Tag Archives: George School

My Teacher, My Friend

skyler kampf

by Skylar Karpf ’21 

Which teacher has made the most impact on me here at George School? If i’m being
completely honest, it’s hard to pick just one.

All of the teachers here at George School are so passionate, supportive, and motivate. However, there is one teacher that will forever stand out of the crowd for me. Math teacher and dorm head, Julia Nickles is one of the most awe-inspiring people I have ever met. It all started when I was going through a rough time. I was experiencing family problems. Because I am so family-oriented, having issues among my family shakes me, so it affected my ability to stay focused during school. Not to mention all of the stress I was having at the time contributed from school work. So, Julia pulled me over one day after class and talked with me for a couple hours. She then offered to talk / listen to me every couple days, in which I took up each offer. I would tell her what was bothering me, she’d listen, then advise me on what’s the best approach to take per situation.

After talking with Julia and knowing that someone cared so much for me, I felt a lot better. All I needed was advise and someone to listen to me. Ever since that day, Julia always makes an effort to check up on me every other week. If it weren’t for Julia, I couldn’t even imagine how different the outcome would have been. Because Julia and I established such a close relationship last year, she is the first person that comes to mind when I’m not only upset, but happy too. What Julia did and continues to do shows me how great of a community I am in. I am in a community surrounded by incredible people who only want the best for one another. The close bonds and relationships the students form not only with each other, but with the teachers is my favorite thing about George School. I’m beyond grateful to be in such a great community around some of the most amazing people. Here, you’re not just a number.

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

George School’s Theater Program

Hana Sparks-Woodford .JPG

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.

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Filed under Admission Office, George School Ambassador, Student Work, Students, Uncategorized

Focused Studying

by Ryan Tufford ’20

At George School, most new students think that the amount of school work is overwhelming. Coming here last year, I had the same worry. I thought it would be hard to adjust from my middle school workload to a rigorous high school workload. To my surprise it was not that difficult to adjust. It took me a bit of time to balance my school work with things outside of school like sports and even enjoying a social life seemed like a challenge at first. I learned that there are ways here to become better at time management, some that are mandatory at George School, and some that I had to personally work towards.

As a boarder, I have a required study hall period from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Sunday nights. This may seem like a hassle for new students, but it is hard to put into words how beneficial those two hours a night can be. It is a time where I am required to focus on work, and I would not be as productive without study hall.

Some nights I am unable to complete all my work in the two hours, so I have to adjust my schedule and this may mean less socializing during or after dinner. Nonetheless, the ways I have changed to obtain a better schedule here have had a great positive influence on me. I know I definitely had to make changes to balance out school work and activities after school, but those changes were not that hard to make.

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One Day at George School

by Connor Stoklosa ’19

My name is Connor Stoklosa and I am a Junior day student at George school. I live roughly twenty minutes away, on the other side of Newtown. This video is what a day of my George School life looks like through my eyes. Join me on my adventure and gain a greater understanding of our community.

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What my Scholarship Means to Me

Blog Quote

by Violet Myles ’17

At George School, I appreciated how much the community encouraged me to get involved. From cheerleading to acting in the fall play to poetry and art, I explored diverse interests. George School is full of students who combine hobbies and career goals in unexpected and beautiful ways as well as teachers who invest time in knowing and encouraging their students.

What my scholarship means to me: Everything—from my Geometry class, where I learned that math was not so terrifying, to my extracurricular activities—was thanks to extremely generous donors. I passed on that gift when I co-led Art For Relief in 2016–17. We raised over $4,000 for School of Leadership Afghanistan to promote education among Afghani women and girls. Because of that experience and my own aid, I have a deeper insight into the importance of giving.

What I’m doing now: I am working toward a BA from the University of British Columbia, where I hope to specialize in film production.

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Filed under Alumni, Life After George School

Celebrating Tradition: Galette Des Rois

by Claire Heydacker ‘18

In France, each year during January, the bakery’s shelves are full of Galette Des Rois. A French tradition, this cake is shared on January 6 to celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. A Galette Des Rois, is a large cake-sized puff pastry, filled with frangipane, a sort of almond cream. Inside of this galette, is hidden a fève, a small sometimes porcelain figurine.

As the tradition goes, the youngest child hides under the table as the galette is cut, and decides which person gets which piece, without seeing the pieces. After this is done, everyone enjoys their share, and whomever finds the fève in their piece becomes the King or Queen, and gets to wear the cardboard crown provided with the galette.

This is by far one of my favourite holidays to celebrate each year, as it gathers friends and family. Even though I am no longer able to fully participate in this tradition, as it is not celebrated in America, I still keep all my past fèves, and bake galettes in January.

Thanks to George School’s diverse and inclusive community, I’ve actually been able to bring my celebration to our school. Working with George School’s French Club, we’ve since incorporated this holiday. We invite students to take part in the baking of the galettes, the finding of the fève, and the crowning of the King or Queen!

