News Detail

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Dear JH Classical Academy Parents, 
Our 10-12th Graders were guided by Anatomy and Physiology teacher Ms. Feaver through a high-caliber dissection of an elk heart on Thursday.  Ms. McWhorter, our 4th Grade Literature teacher, heard about the dissection and asked whether or not the heart had “strings.” Her 4th Graders were busy memorizing William Blake’s The Tyger and wondered if the poetic reference to the heart was allegorical or actual.  Ms. Fever brought the elk heart into the 4th Grade classroom, showed them the chordae tendineae, and let them strum the real heart strings with their fingers.  Yesterday, two 10-12th Graders demonstrated their own learning by bringing the elk heart into Mrs. Hughes’ 5th Grade Science class.  The young ladies displayed and discussed the structure of the heart with the 5th Graders and those students applied that knowledge to their current study of the parts and functions of a cell.  Many thanks to Coach Lunz and Dr. Rudolph for this valuable donation, made possible by their successful elk hunt last weekend! 
To the classical mind, all knowledge is interrelated.  The world is full of knowledge and finding links between fields of study is an organic and creative task.  Classical education has a long tradition of asking questions, seeking answers, consulting each other, and joining the great conversation.  Using the Socratic method, in which the teacher raises questions and the class discusses them, our students seek truth with the investigative power of their minds.  Plutarch said, “Children’s minds are not vessels to be filled, but fires to be kindled.”  Classical education holds to the original meaning of the word “education” from the Latin ex-ducere: to bring out, to draw out.  We draw our students into the great conversation and spark a fire and desire in them to discover and know more.  This is why our narrative report cards comment on our students’ sense of wonder and depth of inquiry, in addition to their habits and responsibilities. 
During the month of September, our opening ceremonies focused on hope, which seemed fitting against the backdrop of the pandemic, the fires, and social turbulence.  Uncertainty is wearing.  It is energy-sapping, fear-producing, and future-fogging.  Paul wrote to the Romans: “Character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.”  Character, the inner quality of the soul, can flourish when all else is lost, and produce hope.  When we reflect upon those we admire, often it is someone whose character has been forged through suffering and has an inner glow of hope.  What is hope based on?  The confident expectation that what God has promised is true and that our strength is found in His faithfulness.  Although hope is future-oriented, it anchors our view of the present uncertainties with meaning, purpose, and clarity. 
Jackson Hole Classical Academy is a place of hope.  Our teachers are classically minded, full of character, and desire to share the goodness of God and the knowledge of His creation with their students.  They are skilled across disciplines, well-balanced in their mental and physical endeavors (thus the gift of the elk heart from hunting!), and dedicated to our mission: to cultivate within its student the wisdom and virtue necessary to discover and fulfill their God-given potential and contribute to a flourishing and free society.  Watching this vision daily come to fruition provides hope.  Our teachers are working to elevate students’ minds, enrich their spirits, and encourage them to focus on timeless principles amidst the turbulence.  The atmosphere in our classrooms is full of community, creativity, and joy: joy at being made in the image of God, joy in the communal pursuit of truth, and joy in the blessing of being together in the classroom (something we no longer take for granted).  We are bringing them closer to the fullness of Truth that is realized not through human striving (although worthy) but in the encounter with that Person whose love we must accept and who will not disappoint.
Grace and peace,
Mrs. Polly J. Friess
Head of School

Mountain Range


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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