One. Great. Year.

2015-2016 Academy for G.O.D. Year-in-Review

Photography by Austin Bennecker and Aaron Montgomery, Captions by Rebekah Davis

This year was an amazing one at the Academy for G.O.D. It was our first year of being a K-12 school. It was our first year in our new building. There was so much growth and development, not just as a school, but also within each student. We pray this photo-story gives you a glimpse of the wonderful things the Lord is helping us do at the Academy! 

Teachers interrupted the year’s first assembly with a flash mob! Mr. Duffy surprised everyone by turning the introductory speech into a Whip/Nae Nae dance party! Students loved the surprise, especially seeing Principal Johnson take charge of the stage for the final pose.

Our General A Language Arts students enjoyed a wonderful semester with Mrs. Loeffler. Creating their own storybooks gave students a chance to practice new grammar and punctuation lessons. They took pride in developing their characters and each produced a delightful illustrated booklet!

Never a dull moment in Anatomy class with Mr. Munoz! He brought his expertise in Public Health to the classroom, as well as his high energy style and musical skills. In this General B class, students were engaging all of their senses in a lesson on the anatomy of the skin.

Junior High and High School students were enthralled every week in Cultural Studies class with Mrs. Rosemary Sherrod. They learned to define culture, and recognize the many ways that culture shapes what we see as right and wrong.

Baking in the kitchen with Mrs. Denise was a special treat that many students chose as their good-behavior award! Students worked hard to earn these prizes by completing homework, finishing books, or receiving affirmation from teachers who witnessed their practice of biblical values like kindness and patience towards those around them. We are so grateful to the volunteers and parents that supported us in offering these memorable times!

Local chiropractor Dr. Kevin Bradshaw visited to teach students exercises about good posture and total body health. Because the iPad is our primary manipulative, we teach students how to guard against future neck and back pain due to bending over a screen. Students loved the interactive session with Dr. Bradshaw, and many homerooms began faithfully practicing the exercises each morning!

Talk about a favorite class! Mr. Olson’s Building class was an exciting, practical workshop in basic building skills and the mechanics of design. Students were able to produce half a dozen sturdy benches that now sit on the Academy field for all to enjoy!

High School and Junior High students enjoyed challenging, dynamic discussions in Headmaster Garner’s Bible class. They were pushed to carefully examine biblical narratives, and critically evaluate the world around them to apply derivative principles.

Every Wednesday Kindergarteners enjoyed ‘Songs’ class, a time to learn new worship songs, and explore rhythm and dance! Here Mr. Nyago, originally from Uganda, led a dance circle, providing a steady beat on his drum and coaching students on their movement.

Many classes enjoyed the presence of a secondary teacher, which allowed for greater personal attention and a variety in teaching perspective. Mrs. Rosemary Sherrod, an Academy high school teacher, assisted with Language Arts in Ms. Foster’s homeroom twice a week. Students hung on her every word as she creatively introduced them to historical fiction!

After a semester of learning rhythm and theory, Mr. Reyes’ Musical Development class wrote their own worship song for a final class project. They then had the privilege of recording it at Center Street Recording Studio--an experience they will not forget!

In a class called Spiritual Disciplines, Mr. Stephen Ownby trained students in practices such as worship, prayer and reflective journaling. These kinds of spiritual disciplines are crucial to developing a healthy relationship with the Lord, something we highly value and teach!

The beginning of the Spring semester was marked by an exciting welcome into our new facility! The spacious rooms and common meeting areas were such a blessing. Each homeroom became a unique space that reflected students’ personalities and academic growth.

Grandparents Day is one of our favorite occasions at the Academy! Students proudly show off their school and classrooms to loved ones. Families enjoyed a meal together and a student performance to showcase their various class projects. 

‘Manga’ was a new elective class offered this semester, one that combined a unique style of artwork with comic storytelling. In this form of Japanese art, students learned to both identify and produce a storyline with meaning.


This year Mr. Brandon Galford worked consistently with Junior High students, bringing his depth of biblical knowledge to the classroom where he teaches Hebrew. Studying Hebrew prepares students to engage the Old Testament biblical text for themselves, a powerful tool to becoming skilled interpreters of God’s Word!


It’s Wacky Day! The last week of school was Spirit Week, and each day was marked by a particular theme. On Wacky Day students set aside school uniforms in exchange for a fun, creative outfit that brought lots of laughter. Students couldn’t wait to arrive at school to show of their garb and giggle at their friends.


On Hero Day of Spirit Week each student dressed up as a personal hero. At chapel students were invited to share about who they had chosen and why. Many students dressed as mothers and fathers, others as super heroes, biblical characters, and historically impactful figures. It was a treat to hear from each one about the kind of person they would like to emulate.


“And now ladies and gentlemen, your very own Magic Show!” Bargatze sisters, Esther and Adia, and cousin Caleb Glenn announced at the All-School Talent show. Grandchildren of renowned magician Stephen Bargatze, this crew wowed the crowd with their tricks and performance abilities. The show lasted for over 2 hours, and was packed with musical performances, gymnastics, scooter tricks, and even an ultimate dance-off, won by Kindergartener Ajay Maute!


A thunderstorm outside couldn’t stop us from celebrating the end of the year with a fantastic party! Students loaded up into vehicles with their teams and headed over to the bowling alley for an intense competition in students vs. teachers and parents. The prize? A 20-pound Rice Krispy named the ‘RK Colossal’. It will go down in Academy history!


Goodbye, students! It was a tremendous year. We love you so much, and hope your summer is rich as you continue to grow and mature. Love God, love your neighbor, and we will see you again in the fall!