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Think Critically. Live Biblically. Lead Courageously.

A Christ-centered, caring community achieving educational excellence in pre-kindergarten 3 through grade 12. 

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Wait Until 8th

Founder and Executive Director of Wait Until 8th Brooke Shannon spoke to parents in our first Parenting with Purpose session.

The national average age for when a child gets a personal phone is ten years old. “We can collectively say ‘not yet’ and put off smartphones,” said Brooke Shannon, who promotes a “slow tech, not no tech” approach to technology with children and teens.

Brooke spoke at our first Parenting with Purpose session, empowering parents to make informed decisions about smartphones, personal devices and social media. If you missed it, click here to listen to the session recording.

Who is Brooke Shannon?
Brooke works with parents and communities across the country to help families establish a healthy relationship with technology. She is a national speaker on how to parent in the digital arena and has given keynotes to the American Enterprise Institute, and numerous schools and churches. She has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC national news, NPR and CNN Headline News. 

Why does Brooke think it’s important to delay when children get smartphones? 
A national average indicated that students are spending 4 to 8 hours per day on personal electronic devices. “I want more time for my kids to be kids,” said Brooke. “I want them to read, explore, create and connect with others without a device in the way.” 

Phones are also a proven academic distraction. “Dr. Adrian Ward, a cognitive psychologist and associate professor of marketing at the [University of Texas] McCombs School of Business, co-authored a study that shows even the presence of smartphones in a study space can lower your learning, logical reasoning, abstract thinking, problem-solving and creative abilities,” (

What recommendations does Brooke share for families who choose to use personal devices?
Brooke emphasized, “We are the parents. We have the authority and we can put boundaries in place.” She shared several great ways to reign in smartphone use: removing the internet browser, prohibiting a child’s access to the app store and limiting social media use until age 16. “We are the gatekeepers,” explained Brooke. 

Monitoring is another important aspect to technology use in any household. Want to learn more about monitoring devices, technology and wifi in your home? Join us for our future Parenting with Purpose information session, Technology in the Home: Parental Controls and Monitoring, on November 6, 2023.

“Our ultimate goal is to teach our children how to interact with technology before they go to college - slowly and with guardrails in place to protect them,” summarized Brooke, who acknowledged that it’s challenging when students may feel “left out.”

However, “these students are also left out of things like cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, FOMO, lower self esteem and more,” emphasized Brooke. “We are the first generation of parents going through this,” and we must work together to connect with each other as a community of families to set impactful boundaries around technology.

What are helpful resources for parents wanting to learn more?
Wait Until 8th
Protect Young Eyes
Defend Young Minds

God's Design for Sex
Books on parenting in a digital age

Things to Watch
The Social Dilemma 
Childhood 2.0
Cost of Beauty - Dove Self Esteem Project (only a few minutes long but super powerful)

Monitoring Services, Filters and Technology help
Gryphon Router
Bark technologies 

Are you about to say yes to a phone?
Smartphone Alternatives
Good digital training guides to get your child ready

Does your kid have a phone already and you need help?
My kid just got an iPhone. Help!

Freshman retreat 2023

The Class of 2027 kicked off the school year with the annual freshmen retreat at Stoney Creek Ranch. 

As it turns out, the Class of 2027 is especially enthusiastic. These students actively, and at times comically, participated in the activities, such as an impromptu karaoke chorus of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” during the competitive games.  

One of the more meaningful activities happened when Head of Upper School Jon Konzelman asked students to write a letter to their future selves, placed in a bottle to be kept until the end of their senior year. They were asked to individually answer three critical questions:

  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Who do I want to be like?

“Our prayer for these students is that they will have the opportunity to achieve all of the things they desire. But more importantly, in four years, they will be known for reflecting the fruits of the Spirit, accomplishing the tasks that God has for them in this chapter of life, and they will each grow to love and reflect Jesus” said Jon Konzelman.

Dean of Students Brad Lane asked SBS upperclassmen to give their best advice to the new freshmen class on how to be a good student. 

We love their detailed answers! 

