We are grateful to have launched the 2020-2021 school year with 584 students in grades PreSchool-12 here at Veritas Academy. After what is now known as the longest Spring Break ever, we are back together with smiling faces once again filling our classrooms and hallways. As we navigate this "new normal," we are eager to welcome you to this year's Friends of Veritas newsletter. You can expect to receive this newsletter quarterly as we highlight and invite you to various events and traditions around campus. If you would like to receive a mailed version rather than an email, or if you want to add someone to the distribution list, please send your request to

We're so glad that you, Defender Alumni and Grands, are a part of the Veritas community!

- The Veritas Family
Campus has been buzzing with excitement as we work together to tackle new challenges, embrace growth, and preserve unity in our community during the start of this school year. We ran around and tried to capture it all, and want to share highlights from the first weeks with you. 

Homecoming MMXX
Football game v. Holy Trinity
Friday, October 9
Kick-off @ 7:00pm
Alumni Tailgate @ 5:30pm 
Alumni walk @ Half-time
Defender Field

Senior Night
Football, Volleyball, Cheerleading
Friday, November 13
@ 7:00pm
Defender Field

A Very Veritas Christmas
Grandparents Lounge 
Friday, December 18th
@ A.M.
Location TBD

As best as we can, we want to honor our traditions. Given the nature of these times, all of these dates, however, are subject to change. Please reference the official Veritas calendar for confirmation nearer to these events.
Vision Night 2020 did not look like previous years, where Head of School Jef Fowler would charge an overflowing auditorium of eager parents and faculty with guiding principles and goals to shape our community for the year. Instead, families watched Mr. Fowler’s address from the comfort of their couches on laptops and TV screens, unified under one vision despite the distance. Mr. Fowler answered questions like, Why Do We Exist? How Do We Behave? What Do We Do? and How Will We Succeed? These questions laid the foundation for Veritas’s Thematic Goals, as he cast the vision for this year. 

This year, we will:

Reclaim our place in the goodness of God’s created order and pioneer the formation of three things:
  1. Adaptive, resilient kids;
  2. Steadfast, sturdy families; and 
  3. Connected, productive communities.

Mr. Fowler closed his address with this refreshing appeal: 

“So that’s our vision for this year: to seize this incredibly unique moment and aggressively advance. We’re not interested in mere survival. We want to extraordinarily thrive in these times, showing our children that even in the face of overwhelming uncertainty and adversity, we can confidently live and flourish, enjoying our lives and its challenges to the full. We are not a passive people, but a purposeful and empowered one. This road that we’ve chosen to walk together is not an easy one, but it is a powerfully transformative and rewarding one——that is, if we choose to put forth the effort and maintain a positive attitude and growth mindset. Carpe Diem.”

You can view Jef’s vision night address here.
Jenny and the McLatcher family have been a part of the Veritas community since 2011, making her new role as Grammar School Head a natural fit. Her whole family can often be found around campus, including her husband Mike and daughters, Maggie (V’22) and Mary (V’25), who are involved in many ways. Jenny earned her BS from the University of Texas in Early Childhood Education and has a passion for teaching children. She has taught elementary and middle school children in both public and private schools, and has taught here at Veritas since 2015. We are grateful for her leadership in the Grammar School! You can learn more about Jenny and the rest of our leaders here.
We caught up with Wes Neely, Veritas Class of 2013, who lives in Leander with his wife Bethany, and 13 month old son Silas, for an update and to hear about his new venture, Wesley’s Irrigation. Wes also serves as a youth pastor at Hope Chapel in north central Austin. Read an excerpt of Wes's reflection below, and don't forget to access the whole thing on the Defender Alumni page.

“At Veritas I was always taught to love the art of learning. These past 7 years have been an incredible, difficult, and exhausting journey of learning the irrigation trade in and out. No matter which company I worked with or what type of projects I was assigned I always kept that love of learning. I may have started digging holes all day in the Texas heat, but I quickly earned the responsibility of designing and running projects for large residential properties, apartment complexes, and Zilker Botanical Gardens. While I know enough to be confident on any project thrown my way, I know that I will always be learning new ways of doing things and getting better at my craft. My vision for Wesley’s Irrigation is to maintain that growth-mindset, providing the best level of customer care and quality in central Texas.”


The Veritas Valiant Award recipient from the class of 2020, Briggs Ellyson, decided to award the $3000 Valiant Grant to Travis Heights Christian Outreach. Briggs and his family have done many service projects with this great organization and he is excited for the opportunity to bless this ministry that blesses so many people. In addition to their Christian worship services, Travis Heights provides food, clothing, showers, haircuts, employment services, and more to those in need in Austin. Congratulations once again to Briggs for being honored as the Veritas Valiant and thank you for choosing to bless this ministry with the grant.

Veritas is blessed to have 97 acres as our home, which gives us the opportunity to maximize outdoor time, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and TEA. Many families have volunteered over the past several months to help clear and build nearly 20 outdoor classrooms so far, and we have at least 30 more flagged and mapped for clearing. This fun learning opportunity is a great reminder of the delight and wonder found in God’s creation all around us.

Homefield Advantage
After many years of renting fields, the Veritas football team kicked off the season with a 6-on-6 tournament on our own campus! This milestone is not only the fruit of our facilities team and volunteers who have been hard at work laying sod and prepping the field, but also the result of many athletes and families who have built a strong program and vision over the years. Thank you!

Raffle for a Roof
We are excited to kick off a new fundraiser called Raffle for a Roof to help our athletes finish a fieldhouse here on our own campus. All SL and SR athletes will be selling raffle tickets, with one lucky winner scoring a BIG GREEN EGG at Homecoming. Find an athlete or stop by any school office to show your support and purchase tickets: $5 for 1 and $20 for 5.

Please share about your recent internship, graduating from college, winning an award, marrying your sweetheart, giving birth to a future Defender, starting your dream job, or any other milestone or story. We'd also love to know of any contact info changes. Don't forget to share photos too! 
After years of cheering on the Defenders, we will finally see what our unique version of a Defender looks like with a big reveal at Homecoming this year on Friday, October 9. This is just another reason to join us next month!