The annual Mums of Alums spring luncheon was recently held at the home of Anne McCanless. The event was a great way to celebrate spring and the Episcopal family.
I am confident that you will join me in welcoming Patrick Hundley as Episcopal’s interim Director of Advancement. Patrick joins us during an exciting period in our development efforts as we prepare Episcopal to meet the needs of the next generation of leaders. The Academic Commons, the new athletic field house and the Quest Center in Foster Hall are all examples of our progress.
Identifying an experienced development leader was imperative for ensuring that Episcopal’s commitment to excellence continues. To secure the very best candidate, we partnered with the executive placement firm, The Registry. The Registry is the nation’s gold standard for interim administrative placement and has placed approximately 600 senior leaders at nearly 400 institutions since the firm was established in 1992. The Registry typically works with colleges and universities to provide the proper placement of senior leaders. With their trusted tenure in administrative placements, we felt The Registry was the right choice to identify Episcopal’s interim Director of Advancement.
With nearly 40 years of experience in development, Patrick will be a catalyst for the completion of our Spirit • Mind • Body Capital Campaign. Over the course of his career, Patrick has established major gift campaigns for colleges and universities across the country. He has a proven track record of boosting annual giving and coordinating development efforts in a way that is sustainable and impactful for the institutions he serves. A few examples of his recent success include raising nearly $7.5 million in just 13 months at Delta State University, re-energizing Delta State University alumni chapters and establishing an annual giving program that doubled annual gifts at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Patrick is a strategic thinker and we look forward to supporting his success here at Episcopal.
Patrick will work closely with Development Committee members and Capital Campaign Director, Mellie Bailey. He has already begun efforts to support the new Episcopal athletic field house. Please look for a big announcement coming soon regarding new recognition opportunities for the facility. These opportunities will provide additional ways for Episcopal families and friends to be a part of this historic project. Under Patrick’s leadership, you will see a renewed focus on alumni engagement. Patrick will also lend his expertise to additional development efforts as he directs the development department going forward.
Patrick, a Tennessee native, and his wife, Susan, are already enjoying Baton Rouge. I am certain that your hospitality and suggestions for exploring all that the area has to offer will be welcome. Patrick and Susan have three children, Sarah Ruth McCracken, Patrick, Jr. and David Norton. Patrick and Susan recently celebrated the first birthday of Sarah’s first child, Cooper Alan McCracken. (No direct relation to “our” McCracken's.) Cooper joins three other grandchildren, Carter, Hudson and Campbell Norton.
Please lend your support and encouragement to Patrick and his team. This is a rewarding time to be a part of the Episcopal community as we continue to celebrate new campus developments, exceptionally talented students and highly qualified, dedicated faculty and staff.
Hugh M. McIntosh
Head of School
There is nothing quite like the joy and enthusiasm of our younger Knights learning. With their outside voices, they proudly proclaim their answers or eagerly demonstrate their newfound knowledge. Their tiny fingers turn pages and build models. As they transition to Middle School, they make thoughtful observations and conduct innovative experiments. They confidently tackle new technology and use it to improve and explore their world.
The new Episcopal Quest Center will celebrate and reinforce the joy of learning in Lower and Middle School. The center, which will be located within a renovated Foster Hall, will provide room to explore with project and experiential-based spaces equipped with microscopes, digital data collection tools and areas for science experiments, aquaponics and gardening. Quest, or Question • Uncover • Explore • Synthesize • Test, will feature adaptable, flexible spaces designed specifically with Lower and Middle School students in mind.
Making New Discoveries in Lower School
Just imagine the hands-on experiences kindergarten students will have as they learn about the five senses within their own Chemistry Kitchen. This fully-functioning kitchen will provide opportunities for students to explore cooking, baking and other food safe sciences. Spaces such as an Investigation Station, Early Childhood Design Studio and Upper Elementary Design Studio will provide a stimulating environment in which our youngest Knights can participate in activities such as science learning and project-based lessons. Lower School students are certainly not strangers to technology and spaces such as the Virtual Learning Lab will help them continue to explore robotics and coding. The Quest Center is sure to be filled with the excitement of students as they make new discoveries and celebrate success.
