“I’ve played football for as long as I remember.” Allen Stewart
Senior Allen Stewart was first introduced to the game of football at the local YMCA where he competed on a flag football team. By age seven, he began playing tackle football in the LYF leagues. Before he wore the Episcopal blue and gold, a young Allen was a member of the Baton Rouge Falcons and the South Baton Rouge Rams. Now, football will remain a part of Allen’s story as he recently signed with Rhodes College.
“It just felt at home.”
Allen says when he visited Rhodes, he knew it was the place for him. “Rhodes was the right school for me because it just felt at ‘home.’ I loved the campus and the city of Memphis altogether,” he says. “When looking for a school, I wanted an upstanding academic environment where I would have the opportunity to play football, and Rhodes gave me just that opportunity to do so.” Allen has his sights set on a political science major, and he’s not ruling out the possibility of a double major to also include business.
What does it mean for someone who has played football since elementary school to have an opportunity to play in college? “It’s truly a blessing that God has given me,” says Allen. “I truly appreciate the opportunity to continue doing something I love, while getting a commendable education. I just am elated and thankful for the opportunity.”
“Great Representative of an Episcopal Student-Athlete”
As a four-year member of the Knights football team, Allen became the Team Captain and was a selection for the 2nd Team All-District team his senior year. However, football player is only part of Allen’s identity. “Allen has been a great representative of an Episcopal student-athlete,” says Head Coach Travis Bourgeois. “He competes in three sports and holds leadership roles in his senior class while maintaining a solid GPA. He has been a positive role model for our younger players to follow.” Allen is the Episcopal Student Body President, and he was crowned the 2020 Homecoming King. He is a Thesis student who is exploring the public perception of athlete activists, particularly Black athletes. He also finds time to help others as a math tutor, and he is involved with Episcopal’s diversity, equity and inclusion conversations and efforts. It’s an impressive resume for someone who is only just beginning to pursue his dreams.
It’s no accident that Allen will play football at the next level as he has given his all to everything he has done. He has this advice for classmates. “I would say for the students who hope to play at the next level: Work Hard, Do Your Best, and Compete as hard as you can. Although these sound like cliches, they hold a lot of truth and help anyone succeed not only in athletics but in everyday life. If you stick by these three advice pieces, there will be many schools wanting to embrace any athlete who does these things.”
We are certain that Rhodes will embrace Allen next fall. We are also certain that Allen will leave his mark on the school in just the same way he has done at Episcopal. Congratulations, Allen! Please join us in congratulating Allen in the comments section below.
Read more about other graduating Episcopal athletes moving on to compete at the next level by clicking the names below:
All good scientists start with observations and a plan. With that in mind, Lower School students recently spent time in the greenhouse generating ideas to bring the space to life. It will be exciting to see their dreams bear fruit – or vegetables!
Middle School Take on Valentine’s Day
Happy Valentine's Day from Ms. Day's 6th grade World History class! Students were tasked with making Valentine's cards related to topics they had learned earlier in the year, including the early hunter gatherers and ancient Egypt. Your “mummy” will always love you!
Episcopal Third Grader Participates in National Book Club
Third grader Milo Gutfreund is a Kids Book Reviewer Club member. Author/illustrator Grace Lin hosted a contest this spring inviting students to participate in a national book review club, and Milo was chosen out of hundreds of applicants! He’s already contributed two reviews sharing his thoughts on what he has read. You can hear Milo's review by clicking here or check out the transcript here. Congratulations, Milo!
The photos below show Milo on his book club adventure including a box of books he received for his participation. In addition, Milo’s mom and Episcopal teacher Ros Won is pictured with author Grace Lin in 2012. The two posed for a photo at a book signing in Los Angeles holding a picture of Milo.
I Love with “Alma Heart!”
Second graders learned about the work of Black American artist, Alma Thomas, who was the first Black woman to have her own art exhibit. Inspired by her work, they created art to decorate the classroom.
