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Episcopal HS

Episcopal HS

Episcopal High School has been challenging students to develop the intellectual and moral courage necessary to lead lives of ethical leadership and service since 1839. At Episcopal, honor is both a quest and an expectation, with the rigorous and collaborative pursuit of knowledge at the core of our academic experience. Passions, interests, and personal strengths are discovered when students are authentically engaged and powerfully immersed in intriguing, real-world experiences amidst the vast resources of Washington, D.C, and beyond.

We believe that we are all part of something greater than ourselves with the capacity and responsibility to be a force for good in the lives of others and that intellectual development and moral growth are best nurtured in a vibrant and diverse learning community where close relationships help us understand, appreciate, and bridge our differences.


Alexandria, VA


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Specialty Program(s): 

Established in 2018, the McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage coordinates and supports signature initiatives at Episcopal, which focus on experiential learning, externships, global programs, ethical leadership, outdoor education, service learning, and civic engagement. The center staff also help faculty and staff connect students with the resources of Washington and design programs that advance the mission of the School: to prepare young adults with intellectual and moral courage.

The center’s goal is to prepare students for life outside Episcopal and to help them embody the Portrait of a Graduate. It is named for the late Sen. John McCain '54 and his EHS mentor, teacher William B. Ravenel, a World War II veteran who inspired McCain to pursue a life of honor and service. The senator once said: “Mr. Ravenel changed my life. He gave me some moorings and a compass. He used his classroom as not only a way to teach English but also to teach values and standards and morals.

The speakers and opportunities set up by the center take students outside of Episcopal to further their education and provide them real-world experience made possible by the School’s proximity to Washington, D.C. 

The center's mission revolves around:


  • Programming focused on critical issues facing society today,
    including state and national elections, AI, civil discourse, national security, and ethical leadership. The academic schedule sets aside five days each year for schoolwide McCain-Ravenel events that tap the resources of metro Washington, D.C.
  • Deepening connections with the real world of work.
    To explore a career passion or life interest, students can complete an afternoon externship in the junior year with a professional or expert at a company, organization, or public agency. The final leg of the EHS journey is the Senior Externship, a month-long, daily immersion to prepare you to thrive in college and beyond.
  • Inspiring conversations
    The School has brought more than 200 experts and professionals to campus since 2018 — scientists, scholars, artists, political leaders, and entrepreneurs.
  • Interaction with alumni
    All the EHS signature programs tap Episcopal’s network of more than 5,000 alumni to talk about leadership, career fields, and ethics. Among recent guests: political, business, and digital strategist Tyler Brown '99, former CIA officer Kristen Edwards Marquardt ’97, and renowned oncologist Dr. John Marshall ’79.
Episcopal HS
Episcopal HS
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