Did you have a chance to see InRevue, Hartfield’s Spring Musical, this past weekend? I had the privilege of attending with my family on Saturday afternoon and it was an incredible showing of our student’s talents. But on a much deeper level, it reminded me of God’s gracious hand of blessing that has been on Hartfield Academy as we have walked through the past seven years as a school.
This year’s musical was a revue – A multi-act theatrical performance that combined music, dance, and acting from the past six years of Hartfield theater productions. Miss Blakeney Hatcliff directed over 40 students who created sets, sang beautiful solos, acted out familiar scenes and worked in multi-person choruses. The students brought our new Colbert Theater to life! InRevue pulled acts from Annie, Beauty and the Beast, The Fiddler on the Roof and several other dramas that our theater team has produced since Hartfield’s first year in 2012.
Throughout the evening the play’s narrators walked us through the history of Hartfield’s drama program. Did you know our first production, Annie, was performed in the school’s non-renovated cafeteria? It had a cast compiled of inexperienced students who had never been in a production before. They moved from there to a transformed gymnasium where the sets grew more elaborate and the productions took on more detail. Last year they tackled The Sound of Music which required an increased level of commitment from our students and leaders. Along the way these students developed new skills, stretched their comfort zones, and created new relationships that have deepened their school experience. The journey to a new theater and a high level of production has been long, but each of our students have grown through the process.
Miss Hatcliff referred to InRevue as a “milestone”. A milestone comes from the historical use of having stones on the side of the road that told the traveler how many miles it was to the next city. They were a reference point which reassured the traveler they were on the right path. Milestones have also been used to describe significant events in one’s lives. In the Bible, especially, the Old Testament, we see a heap of stones to commemorate a significant event in the life of an individual or of a nation or people.
I believe it is critical to take time to set out reference points for our school as we continue to walk out the path God has for us. Praise the Lord that we have grown over our seven years in ways that the founders of our school may not have expected. And I’m very encouraged about the years ahead! When you think about how far we have come I encourage you to thank the Lord and lay down a “mental milestone” as a reference point. I am grateful for our past, confident in our present, and expectant about our future!
In closing let me share a few encouraging moments I have had the past several weeks.
- One of our former parents, a college professor, shared with me recently how her two college age children were doing. One is preparing to graduate from University of Alabama in Mechanical Engineering with a job offer already in place. The other has had a great freshman year at Samford where she noted that our English department has prepared her in great ways.
- Last Friday, our students celebrated the school’s first Div. I football signee in our school’s history. Everyone enjoyed the celebration as JD Beall signed his commitment to Samford University to play and attend school.
- This May, a 2015 graduate, Leighton Whitehead, is in the running for Valedictorian at Mississippi State. This past February he was ranked first in his entire class, so we’ll see how it finishes. Good luck Leighton!
- Did you know our Baseball team advanced to the semi-finals of the State Championship after last night’s series victory over Pillow Academy?
- And I can’t wait for you to hear the God-story of how Lisa Lucas, our new Elementary Head, found her calling at Hartfield. It is packed with milestone moments that fill me with a great confidence in the future of our elementary program.
Like I said, there are many reasons to celebrate our Hartfield family, so many I had to cut the list short. But during this time of year, as we enter the final stretches of the school year, I am thankful for the opportunity to look back on our year and take note of all that God is doing.
Let’s finish strong!
Head of School