Enchanted Engineering in the QUEST Center in Foster Hall
Once upon a time, first graders had more room to explore in the QUEST Center in Foster Hall. The additional space made it possible for the annual first grade Enchanted Engineering project-based learning unit to expand. Students built a magical fairy tale land and learned to program Bee-Bots to traverse the obstacles. What a great way to make learning fun!
Snaps for Seventh Grade Poets
Mrs. Valentine's 7th grade English students held a poetry slam competition in the QUEST Center to wrap up their poetry unit. Students recited their original poems in front of their peers and a few special judges. Snaps for these brave performers!
Eighth grade students participated in a Step-Up afternoon, where they learned about all of the opportunities the Episcopal Upper School offers its students! They heard from student panels on academics, athletics, arts, college counseling, and club offerings, and were able to ask questions about life in the Upper School.
Happy Mardi Gras, Knights!
Lower School students enjoyed Mardi Gras fun this week before the holiday break.
Like all Episcopal students, McCraney Brown ’13 and Nicklaus (Nick) Russell ’12 attended services in the Lewis Memorial Chapel of the Good Shepherd every week. Similar to their classmates, the two were also active members of the student body. McCraney was a part of the cheerleading squad and tennis team, and Nick was a member of the baseball and football teams. However, unlike most students the two developed a relationship that would one day see them return to the Chapel as bride and groom.
McCraney remembers Nick from Middle School. A year younger than him, she jokingly says she knew him, but he didn’t know her at the time. By McCraney’s ninth grade year that changed, and the two talked at a friend’s crawfish boil. McCraney’s junior year provided them the opportunity to become friends as they had several elective classes together. That friendship blossomed, and the two had a first date that McCraney remembers well. She says she had just finished participating in a '70’s theme dance recital before the big outing. She was dressed in a blue leotard and bright blue eyeshadow. With no time to change, she met Nick for their first date at a local sushi restaurant.
The young couple continued dating, and McCraney remembers spending time together in the Episcopal quad and the student center. The two were also frequent visitors to the coffee shop. Once Nick graduated and enrolled at Ole Miss, where he studied business administration and economics, there were frequent trips between Oxford and Baton Rouge. McCraney remembers Nick having lunch at Episcopal with her younger sister Joyner when he was home for a visit. “She felt so special,” she says. There were also occasions when Nick picked Joyner up from school. Nick had truly become a part of McCraney’s family. This became obvious when the two took a two week break from dating. McCraney’s younger brother Tad accused her of taking away his only brother. The break didn’t last, and the two quickly reunited. The first ring Nick presented to McCraney was her Episcopal class ring, as he was the one to ring her at the traditional Ring Day Ceremony. Eventually, McCraney graduated from Episcopal and joined Nick at Ole Miss as an exercise science major.
Through the excitement of college life with tailgating at the Grove and late night study sessions, McCraney and Nick remained together. They continued dating when they returned to Baton Rouge, and McCraney enrolled in nursing school. In April 2019, the two planned a trip to New Orleans to celebrate Nick’s 25th birthday - at least that’s what McCraney thought was happening. Nick surprised her with a proposal, and the two began planning a wedding.
McCraney had long envisioned getting married at First United Methodist Church, but church renovations made that impossible. Her mom suggested the Episcopal Chapel, and initially McCraney was unconvinced. None of her friends had gotten married at the Chapel, and she just wasn’t sure it was the right location. After a quick visit to the venue, she changed her mind. Once friends discovered the wedding location, everyone was excited to return to campus for the special day. On December 28, 2019, McCraney and Nick, surrounded by many of their Episcopal classmates, got married in the Chapel, the location of weekly services, college announcements, Lessons and Carols and the baccalaureate ceremony that marked the end of their high school days. For McCraney, marking the beginning of their marriage in the Chapel was perfect. “It was a place that meant something to both of us,” she says. As her grandfather would later say in a toast, the occasion occurred eight years and two months after the two first began dating on that same campus.
