News, 2018 - 2019

May 17 & 18


The end has come. Last evening the students presented an excellent program with Scripture recitations, singing, and poems. They earned lots of awards with their hard work this year. Our three graduates, Isaiah G., Ryan G., and Audrey S., gave interesting speeches and did very well. Lael M. gave the commencement message, encouraging them to think about the things that really  matter in life. Our Administrator, Pastor Bill Y., then called the graduates to the stage and awarded their diplomas, along with a home school student, Elizabeth Y. The graduation reception afterward was crowded, noisy, and very, very happy.


Big thanks to Kristen V. for program photography and videography!


Miss Rita E., our Kindergarten and first grade teacher, will be working at a school in North Carolina next fall; our Administrator, Bill Y., called her to the stage for special recognition, thanked her for the amazing work she did here for the past three years, and presented her with a special plaque and blanket. Our team will miss her next year!


Today we met at ten o'clock for a school fathers-vs-sons softball game. The sons moved into an early lead, but couldn't hold off the fathers' come-back long enough to pull out the win. It was a great game, and the sons fought admirably. For lunch, we enjoyed  sandwiches, salads, brownies, and much more, all organized by our capable and hard-working school board.


We are thankful for another good year, and as we watch students grow up and move out into the big world, we are reminded that life is short.

May 3, 2019


Sea World, Orlando, was our destination for the year-end field trip today. With rain in the forecast, we anticipated getting soaked, but the weather was beautiful all day, and the only soakings came from the water rides in the park. We left the school house soon after 7:00 this morning, and arrived at Sea World just before 10:00. The older students (and some of the younger students) spent lots of time going from ride to ride, getting their thrills and chills. Many of the younger students enjoyed the shows: penguins and dolphins and whales and sharks, dogs and cats and even a skunk!


The day went by quickly, and before we knew it, we were on our way to Cici's Pizza for supper. After dealing with some traffic jams, we all arrived back at the school house between 8:00 and 8:30. Thank God for safety and an enjoyable day!

April 23, 2019


For the Honor Roll field trip, your students toured Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Volunteers Lorraine and Mary welcomed us near the fountain, and walked us through the whole facility, including the secure areas of baggage handling and inspection, and the communications center. It was really interesting to see how airports run behind the scenes. Lorraine complimented the students twice, saying that they were the most well-behaved group she'd ever worked with!


After the airport tour, we went to the SRQ Airport Fire Department. Captain Jason described the different trucks they use (one tire costs $8,000.00!) and the purposes and capabilites of the trucks. They also set up a fire hose and let the students practice spraying water. That was great fun! For lunch, the students chose McDonald's after which we headed to Island Park; sadly, Island Park was mostly blocked off because of a big boat show that is coming soon. Also, one of our vehicles was not working properly, so after borrowing another vehicle, we headed to 7 Eleven for a happy end to the day.

March 6, 2019


Your Honor Roll students went to the 9-1-1 Emergency Call Center today. Kristin and Suzanne welcomed us in the foyer and took us to the conference room, where they gave us a visual presentation of the functions and services of the 9-1-1 Call Center. Then they took us upstairs to the Call Center, where about 18 people work answering emergency calls. The students were able to hear staff taking calls and helping people on the phone. Staff is available and on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. During the most recent hurricane, they were on lock-down for three days while they sorted through the chaos. After the tour of the Call Center, we went back to the conference room where they presented each student with a goody-bag containing a color-changing cup, a ruler, a plush toy, a refrigerator magnet with emergency call numbers, and more.


The students voted for Chick-fil-A for lunch, and from there we went to the park to play. After some time spent in the playground, everyone piled into the vehicles and we went to the teacher's house for awhile, before finishing the day with Slurpees from 7-Eleven.

February 7, 2019


Today grades K-3 enjoyed a visit from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department Mounted Patrol. Deputy Kelly arrived at 2:00, unloaded a table full of gear, and brought out her horse, Valor.


Valor stand just slightly over 16 hands, and is the Department's shortest horse. Deputy Kelly and Valor spent about 45 minutes with the students as she described her job, the care of her horse, and what it is like working on Mounted Patrol. She showed the students her gear, and some of them even got to try on the helmet. It was lots of fun petting Valor; she's a great horse. Thanks, Deputy Kelly!

