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Georgian A Publication of George School, Newtown, Pennsylvania Volume 77 • Number 3 • December 2005


This issue features quotes from alumni about their George School experience (beginning on page 9). Patricia Wilson Deveneau ’67 wrote that former Head of School Dick McFeely (pictured above, second row center, with the 1936 Cub Football team) was “the consummate teacher, not by being in the classroom per se, but by making every part of the GS campus a classroom on life.”



A new section, presenting views on a theme. This issue, “The George School Classroom as a Seedbed for Ideas.”

A series of pieces about current and former George School athletes and their coaches.

Section begins on page 4

Section begins on page 14



PL A NT A T R E E In 1895, Joseph Thomas & Sons Nursery shipped 358 ornamental trees and shrubs to George School to expand our tree selection. NOW, IT’ S YOUR TUR N.

PL A N T A T R E E . Send a gift of $2,500. Contact the Advancement Office for more details or go online at h t t p: //w w or ge s ch o ol .or g and select Tree List in the site index.

HONOR A F R I E N D, A C H I L D, A PA R E N T, A T E ACH E R . Send a gift of $100 or more, and we will send a gift recognition card to the person you honor. Your honoree’s name will be listed in the George School Annual Gifts Report.

SU PPORT T H E C A M PUS A R BOR E T U M F U N D. Send a gift of any size to enhance the campus grounds.

QU E S T IONS ? Contact the Advancement Office at 215.579.6572.

G S A R B OR E T U M , G E ORG E S C HO O L , B OX 4 4 3 8 , N E W T OW N , PA 18 9 4 0 W W W.G E O RG E S C H O O L .O RG

In This Issue

Volume 77 • Number 3 • December 2005

Perspectives................................... ............................................................................. 4 Teacher Inspired Alumna to Create Peace Corps Prototype....................................... 5 Class Prompts Students to Question and Take Action................................................... 7 Computer Science Student Helped Child with Autism.................................................. 8

Memories of George School... ............................................................................. 9 Focus on Athletics....................... ...........................................................................14 Coaches Deserve Accolades and Appropriate Compensation................................. 14 Profiles of Student Athletes.............. ..................................................................................... 14 Profiles of the Athletics Department Directors............................................................... 16 Thousands of Hours of Effort.......... ..................................................................................... 18 No Sitting Around During Free Periods............................................................................ 19 Runner Kicks Into Another Gear.... ..................................................................................... 20

Campus News & Notes.............. ................................................................ ..........22 Alumni Relations Update.......... ...........................................................................24 Coach Transformed Into a “Connector”............................................................................ 24 Making Connections Early and Often................................................................................ 25 A New Tradition: Mini Reunions.... ..................................................................................... 26

Profiles............................................. ...........................................................................27 Stepping Away from Life and Death and Gaining a New Perspective.................. 27 Alumna Wins Prestigious Cornell Award and Honors Her GS Teacher............... 28 Knowing When You’ve Been “Georged”......................................................................... 29

Class Notes..................................... ...........................................................................33 In Memoriam................................. ...........................................................................49 Stay Connected Submit a class note.

1. Fill out the online form available at: 2. Or send it by email to: 3. Or send it by postal mail to: Georgian, PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908

Update your contact information.

1. Fill out the online form available at: 2. Or modify your profile in the online community 3. Or contact the Advancement Office: - By phone at 215-579-6564 - Or by email at - Or by postal mail at PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908

Contact other alumni.

For contact information for class correspondents or other alumni: 1. Visit the online community at: 2. Or contact the Advancement Office: - By phone at 215-579-6564 - Or by email at - Or by postal mail at PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908

Visit the online community. See class homepages, update personal profiles, contact friends, check the event calendar, see photos, and more.

Visit the George School website.


The George School Classroom as a Seedbed for Ideas


n this issue of the Georgian, we’re

presenting a new section, one that we are calling “Perspectives.” In each upcoming edition we will seek the perspectives of graduates, current students, and teachers on a common issue or theme. This issue’s theme, “The George School Classroom as a Seedbed for Ideas,” was inspired by a letter written by Caroline Dow ’59 to her George School American Relations teacher Clark Moore. When Clark shared that letter with us, we realized that ideas that might influence their lives long after they leave their George School classrooms are being planted in the minds of our current students just as they were in Clark’s classroom almost fifty years ago. We sought the perspectives of some of those students and their teachers. As you read the Head of School Nancy Starmer accounts, we hope that you will recall your own George School teachers—those who encouraged, inspired and challenged you—and the seeds that were planted in their classrooms. Caroline Dow is a good example of what the George School Committee, at its recent retreat, agreed is our hope for all of our graduates: that George School’s unique combination of stimulating classes and Friends’ values will provide our students both the inspiration and the ability to use their lives in ways that will make our world a better place. I know that when you read these perspectives you will feel as confident about—and proud of—George School’s faculty and students as I do.

-Nancy Starmer

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Kylan Turner ’03 took her first steps towards a career working with children with autism when she was a student in Chris Odom’s Computer Science class at George School.

Last spring, six students in Douglas Tsoi’s Global Interdependence class decided to raise the George School community’s awareness of the genocide in Sudan.

When the late Caroline Dow ’59 met John F. Kennedy in 1960, discussions from Clark Moore’s Bancroft classroom at George School were on her mind.

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Teacher Inspired Alumna to Create Peace Corps Prototype By Juliana Rosati


e had free and easy conversation in the

classroom,” Clark Moore recalls of his American Relations class in Bancroft. A history teacher at George School from 1944 to 1974 who served as a dean for several years, Clark remembers with particular enthusiasm a topic that often arose in his class during the 1950s. “I asked [the students] what would the government have to do to make a positive policy for the betterment of all mankind: white, black, poor benighted people, not just our allies,” he says. Discussions on this theme had a lasting impact on one of his students and advisees, the late Caroline Dow ’59, according to a letter she wrote to him dated January 1, 2001—an impact that later allowed her to contribute in a remarkably timely fashion to the nationwide assertion of student support for presidential candidate John F. Kennedy’s proposed Peace Corps. Caroline wrote that when she arrived at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the fall of 1959, she and other members of a Young Friends group drafted a “prototype plan for an international service opportunity for college-age students,” taking turns using her typewriter into the wee hours of the night. The discussions Clark had led, the ways in which he had prompted students to work together, and Caroline’s work camp experience in Germany, she said, provided the impetus for her participation in the plan. “I brought to the conversation

the many discussions that we had in GS/AR [American Relations] classes and the direct experience that I had working with refugees and the inner city poor in work camps,” she wrote. “The background on the issue, the ability to work in consensus, and the capability to draft from many points of view were directly learned in our AR classes.” A good friend of Caroline’s, Bob Dockhorn ’59, saw evidence of Clark’s influence on what Bob describes as her “effervescent” personality. “I remember her being a leading figure during our senior class trip to Washington DC, in the spring of 1959, as we traipsed around from one congressional office to another and grilled representatives with a pluckiness that perhaps only high school students were capable of,” Bob says. “I suspect that some of it was due to the coaching of the American Relations students by Clark Moore.” Bob, who was not in Clark’s American Relations class but took his freshman social studies class, vividly recalls him as a “congenial and wise” teacher who wasn’t afraid to clown around a bit. “I remember one funny scene,” Bob says. “There was a large, long table or counter in the front of the class…. The counter was solid from the top to the floor. [Clark] was standing behind it. He started walking from one end to the other and then collapsed himself in stages onto the floor. He then explained that this was a demonstration of how

The discussions Clark had led provided the impetus for her participation in the plan.

Continued on next page In 1947 when history teacher Walter Mohr spent a sabbatical year with an American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) relief program in post-World War II Germany, George School had entrusted him with the mission of reaching out to schools in a nation perceived as an enemy of the United States. The relationships he initiated between George School and two German schools—the Jacobi Gymnasium for boys in Düsseldorf and the Gertraudenschule for girls in Berlin—allowed George School students to perform service work in response to a major world conflict and launched a tradition that in recent years has offered students service opportunities in various countries, including Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Nicaragua, South Africa, South Korea, and Vietnam. George School teachers in 1956, from left to right, Walter Mohr, Robert George School’s international relationships expanded Geissinger, Ernest Seegers, and Clark Moore. beyond Europe beginning in 1967 when Clark Moore and his first wife Eleanor led the first of their three work camps to Tanzania. Clark further helped George School to promote understanding between people of different countries and cultures when he edited a series entitled The George School Readings on Developing Lands, collections of essays about Africa, China, India, Japan, and Latin America that were published by Bantam Books between 1970 and 1975. According to George School: The History of a Quaker Community by George School Archivist Kingdon Swayne ’37, the books were “widely used by schools newly conscious of a need to break out of the ethnocentric limits imposed by traditional education in America.”

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005


Perspectives Continued from previous page appearances could be deceptive—and we might assume there was a staircase behind the counter. His descent was not exactly graceful or convincing, but he was both sincere and funny.” According to Dirk Dunlap, a history teacher at George School from 1964 to 1970, Clark was “an awfully good chairman of the history department” who worked closely with Dirk and other newcomers who had little previous teaching experience. “He was an experienced teacher who worked with you on what you were doing right and what you were doing wrong,” Dirk says. “He was definitely a weighty Friend and a weighty teacher.” In the summer of 1959, Bob and Caroline were both a part of George School’s work camp in Germany. “She and I were both chosen to be among nine participants…with Ken Keskinen and Mary Meaker as leaders,” Bob recalls. He remembers that Caroline displayed characteristic enthusiasm and civic engagement on that trip. “The Düsseldorf boys, with strong encouragement from the teacher accompanying them, decided to ‘educate’ us Americans on what they saw as the realities of Cold War life, the evils of Communism, and the injustices done to Germany by the stripping away of the eastern lands,” Bob says. “The whole experience was quite a lot for high school students to absorb…. Caroline fully maintained her equilibrium in the sometimes heated discussions and was an active participant, a sympathetic listener in these discussions, and a very strong advocate for American democracy.” When presidential candidate John F. Kennedy arrived at the steps of the Michigan Union at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14, 1960, at 2:00 a.m., Caroline, prepared with a copy of the plan she and her friends had drafted, was one of the 10,000 students waiting in the cold to greet him. A reporter for the student newspaper, the Michigan Daily, Caroline had, in her words, “wangled an interview” with Kennedy for herself and a student photographer who had also contributed to the plan. Kennedy, who had not intended to speak, arrived after what Caroline described as a six-hour delay, and by that time professional reporters and photographers had given up on the event. In light of the student turnout, however, Kennedy gave an impromptu speech and put forth the idea of a Peace Corps for the first time. Afterwards, Caroline and the photographer had what she recalled as “a very short interview with a very tired JFK,” and gave him their plan. The various origins of the Peace Corps, like those of George School’s international work camps, include the program of international service trips that the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) began in 1917. Democratic presidential candidate Adlai E. Stevenson had proposed a national volunteer program in his 1952 and 1956 campaigns, and by 1960, two bills recommending Peace Corps-like programs were before Congress. In the aftermath of Kennedy’s speech, students supported the idea of a Peace Corps with a petition drive that produced 1,000 signatures, volunteered to serve, and sent letters of support to Democratic headquarters. The concept became a trademark of Kennedy’s campaign. Whether or not any traces of the document Caroline and her friends had drafted were present in the program Congress officially approved in September of 1961 after President Kennedy established a Peace Corps by executive order in March of that year, their well-


timed effort was no doubt an impressive contribution to the nationwide show of student enthusiasm that made the Peace Corps possible. Clark notes, “The significant thing about the story told by [Caroline’s] letter is not that a young woman made a suggestion to a presidential candidate, but the fact that its author had taken full advantage of the fertile seedbed for ideas presented by George School.”

