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I adore this school!

June 24, 2020
By CAK Communications

After working in the public school for 25 years, Angel Crider felt plenty of ‘nudges’ from God that maybe it was time for a change. She decided to send her oldest child to Christian Academy of Knoxville, a private school with small class sizes, for his 9th-grade year. At that point, the nudges turned into opportunities.

Crider was offered a job to change her career path and teach 5th grade at CAK, the same school where her son attends. “I know the challenges students face in Middle School, and I love that I can prepare them to not only be ready but to have a head start.” 

The smaller class sizes and the freedom of teaching in a Christian setting were huge bonuses for Angel. She loves ministering to her students and that she can guide them through scripture and love as they grow and change. “As a teacher, being able to meet my students where they are is huge. Small classes allow me the flexibility to reach out to them in small groups and one on one instruction to clear up any misunderstandings.”

The teachers at CAK love their school, each other, and their Savior.

“I adore this school system. Being in an environment with high expectations and strong standards, students thrive. I believe that is what parents want- teachers who love their child and help them to reach goals.”

While the quarantine was hard on everyone, the family atmosphere at CAK touched Angel. “I became a teacher to be in the classroom with the students, not on a screen. On the very last day of school, the 5th grade students had a parade for the 5th grade teachers. I walked outside to start the parade and I looked up and there were students everywhere. I was speechless, and I could not contain my tears of joy. I love the family atmosphere that CAK Elementary has brought to my teaching.”

 

Interested in CAK? Watch a Virtual tour of campus or consider reaching out to a member of our Admissions team.

Posted in CAK Stories

Connected during Covid

June 04, 2020
By CAK Communications

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.”

 

Interested in CAK? Watch our Virtual tour of campus and consider reaching out to a member of our admissions team.

Posted in CAK Stories

A Perfect Match! How a Kidney Connects Two CAK Families

May 08, 2020
By CAK Communications

“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.

Posted in CAK Stories

The Freedom of a Private, Christian School

May 08, 2020
By Amanda Day, CAK 4th Grade Teacher

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! 

Interested in CAK? Watch our Virtual Tour of campus, and consider reaching out to a member of our admissions team

 

Posted in CAK Stories

"God Made Me for 6 Year Olds!"

May 08, 2020
By CAK Communications

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!”

Interested in CAK? Watch our Virtual Tour of campus, and consider reaching out to a member of our admissions team. 

Posted in CAK Stories

Jr. K allows children an extra year to prepare for Kindergarten

April 27, 2020
By Ms. Keli Eichholtz, Jr. K Teacher

Since young children develop skills at different ages, Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) has the option of Jr. Kindergarten. This class allows for an extra year before Kindergarten for its students to practice listening skills, engage in rich language, socialize through pretend play, participate in letter, word, and number games all to lay the foundation for Kindergarten. It encompasses ages 4 and 5. 

I love transforming areas of my preschool classroom into grocery stores, libraries, zoos, bakeries, hospitals, Veterinarian’s offices, Lego museums, and other familiar work environments. It brings me such delight to see my little ones take the props for these centers and immerse themselves to become clerks, librarians, doctors, nurses, veterinarians, curators, and even sick pets or patients!

Our small class sizes allow for effective teaching of the whole group and also to differentiate instruction in small groups. In my preschool classroom, the children have adequate space to immerse themselves in centers and learn through play and exploration.

For our older grades (3rd grade and up), we are a 1:1 iPad school. At the Jr K level, we do introduce technology for learning, but slowly. Technology in my classroom is predominately used in the whole group with myself leading. I integrate learning instructional videos from various educational websites that enrich my curriculum and actively engage my students.

My Jr. Kindergarten students also have the opportunity to attend one special class each day for thirty minutes. These classes include fun topics like Spanish (yes, even this young) and Music! 

Teaching this age level definitely gives me something to smile about each day. Recently, we were gathered together learning the letter c and its sound. I was naming two words at a time, one that began with c and one that did not. They were to tell me the one that did. After we finished this activity, I said does anyone know of any additional "c" words and a little boy shouted out “coronoavirus!” It was so funny (not that the virus is ever funny but this moment took me off guard) and all of them chimed in with what they knew about the virus, which was quite impressive! Little ones really do notice everything around them. 

