School of the Ozarks hosts Founders Academic Leadership Conference

CCE MEDIA photo - School of the Ozarks hosts Founders Academic Leadership Conference


POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — School of the Ozarks faculty and staff hosted the Founders Academic Leadership Conference, from June 5-8, at The Keeter Center.

Eighty-five Founders Classical Academy educators from Texas and Arkansas gathered for a three-day conference focused on expounding administrators’ skills surrounding classical education. Founders Classical Academy is a collection of public charter schools, serving 14,000 students, that operates with the goal of providing “hope for students through educational options that promote a free society and cultivate moral and academic excellence.”

Susan Provenza, head of Founders Classical Academies in Arkansas, connected with School of the Ozarks because of her children who attend College of the Ozarks. After hearing about School of the Ozarks, Provenza brought teachers and co-administrators to tour the facilities and began the process of hosting an event for training classical educators. Through this process, the Founders Academic Leadership Conference was created.

Guests of the conference were welcomed at a dinner hosted by The Keeter Center that introduced them to College of the Ozarks and School of the Ozarks before the beginning sessions. Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education, welcomed the group during the meal.

“I am grateful for Dr. Head’s participation in our opening dinner,” said Michael Terry, superintendent of Founders Classical Academy.  “She made us feel welcome and did a wonderful job telling the story of both the School of the Ozarks and the College. The entire experience left many of us thinking that Hard Work U. would have been a great place to attend college ourselves and about the great benefit the college might have for our children and students.”

“It is an honor for School of the Ozarks to serve our fellow classical educators through this conference,” said Brad Dolloff, dean of School of the Ozarks. “Getting to offer the same guidance that was offered to us over 10 years ago when we opened our doors is an incredible blessing, and we are honored to help Founders Classical Academy pursue excellence.”

College of the Ozarks and School of the Ozarks faculty members spent the week training attendees on a variety of topics pertaining to leadership and understanding classical education. The conference included sessions on integrating the Trivium into instructional design, seeking unity through the pursuit of virtue, and thinking classically about science. The Trivium is used in classical education as a term that encompasses the three pieces of classical education, grammar, dialect, and rhetoric. Presenters from C of O and S of O included: Dr. Andrew Bolger, dean of mission advancement and strategic initiatives; Dr. Kyle Rapinchuk, S of O assistant professor of Christian Worldview; Dr. Brian Polk, S of O associate professor of science; and Dr. Brad Dolloff, dean of School of the Ozarks.

“These sessions were substantive, actionable, and well-organized,” Terry said. “I cannot praise School of the Ozark’s team enough for their investment of time and energy into my school leaders.”

To learn more about Founders Classical Academy, please visit

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.