertisers who subsidize printing expenses for us.


We'll see you Friday evening!


Monday, July 16


Schoolhouse cleaning is on the calendar for this Saturday, July 21. However, we will be working only on the outside of the schoolhuse, cleaning up the school grounds, because remodeling work is still in progress inside the schoolhouse.


Grounds maintenance and repairs will begin at 8:00 this Saturday morning.


Cleaning inside the schoolhouse will be rescheduled for a later date yet to be determined.


Also, you will find a few photos here, so you can see what is being accomplished indoors.




School house cleaning is now scheduled for Monday evening, August 6, at 6:00. Bring the usual cleaning supplies for cleaning inside.