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First Day of School for Great Hearts Christos at Evident Life

Great Hearts Christos August 8, 2023 -

The first day of school is always exciting, but even more so when it is the inaugural first day for a brand-new school. The first campus of the new private Christian academy, Great Hearts Christos at Evident Life in Gilbert, opened its doors to scholars this morning. “I’m so excited that Great Hearts has opened its first Christian classical academy and what’s so exciting about today is just to see the joy on the students’ and parents’ faces when they came into the school,” said Dr. Daniel Scoggin, Great Hearts Co-Founder.

Scoggin is not just a co-founder, but he and his wife are also Great Hearts Christos parents with two daughters, one in kindergarten and the other in first grade. “As experienced Great Hearts parents, we’re just delighted about this combination of the best of Great Hearts academically with this Christian culture. What’s really special is that these classes are taught by experienced teachers, but the class sizes are small. We’re talking about classes of 10 to 12 students,” he said.

Dr. Atolagbe addressing students during Chapel at Great Hearts Christos Evident Life

Great Hearts Christos Executive Director, Dr. Toyin Atolagbe could see the excitement in the parents’ eyes at the first drop off, which can sometimes be a difficult transition for parents, especially those dropping off their kindergarten children. “There’s a trust factor. Many of the parents did not leave their children here and linger. They left their children and they walked away. What that means is that they have a lot of trust in the team here and that meant a lot to me.” Atolagbe does not take that trust for granted. “I’m really grateful for our staff. We have a really good staff who know that the mission is to educate these children, not just spiritually and morally, but intellectually as well. The whole package is what we’re here for and this is just the beginning of many, many, many great things to come for our children.”

Coffee and donuts were available for parents dropping off and there were a lot of smiles as they passed through the Evident Life lobby. When asked why they chose Great Hearts Christos, one parent answered, “Great Hearts in general has a great reputation and because it is faith-based.” Her kindergartner was so excited this morning that she woke up chanting, “Kindergarten! Kindergarten!” “We’re excited for her and ready for this next step,” said her mother.

Teacher giving instructions to a classroom of students

After students were taken to their classrooms to get settled and meet their teachers, they filed into their first opening Chapel where they sang and prayed together, and began the school year around the Christos Core Virtues as well as their memory verse for the year:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” — Philippians 4:8

“Speaking to all Great Hearts parents out there, if you’re on a wait list at a Great Hearts charter school, I’d encourage you to look at this opportunity, because once again, you get the best of Great Hearts with the Christian culture and it’s right here in the middle of the East Valley in a very convenient location,” said Scoggin. “Even though we just started school today, we’re still enrolling students for the next several weeks.”

students in chapel

Scoggin and Atolagbe would like to invite anyone interested in Great Hearts Christos to take a tour. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet our leadership team and see the classrooms,” said Scoggin. “We’re giving tours frequently here in the first week or two of school and the great thing is that Christos is affordable for every family because there’s the Empowerment Scholarship Account [ESA] that covers most of the tuition.”

Great Hearts Christos at Redemption Alhambra, which will open its doors on Thursday, had a generous donation from an anonymous donor to cover the difference left after the ESA.  “Essentially, you can receive a private Great Hearts Christian education with small classes and experienced teachers at no cost. The best opportunity in the country to receive an incredible Christian Classical education,” said Scoggin.

To schedule a campus tour at Evident Life, go to
To schedule a campus tour at Redemption Alahambra, go to

Christos Academies are a separate, faith-based, non-profit, private school arm of the Great Hearts organization committed to creating and offering the best ecumenical Christian academies in the country. Because they are private schools, the Christos Academies’ programs can, and do, integrate Christ-centered faith formation along with the proven classical model that has made Great Hearts academies the national leader in classical education.

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