St. George Academy (SGA) is a parish ministry of Covenant Church, located in rural Montcalm County, Michigan, just outside the city of Greenville. Right now, we offer a 1st -5th grade classical curriculum, rooted in the one-room schoolhouse model. The school runs half days 8:30a.m.-1:05p.m., Monday through Thursday.
We have chosen as our model what is now commonly called “classical education.” This is because Saint George Academy’s founders think that students learn best when they are shepherded through three stages of learning: grammar (K-6th), logic (7th-10th), and rhetoric (11th-12th). Here’s a summary of the approach: in the grammar stage, students memorize each subject’s grammar; they memorize scripture, math facts, poems, a timeline, states and capitals, the periodic table of elements, and Latin vocabulary. In the logic stage, students study logic and are taught to reason and debate properly; they also learn to build and support arguments. In the rhetoric stage, also called the poetic stage, students learn to persuade and to reason through more difficult questions, such as, “What is justice?” and “What does the ‘good life’ look like?” This is our basic approach.
But it is also our belief that students should learn good habits and to respect authority, including that of God and his church. To reinforce this, our school day begins with a traditional service of Morning Prayer and catechism—officiated by the church’s Rector. The middle of our morning includes a martial drill segment where students learn to form-up and to exercise with a willing heart and body—which is also officiated by the Rector, a former USMC Corpsman. When an adult enters the room, students stand at attention.
As we teach students, we consider ourselves in the service of God, his church, and our students’ families—who are, after all, responsible before God for their children’s education. We make students work hard, and we do not tolerate laziness. At all times, they are taught to obey cheerfully and to conduct themselves with honor. It has been said that rote discipline stunts the emotional well-being of a young person, but we believe the opposite to be true: a disciplined child is a happy child. An orderly child flourishes because God is a God of order—of daily sunrises and sunsets, of seasons, of orchestrated stars.
With all this in mind, please pray for us—both that the Lord would continue this exciting work he has begun—and that He would help us overcome any challenges as they arise. It is our earnest hope that we would be a blessing to our families and children for many years to come.
If you are able to support our school in any way, we thank you.
For Our King,
M.F.A., Iowa Writers’ Workshop
University of Iowa, 2006
Mission Statement of Saint George Academy
All around us, churches are hemorrhaging members. Children are scarce in the pews. Yet for no merit of our own, the Lord has blessed Covenant Church with an abundance of little souls to raise up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The mission of Saint George Academy is to help parents in this godly work: to help catechize and teach their children.
No school should ever intend to replace parents in their God-given responsibility to supervise the education of their children. Rather, schools should help families fulfill God’s commands. Therefore, we conclude that the Mission of Saint George Academy is to educate and raise up excellent sons and daughters, wise fathers and mothers, and faithful churchmen, all.
Why the Name “St. George”?
Saint George is the patron saint of England, and is commonly identified with the English ideals of honor, bravery, and valor. But, interestingly, St. George wasn’t English at all. Very little is actually known about the real St. George. Pope Gelasius said that St. George is one of those saints “whose names are rightly reverenced among us, but whose actions are known only to God.” Indeed, the story of St. George is so wrapped up in myth that it is difficult to separate historical fact from legend, as with his battle and defeat over the Dragon. What we believe to be true is that St. George was born in Cappadocia (now called Turkey) in the 3rd Century; that his parents were Christians; and that George became a soldier in the Roman army and rose to the rank of Tribune. We also know that he served during the wicked reign of the Emperor Diocletian (245-313 AD), who infamously persecuted Christians. St. George is said to have openly objected to this persecution and even resigned his military post in protest. He tore up the Emperor’s order against Christians. For his opposition, St. George was imprisoned and tortured, but he refused to deny his faith. He was dragged through the streets of Diospolis in Palestine and then beheaded. It is said that Diocletian’s wife was so affected by St. George’s resilience that she became a Christian, and was also executed for her faith. As we consider our own day and age, when Christian’s are being mocked and persecuted everyday for their Faith and Values, should we not look to St. George as a model for valor and perseverance before an increasingly godless nation?
The Symbolism of Our Crest
School Motto: Ut impleatur domus mea. That my house may be filled. Education is kingdom work.
School Mascot: Red-Winged Blackbird (valiant protectors of home; though small, effective at warding off attackers)
Michigan White-Tailed Buck: wisdom, tradition, honor
Red-winged Blackbird: valiance
St. George Flag & Lamb: brave innocence, sacrifice
Alpha&Omega: Christ, the beginning and the end
Overlapping Hammer & Sword: work & fight
Slain Dragon:victory over Satan; he is defeated
Michigan Lilies: purity and love of home
Eastern White Pine: humility
Trillium: the Trinity, fidelity to the creeds
The Cross: the cross foregrounds all reality