Caroline Dow ’59 1942-2004 The student reporter who waited for hours in the cold for the chance to interview John F. Kennedy went on to have a distinguished career that combined deep commitments to journalism, education, and social justice. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Caroline earned an MA in journalism and a PhD in mass media from Michigan State University. A Quaker, Caroline helped to found Friends School in Detroit, the first integrated private school in Detroit, in 1966. As a journalist, she reported for the Detroit News, was Detroit Bureau Chief of LIFE magazine, and served as a correspondent for People magazine. As a professor, she taught journalism and communication at Wayne State University, Michigan State University, Indiana University, the University of Evansville, and Flagler College, where she served as chair of the communication department from 1997 to 2003. Caroline’s work and accomplishments show that she was dedicated to upholding journalistic ethics and promoting freedom of speech. She helped to draft the 1987 revision of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics for Journalists and served on the founding board of the Media Ethics Division that became a part of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 1999. The Oxford Round Table selected her to be one of forty academics and policymakers at an international discussion of freedom of speech and the press held in 2004. A forum at the University of Oxford in England, the Oxford Round Table strives, according to its mission statement, to “promote human advancement and understanding through the improvement of education.” At the time of Caroline’s death later in 2004 in St. Augustine, Florida, of pancreatic cancer, the St. Augustine Record noted, “Many of those she taught called themselves ‘Dowists’ as they shared her philosophy that it is her duty to provide clear and complete information to society and give voice to the voiceless.”

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Class Prompts Students to Question and Take Action

Photo: Jack Starmer


he world’s a big place,

and everyone has a cause,” says George School history teacher Douglas Tsoi. “You just have to do your little bit.” Last year this idea came vividly to life for several students in his Global Interdependence class as they initiated a project to raise the George School community’s awareness of the current genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan. What are the roots of conflict and misunderstanding? How do our economic and political choices affect others? How does one live in the world with integrity? How do we know what to believe? Douglas’s Global Interdependence students spend most of their class time working out their own answers to these and other questions in relation to global topics such as industrialization, globalization, imperialism, nationalism, political ideologies, overpopulation, resource These members of the Class of ‘08 (left to right: Lilias Brinton, Kenza Abtouche, Alex Trudeau, depletion, mass media, nonviolent DonChristian Jones, Deborah Kennedy, and Marie Doyon) were inspired to take action outside of the protest, and human rights. “I view them as classroom based on what they learned in their Global Interdependence class (taught by Douglas Tsoi, questions there are no real answers for,” pictured below). All George School freshmen take this history class which examines the creation and Douglas says. Kenza Abtouche ’08 says of development of the modern interdependent world from the nineteenth century to the present. Douglas, “He always tried to get us to think. He won’t give you his opinion.” attests, “The class changed my view of the whole world.” During the lively discussions in this freshman history Referring to a statistic from the United Nations, Kenza says, class, Douglas makes sure students have not only read but “I didn’t know that almost half the people in the world live also understood their homework readings. Using the Socratic on less than two dollars a day.” Alex Trudeau ’08 observes method, a classical mode of critical dialogue, he asks series of that Douglas’s teaching style is both deeply rooted in Quaker questions about specific readings, propelling students to justify values and inclusive of non-Quaker students. As he pushes their assertions with evidence. students to discover their individual views and express them This format with clarity, Alex says, Douglas “achieves the goal of every might sound Quaker teacher, and that’s to bring out the Inner Light in daunting, but it’s everyone.” Alex, who considers himself to be an atheist, states, clear that taking “I, as an atheist, say that the Inner Light was brought out in such an active role me.” in class has been During a unit on genocide in the second term last year, an intellectually Lilias Brinton ’08 found that a class trip to see Hotel Rwanda, and emotionally a film about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, made all of transformative the genocides she had learned about in Douglas’s class, experience for including the one in Darfur, more real for her, and she gained students. “It’s the new insight into the experience of a family friend who is a best feeling in Darfurian refugee. “I couldn’t believe it was going on again, class when all of a and I really felt it was important to do something,” Lilias says. sudden you connect Since February of 2003, the Arab-controlled Sudanese something,” says government has sponsored militias known as Janjaweed on a Marie Doyon ’08. campaign of slaughter, rape, starvation, and displacement of Deborah Kennedy non-Arab tribal Darfurian civilians. The Save Darfur Coalition, ’08 agrees, saying, which promotes awareness of the violence in Darfur and “You get really works to help end the atrocities, reports that an estimated involved.” Kenza 400,000 people have been killed, 2.5 million people have Continued on page 30 G e o r g e S chool, December 2005


Photo: Mark Wiley

By Juliana Rosati


Computer Science Student Helped Child with Autism By Melissa Auman


t was an attempt to take the easy way out that

introduced Kylan Turner ’03 to what is now her life’s passion. After three years of basic mathematics courses at George School—Algebra, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus— Kylan wasn’t interested in taking another standard math class her senior year. She was hoping to find a different way to satisfy her last math requirement. “I opted to take what was called Computer Science,” says Kylan. “I had never really considered learning to program at that point; I simply wanted to satisfy my requirement in a way that seemed to be more hands-on, and hopefully more interesting.” Kylan’s Computer Science teacher, Chris Odom, says, “There is more than one way to cover course material, and I am a big believer in learning by doing. It is important that the students take ownership of their education, so they are encouraged to find projects that are meaningful to them.” “Chris taught the class in a way that allowed us to learn all the functional skills in programming that could In her George School Computer Science class, Kylan Turner ‘03 experimented with a facial expressive robot named ESRA (Expressive System for Robotic be directly applied to our interests, whatever they might Animation) similar to the one pictured below. Her experiments led her to pursue have been,” says Kylan. a new passion in the field of autism research. As it turned out, the class’s universal applicability and Chris’s encouragement to his students to match that learn when I was trying to teach him to add and subtract one applicability with their personal interests helped Kylan day. I was getting frustrated because he was losing motivation change not only her life, but someone else’s. Her interest at to pay attention. I simply couldn’t engage him long enough the time was Max, a child in her neighborhood whom she had to let the concept sink in. Then I realized that I could possibly been tutoring. Max had been diagnosed with high-functioning write a program to help make learning his addition and autism, which was affecting the way he learned and interacted subtraction more exciting.” with others. Kylan “One day, at a block party, I began talking with his mother approached Chris, about his diagnosis,” says Kylan. “Once the conversation who jumped at turned to therapy, I was really interested in learning more. His the chance to help mother invited me to sit in on a daily session with Max and one of his students one of his therapists. From that day on, I was hooked. Max is discover a real-world the sweetest boy in the world. He is so full of love and life, and application of her his smile is by far his most infectious attribute. studies. Chris recalls, “I got the idea to use a computer program to help Max “I was thrilled! I still get goose bumps thinking about it. Here was a student who admitted that she didn’t like math and enrolled in my course because she thought it was the lesser of many evils. In one long runon sentence, she explained that she wanted to create a math program that would be exciting for Max to use and would give Max’s teachers instant feedback on his progress; and would it be possible for her to program a computer to do this; and if so could I help her get started? Photo: Brian Patton

“I was so happy for her that she had found her passion. It was one of my proudest moments as a teacher.”


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Memories of George School... Below and on the next several pages you will see memories from alumni about specific teachers and coaches who influenced their lives, directed them on special paths, or taught them important lessons about learning or sportsmanship. In addition, a section on page 13 called “The George School Experience” shows what some alumni valued the most about their time at George School. All of the comments were submitted in response to the August eQuiz, which asked alumni to share their thoughts on memorable teachers, coaches, classes, and sports. Thank you to the 167 alumni who participated.

Grant Fraser

William Cleveland

Walter Mohr

A group of +/- five students were already grounded in algebra for the final year and he gave us a course in theoretical math in a challenging way. Result: I never had to open a textbook almost for calculus, integral equations, and other math in engineering courses in college.

The thought of a double period of Russian history in a very small classroom with only five other students was very depressing. He did such a remarkable job of gaining our interest that that course turned out to be one of my very favorites. He was a very well learned teacher.

His character was what stayed with me: his honesty, humility, courage, and understanding of our obligations to the world in which we live such privileged lives. I went to work camp in Mexico because of him.

- Timothy Hobson ’44

- Elizabeth New Weld Nolan ’57

- Charles Baker ’57 Jack Talbot He just made performing fun and found talent in me that I had no idea I had.

- Arthur C. Henrie ’47

John Carson He brought poetry to biology and he increased my love of plants so that my whole life has been plant related—I have been a docent in a botanic garden.

- Virginia Twining Gardner ’54

John Streetz He was my science/chemistry teacher. He instilled the love of science in me. Made it understandable and so interesting. He respected religious beliefs of all. Science is often at odds with religion.... He was able to blend the two together with ease without debunking either. I always appreciated that.

- Charlotte Corry Partin ’54

Julius Laramore Working with him as a prefect gave me insight into young teenagers that I use today with my work at C-CAP [Careers Through Culinary Arts Program].

- Richard Grausman ’55

Stan Sutton “After George School, I ran track for the University of Michigan. Michigan came to Philadelphia for a major indoor track meet. I ran the anchor leg in a relay race, which Michigan won. After crossing the finish line, I had an instinct to look into the stands. I immediately saw Stan Sutton looking right at me with a great big beaming smile. I could see the pride in his face. I had no idea that he would be there, and it brings tears to my eyes to recall what that meant to me.”

- Arthur C. Henrie ’47 Prior to taking the required “class” I had very little confidence in my ability to compete in team sports. He cajoled and encouraged me to participate to the best of my inherent abilities. An arm around the shoulder while being addressed as “Son” worked wonders.

- Lam Hood ’55 His stern, almost militaristic insistence on excellence was tempered by his deep love of the young people whose physical talents he nurtured. For me, he came up with unique methods to teach me about the physics of pole vaulting, and he persistently drove me forward to practice and learn until that day in May 1955 when I broke the 49-year-old vaulting record. That night, he called me down to his office in the basement of Drayton, and asked whether my parents were alive. I was surprised, and after saying they were, I asked how come he wanted to know. He said he wanted to tell them they had a champion son. That’s the love he carried. As it turned out, they were both at the track meet that day, having come from Connecticut.

- Judson Randall ’55

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005


Memories James Tempest

Ernestine Robinson

With both seriousness and humor, he opened the upper gates of mathematics for me. I only went a little farther in math, but I continue to look at literature and philosophy with some of the gifts he provided.

I adored Miss Robinson, whose gentle but very rigorous classroom environment showed me my own potential as a writer and thinker. Miss Robinson told me senior year that I should become a teacher, and she was right! She also, with her trademark giggle, said she specialized in “bad boys” —which she defined as boys with spunk, nonconformity and occasional noncompliance—and so have I. Whenever I’m not sure what to do, even now after twenty years in the classroom, I ask myself “What would Miss Robinson do?” Her influence lives on in the students I teach almost thirty years later.

- Charles Hollander ’60

Ed Ayres He was my English teacher, hall teacher, cross country coach, and friend. In my senior year he encouraged me to train with him for the Boston Marathon. This meant running in all kinds of weather and even spending spring vacation driving to Florida to train. After running the marathon, I knew that long distance running was going to be my passion. He taught me that “the cross country runner knows that cross country is more than just running. One knows that the real value in it is what you can learn about yourself; that through running, persevering, punishing, you get down to the real you. You get a rare glimpse of what you are really like, which is a privilege granted to a very few.” Needless to say, I have used many of the training techniques that he passed on to me in my coaching.

- Patricia Wilson Deveneau ’67 I’m certain that I speak for a lot of alums who would tell you that hardly an hour, let alone a day, goes by without paying homage, overtly or tacitly, to Miss Robinson. She taught us a myriad of things above and beyond “just how to write,” an accomplishment in itself. She taught us the value of putting out the news the right way. Everything had to be factually and grammatically correct. It was from her that I first learned what deadlines are all about from putting the paper to bed. When Mr. Dick died, and nerves were more than a little frayed, it was Miss Robinson who got the page editors together to circle the wagons and prepare an appropriate eulogy as an editorial. While Miss Robinson could be a hardliner, she was also more than fair, and had a marvelous sense of humor.

