Monday Message 1-24-2022

Dear Trinity Family,

I spent the weekend doing battle with a software suite new to me. Doing battle may be too strong a term; I was learning a new software suite. I knew just enough to think I understood, but still made mistakes. I consider myself committed to lifelong learning. However, the frustration I was experiencing and the embarrassment from the mistakes I was making made me consider giving up.

It was then that I thought of all the times that we tell students “mistakes are a part of learning.”

In fact, concepts and skills that cause us to regroup and try again are often learned at a deeper level than those that come too easily. Ask any professional athlete how much practice it takes to excel at their game. Ask any artist how many pieces they worked on before fully developing their technique. The writer must edit. The scientist will design another experiment that will better test their theory. The teacher will find a new way to present a difficult concept.

The fact is, what we do in school is called LEARNING, not knowing. This is why we must leave room for our students’ mistakes. Give a little grace, some guidance, and the opportunity to try again.

As for me, I am determined to learn this new software. There will be more frustration, and I’ll make more mistakes. I might even ask questions. I will persist. If it is good for the students, it is good for me.

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new." - Albert Einstein

Marie Kidd, Interim Head of School

Monday Message 1/10/2022

Dear Trinity Family,

During this first week of my tenure at Trinity Episcopal School, I have been doing what any good student does – I've been asking lots of questions and taking opportunities to observe the school in action. It has only been five days, four of them with students and there is a lot more for me to see and learn. However, I did finish the week with some insights – the wonderful qualities that make Trinity a school with such a wonderful reputation. Like every educator I know, I also recognized there are some challenges we should tackle to be sure that Trinity continues to serve children to the best of our abilities. Those are topics for another day.

A few ways that Trinity shines (from my first few days):

  • I must begin this list with the amazing children of Trinity. Last week, I was able to spend time in every classroom. It was an experience of joy, from the very little ones in Beginning School to the young adults in Middle School, that quite frankly often tower over me. I witnessed good kids, engaged in learning, striving to give their best, appropriately playful and respectful with their classmates and teachers, helping and encouraging one another.
  • I heard routinely of the importance of the E (Episcopal) in TES. That Episcopal tradition is visible in the chapel services, holiday celebrations, study of the Bible, and community service. It is also found in the invisible:
  • Focus on forming a life not building a resume
  • Vibrant, connected community that practices active, welcome hospitality and genuine inclusion
  • Moral and ethical discussion and action at all levels of the school
  • Meaningful commitment to social action and responsibility.

In my homily at chapel, I spoke to the idea that we are educating both the brain and the heart. We will continue to rely on that Episcopal tradition to retain the sweet spirit of Trinity.

  • Finally, I have witnessed community. While we all are frustrated that the pandemic continues to impact our lives, yet the community has pulled together to follow the required masking for our personal and community health. I have seen community in action as students reach out to help others, as families step in to help each other fill the gaps that happen in our busy lives.

After mentioning our caring community, I must mention a loss in our community. Michael Pistone, beloved husband of Theresa Pistone, our Technology Director and Teacher, passed away Sunday morning after an extended illness. Please keep Mrs. Pistone and her family in your prayers.

Trinity has, in this short time, found a place in my heart. Thank you!

Be well,


Monday Message 12-6-2021

Dear Trinity Family,

For today's Monday Message, I wanted to share an essay by one of our Middle School students, Charlotte Cook. Charlotte does an excellent job of articulating why Trinity Episcopal School is such a special place. I challenge all of you during this holiday season to remember why it is that you belong to the Trinity family and what makes it unique.

We wish all of you a wonderul holiday season and we hope this time of year is filled with joy, peace, and good tidings for all of you!

Mr. Mark Ravelli, Head of School

My Years at Trinity by Charlotte Cook, TES 8th Grader

Sometimes you don’t realize how much a place has made an impact on you until it's gone. When I think of Trinity, I think of all the relationships I’ve formed here. It is where I met my best friend and so many other amazing people. It has been a part of my life for nine years, and the idea of moving somewhere else is scary. I have learned so much. I may not like it sometimes, but I know it will make my high school career so much easier.

I don’t remember much about elementary school. Through my early years I had my best friend there to make me laugh and smile. It was 5th grade when I finally started to really care about school and got Mrs. Schafner as my teacher. She was the first teacher that showed me how fun school could be. 5th grade was the year when I finally learned to really enjoy school. I loved to learn about reading, and I enjoyed learning how to write. It really showed me that learning was important and that it could be fun.

I was extremely nervous for middle school. However, I didn’t know how much better it would be. I loved 6th grade even though the classes were hard. I had great teachers and great friends. I loved learning and I loved the topics I was learning. Then Covid hit. We had to go online, and school got a lot harder. The rest of 6th grade was a blur of emotions. I was excited for 7th grade and in-person school and no longer nervous. My grades were good, and I was really happy. I loved school and all the activities elementary didn’t have to offer. I met my favorite teacher I’ve ever had even though she only taught me for a year. She taught me how to be passionate in my writing. I went online for a couple of sporadic weeks throughout the school year, which was not fun, but I was really happy to be back in person. I started playing school tennis and my reading level grew significantly.

