The Foundation Academy family is headed into 2020 with a fresh vision and plenty of plans.
Students, parents and faculty gathered at the Foundation Academy gymnasium Thursday, Jan. 16, to hear about everything happening at the West Orange-area private school — and to learn more about what lies ahead.
Early on, the audience heard from Upper Campus Student Pastor Ken Mann, who touched on the many ways that Foundation Academy students are taught God’s word and biblical principles.
“We believe here at Foundation that faith is the truest foundation of our academy, whether it’s at Plant Street, Tilden Road or our Lakeside campus,” Mann said. “The elements that make faith at Foundation Academy real, relevant and alive take place in several different places: our Upper and Lower School chapels, on the sport fields and courts, in classrooms and also throughout our community.”
Mann highlighted the student-led praise band that performs in the chapel, how the campuses start every day with a prayer over the PA systems, and how students and teachers share testimonies throughout the year.
“The evidence of the impact that FA has made on the faith of our students and their families is very clear,” Mann said. “This past year we’ve had 18 decisions for Christ during a special chapel. … We had seven Lower School students that prayed to receive Christ. We had six students in the Upper School chapel that were baptized in December.”
Carol Grosshans, vice president of education at Foundation Academy, spoke to the audience about the numerous milestones Foundation Academy has seen over the past year, including the start of kindergarten classes on the new Lakeside campus, enrollment reaching a record number of 900 students and the Class of 2019 receiving more than $4 million in academic and athletic scholarship opportunities.
“This year’s senior class is almost halfway there already in the awards they have received so far this year, just in academic awards,” Grosshans said.
She added that Foundation Academy plans to expand its robotics program in both the Lower and Upper School, along with starting a new television production program for the Upper School where students can create a daily school news program.
There’s much to come in the near future, Grosshans said.
“Sculpting by the master is not always an easy thing, and at times it can be uncomfortable,” she said. “As an administrative team, we are excited to see his continued refinement. … We are not perfect — we are still in process — however, God has a master plan, and our desire is to be found faithful as a place where academic excellence and spiritual growth is the start of building a foundation for life.”
Foundation Academy President Dave Buckles concluded the evening with exciting news: the Upper School is in for permitting on new roads, parking and a new weight room for the gymnasium.
“It’s been a lot of work, but just think — dreams become reality and the vision becomes clearer,” Buckles said.
“I look at Foundation Academy as a type of a sculpture,” he said. “As we continue to refine what we’re currently doing and our four pillars — faith, academics, fine arts and athletics — we will continue to strive to be one of the best schools in Central Florida. As a sculptor in the world of education, we’ll be creating a masterpiece — and that masterpiece will be your son or daughter or grandchild to be a child of God. … Thank you for allowing all of us to play a part in your child’s life.”
Buckles said after the presentation that the school also is currently in the design phase for a 17,000-square-foot classroom addition that will have two science rooms, a band/drama room and eight classrooms.