At the conclusion of every school year, schools across the nation say goodbye to departing faculty who move on to a next phase of their lives. GDS sadly says goodbye to three of our faculty who, after combining their years of service, have dedicated their careers to over a century of teaching at Greensboro Day School. Our school is 50 years old, and these three have faithfully served our students, families, and faculty for a combined total of 104 years.
These three contributors have taught with passion and purpose leaving indelible marks on our community. David Gilbert, Beth Hopkins, and Cheryl Love offered their skills and focus within our three divisions - David in the Upper School, Beth in the Lower School, and Cheryl in our Middle School.
David Gilbert, Special Support Program and International Student Support, was hired in 1976, when the school was very young after graduating from Amherst College. In his forty-four years at GDS, he has taught math, science, and computer technology. He also served the school for many years as Academic Dean along with time as a College Counselor.
David is passionate about music (as a cellist), sustainability, and outdoor education just to name a few of his deep interests. He literally performed in the pit for most of our musicals, and he likely never missed a strings concert. He has served GDS as a leader with our Junior Backpacking Trip (only missed two), since former Head of School Jim Hendrix started that program 40 years ago. He has been a longtime board member of The Outdoor Academy, a semester program in Brevard, NC, that he helped to create over 30 years ago.
He has always been a leader in our international programs from our original work with AFS (American Field Service). In recent years, David has been a key link with our international students and their host families, serving with a passion for his global perspective and our school’s widening view of this world. He served as a Klingenstein Fellow (Columbia University) in the mid-80’s.
H is proud of his three daughters, all GDS graduates, who have also made strong impressions upon their school, the faculty, and their classmates. David has left an invaluable mark on this school in so many ways.
Beth Hopkins, First Grade Teacher, joined GDS in 1989. For over 30 years, starting as a student teacher in the very same room where she taught through last year, Beth has been a giver, a committed educator, and a consummate professional. Beth's decades of experience in both first and second grades made a significant impact on the lives of many children as she taught them the delight of learning to read and write. During her tenure, Beth served not only as a lead classroom teacher but also as a mentor and friend to many colleagues and parents.
Beth’s stars, hearts, and hugs are legendary! She is known for her innovative use of the Orton-Gillingham Responsive Classroom approach. A life-long learner, Beth has a degree in early education as well as a degree in music. She and newly returned teacher to GDS, Sonny Willis ’96, collaborated on many Lower School musical productions. Perhaps we will see a more casual re-union of the pair during Beth’s retirement!
A tribute to Beth would not be complete without mention of her farm. Her adopted goats, alpacas, turkeys, and dogs, to name a few, are just another demonstration of her giving nature. In her own words from a 2013 GDS Magazine feature, “I tell people to always adopt animals. It’s so important to adopt because there are so many animals that need homes.” Her generosity of spirit is very much a part of Beth’s legacy. Her many students and families can certainly attest to that.
Cheryl Love, Eighth Grade Math Teacher, came to GDS twenty-nine years ago as a part-time mathematics teacher in the Upper School. Cheryl noted that her decision process included a pro and cons list and that ultimately she made the correct decision in joining the faculty at Greensboro Day School. Her students and colleagues wholeheartedly agree.
Cheryl taught mathematics across two divisions. Her teaching provided a strong foundation for GDS student mathematicians for parts of 4 decades. As a believer in the mission and philosophy of the school, she brought her sons, William ‘06 and Steven ‘10, both eventual lifers, to her school. Her sons were integral members of the learning community that Cheryl helped to shape. “My time at GDS allowed my sons to learn from excellent teachers in a caring environment, build life-long friendships with teachers, alumni and their families, and enter university life ready for the challenges offered in that arena.”
Cheryl’s contributions to the GDS learning community were underscored by her gratitude for the support and encouragement to make them. “During my time at Greensboro Day School … the school has encouraged me as a life-long learner, supporting my professional growth throughout my tenure.”
Cheryl is a dedicated life-long learner both formally and informally; it is a trait she sought to pass on to her students. She was always working to further her understanding of schooling, mathematics, adolescent children, and pedagogy. Her’s has been a uniquely positive impact for each of the 29 years that she has shared herself and her family with the GDS community.
Thank you, David, Beth, and Cheryl for your incredible service to our school.