Competitive Speech: The Imperative for Classical Education in Training the Good Man Speaking Well; Establishing & Coaching a Successful Team

In 2010, Veritas Academy won the State TAPPS Championship with a team of only freshmen and sophomores, largely due to successful speakers and performers. Since opening in 2005, Veritas has recognized the imperative of a classical school to nurture a thriving, dynamic and mission-focused Competitive Speech Team. Over 7 years, Veritas students have not only competed in, but have been awarded state titles in Competitive Speech through such organizations as the National Forensics League. In the classical pursuit of “the good man speaking well,” Competitive Speech is paramount in developing confident, eloquent Christian speakers who pursue godly standards of truth, beauty and goodness in their competitive performances. Whether you are looking to revitalize an existing forensics program or establish your first team, this session will give you the tools to start and sustain a successful Competitive Speech team that will grow top speakers who compete for the glory of God.

Erin Keyfitz

Erin Keyfitz has served as Fine Arts Director of Veritas Academy in Austin since 2007. In addition to her administrative role, Erin also directs the high school theater and coaches the competitive speech team, which just claimed the TAPPS 1A State Champion title. As a member of several competitive organizations including National Forensics League, her speech and theater program has consistently received high honors including TAPPS Fine Art Student of the Year. Prior to Veritas, Erin taught at Regents School of Austin and served as Assistant state Director of One Act Plays for PSIA. A former speech competitor and debater herself, Erin brings passion, knowledge and experience in the area of competitive speech.

Out of the Box and Into the Material

Denise brings a fresh approach to teaching by using a unique style that utilizes 21st century technology, engages different learning styles, and incorporates Scripture into her lessons. This seminar gives an overview of a “see it, hear it and do it with technology” approach to learning that can be applied to many different subject areas. She will use her photography class as an example, showing how she engages different learning styles. Her lessons are designed so that the students know when to engage in the discussion and when to take notes, based on slide design. Denise currently teaches in a computer lab, but in the future each student will use a laptop or iPad, and this will have implications for many classrooms.

Denise Myers

While trained as an Electrical Engineer, Denise began her professional career as a computer programmer and Project manager at IBM then took time out to be home with her children. As an at home mom she took her professional skills into the volunteer work force at Trinity Academy, serving as PATT (Parents and Teachers at Trinity) president, soccer and volleyball coach, and volunteer photographer. Her love for photography began in high school and as her kids grew up, she became ready to go back to work part time, so she started her own company. In 2009, she combined everything that she had learned through photography, teaching and coaching together, wrote and taught her own Digital Photography Course at Trinity Academy of Raleigh.

Poetic Liturgy

This session employs poetry, music, and visual art to enter into the reality of a liturgical event. Covenant Christian Academy has used it throughout the school year to gather as an upper school to enter the reality of Epiphany, Good Friday, and other important events in the life of the historic church. It isn’t simply embodied learning; it is a disciplined marveling and dwelling together. We will show you how to do this in your school by doing it together. Come prepared to taste and see one of the most meaningful events in the life of our school. We use it in 7th, 9th and 11th grades every year.

Christine Perrin

Christine Perrin has taught literature and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Messiah College, Gordon College’s Orvieto Program, through the Pennsylvania Arts Council to students of all ages, and at the local classical school where her husband was headmaster for a decade and where her children a ended K-12. She consults with classical schools in curriculum development and faculty development in poetry. She is a two time recipient of the PA Arts Council Artists Fellowship and a Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference Fellowship. Her own work appears in various journals including The New England Review, Image, TriQuarterly, Blackbird, and Christianity and Literature, The Cresset. “The Art of Poetry” a text book for middle to high school students was published in 2009 by Classical Academic Press. She attended Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate and the University of Maryland for graduate school. She keeps a blog at: h p://

Virgil’s Aeneid in the Modern World: From Martin Luther to Mark Zuckerberg

Virgil’s Aeneid has been a central part of the classical Christian curriculum since the ancient world. It is not just a legacy of the past, but an important and shaping part of the traditional liberal arts curriculum in the modern world, as shown by a series of case studies. In the Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther used quotations from Virgil, the Bible, and Augustine, to show that both classical and Christian authors recognized God’s sovereignty. The Continental Congress chose mottoes for the new nation’s Great Seal taken from Latin literature and Virgil’s Aeneid. In the twentieth century figures as different as C.S. Lewis, football coach Joe Paterno, and Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that their careers were shaped by reading the Aeneid. This is no time to stop reading Virgil.

Christian Kopff

E. Christian Kopff was educated at St. Paul’s School (Garden City NY), Haverford College and UNC, Chapel Hill (Ph. D., Classics). He has taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder, since 1973, and most currently as Associate Director of the Honors Program. He has edited a critical edition of the Greek text of Euripides’ Bacchae (Teubner, 1982) and published over 100 articles and reviews on scholarly, pedagogical and popular topics. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, he has received research grants from the NEH and CU’s Committee on Research. The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition (ISIBooks, 1999) is widely cited by Classical Christian educators. He translated Josef Pieper, Tradition: Concept and Claim (ISIBooks, 2008; St. Augustine’s, 2010) and contributed the Introduction to Herbert Jordan’s translation of Homer’s Iliad (Oklahoma UP, 2008).

