How Do You Educate Your School Community about Your School’s Episcopal Identity?

At the recent NAES Leadership & Governance Institute in Los Angeles, one session was entitled “Talking about Your Episcopal Identity.” While the head of school, chaplain, and, in a parish day school, the rector are clearly spiritual leaders and spokespersons about the school’s Episcopal ethos, so, too, are faculty members, trustees, and often students. How can we best educate and re-educate these groups about our Episcopal identity?

I related a story about a school head who called NAES frantically requesting help. She wanted to schedule a workshop “as soon as possible” to educate her teachers about Episcopal identity. It seems that the mother of a Jewish boy, a student who had attended the school for three years, came to his kindergarten teacher and sadly announced that they would not be re-enrolling for the coming year. She and her husband were fearful that he might not be comfortable in an Episcopal school because he was a Jew. The teacher simply responded, “I understand.”

Several weeks later, the teacher, who had been at the school for nine years, casually mentioned the conversation to the head of school. The school head immediately dialed NAES seeking support and counsel.

How would your school’s faculty respond to this parent? What are the ways that you educate faculty and other community members about your school’s Episcopal identity?