Professional Development That Works

How can we prevent professional development from being a waste of time? We will discuss seven elements that, as they drive the design of professional development, make it increasingly effective. at is, this kind of professional development leads to lasting change in teacher practices that in turn leads to increased student learning – and flourishing. While this session is more about the process than the content of professional development, we will speak about what we have used in our schools that, through this model, is leading to an ongoing transformation of classroom practices.

Jim Reynolds

Jim is currently the Head of Lower School for the Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. Previously, he served for seven years as the Dean of Faculty for e Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. Jim and his wife, Nancy, and their three boys moved to Florida in 2002 for Jim to work for Harcourt School Publishers – now, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Before that, he had served as an education consultant for the publisher and conducted training in private and public schools. Jim’s passion is to encourage and develop teachers – and improve school’s practices – so that students and teachers thrive.

Brian Polk

Dr. Polk has 17 years of experience working at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, with 10 of those years at K-12 classical Christian schools, including Regent Preparatory School of Oklahoma in Tulsa, where he currently serves as Dean of Students. In addition to teaching chemistry, he has served in various administrative roles pertaining to both faculty and students. He earned his doctorate from Vanderbilt University in educational leadership. rough his experience and training, he has come to believe strongly in the role that faculty play in high-quality schooling. They must be equipped and inspired, and must be provided opportunities and space to grow. Aside from hiring, Brian believes that high-quality professional development is the only path available for administrators to improve their faculty, and thus, their schools.

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 staf ng needs, recruit talented teachers, 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.

Jim Reynolds

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 God’s creation. Jim has three sons who have graduated from The Geneva School.

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.

Cultivating Organizational Health through Leadership

In his book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, Patrick Lencioni argues that becoming a great and successful organization has everything to do with a humble and cohesive leadership team that creates, over-communicates clarity, and reinforces clarity in everything they do. The Geneva School leadership team recently worked through the exercises in this book, answering six critical questions to create a one-page playbook for communication, decision making, and planning going forward. Kevin Clark, Andrew Smith, and Jim Reynolds will share The Geneva School playbook and the lessons learned from doing the work together to answer the six critical questions.

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark has been a member of the rhetoric faculty at The Geneva School since 2004, where he teaches Rhetoric and Christian Thought to seniors. In the spring of 2013 he became the school’s academic dean. Kevin holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Central Florida, an MA in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, and is a candidate for Doctor of Liberal Studies (DLS) at Georgetown University. Kevin as recently co-authored a book on classical education with his friend and Geneva colleague Ravi Jain entitled The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (Classical Academic Press, 2013). He loves spending time with his family (married with four children) doing most anything outdoors from running, hiking, and splashing around at the beach, to looking a er the family chickens.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 professional presentations throughout the United States. Dr. Andreasen received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami (FL) and both a master’s degree in Mathematics Education and a Ph.D. in Education, Mathematics Education from the University of Central Florida.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith came to Geneva in 2014 from Memphis, TN where he spent eleven years at Westminster Academy, serving as head of upper school, teaching in the disciplines of rhetoric, philosophy, and theology, and shaping the school’s rhetoric curriculum. He earned a BA in History from the University of Memphis, an MDiv from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. He currently serves as an Alcuin Fellow with the Society for Classical Learning. Andrew married Keri in 1997, and they have four children—Lizzie, Anna, Sara Kate, and Hugh. One of Andrew’s favorite pastimes is roasting and enjoying great co ee, and he is always happy to converse about that subject.

Jim Reynolds

Jim Reynolds helped begin an ecumenical Christian school in the Ann Arbor, MI area in the 1980s and taught there for eight years before becoming a consultant with Harcourt School Publishers. In his nineteen years at Harcourt School Publishing (and later Houghton Mi in Harcourt), Jim transitioned from an educational consultant, to mathematics marketing manager, and then to Vice President/Editor- in-Chief, 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. Jim has three sons: Michael (class of 2010), Wesley (class of 2013), and Ben (class of 2016). He enjoys reading science fiction, playing the drums, listening to jazz music, fishing, being on the beach, canoeing, and hitting tennis with his lovely wife, Nancy.

21st Century Learning Skills and Classical Education: Is There Common Ground?

This session will provide an overview of the ideas of leading 21st century learning skills advocates and explore whether these skills align with classical education. The focus will primarily be on the Partnership for 21st century Learning Skills and this organization’s call for teaching communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creative thinking skills.

Jim Reynolds

Jim is currently the Head of Lower School for the Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. Previously, he served for seven years as the Dean of Faculty for e Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. Jim and his wife, Nancy, and their three boys moved to Florida in 2002 for Jim to work for Harcourt School Publishers – now, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Before that, he had served as an education consultant for the publisher and conducted training in private and public schools. Jim’s passion is to encourage and develop teachers – and improve school’s practices – so that students and teachers thrive.

Brian Polk

Dr. Polk has 17 years of experience working at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, with 10 of those years at K-12 classical Christian schools, including Regent Preparatory School of Oklahoma in Tulsa, where he currently serves as Dean of Students. In addition to teaching chemistry, he has served in various administrative roles pertaining to both faculty and students. He earned his doctorate from Vanderbilt University in educational leadership. rough his experience and training, he has come to believe strongly in the role that faculty play in high-quality schooling. They must be equipped and inspired, and must be provided opportunities and space to grow. Aside from hiring, Brian believes that high-quality professional development is the only path available for administrators to improve their faculty, and thus, their schools.