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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

Values Container

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
  • Shine
  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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Profiles in Wellness

Asia standing at a window.Asia Ng '20: Building Strength in All Areas of Life


Favorite subjects: Art and Math

Favorite book: "Interaction of Color," by Josef Albers, "...because I really like color theory and the fact that color isn't an inherent property of anything. It's always subject to change."

Favorite pastime: Playing with her dog, Cali.

Childhood memory: Surprising her parents by drawing a penguin with just one pen stroke.

Highlight at GFS: Being part of a winning team in the distance/speed vehicle event of the GFS Physics Olympics.

Goal this spring: Run a sub-65-second 400 meters in track.

Asia came to Germantown Friends School in Middle School from Masterman School. She has quickly made her mark as a determined, inquisitive, and independent thinker who likes a good challenge. She has made healthy living a priority and learned a thing or two over the past couple of years about its benefits in her day-to-day.

"I've never been a person that loves sports, but I have developed a relationship with wellness recently that is making a big difference in all areas of my life," says Ng. "I used to come home tired and mess around for a couple of hours. Then, all of the sudden it would be 8 p.m., and I'd still have hours of homework to do."

Asia working out at the gym.

These days, Ng heads to the gym after school and puts in 30-60 minutes before going home. She typically finishes dinner by 7 p.m., then gets to work on her homework. She's able to get to bed shortly after 10 p.m. and feels like she's getting the rest she needs to be present and energetic during the school day.

"My favorite exercise is something called the slam ball," Asia says of her favorite new piece of equipment in the weight room (pictured in the background of the photo above), a ball designed for swinging and throwing exercises. "The beauty is that if you have a bad day, you can put it into your workout and get better results."

In addition to serving as a valuable resource to Asia as she has developed and refined her fitness regimen, GFS's new Strength and Conditioning Coach, Matt Sheehan, has made a lasting impression on her. She says he probably doesn't even remember, but one day he was passing by as she was easily lifting a lot of weight and said simply, "You are really strong. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently."

Asia says she has taken this message to heart. And, from what we can tell, she is passing it along to those around her every day.

Pietro Berghella '18, Four-Year Varsity Athlete, Soccer and Basketball

Favorite teachers: Devra Ramsey (Calculus) and Meg Goldner Rabinowitz (English)

Favorite sports memory: Unexpectedly playing two scary but exhilarating minutes in the FSL Championship basketball game against a 9th grader.

Favorite sports team: Philadelphia 76ers

Favorite movie: Disney's Up. "It makes me cry every time."

Favorite childhood memory: Watching Inter of Milan, his family's favorite soccer team, defeat Bayern Munich to win the UEFA Champions League Final in 2010.

Pietro came to GFS from The Philadelphia School in 9th grade, following in the footsteps of his older brother Andrea. At 6'8", he is currently the tallest person on our campus. He is also among the kindest (which is saying something!). He co-captained both the soccer and basketball teams this year, quietly working with his teammates to complete successful seasons in both. 

Pietro is also a workhorse. He has suffered multiple injuries during his high school career, including breaking his wrist during the first basketball game of his freshman year. He has always resisted missing out on practices in favor of recovery. "I don't like taking days off, wellness days. If I have to, I'll take them, but I've always felt that you give it everything you have."
Fortunately, he's had a dedicated and intentional team of GFS coaches and trainers to guide and support him through his recovery, including trainer Allen Van. "This year, I've dealt with a bunch of nagging injuries, particularly to my knees and hips," he says. "Allen's been great about understanding my injuries and showing me that building up muscle groups is a priority if I want to stop hurting."

The basketball season is over, and Pietro is approaching the end of his time at GFS. He has learned the value in preparation – both on and off the court. He plans to spend his last spring on campus working with the training and fitness center staff to make sure he is ready for what promises to be an intense next year as a member of the Haverford College basketball team. "I'm excited for college," says Pietro. "I'm also pretty excited to enjoy the rest of high school."

Matt Sheehan, Our New Strength and Conditioning Coach

Interests: Fitness (physical and psychological)

Most recent book read: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett

Home on campus: Smith Gym (lower level, a.k.a. basement)

Favorite exercise: Incline walks, treadmill

Favorite memory: Accompanying his team to the NCAA Sweet 16

What he's up to at GFS: Teaching ninth-grade PE, supporting team fitness and injury prevention, developing personal training plans, and fist bumping the many students on campus who count themselves among his fan club

Matt Sheehan joined GFS in August 2017. He is an enthusiastic part of the Athletic Department's full-court press on well-being for all GFS students, and he couldn't be better suited for his role. In addition to his background as an athlete, he holds a master's in education. And he knows first-hand how important fitness is to injury prevention and emotional well-being.

Recruited to play football at La Salle University, he suffered a career-ending injury during his first year. After a multi-year recovery process, he successfully walked onto the Varsity Basketball team during his senior year. "The number one most important thing to well-being is sleep," says Sheehan. "But fitness is critical to feeling good. It can be a huge help in clearing your mind."

Today, Matt can be found in Smith Gym, ready to put together a customized training plan for whomever walks through the door, provide counsel for successful injury recovery, or organize a good game of gaga ball for small groups who happen by. 

"I am so excited to be here and feel so supported already," says Sheehan. "My goal is to squash stereotypes of who belongs in here. I want to teach kids how to take care of their bodies and minds."

Matt has already noticed a surge in the number of students, faculty, and staff who use the Fitness Center. With new equipment and some basic upgrades to the space, he plans to make it an even more welcoming and comprehensive resource for all.