Newspaper Editor
Literary Magazine Staff
National Honor Society

After GDS
BA (Cum Laude), Smith College
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, NYU
Assistant clinical professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Written and published 4 books
Mother of 3 children

Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D., a 1979 graduate of Greensboro Day School, is one of America’s foremost memory fitness and brain health experts. Cynthia is the founder and CEO of TBH Brands, LLC and Total Brain Health, a leading provider of cognitive fitness training programs and services. She is a recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1996, Cynthia founded the Memory Enhancement Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. The success of this program led to the publication of her first book, Total Memory Workout: 8 Easy Steps to Maximum Memory Fitness. She has had numerous appearances on Good Morning America, 20/20 and Fox News; has been published in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Prevention, and Parenting, and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

Founded first Operation Smile Club in NC
Head’s List every semester
Athlete of the Year (2 years)
Track Records: 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay, 4×400 relay
Homecoming Queen

After GDS:
BA in Economics, UNC
NC Statewide Humanitarian Award
Founded UNC’s first Operation Smile chapter
Mother of 4 sons (married Alex Marshall ’93)

When Amanda Taylor Marshall ’93 graduated from Greensboro Day School, one of the most important things she took away with her was “giving back and getting involved.” And she has done just that. “There were many organizations that had strong leaders and addressed an important need, but were unable to make the most of grant money. They simply did not have the know-how, the guidance, or the human resources to grow and strengthen.” she says. That’s why she founded FAIR CHANCE in 2002.

FAIR CHANCE partners with small, community-led organizations working with families and children in Southeast Washington, DC. She provides them with the support necessary to strengthen their organizations so that they can better serve their clients. In short, they help organizations that do good, do well.

Headmaster’s List
National Honor Society
Cum Laude
AP Scholar with Honors

After GDS:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Honors Program
Morehead Merit Scholar
Phi Beta Kappa
Received one-year liberal arts degree from Augustine College in Canada

Nathan Tilley, credits several teachers and experiences he had while at GDS as the reason he chose to pursue graduate studies in the humanities, namely Philosophy and Religious Studies, as well as a minor in Ancient Greek. “GDS provided me with a rigorous work ethic and passion for reading, in particular, that have enabled my studies and research to flourish at Chapel Hill.” Tilley said.

Tilley recalls his 10th grade history teacher who taught him how to read texts closely and to learn to discern patterns of thought. In addition, classes with Dr. Gutsell had a significant impact on his early intellectual development and turned a childhood love of reading into a lifelong engagement with texts and ideas.

While at GDS, Tilley was a member of the varsity cross country and baseball teams, performed in the jazz and pep band, and served on the Honor Board. His time on the Honor Board propelled him into working with the UNC-CH Honor Court, where he is currently serving as Chair. After graduating from Greensboro Day School, Tilley took a gap year and attended a one-year liberal arts college in Ottawa, Canada, which surveys the history of Western Culture through a variety of particular disciplines. He is currently applying to masters programs in Theology and Early Christian Studies, hoping to work on Early and Medieval Christian usage of Greek philosophical concepts and language or other philosophical aspects of Patristic writings.

• Summer exchange student in Chile
• Senior Project in Chilean copper mine
• Tennis, Cheerleading, Softball, Track & Field
• Double Tennis State Champion
• Honor Roll all semesters

After GDS:
• BA in International Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
• MS in International Relations, London School of Economics
• US government award for “Extraordinary dedication, commitment, and personal risks taken.”
• Coordinates aid following international disasters

Lisa Doughten oversees the daily operations of the CERF, which is a global fund that disburses over US$450 million annually to crises wherever needs are most urgent, with the aim to save lives and protect people affected by emergencies.

Ms. Doughten has dedicated her professional life to humanitarian action. Prior to joining the CERF
secretariat in 2013, she served for five years as Senior Advisor for UNICEF’s public sector fundraising office based in New York, where she mobilized resources for the organization’s humanitarian and development programs for children in more than 190 countries and territories.

From 2004-2008, Ms. Doughten served as Senior Emergency Response Officer for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), where she managed a project to strengthen WFP’s capacity to respond to emergencies, as well as having been deployed on long-term emergency missions in Africa and Asia.
In addition to her 12 years working for the United Nations, Ms. Doughten also designed and implemented disaster preparedness and response plans for governments in Africa and Latin America. She began her humanitarian career working throughout the Former Yugoslavia for USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance on the Disaster Assistance Response Team.

