W I // 1 8
BLUE PRINT T H E M A G A Z I N E of G I R L S P R E P A R A T O R Y S C H O O L PAGE 11
REL ATIONSHIPS Enrich Learning
Student-Teacher Connections Impact Education
WHOâ€™S YOUR SISTER?
Create Your Own Blueprint of Sisterhood
SPORTS + Sisterhood
Teamwork Beyond the
TAKE 5 | five must-reads from Blueprint Winter 2018
FROM THE DARKROOM TO THE COURTROOM
21 Century Sisterhood st
GPS has helped me build confidence in my presentation and to be articulate.” FROM ACTING TO ENTREPRENEURISM—GPS GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING THEY SET THEIR MINDS TO. PAGE 24
HAPPY 10 0 T H !
R E L AT I O NS HIPS E N R I C H LEAR NING RESEARCH SUPPORTS AND RESULTS
CHATTANOOGA JUNIOR LEAGUE CELEBRATES ITS CENTENNIAL. ARE YOU ONE OF THE GPS GRADS WHO HAS SERVED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS? PAGE 36
REINFORCE WHY FACULTY-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS MATTER. PAGE 11
CONNECT with us on social media
Live like our FOUNDERS! Stats & facts to empower women
Bruisers on Blast | Echoes and shouts from social media and beyond ID Those Bruisers | From the archives, can you identify those pictured? Thoughts from our Head of School | The Power of Sisterhood
CORNERSTONES The View from Here | GPS male faculty reflect on sisterhood Relationships Enrich Learning | How connections provide an immeasurable boost to student success Watts Happening | GPS Athletic Director Jay Watts makes a colorful contribution A Taste of 21st-Century Sisterhood | GPS grads connect across the years and the miles A Sisterhood of Support | Create your own Blueprint of sisterhood
ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Head of School Dr. Autumn A. Graves Head of Upper School Jenise Gordon Assistant Head of School for Advancement Angela Johnson Head of Middle School Lynne Macziewski
THE ROLE OF
Embracing Individuality Around GPS Art Showcase Athletics Cat-Rat Tradition
GPS ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
AND VARSITY BASKETBALL COACH WITH
On the Cover: GPS varsity basketball team huddles before a home game. Photo by Amy Walters
FLAIR. PAGE 14
and Teacher Engagement Elaine Milazzo Director of Educational Technology & Information Systems
Daniel Millbank Director of Strategic Communications & Marketing Bilda Small Chief Financial Officer Mark Vosskamp Director of Athletics Jay Watts
Junior League Centennial Class Notes Weddings Births In Memoriam
COLUMNS MBD Make a Lasting Impact
ROTUNDA Welcome and a message from our leaders
Tips & tricks to be a GAME CHANGER and give back to GPS
CORNERSTONES The building blocks of leadership, commitment, and values
COURTYARD Traditions and happenings around GPS
GALLERY Memorable experiences, recognition, and noteworthy happenings
Debbie B. Young ’79 EDITORIAL STAFF General Editor Pamela Hammonds Contributing Writers Anne Exum
Callie Hildebrand Michal Howick ’03 Kendra Stanton Lee Laura Jane Walker Design Amy Walters Victoria Carlson
Understanding the Blueprint Architecture GAME CHANGER
Director of Learning Innovation
Director of Admission
EYES OUT FOR THESE ICONS
C O N N E CT
—AVA CULPEPPER, ’23
True tales of GPS grads and the power of staying connected. PAGE 16
LEADING THE COACHES & ATHLETES @
COLUMNS Perspectives on the impact of our school
Blueprint is published
biannually by Girls Preparatory School P.O. Box 4736 Chattanooga, TN 37405 423-634-7600 GPS.edu Printed by Starkey Printing Co.
STAY IN THE KNOW Keep up with GPS on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Below are some of the most popular posts from this school year. Be sure to follow us online for the most up-to-date happenings and share in the Bruiser conversation.
ID THOSE BRUISERS
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE BRUISERS IN THIS PICTURE? Culled from a scrapbook in the dance studio, this photo features four students who attended GPS in the early ’70s. Can you name these girls and tell us what dance they were rehearsing?
CLICK THE ICONS to follow us
Our sixth-grade Rats met their Cats, the seniors with whom they have been paired for their first year at GPS and beyond. Welcome to the #Sisterhood. AUGUST 11
Four GPS girls earn National Merit Scholarship Honors: Sophie Veys, Tatiana Poggi, Kate Thel, and Margaret Lim. SEPTEMBER 15
GRANDPARENTS DAY HAPPY HOWL-O-WEEN! The 102 members of the senior class, in another representation of their enduring #Sisterhood, came to school today dressed as 101 Dalmatians and Cruella de Vil. OCTOBER 31
CROSS COUNTRY STATE CHAMPIONS Bruisers Cross Country just ran home with the STATE TITLE! NOVEMBER 4
As is tradition, every year before students leave for Thanksgiving break, Terpsichord presents a special in-school performance. NOVEMBER 17
Our students welcomed their sweet grandparents and special friends to campus at two events. Middle School OCTOBER 5 Upper School NOVEMBER 1
2018 May Court ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 8
MR. KREIS Thank you for your service, Mr. Kreis. Enjoy your retirement but please come visit often. DECEMBER 7
LOOK OUT FOR OUR HASHTAGS: #HeresToTheGirls | #BlueprintWI18 | #GPSSisterhood
THEY ID’ed THOSE BRUISERS! Congratulations to Susan Yates Jensen ’65, Sheridan Yates Wood ’67, Ellen Espy Blocker ’68, Drue Davis Shook ’69, and Barbara Toms Craig ’67. They were the first to correctly identify the girls in the photo from our summer ’17 edition of Blueprint as Jan Yarbrough, Sheri Yates, and Ellen Yates, Class of 1967. Each won an insulated GPS mug from The Bow.
C O N N E CT SEND YOUR BEST GUESSES TO ALUMNEWS@GPS.EDU. YOU MAY WIN A GIFT FROM THE GPS BOW!
Read examples of sisterhood and students supporting each other throughout this issue.
If you are an alumna of GPS, you may have spotted a GPS ring on another woman’s hand and felt a connection to her even though you didn’t know her name or graduation year. That connection is what we are celebrating this year under the banner of sisterhood.
Sisterhood doesn’t immediately blossom when young girls enroll in the sixth grade; it is a bond that develops over time as students share their dreams and struggles, and grow in stature and respect for one another. Faculty remark that, in the Upper School, they watch friend groups expand and overlap until the senior class seems like one big shared community. There is value in a community of women and the shared power they possess in supporting each other’s identity development. I am fortunate to have a core group of really close friends and two good groups of friends, one from my sorority days and one from New York City days. Interestingly, most of my close friends went to all-girls schools, had mothers who attended all-girls schools, or are involved in women's organizations. Maybe that commonality was what drew us together. Our girls learn how to be friends with other women. They don’t see them as competition but rather as valued partners in getting something done. Just consider how many GPS alumnae have been engaged in and leaders of the Junior League of Chattanooga. That is a community of women who know a lot about getting things done! Be sure to read our story in this issue as our local Junior League celebrates its centennial. In another article, we ask some of our male faculty what they think about sisterhood. Director of Library Services Will Glass (father of a GPS alum and husband of another) says he thinks the “skills of sisterhood” create good professional colleagues who can avoid the female drama in a work culture and focus on getting the job done. Yet another story features alumnae who are connected in their jobs. Two are from the same graduation class, two have quite an age gap but strong mentorship, and two grew close through their families and now work side by side. In every section of this Blueprint, from the articles to the columns to the alumnae news, you’ll recognize the importance of sisterhood that GPS inspires and nurtures. Here's to the GIRLS! Dr. Autumn A. Graves
GPS MALE FACULTY REFLECT ON SISTERHOOD By xum
E ne An
hen the senior class chose sisterhood as this year’s theme, many wondered how our male faculty would respond. Could they support a theme that might feel exclusionary to them? Or could they “sister” their students, as the way construction crews use supports to reinforce weaker joints, supporting them in their pursuits? How do they see sisterhood lived out in the classrooms, in the halls, on the fields?
ss . cla in no ovi hC a lp Dr .R
W E I V E H T
Dr. Ralph Covino, Dean of the Junior Class, thinks sisterhood suggests more the notion of a tight-knit family, where everyone embraces each other’s strengths and weaknesses, laughs with each other, and gets
along. “Perhaps I cannot fully engage with the theme,” he says, “but the sisterhood I see in the classroom and in the hallways reflects loyalty, sticking with friends when they are going through tough times, and helping each other out when life seems to be getting a bit too much.” Echoing Dr. Covino’s perspective, John Woods ascribes to sisterhood the ideals of support, encouragement, mentorship, and being a confidante. As a PE teacher and swim coach, he believes those qualities also create good teammates. “Sisterhood sheds a light on being together as one,” Woods says, even as each individual makes a contribution. “Sisterhood is a given at GPS,” says Will Glass, Director of Library Services. The husband of alumna Patrice Hobbs ’88 and father of Abby, a 2017 graduate,
Glass believes that sisterhood is one of the main reasons to attend GPS. “Even before I worked here, sisterhood was evident in an endearing way. Both Patrice and Abby have lifelong friends and, through those friendships, a strong support system.” Those outside the school may not fully appreciate the depth of what that means, but qualities of sisterhood are “exactly what GPS does well—teaching patience, understanding, and empathy,” Glass adds. In his 19th year at GPS, Math Department Chair Chris Zeller uses “family” and “common bond” to describe sisterhood. Of course, all 600-plus girls don’t always like each other, he says, but they are part of a tight-knit, single-gender school that offers a better opportunity for having true relationships with their classmates.
I think the girls will leave GPS knowing they were really a part of something special—something you just don’t get in other schools or in every workplace...they will strive to rebuild the sense of community they enjoyed here no matter what their vocation or profession.” —DR. RALPH COVINO, Dean of the Junior Class and Upper School Teacher
The GPS RING, the ultimate symbol of GPS SISTERHOOD
THE IDEALS OF SISTERHOOD “The girls have really embraced #Sisterhood on social media and are owning it as a brand,” Dr. Covino says. “You see it all over the school— from the sixth-grade girls proposing to include it on their class Twitter account’s description to spontaneous #Sisterhood moments in class when one girl supports another or just does something particularly sisterhood-worthy,” he says. “I think it has really helped them to focus on aspects of the school’s values of respect and relationships.” Glen Vey teaches ancient civilizations.
With 10th through 12th grade advisories incorporating a mix of Upper School grade levels, Coach Woods sees a stronger sense of sisterhood in advisory discussions involving three grade levels. “There’s more interaction between classes,” he says, and a wider sense of sisterhood similar to that found on a team. Glass sees the same kind of cross grade-level sisterhood in his 3D design classes. “Among ‘sisters,’” he says, a girl can make mistakes and be met with understanding from older and younger classmates. “That leads to a confidence to take chances.” Dr. Covino adds, “It is great to see the seniors point out during Chapel Talks how tight-knit their class has become over the years and really model the idea of a supportive community for the younger girls. Whether they know it or not, the message will sink in.”
GOING BEYOND GPS Whether an alumna is looking for sisterhood or just like-mindedness after she leaves GPS, Zeller says it is “rare to hear her not be appreciative of her GPS experience, and sisterhood
is key in relishing her time here.” Zeller has kept in touch with many from his math classes or soccer teams and says they “realize the GPS experience, which cannot be separated from sisterhood, propelled them to do well in life, in careers, in friendships.” GPS alumnae have learned how to correct someone and still retain their respect, believes Glass. “In bringing sisterhood skills to their careers, they will be such great colleagues,” he says. Woods agrees. “The sisterhood that starts here grows stronger after graduation,” he says. As he keeps up with former swimmers on social media, he realizes how well they know one another and witnesses it firsthand as a GPS dad. “My daughters (Emily ’01 and Sydney ’04) value their GPS sisterhood experience so much, in and out of the classrooms.”
