While students were out of school on Thursday and Friday the 18th and 19th, nearly all of the faculty and staff at DPCA attended the annual Association of Christian School International's Educator's Convention. ACSI has changed the format of the convention in recent years; this year's convention was hosted in Ohio and simulcast to about 11,300 attendees at 81 sites around the country. DPCA attended the satellite site at Colorado Springs Christian School.
The convention is designed to encourage and equip Christian school educators. Sessions included thoughts on the vision and purpose of Christian schooling from Dr. Brian Simmons, president of ACSI; the characteristics and importance of effective teachers from Drs. Charlotte Danielson and James Stronge; and a remarkable session with Dr. Barry Black, two-star U.S. admiral and now chaplain of the United States Senate, on the importance of his own Christian education, and his encouragement to parents to continue to invest in Christian education for their children. Annette Breaux presented tips and pointers for effective classroom management, while Dr. Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries, presented on cultivating mentoring relationships. More inspirational sessions included Elisa Morgan, former president of MOPS International, presenting "She Did What She Could," an encouragement to follow Christ and walk with Him; Dr. Samson Makhado speaking of the explosive growth of Christian schooling in Africa and the exciting work that the Lord is doing on that continent; and finally, Dr. Wes Stafford, president of Compassion International, on the importance of one minute -- just a minute -- in a child's life.
Though the experience at Convention is a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose (there is so much to take in!), it proved again this year to be a refreshing and inspiring gathering for DPCA faculty and staff. During Wednesday morning devotions this week we reflected on and shared some of our personal highlights from the two days, and agreed that each of us had learned much and been refreshed in our work with our students. We also were reminded again what a blessing a Christ-centered education can be to students, and that though DPCA is remotely located, we are not alone - the Lord is working through literally hundreds of thousands of Christian educators, in millions of students' and families' lives around the world, through Christian schooling. We were blessed to be able to attend the convention, and are blessed to have the privilege of "doing school" in a framework of Truth.