At CAK, I feel that I am encouraged to teach my children according to their individual needs and at a comfortable pace which allows for them to be prepared for Kindergarten. I recognize that this timeline is not the same for all students. Through observation and assessment, I determine the most effective and enjoyable methods to obtain the learning objectives.

What really sets CAK apart for me has been the wonderful families whom I get to partner with to educate their little one. The common bond that we share is the love of Christ which is the foundation for every conversation regarding the education of their child. The families here hold a special place in my heart and are counted as some of my greatest blessings.

Teaching at a Christian school allows me the ability to share the good news of Jesus Christ with my students! I love to share with my students their need for a Savior so that they can live their lives daily walking in the beautiful freedom in Christ.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to CAK's admission team to schedule a virtual tour, text chat, or video meeting. 

Tags: Jr K, preschool
Posted in CAK Stories

What I Miss; A Teacher's View

April 23, 2020
By Ms. Hannah Seaver, Art Teacher

At Christian Academy of Knoxville, our students have continued to learn and be connected to their own teachers during this strange time of social distancing. Yet, there are still many things about being physically present with one another each day that we all miss. The following is a Facebook post submitted by Ms. Hannah Seaver, CAK art teacher. 

Just a few things I miss ...

  • In-person Chapel every Thursday morning (we now have it ONLINE)
  • “Fixing” the pencil sharpener (you just have to dump the shavings most of the time)
  • Peeling the paper off crayons to make sure we use the whole thing
  • Hanging up new art in the locker bay
  • Softball

  • My group of high school girls that stands around my desk every morning before the bell rings
  • Plugging in the Christmas lights and lava lamps in my classroom
  • Teaching “paintbrush etiquette”
  • Wednesday morning hallway duty
  • Tater tot day ...and then smelling like tater tots all day
  • Also taco day
  • Starting class with prayer
  • Sandra Welshan busting into my room to tell me something that probably could’ve waited until after class (and vice versa)
  • Accidentally getting paint on my clothes and it never coming out

  • The kids getting mad at me for singing while they work
  • Having to leave my house even earlier (6:30am) to get my laptop charger from the middle school to take to the high school because I forgot it the night before
  • My classroom closet full of infinite amounts of art supplies
  • My coworkers
  • Going past the big cross on campus when I run

  • The smell of new crayons
  • Intercom announcements from Mrs. Earl
  • Students burning things in the Panini press at lunch
  • Carpet time
  • Watering my very dead desk plant
  • Writing blue slips/golden tickets
  • Getting to say “bye” to all the kids on Tuesday blacktop duty
  • Being asked for a pencil

The look on a child’s face when they finish something, and they are really proud of it

  • Hearing worship band practice after school
  • Surprises from the WPA
  • Sidewalk chalk and shaving cream
  • Listening to the kids trying to explain a joke, but it just ends up being them laughing
  • Students asking where the Sharpies are even though they’ve been in the same place for the last two years
  • Watching the sunrise/sunset on my way down Dutchtown Road

  • Having my hands stained with whatever we worked with that day
  • Being greeted by Mrs. Campbell and the rest of the office squad after my high school class
  • Booking it over to unlock the locker room for practice after school to beat high school campus traffic
  • Being bombarded at the snack cart at break
  • Playing pick up games of red-rover at recess
  • Making coffee and never getting to actually drink it because I got busy
  • High fives and student smiles in between classes

It's all these little things, and more, that add up to make the culture of CAK. We miss you, Warriors. We can't wait to see you in person on our campus again! 

Tags: Art, COVID, Seaver
Posted in CAK Stories

Distance Learning Week One at CAK

March 27, 2020
By CAK Communications

It's something we never dreamed would occur, a pandemic in 2020 racing across the world at breakneck speed. On Thursday, March 5, Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) sent our first communication to families about COVID-19. By Friday, March 13, our leadership was one of the first schools in Tennessee to make the call to move to a distance learning platform. 

"At CAK we are fortunate," says Head of School Rich Fulford. "We are positioned very well to continue meaningful learning with the investment in technology and training that we've made in recent years." 

