top of page
Anthem Classical Christian School choice for Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas private schools NWA

MEEt THE Board

Contact the board at . 

Albert Cheng


Albert and his wife Lydia live in Fayetteville and are members of Christ Community Church, where Albert is a ruling elder.  Albert is also a professor of education policy at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, where he studies virtue and character formation while teaching courses in education policy and educational philosophy. He is an affiliated research fellow with the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at Cardus. After completing a bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, Albert began his vocation in education as a high school math teacher at a local public school near his hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area. He later attended Biola University and the University of Arkansas for his graduate studies in education policy.


classical Christian school in fayetteville and northwest arkansas

Cliff Hughes is a native Arkansan where he grew up in Fort Smith. He is married to his wife, Nichole and together they have four children: Georgia 13, Hudson 11, Knox 10, and Magnolia 7. All are current students at Anthem Classical Academy. Cliff is an optometrist in Fayetteville. He completed his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Central Arkansas and his doctorate of optometry from Southern College of Optometry. Following optometry school, he did a residency in ocular disease at West Tennessee Eye in Memphis, TN.

While in Memphis, Cliff and Nichole were exposed to classical Christian education and determined to educate their children in this way, if the Lord allowed. Their three oldest children were students at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies in Oklahoma City before they moved back to Northwest Arkansas. Cliff and his family are members at University Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

Mary Hurst

classical Christian school in fayetteville and northwest arkansas

Mary has lived in Fayetteville for over seven years after moving here from Detroit, Michigan, where she attended a K-12 private Christian school. She was first exposed to classical education at Hillsdale College, where she graduated in 2013 after earning a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Religion. After college, she began teaching at a classical charter school, where she taught a variety of grades in the grammar and logic schools.


Mary is passionate about teaching Phonics, Literature, and History, and she is excited to see how a Christian school can flourish with a classical curriculum. She currently works at Art Bridges, a non-profit art foundation in Bentonville. She attends New Heights Church with her husband, Jordan.

rachel pradko

best christian school choice for fayetteville and northwest arkansas

Rachel has lived in Fayetteville for over seven years, but is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended one of the first charter schools that promoted a Core Knowledge curriculum. Rachel graduated from Hillsdale College in 2013 where she double-majored in Political Economy and Religion. She taught at a classical charter school for four years, where she taught in the grammar and logic schools. Her favorite subjects to teach were Latin, Phonics, and Singapore Math.


Rachel is passionate about demonstrating how a classical curriculum can benefit students from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Rachel currently works for a local architecture and development firm and as a local real estate agent. She attends New Heights Church in Fayetteville.

Cassidy Syftestad


Cassidy moved to Fayetteville in 2020 to pursue a Ph.D. in Education Policy in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. After graduating from K-12 public schools in Roseville, California, she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Hillsdale College. Cassidy completed multiple internships in education policy, journalism, and programming including a research position with the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy. After graduation, she managed an internship study program for Hillsdale in Washington, D.C., and worked as an analyst for the Central California Intelligence Center. Her research includes charter school funding, special education supports, cross-sector enrollment trends throughout 2020, and the academic effects of classical charter school participation.


Cassidy is passionate about the growth and success of American classical schools. Through a variety of avenues, she seeks to address many barriers that inhibit charter schools, private schools, and classical liberal arts curriculum from flourishing. Cassidy also serves on the Board of Directors for a faith-based adoption and foster care advocacy organization called the Beloved Initiative. Cassidy attends University Baptist Church in Fayetteville. 

bottom of page