On Tuesday, October 1, the entire early childhood – grade 12 student body and professional community gathered on Chalmers Field for a party for the ages celebrating the 40th birthday of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. Students played games—jump rope, football and beanbag toss, birthday crown-making and coloring station, hula hoop, pin the tail on the Scottie, and Rubik’s cube solving—danced to 1979 hits spun by a DJ, enjoyed birthday cupcakes courtesy of the Parent Teacher Fellowship, and were delighted with a surprise rain of crimson and blue streamers and confetti over the gathering that kicked off the celebration!
“We used our community time in the school day to come together and celebrate this important milestone with a birthday party that put the students at the center,” said Head of School Will Moseley. “Our early childhood through grade 12 community is a unique strength of St. Margaret’s that students have told us they greatly value. It was a truly joyous celebration, students of all ages coming together and having fun in such simple terms—being together and loving each other unconditionally. It was a magical sight to behold.”
It was October 1, 1979 when The Reverend Canon Father Ernest D. Sillers and a team of educators and supporters opened St. Margaret’s to 79 students in kindergarten through grade 6, absent a second grade. The school was but an idea in early 1979, yet through tireless dedication to the vision of a school committed to “intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual education” built out of the new St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church community, St. Margaret’s school became a reality less than a year later.
Under the direction of Fr. Sillers as the first headmaster, the school hired teachers, developed the curriculum and student program, secured a plot of land along La Novia Avenue, negotiated the acquisition of two recycled temporary structures for classrooms, offices and a Chapel and gathering space, fund raised through grassroots efforts, and importantly, enrolled 79 new students.
The school was planned for a typical early September start of school, yet the temporary trailers were delayed. In 1979, October 1 fell on a Monday, and many parent volunteers and school employees worked through the weekend to put the finishing touches, including hammering nails and fresh coats of paint on the structures, the deck stairs and walkways to open school at 8:30 in the morning on October 1.
Mr. Moseley added, “The Tartan can-do spirit was born in 1979, and remains today, motivating us to do our part in our remarkable history and propelling St. Margaret’s forward in extraordinary ways to serve students. I am incredibly grateful for all those who came before us, and blessed and inspired to be a part of St. Margaret’s today and our continued growth and success for generations to come.”