And we didn't miss a beat. Not one day of instruction. 

Spring Break was March 16-20, and many CAK faculty and staff worked at home during the break to be ready to go when students returned to their new virtual class on Monday, March 23. 

Even with the fast time-line, our teachers wanted their students' QUALITY education to continue. When school began after Spring Break, CAK teachers held virtual, live, Zoom and Google meetings with students, allowing REAL connection and REAL learning to continue!

From our high schoolers to our littlest learners, CAK students were learning ....alone, but together. 

Parent Alicia Weiser shared on Facebook that "CAK has been on top of this situation from day one, and I am so very thankful for our school." Shannon Taylor, another parent, said "Thank you to all at CAK for being so proactive!" 

We admit not everyone is thrilled about learning at home. Many miss in-person connections and friends! 

And some had a few issues with "their co-workers."

Remote learning is not all on a computer, but we also get creative with learning with items we have at home. 

And we know our kids are learning more than just what is taught in the classroom. They are learning about adaptability and resilience. Life can change on a dime, and we should have a moment to let our emotions flow, but then we need to pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off, and roll with those changes. 

They are learning about a Christian community of believers rallying around each other to PRAY together daily. And to worship together, online. 

They are learning that God is in control of all things, even when it's scary; Even when we don't understand; Even when there is uncertainty. 

And we are learning with them. Never has there been a time when our school mascot, a Warrior, was more accurate than during this time of charging forward. 

So, thank you, Warriors, for being amazing this week. We'll keep on moving forward, learning together, but separately (for now). We can't wait to gather together again in the future! What a celebration that will be! 

One thing is certain, in times of crisis ....#WarriorsRise

Posted in CAK Stories
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10 Family Activities To Do While Practicing Social Distancing

March 17, 2020
By CAK Communications

It's Spring Break for students at Christian Academy of Knoxville (March 16-20, 2020) and it's a much-needed break. COVID-19 has taken over the news, and many of our Spring Break plans have been changed. We are even learning new terms like "social distancing" (staying home as much as possible, putting at least 6 feet between yourself and others, avoiding crowds). 

Even with the best of attitudes, all the business closures, sports cancellations, and arts postponements can be disappointing and stressful, especially to kids, tweens, and teens.

With that said, we wanted to share some ideas for things you can do as a family while practicing social distancing. Some of these ideas will reduce anxiety while getting you outside, and others will help with learning by virtually touring other locations. Note: CAK does not necessarily promote any of the links below, we are just sharing ideas with you. 

10. Go for a Walk

Spring flowers are blooming! Go for a walk around your neighborhood or on one of Knoxville's Greenways to check out the daffodils and other flowers

9. Take a virtual tour

Visit over 30 of our nation's national parks online 

8. Bake as a Family 

Spend time baking with your kids 

7. Zoo to You

Zoo Knoxville is bringing the "Zoo to You" with Facebook Live

6. Learn a New Language

Learn a new language or brush up your skills with apps like Duolingo or Babbel 

5. Virtual Museum 

Visit a virtual museum via Google Arts and Culture 

4. Play Music Together 

Learn how to play a musical instrument together 

3. Turn OFF the TV

Turn OFF the TV and spend time playing board games or reading a book as a family (HERE are some suggestions by age level from Scholastic) 

2. Get Outside

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or one of our local state parks 

1. Spend Time in God's Word 

Spend time in God's word together - read scripture, watch videos on Right Now Media (all CAK families get a free subscription), and sing praise songs together (you can find many on YouTube)

We hope these suggestions help you pass the time and calm anxiety. We can all be assured that God is still in control, and He loves us.  We'll be ready for remote learning to start Monday, March 23. See you (remotely) then! 

 

Posted in CAK Stories

How Moving to CAK Helped Our Son Thrive

March 03, 2020
By CAK Communications

Christian Academy of Knoxville is a special place. Just ask the Pedersen family who moved here from out of state last year and have found that becoming a CAK Warrior has truly helped their son, Connor, thrive. 

When you moved to Tennessee, did you tour multiple schools? Or was CAK your decision from the start? 

When we made the decision to move to Tennessee last year we did a lot of research on the private schools in the area and toured several schools that were recommended to us. 

