We knew that going in and we would pursue with great hope and anticipation, because we believed that which we were pursuing was good for all children. And we believed that one day, we would be here, literally, right here. And so, we knew that going in, but still we just pursued by just pouring in the best of what education has to offer to our children. We built a school with foundations on love and family, high expectations, and support. And we filled those classroom walls with the most rigorous study of math and sciences, the humanities, and the arts.
And what we have found over the last six years, and many of your who have walked the halls and stepped into the classrooms, have commented to the same. What we are finding is that children from all walks, all backgrounds, really can not only pass tests, but they can actually love to learn. They can love to learn, they can come to school, to be part of something that is bigger than themselves, that is going to produce within them a work, that will put them onto a fundamentally different path, had they been somewhere else for their K-12 years.
And that’s an audacious call, and that’s one I don’t believe myself can fully carry. But with all of us, this is happening. And we are seeing that. And we are seeing children love to learn, and we are seeing them care for. We are seeing them pick up books and actually want to read them. Not just off the shelf ones from today, but these are classical works that are pouring into their souls, that have come hundreds of years from before their time.
We’re seeing them solve mathematical problems, complex ones with great collaboration and dialogue with one another.
We’re seeing them recite poetry to perform in musical concerts, and act in Shakespearean plays. And one of the most beautiful things that we’re done is that this is not just for some of our students, this is for all of our scholars. And that’s the vision friends. Our students that we started with, the 137 to the 490 that we have today, just a little few miles off, although I stole a few of them to be here, and you’ll meet them soon. But to the 1300 that will one day soon walk along this campus each year, this is the vision, they all would have these life changing experiences here at Maryvale Prep.
One day soon, we’re going to have another celebration. At that point it’ll be a little bit less dirt that’s around, we won’t have to pave a road to get in here. There will be buildings, there will be learning that will be taking place, and I’m actually not describing the ribbon cutting ceremony, which will be in August, and will be amazing. Get your scissors ready. But I’m looking a little bit past that. What I’m talking about is, our graduation. Of our first class, in May 2022. And on that day, here in our performing arts center, to the north of the campus, we’ll watch as great hearted young men and women come across that stage. And those that are here today, and those that are here then, will remember this day, and we’ll be thankful that we broke ground here.
Maryvale prep currently serves 500 students in grades K through 8. With this expansion it will serve over 1,200 students in grades K through 12.
The credit expansion program is supporting this expansion by enabling more capacity, so that more Maryvale families, like the ones we’ve been able to meet today, and students can benefit from a Great Hearts classical education.
And this school has done an amazing job in serving its students a majority of whom come from low-income households.
is why the waitlist for families looking to send their students to schools like this has continued to grow. And that is why it is so important for us to continue cutting through these waitlist, and providing greater school choice to Arizona families.
With today’s groundbreaking we are empowering another Community to provide a brighter future for all of our children. And it’s my hope that this is the first of May. And it will be many more families and communities will be in power to provide the same opportunity for their kids as we continue our work. I love the theme of the great heart institution. I love the vision. If you’ve not been on the website I encourage you this this search and discovery of Truth and goodness and beauty
This Reliance on educated empowered teachers to make a high impact on the students, for a higher purpose, is really what quality education in America is all about. These people and the people assembled here today are the ones that are leading the charge across the country and it’s something we can be very proud of here in the state of Arizona.
Cicero’s part of the Great Heart Academy Charter School Network. The goal of our school is to provide a world-class liberal arts education to students of all backgrounds. Our teachers, administrators, parents, coaches, and fellow students work hard together to build a culture that is thoughtful, beautiful, and joyful.
Come with us so we can show you what makes Cicero so great.
Every element of the curriculum at Cicero prep is carefully designed and each course is ordered to particular overarching goal. The curriculum aims at developing the whole person intellectually, morally, and aesthetically. Students minds and hearts are shaped through encounters with the very best works of History, Literature, Art, Science, and Philosophy.
The equator is getting constant radiation from the sun. What does that have to do with thermal expansion? The principle of thermal expansion?
