Head of school summer biography challenge
          For Students Entering 4th - 8th grade

“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” President John Adams


Reading is foundational for all learning. By helping students foster a love for reading, we are helping them acquire language, critical thinking skills and healthy imaginations. These foundational skills are some of the major components needed to be an accomplished reader, writer and speaker later in life.  


However, reading just any book doesn’t always offer the greatest value. You are what you read. Conversely, there is great value in reading biographies of heroes with high standards of character and a worldview at least relatively consistent with Christian thinking. If one wishes to excel in life, there is no better place to find inspiration than in the lives of those who have changed our world and lives for the better.


People who write biographies and autobiographies often have an interesting story to tell about trials and tribulations. Every life has a beginning, middle and end, and how one has lived it should be of great interest to those who are still at the beginning.

To encourage students along this path, I listed significant historical figures (see below) for students to choose from in order to read a biography and complete a book report. While no one person on this list was a perfect individual, none the less they strove for goodness and fought for God honoring causes.

Those who complete the summer challenge will receive: 

1: $15 (entering 4 – 5) or $25 (entering 6 – 8) Barnes & Noble gift card

2: One week of dress down days

3: Recognition over GA’s PA speaker system

For full and necessary instructions, view this document

Serving Together,

Christopher P. DeSanctis

PS. Don't miss the list of leaders for students to choose from, below.

leaders to read about

  • St. Augustine (354 – 430): Christian writer. Influenced Western Christian thought
  • Johann Gutenberg (1395 – 1468): Inventor of the printing press
  • Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506): Italian explorer who landed in America
  • Martin Luther (1483 – 1546): Major figure in the Protestant Reformation
  • John Locke (1632-1704): Philosopher
  • Johann S. Bach (1685 – 1750): German composer
  • George Washington (1732 – 1799): 1st U.S. President
  • Martha Washington (1731 – 1802): Wife of 1st President
  • John Adams (1735 – 1826): 2nd President of the U.S.
  • William Wilberforce (1759 -1833): British Statesman
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865): 16th U.S. President
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896): Abolitionist
  • Harriet Tubman (1822 - 1913): Abolitionist activist
  • Josephine Butler (1828 – 1906): Social reformer
  • Billy Sunday (1862 – 1935): Athlete & evangelist
  • Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965): British Statesman
  • Walt Disney (1901 – 1966): Animator, film producer
  • Mother Teresa (1910–1997): Served the poor
  • James "Jesse" Owens (1913 – 1980): U.S. athlete
  • Louis Zamperini (1917 – 2014): WW II vet, Evangelist, Olympic runner, POW
  • Billy Graham (1918 – 2018): Internationally renowned American Evangelist
  • Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005): Polish Pope and anti-communist crusader
  • Tom Landry (1924 – 2000): NFL player & Dallas Cowboy’s coach for 29 seasons
  • Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013): Longest serving & 1st female British PM
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968): Civil Rights leader and Minister
  • Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012): Political operative and prison reform advocate