Principal Shelli Brown Kratzer was featured recently in the Greenville College RECORD. Principal Kratzer, a Greenville College graduate of 1995, reflects on how attending Greenville College prepared her for her career and for life.

While several staff members had been personally doing some recycling in recent years, last year a student-initiated recycling effort led to resources being made available to us and a system now in place by which recycling could be gathered and delivered to a recycling center. Recently, Breathitt County started its own recycling center, which was formally opened in a program in November. Several students and staff members attended. During a report on the recycling center at a recent Jackson Chamber of Commerce meeting, Oakdale was singled out as being particularly active in recycling and participating with the community in this regard.

Our students are operating a coffee shop in the recreation room of Odermann Hall, under the direction of our activities director. It’s a lot of fun, plus it provides additional learning experiences for students.

Our songwriting/recording class is producing a CD of original songs under the name 33 A.D. The teacher of the class is Jason Paul Johnston, who has extensive experience songwriting, performing, and producing albums. Oakdale needs to purchase additional gear to complete the recording. Unless we can raise $3,000 in CD pre-orders by March 3, they will not be able to complete the project in its entirety. Go to the 33 A.D. kickstart site and choose from the various levels of participation.

The last Saturday night in January was a youth rally in Jackson.One of our teachers, Mark Driskill, who is well known as a spiritual leader in the community, was the speaker at the rally. At the invitation, half of our boys responded, with five of them making first-time commitments to Christ! During testimony time at the next morning’s Oakdale Free Methodist Church worship service, several of them stood and shared, asking people to help keep them accountable. The Oakdale family rejoices in these victories!

On January 22nd, staff and students engaged in a light-hearted bidding war during the Senior Auction to raise money for the seniors’ upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. Winning bidders enjoyed homemade treats and donated services from multitalented staff and students. Most enjoyably, some bidders won the services of a senior for a day. One senior was hired to physically carry a young student throughout the day; one girl played the role of helpless southern belle; and another dressed as a rockstar, performing a song at the beginning of each class. Overall, much fun was had and a nice deposit was made to the seniors’ trip fund!

Life Transformation Groups are an incredibly simple, yet powerful mechanism for fostering spiritual growth! LTG’s (as we refer to them around here) are small groups that meet weekly to pray together, read and discuss Scripture, and ask accountability questions. Every Oakdale staff member is in a group of two-three people who have been meeting together since August. Students have also been meeting in their dorms or in staff homes in groups ranging from two to 10. There has definitely been a strong emphasis on discipleship and spiritual growth this year on campus that is exciting and is already bearing fruit!