Furthermore, students engage with the most profound expressions of The Human Experience that have withstood the test of time, with works that will never become obsolete, or go out of style. Students moral lives are shaped as they participate in the great conversation that has endured throughout the ages. And they are compelled to reflect upon their own moral principles, and the choices that they make every day. A fully human life is a life that can appreciate the most beautiful and compelling musical and artistic productions of the western world.
Each student at Cicero prep studies, and creates, works of art drama music and poetry.
Students are not only shaped by what they’re taught but by how they are taught.
I want you to think about what it means when it says that the projectile is hit the ground. If the projectile has hit the ground what is the height of that projectile at that point?
Our teachers are carefully selected as experts in their fields who are passionately committed to teaching students the truth goodness and beauty need to be found in every discipline.
Through the Socratic method students are led to see these truths through a process of questioning and inquiry.
So like the otters are kind of like the barrier, or the restriction.
Restriction on the sea urchins…
Rather than merely being told what to believe, students are lead to discover these things for themselves in a classroom that create a culture of wonder and awe. All this culminates in our capstone course Humane Letters which is a 2 hour course every day throughout the high school years.
What is this truth? He has obviously already said something about this right? What is this truth he is talking about?
Now let’s hear from our Human letters Teacher.
Human letters is the primary vehicle that moves students towards their senior thesis. The daily reading, writing, and discussing of great books over a four year period builds and hones the necessary skills for students to undertake a task that is usually reserved for college seniors. By senior year, students of read dozens of the greatest political, philosophical, and literary works in the western tradition. They have debated the merits of these ideas with their peers and teachers. And they argued their ideas the five styles of classical rhetoric.
Humane letters prepare students not only for the senior thesis, it prepares them to storm the gates of our world’s finest colleges.
I believe the culture of Cicero prep is marked by joyful scholarship, and a Pursuit Of The Virtuous life both inside and outside the classroom. When students arrive at Cicero prep they are sorted into one of six houses that highlight virtues including courage, Integrity, and wisdom.
Houses face off against each other in athletic, academic, and aesthetic competitions. In addition to Social and Service events. Different grades have the opportunity to work, serve, and play together, to build smaller and more intimate communities where long-lasting relationships can form.
A number of clubs are also available to students. In Hiking Club, scholars practice perseverance by scaling mountains. In the Skantia Club curiosity cultivate in the classroom flourishes more freely. In drama strings yearbook and math clubs among others students can broaden their experiences and Curiosities to become more well-rounded human beings. Just a few days ago I had a conversation with some of my students about the difficulty of the curriculum, and they responded overwhelmingly that they actually appreciated the depth, because it wasn’t about our course of study is not about memorizing facts. It’s about understanding the way that the world truly is
and the students take joy. And in discovering the reasons behind a process the reasons behind the unfolding of History.
Cicero Prep is the home of the Centurians. Our athletics offer an opportunity to compete and have fun with their fellow Scholars. On and off the court, we are looking to build competitive greatness within our scholar-athletes.
This comes from a deep understanding of respect teamwork, skill, and self-confidence. Whether you represent Cicero in uniform, or are a loud and proud member of our student fans the legion, we can all participate in leading the centurions to Victory. Now, we want to introduce you to our Headmaster Dr. Disher. Cicero was a great humanitarian and Roman Statesman who is steeped in the classics. He was the embodiment of a person who is well read well-spoken, Humane, and dignified. What does a graduate of Cicero prep look like? Through a close reading of classic text particularly in our Capstone course Humane letters, students learn to be self-reflective about their speech and their ideas,
because they know that they will be tested by their peers and by their teacher. This process inculcates a refinement of thought that we believe is not generated by any other educational structure. This is what is unique about a great Hearts education. At Cicero we strive to create a culture of joy and charitability that can enable deep and profound learning this is our goal this is why graduates from great heart schools attend the finest colleges and universities Across the Nation, as well as honors programs at our local State Universities. We believe the kind of philosophical education we offer shapes the mind in the direction that is Humane we take very seriously goodness of character. Goodness of character entails of humility that is always open to more profound learning we want our students to live a life of continued learning and growth a life of continued striving after Excellence. This will serve them well in college and Beyond
Critical thinking is one of the most important things that we do. We want our scholars to actually challenge ideas. We want them to look deeply, to dig deeper.
