Thornton Academy News

Featured Faculty/Staff: Giselle Tardiff '90–Alumni Relations and Development Coordinator

This week’s featured faculty/staff member is Giselle Tardiff, a graduate of TA and member of the class of 1990 and TA’s Alumni Relations and Development Coordinator. Ms. Tardiff spent eight years (2006-2014) as a member of TA’s Alumni Board, and had worked with the development office on various projects and events over the years. She had worked with TA’s development office during her tenure on TA’s alumni board and mentioned, off-hand, that she was looking for a job in a random email sent in mid-December of 2017. Her background until then had been in customer relations, but “it was all about timing” and she returned to TA and joined the development team in January of 2018. 

Ms Tardiff  spends much of her time on campus working in the Alumni House where she processes all the gifts that come to TA into our alumni/giving database in coordination with the Finance Department.  “I try to maintain, with the help of our graduates, an alumni database that is as current as it can be.” She also spends a lot of time interacting with TA alumni, from responding to requests and questions via email or on the TA Alumni Facebook page, to helping to coordinate reunions. Her favorite event? Definitely the annual Senior Alumni Reunion, which honors alumni celebrating 51 or more years since their graduation. “Talk about TA history!”

When she’s not busy supporting alumni, her favorite activity is enjoying music. She has sung in choirs (church, school, and community) since she was a kid. “My Mom was a church choir director up until a few years ago!” Ms. Tardiff “craves live music and has traveled the country to see great concerts.” She’s a self-proclaimed “concert junkie,” and a huge fan of a diverse group of performers—from Garth Brooks and Barry Manilow, to Billy Joel and Disturbed.  

Thank you, Ms. Tardiff, for bringing your love of the school and your fellow alumni to all that you do. The knowledge of TA’s history and traditions that you bring to your role is invaluable. When our alumni call to make a gift, or plan an event, they get to speak to someone who “bleeds maroon and gold.” We appreciate the energy, effort, and love you bring to our entire community, especially our alums! 


What is the best thing about working at TA? What is the most challenging?  
“The best thing about working at TA is that I graduated from here.  I have that historical knowledge to share and reflect on.  But I also find it challenging to try to have other alumni realize how important it is to give back to TA since TA does not receive State funding like other 'public' schools do.  We rely on donations to the Annual Fund to keep TA strong & thriving.”

 What is a favorite TA memory?  
“My favorite memory by far is my three years singing in the Jazz Choir under the direction of the late and beloved Larry Woodward.”

What do you hope for TA students? 
“My hope for students is that they realize how special and unique TA is. The scope of studies here is like no other place I know.  And the long tradition and history is now something they'll always be a part of.”

 What do you hope for the future of TA?
“My hope for the future of TA is that it continues to be a wonderful place for both students and alumni to enjoy, whether to go to sports, music, arts, or reunion events on campus.  Tradition and history go hand-in-hand with this wonderful school.”

Faculty/Staff Fun Facts!
Food: “Potatoes. In any form.” 
Book: “I love to read biographies.”
Movie: “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”  
Song: “‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police.”