Category Archives: Admission Office

What to Pack for George School?

39-Ben McCormick

By Ben McCormick ’18

What makes you feel at home? How would you bring this sense of home to George School? Of course, it’s easy enough to pack necessities, such as linens and hygiene products, but how is it possible to make your dorm feel like home? Pack as little as possible – only the necessities. If you find as though you’ve forgotten something, take it as an opportunity to explore the community surrounding George School, like Summit Square or Newtown. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to pack every little thing you could possibly need. Enjoy the process. In complete honesty, I did the same and overpacked, and I didn’t need the vast amounts of decorations that I initially thought I needed. Throughout your time at George School you will accumulate so many memories and so many decorations to reflect them, soon enough making George School your home away from home. Think of your room as a time capsule, and by the time you’re a senior, you’ll be able to look around your room when you wake up and see what has become of your time at George School. Pictures of your friends line your desk, the George School varsity “G” hangs on your wall, and so many other memories will be evident that you can’t even imagine yet. So, pack the necessities as the foundation for your George School experience and prepare to create a new sense of home away from home. Best of luck!

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Top 3 Things to Pack to Make New Friends at Boarding School

128-AriAnna Thomas

By AriAnna Thomas ’19

When I started boarding school, I was afraid of what it would be like to live with other teenagers my age. I knew that I needed to pack my basic necessities but I also had 3 things that I think that any new student should have. These items can guarantee you a fun time and help you make new friends at boarding school.

The first item to pack for boarding school would be a pack of cards. In my freshman year, I was introduced to so many games with just a simple pack of cards. I learned how to play spoons, war, and many more games. Cards are not only helpful for games but they are great for magic tricks. If you know one or two magic tricks involving cards, there will be multiple opportunities to be able to show off your skills to your new friends. You can also take those cards to magic club where you can show off your own tricks and also learn more.

The second item that I suggest packing would be a speaker. Speakers are helpful for when you want to have a jam session whether it is in the dorm lobby or in your room. Speakers will help you find those who have similar music taste. Portable speakers are valuable to a boarding student because you can decide where on George School’s campus you would like to listen to your music. A few spots that I recommend would be Red Square, South Lawn, the “C”, and in Marshall, these are the top social spots on campus. Owning a speaker is very useful and is a great way to bring groups of people together and bond with your friends.

The final item that is good to pack for boarding school would be a positive attitude. When you first arrive on campus, be sure to be open-minded and curious to embrace the new experiences and people you will encounter. Not everyone on George School campus is the same. I can honestly say that I am friends with people that I would never be friends with if I had walked by them on the street. If you have curiosity, it will allow you to be introduced to many different cultures and styles.  A positive attitude will get you far on George School campus and will guarantee you friendship.

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Keeping in Touch at Boarding School

144-Michaela Drake

by Michaela Drake ’18

Staying connected to family or friends from a previous school is a big worry for many new students coming into George School. While it may seem impossible to stay connected to these friends and family with all of your school work, sports practices, and club meetings at GS, don’t worry, it is possible. Although I don’t see my non-GS friends and family in person as much as I would like to, I have found many ways to keep in touch with them throughout my years at GS.

One way it is easy to keep in touch with my non-GS friends is through social media. In today’s world, technology is always right at our finger tips. It is so easy to send a simple snapchat or Direct Message to let your friends know you’re thinking of them or to send them some happy birthday wishes. Social Media is a great way to stay constantly connected to your friends and family while you’re away at boarding school. While social media is a very convenient way to stay in touch, another less convenient but more fun way to keep in touch with your friends and family is by sending mail to each other. No, not e-mails, but real mail. Each student at GS has their own PMB at the post office in Marshall Center. This makes sending and receiving packages and letters very easy at GS. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love getting real mail from your friends and family?

Keeping up with family and friends you don’t see often isn’t as hard or as daunting of a task as it may seem. With such prevalent technology and the GS post office right on campus, there are many fun and convenient ways to keep in touch with your friends and family while you are at school.