The critical thinking really comes from our understanding of what the Western Tradition is. That we know that students will become better artist and that they understand the Renaissance. They’ll become better mathematicians if they understand Euclid’s elements. There’s a lot of stuff that has come before the students that they can really bring to bear on their own lives and their own school work.
That discussion is the best way for us to truly learn. I could stand at the front of the classroom and the lecture all day. But we’re truly going to get the meat of an issue and we can discover it together.
You have a voice in every single class
You have to participate. Humane letters we have to actively search for Ideas. In Math class were up there finding our own solutions to problems. My teacher doesn’t just tell me what the answer is or tells me how to do it I figure it out. And as they ask those questions instead of just giving them immediate an immediate answer, you encourage, you prompt them to think about another way try to come up with their own answer.
And so when I came to the school I was very pleasantly surprised at the fact that I was getting to learn how to think logically. How to really grasp and understand concepts behind something instead of just the answers. I think there’s something in the human condition that wants to actually discuss and see things beyond our own existence. And so these kids when they see an idea like love, and truth, and justice, they buy into the idea that we should talk about that because it’s a matter of consequence. That the way we think about love, the way we think about Justice effects the way we live our lives.
(instructional excerpt)..all the Texas is the new Millions disgracing something you’re pursuing..
They are taught when you have something you are pursuing and you run into an obstacle, where do you go to find the answer? How do you come to that conclusion? Keep asking those questions keep going deeper and then you will get there
They need to be able to bring it all kinds of information and disassemble it and put it back together, and be able to say this is actually accurate. This is good. This is truth.
If you have three different geometric proofs, the one that’s the best is the one that has a certain gracefulness to it. A certain Beauty involved in it.
(Instructional Excerpt) Given a particular time, I’m right here this run
Students are being taught to be creative through imitation of great works, they studied those great works. They learn the technical skills of how to write really well, how to develop a sentence. They read literature to see how you put the sentences together in a beautiful way. And they’re able to create themselves, but aren’t the same thing. They learn how to draw something from Van Gogh. And then they learn how to sketch it, how to shade it. And then they can create their own works of art because they have learned how to do that in a creative way to classroom
I know they practice before n art class, the skills of observation, discussion, and human letters. But to do that in Spanish about a Spanish work of art is just really cool.
It’s really important that not specializing in one thing or another, but that a student who really loves physics can also be an outstanding basketball player. Or student who loves poetry or drama can be a great football player. Or a student who loves literature can also love playing volleyball
I think it’s much more than just hitting the books or going to each class, and when the bell rings it’s over with. No, in this case. you know they’re getting, ready for a recital, you know maybe one month, and the next month, I’m getting ready for a huge performance that you would normally see it at a college level ,or a performing theater level in the community, and in addition to that they’re putting on the cleats playing sports.
There’s a an ancient Roman thinker Plutarch who says that a mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled
I think most kids today, and most adults frankly for that matter, think, that communications is all about what we say. At great Hearts there’s this extraordinary value in communication being all about what we here as well. And they’re taught to be excellent listenersn and in return because they’re able to be listeners they’re all ultimately able to be great influencers and great communicators.
When I’m around adults they say, there’s something different about you. You know you’re able to speak to me you’re able to communicate well. We think the hallmark of a superb education is being able to speak well and right well. There’s something very real and very personal about writing a paper with your own hand on a piece of paper just writing it and really literally putting yourself into it. Teally having that intimate connection with the paperm I don’t know you sitting down you riding a bit you Crossing about you thinking about it.
All of our seniors close their time at Great Hearts by defending a senior thesis. An original written project, an original work a scholarship that they defended front of a Faculty panel. That they defend in front of their peers orally for an hour and a half.
You talking about these deep things, you sort of form a bond I think just in that in itself. And your teachers there but he’s more of a student as well appear like you’re all on the same level. And you’re all discussing about the same things and we address each other by last names I’m the supposed to receive. And you ask people what they think and it’s just it’s really a wonderful conversation and opportunity to discover.
So it’s not just about producing brilliant kids but bring kids who have the character to deploy that talent for good that’s greater than themselves. And that’s why we chose them in Great Hearts. A good heart directed towards a greater good. Not just their talents,
but something larger than that that they can serve with all their ability.
