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G E ORGIAN A Publication of George School, Ne wtown, Pennsylvania Volume Number









Volume 79 / Number 01 / April 07

03 PERSPECTIVES: Sustainability

11 dozens gather to plan new library

03 Sustainability: A Commitment to the Present and the Future

12 alum focuses on giving back

04 Teacher Promotes Sustainable Practices

13 alum designs to improve community

06 Alum Researches Sustainable Development

15 alumni in print

07 Discussing Sustainability at George School

16 campus news & Notes

08 Alumni eQuiz Highlights

22 alumni tell us 47 IN MEMORIAM

ON THE COVER alumni awardee designs for community

Schools celebrate fifty years of exchange

(front cover)

(Back cover)

Alumni award recipient Zibby Spang Ericson ‘57 designed the

In April 2007, Lycée Alfred Kastler and George School are

interior garden of the Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo,

celebrating the 50th anniversary of their school exchange.

Michigan, pictured on the front cover.

The 2007 group of French exchange students will attend the

celebration at George School on April 14, as well as current

Zibby notes, “No matter what floor a person may be on, the tall

garden space provides orientation and keeps people from getting

George School students and faculty, and dozens of the nearly 500

lost (a typical problem in many hospitals with long corridors). So,

George School alumni who have participated in the program since

this garden becomes a place of healing, a place for community,

it began in 1958.

a place of quiet repose, and a landmark feature for purposes of

orientation and enjoyment.”

School students touring France during the 1993 French-American


Along with Zibby, Fred Beans ‘57 will receive an alumni award

The photo on the back cover shows a group of George

at the all-alumni gathering in the George School Meetinghouse on Alumni Day, Saturday, May 12, 2007. (See pages 12 and 13.) PHOTO peter mauss, esto



1 Fill out the online form available at:

For contact information for other alumni:

1 Visit the online community at:

2 Or send it by email to:

2 Or contact the Advancement Office:

3 Or send it by postal mail to:

By phone at: 215-579-6564

Georgian, PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908

Or by email at: Or by postal mail at: PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908



2 Or modify your profile in the online community

See class homepages, update your personal profile, contact

3 Or contact the Advancement Office:

friends, check the event calendar, see photos, and more.

By phone at: 215-579-6564 Or by email at:


Or by postal mail at: PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908


sustainability A Commitment to the Present and the Future

Our Perspectives section for this issue of the Georgian is focused on sustainability, a term that is more and more common to all of us in this age of anxiety about global warming, depleting oil reserves, and the degradation of the environment. As the United Nations’s World Commission on Environment and Development stated, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Though George School has always been concerned about environmental stewardship—an outgrowth of our commitment to Quaker testimonies— this past fall the George School Committee, the board that oversees George School, set an ambitious new goal


by nancy starmer

of moving the school toward a position of leadership in the area of environmental sustainability. This goal applies to each of the school’s administrative divisions, involving our practices in areas such as physical plant, food service, energy conservation, waste disposal/recycling, grounds, student life, and curriculum. Leadership in these areas is truly an ambitious goal, but already this school year we’ve made significant progress. Our Food Service Department, thanks to the passion and commitment of its director, Joe Ducati of CulinArt Inc., and the support of Joe’s management at CulinArt, has launched a variety of new initiatives that include composting all of our food waste; eliminating all trans fats in the food we serve; developing local purchasing groups so that we can provide

fresh, local produce in our dining room; and coordinating with our Physical Plant Department to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel for George School vehicles. This fall, as a result of the board’s new focus, George School’s Arboretum Committee initiated an integrated planning process—a broad look at our campus grounds that encompasses plant life, storm water management, the use of herbicides, and a variety of other related topics. Mary Anne Knight Hunter ’54 serves as clerk of that process and a number of other graduates are involved as well. Created thanks to the generosity of Virginia Twining Gardner ’54, the Arboretum Committee was launched three years ago. Another, overlapping planning process is taking place in the area of energy use on campus. In addition, in March we held an open planning meeting aimed at integrating sustainable design elements and materials into our new library. (See page 11 for more on the open planning meeting.) Particularly exciting to me is that we’ve involved students in all of these initiatives. I am thrilled that so many George School alumni are working in areas related to sustainability today and know that you will find the perspectives of alumni, faculty, and students on this topic stimulating and provocative.

profiles edited by juliana rosati




George School science teacher Kathy Coyle educates students about sustainability in the classroom and beyond.

Sociologist Tammy Lewis ‘85 explains that wildlife conservation is only part of a sustainable approach.

George School students participate in discussions about sustainability.

08 Alumni provide their perspectives on the topic of sustainability in highlights from the eQuiz.

APRIL 2007 / 03

PHOTO mark wiley

Kathy Coyle (pictured at left between Lauralee Lightwood-Mater ’07 and Ian Wiggins ’10—in Kathy’s words, both “good recyclers”) works with TERRA (the George School chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition) to provide clearly labeled and available recycling bins throughout campus.


Teacher Promotes Sustainable Practices by juliana rosati

“The more I learn about Quakerism and Quaker testimonies, the more I feel that environmental sustainability really matches George School’s value system,” says George School science teacher Kathy Coyle. “If we’re not going to be a leader in this area, who will?” In her roles as a classroom teacher, a hall teacher, the faculty representative on the Arboretum Committee, the manager of the school’s Alternative Energy Center, and the sponsor of the student environmental organization (TERRA), Kathy herself has certainly become a leader in supporting the Quaker ideal of environmental stewardship at George School. In the classroom, in the dormitory, and beyond, she has found innovative ways to deepen students’ knowledge of environmental science and teach them that simple changes in individual behavior can add up to big differences for the environment. “If you sit a group of kids down, probably half are initially concerned about the environment,” Kathy observes. “But the other half of the group quickly gets excited. Kids this age really

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want to make changes, but they don’t know how. That’s what educators are for.” During the second term of this school year, Kathy assigned the students in her Science 9 classes to research various alternative energy sources—wind power, hydroelectricity, solar energy, photovoltaics, nuclear fusion and fission, hydrogen fuel cells, ethanol, and geothermal energy—working in teams of two. “Her projects are never boring,” says Aly Weiner ’10 of Kathy. “She makes it really interesting.” Science 9 (a new, required freshman science course) teaches students to use the scientific method to study chemistry, physics, and biology through laboratory, classroom, and field experiences. For the alternative energy project, in addition to creating an electronic presentation about their chosen energy source, making contact with a professional in the field, and presenting their findings to the class, each pair of students in Kathy’s classes had to create two advertisements—one in favor of the energy source they researched, and one against it. The process of creating the advertisements was enlightening for Aly, who researched wind power. Already convinced of the benefits of wind power prior to completing the project, she didn’t expect to discover many arguments against it. “At first I thought there wouldn’t be as many cons,” she recalls. However, she and her partner came up with nearly as many cons as they did pros. According to Kathy, understanding the reasons why alternative energy sources are not more prevalent was an important part of the project. “When studying both sides of an argument, I think students can speak more intelligently about their choices,” Kathy says. “I also hope that they gained a perspective on whether or not they think the pros outweigh the cons.” For Kathy, this work of prompting students to develop an environmental ethic isn’t confined to the classroom. Before the start of this school year, she facilitated a new section of the training for George School’s prefects (senior boarding and day students who serve as peer leaders in the dormitories and on campus). “My portion of the training consisted of educating the prefects about being environmental leaders concerned with garbage on campus, energy and water conservation, recycling, and composting,” explains Kathy. After the training, the boarding prefects trained the students in their respective dormitories to practice environmentally conscious habits, and the day student prefects monitored students’ environmental habits in Marshall Center and classroom buildings. “They were charged with becoming stewards of the campus,” says Kathy. Prefect Jamie Quinn ’07 admits, “When I first came here, I didn’t really care or know about recycling.” Attending George School, she says, changed that. “Being here really made me conscious of what I’m doing,” she reflects. Now, having undergone Kathy’s training, she is aware not only of her own

