Nicole Jacobsen
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“Artists always discover something first and then science catches up,” contemporary artist, Poteet Victory, explained during a series of workshops with Fine Art students from The Episcopal School of Dallas. Victory, who spoke about the creative genius behind his “Abbreviated Portrait Series,” shared with the community about how he not only turned people into shapes, but how today’s instant forms of communication influenced his work.

“If you can abbreviate words, why can’t you abbreviate a person?” Victory asked the students. Similar to how people use shorthand words in text messages, Victory only uses snippets of a person’s appearance to represent them in a painting.

Victory uses a kind of technological inspiration to draw simple shapes that represent famous celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, John Wayne, Lucile Ball, Paul Newman, and Elton John, among others.

“Subconsciously, you associate people you meet with shapes, forms, and colors. You don’t know you’re doing it, but it’s like a computer screensaver with all the moving pieces, and then when you hit the mouse, a complete picture appears.”

During a workshop with Vikki Martin’s seventh grade art class, Victory worked one-on-one with students as they tried to sketch their favorite celebrity. He instructed them to not only draw what they remember the celebrity looks like, but to also delve into their subconscious to extract smaller details that might not be evident at a first glance.

“Visual Arts at ESD continues to be committed to the idea of introducing students to modern-day artists so they can learn and interact with them to improve their own work,” Martin explained. “In working with Poteet, the seventh grade class had the unique opportunity to study how a creative person solves a problem.”

Jake Carrell, who was drawing Robin Williams, said the most valuable lesson he learned from the workshop was to never see a mistake as something negative.

“There’s no wrong way to draw something,” Carrell explained. “Mr. Victory taught me that it’s not bad to make a mistake and that some mistakes can actually make your art better.”

For Sophia Ehring, the most valuable lesson she learned was looking beyond one’s initial observations.

“When you think of someone, you don’t realize everything you’re seeing, but when you sit down to draw that person, more details start to emerge as you creatively express what you see,” Ehring said.

Victory’s work will be on display in the Jennifer and John Eagle Gallery of the Susan M. Frank Center for Arts & Humanities through December 7. Many thanks to Chris McLarry '80 of McLarry Modern for making this exhibition possible.

Nicole Jacobsen
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ESD Campus Security

This fall, The Episcopal School of Dallas became the first independent school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to implement a bike patrol as part of the Campus Safety program.  Not only does the added security feature make for a friendlier and more approachable staff, the bikes also give ESD’s Campus Safety Officers access to more remote areas of both campuses.

Last year, the ESD Campus Safety team met with outside security consultants to learn additional ways to protect the Merrell Road and Colgate Avenue campuses. Robert Monts, ESD’s Assistant Director of Campus Safety, explained the bikes are an incredible asset to his team in assuring every inch of the grounds are monitored, and if there is an emergency, especially in a hard-to-reach spot of campus, officers can be dispatched quicker.

Monts said the community has responded very favorably to the added security presence. However, the marked security vehicles will still be utilized during peak traffic times, including carpool, to ensure the safety of all community members.

“Part of our new policy dictates that no bicycle patrols will be fielded during adverse weather conditions, or at any time when the patrols may pose an unnecessary risk or detract from higher priority duties.”

To become a certified bike patrol, current ESD officers had to pass written and physical exams that included cardiovascular fitness tests, hypothermia and dehydration training, accident prevention, and different speed and balance drills.

“We were fortunate to have three Campus Safety Officers go through a three-day bike patrol training certification course specifically tailored for security and police,” Monts explained. “This training was administered by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, who graciously allowed our officers to attend at no cost.”

Furthermore, according to Campus Safety Magazine, “students, faculty and staff are more likely to talk about legal matters, directions, parking information, or ask for information from a campus bicycle patrol officer.” Monts, and the other members of the Campus Safety Department hope these positive contacts will help reinforce efforts to affirm relationships between the community and the department.

“The numerous inherent advantages to uniformed bike patrols, including improved community relations, cost efficiency, faster response times, and added environmental benefits, are just some of the reasons we felt that putting Campus Safety Officers on bicycles was a great idea.”

Nicole Jacobsen
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William Morrow ’25 places a paper lemon on the wall after buying his $1 cup of lemonade in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

One of the Founding Tenets at The Episcopal School of Dallas is “Service.” Collectively ESD students of every age dedicate tens of thousands of hours to non-profit organizations each year. In Middle and Upper School, students often also organize projects supporting organizations close to their hearts. At ESD’s 40th Anniversary Fiesta on September 5, the Class of 2020’s Community Service Council sponsored a lemonade stand and raised more than $1,200 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

Alexandra Scott, a young girl who battled Stage IV neuroblastoma, founded Alex’s Lemonade Stand in 1990. The organization helps raise money to fund biomedical research projects to find a cure for various forms of childhood cancer.

