News from CAK
At the beginning of the 2019 school year, Monica Beaumont began with an excitement that only a new teacher can feel when returning home. You see, Ms. Beaumont is an alumnus of CAK, and she accepted a position teaching 5th grade Social Studies in the very school where she spent her youth.
“As once a student and now a teacher at CAK, I can tell you that CAK fully prepared me for life after high school academically and spiritually.”
This school is like one big supportive, loving family.
And she had no idea how much she’d need that family this year. No one could have foreseen COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic, closing schools nation-wide late in the school year. But CAK did not “close,” instead, young Warriors continued learning remotely. And Ms. Beaumont was learning right alongside them.
“Right before we left for Spring Break, unknowing what the future might hold, I shared a special moment with my students: I had just returned from speaking at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville that day, and we had one big group hug before leaving for dismissal. I honestly told them that I do not know what is going to happen or when we might see each other again, we held each other and prayed. We “popcorn” prayed in which each student can pray out loud if they wished. Every single one of them prayed for health (for their family and others) and that we see each other again soon. I held that moment close to my heart during those last few months of the school year.”
Maintaining a connection with her class during distance learning was important.
“Growth academically and spiritually continued even though it seemed like the world was shutting down. The technology, resources, and connections are bountiful in this school. I know I was thankful as a student to have attended here, so much so that I chose to return!”
Monica was thankful for the connections made while a student at CAK. After graduating from UTK with her teaching degrees, returning to teach at CAK was her heart’s desire and 5th grade was the perfect fit. “5th grade is my favorite grade, I love everything about it from the students to the content. At this age, they are independent enough to do a little more complex experiments but also young enough to still like silly books about what we are learning.”
The smaller class sizes and the freedom of teaching at a private school were a distinct advantage to Monica. “I can spend so much one on one time with each student to meet their specific needs. This also helps me to build a great student to teacher relationship that is unmatched in large class sizes. I love that I can share and discuss my faith with my students. I also love that I can be there for them during their walk with Jesus.”
“God moves in mysterious ways” is a Christian hymn written in 1773 by William Cowper from England. Those mysterious ways were experienced powerfully in the Christian Academy of Knoxville Campus Center recently.
During the summer of 2019, long-time CAK Director of Special Events, Monica Rogers, chose to leave the job she loved to better take care of the family she loved. Her children were all getting older, and she really wanted to spend quality time with them before they flew the nest.
Her replacement was CAK parent, Missy Standifer, who had not yet shared with anyone that she was holding a secret near to her heart. Her husband, English, also known as “E”, was experiencing a genetic condition that would require a kidney transplant sometime in the future. At the time Missy took the job at CAK, the Standifers had no idea how long it would be before E would need a kidney.
Fast forward to two months ago, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. E’s condition had worsened, and the family agreed to share their story publicly, in hopes of finding a living kidney donor.
"I’ll do it! I’ll be tested!"
Here is the rest of the story in Missy’s own words:
“When I first shared our story on Facebook, Monica told me that she read our story out loud to Tony, her husband. When she shared with him that in order to be tested you had to have ‘O’-type blood, Tony immediately said without hesitation—not even knowing who E was—’I’ll do it! I’ll be tested!’
“Then Monica showed him our family picture, and he said upon seeing E’s picture, “Hey! I know that guy! He’s one of my customers at work.”
“And so it began.
“A month shy of the day that I shared our post, Tony called us to share that when they ran the cross-matching test, he was a PERFECT MATCH for E. We were floored!! We knew that he had weeks of testing ahead and that while it was still not a ‘done-deal’ by any means, that being a blood match—especially with E having such a high antibody count—was a TRUE MIRACLE!
“Then COVID happened.
“They slowed down all the testing and abruptly canceled all living donor transplant surgeries. We were devastated. And still, during all of this time, Tony just kept plowing ahead and passed test after test after test and kept reaching out to E and just checking in to see how he was holding up.
“On Monday, we knew that this was the week that we would find out for sure who our donor would be and through a series of events, God gave Tony the ultimate green light, and he and Monica called and shared this with us! E and I have both cried many times between that day and today, just in awe that someone would love us/him/and the Lord so much to do this for our family!”
