The Latest at JHCA

Articles of Interest

List of 20 news stories.

  • 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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  • 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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Community News

List of 5 news stories.

  • 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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  • Wisdom and The Serenity Prayer

    Mrs. Polly Friess addressed the JHCA students and faculty during the last all-school opening ceremony of the year and continued our discussion on wisdom. Mrs. Friess walked students through the famed “Serenity Prayer,” and how this prayer can help guide our decision making.
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  • A Graduation to Remember

    Congratulations, Sarah!

    Jackson Hole Classical Academy's second graduation was a joyous and tear-filled occasion as we celebrated the accomplishments and ambitions of our graduate, Miss Sarah Tallerico, who multiple speakers humorously referred to as the "Class" of 2022.
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  • Showing Love By Being A Good Friend

    Mrs. Ashton Quattlebaum, kindergarten teacher, addressed the lower school students and faculty at Tuesday’s opening ceremony to continue our discussion on the theological virtue of love. She spoke about what it means for friends to love one another.
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In the Classroom

List of 5 news stories.

  • 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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  • Dwayne Harty: The Creative Life of a Diorama Artist

    Wildlife, landscape, and diorama artist, Dwayne Harty, spoke to the upper school students on Wednesday about his career and the history and process of making taxidermy dioramas for various natural history and wildlife museums. He explained that teams of artists and scientists work together to assemble these dioramas to make them both as lifelike as possible, as well as aesthetically pleasing.
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  • Pearls by Shari Presentation

    Mrs. Shari Turpin, founder of Pearls by Shari, visited our campus recently to give a presentation about pearls, the only precious gem created by a living organism. She spoke about how pearls are made, both in the wild and through the sustainable process of farming. Mrs. Turpin said that all of the world’s natural pearls are produced by about 40 family farms in the South Sea. In fact, she spends five months out the year personally visiting these farms to source pearls for her shops. 
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  • Fifth Grade History Fair: The Industrial Revolution and Its Famous Inventions

    “Dynamite for sale! Makes coal mining easier. No more digging!” 

    “Telegraph machine: 40 percent off! Letters take weeks to send; a telegram takes seconds!”

    These were just a few of the creative headlines JHCA fifth-graders wrote for the annual History Fair, which featured advertisements “selling” popular inventions from the first and second waves of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. 

    Students were randomly assigned an invention from the Industrial Revolution to research using best research practices and reliable sources. Then, they created an informed advertisement poster and "ad pitch" selling their assigned invention, which they presented to parents and fellow students this past Monday. 
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