Westside Christian Academy prek – 12 classical christian school

Head of school search

Oct 31 2022 | Head of School Search Update

The WCA Board of Trustees’ Head of School Search Committee is happy to provide this update. Phase I of our three-phase search process is complete. Much of the deep work of identifying our needs in a new Head of School has been articulated in the opportunity profile and the introductory video prepared by JobfitMatters (JFM, the consultant firm assisting us in this process.) You can view these materials HERE.

We are currently in Phase II. During this time, with the help of JFM, we are sourcing candidates. As candidates progress through the evaluation and interview process with JFM, they will then be evaluated by our search committee.

We acknowledge a few things on this journey. First and foremost, we recognize that God controls this process. God has begun a good work here at WCA. There is much God wants to accomplish as we grow. Satan is busy and desires to derail WCA. Our next leader will be one who is a trusting servant who understands the next steps of growth for WCA and has the maturity to lead us there.

Would you pray during this critical phase of our search? Would you consider a personal or family time of fasting to occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Pray that God’s leader steps forward to apply for this position. Pray that God’s timing is perfectly ordered. Pray that JFM and those on our board exercise wisdom and discernment in the candidate evaluation process. Pray that all of us can grow in unity. Let’s endeavor to humbly approach God together and cooperate with His will, so that we can also rejoice together when He supplies our need.

Forward together,
Natalie Taylor
Aaron Fenton

Monday | Aug 29

A New School Year Devotion

As parents of four adult children and our fifth a junior here at WCA, we have the privilege of much parenting hindsight. What echoes in my mind is the thought, “I should have prayed more.” Watching our children launch from our home, we know that each was equipped with everything
he or she needed to choose well in all areas of life, especially when it came to walking with God.  Yet, on the heels of that knowledge was a deep realization that only God changes and guides the heart. In our home, the setting of the path before our children and the training of their affections in submission to God, as Hebrews 12:10 says, was done based on what seemed good to us. We availed ourselves of good things, hoping and praying for good fruit. As we loosened our grip on our children and released them to adulthood, we entrusted them to the sovereignty of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives.

Now, as we watch our kids navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of the sea of the world, we have both comfort and concern. And again, the echo of “You can never pray too much.” resounds.

Just as the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, so too are the hearts of our children. So too are the hearts of our leaders and teachers, and parents here at WCA. So too is the heart of the new Head of School we are actively seeking to fill Mr. Whiteman’s role beginning next year.

Oh, that we, in seeking the good things of God for our families, our school, and our future, would find less solace in our human efforts and more inspiration from the Holy God in whom we trust. Oh, that we would not pass through this season of preparation only to look back and ask, “Could we have prayed more?”

Father God, may we come to you daily, humbly. May we dive into your Word because your Word is truth. May we not check in with you and proceed with our days, but rather may we walk with you, in your presence, in constant consultation for the wisdom we need to parent well. May you prompt us to regularly pray for those who influence our children here at WCA. May you hear our call for your will to be done in providing just the right leader to replace Mr. Whiteman. May you bless Mr. Whiteman with a year of sweetness. May you go before us and make the way straight during this important time of transition. Prepare our hearts, minds, and sensitivities to welcome all that you have for us this year. May we walk in unity. May we give you honor and praise together and wait expectantly upon you. We come to you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Offered by Natalie Taylor, Trustee and Co-Chair of the Head of School Search Committee

Recommended actions that will help our Head of School Search

  • Pray
  • Sign up now for participation in a focus group. Meetings will be held through September and will focus on examining and defining the culture of WCA. Text your name to 216-661-3919.
  • Check https://www.westsideacademy.org/headmaster/ regularly for updates.

Thursday | May 26

1 Kings 18:26  And at noon Elijah mocked them [the prophets of Baal], saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.

In Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount, we have the most plain and direct teaching of Jesus on the topic of prayer. Before proceeding to the model prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus cites two patterns of prayer unfit for his disciples: the prayers of the Pharisees—who love to be seen—and those of the Gentiles—who multiply words. Jesus says of the Gentiles in Matt. 6:7 and again in Matt. 6:32 that the focus of their prayers are “food and clothing” and that they aim to obtain these things by “heaping up empty phrases.” Why the warning about prayers with “many words?”

