The Latest at JHCA

Articles of Interest

List of 20 news stories.

  • Food Network Star Leads Baking Club at Jackson Hole Classical Academy

    Life is what you bake it.

    What started as a hobby for Julie Hession turned into a career–one that took her all the way to the Food Network. A three-time cookbook author with a successful baking blog and a second-grade parent at JHCA, Julie has won televised baking competitions judged by Bobby Flay, Sara Moulton, Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi, and Guy Fieri. Through her Las Vegas-based bakery and café called “Julie Anne’s,” she produced a line of granola that was sold in over 400 stores nationwide. When not starring on TV, Julie creates custom cakes, decorated cookies, and huge charcuterie boards for parties. Currently, she is leading a six-week baking club for students at Jackson Hole Classical Academy!
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  • High School Students Attend Monthly "Lunch & Learn" Career Talks

    Last April, we hosted our first ever "Lunch and Learn" for our high school students and it soon became a fun, informative, and inspiring tradition here at JHCA. Every three weeks, we welcome a member of the Jackson Hole community to come to campus to share his or her story with our high school students. These informal gatherings provide our students with an opportunity to learn about varied career paths, hear different definitions of success, and receive poignant words of wisdom. To date, we have hosted professionals who represented a wide range of careers including an investment banker, interior designer, nurse, industrial and critical mineral expert, entrepreneur, and trauma surgeon. Our next speaker is a former Green Beret who served in the Central Intelligence Agency.
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  • October Teacher Feature: Tammy Callens

    Jackson Hole Classical Academy's 6–12th grade visual arts teacher Tamara Callens is an award-winning artist who specializes in oil and watercolor painting, charcoal drawing, and mono-printing. Ms. Callens hails from the Pacific North Coast in California, where she began drawing professionally in junior high school. She eventually settled in the Mountain West, where she draws inspiration from the breathtaking landscapes and fascinating people.
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  • College Prep the Classical Way

    Monica Vitale joined Jackson Hole Classical Academy as the Dean of Academics and College Counselor with a master’s degree in Global and International Education from Drexel University. Prior to joining JHCA earlier this year, Mrs. Vitale worked for 15 years in several academic, advisory and admissions roles at a college-preparatory boarding school in New England. She says having been on both sides of the admissions desk has allowed her to better prepare students for college and career.
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  • Tea Party Club, Classical Education, and a Practical and Engaging Approach to Forming Virtues

    Mrs. Ashton Quattlebaum
    The Foundation of Classical Education

    The heart of classical training, and education, is a training in the virtues through a foundation of piety, leading to true and effective learning. The authors of The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Classical Education begin the first chapter by discussing the idea that piety is at the heart of education through the classic tradition. The ancient educational tradition with high calling is to allow personal values to guide all learning. Morals ought not to be simply things of study that are reserved from society, but values that are passed down through tradition as the foundation of all, including learning.
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  • The Case for Molinism: Free Will, Foreknowledge, or Foreordination?

    Dr. Howard Short
    One solution to the theological dilemma that God’s foreknowledge and foreordination present to human freedom was first championed by the sixteenth century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina. In philosophical circles, his solution is known – unsurprisingly – as Molinism.
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  • How faith builds resiliency in the face of adversity

    Mr. Chase Court
    The following has been adapted from an opening ceremony address given to the Upper School students by Jackson Hole Classical Academy Learning Support Coordinator, Mr. Chase Court, who is a licensed school psychologist.
    There are three r’s that are commonly used as strategies and measurements of a student’s success in school: reading, ‘riting,’ and ‘rythmitic.’ Robert J. Sternberg, a psychologist and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, and Rena F. Subotnik, Director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association (2006) identified what they term the “other three r’s” critical to education success not sufficiently recognized in schools: reasoning, resilience, and responsibility. Of these three r’s, resilience is the key factor that distinguishes those that are highly successful from others.
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  • Checkmate! How playing chess develops critical thinking

    Mr. Jay Stallings, JHCA Chess Coach
    “Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chess board; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life - that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hoping for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.” — Benjamin Franklin

    “Should I sacrifice my rook?”
    “Whose pawn will promote to a queen first?”
    “Considering the imbalances, what is my best strategy?”

