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East Coast Symposium

February 23-24, 2024
Heritage Preparatory School – Atlanta, GA

Register now

Leadership Lessons for

Heads, Boards, & Teams

Overcome relational challenges and reach high-functioning leadership aptitude at our comprehensive two-day symposium. Here, seasoned leaders from the classical Christian education movement unite to tackle the intricacies of leadership dynamics. We’ll arm you with strategies and tools to foster an efficient, trusting relationship across your leadership team, ensuring your school’s mission flourishes through collaborative excellence. Join us to cultivate relationships that propel your institution forward.

 

“The quality of speakers and participants was top-notch. The symposium sessions were highly relevant, and networking opportunities helped me tremendously. I left feeling refreshed and invigorated.”

Libby Farmen, Head of School, Wonderview Classical School, Lincoln, NE

The venue of this year’s symposium is Heritage Preparatory School!
1824 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30324

8:30 AM
Registration, Coffee, and Devotional
9:00 AM
Leadership and the Liberal Arts, Leslie Moeller
9:50 AM
Working Session
10:30 AM
Break
10:45 AM
Head of School Leadership in and Outside of the Board Room, Travis Koch
11:35 AM
Working Session
12:15 PM
Lunch (Provided)
1:30 PM
Getting Things Done Right: Operational Excellence, Matt Skinner
2:20 PM
Working Session
3:15 PM
Synthesis & Discussion, Peter Baur
8:30 AM
Registration, Coffee, and Devotional
9:00 AM
Essentials for Supporting Your Head of School, Matt Thomas
9:50 AM
Working Session
10:30 AM
Break
10:45 AM
Essentials for Evaluating Your Head of School, John Heaton
11:35 AM
Working Session
12:15 PM
Lunch (Provided)
1:30 PM
Developing a Plan for Healthy, Sustainable Leadership, Keith Nix
2:20 PM
Working Session
3:00 PM
Break
3:15 PM
Synthesis & Discussion

Symposium Speakers

Leadership and the Liberal Arts: A Vision for Classical Christian School Leaders

Leslie Moeller

Session Description:

A thriving relationship often starts with a common vision, purpose, and understanding of calling. Are boards and Heads aimed at the same things? Is their ideal for leadership aligned with their classical Christian commitments as a school? What does it mean to lead both at the board and head level in ways that are faithful to the classical Christian model? In this session, Leslie Moeller will explore these questions and facilitate a conversation about what this looks like at your school.

 

Bio:

Leslie Moeller was Chairman of the Board of the Society for Classical Learning and has served on the SCL Board for 12 of the last 14 years. She currently consults with Classical, Christian schools across the nation in the areas of leadership, administrative function, and governance. She is a member of the Board of New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test. Most recently, she helped lead a three-year restructuring of the Upper School at the Covenant School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Prior to her family’s move to Virginia in 2015, she spent 13 years at Geneva School of Boerne where she served in multiple roles including Chairman of the Board, Head of School, Capital Campaign Co-Chairman, founder and coach of Geneva’s nationally-ranked debate program, and Senior Thesis instructor. She received her Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School and her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Economics from the University of Virginia. Leslie and her husband, Eric, have three children.

Leading Up: Head of School Leadership in and Outside of the Board Room

Travis Koch

Session Description:

The Head of School serves as the bridge between the operations of the school and the strategic governing body of the school. This requires a high level of wisdom and expertise. When done well, the Head can be a catalyst to the board’s growth and maturity. In this session, Travis Koch will examine ways in which the Head of School can lead the Board while respecting their authority and areas of responsibility. 

Bio:

Travis Koch is headmaster of St. Stephen’s Academy in Beaverton, Oregon, where he has served since 2016. He loves to repair and improve neglected things such as watches, cars, buildings, recipes, curriculum, and school policy manuals. He holds a B.A in history from Stanford and an M.A. from Yale. When he’s not reading or answering school-related questions, you’ll probably find him in the garden or kitchen with his wife, or in the garage fixing something, or in the field chasing bumblebees with one of his five children.

