Head & Board Symposium Overview

The Society for Classical Learning is dedicated to providing quality leadership and governance training to our members. The Head of School & Board Symposium is a two-day event that addresses a range of important topics. Sessions include a combination of presentations, discussion, and collaboration. Friday of the Symposium is for Heads and will feature Dr. Jon Eckert’s session on Catalytic Leadership. Dr. Eckert is a scholar and author with Baylor’s Center for Christian Leadership. Friday evening, there is a cocktail reception and dinner for all attendees, including board members who plan on joining the Symposium Saturday. The reception and dinner will be a time of fellowship, networking, and a great opportunity to learn from one another.

Saturday of the Symposium is intended for both board members and Heads. There will be presentations and discussion focused on faculty compensation. Mr. John Littleford, one of the most sought after independent school consultants in the world, will lead the day. He is uniquely suited to address this issue. He has worked with schools on this topic thousands of times and has conducted extensive amounts of research. Of course, there will be plenty of time for discussion and sharing ideas. It will be a very valuable time for Heads of School and board members.

We are grateful for Baylor University and the Center for Christian Leadership for hosting this event!  We look forward to seeing you in February.

Guest Speakers

Littleford, J.

John Littleford

Littleford & Associates


About John Littleford:
John Littleford founded Littleford & Associates in 1994. Mr. Littleford has served as head of school for 18 years, a teacher for 25 years, and a board member and chair of schools and nonprofit agencies.

He has written and spoken extensively worldwide on each area of the firm’s consulting expertise. John Littleford is the co-author, with Valerie Lee, of the book, “Faculty Salary Systems in Independent Schools”. This landmark publication on this topic was published by NAIS from 1983-94. His articles on the career ladder concept of faculty compensation are found in Larry Frase’s book, entitled “Teacher Motivation and Compensation”, published in 1992 by the Technomic Press.

Mr. Littleford has his B.A. degree from Dickinson College, Critical Language Degree from Princeton University, M.A. from Harvard University and a Certificate of Advanced Study from Harvard University.

As senior partner, Mr. Littleford conducts all workshops, on-site visits, and evaluations of contracts for Heads and nonprofit CEO’s.

Having earned a reputation for excellence, Littleford & Associates has over 7,000 clients worldwide, including Canada, Southern and Central America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Littleford & Associates has a corporate membership in the National Association of Independent Schools. The firm is listed on the NAIS website under the following service categories: Board services: board development, board/head relations, compensation and benefits, board evaluation, strategic planning, and training and retreats; Administration: head mentoring; Management: executive leadership, organizational and general consulting; Teaching: teacher compensation and evaluation.

About Littleford’s Saturday Sessions:
Most boards have little or no knowledge of whether the salary and benefit system is mission-specific and mission-driven. Many school heads often have neither the time nor the inclination to examine the message that the salary and benefit structure sends about how teachers are compensated and rewarded. If we could start with a clean slate, what system would we build that would embody and serve a school’s mission and be financially sustainable?


Jon Eckert

Professor, Educational Leadership
Baylor University

About Jon Eckert:
Dr. Jon Eckert serves as Professor and Copple Chair of Christian School Leadership at Baylor University.  Before entering the collegiate classroom, Jon spent twelve years teaching and coaching intermediate and middle school students outside of Chicago and Nashville. After completing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University, he was selected as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education where he worked in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. His research interests include teaching effectiveness, evaluation, and strategic compensation to enhance that effectiveness, collective leadership of teachers, administrators, and policymakers in the service of student learning, teacher preparation, and science education.

About Dr. Eckert’s Sessions:
School leadership does not have to be lonely or exhausting. We can do the work of leadership better together. In fact, there has never been a better time to be in education – we know more about how people learn, we have more tools for instructional leadership, and more educational delivery models than ever. Classical schools provide unique and powerful opportunities for education. What we need are catalytic leaders. In science, catalysts accelerate reactions. They are not the focus of the reaction or used up in the process. In our time together, we will work on how to develop catalytic leadership that accelerates school improvement. You will leave with tools, strategies, and an expanded network of colleagues to help you develop the emerging leaders at your schools. The work will be grounded in Jon’s work with the Carnegie Foundation’s Networked Improvement Communities, the Center for Teaching Quality, collective leadership improvement communities of Christian schools across the U.S., and his most recent book, Leading Together.


