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Mission and Manifesto

Igniting a life of purpose through the development of an educated conscience.- ESD Mission (short form)

Our Mission Statement (long form)

Igniting a life of purpose through the development of an educated conscience.

On the first day of school in 1974, The Reverend Canon Stephen B. Swann and his faculty of two gathered their eleven students around a campfire, and they together established the principles that would become the foundation of The Episcopal School of Dallas. Our Founding Tenets of religio, daily worship; eruditio, scholarship; and disciplina, training within a community of learners, have continued to direct our mission to ignite a life of purpose in each student through the development of an educated conscience. In combination with outdoor education and service learning, these elements are essential to the ESD experience, allowing teachers to shepherd children through lessons that enable them to overcome trepidation, develop resilience, and embrace stillness.  

Though we have grown to serve more than 1,100 students, age 3 to 12th grade, we continue to know and love each child.  We optimally challenge all students, capitalizing on their passions or interests, making our most advanced curriculum accessible to all. We shape our curriculum using the Hallmarks of an ESD Education: academic excellence and rigor, a strong sense of community, understanding of self, and a faith-informed foundation of values. Our community members  live with honor, integrity, and respect for all as expressed in our Code of Conduct. 

ESD’s faculty and staff are the backbone of our institution and are paramount to the school’s success. They are committed to inspiring, developing, and sustaining excellence and strive to balance the rigors of a college-preparatory environment with nurture and compassion. Guided by the belief that we make our collective work better through the sharing of our practice with one another, our educators are committed to reflection, growth, and collaboration.  Our faculty of lifelong learners models intellectual discovery, risk-taking, and continuous improvement. 

Central to the school’s teaching culture is its Episcopal identity. We value the dignity of every human being, as we believe that each child is a unique individual, created in and reflecting the image of a loving God. We are committed to establishing, maintaining, and nurturing a diverse, safe, and inclusive environment where people of all faith traditions are welcomed, valued, and heard. Essential to our Episcopal Identity is the conviction that diversity enhances the quality of an ESD education and is essential to the development of a well-rounded person. We welcome and celebrate diversity in all its forms, including but not limited to socioeconomic background, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

I am a student:

A mind open to direction,

A heart open to others,

A soul open to searching.

I am as unique and as precious

As my desires, my needs, and my ideas.

I am raw potential,

Just waiting to be discovered,


And shared.

I am igniting lives of purpose.


I am a teacher:

A trusted guide of future leaders,

A gifted sculptor of future artists,

A generous planter of future sowers.

I am a trail of crumbs for curious minds,

A bellows for sparks of creativity.

I am faithful and passionate:

Transforming question marks into exclamation points,

Knowledge into wisdom,

Hesitation into conviction.


I am igniting lives of purpose.

I am a school – But so much more.

I am a family,

A sanctuary,

A catalyst.

My mission is lofty,

And my standards are extraordinary.

I appreciate the importance of exemplary test scores,

But my goal is exemplary lives.

I strive to send my graduates to exceptional universities,

But my ultimate destination for them is exceptional happiness.

I am not just educating,

Not just mentoring,

Not just shepherding,

Not just inspiring.

I am preparing lives that will go out from the classroom,

Reach out to the community,

And stand out in the world.

I am Th­e Episcopal School of Dallas.

And I am igniting lives of purpose.