“You have to sacrifice yourself to the college gods.”
The quote comes from this article in the September 17, 2018, issue of The Bozeman Daily Chronicle. In it, the writer interviewed local high school students (none were from Petra) describing the pressure they felt to prepare for post-secondary education. The quote was the students’ solution, as well as The Chronicle’s above-the-fold headline.
No question: success requires sacrifice. But do the “college gods” (whoever and wherever they are) really hold that kind of power for a student’s ultimate success? If so, how did we let that happen? And if not, why do nearly all the students interviewed for the article believe they do?
This coming May, Petra Academy will graduate 11 seniors with a class ACT average of 25.7 (3.5 points higher than the composite score of 22.2 of all Montana AA schools). More importantly (and in line with our Portrait of a Graduate), we are working to see them graduate with virtue and mature character, a solid faith and sound reason, masterful eloquence, vision and skills of a competent and passionate culture-maker, literacy through broad and deep reading, and an aesthetic wisdom about the world in which they live.
Most will go to college; some will take a year off to work; none will sacrifice themselves to the “college gods,” because they know good grades and resumes (both of which they have) only go so far. Their credentials are who they are as Christians, what they’ve learned, and how they’ve been taught to love and redeem a broken world.
But we need your help to continue to teach and train students in this way. Did you know:
– the average cost to educate a Petra student is almost half of what it costs Montana public schools? Two major differences: 1) their funding comes from taxpayers instead of parents; 2) we get better results.
– our average teacher salary is 18% lower than the average Bozeman public school teacher salary? Our teachers love what they do, but we are committed to closing that gap.
– one-third of our student body (61 of 184 total students) receive some form of financial assistance?
We need to raise $30,000 by December 31, 2018, and another $100,000 by July 31, 2019, to meet our 2018-19 budget and fulfill commitments to our families, teachers, and students. As you consider your year-end giving, would you prayerfully consider a donation to Petra Academy? We’ve made it easier than ever to give!
Thanks for helping students avoid the altar of the “college gods.” And thanks in advance for considering a tax-deductible gift to Petra Academy as part of your year-end giving.
On behalf of everyone at Petra Academy, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Craig Dunham Sarah Storebo
Headmaster Chair of the Board of Directors
Highlights so far from the 2018-2019 school year:
- Enrolled 184 Pre-K through 12th-grade students
- Expanded third year of Orchestra, now up to 18 students from 6 in 2016
- Focused third year of 7th-12 grade Lyceum talks on variety, ideas, and melody in classical music
- Enrolled 20 students in Computer Science I & II who will also receive college credit from Gallatin College/Montana State University
- Celebrated with senior Hannah Kempf as she won the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s computing award
- Continued second year of math tracking (standard/advanced) for 7th-12th math classes
- Hired qualified new art teacher Krista Baziak
- Sold out both performances of second annual fall play, The Servant of Two Masters
- Hosted Shakespeare Festival with Shakespeare in the Schools’ performance of Julius Caesar
- Hosted evening Schola Cantorum concert featuring 4th-8th choir and orchestra performances
- Hired passionate new athletic director/physical education teacher Clete Seyle
- Enjoyed second year of successful JV co-ed soccer (record 11-3)
- Made first appearance in Montana Christian Athletic Association state volleyball tournament
- Fielded four levels (5th-6th, 7th-8th, JV, varsity) of girls volleyball and boys basketball teams
- Strengthened relationships among the grades within our 7th-12th-grade house system
- Continued monthly (Pre-K through 6th) and quarterly (7th through 12th) recitations
- Launched monthly “Follow-Up Fridays” for parents to connect with Headmaster and Board Chair
- Scheduled record facility rental use to share our campus with the Bozeman community
- Served as a leader in our local Christian community, modeling healthy relationships that transcend denominational lines of families from over 35 churches in the Gallatin Valley
- Served as a leading school within the Association of Classical and Christian Schools nationally, and specifically within the northwest
- Exceeded $25,000 Spell-a-thon goal by raising $25,924 in operational/capital funds
- Launched new gym and sports field banner sponsorship program (10 banners so far at $1,300 each; space still available – call 406-582-8165 if interested in advertising your business)
- Led invigorating staff training with a corporate reading/discussion of The Liberal Arts Tradition
We appreciate your support of Petra Academy. If you haven’t yet (or haven’t recently), we hope you’ll stop by for a tour, recitation, concert, play, or game!