    These are typical questions a chess player asks before each and every move played during a single game of chess. The answers require a combination of logic, calculation, strategic thinking, and resourcefulness.
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  • Physical Education the Classical Way

    Mr. Seth Rutt
    The classical model of education has seen significant growth over the past 40 years. The return to traditional and time-tested methods of teaching is integral to developing student character and training them in truth, goodness, and beauty. In classical schools, subjects including literature, the sciences, and mathematics have been restored to their previous standards of rigor. But what about physical education?
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  • Orchestrating the Curriculum

    Orchestrating the Curriculum for a Well-Rounded Education

    Mrs. Kate Rudolph with Dr. Dan Russ
    The emphasis on interdisciplinary learning is unique among schools today, many of which are dictated to by their textbooks and a curriculum that compartmentalizes knowledge. Each subject is presented as though it exists in a vacuum, never influencing or being influenced by anything else. This compartmentalization of knowledge denies students the opportunity to make connections across topics and to see the world the way it really is, in all its beauty and complexity.
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  • Annual Wilderness Adventures trip provides opportunities for student growth

    Mrs. Kate Rudolph
    The 7th- and 8th-grade students had an exciting opportunity this past week to experience the beauty of nature, build community with their classmates, and test their own strength and perseverance through backpacking and camping trips guided by Jackson-based tour company, Wilderness Adventures (owned and operated by JHCA’s Holland family!). The 7th graders spent the week at Camp Open Door near Granite Hot Springs with 6th-grade homeroom teacher Mr. Ian McRae, while the 8th graders backpacked into the Jedediah Smith Wilderness, just north of Grand Teton National Park, with 8th-grade homeroom teacher Ms. Abigail Anderson.
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  • Classical Education: The remedy to the resume conveyor belt

    Mrs. Kate Rudolph with Mrs. Hillary Short
    The American education system prioritizes prestigious college placement. While it is expected that high school students build impressive resumes to send off to impressive universities, many students have begun packing their resumes earlier and earlier. Now, middle school students are beginning to build up their college resumes in an attempt to out-do their classmates years before filling out college applications. According to Mrs. Hillary Short, the Lower School Dean of Faculty, this college application frenzy creates students who believe that “jumping through hoops matters, not actually developing who they are as a person or learning to love learning.”
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  • 10 Summer Activities to Keep Your Child's Mind Engaged

    At JH Classical Academy we seek to instill in each of our students a love of reading to cultivate lifelong learning. Not only does reading give students an understanding of the world around them and glimpses into other worlds, but it has been proven to bolster cortical growth in children. Now that students are out of school for the summer, it is critically important to continue fostering the habit of reading and learning at home. 
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  • On Math and Spirituality

    Ms. Sarah Boss
    When thinking of classical education, the humanities is often the first thing that comes to mind. The “classics” of literature, classical languages, philosophy, and so on. But math and science — the more practical fields of study — can be taught from a perspective as classical as Aristotle. My. Kyle Botkin, 5th- and 8th-12th-grade math teacher, is a fervent believer that math can — and should — be approached not just factually, but philosophically.
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  • On Love

    Dr. Joseph Rudolph
    Perhaps no word in our language is as powerful or as hard to define as the word “love.” It can have so many different meanings! I love God; I love my wife; I love to teach; I love coffee. And in each context, "love" means a very different thing.
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  • The Lovely Spring

    Mr. Ben Walter
    This weekend I took a walk along Game Creek in the early afternoon sun. Even though we probably have two months of winter left, spring seemed about to fly in on the next breeze. Earlier in the week, I had read a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins titled "Spring" with the 8th grade. Because the JHCA's virtue of the month is love, the two ideas of love and spring rolled around in my head this week. Here is Hopkins' poem.
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  • Imitation

    Sarah Boss
    Ernest Hemingway famously advised aspiring authors: “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” Hemingway’s trademark pithiness aside, the issue remains that even seemingly effortless writers must study and develop their craft somehow. Whether this quip relates to fiction or essays or speeches, writing is a skill not born with but learned. But how?
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  • On Habits

    Ben Walter
    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
    Aristotle did not in fact write this commonly attributed quotation, which is a 19th century paraphrase of his philosophy. Is it an accurate paraphrase? That depends on our definition of “habit”!
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  • [A diagram from Harold Speed's The Practice and Science of Drawing. It illustrates how we gravitate from a young age toward symbolic drawing (A) rather than the drawing of light and shadow as we see it (B).]

    On Art Education

    Ben Walter
    Classical art education provides more than a creative outlet. Like any discipline, art education should have a structured curriculum. Art training neither stifles nor guarantees creativity. However, it does remove impediments to expressing oneself creatively. There are four specific benefits of a systematic art education.
    1. Accurate Perception.
    Perception is our view of the world. Accurate perception is the ability to see things as they really are, not a pre-conceived mental shorthand of a thing. Training in perception involves understanding the relationship between form, value (light and dark), and color. Form is the boundary of an object. Usually, in the perception of form, our tactile sense dominates our visual sense. A person feels the boundary of a ball, and, if untrained in art, will draw a ball as a circle with an edge. The circle is really symbolic—it marks where he feels that the ball stops. However, objects as they appear do not have boundaries delineated by lines. In reality, form appears through shapes of value (light and dark). While an artist may interpret form into line, this is an interpretation of reality.
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  • Reconstruction of the Acropolis and Areopagus in Athens, Leo von Klenze, 1846

    Athens, London and the Plague

    Ben Walter
    History doesn't necessarily repeat itself. However, history instructs us on what can happen; it lets us see the triumphs and catastrophes that civilizations are capable of. The downfalls of great nations illustrate what our own culture must avoid. As Covid-19 looms over the two-thousand and twentieth year of grace, we should take a moment to look at the societal impact of pandemics in history. I've chosen two opposite examples for our glance backwards in time: Athens in 431 B.C. and England in 1665 A.D.
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Community News

List of 5 news stories.

