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By Meredith Rose

 

This month, nine students from Fellowship Academy in Kennedale, TX, participated in the Kennedale Youth Police Academy (KYPA), a two-week program run by the Kennedale Police Department that introduces students to law enforcement, criminal justice and public service. 

 

"The academy seeks to build life skills such as confidence, leadership, collaboration and problem solving skills, and to bridge the gap between law enforcement and society,” said KYPA Director Officer Delvin Starling. “We want there to be transparency in the criminal justice system so that students who take part in the academy can see that we are here to serve the community rather than just enforce the laws.”

 

Students met from June 7-16 to train with officers from various law enforcement fields. They saw officer demonstrations and participated in hands-on lessons in traffic stops, police dog (also known as K-9) handling, fingerprint lifting, firearm safety and building clearing.

 

The program accepted a total of 18 students, nine of whom were Fellowship students ranging from freshman to junior year. Three Fellowship students received awards upon graduating from the academy: Sophomore Hannah McDaniel and freshman Haden Tinonga were named Top Shot; and sophomore Tristin Cruz was named Distinguished Cadet. 

 

Several other Fellowship students were chosen for leadership roles to assist Starling during their time in KYPA. These students were Ryan Kneebone, Isaac Milne, and Charlton Stiggers.

 

While graduating from KYPA does not qualify students as certified officers, the program does provide valuable insight and exposure for students who are interested in pursuing further training and committing to this vocation in the future. Hannah McDaniel was drawn to the program for this reason.

 

“I wanted to participate in KYPA because I am interested in becoming an attorney who prosecutes criminals,” she said. “I love shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, and I wanted to learn about the job of a police officer.” 

 

Hannah’s mother, Brandi McDaniel, said, “Listening to Hannah retell the events of each day has been a joy. Her excitement is contagious. She is gaining experience and understanding that will be valuable to her as she pursues a law degree and prepares for her future career. I am thankful for the opportunity for her to explore this career path in a highly engaging, hands-on format.”

 

Another student, Ryan Kneebone, said of his time in the program, “The most interesting thing I learned about was the K-9 and how it actually conducted its job. It was cool to see how well trained the dog was and how well he listened.”

 

For Cindy Kneebone, Ryan’s mother, there were several reasons to be excited about this opportunity for her son.

 

“He gained a different perspective on society and civil servants and is able to better understand and speak on current social issues,” she said. "The program is also great exposure for potential career choices.”

 

Through partnership with the Kennedale Police Department, Fellowship will continue to make KYPA applications readily available to interested students in the years to come.

 

“Part of our mission at Fellowship Academy is to help students realize their full potential through discovery of their God-given gifts, talents and purpose. KYPA provided our students with an excellent opportunity to do just that,” said Dr. Marilyn Dardenne, head of school. “Students who attend Fellowship can expect opportunities, both through our school and through partnerships like this one, to explore their desired career path.” 

 

To learn more about Fellowship Academy or schedule a tour, visit fellowship-academy.org or call 817-483-2400.

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By Meredith Rose

 

This summer, Fellowship Academy in Kennedale, TX, will offer two summer courses for students interested in accelerating their science education. The courses are Medical Terminology and either On-Level or Honors Anatomy and Physiology (A&P). 

 

These courses are available for incoming 9th-12th grade Fellowship Academy students as well as out-of-district students. Course space is limited and the deadline for registration and payment is Thursday, June 10, at 4 p.m. 

 

“This is a terrific opportunity for students to get a head start in two fully-accredited classes that can go toward their degree plan and chosen endorsement,” said David Slight, Science Department chair and instructor for both classes. “Successfully completing these classes will allow students room in their schedule to take other courses of their choosing during the long semesters.” 

 

Medical Terminology will be held online with instructor assistance by Slight. Students may also receive additional in-person instruction from Slight during campus hours if necessary. This course is designed to be flexibly paced to meet student needs, but course tests will be held on campus.   

 

On-Level and Honors A&P is a two-session course and will be held on campus with in-person instruction by Slight. Sessions I and II are both 14 days long and will be held in June and July respectively. Students already enrolled at Fellowship are required to register for both sessions. Out-of-district applicants are encouraged to register for both courses but may choose to register for just one. 

 

All students interested in registering for On-Level or Honors A&P must have completed a prerequisite Chemistry course. 

