Friends June 2022
June 2022Volume VI | Issue IV
Friends of Veritas Academy
It officially feels like summer here in Texas, and our community is enjoying a much-deserved break after a full and fruitful year. As we honor the 10-year mark since our very first Veritas seniors graduated in 2012, we’ve also said farewell to the Class of 2022, and we’re waiting with eager anticipation to welcome the 2022-2023 school year—after a restful, wonder-filled summer, of course! As we reflect on the past, appreciate the present, and hope for the future, please enjoy all of the updates from academics, athletics, fine arts, and beyond.
- The Veritas Family
Celebrating Milestones Past, Present, and Future
Happy 10 Years to the Class of 2012!
As yet another school year has come to a close and Veritas Academy’s eleventh class has graduated, this year marks something else truly special to celebrate—the ten year anniversary of the inaugural graduating class. While to some it may seem like it was just yesterday, next year’s Grammar School students likely weren’t even born yet! We have so many happy memories to look back on that year, like the introduction of the house system, our first true varsity football team, and the first Senior Thesis presentations. While it wasn’t a large first class of four graduates, we are grateful to them for paving the way for our 318 other Defender alumni and current Veritasians. Go Defenders for life!
Congratulations to the Class of 2022!
The Veritas Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony was another one for the books! If you weren't able to join us live, we encourage you to watch the recording at your leisure. Thank you to everyone who came out to support our graduates!
Special honors conferred that evening include:
- Senior Thesis Laureate: Samantha Simpkins (at the 14:30 mark of the video)
- Salutatorian: Samantha Simpkins (17:48)
- Valedictorians: Elliana Krone and Daniel Bush (18:25)
- Veritas Valiants: Elliana Krone and Maggie McLatcher (34:42)
Congratulations to these four seniors and the entire 39-student graduating class on their accomplishments at Veritas Academy. They will certainly be missed.
Cheering on the Class of 2034
During their Kindergarten year, these guys began their reading program, held a Thanksgiving Feast, worked on their addition facts, and visited Sweet Berry Farms and the Austin Nature & Science Center. They have grown so much during the course of the year academically, spiritually, and physically (we bet there is more than one Kindergartener whose uniform does not fit anymore). Lucky for us, our Kindergartners are the Class of 2034, so they will be sticking around for another few years!
A Beautiful Day for Defender Dash
After weeks of raising support from family and friends for Grammar School (GS) classrooms and facilities, our youngest Defenders took to Defender Field to face the challenge of a special obstacle course. Not only did over 200 of our dashers help us meet our fundraising goal of $50,000, but they did it with big smiles... of course, the water slide and refreshing treat at the finish line may have had something to do with that too! Thank you for your support, and go Defenders!
School of Rhetoric House Champs
The House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
After many opportunities to gain house points throughout the year—like intramural games during lunch, Homecoming week dress-up days, SR retreat, the Mr. Defender pageant, individual character recognitions, and more—the House of Bonhoeffer, which values courage, fellowship, and sacrifice, supplanted last year’s victors from the Franciscan House and took home the 2022 House Cup. The Franciscan House was runner up, followed by the Augustinian House in third place, and the House of Müller in fourth. Release the Gryphon!
Saying Farewell to Troy and Stevi Schu
In June of 2008, Troy and Stevi Schuknecht arrived at Veritas with a desire to participate in the mission of our school. After many years of faithful service to the Veritas community, the Schus will be departing Austin this summer for the western charms of Fort Worth where Troy has accepted the Head of School position at one of the most highly regarded classical Christian schools in the nation. This is a great opportunity for Troy and his entire family, and though we hate to see them go, we send them with our blessing and prayers for continued success in the mission of delivering Christian education.
Since starting with us fourteen years ago, Troy has been focused on creating and growing our upper schools (the SL/R) from scratch, resulting in an institution that has just graduated its eleventh class of emerging adults who are entering the world beyond our homes well prepared for continued growth and the opportunities that God has for them. Stevi also began working at Veritas when Troy did, first as a teacher, then single-handedly creating the School of Rhetoric’s college advising department. That endeavor has brought much recognition and respect to our school. We owe more to the Schus than anyone else for establishing our high school and building it into what it is today. They are leaving us a great legacy, having well stewarded their talents in seizing the opportunities God gave them here. We remain forever grateful.
Though the entire Schu family will be greatly missed, this particular opportunity in Fort Worth is simply too good for them to pass up. The sting of this loss will remain with us for some time, but God’s faithfulness to Veritas continues; so we’ll expectantly search for Troy’s & Stevi’s replacements while celebrating this opportunity with them and praying for God’s bountiful blessing upon their new adventure.
