After graduating from StoneBridge in 2007, Josh Herring didn’t stray far from the education field. He is now a professor of Classical Education at Thales College in North Carolina, where he is responsible for building and leading his department, developing a teacher training program oriented toward the classical classroom.
“I had made it through my first year at a private Christian high school. I didn’t know Mr. Higgins, and didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately for me, Mr. Higgins didn’t know much about teaching yet.
You see, Mr. Higgins was fresh out of Patrick Henry College, and took a teaching job while he weighed graduate school options. He taught me 11th and 12th grade history, and he didn’t know that assigning 50 pages a week of primary sources for history and economics was mildly abusive. He didn’t know that students couldn’t handle the raw materials of history. And he didn’t know that we lacked an attention span for college level work.
Because Mr. Higgins didn’t know any of those things, he worked us harder than any other teacher at StoneBridge. It was the first time I had a teacher who expected me to love his subject as much as he did, and to bring the full weight of intellectual investigation to the task of reading. Mr. Higgins treated us like young college students, and as such he demanded that we rise to his level of expectation.“
“Mr. Higgins was a great teacher – he loved his subject and insisted that we engage it fully. He thought we could do more than we thought possible, and because he insisted it was possible, every student read more and engaged his material more deeply,” Josh said.
Josh attended StoneBridge for three years, coming straight out of homeschooling.
“My three years at SBS knocked a lot of social edges off of me,” Josh said. “I learned the value of following the dress code, of doing my homework, and how to develop friendships. It was a pivotal time for me.”
He also noted that SBS attuned him to questions of worldview and how to integrate faith and life together. In addition to Mr. Higgins, Josh attributed several teachers as preparing him for college and his career.
“The reading Mr. Higgins, Dr. Isola, and Mrs. Mabe assigned, the chemistry and algebra work I received from Mrs. Ennis, and the guidance on thesis and portfolio projects all come to mind,” he said. “I also look back on Mr. Woods’ tongue twisters in public speaking with great fondness,” he said.
He advises current SBS students to do the work and trust the teachers and their wise counsel, because “their goal is to prepare you for a future you cannot predict.”
“Good teachers transmit knowledge, but excellent teachers shape the souls of their students,” he said. “Excellent teachers inspire students to love their subject; excellent teachers have high expectations for student engagement; excellent teachers invest in their students. In so doing, excellent teachers shape the souls of their students, and help them ‘become who they are becoming.'”
After graduating in 2007, Josh went to Hillsdale College where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in history. It was also at Hillsdale where he met and worked with his wife, Jennifer, for four years, before they started to date their senior year. The couple married in December 2011.
Josh has spent the last decade working as a teacher and administrator at Thales Academy, a non-sectarian network of classical schools.
“I’ve had the blessing of working in a non-Christian environment that allows teachers to bring forth the riches of Christianity that lie within the great tradition,” he explained. “I love raising questions and planting seeds that orient students and teachers toward the truth of the Gospel, and developing lasting relationships so that I can encourage individuals to look toward ultimate truth as they go along life’s journey.”
It’s a calling he takes very seriously.
“What authority I have, I’ve received as a stewardship from God. I’m responsible to use it as one who will give account for my stewardship,” he said, citing Romans 13. “I want to work hard for the kingdom of heaven and be ready to show the Master what I did with whatever positions and authority He has given me.”
Josh and Jennifer, live in Wendell, North Carolina, and attend Christ Covenant Church in Raleigh. He enjoys podcasting, writing, reading and F3, a men’s workout group.
StoneBridge School is a preschool-12th grade classical Christian school, dedicated to equipping nation changers through a Biblical, Principle Approach® education. View all posts by StoneBridge School