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Get To Know Your Lower School Division Head
Tracey Shirey

Dear Lower School Families,

Happy New Year! I can’t believe we are already in January and in the year 2020. I spent a good part of New Year’s Eve reflecting on the past 10 years. My daughters were 3 and 7 in 2010 (now 13 and 17- incredible journey), and I’d been married for 15 years (just hit 25!) Over the course of that decade I launched an educational consulting business, found an amazing new church home, landed at ESD, survived a house remodel, lost a dog and gained two, and lived through my dad’s journey and ultimate death from Parkinson’s Disease. And there was one of those bigger birthdays that snuck in last year. As I journaled about these and other memories of the decade I found myself humbly filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the loved ones in my life, the teachers who inspire my spirit, the leadership surrounding me, the amazing support of the ESD community, and especially the children who fill my heart every single day. 

Recently Chaplain Heller preached about the Epiphany and the gifts brought to Jesus. She was sharing with the students that you don’t have to have gold, frankincense, and myrrh to give. She prompted students to think of things they could do or give that would please the Lord and be helpful to others. She asked the students to think, What could you give to Jesus? And that’s when a four-year-old girl in the front row, who took the question literally, burst out: LOVE! It was the sweetest and most sincere response I’ve ever heard. Just priceless. So here’s to leading our lives for the next ten years with this beautiful gift called LOVE. - Tracey


Over the course of the fall semester, the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School Division Heads talked about mixing up the format of our monthly newsletters.  One idea we discussed was to record a podcast. After some brainstorming, we decided to give it a try, and the Tuesday before winter break the three of us recorded a conversation that, among other things, touched on our own experiences as students, how we ended up working with kids and at schools, and some of those early experiences.  The move to a podcast is not intended to be a permanent one, but we would love your feedback on whether or not you found it enjoyable and worthwhile.


Tracey Shirey, Jonathan Chein, and Henry Heil

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