Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 North Phoenix Prep 9th Grade Retreat!

North Phoenix 9th Grade Families,

Don't forget to register for our Freshman Retreat to Lost Canyon on August 15-17.

Securing your student’s spot on the retreat is an easy, online process.  Simply submit your payment, and complete a registration form.  Because the staff at Lost Canyon need to make our arrangements in advance, I would appreciate your prompt response.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have more immediate questions, concerns, or obstacles to attendance. I am eager to work with you all to make this an unforgettable start to the high school experience for the North Phoenix Gladiators, Class of 2022!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teacher Feature: Dr. Avery

We are overjoyed to announce that Dr. Josh  Avery is joining our faculty next year!

Dr. Avery earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Dallas, as well as a Ph.D. from the Institute for Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas.  He is the author of numerous publications on Shakespeare and Thomas More--two significant authors in our curriculum! He has taught at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Palm Beach Atlantic University, North Lake College, and Mountain View College.  In the coming school year, he will teach Humane Letters.

Our students prepared a few questions for Dr. Avery:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
As is the case with a lot of teachers, it was from experiencing good teaching myself. I had a particularly inspiring teacher for Shakespeare when I was taking a British Literature course at a community college. She connected the literature with philosophy in a way that no previous teacher had ever done for me, and I decided I wanted to learn how to do that myself.

What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club?
I really enjoy complex strategy games. For example, I am an avid fan of a Cold War simulation called Twilight Struggle. I also used to play a good deal of chess and backgammon.  Although my body is having a tougher time of it of late, I also have loved playing Ultimate Frisbee for quite a while. Another possibility would be to host a Great Books discussion club that focused on books not already covered by Humane Letters.

How do you best connect with students?
A lot of currently fashionable trends in pedagogy strike me as technocratic nonsense, soon to be replaced by other trends probably equally nonsensical. It's remarkable how the basic qualities of a good teacher really are timeless and universal: good humored-friendliness, passion, honesty, and commitment. One of my favorite comments from a student read: "You can tell he really cares, and so you learn to care." So I try to let the students see my humanity and personality, and most of them seem to appreciate that. It's helpful for them to see that literature and ideas are genuinely fun, not just promoted out of official prestige or abstract duty. I think many students suspect the study of the humanities to be a pretentious farce, and a human approach helps remove that prejudice.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be?
Aside from Jesus Christ, I think I'll say Socrates. There is hardly any major Western figure whom I find more mysterious and enigmatic. Another on the list would be Dostoevsky, whose insights into the human psyche never cease to amaze me.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Dr. Avery!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Thanks to all of our faculty, staff, families, and students for making our inaugural year at the new campus truly memorable.  It's hard to believe that the 2017-2018 school year is now a thing of the past.  Just one year ago, our campus was still under construction, and all of our books, furniture, and equipment were in temporary storage.  That summer was certainly full of activity, and I know that everyone on staff is happy to have much more stability this time around, as we excitedly work to make the coming school year truly excellent. 

Summer is an active time in the life of our Academy.  Together with several Prep student helpers, Ms. Powell from the Archway side is now organizing our newly-furnished Library.  New artwork and display boards will go up in the Prep academic building this week.  In addition, we are installing acoustic paneling in our multi-purpose room.  As of this week, our summer school programs are underway.  In July, North Phoenix has the honor of hosting Great Hearts' New Faculty Orientation, an intensive training for all new teachers throughout the Great Hearts network.

So although this will be the final Headmaster Letter until we start school in August, our team will still be working hard behind the scenes to get ready for next year.  Please stay tuned to our Facebook page & the Gladiator Press for periodic updates, which will continue throughout the Summer months.  For example, families of rising Freshmen should keep an eye out for my introductory letter on the Freshman Retreat.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a restful and relaxing Summer vacation.  Hopefully, all of us can find at least a few days away from the heat!  The first day of school (August 6th) will be here before we know it, so let's all be sure to take some time for family, friends, and rejuvenation.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Freshman Retreat

Our 2018 Freshman Retreat will be held at Lost Canyon in Williams, Arizona!

The retreat will take place from August 15-17.

Parents of rising Freshmen will receive an introductory letter from Mr. Weinhold this week!

Teacher Feature: Ms. Shisler

We are thrilled to announce that Ms. Debbie Shisler, daughter of Mr. Bob Shisler, is joining our faculty next year!

Ms. Shisler graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University.

She has taught math and elementary grades throughout her career, and she has tutored in math since she was in high school. She has taught at Accelerated Learning Center, Career Success High School, and at the North Phoenix Sylvan Learning Center.  Ms. Shisler will teach Geometry at North Phoenix Prep in the coming school year.

