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The State of Our Hilton Head and Bluffton Schools: Part 3

The Hilton Head Christian Academy

The Hilton Head Christian Academy is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Hilton Head Christian Academy was founded in 1979 and has a 13-acre campus.  The Academy teaches K5-12.

This is the third of a six part series about the biggest issues facing Hilton Head and Bluffton schools today. The three biggest issues identified by the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce are:

  • The quality of instruction.
  • School funding.
  • The explosive growth of our community.

The Chamber invited several of Beaufort County’s top educators and athletic coaches to speakabout these topics at the Hilton Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island on August 28, 2008.  The speakers’ comments are presented in six parts.  This is part three.  The speakers were:

  1. Fred Washington Jr, Chairman, Beaufort County School Board.
  2. Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Superintendent, Beaufort County Schools.
  3. Mike Lindsey, Headmaster, Hilton Head Christian Academy.
  4. Peter Cooper, Interim Headmaster, Hilton Head Preparatory School.
  5. Questions from the audience and answers from the panel.
  6. The coaches speak about student-athletes, and character.

Headmaster Mike Lindsey

Mr. Lindsey has been the Headmaster of the Hilton Head Christian Academy since 1992.  Previously, he served as Headmaster of the East Hill Christian School in Pensacola for seven years.  He has been an educator since 1975 following seven years as a USAF pilot.  Mr. Lindsey has a business administration degree from Troy State University and and educational administration degree from Valdosta State University. The following is a summary of Mr. Lindsey’s comments at the State of the Schools event in August, 2008.

Children Revitalize My Life

Today, a parent really can’t go wrong with any school on Hilton Head Island that they choose for their child.

Headmaster Mike Lindsey

The faculty and administration of each school is energized and they all have the goal of providing the best education possible for their students.  This is certainly true of the Hilton Head Christian Academy.

When I first came to the Academy, I thought at the time that I might just stay for a couple of years.  But, seventeen years later, I keep showing up.   I am much older than when I arrived, but the kids never change.  They are always the same age.  It has been a rich experience.

I wear two hats at our school.  I am both the Headmaster and a teacher.  There is nothing that compares with the experience of being in the classroom and teaching children, a constant reminder about why I have spent the last 33 years of my adult life with children.

We Are a Mission Driven School

We are a mission based school and part of our mission is to create and maintain a stable and predictable culture, a culture that our parents identify with closely.  We are in partnership with our parents and we work hard to maintain the culture that our parents want us to have.

We are research based.  There are lots of ideas out there but we have limited resources to spend.  We have to know that something works before we buy it.  One of the greatest challenges that I face is to know how and where to invest our money.   

We are data driven.  In any business, you have to know what is working.  We have to hold ourselves accountable for the job that we do.  One of ways that we measure academic progress is with RIT scores.  Public schools use them and we thought that it would be a good idea if we did too.  It definitely helps us to evaluate a public school student who wants to come to our school.  To our surprise, we found out that we are the only private school in the State that uses them.  

We are results oriented.  The data must drive you somewhere that you want to go.  Education hinges on a few important things but some larger issues can get in the way.  If we make mistakes we will pay for them in our next year’s enrollment.  I always remind myself that every year I have to sell 500 seats.

 The Hilton Head Christian Academy is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

We Want The Best Teachers

It is of the greatest importance who we admit and who we employ.  The best teachers pay dividends with the performance of our students.  Therefore, we go nationally to find the best teachers we can get and do whatever it takes to meet their salary requirements.  Seventy per cent of our teachers have masters degrees.  It they do not have a masters degree, they have to enter a masters degree program within a reasonable amount of time.  We want the level of our teachers to be better and better every year.

Technology Is Very Important

Technology is a big deal and it is expensive.  We cannot pay for everything that we would like to have but we have added white board technology to most of our classrooms and we expect to have them it in of our classrooms by the end of 2009. 

Personal Student Care

Our parents want their child to be both educated and cared for.   They want to make sure that someone is there to step into their lives and help them.  Perhaps they need help in assimilating into our school or they don’t seem to be living up to their potentials.  To make sure that this is done, we have created a new position of Assistant Headmaster for Student Development and so far, this has worked out very well for our school.

Richard Kadesch, Owner and Broker-in-Charge
The Gated Community Specialist ®
Go Gated Realty ®
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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