Jesus wants his disciples to avoid three key mistakes typical of the Gentiles.

First, he wants them to understand that the one true God is their heavenly Father who knows their needs and is favorably disposed to grant them (Matt 6:8; 7:7-11). The Gentiles, by contrast, need to bargain with or persuade their deities for blessings. They see their gods in their own image—as those who are good to those who are good to them, not as the heavenly father who is liberal in blessing “the good and the evil” (Matt 5:43-47).

Second, Jesus tells his followers that they do not need to be concerned about how well they communicate their needs, because the Father knows the needs of his dear ones before they can pronounce the words to describe them. On the other hand, the Gentiles seem to be in some doubt about whether their entreaties are heard and so they repeat themselves in hope that somehow their message might get through.

Third, Jesus wants his followers to recognize that they are citizens and ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven and, as such, are princely heirs on a mission of prime importance. Children of the heavenly Father have already been promised the earth (Matt 5:5) and so their prayers may focus first on the greater prize: that the earth’s creator, sustainer and redeemer be known and celebrated in every corner (Matt 6:9-10). The Gentiles, in contrast, cannot see past the anxiety they have over their felt needs. They pursue, in the intensity of their prayers, the only prosperity they know.

“Do not be like the Gentiles,” says Jesus, “who think they will be heard because of their many words.”

Oh, Lord, may your fame be celebrated everywhere!  May we be effective ambassadors of your kingdom, bringing to you the needs of the world confident that you have heard us and will achieve your every ambition. 
Let us not confuse you with gods of the Gentiles or forget that we are adopted children and heirs so that our prayers will have the clarity, brevity and focus that befits those whose hope is in you. Amen.

Shared by John-Mason Shackelford, WCA Board of Trustees Member


Monday | May 23

Ephesians 4:1-7  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

A friend of mine and her husband, (a Ukrainian pastor) shared with me they are serving displaced people searching for solace, protection and survival. There is an urgent need to find housing, share biblical encouragement, arrange transportation, enter grief and dark sadness with the armor of God, to humbly serve with dedicated efforts to meet daily needs, to share the hope of the gospel and to swiftly act as the hands and feet of Christ in these traumatic times.

Looking at the unfolding in the Ukraine and hearing the stories of survival in a war-torn country, brings me to see the incredible blessing we currently have on our soil. I praise my Lord Jesus Christ, for the freedom we have to open God’s Word and read it freely without fear of persecution. I don’t hear bombs dropping in the air—but the sounds of birds chirping and my husband’s and our children’s young voices. I am not scrambling for shelter —but am blessed to live in our home and sleep with a roof over my head. While some may argue our country is more divided in recent times, there is yet an incredible peace and a beautiful monumental savoring when there is harmony in our land. We could also say the same when there is harmony in our homes, peace among sibling relationships, and unity in The Church —The Body of Christ.

Reading Paul’s exhortation to the church of Ephesus in Ephesians 4:1-7, we see the charge and command to live peaceably among brothers and sisters in Christ. “With ALL humility (emphasis is mine) gentleness and patience , bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one spirit.”

What would it look like for our city to be unified in Christ? What would it look like for our school to be unified in Christ? What would it look like for our gospel centered and Christ-exalting churches to be unified? How about our homes? Our marriages? Our friendships to be unified in Christ? What about our own hearts—to be unified in Christ? Is the Lord urging us to confess and repent a negative attitude or habitual sinful behavior preventing us from experiencing His peace and unity?
What does this command for unity in the Body of Christ, require of us?

