The Messenger Summer 2016

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The Messenger summer 2016


St. John’s Episcopal School is dedicated to a program of academic excellence designed to train the mind, strengthen the character, and enrich the spirit of each student in a Christian environment.

OUR EPISCOPAL TENETS We are committed to the five tenets of an Episcopal education: • Academic excellence • Corporate worship • Religious studies based on basic biblical content • Meaningful and integrated community service and service learning projects • An inclusive community where the dignity of every human being is respected


The ideal St. John’s Episcopal School graduate embodies a passion for learning and for life. This quality fuels his or her scholarship, character and connections.

SCHOLARSHIP A St. John’s graduate... • loves to learn, motivated by genuine curiosity. • brings optimism, confidence and discipline to solving problems through the use of critical thinking skills.

CHARACTER A St. John’s graduate... • strives to live with integrity. • shows tenacity and resiliency. • practices compassion, respectfulness and altruism.

CONNECTIONS A St. John’s graduate… • collaborates in a supportive, helpful fashion. • communicates clearly, correctly and gracefully. • is community- and globally-conscious.


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INSIDE ThE hEAD’S hEAD A longstanding common view of education sees a curriculum as discrete content units, organized into nice blocks. As students move through school, they are expected to stack enough of these blocks to move to the next level, repeating the pattern until they become “educated.” Called the assembly line model of education, it has dominated school philosophy for well over a century.

At St. John’s, however, we reject this approach for two primary reasons. First, it goes against cognitive science’s discoveries about the brain and learning over the past two decades. Active learning experiences—not mere knowledge acquisition—prompt the brain to form stronger, even new connections among the parts of the brain. The brain is much more than a processor. It operates as a holistic, complex, interconnected, dynamic system. So, then, should our program. Beyond academics, we embrace physical, artistic, emotional, and spiritual growth as part of nurturing students’ full human development. Second, that archaic model of education worked well enough when school could focus on information gathering. In today’s world, access to information lies just a search engine away. The ability to pose the right questions and to analyze the gathered answers is essential. It enables one to keep learning. Therefore, we value the process of learning as much as any direct result of learning. We envision learning not as a series of steps, but as a flow. As you’ll discern in articles about our readers and writers workshop approach; our third grade project-based learning unit on Ellis Island; and seventh grade history teacher Kathy Carroll’s prestigious grant and project, we emphasize the ongoing development of skills, character, and connections. We seek innovative ways to integrate more and more of our curriculum. Our teachers engage in professional development not just about subject matter, but also about pedagogy and program design. They think hard about their craft.


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Similarly, one key habit and attitude we emphasize to

Such an approach deepens, extends, and hastens learning.

students is reflection. Legendary educator John Dewey

Rather than an assembly line, a more apt metaphor for a

argued, “There is no real learning without reflection.” I

modern St. John’s education is a flywheel, which once started

agree. And reflection is a key element of St. John’s new

continuously gathers momentum. It becomes a virtuous

digital portfolios, which debuted this year. For each piece of

cycle of challenges and questions and problem solving and

work archived in their individual portfolios, students include

learning. Our students thus grow into courageous learners

a reflection on the learning process that went along with

ready to face any challenges in the future.

that project. They consider points such as what skills they developed; what challenges they overcame; and how they moved closer to the Picture of a Graduate.

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A WING AND A PRAyER february 2, 1945 – Above Montieri, Italy, in the Apennines mountain range. Dense fog covers the rocky terrain, making navigation treacherous for Air Force First Lieutenant John A. Boronko as he guides his C-47 transport carrier with 22 people aboard from Florence towards Rome. The passengers represent a diverse background and include U.S. Army nurses, an American Red Cross worker, a British officer, and 18 American servicemen. Unbeknownst to Boronko, one of the three American nurses is leaving the combat zone because she has recently discovered she and her husband, a fellow American soldier, are expecting their first child. How does this actual event from World War II connect to present day at St. John’s Episcopal School? Over 70 years and thousands of miles away, these two settings are linked,

in “Understanding Sacrifice,” she is the only teacher representing an independent school.

ENgAgINg STudENTS IN HISTORy The goal of this program is to invigorate the study of World War II and its fallen heroes in contemporary history and social studies programs in U.S. middle and high schools. Using a wide range of traditional study methods and innovative technologies, participants will capture personal stories before they are lost forever. It also gives the educators a unique opportunity for collaboration and deeper insight into what they are each doing in their classrooms. Mrs. Carroll will have the opportunity to expand her skill sets working alongside respected educators with expertise in oral history, archival repositories, and historical research. “It is such a privilege to be a part of this program and to experience the freedom of enhancing how and what I teach St. John’s students,” she said. “The interaction I have with peer educators is invaluable.” The broad scope of the program includes: • development of curriculum by the participants in a

thanks to a fascinating undertaking of seventh grade history

particular area of research in which they have a keen

teacher Kathy Tucker Carroll.


Mrs. Carroll was selected to participate in a prestigious 18-month study program sponsored by the American Battle Monuments Commission, which will impact St. John’s

• sharing their work though a local presentation, as well as participation in a national-level conference; • creation of suitable classroom collateral for their

students as well as students across the nation. One of

subject, which will be included on the National History

only 18 middle and high school educators from across

Day website and used by teachers across the country;

the U.S. selected by National History Day to participate


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• collaboration with their fellow colleagues in the program; • exploration and documentation of the life of one World War II fallen hero interred in an American cemetery in Europe; • a European study tour which includes a memorial service at four American cemeteries, where the lives of the studied heroes will be commemorated.

Short snorters were banknotes inscribed by all members flying together on a particular mission, commemorating their shared experience and destinations. This unusual


name arose from

This opportunity is a great fit for Mrs. Carroll, whose father,

slang used by pilots acknowledging their commitment to

Captain Bill D. Tucker, flew C-47s as a member of a troop

moderation in alcohol consumption. Banknotes secured

carrier squadron in Europe during World War II. In his later

from every country and region they flew into served as

years, Capt. Tucker recorded his memories, which reveal a

colorful reminders of their missions and comrades rather

serendipitous tie to Mrs. Carroll’s current-day research. Her

than time spent together in local bars. With each mission,

father kept mementos from his years of service, including

an additional banknote was secured to the last, tracing the

short snorters. This is the focus of Mrs. Carroll’s new

chronology of their steps in combat.


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Short snorters serve as a unique way to map the dangerous

Mrs. Carroll will be enriching St. John’s students’ knowledge

journeys undertaken, as no two people had the same

of World War II with these distinctive mementoes while also

experiences. They become a fascinating way to look at

publishing her lesson plans for teachers across the United

individual missions within larger campaigns and the people

States. In return, she will have access to the lesson plans

involved in them. They also give the student of history

created by the 17 other educators taking part in the program.

a deeper understanding of math, science, and geography as they consider how external factors impacted flights. Students can map short snorters to understand where a particular person travelled during the war and gain a stronger connection to these brave men and women.

fALLEN HEROES Topic-specific curriculum development is just one aspect of Mrs. Carroll’s work. Participants in the study will also research a selected member of the U. S. Armed Services or Women’s Auxiliary Corps who served in the Mediterranean campaign. The goal is to share that individual’s story to gain a deeper understanding of his or her life and how it was impacted by World War II. Mrs. Carroll has the honor of investigating First Lieutenant John Boronko. Boronko’s biography is being written by Mrs. Carroll as she conducts her research using military records, census records and interviews. “I’ve shared with my history


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students the rigorous standards that I must adhere to in this research,” shared Mrs. Carroll. “It is been very validating for them to see me follow the same steps that I require of them in their studies.” As she works to build her portrait of Boronko, Mrs. Carroll has come to realize the connections between this solider and her father were more than their bond as C-47 pilots in the same squadron flying in the same areas in Europe during World War II. In his audio recordings, her father makes mention of a tragic flight in February 1945 that ended with a crash killing all aboard near his base. Mrs. Carroll’s research lends credence to the probability that her father’s memory is that of Boronko’s demise. Boronko’s story is only one of countless tragedies of World War II, but the experience is one that will now be shared. Mrs. Carroll’s hope is that our lives, which quickly become history, are marked. “Record it before there is no one to tell it,” she pleads. Through Kathy Carroll’s passion for history, St. John’s students are learning that history is more than rote knowledge of dates, events and names. It is an empathetic understanding of humanity.

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POWERFUL COMMUNICATORS Creating a lifelong love of reading and writing begins in the earliest grades at St. John’s. From pre-kindergarten through second grade and beyond, students are guided through a very deliberate process that builds skills in engaging ways. Based on renowned expert Lucy Calkins’ work


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(which has become the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College at Columbia University), St. John’s program aids students’ growth as enthusiastic learners through a systematic approach which seamlessly builds upon skills gained at every grade level.

the page, cutting out the letter and gluing it in the middle of the page, illustrating and labeling their picture, and noting sound patterns. Rhyming patterns are explored, and during concept sorts children group like items and discuss their similarities and differences. Children learn how to differentiate sound and begin to transcribe these sounds onto paper. Soon, they begin to understand the abstract and complex concept that these sounds and symbols comprise words. Students begin to recognize simple consonant-vowelconsonant words and some begin to read. While these skills are being developed, students are also learning to become story tellers, an important stepping The journey begins in pre-k, where total immersion benefits

stone to reading comprehension. During circle time,

the development of visual recognition of letters as well

children begin to share their own fictional stories that have

as parallel sound association. From the start of school,

a beginning, middle and end. Through these accounts

students are introduced to a “letter of the week.� Their

and ensuing discussions, students build confidence in

investigation of each letter includes tactile activities which

storytelling, an important precursor to learning how to put

solidify not only their understanding of the alphabet but

their thoughts in writing. They gain an understanding of

also help cement small motor skills such as cutting, sorting

non-fiction through fact-based books which supplement

and illustrating. During the week, students record their

project-based learning projects such as their unit on birds.

activities in a journal: stamping the letter at the top of

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Pre-kindergarten teacher Monica Breeding is passionate

words into sentences. “The concept of ‘story’ begins

about her students and the adventures each new group of

to be absorbed and grows with them all year,” states

students brings. “Every pre-k class is different and every

Mrs. Andrews. “Story readers become more confident

school year holds a different journey,” shares Ms. Breeding.

story tellers who evolve into story writers.”

“We go where their curiosity takes us.”

Children learn to write through a commitment to daily

Kindergarten teacher Andrea Andrews likens the reading

journaling. Topics run the gamut from personal experiences

and writing process to the growth of a plant. “In pre-

to those suggested through classroom image cards when

kindergarten, the roots are established. In kindergarten, our

writer’s block arises. Soon, the basic structure of a story is

responsibility is to nurture the development of the shoot.

understood: characters, setting, identification of a problem,

And, if we do our job well, by the end of the year we are

and finally, resolution of the problem. Students start as

delivering a strong student who is ready to flower.”

illustrators and become authors, each in their own way.

