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Earlier this month, The Episcopal School of Dallas's Lower School building was named the Best Project in K-12 Education by Engineering News-Record (ENR). The building was nominated by contractors Hill & Wilkinson for their work with Overland Partners. The Lower School building was opened for the 2019-20 school year after more than five years of planning, realizing ESD founder's vision of uniting Eagles of all ages on one campus. 

ENR received 131 entries into this year's contest — the most of any of ENR's 10 regional contests, according to their blog. The Lower School was selected as one of the 18 Best Projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Special thank you to both Hill & Wilkinson and Overland Partners for their fantastic work in building the innovative and beautiful space!

Learn more from ENR here. 

The Episcopal School of Dallas
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Last week, The Episcopal School of Dallas recognized Katherine Cowser '21 and Jiaying Fu '21, who have been named semi-finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 16,000 high school seniors were named semifinalists, representing the top one percent of PSAT scores taken in 2019-20. Katherine and Jiaying will both go on to compete for the National Merit Scholarships. 

These academically talented students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 Merit Scholarship awards worth about $30 million that will be offered next spring.  To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.

Congratulations to these high-scoring students!

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The Episcopal School of Dallas' Art Around Campus Committee, made up of nine members of the ESD community from across a broad range of divisions, recently reviewed nominations for this year's Purchase Awards. Selected recipients receive a monetary prize and the purchased artwork becomes a part of ESD's permanent art collection, displayed around the school for years to come. 

Please join us in congratulating the following artists:


  • Hadley Smith '20
  • Jake Carrell '20

2D Art 

  • Jade Donahue '20
  • Crissy Williamson '20


  • Ned Dockery '20
  • Olivia Hagge '21


  • Abby Brand '20
  • Biz Newsom '20

Visit ESD's Facebook page to view each artist's work. 

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The art of glassblowing is a unique and tedious craft. While you may be familiar with the work of Dallas-based artist Carlyn Ray, ESD alumni class of 2000 - who created the eagle wings sculpture that hangs in the entrance to ESD's Swann Center - did you know ESD has another up-and-coming glass artist? Jordan, class of 2027, started glassblowing after meeting Carlyn and attending a demonstration back in 2014. Since then, she has not only become her own artist but also started her own shop on Etsy to sell her work.

On her trips to the studio about twice a month, she loves working with dark blue because of how the color melts and stays malleable. Although she also enjoys making slug shapes - easy and fun to make - she’s also made a fountain and a solar system. It took about two months to make each piece. “Every time I go into the studio, I am learning and practicing new techniques to get better at my art. Even after six years of time and effort, there is still more to learn, but I love every second of it and am excited every time I step into the studio.”

Her Etsy account features all sorts of shapes, such as ornaments, business card holders, and more. “Starting a business takes a lot of work,” said Jordan ’27. “I have to think about what glass colors and what tools I need that will help me create the pieces in my mind. I am learning how far in advance I have to plan for holidays and events so my customers have enough time to buy the pieces they want and get them delivered.”

Check out Jordan’s website here. Keep up the good work, Eagle!

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While the transition to distance learning wasn’t an easy one, students at least had previous experience with completing school work on the computer. When it came to athletics, however, the transitions forced by off-campus learning weren’t as simple. Athletic programs are an integral part of the curriculum at The Episcopal School of Dallas, so finding a solution for students to maintain physical education and sport-specific activities during distance learning was key. Coaches and trainers in the Athletic Department worked hard to create a revised plan to allow student-athletes to continue their sports as best they could from home. 

All coaches had weekly communication with their athletes, holding meetings, and virtual practices with their teams via Zoom. The Strength & Conditioning Department composed at-home workouts for students grades 7-12 to keep active through the end of the school year. Even team tryouts went virtual this year, with Varsity Cheer tryouts taking place over Zoom. Students completed their tryouts from home in front of a virtual panel of judges unaffiliated with ESD. 

