70 years in, Trinity School continues to Inspire Excellence.
On the Cover Nearly a decade apart, Early Learner Maya and Sixth Grader William are at the beginning and end of their Trinity journeys respectively. Maya started hers in the Butterfly classroom, the same classroom where William’s began. Sixth Graders and Early Learners are buddies through Trinity’s Big Kid/Little Kid program, and Maya and William are pictured exploring Trinity’s new Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center, which opened on April 4. To support Trinity School, please contact Margaret Douglas, Director of Advancement 404-240-9446 | email@example.com trinityatl.org/give Please send address changes to firstname.lastname@example.org Comments? Contact the editor at email@example.com
Mission Statement Serving children age three through Sixth Grade, Trinity School creates a community of learners in a diverse and distinctly elementary-only environment, in which each child develops the knowledge, skills, and character to achieve his or her unique potential as a responsible, productive, and compassionate member of the School and greater community.
Non-Discriminatory Statement Trinity School does not discriminate based on race, color, gender, religion or creed, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or family composition in the administration of our admission and educational policies, in the extension of financial assistance, or other schooladministered programs.
Program and Pedagogy Pillars Celebrating the present and preparing our students for the future within a nurturing and caring educational environment, we: • Cherish Childhood Provide joyful experiences that include play- and passion-based learning Ensure developmentally appropriate experiences Design experiences around what is important in the life of a child • Deepen Students’ Educational Experience Develop creative and critical thinking and questioning skills Value both process and product of learning Connect learning vertically, horizontally, cross-curricularly, and globally • Empower Students in Their Learning Foster a growth mindset Cultivate voice, choice, and self-reflection Promote leadership
So that our students: • Build Academic Foundation Establish proficiency in essential knowledge and skills Embrace diverse experiences of a well-rounded education • Develop Character Foundation Exhibit ethical skills, habits, and attitudes of empathy, integrity, and respect Demonstrate performance skills, habits, and attitudes of accountability, persistence, and resilience • Exhibit Continued Curiosity, Creativity, and Confidence Imagine, discover, and experiment independently and collaboratively Adapt to new situations and a changing world
Leadership Team Joe Marshall, Head of School Ken Bomar, Director of Finance Brad Brown, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management Ira Dawson, Upper Elementary Division Head Margaret Douglas, Director of Advancement Sheree Du Preez, Early Elementary Division Head Nicole Fash, Director of Marketing and Communications Jill Gough, Director of Teaching and Learning Reginald Haley, Director of Operations Marsha Harris, Director of Curriculum Jeff Morrison, Director of Education Technology Ginny Perkinson, Assistant to the Head of School Kayleen Whitmer, Director of Extended Programs
2021–2022 Board of Trustees Bill Jordan, Chairman Matt Bartelt Catherine Humann Callaway ’97 Kristin Carothers Jason Chambers ’89 Elena Chang Erica Cummings Chris Gabriel Zenobia Godschalk Anne Hennessy Molly Jamieson Carrie Lanier Jenny Latz Tish McDonald Brand Morgan Melissa Moseley Street Nalley Jack Norton Charlie Ogburn David Overend ’86 Marcellus Parker Leslie Patterson Tina Roddenbery John Shepard ’68 Boynton Smith Farah Spainhour Ann Speer Stephanie Stephens Mary Watson Ellen Wiley Neal Williams ’73 2
Contents 4 6
Greetings from the Head of School
40 What Trinity means to me
62 Meeting learners where they are
Parent of alumni and Early Elementary Science Teacher Thalia Scott reflects on her Trinity journey.
Trinity’s system of assessment, immediate feedback, and instruction empowers our teachers to meet students where they are and differentiate learning experiences to help them reach their unique potential
Trinity celebrates fourth Top Workplace award Trinity remains one of Atlanta’s most sought after places to work.
Faculty and Staff Milestones
Help us celebrate the personal milestones of our faculty and staff.
Read highlights from the fall at Trinity and learn about our employees’ expertise and continual learning.
24 Trinity Traditions Enjoy a look at the recent traditions that reinforce Trinity’s identity, curriculum, and values.
Features 30 Inspiring excellence 70 years in
44 Elevating Trinity’s P.E. program for 15 years Trinity’s longest tenured teaching team don’t just want to be teachers, they want to be exceptional educators.
50 Trinity’s approach to learning differences Learning Team specialists partner with parents and teachers to find the best way to approach our students’ learning differences.
54 A look back at Trinity’s media center Media Specialist Meredith Burris interweaves the story of how the School’s media center has evolved with her personal experiences over the last 34 years as a Trinity employee.
58 Following the science of reading Trinity follows best literacy practices to help our students become deep readers, connecting the text and transferring their understanding across content areas.
64 Staff Story: Nancy Milner An eternal optimist, the assistant to the Early Elementary Division Head has been one of Trinity’s biggest cheerleaders for 22 years.
68 Spotlight on Art commemorates 40 years Spotlight celebrates a special anniversary and a recordbreaking year.
Celebrating a 20-year friendship
From entering the Early Learner program at Trinity School to graduating from Rice University, Grace Nichols ’12 and Julie Street ’12 stay connected.
Alumni Events Class Notes
Trinity’s campus has moved and evolved over the last seven decades. How will we continue to Inspire Excellence?
Editor Nicole Fash
Art Director and Design Cheryl Beverly, Ridge Creative, Inc.
Associate Editor Margaret Douglas
Contributing Writers Jedd Austin Brian Balocki Meredith Burris Justin Cahill
Laura English Nicole Fash Jill Gough Katie Hammett Marsha Harris Joe Marshall Thalia Scott Leisy Stevenson Billie Yarbrough
Flourish magazine is published biannually by the communications department at Trinity School and mailed to parents, alumni, grandparents, and friends of Trinity.
Photographer Stephanie Selman 3
Joe and Fifth Grader Reagan smile for the camera as Pre-K student James tries out one of the oversized xylophones in the music amphitheater during the grand opening of the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center on April 4.
Joe enjoys hanging out in the Great Tree with Fifth Grader Christopher and Pre-K student Parker during the grand opening.
Dear Trinity Community, As you peruse this issue of Flourish, I hope you, like me, see and feel how deep and long-lasting Trinity connections are for so many members of this extraordinary community. I am in my 41st year of independent private school education, and the past nine years at Trinity have been the most fulfilling and energizing of my career. Like so many others, I have remained entranced by Trinity’s child-centered focus, which has never wavered since our humble but mighty beginnings in 1951. As the director of admissions and enrollment management and I like to say at Open Houses, Trinity simultaneously cherishes the wonder and innocence of childhood as we prepare our students for the future by shaping a strong academic and character foundation. The bedrock of who we are and what we believe is being elementary only and trusting the child as a learner. The magic of Trinity is we appear to teach serendipitously, organically, and spontaneously. Yet behind the joy, fun, and daily excitement is tremendous purpose, planning, and intent. Two articles in this issue emphasize the hard work and research that underpin our program and pedagogy, the what and how we teach. One is about the science of reading, which is a very hot topic in education, and the other is about how teachers are utilizing literacy and numeracy assessments to measure student growth and progress and guide instruction. Although Trinity is blessed with great resources, we all know it’s the teachers who make the magic possible every day with their dedication, imagination, and care for their students. Exemplifying the commitment of our faculty, our physical education team is featured in this issue; they are our longest-tenured team at 15 years with 80 cumulative years of service at Trinity! I am grateful for the creativity and commitment of all our employees, and I am honored that Trinity was included as one of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top Workplaces for the fourth consecutive year.
Also in this issue, you’ll read about our exciting campus growth that will enhance the Trinity Experience, and as always, our expansion is rooted in the needs and interests of our students. The Inspire Excellence campaign has been in the planning stages for years, and our official kickoff has been catapulted forward by the generosity of our early donors during the silent phase and the already completed Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center and Upper Elementary classroom relocations and renovations. I can’t wait for you to read about these projects and the other amazing components that will touch the lives of all our students. Trinity has a proud past, an exemplary present, and an exciting future. A strength of our school is a willingness to be open to emerging research on how children best learn while preserving best-practice traditions that are meaningful for children and other community members. Enjoy reading about, and perhaps fondly remembering, Trinity’s time-honored traditions like the Pre-K Hunt for the Gingerbread Man, the Early Elementary Halloween Parade, and Fifth Grade’s annual performance of The Nutcracker. Also, pages are filled with highlights from the return of Spotlight on Art for its 40th year, which has been nothing short of spectacular. Please enjoy this special issue of Flourish as we continue to celebrate 70 years of joyful, impactful learning at Trinity School! Sincerely,
Joseph P. Marshall Head of School @JosephPMarshall
Our Writers Meredith Burris Media Specialist At Trinity since 1988 Media Specialist Certification University of West Georgia Master of Education, Middle Grades Concentration Brenau College
Bachelor of Science in Theater Education Emerson College
P.E. Teacher, Production Studio Manager At Trinity since 2006
Bachelor of Science in K-12 Health and Human Performance University of Wisconsin–River Falls @jeddaustin @trinity_tv
P.E. Teacher, Outdoor Education Director
@fastandfitatl @trinity_tv Q: What is your personal motto? A: Do something that makes you stronger every day.
Q: What are you happiest doing when you are not working? A: Not surprisingly, I read incessantly when I am not working, often having several books going at once. When I’m not reading, I am listening to music, typically Broadway show tunes.
At Trinity since 1993 Master of Education in Physical Education Georgia State University Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and Health Central Connecticut State University @brianbalocki Q: What is a goal you have for the next year? A: I have the same goal every year, to be a net positive to everyone that I interact with. I want to continue to be a positive influence on the Trinity community each and every year.
Justin Cahill P.E. Teacher At Trinity since 2007 Bachelor of Arts in Psychology The George Washington University @justybubpe
Q: What brings you joy? A: I love recess duty. Standing in the middle of the playground, watching each child freely choose what they want to do puts a smile on my face. It gives me a chance to make connections and learn about students outside the gym.
Nicole Fash Director of Marketing and Communications At Trinity since 2016 Master of Arts in Media and Cultural Studies University of Sussex, Falmer, England Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Spanish Shorter College @trinityatl @trinityschool /trinityatl
Q: What are you happiest doing when you are not working? A: I am happiest writing, reading, running, and spending time with my husband and two children.
Katie Hammett Director of The Trinity Fund and Major Gifts At Trinity since 2019 Bachelor of Arts in English Literature Valdosta State University Q: What are you happiest doing when you are not working? A: Making memories with my family. Playing dress-up with our three-yearold or reminding our nine-year-old to wait for us as he charges down the road, the simple adventures with laughing children bring me the most joy.
P.E. Teacher At Trinity since 2002 Master of Teaching and Health and Physical Education Certification Georgia State University Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication The University of Georgia
@PECoachLaura Q: What brings you joy? A: Watching our Trinity students experience the joy of movement and physical activity. It always brings a smile to my face when I see a child light up after trying a new activity, enjoying a favorite activity, or finding success after persevering through a challenging activity. I’m grateful I have the opportunity to be a part of our students’ joyful learning and Trinity Experience.
Director of Curriculum At Trinity since 2008
Jill Gough Director of Teaching and Learning At Trinity since 2012 Master of Combined Sciences in Mathematics and Computing Science Mississippi College Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Mississippi College @jgough Q: What is something people may not know about you? A: I am an avid sketch note artist, and my work has been featured by the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Master of Education in Instructional Technology Lesley University Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education; Bachelor of Arts in Drama in Education University of Windsor, Canada @marshamac74 Q: What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? A: I have 24 years’ experience in the K–6 classroom at both public and private schools, in base classrooms and specials classes, in the United States and Canada. 7
Joe Marshall Head of School At Trinity since 2013 Master of Science in English Education Hofstra University
Bachelor of Arts in History Franklin and Marshall College @JosephPMarshall Q: What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job? A: I vividly remember being a student and, as such, my teaching style has been grounded in the needs and feelings of my students.
Learning Team Specialist At Trinity since 1989
Leisy Stevenson Director of Spotlight on Art and Special Events At Trinity since 2018 Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Rhodes College @spotlightonart @spotlightonart /TrinitySpotlightOnArt Q: What advice would you give your 12-year-old self? A: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Thalia Scott Early Elementary Science Teacher At Trinity since 2012 Bachelor of Science in Biology University of Nevada, Las Vegas Q: What is your personal motto? A: Mistakes are only moments of practice, and there is always something to be grateful for.
Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Guilford College Q: What advice would you give your 12-year-old self? A: Enjoy every moment! Life is fun. Live it to the fullest.
Choose your adventure at Trinity School
Summer Camp 2022! Trinity School Summer Camp offers a variety of academic, specialty, and sports camps for children ages 4 to 13. From coding to Legos, art to science, choose your child’s summer adventure from our camps that will run Monday–Friday from June 6–July 1. Join us in Before-Camp Care, Activities in the Afternoon, and After-Camp Care to extend your summer fun to a full day, from 7:30 AM–4 PM! There will also be limited offerings available during a fifth session of summer camp from August 1–5. Trinity School Summer Camp is open to the public, and many camps are waitlisted.
Register today! www.trinityatl.org/summercamp
Please contact Kayleen Whitmer, Director of Extended Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Trinity celebrates fourth Top Workplace award By Nicole Fash, Director of Marketing and Communications
For the fourth consecutive year, Trinity School has been named a Top Workplace by The Atlanta JournalConstitution. For the 2022 rankings, 4,583 companies were nominated or asked to participate in the Top Workplaces program. One hundred seventy-five companies were selected, and Trinity made the list in the “Top Midsize Workplace” category (150–499 employees). The Top Workplaces list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection. “Companies need to authentically represent their brand to job-seekers,” says Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “The employee experience needs to be on the mission-critical 10
list. Leaders who embrace a people-first culture will benefit greatly. By giving employees a voice and showcasing your authentic culture through employer branding, organizations can attract those job seekers who complement their culture. Culture drives performance.” Trinity’s leadership team focuses on elevating a healthy and happy workplace culture and keeping employees committed and connected to the School. Trinity’s employee retention is very high and continually asking team members for feedback helps the administration gain a better understanding of how employees view what is happening at the School and how things can improve. Trinity remains one of Atlanta’s most sought-after places to work, allowing the School to attract and retain the most qualified and passionate teachers and staff. “Our employees are the heart of Trinity, and I am honored that they continue to keep us a Top Workplace in Atlanta,” says Head of School Joe Marshall. “This year, we are celebrating 70 years of joyful learning at Trinity School. Our inspiring past, dynamic present, and exciting future are possible because of the dedication, passion, and creativity of our employees. I am grateful for all members of Team Trinity and for the opportunity to work alongside each of them to help our students flourish.”
