Aiming Higher than Facts and Careers

By Klara Holscher

An interview with Dr. Timothy Hall, Director of Academics at Thales Academy

Twelve years after its humble start in the back of Bob Luddy’s office building, Thales Academy teaches thousands of students on eight campuses and plans to continue expanding. Mr. Luddy founded the school with the vision of providing an education that was not only exceptional, but also broadly accessible—in his words, it would be “low-cost [and] high-quality.”

This idea resonated with Dr. Timothy Hall, Thales’s Director of Operations and Academics.  “This is my dream,” spreading this kind of education “to more and more people every year—that’s a dream come true.” We interviewed Dr. Hall to learn about the school’s success and why they decided to offer the CLT to their students.

"... more importantly, we really want them to be good human beings."

While much of education today emphasizes “educational and vocational outcomes,” Thales seeks to offer an education based on enduring principles and a perception of the student as a human being, not a mere cog in the workforce. Two profound questions drive this form of education: “What does it mean to be human? And what does it mean to be the best human that you can be?”

“I’d like to stress to parents,” Dr. Hall said, “that we are definitely interested in our students doing very well educationally and vocationally, but more importantly we really want them to be good human beings.”

Classroom at Thales Academy

Thales Academy offers the Classic Learning Test at their upper schools because it’s a good fit for their holistic educational philosophy. “I’m very appreciative of CLT,” Dr. Hall said, “because I think that the CLT definitely meshes much better with our program [than its competitors] because it has that focus on the classics. I think that it has a better congruency with our program. Although our students do quite well on the SAT as well, I think the CLT has a better connection with the type of education we are providing.”

“I think that CLT is much like us,”  he concluded. “We’re innovators and quick learners. We said, you know what, the educational system is just not what we want it to be. We’re going to create something much different. A private, high quality, affordable education, and we’re going to go with that and see if people start to follow us. And that is what CLT is doing as well. They are providing a new kind of test. You can see that people are really starting to follow them, recognizing that they are leaders in what they’re doing.”

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