The October 31, 2017 #WhatsUpAtGRACE newsletter includes information on the results of our recently completed Annual Fund Campaign as well as lots of summaries and pictures from events around campus.
Make note that this Friday is the November Donuts for Dad meeting (details in the newsletter) and that today is the last day to claim lower campus lost and found items before they are donated.
In true community spirit, GRACE has a place for all the extra candy that you might want to find a home for after tonight. Details are in the newsletter.
Lower Campus students, don’t forget to be filling Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!
Dear GRACE Families,
Thank you for the tremendous show of support for our 2017-2018 Annual Fund Campaign. While the Annual Fund has been in existence for some time, this was our first attempt to create support through this type of campaign — one that featured no mailing of donation cards or solicitation via a student activity such as running laps. This year, our approach was simply to ask you to support the Annual Fund because of your commitment to the mission and vision of our school. Each day of the 10-day campaign, we highlighted an aspect of the GRACE community that benefits from your support of the Annual Fund and helps make our school special, including the Christian foundation, wonderful educational environment, and incredible staff. So in addition to providing financial support of our Annual Fund goals, we hope that our 10-day campaign was also a reminder of God’s blessings on our community.
I am delighted to report that our 10-day campaign surpassed our fundraising goal. As a replacement mechanism to Boosterthon, we knew that we wanted to equal or surpass the level of fundraising that event generated. Just over 50% of our GRACE families participated and made an average donation of $103. As of today, the 2017-2018 campaign has generated over $27,000 for us to use during this school year. In addition to raising money now, many of you indicated your intentions to donate at year-end or to donate at the 2018 Celebrate GRACE event. For those of you who would still like to participate in the campaign donations can be made via this link on the GRACE website. Thank you for your generosity.
As a result of this month’s giving, we can move ahead on the following projects:
- Renovation of the lower campus library;
- Renovation of the upper campus lobby;
- Replacing the lower campus flooring in the hallways; and
- Enhancing the upper campus computer lab.
Going forward, our goal is to increase the percentage of our families participating in this event as strong community involvement in fundraising signals to outside organizations that we have a community that is supportive of our leadership, our mission, and our future. This, in turn, allows us to apply for funding in the form of grants and other educational helps.
Thank you for your generous support of GRACE. So much of what we accomplish is a result of the support of our community as you partner with us in equipping your students for life.
For the last four years, GRACE high school students have had the privilege of learning Spanish from Señora Welch. As a teacher, Paula desires to encourage her students to know God and His written Word better and to make Him known to others in a way that is relevant culturally and linguistically. Paula and her husband, Larry, spent 20 years living in the Republic of Panama working with an indigenous group on the northwest coast as church planters. Paula and Larry met at in the cafeteria at what is now Liberty University, have been married for 36 years, and have three daughters and two granddaughters. Because they married right out of college, Paula has never lived alone. Fun fact – the first time Larry met Paula, he told her his name was George!
When asked about her primary and secondary school years, Paula recalls when she was the speaker at the 1978 South Carolina FFA (Future Farmers of America) State Convention. Paula was representing the Future Homemakers of America (FHA) as it was customary for the two groups to send a representative to each other’s state convention. At that time, the associations were very gender specific, and Paula remembers being the only girl in a group of hundreds of young men.
There are many passages of scripture that are special to Paula, but one verse that she frequently comes back to is Proverbs 3:5-6. This is the passage that God used to get her attention when she was a senior in high school. God used these verses to help Paula realize that if she trusted and obeyed Him, she could quit trying to figure out how to make things work, and instead allow Him to direct her path. It was, she recalls, the beginning of her learning to walk by faith that has truly been a way of life for Paula through all of phases of her life. Paula shared that there have been times in her life when she was trusting and times when she wasn’t and, looking back, she can recognize that there is a definite peace that comes with trusting Him.
Before being a missionary and teacher, Paula had a number of unusual jobs including working on an assembly line sewing clothing. She has been a member of several choirs and remembers singing Christmas carols at Disneyland and singing as part of the Bible Aflame Singers while attending Liberty Baptist College (now Liberty University).
