How is The Episcopal School unlike all the other schools out there?
This is a question I often ask myself as parent of two ESK students who also happens to be the school Chaplain. Surely all schools nominally value academic success, and surely there are other schools in Knoxville with great teachers and beautiful facilities. If you are reading this, you can probably name those schools. These features are self-evident at the Episcopal School, but they are not what sets us apart.
You might be expecting the Chaplain to say that daily chapel is what sets ESK apart from other schools in our community, and you’d be right. I am very proud of what our diverse community does to gather, sing, read, learn, pray, proclaim, mourn and celebrate together on a daily basis. But the fact of daily chapel is not the only thing. Here’s the real reason why The Episcopal School of Knoxville is unique: The word love appears in our mission statement, and our school’s culture is a living reflection of the love of God.
Love expresses itself in our school in many ways; some are obvious and some are concealed in plain sight. The highest form of love from the New Testament is the sort of love that is willing to sacrifice benefit to self for the benefit of the other. This is true love.
I see true love played out at ESK many times per day, every day.
I see passionate teachers coming early and staying late to provide help to a struggling student or to challenge a talented one; I participate in brilliant, imaginative, cross-curricular collaborations; I see our administrators visiting families in the hospital and sending flowers at the news of a birth or loss; I hear about our students and faculty reaching out in committed service to our community; I witness coaches working to build each player as a person and athlete; I marvel at graduates who leave ESK having made friends for life; I see our whole community rally to provide support for a family during a time of need;
I see miles and miles of going the extra mile.
No one is getting rich here. What you will find at the Episcopal School of Knoxville is a community of learning fastened together by families, teachers, students, administrators and staff who work from love and for love. Tirelessly.
Love is our aim. That is what sets us apart.
Today’s post is written by ESK Chaplain Father Joshua A. Hill.