Player of the Week
Knights running back Ryan Armwood was selected as the WAFB Sportsline Player of the Week AND the WBRZ Sports Fans Choice! Click the videos below to view Ryan in action.
2020 All-Academic Athletes
Congratulations to Abhay Basireddy and Charlie Roth for being named to the All-Academic Cross Country team and Kate Oehrle for being named to the All-Academic Swimming team! To earn All-Academic recognition, a student must maintain a 4.0 GPA in addition to competing in a sport.
Making Them Laugh Internationally
College Board Recognition
Congratulations to seniors Elaine Gboloo and Bethany Reid! The students earned recognition in the College Board National Recognition Program. The recognition program honors students who achieve the minimum requested on the PSAT/NMSQT, earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and identify as African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Indigenous or a rural community student. The recognition helps strengthen the students’ college applications and scholarship submissions. Gboloo and Reid are also both National Merit Semifinalists. Congratulations!
Congratulations AP Scholars
Members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 had great success on AP course exams, with seven National AP Scholars, 40 AP Scholars with Distinction, 15 AP Scholars with Honor and 13 AP Scholars. Congratulations to the following.
National AP Scholar:
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. (7 students)
AP Scholar with Distinction:
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. (40 Students)
Congratulations to Episcopal’s Upper School Student Leaders
Class of 2021: Oliver Jack, President; Julia Frazer, Vice President; Annslee Bourgeois, Marketing Rep; Katie Knight, Designer. Class of 2022: Barrow Alexander, President; Alex Engstrom, Vice President; Lucy Pellegrin, Marketing Rep; Ruby Friloux, Designer. Class of 2023: Katie Sue Capron, President; Akshay Basireddy, Vice President; Libbie Kelly, Marketing Rep; Amelia Pleasant, Designer. Class of 2024: Glynes Hill, President; John Luke Boagni, Vice President; Maggie King, Marketing Rep; Nicholas Smallwood, Designer.
Congratulations to the 2020/2021 Honor Council
Class of 2021: Elaine Gboloo, Charlie Roth, Jack Safer and Grace Scott. Class of 2022: Cate Brien, Carson Duval and Chidi Mbagwu. Class of 2023: Caroline Chick and Carter McLean. Class of 2024: Laura Jane Kirkpatrick.
Announcing the Middle School Student Leaders
The following students will represent the Middle School this year on the Student Council. Congratulations!
Make it a great day!
Anyone who has participated in a Lower School Morning Meeting has certainly heard this greeting shared between students. Prior to the pandemic, Morning Meeting was a daily gathering in the Greer Center featuring student performances, scripture readings and voices raised in song. When the world of education changed last school year, religion teachers Jenny Koenig and Laura Portwood knew they had to preserve this treasured tradition. “It was the number one tradition mentioned by every faculty member,” says Koenig. “This is how we start our day here,” says Portwood. With classes being offered online, the two teachers set to work offering Morning Meeting online as well. The project required a tremendous effort and a lot of trouble shooting.
Now, with students on campus, Morning Meeting is streamed live from Koenig’s classroom each day. Koenig, Portwood and librarian Catherine Word operate webcams, computers and lights in the space. A different class joins them in person for each production and there are special guest attendees. Recently, students welcomed new Head of School Dr. Carrie Steakley, who was more than happy to spend time with the young Knights.
Morning Meeting is a component of the Responsive Classroom method that has been used in Lower School for more than a decade. The classroom management philosophy empowers students by helping them fully understand the expectations and behaviors required of them. According to the Responsive Classroom website, “Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically.” At Episcopal, Morning Meeting is also a setting in which students gain a solid spiritual foundation with students reciting the Episcopal Honor Code, praying and singing together.
“I saw you on TV.” “How did you fit in the TV?” The new Morning Meeting format has certainly made an impression on the littlest Knights. Koenig and Portwood say when they interact with PreK-4 students they are often asked about the production. Portwood smiles when recalling the students asking how she got so tiny. She says these impromptu discussions often lead to talk of cameras and the workings of film creation. Koenig says when she sees students on the playground or on campus, they are excited to greet her and feel like they know her now.
Beginning each day together creates a sense of community among students. It also provides a dependable way to move into a new day of learning. “It provides a calm routine that we can count on,” says Koenig. “It’s comforting to them.” In addition, Morning Meeting is an opportunity for students to develop presentation and leadership skills. Each day, a different group of fifth graders is selected to lead the gathering. “It’s a big deal to get up in front of everybody,” says Portwood. The teachers do not take this lightly, and it’s just one more reason they are committed to continuing Morning Meeting.
