"Two Daughters, One School" was originally published in the St. George's Episcopal School magazine, Accolade, in the 2020-2021 publication. Jennifer Coleman, the author, is the mother of Evangeline (3rd) and Vivienne (2nd).
“My favorite part of the day is when I see you at afternoon carpool” is said interchangeably between our daughters. In their early school years at St. George’s, we were sent many keepsake photos by teachers of Evangeline, second grade, and Vivienne, first grade, greeting each other through or over the safety gate that separates the Early Childhood play areas. Once Vivienne entered Pre-K4 and could be on the play structure, we began to receive photos of them all over school together. Their own excited reports of how many hugs they shared when they ran into each other in passing became one of my favorite parts of the day.
St. George’s has become such an important extension of our family that I’ve called it our second home during the six school years one or both daughters has attended. I like how going to the same school gives our daughters shared memories outside of immediate family life. From the mud kitchen; the four core values (perseverance, integrity, respect and compassion, as my daughters often chant); tools and terms for learning, like spotting a “sneaky e” in a spelling word; and truly meeting kids at their respective levels, there is so much about St. George’s that makes it a family school whether you have one child or five.
While one of our daughters makes progress with dyslexia and impresses us with her imagination and creativity, the other likes to explain grammar rules or do math “for fun” on weekends. St. George’s has the resources to be exactly the right school for each child, and the values learned at school help them admire each others’ strengths and give support during tough moments.
Our second home has such skilled and caring faculty and staff who pay attention to a child’s needs and learning styles, as well as what might be going on at home. I’ve had three big surgeries while Evangeline and Vivienne have been St. George’s students; part of what made me feel ready for each were messages from teachers saying they’d give our kids extra TLC. That’s hard to imagine since St. George’s students receive so much attention to detail on a daily basis. I sincerely didn’t know a school could be or feel this way.
As a new Board of Trustees member, my husband, Jon, is on the Board of Trustees JEDI Committee, and he chairs the Facilities and Master Planning Committee, while my efforts are more behind the scenes. One of the best compliments I’ve received as a parent was that a parent in Vivienne’s grade thought I was a teacher because she would see me lingering on the playground during drop off, chatting with Evangeline’s classmates. We are all in when it comes to the mission and future of St. George’s. With Jon’s added involvement, only our cat is not a part of school, says Vivienne (though he is very loud and can be heard in the background of school phone calls and Google Meets).
Our second home finds a strong balance between hard work and care, including helping all of us through “the Covid years.” While we look forward to a more normal school year where our daughters can see each other on campus, we are also relieved that they’re at the same school during the pandemic.
And not just any school, our family’s school.
- Parent Voice