- David Miller ’67

- Dave Satterthwaite ’65

Evan Jones

Russ Weimar

On the first day of class, he came in with a pile of books and proceeded to read from, among other things, the opening of the Old English poem “Beowulf.” He had a beautiful deep mellifluous reading voice (he was also very handsome and had played soccer at Oxford after leaving his native Jamaica). I had a wicked crush on him, but in fairness to both of us, it was his superb qualities as a teacher that had the long term effect on me. Although it may be something of a simplification, I think it’s fair to say that the inspiration and support he provided on that day and throughout the rest of the year, led me to become a professor of English literature, specializing in the Middle Ages (at Bates College, where I taught for thirty-two years).

I had great admiration for his way with students and his ability as a teacher and mentor. He taught me not to take myself so seriously.

- Anne Thompson ’57

Page 10

- Bonnie Dinsmore Kerrick ’58

Grant Fraser The candid teachers like Grant Fraser asked math questions to which there were no answers and you were graded on the logic of your answer, not whether it was right. He admitted he had no idea what the right one was.

- Ashby Denoon ’62

Clark Moore He was an inspiring teacher, and I admired him, probably had a crush on him! I was consistently a good student (except in languages) but not brilliant. I still recall an exam question which I missed in his class, and I was mortified. I recall with what clarity and a nonjudgmental approach he explained the correct answer.

Robert Geissinger He was incredibly patient and forgiving on the field of athletic combat. He let us play and learn without bombast.

- Charles Wilson ’66

- Patricia Ives Langston ’59

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Memories Russ Weimar Several years ago, ESPN put on a documentary about the University of Iowa wrestling team, post Dan Gable. My wife watched along with me. Afterwards, she said, “You really didn’t go through all that did you?” I was again reminded of probably the first time I encountered the discipline and sacrifice, so necessary to succeed in life, started with the wrestling program at George School, an experience I’ll never forget. First, there was the environment. I doubt that anyone who has been there and done that will ever forget the pungent aroma of the practice area. By no means was I a good athlete. Wrestling was Social Darwinism at its best. If you wanted it, you had to go get it yourself. The chief proponent of this doctrine was Mr. Weimar. Coach Gable always said that “The best aspect of wrestling was that it teaches someone how to get up off his back.” I could not agree with that more. [I appreciate] the role of Coach Weimar in giving me the appropriate tools to achieve a goal and to handle adversity.

- David Miller ’67

Anne LeDuc She was a demanding but fair and caring person who really respected her players.

- Sally Kelso Chambers ’63 She was professional—focused, dedicated, passionate, and knowledgeable. She also practiced tough-love, which I found refreshing as we eased into the self-directed ’70s.

- Beth Taylor ’71 She taught me how to play basketball and to play the game with a passion. Coming from Kenya I played the girls sport—Netball—thoughout my primary school years. Basketball was new to me, and learn it I did. I was also tall and on the skinny side, and sometimes felt a little awkward during my preadolescent years back home. She helped me be the best that I could be. She kept reminding me that with practice I could only get better.

- Patricia Indire-Pondeca ’78 encouragement was invaluable. She gave me self-confidence that carried over into the classroom and social situations, something I really needed at the time.

- Robin Kester Patterson ’73 Ed Ayres He encouraged me (and others) who did not appear to be outstanding athletes to push ourselves. He ran with us in workouts. He built a dynasty of championship teams and gave me the chance to have the pride to be part of a winning tradition. That gave me enormous self-confidence that I never expected to have, plus [the opportunity] to enjoy the camaraderie of teammates I’ll cherish forever.

- Robert Ganz ’69 Kenneth Keskinen His interest in language, and openminded curiosity about linguistic matters, made a lasting impact on my intellectual development. He was also kind to me far beyond the call of duty through what were difficult—in fact, miserable—years for me.

- Pegatha Thomas ’70 Gerry Wolfe She was inspiring as both my advisor and coach. She took an insecure, nonathletic girl (me) and made her into a competitive team player. Her

magazine or newspaper, and suddenly jerk his head up, laugh out loud, and say,”Can you believe this stuff ?!” Off we would go. To this day, I often find myself reading a news periodical and muttering,”Can you believe this?!”

- Kathryn Smith ’77 Carolyn Lyday She was a real role model for me at the time—I had a great deal of respect for her and her outlook on life. She gave me a great interest in Russian history and literature.

- Jacqui Connell ’75

Fran Bradley I became a voracious lover of history during those wonderful hours I spent enthralled in his class. I got swept up in his passion for the past and I found myself, without prodding, thirsting for more information about the world in which I live. I began to understand, for the first time, that I should not be a passive citizen of the world watching in the wings. He taught me that to be in the dark was to be without the ability to discern the world effectively, and thus be without the ability to act appropriately. He pushed and prodded us to think deeply about what we thought, why we thought it, and what lessons could be learned from history as it unfolded before us in the basement of Bancroft. I will never forget the countless times he would read aloud a passage from a

Dusty Miller I had all but decided that science was not for me—I had done so poorly in Chemistry—but Dusty always had such enthusiam for the topic and conveyed his excitement. I went on to a double major in the life sciences, a graduate degree in biotechnology, and a career at the National Institutes of Health.

- Meg Pease-Fye ’82

Nancy Kryven She was an outstanding sounding board when I was faced with academic or social pressures, and even better when helping to resolve conflicts between those two worlds. As a mentor, she was wise beyond her years, and she was able to “guide” and “suggest” without ever making a student feel like he was being controlled or directed. We were all a bit rebellious at that age, and her style facilitated learning and understanding without triggering the rebellion.

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

- Phil Eschallier ’83

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Memories Dave Satterthwaite

Paul Machemer

I was not at all athletic when I entered George School, and I had no interest in participating in sports. Because George School policy forced me to choose something, I signed up for cross country and discovered a coach who was patient but who didn’t put up with any whining. It was the right environment for me to discover that, with work, I could actually enjoy sports and even do well at them. This led me to a near twenty-year career in ocean lifeguarding, participation in numerous individual and team sports, and my current avocation of training for and competing in marathons and longdistance triathlons.

He was simply a brilliant teacher. I was a mediocre student before I entered GS, having failed to experience much excellence in any academic endeavors. He helped me to become a stellar math student, which soon rubbed off on other courses. At the end of my GS career, I was an A student graduating in the top fifth of my class.

- John Hoffman ’73 He said things like “Keep your head down. Concentrate.  Let the crowd tell you that you scored.”  It’s just as useful off the soccer field as on.

- Harold Buck ’84

- Robert Machemer ’92 He just had such a great teaching method, and I really learned how to love math in his class. Before his class, I dreaded math and thought that I was too dumb. But he changed that and I was able to get over my doubts and fears.

John Davison For some reason I remember a lot of what he taught us. I think that was because he wasn’t afraid to tell us about world anthropology and history without “young people” filters.

- Courtney Lawson Gendron ’98 He is a great communicator! He changed the way I approach the game of soccer. Whether during practice or in games, he effectively made me a mentally stronger player. His teachings have not only made me a better player but also a better coach.

- Scottie Sharpe ’86 Tom English His AP American History class fostered the ability to review information, apply analytical rigor, and form my own decisions.

- David Burton ’89 John Gleeson He was not only a coach and a teacher to me at GS, but also turned into a great friend. He had a great sense of when to take things seriously and most importantly when not to! His enthusiasm for his subject matter in the classroom and on the field was an inspiration that I continue to carry with me as I move into the graduate school classroom as a teacher. His enthusiasm for life is an inspiration that I’ll always remember.

- Mike Walsh ’89

- Scott Klein ’99

He fostered my confidence to a level that later emboldened me to be the first person in my family to achieve an advanced degree—a law degree. He was there as a mentor and a friend when my family could not provide the kind of guidance and support that I needed. I am forever grateful to him for all he has done for me.

Page 12

- Kri Anderson ’94 Walt Hathaway

Rob Orr & Michael Sherrin Rob made biology so interesting and I later majored in biology and I now teach science to middle schoolers. Michael brought out something within myself I didn’t even know I had—ability to act silly while singing to an audience.

- Sarah Crofts ’91

He helped me to see math as less threatening and with possibilities of fun. He also was the first teacher to throw an eraser across the room, which proved a helpful trick! I find myself telling stories about him and his classes to my classes now, so that’s gotta say something.

- Marc Weinstein ’90

Scott Hoskins He taught me that I could do whatever it was that I wanted to do in my life if I would only try it—with my career, family, even my spirituality. He taught me these important lessons not by dragging me down the path but by leading through his own example.

Bill Enos

Dottie Detwiler She saw that I knew what I was doing but lacked the motivation to get As. She whipped me into shape and made sure I applied myself.

He had a love of the sport and he was able to coach people at all skill levels with patience and tenderness.

- Alison Stryker Breward ’94 John Gleeson Plain and simple, many of the ideals and paradigms that I have and continue to form have evolved from the foundation he constructed in me. Here is a man who can make a 5’5’’, 130-pound boy seem like an all-pro running back because of his heart. He invites all in his presence to reach in and see where their hearts can take them on and off the field.

- Bradd Forstein ’93

- Anthony Rogers-Wright ’94

G e o r g e S c h o o l , D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 5

Memories John Davison

Scott Spence

He permanently rearranged my priorities and outlook on life when he showed up in the ICU wearing Groucho glasses, bearing Calvin and Hobbes books, and being chased by an irate nurse.

He was the first teacher who taught me to see the joy in criticizing ideas. He inspired me to think analytically by demonstrating how much fun it can be to “see through” arguments to identify people’s real motives.

- Stefan Dreisbach-Williams ’96

The George School Experience

- Nick Kerr ’00

Scott Spence He is an amazing teacher. He’s able to pull very shy students out of their shells, which is exactly what he did to me. I enjoyed his classes so much that I became a history major in college.

- Emily Walters ’96

Jane Dunlap She solidified my appreciation for times past, and instilled in me a sense of wonder when observing the world.

- Ingrid Resch ’97

Terry Culleton Hmm, maybe there was a lesson I learned from him. Treat a child like an adult, and that child will become an adult. Looking back on my own immaturity, I have to say how greatly I admire his ability to see past that sort of thing to find the mature individual his student can become. Then he helps you along to that point by treating you as if you had already become that person.

- Michael Torres ’97

Nancy Bernardini She was (and still is) an inspiration to me. When I came as a freshman to GS, I had never played lacrosse before, yet she believed in me enough to take me onto the varsity team. Her knowledge is unparalleled, as is her enthusiasm for the sport. Although she certainly worked us hard, she made the game fun (and we certainly did have our laughs). She is by far the best coach I have ever had. And now that I myself have become a lacrosse coach, I just hope I can have the same impression on my players as she had on me. She is and always will be my role-model for an ideal coach!

Sean Casey It took me a long time to warm up to him, because I missed Dave Satterthwaite and was reluctant to see things run in a different manner. When I was difficult (which was more often than I’d like to admit), Sean was strict, but also kind. He made me work, but he also let me know that he was aware of the pressures of school and cared about the morale of the team. He refused to give up on me, even when I didn’t want to give the team my all and he turned me into the best runner I could be. He believed in me more than I believed in myself because he knew that I was strong enough for a major improvement on what I thought was good enough.

- Morgan Siem ’05

Ralph Lelii He takes the time to look at people when he speaks to them and he looks to find out how they are feeling, what they need, and how he can help. Because he treats his students with such respect, we respected him back. That made him the kind of teacher that I wanted to learn from. I wanted to go to class, I wanted to hear what he had to say, and I wanted to do my best work because his opinion was important to me and I knew that he would give me an honest critique of my work.

- Morgan Siem ’05

Stephanie McBride I credit her IB English class with teaching me how to write once and for all. It was one of the most interesting and interactive classes I ever had and it gave me such a love of reading and respect for books, that I never have to worry about getting bored.

No individual coach or teacher “changed my life”; rather, the entire experience changed my life. In no particular order, I was exposed to “nonviolence” for the first time, a learning experience which gave me a greater openness to its use in the then-developing civil rights movement; I met friends who remain friends (and happy memories) to this day; I received an education far, far superior than the education available to me in my rural Pennsylvania home town—the whole experience changed my life.

- H. Julian Bond ’57

I look back to my experiences in weekend work camps and a summer work camp in Germany in 1960 as having a profound effect on my world view and my vocational/avocational path. Weekend work camps brought me face to face with the problems of the innercity poor, and the summer work camp, which included a visit to Berlin in 1960 (the year before the wall), had a huge impact on my understanding that people are just people the world over and that labels are very limiting.

