Taking young minds seriously

P.O. Box 982
115 Victory Place
Marietta, Ohio 45750
(740) 885-2033

May 13, 2015
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"I am excited by the rarity of what happens in Veritas classrooms.  Not many schools in our nation believe that the things we study are worthwhile, or that students are capable of learning them.  We're giving our students a rare gift, but with it we're also giving them the duty of sharing what they learn with the world beyond our school."
-Katie Sorensen
Welcome to Veritas Classical Academy! Our mission is to develop the academic potential and personal character of each student through an academically rich educational experience.
TRUTH                     BEAUTY                  GOODNESS
Veritas Classical Academy Welcomes New Faculty Member
May 12, 2015
Marietta, Ohio

VERITAS Classical Academy is pleased to announce that Miss Katie Sorensen will be joining the faculty in 2015-16. Sorensen, a native of South Dakota, is a graduate of Hillsdale College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Latin. Miss Sorensen has spent a year and a half teaching Latin to 5th and 6th grade students at a charter school in Hillsdale, Michigan.  She also oversaw the Writing Center at Hillsdale College where she worked with students to improve their writing skills.

"Katie combines scholastic excellence with an ability to identify and articulate meaningfully the steps to greater competence for all types of learners," stated Dr. Christy Maier, Director of the Academic Services Center at Hillsdale College.   "Katie Sorensen has an exceptional understanding of the purpose of education and the mission of our school.  She will be a terrific asset to our team," said Ben Rutherford, Headmaster of the Academy. 

When asked what she looks forward to the most in her teaching career, Miss Sorensen responded, "I look forward to having my own ignorance revealed, funny enough!  We feel confident in what we know until we try to explain it to others. I'm sure my students will reveal to me many things that I myself do not know, giving me the opportunity to learn along with them."
Katie was attracted to our school's small size.  "I think small class sizes offer some of the best opportunities for learning and create a happy school culture," she said.  "I was also excited by the school's history and mission. Starting a classical school from the ground-up is a brave endeavor, and showed to me that Veritas' founders and families truly understood and were motivated by the aims of classical education."

Miss Sorensen is a pianist and a veteran of choral ensembles and theatre productions.  In addition to her advanced proficiency in classical Latin, she also has elementary facility with Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, and Old Irish.  She is an avid reader not only of ancient works (i.e. Augustine, Cicero) but also of the classics (i.e. Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, Austen) and modern authors (i.e. Rowling, Collins).

Miss Sorensen will teach 5th/6th grades and Latin.  Mr. Dschida will move up to teach 7th and 8th grades. 
Miss Sorensen In Her Own Words

With respect to her qualifications to teach a classical curriculum:

"My education has shown me the purpose for which man pursues education and for which he desires his children to be educated, and it is because I comprehend and aspire to that purpose that I am qualified to teach a classical curriculum. In short, I understand that purpose to be the cultivation of the human mind and the human person for its own sake, because the excellence of mind and person is a good in itself. To understand education as having any other end diminishes its means. Unless we comprehend it as inherently valuable, The Odyssey becomes a mere tool for teaching plot development and ancient battle tactics, which might as well be taught by The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a few Wikipedia pages.  The good grade a student earned by her diligence at Latin becomes a token that gets her into a top college, and though she may retain those study skills at Harvard she has lost, in the transaction, the sense that anything she studied had more than monetary value.  If I did not understand classical education to be valuable for its own sake, I would be far better off teaching whatever the state prescribes as the most up-to-the-minute career preparation instead of those great works of the Western inheritance.

Not every student I teach will be filled with a lifelong zeal for literature or go on to read Homer in the original Greek.  But each student will have been educated in a world which acknowledges something as valuable for its own sake.  He will leave my classroom with at least an inkling that there are some things worth more than their monetary value.  And understanding that, he will, with habituation, come to conduct himself in a certain way, respecting his elders, taking care for the lowly, and fearing God."

With respect to why she wants to teach at a classical school:

"My interest in classical education began with my own experience attending a rural public high school. I do not wish to demean the teachers and administrators there, but the constraints of an educational system that is obliged to cater to the popular demand for utility meant that I spent eight hours of every day engaged in activities whose practical applications diminished their worth to nothing.  My high school degree could, I supposed, get me a job or entrance to a college, but beyond that servility no one could or did explain its purpose to me. From that experience, I learned (before I had even read a word of the Nichomachean Ethics) that what Aristotle writes there is true: that without some end of the things we do, for the sake of which we do them, the things we do are empty and pointless.

Classical education offers the antithesis of that experience: an educational model not only containing a particular end, but also defined by that end.  Knowing what it is to spend one's days in an educational system that is servile to no definite purpose, and is therefore also empty, pointless, and meaningless, I want to spend these next years of my life returning the good deed Hillsdale College has done for me in my liberal education there.  

For good purposes our founders established education as a national principle in article three of the Northwest Ordinance. We carry on that tradition still in America: we send millions of children to school every day for thirteen years of their young lives.  I want to make those years worthwhile for the few of those million students that I will encounter.  And not worthwhile at some distant point in the future when they receive their first paycheck, but worthwhile as they sit at their desk.  Worthwhile when they put on their coats and leave at the end of the day. Worthwhile in a way that their souls - whether their brains recognize it or not - perceive as worthwhile, lending clarity and meaningfulness and purpose to their lives because they have learned something  within the context of an education that has a purpose.  I believe that one of the few places in modern America where I can do that on a daily basis is a classical school, teaching in the meaningful, truthful narrative of the Western tradition."
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