PatChat is your inside view of GA from students' perspective

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful for Community

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving as I did! As much as I would have liked to keep sleeping in until 11, it was nice to return to the GA community this week. Being new last year, I have found GA to be extremely inviting. The biggest thing that has stood out to me about GA is this sense of community. The teachers do genuinely care about their students, but not only about how well they are doing in their class. They are also interested in their life outside of academics, whether that be sports or another activity. I have come to appreciate this more and more as I have been at GA. The students also have a great deal of respect towards the teachers and know how to balancing having some fun and doing serious work. I think this helps to bring GA together and make it what it is. The GA community is definitely something I am thankful for this holiday season!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fall Concert 2012

On the night of Tuesday November 20, students’ parents and relatives, teachers, and alumni filled the Arts Center to listen to Upper School students showcase the culmination of several months’ hard work.  The audience was impressed by the quality of the performances, which ranged from the Symphonic Band’s “Marriage of Figaro” to the String Orchestra’s “Bolero”, even to the choir’s (aka Singing Patriots) “Dynamite” (yes, the “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz).  In total, 90 students in 5 separate performance groups walked onto the stage that night and put their all into pieces that they have been so hard at work on.  But for the seniors that took part, it was a bittersweet beginning to the end of their GA musical careers.

- Brett C.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Goodbye November, Thanks for the Memories

November is a busy time for students in the Upper School.  It’s also a very nostalgic time, especially for seniors.  Our pep rally was the best of all time and numerous seniors contributed to its success.  For many, myself included, GA/PC Day was the last time seniors competed in fall sports with their teammates.  Nine to Five was incredible last week, and again, the seniors were powerful as they performed their last Upper School musical on stage.  Tonight is the US Fall Concert and seniors take solace in knowing that there remains one more concert in the spring. CSO (Community Service Organization), especially its senior leaders, never lets us forget those who are less fortunate - the clothing drive and Thanksgiving Day canned food drive are my favorite.  Quick shout-out to Bridie L. ('13) for bringing in an unprecedented amount of cans…210! 

During this week of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much.  My family is the obvious!  I am also incredibly grateful for my education at GA.  The tremendous experiences and incredible opportunities provided by GA’s outstanding faculty are the reasons why no one forgets their time at this school.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

-Michael H. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

GA vs. Sandy: Post Hurricane PatChatting

Sandy coming in (haha too soon?)

Beach damage L

As everyone knows, about 2 weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy swept right through the East Coast, leaving the shore, the entire boardwalk, PECO, and school attendance in the dust! We had off from Monday to Wednesday, and not going to lie…even without power at home, I didn’t want to have school on Thursday either.
With Mr. Connor and Mr. Schellhas both safe from the storm in China, Mr. Samson and Mr. Hill were left in charge of logistics. Power came back late Wednesday night, and they decided that everyone come back to school on Thursday. And despite my original reluctance to return to school, it turned out to be pretty helpful. None of the teachers were allowed to have us hand in assignments or take quizzes or tests (Hallelujah!), but everyone, with power or without, teachers and students alike, was updated. Within a few days, everyone was back on track with schoolwork and practices.

Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised at how well GA handled the consequences of Sandy.

Until next time, Nancy J

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GA/PC Day has come and gone...

To thoroughly pump up the students and faculty about GA/PC day where our rival Penn Charter competes with us in multiple sporting events, the students employed a spirit week here at GA. Monday was superhero day. Seeing everyone walking around in spandex and a cape made me realize that we could definitely save the world in a fashionable manner. Jungle day on Tuesday brought cats and lions to school. Tuesday was also Halloween day since Sandy cancelled the Halloween parade. I saw crazy costumes! We supported the Upper School on Wednesday when we wore our most patriotic outfits. Someone was wearing a pair of leggings that looked like a flag which totally blew my mind. Thursday was rockstar day. Personally, I went all out. Leather jacket, colorful t-shirt, ripped jeans, big black boots, bandana, cut glove, the works. The day of the pep rally (Friday) each grade wore a specific color. Freshmen wore white, sophmores wore red, juniors wore blue, and seniors wore black. Everyone was decked out in their color and it was really cool to see the coordination at the pep rally! Spirit week allowed the students of GA to forget about their uniforms and think about the upcoming GA/PC day! I know I was excited for Saturday!
- Lauren
To read more about Friday's Pep Rally and the rest of the arts and athletic events relating to the GA/PC day weekend, check out "Prep for the Pep" by Lily H. ('14)
Lower School getting ready for the Pep Rally!
Cheerleader's getting the Lower School students involved
in the Patriot beat.
Patriot Cheerleader's getting the crowd pumped!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Brett and Angela weigh in on GA/PC Day Spirit Week!