- Margaret Uehlein Suby Dorney ’61

[There was an] open atmosphere where searching, exploring and learning are valued in and of themselves, where my ideas were listened to with respect, discussions were stimulating and we students were treated with great empathy and kindness.

- Sally Kelso Chambers ’63

To be different from others is a very good thing. In my society, people tend to act the same as others.

- Takuya Kamisago ’91

- Morgan Siem ’05

- Kate Machemer ’99

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Focus on Athletics

Coaches Deserve Accolades and Appropriate Compensation

By Carol J. Suplee


f you really want to know why it is essential that

teamwork to fulfill the school’s commitment to coaches whose compensation levels have been frozen since 2002. The intent of the endowment program is to enable proper compensation for all coaches, with particular emphasis on recognizing and rewarding experienced teacher-coaches for their unique dual contributions in the classroom and on the field. “Students at George School learn skills that stay with them all their lives—teamwork, public performance, good sportsmanship, regular physical exercise, and a sense of community and school spirit. These are all the results of good coaching,” Nancy says. “The stipends the coaching endowment generates demonstrate the value that our graduates place on the hard work and dedication of their coaches, and the lifelong value of the qualities that were developed on George School’s playing fields.”

George School fulfill its $1 million goal for the Coaching Endowment Program, just ask some students. Most will tell you that their teacher-coaches are their mentors on and off the field. They will say that coaches have enabled them to believe in themselves and to reach goals they never thought possible. Others declare that playing on teams has banished their shyness, drawing out the strengths in their character, and boosting their self-confidence. They will say that instead of interfering with studies, the rigors of athletics have helped make them physically fit and mentally sharp, ready for classroom challenges. Some are convinced that without sports, their academic work would suffer. Still others know they can seek out their coach-mentors just to talk, to air the problems and anxieties that naturally beset students in these crucial learning years. Alumni reflect the same appreciation, from the vantage point of years, emphasizing the long-term influence of special coaches. (Responses to a recent George School alumni eQuiz were replete with alumni views on the vital role of sports and coaches in their lives.) “George School has been blessed over many years with outstanding coaches, the majority of whom are also classroom teachers,” says Head of School Nancy Starmer. “They bring their coaching skills with them into their English, history, math, science, arts, language, religion, and physical education classes, to the benefit of all of our students.” The Coaching Endowment Program was launched in the 1990s with gifts honoring legendary teacher-coaches, Anne LeDuc and Stan Sutton. Subsequent generous gifts have expanded the initial endowment, but $650,000 is still needed to reach the $1 million goal, according to George School Major Gifts Officer Andy Popkin ’83. A former student-athlete himself who honors the coaches who had an impact on his own life, Andy says it will take

The Coaching Endowment Program is part of the school’s effort to raise $7,400,00 for faculty compensation. In order to provide the best possible educational experience for students we must provide them with the best teachers. George School has some of the best, and they deserve to be compensated well. In addition, many of our most experienced teachers will be reaching retirement age within the next ten years, when the nation anticipates a significant teacher shortage. Additional funds for faculty compensation are crucial to our ability to attract and retain the finest teachers. For more information about a gift to the Coaching Endowment Program, please contact Andy Popkin at George School by phone at 215-579-6563 or by email at

Profiles of Student Athletes George School students take four years of physical education, including at least two team sports in the first year and at least one team sport in the remaining years. Students are required to take a physical education class in any term when they are not part of a team. The physical education program encourages students to value physical fitness and recreational physical activities as an important component of overall lifelong health. Alex is a current senior from New York, New York. He says, “The harder I work in sports the harder I work in school. The mental toughness and motivation needed in sports carry over into schoolwork. George School coaches have taught me that talent isn’t anything without hard work. For it is the person who works the hardest, even if the talent is not there, who will go the furthest in life.” Team Membership: Soccer, Wrestling, Baseball Leadership Roles & Honors: Varsity Team Captain (Soccer), Drayton Prefect, Peer Group Leader 2005-2006 Arts Course: Woodworking, Chorale Favorite Class: Physics

Alex Balme ’06

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Photos: Mark Wiley

Focus on Athletics

Emily Rendall ’06

Emily is a current senior from Langhorne, Pennsylvania. She says, “In ninth grade I was a very shy, timid person, with very little self-confidence. However, because of the way George School athletics work, I had never felt more comfortable. Nancy Bernardini’s coaching style allowed me to want to be a better player. She never yelled at me or my teammates for making a mistake, but instead told us what we did well, and ways in which we could improve, and then asked for our input.” Team Membership: Field Hockey, Swimming, Lacrosse, Winter Track Leadership Roles & Honors: Varsity Team Captain (Field Hockey, Winter Track), Day Student Prefect, Discipline Committee, Red Cross Bloodmobile Site Coordinator, Republicans on Campus Coleader, Pennswood Connection, Drug and Alcohol Coordinating Committee, Admissions Ambassador 2005-2006 Arts Course: Advanced Ceramics Favorite Class: “I have been so lucky with the teachers that I have had during my four years and the classes that I have taken that it really is difficult for me to pick just one class.” Jeff is a current senior from Levittown, Pennsylvania. He says, “The coaches, teammates, and everything about sports appeal to me. It is the perfect way to get away from the rigors of everyday class work and to have fun while competing in different games and events. What is amazing about the George School coaches is their love for their sports and how that love comes out in their coaching. The enthusiasm they show sets them apart from coaches I have had elsewhere.” Team Membership: Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, Football Leadership Roles & Honors: Senior Day Student Prefect, Junior Peer Group Leader, Peer Group Revision Team Member, Junior Varsity Team Captain (Basketball, Soccer) 2005-2006 Arts Course: Advanced Woodworking Favorite Class: AP Physics

Jeff Stevens ’06 Jorge is a current junior from Levittown, Pennsylvania. He says, “Coaches here tend to be more supportive because they understand how busy students at George School can get. To me, support is the most important thing a coach can provide. Pacho Gutierrez ’77 has been more than a coach. He demonstrates great character in everything he does and teaches me to be a champion on the mat, in the classroom, and in life.” Team Membership: Cross Country, Wrestling, Track & Field Leadership Roles & Honors: Laramore Award Recipient, SAGE (Students Associated for Greater Empathy) Member, Junior Peer Leader, Head of School’s List, Summer Academic Program Counselor, Varsity Team Captain (Track, Cross Country), Admissions Ambassador. 2005-2006 Arts Course: Woodworking Favorite Classes: Biology, Geometry, Global Interdependence

Jorge Galindo ’07 Phoebe is a current junior from Newtown, Pennsylvania. She says, “Our softball coach, Kathy Coyle, has us do very physically demanding drills. We are tired but we also know we benefit from the skills we are learning. One of our drills is to play for twenty-one outs. For every error we commit, we have to do a sprint. That’s incentive not to make an error. I often think, ‘If I can do the Star Drill, I can do anything.’” Team Membership: Volleyball, Softball, Field Hockey Leadership Roles & Honors: Peer Group Leader, Academic Summer Program Counselor, Junior Varsity Team Captain (Field Hockey), Tour Guide, Admissions Ambassador, Honor Roll, Head of School’s List. 2005-2006 Arts Course: Advanced Ceramics Favorite Class: Hydrology

Phoebe Hallowell ’07 G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Focus on Athletics

Profiles of the Athletics Department Directors By Marylou Fusco

Nancy Bernardini, Director of Girls Athletics “I want to push the girls to reach their potential—whether it is just to play varsity hockey at the high school level or to aim to play at the college level. One player might have the potential to play Division I hockey, while another player might have the potential to play solid high school ball. I want each girl to take pride in her own accomplishments no matter how small or large they are. I want them to recognize the importance of having confidence in themselves and in their teammates. When I have confident players, I know they will achieve more highly in the long run. I also want players to simply love playing the game.”

If there’s a morning game at George School, you can almost bet that Nancy Bernardini’s work will start around 6:00 a.m. when she’s out checking the playing fields. “It’s a busy day,” she laughs. Nancy’s job as girls athletic director involves the usual details of running the department in addition to the larger job of planning and scheduling for the upcoming school year. As a coach and teacher she also acts as a mentor to students as they deal with issues both on and off the field. “You get to see, right in front of you, a kid’s confidence grow,” she explains. Nancy says she tries to focus her athletes on having a positive experience.

On Barbie Gale’s desk sits a photograph of a former student snorkeling in the Bahamas. To a lifelong swimmer like Barbie, the photograph represents one of the favorite aspects of her job: teaching students how to swim. As the assistant director of girls athletics and coordinator of physical education and special athletic events, Barbie has come full circle with her connection to George School. A 1971 graduate of the school, she went on to study at the University of New Hampshire. She returned to George School six years later to become the school’s aquatic director. Barbie embraces the notion of “coaching the whole person” and says she likes introducing students to sports with the hope that it will spark some type of interest in physical activity that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Barbie Gale ‘71, Assistant Director of Girls Athletics

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Photos: Mark Wiley

Focus on Athletics

Sean Casey, Director of Boys Athletics As the boys athletic director for George School, Sean Casey focuses on teaching his students the value of sportsmanship and the importance of giving 100 percent. “We’re trying to win the right way [by being good sports],” he says. The former basketball coach joined the George School staff last year and says that sports teach students skills that relate to life. He lists some of these important skills as working with others, leadership abilities, and giving 100 percent effort. Through the school’s programs and curriculum the school tries to expose the students to as many sports as possible.

Sean tells the story of one student last year who joined the cross-country team after she didn’t make the soccer team. She was a natural. “She wound up placing seventh or eighth in the league,” he says. In addition to the daily responsibilities of running the athletics department, Sean also helps recruit coaches for the program. He says he looks for coaches who have a solid background, are enthusiastic, and love working with kids. Sean himself coaches girls cross country in the fall and boys basketball in the winter.

Glenn Curry, Assistant Director of Boys Athletics

While this is Glenn Curry’s first year at George School in the role of assistant director of boys athletics, he has been part of the George School community as a dorm teacher and coach of developmental soccer since 2000. In 2002 he became a member of the grounds maintenance staff, and in 2003 he became a three-season coach. Glenn will continue to maintain the grounds of the school and he will still be a dorm teacher, in addition to assisting the boys athletic director, Sean Casey, in the day-to-day duties of running the department. Glenn coaches soccer, wrestling, and tennis on the junior varsity level. As a junior varsity coach, Glenn says he wants his players to come to a deeper appreciation of sportsmanship while they continue to improve and get ready for the varsity level. Part of that includes getting the students to understand how important it is to be prepared. “If you’re not prepared, you’re probably going to lose,” he says. What’s the best part of his job? “Getting to know and work with the kids,” he says.

