MAESA Matters September 2021


Greetings from MAESA!

"Welcome back! We're glad to see you!" This familiar refrain heard throughout schools this fall has more meaning than usual in 2021. Needless to say, there is a great deal of relief, enthusiasm and hopefulness wrapped into that refrain this year. Across the spectrum of our MAESA schools, some are welcoming only students old enough to have received a COVID vaccine while other schools have only students who are too young to have received the vaccine. Uncertainty remains about the COVID variants, which safety measures still must be observed, and if this promising start may be interrupted. For today, let us be grateful to be together, and when we worry to offer it up to God as Paul's letter to the Philippians reminds us. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

MAESA certainly hopes the return to campus for your faculty, staff and students is going well, and that we will see you at one of our MAESA events this year. Thank you our schools that have renewed their membership in MAESA for the 2021-2022 year. We are very grateful for your support! If you still need to renew this year, then we ask you to visit the MAESA membership page for renewal details.

MAESA's Annual Membership Meeting will be virtual on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Our meeting hosts, Holy Trinity: An Episcopal School, will provide streaming of our meeting on Zoom which includes a keynote address by one of their trusted partners, Ms. Kaliq Hunter Simms. You can register for the meeting using this link. Then we will send you the meeting link for Oct 1st. At our annual meeting we are also excited to announce the recipients of the 2021 MAESA Steward Award. Our Annual Meeting is generously sponsored this year by Southern Teachers.

The MAESA Annual Meeting keynote speaker, Ms. Hunter Simms, is an experienced educational consultant and presenter. Through her firm, The Higher Learning Group, she chairs the Baltimore Student Diversity Leadership Conference and consults with independent schools, public school districts, and education non-profit organizations in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. For our MAESA leaders, Kaliq will specifically address “Now What? Sustaining the Momentum of Diversity and Equity Initiatives After the Dust Settles.”

While we had hoped to join together in person at Holy Trinity on Oct. 1st, we realized that so many of our school leaders are still juggling additional responsibilities related to the pandemic. We hope this meeting might serve as a professional development opportunity for our members and plan to have time for conversations, small group discussion and sharing surrounding this important topic of how to continue the conversation and the momentum in schools doing DEI work.

So, please keep the date Friday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m. on your calendar and consider how it may be possible to support additional faculty and staff in your school to carve out time from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. to join MAESA colleagues for this streamed event. You can register to let us know you’re joining us here, and we will share the meeting link.

October also marks our MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebrations! We have an update on the October 6th worship service at Washington National Cathedral. Our service for elementary students will be streamed instead of inviting students into Washington National Cathedral. MAESA is working with our host school, Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, and chaplains from our Washington D.C. area elementary schools to have students participate with pre-recorded readings and hymns to share as part of the streamed worship on October 6th. We are also planning a letter writing service project for students to send love to our brothers and sisters in Haiti who are struggling to recover from the recent earthquake.

MAESA is partnering with St. Catherine's School and St. Christopher's School to hold the Episcopal Schools Celebration in Richmond at St. Paul's Church on Oct. 20th. As we continue to plan the worship and service elements of the day we will share those details with participating school leaders. Should you have any questions in the meantime, please email maesaschools@gmail.com.

November 5, 2021, is the MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference and registration is now open. More information is below, and complete details are on our ECE conference registration page. We are excited about the workshops that are planned, delivered by so many of our MAESA schools' faculty. Please share these details with your own faculty and staff to register.
A Welcome from MAESA President
Danny Vogelman
Head of School
Washington Episcopal School
President, MAESA Board of Governors

Greetings MAESA Community,

One of the things I appreciate about Faculty Work Week is that we get to hear about the many summer adventures of our colleagues. This summer, one particular colleague drove across the United States, and his favorite stop was the Muir Woods National Park in California which is known for its magnificent redwood trees. Hearing about his experience caused me to do some research on redwood trees as I have never had the opportunity to see one in person.

Redwoods are fascinating trees especially in regard to how they support their enormous size. One would think that trees that grow up to 380 feet would need deep root systems to stabilize themselves and help them weather strong winds and fierce storms. On the contrary, redwoods have very shallow root systems and instead of those roots running deep into the earth, they run close to the surface and interlock with the roots of other redwood trees. This also allows the trees to share nutrients. Through their connections, redwoods are given strength and the ability to support other redwoods. 