 

Any student who registers for Medical Terminology and both sessions of either On-Level or Honors A&P is eligible to receive a $50 discount off the price of their summer courses, bringing the total down to $800 for both classes.

 

“I am very pleased that Fellowship is able to offer these accelerated summer classes,” Slight said. “We are always looking for ways to build our Science Department and this is a big step in that process.”

 

To see more information, course pricing and registration details, click here. For further questions or for more information about Fellowship Academy, please call 817-483-2400.



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Fellowship Academy Health Science Students Visit Surgical Center and Gain Valuable Experience

By Meredith Rose

Eight students from Fellowship Academy in Kennedale, TX, visited the Bluebonnet Surgery Pavilion in Waxahachie last month to gain exposure to surgery and enhance their understanding of the medical field. 

The students who participated are enrolled in Fellowship’s Health Science track, part of the Public Service endorsement which is a set of course work geared toward students interested in pursuing a variety of careers in public service, including jobs in the medical field. 

“This trip was the first of its kind for Fellowship and intensely unique compared to similar programs at much bigger high schools in the Kennedale area,” said David Slight, Science Department Chair and director of the Health Science Endorsement. “Our time granted at Bluebonnet was an unprecedented experience.”

The students spent a full day at the surgical center and were granted access to the pre-op room, operating room, post-op room, decontamination and sterilization room and physical therapy room. They observed all six surgeries on the schedule for the day, interacting with the surgeon, licensed surgical assistant (LSA), nurse anesthesiologist, physical therapist and patients. 

One senior student, Lacey, said of the trip, “My experience at Bluebonnet was not mere observation… It was incredibly engaging and interactive. I was able to see an ACL patient from pre-op to post-op, and even spoke with her. I feel that this start-to-finish experience gave me a genuine and complete picture of surgical experience for both the patient and practitioners.”

This comprehensive access allowed students to witness and learn about many facets of surgical procedures, including postoperative pain mitigation, anesthesiology, operation, instrument sterilization processes and rehabilitation techniques. 

During each operation, students shadowed board certified Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Robert Roye, who explained his work and questioned students’ understanding of the procedure. Students also learned about surgical instruments and nuances from LSA Rico Dominguez.

“Being in the operating room was seemingly an open ‘out of body experience,’” said one student, Adycin, the only junior to visit the center. “It locked my passion for a surgical career and was truly a great learning experience for all involved. My lessons came to life, sparking an even greater interest in medicine.”

While most of the students who participated in the trip are interested in careers as doctors or nurses, one student, Daniel, has a unique passion for engineering and technology. He gained valuable insight into how he could apply these skills in the medical field. 

“This trip opened my eyes to the mechanical aspect of surgeries and how fascinating technology’s role in surgeries is. I wasn’t thinking of entering the medical field, but I’m definitely a tech nut of sorts so this part of surgeries resonated with me,” he said. “Viewing a procedure being done in person opens a whole new perspective on how we’re able to accomplish something like this.”

In preparation for Fellowship’s visit, Bluebonnet Surgery Center maintained strict adherence to HIPPA guidelines and received written permission from all patients who were observed during their procedures.

“Our staff all worked very hard to make this a successful experience,” said Melinda Miller, DNP, CRNA and owner of Bluebonnet Surgery Pavilion. “The students were well-mannered and asked good questions. I hope this excited some of them about all the possible careers in the medical field.”

This trip was made possible through Slight’s connections at Bluebonnet Surgery Pavilion and the generosity of all staff. Slight is a former LSA and held credentials before returning to the classroom to teach these skills to high school students.

“I am intensely grateful for Melinda Miller, as well as Dr. Roye and Rico Dominguez, plus all of the auxiliary staff and office personnel who granted us total access to the facilities,” said Slight. “It is my goal to open doors at other hospitals and surgical centers for future trips like this one.”

In the years to come, Fellowship also hopes to place students that are enrolled in the Health Science track and taking a medical Practicum course as interns at local hospitals and surgical centers. These internships will be reserved for students in their senior year.

To learn more about Fellowship Academy or schedule a tour, visit fellowship-academy.org or call 817-483-2400.

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Fellowship Academy Students Hold a Fun Run for a Cause 

By Meredith Rose

Students from Fellowship Academy in Kennedale, TX, will run laps in the Fun Run for a Cause service project on Friday, March 12. The run will take place on campus and encourage students pre-K through 12th grade to collect donation pledges benefitting Metroplex Women’s Clinic and Lifeline Children’s Services.

