May 20, 2013
Dear GA Parents,
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Parent Chair this year. I thank everyone for their support, thoughtfulness and most of all, for your willingness to volunteer and support GA. We have an incredibly strong parent community that has some of the most dedicated, compassionate and thoughtful individuals with whom I have ever worked. Thanks to the exceptionally committed Executive Committee for all of the time and energy they so graciously donated this year, all the standing committee chairs, grade-level co-chairs and every other parent volunteer--- it’s been a fun year!
I hope all those who attended the Parents’ Appreciation Breakfast last Wednesday had a good time--- what a special celebration of the parent community! CLICK HERE
to see some of the fun captured from the morning (thanks to Dina Katz, photographer extraordinaire!). A special thanks to Larry Altman and the Division Heads for starting our celebration with a child from every division telling us why they love GA. Alas, our children; why we are here and do what we do! As I said at the breakfast, I do not believe we would have the vibrant parent community that we do without the leadership and vision of Head of School, Jim Connor. I also thank Rich, Ken, Sue, Carla and all other faculty, staff and administration for their support, humor and time throughout the year. Below, please find a brief summary/update of different spring standing committees and other areas of interest.Senior Parents.
A new tradition was started this year to honor Senior parents at the final PC meeting, with a special focus on senior parents who are ‘graduating’ from GA. We greatly appreciate everything these parents have done for the GA community! We will miss them being on campus, but hope that they will continue to be involved through the Parents of Alumni
organization or in many other meaningful ways. Thanks to Sally Jo Lamont for explaining more about this new effort to keep parents connected once their children have graduated and all the good work they are doing. For further information about this new organization, please contact Heather Durkin, Director of Alumni Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org). ALSO - register today for this great event - Leveraging LinkedIn
- the GA community is invited!College Admissions/College Fair
. Karen Mason provided a status report on college admissions for the Senior Class—congratulations to them all and their families! You can go to the College Counseling section of the website for more detailed information. Karen also reminded us of the upcoming College Fair
, hosted at GA on Wednesday, May 22 from 6:30-8pm.Field Day 2013
. The beloved LS Field Day is quickly approaching (May 24). If you are a MS or US parent and willing to volunteer, please contact Larry Altman at email@example.com
. Go Blue! Go Red! Come visit me in the concession stand and get a traditional blue or red donut!Admissions Update and Parent Ambassador Program
. Laura Martin provided an exciting update on admissionsfor all divisions. There is an Admission AM@GA coming up on Friday, May 31 from 9-10:30am--- spread the word to your friends and neighbors who might be interested in visiting our beautiful campus. Laura also explained more about the new Parent Ambassador Program - a partnership forged between the Admission office and the Parents’ Committee—a new endeavor to ensure that all new families have a consistent and warm welcome to our community.Spring Book Fair
. Thanks to co-chairs Liz Kaufman and Cari Lasdon for their leadership with the Spring Book Fair. Liz and Cari tried something new and hosted an ice cream truck and soft pretzels treat late one afternoon for parents/kids--- and not surprisingly, it was a huge success! They also hosted another successful Donuts for Dads morning. Plus, of course, selling lots of books!Spring Plant Sale
. Barbara Anne Davey and Heather Irons did a great job co-chairing the Spring Plant Sale. I am sure you saw them either in the outside pavilion, near the Common Room, Korman Family Pavilion or cruising around campus in a golf cart full of plants! They put together and sold lots of great herb pots with recipes attached, big beautiful outdoor pots, student-raised herbs and much more!Wild West Gala and Check Presentation
. I hope that you have seen or heard about the huge success of this year’s Wild West Gal - both financially and bringing the community together for a fun night! I again thank the event co-chairs Heather Badami, Becky Harobin, Carol Momjian and Linda Whitman for their leadership, time, talents and ability to pull together such an amazing evening—and to the multitude of other volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the evening such a success. It was my pleasure to present a check from the Parents’ Committee to Jim Connor for $160,000. This is an estimate of the monies raised from all efforts this year and given to the school for use as efficiently as possible. Thanks to all! Art Alive 2014
. Traditionally, the Parents’ Committee sponsors a fundraising event every year - last year was the Home & Garden Tour and this year was the Wild West Gala. Next year, we are venturing off the traditional path of the Home & Garden Tour with something a bit different. Please save the date and mark your calendars for: “Art Alive—Celebrating the Arts at GA” --- coming your way on May 10, 2014. This event is a collaborative effort between parents and faculty to highlight and celebrate the Visual and Performing Arts at GA. Plans tentatively include live/interactive demonstrations, performances and more---stay tuned for more information about this experiential evening to Celebrate the Arts and ways you can volunteer! In the meantime, we hope you’ll save the date—May 10, 2014!Rewards Program
. Cara Jones continues to amaze us with all that she accomplishes with the Rewards Program. Our thanks to Cara, Gina Hill and Rachel Rivest, and also to Brian and Kim Itterly, for all they do with the recycling efforts--- more than $10,000 was raised in recycling this year alone!Consignment Shop.