In kindergarten, the oral skills learned in pre-k are translated to written form. With a strong investment in true literature and “good fit” books, students learn to decode and make meaning of the information they are reading. The work is completely individualized based on student need. Students first “read” picture books learning to infer and share meaning, then move on to words they can decipher supplemented with pictures, and finally begin to structure


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By the end of the year, students are ready to take on the challenge of writing, editing and publishing a story with sentences that have a beginning, middle, and end with appropriate capitalization, ending punctuation, and vowels present in words. They learn the mantra, “When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun,” as they eagerly take on editing to reinforce new skills.

Mrs. Andrews’ goal is to empower all of her students to confidently enter first grade knowing, “I am a writer. I am an author. I am an illustrator.” By first and second grade, children have the necessary sophistication to identify and differentiate styles of writing while gaining a deeper understanding of fiction and nonfiction as both readers and writers. They learn how to recognize a work of fiction or non-fiction by exploring how a book is constructed. Is there a table of contents? Do the chapters contain headings and subheadings? How do you read the text? In fiction, they learn how a reader is “hooked” through interesting settings, opening statements, comparisons, questions, or exciting adventures. Students learn to “use the lingo” in non-fiction by setting up appropriate headings and chapters and by using the right vocabulary. They can successfully apply these techniques to their own craft. In first grade, students undertake a unit called “Writing Reviews,” which provides a fun, meaningful way to explore a complex subject. For this project-based learning activity, first graders bring a favorite collection to school. They joyfully share a wide range of objects with classmates – tiny cars, rocks and minerals, small stuffed animals, seashells and plastic horses are just a few shared this year. Because students have an emotional connection to their collection, they are well equipped to identify their favorite object, deemed “Best in Show,” but initially have a hard time explaining why. Students learn how to cohesively share their reasoning behind their selection, putting their thoughts into words. Classmates are randomly paired up, discuss the favored objects, and then write a bolstering argument outlining their reasons for either agreeing or disagreeing with the selection. A follow-up step is to identify a different classmate in agreement with the selection of a personal “Best in Show” and record their corroborating statement

“Small moments” is a unit that second grade students particularly enjoy. They are encouraged to think about a memory of an event that took place in a very short period of time. As an example, teachers share a small moment that has occurred during the course of the school day that all of the children witnessed. Sometimes that moment is the experience of a child losing a tooth or perhaps the unexpected loss of a shoe on the playground. As first grade teacher Katie Specht explains, “We encourage students to think about the seed rather than the entire watermelon.” Through this exercise, students learn how to determine what the important facts and feelings are surrounding that event and how to both write about the experience and share it with classmates.

for use in writing. Students become journalists who must

Second grade teacher Donna Sands reflects, “We are

accurately reflect statements in the appropriate style using

launching our students on a wonderful journey of discovery.

quotations. Once this project is completed, students are

With an understanding of the connections between

adept at understanding the necessary steps in forming and

reading and writing, St. John’s students become powerful

writing a personal review and can more easily recognize and

communicators for life.”

punctuate quotations.

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ExPERIENCING ELLIS ISLAND America. The promise of new beginnings this word stirred in millions of hopeful immigrants arriving in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Eager travelers crossed the vast Atlantic Ocean alongside people from countries throughout Europe, speaking dozens of different languages and representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Most spoke only a few words of English. It was a difficult and fraught-filled journey of overwhelming proportions, endured by most in cramped quarters with the very real possibility of life-threatening illness and the troubling uncertainty of acceptance

questions, and develop empathy for our ancestors. I ask students to consider the questions, “Who are you? How did your family get here? Why are you ‘you’?” With the study of Ellis Island, students come to understand the unique qualities that make the United States what it is, as they investigate the diverse cultures and perspectives our ancestors brought with them. And because a remarkable half of U.S. citizens can trace their family history to an ancestor who passed through Ellis Island, it becomes an exploration that directly touches their family. It provides a jumping off place for discussion of America’s heritage as a country of immigrants.

into what was hoped to be a new homeland. Their first

Students begin their exploration of immigration with

destination: Ellis Island.

consideration of a driving question which is prominently

Who were these people? Why did they come? These are just two of the questions St. John’s third graders explored indepth through a unique study unit this spring. Curriculum for social studies and reading during the month of May has long been tied together focusing on non-fiction with an exploration of immigration and inventors. Third grade social studies and reading teacher Cindy Isbell wanted to develop a means of more fully integrating students into a complex and intriguing investigation. Collaborating with Technology Integration Specialist Debbie Carona, they spent a year creating a project based learning (PBL) experience that would strengthen students’ connections with the past. Mrs. Isbell explains, “It is my goal to help students gain a richer appreciation of history; to ask the important


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displayed in the classroom for the course of their study, “How can we, as historians, re-create the journey of European immigrants as they travel through Ellis Island?” With this question, the exploration begins. Students research reasons why citizens of a dozen European countries immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island. Randomly grouped into units originating from different regions, students work together to uncover the impetus for migration from these areas to the United States. At the end of the week, students become teachers with each group sharing their findings with the class in an oral presentation that includes visuals. Through these presentations, students realize the shared reasons for immigration including poverty, famine, religious persecution, and the opportunity for a new beginning. Each student records every group’s findings,

totals the reasons by category, and creates a bar graph to illustrate the results. They also develop three math questions from these facts to supplement their understanding of the graphed results. Building upon their findings, students are assigned a persona. They receive a brief written description of their character including name, date of birth, country of origin, and work skills, if applicable. They will also learn how much money they have available for their trip. Students may discover they will be traveling with their family, or may find themselves to be a lone traveler. Using this factual information, students analyze the journey they face. How will they travel to the United States? What, if anything, will they take with them? Where is the port from which they will depart? How long will it take to get to America? What is it like aboard ship? What is the value of their currency in U.S. dollars? They explore these topics and their feelings in a daily journal using the Book Creator app. They also create passports, which will become important later in the study. Students enjoyed a visit from two St. John’s grandparents – John Christensen (sixth grader Ava and kindergartner Axel) and Rudd Marlowe (third grader Evelyn Berg and first grader Liam Berg) – who shared their families’ experiences at Ellis Island. Both gentlemen shared family artifacts and photographs in an entertaining and educational presentation for the entire grade. Mr. Christensen spoke from personal memories of his childhood journey from Copenhagen, Denmark, alongside his parents, to their new home in California. Mr. Christensen described the journey and living conditions for attentive students. Mr. Marlowe entertained them with his family history and the journey his ancestors made from Ireland to Florida. This presentation enhanced students’ understanding of history that they could appreciate more fully. The study unit concludes with an exhilarating simulation of the Ellis Island experience. Students receive their final instructions the day before their arrival. Third graders are asked to pack their belongings that evening and bring them to school for their journey. They are cautioned to consider their choices carefully and to bring an accessory or two that

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represents who they are. What do they need for their new

thus far. They must pass both a medical inspection and legal

careers? What is most important to them? What do their

exams. If they had been in close contact with someone with

children need? What is the most appropriate way to pack

a cough, they are in danger of being detained. Forget their

their treasures? They are warned not to forget their passport

date of birth? They will definitely be detained. Sometimes

and money.

money exchanges hands to insure safe passage to the next

On an overcast, unseasonably cool afternoon, the newest group of hopeful immigrants arrives at the “dock” just outside St. John’s front entrance. The mood created by this somber weather weighs on them as they huddle as a mass

station. All are hoping for the coveted stamp on their passport that allows them to move on. Some are approved; some must attend a hearing by the Board of Special Inquiry to resolve questions about their health or paperwork.

of humanity awaiting entry. Lower School hallways and

They are then directed to the Stairs of Separation where,

classrooms have been transformed into the nine stations

for the purposes of the simulation, immigrants who are

that comprise the intake process at Ellis Island.

approved are allowed to descend the stairs and go to the

Students are directed to fall into single file as they enter the building and move up the long main corridor. At the top, they are quizzed individually by the “tagger” who checks their names against the ship’s manifest and compares it against their passport, renaming some to give them Americanized names. With name tags in place around their necks, students proceed one-by-one to baggage check where their belongings are thoroughly examined and some are confiscated. A cacophony of noise quickly builds as they are questioned and finally directed to the next station. Students make their way down the length of the early childhood corridor and are directed up the stairs to the Registry Room. They are examined and questioned by the team whose responsibility is to weed out those with obvious “defects” – those who smile a bit too broadly or whose pulse is a little

money exchange counter and then on to the railroad ticket station before finding their way to Kissing Point, where they may or may not be rejoined with family members who are somewhere within Ellis Island seeking their own approval. Those who are rejected must repeat the entire process starting with disembarkment, mimicking what would have happened had they returned to America a second time. Those who are lucky enough to reach the money exchange counter must be adept with the conversion rates they have learned in math to discern whether or not the money changer has given them equivalent U.S. dollars. And at the railroad ticket station they must accurately calculate the cost of their tickets and verify whether or not they have received correct change. Most of the immigrants realize when they have been shortchanged and all choose not to challenge the agent.

too quick. Where are they from? Where are they going? Do

By the end of the simulation, Kissing Point is brimming

they have a job? One hears the responses, some hearty and

with 48 children who are told that the required time for

firm, some barely whispered: “Greece.” “Italy.” “Springfield,

residency has now passed and all have been approved to

Massachusetts.” “I’ll work in a weaving factory.” “I’m from

take the Oath of Allegiance, which will be the first step

Russia and I’m going to Wisconsin.”

towards becoming an American citizen. Understanding the

Most make it through, but a few are sent directly to the detainee area in the Great Hall. Those who pass the Registry Room stop next at the Human Aid Society to scribble a quick note to relatives back in the homeland announcing they have arrived. From here, these immigrants move to the Great Hall, the most daunting part of the experience

significance of this moment, they quietly file one-by-one into the Great Hall where they are given a small American flag and are issued the oath by Head of School Mark Crotty. At the end of the ceremony, students burst into joyous celebration. They have learned a lot, not only about immigration, but also about themselves.