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Focus on Athletics

Thousands of Hours of Effort By April Lisante


atrick Rivage-Seul ’05 was twelve

years old when he discovered his life’s passion. It was 1998 and Patrick was living in Zimbabwe with his parents, social science professors who taught university classes abroad. Patrick’s father and brother often played golf at a course in the capital city of Harare, so the athletic youth tagged along and started to play—and never stopped. This fall, seven years and thousands of practice hours later, Patrick has realized a dream. Fresh from two years spent honing his game in the George School golf program, Patrick has landed the sole walk-on position this fall on the Division I golf team at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. The walk-on spot at this Southern school, which is known nationally for its golf program, is reserved for golfers who aren’t scouted or given scholarship money to play. Instead, they have to compete for Patrick Rivage-Seul ’05 used his trademark focusing ability to win a position on Davidson College’s the opportunity. nationally known golf team this fall. “I had two dreams. One of them was getting into Davidson. The other was By last spring at George School, he was shooting up to five playing golf for them. I am living both those dreams,” says the birdies in a row in tournament play. Berea, Kentucky, native. “Patrick told me in the spring that his goal was to play Patrick joined the nine-member George School team Division I golf,” says Chip. “After watching his extraordinary when he arrived as a junior in growth on the golf course, I told him I 2003. Though he excelled in the was confident he could do it.” school’s soccer and basketball “His attention to detail and selfprograms, golf was his first love. discipline are really unusual for a young For two years, he worked with athlete,” says Paul. “He has a character I longtime golf coach Chip Poston, would like all students to adopt in their as well as assistant golf coach quest for excellence.” Paul Machemer, who was also In August, when Patrick arrived at Patrick’s advisor. Davidson to start his semester, he tried Chip and Paul believe the out for the golf team and shot a seventyteen was a perfect fit for the five and seventy-six respectively in a twoGeorge School golf program day, thirty-six-hole tournament to land because he possessed not only the walk-on spot. He ousted seven others athletic talent, but self-discipline who were vying for the position. and mental maturity. He was the As soon as Patrick learned he’d team captain in both his junior made the team, Chip and Paul were two and senior years. of the first to know. The coaches, who describe Patrick as “thoughtful, “Paul has always been like another parent...and with Chip, sensitive, and conscientious,” say his trademark on the course it’s hard not to play well when he always has a smile on his was his focus. He took twice as long to putt as the other face,” says Patrick. players—but sank doubly as many balls. He often stayed on “The thing I like most about golf is that it’s impossible to the putting green to practice long after scheduled matches be perfect at it,” says Patrick. “Perfection is not attainable. It’s were finished. Patrick and Paul played together often during you out there playing against yourself. That’s what I like about practices, many times staying later than most of the team. it. I can tell you that what I’m finding is that golf is a huge time While maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, Patrick commitment here at Davidson. George School helped me faithfully practiced his game for two to three hours every day. manage my time well and prepared me.”

He often stayed on the putting green to practice long after scheduled matches were finished.

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Focus on Athletics

No Sitting Around During Free Periods


etween playing soccer against

former U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team player Brandi Chastain in a semipro summer league game and taking chemistry classes at an Ivy League school, Terri Williamson ’05 shows that balancing athletics and academics doesn’t mean toning down the challenges of either. Terri, a former soccer standout at George School now in her rookie season at Yale University, has been playing soccer as long as she’s been attending school. By the time she was nine, Terri was playing on her first travel team, and by middle school she was playing soccer year-round with premiere club teams. But it was not athletic opportunity that brought Terri to George School as a transfer from nearby Bensalem High Terri Williamson ’05 currently balances academic and athletic challenges at Yale University much School her sophomore year. Rather it was the chance to take more challenging classes as she did as a George School soccer standout. that drew her to the school. However, her school team. As Tom says, Terri “handled everything the Terri found that playing soccer on a right way”—always working hard in practice and in games. Friends League championship team under Tom Griffith (“an While juggling obligations to multiple teams during awesome coach,” as she says) improved her game as well. “He high school, Terri also had to keep up with her schoolwork. pushed me more than my other coaches. He never accepted Spoken with the matter-ofmediocre.” factness of someone who Described by Tom as has been balancing these “an outstanding player,” Terri responsibilities most of her life, never gave mediocre. Even Terri says managing her time after missing her entire junior at George School “wasn’t a big season when surgery on a deal. Instead of sitting on the torn meniscus kept her on lawn during free period, I’d the sidelines, Terri came back have to get some work done.” strong her senior season and Since she had always found was named Player of the Year time to excel in school while for 2004 by both the Friends playing soccer full time, Terri Schools League and the Bucks looked to maintain this balance County Courier Times. Although when it came time to choose a she primarily played sweeper, college. While she loved the Yale Terri could play any of the key coaches and was enthusiastic positions, according to Tom. about the soccer program, the “When we were behind or tied most important attraction Yale and needed to score, we’d move offered her was its academic Terri to center midfield where challenge. She says, “I knew I she could be more involved liked the school regardless of with the offense. It worked whether or not I might have to have knee surgery again and every time.” not be able to play soccer.” As a cocaptain of the George School team her senior year, As a freshman at Yale this fall, Terri is looking forward to Terri had the added responsibility of being a leader both on learning from the people around her and getting a “diverse, and off the field. While she was also playing for the Buxwell-rounded education” that would prepare her for medical Mont United premiere team and participating in the Eastern school. As for soccer, Terri would like her new team to do well Pennsylvania Olympic Development Program, Terri never in the NCAA tournament—“because that would be fun.” allowed other commitments to overshadow her dedication to

Terri could play any of the key positions. “When we were behind or tied and needed to score, we’d move Terri to center midfield where she could be more involved with the offense. It worked every time.”

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Photo: Lauran Williamson

By Cecilia Kiely

Focus on Athletics Photos: Cheryl Treworgy/PrettySporty

Runner Kicks Into Another Gear By Kevin Cassel


alk to Rob Waters ’03 for more than a minute or

two and you’ll get the idea that he’s passionate about running track—particularly, the 4 x 100-meter relay. “It’s a big adrenaline rush—everything depends on you. That’s the excitement—somebody comes flying at you, your heart starts pumping out of your chest....” Going into his third year at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rob has already accumulated quite a track record. As a freshman at the 2004 Outdoor Big East Track and Field Championship, he became only the ninth athlete in conference history to win three events at that championship meet, and the first Rutgers track athlete to be named Outstanding Track Performer. The following year, he was named Team Most Valuable Player for the indoor season while simultaneously achieving Big East Academic All-Star status (receiving a letter while earning a 3.0 GPA). The accomplishments have been numerous, but they haven’t come easily. The transition to collegiate athletics began with the first practice session. “The biggest adjustment is that practice is more rigorous. It’s shorter, but it hurts,” Rob laughs. “After my first practice at Rutgers, I was on all fours, dying.” While going from high school to college wasn’t easy, Rob credits the atmosphere at George School with preparing him for the diversity of a university the size of Rutgers. “George School prepared me big-time for the collegiate environment. I’m a pretty open person—I was raised that way—but George School put the stamp on it for me. I can get along with anyone now; I can sit down in a room with anyone.” George School Alumni Director David Satterthwaite ’65 was Rob’s head track coach at George School, and he taught him Spanish as well. He remembers Rob, whom he still talks to regularly, as a natural runner. “He was gifted...I wish I could take credit for him, but all we did was polish him up a little—it was all there.” David describes Rob as an unassuming, likeable guy who became a quiet leader. “He was just a neat kid. There’s no bravado about him; he just did his job.”

Rob Waters ’03 (pictured above in May 2005 at the NCAA East Regional Qualifying Meet and below at right in May 2004 at the IC4A Meet) has relied on quiet confidence to build up an impressive track record at Rutgers University.

Surprisingly, some of the lessons that have made Rob such a success in track were learned on the George School football field. “Rob is a great kid and tremendous competitor,” says Rob’s George School football coach John Gleeson. “He truly rises to the occasion. It seems the tougher the challenge, the more he excels. In his senior year he certainly provided the spark to beat a very good Academy of the New Church team. Rob raced ninety yards for one touchdown early in the game and then returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown that iced our victory. The kickoff return was one of the most determined and athletic efforts I have witnessed in thirtysix years of coaching football at George School. At our final football banquet I used a worn but very apt description when speaking of Rob’s exploits on the gridiron: He truly has the heart of a warrior. A multitalented soul, he truly cares about performing at his optimum. He somehow seems to find yet another gear when he is really challenged.” Rob reflects, “Football prepared me—I was a little guy around all the big guys, but I realized that if I just did what I knew I could do, then I’d be fine.” That quiet confidence is a running theme as Rob talks about the attitude that’s helped him win in the competitive Big East Track and Field Championship. “To be successful, you have to be confident—not cocky; just know what you can do without letting it get to your head. It can make you or break you—if you underestimate your opponent, you’ll be staring at the back of his jersey as he crosses the finish line.” Last year’s championships ended with a disappointing loss for Rutgers in the 4 x 100—a third-place finish a mere 0.16 seconds off the winning pace. That experience haunts Rob, and it motivates him as he prepares for next year. “Whenever I’m in the weight room, I’m thinking about it—it fuels me. You have to know how to use things to your benefit.” Expectations are high for the coming track season—and Rob wouldn’t have it any other way.

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HURRAH for the Annual Fund! Your gifts to the Annual Fund make things happen at George School.

Our goal for the 2005-2006 Annual Fund is $900,000.

Introducing Three New Leadership Gift Circles: Sunnybanke Circle---------------------------------------------gifts of $2,500 to $4,999 South Lawn Circle---------------------------------------------gifts of $1,000 to $2,499 Young Alumni Leadership Circle* ------------------gifts of $300 to $999 *from alumni through their 15th reunion

Please make your gift or pledge today by mailing in the enclosed gift envelope or by going online to and selecting Giving, then selecting Annual Fund. For information about the Annual Fund contact Annual Fund Director Diane Barlow by phone at 215-579-6581 or by email at

Campus News & Notes By Juliana Rosati Community Responds to Hurricane Katrina

Teachers On Air and In Print

Class of 1948 Aids Former New Orleans Resident

Teacher Authors a Robotics Book

Former New Orleans resident Lianna Patch ’07 enrolled at George School this fall in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with help from the Class of 1948 Scholarship Fund. Lianna’s parents, Charles W. Patch ’70 and Iris Lindberg, decided to send her to George School after the hurricane damaged their home and Lianna’s schools in New Orleans. The Class of 1948 Scholarship Fund is designed to provide funding beyond other financial aid in order to encourage direct descendants of alumni to attend George School.

George School math and science teacher Chris Odom is the author of a new robotics textbook, BasicX and Robotics: The Art of Making Machines Think, published this fall by Robodyssey Systems, LLC, a Trenton, New Jersey, company that creates robots and electronics for educational purposes. Students in his computer programming and robotics course participated in the development of the book over the past two years, offering feedback on each chapter and contributing solutions to the book. “I’m always driven by my students,” Chris says. “Their questions and innovations are very exciting.” Formerly a rocket scientist at Clemson University in South Carolina, Chris wrote the book because he perceived a need for a textbook that would provide a complete robotics curriculum at the high school or college level.

Activities Raise Money for Relief Work Efforts

Money has been raised within the George School community towards Hurricane Katrina relief via collection jars, a zydeco dance performance, bake sales, and T-shirt sales. In September two George School dormitory heads, Kathleen O’Neal and English/ESL teacher Rachel Fumia, did hurricane relief work in Mississippi, where they used $1,064.58 of the money raised at George School to donate first aid products, toiletries, and baby supplies for hurricane victims. During their five-day trip, Kathleen (a Jackson, Mississippi native) and Rachel (a graduate of the University of Mississippi) also volunteered at the Central Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross in Jackson. Another $2,157.36 of the money raised at George School was donated to Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Home Delivery Program, which will ship pre-built housing units to areas affected by the hurricane.

Teacher Featured on Radio

George School English teacher Terry Culleton was one of three former poets laureate of Bucks County recently featured on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, a weekday morning talk show on WHYY 91FM that serves the Delaware Valley with discussions of local, national, and international topics. Terry talked about his love of language and said that he often writes in public places because he likes to be influenced by the sound of spoken words. During the show, broadcast live on Friday, September 16, 2005, Jake Malone ’06 called in from Terry’s IB/AP World Literature class and asked him if his students ever inspire his poetry, to which Terry replied that they do. Terry was a semifinalist in the Discovery/The Nation poetry contest, an annual competition sponsored by The 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center and The Nation magazine, and his poetry has appeared in various anthologies and publications.

Alumni Return As Assembly Presenters A Culture of Absorption

Matt Check ’00, who spent the past year working in Israel for OTZMA—a ten-month leadership development program through which young Jewish adults engage in volunteer service projects—gave an assembly program on Monday, September 19, 2005. Entitled “Israel: A Culture of Klita (Absorption),” Matt’s presentation detailed his experiences teaching in schools in Israel and included photos of various locations, including Haifa, where he took part in a festival known as the “Holiday of Holidays,” a celebration of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan.

