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Speaker Series

Recognizing the value of disparate voices, St. David’s offers students, parents, faculty members and the local community access to a wide variety of guest speakers. We invite leaders from the community and from across the country to speak to our students and parents about real life challenges to faith, virtue and knowledge and the rewards for choosing a virtuous life.

Speaker Series

Our annual series helps ensure that our students have a well-rounded experience with direct access to some of the leading voices in our culture on major points of contemporary social debate. At St. David's we understand that we are, in fact, training tomorrow's cultural leaders. An enterprise of such importance requires that our students who are tomorrow's leaders have the opportunity to speak with, learn from, and engage the leaders of this generation. Our goal is to provide a framework that allows for students, parents and friends of St. David's to do all of this together as a learning community.

2019-20 Speakers

All events will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the St. David's School Performing Arts Center unless otherwise noted.

September 10 | David Thomas

David Thomas, L.M.S.W., is the Director of Family Counseling at Daystar Counseling in Nashville, TN, the co-author of eight books, including the best-selling Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys (Tyndale House Publishers).

He is a frequent guest on national television and podcasts, including their own soon-to-be released podcast called Raising Boys and Girls, and has been featured in publications like USA Today, and speaks across the country. He recently completed Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social & Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach.

He and his wife, Connie, have a daughter, twin sons and a feisty yellow lab named Owen. You can follow him on social media @raisingboysandgirls and find the latest parenting resources at www.raisingboysandgirls.com.

October 25 | The Law, Ethics and Just Obligation

On Friday, October 25, the Honorable Justice Anita Earls will join the Senior Seminar at St. David’s to discuss the duty of just obligation in the legal and political landscape of North Carolina. 

This discussion will take place during the school day as part of the Senior Seminar curriculum.

October 27 | Discussion of C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce"

Actor Anthony Lawton has adapted C.S. Lewis' novella The Great Divorce into an 80-minute, solo performance. 

The play is the story of Clive, who, along with a motley crew of malcontents, takes a bus ride from hell to heaven.  They are offered a chance to stay in heaven forever if they like, but the choice between joy and miserable loneliness proves to be much harder than they would have guessed.  The piece is a feast of rich language, profound psychological insight, and humor. 

November 1 | Vectors of Obligation in Education and Community: The Place of NCSU in the Life of the Triangle

NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson returns to the Senior Seminar to discuss the unique place and duty of the land-grant university to the larger community of Raleigh, the Triangle, the state and the nation. Under the adept leadership of Dr. Woodson, NC State University, the largest in the UNC system, has become a nationally recognized school with an excellent undergraduate college and some of the finest graduate research programs in the country. But what should be the school's role in the local community?

This discussion will take place during the school day as part of the Senior Seminar curriculum. The event will be held in the St. David's Main Library.

November 17 | Safeguarding Electoral Democracy Against Gerrymandered Districts

What problems stand in the way of insuring fair elections in fairly defined North Carolina House and Senate districts? On Sunday, November 17 at 7 p.m., the Senior Seminar at St. David's will host a panel of political and legal experts discussing efforts before the North Carolina legislature to end the long-standing practice of partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina. Judge Tom Ross, Justice Bob Orr, and Executive Director of North Carolinians for Redistricting Reform Mary Wills Bode will explore the history of gerrymandering in North Carolina and discuss bi-partisan efforts to end it.

This event will be held in the St. David's Main Library.

January 12 | Excellence in Leadership and Management

What is excellence in leadership and management? How do we define and measure excellence? Join us for a panel discussion featuring local corporate leaders including Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book, NC Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman, Trademark Properties Founder Billie Redmond, and UNC-Chapel Hill development officer Julia Grumbles.

January 22 | Prevention Starts with All: The Chris Herren Story

Details to come.

January 27 | Simply Speaking: Failure for Success

Simply Speaking is an annual student-organized speaker program for our Upper School students. This year's discussion encompasses the experience of entrepreneurship and what it means to fail for success. Speakers will explore how entrepreneurs deal with failure before succeeding; how failure can bring focus to all the scrapped ideas that ultimately lead to a final product. It's easy to overlook the journey of what it takes to succeed. 

This event will take place during the school day, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

March 29 | Teaching Economic Reasoning

On Sunday, March 29, Dr. Jim Otteson will raise the question of how to develop in school-age children a basic familiarity with economics and the ability to reason through big questions economically. Dr. Otteson is the Executive Director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism and the Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics at Wake Forest University. He has taught previously at Georgetown, Yeshiva, Alabama, Arizona, and New York Universities.

April 15 | Technology & Media Today

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair examines ways in which the wonders of technology and media change how children learn and grow, and shows parents and educators how to reap the benefits of tech while reducing the risks it poses at every stage of child development. Dr. Steiner-Adair is the author of the award-winning book The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.