COVID: How Various Heads of Schools Are Planning

Rapid Fire Roundtable on COVID: How Various Heads of Schools are Planning led by David Seibel, Katharine Savage, Travis Koch, and Peter Baur.

Josh Dyson

Josh Dyson is Head of School at Classical School of Wichita in Wichita, Kansas. Before his transition into school administration, he had served as a full-time teacher, school chaplain, and children’s/youth minister. Currently, he also serves as a staff writer for The Classical Thistle and on the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Languages and Christianity from Houston Baptist University. Additionally, he has done graduate work at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Houston Baptist University, and will complete the Master of Arts in Christian and Classical Studies from Knox Theological Seminary in August. Josh and his wife (Julie) have four children — Deacon, Noelle, Daisy and Lucy. They are members of Incarnation Anglican Church in Wichita.

Travis Koch

Travis Koch earned his B.A. in History from Stanford University and his M.A. in History from Yale University. Mr. Koch has developed curriculum and taught history, literature, rhetoric, theology, and biology for over 12 years before coming to St. Stephen’s Academy as the Dean of Academics. He began serving as Headmaster in 2018.

David Nees

David Nees is husband to Kate and father of four. For the past 6 years, he has served as Head of School at Heritage Classical Academy in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Headshot: attached.

Katharine Savage

Katharine Savage is the founder and Head of Philadelphia Classical School and is grateful to have worked alongside colleagues in the classical Christian school movement for almost ten years. She leads the ACCS Northeast regional cohort of schools and has written for the Classical Difference magazine. Prior to founding PCS, she was the energetic "starter" - starting other community based endeavors, leading parenting seminars, writing church curriculum, and being a wife and mom to three children. She and her husband Brian have been serving in the city of Philadelphia, PA for twenty years. She loves rereading old books and watching ballet performances.

David Seibel

Dave is the father of five, the husband of Brooke and a rider of bikes. When he's not working on his doctorate from Southern on Organizational Leadership, he is playing baseball with his sons or chasing kids at recess. He is the Head of School at Coram Deo Academy in Carmel, IN. Carmel is one of the top places to raise a family in the country.

Assessment – Friend or Foe?

National exams drive schools all over the world. Many schools measure their success and build the culture of their school around these high-pressure exams. What is the place of assessment in classical Christian schools? How do students from classical Christian schools perform on national exams? How is teaching and assessment different in classical Christian schools? Is assessment even necessary in the Christian classroom? How can assessment create a balanced culture of grace and excellence in the classroom of every grade level? This is a great talk for anyone seeking specific, practical strategies to use in the classroom.

Trisha Sefton

Trisha Sefton has been writing curriculum and training materials with Rafiki for over five years. She has visited four of Rafiki’s ten villages where she was delighted to work with students, model lessons, train teachers, talk with RICE students, and meet with church partners. Her short time in Africa has further inspired her love of Christian Classical education and increased her enthusiasm for its spread throughout Africa. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and is a certified teacher in the state of Florida. Trisha was introduced to classical education in college and was blessed to complete her student teaching in an excellent classical school where she received years of focused, hands on training in classical methods. Since that time, she enjoyed 18 years of teaching in classical education before she married and became a full-time, stay at home foster parent. Trisha is a dynamic teacher who has a passion for training fellow teachers and inspiring students.

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.

Raising Sturdy Kids

This session will provide valuable insight into current cultural and psychological dynamics that impact our students, their families and our ability to engage them. Where are we now and how did we get here? (From helicopters to snowplow parents) What has the influence of psychological thinking led to with our current view of parenting? How do we recover and then implement principles that will lead to a healthy development of Maturity? 

We will focus primarily on the “current state of affairs” of current families with the realities that most children are more fragile and have great difficulty dealing with normal rigors of life as compared to previous generations, and that most parents operate as if they need permission to effectively parent their children.

Keith McCurdy

Keith has worked with families, children, parents, and individuals for over 30 years in the field of mental health, working with more than 15,000 individuals and families. He received his Master of Arts and Education Specialist degrees from James Madison University. He is currently the President and CEO of Total Life Counseling, Inc., and is licensed in the state of Virginia as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Keith provides counseling and consulting services as well as a variety of workshops on improving parenting skills, building strong marriages, and maintaining healthy relationships. He has developed and regularly offers parenting retreats entitled “Raising Sturdy Kids” to help parents operate from the correct paradigm with their children and has extended and customized this powerful program for schools and students. For many years Keith has been a consultant and speaker nationally to businesses, churches, and schools both within and outside of the world of Classical Education. He previously served as Chairman of the Board at Faith Christian School, a Christian classical school in Roanoke, VA. Keith has been a regular contributor to The Roanoke Star with articles on children, parenting, and marriage. Keith has been featured on the Circe Institute’s podcast “The Commons," "BaseCamp Live," and "Crosspolitic" podcasts respectively.

