Growing Wings

Mrs. Dyson with her students, releasing the butterflies

~ Gladys Dyson, Kindergarten Teacher

Three weeks ago, our Kindergarten students released the 5 butterflies they had watched develop from caterpillars. The excitement was high as the insects flew off, but there was some sadness too as our students loved watching these beautiful and fascinating creatures leave our learning space. Tiny caterpillars had arrived in the mail in early May, and we watched them grow, develop into chrysalides, and then waited eagerly for the butterflies to emerge. Our students were so interested in watching the butterflies feed and fly around in their mesh habitat. Most were sad to see them released, but I explained how they needed to be free to move on to bigger spaces and continue to grow.

On Friday, June 2, our last day of the school year, we released our precious Kindergarten students onto bigger things. They flew from the protected space of our K classrooms, much like the chrysalides (one definition is a protected stage of development), since they are ready to take off and learn, read and shine!

When we released the butterflies, 3 flew out of the habitat quite quickly (to rousing cheers, of course!), but two seemed reluctant to leave the safety of the known green mesh space. Those two had to be coaxed out and still one hung around on my finger for about 5 minutes, then on the nearby sidewalk. I find our K students are not much different. Last week, several talked excitedly about moving on to 1st grade and looking forward to what new and challenging things they would do there. But others were a bit tearful and said they wanted to stay in Kindergarten. While I would love to keep any of them, who would want to keep these eager students from the wonders that lie ahead? Who would want to limit their potential? They are ready, and though their excited giggles and delightful unique personalities will be missed, I will enjoy seeing them move on to new challenges and adventures. And I will look forward to the new little ones who will come through our doors in August – ready to grow, learn and again move on. 

Praying for Others

Traci Brubaker ~ Grammar School Teacher

One of the desires of my heart this year has been to help my students see beyond the classroom to the world God is continually orchestrating. I say to them, “You may feel unworthy right at this moment, but the Lord is using You for His plans and purposes in mighty ways.” What better way to turn our eyes upon Jesus than to encourage others through prayer. One of our prayer partners this year has been Lt.Col Ken Crabtree. It began on Veteran’s Day. Little did we know the video we made in our classroom, thanking the Colonel for his service, would play a part in an ongoing prayer ministry for his family. Right after the video was sent, there was an attack near his base. People lost their lives, and once again, Colonel Crabtree and his family were faced with the realization that life is precious, and can never be taken for granted. When the class found out about these events, they were determined to pray for his safety and protection. A few weeks ago, Ken contacted me asking if he could visit because he had something to present to our class. The day of his visit, we recited our Logos Declaration and sang, “Proud to be an American.” I looked over and saw Colonel Crabtree had tears in his eyes. Our class really touched his heart knowing we believed in what God was doing for him and his family. After a time of sharing and questions, he raised out of a box the most beautiful plaque I have ever seen. Inside the plaque was a flag flown at the United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 2, 2017. It stands for peace and was flown in honor of our classroom! So, I say to my dear friends….Don’t ever feel insignificant. There is no such term in the eyes of our Creator. He has intertwined His people, all the way across the oceans. Our students are learning so much every day about math, reading, science, and history. But, are also learning that they have a mission for the Lord and He will use them if they are a willing vessel.

Meet Mr. D: NoBo4Logos

Jonathan Desmarais, Upper School teacher, is embarking on a second summer of hiking the Appalachian Trail!

Subjects that Mr. D has taught at Logos over the past 5 years:

  • 7th Grade Christian Literature
  • 8th Grade Medieval/Renaissance Literature
  • 9th Grade British Literature
  • 10th Grade Modern World Literature
  • 11th Grade American Literature
  • 12th Multicultural American Literature
  • 7th Grade Logic I, History of Hip-Hop, Chess, and 8th Grade Brain Games

I was born and raised in New Hampshire, attended Messiah College, and graduated in 2007 with a degree in church music. I am a cellist. I began to teach reading at a small private school in Harrisburg, and through that experience, I fell in love with literature through the writings of Kurt Vonnegut. Although not a Christian, he was very committed to the pursuit of social justice and he did so in a very provocative, simple, and funny way, which greatly appealed to me. The writing of Kurt Vonnegut spurred my thirst for literature.

While at Messiah, very early on, I lost my faith. Everything that I assumed about Christianity proved to be meaningless and inconsequential. But through that loss of my faith, I started to realize what being a Christian was all about. I truly discovered for the first time what it meant to live out the Gospel and live my life like Christ. Through this life changing time in my life, I realized that I had a deep desire to live my life committed to the pursuit of social justice.

It is out of this desire to pursue social justice that I have committed my life as an educator. After teaching at a private school in Harrisburg for four years that was dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty through education I was searching for a school with a similar mission but with a more holistic approach, and this search brought me to find Logos.

