Let’s Talk TCA is a podcast where parents can learn about what’s going on at TCA, hear from school leaders and stay connected. Trinity Christian Academy is located in Addison, Texas.
Finding TCA: Sara Furlich : : Episode 23
On today’s podcast episode, we have educational consultant and TCA parent Sara Furlich talking about why she and her husband Mike chose TCA for their eighth-grade daughter who is new to TCA this year.
Sara is an educational consultant who helps families find the right school by weighing their pros and cons to find a community that they can connect to and where their children can thrive. Sara specializes in helping students with learning differences but helps all types of students and knows a lot about the schools in the area and what they offer.
Sara’s daughter was previously spending many hours in the gym as a competitive gymnast and was in a university model school. When it came time for them to look at a traditional school setting, they knew they wanted a school with high academic expectations and rigor, but they also wanted a school that offered more social opportunities and balanced life.
TCA has sought to allow its students to have balanced lives. While there is a fair amount of homework, you do see kids choosing to be involved in various activities, which tells Sara the students are not overwhelmed. She wanted to see her daughter’s vivacious personality be preserved and not dampened. She was also looking for a welcoming culture where students are welcomed at various grade levels.
From the beginning TCA seemed to fit from a personality standpoint; they know she could feel and be herself here. It was hard to consider not graduating from the public school where her sisters went to school, but in a post-COVID world, our public schools are having to deal with new issues, teachers are worn out, and their particular school area was dealing with some overcrowding.
As a professional, when Sara takes school administrators to visit TCA, they consistently make comments about the energy of the teachers and how engaged they are as well as how kind and respectful the student body genuinely is. They see joyfulness in the classroom. Her husband mentioned how impressed he was at Mini School Night and how teachers teacher were able to articulate their educational philosophy and why they choose to invest in TCA.
From the curriculum side and her “mom” perspective, the Middle School has a built-in study hall that has been amazing! Her daughter is also in the Learning Lab which allows her to have accommodations.
As an educator, Sara loves that TCA integrates history and English as well as a focus on writing, which requires much vertical planning on how to build these skills from kindergarten on up. By the time kids get through Upper School, they are ready for college.
Literature was also an influential factor, as she wants to see students reading whole books, not abridged versions. The conversations that happen in class, the integration of a Biblical world view and the Middle School Latin curriculum also impacted their decision.
TCA has multiple paths for math to allow students to choose options. TCA has a long history of providing accommodations through the Learning Lab, and there is a culture where it is embraced.
TCA has been very intentional about reaching out to new families, and communication has been amazing. The school let them know right away about different tryouts and other ways to get connected.
Sara’s advice for those looking at a private school is to pick a community that is a good fit. Students will always do better when they are thriving socially and emotionally first. There are times you may want something for your child, but you need to consider how God has wired them. Pick a school where the philosophy and message resonate with you.
Dr. Jeff Williams – First 90 Days at TCA :: Episode 22
On today’s episode, we have Dr. Jeff Williams on the podcast talking about his first 90 days at TCA. He’s excited to be back in Dallas, which he considers home, and to TCA, which was monumental in his life.
Dr. Williams says one of the highlights of his first 90 days is being around the people at TCA. The faculty and staff at TCA are gifted and love their jobs and the kids. He has loved going to the pep rallies, athletic events, and fine arts productions, and being back in the classroom and observing the excellence that is taking place there is amazing.
TCA has changed from when he was a student in that the campus is bigger, and we have more students, the strength of the school, and the caliber of faculty and staff on campus.
Dr. Williams feels his role is to cast vision and uphold the school's mission. Part of this is meeting with faculty and staff at least once a month. During these meetings, he is sharing things he has noticed around campus that uphold our core values: excellence, Christ-centered, tradition and community.
Cynthia asked Dr. Williams about his approach in his first year. He knows that he is ambitious and competitive. His biggest prayer is God’s timing and that he would move at the right pace and build trust within the community to get a good pulse on what’s going great and what needs attention.
During his first 90 days, he’s focused on meeting people, having conversations, making notes and observing. Dr. Williams encourages parents that behind-the-scenes faculty, staff and coaches are developing children for the glory of God and fulfilling the school's mission. He’s had impactful moments with students this fall: from having seniors leading devotionals at the Board of Trustees meeting to challenging our PreK classes to encourage and build up one another.
