The Latest at JHCA

Articles of Interest

List of 12 news stories.

  • 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
     
    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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  • And the Moral of That Is…

    by Ben Walter
    I remember reading with delight my parents’ edition of Aesop’s fables. Almost as fascinating as Milo Winter’s beautiful illustrations were the morals at the end of each story. For the Fox and the Cheese it was, “Don’t listen to a flatterer;” for The Sun and the Wind, “Kindness works better than harshness;” and the Satyr and the Man, “Don’t say one thing and do another.” I think I liked seeing how the stories were more than just a plot—they meant something.
     
    Fables like these do form an essential part of the intellectual development of young children. However, it is important that children are taught to look beyond the simplistic moral that these stories present. Otherwise, their ability to relate virtue to a complex world will be stunted. As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”
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  • Heroes at Dinner

    Ben Walter
     
    I enjoy helping monitor lunch at JH Classical Academy. Rather than grabbing a working lunch, I’m forced to sit down, pause my work, and catch up with a student or colleague over food. This might just be “classical.”
     
    The 10-12th grade Humane Letters class just finished reading Homer’s Iliad with Dr. Rudolph. The Iliad is the 7th century B.C. epic poem of the Trojan War and is about heroes and heroic behavior. In her essay The Necessity of the Classics, Louise Cowan argues that each generation must read about heroes in the ancient and modern classics. She writes,
     
     
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  • Arete 3

    Ben Walter
    The previous essay explored how the Greek word arete changed over centuries from meaning “excellence of any kind” to primarily “moral excellence.” We left off with Aristotle, who believed that virtue consisted in actions to pursuit of happiness (with true happiness being a well-ordered soul not physical pleasure.)
                Aristotle, and many other classical philosophers, thought that the virtuous person was ruled by reason—i.e., that reason leads to virtue. And how could they not? Unbridled passion and immoderate feelings create a turbulent, rather than well-ordered, soul. These philosophers also generally agreed that not even religious feeling was particularly inclined to create virtue. How could the philandering Zeus or resentful Hera be considered role models for virtuous action? And so classical philosophers viewed fervent religious devotion, beyond the necessity of public duty, as superstition at best. Only reason and intellectual contemplation lead to virtue.
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  • Beethoven-Mahler 1815

    My Favorite Composer

    by Ms. Koci
    Choosing a favorite composer is hard, but my favorite has to be Ludwig van Beethoven. Why? He changed the rules of music. His compositions are groundbreaking.
     
    Now how about a favorite piece of mine? Well Beethoven’s rousing 9th Symphony or his haunting Moonlight Sonata are tempting choices, but I’d have to go with his Piano Sonata 23 in F Minor nicknamed the Appassionata in 1837. The more I listen to the piece the more I identify with it.
     
    Listen here and here to the first and third movements.
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  • Arete Part 2

    Written by Ben Walter
    Warrior Ethos

    One of the definitions of arete is virtue. The word virtue is from the Latin vir meaning man. The Roman god of Virtus was depicted as holding a javelin and wearing a helmet. Someone who had virtue, in the classical usage, was quite literally and stereotypically “manly”: he was brave and able to defend his family and city.
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  • Prodigal Son Rembrandt

    Written by Ben Walter
    The Return of the Prodigal Son
     
    Rembrandt is probably the greatest (in my biased opinion) of the Dutch Baroque painters. Of his many masterpieces, The Return of the Prodigal Son is one of the best. It was completed in 1664, a few years before Rembrandt’s death; it contains psychological insight with a personal and moving interpretation of Jesus’ parable.
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  • Arete Part 1

    Written by Ben Walter
    Arete is an ancient Greek word that means “virtue” and “excellence.” Arete is the goal of classical Christian education. This goal is reflected in JH Classical Academy’s mission statement:
     
    The mission of Jackson Hole Classical Academy is to cultivate within its students the wisdom and virtue necessary to discover their God-given potential and contribute to a flourishing and free society.
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  • Rossetti's "A Chill"

    Written by Ben Walter
    I want to share one of my favorite poems in our curriculum, found in the first-grade recitation list. (Incidentally, I think this was the first poem I ever memorized.)
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Archive

Community News

List of 5 news stories.

