Service Learning in Ninth Grade
Episcopal’s mission is to prepare graduates for college and for purposeful lives. The recent ninth grade retreat highlights the commitment to making this mission a reality. Each August members of the freshman class spend a Friday volunteering with local organizations. “It’s important for us to have students realize that service to others is one of the things that we view as important,” says Father Skully.
Students begin retreat day at one of five locations throughout Baton Rouge. This year students volunteered at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Melrose Elementary School, the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, Front Yard Bikes and the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired. Students assisted with everything from sorting food and cleaning up, to setting up for an event and painting.
“I want our students to be exposed to people who saw opportunities and made things happen,” says Father Skully. At each volunteer site, Father Skully ensures that an organization representative speaks with students about the organization’s mission and purpose. At the food bank students learned about the reality of Baton Rouge food shortages, the need for volunteers and the importance of food donations. At Front Yard Bikes students learned how the organization began because the founder saw a need and addressed it. Interaction with the representatives helps make the volunteer experience much more meaningful for students. The hope is that students feel empowered to serve others and to address the needs of their community.
The need to act and make a difference is a key component of the Episcopal experience. The National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) believes that one of the principal qualities of an Episcopal school, is that the institutions work for social justice through community service and service learning. Through service learning, students connect what they learn in class to real world issues, then explore and work toward solutions, all while reflecting meaningfully on their experiences and efforts.
Focus on Friendship in Sixth Grade
Problem solving and building new friendships outside of the classroom are hallmarks of the annual sixth grade retreat. “Friendship Retreat gives 6th graders an opportunity to begin forging an identity as a group,” says English teacher Martha Guarisco. Guarisco and her fellow teachers will make the day even more exciting this year by setting everything to a Harry Potter theme. (It’s hard to say who loves the book series more, the students or the teachers.) The excitement of the day helps students make friendships and develop the peer support system that will be there for them during the Middle School transition years. “Sixth grade retreat is a chance for students to get to know each other,” says math teacher Nancy Callaway. “They get to enjoy each other’s company in a very relaxed atmosphere.” Such an experience is also good for the teachers. “I think the retreat gives teachers a chance early in the year to see the students in a relaxed, non-academic setting, which is usually fun and enlightening,” says science teacher Stacy Hill. “This is a fun day away from campus that allows us to come together as a sixth grade community,” says social studies teacher Virginia Day.
This year’s sixth grade retreat is slated for Friday, September 13th.
Learning about Leadership in Fifth Grade
“I call on you to imagine what it looks like to be a leader of Lower School.” Bridget Henderson
Episcopal fifth graders recently participated in a retreat day of their own. Lower School Division Head Bridget Henderson advised students that the day would focus on their new role as Lower School leaders. Students self-organized and led group activities. The ten year olds also discussed meaningful topics such as altruism, supporting each other and serving as a role model for their younger Lower School counterparts. “The fifth grade year at Episcopal is special because fifth graders are the leaders of the Lower School,” says Henderson. “We wanted to provide a chance for the students to bond as a class and to prepare themselves for the leadership opportunities ahead.”
The retreat culminated with the traditional fifth grade sweatshirt ceremony in the Chapel. Together, students sang songs reflecting a commitment to servant leadership and gratitude. Amid the Louisiana heat and humidity, students then donned Class of 2027 sweatshirts. By design, the sleeves were too long and the hems fell well below the waist so that they can be worn for multiple years. Father Skully advised the students that the sweatshirts represent their unity as one class working together toward the common goal of completing their education. While the shirts appear large now, the students will quickly grow and one day those sleeves that fell below the hand will barely reach the wrist. As this transformation accelerates, hopefully the students will remember the lessons on leadership and compassion that were imparted to them on fifth grade retreat day.
Episcopal offers numerous retreat opportunities to help students develop a sense of community. The bonds created as a result of these experiences can last a lifetime and will be remembered long after they leave Woodland Ridge Boulevard.
Do you have a favorite retreat memory? Share it in the comments below.
Fourth Grade Learning Unit Includes Fishing, Rowing and Aiming
Louisiana is a sportsman’s paradise and Episcopal fourth graders are learning to appreciate it. Even though the school year is barely underway, students have already jumped right into their first project-based learning unit. As part of the annual National Parks lesson, students learn outdoor skills that might be used when visiting a National Park.
