GFS has always been lucky to count in its faculty and staff a good number of alumni. Many of these alums stayed for decades to become the next generation of teachers at GFS, mentoring the next generation of alumni faculty and staff.
Our talented alumni are passing on their wealth of talents to today's students, who will, we hope, become tomorrow's GFS teachers, continuing a wonderful, long and self-perpetuating cycle.
Consider this one example of a continuum of GFS alums going on to teach other GFS alums:
Irvin C. Poley '08 (English, 1913-58) taught David Mallery '41 (English, 1948-59), who taught Judith Chappell Mallery '52 (Music, 1967-2006), who taught Alex Levin '93 (English, 2015-present), who taught Olivia Browne '16 (Summer Camp, 2017-present).
We gathered alumni who now hold professional roles here at GFS. Here they are outside of the Sharpless Building, and also note the sizable list of all of those who now work at GFS but couldn't join in the photo.
Left to Right:
Laura Sharpless Myran '78, Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid
Kathy Nicholson Paulmier '79, Director of Community Involvement
Tobi Zemsky '86, Learning Support and MS Coordinator of Student Services
Jenny Stetzer-Goldberg '95, Fifth Grade Teacher
Dorothy Cary '75, MS Diversity Coordinator and History Teacher
Amanda Reath '89, Annual Fund Manager
Carla Childs '66, MS Project Time Teacher
Mike Boorse '89, Assistant to Director of Athletics
Brandon Jones '00, Director of Upper School Admissions & Diversity Recruitment
Alyssa Furukawa '08, Softball Coach
Meg Cohen Ragas '85, Director of Publications & Marketing Projects, Journalism Teacher
Courtney Wilson '12, Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher
Shawn Hennessy '98, Instrumental & Digital Music, Private Drum Lesson Teacher
Michael Loewy '70, Private Piano Lesson Teacher
Diane Mallery '80, Director of Alumni Relations
Peter Delaplane '87, Private Guitar Lesson Teacher
Hannah Caldwell Henderson '91, Director of Communications and Marketing
Susan Robinson '99, Science Teacher
Luisa Knowles '87, French Teacher, 10th Grade Advisor
Kate Hanssen '00, History Teacher
Missing from Photo:
Olivia Browne '16, Assistant Director, Summer Explorer Camp
Christopher Coxe '70, JV Soccer and Varsity Baseball Coach
Dominique Davenport '10, Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher
Victoria Dicastro Horn '10, Varsity Track & Field Assistant Coach
Justin Gilmore '96, Varsity Tennis Head Coach
Jared Lazorko '16, Varsity Wrestling Assistant Coach
Andre Lee '89, Film Teacher
Alex Levin '93, English Teacher
Giza Molenaar '18, Assistant Director Summer Coding And Robotics Camp
Jack Pope '95, Help Desk Coordinator and Tech Support Staff
Nicholas Renner '06, Programming, Computer Science & Digital Media Teacher
Jeremy Ross '69, History Teacher
Jennifer Sharp '91, ECP Teacher
Liliane Sharpless '04, ECP and Kindergarten Art Teacher
Victoria Spaeth '04, Early Childhood Program Music Teacher
Abbey Tyson Stace '99, MS Lacrosse Coach
Karrell Wilson '16, Assistant Coach MS Boys Soccer, Basketball, and Baseball
Several alumni reflected on how they came back to GFS, and what this community has meant to the trajectory of their lives.
Michael Boorse '89
"My return to GFS was a surprise. I had applied for many jobs and GFS was one of them. I thought is was a novelty to apply to, and be interviewed by, my alma mater. But because I was actively and widely searching, I didn't become attached to any particular opportunity. So it came as an overwhelming surprise to be actually offered the position.
It was only after realizing that I was coming back that I fully processed the meaning of being here as an adult and working to support the mission of the school. In 21 years, three departments, and five offices, I have seen more sides to the school than my "lifer" student years provided. The more I see, the more I have come to understand that it is an infinitely complex community that is ever-changing. I have learned never to assume that I know the complexity of someone else's role. Invariably, when I change roles, I discover myriad facets I never knew existed. In this way, working at GFS is a laboratory that mirrors the outside world. It teaches one that having respect for others and striving for excellence are companion traits. Mutual respect and a willingness to look inside oneself are what make the difference between a substantive, collaborative effort and a superficial one. Working at GFS is as much of a growing experience as studying here is."
Susan Kinney Robinson '99
"Tom Myran recruited me back to GFS when the US biology job opened in 2004. We had always wanted to reunite and coach together (he was my Varsity Basketball Coach.) I can't believe how much of my life I have spent in one place but at the same time can't imagine a better place to spend so much of my life!"
Jenny Stetzer Goldberg '95
"After teaching in Connecticut for several years, I was fortunate to find a position at GFS when we returned to Philadelphia in 2005. Having the nursery here on campus was a huge draw, as it meant that my baby and I could start at GFS together. That baby is now in 7th grade, and his sister in 4th grade, and I have loved experiencing GFS through their eyes and sharing this community with them."
[In the photo at the top: the GFS faculty and staff alumni in 1948.]