Alumni Class Notes
We are pleased to welcome Meredith Lee Katzenberg '07 to Middle and Upper School Chapel as our speaker on Thursday, October 3, at 9:20 a.m. Fellow alumni and friends are invited to join our school community for Chapel on this day. Meredith is a graduate of Southern Methodist University '11 where she studied Psychology and English. She also holds a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis '13. She is a licensed clinical social worker and currently manages her own private therapy practice in West Palm Beach, Florida.
While a student at Episcopal Collegiate School, Meredith was elected to serve on the Honor Council in Upper School and was president her senior year. She was a member of the volleyball team, and her coaches remember her for her leadership and work ethic. She also participated in Concert Choir and Interact club, and she has great memories of volunteering in her community.
The Jackson T. Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award is presented bi-annually to a faculty member who best exemplifies the qualities which characterized Mr. Stephens' life and work. Along with the Jackson T. Stephens Outstanding Senior Award, the Faculty Award was established by Mr. and Mrs. Warren A. Stephens in May of 2004 and represents the highest honor bestowed upon members of the Episcopal Collegiate faculty and senior class. The awards are named for Mr. Jackson T. Stephens in honor of his life-long support of education and the significant role he played in making Episcopal Collegiate School a reality.
Mr. Stephens grew up on a farm in Prattsville, Arkansas along with five brothers and sisters. Growing up in the Depression, he developed values of determination, loyalty, hard work and integrity that he would carry with him throughout his life. As a young boy, he picked cotton and was also a bellhop and delivered telegrams at the Barlow Hotel in Hope, Arkansas. Mr. Stephens considered his work as an opportunity to better himself and to help his family.
Mr. Stephens graduated from Columbia Military Academy in 1941, then attended the University of Arkansas, followed by an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. After graduating from Annapolis in 1946, he returned to Arkansas to become partners with his brother, W. R. "Witt" Stephens, and together they formed Stephens, Inc. Mr. Stephens became CEO and Chairman in 1956 and remained Chairman until his death in 2005. Throughout his career he exemplified the high ethical and moral standards with which he was raised and considered reputation and integrity his most valuable assets. Mr. Stephens was true to his own beliefs and vision. Even when his decisions departed from "popular wisdom," he followed his own path.
Episcopal Collegiate School is proud to have Jackson T. Stephens as one of its role models. His hard work, core values, vision and commitment to education set a great example for our students and faculty.
Today, we recognize the 2019 Lower School recipient of the Jackson T. Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award who was chosen for her daily commitment to embody these qualities that support the mission of Episcopal Collegiate School.
Some of the first words that come to mind when referencing this teacher are innovative, helpful, generous, thoughtful, professional, and dedicated. As a founding member of the Lower School faculty, this teacher has demonstrated a deep commitment to her students, fellow faculty members, and the School in her daily work over the past ten years. She begins each day with a smile and warmly greets students and colleagues with genuine care.
One of the key signs of a good teacher is recognizing that we are all still learning. This teacher regularly seeks professional development opportunities outside the school and recently earned her Google Trainer certification. She continues to bring the most relevant, up-to-date information to situations when strategizing on a problem. At the same time, she never believes she has all of the answers, frequently asking for guidance and advice from colleagues here on campus. Through it all, she always keeps students at the forefront of all decisions she makes.
When visiting her classroom, one can hear that this teacher asks questions that are engaging and thoughtful, always appropriately pushing students to discover the answer on their own. Giving her students the space and support to learn and grow rather than directing them to an answer is one of her priorities in all of her lessons. If you have never observed her working on programming robots with our preschool students, it is a sight to behold. She is constantly listening to even her youngest students to hear what is important to them and to figure out what they know and how she can advance their understanding and skills.
For Leigh Keener, learning should never be limited to the classroom. By instituting Maker Night at the E, she, along with Mr. Rogers, successfully engaged the entire community in her work. In fact, this teacher has been engaging the greater Little Rock community since the age of 12 when she first started teaching Safety Town.
When students became passionate about helping the declining Monarch butterfly population, she saw an opportunity for her students to make a real difference in the world. Along with Mother Curtis and many volunteers, she has helped transform a few patches of neglected dirt in the Quinn Teaching Garden into a thriving, rich learning space that is now a well-known certified Monarch Waystation. Her Discovery Lab Instagram page has become a family favorite in many households as they follow the life cycle of many butterflies. Last year, they released 92 butterflies and thanks to her, Monarch mania is once again sweeping over the Lower School.
For her creative and inspired work in sparking the curiosity of our youngest students, her dedication to continual growth, and her ongoing work in support of her colleagues and the school, it is my pleasure to present the 2019 Lower School recipient of the Jackson T. Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award to our early childhood Design Lab teacher and Academic Technology Specialist, Mrs. Leigh Keener.