  • Coram Deo Magazine Vol. 2 released!

    Proudly presenting, Coram Deo Magazine Vol. 2! The second edition of Jackson Hole Classical Academy's annual magazine features academic articles and op-eds relating to classical education written by our faculty and staff. Want to receive JHCA publications? Email to be added to our distribution list. Happy reading!
  • Upper School students go whitewater rafting

    THANK YOU, Dave Hansen Whitewater! We are thrilled with the shots Snake River Photo took of our 7-12th graders' rafting trip! In case you missed it, Coaches Vitale and Lunz planned a series of adventures for the second week of school as part of the inaugural "House System Week" at JHCA. Our students completed the ropes course at Snow King, played mini golf, rafted the Snake River, visited Idaho Falls to play laser tag and go indoor rock-climbing, and finished the week with a hike up Snow King. The goal of the new House System—with houses Milton, Dante, Virgil, and Homer—is to create leaders, community, and school culture. At JHCA, we believe that educating the spirit is just as important as educating the mind. 
  • JHCA enhancing campus with new athletic field, outdoor fitness area, sledding hill, and landscaping

    Jackson Hole Classical Academy is undertaking a beautification and recreational enhancement project on the west side of its 80-acre campus at 2500 S. Park Loop Road. The Academy moved to its current location in 2019 and established instructional space in modular buildings. The current project, designed by Grand Rapids, Mich. based firm AMDG Architects, adds a grass soccer field, an outdoor fitness area with wood-timbered structures, a sledding hill, and new landscaping. This field and landscaping investment in JHCA and the broader community is scheduled for completion later this Fall. The outdoor fitness course is scheduled for completion next Spring.
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  • Jackson Hole Classical Academy students represent Wyoming in U.S. Chess National Invitationals

    On behalf of the State of Wyoming, three students from Jackson Hole Classical Academy, along with one student from Jackson Hole High School, competed in the U.S. Chess National Invitationals held July 30 through August 2 at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
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  • Wisdom: To Taste and Know

    Dr. Joe Rudolph
    What do we mean by Wisdom? 
    Do you know what the Latin word for wisdom is? Sapientia. Sapere, in the infinitive form, which means "to taste." So, to be wise is to taste. 
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In the Classroom

List of 5 news stories.

  • JHCA selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2022 Yass Prize

    Jackson Hole Classical Academy has been selected as one of the 64 quarterfinalists for the 2022 Yass Prize! The Yass Foundation, established by educational visionaries Janine and Jeff Yass, released a statement regarding the prize that read, “the award highlights education providers that strive to offer education that is Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless (STOP).” All quarterfinalists in the nationwide competition are awarded $100,000 for their efforts in advancing education, with the ability to receive additional awards as the competition progresses. We are truly grateful to the Yass Foundation, The Center for Education Reform (CER), and Forbes for choosing JHCA as a quarterfinalist!
  • Ambassador Bremberg speaks to JHCA students during visit

    Thank you, Ambassador Andrew Bremberg for coming to speak to our upper school students! Dr. Bremberg spoke about his time as the U.S. Ambassador in Geneva, serving in the White House, and his current position as President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in D.C., where he is an advocate for freedom around the world.
  • 4th-grade class visits Yellowstone National Park

    The fourth-grade class took a field trip today to Yellowstone National Park, just a short drive from our campus! Our students spent the day in the southern loop, which included a visit to Yellowstone Lake to write descriptive essays, a fact-finding scavenger hunt at the Old Faithful Visitor Center museum, and a Ranger Program in front of Old Faithful during which students learned about the Park's hydrothermal features, examined mineral samples, and of course witnessed the Old Faithful geyser.
  • First and Third Grade Field Trip: Fish & Elk & Art, Oh My!

    The 1st and 3rd grade classes enjoyed a three-part, wildlife-themed field trip last week to the Jackson National Fish Hatchery, the National Elk Refuge, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
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  • Fourth Grade Adventures in Yellowstone

    The fourth grade class explored Yellowstone National Park on Friday, May 20 for their class field trip this year. They saw some exciting wildlife – including bison, elk, and a bear – along their drive and in the Park. In addition to visiting geysers, the Old Faithful Inn, and Yellowstone Lake, they learned about the history of the United State’s first national park and contemplated its beauty.
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Mountain Range


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