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Vol. 80

No. 03

pu bl i c at i on of ge orge scho o l, ne w tow n, pennsy lvania

Inside December 2008


pe r s pe ctive s

George School Athletics: Lessons That Last a Lifetime


lear n i n g c o m m o n s take s s hape

The new green learning commons and Mollie Dodd Anderson Library will support research, collaboration, and study.


g e o r g e s c h o o l lau n c h e s n ew we bs ite

Unique design, rich with videos and photos, draws 35 percent increase in visits.


Table of Contents

Vol. 80 | No. 03 | December 2008

PHOTOs: Girls’ Soccer (Inside Front Cover) Myra Jacobs ’11 lines up a pass during the girls’ varsity soccer game against Moorestown Friends. George School won the

game 4-0, and ultimately the 2008 Friends Schools League Championship. (Photo: John Gleeson.) Athletic History (Front Cover) Retired jerseys inside the Alumni Gym give visitors a glimpse into George School’s rich athletic history, spanning 125 years. (Photo: Jerry Millevoi)

01 perspectives George School Athletics: Lessons That Last a Lifetime 02 04 06 08 10 12

Alumnae Share Love of Lacrosse Summer Camp Rivalry Careers Benefit from Athletic Skills It’s All About the Team Equestrians Enjoy Coach’s Approach eQuiz Highlights

17 features 17 Olympic Spirit at George School 18 New Learning Commons to Support Research, Collaboration and Study 20 George School Launches New Website

22 Campus news & notes 24 alumni tell us 42 In memoriam


Head of School Nancy Starmer stops for a moment

Bruce weller

to speak with students.


edited by juliana rosati

George School Athletics: Lessons That Last a Lifetime During George School’s recent five-year curriculum review, we reaffirmed our commitment to a rigorous sport and physical education requirement for all students. It is easy to defend such a requirement in a time when issues such as childhood obesity and the popularity of junk food diets among American teenagers are high in our national consciousness. Yet the promotion of long-term health and physical fitness for our students is only one reason for our requirement. It is clear to us at George School that the qualities honed on the playing field—teamwork, collaboration, problem solving, time management skills, the ability to accept and learn from mistakes, sportsmanship, comfort in performing before an audience, and joy in reaching a common goal— carry over into the academic classroom. According to a 2002 study by sociologist Beckett Broh of Wittenberg University, published in the journal Sociology of Education, participation in interscholastic athletics strengthens high school students’ academic performance more than any other extracurricular activity.

We also know that the playing field is where many of the strongest relationships that develop here at George School begin. Our teams provide an illustration of the interactions—among day and boarding students, students from all over the world, and students from all four grade levels—that are a cornerstone of a George School education. They bring students and teachers together around a common goal. In the pages of this Perspectives section, you will see confirmed what Kingdon Swayne ’37 wrote in George School: The History of a Quaker Community—that “the fondest memories of their youth for thousands of George School men and women were born in the school’s gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, and athletic fields.”



december 2008

SUsan Quinn

GS girls’ lacrosse team members celebrate their game with St. Paul’s Girls’ School, coached by alum Kate Machemer ’99.


Alumnae Share Love of Lacrosse by Andrea Lehman “Live. Love. Lacrosse.” These three words—the motto of a lacrosse-themed apparel company with a Cougar pedigree—could just as easily describe what makes Kate Machemer ’99, Rachel Moore ’95, and Ayana Green-Oliver ’93 tick. These alumnae, and others like them, kindled a passion for the game while playing for the school. Each in her own way has kept the sport a significant part of her life and career. For Kate, that passion found its outlet in coaching. After playing lacrosse for Connecticut College for four years, Kate answered an online “advert” for coaches in England, where lacrosse is played from September to March, mainly at private schools. She was soon sharing America’s first sport with British

2 | Georgian

schoolgirls, originally at the Alice Ottley School and now at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, a top private day school for girls aged eleven through eighteen. The daughter of George School faculty members Paul ’65 (a longtime coach) and Pam Machemer, Kate initially resisted the inexorable pull of a teaching career; however, she quickly discovered that she had found her niche. She recalls, “I came over to England in August not knowing a soul and by October I realized two things: One, I loved teaching and was good at it; and two, I loved England.” She adds, “It was the first time in my life that I felt that I had done something completely on my own.” In addition to coaching “first team” (varsity) lacrosse—a team that took first place in the Division I tournament last year under her leadership, finishing among the top twelve schools in the country—Kate also teaches physical education classes in swimming, netball, gymnastics, dance, tennis, athletics (track), soccer, and badminton. Though two years apart, Rachel and Ayana knew each other on the George School lacrosse field. Ayana’s senior year saw George School’s first Friends Schools League girls’ lacrosse championship, the first of three in a row in which Rachel participated. From George School, Ayana went to the University of Pennsylvania, where she played junior varsity, and Rachel went to the University of Wisconsin– Madison which, despite its size, fielded only a club team. Rachel found that her favorite sport was relatively unpopular in Wisconsin—the city of La Crosse notwithstanding—but this did not prevent


susan quinn

Rachel Moore ’95 and Ayana Green-Oliver ’93 formed LuvLax, a company that designs and sells lacrosse attire.

her from becoming quite successful at coaching and managing the club team, which competed throughout the Midwest. Years later, Rachel and Ayana reconnected in New York when Ayana put out a call for women interested in playing on a post-collegiate team. Together they started Gotham Women’s Lacrosse in 2001 and have both done turns as its president. Realizing they made good partners, they developed LuvLax (, a company that designs and sells fashionable lacrosse attire for girls and women. According to Ayana, “LuvLax allows us to turn our passion, lacrosse, into an opportunity to start and run our own business—a shared lifelong dream.” Along the way, they have each also volunteered their time and talents to bring lacrosse—and the lessons it teaches—across not only gender lines, but also cultural ones. Both have worked with organizations that teach lacrosse in underserved communities. And both still love to play the game. Currently working in business development, Rachel still plays with Gotham. She notes, “I’ve met 95 percent of my friends through lacrosse.” Ayana finds time to play with Lakeshore Lacrosse in Chicago, where she works and attends Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “I admit it. I am addicted. I simply love the sport.” So says Ayana, but any of these ’90s grads could have made the statement. Each also cites George School Girls’ Athletic Director Nancy Bernardini as an inspiration. Kate says, “She makes her players care and want to do better. She promotes team play as well as individual development. She is the type of coach I am striving to be.” Nancy,

Kate Machemer ’99 and Girls’ Athletic Director Nancy Bernardini enjoy their reunion during the George School lacrosse game against St. Paul’s Girls’ School.

in turn, reflects on the satisfaction of guiding these and other dedicated players in her thirty-one years at George School: “It’s always great to have kids who continue on with the sport and give back to the sport that’s been so important to them.” On April 1, 2008, this spirit of giving back and love for lacrosse—and of George School lacrosse in particular—resulted in an unusual interscholastic competition. Midway through their American tour, the St. Paul’s lacrosse team visited their coach’s alma mater to play against the Cougars, stay with them in their homes, and, as Kate explains, “experience the wonderful community that GS is.” They came newly decked out in goggles—which are not required in England—and in LuvLax shirts, whose custommade logo design was donated by Rachel and Ayana. Though George School lost 20–11 (it was the first game in their season), the experience was clearly a valuable one. “I absolutely loved having the English girls stay at my home,” comments Stephanie Feinman ’10, noting that she still keeps in touch with members of the St. Paul’s team. She adds, “I have never gotten to know girls quite this well in such a small amount of time.” Kajsa Nelson ’10, who also served as a host, recalls, “We stayed up late watching ridiculous American television shows and talking about the difference between teens in the United States and England.” As Nancy observes, “They learned to respect their opponents, learned about other cultures, and found things they share in common.” Lacrosse may be the oldest sport in North America, but it is undeniably up-to-date in the lives of Nancy, Kate, Ayana, Rachel, and those with whom they have shared it.



december 2008

Jeff freedman ’83, director of Camp Winaukee, describes his job as “providing a 24/7 organized recess.”


