The following story was shared with our school community during the Parent-Faculty Open House on September 12, 2019. Elisa Formoso, who is serving as the PSO Chair for the 2019-2020 school year, gave this beautiful message to attendees about her discovery of BES and subsequent experience at our school. Her husband, Ferdinand, serves as a Board of Trustees member at BES, and their children, Nick and Teddy, are current students at the school. We hope you enjoy this poignant story from a family who, like so many, were looking to put the pieces of their child’s educational puzzle together and what they found at Beaches Episcopal School.
My family started our journey at Beaches Episcopal School five years ago. At that time, we were looking for a school for our son Nicholas. As a retired teacher, I felt I was well-equipped to find the best elementary school for our two youngest children. I had tours set up all around town. Many evenings, as we sat down to dinner, I would announce that I saw a great school that day, but I wasn’t convinced it was the one. This happened several times, so I was convinced my background in education was causing me to be too picky.
Then the morning came for my tour at Beaches Episcopal. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was at the time, but I knew within minutes of being there this is where my children would attend school. That night, I proudly announced that I found the perfect school. Our son’s only request was for his older brother, who was preparing to attend high school the following year, to tour the school and give it his stamp of approval. I called BES the next day and explained that it was very important to Nick that his older brother, Alex, also tour the school for final approval. There wasn’t a moment of hesitation and the three of us were scheduled for our tour.
Now, if any of you have older children you know getting an 8th grade boy excited about anything can be tough, especially a tour of an elementary school. The day of Nick’s special tour with his big brother was a success! Alex and Nick both looked around wide eyed and smiling. That day Alex let his little brother know he thought his new school was perfect. What I didn’t realize, at that time, was that was the first of many puzzle pieces that would come together.
It was only a few weeks after Nick started his kindergarten year at BES that I called Ashley Davis and let her know we would be enrolling Nick’s younger brother, Teddy, in the PreK3 class for the following year. I wanted to make sure our youngest son had a spot for the upcoming year. I was not taking any chances that Teddy would not have the same amazing opportunities Nick was having. Looking back, I now realize what it was that I felt that first day I walked through the doors of Beaches Episcopal School. The feelings I had about the school came together like puzzle pieces over the following year.
It was the kind faces of the teachers and staff that warmly greeted my children as they walked into school, it was the pats on the back, other five year old boys gave my son Nick, because despite their young age they realized Nick was nervous in his new environment. It was a kind email from my son’s teacher, just because. It was watching Teddy’s teacher embrace him with love and compassion on a day he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to leave his mommy. That hug was so heartfelt and was able to melt away all of Teddy’s worries. One of my favorite “puzzle pieces” was the day my youngest came home and told me he wished I was in his Christian Ed class that day because I would have loved it. Teddy went on to describe to me, as perfectly and eloquently as a four year old could, that he is the branch and Jesus is the vine, and the more he is like Jesus, the more fruit he will grow.
This puzzle constantly has pieces being added to it, and I can’t wait to see the beautiful scene that unfolds for our children during their time at BES. As a mother, I truly believe there is no greater joy than knowing your children are in the hands of those who treat them with love, respect, fairness, kindness, and compassion each day, and, at the same time, are able to challenge each child to be the best version of him or herself. So this is why BES is our family. This is why I have loved being on the PSO Board and this is why my husband proudly serves as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees.
Lastly, I would like to reiterate what I said last month at orientation. Parents, whether this is your first year, your third year or your last year, put yourselves out there, get involved, sign up for events, get to know the other parents, get to know your child’s teachers. We are so blessed to be a part of the Beaches Episcopal School family, and this family opens its arms to all who come to our table. Thank you for coming tonight and thank you for entrusting us with your greatest gift, your child!
Current BES Parent
Parent Support Organization (PSO) President for 2019-2020