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From the Teacher's Desk: How to Recharge Your Student This Summer

June 14, 2024

When the final bell rings for summer break, students and parents everywhere take a collective sigh. Time to refresh and recharge. Students definitely need a break, but, as most will agree, vegging out on the couch to Netflix or Disney streaming isn’t completely productive or replenishing to the body and mind. However, there are ways to keep your student’s mental, physical, and personal development going while still giving them that much needed downtime.


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Dr. Alvin Rosenfield, author of The Over-Scheduled Child states that unscheduled time with family without goals or plans is key to character development. Most parents agree that character development is most important to them, but unfortunately, the packing of schedules or zoning out to television or gaming often counteracts that desire. So what are the best ways to carve out time for that much-needed downtime to recharge while developing healthy relationships and values? Experts at Mount Paran Christian School have some great creative strategies to share.

ParentEd.: 9 Tips for Parenting Girls

June 10, 2024

It is often said that there are no instruction manuals for parenting. But actually, the Bible gives very specific instructions on parenting, especially in Deuteronomy 6: 5-9. Essentially: love God, teach your children how to love God, read His scripture, write His scripture, wherever you are, all the time. 

Praising Girl

ParentEd.: Rethinking Your College Outlook

May 14, 2024

As Christians we are taught to trust in God completely for the future. The Lord states in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We hear this, we repeat it into memory, and we post it as a meme on our social media platforms, but when it comes to our children and their dreams do we really say “Your will, not mine (or theirs) Lord”? The truth is, it’s tough. Children have big dreams, and parents want them to check every possible box off their dream list that they can. 


From the Teacher’s Desk: What Makes Learning Diverse?

May 06, 2024

Education is a life-long journey. Trends in education come and go, but the goal remains the same: students must learn the skills they need to live a successful life. During the last several decades, we have realized that the learning process looks different for different people. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning, and human development is not linear, as skills can develop and be mastered at various times for different people. Research also suggests that a key to success in education is knowing students deeply and understanding their uniquenesses. 


ParentEd.: The 3-D’s of Learning Differences

April 15, 2024

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

–Psalm 139: 13-14


From the Principal's Desk: Desirable Difficulty

April 11, 2024

We live in a world full of material ease and instant gratification. Need a new butter dish? Amazon. Forgot to make dinner? DoorDash. Want an answer without having to actually talk to someone? Text. This present age can satisfy most of our day-to-day needs, wants, and desires on the spot.  


ParentEd.: Hopes and Fears of Parenting

March 13, 2024

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

–Isaiah 41:10


From the Coach’s Desk: How to be a Coachable Athlete

February 23, 2024

Erma Bombeck once said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left but could say I've used everything you gave me.”


From the Bible Teacher’s Desk: 3 Tiers for Teaching Unshakeable Faith

February 05, 2024

One of the most important, but most difficult things that Christians are tasked with biblically is to give living witness to the love of Christ. And in turn with that same display of the love of Christ, to defend the faith that is held so precious. 


ParentEd.: 4 Tips to Identify Troubles in Teen Mental Health

January 12, 2024

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” 
— 2 Timothy 1:7 

Even with faith, the topic of mental health is an issue of concern in the hearts and minds of parents everywhere, especially for those of middle and high school students. Biblically, Christians are instructed not to fear for the future, but that can prove difficult when parents see their children struggling. Here, the middle and high school counselors at Mount Paran Christian School share their expertise and offer four tips to help recognize some of the emotional roadblocks adolescents are facing. 

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Faith and Science Are Not at Odds

December 11, 2023

Science classrooms can often be intimidating places full of beakers, test tubes, numbers, graphs, data tables, and the like. One can easily be overwhelmed by such seemingly daunting instruments and figures. However, when examining the evidence closely, there’s unexpected Truth to be found lying just beneath the surface, if one knows how to look for it. 

HS girls science lab 

Move Mountains

November 28, 2023

An alumnus asked me at our recent Homecoming Alumni Dinner if I ever imagined in 1976 the amazing campus Mount Paran Christian School has become almost 50 years after the school’s inception. The 1988 alumnus, representing our first graduating class, commented on the vast programs, the beautiful campus and buildings, and the record enrollment after briefly reflecting on our humble beginnings. “Did you ever see all of this in our future?” he asked me. Clearly, the answer was "no." 


5 Ways Christians Can Respond to Bullying

November 09, 2023

Bullying is a pervasive issue affecting millions worldwide. It’s a problem that transcends age, gender, and social status. While it manifests in various forms, the core elements of bullying remain consistent: the intentional infliction of harm - often through physical, verbal, or psychological means - on an individual who feels powerless to defend themselves. As Christians, it’s up to us to lead the charge on shaping a more compassionate and loving society to help prevent and stop bullying. 


Shelton High Fives

Fueling Students for Academic Success: How School Nutrition Affects Performance

October 25, 2023

One of the most important decisions we make on any given day is how we fuel our bodies. It’s a choice we face three times a day, and its effects are profound. Our food choices affect more than just the family budget and schedule; what we eat affects the body, the brain, and how they perform. For schools, it’s critical that food options for students provide healthy options that fuel growing bodies and developing minds.


happy girls with food

Motivated by School Mission

October 10, 2023

It is logical for confusion to exist when those of us in K-12 Christian education begin to define ourselves. It should be simple and straightforward, right? Well, not exactly. The many Christian schools that exist across the American landscape do share a common goal: we are colleagues who have embraced a calling to academic excellence in an environment that honors Christ preeminently. I have discovered none who refutes this. These two aspirational goals stand as the cornerstones and foundations on which Christian education has been built. 

PK prayers 

5 Tips to Reframe Hearts and Minds with a Growth Mindset

September 27, 2023

Have you ever heard it said, “Attitude is everything”? Did you know you have a unique opportunity to teach your child how to handle stress by modeling it for them? Our job as parents and educators is to encourage children to develop a passion for learning and a desire to push through life’s challenges, both inside and outside of the classroom. This can be achieved by empowering students to take ownership of their attitudes towards learning and performance, seeing failures as learning opportunities through the development of a “growth mindset.”


Growth Mindset LS kids thinking

From the Teacher's Desk: 10 Tips for a Successful Start to the School Year

September 12, 2023

A new school year is underway, and with it comes the overwhelming piles of papers, endless events, homework assignments, and school projects. Families inevitably find themselves searching for the right rhythm to balance the demands of school, alongside extracurriculars, church, and social activities. While the days are long, the years are short, leaving parents and students undoubtedly wanting to make the most of foundational educational experiences.  To help set children up for success, consider these 10 tips for a great school year.


first day of school HS girls

From the Teacher's Desk: Building Community One 'House Block' at a Time

July 12, 2023

While school “houses” are well-known across Europe and have been popularized in film, community-building house systems are steadily making their way across the pond to American schools. Mount Paran Christian School finished another year of its middle school House system and shares lessons learned, key wins, and future plans for the program.


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From the Teacher's Desk: 12 Tips for Preventing the 'Summer Slide'

June 13, 2023

School’s out for summer! Now what? To help prevent the academic summer slide, parents can help their children retain the knowledge they’ve learned this school year with a slew of fun activities. Faculty and staff at Mount Paran Christian School offer their advice to help students of all ages combine learning and fun to maintain essential skills across all subjects. Read on for ideas to get you started.


boy swing

What I Wish I Knew - 7 Tips from Alumni for New High School Graduates

May 17, 2023

Graduation season is upon us, and with it comes sage advice for this year’s senior class from those who are older and perhaps a bit more experienced. Who better to offer wise words of wisdom for new graduates than those who have gone before? Mount Paran Christian School alumni share their advice for new graduates, from how to survive college to staying true to one’s self.


class of 2023 college shirts

4 Ways Grandparents are the Original Influencers

April 27, 2023

Granny. MeMaw. Grandfather. PawPaw. No matter the affectionate nickname used, it’s true that grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. From supporting the growth and development of young grandchildren to serving as a sounding board for adolescents, grandparents can make a lifelong impact on future generations. Grandparents are, and have always been, the ultimate influencers. 


My move

From the Teacher's Desk: Sports Performance Education

April 13, 2023

Never has the importance of proper athletic training for young people been so important. Increasingly, more and more youth are spending a large portion of their after-school hours engaged in organized sport and free play. According to research cited by Aspen Project Play, approximately 74-percent of young people ages 13-17 spend time participating in a team or individual sport, and children ages 6-18 spend more than 16 hours per week engaged in some form of sport, including practice and competition. These statistics demonstrate a great trend considering the many mental, social, and health benefits of engaging in sports and physical activity.


The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition Science Board attests that by participating in sports, children have lower rates of anxiety and depression, increased overall quality of life, improved social skills, higher likelihood of college attendance, and a myriad of physiological benefits. By focusing on the individual needs of student-athletes, schools can help students develop at their best to reach peak performance.


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Navigating the Private School Waitlist

March 23, 2023

Parents, you’re faced with the decision to choose a school for your child. You’ve done your homework. You’ve perused countless school websites. You’ve toured your neighborhood school and several local private schools. You’ve asked lots of questions and have decided an independent school education is the best fit for your child. You may even have a favorite school that’s risen to the top of your list.


So, you’ve filled out the applications, sent in the required paperwork, and participated in interviews and assessments. The admission process can sometimes feel a bit circuitous - a reminder of the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. But, much like the mouse who wants a cookie and a glass of milk to go with it, the process of private school admissions has only just begun. The time period after submitting the applications is when the real waiting begins.


MS girls math

From the Teacher's Desk: Let's Talk Testing

March 09, 2023

Many educators could say of assessments, “can’t live with them, can’t live without them,” but good assessment is incredibly valuable. Good assessment practices can accurately measure a student’s performance and give us an indicator of what a student knows at any given point in time. Teachers should rely on these good assessment practices to monitor and evaluate student performance in their classrooms at all levels.


LS girl smiling 

6 Tips for Hosting Community-Building Events

February 23, 2023

America is a melting pot, they say - a place where people from the world over have long sought refuge or a chance at the “American Dream”. Perhaps instead of the tired melting pot metaphor, we can think of this country as a tossed salad - whereby each “ingredient” remains unique but contributes to the whole. 


The same is true when considering diversity within our schools. Students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, differing learning abilities, and various socioeconomic situations all bring meaningful contributions to the classroom experience and to a school’s community. Read on to discover ideas for how schools can recognize the value and uniqueness of each individual person, ultimately for the glory of God.


From the Teacher's Desk: The Importance of Play

February 09, 2023

On March 7, 2012, the face of technology was forever changed with the introduction of the Apple iPad. It’s hard to believe that more than a decade has passed since the invention of the now ubiquitous tablet. While pioneering developments such as the telephone and television were revolutionary, the current pace of technological advances is astounding. Our society is constantly attempting to keep pace and re-establish norms.


The influence of technology has affected all of us, but perhaps none more so than today’s students. Researchers are continuously working to understand the impact of these advances, especially on young children. As tablets and screens continue to grow in popularity, one classic childhood pastime is taking a back seat to technology – play.

MPCS Pk kid upside down playground 

Living Biblically: What's Your Word of the Year?