"Middle school is a scary time of transition for any child, especially one who has always attended school in a much smaller setting."

Why did you ultimately choose CAK?

While all the other private schools had their pros and cons we ultimately decided to choose CAK after our tour and meeting with the Middle School Principal (and current Head of School) Mr. Rich Fulford. The respect the middle school students had for their principal and how he knew most, if not all, by name, along with his calming but fun demeanor were things that resonated long after our tour.

Middle school is a scary time of transition for any child, especially one who has always attended school in a much smaller setting. Mr. Fulford provided a calming but reassuring presence during a time of uncertainty for us. He wasn't just a principal, he was also a parent and really understood the current academic struggles that we had faced prior to our move. 

"We were told it would be in our best interest to hold our child back to the 5th-grade for the upcoming school year."

Tell me a little about his past school experience (before CAK)?

Connor has always attended a classical school, and in a much smaller setting, so I was nervous looking into a much larger school. However, one of the draws to a school such as CAK is the ability to offer additional support and programming which our prior schools lacked.

Connor is a very bright kid and has never been seen as a student who "fits inside the box." He was always excited to go to school, learn, engage with other students, and eager to answer questions and participate in class. He is the type of kid who has never met a stranger.

However, all of that changed during his fifth-grade year when he began to struggle in school, and his love for school and learning started to turn into apprehension with constant emails saying that he was behind all of his peers in his class. He started to withdraw from wanting to go to school and wishing for the school year to be over. After many meetings with his teacher and principal, and requests that we pursue expensive and additional programming for our child in order for him to be successful, we were told it would be in our best interest to hold our child back to the 5th-grade for the upcoming school year. 

During our move over the summer to Tennessee we were prepared to do just that - hold Connor back. However, after careful review of all of Connor's testing and prior school academic performance, it was Mr. Fulford who told us that he didn't believe that Connor should be held back. In fact, he just needed the right tools and the right environment, and he would be just fine. As a mom, I was hesitant - a new environment; more technology; changing classes all day long - How would he ever be able to keep up? 

"The technology has been a blessing as a learning modality for Connor, and he is thriving academically thanks to the wonderful 6th-grade team of teachers."

Has CAK lived up to your expectations? Was there anything that pleasantly surprised you?  

I am happy to report that not only has CAK lived up to my expectations, but it has also surpassed them. The technology has been a blessing as a learning modality for Connor, and he is thriving academically thanks to the wonderful 6th-grade team of teachers. He never wants to miss a day of school. From a Christ-centered focus, to teachers and staff who truly love Christ and what they do, entrusting both of our children, but especially our middle schooler to CAK was one of the best outcomes of our move. 

How has CAK helped Connor thrive?

During his 6th-grade year, Connor had the ability to join the Middle School LEGO Robotic Team. Connor has always had an engineer's brain, but has never been given the opportunity to put his skills into practice. This fall/winter he was able to work alongside his friends as part of a team and compete against other teams in the region and then to help represent CAK in the East Tennessee State Championship a few weeks ago. What I have always wanted for my son after such a difficult 5th-grade year is to build his confidence to be the leader I know he can be. During the LEGO event, I was able to watch Connor present to the judges with such confidence and such passion and his teammates and coaches spoke of him as a leader. It made me realize yet again that God has Connor right where he wants him, at CAK.  


What advice would you give other out-of-state families who are considering CAK?

Choosing a school for your child while out of state can feel overwhelming. It is hard to compare schools on paper, so I would encourage them to make sure and schedule a tour while school is in session and see the school in person. Ask all the questions you can think of - the faculty and staff are truly more than happy to answer all that you have. 

For Connor: What do you like best about CAK? 

"My favorite thing about CAK are the teachers because they push you in a good way. They make learning fun, and everyone is happy to be there. I like that we have iPads for our school work because I am able to keep all of my work in one place which helps me stay organized. My favorite classes are Science and History because both Ms. Welshan and Ms. Davenport make learning fun and interesting. I also look forward to Chapel every week as well. "

If you are curious to learn more about CAK, give our admissions team a call at (865) 813-4CAK  or email us at admissions@cakmail.org  

Posted in CAK Stories

CAK is one of the best decisions we've ever made

February 21, 2020
By CAK Communications
Hayes family sitting outdoors

We sat down with Pastor Jason Hayes from Shoreline Church to find out why he chose Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) for his son, Hayden. Jason went to public school himself and admits he never considered private education. But for his son, Hayden, it was important for Jason and his wife, Carrie, to consider all options as each of their three children are uniquely and wonderfully made. Read their full story, in their own words, below. 