Great Hearts they talk about of course the good, the true, the beauty, but it’s really practiced each and every day. And they consider an education just as important when it comes to moral and ethical learning. And I see it in my kids.
What amazes me is the fact that they really see the virtues
as something beautiful and something to strive for. They get so excited to nominate each other for seeing those virtues throughout the day.
It inspires these kids to be leaders in the community to be leaders when it comes to charity. To be leaders on their athletic teams. To be leaders in the classroom. and they their inspired and they aspire to be leaders in business and in society in the future
Because we’re encouraged to examine the questions of character in virtue, that that really enables us to kind of form our own character. And form who we are as people. And I think that’s what really matters in the end.
Then, we can see through the grade levels that we are making true progress at becoming the person that humans are meant to be.
There’s a wholistic sense in which we don’t think of the students just as athletes, or as artists, or as Scholars, but we hope that every one of them has an experience that is fulfilling on a variety of levels.
It’s the right approach to education. It gets everyone involved. It gets everyone participating. It brings in critical thinking, and new philosophies, and in challenges these students in a way to think differently than the rest of society.
I think a liberal arts education is about preparing you for the rest of your life. For the 10th job rather than the first job. It’s about giving you the skills to be a lifelong learner.
These children are the solution of tomorrow for our world. These are the Future Leaders of our world and our nation.
I was really inspired by the fact that they saw something in me but I didn’t even know I had it in myself. And that was powerful
Cuz she always had my back when I was down.
Eyes made me love math. and he’s really passionate about it.
Cuz she she helps us and she lets us do a lot of independent work.
I struggle with math and he would stay with me everyday after class to work on my skills that I could improve every single day
I like my teacher who teaches PE because PE is the best subject
I love my teacher because she’s funny.
I left my teacher because she helps me learn.
Poetry class really fun and exciting and I’ve never had a boring day in this class.
Because she really helps me with art and she’s really funny.
I love my teacher Miss McCrone because he’s awesome.
I love my teacher because she teaches us things
and then explains what they mean.
Just hearing the math and science teachers talk about why they love what they love kind of gets me interested in and makes me think about pursuing something in that field.
I love my teacher cuz I get to dissect a squid.
They really help you with cultivating your soul and personality.
Has really resonated with me and because of that I have a new perspective on a lot of things
Well she put shaving cream on her desk and we got a ride are phonics on it .
And she she was really nice to us and sometimes she read stories to us.
Like all my teachers because all of them are that dedicated to who you are and how they can help you. Not only doesn’t help us as students but it also creates a wonderful example for what a virtuous person is. And they’re very good models for us here.
I like my teacher because she has faith in us
So we are also taught here to become critical thinkers. And not just to accept what people tell us, but to discover the truth, goodness, and beauty of the world. Do you think there is any truth, goodness, and beauty in the current presidential race. Great Question, let me ask Eugene. Do you think there is?
Well I’ll tell you for me, I’m searching for it. I do think there should be a higher purpose and a higher calling in public service but I am searching for the truth and beauty in in this discussion.
What are your thoughts I agree with you and I think there could be more truth, goodness, and beauty. Yeah that’s really all there is to say about it
That’s the number one question we get from parents. We’re fortunate because parents like you care about your child’s education. Tou care enough to make sure that everyone involved in your child’s education has the resources needed for success. Thank you for caring.
And thank you for asking how you can help. Helping your child the most. Starts by making sure Great Hearts hires and retains the best teachers we possibly can. To inspire and transform your child. Our teachers are truly Heroes. Great Heart offers a transformative educational experience by engaging a well-rounded program in a vibrant School culture. Our students are prepared for success in college, leadership in any field in which they choose to Endeavor, and a life filled with virtue and purpose. But as a public charter school, carrying out this Mission involves unique Financial challenges. Public Charter School students in Texas receive less State funding then District students.
