Our reading today from Ephesians talks about the way that humans have been “sealed to the Holy Spirit of God”. Perhaps we can also wonder today about how we are sealed to each other in the human family. My prayer today is that we keep our hearts open to finding that connection.
I am a trusted guide of future leaders, a gifted sculptor of future artists, a generous planter of future sowers. - ESD Manifesto
The Episcopal School of Dallas is committed to developing an educated conscience in its students that will ignite in them lives of purpose. Our school’s dedication to this goal is what drew me to this place and energizes the work that all of us do here.
We believe every person is made in the image of a loving God. Therefore, we aspire to be an inclusive community, one in which every student feels comfortable to be who they are in the context of meaningful relationships with their classmates and teachers. These bonds are strengthened through our emphasis on community experiences, whether they be our group service projects, our daily divisional chapel services, our class-wide outdoor education trips, or even our circular lunch tables—an intentional design meant to foster a sense of camaraderie and equity during social time. We hope that when you come to ESD, no matter your background or experience, that you will discover the welcoming spirit that permeates.
Great teachers make great schools. Through our rigorous hiring process and robust professional development program, we believe that ESD is in a solid position to recruit, develop, and retain the best educators possible. Our teachers know that they will encounter an intellectually diverse group of students in their classrooms. And, we are united in our goal to optimally challenge each student to be the best version of themselves in all aspects of their lives. We are proud of our results so far.
Among my favorite experiences during my time as Head of School have been the daily interactions that I have with students in our classrooms, at lunch, on the playing fields, and in the rehearsal spaces. They bring enthusiasm and energy to our campus that reinforce the positive learning atmosphere. It is a joy to be here.
We invite you to consider being part of our community and look forward to meeting you when you visit.
Onward and upward,
David L. Baad
The Ann and Lee Hobson Family
Head of School
On Thursday, August 27, Mr. Baad presented his opening homily for students. This brief includes a link to watch upper school chapel, led by Sophia Sinacola '21, and a transcript of Mr. Baad's reflection.
"I have faith that together, as a group with extraordinary goodwill and a shared mission, we will find ways ... let us rededicate ourselves to finding joy in our journey this year."
David L. Baad, The Ann and Lee Hobson Family Head of School
As Head of School, David Baad is charged to oversee all operational aspects of the school, support the Mission and Founding Tenets, and serve as a visionary leader to the school community. He believes that "Episcopal schools like ours must wrap all that we do in the classroom and on the fields in the moral framework that a faith-based school provides." His goals are to help shape students' lives and to sustain an atmosphere in which teachers can create and excel. Baad came to ESD from the St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest and most respected Episcopal schools in the country. He has operated on the front line throughout his 28-year career in virtually all aspects of the school, including: strategic planning, admissions, budget management, technology, curriculum development, faculty recruitment, and professional development, as well as board governance support for development and finance.
David earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, was a member of the prestigious Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and played varsity baseball for Rollins College in Florida. He received a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Ruth Burke, Associate Head of School
Ruth Burke is the Associate Head of School at The Episcopal School of Dallas, overseeing Enrollment, Communications, Community Culture, and Strategic Initiatives.
Ruth’s experience in independent school administration spans 28 years with 21 in service to ESD, at three nationally-recognized schools, The Bolles School, University Liggett School, and ESD, in the roles of administrator, teacher, coach, advisor, and dean. She has served as conference chair for the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Admission Conference and led numerous panel discussions and seminars for the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and ISAS. From 2009-2012, Ruth taught four-day seminars for Independent School Management (ISM), leading admission professionals from across the country in the application of best practices and admission trends.
Ruth grew up in Maryland and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Masters in School Administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where she played basketball and ran track and field.
Tracey Shirey, Head of Lower School
As Head of Lower School, Tracey Shirey is responsible for orchestrating the school experience of ESD students from age three to fourth grade. This includes academics, enrichment and special programs, Kids on Campus, and community life. She serves on the Executive Committee and collaborates closely with the Middle and Upper School Division Heads to ensure continuity of the ESD experience.
For the eight years prior to Tracey becoming an Eagle, she and Amy Cuccia co-founded Thinking Matters, a teacher coaching and curriculum development firm committed to helping teachers reach their full potential in the classroom for the benefit of each child. Her clients included ESD, Hockaday, St. John's Episcopal School, and Ft. Worth Country Day. Tracey spent the first 15 years of her career as an elementary classroom teacher. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, she served at Hockaday as the PK-4 Language Arts Coordinator, co-founder and co-director of the Hockaday Writing Institute, Ten-year ISAS Evaluation Chair, and the Curriculum and Scheduling Coordinator. At Highland Park, she was the fourth-grade team leader, technology chairperson, a member of the systems alignment and math mapping team, and two-year nominee for Teacher of the Year. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Gifted and Talented Education from SMU.