Why did you make the switch to CAK from public school?
We are actually big supporters of our local public schools. We are fans of many amazing families, teachers, and faculties that fill them. In fact, I (Jason) went to Farragut from elementary through graduation. My mother also taught at Farragut Primary for many years. Thus, we never even considered a private school. ⁣But, as we headed towards Middle School for Hayden, we began to wonder if something different might be best for him.

Was there anything specific about CAK that influenced your decision to come here?
Although many people may not identify with it, Hayden has Tourette Syndrome. And while he doesn’t bring attention to it, he has to battle each and every day to function just like every other teenager. Diet, supplements, skeletal adjustments, and functional neurology are all common aspects of his life. Hayden also excels academically (despite his parents). In light of both these realities, we decided to explore what an experience that featured smaller class sizes and a bit more specialized education would look like. 

"It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made."

What grade was Hayden in when you decided to make the switch? And did his grade level factor into your decision at all? 
He began in 6th grade. It just felt like the beginning of Middle School was a natural opportunity to start in a new environment. We weren’t (and still aren’t) making a decision for all of our kids. Nor were we making a decision for Hayden’s entire future. That was paralyzing. Instead, we’ve been making a decision for one kid for one year at a time. With that said, it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Tell me a little about his past school experience (before CAK)?
As I mentioned earlier, it was positive. As a pastor in our community, we’ve worked hard as a church and as a family to build a lot of meaningful relationships in our local schools. As a result, I think Hayden always felt connected, loved, and supported by his teachers and faculty. 

Has CAK lived up to your expectations? Was there anything that pleasantly surprised you?  
Yes. What’s been most notable to us is the obvious effort to develop and grow students into balanced, well-rounded individuals who can thrive during these formative school years and then into the rest of their lives. The clear focus by teachers to prioritize the spiritual formation of each student has also really stood out to us. 

How has CAK helped Hayden thrive?
Hayden has absolutely flourished academically, athletically, socially, and spiritually. CAK isn’t solely responsible for that. But, it’s been a big part of it. And for that, we’re super grateful!⁣

What advice would you give families who are considering CAK? 
If you are possibly in a situation where you think another option might be worth considering, do it. There’s nothing to lose! Also, maybe you were like us and never thought you could afford it. Certainly, there is a very gracious discount for children of pastors, but we’ve since learned about the thousands upon thousands of dollars that CAK gives away in general assistance to other families all across our community, too. ⁣

Are you involved in the CAK community as parents? In what way? 
Yes. I am an Assistant Coach for the Middle School baseball program. Carrie has played in the annual tennis tournament. Carrie and I have contributed to the Warrior Fund and the Warrior Athletic Club. I also served as one of the parent representatives in the search process for our future Middle School principal. And, finally, I was honored to officiate the funeral of Dr. Perryman and then to share with the faculty the following morning. 

For Hayden: What do you like best about CAK? 
“I like the wide range of extracurricular opportunities. I participate in baseball and tennis, which are just a few of many options. I also enjoy the academic approach in how I am taught and what I have been able to learn. Lastly, I enjoy the many families and friends at CAK and how everyone feels welcome.” 

If you are interested in learning more about CAK, we'd love to have you schedule a school tour. Contact our admissions team at admissions@cakmail.org 

Posted in CAK Stories
1 comment

Parent Spotlight: An Interview with Mrs. Terri Hankins

December 04, 2019
By Jessica Thomas, CAK Elementary Principal
Terri and her son

Earlier this month, I just had to squeeze and thank Mrs. Terri Hankins for always bringing such a sweet joy and spirit into our building. Terri has two middle school students, Ethan and Hannah, and one elementary school student, Blake. People like Terri are a gift to our community. Her joy is contagious and her positive attitude about making a difference in our school is so heartfelt, encouraging, and genuine. Mrs. Giles recently spent some time discussing Terri’s thoughts about our school in a brief interview:  

How many years have you been a part of the CAK community?
10 years

In what ways are you involved at CAK?
I have served as room mom for multiple years with all three kids.  I love to help the teachers by working in the workroom. Now I volunteer in the clinic.  I’m helping in preschool extended care and substituting. I always help with the music programs and serve as one of the middle school event coordinators with the WPA.