In the classroom, Vey notices that students “answer up” in support of their classmates who may not know answers to questions, and they defend each other’s views. In Model UN, which he’s sponsored for many years, he observes seniors mentoring freshmen.
Because of social media, Vey “sees sisterhood in action among the members of the Class of 1993,” the first class he taught. “They keep in constant touch with one another all these years later,” he observes. When he reflects on the Class of 2018 and those younger students who are being encouraged in sisterhood, Vey says, “I hope the theme and the values it represents will help them to be supportive of other women as they enter into and advance in their careers.”
athletic trophies, and popularity. But at an all-girls school, such as Girls Preparatory School, relationships to enrich the educational experience are found in the classroom, on the stage, and on the field and provide an immeasurable boost to student success.
At the end of the year, Vey hopes to be able to look back, realize how perfect the theme has been, and address the student body in his own Chapel Talk: “Even though, because of certain genetic and gender issues, I am not technically part of ‘the sisterhood,’ I have observed it in action. From the laughter that resonates through the hallways to the love and compassion each of you shows to one another, I have been privileged to share in the joys and heartaches of sisterhood.”
DRIVE UP TO GPS any given morning and you might find Diane Walker, math and engineering teacher, enthusiastically greeting students as they exit their parents’ cars. She won’t be there every day, but when it matters, she shows up. “I pay attention to the pulse of the school and the girls,” Walker says. “I can sense when the girls are especially tense or feeling down—oftentimes during the week of exams. So I do what it takes to build them up.” What Walker and other teachers do for GPS students is utilize their emotional intelligence— they intuitively know what their
h c i r n E
students need and then they make connections to help the girls feel supported. As children experience positive relationships with teachers, they develop interests in school activities, are more motivated and willing to learn, and report higher academic achievement, according to a 2016 study published by US National Library of Medicine.
Commended, and 59 students from the GPS Classes of 2017 and 2018 who were designated AP Scholars. The list of colleges and universities that sent out acceptance letters to our Class of 2017 includes Yale, Brown, UCLA, Duke, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and NYU.
When GPS faculty invest themselves in developing relationships with students, the results are tangible. This year’s graduating class includes four National Merit Semifinalists, six
Although these student accomplishments are noteworthy, student-teacher relationships are far more impactful. Evidence of those connections permeate a recent GPS alumnae survey.
By Pamela Hammonds
In his last of 30 years teaching at GPS, Glen Vey has drawn a unique perspective of the sisterhood theme. His wife, Shelly Rucker, and her best friend, Lynn Willingham, both from the Class of 1976, “act as sisters,” he says, and have embodied the theme since he’s known them.
For many, success in school is measured by GPAs,
If a theme is a good theme, says Woods, it addresses or relates to something positive or ever-present. “The need was to identify or name the closeness or shared experience that GPS provides. Sisterhood is that shared experience.”
Thinking L ike a SISTER
EXPERT ON GIRLS WILL SPEAK AT GPS Lisa Damour, PhD, psychologist, author, teacher, speaker, consultant, and director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, will be at GPS this March. The parenting session, March 15 at 7 p.m. in Frierson Theatre, is free and open to the public. As the author of the New York Times-bestselling book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, Dr. Damour draws on years of clinical experience and the latest research to provide sound, practical guidance to girls as well as their parents, teachers, and advocates.
One student responded that she “appreciated my relationships with my teachers, coaches, and friends the most” and another wrote: “My teachers encouraged me and helped me find myself at a young age.” One student even went as far to express: “Besides my family, GPS was the most important influence in my life.”
BUILDING CONNECTIONS Positive links between the emotional support provided by student-teacher interactions
At GPS, teachers cultivate strong, positive relationships with their students. They make it safe for girls to ask questions, to fail and try again.” —LESLIE CHANDLER-MURPHEY, GPS Counseling Specialist
and students’ development of relational and social skills are also proven. Therefore, students’ perception of comradery and respect is essential for their development, learning, and the creation of a wider network of friends. Support from teachers also helps students develop relational and social skills, two key components to a student’s overall educational success as well as making them better equipped for life after college. In fact, at a recent GPS alumnae panel event, Katie Brandao ’17, who is a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill, recalls her college application process and how she sought out English teacher Todd Wells for after-hours help with the required essay. “I sent at least five drafts to him, and he kept working with me until we were both happy with it,” Brandao says. His belief that she could do better and willingness to support her during the process made a difference. That essay not only helped her get into college, but the experience of partnering with Wells gave her the confidence to approach her college professors to develop relationships and gain their support.
There’s another important dimension to relationships developed between GPS girls and male faculty. When you look in Glen Vey’s classroom and see him donning masks and costumes to make history come alive for his seventh-grade students, he’s not only helping them learn about ancient civilizations, but he’s also connecting with them as a male role model. “Girls will say, ‘You act just like my dad,’ so there’s that equating,” Vey says. “When there isn't a father in the picture or that relationship isn’t good, I help fill a void. Middle school girls need a strong male role model.” The same can be said for other faculty members, including Dr. Steve Harrison, new history teacher at GPS this year. Already you’ll find girls using his classroom as their study hall because they feel safe and supported there. “We have such a fabulous open-door practice here at GPS,” says Sarah Jackson, Upper School Dean of Students, “that you can walk down the halls and hear these casual— yet meaningful—conversations between teachers and students. Each interaction is important in making GPS a place where they feel at home.”
A SENSE OF SECURITY When mistakes are made, it’s essential that teachers seize those moments as opportunities to help the girls build each other up rather than tear down. In Lisa Wilkes’ math classroom, through inquiry-based learning, she has established an atmosphere of trust in an attentive and supportive environment. In her first year at GPS, she models active listening and continuous questioning that requires active student engagement—both verbal and written. “When Wilkes asks for volunteers to work questions on the board, there is no hesitation,” says Elaine Milazzo, Director of Innovation and Teacher Engagement. “When she notices an error, she uses questions to help the girls realize it themselves. There is no judgement with regard to performance, and it’s remarkable.” “Girls fear not being connected, not being relational—with peers, family members, and teachers,” says Leslie Chandler-Murphey, GPS Counseling Specialist. “At GPS, teachers cultivate strong, positive relationships with their students. They make it safe for girls to ask questions, to fail and try again.”
When we feel safe in our environment, we relax and allow ourselves to become more open and vulnerable. Teachers can become a magnet for students and foster a symbiotic relationship to nourish the learning process, explains Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, in “A Symphony of Gifts from Relational Neuroscience.” In Bryant Haynes’ physics class, he randomly assigns students to put their work on the board without asking for volunteers. “He has an assumption that they had completed their work, so there is a mutual respect there,” Milazzo observes. “He has a plan for the day that doesn’t include asking about homework completion because of his expectations of them. This demonstration of respect contributes to a secure learning environment where girls can thrive.” While GPS faculty have considerable experience and expertise in their areas of academic discipline —since each tends to teach only one subject and 73 percent hold advanced degrees—nurturance is just as important as credentials. “When we nurture these girls’ brains, they are better able to absorb what we are teaching,” says Katey McPherson, Executive Director of the Gurian Institute, who recently spoke at GPS about the effects of social media on girls. GPS students and alumnae consistently report that relationships with teachers rate as important as academic excellence in their GPS experience.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM How else do GPS teachers build relationships with students? By being available to them, designing lessons that allow for interaction, attending student events, sponsoring clubs, and creating times for casual conversations. Sometimes it’s as simple as attending an afterschool activity. “When students come to class the next day and we can say, Hey, awesome job at the game last night,” says Jenise Gordon, Head of Upper School, “or they see us in the audience, they know we care about them.” Caroline Carlin, history teacher, Ninth-Grade Dean, and Varsity Lacrosse Coach, possesses a unique connection to her student-athletes because of her relationship with them both in the classroom and on the playing field. She sees them as problemsolvers and competitors in both places; she understands how they think, learn, and relate. She captures the opportunity to support them by writing personal notes to each lacrosse player before every game, to direct and call attention to their talents to achieve each girl's personal goal for the game and goal to support her teammates. “Writing the notes lets them know they’re important to me and to the team,” she says. Carlin says a college student recently sent her a photo of all her cards from high school that she had saved and keeps in her dorm. Carlin understands her players’ vulnerability and also knows
how to direct and help them achieve their best—with a lasting influence. “GPS coaches know how they impact students,” says Jay Watts, GPS Athletic Director. “Many times what an athlete will remember most is something that happened on a bus ride, a team trip, or at practice. It’s about the shared experience. The relational component is more important than the scoreboard.”
A TWO-PRONGED APPROACH The same holds true for academic achievement. While GPS maintains high academic standards, the relationships formed here increase academic and emotional outcomes for students. “We have found that you can’t separate the two. The science on the development of girls backs it up,” Milazzo says. “But most importantly, at GPS it is a lived experience— academic achievement and healthy emotional and social development for girls is linked to supportive and caring relationships with our teachers.” As one alumna from the Class of 2008 wrote, “GPS absolutely transformed my life for the better by making me a confident and intelligent woman. My teachers believed in me and that made me believe also.”
ADVISORY BUILDS BONDS Lynne Macziewski, Head of Middle School, believes the student-teacher connection gains the most ground during advisory, a place for social and emotional growth and where, oftentimes, meaningful conversations occur between the advisor and advisees or among the girls themselves. “Our advisors do a great job creating an environment where our girls first get to know one another and build bonds between each other,” she says. By participating in games and team-building activities, discussing goals for the year, and talking about sisterhood, among other things, “a safe space is created where they feel comfortable sharing their fears, their successes and challenges, and knowing they have girls there to lean on.”
C O N N E CT WHICH GPS TEACHER STANDS OUT IN YOUR MIND? SHARE YOUR MEMORY WITH US: ALUMNEWS@GPS.EDU
S T T ING
ABOUT THOSE PANTS ...
DIRECTOR JAY WATTS UNDERSTANDS THE POWER OF TEAMWORK
Watts sideline coaching at a home game
You may have spotted Watts’ digital creations on the GPS Athletics social media accounts. A self-taught graphic artist, Watts is eager to stay on top of communications, which includes creating catchy and fun social media posts to promote the school’s teams.
By Laura Jane Walker JAY WATTS BELIEVES in the significance and power of sports. The athletic director at Girls Preparatory School and self-proclaimed “professional fan” brings more than two decades of experience working with students in athletics, and most of those years focused on girls sports. But his early days on the McCallie lacrosse field still resonate most with him today. Watts, McCallie Class of 1990, came to GPS via the Westminster School in Atlanta in July 2017. It was there he really learned to coach and guide girls on the field as they developed their skills. “Athletics has the power to transform a student,” Watts says. “The longer I was at Westminster, the more I was able to see how playing sports can enhance the educational experience for student-athletes. I also discovered how an athletics department can supplement and assist other areas of school.” From development to admissions and alumnae and parent relations, athletics can influence and unify a student body.
But most significantly, any interaction with school sports has the power to influence a girl’s physical, social, and emotional capacity—and, as Watts recalls, athletics can lead to any number of destinations. “In 2009 I represented the United States in the World Cup for women’s lacrosse, held that year in the Czech Republic,” Watts says. “The significance of that event didn’t hit me until I was sitting behind our nation’s flag among the other delegates. And it all began on the McCallie lacrosse field more than 20 years earlier.” Watts was a member of the first lacrosse team at that school during his tenure there. He says that single experience allowed him to eventually coach at Westminster, to become involved with lacrosse on a national level on the board of governance, and to represent the U.S. internationally. “That’s sports—that someone like me, from Northern Alabama, would be representing our country at a lacrosse World Cup,” Watts says. “One sports experience can truly change someone’s life.”
CONNECTED TO CHATTANOOGA Watts says he appreciated GPS as a quality school from his time at McCallie. Through his experiences at Westminster, he became much more involved in girls sports, serving as basketball and cross-country coach, and coaching varsity girls lacrosse for nearly 20 years. “Women’s sports inevitably became an interest of mine because I wanted to make it the best possible experience for my players,” Watts says. “I’ve studied the prevalence of ACL injuries in female athletes, the unique experience girls have related to concussions, and gender specifics regarding nutrition.” He says he was drawn to GPS not just for the opportunity to serve as athletic director, but also to continue the work he’d done for girls sports in a school he believes is second to none.
A FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS According to Watts, girls participation in sports provides many physical benefits, which are easy
to see, but also far-reaching social, emotional, and academic benefits. Girls learn the ability to overcome obstacles, build self-confidence, and develop important relationships with teammates, coaches, and opponents that will serve them well throughout their lives. In fact, a recent study by Ernst & Young reports 90 percent of female senior managers and executives sampled played sports either at primary and secondary school, or during university or other tertiary education. “Girls sports are more relational than boys sports,” Watts says. “We get to know each other as people and as athletes. We appreciate differences in our teammates. Sports goes beyond the playing field—I feel that if a coach teaches only athletic strategy, he’s missed a great opportunity to teach beyond what you can see on the court, in the pool, or on the field.”
Jay Watts, a husband and father of two, says he has long been a University of Alabama fan despite graduating from the College of William & Mary. In his early basketball coaching career, he was inspired by the bold, plaid sideline wardrobe of Alabama basketball coach Winfred “Wimp” Sanderson. He incorporated his own spin on plaid jackets, but when he started coaching girls lacrosse, jackets were no longer an option. “I started wearing crazy-colored pants as a lacrosse coach,” Watts says. “It became more significant after an alum from my team died in a car accident. At her memorial service, her friends talked about how she liked to dress up in costume. It was all the more reason for me to remember her and her love for wild and crazy outfits, and it was a way for me to connect with my team.” Since his arrival at GPS, Watts has been spotted in his signature crazy pants, with bold flower prints, madras plaids, and other bright combinations. Watts says the pants have been a great conversation starter since he arrived on campus—and he looks forward to incorporating more Bruiser blue.
hile bonds of sisterhood are formed within the walls of Girls P repa r at or y School, those con nect ions often extend beyond the time girls spend here. With the help of shared contacts or family and friends, our alums build professional and personal relationships that have changed their lives. Here are three stories of GPS alumnae who found each other in the same industry, in the same city, going through similar life experiences, or even sitting next to each other at work.
A Taste of 21 Century Sisterhood
A Shared Sense of Style Lesley Unruh and Cynthia “Cindy” Owings Groseclose, both Class of 1992, never imagined that they’d reconnect in a similar industry
By Laura Jane Walker
Left: Cindy Owings Groseclose, ’92
Top: Girls from the Class
Lunsford, and Hannah
of 1992: Lesley Unruh, Dobson Myers, Lauren
their Chapel Talk board
MILES AND THROUGH THE YEARS
Right: Unruh, ’92 and Unruh pose with senior year.
A shot styled by Groseclose and photographed by Unruh
more than 20 years later—and be fast friends still. Unruh had just left a magazine job in 2008 to pursue a freelance photography career when she reconnected with Groseclose on Facebook. Unruh, who specializes in photography from interiors to fashion and food, says the two shared stories and were in some disbelief that they had both lived in Paris—Unruh working for a musician and Groseclose studying at Le Cordon Bleu—and then in New York City. “After nearly 15 years, when we thought we were running in different directions, we connected and quickly made plans to get together,” Unruh says.
She booked a plane ticket to Charleston, where Groseclose ran her own catering business. While on the plane, Unruh ran into a food stylist friend who invited her to a cookbook photoshoot. Unruh brought Groseclose along on the job, and the rest is history. “I had been immersed in food, both in restaurants in NYC and with my catering business, and Lesley thought I would find this side of the industry interesting,” Groseclose says. She started working in food styling, eventually focusing solely on that work. “I’m a very visually driven person. Even when I was catering, I was focused heavily on presentation,” Groseclose says. “I love making beautiful things—food is my passion—and I like that food styling enables me to have food live beyond that meal on the pages of books and magazines.”
The Big Apple Connection HUMBLE BEGINNINGS After reconnecting in Charleston, the two continued to talk and even collaborate on projects as photographer and food stylist, including for Le Creuset and a lifestyle cookbook for an international yoga teacher. “It was a pinch-me moment—I couldn’t believe I was working with my best friend,” Groseclose says. “We have such a special connection—we’re both artistic souls, which is where we’ve always connected. We don’t agree on everything, but we have a deep mutual respect for each other. Our friendship has withstood decades.” The duo met in seventh grade at GPS and became fast friends. They even did a joint Chapel Talk their senior year, staging a photoshoot beforehand and sketching portraits of each other that highlighted the different aspects of their personalities. “It’s crazy to think that, as seniors in high school, we were creating stories with visual imagery—which is what we both do now!” Groseclose says. “Visual communication and creativity has always been my biggest outlet,” Unruh adds. “That was celebrated at GPS, where my teachers knew how to nurture and help drive that creativity.”
Unruh encourages fellow alums to reach out and uncover what commonalities may still exist with classmates. She attributes her success working with Groseclose to their strong friendship. “Given the time we’ve been friends, we can practically finish each other’s sentences,” Unruh says. “To be able to anticipate each other’s ideas and move straight to the core of creativity helps us professionally. We’re very much like sisters.” Groseclose says in addition to strong friendships, her GPS education gave her the confidence to make bold decisions. “It takes believing in yourself, having the courage to take chances, and putting yourself out there to pursue your passions and dreams,” she says. “I have learned not to let my fear of failing at something—or fear of things not working out the way I would hope—to keep me from even trying.” IN
The best things start with a passion and, as an entrepreneur, you have to not be afraid to shift directions and reinvent the wheel if necessary.” —CYNTHIA OWINGS GROSECLOSE ’92
W O R DS
SEE UNRUH’S WORK AT UNRUHPHOTO.COM AND GROSECLOSE’S WORK AT SUPPERSBYTHESEA.COM
After pursuing a path in nonprofit communications in Pennsylvania, Marshall Bright ’07 decided to take a leap into the publishing world. The Chattanooga native says she always loved writing, serving as the editor of the Spectrum, the school newspaper, during her time at GPS, and sought a more creative, expansive direction. In her free time, Bright pursued a passion for cooking as a creative outlet, and that interest helped her land an internship at America’s Test Kitchen in Boston. With some clips and experience under her belt, Bright moved to New York City, working any connections she had to explore food and writing internships and positions. From overseeing a podcast to interning at Saveur magazine, she believes her experiences eventually led to her current job as a food writer at Refinery29, a women-focused lifestyle website. Bright says she took a risk in moving to New York without many contacts. That has driven her to meet with other people looking to break into what is a very competitive, driven industry in a bustling city—and it’s how she reconnected with Olivia Harrison ’11.
A SHARED LOVE OF WORDS Harrison, a trending lifestyle writer at Refinery29, studied pop culture in college and knew she wanted to pursue writing about lifestyle topics. After taking an internship with Bust magazine, Harrison was interested when her mother mentioned Bright was also in New York—Harrison and Bright’s families often overlapped—and Bright sent her a message.
After introducing Harrison to an open position at Refinery29, Bright and Harrison ended up working as writers in the same department, sitting side by side.
“It’s unreal that I get to be a food writer,” Bright says. “In some ways, because it’s a women’s media company, it’s a lot like being back at GPS. We’re working really hard, but it can also feel like a slumber party—there are always fun, crazy things hap“Marshall is such a warm and pening, and we all get to laugh inviting person,” Harrison says. together.” “She immediately reached out to me. We have a similar sense of Harrison likes that she can conhumor, and we kept in touch as nect with someone else from I navigated through my move to Chattanooga and share stories. New York.” She appreciates the friendship
ANOTHER ALUMNA FOUND As a food writer, Marshall Bright ’07 loves taking complex topics—like wine tasting—and breaking them down into manageable, digestible articles for the Refinery29 audience. She connected with wine specialist Sayle Milne ’97 at an alumnae event, and Bright later interviewed Milne as an expert wine resource for a piece.
and support she has received from Bright. “Marshall has shown me that whenever you get into your industry, it’s important to pay it forward to those who come after you,” Harrison says. “I wouldn’t have this job without her. It turns out that we’re very compatible and great friends and colleagues. It’s important to be willing to lend a helping hand.”
Below: Marshall Bright ’07, left, and Olivia Harrison ’11 at Refinery29.
More Than a Mentor When Mary Williams Gadd ’93, Director of Client Development at Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, was asked to serve as the Executive Director of Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, she didn’t anticipate connecting with another GPS alumna. Julia ’84 and Doug Dooley recommended Gadd for the position; they’d told Jennifer Davis ’84 another GPS alum was coming on board. As Executive Director of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Davis immediately took Gadd under her wing.
began her career in marketing and communications in the legal field after college, has morphed into a fulltime position. Davis showed Gadd the ropes, connecting her with valuable contacts and resources for event planning, developing educational seminars, and marketing—all essential components for running a state civil defense organization.
“Jennifer has been such a big part of my success in this position,” Gadd says. “When we met at the annual national conference, we were stunned that not only were we both from Chattanooga, but also we were both GPS graduates. We bonded immediately.”
“Mary is a natural in her role as TDLA Executive Director and is already regarded as a key player on the national stage, serving as a mentor to those who’ve come along behind her,” says Davis. Both women say they’re grateful for the education they received at GPS, as well as the expansive network of alumnae across industries.
What initially started as a parttime job at GDLA for Davis, who
“Everything I needed to know I learned at GPS,” Davis says. “The
BEE A SPELLER! Can you spell “trophy”? Recruit a team of three to enter into the spelling bee battle, and you might be crowned the best spellers in Chattanooga!
values and lessons instilled in me there have shaped my life. I’m so grateful, not only for the foundation I received at GPS, but also for the lifelong friends I made then and the new friends like Mary whom I’ve encountered since. We support each other in so many ways.” “Jennifer’s energy is infectious, and she is well respected in the legal world,” Gadd says. “I never would have known her if it hadn’t been for TDLA and GPS. It’s the sisterhood GPS established that gave me this vital connection, mentor, and friend.”
HOW HAVE YOU CONNECTED WITH OTHER ALUMS IN YOUR CAREER? SHARE YOUR STORY WITH US— EMAIL ALUMNEWS@GPS.EDU.
There are many ways to get involved with your alma mater. Consider attending two of GPS’s biggest events to show support for your sisters and your school.
D N E K E E E E B EW R A E N S I M U U R L B A
BEE A SPECTATOR! The fun is not just for spellers; it’s for spectators, too! Gather your friends, purchase a ticket, and enjoy a night in a local game show environment with others from the GPS and greater Chattanooga communities.
14 – 3 1 ril p A
BEE A VOLUNTEER! Help BEEhind the scenes and receive free entry! Left: Mary Williams Gadd ’93 Top: Jennifer Davis ’84 Bottom: Davis and Gadd at a conference
REUNION GATHERINGS FOR THE CLASSES ENDING IN 3 AND 8.
ch r a M y, a rd u t a S
SET A GOAL TO ATTEND GPS EVENTS.
FACULTY EMERITI INDUCTION: Glen Vey Isabel Bryan McCall '69 Jane Henegar NOTABLE ALUMNAE AWARDS
CELEBRATE THE SISTERHOOD Join us for a weekend of reminiscing, reflecting, and reconnecting—all in the spirit of sisterhood!
