Statistics and Stories: Measuring “The Best”
Cars. Healthcare. Cities. Sports teams. Doctors. Electronics. Vacation destinations. Schools. We live in a culture that wants “the best.” While Webster tells us to be best is to “excelling all others,” it invites two subjective and rather personal questions: what is “best” to you, and to what are you making the comparison?
While hosting a coffee for prospective families last month, one parent said, “I know Episcopal has a reputation for being the best school in Baton Rouge, but what makes it the best?” Specifically, she wanted numbers to support this label of superiority. It’s a question I enjoy answering – certainly there are many statistics available to affirm our reputation: 100% of our graduates are college-bound. Our average student to faculty ratio is 13:1. We offer 21 AP courses. Our Athletic Program boasts 112 state championship titles across 14 sports. 77% of our faculty hold advanced degrees. More than one fourth of our 3rd through 12th graders are featured in one of two annual theater performances each year. Our average ACT score is 27. The list goes on.
But in considering how we stack up against the competition, our tape measure stretches far beyond Baton Rouge. While we certainly strive to be among Baton Rouge’s best in education, what truly determines our success is how well-prepared our students are for life beyond Episcopal. Each year our graduating seniors go on to compete for college placement against millions of other college-bound students worldwide. Our goal is to make each Episcopal graduate competitive among his or her peers. Our College Counseling staff begin working with students as early as 8th grade to initiate our thoughtful approach to college preparedness. Each year they continue to raise the bar, welcoming more and more college recruiters to campus and connecting Episcopal students to schools and scholarships across the country.
Parents rely on this type of information to establish Episcopal’s credibility and value. And while achievement-based statistics are certainly important, we believe experiences play an equal if not greater role in measuring “the best.” Deeper than knowing Episcopal will provide their child a firm and lasting academic foundation, parents want to know we will tend to their child’s heart and mind. They want their child to be known, to be challenged, to be celebrated and to be encouraged. It is our stories that bring our statistics to life.
How then should you as a parent measure the success and impact of our mission and ministry? By experience, of course! Arguably, there are few environments that provide more joy than schools. I find delight each day in walking our campus and receiving hugs and high-fives from our youngest to our oldest students. But beyond the general sense of happiness you will feel at Episcopal, I believe you will be moved by the teaching and learning you witness here. Join us. Tour campus. Meet our students and faculty. We look forward to answering your questions and sharing our stories as you determine if we are the best school for your child.
The Admission Office will be hosting Open House events in November and campus tours weekly. For more information on experiencing Episcopal, visit our website.
Amanda joined the Episcopal team in 2014 as the Director of Enrollment. Prior to relocating back home to Baton Rouge, she served as Director of Admission at St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Houston, Texas. Amanda earned a BA in Mass Communication from LSU where she later spent five years working to support the University’s scholarship and recruitment efforts. As the Director of Enrollment, Amanda leads all facets of enrollment management including prospective family communication, admission and retention efforts.