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Head of School Monthly Updates

DR. KERLIN - March 4, 2024
- First Thoughts -

Dear SouthLake Christian Families,

As Spring peaks slowly through the clouds of winter, we find ourselves near the fourth quarter of the academic year. The final months are busy but pass quickly. Here are a few updates that will help us finish the school year with strength.

Last week we opened the Spiritual Life Survey and invited all school families, employees, and students in grades 7-12 to participate. Some have asked whether this means we are planning a strategic change to our mission as a Christian school. Let me answer resoundingly, “NO!” Our Christian mission remains our top priority and the number one reason parents enroll. This will not change. On occasion, I have to address rumors that we are becoming less Christian, or removing Christian from our school name, or eliminating Christian principles from our curriculum. All of this is utter nonsense, of course. As a missional school, we do admit students from a diversity of faith traditions, as has always been the case. Your feedback helps us better meet the needs of our community. If you haven’t had a chance to complete the survey, you can access it here. The survey closes this Friday.

I want to offer congratulations to two student athletes who recently won state championships during winter sports season. Swimmer Lucy Brown won her championship in the 200 meter Individual Medley (IM). For those unfamiliar, the 200 IM requires competitors to swim 50 meter in each discipline – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Lucy’s accomplishment is all the more impressive because she is an eighth-grader who was competing against the state’s best high school swimmers. Wrestler Kaden Simpson won a state championship in his weight class, pinning his way to the championship at the state meet. Kaden was coached by his father who is our Upper School Dean of Students. This was Kaden’s second state championship and he’s only a junior. Both Lucy and Kaden were selected All-State Athletes by the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association. Congratulations to these champions!

This week our school musical Willy Wonka begins. We have opened the dress rehearsal on Wednesday night to senior adults from assisted living facilities in the area. The show opens to the public Thursday night at 7:00, with additional performances Friday night at 7:00, Saturday at noon, and Saturday evening at 5:00. You can get tickets here. Our school musical is a long-standing SouthLake tradition and you will be amazed and entertained by the talent and hard-work that goes into the production.

Last month our School Board announced that Mrs. Rebekah Leonard will lead SouthLake as interim while a search committee seeks a permanent Head of School. She and I have already begun to meet regularly as we work to make the transition as smooth as possible. I have confidence in Mrs. Leonard’s experience and leadership abilities and I know she will do a good job. She begins her work on May 1, and we will overlap for that month in order to complete the handoff.

If you are tired, remember we have only three weeks until Spring Break!

Matthew S. Kerlin, Ph.D.
Head of School
SouthLake Christian Academy