Koenig and Portwood laugh about the adventures they’ve had while working on the virtual version of Morning Meeting. There have been occasions where the technology froze and instances where Portwood had to ad-lib her message. While transitioning to an online format has not been without challenges, it has certainly been worth the effort. “It helps us to always remember our sense of belonging,” says Koenig. That sense of belonging is felt whether students are sitting side by side or tuning in from their classroom.
Morning Meeting continues thanks to the resilience and determination of teachers like Portwood, Koenig and Word. In a year like 2020, it is good to know that meaningful traditions live on. Thank you to everyone who contributes to this effort.
Do you love Morning Meeting? Tell us why in the comments section below.
Did you know that ice cream can teach you a lot about thermodynamics?
Episcopal eighth graders participated in a tasty science lesson recently in the Chemistry Kitchen in the new QUEST Center in Foster Hall. Students used chocolate milk, ice and salt to make their own ice cream inside of a plastic bag. Science teacher Shymala Alapati uses the lesson to demonstrate the thermal energy transfer and how the drop in temperature of the milk mixture ultimately creates a solid form. “Students truly enjoyed the experience of working in the lab in the Quest Center,” she says. “It is always remarkable when we can have a super-fun lab and learn the maximum from the lab. It’s a double bonus day!”
That double bonus day occurred in the fully stocked Chemistry Kitchen. Since students have started using the new space there has been tremendous activity, ranging from second graders learning about the circulatory system to French students making crepes. Alapati says access to the kitchen made things much easier for her class. “Students were able to socially distance and still be together,” she says. “The amazing amount of space with all of the facilities – such as the refrigerators, the sinks and a place to keep everything in all one location assisted greatly.” She says in the past the ice cream lab has required her to coordinate supplies from multiple areas, making it much more difficult. “With all of the facilities easily accessible, it made it much easier to focus on what we were to learn from this lab.”
Learning at Episcopal is fun and tasty. (For future reference – the next time you’re caught with that extra bowl of ice cream, just say you’re learning more about the principles of thermodynamics!)
"We are created to be models of God’s love and grace. We are created to serve God in Christ in all persons, regardless of origin, background, ability, or religion. We are created to “strive for justice and peace among all people and [to] respect the dignity of every human being.”
Friday, October 16, 2020
An Update from the Episcopal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force
Dear Episcopal Community,
In June of 2020, an appeal was made to Episcopal School of Baton Rouge by our alumni, parents, faculty, and staff to look inwardly and honestly about the history and future diversity, equity and inclusion within our community.
The administration, alongside our Board, heard the concerns and decided that a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force consisting of the Episcopal school community along with a Board committee was needed to address them. Board Chair Chris Kiesel outlines the intent. “The Board has formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in order to ensure that Episcopal’s policies and procedures in this area are fully aligned with the school’s Mission & Ministry Statement (to develop the whole child – spiritually, intellectually, morally, physically and artistically) and the Episcopal Church’s Baptismal Covenant (to ‘strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being’). We have a responsibility to our students, faculty and administrators who learn, teach and lead at Episcopal, to support their participation in a vibrant, compassionate and safe community that supports one another’s differences, embraces each other’s commonalities, and strengthens every community member’s ability to learn from each other, even when we are challenged to grow and think differently. Valuing inclusion and fostering a sense of belonging enhances our students’ experiences and better prepares them to contribute in meaningful ways to their communities beyond Episcopal. The DEI Committee’s established goals will guide our work in this regard.”
To effectively steer our efforts, Episcopal welcomes New Roads native Dr. Katrice Albert to help lead this work with our community of teachers, students, parents and alumni. Dr. Albert brings a wealth of experience in this area, combined with knowledge of our local community. She previously served as the Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach at LSU. She has also worked with Episcopal in the past as a guest speaker with the Cornerstones program that preceded the Center for Service Learning. In addition, she has served in executive capacities with national organizations such as the NCAA and the University of Minnesota System. Dr. Albert is the founder and managing member of Third Eye Consulting Group.
Dr. Albert graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a bachelor of science in psychology. She earned her master of science in counseling psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She completed her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Auburn University and completed her clinical internship in psychology at Boston Medical School’s Center for Multicultural Training. We look forward to partnering with Dr. Albert.
The efforts of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force will fall under the umbrella of the Episcopal Quest for Peace Program. In 2018, Episcopal introduced the program with the goal of helping students of all ages make connections between academics, everyday life and their moral obligation to make the world a better place. This year the theme of our work will be "Enriching Lives, Widening Circles."
As we move forward with Dr. Albert, we will continue to identify meaningful learning opportunities for our teachers and students. This year, as we have done in the past, we will send an Episcopal contingent to the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
Episcopal School of Baton Rouge is committed to this work. We are a Christian community whose mission integrates spiritual formation into all aspects of the educational experience in a graceful and inclusive way. Episcopal schools have been established, however, not solely as communities for Christians, like a parish church, but as diverse institutions of educational and human development for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Episcopal schools are populated by a rich variety of human beings, from increasingly diverse religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Even the most diverse of Episcopal schools are created to be communities that honor, celebrate and worship God as the center of life.