Friends, family, coworkers and neighbors are encouraged to pledge a per-lap or one-time donation in sponsorship of a student. To pledge a donation, click here

Shauna Moore, Principal at Fellowship Academy, says, “We are excited that our students are learning about service organizations in our area. It is a core value of Fellowship Academy to serve our community and provide these opportunities for our students.”

Metroplex Women’s Clinic, formerly the Arlington-Mansfield Pregnancy Center, is a nonprofit that provides free reproductive and sexual health education, counseling and medical services for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. 

While the clinic does not perform or refer for abortion, it does provide medically-accurate counseling to help inform a mother’s decision.

Lifeline Children’s Services is an adoption agency that provides domestic and international adoption services, family restoration resources, education and counseling for foster and adoptive families.

Three representatives from these organizations will attend the event and speak to participants: Holly Tate, director of Client Services with Metroplex Women’s Center; Melissa Cosby, pregnancy counselor and licensed social worker, and Sarah Hardy, pregnancy counselor, both with Lifeline Children’s Services.

“Fellowship Academy promotes servant leadership in word and in action,” says Moore.

To learn more about Fellowship Academy or schedule a tour, visit fellowship-academy.org or call 817-483-2400.

 

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Introducing Mustang Meadow at Fellowship Academy.p

 

by Meredith Rose

Fellowship Academy in Kennedale, TX, plans to break ground as early as this spring on Mustang Meadow, an interactive outdoor learning space designed to bolster cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual development in students grades K-12.

“Part of our mission at Fellowship is to maximize our students’ God-given potential, and we believe that there is no better place to unearth a child’s potential than in the great outdoors,” said Head of School Dr. Marilyn Dardenne.

By providing a space for students of all ages to learn in and interact with nature, Fellowship hopes to promote the physical, mental and social health of students, to develop civic attitudes and behaviors in students, to engage families and the community in education and to increase the overall performance of students.

Mustang Meadow will be located on the Fellowship campus and will include four main sections: the Friendship Garden, the Small Animal Center, the Adventure Loop Natural Playground, and the Learning Deck. 

Through both the Friendship Garden and Small Animal Center, Fellowship will seek to enhance agricultural education focus and help students develop a sense of stewardship and strong character traits such as empathy, diligence and perseverance. 

In the Friendship Garden, students will learn about water use and conservation, square foot gardening, wicking beds and other progressive agricultural practices. 

The Small Animal Center will serve as a space for all students to learn trust, nonverbal communication and responsibility through caring for animals. It will also allow high school students to explore an interest in veterinary medicine as a potential career path. The Small Animal Center will include a barn, turn-out pens, washing and grooming centers and feed storage for animals such as lambs, goats, rabbits and chickens.

The Natural Playground will be a space for younger students to build strength, coordination and balance, explore nature and participate in creative play. It will include an outdoor kitchen, music garden, water wall and other interactive features.

Lastly, the Learning Deck will be an outdoor classroom space where students can perform messy science experiments and learn in nature.

Development of Mustang Meadow began in spring of 2020 with the Friendship Garden, but progress was quickly stalled due the COVID-19 pandemic. Fellowship is not deterred by this obstacle and only expresses more confidence in the need for these types of education spaces.

“In this era of COVID-19, learning and play spaces such as Mustang Meadow are more important than ever. Fresh air, natural elements, multisensory experiences and the physical challenges in a natural playground all help children to manage stress and build resilience and self-confidence,” said Dr. Dardenne. 

Fellowship plans to recommence building this spring and anticipates completion of the project sometime in the fall of 2021.

Various students, parents, staff and community members have committed to helping build Mustang Meadow. Development will be a joint effort between these volunteers and local contractors. Funding for the project currently comes from grants, community donations and student fundraising. 

Fellowship will not only use Mustang Meadow for the benefit of its own students but plans to share the space with the community that helped build it. 

“As we envision the Mustang Meadow, we envision several hundred children taking great joy in learning and exploring outdoors, building creative thinking and problem solving, and learning to love the natural environment,” said Dr. Dardenne.

To learn more about Fellowship Academy or schedule a tour, visit fellowship-academy.org or call 817-483-2400.