Sunday, September 16, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

This week's letter addresses the topic of the Western Tradition, one of the central things that we deeply love as an Academy.

Six Loves
  • The Virtues: Moral, Intellectual, and Athletic Excellence
  • The Western Tradition
  • Human Dignity and Freedom
  • Philosophical Realism
  • Conversation and Community
  • Humility

At North Phoenix Prep, we love the Western Tradition.  One way to briefly summarize what we mean by the West is to consider three ancient cities: Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome.  Athens is the fountainhead of philosophy, science, and democracy; Jerusalem, the source of Western monotheism and faith in a personal God; Rome gives us unique notions of law and statesmanship.  Another way to understand the Western Tradition is through the Great Books.  These works of literature, science, mathematics, philosophy, theology, and history form a conversation across the centuries.  This conversation is one that we invite all our students to enter into.

It's important to realize that the Western Tradition is a conversation among people of varied ideas and beliefs.  Plato and Aristotle disagreed about the philosophy of universal forms.  The American Founders doubted whether the Athenian vision of a purely democratic regime would work in the vast new world.  Pagan Greece and Rome was polytheistic; the Judeo-Christian heritage is monotheistic; and many Enlightenment thinkers were atheistic.  In short, the Western Tradition is a coherent conversation, not a monolith.  Particularly in the Humane Letters seminar, we encourage our students to engage in that conversation with genuine humility and curiosity.  That engagement prepares them to become good citizens who possess a greater context for the ideas, beliefs, laws, and norms of our nation.  Even more importantly, it prepares them to become good human beings who can enter authentically into dialogue with others.

As I continue this series on our Six Loves, please reach out with whatever questions you have. It's important that we engage together in coming to understand these vital aspects of our Academy culture.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Impressive Week for Gladiators HS Cross Country





The past week of our Gladiators HS Cross Country team has been a mix of team bonding, learning, and racing.  It was a long week but one that has produced a multitude of impressive results.  They started things off last Friday by heading out of town to Mingus Mountain for the AZ Distance Camp that is put on annually by James Bonnett (Professional Ultra-Runner and Coach).  At the camp they learned about the sport of running from those that have been part of high school, collegiate, Olympic, and professional programs.  It was a great learning experience and a time for the team to bond with each other.  As part of the camp, they had the opportunity to take part in the Jerome Hill Climb which is hosted by the Arizona Road Racers.  The Jerome Hill climb is a 4.4 mile uphill challenge.  Our athletes performed at a very high level with Jordan Black winning his age group and coming in 6th overall, Thomas Koska winning his age group and coming in 7th overall, and Juliana Baltram also winning her age group and coming in 46th overall.  Full Results are posted here and here.
Once they returned to school after the holiday weekend, the team had their first official meet of the season; Northwest Christian Multi.  The meet took place on Wednesday at 4pm in 100 degree plus heat which is part of the appeal of this meet.  The purpose is to measure whether your summer training is working and how the athletes can handle the elements.  Our team had in incredible meet.  Our boys team won their race coming in 1st (Jordan Black), 3rd (Richie Johnston), 4th (Thomas Koska), 7th (Rocco Berbetti), 8th (Sammy Johnston), and 13th (Aidan Davis).  NPX 23, Northwest Christian 32, Arizona Lutheran 100.  Scoring is based on each teams top 5 runners finish placement in the race.  In the girls race, we did not have a full 5 person team competing but those that ran all performed really well.  Juliana Baltram placed 3rd, Sabrina Kloft 15th, Alina Boorse 24th, and Dagny McCrory 40th (first 5k race).  Results posted here.
The week continued with another meet on Saturday, the Fountain Hills Invitational.  This was the first opportunity for a few of our athletes to compete this season as they were not able to make it to the Wednesday meet.  Three of our athletes competed in their first ever HS XC meet; Cora Moore, Katie Herrington, and Dae Han Youn.  The Fountain Hills Invitational was another big showcase for our team as the athletes ran in either the Freshman/Sophomore Race or the Junior/Senior Race.  To start things off in the Boys Junior/Senior Race, Jordan Black took first in 16:31,  Rocco Berbetti 2nd in 17:45, and Aden Webb 9th in 18:55.  In the Girls Junior/Senior Race, Katie Herrington placed 15th in 25:38 and Sabrina Kloft 18th in 25:51.  In the Boys Freshman/Sophomore Race we had 5 entries which allowed us to score as a team.  The team placed 3rd with Richie Johnston winning the race in 17:31, Thomas Koska 4th in 18:12, Sammy Johnston 12th in 18:59, Aidan Davis 18th in 19:11, and Dae Han Youn in 154th in 25:24.  In the Girls Freshman/Sophomore Race we had Alina Boorse finish in 40th at 26:32, Cora Moore 79th in 29:32, and Dagny McCrory 141st in 37:04 (2:28 improvement in her 2nd race).  Overall we had 10 of our 13 athletes receive medals for the race.  Current race results are posted here and will be here in the future.

