Principals’s Pennings

December 20, 2016

On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at Martin Luther Academy, we wish you and your families a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and BLESSED NEW YEAR!

Hopefully tonight you can come see and hear our children present the Christmas story in a way that only children can. It will be from their hearts. They have spent hours preparing this special message for you. They know the real reason for the season!

Tuesday, (today), December 20 at 6:30 pm.

Doors open at 6:10

Children in the classrooms at 6:15

Pick up children in their classrooms after the program.




Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

13 December

 What is your favorite book or movie, and how many times have you read or seen it? My favorite book was “Huckleberry Finn,” and I’ve probably read it 15 times. My favorite movie years ago was “The Sound of Music,” and by the time I reached adulthood, I probably saw it nine or ten times. However, I probably won’t read the book or see the movie in its entirety again, as I know the story, I’ve seen it many times, and I’m not ready to hear it again. Enough is finally enough!

However, how about the Christmas story? I’ve probably heard it at least 500 times, and I’m ready to hear it again. I certainly wouldn’t hear or see my favorite books or movies that many times! And yet, every year when I hear the Christmas story over and over, told by the children, pastors, family members, and friends, it strikes me as wonderful, refreshing, exciting, and comforting, even after 500 times! The setting is the same, the plot doesn’t change, and the characters are the same. Nothing about the story has changed in over 2000 years, and yet people all over the world listen to it every year! It must be quite a story!

Read more: 13 Dec. Pennings

Principal’s Pennings

December 6, 2016

Did you ever ask a small child how to get from their house to school? Their directions will probably be quite confusing. In their mind, they think they know the way, but without our help, they would probably get lost. We can get a map and find the way, even though the directions we are receiving are very confusing.

In these days before Christmas, your child may be receiving some confusing directions, also, about the route to heaven. Many people have differing views about salvation, and your child is hearing these on the radio, music, TV, and through the commercialization of Christmas. Our society screams, “You can do it by yourself by being good,” or “Don’t worry about it, enjoy life as it is!”

Especially in this season when our children are so bombarded the secular side of Christmas, it is good we show the Way to heaven, through Christ, the Baby born in Bethlehem. Right now the children might get confused about becoming worthy by being good. They are led to think of Santa Claus as a saint who arrives magically to reward them for being good. They hear the secular versions of traditional carols that leave Christ out of Christmas. The star pointed out the way to Jesus for the Wise Men.   We at MLA have the privilege of pointing out to children that Jesus is the Way to heaven. As you point your children to the real meaning of Christmas, point them to Jesus Christ, the Babe born in a stable in Bethlehem for us!

Read more: 6 Dec. Penning

Principal’s Pennings – November 29, 2016

 In many households, Christmas shopping has begun. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all got the same gift for Christmas? It would certainly cut down on the Christmas shopping and the traffic jams. We wouldn’t have to think so hard about our Christmas lists, and it would probably be easier on the budget. However, it would still be a bit boring and unexciting. Part of the fun is not knowing what we are getting for Christmas, the guessing and the wondering.

 The previous paragraph is misleading, though. We all DID get the same gift for Christmas, it’s exciting every year, and it’s certainly not boring. Our main Christmas gift is tailor-made for each of us, even though it’s the same gift for each of us. It’s the gift we REALLY need, the gift of Jesus, our Savior. It’s so exciting we celebrate that gift every year. We take class time to create and practice special services to proclaim, proclaim, and proclaim that gift!

Read more: 29 November Penning

Principal’s Penning
22 November 2016
Great teachers and staff
Fabulous students
Cafeteria helpers
Volunteer coaches
Supportive Executive Council
Each Association Church
Teacher aids and helpers
Room moms and dads
Great facility

Read more: 22 November Penning

Principal’s Pennings
40 Developmental Assets for Children (con’t)
21. Achievement Motivation – Instill in a child the motivation to do well.
22. School Engagement – Student becomes involved in school activities.
23. Homework – Student should involve themselves about 10 minutes per grade level of homework each night ( 10 minutes for 1st grade, 20 for 2nd, 30 for 3rd, etc. This will vary from night to night, but develops responsibility in a child, as well as practice for academic skills)
24. Bonding to School – Develop pride in the child for his/her school. Help the child to care for, and appreciate the school.
25. Reading for Pleasure – The child should read for pleasure three or four hours a week. It is good if the parent models this behavior.
26.Caring – Find projects that exhibit caring and helping for other individuals.
27. Equality and social Justice – Help the child value equality, and helping reduce poverty and hunger.
28. Integrity – Help the child stand up for his/her beliefs, especially when they are Christian values.
29. Honesty – Help the child to be honest, even when it’s tough!
30. Responsibility – Teach responsibility early. Help them accept responsibility of their actions.

Read more: 15 Nov. Penning

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

8 November


The 40 Assets for Children, continued:

11. School Boundries: The school should provide clear rules and consequences.

12. Family Boundries: The family has clear rules, and boundries and monitors the child’s whereabouts.

13. Neighborhood Boundries: Good neighbors take responsibility for monitoring neighborhood children’s behavior.

14. Adult Role Models: Parents and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.

Read more: 8 Nov. Penning

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

1 November


I recently attended a conference on the “40 Assets for Adolescents,” and I’d like to share those with you over the next four weeks. Even if your child is not yet an adolescent, many of these assets are valuable for younger children, also. The first ten are as follows:

Family Support: The family provides high levels of love and support.