A Sisterhood of
WHO GETS YOU? The sister I would … (fill in the blanks) take on a weekend road trip:___________________________________________________________________________________________ trust my child/dog with:______________________________________________________________________________________________
Big sisters are the crabgrass in the lawn of life.” —CHARLES M. SCHULZ, creator of Peanuts
SURROUNDED LIKE FAMILY. OVER YOURSELF WITH GIRLS AND WOMEN WHOM YOU LOVE ABLY INCLUDE THE YEARS, YOUR SISTERHOOD OF SUPPORT WILL PROB SECRETS, A CHILDHOOD BEST FRIEND WHO SHARED YOUR DEEPEST HES, BRIDESMAIDS YOUR COLLEGE ROOMMATE WHO BORROWED YOUR CLOT OFFERED PARENTING WHO CELEBRATED YOUR HAPPY DAY, NEIGHBORS WHO HELPED YOU ADVICE AND A CUP OF COFFEE, AND CO-WORKERS WHO LIKELY BEEN NAVIGATE YOUR CAREER PATH. WHILE YOUR SISTER HAS OF THE WAY. MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, SHE IS WITH YOU EVERY STEP
THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE TIME, YOU LIKELY HAVE
YOUR BOARD MIGHT INCLUDE A:
YOUR PERSONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS Your professional path can be peppered with opportunities, full of challenging bosses and coworkers, fraught with pitfalls including raises and promotions, downsizing and relocations. Historically, women looked to mentors—older professionals who could help guide them in their careers. Today’s connections tend to be less hand-holding and more emailing. Plus, with a shifting marketplace you will want a more diverse safety net. What you really need are people you consult with regularly to get advice and feedback, says Harvard grad and writer Priscilla Claman. “Your board of directors should know more than you about something, be better than you are at something, or offer different points of view,” Claman writes in Harvard Business Review. “Buddies on your board won’t help you grow and develop.” Assemble a unique set of voices to provide balance and leverage as you build a career. And don’t forget to pay it forward. Reach out to others as you gain experience and help them navigate through life.
MASTER COMMUNICATOR even if you only need her to help you craft a cover letter FOOD/WINE CONNOISSEUR no explanation needed!
CREATIVE SOUL who can suggest options for reading, listening, viewing
borrow a dress from for a special occasion:_______________________________________________________________________________ call first if I got a promotion:__________________________________________________________________________________________ never have to preface a confession with, “This might be TMI, but…”:___________________________________________________________ donate a kidney to:__________________________________________________________________________________________________ have as my baby's godmother:_________________________________________________________________________________________ name as my power of attorney:________________________________________________________________________________________ clean house for if she were sick:________________________________________________________________________________________ call first after a great date:____________________________________________________________________________________________ have as my maid of honor:____________________________________________________________________________________________ see a midnight showing of a movie with:_________________________________________________________________________________ invite to read my eulogy:______________________________________________________________________________________________
SINGALONG SISTER The top-selling song of 2010 on iTunes, Hey, Soul Sister, was Train's second Hot 100 Top 10 hit; “Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)” peaked at number five in June 2001. Sister Sledge recorded We Are Family (I got all my sisters with me) in just one take. Released in 1979, the song became an anthem for women’s groups. Kathy Sledge, who sang lead, wasn’t given the lyrics ahead of time; she was given each line through her headphones as it came up to make the song sound more spontaneous. “Recording the track ‘We Are Family’ was like a one-take party—we were just dancing and playing around and hanging out in the studio when we did it.” —Joni Sledge
FINANCIAL GURU to advise you on money matters such as salary negotiations
WIZENED TECHY who knows what it takes to stay relevant COUNSELOR with or without the credentials —to keep you grounded
Night Ranger's drummer, Kelly Keagy, wrote a song about his younger sister Christy, who was growing up fast in 1983. The song is essentially about her coming of age. The original title was “Sister Christy,” but the rest of the band thought Keagy was singing Sister Christian, so that became the title.
C ON N E CT
What are sisters for if not to point out the things the rest of the world is too polite to mention.” —CLAIRE COOK, New Leash on Life
SISTERS ON THE SCREEN Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants A League of Their Own My Sister’s Keeper In Her Shoes Frozen Sisters Hocus Pocus Practical Magic The Parent Trap Pride and Prejudice Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
CREATE A POST ON FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM AND TAG YOUR SISTERS OF SUPPORT. USE #GPSSISTERHOOD IF ANY ARE FELLOW BRUISERS.
A SISTERHOOD OF SUPPORT ALLOWS GIRLS TO SHINE By Laura Jane Walker
GPS students past and present explore a variety of passions and hobbies. These interests present across the spectrum of pursuits— from the arts and entertainment to entrepreneurial endeavors and athletics. The support and confidence these four students have developed at GPS enable them to reach their dreams—even beyond the halls of our school.
Sophie Veys ’18 | entrepreneur For years, senior Sophie Veys has been the go-to tech problemsolver in her household—helping parents set up their phones and even fielding requests from her younger siblings. She never thought her tech assistance would turn into a business. “My family delegated these little jobs to me, and I started creating funny receipts for them,” Veys says. “One summer I digitized my dad’s entire CD collection, and I requested to ‘cash out’ by going out for lunch or dinner.”
Veys’ father suggested she could turn her digital deeds into a business, but she brushed off the idea until the following summer, when she found herself resetting her parents’ passwords. “The more I was asked to fix things, the more I imagined how many other people may have the same problems,” Veys says. Thus, Veys’ technology service business, MeowTech, was born. She built a website, established a Facebook page, and obtained the appropriate business licenses. The most solidifying step
was opening a business bank account.
don’t have to rely on me but can become self-sufficient.”
“I named my company after my cat, Purrsephone,” Veys says. She has connected with clients mostly through referrals and word of mouth, and typically helps older adults install, understand, and apply household technology.
Veys dreams of one day franchising her business and already has requests from future employees—her three younger siblings. She encourages other girls to consider ideas that might initially seem unlikely.
“Technology is so important in my daily life,” Veys says. “I’m grateful to be able to help individuals use these tools I find so crucial. I strive to provide education, too, so they
“No idea is too simple,” Veys says. “I initially wrote off the plan because I thought someone already did this, but people want and need these personalized, helpful services.”
C O U R T YA R D
C O U R T YA R D
When Katherine Stamey hears music, she visualizes dancers moving no matter the tune. That inspired her as she created choreography for a fall 2017 competition. She knew she wanted to combine her passions—math, science, and dance. The senior Terpsichord member, who has been dancing for more than 15 years, lets music guide her as she builds the shapes and movements of a dance. Her piece, “Vector Velocity,” set to a mixed version of a Twenty One Pilots’ song, was one of three winners at the Tennessee Association of Dance’s Cathie Ault Kasch Student Choreography Project competition in September 2017. Through the competition, Stamey not only built and showcased her choreography, but demonstrated her intention in an essay, as well. She says guiding the dancers to create her vision was one of the more challenging aspects of the piece. “At first it was nerve racking, but I found the balance of being both a friend and being demanding of their performance,” Stamey says. “It’s difficult to take my vision, put it into words, and then coach a dancer into making these movements.” Vector Velocity explored the various angles and movements Stamey so appreciates in her studies; she plans to pursue mechanical engineering after graduation, where she hopes to incorporate her passion for math and the sciences. “I enjoy the precision of the sciences, especially physics,” Stamey says. The environment at GPS helped her embrace what she jokingly calls her inner nerd—and she encourages other girls to pursue what they love, no matter what. “We always hear that we can be any girl we want, and I feel like that’s really true,” she says. “I’m not afraid to be both a nerd and a dancer. I don’t feel pressured to conform to be a typical dancer pursuing the liberal arts. Throw yourself into what you love, and don’t be afraid if it doesn’t feel cool. You’ll find friends along the way who do what you love.”
Katherine Stamey ’18 dancer & choreographer
After spending her Winterim volunteering in a local school, Ellison White ’19 was struck that some elementary schools didn’t have basic art supplies or classes for students. She immediately considered starting a nonprofit to fill this gap. Upper School Dean of Students Sarah Jackson encouraged White to instead apply for ReGenerate, a program through ArtsBuild that connects students from the Chattanooga area to arts-related causes. The GPS junior says she’s always been attracted to traditional and nontraditional arts, especially graphic design. She applied for the ReGenerate program and was accepted. The group meets twice monthly and serves a variety of roles in the city—from planning fundraisers that fuel art grants awarded to area schools to coordinating portfolio review events targeted for high school seniors.
Whether singing, dancing, or acting, Ava Culpepper feels at home on the stage or in front of the camera. The seventh-grader got her start in performance and musical theater when she was 7 at the Chattanooga Theatre Center, where she still performs today. “The two memories that stand out the most are getting my first lead in musical theater and the moment I learned I got my first television role,” Culpepper says.
She was recently cast as July, one of the orphans in Annie for the Cumberland County Playhouse (Crossville, Tennessee)—her first show at a professional theater. From the musical performance Really Rosie to her debut on the FOX series, The Gifted, Culpepper enjoys every aspect of the performing arts. Compared to live stage acting, she says films involve a lot of support people—ma naging props, costumes, lights, and more.
Ava Culpepper ’23 actress
“ReGenerate is exactly the kind of program I was hoping for,” White says. “I especially love getting to meet students from other types of schools who pursue other kinds of arts.” While White’s passion lies in graphic design and image manipulation, she’s enjoyed brainstorming new ways to promote events for ReGenerate, including for the portfolio review that connected students with local artists in their fields. “I get to connect with so many different people, from visual artists to dancers and singers, and even students who are pursuing film and production,” White says. “ReGenerate is an incredible way for students to connect to a well-established network of artists and improve their craft and community.”
REGENERATE: A BRIEF HISTORY ReGenerate, a student-run arts leadership program, was founded in 2013 by Ralston Hartness and Thomas West, McCallie alumni. Caroline West ’16, Thomas’ younger sister who attends Johns Hopkins University, would serve as president in 2016 and hand the leadership role over to Phoebe Warren ’17 the following year. Shot on location at Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.
“There are a lot of differences in body language, facial expressions, and the volume of your voice,” Culpepper says. While each realm of acting is different, she loves them both. To maintain her resume, Culpepper constantly works to develop and refine her skills, including dancing and singing. She seeks coaching opportunities to improve her craft and grow as a young actress.
C O U R T YA R D
Ellison White ’19 | nonprofit arts organizer
Culpepper says the work she puts into her education at GPS helps prepare her for the commitment to acting and performance, which requires regular trips to Atlanta for auditions, workshops, and more. “GPS has helped me build confidence in my presentation and to be articulate,” Culpepper says. “Acting requires dedication and drive. I think our school’s arts program really helps me and other students grow as artists.”
GPS Celebrates 59 Scholars’ AP Achievements
Two Students Honored with In-School Scholarships
GPS celebrates 59 current seniors and recent graduates from the Class of 2017 who have earned AP Scholar designations for 2017*. These students were recognized for achieving scores of 3 or higher on at least three or more AP exams.
Senior Margaret Lim and junior Olivia Combs received notable in-school scholarships for the 2017-18 school year.
Anna Shaw, Class of 2017, received the highest recognition, an AP Internationa l Diploma, scoring 3 or higher on nine exams. From the Class of 2017, Leah Baxter, Lori Baxter, Isabella Cornea, Delaney Swann, Rebecca Torrence, and Phoebe Warren received National AP Scholar status.
AP SCHOLARS WITH DISTINCTION: Emily Ballentine ’17, Katie Brandao ’17, Pierson Brown ’18, McKaylyn Fults ’17, Samantha Jackson ’17, Meg Marshall ’18, Sarah McDougal ’17, Kate McVay ’17, Ritika Modi ’18, Tatiana Poggi ’18, and Kate Thel ’18. AP SCHOLARS WITH HONOR: Mary Margaret Arrowsmith ’18, Khadija Aslam ’18, Jennifer Brockman ’17, Hannah Brotton ’17, Sarah Goodrich ’17, Elisabeth Hale ’17, Annsleigh Jones ’18, Murfee Jones ’18, Tia Kemp ’17, Emily Large ’17, Margaret Lim ’18, AshleyRose Lynn ’18, Margaret Martin ’17, Jessica Melton ’17, Lea Mulligan ’17, Lucy Newbold ’17, Kate Schlegel ’18, and Sophie Veys ’18. AP SCHOLARS: Noor Azhar ’17, Leonora
Browne ’17, Gabrielle Cox ’17, Lilyanna Everett ’17, Nikki Goldbach ’17, Clare Hamn ’18, Jai-la Hansford ’17, Julie Kim ’17, Silvey McGregor ’17, Kendall McKoon ’18, Ella Marie Melton ’17, Meher Memon ’18, Phoebe Mills ’18, Anna Oglesby ’18, Emma Rowell ’17, Reagan Sanborn ’18, Katherine Stamey ’18, Daphne Thomas ’18, Kathryn Thomas ’18, Victoria Tomokane-Verville ’17, Ruthie Towns ’18, Mimi Vance ’17, and Anna Ward ’17. *Some students earned more than one designation.