behavior but also of the power she has to set a good example for other students. “Younger students really do look up to their prefects, because I remember I looked up to mine,” she explains. Another prefect, Kahan Chandrani ’07, was surprised to learn during the training that the preferred way to recycle a water bottle is to take the cap off and throw it out, and then crush the bottle before putting it in a recycling receptacle. “It takes only two seconds more,” he says. “There are a lot of rather simple ways of helping the campus,” he observes. Lauralee Lightwood-Mater ’07, also a prefect, says of Kathy, “I think people have a lot of respect for her, and that’s given people an incentive to recycle, even if it’s not a passion of theirs.” Having lived in Kathy’s dorm during her sophomore year, Lauralee adds, “Kathy wants people to do what they can and gets frustrated when people don’t work up to their potential. She’s a great hall teacher because of that.” Combined with her efforts as both a classroom and hall teacher, two of Kathy’s other roles on campus— managing the Alternative Energy Center and serving as the faculty representative on the Arboretum Committee—give her a full slate of environmental endeavors at George School. But she has supported the school’s move towards sustainability even further by collaborating with George School Food Service Director Joe Ducati of CulinArt Inc. to research other organizations that are involved with the issue in order to learn about new practices George School could adopt. One of the organizations they have researched, The White Dog Café Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is working

in the Philadelphia region to foster an inclusive, just, and environmentally healthy economy that is based on local business ownership. Among its many endeavors, Kathy explains, the foundation “is trying to connect local growers with schools.”

“Kids this age really want to make changes, but they don’t know how. That’s what educators are for,” says Kathy.

Given this impressive range of environmental work, one might assume that Kathy had been a lifelong environmental activist. However, she explains that her keen interest in environmental stewardship took shape about five years ago as a natural result of her lifelong love of the outdoors. A longtime hiker, biker, and canoer, she often thought and read about nature, and as she learned more about environmental issues, she said to herself, “These outdoors that I love so much need to be preserved, and what can I do to help?” The answer, she believes, is educating as many people as she can about environmentally conscious practices and getting them to spread the word. “It has become something that’s very important to me,” she states. Up next for Kathy’s Science 9 classes is a hands-on study of George School’s current environmental

practices in recycling, composting, land and water management, and paper usage, conducted in conjunction with members of TERRA, the George School chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition. TERRA seeks to educate the greater community about environmental issues and implement solutions through direct and indirect action. The study of George School’s environmental practices will include a training effort in the dining room to expand the on-campus composting begun by Joe Ducati. After collecting data about the amount of trash produced per person per day in the dining room, the students will teach the school community the proper way to separate one’s dining room trash for composting. The students will conclude their research with a cost-benefit analysis of practices that George School could adopt to become more sustainable. “I’d like them to have real knowledge of where they live and how their actions would affect the quality of the environment,” Kathy says. “It is important that we get students, faculty, and staff to realize the environmental impact of our current practices and how much of an effect simple changes can make.” The effect of Kathy’s efforts is clear even off campus. Recently the girls’ volleyball team, which Kathy coaches, brought spring water bottles from George School to an away game. At the end of the game, Kathy was delighted to see that three George School athletes had decided to collect their teammates’ empty water bottles and bring them back to George School to recycle. “The whole team saw their peers with the big bag of bottles they wanted to recycle,” Kathy recalls. “That really makes a big impact.”

april 2007 / 05

PHOTO Kenneth Gould

Tammy Lewis ‘85 (pictured above with her daughters, Anna and Isabel, in the Galápagos Islands) is currently studying the Ecuadorian environmental movement as a Fulbright Scholar.


Alum Researches Sustainable Development Balance is the key to sustainable development, according to Tammy Lewis ’85, PhD. A sociologist whose longtime research interest has been environmental sustainability, Tammy holds to the Quaker philosophy of simple living as a good practice for protecting the environment. Yet while she says that individual actions do make a difference, she believes that the social and economic systems that structure our lives have the greatest impact on our behavior and, ultimately, the environment. “We live in an economy where, in a large part, we have the sense that more and bigger is better,” Tammy states. In her view, “That’s the underlying ideology of our economy, and we need to question whether or not that’s really true.” Chair of the sociology and anthropology department at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Tammy currently is a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador, where sustainable development has recently become a part of the environmental movement. Sustainable development, Tammy explains, takes into account three types of systems—

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ecological, social, and economic—and how to keep a balance among the three. As a sociologist, Tammy—who coauthored Environment, Energy, and Society—is most concerned with “putting people in the picture.” If land preservation is a concern, for example, Tammy says it’s not enough to simply put measures in place to protect the flora and fauna. The people living near the land must be considered as well. “You have to think about how it is that they will make a living and how their lives will be sustained. How can you do these things so they’re in balance with each other?”

As a sociologist, Tammy . . . is most concerned with “putting people in the picture.”

by K aren doss bowman

Environmental concerns and sustainable development have been among Tammy’s research interests since her undergraduate years at Vassar College, and the work continued in her graduate and doctoral studies at the University of California, Davis. A faculty member at Muhlenberg College since 2001, Tammy is a member of the college’s Greening Committee—a group of faculty, students, and administrators who try to implement environmentally sustainable practices. In Ecuador, she is studying the effects of foreign funding on the Ecuadorian environmental movement from 1978 to the present. The Ecuadorian environmental cause is primarily funded by foreign outlets, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Nature Conservancy, the European Union, and the German Development Agency. Tammy has learned through her research that this practice has been met with distrust by many Ecuadorians, most of whom live in extreme poverty. Past attempts to set up private reserves to protect the forests, for

example, were hindered by illegal logging or poaching by the people who lived nearby and simply needed the forest’s resources to earn a living. “Historically, the movement has focused on biodiversity conservation, such as protecting birds and land, without much attention to human needs,” Tammy contends. Though there is still much work to be done, Tammy sees more optimism for Ecuador’s environmental movement in recent years, as sustainable development has become integrated into the movement. Human needs now are part of the equation, she says, and many of the new conservation projects in Ecuador include income-generating activities

for the citizens. The land conservation foundation Fundación Maquipucuna, for example, has organized a coffee farming collective, a bamboo forestation project, and the Maquipucuna Reserve, which is home to 2,000 species of plants, 350 species of birds, and 45 species of mammals. The reserve, which includes a lodge for visitors, employs local residents as cooks, guides, and caretakers of the facilities. Tammy plans to compile a CD-ROM directory of all the environmental organizations in Ecuador and have it distributed to the organizations so that they can use it as a tool to better coordinate their efforts with one

another. She will also write a report for the agencies that fund the environmental movement in Ecuador, recommending ways for them to use their resources more effectively and efficiently. In addition, she is writing a book describing her research and conclusions. “I think that the whole approach to the environment that includes the people is going to be a lot more successful than an approach to conservation that only looks at the environment,” Tammy says. “You need public support for this to go through, and having that holistic perspective is going to be more successful in the long run.”

