Maintaining Your School’s Culture in the Midst of Culture

Over 20 years ago, historian Gertrude Himmelfarb asserted in her One Nation, Two Cultures that “America is confronting at least six challenges: ‘the collapse of ethical principles and habits, the loss of respect for authorities and institutions, the breakdown of the family, the decline of civility, the vulgarization of high culture, and the degradation of popular culture.’” She forecast a culture in crisis. These challenges are not new as they were set in motion decades ago, but on top of this, COVID-19 hit, making for a very demanding year. How does a school maintain its culture in the midst of culture and a pandemic? Mrs. Kathleen Kitchin toured the United States interviewing heads of school for her book First Things First: Keeping Your Classical Christian School on Track (2020), gathering & gleaning best practices from healthy schools who endeavor to keep first things first in or out of times of crisis. She will outline key principles to stay on track and share potential red flags that can derail schools, drawing on case studies and her 20+ years of teaching experience. How do we grow a culture that loves God and the classics and is not swept away into contemporary culture & social media’s enticements? How do the various members of our school community contribute to the sweet aroma of our schools and preserve it from the pollution of the world? Our focus will be encouragement & biblical counsel with Christ at center.

Katheen F. Kitchin

Kathleen F. Kitchin has been an educator for 20+ years, having taught in public school, community college, homeschool, private classical Christian school, & homeschool tutorials, as well as having volunteered & substituted in classical Christian schools at every grade level. A graduate of Bucknell University, she also pursued graduate studies at Middlebury College|Bread Loaf School of English and University of Maryland. In 2020, Dove Christian Publishers published her book First Things First: Keeping Your Classical Christian School on Track. Also in June 2020, she was interviewed on the BaseCamp Live podcast. Her webpage/blog can be found at www.CCEonTrack.com. Her husband David & she live in North Carolina where they lead a young adults fellowship group. Both their adult children were trained in the Classical Christian model through all three stages of the Trivium.