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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Carey Camel

Carey Camel Carey Camel, EDS Class of 2009, Student at Princeton University

What impact has Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School had on you? I spent a large part of my life at EDS and I don’t think I realize how big an impact it had on me until I went to high school. EDS students stood out as incredibly intelligent and it was then I realized how different EDS is compared to other schools.

Did EDS help create a love of learning for you? I developed great habits at EDS. I was really invested during that time and I strived for success. EDS students are not passive during class which helps provide us with a great foundation.        

What passions did you find at EDS that you may not have discovered elsewhere? I became very involved with music at EDS and that’s a love I still have to this day. I give Mrs. Elayne Gabbert a lot of credit for molding me. She gave me a lot of confidence and I felt like she believed in me.

Describe the faculty at EDS. I had really amazing teachers, particularly in lower school. They were always so happy to engage with us, even though we were so young. They didn’t just stand up and talk at the class. They were open to having discussions and conversations with us about anything and everything, regardless of how young we were.

Did you have a favorite teacher? Two teachers in particular stand out. Ms. Parks was my second grade teacher. She was such a fabulous educator and she created this wonderful program called Pickles that assisted students who needed extra help with school work. I also loved my fourth grade teachers, Ms. Caples. I remember her being a more “serious” teacher but she was so great at joking around with us and getting down on our level. She was also wonderful at presenting material and slowing down or speeding up when she needed to. She could really read the class and figure out exactly what we needed.

Was there a time that a teacher went above and beyond for you? I have a really funny memory from second grade. One day, during recess, I fell down and scraped up my knee. All the teachers there, even the ones I didn’t know as well, were so helpful and kind. They took me into the teacher’s lounge to bandage my knee which was the coolest thing ever at the time because kids were never allowed in the lounge! I even got to get a coke out of the soda machine!

Describe the EDS community. Because EDS is such a small community, everyone is very invested in each child’s education. No one gets lost in the cracks at EDS. Everyone knows your name and there is a real sense of connectivity. Having such a small community also gives the students the opportunity to work on their interpersonal skills. Kids at EDS are great at solving their own issues among themselves. There’s rarely a need for tattle telling. Because of the smaller population, the students learn to work things out between themselves.

Do you stay in touch with your EDS friends? I haven’t really stayed in touch with many of my EDS classmates, but when I do run into someone, there is a definite bond present. We have that shared experience. I know there were some incredibly bright people at EDS during my time and I know they are going to go and do amazing things.

Did EDS help you find the right college for you? I definitely changed a lot during my high school years and when the time came to apply for college, I was very different from the person who graduated 8th grade at EDS. But I will say that Ms. Kelly’s English class helped a lot with my writing skills. I think that played a valuable part in my application process.

How prepared for college and for life were you? I feel my education gave me several valuable skills such as my go-getter attitude and a desire to live a balanced life. I gained a lot of self confidence and a great desire to succeed but also the wisdom that I could easily overschedule myself and how beneficial it is to strive for balance in my life. EDS also gave me a foundation of organization and diligence which allows me to set myself up for success. I actively think about my day and the coming week and what I need to do and the steps I need to take to make myself successful in all my endeavors.

Elizabeth Garber Lanier

Elizabeth Garber Lanier, President George Bush, and a woman EDS Class of 2000, Archivist at the George W. Bush Presidential Library for the National Archives and Records Administration

I never imagined my career would lead me to meet a president or allow me to listen to all five living presidents speak in person. Working as an archivist at the George W. Bush Presidential Library for the National Archives and Records Administration has done that while also giving me the privilege of working each day to preserve and provide access to the important historical documents created at the White House from 2001 to 2009. I am a caretaker for all the papers and electronic records generated by White House staff, including President and Mrs. Bush, as they developed the policies that shaped our government during that time. My interest in libraries started at Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School where I was a member of the library club with just a few other students. We shelved books and learned about the Dewey Decimal System with Mrs. Paula Clemmons. I returned to the library as a volunteer one summer when I was home from studying history at LSU. Mrs. Clemmons inquired about my career plans and suggested I investigate archives. Next thing I knew, I was attending the University of Texas at Austin working on a master’s degree in Information Studies – the latest terminology for Library Science – and specializing in archives. My education, along with the assistance and support of the staff at EDS (including my mom!), helped me acquire an internship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and a full-time position with the National Archives.

Joel Dondis

Joel Dondis EDS Class of 1980, Founder of Sucre' Sweet Boutiques and Confection Studio in New Orleans, LA

What impact did EDS have on you? I've had a lot of time to reflect on my years at EDS and I consistently find myself saying to other people that EDS is the one place that allowed me to truly be myself. People always ask how I got into cooking and I feel that EDS played a huge role in fostering that love. I started cooking around age ten. I made crepes for the school fair and I even got to do my 6th grade science project on the chemical reactions that occur during the making of a soufflé! I’m pretty sure I took home the grand prize that year at the science fair. As you can see, at EDS I was in a very nurturing environment that allowed me to explore my interests at a very young age. I've told my wife Gretchen many times that I owe so much to EDS.

Did EDS create a love of learning in you? I absolutely believe that you are formed by your environment and EDS’s environment is one of curiosity. EDS’s gregarious support of the curious learner helps to shape the students into confident individuals. Without this support, many children end up scared and will only follow a regimented path in the future.

What passions did you find at EDS? While at EDS, I was obviously passionate about cooking and also about being curious, as I mentioned above. When people are allowed to be curious, it instills confidence in them. As a business owner, that curiosity is something that I now look for in everyone I hire. Curious people are changing the landscape and paving new paths.

Describe the faculty at EDS. The faculty at EDS is very nurturing. They take the time to get to know each student individually and tailor learning to their needs and passions. Many of my teachers, including Boo Kay and Mrs. Carol Gani Goings, went above and beyond for me during my time at EDS.

Did you have a favorite teacher? It’s a toss-up between Boo Kay and Mrs. Carol Gani Goings. They were very different, but I loved both of their classrooms. I couldn't wait to go to school every day.

Was there a time that a teacher went above and beyond for you? Mrs. Carol Gani Goings helped me with my 6th grade soufflé science project. She would walk me across the street and let me use the school kitchen whenever I needed to work on my project. At that time the oven and soufflé were taller than I was!

Describe the EDS community. The EDS community is incredibly thoughtful and they have a great respect for others. The faculty teaches for each individual student and they strive to understand the best way to reach each individual child.

What did you like about your fellow students? We were really young but I remember just having a great time together! Did you stay in touch with EDS friends? I can’t say I keep in touch with many classmates. We left when we were so young and went to our respective high schools.

Did EDS help you find the right college for you? Absolutely! They nurtured, appreciated, and understood my love for cooking. I credit them for giving me the confidence to apply to The Culinary Institute of America in New York City. Even though I was four years removed from EDS by the time it came to apply for college, I had already had educators encouraging me to follow and pursue my passions.

How prepared for college and life were you? I’ll be honest. After I left EDS, my curiosity wasn't nurtured anymore and I became disengaged. Because I was disengaged, I didn't pay attention in high school, and I paid for that later. Now that I own my own business I can see where my weaknesses are and I so wish that I had had the opportunity for an education like EDS in my more senior years. I firmly believe that my areas of weakness would be much less pronounced if I had been in an environment like EDS during high school.