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The Episcopal School of Knoxville larger this school year; will continue growing

The Episcopal School of Knoxville began its 10th school year Wednesday, Aug. 15, with 285 students, 48 teachers, new classroom space and classes in a third foreign language.

The school has seen several changes in the past year, school officials said, and will continue to see more. Enrollment at the kindergarten through eighth-grade school has grown 12.3 percent since this time last year.

The construction of 2,000 square feet of classroom space in the middle school is near completion. The $150,000 project, which was made possible through donations by Harry and Sarah Stowers and Randy and Kathryn Allen, built two new classrooms – one to be used for foreign language classes and one for classes in religions and world cultures.

In a separate project, the school began construction on 12,000 square feet of new middle school space. The construction will complete Phase II of the middle school building, renamed Googe Hall, making a total of 22,000 square feet in the middle school. Made possible through a gift from Dr. Paul B. Googe, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife Cynthia, the $1.5 million project will add four classrooms, making a total of 12, a dining room, great room, garden, administrative offices and media center. Googe Hall is expected to be completed by spring 2008.

Program changes include a requirement that all sixth-grade students take Latin. All other students in the school now choose between Spanish and French each year.

“Educational research supports our move to include Latin in our middle school curriculum,” Judy Colocotronis, director of curriculum, said.  “Latin is the basis for the Romance languages. As students leave the enrichment of lower school foreign language, Latin provides a bridge between this approach and the more serious language learning of French I and Spanish I.

“E-S-K is following the trend of private middle schools around the country that have begun to require Latin at the entry year, and some educators have called this one of the most promising trends in curriculum improvement. We feel it provides a solid foundation for more advanced language learning and signals high expectations for our students.

Other programmatic changes include the addition of a new middle school art technology course, emphasizing computer-based design and art, in addition to traditional studio art courses.

Of special interest in the middle school’s architectural design is a striking bell tower that will be built with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Samples.

The bell is being cast by sculpture artist Preston Farabow, an Episcopal School parent and owner of Ironwood Studios. Decoration on the bell is being cast from the railing at the entrance of the old St. John’s Orphanage off Cecil Street, which later became the Children’s Episcopal Home.


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