Updated: Jun 22, 2020
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” -Aristotle
Tell me about yourself:
Salute! My name is Brenda. I have the greatest blessing of being a devoted wife to my husband, Don, and mother to two fantastic young men, ages 32 and 16. We love the outdoors, and we can often be found scaling the vast mountain ranges of our great nation on a serene backpacking excursion or day hike. In the winter season we move our adventures to the snowy mountains of Colorado, Utah, and Vermont for a challenge on the slopes. We are an active family of martial artists who enjoy physical fitness and helping to equip and encourage others to build confidence and overcome challenges. Having served many years in our church ministry assisting couples to grow together, my husband and I are both passionate about great marriages and financial stewardship. Most evenings we are gathered on the front porch reading, welcoming the company of neighbors and friends, or just enjoying the blessing of family time. I love to read, learn, and grow. My favorite pastime is sharing great books, fine food, and fellowship with my friends. My motto -If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
What led you to Classical Conversations and what do you like most about it?
This coming year will mark my 9th year of service to Classical Conversations and I am blessed beyond measure by the various support roles I have had the privilege to lead. 2011 ushered in a year of great change for our family as we moved from our sweet southern town of Charleston, SC, to the great big city of Atlanta and transitioned into homeschooling. I knew I needed a support group, and I am so thankful that the Lord led me to Classical Conversations. Halfway through the year we joined a local community as I continued to educate my son with our previous private school curriculum. At the end of our year, I was astonished by how much knowledge my son had gained through the program. Our experience ignited the beginning of a passion for classical education and a deep desire to learn more about the classical education model. Every year I am continually amazed to see the fruit of this beautiful program in the hearts, minds, and souls of our students. I am immensely grateful for Leigh Bortins’ willingness to share her extraordinary gifts with us and creating a rigorous and communal educational experience that produces leaders of truth, goodness, and beauty. I am so grateful for the profound impact that community and great conversations has had on my family and our educational journey.
What made you decide to direct?
“Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them are what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine. I have held various roles in Classical Conversations throughout the years. My journey began as a bit of a surprise when I was approached by the director to tutor the Foundations level. Although I am a "tasker" and do not thrive in passivity, at this time, I never saw myself as someone who would enjoy teaching and certainly not getting up in front of people. However, I am also always up for a challenge to stretch and grow. So I said, “Yes.” And that yes, turned into a yes to step up to becoming an Essentials tutor, a Practicum Coordinator, a Support Representative, and a Director for Challenge III. Each role was a natural progression of challenge, and the journey has shaped and changed me immensely. I am so grateful now to continue enjoying my favorite role of guiding young men and women to seek truth, goodness and beauty, while supporting parents in their educational endeavors.
What are you most looking forward to in the classroom this year?
I am overjoyed to continue my journey of fellowship with parents and mentorship with the incoming challenge III students this year. Challenge III takes place during a transitional point in the lives of these young men and women, as they learn to seek truth and live virtuous lives through their next level of independence. There are many significant changes in this stage of their lives such as driving, jobs, relationships and preparing for a career or college. It is my absolute pleasure to be a part of this transition as they dig deep into examining choices and understanding consequences while experiencing the order, harmony, and beauty in truth, goodness, and virtue.
How does your faith inform your work as a director?
As a faithful follower of Christ, I see the world through the lens of Christ. Having a Biblical Worldview changes the way I naturally see and interact with people and the world around me. I truly am grateful that the Lord sent His beloved son for us to have an example of what it means to be among His children and how we are to love, care and relate to one another. The holy Word of God is our lamp and path to learn and share all that our Creator has generously endowed to His creation. Through Him we see the world, and all the world has to offer points back to Him.
It is my joy and pleasure to serve you.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenge III Director
West Cobb Thursdays