The GPS Community Celebrates Class Day

Students receive achievement awards in academics, athletics, the arts, and citizenship.
Class Day marks the last time the entire student body gathers together as a school to commemorate the successes of their classmates. It’s a day of celebration, as students in each grade are recognized for their achievements throughout the year. As they do the first day of school, it is customary for the girls to wear their dress uniforms in their grade colors on Class Day: seniors in white, juniors in yellow, sophomores in pink, freshmen in green, eighth-graders in lavender, seventh-graders in light blue, and sixth-graders in navy.

This year’s Class Day festivities were a bit different due to COVID protocols—seniors gathered in the Frierson Theatre as they have for Chapel all year long, while underclassmen gathered in their advisories—but the celebratory nature of the day remained intact.

To begin the Class Day ceremony, Astha Sinha, chairwoman of the Class of 2021, welcomed those attending in person and virtually. She then touched on the theme of the year, “Be the Torch,” which was selected by class leaders at the beginning of the year. “Today is the day we will celebrate our classmates who boldly and courageously carried out the torch this year. Their flame symbolizes their influence and leadership at our school, but also in the world around them,” she said. “We congratulate each one of you who is recognized today for finding the courage to ignite your flame, perseverance to endure challenges, the sisterhood to sustain your flame, and the leadership to assist others in discovering their own.”

Following Astha’s introduction, students heard a recorded version of the traditional “Where Oh Wheres,” as each class in turn bid farewell to their year and respective grades. The seniors were able to proudly proclaim they would be “safe in the college world!” as they prepare to become GPS alumnae.

After the award ceremony, students enjoyed lunch on the DeFoor Patio while the seniors practiced for tomorrow’s Commencement ceremony—including walking across the Smith Courtyard, pausing for photos, and shaking hands—and then posed for a group photo while wearing their college sweatshirts.

Then all students received a yearbook and made their way throughout campus to sign each other’s copies. This year’s Kaleidoscope cover bears the Greek word χαρμολύπη (written in English as “charmolypi”) in gold foil. The term, which is technically untranslatable to English, represents a feeling of sorrowful joy. The yearbook co-editors, Alison Williams ’21 and Molly Ann Hathorne ’21, selected this theme because they felt it embodied the Class of 2021, who faced an atypical senior year with optimism, grace, and strength.

Congratulations to the following students for their awards today. We appreciate and acknowledge your dedication to the arts, athletics, academics, your classmates, and your community. The awards presentation can be viewed on our YouTube channel here.

Senior Awards
Presented by Dr. R. Kirk Walker Jr., Interim Head of School

Ethel B. Poston Valedictorian Award | Lily DuPlooy ’21 & Maggie Parsley ’21 
The Ethel B. Poston Valedictorian Award is presented to the senior who has maintained the highest grade average during her four years in Upper School.

Rickie Pierce Salutatorian Award | Hunter McVay ’21
The Rickie Pierce Salutatorian Award is presented to the senior who has maintained the second-highest grade average during her four years in Upper School.

Mary Hannah Tucker Faculty Award | Mattie Ballentine ’21
The Mary Hannah Tucker Award is given to a senior who has given her best as a student, as a friend and as a leader—a girl who lifts the spirits of those around her and consistently stands for right and fair play. Nominations are made by seniors and faculty and, from the nominees, the recipient is selected by Head of School and Head of Upper School.

Founders Award | Maggie Parsley ’21
The Founders Award is given to a senior whose character and integrity have had a most wholesome influence on the GPS community. Nominations are made by seniors and faculty and, from the nominees, the recipient is selected by Head of School and Head of Upper School.

Daughters of the American Revolution Award | Morgan Brown ’21
The DAR Award is given to a senior who displays outstanding citizenship.

Pete Wood Award | Astha Sinha ’21
The Pete Wood Award is presented to a senior who has great dedication and loyalty to GPS, her classmates, and the faculty.

Patsy Williams Scott Service Award | Talley Lyons ’21
The Patsy Williams Scott Service Award is presented to a senior who has actively participated in school affairs, often in behind-the-scene ways, and who has given unselfish, exceptional service to GPS.

Jane Henegar Noble Christian Award | Anna Beth Coffman ’21
The Jane Henegar Noble Christian Award is presented to a senior who actively pursues Christ, joyfully and energetically serves the needs of others, and whose God-inspired character shines brightly as a beacon of His gifts of love and grace. The “Book of Prayers” is given.

Betsy Chisolm Silberman Award | Shreena Patel ’21
The Betsy Chisolm Silberman Award is given to a member of the senior class who is a true servant-leader, who never seeks recognition for herself, and who always shows empathy and concern for others’ perspectives as she inspires those around her to follow her sterling example.

Laura Handly Award | Lily DuPlooy ’21
The Laura Handley Award is given to a member of the senior class who shows promise of becoming a community leader and who has been developing that leadership in a quiet way.

Roberta Moore Award | Addie Youmans ’21
The Roberta Moore Award is presented annually to a senior with a twinkle in her eye and a laugh in her heart, who has repeatedly placed school above self.

