On May 20, 2017, we celebrated our graduates at the Maranatha commencement ceremony. This year’s graduates are ready to impact their world for Christ! As we congratulate the newest Eagle alumni, we explore some of our graduates’ accomplishments and accolades. Here’s the Maranatha Class of 2017, by the numbers.
$1,377,676 total scholarship dollars awarded to students in the Maranatha Class of 2017: Maranatha is committed to a disciplined and excellent educational environment, and our graduates join a group of truly accomplished alumni. Scholarships were awarded from organizations and colleges across the country, honoring students’ excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community.
28 students in the Class of 2017: At Maranatha, we’re family, and students enjoy a tightly-knit atmosphere and community. With a low student-to-teacher ratio, we remain committed to fostering Christian character in each and every student.
2,240+ hours of community service completed. Voluntarism and community service is one way we develop Christian values in our students. High school students are required to serve each year, and most go well above and beyond their requirement as they grow into people of integrity.
17+ State Championships received during the Class of 2017’s high school years: Faith is the focus of our athletic program, and on the field, our students get to practice the integrity they’re learning in the classroom.
300 roses given by graduates to people who impacted their lives: A highlight of our Commencement is the Rose Ceremony. Graduates give a rose to anyone in the audience who made a difference in their lives, from teachers and staff to parents and grandparents. Family is at the heart of everything we do, and the Rose Ceremony is a truly meaningful time for soon-to-be alumni to say thanks.
Countless memories: MCA graduates share so many special memories together. Bible studies and devotionals, cheering on our Eagles at games, performing in the band, serving together on mission trips, celebrating their achievements on the senior trip and everything in between . . . our graduates share a special bond built through years of Christian community.
1 Maranatha family: At Maranatha, we are committed to fostering Christian character in every student, just as you would for family. With a scripture-first posture, armed with Biblical values, the thread of faith is woven throughout our academics, athletics and in every facet here. Congratulations to the Class of 2017! We can’t wait to see how you transform our world for Jesus Christ. We’re proud to have you as part of the Maranatha Christian Academy family.
Now in its eighth year, the annual Maranatha Spring Art Show highlights and celebrates our students’ hard work. Faith is woven throughout every aspect of Maranatha, and the art program is no exception.
“My favorite part of my job is seeing students grow artistically,” says Danielle Williams, Maranatha art teacher. She began her career teaching students animation and animation software programming on the East Coast. Mrs. Williams has also taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, instructing students in drawing, painting, graphics, sculpture and more.
Students often come into the art classroom not considering themselves artists, Mrs. Williams says. “Students have the attitude that they’re not artistic — but they’re comparing their work to Rembrandt and Da Vinci,” she shares. “Every artist finds their own place and develops in that place. At the end of the year, we look at their work from the beginning and see the difference. Students really become encouraged and excited to learn.”
The Maranatha art curriculum complements much of what students learn in their other courses, even History and Math. “Art supplements what they’re learning in their core classes. I teach students that art is involved in everything. They may be studying anatomy in Science, for example. Through figurative drawing in art, they’re also learning about the human body, about proportions and limbs.
Faith is at the heart of every lesson Mrs. Williams teaches, she explains. “I tell my students that God is the supreme artist,” she says. “God has granted us this gift of creation, and through art, we get to see how diverse God’s creativity is. Every aspect of our world is characteristic of our creator.”
This theme extends to the annual Art Show, held this spring at Country Club Bank’s Shawnee branch. “The bank is generous to let us install student art all over the bank,” Mrs. Williams explains. “Because the art is up for a whole week, customers can see and enjoy it. It’s a great way for the community to see what we’re doing in the visual arts department at Maranatha.” During a past art show, the bank president even purchased a student’s watercolor as a gift for his daughter.
Furthermore, the show is an opportunity for parents to engage with their child’s creations. “Sometimes students think their parents won’t care about their art or won’t like it. But parents are often blown away by their student’s ability! It’s a great way for parents to see what we’re doing and how their child is succeeding.”
The show, which took place the last week of March, featured a wide variety of projects. Mediums included ceramics, drawings, paintings, folk art, mixed media and even book binding. The week culminated in a special Spring Art Reception, with student musicians also present and performing solos. “The Art Show gives others the ability to see student work. We’re often our own worst critics, but others are able to see the beauty in the work.”
“I tell my students to remember that everything we do, we do to God’s glory,” Mrs. Williams continues. “As 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, we’re called to glorify God in what we do, and we should be grateful that we’ve been given the ability and the gift to create art.”