Departing Trustee Remarks
THANK YOU, TRUSTEES!
The following Trustees stepped down from Episcopal’s Board after the 2022-23 school year. Episcopal thanks them for the many combined years of dedicated service and leadership.
I came to Episcopal as a new junior from Houston, Texas. My brothers attended day school at home, and I didn’t know anyone on campus when I arrived. Although I was only here for two years and at my day school for ten, it’s Episcopal that I think so fondly of when I look back at my high school years.
I started my tenure on the Board in 2017, just as we began work on the 2018 Strategic Plan. It was such an interesting time to be in Bryan Library with the rest of the Board, working with students, faculty, staff, and alumni to ensure that Episcopal is in a position to thrive for many years to come. Seeing that strategic plan come to fruition with the recent construction of two new dormitories and the deButts Health & Wellness Center has been special, to say the least.
I’ve learned over the years that this school is what it is because of the people — the faculty, the staff, the trustees, the alumni, the parents, and most importantly, the students. They are why we’re all here and continue to give our time and energy to a place we love. It’s been an honor to serve on the Board, and I look forward to making many more memories on campus in the years to come.
Cary Longstreth Goodwin ’93
My grandfather Howard Goodwin, Sr. ’38 (or “Pop” as we called him) emphasized that one key to a great house was ensuring it had a quality “music and drinking room.” As a young child, I have many fond memories of spending time in the music and drinking room with Pop and my dad, hearing story after story about their formative experiences at Episcopal High School while tunes from Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong played in the background. Pop would often host my father and his closest friends from EHS including Menard Doswell ’62, Stan Lawrence ’62, Roger Davis ’62, George Logan ’63, and many others. I was always amazed by how much they loved to talk about their time together at Episcopal High School. From a very early stage in my life, I witnessed the bond that exists between friends and family who have experienced EHS life together. While I didn’t fully understand it at the time, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
When I was asked to serve on the Board six years ago, I was truly honored. Many of the above-mentioned friends of my father and grandfather were also Board members. Having had the opportunity to work with mentors and friends, all of whom are 100% focused on the best outcomes for EHS, has meant the world to me. Collaborating with the EHS faculty and witnessing the tireless work of individuals such as Jenner Wood, Kathryn Tyree, Max Chapman, and many others has been humbling. The amount of time, energy, and heart that the Board commits to serving EHS is remarkable. The challenges that have presented themselves during these last few years have been formidable, including navigating Covid and addressing the complications around the history of the School. In the midst of all this, rallying the support to deliver on a significant capital campaign proved no small feat. The focus required and productivity delivered under the leadership of Charley, Lee, and Sarah has been second to none.
During a recent visit for my final Board meeting, I had the pleasure of seeing the completed deButts Health & Wellness Center, beautiful new track facility, and dormitories. These additions to the campus reminded me of my time as a student when we added Callaway Chapel and Hummel Dorm. The facilities are truly state of the art, and walking around campus is quite the experience. Through the leadership of the administration and the Board, our institution has been able to strike the balance between maintaining core principles while continuing to invest, grow, and evolve. The EHS experience is as progressive for young people today as it has been throughout the School’s history.
I’ll never forget sitting with my father’s closest friends in Pop’s music and drinking room when the topic of Episcopal High School going co-ed came up. It was a healthy discussion amongst some of Episcopal’s most loyal alumni. The Board inevitably and thankfully voted in favor of going co-ed, but an interesting side story was that my grandfather was one of the few hold-outs who voted to keep EHS all boys. I share this because I have three daughters and a son and am thrilled that they will all have the opportunity to attend EHS. This critical decision is representative of the role the Board has played for generations and continues to play in ensuring the School evolves with time. I’m sure Pop is smiling somewhere knowing that the Board ultimately made the right call.
Like my time as a student, the six years of service has flown by and I’m closing the book on yet another fulfilling life experience involving Episcopal High School. I take comfort knowing that the institution that has meant so much to us all has emerged from these last few years stronger and more inclusive than ever. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with so many wonderful colleagues and will miss working together. While I am sad to end my tenure on the Board, I am excited for the next chapter as an EHS parent. Thank you to all of the dedicated faculty and staff for everything you do to make EHS such a special place.
J. Jürgen Taylor ’81
My experience on the EHS Board of Trustees was one of the best experiences of my life. It was an opportunity to see and understand the processes that are involved in managing the past, present, and future of The High School.
During my tenure on the Board, I was able to participate in navigating multiple issues that the school confronted and managed successfully. The expertise, transparency, and devotion of each member resulted in extensive discussions that eventually resulted in cohesive decisions for the betterment of EHS.
Although dealing with health issues such as vaping, mold remediation, mental wellness, and the Covid-19 pandemic, were quite serious, returning to The Hill for meetings was always delightful. Interacting with the students during lunches, socializing at the Stillwell house with fellow trustees, parents, and faculty, cheering at “The Game” in Hummel Bowl while chanting, “Beat Woodberry,” speed-walking through frigid winds and rain from Bryan Library to Callaway Chapel, and witnessing the completion of the new dormitories and health center construction projects via the Courage Campaign were very gratifying.
The opportunity to return to Episcopal and serve on the Board of Trustees was truly an honor. Stepping down from the Board after serving the past six years, I am confident that The Hill is in good hands and set for continued success moving forward indefinitely.
Leah Kannensohn Tennille ’01
Serving on this Board has been the absolute greatest honor of my life. I have been challenged and I’ve grown in so many ways. Those of you who knew me during my time here, I’m not sure you expected Leah Kannensohn to be the first trustee from the 2000s, especially with my penchant for demerits.
These meetings have also been a blessed reprieve from the deep trenches of motherhood. I always return to Atlanta reenergized (after lots of sleep, good food, and quiet) by my time on The Holy Hill.
My parents dropped a box of my “stuff” off recently. In it, I found my acceptance letter to EHS signed by Mr. Walker. It read, “Leah, all of us here at Episcopal have enjoyed working with you in the admissions process and look forward to a long rewarding association with you and your family. I am certain that Episcopal has a great deal to offer you and that you have much to offer us.” It is incredibly clear to me, though also hard to put into words what Episcopal has “offered” me, I never dreamed that I’d have anything to offer Episcopal. I hope that during my term, I’ve given back even a small portion of what this school has given me.
This Board is guiding an institution steeped in intellectual and moral courage that feels so rare in our world today. The Episcopalian in me cannot end without adding that the work the Board does is holy work. It is shaping the next generation who will make our world a better place. During the confirmation on my last Board of Trustees weekend, we were reminded of the Baptismal covenant which is unique to the Episcopal faith to “strive for Justice and peace for all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” I am proud of the work EHS has done in recent years to move toward beloved community but there is still much to be done. I pray that the baptismal covenant will continue to serve as our North Star. What a gift it has been to serve Episcopal. God Bless the High School.