Kate Haluck, an 11th grade student at Veritas Academy, has loved math for as long as she could remember.
"Math has always been one of my strengths, and since I was very young I knew I wanted to pursue teaching."
As a child and teenager, Kate figured that the best (or perhaps even the only) way for her to pursue a career in this field that she so enjoyed was to become a math teacher and share that enjoyment with other young people. She hadn't realized the array of other industries that could use her math skills.
That is, until she met Mrs. Rhonda Forbes, Veritas math teacher and head of our math department.
"When I met Mrs. Forbes, she told me her story and the path that she took," Kate recalls. "She went to UVA and became an engineer, and then after years of working in engineering realized that we needed more Christians who could think well in higher leadership positions in our country - such as engineering, politics, business, and other critical roles. And so, she took all that real world experience and decided to teach in a Christian school where she could be part of raising up those leaders.
"That inspired me, and got me thinking that maybe I could do the same. I could play to my strengths and become a mathematician who helps engineers, and do something that I’ve always wanted to do: math. I want to be able to use my skills in the world in an applied fashion, and then go back and teach like Mrs. Forbes."
Kate has appreciated how Mrs. Forbes, and fellow Veritas math teacher Mr. Harry Myrick, are able to bring their real-world experience with math into the classroom, challenging students with the importance of accuracy and proper thought and showing them why good math matters. Mr Myrick, who is Kate's Calculus teacher, formerly served for many years as an aircraft maintenance technician and instructor in the Air Force, specializing in aircraft mass properties and weight and balance, before going back for his teaching degree.
Kate also loves the study of languages, and will be completing AP Spanish this year. Talking with Mrs. Forbes about her experience with engineering opened Kate's eyes to the fact that math is the "language" of engineering. She'll be getting a head start in using that language this summer, doing an internship with a business in Hershey that helps engineers and inventors bring their product to market. Kate will serve on the mathematics side of the process supporting the engineering efforts of building thermoplastic prototypes, and she is excited to get that hands on experience.
Real World Application of Math AND Faith
Even though math has always been a strong point for Kate academically, she feels challenged here at Veritas in the advanced math track. Kate is taking Calculus I this year with several other juniors and some seniors, and will finish with Calculus II next year.
"I think that being at Veritas, with the way this school is structured, establishes a great work ethic in us as students to succeed in the real world. You have to work hard to achieve your goals here. I know my math courses will prepare me well for the math I will take in college, which will then prepare me for the workforce."
Mom Chris agrees, saying that Kate is grateful to be able to take higher, honors level math, and feeling confident going into her internship this summer because of it.
Kate's teachers at Veritas have also helped open her eyes to the wonder of how God has ordered the world in the beautiful complexity of math. "It's fascinating how God has inspired us to discover these concepts in math. When you look at a complex theorem or formula or principle, it’s mind boggling to think how God inspired a person to recognize it!"
As she chases down the dream of going into engineering, and engaging the fast-paced culture of our world today, Kate is undaunted.
"Going out into the real world doesn’t intimidate me. Because I’m being educated in a Christian school, I’m building a foundation in my faith. I’m not the type of person to easily drop by worldview now or switch opinions. Being at Veritas has helped me to face that."
A Mom's Perspective
Kate's mother, Chris, shares Kate's confidence in how Veritas is shaping her daughters (including younger daughter, Maddie) to flourish in life. She recognizes that a person does not have to go into missions work to have a crucial ministry in the world. Rather, it's important for us to raise up young adults who will engage the people and culture around them in all aspects of life.
"My personal perspective is that we need good, solid Christian human beings in every level - government, business, and other leadership. It can be hard to send your child into the world with people who you know don't share the same values. You worry. But at Veritas, they really prepare the children not to waiver from their core values.
"The teachers and the curriculum in place are forming young people who are ready to go out and be leaders in the world. That’s a very important calling."
Because of this foundation, Chris says that she doesn't hesitate sending her children into experiences and activities where she knows others around them don't share their beliefs and values. Time and again, she has seen both girls remain steady and unfaltering in their commitment to Christ.
"I think they see themselves as the ones that can lead people by example, because of the training they’ve received at Veritas," Chris says.
Want a school that will equip your children to thrive and stand firm in life and in Christ? Consider classical Christian education at Veritas Academy! Schedule your school tour today to see what makes this school so uniquely effective at preparing students to think critically, live biblically, and learn joyfully!
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