Teacher Receives PEN Translation Fund Grant

Susan Wilf, director of George School’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program, is the recipient of a 2005 PEN Translation Fund Grant for her English translation of an autobiography originally written in Chinese by Kang Zhengguo. A dissident Chinese intellectual who was persecuted for decades by the Chinese Communist Party due to his literary and political activities, Kang Zhengguo is currently a senior lector in the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department of Yale University. PEN Translation Fund Grants are given annually by the American branch of International PEN, a distinguished worldwide association of writers that promotes literature and freedom of expression. The grants are designed to encourage the publication of booklength works of world literature in English. Susan began her translation last year during a sabbatical and recently completed it. Her working title is Disastrous Letters: My Life as a Chinese Reactionary.

Save Darfur Coalition Outreach

Martha Heinemann ’01, outreach coordinator for the Save Darfur Coalition in Washington DC, gave an assembly program on Friday, October 14, 2005, about the current genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan. She gave an overview of the violence, which is estimated to have killed 400,000 people and displaced over 2.5 million people, and profiled individuals throughout history who have taken a stand against genocide. Martha explained how she decided to help found STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), a student organization with chapters in the United States and Canada, when she was a student at Georgetown University, and recommended steps that the audience could take to work against the genocide.

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Campus News & Notes Autumn Activities

Advanced Drama Production


Photo: Scott Hoskins

Arts Department Update

Nelson Camp’s Advanced Drama class performed Molière’s comedy The School for Husbands on Friday, November 4, and Saturday, November 5, 2005, in Walton Center Auditorium. Known as a master of comedy, the French playwright Molière (1622–1673) wrote The School for Husbands in rhyming verse in French. Nelson’s students performed a rhyming English translation by Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Richard Wilbur. The farcical plot of the play revolves around the complications that arise after two elderly brothers are each given one of two orphaned young sisters to raise as they see fit. One brother gives his orphan freedom. The other brother (Sganarelle, played by Brandon Wright ’06, pictured above on right) imprisons his orphan (Isabelle, played by Amanda Darby ’06, pictured above on left) and trains her to become his wife. When a young man enters the picture, the imprisoned orphan falls in love with him and devises an escape. Nelson says that the clever, independent character of Isabelle prompted him to choose this play for his students. “I like that she doesn’t get squashed by her situation. For 1661 that was a pretty radical concept,” he says. “I like that liberating message.” As with all mainstage productions, costumes were by Liz Lukac, and sets were designed by Scott Hoskins and built by his Stagecraft classes.

Upcoming Performing Arts Shows (All performances in Walton Center)

Wind Symphony of Southern New Jersey Also featuring the George School Orchestra Dr. Robert J. Streckfuss, Conductor Sunday, January 22, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. Berg, Donelly & Savage’s Musical Chairs Musical Theater Production Thursday, February 23, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday, February 24 & 25, 2006, at 8:00 p.m.

Upcoming Studio Arts Exhibitions

Havurah, George School’s Jewish student organization, built a sukkah on campus in observance of the harvest festival Sukkot this fall for the fifth consecutive year. Situated close to Marshall Center, the welcoming, room-sized structure was made of lumber, wrapped in protective green netting, and strung with dried cornstalks. Associated with the temporary dwellings the Israelites built in the desert after their exodus from slavery in Egypt, such structures are traditionally used by Jews as temporary homes—places for eating and even sleeping—during Sukkot. An informational sign inside the sukkah invited all members of the school community to take part in this tradition by enjoying the space “for eating, reading, relaxing, and quiet conversation.” Senior Lauren Leiter of Weston, Connecticut, says, “Being in [the sukkah] is spiritual for me.” Lauren is Jewish and grew up in a family that followed the tradition of building a sukkah for Sukkot. “Having one at the school really reinforces how there are different religions at the school and how the school is very supportive of all religions,” she says. “That makes me really comfortable.”

Dragon Womyn Compete

A team of twenty-five women—made up mainly of George School faculty, staff, community members, and parents, as well as George School Children’s Center staff—competed as the George School Dragon Womyn in the fourth annual Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, October 1, 2005. “We completed each heat of the 500-meter race in under three minutes—very respectable times for a novice team!” says team leader Edna Valdepeñas, assistant dean of students and diversity hiring coordinator at George School. Prior to their debut on the Schuylkill River, the Dragon Womyn raised over $3,500 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. George School participants included Toni Burger, Sue Clarke-Curry, Nancy Coughlin, Kathleen Coyle, Mary Dart, Jenna Kuebler Davis ’78, Debbie Vernon DiMicco ’72, Beth Gardiner, Barb Kibler, Susy Lake, Heather Martin, Chéri Mellor, Kathleen O’Neal, Sue Petrone, Gisele Pinck, Molly Stephenson, and Becky Wilkinson.

Main Lobby Student Art Shows Revolving mixed media exhibits throughout the academic year Walton Gallery Art Shows Young Alumni Mixed Media Exhibition, December & January Michael Wommack ’74 Mixed Media Exhibition, February

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Alumni Relations Update

Coach Transformed Into a “Connector”


is realistic approach to life made me see the

way things are; not the way I wanted them to be,” says Chas Sanders ’93. “He has a great sense of humor along with a competitive drive,” recalls Leonard Rubin ’76. The “he” in question is well-known and well-respected teacher, coach, and now director of alumni, David Satterthwaite ’65. In his 34-year career at the school, the former Spanish teacher has also been chair of George School’s language department, cross-country and track and field coach, director of boys’ athletics, and codirector of the physical education department. In July 2004, he gave up a three-week retirement from George School only to return to the school in a different position. “I needed to take some time off and when the alumni director job came about it was a very interesting proposition,” he says. “The hours were such that I could go see my daughter David Satterthwaite ‘65 returned to George School in a new role after a three-week retirement from his 34-year George School career. play field hockey and also enjoy my greatest vice which is to play golf—and still get work done.” position at George School was really by accident,” he recalls. You could say George School runs in David’s blood. His “Jim Tempest, who was the director of studies at the time, family history with the school goes as far back as his greatsaid ‘we have an opening in Spanish’ and ‘are you interested?’ great-grandfather, Amos Satterthwaite, who with his son, Along with that I had an opportunity to coach at the school, so William, were early supporters of George School circa 1893. I gladly took the job.” “Being Quakers and living in the area, they worked behind While he’s seen the school undergo a number of changes the scenes to get the school off the ground,” he says. “My over the last several decades—new buildings, new students grandmother who graduated in 1901; my grandfather; my and new faculty—what David sees that has remained the same father; my three daughters, Lisa ’92, Laura ’99, and Ginny ’04; is the school’s basic philosophy, to educate the whole person. and I all went to George School.” “As a school founded on Quaker values and involved in After graduation, David attended Earlham College in education, it continues to instill the fact that God is in everyone Richmond, Indiana. In 1969, he began an intern teaching and takes everyone for who they are. It’s a diverse school today program at Temple University and taught in Center City as opposed to when I went there. It accurately reflects the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a year. “Getting a teaching changes in Bucks County and changes in society.” David’s mission is to take a job and make it better than when he started it. Notes John Hoffman ’73, “He always made me feel like a winner, and an integral part of the team. God bless him for that. He was one in a million.” David has tackled the role of alumni director with the same gusto. “My role is that of connector,” he says. “ If I can keep the people at George School connected, that’s what I want to do. With this job, I want to keep the connections going, to open doors and set the table for the conversations and relationships to happen.”

Pictured here from left to right are Alexis Dansky ’03, Cristina Rysz ’03, Alumni Director David Satterthwaite ’65, Adriana Essilfie ’03, and Michal Brown ’03 during a special night for George School juniors and seniors to meet alumni who have recently entered college. The event was held last January in the George School Meetinghouse.

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G e o r g e S c h o o l , D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 5

Photo: Mark Wiley

By Anne Dullaghan

Alumni Relations Update

Making Connections Early and Often Contributions By Anne Dullaghan and Juliana Rosati

Photo: Dave Satterthwaite ‘65


n an evening last May, eleven nights

before graduation and the week before final exams, three buses pulled up to Drayton Circle to take the George School senior class to a cozy inn near the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River in 1776. When they arrived at their private dining room, the students were greeted with the sight of a sheet cake that read “Congratulations to the Class of 2005” and round tables set with floral centerpieces. This new event designed to welcome them to alumni status included remarks from Alumni Director David Satterthwaite ’65, Head of School Nancy Starmer, Class Sponsors Jenna Kuebler Davis ’78 and Carter Sio ’76, and members of the dynamic new group responsible for establishing the special dinner—George School’s Young Alumni Board. “The Board wanted to give the outgoing seniors Faith Brutus ’05 and Matthew Horowitz ’05 enjoyed a new George School tradition last a dinner and get them acquainted with what it means spring before their graduation—a senior dinner that welcomed them to alumni status. to be alumni of the school,” explains Tim Katsiff done—and will continue to do—is to give people opportunities ’87, Young Alumni Board cochair, George School to participate in George School activities that require time and Committee member, and a partner in the law firm Blank Rome, thoughtfulness, as well as the ability to reach out and talk to LLP. Formed in 2003, the Young Alumni Board has already other alums, not just ways to open their checkbooks.” found numerous ways to connect alumni with one another and Comprised of George School graduates from the last the school. In addition to establishing a new George School twenty years, the Young Alumni Board currently has thirtytradition via the senior class dinner, this last year the board has: seven members, with representatives from each class. Each • hosted and supported regional Alumni and Friends member serves a three-year term and attends two board Gatherings in Atlanta, Georgia; Washington DC; and meetings per year with additional regional committee Bucks County, Pennsylvania; meetings held as necessary. • supported the Annual Fund on campus and within “The role of the board is to enhance young alumni class campaigns; participation,” explains Carol Nelson, George School major • supported an evening for juniors and seniors to meet gifts officer and Young Alumni Board liaison. “In conjunction alumni who have recently entered college; and with the George School Committee and the George School • developed a special campaign to upgrade the Resources Committee, Young Alumni Board members advise swimming pool. the school on issues related to social, academic, and financial “Many people want to become involved with the school, matters. They also help to nurture the next generation of but you often think as an alum that the only way to do that is school leaders.” through money,” notes Taisha Thompson ’91, Young Alumni New programs underway for the 2005-2006 year include Board cochair and director of admissions at the Ethical expansion of a young alumni volunteer program and an opt-in Culture Fieldston School in Bronx, New York. “What we’ve alumni career mentoring program. “It’s important to keep those connections going and maintain the communications,” adds Alumni Director David Satterthwaite ’65. “Often it’s about networking. And the more people you know, the better choices you can make.”

Taisha Thompson ’91 and Tim Katsiff ’87 are cochairs of the Young Alumni Board, a dynamic group that is finding new ways to help alumni connect with each other and George School.

Young Alumni news, events, and photos are posted on the Young Alumni Group homepage. To view this page, login to the online community at http://alumni. and select Young Alumni from the menu on the left side of the page.