Our next meet will be in Flagstaff, Buffalo Park this coming Saturday, September 15th at the Four Corners Invitational.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

As you may already know, I have put forward the theme of unconditional love as a rallying cry for our community this year.  This particular kind of love is not merely a cotton candy, feel-good, rose-colored kind of love.  It is intentionally willing the good of another person.  That is the sense in which it is unconditional.  No matter what, we will the good of others at our Academy.

But this theme raises a related question: what kinds of things do we view as good at North Phoenix Prep?  Or, to put it another way, what kinds of things do we love?

I'd like to introduce you to six of the things that we love at North Phoenix Prep, and I'll write about each of them in the coming weeks.  At our Academy, we love:

  • The Virtues: Moral, Intellectual, and Athletic Excellence
  • The Western Tradition
  • Human Dignity and Freedom
  • Philosophical Realism
  • Conversation and Community
  • Humility
Virtue (Latin virtus, Greek arete) is not simply a single act, but rather a lived habit of excellence.  We believe that we ought to cultivate universally recognized moral habits such as justice, moderation, courage, and prudence.  We also ought to foster intellectual excellence, which involves not only the knowledge of facts but also the wisdom and understanding necessary to draw those facts into a coherent whole, as well as the acquisition of particular skills.  Furthermore, excellence extends to our physical bodies in the arena of athletic competition.  Whether our virtues are moral, intellectual, or athletic, we seek above all the virtue of magnanimity, or greatness of soul.  In other words, we seek to possess all of the virtues and to do so without arrogance.  

Our love of the virtues means that we think differently about human excellence.  We don't think about it in terms of performance or results alone.  A virtuous person does more than merely produce a certain output; he or she has become a person of truly excellent character.  Neither do we think about excellence in therapeutic or emotivist terms.  Becoming good can actually feel bad at first, just as becoming physically fit is painful at the beginning.  We thus believe that we can aid each other in the pursuit of excellence just like a coach or a personal trainer: through encouragement, accountability, and trust.

As I continue this series on our Six Loves, please reach out with whatever questions you have.  It's important that we engage together in coming to understand these vital aspects of our Academy culture. 

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Monday, September 3, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for Curriculum Night this past Thursday!  It's always enjoyable for me to speak with our families.  In fact, I like to say that the family-school partnership is the "secret sauce" that's key to our success.  When parents, teachers, and administrators are all in cahoots, the students are sure to follow. 

That's why it was so important for me to share our school's commitment to loving the students unconditionally.  On the first day of school, I told the students that our job as teachers and staff is to love them, and that their job is to love one another.  And I meant every word.  Unconditional love means actively willing the good of others at all times, no matter what.  Love of this kind is not something that our students earn or achieve.  It's a gift that we offer generously and freely--just as you do in your own families.

As we launch into the second half of the quarter, let's deepen our partnership by actively seeking goodness in each moment.  Let's look for small ways together.  What if we put down our devices and had conversations instead?  What if we asked, "How are you?" and really listened to the answer?  Let's commit to willing the good in all circumstances, no matter what, and especially in the small things. 

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Curriculum Night is August 30th


North Phoenix Prep will be hosting its annual Curriculum Night on Thursday, August 30th from 6-8 pm.

This special evening is your opportunity to walk through a day in the life of your student and to meet your student’s teachers.  You are encouraged to arrive early in order to pick up your schedule.

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Over the past week, I have engaged in many conversations with our faculty, families, and students about homework.  The time spent on daily assignments also has been, I am quite aware, a perennial topic around your family dinner tables.  Particularly in the high school, daily homework has been a challenge for our students, with the daily target being about three hours.  