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The year was 1946. World War II had come to its spectacular end just a few months before, and Americans were jubilant and optimistic. With servicemen and women coming home to Dallas and starting new families, the White Rock area seemed poised to explode with growth. Businesses and home builders foresaw significant opportunity here, but so did a few Episcopalian families who were used to driving all the way downtown for church. They were committed to Episcopal worship, and this neighborhood needed a church. Through the creative energy and can-do spirit of three women, including Marian Harris and Celeste Askew, a group of families began to gather on Sundays for morning prayer and occasionally, when a clergyman could be obtained, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. By the end of that year, the young St. John’s church had grown to 85 people, officially joined the Diocese of Dallas, and called its first priest,


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Fr. Theodore McCrae. In a few short years, the church was on such a firm footing that a new initiative could be undertaken – again it relied on the commitment of the church community, the burgeoning opportunity of the White Rock Lake area, and the extraordinary energy of two women: Laurie Mosely and Fleta Burke. When Fr. McCrae presented their idea to the Vestry of St. John’s, it was an easy decision – Yes! We have an opportunity; we are committed to the goal; and we have the energy to put into it. Let’s start a school here!

and growth; that determined commitment is being modeled and evoked; and that creative, can-do energy is driving education in this place. As St. John’s Episcopal Church celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, it’s good to look back on what has made us who we are and how we have been carried through the years. This potent combination of opportunity, commitment, and creative energy springs from deep in the ethos of both the church community and the school community. Not only do we share a building and a history, but we also overlap in our approach to Christian education. This historic connection keeps both institutions on-track and is worthy of all celebration. The beauty of this approach is that it resists being boxed up and left in the past. We are a forwardlooking church and school. We keep our awareness open to new That was the moment our school was born. From the first

opportunities; we are unafraid to throw ourselves into

class of 28 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students,

new initiatives; and we offer the best of our creative

successive generations of parents, students and teachers

energies with a can-do spirit to see the work of education

have built carefully and creatively upon the foundation of

go forward. We do this not because of our own inherent

those early years. But those three elements – opportunity,

greatness, but because the goal itself has the power to

commitment and creative energy – have been the hallmark

compel us. We have fallen in love with the ideal of a quality

of our school’s spirit all the way along. You can see it

Christian education. We look back over more than sixty

today in the dedication of the Parents Association and the

years of alumni and see how much an impact it can make.

Crusader Club. It blossoms in events like our yearly Carnival

We look outward and see a world badly in need of people

and teacher appreciation luncheon. You can see the same

who look like our Picture of a Graduate, people who will

spirit in the work our students do – simply stroll down the

love learning for their whole lifetime. We look upward to

hallways in the middle of the school year and look at the

Heaven, sensible of both gratitude for what God has done

projects on the walls, or watch the musical productions,

and responsibility for all that remains to be done, and our

or read their papers. It is abundantly clear to see that each

souls raise the cry, “Come, children, and listen to me, and I

student represents an exciting opportunity for learning

will teach you to honor the Lord.” (Psalm 34:11)

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At the end of August, 16 seventh grade students, alongside

annual Bike for the Kids ride around White Rock Lake.

a group of parents and St. John’s alumni, packed meals for

Fifth graders, their teachers and some parents rode around

Feed My Starving Children. During the two-hour shift at

the lake as a fun team-building activity to kick-start the

Parish Episcopal School, volunteers measured, weighed,

promotion of the fifth grade service project with Mi

packaged and collectively prepared over 73,000 meals for

Escuelita. Students donated children’s picture book for Mi

distribution. What a great way to start the school year by

Escuelita preschoolers.

Friday, October 2, marked the fifth grade team’s ninth

using their energy to give back to others.

TEDxKIDS: Pictured from left: Sam Bhasin, Mekhi Parker, Ethan Barhydt, John Hibbs, Jack Carroll, Ollantay Avila, Maddie Claybrook, and Briana Niemyski.


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ST. JOHN’S y guIdES COmmuNITy SERvICE The St. John’s Y Guides group, Wishing Stars, participated in a community service project in October at Shoes for Orphan Souls. The team laced and prepped 400+ shoes to be sent to children in need across the world.

TEdxKIdS Eight eighth graders and three teachers attended the TEDxKIDS Conference sponsored by SMU. The theme this year was “Unexpected.”

eighth graders Ethan Barhydt and Olivia Martin. Zajicek

In order to attend, each student had to respond creatively

competed in the Dallas County Private School Spelling Bee

to the prompt: What is the most unexpected thing you have

February 16.

learned in school this year? Speakers ranged from young poets to aspiring musicians, from a high school rover team who won the Neil Armstrong Award at the 2015 NASA competition to a Living Roof team who envisioned, designed and engineered a new roof space for their high school. The conference proved to be a high-energy, inspirational experience for all who attended.

SPELLINg BEE WINNER Out of 23 competing Middle School students, eighth grader Annie Zajicek prevailed at the St. John’s Episcopal School Spelling Bee. Zajicek won in the 11th round by spelling the word “hegemony” correctly after battling it out for two rounds with sixth grader Carter Trupiano and

THIRd gRAdE CuB SCOuTS COLLECT gIfTS fOR dALLAS CASA As part of a Cub Scout requirement, third grade scouts delivered Angel Tree gifts to Dallas CASA. Their project was recognized in NeighborsGo. We commend their efforts to help children in foster care.

gEOgRAPHy BEE WINNERS The winner of the St. John’s edition of the National Geographic Geography Bee is sixth grader Andrew Herring. Competing in a field of 30 Middle School students, Herring won the Bee after a final round against sixth grader Camden Reeves and seventh grader Matthew Schopmeyer.

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St. John’s seventh grade field trip highlighted the three major

pictured) presented their invention robot at the Area 10

monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam -

Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Robotics

as part of an integrated study in both religion and world

competition. They won first place in the Intermediate

history classes. Students at the IANT Quranic Academy

Inventions contest. Under the guidance of Technology

hosted our students by beautifully reciting passages of

Integration Specialist Gwendolyn Chestnut, the group

the Quran and gifting each student with his or her name

designed, built and programmed a LEGO EV3 robot. Their

written in exquisite Arabic calligraphy. Next, students toured

invention is to aide in the reduction of labor and time given

Temple Emanu-El and learned about the rich traditions

to searching for diamonds. The robot would scan the mining

surrounding Jewish holidays and got to see a Torah up close

area to locate the diamonds and report back the location, so

in the Archive Room. Docents helped students understand

fewer people are needed to search the area by hand.

the soaring worship space in the Olan Sanctuary and answered questions about Jewish faith and culture. After a stop at NorthPark for a quick lunch, students headed to Uptown to visit St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Fr. John Anderson explained the role of iconography in the Orthodox tradition while the students took in the color and beauty expressed through these sacred images. Fr. Thorpe and Mrs. Carroll led a similar tour of our own worship spaces prior to the trip and conducted a debrief session to answer questions and discuss common themes among each of the three faith traditions.


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Seventh grade students Jake Darlak, Judah Powell, Cameron Prawdzik and Braydon Giangiulio (not



The Science Fair is always fun at St. John’s!

St. John’s students raised a remarkable $20,655 to help fight

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

heart disease and stroke. This year the Jump Rope for Heart

mOuSETRAP CAR 1st - Jack Blacker 2nd - Liana Gobush 3rd - Andrew Laczkowski 3rd - Dylan Rubin Honorable Mention - Camden Scofield

campaign was dedicated to someone dear to our school, Fr. Robert Odom, husband of fourth grade teacher Mary Odom. Many of us know Fr. Odom from the numerous times he has filled in during chapel. This winter Fr. Odom suffered a stroke. Those with him at the time were able to quickly identify his symptoms, and he was immediately hospitalized. Because of the quick action, we are grateful


to report that Fr. Odom has returned to full activities with

1st - Camden Scofield and Dylan Rubin (team)

no deficits. This year’s top fundraiser (for the second year

2nd - Briana Niemyski and Liana Gobush (team)

in a row) was third grader Aidan Moran. Mrs. Cowan’s

3rd - Greer Leonard

kindergarten class had the highest percentage of student

3rd - Grant Gilker and Diego Avila (team)

participation and the highest average amount raised per

Honorable Mention - Jack Carroll and John Hibbs (team)

student. Winners of the Jump Rope for Heart poster

Honorable Mention - Alyssa Manganello

contest were Larkin Wigley (1st place), Claire Jordan

Honorable Mention - Eric Freudigman

(2nd place), Otto Heppe (3rd place), and Helena Heppe

BRIdgE 1st - Olivia Hartin 2nd - Briana Niemyski 3rd - Anna Savant

(4th place). Great job, Heart Heroes! [Submission by Larkin Wigley, 3rd grade. Fr. and Mrs. Odom celebrate the success of JRFH with Mrs. Kelly]

TRAdITIONAL 1st - Annie Stewart 2nd - Annie Zajicek 3rd - Maddie Claybrook RuBE gOLdBERg - 7TH gRAdE 1st - Claire Borman, Sophia Roper 2nd - Meg Dillon, Stella Kastanek, Emma Ortman 3rd - Gabby Juett, Phoebe Racz Honorable Mention - Braydon Giangiulio, Jake Darlak RuBE gOLdBERg - 8TH gRAdE 1st - Knox Thornhill and John Pattee 2nd - Matt Goldman and Peyton Brown 2nd - Sunny Courtwright and Cambridge Bender

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mATH COuNTS On February 6, St. John’s sent eight talented math students


from sixth and seventh grades to the 2016 MathCounts

During Lent, St. John’s students and faculty brought pocket

Competition at SMU. Accompanied by Mr. Laffiteau and

change to be donated to the Nina Waits School in Uganda.

parent chaperones, our students competed against schools

The school is named after the mother-in-law of our own

such as St. Mark’s, Parish, Hockaday and Christ the King.

Cindy Waits, long-time substitute teacher, alumni parent,

The following students practiced each week during lunch

and pillar of St. John’s church. The church’s offering on

or recess for the two months leading up to the competition:

Palm Sunday was combined with the students’ funds to

Henry Adams, Carter Bakewell, Toby Barrett,

help buy seeds and agricultural equipment to help create a

Andrew Herring, Jon-Carlos Jones, Tate Laczkowski,

sustainable food source for the villagers and school children.

Camden Reeves, Aidan Stubbings and Carter Trupiano.

On Buddy Day, students made greeting cards to be sent

Mr. Laffiteau praised the boys: “I’m very thankful to them

to the school along with the funds. It is rewarding that our

for their hard work, overall performance in this year’s

entire school community can work together to support

competition, and the even greater prospects for next year.

another school, not so different from ours, thousands of

Their attitude, effort and enthusiasm were always on display

miles away.

in practice and in the competition itself.”


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they had to act it out. The DI team members are pictured here left to right: Matthew Schopmeyer, Hayden Barnett, Haley Coleman, Emma Ortman and Grant Gilker.

duKE uNIvERSITy TALENT IdENTIfICATION PROgRAm The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) identifies high-ability students and invites them to take college entrance exams during seventh grade. Twentytwo seventh graders qualified to take the ACT or SAT as part of Duke TIP. Of those, 19 students participated, and the following 10 students received state-level recognition based on their test scores: Carter Bakewell, John Michael Birdwell, Ben Cooper, Meg Dillon, Grant Gilker, Spence


Gilker, Jon-Carlos Jones, Stella Kastanek, Matthew Schopmeyer and Tessa Wilson.