On March 16, faculty and staff gathered together to celebrate Trinity’s Top Workplace award. After receiving Team Trinity branded trays and enjoying some of their favorite foods from Flik, Trinity’s dining service provider, employees heard words of gratitude from Head of School Joe Marshall for all their hard work and dedication before they enjoyed a sneak peek of the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center.
Kathy Bruyn Fifth Grade Lead Teacher and Trinity Parent | At Trinity since 2007 “It isn’t called ‘work’ if you look forward to each new day! The collaboration I have with fellow teachers is one of my favorite parts about Trinity. We bounce ideas off each other and consistently strive to create powerful and engaging lessons for our students. The families I work with trust me to help their children grow and learn, and I take that job seriously. I feel appreciated and respected at Trinity. Not only has this school provided me with an enjoyable career, but it has also become a “second home” to my daughters as they grow and learn here. I am proud to be a part of the Trinity family.”
Vesna Galtere Early Elementary French Teacher | At Trinity since 2018 “Trinity School has a unique working environment. It is diverse and inclusive, and colleagues are truly friendly, professional, and passionate about what they do. The faculty and staff really care about the students and each other. I stay here because of my wonderful colleagues, the well-organized administration who is always listening and supporting us, the good salary and benefits, and the very positive and happy environment. I would not want to be anywhere else; this is absolutely the best school I have ever worked at!”
Media and Technology Specialist | At Trinity since 2020
Makerspace Specialist and Trinity Parent | At Trinity since 2012
“Working in the media center at Trinity School allows me to meld my love of technology with the creativity and excitement of working with children and literature. Sometimes I feel like Trinity is a playground for adults as well as children. I am able to be very creative in my teaching and have access to so much technology as well as many inspiring tools to create a truly fun and exciting learning environment for the students. I often tell people I have the best job in the world. Not only do I love what I do every day, but I also love where I work. I’m able to have a job in a place that values its employees and respects how hard they work every day. One of Trinity’s pedagogy pillars for students says, “Exhibit continued curiosity, creativity, and confidence.” At Trinity School, I feel this is not only true for students but also for me.”
Jennifer Jones Fourth Grade Associate Teacher | At Trinity since 2021 “One of the main reasons I was interested in working at Trinity is the elementary-only environment that is focused on helping each child develop his or her full and unique potential. I enjoy the privilege of getting to know my students, teaching vocabulary and spelling, and watching them grow and develop into even more confident learners. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is watching my students grow and mature throughout the school year. I also enjoy the nurturing environment at Trinity.”
“I enjoy working at Trinity because of the autonomy I am given as a teacher. My goal is to share the joys of being hands-on with a variety of materials, and I am always encouraged to find ways to make that happen. Also, it has been a special opportunity to share this gift of education with my daughter, Grace. Trinity’s unique version of elementary school is not something I had access to, and I am happy for her to experience it.”
Claire Snyder Second Grade Associate Teacher | At Trinity since 2019 “I enjoy working at Trinity for endless reasons. Besides the obvious answer of getting to work with the most amazing students every day, I enjoy working at Trinity because of my fellow faculty and staff members. Never in my life have I felt so supported and encouraged. The Second-Grade team and surrounding specialists have an established level of mutual respect, shared passion, and a positive energy that makes me excited to come to work each day. Also, there is something unique about Trinity that is hard to put into words. I believe the way we deliver instruction in all disciplines is truly the best and most developmentally appropriate way to teach students. Whether it is a math lesson or a lesson from our social-emotional learning curriculum, my goal as a teacher is to empower my students, and the way we teach here at Trinity has empowerment at the forefront.”
Caroline Tritschler Duggan Kindergarten Lead Teacher | At Trinity since 2011 “From the moment I drove through the Trinity gates, I knew something felt special about this place. I remember checking in at the front desk and walking around the entire school with Dawn Pile, who was the Early Elementary Coordinator at the time. I was in awe as I walked around the whole school, both indoors and outdoors, and saw incredible, joyful learning taking place everywhere. When I commented on my observations, I remember Dawn turning to me and telling me that she had one word that she used to describe Trinity School. That word is JOY. It is true. Each day at Trinity, I witness so much joy. I see the joy of children learning and playing, the joy of teachers learning and collaborating, the joy of friendships budding, and the joy of collaboration with families.”
Kayleen Whitmer Director of Extended Programs and Trinity Parent | At Trinity since 2018 “During my last job, I collaborated with Trinity’s previous director of Extended Programs regarding best practices for after-school programs. After visiting campus, I was blown away by not only the amount of high-quality offerings and the facility but also the warmth, love, and excitement children and adults alike were exhibiting as they walked the halls, interacted in their classrooms, played on the beautiful playgrounds, and more. I was so excited to learn more about what makes Trinity so special and to realize that the heart of everything I enjoyed during my visit stemmed from the fact that Trinity School is elementary only and focuses on cherishing childhood while empowering students in their learning. I love looking around at this campus and knowing that it was all intentionally developed and built for our earliest learners to explore and grow. Trinity is not only a school, it is a home. It is a family that surrounds you and your children as they grow. I love working at Trinity School because we are able to guide and share in the most special years of children’s lives.”
Faculty and Staff Milestones Join us as we celebrate the personal milestones of Trinity School’s faculty and staff in this recurring feature.
At Trinity since 2019, Third Grade Lead Teacher Marley West and her husband, Spenser, welcomed their first child, Spenser Lloyd West Jr., on October 6, 2021.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Upper Elementary Math Specialist Kerry Coote was a Canadian citizen when she first came to the United States in 2008 to earn her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University. On October 22, 2021, 13 years after becoming a U.S. resident, Kerry received her American citizenship. She and her husband, Howard, who was also born and raised in Jamaica, have two daughters at Trinity, Fourth Grader Emma and Third Grader Morgan. Kerry says that she and Howard think of life as a series of opportunities for their girls, and before Kerry became an American citizen, she wanted to make sure Emma and Morgan were citizens of both the United States and Canada. At Trinity since 2012, Kerry is currently working on a Certificate in Instructional Leadership from Harvard.
At Trinity since 2019, Kindergarten Associate Teacher Melissa Cooney and her husband, Bob, welcomed a daughter, Collins Anne Cooney, on November 3, 2021. Collins joins proud big brothers Miller and Shep.
At Trinity since 2016, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management Brad Brown married Erikka Woolfolk on November 20, 2021. Erikka’s daughter, Harper, is a Pre-K student at Trinity and played a special role in the wedding ceremony that was held at the historic Stanley House Inn in Marietta. The intimate ceremony and reception were followed by a family luncheon at Old Vinings Inn.
At Trinity since 2016, Pre-K Associate Teacher Leah Lenhardt married Carson Rowland on November 5, 2021. The couple, who met in 2013, held their wedding in the backyard of their home in Atlanta.
Highlights Trinity Tidbits By Nicole Fash, Director of Marketing and Communications
Samantha Steinberg becomes Orton-Gillingham Associate At Trinity since 2007, Learning Specialist Samantha Steinberg is now an Associate member of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. She completed her associate-level certification in September 2021 after undergoing 10 observations and conducting 100 hours of one-on-one instruction under the mentorship of Orton-Gillingham Fellow Rosalie Davis. By working with an Orton-Gillingham Fellow, Samantha received feedback on her teaching and lesson planning and was able to hone her skills as an OrtonGillingham practitioner. Samantha earned a Master of Education with a Reading Specialist Specialization from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Karen Boykins achieves new professional milestones After three years as a SeeSaw Ambassador, Instructional Technology Specialist Karen Boykins is now a SeeSaw Certified Educator. This will provide new opportunities for her to grow her expertise in SeeSaw, Trinity’s online student learning management platform. At Trinity since 2006, Karen continues to push herself professionally, completing several courses this fall through the Harvard Graduate School of Education and receiving her Certificate in Media and Technology for Education. In addition, this past summer she passed the exams necessary to renew her Google Educator Level 1 and 2 certifications.
Trinity welcomes two new Education Technology team members
Khadijah Mafuta joined Team Trinity as the School’s Help Desk Technician in April 2021. In this role, Khadijah assists staff and students at Trinity School to successfully use technology to meet their individual, academic, and professional goals. She previously worked as an oasis support intern at VMware in Atlanta, providing ongoing IT support for more than 40,000 employees, and as an accuracy controller at HomeGoods Distribution Center in Jefferson, Georgia. Certified as a Professional Scrum Master I and a Microsoft Excel Associate, Khadijah accrued more than 200 hours of hands-on training in IT helpdesk through Year Up Greater Atlanta, an intensive one-year professional development program. When asked what she enjoys most about working at Trinity, Khadijah responded, “I love working at Trinity School because the students, teachers, and the community are so wonderful, kind, and friendly. For me, working at Trinity is also like giving back to the community by serving my community.”
Abel Ataelsaid joined Trinity in October 2021 as the School’s new Network Administrator. In this role, he supports all aspects of Information Technology (IT) at Trinity and ensures the integrity and continual operation of the School’s network infrastructure. With close to 20 years of experience in IT, Abel has previously served as a senior technician at UPS in Atlanta, IT systems administrator at ZBEST Medical Transportation, and IT systems administrator at Nichiha USA Inc. CompTIA A+ certified, Abel earned an associate degree in management information systems and computer science at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. When asked why he wanted to work at Trinity, Abel responded, “I am a child at heart, why wouldn’t I want to come to work and see all the smiling, happy faces of our students? It is also very impressive to see how Trinity is utilizing technology and how heavily invested we are in giving the children the best tools for learning now and preparing them for the future.”
Trinity’s youngest explorers enjoy riding around in their very own handmade jeep to look for wild animals around campus.
Early Learner Izzy tries out her binoculars before the safari begins.
Extended Programs students go on safari Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Extended Programs Lunch Bunch students spent a full week gearing up for a wild safari ride that occurred on September 17, 2021. Students enjoyed this annual safari expedition that took them all over campus in their homemade jeeps as they spotted all types of animals.
Sixth Graders pause for a group photo in front of Cane Creek Falls.
The Leadership Class visits Camp Glisson The Sixth Grade Leadership Class thoroughly enjoyed their outdoor education trip to Camp Glisson from September 21–24, 2021. Members of the Class of 2022 were so excited for the return of this annual outdoor education trip after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Sixth Graders made lifelong memories while participating in traditional outdoor educational activities like dissecting squid, ziplining, team-building exercises, and swimming.
Fifth Graders Ella and Brynn take a break after a team-building exercise.
Fifth Graders Harry, Zach, and Arjun enjoy time on the Will-A-Way playground.
Fifth Graders participate in annual fall outdoor ed trip
Fifth Grader Sammy quickly scales the rock wall.
From September 28–October 1, 2021, Fifth Graders enjoyed going off campus for their annual fall outdoor education trip at Camp Twin Lakes: Will-AWay in Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia. Students enjoyed their time away making memories they will cherish for years to come. They had fun participating in activities like canoeing, rock climbing, team-building exercises, and archery.
Becky Holden leads math professional development Early Elementary Math Specialist Becky Holden, who has been at Trinity since 2015, is a fixture in the world of ongoing education. She continues to lead professional development, even as most conferences remain virtual. During the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2021 Virtual Fall Conference in November, Becky presented “The Impact of Counting Collections on Solving Story Problems: An Action Research Project.” Utilized at Trinity School, Counting Collections is a routine that supports conceptual understanding with objects, visual representations, and verbal counting. Becky presented on how that routine, implemented weekly over a 10-week period, affected students’ abilities to represent and solve story situations.
Jeff Morrison, PhD, serves in different roles At Trinity since 2011, Director of Education Technology Jeff Morrison, PhD, had a busy fall in 2021. In addition to his responsibilities at Trinity, he serves as an adjunct professor in Georgia State University’s department of Educational Policy Studies graduate program and taught the master’s level course Methods of Research in Education this past fall. In October, Jeff chaired a Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) accreditation peer review team for an independent school in Virginia. During the visit, he led a team of peer educators charged with ensuring that the school has addressed significant questions regarding their adherence to their mission and future capacities of fulfilling their mission. In addition, Jeff, who is in his sixth year on the Association of Technology Leaders of Independent Schools’ board of directors, hosted a diversity, equity, and inclusion seminar during ATLIS’s virtual DEI Summit in December. 19
Award-winning author and illustrator Henry Cole visits Trinity On October 27 and 28, 2021, awardwinning author and illustrator Henry Cole visited Trinity’s campus and met with students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Mr. Cole, who has worked on more than 150 books, outlined the process behind writing and illustrating a book, from concept to printing press. He used examples of his own work, interspersing his presentations with anecdotes from his childhood and how he became interested in illustrating and art. Students of all ages were enthralled with his humor, wisdom, and amazing in-person illustrations. Second Graders are mesmerized as Mr. Cole draws freehand a cartoon alligator playing an instrument.
Early Learners are thankful for friendship Each year leading up to Thanksgiving, our youngest learners enjoy a Friendship Feast after swapping handmade friendship necklaces and completing a special Thankful art project. These special keepsakes list what students are thankful for on paper that they decorate. On November 18, 2021, all Early Learners gathered on the playground to sing Go Now in Peace after they exchanged necklaces.
As a grade level, Early Learners enthusiastically sang Go Now in Peace on the Early Elementary playground after exchanging necklaces.
Early Learners Carter and Knox exchange friendship necklaces.
Early Learner Gates enjoys playing Fifth Grader Sylvie’s Freshwater Fair game.
The Uzima Clean Water mission mascot greets students during morning carpool the day before the Freshwater Fair.
Freshwater Fair reaches record-breaking number Led by Science Teacher Becky Maas, Fifth Graders raised a record-breaking $1,200 during their Freshwater Fair held on December 3, 2021. This breaks the previous record by $400. Each year, all Trinity students are able to attend the fair for a five-coin entry fee, helping raise money to buy life-saving freshwater filters through Start With One and Uzima Clean Water Mission. The Freshwater Fair is a culminating event for the Fifth Graders during their unity of study of freshwater, and they create amazing games and provide impressive facts about animals that rely on freshwater from all over the world. In addition, during the month of November Fifth Graders wrapped up a 10-day walk-a-thon, accumulating 278 miles on the Trinity Track and raising $18,200. The annual walk-a-thon is an integral part of Fifth Grade’s study of freshwater as it not only raises money to provide water filters for people in different areas of Kenya but also increases student awareness of how some people in Kenya must walk miles to obtain water. During the walk-a-thon, Bill Coble, the founder of Start With One and Uzima Clean Water Mission, came on campus to meet with Fifth Graders and discuss the important of providing clean water in Njoro, Kenya. He also provided a demonstration of how effectively the filters transition dirty water to clean water.