Leading up to the Fiesta, Class of 2020 parent and student volunteer spots filled up within moments of being asked. At the event, ESD community members purchased a cup of lemonade for $1 and signed their name on paper lemons to be posted on a nearby wall. By the end of the night, an entire wall of the Stephen B. Swann Center for Athletics and Wellness was covered with paper support statements.

“We sponsored this project in honor of Alex Podeszwa, the brother of Charlotte Podeszwa, a seventh-grade student at ESD,” a Community Service Council representative said. “It fits that this project is our organization’s first because it will not only benefit the greater community, but it will be a way to demonstrate our support for one of our families here at The Episcopal School of Dallas.”

Nicole Jacobsen
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Nearly 20 alumni from The Episcopal School of Dallas took the stage for the summer’s annual Alumni Musical, Urinetown.

Nearly 20 alumni from The Episcopal School of Dallas took the stage for the summer’s annual Alumni Musical, Urinetown. This year’s production, under the direction of Lauren Redmond ’01 and the School’s Upper School music teacher, Joe Snyder, debuted on Thursday, August 7 in the Bray Performance Hall. Members of the ESD community, including past and current faculty and staff, alumni, and current students and parents showed up to pack the house on each of the three evening performances.

“Seeing so many alums come back and put on a show for the rest of the community was such a great experience,” Megan Boyd ’09, ESD’s Alumni Relations Manager said. “The cast spanned more than 15 years of classes; it was great to see everyone renew old bonds and form new friendships.” 

Bryan Barnett ’00 served as the show’s technical director; Catherine Talbot ’13 served as the production’s stage manager and make-up designer, and also performed in the musical. Other cast members included: Alex Beane ’13OJ DeSouza ’02Jonathan Dewbre ’99Overton John Fullylove III ’90George Graves ’01Morgan Harrison ’00Meredith Miller Higgins ’03Donna Marie Knight ’10Victoria Knight ’12Gabby Laurendine ’14Katherine Montgomery ’10Michael Said ’06, and Emily Marie Stephenson ’06. Allie Becker. Michael Colonnetta, and Randy Rivero also helped with the technical side of the production.

This year’s play highlighted the comedic instances of having to use the restrooms while traveling abroad, only to learn in the 11th hour that coins may be needed to operate the facilities. The hidden message conveys the importance of conserving natural resources and limiting water consumption use.

“ESD's production of Urinetown was fantastic! The quality of the acting, singing, dancing, musicality, and staging was so impressive,” Meredyth Cole, ESD’s Head of School said. “The production and interpretation of the script was witty and creatively interpreted. Many thanks to our talented alumni for giving back to the community so generously!”

Nicole Jacobsen
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Allison Hogan, the Primer teacher at The Episcopal School of Dallas, was selected by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as part of its annual Teachers of the Future program.

Allison Hogan, the Primer teacher at The Episcopal School of Dallas, was selected by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as part of its annual Teachers of the Future program.

The 2014-15 NAIS Teachers of the Future were selected from a large pool of nominees who exemplify creativity and innovation in the classroom, inspire academic excellence in students, and who serve as opinion leaders among their colleagues and peers.

As one of only 35 teachers nationwide chosen for the program, Hogan will participate in a variety of initiatives that will strengthen learning and teaching at independent schools as well as grow their leadership capacities.

Hogan, who joined the ESD community in 2010, most recently traveled to Peru with the Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder program. In June, she was selected for ACSD’s 2014 Class of Emerging Leaders, and in September, the Primer class was accepted to participate in the NAIS 20/20 Challenge in which students paired up with children at an international school to collectively take global problems and develop real-world solutions.

NAIS President John Chubb notes, “Teachers nurture our children’s growth and development. These exceptional Teachers of the Future are not only preparing children to succeed in life; they are moving the profession forward by modeling innovative practices and leadership among their peers.” 

The National Association of Independent Schools provides services to more than 1,700 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including 1,500 nonprofit, private K-12 schools in the U.S. that are self-determining in mission and program and are governed by independent boards. NAIS works to empower independent schools and the students they serve. For more information, visit

Nicole Jacobsen
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ESD Drone Takes Flight

Renner Brown and Alexander Eggers, both rising seniors at the Episcopal School of Dallas, have been invited to present their paper on their advanced independent study involving the ARTeMIS drone system at the Global Conference on Educational Robotics. The five-day conference will be held on the University of Southern California campus July 30-August 3 in conjunction with the International Botball Tournament. Brown and Eggers will present their research at one of the breakout sessions on Friday, August 1.

