Deborah Allen earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Florida, where she received The Presidential Recognition Award for outstanding leadership. She obtained her Professional Certification in Human Resource Development from the University of Georgia, as well as a master’s degree in humanities from California State University, Dominquez Hills. Deborah served as an academic and career advisor at the University of Florida before working in both corporate and non-profit settings. After discovering Classical education, Deborah has intermittently homeschooled her children and taught Western civilization humanities classes at a community college. Deborah taught rhetoric humanities classes at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, where she is currently the Director of College Counseling. She was recently hired by Great Hearts Irving to start their college counseling program. Deborah is a member of TACAC and participates in the DFW Counselor’s Network.
A Working Discussion for College Counselors
College Counselor Round-Table Discussion: How does college counseling at a Classical Christian school differ from other schools? What are some of the challenges faced by college counseling programs? What can we do to alleviate admissions anxiety? How can counselors build an effective program? Meet with fellow college counselors for a time of collaboration and encouragement. Together, we’ll explore how to create a strong school profile, build relationships with college admissions representatives, encourage student participation, share best practices, communicate effectively with families and more.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-246
Dr. Janet B. Andreasen is an Associate Lecturer of mathematics education at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She is the Coordinator of Secondary Education and works with prospective and practicing mathematics teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Dr. Andreasen’s research interests include examining mathematical knowledge for teaching and using technology to foster student learning of mathematical concepts. Prior to joining the faculty at UCF, Dr. Andreasen was a high school mathematics teacher. Dr. Andreasen has published books, book chapters and articles in state and national publications, as well as conducted professional presentations throughout the United States. She is a member of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Connecting Grammar School Mathematics to High School Algebra
Do you ever wonder why we teach specific representations in Grammar School? Do you wonder how you can connect your high school algebra curriculum to Grammar School mathematical knowledge? Come explore how areas of Grammar School mathematics connect to high school mathematics. We will explore multiplication, specifically, and will examine the connection between the early understanding and representation of whole numbers and the algebraic manipulations learned later in a student’s education.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-244
Robbie Andreasen has been teaching life science, biology and anatomy and physiology at The Geneva School since 2007.
Metaphysics for Science Majors: How to Build a Conceptual Bridge From the Sciences to the Humanities
Without forethought, science class will unwittingly form reductionistic, materialistic assumptions about all of reality in the minds of students. These metaphysical assumptions are not from science and need to be removed before connecting with the humanities.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-246
Metaphysics for Science Majors: Practically Connecting With the Humanities Department (LAB)
This workshop follows upon the material discussed in the prior seminar and is designed to help fellow science and humanities colleagues work together to create practices that will form a Christian metaphysic into their students.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-246
Tammy Barron has a multifaceted background that reflects her broad range of expertise. Following her studies in chemical engineering and journalism, she completed an interdisciplinary degree program and began her career in education. She has a distinct passion for learning, teaching and improving. After serving as a teacher at multiple levels for 10 years, Tammy took on the challenge of building the brand and enrollment for a large private school. She developed processes for growth, built a high-performing team, coordinated marketing plans, refined the brand and achieved the school’s multimillion dollar revenue goals every year. As part of the school’s growth team, Tammy draws from her expertise in operational excellence and data intelligence. She is also uniquely talented at defining and executing optimal workflows, anticipating the needs of clients, giving direction and feedback and extracting key decision points from the databases that she constantly builds and curates.
Enrollment Data Analysis, Forecasting and Reporting
Enrollment data is extremely valuable for the achievement of school growth. You can use it to uncover trends and truths about your target market of families, and to more accurately forecast enrollment and tuition. Learn how to collect and use data to produce more useful reports and brand stories that will advance your leadership capacity. In this session, we’ll share strategies for improving data collection and analysis, along with techniques for improving forecasting and reporting.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-245
Peter Baur has been involved in independent education for nearly 40 years and has held roles in several environments, including start-up Classical Christian schools and “elite” private schools with over 150 years of history. Peter has served in nearly every capacity, including PR/Marketing, curriculum development, head of school, development/fundraising, special events, college guidance, admission, advisory, teaching and coaching. In addition, Peter has led schools and churches in strategic planning, has presented at Circe, ACCS and SCL, and been a featured speaker at schools around the nation. Peter is known for his ability to articulate Classical Christian education in a simple, practical manner. Peter is the only SCL Fellow elected prior to becoming a head of school.
God’s Glory in Your Students
What does it mean for our students to be image-bearers? Do our students all bear God’s image in the same way? Can we play a significant role in communicating to our students about God’s unique image borne out in them? Through personal stories and powerful imagery, this session will deepen your understanding of the profound role we play as educators in helping our students see that God has placed His image – though faded – of the Good Life in the depths of their hearts. After attending this session, a teacher with more than 30 years of experience commented that this presentation had a greater impact on how she saw herself as a teacher than any other.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-241
Robert Benne is the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus and a research associate in the Religion and Philosophy Department of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He teaches Christian ethics for the online Lutheran Institute for Theology. In 1982, he founded the Roanoke College Center for Religion and Society, which was named in his honor in 2013. Prior to that, he was the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion and Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department at Roanoke College for 18 years, as well as Profesor of Church and Society at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for 17 years. A native of Nebraska and a graduate of Midland University, his graduate degrees are from the University of Chicago. He has lectured and written widely on the relationship between Christianity and culture. Titles include Good and Bad Ways to Think about Religion and Politics and Keeping the Soul in Christian Higher Education – A History of Roanoke College. He has been married to Joanna Carson Benne for 58 years and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
The Challenge of Cultural Correctness
More threatening to Christian Classical schools than “political correctness” is “cultural correctness,” the widely disseminated moral and religious assumptions that are often embedded in Christian parents and students, even those who are likely to come to Christian Classical schools. What is “cultural correctness,” and how does it operate to undermine Christian institutions? How should we grapple with it?
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | Sanctuary
Matt Bianco is the Director of The Lost Tools of Writing for the CiRCE Institute, where he also serves as a mentor in the CiRCE apprenticeship program. A homeschooling father of three, he has already graduated two sons. The eldest son attends St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and his second son attends Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina. His youngest, a daughter, is a high school senior. He is married to his altogether lovely, high school sweetheart, Patty. He is the author of Letters to My Sons: A Humane Vision for Human Relationships.
Educating Philosopher Kings
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates sets forth the curriculum for educating children to be future philosopher kings, the kind of people who can know truth, control their passions and lead others to truth. Join us to walk through the curriculum, consider its strengths and weaknesses, and consider how it might be implemented in our lives and in our classrooms. We’ll discover how we can learn – even from an ancient Greek philosopher – how to worship God and love Him with all of our minds.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 AM | Sanctuary
Stephen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Bryan College in 2012. He continued his education at Wheaton College, where he received a master’s degree in 2014 in the history of Christianity with a concentration in the early Church. During his time at Wheaton, Stephen began studying Latin and quickly fell in love with the language and the world of Classical Christian education. When he isn’t passing on his love of languages and history to his students at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas, Stephen likes to spend his free time playing guitar, reading classic literature and pretending to be a coffee connoisseur.
Introducing Spoken Latin: A How-To for Beginner
This seminar will develop the theory and practice of introducing spoken Latin into the classroom. If you’ve ever wondered about the benefits of spoken Latin, your ability to implement it as a beginner or whether it will compromise the core content of your currrent course, then this session is for you. These questions will be addressed and the leaders’ own successes and failures will be shared, too. They’ll share spoken Latin resources, opportunities for training and highlights about how spoken Latin has made their classrooms more fun, multisensory, adaptive, challenging and rewarding. The seminar will conclude with Q&A, with special emphasis on exploring other schools’ attempts at similar endeavors.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-240
Allison Buras is a founder and Grammar School Dean at Live Oak Classical School in Waco, Texas. She has been in education for over 20 years and holds a master’s degree in theological studies. She is married to a philosopher and is the mother of three teen boys.
Choosing and Using Books Well
In this workshop, which draws upon the Charlotte Mason method and Aristotle’s “four causes,” we will look at the role that synthetic texts play in shaping an ethical response to content in nonfiction texts.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 AM | C-242
Robyn Burlew has served as Academic Dean and Upper School Principal at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, for four years. Prior to moving to Richmond, she served for 15 years as an administrator and taught biology and math at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Robyn earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Houghton College and a master’s degree in integrated curriculum and instruction from Covenant College.
Poetic Knowledge: Horse Sense in Our Classrooms
How do we prevent our students from simply learning facts about our subjects? We must foster “poetic knowledge,”the pre-rational and experiential knowledge that equips students to connect information and concepts to the world. Poetic knowledge is necessary for full understanding, appreciation and love for a topic. Application will be aimed at Lower and Middle School grades.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-242
Jeff Chambless has been teaching at Westminster School at Oak Mountain since 2011. Prior to that, he served as a youth minister. He likes to connect his degrees in mathematics, divinity and philosophy to student learning in the classroom. He has one wife, three children and one cat.
