New Bern independent school started by author Nicholas Sparks commemorates major milestone

Noted author Nicholas Sparks and his wife Catherine had a bold goal when they started The Epiphany School of Global Studies (TESGS) in 2006.

They aimed to provide a globally-focused education, intentional character development, and a service-oriented curriculum, to New Bern’s K-12 students.

Now, 15 years later, the school is celebrating a major milestone, having led over 1,000 students to successful scholastic, collegiate, and professional careers. 

Leading each school year with a focus on community service and emphasizing global studies with travel opportunities and multi-lingual programming, TESGS has built a tradition on developing students into global citizens and involved community stewards.

Harnessing this outlook, in addition to cultivating academic excellence, uniquely prepares TESGS students for a variety of future endeavors and distinguishes them from their peers.

Dr Dwight Carlblom

“As we say here at Epiphany, we’re ‘uncovering gifts for the journey while creating moments that matter.’ Now, after 15 years, we can add a commitment to a tradition of excellence to that list,” said Dr. Dwight Carlblom, Head of School.

“What we have learned over the last decade and a half is how our mission and vision, something that has set us apart from day one, has been effective in setting the next generation up for success,” he said.

Rooted in four pillars: respect, responsibility, service, and integrity, TESGS is a first-of-its-kind academic institution. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies, outdoor education, creative and performing arts, athletics, and service-learning are all core parts of the curriculum. Alumni have gone on to attend the Naval Academy, West Point, Ivy League universities, and other notable institutions. TESGS also proudly boasts a 100% matriculation rate year-after-year.

A frame from a video tour of The Epiphany School of Global Studies shows a class in session prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. See the video, below.

“When I look back on our opening days, so much has changed but so much has stayed the same. Congested carpool lanes, students with locker issues, school dances in the gym – many of the challenges we faced then are still challenges we face today,” said David Wang Assistant Head of School and Director of Middle and Upper Schools.

“And we still make every decision, whether it be about curriculum or facilities, with a goal toward excellence in mind. We operate with integrity and honesty in everything we do, setting an example to our students and preparing them for the challenges that await them in a globalized world,” he said.

TESGS is comprised of two campuses in the heart of New Bern. The Henderson Avenue campus, opened in 2006, serves students in kindergarten through 5th grade. The Trent Road Campus, opened in 2012, serves middle and upper school students in 6th-12th grade.

The Epiphany School of Global Studies (TESGS), anchored in the Judeo-Christian commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself, is a comprehensive college-preparatory and globally-focused school where dynamic and innovative learning is stretched beyond the classroom walls, emphasizing the knowledge, skills, creativity, adaptability, curiosity, and international experiences students will need to flourish in an increasingly globalized 21st century.

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