“Going virtual was definitely a learning curve but the athletes adapted so well. I had the opportunity to judge a peer school’s tryouts so I was able to tweak our process to make it the best possible,” said Megan Boyd, Cheerleading Program Director & Head Coach. “I am so proud to be part of a school that was able to tackle these uncertain times and continue to deliver on our promises, mission, and beliefs.”

Aside from the day-to-day athletic activities, the Athletics Department also took great strides to recognize its senior athletes, many of them missing out on their final seasons. The department took part in the SPC Run-Walk-Bike-Hike initiative, where coaches from all over the conference worked together to accumulate 2020 miles on May 2 in their honor. 34 ESD coaches accumulated 247.21 miles, and Crew Program Director Adam Jones led all coaches in the conference with 81 miles logged. Coaches then delivered gifts to senior athletes and illuminated the stadium lights and scoreboard for two hours that evening.

The school also held its second-annual Collegiate-Bound Athlete Ceremony, recognizing all student-athletes who will go on to play their sport at the collegiate level next year. This year ESD recognized 15 student-athletes - read more about the virtual celebration here.

ESD is so proud of its coaches and teachers who went above and beyond during this distance learning period to support their students both on the field and in the classroom! Thank you for all you do. 

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As part of their new study of cities and how they work, third graders at The Episcopal School of Dallas had the chance to speak with two Dallas City Council members about their work in our community.

Students are learning about how Dallas has changed over time and will be asked to imagine how it might change in the future. Each group will be assigned a different area of Dallas and asked to create a new landmark to draw people and resources to that particular area. Thanks to Councilman Omar Narvaez and Councilwoman Cara Mendehelson, students learned about their roles in imagining a better Dallas. Council members spoke about their day-to-day activities, how they got elected, and how the council works to support innovative problem-solving in our city. Several students even learned these council members represented the district they lived in!

In another effort to better understand the areas of Dallas, students also reached out to faculty and staff to learn more about where they live. Faculty were asked to answer questions like:

  • What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
  • What makes it special or unique (i.e. landmarks, schools, community centers, restaurants, parks, etc.)
  • What do you know about the history of this area? Or, share a favorite memory. 
  • What is one change/innovation you would like to see in your part of the city? (i.e. more green space, more restaurants, etc.)

Aside from speaking with third graders about their roles on City Council, council members also took a tour of second grade's hydroponics projects that produced lettuce to SAGE for lunch at ESD. 

Thank you for visiting, Councilman Narvaez and Councilwoman Mendehelson!

The Episcopal School of Dallas

ESD’s Academic Dean Eric Boberg’s work, “The effects of integrated transformational leadership on achievement” co-authored with S. J. Bourgeois and published in the Journal of Educational Administration (2016), was cited five times in Hallinger, Gümüs, and Bellibas’s “'Are principals instructional leaders yet?' A science map of the knowledge base on instructional leadership, 1940–2018.” published in Scientometrics (2020). Boberg’s citations are found in three crucial areas: as an advocate for integrated models of school leadership, as scholar who uses advanced statistical models in his research, and as the trend for the future.

“To be included with internationally acclaimed researchers is an honor,” said Dr. Boberg. “Hallinger is one of the top five in school leadership research.”

The article’s abstract reports “both author co-citation and co-word analyses revealed the emergence of ‘integrated models of school leadership’ in which instructional leadership is enacted in concert with dimensions drawn from complementary leadership approaches.” 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Student leadership both in and out of the classroom continues to be on the rise at The Episcopal School of Dallas. Upper School science and engineering teacher Barton Burnett recently formed a new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) comprised of both students and teachers. This team is not a first response team but will serve as backup support for trained emergency personnel who already present. Both students and teachers in CERT will support ESD in hosting multi-athletic/leadership events with multiple schools, as well as help provide general school information requests, miscellaneous visitor support, and assist with minor first aid requests. Director of Campus Security Jody Trumble agreed to the group’s formation due to the large numbers of people on campus.

