Staying Mission True

The natural tendency for any organization is to drift off course. It is the rule rather than the exception. So how do classical Christian schools become the exception rather than the rule? How do we stay true to our mission, even as we experience growth and success? In this seminar, we will look at indicators and warning signs for potential drift. en we will explore principles and practices your school can embrace and employ to stay the course, actually deepening your mission rather than drifting from it.

Keith Nix

Keith has served as the Head of School at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, since 2010. Keith is also the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) and President of the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Initiatives (CLT). He was the prior Chairman of the Society for Classical Learning (SCL). Keith and his wife, Kim, have two grown sons, and a daughter in college. Keith enjoys tennis, golf, travel and reading.

Why is Discipleship Key to What We Are Trying to Accomplish in CCE?

It may seem obvious, but discipleship is key to what we are trying to accomplish through our classical Christian schools. However, discipleship is increasingly harder to accomplish in our post-everything world, and it often gets lost as background among all the other goals that we are seeking to accomplish. This seminar will look at the book of Judges to learn what happens when discipleship is lost. Participants will also explore how they can effectively disciple through our schools in today’s culture.

Howard Davis

Howard Davis lives in a household that closely resembles the household of Pride and Prejudice — he’s the dad of five girls (ranging from 7 to 17 years old) and the husband of one wife, Melissa, who teaches at Providence Classical Academy in Bossier City, Louisiana. He grew up in Mississippi, studied accounting and economics at Baylor, worked as an accountant, went to Covenant Seminary, pastored Grace Presbyterian in Shreveport for 14 years, started Providence Classical Academy in 2005 and has been the Head of School there for eight years.

Between the Head and the Teachers

Teachers are the hands of the school. Between them and the Head of School, division heads must animate and extend the Head’s vision and leadership to support teachers executing on that vision—and give the Head of School the information and understanding he or she needs to continue to lead the school in fulfilling its mission. Craig will draw on a decade as division head at Regents School of Austin, sharing lessons, insights and stumbles, and discuss ways division heads can expand their capacity to ful ll their school’s mission.

Craig Doerksen

Craig Doerksen has been the Upper School Head at Regents School of Austin for 10 years. Prior to that, he worked with bluetower arts, a foundation that supports Christians in the arts in the Paci c Northwest. He has also taught and led at Trinity Academy of Raleigh. He has many years of experience in Young Life as well. He has a bachelor’s in English from The University of Oregon, and a Masters of English from the University of Ireland in the Maynooth.

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.

Staying Mission True (or Preventing Mission Drift)

Facing mission drift is inevitable unless your school intentionally seeks to and works to remain mission true. Starting from the assumption that classical Christian schools have a fantastic mission to protect, this session will outline common ways that schools can suffer mission drift and provide practical suggestions for remaining mission true, generation after generation.

Jean Kim

Having graduated from a top NAIS school and Yale University, and after having spent her entire career in education, Jean Kim fell in love with the ideals of Christian classicism, swallowed a few (very large) crazy pills, and decided to start a Christian classical school in one of the most expensive, challenging areas of the country—San Diego—while trying to juggle being mother to three children under the age of four at the time and being a supportive wife to her entrepreneur husband. By God’s grace, The Cambridge School is thriving and she has lived to tell about the experience and share some humbling and hard-won lessons learned from the rst 10 years.

Principled Leadership: Making a Vision Actually Work

The ideal vision of a classical Christian education is very attractive. It can be easy to, in the name of that ideal, try to do things as a school that actually don’t work. But you know that they should! Come learn how to start with principles and apply them so that you can turn your vision and ideals into a healthy working high school.

Craig Doerksen

Craig Doerksen has been the Upper School Head at Regents School of Austin for 10 years. Prior to that, he worked with bluetower arts, a foundation that supports Christians in the arts in the Paci c Northwest. He has also taught and led at Trinity Academy of Raleigh. He has many years of experience in Young Life as well. He has a bachelor’s in English from The University of Oregon, and a Masters of English from the University of Ireland in the Maynooth.

