In this season of giving and gratitude, Sherwood Christian Academy middle and high school students set out to bless the Southwest Georgia community this Thanksgiving through SCA’s annual Great Turkey Race. The Great Turkey Race raises canned food and money for people in need and operates like a competition between grades. Students donate a certain number of nonperishable foods and cash and are awarded a turkey feather. The grade with the most feathers is the winner of the “race.” It is possibly the largest single annual food drive campaign in the Southwest Georgia community. Over the years SCA has raised thousands of dollars and food items through this event.
2021 is no exception to giving! Sherwood students raised $1,871.40 and 2,054 food items for The Lord’s Pantry, a food and clothing ministry located in Albany at 219 W. Society Avenue. Seniors from the SCA student body student council presented Director Tom Wilburn of The Lord’s Pantry with the donations on Friday, November 19. SCA seniors and the seventh-grade class were awarded for most donations this year. Thank you to all who participated and gave this year for this worthy ministry feeding the hungry in Southwest Georgia!
Congratulations to Joy Kendrick as she signed her letter of intent and received a scholarship to play college women’s basketball at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY. Cumberlands Women’s Basketball Head Coach Rick Reeves was present at the signing on September 29 at SCA. Joy is currently a senior at SCA.
We welcome three new teachers at Sherwood Christian Academy for the 2021-2022 academic year!
Miss Kelsey Hudson is our Spanish teacher. Miss Hudson is a graduate of Bob Jones University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and hails from Anderson, SC. She spent considerable time as a missionary in Mexico and has a passion for Spanish ministry within the local church.
Mrs. Dawne Beck is our 9th-10th Grade English teacher. Mrs. Beck both attended and was a previous faculty member of SCA with 12 years of teaching experience. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Georgia Southwestern State University and earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Mrs. Victoria Lane is our Elementary PE Coach. Coach Lane is a 2002 graduate of SCA and is from Albany. She graduated from the University of Mobile with her bachelor’s degree in Religion and a minor in Sports and Recreation. She has three children enrolled at SCA, and previously served as a substitute at SCA for several years.
We are blessed to have these three talented women join our faculty! Please welcome them when you see them around school.
Mr. Kenny Roberts was named High School Principal at Sherwood Christian Academy for the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition to High School Principal, he will continue to serve as junior & senior Bible teacher and Campus Pastor, and will extend his role from last year over the juniors and seniors to also include the freshmen and sophomore classes as their principal.
Mr. Roberts earned his Master’s and Ed. Specialist degrees in Educational Leadership from Walden University and Valdosta State University, respectfully. He is married to Christy and they have one SCA graduate as well as 5 children currently enrolled.
We are looking forward to his impact in the high school this coming year!
Coach Joel Wright was announced as the head coach of Sherwood’s boys’ soccer program in the 2021-2022 school year.
Coach Wright and his wife, Amy, have six children who have been enrolled at Sherwood Christian Academy since 2020, and the family attends Sherwood Baptist Church.
Coach Wright, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of nearly 13 years, is the Chief Legal Affairs Officer at Albany State University. He started his career in higher education at Georgia Southern University as the Associate Dean of Students for Military Affairs and then as the Director of Equal Opportunity & Title IX. He has also served the University System of Georgia as the Interim System Director for Conduct and Title IX. Prior to his career in higher education, Mr. Wright practiced law in the private sector.
Coach Wright played soccer from early childhood through high school before deciding to join the Marine Corps instead of pursuing soccer at the collegiate level. He has remained involved with soccer throughout his adult life including serving as a foundation board member of a professional soccer team (South Georgia Tormenta FC). He has coached soccer for 11 years (recreation, club, and high school levels) and is currently working on his USSF “D” license. He is already a familiar face as he assisted with the varsity boys’ soccer program this past spring.
Please help us welcome Coach Wright to the SCA coaching staff!
Sharon Howard, beloved kindergarten teacher, announces her retirement from education
After teaching kindergarten at Sherwood Christian Academy for 44 years, Sharon Howard announced her retirement from education in May 2021. Howard’s teaching career began at Sherwood Baptist Church in 1977 leading preschool classes. She has faithfully taught kindergarten since Sherwood Christian Academy was established in 1985. Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Florida State University.
“A key part of the growth and development of students is a strong foundation,” said Sherwood Church Executive Pastor and SCA School Committee Chair Jim McBride. “One of the great strengths of Sherwood Christian Academy since its beginning has been the Christ-based foundational teaching of Mrs. Sharon Howard. She has left a legacy in the lives of hundreds of students and all of us on the faculty and staff who have had the pleasure of serving alongside of her. On behalf of the entire SCA family we wish her the best in her retirement.”
Howard’s teaching has spanned six decades. She has seen major changes over that time in Albany as well as at the school like a campus renovation that moved the lower school classes to one facility located on Old Pretoria Road in 2015. She seamlessly pivoted to virtual learning in March 2020 and back to in-person instruction in August 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Howard embodies being a life-long learner.
Headmaster Dr. Brian Dougherty said of Howard upon her retirement, “A Mrs. Howard is a once-in-a-lifetime educator to have at any school. To impact so many students in the important formative year of kindergarten is invaluable. She has cast a long shadow of impact on several generations of students. We are grateful for her influence and pray God’s richest blessings on her in retirement.”
