About Us


Mrs. Polly J. Friess

Head of School

Boston College, B.S., Accounting and Finance, Summa Cum Laude

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. Ian Landis

Director of Admissions; Dean of Faculty, Lower School

6th Grade Math

Pennsylvania State University, B.S., Elementary Education

Mr. Ian Landis, a founding teacher at JHCA, has enjoyed teaching science and mathematics at multiple grade levels at JHCA for ten years. 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 bachelor's degree 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.
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.”

Coach Samuel Lunz

Dean of Students

10th Grade Homeroom
9th–12th Personal Fitness

Texas State University, M.Ed., Exercise Science
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, B.S., Exercise Science and Biology

Coach Samuel Lunz is originally from San Marcos, Texas, where his father has been a headmaster of a private school for over 40 years. His twenty 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 JHCA. Prior to taking on a leadership position at JHCA, he served as the head basketball coach of Jackson Hole High School for five years. 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.