Friday Faces | Leadership Team - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Friday Faces | Leadership Team

Welcome to another series of Friday Faces! This year we have some new faces to introduce, and we thought it would be interesting, after the past couple of pandemic years, to reveal what our community got up to over the summer and how they reinvigorated themselves to get ready for an IMAGINATIVE school year.

Share a photo from your summer and describe why this is special to you…

Merideth – The photo above is taken up near my in-laws house. We have been visiting for years and had never seen these waterfalls before. It has been fun to explore some new sites as a family.

What did you read over the summer?

Amanda: All of the Harry Potter books on audiobook (it was SO fun), Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, Dumb Witness (Agatha Christie), and Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

Amy: The Inquisitors Tale, A Short Introduction to the Middle Ages, The Sword of Shannara

Betsi: Robin Hood, Shakespeare for Squirrels, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Braiding Sweetgrass (for the 2nd time), and The Last Confessions of Silvia Plath

Cozy: The Eternal Audience of One, Thinking Fast and Slow

Kateri: Braiding Sweetgrass, All That’s Good, Breaking Bread With the Dead, Two-Wheeled Wind Therapy (author is a friend), and then three by Anne Lamott – Traveling Mercies, Help Thanks Wow, and Bird by Bird (in anticipation of hearing her speak this past summer).

Lisa Ann: I reread Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Toles, I began the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan with my daughter Lyla, and I am listening to Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Merideth: The Shallows, The Elements of Teaching, Lincoln Highway

Mitchell: Goodnight Moon (I have a new daughter who absorbed a majority of my time in the best way possible)

Robert: Breaking Bread With The Dead

Susie: I read several work-related books and resources, a few mysteries (my go-to for vacation!), and I got to listen to the whole Harry Potter series (NOT my first time!).

How long have you been at SLOCA, and what attracted you to our community?

Amanda: 10 months. I was attracted to SLOCA at first because of the students I met who attended there whom I was impressed with, then because of the program and classical education, then because of the amazing staff. 

Amy: 15+ years. I started at SLOCA in 2007 with my 2nd grade son. I was looking for a hybrid model of education and fell in love immediately with SLOCA.

Betsi: I have worked here for four and a half years, and been a parent here for three of those. I was initially drawn by the lure to return to the education field, and the chance to marry my work experience (marketing & design) with my own liberal arts education (philosophy & english). I have long held the belief that beautiful content should also look beautiful, and when I realized that was a value of SLOCA’s as well, I knew I’d found my spot.

Cozy: 15 years. One of my daughters had significant separation anxiety when she was entering kindergarten. I did not know how in the world she would be able to attend class all day, 5 days a week! That’s when I heard about SLOCA’s hybrid model and we explored what it would mean for our family. It was the best decision we made! She is now almost 21 years old and lives on her own in Chicago. 

Kateri: We have been at SLOCA almost from the beginning when my oldest started part way through the first year of school. We came for the classical education, hybrid model, and small class sizes. 

Lisa Ann: I heard that all of the kids at SLOCA put their hands up when questions were asked! Jill Talley is one of the first people to talk to me about SLOCA and I have been here since we were located on this campus. 

Meredith: This is my 15th year at SLOCA. On a friend’s recommendation, my husband and I attended a meeting to learn more about SLOCA. We had never considered homeschooling but were intrigued by the possibility of playing a more active role in our daughter’s education. Then my mother died suddenly and I found myself needing a break from my job to grieve and be present for my dad. An opportunity came up for me to interview for a job and I did. It was a bit of a whirlwind, and we have never looked back!
Mitchell:I have been at SLOCA for 4 weeks. I was drawn in by the opportunity to help students learn in an environment where independent thinking and personal identity are given space to flourish. 

Robert: 1 week! I love the community that SLOCA has built and represents, so I can’t wait to join in to see how I can help!

Susie: I have been at SLOCA since the beginning. As one of the founders, I really wanted something more for my own kids and as I read about classical education, I was totally drawn in by the attention to the human story, great books, the focus on how to think vs. what to think, the combination of rigor + the honoring of childhood . . . I could go on!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Amanda: Israel to better grasp the ancient, historical context of the Old Testament, or Japan because I’ve heard from world travelers that it is the most beautiful place they’ve ever been.

Amy: I have lately been feeling the need to visit family that I have not seen in years. So based on that, I would go to Washington, Michigan, Utah, and Germany. If it were just me and my hubby going somewhere for a vacation, I would like to go to a low key tropical island. 

Betsi: Anywhere. Really, something inside me wakes up when I take a trip that is dormant at home. But specifically I have Japan at the top of my list to places to go to next—I find their culture fascinating and their literature other-worldly. Not to mention the food (sushi, ramen, matcha)!

Cozy: Fiji. I just want to swim in that water!

Kateri: This year, I hope to go to Egypt to visit my son and see the places we have studied throughout the years.

Lisa Ann: Japan – I am enamored by the beauty and for some reason I imagine a certain orderliness to what it might be like to travel there. I don’t know as much Japanese history as I would like but wouldn’t it be great to learn about it there! 

Meredith: My husband and I are taking our three children on a dream trip to France and Italy. We can’t wait to have them experience, first hand, all that they have learned about.

Mitchell: I would travel to wherever the Olympics are being held (summer or winter). My favorite time of the year is “Olympics” and attending the opening ceremonies is on my personal bucket list. 

Robert: If I could travel anywhere, I would go to Borneo. It is a huge island with lots to explore and plus, Orangutans!

Susie: I just got back from a trip to Norway with my parents and sister. That was on the bucket list to be sure – we spent time with extended family and enjoyed the stunning beauty of the southern part of the country. Where else? My list is growing!

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