She has received multiple recognitions throughout her distinguished career. In February 2020, SCA ’20 Alumnus Andrew Orr, Mrs. Howard’s former kindergartener, selected Howard as his STAR Teacher for having the most influence on his academic achievement throughout his primary and secondary education at the PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, sponsored, administered, and promoted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.
Howard was awarded an individual grant from The Junior League of Albany, Georgia, Inc. through their Grants for Innovative Teachers Program in January 2021. This program provides up to $500 for each winner to support their classroom instruction and curriculum. Howard’s grant was used to further enhance the education and use of technology in K4 and K5 at SCA, including a mobile tablet lab with 12 Kindle devices to be used by students in each classroom for reading journals.
It is estimated that more than 1,000 students have been taught by Sharon Howard over 44 years, and her impact reaches beyond Albany. When asked about Mrs. Howard, many graduates of her kindergarten class immediately smile and remember fondly of their time with her – even those who are now in their 30s and 40s. A teacher of generations, Mrs. Howard recently taught children of SCA alumni.
Sharon Howard said of her teaching career, “One of my objectives was to encourage students to enjoy the process of learning. I tried to make school fun, exciting and to anticipate something new every day! I strived to help students know God has a plan for their lives, just as He had for my life. The theme of my ministry was Jeremiah 29:11, which states, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ It is my prayer that those seeds of hope and love were planted in their tender hearts!”
Parent of a student in Howard’s 2020-2021 school year K5 class, Rebecca Johnson, attributes her child Mazie Grace’s excitement for learning and observation of creation, like birds and butterflies, to Mrs. Howard’s serious, yet loving, instructional approach.
“My child flourished in Mrs. Howard’s class this year! She dearly loves Mrs. Howard and is constantly telling me things she learned in class that go beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. She has cultivated a deep love for God’s world, nature, and learning through Mrs. Howard’s eyes,” said Johnson. “There’s just something extra special about Mrs. Sharon Howard.”
Howard said, “I grew to enjoy five year olds who exhibited curiosity and wonder at seeing and learning new things. What a wonderful opportunity I had at introducing young people to our precious Lord and His creation! Thus my love for teaching children grew out of my love for God and His creation.”
Howard was recognized for her years of service at SCA’s 2021 kindergarten graduation ceremony on May 20, 2021. She plans to spend time with her husband Price in her retirement and, of course, watching the birds and other animals that visit her bird feeder in her backyard.
Sherwood Christian Academy is pleased to announce Ashlynn Dapper and Samuel Scardino as its valedictorian and salutatorian respectively for the class of 2021.
Valedictorian Ashlynn Dapper graduates with honors and will be attending Anderson University (SC) where she earned the prestigious Presidential Fellows Scholarship for full tuition. She plans to major in communications. Some of her achievements include being the STAR student at SCA, headmaster scholar, and a member of the National Honor Society. Dapper has earned a gold medal for exemplary community service. She was awarded an ACSI Distinguished Christian High School Student Award and received the Georgia Certificate of Merit. Dapper also lettered in fine arts and participated in Spring Literary. She served as student body chaplain in student government and received the Christian Character award. Dapper was selected to participate in the Mitchell EMC Washington Leadership Tour. The daughter of Steve and Janet Dapper of Albany, Ashlynn has attended SCA for seven years and is a member of Sherwood Baptist Church.
Salutatorian Samuel “Sammy” Scardino graduates with honors and will be attending Columbia International University where he earned the exclusive Board Scholarship. He will major in business administration. Some of his achievements include being a headmaster scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and Junior Class President. Scardino also received the ACSI Distinguished Christian High School Student Award and the Georgia Certificate of Merit. He has earned a gold medal for exemplary community service and a two-year letter winner in fine arts. The son of Reverend Mark and Karma Scardino of Albany, Samuel has attended SCA for five years and is a member of Sherwood Baptist Church.
Sherwood Christian Academy will hold its 32nd commencement exercises for the class of 2021 at Sherwood Baptist Church on Friday, May 14, at 7 p.m. Former Vice President of ACSI and current headmaster of Southside Christian School in Simpsonville, S.C., Dr. Sam Barfell, will deliver the commencement address to the graduates.
We honored the Class of 2021 on their last day of school, May 5! Senior Day included the traditional Senior Walk and a reception for seniors and their parents. Seniors began the walk across the campus in the kindergarten and preschool hallway and moved through elementary, middle school and past the remaining high school classes. The entire school cheered as “Pomp and Circumstance” played overhead on the speakers and the senior class walked through the campus one last time.
Chad Warbington, father of senior Julia Warbington, was thankful for the opportunity for the seniors to be honored.
“All the things the school does to recognize the seniors is special. This walk, the Drive of Honor and graduation help families and students build good memories at the end of their senior year,” Warbington said.
SCA teachers and administration are proud of our seniors and what they’ve accomplished! This class switched to virtual learning in spring 2020, then spent the current school year at Sherwood Church’s campus to provide a safely-distanced environment for in-person instruction. Being back on the school campus today was special.
Senior Ashlynn Dapper’s mother, Janet Dapper, described the event as “bittersweet.”
“It’s sad that one chapter is ending and sweet that another is beginning for Ashlynn,” she said. “We’re thankful the seniors were able to come back to the school campus today and see all the students again.”
SCA’s 2021 Graduation Ceremony is on May 14 at 7 pm at Sherwood Church.