A Round of Applause for Providence Academy’s Academic Letter Winners

Providence Academy held the annual Academic Letter Ceremony on April 12, 2023, recognizing students in grades 10-12 for their rigorous academic achievements. Receiving an academic letter is no small feat, as it represents the hard work and dedication each student has put into succeeding in their schoolwork. 

In order to receive a letter in academics, a student must be on the Headmaster’s list with a GPA of 3.67, for three semesters. Following a student’s first letter, every two more semesters of being on the Headmaster’s list qualifies the student to receive another. 

Providence chooses to hold a ceremony for this rather than simply giving the students their letters in a casual way because this accomplishment is viewed as an important achievement, and the Providence community wants to recognize that fact by doing something special for the students. 

Mr. Michael Tiffany, Director of Academics and Curriculum, explains, “Receiving an academic letter is an achievement because it reflects hard work in many subject areas, and reflects on a lot of choices on the student’s part. These choices show that they value their education and have made a commitment to that education.”

Tiffany made a speech at the beginning of the ceremony explaining the importance of receiving an academic letter, and what it takes to receive one. After the speech, he called up the students one by one to the stage. The students’ names who were receiving their first academic letter were called first, followed by those receiving their second, and finally those being handed their third. As the student walked up to the stage, they were handed a certificate , and a felt PA letter if it was their first letter received. 

Mr. Michael Tiffany, Director of Academics, gives a speech before calling the students up to the stage.

It is not easy to be awarded with three letters because it takes commitment and dedication to your education to meet the requirements needed to receive one. 

Koral Hortsman, ‘23, who has received three academic letters, says, “Being handed this letter means that I have put in the hard-work to maintain a GPA that allows me to receive this, and it shows that I have always pushed myself to do as well in school as I can.”

The numerous academic letter winners are presented.

For others, this was an important night because they were receiving their first letter. In particular, O’Brien Lee, ‘25, says, “This letter means a lot because I have put in so much hard work everyday, and it shows that the hard work has paid off. In addition to this, it feels good to be recognized for the commitment to school because no one sees what goes on behind the scenes with the late night studying and cramming, and I am grateful that that is in a way getting recognized.”

The Academic Letter Ceremony will continue to happen for many years to come. Students are grateful for this because the ceremony shows the students that academic accomplishments are worthy of celebration.

Tune-ing into the Sacred Concert

The November 8th Sacred Concert, put on every year by the choir, and this year accompanied by the orchestra, is a concert in which students and families can praise God through voices and various instruments. In accordance with this year’s theme of meditation on scripture, every song was picked with scripture verses in mind. 

Mrs. Beth Wolfe, Strings Teacher, explained, “Music is a God-given gift, and a gift we should give away in the spirit of healing the world. When you play good music that has a sacred base, you get in touch with the creative energy of God.”

For many, the sacred concert is a chance to take a break from the busyness of their everyday life, and dedicate a moment to be grateful for what God has given us. Ms. Kelsey Wessels, Upper and Middle School choir teacher, said, “The sacred concert is special because it is not only a chance to celebrate the music God has given us, but to also celebrate Him.”

The orchestra plays while being conducted by Mrs. Beth Wolfe.

When it came to the choir and orchestra performing together, both Wolfe and Wessels loved that they had the opportunity to do so. 

“One of the positive aspects of playing together,” said Wolfe, “is that we can learn a lot from each other. The orchestra can learn how singers emote from their music, and the choir can learn from us about precision and what it takes to play together on a string instrument.” 

Having both the choir and orchestra play together was not only a special experience for these teachers, but also a great moment for the students. 

Nathan Ward, ‘24, a choir student, commented, “It was a really neat experience because it created a strong sound that was beautiful.”

Additionally, strings student Alyssa Condon, ‘23, enjoyed both playing with the choir and having the audience sing along.

Some highlights from the sacred concert were when the choir performed, ”Look at the World” by John Rutter, and when the orchestra played “Fantasia” by Tomas Tallis. In addition to this, there was a beautiful piece sung by the choir while two violinists played along. 

Wessels reflected, “The song ‘My Shepherd Will Supply My Need’ had a six part vocal split, so when the string soloists played at the same time the choir sang, it held together fantastically.” 

Following the concert, Wessels and Wolfe felt incredibly proud of their students, due to their hard work paying off. 

Wolfe commented, “Every concert is a surprise and every concert gives more than I thought it would. The choir and orchestra did so many things well that it’s a good base to have as our main goal and as a measuring stick for future concerts.” 

The Sacred Concert was a great experience for both the choir and orchestra, and they look forward to doing it again in years to come.