Don't Miss Episcopal's Jazz Nutcracker
The Episcopal dancers will present the "Jazz Nutcracker" on Tuesday, December 10th at 7 pm in the VPAC. The performance will feature 40 students in grades eighth through twelfth. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here.
Congratulations to the Following Episcopal Artists!
After two rounds of auditions with musicians from the region and the state, senior Laura Kurtz earned a spot in the All-State Band! Laura earned second chair symphonic band on French horn. The All-State Band recently performed at the Louisiana Music Educators Association Conference. In addition to playing French horn, Laura also plays trumpet and piano.
Senior Alex Wilson and freshman Claire Kiesel auditioned and were chosen to participate in the 2020 Louisiana Music Educators Association District IV Honor Choir! Wilson and Kiesel auditioned with hundreds of high school students across East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Ascension and St. James Parishes. The singers were ranked individually and the top ten in each voice part qualified to participate in the Honor Choir. The choir will perform at First Baptist Church in downtown Baton Rouge in January.
Congratulations to junior Kathryn Knight and freshman Quirino Montaggioni! Both students recently had artwork recognized at the Kiwanis Pancake Festival.
With such a talented student body, it is no surprise that you can find many Episcopal students performing in productions throughout the community. Here are just a few of the upcoming opportunities to support our Knights beyond the Episcopal campus.
The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou
Several Episcopal students are in the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s production of "The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou" with performances on Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th.
Arlie Bond - Page
Jeanne Bosworth - Lamb
Julia Craven - Lamb
Brooksie Flettrich - Lamb
Ivy Jiang - Snow
Katherine Johnson - Lamb
Alexandria Messer - Cherub
Caidyn Moses - Mouse
Niecy Spinosa - Lamb
Trinittee Thyssen - Cook
Oscar Worrell - Child
Airi Ishibashi and Luna Alvarez also performed as snowflakes in the recent Great Russian Nutcracker ballet at LSU.
Guys and Dolls
Mark your calendar now for Theatre Baton Rouge’s production of "Guys and Dolls" which runs January 30th through February 2nd. The show features Episcopal students Cate Brien, Marshall Elliot and Samantha Schilling.
Diplomat for a Day
Congratulations to junior Alex Nelson! Alex was one of four Louisiana students selected to be a French Diplomat for the Day through the French Consulate in New Orleans. Alex and her fellow student diplomats had the opportunity to shadow the Consul General of France Vincent Sciama. You can learn more about the day by clicking here.
Tops in Math
Congratulations to fifth grader Nate McLean! Nate won first place in the Louisiana Elementary Math Olympiad at Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School. Congratulations also to Meg Kantrow who placed in the top 25 and Episcopal participants, Tripp Veillon and Diya Kankar. Way to go Lower School Knights!
Red Stick Bowl Selection
Senior center Griff Strain has been selected to play in the Red Stick Bowl. The game features top senior players from East Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes. The action gets underway Saturday, December 21st at 2 pm at Zachary High School.
Congratulations to Leland, Lucy and Molly Cramer! The Cramers will compete in the 2019 Amateur Athletic Union Cross Country National Championship in Knoxville, TN on December 7th! Lucy (5th) and Molly (4th) will run the 3K and Leland (1st) will compete in the 2K. The Cramers qualified for the national competition after competing in the Southern District Championships in Hammond. Molly had the fastest time among nine and 10 year olds, Lucy was second and Leland was second among 7 and 8 year olds.
Episcopal Yearbook Editor Earns Recognition
Congratulations to Mason LaFerney ’19! Mason won the top individual award in the Graphics/Artwork category for the 2018-2019 Episcopal "Accolade" yearbook design. Honorees were announced at the Fall 2019 JEA/Tom Bell Silver Scribe Yearbook Contest held at the Loyola University New Orleans School of Communication and Design. The contest was sponsored by the Press Club of New Orleans, the Journalism Education Association and Loyola University New Orleans. Mason is currently studying at Boston College.
