Upholding the Mission: Living By Principle

As a former SBS teacher and current StoneBridge parent, Mr. Noel Thomason comes to the position as Head of School with a commitment to the Principle Approach®, America’s historic Christian method of Biblical reasoning that makes the Truth of God’s Word the basis for every subject in the school curriculum. He desires to partner with more families across Hampton Roads to help their children become an “eternal excellence,” the end goal of a StoneBridge education.

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Describe your philosophy of education
The educational philosophy upheld at StoneBridge School is outlined in the StoneBridge Standards. Part of understanding this philosophy is made clear by a commitment to upholding the biblical principle of stewardship. StoneBridge recognizes that it is each parent’s ultimate responsibility to educate their children. It is in a partnership that parents authorize StoneBridge to “inspire, cultivate, consecrate, and instruct the student.” StoneBridge seeks, as our mission states, “to serve Christian families, enabling each child to reach the fullest expression of his value in Christ through a biblical Principle Approach education.”

The educational philosophy of StoneBridge is undergirded by faith in the Sovereign Creator and His inspiration of every subject. In each subject God’s nature and character is revealed, and His divine governance is illuminated. “The internalization and application of biblical principles for the government of home, school, and nation frame the proper response of man to his Maker”.1 Our system of education is governed by this biblical philosophy in “cooperation with the Holy Spirit in cultivating the student’s unique individuality so that, in fellowship with the Lord, he is marked by Christian character, applies Biblical reasoning to all of life, conforms his conscience to the eternal truth of the Bible, and fills his heart with love and obedience to Christ.”2

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What is your vision for the school?
The vision for the school is best summarized by the words of our school song inspired by Isaiah 60:15 and Philippians 1:9: “I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations!”

To be more specific, the vision is to have each student understand their eternal value in all aspects of their lives as God calls them to govern their consciences, families, careers, and the nation.

StoneBridge is keenly aware each student is a future doctor, lawyer, accountant, shipbuilder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, etc. We anticipate they will shine the light of Christ in all areas of their lives. We serve the next generation of the best citizens our nation has to offer, and they will be equipped to restore the Christian character of the Republic. StoneBridge students are truly nation changers!

What do you love about the Principle Approach philosophy?
There is a quote I love from an unknown author that was told to me as a young man, “If you live by principles, 99.9 percent of all decisions are already made.” What I love about the Principle Approach methodology is its way of simplifying the world and clearing the fog when making decisions. This has personally brought clarity to me over some of the most confounding topics, many of which currently plague our nation. A foundation of biblical principles has guided me in my thinking and helps me govern my conscience, family, and responsibilities as head of school in a manner pleasing to God.

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What scripture or biblical principle has had the most impact on how you lead in work and life?
The biblical principle that has had the most impact on how I lead in work and life is the principle of stewardship. This is taught at StoneBridge as one of the seven principles, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” This principle reminds us that God has given us all things and requires “faithful stewardship of all His gifts, especially the eternal property of conscience.”

A verse that I reflect on often to remind me that I am God’s and he has redeemed me for a purpose is Galatians 2:20. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This verse helps me to remain humble and strive to serve others sacrificially with the strength and grace of Christ. It is my goal to lead and love others with the same grace and love Christ has shown me. This is also the same grace and love we strive to demonstrate to each family partnered with StoneBridge School. •

1Adams, Carole, Arthur Ricciardi and Elizabeth Youman. The StoneBridge Standards: Essential Practices That Produce Principle Approach Results. FACE, 2003. p.58