November Volunteer Spotlight
MEET Amy Reed- 5th Grade Room Parent
My friends describe me in one word as: "SPEEDY" -my nickname at the hospital and it stuck!
Grace parent: 6 years
Children at Grace: Sydney- 5th grade
Are you from Alaska?: We moved up to Alaska with the Air Force in 2007, and we never left!
In what part of town do you live? 12 minutes door to door from Grace if I use the speed limit on Prospect Road merely as a suggestion
Favorite food and hobby: My favorite hobby is running. I try to run one marathon a year, and my favorite spots to visit and run are Maui and Boston. I am also history buff, so visiting historic locations like Gettysburg, Washington D.C., and Boston are on the top of my list. I used to run on the battlefields of Gettysburg at college cross country meets. A fun fact is I am also a Master Gardener, and I use hydroponics to grow vegetables. My favorite food is sushi, and I am addicted to Sushi Garden's ceviche roll.
Favorite place to visit: I am also history buff, so visiting historic locations like Gettysburg, Washington D.C., and Boston are on the top of my list. I used to run on the battlefields of Gettysburg at college cross country meets.
Favorite sports team: I married a Boston boy, so I adopted the Red Sox as my favorite baseball team!
What do you like about Alaska? I love the menagerie of wildlife in my backyard every night. Last week, we had a bull moose, porcupine, and black bear stroll past our front door all in one evening. We once had to use a leaf blower to scare a bull moose away from our car to get to school on time!
What do you like most about GCS? The Godly role models my daughter has surround her. Her teachers know and love her like their own. It's amazing the investment they put into the children they teach. I have personally met some of my best friends in the other Grace families here through the volunteer events. I always come home after an event feeling uplifted!
Where and why do you volunteer at the school? I started volunteering at Grace in the Advancement Team setting up events six years ago, and it has blossomed from there. I've been room mom, auction decorating committee, and the official coffee brewer at Grandparent's Day. I find volunteering a ministry and also a great way to learn our students and their parent's names and faces!
Do you have a favorite story about volunteering at GCS? Too many to narrow down! Running out of caffeinated coffee at the morning Grandparent's Day program is one of my top favorites. Hitting every thrift store in town with Terra Ayers for Monopoly game boards for last year's auction still makes me laugh! Convincing my husband to paper-mache a huge TIE fighter from an exercise ball in my garage for the Star Wars themed auction is another good one.
MEET Julie Buck- 5th Grade Room Parent
My friends describe me in one word as: THOUGHTFUL (I asked a friend)
Grace parent: This is my 8th year
Children at Grace: Aubrey 7th, Malakai 5th, Zoe 2nd
How long have you lived in Alaska?: I moved here in 2003, went to Texas for 2008-9, and then came back.
In what part of town do you live? Hillside, near Service High
Favorite hobby: I love to travel. I also love playing on my coed volleyball team, hiking, painting and sewing.
Favorite Sports Team:
Favorite place to visit: Favorite vacations were family trips to Hawai’i and Thailand
What do you like about Alaska? I love living on the trail system and the unique community experiences my kids get to grow up doing—things like dip netting and processing fish, hunting and processing meat, visiting glaciers, hiking in mountains regularly.
What do you like most about GCS? I love the community at GCS and that my kids go to school with other families who want Christ at the center of their learning.
Where do you volunteer at the school? I am 5th grade room parent because I like to be involved in the classroom. I also help out in my 2nd grader’s class.
October Volunteer Spotlight
MEET Kristi Gartman- 4th Grade Room Parent
My friends describe me in one word as: Caring
Grace parent: this is my third year as a Grace parent
Children at Grace: twins Landon and Quinton in 4th
Are you from Alaska?: no, I've lived here for a little over six years
In what part of town do you live? Eagle River
Favorite food and hobby: I love to paint, do photography, travel, camp, fish, hunt, and garden. I enjoy all grilled food but also love to try new foods! I am a coffee lover!
Favorite place to visit: I look forward to any opportunity to visit Valdez, Alaska. In the lower US we enjoy going to Destin, Florida. Outside of US, I love any chance to visit any part of Europe!
Favorite sports team: My favorite football team is the Seattle Seahawks. GO Hawks!
What do you like about Alaska? I think the thing we have enjoyed the most is the camping, fishing, hunting and exploring. Alaska scenery is just gorgeous, so I am always looking for an amazing photo around every corner. We have been amazed by all the wildlife that is literally all around us. It has allowed us to learn so much about the environment and our kids have enjoyed that so much. We are also rock hunters, and we are always searching for unique rocks! Our kids love discovering them and we have quite the collection!