Great Hearts Monte Vista received approximately 85% of its funding from the state, and receives no funding to support school facilities. On average, a Great Hearts Texas student receives $1,651 less per year from the state then students and surrounding district schools. Despite these challenges we believe our students deserve the best education possible, a great heart education. So how can you help? Make sure our teachers have the resources they need. By contributing to our community investment campaign. Your voluntary contribution will help us support, retain, and motivate our talented teachers. We ask that you consider a meaningful gift to maintain a quality education for your child at the classroom level. We ask that you commit to an annual pledge of $1,200 per year, or $100 per month to your school for each of your children who are enrolled. $100 per month that’s what it takes to help us bridge the gap
between the amount of Public Funding we received and the education our students deserve, with the teachers they deserve, for the future they deserve. Best of all 100% of your tax-deductible gift stays at your school to participate in this important campaign visit our website at the link below. Thank you for your trust in Great Hearts Monte Vista, and thank you for your generous support.
Coming to a scenario was uncertain, it was ethically challenging. And with the weight of responsibility there is to a member of the United States Military. Coming to that scenario, having already thought through an ethical framework, and being aware of the challenges you face, it’s hard for me to truly express how meaningful and practical that was for myself as I began that journey.
Because there’s so many different people with so many different ideas from a lot of parts of the world, that I think that keeping an open mind, understanding that you don’t know anything, and other people have information that you don’t, has been something important to my development in college.
I think that enforcing this idea of community, that we’re here to all benefit each other instead of go our individual ways, with something that I value highly with my time at Great Hearts Academy, and it was something I want to be able to pass on to younger generations.
I think that one reason why I wanted to stay involved with Great Hearts is that it’s become a part of me. It has shaped my character and my academics and who I am.
I feel a real obligation to the school, to the culture. The fact is you realize very quickly you are not the only person responsible for who you are today. So in that sense really the ability to give back in any way, small or great, is something that I consider to be a very rewarding pursuit.
What would the world be like… give me a minute…
A world without Great Heart teachers, it would probably be pretty scary
I think it would be a dark world
Empty I guess
The world wouldn’t have been as smart as we are now, and it would be empty, just nothing.
I could have to homeschool, which would be horrible.
I think it would be dull
I don’t think it would really be anarchy.
We may not have as many thinkers, we may not have as many problem solvers
I think my children would be in a place where they might feel unsafe.
I think without Great Hearts teachers education would just be non-existent
I love that they’re interested in not just making my children well educated, but good people, great hearted people
Who is my all time favorite teacher?
Mrs. Maryland is my favorite teacher.
I love Miss Jacobs.
Miss Hoeffer is my calculus teacher and she is the bomb.com.
Aaron’s Stucker who teaches second grade at Lincoln, is just an amazing person. She just made math this beautiful thing for me. She was like that one teacher that you could always go to talk to.
The relationship that I’ve had with these teachers has been life-changing.
They have completely changed who I am and who and what my life is all about.
Sometimes she gives us a time out from doing what we do. And sometimes she gets mad at me. I really love my kids. They really love.
Great Hearts teachers… wait I am going cry seriously (appears controlled with tears)
I would like to just tell the great our teachers thank you. And keep up the good work. Thank you for your love and support .
The love and the happiness that they have shown me is just unbelievable, it’s been so transformative it’s been an amazing experience.
You really just want people to cry to think words but honestly never be enough for the impact teachers have had on me.
Thank you so much for helping me with piano lessons.
Thank you for giving me those detentions.
Thank you for being so compassionate
I have to wear glasses on the last day of school. I figured that out, dark big glasses, because how do you say goodbye to someone who … you spend this year with … and they’ve poured into your children, and you had challenges, and you had successes, and you’ve had failures together and you had so much learning. And it’s just like how do you say goodbye at the end of the year, and I’m so grateful for these teachers.
You know I heard a story long time ago about the cathedrals in Europe that were built. The cathedrals took hundreds and hundreds of years. So whoever started that Cathedral never got to see the cathedral finished. And the finished product. And that’s who you are. You are building the Cathedrals. And you’re not going to see the finished product. But you understand the importance in the beauty of that.
And I appreciate that so much.
Thank you for like having fun stuff and being a little hard on us. Because then that makes us realize that we’re not the only ones in the world that did naughty stuff.
If the world did not have any Great Hearts teachers, it wouldn’t be as much fun as it is right now.