A lecture by Stephen Fitzpatrick.
Q&A to follow.
Saturday: April 27,
7250 Patterson Avenue
Hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served.
Stephen Fitzpatrick holds degrees from Thomas Aquinas College and the University of Scranton, and has been an educator for 15 years. This fall he will assume the position of Head of School at Cardinal Newman Academy.
As our third quarter ended last week, my medieval European history class had a final test on the Crusades. Both the students and I had hopes for this test: I hoped to see our efforts developing prewriting and organizational techniques work to their benefit, and they wanted to do well on a test measuring content knowledge of a topic they enjoyed.
When I wrote the test, I thought of Seneca’s advice on the role of a teacher: namely, that the teacher and the student ought to share the common goal of seeking the advancement of the student.
At Cardinal Newman Academy, we as teachers have several advantages in forming relationships with our students that help them see that our goals match as Seneca suggests. Our small size allows us to be more accessible to our students, enabling additional academic help as needed.
Our students are able to get to know us outside the classroom and as members of our own families and communities, whether that be through athletic events, community gatherings, or service opportunities. We teachers, in turn, learn a great deal about our students’ interests and families, their ways of thinking and forming opinions, and areas in which we can help them grow.
Our class schedule is built to enhance these opportunities also, particularly our Lunch Conference. Several times per week, our longer lunch period enables teachers and students to interact socially and collegially.
We have enjoyed using this time to talk about a book we are reading, a movie we saw, or even to play a board game. Board games are wonderful ways to enjoy the company, competitive energy, and strategic thinking skills of our students.
From Backgammon to Happy Families (in French or Latin) to Senet to Battle Line, board games are truly a time when teachers and students share a common purpose – and winning surely benefits and advances the student!
Eileen M. Lapington
Cardinal Newman Academy
Are you intrigued by math puzzles and brainteasers? Do you enjoy playing logic and strategy games? Do you want to enhance your problem solving and mathematical reasoning skills?
Cardinal Newman Academy announces their Middle School Math Circle for Spring 2019.
The Circle is open to students in grades 6-8 who are looking for a challenge and are interested in enhancing their appreciation for mathematics, developing their problem solving skills, and discovering new applications for mathematical concepts.
The Circle is a fun, collaborative, and social way for students to develop analytical thinking skills and gain exposure to math reasoning outside the school curriculum.
To learn more about Math Circles please visit: www.mathcircles.org
Cardinal Newman Academy
7250 Patterson Avenue
Henrico, VA 23229
Sunday, March 10
For more information or to register, email
Download the flyer
I often stress to parents that we seek to both educate and form our students. Yes, we teach important content knowledge, but our students will graduate as more than mere competent thinkers. We aim to form virtuous, thoughtful, and ethical people. An example of this approach is how we teach math.
We think about math as more than just a technical discipline at the service of college or career; it is instead a field of study that demands the habit of careful reasoning, the fluidity of creative thinking, and the rigor of logical contemplation. This method begins with our Middle School Math Circle. Open to students in grades 6-8, the Math Circle explores a variety of mathematical topics by posing a question or problem with a low bar to entry but a high ceiling for discovery – some topics are the sorts of problems that graduate students study for their dissertations! The students work together to parse the wording of the problem, model the questions being posed, and use creative reasoning to work towards a solution.
Our high school math curriculum builds on these habits of mind that we teach in the Math Circle. Our math classes demand deep understanding of mathematical principles. When introducing new topics or problems, though, we offer students encouragement and opportunities for applying critical thought and creative reasoning to arrive at a solution. Through this deeper engagement, students acquire an understanding of the logic of mathematical principles and an appreciation for the depth and beauty of mathematics.
Our goal for our students is not that they achieve mere technical competence, but that they form the habits of reasoning and diligence required for both technical success and human fulfillment.
With great excitement, I am pleased to announce the hiring of our next Head of School: Stephen Fitzpatrick. Starting this Fall, Steve will lead our continued growth and will work closely with the Board of Directors and faculty in shepherding our vision for a unique academic and faith environment that serves the Richmond Catholic community.
He will also work closely with Dr. Eileen Lapington, who will be stepping down from her role as Director at the end of the academic year. Eileen looks forward to contributing to the life and growth of our school in new ways, both inside and outside the classroom.
Steve holds an undergraduate degree in the Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College and a master’s degree in Theology from the University of Scranton.
Steve has been a teacher, administrator, and coach in several public and Catholic schools in both Canada and the United States, most recently Gregory the Great Academy in Pennsylvania where he currently teaches. He has taught a wide array of disciplines including Latin, algebra, geometry, humanities, physics, science, music, and writing. He has also held several administrative positions and has considerable experience in teacher training and development.
Steve and his wife Vanessa are the proud parents of five children, and in his spare time he enjoys playing music, reading, and playing with his kids. Steve has contributed to Crisis Magazine and has lectured at the Wojtyla Summer Institute for Teachers.
“I am excited and humbled by the opportunity to join the wonderful team at Cardinal Newman Academy and will strive every day to be worthy of the great trust and responsibility placed in me. I look forward to begin working with the young men and women at the school and helping them ‘to reach out towards truth, and to grasp it.’ It is my goal to lead a school where the academic life is rigorous yet joyful, where the students and teachers alike look forward to being there, and where we all grow in wonder, wisdom, and holiness together.”
We have been immeasurably blessed by Eileen’s leadership as our Founding Director, and we are grateful for her continued role at Cardinal Newman Academy moving forward. And as we welcome Steve as our Head of School, we thank our community for your support and prayers as we continue to build our vision for education in Richmond.
John P. O’Herron
Cardinal Newman Academy