January 26, 2023

Each January, as we turn the page on the calendar to a new year, along comes New Year's resolutions - a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. Of course, a new year's resolution can be great! But, all too often, what starts off as a great idea can end up feeling rigid and restrictive and is ultimately ditched after a few months. Instead, consider a different tactic to help you focus with intentionality this year: choose a word of the year.

word of the year board 

What is a Covenant School?

January 12, 2023

There is something really special about Mount Paran Christian School. Current families and students, as well as alumni and their parents know this well. It’s something you feel when you’re on campus. Something you see in your children when they come home from school. Something almost intangible. I felt it the first time I stepped foot on this campus in 2014, long before I ever envisioned myself as Head of School.


Seeing Through a New Lens: A Biblical Worldview

December 14, 2022

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

—2 Corinthians 10:4-5


No matter one’s age, there comes a time that prescription glasses become a necessary fact of life. Even if you have long had perfect 20/20 vision, eye strength weakens as we get older. We find it more and more difficult to see the small things. And, though we may fight it, wearing glasses can be a help – our view becomes once again crystal clear, sharp and in focus. What a perfect metaphor for the life of a Christian!

LS kids praying at veterans chapel 

Faith and Intellect as One

December 01, 2022

The motto of Mount Paran Christian school is, “A place where faith and intellect grow as one.” In Latin, it translates to, Fides et intellectus simul unus. It is on our crest, but more importantly, this principle is woven into the fabric of what, how, and why we teach and learn together at MPCS.


Saint Augustine, in the 4th century, was known to have said, “All truth is God’s truth.” Since the beginning, we, at MPCS, have wholeheartedly endorsed this ideal and the theological position that affirms there is and can be no separation of the sacred and the secular in life and learning. In other words, we believe in the immersion of biblical understanding and truth in all we do and in all we study.

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ParentEd.: Helping Students Boost Their Brain Capacity for Success

November 10, 2022

Executive Functions are a collection of processes or interrelated functions responsible for guiding, directing, managing cognition, emotions, and behavior, particularly in novel problem solving situations1. The fact that Executive Functions may be improved by means of cognitive training is of particular importance in childhood and adolescence, because Executive Functioning is a strong predictor for various life outcomes, such as academic attainment, socioeconomic status, and physical health2. Read on to learn more about these crucial brain skills, how the brain develops, and what parents and teachers can do to help students strengthen their Executive Functioning skills.


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How School Choice Programs Increase Educational Opportunities for Families

October 25, 2022

When it comes to choosing a school for their child, parents have many options: neighborhood public school, home school, charter school, online academy, independent school, or religious private school. Academic excellence is paramount in the decision. From an eternal perspective, a Christian education is invaluable, yet affording independent options can be challenging. The calling Christian educators have for providing students with an exceptional education within a uniquely Christ-centered environment makes it worth investigating. Nurturing and equipping students to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth is an investment that will last for eternity.


Chris Eppling, Vice President of Student Services at Truett McConnell University, a private, four-year university located in Cleveland, Ga., said, “The real question to investigate is not, ‘What will I get for the money I pay to have a Christian education?’ it is, ‘What will I forfeit if I do not invest in an education from a biblical worldview?’”


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How to Keep Alumni Engaged with Your Mission

October 12, 2022

When a school takes its mission to heart, pouring into students and families with intention through the years, the results are graduating seniors who continue to live out the school mission years after turning the tassel. To maintain relationships with students who have reached alumni status, many schools build out alumni relations programs that continually keep the mission of the school at the forefront of the minds of the alumni community. But, just how can schools build a robust program that extends beyond the norm? At Mount Paran Christian School, through service opportunities and various partnerships, alumni are invited to keep living as servant-leaders to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth.


Goshen Valley Family Serve Day alumni

From the Teacher's Desk: Play is Learning Through the Arts

September 21, 2022

Many schools have great arts facilities, programming, performances, and faculty. The quality of arts in the metro Atlanta area is some of the best in the country. How, then, does a school separate itself uniquely from the rest? The answer for Mount Paran Christian School lies in the mission of the school and how it is lived out through the arts program. While most schools focus on students developing their skills to serve their personal performance goals, MPCS goes a step further, infusing the idea that God gives us gifts to be used to glorify Him. Faculty make all the difference in helping students understand that we bring glory to God when we love others as He loves us and to act as servant-leaders through the use of artistic gifts and skills.


MS drama class girls

From the Teacher's Desk: 4 Tips to Capture the Minds of Your Students

September 07, 2022

Excellence as a measure of quality in education is difficult to quantify. But, one might recognize it when setting foot into Dr. Bonnie Stephens’ high school science classroom at Mount Paran Christian School. Dr. Stephens, who received a B.S. in Applied Biology from Georgia Tech and a Ph.D. in Biology from Georgia State University, is known to enliven content for her classes. Here, she shares how she brings learning to life for her students.


AP biology students working

5 Tips for Making the Middle to High School Transition

August 24, 2022

While parents may shed a few tears when their kindergartener heads off to the first day of school, for students, the biggest transition in learning comes much later. Students often find that the move from middle school to high school is especially daunting. These rising freshmen are full of hopes and dreams, as well as fears and freedom. Here are five tips that can help any rising freshman make for a smooth transition into the high school years.


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From the Teacher's Desk: What Families Should Expect

August 12, 2022

Between preschool and their senior year of high school, children grow, learn, and develop at an astounding rate. When families entrust their children to schools to partner in shaping the worldview of these future citizens, it is essential that the relationship between home and school be one of open communication and true partnership. 


We all enter relationships with our own set of expectations, based on our personal experiences and values. The learning process requires effort from both the teacher and the student. What follows is a guide from the leaders at Mount Paran Christian School to help families navigate expectations from teachers, and vice versa, all with the ultimate aim to ensure the best possible outcomes for students.



Innovation in Education: How to Teach Children to Love Learning

July 27, 2022

Learning is exceedingly complex. It is both highly personal and highly social. For educators tasked with facilitating and supporting learning, doing it, not just well but with excellence, requires a healthy dose of both art and science. And, while much is understood about the conditions and practices that support learning, facilitating learning that is durable, adaptive, inspiring, and innovative is a daily challenge for educators and schools. Moreover, creating school learning environments where students develop robust knowledge and skills is only the beginning. If students leave school today without the dispositions and skills to support lifelong, self-directed learning, they will not be equipped to tackle the challenges thrust upon them by an ever-changing world. 


So, while learning is complex, let’s take a moment to examine one of the key drivers of school-based learning – the teacher’s ability to create learning cultures of excellence in which students and educators are highly engaged with one another, with rich ideas and robust thinking and creating. Blessed with highly-skilled faculty, examples of high-engagement learning cultures at Mount Paran Christian School abound across all school grade divisions. 


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Annual Fund in 5: Modeling Best Practices for Community Engagement

July 14, 2022

On any given day, Mrs. Cindy Gibbs fields phone calls from independent schools across the country, seeking advice on how to successfully build an annual fund program. As the Assistant Director of Development for Mount Paran Christian School, Mrs. Gibbs and her colleagues in the MPCS development office are joined by a committee of enthusiastic parent volunteers to conduct a five-day “blitz-style” fundraising campaign, dubbed Annual Fund in Five


So, just how did MPCS grow its annual fund participation rates from a mere 28-percent in 2004 to 88-percent parent participation in 2022? By listening to families and engaging the school community.


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Innovation in Education: Preparing Students for Careers in Music, Film, and Television

June 30, 2022

Welcome to Y’allywood! The state of Georgia has become a booming location for the entertainment industry. Building on its long history as a musical powerhouse, Georgia has become the undisputed “Hollywood of the South,” with film and television generating billions of dollars each year - an astounding $9.5 billion in 2018, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The economic impact extends even further when considering the thousands of jobs that are created as a result of the Georgia entertainment industry. This is due, in part, to one of “the most competitive tax incentive programs in the country, along with a broad network of production and recording facilities, a large and skilled workforce, the latest production equipment and suppliers, gaming and interactive media developers, and technology and support services.”


This skilled workforce is being trained at schools across the state. While it is unusual for a K-12 school to have a recording studio, an increasing number of high schools and career centers in America are creating audio education programs to give students a head start on entertainment-centric college curricula and careers.



How to Prepare Today's Learners to be Tomorrow's Leaders

June 09, 2022

“...[I]f education is to succeed in its tasks, curriculum as its core should be restructured or repacked around the four pillars of learning: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, and learning to be.”

-Zhou Nanzhao, Ph.D., Director, International Center of Teacher Education, East-China Normal University, and Advisor to the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

Globalization. A 24/7 news cycle. The growing influence of social media. Ever-changing technological advances. These are but a few of the challenges facing today’s teachers and their students. While the field of education may find it challenging to keep pace with the rapid changes in communication and technology, all is not lost in equipping 21st-Century learners for future success. In addition to providing a strong educational foundation - to include learning important facts, reading, writing, and arithmetic - it is crucial, according to the UNESCO International Commission on Education, that education today needs to teach students to be lifelong learners.


Classof22 MPCS5766 for WW

Prom with Purpose

May 12, 2022


Prom. It’s one of the most anticipated rites of passage for high school juniors and seniors. The word itself conjures images of sequined gowns, sharp tuxedos, flower bouquets and boutonnieres, pre-parties and pictures, limousines, fancy dinners, and post-event celebrations. Hours are spent shopping for the perfect attire and planning details for the night. Thousands of dollars are spent for this one special occasion. It’s little wonder that, on average, Americans spend nearly $7 million on prom each year. A group of Mount Paran Christian School alumni aimed to change all that, encouraging high school students to rethink prom.

Founders of promRED 

ParentEd.: Teaching Children Fiscal Responsibility

April 13, 2022

To most people, money feels amoral at best and unspiritual at worst. Jesus probably owned next to nothing, yet He talked about money, or used it to illustrate His teachings, quite a bit. In fact, 11 of His 39 parables have money included in some way. Why did money seem to matter so much to a man unconcerned with accumulating it Himself? 


LS girl with play money


ParentEd.: 9 Tips for Parents to Help Teens Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

March 24, 2022

It’s a staggering statistic: Teenagers can make a life-altering decision with drugs and alcohol in a matter of just 5-10 seconds. Students face hundreds of daily decisions, and, in an instant, that one moment can affect their lives forever. So, what can parents and educators do to prepare young people before they face a situation involving drugs and alcohol?


Girl praying


ParentEd.: Excelling in the Midst of Adversity

March 10, 2022

Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?

-Job 2:10

When everything’s going our way, life feels easy. We know what to do when all goes well. So, what happens when we’re faced with adversity - a loss, a health scare, financial strain, a pandemic? Most often, our initial reaction is panic. We revert back to what we know - worry, anger, tight-gripped control. Without practice and planning, we cannot expect that we will rise to the occasion when faced with a challenge. Yet, with a combination of faith and mental conditioning, we can learn to not only survive in the face of an obstacle, but to thrive. 


Inky baseball team jersey

ParentEd.: 3 Tips for Navigating the Hidden Dangers of Social Media

February 23, 2022

Social media has become a powerful tool that connects, informs, and entertains. Today’s children, teens, and young adults can not recall a time without cell phones and social media. For Generations Z (born 1996-2010) and Alpha (born 2011-2025), technology is ubiquitous. For all the good it can do, social media also has a darker side. With increased use of technology and social media amongst children and teens, parents must arm themselves with information to help children navigate the changing complexities of an online presence.



