Expanding Access to Classical Christian Education: The story of the Eccleisal School Initiative

A Classical Christian Education can seem prohibitive for many families. While many schools are very generous in offering scholarships, they often fall short in providing access to a classical Christian school. How can schools consider the least of these and provide access to those who are academically disenfranchised, culturally diverse, and economically disadvantaged? Financial accessibility is only one aspect, we will also do well to consider the catholicity of the Church as well as how we can provide access curricularly. Using a better/best paradigm, come to this workshop to hear how your school can eliminate potential barriers and leverage strategic partnerships that can make classical education accessible for all.

Kevin Clark

"Kevin Clark, DLS, is the founder and President of The Ecclesial Schools Initiative, Inc. He believes his vocation as a Christian educator to be in service of the Church and the family as they seek to train children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. For Kevin, education is not simply a matter of academic preparation; it’s about seeing Christ’s Church flourish as a new generation of men and women bring the wisdom, beauty and justice of New Creation to bear for God’s glory and the life of the world. Kevin’s Christian Classical Education experience spans 17 years, including 15 at The Geneva School, Winter Park, FL. During this time he taught broadly across the upper school—logic, classical guitar, Old and New Testament survey, New Testament Greek, rhetoric—though Christian philosophy and theology were his main interests and perennial areas of teaching. He served five years as academic dean before leaving to found The Ecclesial Schools Initiative. Also active at the national level, Kevin has ten years of leadership as a fellow for The Society for Classical Learning, providing academic leadership to Christian classical schools throughout the country. He also joined the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University in 2018 as a teaching fellow in their new Master of Arts in Classical Teaching program. Kevin and his wife, Taryn, have four children—Aubrey, Caedmon, Naomi, and Eleanor"

Jeffrey Andre

"Jeffrey Andre is the assistant dean and a teacher at the Eccessial School Initiative at Saint Alban’s. He is a passionate, K-6, licensed teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools in the state of Florida from grades 2 to 6. Jeffrey was first introduced to Christian Classical Education in 2013 when he joined the faculty of The Geneva School in Winter Park, FL. Jeffrey graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Florida’s ProTeach program. He is currently working on another Master’s degree in theological studies from Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando. Jeffrey has been serving on the board of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville for over five years where they intersect Christian faith and academic discourse. Jeffrey is passionate about teacher development, curriculum design, school policy, and Christian formation. Because everyone is made in the image of God, (Imago Dei) Jeffrey seeks to teach the whole child to reflect their creator. He knows the importance of cultural competence and brings a wide range of pedagogical practices to best meet the needs of each student. Jeffrey and his wife Colleen live in Winter Park and they have two little boys."

Investing in Teacher Wellness: Recovering from the Pandemic

As classical educators, we know how to teach to cultivate virtue and wisdom in our students yet there are times where we or our colleagues struggle to thrive professionally. Last year teachers across the country were forced to pivot at a moment’s notice due to the pandemic. Since then, there has been a disruption in the status quo for good and for ill. Teachers are continually asked to wear many hats and the pandemic exacerbated existing challenges in the culture of our schools. Many teachers have experienced anxiety and contemplated leaving the profession. It has become a challenge to recruit and retain teachers as fewer and fewer people pursue the profession. Come to this workshop to learn how administrators and teacher leaders can help support the faculty’s spiritual, mental, and emotional health. We will share a multitude of resources and practical tips that will reduce teacher burnout and turnover, and increase faculty and staff morale.

Jeffrey Andre

Jeffrey Andre is the assistant dean and a teacher at the Eccessial School at Saint Alban’s. He is a passionate, K-6, licensed teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools in the state of Florida from grades 2 to 6. Jeffrey was first introduced to Classical Education in 2013 when he joined the faculty of The Geneva School in Winter Park. Jeffrey graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Florida’s ProTeach program. He is currently working on another Master’s degree in theological studies from Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando. Jeffrey has served over five years on the board of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville where their mission is to intersect faith and academic discourse. Jeffrey is passionate about teacher development and wellness, school policy, and curriculum design. He knows the importance of cultural competence and brings a wide range of pedagogical practices to best meet the needs of each student. Jeffrey loves children’s books and relating stories to the greater narrative of God’s redemptive story. Jeffrey and his wife Colleen live in Winter Park and have two little boys.

Alicia VanDerhoof

Alicia VanDerhoof is a 6th-grade teacher and team lead at The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. She has had the desire to teach for as long as she can remember, whether it was “helping” her first-grade teacher manage the class or playing school in the basement with her sisters. Her passion for teaching classically is owed to her Savior and also to her role model, her father, who has served as her teacher in and out of the classroom. Alicia graduated from Grove City College, PA, in 2018 where she received a BA in English and a minor in classical education. She graduated cum laude and with honors in English. During her three years at her current school, Alicia has enjoyed teaching 6th graders, introducing and developing new curriculum, and growing in her understanding of what it means to teach classically. Hailing from Michigan, Alicia is used to the “mitten’s” four beautiful seasons and lush forests. Her summers are spent on the water with her family where they perfect the art of tubing, wakeboarding, surfing, and other water sports. In her leisure time, Alicia enjoys playing board games, reading, hosting tea parties, swimming, and spending time with her family.