Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2016 Newsletter

Intensive Week - March 14 to 18

Our exciting Intensive Week activities are:
6th grade: Art History I with Maureen Seltzer, a long-time Art History teacher and artist.  She operates Maureen Seltzer Art Studio and Gallery in Wake Forest.
7th grade: Service Days on Mon and Tues; Robotics II on Wed to Fri under the guidance of Ray Barnes of Robotics and Innovation of Wake Forest.
8th grade: Innovation Intensive Mon to Wed; Small Engines Thurs to Fri.
9th grade: Robotics on Mon to Wed, Service Days Thurs to Fri. 
Description from Mr. Hahn of the new 8th grade intensive topics: Under the guidance of Ted Morris, PhD, of CrossM Innovations and the Associate Vice Chancellor of Engagement, Innovation, and Economic Development of East Carolina University, the Innovation Intensive will begin roughly 10 days prior to class.  Students will be encouraged to "identify, imagine, design, execute, fail and repeat.  In doing so, they gain the creative confidence essential for design thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship, and servant leadership."  Our goal is to learn their Design-Driven Philosophy as we prepare next year to implement more meaningful and engaging ways of exercising the highest levels of critical thinking.  We see this as our next stage of growth as an academic institution and as an all-male environment.  Our goals is not to build engineers, but broad-spectrum thinkers adept at creation/innovation, synthesis, and evaluation.  That kind of thinker can pursue any path he chooses whether in the arts and sciences, in humanities, in ministry, or in the business world.  Why an innovative intensive?  From CrossM Innovation's philosophy page, "Innovation is a priority for employers today. In a current national survey, 95% say they give hiring preference to graduates and workers with skills that enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace, and more than 9 in 10 agree that 'innovation is essential' to their organization's continued success."  We see tremendous opportunities to incorporate more authentic, real-world projects each quarter as we continue to build genuine thinkers.  Though we're learning with the 8th graders during this intensive week, the effect will be widely felt across Iron Academy. We're very excited about this new partnership with CrossM. For the Small Engine class, Hudson Rice has a terrific curriculum planned for our young men that will teach them the basics of combustion engines, maintenance, and basic diagnostics and repair.  This topic will be useful for all of our young men, from the least experienced to those with time around the shop.  

Classroom Happenings

As we are nearing the end of the third quarter, here are some updates about what our students are learning in the classrooms.

Spanish 8th and 9th:  We welcomed a guest speaker, Max, who is from Mexico and just finished his medical degree and is getting ready to go into pediatrics.  He spoke to the students about his family, the town where he lives, and some of the customs and typical celebrations of his town.  The students had an interesting opportunity to converse with a native Spanish speaker.  His entire presentation and the questions the students asked were all in Spanish. 

History 9th grade:  The students are studying the historical roots of Islam and discussing how Christians should relate to Muslims today in a God-honoring way.

English 6th grade:  Originally the 6th graders were only going to read the first book in the series of the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.  But the students liked the book so much that the class requested to read the second book as well.  Now that the second is finished, it was unanimously requested to start reading the third book!  Ms. Bowen has been pleased to see some of the students develop a stronger enjoyment from reading.

History 6th grade:  After studying ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, they are now studying the Middle Ages with extra time taken to learn about the Vikings, knights, castles, medieval weapons, key battles, etc.  When studying the Vikings, they made Viking beards, ate oatmeal cakes, and watched a fascinating documentary on the engineering of the Viking sword and Viking longship.  Our students are beginning to grasp the cause and consequence on a larger scale in the study of history, for example, by doing the research to answer this question: How did one single battle, Battle of Hastings, change all of England?

