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Vol. 84

No. 01

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

Inside march 2012


pe r s pe ctive s

fi e ld o f d r eam s




Learning from Competition

New Cougar Track and Cougar Field

Wisdom Lives in This Place

May 11, 12, and 13, 2012 Everyone Welcome

m e eti n g h o u s e tu r n s 200

alu m n i we e ke n d


Table of Contents

Vol. 84 | No. 01 | march 2012

PHOTOs: Inside Front Cover: George School celebrates the first coin toss on the new Cougar Field at the start of the varsity boys’ football game against St. Andrews on October 15, 2011. (Photo by Jim Inverso) Front Cover: The balance of competition and collaboration is an important element of a George School education, both in the classroom and on the field. Here Martina Russo ’13, Laety Walendom ’11, and Arya Mazanek ’11 collaborate on an assignment. (Photo by Bruce Weller)

01  perspectives

12 features

23 Campus news & notes

12 Field of Dreams: New Cougar Track and Cougar Field

24 alumni tell us

Learning from Competition 02 Competing and Collaborating for Success

14 Honor Thy Coaches 06 Competition on the Soccer Field 16 Seeking the Source 08 Life After George School: Competition for College Admission

18 Wisdom Lives in This Place

10 eQuiz Highlights

20 Alumni Weekend 2012 22 Planning for Financial Sustainability

48 In memoriam


Head of School Nancy Starmer posed with

Ji m Inverso

George School cheerleaders Kristean Hellmuth ’15, Faith Karaffa ’14, Rachel Brimmer ’14, Amanda Frischmann ’15, and Taylor Potye ’14 after her celebratory remarks about the new Cougar Track and Cougar Field on Visiting Day.

Perspectives edited by Dina McCaffery

Learning from Competition A quick perusal of the Merriam-Webster dictionary reveals that while the definition of the word “compete” is “to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective (as position, profit, or a prize); be in a state of rivalry,” its Latin origin, competere, means “to come together, agree, be suitable.” This etymological link between the concepts of competition and collaboration shows in microcosm the heart of a larger dialogue going on today—in Quaker schools, in other schools and colleges, in American society, and in the world at large. This leads us to ask ourselves some underlying questions: What are the benefits of competition? How do competition and collaboration work together? What does it mean to be—and what does it take to be—“competitive?” This issue’s Perspectives focuses on competition in its many forms: in academics, athletics, the arts, and other extracurricular activities at George School, as well as in the educational, professional, and personal lives of alumni.

John Tauer Ph.D., wrote in a 2009 article in Psychology Today that “competition is pervasive in our culture, and can be a double-edged sword.” The appeal of team sports, he notes, is that they provide individuals the opportunity to compete and cooperate at the same time. In the pages of this Perspectives section, I think you will see that competition and collaboration have played, and continue to play, significant roles in the lives of alumni, faculty, and students at George School and beyond. In the words of one of our alumni, “If you compete just for the thrill of winning, you’re doing it wrong. [You should compete] to challenge yourself and to experience the joy and thrill of teamwork.”

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Competing and Collaborating for Success By Karen Doss Bowman As a student at George School, David Miller ’67, wanted to wrestle. Though he admits he was a “terrible” wrestler, then-coach Russell Weimar gave everyone a fair chance to compete by holding “wrestle-offs” the day before each match to determine who would appear on the next day’s roster. With determination and preparation, he had the same opportunity as any other boy to earn a spot on the team. “You learned very quickly that if you were not mentally alert and physically fit, you weren’t going to make the cut,” says David, operations manager at Southeast Frozen Foods, one of the largest regional food distribution companies in the nation. “It’s the same with business. If you have not prepared, your chances of failure far and away will exceed your chances of success.” Like David, many George School alumni have learned the benefits of competition through sports. Preparing for athletic contests has instilled in many the desire to pursue excellence and to perform at the highest level. In the process of continually striving to improve, many have discovered more about themselves—their strengths and weaknesses—and gain confidence to take risks. “My coaches and teachers created an environment of understanding that was still goal-oriented across the line,” David says. “The rest was up to you, to take that into anything you did. I was willing to pay the price to do it. That gave me the discipline, regimentation, and structure to understand and tolerate the politics or nuances to survive the business world.” Being competitive requires preparation, practice, drive, and motivation. For William “Bill” Nelson ’52, striving for excellence served as the best means to rise above the poverty that defined his childhood.

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Bill studied hard at George School, becoming an outstanding student-athlete. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a Ph.D. from Rice University, Bill became an economics professor at Washington University and later a business executive who served at the helm of numerous leading companies, including Pilot Software, Geac Computer Corporation, Ltd., Pansophic Systems, Inc., and On-Line Software. He was the founding investor and is on the board of directors of Carbonite Inc. “I was handed a bad hand, if you will, so life wasn’t going to be very good for me if I didn’t do something about it in a competitive world,” Bill says. “So I began to do the things that help you win and that I thought would get me ahead. I trained myself to compete and to compete fairly.”

Collaboration and Competition Competition isn’t always an individual endeavor. For Tod Rustein ’79, learning to achieve his best while cooperating with teammates was a lesson in how collaboration and competition intersect to bring about positive results. Thus, the playing field became an extension of the classroom at George School. “The balance of competition and collaboration is a natural element in any decent educational experience,” says Tod, a history teacher at Friends School of Baltimore. “In the same way that you cannot understand light without darkness, good without bad, happiness without misery, I don’t think you can really understand collaboration without competition. They are, in a sense, two aspects of a united whole. When a group of individuals collaborates, a natural clashing of ideas is likely to occur. And if these different views are considered with an aim for achieving unity of thought, a


George School Alumni: David Miller ’67, William “Bill” Nelson ’52, and Tod Rustein ’79

“It’s important to treat competition within an accepted framework of ethical behavior … and George School does a good job of stressing the importance of winning in an ethical context.”

constructive plan for moving forward can be achieved. If the freedom to express differing views is suppressed, I contend that less creative outcomes are achieved.” Competition and collaboration are necessary in the fine arts, says Amanda Perez ’83, who has worked as a stage manager in Broadway and offBroadway productions around the country, sometimes alongside icons such as Arthur Miller, John Guere, Peter Falk, Anne Bancroft, and Robert Wilson. The theater field is competitive in the sense that there are few jobs available (and those positions are subject to a director’s personal taste and vision). However, dynamic collaboration results from working closely with other performers and behind-the-scenes talent to put together a production the audience will love. “Collaboration is a big part of theater and the arts,” says Amanda, who played field hockey and lacrosse at George School and was on the swimming and diving team. “Though the field itself is competitive, the most rewarding aspect of theater is the collaborative factor. There is no play with just one actor. You have many actors, set designers, stage managers—everyone working toward a single goal or vision for the production.”

