Mrs. Joanna Richardson is back in the classroom this year and we could not be more excited to have her at Sherwood Christian Academy! This is Mrs. Richardson’s first year teaching at SCA, and she previously spent more than 16 years in education before working in non-profit ministries such as the Alpha Pregnancy Center and Albany Biblical Counseling.
Here are a few words to describe Mrs. Joanna Richardson from her 1st grade students:helpful,sweet,nice, kind,and friendly.
EDUCATION: BA in Early Childhood Education from Mercer University M.ED in Counseling and Psychology from Troy State
YEARS LEADING IN EDUCATION: This is my 17th year of teaching!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING?: My favorite times are those when I get to see the excitement in a student’s eye when he or she is understanding a new concept for the first time. For instance, I get such a thrill when my students can retell a Bible story to me, and they truly begin to understand how much God loves them.
FAVORITE FOOD/SNACK: Italian food, snack-fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, grapes, apples)
HIDDEN TALENT: Baking
FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR IN SWGA: Fall. It’s typically Goldilocks weather- not too cold, not too hot, just right! It’s also the season for harvest, giving thanks, and celebrating Advent. In our home, it’s a time when family members who live away come home to fellowship with us for the holidays.
TEACHING AT SCA: I’m honored to have the opportunity to teach first grade at SCA. It has been such a blessing for me! I’m most excited about teaching at SCA because I get the opportunity to share Jesus with my class daily, and I’ve even experienced the blessing of praying with a student as he accepted Christ. Best day!!!
Thank you for your dedication to your students, Mrs. Richardson!
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 SCA kindergarten teachers are excited about the addition of the new Promethean board in their department Promethean boards use touch screen technology and are particularly good for this developmental age because as students write letters, match numbers, sort colors, and perform other tasks, they are crossing the midline of the brain and helping make connections between both hemispheres of the brain. Teachers have the ability to display different interactive games and activities allowing students to interact with the board through touch or a special pen.
Our Promethean board is mobile so it can be shared among the kindergarten classrooms. The teachers use educational apps interactively to reinforce letter recognition and sounds, reading one- and two-vowel words, and words with special sounds. The students also review numbers and sequencing, colors, and patterns. With the interactive board, they can practice writing letters and words properly. Our resources are unlimited with this new technology in our classroom.
Technology today is such an intricate part of our daily lives, and our students have taken to our new board like a sponge to water. It has been a very effective asset to our students’ daily learning.
Promethean is a company founded in Georgia that has specifically targeted the lower age levels of students with hardware and software that work in developmentally appropriate ways with younger students. The Promethean board we have lets students interact by touch with fingers creating a natural way for students to interact.
After writing a persuasive essay on a new donut creation, fifth graders partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts to create the winning treat. Congratulations to donut designer, Lillian Peavey, for the Earth Recycled Donut!
Students were able to create the donut, which was a vanilla donut, chocolate filling, green icing, chocolate and green drizzle on top with pretzel pieces and green sprinkles. Thank you to Dunkin’ for helping with this fun project!
Early American history came to life in Mrs. Johnson’s fourth grade history class as the students participated in a “Colonial Times Show and Tell.” Students shared clothing, tools, toys, cooking/household utensils, and educational items appropriate to the time period. Through this activity, a much better understanding of the hardships of colonial life was realized by all.
Elementary students enjoyed their first chapel of the year today. Coach Fyock recognized third grade for being the “High Five” winner, and Mrs. Orr presented AR awards. The students and teachers always enjoy “Good News.”
Today was special as we celebrated students who have recently received Christ. We welcome two new elementary students, Greta and Emmie Runyon.
Pastor Mark Scardino spoke to the students about our position in Christ and how this helps us not to “worry” but learn instead to trust Christ with our daily concerns. Bethany was here to lead us in music. Chapel is always a special time in our week!
Elementary students had a blast at chapel this morning! Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee Tanya Crevier led us with a message of enthusiasm and hope and performed incredible basketball demonstrations.
Tanya Crevier has traveled the world sharing her unique basketball handling skills and inspirational message of motivation. Her accomplishments include:
National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee – 2018
3 years of Women’s Professional Basketball – WBL – Iowa Cornets 2 years & San Francisco Pioneers 1 year
South Dakota Hall of Fame
South Dakota State University – Distinguished Alumni
Billed as the ‘world’s finest female basketball handler’
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions inductee
Performed in nearly 40 countries and in all 50 States
Performed at College Basketball, WNBA & NBA halftimes
Performed at NBA Finals 2015 & 2016
Performed at halftime of 5 NBA All-Star Games
Thank you, Tanya, for sharing your talents and heart with us! Thank you to Jeff and Tiffany Carter for helping set up this amazing event!
SCA students enjoyed a trip to Ballet Theatre South to watch the “Nutcracker.” Several SCA students participated in the ballet as well. Congratulations to the following students on your successful performances!
SCA fifth grade students Tripp Roberts and Wesley Brooks attended the Duke TIP Fall Academic Adventure Day at the University of Georgia. Both students enrolled in the course “Cellular Gene-ius: An Introduction to Microbiology and Genetics.”
They learned about genes and DNA in human and plant cells. They learned genetic terminology and were introduced to Mendelian Genetics. They also constructed edible DNA models and learned how to predict genotypes of a particular cross using Punnett Squares. While learning about plant cells, they completed a hands-on lab and extracted DNA from strawberries.
The boys observed some of the other classes as well. Students in the “Shark Attack” class dissected a real shark and the “Aircraft and Spacecraft Design” class designed and built aircrafts and tested them outside on the campus lawn. So, the boys are excited about the possibility of taking another class in the spring!
Before and after class, they were able to squeeze in some sight-seeing on campus. The boys visited the historic UGA arches, shopped around in the bookstore, and stopped by Sanford Stadium. They had fun spotting some of the dozens of unique bulldog statues installed around the campus and Athens area.