Agathos Classical School Celebrates Groundbreaking
New Classroom Building Will Extend School’s Ability to Serve Parents and Students
Columbia, TN – August 26, 2016 – Agathos Classical School joyously celebrated the groundbreaking of its first permanent classroom building at this year’s Back to School Picnic. The school first met in finished barn space when it formed in 2003, and later gratefully used rooms at local churches. In 2007, the school moved to its current 17-acre campus at which portable classrooms affectionately dubbed “learning cottages” encircle a flagpole.
Planned for 5,894 square feet of space, the new one-story building will include six classrooms and a central gathering hall. An additional wing with two more classrooms can be added in the future.
Student and teacher representatives wielded shiny red shovels to break ground where a future sidewalk will connect the new building with the existing Virginia Jean farmhouse. After the ceremony, all present were invited to sign a uniquely-shaped boulder, recently dug from the construction site. The stone will be sealed and displayed as part of the new building’s landscaping. The celebration was backdropped by a line of bulldozers and excavators neatly flanking a flat earthen pad.
“Nuber Architecture is pleased to partner with Agathos Classical School on a project which embraces the spirit of classical design and innovation in the classroom environment,” explained architect George Nuber. “Being the first new permanent structure on campus, the architecture of the facility was inspired by the original Virginia Jean farmhouse, but adds a distinct architectural language that will inspire future projects. Working in an environment which is intentionally less institutional, we trust this will encourage students and faculty to appreciate an atmosphere that will direct their focus on academic excellence.”
“It is a wonderful time to be at Agathos!” exclaimed Ted Trainor, Head of School. “What a joy to see God faithfully providing for our needs through this construction project as he has done these last thirteen years. I truly look forward to seeing this new building be a vehicle for inspiring generations of young people to honor God and serve their fellow man via an Agathos classical Christian education.”
At the Groundbreaking Celebration, Dr. Mark Seago, Chairman of Agathos’ Board of Trustees, reflected on how the school’s needs have been met throughout its history, attributing all provision to God’s blessing. He thanked those who perform the “little things,” perhaps less visibly, that enable the school to run smoothly, noting that there truly are no little things. He expressed appreciation to George Nuber for designing the project, to Scott Walker and Kathy Lafferty of First Tennessee Bank for financing, to Bart Whatley for serving as an advisor, and to general contractor Paul Varney of Paul Varney Construction. Varney expressed that his firm is “glad to be a part of this project for a great private school in the area.” Completion is anticipated in early 2017.
- Contact: Ted Trainor, Head of School Trainor@agathosschool.com 931-381-0556
- Agathos Classical School is a multi-denominational classical Christian school that serves grades pre-K through 12. Using proven classical methods, Agathos teaches students to learn by acquiring facts, reasoning logically, and speaking eloquently. These skills prepare graduates to excel in college and life Soli Deo Gloria – to the glory of God alone. The school sits on seventeen rolling acres on the corner of Tom Hitch Parkway and Mapleash Avenue in Columbia, TN.
The new classroom building (right) echoes the style of the existing Virginia-Jean farmhouse which will continue to serve as office space and the studio for art and music classes. Image: Nuber Architecture
Student and teacher representatives broke ground on what will become the sidewalk between the existing Virginia Jean House and the new classroom building, symbolically linking the school’s present with the future. Photo: Warren Greene
(l to r) Dr. Mark Seago, Chairman of Agathos Board of Trustees, and Ted Trainor, Head of School, thanked Bart Whatley (advisor), George Nuber (architect), Paul Varney (general contractor), Scott Walker and Kathy Lafferty (unpictured) (financing, First Tennessee Bank.) Photo: Off the Duck
Agathos Warriors Place 6th at State Mock Trial
Agathos Classical School’s inaugural team placed sixth in the Tennessee Bar Association’s 36th annual mock trial championship in Nashville, March 18-19. Sixteen high school teams reached the state championship by winning district competitions in which they played the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Each team represented both the prosecution and the defense in a fictitious case developed by the TBA’s Young Lawyers Division.
Agathos’ entire student body lined up to wave and cheer as the Mock Trial team left campus for State. After four rounds of intense competition over two days, an awards ceremony was held in the ballroom of the downtown Doubletree Hotel. Two Agathos students won individual recognition. Freshman attorney Josiah Burns was named MVP and sophomore Luke Worsham was honored with 2nd Best Attorney for the Plaintiff.
