News from GSL School (Summer 2021)

News from GSL School By Thor Kvande, Head of School

The 2020–21 academic year—with masks, social distancing, plexiglass desk shields, daily temperature checks, and more—was like nothing we’ve ever experienced here on the school side of campus. And yet, with grit, determination, and positive attitudes, our Saints did their part and persevered through the pandemic. We sincerely appreciate the prayers put up by this parish for the continued health and safety of our school community. And we extend special thanks to Father Ollie, Rev. Laura, and Youth Director Amzie for the care and love they repeatedly conveyed to our faculty, staff, and students throughout this unprecedented year. We are forever grateful! 

Spring was busy as we made abundant use of our large indoor and outdoor spaces and held a number of special activities, including parent forums, Celebration Chapels, the Stations of the Cross, the 8th grade alumni luncheon, Field Days, Honors Chapel, and finally, Graduation. We stayed distanced in reconfigured events so that we could honor our traditions and celebrate our students. 

Happily, SummerFest camp options are on for this year and open to all school-age children, whether or not they attend GSL! We will keep COVID protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of our attendees. If you are interested, please visit the SuumerFest page under the Student Life tab on our website ( to see our fantastic offerings and register today. 

As always, we want to update you on Admissions, since we all realize that a healthy school enrollment positively and profoundly impacts the parish in a number of important ways! The Admissions season is truly year-round now, and we will continue touring families for any remaining available spaces throughout the summer. There are still spots open in selected grades—so please, talk us up!—and direct any inquiries to Director of Enrollment Shelly McGuire at 901-278-0200.

Upcoming Calendar Events

  • Summer Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Week of July 4, School Office Closed: July 5–9
  • SummerFest 2021: June 7–August 6 (with the exception of July 4 week), for boys and girls age 3–13 (Grades PK-8) 
  • First Day of 2021-22 School Year: Monday, August 16

    The Rev. Laura Gettys, the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, and Youth Director Amzie Williams attended GSL’s annual Stations of the Cross, presented by our third and fourth graders on Maundy Thursday. Visit our school Facebook page for more photos, and use this link to watch a video clip:

    Clergy At StationsIMG 1982

    Eighth graders gathered in the Church for a distanced group photo before welcoming parents and other customers to our first-ever, take-out style Italian Dinner.

    Happy 8th ItalianIMG 1168 Copy

    It was Father Ollie’s birthday in mid-March when Lower and Middle School students (5th, 6th, and 7th graders pictured here) were allowed to gather again in the church for the relaunch of weekly chapel services. It had been a year since students had worshiped together in the space.

    Pretty MS ChapelIMG 1698

    With pre- and post-travel COVID testing requirements in place, GSL’s 8th graders were able to take the annual year-end trip to Nantahala this spring, an adventure that last year’s class had to forgo due to the pandemic. On the final night, they gathered around the campfire to share stories and reflect on their time at GSL – a special Nantahala tradition! 

    CampfireIMG 1883
    Posted by Lucy Anne Owens at 00:00