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Posted: June 16, 2010 11:26 a.m.

Schooling the competition

Grace Christian Academy wins international competition

Brittany Thomas/

Grace Christian Academy faced off against 3,000 students from 230 schools around the world in the Accelerated International Student Convention, winning a plethora of awards for their efforts, including first place in academics.

ACE ISC underscores the school year for hundreds of Christian schools and homeschools using the Accelerated Christian Education program. The competition includes more than 20 countries and 4,000 students.

Students competed for six days in Bowling Green, Ky., in five areas: academics, athletics, platforms (public speaking), music and exhibits (science). Grace Christian won first place in three of the five areas. In total, the students brought home 31 medals and trophies, including seven first place and eight second place awards. Four of the students also won the outstanding student of the convention award, which is for participants who have competed in all five areas.

"Considering the number of schools that were in competition, to come home with one trophy is doing something. But we came home with three," said, Tim Allen, principal and founder. "Ten of 11 science and social studies exhibits that we took with us placed with medals, three of which won first place."

Of the 60 students attending the school, 15 students volunteered to participate in the competition and each had to raise $600 to pay for the trip. The students decide what area they compete in and spend the rest of the year training for the event. Then they will have to place in the top six in regionals before qualifying for the international competition.

Grace Christian first opened in 1980 and has been competing in this convention and others like it for the last 20 years and has won several other awards, including first place in the southern regionals for nine years and placing in semi-finals in the last three.

"Buildings do not make the school, and we’ve proven that with the success we’ve had with the students that are out there. You don’t have to be big to have quality education," Allen said.

The students are already pumped for next year’s competition, many of them already planning their exhibits and projects.

"It’s our best year yet. The accomplishments we achieved gave an amazing feeling. It’s what we worked hard for and to see it come back with such great dividends; it’s awesome," student Delton Barnes, captain of the academic quiz team and first place winner in essay writing, proudly said. "We’ll be starting this summer with our projects and continue to work hard. Hopefully, we’ll do again what we did this year, but better."

Shane Lewis, a fellow competitor and second place winner in large instrumental ensemble, agrees with Barne’s sentiment, adding, "We learned a lot that week. They had a lot of great chapel speakers, so we got a lot from God that week. It was a really well-earned week."

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