Last fall, Brown and Eggers teamed up with their classmate Michael McCrory ’14 to create an autonomous drone to fly over crew boats during rowing practice to record movement. Student-athletes can analyze the data collected by the drone to improve their technique. Over the summer, Brown and Eggers have continued to log of hours fine-tuning and advancing their research in anticipation of the conference and future improvements.

“To be invited to present is a tremendous honor and testament to our students’ efforts,” Deb Goudy, ESD’s Computer Science Department Chair, said. “This project demonstrates what happens when students combine hard work with ingenuity to create solutions with real-world applications.”

At the conference, Brown and Eggers will be joined by Goudy and their Upper School ESD robotics teammates with the intention of besting their last highest international finish, fifth place overall, earned in 2012. The team’s most recent wins include first place at the Oklahoma Regional Championships for 2013 and 2014. The team’s highest finish in international competition is second, earned in 2006.

Nicole Jacobsen
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Baseball Buddies For all participants, participating in the Baseball Buddies program is a winning combination. The ESD students say they get to meet new friends and spend a week of their summer vacation playing sports, while the students from the Notre Dame School develop their confidence and make new friends, too.

Six summers ago, Baseball Buddies, a summer camp program organized through the Episcopal School of Dallas, was formed to give intellectually and developmentally-challenged students the opportunity to experience a week of sports, fun, and friendship. Created by Hal Hundley from the Class of 2010, the week-long camp meets every June for a jam-packed afternoon of baseball, volleyball, and basketball scrimmages, as well as waterslide adventures, a Home Run Derby, and finally, a World Series Showdown.

Several of the campers from the Notre Dame School come back every summer to reunite with their former coaches and develop new friendships. For the ESD volunteers, organizing activities and running the camp is a tradition that has been passed down from older siblings for nearly five years.

For all participants, participating in the Baseball Buddies program is a winning combination. The ESD students say they get to meet new friends and spend a week of their summer vacation playing sports, while the students from the Notre Dame School develop their confidence and make new friends, too.

“This was my third year working Baseball Buddies, but my family has been helping run it for several years now,” Savannah Crow ’17 explained. “I’ve learned to always keep a positive attitude no matter what’s going on.”

On the last day of this year’s camp, all 15 participants had the privilege to showoff their hitting, throwing, and base running skills in front of a packed house. But as rewarding as the experience is for the Notre Dame students, the ESD volunteers take just as many, if not more, memories away from the activities.

“My two favorite memories were the dance parties with the campers in the gym, and the daily stretching circle that a camper leads each day. They had some good moves I had never seen before,” Tilley Neuhoff ’16 said.

This year’s student volunteers included: Caroline Allday ’16Gage Barbara ’16Jack Colonnetta ’15Savannah Crow ’17Sydney Helbing ’17Ella Kelly ’18David Kerrigan ’16Jack Kieffaber ’16Jonathan King ’16Anna Konradi ’16Lizzie Neuhoff ’17Tilley Neuhoff ’16Claire North ’15,Kyle Staffieri ’17Asher Wabrek ’16, and Nika Willis ’17.

“My favorite part was being able to spend time with the kids each day and seeing how happy they are with us,” Asher Wabrek, a rising junior at ESD, and first-year volunteer, said. “It’s awesome getting to teach them different activities and then play sports with them.”

Nicole Jacobsen
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By Joseph Rooney, Class of 2015

Daniel Hull ’13 and Schaffer Ochstein ’12 were known around the Episcopal School of Dallas for their speed. Both starred on the school’s cross country and track and field teams, and continued running after graduating high school; Ochstein at Johns Hopkins University, where he is one of the university’s top distance runner, and Hull as a member of Duke’s club team.

This summer, both students are continuing to run, but not for their respective colleges. For the duration of the summer, the pair is leading the ESD cross country practices while the school searches for a new coach.

“I heard from some individuals about changes in the coaching staff, and I knew there would likely be a hole to fill,” Hull explained. “Schaffer actually took the initiative and texted me about potentially helping out over the summer. I volunteered right away and we talked and set up a meeting with Coach Reese to organize practices for the summer.”

In the fall, the team wakes up around 5:00 a.m. every Saturday for meets, but the summer is when the season really starts. Runners will wake up before 7:00 a.m. multiple days each week to practice and train for the upcoming season. Without a coach, summer workouts would have been tough to organize and execute. That’s where Hull and Ochstein come in.

It’s just like it was a couple years ago, with Daniel and Schaffer leading us,” Lili Clark ’15 explained. “It’s exciting and great to have them back.”

However, Hull hopes to help the team develop their own plan, rather than dictate how practices will be run.

“It is not my team anymore. It is theirs and I want to guide them to make it theirs. If I’ve done that, I’ve done my job,” Hull says.