  • Senior Peter Cook receives Rotary Club award

    Peter Cook, a senior at JH Classical Academy, was one of four Teton County high school students to be recognized as a Jackson Hole Rotary Club Spring “Student of the Season” at the Rotary Club’s recent virtual meeting.
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  • Freshman Sascha Mizelle places in speech and debate competition

    Sascha Mizelle, a JH Classical Academy high school freshman, recently competed on the Jackson Hole High School Varsity Speech and Debate Team. They placed first at the Bobcat Invitational, a speech and debate competition hosted by Hot Springs County High School on Friday Jan. 15 and Saturday, Jan. 16. There were 15 schools in virtual attendance with 155 competitors and 184 total entries in the online competition.
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  • Cross-Country Skiing Track at JHCA

    Our 3rd-, 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-grade students had the opportunity to go cross-country skiing on JH Classical Academy’s regularly groomed 0.8-mile track last week! Thanks to a generous donation of boots and skis, our students can enjoy cross-country skiing during physical education classes. Check out some highlights from last week’s classes below!
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  • Fifth-grade student Leisel Maher wins D.A.R. essay contest

    Leisel Maher, a fifth-grade student at JH Classical Academy, recently competed in the 2021 Davey Jackson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) American History Essay contest on the topic of The Boston Massacre, in recognition of the event’s 250th anniversary. She was one of two winners at the D.A.R. chapter level. In addition to receiving a certificate, monetary award and books from D.A.R., Leisel will advance to the Wyoming state level competition — with the chance to advance to the divisional and national levels — for her essay entitled “The Boston Massacre: Crispus Attucks and Other Patriots Who Sparked the American Revolution.”
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  • Student Mentorship Program - First Annual Spirit Week

    In order to foster increased community at our school, JH Classical Academy launched a new student mentorship program for the 2020-21 academic year. The inaugural mentors are Zachary and Rachel Hughes, who joined JHCA in the Fall of 2020. The Hughes’ goal for their roles as mentors is to “build relationships with students, encourage them, and make their school experience more fun,” Mr. Hughes said.
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Archive

In the Classroom

List of 5 news stories.

  • The Wonder In Anatomy

    Students in 10th–12th Grade Anatomy & Physiology have been studying the complex systems in the human body. In order to better understand these systems and how they relate to each other, students recently had the opportunity to perform an in-depth dissection on fetal pigs. According to JHCA science teacher Ms. Kirby Feaver, the internal anatomy of fetal pigs is similar to that of the human body, and their small size makes organs easy to find and identify.
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  • Research scientist visits the 7th-grade science lab to teach Gram staining method

    The JHCA seventh-grade science class had a special visit last week from Mr. Zach Siler of Perfectus Biomed, LLC, a microbiological contract testing company with a lab in Jackson.
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  • Ceremony of Carols 2018

    Ceremony of Carols 2020

    Sarah Boss
    This Christmas season the annual Ceremony of Carols will look a bit different from previous years, yet in many ways this year’s ceremony will carry on JH Classical Academy’s tradition of celebrating Christmas together. Marc Powell, K-8 Music Teacher, says his number one goal when planning the Ceremony of Carols this year was safety and health concerns. Taking a note from fellow music teachers, he decided the best way to keep up the traditional ceremony safely was to hold a virtual performance.
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  • Kindergarten

    The kindergarten class has been busy this month, absorbing all sorts of new information, as well as developing good habits. Their lessons with Mrs. Quattlebaum have included writing clock letters, learning the history of Christopher Columbus, locating two of the seven continents, and observing various scientific phenomena. Mrs. Quattlebaum says the kindergarteners are “full of love” and a sense of wonder.
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  • Strings Program

    This year JH Classical Academy’s music program is expanding from choral, piano and guitar to include a new strings program, as well. Beginning next week, kindergarten through 4th grade students will learn general music and singing, and 7th and 8th grade students will continue to study classical guitar and piano, respectively. However, 5th and 6th grade students are in for a treat, as they will be the first classes to study violin at JH Classical Academy.
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Archive
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Jackson Hole Classical Academy
P.O. Box 7466
Jackson, WY 83002
 
Enrollment Inquiries:
Polly Friess
(307) 690-8396
 
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School Office
(307) 201-5040
 
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