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On January 14, The Episcopal School of Dallas Varsity Boys Basketball Program Director Corey Henderson clinched his 300th win as the Eagles knocked off Fort Worth Country Day in their first SPC contest of the season. This is Coach Henderson’s 17th season at ESD, and during that time he has amassed 3 SPC championships while guiding 10 players to collegiate basketball careers. Henderson joins Varsity Boys Soccer Program Director Mark Gardner and Varsity Volleyball Program Director Laura Gomez as active coaches with at least 300 varsity wins at ESD.

"For Coach Henderson to get his 300th win is such a great accomplishment and a testament to the positive environment he has built and sustained within our boys basketball program. Not only is he a tremendous coach, but he is a great advocate for ESD and our student-athletes,” said Athletic Director Dan Gill. “While the 300 wins are extremely impressive, what stands above everything for Coach Henderson is all that he does for his players, our program and the ESD community. Congratulations to Coach Henderson and his staff."

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Two ESD students, senior Riley Breaux and junior Jackson Fricke, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Only about six percent of all Boy Scouts go on to earn this ranking by the age of 18.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the boy scouts of America. In order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, these students completed all of the qualifications such as earning a specified number of merit badges, providing references, and completing a service project. Not only are they proficient in skills such as citizenship, swimming, and emergency preparedness, these students are also skilled in building decks, constructing eco-friendly garden boxes, and installing bike repair stations.

“I could not be more proud of Riley and Jackson for hard work and dedication to the Boy Scouts of America,” said Henry Heil, ESD's Head of Upper School. “Earning Eagle Scout demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the scout oath to do their duty to God and country, help others at all times, and fulfill the scout mission to make ethical and moral choices. Way to go guys!”

For his Eagle Scout project, Riley led volunteers to create a promotional video for Operation Kindness (a large, no-kill animal shelter), tracking a severely injured kitten from intake through foster care, surgery, recovery, and finally adoption from the shelter. Jackson’s Eagle Scout Project incorporated volunteers comprised of scouts, adults, and students working toward improving ESD’s Outdoor Chapel. After renovating the existing benches, Jackson built and installed a picnic table, an altar, and a cross, allowing ESD to use the outdoor space for future services. 

Last year, ESD had 12 Eagle Scouts in the Class of 2019. 

Congratulations on this outstanding achievement, Eagles! We are so proud of your hard work and dedication. 

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Students and teachers alike at The Episcopal School of Dallas were delighted to welcome Rosemary Wells as the 15th annual Elizabeth Anne Worsham Visiting Author to campus this month. Mrs. Wells is the author and illustrator of the popular children’s books Max & Ruby.

ESD librarians began sharing Mrs. Wells’s works with students and classes before Christmas Break. The students were so excited about Mrs. Wells’s visit, they drafted short stories and drew their own characters inspired by those in her books. After teaching them the six principles of her work, students were able to ask Mrs. Wells questions about her writing inspiration, her favorite books, and more. 

"Every day, you should go home and practice writing or painting for 30 minutes - that's how you learn," said Mrs. Wells. "Even now, I am still learning and practicing every day. Writing is hard work and needs constant practice."

Many thanks to the Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Fund for this incredible opportunity to learn from Rosemary Wells. ESD's Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Fund was created in 2004 by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph I. Worsham II, friends, and family in memory of Elizabeth Anne Worsham '13. The annual Visiting Author Program encourages and supports a love of reading in children, so that they may carry that gift with them into adulthood.

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On Thursday, January 16, 2020, Timothy Andrew Kennedy was ordained as an Episcopal priest at The Episcopal School of Dallas. 

“To witness someone we know so well celebrate this culminating event in their priestly journey is a rare and auspicious opportunity,” said David L. Baad, Hobson Family Head of School. “Chaplain Amy Heller and I feel very fortunate this year to have found a strong Episcopal Identity partner in Chaplain Tim Kennedy. His energy and enthusiasm for his educational and pastoral ministry have been boundless.”

Chaplain Kennedy joined ESD this fall while he was in the final stages of his priestly discernment, a process that takes many years and involves earning a Master of Divinity degree. He completed ordination requirements in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC under the direction of The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, who ordained Chaplain Kennedy as a Transitional Deacon in June 2019. 