Why did you choose CAK for your family?
I first came to CAK for a program that my nephew was involved in and remember seeing scripture all over the walls and the administration praying over the kids.  I didn’t even have kids at that time but knew that’s what I wanted for my kids someday.

What parts of the elementary school are your favorite?
I love that it is a safe place for my kids to come, not just physically but also a safe place to share their thoughts and grow in their relationship with the Lord.  I love the community we have here. Right now, I feel called to serve here instead of in my career field. This isn’t just a community for the kids but also for parents as we are all on this journey together.  I love how well-rounded the school is, really campus-wide. Obviously, we value Christian education and academics, but I feel that there is something for everyone here at CAK. There is a place for everyone to fit in from preschool all the way to our seniors in high school.  It’s a place to belong.

What advice would you give to families looking for ways to be involved on campus?
Don’t be passive- there are so many ways to serve, and there is such a need.  If you want to serve you can find a place- just don’t be passive. Even when I worked, I volunteered on my days off so that my kids’ teachers would have more time with their families.

Final Thoughts: 

I am so thankful for all those, like Terri, who faithfully work behind the scenes supporting our mission, loving our students, and solving issues as an act of service to our school.   Please consider how God may be leading you to make our school better!  

Posted in CAK Stories

Back to School Picnic 2019

July 30, 2019
By CAK Communications

We are SO EXCITED to see you at our annual Back-to-School Picnic on Thursday, August 8 from 5:30-8:30 pm! There will be fun activities for the entire family including food trucks, sports, and meeting your friends!

Line up includes: 

  • 5:30 p.m. - ES, MS, HS Buildings Open, Students May Set Up Lockers
  • 6:00 p.m. - Food Trucks Begin Serving
  • 6:30pm - CAK High School Girl's Soccer Scrimmage 
  • 7:00 p.m. - CAK Middle School Football vs First Baptist Academy of Powell 

Food offerings include: 

  • Waffley Good
  • Hawg Dawgs
  • Empire Pizza
  • Knox Dough
  • Softee Serve
  • Smoky Mnt. Snow

 

Posted in CAK Stories

CAK: A Middle School Parent's Answered Prayer

April 09, 2019
By Jennifer Romines, CAK Parent
Three boys in CAK shirts on a field trip, smiling

Before coming to CAK, school was horrible for my son. His 5th-grade year was especially bad. He had so many days that he was down on himself due to the environment. None of his problems were with other students or peers, but he had a very difficult year.

Change is hard, but as his mother, I knew he needed to make a change. Yet, he was not open to the idea. So, I turned to prayer. I prayed so hard for God to help him, and us, be okay with switching schools. We wanted God to open our son's heart so that he would be okay with being the new kid at a private Christian school, which was a very big change from his former public school.

I knew that the beginning of middle school would be an excellent time to switch, yet God had other plans. During the middle of my son's 5th-grade year, my son told us he wanted to make the change!

Fast forward to this year - he is in 6th grade at CAK and he is loving every minute of it! The shy kid we knew from before has completely stepped out of his comfort zone. On his most recent field trip to Nashville, he volunteered to go up in front of his teachers and peers to do a science experiment! On the way home, he happily sang a song in front of his entire class! I watched proudly as the class played a game of trivia, and my sweet boy jumped up first to try and answer the questions, every time! This is beyond amazing to me! My shy child, who previously wouldn’t even answer a question, is now first in line.

Thank you to ALL of the teachers at Christian Academy of Knoxville for pouring your love and attention into my child! God is good!

Would you like to know more about CAK? Reach out to our admissions team at admissions@cakmail.org or explore our website

 

Posted in CAK Stories
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