New Bern Sun Journal
By Eddie Fitzgerald
Sept 16, 2012
After only about seven years, a school that began with Christian values providing a strong education to prepare youth for college and the world has grown so quickly in New Bern that it required a new campus and a new name: The Epiphany School of Global Studies.
An open house for the community was held Sunday afternoon at the new campus and Nicholas Sparks, founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees, unveiled the school’s new name to about 200 people in the spacious Performing Arts Center.
The quality of education, support and inspiration will always remain the same, Sparks said. The name was only extended to show what the school stood for all along, he said.
The emphasis on a global education shows in the wide halls and bright cafeteria, where flags hang from all over the world; and it shows in the fact that 70 percent of the school’s upper classmen have studied abroad.
Before his presentation, Sparks and his wife Cathy, who have three children attending the school, sat in the cafeteria reflecting on the new campus that was built in a year and opened its doors to 211 students Aug. 22.
Sparks said when he founded the school he imagined it would grow to the point it has.
“We hoped the school would be loved by New Bern and embraced with quality education a little different from what you can get in other places,” he said.
Sparks’ wife said the school was embedded in everyday values and encompasses a lot of opportunities for students.
Although Sparks was proud of the new campus and said he believes it will give students and teachers more room and maybe inspire them, he was more concerned with the education and quality of life that is being taught.
Sparks told the audience he and his wife loved pretty buildings but that wasn’t what The Epiphany School of Global Studies is about.
“When we send our kids here, what we really care about is the education in the classroom,” Sparks said. “We care about programs and initiatives that make the students everything they can possibly be. That is what is really important to us.”
Sparks said when he started working with Thomas McLaughlin, head of school, in 2006, McLaughlin would say, “You could have a great school in a tent.”
But the new 61,000-square-foot campus on Trent Road is anything but a tent.