The Year in Review

The Year in Review

By Carrie Dole, Board Secretary

The 2013/14 school year was a year of transition.  We said good-bye to Mrs. Busby after 26 years.  But it was a new chapter in the school’s life to welcome a new principal/ teacher, Mr. Ron Postma and teacher Mrs. Sally Postma.  Let’s take a look at what else happened this school year.

For Mrs. Sarah Rowton’s kindergarten class of three boys and two girls, field trips included the pumpkin patch, the SF symphony, and a trip to the Oakland Zoo.  It was fun learning about plants and music and animals too!  The children shared Bible study questions in class, they encouraged each other with polite and gentle persistence, and they are all readers going into first grade.  They have made a lot of treasured memories for their kindergarten teacher!

The whole year was a highlight for Mr. and Mrs. Postma’s 1st and 2nd graders.  The Christmas ballet was their first trip, and the children sat on the edge of their seats in awe of what they were watching!  The Oakland Zoo and the Lawrence Hall of Science were both in line with their science study of insects.  They seemed to have an interest in bugs and animals.  There was always a question about animals when they studied the continents.  In math they created number sentences using the digits from the current date.   It was a special joy to make the Bible come alive for the children.  They were interested in the stories, the people of the Bible and their complete acceptance of God’s love for them.  They were an example of God’s challenge for all of us to trust Him like little children.

Mrs. Gina Ledesma’s 3rd and 4th graders enjoyed studying the beginning of creation in Genesis until the Israelites renewed their covenant with the Lord after conquering the promised land in the book of Joshua.  They also studied about the United States, its geography, states and capitals, industries, and the people of this country.  The field trip that made an impact was a visit to the Davis Street Transfer Station (AKA the Dump).  It was a reminder that we must not create so much trash.  Finally, the class also published their 9th class book, Wild Wacky Wonders.  It was so much fun to create silly fantasy stories and poems.  It was a great year!

Mrs. Luann Sankey’s 5th and 6th graders were a wonderful bright mix of ten boys and one girl, three 6th graders and eight 5th graders.  Many of them have been together since kindergarten.  They made “Stomp” like rhythms when they praised God in the morning while Mrs. Sankey sang.  They learned about the world we live in by listening to Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech for its fiftieth anniversary.  They studied about the Civil War and it’s affect on our nation, they visited the Oakland Airplane Museum and learned how planes have changed our way of life.  They organized a hot lunch to understand how a business works and even made a profit.  They enjoyed a trip to Mount Hermon and to the new Exploratorium.  They have all grown and  changed and are ready for the new year to come.  God has blessed them!

Mrs. Barbara Eisemann’s 7th and 8th graders learned how to diagram all sorts of sentences, learned the parts of speech, and how to use them correctly in their English curriculum class.  They studied civilizations from the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia to the Vikings, Franks, Germans, and Anglo-Saxons in the Early Middle Ages.  They learned about plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, the planets and stars, and the oceans in Earth Science.  In Bible, they focused on the Old Testament and memorized Bible verses.  Most of the class took on the challenge of Algebra, using the same curriculum as the Alameda high schools.  Among their field trips was the California Academy of Sciences, the San Jose Tech Museum, the Legion of Honor Art Museum, studying the San Francisco Bay on a special trip on the Aquarium of the Bay’s Hybrid Ferry, and the Mother Lode River Center in the Gold Country.  They loved singing, dancing, and playing percussion instruments with Mr. McClain, playing sports with Mrs. Pero, and doing beautiful artwork with Mrs. Susan Power and Mrs. Yelena Taras.

A highlight this year was the organization of a boys basketball team, the Lions, which competed with the local junior high teams.   They sure did a good job this first year!

January marked the organization of a PTA.  One Christian speaker spoke on the many forms of bullying, a topic so prominent today.  Another speaker was Darren Price, Principal at Contra Costa Christian School, whose topic was 21st century learning in our schools.  Parents are encouraged to get involved.

During the Graduation and Honors Ceremony, the following 8th Grade Graduates received their diplomas:  Brittany Juhala, Colton Kimpark, Maggie Powers, and Jailene Yat.  Mrs. Annette McNamee was recognized for her term of service on the school board,  and Senora Cathy Hagen received the Round Tuitt Award for her 30 years of service teaching Spanish.  She is finally retiring to enjoy time with her grandchild. And Mrs. Paulina Meninga is retiring and was recognized for her many years of service as the school’s Business Manager.

We would like to recognize staff members: Mrs. Mary Hiemenga, Mrs. Ann Hickman, and Mrs. Mary Ann Thornton (Extended Care), Mr. Micah McClain (Music Teacher), Coach Mrs. Leah Pero (P.E.), Paul Petroelje (volunteer), Susan Powers and Yelena Taras, parent volunteers.

One of the challenges for me, as Board Secretary, is to write The Year In Review at the end of each school year.  What began as a one year “fill-in” for a departing board member, has turned into serving for four years this time around.  I served on the board previously when my children were attending ACS many years ago.  It has been my privilege to serve the school community, again, in this capacity.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 reads “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Whether you have been a teacher, a student, a parent, a supporter, or a combination of these, may you be reminded of the fact that ACS has served our community faithfully by instructing and nurturing countless students now for 70 years. We have been called by God to train up our children…His children.  To God be the glory!