Certainly, nobody in our community objects to challenging students with the rich content of a classical education.  That's why our families send their students here, and that's why our teachers want to teach here.  At the same time, we also want our students to wonder, to express their curiosity, and truly to enjoy the pursuit of wisdom and virtue at our Academy.  We want to challenge our students while maintaining their capacity for a challenge.  Furthermore, we want our students to take real delight in their studies. 

At the beginning of the school year, I said that our job is to love the students unconditionally, which means that we will their good in all things.  The decisions that I've made about homework are driven by that principle of willing their good:  
  • Our overall target for high school daily homework will now be 2 hours.  I am defining homework as deliberate practice of/preparation for the day’s lesson, not as studying for tests/essays/projects, which may take additional time.  This means I’m committing to a 1/3 reduction from the old model, in which the target was 3 hours for high school. Or, to put it another way, if high school homework was 30 minutes per class, it’s now 20 minutes per class (with HL thus getting 40 minutes). 
  • All faculty will now use a uniform template for collecting self-reported data from the students about homework times.  This is so that our faculty can consistently track whether they are meeting the target, discover any relevant patterns, and address any inconsistencies that may arise.
Students have differing abilities, and teachers sometimes miss the target on an assignment.  Thus, some students may spend less time than the target, others more.  We're only human, and so I am certain that we will encounter nuances or complexities that we cannot see yet.  Know that I am 100% committed to supporting our whole community in fleshing out further issues, and addressing them so that the new target that I have set becomes the norm far more often than not.  I believe that this will deepen our students' engagement and help them become the best versions of themselves.  

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

GreatHearts North Phoenix Prep Women’s Self Defense




Great Hearts North Phoenix Prep Women’s Self Defense


Women’s Self Defense

A Weekend Enrichment Activity
for the
GreatHearts North Phoenix Prep Community
The program will be conducted by Master Kaneen and a corps of certified instructors at the facilities of 9 Dragons Kung Fu in three, two-hour classes. Sessions will be held on Saturday afternoons in September and October.

GreatHearts North Phoenix Preparatory Academy, in partnership with Master Michael Kaneen and 9 Dragons Kung Fu, is pleased to present a practical course in self-defense for our female students. This course focuses on the key aspects of self-defense for women, including knowledge, instinct, preparation, situational awareness, and specific techniques for repelling a physical attack.


The Second Annual NPX Women’s Self Defense series, and NPX Weekend Enrichment activity, will be held over four weekends in September and October. Beginning September 1, this fun activity is open to all women Prep students (grades 7 to 12) as well as moms and dads and female NPX teachers and staff. Have fun with your friends while learning important skills and techniques from Master Michael Kaneen, leading consultant to businesses and government and member of the US Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Regardless of whether you participated last year, join us for a remarkable event. 


Please consult the documents linked below to register 



Sunday, August 19, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

At our Academy, we do more than simply deliver intellectual content within the confines of the classroom.  Our goal is to shape the souls of young people morally so that they become persons of character.  We do not try to do this in cheesy, programmed ways.  We do not have a character curriculum or a character course at North Phoenix Prep.  Rather, the whole form of our school, which consists of each small interaction among students and between students and faculty, is infused with the principle of love--and love is willing the good of others.  This occurs in the classroom, of course, but also in the hallways, the courtyard, the field of athletic competition, and during special events like last week's Freshman Retreat.

A contemporary author who has really shaped my thinking lately is David Brooks.  His book, The Road to Character, asks what it means to be a person of character.  Brooks explores the answer to that question by sketching the divergent biographies of historical figures such as George Eliot, St. Augustine, Dwight Eisenhower, and Frances Perkins. Taken as a whole, these lives illustrate Brooks’ belief that true character is forged through an interior moral drama that subordinates the self, and that elevates what he calls “eulogy virtues” above the merely utilitarian “resume virtues.” Brooks' book is an important one that inspires his readers to turn away from the toxic culture of narcissism and self-promotion that plagues us in 21st century America.

If you're looking for a good book (or audiobook), then I highly recommend Brooks' thoughtful and convicting volume.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Friday, August 17, 2018

Freshman Retreat -- Day Three

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

I am sitting in the game room with our freshmen as they play ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and pool.  It's the last bit of free time before we head back to Phoenix, and they are soaking it up!

Last night we held a bonfire where we sang songs, made s'mores, and danced with team-colored glow sticks!  It was truly a memorable evening that was capped off with a surprise ice cream sundae station & a later bedtime. 

