“Pinnacle Classical Academy offers more than an exemplary college preparatory education. PCA embodies a philosophy, a passion and a strongly held belief that the purpose of education is to teach a student to live by developing the mind to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He must be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past, and equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.”
Pinnacle Classical Academy’s values are derived from Aristotle’s Ethics, are consistent with one another, and are integrated into a framework of staff and student Character (honesty, integrity), Judgment (reality, reason, independent thought), Success (productivity, teamwork, justice) and Happiness (self- esteem, pride). Our focus on values grows from our belief that ideas matter and that an individual’s character is of critical significance.
The mission of the Classical Foundations Program (CFP) is to provide Pinnacle Classical Academy students, faculty, and community leaders with a deeper understanding of the nation’s founding principles and their application to modern life through historical and economic works as a part of the school’s curriculum and through a series of academic events.
In the Classical Foundations Program, students read and discuss works by our nation’s founders in the following required high school-level classes:
Economics and Personal Finance (EPF)
Students read the works contained in Henry Clark and Eric Allison’s economics anthology, Economic Morality, which includes portions of works by authors who directly influenced our nation’s founders (including Locke, Montesquieu, and Smith), earlier thinkers who inspired these authors, and later thinkers who are part of this tradition (including Bastiat, Rand, and Friedman).
Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina
Students read the following works as part of the course:
- Mayflower Compact
- Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence • Halifax Resolves
- United States Declaration of Independence • Articles of Confederation
- United States Constitution & Bill of Rights • Federalist Papers (excerpts)
- North Carolina Constitution
American History / English
Eleventh grade students read excerpts from a number of works by men and women who shaped America’s founding, including Abigail Adams, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Washington.
Students read and discuss speeches from our nation’s founding as part of their Rhetoric class, including speeches by James Otis, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, Fisher Ames, and Thomas Jefferson.
In addition, the CFP provides numerous opportunities for students including:
Constitution Day & Statehood Day
In September, the CFP sponsors Constitution Day which includes assemblies that feature current or former legislators, and age-appropriate classroom lessons that focus on the text of the Constitution. In November, history and social studies teachers deliver a program devoted to the NC Constitution.
Classical Foundations Lecture and Dinner
Each semester, a visiting scholar delivers a lecture on founding principles, followed by a meeting with faculty and staff to discuss pertinent topics in history, economics, and education, then a dinner with local community and industry leaders. Speakers have included Dr. C. Bradley Thompson (Executive Director, Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Professor of Political Science), and Dr. David Bobb (President of the Bill of Rights Institute).
The CFP sponsors a portion of the professional development for teachers, which include in in- depth look at our values, the nation’s founding principles, and Teaching Johnny to Think, and plans to include speakers from organizations such as the Bill of Rights Institute, FEE, Hillsdale College, and the Institute for Humane Studies.
The CFP sponsors essay contests, many of which include scholarship opportunities of up to $25,000.
Foundation for Economic Education Seminar
Every other year, the CFP hosts a Foundation for Economics Education (FEE) seminar where high school students learn about the importance of property rights, character, responsibility, and their relationship to markets and the economy. Past seminars have been led by Dr. Antony Davies of Duquesne University, Dr. James Harrigan of the University of Arizona, and Dr. Phil Magness of the American Institute for Economic Research.
Reality of Money Simulation
Through a presentation by the State Employees Credit Union, students learn about the impact their choices make on their budget and lifestyle.
The CFP also sponsors the graduation speaker each year. Pinnacle Classical Academy’s first graduation speaker is John A. Allison IV, former board chair and CEO of BB&T.
Director of Programs, Foundation for Economic Education
Development Manager, Ayn Rand Institute
Manager of Student Programs, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Professor of History and John Anthony Halter Chair in American History, the Constitution, and the Second Amendment, Hillsdale College
Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University; Managing Editor, Political Economy in the Carolinas
Pinnacle Classical Academy, founding board member and current board vice chairman