On Sunday evening, the Class of 2022 met at school for more than just a meal on DeFoor Patio. While the yummy dinner and opportunity to catch up with classmates were certainly highlights, first the seniors met in Frierson Theatre to learn the theme of the year and receive some Cat-Rat instructions.
Their Dean of Upper School, Erin Davis Sizemore ’98, and Dean of the Senior Class, Laurel Moore Zahrobsky ’90, took turns at the lectern setting some expectations for the girls with regards to the Cat-Rat tradition.
Senior Cats are paired with sixth-grade Rats for the duration of the school year, beginning with the Cat-Rat Reveal the following afternoon. While the Cat-Rat relationship outside of school is up to the girls to pursue, the Cats do prepare birthday cards for their Rats, decorate their lockers, and celebrate special occasions throughout the school year with on-campus activities including the soon-to-come Cat-Rat Parade.
Most of all, the seniors were advised that their Rats will look up to them—even if they are not aware of it—so they were reminded to be cognizant of their behavior, speech, and social media presence.
A tradition nearly as old as GPS itself, Cat-Rat pairs often remain friends long after the Cat graduates. Alumnae have shared stories of returning as support when the Rat is a senior giving her Chapel Talk, visiting each other in their homes as adults, or even serving in each other’s weddings.
Theme of the Year
The senior class leaders met in July to discuss what theme they wanted for their senior year and unveiled Building Bridges to their classmates prior to opening day, where the theme would be introduced to the entire student body. Olivia Burns, Willa Mirmelstein, Mary Kate Johnson, and Frances Crowe shared how close they are as a class and all of the strong qualities each has, but instead of focusing on what they had accomplished, they challenged their classmates to actively pursue a common goal: to build bridges among classmates, across grades, and into the broader community.
Once the seniors finished their time in Frierson, they gathered on DeFoor Patio for a brief message from their new Head of School, Megan Cover, who encouraged them to lead well this school year but also remember to have fun because their last year at GPS will go by so quickly. And many of their teachers shared the evening with them as well.
Chef Brad and the Sage Dining Team prepared a delicious dinner of fresh berries and caprese salad along with chicken salad sandwiches, chicken taquitos, bang bang tofu rice bowls, hummus and veggies, and salsa plus giant homemade chocolate chip cookies and mocha iced coffee for dessert.
Before leaving, the students posed for photos with their friends and a picture of the class together as one. Enjoy your final year at GPS, girls! May it be filled with many happy memories.
For photos from the evening, click here
to find them on SmugMug, where you can download for free or order prints for a small fee. Photos of the Cat-Rat Reveal are also here on SmugMug