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NAES Executive Director Offers Inspiration for New School Year

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School welcomed the Rev. David Madison, executive director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), to campus on Thursday, Aug. 5, to address faculty and staff. 

He spoke about the pillars of Episcopal schools – school worship, religious formation and study, community life and social justice. The focus of the pillars is to create a place for dialogue, to support and nurture all students, and to embrace and honor diversity. 

“We’re planting seeds and impacting lives,” Fr. Madison said. 

A myth associated with Episcopal schools is that all who attend or work in the school must be Episcopalian. That is not true at HIES or any Episcopal school, Fr. Madison explained. 

“We want to have a variety of backgrounds and perspectives in front of our students,” he said. In addition to teaching different subject areas, teachers and staff also have the opportunity not just to be part of the community but to help create the community and further the school’s mission. 

Reflecting on the difficulties of the past few years, Fr. Madison spoke about the strength and courage among the group. “This work is hard and challenging but is better when we support each other,” he said. 

A graduate of All Saints Episcopal School in Ft. Worth, Texas, Austin College and Baylor University Law School, Fr. Madison served as chaplain, assistant head of school and head of upper school at All Saints. He served as executive director of the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools before being named executive director of NAES in 2021. He visited HIES in January to speak to the school Board of Trustees and the Church Vestry. 

“Fr. Madison expresses a passion for Episcopal identity in a way that is accessible to all,” Paul Barton, head of school said. “He has a unique ability to connect with everyone in their different roles and it was wonderful to welcome him to campus as we start the new school year.” 

In photo, from left: Head of School Paul Barton, NAES Executive Director David Madison, Head Chaplain the Rev. Stefanie Taylor, Middle School Chaplain the Rev. David Wagner

– Christina Mimms