On Thursday, September 20, more than 1,100 gathered to celebrate the installation of David L. Baad as the third Head of School for The Episcopal School of Dallas. In attendance were all faculty, staff, and students grades four - twelve, as well as many younger students, parents, grandparents, alumni, Baad's family, friends, and former colleagues, retired teachers, current and former Board members, fellow ISAS Heads of School, and Mayor Mike Rawlings.
"We could not be more excited for our community to move into the future with Dave Baad at the helm," Don Carty, Chair of the Board of Directors, said. "Dave understands and values our mission of providing our children with a faith-based education that will prepare them for lives of intellectual discovery, integrity, and purpose."
Renowned educator Vance Williams, who retired this year after serving St. Albans School as head of school for 19 years, delivered the installation address. "Our calling to teach is a moral calling; our interest in the spiritual life and religion is crucial to both the individual and society," Wilson said. "Dave Baad believes that vision will become a reality if you first attend to detail – to small things. And, like the mustard seed in the parable, if your vision is that, the seeds will grow into heavenly things."
Stephen Swann '93, the son of ESD's Founding Rector and Headmaster The Reverend Canon Stephen B. Swann, presented Baad with the Pass It On Candle, the symbol of ESD's oldest and most powerful tradition. Father Swann, who died peacefully Monday, September 17, was honored throughout the ceremony and with a moment of silence.
"Father Swann believed that every child is made in the image of God. Every child, regardless of their strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics, is worthy of God's love, our attention, and our nurturing," Baad said. "It was providential for me that this school needed a head at the perfect time in my life. The mission and ethos of this place fit who I am as a person. And I feel very fortunate and grateful that I found it, and it found me."
Baad was presented several gifts to ease his transition into being an Eagle. The Lower School offered a book of advice featuring pearls of wisdom like "don't climb up the slide," from the Kindergarten class, and "when they say clean up, they mean everything," from Beginners; Middle School students presented appropriate Texas attire including blue jeans, a belt buckle, and a 10-gallon hat; and Upper School students gifted a compass to always find True North. The division heads, Alumni Association, and Parents' Association also offered special gifts.
The Mayor presented Baad with a special proclamation. "Thank you, alumni, thank you, students, thank you parents, and thank you for this community of ESD for what you have given back to the city," Mayor Rawlings said. Turning to Baad, he said, "Dallas is going to be great, I believe, in the near term - I know it is. The question that you and I have to deal with is, 'Is it going to be great in 20 years? 30 years?' And the work that you do now makes those decisions."
Before being named ESD's Head of School, Baad served 28 years at St. Albans School, one of the nation's oldest and most respected Episcopal schools located in Washington, D.C. There, he taught, coached, served as Director of Athletics and Auxiliary Programs, and Associate Head of School.
Onward and upward.