GPS Announces Faculty and Staff Additions and Updates for 2023-24

New faces, new positions, internal updates, and coaching changes
Last spring, we announced a shift in the future of academic leadership at GPS to better facilitate a learner-centered educational environment; one where faculty make meaningful bridges among disciplines that allow students to realize connections and explore real-world interdisciplinary opportunities. In keeping with this shift, we are pleased to announce the following new positions and updates for 2023-24:

New Faces

  • Dr. Lindsay Anderson | chemistry teacher
    Lindsay comes to us from The Foxcroft School, an all-girls institution in Middleburg, Virginia, where she taught chemistry, AP Chemistry, and probability and statistics, as well as coordinated and led the STEM program. Lindsay holds a BS in marine science and biology from the University of Tampa, and both an MS and a PhD in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. 
  • Kelly Ballard | band and orchestra director
    Kelly has taught students of all ages and has directed music groups, led musical performances, and created and taught structured music camps for young musicians at GPS summer camp. She holds a BA in vocal music from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and was the first female drum major at UTK. 

  • Chynna Bradford | technical theater director and theater manager
    She will manage all aspects of both Frierson Theatre and Evans Center, including day-to-day use for Chapel and more. Chynna most recently served as an Assistant Technical Director at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, and as a Tennessee Williams Fellow at the University of the South.

  • Eric Byrd | grounds technician

  • Amanda Fitzpatrick | housekeeper
    Amanda was previously on campus as a security guard. A mother of two boys, she is very thankful to be back at GPS in her new role. 

  • Amy Garvich | sixth-grade English teacher
    Amy taught fifth-grade language arts and social studies for 13 years at Thrasher Elementary School on Signal Mountain. She holds a BS in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration in elementary education from Austin Peay State University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Additionally, she has a Highly Qualified Certification in language and reading for grades 1-12.

  • Heather Hammond | Middle School theater teacher and Middle School musical director
    Heather, who served on an interim basis last spring as a Middle School English substitute, joins us now on a full-time basis. She is an accomplished director of school theatrical productions such as Kid Frankenstein and The Jungle Book, and has assisted with the GPS | McCallie productions Frozen JR., Shrek JR., and The Sound of Music. In addition to her role in the theater department, Heather will continue to connect with our girls by teaching an Upper School English class. 

  • Virginia “Ginny” Jackson ’10 | ninth- and 10th-grade teacher
    Following her GPS graduation, Ginny earned a BA in English from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Literature, as well as a Secondary Education teaching certificate from American University in Washington D.C. Ginny has taught high school English at both Brainerd High School and East Ridge High School and will also serve as the Head Middle School Cross Country Coach. 

  • Ginger Jones-Sillery | Middle School science teacher
    Ginger is well known by many of our students as both a former GPS assistant softball coach as well as a science teacher from Normal Park Museum Magnet School. Ginger earned her BS in marine science and biology from the University of Alabama and her MS in science education from North Georgia College and State University. She is an accomplished NCAA DI softball player from the University of Alabama and is now our Middle School softball coach. 

  • Abigail Lavin | Spanish teacher
    Abigail began her teaching career at GPS and tutored at McCallie before moving to Nashville, where she taught various levels of Spanish at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School and traveled with students to Spain and Costa Rica. She attended The University of Virginia, where she received her BA in Spanish and studied abroad in Valparaíso, Chile.

  • Emily Lester | school photographer
    For several years, Emily has supported our MarComm efforts through freelance photography for special events and campus life and previously worked in the College Counseling Office as an assistant. In this new role, she will continue to provide the school with exceptional images of classroom coverage, special events, arts, athletics, and more.

  • Chelsea Padro | GPS | McCallie drama teacher and theater director
    Chelsea comes to us most recently from St. Andrew’s Sewanee School, where she has served as the Theater Director since 2019. Prior to her role at St. Andrews, Chelsea held roles as the Lower School Drama Director at Severn School in Maryland and Middle School Drama Director at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in theater from Nazareth University and an MA in theater education from The Catholic University of America.