Students learn fly fishing techniques from Orvis manager Alex Beane. Beane, who is originally from the northeast, says there are plenty of opportunities here in Louisiana to deploy this style of fishing. Students also jump right into the Episcopal pool in inflatable kayaks. With much enthusiasm they practice single and double strokes across the water. In addition, students learn archery skills near the back of the football field. Classes spend three weeks learning each skill before rotating to the next.
This type of learning would not be possible without collaboration among the fourth grade and physical education teachers. You can learn more on how the PE teachers integrate classroom lessons into physical education by reading PE teacher and head softball coach Heidi Hebert’s blog here.
After the casting, splashing and aiming are over, fourth graders will continue their National Park journey. Students will learn about landforms and erosion. They will conduct online research and learn about mapping. The lesson will cross all subjects including science, social studies and language arts. Students will also work on art projects related to the topic and learn more about the topic in the library. The lesson will culminate with a National Parks Day where students will present what they have learned to their classmates and families. We look forward to hearing from these new outdoor experts!
Growing and Learning in PreK-4
PreK-4 students recently enjoyed their own outdoor adventure during the annual PreK garden party. The little Knights and their families prepared the garden for another year of growing and learning. PreK-4 teacher Lindsay Smith says each family brings something to plant together during this special day. She says caring for the little plants is something the students take pride in as they personally water and weed the little sprouts throughout the school year.
Smith says the PreK garden is a tremendous resource for math and science learning. While the students may appear to be simply enjoying themselves, there is a purpose to their play. As the school year progresses, students will watch as caterpillars munch on the crop and they will follow the transformation as the monarchs appear. This transformation will be similar to their own as they develop new skills and prepare for the next step in their educational journey.
At Episcopal, learning isn’t confined to an indoor classroom. Teachers work together to find creative ways to enhance learning and engage students. It’s just one more way to make learning fun!
Picture it. The year was 2012. The scene: a frigid March morning in Buffalo where the snow stood five feet deep on the sides of nearly every road in Western New York. Now three and a half months into a relentless gray winter broken only by the rhythmic cycle of lake effect snowstorms dropping 8-20 inches of the white flakes every week or so, a younger, slimmer version of me dragged himself out of bed to drive twenty minutes away to the University at Buffalo History Department to wait in a nondescript office for the next two hours. The ride in was cold. My car didn’t actually fully get toasty until I had entered the university parking lot. But I had an obligation to fulfill every Thursday between 8:30 and 10:30: office hours. Every week without fail, I showed up on my “off” day (which was usually also devoted to reading one entire book and writing a response paper for one of my three graduate courses) to make myself available to students who might have questions about how to succeed in their World Civilizations or U.S. History course.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of students did not even bother to do that: show up.
When I was hired at Episcopal, I decided to highlight the importance of showing up to office hours to all of my students. I argue that it is the single most underutilized aspect of their high school and college careers. Showing up to office hours even once a month for each class leads to a whole list of benefits for students. These include but are not limited to:
If our students leave Episcopal and are comfortable approaching their college professors, managers, and bosses, they are more likely to succeed. In addition to getting higher grades, they turn their classroom experiences into early-career-defining moments. Last year, for example, an alum came back to campus and mentioned how stunned she was that so many of her college classmates did not take lectures and office hours seriously. She said that she sat in the front row for each class meeting, made sure to ask at least one meaningful content-related question per lecture, and went to office hours to meet with her professor for at least 10-15 minutes each week to clarify her own reading notes. Not only was the student regarded by the faculty in her department as a rock star by the end of her first semester of Freshman year, but she was also offered a paid summer internship by one of her professors because they recognized her potential. She is not the only one. I’ve lost count of how many students have gone on to serve on Capitol Hill, work for large non-profit organizations, and intern for large, impressive corporations during the summer.
The one thing most of them have in common? They went to office hours. Intentionally. Consistently. Doing so gave them a leg up on the students who had not. Professors would love to point serious students in the direction of opportunities that would turn their majors and minors into a career by the time they leave with a Bachelor’s degree in hand. While everyone else is avoiding office hours, I’m proud to hear that a good number of Episcopal alums who developed the habit of going to office hours to meet with instructors continue to show up.
