The Christos Family, Episcopal Academy
For this family, going to Episcopal Academy was worth moving for.
Nick Christos went to Episcopal Academy, and he’d always hoped his children would go there, too. But he and his wife, Stephenie, were determined to find the right school for their son and daughter, even if it wasn’t dad’s alma mater.
To the obvious delight of the entire family, Episcopal Academy turned out to be the perfect choice for both Phoebe, now a 17-year-old senior, and Nicholas, who’s 15 and a sophomore. Phoebe started in first grade, Nicholas in pre-kindergarten — when the family lived in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
After more than a decade at the school, and a move to Wayne to be closer to the Newtown Square campus, Phoebe and Nicholas are poised, confident, articulate teenagers. And they love Episcopal Academy, a coed school with students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
“The teachers are such a big part of my life. I always have someone in the community to be there for me and help me if I ever need it,” Phoebe said. “My other favorite part is probably the pride in our school. There’s such a strong sense of community and school spirit.”
Nicholas said he loves getting to school early and settling into the library or the art studio. He also raved about the teachers and their knowledge, dedication, and approach.
“The sense of independence that all the teachers give you is really helpful,” he said. “They will tell you the project and explain the guidelines, but they really want you to focus on doing the work yourself. I think that’s really important.”
The Christos kids are super involved in the school, and the community. Phoebe and Nicholas both serve as editors of the school newspaper. Once a week during the school year, Nicholas tries to go into Philadelphia to feed the homeless with the school’s community service group.
They’re both part of the model United Nations club, and work with another club called SpeakUp! that encourages students and adults to gather and talk through big issues in their lives, from social media use to mental health issues.
EA also requires upper school students to play sports. Phoebe said it’s been a highlight for her because it further increased her school pride, and gave her the chance to make friends across grades.
“I’ve grown so much as a person because of playing sports at Episcopal,” said Phoebe, who will co-captain the lacrosse team this year. She also plays tennis and runs winter track.
Both students rave about EA’s chapel program, which requires students to gather every other school day. There is a religious component, but typically it’s also about community. It’s a chance to speak and hear others, and take a break from the daily whirl of classes, sports, and activities, they said.
“You have to reset yourself, you just sit there and listen,” Phoebe said. “It’s a time to rejuvenate and be together with everyone.”
Every year, the family checks in, to ask the kids whether EA is still where they want to be. Every year, the answer is an emphatic yes. For Nick, who still counts some of his classmates as close friends, it’s been the realization of a dream.
“Phoebe and Nicholas have taken full advantage of the Episcopal experience,” he said. “They’re not just coming to school and going home. They’ve really welcomed it with open arms.”
Want to know more? Visit Episcopal Academy online, or join us for an open house:
Middle-Upper School: October 22, 2017: 1 — 3 pm
Lower school for families applying for pre-K to grade 2:
November 4, 2017: 10 — 11:30 am
Lower school for families applying for grades 3 to 5:
November 4, 2017: 1 — 2:30 pm
Photographs by Casey Kallen.