When I came to All Saints’, the Librarian’s position was filled each year by an intern who was enrolled in UT’s Information and Library Sciences program. Before the school year ended, the current intern would recommend a classmate to be hired for the upcoming year. In 2006, I offered Gigi Khalsa the position primarily because of her educational background and previous teaching experience. The next year, I asked her to not only stay on as the Librarian, but to also be our Kindergarten Teacher.
After the Faculty attended an eight-hour Conscious Discipline workshop that introduced us to the importance of social-emotional learning, Gigi expressed an interest in learning more about this program, so she attended a week-long Conscious Discipline workshop. She then helped launch a transformational, whole-school solution for social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation. When our Music Teacher left, Gigi volunteered to take guitar lessons and to enroll in a Music Together training course and afterwards, elevated our music program to a higher level. Despite her desire to be a lifelong learner, periodically she would look at me and say, “I would not want your job.”
Before school ends each year, I meet with Faculty members to help them set goals for the upcoming school year. In May of this year, Gigi shared that she was prepared to stretch herself again; she planned to apply for the job as Head of School. Then she said, “I can tell by the expression on your face that you are surprised with this news.” Before I could even respond, she added with a laugh, “I am too!” I had never seen Gigi have a bigger smile or a more beautiful glow to her skin. While she might not have recognized it at that precise moment, I knew without question that God was calling her to lead this sweet little school.
I am thrilled that Gigi’s willingness to serve is perfectly timed with my retirement. It has been said that if we come to the edge of the unknown, we will either find solid ground to stand on, or we’ll be taught to fly. When I give thanks to God for my blessings this Thanksgiving, I will thank Him for empowering Gigi to take a leap of faith. My prayer is that you will join me in supporting her as she begins this new journey.