Donors speak to the enduring impact of GDS.
Since its inception, the One GDS Community Crisis Fund has drawn support from every community constituency at all donor levels. The fund, which is committed to supporting families who have suffered economically as a result of COVID-19, will provide additional financial aid resources to keep our wonderful community whole. Additionally, a portion of the funds raised will be set aside for use at the Head of School’s discretion, to allow for maximum flexibility in addressing other needs that may arise for faculty, staff, and other members of the community as a result of this pandemic.
Along with their gifts, donors included comments that spoke to the mission-driven work of GDS, the dedication of our teachers, and the care given to our families. In this post and in the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite comments, in hopes that you will consider joining current families, faculty, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, former faculty, and others by becoming a supporter of the One GDS Community Crisis Fund.
This week, we are sharing comments from donors that speak to the enduring impact GDS has had and continues to have on the lives of students and families. Alumni, former faculty, alumni parents, and even current parents note the way a GDS education and the community itself guides and enriches their lives long beyond their days on campus.
Alum Cara Feinberg ’94 wrote, “The connections I made there are at the heart of the kind of connections I continue to make now—from friends and teachers who invested in me and valued the things I wanted to value in myself.” The relationships built at GDS are not only valuable and long-lasting but also inform the quality and character of relationships students go on to cultivate in their personal and professional lives.
Parents also feel the GDS impact on their own growth as lifelong learners. Rashida Holman-Jones, the parent of graduating student-athlete Ziyah Holman and incoming PKK twins as well as the Director of Family & Community Engagement at the SEED School in DC. She wrote, “We are partners in the work developing the whole child and GDS pushes me to become a deeper advocate for equity. I would not have that lens without GDS. I have a responsibility to grow because my daughter is leading the way!”
The leadership of our students—who begin to lead with purpose even from the earliest Lower School grades—stems from the support of faculty and staff in partnership with families. High School math teacher Ed Stern, an early crisis fund donor, spoke to the “depth of caring” at GDS that he loves most.
Leaders emerge from such an environment, and we hear time and again from parents who observe this growth. “Ever since Colin arrived in 4th grade,” said Jill Tuennerman and Michael Kirk, “we've been thoroughly impressed. With the education, yes of course, but more so with the CLEAR sense of mission and the STRONG sense of compassionate community. GDS is teaching the most important things—independence, awareness of others, critical thinking, how to ASK the right questions. It is producing not only scholars but well-rounded people who go out into the world as better human beings.”
"My daughter thrives at school,” added another current parent. “She loves her friends, her teachers, and is developing excellent critical thinking skills. My daughter has also developed a very accepting and compassionate view of the world." Long-time theater director and chair of the High School performing arts department Laura Rosberg was thinking about her love of community and compassion when she gave to the Crisis Fund. "I love that we are a community and that we look after each other."
First-year parent and Crisis Fund donor James Gilroy wrote, “We have been overwhelmed by the incredible outreach from the community in so many ways, the numerous opportunities to engage in school life, and obviously the talented teachers who have made our daughter's first year in a new school such a success. We are looking forward to many more to come when we come out on the other side of this pandemic.”
Community members feel, even more urgently, the importance of the work of Georgetown Day School as persistent and pervasive racism is made visible across the country. In the face of the pain the pandemic is causing and the bitterness of injustice, our mission remains a hopeful one. We are called to come to each other’s aid and to fight alongside each other; and yet at the same time, we are called to lift each other. “As the proud parent of one alum and one lifer,” wrote Jeffrey Brand, “GDS takes children seriously, learning seriously, and justice seriously. And still, GDS urges students to find joy even in the midst of difficult situations. It’s also important that laughter fills the hallways of GDS.”
When giving to the Crisis Fund, alum Noah Kaswell ’09 wrote, “I’m very proud to be an alumnus of GDS and I hope this donation makes a small difference in enabling future Hoppers to benefit from the same education I was fortunate enough to have.”
Whether small or big, your gift, like Noah’s, makes a difference. Whether you have already made a gift, are considering giving again, or plan to make a gift for the first time to the One GDS Community Crisis Fund, we invite you to ask yourself how you are making a difference. We are grateful for your generosity and meaningful participation.
Truly a gift of any size will make a difference in keeping our community together. It is our hope that the fund will allow members of the GDS community to do what we do best—lean into our mission and come together to support each other as One GDS.
If you have questions, please contact Lindsey Jacobson, Associate Director of Development at LJacobson@gds.org or 202-295-1061.