As a foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality and accessibility of education and healthcare, the J.W. Couch Foundation views its support of the new deButts Health and Wellness Center at Episcopal High School (EHS) as a significant milestone in our mission. Our founder, Jesse W. Couch, who graduated from EHS in 1940, believed strongly in giving back to the community that shaped him. Honoring his memory and extending his legacy through the Jesse W. Couch Counseling Center at EHS embodies our deepest values.

The journey to this moment began when we recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to wellness in educational environments. The EHS faculty and staff envisioned a facility that would not only treat illnesses but also foster a culture of total health — mental, physical, and emotional — within the school community. The deButts Health and Wellness Center is the embodiment of that vision.

Our grant to the project was a heartfelt tribute to Jesse's philosophy of life — that caring for others is the greatest service one can render. The new center features an advanced school health clinic and a medication dispensary designed to meet everyday health needs and manage emergencies with the utmost efficiency. The sophisticated eight-bed infirmary ensures around-the-clock care, providing peace of mind to students and their families.

"The J.W. Couch Counseling Center is, first and foremost, a warm and welcoming place. We see roughly 25-35 students in the hall every day, whether they are meeting an EHS Counselor for an appointment or as a walk-in, checking into a Wellness Room to re-center before going on about their day or engaging with an off-campus therapist--either in person or virtually. The light, art, and decor in our offices are inviting and conducive to reducing stress and improving mood. Students regularly drop by to say "Hi" or to grab a piece of candy. The center has come to be known as a friendly space where one is sure to get support at whatever level that might be."
- Joey Halm, Assistant Director of Counseling


The heart of our contribution lies in the counseling center, named in loving memory of Jesse. Here, students can access a full-service facility focused on mental health and emotional well-being. It's a safe space to seek guidance, support, and therapy. The importance of mental health has often been overshadowed in traditional academic settings, and we are proud to be part of a project that brings it to the forefront.

In addition to these services, the multipurpose wellness center offers programs and resources that teach students how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage stress, and build resilience. We hope that by supporting these initiatives, we are helping to cultivate a generation that values and prioritizes well-being.

We believe that the deButts Health and Wellness Center will set a new standard for health care in schools nationwide. As we continue to support similar initiatives, we carry forward Jesse's legacy of compassion and philanthropy. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this center will have on the EHS community and beyond, ensuring that our founder’s spirit lives on in the health and happiness of these young individuals.

Episcopal High School

In 1839, Episcopal High School opened its 100-acre campus just west of the colonial port of Alexandria, Va., to 35 eager young men. Since its founding, the School has not only survived but flourished in the face of more than 180 years of historic and challenging events: the Civil War, two world wars, the Great Depression, and sweeping social movements, to name only a few. 

Guided by its founding principles of honor, academic distinction, spiritual growth, and community, Episcopal High School prepares young people with the intellectual and moral courage to pursue lives of ethical leadership and service as citizens of an increasingly connected world. 

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Sean W. Couch

President & Co-Trustee at the J.W. Couch Foundation

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