The 2 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Preschool

February 10, 2022

Parents who have survived sleepless nights with an infant leading to loud, messy days with a toddler soon find themselves on the precipice of yet another milestone — parenting a preschooler. Those never-ending long days and nights may, in retrospect, seem benign when in the throes of wrangling a preschool-aged child, who naturally tests boundaries and pushes the limits of authority. Finding ways to guide these little people into the independence they crave, while also maintaining boundaries, is no easy task.


At the age of three, when a child is officially considered a preschooler, many parents find they need support in teaching and guiding their quickly-changing child. The hope for the haggard parent is a great preschool partner. But, what makes for a great preschool? What sets one preschool apart from the others? These are the types of questions parents ask as they peruse websites, tour schools, and talk with their neighbors who have gone before them in exploring the best preschool programs out there. 



4 Benefits of Choosing a K-12 Independent School for Life

January 26, 2022

For families who have decided on an independent school education for their children, the private school choices seem endless. Options range from religious to secular, co-ed to single sex, day or boarding. One especially important consideration for families is the school’s organization the grades/school levels offered. Schools vary from solely primary or secondary offerings to a combination of preschool through high school. For families choosing one school for their children’s entire academic experience, the benefits are many.



3 Reasons Why I Believe in Christian Schools

January 06, 2022

Why do I believe so strongly in Christian education, and particularly in independent Christian schooling? There are numerous reasons, starting with my perspective on education in general, specifically, K-12 education. Beyond that, the benefits of an independent Christian education for today’s learners are eternal.

Preschool worship 

Philosophy of Belonging - 4 Tips for Fostering a Diverse Culture

December 07, 2021

With the Christmas season upon us, as Christians, we are reminded that, even at the moment of His birth, Jesus found himself on the outskirts of society. There was quite literally no room for Him at the inn. Jesus was a baby born to a teenage mother in the lowliest of places. But, He was also “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). Jesus was the embodiment of the diversity marking God’s kingdom. 


Giving Thanks in All Things

November 17, 2021

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

—1 Thessalonians 5:18

Happy Thanksgiving! This is truly one of the best times of the year. There’s so much to love and appreciate - the fantastic weather, football, and, of course, the food and family. So, where are you when it comes to being thankful? How can we make the most of this season and model an “attitude of gratitude” to those around us?


Breaking Barriers: Girls Sports Rise to the Top

November 03, 2021

While the number of students participating in organized sports may be on a downward trend, no doubt thanks in part to the increase of time spent in front of screens and devices, some high school athletics programs are seeing extremely high participation levels. Those particular teams happen to be led by female student-athletes. What is so significant about this trend? And, how are female-led teams leveling the playing field?


softball team in pink

Innovation in Education: The Show Must Go On

October 20, 2021

Determining how to offer in-person learning in a safe environment was a huge challenge during the approach to the 2020-2021 school year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools faced many new and unique obstacles and opportunities. Mount Paran Christian School serves as a case study in how to deliver on programming while still meeting the rigorous demands of health and safety compliance, particularly with Christian Life events and events within the arts, both of which primarily took place indoors in the theatre of the Murray Arts Center. The school found itself balancing health and safety restrictions with staying focused on offering the fantastic programming families and students expected. What follows are key lessons learned to help schools remain innovative, no matter the situation, in providing new ways to execute great programming without missing a beat.


DWATC-32 cast with signs arts blog

Innovation in Education: A New Class of Coffee

September 29, 2021

Innovation may be the buzzword du jour, but, for forward-thinking schools, innovation is ingrained within curriculum, allowing for the exploration, creation, and implementation of solutions to real-world problems. For Mount Paran Christian School, innovative learning takes many forms in the classroom, including a very real, hands-on approach for high school business students through the Roost Coffee Co.


Innovation in Education: 4 Ways Technology is Transforming Instruction

September 07, 2021

Often, when we hear the word innovation, our minds immediately journey to the realm of technology. However, innovation should not be limited to technology integration. Rather, innovation should be an innovative mechanism for advancing areas a school community deems important.

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Innovation in Education: Balancing Proven Curriculum with Out-of-the-box Instruction

August 23, 2021

Look anywhere in education today. The words innovate and innovation are displayed everywhere. For some, innovation in education is a fashionable trend. For others, innovation ensures students are prepared for jobs in a world of work where science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) are dominant. For Mount Paran Christian School, we have taken a different approach to innovation, STEAM, and education as a whole. 



7 Tips for Affording a Private School Education

July 14, 2021

Financing an independent school education may seem unattainable, but affording private school can actually be within reach. While the cost of private school is an important commitment for families, it is the aim of many academic institutions to work with families to make an independent school education possible.


"[Private school] is a serious investment for a family. But to have our child surrounded by other students who are there to learn from teachers who are invested in how well my son does in and out of the classroom has been a true blessing. The evidence of [schools like] MPCS being 'worth it' is in the relationships he has built, the spiritual growth he has experienced, and the bright academic future that college will give him."

—David Epps, Parent


Becoming a Thinking Christian

June 24, 2021

Have you ever been asked a question about your faith you just could not answer? Have you ever questioned your own beliefs and wondered if what you were taught was actually truth? I can gladly say “yes” to both questions because, in so doing, I have come to realize that I must improve my understanding of my faith, of my beliefs, and of my intellectual understanding of Christianity. 


Innovation in Education: Best Practices in Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

June 10, 2021

When teachers from various disciplines combine their efforts and plan course curriculum to coordinate across fields of learning, students are the beneficiaries. While it takes time and effort, cross-disciplinary collaboration offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of a subject. For Mount Paran Christian School third-graders, appreciation for nature has only strengthened because of a collaborative butterfly project between Spanish and Science classes.


Innovation in Education: Bluebird Trail Brings Science to Life

May 19, 2021

After a lot of preparation, lower school students at Mount Paran Christian School now hear the charming call of dozens of baby bluebird hatchlings around the 68-acre school campus. February was bluebird month in Georgia, when the brilliantly-hued Eastern Bluebird began the process of seeking nesting spots and crafting its signature cup-shaped nest in anticipation of warmer weather. MPCS students are now front-and-center this spring, supporting the bluebirds and witnessing the entire hatching process.


Finding the Right Fit - An Individualized Approach to College Counseling

May 12, 2021

Mount Paran Christian School is a college-preparatory school for students in preschool through grade 12, but our aim is to do more than simply prepare graduates for college admission. Our goal is to find colleges that offer the best possible fit for each graduating senior. We help students cultivate their talents and interests to find their academic and extracurricular strengths and passions, then focus on colleges that will best meet student goals. College selection can be overwhelming for families, but the MPCS college counseling department helps facilitate the process. By answering questions and providing advice, students are guided in their choice of coursework and ultimately towards the college that is just the right fit.



Innovation in Education: Daffodil Project Teaches Empathy

April 28, 2021

Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together.
— Ephesians 4:2-3

After a bleak winter, the cheerful, sunny yellow of daffodil blossoms are a sure sign that spring is upon us. On the Mount Paran Christian School campus, more than one thousand such reminders sprout each year. The blossoms have special meaning for preschool and lower school students at MPCS, with the daffodils serving as a reminder to love and respect others. As part of the WingTips “Innovation in Education'' series, which explores best practices for teaching and learning through real-world examples, read on to discover how planting daffodils teaches the youngest of learners empathy.

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4 Reasons Why We Chose Mount Paran Christian School

April 19, 2021

Parents - it’s decision time. You’ve explored the educational opportunities available for your child(ren)from the local public school, to online, homeschool, or charter schoolsand have winnowed your choices to a list of independent schools. You’ve read blogs about how to choose the best private school for your family and have further narrowed your focus to a Christian school to align with your family values. So, where do you go from here? Why should Mount Paran Christian School - the largest private Christian school in Cobb county - be at the top of your school choice list? Read on for first-hand experiences from current students and why parents chose Mount Paran Christian School for their children’s education.


Strategically Planning to Elevate Our People, Programs, and Place

March 24, 2021

In September 2019, the Mount Paran Christian School community embarked upon a comprehensive, community-wide strategic planning process meant to engage all stakeholders, solicit feedback, ask bold questions, and create a plan to guide all decisions and goals in the ensuing five years. 

The board of trustees, head of school, faculty, staff, parents, students, and alumni examined and then affirmed or adjusted the mission, vision, and core values of MPCS to ensure all new strategic initiatives met missional specifications. The result is “Elevate: The 2021-2026 Strategic Plan for MPCS.”

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ParentEd.: The Blessing of a B Minus

March 10, 2021

In an hour-plus conversation full of wisdom, laughter, and anecdotes, New York Times best-selling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Wendy Mogel explained the premise of one of her most popular books, The Blessing of a B Minus. To put it plainly, today’s standards imply that the “B” in a B- stands for “bad,” but Dr. Mogel attests that’s simply untrue.



Innovation in Education: Teaching Cultural Awareness

February 24, 2021

Which sports legend is responsible for once saying,
“Hank Aaron is the only man I idolize more than myself”? 

What holiday did professor Dr. Maulana Karenga create?

Who became the first black woman millionaire and
invented hair care products for black women?


These questions represent but a few of the many thousands of historical and modern-day facts that middle school students study as part of the annual Black History Bowl — an academic quiz-bowl competition run by the Kennesaw Teen Center. Middle school students who participate with the Mount Paran Christian School Black History Bowl team dedicate their time to learning facts such as these.

BHB 2021 Team 

How to Imagine, Innovate, and Build for the Education of Tomorrow

February 03, 2021

How does a growing high school — with 450 students learning in a space originally designed for just 250 — plan for a building expansion that captures the imagination of its community, while also implementing thoughtful design to prepare students for a 21st-century education? Mount Paran Christian School asked this very question as the school undertook the seemingly insurmountable task of creating a new, purposeful educational facility that would house radical spaces to learn, test, collaborate, and grow. The process for designing the new Murray Innovation Center was itself an unconventional exercise, with key takeaways that other schools and organizations might not consider before embarking upon large-scale initiatives.


ParentEd.: Real Talk for Moms

January 26, 2021

Moms love and need to connect, whether it’s enjoying a cup of coffee and a long talk, sharing nuggets of broken conversation between chasing toddlers at the park, or just quickly chatting on the phone. There is something almost sacred about the wisdom and encouragement shared and gained when moms spend time together. We need one another's support as we raise our children together.


A Call to Brotherhood: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Wisdom For Today

January 15, 2021

"The beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold."

What is this collective friction we are feeling? Why do we find ourselves caught in growing disharmony? We are hungry, no, starving! Starving for inspiring leadership that moves us forward, together. Each January, our nation celebrates the life and legacy of the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., arguably the most peace-loving man in American history. Dr. King, above all else, honored God through his actions and by his leadership, while audaciously pursuing justice for all. His eloquent wisdom has a renewed relevance concerning our current state of affairs. 

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Living Into Community: Hospitality

December 16, 2020

In this blog series, WingTips has explored how the practices of truth telling, gratitude, and promise keeping create strong, sustainable communities. Successfully implementing these three actions in tandem leads to meaningful relationships and impacts the broader practice of hospitality. Author Christine Pohl describes hospitality in her book, Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us, as recognizing the needs of others, while being open to their ideas and contributions, ultimately leaving those we meet feeling valued and with a sense of belonging. What this looks like in actuality is the topic at hand.