Perhaps it looks like taking a step toward a brother or sister in Christ, a spouse, a neighbor, a parent or colleague. Who is the Holy Spirit prompting you to consider restoration and reconciliation (Matthew 18:15-35) or to cultivate a friendship? How is the power of God’s Holy Word encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and use the gifts, abilities, grace, experiences and talents the Lord has entrusted to you(1 Corinthians 12:4-11), in order to build up the Body of Christ and glorify His name? It is a beautiful and miraculous sight to behold when brothers and sisters in Christ use all that they are (and all the life experiences entrusted to them) for the Kingdom purposes of the Lord. All insecurities are laid aside. Perhaps Christ is pursuing and calling you to go low in humility and forgive a friend, family member or a brother or sister in The Body. Perhaps the Lord is prompting you to earnestly pray, step out of your comfort zone and serve.

I propose, we are being prompted to be unified in thought, deed (our actions) and prayer as WCA is entrusted with the task of a headmaster search (I Corinthians 12:12-31). I can hear my father saying, “if you’re not part of a solution, you are part of the problem.” So may we be mindful of the words flowing from our lips, aware of the thoughts flowing in our minds and the deeds flowing from our hands and feet. May we be earnest in our prayers before the Lord and seek to do His will. May we be ever vigilant in building up the Body of Christ in word, deed and thought. To God be the glory.

Shared by Bridget Baumgartner, WCA Board of Trustees Member


Monday | May 16

Colosians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding

Sometimes in the midst of seeking God’s will for the specifics of our individual lives we forget that much of God’s will is already set before us and knowable. Paul indicates here in Colossians that we can be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
This is His will for us:

  • Salvation in Christ – John 6:40
  • Bodily resurrection – Romans 8:9-11
  • Sanctification – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
  • Submitting and doing good – 1 Peter 2:13-15
  • Enduring suffering for doing good – 1 Peter 2:19-20; 3:17
  • Rejoicing, praying, giving thanks – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • From the heart (Ephesians 6:6), following the many imperatives throughout scripture, including being filled with the Spirit: Ephesians 5:17-21

What we do know about God’s will certainly outweighs what we do not. As we pray for WCA, let us link our prayers to what is revealed as God’s will.

Dear Father God, Please fill us with the knowledge of your will. As we stay close to your heart–the pleasure of your will–may we individually and corporately find you faithful. May we discover the path of life, abundant joy, and eternal pleasures you speak of in Psalm 16.
Shared by Natalie Taylor, WCA Board of Trustees Member


Thursday | May 12

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

The account of Noah is well-known, but how often do we think about what must have been going through Noah’s mind when God told him to ‘make for yourself an ark’ because He was bringing a flood to destroy the earth (Gen 6)? How often do we think about the complete trust Noah had in the Lord’s word despite what the world might have said at the time?

Acknowledging God first and foremost means obeying His word. Genesis 6:22 and 7:5 says that Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him. He likely faced intense ridicule, but Noah had complete faith in God and a humble heart that lead to his obedience.

God’s ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30) and never-changing, and He sees things from an eternal perspective. Regardless of the circumstances God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God (Rom 8:28). As born-again Christians we need to read and obey God’s word, pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17), humble ourselves before the Lord (James 4:10) and seek His will. As we do this daily, He truly will make our paths straight.

Heavenly Father, we know that we are not our own, that we were bought with a price and we want to glorify, honor, and serve You. We pray that we may humble ourselves before You and that you might direct our paths each and every day. We pray this in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen
Shared by Jeff Swartz, WCA Board of Trustees Member


Monday | May 9

The Logic of Prayer: Ask and Receive

I love WCA. Having grown up going to one of the non-classical Christian schools a few towns over, I missed out on the useful tool of logic class. Thankfully, logic is somewhat intuitive to all humans, so I somehow survived… But only later in life do I appreciate the ability to discern plausible-sounding fallacies, which constantly bombard our trains of thought, and formal training in logic is a helpful tool. Thankfully, I now often get a dose of such training as I help my 8th grade daughter study for this class. I’d like to apply a logical exercise to Christ’s teaching on prayer, as we ask Him to bring us just the right Head of School to succeed Mr. Whiteman.