Fifth Grader Henry shows Pre-K student Bobby how to play his Freshwater Fair game.
Because of these special fundraising projects, Fifth Graders sent 485 lifesaving water filters to the town of Njoro in Kenya through Start with One Kenya and Uzima Clean Water Mission. We are very proud of our Fifth Graders and how their efforts will provide 485 families with safe drinking water for the next 10 years. Fifth Grader Eleanor makes several loops around the track during the walk-a-thon.
Fourth Graders serve local veterans In November 2021, as part of their grade-level community service project, Fourth Graders wrote heartfelt letters thanking veterans for their service and wishing them a happy upcoming holiday season. Students also donated pantry items to the Veterans Empowerment Organization (VEO).
Fourth Grader Watson pauses during his letter writing for a photo.
Fourth Grader Adiele puts the finishing touches on her letter to a veteran.
Third Grade presents Balloons Over Broadway Quickly becoming a Trinity tradition, Third Graders held their annual Macy’s Day Parade on December 9, 2021, this time on the Trinity Track. After reading Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, students partnered with classmates to create balloon puppets for the parade as part of a special Thanksgiving-themed STEAM project.
Third Graders Belle and Tessa hold up their balloon puppet, Unibun (unicorn bunny), during the parade.
Early Learners and Pre-K students participate in Warmth Project For the last 10 years, Early Learners and Pre-K students have participated in an annual Warmth Project in December. During this service-learning project, the students and their families donate pajamas to children in need, which is meaningful to these young students as they can understand warmth and safety and love from caregivers and that these circumstances are not always available to everyone. This school year, the grade levels donated a combined total of 426 pairs of pajamas. They celebrated with a pajama day on December 10, 2021, during which students watched a streaming version of the Fifth Grade’s performance of The Nutcracker.
Pre-K students Morayo and Nealy wear pajamas to celebrate the success of this school year’s Warmth Project.
Disney characters on parade Extended Programs concluded the 2021 school year with one of the most magical days of the year, their annual Disney parade for the Early Learners in Lunch Bunch. On December 10, a record number of students dressed up as their favorite Disney characters to parade around campus with the whole school cheering them on.
Ms. Joanna walks alongside Early Learners Maddox, Elizabeth, and Izzy as they parade around campus.
Third Graders experience the joy of giving On December 14, 2021, Third Graders placed clothes, toys, books, and more donated by them and their families into the Collins Food Pantry truck, helping provide 223 children and their families with some joy during the holiday season. This grade-level community service project gave Third Graders the opportunity to deepen their understanding of empathy and compassion and the importance of serving those in need. Collins Food Pantry, located on Bolton Road in Atlanta, provides food and other essential services to nearly 500 local families.
Third Grader Mira places her items in the Collins Food Pantry donation box.
Sixth-Grade families continue tradition of 100 percent participation Once again, parents of our Sixth Grade Leadership Class were the first to reach 100 percent participation in The Trinity Fund, the School’s critical annual fundraising initiative. Students celebrated on January 19 with a pizza and ice cream sundae party hosted by the Office of Advancement and Parent Fund Committee. Each spring, the Advancement team holds an Ice Cream Sundae Challenge to encourage parents to participate in The Trinity Fund, and every grade level that reaches 90 percent participation by a certain date celebrates with a sundae party. The School is grateful to our Sixth-Grade families for setting the bar high and leading by example.
Sixth Graders Parker, Emily, and Theo are excited to celebrate with pizza and ice cream.
Trinity Traditions Trinity School’s rich history began in 1951. While the campus has moved twice since its founding and the School’s programming is enhanced every year, Trinity also maintains and occasionally updates numerous grade-level, division-wide, and school-wide traditions that reinforce the School’s identity, curriculum, and values. This section is dedicated to highlighting some of the many special events that our students look forward to every year.
First Day of School The first day of school is important for all students, but there is something special about the Sixth Graders’ carpool caravan.
Catching the Gingerbread Man At the beginning of the school year, Pre-K students once again found the runaway Gingerbread Man while becoming acquainted with all the faces and places at Trinity. Staff and faculty from all over the campus provided students with clues to find the elusive Gingerbread Man.
Pirates Week In September, Early Learners wrapped up Pirates Week and their Shapes unit of study with a real-life treasure hunt!
Nursery Rhyme Parade
Halloween Parade Early Elementary Division students and faculty donned fantastic costumes and put the Trinity community in the Halloween mood by throwing the annual Halloween Parade.
Turkey Trot, a.k.a., the Fun Run/Walk In November, faculty, staff, students, and their families ran with Tiger pride during the 18th annual Trinity Fun Run/ Walk. This year’s theme was once again the Turkey Trot as it was held in November.
Patriotic Performance In lieu of their annual in-person Patriotic Performance in November to honor those who serve or previously served in the military on Veterans Day, the Fourth Grade presented a special video for the Trinity community that included musical performances, scenes of letter-writing to veterans, and tributes to members of the military who are connected to Fourth-Grade students and teachers.
The Nutcracker Put on every year by Fifth Graders, the much anticipated annual performance of The Nutcracker was set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score and included dancing, elaborate costumes and set design, and epic battles.
In September, Pre-K students dressed up as their favorite characters, paraded around the Trinity Track, then recited nursery rhymes during the Nursery Rhyme Parade.
All traditions occurred during the first half of the 2021–22 school year.
1. Pirates Week 2. First Day of School 3. Turkey Trot
8 7 26
5 6 4. The Nutcracker 5. Turkey Trot 6. Nursery Rhyme Parade 7. First Day of School 8. Pirates Week 9. Halloween Parade
10. Catching the Gingerbread Man 11. Nursery Rhyme Parade 12. The Nutcracker 13. Patriotic Performance 14. Halloween Parade 15. Turkey Trot
Inspiring excellence Inspire Excellence Co-Chairs Catherine Humann Callaway ’97 and TJ Callaway Melissa and Allen Moseley ’81 Sarah and Neal Williams ’73
Campaign Committee Julie and Jim Balloun Libby and Brooks Barge Kit and David Bowlin Erica and David Cummings Isha and Anil Damani Lane and Richard Courts Courtenay and Chris Gabriel Anne and Peter Hennessy Molly and John Jamieson Stephanie and Street Nalley Aisha and Marcellus Parker Stephanie and Austin Stephens Nancy and Chris Suh Ellen and Buck Wiley
70 years in By Nicole Fash, Director of Marketing and Communications
Since Trinity School’s founding in 1951, we have been committed to the idea of providing children with the best early childhood and elementary education experience possible. The young child has always been our focus, and as it is stated on the School’s history wall, “This purity of purpose allows for a deep understanding of our students and how they learn.” This deep understanding extends to the best learning environments for our students, who range from age three through Sixth Grade, and over the School’s 70-year history, we have moved locations twice and upgraded our facilities multiple times. In 1980, we moved from the basement of Trinity Presbyterian Church to an existing facility located on seven acres at 3254 Northside Parkway, which formerly housed the City of Atlanta Birney Elementary School. During our time there, we updated various parts of the building and added the original Allison Williams Activity Center. After realizing a need for more space and facility flexibility in order to match our academic programming, we moved to our current location in 2002. Our
With the Leadership Class’s relocation to the beginning of the Upper Elementary hallway, Sixth Grader David has quick access to the Multi-Purpose Room and Learning Commons, encouraging autonomy and collaboration in these flexible learning spaces.
campus was 43 acres of beautiful, undeveloped terrain when we purchased it in 2000 and embarked on the $30 million Foundation for the Future capital campaign in order to fund the build. In 2001, when the School reached its 50-year milestone, we broke ground on our new then-130,000-square-foot facility, completing it in time for the 2002–03 school year. Over the last two decades, our facilities have been refined, and the School embarked on a capital and endowment campaign called Growing Leaders that officially launched in 2014. In addition to significantly growing Trinity’s endowment, $5 million of that endeavor made construction of the Trinity Track, Community Room, and TV Production Studio as well as a full-scale renovation of the Overend Learning Commons and the main building entrance possible.
“Generations before us supported the School to help create this incredible campus. And now it is time for Trinity to take this next step to remain the elementary-only leader by enhancing this campus with a number of exciting additions and renovations. While our children are no longer here, we feel like it is our turn to support this school, similar to the prior generations that enabled my children to have an incredible experience.” – Allen Moseley ’81 | Trinity alum, parent of alumni, and Inspire Excellence campaign co-chair
Continuing our tradition of growth and improvement, the School’s leadership has been engaged in a campus master planning effort over the last several years. Intentionality and thoughtfulness define all that takes place at Trinity, and this planning process to ensure that our short-term campus improvement projects continue to meet our long-term strategic goals has been no exception. After developing a Campus Master Plan in 2018, we conducted a fundraising feasibility study—gathering feedback through town halls, focus groups, individual conversations, and surveys to the full parent body—before developing a capital campaign plan that was initially projected to launch in March 2020. While the pandemic brought change to the timing and scope of our projects, the final campaign plan that was approved by the Board will enable us to better utilize and activate all aspects of our campus to strengthen students’ full Trinity Experience, from Early Learners to Sixth Grade. Through every move and modification, we have kept the young child at the center of all our planning. Now, 20 years after we moved to our current location, and as we conclude our 70th anniversary year, we have embarked on the Inspire Excellence campaign to allow Trinity to renovate current indoor and outdoor spaces and add new ones in order to continue to match our facilities with the School’s exceptional level of programming. The $14.5 million Inspire Excellence capital and endowment campaign had already reached $9.5 million from early leadership donors and foundations during the quiet phase, before we went public in early April. “It is amazing to reflect on the last 70 years. As you have probably heard many times, ‘Once a Trinity child, always a Trinity child,’ and I actually attended Trinity School back when it was in the bottom of Trinity Church,” says Allen Moseley ’81, campaign co-chair and parent of three Trinity alumni. “When we started looking at schools for our oldest daughter, Helen, in 2007, we were blown away by the beautiful campus at Trinity and the opportunities it offered for creative exploration. “Generations before us supported the School to help create this incredible campus,” he continues. “And now it is time for Trinity to take this next step to remain the elementary-only leader by enhancing this campus with a number of exciting additions and renovations. While our children are no longer here, we feel like it is our turn to support this school, similar to the prior generations that enabled my children to have an incredible experience.”
Rendering of the Multi-Use Recreation Center that will house two gyms.
Each capital component of the campaign has been meticulously planned and thoughtfully designed. We inspire discovery on the new Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center, which was completed in early April and already enjoyed by students across campus. Upcoming enhancements to the Early Elementary playground will promote movement and teamwork and include an open area for group activities, a mini–GaGa Pit, a quiet space for independent play, and new swings, slides, and climbing areas. Classroom renovations and relocations have already occurred in the Upper Elementary Division. The Fourth Grade relocated to its own wing and Sixth-Grade classrooms now have a more prominent position at the beginning of the Upper Elementary corridor. This new placement expands the use of flexible learning spaces, encourages collaboration, increases leadership opportunities, and provides more seamless educational experiences, including ready access to the Learning Commons and Multi-Purpose Room. We will inspire community with a new Multi-Use Recreation Center that will house two gymnasiums, one for Early Elementary P.E. and one for Upper Elementary recess. This new building is being constructed where the Pavilion was located and will provide flexible, expanded space for learning, enrichment activities, gatherings, Extended Programs, and summer camps. Another new space, the Early Elementary Dining Hall, will be constructed where the Early Elementary gym is currently located. In addition to being a dedicated dining area for our younger learners that will allow for increased scheduling flexibility at every grade level, the new space will offer additional gathering and learning environments for multiple grades and programs.
“This campaign will truly enhance the wonderful, joyful learning experiences our children have each day, providing new and flexible spaces for unique hands-on learning; sports and free play; creative exploration; and physical, academic, and social development,” says Isha Damani, campaign committee member and parent to two Trinity students. The campaign will also inspire growth through increased endowment support for student financial assistance, faculty and staff excellence, and program innovations. This will allow the School to provide more resources to children of all backgrounds, offer even more competitive salaries to employees in order to continue to attract and retain the best educators, and upgrade our curriculum to keep Trinity on the cutting edge of elementary education. “This campaign will not only reshape the landscape of Trinity School but also allow us to further Inspire Excellence in elementary education, ensuring Trinity continues to lead for generations,” says Head of School Joe Marshall. All students and grade levels will benefit from this comprehensive campaign that will keep Trinity as the model for elementary education today and for years to come. For more information, ways to give, and project updates, please visit www.trinityatl.org/InspireExcellence.
Rendering of the Early Elementary Dining Hall.
Kindergartners Addison, Ellie, and Libby pose at the top of the climbing wall during the grand opening of the Outdoor Learning Center.
Employee Preview As part of their celebration for winning an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top Workplace honor for the fourth consecutive year, employees enjoyed an early preview of the Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center on March 16.
Trinity’s most recent campus master plan that includes the new Outdoor Learning Center and planned Multi-Use Recreation Center.
Donor Sneak Peek On March 17, nearly 75 members of Trinity’s community who gave early and generously to Inspire Excellence gathered on campus for a sneak peek of the new Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center. Guests enjoyed dinner and drinks as they took a first look at the new space and heard remarks from Head of School Joe Marshall and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bill Jordan.
Opening Day The joy was palpable on April 4 when all Trinity students spent time playing on the new Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center. Highlights included climbing the interior of the Great Tree, holding races on the trike path, and making beautiful music on the numerous oversized xylophones.
Known as Ms. T to her students, Thalia sits alongside Pre-K student Caroline as she observes how a plastic bag repels water, not allowing the glove or her hand to get wet during a lesson on absorption.
