team. While at Episcopal, she was a member of the Spanish Honor Society, as well as a member of the Speech and Debate Team and the Student Council. She was a Writing Center tutor, an honors thesis student and active in numerous community service efforts.
We are #episcopalproud.
While the first bell of the 2018/2019 school year won’t officially ring until Friday, August 10th, there’s one group of students who are already gearing up for the new year. Episcopal athletes and coaches are in summer prep mode with summer league competition, team camps and sports camps.
Members of the baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and football teams are currently participating in city-wide summer league games with other area schools. Brenna Allphin-Smith Perez, Episcopal’s Head Girls Soccer Coach and Athletic Administrator, says summer league play is an especially great opportunity for incoming freshmen to get to know the team. She says coaches also encourage anyone interested in playing during the school year to play during the summer to get that extra preparation and exposure.
June is also traditionally when teams participate in team camps together. The boys basketball team recently spent time together at Birmingham Southern and the boys soccer team traveled to Southern Miss. Meanwhile, the girls soccer team trained at the Extreme Performance Team Camp in Bay St. Louis and the girls basketball team hosted a team camp at Episcopal. Team camps help athletes get to know their teammates and cultivate the relationships needed to succeed, in addition to boosting their overall skills.
Strength and conditioning work is a big part of summer sports prep. Students work out on campus three times a week throughout the break. In addition, on any given day you can find members of the Episcopal athletic staff on campus hosting summer sports camps for students of all ages. The camps are a great way to introduce students to a new sport or to help them fine tune existing skills.
While the start of a new school year may seem like a long time from now, student athletes will be suiting up and hitting the field, court, track and pool before you know it. We’re looking forward to another great year of Episcopal athletics!
Want to relive all of the best moments from the 2017/2018 season? Click here for a look back.
The Episcopal Writing Center is a special place. Fellows form lifelong bonds. In keeping with tradition, this year’s underclassmen wrote Senior Tributes highlighting the graduating fellows and the impact they’ve had on the program.
Major: Psychology and Education with a focus on Spanish
Elia Harper always walked into the Writing Center with an infectious smile -- be it a genuine, radiating smile or one plastered on to mask her stress. Despite all of the strain of a busy senior year, she still greeted every Writing Center client with a warm greeting and open mind. Elia loved being a Writing Fellow because it offered an opportunity for her to help students in the Episcopal community. She also greatly valued how students would open up to her through their creative writing assignments. Through her gregarious nature and unmatched social flexibility, Elia was able to collaborate with any student under any circumstances. Elia considers one of her most memorable appointments to be one with a student who was drafting a paper that was due at midnight that same day. The student was behind in a few classes and needed some ideas on where to begin his essay. More importantly that student needed to decompress, expressing his frustration and stress. Elia was empathetic and it meant a lot for her to be able to help that student when he most needed it. Through all of her experience in the Writing Center, Elia feels more connected to the high school community as she worked with students from each grade level. Going forward, Elia hopes that Writing Fellows remember why they joined the program: to assist others. In her words, “We’re all Writing Fellows to help other people. It’s such a rewarding experience to be the person that someone looks to when they need help. The feeling of being a person who people can always come to for guidance is unlike anything else.” Elia, next year your absence will impact the Writing Center community. Your bright personality and positive disposition will be greatly missed.
-- By Abby Johnson
Michael Lee joined the Writing Center only at the beginning of his senior year but still made quite the impact on the Episcopal community through his work as a Writing Fellow. Michael is not only passionate about writing but enjoys helping others, which makes him a great asset to the Writing Center and a very understanding and helpful person to work with. Michael most enjoys tutoring creative writing, blog posts, or pieces about subjects he doesn’t know much about, which makes his sessions a learning experience for him as well as the writer he is tutoring. He remembers one particular session as really making an impact on him in his time in the Writing Center and being the best session he had all year. During that particular session, he felt that he connected with the student personally and not just academically. The advice Michael would give to tutors or those considering becoming a part of the Writing Center is to make people look at writing as not a chore but something they can actually enjoy. He says, “If you can get this to happen, the school and the Writing Center will be better off.” Michael’s passion and enthusiasm for writing will surely be missed in the Writing Center, but hopefully during his time as a Writing Fellow, he has impacted the school and shown people how great writing can be.
-- By Macie Sentino
"Cozy, friendly, and passionate" are three words Wendy Wang uses to describe the Writing Center. Wendy has always loved to write, so when the email about becoming a Writing Fellow appeared in her inbox, applying for the program was an easy decision. It was also a bonus that she received service hours while doing something she is passionate about. Describing how the Writing Center was a part her years at Episcopal, Wendy said, "The Writing Center did play an important role in my high school experience. I love writing and enjoy being called a Writing Fellow. I made friends with my clients. I became more confident and discovered my passion." When I heard her response, I realized that discovering your passion is why Episcopal gives us all of these opportunities, such as joining the Writing Center. Her favorite spot in the Writing Center is the desk and chairs by the printer, at which she studies and does her tutoring sessions. Wendy especially remembers a session with a seventh grader's short story. The story was very intriguing, but it needed work with character development; helping that student was one of her most fun experiences in the Writing Center. Wendy loves creative writing, but she enjoys helping people with all kinds of writing. Her strengths as a Writing Fellow are many, but I would say her greatest strength is showing rather than telling her clients how to tweak their papers through her series of questions. Wendy's most memorable moment in the Writing Center took place when she was a Freshman. She had just come to the United States, her English was not very good, and she was shy. Her tutor was so friendly and encouraging, and she inspired Wendy to become a Writing Fellow. Through her time in the program, Wendy grew less shy and more confident and outgoing. Her parting advice to other Fellows is to remember that clients are their friends, so it never hurts to have a small conversation before the session.