discussing sustainability at george school Engineer Speaks to Students About Sustainable Design

Allan Samuels, an engineer who focuses on sustainable building design, spoke to Mark Wiley’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science class in January. An employee of the global technology company Emerson Electric Co., Allan travels internationally to devise energy-efficient systems for heating, cooling, lighting, plumbing, and electricity for supermarkets. He stated that sustainability is a burgeoning industry, explaining that customers are increasingly demanding green products and businesses are becoming attracted to sustainability as a way to reduce energy costs and market themselves distinctively. He told the students that they can make successful careers out of thinking and being green. During his presentation, Allan described the goals of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) U.S. Green Building Council Rating System, the national standard for green building design, construction, and operation. He gave an overview of energy-efficient refrigeration systems, explaining that such systems are particularly important in supermarkets, where refrigeration accounts for 50 percent of the energy that the buildings consume. He discussed energy-efficient methods for lighting (such as skylights and fluorescent bulbs) and water-saving plumbing devices. Allan also addressed the benefits and drawbacks of various design options, and described technological advances that are expected to occur in the near future in the field of sustainable design. TERRA Encourages Green Living at George School

The members of TERRA (the George School chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition) gave a presentation about green living at George School at an assembly in February. TERRA seeks to educate the greater community about environmental issues and implement solutions through direct and indirect action. Presented by the leader of TERRA, Richard McMaster ’07, along with Peter Schoffelen ’07 and Ryan Smith ’08, the group gave facts and figures about George School’s current energy consumption, carbon emissions, and paper use. The students listed ways that school community members could improve their habits in order to decrease their impact on the environment. Tips for conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions included keeping windows closed when heating and cooling systems are on, wearing sweaters instead of turning up the heat, conserving water (especially hot water), and turning off lights and power strips when they are not in use. Tips for conserving paper included printing fewer documents, reusing and recycling paper, and making double-sided copies. In order to illustrate George School’s paper use, the students created a diagram of the number of trees George School has used through its paper consumption over the last three years, superimposing it on a map of George School’s campus to show how much space the trees would have taken up if they had been on campus. The TERRA students also reviewed George School’s recycling program, demonstrating the proper way to recycle cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. When a student onstage put a recyclable item in a trash can instead of a recycling receptacle, she awakened a wrathful “trash monster,” humorously portrayed by a student who climbed out of the trash can (Max Chodorow ’07, with voice by Ty Asoudegan ’07).

april 2007 / 07


equiz HIGHLIGHTS Below and on the next few pages you will see various points of view from alumni on the topic of environmental sustainability. All of the comments were submitted in response to the December eQuiz, which asked alumni to share their experiences related to this field— specifically, telling us about the environmentally friendly activities that engage them in the workplace, at home, in the community, in academia, at volunteer organizations, and elsewhere. Thank you to the 314 alumni who participated.

1947 carroll bessey

I was in charge of environmental policy and compliance at a paper packaging, manufacturing, and printing company. We eliminated the use of hydrocarbon solvents in our printing technology, substituting water- and vegetable oil-based inks for solvent- and crude oil-based inks. We eliminated the use of solvent-based coatings on paper and eliminated or replaced all electrical equipment that used PCB oils. Our waste products were almost all recycled—thousands of tons in the course of a year. We eliminated the release of greenhouse gases to the environment and replaced solvent-based cleaners with “green” cleaners wherever possible. We, as with many industrial operations, actively worked to eliminate or significantly reduce the use of air and ground pollutants in every way possible—at significant cost in many instances, but with what our company considered to be necessary and rewarding results. 1955 Richard Clement

In the early 1950s, while area director at Camp Ockanicken in Medford NJ, I led a cleanup day of a small estuary on the camp grounds. We ruined a lot of shoes and socks of the campers and heard about it from many parents, but we hauled a lot of junk out of there and it stayed nice for a long time. I have always wondered if any of those kids caught the idea and carried it forward. Last summer we went to an alumni weekend at the camp. This primitive piece of real estate lies so warm on my mind. Daddy helped build it in 1924 and Mother was the first waterfront director. It seems one can touch the face of God here amongst the pines, the cedar water lakes, and the South Jersey sand. They try their best to recycle everything and keep everything natural. The smell of wet pines and the sound of rain on wooden roofs does wonders for the stability of my mind. I hope they can sustain the camp and keep it forever green. 1963 Frances Preston Schutz

We use our own shopping bags, or ask for no bag at all whenever possible. We also compost our vegetable kitchen waste, and the leaves from trees in our yard. We expect a hybrid to be in our future, but our current autos need to die first!

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spotlight on: marion yerkes kyde ‘55 at home

We live in a super-insulated home, which we built taking advantage of all the fuel-saving opportunities we could: trees on the north, small windows on the north, sunspace to gather heat in winter, large overhangs to cut out sun in summer, heat pump water heater, and windows with a high insulation factor. with organizations

I am vice president of Tinicum Conservancy—a local land trust which has as its mission conserving land, water, and historic resources in Tinicum Township. I have been the director of conservation programs for eight years. We promote land management on our conserved properties to enhance wildlife habitat, water conservation, forest conservation, and streamside restoration. in research

I am directing a biodiversity study for one of our small watersheds located in the Pennsylvania Highlands. No research has been done on this watershed before, as it is all in private hands. All of the landowners are cooperating in allowing my scientists access for the purpose of determining what is there—plants, animals, birds, and creek critters. So far we have found two endangered plants, several bird species, two bat species, and one herp [a reptile or amphibian] of statewide importance. We will be preparing a report that will make recommendations for preservation of this important little watershed. in action

Education is the single most important action we can take to spread the practice of environmental sustainability. Once people know how much they can contribute without a great deal of trouble or loss of quality of life, they are usually willing to make the effort. The easier we can make it for people, the more they will do.