What Trinity means to me By Thalia Scott, Early Elementary Science Teacher
It is hard to believe that my relationship with Trinity spans more than two decades. It seems like only yesterday, and yet also a lifetime ago, that my oldest son, Linzy, entered the then three-day Three’s program in 1998. The following year, my daughter, Kaitlin, began the Two-Year-Olds program. Although my twin boys, William and Zachary, were never officially Trinity students, they were fondly known as the “Trinity Twins” since they were born in 2002, the same year that Trinity moved to our current location. While my two oldest children attended Trinity, I witnessed the dedication and love that they received from every person in the building. The School’s sense of community and mentality of “it takes a village” were shown on a daily basis in small and large ways. One of the biggest was when I was on a three-month bedrest during my pregnancy with the twins—which ultimately resulted in their premature birth—and the Trinity family supported my family with never-ending meals and constant playdates. They even organized carpools for my older children. As parents, we all shared a commitment to Trinity’s mission and vision, and that commitment was reflected then, and today, in each family’s willingness to volunteer whenever and wherever needed at the School. Throughout my years as a parent here, I dedicated my time to several events and programs, taking on roles such as Room Parent, Grade Level Representative, and jewelry co-chair for Spotlight
In April, Pre-K students observe how wax paper repels water and how the water forms a mobile bubble on top of the wax paper during Thalia’s lesson on how different objects can repel water.
on Art. In fact, so many of my days were spent at Trinity that when I served as a host family in 2002 for incoming Head of School Stephen Kennedy, he thought that I was a paid employee. After Kaitlin completed her Trinity journey as a Second Grader in 2006 and Linzy completed his Sixth Grade Leadership year in 2008, I became a teacher at Trinity because I couldn’t accept the fact that I was relieved of my volunteer duties since my children were no longer students at Trinity. I started out as a long-term substitute teacher, which led to my acceptance of the Early Elementary Science Teacher position in 2012. And today, I continue to teach eager young scientists in the Early Learner, Pre-K, and Kindergarten classes. It has been a joy to share my love of science with students over the last decade, especially as I know firsthand how a childhood passion can grow into a career. At an early age, I was always curious about how things worked and what would happen if I altered them. I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the temperature could reach up to 112 degrees during the summer. At the age of five, I designed and conducted my very first experiment upon hearing a meteorologist on the local news say that the weather was so hot you could cook an egg on the street. After cracking two dozen eggs on the sidewalk, I discovered that it was, indeed, hot enough to cook an egg! My passion for science continued to grow throughout my elementary, middle, and high school years. I attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, then graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in biology. I began my career in science as an environmental specialist for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, then became a stay-athome mom after having Linzy.
In spring 2017, then-Early Learners excitedly watch the bubbly chemical reaction when baking soda is combined with dish soap and vinegar.
I really enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, which allowed me to involve myself deeply at my children’s schools. And it has been a privilege to experience Trinity both as a parent and a faculty member. As a teacher, I continually experience the work that goes on behind the scenes to create ideal learning environments and see the individualized attention given to each child’s needs. It makes me even more grateful for the time and effort that Trinity Teachers put into making sure that my children blossomed into their best selves. Twenty-three years ago, when my husband and I were approached by Linzy’s teacher to consider letting him move to the five-day Three’s instead of Pre-K, we were skeptical. However, under Trinity’s guidance and experienced knowledge, we reluctantly agreed and gave him the gift of time. This turned out to be one of the best decisions we made for our oldest son, as he soared in his following grades. Linzy, who now works as an immigration and civil rights attorney in New York after graduating from The Lovett School and Vanderbilt University, often speaks about his proudest moments at Trinity School. This includes his leadership roles speaking at a Parent Visitation program, performing with the choir at Carnegie Hall, and redesigning the Pre-K Olympic bobsleds for his Sixth-Grade capstone project, which, amazingly, are still in use! He still maintains his Trinity friendships and even shared a house with a Trinity friend while he was in law school. My daughter, Kaitlin, also a Lovett School graduate, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy candidate at Boston University. She cherishes her Trinity friendships and fond memories of going on the Gingerbread Man hunt, participating in the Pre-K Olympics, watching The Nutcracker, and doing the famous Turkey Dance during the Thanksgiving assembly
with her Kindergarten class and Ms. Emily [Winship]. My “Trinity Twins,” William and Zachary, are Woodward Academy graduates and freshmen at Hampton University and Temple University respectively. I also have so many fond memories here. And as we celebrate 70 years of Trinity’s existence this school year, I distinctly remember celebrating the School’s 50th anniversary 20 years ago and helping all of the students form a huge “50” on the field. I have witnessed many enhancements throughout the years, such as the addition of weekly special classes, the Idea Lab, a makerspace, and individual laptops for everyone, ensuring that our students are well-equipped in an ever-changing world. Even with all these changes, Trinity remains steadfast in keeping the child as the focus and delivering a top-notch education that prepares its students for life way beyond our gates. More than 20 years after I first stepped foot on a Trinity campus, it is a joy to be able to ignite and witness the science sparks in our youngest students. Their natural curiosity and eagerness to learn creates a perfect backdrop for exploring the world all around them. Every day, I am fortunate to enjoy the excitement my students bring to class, whether we are discovering a new concept or sharing their discoveries outside of school. The best part of my time at Trinity School is that I am surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals who give our students room to comfortably explore, ask questions, seek answers, and be leaders in their individualized ways. And I am inspired every day by our amazing students, who leave Trinity’s gates happy, confident, and compassionate; well prepared for the next step of their educational journey; and ready to make an impact in their community.
In 1998, Thalia brings Kaitlin along for Linzy’s third birthday celebration in his three-day Three-Year-Olds class. In 1998, Thalia, her husband, Linzy Scott III, and their daughter, Kaitlin, pose for a photo with Linzy on his first day at Trinity.
In 2000, Thalia holds the book that Linzy made to introduce himself during his time as “Friend of the Week” in Pre-K.
In 2001, Thalia poses with Linzy and Kaitlin on their first day as a Kindergartner and member of the Three-Year-Olds program respectively.
The Scott family poses for a photo in 2017: William, Zachary, Linzy, Thalia, Kaitlin ’10, and Linzy ’08.
In September 2016, the P.E. team poses with Stripes the Tiger during a fun photo shoot to promote the Fall Festival.
Trinity’s P.E. program for 15 years By P.E. Teachers Jedd Austin, Brian Balocki, Justin Cahill, and Laura English
We have all been on teams in our lives, some good, others great. We learn to trust and triumph, sacrifice and struggle, and work together. On playgrounds back in the 1980s, teams were chosen by the kids, and being picked last for the kickball team could potentially crush a child’s spirit or perhaps teach resilience. Today, whether on a field or in an office, productive teams are driven by cooperation, leadership, and trust. This, for the last 15 years, is precisely how Trinity’s P.E. team has functioned so effectively. Our team members are Brian Balocki (29 years at Trinity), Laura English (20 years), Jedd Austin (16 years), and Justin Cahill (15 years). The four of us arrived at Trinity from distant parts of the country with varying backgrounds, each with different life experiences. Combined, these differences have benefited not only our physical education program but also our relationships with each other. We have developed a true bond, never hesitating to share ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem. We are confident and secure enough to be brutally honest with each other. We continue to push each other to create new, dynamic lessons and programs to further enhance the Trinity Experience for our students.
Our Philosophy We didn’t just want to be teachers. We wanted to be exceptional educators. Early on, our team agreed to reimagine the role of our physical education program and how it could positively affect every child physically and emotionally. Fifteen years later, we continue to grow as teachers in search of best practices.
Movement and Mindfulness As a team, we promote a balanced approach to competition and teamwork with an intentional focus on leadership, sportsmanship, and integrity. Our classes are designed to offer students a variety of physical activities, such as locomotor movements, sport-related skills, and overall fitness challenges. Always balancing movement with mindfulness, our priority as a team is to provide a safe, joyful environment fostering care, empathy, and mutual respect. This, in turn, enables each student to thrive and achieve his or her own personal goals.
Connections From the moment our students step out of their cars in the morning, they begin telling their stories. First Graders skip away; siblings wait for each other; Early Learners toddle off, insistent on carrying their own bags. As teachers, we know the value of connections and make a conscientious effort to discover and celebrate the unique qualities of our students. Asking questions about their weekend or athletic interests outside of school, noticing a new pair of shoes, complimenting freshly cut hair, or asking about siblings who once walked our hallways can go a long way with a student.
During the 2019 Pre-K Olympics, Coach Laura helps J.P. ready himself for the bobsled event.
As a team, we also enthusiastically practice what we preach. Coach Brian is a dedicated runner and mountain biker, making the mountains and trails his home away from home. Coach Laura, an avid runner, spends much of her free time working out, hiking, and playing outdoors with her family. Coach Austin, a certified yoga instructor, enjoys swimming, trail running, mountain biking, and working out at the gym. Coach Cahill, who is a gym rat, also enjoys running on the Kennesaw Mountain trails. The common thread is that we each understand exercise and play are essential ingredients for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. It is this message we want to instill in every child. In our classes, we balance our teaching with physical and social-emotional lessons, always reinforcing the core values of teamwork and sportsmanship. We do this by providing games and activities in which students build character as well as fitness and skill through play. Basic life skills pop up organically, such as turn-taking, problem solving, and conflict resolution. These are the moments when we take
the time to have important discussions to help the students process and learn from their experiences. We appreciate the unique talents and gifts each child brings, from stellar athleticism to unrelenting effort. Our hope is that what we do every day helps each student learn with an open mind, demonstrate empathy and sportsmanship, and participate in every game with integrity and enthusiasm.
Our Team Stamina Coach Brian says, “Being part of a positive community has kept me energized for 29 years. Trinity never stops moving forward so I continue to grow as a person and educator.” The 2021–22 school year marks a milestone for the physical education team. As we complete our 15th year together and 80 years of combined service at Trinity School, we celebrate the longest tenure of any other teaching team at the School. Along with our friendship and passion for our craft, there are dozens of reasons for our longevity.
At the beginning of the 2016 Fun Run/Walk, Coach Austin warms everyone up before the run.
Meet the P.E. Team Brian Balocki is the senior member of the team, joining Trinity in 1993 right out of college. Throughout his career, Coach Brian consistently diversified the physical education experience by adding activities and programs such as lacrosse, international games, and cooperative education units to the curriculum. He has been instrumental in founding the Trinity Fun Run/Walk, Trinity Track Club, Sixth Grade versus faculty basketball game, and Fifth Grade Olympics. He has shared his high energy and positivity as an Extended Programs instructor, summer camp director, outdoor education director, values class coordinator, and placement team member. Coach Brian has also been a Trinity parent; both of his sons attended and graduated from Trinity School.
Brian and former P.E. Teacher Roie Shields, while teaching and earning her Master of Teaching and Certification in Health and Physical Education from Georgia State University. Coach Laura has enjoyed teaching every grade level, from Early Learners through Sixth Grade, but has developed a strong connection to Trinity’s youngest learners. She has enhanced the P.E. curriculum by adding cross-curricular collaborations with Early Elementary math and science classes as well as the Pre-K Olympics and Kindergarten Trip Around the World units of study. Coach Laura has also served as a committee chair and member of the Faculty Staff Leadership Team, an Extended Programs instructor, and a parent volunteer. She is a proud Trinity parent to a Third-Grade student and a Trinity graduate, both of whom began their Trinity journey as Early Learners.
Laura English is celebrating her 20th year teaching at Trinity School. After graduating from The University of Georgia and following a brief career in the sports and event marketing field, Coach Laura’s interest in working with children guided her to a career change. Her new path led directly to Trinity School. She was warmly welcomed and mentored by Coach
Now in his 16th year at Trinity, Jedd Austin joined the P.E. team in the fall of 2006. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin before moving to Georgia to join the Trinity family. Along with teaching physical education, Coach Austin is also in charge of the Trinity TV Production studio, where he works with the Sixth-Grade class to create Trinity TV. Coach Austin
also films and edits a multitude of other videos for the Trinity community. In 2013, along with Coach Cahill, he launched Fast and Fit, a running club dedicated to providing a positive, laid-back environment for First- through Sixth-Grade students to become stronger runners while hanging out with their friends. Justin Cahill is the latest addition to the team, arriving in 2007 from Washington, DC, where he worked as a physical education teacher for 11 years. Having previously taught in the District of Columbia public school system as well as an independent international school, Coach Cahill added his wisdom and previous experiences to an already solid foundation at Trinity. He immediately fell in love with everything about the School. The facilities, the faculty and administration, and the students and families were like nothing he had ever experienced. Above all, Coach Cahill felt an immediate connection with his new team, both as colleagues and as friends.
Trinity’s Community “Joy is abundant inside the doors of Trinity School, and it’s one of the ingredients that makes Trinity so unique and special,” says Coach Laura. “It’s visible on our students’ faces as they skip into the building in the morning, participate in learning experiences that cherish childhood, and learn and grow throughout their Trinity journey. Trinity’s amazing students, extremely kind and generous families, supportive and encouraging administration, and my incredible colleagues inspire me on a daily basis and make it a joy to teach at Trinity School!” We all agree Trinity has incredible faculty, staff, and administrators. Our administration carefully considers each hire, searching for the perfect fit for each position. Coach Cahill recalls a conversation he had years ago with the late Alicia Andreou, a former beloved Associate Head of School at Trinity. She said that Trinity seeks good people, kind people, people who are nurturing. Yes, education and experience are a plus. However, it is Trinity’s belief that character takes center stage. This statement remains evident year after year. We’ve each developed lasting bonds with our colleagues, both present and past, crossing over the lines of collegiality into friendship.
Ever-Developing Facilities We are so fortunate to teach on Trinity’s beautiful campus. We have two gyms, one for the Early Elementary students and one for the Upper Elementary students. Similarly, we have multiple playgrounds, each serving our students with age-appropriate spaces and play structures. Our lush field surrounded by a four-lane, 225-yard track is unique for
any elementary school. And then there’s Discovery Woods. How many other physical education programs can boast about an extensive network of wooded trails with varying degrees of difficulty and terrain? Remarkably, the Trinity P.E. facilities continue to evolve. A newly completed, state-ofthe-art Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Center offers our younger learners ample opportunities to run, climb, explore, imagine, create, and wonder - all key ingredients of learning through free play. In the near future, a brand new Multi-Use Recreation Center will be constructed, housing our new Early Elementary gym and Upper Elementary recess space.
Freedom to Create Many of our teachers seek opportunities to enhance the Trinity Experience for students beyond the walls of the classroom. Our administration allows us to conceptualize programs to promote student growth. This, without question, motivates the four of us, further igniting our love and appreciation for our students and school community. Some of our favorite programs include: Every Lap Counts – Our early morning movement program allows students and families a chance to walk, jog, or run and socialize each morning on the track from 7:30–7:50. Trinity’s Discovery Woods Trail System – With student wonder and physical fitness in mind, Coach Austin continues to build and maintain the winding trails of Discovery Woods. In 2019, he organized the first annual Trinity Trail Day for families to explore our beautiful Discovery Woods. Extended Programs - The P.E. team offers a variety of enrichment classes after school to allow students to be part of a team, enhance physical and social skills, and simply have fun. Flourish with Fitness Monthly Challenges – Each month, students and families are offered an optional fitness challenge created by the P.E. team. These challenges are announced in Trinity This Week and can be found on the Flourish with Fitness board in MyTrinity. Team Building with Coach Brian – Coach Brian provides supplemental times with Second- and Third-Grade classes, engaging them in team-building challenges to enhance cooperation, problem solving, and communication. Over the last 15 years, the four of us have built a team fueled with positive momentum. We have meshed our skills and personalities, operated with trust and empathy, and as simple as it seems, been honest and upfront with each other. We’ve had each other’s backs and laughed at all the mistakes we’ve made along the way. Ultimately, we work well together because we are not all crazy on the same day and we truly like each other. We have all been on teams in our lives, and we all agree this team is one of the greatest.
