Trinitas has a long and tasty history with barbecue. You might even say it's an integral part of a Trinitas education! Back in the early days of the school, our founding headmaster, Ken Trotter’s father, Grandpa Trotter used his meat-smoking prowess to bring school families together for picnics and community-building events. Even Grandma Trotter pitched in with her famously delicious, but always secret sauce. Though the Trotter family has all passed on from our school, the tradition of sharing good barbecue with friends and family still remains - particularly in connection to the annual Trinitas Junior/Senior Aesthetics trip.
It's easy to assume that because classical Christian schools like Trinitas are not publicly-funded, government schools, they must be substantially the same as other private Christian schools of which there are many in our area. This understanding, however, is fundamentally flawed. Since its inception in 1999, Trinitas has maintained a commitment to a classical approach to Christian education which has resulted in the school being accredited by the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS). To aid in understanding the differences between traditional Christian schools and classical Christ-centered schools like Trinitas, consider the following indicators of a classical approach to education.
Routines help to define a people. A group of market traders begins combing the news even before the trading bell rings at 9:30 a.m., hungry to get an edge on making the right move at the right time. A covey of construction workers share donuts and coffee before hitting the site for the day’s labor. A pack of public school kids rise from their seats to recite the pledge of allegiance and hear the crackle of morning announcements over the intercom. Routines do not require much attention to the routine itself—routines become second nature, an involuntary way of being in the world. Because we know that routines have the power to shape our orientation to the world, Trinitas starts the day with our own routine to orient and shape our way of being for the day ahead.
Thank you so much for that kind introduction. Before we begin, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the administration and to all the senior class parents for providing me the opportunity to speak to these graduating seniors before you all tonight. And I would be terribly amiss if I did not congratulate you, seniors, on the many accomplishments that have brought you to this very place on this momentous evening. My purpose this evening is two-fold and somewhat paradoxical in nature. On the one hand, my job is to remind you that all of this evening is about you. On the other hand, my job is to remind you that none of this is about you, at all. Like I said, somewhat paradoxical. But there is a method to this madness, and I hope to demonstrate as much over the course of the next few minutes. There are many things I could say to you this evening; in truth, there are many things that ought to be said to you this evening, but that’s what all these good people are for. Lord knows I’ll need the backup. Yes, there are many paths we could tread, but I thought it best to stick to one rather familiar to you, and to me as well. Our progression this evening will follow a sort of timeline: First, we’ll revisit the past, taking great pains to put a very fine point on just what it is that you have been doing here at Trinitas for the past 6, 8, 10—and for some of you—13 years of your life; next, we’ll pause and ponder the precise precipice upon which you are perched, at present; and finally, we’ll look to the future, daring, even, to prescribe what must be next. So, let’s roll back the clock.
At other times I have written here about the importance of the home, church, and school being in agreement, and it is a message that bears repeating. Those three entities have the most influence over a child’s formation. If the home, church, and school have different messages about who God is or who His people are or how they are called to live, a child’s mind will be divided on issues that are foundational to her existence. For a child to flourish spiritually and emotionally, hearing a consistent message from home, church, and school is necessary. By that same standard, a classical education cannot take root and flourish in the life of a child if it isn’t being supported at home.
With drama underway, it seems like a fitting place to unpack the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. On the stage students are called to imagine life from another perspective. Students wrestle with not only what someone says, but how they say it and then why. Actors humble themselves and explore a nature not their own. In this putting on of a character, students are able to actively pursue the true, the good, and the beautiful.
When you come to Trinitas, what jumps right out at you is the fact that it is a different sort of school than your common public or private school, and even different from most private Christian schools you will have been acquainted with in your life. That isn’t to say that there aren’t other schools like Trinitas in the world, and it isn’t even to say that Trinitas is the best school that you will ever have been acquainted with. It is different, and that should be obvious. One of the main catalysts for that difference is the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty in our school life, not only in the classroom, but also in the hallways, at the lockers, on the ball field, and in short, everywhere the school has any presence as an institution.