Prayer is simply relating to God–drawing near to God to worship, praise, thank, and make requests of Him. But what do we ask for, and how? Is it a blank check?Can we ask for whatever we want, to spend however we want? We know that cannot be the case–our hearts are too deceitful to be entrusted with that sort of power. And yet, we do have access to Omnipotence, and we are told to ask for what we want… so what kind of prayers will God answer favorably? We can find out by logically looking at the Scripture’s teaching on prayer. To be concise, I will give you the theorems, and you can explore them further in the Scripture, where I found them.

  1. You must belong to the Heavenly Father.  Prayers are accepted only from His adopted children–regenerated, washed, declared righteous in His sight because Christ has covered you with His righteousness. Only then do you have access to the throne of grace.(Hebrews 4:14-16)
  2. Your prayer must be for Him to execute His will.  Even Christ Himself prays, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” If Christ Himself puts His own desires secondary to the Father’s, shouldn’t we also? Therefore we align our potentially warped desires to His pure desires, and ask accordingly. And while we might not know God’s particular will–the details of our lives–we do know His general will; He desires His people to be sanctified and to make disciples. (Matthew 6:9-13)
  3. You must pray in Christ’s name.  This means that you only pray for things that He Himself would ask for. As a steward of His grace, you can’t put His signature on a request that He would never make! Your request must bring glory to God and to Christ. (John 14-16)
  4. You must love and obey Christ, abide in His Word, and bear the fruit of righteousness.  We all know that you can’t earn favor with God by doing good works. Christ’s payment for our sins on the cross accomplished that long ago, and we simply receive it freely with the arms of faith. But when we have such faith, our hearts are changed, and we love Him, His character, and His ways, and we joyfully strive to live consistently with them. Of course, in this life we struggle with sin–and when we fail, allowing it to lodge in us, we do forfeit much blessing–such as favorably answered prayer. When we actively tolerate sin, how can He grant our requests with blessing? Wouldn’t that just encourage us to stay in our error and expect blessing anyhow?But though we all daily struggle with the sin within, our God is so patient and kind as to still include us in His work on the earth, and where there is a contrite heart that bewails our own sin, there shall be grace to match the deficit, and He Himself will gradually, daily produce in us the loving obedience that pleases Him. Note in Christ’s Upper Room Discourse how Christ relates answered prayer and obedience / love / fruit bearing:
  • John 14:13-15 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
  • John 14:13-15 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
  • John 15:7-8 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
  • John 15:16-17 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.”

See how Christ intertwines the amazing promise of favorably answered prayer with our loving obedience to the Father? After all, isn’t it the prayer of a righteous man that accomplishes much? (James 5:16b)

So when it comes to WCA’s search for a new Head of School, let us apply ourselves to prayer–proper prayer. Let us make sure we each personally belong to our Heavenly Father. Let us ask according to His will, and qualify our prayers to have Christ’s own seal set to them. Let us glorify Him by receiving what we ask for, because our own individual lives reflect a loving obedience to Him as we abide in His Word and love each other. This is the mysterious means which the Lord has prescribed, by which He will favorably answer our prayers and bring Himself glory through providing WCA with a qualified, skillful, godly Head of School. If these four qualities mark your prayers, ask boldly, and expect Him to do it abundantly. What an amazing privilege we have; let’s use it–logically!

Shared by Dr. Daniel Pierre, WCA Board of Trustees


Thursday | May 5

Matthew 5:13-16  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Jesus tells us that, as believers in Him, we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Since ancient times salt has been used as a preservative. As salt, we have the opportunity to prevent moral decay in the places we live and influence. We are to remain uncorrupted by the impurities of the world, maintaining Christ-like distinctness. However, we are not merely to stick together in our “holy huddles” as “salt” and thus become like the dead sea, but rather take our salt into the lost and decaying world. As light, we are to persistently live a life of good deeds and thus reflect the life and love of Jesus. In doing so, we can alleviate some of the world’s darkness. In the power of the Holy Spirit alone we can fulfill Christ’s mission for us found in Matthew 28:19-20, which says, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