We thank the Task Force members for their commitment to this work and to ensuring that Episcopal is a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We are also grateful to families who have inquired about supporting Episcopal’s DEI initiatives. Those interested can choose to direct their eFund gift by selecting “Spirituality and Service Learning” and then stating the desire to designate a gift to “DEI” in the comments section.
The Episcopal community can expect future updates from Dr. Albert and the Task Force as we move forward with this effort.
Competition after incredible success at the local competition. On Saturday, he will pitch his plan for FACEtutor to a worldwide audience, with viewers having the opportunity to vote for their top choice.
According to the official Instagram page, FACEtutor is an “on-demand video tutoring service, that allows students to get help for qualified tutors whenever they need it.” Thomas says the mobile application is similar to Uber in that a student can access a tutor whenever they need assistance and tutors can log on whenever they are available to help. The inspiration for FACEtutor arose from Thomas’ own experience as an Episcopal tutor.
At Episcopal, Thomas provides support for his classmates in math, science, social studies, English and Spanish. He is passionate about helping others, and tutoring offers him a rewarding way to do that. His face lights up as he describes the excitement he sees in others when they first understand a new concept or finally find the answer to a hard to solve problem. He hopes FACEtutor will make it possible for more of those “a-ha” moments with a broader range of students. Counselor Robin Talamo says Thomas’ willingness to help others has made him a “go to” student for campus tutoring. “He really puts himself out there with students, giving of his free time, and truly becoming invested in their success,” she says. “He has a level of professionalism that is far beyond that of his age. Yet, as amazing as he is with his gifts, he is also equally humble about his accomplishments.”
Thomas has already accomplished a lot in a very short period of time with FACEtutor, earning the top prize from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge this spring. Participating in the program allowed Thomas the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship and the skills needed to make FACEtutor a reality. The experience was inspiring. “I loved the YEA,” says Thomas. “It helped me learn all aspects of business. It was specialized to what I need and very useful.” As Thomas learned more about entrepreneurship, he explored existing online tutoring options and found that FACEtutor’s objective of providing easy, 24/7 access in a video chat format is unique. Through YEABR, Thomas continued to fine-tune his concept, learning more about business plan development, logo design and how to create a solid pitch. As the winner of the local competition, he received $5,000 to support his endeavor and the chance to compete on a national stage.
The events of 2020 have certainly underscored the importance of the accessible tutoring that FACEtutor seeks to provide. Thomas points to the number of schools in which students are not on campus and are only learning online. He says there is a “need for more personalized help” when in-person learning is not taking place. What was initially created to support students with real-time learning needs has now become a timely idea that meets the needs of students experiencing learning in new and unusual circumstances.
On Saturday, October 17th, Thomas will pitch FACEtutor to a worldwide audience as he competes against 36 middle and high school students from 20 states across the country. He will be part of Panel 2, whose members will present their business models between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm. Viewers must register in advance here to participate in the text-to-vote People’s Choice Award selection. The competition will be streamed live on YEA’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
Earning the title of next top young entrepreneur would be a tremendous boost for FACEtutor and Thomas. “It would mean more money to help me start the business,” he says. It would also provide Thomas the national recognition he needs to fully develop and launch the app. While Thomas is not yet sure of his ultimate career goals, he does hope that FACEtutor CEO is in his future. This weekend will be a huge step toward making that happen.
To read about previous Episcopal students who participated in YEABR, click here.
Leave a message congratulating Thomas in the comments section below.
Congratulations to the 2020 Episcopal Homecoming Court!
The Knights take on Dunham for the 2020 Homecoming game on Friday, October 30th at 7:00 pm. Fans can catch the action live on Cox Sports Television/Channel 37 or via the Twitter simulcast at @ESHBRAthletics. Tickets for general admission go on sale Wednesday, October 28th at 10:00 am.
Episcopal students are learning, growing and enjoying their time on campus. As everyone acclimates to the 2020 routine, a new sense of joy and tradition is blooming. Enjoy these moments from around campus.
Going on a Fossil Hunt
Sixth graders recently used the latest technology to delve deeper into the secrets of the past. Students used Google Expeditions AR to look at fossils that were used as evidence to support the theory of Continental Drift.
Wellness Wednesday Finals
“Let’s have some fun!” Division Head Mark Engstrom welcomed Middle School students to the VPAC for the Wellness Wednesday Fall Fest Finals this week. The event was the culmination of several Wednesdays of mental, physical and logic challenges conducted recently during advisory. For the finals, students had to find the differences between images, jump rope for 30 seconds or solve a riddle. The winners received candy to celebrate their success. The best part was being together for a moment of fun!
