Introducing: The ACA House System!

This month, we officially launched the ACA House System in the middle school! We named each of our four houses for ancient cities with rich histories: Alexandria, Carthage, Constantinople, and Damascus.

8th graders and middle school teachers were sorted into predetermined houses in the first of the sorting ceremonies. 6th and 7th grade students were sorted later in the week by drawing one of 4 house colors out of a hat. At this second sorting ceremony, the houses also competed in their first competition, and the first-ever house points were awarded. The first point was given to 7th grader Ginger Respess from House Damascus for her display of virtue in the past week (pictured second row, left). The second was given to the House with the best cheer: Alexandria (pictured second row, right)!

“We are very excited to be launching the House System this year in our middle grades,” said Mr. Schepps, Upper School Assistant Principal. “We hope it will provide an important cultural layer in our Middle School. As it grows, the House System will instill a sense of citizenship and ownership that can be unique to ACA as it gives students new opportunities to lead, serve, and compete. Special thanks to Mr. Holt (5th grade) for serving as our founding Dean of Houses, to Mr. McClatchey for creating our logos, and to Mr. Rosenzweig, the Founder of the Feast, for bringing this idea and structure to us!”

Impressive Scores from Talented Seniors

Congratulations to two of our seniors, Mary Catherine Adams and Charlie Wessinger, who earned the highest scores out of the Class of 2022 on the SAT. Charlie and Mary Catherine scored in the top 1% of all test takers, scoring high enough to qualify as National Merit Semifinalists.

To celebrate their achievement, we asked some of Mary Catherine and Charlie’s teachers to share insight into their experience with these exceptional students in their classrooms:

Mary Catherine Adams

  • “She constantly works to help her classmates understand when they are struggling. In this way, she embodies both the moral and intellectual virtue ACA seeks in its students.”
  • “She has excelled in math for two important reasons: she has a patient determination that compels her to wrestle with any problem until she finds an answer, and she has a curious imagination that allows her to make connections and predictions about new problems.”
  • “Over the five years I have known her, she has continued to amaze me with her dry wit, wide range of extra-curricular skills, and superb work ethic. Adding yet another feather to her cap, she received an honorable mention in the Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest last year.”
  • “Not only has she been a splendid Latin student, but, as a leader among her classmates, she has consistently wielded a strong positive influence towards the culture of both her grade and ACA as a whole.”

Charlie Wessinger

  • “I don’t even want to think about what I am going to do to replace him next year.”
  • “So central is the role that Charlie plays in the senior class and in the high school as a whole that everyone seems to assume that he is a member of the student government, even though he is not.”
  • “I have come to know Charlie better than any other student that I have never actually taught. I first became acquainted with Charlie as the champion of ACA’s first-ever National Geographic Bee in 2018, where he made it all the way to the state competition. I have also come to know him through his membership in the Quiz Bowl team, including participation in national championship qualifying competitions. Charlie has also revealed his sense of humor and acting skills through participation in several Coffeehouse comedy skits.”
  • “Charlie’s greatest strength is not academic, but personal. Sure, he gets good grades, he scores well on tests, and the like. But I respect him much more for his unassuming attitude towards his achievements than for the achievements themselves. It is his humility and his humanity which I admire, things that can never be captured in a test score.”

ACA’s Got Talent: Faculty Fine Arts Showcase

Last Thursday, a number of our talented faculty and staff took the stage for our annual Faculty Showcase. Performances included piano, strings, guitar, skits, poetry, and more! Last year, we were unable to host this event due to safety issues related to COVID-19, but this made for an especially energetic evening of performances this year.

“I am always so impressed by the talent and the varied interest of our faculty and staff,” said Mr. Bryan Franklin, ACA Fine Arts Director. “This event is important because, at its core, it demonstrates something we are hoping our students grab hold of: a willingness and openness to be well rounded and to experience all that life has to offer. This idea is fully embraced by our faculty and was clearly ‘showcased’ Thursday evening.”