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Building Family at the Equestrian Center

 

by Kailee Shollenberger ’18

We often neglect to take a moment to connect with the world that encompasses us in its beauty every day. I find we are losing the awe we once felt watching birds soar through the sky, seeing flowers bloom in bright colors in the spring, and listening to the pitter patter of rain on our bedroom windows when we were children. As a young girl, I always found myself able to connect with horses, something many do not have the opportunity to experience. During my search for a high school, I looked high and low for something, anything, about a school that would enable me to strengthen my understanding of myself, as well as about the beauty and secrets hidden in nature. Upon arriving at George School, I was immediately captivated by the beautiful horses and extensive Equestrian Program. I finally knew where I belonged and was determined to be a part of the family housed at the barn.

Now almost halfway through my senior year, I can confidently say the barn has been a place of solitude and comfort for me through the stressful weeks of exams, as well as the joyful moments, like receiving my acceptance letter to Bucknell. I had never been part of a team as close-knit and family oriented as the equestrian team here at George School. Tiffany Taylor, our director of the Equestrian Center, has become a second mother to me, ready to offer guidance through unfamiliar situations or a simple hug when needed. She has taught me more than I ever thought I would learn through riding. The horses are another source of wisdom that have remained a constant through all the changes I have gone through in my time here. At the end of the day, going down to the barn offers an immediate sense of relief when I see the horses munching on hay or whinnying at each other. High school is stressful, but the barn is a place where that all vanishes.

When I am riding, all I need to focus on is my connection with the horse. I have no choice but to be present and ready for anything these animals may throw my way. Centering myself, literally on the horse and figuratively in my mind, is something so important to my well-being. This time spent riding and caring for the horses at the end of the day is my time to build a connection and understand a creature so different, yet so similar to me. These horses have a mind of their own, and they are not afraid to let you know when you need to relax your arms while you are riding or create a stronger connection between your leg and your reigns. They are exquisite creatures with so much to teach us.

Not only am I fortunate to spend time with these animals every day, but I could not be happier to say I am part of the equestrian team. The key word here is team. When people think of riding, they often think it is just you and the horse. How could there be a team? I am here to say loud and proud that they are right. We are not just a team, we are a family. Through these years, I have fostered friendships with my fellow equestrians unlike any relationships I have had before. My family at the barn is the biggest support group I have, constantly letting me know when I have done well, but also when I may need to work on myself riding and socially. There is no possible way for me to express my gratitude to this family through words, but I want them all to know that I love them.

I hope to experience a family like this at Bucknell, and look forward to bringing the wisdom and love I have gained here at George School to Lewisburg, PA. Whether you find peace with horses or simply taking a walk, remember to dedicate some time each day to center yourself and connect with your surroundings.

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Students Don’t Mind Minding The Light

Curious George Poll: Students Bring Quaker Values Into Their Lives

by Julia Carrigan ‘20

The George School Mission Statement claims that Quaker tradition is the school’s “touchstone”–the testing point for any discussion of values or policy that goes on here. Quite simply, at George School, Quaker values are essential, including Quaker practices and, especially, attendance at Meeting for Worship.

George School’s website claims, “We don’t try to turn students into Quakers,” but the importance of Quakerism at George School was reaffirmed by students themselves recently, when sixty-six percent of students polled by The Curious George said their desire to be involved in some way in Quakerism has increased since attending George School.

One student even stated that the strong Quaker vibe at George School was “one of the major reasons I chose to go to here instead of Westtown.” Overall, it is clear that George School’s strong Quaker program has influenced the spiritual lives of many students.

However, George School is not the Bodhi tree, and let us not pretend that every student has been spiritually enlightened sitting on the firm wooden benches of the eighteenth-century meetinghouse.

What is important is that every student has sat there.

During the school year, day students spend thirty minutes a week in Meeting for Worship, and boarding students usually spend an hour and fifteen minutes. In addition to Meeting for Worship, we often pause for moments of silence and use Quaker consensus in meetings. In addition, many of our religion classes also focus on Quakerism.

Overall, it is pretty fair to say that Quakerism is central in the lives of students during the school year, but how does it affect their lives during the summer?

Fourteen percent of respondents told CG that they attend meeting over the summer. Even more significant, about a third of students take time out of their summer to practice Quakerism on a smaller level. For example, they might pause in their day to take a moment of silence.

This is incredible given the busy lives of teenagers in the summer, the relatively low number of Quaker identifying students, and the growing rate of non-religious teenagers. According to a recent study done of teenagers in Chicago, for instance, thirty-six percent of teenagers are “religiously unaffiliated.”

The approximate third of the George School student body who practice Quakerism in different smaller ways throughout the summer shows that while they may not be able to drag their families (or themselves) out of bed every Sunday morning, “Quaker tradition,” as the Mission Statement puts it, has a profound spiritual effect on them.

