At least 200 animals received blessings Thursday, October 2, at the annual Blessing of the Animals on the lawn of The Episcopal School of Knoxville. Animals ranged from lizards to horses as well as throngs of cats, dogs and guinea pigs were present for the event. As in years past, a school-wide pet food collection project accompanied the longstanding tradition at ESK in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Kindergarten classes collected nearly 400 bags, totaling 1,350 pounds, of dry food for cats and dogs, which was donate to the FISH hospitality pantries that feed hungry residents Knoxville residents. The project was conducted in partnership with the LAMBS pet ministry at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. "St. Francis is often remembered for his vision of human kinship with animals and with all creation,” ESK Chaplain Father Josh Hill said. “Over the years that memory has been translated into a fun celebration of human companionship with pets, which reminds us of the biblical mandate to care for all creation. But there was more to Francis than loving animals. He was even more focused on God's vision for human beings. “So we bless pets, but our school also collects pet food for those pet owners who struggle to provide food. This is one small way we can strive to be like Francis." Each visiting minister blessed each animal by name as its owner stood near, saying “Bless, O Lord, (name of the animal) and may your love for this pet be a reminder of God’s love for you. Amen.”
First Wednesday of the Month (beginning October 1, 2014) 8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Clayton Lower School Library Beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 1, ESK’s Lower School librarian, Miranda Clark, will be offering a preschool story time on the first Wednesday of each month from 8:15am until 8:45am. This story time is open to all pre-K siblings of current ESK students as well as pre-K friends or neighbors and parents. Guests are invited to come and experience our chapel service at 8am then head to the Clayton Lower School Library for a half-hour story time. Mrs. Clark will read two or three books to the group and talk to parents about early reading suggestions for preschoolers. If you would like someone special to receive an email invitation or if you have questions, please contact Mrs. Clark at email@example.com or 777.9037, ext.237.
In honor of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month, Middle School students in Ms. McIntosh's advisory participated in a Cake-to-the-Face Challenge, similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Monday afternoon at carpool. Each student smashed a cupcake in their face and donated to Project Walk Atlanta, an organization dedicated to rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries. Sarah Perez, one of our eighth grade advisees, receives therapy at Project Walk Atlanta every weekend, and we will be sending all proceeds to the organization for her benefit. Ms. McIntosh and her students challenge the rest of the middle school advisories and so far, Ms. O’Donnell’s and Mrs. Lovely’s advisories have accepted the challenge. In total, ESK has raised over $2,000 for Project Walk in Atlanta.
The Episcopal School of Knoxville is pleased to announce that Dr. Jack Talmadge has been appointed as the second Headmaster in ESK’s 17-year history. Dr. Talmadge succeeds James Jay Secor, III, who will retire this summer after 16 years as headmaster. Dr. Talmadge brings nearly 20 years of both public and private school experience as a teacher and an administrator to ESK. He is currently Director of The Summit Charter School, a public charter school for grades kindergarten through eighth in Cashiers, N.C. Prior to this, he worked as a senior administrator at a private school in Virginia. While at Summit, Dr. Talmadge has led such programs as Quest, Heritage Clubs, and S.E.E.C. that connect students at every grade level to an amazing experiential and place-based learning experience. “I am overjoyed and honored by the gracious offer to become Episcopal School of Knoxville’s next Headmaster,” Talmadge said. “There is truly a wonderful level of wholesomeness, dedication and care for child success eminent in all areas of the school’s program. I commend Jay Secor, his talented faculty, and the many great ESK families and friends who have partnered to build such a special and inspiring place to learn and grow. This call is an easy “yes” for me, and the Talmadge family members are beside ourselves with excitement to join ESK on its next great adventure.” Dr. Talmadge earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy at George Washington University in 2007 after completing his Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration at George Washington in 2001. Dr. Talmadge graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1993. ESK is honored and thrilled to welcome Dr. Talmadge, his wife Beth, and their three daughters to the community. Mrs. Talmadge is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Summit Charter School. The selection of ESK’s next Headmaster is the Board of Trustees’ highest responsibility, and the task was approached with great care and diligence. Since the spring, a board-appointed Search Committee, led by Chair, Amy Schumaker, and Chair of the Board, Cate Biggs, have engaged in a tailored, thorough and national search guided by the top-notch consultant firm Independent Educational Services. The process led to intensive interviews with several of the nation’s most qualified leaders in independent school leadership. “We are excited about Jack’s energy, enthusiasm, and credentials; we are certain he is the one to lead ESK forward,” Biggs said. “At every turn, the Search Committee was guided by the ESK Mission, the principles of Episcopal education, and the detailed list of competencies developed for the job description before the search even began. “What ultimately led us to Jack Talmadge, and distinguished him from our other strong candidates, was the combination of his breadth of experience, his thoughtful manner, and his clear articulation of sound educational ideas that are consonant with ESK’s culture and philosophy.”
The ESK Parents’ Association launched its annual fundraiser Tuesday afternoon at its first meeting of the year. This year, the PA is joining with Vienna Coffee to create a simple stream of monthly revenue for the ESK PA and, at the same time, show support of a local coffeehouse! Here’s how it works: Eighty percent of the parents at ESK drink at least 1-2 cups of coffee each day. Why not have those coffee drinking habits help support our school and our students! Instead of buying coffee from the local grocery or Starbucks, you can now buy the highest quality coffee from www.viennacoffeeco.com and $3.00 from every bag of coffee purchased will be given back to the school. If you, your spouse, or your company, are coffee drinkers, this is a great opportunity to buy coffee AND SUPPORT ESK. Go to www.viennacoffeeco.com and support ESK PA today! View this link for step-by-step directions for ordering. If you have any questions, please contact PA President Katherine Fielden at firstname.lastname@example.org