Asking the Right Questions: Categories of Study and Thought for Mathematics
All too often, math is taught as a set of irrelevant, isolated algorithms. In this workshop, we will explore how to combat this and learn how to teach math in alignment with Classical thought by asking better questions. We will practice and use specific categories of inquiry about a mathematical concept, such as historical context, key figures, connection to the Quadrivium framework of mathematics and theological implications. By investigating math units using these categories and learning to show students how to do this for themselves, we can teach them to be better thinkers and mathematicians.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | C-244
Dr. Kevin Clark serves as Academic Dean of The Geneva School, where he has been a member of the rhetoric faculty for 14 years. Dr. Clark is a founding fellow of SCL’s Alcuin Fellowship and speaks regularly at SCL and Alcuin retreats and conferences.
A Practical Introduction to the Liberal Arts
As the tools and seeds of learning, the liberal arts of language and math have important implications for teaching and learning in the classical classroom. This session introduces the basic logic of liberal arts teaching through concrete examples.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-243
Matthew Clark has been a practicing artist for as long as he can remember. He earned a bachelor’s degree in drawing and painting at the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in printmaking at the University of Florida. Matt has been teaching art in Classical and Christian schools since 2002. He makes art whenever and wherever he can. He and his wife live in the wilds of central Florida with their chickens, ducks, goats and seven children.
He Who Has Eyes to See: Drawing From Life
People say it all the time: “I can’t even draw stick figures!” Perhaps you’ve said this yourself. Perhaps you’re even an art teacher! Many people are intimidated by the idea of making drawings – the blank page induces fear! Drawing must be approached with confidence because it is the foundation of all the visual arts from painting and printmaking to sculpture. We’ll put the fear of drawing to rest in this workshop. Participants will observe drawing demonstrations, learn how to break down complex objects into manageable pieces and develop the skill of really “seeing” a subject before translating it to the paper.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | Sanctuary
Mary Clifford has been in the field of education for almost 20 years and has taught at the Geneva School of Boerne for 12 years. She currently teaches 6th-grade English and 8th-grade dialectic. She is a two-time recipient of the Paideia Award for excellence in teaching in both the Grammar and Logic Schools. She and her husband have two sons who are both graduates of the Geneva School of Boerne. Mary is an avid reader, paddleboarder and Francophile.
Navigating Middle Earth: Creating Community in Logic School
Logic School is often viewed as just a bridge between the Grammar and Rhetoric years, but these years are a time of great change and growth for students. Enriching these years with a true sense of community among the students is essential to a successful Logic School. However, creating a sense of belonging and a true feeling of community among the students can be challenging, particularly as a school grows in size.With over 170 students, the Geneva School of Boerne Logic Schoo has found success in cultivating community and unity through a Tolkien-themed annual celebration. This tradition fosters community and is highly anticipated by students, as well as faculty. In this session, we will explore how to create a Logic School honor code, how to use devotion groups to create fellowship across grade levels and the importance of celebrating together.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | S-185
Leslie has been working in Classical and Christian education since 1995 and has been working with students with disabilities for 30 years. She is passionate about the people of God’s kingdom welcoming others from different abilities and backgrounds. She is currently the Head of School at Covenant Academy in Cypress, Texas, a diverse and welcoming community. Covenant’s vision is for each child to be equipped to their fullest potential as they embark on the journey of the liberal arts tradition.
Inclusion of Students With Disabilities in the Classical and Christian Classroom
Classical Christian education is the best possible way to nurture the soul. It involves the best methods, materials and message to build the Kingdom of God that is intended for the “least of these.” What are we doing to make this blessing available for students with disabilities? Schools are often unsure of how to make it work and are frequently unskilled in how to proceed. This workshop will present a philosophy of inclusion and practical principles for providing student support. Come see how your school can be blessed.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | S-185
Martin Cothran is Director of the Classical Latin School Association and Editor of the Classical Teacher magazine, a quarterly periodical for parents and professional educators published by Memoria Press. He is the author of several educational textbooks, including Traditional Logic I, Traditional Logic II, Material Logic: A Course on How to Think, Classical Rhetoric: A Study of Aristotle’s Principles of Persuasion and Lingua Biblica: Old Testament Stories in Latin. His articles on education and other issues have appeared in numerous publications around the country, and he has also appeared on ABC Radio News, American Family Radio, Family News in Focus, NBC Nightly News and the PBS News Hour. He previously taught Latin, logic and rhetoric at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, Kentucky. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law, now Trinity International University.
Why Knowledge Matters: How an Over-Emphasis on Skills is Corrupting the Classroom and What Can Be Done About It
Modern education theory emphasizes skills and downplays content. But is there really such a thing as “reading skills,” “critical thinking skills,” or “problem-solving skills” apart from specific content knowledge? What does research say about whether skills can be learned outside of content domains? Can abstract skills be tested and what do these tests really measure? Can technology replace memory and content knowledge? How does Classical education better do the things that skills training and technology purport to do?
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-245
Howard Davis lives in a household that closely resembles the household of Pride and Prejudice – he’s the dad of five girls (ranging from 7 to 17 years old) and the husband of one wife, Melissa, who teaches at Providence Classical Academy in Bossier City, Louisiana. He grew up in Mississippi, studied accounting and economics at Baylor, worked as an accountant, went to Covenant Seminary, pastored Grace Presbyterian in Shreveport for 14 years, started Providence Classical Academy in 2005 and has been the Head of School there for eight years.
Why is Discipleship Key to What We Are Trying to Accomplish in CCE?
It may seem obvious, but discipleship is key to what we are trying to accomplish through our Classical Christian schools. However, discipleship is increasingly harder to accomplish in our post-everything world, and it often gets lost as background among all the other goals that we are seeking to accomplish. This seminar will look at the book of Judges to learn what happens when discipleship is lost. Participants will also explore how to effectively disciple through our schools in today’s culture.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-241
Click here for handout.
Rachel Davison Humphries
Rachel Davison Humphries has worked as an educator in middle and high school classrooms for almost a decade, most recently as a mentor teacher in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She has presented at conferences and led professional development workshops in a variety of subjects, including economics, literature, adolescence, Socratic teaching, project-based learning and the pedagogy of freedom. Rachel has worked to help students grow and learn in a variety of environments, including charter schools, private schools and summer programs for college students. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Great Books Program at St. John’s College, and a teaching certificate in adolescent education from the Association Montessori Internationale. She started at the Bill of Rights Institute in 2015 and now leads its teacher programs team.
Heroes and Villains: Civic Virtue Through Inquiry and Primary Sources
Participants will work through three Bill of Rights Institute lessons to develop skills for providing students with primary sources, content-rich narratives and critical thinking as part of integrated civic learning and character development.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-245
Dr. David Diener began his post-secondary education at Wheaton College, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and ancient languages. After putting his philosophical training to work by building custom cabinets and doing high-end finish carpentry for an Amish company, he moved with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, where they served as missionaries for three years at a Christian international school. He then attended Indiana University, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy, another master’s degree in history and philosophy of education, and a dual doctorate in philosophy and philosophy of education. He has taught at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas, and currently is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas. He also teaches philosophy courses at Taylor University, is an Alcuin Fellow and offers consulting services through Classical Academic Press. He is the author of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator and serves as the series editor for Classical Academic Press’ Giants in the History of Education. The Dieners have four wonderful children and are passionate about Classical Christian education and the impact it can have on the church, our society and the world.
The Nature and Vision of Classical Christian Education
What is Classical Christian education? How is it different from other approaches to education? How can we clearly and succinctly explain the nature and vision of Classical Christian education despite its long and complicated history? This seminar addresses these questions by examining some of the essential defining characteristics of Classical Christian education, such as its foundational assumptions, goals, curriculum and pedagogy. While there is no single reductive formula for Classical Christian education, these key characteristics distinguish it from other educational paradigms in important ways and provide a framework for clearly and succinctly explaining what it is all about.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-243
C. S. Lewis and The Abolition of Man
>C. S. Lewis’s 1944 book The Abolition of Man is widely considered to be a classic work in the history and philosophy of education. The National Review, in fact, chose it as number seven on their “100 Best Nonfiction Books of the 20th Century.” In this seminar, we will examine the central themes of this important book and the key arguments Lewis makes throughout it for absolute values and the training of students’ affections, as well as their intellects. We will work sequentially through each of the three chapters of the book, discussing both the progression of Lewis’ thought and the practical educational implications of his treatment of concepts like “men without chests,” “the Tao” and “the abolition of man.”