Ms. Doughten has worked in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. She received her Master of Science degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in International Studies.

• Citizenship Award winner
• President of Drama Club
• Best actor and best male vocalist awards
• Poet Laureate Finalist

After GDS
• Received BFA in acting from Howard University in 2013
• Attended a two-month Shakespeare Intensive at British
American Drama Academy in Oxford, England
• Scholarship to University of Missouri-Kansas City as an MFA Acting Candidate

Edwin Brown, class of ’09, fell in love with acting during his years at Greensboro Day School. In addition to serving as the president of the drama club during his senior year, Brown performed in several school productions including the lead role of the King in “The King and I,” “The Cherry Orchard” and “Les Miserables.” Brown also assisted with Lower School drama productions in addition to performing in the chorus and other school clubs and activities. He studied acting at Howard University, graduating with a BFA in 2013. While there, he was taught by the legendary Al Freeman, Jr., and shared the stage with Debbie Allen and Avery Brooks. After graduating from Howard University, he attended a two-month Shakespeare intensive at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. He is continuing to study acting and dialect coaching in the master’s program at University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also recently received an acting credit on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for his work in a Smithsonian Channel remake.


• Senior Class President

• Chorus

• Varsity Basketball

• #30 Jersey Retired

After GDS:

• B.S. in Finance at Virginia Tech

• Virginia Tech Distinguished Alumni Service Award

• Virginia Tech Outstanding Service to the Institution

• Atlantic Coast Conference Hall of Legends

• Guilford County Athletic Hall of Fame

• Virginia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame

• Endowed the Wayne Robinson Presidential Scholarship Fund

• The Board of Visitors at Virginia Tech

• James A. Naismith Legacy Group

• Order of the Long Leaf Pine

• Father of 2 GDS Alumni

Wayne Robinson graduated from Greensboro Day School as the all-time leading basketball scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker, and was named one of the top 50 high school basketball players in the country. Following graduation, he went on to play for Virginia Tech and was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. Following a stint with the Detroit Pistons, he went on to play in Italy and Spain.

Whether as a professional basketball player, a church pastor or a corporate recruiter, Wayne continues to be the embodiment of the GDS motto of friendship, scholarship, and sportsmanship. He has influenced young people through this past work as president and CEO of the Center for Champions, the largest after-school and summer enrichment center in the Triad.

Wayne serves in numerous executive leadership roles. As the current President and CEO of Career Path Management & Associates, LLC (an Educational/Career Gateway for Exceptional Young Professionals), he has introduced fundamental principles and strategies for managing careers, decision-making and problem-solving. He also serves as the Triad NC Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and as the Senior Pastor of New Millennium Christian Center located in Greensboro, NC (since 2004).

• Cum Laude Society
• National Spanish Honor Society
• Environmental Club
• Student Council, Freshman and Senior Class President
• Basketball and Volleyball

After GDS:
• BA in Journalism and Mass Communications, UNC-Chapel Hill
• MPA in Environmental Science & Policy, Columbia University
• Rotary World Peace Fellow, University of Queensland (Australia)
• Served in the U.S. Peace Corps (1998-2000)
• Married with two children

While she was a student at Greensboro Day School, Sallie became interested in environmental issues and joined the environmental club, which helped fuel her interest. In the 7th grade, she learned about the Peace Corps and decided then that she would participate in that program. After earning her degree from UNC, she joined the Peace Corps and spent the next two years in Honduras working in rural villages to build potable water systems. From there, Sallie joined a Washington DC-based international development firm that sent her to Bolivia, where she spent three years supporting small-scale farmers and cooperatives in their efforts to access markets for their goods.

Sallie returned to graduate school to specialize in environmental policy, followed by studies in international relations as a Rotary World Peace Fellow, which led to a new professional focus in the field of international climate change policy. After a brief stint in Bonn, Germany at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Sallie took a job at Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in their Climate Protection Program. At GIZ, she worked for more than five years as a climate policy advisor to the German government and its developing country partners. In 2013, Sallie and her husband relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, where they continue to reside with their daughter and son. Sallie continues to work in the field of climate change, most recently taking a position at a Swiss consulting firm as a climate change project leader.

