The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke and Gloria H. Snyder to Be Honored at Biennial Conference 2008

New York—The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke, retired headmaster of Campbell Hall (Episcopal), North Hollywood, California, and Gloria H. Snyder, head of school at the Parish Episcopal School, Dallas, Texas, will receive the National Association of Episcopal Schools’ highest honors, the John D. Verdery Award and the Ruth Jenkins Award, at the Friday, November 7, plenary breakfast during NAES’ Biennial Conference 2008 in Tampa, Florida, to be held this November 6–8. The awards are presented at the discretion and by vote of the NAES Governing Board and recognize outstanding service to Episcopal schools and the Association.

"The Governing Board is delighted to honor and celebrate the lives and ministries of Tom Clarke and Gloria Snyder in this way. They have served their schools and the wider Episcopal school community with wisdom, heart and dedication" said David H. Charlton, NAES Governing Board president, when announcing the board’s decision to make these awards. Added the Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, executive director of NAES, "Their deep personal spirituality and abiding commitment to the children, families and faculties in their schools is a model of servant leadership to which all Episcopal school leaders should aspire."

When told of his award, Canon Clarke said, "I am deeply honored to receive the Verdery Award. This means a great deal to me—more than any recognition I have received." Said Mrs. Snyder, "I am overwhelmed. The past recipients of the Jenkins Award are all amazing school leaders. That the Governing Board would choose to include me in this group is not something I have ever imagined or contemplated. I am deeply honored."

The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke
The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke, recipient of the John D. Verdery Award, was headmaster of Campbell Hall (Episcopal) in North Hollywood, California, from 1971 through 2003. He began his Episcopal school career as chaplain at Campbell Hall in 1971. A distinguished member of the NAES Governing Board (1987–1993; 1995–2003), he served as its president (1990–1992), vice president (1992–1993; 1996–2003) and strategic planning committee chair (2001). From 2003 through 2006 he was a senior associate consultant with NAES. He has also served as a member of the Commission on Schools of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, where he was made an honorary canon in 1993 in recognition of his Episcopal school leadership.

Canon Clarke is a 1967 graduate of the University of Redlands. He received his master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1970 and is currently a member of the Seminary’s board of trustees. In 1998, he was a participant in the Klingenstein Visiting Fellows Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. An alumnus of Campbell Hall, Mr. Clarke will be the first recipient of that school’s newly created Distinguished Alumni Award in June 2008.

Mr. Clarke’s outstanding career in education includes service on the boards of trustees of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS); California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS); Independent Schools Alliance for Minority Affairs; St. Matthew’s Parish School, Pacific Palisades, California; John Thomas Dye School, Brentwood, California; Turning Point School, Culver City, California; and Westridge School, Pasadena, California. He has served on school accreditation committees on behalf of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and CAIS.

The John D. Verdery Award is named in honor of the long-term headmaster of the Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut, who was a co-founder of NAES. Mr. Verdery was an articulate advocate for the value of Episcopal education and the religious identity of our schools. His most important essay on this topic was “Why Church Schools.” He was instrumental in nurturing NAES as an organization through his hands-on leadership at critical points during the Association’s early years.

Gloria H. Snyder
Gloria H. Snyder, recipient of the Ruth Jenkins Award, has been head of school at the Parish Episcopal School, Dallas, Texas, since 1980, overseeing its growth from an elementary school to a comprehensive school encompassing grades P–12. She will be retiring from the Parish Episcopal School in June 2009. She has served with distinction as a member (1982–2001), secretary (1989–1991) and president (1991–1996) of the Executive Board of the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools and on the SAES Standards Committee (1985–1999). A member of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas, she is a former chair and secretary of the Diocesan Commission on Episcopal Schools in the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. Nationally, she was a member of the 1997–1998 NAES Executive Director Search Committee.

Mrs. Snyder graduated, cum laude, from the University of Texas in 1958 with a bachelor of arts degree in education and history and subsequently received a master of liberal arts degree from Southern Methodist University in 1978. She began her career in education as a teacher in Austin, Texas, and was later a teacher (1962–1980) and social studies department chair (1972–1980) at Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas.

In addition to her Episcopal school work, Mrs. Snyder has been a member of the Standards Committee and chair of the Diversity Committee of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Youth Services Council of the Richardson Independent School District, and is a past president of that board.

The Ruth Jenkins Award is named for another co-founder of NAES who was head of school at Annie Wright School in Tacoma, Washington, and the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California. An advocate for women’s leadership in the Episcopal Church, Dr. Jenkins was elected in 1949 as one of four women deputies to the General Convention; attending the Convention, all were refused their seats. This incident opened the way to her participation in the national Joint Commission to Consider the Problems of Giving the Women of the Church a Voice in the Legislation of the General Convention (1951) and in subsequent General Conventions.

Biennial Conference 2008 and the National Association of Episcopal Schools
Biennial Conference 2008, the theme of which is "Last of All and Servant of All (Mark 9:33), will take place November 6–8 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina in Tampa, Florida. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, will preside and preach at the opening Eucharist on Thursday evening, November 6. Parker Palmer, the renowned education thinker and author, will be the conference keynoter, offering three plenary addresses and two workshop during the conference. The conference will explore teaching and school leadership as servant leadership and the development of students as current and future servant leaders.

The National Association of Episcopal Schools is an independently incorporated, voluntary membership organization that supports, serves and advocates for the vital work and ministry of those who serve over 1,000 Episcopal schools, Early Childhood education programs and school establishment efforts throughout the Episcopal Church. Chartered in 1965, with historic roots dating to the 1930s, NAES is the only pre-collegiate educational association that is both national in scope and Episcopal in character. The Association offers a variety of services, publications, resources and conferences consonant with the Association’s mission and focused principally on Episcopal school identity, leadership and governance and the spiritual and professional development of school leaders.