  • Reed Solly | Upper School biology teacher
    Reed comes to us from Excel Academy Charter School in East Boston, Massachusetts, where she taught chemistry as well as coached track. Prior to that, she worked at Decatur High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and taught chemistry, including IB Chemistry, as well as physics. Reed holds a bachelor's degree in ecology, as well as a Master of Arts in teaching, both from the University of Georgia.
  • Wendy Warren | Upper School math teacher
    Wendy comes to us as an experienced mathematics educator with 29 years of classroom experience, teaching algebra, geometry, AP Calculus, and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, as well as a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

New Positions

The Department Chairs, who serve on the Academic Leadership Council, take the lead in shaping the vision for what defines great learning within their interdisciplinary departments. In a collaborative spirit, they work with their members to create a cohesive learner-centered program that blends content and skills with connection and meaning. The Chairs are leaders who aspire to excel in the craft of teaching and learning and bring others along with them. They work with the Dean of Teaching and Learning to provide best practices in their fields and promote continuous professional development opportunities for faculty. Dr. Lindsay Anderson serves as STEM Chair, Ms. Katy Berotti as Humanities Chair, and Ms. Amanda Byars ’99 as Director of Fine and Performing Arts.  

In partnership with the Department Chairs, Curriculum Coordinators support teachers across the department in continually pursuing both excellence in their discipline and meaningful curricular connections between disciplines in the departments. The coordinators are responsible for reviewing and updating curriculum in collaboration with fellow department members. This role collects and interprets all available data and metrics to evaluate and gauge the effectiveness of teaching and learning in the department with a focus on best practices in learner-centered pedagogical strategies. Dr. Ralph Covino serves as Humanities Coordinator and Mrs. Jill Pala Pieritz ’97 as STEM Coordinator.

The two faculty members who embody lifelong learning and model a learner-centered approach in their practice will pursue certification as Instructional Coaches. Under the Dean of Teaching and Learning, Instructional Coaches are resources who collaborate, support, problem-solve, and coach fellow faculty members in their teaching and learning. They serve as thought partners for faculty who wish to learn more and grow. Mrs. Courtney Alexander Meissner ’08 and Mrs. Sarah Clardy serve as our newest Instructional Coaches.

Internal Updates
  • Andy Arick serves as the school’s first Dean of Girls Leadership and Outdoor Education where he develops and implements a new program: Girls Outdoor Leadership Education (G.O.L.E.) which begins in its nascent stages in middle school and as an elective in Upper School.
  • Martha Carpenter, who joined the GPS faculty last year as a Middle School math and science teacher, continues in her role as sixth-grade math teacher this year and adds the title of Dean of the Sixth-Grade Class to her repertoire. 
  • Sarah Clardy brings her diverse talents into the classroom as the lead sixth-grade science teacher, where she draws upon her skills and experience as a middle school science teacher in Hamilton County.
  • Scott Fleming, who served as the Transportation and Safety Manager, has been promoted to Director of Transportation, absorbing additional support for McCallie School’s transportation needs.
  • Will Glass serves as our Director of Digital Media and Makerspace
  • Pamela Hammonds transitioned into the role of Senior Communications Specialist.
  • Kathryn Outlaw steps into the role of Interim Head of Middle School, where she oversees GPS’s support services for the upcoming school year. In this position, Katie will serve as a visionary for the program, assuring its interdisciplinary nature, developmentally appropriate curriculum, and connection to the needs of the students. 
  • Andrew Reich added Dean of Recruitment to his title in addition to his current role as Director of College Counseling. In this role, Andrew works closely with our search and recruiting firms, as well as Division Heads and Academic Leaders, to continue to hire and retain talented faculty for GPS.
  • Caitlin Riddle steps into the role of Director of Communications and Marketing.
  • Erin Davis Sizemore ’98 became GPS Dean of Students, grades six through 12.
  • Emily Tousek ’01, who stepped in this spring on an interim basis, assumed the role of Cadek Director this summer. 
  • Kipton Lankford Tugman ’92, takes on the role of learning specialist in our Center for Teaching and Learning.

Coaching Updates

Lastly, there have been some changes and new additions to our coaching staff for the year:
  • Head Varsity Track and Field Coach Beverly Blackwell steps into the role of Head Cross Country Coach this fall.
  • Andy Arick replaces Sean Caulfield as Head Varsity Climbing Coach this winter.
  • Kendal Mroz joins the GPS Community as a Fall Athletics Intern from UTC.   
  • Jarrod McCord joints the GPS Community as the Head Middle School Soccer Coach
We look forward to this transformational shift in our academic program to best support the continued creation of a learner-centered environment and the bright future of our girls at GPS!