The 2022-23 school year is underway at GSL, with new Head of School Dr. Andy Surber at the helm and a great deal of excitement about what lies ahead for our school. In case you haven’t heard, this is a milestone year for GSL! We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of our founding in 1947 as an outreach of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. How grateful we are that the Rev. Dr. Charles Stuart Hale recognized the importance of a Christian education, saw the leadership abilities of our school founder, Lorena Webber Walker, and encouraged her to grow our school on this beautiful corner in Central Gardens!
After a busy summer of reflection and preparation, along with eight fun-filled weeks of SummerFest camps, we launched the 2022-23 year with a special faculty Eucharist led by Father Ollie during in-service, followed the next week by an All-School Chapel for the entire student body, from Little Lukers through 8th Grade! Clergy-led chapel services are a regular part of life at GSL, with separate weekly offerings for Middle School, Lower School, and Preschool, in addition to an all-school service every Thursday. Lower School and Middle School students volunteer to acolyte and read during these services, and this year we also plan to start a Middle School chapel advisory committee to allow students the chance to participate even further in programming. Our Episcopal identity as a welcoming, inclusive community is foundational to our philosophy and reinforced by the school’s Formative Five character education program, which emphasizes the importance of empathy, self-control, embracing diversity, integrity, and grit.
We hope you’ve noticed the aesthetic improvements to our campus that were made over the summer—besides reopening the GSL pool located behind the Scout Lodge, we also spent time improving the Preschool playground, repairing concrete on Lemaster in front of the Saints Gym/Middle School entrance, painting walls, waxing floors, installing new flooring in the hallway between the Church and School, replacing carpets in classrooms, refreshing exterior signage, and replacing our awnings. We were excited to spruce up for the special 75th Anniversary community event we held August 20! That night was a wonderful celebration of our history and everything that we love about GSL.
We are pleased to announce that in addition to Dr. Surber, 14 teachers (some returning to our roster) joined GSL this year:
Antonio Hinton, Director of Auxiliary Programs (ACE: After School Care)
Kevin Searle, ACE Associate Director
Robert Ward, Preschool Fun & Fitness Teacher
Marlene Soto, Little Lukers Teacher
Emma Boehme, Little Lukers Assistant
Amanda Coile, Little Lukers Assistant
Victoria Blackwell, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Deborah Lowe, Pre-Kindergarten Assistant
Athalie Hutson, Pre-Kindergarten Assistant
Kelsey Tuten, Pre-Kindergarten Assistant
Kat Vinton, Senior Kindergarten Assistant
Jessica Muller, First Grade Teacher
Katie Searle, Fourth Grade Teacher
The Rev. Noah Campbell, 6th Grade Bible
Finally, we share an enrollment update: We began the year with 443 students, which included a record FOUR sections of our two-year-old Little Lukers! We’re now accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year. We are so grateful to all of the church families who have chosen GSL for their children’s education! If you are considering GSL for the coming year, please give us a call! We’d love to give you a tour and show you what makes this school special. Please direct any inquiries to Head of School Andy Surber or Director of Enrollment Shelly McGuire at 901-278-0200.
Thank you, as always, for your prayers and support this school year. We invite you to stay connected to the school by liking or following us on social media, where we post regularly. Links are as follows and are also available on our website at www.gslschool.org.
Facebook School page: www.facebook.com/gslschool
Facebook Alumni page: www.facebook.com/GSLAlumni
Labor Day Holiday: Monday, September 5
Parent-Teacher Conferences Holiday: Friday, September 30
Fall Break Holiday: October 5-7
Preschool Admissions Open House: Saturday, November 12
Grandparents’ Day (Half-Day): Tuesday, November 22
Thanksgiving Break Holiday: November 23-25
Members of GSL’s Class of 2018 returned to campus in August for a College Sendoff Lunch. Front row, l to r: Warner Davidson, Andrew Berntson, Rowan Renken, William Halliday, Felix Campbell, Chris Bird, Addison Wilson, Lilly Linkous, Carter Strickland, Sara Kate Burnett, Rachel McAfee, Ava Vining, Claire Wallace; back row: Nash Kaye, Evans Culpepper, Jack Sullivan, Thomas Kvande, Lawson Vaughan, Max Grove, Ethan Cupples, Andrew Kerr, Mary Claire Carney, and Chloe Schwartz.
We were delighted to welcome our new Head of School Dr. Andy Surber to campus in July. He is no stranger to this community, as he previously served at GSL as our Head of Lower School from 2009-2013.