In 1978, Head of School Jim Hendrix received permission from the Board of Trustees to establish a program of professional development and evaluation. After a two-day workshop led by Dr. David Purpel of UNCG, the faculty endorsed the concept and organized a committee, that over a period of three years developed the system of partner teachers, observation, goal setting, evaluation, and faculty study which was widely emulated across the independent school world. David Gilbert and Carmen Redding, key members of the original committee, were often asked to present workshops for other schools about the GDS program. After such a workshop in Tennessee in the fall of 1994, Gilbert noted, “Our program strikes a responsive chord with faculty because it was developed by teachers rather than by administrators.” The program was featured in the Journal-ISM magazine, of Independent School Management in August of 1983 and in a panel of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) conference in the spring of 1985 and again in 1991. The minutes of the 1984 Annual Meeting indicate that “special praise was directed toward Dr. Hendrix for providing the effort, image and character upon which the high standards of the school are based.” To this point, nothing the school had done had achieved as much national attention as the IOI.