The St. John’s Destination Imagination team, under the

Receiving Duke TIP state-level recognition as a seventh

leadership of Joy Jaqua, came in first place in their division

grader means that on at least one of the sub-tests, a student

for the Instant Challenge. In fact, they scored a perfect

ranked in approximately the 50th percentile or better

score! This particular challenge is about thinking creatively

when compared to the national percentile rankings for

on your feet. They had about three minutes to figure out the

high school juniors and seniors taking the ACT and SAT.

person, place, and activity being described and then develop

Congratulations to all of our seventh graders who were

a one-minute script that included those elements. Then,

invited, chose to participate or received recognition!

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Congratulations to the newest members of the St. John’s

Twenty-one Middle School students were inducted into the

chapter! Back row: Tessa Wilson, Alex Stalcup, Rob

St. John’s chapter of the National Junior Honor Society

Williamson, Sophia Roper, Sophia Pumpelly, Davis

(NJHS) in May. NJHS is a national organization found in

Chen; middle row: Meg Dillon, Braydon Giangiulio,

all 50 states and serving students who have demonstrated

Stella Kastanek, Luke Crain, Abigail Sarpong, Jake

excellence in scholarship, leadership, service and character.

Darlak; front row: Emma Ortman, Sophia Speer, Ben

In addition to recognizing students’ achievements, it

Cooper, Claire Borman, Colton Speer; not pictured:

challenges students to further develop by participating in

Grant Gilker, Spence Gilker, Matthew Schopmeyer,

school activities and community service.

Sam Teachout.


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• Fifth grader Elle Chavis received an award for

Forty-seven St. John’s third through eighth graders

“Outstanding Achievement in Asking Insightful

participated in the Model UN conference at Brookhaven


College May 13-14. Model UN is sponsored by fourth grade

• The seventh grade team had all resolutions pass. Carter

teacher Cindy Fields with support from parent volunteers

Bakewell was mentioned for great speaking and Grant

at each grade level. Third graders act as messengers at the

Gilker received the award for “Debate and Diplomacy,”

conference. Fourth through eighth graders spend the school

as well as two additional mentions for great participation

year preparing for the conference by researching and writing

and for the most unique resolution.

resolutions from the viewpoint of their chosen countries. They present and defend their resolutions at the two-day conference. The following students received recognition: • Fourth grader Hayden Elliott, representing Sweden, won the award for “Best Delegate - Special Recognition for Diplomacy, Passion and Preparation” in the UNEP committee.

• Sixth graders Giselle Sethi, Nate Carley and Haley Coleman received honorable mention awards. Giselle’s topic was education for girls, Nate’s was on defending LGBT rights, and Haley’s was on Syrian refugees. • Eighth grader Jack Carroll was recognized for his business management in the Security Council.

Fourth grader Hayden Elliott accepts Best Delegate Award.

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EIGhTh GRADE SERvICE LEARNING In their final trimester at St. John’s, our eighth graders embark on explorations that blend many of the best elements of a St. John’s education—servant leadership, collaboration, meaningful and relevant learning, and a unique experience—to create a fitting capstone to their education. Students work in small groups to research community issues, volunteer to address a need, reflect on their experiences, and present the results. This year, students served the elderly, practiced speaking English and enjoyed cultural exchanges with refugees, learned about and addressed hunger, evaluated the endangerment of the Blackland Prairie, and enhanced the literacy skills of inner-city children.


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LITERACy: Impacting the Lives of Our Elementary School Partners Every Monday, we spent time at two neighborhood schools. First, we went to Reinhardt Elementary School. There we read, spelled, wrote and talked with our first grade partners. Later, we would go to Hexter Elementary where we tutored kindergarteners and first graders. We worked with them to improve their reading, spelling and math skills. This has been a great experience for all of us because we got to meet and know these really great kids. Shared by Sam Bhasin, Eric Freudigman and Jake Milkereit

BLACKLANd PRAIRIE: “2500 Steps to the Prairie”

The Blackland Prairie group participated in the Native

In the Blackland Prairie service learning group, we worked

Cultural Center on White Rock Lake. Eighth graders had

to educate the public on the disappearing prairie that is so

an information booth at the event; students spoke about

close to all of us. We have a contract with the city allowing

invasive plant species threatening the biodiversity of the

us to work on our own plot of prairie near White Rock

remnant Blackland Prairie at White Rock Lake. St. John’s

Lake. Our goal was to get rid of invasive plant species that

has been nurturing this fragile relic prairie for the past three

are detrimental, such as Queen Anne’s lace, Johnson grass,

years as our eighth graders have informed and educated

and saplings. We also worked with the St. John’s second

the public about how to save this beautiful, threatened

graders to make seed balls so they can grow a part of the

ecosystem. Shared by Sunny Courtwright

Plants and Prairies Day on April 30 at the Bath House

prairie in their own backyards.

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HuNgER: Hunger Is Bigger Than It Seems, but Small Changes make a Big difference

to bring music to nursing home residents with dementia.

In our service learning group, we have helped people in

with residents to keep them company and listen to music

Dallas and in other parts of the world meet their most basic

with them. It was such a great experience when they started

need for survival: food. We have toured local food kitchens,

to react to the music; they sing, dance and – for a moment

delivered meals to the elderly, and learned what people in

– return to the people they were when they were young.

Dallas are doing to help with hunger. With our own hands

Our mission was to bring this kind of joy to all residents

we packaged 2,160 meals for starving people in Honduras

suffering from dementia that we visited.

through Kids Against Hunger. We have learned how hunger

Shared by Maddie Claybrook

is connected to many other issues: poverty, wages, politics, health, food production and obesity. With help from the Dallas community, we are trying to do our part to help bring an end to world hunger. Submitted by Ben Kraus

muSIC ANd THE ELdERLy: Tapping into the mind One Song at a Time Our group partnered with alumnus J.P. Maloney (’03) and the organization he co-founded, Music Is Our Weapon,


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Every Monday we visited a nursing home and were paired

REfugEE gROuP: making Our Home Their Home The refugee service learning group visited Gateway of Grace, a church-led organization that strives to help the refugees in a loving and kind way - in hopes of creating a better life for them. Every Monday, we met with the refugees and taught them English through engaging activities. While speaking with the refugees, we received the opportunity to learn more about the various cultures from which they came and the life-changing journeys they will never forget. Shared by Anne Stewart

THANK yOu! We offer special thanks to the community partners that helped make this meaningful capstone experience a success. Gateway of Grace

Visiting Nurses Association - Meals on Wheels

Kids Against Hunger

Katie Dickinson, Senior Source

Dabney Dwyer, Episcopal Diocese of Dallas

Leigh Ann Ellis

Marc Jacobson, Texas Hunger Initiative

City of Dallas, Parks and Recreation

JP Maloney (’03), Music Is our Weapon

Texas Master Naturalists

CC Young Memorial Retirement Community

Reinhardt Elementary School

St. Philip’s School and Community Center

Hexter Elementary School

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The Alumni Visual Arts Series is an important celebration

III visits St. John’s, bringing photographs and tales of

of St. John’s alumni. During 2015-16, we had the pleasure

his extensive travels. He charms students with his stories,

of featuring two artists in two separate exhibitions: Joseph

pictures and presence. This year’s exhibition took us to the

Racz ’12 and Adrienne Lichliter ’01. [Self Portrait, oil on

countryside and castles of the United Kingdom. Mr. Caruth

board, by Joe Racz and To Be Continued, 2015, mixed media

shared a special presentation with the seventh graders as

by Adrienne Lichliter]

part of their world history curriculum. [Inveraray Castle,

Each spring, Dallas philanthropist W. W. (“Bill”) Caruth,

taken by Bill Caruth in 2016.]


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EIgHTH gRAdE muSICAL Congratulations to the eighth grade cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Working under the direction of drama specialist Tom Parr and music teacher Jean Haynes, students performed four shows to packed houses.

SEvENTH gRAdE muSICAL Congratulations to the seventh grade cast of The Lion King. Working under the direction of drama specialist Tom Parr, music teacher Jean Haynes, and Gwendolyn Chestnut, students performed four sold-out shows. All productions received a big roar from the audiences. Amazing performance!

EIgHTH gRAdE gIfT Of gRATITudE The Class of 2016’s legacy to St. John’s is the addition of a mural that they designed and created under the supervision of Martin Delabano. Comprised of six panels, the mural illustrates St. John’s Picture of a Graduate through faith and fellowship, sports and extracurricular activities, history, science, English and math. The installation is located on the staircase wall near the third and fourth grade classrooms, and will serve as a daily reminder of the memories and values held dear by the Class of 2016. Thank you, Class of 2016 for such a special gift.

Unveiling of the eighth grade Gift of Gratitude

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SPORTS Sports is a strong analogy for life, and our student athletes represent the resilience, character and dedication that St. John’s endeavors to instill in its student body -Coach Thor herrin St. John’s student athletes enjoy a wide range of sports during the fall, winter and spring seasons thanks to the dedication of talented coaches and parents. We are proud of our students’ dedication and sportsmanship! Here are the highlights of this year’s programs:

CROSS COuNTRy St. John’s cross country team, under the leadership of coach Kevin Jennings, enjoyed a successful fall season and established itself as a strong competitor amongst fellow middle school teams. The team participated in three invitationals held at Norbuck Park and sponsored by Luke’s Locker. The races presented not only strong competition but also challenging courses for the Crusaders. Eighth graders Jack Carroll and Alan Benitez provided admirable leadership on and off the course, both improving their times as the season progressed. Sixth grade standout Aidan Stubbings brought much attention to the St. John’s team, finishing first overall in two of the team’s three races, and impressive efforts from Braydon Gianguilio, Sophia Pumpelly, Jack DeGroote, and Mary Grace Martin propelled the team’s momentum all season. Runners Jake Darlak, Cameron Prawdzik, Nate Carley, Carter Trupiano, and Ford Ellis all beat their personal times and delivered a promising indicator of the team’s future potential. The cross country team looks to build upon its accomplishments this fall and anticipates another great season in 2016.