Dr. Billy Pritchard
Dr. Billy Pritchard is a native of Winn Parish, Louisiana. He and his wife, Lisa, came to Episcopal in 2015 after spending the previous decade in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Pritchard is a 1999 graduate of the Louisiana School of Math, Science, and the Arts. In addition, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Centenary College of Louisiana, a master’s degree from Ole Miss and doctorate from SUNY-Buffalo. Dr. Pritchard teaches U.S. History, Honors AP U.S. History, American Presidency and the Civil Rights Movement.
The pressures to fit in and look a certain way can be difficult for pre-teens and teens. Magazines and movies tell us that beauty should be a certain height, with a certain hair color and body shape. Fortunately, this preconceived definition is slowly evolving. Episcopal graduate Brooks Nader ’15 recently made quite a splash on the national modeling scene by winning the Sports Illustrated 2019 model search and the first 2020 Rookie of the Year Award. She is happy to see the industry adjusting to better represent today’s women.
As an Episcopal student, Brooks never considered modeling as a career option. She says she is actually shorter than most models and has what some consider odd measurements for the profession. However, her thoughts about modeling changed one summer in Manhattan. After working hard at Episcopal to get into Tulane, Brooks decided to pursue a summer internship in New York. While in Manhattan, a modeling agent approached Brooks and asked her one simple question – Have you ever considered modeling? Because she wasn’t the formulaic model size, the answer was no. However, the seed had been planted.
After she returned home that fall, the question and the possibility preoccupied her. With much thought and reflection, Brooks decided there was only one way to find out if she could actually make a living as a model – she would go “all in” and relocate to New York. Going “all in” is something that Brooks has long been known for so it was not a stretch for this Baton Rouge girl to simply pack up and move to the country’s largest city. Pursuing such a dream certainly required courage and confidence. Brooks also credits the strong support of her family in helping make her dream a reality. “They were behind me 100%,” she says about the support and belief exhibited by those closest to her.
In just four short years since graduating from Episcopal, Brooks has already experienced so much. National brands such as Cover Girl have enlisted her to represent their products and this summer she appeared in the 2019 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue alongside the likes of Tyra Banks and Christie Brinkley. She’s learned a lot along the way. Brooks says corporations are now looking for models who carry themselves well and represent their brand in a positive light. “We’re more than a pretty face,” she says. Wisely, Brooks has aligned herself with positive mentors who can guide her through the industry and help foster her career success. She says the Sports Illustrated experience was like being a part of a modeling sisterhood as she worked with her fellow models in a positive and encouraging environment. The opportunity has also opened new career possibilities for her that she is eager to explore. Already she has had a part in a movie starring Sylvester Stallone and while acting may currently be out of her comfort zone, it could be an option in her future.
As her star continues to rise, Brooks also hopes to serve as a mentor and example for young women. She wants pre-teens and teens who can be under so much pressure to have the right hair or the perfect braces to know that those types of concerns are not ultimately what matters. She says at such a young age they should not have a care in the world. As organizations such as Sports Illustrated and other top brands continue to redefine the traditional model by casting all types of people, the hope is that young girls can appreciate and celebrate their own beauty. Brooks says the fact that people who look, act and believe differently are being chosen for such high profile shoots, makes modeling a more rewarding career.
As Brooks thinks about the Episcopal Upper School students who are currently occupying the very desks she sat in not that long ago, she hopes tomorrow’s graduates will have the courage and confidence to chase their dreams no matter what or where that may be. In the meantime, Brooks will continue to go “all in” as she pursues her own dreams.
It always feels like the school year is officially underway once the kindergarten/senior buddy program kicks off. Students had their first meeting this week on the kindergarten playground. Despite the August heat, students were all smiles as they played together. It was a great start to an annual tradition.
What would you do without air conditioning or climate control in the Louisiana heat?
This question was just one of the many posed to students participating in this year’s Baton Rouge Energy Venture Camp. This is the sixth year that area students have had the opportunity to participate in this 40-hour STEM camp. Upper School science teacher Jeannette Thompson, who is one of the camp leads, says the experience is intense and a lot of fun. “I love teaching camps,” she says. Thompson says a camp is the ideal classroom because there is no pressure to make a certain grade. Students can simply enjoy learning and exploring their curiosity regarding the concepts.
