(208) 882-6101 conference@accsedu.org

 Leader’s Day

Wednesday, June 12, 8AM – 5PM

Our program for this year is more in-depth and hands-on, and we hope will deliver even more value to the leaders in our movement. It is also one of the most unique Leader’s Days we’ve yet brought to the conference.

We all know that student recruitment and retention is a must for a healthy school. What we may not realize that the every-day atmosphere of our schools is a key ingredient in helping parents find and remain at classical Christian schools. The hospitality industry has mastered this art. And no company does it better than Chick-Fil-A corporation. Through work with one of their executives and their team at “The Hatchery,” we plan to learn from these practices that have been instrumental in the success of Chick-Fil-A, and adapt them to classical Christian schools.

This targeted training will help schools build into their daily routine a sense of excellence and friendliness that keeps parents coming back.

Wednesday, June 12
8:00 AM – 8:15
Welcome: Why Do We Care About Hospitality as Classical Christian Leaders (David Goodwin)
Plenary: Hospitality and Shaping the Affections (Keith McCurdy)
Plenary: Second Mile Service (Elizabeth Dixon)
Plenary: Training Hospitality and Executing Vision (Chris Darley)
Table Discussion: 33-Week Teacher and Staff Training System (Davies Owens)
Lunch (on your own)
Workshop: Using Surveys to Assess Fulfillment of Mission (Latta & Salter)
Panel Discussion: Educating Parents About Classical Christian Education
Plenary: The Threat to Religious Liberty in America and How it’s Impacting Christian Schools (Josh Chumley, ADF)
Table Discussion: Case Study Discussion of Challenges Facing Your School (Davies Owens)
Plenary: Perspectives from an Accidental Classical Christian Parent (Ben Bost)
Closing and Prayer: Gather by Geographic Region

View Schedule Detail (PDF)

w Colloquium on Teaching Literature in a Classical Christian School

Wednesday, June 12, 1 – 9PM

Join Louis Markos from Houston Baptist University and teachers from around the country as we encourage each other–and discuss how better to guide our students–to grow in wisdom and to love the true, good, and beautiful through timeless literature. In a new format, attendees will hear from five different literature instructors. Expect an informative and engaging time for Q & A and discussions based on the presentations.


Presentation by Louis Markos

Living in an Eschatological Universe: Virgil’s Aeneid and the Fall of Troy

“It was Virgil—not in opposition to but alongside the Bible—who taught Christian Europe the shape of history and the power that moves it forward, the primacy of duty, the pain of letting go, and the burden of adapting new strategies. In this lecture, I will take the group scene by scene through Aeneid II, opening up the way in which Virgil presents the destruction of Troy as a happy fall (felix culpa): a great tragedy that provides the seed out of which greater good would come. Attendees are encouraged to bring with them a copy of the Fitzgerald translation of the Aeneid.” — Louis Markos

1:00-2:00: Adrian Smith from Covenant Academy (TX): The Five-Act Drama of Life, Literature, and Scripture

2:00-2:15: Break

2:15-3:15: Christine Norvell from Regent Preparatory School of Oklahoma: On Teaching Tragedy in Tragic Times

3:15-3:30: Break

3:30-4:30: David Head from Seffner Christian Academy: Dante as a Role Model of the Classical Christian Humanist

4:30-4:45: Break

4:45-5:45: Sean Hadley from Trinitas Christian School (FL): Growing up with Jack: How Learning from C.S. Lewis spans the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric Schools

5:45-7:30: Dinner Break

7:30-8:30: Louis Markos Presentation

8:30-9:00: Concluding panel with all presenters

See more detail about speakers and workshops: Literature Colloquium Details (PDF)

 Grammar Reading Practicum

Wednesday, June 12, 1 – 9PM

Join Laura Tucker and Daniel Coupland for this year’s reading practicum. Learn methods and strategies for teaching your students to read well and to delight in reading.


Part I

The first part of the practicum will focus on the “nuts and bolts” of a K-6 reading program. Instruction on the essential ten foundations of reading and explanation of the scope and sequence of reading skills to be applied to any program will be presented. This session will provide the principles and method of teaching phonics and the importance of including dictation. Participants will learn how to write long range, weekly, and daily reading plans incorporating the Seven Laws of Teaching, the classical method, a Christian worldview, and subject integration. Instruction will include how to plan and teach novels as well as write and ask age appropriate comprehension questions. Participants will learn how to construct written assignments to assess comprehension and create assessments to evaluate a student’s oral reading. Grading principles and practical applications will be demonstrated. Throughout the session, there will be group interaction and time to practice. (Laura Tucker)

Part II

The second part of the practicum will ask participants to consider some of the best works in children’s literature. This session will explore features that make these stories and poems stand out from the rest. More importantly, the session will explore the role that children’s literature—and its varied themes—can play in developing character of the young. This is not to suggest that the session will promote a simplistic, overly didactic approach to reading great stories. Rather, it will show participants how rich these seemingly simple stories are and how immersing young people in the worlds created in these texts will ultimately help children become more humane. This session will explore the various forms (rhymes, limericks, fables, fairy tales, myths, folk tales, legends, etc.) within classic children’s literature, and it will give practical insight—with examples—on how to teach these poems and stories. (Daniel Coupland)