With our bags packed and our rooms cleaned out, we are nearly ready to load up into the buses & head back!  We'll see you soon. 

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Freshman Retreat -- Day Two

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Today has been simply amazing!  This morning, our students competed well in the second tournament of games, and they read & discussed a short story by Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find."  In the afternoon, all of us enjoyed the pool & water slides, zip line, climbing wall, and a giant swing called "the Heist." 

In about an hour, we will have s'mores by a bonfire, and we're giving the students a special treat that they don't know about yet: a late night ice cream bar!

Most importantly, this retreat is making beautiful memories and building friendships among the freshmen.  Out students are pushing their tables together at meals and inviting each other to join them in shared activities.  When talking with one table at lunch, they told me that they feel like family now.  How great is that?!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Freshman Retreat -- Day One

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Day one of the freshman retreat is nearly in the books.  As I type this post, our students and their faculty team leaders are reading and discussing a short story, "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

Our first day at camp went smoothly & the students are having great fun.  After a morning full of team-building activities on campus, we loaded up the buses & traveled to Lost Canyon.  Then a brief welcome and introduction by yours truly, and the students received their camp t-shirts.  We then decorated the shirts with team-colored fabric paint and gladiator helmet stencils!  Following that creative activity, we enjoyed a tournament of games, including ultimate frisbee, human knot, and crab-walk soccer.  After a short free time, we went to the Elk Horn dining hall & consumed a delicious meal of fajitas, chips and salsa, and (my favorite) churros. 

I am so grateful for this opportunity to share this special experience with our freshman as they laugh, play, and even sing together.  They are truly thriving.  It's also a true joy to share this time with our faculty and alumni chaperones, together with our valiant parent work crew, who are making this opportunity possible for our students,

Stay tuned for another update tomorrow.  It's a big day!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

The school year is off to a great start!  As I interacted with students and faculty this past week, I picked up on a spirit of enthusiasm, optimism, and school pride that is truly inspiring. 

This past Wednesday, our Juniors and Seniors enjoyed a talk by Dr. Andrew Seeley of Thomas Aquinas College in California.  Dr. Seeley was impressed not only with our students' questions but also with the deep community and friendship that we enjoy at North Phoenix.  Such a combination truly is rare among Prep schools!

Because we are proactive about cultivating friendship and community, and in anticipation of the typical social challenges that accompany adolescence, we held an assembly on Thursday to teach our middle school students how to respond if they're being picked on.  This training was so good that it made the news!


Next week I will join our Freshmen Class for a retreat to Lost Canyon in Williams, AZ.  It's going to be a fantastic time of fellowship, fun, and building community with our newest high school students.  I can't wait to share the pictures with you!

Go Gladiators!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Parenting with Love & Logic




Parenting with Love and Logic-

Do you ever feel it's like pulling teeth to get your kids to take out the trash or do other chores around the house? Do your kids ever argue or talk back? Are you ready for some practical ideas for raising responsible kids who feel great about themselves? This training is for you! 
We will meet each Saturday for 6 weeks on the North Phoenix Prep campus (location TBA) beginning 8/18, and ending on 9/29. There will be no training on 9/1 due to Labor Day weekend. 
Cost is per individual OR couple, if you're willing to share a workbook.


Saturdays- Beginning 8/18/18 10:00 am 12:00 pm
Facilitator: Sarah Schripsema

Register HERE

North Phoenix Prep PSO Parent Mixer August 25th



CELEBRATE THE BEGINNING OF A NEW SCHOOL YEAR!
Join us for the first parent mixer of the year.  This event is a great opportunity for new and old Great Heart families to connect and see what the year has to offer you and your students.
Saturday, August 25th
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cost is $20 per person  ($25 at the door)
(Includes appetizers/desserts. Cash bar only)
Registration is through EVITE
                 Checks can be made out to "NORTH PHOENIX PREP PSO" and dropped off to the              black box in the front office.  
OR
Online payments through PAYPAL to
 PSOPresident@northphoenixprep.org.
(Please note in payment field:  Parent Mixer & Names of Attendees)
FYI: This is NOT an ELKS event.  This is an ANP/NPX PSO event. 
You do not need to be an Elks member to attend.  