McCraney and Nick’s first year of marriage was unconventional. She finished nursing school in May, with a pandemic impacting the Baton Rouge area. After only a few months of marriage, the two were confined to their apartment. McCraney says they walked the LSU lakes, did puzzles and Nick tested out new recipes. “It was kind of nice to have just us time,” she says. “A lot of people don’t have that special time.” There were other unusual events during that first year of marriage. Nick had his appendix removed, providing McCraney the opportunity to test her nursing skills, and the couple had a bout with COVID-19.
Marrying your high school sweetheart is not a common love story, but it’s a story that fits McCraney and Nick. “I think it’s just fun,” says McCraney. “We were friends first.” She appreciates the fact that the two have shared so many life experiences and will continue going through the phases of life together.
The wedding felt like a class reunion with numerous Episcopal classmates on hand. The photo includes the following alumni: Denton Graham ’12, Julian Darden ’12, William Newton ’11, Kent Knaus ’12, Vincent Dellocono ’12, Gaines Hanks ’12, TR Clausen ’12, Taylor LeBlanc ’13, Amelia Rosso ’13, Jane Lloyd (Brown) Dossett ’09, Tad Brown ’16 and Joyner Brown ’20.
Episcopal will always be a part of their story. “That’s where we met,” says McCraney. “We formed friendships that lasted forever and hopefully our relationship will too.” When the two move into the parenting phase of life, McCraney hopes their children will also attend Episcopal because of the experience they had at the school. “Our friends were so close,” says McCraney. “The class sizes are big, but not too big.” McCraney says even now she still thinks about her second grade teacher, and she remains in contact with many of her former classmates.
From weekly quiet moments in the Episcopal Chapel to a wedding that seemed like a high school reunion in that same special place, McCraney and Nick have a true Episcopal Cupid Couple love story. Join us in wishing them well in the comment section below.
Episcopal’s close knit community has helped establish numerous Cupid Couples. To read about one of our other featured Cupid Couples Mollie and John Hill, click here. You can also check out this Cupid Couple video to see what some of our other couples have been up to since their time at Episcopal. Happy Valentine’s Day to our Cupid Couples!
Imagine a quiet New Mexico landscape nestled near a national forest with views of deer, a creek and mountains. For companionship you have a cattle dog named Banjo, two cats and your loved ones. This is the quarantine setting that 2001 Episcopal graduate John Graham has enjoyed. It’s a world away from the Los Angeles apartment he once called home, but he’s found that it’s an ideal setting to spark his imagination.
John was born in New Mexico and lived in a small village until his family relocated to Alaska when he was nine years old. After three and a half years in the tundra, the family moved to Louisiana, where John began attending Episcopal in fifth grade. At the time, he was also introduced to shrimp etouffee and fell in love with gumbo. Louisiana was a change, but John says he was “young enough to roll with the punches.”
"I learned how to learn at Episcopal.”
“I was not an exemplary student at EHS,” says John. He emphasizes this point, saying he didn’t get algebra and some subjects at the time. However, as a college student at the Savannah College of Art and Design things changed. John says when he got to college, he “realized the value of Episcopal.” He saw classmates struggling while he excelled. “I learned how to learn at Episcopal,” he says. “I feel confident I can figure things out.” John also found that the algebra he initially didn’t get became important when it was used to solve problems he cared about. One day, as he calculated the ideal distance from a subject to the camera, it struck him. “My teachers were right. I did need it in real life!”
In John’s real life, he is a filmmaker with seven independent films to his credit. He is involved in all aspects of his projects from concept creation to editing and directing. Recently, he celebrated the release of his latest endeavor, a movie titled “Switched.” “Switched” tells the story of a mean-spirited bully who becomes switched with the classmate she torments. “The message is love your neighbor as yourself,” says Graham. He points out that to truly love your neighbor, you must love yourself, highlighting the importance of taking care of your body and your mental health.
John’s life has not always been an adventure. When he initially graduated from college, work was difficult to find. Determined, John took an office job in order to meet people in the film industry. That commitment to his dream paid off, and he met the right people. He landed his first job in the industry as a production assistant. From there John continued working toward his goal of filmmaking, directing his first movie titled “Home Sweet Home” on his parents’ property in New Mexico.