As we enter yet another challenging school year, the need for that redwood-like support will be integral to our success and well-being. Whether we need to brainstorm ideas with colleagues, check to be sure we are on the right path, or simply share in our worries and in our accomplishments, our connections sustain us. 

On behalf of the MAESA Board of Trustees, I hope that you view the association as another redwood that you can grab onto and use for support. The breadth of our board of governors, from heads to chaplains to admissions officers and DEI leaders, allows us to meet a variety of needs. We are committed to helping Episcopal schools celebrate and articulate what makes them distinct in the education set and valuable to students and families.

As I speak to current and prospective families, I hear an increasing appreciation for what our Episcopal schools are so uniquely positioned to offer. In times of turmoil and uncertainty, we provide that North Star – those Episcopal principles that ground us and remind us of our mission. One of those essential principles is to value every student as a unique and worthy child of God. I often frame the conversation with families around what we seek to offer as an Episcopal school in addition to academics: school worship, community life, religious formation and study, and social justice (NAES). These elements will benefit every student as they grow into the whole person they have been created to be. 

As President of your MAESA Board of Governors, I’m privileged to work with and learn more about the many exceptional Episcopal schools that make up MAESA. I look forward to the year ahead and welcome hearing from you as well.

MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference

Erica Thompson
Assistant Head of School for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School

Conference Keynote: "Helping Students Celebrate Self and Others"

Erica relates that our youngest students are developing their individual identities. Each day they are learning something new, developing habits, and picking up cues and clues. As educators we are instrumental in that development. Each child should be celebrated for who they are, but they are also beginning to recognize who they are relative to others. Growing bodies of research have shown us that students notice differences at very young ages. How can we work to celebrate those differences and learn about each other? How can we give young students the facts and information that will help them understand themselves and those differences? Sharing stories from her personal as well as professional life, Erica will engage our members about how starting these conversations at the youngest ages is essential to our work as we develop students to be confident, empathetic, and successful in our schools and beyond.

On Friday, November 5, 2021 MAESA will hold our annual Early Childhood Educators Conference hosted by Washington Episcopal School. Registration is open so check out the conference registration page and please share with your faculty and staff as they plan for their professional development this coming year.

Here is a sampling of some our 2021 conference workshops:
  • Laying a Strong Foundation for Young Mathematicians
  • Teaching Page-By-Page: How Children's Literature Can Be Used To Teach Children Valuable Lessons.
  • You Can’t Add When You’re Sad or Mad: Supporting the Mental Health of Students and Teachers
  • Building Foundations for Positive Identity Development during the Foundational Years 
  • Exercising our Attitudes of Gratitude: A Firm Foundation for Service Learning
  • “Tech Time”: Balancing Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom and Beyond
  • Minding Social and Emotional Well-being of Students
  • Chapel Every Day: Integrating children's spirituality into the classroom
  • Using Art to Strengthen Your Classroom Community of Young Learners
Mark Your Calendar
2021-2022 MAESA Event Dates
2021 MAESA Fall Members' Meeting Friday, October 1, 2021, Join your MAESA colleagues: heads of school, chaplains, division directors, DEI directors and other school leaders for this streamed event 10:00 a.m. hosted by Holy Trinity: An Episcopal School. RSVP here and we will send you the meeting link to join us.

MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebration and Service in Washington, D.C.: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at Washington National Cathedral and hosted by Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School. MAESA will stream this worship service for all our schools, and we are working to include video recordings of reading and anthems from our member schools. Questions or would you like to participate? Contact us at maesaschools@gmail.com to learn more.

MAESA Episcopal Schools Celebration and Service in Richmond, Va.: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Church, Richmond. This worship service is for MAESA schools' students, and we are inviting middle school aged students this year. This year we are planning student engagement time following the worship service to extend our time together.

MAESA Early Childhood Educators Conference, Friday, November 5, 2021 hosted by Washington Episcopal School. Registration is open and all of the details are on the conference registration page on our website.

MAESA Choral Evensong Sunday, February 6, 2022 at Washington National Cathedral at 4:00 p.m. MAESA chorister rehearsals will begin at 1:00 p.m. The opportunity to sing with the MAESA combined choir is open to all upper school choirs who are members of MAESA.

2022 MAESA Scholars Fair Friday, April 29th at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School. This event is open to students in 4th-8th grade in MAESA member schools. Please mark your calendar and contact maeasschools@gmail.com with any questions. Scholars Fair event guidelines and registration information will be shared in fall 2021.
Let us hear from you!
Katherine F. Murphy 
MAESA Executive Director