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-245
Karen has served with Rafiki since 1990. Her service has included 12 years on the mission field, most of which was spent in Jos, Nigeria. Upon returning to the United States, she became the Director of Africa Operations for the Rafiki Home Office and was responsible for managing their ChildCare and education programs, as well as their curriculum development. She served in that role for 10 years before being named Rafiki’s Executive Director in January of 2012. Karen travels to Africa several times a year to oversee operations at each Rafiki Village, and considers herself to be an “American-African.” She’s comfortable talking to presidents of African countries, national church leaders and local tribal chieftains, but she especially loves caring for the children and students at Rafiki Villages. Karen is originally from Houston, Texas, and previously worked in commercial banking. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Southern Methodist University and earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington. Karen is a member of St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and was a teaching leader for Bible Study Fellowship in Texas and Africa for many years. She views herself as a servant of Christ who desires to help others come to know God, become lifelong disciples of Him and learners of all He has created.
Christian Classical Education as a Mission Strategy in Africa
Africa may be reached by the gospel, but Africans say that Christianity “is 2000 miles wide and a centimeter deep.” In the next 30 years, one out of every two human beings will be born in Africa. Should we not be concerned? That explosive growth – combined with extensive poverty and great educational challenges – places the African continent in the unique position to benefit significantly from Classical Christian education. This may be the singular tool to help the poor, evangelize the unreached, strengthen the church and disciple the next generation of believers. Participants will learn about Africa’s poverty, the continent’s educational challenges and the need for a response from the Church. Come learn about what’s being done in 10 African schools, as well as strategies for training up and sending out well-equipped educators to expand and indigenize the vision of Classical Christian education.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | S-185
Jeremiah Forshey has been with Classical Christian schools since 2004, teaching literature, logic and rhetoric classes for Redeemer Classical School in Harrisonburg, Virginia, The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida, and now at New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia. He currently teaches American literature, British literature and senior thesis, and serves as lead teacher in the School of Rhetoric. He holds a master’s degree in English literature and languages from James Madison University. Jeremiah lives with his wife, Elisa, and their three children in the “Seven Hills” of Lynchburg, Virginia, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. They live in a house that was finished the same year as The Great Gatsby.
Loving God With Our Minds in Milton’s Paradise Lost
Perhaps there is no work of imaginative literature in all the Western canon more preeminently about loving God with our minds than John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This session will highlight three ways that Milton’s poem invites its reader to consider what it means to love God with our minds. Practically, the poem presents several vivid episodes which ask whether and when a mental act is a sin. Philosophically, the poem has a deeply Christian epistemology that challenges our enlightened liberal notions about intellectual freedom with the idea that our reasoning is limited by foundational assumptions we make about the world. In other words, “Believing is seeing.” Poetically, Paradise Lost invites us to identify with Satan to find his bitterness tragic and his unconquerable will heroic. This imaginatively leads us to the inevitable result of this rebellion – vileness must be embraced if we will continue in sin. That’s heady stuff, but students love it when presented in the right way. This session will focus on how to bring this famously difficult poem to life for our students so that it can become relevant to their spiritual and mental lives.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | S-182
Marcus Foster graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in classics in 2000. He worked with youth in Berlin, Germany, for five years, part of which was also spent studying theology at Humboldt Universität. He completed a master’s degree in classics and theology from the University in Dallas in 2011. Heavily invested in languages, Marcus aims to stir a love for language and literature in his students at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas, where he teaches Latin and chairs the languages department. He and his wife, Julie, have been married for 15 years and have been blessed with three beautiful daughters and one strapping son.
Introducing Spoken Latin: A How-To for Beginner
This seminar will develop the theory and practice of introducing spoken Latin into the classroom. If you’ve ever wondered about the benefits of spoken Latin, your ability to implement it as a beginner or whether it will compromise the core content of your currrent course, then this session is for you. These questions will be addressed and the leaders’ own successes and failures will be shared, too. They’ll share spoken Latin resources, opportunities for training and highlights about how spoken Latin has made their classrooms more fun, multisensory, adaptive, challenging and rewarding. The seminar will conclude with Q&A, with special emphasis on exploring other schools’ attempts at similar endeavors.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-240
Mo Gaffney & Susy Willetts
Dr. Mo Gaffney currently serves as Head of Lower School at The Covenant School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before that, she was the Co-Director of the Central Virginia Writing Project and developed teachers of writing through the Summer Writing Institute at The University of Virginia. She has done extensive writing research in elementary schools and has presented her findings at the NCTE national conference. Mo is an Adjunct Professor for The University of Virginia, teaching courses in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She has led professional development workshops and has presented at Society of Classical Learning on teacher evaluations, reading and writing connections, homework in schools and Singapore Math.
Susy Willetts is the Math Coordinator for Pre-K through 6th-Grade students at The Covenant School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Susy has extensive teaching and administrative experience with students of all kinds, including gifted and intellectually advanced students in independent specialty schools, struggling learners in public schools and students in Christian schools. Susy leads professional development workshops about Singapore Math Strategies. She and her husband, Bo, have three teen-aged sons and enjoy spending time together outdoors with their dogs and horses.
Nurturing Our Youngest Writers
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God” (John 1:1). Come learn about research on beginning writers and how to develop early writing skills beginning in Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st Grade. This session goes beyond handwriting and spelling. Our youngest learners are full of stories and are inspired by beautiful literature. Learn how to build an effective program and develop Grammar School teachers to create a classroom that inspires students to make the transition from oral to written language. You will see samples of student work, recommendations for further reading and learn how to get started.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | C-242
Singapore Math Strategies: An In-Depth Look (w/Susy Willetts)
What does a Singapore Math classroom look like and sound like? Throughout this in-depth session, we will demonstrate effective Singapore instructional strategies, including questioning, mathematical discussions and writing in the math journal. You will view student samples and experience the importance of inquiry through the anchor tasks. Come join the conversation and learn this approach to teaching that allows students to master mathematical concepts in greater depth for deeper understanding and improved confidence.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-244
Dr. Melissa Gingrich earned her bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Arizona and her doctorate in neuroscience at Emory University. After graduate school, she worked in clinical studies at the University of Virginia. She has been with The Cambridge School in San Diego, California, since its inception and helped build and design the science program. She has taught 2nd- through 9th-Grade science and is teaching a senior neuroscience seminar this year. Dr. Gingrich loves to bring the wonder and awe of God’s living creation into focus in the science classroom, and hopes that her students are all the more motivated to worship Him as they study the order and complexity of the world He has made. Dr. Gingrich enjoys exploring the natural world through travel, hiking and running. She is married to Brenden and they have three children, Samuel, 17, Benjamin, 15, and Elizabeth, 12.
Toward a Thoughtful and Robust K-12 Science Program
A robust and thoughtful science education should engage students’ imaginations in the natural world around them, cultivate the tools of scientific reasoning, teach students how to craft their own scientific arguments and equip them to wisely contribute to the ongoing conversation about science and its applications in our world. The science program at The Cambridge School in San Diego, California, was built with these intentions in mind. This session will explore the distinctives of each stage of that science program. Grammar students focus on the skill of memory and the art of wonder with lessons that coordinate with the scientific advancements of the time periods studied in history. Logic students learn the basics of the scientific method and scientific argumentation, and experience a sequence of three overnight field trips aimed at exploring the natural world. Rhetoric students learn to generate and test their own scientific questions and communicate their results meaningfully. They also examine primary sources to understand foundational theories within their historical context and explore ethical concerns about science and emerging technologies. The entire program is aimed at educating young minds to appreciate the natural world and have their affections for it rightly placed toward its – and their – Creator and Redeemer.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-246
Andrew D. Graham, Esq. is Deputy General Counsel at First Liberty Institute, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans. He is a former Partner at Jackson Walker LLP and has extensive experience in handling complex litigation in trial and appellate courts. He is also a National Review Institute (NRI) Regional Fellow and coordinates the NRI’s Dallas Fellowship Program. Andrew graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Southern Methodist University, where he had the distinct privilege to study the Middle Ages with Dr. Jeremy duQuesnay Adams and Dr. Bonnie Wheeler. He then earned graduate degrees in history from Oxford University and the University of Chicago before earning a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. Andrew is married to his college sweetheart, Molly, who teaches 4th Grade at The Covenant School in Dallas, Texas. Andrew serves as pro bono counsel to both The Covenant School and to Annapolis Christian Academy in Corpus Christi, Texas. For both, he provides an array of legal expertise on issues ranging from corporate governance to religious liberty. Andrew and Molly have three children, all of whom attend The Covenant School. Andrew and his family are members of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCA).
Institutional Excellence: Best Practices for Conducting a Legal Audit of Your School
Classical Christian schools rightly focus on academic and programmatic excellence. But institutional excellence must likewise be a priority for a school to flourish. Operating a Classical Christian school is full of legal risk. A legal audit focuses on legal compliance and best practices. A school that takes the time to assess its compliance with applicable law may prevent a potentially costly, even catastrophic crisis from arising. Legal audits require solid legal counsel. It should be a collaborative and thorough review of the school’s policies and practices and should be designed to detect areas of risk and exposure, as well as to provide the school with important information about its legal obligations and best practices. Areas often covered in a legal audit include corporate governance, federal tax-exemption compliance, contracts and leases, human resources, fundraising, intellectual property, document retention and destruction, insurance, religious liberty and state and local law requirements. This session will help you understand the questions to ask and the documents to review to promote your school’s institutional flourishing.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 PM | S-182
Russ Gregg has served as Head of School at Hope Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since its founding in 2000. He has been a resident of the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis since 1994. In 1999, he was a school administrator in one of the wealthiest suburbs of Minneapolis before quitting his job to help lay the groundwork for a Christian school for his urban neighbors. Russ and his wife, Phyllis, who teaches 3rd Grade at Hope Academy, live four blocks away from the school. They have three grown children. Russ has a bachelor’s degree in global studiens from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Classical Learning.
