We have had a spectacular first two weeks of school! This past week--our first five day week of the year--we celebrated our Opening Convocation on Sunday and had our first chapel on Wednesday. Our record enrollment was obvious when I looked up at the crowd in the theater during chapel. With students, faculty, and parents in attendance, there was barely an empty seat. We had a great time of worship and Mr. Salkil began the first series of the year, speaking on being a follower of Jesus and not just a fan. Thursday afternoon Encore sang the National Anthem at the Reds game.
Friday began with Picture Day which always adds a certain level of chaos. But overall it was another smooth day. After we talked at our opening assembly about students owning the culture, the students have risen to a new level of excellence. I've been observing students picking up after themselves, taking care of each other, and seniors helping out freshmen. Amazingly, we are two weeks into the school year and there has not been a single detention!
After school we had the Hall of Excellence dinner where Kevin Nead and Casey Carpenter were inducted into the Hall. I remember both of them not only as outstanding swimmers but as special students and human beings as well. I taught both of them multiple years in the Christian Studies department and we were able to share a lot of great memories at the event. Leaving the near 100 degree weather at the dinner, I got to spend a little time at the New Family Tailgate inside the school before the game (enjoying a little AC as well). We have so many new families this year, tables were set up in the Theater Commons, Cafeteria, and the Miracle Commons! It was great to catch up with so many of the new high school families.
It might have been the beginning of September, but the early evening air felt like the dead of summer. We had been monitoring the temperature of the field all day to make sure that it was safe for the game. And while it reached 160 degrees (!) during the afternoon, the combination of hosing down the field and the setting sun reduced the temperature to 89-103 degrees before game time. Then with a packed stadium, we all watched as the Leap Frogs, a special unit of the Navy Seals, parachuted into the stadium with the game ball. It was a moment to remember. And with an early lead, all was right with the world! The second half didn't go quite how we would have liked, but it was still a very special evening for the entire community.
If this past week is any indication, this looks to be a very special year. But as much as I'm enjoying the start of the year, I still appreciate a nice Labor Day respite.