Our students prepared a few questions for Ms. Shisler:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why? 
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher for multiple reasons. Firstly, I saw what kind of an impact my dad made on the lives of his students as a teacher, and I wanted to make that kind of impact on others as well. I also noticed how important organizational skills were for teachers, and being a person that enjoys organizing things, that fit right in my wheelhouse. As I grew up and began tutoring classmates in math in high school, I could see that I had inherited my dad’s passion for teaching math concepts.

What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club? 
I am an athlete and have played multiple sports throughout my life. Fastpitch softball was my primary sport (and my life) for over 20 years, and I have done some coaching in that sport. I have also played volleyball, run cross country and track, and currently do figure skating.  I would love to kick-start a club having to do with those sports.

How do you best connect with students? 
I best connect with students by simply conversing and listening to them. I try to see things from their point of view, and try to remember what life was like as a teenager. Taking that perspective, I do my best to treat them with respect, and my desire is to set a good example for them knowing that they will be going out into the real world someday equipped with whatever knowledge and experience they receive from their teachers.

What do you look for as signs of positive engagement? 
When students want to participate, give input, and do problems on the board, it tells me that they are taking in the material well, that they are not scared or unsure about the concepts, and that they are not bored. I also see it as a positive when students are asking questions about the concepts or the problems they are working on, as well as how it can help them for real-life application.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Ms. Shisler!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Teacher Feature: Ms. Strickland

We are proud to announce that Ms. Marianne Strickland is joining our faculty next year!

Ms. Strickland earned a B.A. in Classics from the University of Colorado, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with distinction.  She also earned an M.A. in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management, and she is completing an additional M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John's College.

Her experiences include many years of international work and travel in the business sector.  Our students will certainly want to consult with her regarding opportunities to study abroad, as she possesses a wealth of knowledge about the challenges and benefits of living and working overseas.

Our students prepared a few questions for Ms. Strickland:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
After my children graduated from university, I decided to attend St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico to pursue the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts in order to become a teacher at a classical charter school. My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Antiquities from the University of Colorado at Boulder where the study of the Great Books first inspired me to seek Western classical values and this pursuit remains with me today. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to teach the history of our Western heritage to the NPX students who will be positioned to lead our world into the future. I am honored to be a part of their journey.
What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club?
I would love to start a Global Education Club. I received a Master of Global Management from Thunderbird in Glendale, Arizona where I met my husband, Robert. We traveled extensively as a dual career couple overseas in Europe, East Asia and in South America. I was a banker specializing in cash management and he was an executive for the Coca-Cola Company. We lived overseas for ten years in Santiago, Chile; Quito, Ecuador and Caracas, Venezuela. Our daughters Katie and Margaret were born in Santiago and Caracas respectively and hold dual citizenship in the United States and the country of their birth. The opportunity to live overseas has enriched my life and I hope to encourage the students of NPX to engage in global exchange programs, as well as to participate in domestic cultural activities to enrich their lives through the celebration of our common humanity.      

What are your favorite books in our curriculum?
As a history teacher, I must say my favorite book is The Histories, by Herodotus since the work is both foundational and aesthetically pleasing. From the medieval period of historic philosophy, I will have to say the Summa Theologica, by Thomas Aquinas.  

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be? 
I would choose to have dinner with William Shakespeare because he has a profound understanding of the human condition. Shakespeare often presents his characters in a multidimensional and winsome manner which I find to be fascinating.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Ms. Strickland!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

There's plenty of activity lately as we conclude the school year on a crescendo.  A thousand thanks to everyone who attended our Spring Concert last Thursday.  I am incredibly proud of Ms. Harris, Dr. Mann, and all of the students who made it such a special evening for all of us! 

On Saturday we held a New Family Orientation, which was a fantastic opportunity to welcome the newest members of our community.  Attendees learned more about the mission, vision, and programs of our Academy.  They also received a packet full of important information and enjoyed school tours led by our rising Seniors.

The coming week brings Final Exams on Tuesday through Thursday, as well as our Awards Ceremonies on Friday.  Furthermore, we are delighted to host our first ever Graduation Ceremony on Saturday at Calvary North Church.  Please do join us for this inaugural moment in the life of our Academy!

Finally, if you are a parent of a rising Freshman, stay tuned for a separate communication this week about our annual Freshman Retreat this August.

Here we go, Gladiators!  Let's run this race all the way through the finish line!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Monday, May 14, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

A thousand thanks to everyone who participated in Teacher Appreciation Week!  Our faculty certainly enjoyed the mountains of tasty food, treats, and gift baskets in the faculty office.  What a great way to begin the final month of the school year!