In 2016, Coach Brian shows his trademark enthusiasm during the Fun Run/Walk.
In 2016, Coach Cahill listens intently to a student after the Fun Run/Walk.
In August 2007, Trinity’s P.E. teachers pose for their first team photo.
Learning Specialist Billie Yarbrough enjoys an individualized lesson with one of her students.
Trinity’s approach to learning differences By Billie Yarbrough, Learning Team Specialist
Trinity’s Learning Team is dedicated to partnering with parents and teachers to find the best way to approach our students’ learning differences, providing another layer of individualized support to help them become academically independent and confident learners. This means that our students with a learning difference, such as dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing), dyscalculia (math), or processing challenges, are taught differently, oftentimes in a different learning environment, one-on-one or in small groups. We celebrate each student’s individual abilities and successes, utilize tried-and-true remediation techniques, and equip students with learning strategies that they can use for the rest of their lives. We continually evaluate our students who are in the Learning Team program and partner with parents and teachers to choose the best educational path for them. We are equipped to remediate students with mild to moderate learning differences and counsel parents and teachers on whether a student should remain at Trinity for the entirety of his or her elementary journey or matriculate to a school focused on a specific
learning difference. Early detection and remediation are vital to a child’s future, which makes the work of the Learning Team so important. As far back as I can remember, and I joined the Trinity community in 1989, we had a Learning Team. Back when we had three learning divisions—Early Learning (age two– Kindergarten), Primary Learning (Pre-First–Third Grade), and Upper Learning (Fourth–Sixth Grade)—at our previous location on Northside Parkway, now the Atlanta Girls’ School, there was a Learning Team specialist for each one. Back then, the learning specialists would administer reading assessments, see students who required either academic or emotional support, recommend student evaluations and testing to teachers and parents, and would provide base classroom teachers with information on how best to support students with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and/or learning differences. I began my career at Trinity as a First Grade associate teacher, became a lead teacher my second year, and spent 15 years in the First-Grade classroom. It was during the construction of our current building, back in 2000 or 2001, that there was an effort to expand the learning specialist role as well as the number of specialists who would work with our students. During this time, the Board of Trustees as well as the then-head of school wanted to give our Kindergarten and First-Grade program an expanded purpose, providing more specialized environments to
support our students with learning differences. During that time, several Trinity Board members were instrumental in The Schenck School inviting three of us—me, Learning Specialist Pam Osborn, and Early Learning Division Head Cissie White—to participate in the yearlong OrtonGillingham training method of remediating dyslexia that Schenck provides for their teachers. This was quite the honor as we were the first non-Schenck teachers to be included in this program. This inclusion began an ongoing sharing process of coaching and dialogue with Schenck teachers and staff. After completing the basic Orton-Gillingham training, I initiated the new learning strategies in small groups within my First-Grade class. Pam used the strategies while working with individual students in her role as a learning specialist. Thus began the deep collaboration between learning specialists and teachers at Trinity School. During this first year of implementation, we were able to track growth in the areas of decoding (breaking the words into syllables using specific Orton-Gillingham syllabication rules) and using specific Orton-Gillingham spelling rules.
We also saw positive results in students’ reading skills, comprehension, and spelling. The purpose of this project was to keep students at Trinity who had a mild dyslexia diagnosis or were not accepted at a specialized school and to provide Orton-Gillingham strategies within a classroom that would benefit all of our students. In 2004, I approached our head of school to see if it was possible for me to switch from classroom teacher to Learning Team specialist. I was ready for the challenge and wanted to devote my time to one-on-one remediation. At that time, we had a learning specialist in the recently renamed Early Elementary Division and two learning specialists in the also recently renamed Upper Elementary Division. In my first year as a learning specialist, I saw one First Grader, a Second Grader, and two Sixth Graders. I spent time in each class listening to the teachers and collaborating with them. This was a specific model that we developed so that the classroom teachers and the learning specialists were a team with common expectations, instructional verbiage, and assignments. Additionally, we began the model of seeing students during their World
Throwback to fall 2007, when the then-members of the Learning Team took a group photo.
The Learning Team today: Jennifer Tran, Samantha Steinberg, Laurel Martin, Michelle Perry, Billie Yarbrough, and Diane Dickey
Languages class time as part of our best practices. Based on dyslexia research and psycho-educational assessments, if a child has a language-based learning challenge, learning a different language can be very difficult. When the students we serve are ready, they are reintroduced to their World Language of choice. That original model has evolved over the years to include bi-weekly meetings with classroom teachers, regular progress updates to parents, and ongoing collaboration with classroom teachers to ensure we are providing remediation when needed and academic support when and where needed. Each Learning Team session is specifically set up to meet the needs of the student. For me, sessions include individualized drills of sounds, syllables, spelling rules, and dictation of words and sentences, then having the students utilize all these skills as they read or write. We work closely with teachers to ensure a smooth transference of skills from our students’ one-on-one sessions to their in-class participation and understanding. There is also appropriate curriculum support included with these activities as the students move through various grades. In addition, we provide our students’ parents with as much communication, support, and accessibility as we can. Our regular updates typically list and explain specific skills that are being worked on, how the student is progressing, what he or she needs to continue to review, and what parents can do at home to support learning. Today, the Learning Team consists of six specialists who have all had experience as classroom teachers in different grade levels at Trinity: me, Diane Dickey, Laurel Martin, Michelle Perry, Samantha Steinberg, and Jennifer Tran. We have all received specialized training through advanced academic degrees or higher ed programs and are all trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach. Michelle and Samantha have received advanced Orton-Gillingham training and have attained Associate level. Jennifer is currently working toward becoming an Associate. On average, we each work with 10 students each year. Jennifer focuses on Kindergarten and literacy challenges; Michelle focuses on First Grade and literacy challenges; and Diane, Laurel, Samantha, and I work with students in grades 2-6 who have been diagnosed with a learning difference of dyslexia, dysgraphia, and/or dyscalculia.
We enjoy sharing our expertise and are always available to consult with parents or teachers. The Learning Team has led on-campus workshops, which show the faculty how OrtonGillingham reading, writing, and spelling strategies benefit our students. Through these workshops, and because of the professional development opportunities that Trinity provides its employees, many of our classroom teachers are now trained to recognize reading difficulties. This provides yet another layer of collaboration to give our students the opportunity to develop and flourish academically. It almost goes without saying, but one of the greatest benefits of being a Trinity educator is the School’s investment in our continual professional development. Along with Orton-Gillingham training, Trinity has provided teachers with the opportunity to attend Learning & the Brain conferences as well as dyslexia focused workshops. This commitment to giving our teachers and Learning Team members the tools we need for all our students to succeed and enjoy the hands-on education that Trinity is known for allows us to remain at the forefront of elementary education. Over the last two decades, the Learning Team’s collaboration with teachers, administrators, and parents has grown to best serve our students as well as to provide the latest educational information available to families. The absolute best part of my job is to see the expression on a child’s face who has been struggling academically when they realize that they are understanding and using strategies that are helpful to their academic growth. All of my best memories are when I see or hear about the achievements of our students who worked with a Learning Team member. Trinity is deeply invested in the success of all our students and that will never change.
One of the Learning Team’s passions is to support teachers and provide individualized instruction to students in all grades after they have received a psychological assessment and specific diagnosis that falls within the range of our expertise. As a team, the learning specialists meet weekly to discuss our students and seek feedback or suggestions from other members to enhance progress. We also play a role in the transition process of students who have been to a specialized school and are transferring, oftentimes returning to Trinity.
In 2007, then-Media Specialist Ann Flynn reads to students in the Learning Commons Story Well.
A look back
at Trinity’s media center By Meredith Burris, Media Specialist
The media center has been a vital part of Trinity School throughout its 70-year history. From its beginnings in the basement of Trinity Church, through changes in locations and renovations, the media center has grown and evolved with the School. I have little memory of what would have at the time been called the library during my time as a preschool student at Trinity in 1960. My first real introduction to Trinity’s media center was in 1988, when I began working at the School’s second location at 3254 Northside Parkway as a Kindergarten teacher. This was after a renovation that put the media center on the top two floors of what was referred to as the “tower” addition. I spent a great deal of time on both floors of the library as I moved from Kindergarten to Fourth Grade to Fifth Grade. I collaborated with thenMedia Specialists Ann Flynn and Myra Morrison for many subsequent years, so when the opportunity came for me to shift from Fifth Grade teacher to media specialist in 2012, I felt right at home. When Trinity School moved to its current location in 2002, the media center became a true hub located at the center of the School. In 2013, the media center came under the auspices of Education Technology led by Jeff Morrison. With the many digital resources we offer, it made sense for us to be absorbed into that department. Our resource catalog, formerly known as a “card catalog,” is online, making it more accessible for students and faculty as they can search for resources both at school and from home. This digital catalog makes finding books and other resources easy and is a huge benefit for media specialists in terms of keeping up with the books in our collection. We have numerous online resources, including encyclopedias, digital books, and a research citation tool used by students in grades 4–6. In 2015, the renovation of the media center led to its transformation into The Overend Learning Commons. The Learning Commons incorporates the Idea Lab and the Apollo iHub (innovation hub) and offers several alternative spaces for classroom use. A breakout room and the popular mezzanine can be utilized for whole classes, while numerous small nooks, café tables, and rug spaces allow flexible locations for teachers to bring small groups of students for more individualized sessions.
The Learning Commons truly embraces every aspect of Trinity’s program and pedagogy pillars. One has only to step into this warm and inviting space to see that the pillar of cherishing childhood is ever present. Our amazing Story Well with its whimsical painted ceiling provides the perfect place to share the world of literature during media classes. Book-related character dolls, or “book buddies,” adorn the Easy Book section, inspiring children to read books featuring those characters. The Lego wall allows for creative play, as the children build structures or simply spell out words. Our newly created Discovery Zone encourages exploration and creativity with rotating stations that contain microscopes, puzzles, crafts, and games. As grade levels progress though their time in the media center, their educational experiences are enriched as they develop critical thinking and questioning skills, empowering each student to direct his or her learning. Fixed classes in the younger grades are designed to instill a love of reading and help develop literacy skills. As the students get older, emphasis is placed on research skills and the ethical use of materials. Learning the process of researching encourages our students to develop persistence and resilience. Working with classroom teachers collaboratively to align with curriculum helps each student develop a strong, wellrounded educational foundation. Trinity’s beloved traditions unique to each grade level are strengthened by the media center, from celebrating Pirate Week with the Early Learners in our mezzanine “pirate ship” to supporting country studies for the Pre-K Olympics and the Kindergarten travel unit and animal research studies for the First Grade Zoo Exhibit. Books on Native Americans are provided to Second Graders for their study of the Indigenous People of North America, and Third Graders dive into a wide range of biographies to prepare for their Living Museum. Our older students research topics using books, the Internet, and other library resources for the Fourth Grade Westward Expansion, the Fifth Grade Olympics, and the Sixth Grade Capstone projects. Each year, our collection development focuses on purchasing a wide range of diverse books to be inclusive and uplift every student. We strive to provide literature that not only reflects the students’ own experiences but also
During the 1990s, students enjoy using the media center at Trinity’s former Northside Parkway location.
provides them with opportunities to see into worlds unlike their own. By giving them “windows” into the worlds of other cultures as well as “mirrors” in which to see themselves within the pages of the books, they can develop empathy and a broader world view and feel a sense of belonging. Trinity’s media center mission statement has been refined over the years, most recently with our newest media specialists, Val Boone and Julie Griffith. “As an integral part of the Trinity School educational structure, the Overend Media Center seeks to serve in developing our students’ confidence and independence in the use of library media materials, to develop perception in book and online choices, and to provide the opportunity to nurture a lifelong love of reading and good literature. Additionally, the center encourages and supports students and teachers in becoming confident users of ideas and information.” Trinity School is very special to me. While my time as a student here was brief, my 34 years as a Trinity Teacher have been some of the best in my 44-year teaching career.
While teaching Kindergarten, I learned so much about how children learn and was mentored by Bitsy Griffin, an exceptional teacher who was instrumental in helping me realize my creative potential. As much as I loved Kindergarten, I found that Fifth Grade was one of my favorite grades to teach. I loved the novels we read, our studies of ancient civilizations, and especially the outdoor education trips. Some of my best memories of teaching Fifth Grade are of the camping trips in Highlands, North Carolina, at the Simmons family farm. However, I can’t imagine a better job than my current role as media specialist. It allows me to pursue my love of literature and to interact with students in all grades. With activities ranging from reading to the Early Learners to helping Sixth Graders find just the right book, every day is different and invigorating. I have been especially fortunate to work with all the members of the Education Technology team. As I prepare to retire, I can’t imagine a better place to end my teaching career than at Trinity School, where my educational journey began.
Trinity’s Media Specialists Val Boone, Meredith Burris, and Julie Griffith love to welcome students into the Overend Media Center’s bright and inviting space.
In April, Meredith reads to Early Learners in the Story Well that has remained largely unchanged since its doors opened in 2002.
Following the science of reading By Marsha Harris, Director of Curriculum
Learning to read is the capacity to attend to the individual phonemes (sounds) of speech and then attach them to graphemes (letters) to spell, read words, and create meaning in a text.
Do you remember when you learned to read? Think back. Do you remember when you learned to read? Do you remember how you learned to read? Do you have any specific emotions attached to those experiences? For some, reading was a fairly simple process with good instruction. For others, it was daunting, exhausting, and challenging. At Trinity, our primary literacy goal is to develop proficient readers who love reading. However, the ultimate goal is for our students to become deep readers, connecting the text and transferring their understanding across content areas. Teaching a child to read is a complex system of foundational skills culminating in comprehension. The methods, programs, and resources required to teach reading are specific and involve a deep content study. No one is born with the innate ability to read. It isn’t a natural skill like crawling, talking, or walking. The human brain is not wired to read. Reading is something that must be developed
with explicit and direct instruction. Reading is a complex task, from visual identification of letters to the attachment of letters to sounds, meaning, and pronunciation.