D.L. Moody, while looking out his window during a stay in London, was asked what he saw. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he said, “I see countless thousands of souls that will one day spend eternity in hell if they do not find the Savior.” Because he saw eternal souls where others saw only people strolling in the park, Moody approached life differently. Moody surrendered his will to take up God’s will and embodied Colossians 3:2 by setting his mind on eternity and not on earthly matters. He was salt and light to a lost and dying world. His impact on eternity continues today through Moody Bible Institute and through countless lives changed by his bold approach to evangelism. May we at WCA see eternal souls instead of just students walking the halls. When those in our families, communities, cities and across the world interact with WCA families, may they take note that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

Heavenly Father, may you use WCA to raise up students who surrender their lives to you and walk as salt and light in the earth to the glory of your name!
Shared by Heather Croft, WCA Board of Trustees


Monday | May 2

Numbers 6:22-27  The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

In this blessing we get a glimpse of who God is and his heart for his people. God is the subject and source of blessing. Look at how God moves towards his people:

  • The LORD bless you.
  • The LORD keep you (from sin and the bitter effects of sin).
  • The LORD make his face shine upon you.
  • The LORD be gracious to you.
  • The LORD turn to you.
  • The LORD give you peace.

It is God who is able to bless, to keep, to guard, to pour out pleasure and make his presence known to His people. He is the source of blessing.

The reason this priestly blessing is considered the highest form of blessing is due to the meaning of the word bless, it literally means “fullness”. When this prayer was and is offered it is saying, “May God grant you or bestow upon you {fulness, completeness, wholeness, overflowing with} in every area of life.”

It could be said this way:

  • May the LORD give you fullness in your friendships. In your family. With your spouse. With your co-workers, your neighbors etc.
  • May the Lord give you wholeness in your health. In your finances. In your fields. In your business. At school. In your home.
  • May the Lord give you a deeper understanding and awareness in your relationship with Him.

There is no higher blessing. God wants to bless his children with fullness of life in every area. God is for us. He does not change and His heart for His people remains the same. As we are in Christ, we too are recipients of Gods’ blessing. As Paul reminds us in Romans 8:31-32:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Let us take these 30 days to pray God’s blessing upon our school. Let us ask God to Bless the Administration, the teachers, the students, and the families that make up our school with FULLNESS. Let us pray and ask God to pour out His blessing here that those around might respond as Rehab did in describing the work of the God of Israel: “We have heard what the Lord has done in Egypt…”

  • May the LORD bless WCA in fullness of relationships with each other and salvation in Christ.
  • May the LORD keep WCA- keep us from the love of sin, the love of the world, and the love of self. Keep us humble.
  • May the LORD make his face shine upon us that we know His presence;
  • May the LORD be gracious to us in trial, in conflict, in sickness and in our day to day lives.
  • May the LORD satisfy in Him us and give us peace.

Shared by Megan Putnam, Board Development Chair, Board of Trustees


Thursday | April 28

1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The apostle John is known for his themes of the Sonship of Jesus Christ and love. Earlier in this passage in his first letter, he urges believers to love one another because “God is love”. That is, those who are born of God and know Him personally will love others because God Himself is love.

This is an oft-repeated phrase, even in our post-Christian culture. But in what does God’s love consist? John provides the answer a couple verses later: the essence of God’s love is seen in the Father sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save sinners through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus Christ became the propitiation for our sins, not His own. Propitiation hearkens back to the Old Testament sacrifices where the blood would be sprinkled by the priest on the mercy seat of the ark, and carries the idea of God’s wrath and justice being satisfied through an atoning sacrifice—the sacrifice of His one and only Son. It is through His sacrifice that believers are now reconciled to the Father.

Let us dwell and meditate on God’s love for sinners! There is nothing greater the Father could have done for us given our state of eternal condemnation before Him. Be thankful and rejoice!

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you love us. We rejoice in your great mercy in sending your only begotten Son to die on the cross, becoming the propitiation for our sins that we would be reconciled and called children of God.
Shared by Mark Douglass, Chair of Finance Committee, WCA Board of Trustees


Monday | April 25

Job 19:25 And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last, He will take His stand on the earth.