January 9, 2019


Leroy Hershberger, story-teller extraordinaire, was our chapel speaker this morning.


A link to the video is below.

December 21, 2018


The Christmas Program is done! Our students did such a great job, and many people commented that they thought it may have been the best program ever! Well done, students!


Grades K-3 put on a four-scene play, complete with costumes and stage props. The shepherds, the wise men, the angels, Joseph and Mary - they all played their parts perfectly! Grades 4-high school presented every song in a language other than English, including French, Spanish, Polish, and Chinese. They did a super job, especially considering how difficult some of the languages were.


Now it's time for a break from school work, time for family and friends, time to remember our blessings, time to think about the Ultimate Gift: Jesus, born in Bethlehem, came to give Himself so that we could know God again.


May the blessings of Christmas be with you and your families. Peace!


Thanks to Yolanda C. for the photography.

November 15, 2018


Honor Roll students in grades 4-high school went on a field trip to tour Chris-Craft boat manufacturers. We arrived just before 9:30, and Matt met us at the door.


After welcoming us to Chris-Craft, he gave us a brief history of this 145-year-old company. We then followed him through the lobby and out into the manufacturing buildings, where we watched and learned about how boats are built. The hull is the outer portion below, the stringer is the middle section, and the deck is the upper section. They build around 400-450 boats every year, and are making plans to expand production soon. Their least expensive  boat sells for about $100,000 while their high-end boats go for about $700,000. They make and ship boats around the world.


After our tour of Chris-Craft was complete, we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch, then on to Colonial Oaks park. The students played for awhile until a party who had reserved the gym arrived, so we left and went to The Mall at UTC. This worked out well, considering the weather was a bit rainy this afternoon. We saved time at the end of the day for Slurpees at 7-Eleven.

October 16, 2018


Today your Honor students went on a field trip to Agape Flights in Venice, Florida. CarolAnne greeted us at the front door and welcomed us inside, where she took us on a tour of the building. Agape Flights serves missionaries in the Caribbean by flying supplies to them. They serve the Bahamas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.


Our first stop was the airplane hanger, where we saw the mailroom, the cargo sorting department, and the maintenance area. Agape Flights flies every week, at the cost of about $5,000 USD per flight just in fuel and airport fees. They serve around 350 missionaries stationed in the Caribbean.

From the hanger we went upstairs to the administrative offices, and got a brief welcome and pep talk from the CEO, Mr. Allen Speer. CarolAnne then gave the students a "quiz" and awarded a goodie bag to everyone with an answer. Of course, everyone got a goodie bag - including the chaperones!


Leaving Agape Flights, we had a few minutes before lunch, so we went to Target to do some browsing. The students voted to go to McDonald's for lunch, then we went to Venice Pier where we watched fishermen and women catch Ladyfish and Pompano. After digging our toes into the sand on Venice Beach for a few minutes, we loaded up and went to 7-Eleven for Slurpees.

August 15, 2018


Orientation was held Tuesday evening instead of the planned Monday evening because of he memorial service for Anna Borntrager Yoder, who is fondly remembered for her sunny personality and unassuming service over the years. (You can see her at school here.) Yesterday evening, for Orientation, students showed up with their supplies, looking for their new desk and finding friends to hang out with. The school board brought yummy Ranch Pretzels and lemonade for a snack, and the evening was a success!


The first day of school was the first day of school for one classroom; grades k-3 were not here today (lots of health and travels stuff going on), which left the building much quieter than usual.


Grades 4-high school settled in really well today, and they are off to a great start this year! We look forward to having the younger grades join us next week.

July 21, 2018


Lots of cleaning got done this morning! With the help of willing workers and good planning from the board, the school house and playground look very different. The windows sparkle, the doors  are spotless, the kitchen and restrooms look great and smell nice - it's amazing! The last step is carpet cleaning, then the teachers will jump in and get their classrooms ready.


Thank you all for showing up and making a difference! It won't be long until the classrooms will be bustling with activity again, filled with the cheerful noise of students!

July 2, 2018


SAVE THE DATE: schoolhouse cleaning is scheduled for July 14 21.


Your help is greatly appreciated as we prepare the building and grounds for the students' arrival in just a few weeks!


Orientation will be on Monday evening, August 13, and the first day of school is August 15.


Are you ready?