News from CAK
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?
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.
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!
My wife and I did something last Saturday which we have not done for many months - we made a trip to West Town Mall. It was raining, and such a dreary day, we thought, "Why not?" Needless to say, 75% of Knoxville must have had the same idea. We walked around, got a pretzel, and just had a good time people-watching.
One thing that struck me was the vast amount of people walking through the mall attached to their mobile devices, and it wasn’t only the adults! From little kids in strollers watching videos and playing games on iPhones to teens who looked at their phones as they walked away. One lady we saw had a phone in each hand! A man had an iPad and an iPhone, walking with his wife, who was also on her iPhone, neither talking to one another. We just watched. It was amazing what we saw, just the lack of communication with people walking or sitting right next to one another!
Our staff is reading a book this summer entitled Marching Off the Map written by Tim Elmore. The book suggests that our current generation, Generation Z (born since the year 2001), is a generation of firsts. The first generation that:
- Doesn't need adults to get information.
- Can broadcast their every thought or emotion in real time.
- Has external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7.
- Are socially connected at all times, but often they connect in isolation.
- Will learn more from a portable device than from a classroom.
- Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar, or board game.
It struck me after our visit to the mall that we, as adults, have a huge task ahead of us. We must equip this generation with the tools they need to do life. To make our instruction applicable to today's "screenagers," we must do things differently. The premise of the book is that our pedagogy needs to be evaluated, and "new maps" need to be used to reach Generation Z in a more effective way.
I am encouraging our staff as they read this book to consider making "new maps." We will be working through this book next year and would appreciate your prayers as we develop “new maps” to lead our students into preparing for life. Please continue to enjoy your summer.
Remember the CAK Way:
- Love God
- Love People
- Model Jesus
- Make decisions that are best for our students.
Meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Because of God’s Grace,
Interim Head of School
To find out more about Christian Academy of Knoxville, visit our website, cakwarriors.com
Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) is excited to announce the hiring of Marquis Dotson, III as head coach of the high school wrestling team. Dotson has over seven years of professional experience as a teacher, coach, and music minister.
Most recently, Dotson coached at Fulton High School where he spent four years. During that time, Dotson’s team produced the school’s first state medalists, as well as a state champion wrestler. The Falcons also had their first group of wrestlers ever to sign with a collegiate program.
Prior to his time at Fulton, Dotson coached a Chattanooga Central High School where he helped lead the team to their 2011 and 2012 state dual championships.
“Coach Dotson was an easy choice to lead our wrestling program,” says CAK Director of Athletics Ried Estus. “He has a track record of success developing multiple state championship teams, and more importantly, he has a legacy of developing relationships with and making a lasting impact on the young men in his programs.”
Dotson is taking over the team from Coach Chris Hawkins, who led the Warriors to the Division II Invitational Championship in duals. They are also nominated as the PrepXtra Team of the Year.
“Coach Hawkins invested all he had into building our program,” continues Estus, "and then led us to the one coach he was willing to turn it over to.”
“Coach Hawkins has done a great job with the wrestling program,” says Dotson. “I am excited to continue what he started, and with the group of kids we have at CAK, I know with hard work and training, we will be successful. I’m looking forward to also building parent, faculty, and student support, and growing the culture of wrestling at CAK.”
Dotson holds a Bachelor of Music from Virginia State University, and a Master of Church Music from Lee University. He resides in Knoxville where he attends Faith Promise Church, and enjoys coaching wrestling, and playing, teaching and listening to all types of music.
Interested in attending CAK? Find out more by visiting our admissions page. If you are a journalist looking for more information, please visit our media page.
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!