Friends of Veritas
March 2021Volume V | Issue III
Friends of Veritas Academy
What a New Year, Friends of Veritas!
At the end of 2020, the Veritas community gathered to reflect on and celebrate God’s goodness in the Upper Village Courtyard. With picnic blankets spread out for our little ones and their families, each class spent one final moment seated in rows together before embarking on their own Christmas break adventures. Our incredibly talented students led us in beautiful praises as we enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air, and senior Jared Fuller prayed over everyone in attendance. The Christmas Assembly has been a community tradition for years, and we are thankful that we were able to bring it back in a year that has looked so different.
Mr. Fowler delivered the traditional Veritas Christmas charge to every student, teacher, parent, and grandparent present and encouraged us to take time to acknowledge and reflect on the many blessings we have and to be intentionally grateful. He left us with this charge—go outside, enjoying nature and conversations with God, and engage others, initiating conversations and taking the time to learn new things about your loved ones. We encourage you to join us in the continued pursuit of these good and worthy challenges throughout 2021.
After Christmas break, we had a surprise extra week off in a wise attempt to mitigate the risk of new Covid cases that could affect our community, which was followed by an unexpected but welcome snow day before classes resumed on January 13th. We were enjoying the opportunity to be back together on campus when the newsworthy severe winter storms hit. We then had to pivot to a virtual model for a few days to repair pipe and flood damage in the SL/R Academic Building—what a wild ride this year has already been! Just like we witnessed last spring, these trials have served to highlight what a self-sacrificial, gritty, and kind community the Veritas family is. We are praising God for His many gifts, enjoying increased interest in our school this admissions season, and looking forward to all that God has in store for Veritas Academy in 2021. We’re glad to call you friend.
- The Veritas Family
State of the SchoolThe State of the School Address (SOTS) is an annual winter gathering for all parents, SR students, faculty, and staff to gather and hear from our Head of School, Jef Fowler. Just as many of our normal rhythms have been modified this year, January’s SOTS address was delivered virtually. While we long for normalcy in our favorite traditions, we are thankful for an adaptable community and the ability to pivot this address to a video model—which means we can offer it to you as well!
SOTS is an opportunity for us to collectively reflect on our mission and vision as a school, celebrate God’s great provision for our children and community, and become excited about what He has in store for us. In addition to sharing a few “business meeting” elements, Jef Fowler, along with Associate Head of School Troy Schuknecht, reflected on this past year at Veritas Academy and shared important opportunities and changes that are on our horizon both now and in the future.
Watch the SOTS recording and flip through the SOTS Overview PDF to learn all about:
- Our new board members: Adam Zimel, Elizabeth Hagood, and Clint Regen
- Campus project updates: outdoor classrooms, Grammar School expansion, future gym/community center, and playing fields
- Family alignment of Grammar School history & science studies
- Introduction of the new Classical Core Diploma option
- The transition to a flat-rate tuition model
Click on the video below to head to the SOTS webpage, or read the PDF overview here.
Defender Alumni Spotlight: Madeleine McCracken
We reconnected with Madeleine McCracken, Veritas Class of 2017, who is finishing up her senior year at the University of Mississippi. She will attend the University of Texas School of Law next fall. Reflecting on her time at Veritas and Ole Miss, Madeleine shared:
“As someone in the process of writing a sixty-page thesis which I will have to defend very soon, I am thankful for the thesis experience at Veritas which prepared me for this research white whale I am currently pursuing [nice Moby Dick reference, Madeleine!]. I will also always be thankful to my sixth grade English teacher at Veritas, who led a Bible study for the girls in my grade from sixth grade through our graduation, for the lasting impact she has had on my spiritual life, and the wonderful role model she has always been. The Veritas community is certainly a special one!
“Over the past four years, I have been blessed to be my sorority’s chaplain. Growing a community of girls who also want to spend their Sunday afternoons delving into God’s word has been my greatest accomplishment in college. As I look back at my time in college, I am in awe of God’s ability to work through me, even when I don’t see it at the time. I am overwhelmingly thankful for His sovereignty and faithfulness.”
MLK Service Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is "the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.”1 The Veritas community seeks to honor the legacy of MLK by canceling classes on the holiday and coming together to serve instead. Thank you Veritas Shines for facilitating opportunities for our community to serve despite the challenges of in-person service this year!
Our seventh annual MLK Service Day made a huge impact as we served organizations across Austin and the world. Several of the organizations we served have struggled for many months during this pandemic because they either can’t allow volunteers on site or their volunteers stopped coming. Every one of them asked Veritas Shines to convey their thankfulness to our MLK volunteers. It was wonderful to see so many in our community putting their faith in action and practicing “Christianity with its sleeves rolled up.”
- 370+ students, parents, and staff served on 29 different projects
- 15 students, parents, & teachers cleared hiking trails at Burke Center for Youth
- 60 soup kits were painted and assembled for our neighbors
- 267 paracord bracelets were made for our US military personnel
- 25 toiletry kits were assembled for Ronald McDonald House
- 25 students, parents, and faculty served at two pregnancy resource centers
... and so much more!
Veritas on Film
We’ve partnered with a local filmmaker to create a video demonstrating what's at the heart of our school which we'll show to prospective families at admissions events, and we’re eager to share it with our friends, too. You may even spot some loved-ones as you watch!
Defender Dash is Coming Up!
Defender Dash is a fun way for our Grammar School students to help fundraise for their classrooms and programs. By asking family, friends, and neighbors to sponsor them, each student will be able to run through our Defender Dash Obstacle Course right after school on Wed, May 5!
What will Defender Dash Benefit?
As our Grammar School continues to grow, there are many projects we would love to tackle to make our classrooms and facilities even more functional for our students and teachers. There will be several ways to get involved and support our GS Defenders, including:
- Event Sponsorship: Starting Line, Finish Line, Pit Stop, and T-Shirt sponsorships are available!
- Defender Sponsorship: Each student will have their own webpage to share with family and friends, asking for support as they prepare to complete our Defender Dash Obstacle Course.
More details coming after Spring Break! Please contact Katie Luevano with questions or to volunteer to help at Katie.Luevano@VeritasAcademy.net.
Way to go DeFINders!
Veritas varsity swim team (cleverly coined the DeFINders) competed in the TAPPS Division III state championship on Mon, Feb 8, 2021, in San Antonio. The girls competed in the morning; swimming away with the 4th place spot overall with a team of only FOUR swimmers! The boys’ team competed in the afternoon taking 2nd place overall. Other outstanding performances included:
Soccer season has ended with a flourish! SR Boys Varsity team made it all the way to quarter-finals before their season ended, and the SR Girls Varsity team made it to semi-finals, where they lost to the eventual state champs 2-1!