Planting an Urban Classical Christian School
The education of at-risk youth is the civil rights movement of our day. Public and charter approaches can’t get to the heart of the crisis. Come learn about the story and distinctives of Hope Academy and its “start small, dream big and grow slow” strategy. Participants will walk through an overview of the school’s model for parent engagement and its development cycle for events. Time for discussion and Q&A will be allowed.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-240
Gretchen Gregory is enjoying her 13th year at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. In the early years, she served as the Director of Administrative Services, gaining experiene in many of the departments and duties of a growing school. For the last 10 years, she has served as the Director of Admissions and has watched the school grow from 153 students during her first year to the current enrollment of 529 students, full classrooms and wait pools in several grades. Gretchen thoroughly enjoys introducing prospective families to the school, walking them through the admissions process and seeing them on campus for their first day. She believes that unpacking the story of what it means to be a Classical, Christ-centered community of faith and learning is a great privilege and responsibility. Gretchen has three children – one Veritas senior and two graduates – and has been married to her husband, Kevin, for 25 years.
From Empty Seats to Wait Pools
As the first touchpoint to your school, the Admissions Department has a tremendous opportunity to share your school’s mission and vision with hundreds of families each year. How does the admissions process and office need to evolve over time to accommodate increased interest and applications? We will walk through the steps from initial inquiry to the first day of school to explore potential pitfalls and victories. Learn how the Veritas School has refined and streamlined its admissions process over the last decade – while maintaining the personal touch with each prospective family. This seminar is designed for admissions personnel or those who are directly involved in the admissions process.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | S-182
Chris Hall grew up in Towson, Maryland, and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Gettysburg College and a master’s degree in elementary education from Towson University. Before coming to The Covenant School as Lower School Academic Dean in 2012, Chris taught at public and independent schools and to a variety of students from Kindergarten to college. Chris has served in many positions, including Gifted and Talented Education Team Leader and Science Department Chair. He is a member of the Alcuin Fellowship, a repeat presenter at ACCS and has given professional development seminars on science, technology and nature education, as well as technical seminars on martial arts and guitar. He has written a Lower School science curriculum, Skills of the Tracker, and is currently co-authoring a book and several articles on a variety of topics, from nature education to martial training. Chris and his wife, Cathy, have built a sustainable micro-farm which provides much of their food and heat. They have three children.
Virtuous Investment: A Finances Project for Late Grammar/Early Logic School Mathematicians
Let’s say that someone gave you $100,000. What would you do with it? Math students in 5th Grade at The Covenant School said they’d purchase Ferraris, primo Super Bowl tickets, and lots and lots of Legos! The hearts of these newly-minted investors were gradually changed, as well as their knowledge of how mathematics works in the real world of banks and markets. The best part is that this all occurred within the context of their normal math curriculum map. Come see how math can speak not only to the head and hands, but also the heart of our students, providing them with tools to play out their calling to use their talents wisely through virtuous investing.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-244
John Heaton is a native of Orlando, Florida. He has concluded his 20th year as the second Headmaster of New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia. New Covenant is a Classical Christian School serving around 450 students in Pre-K through 12th Grade.
Enrollment Management: A Case Study in Attrition and Retention (PART 1)
What Matters Most at School: Data can show us precisely the driving factors that sustain academic excellence over time. How is this to be accomplished with GenX’ers and Millenials? This session will explore those drivers using New Covenant as a case study. The practical takeaways will include what school boards, administrations and faculties must do to achieve real academic results.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-245
Enrollment Management: A Case Study in Attrition and Retention (PART 2)
Enrollment and Re-Recruitment: Why do students come to your school? More importantly, why do they stay? Do you know? Are you sure? If not, you are quite possibly jeopardizing your ability to deliver on your mission. Building on the data of the preceding session, we will explore management and teacher strategies that will make a difference in a family’s decision for Classical Christian education.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-245
Joelle holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She began her career as a staffer to Senator Arlen Specter before finding her professional home in the world of Classical education in 1999. She has nearly 20 years of logic-teaching experience, most of which were spent at a Classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There she also developed much of their logic and rhetoric curricula. She has co-authored two logic books: The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies and The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic, both published by Classical Academic Press. Joelle was recently appointed as Scholé Academy’s Principal and works to support a staff of nearly 20 educators. She enjoys helping them develop productive and inspiring classrooms. She also travels to Classical schools and co-ops across the country, tailoring workshops and training teachers in the fundamentals of dialectic and rhetoric-stage pedagogy.
Studying Rhetoric for College Success: How the Study of Classical Rhetoric Can Prepare Students to Excel in Higher Education
Rhetoric seeks to prepare students to “observe all the available means” of persuasion, enabling them to more easily master every kind of writing from analytical reports to argumentative essays. Sadly, many high school educators seek only to have their students write longer papers with long lists of resources and citations, calling that “higher-level” work. The truth is, merely addressing “the who, what, when and where” does not prepare students for good, college-level writing. The study of rhetoric surpasses the limited training of the high school “research paper” by studying how to collect the best ideas and resources for a thesis (invention), how to arrange ideas and evidence in a compelling way (arrangement) and how to adapt the most engaging language to communicate those ideas (style). In this seminar, we will survey other important kinds of rhetoric-inspired writing beyond the research paper, such as exploratory essays, deliberative essays and argumentative papers, all of which will help students become versatile writers prepared for all types of college writing assignments. The seminar will also address the value of peer review and collaboration and ways the teacher can serve as a writing coach. The seminar will conclude by noting some of the best curricula and Internet resources available.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 | S-185
Logic for the Real World: How to Apply Logic in Today’s Chaotic and Often Irrational World
Now more than ever it seems our culture is in need of thoughtful, reasoned discourse and argument. Far from being merely an academic subject, logic brings clarity to our own thinking and also enables us to engage with ideas across disciplines, media and culture. Sometimes teaching students how to think can seem like a daunting, abstract, nebulous exercise. During this seminar, we will introduce and discuss the best pedagogical practices for teaching logic to middle and high school students; we will also suggest ways that new teachers of logic can best prepare for teaching this important art. We will consider four aspects of reasoned, logical thinking: 1) how to develop a personal, internal dialogue; 2) learning what the “right” questions are and how to ask them; 3) learning to discern the real issues at the heart of complex discussions; and 4) how to avoid falling prey to the irrelevant, presumptive and unclear fallacies that cloud so many conversations, discussions and debates. The seminar will feature several examples of logical fallacies and provide other pertinent resources for teaching logic well, including ways of incorporating “capstone” projects to culminate a year of teaching logic.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 | S-185
Mr. Horner has been at Trinity Academy for ten years. His time includes teaching in the High School Humanities and Religious Studies departments. Asked to lead the Student Culture, he founded the House System, and co-leads the Honor Council.
Healthy Student Culture: It Starts with the Faculty
Perhaps the best way to have students who love to learn, love each other, and love God is to do those things ourselves. A faculty committed to the historic disciplines of the Christian faith may be the best way to cultivate these types of students.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | C-245
Ravi Jain graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree and interests in physics, ancient Greek and international political economies. He worked at various churches, received a master’s degree from Reformed Theological Seminary and later earned a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He began teaching calculus and physics at the Geneva School in 2003, where he has developed an integrated double period class called The Scientific Revolution. In this class, students read primary sources like Galileo and Newton in order to recapitulate the narrative of discovery while preserving the mathematical and scientific rigor expected of a college-level treatment. During his tenure there, he co-authored The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education. He has given over 100 talks and workshops worldwide on topics related to education, mathematics and science. He has two young boys, Judah and Xavier. After the duties of the week have been discharged – usually by 8:53 on Saturday nights – he enjoy his few remaining hours with family, friends and his wife, Kelley Anne, whom he met in Japan.
