The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys was organized in 2006 as the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s response to the serious educational challenges facing African American boys in the low-income communities
|Bishop Walker School for Boys Founding Board:
1st row: The Rev.Preston Hannibal , Sandi Hannibal, Weedie Block, Evie Rooney, Iris Harris, Tawana Purnell, Rev. William Lewis, Bishop John Bryson Chane
2nd row: Marcy Cathey, Tricia Pinkard, Jane Pontius, Nicholas Fels, Rev. Janice Robinson, Concha Johnson
3rd row: James Woody, John Thorne, Sara Thorne, Peter Barrett, James Lowe, Rev. Vincent Harris, Stuart Work, Herman Bostick
Founding Board members not pictured - Richard Beatty, Maria Walker and Martha Webb
Photo by Valerie Woody
east of the Anacostia River. The school, named in honor of the first African American bishop of the diocese, is a tuition-free independent school, rooted in the traditions of Episcopal education, current research on boys’ social and intellectual development, a progressive educational approach and the educational philosophy of Bishop Walker.
The Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys formally opened in 2008 with a single class of 13 four year olds and a staff consisting of three classroom teachers and an administrator, Reverend Kwasi Thornell, who also served as chaplain. The school was located in the basement of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Anacostia. In 2009, the school hired a Principal, Angela G. Garcia and promoted the Director of External Operations, James R. Woody, to Executive Director. The school currently serves 90 students in grades Kindergarten to sixth. By the fall of 2018, the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys will educate 160 boys in grades Junior Kindergarten to eighth.
In 2010, after completing a $2.8 million renovation of the Church of the Holy Communion in Congress Heights, the school moved to 3640 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE and continued to expand its program and add a grade each year. The Holy Communion site currently serves students in grades Junior Kindergarten to second.
In the fall of 2013, the Bishop John T. Walker School opened a second site where the third through sixth grade classes are housed. Located at 2683 Douglass Road, SE the site is a temporary location for the upper primary grades. In 2012, the board of the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) chose the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys as its preferred partner to provide education to boys on their campus. THEARC will own the building, and BWS will occupy the space under a long-term lease agreement. The new space will be built to the school’s exact specifications and therefore, customized for the boys’ educational needs. This partnership will enable the students to enjoy the wide array of resources available at THEARC including a gymnasium, a state of the art theater, the Levine School of Music, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Washington Ballet, and Children’s National Medical Center.