1964 Peter Fraser

At our summer log home we have a nonelectric environment, with wood heating and cooking, Energy Star windows, excellent roof insulation, gravity-fed running water, an on-demand propane hot water system and refrigerator, a composting toilet system that uses a wind turbine for air flow, and a backup 12volt deep-cycle DC battery driven fan assist. 1970 Christopher Graae

I started recycling glass, plastic, and paper when I started college and have been diligent in this regard since then, although often at the mercy of whatever local support—or lack thereof—there might have been in any given place I have lived. I try to be very conscious of the resources I use and as parents we have pretty much drilled this into our kids who generally live that way too. We are all collectively and individually responsible for the problems we have created on this planet—and to the aggressive solutions that we need to strictly follow if we are to rescue it. Kudos for GS to make this a major part of the education there—start early and stay committed—and EVERYONE should be required to see An Inconvenient Truth! My architecture firm is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and I am a LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] accredited professional. We routinely employ sustainable design guidelines/principles and in some cases bring projects through to a LEED-certified or higher rating in our design and specifications. 1971 Bruce Edgerton

We designed, built, and have lived in a solar-heated house for thirty years. Our solar water and home-built wind turbine will be online by this summer. 1972 andy rivinus

I worked for twelve years in aquaculture growing fish for consumption to reduce the demand on natural stocks through fishing and using processing plant waste as a feed source to eliminate the disposal of organic waste in landfills. I worked for fifteen years in the recycling industry diverting more than two million tons of paper from the landfill back into new paper products. [I’m] school board director for Canby Unified School District. We are currently building a new middle school. The building will score silver and possibly gold as a LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] building for energy efficiency and green construction. Environmental sustainability is an admirable and important

spotlight on: GS teacher carter sio ’76 in the classroom

In my classroom, the woodshop, I have always emphasized the use of local hardwoods over exotic species. I have also become very enamored with the use of bamboo over the years and it has become a mainstay in many kids’ designs and in mine. A few years ago we used only pallet wood for the entire year for student projects so that they could see how much useful material was being lost to the pallet industry. I currently have a student who is scouring the campus for discarded wood that he plans to use in his desk project. After assigning the pallet project I researched the environmental impact pallets have on the environment. Not only do they overflow landfills and become eyesores behind buildings, but the flooring companies in America could stop cutting trees for hardwood flooring entirely and just make their flooring products from recycled pallets. The wood species used in pallets include hickory, ash, maple, poplar, pine, oak, and even cherry. I’m a member of the North American Bamboo Society and the Furniture Society, both of which promote sensible use of materials and finishes. Bamboo is used in many ways, as a building material, to hold back erosion, as a food source, for pulp, etc. It is just a matter of time before bamboo gives the lumber industry a run for its money! at home

We use propane refrigeration and lighting and heat with wood in our summer home on the coast of Down East Maine. We use a hand pump to draw the water from our well, which ensures that a tap can never be left running. We also limit our showers to two and one half gallons by using solar bags heated in the sun. The sun heats the water to a pleasant temperature, and by turning the flow off while soaping up it is very easy to wash hair and body in that amount of water, with even a bit to spare. We also use a composting outhouse which saves on water use too. We try to shop locally to cut down on fuel consumption and keep our dollars in the community. We drive a Jetta TDI (turbo diesel). It averages 38-42 miles to the gallon of diesel. Closer to 48 on the highway.


April 2007 / 09


goal. It should be pursued, but with open eyes that understand that sustainable practices as we know them today are not free of issues. Aquaculture produces organic waste products; the turbine blades of wind energy kill birds by the thousands, particularly raptors; hybrid automobiles will generate waste batteries by the tens of thousands that will have to be addressed for their lead and their acids; recycling practices result in their own chemical and other waste products; and the collection of recyclable materials consumes vast quantities of energy. A step forward in sustainable practices only gets you one step closer to the next step you need to take. What we think of as progressive today, should seem wasteful to us tomorrow as we reach for the next level of advancement. 1975 Margaret Thomas Redmon

I own and operate a sustainable/organic farm. We raise both “all-natural” beef and organic beef, organic chickens, and “all-natural” sheep and goats. I have been involved with several environmental groups over the years, but I find that they seem to lack a good grasp of the “big picture,” that is the interconnectedness of all actions and decisions. Don’t ignore the small ways you can contribute. Open windows in temperate weather to avoid running heat or A/C. Buying produce out of season means high environmental costs in diesel fuel, even if you are buying organic. Conventional produce that needs to be shipped from any great distance uses large amounts of additional chemicals to preserve it en route and then to ripen it before sale. Estimates are 80 to 90 percent of chemicals used on produce are shipping related. Personally, from a chemical exposure viewpoint, I think you are better off using frozen conventionally-grown vegetables. LEARN TO LOVE WINTER SQUASH! 1978 Ann Rubin

My husband and I belong to a community garden organization (Brooklyn Bears) that both organizes its own gardens and helps fight for green space, community gardens, composting with the city, etc. As an artist-educator, I’ve also worked with a number of school environmental studies programs, teaching art/science interdisciplinary projects with the schools’ science/ environmental studies teachers.

frequently. We are supporting clean energy sources via various “carbon neutral” programs. We support a local, natural-foods cooperative that values sustainability along with profits. We are somewhat active in a broad range of environmental organizations and support proenvironment candidates. All this is “lifestyle permitting,” meaning we have two little kids, almost no free time, and many competing priorities. We try to remember that many of the proenvironment choices we’re able to make are possible because we’re privileged. And those privileges come, in part, via systemic social injustices that shape and perpetuate environmental damage . . . damage that, in turn, disproportionately affects the world’s less privileged citizens. Yikes. We really need profound systemic changes, and hope that increased awareness of climate change will help make that possible. 1986 Greg Spivak

The winery I work for believes in a sustainable agriculture concept. Our sales plan is to sell 90 percent of our wine within a 100-mile radius. This will reduce the fossil fuel effects of shipping our wine to markets throughout the United States. Additionally, we are looking at ways of reducing effluent (wastewater), minimizing chemical use in the vineyard/winery, and finding alternate ways of fertilizing the fields with the least impact on the environment. 1987 beryl jacobson

I went to UC Berkeley and focused on environmental sustainability. The nonprofit and the for-profit I cofounded and run are both dedicated to helping facilitate environmental sustainability through hands-on projects, documentation, film, and more. Most people, when they do these amazing projects, are so focused on their work that they never document it at all. Through films cut in a modern style focusing on the solutions, we tell the stories of people, projects, and companies that have found sustainable solutions to some of the world’s problems, and do it in an entertaining way with a great sound track. See and 1992 Sharon Manthey Martin

I built a bathroom where the water from the sink fills the toilet tank. We use water twice.

I sweep instead of vacuum when possible (i.e., after meals but not when my two-year old has smashed crackers into the rug). We use washable water bottles instead of multiple plastic bottles, and pack the kids’ snacks in washable snack cups instead of buying snack packs with all those bags and plastic.

1984 Tamis Nordling

2000 Theodore Fetter

We’re remodeling “green,” using environmentally friendly products when feasible; insulating better; switching to efficient radiant heat. One of our cars runs on biodiesel. We walk/bike

I buy nontoxic, biodegradeable cleaning products, and use canvas bags (my old GS tote I got at the bookstore!) instead of paper or plastic.