Summer Camp Rivalry Keeps Alumni Connected by Andrea Lehman There is a remarkable synchronicity to the careers of Jim Talbot ’61 and Jeff Freedman ’83. Threesport student athletes at George School (albeit of different generations) and two-sport collegiate athletes (albeit at different institutions), Jim and Jeff are now directors of residential boys’ sports camps a baseball’s throw away from one another on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. But this is not just a story about the parallels between two careers. It is about two alumni who are committed to sports and young people and to the importance of the “education” component of physical education. Jim Talbot is a self-described “faculty brat.” His father, Jack Talbot, taught English, directed plays, coached tennis and soccer, and was later a dean at George School. For Jim, “It was a great place to grow up in the ’50s. The whole campus was my playground. I’m sure that’s why I love sports.” Before he was old enough to attend George School himself, he already “went to all the games” and admired varsity athletes like Dick Packer ’52, Jack Templeton ’58, Asa Cadwallader ’58, and Phil Cane ’51, who were “larger than life to me. They

4 | G eorgian

were not only great athletes, but they seemed like— and were—wonderful people.” At George School, Jim played soccer, basketball, and tennis in an era of terrific Cougar teams. He and doubles partner Lee Price ’61 never lost, establishing a friendship that continues today. From the University of North Carolina, where he played varsity soccer and tennis, Jim went on to thirtyfour years at Chestnut Hill Academy (CHA). First an English teacher and later the athletic director, he coached soccer, basketball, tennis, and golf (he still coaches golf, even after retiring as athletic director). Jim was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for coaching soccer, and the CHA soccer field is named in his honor. In the early ’80s, while Jim Talbot was at CHA, Jeff Freedman was spending his junior and senior years at George School, having transferred from The Hun School of Princeton. At George School he played football, basketball, and tennis, and though he vividly remembers his first football game against Hun (the Cougars won 13-0, with Jeff getting two interceptions), he says that otherwise “I don’t remember the wins and losses. What I learned was to be a good teammate, to never give up, and to always carry myself as a gentleman. I left GS with a


passion for sports.” Moreover, he notes that George School taught him “to always look for the positive in people.” Unlike Jim, Jeff went to a small Division III school, Minnesota’s Macalester College, where he played basketball and tennis and was a collegiate All-American and academic All-American. After a brief, humbling stint as a tennis pro on the satellite tours, Jeff earned a law degree and joined the NCAA’s enforcement division, investigating football and basketball programs that violated NCAA rules. When he decided that it was time to make a career change, Jeff contacted his now-partner at Camp Winaukee, where he had been a camper during eight years of his childhood. It was an inquiry as serendipitous as it was synchronous with Jim Talbot. Jeff became an associate director of the camp in 1999, and became a director in 2000. A year later, he learned from former George School athletic director Bob Geissinger that a certain George School alumnus was becoming director at a camp just a couple of miles away.

jim talbot ’61, director of Camp Tecumseh, played soccer, basketball, and tennis in an era of terrific Cougar teams.

The camps play each other regularly, with a goodnatured rivalry Jeff likens to George School and Westtown (or Academy of the New Church in football). Jeff says, “Everyone needs a rival. Camp

“W hat I learned was to be a good teammate, to never give up, and to always carry myself as a gentleman. I left GS with a passion for sports.” Segueing into retirement from CHA, Jim became director of Camp Tecumseh, which offers sports from archery to wrestling, beach volleyball to water polo, along with hiking in the White Mountains and a drama program leading to a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. He acknowledges that even his latest career move is a nod to his father, who spent summers as a tennis pro at Pocono Lake Preserve. “My job combines a little bit of a headmaster, development director, and admissions director, as well as an athletic director,” he says. “A summer away from home in a beautiful environment is a great experience for young kids. You hope that you and your staff are good role models for kids. You give them experiences that are valuable.” Jeff agrees. “We’re role models for young boys. It’s about core values development, making lifelong friendships, being away from home, developing independence, learning life skills, athletic skill acquisition, teamwork, and building confidence.” Like Tecumseh, Winaukee offers sports and adventure experiences including a range of land and water activities. Like George School, Winaukee enrolls a significant international population.

Tecumseh is the camp that our campers like to compete against most.” Jim, who believes that there are “all sorts of good things you learn from being in competition, especially good sportsmanship,” notes that the two camps have “similar philosophies.” Both Jim and Jeff recognize George School as playing a huge role in the directions their lives took, crediting mentors (Bill Craighead, Bob Geissinger, Ken Keskinen, and his father for Jim; Paul Machemer, Fran Bradley, Bruce DiMicco, and also Bob Geissinger for Jeff) with, as Jeff puts it, “teaching me how to act as a young man.” And both are enjoying the current chapter of their careers. Jim says, “I absolutely love my association with athletics and kids. It can be a very valuable teaching tool. I consider the soccer field and tennis court my classrooms.” Jeff states, “I’m passionate about sports and what sports can do for character. I have the best job around. I am providing a 24/7 organized recess and putting smiles on kids’ faces.” That these two roads converged in a New Hampshire wood has no doubt had a lasting impact on the lives of Jim, Jeff, and countless boys.



december 2008


Careers Benefit from Athletic Skills by Karen Doss Bowman

One of the most important lessons that Andrew Yablin ’81 learned as quarterback for George School’s varsity football team was how to design and carry out a game plan. More than twenty-five years later, Andrew executed the biggest game plan of his life: the July 2007 global launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the celebrated series by author J.K. Rowling. “I think sports not only get you ready for college, but they also get you ready for the real world,” says Andrew, vice president of global logistics for Scholastic Inc. According to Andrew, athletics and the “real world” have several things in common: teamwork, competition, and the friendships that happen along the way. “I gained a ton of self confidence through my GS athletic experience,” he states. Like Andrew, many graduates have found that their positive experiences in sports instilled leadership skills that have put them on the path to success in their careers and personal lives. Athletics have always been an integral part of the George School experience, and the school recently reaffirmed its commitment to a sport and physical education requirement for all students. According to Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, participation in sports not only helps students lead healthier lives, but also promotes selfconfidence, greater academic achievement, and the development of leadership skills such as teamwork, dedication, and discipline. At Scholastic, Andrew oversaw the distribution of the last three Harry Potter books in the popular series. With fourteen million copies distributed in thirty-two countries, Deathly Hallows set a record as the largest new product launch ever in the United States. Andrew started planning the logistics of the book’s release six months in advance, addressing matters such as delivery, cost, and security.

