From Seed to Harvest

Dr. Brandon Noel, Science Teacher and Dean of the Junior Class
As the spring season rapidly approaches, enthusiasm and excitement for the last few months of school continue to build. Spring is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. If I teach your daughter, she’ll tell you that a certain sport has a lot to do with this (Go Braves!). However, there are a few other aspects of the season I find worth celebrating. 

For starters, spring is when we begin to see the fruits of our labor in the GPS Garden. The girls have been diligently working all year to grow a variety of vegetables from tiny seeds. They have researched, supplemented, and organized plans to ensure these seeds have the appropriate amount of support and nutrients in hopes of seeing them provide a bountiful harvest for our local community, and the plants are starting to sprout! 

Last year, the GPS Garden generated nearly 800 pounds of fresh produce—a record-breaking harvest—which we donated to the Chattanooga Food Bank in an effort to give back to those in need. Without a doubt, this shattered record is due to a variety of partnerships that extend beyond our immediate GPS community. One such is our composting program which is bolstered by local company NewTerra Compost. Our garden was that much more productive last year because we received composted soil from the food scraps the girls have been composting in our cafeteria. This provided nutrients back into the soil and a better environment for our plants in the garden. Families in our local community greatly benefited from our girls' dedication and love for these plants, and it is my hope that this same level of philanthropy and selfless desire will continue to empower our girls to give back to whatever community they find themselves in beyond GPS. 

My role as dean of the junior class brings another reason to celebrate the spring. Plans are being finalized for a tradition students always look forward to—Junior Ring Day. Although the ring design has subtly changed over the last century, it is worn proudly across the globe and has been a staple for all classes since the Class of 1927. The day these girls receive their rings, they seek out their peers, teachers, staff, and loved ones asking them to “turn their ring,” an aspect of the tradition that was added in 1977. Once these juniors have their rings with the unique black onyx stone, they will be able to recognize their GPS sisters anywhere in the world.

Spring is in the air at GPS, and it’s exciting to experience the joy it brings to our community. Here’s to the girls!