Preparing for the Future

This is my final blog about our 40th birthday, and it focuses on The Future (cue dramatic music…). Even Charles Dickens described the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as “…shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.” (1843) I think the future can be a really scary thing to contemplate, but it is also one of the most exciting!

When I meet with alumni, one of the first questions they invariably ask is, “has ESA changed?” I always start with an emphatic, “No!” And then I explain that surface things have changed, like the fact that we have wifi access over the entire campus and that students bring their own technology or that we now have a MS gym and the US gym floor looks like a wood floor (although it’s the same sport court that they remember) or that Mr. Tutwiler and Dr. Tate have retired but we still have the best and a new group of iconic teachers discussing Truth (with a capital T) with our students. I tell them that we now have a Lower School that matches what we do in Cade and pushes us to be even better than we were when they were here. But even with all of those changes, ESA is still the same quirky place where amazing faculty meet with energetic and curious students in the pursuit of excellence, scholarship, and honor.

I also tell them that those temporary buildings that we put on the Cade campus 39 years ago are still there, and that raccoons regularly establish birthing beachheads in the dark spaces in the buildings and provide biology lessons to all of our students. Which is a true and cute story, but which is also not really a desired outcome (can I get an AMEN, Mr. Edward Barousse, class of 1991??). The facts of the matter are simply this: the quality of the ESA experience in terms of the interaction with our amazing faculty is as strong as or stronger than ever, but our facilities are not supporting that strength and are actually making it more difficult. And that’s without even considering any growth. The time has come for us to set a new cornerstone for the future and begin to move into that future. That is the best and most important work of the Board of Trustees: to look at the school with an eye toward the future and to make sure that what we are doing today will make that future possible.

So, what we’ve been doing for the past five years now is setting the pieces in place, some you may have noticed, and others you probably haven’t. We finished the Lower School Campus by completing the Enrichment Center and Maintenance Facility. We built a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant on the Cade campus to accommodate current and future needs. We worked with Abell/Crozier Architects to develop a Cade campus master plan that creates spaces to enhance the world class teaching that happens here while maintaining the unique outdoor, nature-centered campus feel. You may have noticed recently that the barn in front of the Henton Chapel is now gone, something we’ve been trying to do for over 20 years. In addition, our amazing maintenance crew has cleaned up that whole side of the campus, giving us a little preview of just how beautiful the entrance to ESA is and will be. Preparing ESA for the future is a never-ending process, with more work to come, but we’re excited with the steps we’ve taken and the roadmap for the journey ahead. On this, our 40th anniversary year, we look back, and we look forward and we ask what will ESA be at 50 or 60 years. The future is now—Aréte!!

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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.
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