Exploring a Larger World in Middle School
As Middle School students learn more about their world, they will be able to simulate a faraway land, explore landforms and travel across the globe without ever leaving the Quest Center. Students will also learn the intricacies of coding and robotics within the Digital Media Lab, a space that is sure to be frequented by members of groups such as the Girls Who Code Club. In the Middle School Design Studio, students will enjoy space for learning about everything from earthquakes to water systems. All of the spaces are designed to be age-appropriate, with room to grow, to meet the needs of the next generation. With the creativity and expertise of Episcopal teachers, it will be exciting to see the lessons and activities that are created within such an inspiring space.
Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders
Today’s schools are charged with preparing students for a rapidly evolving future. Advancements in technology will usher in career options that are not currently available and future generations must be ready to successfully take on these new roles. According to a report by the National Association of Independent Schools, schools must prepare students for the following essential capacities for the 21st century:
The Episcopal Quest Center is just one of numerous developments underway on campus to ensure that the school continues to meet the needs of our students. Upper School students are now learning math, science, engineering and technology in the new Academic Commons. The athletic field house is being built to provide our athletes and students a modern facility dedicated to health and wellness. We invite you to help bring innovative learning spaces to Lower and Middle School through the Quest Center, a major gift initiative of Episcopal School of Baton Rouge.
To learn more about the Quest Center and how you can be a part of this important project contact Katie Thompson, Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship, at 755-2741 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Despite winter weather woes, the foundation has been poured for the new Episcopal athletic field house! This sets the stage for real vertical progress to begin as beams arrive next week. This 23,000 square foot facility is the first new athletic building to be raised on Episcopal’s campus since the Phillips Gym was built in 1982. With more than 80% of Middle and Upper School students participating in athletics, the need for such an addition on campus is obvious.
“Pouring the foundation is a significant step in the construction process,” says Facilities Director John Kojis. “This eliminates the potential for rain delays going forward.” During next week’s Mardi Gras break, another major milestone will occur as steel beams arrive on campus. These beams will support a facility that will feature sport locker rooms, coaches’ suites, a sports medicine and training room, classrooms, flexible indoor and outdoor event spaces and an enhanced concessions area.
“We are thrilled to see this dream become a reality for our students, coaches and the greater Episcopal community,” says Athletic Director Randy Richard. “We are confident that this facility will have a tremendous impact on our community for decades to come.”
Now is the time for members of the Episcopal community to be a part of that impact. “There are numerous naming opportunities still available,” says Capital Campaign Director Mellie Bailey. “This is a perfect opportunity to honor a past, present or future athlete. Gift options include everything from personalized locker plaques to naming the collaboration spaces, one of the multi-use classrooms or even the Coaches Porch.” Bailey says the design for naming opportunities on the field-side terrace is also in the final stages for anyone who wants to leave their mark near the field.
To learn more about available naming opportunities, check out the Spirit • Mind • Body website here or download the field house brochure that was mailed out in November.
Watch the video below to see the foundation for the new Episcopal athletic field house being poured. For more information on how you can be a part of this historic project, click here or contact Campaign Director Mellie Bailey at email@example.com or (225) 755-2687.
This February marks 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev created the original Periodic Table of the Elements. There were approximately 60 elements at the time and Mendeleev organized the table according to atomic weight. Now this staple of chemistry can be found in classrooms all over the world. Today’s table has grown considerably and includes 118 elements that are arranged according to their atomic number.
While many of us learned the elements through tedious memorization of numbers and symbols, students in Shyamala Alapati’s science class are enjoying a more creative approach to learning this classic. “Memes are very popular with eighth graders,” says Alapati. With that in mind, she asked her students to tap into popular culture and their creative side to create memes featuring the elements. The students did not disappoint.
While students had fun creating the memes, Alapati says there was a serious side to the lesson as well. On the back of each meme, students had to list the element’s atomic number and mass. They were also asked to share five featured aspects or uses for their element. To complete the lesson, students presented their findings to their classmates.