Please take note of our Spring Concert this Thursday.  You won't want to miss this high cultural moment in the life of our Academy.  In addition, this coming Saturday is our New Family Orientation, where our soon-to-be Gladiators can receive helpful information for the start of next year.  Finally, you are cordially invited to attend our first ever Graduation ceremony Saturday, May 26th 2:30 pm at Calvary North. We are so excited to have our first alumni! 

Here's to another great week at North Phoenix Prep.  Let's finish strong, Gladiators!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Teacher Feature: Dr. Bain

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Stephen Bain is joining our faculty next year!

Dr. Bain earned a B.A. in Humanities and Biblical Studies from Point University and Master's degrees in Humanities and Philosophy from the University of Dallas.  In addition, he completed a Ph.D. in Humanities and Philosophy from Faulkner University.

He has taught at Coastal Alabama Community College, Auburn University at Montgomery, the University of West Georgia, and Atlanta Metropolitan State College.  Most recently, he has taught at Scottsdale Prep, one of our sister Great Hearts Academies.

Dr. Bain will teach Humane Letters at North Phoenix next year.

Our students prepared a few questions for Dr. Bain:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
I suppose that I was first intrigued by the idea when I was in my senior year of high school. I had several very good teachers that year, and I was impressed by the way that they had impacted me, and I thought it would be a good profession to be able to impact others. This idea grew when I was in college, where I was able to do some teaching myself as a TA. It was there that I discovered that I loved teaching. Teaching allows me to make a living doing one of my favorite things: encountering the great ideas of history and civilization, study them, and then share and discuss those ideas with others as they encounter them for the first time.

What do you look for as signs of positive engagement?
Students are positively engaged in a topic when they are asking questions about it. It shows interest and a desire to discover more about a particular topic. I also see positive engagement when students disagree with a thinker, a writer, or one of their ideas. This shows me that students have not simply encountered an idea, or expressed a like or dislike of it, but are analyzing and passing judgment on a topic, and comparing it to their own ideas and, perhaps, altering their own views in light of those new ideas.

What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club?
I have always been very fond of games, whether board games, card games, or collectible card games. It might be enjoyable to have a club based on a love of games where those with similar interests might come together and share in some fun “analog” pastimes, as it were.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be?
I think that I would like to have dinner with G. K. Chesterton. I would imagine that the dinner conversation would be magnificent, not only because of his scholarship, which I greatly admire, but also because of his wit, his humor, his profound sense of wonder, and the unique manner in which he engages with ideas.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Dr. Bain!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Spring Concert is May 17! 7pm, Calvary Church North Sanctuary

The Spring Concert for ALL students taking music in the spring semester is Thursday, May 17. The concert begins at 7pm, and all students taking music need to arrive in concert attire by 6pm. The entire community is invited to attend!  

The concert performance will be the culmination of weeks of preparation for the 7th and 8th grade recorder ensembles, as well as the 9th and 10th grade choirs. This is a mandatory performance for all fall semester Music students, and will count as 10% of their semester grade. If they do not attend this concert, they will receive a ZERO.

WHEN: Thursday, May 17, 2018. Students need to be checked in to the Calvary North MPR at 6pm. 

WHERE: Calvary Chapel North Phoenix, 14201 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85032.

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Students must arrive promptly by 6:00 p.m. for a warm-up and dress rehearsal for the concert. We ask that no parents enter the sanctuary until 6:45pm.

CONCERT ATTIRE: All students must be dressed in Concert Dress attire as stated in the NPX handbook, when they arrive. Boys must be in long sleeve, white, collared dress shirts, with black slacks, black socks, and black shoes.  Girls must wear black and/or white, (separates are fine), shoulders must be covered, and black dress shoes (open-toed shoes and heels 2 inches or less are permitted). Dress slacks, skirts, and dresses are permitted. If a skirt or dress is higher than mid-calf, students must wear black stockings, tights, or leggings. Please contact your student’s music teacher with any questions.

Please contact your child's music teacher for any questions: Ms. Kara Harris,; Dr. Joseph Mann,, Mr. Ryan Fleming, 

Monday, May 7, 2018

9th and 10th Grade Social May 19th!

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Last week's Cabinet of Curiosities and Drama Club performances were truly spectacular!  I am so proud of our students and faculty for the hours and hours of preparation and rehearsal that went into making our experience so enjoyable.

It's moments like these that remind us why we're engaged in the vital work of cultivating the hearts and minds of our students, and that gives us the perspective that we need to continue every day.  The fine arts are important because they breathe aesthetic life into us.  They fill us with a yearning for the highest, noblest, and finest things.  It's so beautiful that our students can give us this tremendous gift!

