Since 1996, Greensboro Day School annually selects a member of the faculty to receive funding for a summer sabbatical. Faculty members submit proposals that are reviewed by members of the Head of School’s Council. Proposals must include a description of the anticipated travel and explain how the time used will benefit the teacher and their students.
Second Grade teacher Marvella Taylor is the 2020 Brooks Sabbatical recipient. Ms. Taylor has taught at Greensboro Day School for 11 years, with a total of 13 years of teaching experience. While at GDS, she has received a TEEF Grant to attend the Earth Partnership for Schools Summer Institute, represented GDS at People of Color Conferences, Educator Summit, Women in Leadership Conference, and Staff Development for Educators National Conference. Ms. Taylor chaired the Improvement of Instruction Committee and was a member of the Critical Friends Group, and Head of School Search Committee. She was a 2019 graduate of the Empowering Leaders Institute.
Inspired by Nelson Mandela, Ms. Taylor will travel to South Africa to visit attractions central to Mandela’s life. Some of the sites include Robben Island to spend time at the Robben Island Museum to witness Mandela’s life in prison, the Mandela Museum where exhibits trace Mandela’s journey as told in his autobiography “A Long Walk to Freedom,” and the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre to learn about his youth and the missionary-run school that he attended.
Ms. Taylor will also have the opportunity to meet the family of Babalwa Tetyana ’18, who lived with Ms. Taylor and her daughter, Aiyana as an international student. Ms. Taylor will also spend time volunteering with John Lombardo, founder of ArtWorks for Youth and a member of the ‘village,’ played an integral role in Babalwa coming to America to attend Greensboro Day School. The mission of ArtWorks for Youth is to provide free visual art instruction, academic support, and mentoring to students in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. During her time in Port Elizabeth, she will volunteer with the organization to run a girls group with a focus on developing leadership skills, wellness, and self-care.
Ms. Taylor is excited to share her immersive experience with her students and inspire them when they work on their second grade biography projects.
Dr. Jean Brooks established the Brooks Endowment for Sabbatical Leave in 1996. The sabbatical encourages writing, research, and unique cultural experiences with the sabbatical covering the cost of the recipient’s trip. Twenty-six previous recipients have taken trips to Costa Rica, Italy, Guinea, Greece, Ireland, France, Maine, England, China, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and more.
Congratulations to Marvella Taylor!