November 15, 2017

                                        George Mason Speaker Series
                                      Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist
                                                    Amy Ellis Nutt

              Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

George Mason High School’s Speaker Series, in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage and Equity Team and the Gay-Straight Alliance, is excited to welcome guest speaker Amy Ellis Nutt, Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post journalist! This guest speaker has been scheduled to address our students on Friday, December 8, 2017, thanks to generous funding by the Falls Church Education Foundation (FCEF), and the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). The GMHS Speaker Series started last year and featured Caitlin Acosta, a Red Ribbon Week Speaker, and Edwin Henderson, who shared The Tinner Hill Story.

Ms. Nutt will be presenting on her experience writing the book "Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family".  See story here or NPR account here. The presentation will foster IB Learner Profile Traits including being knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, and caring, as well as Approaches to Learning skills such as communication, research, and critical thinking. For any questions about this assembly or to opt your student out, please contact Dr. Clark or Mr. Hills.

Writing Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

In 2012, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amy Ellis Nutt began reporting on a family that is ordinary in many ways–middle class, politically conservative, from rural America–with one exception: one of their identical twin sons, at the age of about two, began identifying as a girl. Join us as Amy shares her insights into gender identity, transgender rights, community, and a family tested beyond what they could ever imagine.


About Amy Ellis Nutt...


Born in Staten Island, Amy grew up in central New Jersey as the middle child of five, daughter of Dave and Grace Nutt. She has a beloved brother and sisters and 12 adored nieces and nephews. An aborted career as an academic serendipitously propelled her, albeit late out of the gate, into journalism. Sports Illustrated magazine, and Bambi Bachman Wulf, gave Amy her start as a fact-checker. A Master’s degree in Journalism, earned at Columbia University in one of the J-school’s first part-time classes, helped Amy realize that as much as she loved sports, she didn’t want to write about them for the rest of her life.

Nearly everything she knows about storytelling Amy learned at The Newark Star-Ledger, where she was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 2009 for The Accidental Artist, which eventually became a book, Shadows Bright as Glass. In 2011, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for her series The Wreck of the Lady Mary.

In 2014 Amy was lucky to land a dream job as a science writer at The Washington Post, where her beat is the “brain.” Currently Amy lives in Washington, D.C., but she is still a Yankees fan.

From Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There

“BECOMING NICOLE is a miracle. It’s the story of a family struggling with—and embracing—a transgender child. But more than, it’s really about accepting each other, and ourselves, in all our messy, contradictory glory. The Maines family is as American as they come. In the journey they take toward authenticity, and justice, we see a model for the future of our country, a future in which all of us somehow find the courage, and the love, to become our best selves.”   

Dear Mustang Families,

On Monday and Tuesday we experienced heating issues in the E and F wing classrooms. The problem was a new emergency safety valve installed by Washington Gas Company on Haycock Road at the beginning of the school year. It's designed to shut off the flow of gas if it detects a sudden high flow rate. Our boilers require a high flow rate when they fire up. The design flaw of the valve needed to be replaced. 

The heat is now back up and running. A special thanks to all our our maintenance crews who worked tirelessly to address an issue that was not caused by our facilities. 

Cheers to a new building!

Matt Hills

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