Will says that coming to Episcopal “was the single most important decision I have ever made in my life. It galvanized my interest in education, my sense of community and trust… and of learning together, making mistakes together, and growing together. It was a place of incredible support for me.”
When Will was at Episcopal, he started working in outdoor education in North Carolina through summer camps. Will attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and when he graduated, he ran outdoor education programs for schools in North Carolina. When Will moved to Aspen, Colo., with a group of Episcopal alumni, he started teaching at Aspen Country Day School.
“Being on the other side of the desk, and seeing the impact that a dedicated teacher and a trusting community can have on a student, I fell in love with teaching and the professional life of being emotionally invested in your work,” he says. “Watching students grow, watching families grow, and doing your best to help them is almost addictive… Emotionally, it’s a 24/7 job. And there’s no ceiling. You’re always pushing yourself to grow professionally.”
Will’s two biggest influences at EHS were former math teacher Doc Hoisington and retired English teacher Perry Epes ’65. “I never had Doc as a teacher, but as a dorm head, he was a positive male role model. Especially now being in education, I appreciate that guidance and the tough love, but also the empathy that he had for my situation.
“Mr. Epes’ class was one of the first classes where I felt it was completely okay to be myself and interpret things in different ways. And he was such a calm, reasonable force. We would do things like read poetry and eat dessert on a random Thursday, or we’d wake up and drive down and watch the sun rise in Alexandria and read the works of romantic poets. It was the extra care he gave, and the passion that he had. I became an English major in college because of him.”
As a Class Chair, Will maintains his connection to EHS through his volunteer work with the School. For him, it is “the boarding school relationship” that makes him want to give back to EHS and remain in touch with his classmates. Will says that he maintains relationships with the people he met at EHS because “when you are in that 14-18 age range, your body, your brain, your attitude, and your confidence go through so many changes. We’ve seen each other at our best and our worst. You can go 10 years without a conversation and pick right back up where you left off.”
These profound connections have prepared Will for his life and career today.
“Being in education, I understand the importance of alumni engagement,” he says. “Maintaining the sense of connection, history, and support, and knowing that it’s always there, is important. As people get married and start having families, we go through all these life changes and big moments, but our relationships don’t change. Being away and then coming back to the D.C. area, and seeing the changes in the School, especially the new Washington Program, I couldn’t be prouder to reconnect and to call this my school.”