Barbara Johnson Prickett Award | Alison Williams ’21
The recipient of the Barbara Johnson Prickett Award must demonstrate qualities of wise leadership, sincere friendship, and involvement in a variety of school activities.

Upper School Awards
Presented by Ms. Jenise Gordon, Head of Upper School

Marilyn Sherman Center Award | Ella Harris ’24
The award is given to a freshman who exemplifies the qualities of Marilyn Sherman Center ’58; she is kind, thoughtful, and sensitive to the needs of others and should possess a sincere love of the arts and for GPS.

Frances Wheeler Freshman Cup | Abigail Carpenter ’24
The Frances Wheeler Freshman Cup is awarded by the National Honor Society to a freshman who exemplifies scholarship, character, leadership, and service.

Dora Maclellan Brown Christian Leadership Award | Caroline & Gigi Breazeale ’24
The Dora Maclellan Brown Christian Leadership Award honors a freshman who has demonstrated the most outstanding Christian leadership during her time at GPS.

Sophomore Bowl | Hannah Grace Kornberg ’23
The Sophomore Bowl is given each year to the sophomore who most nearly represents the ideal GPS student. She should be loyal to the school, a good student, and a consistent worker. The recipient is chosen by the Student Council from a selection of nominees.

Dorris Chapin Wells Award | Caroline Clark ’23
Given annually to a beloved and enthusiastic member of the Sophomore Class who has an infectious personality exudes creativity, is loyal to her classmates, and is dedicated to the GPS experience.

Battle Award | Louisa Bohner ’22
Given to a junior, the Battle Award recognizes a student with a B average (or higher) who demonstrates leadership in academic or extracurricular activities, effective time management, and versatility. The winner, who should be enthusiastically active in sports, is honored by having a scholarship provided to a younger student who otherwise could not attend GPS.

Palmer Griffin Award | Evie Jackson ’22
This award is given annually in memory of Palmer Griffin ’08, who courageously battled leukemia during her junior year at GPS, to a member of the junior class who captures the essence of Palmer—the vibrant center of athletic teams and class activities throughout her years at GPS. The recipient is vivacious, fearless, unselfish, and compassionate. She is a positive leader who lives life to the fullest and is animated and fun, constantly impacting the lives of others through her caring exuberance.

Middle School Awards
Presented by Mrs. Lynne Macziewski, Head of Middle School

Margaret Wheland Cate Award | Nora Cate Armstrong ’27
The Margaret Wheland Cate Award is given to a member of the sixth-grade class who possesses Margaret’s character traits of dedication and determination as shown through her level of involvement in school activities and her loyalty to GPS.

Joan Haley Frierson Award | Molly Ransom ’27
The Joan Haley Frierson Award is given to the sixth-grade girl whose positive attitude and strong leadership abilities set her apart. She leads others in a wise and gracious manner and has made a significant contribution to the school during her sixth-grade year.

Ruth Schmidt Award | Emma Rose Pratt ’26
The Ruth Schmidt Award is given to the seventh-grade girl, whose love and enthusiastic support for her school make her an invaluable asset, not only to her class but to the entire GPS family.

Thedford Award | Macy Poole ’26
The Thedford Award is given to an outstanding member of the seventh-grade class.

Janet Campbell Jackson Award | Ella Beth Weidmer ’25
Presented in memory of Janet Campbell Jackson, this is given to an eighth-grader who participates in GPS activities and is respected by her classmates.

DAR Youth Citizenship Award | Mabry Cook ’25
The DAR Youth Citizenship Award is given to an eighth-grader who possesses the following characteristics: honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism.

Athletic Awards
Presented by Mr. Jay Watts, Athletic Director

Robinson Sportsmanship Cup | Sydney Morris ’21
The Robinson Sportsmanship Cup, awarded for the first time in 1949 by Justine and Grace Robinson, is presented to the athlete who, in the eyes of her teammates, best exemplifies good sportsmanship.

Mary Alice Hood Chambers Award | Kensley Boyd ’24
Given to a girl in the eighth or ninth grade, the Mary Alice Hood Chambers Award is awarded to someone who has displayed a sense of honor and a sense of humor in her relationships with her peers as well as in her estimation of herself. Her ability and participation in sports is equal to her awareness and respect for sportsmanship; her capacity for friendship knows no limits.

Elizabeth Collier Farmer Award | McKamey Bratcher ’23 
This award is presented to a sophomore who best exemplifies the athletic standards set by Elizabeth Collier Farmer ’89 during her years at GPS. She is active in athletics year-round and is a team leader who strives to achieve the best from herself and her teammates.

Laura Holt Outstanding Athlete Award | Ansley Blevins ’22
This award is presented to an outstanding junior athlete who is chosen by the varsity coaching staff.

Sandra Martin Award | Chapel Cunningham ’21
The Sandra Martin Award, awarded for the first time in 1955, is presented to a senior who has distinguished herself in athletics, extracurricular activities, scholastics, and citizenship.

