To my Mom on Mother’s Day:

I cannot imagine what it’s like to be a mother. I have no idea what it must feel like to conceive three children, give birth to two, but see only one live to adulthood. How do you learn to parent when you didn’t grow up in a healthy family or have a strong parenting role model? And when your prime adult years are focused on keeping a critically ill child alive, how do you find normalcy? Yet in spite of the pain and difficulty, you somehow overcame to be a good mom and grandmother. The things true of your childhood were not true of mine. Today I am thankful for what you sacrificed and endured to give me a good life.

When I became a dad, I had not read books or attended classes on how to parent. More or less I did what seemed good and right. I had examples of good parenting to fall back on and role models to emulate. I knew to spend time with my kids, to be a part of their lives every day, to let them be who God created them to be, and to nurture them toward faith in Christ. These things came somewhat naturally to me because this is how I was raised. Whatever good I have done as a parent, I owe to you and to the grace of God.

Thank you for being my mother. Thank you for sacrificing education and career to be home for me and Mark. Thank you for enduring the daily exhaustion of parenting both a sick child and a hyperactive one. Thank you for loving me and my family through all the years and different cities and homes and jobs and churches that have filled our journey. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I know I have a mother who loves me, is proud of me, and did everything in her power to give me all she could. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Your son,



SouthLake Christian Academy Update – May 2023

Dear SouthLake Christian Families,

By my count, we have 10 school days left in this academic year. One year ago, I would have told you we were finishing one of the most difficult years of my professional life. Today I am happy to say we are finishing one of the most enjoyable. I feel honored to work with such distinguished teachers and supportive parents. I am grateful to each of you for your collective efforts to protect, train, and teach our students in a Christ-centered environment.

Spring Festival
Please help me extend warm appreciation to our Parent Teacher Fellowship for a stellar Spring Festival last month. I have attached to a school email the list of sponsors who helped make that event financially possible. Two years ago, we made this a free event and solicited sponsors to help cover costs. Thanks to generous sponsors, we now receive as much in voluntary donations as we once got from ticket sales. When the need arises, SouthLake families always come through.

New Website
Perhaps you have noticed we launched a new website after Spring Break. Many months in the making, our new site provides all the information you need in a format that is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate. We track traffic to our site and notice that admissions, athletics, and our school calendar are most often accessed. Along with the new SouthLake app, our new website will help us better communicate with you and prospective families.

We project enrollment for the 2023-2024 academic year to reach 650, up from 546 in 2018. We have grown every year for the past five years. As of last week, we have space left only in kindergarten, largely because we added an additional class, and a few spots in high school. All other grades are full. Retention remains well above industry standards at 94%.

School Board Service
Each spring we reach out to school families to invite those who may wish to serve on our School Board to apply. We do not always have openings, but we solicit applicants anyway so we have people ready to serve when the need arises. Upon request, I will send you an applicant profile which lists qualifications for service. If you believe you qualify and are willing to serve, please complete the profile and send it to me. I will forward your application to our School Board Chair and set up a time to talk further. I am grateful to have a qualified and engaged School Board in place, and we welcome experienced leaders to serve alongside them to strengthen our school.

Annual Fund Donations
 In closing, let me ask you to make a donation to our school’s Annual Fund. The Annual Fund provides value added to the school on behalf of all our students and teachers. With previous Annual Fund donations exceeding $1 million, we have improved school safety, renovated our sanctuary, and will be adding new Fine Arts classrooms this fall. We value gifts of all sizes and seek high participation as much as gifts of extraordinary size. You can access the “Giving” link on our website, or click the “Give” link on the SouthLake app. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

By now you may feel like I am just an annoying cheerleader for SouthLake. I certainly do not mean to imply that SouthLake is without its challenges, but I find little value in negativity. I will confess to being a relentless optimist about our strengths and potential as a school. By God’s grace, SouthLake continues to thrive against all odds. Our former Head of School, David Rowles, said on a recent podcast episode, “If God wants SouthLake to fail, it will, no matter what we do to prevent it. And if God wants SouthLake to succeed, it will, no matter what we might do to mess it up.” My optimism about SouthLake grows from my confidence in God’s proven faithfulness to us through the years. I pray you will experience God’s faithfulness in new ways as we head into the summer months.


Matthew S. Kerlin, Ph.D.
Head of School
SouthLake Christian Academy

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