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.
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.
The Junior League of Albany, Georgia, Inc. each year invites teachers to apply for grants through their Grants for Innovative Teachers Program. This program provides up to $500 for each winner to support and enhance their classroom instruction and curriculum. This year SCA is pleased to announce that three of our teachers were recipients of individual grants. Congratulations to Mrs. Sharon Howard (K5), Mrs. Peggy Bullock (K5), and Mrs. Vickie Knuckles (Music/Theatre Arts Instructor)!
Mrs. Howard’s grant will be used to further enhance the education and use of technology in K4 and K5. They will set up a mobile tablet lab with 12 Kindle devices to be used by students in each classroom. The teachers will further enhance instruction with the mobile Promethean Board already in the PK/kindergarten department. One of the first plans for the devices includes having the K4 and K5 classes create digital portfolios of their work using Seesaw on the Kindle. Students will use this for reading journals to facilitate conversation between students, parents, and teachers about reading.
Mrs. Bullock’s grant will be used to purchase additional books for the K5 students to support their thematic unit studies. Our kindergarten teachers add additional unit studies to their daily curriculum in order to encourage exploration and help increase their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The teachers often read stories to enhance thematic units (community helpers, cowboys, birds, kindness, etc.) and provide additional books for the students to enjoy independently. This grant will allow kindergarten to grow their class library giving the students additional visual lessons.
Mrs. Knuckles’s grant will be used for the project, Uke, Can Play the Ukulele. Learning to play the ukulele develops skills in students that are essential to creating music, mathematics, history, culture, social skills, and responsibility. Students learning to play the ukulele will learn music theory, ear training, composition, repertoire, improvisation as well as strumming exercises, note reading, rhythm, and scales.
We are very thankful to The Junior League of Albany, Georgia, Inc. for providing the opportunity for our teachers to apply for these grants and for their support to our local schools. We look forward to seeing all these resources being used in the classroom in the near future.
We are pleased to announce that senior baseball star Patrick Burke has signed a national letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA. Patrick started his baseball career at SCA when he transferred in 9th grade.
Since the beginning, he has distinguished himself on the field. Patrick holds a career .545 batting average, a .934 on-base percentage, with only 3 strikeouts in his career! He has won the Best Offensive Player Award three years running and is a three-time state all-star in GAPPS (GA Assn. of Private & Parochial Schools). His bat will certainly be an asset to the Emmanuel Lions!
Defensively, Patrick will provide a strong arm on the mound and play the infield. He has been the number 1 pitcher in the rotation for the last two seasons for the Eagles, striking out 50 batters last year. He serves as a closer on his travel team (GameOn Baseball). Coach Jay Flynt is counting on Patrick’s arm this season to help the team make a deep playoff run!
Patrick will be majoring in Christian Ministry with a minor in History at Emmanuel. Eventually, he would like to go into youth ministry. Join us in congratulating another SCA Eagle headed to college on an athletic scholarship.
For the first time in SCA’s history, we have a tie for STAR student! Seniors Andrew Orr and Charlie Taylor were honored today in a STAR student/teacher luncheon sponsored by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. Andrew chose Mrs. Sharon Howard as his STAR teacher and Charlie chose Mrs. Beth Shepard.
The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, now in its 62nd year, is sponsored, administered and promoted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). Since its creation by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the STAR program has honored nearly 27,000 high school seniors and the teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic achievement. To obtain the 2020 STAR nomination, graduating high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.
We are very proud of Andrew, Mrs. Howard, Charlie, and Mrs. Shepard and the academic excellence they exemplify at Sherwood Christian Academy!
Congratulations to Coach James Byrd and the SCA ‘A’ Chess Team who traveled to Greensboro and brought home the GAPPS state championship trophy! This is SCA’s second state championship in chess in the past three years. Team members include seniors Andrew Orr, Charlie Taylor, Patrick Burke, and junior Will Mahnken. Way to go gentlemen!
Senior striker, Joshua Thomas, signed a national letter of intent to continue his soccer career at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. A key member of last year’s state soccer championship team, Thomas believed that God was calling him to join former SCA head soccer coach Jeremy Davidson. Davidson currently serves as the head men’s soccer coach at Bryan. He had the privilege of coaching Josh not only at SCA last year but for several years during his club years. Current SCA head coach, Ashley Thomas, is excited not only for his son, but for the upcoming season when his team will defend their state title! Congratulations Josh!
A big ‘Thank You’ goes out to the entire Eagle Nation for participating in this year’s Great Turkey Race. With coordination from Student Council sponsors Tiffany Carter and Cheryl Thompson and the middle and high school student council members, students throughout the school helped collect 2772 items of food and $4779 in cash that was taken to the Lord’s Pantry to bless their ministry and those they serve this holiday season!
Congratulations to all the secondary grades for meeting their individual class goals!
I am so pleased to see our school be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve those less fortunate at this time of year. May each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving this year!
Sherwood Christian Academy announced this week that the school received re-accreditation this spring. Since 2007, SCA has been accredited by AdvancEd (the umbrella organization for the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools/SACS) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
This dual accreditation speaks of operational and academic excellence as well as the implementation of best practices of Christian education. Being an accredited school puts a stamp of approval and legitimacy on SCA’s diploma, allowing its students to attend the colleges of their choice and to be eligible for a broad range of scholarships nationwide.
Accreditation is a process whereby a school places itself under the inspection of a visiting team of educational professionals representing the two aforementioned accrediting bodies and their prescribed standards. The specifics cover the areas of mission and philosophy; governance and leadership; and operations including security, academics, programming, spiritual formation and strategic planning. SCA passed the standards inspection with exemplary marks.
As a mature school, SCA leadership chose to embark on Accreditation by School Progress (ASP), adding an additional writing component to this accreditation cycle that would have an appreciable effect on student achievement.
“Ultimately, we see effective communication skills as the currency of influence with others and as very important for students’ success in the future job market,” Headmaster Dr. Brian Dougherty said. “We developed a writing project called Writing the SCA Way as a way to increase our instruction in this area across the grades and the disciplines.
“This new curriculum helps every grade K-12 place a strong emphasis on writing and communication skills. The goal is that by the next accreditation cycle in five years, our writing project blueprint is reproduceable by other schools.”
Congratulations to the SCA Spring Literary Team who took 1st Place at the GICAA Division I-AA State Literary on Monday. It is SCA’s first Spring Literary state championship! SCA finished ahead of Westminster Academy of Watkinsville.
Congratulations are in order for coaches Vickie Knuckles & Jackie Byrd, accompanist Missy Sanders, and the fifteen (15) team members: Ashlynn Dapper (10th gr.), Josie Davidson (7th gr.), Gavin Griffin (10th gr.), Jared Guin (12th gr.), Liza Langstaff (10th gr.), Smith Langstaff (9th gr.), Elizabeth Montgomery (10th gr.), Cameron Rambo (12th gr.), Nathanael Sancinito (12th gr.), Andrew Sanders (12th gr.), Sydney Taylor (12th gr.), Emma Warbington (12th gr.), Julia Warbington (10th gr.), John Mark Willard (9th gr.), and Emily Whatley (12th gr.).
First place medals were earned by Smith Langstaff (humorous oral interpretation), Jared Guin (international extemporaneous), and the Boys Quartet of Gavin Griffin, Cameron Rambo, Andrew Sanders, and John Mark Willard. All together the SCA team earned 16 medals! Way to go Spring Literary Team!