2023: Cheryl Swope

Cheryl Swope

July 2023: The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education (CCLE) Board of Directors is pleased to confer the distinguished Magistra Magna award to Mrs. Cheryl Swope for her exceptional vision, service, and dedication to classical Lutheran education.

Cheryl Swope was born on June 7, 1962, in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in education (special education: behavior disorders) and summa cum laude in 1985 with a master’s degree in education (special education: learning disabilities). Cheryl served in a university diagnostic clinic, a residential camp for children from the inner city, a public school district, private schools for children with learning disabilities, teaching piano, and in private tutoring. During those years she learned of Marva Collins who taught Latin, Shakespeare, and rhetoric to children of the inner city of Chicago. Cheryl began wondering why all children are not taught in this manner.

By the Cheryl married and the couple adopted toddler twins, Cheryl’s interest in classical education had deepened. Both twins, Michael and Michelle, had autism, speech and language disorders, and developmental delays. Cheryl began witnessing remarkable benefits of literature, Latin and Greek roots of words, music, arithmetic, and the truth, comfort, and hope of Christ in her children’s lives.

When CCLE offered a conference in Missouri, Cheryl wanted to attend; however no sessions addressed classical education and learning challenges. She requested such a session. When told no one could speak on this topic, Cheryl’s husband insisted that Cheryl speak. After the Veiths’ daughter Joanna attended that session, Joanna’s mother Jackie gave Cheryl the courage to bring a manuscript draft to her husband Dr. Gene Edward Veith. He said, “You must, indeed, write this book.” Cheryl sought a publisher. Memoria Press became the willing home of the book Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child and initiated Cheryl’s full Simply Classical Curriculum for Special Needs, ages 2-21, serving homeschooling families and classical schools today.

Cheryl’s love of writing, Christian education, and collaboration resulted in a nomination to serve on the Board of Directors for CCLE, where she served gratefully from 2010-2022. During that time she helped create the Curriculum Resource Guide for Classical Lutheran Education (CCLE Press), the Handbook for Classical Lutheran Education (CCLE Press), and Eternal Treasures: Teaching Your Child at Home (LCMS). Cheryl rejoices in seeing the capable next generations carrying on the work of CCLE so faithfully for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation of souls.

Today Cheryl and her husband of more than thirty years care for Michael and Michelle, now young adults, in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri. The family enjoys singing Lutheran hymns, attending church, being with friends and family, reading, and taking walks around their quiet lake community.