Another stroke of elemental genius is the Episcopal Periodic Table of Elements Plaza. When designing the new Academic Commons, a facility dedicated to innovation in science and math, the team wanted to expand the building’s footprint. Now students and visitors to the Academic Commons are welcomed by a plaza-size periodic table that heralds the learning that takes place within. That learning extends outdoors where students of all ages use the plaza to study the elements and make discoveries. In fact, this spring Alapati’s students will use the plaza table as they learn more about chemical bonds and reactions.
Episcopal donors have eagerly embraced the Periodic Table of Elements naming opportunities. As of February 14, there are only 19 elements remaining.
It’s the periodic table’s birthday and you can’t think of a thing to buy. Np (Neptunium, or in this case, no problem.) Reserve one of the last remaining elements before they’re gone! You could even create your own meme. Below are the elements still available.
In sports there are stats, records and titles to defend. There is sweat, tears and blood that runs in team hues. Episcopal athletes are quite familiar with the hard work and dedication it takes to earn those titles and push the body beyond expectations. Soon the Knights will have a new athletic field house to celebrate the school’s scholar/athlete success. The Episcopal coaching staff is eager to go to work in the new facility, including head baseball and football coach Travis Bourgeois.
For more than two decades now, Coach Bourgeois has been a critical component of the Episcopal athletics family and he wouldn’t want it any other way. He has the most wins of any coach in Episcopal football history, taking teams to district championships and the state semifinals. But that’s not all. After coaching girls’ basketball for 15 years, including two final four appearances, Coach Bourgeois took over as head baseball coach in 2015. In just a few short years, his baseball teams have also earned district titles and made trips to the state quarterfinals.
Competition is in Bourgeois’ blood. He grew up the youngest of three boys in a family in which everyone played sports. “We always competed. I knew I was going to lose, but I wanted to play,” he says of competing with his older brothers. Coach Bourgeois’ first coach was his dad, who worked long hours but still made time for little league, pee wee football or whatever sport was in season. By the time Bourgeois was in high school at Donaldsonville’s Ascension Catholic, he played football, basketball, baseball and ran cross country and track. With such a wide range of athletic abilities, he actually didn’t have a favorite sport. “When it was that sport, I was all in.”
It was baseball that provided Bourgeois and his brother Troy the opportunity to go to college in Kansas. Coach Bourgeois packed up a shaker of Tony Chachere’s and joined Troy to play for Pratt Community College. Bourgeois appreciates the opportunity he had to venture out on his own and says the experience taught him to grow up and to wash his own clothes. He also developed a greater appreciation for home and family meals. With a family tree filled with coaches and a long history in sports, Bourgeois knew what he wanted to do. “I respected my coaches,” he says. “I knew I wanted to get into coaching.” At Pratt, Bourgeois earned Academic All-American honors. He served as the student government vice president and spoke as the student speaker at graduation along with Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996. After graduating from Pratt, Bourgeois enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, he continued his previous success, earning Academic All American team honors in baseball, the Kinesiology Award and Academic All-Conference recognition. After finishing his degree, it was time to return home.
Bourgeois married his high school sweetheart, Sheila. The two had known each other since freshman year and started dating as seniors. Bourgeois, the outspoken coach and Sheila, the elementary school librarian, have been together through it all. “She’s the calm to my storm,” says Bourgeois.
Upon returning home, Bourgeois also got a job working for his old high school coach Steve Baronich. That job was with the Episcopal Knights as a PE teacher and assistant football coach. Bourgeois says initially he wasn’t sure about signing on with the Knights, after all he’d played against them while at Ascension Catholic. But, the job was an opportunity to learn under the man he admired. Now, 24 years later Bourgeois is still here, having come to embrace the Knights and the community he calls home.
Coach Bourgeois is consistent. He’s been married 23 years. He’s been at Episcopal 24 years. He hasn’t missed a College World Series in Omaha in 20 years. He even runs three miles a day, six days a week. Part of his secret to success is his ability to treat others as he would want to be treated. He says he learned this after a brief stint as a construction worker one summer during college. He saw what it was like to do a job solely for money and he knew he wanted more. As a coach, Bourgeois also draws on his experience as a parent to treat students fairly. Bourgeois and Sheila have three daughters – recent Episcopal graduate Bailey ’18, sophomore Annslee and sixth grader Elaine.