John has a gift for connecting with others whether at Episcopal or in Hollywood. As a Knight, he was a member of the Drama Club and the Thespians. He was voted the Homecoming King his senior year. Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair Paige Gagliano remembers John well. “John is a positive, industrious and creative young man,” she says. “A great person to be around.” Throughout his career, John has cultivated relationships with talented people and worked with them on multiple projects. He thinks he connects with people because he is kind and listens. He also says, “I am go with the flow.” That laid back attitude serves him well when challenges present themselves in settings like a rigid film schedule. “Creativity and not panicking become important,” says John. At the same time, John appreciates the good that comes from a challenge. “Constraint sometimes gives you a brilliant moment,” he says. “Adversity is a way to grow.”
“I always wanted to be a storyteller.”
John has established a successful career through hard work and determination. He offers the following advice to current students. “Try your hardest so you can get where you want to be. If you find something you love, find a way to make your career doing that.” He also reminds students to be kind. “Be cognizant of how you treat each other,” he says.
From the American west to Woodland Ridge Boulevard and back again, John has pursued his dreams while having adventures along the way. We can’t wait to see what this creative will do next.
You can check out John’s latest adventures on Instagram @johnkdgraham. His film, “Switched,” is available on DVD or VOD.
We love telling alumni stories! Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a story to share.
Wish John well in the comments section below.
“It is so hard to get recruited in Louisiana because it is not a ‘hot bed’ for lacrosse and coaches gravitate to players from the northeast rather than a kid from Louisiana. So, it means so much that I can start being a trail blazer in Louisiana Lacrosse recruiting and start showing Louisiana has some ballers too.” Logan LeBlanc, Class of 2021
It’s not every day that a Louisiana athlete signs on to play lacrosse at the next level, but that is just what happened this week when Episcopal senior Logan LeBlanc made it official with Southwestern University. Southwestern is located in Georgetown, Texas, near Austin. Logan says there were multiple reasons for inking with the Pirates. “The first is it is a top class academic institution that will challenge me but also gives me so many opportunities to follow my major in the medical field,” he says. “Secondly, I loved the location of being right outside of Austin and the actual city of Georgetown being so pretty. Lastly, Coach Bowman was the first coach to ever recruit me. He was the first person to believe that I was a college player and that stuck with me.”
Opportunities to play lacrosse in Louisiana are not as common as other sports, but that didn’t impede Logan. He has been playing the sport for eight years after first competing for the local club youth team in Baton Rouge. “Once I hit high school, I started playing for the Dutchtown club lacrosse team but the past two years I switched over to the Chaos Lacrosse Club which is based in Mandeville,” he says. “Also, I played for FTK which is a select lacrosse team with the best players for Louisiana.” Logan credits FTK coach Shane Koppens with helping him garner the attention of college teams. “He put my name out there and put me in positions to make a name for myself,” says Logan. As a part of the national team, Logan also had the opportunity to play in the northern part of the country, which he says, “started putting Louisiana out there.”
Once he arrives in Texas, Logan plans to pursue a Pre-Med major. He is accustomed to juggling rigorous academics and a range of athletic involvement. “I also was an Episcopal Track and Cross-Country runner which helped me so much as a lacrosse player which also let me become a multiple cross country and indoor track state champion,” says Logan. “Coach Dupe shaped me into the player I am and showed me anything is possible.”
“Logan is an amazing person,” says Coach Dupe. “He came to me as a 7th grader and had one of the slowest times on our team. He never let this bother him. He just kept working hard each and every year and eventually became a member of our top 7 in cross country and also a huge contributor in track. I have used this example so many times with our younger runners.”
Logan’s determination and commitment are part of the advice he offers to classmates. “My advice is never give up on yourself,” he says. “Your biggest enemy is the person that stares back to you in the mirror. Always believe in yourself and there is nothing holding you back. You can do anything you put your mind to. Also, if it seems like it's hard right now I always like to say this ‘Remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel.’” From what Coach Dupe has witnessed, Logan is sure to be successful. “Logan was a great leader and captain,” he says. “He cares so much about the team. I would be willing to bet that he will eventually be a captain for his college Lacrosse team. He works very hard to be not only the best athlete he can be but the best person he can be as well.”