  1. Stay organized! Try the sticky notes app on your computer.
  2. Use your assignment center. Mark tasks as to-do, in progress, & then completed. Check for quizzes and tests and stay on top of your assignments. 
  3. Manage your time with outside activities, don’t want to fall behind! 
  4. Try doing homework during Community Time.
  5. Ask teachers questions. They want to help! 
  6. Go to social events! Football games, art performances. Plug into our community. 
  7. Include everyone, be friendly always, but choose friends wisely. 
  8. Study + invest in your GPA from Day 1! 
  9. Get rest! Go to bed early and sleep as much as you can. 
  10. Have fun! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Your decisions as a freshman do matter, but enjoying your time at SBS is also important. 



SBS moms at Extreme Eagle

Are you the mom of an SBS student? Get connected to our community!

“Community is one of the very best parts of Second Baptist School, and there are so many opportunities to expand your friend base,” shared SBS mom Kristin Thrasher. Moms at SBS have a special community – from volunteering together to praying together, there are so many ways to connect and grow.

How can moms get connected at SBS?

1. Serve

Serving is a great way to build relationships with other SBS parents, serve the school community and grow spiritually. There are countless ways to get involved, from volunteering in the school library or at the Book Fair, to supporting initiatives such as Distinguished Speaker Dinner or EagleFest.

  • Visit the Volunteer Resource Board to learn more about all our opportunities!
  • Click here to fill out the volunteer application.
  • If you have questions, please call the Office of Advancement at (713) 365-2310 or email

The way I connected with other moms when my kids were young was to volunteer. Working side by side with other moms allows for great community!
        Emily Goolsby, Will ‘27, Mac ‘29, Molly ‘31

2. Gatekeepers

Gatekeepers is a prayer group for moms in each grade at Second Baptist School. At Gatekeeper monthly meetings, SBS moms gather to pray for students, their families, faculty and the needs of the school. Depending on the grade, gatekeepers meet in homes close to campus or on campus. If you are interested in joining Gatekeepers, contact Amy Richards at

Gatekeepers was the most impactful group when I was a new mom at SBS. I was able to connect with other moms who have the same heart for their kids. We chose Second Baptist because we wanted the village that raises our children to love the Lord; we wanted our kids to grow up in an environment surrounded by prayer.
        Whitney Cameron, Bari ‘35

Prayer is the secret weapon of every mother.
        Laura Kates, SBS grandmother

3. Join a Bible Study

The women’s ministry at SBC is an amazing way to get connected with other moms and women in the community. 

  • Three upcoming women’s studies are starting this fall. Check them out here. 
  • Interested in all SBC has to offer? Click here to find a Bible study class for you.

“Just show up”

I really think the best advice is to show up! It may feel awkward at first, but when you have a spot you regularly return to, eventually that space and those people become life-giving. To bring a friend makes it even more fun! Chances are – they also were glad they showed up.  
        Emily Goolsby, Will ‘27, Mac ‘29, Molly ‘31

Just show up, try all the things, and meet as many people as you can…  As the kids grow, sports teams through leagues and then school are so fun to watch and share time in the stands cheering on the kids together. You really get to know people on a different level through the highs and lows of sports games! Fellowship parties, plays, pep rally’s, all school events, and the list goes on and on. There are so many ways to connect with great friends, you just have to jump in and give it a try.
        Kristin Thrasher, Finley ‘27, Sadie ‘35

One of the surprising places I have made the best friendships is at SecondFIT! A group of moms from my child's class will drop off our kids, then head to the gym to walk the track or take a fitness class! We have really connected and formed a deep bond.
        Heather Runge, Lennon '34 and Maya '36


Community for Dads

Are you a dad? Most volunteer opportunities are open for moms and dads. Consider joining SBS Dads Club for the inside scoop on all things SBS and how you can get more involved.

Pre football prayer

Head football coach Beck Brydon shares his passion for parent partnership.

