Editor's note: The following is 14th in a series of articles previewing the upcoming school year at each public and private school in Athens and Limestone County.
School name: Athens Bible School
Principal: Randall Adams
Amount of time as principal: 8 years
Grades: Pre-K through 12th grade
Total number of students: About 250
Total number of teachers: 23 plus several part-time educators
Total number of support staff: 10–12 plus "a host of volunteers"
New programs: "I was fortunate enough to get a prekindergarten teacher with an education specialist degree from the schools in Decatur. I think we just got up to nine or 10 students, so we're off and running.
"Our board has had the wisdom to not only do the pre-K, but at the beginning of summer on this new campus, we had four days of the first ever dyslexia training from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. What that is is the gold standard for the dyslexia training, so we'll open a dyslexia program this year for dyslexia students.
"Of course, (we have) the new campus. We have 10,000 additional square feet. We've got 42 acres on the new campus. Our space is so much more well-organized than it was at the old place, so we're excited and thankful for the new facilities."
What makes Athens Bible School special: "The first thing is that we have Bible class. We open with God's word every day, and everyone has Bible class and chapel for the first hour of every day. That's the foundation of everything we do. We think that's seriously needed in America today, and it affects everything we do, so we try to build everything we do upon God's word. We have a great academic program, a great athletic program, and the social environment here is great, but it's all founded upon God's word. ... I think it makes us pretty unique. We want to study directly from God's word and try to please him."
Primary objectives for 2019-2020: "We want to make a really good initial effort getting school started. We've worked hard to get moved in, and we want to continue the great academic program we started. We want to make sure we identify any flaws we have and get those fixed. We want to continue the education we've had since 1943. We want to remember the past we came from and hold fast to the standards this school was established for."
What the principal is looking forward to: "We've been so busy. We've probably worked every day, averaging 12–15 hours a day, trying to get moved. Somehow, last year, I agreed with my daughter to go to Disney World the second or third week of school, and I'm looking forward to that.
"I'm also looking forward to happy and bright shining faces from students and teachers entering this building. Besides brick and mortar, what makes this school special is number one, the teachers, and then the students that come through these doors."