Margaret Lim received the Grace McCallie Scholarship, awarded to the rising senior who has maintained the highest GPA. The scholarship was established in 1918 in memory of Grace McCallie, one of the school’s co-founders. For three years, Margaret served as concertmaster for the GPS Honors Orchestra, playing the violin and piano. A senior representative on the Honor Council, she is a member of the National Honor Society and has competed in Science Olympiad, where she is also an officer. This year, Margaret is editor-in-chief of Kaleidoscope, the school yearbook. She also attended a two-week pre-college program on The Neuroscience of Brain Enhancement at Emory University. Olivia Combs received this year’s Duff y-Jarnagin Schola rship, awarded annually to a rising junior. The scholarship was established in memory of two of the school’s co-fou nders, Tommie Payne Duffy and Eula Lea Jarnagin. Olivia plays violin in the GPS honors orchestra, is a class representative for Partnerships in Community (PIC), and a GPS ambassador. She also regularly volunteers with the IRONMAN Chattanooga triathlon as a PIC representative and has participated in the Erlanger VolunTEEN Program, an eightweek service learning opportunity for students ages 15 to 18.
2018 NATIONAL MERIT COMMENDED: From left, Mary Catherine Marsden, Libby Welborn, Ritika Modi, Pierson Brown, AshleyRose Lynn, and Meg Marshall
2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
National Merit Scholarship Commended Students
Seniors Margaret Lim, Tatiana Poggi, Kathryn “Kate” Thel, and Sophie Veys are four of the approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide achieving National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists status.
Six GPS seniors were named Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program: Pierson Brown, Ashley-Rose Lynn, Mary Catherine Marsden, Meg Marshall, Ritika Modi, and Libby Welborn.
As recognized academically talented high school seniors, these students will continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be awarded this spring. Approximately 90 percent of semifinalists will attain finalist standing; about half of the finalists go on to win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the title of Merit Scholar.
Among the more than 1.6 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers. This places our six students, as well as the four named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists, among the top 3 percent in the nation, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the GPS Class of 2018.
Semifinalists represent fewer than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and include the highest-scoring entrants in each state. A semifinalist must also have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by his or her high school official, submit an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the PSAT. Finalists will be announced in February 2018; National Merit Scholarships awards will follow in the spring.
GPS Holds First French Honor Society Induction Nine GPS students—Maya Bhutwala ’19, Mary Sue Cooper ’20, Talley Lyons ’21, Laura Peele ’21, Mary Beth Propes ’20, Emma Prostko ’20, Carson Thatcher ’19, Priyanka Sud ’21, and Emily Wu ’19—became the first members of the school’s French Honor Society, also known as La Société Honoraire de Français (SHF). Among the requirements for membership are a student’s demonstration of interest, participation, and leadership in French activities, current enrollment in a Level II French class or higher, and ability to maintain an A-minus average or higher in French throughout their academic career while also maintaining a B-minus average or higher in all other subjects prior to selection. Bhutwala and Thatcher, SHF President and Vice President, read La Course du Flambeau—“the passing of the torch"—and recognized new members with a ceremonial pinning in which each inductee is given a certificate and accessorized with the FHS pin. Along with Bhutwala and Thatcher, GPS’s SHF officers include Protsko (secretary) and Sud (ambassador).
SEMIFINALISTS: From left, Sophie Veys, Tatiana Poggi, Kate Thel, and Margaret Lim
For more photos of what's going on AROUND SCHOOL, click here to see our SmugMug page.
C O U R T YA R D
C O U R T YA R D
C O U R T YA R D
C O U R T YA R D
All of the students were diligent about being prepared for the show, and then that magic happened—they became more invested and more pliable within their performances, they came alive, and the plays began to respond with the audiences.” —JOHN HOLLEMAN, Interim Director and Theater Teacher
MIDDLE SCHOOL PLAY GPS and McCallie Middle School students proved A Pirate's Life for Me! a fitting first musical for the school year in early October. Within a few weeks, the students auditioned, memorized lines, learned nine songs, and performed twice for students and parents.
UPPER SCHOOL PLAY GPS and McCallie Upper School students proved teamwork makes the dream work when it comes to performing comedy. During three performances, the cast of All in the Timing hit their marks while presenting short plays by David Ives. The audiences laughed uproariously at the comedic timing of our student actors. From the sharp tête-à-tête between two couples caught up in a chance encounter (“Sure Thing”) to the physical comedy employed by the casts of “Words, Words, Words” and “Variations on the Death of Trotsky,” our young thespians truly flexed their acting muscles.
TERPSICHORD THANKSGIVING CONCERT Every year, Terpsichord begins their time together by determining what will be the theme of their Thanksgiving concert. The topic chosen this year was American History, with the concert titled The American Experience. The American Dream may focus on bright lights and big success, but The American Experience, Terpsichord’s Thanksgiving concert, was much about expressing the conflict and struggle faced throughout various eras of American history.
Director Mike Lees says from the audition turnout to the final performance, the students were excited about the musical. “I wanted something entirely different than the previous years and, since Pirates of the Caribbean movies are loved by all, I started my quest to find just the right show about pirates,” Lees says. “A Pirate’s Life for Me! was just the right show that included lively dialogue, catchy music, sword fights, and lots of jokes.”
In “The Universal Language,” Andrew Landsbergen and Jayden Doan '18 not only perfected their lines, but they also learned a new language: Unamunda. Anna and Emma Henderson '21 were perfectly cast as Bebe 1 & 2 in “Enigma Variations,” while Charlotte Smith '18 and Calista Geralds '21 certainly could have passed as twins as Willa 1 & 2. In “The Philadelphia,” senior Noah Ware as Marcus (supported by Joshua Smith as Al and Leightta Sherrill '20 as the waitress) stole the show with his acting chops.
“Sure, the Western Expansion was exciting, but it was still tough. Not everyone made it,” says Cathie Kasch ’72, dance teacher and Performing Arts Coordinator. The Western Expansion, titled Manifest Destiny. was the first of the five eras portrayed. The other four dances included the Industrial Revolution, The ’50s and ’60s, Vietnam, and the Digital Age. Along with their exceptional choreography, the dancers impressed with their self-produced videos and blended sound scores used during their performances.
FALL ORCHESTRA CONCERT This fall, the GPS Orchestra Concert went beyond musical performances to also incorporate dance and a comedy piece. Four GPS dancers accompanied the orchestra for a synchronized performance of “Istanbul.” Another special member of the night, retiring history teacher Glen Vey stole the show in the “Concerto for Triangle,” a hilarious sketch in which he misses his solo triangle cues a number of times due to disheveled music sheets, a sneeze, and an ill-timed phone call.
WINTER CHORAL CONCERT The Girls Preparatory School Choral Program joined McCallie students to present its winter concert in December in the GPS Frierson Theatre. Students presented a range of music, including pop covers and holiday favorites. Performing groups included the GPS Singers, the GPS Middle School Girls Choir, and the GPS McCallie Coordinate Choir.
Speaking about the GPS orchestra in general, Director Mary Baxter says, “It gives me tremendous pleasure when I see students enthusiastically making music, leading their section, playing with eye contact, and developing a skill they can enjoy for the next 60 years.”
To get the audience in the holiday spirit, students performed well-loved selections such as “Ave Maria” and “Gloria Deo” along with the reflective “In Winter” by Rebecca Rossiter and “Flashlight” made popular by the movie Pitch Perfect 2. Soloists included Mady Oliver ’21, Grace Brody ’19, Olivia Rector ’21, Charlotte Smith ’18, Addie Youmans ’21, and Meg Asciolla ’23.
DECEMBER 2017 For more photos of this year's Fine and Performing Arts Events, click here to see our SmugMug page.
Student art created by: (1) Mary Kenley Tugman ’19 (2) Abbey Hegwood ’18 (3) Phoebe Mills ’18 (4) Neely Thomas ’18
Click here to see the latest athletics news
C O U R T YA R D
HANNAH PRESCOTT ’18
VOLLEYBALL The Bruisers finished with more than 30 wins, including six more regional wins than last EMMA MOORE ’18 year. Consequently, the team advanced to the second round of the tournament for the first time in more than eight years. Another exciting victory for the Bruisers was winning the Choo Choo Classic title in September. LILLY BERGER ’18 was a standout for the Bruisers, earning both AllRegion honors and a spot on the Best of Preps list.
The soccer team finished the season strong in the playoffs this year, making it to the final four of the TSSAA State Tournament. This group of seniors experienced a state championship and two state semi-finals during their GPS careers. “We will miss our seniors for sure,” says Patrick Winecoff, Head Coach. All-Region recognition was awarded to seniors LANE LAWRENCE, LILY HOPPING, ANNA SALISBURY, and AVERY CAMPBELL. and freshmen, SYDNEY MORRIS and ASHLEY
MEGAN PFAFFLE ’19
The GPS/McCallie Blue Crew continues to be the heart of spirit for both the GPS and McCallie teams. The four senior girls (pictured above) of the Coed Varsity Blue Crew—RAEGAN LAMB, MARY GRACE COFFMAN, BLAKE HOSKINS, and MURFEE JONES —were honored during senior night at McCallie’s last home football game this fall.
The GPS Golf team made its fifth consecutive appearance at the TSSAA State Tournament. MCKENZIE FRIZZELL ’18 and HANNAH PRESCOTT ’18 secured fourth place for the Bruisers with their seventh- and 14th-place performances. Prescott also led the team during the Chattanooga City Prep Tournament earlier in the season where she finished third; and the team earned silver for their overall second-place finish.
CHEERLEADING CROSS COUNTRY SOCCER SOFTBALL TENNIS
TAYLOR KUEBLER ’19 VARSITY VOLLEYBALL TEAM WITH COACHES DODD AND HILDEBRAND
I’m incredibly proud of this group of players for the season they had. The girls’ hard work was evident every step of the way.” —PATRICK WINECOFF, Head Coach
@BRUISERATHLETICS @BRUISERSPORTS @GPS_ATHLETICS
Rowing experienced another exciting fall season with top finishes in multiple races as well as notable achievements made by individuals. The Varsity 4+ team led the way for the Bruisers in a large portion of the races. In the season opener at Cumberland Park the crew collected a first place win in the Music City Head Race. They closed the season with a strong fifthplace finish out of 86 competitors at the local Head of the Hooch and were the first scholastic team to finish. The Lightweight 4+ boat added a midseason gold medal for the Bruisers during the Secret City Head Race in Oak Ridge. LARKIN BROWN ’19, a member of the Varsity 4+ team, earned a gold medal at the US Rowing Youth Regional Challenge in Sarasota, Florida, where she was a member of a crew comprised of some of the best athletes in the southeast region.
The cross country team lived out an underdog story season, resulting in a state championship trophy from the TSSAA. GPS wasn’t predicted to finish in the top 10, but the Bruisers proved the odds wrong with their top team performance. Indeed, it was a team effort that secured the victory. Strong overall finishes by the Bruisers included CARLEY BRAMAN ’18 in second place, JANE EISELSTEIN ’21 in fourth, MYRA BROCK ’19 in 10th, and EMMY RICHEY ’22 in 20th.
In the two seasons I coached at GPS, VARSITY WOMEN'S LIGHTWEIGHT 4+ MEMBERS
this group made tremendous progress, and I am so proud of their accomplishments.” —ALFIE DODD, Head Coach CARLEY BRAMAN ’18 STARTS TO PULL AWAY FROM THE PACK.