Have you ever thought about the theology of Job? Where did he obtain his knowledge of who God is? Job probably lived in the time of Abraham, so he didn’t have any of the scriptures to read. How did he develop such a deep understanding of God’s nature? Did Job have regular and direct communication with God? However the method, the book of Job gives a rich and weighty description of Job’s understanding of God’s nature that drove him to a holy lifestyle. What a privilege we have to contain the complete revelation of who God is through his Word.  He has provided the full picture to call each of us to salvation and holy living. Why do we strive for holiness? Because we understand who He is. Job 28:28 “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.” May His Word and the understanding of God’s nature drive us to holy living.

Father God, Increase in us a desire to study your Word and gain wisdom.
Shared by Philip Amos, President, WCA Board of Trustees

Dear WCA family,
The Head of School Search Committee wants to thank you for completing the survey and provide you with a summary of the valuable information we gained from the process. As you know, we initiated an instrument called the Listening Post® in March.  The total number of respondents, 204, provides a high degree of confidence that the information is representative of all potential respondents. Thank you for the time and thoughtful energy you contributed. A number of different roles were represented, including parents, faculty, administration, staff, and board members. The following is an executive summary of the final report.

Seventy percent (70%) of respondents clearly agree (strongly agree, agree) that, on the whole, they are satisfied with the school. Twenty-five percent (25%) of respondents are on the fence (somewhat agree, somewhat disagree) about whether they are satisfied with the school. Only five percent (5%) of respondents are clearly dissatisfied, which suggests an absence of significant polarization within the school. In reflecting over the past 3-5 years, 89% of respondents clearly agree (same scale) the school has been effective in fulfilling its mission. This score is very high compared with a peer group of Christian schools. Over the same period of time, 63% clearly agree that the spiritual climate at the school has improved and 67% clearly agree that the academic/scholastic climate at the school has improved. Both of these are high when benchmarked against other schools.

Overall, respondents indicated that the top three priorities for investing additional
energy in the future of our school are:

  1. Strengthen the spiritual development of our students
  2. Expand or improve our facilities
  3. Improve the academic performance of our students. There was strong unity among the subgroups around these priorities.

Overall, the WCA community felt the criteria for the next Head of School should include:

  1. Ability to build a team and work collaboratively
  2. Capacity to provide decisive leadership
  3. Demonstrated ability as a school leader. The top personal characteristic needed in the next Head of School was Brings out the best in people.

Regarding how much change will be required at WCA to effectively address future priorities, a very high number (90%) felt that almost no change, a small amount of change, or only a moderate amount of change is required. This speaks to the strength of the current program at WCA.

This information, along with the interviews the JobfitMatters consultants conducted
with many WCA constituents and the ongoing Strategic Planning we are conducting, will factor in the profile we are developing for our next Head of School. We look forward to sharing the video and Opportunity Profile with you sometime in early summer.

Warmest regards,
Co-chairs of the HOS Search Committee
Aaron Fenton & Natalie Taylor

Dear WCA family,
Every day we watch students enter the doors of WCA. Several hours later they emerge. It is quite a sight, younger children navigating their cargo home, some are bounding, others wearied. The Upper School students trickle out next, finishing conversations as they separate to different cars. Some look resolute, others relieved. All have whatever is coming in the next few hours in view. 

The collective energy that swirls in these parking lot scenarios is a force to behold. And in beholding it, we also recognize that we are called to a responsibility to provide life-giving direction as we work toward a common goal–to see these children formed to be men and women who follow hard after God’s heart, who leverage their giftedness and energies to serve Him well. In this goal we are united. 

Yet, how the spiritual battle rages! Satan prowls like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. His lust is for lies and destruction, misinformation and misdirection. It would be his pleasure to divide us, to distract us, to direct us off-course. 

For this reason, I am writing to you to ask that you begin today to be vigilant in your prayers for WCA, especially in these coming days, weeks, and months as we search for a new Head of School (HOS). We have been so blessed by those who set the course for this school and carry out its mission. The mission and vision of the school is protected and projected by the Board of Trustees and then carried out through the leadership of the Head of School. 