Ralph Wood

University Professor, Theology & Literature
Baylor University

About Ralph C. Wood:
Ralph C. Wood has been University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor since 1998. He holds the B.A. and M.A. from East Texas State College (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) as well as the A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. From 1971-1997 he taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he served as the John Allen Easley Professor of Religion from 1990. At Baylor, he teaches in the Great Texts program. His books include The Comedy of Redemption: Christian Faith and Comic Vision in Four American Novelists (1988); Contending for the Faith: The Church’s Engagement with Culture (2003); The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth (2004); Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-Haunted South (2004); Literature and Theology (2008); Preaching and Professing: Sermons by a Teacher Seeking to Proclaim the Gospel (2009); Chesterton: The Nightmare Goodness of God (2011); and Tolkien among the Moderns (2015). 

About Dr. Wood’s Sessions:
Dr. Wood will walk participants through an interpretation of Flannery O’Connor’s story, “Revelation,” copies of which will be distributed in advance. His aim will be to help discern how carefully crafted literary work can bring about a radical and moral, and religious transformation in its readers no less than its characters. Dr. Wood hopes that the discussion will prompt classical Christian leaders to encourage their Humanities faculties to stress such potential transformations in their classrooms.

Junius Johnson Ñ Headshot Ñ Studio Ñ 03/20/2019

Junius Johnson

Assistant Professor of Historical Theology
Baylor University

About Junius Johnson:
Junius Johnson works in historical and systematic theology, with special interests in beauty and the imagination, trinitarian theology, Christology, metaphysics, and the Eucharist. He is also especially interested in the Medieval period, and in the works of St. Bonaventure and Hans Urs von Balthasar. He holds a BA from Oral Roberts University, an MAR form Yale Divinity School, and an MA, two MPhils, and a PhD from Yale University. He is the author of Christ and Analogy: The Christocentric Metaphysics of Hans Urs von Balthasar (Fortress Press, 2010), Patristic and Medieval Atonement Theory: A Guide to Research (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Bonaventure on the Eucharist: Commentary on the Sentences, Book IV, dist. 8-13 (Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations, 2017), and the forthcoming The Father of Lights: A Theology of Beauty.

About Junius Johnson’s Sessions:
Education properly understood is never only or even primarily about the transfer of information, especially in an age in which information is readily and cheaply available. Education aims rather at the formation of the soul into the right sort of thing. As such, it has everything to do with conveying a sense and a vision of how to be in the world. But this vision cannot be cast very far or very winsomely if it does not encounter us in beauty and engage our imagination: for by these means we are drawn to attempt great things. This session is an extended reflection upon the dynamics of beauty and imagination in mobilizing the soul for spiritual and societal virtue.


Friday, February 21
Head of School Symposium

8:00 – 8:30 AM | Welcome & Introductions
Eric Cook
8:30 – 8:45 AM | Presentation
Presentation by Baylor Honors College
9:00 – 11:30 AM | Session I
Collective Leadership for Catalytic Improvement | Jonathan Eckert
11:30 – 12:30 PM | Lunch
*Provided at Baylor*
12:45 – 1:45 PM | Campus Tour
Tour of Live Oak Classical
1:45 – 3:15 PM | Session II
Beauty and Imagination as Vocation: Restoring the Romantic to Soul-Formation | Junius Johnson
3:30 – 5:00 PM | Session III
Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Revelation’: A Summons to Radical Transformation | Ralph Wood
6:00 – 7:00 PM | Reception

7:00 – 9:00 PM | Dinner

Saturday, February 22
Head of School & Board Symposium

8:30 – 10:15 AM | Session I
The Theory and the Practice of Faculty Compensation | John Littleford
10:30 – 12:00 PM | Session II
Developing a Philosophy of Compensation, and Mission-Based Salary Systems | John Littleford
12:00 – 1:00 PM | Lunch
*Provided at Baylor*
1:00 – 2:45 PM | Session III
The Politics and Process of Change | John Littleford
2:45 – 3:30 PM | Reflection
Facilitated Leadership Reflection


Hilton Waco
113 South University Parks Drive
Waco, Texas 76701


Head Symposium Only (Fri): $200

Head Symposium & Board Training (Fri & Sat): $350

Board Training Only (Sat): $250

Registration closes on Friday, February 14.


Paul Foster Building
Rooms 143 & 144
Located at the corner of Bagby Ave. and 4th Street

Visitor Parking
[1] 3rd Street & Daughtrey Ave.
[2] 4th Street & Speight Ave.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor

Classic Learning Test (CLT) aims to reconnect knowledge and virtue through meaningful assessments. Featuring passages selected from great works across a variety of disciplines, the CLT assessments for grades 7-12 provide a highly accurate and rigorous measure of reasoning, aptitude, and academic formation for classical students. CLT promotes the type of education everyone at SCL champions, and we’re here to serve your students, teachers, and families. Click on this link to watch a short video about our mission. And email our VP of Partnerships, Soren Schwab (sschwab@cltexam.com), if you have any questions.