Keeping Competition in Check While competition “encourages excellence and innovation,” says Lee Price ’61, people sometimes may be tempted to go too far to get the win. Left unchecked, competition may breed unethical behavior. “I think from an ethical point of view, the danger in competition is that sometimes competition can be destructive,” says Lee, a retired investment manager. “That can happen in business situations, where firms or companies break the rules—such as accounting rules—or do things that may be illegal. That has historically been a problem in the investment business, particularly when managers tend to overstate past performance.” For that reason, Lee collaborated from 1990 to 2000 with other members of the CFA Institute, a global, nonprofit organization for investment professionals, to develop ethical standards for portfolio managers. Because clients hire investment managers who provide the best returns, the standardized guidelines—which are known globally as the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS)—level the playing field by ensuring that investment returns are calculated and reported within a uniform framework.

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George School Alumni: Amanda Perez ’83, Lee Price ’61, and Melissa “Lissa” Merritt ’90

“T here is no getting around that the world today is a very competitive place, and we must give our children the tools and experience to handle it, compete, and hopefully succeed.”

“Competition does encourage growth and innovation, but sometimes you have to accept that you’re not going to win every time,” Lee says. “It’s important to treat competition within an accepted framework of ethical behavior … and George School does a good job of stressing the importance of winning in an ethical context.” Though competition has benefits, Melissa “Lissa” Merritt ’90, is grateful that George School provided an academic environment that, in her view, was mostly non-competitive. While not everyone has the same level of competitive spirit, she believes too much competition can have the negative effect of causing self-doubt, and the George School atmosphere nurtured confidence in her intellectual capabilities. These days, she draws from that educational foundation as she works in the extremely competitive academic field of philosophy. “I think the real danger of competition is that it accustoms people to comparing themselves to others,” says Lissa, a lecturer in the School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales. “This is dangerous, both psychologically and morally. Too much competition makes a

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person lose touch with internal, self-driven forms of motivation—and without this, a person loses any real sense of oneself.” “The most important things to learn about competition have to do with not taking it too seriously,” adds Lissa, noting that she does not need competition as motivation to do her best work. “It is a very hard lesson to learn—and I don’t claim to have learned it yet—not to draw any kind of lessons about your worth as a person from how you fare in competition.” Even so, Amanda Perez adds, competition will always be a part of life, and it offers an opportunity for everyone to improve their performance in sports, career, or personal life. She believes it’s important to teach children how to cope with competition and to learn to embrace it. “I believe competition is a natural and important drive within all of us,” Amanda says. “There is no getting around that the world today is a very competitive place, and we must give our children the tools and experience to handle it, compete, and hopefully succeed.”


Alumni Profile: Cori Stott ’98

Alumni Profile: Kelsey Yonce ’09

How does competition play a role in your career? I am an education consultant at a regional education lab in Denver, called McREL. I provide highquality, scientifically valid research and technical assistance to schools, school districts, and state departments of education. Education is a hot-button issue right now and everyone is clamoring to have their ideas at the top of the pile.

Has competition been part of your education since George School? I am a student at American University, majoring in film and media arts and minoring in marketing. Though internships are not required at AU, most students incorporate them into their program, and I have managed to do some interesting internships—at America’s Most Wanted, Sanofiaventis, and Juicy Couture. But in this economy, trying to get internships is difficult because fewer businesses are able to take in students. I’m actually applying for a spot now that my roommate is applying for, too.

Was competition part of your education after George School? I earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Wellesley and a master’s in education policy at Harvard and am currently finishing an MBA at the University of Colorado. At Wellesley and Harvard, everyone was a high achiever, suddenly in a pond of other high achievers. I saw my peers struggle under the weight of constant measurement and scrutiny, but George School had prepared me well. I was challenged by my peers as much, if not more at GS, but those challenges were usually friendlier. This taught me to compete appropriately, measure myself realistically, and derive my self-esteem internally. I sidestepped the crises others experienced because I had been well trained in graceful competition, both winning and losing. How did competitive experiences at George School influence you? International Baccalaureate (IB) was amazing preparation for the competition I encountered. IB was tough, and we all competed for the best grades, the most insightful papers, and the coolest art projects. But learning that you couldn’t be the best every time, that you were still smart even when you failed, and that there is more to you than a grade was priceless.

How did competitive experiences at George School influence you? Even though I didn’t think of it that way at the time, having your dance chosen for Dance Eclectic’s student choreography was competitive. The dance had to be unique to win a spot. Likewise, competition existed when it came to the IB program and sports, but it never involved hurting or knocking down other students. Because of the Friends values that were instilled in all of us, George School didn’t make me feel like I was competing against others. Instead it taught me to grow as a person, maintain a positive attitude, and find things that could distinguish me from others. Being different and being proud of it are what will make you successful. No matter what you apply for—prefect, college, or a job—you have to be able to demonstrate what’s unique about you. Editor’s Note: This photo shows Kelsey Yonce ’09 and Sarah Pollock ’09 performing an expressive composition during Dance Eclectic April 2009.

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“A lesson I learned from George School sports was that if we focused on being our best, the competitive results would take care of themselves.”


Competition on the Soccer Field By Karen Doss Bowman Chinezi Chijioke ’96 learned lessons about competition on George School’s playing fields. A former wrestler, baseball, and soccer player, Chinezi recalls his coaches emphasizing preparation and the pursuit of excellence in athletic competitions. “Our opponents, in some sense, were often less of the focus than the quality of our own performance,” says Chinezi, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s degree in business administration as well as a master’s degree in education from Stanford University. “The focus at George School was on being prepared, on never giving up, and on defining success as much in how you played as whether you won. I can remember running laps after a lackadaisical win, and getting congratulations after hard fought losses. Often it was the striving that counted, and looking back it was the striving that I remember with greatest pride.”

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Chinezi credits his many good coaches—and particularly soccer coach Paul Machemer ’65—with encouraging him and his teammates to push beyond their perceived limitations with drive and persistence. Though the soccer teams on which he played while at George School didn’t win every game, Chinezi says, the team’s “unrelenting preparation and effort” was rewarded with bids to post-season playoffs and four league championships. “A lesson I learned from George School sports was that if we focused on being our best, the competitive results would take care of themselves,” says Chinezi. “Of course it was nice to win—I hated losing when it happened—but in retrospect the rewards had less to do with winning than with the fulfillment we felt from our efforts and performance. That lesson has been incredibly valuable.” Chinezi, who played varsity soccer at Harvard, where he won Harvard’s John P. Reardon Award as a top scholar-athlete of his graduating class, believes that competition—as can be experienced through sports—has many benefits that carry over into one’s personal and professional life. Through athletic competition, Chinezi believes people learn to pursue a passion with discipline, to work cooperatively with teammates, and to remain calm and focused in high-pressure situations. Most of all, Chinezi says, participation in sports teaches a person much about themselves. “You learn that the limits you imagined for yourself were fictions,” Chinezi says. “You gain a sense of possibility, faith, and self-belief. You can learn the maturity that when things go wrong, you have to pick yourself up quickly and have a short memory, and that failure only really happens when you stop striving.” One of the risks of competition, Chinezi believes, is becoming too concerned with one’s


Alumni Profile: Inna Alecksandrovich ’07

Does competition play a significant role in your career? Finance is a highly competitive industry. Not only do you have to compete with extremely high-caliber individuals for jobs, but the work environment itself is fast-paced, ambitious, and high-achieving.

