Thus, Holy Comforter Episcopal School opened in the fall of 1955 with 25 kindergarten students and one teacher in the basement of the parish on Miccossukee Road. The following year, classroom construction began and in 1957 a 4-year old nursery school was added. Between 1974-1979 the school expanded to offer pre-K through 5th grades. During this time, Dr. Hamilton Fuller, the first head of school was hired, serving from 1977-1983. He was followed by Mrs. Jane Mooney (1983-1993) and then by Dr. Barbara Hodges (1993-2010).
In 1995, our parents and students expressed a desire for a middle school, 6th through 8th grade. Increased demand for Lower School space also brought the strong message that we needed to enlarge our school facilities. With Lower School enrollment at 283 students, prospective students who could benefit from the school's unique ministry were being turned away. Both the parish and the school decided to relocate and purchased property on Fleischmann Road.
The Middle School was established on the new campus in 1997, and the Lower School began relocation as new buildings were completed, with a student enrollment of 453. With the growth of the school, both the Vestry and the School's Board of Directors recognized a need for the School to become more independent, and in 2001 Holy Comforter Episcopal School became a separate not-for-profit corporation.
In 2002, the entire school body moved to our beautiful new campus. The new church building was consecrated in the fall of 2005. Our multi purpose Student Center was opened in 2007 and quickly became the center of campus activities. In February 2011, we opened a six tennis court facility that was constructed for athletic, physical education and recreational use. Our last capital project, the Knight STEM Building, opened in August 2012 and is a two-story 12,385 square foot resource-rich science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) facility. It is the only one of its kind for an independent school in the area dedicated solely to STEM-based hands-on learning for students in grades K-8.
After the departure of Dr. Barbara Hodges in June 2010, the school welcomed Nancy Wood as an interim head of school while the board conducted a year long search for our next leader. Mr. Peter Klekamp, who had previously worked as the Middle School Head at the Episcopal School of Knoxville, took over as head of school in July 2011, and under his leadership the school completed its last capital campaign for the Knight STEM Building and has garnered the reputation as a local leader in STEM education. The school has also trademarked its iEducate program, received the prestigious Apple Distinguished School award for 2012-2015, began a community wide lecture series and successful re-branded as “Inspiring Children to Be the Difference.”
During the 2015-16 school year, we look forward to celebrating our 60th anniversary, continuing the tradition started by Father Pisani of a quality education in a Christian environment in order to nourish the spirit, challenge the mind, and strengthen the body of each of our students.