Jonathan Chein, Head of Middle School
As Head of Middle School, Jonathan is responsible for guiding the Middle School experience, which encompasses academics, extracurriculars, and community life. He serves on the Executive Committee and collaborates closely with the Middle and Upper School Division Heads to ensure continuity of the ESD experience.
Jonathan brings to ESD a track record of success as the Head of Upper School (grades 5 - 8) at Whitby School in Greenwich, Connecticut, for seven years. In addition to being Whitby's Head of Upper School, he immersed himself in school life, also teaching math, science, or life skills throughout his tenure. Other responsibilities have included Dean of Students, Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator, Interim Head of Lower School, Community Service Coordinator, and coach for girls and boys basketball, baseball, and softball. Jonathan is an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Accreditation Site Visitor and Workshop Leader. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton College and a Master of Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.
Henry Heil, Head of Upper School
As Head of Upper School, Henry Heil is responsible for guiding the Upper School experience, which encompasses academics, extracurriculars, community life, and college placement. Heil also serves as the active voice for academics on the executive committee, representing the Division Heads and Department Chairs.
Prior to joining ESD, Heil was the Founding Director of Residential Life and Assistant Dean of Students at Woodberry Forest, one of the nation’s top boarding schools, where he served for thirteen years. Heil was also the Founding Director of the Peer Leadership Council, Director of Community Service, Administrative Master, and Founding Director of the Woodberry Cup, a strategic initiative that engages students in project-based learning competitions. Before Woodberry Forest, Heil was the Director of Athletics, History and Sociology Instructor, and Head Baseball Coach for Oak Ridge Military Academy, a co-ed 8-12 grade day school in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Heil earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Davidson College, where he played varsity baseball, and a Master of Arts in History from the University of South Carolina. He was the English-speaking Union Scholarship Recipient at Felsted School in Essex County, England, and a Cum Laude Society member and the Honor Committee Chair at Virginia Episcopal School.
Eric Boberg, Ph.D., Academic Dean
As the Academic Dean of The Episcopal School of Dallas, Dr. Eric Boberg is charged with articulating, overseeing, and leading ESD’s learning and teaching priorities, promoting ESD’s Mission, supporting a system of practice that attracts and retains exemplary educators, and implementing and refining a professional growth system for faculty. Dr. Boberg began his teaching career in 1992 at Pine Crest School in Florida as an English teacher. He was also the school’s Director of Forensics and oversaw the nationally competitive speech and debate program. From 1992 until 2013, he was at Fort Worth Country Day School as an Upper School English teacher, Honor Council advisor, basketball coach, debate coach, and K-12 Curriculum Chair.
Boberg earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has his MBA from TCU’s Neeley School of Business and his Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. His dissertation focused on the relationship between school leadership, teacher collective efficacy, teacher extra effort, and student achievement, which he continues to research. He continues to research the effects of student engagement and the importance of trust within schools.
The Reverend Amy Heller, Senior Chaplain
As Senior Chaplain, The Reverend Amy Heller, is responsible for managing and overseeing ESD’s spiritual programming, including Daily Worship and Eucharist. She is also active in the community service program and in CORE programming, and works to ensure the advancement of relevant goals within the School’s strategic plan, including working to achieve goals in Ethics and Leadership and in implementing the Code of Conduct. Heller brings nearly 20 years of diverse experience to the School in pastoral care, teaching, and administration. Prior to joining the ESD community, she served as chaplain, administration team member, and religion department chair at Parish Episcopal School. Additionally, The Reverend Heller serves the congregation of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. Prior to moving to Texas, she served as chaplain, taught third grade, and developed the religious education curriculum at St. Thomas's Episcopal Day School in New Haven, Connecticut.
Ordained in 2004 in the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, Heller graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Religion and a Master of Divinity and Certificate of Anglican Studies from Yale Divinity School. Yale recognized her leadership and community building with the Berkeley Award in 1994.
Dan Gill, Director of Athletics
As the Athletic Director at The Episcopal School of Dallas, Dan Gill is responsible for sustaining and enhancing the excellence of our athletic programs and infrastructure. Coach Gill is building on ESD’s rich athletic history and will continue to move the School's athletic programming forward in tandem with ESD's Mission and core values of honor, respect, and integrity.