Harry Sirc ely, C our ier Ti m es

performance in comparison with others, as well as placing too much emphasis on outcome. Oftentimes, he adds, people overlook the crucial role that the process of competition plays in building character. At George School, Chinezi recalls Paul setting high standards for his players, emphasizing expectations for good sportsmanship, playing hard, and achieving goals. Chinezi says his experience at George School stands in stark contrast to some of the other teams and clubs with which he has played, where teams measured themselves only by wins and losses or simply lacked a collective commitment to excellence. He describes those experiences as “less enjoyable and far less rewarding.” Learning to strive for excellence and one’s personal best is a philosophy that serves Chinezi well these days in his career as an associate principal in Johannesburg South Africa for McKinsey & Co., Inc., a global management consulting firm. Chinezi’s clients consist largely of African and European school systems, for which he develops and helps implement improvement strategies. “Winning means very little in this context, but excellence means everything. My striving is about, ‘How can I best serve my clients in their own efforts to educate the learners who depend on their schools to prepare them for life?’”

Chinezi Chijioke ’96 raises his fists in triumph after he scores the game’s lone goal in overtime to give George School the Friends Schools League championship.

“While this is not an arena where ‘winning’ is particularly meaningful, the outcomes of our efforts are deeply meaningful and demand our unflagging best. The lessons from George School remain deeply relevant,” says Chinezi. “I have kept the faith that I learned on George School’s fields and wrestling mats—if I strive for excellence and do so with rigor, good results will come. “In that respect, George School athletics provided a foundation from which I continue to draw strength today.”

Does collaboration come into play as an investment banker? My job is entirely focused on teamwork. As an investment banker, my work can be completed only through successful collaboration with everyone on my deal team. The better we work with each other, the better our final product, and hence the better we compete with other firms. How did your George School education help? GS taught me to maintain perspective in the face of high competition. The school’s focus on forming real bonds with others and helping others without an expectation for repayment is without question helping me in a career in finance. GS helped shape the nature of my competitiveness, such that it is based on a core of integrity, collaboration, and compassion.

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Life after George School: Competition for College Admission By Nancy Culleton Director of College Guidance If you’re a George School graduate, you came into the school through a selective admissions process. More than likely, there was competition for the spot you were offered. Did you ever wonder about that competition? Perhaps at least one applicant that George School rejected the year you were admitted had higher middle school grades or SSAT scores than you did. But we wanted you, and you came. Then, before you knew it, college application time arrived. Each year, hundreds of thousands of high-achieving seniors compete for acceptances to Elite University X (a fictional name, of course) and the handful of other institutions that turn down ten applicants for each one they admit. The bar will be high in terms of course selection, grades, and test scores, and while earning these credentials is necessary, it is rarely sufficient. When determining how to shape its incoming class, Elite University X considers myriad factors in addition to grades and standardized test scores. Some of these have to do with educational philosophy or social consciousness, others with practical concerns and institutional priorities. Some decisions are subjective and inscrutable to anyone outside the admissions office. The acceptance letter to Elite University X is a moving target, and the whole reason for taking aim can easily get lost in the stress of competition. I remember what I learned my first year of college, in Psychology 101. My classmates and I tracked the responses of lab rats to various patterns of reinforcement with food pellets. The rats’ distress level spiked when we awarded the pellets randomly. In other words, when they couldn’t count on receiving food in response to a specific behavior, their attempts to obtain it grew more frantic. Ambitious high school seniors aren’t rats, of course, but I do see a parallel. They ask, “Will this [insert SAT score, GPA, summer program, or college essay] get me into Elite University X?” and, to their distress, they get the answer, “It’s hard to tell.”

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Best sellers about the college admissions “rat race” portray these students scrambling to get every possible AP course, leadership position, athletic achievement, and community service activity onto their resumes, hoping it will be enough. Many become what Marilee Jones, former dean of admissions at MIT, once called “human doings rather than human beings.” Films such as, The Race to Nowhere claim that today’s high-achieving high school and college students are increasingly stressed and less resilient – reluctant to take risks, make mistakes, or think independently. In my world, fortunately, most students don’t present that profile. As a group, George School students abound with creativity and good will. Their altruism is achingly sincere. They celebrate one another’s triumphs and successes, and support each other during heartbreaks. They’re open-minded and ask questions. Colleges that accept our students value these qualities, along with their excellent academic preparation in International Baccalaureate and other challenging courses. Admission officers who visit George School often remark on what interesting questions they ask. Of course, our seniors are stressed by competing assignments and commitments. They have anxieties and sometimes even meltdowns, and they feel deeply the pain of rejection letters. But over the volcanic college admissions landscape they walk remarkably cheerfully. I think this has a lot to do with the kind of applicant who ends up at George School and the values we promulgate. In meeting for worship, students share their hopes and vulnerabilities in a climate of equality. We encourage them to reflect. Our classes and curriculum emphasize spirituality, social justice, and the arts; our athletic teams subscribe to the Friends Schools League philosophy. Our students for the most part like each other, enjoy exploring their differences, and seem comfortable in their individuality. They engage in consensus decision-making with peers and adults. They have high hopes for college, but grounded self-awareness helps most of them keep the college process in perspective.


Jac queline jones ’13

Members of the Class of 2011 display their college gear.

On the other hand, I wish I had a latte for every senior who has told me over the years, “I’m applying to Elite University X because it’s ranked in the top twenty.” College counselors hate those college rankings, which are disproportionately based on selectivity and prestige. I tell my counselees that “selective,” “prestigious,” and “good” (as in, “But is it a good college?”) are not synonymous, though they often converge. Selectivity depends on the size of the applicant pool. Prestige is based on nothing more than perception, and “goodness” means something different for each applicant. Is it value, as a ratio of tuition cost to future earning power? Is it the grad school admission rate? The intellectual je ne sais quoi? Success in developing citizenscholars who let their lives speak? And how can these qualities be measured? Sometimes the college that is right for a particular student is one that cultivates a self-selective applicant pool. I love it when a visiting college rep candidly tells a group of George School students gathered around our conference table why some of them probably shouldn’t apply to her school. Schools like this don’t try to boost their rankings by generating an inordinate number of applications. They value applicants who have thought carefully about what kind of college they want, have completed a demanding curriculum, and have competed with themselves to get the most they can out of high school.

If George School were to admit only the applicants with the highest grades and scores, or the ones who came from prestigious middle schools, it would be a very different place. And thank goodness it isn’t! For more than thirty-five years at George School I’ve had the privilege of working with a marvelously diverse range of students; every year I get to know counselees who are interesting in new and different ways. Fortunately, this country possesses an equally rich range of colleges, and while only a handful are “elite” in terms of selectivity, there is a plethora of very, very good ones eager to accept our students. It was exciting to see last year’s graduates enroll at schools as wonderfully different as Amherst College and the University of Mississippi. (Elite University X is on the list, too.) I’ll close with the story of a former counselee who dreamed of applying to Elite University X. “But it’s so hard to get in, and I don’t think I’m good enough,” she said. She was an excellent student taking tough courses, so I encouraged her to apply. Sure enough, she didn’t get in, but by April she’d been admitted to several other very fine colleges. A few months later she wrote to me, “I’m so glad I applied to Elite University X, because in reaching for that dream I improved my grades and scores, and my confidence as well. That helped me get into the other schools, and I’m really happy with the one I chose!” Her story exemplifies competition at its best. By all measures, she had won.

