Michael Ferguson

Michael Ferguson

Headmaster

Sunday, 09 December 2018 22:27

Early Release - PD

 

On our last scheduled early release day for professional development all of our staff watched and discussed a short video called “Austin’s Butterfly”.  The video is the story of a first grade student named Austin and the amazing progress he made on his drawing of a butterfly when given detailed and specific feedback from his classmates.  It is interesting to watch the students led through the process of critiquing each draft in a constructive manner.  There is evidence after each draft that Austin utilized the feedback from his classmates and the progress from the initial draft to the final product is inspiring.  The video is a testament to the power of a growth mindset.  Many times we minimize the idea of a growth mindset down to just continuing to work hard.  In this short video, we see that it is much more complex.  Students and adults need constructive, positive feedback combined with an opportunity to revise their work if we are to see evidence of progress. I have heard the phrase “less is more” many times throughout my career.  Austin’s butterfly is a great example of this idea.  In other words, fewer assignments with detailed and specific feedback along with opportunities for revisions are more beneficial than giving the students more assignments.  I am attaching the link to this six minute video below.   

 

https://vimeo.com/38247060

 

 

I hope you have the opportunity to watch “Austin’s Butterfly”.  I think it has a powerful message for us as teachers, parents, and as life long learners.  I wanted to share this for that reason but also to let you know that our staff is committed to continuous improvement and that these days provided for professional development are utilized in a positive manner.  Our teachers watched the video and discussed with other teachers through the “Google Classroom” App.  Utilizing this platform not only exposed us to the content in the video but it also allowed teachers to learn a new application that they can in turn use with their students in the classroom.  Thanks to a commitment from your BOT over the last several years HA teachers and students have access to four sets of Chrome books and many MS/HS students take advantage of the “bring your on device” policy.  Google classroom is just one example of what is possible with having these devices at school.  As a staff, we are committed to continuing to grow as educators and modeling the power of this “growth mindset” with students.    

 Go Vikings!!

Thursday, 04 October 2018 20:50

Blessed!

 

We at HA have had a blessed  start to the fall semester. We missed a minimal amount of school and suffered little damage in our area during the recent Hurricane.  This during a time when many in our state have suffered much loss related to the storm.  Many schools in NC have students that were left homeless and some have had to relocate classes to off campus sites due to the damage. We all are blessed in so many ways that we take for granted on a regular basis.  It has been exciting for me to see how our school has responded to others in need.  Our seniors worked hard to pack almost 400 bags of food and supplies that were sent out to those areas that were affected by the hurricane.  All of our students were able to contribute in a big way by bringing in items to supply the bags.  As Christians, we should seek every opportunity to teach our students that we are all called to serve our fellow man in the name of “Jesus”.  It was great to see our students show this Christian love to their neighbors.   

The fall sports seasons are flying by and our athletes are hard at work practicing and continuing to learn and demonstrate that you can get a little better each day.  All of our students have enjoyed dressing up for “Spirit Week” and are excited about Homecoming this Friday night.  The Athletic Council will be offering a great meal and the game promises to be exciting. We hope everyone will take the time to come out and enjoy a night of fun, food, and entertainment.

The senior retreat was this past weekend and all indications are that everyone had a good time.  It was a great opportunity for Christian fellowship as well as fun and games.  On Sunday evening our seniors were treated to a motivational speech by Gilbert Portela.  Mr. Portela is a long time member of our community who models everyday how we should love our neighbors in Christian service.  He spoke to our students about the importance of giving back to your community and always listening to that little voice in our head that is “Jesus” speaking to us. We thank Mr. Portela for taking his time to come out and share such a positive message with our seniors.  On Monday our seniors were treated to an opportunity to complete the ropes course at  camp.  It was great to see our students bond together and cheer for each other as they overcame fears to meet the challenge.  The weekend was a great opportunity for our seniors to have fun, learn, and make memories that will last a lifetime.  Thank you to all of the staff of Camp Willow Springs for their hospitality in hosting our seniors for this event.

