BSBA Stories

Bell Shoals Baptist Academy

Inside the Academy Family...

Administration Stories


When Walt Shaffner became an assistant principal, his father, Ted, gave him an unusual gift: a tiny megaphone and a toy baseball bat.  The gifts were inspired, Shaffner says, by the school film Lean on Me, in which Morgan Freeman played devoted, but tough-minded, high school principal Joe Clark.  "Dad was a real fan of that principal in that movie," Shaffner recently told his sister, Mary Fischer. 

Along with the toy items was a note, promising that Shaffner would have the genuine articles on his next promotion, so he could walk the halls as a principal.  As Shaffner transferred from school to school and got closer to becoming a principal, the gift traveled with him.  When Shaffner and Fischer's father died suddenly just a few years later, Shaffner had only begun to work as a full principal.

After the funeral, with the family gathered around, Shaffner's mother brought out a box. In it were a baseball bat and a megaphone, ready to go into his school office. A note in the box signed off with, "You've earned the real thing. Love, Dad."  "That was kind of a powerful one for me," Shaffner says. "The power of a promise kept."

Produced for the 'Morning Edition' of Story Corps in 2006, by Katie Simon. 

Parent Stories

Middle School Parent

Sending my daughter to Bell Shoals for middle school was the best decision we ever made.  My sons had gone to public middle schools where the atmosphere is often negative and came home every day with bad attitudes.  

At BSBA the teachers are loving and pray for each child, the Principals are attentive and deeply care about parent input. The students are great and the learning environment is positive and very hands on.

A Blessed and Grateful Grandparent

My grandchildren attended Bell Shoals and are now wonderful Godly teenagers. The oldest who just graduated from high school with high honors will tell you that being at Bell Shoals was a great good influence in her life.

Students/Alumni Stories


My name is Jacob and I am a senior at Durant High School. I graduated from Bell Shoals Baptist Academy. I have been involved in the Future Business Leaders of America club in high school for the past four years, and have placed first in my district competition twice and third in the state of Florida in the category of Business Communications. This competition consists of an objective test to assess knowledge of grammar and mechanics as well as the media of communications in the business field, both verbal and non-verbal. I want to attest to the fact that attending Bell Shoals Baptist Academy was an integral part of my understanding of the fundamentals and gave me the edge to qualify for the national competition this summer in Anaheim, California!

Teachers Stories

Michelle Kline

I believe that students in our middle and high schools are our last and best hope for our future.  I continue to be excited about reaching this next generation.  To be involved in education is to be on the cutting edge of influencing the direction of society. Teaching is love made visible. 

Within the private, Christian school, educators teach not only academics, but have the privilege of sharing a unique philosophy of life. I would like this opportunity to share this unique philosophy with you.

To begin, I believe that a good philosophy of life should be:  (1) practical (2) optimistic (3) loving (4) sharing (5) goal-oriented (6) fulfilling and (7) challenging
My philosophy of life is based on the Holy Bible and the God who wrote it.  I know that he has a plan for my life and through daily prayer and reading of His word I will be able to see it.  As far as my life work is concerned, I am leaving it in His hands and am willing to do anything that He says.

Jesus Christ teaches love and respect for everyone throughout the New Testament.  We are not to judge anyone because He will accomplish that on the judgment day.  In God’s sight, no one person is worth any more than another.

Knowing and loving Jesus Christ personally makes me want to please Him and accomplish things for His glory.  Paul says in the New Testament, “Whatsoever you do, do it all to the glory of God”, and “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

This philosophy contains all of the seven points that I referred to earlier.  As I stated in the beginning, it is very (1) practical to have someone to turn to for any decisions or problem, small or large.  What could be more (2) optimistic than knowing that God has a purpose and plan for one’s life, and that He is willing to keep in constant fellowship with anyone who seeks Him.  To know that I have accepted Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation brings peace to my heart.  God has the best for us and if we let Him, He will improve our lives.  God in His Holy Word teaches us to have (3) love and a burden for every person, as Jesus Christ Himself.  One of my main goals is to (4) share this experience I have had with Christ, and to show others the peace and happiness that it brings.  This is an important (5) goal in itself, but more completely, my aim in life is to accomplish what the Lord has for me to do.  The closer I grow to Him, the more (6) fulfilled I am.  He has things for me that the world could never offer and I have learned to appreciate how fortunate I am.  God’s standards are higher than anything attainable and present a great (7) challenge.  I know that even when I do my very best and I can never reach God’s standards and therefore I could never be worthy of entering heaven. God has given me this eternal life as His free gift. 

I believe that the highest beauty, truth, justice and goodness are found in God’s Word.  This is my philosophy, and yet it is not mine, but I am God’s and whatever I have is His and I have faith that He is the only answer and I do so love Him.
One Question to the reader:
What are you living for?  I hope it’s important enough.  I hope that it’s something that will last a lifetime and will give meaning and coherence to your life.

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