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eQuiz Highlights Our most recent eQuiz asked alumni to share their thoughts on competition. Some of their responses are highlighted here. Thank you to the 155 alumni who participated.

1958 | Sherrie L. (Plat t) Gibson

Equiz On Competition

What makes the harmony between competition and collaboration work is respect for others as reflected in the Quaker principle of “that of God in every one.” Understanding this has been central for me.

1949 | Helen (Lightfoot) Boissevain I helped my two children learn about competition and encouraged them to compete in sports because it teaches how to survive in this life.

1951 | William (Bill) R. Wilson Really everything we do involves competition as well as cooperation and collaboration. As long as there is life there is competition!

1952 | Headley S. White Jr.

1959 | Robert B. Dockhorn

1962 | Thomas D. Nichols You need to turn around if you are ahead, and respect and help those behind you. Your life may depend upon it; not to mention the lives of others.

1963 | Frances P. (Preston) Schutz

Good survey! I wish our politicians could give some sincere thought to the topic of collaborating while at the same time competing.

Any competition I felt was self-imposed. I prefer a collaborative process, and have been fortunate to be able to implement collaboration more often than competition in my life.

1955 | Suzanne (Parry) Lamborn

1965 | Philip T. Lynes

Some competition is good and a character builder. Feeling good about accomplishments is more important. Cooperation, empathy, and walking in another’s moccasins are all more important.

I think our emphasis on competition both team and individual is counter-productive. In many subtle ways the social norms are coercive and do not allow an artistic or introspective student the opportunities to pursue those features of his/her personality and gain peer respect and pride.

1958 | Phillip S. Lippert Before George School, my stuttering consumed me. When I came to campus as a sophomore, opportunities to compete were abound. I used these to build character and my identity. I discovered a passion for swimming and was captain my senior year. I discovered a new self-image of someone worthwhile with confidence and capability…and my stuttering was well on its way to history!

1958 | George L. Pickering I have been a volunteer firefighter for many years. Training and practicing skills are very important. Friendly competition against others (or a time standard) often leads to enhanced performance by a firefighter who is trying to complete a given task. The person who improves his/her skills may be the firefighter that I must depend on during our next fire call.

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Learning to lose is far more difficult and more important than winning.

1968 | Moira J. (Eitzen) Haag I just try to focus on my own “personal best” each time. That has served me well in the long run, and often in the short term as well.

1968 | Amy J. (Lew is) Tabor Playing on a team sometimes means not always being the star and letting someone else shine. Business takes cooperation and knowing that you are not alone in the endeavor.

1969 | Randolph W. Henning Promotion, recognition, and income is driven by your ability to outperform others. Competition is good for you. The current trend to encourage everyone to be a winner is a false thought. I coached little league and refereed soccer and the young players keep score regardless of what the parents say.


1971 | Barbie J. Gale

1989 | Christopher M. Horner

Although I am a strong competitor, I appreciate and value the camaraderie and teamwork in sports. The journey through effort, hard work, concentration, and consistency is just as important as the end result.

While my career is rife with competitiveness and well populated with ambitious people, collaboration is part of the lifeblood of my career. It may be a strange dichotomy, but the military is an essential blend of strong team reliance and individual competition.

1972 | Monica Ladd

1989 | DJ Tejeski

Winning is a huge motivational force. But you need to create an environment which does not focus overly on the winners.

Competition is in everything we do. Whether it is sports, education, or our professional life.

1973 | Tom Woodman

1992 | Mychel K. Russell-Ward

I hear a lot of focus in Quaker circles and at schools about focusing on cooperation and collaboration, with competition treated as a bad word. From your survey, I take that competition is a valued experience at GS as it should be.

George School taught me that competition, in order to truly cause the competitors to improve themselves, must be fair and the rules must apply equally to all parties.

1974 | Dav id Curtis Rutstein

Paul Machemer ’65 instilled a very strong sense of sportsmanship. Your opponent was there to test you, to make you better. Your competitor was your collaborator in bringing out your best performance. With that mindset, there was no room for negativity towards your opponent or unfair play.

By their very nature, competitive team sports require collaboration. A team usually can’t be competitive without collaboration within the team. In the workplace collaboration and competition can be used in tandem to achieve excellence. They are each tools that reinforce useful aspects of human nature.

1981 | Dave Aronson If you compete just for the thrill of winning, you are “doing it wrong.” Do it to challenge yourself. Even do it to show off. But being hung up on winning can lead to unethical practices and bad attitudes.

1984 | Francesca R. (Kule) Kennedy I believe competition hinders and diminishes individuals from hearing and listening to one’s internal compass. It is not all about winning or being the best. If that is the goal, there will be much disappointment and little glory.

1987 | Tara M. Chambers

2002 | Gabe Tilove

2004 | Krysten L. Trull Competition has always been a part of my life. Sports and classes at GS helped me to learn how to work with competition and use it to help me excel.

2008 | Chris Berends Often competition is misinterpreted for aggression, but I find that those who collaborate the most typically win.

2011 | Nia M. Imani The competition that I felt as a student was not the competition between myself and other students as much as I felt pressure to be competing with myself to always be doing my best. It was not until junior and senior year that I began to feel pressure relating to my test scores, grades, and GPA.

Competition is simply part of being a musician.

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Field of Dreams: New Cougar Track and Cougar Field by Andrea Lehman If you build it, they will run—and jump, throw, shoot, pass, defend, tackle, and score—better and more safely. That was the impetus behind the construction of Cougar Track and Cougar Field, a new state-of-the-art all-weather track and synthetic turf field, completed in late fall 2011. This impressive multi-sport facility replaces the old 1903 cinder track and grass football field and with its increased size and features will support a greater number of teams and athletes. Only a few fall contests were held on the new field honoring legendary George School coaches Anne LeDuc, Bob Geissinger, and John Gleeson ’65, but the effects were felt immediately. “The two football games we played on the new field this fall were inspirational,” says John. “It’s a modern stadium, a beautiful field to play on in terms of footing—without the potholes and irregularities of the old field. Our practices were more intense. It brings up the morale.” Perhaps nothing demonstrated the field’s potential more than the final game of the season, a 42-12 win over Emily Fisher Charter School during late October’s freak snowstorm. According to John, the team enjoyed playing in the bad weather in a game that could not have happened were it not for new, all-weather turf. “The turf is really fast, so it’s a completely different game,” says Rowan Holloway ’13 after the varsity girls’ field hockey team played its first home game on turf against Lower Moreland High School in October. “It was really cool.”