I’m in 8th grade now and in my ninth year at Trinity. I can’t believe I’ve been at Trinity for so long. I remember being in kindergarten and envying the 8th graders, but now I’m one of them. I’m ready to live my last year of Trinity to the fullest. I love this school and all the people. That’s what Trinity means to me.

Monday Message 11-29-2021

Hello Trinity Families,

As you are probably all aware, tomorrow is "Giving Tuesday" which was created to capture the same energy as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc. for unleashing generosity! This is a day that non-profits around the world will celebrate the holiday spirit of giving. As we always state, no gift is too small and it is the collective community coming together that truly moves the needle forward.

As we quickly approach the end of the calendar year, we want to make sure you have every opportunity to maximize your gifts to charities this year while also keeping your tax liability in mind. While you have until July 31, 2022 to make your gift by the fiscal year deadline, your 2021 tax deduction deadline is December 31, 2021.

Did you know that many companies will match gifts to charitable institutions? Ask your employer if they match educational institutions. While you won’t get a tax deduction for the match, you can often double or even triple your impact to Trinity! If you have any additional questions regarding IRA charitable rollover, stock options, charitable trusts, or legacy planning; please let us know.

We are 50% of the way there to reaching our goal of raising $125,000 by July 31st, 2022. If everyone in our Charger community pitches in, there are no limits to what we can do! We ask that you consider Trinity Episcopal School tomorrow as you commemorate Giving Tuesday. To make a donation to TES online, please CLICK HERE. Thank you for your altruistic support of our school and helping us launch legacies in Galveston and beyond!

Warmest Regards and With Gratitude,

Shannan Pfeifer, Director of Development

Trinity Episcopal School

Monday Message 11-15-2021

Teaching Children the Meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about thanking God for the gifts of life, love, joy, family, and friends. Thanksgiving remains a hard sell for children, though. No candy, no gifts, no surprises. Sure, you get pumpkin pie and a few days off school, but other than that, how can we show our children the importance of both Thanksgiving and giving thanks? By demonstrating gratitude.

We need to begin by making sure our children know the story of the first Thanksgiving. Children do not always hear the Thanksgiving story in school anymore, so it is important that you share it with them at home. Find a book or video that tells the story of the Pilgrims, the hard life they suffered in America, their friendships with the Wampanoag people, and how they set aside a day to thank God for his blessings. These people were truly survivors and demonstrated gratitude.

Gratitude can be demonstrated at mealtime in prayer or by going around the table and sharing what we are thankful for. Maybe you have a thankful tree, journal, shoebox, tablecloth, calendar, or space on the refrigerator. Here at Trinity, our character trait of the month is gratitude. You might be surprised. In a 2000 survey when children were asked what they were thankful for, the most common answers were family, basic needs, friends, and teachers/school. Maybe we’re already doing a pretty good job teaching our children about gratitude.

I am thankful to have served the Trinity community. I am thankful for family and friends. I am thankful for my health, and I am thankful for being surrounded by an amazing faculty and staff. Your children need to know what you are thankful for. I am certain your children will be at the top of this list. Encourage your children to express their thankfulness to God. Set aside time each day to pray and give thanks. Express thankfulness for the smell of flowers, for ripe bananas, and for warm pajamas.

Appreciating the abundance we have all around us is healthy. Be thankful for showing acceptance, integrity, and self-control. These are the gifts that are so important to a child's development and that a child will remember. Words of encouragement, a simple smile, or a gesture of listening.

We appreciate you and your positive influence. Thank you for answering the call to be a parent. Thank you for the enduring impression you have made in the lives you have touched by giving and inspiring in our great city of Galveston! Your contributions are immeasurable.

You improve our world and we “Thank You!”

With warm regards,

Mark J. Ravelli, Head of School

Monday Message 11-08-2021

Dear Trinity Episcopal School,

Last Tuesday, our second grade class hosted a wonderful event to give thanks for the staff of UTMB and all they have done for our community throughout this pandemic. The students gathered snacks, goodies, and wrote messages of blessings and then gave them to a wide variety of UTMB staff: doctors, administrators, police officers, and so many more. While the gifts may have been small, I hope the UTMB staff felt the gratitude we all have for their work.

Along those lines, I was so pleased to have the Teen Health Clinic on campus last Thursday administering the COVID-19 vaccine to our eligible students. Our daughter was one of the many students who received a vaccine, joining my wife and me who have been fully vaccinated since the spring.

As a Christian, I believe that vaccines are not only for my personal benefit, but also for the protection of those with whom I live and work. When I receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or my flu shot, or the other recommended vaccines, I am simply living up to my Lord’s command to love my neighbor as myself by doing all I can do to not pass on any of these diseases. Being vaccinated is part of my Christian responsibility.

