A Testimony: Implementing Classical Christian Education Internationally

This panel is reserved for leaders in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to make regional plans and discuss DFW issues in Classical Christian Education.

Eric Cook

Eric Cook is from Lexington, Kentucky, but worked in schools in Ohio and Virginia before joining Covenant Classical School in 2009. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Transylvania University, and a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. He has taught history, political science, psychology and philosophy in public schools, and served as an assistant principal for several years. In 2006, Eric felt called to join the classical Christian school movement and became the Middle and Upper School Head at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition to his leadership roles, Eric taught apologetics, theology, philosophy of religion, and served as thesis director.

Jeff Hendricks

Jeff Hendricks is the Head of School at Providence Christian School. He joined Providence in 2005, first teaching algebra, and then middle school English and history before being appointed head of middle school in 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Gordon College and a master’s degree from the University of Dallas. His wife Jessica is also an educator. The couple has three children, the oldest of which currently attends Providence.

Robert Littlejohn

Dr. Robert Littlejohn has served as Head of School at The Covenant School in Dallas Texas since April of 2018. Previously he served as Head of School at Trinity Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA and as Director of Distance Learning for a consortium of Private and State Colleges and Universities in Minnesota. As a Ph.D. Biologist (Washington State University), he has authored two College Biology Laboratory texts and has published 26 reports of original research in refereed journals in the fields of Ecology, Plant Physiology, Biochemistry, and Science Educational Theory. He is coauthor with Charles T. Evans of Wisdom and Eloquence: a Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning, published by Crossway Books. He was founding Headmaster for New Covenant Schools in Virginia, founding Executive Director for the Society for Classical Learning, and a founding board member for the American School of Lyon, France. He is a Certified Facilitator of Appreciative Inquiry™, a former Accreditation Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and Advance_Ed, and a consultant to colleges and schools across the nation.

How to Build a Successful Athletic Program

The athletic program is a key component of a healthy classical school. Every classical school can have a robust athletic program regardless of its size. With an average enrollment of 15-20 students per grade, Hillsdale Academy has built a thriving athletic program over the past twenty years. This panel will explore best practices and cover how to build, sustain, and take your athletic program to the next level.

Mike Roberts

Mr. Michael Roberts is the Assistant Headmaster and Athletic Director at Hillsdale Academy. He is also a lecturer in the Sports Studies Department at Hillsdale College and serves as the Head Track and Field Coach at Hillsdale Academy. He earned his B.A. in History and Health and Physical Education from Hillsdale College in 1998 and M.A. in Education Leadership from the University of Colorado in 2002. He also earned his Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) endorsement through the NIAAA. He taught history and geography at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School in Colorado for two years before returning to Hillsdale in the fall of 2002 for his current position. In 1999-2000 he served as the Coordinator of the Alternative Education program at Sturgis High School in Michigan. In 1998-1999 he was an Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field Coach and Intramural Sports Director at Hillsdale College.

Starting and Growing A Classical Christian School

Join this session to hear from three founding Heads of School from three locations (New York City, San Diego and Waco). Collectively, these three ladies have 50+ years of school leadership experience. They will share why they started their schools, the challenges of running a school and the unique challenges of being female leaders and moms. is session’s format will be a panel discussion with plenty of time for Q&A.

Rim Hinckley

Prior to starting the Geneva School of Manhattan, Rim taught math for 12 years. Along with other believers, she began planning for a classical Christian school in Manhattan in 1995. A er a year of planning, praying, pursuing real estate leads and completing city requirements, e Geneva School of Manhattan opened with 22 students in three grades. A er several years, Rim stepped down to spend time with her young family. She served on the board until 2011, when she resumed Head of School responsibilities. Under her leadership, the school has grown to 280 students and two campuses. Rim also serves on the boards of SCL, PAVE Academy and Messiah College, and has previously served on the board of Hope for New York. She and her husband, Carter, have two sons, C.J. and Charlie.