The Enchanted Cosmos: Mathematics Among the Liberal Arts
This session will introduce a curriculum and pedagogy for mathematics grounded in the Classical Christian tradition. It will give special attention to 7th through 12th Grades (or pre-algebra through calculus), though many topics will be of interest to K-6 teachers. This classical approach, which is under active development for release through Classical Academic Press, will demonstrate the possibilities opened by thorough attention to the traditional categories of the quadrivium, including 1) a pedagogy of puzzle, proof and play 2) a curriculum of wonders and 3) mathematics for the sake of wisdom and worship. Everybody will leave with a preliminary packet of new pedagogical models, a sheet of great math quotes and an overview of the Classical math curriculum envisioned. Join us to consider how we can recover for students the wonder of an enchanted cosmos that God has spoken – or perhaps sung – into being.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-244
Lori Jill Keeler
Lori Jill Keeler is the Lower School Principal at the Westminster School in Birmingham, Alabama, a role she has enjoyed for the past 13 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English literature and a master’s degree in integrated curriculum and instruction from Covenant College. She served as the educational expert on the founding Board of Directors for Evangel Classical Christian School in Helena, Alabama. Lori Jill has written curriculum for bible and literature, and has a passion for training teachers. She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.
Instructional Support Program
Westminster’s Instructional Support program wants to share its success with other schools looking to increase the student/teacher ratio, give students more individualized attention and increase opportunities for students to have needed remediation, enrichment or reinforcement of required content and skills. From the how and why the program was established to practical scheduling and logistics issues, we hope that teachers and principals will learn how they can begin a similar program in their own schools. The Instructional Support team will be available for the Q&A session.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-244
Sara Kennedy is a graduate of Mary Washington College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She has served as a scheduler, special assistant and writer for numerous campaigns and elected officials. From 2006 to 2009, she served as the Marketing Director for the Tianjin International School in China. Upon her family’s return to the United States, Sara worked for the Attorney General of Virginia prior to beginning her role as the Director of Communications at Veritas School in 2012. For several years, Sara also served on the board of the Richmond Christian Leadership Institute, which inspired her work to develop a high school Christian leadership program.
Calling Our Students to Lead: A Leadership Class for High School Students
Classical schools beautifully prepare students for a lifetime of learning. Classical Christian schools interweave that scholarship with discipleship. Such graduates are well-prepared to continue their studies at the university level and to flourish as life-long learners, employees, parishioners, artisans and more. But are we doing enough to explicitly call and equip our students to lead? This workshop will explore the goals and design of a leadership course for students that aligns with the ethos of Classical Christian education, equips students to be active and thoughtful members of their local communities and offers a model for schools to consider as they develop their own programs.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | S-185
Andrew Kern is the Founder and President of CiRCE Institute. He has also helped found Providence Academy, Ambrose School, Great Ideas Academy and Regents Schools of the Carolinas. Andrew is the co-author of Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America, The Lost Tools of Writing and The CiRCE Guide to Reading. Andrew is also a consultant and Founder of the CiRCE apprenticeship.
Teaching in the Light of Christ’s Achievement
Christ was born of the Virgin, incarnating the Word, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven. Join us to examine His person and His accomplishments, as well as their influence over the establishment of the foundations and goals of our teaching.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-241
Dusty Kinslow holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and has served as the Head of Austin Classical School since it opened in 2013. In the last five years, the school has grown from 13 to over 120 thriving students. ACS is a blended-schedule school that partners with families in the Classical, Christian education of their students, facilitating learning between days on campus and days at home. As such, Dusty also serves as homeschool mom to her three children within this unique model. She enjoys equipping teachers – both those in the classroom and those in their homes – with the tools to teach effectively, and she loves to come alongside educators to encourage them in the noble, difficult, creative and worthy endeavor of teaching. When she’s not teaching or leading, Dusty can be found sitting next to her husband while they cheer for their kids on the soccer field, watching reruns of The Office or listening to any number of interesting podcasts while folding seemingly endless piles of laundry made possile by the aforementioned kids.
“What’s a Trivium? And Who’s Plato?” – How to Speak “Classical” for Progressively Trained Educators
The way that Classical educators think and talk about education is fundamentally different than the way most of us have been taught to think our entire lives. When training new teachers – who are rarely trained in Classical education – we like to say it is like crawling out of the Atlantic Ocean, running across the continent and jumping into the Pacific. Teachers are changing educational oceans, and they have to come across a large, rocky continent of vocabulary, philosophy, psychology and experience to get there. Because so many teachers in Classical schools come from progressive backgrounds, it is essential for them to understand three crucial differences: 1) who we teach, 2) how we teach, and 3) why we teach. New teachers – and those who train them – will leave this session with a firm grasp on some key vocabulary within Classical education, as well as a clear picture of how Classical education compares to the educational environment of the last century. We will also discuss a few practical pedagogical tools every Classical educator needs in his or her repertoire. Lastly, we’ll discuss why what we’re doing matters, not only for the embodied souls of our students, but for the public good, as well.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-243
Emory Latta is married to Debbie, and they are the parents of six grown children and the grandparents of eight beautiful grandchildren.
Generative Governance and Effective School Leadership
Most schools have made the transition to governance in providing leadership and direction. Yet, even in schools that have made this transition, many continue to struggle to become strategically oriented and almost none advance to the level of vision-casting and mission-driven decision-making that Chait, Thomas and Taylor call Generative Governance. The purpose of this presentation is to share how. Providence Christian School in Dothan, Alabama, has begun to utilize a tri-modal model for fiduciary oversight, strategic planning and generative governance that makes it possible to connect the school’s vision with its decisions and make it more effective and dynamic.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | S-182
Brad Layland is the CEO of The FOCUS Group. He lives in St. Augustine, Florida, where he serves on the Board of Trustees for Veritas Classical School. In addition, he serves on the boards of Young Life St. Augustine, Christian Surfers US, the Reid Saunders Association and Young Life of Greater New York. Brad is an elder at Good News Church. He received his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Florida and his master’s degee in theology from Fuller Seminary. For over 35 years, The FOCUS Group has helped nonprofits raise money more effectively through capital campaign counsel, major donor strategies, planned and estate gifts and training. It currently serves seven Classical Christian schools across the United States.
The Seven Secrets of Successful Capital Campaigns
Your school is growing and you are ready to acquire permanent space, expand your campus or fund a key initiative. Is it time for a capital campaign? Join us to learn the seven “must haves” for your campaign to succeed. Time will be available to discuss attendees’ specific questions.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | S-182
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, John D. Mays spent 14 years working in the engineering and engineering management areas of electrical, controls and telecommunications systems. Vocationally drawn toward the field of education, John acquired an master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Houston in 1989, and subsequently completed 36 hours of graduate study in physics at Texas A&M. Shortly after joining the faculty at Regents School of Austin in 1999, John earned his master’s of liberal arts degree at St. Edward’s University. John served as the Math/Science Department Chair at Regents School from 2001 until 2009, when he became the school’s Director of the Laser Optics Lab. He founded Novare Science & Math in 2009, and is the author of numerous student science texts and teacher resources. Now working full-time as writer, publisher and consultant, John continues to teach students part time at the Laser Optics Lab at Regents.
Mastery, Integration and Wonder: The Model That Transforms Science Instruction
The first goal of science instruction is for students to learn science. This requires replacing the ubiquitous “cram-pass-forget” cycle with a pedagogy aimed at learning, mastery and retention. But mastery is not a goal that can be pursued in isolation from the whole realm of qualities that make us human – the immense spectrum of the human spirit and mind. The new model proposed here has mastery firmly in view, but coupled with a fundamental engagement with the human spirit. Our pedagogy must emerge from an anthropology. First, we appeal to the human spirit through the natural human faculty of wonder. Next, we must involve the whole mind in the learning process through integration in four key areas, each of which is of supreme importance to science instruction – epistemology, mathematics, history and language. Finally, we teach for mastery with a fully articulated set of teaching practices. The goal of mastery is supported by the integration, and the entire structure is propelled by the never-ending capacity of humans for marveling at our beautiful world.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-246
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Robin McLaurin has taught art in the Grammar and Upper Schools for eight years at Grace Academy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where she has taught art appreciation, American art history, elementary and secondary art education, photography, photographic alternative processes, design and drawing. She is a professional fine art photographer who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Robin volunteers as a photographer for the Heart Gallery of Texas, photographing children who are ready to be adopted. Her hobbies include Scottish country dancing, playing tin whistle, traveling and reading.
10 Lessons the Arts Teach
Elliot Eisner, a leading scholar of arts education, argued throughout his career that a school curriculum that included music, dance and the visual arts is critically important to the cognitive development of students. From his extensive classroom experience and educational research he developed a list: The 10 Lessons the Arts Teach. In this session, each lesson is discussed and aligned with the trivium and quadrivium, with time allotted for practical application.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | C-240
Jason Merritt earned his doctorate in biblical studies from Texas Christian University’s Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. He has served Classical schools as both a teacher and headmaster for 11 years.