1978 Bill Hallowell

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PHOTO mark wiley

Name (pictured left), text

In March, George School community members and relevant experts convened at an intensive weekend session to carry out a critical stage of planning for the new library. Pictured above from left to right are: Antonio Jackson ’71, Mustafa Paghdiwala ’07 (student council representative on the George School Committee), Ram Manders (parent ’09), Nancy Starmer (head of school), Andrew Steginsky (parent ’02 and ’05, George School Committee member), Bob McBride (academic information technology coordinator), and Brad Randall (an engineer with Bruce Brooks & Associates).

dozens gather to pl an new library by juliana rosati and ann langtry

A focus on sustainability and an innovative strategy define the latest stage of planning for George School’s new library. “It is vital that George School be a leader in the area of environmental sustainability,” states David Bruton, clerk of the George School Committee (GSC), the school’s governing board. “The new library is the perfect opportunity to assert the school’s commitment to this ideal through a concrete symbol of environmental responsibility. The building has great potential to inspire our students, our community, and other schools as we continue to approach a world in which environmental consciousness will be a necessity rather than an option.” In pursuit of this vision, George School is working with experts in the field of sustainable design. The Library Design Committee has consulted Sandy Wiggins—a principal of Consilience LLC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania— who serves as vice chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, the country’s primary coalition of leaders from the building industry who promote

environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy buildings. “Sandy designed the planned Friends Center green renovations in Philadelphia and has extensive experience with green design,” says Head of School Nancy Starmer. Moreover, on March 2 and 3, architects from the Boston, Massachusetts, firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott—a U.S. Green Building Council member—conducted two major meetings on campus. GSC members, faculty, administrators, students, parents, alumni, and professionals involved in all aspects of construction and eco-friendly design convened to carry out a critical stage of planning for the new building.

“integrated design,” . . . draws together the perspectives of multiple disciplines and constituencies

The meetings employed an innovative method known as “integrated design,” which draws together the perspectives of multiple disciplines and constituencies so that design decisions can be made in an efficient and holistic way. The March 3 meeting followed a format called a “charrette.” Devised to facilitate rapid feedback for design proposals, a charrette condenses planning that would traditionally be spread out over several months into one intensive session at which all relevant voices are present. “What this represents to us is an institution taking a holistic view of its future, its role, the value it is adding for its students and faculty, the impact on the environment, and how it all comes together,” states Geoffrey Freeman, one of America’s most acclaimed library architects, who serves as a consultant for Shepley Bulfinch. Nancy says, “The integrated design model was introduced to us by Sandy Wiggins. It broadens the scope of a planning process to include the whole system in which the building exists: CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

april 2007 / 11

Fred Beans ‘57 (pictured left) will be recognized as an alumni award recipient at the all-alumni gathering in the meetinghouse on Alumni Day, Saturday, May 12, 2007. He will also present a master class that morning.

not an easy business, and it’s pretty complicated. But I am lucky and I have a great work ethic and high energy level.” As far as he can remember, his passion for giving back to his community started with a Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People workshop about twenty-five years ago. “This was when I became a Saturn retailer,” he remembers. “They wanted to do business in a new way. They looked for dealers my age—World War II by-products—who were more value-driven. And I started thinking about giving back to the community where I live.” Since then, Fred’s acts of philanthropy have been many.

alum focuses on giving back

Providing an endowment to build and maintain the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, its Fred Beans Gallery, and its outdoor sculpture garden and reflecting pool

Funding the construction of a new outdoor playground and renovation to the gymnasium at the Central Bucks Family YMCA in Doylestown

Flying a group of participants from Delaware to the Special Olympics in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the company jet (Cessna plane owners throughout the United States volunteered to transport participants to the games)

Flying a task force to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and successfully challenging his employees to raise over $100,000 to furnish a day care center there

Providing a hole-in-one car for the George School Cougar Classic Golf Tournament for several years

by kim fernandez

Fred Beans ’57 seems a little taken aback by the recognition he’s received for his volunteer and charity work. After all, he says, it’s simply what people should do for one another. Fred studied business at Rider College in New Jersey and fed his passion for cars by going to work at an automobile dealership. He says that back then it was a big deal to be around new automobiles. “I was raised on a farm, and if you’re raised on a farm you like either animals or mechanical things,” he says with a bit of a laugh. “I liked the mechanical things, and cars were a great part of our society then. They didn’t have the competition of televisions or Pocono homes or that sort of thing. The whole family went to see new cars in those days.” He bought a service station in the late 1950s and worked his way up through rental companies and car dealerships, until outright buying his own dealership in 1975—Fred Beans Ford, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Then, he bought other dealerships as they became available. Today, Fred Beans Automotive is something of an empire, with nineteen locations selling twenty-three different automotive makes, and his three daughters all help run the group. “It hasn’t been without a great deal of pain,” he says. “It’s

12 / georgian

“I got a real feeling of community and caring at George School. I always felt very good when I was there, felt very secure there. And I felt very alone when I graduated, sort of like, ‘Wow, now what?’” he says. And, he says, time has kept him from being as active at the school as he’d like, but he’s already made plans to ensure that his legacy lives on at the school. “I’m sort of waiting until I’m gone for that,” he says. “But it’s certainly on my mind. They gave me so much. I think some of the very best days of my life were at George School, where I received a real feeling of trust and belief about what is right in the world and for that I am very thankful.”

PHOTO liz linder

Zibby Spang Ericson ‘57 (pictured left) will be recognized as an alumni award recipient at the all-alumni gathering in the meetinghouse on Alumni Day, Saturday, May 12, 2007. She will also present a master class that morning.

alum designs to improve community by laura B. weiss

When architect Elizabeth (Zibby) Spang Ericson ’57 set out to rebuild Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of the first things she did was gauge what patients and their families liked—or didn’t like—about the aging health care facility. “An aged couple was stumbling down the corridor,” recalls Zibby, who had strategically positioned herself in a chair on a hospital hallway to observe the patients and their families. “The husband said to his wife, ‘Martha, I think we’ve been here before and we’re still lost’,” says Zibby, empathetically chuckling at the couple’s reaction to the original hospital’s daunting layout. By the time Zibby had finished designing the 750,000 square foot new facility in 2000—a five-year process that created a space that included new patient and treatment facilities, a garden, a food court, and lots of light—people commented that this does not seem like a hospital, she says. So successful was the $170 million effort that townspeople now frequent the courtyard to eat lunch. (See front cover.) Community and accessibility, light and greenery—the human component—are hallmarks of Zibby’s approach to the built environment. The young Zibby’s hunger to design

buildings was awakened during a visit to the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá in 1957. Zibby recalls being inspired by “the ancient geometries and limestone forms that appeared as sculptural art, deep in the Chiapas jungle. The Maya made very distinct architectural structures for observatories, ball courts, ceremonial pyramids, dancing platforms, and marketplaces.” Afterwards, Zibby returned to Mount Holyoke College where the school arranged for her to take an architecture course at nearby Smith College. From there, it was on to Columbia University’s graduate school of architecture. A member since 1981 and principal since 1983 of the Boston, Massachusetts, architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Zibby is a leader in designing cutting-edge health care and science facilities. But for Zibby, architecture isn’t only about bricks and mortar and sculptural form; it’s a way to improve the community around her. One of her goals is to use design to teach young girls not to fear math and science. In 2006, Zibby volunteered to lead a group of seventh-grade girls at a suburban Boston public school to design a habitat for Mowgli, a full-grown leopard at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts. Zibby explains, “The girls used tools for surveying, mapping the land, and constructing models, as well as learning the principles of physics behind the structures they were designing. In this way, they learned that science is useful, and directly applicable to everyday activities outside the classroom. The intent of the grant was to encourage seventh-grade girls to gain confidence in their abilities to use scientific principles and be creative in their thinking about the world around them. Designing a leopard habitat for a real site in a real zoo for a real leopard was exciting for all of us.” The zoo is building the winning scheme, whose theme is Mount Kilimanjaro. In 1993, as president of the Boston Society of Architects, Zibby launched an innovative program of public charrettes, or “collective brainstorming sessions,” to figure out how to repurpose Fort Devens, a recently decommissioned army base near four Boston-area towns. During the process, over 140 people—from ordinary citizens to environmentalists and architects—met over four days to decide how to revitalize the land, which was strewn with live ammunition and toxic waste. “In the beginning, everybody was on edge over dividing up pieces of land for each town,” Zibby recalls. A new shared governing body was ultimately created to administer the property—a body that’s been so successful it’s applied to become its own municipality known as Fort Devens. What’s ahead for the innovative architect? Zibby is designing, among other projects, the cardiovascular center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, located within the CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

april 2007 / 13


heart of the hospital campus, between the medical school, and clinical and research facilities; and the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute at West Virginia University in Morgantown. At the West Virginia facility, “the roof rises up to the horizon and the shape of the roof is a metaphor for the institute’s confidence in the future of research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s,” says Zibby. Typical of Zibby’s creations, this building, like her other creations, will capture her career-defining interest “in the shape of things and the emotional content embedded in them.”


