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Jo Supplee Announces Retirement

Tenure: 13 years

Positions Held at GA:

  • Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Head of School, Director of Faculty Relations, and Director of Human Resources – 2006 to 2010
  • Assistant to the Director of Human Resources – 2010 to 2013
  • Executive Assistant to the Head of School – 2013 to 2019

Honors Conferred:

  • Distinguished Achievement Award in 2012

Why Jo Stayed:

  • Our faculty and staff who, from day one, made me feel so welcome.

Lasting Memories:

  • Fun times in "Room 100" with Suzie Perot, Maggie McVeigh, and Carolyn Klemens
  • Patriot Village
  • The great friends I've made over the years, some of whom I know I will keep in touch with.
  • The fun Head of School gifts to faculty and staff that Barbara, Anne, Deb, and I assembled together (cacti, Civility Pledge M&M's in those dandy dispensers, mugs with hot chocolate and GA marshmallows!)
  • Our "Girls Who Eat Lunch at Their Desks" group that meets for lunch every Wednesday at 12:00 – love those girls.

Jo is thankful for:

  • Our Head of School who cares deeply about each and every one of us and who also pushes me out of my comfort zone to help me learn and develop in my position.
  • Our fabulous staff who work so hard behind the scenes to keep GA cranking.
  • The great feeling of community and camaraderie at GA, especially through the rough times.

Gifts to the Community:

  • The beauty of what the well-organized mind can achieve especially when coupled with compassion and consideration
  • A reminder that true collaboration, at its finest, makes innovation and progress possible
  • A patient approachability that invites colleagues to share their feelings and ideas and seek her insight and wisdom
  • The soul of discretion
  • The portrait of a deep-down good person achieving both professional and personal goals, doing the work that makes her happy.
  • A fun-loving spirit always ready to smile and enjoy the moment
  • The uncanny capacity for finding joy in mundane tasks and extraordinary undertakings, equally.
  • Sweet and soft, solid steel

What Rich Schellhas Will Remember Most about Jo:

Jo was one of the first kind souls I encountered at GA, and I knew I had found a professional soulmate at first sight. Easy with a smile, nearly impossible to fluster, efficient beyond even my ridiculous expectations, and deservedly proud of a job well done, Jo Supplee survived what for many would have been the final challenge: transitioning from the easy-going, 'all-in-good-time' Southern gentleman style of former Head Jim Connor 1760 to, well, me – a completely impatient New Yorker who, often at the last minute, has a great idea that needs to happen. Right now. The year the three of us all worked together (aka the year Jo didn't kill us or even quit) she somehow managed to shift gears not just hourly but minute by minute to single-handedly meet the needs of two polar opposites. I love that Jo is (or very convincingly pretends to be!) excited when asked to learn something new, and how, hours later, she has mastered it and is ready for more. She is wonderfully stoic, fiercely loyal, quietly ambitious, deeply feeling, and always ready to stand up for what is right. I often say that everyone who works at GA, regardless of title, teaches; Jo has taught me great lessons, and I will miss her daily camaraderie deeply.

Memorable Quotes:

"The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time." (James Taylor)

Next Page of Life:

  • The three R's: rest, relax, rejuvenate.
  • Travel with my hubby.
  • I hope to read more - maybe join a book club, spend time with friends I don't see as often as I'd like, take some cooking classes.
  • My son is getting married in September, and I'm looking forward to starting my grandparent role.
  • If need be, find a fun part-time job.

What Jo Will Miss Most:

  • The fabulous people I interact with every day

CLICK HERE to share a memory with Jo

CLICK HERE to make a gift to the Annual Fund in honor of Jo

Here is the full email announcement from GA:

Greetings, friends.

Some people are just too good for their own good; their expertise, work ethic, big heart, and gracious manner set them up to be the answer to every single one of these important, every-day, workplace questions.
"Who could get this job done perfectly, on time, no mistakes?
"Who can take all the disparate details of this particular project and quietly, capably merge them seamlessly?"
"Who is both lots of fun and reliably discreet?"
"Who knows what needs to be done before anyone else?"
Who is gracious?

Well, I can tell you... from my thirteen lucky years of experience with this professional dynamo... that the name that tops the list of names, the name that comes to mind before all other names, the name that fills the air, a one-word song of praise: Jo. Jo, Jo, Jo Supplee. Yes, let's ask Jo.

Gently precise in all her duties, Jo answers the most urgent and complicated phone calls with tact and grace. She deftly manages the busy and complicated world of the Head of School, constructing complex schedules of meetings, phone calls, assemblies, class visits, parties, and trips...across the quad, across the country, across the world. And when someone calls to reschedule, upsetting the delicate balance of the carefully crafted Jenga-like calendar, Jo smiles, bites her tongue, and like a master tactician, finds the perfect solution...and the structure stands.

Jo's current responsibilities run the gamut from stuffing GA logoed M&Ms into tiny dispensers to be given as a welcome gift to all faculty and staff to designing esthetically pleasing power point presentations for Rich to use with the faculty and staff, the Board of Trustees, parents, and prospective donors. Jo's clear design sense is the perfect match for Head of School Rich Schellhas's imagination and creativity. Always ready to operate from a "growth mindset," Jo welcomes opportunities to take on a challenge and step outside her "comfort zone." For most of us, Jo is the dependable safety net when we need our own soft landing.

Jo began her career as an Executive Assistant at McNeil Consumer Products Company, perhaps the name an omen of what was to come. She worked as well as the administrative assistant to the principal of Springfield Township High School before arriving at Germantown Academy, where she juggled the demands of the Assistant Head of School, the Director or Faculty Relations, and the Director of Human Resources, ultimately assuming the position of Executive Assistant to the Assistant Head and Head of School. The words multitasking and juggling come to mind along with funny, warm, and kind.

Now Jo is off to construct a new schedule, hers, one we hope she fills with all the things she wants to do. Please pencil in many visits with your friends at GA who will genuinely miss your easy laugh, your huge heart, and your absolutely unparalleled expertise.

Please join me in thanking Jo Supplee for thirteen extraordinary years of helping many of us do our jobs well ~ especially our Head of School ~ keeping us on time, in the right place, warmly welcomed, endlessly fed, and supported in ways we didn't even know we needed?

Here's the question: "Who really has no idea how much she will be missed?" You know the answer: "Jo. Jo Supplee."

Director of Professional Development