Beginning a Greek Curriculum in Your School: Two Models
This workshop provides attendees with an overview of two possible tracks for implementing a Greek curriculum in a Classical school. The workshop will advocate for implementation, anticipate roadblocks and provide attendees with curricular resources.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | C-240
Steve Mittwede is the Science Department Chair at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1981, he was graduated from “Their Majesties’ Royal College” (The College of William and Mary) with a bachelor’s degree in geology, after which he concurrently worked as a mineral resources geologist for the South Carolina Geological Survey and completed his master’s degree and doctorate in geology at the University of South Carolina. In the mid-80s, Steve also took classes in bible, theology and missions at Columbia International University (CIU). In the midst of all of that, he married Dana, and they were blessed with four sons in close succession – all now grown, married and raising their own broods. The Mittwedes served in Turkey for 23 years, during which Steve was awarded a master’s degree in intercultural studies from CIU and a master’s degree in modern evangelical theology from Union School of Theology in Wales. Never one to weary of the academic setting, he more recently completed an education specialist degree at CIU. Steve and Dana make their home on the westernmost edge of lovely Fort Worth.
Identifying Unknowns: Real Science for Logic-Stage Students
Many teachers engaged in science education may recall that, when they themselves were students of high school chemistry, they were assigned the task of identifying an unknown solution. Such an assignment brilliantly thrusts the student into the heart of the scientific enterprise – namely, observation and experimentation. But why wait until so late in a student’s academic experience to introduce them to real science, especially when younger students are developmentally suited for such endeavors? Insofar as having students actually “do science” is a lofty, but altogether realistic goal of classical science education, why not get them started early in order to hone their skills of observation and experimentation? In this session, we’ll explore a three-stage “observation exercise” using unknown rock specimens that has proven to be a superb means of such honing among Logic-stage Earth Science students. Because the exercise is done in stages, the students move from being neophytes with no knowledge to practical experimenters to identifying rock types of particular specimens. As they advance in stages from the unknown to the known, these students do real science.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-244
Keith Nix has served as Head of School at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, since 2010. He also serves on the board of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS). Previously, Keith served as the SCL Board Chair.
The Head and the Board: Making it Work
Perhaps the most important relationship in the school, the Head of School’s relationship with the board can be a tricky one. In this workshop, we will discuss principles and practices that can build trust, confidence and effective leadership.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 AM | S-182
W. Davies Owens is the Head of Vision and Advancement at the Ambrose School in Boise, Idaho, where he also served as the Dean of the Upper School. Prior to moving west five years ago, he served for 10 years as a Board Member, and later, as Head of School at Heritage Preparatory School, an ACCS member school in Atlanta, Georgia. Five years prior, he was the Executive Director of BlueSky Ministries, an innovation lab and consulting organization launched after his work for Christianity.com during the dot-com days of Silicon Valley. He is also an ordained Presbyterian minister who served as a local church pastor for 12 years in both suburban and urban congregations. Davies has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Furman University, a master’s degree in divinity from Duke Divinity School and a doctorate from Gordon Conwell Seminary in Boston. He has studied on a number of occasions at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and England. He has a heart for international missions and has been leading teams from Ambrose to work with schools in Rwanda for the past four years. He is the host of the BaseCamp Live podcast, which is dedicated to helping promote Classical Christian education nationally and equip parents and leaders involved in raising up the next generation. He and his wife, Holly, see the consistent fruit of Classical Christian education in the lives of their three children, Hannah, 19, Liam, 16, and Bennett, 14.
Churches: For or Against Us?
Success for Classical Christian schools is highly dependent on the engagement and health of the local Church. But despite many school’s efforts to require church attendance from families, all too often the students who show up on Monday morning lack basic biblical and theological knowledge and are often struggling to find the practical role of their faith in daily life. Yet schools are not called to be surrogate churches, despite the expectations of many parents. Today’s pastors range from being highly supportive to passively critical about the presence of Classical Christian schools in their community. Many have a host of misunderstandings, assumptions and fears about the agenda of their local private Christian schools. Are there steps schools can take to encourage local pastors and move them toward becoming confident advocates for your school? This workshop will explore current research from Barna on the state of the Church today, as well as surveys of pastors in communities with Classical Christian schools. Practical and proven strategies will be presented about several initiatives that have brought the Church and schools into closer understanding and partnership.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | Sanctuary
Dr. Christopher Perrin is an author, consultant and speaker, who specializes in Classical education and is committed to the national renewal of the liberal arts tradition. He co-founded and serves full time as the CEO/Publisher at Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media and consulting company. Christopher serves as a consultant to charter, public, private and Christian schools across the country. He has served on the board of the Society for Classical Learning and is the Director of the Alcuin Fellowship of Classical Educators. He has published numerous articles and lectures that are widely used throughout the United States and the English-speaking world. Christopher received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Carolina and his master’s degree in divinity and doctorate in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary. He was also a special student in literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary, and served as the founding Headmaster of a Classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for 10 years. He is the author of An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, Greek for Children, and co-author of the Latin for Children series published by Classical Academic Press.
When Classical Meets Contemporary: What Do We Keep, What Do We Kick Out and Why?
We regard the Classical tradition of education as tried and true, the well-worn path of wisdom that we are wise to follow. We also know that just because something is old doesn’t make it best; nor is something that is contemporary necessarily bad. The reverse is also true: Just because something is old doesn’t make it bad; nor is something that is contemporary necessarily good. What then makes something good? The classical tradition has always extolled the true, the good and the beautiful, and has generally acknowledged them as transcending time. Are there any new insights into the good produced by our contemporary culture? Is there any recent research that validates and deepens our understanding of Classical education? What trends, beliefs and practices produced by our current culture should be resisted? Are there some that can be embraced or co-opted? In this seminar, we will examine some major contemporary ideas that complement the ideals of Classical education, as well as some that undermine them. We will examine trends in scientific research (cognitive science), technology, social interaction and assessment (testing and metrics). The seminar will conclude with some discussion about how we can wisely engage contemporary culture in our schools, allowing the ideals of the true, good and beautiful to help us assess, sift and create a rich school culture that is both Classical and contemporary.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | C-243
Cathye Price has been teaching at Westminster for eight years. During that time, she has developed and executed art curriculums for both the Lower and Upper School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a master’s degree in art education. She is passionate about Christian education in the arts. She encourages students to pursue creating because we are created in the image of God – and therefore were made to create.
Art Through the Humanities
In a strong Classical education, it can be difficult to find the time and place for a rigorous focus on the arts. Many classical schools seek to integrate their subjects, weaving content between the disciplines. Although we celebrate a rich history of integrating subjects in order to address and train the whole intellect, teaching the arts in a Classical context often falls short of providing every student with a strong art education. The Latin term “Imago Dei” reminds us that we are created in God’s image, and thus we reflect the creator. We love to create because we were made to create. It is on this premise that art classes can be focused. In this session, participants will learn logical and practical approaches for combining the study of humanities with art education. Works of art – in a variety of mediums and styles – reflect the period being studied, giving students a better understanding of culutre while culitivating artistic knowledge and abilities.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-240
Becky Priest is the College Counselor at The Cambridge School in San Diego, California, and a former Financial Aid Counselor from Washington University in St. Louis, where she worked with incoming freshmen and their parents. Since she and her husband moved to San Diego, she has remained active in the financial aid world as a NASFAA member, presenting at area high school financial aid nights, speaking to various groups and providing individual consultation for many families in San Diego and across the nation. She has been on staff as the Financial Aid Counselor at two local test-prep firms and, for the last five years, at The Cambridge School, whose very first graduating class is the Class of 2018. She has helped build the brand there with the help of colleagues from sister Classical schools. She and her husband have a 10th-grader, Stephen, who has been a proud Cambridge student since 2nd Grade and will be a member of the school’s third graduating class.
The Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric of College Financial Aid: What is My EFC and Why Should I Care?
The college financial aid process is often the most confusing part of the college-application process for high school families. There are multiple forms to navigate, strange terminology, various timelines and unpredictable outcomes in a landscape fraught with misinformation. If you work in a high school, this session will equip you to have more intelligent conversations and counseling sessions about college financial aid, list building and selection. Get an insider vantage point from someone who has read thousands of applications and helped families successfully navigate the college financial aid process with ethical, straightforward advice. We’ll discuss the financial aid formula, awarding process, types and sources of financial aid, categories of colleges, family eligibility factors, making reasonable predictions and how to debunk common myths and misinformation.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-246
Shea Ramquist is a native of Tokyo, Japan. He earned his bachelor’s degree in humanities after studying at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute and Oxford University. He then earned a master’s degree in American intellectual history at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in the antebellum American Classical college and the rise of the modern university. In 2015, he accepted a position in the Rhetoric School of Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita, California, where he teaches honors courses in American and European history, ancient philosophy and rhetoric.