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Exam Week Stress–how to deal

103-Greg Levy

by Greg Levy ’18

Exam Week: two words that strike fear into the hearts of students all over the world. At George School, these words hold a similar domain, but fret not! While exams are very important and should definitely be taken seriously, they’re by no means “the worst”.

Organization is key to a lower stress exam week (let’s be real, stress will be there regardless). To keep yourself from being overwhelmed, you’ll need to use your time wisely, and make specific study goals along the way, i.e. doing half of your math review worksheet on Saturday and the other half on Sunday or reviewing a different Act of Hamlet each night. Spreading out your studying can also help make sure your brain doesn’t get overworked in a specific area; if you study all your math at once, you may become burnt out and not be up to continuing your studies.

It’s also really important to utilize Study Weekend to the fullest, as it’s the weekend leading into exam week and, as such, you’ll have no homework other than to study. Be strategic about how you approach your subjects, and make sure you’re sufficiently prepared for any review sessions your teachers may be holding. And definitely remember that you can study during the week as well! If your science class doesn’t have a review session and the exam is on Wednesday, you don’t need to cram all your studying into Study Weekend itself- that time would likely be better spent on a different topic.

During the week, there are also tons of different avenues you can pursue for relieving stress. There’s of course still time to relax with friends and cleanse yourself of the excess of stress that’s likely built up. My personal favorite part of the week- yes, I do have a favorite part of exam week that isn’t the end of it- is lunchtime when therapy dogs are brought in. Amanda Acutt, our school counselor, helps bring in 4-5 dogs per afternoon that are there for us to pet, rub, and scratch. And this happens during all three exam weeks for most of the individual days, so you get your full share of adorable dogs.

Exam week is a mountain to overcome, but it’s no Everest (maybe a K2 though).

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Art, Art, Art

349-Maisy Cadwallader

by Maisy Cadwallader ’20

I love the arts. Everything from sculpture to the theater to doodling on paper. Back in my hometown my school offered one art class every year where we would learn the basics. I would learn the same color wheels every year and to be honest it got a bit boring and I was ready to try something new. My main interest was painting and drawing and when I was about 11 years old my Dad renovated the computer room into an art room and I would sit at the art table for hours on end. At the end of the day I would go to bed covered in paint and glue, but still get up the next day and start again.

Coming from a school that didn’t have a wide variety and perspective on arts I was excited to see the list George School had to offer. I looked up and down the list for the painting and drawing box and immediately checked it off as my number one!

In class the first day when my teacher mentioned that the year would be about learning the basics of art and how to apply them, I fell into grump. I didn’t want to learn them again! As the year went by I noticed that we weren’t only being taught them but also how to use them, not just what they were. Painting and drawing quickly became my favorite class and I looked forward to it every day. The projects got more and more complex and interesting and creativity was welcomed. As a result of a great first year in the class I decided I would take it again.

This year has been even better. Since we have the skills needed to create a piece of thoughtful work we are doing more projects that let us decide the story it tells. We just started a new collage project that incorporates pictures and paint. To do this we are to use one figure, one scenery and, one object. With just this as the base for the project I am interested in seeing what I come up with! So far painting and drawing has never ceased to surprise me and teach me new things. I am happy to say I still love the arts!

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An Unexpected Opportunity

fernando

by Fernando Rojas ’18

I never knew much about the prospect of opportunities while living in the area of Bristol, Pennsylvania. Chances came by rarely, so you barely heard about anyone living in riches or having the opportunity to do something drastic with their life. It was expected that most kids would just go to my local public school, Harry S. Truman, and I was content with that idea. Well, up until 8th grade. When I first received news of my acceptance to George School, I distinctly remember sitting in my room eating a bag of Cheetos. It came as shock but I was neither nervous nor excited of the news. I simply did not know what to think, but besides of the fact that it was the commencement of a new chapter in my life. Eventually, the last day of middle school happened. It was one of the toughest days I ever faced because I was leaving friends I knew since age 5 and we did not know what our relationship would look like.

