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Marnie McDonald Announces Retirement from GA

Nine years and hundreds of books read, stories written, and math equations solved later, Marnie McDonald will say goodbye to Germantown Academy and its third grade hallway this June. Her passion for her students, teaching, and technology propelled her to take advantage of all of GA's gifts to further her own education to be the best teacher possible. Below she shares her wit and wisdom with us one more time.

Favorite place on campus…The Preserve. I love the creativity that it brings out in kids and teachers. We were just there writing poetry with our 1st Grade buddies and it was relaxing and cute and wonderful. Something you have developed that will live on at GA…I hope it’s the Lower School Digital Literacy Program. The use of Google Suite has made learning magical in a digital space and has allowed us to communicate better with students and parents. What will people say about you next year…She was never afraid to try. For many people, technology is overwhelming at first, but we have to allow ourselves to fail forward. Ways that teaching has evolved…The biggest were re-envisioning curriculum to meet the needs of all learners and diving in 110% with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. I feel like I grew more in the nine years I was here at GA than in the whole 23-year teaching career. I received several Kast Grants that helped developed my practice. I was fortunate to train at Columbia Teachers College, complete DEI work at Cornell University, and travel to South Africa to learn with teachers and students ways to reimagine our curriculum. Those are gifts that GA gave me to grow, personally and professionally. Our Africa unit is quite rich from that experience, and I personally am a lot more brave! I am truly grateful. The greatest thing about 3rd Grade…Third grade is one of the biggest developmental years in Lower School. Students go from ‘reading to read’ to ‘reading to learn.’ While they don’t enjoy the homework (haha), they are like sponges that soak everything up and share the sheer excitement of what’s next and a love of learning. I am in awe of the things they build and design and create in the Tinker Lab and my classroom. You will most miss…The kids! I will truly miss seeing them every morning and hearing about their evenings or weekends. We never miss a morning meeting; they have been the best way to connect with each other. I will miss my amazing and inspirational 3rd Grade teaching team! I will certainly miss Julia Blumenreich. She is my go-to everything; my person. She is so inspirational on so many levels. Your “In Closing…” speech would include…My admiration of Rich (Schellhas). He runs the school with enthusiasm and genuine love for his teachers, which is so rare. Successes, mistakes, concerns about your own children, etc. He is a great listener and role model. He may be the one I will miss the most!