6 | Georgian

“When you’re responsible for a global product launch that sets a record in the world, for getting that out and not disappointing any child who was hoping to get that book in their hands, there’s a lot of pressure,” remarks Andrew. He notes, “My leadership skills, developed on the football and baseball fields in Newtown, Pennsylvania, have helped me in my twenty-five-year business career around the world.” Playing on a team and working together for a common goal provides a valuable boost to students’ self-confidence, according to Art Henrie ’47. For him, having a coach at George School who believed in his abilities—particularly during the formative teen years—made a significant difference. “I am sure my success in sports, particularly track, helped build my self-confidence and self-worth at a time when they would stay with me for the rest of my life,” he says. At George School, Art twice succeeded in outrunning the state track champion. “I remember Coach Stan Sutton saying to me that he thought I could beat this guy. He convinced me that I could, and I did. That was very special for me,” recalls the retired entrepreneur and current George School Committee member. He adds, “I was defeated enough to put everything in perspective. Whether you excel or not, if you participate, it’s fun and you have a camaraderie that develops from it.” Art notes that his athletics career at the University of Michigan “opened doors and made me stand out in my subsequent business career.” Anne de Barcza ’75 admits that she was never “an amazing natural athlete.” Even so, she was made to feel like a valued member of the field hockey, lacrosse, and swim teams. Coaches never compared her to other players, she says, but praised her accomplishments and helped her achieve her goals. She has integrated this philosophy into her management style. “The lesson is that you’re all in this together, and if everyone delivers 100 percent of what they can deliver, you will have a strong team,” says Anne, a senior vice president of sales for designer jewelry company Slane & Slane. “And that’s very true in business. If everyone makes the same level of commitment, then you have a much better chance of succeeding as a team in whatever you’re trying to accomplish.” Jack Benjamin Ford ’93, a sales manager for a horticultural supply company, believes that participating in sports helps students learn to make good decisions, as well as to respect the competition. He



02 alumni athletes 1. Andrew Yablin ’81 2. Jack Benjamin Ford ’93 3. Art Henrie ’47 4. Elizabeth Geissinger Giardinelli ’74 5. Anne de Barcza ’75



uses sports analogies in his career, referring to his staff members as teammates and telling them, “You win some, and you lose some—and that is okay.” One particular George School win stands out in his memory. During his senior football season, he and his teammates achieved a sweet victory over Academy of the New Church—the George School team’s first win over the archrival in seventeen years. Fifteen years later, his excitement is still detectable. “There’s a trophy that goes back and forth between the schools, and we brought it back that year, and it was quite a celebration,” Jack remembers. “The victory was something our team started working towards during our freshman year, so it was a four-year process. That was quite memorable.” From her vantage point as the owner of Recruitment Solutions LLC, an executive search firm that places people in jobs at all levels, Elizabeth Geissinger Giardinelli ’74 regularly sees how careers can benefit from athletics. “My clients are valuing any type of competitive sports experience they see on the resume,” she says. Job candidates with an athletics background are perceived to have dedication, determination, and the ability to prioritize and organize, she explains.


“ I am sure my success in sports, particularly track, helped build my self-confidence and selfworth at a time when they would stay with me for the rest of my life.” As the daughter of George School’s longtime athletic director and coach Robert Geissinger, Elizabeth also has plenty of evidence that high school sports experiences can be meaningful to students on a personal level for years to come. “I was able to observe many graduates over long periods of time returning to campus on Alumni Day or just calling my dad,” says Elizabeth, who lived on the George School campus for twenty-eight years. She recalls overhearing her father engaged in many animated conversations with alumni, reliving memories of the big game that was tied in the last second or a championship win. “Many seemed to remember vividly their time on a specific team and have very fond memories that truly did tend to help shape or contribute positively in some way,” she says.



december 2008

ari betof ’98

George School’s boys’ varsity tennis team won the 2008 Friends Schools League Championship, defeating Friends’ Central School. Team members include: (Front row) Michael Guth ’08, Jason Sisti ’11, Devon Pinkus ’11, Jake Fridman ’10, Michael Tseng ’08, and coach Pacho Gutierrez ’77 (Back row) Walter Stephenson ’08, Ben Cohen ’08, Ben Biros ’08, DonChristian Jones ’08, and Josh McGowan ’09


It’s All About the Team by Juliana Rosati

When the George School boys’ varsity tennis team won the 2008 Friends Schools League (FSL) Championship after an undefeated season in league play, coach and science teacher Pacho Gutierrez ’77 described the accomplishment as an “amazing feat.” Winning is not the concept that receives primary emphasis in Pacho’s approach to coaching, however; instead, it is this: “You are a member of a team.” To cultivate a sense of fairness and team spirit, he establishes his team’s lineup not through individual players’ rankings, but through challenge matches. “You have to earn your spot on the roster,” Pacho says. In addition, while he doesn’t mind if students play tennis outside of school, he requires his players to practice and condition with the team, and participate in all league matches. “That in itself sets the tone that the team is as important as your individual accomplishments,” explains Pacho, who has

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coached boys’ tennis for eight years, with five at the varsity level. According to Boys’ Athletic Director Sean Casey, emphasizing teamwork is not the only way in which Pacho exemplifies the qualities that define George School coaches. “Pacho’s coaching style illustrates the Athletic Department’s ideals of teamwork, sportsmanship, motivation, respect, pride, integrity, and discipline,” says Sean. “Like his fellow coaches at George School, Pacho takes care to give each student individual attention, so that they experience athletics as an opportunity to develop confidence and leadership skills. He also serves as a good role model for his players.” A singles player on the boys’ varsity tennis team this past spring, Jason Sisti ’11 describes Pacho as a coach who is “really hands-on” during practices and is known to continue playing tennis with his students after school and on weekends. Jason says, “He’s really enthusiastic. He loves it. He wants everyone to get better, including himself.” Pacho’s coaching skills benefit students yearround. In the fall, he teaches a physical education class in Ultimate Frisbee and informally helps out with boys’ soccer, which he previously coached for sixteen years, four of them at the varsity level. In the winter, he coaches boys’ varsity wrestling, as he has for the past ten years, after three years with the junior varsity team. As a tennis coach, Pacho says, he takes a nuanced approach that differs from the more straightforward coaching he favors in wrestling and soccer. “Tennis is a very cerebral sport,” he comments. “You can overcoach very easily.” During


Number one singles, Jason Sisti ’11, prepares

ari betof ’98

to hit a cross court shot with his devastating two-handed backhand.

matches, he notes, “what you don’t say may be more important than what you do.” During practice, however, he points out, “it’s the other way around,” and he plays a very active role. Devon Pinkus ’11 says of Pacho, “He’s really good at working with the players. If you’re having trouble with an idea, he puts a lot of time into it to help you grow.” Devon, who played varsity tennis as a freshman in the spring of 2008, recalls, “If he was trying to teach us a concept or strategy, and we were doing it wrong, he’d always go in there and demonstrate it for us.” Josh McGowan ’09, also a varsity player this past spring, says that Pacho has an “intense yet simultaneously easygoing” attitude. Josh comments, “He manages to be the authority that makes us work and drives us to improve but still maintains his friendly personality when he’s out there hitting balls with us.” Pacho’s intense tennis practices paid off on May 15, 2008, when the boys’ varsity tennis team won the Friends Schools League (FSL) Championship, defeating Friends’ Central School by a score of 3-2, after a season in which the George School team went undefeated in league play. It was the first time that George School had won the FSL tennis title since 1999, and Friends’ Central had been the FSL champion for six of the previous seven seasons. In recognition of the team’s achievement, Pacho was named Boys Tennis Coach of the Year by the Bucks County Courier Times. DonChristian Jones ’08, who was a member of the team, states, “My co-captains were two of my best friends and toughest competitors, the players

were all really devoted, and Pacho was an inspiring coach. Of all the four years playing tennis at GS, the ’08 team was by far the most focused and driven, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.” During the season, the team won by shutout seven times and accumulated an overall record of 13-2, winning the last eleven matches; nonetheless, when it was time for the FSL Championship, Pacho did not take anything for granted. To keep the players focused, he told them, “Even though you made it this far, you still have to finish what you started.” To illustrate his point, he evoked recent memories of two teams that had emerged undefeated from league play but ended up losing the championship. “I think that was a good motivator, because they could remember those teams,” he says.