Part I: Tucker-Reading Program “Nuts and Bolts” (1:00 to 4:00 pm)

Part II: Coupland-The Best of Children’s Literature (4:00 to 5:00 pm)

Break for Dinner (5:00 to 6:15 pm)

Part II: Coupland-The Best of Children’s Literature (6:30 to 9:00 pm)

Speaker Bios

Dr. Daniel B. Coupland is a Professor and Chairman of the Education Department and Dean of the Faculty at Hillsdale College. He earned a B.A. in Spanish from Liberty University, an M.A. in Linguistics from Oakland University, and a Ph.D. in Education from Michigan State University. He began his career in education as a high school teacher. At Hillsdale College, he teaches courses on English grammar and classic children’s literature. In 2013, Dr. Coupland was named Hillsdale College’s “Professor of the Year.” In 2016, he was a Resident Scholar at the C. S. Lewis Study Centre (The Kilns) in Oxford, UK. In 2017, Dr. Coupland received the Emily Daugherty Award for Teaching Excellence. His research focuses on classic children’s literature and English grammar instruction. He is a co-author of an English grammar curriculum titled Well-Ordered Language: The Curious Child’s Guide to Grammar (published by Classical Academic Press).

Laura Tucker is a founder and was the Director of Instruction at Rockbridge Academy, a classical and Christian school in Millersville, MD from 1995-2011. She has over 30 years of experience in education at the K-12 and college levels as a teacher, administrator, reading specialist, and an educational diagnostician. She holds an M.Ed. from Loyola University and a national certification for educational diagnosticians. She and her husband, Rob an ACCS national board member, have two adult sons who attended Rockbridge Academy.


Thursday, June 13, 3 – 8 pm

— Please note that Thursday, June 13, is during the main conference. —

The FOCUS Group and select ACCS leaders will lead four workshops designed to provide a general understanding of relational fundraising and then begin the practical application of these principles and practices in participating schools.

Key Principles of Fundraising

Fundraising is not about the latest technology or tactics – it’s all about relationships and developing lifelong partnerships who are excited about investing in your mission! Learn the time-tested principles behind a more sustainable – and more satisfying – approach to raising all the money your school needs to fulfill its mission.

The Taking Donors Seriously® Framework

Whether you are working to raise a $50,000 annual fund or $5 million for new buildings, the framework is the same. Learn the five key elements of a more relational, strategic approach to fundraising: Case, Leadership, Prospects, Strategy and Plan.

Deep Dive: Prospects

The 80/20 rule applies even to fundraising – so why handle every donor the same way? Learn how to develop, segment and prioritize your prospect list, assign a “target high” and a “target low” to each donor, and determine the appropriate cultivation strategy for each one.

Deep Dive: Leadership

You don’t have to do it alone! There are many valuable roles that volunteers can play in your school’s fundraising effort. We’ll go into more depth on each of those key roles, and discuss how to recruit your own team of volunteer leaders.

Bonus: The Case for Support

The FOCUS Group will provide participants access to our e-learning videos on how to develop and use a Case for Support, and provide a 1:1 follow-up call with a consultant to review a draft Case.

Ame Eldredge, Partner and Senior Consultant, first discovered a talent for training and development during her fifteen-year career with Young Life, serving in several roles including Area Director, Regional Trainer and assisting in National Staff Training events. As a Regional Trainer, she helped field staff in Florida become proficient in fundraising, building support teams, financial management and donor relations.

In addition to Young Life she has significant and varied experience in the nonprofit sector. Having served on staff with several organizations serving such populations as youth in crisis, the homeless and the uninsured, she brings an intimate knowledge of management and advancement matters in this arena. She currently serves on the board of Global Teams International.

Ame graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and has done graduate work through Fuller Seminary. Ame and her husband, Mark reside in Jacksonville, Florida.

Zach Gurick, Consultant, developed extensive fundraising and executive coaching expertise through 15 years in his former role as an Executive Director for a large non-profit ministry. He excels in recruiting and establishing strong teams, training and developing staff, engaging high-capacity donors, and leading towards a significant vision. He is passionate about strategic and professional development, and helping people and organizations flourish.

Zach utilized the Taking Donors Seriously® methodology on a daily basis for 15 years, and has taught dozens of ministry and nonprofit leaders how to implement this framework. Zach earned a B.S. from Coastal Carolina University in Biology and Chemistry before pursuing graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He currently lives in Naples, Florida with his wife, Blair and their three children.

The FOCUS Group is a fundraising consulting firm serving Christian nonprofits around the US and internationally. In recent years, it has served Geneva School of Boerne (TX), Veritas School (Richmond, VA), Geneva School of Manhattan (NY), Paideia Academy (Knoxville, TN), Cedar Tree Classical Christian School (Ridgefield, WA), and the ACCS itself.