As Logan nears the end of his high school experience, he’s looking forward to the next chapter as a college athlete. We wish him well as he realizes his dream of playing lacrosse and making Louisiana proud. Congratulations, Logan!
Read more about other graduating Episcopal athletes moving on to compete at the next level by clicking the names below:
“I have dreamed of running at LSU and the fact that it is actually happening is crazy to me.” Callie Hardy, Class of 2021
Cross country champ Callie Hardy officially signed with the Tigers this week. As the pen moved across the page, it was the culmination of years of hard work and a commitment to a dream. “I came to Episcopal because I knew I wanted to run at the next level, and it is so cool to see it all finally come together,” says Callie. “I was blessed with the best coaches and teammates and I could not have done this without them. Being a part of the LSU track and cross country team has been a dream of mine for years.”
Callie first laced up her sneakers as a track athlete in seventh grade. A year later, she added cross country. Callie joined the Knights her junior year and has made tremendous contributions to the program since. During her senior year she was part of a team that broke cross country course records. She also earned the 2020 Individual LHSAA Cross Country State Champion title and was named a 2020 All Metro Cross Country First Team member.
Choosing LSU was an easy decision for Callie. “LSU was the right school for me because it is close to home and it has amazing academic programs in addition to its great running program,” she says. “Coach Franks has done an awesome job building up the distance program and I am so grateful to be able to say that I will be a part of it.” In addition to being a part of the team, Callie plans to study kinesiology.
Earning the opportunity to continue doing something you love on the collegiate level is a tremendous honor for any student athlete. Callie offers the following advice to those with a similar goal. “Always work as hard as you can and never give up on your dreams,” she says. “If you believe that you can do it, you’re already halfway there. Trust your coaches, they want what’s best for you. And always keep God first.” That is truly sound advice for anyone to adopt as they reach for their dreams.
Congratulations on taking this next step, Callie! The Episcopal community can’t wait to see you in purple and gold.
Read more about other graduating Episcopal athletes moving on to compete at the next level by clicking the names below:
Our winter sports season started fast and furious this year! Call it the delayed start of fall sports, the overlapping of fall and winter sports, or just the “other circumstances” surrounding all of us this year. No matter the circumstances, our Knights jumped right into the competitions!
As our winter sports teams get into state playoffs and championship meets, I am thankful for our student-athletes and coaches who always persevere at being their best possible selves, representing our teams and our school. While competing and winning is important to us here, watching these student-athletes develop into respectful young men and women is the thing that keeps our coaches and me fired up for more!
The winter sports season has provided Knights fans much to celebrate. Catch up on the latest sports news.
The girls soccer season has been one to remember. The squad fought hard to tie Parkview, a Division 3 team ranked number four. They also celebrated a successful Senior Knight with a win over rival Dunham 2 – 1 that also locked up the district championship title. The girls have a record of 10-4-3 with big wins against Ascension Episcopal and Pope John Paul. No doubt, it’s been a great year for seniors Landry Litel, Muskaan Mahes, Zoe Marceaux, Grace Moraes, Brooke Sandefur, Katherine Scarton and Allie Weinstein. Looking forward, Head Coach Lynn Bradley says. “it’s anyone’s game in the playoffs.”
The boys soccer team entered the playoffs seeded number six with a record of 12-6-4. That record includes big wins versus East Ascension, Baton Rouge High and Alexandria. Head Coach Kiran Booluck points out that the Knights earned a fourth consecutive district championship title in a season that saw them score 28 goals in four district games. The Knights won’t soon forget the Destrehan game where the team was down two goals and fought back to score two last minute goals to tie the game 2-2. This year’s team is led by seniors Cade Capron, Jack Safer, Ethan Webb and Josh Wilson.