From Knights to Tigers
Episcopal graduates are making an impact in college sports. As members of the LSU cross country team, Adele Broussard ’19 and Alicia Stamey ’17 were both named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association 2019 All-Louisiana Cross Country women’s team. Adele was also named the Freshman of the Year after scoring in five of the seven meets she entered. Stamey scored in all six of the races she ran, including a second place finish at the Nicholls Invitational and a sixth place finish at the LSU Invitational.
All-America Team Honors
Welcome back! Members of the Class of 1994 and the Class of 2009 recently held reunions.
Mark your calendar for the next opportunity to reminisce at the upcoming Alumni Christmas party.
December 27 at 6 pm: Beau Soleil
Lights, Camera, Action!
Episcopal’s campus serves as the backdrop for a Bounce TV original Christmas movie. Crews were on campus recently filming “Greyson Family Christmas.” The film premieres Sunday, December 8th at 9 pm. Click here for additional air times.
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Share it with us by emailing it to email@example.com.
College announcement season is upon us! Congratulations to our first senior announcing his decision. Look for more announcements over the coming months.
5 and 0! That’s how the boys basketball team has started this year’s run. Head Coach Chris Beckman says he’s very pleased with the Knights’ performance in the early contests. This year’s squad has a big goal – get to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. If they accomplish this feat the group of five close-knit seniors will be the first to go to the semis every year of Upper School. Those seniors include Thomas Besselman, Kaplan McMains, DJ Morgan, Jack Ter Haar and Ricky Volland. Coach Beckman says the group has a special chemistry this year after having played together for so many years. In fact, Volland, McMains and Ter Haar have played together since Middle School. Also having a tremendous impact on the team this year is sophomore starter Stewart Bonnecaze. The Knights have already proven their skills with victories against 4A schools Nelville and Broadmoor. Coach Beckman says playing the larger teams only helps the Knights improve as they prepare for upcoming district play.
Mark your calendar for these key contests:
January 23 at 5:30 pm: Jehovah-Jireh at Istrouma High School
January 31 at 5:00 pm: Dunham at The Dunham School
Christian, culture, classroom, court and community. These 5C’s represent the team’s mindset. Coach Taylor Mims says the girls squad also has big goals for themselves. One goal has already been checked off the list – beat 5A Walker High School. After years of coming up close, but not earning the victory the Knights were able to best the Wildcats. With a record of 5 and 1 the girls team has also won against other large schools, including St. Michael and St. Scholastica.
Another goal for the girls this year is to host the district tournament. Coach Mims says the team with the best power ranking earns the right to host the eight-team tournament where the district champs are ultimately crowned. Coach Mims says home court advantage is important. “The players are more comfortable at home,” she says. “They’re in a routine, in their own locker room and shooting on their own goals.” Episcopal earned hosting duties last year, but came up short on the title. This year’s team hopes to win the title and make it to the final four.
The girls team is led by seniors Sydney Summerville, Kennedy Clark, Angel Batarseh and Dariah Deskins. Sophomore starter Izzy Besselman is also a big factor having put up 28 points against St. Michael and 22 against Walker. Coach Mims says the future is bright for girls basketball with a talented freshman class and impressive Middle School players.
When they’re not on the court, you can find the girls team making a difference in the community. Coach Mims says the team has a goal of performing community service as a team. Already this year they have participated in Operation Christmas and volunteered at the Shepherd’s Market. They hope to spend time with children at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital later this month.
Mark your calendar for these key games:
January 7 at 6:00 pm: St. Joseph’s Academy in the main gym
January 11 at 6:00 pm: Northlake Christian in the main gym
The girls soccer team is young and passionate. The group looks to be competitive as they head into district play which gets underway in January. Look for junior captain Grace Moraes to defend the goal well. In addition, junior Katherine Scarton, freshmen Caroline Chick and Katie Capron, and eighth grader Annaleigh Bruser will have an impact on the backline. Also watch out for Faith Johnston up top. The team hopes to build upon their wins at the Pineville Rebel Cup to catapult them to a successful season.