dozens gather to plan new library continued from page 11

the institutional, cultural, and natural environments of which the building is a part. Financing, engineering, design, curricular, and donor perspectives are all involved.” Jen Parker Holtz ’89, who cochairs the Library Design Committee with John Orr ’47 and is a professional architect herself, explains, “Without that interaction, you may not even realize certain opportunities are passing you by during the planning phase. Professionals can weigh in on different aspects of the project and we all benefit from having more of them involved.” According to Jen, the library project represents the biggest new building campaign that George School has undertaken in three decades. As fund-raising for the library continues in earnest, named gift opportunities are still available. They are listed on the George School website at in the Giving section under “Capital Program.” If you are interested in giving a gift to the library, please contact Director of Development Anne Culp Storch ’67 by phone at 215-579-6569 or by email at

14 / georgian

Visit with retiring faculty members Walt Hathaway, Peggy Anderson, and Joanne McNaught, as well as other favorite faculty and staff at the Alumni and Faculty Breakfast Reception on Alumni Day. 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, 2007 McFeely Library

ALUMNI IN PRINT Charlotte Corry Partin ’54 Charlotte’s Garden A small poetry book designed for all who are young at heart. Illustrated with pressed flower art. E and E Publishing, 2005

Sarah Lowe ’75 Tina Modotti and Edward Weston: The Mexico Years

Jean Colgan Gould ’56 Forty Years Since My Last Confession

A book following the interwoven lives and work of Tina Modotti and Edward Weston, who took photographs in Mexico during the turbulent 1920s. Their work marks the beginning of a modernist aesthetic transforming photography into an art form. Merrell, 2004

The story of a woman’s return to a rapidly changing church, told with keen observation, a subtle sense of humor, and a vibrant sense of hope. Crossroad Publishing, 2004

Mark Updegrove ’80 Second Acts: presidential lives and legacies after the white house

John J.S. Burton ’58 Lao Close Encounters A three-year pictorial journey throughout all the provinces of little-known Laos. With over 1,200 captioned color photos, the book portrays Laos as it exists now, after its postrevolutionary reopening to tourism but with its unique character still intact. Orchid Press, 2005

Henry Taylor ’60 Crooked Run A collection of poems about a rural area in Henry’s native Loudoun County, Virginia. Louisiana State University Press, 2006

Virginia Whiting Walden ’65 “Olympic Heart” in The Soul of Success: A woman’s Guide to Authentic Power

A book tracing the postpresidential lives of Presidents Truman through Clinton. Through interviews with former presidents, first ladies, and others, the book delves into the very human stories that play out as those men adjust to life after the presidency, pursue their own agendas, and attempt to shape their historical legacies. Lyons Press, 2006

Jacob Tilove ’92 New York 2000: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Bicentennial and the Millennium The fifth and final volume in a series that covers architecture and urbanism in New York City since the Civil War. The book’s 1,520 pages (including 140 pages of notes) and more than 1,800 illustrations are devoted to the period between 1976 and 2001, providing a detailed history of both built and unbuilt projects throughout the five boroughs. It was written by Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman, and Jacob Tilove. The Monacelli Press, 2006

A compilation of stories by women, including Virginia’s story of healing breast cancer. Health Communications Inc., 2004 Let us know about your recent publishing by visiting or by sending email to

april 2007 / 15

CAMPUS NEWS AND NOTES in the classroom

by juliana rosati

Teacher Offers Interactive Robotics

in the meetinghouse

and Technology Sessions George School IB Program Receives Excellent Evaluation

George School has received a renewed International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program charter for the next five years along with an excellent evaluation from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The school received the renewed charter and the evaluation after completing an extensive self-study process that the IBO requires every five years. The process required the entire school community to reflect on George School’s implementation of the IB Diploma Program, a rigorous two-year curriculum that the school has offered since 1984. The IB Diploma Program is coordinated at George School by English teacher Ralph Lelii and taught by George School faculty. “The process was far more rigorous than the one in 2001,” says Ralph. “It is a testament to our students and our teachers that we do so well given the brevity of our academic year relative to other schools around the world.” For the past five years, 91 percent of George School’s IB Diploma candidates have received the diploma, with an average exam score of 31.9. The international averages for the same five-year period are 82 percent and 30.3.

16 / georgian / campus news and notes

GS Hosts Renewable Energy

George School teacher Chris Odom offered a day of interactive sessions about teaching robotics and technology on December 2. The event took place at George School in the physics laboratory of Spruance-Alden Science Center. “I think robots are a great way to teach science, math, and technology,” says Chris, a physics and robotics teacher. “I can help other teachers to get started teaching robotics.” Designed for science and technology teachers at middle school through college levels, the event served as an opportunity for educators in the local area to learn about George School’s robotics curriculum, to share their own insights about teaching similar subject matter, and to make connections that could lead to collaborations with other teachers. During the event, Chris presented an overview of George School’s robotics curriculum and explained how it was developed. He also explained how to create programs in math, science, and robotics using the BasicX language, a powerful microcontroller programming language that is used in such fields as robotics, applied science, industrial control, and home automation. With the help of current students, Chris gave the attendees a hands-on experience with George School’s robots. Currently in its fifth year, George School’s robotics curriculum includes two course offerings, both taught by Chris—Computer Programming and Robotics (a class that is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors) and an independent study that allows graduates of the class to progress to more advanced work. Chris is the author of the robotics textbook BasicX and Robotics: The Art of Making Machines Think, published in 2005 by Robodyssey Systems LLC.