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This fall was St. John’s second year to participate in flag

The IAA soccer team, composed of 18 talented fifth

football. The fifth and sixth graders, under the leadership

through eighth graders and coached by Janet Kelly, had a

of Devin Darnell, had a very successful season with a

very successful season in a number of ways. Many students

record of 6-3, losing to the eventual league champion in

played St. John’s soccer for the very first time, several of

the semi-final game. The sixth graders led from experience

them eighth graders. Players not only improved in skill

and helped the fifth graders learn and advance quickly.

development and ball-handling, but also their understanding

Coach Darnell said, “The boys worked together really well,

of strategy and rules.

learning how to strategize and play as a team. Every player

Demonstrating exceptional play during the season were

contributed to the win and played with great enthusiasm

eighth graders Jack Blacker, Peyton Brown and Knox

while learning the game.” Way to go, Elijah Baker, Jet

Thornhill, who represented the team at the IAA all-star

Beck, Andrew Burns, Matthew Dubiel, Warren Hamilton,

game. Casey Cross, Arlo Kadane, Tomas Sendra and

Ian Henderson, Collin Hopkins, Walker Houdek, August

Julian Sjouken took many shots on goal and scored often

Jaeggli, Tate Laczkowski, William Langdoc, Maxwell

as strikers for the team. Outstanding midfielders were Ben

Litle, Pace Maxwell, Quinn Pizza, Camden Reeves, Jude

Cooper, Ian Wilson, Andrew Herring, Emma Sochia

Terrell and Steel Wylie.

and Christopher Row. Defensive players Mehki Parker,

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Diego Avila, Zane Moseley and Greyson Ingrum shielded opponent opportunities throughout the season, and goalies Davis Chen and Cooper Moseley did a great job defending the goal.

TAPS SOCCER Coach John Walker’s TAPS Soccer team consisted of five eighth graders, 10 seventh graders and two sixth graders. The team only lost one regular season game. Across the season they outscored their opponents 34-5. They lost in the finals 1-0 to a much more experienced team. Next year looks great with eight returning starters. The fall 2015 players were Sophie Andersson, Bella Collins, Emilye Dullye, Eric Freudigman, Spence Gilker, Gabby Juett,


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Stella Kastanek, Andrew Laczkowski, William Leake, Will McVicker, John Pattee, Abigail Sarpong, Leslie Schopmeyer, Matthew Schopmeyer, Sophia Sjouken, Carter Walters and Tessa Wilson.


semifinals where, unfortunately, they lost a close match to

Our IAA volleyball team is a young team with incredible

the eventual champion. We commend the players for their

potential that played against primarily seventh and eighth

hard work throughout the season: Kathleen Armstrong,

grade teams. Even so, coach Lauren Loerch said the girls

Claire Bailey, Claudia Hamilton, Isala Kice, Hagen Lowe,

had a very successful season. Upon reaching the playoffs

Mia Mason, Mary Lou McMillan, Sophia Roper, Giselle

they beat the number one seed while advancing to the

Sethi, Anna Shirey, Dylan Stalcup and Mackenzie Tyler.

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Coach Alex O’Sullivan’s MAL Blue volleyball team had

St. John’s TAPS volleyball had a strong run, finishing

a wonderful season. Whether winning or losing, the girls

the regular season in a three-way tie for first place, along

worked hard every game and worked even harder to support

with Parish and Prince of Peace. Though they defeated

and encourage one another. They made it to the second

Parish in the regular season, they were unable to repeat

round of the playoffs. The coach relayed how proud she

the performance in the semifinals, losing to the eventual

was of their accomplishments. Congratulations to Eva

TAPS champion team. Coach Thor Herrin praised his

Braasch, Elisa Carroll, Grace Hall, Sarah Katherine Lowe,

team: “The girls worked extremely hard, showing dedication

Ellie Phillips, Cameron Taylor and Katy Timmins.

and commitment to a vigorous practice schedule. They

mAL gOLd vOLLEyBALL The MAL Gold volleyball team had a great season. While they suffered a few losses, they made progress with a variety

remained dedicated to each other and the sport. The team should celebrate its third place position and its commitment to excellence and the overcoming of obstacles.”

of skills and finished with a winning record. Coach David

All eighth graders on the TAPS team – Liana Gobush,

Laffiteau said, “We knew that other teams had many players

Greer Leonard, Lena Payne and Gabby Stall – earned a

that were older and taller than ours, yet this only served to

place in the all-star game. The other TAPS team members

improve our learning curve. I am very proud of all the girls

were seventh graders Meg Dillon, Sophia Speer and Alex

in putting together a fine season this fall.” Ava Christensen,

Stalcup, and sixth graders Alexis Ikemba, Claire Jordan,

Fia Collins, Katye Dullye, Mary Cate Houk, Ella Roper,

Emma Slusher and Myles Smith.

Julia Stall and Isabella Watters were the members of the St. John’s MAL Gold volleyball team.

BASKETBALL An outstanding number of athletes participated in basketball in 2015-16 allowing St. John’s to field a total of nine basketball teams. All teams and individual players demonstrated excellent progress in skill development, teamwork and understanding of the game. The TAPS Boys Blue team boasted a 14-2 record and lost on a last second shot in the championship finals. The TAPS Boys Gold also had a great season advancing all the way to the semifinals. The IAA Boys, a team of 6th and 7th graders, played all season against 7th and 8th grade opponents and advanced to the semifinals in the playoffs. The two 6th grade teams, 6th Grade Blue and 6th Grade Gold, both demonstrated great potential for the future with 6th Grade Gold advancing to the quarterfinals in the playoffs and 6th Grade Blue advancing to the first round. The 5th grade boys demonstrated much grit as they lost in the semifinals of the playoffs by two points to an all 6th grade team that eventually won the championship. The girls’ teams were also highly successful this year. The TAPS girls advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs as did the 6th grade girls. The 5th grade girls demonstrated much promise in advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs.


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success in the sport. All golfers participated in Tuesday

We had strong representation in tennis this year. Twenty-

clinics led by the teaching pros at DAC. In addition golfers

two students played in at least one competitive match. The

practiced or played another time during the week. Members

top eight participated in the final TAPS tournament, in

of the advanced group and the intermediate group were

which we placed third. Thanks to Kathleen Armstrong,

invited to play in several tournaments.

Callie Barrow, Olivia Beasley, Paisley Brown, Ava Christensen, Russell Coleman, Jake Darlak, Emilye Dullye, Katye Dullye, Ford Ellis, Jordan Gillette, Greyson Ingrum, Arlo Kadane, William Kulas, Charlie Leake, Luca Lombardi, Mary Lou McMillan, Matthew Muscato, Cameron Prawdzik, Leslie Schopmeyer, and Sofia Sjouken for representing St. John’s so well!

gOLf The golf team fielded twenty-three members this season of varying skill levels. Golfers were divided into three skill groups by Coaches Janet Kelly, Devin Darnell, and Steve Upham enabling each golfer to make progress and have

On April 7, seven members of the team participated in a 9-hole tournament at Canyon Creek hosted by Parish. Sixth grade golfer Mary Lou McMillan placed second among the girls. St. John’s also participated in the Winston Tournament at Sherrill Park, the POPCS Tournament at Indian Creek, and the McKinney Christian Tournament at Stonebridge Ranch. Ten members of the golf team participated in a Par 3 tournament against Good Shepherd. St. John’s won the tournament, winning two matches, losing one match and tying one match. In a later 5-hole tournament at Tenison Park, Good Shepherd beat St. John’s in match play.

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The golf season ended with two fun tournaments, the intra-


squad tournament and the Crusader/parent tournament.

The IAA track team participated in an all-day track meet at

Fifteen golfers competed against each other in the intra-

Parish Episcopal School the last week of April. The girls

squad tournament. The results were: first place - Grant

team finished in 3rd place overall while the boys team came

Gilker, second place - Rob Williamson, third place - Mary

in 5th place. Stella Kastanek took 1st place in the long

Lou McMillan.

jump. Bella Collins won 1st place honors in discus. Sophie

Ten student golfers and their adult partners enjoyed an afternoon on the links at The Practice Tee for the annual Crusader/Parent Par 3 Tournament. Golfers played an alternating shots format. Winners of the tournament were: first place - Rob and Steve Williamson, second place Mary Lou and Morgan McMillan, third place - Steel Wylie and Steve Upham.


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Andersson demonstrated her distance running skills with 3rd place in the 800M and 2nd place in the 1600M. Claire Jordan earned 2nd place in the 400M. Girls relay teams finished in 3rd place in both the 4x200 (Bella Collins, Alexis Ikemba, Gabby Juett, Stella Kastanek) and 4x400 (Sophie Andersson, Claire Borman, Elisa Carroll, Claire Jordan). Top 3 finishes for the boys included 2nd place won by Jack Carroll in the 800M and Sam Teachout in the

1600M. The boys 4x100 relay team (Jack Carroll, Braydon

Burns (2nd place in 50M), Elisa Carroll (2nd place in

Giangiulio, Will McVicker, Sam Teachout) secured a 3rd

softball throw), Casey Cross (3rd place in 200M), Ford Ellis

place win and the boys 4X200 relay team (Jack Carroll,

(3rd place in long jump), Alexis Ikemba (2nd place in 50M),

Casey Cross, Will McVicker, Sam Teachout) brought

Claire Jordan (2nd place in 400M), Mary Grace Martin

home 2nd place.

(3rd place in 400M), Cameron Taylor (3rd place in softball

Seventh and eighth grade athletes participated in the TAPS League Championships on May 2 at Prince of Peace. Sam Teachout finished the day with a 2nd place in the 200M, 4th place in the 100M, and 4th place in the 1600M. The boys 4X400 relay team comprised of Alan Benitez, John Michael Birdwell, Davis Chen, and Jake Darlak

throw), and Ian Wilson (2nd place in both long jump and 400M). Team honors were awarded with 2nd place finishes by the girls’ 4X200 relay team consisting of Elisa Carroll, Alexis Ikemba, Jasmine Ikemba, and Claire Jordan, and by the boys’ 4X100M relay team of Andrew Burns, Casey Cross, Houston Walker, and Ian Wilson.

garnered a 4th place finish. In the girls individual events,

The JIAA Championship meet took place on May 12, at

Bella Collins finished in 3rd place in the discus while

Parish Episcopal School. Fifth and sixth grade track athletes

Abigail Sarpong secured 4th place in the shot put. The

won many honors. Team 1st place wins included the boys

girls 4X100 relay team (Gabby Juett, Stella Kastanek,

4X100 team of Casey Cross, Ford Ellis, Houston Walker,

Sophia Pumpelly, Abigail Sarpong) came in 3rd place, girls

and Ian Wilson; boys 4X200 team of Andrew Burns,

4X200 team (Bella Collins, Gabby Juett, Stella Kastanek,

Casey Cross, Houston Walker, and Ian Wilson; girls

Abigail Sarpong) finished in 4th place, and the girls 4X400

4X100 relay team of Salese Blow, Sarah Katherine Lowe,

team (Claire Borman, Bella Collins, Gabby Juett, Sophia

Mary Grace Martin, and Ella Roper; and girls 4X200 team

Pumpelly) wrapped up their championship with a solid 4th

of Alexis Ikemba, Claire Jordan, Claudia Lamont, and

place finish.

Cameron Taylor. Individual 1st place honors were won by

The MAL Championship meet was held May 9 at the Greenhill School. Overall, the boys’ team and girls’ team each placed in third. Individual honors went to Andrew

Casey Cross (long jump), Ford Ellis (800M and 1600M), Alexis Ikemba (100M), Jasmine Ikemba (discus, 50M), Claire Jordan (400M), Mary Grace Martin (800M, 1600M, and long jump) and Ian Wilson (400M).