What do you like most about GCS? The Christian atmosphere was so important to us, when we looked at schools. We wanted our kids to get a good education, but most importantly, we wanted them in a Christian environment. Grace was the perfect fit for us. The administration, teachers, and support staff have always set a great example of what it is like to be a Christian by showing compassion, God's love, and forgiveness. The education, educational materials, and chapel support living our lives as Christians. We feel blessed to be part of a Christ centered school environment!
Where and why do you volunteer at the school? I used to be a teacher and I know it takes a lot to run a school. Since I am currently not working, I feel like God wants me at the school to help where it is needed. Currently, I am a Room Parent and part of Volunteer Connect. It is a blessing to be able to help the teachers in their classroom and outside of it. I also am grateful for Volunteer Connect that connects you with opportunities around the school.
"Some of my favorite times in volunteering was helping with 1st and 2nd graders during stations. The kids learn so much going from station to station doing various math or reading activities. I loved helping them and the teachers. It was also a joy to see those little lightbulbs go off as they learned new things and ideas. I will cherish those sweet memories."
MEET Terra Ayers- 4th Grade Room Parent
My friends describe me in one word as: EXCITABLE
Grace parent: 6 years
Children at Grace: 2 kids- Maddie-5th, Tobin-3rd
How long have you lived in Alaska?: 32 years
In what part of town do you live? South Anchorage
Favorite hobby: Travelling with family and friends
Favorite food: Thai
Favorite Sports Team: I don't follow sports, go all the teams!
Favorite place to visit: Hawaii
What do you like about Alaska? I like the year round beauty and I love the people and our sense of community here. I also enjoy working on our property on Crystal Lake with my family and friends.
What do you like most about GCS? I love that it feels like home. I graduated from Grace in 97' and I'm so thankful that my kids are able to come and are having the same experience. The teachers that nurture hearts and minds and share the love of Jesus daily are all amazing.
Where do you volunteer at the school? I have been on the auction decorating committee for years, being creative with friends is really fun! I also enjoy being a room parent and putting auction baskets together. Volunteering has led to many great friendships over the years 🙂
"Amy Reed is my partner in volunteering crime 😉 We love going thrift shopping for auction decorating! I think my favorite party we did together as room parents was the second grade Christmas party when we made a waffle bar and the kids came to school in their pajamas. :)"
September Volunteer Spotlight
MEET Erin McIntyre
My friends describe me in one word as: DEVOTED
Grace parent: this is my third year as a Grace parent
Children at Grace: 2 kids- 2nd, 5th
Are you from Alaska?: no, but I've lived here since I was 14 years so I consider myself Alaskan
In what part of town do you live? west Anchorage, near Kincaid Park
Favorite food and hobby: pizza; reading and spending time with my family
Favorite place to visit: Hawaii
Favorite sports team: I don't follow any sports teams
What do you like about Alaska? I have lived in AK for 25 years and I love the beauty and accessibility of nature here.
What do you like most about GCS? I love being a part of this family of believers.
Where and why do you volunteer at the school? I serve in the classroom, in the kitchen, at the auction and as a room mom. I volunteer in the classroom to help the teachers and spend time with my kiddos. I serve in the kitchen because they need volunteers and its super fun. I help with the Auction because it's fun to participate in such an important event for the school. I volunteer as a room mom because I love supporting the teachers and helping the parents get involved. Just recently, I began to look for other ways to serve at the school. This has turned into the opportunity to serve on the school board and I am very much so looking forward to this!
"My first semester at the school I signed up to help set up the live auction display because no one else did. I showed up that day expecting to spend just a couple of hours helping out, but the lead person had been setting it up for years and was passing the torch to me! So I spent the day with her, setting up and learning what is involved, and I've been doing it ever since. It came as a surprise but it's been a lot of fun and a great way to be of service to the school."
MEET Lisa van der Horst
My friends describe me in one word as: LOUD
Grace parent: since January 2020
Children at Grace: 3 kids- 2nd, 5th and 7th
Are you from Alaska?: no, I've lived here for 9 months
In what part of town do you live? south Anchorage, off of Goldenview
Favorite hobby: LOVE to play and coach basketball; Love movies and TV
What do you like about Alaska? We love GCS!
What do you like most about GCS? Smaller Christian school with friendly families
Where do you volunteer at the school? Room Parent/ Ambassador Liaison, Class Basket Coordinator, 2nd Grade Room Parent
"Being new to the school, volunteering was the best way to learn about the school and to make fast friends with some lovely people!"