Alycia "Coach" Stewart is leaving St. Stephen's after teaching here for 16 years.  She made the announcement today at the Sports Banquet.  Below is her farewell announcement.  We're going to miss her around here!

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.”- Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

This is one of my favorite Bible verses and I wanted to share it with you this morning because it brings me comfort and helps sum up how I am feeling. I walked through the doors of St. Stephen’s Episcopal 16 years ago, a fresh and vibrant (and naive) young teacher and coach. In these last 16 years, I have made some great memories, coached some amazing athletes, and taught fun and challenging students all while making unforgettable memories. –“A time to be born”

My passion for teaching and coaching has helped me to connect with my students and athletes. These connections with some of my students and athletes runs so deep that years later, I have been invited to several weddings and have even had the privilege of being a part of one of them. I know that I have made a difference and I am grateful for each of them and each of you. - “A time to keep.”

 When I started this journey, I was just Coach Alycia. While at St. Stephen’s I was able to share in community circle in Ms. Connie’s class that I got engaged with the Upper Elementary class that I helped out with every week that first year I began teaching. I was married that next summer and many of the faculty and a few families attended my big day, along with a Tropical Storm..but that is another story!! – “A time to sew.”

In my 16 years here, I have coached Upper Elementary Soccer, Basketball and Volleyball. Middle School Soccer, Basketball and Volleyball. I started the High School athletics program in hopes to continue and have the program grow from Upper Elementary to High School. I stared as the Defensive Coordinator of the Flag Football Team, Head Boys Soccer Coach and eventually the Varsity Girls Volleyball Coach. Has it been easy, not always, has it been fun, not always but would I do it all over, YOU BETCHA!! I have coached an 0 and 11 team to a Bi-District Championship team and travelled with my athletes to schools as close as 2 miles from here to as far away as Victoria, Beaumont, Orange and Boerne! I started the tradition and helped many of the wonderful High School formals and watched the students transform into beautifully dressed young men and women.  I have even had the privilege of traveling with the students on several class trips from Camp Allen, in the cold and rain, to attempting the leap of faith at the Mo Pole at Mo Ranch to the glorious and breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon and the last year topped it off with an out of this world trip to Barcelona! - “A time to embrace.”

I have had some amazing parents help me through some tough times while I journeyed down my path to becoming a parent. I cried and prayed with students and parents; but in November of 2005, the entire St. Stephen’s community helped me welcome Luke and I say this because I had faculty and students visit us at the hospital. Luke was raised in my office and everyone knew who he was! He spent his infant years on campus until he started Orientation with Ms. Lou until he completed Lower Elementary last year! –“A time to plant”

Then along came Jake in 2009 and the feeling was still there yet a little different; because he could not be raised on campus but he was here every chance I could bring him! He attended a ton of volleyball games that year and loved being with his girls!! When it was time, he was one of, at the time, youngest enrollees at St. Stephen’s; I guess he started the whole 15 months trend!! Jake will complete his 1st and last year in Lower Elementary this year and join his big brother next year. – “ A time to break down”

In these 16 years, I have watched the first class graduate from the High School and this year I will gladly watch the first IB and 15th class graduate. There are some of you in this room I have known since Primary and even one that I was the first person on campus to hold you after you were born and your mom brought you up for your brother’s show and tell! I hope that at some point in my 16 years here, I have at some point, positively affected you and made a small impression on you, whether it was on the field, in the class, in a GLO/NPFH meeting or during your admissions process to enter St. Stephen’s. – “A time to dance.”

So, today, with a heavy heart, I stand here to tell you, that I will not be returning next year. I cannot imagine being a part of this amazing community without either of my boys here. I feel like my ties to this community have moved on and it is time I find a new home. I have loved teaching; coaching and admitting some of you in this room and St. Stephen’s will always have a special place in my heart. - “A time to weep.”

I leave you with this, it’s the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, 2 outs, and a 3-2 count..I am swinging no matter what and I know that I have hit a grand slam! –“ A time to love”

God Bless You, Thank you and I love you all with all of my heart. – “A time of peace”