See everyone at Homecoming!  Go Vikings!!

Monday, 13 August 2018 18:35

School Opening

Dear Halifax Academy Parents,

 We hope all have had a productive and relaxing summer and are ready for another school year.  I would like to thank everyone for making my first year at HA a memorable one.  HA is a great place to work and go to school.  It is a joy to work with each student and be a part of their academic, social, and spiritual development.  As educators we strive to challenge ourselves as well as our students to get a little better each day.  We thank you for trusting us to work with your child as we work together to ensure continuous growth for each student.

Open House, where you will be able to meet your child’s teachers will be held on Tuesday, August 21st. The time is 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Parents should report to their student’s classroom beginning at 6. Staff members will be available to point you in the right direction.  This is a great time for you to meet your child’s teacher and get general information.  If you would like to schedule a more detailed conference to discuss your child’s individual needs, sign up sheets will be available in the classroom.  Also, the Patrons will be hosting an ice cream social in the cafeteria during the open house.  Stop by for some delicious ice cream and enjoy the opportunity to connect with other patrons.   

This year we will continue to emphasize Bell to Bell instruction.  Our instructional day begins at 8:30 AM for elementary students and 8:15 for middle and high school.  We appreciate you having your child at school on time and avoiding early check out.  When a child is late or checks out early, they miss important instructional time.  If a child is late 15 minutes or  checks out 15 minutes early, as few as 4 times during a month, that is an hour of instruction missed.   

 As you are aware, we implemented a new student information system last year called Ren Web.  This system has enabled us to communicate in a more efficient way with all of our patrons.  To insure this system works effectively the information must be kept up to date.  Please go into your Ren Web account and update information, especially e-mails and phone numbers on a regular basis.  If you need help setting up an account or wish for us to update your information please contact Shelia Wood in the business office.   

We look forward to seeing all of our students on Wednesday, August 22nd, which is the first day of school.  Remember that the first day is an Early Release day and all students are dismissed at 12 PM.  Also, the Patrons will be hosting a “welcome” meeting for all Kindergarten parents beginning at 8:30 in the multi purpose room.  This is a great informational meeting for our new parents. Last years parents reported that it was very helpful event that allowed them to connect with fellow HA members in a productive way.

             

Sincerely,

 

Mike Ferguson

Friday, 13 April 2018 17:59

Spring has finally arrived

Spring has finally arrived and spring sports are in full swing.  Congratulations to the baseball, softball, and soccer teams for their wins over Oakwood last Tuesday!  It has been great watching each of these teams getting better with each competition.  The Soccer team is currently 5 - 5 overall, the softball team is 10 - 1, the baseball team is 1 - 4, and JV baseball is 0 - 3 - 1.  We congratulate all of our student athletes on their continued hard work and dedication to improve in their chosen sport.

We wish our members of the HA Quiz Bowl team luck as they travel to Mount Airy this weekend to compete in the State Quiz bowl.  The team qualified to compete in the state event as a result of their win in the Halifax County Library Quiz Bowl competition. 

Congratulations to both of our shooting teams for finishing in the top third of their division for the season.  Special recognition goes to Heath Williams for qualifying for the state competition in shot gun to be held in May. 

Our HA Seniors are currently in Orlando Florida for the senior trip.  Friend HA on Facebook to see updates and pictures as it appears everyone is having a great time.  A huge shout out to all who make this trip possible and especially to Mrs. Harris for organizing the trip as well as Mrs. Lynch for helping chaperone.

Go Vikings!!

Thursday, 15 March 2018 15:21

A Growth Mindset?

According to Carol Dweck, in a growth mindset, “people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments”.  A growth mindset is opposed to a fixed mindset where people believe that their success or lack of success is due to their innate abilities, such as how smart they are or how athletic they are.  Dweck’s research has shown that individuals and businesses that live out a growth mindset are more likely to be successful over time. 

It is our goal here at HA to model a growth mindset in all that we do in order to foster the development of our students’ belief that through “grit”, determination, and perseverance we and they can achieve way beyond our wildest dreams.  Our goal here should be to get a little better each day individually and collectively.  I recently read a statement by Dr. Kevin Elko that, “It happens all of a sudden over a long period of time”.  If we teach our students the value of working hard and get them to believe that growth comes as a result we and they will be a success.  By praising and rewarding the hard work; grades and all other types of recognition will ultimately take care of themselves.  Success, however you choose to measure, truly will happen all of a sudden over time.     

As I shared in my introductory letter last summer, I believe that ALL children can grow and learn, and that all adults can, too—me most of all.  I believe that teachers and administrators should model the integrity and citizenship that we want to see in all of our students at HA. I believe that actions truly do speak much more loudly than words.  If we all celebrate in each other these attributes that we want to see more of on a regular basis we will continue to grow as individuals and as a school community.    

Friday, 23 February 2018 18:59

Winter Success!

Help us in congratulating several of our HA Vikings on their recent success. Many of our Beta members recently attended the State Beta convention in Greensboro where the scrapbook placed in the top five.  Individually, Brewer Shearin placed second in poetry and Maddie Suiter placed third in photography.  These two will represent Halifax Academy at the National Senior Beta convention in Savanna Georgia June 17-20, 2018.  Way to go Brewer and Maddie!!

Several of our Swimmers qualified and competed in the state championships held Monday February 19th in Greensboro.  HA finished 25th overall against 463 swimmers on 41 teams.   The following received recognition for their performances. 

Ted Fleming is ranked sixth with a NEW school record in the 50. 

Morgan Hudomint is ranked 18th in the 100. 

Holly Forsht is ranked 16 in the Backstroke. 

Medley relay with Abbey Eason, Kate Forsht, Holly Forsht and Morgan Hudomint is ranked 22 and the 200 Free with Laura Brady is also 22. 

400 Relay with Chloe Alston, Laura Brady, Faith Howell and Abbey Eason is ranked 23rd.

The Women’s basketball team recently completed another outstanding season with a record of 22-2.  They were the regular season conference champions as well as conference tournament winners.  They completed their season with a hard fought loss to Statesville Christian School in the 3rd round of the state playoffs.

We are proud of all of our Viking performers for their hard work and dedication to their chosen events during the winter months!

#Proud to be a Viking!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:24

Winter Sports: We get a little better everyday!

The winter sports season seems to have flown by with only a few weeks left in the regular season.  The varsity girls basketball team has played really well and now have a record of 13 – 1.  The varsity boys started slow but have come on strong of late and it has been exciting to see them getting a little better each week.  Our swim team and the JV basketball teams have also been showing much progress as the season has progressed.  It has been great to see each of our teams work hard and show steady improvement. 

Watching our sports teams play reminds me of a quote I recently read from Dr. Kevin Elko: “It happens all of a sudden over a long period of time”.  Our athletes continue to work hard and demonstrate grit, persistence, and determination despite less than favorable results at times. We often get stuck in what Carol Dweck calls the “fixed” mindset where we expect immediate results based on our ability.  Dweck’s research has shown that people with a “growth” mindset are able to show improvement over time through consistent and persistent hard work.   Anything worth having does seem to show up all of a sudden but it is only through persistent hard work over an extended period of time.

One of our goals here at HA is to instill a “growth” mindset in all of our students and adults.  If you want to see this mindset being lived out then plan to attend one of our remaining basketball games or swim meets. 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 19:39

Thankful!!

One of our mission’s here at HA is to create a culture of continuous growth academically, socially, and spiritually.  Spiritually, we all share a purpose of serving God and serving others in His name.  With this in mind, I am so proud of our HA students for packing 145 shoeboxes, plus the $9 shipping for each, PLUS extra money for The Greatest Journey booklets.  Sharing the Gospel, one shoebox at the time!  More pictures of our students working to pack these boxes for Operation Christmas Child are available on the website news feed. 

