Classical Christian Academy Adopts New House System
By Elizabeth D. and the CCA Yearbook Staff
18 May 2018 — North Fort Myers, Fla. — Classical Christian Academy took part in some friendly competition this school year with the addition of the House System. All CCA families were divided into four “houses,” which function similarly to fraternities. The house system is designed to boost school spirit and fellowship between families.
“It made us feel more connected,” said CCA parent Mrs. Stacie Smith.
Each house was assigned a color and was named after a missionary who influenced the world. In order to gain points — and win the end-of-the-year trophy — parents, students and staff members participated in field trips, spirit days and community service events, along with team-building activities throughout the school year.
The friendly competition between houses culminated with Maverick Games during the last week of school. Challenges included tug-of-war, obstacle courses, relays, nine square and more. At the end of the day, a trophy was awarded to the house which amassed the most points for the 2017-18 school year.
“The motivation on making the houses was to build community and unity within the school,” explained CCA Principal Amy Davis.
Here are some accomplishments and reflections from the first year of the CCA House System:
Aylward House (Orange)
The Aylward house is named after Gladys Aylward, who was a Christian missionary to China. In China, Aylward took care of many orphans. When the area she was staying in was attacked by Japanese forces, she led over 100 orphans to safety through the mountains. In addition to leading them to safety, she led many of them to Christ.
The Aylward House teamed up with the Liddell house for some community service. They collected peanut butter and jelly for WayFM’s “PB&J Wars” to provide meals for struggling families over the summer. Elliott House also joined in with an end-of-year PB&J drive.
Mrs. Shawna Christenson is the staff member assigned to the Aylward House, as well as a CCA parent. During “house colors” day, Mrs. Christenson went all out with an orange boa, orange shoes, orange pants, and even fake orange eyelashes.
When asked how the Aylward House contributed to better fellowship within CCA,
Gabby C. said, “The Aylward House has made me feel more welcomed as a new student.”
Carmichael House (Red):
The Carmichael house was named after Amy Carmichael, a missionary in India who rescued enslaved temple children and cared for them at the orphanage she opened, working in India continuously for 55 years. She saved over 1,000 girls who would have faced a very bleak future being temple children and introduced them to the love of Christ, giving them a hope and a future.
Seventh grader Morgan B. reflected on one of Carmichael’s most famous quotes: “It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire that He creates.” Morgan explained, “This quote teaches us that if God has a purpose for us to accomplish, he will help us finish it to the greatest of our abilities.”
When asked how Amy Carmichael’s story affected her, Jusolyn F. said, “I thought it was really cool how she opened an orphanage for all of those children in need of a place to stay and food to eat. She showed God’s compassion and love, and touched many lives. I love that she was determined to help the needy in a faraway country.”
“What I hope and pray that students take from her story is that she was a real person doing God’s work in a dangerous time,” said CCA Science Teacher Mrs. Alison Cotarelo. “I feel that it is more meaningful to students to be representing a missionary that did God’s work, rather than having a random color, or a made up name.”
Mrs. Cotarelo organized a community service opportunity for her house called “Socks n’ Sundaes.” They met at McDonald’s and collected socks to give to needy people, and then grabbed sundaes to enjoy each other’s company and fellowship.
Mrs. Debbie Briggs, a CCA parent from the Carmichael House, thought the best part of the house system was that there was a chance for fellowship with families she would not normally get to interact with.
Elliot House (Green):
The Elliot house was named after missionary Jim Elliot. He was one of five missionaries killed while trying to evangelize the people of Ecuador. He believed so strongly in what God’s plan was for him that he gave his life to bring others to Christ.
To Jonathan W., Jim Elliot’s story meant we should have no limitations on how far we take the gospel. For Miranda W., it was very inspirational and moving to see how far Jim Elliot went to preach the gospel, even if it meant putting his own life in danger.
During the Christmas season, the Elliot House selected four families connected with Nations Association Charities, who needed assistance in order to be able to give their children Christmas presents. They also organized a fellowship opportunity at Wendy’s called “Frosties on Friday.”
CCA Lower School Principal Mrs. Tabitha Dillehay thinks the house system was very successful, and she loves the competition! The Elliot house has been ahead the entire year, and Mrs. Dillehay is not afraid to let anyone know that. She believes her house is the most spirited because they participate in all house events.
Liddell House (Yellow):
The Liddell House is named after missionary and Olympic runner Eric Liddell. In the 1924 Summer Olympics, Liddell refused to run in a race, which he was favored to win, because it was on Sunday. Instead he ran in a race on a weekday. After the Olympics, Liddell returned to China, where he was born, to become a missionary.
The first event the Liddell House did was writing thank you notes to the local Florida Power & Light workers. Mrs. Rebecca Moldovan said that the FPL workers worked really hard after Hurricane Irma.
“The house system is good for new families and current families,” said Mrs. Moldovan. “This makes our school more connected, and families are less able to slip through the cracks and be ignored.”
She said the competition between houses was really fun. Her favorite part was the first parent meeting when she got all dressed up. She wore yellow glasses, yellow pom-poms, a yellow tutu, yellow headband, yellow mustache and a yellow lei. She was voted “most spirited parent,” although she had strong competition from Mrs. Christenson.
Mrs Dillehay and Mrs. Moldovan have been two of the most spirited — and competitive — staff members. Mrs. Dillehay told us, “Mrs. Moldovan won ‘most spirited’ at the first parent meeting, and I need to get that victory over her because she has that victory over me.”
In response to Mrs. Dillehay’s comment, Mrs. Moldovan retorted, “Mrs. Dillehay is a wonderful person, and she is so hopeful. I just hope she does not cry too much when she is defeated during the Maverick Games!”
In a trash talk sessions between Mrs. Dillehay and Mrs. Briggs of the Carmichael House, Mrs. Briggs reminded Mrs Dillehay, “What comes right before the fall? Oh, Pride!”
Elliot House was narrowly defeated by the Aylward House in the Maverick Games. However, the Elliot House did indeed take home the trophy as the CCA Annual House Winner, having amassed a greater total of points throughout the school year. Everyone had fun at the Maverick Games and enjoyed the friendly competition.
CCA plans to continue the house system and has already turned Student Council into House Council in order to give them a more active role in the house system. More opportunities for house points, social gatherings and competition are eagerly anticipated in the 2018-2019 school year!
About Classical Christian Academy:
Classical Christian Academy is the premier hybrid school in Southwest Florida. CCA offers families an academically rigorous and Christ-centered K-12 education option that blend the best aspects of private and homeschooling. Classical Christian Academy is a registered 501c(3) organization. For more information, visit www.discovercca.org and like CCA on www.facebook.com/DiscoverCCA.