Jeanne DiChiara and Dana DiSandro did an awesome job this year gathering donations and turning them around for resale. Future dates will be posted soon!CSO.
The LS CSO Liaisons, Marilyn Paik and Beth Swanson, did a great job this year working with Julia Blumenreich and Ellen McMichael to help the 4th and 5th grade students learn and participate in meaningful service activities. I also thank the CSO faculty reps and parent volunteers in all divisions for coordinating and collaborating on many different CSO projects this year.Green Initiatives/Green Ambassadors
. Thanks to Dr. Sue Johnston and all the faculty, staff, parents and students involved in the awesome ‘growth’ in the academic courtyard, Preserve, greenhouse, bee hives and so much more! Please let Dr. J
know if you are interested in volunteering for any of these efforts or just want more information. If you haven’t been on campus lately, I would encourage you to take a minute and go behind the Dining Room and see the cool plastic bottle greenhouse, take a walk through the Pavilion and look out at the Academic Courtyard, go to Carey Stadium and measure your wingspan or really treat yourself and go for a walk through The Preserve and athletic fields and experience its’ sheer beauty and peacefulness. I can’t wait to see what happens over the summer!Annual Fund
. It has been a fun year with the Annual Fund’s Fall ‘Going Green’ drive and the Week of Thanks in April. I would ask that you sincerely consider making a gift to the Annual Fund before the end of school--- it is a great way to honor teachers, administrators, staff or anyone in the GA community. You make one donation and can honor multiple individuals/groups! Kelli Toland
is always willing to help with tribute cards or answer whatever questions you have. As always, the goal is parent participation, not the amount given--- please give whatever works for your family. These monies are essential every year to continue making GA, GA--- thanks for your consideration!
Carol Buckley Parent Volunteer Award. Congratulations to Larry Altman, this year’s recipient of the Carol Buckley Parent Volunteer Award. Larry is always there ready to help and support in whatever way possible--- Congratulations, Larry, on a well-deserved award!!!.
To play on language that Jim Connor often uses when describing GA as both progressive and traditional, the Parents’ Committee has made some rather ‘progressive’ changes to some of its’ ‘traditional’ modes of operation---Going Green, monthly GAzette newsletter, trying new days/times for meetings, speakers, etc. Given such, we put together a brief Parent Survey (click to participate) to get feedback from as many parents as possible about what worked best and what might need more thought. Thanks in advance for your time and feedback.
The Executive Committee has been working collaboratively with the Administration to ensure that both school and parent sponsored events/meetings are evenly distributed throughout the year, especially in the fall, so parents do not feel overwhelmed with too many events. We think that you will be pleasantly surprised when you review the calendar for 2013-2014 and see the thoughtful consideration used by all involved throughout the planning process. We have posted on the Parents’ page of the website are the Fall Parent Socials
(Please know we were very restricted with the number of available evenings to plan these events so your understanding is appreciated!). Parents’ Committee meetings will be scheduled as soon as we review the results from the parent survey and see what parents have to say. We want you to have these dates as early as possible so you can more easily plan your calendar for the coming school year. The Executive Committee also spent much time and effort this year reviewing and revising the By-laws of the Parents’ Committee to ensure the document is accurate, less restrictive and reflective of the current community and times. In addition, many efforts were made to streamline, simplify and document the various roles on the Executive Committee, standing committees and grade-level co-chairs so that less time and effort is needed to accomplish the necessary tasks.
Thanks for your kind indulgence with my long update and expressions of appreciation. I care passionately about GA, its mission and all those within or associated that I have gotten to know. GA is an intensely dynamic and diverse community in which the administration, faculty and staff work collaboratively alongside thoughtful and dedicated parent volunteers---quite an amazing community and one that I feel very fortunate to be a part.
It is bittersweet that I write this final GAzette letter (and thanks again for reading to the end!) but as Dr. Seuss so eloquently wrote: --- “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”
And, I’m smiling a lot! Thanks for an amazing year! My family has been unbelievable and I will forever be grateful to them for all their love and support this year, and always. I hope that you have had a chance to participate in some fun and fulfilling parent activities this year and please know that all efforts are greatly appreciated.
It is with complete confidence that I pass the gavel to Kathy Tanner, Parent Chair 2013-2014. I wish her and the new Executive Committee all the best in the coming year! Have a safe, relaxing and fun summer. See you in the fall. Take care.
With heartfelt gratitude and appreciation,
Lori Griswold, Parent Chair 2012-2013
“May you always be blessed with walls for the wind. 2013-2014 PC Executive Committee:
A roof for the rain.
A warm cup of tea by the fire.
Laughter to cheer you.
Those you love near you.
And all that your heart might desire."
Parent Chair, Kathy Tanner
US Chair, Jamie Aronow
MS Chair, Liz Kaufman
LS Chair, Pam Metro
LS Vice-Chair, Becky Harobin
Communications Liaison, Meg Judson
Treasurer, Amy Sun
Vice Treasurer, Rachel Rivest
Secretary, Tanya Longino
Executive Advisor, Lori Griswold
Please be sure to read GA emails and visit the website often for additional information over the summer!