Monday, May 20, 2019

Random Thoughts on a Beautiful Day in May at Gaston Day

With less than two weeks left in the school year, I find myself considering how much we have to be grateful for at Gaston Day School. Walking around campus just a few minutes ago, I saw happy students working on a project together outside the Pamela Kimbrell Warlick Visual and Performing Arts Center. That incredible facility will be 20 years old next year, and it has been a driving force in creating our unique school culture. The fine arts enliven and enrich all aspects of a GDS education. Walk into the PKW lobby--just as I did--and look at the student art on display. It will inspire you and reveal the creativity of our student artists.

In that same PKW lobby today, the book fair is being held. Parent volunteers direct and staff the whole enterprise, and a significant portion of the profits go to purchase books for our library. Librarian Karen Ellison told me just this morning how essential the Book Fair proceeds are to maintaining an up-to-date library collection. Thank you Parents Association volunteers for making the Book Fair such a longstanding success.

On each of the last two mornings, Carolyn Senter, Director of College Counseling, has brought a senior to my office to inform her that she has qualified to be valedictorian and salutatorian. Annabelle Fulghum and Anna Claire Rhyne are the 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Both have attended Gaston Day School for their entire academic careers, and it is a real point of pride to have two such outstanding young women achieve this honor. For me personally, to have been head of school during Annabelle's and Anna Claire's entire education here is especially gratifying. Both these young women represent the absolute best in our students.

Both the boys tennis and golf teams have returned from state competition. The tennis team in Goldsboro, and the golf team in Pinehurst. In both cases they competed hard and well. Congratulations to both teams and thank you to their coaches for investing so much time and hard work into the season. Overall, the athletic program has enjoyed a great year, and we rank in the top 10 in the Wells Fargo Cup standings for the best overall athletic program in our classification in state independent schools. Congratulations players, coaches, and athletic administrators!!

This is the testing season at Gaston Day. AP Exams have been given in the gym recently. Final exams are just over a week away. With high-stakes testing comes anxiety. We are all trying to walk quietly in the Henry Center and give reassuring smiles to everyone. If we don't, Mrs. Senter is on watch, and she will fiercely defend her test-taking domain. Thank you, Mrs. Senter for making sure that our test takers have the most conducive environment to achieve high scores.

Baccalaureate and graduation are just around the corner. The Rev. Joan Martin, Covenant Village Chaplain, and Wofford College President Nayef Samhat will be our leader and commencement speaker, again respectively. Hope to see everyone at these outstanding occasions.