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“Field hockey is pretty much played on turf at the college level and at other schools,” says Girls’ Athletic Director Nancy Bernardini who sees the new field, and its truer bounces, as a huge advantage. “It will enable us to refine our skills and play a faster and more exciting game. Having the opportunity to play and practice on the turf will really pick up our level of play.” Similarly, the Cougar Track, honoring former teacher, athletic director, and cross-country and track coach David Satterthwaite ’65, represents a huge leap forward for the school. Where the century-old cinder track had three narrow lanes, the new six-lane 400-meter oval includes a 120-meter, eight-lane sprint straight with the lane widths, race lengths, and surface materials of today’s best competitive facilities. The complex also contains new performance areas for pole vault and high jump, dual runways for long jump and triple jump, dual circles for shot put, a discus circle, and protective screens. The larger track will enable more runners to train and compete at a time, resulting in fewer heats and quicker meets and, in the future, a return to hosting multi-school invitationals. It didn’t take long for coach Stephen Moyer ’82 to see many of the new track’s benefits. The old cinder track was largely unusable during snowy winters and wet early springs. With the new track in place, the winter track team has already spent more time training on it than in it did during the entire 2010-11 season. More field athletes than ever before have used the new facilities and the runners, who have used the track for practice, have set six


ji m inverso

john gleeson ’65

Field Hockey Julia Um ’12 moves past defending opponents from Lower Moreland High School during the team’s first game on the new turf.

br ian wozniak ’05

Track Seniors Emily Mapelli, Francesca Aldrich, Chrissy Haney, and Priscilla Wiggins run sprints during their first practice session on the new turf under the watch of former track coach David Satterthwaite ’65. The cougar field and cougar track stand ready to host the next generation of George School athletes.

new indoor running records. Stephen attributes the improved performances to more consistent, goodquality workouts on the same solid synthetic surface as competitions. He predicts even more results during the outdoor track season, eclipsing even recent successes. (The girls’ team has won the Friends School League the past two years, while the boys’ team has had several individual standouts.) “The vast majority of our school records were set somewhere else,” explains Stephen, but with a faster and more consistently usable track, not to mention home-field advantage, he sees that changing quickly. “It will be great for our fans to see how incredible our track teams are and see new records at home. These fantastic facilities are good for all the students—those who excel at a high level as well as those who are learning to run a mile.” Features of the new facilities and their construction were in keeping with George School’s values, with an eye to practicality and sustainability. A sophisticated underground stormwater management system puts all runoff back into the water table, while the artificial turf will reduce the need for irrigation and chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

Instead of frequent mowing and lining, the groundskeeping staff will see reduced upkeep, with only an occasional fluffing required. The current economy made construction cost-effective, while design and materials make the track and field available for practice and competition regardless of weather. As a result, not only will Cougar track, field hockey, and football teams use these great fields of play, but cross-country, lacrosse, and soccer squads are slated to as well. The advantages of the new track and field for teams and athletes are significant. But the benefits to George School extend well beyond that—to include greater use, pride, and community spirit. “As a fan, the facility and its seating are set up well. I love that it is right out there on Route 413,” adds Nancy. “People see it and see that our facilities are being improved.” “It’s exciting. There’s such a positive atmosphere,” agrees John. “The field is a wonderful statement to our students that what they do is important, that we value the growth potential that sports offer them. By bringing the community together, the whole school benefits.”

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Honor Thy Coaches George School teammates, colleagues, and friends will come together to celebrate four legendary George School coaches — Anne LeDuc, Robert Geissinger, John Gleeson ’65, and David Satterthwaithe ’65 — at a series of special events this year. The activities will culminate in the formal dedication of the new Cougar Field and Cougar Track facilities on Saturday of Alumni Weekend, May 12, 2012.

Anne LeDuc  resident of Moorestown, A New Jersey and a graduate of Moorestown Friends School as well as Rollins College and Columbia University Teachers College, Anne served as girls’ athletic director from 1962 to 1993 and coached field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and swimming. Since retiring, she has volunteered on several George School fundraising campaigns. “I am very excited about the campaign for new fitness and athletic facilities. Everything George School is planning is badly needed and overdue, though, as a former field hockey coach, I have a special place in my heart for the new turf field. The plan for a new indoor fitness and athletics facility doesn’t cut corners, but it isn’t extravagant either. From the outside of the building to what’s inside— offices, lockers, gyms, a wrestling center—everything is going to help George School, and it will fit in with the rest of the campus. One of the great things about the school is that it is well rounded. It has a beautiful campus with other wonderful facilities, but the athletic facilities have lagged behind. The new ones will benefit not only the students but also the faculty, parents, the whole community. ”

John Gleeson ’65 John has done it all at George School. He’s been a student; English teacher; football, baseball, and, for one year, lacrosse coach; Orton head; department chair; SAGE founder and sponsor; and parent of two graduates, Maura ’94 and Dylan ’11. He joined the faculty four years after graduating, earning a BA from Haverford and MA from Dartmouth.

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“I think football is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about themselves. Over the years, some teams have been very successful and some have struggled with fewer wins, but the lessons learned are very similar. I’m proud of how successful my players have become. On the football team Facebook page, former players write about going on to bigger and better things. It’s very satisfying to know that some of their growth took place on the football field. I’ve had students who played at college say it wasn’t the same—that it was more of a business, without the fraternal bonding that happened here. It’s great to see how many of the players are still close to one another.”

David Satterthwaite ’65 David has played many roles at George School. After getting his BA from Earlham College (followed by a master’s in education from Temple), David returned to George School in 1970, where he served as a Spanish teacher, department chair, cross-country and track coach, athletic director, and alumni director. His three daughters, Lisa ’92, Laura ’99, and Virginia ’04, are fourth-generation George School graduates. “One of the reasons I wanted to come back to George School was so that I could coach as well


as teach. The goal is to see our students perform, have success, and feel good about what they’ve accomplished. Winning is great, but in the sports I coached, it was primarily about individual achievements. I have seen the school undergo a number of changes over the last several decades — new buildings, new students, and new faculty. The school’s basic philosophy, to educate the whole person remains the same. As a school founded on Quaker values, it continues to instill the fact that God is in everyone and takes everyone for who they are.”

Bob Geissinger A graduate of Springfield College, Bob, or Geis as he is known, spent thirty-eight years at George School as assistant athletic director and athletic director, history teacher, Drayton dorm head, and football, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse coach. He still lives in his hometown of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and is the father of Betsy ’74. “George School students will be among our next generation of leaders. They learn how to do much

of that through team sports, football in particular. Whether you play offense, defense, or special teams, what you do affects ten other people. It’s a good lesson to learn. “I treasure the people at George School. My thirty-eight years there were a privilege and a pleasure. When I visit friends nearby, I try to catch a game. I came to a football game against Jenkintown this fall and saw someone who played for me, who was there to watch his son play. Alumni Day is like a rebirth for me. I love to see who is back and where they are in life, and I often find out what being on a team meant to our students. Last year I talked with a former football player, now in his forties, and we went over an entire season in which we had won all but three games. Even now he knows how far he came as a player and teammate.”