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FACULTy RECOGNITION SOLO ExHIBITIONS fEATuRINg WORKS By mARTIN dELABANO St. John’s beloved Middle School art teacher, Martin Delabano, was featured in two solo art exhibitions during the 2015-16 school year. Last fall, “Change” was exhibited at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. Pictured is Where the Meandering Thread Becomes Part of the Greater Notion; 2015, wax and resin on board. “Salvaged+Repurposed: Select Works of Martin Delabano” was the title of his second exhibition which was held at the Justus Sundermann Gallery at Cathedral Arts, located on the St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church campus from January through March. Pictured below is Terms of Surrender, 2010, mixed media. To learn more about Mr. D’s background and inspiration, visit his website at


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teachers to complete first-hand research in cooperation

Kindergarten teacher Jake Minton was selected as one

with working historians. Participants then write curriculum

of the speakers for TEDxSMU 2015: Unexpected held

to be housed on the National History Day website as

October 17. TEDxSMU has built its reputation on bringing

a resource for teaching WWII. Mrs. Carroll will attend

together ideas and interesting people from around the world

training in Washington, D.C.; she will conduct research over

and around the corner. Our very own Mr. Minton was

the course of the year; and over the summer, she traveled

chosen to be among these prestigious speakers to share his

with 18 other selected teachers to complete a 14-day field

take on how the scarcity of male early childhood teachers

study in Italy and Southern France. Read more about her

creates an unbalanced impression that can affect children

experiences in this edition of The Messenger in the story

even into adulthood. You can watch his presentation,

“A Wing and a Prayer.�

Men and Children: The Final Frontier for Feminism on the TEDxSMU website at



Sarah Minton wrote and received a grant to implement

Congratulations to seventh grade social studies teacher

a game-based math fact fluency program, Reflex Math,

Kathy Carroll, who was selected as a 2016 National

with third grade students. Using research-based drills,

History Day Teacher Scholar. The program in which she

students learn how to strengthen their addition, subtraction,

is participating, Understanding Sacrifice, documents the

multiplication, and division math knowledge through highly

history of various aspects of World War II by enabling

engaging activities.

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CONgRATuLATIONS, dAvId PORCHEddu! If you have attended St. John’s chapel on Monday or Wednesday, you know what a talent we have in singersongwriter David Porcheddu, who leads the school in worship. David’s new album “Starlight’s Fade” debuted at #9 nationwide on iTunes in the gospel music category. St. John’s Episcopal Church shared David’s talents with a special Coffee House in February.

ALPHA OmEgA HONOREES In a special chapel ceremony, the school presented six faculty members with an Alpha and Omega award, recognizing their employment milestones of 10and 25-years. Congratulations to Patty Booth, Thor Herrin, Fr. David Houk, Euclides Jasso and Linda Wilson (10 years) and Sue Trumbo-Zapffe (25 years). In addition, a surprise presentation was given to Marty Polk for her 40 years of service to the school. She received 40 individual roses from students in recognition of her amazing commitment to St. John’s.


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Before Mr. Binford was a teacher, he was an accomplished

For the past 15 years, Middle School history teacher Frank

businessman. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in history in

Binford has regaled St. John’s students with his colorful

1968 and worked on his MBA before beginning a 30-year

history lectures and military war stories. His personal

business career in the insurance industry. He followed

anecdotes from his four-year Army stint in La Rochelle,

that profession with the 1985 start-up of a lawn service

France, especially captured their interest. It was in France

company that he later passed on to his son James. It wasn’t

where he first won a body-building contest, leading to

until 1993 that he rekindled his love of history by becoming

his enduring affinity for body building and martial arts.

a teacher, first at Robert E. Lee Elementary School, then J.L.

Students loved it when he incorporated the topic of self-

Long Middle School, and finally St. John’s in August 2001.

defense into his history curriculum and his elective classes,

We are sad to see Mr. Binford retire, but we know that his

providing a forum that perfectly contrasted his tough-guy,

stories, recollections, and passion for history will delight

no-nonsense manner with his warm, kind, funny spirit. It

and enlighten the most special students of his life – his

was a match made in heaven for teenage boys and girls!

grandchildren. They will learn from one of the best!

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OUR WONDERFUL PARENTS St. John’s isn’t just a school – it is an incredible community. Our parents are an integral part of school life, dedicating many hours and loads of talent to help keep the school running smoothly. Thanks to our Parents Association and Crusader Club, we have a virtual army of dedicated volunteers involved in every aspect of school life.


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Roles are as varied and unique as our talented parents. They include sharing favorite books while reading to pre-elementary children, serving as expert guest speakers on historical and industry-specific topics, coaching athletic teams, preparing trays in the cafeteria for our youngest students, supporting our fine arts productions, opening car doors and sending students off with a cheerful farewell at the end of the day, supervising middle school students building catapults, and chaperoning field trips. And if that isn’t enough, the Parents Association and Crusader Club also host many fun community-building and fundraising events to benefit St. John’s students. Thank you, parents! We are lucky to have such fiercely supportive and devoted advocates supporting our children!

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COmmuNITy PARTNERS Our sincere gratitude to St. John’s Community Partners for helping to make this such a successful year! We appreciate your dedication to our school.


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CLASS OF 2016 Congratulations to the members of the Class of 2016! We wish them the best in their new adventures!

(Photo by Kate Mackley)

Ollantay Avila, Ethan Joseph Barhydt, Callie Copeland

Laczkowski, Greer Alexis Leonard, Alyssandra Camille

Barrow, Cambridge Grace Bender, Alan Miguel Benitez,

Manganello, Olivia Katherine Martin, Jake Benham

Sameer Bhasin, Jonathan Michael Blacker, Nicholas Payton

Milkereit, Amanda Shealy Moreno, Briana Sage Niemyski,

Brown, Jack Tucker Carroll, Madeline Saye Claybrook,

Mekhi Robert Shelton Parker, John Alexander Pattee,

Sunny Hollon Courtwright, Madeline Elizabeth Francis,

Alena LuMao Payne, Dylan Michael Rubin, Anna Elizabeth

Eric Nicholas Freudigman, Anastasia Liana Gobush,

Savant, Camden Robert Scofield, Sofia Sjouken, Colton

Matthew Norris Goldman, Olivia Elaine Hartin,

Fitzgerald Sochia, Gabrielle Tropp Stall, Anne Elizabeth

Cooper Thomas Herndon, John Douglas Hibbs, Arlo

Stewart, Knox Bramley Thornhill, Carter Leighton Walters,

Henry Kadane, Benjamin Ford Kraus, Andrew Vincent

Anne Elizabeth Zajicek


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Our most recent alumni will attend: Bishop Lynch High School Booker T. Washington High School

11 2

for the Performing and Visual Arts Cistercian Preparatory School Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas

1 10

St. Mark’s School of Texas


The Episcopal School of Dallas


The Hockaday School


Ursuline Academy


The International Baccalaureate Program


at Woodrow Wilson High School

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IN ThE SPOTLIGhT EmmA vIquEz ’15 Emma Viquez ’15 came to St. John’s as a seventh grade student and quickly became an important member of her class. Emma’s passion for and strong abilities in soccer are giving her opportunities to explore the world. CATCH uS uP ON LIfE AfTER ST. JOHN’S. After graduating from St. John’s, I went to The Episcopal School of Dallas. This was probably the best transition for me, because I automatically connected with the community. I made many new friends the first week and communicated well with all my teachers. ESD offers me opportunities to pursue different extracurricular activities such as debate, Itinerary (school magazine), world affairs and world languages. I have received many vocal awards through the choir. In my first year as a member of ESD’s varsity soccer team, we won the SPC championship and I was named co-rookie of the year. Outside of school, I continue to play club soccer with the team Dallas Texans; we moved up in the Texas Conference rankings to 3rd place earning a spot at Nationals. HOW dId yOu BECOmE INTERESTEd IN SOCCER? HOW LONg HAvE yOu PLAyEd? I’ve always been interested in soccer and have been playing as far back as I can remember. My parents were both soccer players and I believe they were my influence. HOW WERE yOu SELECTEd fOR THE COSTA RICAN NATIONAL SOCCER TEAm? The selection process was long and in some parts tedious. Both my father and my maternal grandmother were born in Costa Rica and almost my whole family is from there. My parents called the soccer officials in Costa Rica to see if it was possible for me to try out. They said yes, but they wanted to see some highlight videos before they invited me over. For 3 straight days, my dad stayed up late collecting all the videos and putting them together. One week after they reviewed them, the Costa Rican team officials called me up to try out. This was during my last week of my second semester at ESD, so I had to get permission from the headmaster to leave and had to collect all my homework. ESD received an official document from the head of the Costa Rica women’s soccer team asking for permission to take me out of school. When I was in Costa Rica I practiced with the team every day in the morning for a week. During that week I had two jobs: to prove myself to the coaches and players and to get my identification and Costa Rican dual citizenship so I could travel with the team. Right after after I returned to Dallas, I received a personal phone call, and email, and an official document stating that I made the team and was invited to play with Costa Rica in the 2016 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship tournament in Grenada.


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WHAT WERE THE BEST ANd WORST PARTS Of THE ExPERIENCE Of PLAyINg WITH THE COSTA RICAN NATIONAL TEAm? I would have to say the best parts were playing with and meeting the girls and coaches; seeing friends and family again; receiving my Costa Rican passport and ID; eating the most amazing meals; having my own locker and traveling on a bus like a professional; learning new ways to play the beautiful game; and being excited to bring back new skills to my school teammates. The worst parts were nervously waiting for the phone call to see if I made the team; waiting in line for my passport and ID; and the hotel beds in Grenada! LONg TERm PLANS? WOuLd yOu LIKE TO PLAy SOCCER IN COLLEgE? I have a lot of ideas and aspirations! When I play with my club teams, college scouts line the sides of the field. This year I’ve written my resume and made phone calls and visits to colleges. My dream college is the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. I would like to earn a degree in international communications. I want to play soccer professionally in Europe and travel the world advocating for women’s rights in sports. I also want to play in the Olympics and for the World Cup someday. fAvORITE mEmORIES Of ST. JOHN’S? St. John’s introduced me to two of my best friends, Destinee White and Ashlye Dullye. I still talk with them even though both of them go to two completely different schools. Also, traveling to Washington with everyone at the end of our eighth grade year was a blast. I feel like we all got closer as a grade, and even in high school all of us still talk and hang out. BEST LESSONS fROm ST. JOHN’S? Always approach life with honor, respect and integrity. In school, be focused and keep notes of everything from class. If yOu COuLd COmE BACK TO ST. JOHN’S, WHAT WOuLd yOu LIKE TO ExPERIENCE AgAIN ANd WHy? If I came back to St. John’s, I think I would have liked to repeat 6th grade, because everyone always tells me that’s the year I missed out the most! WHAT dId yOu LEARN fROm ST. JOHN’S THAT IS PART Of yOu TOdAy? Make your decisions in school and out of school carefully because it can have an effect not only on you, but on your family as well.

