Bona Verba from the Headmaster
A recent Washington Times article (April 13) reported on the exciting growth of classical schools across the United States. In that article, Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for Hillsdale College K-12, explained that Hillsdale College is “careful about our growth because we want to make sure every school that we are working closely with is an excellent school. It’s hard to start a school. It’s really hard to start an excellent classical school, but it’s also really necessary.” Dr. O’Toole is correct in her understated assertion. It is indeed “really hard” to start an excellent school. We could not have done what we have done here at Cincy Classical without the dedicated help of the Hillsdale K-12 team. Over the past two years they have provided professional development for our Board of Directors and our school leader (yours truly). In addition to moral and professional support, Hillsdale also offers its academic wisdom, most obviously in the form of its 500-page K-12 Program Guide, the curricular scope-and-sequence followed by all Hillsdale K-12 member schools like ours.
In June, the vast majority of our faculty and staff will be traveling to Hillsdale’s campus in southern Michigan for a week-long Classical education conference offered free of charge to employees of all its 24 member schools from across the country. This annual conference provides professional development in classical education, yes, but it also provides the opportunity for important social interaction among peers who love to learn from one another. I know our faculty is very much looking forward to this summer retreat. Thankfully, Hillsdale’s support does not end there. In August, the Hillsdale K-12 crew will be traveling to our campus in Cincinnati to provide a two-week intensive New School Training to all faculty and staff. Yes, we’ll all be in boot camp from August 15-24.
But wait, there’s more! Throughout the school year — this year and every year — Hillsdale College provides our teachers and administrators ongoing assistance in the form of teacher coaching, conference calls, professional development, teaching resources, and curricular materials, all of which are top-notch. Furthermore, Hillsdale acts as a kind of north star for our school mission and vision, inspiring intellectual curiosity and fostering an attitude of life-long learning that makes us an effective faculty. Lest it not be apparent already, Cincy Classical aspires to be the kind of “excellent classical school” that Dr. O’Toole notes is “really necessary.”
I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for those at Hillsdale College who have worked tirelessly and continue to work tirelessly to grow this network of successful classical schools that offer such an excellent tuition-free classical education to anyone who desires it. I would also like to express my gratitude for Cincy Classical’s Board of Directors, who have been working for the past two years without pay and often donating large sums of their own money in order to ensure a successful launch to this worthy endeavor. Without their perseverance, there would be no tuition-free, Hillsdale K-12 member school in Cincinnati. I am especially grateful for the long hours put into this project by board president Jed Hartings, who at all times conducts himself with great humility and equanimity. Despite the fact that Dr. Hartings is a research scientist at the University of Cincinnati, he is seemingly available 24/7 for any and all school needs. I’d also like to thank my incredible staff, who even before their official employment begins this summer, have been assisting me with various important tasks as enthusiastic volunteers: Mike Muse, Janet O’Callaghan, Claudia Kimura, Kim Hauck, Courtney Brown, Lynette Allen, and Margaret Walsh.
To our supporters, I say with much gratitude: thank you! Your support of our mission and vision continues to be essential as we move toward opening a new school. We have much work to do to ready the building and the grounds over the next five months so that we can provide the kind of beautiful place necessary for the natural human flourishing of our students, faculty, and staff.
We thank you for your support of Cincinnati Classical Academy, and we look forward to an excellent inaugural school year!
Curate, ut valeatis!
Michael Rose, Headmaster