High School Honors Seminar


0.25 Credits per Seminar

Enrollment is open to all Ensign Peak Academy High School Students

This program is comprised of a series of nine-week seminars and provides material beyond the regular curriculum. Each seminar is designed to engage the student in an in-depth discussion. These seminars are not designed to be harder but a qualitatively different experience with creative and critical thinking. Discussing the material in depth will give the student more confidence across the curriculum by being better able to connect history, philosophy, religion, family values, principles and virtues. Students will be encouraged to bring knowledge gained from their other classes to the discussion.   

Each nine-week seminar meets 1.5 hours once a week and requires one 500 word paper at the end of the nine weeks, answering one question provided by the instructor. Each seminar requires two hours of outside work a week which will include the reading assignment, a movie or short videos. This program is designed to be deep and doable; to enhance, not to replace, the student’s regular classes. Participation in class will be a significant part of your grade. 

High school students are invited to register for each seminar separately, according to personal interest.

Tuition: $95 per Nine-Week Seminar

Elizabeth SmailesMentor: Dr. Elizabeth Smailes

Dr. Elizabeth Smailes is a mentor for serious readers. She believes that edification and education can, in the right setting, support and build on one another. As a seminary teacher for over 15 years she has a broad gospel base. She believes that when this gospel base is used to judge all other literature, the result is electrifying. Dr. Smailes is a graduate and former mentor from George Wythe University. This educational background enables her understand how students can see themselves and the world through the lens of great leaders and thinkers of the past and present. She studied Logotherapy and received a certificate of completion from the School of Logotherapy, located in Dallas, Texas. Logotherapy was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frank. It is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. She believes that we are here to inspire one another and receives her most tender inspiration from her grandchildren, as she sees hope and joy in their eyes.

2021-2022 Schedule

Seminar 5: Wednesdays, Aug 18, 2021 – Oct 13, 2021, 12:00 – 1:20 PM Mountain Time

Seminar 6: Wednesdays, Oct 20, 2021 – Jan 12, 2022 (no classes on Nov 24, Dec 15, 22, 29), 12:00 – 1:20 PM Mountain Time

Seminar 7: Wednesdays, Jan 19, 2022 – Mar 16, 2022, 12:00 – 1:20 PM Mountain Time

Seminar 8: Wednesdays, Mar 23, 2022 – May 25, 2021 (no class Mar 30), 12:00 – 1:20 PM Mountain Time

Note: Seminars 1-4 were taught during the 2020-2021 school year, and will likely repeat in the 2024-2025 school year. Four seminars are offered each year, for a total of 16, in a four-year rotating cycle.

Seminar Descriptions

High School Honors Seminar 8: HAmlet

Hamlet navigates the undulations of dilemmas, ghosts, deception and personal confusion. Although few of us will ever face the type of drama he faces, we can relate to his frustrations with the games that are played around him and the games he plays himself. Could Hamlet have stopped the bloodshed? Does he know who he is? These and many other questions are asked by Hamlet and maybe we have the wisdom to answer them.

Seminar #8 Readings

Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Seminar 7 Class Days and Times

Wednesdays, Mar 23, 2022 – May 25, 2021 (no class Mar 30), 12:00 – 1:20 PM Mountain Time

11:00 AM – 12:20 PM Pacific Time

12:00 – 1:20 PM Mountain Time

1:00 – 2:20 PM Central Time

2:00 – 3:20 PM Eastern Time

Register for High School Honors Seminar 8