Although a hundred percent of those who answered the survey attend a Quaker school, only six percent attend or work at a Quaker camp over the summer. Some Quaker camps George School students spent time at over the summer include Camp Dark Waters, Camp Onas, and The George School Day Camp, which “emphasizes Quaker philosophies.”

Three George School students also attended Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s annual session, a gathering of all Quakers in the Philadelphia region.

While George School does not try to “turn students into Quakers,” apparently the school does a good job of exposing them to the values and practices of Quakerism. The students themselves decide how much of it they want to bring into their lives outside of school.

That’s a win-win proposition!

 

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Filed under Student Work, Students, The Curious George

A Guide to Being a Happy Roommate and Having a Happy Roommate

by Isabella Lin ’18

Prior to coming to George School, I never experienced having a roommate let alone living away from home. As a result, I had no idea what to expect from a roommate, so I envisioned an entire scenario in the days before moving in… I would open the door to my beautiful dorm room, somehow already decorated, and upon seeing me, my roommate would throw up her hands and we would squeal and scream at each other in excitement, instantly becoming the best of friends.

In other words, I believed that roommates were destined to immediately feel a bond, get along perfectly, and live together in bliss and harmony for the rest of the high school years. Spoiler alert: This is likely impossible in all roommate scenarios. However, I do have proof that it’s entirely possible to live in blissful contentment with your roommate when you put in some effort and give it more time than one day.

When I met my roommate Ale, there wasn’t screaming or hair-braiding – we were two awkward and nervous sophomores, hoping that our roommate didn’t have an odd habit that would drive the other crazy. It isn’t an easy task to be assigned to live with someone you’ve never met, and it isn’t supposed to be. But remember, once you conquer high school boarding, college dorm life will be a breeze.

Tip #1: Acknowledge your roommate’s presence! I know this sounds silly, but a simple “good morning” and “good night” can go a long way to build a strong foundation for a long term roommate relationship. Not only does it feel natural to greet someone when you see them first thing in the morning, but it helps to create a friendly and home-y environment in your room.

Tip #2: Work out a sleeping time and waking time. Chances are, you and your roommate will have different sleeping schedules. Discuss this with your roommate as soon as possible so you both have correct information, and you and your roommate will have a happy year of undisturbed sleep. If you are an early-bird, gather your things the night before and position your alarm so that you don’t keep hitting snooze. If you stay up late, find another light source and invest in headphones or earphones.

Tip #3: Get a small bedside light. This correlates with the tip above. If you or your roommate needs a later night than the other, having a small bedside light is a great solution to problems with keeping the room lights on. A small, movable light doesn’t disturb the sleeping roommate, and gives enough light for the awake roommate.

Tip #4: Get a mini fridge and share it. Just do it. And be kind and share it, or if it’s your roommate’s fridge, nicely ask to share it. Stock it up with everything that makes you smile on a Monday. It’s a guaranteed mood-booster for both of you.

Tip #5: Have deep, existential conversations at night. Maybe not as deep as existential reflections, but open yourself up to listen to your roommate’s thoughts, or speak your own. When two roommates are lying awake at night, sometimes conversation is what feels the most natural. Don’t worry, this feeling is mutual, you won’t be left hanging. Talk about stress, interests, hopes, dreams, homesickness, or anything else that comes to mind in the moment. It’s a great way to bond with your roommate, and trust me, losing an hour or so of sleep talking with your roommate is worth it.

If you’re wondering, while I didn’t get my big, magical, and unreasonable moment of meeting my roommate, at the end of the year, I did gain a cherished friend for life. Good luck and happy boarding!

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Loving Dance

by Gia Delia ‘18

Dance at George School is unlike any other class that is offered here. I have been taking dance here since my freshman year, and now as a senior, I have a whole new perspective on dance. The most unique aspect to the dance program is that it is integrated into the normal school day. One moment I would be in math; and five minutes later I would be dancing across the studio for forty-five minutes. It does not even stop there, after the forty-five-minute class I have to go to English class. I found the variety of the George School curriculum to be energizing and motivating.

The dance program teaches students a wide variety of styles, focusing specifically on technique and how the body works through anatomy. Over my four years here, I have been involved in a variation of different dances, from topics on climate change to dancing to a Michael Jackson song. I love the bonds that I have made with my classmates—we have been together since freshman year.

Our classes organizes two performances per year, The Holiday Dance Assembly in December, and Dance Eclectic in April. For each we have one to two weeks of rehearsals at night and over the weekend, and this gives all three of the classes a lot of time to get to know each other. I feel like I have made a second family.

Barb Kibler, our amazing teacher and mentor, works alongside all of us to encourage creativity and the start of the choreographing process. As an IB Diploma candidate, I will take the HL Dance Exam, choreograph three pieces, and write an essay comparing two different styles of dance. Barb has played a huge role in mentoring me during this process. My perspective on dance has matured since I have been here, and I have a greater appreciation for the art as a whole.

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