In May, 2020, the EPISCOPAL DAY SCHOOL completed its 60th year of operation.
The Day School was the first church kindergarten in Clemson, when it was the norm for children to have their only preschool experience in a private home. The Day School was organized by Rose Huff in 1960-61 at the request of the Rev. Marshall James, rector. In addition to having had a kindergarten in her home for three years, Rose had organized and started the elementary grades of the Day School of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta, Georgia. Rose was the Director of the Day School until May 1969.
The original plan to add a grade a year has not materialized to this date. A class for four year olds was added in 1963-1964. Later, three-year-old and two-year-old classes were added. Enrichment activities such as Spanish, art, music, and physical education were added. To reflect community needs, early morning and after school care were added to the program.
In 1969-70, Evelyn Goodman became Director, followed by Sally Morrell in 1983. In 1995, Karen Keinath took over as Director and supervised a monumental temporary move to the First Baptist Church. The Baptists were generous to allow the Day School to use their facilities during construction of the new Bishop Finlay Parish Hall.
In January 1998, Mrs. Keinath and her staff moved into new facilities, especially designed for young children, with new furnishings and a new playground. Upon Mrs. Keinath’s retirement in May of 2006, Suzanne Watkins became the Director of the Day School.
Suzanne Watkins is taking a one year leave of absence for the 2020-2021 School Year. In her absence, Lauren Russell will serve as the Acting Director for the school year.
Through the years the Day School philosophy has reflected good Anglican theology—a middle course between structure (tradition) and freedom with the emphasis always on corporate worship (daily chapel) and God’s creative goodness. The Day School has a reputation for excellence, not only in teaching, but also in the care and nurture of young children as its cornerstone. This excellence is due to the dedication of a competent staff and the support of the Parish.
We salute the past Directors of Episcopal Day School: Rose Huff (deceased), Evelyn Goodman (deceased), Sally Morrell, and Karen Keinath.