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Living Into Community: Promise Keeping

December 02, 2020

You’re only as good as your word. 

Pinky promise? 

I’m telling you the truth, I swear!


Making - and breaking - promises is commonplace, a daily occurrence. Promises are made often and easily broken, leading us to a culture that is jaded when it comes to promise keeping. As author Christine Pohl explores in her book, Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us, making and keeping promises is central to a person’s character and identity. Why, then, is it so easy for so many to make a flippant promise and then later break their word? What does this relative ease with promise-breaking say about society? How can we function as successful, thriving communities if we cannot keep our promises? 


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Living Into Community: Gratitude

November 18, 2020

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes thoughts of turkey, pumpkin pies, and an abundance of gratitude. This is the season of thankfulness. We are reminded every November to count our blessings. So, how can we carry an attitude of gratitude with us throughout the year?

In the second part of the Living Into Community blog series, we explore author Christine Pohl's insights into how gratitude plays a significant role in community-building and what embracing gratitude looks like on the MPCS campus on a daily basis.


Living Into Community: Truth-Telling

November 10, 2020

One of the hallmarks of being a part of the Mount Paran Christian School family is that ours is a commUNITY - emphasis on unity. We are spiritual brothers and sisters, one in the body of Christ. But, what does a strong community look like? Why do we, as both a school and as a society, seek community? How can we ensure that we are the tightly-knit family we, at MPCS, proclaim to be? And, how can others learn from our experiences in community-building?


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A Faith-Filled Vote

October 27, 2020

In 2026 - just six short years from now - America will celebrate its 250th anniversary. Though celebration is sure to come at this anniversary, right now our country is facing political unrest and uncertainty. Yet, this is nothing new for America. In fact, the formation of our “new republic” was anything but certain. The idea that a democracy would work - that a single leader elected by the people would relinquish power peaceably - was unfathomable. And, yet, thanks to the vision of the Founding Fathers, America’s democratic “experiment” has been successful for the last two-and-a-half centuries.


“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


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How Does Faith Influence Politics?

October 15, 2020

The 2020 election is quickly approaching. As political discourse and debate begin to consume the public’s consciousness, Christians should ask, “How does faith influence political participation, allegiance, and decisions?” 

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Innovation Outside the Classroom

October 07, 2020

Real classroom innovation at Mount Paran Christian School starts from within; from the open hearts and minds of the teachers, students, parents, and school leadership. Never has this been more true than during the 2020 academic year, when the coronavirus pandemic put the innovative practices of MPCS to the test.


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CommUNITY: How Do We Love One Another?

September 23, 2020

As a continuation of the "Campaign for CommUNITY",  Head of High School and Assistant Head of School Tawanna Rusk shares her thoughts on how to best #LoveOneAnother — the theme for this school year. By modeling our lives after Jesus's example, we can be united as one in the body of Christ, while appreciating our unique God-given talents and differences.



Campaign for CommUNITY

September 01, 2020

The summer of 2020 has certainly been one for the history books. From social distancing and uncertainty about the future, to calls for racial justice and reconciliation, 2020 has taken an emotional toll on much of our country. After too many months apart, the Mount Paran Christian School family rejoices in finally reuniting on campus for the start of a new academic year. As we do so, our school family brings great hope for the future, trusting in the One who knows all and who has a plan for us.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11



Understanding God: Why Does God Allow Evil?

August 19, 2020

The Bible instructors at Mount Paran Christian School have a vast knowledge of the Christian faith that they graciously share during their courses for students. These instructors have agreed to extend their expertise to a summer blog series exploring various aspects of Christianity. In this final installment of the series, Bible teacher Scott Minear addresses the challenging topic of reconciling the existence of evil in a world ruled by a loving God.

The problem of evil is the proverbial bogeyman of Christianity. A monster hiding beneath the bed or within the closet, whose presence we ignore for fear of discovering a horrific reality we are ill-equipped to understand and resolve. Despite efforts to hide within a tightly wrapped cocoon of bed sheets while fervently shutting anxious eyes, we still hear and feel the monster’s destructive movement and hostile presence. News of evil is exhaustingly constant. Experience of evil is undeniably painful. Evil, saturating human experience, is a problem, and the problem requires a definition and response.


Understanding God: What is Hell Like?

August 05, 2020

Hell is not a topic of conversation that comes up regularly for most people. This is understandable, of course, since hell is not a pleasant topic to discuss in the first place. Imagine sitting down at the dinner table and asking, "So who wants to talk about hell tonight?" The harsh glances and side-eyes would likely shut down the conversation quickly. Nevertheless, as Christians, it is essential to know what we believe about hell and why we believe what we do. Being firmly grounded in our beliefs will only help to portray the Christian Gospel accurately and better evangelize to those who are lost.


Understanding God: Do We Have Free Will?

July 31, 2020

Understanding God’s sovereignty can be tricky. Some Christians may say, “Oh, that’s how I became saved, because He made me come to know Him.” Others suggest, “That’s just a Calvinistic word that is overused.” Even others confess, “I have no idea what that is.” The spectrum of responses reflects an over-reliance on or even ignorance to what God’s sovereignty is and what it is means in our lives, frustrating most theologians and Bible teachers.

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Understanding God: Don't Mimic Culture

July 23, 2020

There is a serious issue as it relates to church and culture. Some believers struggle to grasp the fact that the church is called to engage culture, not to become indiscriminate consumers of it. Many believe that the issue stems from a failure to understand the true mission of Christ’s church. In addition, there is often a failure to understand that Christ’s Gospel transcends culture.

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Understanding God: How to Practice Extreme Gratitude

July 15, 2020

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” - G.K. Chesterton

 “Gratitude maximizes the enjoyment of the good.” - Dr. Robert Emmons

Most people do not realize how out-of-shape they are until they start working out. It’s a huge wake-up call to get on the treadmill after not running for over a year. A few minutes of light jogging will leave an unconditioned runner panting and struggling with every step. It can be truly eye-opening. Likewise, it is often not until we intentionally start practicing gratitude that we realize how much we take for granted. 


Understanding God: Why Christianity?

July 06, 2020

The Bible instructors at Mount Paran Christian School have a vast knowledge of the Christian faith that they graciously share during their courses for students. These instructors have agreed to extend their expertise to a summer blog series exploring various aspects of Christianity. First up, “Why Christianity?” will explore the Christian faith and how it differs from other theologies.

Teachers hear hundreds of questions a day. Some questions are quick and easy: “Can I sharpen my pencil?” or “What is today’s date?” Others, however, stop you in your tracks: “Why did this have to happen to me?” or “What do I do now?”

The truth is, as students grow older, teachers become the arbitrators of questions. As we mediate these inquiries, they are joined by a chorus of questions within ourselves. There are times when the “maybes” become overwhelming, leaving a feeling of desperation for certainty, for guarantees.


CommUNITY: A Call for Justice and Reconciliation

June 17, 2020


In these trying times, when we continually find ourselves asking, “Why, God?”, it is prudent to take a step back and dive into the Word for answers. God reveals that justice and reconciliation are the path to moving our country forward, uniting people who have been divided for too long.


Pathways: The Places MPCS Seniors Go

June 09, 2020

Oh, the places they will go. The Mount Paran Christian School Class of 2020 will head off to a variety of universities in the fall, bringing with them the solid academic foundation built at MPCS. These rising college freshman will be pursuing career pathways as varied as Forestry, Athletic Training, Forensics, Vocal Performance, as well as Business, Engineering, or Medicine. Read on to learn more about how some of these seniors came to choose their career pathways. 


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How To Raise Empathetic Children in Today's Culture

June 04, 2020

Given the current situation in America, with protests calling for social justice reforms, there is a real need for change. In an age of selfies, “look at me” social media, and an all-about-me mentality, teaching the next generation about empathy for others can be a real challenge. By their very nature, children are self-centered – an innate self-preservation tool that makes them seldom aware of their surroundings or the needs of others. It is up to adults to model and teach children how to love others as Jesus did through empathy and a genuine desire to want to help.


Exploring Heritage: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May 20, 2020

The month of May marks the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. It is a time of self-reflection for students, especially seniors. And, it is a nationally-recognized time to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage. High school counselor Viola Lussier explains the significance of this recognition, shares her personal insights as a person of Korean heritage, and offers advice for students to explore other cultures and their family’s heritage.



Portrait of a Graduate

May 12, 2020

There’s no question that a Mount Paran Christian School graduate is remarkable. But, what exactly is it about an MPCS student that sets them apart? How can their remarkability be defined – the “secret sauce,” if you will – that characterizes MPCS alumni? 

The MPCS family is comprised of students who feature six key characteristics: MPCS students crave deeper faith; embrace intellectual curiosity; prepare completely; refuse to be bystanders; live courageously; and reach forward, pressing on toward their goals. What does this look like, in reality? The 2020 Senior Spotlights - the five students who earned the top grade point averages in the class - beautifully represent this “Portrait of a Graduate.”


ParentEd.: Raising Athletes: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

May 07, 2020

As part of its ParentEd. speaker series, Mount Paran Christian School continues its commitment to partner with parents in the total education and raising of their children. Through each ParentEd. talk, MPCS provides families with great parenting resources and tips to help overcome obstacles as children grow through different stages. We also explore many trends and topics that are influencing young children and teens in today's culture.

Danny Kanell, CBS/Fox Sports Analyst and former NFL quarterback, visited the Knox Athletic Performance Center on the Mount Paran Christian School campus for an interview-style discussion. Facilitated by Athletic Director Mitch Jordan, Mr Kanell addressed the topic of  "Raising Athletes: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly.” Mr. Kanell drew from his vast experience and knowledge of the college and professional sports world to share tips for striking a balance in developing young athletes in today’s ultra-competitive culture.



ParentEd.: Here's What You Need to Know About College Admissions

April 30, 2020

Parents, do you remember applying for college? It was so easy! You likely had a paper application that asked a handful of questions, took the SAT once or twice and sent in your scores, and then your parents signed a check for $25. You may have been accepted to the three schools you applied to and chose the one that was close enough to home, but just far enough that your parents couldn’t surprise you without a phone call first. You may not have paid much attention to the ranking of the school’s degrees, if there was a football team, or the freshman retention rate. You and your parents decided you were going to college, picked one, and went for it. How times have changed! 



Middle School P.E.P. Talk for Parents

April 22, 2020

The purpose of the MPCS ParentEd. P.E.P. Talks series is to provide helpful information to parents as they navigate different stages of their children’s lives. Three unique sessions were developed and presented for each school division, from lower school through high school. The final part of this blog series focuses on the middle school years and its associated challenges and opportunities. 

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How to Choose the Best Private School for Your Family

April 15, 2020

Families in Cobb County and the northwest metro-Atlanta area have many options when it comes to choosing the best school for their children, from great neighborhood public schools to several private school alternatives. For those who feel certain about the value of an independent school education for their child, how should families make the decision on which school is the best for their family?