Town Meeting

George School hosted a town meeting about issues of renewable energy on the evening of February 22 in the George School Meetinghouse. Pennsylvania House Representative David Steil led a panel discussion on what the state of Pennsylvania can do currently to help citizens take advantage of renewable energy incentives. Speakers included Thomas J. Tuffey, director of the PennFuture Center for Energy, Enterprise, and the Environment in Philadelphia; Roger Clark of the Sustainable Development Fund of Pennsylvania; and Thomas K. McHugh, president of the Monitor Data Corporation in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Students in Kathy Coyle’s George School Science 9 class helped to organize and participated in the event. “The students could see that the issue of global warming and alternative energy was right in their backyards,” says Kathy. “The students conducted further research on what Pennsylvania is currently offering as incentives for using renewable energy compared to other states. They also studied the effects of the use of ‘clean coal.’ The research prompted questions that the students were then going to ask at the town meeting. One group of students read, summarized, and critiqued Governor Rendell’s energy plans for Pennsylvania.” One of Kathy’s students, Kate Powell ’10, wrote the following in a reflection essay about the event: “The meeting was effective in instilling a sense of urgency to the topic of renewable energy. Of particular note to the forum’s credit was that several methods of running a home on alternative energy were detailed, proving renewable power to be a logistically and economically feasible option for nearly anyone with the conscience and willingness to try.”

exploring DIVERSITY

GS Group Attends People of


Color Conference George School Commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

George School held its eighteenth annual all-day commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15. At the special all-school assembly in the morning, Dean of Students Nate McKee ’79 gave a brief history of the way George School’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances began and evolved. Stating that George School’s Quaker values are aligned with Dr. King’s message of multiculturalism and peace, Nate said that part of his job is to create a campus environment in which all students feel safe and comfortable voicing their opinions, and that if any student feels uncomfortable, he is there to help. The assembly featured documentary footage about the civil rights movement and the life of Dr. King, along with various student performances. Three students gave an a cappella performance of “I’m Free” by Kaize Adams while two other students danced; George School’s R&B Step Team presented a routine in honor of Dr. King; and a group of students took turns reading sections of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, each in their native language (English, German, French, Hindi, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Creole). Following assembly, various workshop sessions on campus encouraged participants to discuss and reflect in a variety of ways on Dr. King’s message. The day’s events concluded with an all-school meeting for worship in the afternoon.

A group of George School faculty members and students traveled to Seattle, Washington, for the People of Color Conference (PoCC) and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) held by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) from November 30 through December 2. Attended by people of color and white allies from the United States and other countries, the conferences offer a variety of workshops and speeches about diversity, multiculturalism, and equity and justice. The conferences are designed to offer networking opportunities and support for people of color and to help schools build and sustain inclusive communities. George School faculty members Steven Fletcher (science teacher), Carla Garcia (language teacher and assistant director of admissions), and Michelle Peñaloza (English teacher) attended the PoCC. Steven says, “The People of Color Conference gave me an opportunity to network with other professionals in education and also strengthen my knowledge base on how to make a school a supportive place for all people.” Michelle notes, “The students we brought to the Student Diversity Leadership Conference were exceptional; they were excited to be there and they proved themselves as leaders at the conference.” Krystena Anderson ’08, Eliza Catalino ’08, Phoebe Hallowell ’07, and Jamelfrey Pacheco ’07 attended the SDLC. “It was a serious life-changing experience,” states Krystena. “The amount of love present at that conference was unexpected.” Phoebe agrees, “To see that much unconditional love in such a large group of people gives me hope.” Jamelfrey says, “I couldn’t believe how willing everyone was to share.”

Wrestling Team Shines at Tournament

Five of George School’s varsity wrestlers placed in the top six positions in their respective weight classes at the prestigious Germantown Academy Tournament on December 2. They include Jorge Galindo ’07 (third place), Christopher Harkins ’08 (fourth place), Greg Plumb ’07 (fifth place), Lauralee Lightwood-Mater ’07 (sixth place), and Jordan Carson ’08 (sixth place). Newspaper Recognizes Athletes

The Bucks County Courier Times named Kenneth Anyanwu ’07 its Athlete of the Week on January 31, for averaging 21.3 points and double-digit rebounds in three varsity basketball games. The newspaper named Gioia DiMicco ’07 an Honorable Mention Athlete of the Week on the same date for her performance on the girls’ varsity swimming team. Swim Team Succeeds at Championships

George School’s varsity swimming team finished third in the scoring for both boys and girls at the Friends Schools League Championships held at Swarthmore College on February 17. Gioia DiMicco ’07 won both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke. Her performance in the 100-yard breaststroke set a new meet record. Caroline Marris ’08 won the 100-yard freestyle.

april 2007 / 17

ARTS Department UPDATE

An exhibit of monotypes by printmaker and painter Phyllis Trout ’76 was on view in Walton Center Gallery at George School in February. The images in the exhibit evoked the setting of a big city, depicting industrial and religious structures through unexpected visual effects. Phyllis says, “The ritual of the printing process is physically demanding and invigorating. I work through a subtractive procedure. By wiping, scraping, and diluting the ink, the images appear and disappear. I balance intention and accident while allowing spontaneous visual events to occur.” Phyllis teaches at Friends Seminary and The New School, both in New York City. She has exhibited in the United States and Italy, and her artwork is held in public and private collections. Students Exhibit at Pennswood

Students in George School’s advanced visual arts classes displayed their work at Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pennsylvania, from February 18 through April 1. The show included work from George School’s advanced classes in ceramics, painting and drawing, photography, woodworking and design, and digital imaging.

PHOTO Pam grumbach

Phyllis Trout ’76 Exhibits at GS

GS Student Honored in Art Contest

James Toggweiler ’07 won an honorable mention in the Utrecht Art Supplies Third Annual Self-Portrait Contest, a national art competition for high school students. James’s self-portrait (pictured above) was a pencil drawing he created in Pam Grumbach’s Portfolio Preparation class at George School. It was one of 39 entries honored in the contest, from a total of more than 600 submissions.

The cast of the student production of Guys and Dolls in February 2007 stands before the final bow.

18 / georgian / campus news and notes

Musical Theater Class Presents Guys and Dolls

On February 23 and 24, George School’s Musical Theater class performed Guys and Dolls in Walton Center Auditorium. Guys and Dolls tells the story of the romantic and legal high jinks that result when several gamblers, intent on holding an illegal craps game, collide with a group of Salvation Army missionaries and a determined police lieutenant in New York City. The show features memorable songs such as “Luck Be a Lady” and “A Bushel and a Peck.” “The music is great,” says George School drama and musical theater teacher Maureen West, the director of the production. The shows for the class, she explains, are chosen in a way that gives students “the opportunity to experience different kinds of musical theater.” For two out of every three years, the class performs a show that features an ensemble cast. Once every three years, however, the class performs a show like Guys and Dolls—one that follows the standard American musical formula that was prevalent between 1920 and 1960, with clearly defined lead roles, supporting roles, and a chorus. Music was directed by Jacqueline Coren, costumes were by Liz Lukac, choreography was by David Abers, and sets were designed by Scott Hoskins and built by his stagecraft classes.

Recent assemblies

Humanitarian Speaks at Assembly

Cathy Bosworth Panzica ’79

Former George School staffer Vikki Sloviter introduced humanitarian Betty Tisdale at an assembly on February 9. Betty began her humanitarian work during the Vietnam War. A secretary in her twenties, she felt inspired when she read a book by Tom Dooley—a doctor who was well known for helping sick and homeless people in Southeast Asia. After his death in 1961, Betty made her first of twenty-eight trips to the region, helping to continue the doctor’s work in several locations, including the An Lac Orphanage in Saigon, South Vietnam. In 1975, at the end of the Vietnam War, the orphanage was in danger. Betty triumphed over great odds and was able to evacuate 219 of the 400 orphans and bring them to the United States. Vietnam’s government did not allow her to evacuate the other children because they were over the age of ten. Vikki was one of the orphans Betty rescued in 1975, and she was adopted by a couple in the United States. As a young woman, Vikki decided she wanted to meet Betty. The TV show Dateline NBC documented the story of how the two women met. During the assembly, a film of the Dateline NBC story was shown, and then Betty spoke about her work. She described the resourceful strategies she used to help the An Lac Orphanage and the projects she is undertaking now as founder of H.A.L.O. (Helping and Loving Orphans), an organization that works to improve the lives of orphans around the world.