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Alumni Relations Update

A New Tradition: Mini Reunions By Mark Segal ’64


t came out of the blue—an

email from George School classmate Doug Smith ’64, whom I hadn’t seen in forty-one years. Doug was proposing, to a dozen or so former classmates, a “mini reunion” at his Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania, home. The window of opportunity was small—a specific twenty-four-hour period—but the invitation included accommodations for all, and golf for those who were interested. Because the guest list was smaller and the circumstances more intimate than a full fledged, everyfifth-year reunion, Doug’s proposal offered the tantalizing possibility of recapturing the camaraderie of my fondly remembered George School years. However, I hadn’t seen some of the men since graduation in 1964, and there had been little contact with the others. Would I be accepted? Was my inclusion an afterthought? I found myself experiencing the anxieties of a teenager all over again! After four hours on interstate Members of the Class of ’64 gathered for a mini reunion included: (in front from left to right) Don Marshall, highways, and another hour on Henry (Buzz) Marshall, Doug Smith, Tom Turner, Jon Kamen, (in back from left to right) Dave Satterthwaite pastoral country roads, I pulled up ’65, Taylor Andrews, Elliot Sainer, Mark Segal, Chuck Wilson, and Tom Mendell. to the impossibly rustic “cottage,” as Doug had called it. It was the very and its comfortable wicker furniture accommodated us with same house four of us—Doug, Taylor Andrews, Elliot Sainer ease. Yearbooks and photo albums came out, old nicknames and I—had visited with our girlfriends after graduation from were brandished, anecdotes abounded, and for those of George School. The beamed living room ceiling, the birch us with dim memories, Don was able to lead us down the banisters, the stone fireplace were unchanged. And there was Drayton hallways, recalling who Doug, grayer but immediately roomed with whom, and where! recognizable after forty-one years, We had the luxury of time. Some the same grin, the same warmth, of us took a leisurely walk down welcoming the new arrival and to the lawn bowling green; others erasing my insecurity in an played nine holes of golf. Daylight instant. faded. Doug, Tom Turner, and Guests arrived throughout Chuck materialized with pizzas. the afternoon including Ice cubes tinkled in tumblers of classmates Elliot, Don Marshall, single malt Scotch and glasses of Taylor, Chuck Wilson, Tom diet soda. Smoking in the woods, Turner, Henry (Buzz) Marshall, R.S.P., K.O.B.s, weekend drives in Tom Mendell, and Jon Kamen, Don’s ’53 Ford, being kicked out of as well as Dave Satterthwaite Brinton’s, shift, the Whistle Stop, the ’65. Doug suggested each of us infamous thumbing of a nose, chuck pick a bed in one of the upstairs wagon sandwiches in the Drayton rooms. We were going to have store, fermented apple cider—these roommates again. were a few of the memories that There was lots of gray hair rode the evening breeze. Then Buzz (or in my case no hair at all), a few changed the direction of things by more wrinkles, a couple of beards, some additional flesh—but suggesting—no, insisting—that each of us take a few minutes introductions were unnecessary. The shady, spacious porch to talk about the forty-one years since graduation.

The eleven accounts were as different as the individuals who gave them, but all were infused with candor, insight, humility, wit, and affection.

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Continued on page 30 G e o r g e S c h o o l , D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 5

Alumni Profiles

By Betsy Gilbert


career in medicine was in the cards

for John Lantos ’71 during his years at George School, but this son of a Johnstown, Pennsylvania, doctor didn’t realize it. His heart was set on pursuing the humanities. As it turns out, he has succeeded as a physician, a published author, and a mentor to medical professionals from a variety of specialties. “I think I’ve managed to successfully marry the two very different fields of medicine and writing,” John says in a vast understatement. Professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, he is also section chief of general pediatrics, codirector of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, and associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. He has also found time to author and edit four well-received nonfiction books, and has a fifth coming out in the spring of 2006. John’s journey has been marked by a trust in John Lantos ’71 shows medical professionals how to use literature and philosophy as a his own intuition and the willingness to change course gateway to insight about life and death. when it seems appropriate, a philosophy he offers to students just beginning their own journeys at George the two programs after realizing the need to step away from School. the life and death issues they deal with on a daily basis. They “I didn’t know I wanted to pursue a career in medicine take a year or two digging into something new, bringing their until my junior year at Brown University,” he points out, “and practical training with them but putting it aside and examining it wasn’t until my third year of medical school at the University some of the more theoretical issues their work raises. of Pittsburgh that I knew I wanted to specialize in pediatrics.” “We have them read philosophy, fiction, poetry, personal That third year was a major turning point. John spent essays—things that make them look inside themselves,” John three months working at a university hospital in Nigeria and explains. “To me, the measure of both programs’ success is saw firsthand the needless childhood deaths. seeing what the fellows produce afterward. Many have gone “You see kids dying from easily treatable diseases like on to publish papers and books, others have moved into diarrhea or tetanus and it stays with you forever,” he says. “I jobs involving health policy and still others have returned to was struck with the fact that pediatrics was the most hopeful practice with different perspectives. area of medicine, where little interventions can make such big “I believe that all of us need to reevaluate our lives and differences.” directions at each step,” he elaborates, “and it can and should John has made a difference not only through his positions start early on. One of my favorite classes at George School was at the University of Chicago and the books he has written, but called Five Fat Fictions and later changed to Two Thick Tomes also through codirecting two innovative fellowship programs when we got so involved in discussing two of the books that that, like his career, bring together medicine and literature. He we knew we’d never get to all five. We did justice to those two works with fifteen to twenty fellows a year from various areas and that made the class valuable.” within the medical profession: doctors, nurses, social workers, He pauses for a moment before adding, “It’s the same and chaplains among them. Many of them find their way to with life.”

John Lantos In Print Neonatal Bioethics: A Societal Success Story (Johns Hopkins, forthcoming, 2006) Do We Still Need Doctors? (Routledge, 1997) The Lazarus Case: Life and Death Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care (Johns Hopkins, 2001) The Last Physician: Walker Percy and the Moral Life of Medicine (with Carl Elliot, Duke, 1999) Primum Non Nocere Today: A symposium on pediatric bioethics (with Roberto Burgio, Elsevier, 1995)

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

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Photo: Martha Montello

Stepping Away from Life and Death and Gaining a New Perspective

Alumni Profiles

Alumna Wins Prestigious Cornell Award and Honors Her GS Teacher

Photo: Art Nicklas


he knew at the age of ten that

she would pursue a career in medicine. Unlike so many children who leap from astronaut to teacher to movie star with equal passion as they peer into their futures, Allison Betof ’01 never wavered. “My father worked for a pharmaceutical company and took me to the lab with him one day,” she remembers. “I saw all the researchers and just fell in love with the work they were doing. From that day forward, there was never a thought that I would do anything else.” Now beginning a seven- to eightyear medical scientist program at Duke University, pursuing a joint MD and PhD Allison Betof ‘01 was named as one of Cornell University’s Merrill Presidential Scholars. As part degree, Allison looks back on her four years of this honor, Allison named her George School advisor Pam Machemer as the high school teacher who had most inspired her academic development, and her gymnastics coach Paul Beckwith as the at George School, and one member of the faculty in particular, as the foundation for a Cornell faculty member who most significantly contributed to her college experience. Pictured above from left to right: former Cornell University President Jeffrey Lehman, Allison Betof, Paul Beckwith, career in academic medicine. She hopes to and Pam Machemer. Below, Allison competing at one of the Cornell gymnastics team’s toughest practice at a university hospital, teach in its meets of the season, held on February 5, 2005. medical school, and do research. “I really had my eyes opened freshman yearly sports requirements with a critical written evaluation year,” she remembers, “and in many ways, my experience at of my athletic career. It worked out,” she says. This kind of George School completely changed my life, just as it changed opportunity is offered in unique situations to allow students to my older brother’s life before me. [Allison’s brother Ari Betof pursue sports not offered at George School. graduated from George School in 1998.] I met people who Allison attributes much of her later academic and varsity were different, who had different perspectives and ideas. It gymnastic success at Cornell University to the George School was a brand new world.” experience—and specifically to her advisor, Pam Machemer. Allison’s previous world had revolved around gymnastics “Pam understood my commitment to gymnastics and and academics in her hometown of Richboro, Pennsylvania, was willing to work with me to make it possible to continue,” where she attended public schools. Although she had an Allison states. “Over the years, she has gone from advisor to opportunity to mentor to friend.” move to an Olympic That might be the highest compliment a student can pay training center at a a faculty member, but Allison went above and beyond this very young age, she homage at her Cornell graduation this past May. Named as one turned it down in of Cornell’s Merrill Presidential Scholars for demonstrating favor of her studies. outstanding scholastic achievement, strong leadership ability, Still, gymnastics was and potential for contributing to society, Allison recognized an enormous part Pam as the high school teacher who had most inspired her of her life and while scholastic development. As part of the program, a one-time George School $4,000 scholarship in Pam’s name was awarded to a financially didn’t offer it as a needy Cornell student from the Philadelphia area. sport, the teenager “I was truly honored,” Pam says, “and I continue to be didn’t allow that to proud of Allison. She is a well-grounded, focused young become an obstacle. woman who is not daunted by challenges, who knows that “I was she is chasing a dream and that there will be reversals, but accustomed to is determined to learn from the reversals and be better as a putting in twenty result.” hours a week And that might be the highest compliment a former in training, so I advisor can pay a student. proposed that I substitute my two

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G e o r g e S c h o o l , D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 5

Photo: Cornell University

By Betsy Gilbert

Student Profile

Knowing When You’ve Been “Georged”


hen Ruben Davis ’06 applied for

the Congressional Page Program during the first half of his junior year at George School, the admission process required him to write an essay. In that essay he explained his passion for politics. Eager to gain a unique perspective that could not be duplicated in the classroom at George School, Ruben stated his desire to learn more about government. His essay worked and he was appointed by Bucks County 8th District Republican Congressman Jim Greenwood to serve as a Republican page. (Coincidentally, Ruben originally heard about the program from Congressman Greenwood’s daughter Laura ’04, who was a former page herself.) Not only did Ruben learn about the workings of our government firsthand, but also he developed an even stronger passion to Ruben Davis ’06 learned about politics and prioritization last year as a page in the contribute to the greater good. U.S. House of Representatives, using skills he gained at George School to keep a busy An articulate student, Ruben is taking full schedule under control. advantage of all George School has to offer. He is pursuing the International Baccalaureate everything to get it all done, so it was simple to do the same curriculum, which will allow him to graduate with an IB in Washington.” He further states, “Students know they have diploma in addition to a George School diploma. Ruben been ‘Georged’ when they have two club meetings, a dental demonstrates his commitment to the values of acceptance, appointment, and a paper due all at the same time—and they equality, and social justice taught at George School by serving can get them all done.” as a representative to Student Council and serving as a peer Ruben also attributes his easy adjustment into the page counselor through SAGE (Students program to George School’s holistic Associated for Greater Empathy). approach. “I felt scholastically better As a Student Council member, prepared over some of the other Ruben acts an ambassador pages, because here at George School between the student community we are taught independence and to and George School’s faculty and be sure our needs are met, through staff. As a SAGE counselor, he is self-advocation.” Thanks in large part trained to listen to his peers, give to George School’s philosophy that support, share information, and students are empowered to make make referrals, working closely their own choices, Ruben felt that he with the Student Health Center was already adapted to the demands staff. of the real world. This allowed him Long interested in politics, he to realistically survey the political embraced the chance to serve as landscape as he worked on the floor of a page and although he considers the House of Representatives. himself a Democrat, Ruben was Throughout his service, Ruben open to exploring another political ideology. Knowing he says he learned that “in general, politicians represent the would get a “behind-the-scenes” look at government in same gamut of personalities and eccentricities found in any action, he joined pages from across the United States for a other profession—with a little more ego thrown in.” Ruben six-month term in Washington DC. Faced with a busy schedule witnessed political agendas taking precedence over personal of schoolwork (Ruben took high school classes at the U.S. feelings and saw how rough the politician’s lifestyle can be. House of Representatives Page School) and his duties as a Having always felt that in contributing to the functioning of page, Ruben had to juggle a lot. He credits George School with our government he would have the opportunity to do good, giving him the time management skills to effectively handle Ruben continues to believe in the system and in his ability to everything required of him as a school-year page. effect positive change. Today, having put his experience as a Long days and quickly changing priorities put a burden congressional page into perspective, he states, “At my age, I on all the young pages, but Ruben was prepared. As he puts see myself going to college and then getting a job. But, I can’t it, “The stress from a busy schedule was the hardest part see myself going to work at a job that benefits only me. I need as a page. At George School, I really learned to prioritize to work someplace where I can serve others.”

Long days and quickly changing priorities put a burden on all the young pages, but Ruben was prepared.

