The Institute for Classical Education exists to promote civic and personal virtue through the strengthening and expansion of classical education. Drawing upon ancient wisdom, contemporary scholarship, and the practical experience of nearly two decades of experience at Great Hearts Academies, the Institute produces the publications, resources, events, and trainings designed to advance the K-12 classical movement.
Our goal is to expand the reach and deepen the understanding of classical education in America, and to triple the number of K-12 students receiving a classical education in the next decade, from 500,000 (currently) to 1,500,000 by 2030.
What is Classical Education?
Classical education takes a unifying approach to intellectual and moral formation by developing both the mind and the heart. Through the study of languages, the sciences, history, mathematics, literature, and fine arts, classical education helps students recover a sense of wonder in their search for knowledge, alongside a deeper purpose—namely, the pursuit of wisdom and development of virtue.
Over the past decades, classical education has enjoyed a rebirth in the form of religious schools, secular charter schools, and homeschooling families. In many cases, entire communities have rediscovered a hidden treasure from the not-too-distant past: a form of schooling that shaped generations of children prior to the 20th century.
Keeping up with Classical
The Institute serves as a meeting point for parents, teachers, scholars, school leaders, and philanthropists interested in classical education. We provide a range of resources, including:
- VIRTUE, a free quarterly magazine with the insights of scholars and practitioners. Sign up or browse back issues here.
- The Symposium, a yearly national conference open to all involved in classical education to share research, ideas, and best practices.
- APEX, a school leadership program designed to impart the skills necessary to produce a virtue-centered learning community. Learn more here.
- A regular blog, including book reviews, teacher interviews, scholarly insights, and more. Read it here.
Dr. Robert L. Jackson serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Great Hearts America and the Founding Director of the Institute for Classical Education. For a dozen years, he served as a professor of English and education at The King’s College (New York), training future teachers in the rudiments of educational history and philosophy—i.e., the great books and the liberal arts.
Dr. Jackson’s research interests include the historical development of liberal education; the interdisciplinary integration of poetry; and the early 20th century debates between progressives and classicists concerning public schools. His articles and essays have been published in Society, Academic Questions, Mythlore, and Comment. He has also contributed a chapter on the classical charter movement to The War on Poverty: 60 Years Later (Heritage Foundation, 2019) and a case study on classical education in Understanding Character Education and Personal Development: Applications, Approaches, and Issues (McGraw-Hill, 2021).
Dr. Jackson has received awards for teaching excellence at Florida State University and The King’s College. His administrative experience includes the oversight of two university language programs, coordination of a childhood education degree, and service as an associate provost.
After hours and with leisure, Rob can be found reading, reciting poetry, and running to keep up with his wife and five children—all of whom love to travel and explore the wonders of nature.
Ann Ny Matsuda is the Operations Manager for the Institute and the Registrar for the APEX Program for School Leadership. She oversees the operational flow of information management, budgeting, and reporting; serves as the event planner and logistics manager for the annual National Symposium for Classical Education; and, as Registrar, she provides platform access, communication updates, and operational support. She is deeply interested in ways to improve organizational efficiency, in order to more effectively “make the case for classical.”
For over fifteen years, Ann Ny worked with food-related companies in brand marketing, copy editing (of cookbooks!), and recipe development for food packaging. She received national and regional awards in baking and cooking contests and has contributed to several cookbooks. She enjoys travel with her family, reading, and cooking. But, her greatest joy is in bringing order out of chaos. Now, she brings her passions, skills, and experiences together in supporting the mission of the Institute: promoting liberal education and a well-lived life.
Spencer Snee is the Marketing Coordinator for the Institute, responsible for all sales and marketing initiatives, including the National Symposium for Classical Education and the APEX Program for School Leadership.
In 2016, he graduated from Anthem Preparatory Academy, a Great Hearts Academy in the north Phoenix area. Spencer went on to attend and graduate from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with a degree in marketing. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the Moeur Award from the W. P. Carey School of Business.
Spencer spends his free time reading about marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship. He is also an avid golfer and loves spending time with his border collie, Daisy.
Andreea Balan is the Manager of the APEX Program for School Leadership. She serves alongside the Director of the Institute to evaluate and develop APEX courses, and works with APEX registrants to improve the “learner experience.” She also coordinates with other Institute team members to ensure the success of APEX and other Institute activities.
Originally from Romania, Andreea moved by herself to the United States in 2000 to attend Culver Academies. Andreea took her B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, a “Great Books” college. She then took her M.A. in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York. She has worked with adolescents for over a decade as a teacher and youth director. Andreea is passionate about education and strongly believes that “the best education for the best is the best education for all.”
An avid reader, Andreea spends most of her time buried in books. She lives in the Texas countryside, raising chickens and enjoying the quiet. She is looking forward to joining the PhD program at the University of Dallas in the fall of 2021.
Hannah Melvin is the Institute’s Program Associate, who is responsible for maintaining and cultivating the web presence and communications and assisting with research and administrative tasks.
She graduated from Chandler Preparatory Academy in 2019 and is continuing her education at Arizona State University where she is pursuing a degree in Architectural Design. Apart from her work with the Institute, Hannah spends much of her time immersed in the world of architecture, as well as studying new design techniques. In addition, she enjoys practicing with other mediums of art, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Veery Huleatt is Editor of Publications at the Institute. There she oversees the publication of VIRTUE, the Institute’s quarterly magazine, as well as other online publications. She also helps develop marketing copy for the promotion of APEX, the National Symposium for Classical Education, and other Institute programs.
Veery graduated from Siena College in 2016 with a double major in English and Classics. Since then, she has worked for several publications and, most recently, spent a year caring for adults with developmental disabilities in a L’Arche community in Syracuse, NY.
In her free time, Veery enjoys reading, getting lost in the woods, and cooking for friends. Buy her a drink and she’ll end up telling you everything there is to know about Charlotte Brontë’s love life.