Leading the Team

How can you help raise teacher and student engagement? How must your approach differ between creative types and educators? Come explore the challenges many schools face and nd some answers. We’ll discuss how to harness the creative spirit in your school and examine strategies for follow-through.

Andrew Smalley

Andrew Smalley is the Director of Fine Arts at the Regents School of Austin in Texas. He came to the United States from England, his native country. Andrew has served in a number of administrative capacities in schools and takes leadership development very seriously.

The Capital Campaign A-Z: An Introduction to the Critical Steps

For most schools, the launching of a capital campaign is a huge undertaking that often produces fear and anxiety. “How will we ever be able to raise that much money?” This fear can lead a Board and its Headmaster to automatically assume that they must hire a consultant. This workshop will help you not only understand each of the critical aspects of a capital campaign, but will also help you properly evaluate whether or not your school has the necessary resources to succeed without outside consultants.

Tony Jeffrey

Dr. Tony Jeffrey has a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from American Christian College, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas. This is Dr. Jeffrey’s 34th year in Christian school administration. He is in his twelvth year as Headmaster of Providence Christian School of Texas and previously served at Trinity Christian Academy for 23 years in a variety of roles. Dr. Jeffrey is married to Kathy and has three children: Cole-29; Clark-28; and Cate-21. Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey have homeschooled all of their children. Dr. Jeffrey recently served as Chairman of the Board of Summit Ministries.

Seven Secrets of Managing People

This workshop is based on The Way of the Shepherd: Seven Secrets to Managing Productive People by Dr. Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak. The authors state that “The Way of the Shepherd will teach you how to lead the people around you so they will view their work as a calling rather than merely a job. A place to belong rather than a place to work. It shows you how to infuse work with meaning and how to engage and energize your workforce”; the principles are “timeless, challenging and uncommon, so uncommon that it will inevitably set you apart as a rare, highly effective leader if you learn and follow its precepts…it will show you how to call forth greatness from your employees by cultivating it in yourself.”

Tony Jeffrey

Dr. Tony Jeffrey has a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from American Christian College, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas. This is Dr. Jeffrey’s 34th year in Christian school administration. He is in his twel h year as Headmaster of Providence Christian School of Texas and previously served at Trinity Christian Academy for 23 years in a variety of roles. Dr. Jeffrey is married to Kathy and has three children: Cole-29; Clark-28; and Cate-21. Dr. and Mrs. Je rey have homeschooled all of their children. Dr. Jeffrey recently served as Chairman of the Board of Summit Ministries.

Get Moving! Creating a PE Program for Your Classical School

Get your students fit with a program that fits your situation! I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of creating a Physical Education program for your new, fast-growing, co-op, or homeschool classical school. Together, we’ll explore the evolution of Covenant’s P.E. program, foundational principles, and pivotal philosophy. You’ll leave with resources, games, supply lists, yearly program ideas, and encouraging inspiration to help you create your own Physical Education program!

Karise Gilliland

Karise Gililland teaches kindergarten through 6th grade P.E., coaches volleyball, and runs the Covenant Cowtown 5K Team at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth. “Coach G.” has been keeping Covenant t since 2012. She has a BA in English from Southern Methodist University, has taught for 10 years, and is taking her nal class for her Master of Arts in Imaginative and Cultural Apologetics from Houston Baptist University, to be completed December 2017. She spends her free time hanging out with her amazing teenage daughters, reading great books, writing poetry, and trying new yoga poses.

So You Might Want to Be a Headmaster?

Are you willing and able to consider the wild possibility that you can and should be a headmaster in the future? If you have ever wondered, then please attend this workshop. Or perhaps you know that you will not be, but your humble colleague needs you to plant the seed about his or her future. Twenty years ago, an older man told me that he saw something in me that I did not see. Maybe God is calling you to lead a school or a division of your school in the future. Come to this workshop, and together we can explore the possibilities of the future.

Rod Gilbert

Rod Gilbert is the Headmaster for Regents School of Austin. He assumed this position three years ago a er serving as the Head of Upper School for four years. Prior to his career at Regents, Rod was a founding member of Trinity Academy of Raleigh, NC, and served as the Assistant Headmaster.

Leading Your Team Through a Strategic Organizational Structure: Principles and Guidelines for All Sizes of Schools

Leading a team of visionary adults through changes and organizational patterns can be daunting. Everyone has opinions. All opinions need to be heard. And then somebody has to make a decision to “go” or “no-go” on a change or advancement. Come to this workshop, and I will share the ways that I have done this well, and ways that I have fallen short. Leading a group of people through changes at your school can be challenging. Why? Because of the seven-word creed of many institutions: “We’ve never done it that way before.” By prayerful steps and key principles, you can lead your school through new changes.

Rod Gilbert

Rod Gilbert is the Headmaster for Regents School of Austin. He assumed this position three years ago a er serving as the Head of Upper School for four years. Prior to his career at Regents, Rod was a founding member of Trinity Academy of Raleigh, NC, and served as the Assistant Headmaster.