GFS SCHOOL NEWS

Today we celebrated six extraordinary members of our community for their induction into the Garrison Forest Hall of Excellence. Join us in congratulating the following 2021 inductees:

Bisrat Abraham '96

After obtaining her bachelor of arts degree from Johns Hopkins, Bisrat served as a Fulbright Fellow in Eritrea, East Africa. She obtained her Medical and Public Health degrees at Emory University and completed an Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Bisrat worked as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she investigated tuberculosis outbreaks both in the U.S. and abroad. Bisrat then completed an Infectious Disease Fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Her research interests focused on understanding predictors for poor clinical outcomes among those infected with HIV/ AIDS, particularly racial/ethnic minorities and women. She conducted this research as Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cornell and subsequently joined the Bureau of HIV at the New York City Health Department. She also served as interim Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of HIV, during which time she launched an HIV prevention program focused on women. She has maintained her academic appointments at Cornell and has managed patients in the Infectious Disease clinic. As the Associate Director for Pfizer’s Vaccine Clinical Research & Development Program, Bisrat played a key role on one of the teams that  brought a COVID-19 vaccine to the public.
 

Crystal Lee Alston '96

Crystal joined GFS as a day student and a Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust (B.E.S.T.) Scholar in 1992 for Ninth Grade. Crystal won the Alumnae Award at Commencement and has been involved with Garrison Forest in the following capacities: first-ever Vice President of the School; member of the first Black Student Union as well as Forum and the Badminton team; Class News Agent; Alumnae Board member; Class Fund Agent; and 2016 Reunion Co-chair. A current member of the Garrison Forest Board of Trustees, she serves as the Chair for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and previously chaired the School Life Committee. She was hired as Director of Alumnae Affairs at Garrison Forest School immediately following her graduation from Loyola College of Maryland and was later promoted to Director of the Fund for Garrison Forest and then Associate Director of Development. Crystal became Associate Director of Admission in July 2011. In 2004, Crystal became the first B.E.S.T. alumna to serve on their Board of Trustees, and in July 2014 she became its Director of Advancement. In 2016, she was named one of “40 under 40,” by the Baltimore Business Journal.
 

Lila Boyce Lohr '63

Lila graduated from Vassar and was among the first women to study at Yale. She earned her master’s degree in education at Goucher College and studied business administration at Johns Hopkins University. Lila worked for 15 years at the Bryn Mawr School in many roles before her first headship at St. Paul’s School for Girls, a role she held for over a decade. In 1995, she became the first female Head of School at Princeton Day, returning in 2007 as Interim Head. She held this critical interim position at a variety of schools before serving as Interim Head of School for Garrison Forest School for 2017-18. During that year, Lila advanced several projects, including the launch of the new dorm. Lila has since served as Interim Head at Marin Country Day School, University Prep and St. Catherine’s School. A former columnist for Family Magazine, Lila has written extensively in national publications and professional journals, and she authored a Peterson’s Guide. Lila served as President of the Board of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools and as Vice President of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls. Lila joined the Garrison Forest Board of Trustees in 1996, serving as President from 2005 to 2011 and returned to the Board in 2019. In 2012, Lila was honored with the school’s Distinguished Alumna Award.

Stacy Garrett-Ray '92

Stacy received her bachelor of science degree with a biology major and women’s studies minor from the University of Richmond, where she was a Cigna Scholar. Her medical degree is from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Maryland Department of Family and Community Medicine, where she served as chief resident. She received her Master of Public Health and MBA from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Stacy currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer of Ascension Healthcare. Previously, she served as Vice President/Medical Director of the University of Maryland Medical System’s Population Health Services Organization and as the COVID-19 Incident Command Community Provider Liaison for the University of Maryland Medical System. She is a member of the Garrison Forest Board of Trustees and the University of Richmond Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is also active in the community and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Greater Baltimore County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Patapsco River Chapter of the Links, Inc., and is co-founder of Maryland Mercury Girls AAU Basketball Team.

Miriam G. Vanderveer, Past Faculty

Miriam, known affectionately as Mrs. Van, graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a major in Italian. She was a teacher for 47 years and worked at Garrison Forest School for 42 years as a Latin teacher, Chair of the Latin Department, college counselor, Dean of Students, Admission Director, Coach of the Field Hockey team, assistant to the Head of School, Board Member, and mentor to many students and faculty. In 1977, Mrs. Van was honored with the position of Trustee Emerita, a title she retained until her death in 2001. A widow with no children, she saw GFS as her family. A member of the Marshall-Offutt Circle, she made the largest gift in the school’s history up until that time as part of her bequest. The money provided an endowment to support faculty, as she wanted teachers to be able to retire with grace and dignity.

Martha Colhoun Williams '85

Martha earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law. In January 2021, Martha was sworn in as Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In October 2021, she was nominated to the role of Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. Preceding her appointment, she served as the Director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from 2017 to 2020. Previously, Martha was an Assistant Professor of Law at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana in Missoula, and co-directed the university’s Land Use and Natural Resources Clinic. She also co-supervised the Public Land and Resources Law Review and the Environmental Law Group. Martha served as Deputy Solicitor of Parks and Wildlife at the Department of the Interior for two years, providing counsel to the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. She serves on the Boards of Directors for the National Conservation Leadership Institute and the Archie Bray Foundation and on the Advisory Board for the Franke School of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana.

See below for more pictures from today's ceremony: