What It Means to Be May Queen

By Dr. Jordan McCarter ’96, Eighth-Grade Dean

May Day is one of our most cherished traditions at GPS and one I love dearly. Almost as much, though, I love the day when we come together as a community to hear the May Court selections and the student body gets to vote on May Queen and Maid of Honor. It’s one of the many times when I see our students experience sheer joy. I can still remember where I was sitting in Frierson Theatre when my friend’s name was announced as our May Queen. I remember the excitement for her, the pride I felt in our class, and the spirit of sisterhood that has never left me since my days as a GPS student.
Recently, we had that same opportunity again and I was, as ever, moved by the emotion felt in the senior class. As a middle school teacher, it always amazes me to see how much the girls have grown since their time in my classroom. I can’t help but think about the girls I currently teach. During this time, I like to ask them to look around and consider that someone among them will one day be the May Queen. One of them will have their name called to sit in the May Queen throne because of her kindness, loyalty, and dedication to this wonderful school. I also like to remind the eighth-grade girls that any one of them could be May Queen. They are full of potential. If they have been unkind, they can choose to be kind instead. If they have fallen behind, they can work hard.
Each and every day is an opportunity to do better, to be the kind of person who is honored on that stage as a senior. Although we honor every senior at May Day, I hope that they see our May Court as role models for character. I hope that my middle school students see our May Day tradition not just as a fun spring day of dancing and beautiful dresses, but a celebration of the lives of integrity and purpose that each GPS girl can choose to lead.