Although sad to see the Thompson family transitioning, we are thankful for so many memories that they’ve shared with us. The NCA Family has been blessed to have the Thompsons with us these past years and we look forward to all the wonderful things that God will do through them in the years to come!
Please take a moment to read a heartfelt message from Mr. Corey Thompson, ’94, NCA Dean of Students, on behalf of him and his family. The Thompsons have been a blessing to us and we are excited to see the many wonderful things that they will do in their next chapter!
Dear NCA Family,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this evening to share the news that I will not be returning to Northside Christian Academy for the 2017-2018 school year.
Over the past 5 years, it has been a privilege to serve at my alma mater as a teacher, coach, and as the Dean of Students of NCA. I have reached out to you on many occasions during that time, but unfortunately, tonight will be the last. Typically I write to you to share news about many of the things being accomplished on the campus of Northside Christian Academy. I won’t hide the fact that I like to brag about the amazing works that the Lord is doing through our students in the areas of Academics, Athletics, Arts, Spiritual Life, Service, and Leadership. As the Dean, that has been my number one responsibility…to make sure you know what a great job our children and young adults are doing with their God-given talents, and to make sure that spotlight shines bright upon them for being exactly who they have been called to be.
But tonight is simply an opportunity for me to say “thank you” and “farewell” to many of you who I have been blessed to travel this road with since arriving at NCA back in 2012. I must admit, having the opportunity to return to Northside Christian Academy was a true blessing, and something that I will cherish forever. I know that Jenny (also a graduate of NCA) and Charlie feel the same sense of heartfelt appreciation. On behalf of the Thompson family, we thank you for your love, friendship, and support over the past 5 years. We are grateful for the opportunity you gave us to work with your families and your children.
I will always be thankful for how God brought my life “full circle” by allowing me to teach History and Leadership in the same classrooms where I learned valuable lessons from some of my favorite teachers many years ago. Likewise, being granted the opportunity to coach on the same field where I played my high school career was something that I never took for granted.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks reflecting back upon the last 5 years. As hard as it is to say goodbye, I leave NCA with a great sense of appreciation for what the NCA Family has accomplished together. As the Dean, I have enjoyed having a “front row seat” to witness the tremendous progress that NCA has enjoyed as an institution during that time.
In particular, we worked together to build and maintain a positive school culture that was firmly grounded upon the foundation of God’s Word. The cornerstones of our “4 A’s” (Academics, Athletics, Arts, and Attitude/Spiritual Life) became pillars by which our students used their gifts to glorify God, and to push NCA to new heights. As a result, NCA is now regarded as one of the best Christian schools in the state of North Carolina, and throughout the southeast. In doing so, the NCA Family became one amazing community comprised of many different families from all across the area, and ultimately, from around the world. That truly made us a stronger school…together.
One of our greatest accomplishments in recent years was the resurgence of unity and school spirit with the “We Are All N” campaign. Our athletic teams earned championships at the conference and state levels, while many of our student-athletes were recognized for their high caliber of play. Our Fine Arts Department received several awards and high honors while participating in numerous competitions. Their performances of some very challenging productions and musicals showcased the unique gifts God has bestowed upon so many of our students. To our coaches and directors, I tip my hat to you and congratulate you on a job well done.
Student leadership soared to an all-time high with the introduction of the NCA Summer Leadership Institute and the expansion of our Class Officer positions. The addition of our various student committees gave our young leaders more opportunities to put those valuable life skills into practice. As a school, we participated in dozens of service-oriented projects and provided food, toys, and blankets for those in need during the holidays. Our culture at NCA has clearly been one of giving and generosity, and for putting the needs of others ahead of our own.
In short, the “All N” attitude wasn’t simply a catchy slogan on a poster…it was alive and well, and it could be seen and felt by everyone who visited our campus. If anyone missed it, well, they certainly weren’t paying attention to the heart of our NCA Family, and most especially, the heart of our kids.
As I bring this letter to a close, I need to say “goodbye” to some very important people.
To the teachers, staff, coaches, and administrators of Northside Christian Academy, I thank you for your hard work and dedication to serving our Lord through Christian Education. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed, and I hope that you realize just how much you are appreciated. You may never know the full extent of your impact during this lifetime, but rest assured, you will see it for all of eternity. I learned a great deal from you, and I am a better educator, and person, just by having worked alongside you. Saying goodbye is difficult, and I will miss being with you every day. Keep being exactly who you are…not strangers, but friends. I’ll see you again before you know it.
