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SCVNews.com | Trinity School Preps for First Senior Graduation | 05-16-2012
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1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]


On May 26, a local school will celebrate a major achievement since its opening in 2001: its first class of graduating seniors.  Trinity Classical Academy began with 28 students in Kindergarten through second grade and has expanded to include 403 students in K-12th grade.
“It’s exciting; we’re going to miss them.  I just love them,” said Liz Caddow, Head of School for Trinity, when asked about the graduating seniors.
Caddow, who started the school, and Wendy Massetto, Upper Schools Principal for Trinity, take pride in the achievements of the seniors and have been working hard to plan a “thoughtful and purposeful” graduation ceremony.
“I think you can graduate from the modern system right now and not really have worked that hard.  It should be one of the hardest things you’ve done at this stage in your life as an 18-year-old.  And I believe for these kids it has been,” said Caddow, who hopes that her students will find college easier because of their time at Trinity.
One of the seniors’ projects is a 20-30 page senior thesis that they will present before a panel of school leaders next week.  The students will memorize a 10-page summary of their arguments to present before the panel and defend their thesis in the formal setting.
“I’m excited in the sense that it’s the culmination of everything we’ve learned as far as writing and rhetoric,” said James Brooks, a graduating senior who has been at the school since second grade, about his thesis.
As a classical school, Trinity takes a unique approach to education.  Their teaching philosophy is broken down in “The Trivium” into schools of Grammar (third through sixth grade), Logic (seventh through ninth grade) and Rhetoric (10th through 12th grade).  The “Grammar” of a subject is its basic facts and fundamental rules, the “Logic” of a subject is the comprehension of how its facts fit together logically and the “Rhetoric” of a subject is its articulation, expression and application.
“I like Trinity a lot because it’s different.  It helps you with different areas of learning that the normal style of teaching doesn’t cover like discussion, how to talk to people, and reading great books,” explained Brooks.
Trinity requires its students to take Latin courses in third through eighth grade and two years in high school.  Classes in Greek and Hebrew are also offered.  Brooks said that he enjoyed learning Latin because it helped him with his vocabulary and to understand Roman history and culture; he intends to take Latin while at his classical college of choice, Hillsdale College.
Trinity’s curriculum includes Greek mythology for third grade students and the eighth grade students read classical Greek works including Sophocles and Plato.
“A lot of modern-day education talks about critical thinking, but they’re not engaged in things that make them think critically.  If you’re reading Plato and Socrates, you have to think critically because you’re actually reading the big moral questions.  You have to ask hard questions to think critically,” said Caddow.
When asked why parents are attracted to Trinity’s curriculum, Massetto said, “I think they’re seeing that they’re not happy with what’s being produced at other schools and they’re looking for something that’s better.”
Caddow said that Trinity’s mission as a classical and Christian school is to produce young men and women of virtue, wisdom, purpose and courage who will be prepared to succeed in college and in their community.
Along with its first graduating class, Trinity has had other firsts this year.  A new program for students with learning disabilities, Imago Dei, began this year with five students and will be expanding next year.  Trinity sports have also grown to include their first golf team and varsity boys soccer team.

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