The Baton Rouge Energy Venture Camp is a hands-on learning experience for high school students throughout the capital region. For the first time, campers kicked off the experience on Episcopal’s campus where they reviewed the basic parameters of science. Over the course of the week, students participated in activities at Baton Rouge Community College and LSU. According to the camp description, the camp provides students the opportunity “to explore the entire process of energy development from how oil and natural gas are formed to the ways various types of energy are used.” Students build a generator, a car, a windmill and a solar house – all in one week! The camp description also says students learn about the concepts of photosynthesis, distillation, catalysts, pressure, temperature, density, fracking, combustion and more. In a sweet and chilly highlight, students even went to the LSU Dairy Store to learn more about air conditioning and refrigeration.
Thompson says while there are a lot of topics covered in just a short period of time, students process the information well. She says the camp instructors design the experience so that it is meaningful and relates to real life. “We don’t lecture for more than twenty minutes at a time,” says Thompson. “They need to be doing something because we only have one week.” As a result of the intense pace and the hands-on learning experiences, students walk away from the camp with a deeper understanding of the lessons they learn in a more traditional school classroom setting. The camp helps students “make connections to learning theories,” says Thompson. As students are making those connections they are enjoying the experience. “I love the camp because I get to meet people that are also interested in science and it is high paced and fun,” says Episcopal sophomore Andrea Thompson.
To ensure the campers are making connections, the camp ends each year with students presenting information on one concept they’ve learned. Thompson says this is a great way for students to showcase their new knowledge and for instructors to know for sure that students have truly gained something from the experience. Thompson says former campers often report back that what they learned at camp helped them tremendously once they returned to school or even once they have moved on to college.
“We hope to get them to like science and to understand science,” says Thompson. For this former chemical engineer, it is very rewarding to see the excitement on the faces of the campers and students when they fully grasp a concept or accomplish their goal and realize it is possible and even easy. With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs in 2015 and continued career growth expected, it is important to spark an interest in these fields early. Thompson and her fellow Baton Rouge Energy Venture Camp organizers are certainly doing their part to inspire young people to enter the field.
In 2002 a young Stephen Anderson was a senior at Episcopal. Even then he loved math and truly excelled in the subject. As a student Stephen was an early bird arriving on campus around 7 am each morning. He was the go-to guy for math tutoring among his fellow classmates and spent many mornings in the Student Center helping frazzled students prepare for exams. True to his talent and ambition, Stephen became a teacher and ultimately returned to his alma mater where he now serves as the Math Department Chair. Even after all these years, he remains committed to helping others understand and appreciate math and his enthusiasm for working with students is obvious. This lifelong commitment to learning has now earned him a spot as a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching or PAEMST.
The PAEMST honors have been administered by the National Science Foundation since 1983. According to the award website, “The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the Nation’s teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement.” Each year, the President may recognize up to 108 teachers from across the country with the award. Over the years, Episcopal has had several educators receive the honor, including former Math Department Chair Pam Goodner and Anderson’s own mentor, Kay Fenton.
“Being mentioned in the same breath as Kay Fenton is awesome,” says Anderson. He says Fenton played a significant role in inspiring him to become the teacher he is today. “I knew I wanted to teach and having a teacher as gifted as Kay allowed me to achieve that goal,” he says. Anderson uses lessons learned in Fenton’s classroom in his own lessons where he pushes students to learn and understand math, and he is honest and open with them in communicating about their progress. Even though he never had the opportunity to teach alongside Fenton, he is honored to have a connection to her again through the PAEMST.
Former department chair Pam Goodner nominated Anderson for the PAEMST last fall. As you might expect with an award of such magnitude, the application process is grueling. Once Anderson was nominated, he had to submit a resume, essays about his teaching philosophy, letters of recommendation and even a video showing him in action in the classroom. Because teachers are strongly focused on day-to-day activities and preparing for the next lesson, this can be hard, but Anderson says it was also very affirming. “I haven’t thought so carefully about why I do what I do the way I do, since grad school,” he says.
This July, Anderson received the news that he was named a Louisiana finalist. State finalists are chosen by a selection committee made up of mathematicians, scientists, researchers and classroom teachers. Once selected for state recognition, the finalists are eligible for the national honor which is chosen by a national committee of industry experts. Anderson says national honorees will be announced sometime next year. In the meantime, Anderson will be celebrated in Louisiana as an exemplary math teacher. In September, he and the other finalists will be recognized at a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion. In November, he will also participate in the Louisiana Math and Science Conference.
