News & Events

A Garden Ramada and a Strings Ensemble

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The Gregory School is grateful for the generosity of our volunteers: parents, alumni parents, and family members, alumni, friends of the school, and more who share their time and talents to enrich our school, our students, and our community. We are excited to begin a volunteer spotlight feature in our newsletter, and we start today with two current parent volunteers, Scott Lockaby and Christie Blute.

A Garden Ramada

Scott Lockaby, father of Braden in 7th grade and Bryson in 9th, created a structural plan and materials list for a Gregory School garden ramada, and then worked with students and Middle School teacher Jeff Clashman to build it. “My favorite part was working with Gregory students to create this structure that will benefit The Gregory School campus,” Mr. Lockaby explained.

The ramada, designed by Middle School teacher Lorie Heald who teaches our Garden to Table class, provides shelter and a little respite from the sun for our hard working student gardeners. The students and their teachers also wash their harvest at the ramada and grow seedlings in its shade. And the ramada, in itself, provides beauty to the area.  

“Scott and his whole family have been a great help to the farmyard for many years,” Lorie Heald wrote. “What is really special about the Lockabys is that they model what it looks like for a family to work together on a difficult project and support one another until they reach a successful completion.” Ms. Heald adds that the Lockaby family also gave the farmyard a full set of power tools for Christmas last year! 

“Scott recognizes the needs of our farmyard and garden and sees how his expertise and knowledge can be helpful,” Ms. Heald wrote.


The Gregory School Strings Ensemble

When TGS music teacher Dr. Chris Fresolone saw interest among our students for a school strings program, he contacted Christie Blute, a current parent. Ms. Blute explained, "Through my own two children (Riley is an 8th grade violin player and Desiree is a 6th grade harp player), my connection to the private string teachers in Tucson, as well as to community string groups, I was aware that there are several students at Gregory who take private string lessons but do not have an opportunity to collectively make music at school. Being a music teacher myself, I know that being part of an ensemble is extremely important to the development of a well-rounded musician."

Because Ms. Blute is not available to volunteer during the school day, she and Dr. Fresolone decided to make Strings Ensemble a Wednesday afternoon club. The group has worked together to select two pieces to perform at Friends & Family day on November 26.

“All the students have a voice when it comes to musical decisions regarding performance elements of the piece," Ms. Blute wrote. "What has been really neat to see is that not only are they developing into a nice chamber group of musicians, but a tight social group as well. Three of the students are new to Gregory, and I think this club has offered all of the students another way to connect with students they might not normally see at school. 

“I know through experience as an educator and as a parent that it is easy for high achieving musicians to get bogged down with difficult music that requires significant practice time. It is nice to have an hour and a half a week dedicated to allowing students to improve their musical abilities, but perhaps even more importantly to just have fun playing music."

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