Jumpstart Your Jingles

As “grammar school” teachers, we know that our students love the sound of language. They memorize quickly and enjoy repetition, but how do we keep the repetition efficient and energetic in our classrooms? This workshop will use a variety of creative techniques to maximize our pedagogy and add excitement to our routines.

Trish Detrick

Trisha Detrick teaches fourth grade at The Geneva School in Orlando, Florida. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and is certified by the state of Florida. Trisha was introduced to classical education in college and was blessed to complete her student teaching in a classical school. She spent her rst six years of teaching at a small ACCS school before transferring to The Geneva School seven years ago. Trisha is a dynamic teacher who has a passion for training fellow teachers. She is an inspiring mentor and is actively involved in cultivating a vibrant and thriving culture amongst her colleagues in the grammar school. This is Trisha’s fourth year speaking at SCL conferences, and she is excited to be back again.

“Can this cockpit hold the vasty fields of France?” The Art of Drama

As Shakespeare noted in his introduction to Henry V, drama is the work of imagination. By word and glance, by pause and movement, the story told through drama communicates vividly, whether it be one of Shakespeare’s plays on a stage or acting out a story about “the big one that got away” as you talk with your neighbor over the back fence. But in this day of television and movies, laptops, iPads, Kindles, and YouTube, is there still a place or need for drama in a good education? In this seminar we will consider characteristics unique to drama and explore both the benefits of this art and its use in classical education.

Nancy Sattler

Nancy Sattler, a native of Toledo, Ohio moved with her husband, Dr. Paul Sattler and their four children to Lynchburg, Virginia in 1985 where she helped start New Covenant Schools. From its inception she has desired to share her love of literature, poetry, language and drama and has encouraged her students to enjoy memorizing and reciting poetry and participate in drama. She was the director of the school plays for years and currently teaches Drama at NCS while pursuing a Master's degree in her other love, Latin.

Low Tech, High Touch Science

Science needs to be a hands on subject. That means that students need materials to touch and investigate. Come and explore the materials I use in the classroom. In this workshop, we will review how to acquire a collection of items for exploration, how to get students outdoors and engaged with nature, and where to find free support to expand your repertoire in the life sciences.

Stephanie Knudsen

Stephanie M. Knudsen has spent the last eight of her 20 years in education teaching rst grade at Trinity Academy of Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has taught in Japan, North Carolina, and Virginia. Her life outside of school includes her being a farmer, lover of the great outdoors, and a reader of books.

Seminar Weeks

Annual “Seminar Weeks” at Covenant Christian Academy give upper school students the opportunity to learn beyond the typical classroom format and have become a beloved tradition. The faculty chooses a topic, normal class schedules are suspended, and students work in mixed-grade groups for the week. An unofreseen benefit is the camaraderie and team-building that Seminar Week planning and implementation brings to the faculty. The theme for Seminar Week 2012 at CCA was the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and resulted in the entire school community learning more about the issue. This workshop will focus on an overview of what the CCA faculty has done as well as what has been learned for designing meaningful Seminar Weeks.

Robyn Burlew

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.

The Capstone Project

Signature educational programs can distinguish one school from another in markets that offer attractive options to prospective parents. At Geneva Orlando we created a program for seniors that combines a research thesis, oral defense, a comprehensive ‘Western Narrative’ history experience, academic mentoring, symposiums with faculty, and opportunities to be invited to “Great Conversations” held in the community. Together with our classical curriculum and AP courses, we intend for this signature program to compete with IB programs and other schools that annually attract students away from Geneva. What is your school doing to ensure that students are motivated to the highest levels of academic excellence within our liberal arts tradition?

Bob Ingram

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.

Demystifying Effecting Fundraising

Far too many organizations remain content with the most ineffective fundraising strategies characterized by mediocre events, low response rates, and high staff turnover. In this workshop, Jason will demonstrate that there are no secrets when it comes to raising extraordinary gifts, hiring a rock-star fundraiser and evaluating fundraising performance. With the help of three unorthodox planning techniques, Jason will show you how to develop an effective fundraising plan that aligns with your organizations’ mission and vision.

Jason Lewis

As BetterSchools’ fundraising leader, Jason Lewis currently assists classical, Christian school leaders in designing and implementing their strategic plan; hiring, training and coaching fundraising professionals; and evaluating their readiness for and execution of multi-million dollar capital campaigns. As the head of school and chief development o cer at a classical, Christian school, Jason transitioned fundraising e orts from a conventional, arms-length approach to a high-touch, major gi s approach with clearly de ned performance expectations for the school’s advancement o cers. The centerpiece of this strategy—a performance management dashboard—has gained recognition among private school and nonpro t leaders as an e ective tool for evaluating and increasing fundraising performance. In 2008, Jason received his initial certi cation as a Certi ed Fundraising Executive (and was recerti ed in 2015) and in 2011, he was recognized as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Master Trainers. As a complement to his undergraduate studies in business, he completed his master of science degree in Nonpro t Management in 2010.