This pithy course on essential school leadership will prove to be of great benefit and importance to any classical headmaster, administrator, or principal. Veteran head of school Keith Nix leads one of the flagship classical schools in the country–the Veritas School of Richmond, VA. Under Keith’s leadership over eight years, the school has grown from approximately 200 to 600 students and acquired a remarkable campus on some 25 acres.  Keith has also built a superb administrative team and faculty. Addition to his work as head of school, Keith is a sought-after consultant who regularly advises classical school leaders and boards across the country.

In this course, Keith is joined three times by upper school principal Robyn Burlew and one time by dean of academics Andrew Smith.

To learn more about the Veritas School, you may view a profile interview of Keith and Robyn here: Veritas School Profile Video

Instructional Hours: 5.23, CEU Credits: .52

This course is divided into 10 presentations, each featuring Keith Nix (Head of School) who is also joined three times by Robyn Burlew (Upper School Head) and once by Andrew Smith (Dean of Academics). Keith and his colleagues share the essential elements and qualities of leading a classical school well.







  • Lesson 1: Overview of Six Essentials of Effective School Leadership
  • Lesson 2: Vision
  • Lesson 3: Strategy
  • Lesson 4: Talent
  • Lesson 5: Culture (Part 1)
  • Lesson 6: Culture (Part 2)
  • Lesson 7: Working with Your Board (Part 1)
  • Lesson 8: Working with Your Board (Part 2)
  • Lesson 9: Finances
  • Lesson 10: Keith’s Favorite Books on Leadership
Along with serving as the head of school at Veritas School since 2010, Keith Nix serves as the treasurer for the Society for Classical Learning. He also serves on the board of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) and has served on the board of the Virginia Council for Private Education since 2013. Prior to moving to Veritas in 2010, Keith was a board member, and then later head of school at the Westminster School in Birmingham, Alabama from 2004–2010. He is a founding Arête Fellow and has facilitated the Arête Fellowship gatherings since 2009. He frequently consults with classical Christian school boards and leaders. Prior to working in classical Christian schools, Keith was president of Nixgroup, a boutique consulting firm working with start-up and early-stage organizations and businesses. He plays tennis competitively, hopes to improve his golf game, and loves to read great books. He is married to Kim, an accomplished artist; the Nixes have two grown sons and a daughter in college.




Mrs. Robyn Burlew came to Veritas as the upper school principal and academic dean in 2014, after serving in a classical and Christian school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for 15 years. Her childhood in rural upstate New York laid the foundation for a love of the outdoors and the created world. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Houghton College and a master’s degree in integrated curriculum and instruction from Covenant College. Robyn has 3 grown daughters. In her free time, she enjoys the piano, hiking, and her golden retrievers.


Keith mentions several books that have helped as he has grown as classical school leader. Most of these books are discussed by Keith in lesson 10 (Keith’s Favorite Book on Leadership).

Words that Work by Dr. Frank Luntz

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith

You are What You Love by James K.A. Smith

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Drive by Daniel Pink

The Politics of Gratitude by Mark T. Mitchell

The Ideal Team Player Patrick Lencioni

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher

Shine by Edward M. Hallowell M.D.

Harvard Business Review Best of Books

The War for Fundraising Talent by Jason Lewis

Visioneering by Andy Stanley

Them: Why We Hate Each Other – and How to Heal by Ben Sasse


To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete each presentation lesson or discussion in the course (by marking it complete or by taking the quiz) and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test and requires that you upload one or more essays demonstrating your understanding of the course. (Please note that essays are simply evaluated by word count.) When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will become available within “My Courses” (accessible under “Courses” in the main menu when you are signed in as an active subscriber).

We recommend previewing the essay question within the end of course test before starting the course. This will help in guiding your note taking as you progress through the course. Please allow approximately 2 weeks for essay submissions to be reviewed.

By taking the course for certification credit, you also will be on your way to obtaining a Level L certification.

Note: This information is not needed by any current subscribers. (This tab provides an alternative way into just some of our courses that is used by independent consultants.)

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Lesson 3: Strategy

Length: 42 minutes

Lesson 3: Strategy Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.

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