Winter 2016 Newsletter

A Season of Hope

A Note from the Executive Director

The anticipation in the air is palpable. The boys of the Bishop Walker School are bursting with holiday spirit, and their excitement is contagious. I’m thrilled that not all of the enthusiasm coursing through our hallways is related to their desire for new toys and gifts. For example, one of our kindergartners—I'll call him Jason—recently marched into my office to read a story he had written using some newly acquired vocabulary words. His skillful use of monosyllabic rhyming words reminded me of one of my literary heroes, Dr. Seuss. I was struck by how brightly Jason’s face beamed as he read each line. His pride was evident and in stark contrast to the frustration he had demonstrated just a few short weeks ago when he was feeling overwhelmed by an alphabet that seemed totally random and meaningless to him. Thanks to his teachers and a tutor who have worked faithfully with him since September, Jason clearly demonstrated that he had begun to embrace "the love of learning" we strive to develop in all of our students.
Great novels, scientific discoveries, and hit songs all begin with a foundation of literacy. We don’t know which path Jason will follow in pursuit of his dreams but we know, thanks to your support, that he’ll have the tools and preparation he’ll need to embark on the journey. In this season of hope, we look forward with great anticipation, to futures full of promise for all of our students.
As we reflect on the blessings of this past year, we are humbled by the generosity of our many friends. Thank you for the countless ways you have been there for our students this year. In this season of giving, as you consider how you can support the causes and activities that are making a meaningful difference in our community, we hope you will consider a generous year-end gift to the Bishop Walker School. Please click here to give a gift today. There’s a future scientist, explorer, inventor, or novelist who’s counting on you.
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!


James Woody, Executive Director and President
P.S. I would like to invite you to attend our Lessons and Carols holiday service on Friday, December 16th! For more details, read the Upcoming Events section of this newsletter.

Teacher Appreciation


My colleagues, the men and women with whom I spend school days, are members of "the noble profession." Generous by definition, they are dream builders, giving and hoping sometimes beyond reason, that the world always has the capacity for the ideal. Each day, I watch them instill their remarkably innocent charges with intellectual fortitude while simultaneously fostering empathic character. One by one, they walk confidently into the school house, always subconsciously prepared for the unexpected while fully prepared for predictable academic intentions. Tactfully appropriate with families, congenially collaborative with colleagues, and sensitively thoughtful with children, they care...and they try...and they love...and they ask for little in return. There are no hearty accolades, just small, personal victories camouflaged by words, numbers, sounds, and movement. Sometimes dormant, the rewards may only be discovered by the undiscovered future.

"I am a teacher because I want to make a difference!"
"I am a teacher because it's the only thing I've ever wanted to be."
"I am a teacher because I love kids!"
"I am a teacher because I love inspiring the inner and outer potential of children."
"I am a teacher because the "a ha!" moment makes me happier than I can describe."
"I am a teacher because I believe I have the power to make a difference."
"I am a teacher because I want to empower kids to live up to their potential."
"I am a teacher because it's fun!"
"I am a teacher because I want students to develop into the best version of themselves."
"I am a teacher because I have a calling to help learners be the best they can be."

So, thank you BWS community, for appreciating and supporting the good work of teachers. Your trust and respect make all the difference as we travel this meandering road together.


Tawana Purnell, Head of School

BWS Rugby Team Takes Fourth in Sheehy Invitational

Last month, the Bishop Walker School flag rugby team won the school’s second ever athletic trophy in the 3rdAnnual Sheehy Invitational at Gonzaga High School! Played on a beautiful Saturday morning, BWS took fourth place in the tournament while returning over half of last year’s players.

Coach Herb Scott commented, “The team played great in their first competition of the year. We have some new players that performed very well in their first games, and I look forward to spring practice and the city-wide tournament in May!” The BWS rugby team will resume practice in February, and Coach Scott and Coach Purkiss hope to have a scrimmage in preparation for the annual DC Flag Rugby Championship Tournament.

First Grade Learns About Onigiri

Last month, Table For Two—an organization that promotes healthy eating in the US while providing school lunches to the undernourished in other countries—and the JCAW Foundation visited our Holy Communion campus to teach Mrs. Abana’s First Grade class about a traditional Japanese snack called onigiri.

Onigiri are steamed rice balls that are typically wrapped in dried seaweed leaves and filled with sour or salty ingredients like pickled plums or salted salmon. Table For Two uses their onigiri demonstration to teach youth about their work in the US and abroad. The boys had a great time learning about food from Japan, and they enjoyed the nutritious and delicious treats that they learned to make. Thank you Table For Two and the JCAW Foundation!

Holy Communion Celebrates the Annual Storybook Parade!

In October, the Lower Primary School participated in what has become the Bishop Walker School’s Halloween tradition, the annual Storybook Parade! Each year, students at our Holy Communion site bring in costumes representing their favorite storybook characters. Each class dresses up and then marches with their teachers and parents down the street to the Congress Heights Wellness Center to show off their costumes. After the Parade, several BWS parents hosted a Halloween Carnival with all kinds of games, activities, and treats. This event has become a favorite for many of our boys, and they look forward to it each year!

Pictures From other BWS Events

More Photos From the Sheehy Invitational Rugby Tournament







Former NFL Player Tyoka Jackson Visits as a Lunch Buddy







St. Columba’s and Reading Is Fundamental Visit Holy Communion







Upcoming Events

Bishop Walker School St. Albans Invitational Basketball Tournament
December 8-10, 2016

Lessons and Carols – Friday, December 16, 2016 – 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Holy Communion Campus

Washington Winter Show – January 12-15, 2017
Katzen Arts Center, American University

Annual Dinner – Gala Benefit and Silent Auction
Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 6:30 pm -10:00 pm The Willard Hotel

Absalom Jones Service to benefit Bishop Walker School
Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm – St. Andrew’s College Park
The Rt. Rev Barbara C. Harris, Homilist