Coach Bourgeois is looking forward to the next chapter of Episcopal athletics, including the new athletic field house. “It symbolizes health,” he says of the multi-use facility that will be used for physical education, strength training and interscholastic sports. He says the openness of the design will provide a “welcome feeling for non-athletes who want to take care of themselves” as well as the athletes who are preparing to compete. He hopes students will appreciate the facility and the commitment to health and wellness that it represents. He is also hopeful that the field house instills a stronger sense of school pride among students who find themselves wanting to be more involved.
Bourgeois has been a Knight long enough that his next chapter at Episcopal also includes coaching the children of former students or even working alongside former athletes. Bourgeois was at the helm of the girls’ basketball team when a young Taylor Mims and her teammates went to the final four and he is proud to see how Taylor has grown to become the head basketball coach she is today. He also enjoys sharing coaching duties with former athletes and Episcopal alumni Cody Day ‘15, Charlie O’Brien ‘13 and Jimmy Williams ’97. Such an experience shows that his coaching career has truly come full circle. Coach Bourgeois enjoys being around students and seeing how they develop over the years. He says no matter how much the times change he still strives to instill the lessons he’s learned over the years because that never changes. Continuity, consistency, teamwork and drive are as important today as they were when he first became a member of the Episcopal family so long ago.
We look forward to seeing how this next chapter unfolds. As construction progresses on the new field house there is a sense of anticipation and excitement, similar to that feeling before the start of a new sports season. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of the action. Click here to learn more about the giving opportunities still available. What a great opportunity to honor a beloved coach, successful alumni or favorite Knight. Go Knights!
Leave Coach Bourgeois a comment below.
Thank you to everyone who has already made a commitment to the 2018-19 eFund.
The eFund started 2019 stronger than ever – Superhero style! We are thrilled to have reached 90% of the $710,000 goal, leaving only $60,000 to raise. Episcopal’s board, faculty and staff have reached 100% participation. Also, parents of six Lower School classes are at 100%. While on pace to surpass last year’s participation level, we are counting on those who have not yet given to help us exceed that mark.
The eFund, the school’s most important giving priority, provides the margin of excellence that makes the Episcopal experience unique and superior. Participation by alumni, parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, and friends is critical to the school’s success.
Don’t forget to say "Thank You" to a teacher, coach, or staff member (past or present) by making a gift in his or her honor. Contribute $100 or more and we will notify your honoree that he or she has been recognized by your donation. Gift amounts will not be included in the notification.
Gifts to The eFund are tax deductible as allowed by law. Pledge now and pay later (by May 1) or via automated monthly installments. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Thompson at 225-755-2741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Teacher Terrific Tuesday approaches next week, make sure to thank a teacher for the difference they make!
These are just a few examples of the highly-qualified teaching professionals at Episcopal. Episcopal teachers are parents, alumni and volunteers. They hold advanced degrees and certifications. They have traveled the world and published works for the world to see. They are experts and they care about their students.
Across the country, 118,000 teachers have earned National Board Certification. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards says that “through National Board Certification, teachers demonstrate that their teaching meets the profession’s standards for accomplished practice through a rigorous, peer-reviewed and performance-based process, similar to professional certification in fields such as medicine.” Arceneaux says certification is important to her because it reflects her commitment to being the best teacher she can be. “I care about what I do. I work hard to be a better teacher so my students can benefit,” she says.
Becoming board certified or even renewing certification is an impressive feat. Arceneaux says teachers must submit written information about their classroom experiences and videotaped samples of their classroom sessions. For her recent renewal, Arceneaux had to reflect upon her last ten years of teaching and what has changed during that time. “It was a very rewarding experience,” she says. “It gave me the opportunity to look at how I’ve changed as an educator.”
Callaway also appreciated the opportunity to reflect on her work. “By nature, teachers are lifelong learners. I am always seeking ways to fulfill this need,” she says. “Ten years later, working toward my renewal of my certification provided a chance for reflection on my growth as a teacher as well as an opportunity to plan for the future.” For Guarisco, National Board Certification was a valuable opportunity to not only reflect on her craft, but also to connect with others in the teaching profession. “I was among the first few nationally certified teachers in Louisiana years ago, the closest I’ve ever felt to being a pioneer. At that time, teaching could be a lonely profession. There just weren’t the vehicles – Twitter and EdCamp come to mind – to connect with teachers outside your own building,” she says.
