Each summer, educators from across the country travel to Hillsdale for our annual conference in classical education. Whether you are brand new to classical education or a seasoned veteran, the summer conference provides all teachers at Hillsdale Member Schools a chance to reflect on their work and prepare for the coming academic year.

To provide for teachers, staff, and school leaders who are unable to travel at this time, many of the conference sessions will be recorded and available at this website after the conference.

Special Guests

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Daniel Willingham

Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

Daniel Willingham is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-12 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is the author of several booksHis writing on education has appeared in seventeen languages and in 2017 he was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Member of the National Board for Education Sciences.

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Ian Rowe

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Ian Rowe is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation, and adoption. Mr. Rowe is also the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools opening in the Bronx in 2022; the chairman of the board of Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption services organization; and the cofounder of the National Summer School Initiative. He concurrently serves as a senior visiting fellow at the Woodson Center and a writer for the 1776 Unites Campaign.

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Betsy DeVos

Former Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos is a leader, an innovator, a disruptor, and a champion for freedom. Having served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education from 2017-2021, she delivered historic reforms to improve education and ensure civil rights are protected. For more than three decades she’s led the fight for policies that allow students and their parents the freedom to choose the best educational option for them. Betsy is the former chair of the American Federation for Children, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Michigan Republican Party, and has served on numerous boards, including the Kennedy Center and the American Enterprise Institute. She is a graduate of Calvin College and is married to entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community activist Dick DeVos. Together, they have four children and ten grandchildren.

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Leonard Sax

Author, Physician, and Psychologist

Dr. Sax earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from MIT, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in five semesters at the age of 19. He then went on to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned both his PhD in psychology and his MD. In 1990, he established a family practice in Montgomery County Maryland, just outside Washington DC. He took a 5-year sabbatical, 2008 to 2013, to devote himself full-time to visiting schools and communities and to writing. He returned to clinical practice in 2013 near his home in Chester County, Pennsylvania, while continuing to lead workshops and give keynotes based on his visits to more than 460 communities over the past 20 years.

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Andrew Zwerneman

President of Cana Academy

Andrew J. Zwerneman serves as Cana Academy’s President and as a Master Teacher. For 37 years, he has taught and consulted in secondary schools that emphasize classic humanities. For 19 years he headed schools—2 at the public charter school, Tempe Preparatory Academy in Tempe, Arizona, and 17 at Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church, Virginia. He is the founder and owner of The Academy Project, LLC, which wrote the curricula and trained faculties for Thomas MacLaren School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. He holds a B.A. and A.B.D. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. from St. John’s University.

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Michael Maibach

Distinguished Fellow on American Federalism, Save Our States‚Äč

Michael Maibach is a seasoned professional in global business diplomacy, advisor to non-profit organizations, and a supporter of vital civic causes. He is a Distinguished Fellow on American Federalism and Save our States, an organization dedicated to defending the Founder's Federalism and the Consititution's Electoral College. He is also the Founder of the Center for the Electoral College.

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Sacred Heart Academy

Showcase School

The classical school world is filled with good ideas. Each year, we invite a school from outside Hillsdale College's network to join us. We are pleased to welcome Sacred Heart Academy during Session 2 this year.  

Sacred Heart Academy is a Catholic K-12 classical school in Grand Rapids, MI. The school was founded in 1903 as the Sacred Heart of Jesus School and re-founded as a classical school in 2013.

Session 1

Sunday, June 19 to Thursday, June 23

  • 7th-12th Grade
  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Latin
  • Modern Foreign Language

Session 2

Thursday, June 23 to Sunday, June 26

  • School Leaders and Administration
  • Special Education
  • Office Personnel
  • College Counselors

Session 3

Sunday, June 26 to Thursday, June 30

  • Kindergarten
  • 1st Grade
  • 2nd Grade
  • 3rd Grade
  • 4th Grade
  • 5th Grade
  • 6th Grade

This year we are adding an extra day to Sessions 1 and 3.  This day is meant for in-depth time dedicated to special topics that we think are too important to have compete with other conference offerings.

Session 1 Workshop Day: Attendees will have the option of attending a series of talks given by Leonard Sax, author of Girls on the EdgeBoys AdriftWhy Gender Matters, and The Collapse of Parenting; or Dr. Daniel B. Coupland, Professor of Education at Hillsdale College, who will be giving a series of talks on classical pedagogy.  

Session 3 Workshop Day: Attendees will have the option of attending specific sessions on Literacy Essentials or a series of sessions on classical pedagogy given by Dr. Daniel B. Coupland, Professor of Education at Hillsdale College.

Conference Information about Session 2