What is the science of reading? This year, our faculty has been studying the science of reading. Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D, a nationally recognized authority on literacy education, says, “The body of work referred to as the ‘science of reading’ is not an ideology, a philosophy, a political agenda, a one-size-fits-all approach, a program of instruction, nor a specific component of instruction. It is the emerging consensus from many related disciplines, based on literally thousands of studies, supported by hundreds of millions of research dollars, conducted across the world in many languages. These studies have revealed a great deal about how we learn to read, what goes wrong when students don’t learn, and what kind of instruction is most likely to work the best for the most students.” 1 Over the decades, there have been shifts in reading practices in schools. Thanks to advances in brain research and the consensus of thousands of studies from reading experts, we now better understand how the brain learns to read. As a faculty, we are studying methods, routines, systems, and essential foundational skills that are proven best practices in reading instruction. The 2001 National Reading Panel report concluded that all students benefit from explicit and direct phonics instruction through a multisensory approach and a systematic program. They also determined that for students to become proficient readers, there are five critical pillars of instruction: Fourth Grade Associate Teacher Cathrine Halliburton, Fourth Grade Lead Teacher Hunter Branch, and Fifth Grade Associate Teacher Kelsey Strickland use picture books, story passages, and partner reading to demonstrate reading fluency and expression during the Science of Reading session on Fluency professional development in January.
First Grade Lead Teacher Abbie Shaw watches as First Grader Jeremiah matches first and second syllables to make a word.
phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Our teachers have engaged in years of professional development around methods and practices that the National Reading Panel suggested back in 2001. We have studied and implemented a multisensory approach to phonemic awareness, phonics, and spelling over the years that aligns with the research. Over the past three years, we have selected programming and assessments that help inform and refine our instruction and differentiation for small group lessons. Learning how to read begins with the essential skill of listening. We teach students how to decipher sounds, identify the sequence, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) that we hear in words. This is a skill that we can do with our eyes closed and without print. This phonemic awareness is the foundation of all reading skills. Once a child is proficient in playing with sounds, letters (graphemes) are introduced, and children are taught sound-symbol correspondence. For example, the letter Cc makes the sound /k/ like in cat or /s/ like in circle. While the English alphabet has 26 graphemes, 44 phonemes are made up of various combinations of letters. Listening and spelling, even invented spelling, is the building block of reading. We ask students to “tap out” the sounds in words when spelling or reading in the early grades. We are looking to see if they
have phonemic awareness and can isolate individual sounds in words to spell and read. Once students learn how to isolate sounds, they learn about spelling rules and combinations of letters. This is called phonics. The goal of phonics education is to teach students how to understand and use the alphabetic principle, which is the understanding that there are systematic and predictable relationships between written letters and spoken sounds. First Grade Learning Specialist Michelle Perry, who is a certified Orton-Gillingham Associate, says, “Teaching students to ‘tap out’ sounds is a multisensory technique that helps students decode and become more proficient readers and spellers. Guessing at words based on pictures or context is not an efficient reading strategy and is not based on the science of how our brains learn to read.” The brain is a pattern detector, and skilled readers do not use pictures or context clues to read words. When they encounter unknown words, they apply their knowledge of letter-sound relationships to decode them. For example, here are two nonsense words: englaption/serlendiphilous. Even though they are nonsense words, our brain learns patterns from the alphabetic principle and form words. Students develop their phonics skills over several years. Decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) lead to fluent readers. Reading and spelling go hand in hand. If we teach a
child to read, there is no guarantee they will learn to spell, but if we teach them to spell, they will learn to read. One engaging task that can be used when developing sight word automaticity is to have students say the word, tap the sounds, write the word, then read it back. This practice firmly establishes auditory (hear the word), visual (see the word), and kinesthetic (hands-on engagement) associations. Citing Rasinksi, Cognitive Scientist Marcie Penner-Wilger wrote, “Reading fluency is the ability to decode and comprehend text simultaneously. Thus, reading fluency forms a bridge from decoding skills to comprehension.” 2 Fluency is the ability to read accurately, at an appropriate rate for the text, with suitable intonation and expression. When students become fluent readers, there is a stronger motivation to read and deep comprehension is achieved. For students who are still struggling to decode, the cognitive load will impact their comprehension. Fluency of sounds, letters, individual words (sight and nonsense), sentences, phrases, and passages should be practiced for automaticity at all reading stages. “Second Grade is a year when students increase their independence as readers,” says Second Grade Lead Teacher Katherine Spits. “Trinity School follows the most up-to-date research on teaching children how to read by homing in on the five key elements of reading instruction. In Second Grade, we explicitly teach students how to decode words through the six syllable types. With this knowledge in place, our students are able to apply the tools they have learned to decode unknown words when reading independently.”
First Grader Olive codes syllables in two-syllable vccv (vowel-consonant-consonant-vowel) pattern words.
Vocabulary development is also a skill that continually evolves throughout our lifetime. At Trinity, our students learn about the morphology (study of the smallest unit of meaning in words) and etymology (the origin or history) of words by studying roots, prefixes, and suffixes. With this, they can understand
meaning and spelling patterns when they encounter unfamiliar vocabulary in their reading and when they use strong vocabulary in their writing. Finally, comprehension is the culmination, mastery, and integration of all the components of the essential skills for reading. Reading comprehension is not a single skill that can be mastered. Children who decode accurately, read fluently, and have strong language skills become proficient readers who can comprehend text, which is the ultimate goal of learning to read. Our ability to understand our reading changes based on background knowledge, vocabulary, and the text’s complexity and type. Comprehension is the ability to extract and construct meaning while engaging with a text. We encourage our students to think about the author’s intentions and recognize the structure and purpose of the text. Can they make a movie in their mind while reading? Can they talk about what they have read and connect it to another text or themselves? Can they summarize the text they just read? Proficient readers read for meaning and know when their understanding of the text breaks down; they reread and pause to think when they do not understand the text.
How do we know your child is developing as a proficient reader? Our goal is to provide students with intentional, structured programming to become proficient readers and spellers and comprehend complex text by the time they leave Trinity School. We intentionally design our program and curriculum to align our trajectory of skills with the science of reading. Through a multisensory approach that is direct and explicit, our students engage in language development that is robust and rich with visuals, routines, rhymes, and age-appropriate materials. Additionally, Trinity has invested in systems and assessments that screen, monitor progress, and diagnostically measure benchmarks throughout the year. Teachers use this information to analyze as teams, design
for differentiation, and plan for progress monitoring. We have never been stronger in our assessment practices and teaching methods. We are committed to continuing to grow in our instruction, response to intervention, and collective teacher efficacy as a school.
What can parents do with children to grow reading skills? • Read together. Take turns reading passages. Encourage your child to decode words that are appropriate for their age. • Play rhyming and sound games together. Nursery rhymes, songs, poetry, and alliteration are great ways to develop sounds and patterns in sounds. • Use rich language and vocabulary in conversation. • Give your child experiences that build background knowledge and directly impact reading comprehension. • Provide books that fit the developmental age and readiness of your child. • Remember that reading is a skill that needs to be directly and explicitly taught. It will take time. “As author Emily Buchwald famously said, ‘Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,’” says Upper Elementary Learning Specialist Samantha Steinberg. “Even when your child is too big to sit on your lap, and even after they learn to decode on their own, don’t give up the special time you share reading together. By reading aloud, or taking turns reading, you are modeling your own fluent reading and how you make sense of text. By talking about unfamiliar words, you help to build your child’s vocabulary and understanding of the story. By spending time reading with your child, you demonstrate that reading is something you value.”
1 Moats, Louisa. “Of ‘Hard Words’ and Straw Men: Let’s Understand What Reading Science is Really About.” Voyager Sopris, EdView360 Blog Series, October 16, 2019. https://www.voyagersopris.com/blog/edview360/2019/10/16/lets-understand-what-reading-science-is-really-about 2
Penner-Wilger, Marcie. “Reading fluency: A bridge from decoding to comprehension.” AutoSkill International Inc. Research Brief, 2008.
A Fourth-Grade student notes his multiplication skills progress in his math notebook.
Meeting learners where they are By Jill Gough, Director of Teaching and Learning
What gets measured gets improved. Trinity’s system of assessment, immediate feedback, and instruction empowers Trinity Teachers to meet students where they are and differentiate learning experiences to help them reach their unique potential. Our teaching teams have deeply invested time and energy into knowing where each student is on the myriad of pathways needed for building a deep, strong academic foundation. Assessments have always been used at Trinity to improve student learning, and this school year, robust visual representations of student progress have been prototyped in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade for literacy assessment and in grades 2–6 for numeracy assessment. Below is a sample student result after an assessment of letter names and sounds from Mary Jacob Harris and Brooke Kelly’s Kindergarten class, one of 20 students in their class, one of 80 in their grade.
The students are assessed periodically throughout the school year, and each graph is a snapshot in time of the student’s progress. Throughout the assessments, the skills that are evaluated remain the same, while the complexity of the sounds, syllables, and words (for literacy) or numbers and operations (for numeracy) increase as the year progresses. The assessments take only minutes, and once the results are entered into our online assessment system, easy-to-read graphs populate soon after. Each benchmark falls within one of three levels and offers immediate feedback to teachers. When intervention is needed to meet a learning goal, the graph presents as orange. Student work that is approaching a learning goal presents as yellow, and student work that is meeting goal presents as green. The robustness of the assessment results visualization allows teachers to see the fruits of their labor at the student level, class level, and grade level; and student growth over time is celebrated. These continual assessments provide teachers with meaningful feedback about their instructional methods and each student’s learning progress. The results can also be shared with parents at critical junctures. “We have always collected good data, but the ability to view a student’s data so clearly has fostered visible growth to both teachers and parents,” says Kindergarten Lead Teacher Mary Jacob Harris. “With the data, we make specific goals
Letter Names and Sounds Upper Case Names (out of 26)
Lower Case Names (out of 26)
Lower Case Sounds (out of 26)
2-Approaching 1-Intervention Needed
for each student, tailor instruction to target those goals, and in turn, see growth with all of our learners.” Mary Jacob is correct. We have always done assessments, but now the data is visible, organized, and timely, allowing teachers to further tailor each student’s learning experience to meet his or her individual needs. The graphs help teachers see growth over time, which allows them to provide the necessary interventions or accelerated learning opportunities for each student. New, exciting, and impactful is how we are strengthening the systems we already have in place to know that our students are learning, building, and retaining critical academic habits and skills. “Students have been collecting and keeping track of their multiplication facts each week in their math notebooks,” says Fourth Grade Lead Teacher Brian Toth. “They take a lot of pride in getting their facts and two-digit problems correct and seeing that green proficient bar in their notebooks.” Students and teachers are focused on learning. These assessments are not tests or quizzes. No grade is attached. Diagnosis of learning—success and need—does not require a grade. Empowered to focus on what is next and confident in what they know, students take action to propel their learning forward.
“Pre-K math and literacy assessments provide teachers with a deep understanding of what our students know and what they need to learn,” says Pre-K Lead Teacher April Patton. “Using the data from our assessments, we create small group learning experiences for students who are working on similar skills. Assessment data also gives teachers the opportunity to provide targeted instruction to meet the individual needs of our learners, whether the need is for additional support or enrichment. Assessment drives instruction so all students can flourish.” Trinity’s mission is to help students build the academic and character foundation needed for success and happiness in middle school and beyond. We layer knowledge, concepts, and strategies to grow intellect and empathy, strengthen reasoning and retention, and cultivate new learning cumulatively and patiently, day after day and year after year. What gets measured, not graded, gets improved. We focus on learning, relationships, and a deep academic foundation. Committed to prevention and early intervention, our faculty know our students and take action to focus on learning, success, and confidence. From my vantage point as Director of Teaching and Learning, deeper, amazing, purposeful work is happening across our school. I know you see it, too.
Sixth Grade Teacher Kristi Story says, “Using the multiplication accuracy assessment has given the students even more ownership of their learning. They know what facts they need to work on to achieve fluency and feel a sense of accomplishment when they reach their goal.” To improve learning outcomes, prevention and early intervention are key. Dedicated to deep educational experiences, we build strong relationships with our students. Knowing where they are in their learning journey empowers teachers to design intentional scaffolding to support and challenge students to further the development of their academic and social-emotional foundation. “The assessments are so helpful for our students,” says Kindergarten Lead Teacher Shaun McCarthy. “They allow teachers to differentiate instruction and catch possible learning differences. For example, we had a student who knew all the Kindergarten sight words, but this student could not decode CVC [consonant-vowel-consonant] words. As it turned out, this student memorized the sight words and was diagnosed with mild dyslexia. Our assessment process helped flesh this out and we were better able to assist this child by using targeted Orton-Gillingham methods in small groups, and this student went on to become a solid reader and writer.” Guided and cared for by knowledgeable, informed teachers, students have the freedom to become confident, curious learners who can assess where they are, ask questions to further their learning, and take action to strengthen understanding.
Fourth Grade Lead Teacher Brian Toth assists Katherine with updating her learning progress in her math notebook.
Staff Story: Nancy Milner By Nicole Fash, Director of Marketing and Communications
Family is what is most important to Nancy Milner, administrative assistant to Early Elementary Division Head Sheree Du Preez. And family includes the community at Trinity School, where Nancy has worked since 2000. As her youngest sister, Blair, shared with me, “What means the most to Nancy is family: the one she grew up with, the one she raised, the one she married into, the one at Trinity, and the one she creates with friends she makes everywhere she goes.” Visiting with Nancy in her cozy office, you can see the truth of this statement. Hundreds of photos of current and past Trinity students and teachers sit alongside photos of her husband, children, and grandchildren on the walls next to Nancy’s desk.
Nancy loves being surrounded by photos of friends and family, including hundreds of Trinity students and teachers.