“Pacho takes care to give each student individual attention, so that they experience athletics as an opportunity to develop confidence and leadership skills.” Pacho learned the value of staying focused when he was a George School student himself, wrestling his “archnemesis” from Friends’ Central. Pacho recalls, “There were twelve seconds left in the match, and I was down 0-3.” At that moment, Pacho decided to try his pet move—a Granby roll that coach Russ Weimar ’48 had taught him—one last time. It worked, earning him the four points necessary to win the match. “The buzzer rang and the ref had not yet awarded any points,” Pacho remembers. “He then signaled, ‘two point reversal, two point near fall,’ and our team went nuts.” Pacho credits the experience with teaching him that “you have to give it your all every second.” Judging from his tennis players’ insights and performance, that’s a message they heard loud and clear.



Brian Wozniak ‘05

december 2008

Coach Bonnie Takakjy gives jumping tips to DeAnna Meckling ’12 at the George School Equestrian Center.


Equestrians Enjoy Coach’s Down-to-Earth Approach by Juliana Rosati If you ask students to describe the atmosphere at George School’s Equestrian Center, you’ll hear answers like “it has a different feel to it,” “it just seems like everything’s so far away,” and “it’s calming yet exciting at the same time.” While these words suggest a magical place, the riders stay firmly rooted in reality while enjoying their sport. Equestrian Program Director Bonnie Takakjy’s down-to-earth approach fosters a program that focuses on learning, teamwork, and responsibility. Junior varsity team member Donna Hordis ’10 describes Bonnie as a “realist” who is “hands-on and positive, but not coddling.” Varsity rider

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Georgina Simson ’09 observes that “you can relate to her like you’d relate to another student”—with camaraderie and joking outside of lesson time— “but still respect her like a teacher.” During lessons, she notes, Bonnie will “tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong and, if you’re doing something right, she’ll tell you that too.” Mady McMahon ’12, also a member of the varsity team, says of Bonnie, “She’s very fun-loving. She’s there because she loves it.” Bonnie states that it is “really gratifying” to share her love of riding with George School students. That love began when she started riding at the age of three. When she was eight years old, she started showing hunt seat at local shows. In the Appaloosa Circuit, she qualified for the world competition in the four-foot jumpers. She continued riding at Southern Virginia College, where she majored in equine management. Bonnie began working at George School in 1996 as barn manager, and in 1998 she became the equestrian program director. At George School, Bonnie teaches a basic balanced seat, which combines elements of dressage, hunt seat, and jumping. Riders develop a functional riding ability that can serve as a basis for further education in any discipline. Balanced seat teaches the rider body awareness and relaxation so that the rider and the horse become a team. According to


at george school

bruce weller

students learn a basic balanced seat, which combines elements of dressage, hunt seat, and jumping.

Bonnie, this approach allows for an emphasis on learning through constructive feedback from the coach, from fellow students, and from judges at the Bucks County Horse Park in Revere, Pennsylvania, where the junior varsity and varsity teams compete in shows. Bonnie says that she focuses on “being picky” and “fixing small details” when working with experienced riders, whereas the developmental team offers her an opportunity to “take kids who don’t know how to ride and teach them how.”

notes that another exercise in teamwork occurs if a student is running late or has a dirty horse. Then the riders come together to do a “speed tack-up,” preparing their teammate’s horse in approximately three minutes, as opposed to the fifteen minutes it would take an individual to complete the task. For George School’s equestrians, working together does not seem to be a chore. Donna comments, “We all get along so well.” Mady asserts that her team feels “almost like a family.” In addition,

“I learned so many valuable lessons from Bonnie about horsemanship, life, and friendship.” Students appreciate the results of Bonnie’s coaching. Georgina, who has been riding for twelve years and brought her own horse to stay in one of the three stalls reserved for student-owned horses, reports that she and her horse “work a lot better as a team” due to Bonnie’s instruction. Varsity team member Lara Bader ’09 states, “Bonnie teaches us how to ride our horses effectively—not just to look good, but to be able to ride well and with different horses.” DeAnna Meckling ’12, also a varsity team member, says that she has learned at George School to relax when she is riding. “You’re not supposed to be tense,” she explains, “because it upsets the horse.” Bonnie teaches more than riding skills. She makes sure that students observe a “safety first” philosophy. Along with Barn Manager Colleen Crowley, she stresses the importance of caring properly for horses and equipment. In addition, according to Mady, Bonnie “always wants everyone to be involved in everything,” such as deciding which jumping course to use on a particular day. Donna

two recent alumnae credit Bonnie with imparting significant lessons about social interactions. Dory Graham-Vannais ’04, a former varsity rider who currently works as a barn manager and trainer at Painted Dreams Farm in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania, remembers, “I think it was Bonnie who unintentionally made me realize that riding and the barn can be a place where people from all backgrounds—economic, social, and skill level— can come together and enjoy the animals we all love. Riding can be professional, safe, fantastically fun, and yet attainable for everyone.” Another graduate of the varsity team, Zane Bauer ’04, returns to campus to help Bonnie and Colleen with the equestrian summer camp programs. She says, “I learned so many valuable lessons from Bonnie about horsemanship, life, and friendship that it would be hard to pin down one specific example. She continues to enrich my life to this day, and I am so thankful that I ever got the chance to meet her.”


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december 2008


eQuiz Highlights The August eQuiz asked alumni to describe their experiences in athletics at George School and beyond. Some of the responses are highlighted here. Thank you to the 262 alumni who participated.

istration of tennis matters. I have played a lot with classmate Jim Talbot ’61 (probably the best athlete of our generation at GS) and some with classmate Lee Price ’61, who has most sneakily changed his entire approach to the game and is better than ever. That’s what happens when you move to the left coast.

Pursuing Athletics After GS

1965 | William (Bill) G. Barton

1952 | Richard H. Burdsall After four years of wrestling at George School, I made the varsity wrestling team at Swarthmore. I wrestled varsity college matches as a freshman. It was very satisfying. Ten years later I became a certified public school wrestling referee in upstate New York, and refereed wrestling in New York state, Vermont, and private schools. I also refereed college matches in a tournament at RPI.

1952 | Allen C. Starkey

1967 | Ruth E. Bromer

Played spring football, soccer at PSU, got involved with rugby eight years after graduation, am still heavily involved. Played for fifteen years, including international matches, refereed for twenty-five years and currently coach a state champion women’s team, have for the past five years.

I have been orienteering since 1978 and compete nationally. My husband and I run our local orienteering club and have trained our daughters, one of whom competed in the World University Orienteering Championships this summer. It’s a sport for a lifetime that involves running and thinking.

1953 | Peter S. New

1981 | Lisa Labalme Osterland

I played sports in college and medical school. There were basketball games at Cornell’s New York hospital dorm after a night shift. Even now, I eagerly look forward to playing tennis six to seven hours a week, and racing the sailboat that is in front of my house (this a sport too?).

I swam on the GS team sophomore, junior, and senior years. I went on to swim for Vassar, and I swam through both of my pregnancies. I have been swimming for a master’s team in Montréal for six years and I love it. Furthermore, I have inspired a good number of people to join my team or to join other master’s teams in their area of residence. In one of my years on the GS swim team, my name was “on the board” for swimming the butterfly leg of an IM medley relay. It gave me such pride to see my name up there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on the board for long, but the memory still swells me up inside—and brings tears to my eyes as I type this.

1956 | Catherine (Cappy) A. Page Since I worked in the recreation field, primarily in aquatics for physically and mentally challenged children and adults, I found that by using the techniques and caring attention to my students that [Eleanor] “Pete” Hess used with me and my classmates, great gains and improvement were reached.

