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Sep 28, 2017 | Taylor Thompson

I am a promise

Cindy Laporte, head of All Saint’s Episcopal Day School, grabbed my shoulder and led me to a length of rope that seemed to lead to the sky. I reached up, grabbed it, and pulled. Up. Down. Up. Down. Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong. As I released the rope Mrs. Laporte guided me into the nave of the church where the rest of my classmates stood singing, “I am a promise. I am a possibility.” We were graduating Kindergarten. 

A few months later, after summer break, I walked into my first grade classroom at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and started a twelve-year journey that ended this past May as I not only graduated from St. Andrew’s but took another step forward into promise and possibility. I believe those two words represent what an Episcopal education is all about. A promise. A possibility. You can only be a servant if you believe in the possibility of every student, every human being.

When Scott Field Bailey helped found St. Andrew’s, he launched a community of learning that went beyond the classroom, and focused on mind, body, and spirit. For me, St. Andrew’s and an Episcopal education is all about promise, possibility and people. Long after my memories of my studies, my seasons on the field, my time on the fine arts stage fade, I will never forget the people. I will never forget the faculty from that initial step into first grade to my last step out of calculus. 

I will not forget them, because they never forgot us. They walked into the classroom every day not just with a curriculum but with a passion. A passion for a subject they loved dearly and knew intimately. A passion for their students to find that same love. And a belief that we were each indeed, a promise and a possibility. They believed this because that is what God believes. God sends each of us into this world with gifts bestowed upon us by Him and the most precious gift of all, salvation through His son’s Resurrection.

The faculty, my fellow students, the administration, the chaplains all share this faith and a deep belief in the grounding principles that led Scott Field Bailey to start the school in 1952 and administrators like Lucy Nazro and now Sean Murphy who’ve built on this tradition and are now carrying it into the future. The same Episcopal ethos that Bishop Bailey brought to the pulpit at All Saint’s, where I graduated Kindergarten, fills the hearts of not just our chaplains but all who call St. Andrew’s home. 

For me, that is the ultimate value of an Episcopal education. Knowing that I am indeed a promise and a possibility. And because I am. Everyone is. That is the heart of a servant. That is the heart of an Episcopal education. And now, I go forth into the world to share the love that has been shared with me from the day I rang the bell at All Saint’s Day School to the day I walked out of the Upper School Chapel at St. Andrew’s for the last time in May.

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