Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the achievements of this group of kids who spend their days on this beautiful campus in north Austin. I spend a lot of time talking about our students and our school and I have to admit my bias but I think we have the best students around and the best faculty and staff and administration around. Before I became the school president I was on the school board and used to spend time on the campus and marvel at how congenial and respectful Brentwood Christian students were and are. In my former job I used to travel to large school districts around the country to provide behavioral consultation and I would always use Brentwood Christian as the pinnacle for which these schools should aim. As I said earlier, I am biased.

But the crazy thing about being biased is that sometimes bias is earned. After all, what makes a great school? Is it the classroom performance? Is it the involvement of the parents? Is it the performance on the field or on the stage? Is it the data measurements as compared to other schools? The answer is yes to all the above but there are lots of great schools. What is it that makes a school special? What is the difference maker?

Brentwood Christian is special because it accomplishes all of those things listed above but it does it for a different set of reasons. We achieve and we emphasize excellence because that is how we will find the spiritual gifts of our student that will help them develop their God-given talents for lives of Christian leadership and service. With this focus our students have achieved at an historic level this year. And it is for this reason and purpose we approach our Father in prayer throughout the week and during the daily activities and at personal times when our student’s relationship with our Father is uniquely theirs.

This Thursday is the “National Day of Prayer”. Please accept this as your personal invitation to join our student body, faculty, staff, and administration for an “All Community Chapel” beginning at 8:10 in the worship center. We are going to spend time together going to our Father in prayer, approaching Him in supplication, seeking His intercession, and praising Him for the opportunities with which He has blessed this school and these students. After our time in prayer we are going to begin celebrating this incredible student body and the people who make this place special.

I told you earlier I am biased but I must now admit that my biases have been confirmed by the students at Brentwood Christian. This weekend I was waiting for one final result of one final academic meet. When the result came in here is how it read:

“Our middle school team WON THE STATE Private School Interscholastic Academic (PSIA) MEET!!!!”

I sat there and read this e-mail several times and ended up in prayer of thanksgiving for these incredible students and teachers. Our mission statement says that we will strive for excellence. Well, how is this for excellence? Your BCS Bears are:

  • 5A TAPPS Academic State Champions
  • TCSIT High School Academic Champions
  • TCIST Middle School Academic Champions
  • PSIA Middle School Academic State Champions

That is every single academic meet for our students. These are not small meets. TAPPS is the state wide meet for all 5A private and parochial schools that is held by the state’s private school governing body.

We won for 4A last year and were bumped up to 5A this year – and our students won it again. TCSIT is a parochial school meet that was attended by over 1,100 students this year and our high school and middle schoolers won it going away. PSIA is a huge multi-staged academic meet that upper elementary and middle schools attend from across the state and across multiple weeks. To put PSIA in perspective, to even qualify for the state meet the students had to have placed either first or second in the district meet. They did and they took their hard work all the way to the state meet and won!

Your Bears did not just win one of these highly competitive academic competitions, they won every one of them! High school and middle school swept all academic meets for the state of Texas for all private and parochial schools this year. This has not happened at Brentwood Christian before and according to NCSA it has not happened with any school in Texas before. Your Brentwood Christian Bears just completed a sweep of historic proportions!

Our students are obviously amazing but couple that with the fact that Mr. Mel Witcher is the NCSA “National Teacher of the Year”! Now couple that with the fact that the University of Texas has chosen Sylvia Burcham as their “Outstanding Cooperating Teacher of the Year” this year due to her ongoing work with UT student teachers. Mrs. Burcham will be formally recognized at the Department of Education’s May graduation and then she will be on the UT website as its “Outstanding Cooperating Teacher of the Year” for the next year.

So our students are the academic state champions for all middle and high school events. We have the national and state teacher of the year on our faculty. And Thursday these students will be collectively lifting their efforts, purpose, and prayers to our Father. Come join us in prayer and then stay for the celebration of this historic year for your Bears.

Again, I am a little biased but can you blame me?

It is a great day to be a Brentwood Bear!

Jay Burcham

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