GPS Community Observes Eighth-Grade Celebration

Family, friends, faculty, and staff look on as members of the Class of 2026 complete their time in Middle School
On their final day of Middle School, GPS students made their way across the Frierson Theatre stage to celebrate their completion of eighth grade. Ms. Lynne Macziewski, Associate Head of School and Head of Middle School, welcomed those in attendance saying, “This evening we gather to celebrate the talents, hard work, growth, and accomplishments of each and every girl in the Class of 2026, and we could not be more excited to do so.” She addressed the students, asking them to take a moment to thank their parents and guardians for serving as support systems over the years, as well as the faculty and staff who have guided them along the way. 

Macziewski then introduced Augusta Glendenning Webb ’98, Admission Counselor and Middle School Studio Art Teacher, who delivered the invocation. A series of student speakers introduced by Lindsey King, Eighth-Grade English Teacher, followed.

This year’s speakers included Adreanna Calloway, Caroline Carpenter, Lauren Gardner, Farah House, Soleigh Kueter, Katherine Potts, Hannah Smith, and Ruthie Webb, who shared parts of English essays they wrote reflecting on their time in Middle School at GPS. 

After the speeches, Macziewski and Katie Outlaw, Middle School Dean of Students, presented the certificates to each girl as her family and friends cheered her achievement.

Jordan McCarter, Dean of the Eighth-Grade Class, spoke next, offering her charge to the class. She spoke about her time as a GPS student, explaining that, at the time, she was concerned with fitting into the boxes she thought constituted a good “GPS girl,” but realized that, in fact, it’s the differences that make you an individual. She said, “My hope for you as you move into Upper School is that you find the balance between being the one and only amazing you, and also recognizing your common humanity. The details make you, you. The broad strokes make you a GPS girl. May you go into the Upper School ready to explore and embrace both.”

A retrospective of the students’ Middle School years was then shown to the crowd before Head of School Megan Cover delivered closing remarks. She said, “Today symbolizes the end of your Middle School experience, a formative time in your growth and development. Just as our senior class chose the theme this year of “Building Bridges,” you are crossing that bridge into Upper School, bringing with you the lessons you learned, the friends you have made, and your individual and collective achievements. 

“You are about to embark on the next four years of your journey, where you will have many opportunities to explore, discover, use your voice, challenge yourself, and grow. Know that while you are experiencing all that is GPS in Upper School, your parents, your teachers, and I will be alongside you to support, guide, and lift you up throughout: when you succeed, when you stumble, or when you simply need a hand to hold.”

To conclude the program, the crowd sang the GPS “Alma Mater.”
Congratulations, GPS Class of 2026, on your successful completion of Middle School! We can’t wait for August and the first day of the 2022-23 school year when you will take your “walk across the lawn” to officially mark the beginning of the next chapter in your GPS journey: Upper School!

Photos from our Eighth-Grade Celebration are available on our SmugMug account for you to download for free or order prints for a small fee.