“I’ve been coaching for 31 years, and this was the biggest surprise in all my years of coaching—and it was the best surprise. —J EFF GAITHER, Head Coach
C O U R T YA R D
Anna Connell Daugherty ’07 with her daughter, Ella James
The Cat-Rat Tradition Lives On Few events welcome new GPS students into the sisterhood like the Cat-Rat tradition. Even before she attends her first day of school, each sixth-grade Rat is paired with her senior Cat who becomes her mentor, buddy, and designated big sis for the year. Along with the initial pairing, Rats draw numbers for their Cats, determining the order of senior Chapel Talks. And then when the school year begins, plans are made to determine the year’s theme for the Cat-Rat Parade. This year Through the Decades saw Rats dressed as famous celebrities or historical figures. Enjoy this photo essay of the 2017– 18 Cat-Rat Pairings and Cat-Rat Parade. For more photos of Cat-Rat 2017, click here to see our SmugMug page.
Alex Fihn Rogers ’01 with her family
Toy O’Ferrall Harmon ’94 and Beth Kent Wingfield ’99.
C O U R T YA R D
Lindsay Watts Mauney ’05 and her daughter, Laurel, enjoy getting together with Amy Stinnett Harper ’00 and her twins, Ellie Kate and Hudson.
Cat-Rat Reconnect THE CAT-RAT bond is so special that often a Cat will return years later to watch her Rat give her Chapel Talk or see her presented at May Day. Some pairs truly embody sisterhood and only grow stronger over time as girls become young women and mothers—even if that means reconnecting in a new town or through social media. Elizabeth “Beth” Kent Wingfield ’99 arrived at GPS with a few friends from elementary school but felt insecure and unsure of herself—until she met her Cat, Toy O’Ferrall Harmon ’94. Toy decorated Beth’s locker with candy and treats and a few encouraging Bible verses. “I felt so loved,” Beth recalls. One day when Beth was feeling lonely, she reached out to her Cat for consolation. “She sat outside on a bench with me and hugged me as I cried and encouraged me.” Toy also took Beth hiking at Glen Falls and her parents considered Beth their “Grandrat.” Beth recalls the day Toy was voted May Queen. “I was so, so proud,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine anyone more worthy of the honor.” Beth would go on to marry one of Toy’s good friends from McCallie, Joseph Wingfield, and become close friends with Toy’s younger sister, Carter. “I am extremely privileged to still be in regular contact with my dear friend Toy, whom I still look up to and for whom I am so thankful!”
Amy Stinnett Harper ’00 was paired with her Rat Lindsay Watts Mauney ’05 the beginning of Lindsay’s seventh grade year, and they stayed in touch off and on over the years. This past year Amy and her family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, close to where Lindsay lives. “It is so nice to see a familiar face in the Charlotte area and to be able to get together,” Lindsay says. Amy has twins who are toddlers, and Lindsay has a baby now, too. Patricia “Alex” Fihn Rogers ’01 was paired with her Rat, Anna Connell Daugherty ’07, and the two have kept in touch via social media over the years. Alex reached out to Anna during her pregnancies, “giving me advice on different aspects of being a mother,” Anna says. “Her words especially meant a lot to me as my second baby was born prematurely and spent two weeks in the NICU.” The two women were both pregnant at the same time with their most recent babies. “We shared our pregnancy pains throughout!” Anna says. “We have shared the best tips and tricks that work for us for a baby who won't sleep, the best type of bottle for a breastfed baby, and the best type of medicine for a teething baby. I have really appreciated her guidance and friendship, even outside the halls of GPS!”
By Pamela Hammonds
Young teens admire older teens and fervently wish to be like them.” —LISA DAMOUR, PHD, Author of Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
C O N N E CT SHARE YOUR STORY OF YOUR CAT-RAT BOND OF SISTERHOOD THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. EMAIL ALUMNEWS@GPS.EDU OR POST ON YOUR FACEBOOK, TWITTER, OR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT, #GPSCATRATRECONNECT.
OF PAST JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHATTANOOGA PRESIDENTS HAVE GPS TIES. THAT NUMBER INCLUDES ALUMNAE, MOTHERS, GRANDMOTHERS, FACULTY & BOARD MEMBERS.
By Pamela Hammonds
DRAWING PARALLELS BETWEEN Girls Preparatory School and Junior League of Chattanooga isn’t difficult. Both began in the early 1900s and were started by visionary women we now label social reformers. Before the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Constitutional Amendment granting women the right to vote in 1919, young women in Chattanooga were leading the charge to ensure their sisters’ voices would be heard. Founded by three young single school teachers in 1906, GPS offered girls similar educational opportunities as their male counterparts. In 1917, the Junior League of Chattanooga became the city’s first women’s organization—the second Junior League in the Southeast and the 19th in the nation. In its 100-year history, our local Junior League would see 42 GPS alumnae serve as president. More than 20 other presidents would have ties to GPS—parents, grandparents, faculty, and trustees. In fact, the second president to serve was alumna Theresa McClure, Class of 1911.
Caroline Walker ’04, who recently served as the 100th president of Junior League of Chattanooga, finds the GPS/Junior League connection a natural correlation. “Being at an all-girls school, where you are surrounded by like-minded supportive classmates and faculty, teaches you to be the best version of yourself,” she says. “GPS taught us to get out and be good leaders and stewards of the world.” Walker, who is a commercial lender and nonprofit banker with Atlantic Capital Bank in Chattanooga, says in a world filled with divisiveness,
“it’s so powerful to see women joining other women in service to their community, striving to help causes greater than themselves.” Walker joined Junior League while living in New York City in an effort to make a “big city feel smaller,” she says. “Had I not learned leadership skill sets at GPS and experienced the power of fundraising through Junior League, my career path would not have taken off in the direction it has gone.”
IMPACTING THE COMMUNITY
One of the tenets of Junior League International is to “develop exceptionally qualified civic leaders who collaborate with community partners to identify a community’s most urgent needs and address them. The members in Chattanooga re-engaged this year with past partners including Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga, Chambliss Center for Children, Erlanger Health System, and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center. Supporting area educators has long been a League priority through its Mini-Grants for Teachers program. In June the League kicked off its new initiative: The League of Learners, focusing on education through a partnership with East Lake Elementary, a Title I school that presents an immediate need for resources.
Similarly, GPS students volunteer after school in a student-led service organization, Partnership In Community (PIC). A broad spectrum of community organizations and components of local governments are
part of PIC: East Side Elementary School, City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs, Northside Neighborhood House, Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Chattanooga Area, and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. “PIC is a fabulous committee that’s similar to what Junior League does,” says Dr. Chris Benz Smith ’72, Director of the School of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Smith served as the 75th president of Junior League of Chattanooga from 1991 to 1992 and is currently on the GPS Board of Trustees and its past chair. “When these young women go out into the world, they understand the basic principles of how to manage and how to take ideas and then implement them.”
AFFECTING THE WOMEN WHO SERVE Smith credits her alma mater for giving her the confidence to be an agent of change. “GPS gave me the foundation of understanding what I was capable of,” she says, “and then Junior League took that further and allowed me the opportunities to serve in positions on major committees and then the executive committee and as president.” While Junior League was founded as a service organization, its members have worked to overcome the image of “rich women who don’t work with plenty of time on their hands,” Smith says. “When you’re managing a group of 400 to 500 members, it’s like taking on a second job. These are women who are committed to their community and they take time to serve—on top of their family and
on top of their jobs. The impact that has on that one individual is significant.” Frances Street Smith ’48, Chris Smith’s mother-in-law, served as president of Junior League of Chattanooga from 1964 to 1965. She recalls being voted Most Active in School Affairs at GPS and considers her time with Junior League as a form of “continuing education,” where she learned about the different organizations in her community. Serving as its president afforded her the opportunity to travel to Chicago, Shreveport, Louisiana, and beyond. “My closest friendships were with women in Junior League,” she says. “I still enjoy the friendships of those who are 20 years my junior whom otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to meet.” Walker says that 95 percent of the current Junior League of Chattanooga membership are employed full time. Although women of previous generations were not typically working outside the home, they still found Junior League to provide an opportune outlet for service to their community. “We replaced our white party gloves with work gloves years ago,” she says. “The Junior League trains you to be a volunteer for life and has a profound impact on women’s lives and their careers.” Over the past 100 years, thousands of women have given their time and talents in service to the Junior League of Chattanooga just as GPS has been training up young women to lead and serve with confidence for more than 110 years. Here’s to the girls and women who will continue this legacy of service into the next century.
It’s so powerful to see women joining other women in service to their community, striving to help causes greater than themselves.”
1918: FIRST GPS ALUMNA ELECTED JL PRESIDENT, THERESA MCCLURE ’11
JL CHA SUPPORTS VINE STREET ORPHANAGE
Left: Pictured, from left, Frances Street Smith '48, Mrs. Gordon P. (Ruth) Street, Alice Smith Harris '03, and Chris Benz Smith '72.
—CAROLINE WALKER ’04, 100th JL CHA President
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHATTANOOGA AND THE GPS ALUMNAE WHO SERVE
Right: The current executive board of the Junior League of Chattanooga includes two GPS alumnae: Caroline Walker '04, and, Lesley Fisher Moore '02.
JL CHA ESTABLISHES THE JUNIOR GARDEN CLUB
JL CHA OPENS JUNIOR LEAGUE READING CENTER
JL CHA LAUNCHES ALLIED ARTS COUNCIL
JL CHA ESTABLISHES VOLUNTEERS' BUREAU
JL CHA SUPPORTS FAMILY & CHILDREN'S SERVICES
1991-92: CHRIS BENZ SMITH ’72 SERVES AS PRESIDENT DURING THE 75th YEAR
JL CHA RENOVATES T.C. THOMPSON CHILDREN'S E.R. FACILITY
2016-17: CAROLINE WALKER ’04 SERVES AS CENTENNIAL PRESIDENT
IE H YOU AC
KATE MYERS ’04 recently moved back to Chattanooga and works for Dwell Designed as a project manager and interior designer.
Congratulations to HONOR HOSTETLER ’05 on her recent election as president—the first female president—of the board of directors of Rotaract Club of Chattanooga. Hostetler is the community outreach director for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. KELLY SPENCER ’06 and CAROLINE WALKER ’04 were also elected to the board of directors for Rotaract of Chattanooga.
ALEXIS WILLIS ’01 joins the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce as Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Willis will direct the activities of the INCubator, which is located in the Hamilton County Business Development Center on the North Shore.
In July 2017, DANA ROGERS ’82 spent seven days completing RAGBRAI—the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa—a non-competitive bicycle ride organized by The Des Moines Register and going from west to east across the state of Iowa. She peddled 410 miles across Iowa on her bike with more than 10,000 cyclists, including Lance Armstrong.
WH ERE ARE
HILARY CAMPBELL ’82, a Building Construction Technology Program Instructor at U Portland Community College, GO ING? the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, recently received the Daily Journal of Commerce Women of Vision Award. She is also the coordinator of the Design Build Remodel Program at PCC’s Rock Creek campus and has made it her priority to mentor and
KATE BRENNAN ’03 works in marketing and communications at Chattanooga Publishing.
Tennessee State University Director of Athletics TERESA PHILLIPS ’76 enters the Vanderbilt Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017. Phillips, who has served as TSU’s director of athletics since April 2002, played on the women’s basketball team at Vanderbilt from 1978 to 1980. She earned the Lady Commodore Athlete of the Year award during her playing career and went on to serve as an assistant coach on Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball staff from 1981 to 1984. She was the first female African-American student-athlete in Vanderbilt University history.
LOUISE FREEMAN ’84, Mary Baldwin University (Staunton, Virginia) professor, hosted thousands of wizards and muggles in Staunton for Queen City Mischief and Magic September 22-24, 2017. Freeman’s research has shown that reading Harry Potter is associated with increased empathy, decreased stigmatization of people with mental illness, and increased tendency to take others’ perspective.