1961 | Richard L. Brow n I played tennis in college though “down the line up.” Once I had settled into working I found my way back into tennis and for many years was active in local and national tournaments and in admin-

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Four years Division III college basketball and lacrosse. Captain of both teams as a senior. Commodore Hamilton College sailing team, junior and senior years. Did seven years of California Club lacrosse and it was great fun. State club champions in 1975 for Berkeley Lacrosse Club and got to play attack with former Princeton All-American Dick Graham. That was so much fun and made many lifetime friends from the club experience.

1982 | Alexandra Mat thews Maytag I continued running. Ran a marathon in grad school. My running continued to be a source of selfesteem and stress reduction. I think the way GS did PE when I was there was fantastic: you have to do something physical, but you can choose. It got me


Alumni Profile: Lisa Bernardini ’08 very enthusiastic about physical fitness, and fitness has remained an important part of my life.

1984 | Harold M. Buck I’ve been involved in a variety of sports since graduating, from the mainstream (running, swimming) to the eclectic (fencing, triathlon, Ultimate frisbee, rowing, cross-country skiing). I also coached a high school fencing team for ten years. But one of my most serious pursuits has been sports officiating. As lacrosse got started in Minnesota, I responded to a request for people with any experience with the game—for me, that was one season of junior varsity lacrosse at George School—and started officiating high school games. Within a few years, I was doing college games, and now I’m the local high school assigner and director of training, and I hold several offices with the U.S. Lacrosse Men’s Division Officials Council.

W hat are you doing now? I am a freshman at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where I am a speech and language pathology major. I received an athletic scholarship to play Division I soccer for Old Dominion and our team just finished the season with a 14-4-2 record. We played in the quarterfinals for our league, the Colonial Athletic Association, and I was lucky to be named to the All-Rookie Team for the league. W hat sports did you play at George School?

1984 | Ellen Meranze I am a teacher, a dean of students, and a coach. All of my George School experiences have helped me. I have coached volleyball, field hockey, swimming and lacrosse. I also continue to give swimming lessons to people of all ages.

1986 | Christ y A. Traenkle Anne LeDuc was a great mentor to me; she always knew when to be critical and when to encourage. She was very instrumental in me gaining entry into my college of choice—the University of Pennsylvania—where I played field hockey for a team that was ranked fourth in the nation.

1989 | Thomas W. Waters I have pursued a master’s degree in sports management and worked at the University of Miami in football, basketball, and baseball game operations and travel.

1993 | Glenn J. Dav is I played Division III Lacrosse at a Top 20 program and have started a club men’s team in the town I live in now and help coach the high school lacrosse team. I am also very active in skiing, mountain biking, and running.

I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse at George School. George School has so many amazing and caring coaches. Did you learn something particularly valuable through your experience in a team sport at George School? I learned that it’s not always about winning; it’s important to have fun when you’re on the court or field. The teams I was on may not always have been the best in our league, but when we worked together and had fun at the games, it was always enjoyable to play. W hat skills did you learn from playing sports at George School that have helped you in non-athletic settings? I gained patience and developed skills in working with others through my experiences as a member of the George School sports teams. W hat is your favorite George School memory? The special bond that develops within each team throughout their season. Whether the team dresses up on game days to psych each other up for the game, or plans pasta parties the night before a game, being on a George School team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The experience has helped shape who I am and made my high school experience that much better.


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1993 | Heather L. Dillon College soccer: both varsity and junior varsity. Managed men’s basketball (Division III) and football (Division I).

1993 | Rebecca T.S. Stanton Morris I played softball on my Division III college team and have played various sports on local recreational leagues since then.

2000 | Jennifer Stone Played Division I field hockey and lacrosse in college. Am currently the assistant field hockey coach (Division I) at Lafayette College, my alma mater.

2002 | Bet t y Rogers Playing for Griff [Tom Griffith] for three years and being his captain my senior year taught me how to focus my leadership skills in interfacing between my peers and adult authority figures . . . not only on the soccer field. As a three-year captain in college for a Division I program, these lessons learned were vital to my career and to my growth as a person.

Lessons Learned from Coaches 1948 | Ann Ridge Adams Thwingie [Grace Thwing]—the importance of sport team training which she espoused in a meeting for worship. And the importance of participation in sports by EVERY student. I agree with her to this day.

1949 | Law rence But tenw ieser John Talbot—who urged me never to change a winning game.

1951 | William Loucks Mr. Stan Sutton is surely remembered by all who knew him. His upright military stature, his no-nonsense but humorous demeanor, and his tremendous mentoring ability left a positive mark on every student he touched.

1955 | Dav id C. Humphrey For me, sports were just pure joy. I loved playing soccer and basketball, looked forward every day to the end of classes and three hours on the playing fields. While I was changing into gym clothes I couldn’t wait to get on the basketball court and start shooting around, and I loved the bus trips to play various schools. Coaches like John Talbot,

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Bill Craighead, and Jim Sailor played crucial roles in making it a great experience.

1956 | Jean D. Hand Triol Eleanor “Pete” Hess—I was not one of her better players, but she treated everyone with respect as if we were the best.

1965 | Dav id R. Sat terthwaite Ed Ayers infected me with the joy of running. He talked me into running the Boston Marathon with him in 1965. I finished 114 in three hours and nine minutes.

1966 | Loren Cobb I had Mr. Streetz for both track and chess team. We approached these two sports in the same intense way, with a lot of psychology. It worked—we regularly defeated stronger teams. In chess we went undefeated.

1969 | Lucy S. Judson My coaches were Anne LeDuc and Judy Bartella. That I had worth as an athlete even if I “was a girl.” Because of my coachs’ determination to put together a good team, and the fact that they believed I was a valuable part of the team, I was able to carry that belief in myself to just about every arena in my life. “Don’t stop me! Here I come!”

1971 | Dav id F. Gould III I have always appreciated the integrity and helpfulness of Russ Weimar, who I knew as a varsity soccer coach and as one interested in the well being and performance of GS students such as my sons, Lee and Shaun, who wrestled for GS. When my son Shaun was badly injured by fire in his freshman year, Russ called to provide both support and information about recovery. It was very much appreciated in a time that felt very isolated for us as a family.

1971 | Antonio P. Jackson Robert Geissinger—Integrity. He promised my mother that he would not allow me to play in the Penn Jersey League varsity boys’ basketball championship game unless he knew that I had achieved 100 percent recovery from a football injury. I begged coach to put me in the game and with tears in his eyes he said he could not. We won the game without me. I was captain of the team and did not play a single game. The championship game was my last chance to play my senior year.


1971 | Elizabeth S. Taylor

1980 | Annet te James

Anne LeDuc was a great role model—focused, committed, knowledgeable, and she transcended all our occasional teenage problems or excuses. She taught us to “just do it” before Nike was a household word.

I entered George School as a very quiet and shy girl with not a lot of confidence. David Satterthwaite, my cross country coach, and Nancy Cocks [Culleton], my track coach, helped me understand my strengths by showing me respect and care in their coaching styles. David knew that I had not been running my fastest as I had not been challenged in my event. We ran a 400m together—the fastest I had ever gone—to show that I was not utilizing my full potential. Nancy would take me to run with her and be there at the finish line to give me a big hug. I felt so cared for during a time that was crucial.

1973 | Robin D. Kester Pat terson Gerri Wolfe—she taught me self-confidence and the value of working together with others as a teammate. She made playing sports fun, regardless of my limited abilities. Because of her, I became a stronger person and was able to accomplish goals that I set for myself.