Veritas Shines Food Drive
For our 7th Annual Veritas Shines food drive, Veritas partnered with Hungry Souls, an Austin-based non-profit that partners with schools across Central Texas to provide weekend and school break meals for food-insecure children to succeed, thrive, and break the cycle of poverty—and it was an overwhelming success! We collected over 1,050 items ranging from single packets of taco seasoning to extra-large boxes of Cheerios. Over 115 families and staff participated. Thank you, Veritas, for your generosity! A special thank you to the food drive volunteers—hosting these events is not possible without all the hands, feet, and time you give as well!
Check out our Veritas Shines Summer Volunteer Calendar. If you have any questions, please email Shines@VeritasAcademy.net!
Grammar School Spring Festivities
Wildflower Week & The Secret Garden Read Aloud Celebration
Although the flowers were harder to find this year, our students took time at the end of March to observe God’s beauty by listening to stories, painting and drawing beautiful flowers, observing bugs, and exploring with friends. As the week wrapped up, students tied what they learned on campus with what they were reading at home in our Spring Read Aloud, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Our GS families celebrated in Upper Village Community Courtyard, making crafts, planting plants, eating dirt cake (yum!), playing games, and making new friends just like—Mary Lennox, Dickon, and Colin.
History Through the Ages
This year, the Grammar School introduced its new history curriculum which aligns history studies across grade levels to provide GS families the benefit of studying these subjects together in a four-year cycle. To celebrate the conclusion of the first year with this new rhythm, 1st-4th Grade students celebrated each of the cultures and time periods studied with a Grammar-wide History Through the Ages Festival. Students dressed up, visited booths and classrooms from all of the time periods that were studied this year, sampled historic foods, played historic games, made historic crafts, and enjoyed a day of festivity.
Academic Awards & Recognitions
A hearty congratulations to our State PSIA team who competed at TCU in Fort Worth!
Allison Prater - 5th place in Art Memory 6-8, Allison Prater - 4th place in Listening Skills 6-8, Anna Herstad - 2nd place in Vocabulary 7/8, Mary Ann Lensing - 3rd place in Ready Writing 4, Betsy Herstad - 1st place in Vocabulary 5
National Honor Society
24 juniors and seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society this spring.
Nikoli Alsman, Elijah Blythe, Drew Bremer, Adam Byle, Jonathan Calvert, Benjamin Clark, Claire Finch, Jacob Frazier, Samuel Hagood, Grace Herstad, Halle Kirsten, Margaret Lambdin, Joshua Marmor, Gracie McLaughlin, Hayden Peckman, Eve Pickering, Sadie Sachtleben, Noah Schaeffer, Brayden Smith, Joshua Underwood, Jordan Vimont, Bronwyn Warner, Emma Woodruff, Elijah Zimel
National Latin Exam
25 students in grades 7-11 received honors on the National Latin Exam this year.
Caleb Blythe, Ezra Blythe, Esther Bryan, Annalise Eisenbarth, Carson Ferris, Jed Fuller, Jacob Govea, Dayanna Herring, Kaetlyn Hoffmann, Noah Ingram, Halle Kirsten, Joshuah Leyendecker, Micah McGinty, Ethan Pennington, Allison Prater, Annie Reale, Julia Rhodes, Jacob Rivas, Finnley Smitheal, Scout Sowers, Simon Tarabbia, Evan Todd, Joshua Underwood, Sarah Underwood, Brownlee Wood
Citizens Theatre Company
Our SR theater cast & crew put on a groovy, Beatles-inspired performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the spring show. It was phenomenal! “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players...”
School of Logic Theater
Our SL theater cast and crew had their own Shakespeare moment, performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to a captive audience this spring!!
Advanced Band and Percussion Ensemble
Our performers wowed their audience in early May with a talented performance at the Spring Music Concert. Click the link to take a sneak peek at the Percussion Ensemble performance!
Four SR students were recognized at TAPPS State Art Competition for their incredible talent and effort. Junior Jake Pitts received 1st & 2nd place in painting. Sophomore Luke Sempsrott received 5th place in B&W photography. Sophomore Gabrielle Wood received 6th place in Computer Rendered Art. Congratulations to our gifted artists!
The Varsity Tennis team had a solid season, and six of the nine District players advanced to the State meet! Go Defenders!
Varsity Track & Field
Our Track & Field team had an amazing 2022 season. For the first time in Veritas history, the entire team qualified for Regionals with two competitors advancing on to State in Waco in early May. Junior Ben Potts cleared 15 feet, making him the State Champion in the Pole Vault competition. Senior Maggie McLatcher took home 4th place in the 1600m event with a PR of 5:53.05. Our School of Logic teams had a successful season, too, and the 5/6 Girls team took home the 2nd place trophy at their end-of-season meet!