Mark your calendar for these key games:
January 14 at 6:00 pm: Pointe Coupee Catholic at home
January 18 at 1:00 pm: Runnels at home
The Episcopal boys soccer squad is currently ranked number one in the coaches poll! The team is off to an impressive 5-0-1 start, including a victory over top-ranked Newman. The team is looking to win the district title for a third year in a row and earn a playoff berth. The program is led by 10 seniors including Tochi Mbagwu, Jett Turnley, Anders Melton, Jared Levantino, Trevor Heath, Tanner Bodron, Tanner Morales, Casey Rigby, Grant Coffman and Joe Acierno. You can cheer on these seniors at Senior Knight on Wednesday, January 8th when the boys take on UHigh at home.
Mark your calendar for these key contests:
January 15 at 6:00 pm: Dunham at The Dunham School
January 18 at 11 am: Brighton at home
January 24 at 6:00 pm: Central in Central
January 29 at 6:00 pm: Runnels at Runnels
Track and Field
The Episcopal track team is lacing up their spikes for another season. Look for state championship runner James Christian to go the distance and have a significant impact for the Knights. Coach Claney Duplechin says there are numerous additional athletes to watch this season.
Oliver Jack – discus and shot put
Peyton Pontif – javelin
Ethan Hook – hurdles
Clayton Braud – high jump, long jump and hurdles
Dylan Mehrota – high jump and long jump
Ryan Armwood- sprint
Dryden Duggins- hurdles
Ian Begnaud - pole vault
Coach Bill Jones says the girls squad is also comprised of an exciting group of athletes.
Francie Oliver – long jump ,triple jump and high jump
Paris Auzenne – sprints
Tanya Mencer – hurdles, 400
Bethany Reid – hurdles, 400
Mia Pulliam – distance
Scarlett Spender – distance
Ivy Jiang – distance
Izzy Besselman – high jump, long jump and triple jump
Coach Dupe, Coach Jones and the rest of the coaching staff, including Kate Cramer, Charlie O’Brien and Ricky Sheldon will have the Knights ready for competition. “Competition is going to be tougher this year,” says Coach Dupe. “Expectations are high.” Coach Dupe says the boys team is facing tougher competitors this year such as Kentwood and Lafayette Christian, but the Knights will be ready.
Key dates for the Knights:
January 25th – LSU High School Qualifier
February 8th – LSU High School Last Chance Qualifier
February 22nd – State Championship Meet
The Episcopal wrestling squad is a cohesive team of self-motivated athletes. The group is led by seniors Jackson Morris, Wyatt Laiche and Max Reihs. Head coach Charlie O’Brien ’13 has also enlisted the help of last year’s captain and current LSU freshman Taner Morgan ’19. O’Brien says Taner knows the current players and offers good insight on the mat. O’Brien also counts on the advice of former Episcopal wrestling coach Phil Bode who started the program eight years ago. Coach Bode often comes by to give a quick lesson or cheer the team on at a tournament. Coach O’Brien says the team is working to finish matches strong this year. Already, Matthew Mohammadi has celebrated a match victory and Morris and Laiche won matches at the Griffin open.
Mark your calendar for these key events:
January 19: LA Classic Wrestling at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center
January 31 and February 1: Metro Tournament at Catholic High School
February 14 and 15: State Championship meet in Bossier City
Field House Update
Check out the video below for a look inside the new Episcopal Field House.
What are you thankful for this season?
We asked Episcopal PreK-3 students the same question and answers ranged from airplanes and puzzles to bikes and Barbie cars. Happy Thanksgiving!
“I’m thankful for airplanes because they fly in the sky and land at the airport. I’m thankful for Dad and grandpa because we are going to Ohio. I’m thankful for Spiderman birthday. I’m thankful for Mom because she plays dominos with me.”