When asked to share what she loves best about GRACE, Paula was quick to say that she enjoys how the faculty, staff, students, and parents form a loving community that is quick to step in and support each other in every area of life. When the Welch’s moved to North Carolina four years ago, they did not expect to find a group of people that they would enjoy as much as the community they left behind, but GRACE changed that. Paula states that it is a testimony to the fact that God provides fellowship for His people where ever He calls them.
Over the years, Paula has been involved in every church ministry you can imagine spanning from the nursery (where she serves now) to ministries benefiting senior citizens. She shares that the ministries changed over the years based on location and need, but she has never been involved in a ministry that she didn’t enjoy. In the nursery, she enjoys spending time with children who are the same age as her granddaughters, Ariana and Annalise.
Paula does not enjoy participating in sports, but she is an avid fan. If you are a varsity athlete at GRACE, you have likely seen Señora on the sidelines for many of your home games. In addition to the Eagles, Paula enjoys following professional baseball, and because she married a boy from Southern California, she is an Angels fan.
When asked about major influences in her life, Paula shared that serving and living among the Buglere people of Panama for twenty years had a profound effect on her perspective. Her time in Panama helped her understand what true physical and spiritual poverty looks like and it also helped her realize the power of the gospel to change lives for the glory of God and to bring unity where opposition and dissension once ruled. Living as a missionary among the Buglere people taught Paula to trust God more deeply and gave her opportunities to experience His faithfulness in ways she never had before.
In closing, Paula shared a phrase that bears witness to the confidence she places in the ability of our Sovereign God to be glorified in any situation. She doesn’t remember where she first heard it, but she views life in agreement with the statement, “the bigger the minus the bigger the plus.” She has been able to see in her life that quite often, the things that seem so negative become a positive thing in some way and the more negative it seemed originally, the more positive it becomes in the end.
The following upper campus student clubs are meeting this week (October 30-November 3, 2017)
- The Community Service Club is meeting from 3:15-3:30pm in room 201 (Mrs. Jacob’s Room)
- The Math Club is not meeting, but there will be SAT Prep from 3:15-4:15pm in room 136 (Mrs. Stone’s Room)
- The Scrubs Club is meeting from 3:15-4:00pm in room 138 (Dr. Smitley’s Room)
The Chess Club is meeting from 3:30-4:30pm in room 111 (Mrs. Wingerd’s Room)
- The Creative Writing Club is meeting from 3:15-4:30 in room 203 (Mrs. Petty’s Room)
- The Adventure Club is going camping
PTF Positions Need Filling
PTF is able to provide support to our families, students, teachers and staff thanks to the time and dedication of our PTF members. If you have any interest in using your gifts to serve on PTF please consider filling one of the open positions:
- Lower Campus Vice President
- Upper Campus Care Team Member.
Please contact Renée Drumgo at email@example.com if you are interested in filling one of these positions or if you would like to serve in any capacity.
Teacher Coffee Cart
PTF will be blessing our teachers and staff the morning of November 3rd with a coffee and tea cart. PTF will make rounds to each teacher to serve them from our coffee/tea cart.
Care Team Request Form
Care Team offers extra support to our families who are experiencing a life event/need (e.g. new baby, loss of a family member, etc.). This link allows access to the Care Team request form which will allow you to submit a confidential request for your family or another GRACE family. Your request will be directed to the appropriate Upper or Lower Campus Care Team members based on your form submission. Care Team Request Form
Care Team Meals Signup
Care Team has already filled many requests this school year to help our GRACE families. Now our freezers are running low. Help Care Team restock the freezer so that they can provide meals to our GRACE families in times of need. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d48aca928aafe3-help
PTF had a great turnout for the City BBQ Spirit Night on October 20, 2017. Thank you so much for all of your support!
The October 24, 2017 #WhatsUpAtGRACE newsletter includes information on the following:
- A new staff spotlight!
