To the teachers, staff, and administrators,
There are not enough thank you’s or words of gratitude to fully express or convey the love and thankfulness we as students have for you all. You have taught us to find joy in all circumstances, connect with those around us, and most importantly pursue Jesus with our whole hearts. If I am speaking on behalf of the students, I would say that we see you as more than just a teacher, but you are a confidant and a person we know we can turn to. I am reminded of how lucky we are as students to be surrounded by a support system that truly wants to know us for who we are beyond the classroom. Knowing that each of your doors is always open, physically and virtually, has been a comfort to me and so many others. Each of you sacrifices so much daily to be fully dedicated and present to your work and your students, sometimes even spending more time with us than your own families. Between staying extra hours to help us understand a concept to showing up and cheering for us at our sporting events, each of you has shown us immense love and mercy throughout these past four years at MCA. In my perspective, you have shown me what it looks like to truly die to self. In Philippians 1, Paul says “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Each of you has embodied what it looks like to pursue Jesus above all else, being fully devoted to the case for Christ, no matter how tired you get or irritated we may make you. During a time of great chaos and uncertainty, you remained calm in who God says he is. You were unwavering faith while pushing your students to do the same. You work hard to help us in any way that you can, and especially in a time of online instruction, you check up on our well being before diving into the material. Thank you for making our spirituality and mental state a priority not only during a time such as this. Looking back on my time at MCA, I see where I started as a shy, timid freshman to where I am now as a blossoming adult about to jump into the real world. Without your influence, love, and grace, I would not be the person I am today. And I think I speak on behalf of most students that you all have changed us forever and for the better. Between cracking jokes in class (Brayden Barker) to delving into deep, relevant conversations about our world, you have given us the space to find out who we are and who we want to be in Christ.
When reflecting on my four years spent at MCA, each of you are at the center of every memory, every moment, every laugh, every sunny day, and every cloudy day. I have realized that without each of you, MCA wouldn’t be the community or environment it is each and every day. After speaking to some of you through zoom calls these past six weeks, it is evident that the seniors are not the only ones grieving. To see that you are hurting just as much as we are shows the love and care you all have for each person in the class of 2020. You are just as much saddened for us as we are because of those special final moments you get to see as we step out of MCA and into real life. It has been a comfort to know that we are validated to feel the emotions we are feeling and knowing we are never alone during this process. Yes, the sporting events, mission trips, and laughs during class will forever be carried with me as I leave MCA, however you all have made MCA what it is. So I will mostly remember the way each of you has cared for me, pushed me, loved me, and shaped me.
I’m struggling to find a way to best conclude this article because I could go on endlessly about how kind and gracious each of you has been to me and the Upper School students. It has been my absolute honor to learn from you, know you, and love you these past four years. If you took one thing away from these words, please don’t ever forget the impact you are leaving on your students and how appreciative we are of you. We may not respond in appreciation all the time, but know our hearts are full of gratitude for you and your hard work. If you ever begin to doubt why God has called you into education, remember the hearts and lives you have touched and changed. I am forever indebted to you and the countless hours you have spent loving and caring for us. Know you are being the hands and feet of Jesus, and the ways you truly pursue your students are an outpouring of God’s love in your heart. I can’t help but be thankful for each of you and the ways you have made me who I am. As you continue to finish out the ’19-’20 school year and beyond, I hope this message has been an encouragement and a reminder of your “why.” I am anxiously awaiting the day when we can all gather face to face again.