1974 | Deb M. Comly Malcom McNaught was our archery coach . . . he was great. I remember shooting a perfect round and having him take me to Goodnoe’s for an Atomic sundae! He was supportive and low key.

1974 | Paul D. Hammer While the notion of Quaker football may seem somewhat of an oxymoron, what I learned from Coach John Gleeson was that camaraderie, cooperation, and teamwork are essential to the success of all human endeavors. Even the few things that we achieve and do all by ourselves are usually the result of learning in a group.

1975 | Alberto Gutierrez My coaches at GS—Mr. Weimar especially—have been role models in all my life. His passion for the sport and his players; his fairness, determination, thoughtfulness, and deep care for his players as human beings are the embodiment of Quakerism.

1978 | Marta Ernst Anne LeDuc, Wendy Talbot, Mrs. Mueller, Connie Lancil, Bonnie Bordas. They all taught me to go beyond the scope of what I thought was my ability. They taught me leadership skills, to be a good example for the team. A good team has excellent leadership and it starts with the school, then the coach, and then the team captains.

1980 | Jim A. Bumgardner The first day of cross country, Dave Satterthwaite told us that 90 percent of running was “between the ears.” I found this to be true of many things, in addition to running, and the phrase stuck with me.

1981 | John W. Zinsser Lin “Pappy” Parker—how to play smart lacrosse and know the game from a historical, theoretical, strategic, and tactical perspective. He always demonstrated a “mature” passion for the game that moved me to try harder and do more to prepare than any “rah-rah” approach ever would have. When I played and coached in college, Pappy’s example was my constant guide. Dave Satterthwaite tried to teach me to take myself less seriously, to relax, and enjoy. He deserved a better student.

1982 | Cynthia (Cindy) Beltz Solt ys Our softball coach John Davison taught us all to strive for excellence, but also to have fun along the way. He really cared about each of us. I was blessed to be on the team.

1983 | Sheaffer Reese My swimming/football coach and advisor was Steve Radanovic. Rad made me play football as a fall sport even though I felt like there was no earthly way I would be an asset to the team. Despite an almost unprecedented lack of athletic talent I made it through the season and even saw some playing time. Rad taught me that there was life outside of the pool and that I could do things that I would have otherwise thought impossible. It’s a lesson that I never forgot.

1984 | Deborah J. Cadwallader Taylor After growing up with an older brother and his friends who always told me that I was the “handicap” for their team, it was surprising to have Debbie DiMicco tell me that I was a natural athlete. I had never had anyone really encourage me athletically. I wasn’t the best person on every team and never made varsity, but it changed my level of confidence to have someone tell me that I was a good athlete.


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1987 | Andes Van Syckle Hruby Nancy Bernardini—she was so active and fit; she showed me what it meant to be fit for life.

1996 | Robert L. Burchman John Gleeson (football)—I learned that even though I was not all that big or fast, I could still make a difference if I was willing to take a beating. Ralph Lelii (golf)—I learned that I didn’t have to start out as a good player to become a good player. He gave me an opportunity to play when I was a junior, so I could start when I was a senior.

1996 | Chinezi M. Chijioke Paul [Machemer]—(1) how to pursue aspirations through discipline, faith, and enthusiasm; (2) that we can have tremendous positive impact in this world by following our passions, as he did in touching and shaping so many lives through a passion for teaching and coaching; and (3) there is always another frontier of excellence to seek and reaching for it can be a great joy. Irv Miller—that the limits I conceived for myself were not real, or put another way, that we are far more often limited by our minds/expectations than by our actual capacity. Vince Campellone—the importance of having fun even when working hard!

1997 | Scot t Justice

2003 | Meg A. Peake I learned endless amounts from Nancy Bernardini about field hockey, life, cooperation, strategy, and fitness.

2004 | Edw in Martinez Ultimately, just physical strength or the best game plan doesn’t win games. It comes down to your drive and passion which often are the difference maker. You never give up, even if you have no chance of winning. Play for your pride. Not word for word, but a message I recall from coach Gleeson.

2005 | Tara V. Dansky Cheri [Mellor]—well she was not only my coach, but also my advisor. She basically looked out for me my entire time spent at George School. As a coach she was firm by making sure we did not slack off, but had fun as a team. When I hurt my back senior year Cheri made sure I still helped out with the team by going to the games even though I could not play. I felt that was important.

2005 | Cressa Perloff

Gles [John Gleeson] and [Scott] Spence taught me the harder you work the bigger the feeling of accomplishment.

Dave Satterthwaite and Sean Casey—both taught us how to run. It was not just about winning—it was about doing your personal best. They encouraged us to all support each other.

1997 | Ingrid M. Resch

2006 | Annessa Graebener

Nancy Bernardini—I picked up many, many life lessons from Nancy, but the overarching theme I gathered was that participating in sports is, and should be, both a discipline and a pleasure, and that when you embrace both aspects you will inevitably grow as a person.

Kathy Coyle was my varsity softball coach; she helped me to realize that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to . . . kind of cheesy, but somewhere in between running sprints I realized that I could do anything if I just worked hard at it. Because she had confidence that I could perform better, I was able to realize it for myself.

2003 | Palmer Dalgliesh Paul Machemer taught me discipline as an athlete and effectively how to be a soccer player. After just one year of learning how to think, I was able to move to a higher level of play and develop personally as a player.

2003 | Ross A. Hollister Kevin Moon taught me how to tackle hills in cross country. He read us all an article about how it helps to “make friends” with the hill you face. Instead of seeing it antagonistically, you stay positive and

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enjoy the climb. It’s worked for me in running and cycling.

2007 | Lauren C. Hill Barbie Gale—taking the lifeguard course with her was challenging, rewarding, and at times, a lot of fun. Not only was she incredibly knowledgeable in her field, she also gave me second chances when I needed them most and always encouraged me to believe in myself. Responses might be edited due to space limitations and Georgian style guidelines.


Dick Packer ’52 , who now runs the Packer Soccer Camp in Rowayton, Connecticut, was selected to be one of the torch bearers for the 1996 Olympics.

Olympic Spirit at George School by susan quinn It’s not surprising to find George School athletes have been part of the Olympic Games throughout the years, given our commitment to athletics and international diversity. One of the first remarkable athletes at George School was Eugene Leroy Mercer ’09. As a junior at George School, Eugene was selected as an alternate for the 1908 Olympic team in Track and Field. He was selected a full-fledged Olympian in 1912, part of the same Track and Field team as the legendary Jim Thorpe. The 1912 Olympics represented a major step into modern times for organized sports. Electric timing equipment was used for the first time, as was a publicaddress system. Richard “Dick” Packer ’52 was a member of the George School varsity soccer team and also was a member of the varsity baseball, basketball, and

swimming teams. Dick went on to Penn State University on an athletic scholarship and was chosen to play on the 1956 U.S. Olympic soccer team in Melbourne, Australia, the only college player on the team. Tom Woodman ’73 was selected for the 1980 Olympic team in rowing, but did not have the opportunity to compete. The United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, a decision that was made by President Jimmy Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Only eighty nations made the journey to Moscow. Tom also was a member of the U.S. Rowing Team, which captured gold at the Pan American Games and finished fifth at the World Championships. Gwynneth Hardesty ’83 ran for the United States in the women’s 10,000 meter race in the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona. Four years later she was an alternate for the women’s marathon for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Gwynneth was at George School for two years and after her sophomore year she left for another boarding school although her brother, Steve Hardesty, graduated from George School in 1980. During the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Zhiqi (Ice) Gu ’08 worked as a translator at the Laoshan Velodrome which held track cycling, mountain bike, and BMX competitions. Her training began twenty days before the games and she helped more than 2,000 visitors through security lines each day. Bettina Stephenson ’02 was in Beijing with the Olympic News Service. In addition the father of Mo Zhang ’02, filmmaker Zhang Yimou, was the director for the opening ceremonies. No less important to George School’s Olympic history is J. Peirce Behrendt ’54 who has worked work with the Special Olympics since 1994. His softball team came home with the gold medal in their division for the 2008 Special Olympics Connecticut Softball Tournament. Editor’s Note: You can read more about Peirce’s experiences as well as Zhiqi’s in our “Alumni Tell Us” section, beginning on page 24.


