Students of Strong Character
My first interaction with All Saints’ Episcopal School was with two fourth grade boys who played baseball with my son, Griffin. These two boys looked me straight in the eye, extended a firm handshake, and said, “Hello, Mr. Rader.” Fourth grade boys. This example seems minor, but I still have yet to interact with an All Saints’ student who wasn’t respectful and kind. Ultimately, we chose All Saints’ for our son because of the deliberate emphasis the School places on balance between physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. All Saints’ is one of the few schools that views each aspect of the child’s development as equally important.
Daily Chapel services lay a strong foundation for character building while also protecting time for reflection and quiet, but perhaps just as important, my son is also expected to be a leader and model positive behavior. Each sixth grade student serves as a mentor to a kindergartner and forms a relationship that builds accountability and excitement. I’ve heard it’s not uncommon for a sixth grader to show up at graduation in support of the buddy he had when he was in Kindergarten. We have also had the opportunity to bring in an international student from China, and it’s encouraging to know that All Saints’ is genuine when they speak about embracing diversity and helping our students understand and appreciate other cultures. Whether with a kindergarten buddy or with an Upper School international student, those relationships mean something and they can be powerful catalysts for positive school environments.
Even the curriculum is centered on developing self-confidence, embracing collaborative thought and practicing servant leadership. Last year, a group of sixth graders led a project wherein they evaluated the electricity usage of the School’s current lights and proposed a more sustainable and cost-effective option. These projects, where they apply their classroom learning to propose a solution to a real and relevant problem, are hugely beneficial to preparing students for life after school. And it helps them take ownership of, and feel invested in, their learning!
I’m proud of the ways the School leverages arts and athletics for this same purpose. The Fine Arts program is incredible; All Saints’ collaborated with BRIT last November for a public gallery display that featured student artwork from kids ages three years old to seniors in high school, and the theatre arts program is second to none. My son’s inclinations are more toward athletics and he looks forward to playing for the Saints next year – not just because of the winning reputation – because of the reputation the coaches have for holding student athletes to high standards and being mentors for positive character development.
One thing you will hear about All Saints’ is it feels like a family, which is hard to quantify. There is a way in which the School engages the entire family that is both unique and impressive as a parent. I am especially appreciative of the open dialogue between faculty, advisors and parents. Whether on a personal level, or through other forums like Parent Wellness Seminars or Book Talks, the School truly partners with parents to raise people of strong character. As we look toward the Middle School, a time when we should be anxious, we find ourselves excited for the next step in the journey.
Learn more about the All Saints’ Experience:
Lower School/Middle School Preview