Please continue to use your prayer guide to pray for the school. Consider how you are building into the community at TCA. We are stronger together than we are apart. Also, pray for wisdom and discernment for Dr. Williams as he moves forward.
Finding TCA: Heather Appel :: Episode 21
Today on the podcast, our host Cynthia Yanof speaks with TCA parent Heather Appel about the TCA community, how they found the school, and what she and her family love most!
Heather tells us about how her son asked where the chapel was at their public school after the kindergarten roundup and how he told her that he wanted to be able to pray at school. This kicked off their search for a Christian school.
TCA’s Christ-centered approach and academic excellence drew them in. But one of the biggest, unexpected blessings of the school has been the TCA community and the lifelong friendships that have blossomed both in the classroom and at outside activities.
Heather tells about a friend’s daughter who came to TCA as a junior and has also experienced the warmth and connection of the students in the Upper School.
As a sub, Heather says it is amazing how the students in the Lower School share prayer requests and are openly praying for one another. From her experience, it is evident how the school is developing the whole child. Her favorite day in the Lower School is the Kindergarten French Café event. In Middle School, she is most impressed by the teachers and their approach to our kids and meeting them where they are in the awkward middle school years.
Her advice to prospective parents is to embrace the uniqueness of TCA. Today’s culture tells us one thing, but TCA encourages children to do the right thing. For veteran TCA parents, Heather reminds us not to take the MPACT prayer group for granted.
Keeping Students Safe at TCA :: Episode 20
On today’s podcast episode, our host Cynthia Yanof speaks with TCA Director of Campus Security David Smith. We learn about TCA’s multilayer approach to keeping students safe, but even more, we hear his Campus Safety Team’s commitment to our school.
David Smith started at TCA in April 2018 and is a retired Dallas police officer with 32 years of experience in law enforcement. School safety has changed over the last 15 to 20 years, and the emphasis on safety has increased.
Safety is extremely important to parents and our school administration. Campus safety and security begin with praying over our school, but we cannot be naïve; we must also be prepared.
Because of the types of families at TCA, David says this changes his team’s role from policing kids to protecting them.
We have an Addison police officer on campus from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Campus Safety Team has grown, and we now have five full-time and one part-time employees who are all retired Dallas police officers. The combined experience of this team is over 150 years. The team is visible on campus in carpool and throughout the day.
We have a new campus fence that will protect our campus after hours and during the day. The gate will help us provide safety and security on campus. All building doors on campus are locked as well. MS and US students have access cards or devices to access the doors. All LS students are escorted across campus. Visitors to campus must sign in
and wear a name badge on campus. All classrooms can also be secured as well.
We have a layered communications approach which includes training for all TCA employees with access to the PA system. The Campus Safety Team also monitors communication across campus, and TCA uses an emergency communications app and panic button through Titan HST. It is an invaluable communication tool for our campus.
The safety attitude of the team is that they are the spear and the shield. They will put their lives on the line and put themselves in harm’s way to neutralize any threat on campus and to keep our students safe.
Please reach out to David Smith with any safety concerns.
Girls Athletics at TCA: Episode 19
On today’s episode of the TCA podcast, our host Cynthia Yanof speaks with the Girls' Athletic Director and Varsity Basketball Coach Jeff Smith and Varsity Volleyball Coach Steve Collins to hear all about the girls' sports at TCA and about the varsity volleyball season.
Jeff tells us about TCA’s philosophy for girls' sports and how he works to advocate for girls' teams and ensure the programs get what they need. TCA’s commitment to hiring great coaches and developing character through our programs sets us apart. TCA encourages girls to play
multiple sports, leading to better athletes and helping our teams compete better. Our girls love to have fun with their teammates.
The varsity basketball team is a young team but will return players Grace Leverton and Sophia Miller. There is a new TAPPS playoff format for basketball, and even though we are in a tough district, we are looking forward to a good season. The off-season starts after Labor Day and the
the season starts in November.
Steve Collins was a college baseball player but first played volleyball during high school in Singapore. His interest in volleyball continued with playing in USAV, and then he got into coaching.
Volleyball tryouts began on August 1, and the season started quickly after. The varsity team plays 35-40 games during the season and about 20 games in the preseason. The team has already competed in several tournaments before school started.
Coaching with Steve is Carlos Rosado, who is the assistant varsity coach; he grew up playing volleyball in Puerto Rico and played in college there. TCA’s JV coach is Carlos Luna. He has played volleyball professionally and also in the Beijing Olympics.