Honor Thy Coaches Events ; Anne LeDuc

Saturday, March 31, 2012 Brunch at Middletown Country Club

; Dave Satterthwaite ’65

Celebrate New Cougar Track and Cougar Field George School teammates, colleagues, and friends will come together to celebrate four legendary George School Coaches — Anne LeDuc, Robert Geissinger, John Gleeson ’65, and David Satterthwaithe ’65 — at a series of special events this spring. The activities will culminate in the formal dedication of the new Cougar Track and Cougar Field facilities on Saturday of Alumni Weekend, May 12, 2012. The event to honor John Gleeson ’65 was held on Saturday February 25. Members of the George School community feted John with stories about their team experiences, what it meant to play, and the lessons learned on the field.

Saturday, April 21, 2012 Dinner at Yardley Country Club

; Robert Geissinger

Friday, May 11, 2012 Dinner at Middletown Country Club

If you would like to attend any or all of these events or for more information, please visit If you are unable to attend but would like to make a gift to honor your coaches or to share team memories or photos, contact Director of Donor Relations Michelle Ruess at or 215.579.6571. These events are the first in a series to honor beloved coaches as the George School athletics capital initiative moves forward.

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Performance and Wellness at the Source by Andrea Lehman George School’s renovated Performance & Wellness Center, located in the former weight room of the Alumni Gym, now houses the Source Institute, a strength and conditioning company that emphasizes personal development through physical activity, athletic performance, and optimal health. Every George School athletic team has its own Source coach to design a program, instruct, and supervise strength and conditioning sessions each week during pre-season. These sessions include stability, strength, and speed training techniques. In addition, each athlete receives a full twelvemonth plan to help him or her meet personal goals for their sport and position(s) of play. “In my first years as a George School wrestler I struggled particularly with not being strong enough for the weight I was wrestling,” said Peter Verner ’12, one of the team’s captains. “The strength training at Source has been incredibly beneficial and has allowed me to be much more competitive. Additionally, the wrestling specific workouts that Source planned for us allowed me to better maintain my fitness through the vacations and during the off season.” “The Source has been incredibly accommodating for the wrestling team,” says wrestling coach Pacho Gutierrez ’77. “We attend weekly circuit sessions and they put together a plan for us to use over breaks and vacations. The staff is very knowledgeable and have made a great difference in our wrestlers’ strength conditioning and body mechanics.” “Fitness doesn’t take days off,” says crosscountry and track Coach Stephen Moyer ’82 who sees several advantages for his athletes. The Source conditions people to learn about the benefits of fitness and the commitment that’s required, reinforcing their commitment to the team. “Working with our Source coach and implementing a coordinated fitness program, we’ve seen everyone’s performance improve this year,” adds

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Stephen. “Our runners are turning in great times and beating personal and school records on a regular basis.” This year all twenty-five girls on the cross-country team set a new personal record. In addition to working with George School athletic teams, Source supervises the physical education weightlifting program. These sessions include basic biomechanical assessments, neuromuscular re-education, speed-training, flexibility work, stress reduction techniques (including meditation), and nutrition counseling. “With the Source, I feel that I will definitely know the right way to train in order to see results and prevent injury,” says Lenny Gottlieb ’12 who does conditioning and strength training to prepare for tennis season. “The trainers are extremely knowledgeable and answer all of my million questions. These guys just get it, and they don’t just help with the workout. They help with everything, be it your daily diet or even your state of mind.” The approach is holistic. In addition to helping clients improve performance in particular sports by gaining strength, flexibility, endurance, and overall fitness, the Source helps them prevent and rehabilitate injuries, relieve pain and stress, improve their nutrition, and address structural, chemical, and psychological aspects of health. “Instead of saying, ‘You’re an athlete. We’ll train you as an athlete,’ we approach it as, ‘You’re a student. We’ll get you to seek knowledge about how to take care of yourself,’” says Source coach Mike Rothwell. The Source provides complimentary training to Cougar teams and individual assessments for students, faculty, and staff. In exchange, it uses the facilities for private clients, many of whom are members of the extended school community—students, employees, and parents—getting one-on-one help for individual needs. Individuals use the Source for a host of reasons. Sean Potter ’12 appreciates having the weight room open more, “and there is always someone there to give good advice.” (With the Source there


Jojo Das ’13

Lenny Gottlieb ’12 (above) prepares for the upcoming tennis season with Source coach Mike Rothwell.

John gleeson ’65

Wrestler tri-captain Peter Verner ’12 (left) earns a late third period pin during the Friends Schools League semifinal championship match, helping the team win 40-39 over Academy of the New Church.

to supervise, the facility has more extensive hours and is often packed.) Like Director of Alumni Relations Karen Hallowell, who used the Source to continue rehabilitating her shoulder after physical therapy, many students come seeking treatment for injuries. Ashley Yoo ’14 thanks the Source for helping her deal with shin splints and for getting her—and other athletes—back to their sports. Another student, Emma Wells ’13, who went to the Source for a reoccurring IT band injury explains, “Instead of the usual response (heat before, ice after), they gave me all sorts of exercises for strengthening my hips and feet, which didn’t seem to have to do with my IT band but were really the root of the problem, now gone. “I worked on general strengthening, especially upper body strengthening, which I’d never done because lifting weights seemed like something only guys did,” adds Emma. “The Source helped me

with the psychological aspect of sports, helping me figure out what is important to me and makes me happy athletically.” The Source’s presence is also slowly affecting George School as a whole, since its ultimate goal is to strengthen and enhance the quality of life not just of individuals but also of the communities it serves. “The Source is teaching what we want to teach in our school community,” says Stephen. “I’m seeing a greater awareness on campus of what you need to do to maintain a fitness lifestyle for life.” Mike looks forward to the future plans for an expanded fitness and athletic facility. “We’re off to a good start,” he says. “What we will be able to do for our students with an adequate facility will be amazing.”

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Wisdom Lives in This Place The George School Meetinghouse Celebrates 200th Anniversary

by Margaret A. Sanborn The George School Meetinghouse exudes peace. Sheltered by towering old trees, it gives the impression that it has always stood in this quiet place. But in reality George School is its third home. The meetinghouse began its life in 1755 at Second and Market streets in Philadelphia and was called the Greater Meetinghouse. It replaced the 1696 Great Meetinghouse, so known because for more than half a century after its construction it was the largest meetinghouse in Philadelphia. The 1755 structure was larger than the Great Meetinghouse, so it took the name “Greater.” By 1812, the area around Second and Market streets had become too urbanized to provide a tranquil atmosphere for meeting for worship, and the Quakers looked toward the western suburbs in their search for quiet. They sold the land on which the Greater Meetinghouse stood and established a new monthly meeting for the Western District outside the city on a plot of land that is now on the west side of Twelfth Street between Market and Chestnut streets. Construction on what came to be known as the Twelfth Street Meetinghouse began in 1812; the first monthly meeting was held there on March 16, 1814. Known for their thrifty ways, the Quakers re-used much of the woodwork from the Greater Meetinghouse, especially the great pit-sawn poplar trusses and joists. Two pine trusses were added to the 1812 structure to lengthen the building, but overall Twelfth Street strongly resembled the Greater Meetinghouse. The building that was to become the George School Meetinghouse stood on Twelfth Street for