In addition, students had an opportunity to dress in their favorite fall outfits and enjoy treats from City Gelato to celebrate the upcoming fall break.
Outdoor Adventures in First Grade
Nothing says joy quite like flying a kite on a beautiful October day! First graders enjoyed time outdoors recently on the Coach Dupe trail.
The Episcopal Knights are back in action! With more than 80% of Middle and Upper School students participating in at least one sport, the impact of athletics is tremendous. The volleyball, cross country, swimming, football and softball teams are all off to great starts, and there is a sense of joy among the community now that competition is underway. As we go into fall break, we celebrate athletics. Go Knights!
The volleyball squad was the first to get back into competition with a scrimmage against St. Michael’s on September 3rd. Since then, the team has enjoyed a successful season with victories over Baton Rouge High, Brusly, Live Oak, Northeast and Denham Springs. This year’s volleyball team is led by seniors Mollie Hyde, Maeve McCracken, Emma Schlotterer, Emma Thompson and Lily Wester.
Upcoming contests include:
October 13th at home versus Parkview
4:30 pm Junior Varsity
6 pm Varsity
October 15th at 6 pm Varsity versus Ursuline Academy
You can catch the volleyball team in action on Cox Sports Television.
The cross country team is off to a swift start. The girls team won the West Feliciana Relays, breaking the course record. The girls followed that up with a runner up finish at the 42nd Annual Round Table Run. Meanwhile, the boys placed second at the West Feliciana meet and fourth at the Round Table Run. Senior runners this year include Abhay Basireddy, Dorene Chu, Callie Hardy, Tucker Harrell, Evan Jurkovic, Logan LeBlanc, Tanya Mencer, Bethany Reid and Charlie Roth.
The Episcopal swimmers are happy to be back in the pool. This year’s team is led by new coach Matt Kiggans, who previously coached at Runnels, Southern Oaks and Tiger Aquatics. The season is off to a great start, with the girls recently finishing second out of 10 teams and the boys finishing fourth out of 11. In addition, the Middle School swimmers are having tremendous success with numerous top finishes. This year’s senior swimmers include Nils Dernoncourt, Evan Jurkovic, Ben Naquin, Katherine Oehrle, KC Shimada and Allie Weinstein. The swim team hits the pool again on October 24th at Crawfish Aquatics.
The Knights hosted one of the first contests in the state of Louisiana with Episcopal defeating Country Day School 41 to 7 at home. The JV squad is celebrating an 18 to 14 victory over Catholic High of Pointe Coupee Monday night. This year’s seniors are Thomas Abadie, Ryan Armwood, Adam Azmeh, Cade Capron, Jude Forti, Ethan Hook, Oliver Jack, Dillon Kong, Evan Meek, Dylan Mehrotra, JC Neumann, Peyton Pontif, Tristen Rigby, Cason Roberie, Parker Sanchez, Drew Sharp, Allen Stewart and Austin Sybrandt. The Knights defeated Pope John Paul School 42 to 0 on October 7th.
All home games will be live on Cox Sports Television and away games will be live streamed.
The Middle School football season continues with 40 players competing this year! Seventh and eighth graders will be in action again on the following dates:
October 13th at 6 pm home versus U-High
October 20th at 6 pm at home versus Dunham
October 27th at 6 pm at home versus Parkview
The Middle School softball season is in full swing with numerous games on the horizon.
Monday, October 12th - vs. Parkview 6:30 pm at the Dunham School
Wednesday, October 14th – vs. U-High 5:00 pm at U-High
Monday, October 19th – vs. U-High 5:00 pm at Parkview
Thursday, October 22nd – vs. Parkview 5:00 pm at home
Third graders celebrated their love of words with the annual Vocabulary Parade. This Lower School tradition is inspired by a study of author Debra Frasier’s book, “Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster.” Episcopal students represented a range of words with colorful, creative costumes as they paraded through the VPAC.
The Vocabulary Parade tradition is a favorite among Lower School students. For 10 years now, teachers have organized this fun occasion to encourage students to grow in their vocabulary and develop a love of reading. The excitement of the day will certainly go a long way toward accomplishing these goals!
Each year, Episcopal fifth graders celebrate their leadership role in Lower School with the fifth grade sweatshirt ceremony. The shirts are a meaningful reminder for the students as they mentor their younger classmates and prepare for the next step in their own educational journey.
The sweatshirt tradition is a moment to remember as it is one of the first occasions where individual students are referred to as a class. In this case, the Class of 2028. Eight years from now, the sweatshirts will be replaced by a cap and gown as the students make their way into the world. Until that day, Episcopal faculty and staff will do their best to prepare the students for that milestone.
Congratulations, Class of 2028!