“I’m surrounded by my people,” she says with a huge smile. “Including all my little friends.” Nancy grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, one of eight children born to Earl and Jerry Clark, who were also born and raised in Norfolk. Nancy was number six in line, with two older sisters, Linda and Barbara; three older brothers, Steve, Bill, and David; one younger brother, Jim; and one younger sister, Blair. “I was very blessed to grow up in such a loving and supportive big family,” says Nancy. “My parents loved kids and being with us. They and my siblings were kind, honest, and patient. We often were referred to by friends as the ‘all-American family.’ If you needed help with something, there was always someone willing to pitch in help you out. Honestly, my siblings were my best friends.” Education was very important to Nancy’s parents, and they instilled that in their children. Her father graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in aeronautical engineering, and her mother completed a two-year program at Old Dominion, which was the Norfolk Division of William & Mary at the time. “We were very proud of our parents; they were such wonderful role models,” says Nancy. “My dad was a
mechanical engineer and ultimately owned his own business. When we were older, my mom would do seasonal work for the IRS.” Nancy makes her love for Trinity School and the work and learning that occur here clear. After struggling with mathematics through her elementary school years and subsequently her middle and high school years, she often references how she wishes that she had had the Trinity Experience when she was a child. “Mom and dad excelled at math, so I am still surprised about my struggle with math and numbers,” says Nancy. “In school, I was lost in a classroom of 28 kids, and I didn’t receive the support I needed. “I was so shy when I was little, and Trinity draws out the best in students, something I wish I had had when I was younger,” she continues. “Here, children are seen, known, and loved, and they are not overlooked. I was one of the students that fell through the cracks, and a school like Trinity would have made all the difference.” While she may have had difficulties with math, Nancy excelled in other activities at school, including tennis. She played on the first girls tennis team at her high school, then later played as a freshman and senior in college. In addition, she went out of her comfort zone to be a cheerleader her sophomore year of high school. Nancy says, “That was so not me. I don’t like being in front of people, but it really helped me come out of my shell.” After high school, Nancy intended to major in Spanish, but after spending a month in Spain during her junior year and discovering that she would have to spend a full year overseas to complete her degree, she changed her mind. Unsure of what to major in, she turned to one of her passions - art. And since she, as Nancy puts it, “loves art and had some talent,” she focused on studio art the latter half of her college career, earning a Bachelor of Arts in art from Mary Baldwin College, in Staunton, Virginia. The summer after graduation, Nancy was working as an office assistant at a law firm when she decided to pivot again, and into a role that was newly on her radar. At the age of 21, she found herself and her little yellow American Tourister suitcase on a plane to Atlanta to interview for a flight attendant position with Delta Airlines. “One of my friends from college, Becky, was dying to be a flight attendant, and I thought that was cool,” Nancy says. “Then, when I was working as a gopher at a law firm, I thought, what the heck? I had not even heard of Delta, but I applied there because Becky said that it was one of the best airlines. Next thing I know, I received a letter to come for an interview.”
Landing the job was a surprise to Nancy, and she moved to Atlanta and spent the next five years flying all over the United States, meeting new people, growing her independence and confidence, and overcoming her shyness. In 1981, she married and changed her name to Nancy Brading, then became a stay-at-home mom when her first child, Blair, was born. The joy on Nancy’s face when she talks about her family is contagious. In addition to Blair, Nancy and her first husband have two sons, Clark and Bill, and another daughter, Alison. “I always wanted to be a mama,” she says. “After Blair was born, we lived on a cul-de-sac, and there were 10 houses on it. None of us in the neighborhood had extended family in town, so we all looked out for each other, and we treated the other kids like our kids. Those were great years full of Halloween parades, Christmas festivities, and other fond memories.” After a divorce and with her children getting older, Nancy was led to go back to work. As the mother of young children in Atlanta, she knew about Trinity’s reputation and was friends with Learning Team Specialist Diane Dickey, her neighbor who was then a First-Grade teacher at Trinity. Nancy had been a substitute teacher at other schools, working with all age ranges in preschool, and Diane encouraged her to apply for an associate teacher position in the Early Learners (then called the Three-YearOlds) program. While she was not necessarily interested in working in education, Nancy was interested in working at Trinity and was excited to accept the position after interviewing with Betty Moore, the Early Learning Division coordinator at the time. Nancy says, “That turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I began teaching in the Three-YearOlds class that was known then as the Dinosaur class, with Barbara Wheaton as lead teacher and Penny Sapone as associate. Barbara and I worked together for nine years before she retired.” After Barbara’s retirement, Nancy transitioned into an administrative position as one of the School’s receptionists. Having taught for nine years, Nancy says that it was especially nice to welcome students and parents at the front desk as she knew most of them. And she says it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to embrace the whole school: parents, students, staff, and administration. In 2011, after three years as a receptionist, Nancy took on one more unexpected new role. Then-Head of School Stephen Kennedy asked her if she would like to be the administrative assistant to the Early Elementary Division Head. While she loved her role at the front desk and wasn’t sure she was ready for the technical demands of the
administrative assistant position, she took on the challenge, learning new systems and technology, once again growing in her confidence.
positive environment provided by the teachers and administrators. Everyone is here because they want to be here. They love the children and want what is best for them.”
Nancy says, “I was intimidated at first because of the computer skills I had to learn, but this job is perfect for me. I have had the great pleasure of working with Dawn Pile for two years, seven years with Rhonda Mitchell, and now finishing out my first year with our new division head, Sheree Du Preez. All such amazing and wonderful women.
With her perspectives as a teacher and a staff member, Nancy believes that she has a unique appreciation for the decision making that occurs at Trinity.
“I have a hard time describing exactly what I do to people, as every day is different,” she continues. “Primarily, I work closely with Sheree to support her and the Early Elementary faculty. Listening is a huge part of my job as well as supporting everyone downstairs. I do my best to do what’s needed at any given time, from scheduling parent and teacher meetings to forwarding paperwork to other schools or psychologists, from organizing the Speech, Language, and Hearing screenings to helping students when they need it. When I have some free time, I especially love being with the children. You can find me in the halls greeting them in the morning or stopping by a classroom to see what’s going on.” And now, more than two decades after joining the Trinity family, she is still excited to come to work every day. “This community is amazing,” Nancy says. “This is such a great place to work, and it’s not one thing, it’s the overall
“There is a reason for why things are done the way they are here,” she says. “The decisions are thoughtful, and it’s been great to be able to see the different sides of it all. And after struggling through my own experience in elementary school, I especially appreciate and respect the efforts of our teachers and the whole Trinity community.” Nancy will gain another perspective next school year, when her grandson Jack enters the Early Learners program and she becomes a Trinity grandparent. “When school started in August, and all the kids were walking in, and they were hugging the teachers, I called my daughter, Blair, and said you really need to bring Jack here. They were already thinking about it, and I am so grateful that I will have my grandson here next year,” says Nancy. In addition to her family, Nancy is motivated most by her faith in God. She says that it keeps her centered and is very important to her. “Peace, love, and happiness” is her mantra, and she doesn’t like to see others agitated and always wants to diffuse situations and lighten the load for others.
Throwback to 2007, when Nancy was photographed with her Early Learner, then called the Three-Year-Olds, teammates.
Nancy’s family gathers for a group photo in November 2021.
Fun Facts about Nancy Milner “I am a peacemaker, and I am not one to hold on to things. Sure, I will get upset, but I had a brother who was killed at 26 in a car accident. I was 21, and it rocked my world when he passed away and reinforced my belief that life was too short,” she says. Looking to the future, Nancy says she would like to continue to concentrate on her family, travel, and spend more time outdoors, where she feels the most comfortable. She married the love of her life, Fritz Milner, on June 27, 2015. Between them, they have seven children, six sonsand daughters-in-law, and nine grandsons. After Nancy and Fritz married, they moved to Fritz’s 350-acre farm in Hoschton, Georgia. After work and on the weekends, they love to ride their Kawasaki MULE around the property to discover wildlife and watch the cows graze.
Favorite food: Beef tenderloin and crab Favorite musician: Neil Diamond Secret talent: Nancy is a “master scheduler,” according to Sheree Du Preez Favorite movie: The Sound of Music Favorite school subjects: Art and English Favorite children’s book: Charlotte’s Web Favorite Flik meal: Salmon, beef tacos, barbecue pork and chicken
“I leave the city and get out there, and it’s cows and trees and a barn. It’s just completely different. I love it out there,” she says. And while she has seen Trinity evolve over the past 22 years, she looks forward to working here for years to come, meeting new friends, and adding photos to her office walls. “Even with the new location, new faces, new technologies, and other changes over the years, the wonderful spirit and mission of Trinity has remained the same. I spend more time here than I do with my family, and the overall camaraderie and care for each other keeps me here. Trinity has helped me grow in so many ways. I have received the gift of friendship, the gift of trust, the gift of kindness. And I’m grateful for it all.”
Nancy works closely with Early Elementary Division Head Sheree Du Preez.
SPOTLIGHT ON ART
40 YEARS By Leisy Stevenson, Director of Spotlight on Art and Special Events
Artists Market Co-Chairs Julia Demetrius, Nancy Suh, and Carrie Lanier; Spotlight Chair Aisha Parker; Spotlight Chair-Elect Katie Wolf; and Gala and Auction Co-Chairs Patty Alias and Bradley Sosebee
This school year marks the 40th anniversary of Spotlight on Art, an exciting series of art events that raises money for Trinity School. Established in 1982, Spotlight has grown from a small fundraising art show to an array of exhibits that are renowned in the art world! After the pandemic required us to reinvent or cancel Spotlight events last school year, this school year’s Spotlight on Art came back stronger than ever. After all the receipts were totaled and artists were paid, I am excited to announce that Spotlight has raised $735,000 for Trinity School! This record-breaking number was only possible because
of the army of volunteers who help make each individual event a success. A special thank you to this year’s Spotlight leadership team: Spotlight Chair Aisha Parker; Spotlight Chair-Elect Katie Wolf; Artists Market Co-Chairs Julia Demetrius, Carrie Lanier, and Nancy Suh; and Gala and Auction Co-Chairs Patty Alias and Bradley Sosebee. These individuals devoted countless hours to planning, organizing, and executing Spotlight’s series of events that benefits Trinity in multiple ways. Thank you for making SOA’s 40th anniversary so special!
Gala and Auction
Gala and Auction
Pop-Up Gallery at Neiman Marcus We kicked off the Spotlight on Art season with our Pop-Up Gallery at Neiman Marcus at Lenox Square, which was held October 2–24, 2021. The event included thoughtfully curated artwork from four preeminent contemporary artists: AK Hardeman, Dawn Trimble, Joe Turner, and Katherine Wirth. All work was available for purchase.
An Evening with Neiman Marcus at Eleanor’s Place On November 2, 2021, a group of Trinity parents enjoyed An Evening with Neiman Marcus at Eleanor’s Place. This sold-out event featured a fall fashion trends presentation by Neiman Marcus Public Relations Manager Rebecca Brodnan, artist Katherine Wirth, and Eleanor’s Place owner and Trinity parent Jennifer Morgan. Guests also enjoyed shopping, light bites, and bubbly.
Pop-Up Shop at Trinity School The Spotlight on Art Pop-Up Shop took place at Trinity during conferences on November 8 and 9, 2021. The twoday event featured artwork, jewelry, spirit wear, and items for the home. It was the perfect opportunity to shop for loved ones for the holidays.
Artists Market This year’s Artists Market was once again held in the Allison Williams Activity Center (AWAC), which was transformed into a 6,000-square-foot gallery. The Market featured the work of more than 250 artists, ranging from realism to jewelry, whimsical to contemporary. Held from January 31– February 5, the week included two signature evening events,
An Evening with Neiman Marcus at Eleanor’s Place
the Opening Night Celebration on January 31 and Cocktails & Canvases: Meet the Artists on February 4. Grossing more than $1.4 million in art and jewelry sales, we are proud to report that the 2022 Artist Market was our most successful show to date!
40th Anniversary Luncheon On February 2, we welcomed former Spotlight chairs to a 40th anniversary luncheon. It was so fun to share stories and memories of Spotlight over the years and welcome everyone back to campus. Following the lunch, many of the attendees stopped by the Artists Market to shop and continue to reminisce.
Gala and Auction To cap off the Spotlight season, we held our annual Gala and Auction for the Trinity community. Four-hundred attendees composed of parents, faculty, staff, and special guests attended this sold-out event that was held on February 26 at the Atlanta History Center. The event included a seated dinner by Bold Catering and Design, cocktails, a silent and live auction, and music by The Tams.
2022 Nonprofit Beneficiary: Ronald McDonald House Continuing Spotlight’s service-learning tradition, Trinity’s Sixth Grade Leadership Class selected Ronald McDonald House as this year’s nonprofit beneficiary to receive a monetary gift from Spotlight on Art. The Sixth Graders wrote encouraging notes to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
Gala and Auction
Artists Market Opening Night
40th Anniversary Luncheon
Pop-Up Gallery at Neiman Marcus
Pop-Up Shop at Trinity School
As they prepare for the Sixth-Grade opera performance of Carmen in May 2012, Grace Nichols ’12 and Julie Street ’12 pose for a photo with Caroline Stewart ’12, Isabel Morgan ’12, and Emma Lin ’12.
a 20-year friendship
By Katie Hammett, Director of The Trinity Fund and Major Gifts
Theirs is a friendship that began in the Butterfly class 20 years ago. Grace Nichols ’12 and Julie Street ’12 became fast friends in 2002 during their Early Learner year at Trinity School, bonding over shared experiences and beloved Trinity traditions. Neither could have anticipated that the relationship sparked at Trinity would carry them into their college years, but this spring they will both graduate from Rice University with cherished childhood memories and a unique bond that ties all Trinity students together. When asked about their favorite Trinity traditions and memories, the usual favorites like the Sixth Grade Opera, Wagon Train, and Pre-K Olympics popped up, but Julie also reflected on the opportunity she had to play Marie in the Fifth-Grade production of The Nutcracker.
“It was a really big moment for me because I was on the shy side as a kid and it gave me a chance to step outside of my shell and show my peers what I could do,” Julie says. Both Grace and Julie excel in mathematics and science, so it comes as no surprise that both ladies named Kate Burton as one of their favorite Trinity Teachers. Julie says, “Mrs. Burton made science interesting, and she always made sure our classroom was a safe place!” Grace echoes Julie’s sentiments and says, “I loved Mrs. Burton’s great sense of humor and energy; she really made me feel special and cared about.” A decade after Grace and Julie completed their Trinity journeys, we are grateful that Mrs. Burton continues to share her passion for science with our students. After graduating from Trinity in 2012, Grace and Julie attended The Westminster Schools, where their love of learning continued to grow. While both naturally explored new opportunities and friendships, they remained connected through the robotics team and other extracurricular activities. After graduating in 2018, as fate would have it, Grace and Julie found themselves together once again at Rice University.
Then-Fourth Graders Grace and Julie smile for the camera during the May 2010 Fun and Field Day.
Twenty years after beginning their educational journeys together at Trinity, Grace and Julie are both graduating from Rice University this spring.
In 2002, Grace and Julie enjoy ballet together as three-year-olds.
With older siblings performing in the 2010 Sixth Grade opera performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, then-Fourth Graders Isabel Morgan ’12, Grace, and Julie wait in the audience to go on stage.
Grace says, “I have known Julie since we were in the same three-year-old class. We bonded over our mutual love of crafts and refusal to ever grow up. She’s the only person [at Rice] who has known me since childhood and that’s a very special bond.”
things that I didn’t think I was interested in opened me up to so many great things I never would have known about. Also, if you wear braces, please, please, please wear your retainer. If you don’t, you will regret it for the rest of your life.”