Now, it has been about 4 years since that day. Thankfully, I have kept in contact with a large majority of my friends back home. Currently, I am now a senior at George School and I have loved every single moment of it. There is nothing I would change for this experience. I have met tons of unique individuals who strive for nothing but success in their lives. Ultimately, I now have a total of three families. One of course being with my brothers, sister, and parents, and the other two being with the friends I love from both schools- Harry S. Truman and George School.

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Tabletop Club

Sam King

by Samuel King ’19

Every Friday evening, from six to nine, the largest club on campus meets to fight dragons, conquer kingdoms, or fight off a deadly disease. The Tabletop Club (TTC for short) is dedicated to playing board games and role-playing games, ranging from Jenga to Dungeons and Dragons.

At the beginning of every meeting, members announce which game they’re running, or continue a game left off from the last meeting. There’s something for everyone: first-timers can try a less serious game like Munchkin, a parody of more complex role-playing games, or Briefcase Enigma, a game in which five players (four of which have a train ticket) compete to board a train, designed by a previous TTC leader. Games can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to the whole three hours.

For people who are less about story-telling and more about having a laugh, the club has their share of those games too. Exploding Kittens, One Night Ultimate Werewolf (or Vampire!), and others are enjoyed by students. Some games take unconventional forms – Jackbox, a quiz-based party game, is played on a computer, with players entering answers on their phones.

No matter the game, the best part, and I think the reason we are all really there, is to hang out with our friends and make new ones. Some of my best friends were found very early on freshmen year in TTC. If you are looking for fun and new friends, come hang with us next Friday. See you in McFeeley.

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#SayYesToGS — A Parent’s Perspective


Ava Navarro ’18 signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to join Duke University’s fencing team. Her parents, grandparents, friends, and coaches joined in the celebration.

by Al Navarro
Parent of Ava Navarro (Class of 2018)

With the deadline for matriculation decisions approaching, I am guessing there may be some parents out there who may be new to the concept of boarding school and find themselves in the middle of considering whether or not to send their children to George School (or another private school) instead of their local public school.

I wanted to share a perspective of a parent who is fairly well-versed in the boarding school world. Our older daughter graduated from a boarding school, and our younger daughter (who is in the George School Class of 2018) attended another boarding school for her first two years of high school. Additionally, my wife was a boarding student at the private high school we both attended years ago. So I have researched, toured, and re-visited many of the “usual suspects” in the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas.

In the context of this experience, we have been VERY happy with George School’s approach to just about everything. I would probably single out their college counseling process as especially good in comparison to our experiences with the other schools. To me, it just struck the right balance in terms of timing and communication. George School has been a great place for our daughter to finish her high school experience.

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Culture Shock, Vietnam and Plastic Bottles: Lessons Learned (thus far) at GS

226-William Street

by Will Street ’18

When I was first driving through what I would later call Newtown, my first thought was, “Wow, this place is super white.” Now, I would ask that you excuse me for that, as I come from a city that is quite literally the blackest municipality in the country with an 82% African-American or Black population. I also ask that you remain conscious that I had always been around people who looked differently than me, but an entire city? Never that.

When I hit George School’s campus, though, I released a long, loud sigh of relief when I saw a group of people of color walking across campus, and a smile went across my face when I saw that the group was not monolithic. There was an Asian student, a black student, a white student, and a Hispanic student all laughing and enjoying each other’s company. What I did not know that day is that, that friend group would mirror mine in the coming years. I would make an Asian friend who lives in the bustling city of Seoul, I would make friends who look like me but their origins span from the Bronx to Somalia and I would make white friends from small, rural towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is proof that George School is not just a melting pot, but it is a massive cauldron of cultures, races, and identities. All that said, there were still growing pains in me reaching this conclusion.