Many gathered in All Saints Chapel to celebrate his ordination, rich in tradition and significance. Highlights included Diocesan priests surrounding Chaplain Kennedy and laying hands on him during the prayer of consecration. His presenters were The Rev. Ken Brannon, The Rev. Amy Heller, Head of School Dave Baad, and Chaplain Kennedy’s sister, Amy Javadi. Tim’s parents, Clara and Thomas Kennedy, vested him in his stole and chasuble, signs of his priesthood. Members of the Middle and Upper School Choirs sang and members of the student vestry served as readers and acolytes. The Right Reverend George R. Sumner, Bishop of Dallas, graciously received Chaplain Kennedy in the Diocese of Dallas and—at Bishop Budde’s request—approved his priestly ordination at ESD at the hands of The Right Reverend James M. Stanton, Retired Bishop of Dallas, current ESD grandparent, and a frequent visitor to campus.

In addition to his current roles in our community, Chaplain Kennedy’s priestly vows allow him to also begin a sacramental ministry here at ESD celebrating Eucharist, pronouncing God's blessings, and declaring God's forgiveness.

A San Antonio native, Tim graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Religion from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He holds a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University and a Master of Divinity from Yale University. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate in Educational Leadership at the Virginia Theological Seminary. Before joining the Executive Office of the President of the United States as Director of Continuity Policy for the Homeland Security Council, Tim served as a special assistant to the Office of the Republican Leader and the Office of the Speaker of the House in the U.S. House of Representatives. Heeding his call from God to serve in ministry, including as a youth small-group leader, lay leader, and education chair throughout his time in Washington, D.C., Tim left his political career to pursue ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church.

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Eight ESD students were recently invited to participate in the second annual Dallas Young Artist Exhibition presented by BluePrint Gallery. This exhibition showcases Dallas' top high school artists across mediums. ESD also had eight students invited to the inaugural exhibit last year.

Juniors Ellie Bass, Elle Etcheverry, Olivia Hagge, Lizzie Kelley, Hadley Mattocks, and Sumner Wooldridge and seniors Biz Newsom and Sofia Weinstein created works ranging from watercolor to ceramic sculptures to photography.

Congratulations to these artists on such an honor! 

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Last year during plans of moving ESD's Lower School onto their main Merrell Road campus, three Student Advisory Councils were formed to envision what it would be like having all three divisions together. While most of the work focused on how to accommodate another division on campus, one council focused on how to connect the divisions with a new tradition. 

ESD’s traditions are integral to the community; ceremonies like Pass It On, uniting Middle and Upper School divisions, are key experiences in the ESD student’s life. As they welcomed the Lower School to this campus, these Advisory Councils brainstormed a new tradition that would encompass the same thought for rising Lower School students. 

Similar to seniors 'passing it on' to rising eighth-graders, each ninth-grade student will pin a fifth-grader in the new "Pin It On" tradition. “We considered the importance of the transition from lower to middle school and the new experiences and privileges that come with it," said Christian King '19, who played an instrumental role in moving this initiative forward. "We considered the meaning behind the importance of individual class unity and the camaraderie that matures as students grow. We considered the important significance of instilling in each student a sense of pride for their class and for their school. Most importantly, we considered what it means to share in the ESD identity.”

The pins fifth-graders received were designed by members of the ninth grade class last year. The design is specific to the Classes of 2023 and 2027, as it has both classes graduation years, and signifies a special link the classes will always share. The pin’s design is anchored by ESD’s shield and three crosses representing the original Founding Tenets.

“It is an exciting and special moment for these two classes and our school,” said Associate Head of School Ruth Burke. “Our hope is this special commemorative pin will be worn on students’ blazers from now through their graduation.”

Like Pass It On for rising eighth-graders and graduating seniors, ESD hopes that Pin It On will become a memorable and integral tradition to the students. 

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This year, Engineering students at The Episcopal School of Dallas have had the opportunity to earn industrial certifications in different areas. These certifications measure competency in an occupation, and they validate the knowledge base and skills that show mastery in a particular industry. Five ESD students have completed three industrial certifications this year! 

Congratulations to Owen Aston '20Aidan Hieber '20Reece Huggard '21Braden Montgomery '20, and Garrett Seymour '20 for completing:

  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 10 Hour General Industry Safety
  • ISCET (International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians) ESA-1 (DC Theory)
  • ISCET (International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians) ESA-2 (AC Theory)

"This is the first time the engineering program will have met its strategic goal of students earning three industrial certifications before graduation," said Upper School Engineering and Robotics teacher Barton Burnett. "I have already been asked by one of them if they can earn more."