LAUREN JACKSON BROWN ’11 recently published Behind the Pines, a novel depicting the growing world of ruthless opiate addiction, redemption and, ultimately, the lengths a man will go to escape pain and find healing in his life. Since the book’s release, it has been nominated for the TCK Publishing 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards and received a gold star from The Book Designer. Brown also writes for Signal Mountain/Lookout Mountain Mirrors. While in London, RAEWYN DUVALL ’12 completed her master’s degree in robotics and will begin her second master’s program at Carnegie Mellon in electrical and computer engineering. Raewyn works for NASA SwampWorks at Kennedy Space Center and credits her love for the STEM field to current faculty members JILL PALA PIERITZ ’97, Bryant Haynes, and Diane Walker. RACHEL DURHAM ’13 lives in Knoxville and works at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley as the resource development coordinator. EMMA MCCALLIE ’13 lives in Nashville and works for Teach for America. She is teaching social studies to 120 seventh graders at Bellevue Middle School. McCallie graduated from University of Virginia with a degree in American government with a minor in education policy. MARY CLAIRE MCLAGAN ’13 works as a clinical assistant at Lexington Infectious Disease Consultants in Kentucky.
Birmingham, Alabama, resident GINGER LATHAM MAYFIELD ’01 has co-founded the app Wyndy with her husband, Tommy. The Mayfields founded Wyndy out of a desire to solve problems they experienced personally when trying to find and book babysitters. The app launched in Birmingham in March 2017 and has already helped thousands of parents in Birmingham eliminate the hassles associated with finding reliable childcare. They have since expanded to Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and Charlottesville, Virginia. After five years as regional director for TDEC’s Environmental Field Office in Chattanooga, TYLER THURSTON JEFFREY ’02 is now project manager with Volkert, Inc., in Chattanooga. Founded in 1925, Volkert, Inc., is an employee-owned, full-service
University of Louisville volunteer coach JASMINE BROWN ’09 is one of 12 recipients of the American Volleyball Coaches Association 2017 Coaches 4 Coaches Scholarship. The scholarships provide the opportunity for up-and-coming volleyball coaches to attend their first AVCA Convention with the scholarship money used to pay for convention registration and hotel costs.
KELI SHIPLEY COOPER ’10 earned her MA in youth ministry at Memphis Theological Seminary in May 2014. She is currently at Union Presbyterian Seminary working on a masters in divinity. TAYLOR RICHARDS ’10 works at Maycreate as a web designer.
consulting and engineering firm, specializing in providing transportation and infrastructure engineering services to federal, state, and municipal governments and private industry clients.
encourage female students. As a result, the number of women in the program has doubled over the last three years.
Founders Club Luncheon.
From left, Mary Lucile Sharp ’56 and Gordon Viall Scales ’56 at the
The Language Acquisitions Lab at Johns Hopkins | Krieger School of Arts & Sciences has welcomed CAROLINE WEST ’16 as a new research assistant, working on a project investigating German children’s questions as compared with American children’s questions.
C ON N E CT SHARE YOUR NEWS WITH US AT ALUMNEWS@GPS.EDU AND YOU COULD BE INCLUDED IN THE UPCOMING ISSUE OF BLUEPRINT THIS SUMMER.
GPS ALUMNAE RETURN FOR
Founders Club Luncheon The spirit of sisterhood runs deep at GPS, evidenced by the attendance at our Founders Club Luncheon, Thursday, September 28, 2017. Tango, a GPS string quartet, played as guests filtered into Caldwell Commons and mingled with friends. As they took their seats, GPS Board of Trustees Chair Holly Harwell ’84 welcomed nearly 40 alumnae who graduated more than 50 years ago. Lavonne Collins Jolley ’47 sported a melon-colored GPS uniform and enjoyed chatting with and posing for a photo next to Charlotte Vance ’19, who offered the blessing. The classes of ’50 and ’53 posed for group photos, with enough in attendance to fill a table apiece. And a couple of attendees, Margaret Ann Bridge Fagan ’60 and Susan Butterfield Brooks ’63, drove up from Atlanta. The ladies enjoyed a lovely lunch of chicken salad, pimento cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit and asparagus, and a parfait prepared by our chefs. Lynne Macziewski was introduced as the new Head of Middle School, and Jenise Gordon, Head of Upper School, talked about this year’s theme, Sisterhood, and shared some memories with the alumnae. Then Macziewski and Gordon drew a raffle for a Founders Scarf; Rosemary Denison Frierson ’53 held the winning ticket. In closing, seniors Charlotte Smith and Abby Walden led the attendees in singing the GPS Alma Mater.
FROM MARRYING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE TO WELCOMING A NEW LIFE INTO YOUR FAMILY—LIFE IS GOOD!
MADISON BOYD ’12 1 to Matthew Crownover
ELIZA CALDWELL ’08 2 to Craig Matthew Bachhuber
ASHLEY TROTTER CARLSON ’011 a daughter, Ellis Diane
MILDRED “MILLIE” CALLAWAY ’93 to James “Matt” Parkes 5
SARAH COLLIER ’99 to Gavin Southern ELLIE EASTERLY ’10 to Edmondson “Eddie” Scherer
MARY CLARE KENT HOLM ’083 a daughter, Helen Margaret
BETSEY MCCALL ’95 to Matt Verrilli
MARGO PIERCE KROGULSKI ’984 a daughter, Saylor Ella
LELA MOORE ’945 a son, Edmund “Ned”
ANNE MCALLESTER ’76 3 to William McKinley SUSAN PALA ’01 to Caleb Conrad
KELI SHIPLEY ’10 to C. Marcus Cooper III 4
KEELEE WRENN ’04 to Derek Smith
ADRIENNE MALONEY NEVIN ’026 a son, Campbell Lee KATHERINE DANN OGDEN ’027 a daughter, Katherine “Katie” AMY KILLIAN PADILLA ’048 a son, Noah Andres
MARY CLAIRE SPANN ’13 to Raymond McLagan MARY STEWART WHITE ’07 to Thomas Ferguson Ormsby
BETSY HOBACK GART ’042 a son, James Michael
KRISTIN HOLLOWAY PHILLIPS ’079 a son, William Cooper
JILL PALA PIERITZ ’9710 a daughter, Evelyn “Evie” Rose
5 “SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE,” GOES THE OLD ADAGE. DID YOU INCORPORATE ANY BRUISER BLUE INTO YOUR WEDDING? TWEET US @GPSBRUISERS OR EMAIL US AT ALUMNEWS@GPS.EDU #GPSBRUISERS
MELANIE LIMERICK ROBERTS ’0411 a daughter, Elizabeth Grace
MADISON JAHN TEMPLETON ’0412 a son, Harvey Pallmer 6
ERIN MCKOWN WORTHINGTON ’0113 a son, Adam Lane
post on social media and use
LAVENS BROWN BROOKS ’03 a son, Michael David III
ANNA CONNELL DAUGHTERY ’07 a daughter, Ella James ELLIE EASTERLY SCHERER ’10 a daughter, Harriet “Hattie”
WERE ANY GPS FRIENDS PART OF YOUR SPECIAL DAY?
DID YOU HAVE A CHATTANOOGA WEDDING? SHARE YOUR VENUE!
WHERE WAS YOUR HONEYMOON DESTINATION?
MARY ELIZABETH PAST PIPER ’34*
HERE'S TO THE GIRLS WHO ARE NO LONGER WITH US BUT WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF OUR SISTERHOOD AND HISTORY. WE FOREVER HONOR AND CELEBRATE THEIR LIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Mary Elizabeth Piper, of Flintstone, Georgia, passed away June 5, 2017, at the age of 101. She attended Agnes Scott College and graduated from the University of Chattanooga. During WWII, Mary worked for the Red Cross and became the executive director of the Chattanooga Chapter of the American Red Cross. Mary’s hobbies and interests included reading, drawing, painting, listening to music, and sewing. She was always curious, engaged, and interested in everyone and everything she encountered, and even began to play drums at the age of 92.
4 MARTHA ANN BRITTON DUNSON ’49 10 LINDA “JONETTE” GALT TERRELL ’57 Martha Ann Dunson died on September 17, 2017. She graduated from Berry College in 1966 and taught school in Summerville, Lindale, and Cartersville, Georgia, until her retirement in 1976.
5 ELINOR COLE LAMBORN ’49
Longtime resident of LaFayette, Georgia, Elinor Cole Lamborn passed away September 23, 2017. She was a member of the LaFayette Presbyterian Church, the LaFayette Woman’s Club, and Brainerd Women’s Golf Association.
1 ANN “CHAPPIE” MCKINNEY MCCARTHY ’43 6 SARAH KEY PATTEN GWYNN ’50 Ann “Chappie” McCarthy died on November 11, 2017. After GPS she went on to graduate from Sullins College, a women’s junior college in Bristol, Virginia, and then attended the University of Alabama.
2 BONNIE JOHNSON GRAVES ’44
In Atlanta, Bonnie Graves passed away November 28, 2017. She graduated from Vanderbilt University, had five daughters, and spent most of her life as an active member of the Chattanooga community.
3 ALICE PROBASCO LUPTON ’45
Alice Probasco Lupton, who served as a GPS Trustee from 1964 to 1976, passed away August 31, 2017. She was the mother of Cartter Lupton and daughters Alice Lupton Smith ’66, Kate Lupton Juett ’69, and Meg Lupton Gerber ’75. She served as a board member of East Fifth Street Day Care Center, Little Miss Mag Day Care Center, and The Children’s Home. She was also integral in establishing The Creative Discovery Museum, where she served on the board for many years. Her service to The United Way, Allied Arts, The Bright School, GPS, The Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, and the American Cancer Society affirmed her love for the children of Chattanooga, the city she called home.
Jonette Terrell, of Chattanooga, passed away October 24, 2017. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church, Golden Gateway, where she provided childcare in the nursery for 38 years and taught Sunday school.
11 MARY VIRGINIA HARRISON RANSON ’59
Mary Virginia Ranson, of Charlotte, North Carolina, died September 3, 2017. A direct descendant of Jefferson Davis, Mary took great pride in her heritage and advocated for neglected children throughout her life.
12 JEAN DAVISON DUFFY PARKER ’59
Jean Parker, of Chattanooga, passed away Sarah Gwynn died October 26, 2017, in on October 24, 2017. She was a member of Atlanta. A former GPS May Queen, Sarah St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Hixson graduated with a degree in chemistry and a school teacher for 38 years before from Vassar College and worked as a retiring from Hamilton County Schools. chemist. She was a member of the Junior League of Atlanta and the Colonial Dames 13 ANNE MEADE FIELDS HART ’63 in the State of Georgia. On November 8, 2017, Anne Hart died at her home in Knoxville. She attended the PEGGY TROTTER LANE ’50 University of Georgia, was a reporter for A distinguished alumna, Peggy Trotter the Chattanooga Times and the Knoxville Lane passed away July 14, 2017. Her News Sentinel, and served as chief of staff philanthropic work included St. Paul’s for Knoxville Mayor Kyle Testerman. Episcopal, First Methodist, and St. Timothy’s Episcopal churches; the Hunter 14 PHYLLIS MATHIS BROWN ’65 Museum; Family and Children Services; Phyllis Brown passed away March 2, 2017. and Habitat for Humanities. A native of Flintstone, Georgia, she moved to Chattanooga and worked for Blue Cross MARGARET “PEGGY” BLAKE BIZZELL ’51 Blue Shield of Tennessee for 34 years. Peggy Bizzell died at her home on Sunday, October 1, 2017. She was a proud fourth- 15 HOLLY PINCKARD ’97 generation Chattanoogan, member of the After an extended illness, Holly Pinckard First Presbyterian Church, and passionate died at her home September 23, 2017. She volunteer. was a passionate dog lover and volunteer for Humane Educational Society in MARY WILLINGHAM MARTIN ’53 Chattanooga. Mary Willingham Martin passed away October 31, 2017. Mary was a longtime *Piper not pictured due to low resolution member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, where she was a member of the choir. She also taught music to young children for many years.
CROOLTU UM NN DS A
PERHAPS IT BEGAN a few years ago, when Girls Preparatory School hosted an accelerator for tech startups. Or maybe it started decades earlier, when three young school teachers dared to strike out on their own and create an independent school for girls in Chattanooga. However the timeline of the Mad, Bad, and Dangerous entrepreneurial summit is charted, its primary impetus has always been to inspire a future of brave female entrepreneurs. GPS has hosted MBD since 2015, an event that even captured the attention of luminaries such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Lori Greiner of ABC’s Shark Tank. But most importantly, MBD has harnessed the minds and ambitions of girls in Greater Chattanooga who dream, dare, and do bold ventures.
refine was a luxury. It was exhilarating and challenging for the students and for us.”
