Celebrating ESA

Welcome back to school!
 
This is always the most exciting time of the year for me and for the ESA faculty and staff. And this year is extra-special because we are celebrating our 40th anniversary! ESA was founded and begun in 1979 by a group of visionaries who wanted to have a world-class college preparatory school in Acadiana. We owe them a serious debt of gratitude for having the vision and determination to make it happen. By now, you have received your ESA Calendar, and I hope that you found it as fun and entertaining as I did! The pictures are amazing. Of course, they remind me of how far we’ve come, but mostly, they remind me of the amazing people (students, faculty, staff, parents and grandparents) who have walked beneath these oaks over the years! That is truly what makes this place so special.
 
In my opening address to the faculty I spoke a little about the past, the present and the future—the natural thing to do in a big anniversary year. I will take some time this fall to do the same with you. This blog will focus a bit on the (recent) past, and the next two will be about the present and the future. I hope you
will follow along and tell me your stories of ESA’s past and present and your hopes for ESA’s future.
 
Over the years, as a faculty, administration and board, we have constantly talked about our hopes and dreams for the students and graduates of ESA. Every now and then we do this in a more structured way. What do we know about our graduates? And what do we hope for our graduates? There is a huge overlap in these two questions, which speaks to the success of what we are trying to accomplish here. This past spring at our faculty in-service, we worked together to develop our Portrait of a Graduate. This involved working at tables in mixed groups of 10 or so teachers and administrators to complete the statement, “ESA graduates students who _______________.” There was a lot of laughter and argument, writing and voting and compiling of a final list. Then we grouped the consensus answers into 4 large categories: Intellectual Pursuit, Action/Leadership, Empathy/Honor, Challenge/Resilience. Angie Broussard helped to put them into four beautiful statements, outlining what we believe and hope for all of our students. Here are those four statements.
 
ESA graduates students who:
  • Believe they can learn anything and have the curiosity, sense of wonder and resourcefulness to make it happen.
  • Believe they can change the world, and work hard to turn knowledge into action in their communities and beyond.
  • Believe in individuality, as well as in the power of communities built on respect, empathy and trust.
  • Believe in creativity and in taking risks, and have the courage and resilience to learn from their mistakes
 
We will use these four ideas to organize some of the stories that you see this year about the work of our students, teachers and alumni. In addition, last April, our 6th – 12th grade students were able to participate in this by giving their take on the following two questions: what are the most important characteristics of an ESA student? And, what skills do you hope to leave ESA with? They met by advisory group and their answers fell pretty much right in line with what we wrote as a faculty (they are in order ranked from highest to lowest number of responses).
 
What are the most important characteristics of an ESA student?
  • Honest, Truthful, Dependable
  • Empathetic, Caring, Kind
  • Independent, Self-motivated, Brave
  • Hard-working, responsible
 
What skills do you hope to leave ESA with?
  • Hard-working
  • Time management
  • Accept/Respect others
  • Communication
  • Good citizen/leader
  • Resilience/Perseverance
  • Balance
  • Social skills
 
It’s very heartening to see the match between what we see and hope for as educators and what the students value and hope for themselves. It has always been our contention that if we maintain our ideals and work to inspire students’ curiosity and sense of wonder, then all of the pieces will fall into place. Put highly qualified and enthusiastic faculty with bright young minds and get out of the way! Areté!

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Episcopal School of Acadiana

Episcopal School of Acadiana is a private coeducational day school for students in grades PK3 through 12. Our mission is to instill in every student the habits of scholarship and honor.
ESA does not discriminate on the basis of physical disability, race, religion, gender, or national or ethnic origin.
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