Julie Sykes and Gabrielle Crumlish have been a part of the fabric of Saint David’s School for the past 30 and 41 years respectively. Their significant and defining contributions to the life and vitality of the school are surpassed only by their love for it. Julie and Gabrielle will be retiring this June. Julie’s sons Matthew, ’89, Andrew, ’91, and David, ’95 are all Saint David’s graduates, as are Gabrielle’s sons, Christian in’78, Arthur Jr.,’80, and Peter, ’82. Gabrielle and Julie first came to Saint David’s as parents, Julie in 1980 and Gabrielle in 1969. As the years passed and their sons grew, so did the depth of their involvement and commitment to the school. In 1985 Gabrielle began her professional association with Saint David’s as an assistant kindergarten teacher. As fate would have it, both would serve Saint David’s as her gatekeeper: Gabrielle from 1989 for three years, before courting Julie Sykes and Janet Sughrue to succeed her as co-directors, allowing her to return to her beloved classroom. Julie began her work with the school in 1992 as Co-Director of Admissions. After Janet’s retirement in 2007, Julie served as Director of Admissions through the present. Julie and Gabrielle have helped shape this very special school; their influence will continue to resonate well beyond their departures.
During the fall and early winter of this school-year, we began the challenging and lengthy task of searching for a new director. We advertised broadly and interviewed widely. A number of representatives from a broad cross-section of our community combined with outside professional guidance worked diligently to screen and interview in excess of 100 candidates from across the country and abroad. After several candidates were invited for a visit to the school, the field of candidates was narrowed further. I began to have in dept conversations with these candidates. The process concluded and I am happy to report on the appointment of Allison Vella. Carol Dillon and our admissions team are all excited and looking forward to working with Allison as the new Director of Admissions. While the lengthy process of finding Julie’s successor has concluded, we have only just now begun our search for Gabrielle’s. Filling her shoes will not be an easy task.
Please save the date of June 3, 2010, 6 PM. At this year’s Alumni Reunion we will be honoring the work of Julie and Gabrielle and the legacies of these two incredible members of the Saint David’s community. Invitations will follow. I remain,