Houston weather. Can’t live with it; can’t live without it. A devastating hurricane in the fall. Beautiful (surprise) snowfall in December. Treacherous ice in January. To say the weather has made being a head of school challenging this school year — especially when it comes to the “Will we or won’t we have school today?” question — would be an understatement.
I appreciate your patience and understanding as we have watched the weather and tried to make decisions about school closings with the best interests of everyone in the school community in mind. I know days we don’t have school can cause scheduling issues for those of you who work, so please know that we take making that call very seriously. I am hoping we are out of the unexpected-school-closing “business” for the rest of this year.
Despite the disruptions to the spring semester so far, we are still celebrating some early successes and looking forward to a number of great things that lie ahead.
- The artwork of two WCS students — senior Aya Wen and 8th grader Christian Piedy — will be on display in the Hayloft Gallery at NRG Center during RodeoHouston this year, after both students were awarded Best of Show in the School Art Competition. Be sure to look for “Hope Upon the Horizon” (Wen) and “Poor Fish” (Piedy) if you attend the Rodeo (February 27-March 18).
- This upcoming weekend (Saturday, February 3, from 1-5 p.m.), the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), just one of the many service-oriented student organizations on campus, will be hosting the “Create Your Future” health and career fair. The event — which will include a blood drive, ECG screening for student-athletes and much more — is free and open to the public.
- On Thursday, February 8, Campus Ministry invites you and your middle/high school student(s) to “Inside Out,” an evening exploring mental health topics affecting adolescents. Following a free dinner, a panel of experts from the fields of mental health, anger management and ministry will share relevant information and answer questions. All Campus Minister Steven Toliver asks is that you register online in advance.
- On March 23, we’re bringing back the Bluebonnet Auction, a popular school fundraiser from years past. We’re collecting auction items now — so be sure to let us know if you, or your employer, has something you would like to donate — and expect to have a number of great things — including several things created by our talented students — set to go to the highest bidder that evening. Did I mention there will be barbecue too? Tickets — $15 per person — will go on sale in the Business Office soon.
Steve Hawley is one of our teachers who will remember past Bluebonnet Auctions well. “Coach Hawley,” as he is most affectionately known, has been teaching Bible and coaching basketball (middle school girls, currently) for us since the 1998-1999 school year. He brings a truly unique perspective to sharing the Gospel thanks to his many years of international mission work, including trips to Haiti, Honduras, China and Vietnam, where he has spent parts of the last seven summers. Even if your student hasn’t yet had Mr. Hawley, you probably know his name, thanks to the spring coin collection for orphans in Haiti and Honduras. He has been spearheading that effort for 20 years now, helping our students collect thousands of dollars in the process. And you really need to stop by Mr. Hawley’s room at the far end of the high school hallway upstairs if you never have, because it includes lots of fantastic artwork by current and former students, including a mural spanning an entire wall depicting key scenes in the life of Christ, done by seven students, many of them international students, between 2005-2010. You can also get a glimpse into the kinds of things Mr. Hawley is teaching our students by following his blog, which shares its name — What Then Is This Child Going to Be? — with the title of a book he published during the 2001-2002 school year. In the many years Mr. Hawley has dedicated to Christian education — at WCS and elsewhere — he has touched so many lives. For instance, in his first teaching “gig,” at Georgia Christian School in Valdosta, Georgia, he taught the parents, as well as aunts and uncles, of one of our current math teachers, Augusta Guthrie. What a great legacy!
Before I close, I want to remind you that re-enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year is underway now. That may sound far off, especially since we just started 2018, but now is the time for us to begin preparing for next year, and the more we know about what to expect enrollment-wise for next year, the more informed our decision-making will be. And don’t forget, there is a significant financial benefit to you for re-enrolling early as well. We would love to have as many of you back next year as possible, and we want to welcome your friends too. If you haven’t already, please invite neighbors, colleagues, etc. to an upcoming Wildcat Wednesday — the next one is Wednesday, February 7 — so they can see why you chose WCS for your student(s), and why they might want to consider it for theirs as well.
Keep an eye on WCS this spring. We’re just warming up!
Michael D. White
Head of School