Presents Assembly

Cathy Bosworth Panzica ’79, who has spent more than twenty years working in the fields of global mergers and acquisitions and venture finance law, presented an assembly on January 29 entitled Mind the Light, Especially When it is Dark. Cathy served as a consultant on e-government for the office of Prime Minister Tony Blair in London. An ordained Episcopal priest, she has worked to bring spiritual values to the workplace. She is currently the director and founder of Beta Strategy Group, a business/technology consulting company in Cleveland, Ohio. Cathy’s assembly speech focused on the ways in which she has brought the values that she learned at George School into the corporate world. Cathy described George School as an inclusive, safe community that is committed to equality, justice, and collaborative decision-making. As the founder of a consulting firm, Cool Crypt, Cathy created a series of rules for her clients to follow, inspired by the qualities for which she admired George School. One of the rules—“Mind the light, even when it’s dark”—drew on the George School motto, “Mind the light.” Likewise, when Cathy worked at the international law firm Squire Sanders, she developed a corporate ethos for the company in order to inspire the employees to view their company as a shared endeavor built on trust and integrity. Cathy showed the audience the electronic presentations she created at Cool Crypt and Squire Sanders to articulate the companies’ values. She urged students to bring the values they learn at George School out into the world after they graduate.

Andrew Bourns Social Justice Report

At an assembly on February 12, three students and one faculty member presented the projects they did as recipients of Andrew Bourns Social Justice Endowment grants for 20062007. The Andrew Bourns Social Justice Endowment enables George School students and faculty to participate in social justice projects. Science teacher Steven Fletcher worked with secondgraders at Wissahickon Charter School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also

served as a mentor for young adults with Urban Blazers, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that helps underserved youth through educational outdoor experiences. Peter McCall ’07 worked with abused, neglected, and at-risk children at Millhill Child and Family Development Corporation in Trenton, New Jersey. Katherine Belding ’07 worked at the Esperanza Health Center in Philadelphia, which provides health care to Latino and underserved communities in the city. Alley Mazzullo ’07 worked at the Harambee Center for Youth and Community Services in Danbury, Connecticut, which works to enrich the lives of inner-city youth. The Andrew Bourns Social Justice Endowment was established by David and Ruth Bourns in memory of their son Andrew Bourns ’87. Students recite poetry

George School teachers Ralph Lelii (English) and Jane Dunlap (foreign language) introduced an assembly on February 16 that evoked high school performances of the late nineteenth century, which often focused on singing and poetry recitation. Ralph explained that the purpose of the assembly was to show that one can create something beautiful for the community just by raising one’s voice. The assembly included two a cappella vocal performances: five students and one teacher sang the traditional gospel song “Down to the River to Pray,” and four faculty members sang “Please, Kind Sir” by P.D.Q. Bach. Individual students recited the following poems from memory: two selections from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese, “If ” by Rudyard Kipling, “A Prayer for My Daughter” by William Butler Yeats, “On Growing Old” by John Masefield, “Remembrance” by Emily Brontë, “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg, “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, and “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop.

april 2007 / 19


GS Publication Wins Top Honors

student awards and honors

This academic year, several George School seniors received recognition in national academic competitions. Kimberly Chavez was named a Scholar in the 2006-2007 National Hispanic Recognition Program. Inna Alecksandrovich was named a Finalist in the 2007 National Merit Scholarship Program. Seventeen seniors were named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program: Noah Baron, Kenneth Boyle, Jenny Castellana, Nicole Engelhardt, Keesha Fausto, Annie Foppert, Chelsea Belletieri, Owen Henry, Jordan Kardos, Amrit Khalsa, Scot Lawrie, Joseph Loeffler, Lianna Patch, Garrett Smelcer, Austin Tally, and James Weis. Three seniors— Anima Acheampong, Lauren Hill, and Christina Lomax—were referred to U.S. colleges and universities through the 2007 National Achievement Program. George School’s chapter of Junior State of America (JSA)—a national organization that holds national and regional nonpartisan political conventions and conferences for high school students—gave an impressive performance at the Mid-Atlantic Junior State of America convention in Arlington, Virginia, held February 23 through 25. The event, a weekend-long simulation of the legislative process in the United States Congress, drew hundreds of students and teachers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. “More of our legislation made the full House and full Senate floors than that of any other participating school,” said George School history teacher John Davison, the JSA faculty sponsor. Inna Alecksandrovich ’07, Noah Baron ’07, and Greg Plumb ’07 each won an Outstanding Speaker award on their committees, and Lianna Patch ’07 won a Master Debater contest.

20 / georgian / campus news and notes

George School has received the grand gold award—described by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as an honor reserved for almost impossibly good work—in the 2006 Circle of Excellence awards program run by CASE. Director of External Affairs Odie LeFever accepted the award for George School on January 28, at a CASE conference in Philadelphia. George School received the award for a new admission publication, a fourby-five-inch hardbound, two-chapter book that is sent to newly accepted student applicants. In the first chapter, “The Definitive Guide for Playing Four Square,” readers learn about the joyful game of Four Square that is a metaphor for George School’s approach to life. The second chapter, “The Definitive Guide for Success at George School,” shares the time-honored ways to flourish at George School. These tips also help graduates prosper throughout life. The book was designed by Rutka Weadock Design and written by Will Schwarz with guidance from George School students and Admission and Advancement Office staff.

HURRAH for the Annual Fund! Sustaining George School for generations. PHOTO zoË blatchley

The 2006 student production of Sabrina Fair was made possible by the Annual Fund.

Gifts and pledges to the 2006-2007 Annual Fund total $634,434 as of March 8. We are $315,566 away from achieving our $950,000 goal by June 30.

Please help GS by mailing your gift in the enclosed envelope or by making a credit card gift online at

April 2007 / 21

NOTE : P a g e s r e m o v e d f r o m t h i s d o c u m e n t to pr o t e c t t h e p r i v a c y o f G S a l u m n i . Alum n i m a y l o g i n t o t h e a l u m n i c o m m u n i t y at htt p : / / a l u m n i . g eo r g e s c h o o l . o r g t o v i e w the fu l l v e r s i o n o f t h i s i s s u e .

GEORGIAN Volume 79 / Number 01 / April 07

GEORGIAN EDITOR Bonnie Bodenheimer 215-579-6567


Alice Maxfield

Kim Colando ’83 Juliana Rosati Debbie Chong

David Satterthwaite ’65

Odie LeFever

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 Printed on recycled paper with environmentally friendly ink Georgian layout by Bonnie Bodenheimer © 2007 George School

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


Georgian, April 2007  

The Georgian is the official publication of George School.

Georgian, April 2007  

The Georgian is the official publication of George School.