In a special upper school service held on Monday, September 18, 2023, Matthew Peal was commissioned as the Clark Family Head of Upper School. The Clark and Prothro family endowed the position to help ensure ESD's ability to attract and retain the best possible educator to lead the upper school.
Monday's ceremony featured remarks by Denis Stokes, Chief Advancement Officer, Hobson Family Head of School Dave Baad, and prayers led by Stemmons Family Senior Chaplain The Reverend Nate Bostian. Included in the presentation were alumnae parents Nita Prothro Clark and J.H. Cullum Clark.
In his comments, Baad recalled that Caren Prothro, grandmother to Lili '15, Annabel '17, and Charlotte '21 and former ESD board member, remarked how she was driven to support ESD because of the school's belief that every child has the potential to grow ethically and intellectually and become their best selves because of their student experience. "Our next holder of the endowed Clark Family Head of Upper School position, Mr. Matt Peal, has already proven to be an outstanding embodiment of this aim. With his 'Be Good, Do Good' mantra, his clear care for your ethical growth through the setting of high standards, and the support he gives you in meeting them, Mr. Peal has begun to establish himself as a worthy upholder of Mrs. Prothro's sentiments."
Baad continued, "Endowment gifts such as the Clark's allow ESD to do such work, impacting lives now and in generations to come by providing a permanent funding source."
For his installation, Peal affirmed his commitment to upholding the standards and values of ESD by saying, "I will, with God's help," to:
Will you, as the Clark Family Head of Upper School, seek to ignite lives of purpose and develop educated consciences in the students entrusted to your care?
Will you, by word and example, seek to be a role model to our students and faculty and hold yourself to high standards of character and behavior?
Will you work for the well-being of those in our community in accordance with the Mission, Values, and Founding Tenets of The Episcopal School of Dallas?
Peal said, "It's moments like this where I want to step back and pinch myself. How lucky am I to be in this position, at this school, at this time? This is, without a doubt, the greatest honor of my professional career, and I am excited to work with such a talented and dedicated team to carry forward the mission of ESD. "