Mission-Aligned Planning, Assignments, and Assessment

Mission statements too often grace brochures and walls without informing day-to-day practice in the classroom. Teachers need to consider their school’s mission statements as they plan and execute their classes. When we fail to do so, students perceive that we don’t really mean what is written in our lofty documents. This workshop will focus on practical application of philosophical principles and will be particularly suited for newer teachers.

Robyn Burlew

I am in my third year as Upper School Principal and Academic Dean at Veritas in Richmond, VA. Prior to that, I was at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA, for 15 years, serving in similar ways along with teaching. My rst exposure to the classical and Christian education renewal was while I was homeschooling my daughters in the early 1990s. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a Mathematics minor, from Houghton College and a master’s degree in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College.

Is Cultivating Virtue Wrong? Acedia and the Strange Beliefs of our Students

Acedia is not a well-known sin in our day, not because we have overcome it, but because it is nearly omnipresent and has accordingly become invisible. Acedia is spiritual sluggishness, a dullness of soul. It is the sin that makes young men sing hymns in a mediocre fashion. It is the sin that makes young women think vanity is an acceptable quality of youth. Acedia is a disbelief that spiritual struggle ever pays off. Acedia whispers that no tradition deserves our undivided respect, and that anything and everything may be suddenly and boringly called into question. How can a sin so common be bested? Only by way of the cruciform lectern. Come and hear.

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs is the editor of FilmFisher, a frequent contributor at the CiRCE Institute, and a teacher of great books at Veritas School in Richmond, VA. He has been labeled “insane” by two Pulitzer Prize– winning poets and once abandoned a moving vehicle for fear of his life. He married a girl he fell in love with in high school and has two daughters, both of whom have seven names.

Harpooner’s Calm

Herman Melville describes in Moby Dick the frenzied mad dash across the wine-dark sea as whalers strained with every muscle fiber to chase a whale to its death. During what could be hours-long chases, the oarsmen labored while the harpooner calmly reserved his strength for the moment he would unleash his deadly dart. His focused concentration enabled him to achieve the success of the chase. And then this sentence from Melville: “To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet out of idleness, and not from out of toil.” As leaders we are harpooners; we either lead from frenzy and the tyranny of the urgent, or we lead from calm. Missional success hangs in the balance if as leaders we are exhausted and fatigued by “the chase.” Somehow it is always a temptation and seemingly more compelling to assume the work of the oarsman, laboring mightily in the cause at hand, giving our energies first to this, and then to that. What would our leadership look like if we practiced the “Harpooner’s Calm”?

Robert Ingram

Robert Ingram, Headmaster of The Geneva School, Orlando, since 2003. 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 (Ohio), Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (MDiv and ThM), and Geneva College, PA (masters of Higher Education). He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, having served in several pastorates and was the Senior Vice President of Ligonier Ministries from 1986–1995. In addition to consulting with numerous classical schools, Bob has also served as Chairman of The Society for Classical Learning.

Triangulating Community Outreach, Parent Education, and Professional Development: The Great Conversations Series at Covenant Classical School as a Case Study

This seminar will develop the Great Conversations Series at Covenant Classical School as a case study. Speci cally, we will discuss how seminars, lectures, and reading groups hosted at CCS have attempted to draw parents, teachers, and even their friends beyond our immediate school community together in a positive experience of our school’s classical, Christian curriculum and pedagogy. Our hope is that our successes and failures would prove helpful to other schools endeavoring to (re)launch similar programs. The seminar will conclude with Q & A, especially aimed at exploring other schools’ attempts at similar programs.

Marcus Foster

Marcus graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Classics in 2000. He worked with youth in Berlin, Germany, 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, teaching 7th–12th grade Latin. He and his wife, Julie, have been married for 14 years, blessed with three beautiful daughters and one strapping son.