MAESA Matters February 2021

Greetings from MAESA.

As we enter the second month of the year, we look forward with hope as we remain grounded in the present. Last Sunday would have been the MAESA Choral Evensong at Washington National Cathedral, a rare opportunity for hundreds of MAESA schools' choristers to rehearse together and sing Evensong with the Cathedral Choir. While we missed being together at Evensong, MAESA was still able to gather the MAESA schools choral directors on Zoom to share what types of work they have been doing and to discuss a plan to offer more sessions that feature experts in areas like production and licensing of music. The directors enjoyed their time together, and we plan to host several more Zooms during this school year.

MAESA is busy planning our upcoming program year. Please "save the date" for these events on your own school calendar for 2021-2022. Additional details including event locations and descriptions are below.

  • Fall Members' Meeting & Luncheon, 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 1, 2021
  • Episcopal Schools Celebration, National Cathedral, 10:00 a.m. Wed. Oct. 6, 2021
  • Episcopal Schools Celebration, Richmond, Va., 10:00 a.m. Wed. October 20, 2021
  • Early Childhood Educators Conference, Friday, November 5, 2021
  • Scholars Fair, April 2022, date to be announced

Images above from the MAESA Choral Evensong in 2019 & 2020.
MAESA Schools Prayer Rota for 2021
In December MAESA shared our "We See You" video celebrating adults in our MAESA schools. We also created a MAESA prayer rota at this link, which assigns a week of prayer to each of our MAESA schools. You can pray for each of these MAESA schools during the designated week at your school's chapel service, and also in your daily prayers for the rest of this school year.
"Why I Teach in an Episcopal School"

By Tracy Papadopoulos
Science and Technology Teacher
Holy Trinity: An Episcopal School

Why do I teach in an Episcopal school?

The short answer is that the position unexpectedly opened up and more or less fell into my lap, but that is a somewhat flippant answer and does not begin to fully explain why I wanted to join and continue to teach in an Episcopal school. My husband and I first came to Holy Trinity Episcopal School as parents looking for a quality education for our children. We were attracted to the small class sizes and to the curriculum, but more than that we were drawn to the school’s belief in a well-rounded, whole person focus to education. I have been enthusiastic about the Renaissance ideal of a well-rounded person since I was a teenager: one who excels equally in the arts, in the academic arena and in physical body. As a Christian, I appreciated that the school did not neglect the spiritual nature of the students when it embraced this vision of excelling in arts, academics, and athletics.

I teach science and technology to the youngest children in the school: Discovery (PS3), Explorer (PS4) and Kindergarten. I have taught other ages, but I returned to this age group because of the joy that I find in developing a solid foundation for growth in every student. There is a sense of wonder at this age, not just for the children discovering themselves and their world, but also for their parents. There is hope for the future, a firm belief that anything and everything good is possible, that dreams come true. This is not especially unique to Episcopal schools. What I have found in the Episcopal school, however, is an underlying and ever-present commitment to a well-rounded foundation and to the vision that each student can become his or her best self. 

The trefoil is a Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity and is aptly used by Holy Trinity School where I work. In addition to symbolizing our Christian belief in the essence and expression of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the trefoil is a statement of our belief that each child is valued and connected within the threefold community of the school: students, school staff, and parents. We take it one step further when, as an Episcopal school, we acknowledge and work towards fulfilling the potential of the whole individual student: mind, body, and soul. Our core curriculum includes not just the cerebral, but the arts and the physical. We believe that each child, a creation of and a reflection of God, is of value. We teach these students to succeed, not just academically, but socially/emotionally and spiritually. We work to not just prepare these children for high school or college, but for life as well-rounded individuals who express in their daily lives the vision of their Creator to be the best version of themselves. 

I wanted to be a part of this school, and I continue to teach at this school, because I appreciate being a part of a school community that lives this in our classrooms and hallways. We work together to engage each of our students to grow academically, artistically, and athletically in our daily lessons. We develop our students’ social and emotional growth through Responsive Classroom. We nurture their spiritual growth through daily prayer, weekly chapel and classroom/division/entire school community projects that demonstrate our Christian ideals through our actions: a Christmas giving project for our local community, canned food donations to the local food bank, monetary donations to various causes, cards and letters to those serving in the military, etc. Students, families, and staff may come and go. New ideas, methods, and projects may be incorporated, and others discarded. Nevertheless, it is this acceptance of each student, this sense of belonging, this fostering of our Christian love of our neighbor that creates a community that is both stable and dynamic. The school becomes a second family, not only to the students, but to the staff and the parents. We are a community. 

I teach in an Episcopal school because it endeavors to be, even if in an imperfect human way, an expression of our Christian faith in this world.

MAESA Stewardship Award Nominations Open
2021 MAESA Steward Award
The MAESA Stewardship Award honors a person who has made a mark on your school community. The candidate embodies the qualities that MAESA and our Episcopal schools hold closely: integrity in daily life and work, respect for all people, equity and justice in words and actions and love and hospitality toward neighbors.

MAESA is accepting nominations through Monday, May 10, 2021. Nomination forms will be sent to Heads of School in February. You can also make a nomination using this link.

Pictured above, MAESA members and Beauvoir School faculty and staff showing their appreciation for 2020 MAESA Stewardship Award winner Ms. Ann Marie Desaulniers at the MAESA 2020 Fall Members' Meeting.
Announcing MAESA Events for 2021- 2022
Please Save These Dates
2021 MAESA Fall Members' Meeting & Luncheon Friday, October 1, 2021, 10:00 a.m. hosted by Holy Trinity: An Episcopal School in Glendale, Maryland. This event is for school heads, leaders, administrators and chaplains in our MAESA schools.

2021 MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebration and Service in Washington, D.C.: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Washington National Cathedral and hosted by Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School. This worship service is for MAESA schools' students. This year we are planning a service project following the worship service to extend our time together. More details to come on our project.

2021 MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebration and Service in Richmond, Va.: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:00 a.m. Location to be announced. This worship service is for MAESA schools' students. This year we are planning a service project following the worship service to extend our time together.

2021 MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference, Friday, November 5, 2021 at Washington Episcopal School in the Mid-Atlantic region and offers a preferred registration rate to MAESA Members.

2022 MAESA Choral Evensong at Washington National Cathedral Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. MAESA chorister rehearsals will begin at 1:00 p.m. The opportunity to sing with the MAESA combined choir is open to all upper school choirs who are members of MAESA.

2022 MAESA Scholars Fair MAESA is planning to hold our annual spring scholastic fair in April 2022 at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School. This event is open to students in 4th-8th grade in MAESA member schools. The date for this event will be announced soon.
Let us hear from you!
Katherine F. Murphy 
MAESA Executive Director