by Craig Dunham, Headmaster
Writing in his essay, “Of Education,” poet and polemicist John Milton sums up well the goal of learning:
“The end then of Learning is to repair the ruines of our first Parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the neerest by possessing our souls of true vertue,
which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection.”
Repairing the ruins; regaining to know God right – and then loving, imitating, and being like Him because we know Him; possessing souls of true virtue; being united to faith and thereby experiencing the highest of perfections. This is what true learning looks like…and what classical and Christian education is!
Lofty goals, to be sure, yet ones we trust, by God’s grace, that our faculty and families will embrace and imbibe in this, our 20th academic year of Petra Academy. Toward that end, I would like to invite you to our Parent Orientation on Wednesday, September 2, from 7-9 p.m. to learn more about our shared pursuit this coming school year. Upper School students may attend Orientation as part of the program; however, please make other plans for kids 12-and-under so as to get the most from the experience.
Because the beginning of a school year can feel overwhelming, we are working on a series of “helps” – everything from hands-on Chalkable training to thinking more classically and Christianly about daily life – especially for Petra parents. We look forward to announcing these at Parent Orientation on September 2, but until then, would direct you to our list of article and book recommendations under our new Parents tab to perhaps build some enthusiasm.
We look forward to our new school year starting Tuesday, September 8th. May this year – Petra’s 20th! – be a year in which our students “regain to know God aright” in their studies, activities, and very lives. Thank you, parents, for entrusting us with the privilege of assisting you in pursuing this glorious goal.
by Craig Dunham, Headmaster
As you plan to join us at Petra Academy this fall, you will be part of a new chapter that God is writing in the history of our school. It will be a new year (Petra’s 20th, no less), with new faces (at least 20 of them, pushing us over 200 total students for 2015-16), and with a new Headmaster (who moved his family 20 hours to be with you in Bozeman).
A new chapter, indeed!
Whether we recognize it or not, the concept of “chapter” is an important construct, for it is how we’ve come to experience others’ stories as well as our own. Nicholas Dames, a teacher in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, writes in an article, “The Chapter: A History,” in The New Yorker,
“Books have been written or arranged in chapters for over two millennia now, although that fact has never received the attention it deserves from historians of the written word. Perhaps the sheer longevity of the concept has rendered it invisible… we simply expect chapters to be there, breaking up our reading, giving us the permission to pause or stop.”
Summer is a chapter break (a much welcomed one, at that!) and a time to pause, to stop…but not to end. God – the Author of our faith – is always authoring new chapters in our lives; in fact, without meaning to be too cliché, history is indeed His Story of the world’s redemption.