Inside the Academy
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Did you know that students who graduate from Classical-Christian schools score an average of 325 points higher on the SAT? In other words, Classical-Christian schools stand for academic excellence. That's important, but what follows is more important.
The word “academic” derives from the name of a famous Greek hero – Academos – who saved the city of Athens from invaders. After his death, the Greeks continued to honor Academos by dedicating a beautiful olive grove to his memory that they named Academia. History teaches us that Plato lectured his students in that same garden, and thus we speak of Plato’s school as The Academy. The last word of our name – “Academy” – identifies us with great heroes and philosophers of ancient Greece. Like Academos, we desire to “save our city”; like Plato, we pursue wisdom. Oh, yes, of course we pursue knowledge in all of our academic disciplines: mathematics, science, humanities, foreign language, and the arts. We want to excel in all those subjects, but our highest goal is wisdom; hence, we are in the truest sense an “academy.”
“Excellence” derives from the Latin excellere, which means “to rise, surpass, be eminent or prominent like a hill or mountain.” When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Bay, they hoped to be “a shining city on a hill.” They hoped to excel. But the Pilgrims didn’t merely want to excel; they wanted to excel at those things that are truly excellent. Such is our goal at Whitefish Christian Academy: We want to excel in all academic disciplines and do well on standardized tests but, like the Pilgrims, we want to excel in those things that are truly excellent. As the Apostle Paul said, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Yes, students from classical, Christian schools excel academically and on standardized tests. And who knows? Perhaps one of our students will be another Academos and save a city, maybe even that “shining city on a hill”; or perhaps another student will become a great philosopher like Plato and think and speak in such a way as to make the world a better place. But more important than such accomplishments, we hope our students excel in those truly excellent things Paul described: truthfulness, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, good reputation, and virtue.
If you value academic excellence as we do and, more importantly, if you want your child to excel in those things that are truly excellent, we’d love for your child to join us at the academy in “a grove of wisdom.”