On Tuesday, March 1, 2022, each of us will have the opportunity to speak into the Head of School search process. You will receive an introductory email with a link to a survey being conducted by the consulting firm JobfitMatters. 

Beginning now, before the survey launches, we are calling for all who will be filling out the survey to pray. Please spend time asking God to give each of us wisdom to share those things God has placed on our hearts regarding WCA. Now is the time to give honest feedback in order to empower those helping us with the HOS search to understand our culture, our community, and our needs well. 

Please take special effort to quiet your heart before God and dedicate time to prayer before you fill out the survey. Pray that we approach the survey with our hearts oriented well. Pray that we have 100% participation, that everyone is heard equally. 

There will be many opportunities to pray together for WCA and the HOS search in the coming weeks and months. May God unite us in purpose and direction as we seek our new HOS. 

Natalie Taylor on behalf of the co-chairs of the HOS Search Committee

Q: Mr. Whiteman has announced that he will retire. When is this happening?
A: Mr. Whiteman plans to complete the 2022-2023 school year. At that time he will likely be retained as a consultant for further work with and advisement to WCA.

Q: Why was this announcement made now?
A: The timing of this announcement allows for a healthy timeline for the Board of Trustees to search for and hire a new Head of School. It gives our community time to self-evaluate and align ourselves with our strategic plans and dreams for our future.

Q: When will the search for a new Head of School begin?
A: It already has begun. A Head of School search committee has been operating and is moving forward with a timeline and specific tasks.

Q: Who is on the search committee?
A: Two trustees co-chair this committee, Aaron Fenton and Natalie Taylor. Other trustees will be active on this committee. Other advisory committees and focus groups will be formed as needed to work with the committee and provide input around specific topics regarding the search. The search committee desires to give oppportunity to every person who desires to give input. This will be gathered in an organized manner.

Q: I’d like to know what is going on with the search? Who should I ask?
A: Actually, no one. The best place to get information that is current and accurate is the website page. It will be updated regularly with a report from the search committee. The search process will cover many months. Updates will come when there is new information to share. Teachers and staff will use this site to stay updated as well. Literally, we will all be on the same page.

Q: It seems like now is a good time to give input into WCA’s future. I have a lot of thoughts. How can I share them?
A: The very best way is to take time to fill out the surveys that will be opened for all Association members to complete in the near future. The Board of Trustees wants to capture as much association input as possible in writing. The survey will give an opportunity for members to provide constructive, anonymous input. This step is very important. Please plan for adequate time for prayer and the completion of this future exercise.

Q: I wasn’t expecting this and I feel anxious. Is this normal?
A: Change always brings uncertainty; however, it also brings opportunities for God to stretch us, grow us, and move us forward. As a community, WCA has some amazing strengths. We are excited for God to provide what we need next to fulfill our mission in the Westlake community and beyond. This is a great time to spend more time praying for this future leader, for our current leaders and teachers, and WCA in general.

Q: Do we have a mission statement for the school that reflects where we want to go?
A: Yes. An ad hoc Mission and Vision committee has been meeting to revise our outdated mission statement. It will be made available on our website after approval by the Board.

Q: I think we should be praying more for WCA at this time. How can we do this?
A: There will be planned opportunities for prayer, but as God leads, find others to gather together with and pray. Pray specifically for our Board of Trustees to have wisdom, for God to work in the heart of our future HOS to increase his or her interest in coming here, and for the health of our school and its teachers, staff, and leaders. Pray for those whom we may consult with, for them to have wisdom and be guided by the Lord.

Q: When will the new Head of School be hired?
A: Ideally, the new HOS would be hired by the summer of 2023 to be ready for the 2023-2024 school year.

Q: I think I know someone who would be interested in this HOS position. Who should I contact?
A: The association will be informed and have access to the HOS opportunity profile once the position is publicly posted. That would be the opening of our recruiting process. Interested persons would be able to view the opportunity online and apply at that time.