Our Story

The board of Bonner Classical Academy formed in early 2022 with the goal of launching an independent classical Christian school. They included families with old roots in North Idaho, and new families who wanted to preserve and continue the community they came to join. Their vision was to found a school based on the liberal arts tradition, with an emphasis on Christ-centered education, mechanical arts training, nature-based learning in the elementary school, and American civics.

In June 2022, the board hired Dr. Jessica Drexel as Executive Director and future Head of School. Dr. Drexel relocated to Sandpoint from Waco, TX, bringing experience in planning school launches and nine years of work in higher education and K-12 classical education.

Bonner Classical Academy will open in the Greater Sandpoint area in Fall of 2023 as an elementary school, and the school will add a grade every year until it’s K-12.

Our Mission

Bonner Classical Academy exists to cultivate wonder, knowledge, virtue, and self-reliance in our students through the tradition of classical Christian education.

Our Vision

Bonner Classical Academy will equip the next generation of joyful men and women to love God and neighbor while laying the foundation for a life-long pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty.

School Name: Bonner Classical Academy

Bonner Classical Academy is intended to continue the North Idaho legacy of community, self-reliance, faith, civics, working with the land, and lifelong learning. With this in mind, the school founders chose the name Bonner Classical Academy because they wanted the school to represent not just the city of Sandpoint, but the diversity of residents in the whole county and surrounding area.

Our Emblem: The Gryphon

The Gryphon is a mythical creature that’s half eagle and half lion. Eagles were considered king of the air, and lions king of the land. In heraldry, Gryphons represented strength, courage, and leadership. In the Medieval era, the Gryphon thus came to symbolize Christ’s lordship over all creation and his identity as God and man in one person. Since Christ is at the center of all we do at BCA, this image is the perfect mascot for our school.

Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.”

–Jeremiah 6:16

Our Motto: Fides et Ratio

Fides et Ratio is Latin for “Faith and Reason.” In the liberal arts tradition, faith and reason work together—not against each other—in the student’s pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Reason is knowledge based on evidence and logic. It’s essential for sound thinking and good decision-making. Aristotle even asserted that virtue meant acting in accordance with reason. But reason is not the only way we know things. In fact, to claim that we can only be certain if we can produce empirical evidence would make us radical skeptics. Instead, humans are capable of knowing true things through reason, and through faith.

Faith is a different sort of knowledge, and it, too, is essential for human flourishing. For instance, we know that justice is real, and that it’s good and worth pursuing. We also know, as Christians, that God made the world, placed us in it with a purpose, and that Christ took on flesh and died to save us. But we can never empirically measure justice, or Christ’s resurrection, in a lab. Few would say that justice doesn’t exist because there’s no empirical proof; furthermore, the vast majority of reasonable people do indeed agree that justice exists. While these kinds of facts cannot be known solely through reason, they don’t defy reason either. Rather, they’re known through faith and are compatible with reason. Things like justice, God, and beauty are some of the most important to pursue, and this pursuit has generated the Greatest Conversations in human history.

Since all study within the liberal arts is integrated, faith and reason are always intertwined. Thus, whether we’re studying algebra, theology, or botany, faith and reason work together as we grow in knowledge and wisdom.