Positive Family Communication: Child(ren) and their parents communicate positively, and the child(ren) are willing to seek advice and counsel from parents.

Older Adult Relationships: Children receive support from three or more nonparent adults.

Caring Neighborhood: Children experience caring neighbors.

Read more: 1 Nov. Penning

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

25 October

I remember the year “Charcoal” came to live with us. We didn’t plan for him to visit, let alone take up residency. We found this beautiful cat huddled in our window well. Not knowing if he was sick, lost, or what, we fed him and gave him water. Twenty four hours later, he was still there, huddled and somewhat afraid. It was cold, windy, our son felt sorry for him, and brought him inside. We put him in the basement with more food and water. Soon Charcoal learned to adjust to the other animals in the house, and soon began enjoying cuddling up to his new masters, purring all the while. Yes, we tried very hard to find his original “mommy and daddy,” but to no avail!

I’m not sure why God gave us the gift of domestic animals, but I think about it often. Maybe it was only to help us relieve stress as we home to their devotion and nonjudgmental personalities. I also think we can take some lessons from them. When they see us as their masters, they are so devoted to us. They know their food comes from us, they love to spend time with us, and they long to please us. They are loyal and learn quickly to depend on us and our decisions for them.

Read more: 25 Oct. Penning

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

October 18, 2016

Parent/teacher conferences are coming soon. It’s a good time for parents and teachers both, to sharpen their listening skills! Teachers look forward to these conferences. They are eager for them to begin, and by the time they are finished, probably totally exhausted. It’s mentally exhausting to “switch gears” every 20 minutes or so, in order to concentrate 100% on the child at hand.

Teachers take this task of “conferencing” very seriously. They work hard to determine the correct grade, taking into consideration the work finished, ability, participation, etc. They search for the right words to communicate with you honestly and lovingly. They search for the right words to communicate a child’s needs as well as his/her assets. Teachers want you to know that they care for your child in more than a clinical, professional way. They want you to know that the love of Christ is in them, and that love is shared with your child. That’s why they teach in a Lutheran school – they can proclaim that openly!

Read more: 18 Oct. Penning

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

Principal’s Pennings

The end of 1st quarter is coming up soon and with that, parent/teacher conferences. Raising children is quite a task, as is educating them. It’s good for parents to be able to communicate with their child’s teacher. It’s good to compare perspectives between teacher and parent. Imagine a group of children in front of an audience. If you are the parent, where does your attention focus? On that ONE child that is yours! You notice everything - how they stand, their facial expression, everything about that ONE child. Your perspective comes from raising that child, taking care of his/her every need. The teacher’s perspective, slightly different! The teacher has to see that child as an individual, and as part of a whole class – a whole class of special children. The teacher feels pride, too; pride for all his/her children. The perspective is obviously different, as the parent focuses on one, the teacher on many.

Read more: 11 October Penning

By Mrs. Ann Arndt

October 4, 2016

I’m in an “appreciate your teacher” mode. I was thinking of their job descriptions, and realize again, that even in the most detailed of job descriptions, many things are not included. Here are a few of the “interesting” tasks that teachers find themselves doing: wiping runny noses, tying shoes, mediating quarrels, checking for head lice, unclogging toilets, putting band aids on bruises, reading notes from satisfied (or unsatisfied) parents, opening stubborn lunch containers, fixing bloody noses, finding lost glasses, diagnosing chicken pox, opening a Christmas present when an over eager child has already told you what it is, looking for lost retainers in the cafeteria trash can, suffering through temperamental copy machines, sharing with children what they bring you (left over snacks, family secrets, OOPS, yes it happens, flu, flowers – sometimes with ants included, knock knock jokes, etc.)

Of course, it also doesn’t list as compensation for a job well done: hugs, smiles, pats on the back, good parent notes, birthday treats, many Christmas gifts, children’s jokes, friendly conversation in the halls, the joy of a “light bulb going on” in the child’s face.

Read more: 4 October Penning

Life moves on. The teacher walks back into the empty classroom. It’s quiet, the desks are all cleaned out and textbooks fill the shelves. The students have left in a frenzy of excitement and good-byes.

The teacher will see the children again, of course, but it will never be quite the same. Some will be in the same room next year, but in a different grade. Some will move on to the next teacher, and will “belong” to someone else. The teacher will face new children in the room, and the process begins anew. The new charges in the class will bring new challenges and new connections. But, this year is gone.

Every class is different and special. As teachers, we are excited to see the children advancing as God would have them do. But, it’s not without a little tug at the heart on the last day of school. There’s a little prayer for each child as he/she leaves the school ground for summer break. The break is good. The children scatter in all directions for the summer. We pray that teacher and learner never forget the blessings they have brought to each other’s lives. They’ll both come back renewed, rested, and ready to move ahead. Both will return excited about new beginnings.

