Sunday, March 25, 2018

Teacher Feature: Mr. Boyer

We are excited to announce that Mr. Paul Boyer is joining our faculty next year!

Mr. Boyer earned a B.A. in English from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University and an M.A. in Communication Studies from Arizona State University.  In addition, he is a Quintilian Fellow in classical education through the University of Dallas.

Mr. Boyer serves as a state representative in legislative district 20, where he is Chairman of the House Education Committee, and as a member of the House Rules, House Judiciary, and Public Safety Committees.

He has taught at the University of Phoenix and at Veritas Preparatory Academy, one of our sister Great Hearts Academies.  Mr. Boyer will teach Humane Letters in the coming school year, which will be his fifth year teaching for Great Hearts.

Our students prepared a few questions for Mr. Boyer:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
I had to step down from my job at Mesa Public Schools because the Arizona Constitution prohibits a state legislator from having a state, county, or city job with one exception--teaching.  At the time, I needed the work, so a friend told me about Great Hearts.  I'm so grateful for all of this, as it's become the best job I've ever had.  Teaching at Great Hearts has made me a better, more effective legislator, and an even better husband to my wife Beth.

How did you deal with stress when you were in school?
Sports--I played football, basketball, baseball, wrestled, ran track & field, and took gymnastics as a class.  We moved a lot, so I just played whatever sport I could at the new school.  So now I tend to do push-ups or walk on my hands between grading essays or writing evals.

What are your favorite books in our curriculum?
It's a tough call between Dante's Divine Comedy (Paradise and Purgatory in particular) and the Republic.  Then there's Augustine's ConfessionsHenry V.  A Tale of Two Cities.  And then Vergil's Aeneid.  And then . . .

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be?
Cicero--I'd love to ask him why he valued public service so highly, what motivated him to remain in public service (I think he'd say duty but I'd want to know why) and if would've done anything differently before his death.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Mr. Boyer!

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

Last week we passed a milestone in the history of our Academy when our Seniors began defending the first Theses in the history of North Phoenix Prep.  And what a week it was!

The Senior Thesis is the culminating project for a North Phoenix Prep student.  At the end of the junior year, students select a field of inquiry and a faculty member to act as an advisor.  Over the summer and during the Fall semester, students begin a course of reading, directed study, note-taking, and conversation with the advisor.  The latter part of the Fall and the beginning of the Spring semesters involve the writing of the thesis in sections, with the advisor offering feedback and guidance at each successive stage.

The Senior Thesis is not a research paper per se, but it does require each student to logically develop and assertively present his or her own views on a topic of interest derived from the chosen texts.  The thesis program culminates with each senior defending his or her final draft before a committee of three faculty members.

Kudos to Vinamra Kumar, Sarah Lopez, and Nicholas Walker for completing their Thesis Defenses this past week.  We're looking forward to seeing Moriah Irving, Nick Pandelakis, Analicia Salas, and J.D. Bateman defend their theses this week!

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold