Andrew DeGothseir has a big job. As the Campus Horticulturist, Andrew manages all of the leafy growing things on campus, and can be credited with a substantial part of the ongoing beautification of campus. He also played a key role in the school’s recent certification as The Betty Cary Arboretum, named for the late Betty Cary, who worked tirelessly at GFS for more than 65 years in various capacities and cared deeply for the campus gardens and trees.
“It all started when I was in high school,” Andrew says of his budding interest in cultivation. “My school offered a horticulture course for juniors. It was my science course that year, and there was this instant connection. I took the advanced course in my senior year, and then, looking at college, horticulture was it.” Andrew has warm words for his alma mater, Delaware Valley College (now University), which offered a great program. “I’ve been doing this for 16 years now. That’s half my life in horticulture.”
Andrew’s favorite thing about working with the plants on campus? The changes brought on by the varying weather and seasons. “It’s always different. Every day changes.”
Andrew praises the recent efforts by teachers, particularly in the Lower School, who encourage students to be mindful of the gardens. “It’s important for kids to learn to respect the spaces. If kids ravage through, we wouldn’t have these pollinators,” he explains, referring to the green space on the Common, loaded with plants to attract and feed butterflies and bees. “This used to be a parking lot. It’s really great that it’s not anymore.”