Keep up the great work, Eagles!

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Seven members of The Episcopal School of Dallas' Class of 2019 and one member of the Class of 2018 returned to campus and hosted a discussion panel for current seniors earlier this month.

Sriya Dodda '19 (Columbia University), Mackenzie Fain-Parish '19 (University of Southern California), Mason Gosslee '19 (University of Texas), John Heldman '19 (Southern Methodist University), Hector Hernandez '18 (Texas A&M University), Allison Herring '19 (Texas A&M University), Christian King '19 (Furman University), and Christopher Talbot '19 (Sewanee: The University of the South) spoke to the students about their personal experiences post-graduation and during their first semester at college.

Check out the top five tips these students had for the Class of 2020!

USE YOUR ESD EDUCATION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: “Classes I’ve taken my first semester in college are super similar to the AP classes I took at ESD. I’ve been able to use notes from my past ESD classes which has been super helpful.” -Mason

BE SOCIAL: “Everyone else there is looking to find friends too. Go to events and get involved; there are so many people you can meet. Even if you don’t end up becoming best friends, you can still meet a lot of really cool people.” -Allison

DONT LOSE FOCUS: “Maintain your study skills throughout the spring semester because I kind of let that drop-off and getting back into the habit of class and studying was harder than I thought it would be.” -John

DEALING WITH HOMESICKNESS: “Don’t feel bad for getting homesick. You’re allowed to miss home, especially if you’re going to college that is really different from ESD and Dallas. It gets a lot easier as you go on.” -Sriya

BALANCE IT OUT: “Keep a healthy balance between being social and actually studying. Being the life of the party can get really exhausting and your schoolwork can suffer as a result. You’re at school for an education and you’re gonna have plenty of opportunities for fun stuff down the line.” -Christopher

ESD Eagles in each graduating class attend a variety of universities and colleges across the country, and sometimes even across the world! Click here to see a map of where the Classes of 2016-2019 have matriculated.

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Last semester, several film students at The Episcopal School of Dallas had the opportunity to visit the set of '12 Mighty Orphans’ with cinematographer David McFarland, ESD class of 1994. Focused on the football rivalry between Fort Worth and Highland Park in the 1930s, the film stars Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, and Luke Wilson and is expected to be a box office hit. 

Since ’12 Orphans’ is being filmed in Fort Worth and Weatherford, students and ESD film teacher Bobby Weiss were able to travel to set, where they asked David questions one-on-one about cinematography and the process of filming. “David is a true artist and it was amazing to see him directing the multiple cameras on set. It was a closed set and we were lucky to be there,” said Bobby Weiss. “It was clear that he hoped the day of observing would inspire and motivate the students to create better films.”

The students also shared their experiences with their classmates when they returned after break. With ESD's annual Film Festival in January, this was a great opportunity for students to learn more about filmmaking and the perspectives of different crew members. “Being on a real movie set was such a great experience,” said Sabrina Gies ’20. “Mr. McFarland was very nice and even let us watch the filmmaking process through the camera monitors, which was very interesting.”

Special thank you to David McFarland for this wonderful learning opportunity for ESD students!

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Last month, Upper School science teacher at The Episcopal School of Dallas Matt Varvir challenged his AP Physics II class to construct a watercraft out of recyclable materials that could float on its own. Using cardboard, aluminum, or plastic, the raft should support at least 150 lbs of weight when floating. Further requirements included making the watercraft 1) as small of a volume as possible and 2) as buoyant as possible. And, because he knew they would want to, students were allowed to race their floats across ESD's quarry pond and back.

Yesterday, many Upper School students and teachers gathered outside to watch the resulting watercraft while Mr. Varvir and Asst. Director of Outdoor Education Davis Felder ’06 supervised from the water. Ranging from pallets made entirely of water jugs to a plastic boat resembling a professional race car, the four watercrafts were a sight! The team that won the speed race was Lily Baughman ’21, Charlotte Podeszwa ’21, and Sofia Weinstein ’21. The team that held up the most weight was Henry Isom, Tarun Mittal ’21, and Braden Montgomery ’21 - it was able to hold at least 800 lbs.

The students did a great job designing their rafts and everyone enjoyed watching the race. We love getting to take learning outside on our beautiful campus!