GFS recognizes the faculty and staff who are retiring at the end of this school year. Our third tribute honors the warm and thoughtful Ellen Berman, assistant to the associate head of school.
Her official title may be assistant to the associate head of school, but Ellen Berman is described by colleagues as all of the following: school greeter, loyal friend, master scheduler, talented writer, sage advisor, keeper of the Faculty Workroom, and advocate for meaningful professional development. Ellen came to GFS just shy of a decade ago, and has generously shared her organizational skills with three administrators over the years. "She is just the most detail-oriented person I've ever met," says Associate Head of School Page Fahrig-Pensde, who will miss her wonderful sense of humor and ability to laugh—even in difficult times. "She is so attentive to every Professional Development or reimbursement request, or hiring inquiry. She has been the face of the school for so many people who have applied to work at GFS. Ellen is also incredibly attentive to the faculty, restocking the Faculty Workroom and fixing an enormous number of copier meltdowns ... She is thoughtful, kind, and incredibly wise, and has been a wonderful friend to many."
Adds former Associate Head Rita Goldman, "Every administrator needs an Ellen. Someone who can anticipate your needs before you even know them. Someone who finds your errors before you make them publicly. Someone with exceptional organizational, technological, and administrative skills; who can produce reports, summaries, and data when asked. Someone who can handle the demands of scheduling multiple meetings, committee assignments, and agendas. Someone who can ascertain what people need almost without asking, who can help calm upset faculty or students who drop by the office. Someone who can give voice to the concerns of staff and can serve on committees that address those issues. Someone without whom you would be lost."
Everyone agrees: Ellen has made GFS a better school. We will miss her—her kindness, thoughtfulness, warm smile, generosity of spirit—immensely.