At EHS: Moving In, Starting Anew, and Coming Together
The Episcopal campus turned out on Monday to welcome new and returning students, gather as a community, and launch the new year.
Varsity teams, student-group leaders, and others who had returned to campus early mobilized to help others unload cars and move on dorm. The tradition of older students and campus leaders helping others move in is critical to set the tone for the year, says Head of School Charley Stillwell. “We want students, particularly those new to Episcopal, to recognize from the first day that their leaders and fellow students are here to help them make a successful transition, get the most of the Episcopal experience, and find ways to contribute to the community.”
The busy day included parent meetings with dorm parents, deans, and advisors; a gathering hosted by the Office of Community and Equity; and a reception at the Stillwells’ home. The day also featured the year’s first opportunities to come together as a school community: seated dinner by advisory group, followed by a Vespers service in Callaway Chapel and ice cream sundaes by grade.
On Tuesday, students returned to Callaway for the year’s first chapel service and to sign the Honor Code.
Move-in day followed several weeks of preparation for school’s opening. Faculty returned August 19 and, following the traditional opening chapel service, began professional development work as well as planning meetings with their academic departments and residential life teams. Preseason opened for varsity football on the same day, while all other varsity athletes returned on August 25. Some 50 student leaders of clubs and organizations also returned August 25 for training and prep work.
The School brought in several experts to help the various groups develop their vision and work for the year.
Dr. Theresa Maitland — an author and former longtime official with the academic-support center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — spoke with faculty and staff about how to help seniors make the transition to college and how to coach students of all academic abilities.
Greg Graber, head of the middle school at Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tenn., and author of Slow Your Roll: Mindfulness for Fast Times, spoke to preseason athletes about how mindfulness practices can improve their performance. Graber has worked with many top pro and college sports teams, including the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
Bobby Audley, a leadership coach with the Pennau Training Group, led a dynamic session during senior orientation on how to serve as leaders and build community in groups big and small.
Reid Nickle ’11, who works in political fundraising, spoke to seniors about how they can use their considerable influence over the rest of the student body for the good of others and the community as a whole. “Right now, everyone is looking to you.”
Students who spearhead key EHS campus groups joined with mid-career global leaders in a leadership workshop today in downtown Washington — the first initiative of a partnership forged by Episcopal’s newly created McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage with the McCain Institute, a D.C. think tank.