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7 Tips for Parents Working from Home

March 24, 2020

It's been a little over a week of Virtual Learning at Mount Paran Christian School. With many government mandates and suggestions that workplaces operate on a "work from home" basis, parents are also finding themselves navigating new territory. Feedback from this new experience is that families have managed the transition to working from home very well! To support parents' success at home both in supporting students as well as keeping up with work demands, we'd like to share seven helpful tips to make the most of your home office experience.  

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6 Tips For Making the Most of Virtual Learning

March 18, 2020

We are in an unprecedented time in modern history, with a shift to virtual learning required for the very health and safety of our communities. In many ways, recent technological advances have been preparing us for this shift, with students becoming more and more adept at using smart devices and more schools incorporating technology into the classrooms via smartboards and apps. But moving to entirely online courses with children studying from home has not been the norm for American society. The question remains, how do we successfully navigate these uncharted waters?

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Why Are Schools Cursing Cursive?

March 05, 2020

With the shift towards more technology in the classroom, it should come as no surprise that the majority of states—more than 40—no longer require handwriting instruction, especially cursive handwriting.

According to a report from 11Alive news, Georgia requires instruction of cursive writing, typically beginning in grade three. However, since cursive writing is not assessed at the state level and is left to local determination for assessment, in most Georgia schools, cursive writing is no longer being taught.



Legal Eagles: A Mock Trial Primer

February 26, 2020


Mock Trial is an enriching extracurricular activity that enables students to live out a courtroom experience and compete from both the attorney and witness roles. In addition to being competitive in nature, Mock Trial presents different challenges that both stretch students’ critical thinking skills and educate them on the law.

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Imago Dei: Why Diversity Matters

February 19, 2020

Writing and/or speaking about diversity is never easy. In some ways, I feel as though I will never satisfy everyone who reads or hears what I have to say. However, to remain silent about such issues, especially as the head of school at a good-sized Christian independent school would be wrong. It would be cowardly. Now, I know I do not have all the answers. I may not even have a lot of the answers, but I am always seeking them. Likewise, I am hopeful that you will come to this blog desiring to learn, to understand others’ perspectives, and to better exemplify the kindness of God here on earth.

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The Sacrifice

February 06, 2020

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

— Philippians 2:4

The MPC Lady Eagles softball team advanced to the Elite Eight in State Tournament play this past autumn. Leading up to their recent tournament appearance, the team kicked off their region play with what seemed an easy victory against their opponent. Yet, despite how effortless the team’s actions appeared, much hard work and preparation laid the groundwork before every game.

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Elementary School P.E.P. Talk for Parents

January 30, 2020

The purpose of the MPCS ParentEd. P.E.P. Talks series is to provide helpful information to parents as they navigate different stages of their children’s lives. Three unique sessions were developed and presented for each school division, from lower school through high school. The second part of this blog series focuses on the lower/elementary school years and its associated challenges and opportunities. 


We Are One People

January 21, 2020

During Veteran’s Day chapel this past November, MPCS Coach Connie Arnold described this special school-wide gathering as his “favorite day of the year.” Coach Arnold then introduced guest speaker Mel Pender Jr., an 82-year old, spry veteran who had just celebrated his birthday the week before. Dr. Pender shared an especially moving and unifying message for the school community of students, staff, parents, grandparents, and friends in attendance. 



ParentEd.: How to Overcome the Pressures of the Teenage Years

January 16, 2020

"Perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life-paralysis." ― Brené Brown

In a world where we feel the pressure to be perfect, it’s easy to forget that chasing perfection is an angst-riddled and lonely journey. We are not meant to do life alone, and, yet, in the spirit of appearing “perfect,” we often forget that parenting requires a village, not an Instagram filter. 




Hope in What We Cannot See

December 11, 2019

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Hope. A four-letter word that changes everything.

Hope in our future. Hope that God will bring beauty from our past. Hope in God’s protection. Hope in relationships. Hope in our circumstances. Hope in God’s will for our lives, our children’s lives, our grandchildren’s lives.



High School P.E.P. Talk for Parents

December 05, 2019

Under the umbrella of its ParentEd. program, Mount Paran Christian School created a new parent education series this academic year entitled P.E.P. Talks - Parents Engaging Purposefully. These P.E.P. Talks were intentionally designed to strengthen the school's partnership with the home, in alignment with the school's mission:

“Providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment, Mount Paran Christian School unites with home and church to prepare servant-leaders to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth.”

The purpose of the P.E.P. Talks series was to provide helpful information to parents as they navigate different stages of their children’s lives. Three unique sessions were developed and presented for each school division, from lower school through high school. This first part of this blog series focuses on managing the challenges of the high school years. 

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School Strategy In The Pursuit of Excellence

November 18, 2019

Strategic planning is a process that independent schools, non-profit organizations, and for-profit businesses and industries typically undertake on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting their mission, acting upon their core values, and appropriately setting goals around those strategic initiatives. As such, over the course of the 2019-2020 school year, MPCS is engaging in the strategic-planning process. This process is meant to be comprehensive and allow every stakeholder (students, alumni, parents, grandparents, board, faculty, and staff) to provide input into the direction of the school over the next five years. By engaging our people, our goal is to inspire and unite our community through the process, allowing us all to be a part of something bigger, so that our students may flourish.


Letter to My Alma Mater: Servant-Leadership

November 14, 2019


One of the many benefits of an independent school education is that school leadership has the freedom to choose curricula, which can include biblical teaching and religious discussions. The benefits of such an educational opportunity have an eternal impact on young lives, with students deepening their faith and developing servants’ hearts.

In this final installment of the “Letter to My Alma Mater” series, alumni share how their relationship with God transformed during their time at MPCS and how developing a strong belief system has shaped their future.


Letter to My Alma Mater: Athletics

November 07, 2019


For this third installment of the “Letter to My Alma Mater” series, former MPCS athletes offer their perspectives on making the transition from the field to the real world. Along the way, these alumni have made the MPC Way a part of their core values, demonstrating humility, passion, integrity, relentless pursuit, and a commitment to excellence in all they do.

          Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

MPCS Core Values

October 29, 2019

Over the past sixteen months, the Mount Paran Christian School Board of Trustees and Executive Council have spent extensive time discussing the mission of the school, the culture of our community, and the direction we are going in the future. As we head into the winter and spring quarters of this school year, we will engage the entire community in the strategic planning process (my next blog post will explore this process).  However, before we get there, we knew we would need to first examine the school’s mission as it was written years ago and determine the core values that will help us consider and make decisions about every area of the school for the coming years.


Letter to My Alma Mater: Arts

October 24, 2019

From encouraging creative thinking to working collaboratively, from honing skills to building confidence, the arts provide both an outlet for expression and input for developing innate artistic talent.

For the second part of the “Letter to My Alma Mater” series, MPCS alumni share how participation in the arts at the school changed their lives and offer advice for aspiring artists.

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Letter to My Alma Mater: Academics

October 17, 2019


To accomplish its mission of uniting with home and church to prepare servant-leaders to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth, Mount Paran Christian School focuses on four pillars in everything we do: Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Christian Life. Through participation in these key areas, MPCS students graduate with a strong foundation for beginning their adult lives. For this “Letter to My Alma Mater” blog series, we asked several alumni to share their experiences at MPCS and how their time at the school made an impact on the path they took upon graduation.


Robotics and the Body of Christ

October 03, 2019


If you’ve never been to a robotics competition, you need to go. You would be amazed—not just at the fascinating robots that are on display, the enormous amount of intelligence present, or the surprisingly satisfying smell of aluminum, plastic, and rubber—but by the way robotics teams have to strive to be the best they can be as a team. It’s also about how they can use their strengths to help other teams be successful.




One Language, 21 Cultures: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

September 26, 2019

Barbeque. Hurricane. Canoe. Though you may not realize it, these commonly used English words—among many others—originated from the language of the Taino people, indigenous to Puerto Rico and several other Caribbean islands. Beyond language, the Spanish culture has deeply influenced our society today. Chips and salsa have become so popular they are now one of the highest-selling snacks in the U.S., according to The rise of soccer as a popular sport in America can be partially attributed to its popularity within the Spanish culture. Famous Latin names are easily recognized, such as musician Jennifer Lopez, film star Antonio Banderas, actress Sofia Vergara, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and sports star Cristiano Ronaldo. And, so, for these—and many more—important contributions to America’s story, each year the U.S. government recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month.


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A Lesson on Love

September 12, 2019

Often, we wonder, “What does it take to be a good Christian?” In response, we may think about right versus wrong: saying the right thing, doing the right thing, thinking the right thing. Christianity is, however, more accurately summed up as love. It is our response to the love that God has for us that should compel us to want to do the right things, say the right things, and think the right things—not the other way around.


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ParentEd.: A Generation of Screenagers

August 28, 2019

Over the last two decades, our society has been transformed by technology, especially high-tech tablets and smart phones. Technology touches our lives in so many ways that the children of today are surrounded by it at every turn. It is not uncommon for today’s elementary-aged children to have their own personal tablet, smart phone, or wrist watch that communicates with parents. Toddlers can often navigate a tablet with ease. Even new kitchen appliances are incorporating smart communication technology into their design. The challenge facing our society is how to best navigate this high-tech culture in a healthy manner. How can we balance our use of technology in order to avoid falling into negative patterns of too much screen time?


Developing Leaders: Student Perspectives on How to goLEAD

August 22, 2019


A recently developed leadership program at Mount Paran Christian School is providing high school students with the opportunity to learn, practice, and reflect on leadership. Developed by Jason Beard, Assistant Head of High School, the goLEAD program’s goal is to develop and empower today’s servant-leaders by teaching essential principles of leadership, collaborating with community and school leaders, and providing authentic experiences in leadership.


goLEAD Year 2: Experiential Leadership

August 15, 2019

The goLEAD program has officially launched as a two-year curricular program, designed to prepare servant-leaders by teaching leadership principles, collaborating with community and school leaders, and providing authentic experiences for students to learn, practice, and reflect on their leadership. The thought of doing leadership intentionally was the spark that created a leadership-development program that incorporates a balance between learning about leadership and actually experiencing it.



15 Strong

July 25, 2019

What does it take to create a successful football program? How can smaller high schools and private schools nurture and sustain a culture of winning? Championships are the goal of every program and finding the formula for achieving that goal is the challenge for every high school football program. To help define and reach this goal in a tangible way, 15 Strong was born.

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ParentEd.: Redshirting - Do They Need That Extra Year?

July 15, 2019

MPCS recently held a ParentEd. talk titled “Redshirting: Should They Stay or Should They Go?” The seminar delved into the recent trend of giving students an additional year between preschool and Kindergarten. Both sides of this controversial issue were discussed, and the benefits of each side were outlined. Here are some takeaways from this informative ParentEd. seminar.  


Get There From Here: Military Academies

June 17, 2019


“I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”


Get There From Here: Ivy League

June 06, 2019

The ivy covered halls of the nation’s most selective academic schools are the dreams of many high school students. What is the key for unlocking the door of admission to these schools? Is it extracurricular activities? The number of AP classes? Glowing teacher recommendation letters? How do GPA and test scores fit into all of this? We have some answers.