Nicole Jacobsen
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In March, Middle School students at the Episcopal School of Dallas accepted a new challenge from their teachers that combined writing, reading comprehension, and artistic ability. The annual “Battle of the Books” competition would still encourage students to read, write, and think more imaginatively, but a new “triathlon” format would give them the freedom to combine a variety of skill sets for the chance to win a gold, silver, or bronze medal.

ESD English teachers, Meg Fahrenbrook ’01 and Steve Gende, teamed up with Middle School librarian, Leslie Beatty, to offer writing and book review challenges, a comprehensive question section, and a book review trailer contest to showcase student’s artistic abilities. Medals were awarded to the highest-scoring students in each grade level.

“This new format allowed students to make connections between the books we had read as a class and then to their own lives,” Fahrenbrook said. “The culminating project was a way for students to reflect on what they had learned from each of the books and think about why each of the books was chosen.”

Writing Challenge – During the month of March, students wrote books reviews and published them online via KidBlog. Classmates could then access the reviews and rate their fellow classmates on content and completion. Students earned points for submitting reviews, as well as reviewing other student’s work.

Reading and Comprehension Challenge – In early April, students separated into teams and answered a series of questions from the book, Boys Without Names, by Kashmira Sheth. The book tells the story of a young boy from a rural Indian village who shares stories with his peers in an effort to unite his village and put an end to bullying. Points were awarded to each group for each question they answered correctly.

Book Trailer – To wrap-up the challenge, students worked together using iMovie to create a trailer of their favorite book. Students were awarded points based on creativity and accuracy. Some groups, rather than produce a movie, made creative art projects that represented different themes in the books they were assigned to read.

Nicole Jacobsen
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Cullen Corr, ESD Cullen Corr, a sophomore at the Episcopal School of Dallas, has been actively involved in volunteering at homeless shelters since he was a child. In seventh grade, Corr started volunteering at Family Gateway with his mother.

Cullen Corr, a sophomore at the Episcopal School of Dallas, has been actively involved in volunteering at homeless shelters since he was a child. In seventh grade, Corr started volunteering at Family Gateway with his mother. After getting to know the organization, he noticed there was a playroom for young children, and a separate room for the adults, but no designated room where the teenagers could spend their free time.

Not one to sit idly by, Corr took matters into his own hands and began forming a plan to gather funding and build a room for his peers.

“As a teen, I know how important it is to have your own space and interact with students your own age,” Corr explained. “I met with executives at Family Gateway and got their permission to collect funds to build a Teen Room.”

Through car washes and asking local businesses for donations, Corr reached his goal and recruited a group of friends to help him clear out an old donation room and paint and spackle the walls and ceiling to make it the organization’s new Teen Room.

“I have seen the teenagers we helped come out of their shells and laugh and smile,” Corr said. “I have seen their confidence grow, and learned how imperative it is for children to be socially accepted and treated equally by their peers.”

As a result of his efforts, Corr was honored with a bronze medallion as part of the Prudential Financial Spirit of Community Awards program. Given to just 12 students in Texas, the award recognizes individuals who have dedicated their time and effort to improving the lives of others.

During chapel on Wednesday, April 3, Karen Gray, the leader of the Special Needs Division of the Greater Southwest Financial Group at Prudential, presented Corr with his medal and commended him for his “commitment and compassion for others.”

A year after he started volunteering with the organization, Corr started Kids Helping Kids (KHK), a 501c(3) organization dedicated to providing positive social interactions and educational support to underprivileged children. Since the organization was founded in 2011, Corr has recruited hundreds of volunteers from nine Dallas-area independent schools and Highland Park High School to teach, tutor, and mentor the children.

After giving a speech in Middle School chapel about his success with the Teen Room, Corr’s classmates started helping out on “Second Saturdays.” On these days, ESD students lead art projects, play games, or watch movies with the organization’s teenagers. Today, hundreds of volunteers donate their time and effort to Family Gateway and offer tutoring and fundraising opportunities for the teens and their families.

Last spring, KHK held a 5K called the “KH5K” to raise money for a van to transport children to different activities around the city. Corr hopes this year’s race, to be held on Saturday, May 3 on the Katy Trail, will help KHK reach the amount needed to purchase the van.

“Not only are we helping to better other kids’ lives,” Corr explained. “But our interactions with these kids help us become more compassionate, respectful, and appreciative.”

Created in 1995 by Prudential, and in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program recognizes students for outstanding community service efforts at the local, state, and national level. In 19 years, more than 100,000 middle and high school-aged students have been recognized for their efforts.

To become eligible for the award, students must fill out an application detailing their volunteer experience. Thousands of applications are then reviewed and narrowed down to a pool of 10 National Honorees who are announced at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. in May.