Certainly, his mentors, colleagues and even his fellow grads from 2002 are not surprised to see Stephen earn PAEMST recognition. It is amazing to think that it all started so long ago with a senior who had a passion for figures and a gift for teaching others.
Episcopal PAEMST Honorees
Kay Fenton – 1996
Linda Fletcher – 1995
Pam Goodner – 2009
Emily Lamont – 1993
Episcopal faculty and staff truly are exceptional. In addition to having a PAEMST honoree on staff, Thesis Director Katie Sutcliffe was named a 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Distinguished Teacher. Each year, U.S. Presidential Scholar student honorees are asked to name the teacher who has had the biggest impact on his or her life. Episcopal’s Douglas Robins, who was named a 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar, submitted Sutcliffe as that teacher. “You taught me the most important lesson that I have ever learned: becoming okay with uncertainty,” writes Robins. “You taught me that the human experience is centered around uncertainty and should not be something to dread but something to cherish. You showed me that curiosity should be infectious and how curiosity can change the world.”
Like Anderson, Sutcliffe appreciates the opportunity such recognition provides teachers to pause and appreciate their role as an educator. “It’s nice to realize that what you do is making an impact,” she says. She also values the opportunity to be associated with such amazingly motivated and driven students. “I don’t think students realize that we as teachers are honored to be a part of their work,” she says.
The synergy between Episcopal teachers and students is a key factor in the Episcopal experience. Teachers and students are working together in a way that brings meaning and purpose to their lives. Congratulations to Stephen and Katie and all of the outstanding teachers who give their all to prepare our students to lead the next generation.
Congratulate or thank your favorite Episcopal teacher in the comments below.
Episcopal eighth graders have the music in them! A recent visit to the VPAC highlighted just a few of the electives Episcopal students can explore. In addition to band, theater and dance, students can also explore choir.
"Go for Excellence" in Band Class
Members of the eighth grade band class practiced notes from the song “Go for Excellence” with new Band Director Doug Gay.
Exploring the Impact of Music in Musical Theater Class
In musical theater class students discussed the soundtrack of their lives with Arts Department Chair Paige Gagliano. Class favorites included a few oldies like Queen, the Beatles and the Steve Miller Band as well as more modern artists such as Drake, Lizzo and Post Malone.
Twisting and Twirling in Dance Class
Meanwhile, in the dance studio eighth grade dancers practiced steps to a Lauryn Hill classic. To break up the practice, Dance Teacher Christine Chrest even had students run races across the practice floor.
Even though the school year has only just begun, Middle School students are already off to a good rhythm. They are sure to continue making great music together throughout the year.
Mark Your Calendar:
Don’t miss your opportunity to catch Middle School performers in action.
Lower/Middle School Play: November 18th - 21st VPAC
Winter Band Concert: December 5th VPAC
Fall Dance Concert: December 10th VPAC
Imagine what the world will be like in the year 2033. Imagine the technology that will be available to us. Imagine how we will interact with each other. Imagine the new discoveries that will be made by today’s young people. 2033 may seem far away, but it is actually the year that our current PreK-4 students will graduate from Upper School.
This year’s Lower School theme is Imagine. For Lower School Division Head Bridget Henderson, this simple, seven letter word has tremendous potential. “Imagine what is possible for our students if we give them fertile ground to grow,” she says. Henderson says the ability to think critically, collaborate and problem solve will be important capabilities for these students as they become adults. Simply put, they must be prepared to imagine new possibilities and imagine solutions to new problems. “The future of education is trying to inspire children and teach them how to not set limits on what they can think,” says Henderson.
Imagine is a fitting theme for a school with such a strong focus on project-based learning. The projects are student driven and student focused. “Project-based learning is not scripted,” says Henderson. “No two projects are ever the same.” Such learning experiences encourage students to explore their world and imagine more. This type of learning fosters the innovative spirit that will be needed for students entering an increasingly more technologically connected and advanced world.
Henderson says Imagine is an empowering message for students of all ages. The idea communicates support and encouragement. “If we can get the students to imagine, then we know that anything is possible,” says Henderson. At Episcopal you can find students imagining everywhere from Lower School art rooms to coding discussions in Middle School and design studio classes in Upper School. Henderson and her team are also excited to imagine the possibilities with the new Episcopal Quest Center.