Get There From Here: Collegiate Athletics

May 30, 2019

Picture yourself on a Saturday afternoon in September. Where are you? Sanford Stadium? Bobby Dodd Stadium? Your friend's living room with three TV’s hooked up for all the big games? How about the month of March. Are you constantly checking scores on your lunch break to see which team will be “The Cinderella Story” on the way to the big dance? The same could be said for June as we are watching softball and baseball Championship Series being played or in July on an Olympic year. We all have a team that we are rooting for to win for a variety of reasons.


Get There From Here: Arts in College

May 24, 2019

The ability to pursue arts degrees and careers after attending MPCS is simple and well-proven. Mount Paran Christian School has a unique, world-class facility and capable staff focused to prepare students for the study of the arts in higher education, be it instrumental or vocal music performance, dance, theatre, technical theatre, commercial music, traditional and digital visual arts, arts education, arts therapy, film-making, or cinematography – you name it. If an MPCS student can dream it, the arts program at MPCS can deliver instruction and provide experiences to help get them ready for arts majors in college. More importantly, we do so through the lens of our mission to fulfill the calling placed on them through their artistic gifts.


Get There From Here: Christian Colleges

May 17, 2019

Choosing a college that is a best fit academically, socially, and financially is an enormous decision.  Some students go for a school with an easily recognizable reputation, while others choose based on practicality of location and/or finances.  While there are many factors involved, one factor is often overlooked: choosing a college that will support and encourage a student’s faith while challenging him/her to apply faith to their studies. 

Commitment to Excellence the MPC Way

May 08, 2019


Earlier this year, Mount Paran Christian School won “Best Private School” in Cobb County. The school as a whole strives for excellence and commits to do everything as unto the Lord as He calls the Christian community to do. The MPC athletics program is no exception. As part of the MPC Way set of core values, our student-athletes also continue to strive for success on the field and on the court. Each team takes pride in the work they put in the off-season to prepare for competition. In our sports community, there is no greater-established tradition of attaining a higher level of excellence than that of our championship cheer team who embodies our fifth core value- “commitment to excellence.”

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Get There From Here: UGA and Georgia Tech

May 02, 2019

Deciding which college to attend is one of the most exciting and difficult decisions our seniors face each year. The MPCS college counseling department is available to guide students through this often perplexing process. From parent and student meetings starting in ninth grade to individualized sessions with juniors and seniors, college counseling at MPCS empowers our high school students to be proactive in their college search.  


Family Serve Day

April 17, 2019
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For well over a decade, one of the greatest days each year at Mount Paran Christian School has been our day of service. It was on this day that the entire staff and students would stop their normal routine of teaching and classes and spend the day serving our community. Through that annual experience, we have formed great partnerships with ministries in our community, exposed our students to the needs of those around us, and were able to focus on one of the things we want most for our kids — teaching them to show God’s love through serving others.


ParentEd.: What parents learned from Dr. Tim Elmore

April 12, 2019

This winter, more than a hundred members of our MPCS community were honored to attend a presentation by Dr. Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders. As a pastor and author inspiring a new generation of leaders, Dr. Elmore spoke about parenting of millennials and the emerging generation Z. As expected, Dr. Elmore did not disappoint! For nearly two hours, the audience clung on to every word. Parents left the Kristi Lynn Theatre that night both excited and overwhelmed about what was presented. To recap, we will reflect on the points that most resonated with parents and educators.

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Women's History Month: Girls in STEAM

March 28, 2019

With its official beginnings in 1987, Women’s History Month is celebrated in March to honor the contribution of women to American History.  Jimmy Carter, who issued our nation’s first Presidential proclamation of National Women’s History Week in 1980 explained, “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

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Our World Needs the Liberal Arts

March 21, 2019


At MPCS, we see the study of the liberal arts (humanities, science, mathematics, and the arts – broadly categorized) as a vehicle for enabling our students to develop as well-rounded individuals and to mature in community with one another. We see the liberal arts as a means of delivering truly important information and providing the tools that enable our students to think and process that information, so that upon graduation they have become well-informed, civically minded, flourishing humans. 


Relentless Effort the MPC Way

March 15, 2019


The MPC Way has been incorporated into the value system of the teams at Mount Paran Christian School. Our athletes are continually learning what it means to live out the five core values. One of the most difficult goals to accomplish as an athlete is putting forth relentless effort. Relentless effort means putting in the hard work and having determination. MPC coaches challenge student-athletes to focus on the goal and to put forth the effort to set themselves up for greatness. Sports involving running test a competitor's stamina like no other. The Mount Paran Christian track and field and cross country teams have showcased relentless effort even when the odds were stacked against them.


ParentEd. – Let's Talk: The Scoop on Speech Therapy

February 27, 2019

How children develop speech and language skills is a strong predictor of reading and school success. There is a strong connection between the correct development of speech and language skills and learning to read in school. Children who struggle to develop age-appropriate speech and language skills as toddlers and preschoolers often have difficulty becoming competent readers. It is important to recognize that although somewhat related, there are distinct differences between speech disorders and language disorders.


Technology and the Liberal Arts

February 18, 2019


Technology is playing a more significant role in the education of our students today. More specifically, the teaching and learning taking place within our schools, in many regards, is becoming dependent upon technological innovations that historically have not been necessary to produce well-rounded students. My own perspective is rooted in the liberal arts and the role they have played for centuries in building and equipping Christians for service and leadership. Mount Paran Christian School’s perspective is rooted in the knowledge that education is deeply relational and that every student must be known and loved to be effectively educated. Christianity is, after all, about relationship. 


African-American History Month: The Impact of Children and Inspiring Them Today

February 07, 2019

In observance of African-American History Month, we celebrate the impact made on our country by the men and women of our African-American community. But how often do we reflect on and celebrate the children who have impacted the course of history?

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Passion the MPC Way

January 31, 2019


The MPC Way has proven to be a vital tool to guide athletics at Mount Paran Christian. The five core values challenge Mount Paran Christian’s student-athletes to be followers of Christ and to do everything with an open heart. The boys’ varsity baseball team has been in the spotlight in the past, and with another season approaching, the Eagles are passionate about their sport, believing they will thrive in the upcoming, strenuous schedule.


An Introduction to the Liberal Arts

January 23, 2019


I am a dinosaur. I know it. Sometimes I am ashamed of it. Sometimes I am proud of it. I do not do technology well. If it has parts, I probably can’t fix it. If it requires batteries or electricity, the rule in our home is, “Bring it to Mommy.” I know, pathetic, right? I love paper books, libraries, and pens. I like to take notes with a mechanical pencil. Does that count as technology? 


United In Christ

January 15, 2019

UNITY: the state of being united or joined as a whole. What a powerful act… when put into practice.

In thinking about what unity looks like in a person, or someone who promotes unity as an essence of who they are, a few attributes arise. They are people who are gatherers, who bring people in, bring people together, and make everyone feel like they are valued and loved — and in doing so, they create a sense of unity.


Resolute For the New Year

January 08, 2019


Welcome to the New Year! I have a lot of hope in what promises to be a wonderful year living and learning together in community. Each year, right around this time, Americans (and maybe people in other nations as well) take to setting New Year’s Resolutions. In all honesty, I have never been much of a resolution-setter, and while I could certainly resolve to lose a few pounds (or more than a few!), resolutions like that have never been effective in my life. I have always been a big-vision, long-term thinker and doer. So for me, this year I pray I will be determined, dedicated, committed, and devoted as a Christian, husband, father, friend, and employee of MPCS.


Parent.Ed: “Connect" with Kids' Tech Use

December 14, 2018

Recently, our parents had the opportunity to view Kirk Cameron’s film, Connect, as part of our Parent.Ed series. The film is a documentary depicting the quandary Kirk and his wife found themselves in after purchasing cell phones for their six children. As many of us do, the couple felt pressured by their children to provide the devices. Quickly, they begun questioning their decision to grant their children’s requests. The film walks the viewer through the journey that Kirk travels to determine the best way to educate himself on the dangers of technology, specifically social media. He is also on a quest to discover the best way to monitor his children’s use of technology and assist them in finding a balance with their use of technology.


Remembering George H. W. Bush - A Presidential Visit to MPCS

December 04, 2018
In mid-May of 1992, Mount Paran Christian School Headmaster Susan King received a phone call from the White House, asking if the President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, could pay a visit there to promote his platform of family values. Newly appointed as head of school, Mrs. King thought it was a joke at first, but soon realized the call really was from the actual White House in Washington, D.C. The president’s office stated that he would like to use MPCS to speak about his support of school vouchers for parents, his stand against abortion on demand, and his hope for a balanced budget in Congress. Needless to say, the MPCS administration and Board of Trustees were more than happy to accommodate the important request.

PHOTO: Associate Pastor of Mt. Paran Church of God, Dr. Darrell Rice (whose son, Dr. Josh Rice '96 recently served a term on the MPCS Board of Trustees) met President George H. W. Bush at the Allgood Road campus.

Integrity the MPC Way

November 30, 2018


The MPC Way continues to make waves through the Mount Paran Christian sports community. To be able to demonstrate the core value of integrity, one must exhibit strong moral character and honesty when no one is watching. This characteristic should not go unnoticed, for MPC coaches believe it is vital for the athletics program and its athletes. Showcasing integrity often, especially in times of adversity, can prove difficult; however, this is not the case for the dominant MPC Lady Eagles volleyball team!

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Truth About Native American Heritage

November 14, 2018

The celebration of National American Indian Heritage Month was established in 1990 by President George W. Bush, but the movement to recognize the first Americans with a day set aside for that purpose actually began more than 85 years prior. Starting with the early efforts of leaders, like Dr. Arthur Parker of the Seneca tribewho was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York, Rev. Sherman Coolidge of the Arapahoe tribe who was president of the Congress of the American Indian Association, and Red Fox James of the Blackfoot tribe who traveled from state to state in a grass roots campaign for recognition of Native American heritage, recognition slowly began. Have you ever heard of them? Check it out, and if you dig around, you’ll find many more.

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International Fair

October 31, 2018

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all the earth! Scripture reminds us to rejoice in the Lord. That's what occurred at the International Fair last week. From Italian opera to African drumming, from traditional international clothing to treats from around the world, MPCS enjoyed an evening of celebrating the cultural diversity of our school family.

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AP Scholars Scoring and Soaring Higher

October 23, 2018

Congratulations to the 80 Mount Paran Christian School students who have been recognized as College Board Advanced Placement Scholars! Of the AP Scholar honorees, 35 are current juniors and seniors, paired with 45 AP Scholars from the class of 2018. These students are recognized as demonstrating outstanding college-level achievement through their performance on AP exams.

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Humility the MPC Way

October 12, 2018


Last year, student-athletes at Mount Paran Christian School came together to build a set of core values for the athletic programs at the school. In essence, these five words and scriptures they represent have become what is now known as the MPC Way. Athletic Director, Coach Jordan, said "The MPC Way is what we believe are foundational characteristics to our success on and off the playing field or court. The MPC Way guides all decisions and actions of our athletic teams." MPC athletics has made a proactive effort to better explain the core values by highlighting a particular sport and a team who exemplifies each value.


Civil Rights Collaboration

October 04, 2018

This past year, MPCS continued its innovation-grant curriculum for project-based collaboration among different grade-levels. High school Honors Government students had the unique opportunity to explore the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement alongside fifth grade and kindergarten students. Seniors were charged with the task of mentoring the fifth graders as they collaborated on a children’s storybook focusing on civil rights and citizenship. The books were specially crafted with original artwork, computer-generated designs, and a great deal of creative thought in the storylines.

