Jo Thoburn, College Readiness as an Expectation, Not an Obstacle

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

In this episode, we talk to Jo Thoburn, President and CEO of the Fairfax Christian School. This episode revolves around her strategies for building a school culture where college readiness is engrained as an expectation in every student’s mind. With thoughtfulness and a perspective informed from exposure in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, Jo recognizes that “right fit” often means different things to different students.

About Jo Thoburn

Jo Thoburn is the President and CEO of the Fairfax Christian School and USACompete. Before being selected to head the Fairfax Christian School, Mrs. Thoburn owned two businesses in northern Virginia. She has also worked and served on the board of directors and advisory boards for several nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area.

She has written on education issues, American culture and free enterprise. She has been a speaker at educational conferences and to parent and student groups in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. She lives in Vienna, Virginia, with her husband David. They have seven children and three grandchildren.

About Fairfax Christian School

Academic Excellence

The Fairfax Christian School creates scholars with a passion for learning. Our talented teachers follow a time–tested curriculum which brings excitement to learning and promotes critical thinking and creativity while focusing on the success and talent of each student.

Our lower school begins with our phonics–based reading and advanced mathematics programs. Our history, science, art, music, foreign languages and Bible classes allow young students to grow and flourish. In third grade, students begin Latin and in fourth grade students are introduced to economics.

Middle school students continue with our core curriculum. They have opportunities to develop an aptitude for analytical and innovative thinking. Technology is used daily and incorporated into every subject. Students develop an inner strength and self discipline which grounds them for future success.

By high school, our students are prepared for university level course work including over twenty Advanced Placement classes. SAT preparation is integrated into the curriculum. A variety of challenging electives allow students to establish expertise in writing, computer science, economics, business, lab sciences, art and music. Students are encouraged to develop their unique abilities. Our comprehensive program gives students an extraordinary foundation which will benefit them their entire lifetime.


The Fairfax Christian School is a safe place where students learn and grow. We pledge to provide the highest academic standards in an environment which encourages and motivates students, instills respect and wisdom, enlivens creativity and builds a foundational capacity to seek the truth. The Fairfax Christian School creates scholars and gives students a competitive advantage so they may live a life of abundance.

scholars noun \ˈskä-lərs\

: intelligent and well–educated people who have a practical knowledge and literacy in the foundations of education — mathematics, language, science, history, economics, religion and the arts and follow their passions.


“Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord.” — Proverbs 9:10

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