The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education (CCLE) Board of Directors is pleased to confer the distinguished Magistra Magna award to Mrs. Betty Garwood for her exceptional vision, service, and dedication to the cause of classical Lutheran education.
Betty grew up in rural Central Iowa, attending a small, rural school and receiving (though she did not know it at the time) a classical education from teachers not yet “trained” in progressive methods. After high school, she married Ron Garwood. In 1980, the Garwoods moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where Ron would attend seminary and Betty would attend Indiana University to study elementary education. Betty graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Education.
Beginning in the 1980’s, Mrs. Garwood taught in Wyoming public schools in Lander and Sheridan. In 1996, the Garwoods moved to Casper, WY, and together with Rev. John Hill, Betty started Mt. Hope Lutheran School. The school began with only two students in Kindergarten and over the years, she helped grow the school to over one hundred students. It was at this school that Betty’s classical education roots received from her own childhood educational experience were to grow, and her passion for classical Lutheran education “caught fire.”
Mrs. Garwood found that counter to the progressive educational methods she learned in college, which seemed to set lower expectations of what children can learn, classical education set high expectations and guided students to mastery through classical tools of learning such as memorization and repetition. She found that the more she expected of her students, the more they seemed capable of doing and the more they loved to learn. Betty’s favorite aspect of classical education was the perfect fit between this educational model and teaching the Lutheran faith to children.
Mrs. Garwood turned her own passion for classical education into gifts to others, mentoring teachers in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Texas, and California. She has helped Lutheran teachers and pastors start classical Lutheran schools, presented at pastor-teacher conferences, spoken about the blessing of classical education at the request of the LCMS at the Lutheran Education Association Conference, and has been a conference speaker at CCLE conferences.
The Garwoods are blessed with four children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
The early vision of dedicated individuals, including Mrs. Garwood, has influenced an expansion of classical Lutheran education over the past three decades, including:
- Classical Lutheran day schools and home schools
- CCLE School Accreditation approved by the LCMS
- CCLE’s own teacher certification
- New classical Lutheran print resources for families and schools
- Annual CCLE conferences with accompanying classical Lutheran children’s programs
- Emerging Concordia University programs in the classics and in classical Lutheran pedagogy
- Lutheranism and the Classics conferences at Concordia Theological Seminary
- Dozens of new Lutheran radio interviews on classical Lutheran education
- An annual CCLE academic journal, the Classical Lutheran Education Journal, ccle.org
- An online classical Lutheran academy
- CCLE Discamus adult online classes in Latin and Greek
The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is honored to confer the Magistra Magna award to Mrs. Betty Garwood.