Furthermore, I have great empathy for those in our community who are at higher risk for the worst effects of COVID-19 and other transmissible diseases. You may not tell by looking at me, but I am also in one of those at-risk categories, leaving me more vulnerable than my healthier neighbors. As a Christian community, I humbly ask that we keep in mind all those who suffer from hidden adversities or troubles.

With peace,
The Rev. Jimmy Abbott
Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church

Monday Message 11-1-2021

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow, we will celebrate All Saints Day. All Saints Day is a day we honor the loved ones who have passed. In Mexican heritage, it is referred to as “Día De Los Muertos” the holiday that connects us with loved ones that are no longer with us. I watch annually the movie "Coco" with my grandson and together we watch this vibrant tale of family and adventure embarking on an extraordinary journey to this magical land of ancestry; it is by far our favorite movie! Because of this tradition, All Saints Day is no longer difficult.

At All Saints Day chapel, we will also celebrate with Holy Communion. On campus, students are invited to receive communion twice a year and if you do not wish for your child to receive communion, please discuss this with your child, so s/he will know not to receive. (A question for this purpose was a part of your child’s Permission/Authorization form, so please inform us in writing if your wishes have changed.) Any child who is not receiving communion should cross arms over his or her chest and they will receive a blessing instead of communion. Please make note that this will be a dress uniform chapel service. If you have lost a loved one in the last year and would like to submit a name, please: CLICK HERE. The deadline to submit names is today by 3 pm.

Lastly, after chapel, the school will honor our UTMB health care workers with a breakfast burrito picnic on the garth. Students and employees will meet in small groups and a few students will share thank you letters and then present care packages to take back to the hospital. Thank you for donating to make care packages for all UTMB employees, many of which are you! Luminaria bags will be hung and lit on the garth in the afternoon and into the evening.  Please drive by and see our lovely garth with luminarias honoring UTMB!

With regards,

Mark Ravelli, Head of School

Monday Message 10-25-2021

Dear Trinity families,

The Fall Carnival will be happening this Friday and all wristbands will be distributed the morning of the 29th. Friday is an early release day, and all students must be released to a parent, guardian, or assigned adult in order attend the Fall carnival. Regular carppool will be running at the 12 pm dismissal. We will block off 22nd street and ensure the area is not open to the public.

This tradition is a cherished event that brings the young and old together alike. Thank you to the many generous donors below, because of their generosity this event is made possible. Looking forward to all of the fun that Friday will bring!

Thank you to the families of Trinity and local businesses for your generous support!


Monday Message 10-18-2021

Richard Rupp, MD

Professor of Pediatrics

Director, Division of Adolescent and Behavioral Medicine

Director, Clinical Trials Program

Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences

Medical Director, Teen Health Center, Inc

Please join us Tuesday, October 19th from 5:30-6:30pm in Upper Eaton Hall to hear Dr. Richard Rupp‘s presentation on Covid Vaccines and School Age Children. This PTO sponsored vaccine education event is designed to help parents make informed decisions regarding the Covid vaccine for children. With an abundance of misinformation and hesitancy surrounding this topic, we encourage your attendance at this educational opportunity. We hope to assist our TES community in determining the decision that best fits their individual family.

Dr. Rupp will address previously submitted questions and concerns relating to the covid vaccine for children. In addition to the credentials noted, Dr. Rupp is the father of three girls, a long time resident of Galveston, and has been with UTMB for over 25 years! We are fortunate to have him join us and greatly appreciate his time and knowledge.

*Childcare will be available for this event. If you plan to utilize childcare services, please drop your children off at the MAC by 5:15pm.

 We hope to see you there! - Trinity Episcopal School PTO

Monday Message 9-27-2021

Dear Trinity Parents,

As we reflect one last time upon our “Meeting The Challenge” Campaign, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for your generosity and support of our Trinity Episcopal School Annual Fund. If you haven’t taken the time to read our 2021 Annual Report yet, I recommend taking a glance HERE to observe the outstanding results from last year and witness the impact a strong annual giving program can have on a school community.

This Friday, October 1st, we will kickstart our new Annual Fund Campaign for 2021-2022 and we look forward to unveiling the new theme for the year. I hope you’ll find this new campaign to be exciting, energizing, and effective at reaching our goal.

You may be asking yourself why we have fundraising efforts if we already pay tuition? The answer to that is that Annual Fund allows us to bridge the gap between tuition cost and actual cost. In addition, no independent school would want to price itself out of the market, so keeping tuition rates competitive while supplementing with an Annual Fund campaign is a common practice of most independent schools. Private school development teams are continually working to ensure that the student experience each family is promised at the beginning of the school year is delivered. An Annual Fund is precisely what is sounds like: a sum of money that is donated annually by school constituents (parents, faculty, board members, alumni, and friends) and its dollars are used to enhance the independent school experience each school year.

I hope you will join me in giving your full support and encouragement to our upcoming Annual Fund Campaign and I look forward to partnering with you to fulfill our mission.

 Shannan Pfeifer, Director of Development