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more than 150 years, used for a variety of purposes. While it remained a fully functioning meetinghouse until 1956, a separate wing was added in 1882 to house the Friends Institute, a social organization for center city Quakers. In 1875 Penn Charter School was built just north of the meetinghouse, and for the next fifty years, until Penn Charter moved to Germantown, the meetinghouse was filled with school children for meeting for worship, its yard serving as their playground. In 1917, the Twelfth Street Meetinghouse became the first home of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). By then the rusticity that had drawn the Quakers to Twelfth Street was long gone. The entire neighborhood was fully urban. As the 1970s neared, urban renewal was in full swing in center city Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society—which stood on the land once occupied by Penn Charter—wanted to acquire the property to serve as a means of exit and entry for its new parking garage. The meetinghouse had been surplus property since the departure of the AFSC in 1960, and in 1969 the Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, an entity created by the diplomatic merger of the Orthodox Twelfth Street Meeting and the Hicksite Race Street Meeting in 1956, agreed to sell the building to the bank. The purchase price of $810,000 included both meetinghouse and land. There was an outcry from both the Friends Historical Association and the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, and ultimately, the bank modified the agreement of sale to allow the building to be moved, providing a site for it could be found. George School wanted the building. Unlike other Quaker schools in the Philadelphia area, which grew out of monthly meetings and so essentially had their own meetinghouses, George School had no meetinghouse it could call its own. For most of its history, the George School community gathered for meeting for worship in a large assembly room on the second floor of Main Building; when the Walton Center for Performing Arts was built in 1964, meeting for worship moved there. The auditorium of Walton Center could at least seat all of the students, but its


typical auditorium seating was unsatisfactory for a meeting for worship. Though there were other suitors for the meetinghouse, from a local synagogue to the new Community College of Philadelphia, the Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting ultimately decided to give the building to George School and to underwrite the $60,000 cost of dismantling the building and moving it some thirty miles to the northeast. The cost of rebuilding the meetinghouse on its new site was underwritten by the Spruance family, major benefactors of George School. The elements of the building were trucked up to Route 413 (also known as the Newtown-Langhorne Road) to the George School campus. Kingdon Swayne ’37 inventoried the pieces of the meetinghouse that arrived from Philadelphia in his 1992 book, George School: The History of a Quaker Community: “Eight magnificent sixty-foot hand-hewn roof trusses; five doorways with doors, porches and marble steps; exterior trim; thirty windows with shutters; benches and cushions; interior wainscoting; flooring; and a large pile of bricks.” Charles Hough ’44, the main architect for the project, salvaged about three-quarters of the old brick. The remainder of the façade is new, virtually indistinguishable from the thoroughly cleaned old brick. The George School Meetinghouse has taken on a special meaning for members of the community. It is much more than the sum of its parts, more than a pile of bricks and mortar and timber. It is both the spiritual center of the school and a symbol of the school community. For this reason, the meetinghouse bicentennial anniversary will be celebrated throughout the 2012 year

by students, alumni, faculty, families, and friends. Events include a mid-April lecture explaining the importance of the meetinghouse from a historical and spiritual perspective and a mid-May master class and rededication ceremony during Alumni Weekend. The meetinghouse will also be the location for the late-April annual meeting of Friends Council on Education, the only national organization of Quaker Schools which traces its origin to an idea that blossomed at the Twelfth Street Meetinghouse eighty years ago. For details about public events, see below or visit our website at Editor’s Note: This article was excerpted from Margaret Sanborn’s research paper, Wisdom Lives in This Place, which she wrote during her Master of Liberal Arts program at the University of Pennsylvania. Margaret and current George School religion teacher Carolyn Lyday will speak at an April 15, 2012 program in the meetinghouse at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Speci a l Meetinghouse Ev ents April 15, 1:00 p.m

The Spirited History of the Meetinghouse

May 11, 1:30 p.m.

Meetinghouse Master Class: A Center of Welcoming, Wisdom, Light, and Connection

May 11, 2:30 p.m.

Rededication, A Celebration of Change and Continuity

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Alumni Weekend May 11, 12, and 13, 2012 George School Welcomes the Entire Community to Celebrate Alumni Weekend

Award Recipients On Saturday morning, we will honor three individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and service in their professional, personal, or civic life. Their achievements inspire other George School students and alumni and bring honor to our school. This year’s award recipients are:

This is a particularly special year for the Class of 1962, marking their fiftieth reunion, and the Class of 1987, celebrating their twenty-fifth reunion. If your class year ended in a two or a seven, you are celebrating a five-year milestone and your classmates have plans in place for a fun-filled reunion weekend for you. Whether you are coming by yourself or with friends and family, please let us know so that our faculty, student volunteers, and reunion team are ready to show you a great time. You can register online at Friday’s schedule features a special master class hosted by George School’s Religion Department followed by a rededication of our meetinghouse in celebration of its 200th anniversary. Friday evening you can attend a dinner honoring Robert Geissinger (reservations required), one of the four legendary coaches who will be commemorated as we dedicate our new Cougar Track and Cougar Field in their honor. Morning highlights on Saturday, May 12 include an alumni-faculty breakfast, memorial meeting for worship, master classes, and the All-Alumni gathering. Lunch and reunion photos are followed by alumni-student athletic games, a Cougar Tailgate party, and the dedication of Cougar Track and Cougar Field. On Sunday, community members are invited to attend meeting for worship and celebrate Mother’s Day on campus at a special brunch. All in all, it’s not only a weekend to reconnect with George School but a day to renew old friendships and undoubtedly forge new ones.

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Anne Culp Storch ’67, former George School director of development, will receive the 2012 Alumni Award for her commitment to the financial sustainability of educational institutions and for her volunteer efforts with three Quaker organizations, George School, Mercer Street Friends, and Chandler Hall. Her professional success has earned her national attention in the advancement and development field. Ernie Wong ’77, an internationally acclaimed awardwinning landscape architect, will receive the 2012 Alumni Award for his outstanding creative vision and design contributions to his city of Chicago and for his devotion to community as exemplified by his leadership of the Chinese American Service League. Leon Bass, an educator, a parent of two George School graduates, and former George School teacher, will receive the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his long career as an educator. Sharing lessons learned as an African American soldier in World War II and his experiences at the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald shortly after its liberation, Leon encourages students to use their education and the power of love to stand up for what they believe is right.


Come one, come all! Students, alumni, faculty, and staff are busy making plans for a community-wide celebration for Alumni Weekend. Online registration is open to all alumni, parents, students, and friends and a full schedule of events is posted at alumniweekend.

Class of 1962 Commencement photo




10:00 a.m. All-School Assembly

8:00 a.m. Alumni/Faculty Breakfast

9:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.