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

The first day of school is just around the corner!  Our teachers are ready, after weeks of training at a Great Hearts-wide New Faculty Orientation (hosted at our campus), and after a week of NPX in-service.  In addition to getting our curricular materials in order and arranging our classrooms, here are a few of the topics that we've been addressing as a faculty:
  • Building a Culture of Unconditional Love
  • Seminar on Aristotle's Politics
  • Love & Logic Techniques for Classroom Management
  • Assessment and Feedback 
  • Grade Team Meetings
  • Emergency Response
  • ADD/ADHD
  • CPR
  • Student Life
It's a good thing we've been training because the first few weeks of school are packed with action!

On Wednesday, August 8th, our Juniors and Seniors will hear a talk by Dr. Andrew Seeley of Thomas Aquinas College in California (TAC).  The topic of the talk will be J.R.R. Tolkien's famous essay "On Fairy Stories."  Dr. Seeley will also be speaking with our College Counselors & any student who may be interested in attending TAC.

On Thursday, August 9th, we are hosting a special BullyProof Assembly for our 7th and 8th-grade students.  This is a cooperative effort with Archway designed to train our younger students in specific skills and strategies that protect them from potential bullies.  It focuses on the 99.9% of students who are not bullies and empowers them to stand up for themselves by identifying and responding appropriately to bullying behavior.  There's also a limited-capacity parent session on the evening prior to this assembly.

Finally, on August 15-17, we are going on our Freshman Retreat to Lost Canyon.  Be sure to check out Lost Canyon's promotional video below, which gives you a sense of just how much fun this retreat is going to be! 


With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold

Freshman Retreat Deadline Coming!

Mr. Fleming and Mr. Weinhold in the Dining Hall
The Registration Deadline for our Freshman Retreat to Lost Canyon is August 10th

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, we would appreciate your prompt response.





Lost Canyon's Stunning Beauty


Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Weinhold directly if you have more immediate questions, concerns, or obstacles to attendance.  We are 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!
Lost Canyon's Athletic Field

Traffic Flow



All traffic must enter the campus through the northeast entrance.  All traffic (both Archway and Prep) will then proceed around the field. Prep-only families should use the outside lane to avoid clogging the Archway line. Prep families may then pickup or drop-off at the south side of the Prep building and exit the campus using the southeast exit.

If you have both Prep and Archway students, then you will:
  • Drop-off all of your students on the Archway side in the morning. The Prep students will proceed to their side of campus by foot.
  • Pick up all of your students on the Prep side in the afternoon. The Prep students will retrieve their siblings and bring them to the Prep pickup area. 
Our traffic lines are designed to minimize any potential risks to our students and maximize queuing space so that we prevent an overflow onto 32nd Street.  Nobody wants that.  :)

We know from experience that the traffic pattern takes some time for new members of our community to learn, but once we get into a groove, it really does become routine. Thanks in advance to everyone for your patience and civility out there. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Middle School Social at The Rock!



        


           Middle School beginning of the year Social
                                   
 THE ROCK
16325 N 32nd Street
                  (1/4 mile south of the school on 32nd Street)
 
   Date: Saturday 8/11/18
          Time: 5:30pm thru 8:00pm
 
                       COST:$10 Pre-pay by Friday 8/10 - 
                       deposit in black PSO box located in front office

  $15 at the door 


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Can you believe that we are nearing the end of July?  It seems like only yesterday that we were handing out our end-of-year awards and celebrating our first graduating class, but really the school year is right around the corner! This is a particularly action-packed August, so I am eager to point you toward the following items as you prepare for the start of school:

  • Remember to Sign-Up for our FRESHMAN RETREAT at Lost Canyon in Williams, AZ.  The retreat is August 15-17.
  • Our campus sneak peek is August 2nd and 3rd from 1-4 pm. This is not a programmed event.  Rather, it is an open opportunity for families to get a sneak peek at our campus.  Our faculty and staff will be actively preparing for the start of school, but all families are welcome to locate lockers, find classrooms, and get your schedules!  
  • Interested in volunteering?  Contact our PSO President, Mr. Josh Miller, to learn more.

I look forward to continuing the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty with you all this coming school year!

With Devotion,

Headmaster Weinhold

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, kharris@northphoenixprep.org; Dr. Joseph Mann, jmann@northphoenixprep.org, Mr. Ryan Fleming, rfleming@northphoenixprep.org 

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!