Epiphany School opened in September 1958, founded by Dr. Elmer B. Christie, Epiphany Church Rector. Though initially a parish school, the school became fully independent from the church a decade later to “seek broader support and reach more of the community life.”
In 1969, Robert Spock was hired as Head of School and the school moved toward a new educational model focused on academic preparation, inspiring teaching, and individual student responsibility.
Epiphany School’s innovative Learning Skills program was established in the early 1970s, the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and a continuing strength of our academic program. Epiphany School Learning Skills specialists work 1:1 and in small groups to help students build academic skills and develop personalized learning strategies.
In 1974, Epiphany School became the first accredited elementary school in the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS).
In 1976, Joseph Morton became Head of School. To accommodate the growing student body, Morton helped the school acquire and renovate two adjacent houses to create a classroom building named Spock Hall. Additional classrooms were located in spaces rented from the parish.
From 1981 through 1994, Jean Augustine presided as Headmistress, leading the expansion of the school’s play areas, the construction of the Sander-Alvord Gymnasium, and the creation of a healthy endowment, ensuring the school’s future financial stability. Under Augustine’s direction, the school articulated its educational philosophy of providing academic excellence “in a caring and nurturing environment.”
Construction of Augustine Hall began in 1996, made possible by a successful $1.5 million capital campaign.
In 2001, George Edwards was named the 10th Head of Epiphany School. The next year he led the school in adding a class to each grade level, beginning with kindergarten. In 2004, the school began acquiring private homes adjacent to the campus and launched the first phase of a projected $15 million capital campaign to pay for a campus expansion. In 2006, Epiphany opened its fourth building, Reed Hall, currently home to fifth grade.
In 2008, Epiphany School celebrated its 50th anniversary and grew its capital campaign to $21 million. Upon George Edwards’s retirement, Matt Neely was named Head of School.
Culminating a 7-year, $21 million capital campaign, in September 2010 Epiphany School opened Madrona Hall, a LEED Gold-certified sustainable building designed by Miller Hull and built by Sellen Construction. In 2015, Pre-K became a full-day program. The campus now comprises five buildings and five distinct play spaces.
In 2017, after a nationwide search, Jenn Elkin was hired as Head of School. Elkin’s fresh energy and curriculum focus swiftly yielded a new math program and a new organizational structure helmed by Lower and Upper Division Heads. In 2018, the school undertook an in-depth strategic planning process, with a focus on the school’s mission, shared values, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
In 2019, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new 5-year strategic plan that builds on the school's many strengths: a legacy of innovation, high academic standards, and a warm, family-friendly atmosphere in which every child is truly known. The school also updated its mission and values statements and developed a vision statement: “Inspiring every child to discover meaning and purpose in a life of learning.”
Boldly facing the challenges wrought by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Epiphany School invested $1 million in health and safety-focused measures in 2020, including facilities improvements, additional instructional staff, and digital technology and tools. These investments allowed the school to reopen after a brief period of remote learning for full-time, on-campus instruction in October 2020. Alongside the hallmarks of an Epiphany School education, these investments ensure Epiphany School remains nimble, innovative, and secure long into the future.