Atlanta Classical Academy’s Board of Directors announces Mr. Chris Knowles as the school’s new principal beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The APS charter school, in its fifth year, welcomed students for the first day of school today.
Mr. Knowles joins Atlanta Classical from the Westminster School at Oak Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama, an independent, K-12 classical school, where he served most recently as Head of the Upper School. In that role, he supervised several academic departments, organized senior capstone trips to Italy and Greece, and successfully directed the school’s accreditation renewal with AdvancED. He previously served for four years as the Dean of Students for the Middle School. He has also taught Latin, Greek, Spanish, humanities, rhetoric, and logic for the Westminster School.
Mr. Knowles, a native of Marietta and graduate of Walton High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Davidson College and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
“The board sees in Mr. Knowles a capable leader who will advance our mission and serve as the intellectual leader of the faculty and the principal teacher of the school,” said the Board’s chair, Mr. Matthew Kirby. “He will support our growing arts, athletics, and activities programs, and manage the affairs of the whole with both a firm sense of what is right and a humble demeanor,” Mr. Kirby added. “Mr. Knowles is an articulate apologist for classical education; he will set a very fine example for our faculty, staff, and students.”
Mr. Knowles attended Atlanta Classical’s annual faculty training at Hillsdale College in June and formally began his role in July. He succeeds Mr. Stephen P. Lambert, who served Atlanta Classical from its inception as Assistant Principal and then Principal. Mr. Lambert resigned from Atlanta Classical effective at the end of the 2017-18 school year to accept a fellowship with Bluum, Inc., as New School Fellow to help launch a new classical charter school in Idaho.
“A primary reason that compelled my family toward Atlanta Classical was the sense of clarity of its mission and vision,” says Mr. Knowles. “Throughout the interview process, I found myself consistently impressed with the common language and passion among the faculty and staff. It was clear to me that this was a community that shared a deeply-rooted desire to form virtuous citizens through our approach to education. The prospect of being able to lead this caliber of a school community compelled me to come to ACA, and it continues to energize me as we dive into the school year.”
Mr. Knowles was selected in May after an international search, aided by an 18-member search advisory group from the Atlanta Classical community and the search firm Carney Sandoe & Associates.
Mr. Knowles and his wife, Kendra, have two daughters, a rising Atlanta Classical kindergartner and a one-year-old.
-August 8, 2018