Meet our Teachers
Meg Norris is a doctoral candidate in education and a certified teacher in Georgia. She is co-founder of Mountain Laurel Academy and founder of Opt Out Georgia. She has delivered hundreds of speeches all over the country on standards-based education, student data mining, the effects of toxic stress in our classrooms, child learning and development and was a member of the statewide coalition to stop Amendment 1 on the 2016 election ballot. In early 2016 she co-authored the Student-Teacher Protection Act to reduce the amount of testing in the public school classrooms, and helped lobby the bill through the Georgia General Assembly to a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives.
She currently teaches grades 5-12 English, 5-12 Geography/History, 5-8 Spanish, Economics, Psychology and two AP level courses. Meg lives in Big Canoe and is married to Ken Norris. She has two beautiful children, Marie Riley and DK Norris and three puppies, Simon, Luke and Leia. Meg is thrilled to be part of Mountain Laurel Academy with her busniss partner, Jeff Hites.
Jeff Hites began his life in education after retiring from a career in medical sales, medical education, and financial consulting. Following a lifetime of working with youth in church groups, Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, coaching, and the Shrine Children’s Hospital, teaching was a natural calling. A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in science, he brings to the classroom a science and math background, along with a wealth of real-world experience, and an innate curiosity about what makes things tick.
A certified teacher for the past 12 years, he believes in “learning by doing”; a hands-on approach to discovery. “Students need to see how the world works first-hand, and learning something through their own inquiry never leaves them”. He teaches all levels of math and science at MLA.
Jeff now lives in Big Canoe with his wife, Barbara, and dog Charlie. He has two grown children, Katie, an environmental engineer in NM, and Chris, a wilderness guide in AK.
Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding
Based on the lower division of the seven liberal arts: grammar, logic and rhetoric. These formed the foundation of learning dating back to ancient Greece. They have become part of the classical education movement and are the foundation of the goals of Mountain Laurel Academy.
Historically known as the “trivium” these three subjects were the foundation for the quadrivium, or the upper division of the seven liberal arts, which included arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.
Grammar teaches the mechanics of language. Logic looks at the mechanics of thought and analysis and development of truth. Rhetoric is the application of language in order to instruct, or persuade. It is the knowledge (grammar) now understood (logic) being transmitted outwards as wisdom (rhetoric).
Education scholar Dorothy Sayers explains it most eloquently in her 1947 essay The Lost Tools of Learning. Her argument centered around the fact that modern education teaches children everything but how to learn.