6th Graders reading the Middle Ages resource books purchased by the IPF
and having fun with their Viking beards

History 7th grade: The students are learning about issues of American colonization and expansion in the modern era.  They studied the Gold Rush of 1849 and set up a miners camp, where they enjoyed eating beans and beef jerky, dressing up as miners, and playing a capture-the-flag type of game using fools gold.  A few weeks later they learned about the American Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation.  They had a Juneteenth celebration which commemorates when the slaves in the South heard about the Emancipation Proclamation and had a huge celebration.  Our Juneteenth celebration had a picnic with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, trivia contests about the Civil War, and a best dressed Abe Lincoln contest.  The 7th graders are gaining in their ability to critique and defend.  This period of history gives much material for both critique and defense, such as the actions leading up to the Sepoy Mutiny and the Paraguayan's perspective on Lopez. 

7th Graders with their Miner Camp and Juneteenth Celebration

History 8th grade:  Ms. Bowen is pleased that the 8th grade class continues to grow as gentleman scholars and she is very proud of their work and dedication.  Their discussions throughout each class period have grown increasingly profound.  They just completed a unit on the Reconstruction period and the growth of industry.  They are seeing how businesses developed, how technology advanced, how the economy boomed, and also the social benefits/problems that came as a result.  One of Ms. Bowen's favorite discussions and essay assignments is on the wealthy industrialists known as "Robber Barons."  Did they deserve this title or is it misleading?  The students critiqued the actions and decisions of these men in light of biblical manhood.  Ms. Bowen's prayer is that our students look toward their own vocational futures and see how they can live out biblical manhood not only in their homes but in their vocations as well.  In the photos below, the students are working together to study for an upcoming history test.  They are divided into groups and each question on the study guide has its own station.  Each group writes historical details to support the question and then rotate to a different station, continuing to add information.  At the new station, they have to evaluate what is already written and consider what is missing.  If the group before wrote a defense, then the next group will come up with a critique.   

Extracurricular Happenings

Basketball: As predicted, our team did win our first game of the Swordsman Shootout tournament and made it to the championship game, but unfortunately lost to St Raphael.  We had a strong lead in the first quarter of the championship game but fell into early foul trouble.  While the loss was disappointing, our team continued to show outstanding sportsmanship.  Coaches Roggie and Kiker were pleased with how well our young men pulled together as a team and are proud of their winning record. 
2015-2016 Middle School Basketball Team

Wrestling: Some of our students in the wrestling club went to their first ever tournament and represented IA very well.  David (9th) and Stephen (8th) Anderson were undefeated in 2 matches each and Garrett Anderson (rising 6th grader) was undefeated in 3 matches.  Coaches Nick and Josh have volunteered their time to begin our wrestling program and look forward to continued progress as we will eventually compete at the high school varsity level where there are more opportunities for competition.       

Debate Team: On Saturday March 5, the IA debate club will be competing in an intramural tournament against each other.  One of the goals for debate is to teach our students to communicate and persuade anyone they meet, and as such they need your help!  They are in need of tournament judges.  No previous experience or special expertise is necessary and if you do not understand the arguments the debaters are making, that is their fault and not yours.  Are you available on Saturday to be a judge at the 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 or 1:00 rounds?  If you are, contact our debate coach, Nathan Wilson.  Or if your son is interested in joining the team and would like to watch, we cordially invite you to attend.

MATHCOUNTS Competition:  8th graders Ethan Manning and Ian Taylor represented IA by participating in the local level of the MATHCOUNTS Competition on Feb 13 at Athens Drive High School.  Ethan and Ian participated in a Sprint round, which is 40 minutes to solve 30 problems with no calculators which focuses on speed and accuracy, a Target Round of 30 minutes to solve 8 problems which focus on problem-solving and mathematical reasoning, and Team Round to solve 10 problems in 20 minutes.  It was a tough competition but they enjoyed it!   