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Danielle Picard-Sheehan

Class of 2009 students who signed the plaque mounted on the roof truss for the new learning commons and Mollie Dodd Anderson Library, stand in front of the truss as it is raised in place. The plaque will be displayed when they return for their 50th reunion.

New Learning Commons to Support Research, Collaboration, and Study by Juliana Rosati When the construction that began this past summer is complete, George School’s new, green learning commons and Mollie Dodd Anderson Library will provide a community learning environment with a capacity for three times the number of library users that are accommodated in the current library. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2009, this state-of-the-art academic resource will allow key outcomes of George School’s recent five-year curriculum review to be fully realized. With the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and the Religion Department housed in five classrooms and two offices on the second floor, the building will reflect the newly expanded and better-integrated role that IB and religion courses play in the revised curriculum. Head of School Nancy Starmer states, “The changes in our IB and religion offerings emerged from intensive discussion and reflection among the faculty about what it means to be a Friends school.” One of only four U.S. boarding schools to offer the rigorous IB Diploma Program—and one of the

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first in the United States to implement it—George School now offers students who do not enroll in the full, two-year Diploma Program the option of pursuing subject-specific IB certificates or taking individual IB classes in over twenty different areas of study. Nancy says, “We decided to expand the IB Program, which has an international, serviceoriented perspective that corresponds particularly well to our Friends values. Now students who do not elect to take the full IB Diploma Program can benefit from this extraordinary and challenging curriculum.” Also as a result of the curriculum review, George School introduced four new religion courses this fall: Essentials of a Friends Community (required for freshmen and new sophomores), Faith Traditions (required for freshmen), Spiritual Practices (required for returning sophomores), and Holistic Health (required for all sophomores). Nancy explains, “We decided to augment our religion curriculum so that all students would learn about the core values of a Friends educational community and study world religions early in their George School careers.” When the religion classes


learning commons takes shape Construction of the

marlin stroh

marlin stroh

new learning commons and library continues toward completion scheduled for fall 2009. The building is designed to earn gold LEED certification.

currently held in Spruance-Alden Science Center move to the new learning commons, more space will become available for the additional science classes that resulted from the curriculum review. The new learning commons will offer attractive spaces for both collaborative and individual work. Dean of Faculty and Director of Studies Scott Spence reports, “The curriculum review included the importance of strengthening the collaborative aspects of learning at George School. It also produced ideas about how better to understand and strengthen each individual student’s preferred study habits.” Group study rooms on both floors offer private spaces for small groups of students and faculty to work together on group assignments. The large reading room on the first floor, furnished with wireless and hardwired workstations, is designed to accommodate both collaborative and individual study. Also on the first floor, the commons room and outdoor terrace serve as informal settings for group or individual work. In addition, the first floor includes a flexible, multipurpose conference room. On the second floor, the reading and study area is designated as an absolutely quiet space for individual study. The nearby learning center will offer students the opportunity to meet with a learning specialist, or to consult reference works about strategies for improving skills such as time management and writing. Due to the capacity of the build-

ing and the variety of spaces, the school will be able to develop a new model for evening study halls. When students enter the new building, they will encounter the information center—a welcoming place that allows librarians to be highly visible and accessible. This feature reflects the expanded role that librarians have assumed in the twenty-first century. Library Director Linda Heinemann says, “More than ever before, today’s librarians serve as advisors who collaborate closely with students and faculty to help them identify and access the best sources of information for any class assignment. In the process, we teach research habits that promote independent work.” You can see live video of the learning commons and library construction on George School’s website ( in the “Support GS” section.

Several named gift opportunities are still available, including the following: Commons Room $500,000 Here students can engage in academic collaboration and discussion, meet teachers, have informal conversations, relax with reading materials and a beverage, or check email during a free period. In the evening, the room may be used for activities such as book discussion groups, student club meetings, or presentations by featured speakers. Library Director Office $150,000 Visible and accessible to library users, this office facilitates interaction between the library director and students. It can also be used for the library director’s consultations with library staff and groups of faculty. Classrooms $100,000 each Students and faculty who use the five large classroom spaces will have easy access to the multiple resources of the library. In addition, the presence of classes in the new building will contribute to the community learning environment. Please contact Director of Development Joanna Storrar at 215-579-6569 or with questions or to make a gift.


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George School Launches New Website by Susan quinn This past fall, George School launched a new website——designed to be the communications hub for the extended George School community. The website’s design, rich with videos and photographs, received immediate accolades. Also welcomed was the easy-to-use navigation structure. “I love how the design gives you the feeling of George School at first glance,” says Kajsa Nelson ’10. ”It makes me feel like I am sitting on South Lawn talking with one of my favorite teachers.” Visits to the website are up 35 percent over last year. “We’re certain that the new website design is the reason for the increase,” says Jenna Davis, interim director of admission. “Students and families tell us the site is a great blend of playful and informative. We’ve received wonderful feedback about the online videos and Our Week in Pictures. Applicant families seem to really appreciate the online application process and our easy Steps to Applying section.” Here are some of the key features of the new website:

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Interactive Flash “Explore George School” Roll your mouse over the large collage on the home page (figure 1) and watch new images enter the space and the new photos rotate through the circular windows. When you find a place you would like to explore such as academics or art, click on the word “more” and launch a series of videos to learn more about George School (figure 2). Our Week in Pictures Located in the bottom right corner of the home page (figure 1) is Our Week in Pictures, a slideshow that features photographs submitted by community members. When you click on it, you see a series of photos (figure 3) that begin to tell the story of each week at George School, highlighting the diversity of activities on campus. Gateway Pages The gateway pages (figure 4) collect diverse information from across the website into single, quickaccess pages for key audiences including current students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, and






friends and neighbors. Some links will take you to more detailed information while others take you to secure parts of our website via a login screen. Online Curriculum Guide Within the Academics section, the course listing and search tool replace our previous curriculum guide that was printed annually, saving printing costs and reducing paper use as part of our sustainability efforts. Students, teachers, and prospective families can sort through our course offerings from many diverse perspectives, quickly imagining their academic schedule at George School and finding answers to such questions as what IB math courses are available for seniors, and what ESL science options are for sophomores. Sliding Photobars and Tailored Calendars George School’s visually rich website includes more than fifty scrolling photobars that slide from left to right when you move your mouse over them, showcasing approximately fifteen photos per page. In addition, individual calendars and news tickers highlight upcoming events by section with a quick link to the all-school calendar (figure 5). Art Galleries

in a virtual Main Lobby. Each thumbnail image opens a unique slideshow similar to Our Week in Pictures. As the gallery expands, it will include connections to video files of productions, performances, and videography work. Athletic Team Pages Athletic team pages show game schedules, scores and results, game highlights, and press coverage. Parents and fans can subscribe to receive an email or RSS feed any time the schedule or results change. Watch for photo galleries for individual teams. The success of George School’s new website is the result of a twenty-four month process that brought together members of our community—alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and prospective families—to attend town meetings and intake sessions, complete online surveys, and participate in focus group discussions. Their collective wisdom was invaluable to the design process. Our new website will continue to grow in content and features over the coming months and years. Take a moment to visit the site, let us know what you think, and share any ideas you have to make it better. Email your thoughts to

The new art gallery feature provides a digital space to showcase student, faculty, and alumni artwork


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Campus News & Notes by Juliana Rosati and Susan Quinn National Merit Semifinalist

susan quinn

Josh McGowan ’09, Commended Students Lucas Bogner ’09, Conor Hoff ’09, John Keenan ’09, Max Mosley ’09, Mandi Nadeau ’09, and Chenab Navalkha ’09, and National Achievement honoree Morgan Humphrey ’09 celebrate their success.

