Dear Enrolling and Prospective Families of Hózhó Academy:
It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I introduce myself to you as the first principal of Hózhó Academy. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the opening of a new elementary school here in Gallup. What an exciting opportunity to bring classical education to the students of this community!
You may have questions about what a classical education is and how it is different from other instructional models as well as how I will be leading such a school. As a parent myself, I know we all want our children to have every opportunity to choose a path that will be fulfilling and rewarding, knowing that ultimately, this will bring them the greatest happiness in life. They may choose to go to college, or open a business or be a stay at home mom. No matter what they choose to do, they need to be prepared. A classical education, with its rich and rigorous curriculum, prepares its graduates to have every option available to them.
Beyond preparing students academically, a classical education focuses on developing both intellectual and moral virtues. Students learn the value of striving for goals through diligence and perseverance. They also learn how to conduct themselves in a self-confident and respectful manner. In many schools, bullying is on the rise. A classical school emphasizes proper interactions and teaches respect for all people, not as an afterthought, but as an integral part of day to day instruction.
Classical education has the tools to bring people together by focusing on what unites us. There are good, true, and beautiful things to learn which have spanned different cultures, races, and times. We are forever changed after hearing a beautiful piece of music or viewing a treasured work of art. Our differences should only serve to enrich our discussions and open our minds to new perspectives. For thousands of years, people across many nations have been gathering the very best representations of human endeavors. To know these things enriches our lives and to enjoy them leads to the path of happiness.
My first task as principal is to assemble and lead the best possible team of teachers and staff. Recruitment for these positions is being pursued locally as well as nationally. Hózhó Academy’s students will have dedicated, hard-working, and caring teachers who will instruct not only from their knowledge, but also by their example. Once this team is assembled, we will begin working and communicating together immediately to establish a solid school culture.
As the principal, my door is always open. I welcome everyone’s thoughts and ideas and I wish to address any issues or concerns as soon as they arise. Each family’s involvement with the school will be an important factor in how we grow.
I’m looking forward to serving Hózhó Academy students and their families. Together we can create a vibrant community of learning!
Principal, Hózhó Academy
Juliane Hillock is the founding principal of Hózhó Academy. Juliane is originally from Portland, Maine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hillsdale College and a master’s degree in school leadership from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to pursuing principal licensure, she worked as a special education teacher in the Phoenix area for eight years and previously worked as a teacher for students with autism in Maine. While earning a master’s degree in special education from the University of Phoenix and later a graduate certificate from Arizona State University, she also served as an instructor in the special education master’s program at Arizona State University and was a contributing author to the text book used in the same program.
As part of the school leadership program at Harvard, Juliane served for a full year as a principal intern for a public elementary school in Boston. Upon returning to Arizona, she became the founding principal of a STEAM elementary charter school and later transitioned to become the principal of a private school for students with autism in grades kindergarten through high school.
Juliane is a wife, a mother of five grown children, and a grandmother “nana” to three grandchildren.