To the NCA School Board/Committee, I want to thank you for your service, your courage, and your leadership, especially in recent months. I have the utmost admiration and respect for you. I am also forever grateful to Tony Fajardo, Sheila Nelson, and to the church leaders who were in place in 2012 for first giving me the opportunity to serve here. To the current staff of Northside Baptist Church and Deacon Board, I thank you for allowing me to be part of this special ministry. I also want to thank you for leading with faith and conviction when it was needed most. I pray for God’s guidance and blessings upon you in the days ahead. You have my utmost support.
One of the toughest “goodbyes” I have to share is with the young men and women of the NCA Knights Soccer teams. For the past 4 years we worked hard together. You bought into the goals and dreams we set for the program, and you brought NCA Soccer back to a level of respectability across the state. To the “Band of Brothers,” you restored a tradition that had spanned across 5 decades, and you pointed the program back in the right direction. Thank you for being men, and for teaching so much to my son who looks up to many of you as his “adopted brothers.” We are with you, always. To the ladies who are part of the “Band of Sisters,” my heart is breaking by having to say goodbye. The Lord didn’t bless me with daughters, but you were adopted “soccer daughters” to Jenny (Mrs. Coach) and I, as well as the “sisters” Charlie never had. You were the first Girl’s Soccer team in school history to win a championship of any kind, and the first to be invited to the State Playoffs. You stole my heart the first day we took the field together, and we never looked back. Jenny, Charlie, and I will never forget you. Keep pressing ahead and know that we will always be your biggest fans. “Fight Knights Fight…until the very end.”
To the parents and families of NCA, I thank you for your constant support and patience as we partnered together in the education of your most valuable assets, your children. As you might imagine, my role wasn’t always an easy one, but my prayer is that you know that as a school, we always had your child’s safety, success, and spiritual development at the forefront of our minds when making some very difficult decisions. I wish you all well. Please let me know how I can serve you in the future.
Last, I want to say thank you to the students of Northside Christian Academy. It has been the honor of my lifetime to be your voice and advocate. I know you will go on to do great things for God’s glory, and Northside is a better place because of your “All N” attitude and support for the programs here. As graduates of NCA, Jenny and I both want to thank you for carrying on the traditions of Northside, and for maintaining it as a very special place to learn, worship, and serve.
Our memories of NCA, and the relationships we have with many of your families, are special. We won’t ever forget you, nor the time we spent together.
We don’t always understand why God guides and directs us to different paths along the journey of life. All that He expects us to do is to follow, no matter how difficult doing so might be. Who knows, maybe the journey will bring us back to NCA one day. Mr. Wade, Mrs. Nelson, and Dr. Larson have been very gracious during our transition, and we appreciate their support while we struggled with the difficult decision to follow God’s call to follow a new path. We are confident that they will lead Northside to new heights in the days ahead.
I’ve often spoken about all of the things that make NCA so special during my 5 years here. Northside Baptist Church and Northside Christian Academy are beacons of light and hope in a world that has drifted away from God. We are in the business of producing Knights here, young men and women who are bold and determined to stand strong. We are not a factory of misguided mediocrity. With God’s blessing, we are a longstanding ministry that produces nothing less than “the very best.” And if we are to continue to make a dent into the darkness that surrounds us, we need schools and ministries like Northside to help raise a generation of young leaders for Christ. I believe that’s what Northside has done, and will continue to do, for a long time to come.
And as I leave you tonight, this isn’t a sad “goodbye,” but rather, a hopeful “we’ll see you later.” My friends, NCA is doing great things. I am proud to look back over the past 5 years and say, as “the last of the Knights” still standing in this world, “we weren’t just marking time. We made a difference.” We stood for what was true, and right, and noble, and just, when someone had to do it, and with God’s help, we won. “All in all, not bad…not bad at all.” (R.R.)
God bless you and your families, and may God bless Northside Christian Academy for many years to come.
Always A Knight,
NCA Dean of Students
NCA Class of 1994
We thank God for the Thompson family and we pray that God will richly bless and use them for His Glory as they continue serving and ministering to families in Christian Education! Thank you, Thompson Family – and Godspeed in your new journey!