Dr. Mike Reese Retires After 45 Years at Calvary Baptist Academy

Retirement


Midland’s Calvary Baptist Academy says goodbye to school administrator Mike Reese, one of its longest serving and most beloved teachers.

Mr. Reese plans to retire at the end of the school year after serving 45 years of the K-12 Christian school’s 50-year history. He has also held many other positions at the school, including principal, assistant pastor, and teacher.

During Reese’s 45 years at the CBA, student numbers have grown from 50 to over 700.

“It’s great to see how this place has grown,” he said.

Reese will retire with his wife, Jeanie. Jeannie worked at this school for 30 years as a teacher, elementary school principal and kindergarten director. She retired in her May 2022. They have her four children and her 13 grandchildren.

Reese is confident that the leaders will take over the school after retirement. Community pastor Mark Dickerson will become the managing pastor, and high school principal David Warren will become the school administrator.

“They know who we are, who we are and why we’re here,” Reese said of Dickerson and Warren. “They already have a love for the Lord and they want to see it continue.”

Dickerson defined Reese’s impact on schools and churches as “immeasurable.” Warren agreed.

“In many ways, Mike Reese is almost synonymous with Calvary Baptist Academy,” Warren said. “We owe him what we are today.”

Coming to the academy in 1978, Reese immediately began making changes. During his first five years of existence, the school was organized as “Accelerated Christian Education”. Reese explained that in this self-paced format, students sit in individual cubicles and study workbooks before taking individual tests. In the first few years, the number of students was his 50, and the teachers were only 2-3 he.

Reese then transitioned the school to a traditional classroom setting, with different grades and classes each having their own teacher.

Dickerson said Reese moved the school and Calvary Baptist Church from its original location on Cherry Street in the city center to Perrine Road in the early 1980s because Reese needed more space. He said he tried his best.

In 1998, Mike and Jeannie opened Hidden Treasures Preschool at Calvary Baptist Academy. Reese said he pitched the kindergarten idea to the board of deacons, citing three potential benefits. They are able to reach young parents with the gospel, welcome new families to join the church, and provide school lunches.

The kindergarten currently has 300-350 students from 2.5 years old to kindergarten.

Reese said the kindergarten is particularly proud of the large number of four-year-olds who already know how to read and write.

“Universities are chasing our graduates like crazy and some of our kids are receiving full scholarships,” he said. “I mean, we’re doing a great job academically, and the kids are doing really, really well.”

Most recently, in 2020, Reese was at the center of negotiations for the CBA to lease the former Midland Christian School building in West Wackery as its West Campus. Calvary is currently under contract to purchase the property.

Wackerly’s buildings are used from 7th to 12th.th Meanwhile, Hidden Treasures and Kindergarten through 6th grade are located in the school building adjacent to the church on Perrine Island.

Reese said he chose to become a teacher because he originally wanted to be a coach. After graduating with his doctorate, he began looking for his job and discovered the need for more Christian education.

“My vision is that when young people graduate from this place, they will live the rest of their lives in a pious way,” he said.

Mike and Jeanie’s son, Paul Reese, is completing his first year as an elementary school principal after ten years as a teacher.

“This is the first time I’ve been in office as the CBA principal and his last year as the school’s administrator, so it’s just a great connection,” Paul said.

Family ties can be seen in Paul’s office. It was Mike’s original office when he opened a school on Perrine Island, and Jeanie’s office when he was the principal of the elementary school and chairman of the kindergarten.

“I always told him I would never do anything like him, but God sat me down and started as principal,” Paul said.

Paul said his father gives the Calvary family a sense of security by promoting togetherness. He said the school is like a family and everyone in the school serves each other.

Dickerson credits Reese’s ability to maintain a clear vision for the school that draws families to the academy.

“Things change so quickly in our world that I think a lot of people want stability and unshakable truth and something that they can hold onto,” Dickerson said. “So if you can find it in a place where your children are not only loved and treated with respect, but are also taught the truth, I think it’s very appealing to people, and he (Reese ) was unwavering in many of those respects.”

Reese said she will miss CBA and appreciates all the teachers and staff she has had the pleasure of working with.

“I love my staff, all my teachers, all my administration. It was honestly my privilege to work with them,” he said.

Paul said he’s looking forward to his parents spending time together and being able to sit back and watch the school continue to grow, but said the school would certainly be different without them.

“It will be exciting for them to watch it continue and thrive, and actually leave it at its peak,” he said. “For us, to be in the best shape we have ever been and to be at the pinnacle of our ministry…it was also 50 years old.th Since it’s the school’s founding anniversary, this culmination was a fitting end to his story here. “

Reese is looking forward to spending her retirement with her family and helping to instill values ​​in her grandchildren. The couple also said they may travel and work towards establishing a scholarship program for the school.



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