Patty and Carl Newton established the Newton Distinguished Faculty Award because of their belief in the difference Episcopal faculty make in the lives of students. Each year the Newton Distinguished Faculty Scholarships are awarded to three outstanding educators to support the professional development opportunity of their choice. In addition, The eFund also supports professional development for teachers. Over the years, teachers have been able to participate in everything from The Teacher’s College of Columbia University Writing Workshop to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Teacher Institute. Read more about available professional development opportunities in Head of School Hugh McIntosh’s Academic Point here.
Episcopal’s teachers are highly-qualified, skilled professionals with approximately 65% of them holding an advanced degree. In addition, many of them have spent time working as a professional in their field of expertise, while others have taught in higher education. While their credentials are certainly impressive, it is what these individuals do every day that sets them apart. “The teachers in this community deserve the world, for they are not only instructors but also mentors and even friends. There is no other administration in the state that I trust would invest as much time into my journey as the administration at Episcopal.” Shannon Ahmad ’18
According to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), one of the benefits of an independent school education is the small classes that allow for individual attention. At Episcopal, small class sizes led by highly-qualified teachers afford students a more personalized educational experience because of the relationships that are forged between students and teachers. These relationships are likely what students will remember long after their time on Woodland Ridge is over.
and staff. The Episcopal community is being asked to think back and give back on behalf of all the faculty members who work tirelessly to make a difference in students’ lives. Look for more on the 1965 Minute Challenge next week and don’t miss your opportunity to support your Episcopal educators.
Do you have a favorite Episcopal teacher? Leave us a note about how that special faculty member positively impacted you.
Charles deGravelles, or Chaplain Charlie, as he is affectionately known in the Episcopal community, has returned to Woodland Ridge with a mission – to help students of all ages make connections between academics, everyday life and their ability to make a positive difference in the world. He will accomplish this mission by bringing the Quest for Peace class that he once taught in Upper School to every student in every division in interactive and engaging ways.
Watch the video below to hear Chaplain Charlie discuss his vision for the new Quest for Peace Program.
The Quest for Peace Program has tremendous implications for the entire Episcopal community. “Today we sharpen the profile of our school as a leader in education,” said Head of School Hugh McIntosh as he introduced the program. One component of the program, The Quest for Peace Speaker Series, will introduce students to expert speakers with powerful stories and experiences to share regarding the 2018-19 series theme of displacement. For example, local photographer, conservationist and Episcopal alumnus Frank McMains ’92 recently spoke with Upper School Ethics students about environmental concerns facing our region. In the future, Chaplain Charlie hopes to invite local author John Barry who told the story of the Mississippi River flood of 1927 in his book, Rising Tide. Chaplain Charlie will also work with Episcopal faculty and staff to provide resources to enhance classroom lessons. This spring, he plans to bring language students to a citizenship ceremony in downtown Baton Rouge with the hopes of encouraging students to welcome these new U.S. citizens in their native language.
The Quest for Peace Program is made possible because of the love and passion between two brothers. Chaplain Charlie told Upper School students that although he and his twin brother, Judge John deGravelles, fought like the Bible’s Cain and Abel, the two now have a shared passion for social justice. “It is most fitting that two brothers came together to promote peace,” he said.
Judge deGravelles, and his wife Jan, established, in perpetuity, The Charles N. deGravelles Quest for Peace Endowment Fund in honor of Chaplain Charlie because of their belief in his ministries. “In sermons, in the classroom, and through his own social justice ministries, ‘Chaplain Charlie’ modeled for students the core Christian values of integrity, respect, compassion, forgiveness and peace. Particularly in his Upper School course titled The Quest for Peace, Charlie led students out of the classroom into a wide variety of community settings to explore the complex and interconnected causes and possible solutions for social ills such as addiction, mental illness, educational and economic disparities, family violence and crime. He was convinced that the intelligence, enthusiasm, optimism, and faith of his students could be harnessed to make a real difference in addressing these age-old issues in our community and in the world. In the process, Charlie encouraged students to find and develop their own inner resources to become themselves men and women of peace,” said the deGravelles. The School is very grateful to Jan and Johnny for their generous gift and the opportunity and resources it provides to honor Charlie, and strengthen our offerings.
