Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Student and Parent Orientation

It was great seeing all of the new students and their parents today during our new student orientations in the Middle and Upper Schools. Most impressive were our student ambassadors who did an amazing job of introducing themselves to all the new students and taking the time to get to know them before taking them around the school.

One parent commented that her child told her that GDS "is the friendliest school she's ever been too." I'm sure that warmed her heart.  As a parent, it always made me feel great when my child reported that they enjoyed themselves at school.

When I spoke to the new Upper School parents I shared the story of one of our graduates who joined us as a sophomore. When I first met her in the hallway of the administration building during her tour of the school three years ago, I asked her if she was ready to study hard.  She replied that she was, and I commented that if that were the case she would do well at GDS. Over the next two years she applied herself, and many of our faculty reached out to support her in becoming a stronger student. I watched as her grades steadily improved and enjoyed seeing her play basketball. 

But, in the fall of her junior year, she tore her ACL and it took her out of basketball for the season.  Being an eager learner and not wanting to sit still, she become heavily involved in several of our clubs and non-athletic activities to the extent of becoming a student leader. The most amazing thing was that she tried out for the spring drama production and landed a key role in To Kill a Mockingbird. When I went to the opening night's performance I could not have been more amazed!  Here was our star basketball player acting on stage as if she was born to it.

I was so impressed that this young lady had taken advantage of so many of the wonderful things that our school has to offer. Her senior year found her back playing basketball, but courting a greater scene of herself and her ability both on and off the court. In fact, she landed one of the lead roles in our fall musical, Hairspray. I'm sure that if she had not injured her leg, we might never have heard her wonderful voice and enjoyed her spectacular acting.

Her story is just one of the many that our faculty and staff could share about our students.

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