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Press Releases: Charter School News

Liberty Common Schools Hosts 2nd Annual Festival Of Ideas

Monday, February 6, 2017  
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CONTACT: Cindy Skalicky
Phone: 970.290.4684
Collaborative Colloquium attracted 350+ in 2016; Free Event Features Speakers of all Disciplines
Fort Collins, CO (February 3, 2017) On Saturday, February 11, from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Liberty
Common Schools will host its Second Annual Festival of Ideas (FOI). The event is free and open to the public. Attendance at last year’s inaugural event topped 350, prompting organizers to expand the program to a full day schedule. This year, 22 teachers from multiple schools - some of whom hail from Colorado’s western slope and Colorado Springs - will present more than 30 talks on the subject about which they are most passionate. In addition, twelve talented students were selected to present on a wide range of subjects from robotics to the history of coins. Liberty Common High School, located at 2745 Minnesota Drive, will host the event.

“Having witnessed the overwhelming success of last year’s Festival of Ideas, I fully expect this year’s event to be even more spectacular,” said LCHS principal Bob Schaffer. “The academic topics are both fascinating and timely. The presenters are engaging. The family setting is a great reminder that ordinary people can have a ton of fun while learning, sharing, and participating in an informed conversation.”

Sure to be a vibrant display of intellectual fervor, the Festival of Ideas is designed to spur a conversation that celebrates the quest for knowledge with audience members of any age. The event will generate intellectual discussions that begin with top - quality presentations and continue long after the Festival. The full event schedule can be found at

A Sampling of Speakers and Topics:
Mr. Torgun Lovely: Zero: A Tale of Two Histories
What exactly is Zero, and who is its author? Zero played a prominent role in the advancement of mathematics in India and Arabia, yet its absence from Greece and Rome stagnated mathematical advancements until it was found by Europe in the fertile crescent. Why was western civilization so opposed to the concept of the void and the infinite, and what ultimately led to its widespread acceptance?
Mr. Torgun Lovely is the Assistant Principal at Liberty Common High School.

Mrs. Dawn Karr: Galapagos: Through the Eyes of a Biologist
The Galapagos Islands are the setting of one of the most important biological discoveries recorded. It’s impact on the study of evolution, ecosystems, and biology in general cannot be overstated; for biologists everywhere, visiting the Islands is almost a pilgrimage. Experience Galapagos through the pictures and travel experiences of a group of teachers and students from Liberty Common High School, and learn some biology concepts along the way.
Mrs. Karr is a biology teacher at Liberty Common High School.

Mary-Claire Spurgin: The Decline of and Need for the Humanities in Modern Education
There is necessity and value in the humanities in this 21st Century. Many will consider the humanities valuable, but few realize the importance to do integrate them properly in modern education. This is more than just a praise for the liberal arts; it is an in-depth exploration of why schools have failed to implement them correctly, and what can be done to fix that. It should be entirely possible to teach STEM programs alongside Aristotle. Drawing from many sources, including Dorothy Sayers’ The Lost Tools of Learning,” this presentation will propose a revised version of the traditional classical education model as the ideal for today’s schools.
Mary-Claire is a senior at Liberty Common High School.

Bretta Lichtenwalner: How to Make a Wes Anderson Film
Many people just can’t help themselvesbut be fascinated by the unique style of director Wes Anderson. Using a distinct style of bilateral symmetry, leading lines, and precise camera angles, Anderson has made a niche for himself in cinema. The quirky colors, characters, costumes, and music of Alexandre Desplat have entertained, perplexed, and captivated a devout audience. Wes Anderson is unmistakable, and so are his movies. Here’s how to identify an Anderson film on spot.
Bretta is a senior at Liberty Common High School.

About Liberty Common High School
Liberty Common High School is a classical, liberal-arts, college-preparatory institution accentuating math, science and engineering. We believe a high-quality, rigorous education is the “great equalizer” among individuals allowing all students to achieve mature literacy and obtain the ability to thrive in college.

The MacLaren School:
We believe all students should be immersed in the best our tradition has to offer. We believe all students can be active and useful participants in the ongoing and enduring conversation that is a vibrant civilization. We believe all students can be formed in a habitual vision of greatness that makes lifelong learners of the doctor and the mechanic, the homemaker and the professor. Thomas MacLaren School strives to build a lasting community of learners in which each student is the agent of his or her education.

Golden View:
Golden View Classical Academy was established to develop within its students the intellectual and personal habits and skills upon which responsible, independent and productive lives are built, in the firm belief that such lives are the basis of a free and just society. This is achieved by always working to train the minds and improve the hearts of young people through a classical, content-rich education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the
principles of moral character and civic virtue in an orderly and disciplined environment.

By statute, Colorado State University is a comprehensive graduate research university with selective admission standards. Charged with offering a comprehensive array of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, it holds exclusive statewide authority for programs in agriculture, forestry, natural resources, and veterinary medicine.

Twin Peak:
Twin Peaks Charter Academy provides students with a rigorous education and the foundations of virtue and character, building cultural literacy through a content-rich curriculum in an encouraging environment.

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