Category Archives: Admission Office

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).

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Student Work, Students

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Student Work, Students

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Service, Student Work, Students, Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Student Work, Students

#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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Parents

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under A Day in the Life, Admission Office, Student Work, Students

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, art, Student Work, Students

What to Pack for Boarding School

340-Amber Salazar

by Amber Salazar ’19

I have been a boarding school student for 2 years now and it seems like each year I somehow manage to forget to pack something important. I’ve always wished that there was a list of things that I should and shouldn’t pack, but I can never seem to find one that is as handy as I would like it to be, so I am going to make a list of my own. Here are the essentials of packing for boarding school.

  • Pack lots of clothes! While you are packing it may seem like you are bringing way too much, but trust me, you’ll need it. Lately the weather has been unpredictable, so make sure to bring clothes for both warm and cold temperatures.
  • Pack different types of shoes. Sometimes you will need sneakers, if it’s cold out you may want to wear boots, or when it’s hot you might want to wear sandals. It is very convenient to have a variety.
  • Bring decorations! The majority of dorm rooms are very bland, so that you can customize it to your liking. Lots of people hang up lights, posters, pictures; really anything that makes it feel more like home.
  • Remember to bring school supplies. You are going to a boarding SCHOOL, after all. Pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, etc.
  • Toiletries! This is probably the most easily forgotten thing to pack. Since you will be living at school, you will need a toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, etc.
  • Bring food. You will be hungry sometimes! If you want a late-night snack or something small to eat in the middle of the day, it is nice to have something to eat in your room.

Overall, the boarding school experience is AMAZING. When you pack the necessary items, the experience just becomes even better.

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Student Work, Students, Uncategorized

Dealing With Roommate Issues

269-Sidney Walters

by Sidney Walters ’19

Boarding school can open your eyes to new ideas, new religions, new cultures etc!  It’s also a great way to get accustomed to living with another person, as you will most likely have to do in college. Roommates can be someone who you can depend on for almost everything. I know that I depend on my roommate for almost everything! But, a roommate is not perfect, which is ok, but it can lead to conflict between the both of you, no matter who the person is. You might be wondering, what do I do in that situation?? Not to worry, I have the answer here for you! But first I will give you a scenario so that you can understand.

Scenario:

Say your roommate is playing music out loud during study hall. (In my room it happens all the time!) Which is totally fine, but tonight you have to take notes in your science book for a really important test tomorrow. You need to have complete quiet in order to do the assignment right. But, you don’t want to come off rude or mean towards your roommate if you ask them to get rid of the music.

What should you do???

You should politely ask them to either turn off their music or use headphones. In my experience, this usually works and we continue with our studies while respecting each other. I am sure if you ask politely and give your roommate alternatives they are sure to respect the space that both of you share.

That is just one example of a roommate issue that can easily be solved without any intervention of an authority figure. But, if by chance you can’t solve the issue yourself, you have prefects and dorm parents to help as well!

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Student Work, Students

The George School Community

121-Lea Jensen

by Lea Jenson ’19

One of the reasons I decided to attend George School is because of how supportive and accepting the community is. George School is an environment where I am free to express my opinions and passions. I have a passion for sports teams. I participate in three varsity sports year-round. I not only love the team bonding and friendships that are formed but I also enjoy the intensity. At the beginning of each year, the fall sports season starts off early in the year with preseason. This is a time where George School athletes get extra practice in for their fall sports and are able to bond with their teammates two weeks prior to the school year. One of my favorite times at George school is preseason. I get to spend time with my teammates on and off the field. After long days of tiring practices, I was given the opportunity to board over the duration of preseason in the dorms. I boarded with a roommate whom I have grown to be very close with. I am grateful for the chance I was given to get to know many of the people on my team, that I would probably not know very well if I did not play a sport with them.

George School is a unique environment that enables everyone to be friendly and create a caring community!

Leave a comment

Filed under Admission Office, Students