About Us

Administration




Mrs. Polly J. Friess

Head of School

Polly Friess’ belief in classical education stems from her love for classical music, having toured through 26 countries, from 1987 through 1995, performing and recording sacred classical music in 16 languages. As the winds of freedom began to sweep across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Gloriae Dei Cantores was the first American choir to visit countries that had been closed to the West for more than 40 years. Bringing hope and inspiration through the universal language of music to those people at that historic time was a formational experience.

Entering Boston College after her international touring, Mrs. Friess continued her love of singing with the Boston Pops at Tanglewood. She serves on the board of two charitable foundations that support education and the promotion of a just and free society. Her founding donations toward the establishment of The Trinity Forum and Relevate demonstrate her desire for Christians to think, work, and lead wisely and well.

She also served for many years on two national advocacy boards dedicated to the transformation and renewal of culture through effective philanthropic giving, The Gathering, and strategic political action, Legacy.

Mrs. Friess earned a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Boston College, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She met her husband Steve at a conference on giving, only to realize they were united in their work for religious freedom and passionate about excellence in education. They were married in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and feel blessed to raise their four children, Jackson, Virginia, Thatcher, and Sarah in such a beautiful place.


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Matthew 18:1-5


Mr. Peter Freund

Director of Finance & Operations

University of Kansas, B.S., Political Science


Mr. Peter Freund (pronounced "friend") is the Director of Finance and Operations at JH Classical Academy. He grew up in Kansas City and graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Political Science. Prior to moving to Jackson, Mr. Freund and his family lived in Colorado, where he worked in hospitality running his family’s lodge. 

Previously, Mr. Freund worked in the Kansas legislature as the Chief of Staff to a majority leader, where he ran campaigns and debate schedules, and administered legislation. Mr. Freund also worked for a nonprofit organization in China for six years, helping schools in China with education training and establishing partnerships with schools in the United States. He also taught English in China for one year.
 
Classical education is important both to Mr. Freund and his family. He believes that “classical education is the critical foundation that we have to be a part of if we are going to affect any kind of positive change or impact in our culture and in our children for the next generation.” Mr. Freund is excited to contribute to this important effort. He says that “ministry doesn’t take root if an individual’s heart hasn’t been opened.” He believes that classical education is the way to open hearts and minds to truth, goodness, and beauty.
 
Mr. Freund is most looking forward to “being part of a community that’s pursuing truth and excellence” and furthering the mission of JH Classical Academy. He is excited to use his experience and skills to support the important work JH Classical Academy is doing for its students. 
 
In his spare time, Mr. Freund loves being in the mountains, especially exploring on a good hike with his family. He also enjoys fixing things and figuring out how things work—something he learned to love while working at the lodge his family built in Colorado.



Mr. Ian Landis

Director of Admissions
Faculty Mentor
6th Math & Physical Science 

Pennsylvania State University, B.S., Elementary Education

Mr. Ian Landis, a founding teacher and the Director of Admissions at JH Classical Academy, enjoys teaching science and mathematics at multiple grade levels. Drawn to Wyoming to be near extended family, Mr. Landis has previously taught in Arizona as well as South Dakota. Mr. Landis’s logical approach to his teaching disciplines makes him a model of excellence in the classroom for his students. Mr. Landis enjoys riding his motorcycle, studying his Bible, and exploring the beauty of Wyoming with his wife and two children.
 
“I love seeing students mature in their learning, whether it be coming to love mathematics or science, or just deepening their understanding of the world around them. To love to learn is one of our highest aims, and to be able to guide students to this love through proper training and habit formation has been a blessing. I love coming to work every day, connecting with families in our community, and pointing students to what is true, good, and beautiful.”

Mr. Landis sees wonderful results from this course. He says, “The students appreciate being able to apply the math they are learning to practical, everyday life. They realize that what they’re learning will benefit them both immediately and in the future.”
 
The thing Mr. Landis loves most about teaching is how it reveals the interest and understanding of the students. “I love to see students excited about math and science,” he says. “There is nothing like seeing them have the ‘aha’ moment.” The shared experience and excitement Mr. Landis has with his classes is evident; he is a cheerful presence at school and clearly loves being in the classroom. “I always enjoyed being in school, even as a kid.” He says he will never forget his pre-calculus teacher who inspired him in high school. Math was Mr. Landis’ favorite subject. What he liked then is still what interests him now: “I’m fascinated by the patterns of math. Students can get the same solution in different ways.”
 
