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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

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The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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speak the truth

We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.

Shine Together

We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.

stay connected

"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.*
The words of Helen Keller.

keep it simple

In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.

care for all

This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part- all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.

promote peace

We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.

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Retirement Tribute: Deb Brackett

Deb arrived at GFS in 1982, after an illustrious multi-sport career at Ursinus College, as an assistant field hockey coach and physical education teacher in the Lower and Middle Schools. Her enthusiasm for introducing young people to the joys and benefits of movement–and the importance of prioritizing wellness and exercise alongside academics–was captured in an article she wrote for GFS’ former publication, Studies in Education, in 2002, titled, “Winning in Physical Education”: “GFS is a community where we engage fully our intellect, our spirits, and also our bodies. In the realm of physical education, we affirm ourselves as movers and celebrate daily.” Deb left GFS in 1987 to pursue a Master’s degree, but returned to the school’s PE department in 1992.

In 1995, Deb was promoted to head of the PE department, where she developed strong programming and provided excellent leadership for the next 25 years. Additionally, she coached numerous sports in the Middle School, including girls' soccer and softball, preparing young student-athletes for the challenges at the varsity level. 

“As I look across our campus and see the many lives that [Deb] has touched, it is overwhelming,” says Director of Athletics Katie Bergstrom Mark. “It is in her very being to help others by guiding them, giving them room to fail and succeed, and proving the scaffolding by being there in support all the time. Deb has coached thousands of young people during foundational moments in their athletic careers. Her leadership in the PE department and on the playing fields has been instrumental in our ability to stay true to our core philosophy.” 

In 2020, Deb stepped into the role of Interim Director of Lower School. A steady presence in this throughout her tenure at GFS, she brought her experience as a teacher and educator to her new leadership position. Deb completed the inaugural SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program at GFS and was an adult facilitator for the fifth-grade anti-bias curriculum, supporting its expansion across grades 3-5, with lessons implemented in grades K-2. She spearheaded GFS’ beloved Girls Sports Camp for decades, bringing additional administrative experience from her years as Program Director at Chimney Corners Camp, a residential summer camp in the Berkshires. Deb also served as the clerk of the MS Quakerism Committee and was a member of the Religious Life Committee. 

“I am excited to take on this new challenge,” she shared at the time of the appointment, “[and] have great respect for my Lower School colleagues.”

Deb remained in this interim role for two years, drawing strength from her PE background and prioritizing health and wellness during a time when it was particularly needed, as the school was coping with numerous challenges presented by COVID. A talented scheduler, problem-solver, creative thinker, and collaborator, Deb was a critical team member in the school’s efforts to keep students and teachers safely on campus as much as possible. 

We are so grateful for all of Deb’s wonderful contributions to the GFS community over the past 35 years, thank her for her dedication to our students, teachers, and families, and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life adventure!

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