Welcome from the Head of School

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This quote underscores why I am thrilled to be a part of Washington Episcopal School (WES). Thirty-two years ago, WES was founded by an impressive and dynamic entrepreneurial spirit within the founding head of school, parents, and faculty who came together to do something different –to build an educational institution that supports the principles of the Episcopal Church while maintaining independent academic integrity. Not only did it take conviction to form this school but deep courage. Even then the DC metro area was filled with many fine preschools and elementary schools, could the area sustain one more? The answer was a resounding, “yes." Since the school's founding in 1986, WES has grown from 90 students to over 270, and in 1995, WES added a Middle School. 

Students at WES not only acquire excellent academic knowledge but with the guidance of the dedicated and enthusiastic faculty that includes a chaplain, award-winning teachers, learning and enrichment specialists, and coaches, students become more confident; stretch their social and academic boundaries; grow into creative problem-solvers; and develop an appreciation for the world around them and an understanding of their responsibility to contribute positively to that world. Successful students at WES are defined by their knowledge, kindness, and self-reliance.

At WES, we do not assign nor limit our students to outdated modes of identification such as the art student, the math kid, or the science whiz. Every child explores a wide range of enriched subject matter including art, drama, STEM, religion, music, movement, physical education, public speaking, and much more through traditional teaching methods, as well as, hands-on projects, experiential study trips, team assignments, new technology, and individual support. The result of this effort is the remarkable placement of WES graduates into top area independent secondary schools, competitive public school programs such as IB or magnet schools, and national boarding schools. WES currently has 131 graduates at 38 different secondary schools. WES teaches its students not only to create their own path but how to make the most out of the experience along the way.

I welcome you to our website and cordially invite you to our campus. We hope you will discover the joy of learning not only on these pages but in-person. 

Danny Vogelman
Head of School 


History

In March 1986 a small group of committed parents joined together with Isabelle S. Schuessler, former Head of St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in DC, to establish Washington Episcopal School. Under the inspired and visionary leadership of its Board Chair, Robert E. Freer, Mrs. Schuessler, along with Dorothy McSweeny and other founders, the school grew and prospered.

The school opened its doors to 90 students in September of that same year in a temporary space in the basement of Pilgrim Lutheran Church on Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland. The school moved in 1987 to its present site in Bethesda, convenient to Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Enrollment grew steadily and a Middle School (Grades 7 and 8) was added in 1995. The unique, exciting study trip program, which sends older students to Utah, Italy, France, and Spain was developed as an important component of the academic program, and included in tuition. With increasing enrollment came the need for bigger and better facilities. After a successful Capital Campaign, WES completed a comprehensive building program that transformed the campus. 


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