The Real Value of a Team

At GUS, learning is never confined to just the classroom. All aspects of our program are deliberately designed and implemented to foster the growth of the whole child. One example is our athletic program. As Mr. E always reminds families, sports at GUS are co-curricular, not extra-curricular.

GUS has always believed that physical education offers essential learning opportunities for our students. GUS sports provide a new context for students to attempt challenges, work together to find solutions, and to have fun! The lessons on the field, whether about sportsmanship, always giving your best, or the power of believing in yourself, have implications that will play out in many different aspects of life.

Personally, sports have always played an important role in my life. Back in the 80’s, GUS was known for an exceptional lacrosse camp, run by former faculty member Margie Anderson, who happened to be on the World Cup team at the time. She is now in the lacrosse hall of fame, as one of the best of the best. My sister and I idolized her after participating in more than one summer camp here at GUS. We played in the morning out on Bartlett Field, walked down to West Beach for lunch and a swim, and came back for more games. No doubt that time at camp helped seed my love of the sport, as well as furthered my understanding and appreciation for the sense of strength and feeling of joy that comes from being part of a team.  I went on to play through college and then coached until I finally hung up my whistle when I came to GUS in 2010.

Throughout my time on teams, as a player and a coach, the most meaningful thing I’ve learned from athletics is the real value of a team. Never underestimate the power of a group of committed individuals when they have a common goal. While my career in athletics may have ended, my commitment to team remains. GUS is all about a team mentality and there is evidence of this mindset all over campus as we begin the school year. We see it in our teachers, we work to instill it in our students, and we thrive off it as a community. 

Obviously, we see the power of the team with our own students, certainly in athletics which has enjoyed a strong kick off this season, but we also work to develop our students’ ability to recognize the power of the team off the field. This year’s theme for the upper school is ‘be the change’ as we focus on making a difference in our GUS community and the world. That change can mean being a difference-maker in a soccer game or at a cross-country meet to help the team bring back a victory, but it can also mean making a difference in the classroom by asking a question and elevating a class discussion. It can mean making that extra effort to get to know a new student or to include everyone. Maybe it’s joining together with classmates to head to Boston to march for climate change or starting a petition to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day. Here at GUS, in big ways and small ways, our students are teaming with a shared sense of purpose, to learn, to grow, and to change. It’s thrilling to watch and humbling to witness. There is no doubt they will have a great year and they will do great things, at GUS and beyond.

Perhaps no team brings more heart or more effort to the game than our teachers! I definitely coach an all-star team. Maybe we don’t chart our success by points or scores, but nevertheless, we play to win. I am so proud of this talented group of educators. They bring their whole selves to their work and always leave it all on the field. I am inspired by their determination to reach every child and moved by their commitment to fulfilling our mission. Our teachers also dedicate their time to benefit the strength of the institution, whether that is at school events like our recent celebration of International Day of Peace or taking on increased responsibilities to ensure this interim year is a success. Our faculty always rise to the challenge for the good of the team. 

I hope you all continue to cheer on the GUS Boars from near and far! Join us on the field, or at any number of upcoming school events, and feel the energy that comes from being with people who share your affection for this special school. There are so many reasons to be ra-ra for GUS!

Trust and Go Forward,


Gretchen Forsyth
Interim Head of School