The Culture of The Heights: Alvaro de Vicente on Our Mission

This week on HeightsCast, we feature headmaster Alvaro de Vicente’s open house speech on the mission and vision of The Heights School. In the speech, Alvaro helps parents discern the right school for their son. Understanding education to be essentially about partnering with parents to transmit a culture, he encourages parents to thoughtfully consider the culture of our school and how it relates to the culture of their own homes. In addition, Mr. de Vicente offers a few words on our vision of manhood, suggesting that to be a good man, one must also be quite dangerous: powerful enough to do damage, but with the moral character to do great things.


  • 1:17 How to discern the right school for your son
  • 1:45 Education as transmission of culture
  • 2:46 Our vision
    • 3:20 Dangerously good: what it means to be a man
    • 6:15 Our goal
  • 6:50 How to make this vision a reality
    • 6:57 Partnership with parents
    • 8:35 Growth in virtue
    • 11:40 Model the culture and counsel your sons

Additional Resources 

Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag by Armando Valladares

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Also on The Forum

The Man Fully Alive with Alvaro de Vicente

Self-Mastery: Alvaro de Vicente on Fostering Interior Freedom in Schools with Alvaro de Vicente

Who Am I?: The Question of Persona with Alvaro de Vicente

Our Little Protectors: How Do WE See Our Boys? with Alvaro de Vicente

Forming Wise, Courageous Risk-Takers with Alvaro de Vicente

Alvaro de Vicente

About the guest:

Alvaro de Vicente

Alvaro de Vicente has served as Headmaster of The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland since July 2002. Originally from Santander, Spain, Alvaro received some of his secondary education at The Heights and graduated from there in 1983. In 1987 he graduated cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy and received his J.D. from Georgetown University School of Law in 1991. As Executive Director of the Tenley Study Center from 1989 to 2002, he organized and managed supplemental development programs to several hundred students and professionals per year. Several of the Center’s programs were replicated and became standard programs for other supplemental education centers in the United States and abroad. While employed full-time by the Tenley Study Center, Mr. de Vicente offered his services on a part-time basis to The Heights School. Between 1992 and 2002, Mr. de Vicente assisted the School in various positions; coaching, establishing and running its college counseling office, school administrator overseeing contracts with vendors, and student advisor. From 1995 to 2001, Mr. de Vicente served on The Heights School’s Board of Directors, the last four years as its vice-president. In addition, Mr. de Vicente also serves on the Board of Trustees of two other educational groups; the Youth Leadership Foundation and the Texas Education Works. In his capacity as Headmaster of The Heights School he spearheaded and supervised the construction of the School’s signature building. But Mr. de Vicente’s most important work is in the classroom where he teaches Catholic Apologetics and in mentoring students daily.

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