12:00 p.m. Mother’s Day Brunch

11:30 a.m. Lunch 12:30 p.m. Campus Walking Tour 1:30 p.m.

Master Class

Memorial Meeting for Worship

2:30 p.m. Meetinghouse 200th Anniversary Celebration

10:00 a.m. Master Classes Tennis Round Robin

3:30 p.m. Student Athletic Contests

12:00 p.m. Lunch

5:30 p.m. Volunteer & Leadership Donor Reception (invitation only) 6:00 p.m. Robert Geissinger Celebration Dinner

Yoga Class

10:45 a.m. Meeting for Worship

11:00 a.m. All-Alumni Gathering 1:30 p.m. Reunion Photos 2:00 p.m.

Alumni Games

3:30 p.m.

Cougar Tailgate

4:15 p.m. Cougar Track and Cougar Field Dedication Evening Off-Campus Reunion

Class Events

Note: We are in the planning stage for Alumni Weekend 2012 and these events and times may change between now and May 11, 2012. Please visit our website at for the most recent schedule and to register online. You also may call the Advancement Office at 215.579.6564.

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Head of School Nancy Starmer poses with

susan qu inn

Associate Head of School Scott Spence and Director of Institutional Advancement Ari Betof ’98, two members of the seven-person administrative team which includes Business Manager/Treasurer Cynthia Coleman, Director of Admission Christian Donovan ’95, Dean of Students Catherine Ezzo, Director of Operations Mike Gersie, and Director of Communications and Marketing Odie LeFever.

Planning for Financial Sustainability by Odie leFever At the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, Head of School Nancy Starmer announced a reorganization of the George School Administrative Team to better support the school’s strategic objectives around financial sustainability by redefining the responsibilities of two key members. “Questions of long-term financial sustainability are perhaps the most complex of our strategic planning tasks,” explains Nancy. “Like independent schools and colleges across the country, George School continues to struggle to meet rising costs while making ourselves affordable to a broad spectrum of students and families.” To provide leadership in this area, Ari Betof ’98 now chairs the Strategic Affordability Committee which is charged with considering models for ensuring George School remains affordable for families across the socioeconomic spectrum while ensuring the school’s financial sustainability. Ari, who received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, is uniquely qualified to lead this effort because of his recent dissertation in educational leadership. His research examined how the largest and oldest Quaker schools plan for and adapt to the challenges and opportunities of financial and organizational sustainability. Ari also has assumed responsibility for oversight of development, marketing, communications, and admission functions as director of institutional advancement. “Our goal in institutional advance-

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ment is to help connect families with George School from their first inquiry about admission through a lifelong engagement with our community as alumni, parents of alumni, and friends of the school,” says Ari. Former dean of faculty and director of studies, Scott Spence P’10, ’14, assumed a new position as associate head of school. Scott is now responsible for oversight of all aspects of the student experience including academics, arts, athletics, and student life. “Having been at George School for twenty years and being the graduate of a Friends school, I am excited about more formally bringing together the complete George School student experience in my work,” wrote Scott. These structural changes are allowing Nancy to focus more of her time on fundraising for capital initiatives and endowment while coordinating the broad implementation of the strategic plan. “It is an exciting time for the school,” explains Ari. “Our work will provide insight, not only for us, but also for other Quaker schools and independent schools that are struggling with how to provide a quality education at an affordable cost.” Nancy affirms the importance of this effort, “We are working to ensure that the core of what we all embrace about George School thrives for decades to come while making certain that the school has the financial resources—primarily through tuition and fundraising—to live out our mission.”

campus news & notes

Campus News & Notes by Susan Quinn tion, A Communion of Saints, has been published by Anaphora Literary Press.

Julian Bond Returns to George School Civil rights pioneer H. Julian Bond ’57 returned to campus for an all-school assembly and discussions with students and faculty. Julian was joined by Mark K. Updegrove ’80, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas who interviewed Julian about his experiences as a politician and civil rights and student activist. Julian has credited George School with introducing him to non-violent social change and individual community service.

International Performances International students attending George School come together each year to present a collection of performances which share elements of their cultures with the community. On Friday, January 13, 2012 students performed traditional and contemporary art forms ranging from a classic hat dance from Vietnam to hip-hop renditions of popular Asian music. A Communion of Saints Published Poet and George School English teacher Terry Culleton has been writing poems about a delightful assortment of quirky fictional saints for about a dozen years. Now that collec-

The Curious George Receives Gold The Curious George, George School’s student newspaper, received Gold Medalist standing from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Gold is the highest level awarded as part of the association’s Scholastic Print News Critique process, which assesses school newspapers in the areas of essentials, verbal, and visual content.

Priscilla Wiggins the Fastest Priscilla Wiggins holds the new Pennsylvania state record in the 1,500-meter race, setting the mark by running in a time of 4 minutes, 57.8 seconds. Earlier this season she qualified for the Indoor State Championships for the one mile race with a time of 5:17.07, joining Chrissy Haney ’12 on the list of George School athletes heading to the Indoor State Championships.

Zany Play Delights Audiences The audience couldn’t stop laughing at Moss Hart and George Kaufman’s comedy, You Can’t Take It with You. “This is the best performance I’ve ever seen on a George School stage—and I’ve seen many,” said one audience member. Varsity Swim Teams Victorious George School’s varsity girls’ and boys’ swim teams defeated Westtown School with the girls’ team posting an 87-83 win and the boys’ team an 89-50 win. In their next league match the boys’ team defeated Abington Friends 81-49, while the girls’ team won 47-18. Costa Rica Trip Highlighted Students shared their Costa Rica service learning experiences at a George School assembly in Walton Center on October 14, 2011. Six students had traveled in the summer with trip leaders and teachers Pacho Gutierrez ’77 and Richard Polgar. At the assembly, as is a school tradition, they presented photos and discussed their experiences with the entire school.

Wrestlers Win FSL Semifinals The varsity boys’ wrestling team defeated Academy of the New Church 40-39 in the Friends Schools League semifinal championships. Aidan Greer ’14, Campbell Alden ’13, Peter Verner ’12, and Tommy Lodge-Yanez ’12 earned pins to give George School the win.

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stay connected



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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 PMB 4438, Newtown PA 18940

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


George School PMB 4438 1690 Newtown Langhorne Road Newtown, PA 18940

Ma rch 2 0 1 2 | Vol. 84 | no. 0 1


GEORGIAN EDITOR Susan Quinn 215.579.6567

GEORGIAN STAFF Tina DiSabatino ’03

Odie LeFever

Colleen Hasson

Dina McCaffery

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.

© 2012 George School

Georgian designed by Rutka Weadock Design

PHOTOs: Inside Back Cover: C ommencement class photos from George School’s earliest

graduating classes grace the walls of our meetinghouse. Back Cover: Members of the George School community sit in silent reflection. This year the George School Meetinghouse turns 200. A special rededication will be held on Friday May 11, 2012 during Alumni Weekend. (Photos by Bruce Weller)

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.

Georgian, March 2012  
Georgian, March 2012  

The Georgian is the official publication of George School.