“I’m thankful for pumpkin patches. I’m thankful for my pink bunny because I like my stuffed animals. I’m thankful for watermelon. I love to eat it! I’m thankful for my mommy because she makes me laugh.”
“I’m thankful for playing games because it’s fun. I’m thankful for blocks. I’m thankful for Lily because I like being silly with my sister.”
“I’m thankful for Cindyrella because she drops her glass slipper. I am thankful for Daddy because he makes me apples.”
“I’m thankful for flowers because I like to hold them. I’m thankful for Mommy because she picks me up. I’m thankful for my puppy because he makes me laugh.”
PreK-3 and PreK-4 students love Thanksgiving!
Episcopal’s presentation of “The Little Mermaid Junior” was anything but junior. Lower and Middle School students wowed audiences with impressive vocals and fun choreography – there were even a few flips! The set, lighting and costumes transported audiences under the sea with vibrant color and movement. It was another successful production that truly showcased the talents of these young artists and the arts department staff who support them.
Mu Alpha Theta has had a busy month. On Saturday, November 9th we hosted our tournament that included 330 students from 21 schools. We had approximately 60 of our club members contribute to the tournament either with preparing materials ahead of time, setting up testing locations, running competitions, or presenting awards. We will be making a $500 contribution to the Food Bank with part of the proceeds from the tournament. Read about the Middle School team's results here.
In addition, on Saturday, November 16th we placed 2nd overall at the Ben Franklin Mu Alpha Theta tournament in New Orleans. Results of that tournament are below.
1st Joie Lee
2nd Lauren McGrath
1st Justin Dynes
2nd Arya Patel
Honorable Mention Gregory Field
1st Algebra 2 Math Bowl – Thomas O’Connor, Akshay Basireddy, Sacha Dernoncourt, and Scott McAdams
1st Pre-Calculus Math Bowl – Eugene Jiang, Joy Lee, and Aadit Narayanan
2nd Calculus Math Bowl – Matthew Bickham, Gregory Field, Ryan Field, and Justin Dynes
2nd Geometry Team – Joie Lee and Ayush Patel
3rd Algebra 2 Team – Analise Hyde, Ella Harper, and Joey Roth
1st Calculus Team – Elaine Gboloo, Adam Reid, and Shuhei Niwano
Joan Moroney began teaching in 2007. She has taught Honors Geometry, Algebra II, and Honors Algebra II at Episcopal and is a co-sponsor of the Mu Alpha Theta math competition team. Before coming to Episcopal in 2014, Joan taught high school credit math courses to gifted students at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge. She has a Bachelor of Science in secondary mathematics education from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in education from Louisiana State University in gifted education.
Mark your calendar for upcoming Episcopal arts events.
Monologues inspired by the theme "The Mask We Wear" presented by the Upper School theater production class
Black Box theater at 7 pm
December 12th and 13th
“Into the Woods Junior” presented by the eighth grade musical theater class
Black Box theater during class period
Winter Band Concert presented by Middle and Upper School musicians, the concert band and jazz band
VPAC at 7 pm
Lessons and Carols presented by the Upper School Choir
The Lewis Memorial Chapel of the Good Shepherd at 7 pm
Jazz Nutcracker presented by 40 eighth through twelfth grade Episcopal dancers
VPAC at 7 pm
Students of all ages at Episcopal experience the value of getting involved in serving our community. They have a plethora of service options to choose from and, throughout the year, are typically involved in supporting a good cause. One area that seems to capture their attention, especially during this time of year when the temperatures are dropping, and the holiday season is approaching….is the shortage of food.
This month, students are helping to stop hunger by increasing community awareness of food needs in North Baton Rouge at the Hunger Walk 2019 and by stocking up the Shepherds Market, which serves South Baton Rouge.
Led by current and prospective National Honor Society members, the Shepherd’s Market Thanksgiving Food Drive offers all students an opportunity to experience serving others. Savannah York, the school’s NHS Vice President, shared the value of the program at each division’s assembly stating, that the Shepherd’s Market has helped over 2,700 families in South Baton Rouge, distributing approximately 23,000 pounds of food each month.