Jean Kim

Jean has been an educator for more than 20 years, first as a high school history and humanities teacher, then as an educational policy analyst at a Washington D.C. think-tank and then as the owner of a successful a er-school tutoring center. She then founded and became the Head of School at The Cambridge School in San Diego, where she continues to serve in that role. Jean holds a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University, where she completed her teacher preparation, as well. She serves on the SCL board, and enjoys helping classical Christian schools flourish. Jean and her husband, Scott, have three children.

Liz Caddow

A er receiving a bachelor’s degree in business, Liz turned to education, earning her master’s degree in education and a history credential from the University of Southern California. She taught in the California public school system for eight years before founding Trinity Classical Academy. Her passion and leadership have helped Trinity to become one of the fastest growing classical Christian schools in America, having grown from 28 students in grades K-2 in 2001 to its present enrollment of 565 students in grades TK-12. Liz continues to serve as the Head of School at Trinity.

Stewarding Lateral Entries into Languages: Successes and Failures in Growth and Assimilation

This seminar will relate the success (and failures) of expanding the language program at Covenant Classical School (Fort Worth) over the past years. From adding Greek, to doubling class sizes and sections, to widening the capabilities of student support, this department
has seen more lateral entries nearly every year. Challenges abound, such as dealing with dyslexia and dysgraphia, adopting accommodations for student support plans, managing mid-term entries, re-thinking scope and sequence to make more entries possible, providing opportunities for remediation, not to mention how to assimilate students with little or no language exposure into the middle and latter years of a 10-year scope and sequence in a classical language. While much of the source material will stem from a program that offers Latin and Greek, the content will be applicable to other languages. The seminar will conclude with Q & A especially aimed at exploring other schools’ attempts at similar endeavors.

Marcus Foster

Marcus graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Classics in 2000. He worked with youth in Berlin for ve years, part of which was also spent studying theology at Humboldt Universität. He completed an MHum in Classics/Theology from the University in Dallas in 2011. Heavily invested in languages, Marcus aims to stir a love for language and literature in his students at Covenant Classical School (Fort Worth), teaching Latin and chairing the Languages department. He and his wife, Julie, have been married for 15 years, blessed with three beautiful daughters and one strapping son.

The Feasibility Study: It’s About More than Just the Money

The purpose of a campaign feasibility study is generally intended to provide an answer to the questions of whether or not an organization is ready to proceed with a capital campaign and the extent to which a campaign can be successful. More often than not, the organization’s leaders expect an affirmative response and a specific fundraising goal that they can aim for. Whether or not the desired outcome is achieved, conversations about an organization’s mission and vision, strategic plan, leadership, program, and current and future facilities, matched with the current economy, inevitably stir emotions, elicit honest opinions, and raise important questions about confidence and commitment. Regardless of the fundraising outcomes, a feasibility study can be one of the most productive and enlightening undertakings an organization can commit itself to. Gathering the honest feedback from a strategic group of constituents offers an organization an invaluable reference point for the formation of a strategic plan, the creation of policies and procedures, decisions about hiring, and program delivery. During this session, Jason Lewis will summarize the outcomes of three recent feasibility studies and the mechanics of the BetterSchools process. Jason will describe the personal and professional experiences that each school experienced through the study process. Jason will introduce the 3C analysis and offer examples of how capacity, commitment, and confidence are assessed in the feasibility study process.

Jason Lewis

As BetterSchools’ fundraising leader, Jason Lewis currently assists classical, Christian school leaders in designing and implementing their strategic plan; hiring, training and coaching fundraising professionals; and evaluating their readiness for and execution of multi-million dollar capital campaigns. As the head of school and chief development o cer at a classical, Christian school, Jason transitioned fundraising e orts from a conventional, arms-length approach to a high-touch, major gi s approach with clearly de ned performance expectations for the school’s advancement o cers. The centerpiece of this strategy—a performance management dashboard—has gained recognition among private school and nonpro t leaders as an e ective tool for evaluating and increasing fundraising performance. In 2008, Jason received his initial certi cation as a Certi ed Fundraising Executive (and was recerti ed in 2015) and in 2011, he was recognized as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Master Trainers. As a complement to his undergraduate studies in business, he completed his master of science degree in Nonpro t Management in 2010.

