Russell Shaw: From Where I Stand
Somewhere Aggie, Edith, Gladys, and Peter were laughing—at least that’s how I imagined it. For the first time in Georgetown Day School history, we were prepared to open a PK–12 school on a single campus. I imagine my four head of school predecessors laughing to themselves because while our new building is indeed spectacular, they know that GDS has never been about its facilities. GDS is GDS because of the people—the relationships, the magic that manifests when individuals with different life stories are brought together to form community. Or, as GDS alum and former teacher Julia Blount ’08 wrote in a recent essay about GDS, quoting her grandmother who was also a teacher, “No brick ever educated a child.”
Whether as a school of 12 students in a downtown rowhouse in 1945, as our first high school in a former hardware store in 1971, or as a contemporary school of 1,075 on a single campus in Tenleytown, our institution’s “special sauce” resides in the interactions between community members and the purposeful engagement of those community members both within and beyond our School’s literal and metaphorical walls.
As we celebrate 75 years and set forth on our next 75, we can take comfort in the knowledge that no matter GDS’s physical future, our mission will reside in brilliant teachers, joyful and curious students, passionate alumni, and a purpose that transcends buildings and generations. Here’s to the next 75. Happy Birthday, GDS.