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.
Watch our video featuring WES’s founding.