Development of Athletics With Human Flourishing In Mind

To quote Francis Su from his book entitled Mathematics for Human Flourishing, he says, “Human Flourishing refers to a wholeness – of being and doing, of realizing one’s potential and helping others do the same, of acting with honor and treating others with dignity, of living with integrity even in challenging circumstances.” There is much more he says about human flourishing, but I think we can already see the connection between human flourishing and athletics when athletics are done properly, especially in a Christian classical education setting. The purpose of my talk is to show how human flourishing can be used to guide the development of a Christian classical school’s athletic program.

Michael Dicken

Michael has served as athletic director and K-12 science chair at Veritas School since June of 2011, primarily teaching chemistry and advanced chemistry, while also teaching a variety of math classes, from Algebra 1 to Calculus 3. Dr. D. has played football, basketball, baseball, and participated in track & field during his high school, college, and adult years. He is a member of the Fort Hill High School Hall of Fame, Class of 2016. He has coached football, basketball, baseball, soccer, cross country, golf, and track & field. He also serves as the Central Region independent school representative on the VIAAA (Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association), treasurer of the VISAA (Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association), a member of the VISAA Girls' Basketball Executive Committee, and chair of the VISAA Boys' & Girls' Track & Field Executive Committee, leading the state indoor and outdoor meets. After completion of his Ph. D. in organic chemistry and a postdoctoral fellowship in bioorganic chemistry, Dr. D worked for 18 years in pharmaceutical research. The highlight of his career was his development of NanoCrystal drug delivery technology. He has nineteen publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and a chapter in an organic chemistry book. He “retired” in June of 2003, fell in love with Christian classical education, and has been teaching and coaching ever since. His hobbies are attending every Veritas School event he is able, especially those associated with athletics and the performing arts, and reading everything that is true, good, and beautiful he can, regardless of the discipline. His greatest blessings, outside of his salvation, are his wife, Debbie (married since August of 1981), and their son, Scott.