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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.

  • Truth
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  • Peace

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What's In It for Me? Forty Years of Coaching, Forty Years of Memories

What's In It for Me? Forty Years of Coaching, Forty Years of Memories

Carl Tannenbaum reflects on his forty years spent coaching at GFS, which he describes as a "joyous, fulfilling experience, a perfect complement to my teaching and administrative career."

by Coach Carl Tannenbaum, Germantown Friends School

Towards the end of the movie Field of Dreams (one of my all-time favorites) Ray Kinsella says: "I've never once asked 'What's in it for me?'" Shoeless Joe Jackson replies: "What are you saying, Ray," to which Ray replies: "I'm saying 'What's in it for me?'" During my 40 plus years of coaching, I don't remember ever asking "What's in it for me?" But now that I think about it, there was plenty in it for me. Certainly there were some frustrating times and some disappointing times, but overwhelmingly it has been a joyous, fulfilling experience, a perfect complement to my teaching and administrative career.

Seeing young athletes progress, sometimes achieving excellence and sometimes just making it to a basic level of competence, has been a very rewarding experience. Knowing that in some small way I might have helped an athlete to reach a goal makes all the effort expended worthwhile. It is just the same as helping to pave the way for a student to master a trig concept or an algebra skill. It is what teachers and coaches should always strive for.

So, "What's in it for me?" Well, 40-plus years of memories, for one thing; memories of great games and funny incidents, anecdotes, sidebars and outtakes, memories of successes and failings, wonderful colleagues and most of all unforgettable athletes (some talented and some not-so-much). I am honored to have been given the opportunity to coach so many athletes over my career. I am sure they have given to me at least as much as I have imparted to them and for that I thank them. I truly appreciate all of my colleagues who coached with me over the years, and especially those who I counted on during my tenure as athletic director. They allowed me to do my job without having to worry about them doing theirs.

And so, "What's in it for you?" Here is a link to a sampling of my memories of 40 years of athletics at Germantown Friends. Enjoy! And thanks for the memories.

Carl Tannenbaum is a beloved educator and coach at Germantown Friends School. He retired in 2016, but remains a dedicated presence on campus. Katie Bergstrom Mark, Director of Athletics, describes Carl's influence:

"I think the amazing thing about Carl's tenure has been his wide-reaching influence in every aspect of athletics — as an athletics director, as a founding member of the Friends Schools League and as career-committed JV coach. I admire his relentless effort to record the history of GFS athletics and keep it up-to-date. In his four decades of coaching, he has mentored so many young athletes, always willing to share his knowledge, energy and dedication in order to enrich the student experience."