by Hana Sparks-Woodford ’20
Hi everyone! My name is Hana Sparks-Woodford, I am a junior day student at George School, and I would like to talk about my experience in the art program.
The prospect of choosing an art as a new student was super exciting for me because I have always loved any form of creative expression I got the chance to explore. I was struck by the amount of choices I had—at least eleven classes ranging from dance to woodworking to graphic design. I was drawn into the theater program after seeing the 2015-16 productions of Twelve Angry Jurors and Les Miserables. As someone who had only been in one musical before coming to GS, I was in awe of the professionalism and range of the performers, and longed to be on stage with the actors I had seen—it was one of the things that attracted me most to GS over other schools.
As a freshman, I began in Kevin Davis’ Theater Arts class where we learned the language of the theater and explored different acting techniques. As a sophomore, I moved into Advanced Acting and Directing with Mo West, the head of the theater department and main director of all GS productions. This year I have joined the IB HL Theater students in their exploration of performance, directing, and the history of theater. I have been in the GS theater program for three years now and have grown so much, in so many ways. My confidence as a performer and public speaker has grown tremendously, my range of emotions and vulnerability that I can reveal onstage broadened, and my knowledge of techniques I can utilize has matured. I have an incredible amount of love and gratitude for everyone in this program, both teachers and peers. I honestly believe that I could not have gotten this experience anywhere else.
Each year Mo chooses a theme for the upcoming season of productions. This year’s theme is women. She chose each play with the intention of highlighting powerful and empowering women. The first play was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The upcoming productions are Sideshow in the winter term, and Miracle Worker in the spring term. I am so, so excited to participate in these as Violet Hilton in Sideshow and Kate Keller in Miracle Worker. As Sanford Meisner taught, acting is “acting truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” and I cannot wait to embody these characters to bring them to life in the upcoming season.
by Zau Haskins ’21
Having a prefect is an important part of your George School Experience. A prefect is designed to help guide you through some of you struggles at George School. As seniors they take on the responsibilities of being older siblings and role models to their peers in the dorm. They have been through everything and provide great advice to help you made good decisions and avoid bad ones. Although they have their role as prefects, they also serve as friends. On my floor, my prefects are Ashleigh Azan and Mindy Xu. Ashleigh and I share a common passion for dance and step. So, between the dorm and our other obligations I see her a lot and she is someone I can always talk to. Mindy is a warm person I do not see a lot on campus, but in the dorm, we share many memories as she attempts to help me study for physics and encourage me to do my dorm job before study hall. Overall, prefects add a positive and familiar environment and serve as mentors through your GS journey!
by Zau Haskins ’21
One of the most important things that George School offers for students is for them to take their own initiative to get involved with the community. One of the ways GS provides students to take their own initiative is by giving the opportunity for student run clubs. The clubs at GS are made and ran by students which gives us an outlet to express to the community our ideas, hobbies, concerns, and any other reason that would spark someone’s interest to make a club. This year, along with 2 other students, created and organized our own dance club. We combined our love for different styles of dance like, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, and others to teach to anyone of any skill level to just come and have fun. I enjoy dance club every week, because I am doing what I love and sharing it with my peers for overall a good time to let off some of the stress during the week!
by Sarah Mayer ’21
This week I wanted to share, a beautiful sunrise my friend Aqua Withers ‘21 and I took together while on our way to class! These pictures highlight one example of our beautiful campus!
by Zau Haskins ’21
George School creates an environment that helps build you up and help you at your worst. This week has been a very challenging week with many obstacles including: many tests and quizzes, organizing conflicting obligations, keeping up with my sport, and overall just balancing the many responsibilities that come my way. Even though I have many things to juggle at GS, the community helps guide me in ways to help. For example, I had a big math test this week that I did not feel prepared for and I also had different meetings and sports I also had to go to. After feeling very overwhelmed that I would not have anytime to go to a math consultation with the teacher, I reached out to her with my dilemma and we brainstormed times we could meet or ways she could help. We finally agreed on a time outside the consult time that she cold meet me for my test. At GS, if you just reach out to your teachers or anyone with your problems, they always are happy to help! It is nice to know that you have a staff and community behind you to lift you up in your times of need.
by Sarah Mayer ’22
At George School, there are many activities that students can partake in. They are offered as weekend activities or as clubs that occur during the week. Clubs are created by students who have various interests that they would like to share with others. They are usually held throughout the week at whatever time works best for the group, though some clubs do hold weekend activities for the whole school. Some of the clubs that are offered are the social justice club, photography, biochemistry, plus many others. Each weekend at GS there are always many activities students can do. In fact, the student activities board sends out a whole schedule of a weekend filled with events. An example of some activities are the fright fest at six flags, going to movies, going to the mall, and there is almost always a sports game you can watch. George School offers many activities that I would encourage students to partake in.
