Message from the Headmaster
Thanks for visiting the website of Founder Classical Academy of Mesquite. Founders Classical Academy of Mesquite is a tuition-free, K-8 school that offers students a well-rounded liberal arts education that is distinctively classical. There are several elements that are essential to a classical education, which we at Founders Classical Academy of Mesquite believe are crucial for the education of young people. First, a classical education is knowledge-rich. We believe knowledge is a good thing and that it should be pursued for its own sake, despite whatever utility might be gained from it. We believe that expert teachers in their disciplines should teach students a curriculum that is rich in content. Our curriculum is rooted in the intellectual legacy of the Western tradition, nearly 2500 years of history, literature, philosophy, science, art, and language. The Founding Fathers of the United States believed this kind of education is essential for young people to be well informed, literate, and virtuous participants in our Republic.
Second, a classical education teaches moral and intellectual virtues. At Founders Classical Academy, moral and intellectual virtues are seamlessly integrated into the curriculum, and are modeled by administrators and teachers, alike. Moral virtues are character traits like courage, compassion, temperance, and patience. Intellectual virtues are traits of character such as wisdom, prudence, studiousness, and truthfulness. At Founders Classical Academy, we not only desire for our students to live well by developing good habits of right conduct, we also desire for our students to love knowledge and approach their studies with the intellectual seriousness a classical education requires.
In this way, the goal of classical education is not for college and career readiness (though, any student who successfully completes a classical education will be more than ready for college). Rather, at Founders Classical Academy, we believe that education involves forming the hearts and minds of young people so that they act, think, and live nobly. The classical tradition of the West, beginning with Socrates and Plato, and extending all the way to the present day, stresses that thinking and acting well is essential to living a flourishing and happy life.
Third, a classical education is a liberal education. What does this mean? The word liberal, in this case, comes from the Latin word liberalis, which means of or pertaining to freedom. In this way, a liberal education is an education that pertains to the freedom of those who pursue it. In Roman times, a liberal education was an education that befitted a free man, rather than a slave. Today, a liberal education is one that frees human beings from dependence on changing circumstances that are outside of one’s control. As I have told students for years, “a storm or fire can destroy your house, and an employer can lay you off from a job, but your moral character and what you know cannot be taken away from you.” A classical liberal education, then, promotes and teaches the notion that the best education is an education for liberty.
As the ancient Greeks and Romans understood, liberal education was not a matter of social conditioning nor was it a matter of learning skills for the sake of a trade. Rather, it was a matter of becoming fully formed human beings, well rounded in mind and heart, in knowledge and virtue, in wisdom and moral excellence. In our modern context, classical education preserves those principles imparted to us from the ancient writers and teachers as well as our Founders. In this way, the aim of a classical education is not to impart vocational skills or even simply to prepare young people to go to college. It is an education, rather, in knowledge, virtue, and liberty.
We invite you to look through our website and learn more about Founders Classical Academy of Mesquite and to call or email us should you have any questions.
Dr. Shannon M. Nason
Headmaster, Founders Classical Academy of Mesquite