I have mixed emotions as I write this letter of resignation, effective June 30, 2020. While my work at GPS continues to be challenging and meaningful, I have been offered, and have accepted, another school leadership opportunity, one that will take me back to my Virginia roots and, most importantly, enable my children to have both of their parents in their daily lives.
I will be forever grateful to my GPS colleagues and trustees for their unwavering devotion to our students and our mission. My time at GPS has been marked by professional and personal growth, and during my tenure we have increased our clarity about our mission and values, created intentional programming related to the social-emotional development of girls, and grown our curricular and co-curricular programmatic offerings informed by brain research and best practices for growing girls into women of purpose and integrity. Additionally, with the support of our Board of Trustees and senior leadership team, we have significantly improved our operational practices that are positioning GPS for sustainability well into the 21st century.
In preparing our SAIS interim report for the school’s continued accreditation, I am struck by what we’ve accomplished since July 2014. As I reflect on the past five years, however, what is most meaningful to me are the relationships I have built with a wide range of GPS community members. I have loved joining in solidarity for the good of girls with the teachers, staff, coaches, and trustees. I’ve been honored to travel on behalf of the school to learn the stories of GPS alumnae across the country. I love bringing their stories back to Chattanooga. These stories are inspirational for current students and their parents and are incredible affirmations for the investment of time and devotion our teachers and coaches make in girls.
Equally as important have been the everyday relationships I have been fortunate to build with Chattanoogans who have worn the dress (uniform) that uniquely identifies GPS students. I have learned that the dress is more than a uniform; it's a visual representation of girls who are strong, thoughtful, resilient, and honorable. There is never a question by anyone I encounter that GPS girls are well-educated and know how to use that education to improve the lives of those around them.
While the adult community has been wonderful, it is the girls who have truly inspired me to strive to be my best self. I have loved my interactions with students. Their clarity of perspective and purpose have informed so many of the strategic and operational decisions I have made. Additionally, I have enjoyed seeing girls in action in our Makerspace, rowing down the Tennessee River, singing with an angelic quality on our stage, and engaging in the Chattanooga community in ways that build leadership capacity.
I am deeply proud of my colleagues who have enhanced the school’s value to girls of the Chattanooga region. I am grateful for the incredible support they have extended to me as a mother. When I first learned of GPS, Vann and I only dreamed of having children. Now almost six years later, we have expanded our family with two native Chattanoogans.
The GPS community will always have a special place in my heart for both professional and personal reasons. Please know that I stand ready to assist you and the board in the transition. I am also fully committed to GPS until my last day on campus.
Here's to the girls of the GPS–past, present, and future,