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Head of School Update: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Most Americans think of the first Thanksgiving as a feast shared by pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Few know that the modern version of a nation-wide Thanksgiving holiday didn’t come until 1863, thanks to the persistence of Sarah Josepha Hale. When President Abraham Lincoln issued the proclamation declaring “a day of thanksgiving and praise," the 36-year campaign started by the so-called “mother” of Thanksgiving finally ended. Hale promoted her silent lobbying by publishing poems of gratitude, recipes for autumnal feasts, and stories to make Thanksgiving the heart of the American experience, like 4th of July.
The tradition of giving thanks as a nation was commemorated in 1777 when Congress declared a national day of thanksgiving after America’s victory at the Battle of Saratoga. After that, Presidents proclaimed days of fasting, prayer, and expressing gratitude at historic moments of victory. Thankfulness in times of need and plenty has expressed the true spirit of Americans for 500 years. But in order for Thanksgiving to be recognized as a national holiday, Sarah Josepha Hale, a popular women’s magazine editor from Boston, wrote three decades of official letters to members of Congress, governors, and Presidents.
 
Some presidents thought an official day of prayer and fasting violated the separation of church and state. Others believed it was up to the states to decide when and whether to declare a Thanksgiving holiday. A few saw Thanksgiving as an intrusion of New England moralism. But Hale argued that a national observance gratitude was needed to “heal the wounds of the nation” after horrors of the civil war. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it was “fit and proper” that the gracious gifts of the Most High God, “should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.” In September 1863, Lincoln designated the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving.
 
Stories like this are inspirational to me, as that same perserverance has been needed in founding JH Classical Academy. Doing what is hard doesn’t come naturally, but duty in doing what is right often propels us forward. However, as Jesus is quoted in the book of Matthew, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I thank God that despite our human frailty and failings, He graciously gifted us with continuing this educational institution.  I stand in deep gratitude to God for His provision and understand the priviledge it is to partner with parents in the education of their children.  I also stand in sincere faith that He will bring the work to completion that He began and look forward to what lies ahead. JH Classical Academy is poised for a bright future.
 
Thank you for your feedback in parent forums earlier this month. In the spirit of looking forward, I will hold open-topic forums with parents and board members called “Advancing our Mission” from January through June. We will open with words of gratitude and focus our conversation on how to further provide classical education with Christian foundations in this unique and beautiful community. I will announce those dates and times in December, once the board members' availability is confirmed.
 
78% of parents (with over 50% submitting feedback) voted to bring a common assembly time back first thing in the morning.  Starting on Wednesday, December 4, we will hold Opening Ceremony every Wednesay at 8:10 AM.  Thank you for your critical and unanimous feedback.  Due to space constraints, we will still have separate K-3, 4-6, and 7-11 ceremonies, but all will happen at the same time and that will help build community until our Field House is complete. We also hope to hold a hot-coco party to launch the use of our new playground very soon, so stay tuned for more announcements.
 
May the spirit of profound gratitude fill your home this coming Thanksgiving week!
 
 
Mrs. Polly J. Friess
Head of School
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Contact

Jackson Hole Classical Academy
P.O. Box 7466
Jackson, WY 83002
 
Enrollment Inquiries:
Polly Friess
(307) 690-8396
 
All Other Inquiries:
School Office
(307) 201-5040






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Nondiscrimination Policy: Jackson Hole Classical Academy admits students of any gender, race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students. Jackson Hole Classical Academy does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition assistance, athletic, arts or other school administrated programs.