Emma Viquez with sister Eva who is in third grade at St. John’s this fall.

Emma Viquez, number 20, with her Costa Rican teammates.

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dREW BANEy ’06 We got reacquainted with Drew when he attended the first Washington, D.C. alumni reunion in March. It is exciting to have St. John’s graduates making a difference at the national level! CATCH uS uP ON LIfE AfTER ST. JOHN’S. HIgH SCHOOL? COLLEgE? I went to Jesuit after St. John’s and the University of Oklahoma for college. I graduated in 2014 and moved out to D.C. that summer with an internship for a senator from Oklahoma. I was able to find a fulltime job and two years later am still in D.C. HOW dId yOu ENd uP IN WASHINgTON, d.C.? First, I was fortunate enough to visit D.C. several times during college and really liked it a lot. The living history within the city is one of the things I love the most about it, especially having the monuments as a backdrop for my runs. At OU, one of my classes allowed me to intern in the Oklahoma state capital for a state senator for a semester. Following the end of the internship, I wanted to do a lot of the same work I did for the state senator, but in D.C. for a congressman or senator. As I mentioned, I moved out with a month-long internship the summer after I graduated and was fortunate enough to find a full-time position within the same office. WHAT IS yOuR CuRRENT CAREER? BEST ANd WORST PARTS Of THE JOB? I work in the U.S. Congress as a professional staff member for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The best part of the job is being able to work on legislation that strives towards making the government more efficient and effective with taxpayer dollars. Being able to work and be around the Capitol building is one of the perks, too. The worst part is actually trying to get good policy and legislation through both the House and Senate. A seemingly great bill can stall out or be killed because of partisanship or special interests. On the flip side though, it is a great feeling to have a bill you have worked on signed into law by the President, no matter how big or small it may be. WHAT ARE yOuR LONg-TERm PLANS? Continue to work as a staffer in Congress for the foreseeable future. I have thought about either going to law school or graduate school, but am keeping my options open. WHAT ARE yOuR fAvORITE mEmORIES Of ST. JOHN’S? Definitely the 8th grade trip to D.C. is one of them. I do think that trip was the beginning of my love for the city, and it was such a great time with the entire class to be gone for an entire week. Aside from that, I have very fond memories of gym class and baseball with Coach Walker, standing on desks and chairs in Frau Venable’s class until we got our pronunciation correct, and the countless hall meetings.


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WHAT WAS yOuR BEST LESSON fROm ST. JOHN’S? Asking for help if I needed it. The teachers at St. John’s were so great about always being there if I needed help with anything. While it was general for school work, I feel like I could have gone to any teacher if I needed anything, and that comfort definitely helped me. If yOu COuLd COmE BACK TO ST. JOHN’S, WHAT WOuLd yOu LIKE TO ExPERIENCE AgAIN ANd WHy? This is tough because there isn’t one experience that I can point to and say I want to live that over again. I think the entire experience was great and I would do it again because St. John’s was the starting point to where I am now. Without St. John’s, I don’t know if I would have gone to Jesuit, and from there to OU and so on and so forth. WHAT dId yOu LEARN fROm ST. JOHN’S THAT IS PART Of yOu TOdAy? I think the one thing that I learned was the importance of building new relationships and friendships. Since I joined the class in 2006, in fifth grade, I was coming into a well-established group of friends that had been with each other since kindergarten and even pre-k, but by the end I felt like I was friends with everyone. I definitely think that helped me when I first moved out here without knowing too many people, and even before then when I went to Jesuit and OU.

WASHINgTON, d. C. REuNION St. John’s held its first alumni reunion in Washington, D. C. in March. Overwhelming interest for this reunion resulted in eleven alumni enjoying a wonderful evening. The alumni living in the D.C. area exchanged contact information before parting and look forward to doing it again in 2017. D. C. area alumni unable to attend were Lesley Mathews (’64), Ginny Richardson-Tucker (’94), Jennifer Levinton (’99), Jordan Shive (’09), Julia Shields (’96) and Mary Beth Wootan (’99), who was back in Dallas planning her wedding. WHAT BRINgS OuR ALumNI TO THE d. C. AREA? Drew Baney (’06) is a professional staff member for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the U. S. Congress. Andrew Frank (’09) is a student at Georgetown University. Emilie Frank (’07) is in research and analytics at Porter Novelli. Kate (Raymond) Liias (’02) is a recently graduated family nurse practitioner. Lindsay Parker (’00) is a policy advisor for international energy efficiency and research at the Department of Energy. Miles Ray (’07) is a legislative correspondent for Representative Greg Walden (2nd District of Oregon). Patrick Rochelle (’05) is a communications and public relations consultant for High Lantern Group. Kelly Stephenson (’95) is an attorney with Akin Gump. Alison Whitten (’05) is a government relations associate with the American Wood Council. Julia Winn (’03) is a product manager and technologist with Google. Lisa Zimmermann (’00) works for Manifest and is an editor/ writer for the U. S. Government, Hilton Grand Vacations Club’s Club Traveler, Alamo Rent-A-Car, and Brand USA.

l-r, front-Mr. D (’67), Lindsay Parker (’00), Kate Raymond Liias (’02), Lisa Zimmerman (’00), Andrew Frank (’09), Patrick Rochelle (’05). back-Drew Baney (’06), Kelly Stephenson (’95), Emilie Frank (’07), Alison Whitten (’05), Miles Ray (’07), Julia Winn (’03)

If you are interested in organizing a reunion in your area, please contact Carol Graham at

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Martin Delabano surrounded by St. John’s alumni at his recent art exhibit. Pictured in photo l to r, back: Sarah Katherine Davis Zavala (’93), Robert Cline (’94), Dominic Granello (’06), William Jones (’10), Robert Jones (’13) and Dylan Adame (’07); front Callie Barrow (’16), Haley Swanson (’10), Jenna Brummett (’93), Martin Delabano, Melissa Sperry-Porter (’96), Lily Keith (’14), Micah Thornton (’08) and Tony Walker (’76). (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

René Jacobs Archambault receiving her master’s degree from SMU (photo provided by Jamie Jacobs)

Martin Delabano was thrilled to be surrounded by his family and friends, which also included numerous St. John’s alumni, during his artist reception on January 13, 2016 for his most recent show Salvaged + Repurposed at St. Matthews Cathedral.

1990 Anisa Grace Robinson married Matt Twardy on August 25, 2015 in Breckenridge, Colorado. Anisa lives in Denver and works for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


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René Jacobs Archambault graduated from Southern Methodist University on December 19 with a master’s degree in education. René received the highest honor of being the only graduate with a 4.0 grade point average, and was voted by her peers as the outstanding student of her class.

1994 Robert Cline was married on September 26, 2015 to Amy Cooper-Cline. Robert Cline and new wife Amy. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

1993 Sky Switser and brother Austin Switser (’96) both had an exciting year. Sky was the associate costume designer for the Broadway show Tuck Everlasting which received a Tony nomination for costumes. Austin was the associate video projection designer and animator for the Broadway show American Psycho which received a Tony nomination for scenic design and projections. They were honored to be nominated. Sky was in Australia this summer for 6 weeks as associate costume designer for Disney’s Aladdin. He has done the same for Aladdin in New York, Japan, Hamburg and London over the past 2 years. Austin worked in Budapest this summer on a show for which he designed the video and then went to South Korea where he worked on a video for an opera. Sky Switser and Austin Switser (’96) at the Tony Awards ceremony. (photo provided by Tom Switser)

Summer Fields Ross gave birth to a baby boy on September 8, 2015. Amos joins his two older siblings Ada-Grace and Deacon. Andrea Scobee married Misty Branum in August 2015. They are proud parents of a little boy born in November.

1997 Jen Cary, David Glanzrock and Wes Schuler reunited for the Arizona State University and Texas A & M football game in Houston during the Labor Day holiday. (photo provided by Courtney Glanzrock)

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Truett Charles Waits was born October 19, 2015 to Sheradon Robbins Waits and Seth Waits. He weighed 8 pounds 10.5 ounces and joins big brother Jameson. (photo provided by Sheradon Waits)

Nathan Dilworth at the installation of his art show in New York. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

Nathan Dilworth opened an exhibition of his newest art work at LAUNCH F18 in New York City on October 16, 2015. Gene (Chris) Gallerano wrote, produced and starred in Occupy, Texas which premiered at the 2016 Dallas International Film Festival. Most of the movie was shot in Dallas, with a few scenes shot right here at St. John’s! Other alumni involvement includes Jonathan Graham (’03) as grip and alumni parent actor Wendy Welch. Roxanna (Roxy) Kaboli Tergesen married William Patrick Tergesen on September 18, 2015 at the Evergreen Museum and Library in Baltimore. Her siblings, Daria Kaboli (’95) and Kavon Kaboli (’01) were both members of the wedding party. Roxy and her husband live in North Merrick, New York. Roxy Kaboli Tergesen with her siblings, Daria (’95) and Kavon (’01) pose at her fall wedding. (photo provided by Roxy Kaboli Tergesen)


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1998 Zach Niesman poses with his son on his first day of preschool. (photo provided by Zach Niesman)

Arthur Lara married Darcy Duda on August 8, 2015. Arthur and wife Darcy both work at the main office of Interstate Batteries. Arthur is a billing and receiving clerk. He also plays trombone and is the vocalist for East Fort Worth Community Jazz Band. Arthur recently sang with the band at Fort Worth’s Sundance Square and at his cousin Sarah Graham Werther’s (’08) wedding.

2000 Whitney Knowles Herrera is pleased to announce the birth of her daughter Ryan Avery born on August 10, 2015.

Katherine Klammer Bradberry with husband Bennie Bradberry, III and daughter. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

Adrienne Lichliter was the featured artist for the St. John’s Episcopal School Alumni Visual Art Series X. She shared her expertise in printmaking with art elective students and conducted a workshop demonstrating some of the techniques she uses to create her art work. Taylor Slovak and her husband Dan Newman are new parents to daughter Parker Jane born on May 2, 2015.

2003 Whitney Knowles Herrera with her husband and baby girl. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

Lindsay Parker is a policy analyst at the U. S. Department of Energy for the international program in the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

2001 Katherine Klammer Bradberry gave birth to an 8 pound 4 ounce baby girl, Ellie, on October 8, 2015. Jefferson Dunn and Cait Pennington Dunn (’03) announce the birth of their son, Jackson Prescott, born October 22, 2015 weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces. Andres (Andy) Lara is a police officer for the City of Kennedale and is on a three-year assignment with the Tarrant County Auto Theft Task Force. He recently celebrated his fourth wedding anniversary with his beautiful wife, Leah.