Fundamental Framework for Fundraising

Are you consistently meeting your annual fund goal, or do you find yourself falling short or just getting by? In this session, participants will learn the fundamentals of fundraising: articulating the case for giving, developing leadership, clarifying and growing a prospect list, developing strategies, and building a plan.

Steve Godfrey

Steve Godfrey and his co-presenter Brad Layland are experienced professionals who understand the dynamics of small classical Christian schools; Brad Layland serves on the board of St. Johns Academy in St. Augustine, FL and Steve Godfrey is a board member at Veritas School in Richmond.

Considering a Capital Campaign

Are you consistently meeting your annual fund goal, or do you find yourself falling short or just getting by? In this session, participants will learn the fundamentals of fundraising: articulating the case for giving, developing leadership, clarifying and growing a prospect list, developing strategies, and building a plan.

Steve Godfrey

Steve Godfrey and his co-presenter Brad Layland are experienced professionals who understand the dynamics of small classical Christian schools; Brad Layland serves on the board of St. Johns Academy in St. Augustine, FL and Steve Godfrey is a board member at Veritas School in Richmond.

90 Days, 90 Dads

As any school grows in age and numbers there is an increasing risk of parents having less understanding and appreciation for classical Christian education. Parents with a weak understanding of what differentiates a classical Christian school from other choices are more vulnerable to the larger culture and less prepared to create home environments that are commensurate with the vision of the school. They are also less involved and more likely to transition out to other schools. Learn how one school’s ambitious goal of meeting face to face with every parent resulted in a meaningful increase in the parent’s commitment in terms of greater contributions of their time, treasure and talents.

Davies Owens

W. Davies Owens is the Head of Vision and Advancement at the Ambrose School in Boise, Idaho, where he also served as the Dean of the Upper Schools. Prior to moving west three years ago, Davies served on the board, and later for seven years as Head of School, at Heritage Preparatory in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of BlueSky Ministries, an innovation lab and consulting organization. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister who served as a local church pastor for twelve years in North Carolina and Florida. Davies has a BA in Sociology from Furman University, an MDiv from Duke Divinity School, and a doctorate from Gordon Conwell Seminary in Boston. He and his wife, Holly, see the consistent fruit of classical Christian education in the lives of their three children: Hannah (16) , Liam (13), and Benne (11).

Building a Classical School: A Panel on Design and Construction

Are you about to start a building project? Are you completing a master plan? These can be very daunting and challenging projects. In this session, Eric Cook, David Goodwin, and Rod Gilbert will share their experience from constructing buildings that reflect the principles of classical, Christian education and serve the students well. Each panelist will provide a description of their respective building processes, an overview of some of the principles that guided their projects, and then offer feedback to you in an open question and answer session.

Eric Cook

Eric Cook is the Headmaster at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. He is from Lexington, Kentucky where he received his B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from Transylvania University. Eric taught history, civics, philosophy, and psychology for ve years in two di erent public schools. He received his M.A. in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University and served as an assistant principal at a large middle school in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2006, Eric became the Middle and Upper School Head at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, Virginia before becoming Headmaster at Covenant in 2009. He has served on the SCL board for three years. Eric is married to his beautiful wife, Liz. They have six children: Haydon, Olivia, Grant, Cole, William, and Lincoln.

Building a Culture of Learning

This seminar is for lead teachers, principals, and other instructional leaders who want to build a better learning culture with common language for best instructional practices, develop shared mission and vision, and create more opportunities for collegiality and fellowship on your teaching teams.

Lori Jill Keeler

Lori Jill Keeler has her B.A. in Secondary Education and English Literature, and her M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction. She served as the educational expert on the founding Board of Directors for Evangel Classical Christian School in Helena, Alabama, has wri en second through six grade Bible curriculum, and has been a guest speaker on creating a culture of gracce at several classical schools in the Southeast. Lori Jill and her husband Sco have two sons.