The Reverend Elizabeth Henry-McKeever '04 will give the homily at our all school convocation on September 4, 2019 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Reverend Henry-Mckeever is a member of Episcopal Collegiate School's Founding Class of 2004, and it is with great joy that we welcome her to campus as we begin our school year. As a member of Episcopal Collegiate's first graduating class, Reverend Henry-Mckeever was integral in shaping our academic and athletic programs. Very notable is that she was our first Honor Council President, and assisted in authoring Episcopal Collegiate's Honor Code, which is in place today.
She is a graduate of Davidson College and Virginia Theological Seminary, and she currently serves as Curate at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Little Rock. She will be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church on September 28, 2019.
The Class of 2019 gathered together for one final celebration as a class before heading to college. Episcopal Collegiate's annual send-off party was hosted by Dr. and Mrs. David Perkinson in August, and our newest alumni along with their parents and teachers, enjoyed reminiscing over dinner before moving to to attend nineteen colleges in thirteen states this fall. Click here to see the photo album from the evening!
Each year the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese awards a small number of $1000 scholarships to graduating senior class members who have shown evidence of high achievement in Spanish or Portuguese, including consistent high scores on the National Spanish Exam, throughout high school. After being nominated in May, Boyd Bethel was awarded one of the coveted scholarships in July! The selection committee announced that it was a very difficult decision because there was a record number of excellent candidates.
In order to be considered, Boyd wrote a two-page essay in Spanish about peer pressure, did a five-minute video interview in Spanish with Srta. Pettibone, and submitted his transcript, a detailed resume, and two letters of recommendation. According to the selection committee, Boyd was one of the most exemplary candidates for this highly competitive award.
¡Bravo, Boyd Bethel!
On May 18, 2019, Episcopal Collegiate School celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2019. The ceremony was held outside on the Episcopal quad for the first time since 2012. Episcopal Collegiate School Board of Trustee members and Episcopal faculty and staff began the procession. The Class of 2019 followed close behind, ringing the bell before walking onto the commencement stage. Commencement speaker, Brett Culp, addressed the students by congratulating them on their accomplishments thus far, and reminding them that this next stage of life will come with its own set of challenges, but encouraging them that they are more than ready to overcome whatever life throws at them. After Culp's address, class members were awarded diplomas and marched out of the ceremony together, gathering in the quad amidst their family, friends, and Episcopal community for a joyous cap toss signaling the end of their time as students on campus.
Congratulations, Class of 2019! We are immensely proud of you. A few highlights from this class include:
- 100% college acceptance
- 100% of the class awarded scholarships totaling more than $5.18 million
- Students were accepted to colleges in 27 states
- 28 – Average ACT score, with nearly 50% of the class scoring 30 or above
- 10% of the class was named National Merit Finalists
- 1 student named National Merit Scholarship winner
- 1 student named Arkansas Times All-Star
- Class members were admitted to 4 Ivy League Schools
The Reverend Elizabeth Henry McKeever '04 was ordained as a Deacon in the Episcopal Church on on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Little Rock at Trinity Cathedral. Elizabeth currently attends Virginia Theological Seminary and is a member of Episcopal Collegiate School's Founding Class of 2004. She is a graduate of Davidson College.
Nikki Moore, a member of Episcopal Collegiate School's Founding Class of 2004, has received the James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for Northern California.
After graduating from Episcopal, Nikki received her degree in Classics from UC Santa Barbara, where she was editor of the newspaper, The Daily Nexus. Beyond UCSB, she received her Juris Doctorate from UC Davis. She currently is council for the California Newspaper Publishers Association where she works as a lobbyist for First Amendment rights for the press.
Alexis Broadnax '16 is studying at the International University of Rabat in Morocco in the Field Studies in Journalism and Bew Media program. She will have the opportunity to study under the guidance of award-winning foreign correspondents and also learn from Moroccan scholars and experts in art, health, education, human rights, women's issues to name a few. This experience rounds out her Junior year at Marist College where she will begin her Senior year in August 2019.
Lauren Hampton Joyner '05 has created a healthy version of cheese dip called LOCA. This is not your average cheese dip, as it is plant based, dairy free, nut free, and gluten free. Episcopal Collegiate students also discovered that the dip is delicious, when Lauren generously shared the product with the student body. Lauren is a graphic designer who is based in San Francisco and is married to Jonathan Joyner '04. She has put her design career on pause to work LOCA, which is now being distributed nationally. For more information about LOCA, please visit www.eatlocafood.com