It is my desire as a teacher at Logos to help shape my students desires to pursue things of beauty, truth, and goodness. I am inspired daily by my students as we encounter and wrestle with challenging literature. Some of my favorite moments as a teacher are when students challenge me in my analysis of literature. For the past two years, I have had the privilege to design and teach a new course for 12th Grade: Multicultural American Literature. In this class, we discuss challenging topics and issues that we as peacemaker Christians are called to wrestle with: intersectionality, racial and ethnic social consciousness, privilege and power, sexism, racism, ageism, (and other forms of discrimination), traumatic migration experiences, etc. I have greatly enjoyed reading some challenging literature (Between the World and Me, Citizen: An American Lyric The Dew Breaker, The Souls of Black Folks, The House on Mango Street, short stories of Sherman Alexie, Passing, The Joy Luck Club) with my 12th Grade students as we have wrestled with these topics. For me, this is what it means to be a Christian, as we pursue peace.

In the past few years, I’ve gone through some very challenging times in my personal life. As I’ve worked through these times, with lots of prayers and support of friends, I was very intentional about forcing myself to wrestle with my thoughts and hiking provided the perfect opportunity to do so. What else can you do, but think, when you are hiking for 15 hours straight? In the fall of 2016, I hiked 199 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the state of PA and through this, I fell in love with the Appalachian Trail, its history, and its culture. As I hiked, I came to realize that I had the opportunity to combine two of my passions: teaching my students at Logos and hiking.

Last summer, I embarked on something that I had never done before. I hiked 832.1 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from the trail’s southern terminus, Springer Mountain in Georgia, to the Tye River in Virginia. In the process, I hiked through four states, wore out two pairs of shoes, wore and lost three pairs of sunglasses, and ate way too many Snickers bars. Prior to this journey, the longest backpacking trip I had ever done was a 3.5 day, 74 mile hike of the Ocala National Forest in Florida. Needless to say, my 61 day hike through the southern Appalachian mountains taught me many things about life and about myself.

I overcame many personal fears. Overcoming fear happens quickly when you encounter a total of 13 bears! I met and developed relationships with other hikes from around the United States and the world. But more importantly, I was able to experience and fully immerse myself in the beauty of God’s creation, while sharing the Logos story.

As I set out again this summer on the Appalachian Trail, hiking from the Delaware Water Gap, on the PA/NJ border, to Hanover, NH, I hope to take my students’ stories with me, sharing and representing the vibrant learning community known as Logos Academy.


“So It Goes”

Join Mr.D as he takes this journey. Stay tuned for ways you can support and encourage Mr.D during NoBo4Logos.

If you would like to make a donation, please click the button below and indicate #NoBo4Logos on the giving page.

GIVE to Logos

It’s Easy to be a Logos Champion (#LogosChampion)

Our vibrant learning community is robust with stories about lives being changed through connections at Logos Academy. We are an urban, Kingdom school grounded in the love of Christ, educating for excellence, offering opportunity, and cultivating hope in our community.

To our students, we offer an excellent education through a classical model which encompasses Greek, Latin, literature, humanities, philosophy, and rhetoric.

To our families, we offer opportunity to break cycles and connect with others in an environment grounded in the love of Christ. Our culturally diverse community is celebrated and seeds of understanding are planted.

To our community, we bring hope. Hope is brought to Logos in many ways: A caring friend, a donor who provides much-needed scholarships or school supplies, a community mentor that engages a student in an opportunity to expand his or her learning, a teacher who takes time to build a relationship with a student who is struggling, a staff member who listens to the struggles of a parent and connects them with resources. These are our Logos Champions.

Are you already a Logos Champion? We thank you for your love and support. You are steadfast and diligent in your commitment to Logos’ mission.

We need Logos Champions to continue to bring hope to our vibrant learning community! Join us. It’s easy!

Finishing Strong

StudentLess Than 20 Days to Step Into The Gap

The school year is over and there is much to celebrate! Despite losing $800,000 in student scholarships because of the Pennsylvania State budget impasse, Logos Academy is still standing with families to provide hope through an outstanding education.  Because of the abundant generosity of many, and frugal financial management, we are gratefully optimistic that we will be able to serve as many or more students in the year to come. Wonderful!

StepIntoTheGapLogo-Yellow&WhiteStill, to make that possible, we have some ground to cover before June 30th. A generous donor has offered $30,000 in matching funds to help us finish strong.

Will you step up to erase the impact of the budget impasse and allow us to move forward with confidence?

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Tough-minded and Tenderhearted



~ Nancy Snyder, Student Support Coordinator


The student was sinking under sorrows and stresses. Like all drowners, he was also grabbing anyone nearby and dragging them down with him. I crawled under his desk, told him to follow me, and brought him to my office.

When Liz went by, she put her hand on his arm and told him that she knows his life is hard. She also told him how much she loves him. She briefly outlined the traumas he has endured this year, acknowledging how difficult these circumstances are.

tough and tenderAfter insisting on eye contact, Liz said, with heartbroken compassion and immovable firmness, “But, no matter how hard things are, you cannot behave this way in your class.” The student’s eyes fell.

After insisting on eye contact again, Liz said, with heartbroken compassion and immovable firmness, “No matter how hard things are, you cannot crawl under your desk.” The student’s eyes fell.