Getting the Right Things Done: A Collaborative Approach to Operational Excellence

Matt Skinner

Session Description:

Classical Christian schools are principled institutions committed to a specific educational model. Heads and key leaders are often intensely focused on getting the ideas and philosophy right but feel less equipped to lead the operations of the school. Sometimes this means the management of facilities, finances, human resources, and advancement areas of the school can be minimized or neglected. Other times it means the Head of School relies too heavily on the board for executing operational responsibilities. In this session, Matt Skinner will share his experience working closely with his Board to ensure the successful operational leadership of the school.


Bio:

Matt Skinner is the President of Heritage Preparatory School, a position he assumed in June 2016. He has been in Christian education for the past 28 years leading PK-12 traditional and classical Christian schools with enrollments ranging from 150 to 850 students. Prior to leading Heritage Preparatory School, Matt served as Headmaster of Heritage School in Fredericksburg, Texas, Hilton Head Christian Academy in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, Georgia, and Bracken Christian School in Bulverde, Texas. Before his calling into Christian education, Matt spent ten years as a Certified Public Accountant working with a variety of corporate and private clients throughout the Southwest. He is also an ordained minister and served as the first Executive Pastor of Braelinn Church in Peachtree City, Georgia (now Dogwood Church).

He currently serves as a leadership coach for Herzog Foundation and also provides consulting services for Christian schools.

Matt holds a BBA from the University of Texas-Arlington (1986) and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Covenant College (2002).

Matt has been married for thirty-seven years to Tracy and they have three children.

Essentials for Supporting Your Head of School

Matt Thomas

Session Description:

The Head of School position is a notoriously difficult position to hold. It is a role that requires substantial support from the Board to be done well. However, Board members are not always sure what resources their Head needs to flourish. Boards that have a Head Support and Evaluation Committee may have a good structure, but not always the knowledge, tools, or organizational leadership needed to be most helpful. In this session, Matt Thomas will focus on the essentials to ensuring your Head receives the relational, spiritual, and structural support they need from the Board to excel in their role.

 

Bio:

Dr. Thomas is the Head of School, CEO at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, Va. Prior to joining Trinity, Dr. Thomas served as the Executive Director of Baylor University’s Center for School Leadership, where he was responsible for the operations of the Center, development, strategy, planning, and coordination of programs. Dr. Thomas has served in Christian schools, Christian higher education institutions, seminaries, the Christian non-profit sector, and pastoral ministry for more than 25 years.

Dr. Thomas’ aim and mission is to equip school leaders to lead from a posture of Christ-like humility thereby, catalyzing leadership effectiveness across the institution. His interests include mentoring as a means of developing leadership, organizational culture and health, instructional leadership, board competency, and spiritual formation. Ultimately, his work seeks to assist Christian leaders in understanding their identity in Christ and how identity-shaped leadership empowers one to engage the seismic shifts facing Christian institutions.

Dr. Thomas and his wife, Beth, have three daughters.

Essentials for Evaluating Your Head of School

John Heaton

Session Description:

Every Board wants to convey clear expectations about what success looks like for their Head of School. However, because of the wide range of responsibilities a Head performs, Boards sometimes struggle to assess their Head well. What are the best tools to evaluate a Head of School? What processes and best practices should be employed when conducting an evaluation? In these sessions, John Heaton will provide insight as to how Boards can best assess their Head’s performance and maintain healthy, collaborative relationships with their key leader.

 

Bio:

John Heaton is a native of Orlando, Florida. Since 1998 he has served as the second headmaster of New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, VA, a classical, Christian School serving around 450 students in pre-K through grade 12.   With 25 years at New Covenant, John is one of the longest sitting heads (in the same school) in the classical, Christian school community.  The Society for Classical Learning was founded out of New Covenant in 1997, and John was instrumental in the founding and early governance.  He has served as a board member and as board chair.    John is an ordained minister in the Reformed Episcopal Church, and is the Priest Associate at All Saints Church, Lynchburg.  He has been married to Heidi for 37 years and they have four children.  When he is not working, he enjoys spending time on his farm in Bedford County, Virginia.

