Blog: OES Insights

Welcome to Insights! Intentionally eclectic, Insights is a blog that lets teachers, administrators, and other OES thought leaders share some of their thinking on important areas of education. Insights is also designed to give members of the OES community a “sneak peek” into key conversations at the school. Our hope is to help you get to know some of our great leaders around the campus. We hope you enjoy it!

Can I Use a 529 Plan to Pay OES Tuition?

By Gretchen Reed, CFO

Gretchen Reed joined OES in 2015. She has more than two decades of experience in education and nonprofit finance, including serving as CFO at other independent schools, association executive, assistant treasurer of a liberal arts college, and an investment banker for public and nonprofit clients. Her volunteer experience includes being president, search chair, treasurer and parent committee president for several nonprofits and schools. She earned her AB from Occidental College and her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Many families are aware that the new Federal Tax Act includes a provision allowing the use of 529 accounts for paying the cost of up to $10,000 of K–12 public, private, or religious elementary or secondary school per student per year. As a result, I am hearing a lot of OES parents asking the logical question, “Can I use a 529 plan to pay OES tuition?”

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I Pray for my Dog Who is Depresed

By Phillip Craig, Head of Chaplaincy

The Reverend Phillip Craig joined OES in 2007, having served 10 years prior as Head Chaplain at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1995, he received his BA from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and his MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary.

More than 10 years ago, our then Lower School Chaplain Jenny Cleveland introduced a new and simple liturgical element to Chapel - a prayer basket. From that point forward, this invitation has been regularly visible and accessible to all lower school children (and employees).  Small pieces of colored paper and pencils have provided easy access for anyone to write down a prayer for something important.

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Inquiry at OES: Some Reflections from a Newcomer

By Peter Kraft, Associate Head of School

Peter Kraft began his work as Associate Head of School in June 2017. In this role, he oversees all programs at OES—including academic, athletic, spiritual, and residential life. He also teaches a history class and serves as a Co-Advisor in the Upper School.

As someone new to the OES community, I am often asked what drew me to the school. Beyond its reputation for academic excellence and its commitment to being "always open" (in every sense of that phrase), what particularly attracted our family to OES was its Identity statement.

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