Our district is very competitive, and the team must play its best to win – there are no easy games. But that intensity builds and drives the energy for practice and the next game.
Steve's favorite thing about coaching at TCA is the blending of academics, Christianity, and athletics. He asks Senior players to step up and lead the team. Encouraging them to communicate the standards and traditions to the younger players. The players develop the program with the coach's guidance.
Some volleyball players play on a club team, but about half play other sports at school. For parents of younger girls interested in volleyball, Steve encourages playing volleyball
either on the rec level or club level. There are many places to get involved in the sport throughout DFW.
To wrap up, Jeff lists the girls' sports offered at TCA, including volleyball, basketball, dance, cheer, golf, softball, swimming, track, cross country and tennis.
Jeff has an open-door policy stop by if you have a question or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our varsity volleyball season is underway. Come out and support our athletes! See the game schedule below:
Trojan Football 2022 :: Episode 18
In today’s episode, our podcast host Cynthia Yanof connects with Head Football Coach Steve Hayes about the upcoming season. We hear about the Trojan football program, the theme for 2022, the players we have this year, our new division, and our coaching staff.
The theme for this year is Fear No Man. The players, after the spring game, vote on the theme. The theme gives the coaches guidance on how to coach the boys. This theme has two components:
1) You have to be in the right relationship with the Lord. This places the emphasis on the kids’
hearts and their relationship with Christ.
2) To have no fear, you must be extremely well prepared.
The coaching staff read the book Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson this summer. The team is divided into families; each coach prays for the athletes in their family group throughout the season. Coaches are very intentional about praying for players, and Coach Hayes believes when we pray, good things happen.
TCA football has six core values, one of which is that we are called to be standard chasers, not rule followers. God created us to excel and not be average. We want our kids to know they have what it takes and that high expectations require high commitment and sacrifice.
This year’s team is a young team. We had a lot of success last year and graduated many seniors. We have fourteen seniors this year, many of whom started last year, but we will see many new faces on the field this fall. We have talented juniors and sophomores. We had 45 college recruiters come through
our program last spring is a good indication of the talent you have on the team.
We have a good offensive line, a good running back core, and, with the addition of Defensive Coordinator Reid Waller, our defense has made huge strides and will be good this year.
We have been in TAPPS Division 5 for the last two years, and this year we have moved back to Division 1, which includes schools with the largest enrollment in the state. Our district includes Nolan, Parish, Prestonwood, and Bishop Lynch. It will be a very competitive schedule this year, and our goal is to win the state championship.
Our first game against ESD is on August 26 at 7 p.m. at Tom Landry Stadium. We have five home games and five on the road with one big road trip to Ft. Bend Christian.
We have ten varsity football coaches on our staff. Five of these coaches have been successful head coaches in other programs. The faith and testimonies of our coaches are incredible, as well as their ability
to coach and mentor kids. You should be excited about this program if you have sons in TCA athletics.
We highly encourage boys to play multiple sports. It is good for kids to be able to experience as much as possible and represent the mission of the school well.
Parents with children should be watching the leadership they put their kids under. We are limited on how long we can be an athlete, but athletics' impact on our character is lasting. We want our parents to live out the culture of our school. This is life-giving to the school and those around us.
Come out and cheer loud at the games and celebrate on the field after the games! We do that better than any other school.
This is Coach Hayes’ third season back at TCA. He was also here from 2004 through 2014. His wife Mendy teaches in Frisco, and they have a daughter who is a TCA freshman on the volleyball team. He has two older married kids, and both are expecting babies next year which will be Coach Hayes' first grandchildren!
See the season schedule here: https://www.trinitychristian.org/athletics/teams-schedules/t/~athletics-team-id/132
Follow TCA Athletics on Twitter: @TCA_Addison
Is there a topic you'd like to discuss on the podcast? Send your ideas and feedback to: email@example.com
I love that our school is finding all kinds of ways to share information and give us the inside scoop. Great podcast for an amazing school.
Definitely Worth the Time!
OK, true confession: when I saw that this was 36 minutes long, I thought, "I don't know if I want to sit that long." I am glad that I did. I laughed, I was encouraged, and I was reminded of so much good that exists within TCA.
Great way to feel connected
I appreciate the school coming up with a creative way to keep us connected and build community especially during COVID. I loved hearing about the Diversity work going on at TCA and look forward to hearing the MS building update.