JP Maloney was seen on the St. John’s campus this year guiding a service learning group focused on the use of music to assist the elderly through his nonprofit Music is Our Weapon (MIOW). MIOW recently teamed up with Pandora Radio’s Austin Office, and as a team they serve local Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive-impaired patients. Pandora is looking forward to working with MIOW in the future to help patients in other Central Texas facilities. Julia Winn graduated from Harvard in 2012 and is in Washington, D.C. serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.

2004 Alynda Boonyachai bumped into Mr. Delabano in March while he was on the 2016 eighth grade D.C. trip. Alynda was on a field trip with her students at the Franklin Mint. It was a wonderful, unanticipated surprise for both of them. Alynda is living in Philadelphia.

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Alynda Boonyachai on a field trip with her students. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

Alexandra Lawson moved to Cambodia in January and started an internship with International Justice Mission. If you are interested in following Alexandra and the work she is doing, she is keeping a blog about her travels and work at Kyle Meinhardt married Summer Sanford on July 3, 2015 in Royse City, Texas. Many of Kyle’s St. John’s classmates were part of the wedding party or in attendance. Hayden Wall was Kyle’s best man in memoriam. Kyle and Summer graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas in May. Kyle began his surgical residency at UT Southwestern on July 1, 2016.

Kyle Meinhardt with his St. John’s classmates, Austin Levington, Ryan Saunders (groomsman), Gabby Mavelain, Kyle Ben Monk (best man), Sally Wyatt, Alynda Boonyachai and Thomas Yost (groomsman). (photo provided by Dawn Meinhardt)

Sarah Palmer with her recent art purchase by Martin Delabano. (photo provided by Sarah Palmer)

Sarah Palmer recently purchased one of Mr. Delabano’s art pieces. She is making Mr. D’s dreams come true as one of his past students becoming an art collector.

2005 Zach Lemons is a teacher at Maria Moreno Elementary School in DISD and teaches 3rd grade math.

2006 Madelyn Blair was selected to speak for the TEDx Talk hosted by Texas Women’s University in March entitled Pioneering the Space Between. Madelyn and her friend Katie Lane, both nursing students at TWU, spoke on Authentic Caring. Dominic Granello graduated on May 14, 2016 from the University of Oklahoma with a Master’s in International Studies. He completed his thesis on “The BRICS Countries: Strides Toward Greater Representation in Culture and Economics.” While completing his studies, Dominic studied and worked at the University of Oklahoma at Arezzo, Italy. Dominic is a National Merit Scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a Fulbright Foundation Scholar Finalist.


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2007 Blake Atwell married Sarah Solcher on October 24, 2015 in College Station, Texas. Blake Atwell and his bride Sarah. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

Evelyn Howard graduated in May from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing and a minor in Advertising. She is the global digital brand specialist at Nike Running and lives in Portland, Oregon. Vicky Forsyth-Smith graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She was recently hired as the associate art director for DigitasLBi. Hank Swanson exhibited his new art work last December at the Zhen Music and Arts Institute in Dallas. Micah Thornton started working in December at Deacon Institute for Cybersecurity. Sarah Graham Werther married Matthew Werther on June 18, 2016. Sarah reconnected with many of her St. John’s friends at her reception at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society. She completed her Associate of Science degree at Richland College in May. Sarah and her husband live in Dallas where she is currently working in the After School Program at St. John’s and at ASI Gymnastics.

Lydia Winn graduated from UCLA in 2014 and is an assistant in the unscripted TV department at the William Morris Endeavor Agency in Los Angeles.

Sarah Graham Werther on her wedding day with St. John’s classmates, Carolina Pellizzi, Grace Jones and Katie Sexton-Ross. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

2008 Andrea C. Coldwell was a member of the volunteer team from Dell participating in The UT: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Event February 27 at the University of Texas. Andrea completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences, with highest honors from UT Austin in May 2016. Andrea has accepted a full-time position with Dell. Tyler Cole is studying Renewable Resources and Wildlife Conservation at LSU. He will spend this summer completing an internship in South Africa where he will be working with endangered species and wildlife rehabilitation. Maria Granello graduated magna cum laude from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Maria will begin classes in August at Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to pursue her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

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2009 Sam Cole is attending LSU and is a dual major, pre-med and finance management, with plans to attend medical school after graduation. Leeann Hodge is an undergraduate research assistant at Texas Tech University.

2012 In the fall, Max Cole will be attending LSU Honors College to study physics. His dedication and passion for his field earned him a full 4-year academic scholarship. Nicole Curry scored the winning goal for The Episcopal School of Dallas soccer team in the Southwest Preparatory championship game. Nicole played alongside two other St. John’s alumni on the team: Emma Viquez (’15) and Izzy Gonzalez (’15). Nicole has signed to play with the University of Texas. St. John’s alumni from the Class of 2012 together on Jesuit’s prom night. L to r, Millet Gilmore, Trae Allen, Ryan Black, Lauren Chester, Grayson Rutherford, Max Patterson, Dane Bender, Tucker Roemer and Cameron Bartkoski. (photo provided by Kris Chester)


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Joe Racz receiving his art scholarship award from Edith Baker. (photo provided by Denise Brown)

Joe Racz was the recipient of the 2016 Edith Baker Art Scholarship Award presented by the Dallas Art Dealers Association and was the featured artist for the St. John’s Episcopal School Alumni Visual Art Series IX. Joe will be attending the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in the fall.

Sara Kathryn (SK) Hatcher began her freshman year at Booker T. Washington HSPVA in theater and transferred to Ursuline Academy as a sophomore. During her junior year at UA, she played the principle roles of “Puck” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and “Annie Oakley” in the Ursuline/Jesuit production of Annie Get Your Gun. She received best actress at the Ursuline end-of-year banquet. Sara Kathryn has also continued her passion with Model United Nations which began in the third grade at St. John’s and served as Chairman of the General Assembly and as the Under Secretary General of the 2016 GEMUN conference. St. John’s alumnae Maddie Sullivan, Melanie McVicker, Lauren Chester and Lauren Stewart were inducted into the prestigious Rho Kappa Honor Society at Bishop Lynch on October 14, 2015. (photo provided by Martin Delabano)

2013 Sarah Kathryn Hatcher as Annie in the Ursuline/Jesuit performance of “Annie Get Your Gun.” (photo provided by Kathy Hatcher)

Julia Fleckenstein and Carlos Joglar with St. John’s Integrated Drama Specialist Tom Parr at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts fall performance of “Hair.” (photo provided by Tom Parr)

Carlos Joglar is a senior and theater major at Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. Chambliss Pierson took first place in Lakehill Preparatory School’s Shakespeare and Friends Club’s first foray in the English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition on January 19, 2016, with her performance of “Othello” from Othello.

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ST. JOhN’S CLASS OF 2012 St. John’s congratulates its Class of 2012 on their high school graduation and college acceptances. We enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with most of these alumni at their May reunion at St. John’s.


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Area of Study/honors

Trae Allen

University of Texas at Austin

Computer Science

Cameron Bartkoski

Miami University (Ohio)

Sports Marketing/Sports Management

Dane Bender

University of Texas at Austin

Plan II, Pre-Med/Business

Ryan Black

University of Texas at Austin


Sergey Blansit

University of Alabama


Anton Broden

Texas Tech University


Brandon Bush

Louisiana State University


Lauren Chester

Texas A&M University


Max Cole

Louisiana State University

Ogden Honors College, Physics

Annie Cravens

Kansas State University


Nicole Curry

University of Texas at Austin

Undeclared/Liberal Arts

Millet Gilmore

University of Oklahoma


Madison Gaither

Tarleton State University


Ellie Johnson

Rhodes College


Emma Kidd

Texas A&M University


Harrison Dunn

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Area of Study/honors

Preston King

Texas Tech University


Libby Kraemer

Baylor University

Mechanical Engineering

Jay Kronenberger

University of North Texas

Computer Science

Elizabeth Kulas

Texas Christian University


Bella Manganello

Boston University


Sophie Niemyski

University of Arkansas

Biological Anthropology/Pre-Med

Bailey Parsons

University of Arkansas


Georgia Pattee

University of Texas at Austin

Pre-med/Science-Public Health

Max Patterson

Austin Community College/UT


Kiersten Peters

Hampton University

Mass Communications/Journalism

Joe Racz

Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY)

Fine Arts

Zoe Robison

University of Arkansas


Tucker Roemer

University of Texas at Austin


Grayson Ross

University of Kansas


Anna Secker

Baylor University

Anthropology/Criminal Justice

Gatlin Shore

Southern Methodist University


Jett Simons

University of California at Davis


Paint Smith

The New School

Jazz Studies/Liberal Arts

Lauren Stewart

Texas A&M University

Business, Accounting/Finance

Maddie Sullivan

Baylor University


Noah Terrill

Westmont College


Walker Tindall

Purdue University

Biomedical Engineering

Aly White

University of Oklahoma


Ryan Pascoe

Former St. John’s Students Taite Lozano Brown

Southern Methodist University


Frances Burton

Vanderbilt University

Political Science/Computer Science

Isaac Brodsky

The New School

Kameron Franklin

University of Arkansas

Claire Noble

Boston College

International Studies-East Asia Studies/ Mandarin Chinese/Global Health

Max Poscente

Cornish College for the Arts

Music Composition

Jonah Smith

Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts

English, Philosophy, Contemporary Music at The New School

Claire Sooter

Vanderbilt University


Emma Winson

Dartmouth College



t h e me s s e nge r | 2 0 1 6

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The Messenger is published annually by St. John’s Episcopal School for the parents, alumni and friends of St. John’s Episcopal School. EdIToRS Jennifer Barrow, Mark Crotty, Liz Hamilton, Karla K. Wigley CoNTRIBuToRS Andrea Andrews, Jennifer Barrow, Monica Breeding, debbie Carona, Kathy Carroll, Mark Crotty, Martin delabano, Eighth Grade Service Learning Team, Carol Graham, Liz Hamilton, Cindy Isbell, Pam Jordan, Janet Kelly, Jake Minton, Tom Parr, Chris Patterson, donna Sands, Katie Specht, The Reverend John Thorpe, John Walker, Casey Watterson, Karla K. Wigley PRoduCEd By CTL Marketing AddRESS CHANGE? Child no longer maintaining permanent residence at your home? Please send corrected information to Thank you.

St. John’s Episcopal School admits qualified students of any race, color, religion, gender, and national or ethnic origin. St. John’s Episcopal School is accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. The school is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools, National Association of Independent Schools, Texas Association of Non-Public Schools, Independent School Management, Elementary School Heads Association and Education Record Bureau.

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