All boarding, grades 9-12 in Alexandria, Virginia
Round of EHS Service Events Concludes With Visit by Alumna Peace Corps Volunteer
Several recent big events focused the EHS campus on community service, with a talk yesterday by Peace Corps volunteer Stuart Agnew ’12 following a weekend’s slate of activities.
On a blustery but sunny Saturday, about 130 Episcopal students helped put on a daylong Special Olympics track and field meet for 245 athletes from around the region. Many students paired up with the athletes, cheering them on and offering support.
This was Episcopal’s 19th consecutive year hosting this event, with many competitors vying to post marks that would earn them a spot in June’s “Summer Games” state competition. Hoxton Track was the main site of competition, and the grassy area next to Baker Science Center was transformed into the Olympic Village. Teacher Steve Castle served as master of ceremonies for award presentations in Callaway Chapel, with every athlete getting honored.
A couple dozen faculty and staff helped organize and set up the event as well as parents of current students and several parents of recent graduates who returned to The Holy Hill for the chance to help out and be back on campus. Key leaders of the event were chaplains Revs. Betsy Gonzalez and Timothy Seamans and teachers David Douglas, Caroline English, Lionel Rauth, and Mimi Schwanda in addition to Steve Castle. Director of Dining Service Donna Dhue, the dining staff, and Ann Douglas prepared a bountiful lunch for all competitors, their parents, and volunteers.
On Sunday, more than 80 students turned out for the annual Serve for the Cure, a friendly round-robin tourney started by Charlotte Hunt ’14 to raise money for the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The girls’ tennis team and coach Hank Harris organized the competition, which featured students playing while dressed in an array of costumes. Lilly Schmachtenberger ’19 and Parker Driscoll ’19 emerged as champions.
On Monday, Agnew spoke at chapel about her work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana. She helps teach life skills in a youth-development program in a small village where she’s the only foreigner. Children, she said, will sometimes knock on her door early in the morning, asking to borrow a soccer ball.
Agnew is spending more than two years in the country, and she credited her time at Episcopal with giving the strength and skills to adapt to life in a very unfamiliar setting. Though some 18 months remains in her time there, she said she’s already discovered that one cliche about the Peace Corps holds true: “You will gain so much more than you might give during your service.”
When Esther Kim ’19 left her small, predominantly white town in western Tennessee to attend Episcopal, she says she had little sense of what diversity means, or of its importance. Yet four years later, her work to make diversity a focus at EHS has earned her a Certificate of Accomplishment from the prestigious Princeton Prize in Race Relations.