By Marilyn Jones, Middle School Teacher 1978-2012

Webster defines families as:

  1. All those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor;
  2. A group of people who are generally not blood-related but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals.

I have been a part of Greensboro Day School since August 1978. From the moment I walked down the corridors, I immediately knew that GDS was a special place. I became a member of a group of people (a family) who had common attitudes, interests, and goals. What a positive teaching environment! The Brooks Sabbatical offered me the opportunity of not only developing my teaching curriculum but also allowed me to trace my German ancestry. My sister was able to accompany me on a three-week sojourn to Germany and to enjoy the experience of finding our family’s roots.

My interest in finding my roots and telling my story started several years prior to my sabbatical. Craig Head, a member of the sixth grade team, suggested that we incorporate Alex Haley’s Roots TV mini-series into our advising curriculum. He shared that his parents and he watched the mini-series together in 1977. Craig explained how the series had made an impact on him. Of course, the team was excited about taking on the challenge. After many months of planning, we launched our new advising program. A valuable component of the program besides watching the edited videos and doing the follow-up activities was Telling Our Stories. Incorporating this into advising, the sixth graders began to investigate their stories.

A few years after the program started, Dr. John King met Nannie Haley, Alex Haley’s widow, in Beaufort during the summer. He shared with her our advising program which focused on Roots. He invited Nannie to visit the class to share her story. The sixth graders enjoyed hearing her story and how Alex wrote Roots. Needless to say Nannie’s visits became an annual event until her health kept her from spending time with us.

Meeting Nannie Haley and incorporating Telling Our Stories into our advising program encouraged me to trace my family’s roots. I was fortunate enough to share my journey with her.

How valuable is the Brooks Sabbatical to Greensboro Day School? I believe that it gives our teachers opportunities to engage in professional growth and to enhance their abilities to help their students learn in more meaningful ways. Recipients of the sabbatical can focus on improving their curriculum, fulfilling a life-long passion, or expanding their knowledge and expertise.  Not only do the teachers benefit but also the students and the school.  It is a win-win situation for all.

Written by Jane Gutsell

            In December Chris Phelps invited me to her lovely home for a cup of tea, holiday cookies, and an introduction to the many fascinating ornaments and artifacts that she has collected over the course of many years from her extensive travels both here and abroad.  Chris loves to travel.  As the daughter of two university professors, she was able to spend summers visiting different places, camping, and generally broadening her horizons.  Over the years she has been to all fifty states which enhanced her fifth grade social studies curriculum, including in recent years a second trip to Alaska to see the Northern Lights where she went with Reg, her special friend of 25 years.  She has also been to eight countries of Europe, Costa Rica, and even Australia, but most of all she enjoys the American Southwest.  Her collection is brimming with wonderful ceramics and artifacts from the first peoples of this stunning region.  Our visit gave me special insights into a vibrant, enthusiastic, charming woman who, after teaching fifth grade in the public schools of Alexandria, Virginia, for five years, was hired to teach fifth grade at Greensboro Day School in the fall of 1981.  She started with twenty kids in the small trailer behind the Administration Building, and she quickly became respected as one of the most creative and innovative teachers on our faculty.  She remained a fifth grade teacher for all of her 28 years at GDS before retiring in June, 2010.

            Chris loved teaching ten-year-olds, who are “at that perfect age just before adolescence kicks in.”  Able to wrestle with big ideas, they are eager learners who still love and want to please their parents and teachers.  Chris was famous for teaching organizational skills, and invented a system of positive reinforcement she called “Superstars”.  Every week she posted a chart showing the students’ names and the assignments that  she expected them to complete.  Those students who completed everything got to spend the last half hour on Friday afternoon playing outside, and the others stayed in a study  hall, working to complete the week’s work.  “There’s not a fifth grader alive,” she laughs, “who would not do anything for extra playtime!”

            Chris taught calligraphy in order to emphasize good, legible penmanship, and in the early days of classroom computers she introduced her students to “Touch Typing”, a necessary skill in our computerized world.  It was lots of fun challenging her students to surpass her speed of 40 words per minute!  Chris also always had deep appreciation for her students’ parents with whom she built good relationships.

