Sponsored Editorial Courtesy of Annapolis Area Christian School
“Relationships and academic excellence” according to author Dr. Gene Frost, were the cultural distinctives at Annapolis Area Christian School that led to him featuring AACS in his recent book, “Learning From the Best, Growing Greatness in the Christian School, Volume Two.”
Dr. Frost, with a doctorate in education, 22 years experience in the business world, and now Head of Wheaton Academy in Chicago, conducted extensive research on Christian schools, based on the application of Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” and “Built to Last” principles. Frost explains that he began this research project because it became very clear to him “that only the best and strongest Christian schools will survive in the 21st century.” Volumes One and Two of Learning from the Best are intended to help other private and Christian schools measure their current practices and adjust accordingly.
AACS was one of a select group of Christian schools in the country to be included in Frost’s first book in 2007, and was then featured in the Volume 2 edition published in 2014.
When asked about AACS, Gene Frost said, “One of the most dramatic findings of the book was just how important a ‘great culture’ is to the operation of the great Christian school. AACS was perhaps the best example of the power of a school’s culture to impact young lives. AACS’s mission of educating and disciplining young people was mediated by the culture. The culture was built over time to do just that!”
Rick Kempton, Superintendent of AACS says that there is clear evidence that school culture has an effect on students’ learning. “When students feel loved, safe, accepted, and heard, they can focus on learning. What better place to accomplish this than in the Christian school?” says Kempton.
While many small private schools have had to close their doors in recent years, Annapolis Area Christian School is in the process of opening another campus in Severn. “It’s our culture that keeps us thriving,” says Kempton.
The culture at AACS was also highlighted in “The Financial Rescue Plan for Non-Profits,” published in 2014. Author John Warren discusses his experiences of visiting and learning about AACS. Warren writes, “AACS is a school that has enjoyed a tradition of excellence for a long time, but they are not immune from the challenges that all schools face. They have built a culture that screams excellence regardless of the adversity faced, and they inspire me to grow spiritually and otherwise.”
“We know the importance of nurturing an intentional culture at AACS,” says Kempton. “We have a culture where students feel socially, emotionally, and spiritually safe. This sets the stage for learning to take place.”
Annapolis Area Christian School is a multi-campus non-denominational Christian school with four locations in Anne Arundel County. AACS serves families with children in PreK- 12th grade offering excellent academics, outstanding fine arts, and competitive athletics.