Prior to joining ESD, Coach Gill was the Athletic Director at Central Catholic High School, a large independent co-ed high school in Toledo, Ohio. Gill oversaw all aspects of 24 sports programs; mentored and developed coaches and student-athletes; collaborated with the leadership team; division heads; and department chairs to ensure alignment; and professionally represented Central Catholic at the conference and state level. Gill served two years as the Associate Athletic Director for the University School at Nova Southeastern University, a large, co-ed PreK-12 independent day school in Davie, Florida, and five years as the Director of Athletics/Assistant Recruitment Director/Head Boys Basketball Coach at St. Mary's High School, a co-ed independent day high school in Lancaster, New York. He served The Ohio State University Men's Basketball Team as team manager, sat on the Lancaster/Depew Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, and acted as the Diocese of Buffalo High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Chairman.
A Buffalo, New York, native, Gill earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from The Ohio State University. From Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, he earned a Master of Science in Sports Administration and a Master of Science in Physical Education. Gill is a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association through which he is designated as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator. He is also a Certified Sports Administrator through the George Washington University School of Business and a Certified Interscholastic Coach via the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Robert Buchholz, Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer of The Episcopal School of Dallas, Robert Buchholz oversees all accounting, business operations, facilities, technology, campus safety, and food service functions. Prior to this role, Buchholz served on the ESD Board of Directors from 2008-2011. From 2003-2010, Robert served as Chairman of the Board and founder of Town Center Bank.
Buchholz earned a J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina; an M.B.A. degree from Southern Methodist University; and a B.B.A. degree from the University of Texas. He is a former certified public accountant (1984-2003).
Denis Stokes, Chief Advancement Officer
As Chief Advancement Officer for The Episcopal School of Dallas, Denis Stokes oversees The ESD Fund, Alumni Relations, and the comprehensive campaign, Together, We Will.
Appointed in November 2017, Denis joined ESD from Christ School, an Episcopal boarding and day school for boys located in Asheville, North Carolina. With more than 30 years in school administration, he has extensive experience in admission and development work, which has included travel domestically and internationally.
Administrative assignments, in addition to almost 15 years at Christ School as Admission Director and then as Advancement Director, have included time at his undergraduate alma mater, Belmont Abbey College, as Vice President for Enrollment, Providence Day School, and Tulane University. He holds an MBA from The McColl School of Business, Queens University, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Denis and his wife, Felice, originally from New Orleans, have two grown children—Tyler, a Clemson University graduate beginning a career in school administration and coaching with Western Reserve Academy, Hudson, Ohio; and Corinne, a University of South Carolina graduate in her second year of nursing school.
Dawn Lewis, Head of Human Resources
As Head of Human Resources, Dawn Lewis leads HR practices and objectives that provide an employee-oriented, high-performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity and standards, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce. She also implements the overall provision of Human Resources services, policies, and programs while maintaining congruency with the Board approved Mission Statement.
Prior to coming to ESD, Dawns' professional roles included Assistant Vice President at Town Center Bank; Director of Business Development for TienaHealth Medical Group; and Director of Business Services for Coppell Family YMCA. Dawn earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources from American Intercontinental University and a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane Law School. Dawn also holds a Senior Human Resources Professional certification through the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP). She has received numerous professional awards and accolades, including the Top 50 Women in Coppell in 2000, Red Triangle Award for the Partner's campaign, and a Team Award and Professional Director Certification from APD.
We are grateful to the women and men who have generously given of their time and expertise to help The Episcopal School of Dallas become one of the premier college preparatory schools in the nation.
2020-21 Board of Directors
Giffen Weinmann, Chair
Don Carty, Chair Emeritus
Nancy Perot, Vice-Chair
Libby McCabe, Secretary
Mark Freeman, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee
Mary Adair Dockery, Chair, Nominating and Governance Committee
Chris Elliston '88, Chair, Advancement Committee
Jay Grogan, Chair, Building and Grounds Committee
Kimberly Ballard-Madison, Chair, Committee on Episcopal Identity
Veretta Frazier, Chair, Human Resources and Compensation
|Kimberly Ballard-Madison||Libby McCabe|
|Plack Carr, Lifetime Director||Kent McGaughy|
|Don Carty*||Giselle Montagna|
|April Cook*||Michael Munir '92|
|Mary Adair Dockery||David Munson, Lifetime Director|
|Rhonda Durham||Suku Nair|
|Chris Elliston '88||Nancy Perot|
|Veretta Frazier||Rob Raymond|
|Mark Freeman||Brendon Riley|
|Chris Girata||Kit Sawers|
|Jay Grogan||Jim Skochdopole|
|Richard Heath, Lifetime Director||Stephen Swann '93|
|Andy Keller||Giffen Weinmann, Chair|
|Michelle Kinder||Gregg Whiteman '81|
|Ryan Kneipper '99*|
|* ex officio|