Students Honored in National Merit Scholarship Program Seniors Joshua McGowan and Kevin Miller were named Semifinalists in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are among approximately 16,000 high school seniors who will have the opportunity to proceed in the competition for about 8,200 Merit Scholarship awards to be given this spring. In addition, seniors Lucas Bogner, Conor Hoff, John Keenan, Maxwell Mosley, Amanda Nadeau, and Chenab Navalkha were named Commended Students in the competition.

Student Honored in National Achievement Scholarship Program Senior Morgan Humphrey is among approximately 3,100 Outstanding Participants in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, a competition that honors outstanding Black American high school students. Outstanding Participants are referred to United States colleges and universities in recognition of their potential for academic success in college.

Students Honored in National Hispanic Recognition Program Senior Zachary Martinez was named a Scholar in the 2008-09 National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP), and seniors Anaka Allen and David Balme received Honorable Mentions in the

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program. NHRP honored approximately 5,000 students this year, and their names will be distributed to subscribing colleges and universities.

GS Introduces Sticky Bun Society Sticky buns have been an important part of George School’s history. Served on Sunday mornings, sticky buns motivated sleepy students to attend an early breakfast. In 1976, Sunday breakfast was replaced with brunch following meeting for worship. Nevertheless, sticky buns are still enjoyed in the dining room. To recognize Annual Fund donors for “sticking” to consistent giving, George School has launched the Sticky Bun Society. Members are individuals who have made gifts to the Annual Fund for the past ten consecutive years or more, or every year since graduation. For more information, please contact

Students Bring Rumors to George School’s Stage as Part of a Season of Comedy George School’s Theater Performance and Stagecraft classes presented Neil Simon’s Rumors—a farcical play about an ill-fated dinner party—on November 7 and 8, 2008, in Walton Center Auditorium. The play takes place at the home of the deputy mayor of New York City and his wife, who have invited four couples to a celebration of their tenth wedding anniversary. Chris Gorman and her husband, Ken—the first guests to arrive—

campus news & notes

Holly Houston p ’12

Rumors cast members Liz Reynolds ’11, Jeremy PerezSchrager ’11, Matthew Forrest ’10, Emma Bardes ’10, Mandi Nadeau ’09, Dylan Eschbaugh ’11, Lydia Spence ’10, Brendan Smith ’10, Miranda Tarlini ’09 and Ryan Trombley ’09 traveled to New York to see Boeing Boeing as part of an intensive study of physical comedy (below).

kajsa nelson ’10

Girls Varsity Soccer won the Friends Schools League Championship with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Germantown Friends School (right).

find the hostess absent and the host suffering upstairs with a flesh wound from a bullet. Rumors is the opening production of a season of comedy in which students will explore how comedic acting differs from dramatic acting. What subjects or situations do we think of as funny or humorous? Why do we laugh? If you enjoy the hilarity of a great comedy, mark your calendars to join us on February 20 and 21 for The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt and on May 15 and 16 for the restoration comedy She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith. Editor’s Note: The Fantasticks was last performed at George School by the Class of 1984, celebrating their 25th reunion this year.

Girls’ Soccer Wins FSL Title George School’s girls’ varsity soccer team won the Friends Schools League Championship on October 31, 2008, with a 2-1 victory over topseeded Germantown Friends School (GFS). George School controlled the pace of the play throughout the game, holding GFS scoreless until the final two minutes. This marks the fifth time that George School has won the championship in the last eight years. “The passing and team play were incredible to watch,” said Girls’ Athletic Director Nancy Bernardini. “Led by captains Emily and Liz Stevens ’09, and coached by Tom Griffith and Betty Rogers ’02, this team can be very proud of their accomplishments this season, with its record of 13 wins and 5 losses. What a fantastic season! Way to make us proud!”

George School’s Sustainable Food Efforts Several initiatives that are part of George School’s campus-wide commitment to environmental sustainability were shared with the community at an all-school assembly on September 15, 2008. Food Service Director Joe Ducati of CulinArt Inc. described George School’s ongoing efforts to serve local, organic food in its dining room. Joe established a farm-to-school program that brings produce from Snipes Farm in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, to George School’s dining room, and expanded an on-campus garden (at George School) so that it can provide organic vegetables for school meals. Joe encouraged students not to waste food or disposable products, and to take advantage of the new healthy beverages that are available in the dining room. He also described the on-campus composting program that transforms dining room and kitchen food waste into fertilizer. Also at the assembly, Jonathan Snipes ’78 spoke about Snipes Farm’s mission of modeling and teaching sustainable farming. Melanie Snipes noted that it is important to move away from fossil fuels because they are not sustainable. Susan SnipesWells (parent ’07, ’11) and Jonathan described the growing season on the farm, illustrating their presentation with a slide show. Editor’s Note: The Bucks County Courier Times highlighted George School’s composting program in an article on September 16, 2008.


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SUBMIT A CLASS NOTE 1. Fill out the form at: 2. Or send it by email to: 3. Or mail to: Georgian, PO Box 4438, Newtown PA 18940-0908

UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION 1. Modify your profile on the alumni website. 2. Or contact the Advancement Office: • By phone at 215.579.6564 • By email at • By mail at PO Box 4438, Newtown PA, 18940-0908

FOR MORE RAPID DISSEMINATION OF YOUR NEWS 1. Visit and log in. 2. Select “My Profile” in the brick red box under the photograph. 3. Scroll down to “More Information” and click on “Edit.”

4. When you have finished adding your profile, click on “Save Changes.” 5. I f you have set “My Preferences” to “Email me when someone in my primary group updates their profile” you will be notified as news from your classmates is posted.

CONTACT OTHER ALUMNI For contact information for alumni: 1. Visit the alumni website at: 2. O  r contact the Advancement Office: • By phone at 215.579.6564 • By email at • By mail at PO Box 4438, Newtown PA, 18940-0908

VISIT THE alumni website See class homepages, update personal profiles, contact friends, check the event calendar, see photos, and more at

PHOTOs: It’s a touchdown for GS (Back Cover) Dave Foppert ’09 breaks a tackle and scores

a touchdown against Academy of the New Church during the 2008 season’s last game. (Photo: Connie Gleeson) Riding Equipment (Inside Back Cover) Students carefully clean and store their saddles, boots, and riding gear at the end of their workouts. (Photo: Bruce Weller)

GEORGIAN d e c e mbe r 0 8 | Vo l . 8 0 | no. 0 3

GEORGIAN EDITOR Susan Quinn 215.579.6567


Holly Raudonis

Kim Colando ’83

Juliana Rosati

Debbie Chong

David Satterthwaite ’65

Carolyn Di Pietro-Arias Odie LeFever

Note: If you have received multiple copies of this issue at your address, please contact us with updated address information at or at 215.579.6564.

© 2008 George School Georgian designed by Rutka Weadock Design

Printed using soy-based ink on recycled paper with 30% post-consumer waste, manufactured using Bio Gas and Green-e certified renewable wind-generated electricity.

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


Georgian, December 2008  

The Georgian is the official publication of George School.

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