By Andrew Arth ’19
Hello Friends, and welcome to week 2 of the blog. The number 1 question I get asked on tours is why did I choose to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma. “Do you even plan on going abroad?” they ask. “Is it better than AP?” or “Why do you need a second diploma?” are the two follow-ups which I always am ready for. Well, let’s start with the basics.
Yes, IB is a secondary diploma which is an addition to your George School diploma. No, it is not required by George School, in fact it is wholly optional. No, it is not “better” than AP and AP is not “better” than the IB, they are simply different entities. And to answer the last question of why, I think it is more important to understand the minds of George School students. As a community we are a group that tends to seek out knowledge, to question preconceived notions, and lean into the unknown. We embrace dissenting opinions in search for a greater truth, in search of the light. So, you may be asking at this point, “Well, how does this at all relate to the IB?”
In my opinion, the IB only helps to expedite this process of in-depth thinking. It truly is a worldly education and an opportunity that not many are afforded. It places emphasis on real world skills like writing, field work, research, and reflection. The IB not only pushes the idea of exploration, it necessitates and places students in opportunities to do so. When writing Internal Assessments, you are evaluating and offering solutions to real world, modern day problems. You are not training yourself to be the problem-solvers of tomorrow, you are becoming the problem-solver of today. It is much more than an academic tick mark, a diploma to hang on the wall, and a conversation piece to impress interviewers down the road. It is a way of thinking and learning that is more holistic, encompassing, and reflective than any else, in my opinion. So when the question of “why IB?” is raised, I think to myself “why not?”
by Zau Haskins ’21
One of the most fun ways to end a week and take your mind off stress from school is during a GS weekend. Each weekend on campus is planned with a theme and includes many activities and fun trips to go on. There is never a bland time on campus because there is always something you could do! Some of the weekends on campus include Upper and Lower Dorm Weekends which encompass bar-b-ques, a great selection of movies to see with friends, ice cream socials with the members of your dorm and other dorms to get to know new people, mall trips, and even late-night food trips! My favorite weekend at GS is Harvest Weekend. This usually takes place during the fall time where it is cold outside so some of the activities include hot chocolate in Marshall, haunted Hayrides with friends around campus, s’more roasting, pumpkin carving, and apple butter making just to name a few. My favorite part about this weekend is seeing not only GS students coming out to the different events, but also seeing faculty families and other local families coming together and having a great time. This was very exciting to me witnessing how friendly and welcoming the GS community is to everyone which is the foundation of a Quaker Community!
Sarah with her Advisor and collection group
by Sarah Mayer ’21
When I started freshmen year George School I was a little nervous regarding the amount of time and effort that would be required to meet the rigorous academic requirements. Since then I have grown to appreciate the academics and emotional support that is provided. George School really focuses on our mental health since they realize the amount of work that is given plus the additional stresses of extracurricular activities puts a lot of pressure on us. When you join the community you will be randomly assigned an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member who meets with you along with 3-6 other students 3 times a week. The advisor is someone who you can go to for any reason and is there to ensure you are successful. Another academic support GS provides are consultations, which are when you meet with a teacher for guidance academically. For example, you need to go over some material or any other issue that would need to be consulted there is time allotted at the end of the day to do so. Another option is, each night during study hall there is writing, language, math, and other services to help you with whatever you may be having trouble with. Overall GS provides a very helpful support system.
by Andrew Arth ’19
Hello Friends, to begin I would like to introduce myself. I am Andrew Arth, a senior day student, IB Diploma candidate and two sport varsity athlete. I will be taking you through my first term of my senior year at GS, but first you should get to know me a little better. The story starts with my brother, who graduated in 2014 and showed me what George School was, what it is, and what it could be. I fell in love with it at first sight, infatuated and drawn in by the sprawl of South Lawn, the history of the brick, and the energy of the students. Fast forward, almost eight years and here I am. I am a co-founder and leader of a club, 2 year member of the Discipline Committee, a 3x varsity captain, a writing center mentor, and perhaps most importantly writing this blog to you, the reader, right now. This is my most important task to date because I want to share what George School means to me and what it could possibly mean to you. There will be ups and downs, highs and lows, victories and losses, but most importantly there will be one constant: George School. It is the glue which holds our very community together. Let me share it with you. Signing out for now.