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Germantown Friends School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Germantown Friends School
Germantown Friends School.jpg
MottoBehold, I have set before thee an open door.
Established1845; 176 years ago (1845)
Head of schoolDana Weeks
Faculty87 Full Time 24 Part Time
Athletics conferenceFriends School League
AffiliationReligious Society of Friends (Quaker)

Germantown Friends School (GFS) is a coeducational independent Early Childhood-12 school in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States under the supervision of Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It is governed by a School Committee whose members are drawn mainly from the membership of the Meeting and the school's alumni. The School's current head of school is Dana Weeks.


Germantown Friends School was founded in 1845 by Germantown Monthly Meeting which had grown in size and stature in the Philadelphia Quaker community during the previous several decades. The School was founded in response to a request of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting which like all Friends Meetings valued an equal education for boys and girls. Until some time in the early 20th century, Germantown Friends was a "select" school, meaning that only the children of Quaker parents were admitted. Germantown Monthly Meeting was an Orthodox meeting and thus valued classical education. Athletics and the arts were still considered, as they had been since the founding of the Society of Friends in the 17th century, a diversion from the essentials needed by young people.

Athletic traditions

Germantown Friends School teams are nicknamed the Tigers and compete in the Friends Schools League (FSL).[1] In 2008, the boys' track team won the High School Boys' Distance Medley Championship of America at the Penn Relays. The relay's time of 10:11.54 was the second fastest high school Distance Medley Relay in the nation at the time, and the fastest in Pennsylvania. In 2009, the boys' cross country team finished second at the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast Regional Championship, qualifying for Nike Cross Nationals. A rivalry exists between GFS and Friends' Central School, who compete with each other for possession of the Felsen Cup, named after an administrator who has worked at and given much to both schools. Another rival is Penn Charter School, whose campus is adjacent to Germantown Friends' athletic fields. However, Penn Charter is a member of the Inter-Academic League, de-intensifying this rivalry. In 2017, the boys' track team won the Distance Medley Relay with a time of 10:14.85 at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals.

Academic and extracurricular activities

Since 1993, Germantown Friends has been divided into four divisions, Early Childhood, the Lower School (K-5), the Middle School (6-8), and the Upper School (9-12). Students in each division school attend weekly Meeting for Worship.

The school has a choir, the GFS Choir. Other activities include the 9th Grade Musical, the Dionysia (an Ancient Greek dramatic festival performed by 10th grade Ancient History classes), the Latin III Debates during an annual "Classics Day," and a Writers Assembly, showcasing pieces by writers from the Middle and Upper School.

A graduation requirement at Germantown Friends School is the requirement that each junior complete an independent project, known as a "Junior Project." During this project, students have the opportunity to pursue some independent but intellectually rigorous activity in the local community or elsewhere in the world. If completed in January, students are given the month off to pursue the project, although they must go through a proposal process and present written and oral accounts of their work afterwards. Students must pay for at least half of all project expenses out of money the student earned through work (rather than by means of a parental allowance).

Commencement in recent decades has taken place at Arch Street Meetinghouse in Philadelphia. The ceremony begins with an instruction concerning Meeting for Worship by a Quaker member of the graduating class, followed by a meeting. At present, GFS does not calculate GPA for purposes of class ranking, and therefore no Valedictorians or Salutatorians are selected. Instead, the graduating class elects one faculty member and one member of its own ranks to give addresses after the conclusion of the meeting. Following the addresses, the Head of School speaks and then awards diplomas to each member of the graduating class.

Notable alumni


  • The main character from the TV series Twin Peaks, FBI Agent Dale Cooper, supposedly grew up in Germantown and attended Germantown Friends School (as created by director David Lynch, who spent many years in Philadelphia).[4] They were also referenced in The Goldbergs' spinoff show, Schooled, in the fifth episode of the first season, "Money for RENT."


  1. ^ "Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6".
  2. ^ "Tom Myers". IMDb.
  3. ^ "The Girls of Henry Orient", Time, May 15, 1964
  4. ^ Frost, Scott: The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, page 1, Pocket Books, 1991.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 05:31
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