In Recognition of Service To Our School

Holy Trinity Episcopal School Titans

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Greetings Titan family!

This week’s message is being published a day early to remind you that our “Donuts with Grownups” event is tomorrow at 7:50 am. All students are welcome to come and enjoy donuts with a grownup loved one (mom, dad, grandmother, uncle, etc.). Please join us for this fun way to start the day!

I am also writing this week’s message to announce a few staff changes for 2022-2023.

One of the benefits of working at schools like Holy Trinity is the genuine sense of community that develops over time among the teachers and staff. Striking the balance between work and friendship is a challenge. However, when you are blessed with working alongside teachers who care as much as ours and who are as eager to be their best (both professionally and personally), that important balance often sets itself as relationships grow.

This benefit comes, though, with an emotional price. School life is part of life, but is not all of life. Sometimes, life outside of school reveals a path that may not align with the school path. In these moments, tough choices need to be made. As Head of School, I have a great deal of respect for all our teachers and when those moments arise, I know that the decisions prudently made with great care. We are always sad to see our friends choose a new adventure, but honor their decision and celebrate their contributions to our school. 

As such, I want to announce a few staff changes that are coming in 2022-2023.

Mrs. Candice Smith will be moving away from the area as her husband begins a new chapter in his professional life. Mrs. Smith plans to continue teaching at a school closer to where she will be living. Candice joined HTES last year. Originally, she was seeking substitute teaching opportunities, but when we had an unexpected departure, she took on the 3rd grade teaching role. I wish Candice the best in her new adventure and thank her for her service to our school and students.

In 2016, after a long career in public school, Mrs. Susan Hinson joined HTES to teach 2nd grade. Since I arrived in 2018, Susan has been a consummate professional. Her excellence has earned her recognition from her peers as she was chosen as our Teacher of the Year in 2021. In addition, Susan has collaborated on multiple curriculum enhancements and has used her professional background to work with students outside of class either one-on-one and in small groups.

After many years of service, Susan has made the tough decision to retire from full-time teaching in order to spend more time with her husband and the rest of her family. However, she will still be a presence at HTES as she transitions from full-time teacher to becoming our on-site learning support specialist for grades 1-5. The details for this new role are still being developed, but it will be part-time a few days per week to support students with identified and specific learning needs that require specialized attention.

I hope you will join me in thanking both Candice and Susan for their outstanding service to our community.

In response to these changes, there are a few returning teachers who have been asked to take on a new challenge next year.

First, Mrs. Wicks has been asked to be the new 3rd grade teacher. Mrs. Wicks joined us after the start of this year to lead the 4K class. One of her strengths is her experience working with a wide variety of age groups. In addition, her vision for teaching and guiding students is well aligned with the needs of 3rd grade students. This change does create an opportunity in 4K. I am working on that now and will have more to share soon.

For second grade, Mrs. Ballinger has enthusiastically agreed to take on that challenge. It was important to fill that role with a teacher who would be a good choice based on the work Mrs. Hinson has done. Mrs. Ballinger has worked very closely with Mrs. Hinson for 4 years and is in a great position to make the move from 1st to 2nd grade. We are excited for Mrs. Ballinger to expand her professional experiences with this new role in 2022-2023.

Ms. Rynard joined us this year to teach 4th grade. Before joining us, she had a variety of teaching experiences. One of those was working specifically with 1st graders. In our conversations about her professional growth throughout the year, she has expressed a desire to have opportunities to teach different age groups, especially younger students, if the situation called for that. With the staff changes being made, I have asked her to move into the 1st grade position next year. Ms. Rynard is very excited for this experience and we feel that her strengths will fit well in the 1st grade classroom.

This does create an opening in 4th grade. I have begun the search process and will update the community when there is more to share.

As of now, all other staff and teaching roles will remain the same. The only exception is that Ms. Escalante, who will remain the art teacher, will officially take over the role of Director of Enrollment Management (Admissions and Retention) in 2022-2023.

Now, here are a few reminders/announcements for upcoming events.

Prospective Family Open House

We are hosting a new series of prospective family open house events. The next is Monday, April 11 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Please help us by telling your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Other Open House dates include: April 25, May 9, and May 23. For more information, please contact Ms. Escalante ([email protected]).

Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Break

We are happy to have our Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday, April 14. Each student needs to bring 10 eggs filled with candy. This is a free dress day, too! The schedule for the hunt is:

  • 2:00: 3K and 4K in the front of school
  • 2:15: Kindergarten and 1st grade in the Serenity Garden (side of school near the gym doors)
  • 2:30: 2nd and 3rd grade in the Discovery Farm Garden area
  • 3:00: 4th and 5th grade in the Playground

Questions about the Easter Egg Hunt should be directed to Ms. Escalante. Please note that we are closed for Easter Break on Friday, April 15 and Monday, April 18.

Stanford Testing

Grades 3-5 will have Stanford Testing the week of April 25. Mr. Waller is coordinating these standardized tests. The results are used to help us track student progress and help us identify potential areas of curriculum improvement.

TPA Volunteers Needed

We are working on a number of events for both this year and next that need volunteer help. Please contact Ms. Escalante for more information.

Thank you again for your support.

It’s a great time to be a Titan,

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