Both Grace and Julie have big plans after graduation, with Grace accepting a position with Meta (Facebook) in New York and Julie accepting a position at Accenture in Houston. Julie credits Trinity for fostering her career path. “Trinity gave me the opportunity to explore my passions and get the individualized attention from teachers that I needed to learn and flourish,” she says. “That environment in my early years ended up being an amazing foundation for future academic success.” When asked what advice she would give to Trinity students today, Grace says, “Always keep an open mind about what you want to do with your life, whether it’s choosing clubs to join, your college major, or your career path. Trying new
Posed with the same question, Julie says, “Explore your passions and stay true to yourself. Don’t let the world put you into a box by telling you what you should or should not do or who you should or should not be; there’s something out there for everyone and sometimes you must try and fail before you get there.” We look forward to hearing more from these two alums in the coming years, celebrating their connection to each other and to Trinity School. “I wouldn’t trade my experience [at Trinity] for anything,” Julie says. “We all have a special bond and take Trinity’s saying ‘Once a Trinity child, always a Trinity child’ seriously. It’s something that will always connect us.”
Alumni Events Class of 2021 Reunion On October 5, 2021, our youngest alums and their parents were invited back on campus to connect with their former classmates and friends. Members of the Class of 2021 met in the Allison Williams Activity Center (AWAC), shared stories about their new schools, enjoyed pizza, and visited with some former Trinity Teachers.
The Class of 2021 pose for a group photo.
Members of the Class of 2021 enjoy catching up over pizza.
Fifth Grade Lead Teacher Kathy Bruyn takes a photo with former students Mary Sellers Conley ’21, Natasha Johnson ’21, and Sophie Hart ’21.
Class of 2020 Reunion On October 19, 2021, the Class of 2020 and their parents were welcomed back on campus for their first official reunion since they graduated. We were excited to host this reunion for these young alums, who had to postpone their reunion due to the pandemic. These resilient Trinity graduates shared memories, talked about their current schools, enjoyed a pizza dinner, and took a trip down memory lane while playing in the Gaga pit and walking through Discovery Woods.
Members of the Class of 2020 gather for a group photo.
Tristan Sindoni ’20, Robert Suh ’20, Brent Karasick ’20, and Mac Hartley ’20 enjoy catching up on the Upper Elementary playground.
Colby Frieden ’20 smiles for the camera as she and her former classmates catch up in the Gaga pit.
Alumni Night at Trinity School The Trinity Alumni Association hosted its annual Alumni Night at Trinity School on November 17, 2021. Alumni 21 and older were invited onto campus to hear an update from Head of School Joe Marshall, connect with other alumni, and enjoy dinner and drinks catered by Nuevo Laredo. After dinner, everyone was encouraged to separate into teams so they could play a memorable game of Trinity trivia. Alumni searched deep in their memories to recall many crucial details to help them win the game. It was a wonderful evening making new memories with old Trinity friends.
Head of School Joe Marshall addresses alums at the beginning of Alumni Night.
Catherine Humann Callaway ’97 laughs with fellow alums Susanne Inman Frayser ’96 and Louis Battey ’99.
Clay Prickett ’96 peruses an old yearbook with Joe Marshall.
Class Notes In Memoriam Trinity receptionist Katherine “Kate” Smith Brissette was surrounded by her family when she passed away peacefully on February 14 after a year-and-a-half battle with cancer. Kate was a beloved member of the Trinity family for more than two decades. She began as an admissions assistant in September 2001 and moved to the role of receptionist in 2012. Born on March 6, 1956, Kate grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut, and was the daughter of Edmund Scully Smith and Eleanor McGrath Smith. She moved to Atlanta after attending Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, and meeting her future husband, James “Jim” Brissette, during a trip to Europe. A great lover of the outdoors, Kate was an avid tennis player and loved to snow ski, swim, and run. She touched so many lives throughout her 21 years at Trinity, and we will all miss her and her warm greetings and good humor. “Kate was a wonderful colleague and friend,” says Head of School Joe Marshall. “We miss her greatly, and her loss will be felt for years to come.” Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Kate’s husband of 42 years, Jim; their two grown children, Ellie (Alex) and Alex (Athena); their two grandchildren; and the rest of their family.
Visit www.trinityatl.org/alumni to submit Class Notes and update your contact information.
Former Trinity Trustee and one-time Board Chair James “Jim” Bayard Carson Jr. passed away on October 31, 2021, after successfully fighting chronic lymphocytic leukemia for more than 12 years. An Atlanta native, Jim was born to Lila Boswell Carson and James Bayard Carson on January 25, 1939. After attending Grady and Northside High Schools and graduating as valedictorian, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University. Jim then married Anne Holden, the love of his life and best friend since they were both 16. Jim, who went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University, had a very successful career in business and real estate, ultimately rising to the position of chairman and Chief Executive Officer of commercial development company Carter & Associates. Since 1956, Jim was an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and as a member, then chairman of the church’s board of trustees. When Trinity School became independent from the church in 1974, Jim was the Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees until 1980, and he served subsequent terms through 2016. According to his wife, Jim’s greatest legacy after his family is Trinity School. “We routinely say at Trinity that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, those who made the School what it is today,” says Trinity’s Chairman of the Board Bill Jordan. “This could not be a truer statement about Jim Carson. Without his involvement, leadership, and sacrifices, Trinity School would likely not even be in existence. Jim served as Board Chair during a critical time of growth and change for the School. He was instrumental in the move of the School from Trinity Presbyterian Church, when the School moved to the seven-acre campus, formerly the Birney School, in 1980. He graciously returned for a final term on the Board from 2007 to 2016, providing thoughtful counsel to many, including me.” A civic-minded individual, Jim was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1973 and over the years was active in many organizations, including Central Atlanta Progress Executive Committee, Atlanta Business Roundtable, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia State Chamber of Commerce President’s Council, and the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Jim served on Emory University’s board, the Carter Center board of counselors, and Families First board of advisors. In addition, he chaired the New Georgia Commission Capital Construction Task Force and was a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors and the Regional Leadership Forum. Jim was also appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to serve on his Capital Asset Management Advisory Council. Jim was incredibly wise and will be sorely missed. He lived a remarkable life and left everything he touched the better for his involvement. Our deepest sympathies are with his wife of 60 years, Anne; their children, James “Jay” Bayard Carson III ’79, Gerry Carson ’81 (Ashley), and Catherine Carson Hayes ’87 (Michael); their grandchildren, Gerry Holden Carson Jr., Kent Cassell Carson, Michael Webster Hayes Jr., and Carson Bayard Hayes; and the rest of their family.
Susan Ellinger Shaylor ’80 works full time outside of the home and enjoys staying busy with her children, Sam and Elizabeth. David Bockel ’89 is a lead financial advisor with Resource Planning Group, an Atlanta-based provider of comprehensive/holistic financial planning. Jennifer White Hocutt ’95 is the director of leadership development at Aveanna Healthcare. She says that her love for leadership began during her Fifth-Grade year in Maryellen Berry’s class. Lindsay Garfield ’99 recently began her role as a senior producer at CNN+ in New York.
William Duncan Shepard ’99 currently resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife, Anna, and their baby boy, Findlay, who was born in August 2021. William became a practicing oral surgeon after graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, University of Texas School of Dentistry, Rice University, and The Lovett School.
Cooper Carter ’01 and his wife, Rebekah Carter, welcomed their daughter, Claire Carter, on November 24, 2021. The family resides in Atlanta.
Ginny Weinmann Vijay ’02 and husband Sagar Vijay welcomed their son, Kesav, on November 7, 2021. Ginny is delighted to work remotely for Atlanta-based startup PadSplit, working to solve the affordable housing crisis. Hayden Williams Anthony ’03 married John Randle Anthony on November 6, 2021, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. The happy couple resides in New York. Alexis Kirton ’05 graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University in May 2021. She now works for Electronic Arts (EA) in marketing and data analytics. Alexis currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, but will relocate to the Bay Area in mid-2022. Blythe Coward ’06 is currently living in Atlanta working for CNN as a content insights analyst.
After graduating in 2019 from Georgia Tech, where Cici Calhoun ’09 spent four years as a student athletic trainer for Georgia Tech Sports Medicine, she decided to take some time to get additional medical experience in aesthetic medicine and optometry. Cici began Mercer University’s physician assistant program and had her White Coat Ceremony in January. She is expected to graduate in May 2024. Sydney Kirton ’09 graduated with her Master of Science in psychology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in November 2021.
Bryn McCarthy ’09 is working for Fox Business News as a booking producer. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
After graduating from Baylor University, Claire Hudson ’10 married William Brown in December 2020 and now teaches kindergarten in Houston, Texas.
Visit www.trinityatl.org/alumni to submit Class Notes and update your contact information.
Grey McCarthy ’11 is a senior analyst for United Bank and currently resides in Washington, DC. Grey is pictured with his sister, Bryn McCarthy ’09, and his parents, Kevin and Shaun McCarthy, who is a Trinity Kindergarten teacher.
Garrett Moorman ’11 graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Science in finance and is an associate consultant at Slalom Consulting in Atlanta.
Megan Roddenbery ’11 graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wake Forest University in May 2021 and is currently a medical assistant for Dr. Letha Griffin at Peachtree Orthopedics. Megan will begin medical school at Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, Georgia, in August. Kate Carson ’13 is flourishing at University of Virginia, where she is in the McIntire School of Commerce. She plans to graduate in 2023 with a double major in finance and IT. She will intern with KPMG this summer in New York City. Angus Carson ’14 is thriving at Auburn University and is on the executive board of his fraternity. He is planning to attend law school after Auburn and will be in Atlanta this summer doing an internship at a Conley Griggs Partin LLP. Will Moorman ’14 is a sophomore at University of Georgia, where he enjoyed cheering the Dawgs on to their National Championship win in football. He is planning to major in business. In August 2021, Julia Rhee ’15 and two friends helped start the Atlanta MakHERs Market, which benefits My Sister’s House, the Atlanta Mission’s overnight shelter for unhoused women and children. The pop-up featured local femaleowned businesses, high school artisans, and a unique thrift store. A portion of each vendor’s profits and 100 percent of the proceeds from the boutique went to My Sister’s House. Julia began attending Stanford University last fall after graduating from The Westminster Schools.
Trinity alumni from the Class of 2016 gathered for a group photo to celebrate their senior year at The Lovett School.
Front Row: Liza Montag, Natalie Marshall, Jacqueline Draughon, Lily Puricelli, Lexi Thomas, Amy Kight, Logan Easterly, Peyton Kanaly, Campbell Key Back Row: Ben Foster, Morgan Whittle, Noah Whittle, Owen Armentrout, William Malone, Xander Williams, John Mori, Hunt Shurling, Julia Jamieson, Stewart Key Not Pictured: Mary Collier Childress
Edward Blaha ’16 and George Blaha ’16 have set multiple cross country records at Pace Academy and look forward to running for Columbia University in the fall.
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Christian Cain ’16, a senior at Marist School, has earned four varsity letters in softball and will be attending the University of the South (Sewanee) to play softball next year. Jacqueline Draughon ’16 is a National Honor Society student at The Lovett School. She will attend Texas Christian University, where she was accepted early decision. Matthew Fernando ’16 holds the current school record at The Westminster Schools in the 800m, 5K, 4x800 relay team, and 4x1600 relay team. He was also named the Individual Georgia State Champ XC in 2021. In the fall, Matthew will attend the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, where he will run track and cross country. Ben Foster ’16 was recently featured in the Atlanta Intown and Reporter Newspapers 20 Under 20 list. Ben co-founded PRISM, an initiative designed to encourage The Lovett School to be more inclusive for all things LGBT+ in its curriculum, programming, and leadership decisions. Ben was honored with Lovett’s Nancy Fraser Parker Citizenship Award to honor well-rounded students who are actively involved in school-sponsored programs, and he also served on the school’s Student Diversity Leadership Council.
Asia Bay Jacobs ’16 was crowned Homecoming Queen at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in the fall of 2021.
Everett Markwalter ’16 received the Roy T. Benson Award for cross country, which is the highest award a runner can receive at Marist School. It goes to a senior who embodies all the values of a top Marist cross country runner. He also recently learned that he has been named a National Merit Finalist. Whitaker Swann ’16 joined the cross-country team in Sixth Grade at The Westminster Schools. This year, he was team captain and has run on the state team for the last two years. Whitaker placed 11th at state in their division this year and helped Westminster win the championship.
Visit www.trinityatl.org/alumni to submit Class Notes and update your contact information.
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Marshall Cain ’18 is a sophomore at Marist School. He is heavily involved with the school’s theater program and was cast in a principal role in Xanadu, this spring’s musical. Marshall is pictured performing in The Old Man and The Old Moon, Marist’s production in fall 2021.
In December 2021, Trinity alums performed in Whitefield Academy’s sold-out musical production of Guys and Dolls. Pictured are Wyatt Bonner ’16 as Nathan Detroit, Reilly Cullen ’17 as Harry the Horse, and Will Overstreet ’17 as NicelyNicely Johnson. Davis Hollis ’17 is now a proud Eagle Scout and junior at Woodward Academy.
Lindsey Johnson ’17 is a varsity cheerleader and was named Ms. 11th Grade at North Atlanta High School. She is pictured with her parents after her Trinity Opera performance as Fate in Carmen in the spring of 2017. Church Simon ’17 has been accepted to study at The University of Saint Andrews in Scotland this summer and recently accepted the honor of being a Young Ambassador at the Atlanta History Center.
Edee Moorman ’18 is a sophomore at The Mount Vernon School, where she plays volleyball and tennis and was a member of the inaugural varsity girls flag football team. Her club volleyball team recently won a gold medal in a regional tournament.
Anselm ’21 and Max Bell ’21 were delighted to be a part of the team that won the State Championship for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) in January.
19 20 Visit www.trinityatl.org/alumni to submit Class Notes and update your contact information. 84
of joyful learning.
All of Trinity School’s resources are devoted to building strong, independent young minds. For 70 years, Trinity has fostered a joyful love of learning, in which each child develops the knowledge, skills, and character to achieve his or her unique potential as a responsible, productive, and compassionate member of the School and greater community. The Trinity Fund is the foundation of philanthropic support for Trinity students and everything they experience at Trinity. Gifts to this annual giving initiative are used to address the School’s immediate needs, such as curricular enhancements, classroom improvements, faculty salaries, technology, and need-based financial assistance.
The Trinity Fund gives the School the necessary resources to elevate the Trinity Experience from a great one to an exceptional one. Join us as we strive for 100 percent participation in The Trinity Fund. Your support and generosity ensure that our students will continue to flourish for years to come. To make your gift, please visit www.trinityatl.org/give or contact Katie Hammett, Director of The Trinity Fund and Major Gifts, at 404-760-4407 or email@example.com.
To count towards the 2021–22 Trinity Fund, your gift must be received or postmarked by June 30, 2022.
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