A Guide and Warning From America’s Classical Education Past: The Yale Report of 1828
In the early 19th century, Yale College stood as the last, great bastion of Classical education in the United States. Buffeted by demands for “useful learning” and scathing critiques of “dead languages,” the Yale faculty produced an eloquent apology for Classical education, the famed Yale Report of 1828. This document provided an aegis for the antebellum, American, Classical education project, defending it against the attacks of utilitarian, modernist educational reforms up through the Civil War. In focusing on the Yale Report’s stirring defense of Greek and Latin’s pedagogical value, however, scholars and educators have overlooked the role of a discipline central to both the report itself and the tradition of Classical education it defended – mathematics. As we rebuild the Classical education tradition, putting the Yale Report of 1828 in its historic context and attending to its arguments about mathematical education offers today’s Classical schools both a guide and a warning.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 4 | 8:30-9:30 AM | C-241
Martha Reed has a master’s degree in education and began her teaching career in a Classical start-up school in Florida in 1995. Her teaching experience covers a variety of age levels, from Kindergarten to college freshmen, and she has several years of administrative experience in Christian schools. For the last eight years, she has taught 6th Grade – her favorite – at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys reading, garden club and sipping Earl Grey tea. She regularly contributes to the FOCUS on Christian Education blog and frequently speaks at Christian education conferences.
Cultivating a Culture of Affirmation in the Classical Classroom
Teachers often view their role in the classroom as one of instruction, correction and encouragement. But this perspective overlooks a key element of any successful classroom culture: affirmation. How can teachers correct and affirm students without buying into the worldly philosophy of promoting self-esteem? By promoting God-esteem. This workshop explores practical ways to promote God-esteem in the Classical classroom.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-241
Jim Reynolds & Bob Ingram
Jim Reynolds helped begin an ecumenical Christian school in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area in the 1980s and taught there for eight years before becoming a consultant with Harcourt School Publishers. In his 19 years at Harcourt School Publishing (and later Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Jim transitioned from an Educational Consultant to Mathematics Marketing Manager and then to Vice President/Editor-in-Chief of Mathematics. Jim left educational publishing in 2011 for the opportunity to serve the students, parents and faculty at The Geneva School as the Dean of Faculty. He is excited to lead a very talented faculty in teaching and forming students to love God, love their neighbor and learn about His creation. Jim has three sons who have graduated from The Geneva School.
Robert Ingram is the Headmaster of The Geneva School in Orlando, Florida, and is in his 10th year as Head of School. Previously he served as a Founding Board Member of Geneva and Chairman of the Board for eight years. Bob is a graduate of The College of Wooster in Ohio, and has master’s degrees from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Geneva College. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and was the Senior Vice President of Ligonier Ministries from 1986 to 1995. In addition to consulting with numerous Classical schools, Bob also served as Chairman of SCL. Bob has a granddaughter who attends The Geneva School.
Recruiting and Retaining Talented Teachers
Recruiting and retaining talented teachers is a challenge for school leadership. This workshop focuses on the systems in place at The Geneva School to understand staffing needs, recruit talented teacher, and interview and vet prospective teachers. We will focus on the evaluation and retention of talented teachers, including strategies for monitoring and improving the teaching experience, as well as strategies for long-term retention. We want to win the war for talent by finding and keeping passionate and competent teachers who are not just high IQ, but high EQ, as well.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | S-182
Charlie Ritch has been a teacher for 10 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in bible. Charlie is married with four children.
Henri Nouwen: Spirituality for Teachers
Join this session to examine the intense spiritual nature of the job of teaching. We’ll also explore how the writings of Henri Nouwen might aid in cultivating a healthy inner life and create an atmosphere of spiritual growth in ourselves and our students.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-241
Paul Schaeffer is the Director of the School Division of Memoria Press. In that position, he has helped in numerous start-up schools. He is one of the few professionals working in Classical education who received such an education himself. He has taught middle school, high school and college-level Latin internationally. In Louisville, Kentucky, he led students through Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as well as many other great works at Highlands Latin School. He is a regular contributor to The Classical Teacher magazine.
A Crash Course in Latin
Latin is an intimidating subject to teach! Pronunciation, declensions, conjugations – it is enough to make your brain hurt. In this presentation, attendees will learn the basics of Latin so they can feel confident to teach their students introductory Latin in the upcoming year.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-243
Barbara Seidle is currently the Class Four teacher at The Wilberforce School in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. After spending almost a decade homeschooling her own children and teaching some homeschool history classes, she made the switch to teaching in the Classical school environment seven years ago. She has taught history in 1st, 3rd and 4th Grade. Her love of history grew out of her time homeschooling and has continued to grow each year. Barbara has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The College of New Jersey, and holds a New Jersey teaching credentials. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband of over 20 years, and their three children, who are in high school and college. She loves writing, reading, cooking, eating and traveling. Barbara is the founder of The Hannah More Project, a website dedicated to helping Christians become more active in justice ministries both locally and globally.
Using Primary Sources to Teach History at the Grammar Stage
Many teachers at the Grammar stage feel intimidated by teaching history and wonder if there is a way to make it more interesting. Introducing primary sources into your history curriculum will help your students understand and engage history in deep and meaningful ways. Participants will learn how to add flavor to their history curriculum using recitation pieces, field trips, recorded interviews, music, art and museum resources available online. You’ll learn general principles that can be applied to U.S. or World history curriculums with practical, hands-on resources and ideas that can be directly applied to The History of US, The Story of the World, BiblioPlan, and the Veritas Press history cards.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | C-242
Andrew Selby has a doctorate in religion focusing on early Christian theology from Baylor University. He teaches medieval history, bible, Latin and rhetoric classes, and has published articles in the areas of biblical interpretation, church history and systematic theology. With a passion for Classical Christian education, he wants to help teachers and parents alike catch a vision for a tradition-resourced approach to helping our boys and girls grow to be mature men and women of God.
Dorothy Sayers Was Wrong About the Art of Grammar
Dorothy Sayers famously wrote that Grammar is the “poll parrot” stage in which younger students memorize many facts. In her influential and often valuable essay, The Lost Tools of Learning, she asserts that she is replicating the medieval understanding of the trivium. We’ll explore the perspective taht Sayers’ definition of the art of grammar actually departs radically from the Classical, medieval and Renaissance understanding of it and that her idea has some problematic consequences for our younger students. We’ll also discuss ways we could do better by our students by adopting the true, Classical definition of Grammar as the art of correctly using language and interpreting accurately. From this definition follow some broad practical suggestions for how we should approach teaching the art of Grammar in Classical Christian schools, motivated by loving the little things.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 2 | 2:45-3:45 PM | Sanctuary
Brandon Shuman serves as the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Midland Classical Academy deep in the heart of West Texas. Over the course of his ministry at MCA, he has Socratically taught over 26 different junior high, high school and parent courses from a wide range of academic disciplines, including Great Books, Greek, apologetics, history and movie production. Brandon writes education articles for Midland’s local newspaper and co-hosts The Good Knight Dad podcast which encourages and empowers parents to better leverage their student’s experience at MCA. Brandon enjoys coffee, fly fishing, playing baseball in the backyard with his two sons and date nights with his beautiful wife, Laura.
Fostering Cultural Harmony Among the Student Body
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus told his disciples, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant” (Mark 10:42-43). In many schools, seniors and upperclassmen follow the world’s pattern of looking down upon and lording it over their younger peers. Such pride establishes barriers between older and younger students, harms relationships and falls short of Christ’s good command. In this session, tangible examples will be shared to help your students live out biblical greatness and allow the group to brainstorm, share and consider what cultural structures have/can be put in place to empower your students to do the same.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-241
Andrew Smalley is the Director of Fine Arts at the Regents School of Austin in Texas. He came to the United States from England, his native country. Andrew has served in a number of administrative capacities in schools and takes leadership development very seriously.
Leading the Team
How can you help raise teacher and student engagement? How must your approach differ between creative types and educators? Come explore the challenges many schools face and find some answers. We’ll discuss how to harness the creative spirit in your school and examine strategies for follow-through.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-242
Andrew Smith is in his first year at Veritas, directing the Rhetoric curriculum and teaching theology. He has been a teacher and administrator in Classical Christian schools for 15 years. Prior to joining Veritas, he was Director of Upper School at The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida, and Head of Upper School at Westminster Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. Andrew’s academic work has focused primarily on Rhetoric, both in curriculum development and in teacher training. From 2008 to 2010, he hosted the Memphis Rhetoric Symposium, and since then he has been a consultant and teacher trainer for several schools. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Memphis, a master’s degree in divinity from Samford University and master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Memphis. He and his wife, Keri, have four children, spanning in age from 7 to 17.
The Common Topics: Threads That Hold the Verbal Arts Together
The verbal arts are related to one another, particularly through the means by which we teach them. Since the verbal arts are skills, not terminating subjects, they are taught throughout the curriculum. But as we focus on teaching them singularly, how can we do so in a way that most naturally leads to teaching the others? For instance, in the 2nd Grade, how can grammar be taught in such a way that naturally leads into and resonates with dialectic? Or, in 11th Grade, how can rhetoric be taught in such a way that draws from the student’s competency of grammar? The short answer is: The Common Topics. Join this session to learn why and how.
Friday, June 29| Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | Sanctuary
Rhetoric at Your School: Centerpiece or Add-On?
