May 14, 2018


Seventy-four third through eighth grade students head to the Model UN conference last Friday



Special thanks to the Crusader Club for a very successful 17th annual golf tournament with the proceeds benefiting our students. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, to those who volunteered in the planning of the event, especially Chuck Sharpe, who has served as the Crusader Club president for the past four years. We'd also like to thank 110+ players who came out and supported the school. See pictures from the day. Congratulations to the tournament winners! First place gross: Brian Jacoby, Dan Lain, Don Little and Scott McDaniel; first place net: Brad Goodman, Don Hill, Matt Ritter and Zach Rogers.



In the third trimester of eighth grade, students embark on a capstone project to their St. John's education. Join the class of 2018 in Clements Hall tonight, 6:00 - 7:15 p.m. to view student-created videos highlighting this year's capstone projects and learn from each project's participants about their service learning journeys. This service learning program is an extension of our outreach into the community and is supported in part by funds from the Episcopal Foundation of Dallas and the National Association of Episcopal Schools. Learn more about eighth grade service learning and the meaningful projects this year.

  • The program offers gratitude to the partners that helped make this meaningful experience a success: Episcopal Foundation of Dallas, National Association of Episcopal Schools, Educational First Steps, Gateway of Grace, Reinhardt Elementary, Hexter Elementary, Regional Blackland Prairie Organization, Brett Johnson - City of Dallas Urban Biologist, Becky Rader - City of Dallas Parks and Recreation board member.


Tom Olverson, the school's Head of School search consultant from RG 175, will be on campus this week to learn more about St. John's. We would like all parents to consider attending a meeting that will help guide the search process. See email from Melissa Eakes, head of the search committee. Learn more about the search process.
--Wednesday, May 16, 7:00 p.m. in Clements Hall
--Thursday, May 17,  8:15 a.m. in Clements Hall



Look for an email this week with instructions for volunteer signups for next year (teacher birthdays, classroom parties, etc.). Your user name and password will be included in the email. 



Lower School must return library books by Wednesday, May 16. Middle School was allowed to check books today for the last time but must return them by Friday, May 18. The very last day to return library books is Friday, May 18.


We will celebrate a Baccalaureate service honoring the Class of 2018 Sunday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m. in the church. Hear from two graduating eighth graders as they reflect on their time at St. John's. All families are invited to attend the service. See today's email from Fr. Houk.



Dallas Water Utilities has a pipeline replacement project on Peavy Road from Lake Highlands Drive to Tipperary Drive. The estimated time for the tunneling work and surface restoration will be approximately three months, weather permitting.



Keep those academic skills sharp over the summer. These apps are targeted tools kids can use for reference, idea organization, and more. With fun refreshers, catchy pneumonics, and math tutoring, this list can get your kid through that summer slump.



Many of you may be considering a year-end gift to your child's teacher. As you may know, due to potential conflicts of interest and issues of fairness and morale, St. John's employees are not permitted to accept gifts that are estimated to be worth in excess of $25. In the spirit of fairness, we ask that parents not pool resources to purchase a more expensive gift. If you would like to recognize your child's teacher with a gift, please consider a donation to the Teacher Endowment Fund. Designed to provide ongoing funds to attract and retain the best faculty, the endowment supports the school's greatest asset -- our teachers. A gift to the fund shows your gratitude for the impact teachers have on our students' lives and continues a wonderful legacy of teaching. Your teacher will be notified by the school that a gift has been made in his or her honor.



Calling all parent bakers! Help celebrate the Class of 2018 by providing cookies or bars for the graduation reception. Baked goods can be dropped off in morning or afternoon carpool on Tuesday, May 22. Please remember that all items must be nut-free! Sign up now



We will graduate members of the Class of 2018 Tuesday, May 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the church. Each student's family has received seven graduation invitations. Doors to the church will open at 6:00 p.m. A reception in Parish Hall will follow the ceremony.



Please encourage your Middle School child to check the three tables outside Mrs. Jordan's office for missing items. Any lost-and-found items remaining at the end of this week will be donated to Uniform Resale or White Rock Center of Hope.



The school year will conclude Friday, May 25, at regular grade level carpool times. There will be no ASP that afternoon or Homework Club.


Join us at Summer at St. John's for great art camps for kids ages 4-14. We have openings in all types of art camps: Express Yourself, Watercolor Wonder, Build Your Own Stringed Instrument, Animation, Mixed Media Masterpieces, Natural Architecture, Art of Science, Pastel Painting, Mask and Costume Camp, Cool Contraptions, Painting Zoo and Create! Check out all of our camps and register your child today. 



This year's theme is Splash Canyon: God's Promise on Life's Wild Ride! Life is full of thrills and spills. VBS is for children ages four to 12, who will enjoy many fun things to do including sing-a-longs, crafts, games and snacks. Registration fee of $20.00 per child. Register now or for more information, please contact Jenee Echard.





Twenty-two students were inducted into the St. John's chapter of the National Junior Honor Society last week. Coordinated by Jennifer Powers and Thor Herrin this year, NJHS recognizes outstanding seventh and eighth grade students. More than just an honor roll, NJHS acknowledges students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship and who successfully navigate the application process. Congratulations to seventh graders Max Blumenthal (not pictured), Oliver Brown, Andrew Burns, Elle Chavis, Claire Chesnut, Katye Dullye, Parker Forde, Mary Cate Houk, Jasmine Ikemba, Claudia Lamont, Sarah Katherine Lowe, Mary Grace Martin, Ashley McDaniel, Weston Okamoto, Van Alex Ramey, Christopher Row, Samantha Smith, Cameron Taylor, Steel Wylie and Emmy Zajicek; along with eighth graders Molly Fagelman and Kendall Withrow!