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

Page 29

Photo: Mark Wiley

By Marnie McCown-Guard

Students Take Action... Continued from page 7 been displaced from their homes, and 3.5 million people are starving. In July of 2004, the United States Congress declared that genocide was taking place in Darfur. In February of 2005 the United Nations issued a report stating that the violence constituted war crimes, but not a policy of genocide. As of October 2005, the United States Congress was deliberating the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, which proposes steps towards ending the violence. Lilias came up with the idea of selling green wristbands from the Save Darfur Coalition and donating the proceeds to Damanga, an organization that her family friend founded in the United States to support Darfurian human rights. The wristbands read “Not on my watch—save Darfur” and came with an informational card that explained the conflict. Soon several classmates wanted to help. Meanwhile, DonChristian Jones ’08 and Alex were reacting to all they had learned in Douglas’s class by undertaking some research on their own about ways to work against famine and human rights abuses. When the magnitude of the problems became overwhelming for them, they approached Douglas and admitted they were feeling somewhat doubtful of their power to enact change in the world. “He told us we were wrong,” DonChristian says with a grin. “History was always my favorite subject, but it never really moved me,” he says. Douglas’s curriculum, DonChristian explains, opened his eyes to global problems he had not previously been aware of, and observing how much Douglas cares about the problems was inspiring for him. Alex likewise says that Douglas helped him to realize as he never had before that he could have a positive impact on the world. Alex recalls that, prior to his time in Global Interdependence, he thought, “There’s no way I could actually make a change in the world.” Douglas told Alex and DonChristian to talk to Lilias, and soon the students joined forces. For two weeks during the third term, the students sold the wristbands at a table in the dining room and encouraged community members to sign petitions and write letters to their senators. Alex and DonChristian announced the project at assembly, and Deborah made a

poster for the table with photographs of the violence. “It really raised awareness,” Deborah says of the poster. “It was the first thing you saw when you walked into the dining room. I think it caught people’s attention.” As members of the community approached their table, Douglas’s students saw firsthand the value of sharing their knowledge. “The learning part was really important,” Kenza says. Lilias explains, “We got some questions. Like—‘what’s this about?’” Marie adds that many people reacted with surprise and made remarks such as, “Genocide? That doesn’t happen anymore.” Alex says he hopes their project helped to make the concept of taking action for a cause more accessible to some of their fellow students. “I just want everybody to realize that they can do something too,” he says. “I’m not better than anybody else.” Lilias and Kenza investigated further options for student activism against the genocide in Darfur by attending the National Student Leadership Conference for Darfur in Washington DC last summer. Run by STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), a student organization with chapters in the United States and Canada, the event included a workshop led by Martha Heinemann ’01. [See “Save Darfur Coalition Outreach” on page 22 for more about Martha.] Lilias and Kenza brought back some new ideas from the conference, and this fall they and the other four students set up another lunchtime table. Due to their efforts, over 100 George School community members participated in the International Solidarity Fast for Darfur, an event orchestrated by various groups around the world, including STAND, on October 6, 2005. Participants pledged to fast or give up a luxury item for the day and donate the money they saved towards ending the genocide in Darfur. “The actual amount they raised was inconsequential compared to the enormity of the problem,” Douglas says of his students’ projects. “But if they can galvanize this many people at age 15, imagine what they will be accomplishing when they are 20 or 35.”

A New Tradition... Continued from page 26 The eleven accounts were as different as the individuals who gave them, but all were infused with candor, insight, humility, wit, and affection. Not to mention triumph and tragedy. Respect for others’ privacy forbids me from being specific, but suffice it to say that the unanimous gratefulness for our mostly good fortune was leavened by revelations of adversity, some of them particularly devastating. What amazed me was the level of comfort and trust that existed among us, thanks in part to the relaxed circumstances created by Doug’s hospitality and in part to links forged more than forty years ago. I have told my own teenaged children, who attend public schools, that George School had no valedictorians, no class ranks, no academic awards. This effort to minimize academic competitiveness seemed admirable then and seems even more so now. In addition to my friendships, the legacy of George School included its regard for egalitarianism and fair play. I can’t help but feel those values were absorbed by all of us, even if unconsciously, and enabled us to see beyond material successes and disappointments to the importance of our relationships to family, friends, and the larger world around us. (To be honest, I have to keep relearning this, and my

Page 30

classmates, whether or not they knew it, provided me with a master class.) I didn’t intend this to be a paean to George School, but rather to the haphazardly, yet as it turned out, perfectly conceived occasion that brought eleven classmates together. Maybe our mini reunion was like a first novel—the second one’s more difficult because so much material is exhausted in the first. But I think it can serve as a model—an alternative to the Class Reunion—for reconnecting with some of the people who made the George School experience so unique. Of course, nothing’s perfect. As the first to awaken the following morning, I discovered our host wrapped in a comforter, asleep on a chaise on the porch. I figured he understood the joys of sleeping al fresco from his many summers in the Poconos, but in fact he was driven outdoors by his roommate’s snoring. Despite that, I think we’ll all get together again, and it won’t surprise me if Doug is the first to offer his hospitality. If I remember to, I’ll bring him a set of earplugs. Because I’ll definitely be there. I wouldn’t miss a second opportunity to get together with those ten men I’m grateful to consider friends.

G e o r g e S c h o o l , D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 5

Computer Science Student... Continued from page 8 I distinctly remember her talking for over a minute on one breath of air. I was so happy for her that she had found her passion. It was one of my proudest moments as a teacher.” “Several weeks later, after running to Chris with this idea, I had a fully functioning program and put Max on the computer to try it out,” says Kylan. “He got on the computer and after a few trials appeared to be the most motivated I’d ever seen him to work on anything. After a while of using the program, he was able to do his math pages for school without much assistance.” While Kylan’s reward was watching Max improve, Chris also had the opportunity to watch one of his students grasp what he had been trying to teach. “It is the hope of all teachers that our students will discover that flame that burns within each of us—that yearning for deeper understanding,” says Chris. Kylan says, “While that program was the first, it showed me how limitless the options were to use computer programs as a vehicle to teach and record progress.” After hearing about a project being done at Yale University with a robot named Kismet, a humanoid robot that interacts socially with people, Kylan approached Chris and Brian Patton (a substitute teacher at George School) about creating a similar robot for Max. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, individuals with autism experience its characteristics in degrees ranging from mild to severe. Many people with autism exhibit an aversion to social interactions and have difficulty interpreting other people’s facial expressions. Because Kismet responds to social cues from humans and simulates human facial expressions, Dr. Brian Scassellati, assistant professor of computer science at Yale University, believes that robots like it could be used in the future as therapeutic tools for children with autism. By learning to interpret such robots’ facial expressions, he believes, children with autism could improve their ability to interact with other people. “The underlying hypothesis from Dr. Scassellati is that kids with autism don’t talk to people because they aren’t motivated by other people’s faces,” explains Kylan. Kylan received approval from Yale University to emulate their study, and began working with Chris and Brian Patton. Brian, also the vice president of Robodyssey Systems in Trenton, New Jersey, had patented his own facial expressive robot named ESRA (Expressive System for Robotic Animation) for use as a programming project in high school computer science classes. Brian gave Kylan her own ESRA with which to experiment. Three months later, the tenacious trio had a new friend to help Max. “The end result was that Max was able to slightly build his repertoire of conversational language through using the robot,” says Kylan. “The robot was able to produce faster response times from Max, and he was able to maintain a conversation for about two extra exchanges than an ordinary conversation with a peer.” The results encouraged Kylan to continue studying the ways programming could influence children with autism. After

graduating from George School, she entered the University of Pittsburgh, where she is now a junior pursuing a double major in psychology and philosophy of science with a minor in neuroscience. Kylan also works in the Early Cognitive Development Lab. “I was hired at first to just troubleshoot the computers, play with the young toddlers in the waiting room, and be a gofer,” Kylan explains. “But after some negotiating, I was given the opportunity to write a program to better facilitate the testing process for many of the graduate students’ research studies. Now I am a research assistant [an honor usually reserved for graduate students] and write all the computer programs for the lab. I’ve sold two of those programs to Carnegie Mellon University’s psychology department and one to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I also work with children with autism and their families as a part-time in-home case therapist (similar to the work I did with Max originally) outside of my lab position.” Kylan’s most recent work has been in conjunction with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, creating a mathematical estimation program to study response times in subjects with autism. In May, the study was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Boston, Massachusetts. Once a required sample is tested, the study will appear in an American Psychological Association journal. Kylan’s name was on the paper with three others: an MD, a PhD, and a master’s-level researcher. Kylan doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. She will be spending the 2006-2007 school year at the University of London studying with a cognitive psychology professor who is interested in having Kylan translate her numerical estimation program to another programming language. She also has a standing offer to work as a research assistant at the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge with a well-known researcher in the field. She says, “If I like England, I might postpone graduate school for another year and pursue the Cambridge offer.” Kylan has plans for a dual doctorate in clinical and developmental psychology, and hopes ultimately to start and run an applied research school for children with autism. “George School gave me a lot of confidence to pursue the things I’m passionate about and certainly heightened my need to be altruistic, sensitive, and available to individuals I can help,” says Kylan. “Having had Chris as a teacher was probably the best thing that could have happened; he taught me that being a student isn’t just about doing what you have to do to get a good grade. Being a student is about constantly trying to build a place in your education for what engages you. Once you make the connection between what you want to incorporate and how, it’s exciting to do the work. That is a philosophy I am sure I will continue to use throughout the rest of my endeavors as a student, and I hope one day as a teacher.” [See “Teacher Authors a Robotics Book” on page 22 for more about Chris Odom.]

G e o r g e S chool, December 2005

Page 31

Have you benefited from increased real estate prices? Thinking of selling?

Before you do, consider these ideas for a gift of real estate to George School. Outright Gift An outright gift of real estate qualifies you for a tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the property. Capital gains taxes are avoided and there might be future estate tax savings too.

Gift of a Partial Interest If you are considering the sale of a property, it might be beneficial to give a partial interest to George School before you market the property. You will receive a charitable tax deduction for the fair market value of the interest transferred to George School and avoid capital gains taxes on the portion transferred to the school.

Transfer to a Charitable Trust You and/or the income beneficiaries you name could receive income for life from a trust you fund with real estate. After the death of the last income beneficiary (or a period of years), the remainder of the trust will pass to George School. This arrangement provides an immediate tax deduction, avoidance of capital gains, asset diversification, and potential future estate tax savings.

Gifts of residences, vacation homes, commercial properties, farms, and parcels of land qualify for a charitable income tax deduction for the appraisal value of the property. If you would like to discuss a gift of real estate or how a planned gift might be tailored to your situation, please contact Dave Crawford, director of planned giving, by phone at 215-579-6571 or by email at We will be pleased to consider your proposed gift of real estate. Our evaluation will consider the condition and marketability of the property. George School reserves the right not to accept a gift of real estate.

NOTE: Pages 33 through 51 have been removed from this document to protect the privacy of GS alumni.

Alumni may login to the alumni community at to view the full version of this issue.

Alumni Reflections For some alumni, the August eQuiz about teachers, coaches, classes, and sports (see “Memories of George School,” page 9) prompted thoughts about other valuable aspects of George School. Below are some of their reflections. In looking back, there were many teachers who struggled to make my GS experience positive, but the person who was my most adored adult was Watson Briggs, the postman. What a friend! Always a warm smile and time for a conversation with a lonely student. It is important to remember how much the non-teaching staff adds to the success of a school. Watson Briggs was my hero at GS.

- Judith McIlvain Lewis ’64 More a general attitude and confidence that was generally taught—fairness, morality, respect for others and differing views/beliefs, the rightness of listening to who you are and seeking your own path.

The harmony of the student body and faculty. It opened my eyes, not to right and wrong of a situation, but to the solidarity of finding a solution that all can agree on.

- John Sommers ’80 My three years at George School were the most profound experience in my life to date. The friendships I established there are my nearest and dearest to this day. The social and academic environment challenged me to think outside the box and I take great pride in my ability to critically evaluate each situation while always remaining sensitive to the needs, beliefs, and practices of others.

- Tara Greco ’83

- Chris Graae ’70

Save the date!

Alumni Weekend, May 12, 13, & 14, 2006

Georgian Volume 77 Number 3 December 2005 Georgian Editor Bonnie Bodenheimer 215-579-6567

Georgian Staff Peggy Berger Debbie Chong Odie LeFever Alice Maxfield Juliana Rosati

Note: If you have received multiple copies of this issue of the Georgian at your address, please contact us with updated address information by phone at 215-579-6564 or by email at © 2005 George School

Advancement Office George School PO Box 4438 Newtown PA 18940-0908


Georgian, December 2005  

The Georgian is the official publication of George School.

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