—DR. ANDREA BECKSVOORT, CAT Course Instructor
ENTER: CHATTANOOGA AS TEXT
e n Le nto Sta ra nd Ke By
In an effort to allow girls an even deeper dive into the problem-solving and feasibility studies that entrepreneurs face, several GPS faculty members, under direction from Head of School Dr. Autumn Graves, created a course called Placemaking: Chattanooga-as-Text (CAT).
THE EVENT Depending on the needs in the community, the scope, scale, and focus of MBD has evolved from year to year. It has included keynote speakers, workshops, a tech tinkering lab, and breakout sessions aimed at inspiring women and young girls to become bold entrepreneurs. In 2016, the MBD Advisory Board chose to redirect the event to solely focus on girls. The Marketplace, where young entrepreneurs from Eastern Tennessee and Northwest Georgia could sell their wares, was entirely comprised of middle and high school girls. Similarly, the 24-Hour Generator featured teams of high school girls pitching solutions to local businesses.
As part of the Girls’ Marketplace, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy students Avery Love, Zenswayla Eberhard, and Aniyah Clemons won the Jump Fund’s best booth for their Natural Beauty business last year. Love says, “We knew we would be selling our items to adults, so we made sure we communicated to them in a professional and approachable manner.” Love especially appreciated the Etsy Workshop that preceded the Marketplace. “It was really cool to learn how to start and market our own business online,” she adds.
INSPIRING #GIRLBOSSES IN CHATTANOOGA AND BEYOND
Having the freedom to prototype and fail and recover and
SPROUTING ENTREPRENEURS Alexis Willis ’01, Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, has supported MBD behind the scenes and served as an emcee of the event. Willis says MBD has been important to her as a GPS alumna, entrepreneur, and mother. When her daughter has a business idea, Willis says, “I tell her ‘Let's think it through’ and, with the training I've received in Chattanooga's entrepreneurial ecosystem, I help her discover whether or not the idea is feasible. We are still searching for the right one.” The concept of feasibility Willis mentions is a critical one for entrepreneurs. Gauging a business’ viability is an important part of entrepreneurial education. Early exposure to entrepreneurialism and innovation allows girls to experience thoughtful risk-taking that experts—such as Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist with Google—say can help in their relationships and future careers.
The interdisciplinary course incorporates science, history, and social entrepreneurship—finding innovative solutions to civic problems using social capital and available resources. Last year, all students who participated received a full scholarship to CAT from sponsorship dollars raised for MBD programming and in-kind support from the Chattanooga community. Students also earned the new iPad they used throughout the course. “GPS’s founders were social entrepreneurs who identified a problem in our community and created a sustainable solution,” says Graves. “They leveraged their financial capital along with their personal network and reputations to start a school for girls. At GPS, we’ve seen how this kind of problem solving can transform a community.” As a school, GPS strives to create more opportunities to teach social entrepreneurship and sustainable change in an educational setting. “With the CAT course,” continues Graves, “we wanted to invest in the next generation of civic leaders, helping to expand their network beyond their neighborhoods and school communities.”
PLACEMAKING TAKES ROOT For three weeks during the summer of 2017, 12 rising sophomores and juniors from six schools (including four GPS students) in Hamilton County formed the inaugural Placemaking cohort. They utilized their city as their textbook—with the help of more than a dozen civic leaders—for understanding its strengths and weaknesses and working to find solutions to its problems. Claudia Goldbach, Associate Director of College Counseling at GPS, coordinated the course; GPS teachers Andrea Becksvoort and Sonya
YOU’RE INVITED 2018 MBD: Girl Edition March 17 GetYourMBD.com
Steele co-taught it. Goldbach says the girls were exposed to a variety of opportunities each day. The girls attended a design-thinking workshop and listened to guest speakers including a cultural anthropologist, a social entrepreneurship professor, and architects from Gensler Architecture of Atlanta. “Placemaking opened their eyes to what was available in their own backyard,” Goldbach says. “The girls had to learn to work with people from different backgrounds who had unique perspectives. It was impressive to see how quickly they came together.” Along the way, the girls honed necessary interpersonal skills such as listening, negotiating, problem-solving, and decision-making. The course culminated with a formal presentation with three teams of girls pitching to local stakeholders on how to solve a problem or improve Chattanooga. They met with the Mayor of Chattanooga and partnered with nonprofit organizations as they developed their pitches for community solutions. Final pitches included a mobile art education center, a community garden employing veterans, and a film festival focusing on teen mental health awareness. GPS alumna Lesley Stiles Scearce ’96, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Chattanooga, was a stakeholder who served as judge at the final pitch event. She says the hardest part was choosing a winner. “I loved how our young people are such incredible problem solvers,” she says. “Each team had such a unique way to address the issues. It was inspiring to watch girls tackle a community concern, working side by side with students from other schools, and develop ideas I know no adult would have come up with.” Scearce says her GPS education prepared her for college and life, but she believes today’s students are much more connected to their community. “What a tremendous gift to have girls care about and form relationships with others outside GPS,” she says. “Keeping them engaged beyond graduation would be a tremendous gift.”
Girls from across Chattanooga participate in CAT.
Left Page: From left, Mycah Boykin '18,
AN INTIMATE LOOK AT GIVING TO GPS
he portrait of a Girls Preparatory School donor is as unique as the girls who benefit from the gifts. For some, giving to the Impact Fund means helping support a beloved alma mater. For others, supporting the school represents giving back to their child’s school or a former place of employment. But the common thread that connects each person who gives to GPS is a desire to further the time-honored tradition of teaching girls in a single-sex environment where learning is held in the highest regard while lifelong values and high expectations are instilled in each student.
ALUMNAE APPRECIATE THEIR ALMA MATER During her time at GPS, ALLISON COWAN CARROLL ’89 says GPS opened up possibilities and exposed her to opportunities she didn’t know were available. “At GPS, I was free to accomplish whatever I wanted,” she says. “My teachers made me believe I could take on leadership positions and that I was just as smart as everyone else in the room.”
Pauldin '18 Left: Ann Kimball Johnson ’63 and husband John Middle: Amy Arrowsmith, Mary Margaret Arrowsmith ’18, and Sally Bacon Smartt ’61
—AMY ARROWSMITH, GPS Board of Trustees
WHAT IS THE IMPACT FUND? The cost of providing a top-quality academic, social, and emotional experience for more than 600 girls each year cannot be covered solely by tuition dollars. GPS’s Impact Fund provides flexible resources that have a significant impact on our ability to provide an experience that touches every aspect of the school—students, teachers, and programs.
Carroll, now a financial planner with Allstate Insurance in Atlanta, says giving back to her alma mater remained sporadic until her 25th class reunion when she reconnected with classmates. The rekindling of those friendships, along with searching for a suitable school for her young daughter, broadened her perspective. “GPS became my benchmark,” she says. “I want my daughter to have the love of learning and confidence that GPS gave me.” Today, as a member of the Alumnae Council, Carroll believes she and other alumnae are obligated to make sure the next student is given this chance. “Somebody looked ahead for us, and we have to look ahead for the next girl, even if we don’t yet know who she is.” Decades before Carroll enrolled in GPS, ANN KIMBALL JOHNSON '63 was a young student. But just like Carroll, Johnson is devoted to supporting girls who are students today. “My parents always told us education was the most important thing,” says Johnson. Both she and her husband, John, act with
a sense of purpose through their continued contributions to GPS—Ann through the Impact Fund, supporting the annual needs of the school, and John through an endowment scholarship fund that supports a student on her journey through GPS. Johnson says she stays in touch with a number of her classmates from GPS. They effortlessly catch up no matter where they left off or how long it’s been. “Everyone in this community accepts you for who you are and is so interested in how you’re doing in the moment,” she says. The Johnsons stay tuned into what is happening on campus, even from Texas, through friends and family. Ann’s sister, Karen Kimball Gregory ’68, and three nieces, Shannon Kimball Horridge ’90, Amy Kimball Kilgore ’90, and Channing Kimball ’00, also graduated from GPS. “I believe GPS will continue to be a leader in educating girls, giving them confidence and teaching them to have lasting friendships,” Ann says. “It is vital that the school instills such strong values, including
Right: Susan Butterfield Brooks ’63 and Betsy Chisholm Silberman ’63.
This place made me who I am today, and I believe GPS is still having that impact on girls.” —BETSY SILBERMAN ’63
giving back to the community, every step of the way.”
CONTINUING A FAMILY LEGACY By all accounts, AMY TEMPLE SMARTT ARROWSMITH should have been a GPS girl. Her mother, Sally Bacon Smartt ’61, graduated from Girls Preparatory School, as well as her grandmother, Isabel Temple Smartt ’23, along with a legion of extended family members. In fact, Arrowsmith’s great-great uncle, Walter T. Temple, was part of the original GPS committee to incorporate the school in 1945. But when Sally Bacon met and fell for a McCallie boy named Pat Smartt, they would eventually marry, move for Pat’s job to Decatur, Alabama, and raise their family in a different small Southern town. Serendipitously, Arrowsmith would eventually move back to the Chattanooga area, purchase her grandmother’s home, and raise her own family there. Today, she and her husband, Ted, have three boys—George, John, and Teddy—and a daughter, Mary Margaret ’18.
Not long after Mary Margaret started school at GPS, the Arrowsmith family began contributing to the Annual Fund, now known as the Impact Fund. Today, Arrowsmith has established her own connection to GPS, having served as president of Parent Council and now serving as a member of the GPS Board of Trustees. “My mother has a lot of self-confidence, and I attribute that to GPS,” she says. “Continuing to prepare girls for the next phase of their lives is a mission I strongly believe in.”
GIVING BACK AFTER SERVING GPS impacts a wide swath of the community—from students, parents, and grandparents to alumnae and employees. BETSY CHISOLM SILBERMAN ’63 has moved with grace, compassion, and selflessness through nearly all of these roles. In 1979, when then-headmaster Dr. Nat Hughes looked for someone to fill a role in alumnae relations, Betsy Silberman and her mother, Martha Chisolm ’40, shared
the position. What started as a patchedtogether position blossomed into much more—a lifetime commitment to sharing and connecting with others. “I like to see volunteers energized, doing something fun,” Silberman says. “That was my theory—make it fun—because it energized me, too. It’s that energy I miss the most about working there.” Giving to GPS has been a major part of Silberman’s life—from her time as the daughter of an alumna, a student, an alumna herself, a parent, and finally an employee. She still volunteers today, contributing to key events such as Bruiser Bee, supporting her upcoming 55th class reunion, and attending the Founders Club luncheons that she and her mother started years ago. “GPS has had a profound effect on me,” Silberman says. “While I’ve made new friends, I have certainly kept the friends I made here. This place made me who I am today, and I believe GPS is still having that impact on girls.”
Allison Cowan Carroll '89, and Jordan
“My mother has a lot of selfconfidence, and I attribute that to GPS...continuing to prepare girls for the next phase of their lives is a mission I strongly believe in.”
By Laura Jane Walker & Pamela Hammonds
AT GPS SUMMER CAMP,
A Girl Can Be a Girl NEW CAMPS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2018: BRAND U BEAT THE HEAT PERCUSSION CAKE AND COOKIES FILM CAMP LANGUAGE CAMP SCIENCE CAMP FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: @GPSCAMPSCLINICS @GPSCAMPSCLINICS @GPSCAMPSCLINICS VISIT GPS.EDU/SUMMER TO LEARN MORE!
We hope you enjoy the digital version of Blueprint Winter 2018! Look for the blue icon throughout the publication to interact and click on d...
Published on Jan 30, 2018
We hope you enjoy the digital version of Blueprint Winter 2018! Look for the blue icon throughout the publication to interact and click on d...