For Paul and Precia Shaw, supporting Christ Church Episcopal School has always been something they felt called to do. Their oldest son, Josh (class of 2010), started Primer in the mid-90’s, and they have watched the school grow exponentially over the years since. While they saw considerable progress in academics and the arts, they did feel like athletics was overlooked at times. They had always faithfully supported CCES, but when a need arose that would directly impact athletics, they were more than ready to get involved.
During a recent conversation with Head Football Coach, Quin Hatfield, Paul learned about some of the challenges the Athletic Department was facing due to the limited equipment and space in the CTC (Cavalier Training Center), which simply could not support the number of student-athletes who wanted to train. Of course, many of these challenges have become more of an issue as we added in social distancing to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. The Athletic Department had identified some solutions, but didn’t have the funding. Paul and Precia saw the need, recognized the impact it would have on a large number of students (an impressive majority of the CCES student body participates in at least one sport), and decided they wanted to support this endeavor.
Through their generosity, we have been able to add an 1800 square ft. artificial turf training area in the parking lot and new rubber flooring for the team room. Other upgrades include prowler sleds, kettlebells, and Olympic Bumper plates for all teams, as well as some football-specific equipment. These additions will increase the quality of the CTC itself and the experience for the student-athletes who use it to train.
“The upgrades [to the CTC] allow for more working spaces that are functional for team training sessions,” says Aaron Cottingham, Head of Strength and Conditioning. He specifically notes the new turf area, stating: “It is a huge addition, a space that allows for sleds, tractor tires, battle ropes, upper/lower body plyometrics, and agility training.”
Coach Hatfield echoes these sentiments, speaking of his excitement for increased efficiency as it relates to “more student-athletes working out at the same time” and “more variety in the actual workouts” (made possible through an increase in designated areas). He says, “This is an example of what makes CCES special. Folks want to help and give back. It’s awesome!”
The Shaws strongly believe in the vision of the school to be “best in class” in all areas and the mission to develop well-rounded students. Paul states: “In order to prepare the next generation, we need to make investments in all areas: academics, the arts, and athletics.” The two of them saw this as an opportunity to continue to elevate the level of the athletic program here and give all student-athletes across all levels and all sports access to the best equipment and training technology. They believe that a quality athletic program will only aid the development of school as a whole.
“We are grateful for the generosity of the Shaw family and their donation for the improvements to our Cavalier Training Center,” says Athletic Director, Molly Miller. “They recognize the benefit of our athletic program and the role it plays in the development of our students. Their gift is one that truly benefits all CCES student-athletes as they prepare to take the field or court in their respective sports.”
“Paul and Precia Shaw have been steadfast and unfailing in supporting the school over the past two decades as all three of their children have attended CCES. They have been particularly supportive of how athletic experiences complement what students can learn in the classroom, on the stage or at a service site,” shares Head of School, David Padilla. “The gift to upgrade some key elements of the CTC allows us to move the dial on making sure our facilities are sufficient to support quality athletic programs. We still have a long way to go, but the Shaw’s generosity and leadership serve as a promising start!”
Paul and Precia spend hours each week on some sort of court or field, cheering on their kids. Josh played soccer and football, and their two younger kids, current CCES students, are both three-sport athletes. It makes sense that they would want to invest in what their kids are passionate about, but in speaking to them, it was clear that was a very small part of the equation for them. Their two younger children have limited time left at the school (Carson graduates in 2023 and Sydney in 2026), but Paul and Precia take joy knowing this will continue to impact student-athletes even after their own children have graduated. They want to set the foundation for the generations to come and to continue the tradition of striving to be the best.
However, even more important to them than the direct training impact is impressing on current students the importance of giving back. They called this a “seeding gift” in that they want to “show kids that as they graduate and go out into the world, they can be a part of giving back to future generations too.” They want the CCES community to rally together and to give back to support the school, whether it is in a broad sense or in a specific area they are passionate about. Paul and Precia believe in CCES, the direction this school is going, and are excited “to be a part of something special.”
If you are interested in learning more about special project funding
and opportunities around campus, please contact Jamie Inman
, Assistant Head for Advancement.