After insisting on eye contact yet again, Liz said, with heartbroken compassion and immovable firmness, “No matter how hard things are, you cannot push other students.” The student’s eyes fell.Five times, Liz repeated the intimate eye contact, heartbroken compassion, and immovable firmness. The student, who had arrived in the office angry, disheartened, and hardened, began to cry. Liz wrapped an arm around him as he sobbed.

At the beginning of the year, Aaron (our Head of School) challenged us to read and apply Martin Luther King’s essay, “A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart.” In it, King states:
The Bible, always clear in stressing both attributes of God, expresses his tough mindedness in his justice and wrath and his tenderheartedness in his love and grace. God has two outstretched arms. One is strong enough to surround us with justice, and one is gentle enough to embrace us with grace.

We can’t change our students’ daily circumstances. As we have restorative conversations, however, we can change how our students live in their circumstances. Part of being an urban, kingdom school is offering our students the toughminded tenderheartedness of Christ, so a student who was bellowing under his desk can return to that desk to make a mosaic map of the continents over which our God reigns with two outstretched arms.

Wonder in Education

Guest Blogger – Nancy Snyder, K-12 Student Support Services Coordinator

splashThe fifth-graders have been working on growth goals. To learn about a growth mindset, students read and discussed the picture book The Most Magnificent Thing. Students negotiated with their teachers to establish goals. They continually self-monitor to become aware of how they are doing in areas where they need to grow. Every two weeks, if their self-monitoring is adequate and their teacher recommends them, they choose what they would like to do in a fun snatch of time–ten minutes of spontaneous fun in the middle of the day. Yesterday, one of them lamented, “It’s too bad we can’t take a walk in the pouring rain.”



Why not?

I ran home to grab every umbrella I own. The students donned their jackets, and we marveled over the height of the Codorus Creek and all the debris floating down it. The sun burst through (like a bright idea after a growth-mindset struggle).

We looked at the huge puddles at the corner of King and Newberry Streets. One student said, “It’s too bad we can’t put down our hoods and umbrellas and run back to school in the rain.”
IMG_0611While I held their umbrellas, they danced and did cartwheels in the rain. It was a wonder-filled moment.

Wonder in education–it’s what we do at Logos Academy.

Logos Academy deals with wreckage of budget impasse

Rev. Aaron J. Anderson, Head of School and CEO

Rev. Aaron J. Anderson Head of School and CEO

The nearly 270-day Pennsylvania budget impasse has now ended. Governor Wolf relented, and though he did not sign the budget, he will allow it to stand. It appears that both the Governor and lawmakers realize there are future issues that must be addressed now.

Before we cast our gaze to the future, I propose we survey the wreckage this unfortunate impasse has created.

Our Commonwealth went 270 days without a state budget. For 270 days, schools, nonprofits, and numerous community organizations fretted over funding. For 270 days, organizations were forced to borrow money or make cuts to maintain operations. For 270 days, lines of credit were tapped, creating significant interest expenditures that were not budgeted. For 270 days, the minds of executives and staff members were preoccupied with solving funding issues. For 270 days, teachers and staff members struggled to focus on mission instead of worry.

The 270 days have passed and the political game of chicken is now over. Across PA, many are breathing a sigh of relief. Public schools will finally receive their allotted funding.

Yet, others are left cleaning up the wreckage left by this tornado of reckless irresponsibility. A great degree of damage has been caused that will not be remedied by the passage of a State budget.

Pennsylvania’s two educational tax credit programs, EITC and OSTC, provide a poignant example. These programs provide educational scholarships that make access to high quality educational programs accessible for people who otherwise could not afford them. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, Logos Academy collected and distributed $1,500,000 in scholarships to students in need through this program. Due to the 270-day budget impasse, Logos received only half of last year’s total, roughly $750,000. Half of our anticipated scholarship dollars are gone.

Though our legislators have taken steps to undo the damage, the damage is done. The tax credit program had timelines that needed to be kept. Businesses had deadlines for paying their taxes. Business owners and executives became exasperated by the ‘wait and see’ news we kept hearing out of Harrisburg and opted out of the program. We can only hope they will return next year.

And so, this week, at Logos Academy, we formally launched a 100-day effort to raise $800,000 to fill the financial gap. We granted substantial scholarships to students at the beginning of the year, with the full expectation that funding would be there to fulfill those scholarships. Logos had ten years of history on our side to substantiate this assumption.

The Logos Academy fiscal year closes in less than 100 days on June 30, 2016. In the midst of the impasse, our political leaders have talked at length about students being held hostage. While the damage has been done, we refuse to allow our children to be hurt due to the abject failure of Pennsylvania’s political leaders.

Choices have consequences, sometimes devastating ones. Though this 270-day budget impasse has victimized so many throughout our Commonwealth, we refuse to play the victim role at Logos Academy. We are looking to the faithfulness of God and the generosity of our donor community to step into the financial gap.

Logos Academy is gaining significant momentum. Students are excelling, we will graduate our second class of seniors in May, our growth is both prudent and measured, and we are cautiously considering the expansion needed to house an academic program that is showing great promise.

We will continue to fix our gaze toward securing a bright and hopeful future for our students, but in the next 100 days, we must clean up the mess created by these unfortunate 270 days.

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