“I have participated in the Shepard’s Market Food Pantry Service activities for four years now, and the generosity of Episcopal students never ceases to surprise me," says Savannah. “Several years ago, Episcopal donated 4,600 pounds of food. Last year, less than 2,000 pounds of food were donated. This year I hope we over-achieve and set a new record!”
Theresa Sandifer, Director of the Shepherd’s Market Food Pantry, educated the Upper School during Thursday’s assembly. “One out of every four children go to bed hungry at night in Louisiana,” she said. “Nationally, the hunger rate among children is one out of every five.” When asked what foods were needed, Sandifer stated, “red beans, cereals, pasta of any kind, peanut butter, canned fruit, canned meat, and anything that would help families prepare their Thanksgiving meal.”
Next week, the NHS members will be at the morning carpool available to assist the Lower School students with carrying their food donations. Lower School students can bring breakfast foods, Middle Schoolers can bring lunch foods and Upper School can bring dinner foods. Click here to see the list of high-demand items.
“‘Shepherd’s Market is unique,” says Savannah. “Everyone is welcome to 'shop' from the pantry, choosing the items that best fit the needs and preferences of their family. This service project is one of the best opportunities for Episcopal students to give back to their community and become actively involved in making a difference for those who aren’t always granted the same opportunities that we are so often gifted to enjoy.”
Students will deliver and sort the collected groceries and supplies at the Shepherd’s Market on Saturday, November 23. They will also help clients shop at the Shepherd’s Market on Tuesday, November 26.
In addition to the two mile Hunger Walk to raise money on Sunday, November 10, Episcopal students manned the various activity tables to increase awareness on the hunger needs in the East Baton Rouge (EBR) community.
Senior Megan Nguyen was assigned to the map table and says this, “My task was to have people map their nearby grocery store. They quickly saw their easy access to fresh produce and healthy food options found in supermarkets. I was glad to help raise awareness of the ‘food deserts’ in North Baton Rouge. Food deserts are areas in Baton Rouge where people do not have nearby access to a supermarket or large grocery store and can't easily find fresh produce.”
Sophomore, Shuhei Niwano received a long list of names who had received a free-hot meal served Monday thru Friday at Cadillac Park in the Zion City neighborhood (North Baton Rouge) in 2019. “I helped people write signs to put on their backs for the walk. They could pick a name from the list or write the name of someone they knew that had experienced financial need and lack of food. The sign said 'I walk for __' and the person they were walking for. I -- and everyone that visited my booth -- were very surprised at the number of names that were on the list.”
“My station provided people with the task of designing a full day of meals to feed a family of 4 for only $23. I thought this was going to be easy when I did it, but then I realized how little $23 is. Everyone that visited my table realized the challenge to make healthy and balanced meals with only $23,” said Senior Ryan Field about his experience at the Hunger Walk.
Nancy Reynolds spent 16 years with the IBM Corporation in Dallas as a quality process analyst and service delivery manager. She graduated with her MBA in strategic leadership and her Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. Nancy, a native of Texas, began her career in education after moving to Louisiana and completing the state’s alternate certification program at Louisiana State University. She spent the next five years working at Parkview Baptist School. In 2010, Nancy joined the Episcopal team as Registrar and Website Content Manager. Today, Nancy continues her role as Registrar and also serves as Systems Administrator. As Registrar, she is responsible for scheduling, student enrollments and student records for the three divisions. As Systems Administrator, Nancy ensures the various systems vital to the school’s operations are running effectively e.g., PowerSchool, Canvas, Swiftreach, SchoolAdmin, and DirectorySpot. Nancy has three children. She is an avid social media user which allows her to remain connected with her eleven siblings. Nancy also serves as Fundraiser Chair for the Boys Scouts of America Troop 205.
When Newsweek released its list of the Top 500 STEM High Schools in America last week, one school in the Baton Rouge region was in the top 500 – Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. The school was ranked the number one STEM high school in Baton Rouge. Episcopal also ranks seventh in the state of Louisiana and 448th nationally.