After earning his B.S. in education at Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Landis immediately began teaching mathematics. He taught at Mifflinburg Elementary in central Pennsylvania, at the Pierre Indian Learning Center in South Dakota, and at Superstition Mountain Middle School in Arizona.
 
Mr. Landis says teaching on the reservation was an excellent learning experience. “The school had really tough kids from broken homes, but it was wonderful to be an influence for good in their lives,” he says. Likewise, the school in Arizona was an impoverished Title 1 school in a challenging environment. Mr. Landis says that these teaching experiences taught him how to relate to students from all backgrounds and ability levels. He brings this range of experiences to bear when evaluating, tutoring, and creating placement tests.
 
As a child, Mr. Landis loved the outdoors, exploring the woods of his native PA. He played tennis in high school, as well as soccer and basketball. Moving to Jackson provided him the opportunity to experience the grandeur of nature in an amazing way. He incorporates local nature into his science classes as much as possible. Last year, Mr. Landis brought a beekeeper to speak to the 6th grade, and he led an outdoors nature observation field trip.
 
It had been Mr. Landis’ dream to move to Jackson for years, since the majority of his extended family moved to Jackson in the 70’s. The scenery has not disappointed. “I love being able to see God’s handiwork when seeing the Tetons and all the wildlife,” he says. “There’s never an ugly day in Jackson.”




Mr. Samuel Lunz

Dean of Students & Athletics Director 
7th Life Science; 7th and 8th PE

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, B.S., Exercise Science and Biology

Texas State University, M.Ed., Exercise Science

Coach Samuel Lunz is originally from San Marcos, Texas, where his father has been a headmaster of a private school for 40 years. His nineteen years of teaching experience have given him a deep love for the art of teaching. In particular, Coach Lunz is eager to see his students embody the same virtues on the field or court that are incorporated into every aspect of the classroom at JH Classical Academy. In the community, Coach Lunz serves as the head basketball coach of Jackson Hole High School. Coach Lunz and his wife have embraced life in Jackson Hole and are enjoying raising their family in this community.

“I love teaching at Jackson Hole Classical Academy because of the high character and quality of the faculty, staff, leadership, and families. It is by far the best place I have taught because of the focus on in-depth curriculum and teaching, the pursuit of truth, and the development of each student as a whole person created in the image of God.”

Coach Lunz says, “My dad is my biggest influence as far as teaching goes. I watched many of his former students come back and tell him how much of an influence he had on them. I got to see firsthand the long-term rewards of teaching.” The family dedication to teaching shines through in Coach Lunz’s enthusiasm with his students at JH Classical Academy.
 
Coach Lunz moved to Jackson Hole from Buda, Texas, where he coached 6A high school basketball—the highest level in the state. He’s been enthusiastically welcomed by both JH Classical Academy Coach as physical education teacher, and Jackson Hole High School, as the new high school basketball coach.
 
Despite a successful coaching career in Texas, Coach Lunz and his family longed for the mountains and a small, welcoming community. “I love everything outdoors,” Lunz says, “and all our holidays were spent in the mountains. We really wanted to live in the mountains someday.” Lunz is an avid fly-fisherman and hunter. Jackson Hole has everything he and his family was looking for. Now he and his wife Becky are focusing on doing activities with their young daughter and son. “It’s a wonderful place to raise our children in the kind of healthy lifestyle that we want for them.”
 
When Coach Lunz heard about the positions open at Jackson Hole High School and JH Classical Academy, he and his wife made a decisive choice. “Moving from Texas was a real leap of faith,” he says, “but we definitely decided to move.” Not only was the location perfect, but his two roles as coach and teacher provide outlets for his many talents.
 
Coach Lunz has expressed enthusiasm to further discover JH Classical Academy, saying, “The philosophy of classical education just makes sense. It’s wonderful to work at a school where tried-and-true methods that work are still being used.” He is excited to continue in his position as physical education instructor, teaching students the fundamentals of health and fitness, while making exercise engaging at all levels.