News from CAK
Elite pole vaulter Kelsie Ahbe is training at Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) under Coach Jim Bemiller. After being an Olympic finalist in 2016 (top 12), Ahbe's ultimate goal is to medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Currently, she is training to compete at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar (Sept 27 & 29).
"I train at CAK because it is a very welcoming environment," says Ahbe. "As an elite athlete, it is difficult to find places to train, but CAK has been generous to give me access to the track and pole vault pit."
Coach Bemiller also coached Olympic gold medalist (2004) and former Vol Tim Mack. Due to Bemiller's experience, Ahbe says "I believe I am in good company and have a shot at winning a medal in 2020."
She also enjoys seeing so many CAK athletes practicing each day beside her. "I hope I can inspire them with my athletic journey!"
CAK is honored to have Ahbe on campus and looks forward to the 2020 games!
We are off to a tremendous start this year. Our students are settling in and working hard. Our athletic teams are doing well - GO WARRIORS! We are so blessed and are looking for a great year.
As many of you may know our faculty and staff read a book this summer entitled Marching Off the Map, by Tim Elmore with Andrew McPeak. The subtitle to the book is – Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand-New World. It was a very challenging and interesting read.
The first chapter was entitled What If the Future Could Talk to Us? Opening up the first chapter was a letter that was written to a mom by her child's former high school principal. The mom and the principal were close friends. Her son, Matthew, is now 25 and long removed from high school, and the principal was grieving over the fact that Matthew was still unemployed and living at home. Please read what the principal wrote:
I felt the need to write to you today about our children. They’ve been on my mind. Now that both our kids are older, I hate to admit that we’re getting used to higher levels of anxiety and depression in them. I deeply regret our adult children are addicted to screens and meds to help them cope with life. I’m disappointed that we didn’t teach them emotional intelligence and social intelligence; work ethic and resilience; vision and leadership. These are basic skills my parents taught me, but I’m afraid they’re not getting taught at home or at school these days.
I want to apologize for the part I may have played in Matt’s developmental problems. Like too many other school leaders, I carried a narrow definition of education. During the last fifteen years, I felt it was all about test scores and keeping up with Finland and Singapore. As I look back, it appears the more we pushed them academically, the more we failed at teaching them life.
That is an amazing admission! I am in no way suggesting that academics should not be a focus. However, Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” Those character traits of integrity, honesty, punctuality, resourcefulness, etc. are what employers are looking for in their hires. It is what each of us prays for in a mate for our children, and at my stage, the traits I want to be found in my grandchildren.
I will be addressing different ideas over the next several “Posts” that deal with education and teaching character. I heard a saying many years ago that "character is who you are when no one else is watching." Please continue to pray for CAK, we feel your prayers each and every day! Have a wonderful day.
Because of God’s Grace,
Interim Head of School
Christian Academy of Knoxville
Being in a school setting for the majority of my life, I love the rhythm and sounds of school. The bell that signals class changes in the high school, the laughter, and excitement in the elementary cafeteria, and the scurrying of the sixth graders trying to get to their next class is all music to my ears. I love the newness of new books, backpacks, school shoes, and of course new teachers! The anticipation of the first football game and the spirit of Warrior Wednesdays adds to the rhythm.
The hallways are lonely places during the summer, but they come alive with pictures and sounds when school begins. We are off to a great start, and there is a feeling of excitement about the coming year. Our teachers have worked hard to prepare for their classes and are all ready to make a difference in each student's life.
My prayer is that each student on our campus will feel loved and accepted. That each student will do their very best. Most importantly, each student would allow Jesus to work in their hearts. We pray that every activity, every game, and every event will bring honor to the Lord.
Our theme verse for the year is Isaiah 26:3-4:
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."
I love this verse for the reminder it gives on where our focus ought to be - on HIM. So many times, we lose sight of our real focus in life, I pray this year we will be laser-focused on Christ. Everything we do should be weighed against pleasing Him. I am requesting our staff commit to memory these verses and use them frequently in class. Our Bible teachers will be using these as a verse to memorize in their classes.
Here are a few ways to keep this verse top of mind:
- Upload as a background for your mobile phone HERE.
- Upload as PC or Mac wallpaper HERE.
- Download a coloring sheet HERE.
May we be laser-focused on Christ and trust Him for a fabulous year!
Interim Head of School
Christian Academy of Knoxville
August 12, 2019 (Knoxville, TN) – Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is pleased to announce that Drew Wassenaar has accepted the offer to become the head coach of High School Boys Lacrosse team. Wassenaar is not new to CAK, he has been an assistant coach since 2018 and brings a wealth of experience with him into the head coaching role.
"During my time at CAK, I have predominately spent most of my focus on the offensive side of the ball," says Wassenaar. "I’m most looking forward to taking on the head coaching role at CAK, to help continue the success we’ve had the past two years."
The relatively new lacrosse program has exploded at CAK where the Warriors have made the playoffs for the past two years. "I’m most excited to be a part of this family," continues Wassenarr "and want to help this program get to the next level."
Wassenaar has played lacrosse since he was in 6th grade when he fell in love with the sport. He went on to play at the collegiate level at North Greenville University and Tennessee Wesleyan University where he led his team in goals every year. Wassenaar brings accolades including being named All-Conference Player multiple times while in college. He was also Rookie of the Year, Academic All-Conference, All-Tournamenet Team, Team Captain, 1st Team All-American, and Conference Player of the Year.
Not only can Wassenaar play, but he is also an experienced coach. Most of his experience is with Smokey Mountain Lacrosse and D1 Sports in Knoxville. During his years coaching, many of his high school athletes went on to earn college scholarships, including some at D1 schools.
"Lacrosse is one of our fastest-growing sports at CAK," says Ried Estus, CAK Director of Athletics. "Coach Wassener was the logical hire of course, but we would’ve wanted him even if he hadn’t coached for us the last two years. He's passionate about lacrosse, young people and his faith. Our lacrosse program is in very good hands."
Wassenaar holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from North Greenville University and an MBA from Tennessee Wesleyan.
As the youngest of six siblings, Wassenaar likes hanging out with his family during his free time, watching movie marathons or doing anything outdoors. He attends Central Baptist Church of Bearden.
Christian Academy of Knoxville is an independent, Christian private school serving around 900 students in grades pre-K through 12th grade. The CAK Way is infused into our students, parents, faculty and staff to love God, love people, model Jesus, and make decisions that are best for our students.