Many people know Episcopal for its rigorous academic offerings, its abundant arts programs, the opportunities provided to compete as part of a sports team or the range of character development and service learning activities. Now the school has earned national recognition for its science, technology, engineering and math offerings. For Episcopal Dean of Academics Dr. Sara Fenske, earning a spot in the top 500 is a testament to the school’s whole child philosophy of education.
STEM Starts Early
Dr. Fenske says Episcopal’s STEM efforts begin well before students enter Upper School. “Our Lower and Middle School efforts feed into what happens in Upper School,” she says. She points to successful programs such as Girls Who Code, Fab Shop and Maker Space. Even the littlest Knights have the opportunity for STEM learning as they work with technology such as Bee Bots, Bloxels and Root robots. “These programs help to make STEM more accessible to students,” says Dr. Fenske. She says the Lower and Middle School offerings make STEM learning fun and attract more students to the field. Hopefully, such experiences will inspire students to continue pursuing their interest in STEM throughout their educational journey.
Personalized Learning Encourages Exploration
Dr. Fenske says Episcopal’s personalized approach to learning also creates a STEM-friendly learning environment. “Students who are ready can accelerate in math and science in Middle School to ensure that they are challenged appropriately,” she says. At the same time, other students who are not yet ready to accelerate in Middle School have a range of challenging courses from which to choose. This allows all students the opportunity to explore a variety of STEM topics and see success in those courses. They then have opportunities to take college-level courses such as AP Calculus BC, AP Physics, AP Environmental Science, and AP Computer Science, as well as a selection of post-AP courses.
There is a balance to providing a variety of courses which appeal to a broad audience of students. When you get this balance right, students are able to excel in numerous areas because of the encouragement and support they receive. This explains why at Episcopal a student can perform with the Upper School select choir, be a member of the swim team and take advanced math and science courses all in the same school year.
ESTAAR and More
“Any mention of Episcopal and STEM must include a mention of the ESTAAR program,” says Dr. Fenske. “We are placing high school students into university labs to do independent research. It doesn’t get more authentically STEM than that.” ESTAAR or Episcopal Students Take Action in Advanced Research began during the 2012/2013 school year. Interested students are partnered with a university professor and have the opportunity for hands-on lab work. Dr. Fenske says ESTAAR students are not necessarily the “math and science” type. They are students who self-select the course because of a love of STEM. In addition to ESTAAR, Episcopal also offers students extracurricular STEM opportunities such as Mu Alpha Theta in Upper School and Math Counts in Middle School. (Last weekend, the Middle School team took third place in the high school tournament! Read more from James Moroney here.) Both competitive math programs attract a range of students from cheerleaders and soloists to athletes and actors. The Episcopal Fab Shop also provides hands-on STEM learning experiences which appeal to a range of students.
Episcopal continues to find ways to support STEM learning. In 2018, school leaders celebrated the opening of the 27,000 square foot Academic Commons, a building that now serves as the hub for Upper School math and science. Work is now underway on the 14,700 square foot Quest Center which will serve as a center for experiential-based learning and exploration for Lower and Middle School students.
The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows nearly 8.6 million STEM jobs, with computer occupations accounting for nearly 45 percent. According to Newsweek, “The STEM skills that only specialists have today will be expected of virtually everyone in the American workforce tomorrow.” It’s good to know that Episcopal is on the forefront of preparing tomorrow’s leaders for these fields of the future, while at the same time providing an array of creative, athletic and spiritual opportunities.
To read more about Episcopal STEM opportunities, click on the links below.
Not Just for Engineers: Four Real World Skills Coding Cultivates
From Bots to Binary Messages: A Look at Computer Science at Episcopal
Budding Scientists: Science Education in Early Childhood
Raising Tomorrow’s Critical Thinkers Today
Why Can’t We Just Send Them Water? Science Lesson Elicits Thoughtful Response