            Over the years Chris was awarded several Teacher Enrichment Endowment Grants, which helped her in her travels and numerous unique and exciting archeological and paleontological digs, all of which she used in her teaching.  For example, she brought back fossils from creatures that roamed eastern Arizona 225 million years ago.  But Graduation Day 1991 was, she says with great emotion, “the best day of my professional life.”  She was sitting with the faculty listening to the description of that year’s recipient of the prestigious Hendrix Excellence in Teaching Award, having no idea who it was until her name was called at the very end.  Nothing has made her more proud than to be one of this very elite group of Day School teachers.  Teaching in a college prep school was a perfect fit for Chris.  Her belief that high standards are the best preparation for the real world found a compatible educational home at GDS.  She had the highest respect for her Lower School colleagues who were all dedicated professionals — “No slackers here!” she always maintained.

            Soon after retiring Chris realized how much she missed her Day School colleagues, so she contacted the Alumni Director, Kathy Davis at that time, and with her help put together a group of retired teachers they named “Bengal Friends.”  At Chris’s instigation, many retired Lower School teachers now meet for lunch once a month to support each other, share experiences, and keep those important friendships alive.  Chris enjoys reading historical fiction — “the longer the better,” so of course she loves the novels of James Michener.  She has recently taken up dabbling in the Phelps family tree and has found a source that takes her bloodline back 21 generations to the 1400’s in England.  She and Reg continue to travel whenever and wherever possible.  One recent memorable trip was a river cruise down the Rhine River in Germany.  She is also thoroughly enjoying spending more time with family, including the new experience of helping care for her adorable two-year-old grandniece Clara.

            Chris says that from third grade on she knew that she wanted to be a teacher.  “I had,” she lovingly declares, “a wonderful, kind, patient teacher whom I wanted to emulate!  I also have a healthy dose of teaching DNA since both my parents taught at Duke University!”  When asked to reflect on her time at Greensboro Day, Chris summed it up this way:  “I feel so richly blessed that I spent my entire professional life doing what I was meant to do, and GDS was the perfect place for me.”  And we at GDS have been richly blessed by her dedication to her profession and by her love for all Bengals great and small.  

Written by Caroline Brown ’10

Odds are you have visited a wedding website or registry on Zola. Did you know Alexandra Fortune ‘10 was most likely behind the design? When Zola launched their wedding planning platform, she designed almost all of the wedding websites.

As the 44th employee of a now nearly 200-person company, Fortune has been on the front line of its growth. Since she started, Zola has added a whole suite of wedding planning tools, opened offices in Charlottesville and Canada, gone through Series D fundraising, and launched an invitations and paper business.

“My job description has practically rewritten itself every year,” she said. “I feel really lucky to have joined when I did and to have had the opportunity to grow with the company. Most people I talked to hadn’t heard of Zola when I started, so it’s been exciting to see how those responses shift over the years into people who have actually used it.”

It was notably special the first time she received a save the date from her line in the mail. “Even though I had seen these a million times, it was still so exciting to think, ‘I made that!’ and now someone is using it for their wedding.”

When they launched their paper invitation business in 2018, she and only one other designer created over 150 designs. “It’s fascinating to be a part of building platforms like that from the ground up. I love that I get to problem solve without working in a spreadsheet all day.”

At the start of this year, she was named Art Director, a big milestone that reflects her dedication, creativity, and leadership. As Art Director, Fortune plans to continue making changes. “The company has evolved a lot, and I think there’s a lot of room for opportunity for the visual brand to evolve as well, so it’s exciting and daunting to have that much opportunity.”

The years she spent on GDS’s athletic teams helped her prepare for her current role. “I feel cheesy saying this, but I learned a lot about leadership through playing sports at GDS. Understanding that being a good leader isn’t necessarily about being the best or having all the answers has allowed me to be a better manager and mentor.”

Fortune studied journalism at UNC. After graduating in 2014, she moved to New York City to work for Rent the Runway having successfully interned with them the summer before. While at RTR, she learned what a creative career path could look like and formed a group of mentors.

The greatest lesson Fortune took with her from her time at GDS is that it’s OK to try things and fail. “GDS did a great job of creating a supportive, safe environment in which the focus was on the learning and growth rather than achieving a perfect outcome.”

More than anything, the people made her time as a Bengal so memorable. “Our grade had a lot of ‘lifers’, and it was both a nightmare and a delight to share in the awkwardness of adolescence/early adulthood with the same group of people. I think it’s really rare and special that, to this day, many of my closest friends are classmates I met at age 5 at GDS. Somebody grab me a tissue.”