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Parish Episcopal School honors founders

Parish pays tribute to those who founded our School and helped it grow.

Each year, Parish Episcopal School pays tribute to our School’s founders, who turned the little church school on the corner known as Parish Day School (PDS) into the leading PreK-12th grade independent school we now call Parish Episcopal School. A special chapel service was held on November 7, 2018 in Godwin Chapel at the Midway campus followed by a luncheon at Brookhaven Country Club. 

PDS was founded by Mary Loving Blair in 1972 as an elementary school at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. Mrs. Gloria Snyder served as head of school from 1980 to 2009 and helped build PDS into Parish Episcopal School. In 2009, Dave Monaco joined Parish as the third head of school. Today, Parish serves more than 1,100 students, on two campuses.

During the chapel service, Monaco likened our founders to others who have taken leaps of faith, based not only on skill, but on determination and perseverance. He said these successful people fought through the doubts, fatigue, uncertainty and challenges. He asked Parish students to focus on the journey or process, not the outcome, and undertake daily habits such as being thankful. 

“For you, if you wish, could put your faith in God,” added Monaco. “You certainly should in your teachers, your advisor, your coaches, your parents. Today we’re grateful for these individuals who had faith in Parish Day, in Parish Episcopal and who remain committed in faithful fortitude to stay in the growth with us as we moved from being a place of humble beginnings to the thriving, successful school we are today.”

Following the Founders’ Day ceremony at Midway, Parish held a luncheon in honor of the founders and handed out awards for volunteer service, outstanding service and distinguished alumni.

The Volunteer Service award was given to Susan and Holley Fisk, parents of Parish Day School alumni Carson ’91 and David ‘92.

Hollye Fisk, who is an architect and attorney, has lent his expertise to every building project at Parish Episcopal including additions and renovations at Hillcrest and Midway. He has served multiple terms on the Board of Trustees (the Board) and was on the Board’s facilities committee. He worked tirelessly on the new Gene E. Phillips Activity Center, helping to make sure it was done to perfection.

“It goes without saying that Hollye’s attention to detail is exceptional and an enormous asset to our team,” commented Angela Keefer, director of operation at Parish. “Beyond that, however, he continually set the tone to develop and maintain a sense of partnership between ownership and the design/construction teams. Not only did that synergy create an environment for a very successful project, it made the Phillips Activity Center build a lot of fun!”

Susan was active in the Parents’ Association, served on the Board and was instrumental in building a strong relationship with Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. In addition, she served on the campaign steering committee for the expansion and helped cultivate Episcopal support in the diocese and greater Dallas community. As one family friend put it: “Susan was our best public relations pro.”

“The school has meant a lot to us . . . and, yes, we have a lot of history – from the first annual fund to voting ‘yes’ as a board member in purchasing the Exxon/Mobil building to our involvement today,” remarked Susan Fisk. “We have many, many memories of projects and friends and teachers, and our sons, who are now lawyers, benefited so greatly from chapel, excellent teachers and experiences, and a caring community. Today was a lovely event and we are thankful for the honor.”

Jagruti Anthony received the Outstanding Service award. Anthony is a Parish parent, volunteer and has been recognized for her work with the Parents’ Association (PA), PARISHarts, and The Arts People and sySTEMs booster clubs. She was the recipient of the Bondy-Lee award in 2013 for her parent volunteerism. She is best known for leading the grade-level email that parents rely on each week. Anthony’s outstanding work on the weekly grade-level email started during her years as the PA’s VP of Communication. The role led to a position in the communication department where she continues to handle the fellowship email that some refer to as the “parent bible.” As many can attest, Jagruti is always willing to give back and pitch-in wherever she is needed at Parish.

“This was just an amazing surprise for me!” exclaimed Anthony. “As my mom and both grandparents have been lifelong educators, I am so grateful for this incredible award from our school. It is such an honor for me to be recognized alongside this room of incredible families that have been such a huge part of creating the Parish of today. There is just so much love for our school, from so many!”

Niko Padilla was honored as the Distinguished Alumni. Padilla came to Parish in 11th grade and graduated in 2012. Although he was at Parish a short time, his experience made a big impact on his life. Padilla went on to Columbia University where he played defensive tackle for the Lions and graduated with a B.A. in economics in 2016. He is currently an associate at Morgan Stanley and has helped with Panther Football the last two years. Padilla has been on the Parish Alumni Board since 2016 and is currently serving as Alumni Board President for the 2018-19 School year.

“This community is really special,” said Padilla. “I’ve really appreciated all of the relationships and the bonds that I’ve built with people over time. I just want to continue to help serve and give back to the Parish community and do whatever I can.”