It was equally inspiring to see the contributions of Mr. Lugo, our Facilities Technician, who displayed several pieces at the Cabinet of Curiosities.  When I spoke with Mr. Lugo, he expressed how thankful he is to be part of our community, and that he hoped his art might inspire our students to pursue their dreams.  We are so thankful to Mr. Lugo for sharing his talent with us!


With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Teacher Feature: Ms. Foglesong

We are overjoyed to announce that Ms. Karin Foglesong is joining our faculty next year!

Karin Foglesong, Soprano, made her operatic debut as Fiordiligi with the National Opera Company’s production of Così Fan Tutte. Roles performed include: Alice Ford in Falstaff with the New York Verismo Opera Company, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with National Opera Company, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro with Opera-To-Go (New England), Cendrillon in Cendrillon, Belinda in Dido & Aeneas, Corilla in Viva La Mama, Antigone in Antigone (World Premiere) with Alea III, Gloria in Territories (World Premiere) with New Opera Theatre Ensemble, Rose Maybud in Ruddigore with Boston Academy of Music Repertory Company, Princess Ida, (understudy) with New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Katisha in The Mikado. She also spent several years touring with several opera companies in school shows, performing operas for K-12 aged students, from the Mississippi to the eastern parts of the nation. She spent a year as soloist singing in a jazz club, and performing 365 days in musical theater reviews.

An accomplished singer and actress, Ms. Foglesong toured and performed with various professional singing groups and has performed as soloist with regional symphonies. Her awards include Regional Winner Metropolitan Opera Auditions in California, Regional Finalist in the Bel Canto Foundation National Auditions in Boston, winner of the National Endowment Fund for the Arts Scholarship, and the Director’s Award Recipient both at Boston University, where she received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance.

Ms. Foglesong's voice and theater students have gained admittance to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, perform with Goode Time Carolers (Disney), perform solo roles and professional chorus work with Arizona Opera, gained admittance to the American Singer’s Opera Project at the Wake Forest University, entered Shenandoah University Conservatory and Manhattan Marymount Theater College, have won the jazz Idol in the Skye Vocal Competition in Arizona, and perform with Phoenix Theater Company. She has also trained worship leaders and music educators in the greater Phoenix area. Karin's passion is seeing her students fulfill their vocal and dramatic potential.

Our students prepared a few questions for Ms. Foglesong:

How did you become interested in music and drama?
Music goes back a ways in my family. My great-grandfather was a composer and choir director who traveled the western states, giving choir workshops, in addition to keeping up with a farm in Canada. Music was also an integral part of my nuclear family. My mom and dad both played the piano for fun. Every morning, after breakfast, we all sang songs at the table, in four-part harmony. When I was little, my parents and I would sing trios in public. One day, when I was about seven, they got sick and I went on to sing my first solo. After that, I just continued on singing solos and it became normal.

As for drama, my Dad was a classical radio announcer and speech therapist, and he trained me how to speak. We would read the Chronicles of Narnia aloud, playing all the different parts. I never thought of this as acting, but Mr. Simokat, my 6th-grade teacher was casting for a play: Sorry, Wrong Number, by Lucille Fletcher. I auditioned, and was completely surprised to get the lead role! Playing this part was fun, because the character I played was alternatively pompous and condescending, yet had to scream with fear, afraid of a murderer. It was a pleasure playing a part with such emotional contradictions! I was hooked!

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
I never thought of myself as a teacher. When I was taking sophomore-level voice lessons in college, I was shocked to find out that my voice teacher, Mr. Griessinger, wanted to send me beginner-level voice students that he could not take. I was a very shy person at that time and didn't know how I could possibly do it, but the minute I started to teach, I seemed to know just what to do and how to help. It was a relief to me to discover that teaching was not really about me, but about what the student needed. I surprised myself with a wealth of confidence in communicating, that I didn't know I possessed and found I deeply enjoyed helping others to discover their talents.

How do you best connect with students?
I try to take time to get to know students and how they view the world. I'm always happiest if students feel free to ask me questions because those questions create a great partnership between student and teacher--making us collaborators in the learning process. I'm a big believer in the idea that we all think in different ways, and that having multiple ways to communicate on the same subject can help a student come to understand.

What interests do you have that might support an extracurricular club?
I love choir and have been conducting choir and orchestra for the last six years. I would love to start a choir club on campus. Choir is such a great opportunity to bond together to enjoy great music, and to discover your voice in a non-threatening situation. Sometimes the friendships that you make in choir can last for a lifetime!

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Ms. Foglesong!