Playing basketball during a pandemic can be challenging, but the Knights are battling through the obstacles to put together a successful season. Head Coach Chris Beckman says one of the highlights of the season is “just being able to play with COVID.” Episcopal is currently ranked 4th in the power rankings with a record of 14 and 7. The team has already earned impressive wins against Opelousas Catholic, St Joseph’s (MS), Parkview Baptist and Denham Springs. This year’s team is led by seniors Thomas Abadie, Jude Forti and Ben Stafford.
Saturday, February 6th at 10 am
Freshman team competes in the St. Thomas More Tournament
Monday, February 8th at 6 pm at home versus Family Christian Academy
Wednesday, February 10th at 5:30 pm at home versus St. John
The girls basketball team earned the 8-2A district championship title! The team hosted the district tournament as the number two ranked team in Division III. Head Coach Taylor Mims Wharton ’09 says the team hopes to make a deep playoff run into late February/early March. With big wins already against Parkview, Dominican, Scotlandville, Dunham, Denham Springs, Port Allen and Central, those playoff hopes are solid. The win against Dominican was the first victory for the Knights against the team in four years. Another season highlight was defeating 5A Scotlandville at Scotlandville. The Knights also bested Dunham at home and capped off Senior Knight with a victory against Baker. The Knights are led by seniors Annslee Bourgeois and Jewel Jones.
In addition to the upcoming tournament, the Knights will be in action on the following dates:
Tuesday, February 9th at 6 pm at home versus Madison Prep
Thursday, February 11th at 6 pm at home versus Family Christian Academy
The girls indoor track team opened the indoor season at the LSU Qualifier on January 30th. The team this year is led by seniors Callie Hardy (an LSU signee), Bethany Reid and Tanya Mencer. The team qualified very well for the upcoming state indoor meet. Athletes finishing in the top three at the meet were as follows : 2nd place 4 x 800 Relay team of Margaret Harrell, Bethany Reid, Ivy Jiang and Mia Pulliam. 1600 Meter Run Champion Callie Hardy. The team will be back in action again this week at the LSU Last Chance Meet.
Indoor track season is off and running. The Knights participated in one meet thus far with all competing Knights qualifying for the state indoor meet on Saturday, February 20th. Head Coach Claney Duplechin says the main competition at the state meet this year is St. Louis High School out of Lake Charles.
Episcopal is led by a talented group of seniors who are ready for the challenge including Tucker Harrell, Ethan Hook, Oliver Jack, Evan Jurkovic, Dylan Mehrotra, Ben Naquin, Payton Pontiff, Tristen Rigby, Jack Safer, Allen Stewart, Austin Sybrandt and Grant Treadaway.
Congratulations to Oliver Jack who has already earned a spot on the podium. Oliver finished second overall in the shot put.
This year, Episcopal is represented in powerlifting by 24 student athletes from every grade in Upper School. The Knights have a strong contingent of seniors including Thomas Audit, Matthew Bickham, Allison Binning, Nils Dernoncourt, Bronwyn Guy, William Griffey, Mollie Hyde, Oliver Jack, Dillon Kong, Addi LeBouef, Evan Meek, Alex Nelson, JC Neumann, Mary Jane Parker, Allen Stewart, Emma Schlotterer, Lily Wester and Anna Katherine Whaley.
The girls powerlifting team had a tremendous showing at the St. Amant Invitational. Results are below:
Allison Binning – 1st
Emma Schlotterer – 2nd
Bronwyn Guy – 2nd
Anna Katherine Whaley – 2nd
Lily Wester – 3rd
Claire Kiesel – 4th
The powerlifters are preparing for the following competitions:
Saturday, February 13th: The boys will have a dual meet vs Catholic High at Catholic.
Friday, February 26th – Saturday, February 27th: The team is preparing for the regional meet at Denham Springs High School.
Head coach Charlie O’Brien ’13 says the Knights are hoping for a chance to wrestle in the upcoming state tournament on February 26th and 27th in Baton Rouge. While the season has been unconventional due to COVID-19 protocols, the athletes are looking forward to competing. This year’s team is led by seniors Wes Coleman, who got a pin during the Brusly District 3 tournament, and William Guffey.
