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Epiphany School collects three awards from town of Culpeper

Principal James Oliver waves a banner in the carpool line at Epiphany School in Culpeper that reads: Best Preschool and Best Elementary School. For the third year in a row, Epiphany won these awards from the Culpeper Star Exponent’s “Best of Your Hometown” contest May 8.

Each year, the Culpeper Star Exponent asks for nominations in nine different categories such as automotive, community features and entertainment. Once the nominations are gathered, a list is posted online where people can vote. When votes are cast and tallied, the newspaper honors the winners with a certificate. This year, the newspaper presented winners with large banners, and many local businesses display their banners to boast and attract clients. 

“I make it a big deal,” said Oliver. “I stand out there with the banner (and) hold it up when parents are coming in the car line.”

Epiphany’s Debbie Hoffman won Best Secretary for the second year. In 2015, Epiphany was located in the basement of Precious Blood Church in Culpeper until the Arlington Diocese purchased the property of the former St. Luke Lutheran School. During the transition, Epiphany inherited Hoffman, who had been the secretary atSt. Luke for eight years.

COURTESY PHOTO “I tell everyone that I ‘conveyed with the building,’ ” she said in an email.

While Hoffman is not Catholic, she has found a community among the “tight-knit families,” especially when her youngest attended Epiphany. When asked what her secret is to winning Best Secretary, Hoffman said, “(Being) positive and helpful every day. I love this job; I love the kids and the parents.”

Oliver said 2016 was the “big year” when Epiphany won six awards, including Best Place to Work. 

“A lot of our parents have been pleased with what we’re doing. Our kids do a lot of outreach work (and) service hours,” said Oliver. 

Student enrollment at Epiphany is 183, including preschool, elementary and middle school. According to Hoffman, Culpeper County’s six public elementary schools have an average 650 each in enrollment and its two public middle schools have a collective average of 1,750 in enrollment.

“We’re quite small, but we’ve donated more cans (of food) than any school in Culpeper,” said Oliver. Epiphany collected 6,325 cans of food for the annual Culpeper Community Christmas Basket Program last year.

“We have the advantage of smaller class sizes, more one-on-one involvement,” said Hoffman. “I think that our teachers and staff not only teach the students values, but model them. (Students) are being shown compassion and accountability, and understand how important that is.”


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017