Elections for Student Council representatives will take place tomorrow, May 15. Once elected, reps who have previously served on Student Council may choose to run for officer positions. The officer election will take place Tuesday, May 22.

Students in Ms. Jaqua's class have been dissecting frogs as a grande finale for their life science unit. Students have spent the trimester differentiating the anatomy and physiology of organisms in various kingdoms. Frogs are interesting because of their complex circulatory and nervous systems. Students particularly enjoyed opening the stomach to determine the frog's last meal. (Usually insects, but occasionally a mouse!)
From traditional American, Mexican and French folk dances to Russian and German polka tunes, waltzes and Irish Ceili dance patterns, St. John's kindergarten through third grade students "tore up" the dance floor in Owen gym last week. Many thanks to the Lower School coaches, teachers and parents for attending and helping to make the dance showcases a success. 


Seventy-four third through eighth grade students participated the 27th annual Global Elementary Model United Nations (GEMUN) conference last weekend. The third graders served as pages. The fourth grade presented 16 resolutions and passed 14. Fifth graders presented 12 and passed all of them, with Will Moore earning honorable mention. Sixth and seventh grades both passed 10 out of 10 resolutions. Eighth grade presented 14 resolutions and passed 11. Congratulations to seventh grader Grace Hall, who was presented the Leadership Award. GEMUN is made possible by the volunteer dedication of 12 parents.  





Mrs. Isbell's fifth and sixth grade track athletes competed in two meets last week, the MAL meet took place at Greenhill where the girls won third place. The JIAA meet was hosted at Parish Episcopal. Get the results from all the events


Note: the following is a transcript of the charge that was delivered to the eighth grade by Fr. Thorpe during the Sheepfold blessing last week.

Former teacher Trigger Butler initiated the Sheepfold service many years ago as a meaningful way to begin to say bid farewell to our graduating eighth graders. So at this time we like to look back and see what this class has been like though its time at St. John's.

I first met them as fifth graders, and it didn't take long to realize that this class was different. I remember one day on the playground when they decided to create a human pyramid. This was an adventurous undertaking in itself, as it was several levels high; but then the pyramid started to move! The bottom row of students, on their hands and knees, had begun to crawl all together in the same direction. It was clear this group could think creatively and was willing to risk.

But that group of fifth graders became a class of sixth graders, and they continued to display those same characteristics. I chaperoned one of your middle school dances – you know how middle school dances usually are: students stand in little clumps of other students with whom they feel comfortable. But this group danced like no one else. They were all over the floor, sliding, making up new moves, grouping with others even outside their own class. It was clear they were not limited by the same boundaries that other classes had observed.

And eventually they became a class of seventh graders. Normally on our playground the seventh grade uses the soccer field while the eighth grade gets dibs on the basketball court, Smaller groups cluster together and pass the time as they wish. But these students created a new game – and I have yet to figure out the rules to it! This game moved up and down the entire playground, in and out of everyone else's games, through and beyond everyone else's space. Sometimes a tennis ball was involved, and sometimes it wasn't. The game didn't conform to anyone else's traditions of what "should" be done on the playground; it was unique.

And now you are our eighth graders, our class of 2018. And while you have matured and found value in conventions and traditions, you still find ways to think creatively, move beyond others' boundaries, and show your willingness to risk. After all, there's a full-sized, working ballista outside Mrs. Torrey's room! That's never been done before. On the playground you aren't content simply to divide up into two teams and play basketball: you do 2-on-2 duels, or see who can throw the ball the farthest, or go back to the game you invented in seventh grade, or even – and this is highly unusual – allow seventh graders to play basketball with you! I hope you know how rare and beautiful it is not to be limited by social pride like that and to be able to include others. And at the last middle school dance you asked for a worship song, Feasting Mystic by David Porcheddu. Parents, they sang every word of it! Clearly this group is still thinking creatively, still challenging boundaries, still willing to risk.
And that's great to see, because the world needs just this. The world needs you to be this way. My charge to you, as you go out from St. John's, is to continue to do you. Continue to think creatively, because the world needs creative solutions to its worst problems from people who can leave pride and prejudice behind. Continue to challenge traditions, because (as much as I love tradition) some traditions need changing, and some ways of thinking need someone with a fresh perspective to shake them up. Continue to be willing to risk, because the world won't always welcome the challenges you bring it, and sometimes your attempts to make things better will succeed… and sometimes they won't.

But you need to know, as you go out from us, that our love for you will never, ever be based on your success or failure. We heard Jesus, in our reading today, say, "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11).  His love for you exists regardless of your success or failure. He loves you just because you are His. And we at St. John's will always love you for just the same reason. Whether you succeed or fail, you are ours, and we are yours.

Jesus also said, "I am the gate" and talked about sheep going out and coming in (John 10:9). The gate of this sheepfold is open for you: go out, do you, challenge the world, make an impact. But it's also open so you can come back in and be celebrated or consoled, lifted up and cared for. No matter how far you go or where you land, St. John's will always be your home. God's blessings on you as you go, and Godspeed, class of 2018.

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.


St. John's Episcopal School | 214-328-9131

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