Nicole says the idea came to her as the team reflected on past themes, which all shared a common thread of peace, unity and kindness. She says as the session continued someone suggested they think of songs. “Of course, the music and religion teachers were able to think of tunes right away,” she says. But for this science teacher, one song kept coming to mind – “Imagine” by John Lennon. Nicole says the song has always represented peace for her and still gives her chills each time she hears it played. Like Henderson, the word Imagine means so much to Engstrom. “Imagine kindness everywhere, imagine what could happen if you send that letter, imagine how world leaders would respond, imagine your impact, imagine the possibilities, just imagine,” she says. Engstrom says it was an honor to be invited to the theme-planning discussion. “It was a team effort,” she says. “I just said a word.”
That one word was confirmed when Lower School Religion Teacher Laura Portwood read: “God has more in store for you than you can ever imagine.”
The 2019/2020 school year is sure to be a memorable and important year for the Episcopal community. It is likely to be better than we can imagine.
Can you imagine what life will be like in 2033? Share your thoughts below.
“Gratitude implies humility- a recognition that we could not be who we are or where we are in life without the contributions of others.” Robert Emmons, professor, researcher, author
My family and I have officially completed our first full week as members of the Episcopal community. The experience has been fulfilling, exciting and inspiring, and we are grateful for the opportunity. In February, my wife, Nicole, and I made the decision to move to Baton Rouge to join this community so that I could serve as the new Middle School Division Head. Starting a new school year is an exciting adventure for most of us, but taking on this new role and finally getting to meet our students has made the start of this year even more so for me. Nicole shares in this feeling as she has also joined Episcopal as the Lower School’s fifth grade science teacher. Our children, Alex, who is a sophomore and Emma, who is an eighth grader, are also happy to be Knights.
Based on our first impression of the Episcopal community, we are ecstatic with our decision to come here. We have encountered wave after wave of nice kids and families, which aligns with the waves of nice faculty, staff and administrators we met over the summer. Nicole and I are also thankful to be back in Louisiana. I was born just down the road in New Orleans and graduated from Ben Franklin High School. I am also a graduate of the University of Kentucky, the University of New Orleans and Framingham State College in Massachusetts – if I could, I would be a full-time student every year of my life! Over the course of my career, I have taught in South Korea, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and was most recently the Middle and Upper School Division Head at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas. My heart has always been working closely with Middle School students, faculty and their families so that we can help them through this critical period of their lives. The window to impact young people is smaller than we realize sometimes and I want to capitalize on those moments when we can help build character.
I believe that the foundations of guiding Middle School students are compassion for what is hard about this stage and a celebration of all the opportunities that are presented. Tween and teen children want and need guidance. I hope that our theme of respect and gratitude will add to their family values/faith to help them lead fulfilling lives. Middle School is a time of significant transformation for our students as they discover new things about themselves and the world around them. It is an honor to help them grow and navigate this time in their lives.
As my wife and I navigate the change in our own lives, we are enjoying the opportunity to show our children Louisiana culture. How can we go wrong with some of the best food in the country right here? Already, we have tickets for the Angola rodeo this October and we plan to visit Avery Island once the heat subsides. We’re also looking forward to cheering on the Knights and really getting to know our new school family.
We look forward to next Thursday, August 22nd and the Middle School Parents Night. This fun evening allows us to share all the amazing things that are going on each school day. I hope that parents enjoy the night and walk away with a stronger sense of the amazing learning experiences available to their child each day. I also invite anyone who would like to meet to contact me. I am happy to meet with any parents interested in sharing more so that Episcopal can be a stronger partner in helping their child learn, grow and achieve their dreams.
Thank you again to everyone who has welcomed us to the Episcopal community. I pledge to pay forward the incredible welcome we have felt each day.
Mark Engstrom is Episcopal’s Middle School Division Head. Prior to joining Episcopal he served as the Middle and Upper School Division Head at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas. Mark is a Louisiana native and a graduate of Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans. Mark earned degrees from the University of Kentucky, the University of New Orleans and Framingham State College in Massachusetts. He has extensive experience in blended learning and has led multiple professional development opportunities regarding blended learning. Mark has also published articles on personalizing student education. Mark particularly enjoys working with Middle School students as they transition from elementary school students to high school students. Mark is married to Nicole, Episcopal’s fifth grade science teacher. Their children, Alex and Emma, are Episcopal students.