Please join us in congratulating members of the Class of 2021 as they announce their college enrollment decisions.
2020 brought many challenging events our way: multiple hurricanes, social and political unrest, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is continuing into 2021. In the midst of stressful and uncertain times, how do we care for our family’s well-being? How do we know if our children and teens are struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges? It is common for adolescents to become more peer centered and, therefore, less open with adults. While some level of stress or sadness can be normal, particularly in these trying times, anxiety and depression are more severe and indicate a larger struggle. Here are some indicators to watch for:
Families play a significant role in the mental well-being of their children. Consider these ways to be proactive and minimize the risk of further anxiety during the pandemic.
Be proactive- talk about mental health. Preteens and teens are curious and emotional. Ask them “have you or any of your friends felt increasingly worried, or sad lately?” Let them know they can always seek support. They have online information at their fingertips and easily may read about or look up details on depression, suicide, anxiety or other issues. While some of this information can be helpful, some information found independently online may be harmful.
Limit television and news exposure to challenging events. While you want to keep your family educated on the pandemic and current events, be aware that overexposure can lead to anxiety in all ages.
Stick to a routine. Children of all ages benefit from knowing what to expect. Keeping a structure for after school activities, mealtimes, and homework time give them a sense of normalcy in our changing world.
Express gratitude. Consider adding routine discussions of what you are grateful for with your family. Savor the small things- a pretty day, nature, friendships. Gratitude has been proven to ward off depression.
Stay engaged in extracurricular activities connected to school and the community. Athletic involvement and activity keeps us physically and mentally healthy. The arts are a wonderful way to express yourself creatively. Engaged children are happy children.
Allow children to express anger, anxiety or sadness. Sometimes we can shy away from difficult conversations. Expressing emotions by talking often allows people to move forward in a healthy way. Keeping things bottled can be damaging.
Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness focuses on being present, in the moment, with no judgement or worries for the past or future, which can be helpful in the midst of so much uncertainty. There are many mindfulness and meditation apps available that your child could use independently.
Fortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health is decreasing. Any quick google search, news show, or television series can be found referencing mental health struggles and healthy ways to take care of ourselves. Our children need us to acknowledge their emotions, show empathy, and model taking care of our own mental health. As always, if you have concerns for your child’s mental health, please connect with your child’s school counselor as a resource for support.
References and Resources:
Alicia Kelly has served as a School Counselor at Episcopal since 2001. As the Middle School Counselor, she has a passion for helping preadolescents reach their potential, academically, emotionally, and spiritually. Alicia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in health sciences- rehabilitation counseling, and is a Certified School Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor.
Join us in congratulating seven members of the Class of 2021 for being selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program began in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The program’s mission is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.”
Episcopal College Counseling Director Justin Fenske says approximately 80 seniors were selected from the state of Louisiana as part of this year’s scholars program, including seven from Episcopal. Ultimately, one male and one female student will represent the state this summer at an event with the president.
“We are excited by the continued success of our students in receiving recognition to the Presidential Scholars Program,” says Fenske. “Very few students in the state are recognized annually and we are thrilled to have so many named this year.”
With a focus on rigorous academics and a well-rounded educational experience, Episcopal has celebrated numerous Presidential Scholar candidates and winners over the years. Most recently, 2019 graduate Douglas Robins was named the male scholar representing Louisiana. Robins, who is now studying at Princeton University, credits Episcopal with preparing him for future success. As a Presidential Scholar, Robins had the opportunity to recommend a U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Distinguished Teacher. He chose Upper School Thesis Co-Director/Writing Center Director Katie Sutcliffe for her impact on his life.
In addition to being named Presidential Scholars candidates, the seven 2021 Episcopal students are all National Merit Semifinalists or Commended Scholars. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish next!
Share a comment of congratulations with the seven Episcopal Presidential Scholars candidates in the comments section below.