Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Spirit of 1967

Next year, Gaston Day School will be 50 years old. I was there as a 5th grader on the first day of school in 1967 and remember the spirit of optimism and excitement that surrounded the opening of our new school. As I look at Gaston Day School today, I honestly sense a growing excitement and can-do attitude that reminds me of the school's early days. What is it that makes me so enthusiastic about where Gaston Day School is today? First of all, it is the team of teachers and administrators that we have in place. There are so many great teachers throughout this school. Kim Perlman, Head of Middle and Upper School, and I were recently discussing the quality of the teaching here, and "great" was the word that best describes almost all our teachers. We also have a veteran team of administrators who trust each other, work well together, and care deeply about the future of the school. New Director of Admissions Davidson Hobson has made us even stronger with the spirit of innovation and creativity that he brings to Gaston Day.

A second reason for my optimism is the level of student accomplishment we are seeing. College Counselor Carolyn Senter has never witnessed greater success in college acceptances and scholarship awards than we are seeing now. Mary Kate Thompson is the first National Merit Scholarship Finalist in several years. We anticipate hitting an all-time high in the amount of scholarships and grants issued to our graduates. Our class of 40 seniors may well break the $3 million barrier this year. Recently, at my Rotary, a local school much larger than Gaston Day was bragging about all its seniors receiving $1 million in scholarship support!! The quality of our college acceptances and the amount of financial support our graduates are receiving is simply amazing. Truly a Gaston Day education is an investment that returns dividends in higher education. 

A third reason I feel so excited about the school today is that I think we are doing a better job balancing school work, extracurricular activities, recreation, family time, and fun. We have worked really hard as a faculty and administration to keep all these things in the proper perspective and equilibrium. Our students seem to be working hard, but having fun. That's how it should be.

Finally, I don't know if you have noticed, but Gaston Day School's administration and staff is in the midst of a baby boom!! So many of our teachers and administrators are starting families, and it is thrilling to see this happening. It has brought such a feeling of happiness and excitement to our campus. In three years, all these babies are going to be attending Pre-School. They will be here before we know it.
We are planning lots of other cool things to promote the 50th anniversary. The new look on two of our buses is only the beginning of a number of things that will be increasingly visible over the next several years. The Spirit of 1967 is alive and well. We hope you feel it, and we hope you spread it!!
It really is a great time to be a Spartan!! 
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