Walking into my room on August 31, 2014 would be the event that would change my perspective on culture and would challenge my patience and my desire to keep an open mind. I stopped in front of the door, and the name read “Truong Son Nguyen Viet” and I felt my face scrunch up and my parents prodded me to open the door. They were seemingly as nervous and unsure as I was. I opened the door and I saw a tall, lanky, large headed (Son, forgive me for that) figure standing and putting away his clothes. He turned around  and there was a brief pause. He broke the silence by saying, “Hi, my name is Son” and held out his hand for me to shake. Admittedly, he was harder to understand, but we’ll address that later.

The first couple of months were bad. We argued about the room being cleaned (I was the dirty one), my volume of showers a day and how loud my friends were when they came inside of the room. A couple of years later, he would later admit that he wanted to make a roommate switch, but luckily he didn’t. After our rough patch, we made a deal that if I taught him to speak English more proficiently, he would teach me Vietnamese curse words. As a freshman, this was a sweet quid pro quo. There were many nights where we would talk and whenever he mispronounced a word, I would kindly tell him the correct pronunciation. In return, he would spend 10 minutes helping me properly pronounce how to tell someone off in his language. We would have extensive conversations, albeit at times uncomfortable, about foreign policy namely the Vietnamese war and how the way we’re taught about it differs. These conversations changed how I viewed the world and encouraged me to be a more understanding, open minded global citizen and he admitted that I changed his perspective on race and how he viewed people of color. We remained roommates up until our senior year, and it was not by choice that we were separated. We were given prefect in different dorms.

Now, at this point you may be wondering what plastic bottles has to do with one of my important lessons. 9th grade, I had been elected to student council as a class representative, and my motives were not pure. In fact, I had this Machiavellian-esque plan to take over the council that ultimately failed, so I would go on to fight every battle that came before us as a council and was debateable. There was one moment that would teach me a lesson that would be important to my development as a GS man. One day, a proposal came before us to discuss the use of plastic water bottles. I thought to myself: “this is my chance!” I tirelessly researched plastic bottle usage and how it would hurt the American worker. I said my points before the meeting, and people looked at me confused and some were chuckling. Later that year, Tom Hoopes would give me the wisdom I needed all along and that was to pick your battles carefully. That made me realize that every hill is not worth dying on and there are more noble and pure causes to have discourse over. This skill is going to help me in my life as a public servant and global citizen and it will always remind me to make sure my motivations are pure and that something is a fight worth fighting.

There it is. I tied together Culture Shock, Vietnam and Plastic Bottles. I reckon Kim McGlyn is to be given credit for that!

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My Life in IB Theater

211-Andreas Makris

by Andreas Makris ’18

I have never been the most outgoing kid. So, the art of theater, in which actors must cast aside any self-consciousness and put their bodies and personalities in the hands of a separate character, might seem like a strange choice of hobby for an introvert such as myself. I would be lying if I said that disregarding other people’s perceptions of me is not a challenging task. However, as I am now half-way through my second year of Mo West’s IB Theater Arts Class, this is a challenge that I have learned to manage and grown to love.

One of my biggest fears when I started acting was abandoning my own identity. Luckily, Mo has helped me work towards overcoming that. She emphasizes Sanford Meisner’s acting techniques, in which the actor does not lose his/her individuality, but rather uses it as a guide to embody a particular role. This preservation of my element is a source of comfort for me. It offers me assurance as I venture into the spirit of another person. Once I can do that, I am free to explore the exciting world of acting.

The last time I was in an after-school production was sophomore year, when I did not yet have the knowledge I have today about theater. Now that I have more experience as an actor, I am looking forward to demonstrating what I have learned in The Laramie Project. Although acting is not an ability that came naturally to me right from the start, this art has become both fun and relieving for me, as it has helped me build confidence to express myself in my everyday life as well.

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