At the Founders Classical Academy of Leander inaugural graduation ceremony, the 11 graduating seniors not only got to hear remarks from America’s favorite game show host, they also learned that the school won a $25,000 award for its exceptional classroom teaching.

“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak was the honored guest at the commencement on May 27 and addressed the graduates with some words of wisdom about the dangers of identity politics and the importance of pursuing individual virtue.

Sajak may seem far removed from the small central Texas town of Leander but he actually serves as vice-chairman on the board of trustees of Hillsdale College, which provides curriculum and teache- training support to the Founders Classical Academies within the ResponsiveEd system.

“We asked Mr. Sajak to speak at our first graduation because during his long and successful career in the public eye he has devoted himself to the betterment of his country and the education of its citizens,” said Founders Classical Academy of Leander Headmaster Kathleen O’Toole.  “For our first graduating class and for all of us, he is an example of citizenship and of virtue.”

Before the excitement for Sajak’s appearance died down, the announcement was made that the school was the recipient of the Henry Salvatori Prize for Excellence in Teaching and awarded $25,000 to go toward classroom enhancements. The award is given out each year by Hillsdale College to a public or private school that exemplifies the principles of a classical liberal arts education.

“Founders Classical Academy is working hard to provide the students of Leander with a quality education,” said Phil Kilgore, Director of the Barney Charter School Initiative at Hillsdale College. “This award recognizes the diligence and drive of the teachers and administrators who have made the school a success.”

“The experience of our first graduating class shows us what is possible through classical education, and I am so proud of these students,” concludes O’Toole. “I know they will continue to make us proud in the years to come.”

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