According to the CERT project’s website, “The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster… [it] furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their families and their neighbors.”

Barton Burnett is the CERT team leader, overseeing the student team members and reports directly to Trumble. “While having teenagers trained as members of Community Emergency Response Team for their schools and communities is a growing nationwide trend, this is a very new concept for ESD,” Burnett said. “So far we have six students and three teachers already trained. We hope to have an additional four students and four adults trained before the school year is over.” The existing student members are Ford Bannister, Chris Hess, Gabe Letcher, Sam Lindsey, Lilly Lutz, Ava Thompson; Laura Talbot and Laura Gomez are the faculty members. Since the current students are all juniors, Burnett is looking forward to having their experience onboard for next year. 

Students have already received training for mass emergencies and have the necessary safety equipment and basic first aid supplies. Each student has an emergency back with safety gear, basic tools, first aid kit, a green t-shirt with gold lettering, and matching ball cap so they can switch into "uniform" in an emergency. Student backpacks are kept in a central location, while teachers’ are kept with them. Students and teachers are trained by CERT instructors from Best Southwest Regional CERT out of the Duncanville area as well as local fire departments following Federal Guidelines.

Thus far, the team has participated in three fire drills this year and even had a four-person team practice during a weekend athletic event. Burnett and Trumble continue to have conversations on how to fully and safely integrate this new resource for our campus, but are pleased with the group’s initial performances.

The Episcopal School of Dallas

From Common Sense Education:

Dallas, TX—Common Sense, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology, has recognized The Episcopal School of Dallas as a Common Sense School.

The Episcopal School of Dallas has demonstrated its commitment to taking a whole-community approach to preparing its students to think critically and use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate, while preparing them for the perils that exist in the online realm, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying. With the right support, kids can take ownership of their digital lives, engage with real issues, and change their communities for the better. The recognition acknowledges our school's commitment to creating a culture of digital citizenship.

"We applaud the faculty and staff of The Episcopal School of Dallas for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students' education," said Liz Kline, vice president of education programs at Common Sense Education. " The Episcopal School of Dallas deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large."

The Episcopal School of Dallas has been using Common Sense Education's innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources, which were created in collaboration with researchers from Project Zero, led by Howard Gardner at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and are grounded in the real issues students and teachers face. The resources teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, media balance, managing online relationships, and media literacy. The free K–12 curriculum is used in classrooms across all 50 states, in more than 65,000 schools by more than 750,000 educators.

"We're honored to be recognized as a Common Sense School," said Mary Hansell, Director of Educational Technology. "By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them an opportunity to build lifelong habits to help them succeed in a tech-driven world."

For more information about The Episcopal School of Dallas, go to To learn more about the criteria The Episcopal School of Dallas met to become recognized as a Common Sense School, visit

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While students at The Episcopal School of Dallas are used to choir teachers Mr. Snyder playing the organ or Mrs. Wiles playing the piano during chapel, Upper School students were treated to a performance by classmate Dani Nisbet ’22 earlier this month. Dani performed an original piano composition titled Los Sueños de Andalucía, which means dreams of Andalucía.

Inspired by his upcoming trip to study Spanish in Granada - a city in the southernmost region of Spain, Andalucía - Dani wanted to compose a piece that was different from his previous works. “I find the merge of Arab and Spanish culture to be remarkably fascinating,” he said. “I listen and study music from different cultures and in particular, I've been researching and diving into traditional Arab and Spanish music. My goal was to create a piece that reflected a certain style of music, so I choose Andalucía as a region to base it off of.” 

Click Here to Listen

Everyone in attendance was amazed at the level of skill required for the composition. "What a terrific start to Student Body Week," said Head of Upper School Henry Heil. The piece performed in chapel is Dani’s sixth piece written in his four years of composing. 

Thanks for sharing your talents, Dani!