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Jim and Elizabeth Hahn founded Areté Preparatory Academy to realize their vision of creating a new kind of high school, one that helps kids rediscover the joy and adventure of learning while preparing them for colleges and universities of their choice. The school's innovative teaching techniques and seminar sized classes serve a population of bright, curious students eager to participate in shaping their own education.

The ancient Greek term Areté is most often translated as "virtue" or "excellence." It is a broad term encompassing the most prized traits in Greek society, including the classical ideals of courage, wisdom, temperance (sophrosune), piety and justice. The name of the school is inspired by Jim Hahn's anthropology background and particular interest in Greek philosophy. The school's beliefs and mission are shaped by years of administrative and faculty experience at prestigious high schools.

Areté offers a challenging, idea-driven curriculum in a small, supportive environment. Our teachers are chosen for their academic accomplishments (more than 70% hold a Master's degree or higher), their enthusiasm for teaching, and their willingness to put students' ideas at center stage. Our innovative Great Ideas curriculum combines history, philosophy and the social sciences to address the perennial questions of human existence. This carefully planned, cross-disciplinary program introduces students to the important issues in Western and non-Western thought, encouraging the use of historical and contemporary examples to support students' own emergent philosophical positions.

  • ADVENTURE. The ideal learning experience is one in which both student and teacher are excited to know what is "around the corner." The classroom should be a place to share and explore individual and mutual passions.
  • RIGOROUS INQUIRY. Thinking and questioning are emphasized over repetition and memorization. We believe that true learning begins with a clearing of preconceptions - what the Greeks called aporia ([a-por-EE-uh] in English). Our students are encouraged to question the basic foundations of knowledge and approach each problem with creativity and confidence.
  • PERSONALIZATION. Students are encouraged to develop, articulate, and refine their unique intellectual identities. Teachers serve as guides, coaches, and mentors, helping students to identify and meet their goals.
  • DEMOCRACY. School administration is democratic and participatory. Student's interests and ideas are recognized through authentic participation. Trust, not authority, is the basis for a cohesive academic community.