The team was thrilled with their debut performance and quick to credit others. “Just five months ago, Cory Ricci, one of our attorney coaches, taught us what a leading question is. Now, we’re sixth in the state,” observed Worsham. “It really is a testament to both God’s blessings and guidance of our team” and to our coaches. “We wouldn’t have won anything without their counseling and guidance.”
Coach Whatley couldn’t be more proud. “There were schools in the competition that were literally one hundred times the size of ours. These students, all very young, did more and went further than anyone thought they could. We are so proud of them and looking forward to making a run for the state title next year.”
Montgomery Bell Academy won the State Mock Trial Championship over second place Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association (CSTHEA.) The following schools also participated at this year’s state competition: Unicoi County High School, Erwin, Jefferson Co. High School, Dandridge, Clinton High School, Clinton, McCallie School, Chattanooga, Beech High School, Hendersonville, Pope John Paul II, Hendersonville, Eagleville High School, Eagleville, Harpeth Hall, Nashville, Ravenwood High School, Brentwood, Dyersburg High School, Dyersburg, Home Life Academy, Jackson, St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis, and White Station High School, Memphis.
Agathos Mock Trial Team (left to right): Coach Jason Whatley, Coach Cory Ricci, Samuel Whatley, Micah Willoughby, Matthew Whatley, Luke Worsham, Jake Trainor, Ethan Seago, Josiah Burns, Luke Epley, Adriana Baena, & Advisor Grant Kelley.
Previous News of 2016
Underdog Warriors Head to State Mock Trial
Columbia, TN – February 23, 2016 – Agathos Classical School’s inaugural Mock Trial team emerged victorious from Saturday’s (2/20) District 11 Mock Trial competition at Williamson County Courthouse. In its debut performance, the predominantly freshman squad competed against fourteen high schools from an eleven county region. In addition, two Agathos students placed in the individual awards category: Luke Worsham was recognized as one of the three top student attorneys and Luke Epley earned recognition as one of three top witnesses.
Co-coached by local attorneys, Mr. Jason Whatley and Mr. Cory Ricci, the rookie squad was comprised of attorneys Luke Worsham-10th, Ethan Seago-10th, and Josiah Burns-9th, and witnesses Luke Epley-9th, Samuel Whatley-9th, Micah Willoughby-9th, Adrianna Baena-9th, Carter Powers-10th, and Jake Trainor-11th. Advisors included Mrs. Sharon Babcock-Speech Coach, Mr. Grant Kelley-Rhetoric Coach, Grace Masters-10th, and Matthew Whatley-7th.
This year’s contest, sponsored by the TN State Bar Association, is based on a fictional civil case regarding a horse trailer fire. Teams compete in front of a jury of practicing attorneys and circuit court judges who collaborate to score each team on its performance according to set standards. “I especially appreciate the judges and lawyers who heard our cases,” expressed Coach Whatley. “It was a complete honor to be paired against some of the best mock trial programs in the state.”
“It was a complete honor to be paired against some of the best mock trial programs in the state.”
Successful teams must effectively represent both sides using the same body of evidence. The Agathos lawyers attained favorable judgments in their two rounds representing the Defendant and in the two rounds (including the Finals) representing the Plaintiff. Team Captain Worsham speculated that perhaps their preparation from a classical school helped them thrive in their first tournament. “The classical method, “says Worsham, “is perfect for mock trial because the whole time you’re thinking on your feet.”
Grateful for their coaching and recent success, the Agathos Warriors are again working diligently to prepare for State Mock Trial on March 18th-19th in Nashville, where they will compete against the top teams from Tennessee’s 14 regional districts. Head of School Ted Trainor concluded, “We are so grateful for the investment made in the lives of our students from the legal community. From our local attorney coaches to those involved at the regional level, this competition has been an encouraging experience. As the Bible teaches, we become like our teachers. In this sense, the adults involved in mentoring the students throughout this competition have been nothing short of amazing. Thus, I know I speak for the team when I say that we earnestly hope to continue to represent those mentors, our school, and region well in the State competition. And as a Christian school we sincerely hope to honor the Lord in all that we do along the way.”