Have you ever worked and plodded along on one of your dreams, but didn’t’ know when you’d catch your break? DJ McKenzie has. He has been working on a master’s degree in Learning and Technology the last two years. Combine that with seven years as the IT guy and Computer science teacher; he is now ready to kick the computer science program at Madison Academy up a notch. After lots of studying and planning he’s created a new four-year computer science curriculum that will allow students to become well-versed in computing, programming, and robotics.
That’s not even the coolest part. McKenzie and Mrs. VP worked on a grant in November for this program. It was a long shot to get it, but in March they received word that the computer science program would be awarded $10,000. This grant will allow Madison Academy to start purchasing the material they need to upgrade some of the computers and buy the equipment they need to begin the robotics program. We are still looking for partners to invest in this program. Our program goal is $18,000 to fund the computer science upgrade for next year. There are many elements that we still need. If you want to be part of this game-changing program, please contact Taleah Valles-Peters. Together, with DJ McKenzie, we can share how you can make a significant impact on Madison Academy.
Remember that one time when you had abs of steel because of the Giving Tuesday Planksgiving challenge? Well we want to thank your midsections and your generosity because things are happening in the gym! Private donations make great things happen on our campus. Do you want to know what’s on the docket for next year? Come talk to me, Taleah Vallés-Peters and we will go over the School Enhancement plan together.
This week we found out just how much! Each family group was given $20 and the simple instructions to “make someone’s day.” Armed with only 85 minutes and an Andrew Jackson, the teams set out for adventure on Wednesday during assembly and lunch. Our crazy and kind groups of friends:
- Purchased a ton of burritos at the Rivergate Taco Bell and delivered to them people (in KYTN conference office, Nourish, Madison police precinct, and a few friendly people on the street).
- Ordered pizza and breadsticks for homeless in downtown Nashville.
- Bought flowers and note cards from Kroger and handed them out to people at the mall or left them on their car windshields.
- Shopped at Dollar Tree for inexpensive, but fun items, then gave them to people at the mall with notes of encouragement and scripture.
- Paid it forward at the Opry Mills mall food court. (Yes! Each student in this group bought lunch for the person behind him/her in various restaurants. Clearly someone added funds to this adventure! Evidence that a good idea can inspire donors.)
- Procured flowers and notes cards, then left notes on the windshields of cars in the parking lot of First Watch and handed flowers to the women in the restaurant.
- Purchase Krispy Kreme donuts and deliver to a construction crew, some landscape workers, and a group of adults from a care facility who happened to be on an outing.
- Encouraged Miller’s Florist to triple the funds in flowers and then taped flowers and sweet notes to EVERY resident’s door at the Cumberland Towers (That’s 160 doors!
- Baked cookies for the students to enjoy upon return from the adventure and take time to leave a “warm fuzzy” on EVERY locker in the building.
These spontaneous random acts of kindness by both our students and community partners that joined in the fun are evidence that $20 goes much further than anyone can imagine.
Every year the Madison Academy family presents both church services at Madison Campus Church. This year’s theme was “Encounter the Baby.” There were many opportunities to serve and over 60% of the student population shared their time and talents in this presentation–both on stage and behind the scenes. The handbell choir started the service playing “Carol of the Bells.” The band played for the offertory and our praise teams shared their gift of music too. Brock Anderson as a shepherd, Zachary Metzler as a Wiseman, and Mr. Chris Wilhelm as Joseph shared their perspective on reputation and what God thinks of us. Mrs. Fuentes, the principal, added her thoughts and summarized the theme. Mr. Pichette wrote parts for the band and handbells and they joined the praise teams in singing “Who You Say I Am.” To experience this service here is the link.
Mr. Abner Fuentes, a Project Manager,(and Austin’s dad), shared his expertise and experience with first impressions, hardy handshakes, eye contact, and elevator pitches. The seniors then practiced their “elevator ride” while engaging in conversation with Mr. Fuentes (pictured with William Buzby). Following encouraging applause for student, the class gave honest, helpful critique. We are blessed to have a safe environment for students to learn and rehearse the “soft skills” that will make them successful in college and career.
Dr. William O.T. Smith, a retired anesthesiologist and avid support of Adventist education, shared his life story and the hardest thing he ever had to do: find and keep a relationship with God. His remarkable journey was riddle with heartache and joy, poor decisions and saving grace, near death and God’s intervention. One senior described the class period this way: “He is an entertaining storyteller, but when you combine that with the inspiring account of how God found him… well it’s no wonder we were captivated.”