On Pieper’s Prudence: A Virtue for the Great-Souled

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The Art of Teaching: A Conference for Teaching Men


November 9-11 • The Heights School, Potomac, MD

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Lower School Head Colin Gleason leads a discussion with Tom Cox and Austin Hatch on Prudence, as presented by Josef Pieper. Often we understand this virtue as nothing more than a cunning tactic, when in reality, prudence is far more. The virtue encompasses a capacity for silence, a understanding of reality, and an ability to make right decisions. Prudence is a virtue for the magnanimous. Listen in to learn more.

Resources Mentioned in Podcast:

The Four Cardinal Virtues, Josef Pieper

Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant, Emily Dickinson

Nicomachean Ethics, Book II Section I, Aristotle

On the Futility of Halfway Measures, Letter XXII, Seneca

Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper

Only The Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation, Josef Pieper

Summa Theologica, Second Part of Second Part, Question 53, St. Thomas Aquinas

Compass: A Handbook on Parent Leadership, Jim Stenson

Colin Gleason

About the guest:

Colin Gleason


Colin Gleason graduated from The Heights in 1999. After graduating from Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in Classics, he returned to his alma mater where he has taught a variety of classes: 3rd Grade Homeroom; Natural History; Chess; Storytelling; and currently, Moral Theology in the Upper School. He served four years as the Director of Admissions before taking on his current position as Head of the Lower School in 2010, overseeing his beloved Valley where he began as a student. Colin has also served as the Head Varsity Soccer Coach since 2010, and has been named Coach of the Year by the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Coach of the Year by the Pigskin Club of DC, and All Met Coach of the Year by the Washington Post. During the summer, Colin directs The Heights Soccer Camp and The Dangerous Camp for Boys. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Liberal Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife, Nicole, and their five children live in Kensington.

Austin Hatch

About the guest:

Austin Hatch


Austin Hatch began teaching at The Heights in 2004. He teaches 9th Grade Core and The History of Western Thought, and he directs The Jackson Scholars senior thesis program. He returned to the school in 2012 after two years in Houston, Texas as assistant headmaster, athletic director, basketball coach, and homeroom teacher at Western Academy. He has taught natural history, logic, English, and writing. He began his teaching and coaching career at St. John’s College High School in Washington, DC in 1996. He holds a B.A. in English from the Catholic University of America and a Master’s in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Austin’s wife, Elizabeth, is a family physical therapist and a home-schooling mother. The Hatches have seven children: Kiley, John Austin, Samuel, Beatrice, Flannery, Ezekiel, and Nathaniel.

Tom Cox

About the guest:

Tom Cox


Born and raised in Southern California, Tom Cox attended Hillsdale College in Michigan. After majoring in Latin and Greek, he went on an 18,000-mile road-trip exploring America and, while touring the country with his barbershop quartet, was offered this job at The Heights. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Nicole, and five children. In the summer of 2019, he completed a Master's Degree in Liberal Arts at St. John's College in Annapolis. The experience of being a Johnnie helped sharpen his pedagogy while expanding the tools he uses in the classroom, from seminars to oral exams. He blogs on all topics educational at his personal blog grammaticus.co. When he isn’t speaking or reading Greek and Latin, he enjoys reading, hiking, singing, and spending time with family and friends.