Read more: Principals Penning May 19, 2016

CrossLast Friday, Miss Chancellor was our principal for the day, as a result of an auction purchase. Her jobs included greeting students at the door, making announcements, visiting classrooms, handing ice cream to every student at lunch, going out to lunch with Mrs. Arndt, teaching a math class, planning a rousing game of volleyball between faculty and 7/8 grade students, AND writing the Principal’s Pennings for this week’s Eagle’s Cry. Miss Chancellor chose to write about the great things that happen when going to a Lutheran school. Here is her article:


There are many great things about attending a small Christian school. I have been at a small Christian school my whole life since preschool until now. Having a small school is great because you meet people and you truly become great friends and not just people who sit together at lunch. All the kids in my class have been in the same class as me since kindergarten or preschool. Now we know what makes each other happy and also what makes us upset. We know what to talk about and what to do together. At a small school you get to know everyone in every grade and so you don’t have as many problems with older kids not really caring about the younger kids.

Read more: Principal's Pennings, May 12, 2016

MomSunday is Mothers’ Day, and my thoughts quite naturally go back to my own mother. She went to live with Jesus twenty-nine years ago this month. Thoughts of her still bring an occasional tear, but most often a smile accompanied many times by a chuckle as I remember certain instances. Mother would have never considered herself a comedian, she was much too shy for that. However, many times she was funny, and the source of much laughter for the family. Most times she wasn’t even trying to be funny, she was just being herself, which is often much funnier than someone who is trying to be funny.

Read more: Principal's Pennings, May 5, 2016

Animated AssistantIt is Administrative Assistants Day as I write this. That made me think of the job descriptions for our administrative assistants, which might go something like this:

  • Sort mail
  • Screen visitors to the office
  • Type as needed
  • Answer the phone
  • Handle registration procedures
  • Make sure all school forms are turned in on time
  • Disperse medications as dictated by law
  • Assemble handbooks, etc.

    Read more: Principal's Pennings, April 28, 2016

Tractor DriverSelf esteem is a very delicate thing. Each of us as adults has arrived at our own level of self esteem in many different ways. God gives us each our own worth by simply making us and saving us! Self esteem for children is so easily built up or torn down by peers, parents, teachers, or relatives.

How do we, as parents and teachers, deal with children when they sin, or how do we deal differently when they make innocent mistakes? There is a difference. Sin is against God’s Law, a wrong! An innocent mistake may be accidently spilling milk or knocking a vase off the shelf. In this PP, I’m speaking of innocent mistakes.

Read more: Principal's Pennings, April 21, 2016

Troubled BoyWorking in a PSA department, many years ago, really opened my eyes to the struggles of teenagers, most of whom were not being raised in a Christian environment. These kids had either social, emotional, or behavioral issues. I learned that year not to be judgmental, but to look beyond these issues to what was concerning for each child. I learned a most important lesson from these teenagers. I liked all the kids in that group, even though there was not one of them who did not have severe problems like the ones mentioned. They were all in the PSA department because they were no longer allowed in the regular classroom. They still needed their education, but were beyond fitting into a classroom.

Read more: Principal's Pennings, April 14, 2016

BicycleWe often ride bikes along the Little Blue River in Independence. It’s one time we get away from the phone and pretend we have nothing to do. Sometimes we leave the bikes and take the dogs. We don’t have young children anymore to help remind us to stop and admire the changing leaves or flowers, but dogs do almost the same thing. They can’t just walk three miles at a steady pace, they have to stop and smell the leaves, grass, trees, or whatever. So, while they are using their olfactory senses, we take time to use our visual senses.

Read more: Principal's Pennings, April 7, 2016

Growing up in the country in the middle of Nebraska as a teenager left little availability for summer jobs. Some of my friends worked at the one drive-in that was in town, but mainly the “town” kids did that. We “country” kids were probably expected to work on the farm. My parents rarely disagreed on anything, but they did disagree on one thing, and that was how I was to spend my summers as a 15-20 year old. Mother maintained that I should get a more “lady like” job, being a waitress in a local café. Dad said I should work on the farm, helping him so he didn’t have to hire a hired man. I don’t recall having a lot to say about it, because this seemed to be a parental decision at the time. I do remember thinking I’d much rather work with my father, although that was much harder work. Dad won every year, which meant I got up at 5:00 am to irrigate, dig ditches, mow grassland, rake, stack, fix fence (not good at that!), feed cattle, or whatever. It was very hard work, but the benefits were fantastic: room and board, great company, lots of positive reinforcement, lots of joking around, lots of fatherly wisdom shared. My wages? NOTHING! I knew it from the beginning. There would be no paycheck, work seven days a week (cows need to be fed, even on Sunday) and not even the 4th of July off! I did get a $2.00 a week allowance, though, which covered a weekend movie and snack afterward.

Read more: Principal's Pennings, March 3, 2016

Come By and Visit!

We are located at the corner of 72nd Street and Overland Drive in the Northland

To schedule your tour, call Lisa Martens at 816-734-1060.


7112 N Overland Drive


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