History

Grace Episcopal School was founded in 1954 as St. Christopher’s Episcopal Day School by Grace Episcopal Church under the leadership of Rector John Maury Allin, later to become the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and June Strausser, serving as the Head of School for nearly three decades. In August of 1985, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Day School was renamed Grace Episcopal School (GES) to emphasize its relationship to the Parish of Grace. From its inception, St. Christopher’s and later GES has emphasized and nurtured the education of the whole individual. A fine arts program, a physical education program, a language arts program, a music program, religious education and chapel, community service programs—all enjoyed by each grade at varying appropriate levels— demonstrate and complement GES’s commitment to this ideal.

 

The same year that the name change was effected, 1985, saw the addition of a Middle School with expansion to Grade Eight completed by 1987. By 1992, Bancroft Hall had been added to accommodate the growing Middle School. GES survived a fire in 1997 and by 1999 reconstruction of all destroyed or damaged buildings was complete. The school’s physical plant following this disaster was, if anything, bigger and better than ever before. The gracious “brick and ivy” Gothic architecture of the original buildings was respected and followed in the new architectural plans to lovely effect. The Sager Life Center, a new gymnasium and activities center, was completed in 2001 and continues to serve as a daily reminder of the remarkable dedication of Grace Church Parishioners and GES parents to this very unique institution.

GES is committed to diversity and this commitment is lived out in the classrooms and on the playing field. In addition to competing with other parochial and independent schools, Grace students regularly compete in athletic and academic events with students from public schools in our area.

Bishop Allin and June Strausser set into motion a tradition of preparing students for academic excellence and for nurturing spiritual development. Their vision of developing a school that emphasizes individualized learning, spiritual growth, diverse experiences and a close partnership of school and home was realized and is still felt today—more than 50 years later.