Developing a Plan for Healthy, Sustainable Leadership

Keith Nix

Session Description:

When Boards successfully support and develop their Heads, the Heads can, in turn, develop and grow the leaders under them. Given the scarcity of good leadership, it is essential that Boards and Heads work together to meet the leadership needs of the school beyond the current Head. What is the best way to do that? How can Boards and Heads work together to ensure the long-term leadership needs of the school are met. In this session, Keith Nix will draw from his research at the Gordon Masters program to share best practices for leadership succession and sustainability.

 

Bio:

Keith Nix has served as the Head of School at Veritas since 2010. Mr. Nix has served as Chairman of the Board of Society for Classical Learning (SCL), Vice Chairman of the Board of Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), and President of the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test (CLT). He consults and coaches classical Christian school boards and leaders and currently teaches at Gordon College in their Graduate Leadership Program, equipping Classical Christian school leaders. Prior to moving to Veritas in 2010, Keith was a board member, and then later Head of School at The Westminster School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a founding Arête Fellow and facilitated the Arete Fellowship for many years. Prior to working in classical Christian schools, Keith was President of Nixgroup, a boutique consulting firm working with start-up and early stage organizations and businesses. Mr. Nix enjoys tennis, golf, and great books. He is married to Kim, an accomplished artist; the Nixes have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Spreading Hope is aiming to ignite a movement of urban classical Christian schools in our nation’s cities. We’re pleased to sponsor SCL’s East Coast Symposium, and we’d love to invite you into what God is doing to expand access to a remarkable education for urban youth.

Member

$ 379

Per Person

Non-Member

$ 399

Per Person

Lodging Information

The Starling

Address: 188 14th Street NE Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: (404) 892-6000
Nightly Rate: $179 (valet $40)*

6 minutes from Heritage Preparatory School

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Summer Conference 2024 - National Harbor, Maryland

Join us for a gathering of classical Christian educators from around the world as we consider what it means to build school communities and welcome the outside through biblical hospitality.

As a member, you receive access to all of the most recent summer conference content, including 80+ workshops, plenary speakers, etc., plus access to the full library of past content.

Conference Sessions

Ensure increased visibility for your school by having it listed on the Find a School Map, connecting you with potential students and families seeking a classical Christian learning environment.

Map Feature

Unlock a wealth of exclusive resources, such as research studies and articles, providing valuable insights and knowledge for your school's continuous improvement.

Resources

Enable your school to easily post job openings and attract qualified candidates with the Career Center, simplifying the hiring process.

Career Center

Enjoy exclusive discounts on all SCL events and services, empowering you to access valuable resources and opportunities for your school's growth at a more affordable cost.

Exclusive Discounts

Get access to exclusive cohorts and workshops!

Cohorts and Workshops

SCL conducts school-wide surveys to provide relevant information to the classical Christian community as well as access to in-depth research with partner organizations like the Barna Group.

Research

A connected community of classical Christian thought leaders, including heads of school, board members, marketing and admissions directors, development and fundraising directors, academic deans, grammar and upper school heads, and teachers from all grade levels are here to support and encourage one another.

Community

Member-exclusive Coaching Call sessions. 15-20 online sessions each year from key-thought leaders on topics ranging from legal and operational issues to pedagogical and philosophical discussions. Think of it as a mini-conference each month!

Coaching Calls

Gain new insight, knowledge, and skills around best practices in a short, intensive format with workshops or a year-long mentorship experience with cohorts. Designed for administrators, teachers, parents, leaders, and department heads – anyone seeking to learn and grow in their role.

Conference & Workshops

Our network of seasoned professionals is available to navigate your questions and brainstorm solutions with you. Let us know how you want to direct your time and we will pair you with the senior leader that best suits your school’s unique needs.

Consulting