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Project Lead The Way

September 20, 2018

"PLTW empowers students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges. Through our pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, students not only learn technical skills, but also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate, and collaborate. Teachers are equipped with the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning."1

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Connected for the Future

September 10, 2018


"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts." — C.S. Lewis

Technology is playing a more significant role in the education of today’s student. More specifically, the teaching and learning taking place within our classrooms, in many regards, is becoming more dependent upon technological innovations that historically have not been necessary to produce well-rounded, holistic students. While technology does not answer education’s great questions, we know that our students’ abilities to thrive in the 21st century are dependent upon their aptitude to think deeply and logically and to apply modern methods of problem solving that are accessible due in part to greater technological innovation.


Murray Arts Center Ten-Year Anniversary

August 27, 2018

On December 14, 2007, Mount Paran Christian School received the keys to a marvelous facility now known as The Murray Arts Center. Only six short weeks later, MPCS high school students took the stage presenting “Beauty and the Beast.” Our small staff utilized every tool at hand — all the lighting, mics, rigging, effects, and even flew two actors. It was not theater magic, but a wonderful act of God answering prayer. 

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Who is Tim Wiens?

August 02, 2018

In the summer of 2001, after my second year of teaching biology and chemistry at a suburban high school in Minnesota, I packed up my SUV and headed to Colorado. I needed some time away to pray and to ask God for his leading in my life. Every day that summer I would hike a new trail and pray that God would give me a husband that would make me a better woman. And just as God has done so often in my life, on the first day back at work in August, in a ballroom with hundreds of other educators, Tim Wiens was assigned a seat next to me. I remember almost every detail of that day (well, maybe not the actual professional development program): his sense of humor, his sharp mind, the way he interacted with everyone at the table and listened to them intently. I will save you the details of the embarrassing crush I developed on that day, but 18 months later, in that same ballroom, Tim Wiens asked me to marry him — and 15 years of marriage later, here we are, ready to begin our ministry at Mount Paran Christian School. 


Vision for the Future

July 19, 2018

What a pleasure it is to be a part of the Mount Paran Christian School community. As Katie, Eliot, and I have settled into our home and have been getting to know much more about the school and the many families that make up our community, I am more excited today about being at MPCS than ever before! Thank you for welcoming us so warmly and inviting us to be a part of your school family.

Since our arrival in March, it has been my privilege to sit down over meals, in your homes, by your pools, and in my office and to get to know so many of you. I look forward to much more of that in the future. I have also been blessed to hear so many of you express your love and gratitude for MPCS and for your children. Again, I look forward to hearing more about what makes Mount Paran Christian School such a special place. 

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A Farewell Charge

June 28, 2018
Allow me to begin my remarks by expressing my sincere appreciation to all of you who have, in various forms, provided me with affirming comments about my retirement whether on video, your attendance at events, your cards or e-mails expressing your best wishes, or an affirming remark over the past few weeks and months. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Please know I will be thinking of you as I sit on the deck of a mountain cabin or cruise a river in Europe, or enjoy Scotland's landscape this August. Thanks!

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Leaving a Legacy

June 14, 2018
James Kouzes and Barry Posner, two highly respected leadership researchers and authors, make the following observation in their book entitled The Leadership Challenge. “Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others.” And what an appropriate description of Dr. Tilley’s leadership! When Mount Paran Christian School personnel meet with other educators, both locally and nationally, Dr. Tilley’s name and his profound influence are invariably the first things mentioned in each conversation. Dr. Tilley and Mount Paran Christian School are considered synonymous with one another.  And rightly so! His servant-leadership has garnered great renown. 
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College Scholarships Cheat Sheet

June 01, 2018

Susie was awarded $70,000 in scholarship funds. Joey received more than $200,000! Have you ever wondered how these students are earning such large amounts of money to fund their secondary education? Mount Paran Christian School college counselors have the answers.


How to Build Your Best College Application

May 22, 2018

You’ve made some big decisions. You’ve narrowed down your list of desired colleges and you think you’ll be a great fit. You’ve worked hard in high school to get good grades, be involved in clubs or teams, and demonstrate your leadership abilities. As senior year approaches, deadlines for college applications will be looming. So how do you make sure you get noticed on your college application?

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Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare for College

May 16, 2018

Many parents and high school students feel overwhelmed and uninformed when it comes to planning for college. Some may feel that college is too far away to worry about, but the college application process is not as simple as it once was. Long gone are the days of simply filling out the application and paying the deposit. With colleges and universities increasing their entry requirements and costs annually, it is important to begin planning now. It is never too early to begin investigating what is needed to be accepted into your top college choices and research scholarship opportunities.  

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8 Tips for Choosing Your Ideal College

May 10, 2018

Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions about college? How do you know which school is the right fit? Is a big or small university environment best? And do you have enough credentials to get accepted? Based on an honest assessment of your strengths, special talents, and what you desire in a college, you should begin evaluating what schools you may have an interest in attending early in your high school career. Though applications aren’t required until senior year, planning ahead will help formulate these important choices.

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What Every Middle-Schooler Needs to Know About College

May 03, 2018

We know what you’re thinking. College? In middle school? Your child isn’t even a teenager yet. The middle school years are a formative time to begin thinking about what possibilities may be available for your child. After all, he or she will be on his or her own in just a few short years.

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April 26, 2018
"Providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment" is the opening phrase of the Mount Paran Christian School mission statement. While we do strive to provide the most academically challenging education in Atlanta, it is our commitment to become a strong, diverse, and inclusive environment that reflects the richness of what a Christ-centered environment is and how that sets us apart. In keeping with this core truth, MPCS has come together to initiate CommUNITY.

ParentEd. – Teen Trends

April 21, 2018

Keeping up with the latest teen trends is an exhausting and often impossible task. Just when we parents think we have wrapped our minds around a social media app or trendy phrase, a newer and “cooler” trend is born. Our teens face so many obstacles and pressures — ones that we have never had to face. Before we address a few teen trends, it’s important to understand the profile of a teen in today’s world..


To Save or Not to Save: 529 Plans are the Question

April 11, 2018

Saving is never easy, but it is perhaps one of the most important things parents can do to protect the future for themselves and for their child(ren). With no way of knowing what the future holds, we are nevertheless bound to be ready for it… or not ready for it, as the case may be. Employment changes, health changes, family needs change. All we can do is decide what is likely, what we hope to do, and what is a predictably possible, then do our best to prepare.


God-Honoring Imagination

March 29, 2018

I teach physics and engineering and I coach high school robotics. While I teach very different kinds of courses at MPCS, they all have one thing in common. I am always trying to teach students how to solve problems. So, my interest was piqued when I ran across a quote this weekend, made by the esteemed twentieth-century mathematician Howard Eves:

"An expert problem-solver must be endowed with two incompatible qualities: a restless imagination and a patient pertinacity."


Defining Directed Studies

March 22, 2018

What is the core purpose of a Christian school education? In other words, what is a Christian school’s Why? Not peripherally, but at its core. First, because human beings enter the world with brains, not minds, it is imperative that Christian schools inspire their students to view their brains as magnificent gifts from God and, furthermore, view the development of God-honoring minds as one of life’s most important priorities. In addition, if a Christian education is to be excellent in service to both God and people, it must facilitate students’ acquisition of critical knowledge and skills through a biblical lens, equipping learners to thrive in the present and the educational and vocational arenas of the future.

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March 16, 2018

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. - 1 John 3:18

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 marked one month from the senseless school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida. If you have been following the news, students in schools all over the country were joining together in remembrance of the event in a planned 17-minute walkout... many schools except ours. A group of students at Mount Paran Christian School decided to do something more — to not just walk OUTside... but to look INside.

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How to Prepare Preschoolers for a 21st-Century Kindergarten

March 01, 2018


Inside the quaint and cozy Sewell Cottage at Mount Paran Christian School, groups of preschoolers are clustered around a SMART Table. They’re learning about habitats- dragging virtual animals on the touch-screen to the correct environments and clicking to make the animals howl or cluck. The children’s giggles indicate they’re having a ball, and they don’t even realize how much they’re learning, or that they’re mastering cutting-edge technology at the age of three.

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Billy Graham and Black History Month 

February 27, 2018

In the early 1950’s racial tension was filling America’s borders. No part of society was untouched by this. Even our churches were shamefully segregated each Sunday. It was in these times that the Rev. Billy Graham did something unthinkable; he held crusades in the South where hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children of every race stood together and worshipped the Lord. Well as many of you know, on March 21, the Rev. Billy Graham went home to be with the Lord. He was 99. Billy Graham boldly proclaimed the Gospel for over seven decades of his life, preaching the Word of God to more people of all races than anyone else in history. In the end, Graham's legacy is one that is filled with a message of love, togetherness, and unity — a message that, even during Black History Month in 2018, is still needed.

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February 22, 2018
We live in a world that is changing exponentially with each passing day - change that can bring much turbulence and great uncertainty. It is in these times that our society must have leaders who put the needs of others above themselves and provide a sense of stability and hope to those who follow. But from where do these leaders come?

My Love (Hate) of Learning

February 15, 2018


“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but rather of the lifelong attempt to acquire it,” said Albert Einstein. How has your education contributed to who you are today?

Imagine that friend who has been there from the start. The one who is your rock in hard times and your happiness in good times. The one who teaches you how to look at life differently. The one who pushes you outside your comfort zone but comforts you when you feel nervous. Education has been that friend for me. It has come in many forms and from many directions, but it has always been there.


Dream Killers

February 07, 2018

Imagine walking into a high school classroom early in the morning and 16 teenage students are already huddled in a semi-circle anxiously awaiting the start of a leadership session. Yes, a lesson on leadership.  The students are dressed in oxford shirts, school ties, skirts, and khakis while posing studiously for the picture. A widescreen television is directly in front of the group with a picture of Robert E. Lee High School students from the toughest part of Jacksonville, Florida. These students are sporting t-shirts, jeans, and creative hair styles while positioned in fun poses for the picture.


ParentEd. – Understanding Dyslexia

February 02, 2018

Mount Paran Christian School invited Brenda Fitzgerald, Ed.S/Curriculum Specialist, to help bring understanding about dyslexia to our parent community. The evening offered parents and educators a time to learn from Mrs. Fitzgerald, who specializes in reading and reading disabilities. It is not only our goal to set up our students for success, but also to be a resource for our parents and the local community in encouraging children who may need additional academic support, such as those who have dyslexia.


The Influence of Teens with a Pen

January 26, 2018

Mount Paran Christian School teenagers are using the power of the written word to influence and encourage others in their faith. For over a decade, students in select English and Creative Writing courses at MPCS have embraced the challenge to write devotional articles for a Christian teen magazine. Upper Room Ministries’ Devozine, written by teens for teens, has an online and print readership of almost 200,000 this twentieth year of publication. Whether for group Bible studies or private meditation, students can access daily devotionals on their website at

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ParentEd. – Venom of Vaping

January 11, 2018

They are popping up on almost every corner. Vape shops — with their flashy neon signs and catchy names, they are luring our kids to come in and explore what they have to offer. Admittedly, the flavors are enticing: watermelon gummies, root beer float, chai tea latte, apple caramel drop. How can something that sounds so delicious and harmless pose a threat to our kids? After all, it’s not smoking, right?