 

Academically, we recently had a number of students inducted into our Junior and Senior Beta Clubs for their excellence in the classroom and demonstration of good character.  The following students were recently recognized for this honor:

Senior Beta:  Ashton Garner, Britney Pittard, Abigail Fleming, Ashlynn Liles, Logan Oakley, Taylor Elias, Abbey Eason, Victoria Holmes, Allison Green, Tyler Gupton, Harrison West, Evan White, Molly Slaughter

Junior Beta:  Wesley Boerner, Ashlyn Cooke, Kate Forsht, Jimmy Fulkerson, Ray Garner, Davis Grant, Cameron Green, Koby Jones, Amber Markham, Jake Merritt, Jack Quinn, Caleb Slaughter, Dawson Stroud, Elizabeth Williams, Madelyn Wommack, Gabriel Rowland, and Jaxson Waters

Thankful for all of the wonderful students and staff at HA!

#we get a little better each day

Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:40

Successful Fall Sports Season

Congratulations to our football team on finishing runner up in the state in the 1A division.  The team lost in a very hard fought contest by a score of 25 to 24 last Saturday afternoon.  I was very proud of our student athletes for their hard work and fight right up to the end of the game.  They truly left all they had on the field.  The way our team and parents rallied around one another and handled themselves after such an emotional loss made me proud to be a Viking. Sometimes we learn more about ourselves in defeat than we do victory.  

We are proud of all of our student athletes for their hard work and determination to get a little better each day.  The following teams and athletes received recognition for their accomplishments during the fall season.

 

2017 1A All-Conference Team Football

Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) – Eli Harris (Halifax)

Coach of the Year (COY) – Pete Edwards – Halifax

 

ALL CONFERENCE:

  1. JARED BYRUM – HALIFAX
  2. DONOVYN GARY – HALIFAX
  3. CONNOR LYNCH – HALIFAX
  4. ELI HARRIS – HALIFAX
  5. CAMERON PODRUNCHNY – HALIFAX
  6. CODY WOOD – HALIFAX

 

2017 8-MAN ALL-STATE TEAM:

  1. JARED BYRUM – HALIFAX
  2. ELI HARRIS – HALIFAX

 

Cross Country:

Boys Team finished 3rd place in the state

Boys individual: Thomas Garrett 4th Place

Girls Team finished 4th Place in the state

Girls Individual:  Morgan Hudomint 2nd place

 

Morgan Hudomint and Thomas Garrett were named to the 2017 All-State team for cross country.

 

 

Varsity Volleyball: #4 in 1A for our conference

JV volleyball #3 in 1A for our conference

All - conference volleyball Candice Smith

Honorable mention volleyball Emerson Poole.

 

Go Vikings!!

 

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 20:02

Almost Thanksgiving

It is hard to believe that the first grading period is over and that Thanksgiving is right upon us.  I appreciate all of the support as I have transitioned into my new role here at HA.  I hope that everyone has been able to access their child’s grades in Renweb through the parent web portal.  If not, feel free to contact Mrs. Clay in the front office for assistance and to make sure we have your correct e-mail on file.  We are also asking that parents encourage their child to take advantage of our Viking Time each day to go back for extra time and support if needed in a particular class.  This period was inserted into our schedule each day to ensure each student receives the support they need to be successful.  Good things happen when we all get “gritty” about working hard and getting a little better each day.

Congratulations to all of our recent inductees into the National Senior and Junior Beta Clubs!!!  This represents a significant accomplishment for each of these students.

Congratulations to all of our fall sports teams on successful seasons!!

Cross Country:

Boys Team finished 3rd place in the state

Girls Team finished 4th Place in the state

Varsity football finished first in the conference and is scheduled to play for the 1A state championship this Saturday in Kinston.  We would love to see HA represented well.

Varsity Volleyball: #4 in 1A for our conference

JV volleyball #3 in 1A conference play

It is an exciting time for our HA seniors. Many have already received acceptance letters from colleges and universities.  All have been meeting with Mrs. Harris and making plans for education after High School.  If parents have any questions about this process feel free to contact Mrs. Harris at the School.

Save this date: Deck the Halls – November 30, 2017

 

Go Vikings!!

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