The Quest for Peace Program is one of hope, love and promise. With a Lower School committed to loving their neighbor, a Middle School working toward everyday kindness and an Upper School that is focused on service, The Quest for Peace Program is the perfect addition to Episcopal.
Welcome back, Chaplain Charlie! As you said in Chapel this week, we truly are off on an adventure. We can’t wait for the journey, and to see where it takes us!
Not exactly! The candy Airheads Xtremes do play a role in a wonderful story of community, personal connections, and generosity. Tasha Lemon, who most of us know, is the head of athletic concessions and one of Chef Pat’s leading colleagues in the Webster Refectory. However, this quintessentially Episcopal story centers around a relationship between Tasha, the concessionaire, and David Chauvin III, a member of Episcopal’s class of 2031.
David and his parents, Nicole and David Chauvin, live near the school’s campus. Over the years, that proximity and the family’s connections to Episcopal have led to a close relationship between “little David” and Tasha. Their remote location allows the Chauvin Family to attend virtually all games and meets held at Episcopal’s main field and track.
According to David’s parents, “at least once a week the Episcopal Concession Stand provides little David supper.” However, the Concession Stand is no more; it was demolished in May 2018 to make room for a beautiful new Field House. But fear not, Chauvin Family, a new, well-equipped concession stand will be part of the new Field House set for completion in spring of 2019.
No one, perhaps besides Tasha, is more excited to hear this than little David. David is a “regular” at the Episcopal Concession Stand and his favorite treat to buy is Airheads Xtremes. Knowing this, Tasha is always prepared for her most loyal customer. Her kind, caring, and dedicated attitude is respected by everyone in our community, and especially little David. Tasha sees David coming and the Airheads Xtremes are ready . . . ready to be handed over the counter to David with a smile.
As Nicole and David, Jr. considered how they would participate in the Spirit • Mind • Body Campaign, their connection to Tasha and frequent visits to the Concession Stand led them to the new Field House and then, very naturally, to the Concession Stand. The Chauvins made a pledge of $100,000 and reserved the Concession Stand for naming. In making the gift, Nicole says, “It was an easy decision to support the Campaign and to focus our gift on the Field House and Concession Stand. We love the school and we appreciate the warmth and care that Tasha has shown little David and our family over the years. She is a very special person, among a great community of teachers, coaches, and staff, who are devoted to all the students.”
One bit of karma: The Chauvin’s made their capital campaign commitment on the very day that the old Concession Stand was demolished. The school is grateful for the Chauvin’s dedication and generosity. While continuing their support of The eFund annually, they have added this five-year commitment as an additional “vote of confidence” and demonstration of their belief in and devotion to Episcopal and its mission.
Construction is now underway on the new Episcopal athletic field house. This innovative facility will be used by every student on campus with space for physical education classes, strength and conditioning and team sports activities. To learn more about the project, and the Spirit • Mind • Body Campaign, watch the new field house video below.
Andy Spencer joined Episcopal in 2017 as the Director of Advancement after 17 years as the Chief Advancement Officer at the Lovett School in Northwest Atlanta. Under Andy’s direction, Lovett ran a $2.2 MM Annual Fund and completed two capital campaigns of $52 MM $94 MM. Andy’s 36-year career in the independent school world has been very comprehensive, including coaching, teaching, dorm supervision, admissions, alumni relations, and development. Prior to his time at Lovett, Andy spent 16 years as an admissions officer and director of development at Virginia Episcopal School (VES). Andy is a VES alumnus and graduate of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. Andy and his wife, Mary, have two children, both graduates of Lovett and UNC - Chapel Hill, and a cairn terrier, named Dean. Andy enjoys history, sports, classic cinema, gardening, backyard birding, fishing, canoeing and hiking, and the outdoors in general.