Jenise Gordon, Head of Upper School
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in biology from Union University (Jackson, Tennessee), Jenise Gordon went on to obtain her M.Ed. in curriculum and Instruction from Union. She earned the distinction of being Student Teacher of the Year during her senior year at Union. She also won the honor of First-Year Teacher of the Year in her first school district and Teacher of the Year twice at GPS.
In 2018, Gordon celebrated 30 years of volunteer service to Tennessee Girls State, where she rose through the ranks as a junior counselor, senior counselor, lead senior counselor, and now staff member. Currently, she serves as the Citizenship Director and is in charge of a team that develops the educational content for the program. She will serve on the Junior League Advisory Board in 2018-19.
“Girls State is where I first began to understand the power of single-sex education,” Gordon says. “We champion each other through the successes and pick each other up after each fall. I see that every day at GPS. For a long time, I thought it was the magic of Girls State and the program, but the all-girl environment is a defining factor.”
Away from GPS, Gordon enjoys the outdoors—golfing, hiking, fishing, or working in her yard and garden. Her biggest love is traveling to incredible places, and she makes a point to avoid visiting the same place twice—the exception being New York City for the Broadway shows.
Of all the GPS traditions, Cum Laude is Gordon’s absolute favorite. “No other day highlights the special relationships that develop between our faculty members and our girls,” she says. “If time permitted, I am confident there would be a teacher who could speak specifically about each girl in way that moves the soul. I cry every year!”