- An update on our recently completed Annual Fund Campaign (and a link for those of you who didn’t quite make the 10 days, but still want to participate)
- A link to a useful resource on Kindergarten Readiness that we encourage you to share with your friends with preschool-age children
- A report on how the GRACE Theatre Department is living out the GRACE mission statement
- A plea to label water bottles, lunch boxes and coats to minimize the amount of items in our lost & found
- The kick off to this year’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection
- An update from our college counselors on the class of 2018
- A list of middle and high school students who earned honor roll status during the first quarter
If you have had a student at GRACE in grades TK-6th, no doubt, you have enjoyed the fruit of Merrily Boyd’s labor. As the art teacher on the lower campus, Merrily has the honor of inspiring our youngest students in their artistic accomplishments.
As an elementary student, one of Merrily’s fondest memories is from fifth grade when a painting she did in art class won the “Save Our Sounds” poster contest and Greg Fischel presented her award.
Psalm 121 is a favorite of Merrily’s as it shows God as our protector and the One we should turn to for help in times of trouble. As a relatively new mom, the 3rd verse of this psalm, “He who watches over you will not slumber…” has taken on new meaning. She loves how this verse depicts God as a vigilant, loving parent.
Merrily grew up in Raleigh and graduated in 2004 from Meredith College with a bachelor’s degree in studio art and art history and completed her master’s degree in elementary education at NC State University in 2012. Merrily has been part of the GRACE staff for the last nine years joining the staff in 2008 after getting connected to three members of the GRACE staff, including Kathie Thompson and Beth Hawks, at a camp where she was volunteering. After finding out she had not been offered a job she had applied for elsewhere, Merrily prayed and surrendered her future employment to God. Less than three hours later Beth Hawks and former GRACE teacher George Taylor mentioned that Mrs. Thompson was looking for an art teacher for GRACE. As soon as Merrily heard this, she knew God had heard her prayer and was directing her steps. Merrily began working at GRACE that fall and enrolled at NCSU to begin her masters in elementary education. When asked what she loves most about her job, Merrily states that she is most grateful to combine her love of art and her love of children and get paid to do so! Merrily uses her own experience as a reminder that God is good, that He cares about us, that He answers prayer, and that all too often, we underestimate all of these truths.
When asked to reveal something that most people didn’t know about Merrily, she shared that prior to coming to GRACE, she and a friend moved to Texas for three months for the sole purpose of working the Texas Renaissance Faire!
Merrily is grateful to be at GRACE and appreciates the team atmosphere and the culture that is always striving for excellence and looking for ways to improve and grow. Merrily and her husband, Michael, met on a blind date and have one son, Gibson.
As the first semester comes to a close, GRACE seniors have already submitted 212 applications to 59 different colleges. These students have already received over 30 acceptances!
In addition, 22 seniors have been nominated for a variety of scholarships including:
- 2 Nominations to Morehead-Cain Scholarship (UNC-Chapel Hill)
- 2 Nominations to Park Scholarship (NC State University)
- 5 Nominations to Levine Scholarship (UNC-Charlotte
- 4 Furman Scholars Selected from Nominations (contingent on formal acceptance)
- 5 High Point Scholars Selected from Nominations (contingent on formal acceptance)
- 5 Wofford Scholars Selected from Nominations (contingent on formal acceptance)
- 1 Gordon Scholar Selected from Nominations (guaranteed formal acceptance)
On campus, 34 college admissions representatives have made visits to GRACE with 12 more scheduled before the end of the semester.
Students, don’t forget to check out College Counseling bulletin board outside the Upper School library!
- The next College Connections drop in Q&A meeting for all parents in November 2nd.
- The Math Department is offering SAT and ACT math prep classes once a month on Wednesdays after school – dates are on School calendar
The following upper campus student clubs are meeting this week (October 23-27, 2017)
- The Indoor Track & Field Club is meeting from 3:30-3:45 in room 137 (Mrs. Nielsen’s Room)
- The Creative Writing Club is meeting from 3:15-4:30 in room 203 (Mrs. Petty’s Room)
- The Math Club is meeting from 3:15-4:15pm in room 136 (Mrs. Stone’s Room)
- The Magic Club is meeting from 3:30-4:00pm in room 134 (Mr. Bookman’s Room)