Ten Core Values » #3 – Emphasis on Mentors and Classics

#3 – Emphasis on Mentors and Classics

We value mentors and classics as a way of becoming. A mentor is an individual of high moral character who can guide a scholar in both intellectual and moral development while respecting the sovereignty and intrinsic potential of the scholar. All the greatest leaders throughout history were inspired and guided by mentors. The formula is simple yet profound: the scholars read the classics and discussed them with mentors whose passion for learning was contagious.

The primary and most influential mentors are parents. Teachers at John Adams Academy join with parents in mentoring scholars. They place the development of their scholars foremost in their work. They are well versed in the subjects they teach and use effective methods of instruction. In every mode of their instruction, their focus is on helping their scholars rise to their full potential as servant leaders, rather than on merely meeting all the learning standards. They live the core values of John Adams Academy, serving as an example to those they mentor. In turn, scholars are given increasing opportunities to mentor others in and out of the classroom.

Classics allow a scholar to have as mentors some of the greatest men and women who have ever lived. It is through the classics that scholars are introduced to excellence, come to know themselves and reality, and are ultimately inspired to causes greater than self. As a scholar engages with a classic in wonder and teachability, a classic can mentor the scholar toward truth, wisdom, and virtue. Classics are foundational and necessary in the traditional liberal arts education of a servant leader.


Teachers at John Adams Academy place the development of their scholars foremost in their work.  They are well versed in the subjects they teach and use effective methods of instruction. They know how to balance direct instruction with Socratic discussion; Aristotelian group interaction with individual study; and content knowledge with skill acquisition. They live the core values of John Adams Academy.


Classics allow us intimate insight into the greatest men and women who have ever lived. A classic is a book that has a great theme that teaches principles of enduring importance. It is written in noble language that inspires not only the psyche of the soul but also expands the multiple senses of the mind. It has universality and speaks across the millennia to people of any age. A classic book is a possession for all time. It is never finished saying what it has to say and can be read again and again. In a classic, we discover heroes courageously grappling with societal, historical, political, and moral problems that are timeless for their expression of understanding and universal in their application of relevance. Classics, besides being foundational, are required in a traditional liberal arts education. Indeed, a classic based education produces scholars, who possess the expanding availability of intellect and the practiced skills of a free person empowered with tremendous responsibility of self-government.