Ethan and Ian working on their problems at the MATHCOUNTS competition

Message from Mr. Hahn on the growing maturity of our young men:

We've witnessed remarkable growth in our young men in recent weeks.  From young men being accountable for their own actions and behaviors to peers quietly going to one another practicing Matthew 18:15-17 principles, our young men are changing.  It is a profound thing to see a 7th grader correcting a peer, holding him accountable to a higher standard of living, being willing to face the fear of doing such a thing.  It is encouraging to see our young men growing as individuals and as a team.  Seeing 9th grader Will Thompson step into a leadership role with a 7th grader and 8th graders mentoring 6th graders as they work through bathroom duty are examples of many signs of growth in our students.  In the Iron Academy environment, there is plenty of opportunity to be annoyed with peers and plenty of opportunity to mess up on the Honor Code.  It is through these inconvenient circumstances or lapses of judgment that iron is able to sharpen iron.  A sterile environment where everything runs like clockwork does not prepare our young men for the freedoms, chaos, and temptations of the world.  We are confident that our young men are learning how to deal constructively with one another and what it means to be godly men.  They are growing in areas in which their outside peers can't even imagine because this discipleship community of families, churches, and school is working together to build something special!  Thank you for your support of your sons as they continue to grow as Jesus did in Luke 2:52.  

Blade Maintenance Plan Upcoming Due Date

Friday, March 18 is the next deadline for an update for the Blade Maintenance Plan.  For this update, the students are to submit a short writing on "how your understanding of the Code has changed and how you are living the Honor Code."  One of the header tabs for this newsletter website has the link to the Quarterly Plan Report Template to use for each Blade Plan submission.

Parent Volunteers Needed

IA is hosting an event with the purpose of gathering more individuals who are willing to help us in our cause of crafting gentleman scholars and training young men in biblical manhood.  This fundraising event will be held on Tuesday April 19 at 6:30 pm at a home on Oberlin Rd, near downtown Raleigh.  If you know of anyone who would like to learn more about our school and support our efforts, contact Bob Hodges, our Director of Community Relations, about sending an invitation to this person.  We also need parent volunteers to help with directing our guests for parking, handing out name tags, and leading groups of guests to different stations around the home.  To be a volunteer, you will need to be able to attend both the rehearsal at 6:00 pm, Thursday April 14 as well as the event on April 19.  If you are available to volunteer, please send an email to  We need several volunteers and no experience is necessary - just a heart for sharing the message of Iron Academy!   

Science Lab on Saturday March 19

The schedule for the day is:

8:00-11:30 for 8th and 9th graders

12:30-4:00 for 6th and 7th graders

Remember that students are to wear their IA academic clothes and closed-toe shoes. Students should bring paper and pencils/pens and they can bring a snack. 

IPF Budget Update

The IPF was able to bless our math teachers with the purchase of two large magnetic graphing whiteboards for $197.  We've had a big boost to our account with recent fundraising activities.  First, our basketball tournament admissions and concession sales gave us net proceeds of nearly $600.  Second, thank you to everyone who donated items for us to sell at the Kids Exchange January sale.  We received a check for $404!  Third, we received a quarterly payout from for $39 (1% donation for all of our purchases that go through this link).  And lastly, we are submitting $122 worth of BoxTops.  Thank you to everyone who clipped them for us and thank you to Kelly Thompson for counting 1,220 BoxTops!        

Calendar of March Events

You can access our school calendar of events on Iron's website through the Welcome tab or it is also one of the tabs in the header to this message.  
Every Friday 7:50-8:30 am: Join us for the Parent Prayer meeting.  Please feel free to come at any time that you are available.  It is a pleasure to pray for our students, faculty, parents, and school.  
Sat 5th9:00-2:00 Debate Tournament at IA
Tues 8th: 5:30-8:30 pm Kamado Grille Spirit Night
Wed 9th: Father's Breakfast at 7:30 am
Fri 18th: Second deadline to submit order for Sword Photos that Mr. Anderson took of each student.
Tues 22nd: Prospective Family Information Session (We had a wonderful crowd at our Feb session.  Please let all of your friends know about our March session.)
Thurs 24th: Middle school golf versus Falls Lake Academy
April 1: Re-enrollment Fee of $750 is due.  Mail to Iron Academy, 9660 Falls of Neuse Rd, Suite 138 #263, Raleigh, NC, 27615.