Peggy Thomas 100% Award | Nicola van der Merwe ’21
The Peggy Thomas 100% Award is given to a senior who supports all phases of the athletic program and gives 100 percent effort.

Fine & Performing Arts Awards
Presented by Mrs. Laurel Moore Zahrobsky ’90, Director of Terpsichord

Greene-Hanlin Award | Reese Miller ’21 & Mady Oliver ’21
The Greene-Hanlin award is named for two beloved former GPS music teachers, Anne Greene and Jean Hanlin. The award is based on character, leadership, service, and initiative. The recipient must show joyful eagerness, display outstanding leadership qualities, and have an enthusiastic approach for the GPS Singers. A Greene-Hanlin Award winner has willingly assumed extra responsibilities and inspired others and has faithfully attended rehearsals and performances.

Terpsichord Award | AnnaKate Stipanov ’21
The Terpsichord Award is given in honor of Peggy Evans Thomas and celebrates an exceptional senior member of Terpsichord. Selected by the members of our signature high school dance company, the Terpsichord Award recipient is a member of the company who has unselfishly given her absolute best and made significant contributions through her hard work and creativity.

Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts | AnnaKate Stipanov ’21
The Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts is given to an outstanding senior art student who has displayed an exceptional dedication and diligence toward her artistry. She is a leader among her peers, exhibits a love of learning and curiosity, and has achieved the high standards required by the AP Art curriculum. Her pursuit of visual art expression was bolstered with independence and self-motivation.

National Orchestra Award | Ellie Paty ’21
The National Orchestra Award goes to a student who has exhibited selfless dedication to her music, her fellow musicians, and the GPS orchestra. She demonstrates a confident presence within a larger group, yet is an individual who has excelled in her talents as an independent musician.

National Band Award | Katie Day ’21
The National Band Award is given to a student who is an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the band, a talented musician, and has a fun and upbeat approach to music. She is willing to play her instrument with energy and passion; she is an inspiration to musicians around her.

Excellence in Dramatic Arts Award | Talley Lyons ’21
The Award for Excellence in Dramatic Arts celebrates the theatre student who has crafted a body of work that is both vast and varied. The student must display leadership qualities that inspire others around her and be willing to work above and beyond the call of duty to master her roles on the stage.

Excellence in Technical Theater Award | Eve Smith ’21
The Excellence in Technical Theater Award honors a girl who displays laser sharp focus and attention to detail, is committed to all aspects of technical theatre, and has the presence of mind to make wise decisions at the drop of a hat.

Fletcher W. Bright Fellowship | Caroline Farris ’22 & Claire Nicola ’22
The GPS Fletcher Bright Fellowship for Artistic and Community Engagement, is an endowed program that offers an annual award to a rising senior. Named for one of the world’s great bluegrass fiddlers and GPS supporter, this award honors a student who has presented a proposal to a panel of judges in order to further pursue her passion for the arts.

Publications Award
Presented by Ms. Katelyn Dix, Upper School English Teacher

William C. McKenzie Award | Maggie Parsley ’21
This award is presented in memory of William C. McKenzie to the girl who has made the most valuable contribution to our school publications.

Academic Awards

Mildred Peters Award for English | Maggie Parsley ’21                               
Presented by Ms. Katy Berotti, English Department Chair
This award goes to a graduating senior who has shown great excellence and integrity in English.

Eula Lea Jarnagin Love of Language Award | Priyanka Sud ’21, French; Anna von Kessler ’21, Latin; Laila Siyam ’21, Spanish
Presented by Dr. Erin Montero, World Language Chair
The Eula Lea Jarnagin Love of Language Award is given to three students who have written an outstanding paper on the value of learning a second language.
John Locke History Award for Excellence | Alison Williams ’21
Presented by Dr. Steve Harrison, Member of the History Department                   
The John Locke Award for Excellence in history and the social sciences is given to the senior who demonstrates exceptional skills in the principles of rigorous, logical, analytical, rational, and creative thought while having had the greatest positive impact on her classmates’ academic achievement.

Lois Moyer Award for Mathematics | Lily DuPlooy ’21
Presented by Ms. Courtney Meissner, Math Department Chair
The Lois Moyer Award for Mathematics recognizes a senior for excellence in mathematics.

Computer Science & Engineering Award | Astha Sinha ’21
Presented by Mrs. Tracie Marlin Durham ’80, Science Teacher and STEM Coordinator
The computer science and engineering award goes to the student who shows an excellence in and a passion for computer science and/or engineering.

Lucy Ann Adams Science Cup | Lily DuPlooy ’21 & Calista Geralds ’21                           
Presented by Mrs. Kristi Springfield, Science Department Chair
The Lucy Ann Adams Science Award is given to a senior who shows great interest in science and who is a promising future scientist. The student is selected by the Science Department faculty.

Many more photos of the day are available on our GPS SmugMug account for you to download for free or order prints for a small fee.