SBS football is off to a solid start with their first win against St. Pius X on Friday, August 25. Director of Athletics Mike Walker speaks highly of our new head football coach. “Coach Brydon has already made a big impact on our players, our football families and our entire program. I have been impressed with his ability to connect our mission to our players and our families. He has implemented intentional events with parents that are already paying huge dividends. I'm excited to see how God continues to move in our football program and across our campus.”

We asked Coach Brydon to share more about the ways he is cultivating a winning culture with parents off the field. 

Q: Tell us about the Our Good Men (Father-Son-Coach) Retreat and the Gridiron Moms Breakfast.
These are two events that kick off the season well with rightly aligned priorities.

My dad was my hero growing up. He passed away the last day of school of my seventh grade year, so I missed his leadership through my most formative years. As a result, I have a heart for father-son relationships and believe that relationship is critical when it comes to developing young men into Christ-following men. 

I believe that moms are the usually the glue that holds the house together, so building community with our moms is essential. Too often in football, the moms aren't asked to be engaged; I think that is a mistake. Moms are so important in our program! 

Q: What are your goals in involving parents in football? 
God gave parents the responsibility to educate their children. Parents have entrusted our coaches to teach, train and lead in loco parentis. That is a responsibility we don't take lightly. I believe a football program of excellence can happen when all three parties - players, parents and coaches - are rowing in the same direction.

Q: How does parent partnership enhance the football experience?
All kids want to be positively supported by their parents. If we limit that support to game nights, we miss out on numerous opportunities for relationship development. Building a championship level program takes all hands on-deck.


Football dad William Vick emphasized, “Hearing Coach Brydon’s vision of SBS football and the impact it can have individually and collectively was incredibly inspiring! From the coaches to players to parents, it feels that the servant-leadership component is being lived out. I’m truly grateful for the leadership of our football program and look forward to seeing young men use their experiences here to make a positive impact for Kingdom purposes.” 

Mr. Vick concluded, “Having been around our school and church community for almost 25 years, I’ve never felt more encouraged about the direction of Second Baptist School and Second Baptist Church.”

Senior Retreat: Growth and Connection

The Class of 2024 experiences the tradition of Senior Retreat.

By Assistant Head of Upper School Brent Harrison

The journey through school is peppered with moments that define us, inspire us and shape our worldview. As our seniors step closer to the precipice of graduation, their experiences culminate in Senior Retreat, an event orchestrated to usher them into the next phase of their lives with grace, love and purpose

Deepening Bonds 
The primary goal of the retreat was to foster a deeper understanding and bond between the seniors, allowing them not just to remember names but stories and hearts. This year, it was especially poignant as students connected with their new classmates. Time away from the usual school hustle provided the Class of 2024 with an environment where they could share laughter, reminisce about past events and build stronger connections. By day's end, it was evident that unfamiliar faces had turned into familiar friendships.

Empowering Breakout Sessions 
Our dedicated faculty played a pivotal role in the retreat by presenting curated breakout sessions. These sessions were not just about sharing knowledge; they also focused on invoking introspection, fostering leadership skills and emphasizing the importance of living biblically. The themes were clear: thinking critically, leading courageously and holding firm to their faith and values. We aimed to ensure that as our students transition from Second Baptist School, they carry the spirit of discernment, the courage to lead and the fortitude to stand by their beliefs.

A Letter from the Heart 
One of the most touching moments of the retreat was when students were handed letters from their parents. Words of pride and love,  with hope expressed for the future. Parents, in their wisdom and love, reminded their children of the biblical teachings that have been their foundation. They encouraged them to continue walking the path with Christ, especially as they transition into their college years. Tears were shed, hugs exchanged and promises made. It was a touching reminder that while they might be stepping into a wider world, they carry with them the love and teachings from home.

Looking Ahead 
As the retreat came to a close, there was a shift. From connections made to lessons learned and affirmations received, our seniors emerged more prepared for the journey ahead. As a community, we stand behind them with pride and faith.

In their next phase of life, we trust they will be beacons of love, leadership and faith. The Senior Retreat was not just an event; it was a testament to the spirit of Second Baptist School, a spirit that promises to shine brightly in each of our seniors wherever they may go.