Mr. Rod Gilbert, Head of School
Rod Gilbert is the Headmaster for Regents School of Austin. He assumed this position three years ago after serving as the Head of Upper School for four years. Prior to his career at Regents, Rod was a founding member of Trinity Academy of Raleigh, North Carolina, and served as the Assistant Headmaster.
Active both in Regents as well as the Association of Classical & Christian Schools, Rod fosters and promotes a nationwide relationship with other schools, frequently addressing peers and educators in national meetings. In addition to leading conferences and workshops, Rod has published multiple articles in the Society for Classical Learning Journal. In formal training he completed a B.S. in Economics and a M. Divinity. Currently he is completing requirements towards a Ph.D. in Education.
What led you to come to Regents?
My wife Angie and I were intrigued by the incredible community. When we first visited the campus, our tour guide took us straight to the Science and Nature Center. There in the chicken coop was one of our board members, Angelo Feller. I think that moment did it for us, and we hoped that I would have the chance to join Regents as an employee. But things started in our hearts prior to that fateful chicken coop meeting.
Before our daughter Katie (17) and son Ryan (13) were old enough to be in school, I studied the classical, Christian model for a group of educators. I was their “research grunt” for two years while the VP’s of our seminary created a liberal arts college. Each month, I would read, research and write reports on this kind of education. I was paid beans, we ate beans, and we loved it! After two years of that study, I became convicted that I did not have that kind of experience in my K-12 journey and wanted more for my children.
A year later, I joined a group of parents who wanted to start a private school in Raleigh, NC. We started the high school with 23 students, two modular trailers, and a lot of dreams. We grew to over 200 students with property in pocket in five years. After that, Angie and I moved to Regents to join the vision in Austin. We are entering our eighth year at Regents and are so thankful that we became Texans.
What is your vision for Regents, its staff, teachers, parents, and students?
I want children and their parents to embrace the incredible journey of life in this world that we have. All of creation is the Lord’s, and we are mandated to be involved in this world as we create, lead, expand, and inspire others as well. When we exhibit this effectively and humbly to our city, then the reality of Christ will be more appealing.
I believe the classical, Christian model sets an incredibly firm foundation for a young person to enter and explore this world as an ambassador. Therefore, when all employees and parents embrace the Cultural Mandate to be involved in this world, we exhibit an intoxicating love for truth, goodness and beauty as it is found here.
If a student adds critical thinking skills (logic) and strong communication (rhetoric) to these values, then they are better equipped to enter this world and are ready to get involved.
Too often children are led astray toward things that should be considered false, bad and ugly. What is the remedy? Allow the aroma of the good things to so infuse their souls that the negative things will appear as wasteful and undesirable. The model of education that we espouse is called perennialism. This means that things from the past matter, and in order to be influential in the future, we must grasp the past. The Classical Tradition effuses this core principle in our model.
The Liberal Arts model that our founders put into motion provides the best platform for this exploration into humanity as the truest expression of the image of God in man. Parents, I have a long question for you. If you knew for a fact that your child would truly embrace the eternal value of their inherited connection to the image of God, would you rest easily at night as you ponder the distant future of your children as adults? I would.
What are some of your favorite activities?
I read a lot. Some of the books that I have read in the last year are: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (second time); Post Captain by Patrick O’Brien; The Leadership Challenge by Posner; It’s a Magical World for Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson; When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Fikkert; Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson; Fathered by God by John Eldredge; and Being Human by Macaulay and Baars. I enjoy the writings of Walker Percy, P.D. Wodehouse, and Flannery O’Connor.
I have a love for soccer and play with my son and other dads on Sunday afternoons.
Movies that I have seen this year include: Sense and Sensibility (for the 10th time); Fantastic Mr. Fox, Iron Man 2; and The Quiet Man. The World Cup was not a movie, but we were captivated this summer, and with the help of DVR recordings we barely missed a match.
Family time is spent raising Alpine dairy goats which produce milk, cheese, and ice cream to be shared with friends and coworkers.