-- By Sydney Summerville
Netflix premiered the second season of its controversial series 13 Reasons Why on Friday, May 18, 2018. As you may recall from our communication last spring, there are many concerns about tweens and teens watching this series. Considering the timing of this release, the potential for binge-watching and isolated viewing is more prevalent during the summer months.
Parents should become informed about the show’s content before deciding whether this show is appropriate for your child. The actors expressed that the show may not be right for everyone, especially if you are or have struggled with depression, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts. Additionally, Netflix has created a resources page with links to social/emotional supports, information about the show, and a discussion guide with tips for watching the show and ways to talk about the show with your child.
Below are some resources you may find useful. If at any time you or anyone you know shows signs of mental distress or suicide risk, you should contact emergency services and/or a mental health professional immediately. Your division counselor is also available to support students and their families.
Resources for Suicide Prevention and Intervention
The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. – John Muir
Episcopal graduate Emory Ellis is making a difference in the world through her research of forests across the globe. After graduating in 2016, Emory began studying at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. This summer she is spending her time in the Harvard Forest through Harvard University as a part of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates. Emory, who is the daughter of Episcopal graduate Randi Simoneaux Ellis ʼ90, says the experience truly is an honor:
Think about your favorite teacher. Maybe it was kindergarten or fifth grade or even that college professor. Now ask yourself – why was this person my favorite teacher? Likely it’s not because of their ability to summarize Shakespeare or quantify quantum physics. It’s probably the teacher who helped you through cafeteria conflicts or cheered you on during a theater performance or athletic event.
After 17 years of teaching Ros has cultivated her own method of connecting with students. Here at Episcopal she freely shares her love of sports and science with everyone. It is also her passionate and playful side that students seem to gravitate toward. Beginning in April, Ros visually connected with students in a fun and impressive manner. Each day one of her 18 students created a unique and personal handshake. (Ros was inspired to take on the handshake challenge last year after watching a video featuring another teacher and his students.) Students taught their personal handshake to Ros, who then memorized the movements and performed it in turn. By May, Ros had memorized 18 individual handshakes – 18! She was able to perform each one in a sequence on the final day. Click here to see the video.
Like Mrs. Helbling’s daily affirmations, Ros’ handshake day is one example of a way that teachers connect to students and show them that they matter and they are heard. This is an important aspect of teaching that may often go unnoticed and that may not be part of the lesson plan. “I wear many hats. I teach science. I’m a nurse. I get to know them academically, but we’re also helping them be good human beings,” says Ros.
Relational teaching isn’t something written in a lesson plan. The connections simply happen as caring adults strive to teach the students in their charge and prepare them to navigate life. Ros, who didn’t initially plan to be a teacher, says her first year on the job certainly taught her the importance of this side of teaching. She looks back on that time when she was teaching in New York at an all girls’ school. It was 2001 and she experienced the national tragedy that occurred that September right alongside her students. A month later a student’s mother passed away. Ros says these are the experiences for which grad school and student teaching do not prepare you. She learned in the midst of the heartache to be there for her students and to see them as the individuals they truly are. That year did finish on a more positive note. She says even though the girls lived in a city with two professional baseball teams, most of them had never attended a game. As a lesson in persuasive writing, Ros had them write letters to the New York Yankees persuading them to give the students tickets to a game. The lesson paid off and the team delivered, perhaps creating a lifelong memory for some of the students involved.
There’s no question that Episcopal students will look back at their time in Ms. Won’s science classroom with fondness. After a year of national park exploration, outdoor learning and even a cardboard arcade Ros has made learning a meaningful experience. However, the connections and relationships she’s built with the students along the way will likely be what they remember most. After all, isn’t that what we all remember from our favorite teacher?
Before you board that train, plane or automobile for summer vacation, make sure to include reading as part of your packing list.
“I believe summer is the best time to read,” says Episcopal Library Director Tiffany Whitehead. Whitehead, who is an avid traveler, says she enjoys reading books set in her vacation destination before heading out. For example, before going road tripping in Ireland she read “Love and Luck” by Jenna Evans Welch, a teen novel set in the Irish countryside.
Whitehead offers these additional tips for summer reading success:
There are now a range of options to make reading easier and more enjoyable for readers of all ages. Today’s students are accustomed to electronics, making e-readers a great reading option for students on the go. In addition, audiobooks can make a family road trip even more adventurous as everyone listens along together. Whitehead suggests loading your devices with good reads before heading out for vacation. Helpful hint: don’t forget to include options from the Episcopal summer reading list.
To make summer reading even more enjoyable, Whitehead recommends participating in the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Summer Reading Program. Participating in the program will help students keep track of how many books they have read over the break. The library offers an extensive array of electronic and audiobook options to fill your devices before heading out. The library staff also offer events and even rewards for those who participate as an incentive to get reading.
While there is the required school summer reading list, Whitehead says summer is also a great time to read simply for fun. She recommends using the break to explore a new author or an unfamiliar genre. Whitehead says no matter how or where you read this summer, enjoy what you are reading.
Happy summer reading!
It was a great year for reading at Episcopal! Students spoke with the "I Survived" author Lauren Tarshis via Skype, they celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday, they won young author competitions, battled with books, collected books for babies and competed in book trivia.