We have some exciting news to share with you. In 2009, the St. Francis Episcopal Day School Board of Trustees committed to improving our facilities for Primary School and for Middle School athletics. After master planning determined that the cost of addressing these facility needs on our existing campus was prohibitive, the Board began to search for additional land. Our criteria were exacting: We needed property that was large enough to accommodate our present and future needs, was in close proximity to our current campus, fell within our price range, and ultimately “felt” like St. Francis. Our Board searched for four years, and I am tremendously excited to announce to you that the search is over.
On May 16, St. Francis purchased 23 gorgeous acres at 2300 South Piney Point Road—less than two miles from our current campus! It is thrilling to consider the many opportunities this splendid piece of property offers our school and our students, from the addition of athletic fields and a new Primary School building to the expansion of our current campus’ parking capacity.
Several Board members deserve our heartfelt thanks for the opportunities that now lie ahead of us. A special thank you to Sandy Aron, Johnny Duncan, and Bill Montgomery, for without their wise guidance and persistent search for the most advantageous property to enhance St. Francis Episcopal Day School, we would not have managed to obtain this beautiful new site located so close to our main campus. Their vision, dedication and effort were essential to the realization of this dream, and I cannot thank them enough for the countless hours they devoted to the search for and purchase of our second campus. Furthermore, our appreciation goes out to Stacy Medrano, Ron Presswood, John Weinzierl, David Moore, Vanessa Sendukas and Jack Chandler who helped support the process along the way. I also cannot help but think that this achievement provides a fitting end to an already special school year. In addition to the land purchase, St. Francis accomplished the following in 2010–11—thanks to the hard work of our wonderful students, faculty, parents and Trustees:
♦ Our students won numerous awards and contests, from the JV Blue Boys Basketball Team that won the Presbyterian Tournament to the 10 Middle School students who medaled in the Junior Visual Arts Scholastic Event to the five Lower School and Middle School students who medaled at the State PSIA Meet.
♦ The St. Francis Boots and Bling Gala has grossed $780,000 so far and we're still counting proceeds. The St. Francis Day Festival grossed $84,000.
♦ Thanks to a generous family gift, we opened our fabulous new outdoor classroom on March 11. Our students have been extensively using and thoroughly enjoying The Woods, The Path and The Castle ever since.
♦ Our high school placement numbers continue to astound, with 97 percent of our students gaining entrance to the high school of their choice.
♦ Our Fine Arts Center benefited from a complete makeover thanks to a generous family gift and support from the Annual Fund.
♦ The athletic field is greatly improved following upgrades to drainage, grass, bleachers and sidewalks thanks to the support of several St. Francis families.
♦ Our school continues to enjoy solid financial stability, thanks to careful planning and conservative spending.
♦ The week before spring break, our Primary School playground benefited from several significant improvements thanks to many St. Francis families, with the installation of several new features and updates to existing equipment. Our students love the space’s new dinosaur dig, wishing well, musical instruments, water table, playhouse and other wonderful features!
Add to that the purchase of our new property, and you see why this past year has been so remarkable!
In closing, I want to share with you that our land purchase is just the beginning of a process that will require much effort and wisdom; many prayers; and ultimately, your continued financial support. We are fortunate to have you as partners in advancing our mission to motivate students to become imaginative, critical thinkers and people for others, and we look forward to your participation in the future.
We will keep you posted on our progress in the coming months. Because of your continued support, we can confidently say that the very best Pre-K to eighth-grade school in Houston is about to get even better!
Susan B. Lair, Ph.D.
Head of School