Former students speak with current GPS classes on relatable topics.
It wouldn’t be a GPS Alumnae Weekend if our incredible former students weren’t afforded the opportunity to speak to and interact with our current students. On the Friday of reunion weekend, 11 alumnae volunteered for Real Talk, a program created four years ago out of desire to provide an intentional, thoughtful platform for our alumnae to share their wisdom and experience with their younger GPS sisters.
Joining us this year were GPS students from the classes of 1989 through 2014. During students’ Friday IMPACT period, the classes met by grade around campus to hear our alumnae share their stories.
Emily You ’14 | Seniors | How to Open Doors of Opportunity
Heather Parman Miller ’09 | Juniors | Resilience
Lauren Lawrence Swanson ’09 | Sophomores | Unexpected Life Paths
Lela Miller Moore ’94 | Freshmen | Personal Branding
Marissa Shrum ’99 | Eighth-graders | Unexpected Life Paths
Tara Shanahan, Emily Cullum, Emma Berry, and Lucy Whitfield, Class of 2014 | Seventh-graders | How to Balance Personal Growth and Friendships
Taylor Pels ’14 | Sixth-graders | Balancing Responsibilities/Personal Time
Later during Chapel, children’s book author Amy Edgar Sklansky ’89 spoke to the entire student body about her road to becoming a multi-published author. While being interviewed by Upper School Dean of Students, Sarah Young Jackson ’06, Sklansky shared her love of reading that began in childhood. At GPS, Sklansky was the editor of Kaleidoscope (yearbook) and the GPS magazine. After college, she worked for a publisher in New York City but was drawn to the charm and long shelf-life of children’s literature, and in 1999, she took a leap of faith and became an author herself.
“I love hearing people say one of my books is their child’s favorite,” she said. “And my hope is they will one day read the books they loved as children to their own kids.” In total, she’s written 11 books—poetry collections, board books, picture books—for children.
Sklansky often visits schools or FaceTimes classrooms and libraries as a way to interact with her readers and says she enjoys talking with students and teachers about her writing process. Speaking to GPS students was special as she was able to share with students, who today walk the same halls she once did, to keep their options open and explore their passions, because one never knows what path her career might take.