Mention GA/PC day to anyone at the Academy and excitement will light up their face.  Let me explain why that is so...Instead of the usual preppy GA gear, students will strut their stuff through the hallways from November 5th to November 9th for the GA/PC spirit week, the buildup to GA/PC day.  Instead of khakis and sweaters, boys dress as Superman and rock stars.  Instead of skirts and polos, girls are clad in patriotic and jungle-esque attire.

The Upper School halls are covered from top to bottom in various themes that, in the past, have ranged from Batman to Willy Wonka to Jersey Shore to Space. The whole school (yes, everyone!) walks through the hallways, admiring the ingenuity and handiwork of Upper School students, who pour hours and hours into making the hallways simply spectacular.

All these festivities culminate in a school wide pep rally and pump up day that lasts well into the evening.  The rivalry between GA and our rival, the William Penn Charter School (PC for short), is not overblown.  As the longest lived high school rivalry in America, it draws people from across the nation and two large schools together for one huge showcase of school spirit and athletic prowess

On a side note, GA has won GA/PC day three out of the past four years... :)


It’s spirit week at Germantown Academy and every student is really showing how much spirit he/she has! In preparation for the annual GA/PC day this Saturday, each day upper school students dress up in the theme of the day. This year’s themes include Super Hero/Super Villain, Jungle/Halloween Day, Patriotic Day, and Rock Star Day. On Friday, grades 9-11 have their own color to wear and seniors all wear a shirt designed by the seniors. Middle School students also have special themed days too! The week concludes with a school wide Pep Rally on Friday. Everybody sits by grade and there is music, dance routines performed, announcements by Fall sports team captain’s and way more! It’s tons of fun for faculty and students of all ages!

“We Can Do It”: Girl’s Water Polo dresses as Rosie the Riveter for Halloween Day

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rubber Ducky Regatta

 The House System in the Upper School not only allows students from all grades to connect, but it also provides many fun competitions throughout the year. Most recently we had a rubber ducky regatta that took place in the creek. Each house created a boat for their rubber duck out of some cork, popsicle sticks, and hot glue. Many houses even made mini sails for their boats. At lunch, students from all houses came out to the bridge to cheer their duck to victory while waving their house flags. Although the boats were slow-moving down the mostly current-less creek, the race was entertaining as many of the ships got stuck on branches or capsized. Once most boats were at a halt, two students jumped in and ran down the creek with their boats across the finish line. The winning house of this race was somewhat unclear, however it was another creative event to add to this year’s house competitions.


Friday, November 2, 2012

GA's Oktoberfest!

GA offers a variety of languages in the Upper School. Some students take French; others master Spanish. Even Chinese is offered. I'm a Classics student, having taken Latin since 6th grade. While GA offers German, it is during this beautiful time of year that the entire Upper School embraces German culture and customs at GA's own Oktoberfest. This Upper School tradition is only four years old but, if you ask its students, no one can imagine GA without this celebration.

GA's Oktoberfest begins with a German folksong competition. Do not let any students of the seven Houses kid you - we all practice and take this competition very seriously. Members of Galloway proved again this year that they were the most deserving of the folksong competition title. Mr. Masters, GA's new head of the music department, was a true master in performance as members of his Galloway House perfectly complemented him in German spirit and song.

Everyone is a winner at the end of the competition as all students feast on German sausages grilled outside the Pavilion while they gulp down root beer and polish off what seems to be endless bowls of German gummies and pretzel sticks during break.

Thank you Upper School Head and German teacher Mr. Schellhas for bringing this tradition to GA!

- Michael H.

Hurricane Sandy Hiatus

We apologize for the delay in blog posts!! Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we have not had internet access and could not post our weekly PatChat entries!

Please enjoy our first PatChat entry since Sandy...brought to you by Michael H.!

Enjoy :)