Monica adds, “I’ve always known we serve an amazing God. Tony and I are completely humbled to be a part of His miraculous plan to give English a healthier and richer life. There is no doubt the Lord hears our prayers and wants the best for each of us. To have witnessed His divine hand in every detail of this story has been truly amazing.”
Please keep these two CAK families in your prayers as they edge toward their surgery date of June 3rd. Both families want to give God all of the glory!
On a final note, Missy adds: “Please share this amazing story of how God knew, when He called me to CAK a year ago, that He would use my friendship with Monica to birth a desire in Tony to help save English’s life.”
We truly serve an amazing God.
Students are not just taught at Christian Academy of Knoxville, a preschool through 12th grade private school located in West Knoxville, TN. They are a part of a community that loves and shapes their heart for the kingdom of God, and that really does take a village.
Being smaller than most of the local public schools (and having much smaller class sizes) allows us the freedom to give more individualized attention to students and their needs. It gives us the opportunity to have more time with students, which is so important when you are building their foundation.
Another freedom we have, as an independent school, is that we are not restricted by the amount of time we can spend on subjects or topics. We can adjust our class schedule and time to go deeper into assignments and topics that are relevant to our students.
This is important academically, but even more so spiritually. CAK is a covenant school, a school that works in partnership with Christian parents from all different denominational backgrounds. That means I am able to not only live out my faith, but weave it into all the curricula that I teach. We are not restricted in what or how we teach the word, and our students and teachers can discuss academics along with faith.
Students will be protected and guided throughout their years at CAK. It is a safe place to learn, both academically and spiritually. Parents and teachers are a part of a partnership that leads the students through their schooling. It is a very special place.
Although we are small enough for individual attention, we are also large enough to offer extras like French and Spanish at the elementary level. We also offer STEM, and our school is a 1:1 iPad school, starting in the 3rd grade.
We emphasize that technology is only a tool. In the grade level I teach, fourth grade, we plan all projects and work using collaboration with hands-on learning and our iPads. Hands-on learning is not replaced by technology.
My favorite memories always showcase how God reveals Himself to my students. For example, this year, we studied one particular Psalm right before we began distance learning. It was Psalm 8. During the first week of "distance" church services, one of our pastors used that Psalm for his entire sermon! Being able to share that with students allows them to see that God does see us, and He knows us. The reassurance of that happened multiple times this year. They are not coincidences, which the world would teach, they are true moments where God reveals Himself to us.
I love the community at CAK. Students, parents, and faculty members are my family. We hope you will consider joining our family too!
At Christian Academy of Knoxville, we offer a few different options for students who need extra enrichment. From our Junior K, which provides for an extra year before Kindergarten, to our Academic Centers, to our Pre-1st program, which is what we will explore below.
Pre-1st uses different curriculum approaches than Kindergarten to further lay the educational, social, and emotional foundations before 1st grade. “The ability to develop my relationship with each child is definitely a positive aspect,” says CAK pre-1st teacher Ms. Carol Shipley. “Smaller class sizes are valued by CAK’s administration, so there is the freedom to pursue conversations which sometimes evolve into a deeper understanding of who a child is and how he learns.”
Diving deeper is exactly what pre-1st is all about. Critical pre-reading and reading skills are emphasized, along with math activities that use concrete, representational, and abstract continuums. Bible stories are studied for spiritual insight and application to our daily lives, as we look expectantly to see how God is with us each day.
“The thing I most love about teaching at CAK is the wide-open door to walk, talk, and breath the life of Jesus throughout the day,” says Shipley. “Every aspect of being a teacher allows me to let His life in me address each situation.”
Our pre-1st students learn how to incorporate the values of being Servants, Scholars, and Disciples into their daily lives. One of the favorite parts of the year is when the children become “secret servants,” giving back to the campus community with secret “do good” missions.
This extra year of growth also provides students with a chance to build stamina as they complete classroom assignments, explore literature fully, and take meaningful field trips.
“My absolute favorite thing about my job is that God made me for 6-year-olds!”
“They are an endless source of joy, hilarity, curiosity, and amazement,” adds Shipley. “My favorite memory is, fortunately, one that is often repeated: that time when a child's eyes light up, and they realize that they CAN do something they previously thought they could not! “That sense of accomplishment builds fortitude, instills hope, and creates a grateful heart. How wonderful to spend my days seeing and participating in the growth of one of God's creations!”