Stanley Club

January 05, 2018

While the beginning of a new year causes me to look forward with excited anticipation of what God has planned for MPCS, it also allows me to reflect on the people who have brought us to this moment in time. A school is best defined by the people who commit long-term to the mission of a place; those who share in both the growing pains and struggles that naturally come with the educational adventure, as well as the joys and rewards of seeing a mission advanced and student lives transformed.

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Symbols of His Gift

December 19, 2017

Over the past few decades, the legendary Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog has featured some pretty amazing gifts. Their catalog in the 60’s offered his-and-her submarines for $18,000 and a hot air balloon for $6,000. In 1970, you could buy a life size Noah’s Ark, complete with some animals for $588,000. And this year is no can purchase a New Year's Eve Times Square party for a measly $1.6 million.
Maybe a million dollar party isn't at the top of your wish list this year, but perhaps you have certain expectations of what you hope to find waiting for you under the Christmas tree. If you put your hope in what gifts are found under the tree, you will be very disappointed. However, if you have put your trust in the Christ of Christmas, you will never be disappointed. Look with me at the Christmas “symbols” of the gifts Paul talks about in Romans. 


ParentEd. – Five Tips for Studying Smarter, Not Harder

December 13, 2017

The struggle is real. When asked about the top frustrations created by the challenge of guiding their children through thirteen years of school, parents listed these roadblocks related to their child's homework and study habits: no organization, lack of work ethic, procrastination, and failure to accept responsiblity. For many families, these challenges cause frustration, tears, and disappointment.


Beyond the Script

December 06, 2017

Dramaturgy in American Literature Classes   

MPCS junior, Jimmy Jennings as Jo March? Classmate, Noah Rymut as Beth? Such interesting casting may have occurred in MPCS American Literature classes this semester. Long and sentimental, yet loved by many, the novel Little Women is seldom read in the classroom. However, when the Mount Paran Christian School drama department announced a plan to produce the musical version of the play, a cross-curricular project was born.


God's Perspective

November 30, 2017

Oswald Chambers wrote,

“The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him. We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be.”

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For the Record

November 14, 2017

Most in the Mount Paran Christian School community are aware that our MPC cheerleaders recently won consecutive State competition cheer title number SIX. What an accomplishment! As did many of you, I had the privilege of watching their practice routine before they left, and I was blown away! After witnessing the endless tumbles, flips, and tosses, one thing was very clear -- these girls were ready. Their preparation, discipline, and trust in each other was evident in their performance. It was clear to all who were watching.


Service Through Sacrifice

November 08, 2017

I want to tell you about one of my first memories of a veteran. When I was about six years old, I remember watching my father labor to meticulously build 40 picnic tables as one of his side jobs. He had to work these extra jobs because he took a pay cut when his company moved him to working a desk job. You see, my father served as a munitions specialist in the Air Force and was stationed in Germany around 1960. His job was to reach his arm into a nuclear warhead to arm it for daily practice runs. This exposure to radiation caused my father to lose that arm (and later his shoulder) to cancer. However, he went ahead and built those 40 picnic tables with one arm.


You Say You Want Reformation

October 31, 2017

Have you ever felt that you weren’t good enough? That no matter how hard you tried you could never measure up? Every day, we face expectations from parents, teachers, coaches, and we often fall short. Our rooms are never clean enough, our grades are never good enough, our efforts on the field are never strong enough. As much as we aim to please, we are caught in a constant battle of meeting demands that seem to be just out of our reach. We are left with the tension of trying harder or simply giving up. However, the anniversary of the Reformation reminds us of the hope we have.

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STEAM-Training Teachers

October 20, 2017

One of the most prominent questions in education today is how can we properly prepare our students for the world of the 21st century. MPCS leadership is answering this question in many ways. As an institution striving for academic excellence and best practices for student learning and retention, MPCS has placed a large emphasis on teacher training. While we expect our children to learn curriculum, it is equally important that our staff be continual learners themselves. 

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High School Fishing

October 12, 2017

Last year, MPC athletics embarked on the inaugural season of the Mount Paran Christian fishing team. Our school ventured into sport fishing due to several students already fishing through local bass clubs. Because MPCS is blessed with having Lake McDonald on campus, it was a natural fit to have our own fishing team. Athletic Director, Mitch Jordan, and Outdoor Education Teacher/Coach, Connie Arnold, gave the green light to proceed with this amazing opportunity for our school.



October 06, 2017

In today’s culture, information is readily accessible on laptops or digital devices. It’s time for library media centers to make a change from the information age to the imagination age. 

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Integration of Art, Technology, and Music

September 29, 2017

Individually, music, art, and STEAM classes in the MPCS lower school bring excitement and smiles to the faces of our students who thrive in these creative, hands-on environments. Add in a collaborative project that moves through all three classrooms, and the energy becomes contagious.

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Worried About Children

September 25, 2017

I had an occasion recently to review an article written by the American Culture and Faith Institute which has, as its sole purpose, to educate, motivate, and activate Christians to engage in cultural transformations in ways that are consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The article, entitled “Americans Worried About Children,” provided a sobering analysis of a 2017 survey, which was conducted among adults in the United States. It attempted to identify the impact of the contemporary culture on the lives of our children and the views of Christians in regard to this phenomenon.


The MPC Way

September 13, 2017

In the winter of 2017, a committee of head coaches began the process of developing a clear and compelling vision for the Mount Paran Christian athletic program. We posed a series of questions: What is our current athletic program’s culture? Is program success measured in only wins and losses? What does a championship culture look like? Championship teams and programs have a winning way of doing things. Collectively, we want our student-athletes, teams, coaches, parents, fans, and community to share a winning way of conduct on and off the field of play.

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Connected Learning Program

September 08, 2017

MPCS has launched into high-tech, collaborative learning in middle school with the introduction of the Connected Learning Program. Personal learning devices and digitalized curriculum directly support our goal to create an environment that equips students to think skillfully and innovatively with greater opportunities to expand real-world application beyond classroom walls.

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September 01, 2017

#BeKind is a focused effort to teach students to value the God-given uniqueness of every child, friend, teacher, coach, staff member, etc. It is more than just acting nicely - it is learning the core values of good character and effective interpersonal skills. It is a way to develop relationships - crossing cultural, developmental, and socioeconomic boundaries, and encouraging intentional acts of kindness, big or small. It is about being "salt and light" by modeling Christ-like character to all of those around us. You may have already heard of the #BeKind "movement" and we have now brought it to MPCS in every grade-level! 


On His Way to Harvard

August 23, 2017
The first few days of any school year have always presented multiple opportunities for me to witness affirmations of Mount Paran Christian School’s mission and experience. One such serendipitous moment came the first Wednesday of school. While on my way to the middle school chapel, the front office receptionist informed me that Preston Moore was here to see me. I gladly shifted direction and welcomed this young man into my office. I was honored he took time to come see his old headmaster.
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Eclipse of the Heart

August 21, 2017

Today we will experience a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon... the eclipse! Solar eclipses are an amazing phenomenon. As the moon slides between the earth and the sun, the sun’s brilliance gradually fades. Its light grows dim as if there’s a layer of dust on everything you see. The effect is most dramatic on a bright cloudless day. While the eclipse is in full force, it’s easy to forget that the sun is still there in all its force and glory.

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Uncovering the Eclipse

August 18, 2017

BRAD SMITH (from 2017 blog, republished for the 2024 eclipse)

"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being." — Isaac Newton, General Scholium to the Principia Mathematica, 1713

As many in America prepare for the impending total eclipse taking place on Monday afternoon, the phenomenon provides an opportunity for more than just an education in science and astronomy. It is a chance to focus on the wondrous Creator who has set in motion even the unperceived features of our universe.

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August 11, 2017

Ellis Island. Bees. Computers. Bats. What could these possibly have in common? They are the winning ideas proposed to MPCS administration for the inaugural year of the Innovation in Teaching Grant. Funds raised each year from the PTF auction are typically used for classroom needs and technology. However, this year a unique approach to the use of these funds was established. PTF contributed $10,500 toward “innovation grants.”

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Biblical Worldview

August 02, 2017

2 Corintians 10:4-5

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...

Just recently I found my vision fading… blurring. Everything I was looking at was not the same. That was really hard to accept for someone who has always had better than 20/20 vision.

Pre-K Full STEAM Ahead

July 27, 2017

Innovation. We hear and see it often. It’s the latest buzz word in the field of education. What does this mean for Mount Paran Christian School? And more specifically, is STEAM truly beneficial for our younger learners?

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Gears in Motion

July 20, 2017

Some of the most profound and enlightening experiences a student can have in high school involve authentic encounters with industry professionals. On rare occasions, a partner-in-education extends its influence far beyond a surface effect — and the results for students can be life-altering. One such opportunity has unfolded for the students in the Concepts of Engineering class at Mount Paran Christian School.

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How to Build a Roller Coaster

July 13, 2017

What's new in middle school science? STEAM collaboration and research through interdisciplinary subjects. Not only are MPCS students grasping difficult concepts in mathematics and physical science, they are having fun while doing it. 

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Innovating for the Future

July 06, 2017

Through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math

In Kathleen Cushman’s book entitled Fires in the Mind, from the perspective of learners she explores what inspires, what engages, and what leads to the development of exceptional mastery. At Mount Paran Christian School, similar explorations dominate our conversations with students and faculty. Specifically, we continue to reflect on the following: 

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“Growing" in Project-Based Curriculum

June 29, 2017


The lower school at Mount Paran Christian School is always a fun and busy place, but this past spring it was especially exciting in second grade. The second grade teachers along with the help of Lower School Head, Dr. Davis, embarked on a six-week pilot program to introduce project-based learning to their students. 

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The Eagles Have Landed

June 22, 2017

When you think of Boy Scouts, what comes to your mind? Uniforms? Tents and camping? Pinewood derby-racing? Most likely, some common thoughts would be about young men learning to be responsible citizens, or learning service or other moral values. In fact, the Scout Law reads: “A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”

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A Reflection of Christian Education

June 15, 2017
I am often asked to capture what sets MPCS apart from other educational settings. At times I find it difficult, not only to place into words the feelings and personal connections we have with our students and parents but also to comprehend how critical our Christian curriculum is to the spiritual foundation of our children.

A Summer So Sweet

June 05, 2017


As a student at Mount Paran Christian School, I see my school striving to help the environment. Our environmental science teacher, Mr. Justin Nelson, had the vision to install a beehive near the high school. We collaborated with some other classes for the project. The hive was installed near Lake McDonald on the MPCS campus, in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain.

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Welcome to WingTips, a Mount Paran Christian School Blog. The MPCS Blog features many independent school contributors and thought-leaders.

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Providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment, Mount Paran Christian School unites with home and church to prepare servant-leaders to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth.


Welcome to WingTips, a Mount Paran Christian School Blog. The MPCS Blog features many independent school contributors and thought-leaders.

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Recommended Series


Providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment, Mount Paran Christian School unites with home and church to prepare servant-leaders to honor God, love others, and walk in Truth.