More than likely, your school views its Rhetoric program as a distinctive. It is an aspect of your school that sets it apart from other schools in your geographic community and it is something that allows your constituencies to rest assured that you really are offering a Classical curriculum. But can you say in all honesty that Rhetoric is a centerpiece of your curriculum? Is it crucial to how, what and why everything else is taught at your school? It should be. Join this session to learn what you can do to make it so.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | S-185
Alana Speth teaches European history at The Covenant School in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she constantly endeavors to instill a sense of connection between her students and the past. As a voracious reader and learner, she was well-versed in the liberal arts before beginning an earnest study of Classical education upon joining The Covenant School’s faculty and attending SCL’s annual conference in 2014. A native of rural Pennsylvania, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree from The College of William and Mary. She lives in a century-old farmhouse in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, surrounded by books.
Voting for Nazis: Cultivating Empathy in the Secondary History Classroom
Teaching European history to 15- and 16-year-olds presents dual challenges. One must get students genuinely invested in events of the past before getting them to empathize with people and situations they perceive as different from themselves. There are two significant barriers that must be overcome: lack of humility and possession of too much information. Without humility, empathy is restricted to those most like ourselves. If we can, in turn, recognize aspects of our own humanity in those we deem villainous or least like us, we are better equipped to recognize aspects of our own humanity in anyone and everyone. Nazi Germany therefore presents a perfect historical situation for this approach – secondary students invariably have pre-existing knowledge and pre-conceived judgements about this period of history. Finding aspects of their own humanity in these undeniable villains of modern history forces students to reevaluate their historical worldview and, in turn, their relationship to the present.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-242
Jeremy Sturdivant has served for numerous years as a public school educator, an ordained minister and a Classical Christian school educator. As a Classical Christian educator, he spent two years teaching 6th Grade before teaching humanities, bible survey, logic and Greek in the Upper School. Currently, he teaches bible survey and logic and serves as the Theology/Philosophy Department Chair at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. Jeremy holds a bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and master’s degree in divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Essential Logic: What Every Teacher Should Know in Order to Effectively Utilize and Integrate Logic Into His or Her Subject Area
As Classical Christian educators, we see logic as so essential to what and how we teach that we refer to the second stage of learning as dialectic and to the corresponding school as the school of logic. While many Upper School teachers would like to integrate logic into their classes, many have not received formal training, and so lack the ability to do so effectively. This seminar will seek to provide Upper School teachers with a foundational understanding of the essentials of logic with the goal of enabling them to effectively integrate logic into their subject areas. Participants will learn about logical fallacies, the basic laws of logic (thought), propositions and their relationships, syllogisms and their forms and testing arguments for validity and soundness.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-243
Jeremy Tate is the co-founder and president of the CLT, a classically based alternative to the SAT and ACT. Before CLT, Jeremy served as a college counselor and test prep consultant. Jeremy holds degrees from Louisiana State University and Reformed Theological Seminary. Jeremy and his wife, Erin, have four children.
Taking Classical Mainstream
Classical educators should be the ones to set new standards of excellence for the entire nation. Currently, Classical schools have to defer to the standardized tests of the failing educational establishment. These standards, especially as seen in the SAT and ACT, communicate to students and families that the most salient features of classical schools are irrelevant. For many colleges, the CLT is quickly becoming the new gold standard. Because the CLT evaluates a student’s ability to understand philosophy, logic, theology and ethics, it is a more effective tool in demonstrating to colleges the exceptional academic formation of classically educated students.
Friday, June 29 | Breakout 5 | 2:30-3:30 PM | C-240
Brett Tohlen is the Logic School Director for The Covenant School of Dallas. Before assuming that role four years ago, he taught Upper School literature and bible for several years. Brett has a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Dallas.
Time to Mind: A Story of “Much, Not Many” and Logic School Flourishing
Because learning is “slow, effortful, and uncertain,” the Classical principle of “much, not many” shapes a program at all levels – classroom culture, pedagogical structure, curriculum and scheduling – to provide time for students to know and love.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 7 | 10:45-11:45 AM | C-243
Peter Vande Brake
Peter Vande Brake grew up in the southern states of Georgia and Tennessee, but attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a four-time, All-American decathlete. He went to seminary at Union Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and then did his doctoral work at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, obtaining a doctorate in systematic theology in 2000. He was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA in 2001. Peter completed the Van Lunen Fellows Program for Executive Leadership in July of 2009. He taught, coached and administrated at North Hills Classical Academy from 1996 to 2010 and served as the Headmaster there beginning in 1998. He is a leadership consultant for the CiRCE Institute and works at The Potter’s House, an urban, Christ-centered school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is married and has two daughters.
What Does the Kingdom of God Look Like? An Apology for Diversity in Classical Christian Schools
We all have “blindspots” in our lives, or things that we just can’t see. This isn’t because those things aren’t right in front of us, but because we don’t have eyes to see them. Having students from diverse backgrounds – racially, ethnically and socio-economically – helps us to eliminate the blindspots from our lives. Having a diverse school helps to prepare our students for life in the world in ways that a monolithic, monochromatic student body does not. Students who have experience in a diverse student body are able to navigate cultural nuances, preferences and differences more ably than students who don’t have that kind of experience. Diversity in a student body better reflects the Kingdom of God, encourages empathy, helps students see difficult issues from more than one perspective and allows students to experience life in a more abundant way. Achieving diversity is much easier to talk about than it is to do, but this seminar will look at some of the challenges of diversification and how to overcome them.
Saturday, June 30 | Breakout 6 | 9:30-10:30 AM | C-240
An award-winning author and professor, Dr. Carolyn Weber holds an honors bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario and her master’s and doctorate degrees in Romantic literature from Oxford University. A Commonwealth Scholar, she was the first female dean of St. Peter’s College at Oxford University. After relocating to the States, Carolyn has been an associate professor at the University of San Francisco, Seattle University and Westmont College. She now teaches both at her alma mater, the University of Western Ontario, and at Heritage College and Seminary. Carolyn speaks regularly on the intersections of faith, literature and culture at campuses, churches and organizations, ranging from Billy Graham’s Cove to national and international academic and mainstream conferences. She has been a guest on numerous radio interviews, television shows and podcasts, such as 100 Huntley St., Context with Lorna Dueck, Family Life, Focus on the Family and Cardus. She teaches across a wide range of venues, from the classroom to retreats, workshops and invited lecture series. Her critically acclaimed memoirs Surprised by Oxford and Holy is the Day were both shortlisted for the Grace Irwin Prize, the largest award for Christian writing in Canada. Surprised by Oxford received this award in 2014. A poet, essayist and featured contributor to such publications as Faith Today, Carolyn also delights in writing children’s literature and participating actively in children’s education. Carolyn lives in her hometown of London, Canada, with her husband and four spirited children.
Re-Minding Our Students in the Lord
As Samuel Johnson famously claimed, “People need to be reminded rather than instructed.” C. S. Lewis would refer to this exact maxim in his approach to discussing faith in Mere Christianity. In this session, I would like to explore how we can instruct our students through reminding them of their ability as “spiritual thinkers.” I will consider the act of reading, the concepts of “text,” and the power of paying literal, as well as metaphorical, attention to our lives.
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 1 | 10:00-11:00 AM | Sanctuary
Gregory Wilbur is Chief Musician at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Franklin, Tennessee, and the Dean and Senior Fellow of New College Franklin, a Christian liberal arts college that he helped to start. He earned his master’s degree in music composition at the University of Alabama. He is the author of Glory and Honor: The Music and Artistic Legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach and has released three CDs of his compositions of congregational psalms, hymns and service music. He also composes for choir, orchestra, film and chamber ensembles, including the soundtrack for the documentary on Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Logic on Fire. In addition to being a regular speaker at classical conferences, he has taught for more than 20 years, and has a column on the quadrivium called The Crossroads on the CiRCE Institute website. His wife, Sophia, homeschools their daughter, Eleanor, and they all enjoy reading, cooking, taking walks and enjoying life in middle Tennessee.
The Music of the Spheres and the Hidden Places of the Mind
It is no secret that music affects the brain in particular ways that other types of learning do not and cannot. How can we seek to engage all of our mind with a proper understanding of musical studies—not as enrichment or extracurricular, but as an integrated part of knowledge and educational disciplines?
Thursday, June 28 | Breakout 3 | 4:00-5:00 PM | C-246
Astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink is a Senior Research Scholar and Executive Director of Online Learning at Reasons to Believe. He earned a doctorate in astrophysics from Iowa State University. His writing and speaking encourage people to consider the connection between Scripture’s truth and scientific evidence. He is the author of Is There Life Out There? and co-author of the Impact Events student devotionals. Jeff also holds a part-time project scientist position at UCLA.
Is ID Science Good for Christianity?
Over the past three decades, the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) has garnered significant support from the Christian community. In stark contrast, scientists perceive the IDM as attempting to change the scientific enterprise by political means. Come learn about some remarkable examples of intelligent design revealed by scientific advances, identify some major pitfalls in the way Christians talk about intelligent design and hear some proposals for a more effective way to use intelligent design to argue for God’s existence.