The Latest at JHCA

Articles of Interest

List of 18 news stories.

  • 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
    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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  • 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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Community News

List of 5 news stories.

  • Spirit Days to promote unity and teamwork

    JHCA Spirit Days are coming your way! We will “kick off” our Spirit Days this year with kickball on Friday, September 24! Spirit Days are “an opportunity to build community with the students, faculty, and parents,” according to Dean of Students Samuel Lunz. Students will be able to wear jeans to school along with their navy JHCA t-shirt, light blue JHCA t-shirt, or their JHCA hoodie, allowing students an extra opportunity to show school pride throughout the day. The Spirit Day activity will occur after school, and a different activity will be chosen each month. Parents, family, and friends are all welcome to join in the fun!
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  • Scholé, ad fontes, and virtue key pathways to classical education

    Mrs. Hillary Short
    JH Classical Academy is a proud member of the Society For Classical Learning (SCL). Mrs. Friess and I attended the annual SCL conference in person last week in the beautiful and historic Charleston, South Carolina. This year’s conference focused on eudaemonia, Greek for “human flourishing.”
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  • Lynn and Foster at Polly and Steve's wedding on October 11, 2003

    In Loving Memory of Foster Friess: April 2, 1940 – May 27, 2021

    Mrs. Polly J. Friess
    Dear JH Classical Academy Parents and Friends, 
    It is with a heavy heart that I share this news and mourn the loss of a passionate patriot and patriarch. My 81-year-old father-in-law, Foster Stephen Friess, passed away peacefully last Thursday, May 27, in the presence of his immediate family at their home in Scottsdale, Arizona. There was only one Foster!
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  • JHCA senior granted $80,000 scholarship, four-year finance internship

    Jacqueline Neishabouri, a JH Classical Academy senior, has been granted the esteemed Atlas Scholars Scholarship through Chicago Scholars. This $80,000 scholarship, awarded over four years, also includes four years of highly paid, full-time finance internships through world-renowned investment firm, Balyasny Asset Management.
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  • JHCA 6th-grader named State Spelling Bee champion

    Claire Harris, a sixth-grade student at Jackson Hole Classical Academy (JHCA), was named the 2021 Wyoming State Spelling Bee champion speller recently. She will be representing the state of Wyoming at the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer.
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In the Classroom

List of 5 news stories.

  • 4th grade class studies ancient Celtic language "Ogham"

    This week, students in Ms. Lyons’ 4th-grade history class learned how to write their names in the ancient Celtic language, Ogham (pronounced “ow-um”), by carving them into clay. According to Ms. Lyons, the Celts used Ogham symbols to write on stones found across the British Isles. 
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  • Meet the Upper School Art Teacher: Mrs. Tammy Callens

    Mrs. Tammy Callens joins the faculty at JH Classical Academy with a lifetime of experience in the world of art. An award-winning and widely published artist, Mrs. Callens studied techniques of the masters at the New York City Art Students League. 
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  • Class of 2021 Graduation

    "Truth, beauty and goodness."

    That was the theme of JH Classical Academy's first Graduation yesterday, June 4, in which we witnessed the culmination of nine years of dedication to classical education, and our mission to cultivate within our students the wisdom and virtue necessary to discover their God-given potential. These three seniors are the fruition of that mission.
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  • 7th Grade science class presents non-seed plants research

    Students in Mr. Lunz's 7th grade science class have been studying different types of vascular seed plants in Wyoming and non-seed plants all over the world. Today, students presented their research on non-seed plants, which reproduce by forming spores and include mosses, ferns, liverworts, and horsetails.
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  • 3rd–6th Annual Chess Tournament

    JHCA held its end of the year Chess Tournament for 3rd-6th grade students on Wednesday, April 21. The entry-level tournament consisted of multiple divisions with the goal of providing students the opportunity to experience a tournament.
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