Category Archives: News

The Scottish Exchange

Last month, on April 10th, four girls from Scotland came to stay at GFS. They came from St. George’s, a uniformed, girls school in Edinburgh. The first week of their stay, they were amazed by the difference between their school and ours. One of the exchanges saw a student hug one of their teachers and was completely shocked. This was a level of informality they had never experienced. By the end of the exchange, however, they loved the easy-going atmosphere of GFS and were readily hugging teachers.

They also noticed the different words that Americans use as opposed to people from the United Kingdom.

Here is a list of some of the words.

American to English – Dictionary

Bangs    –   A Fringe

Butt     –    Bottom

Chips    –   Crisps

Cleats  –   Studs (spikes)

Flats    –   Pumps

Make up    –   Pull, snog

Mall     –    Shopping Centre

Soda            –    Fizzy Drinks

Sidewalk    –    Pavement

Sneakers   –    Trainers

Soccer   –   Football

Pumps   –   High Heels

Vacation   –    Holiday

Trash can   –   Rubbish Bin

Trash   –   Rubbish

Period   –   Full Stop

Truck    –   Lorry

White-out   –   Tip-ex

By Magda Andrews-Hoke and Olenka Jain

Invasive Carp? Now We Got a Problem!

Think of some bad invasive species that is eating all the algae and small organisms, in turn starving the other species in the habitat. Now add the fact that those species are huge carp, that can jump 8-10 feet out of the water. The general name for this species is Asian carp. These carp were imported to the southern U.S. to keep water facilities clean. When some escaped in 1980, they have been infesting and overpopulating the Mississippi River up to the Great Lakes. The carp eat all that they can, ranging from around 20% of their average weight of 30-40 pounds, but some have been recorded as 100 pounds!!

The movie above showed how high these carp can jump, and as you can see, they are everywhere. The carp, eating out all the smaller organisms that other aquatic creatures feed on, reproduces incredibly fast. Some female carp produce 200,000 to 1 million eggs a year! There are tries to controll these carp though, like on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. This has an elecr=trical barrier, not completely failsafe though. The barrier only might stun them, not kill them. Flooding in this area could also bring the carp up and over the canal. Some of the problems these carp bring are that when they fully reach the great lakes, it will attract many fishermen and fish catchers. They would also totally skew the food chain, disrupting many specie

strikes in wisconsin

You have no doubt heard in the news about the union strikes in Wisconsin. But what’s really going on? Is this a sign of the unions attempting to grab power or the government oppressing a group of middle class workers? Lets find out.

Here is a basic recap. It started when the Governor of Wisconsin wanted to make up a 3.6 billion gap by cutting funding to both health care and pensions to the union workers in Wisconsin. The state workers then responded by requesting to increase their pension and health care benefit contribution by 5 and then 12 percent. The Governor responded by calling a law to remove the state workers bargaining rights. This is when the strikes started. The strike on Saturday gathered more then 68,000 people!

When the Governor called for a vote many democratic senators fled the state in order to postpone the vote for as long as possible. The situation is still developing but if I were forced to say who is the bad guy here, I would say it is Scott Walker. He is the governor of Wisconsin who decided to cut the union’s healthcare in the first place. But no matter where you stand, everyone acknowledges this will be a historic moment in US history

Revolutions in Egypt


Protests in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak started January 25th, 2011.  Hosni Mubarak became president after President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated in 1981.  As president Mubarak stabilized the country keeping the peace treaty with Israel and smoothing relationships with surrounding Arab countries as well as America.  And though Mubarak had created good relationships with other countries, he was disliked by majority of Egyptian people.  Mubarak maintained his power by rigging elections and acquired his money (estimated around 40-70 billion) from illegal dealings.  Though right now the Swiss bank has frozen his account.  Hosni Mubarak was in power for 30 years and during his reign the population in Egypt has doubled to over 80 million, while the chasm between rich and poor has grown greater.

Finally protests against Mubarak started in Tahrir Square January of this year.  The protests lasted 18 days till Mubarak eventually stepped down.  The protests were non-violent for the most part, but during the revolution two-dozen Egyptian historical sites were looted. One journalist wrote, “When you enter the square now, one row of volunteers checks your ID, another frisks you for weapons and then you walk through a long gauntlet of men clapping and singing an Egyptian welcome song.” Tahrir Square was a vivid revolutionary site housing thousands of protesters each faced with tear gas and gunshots.  Over 300 were killed by police and thugs sent out by Mubarak in Tahrir Square.  Demonstrations including the spelling of “leave” with shoes in Cairo (showing soles is an insult in Arab culture) as well as others occurred till finally Mubarak resigned February 11th, 2011.

When Mubarak stepped down, Egypt was put in the hands the military.  And right now Essam Sharaf (who joined protesters in Tahrir Square) has replaced Ahmed Shafik as prime minister.  Sharaf promised to continue changes requested by Egyptian people stating, “I beg you, you did something great and together we will do more, we are with you I have a heavy task and it will need patience.”

Though the end of Mubarak’s reign has pleased the people of Egypt, it is not certain whether or not the new government will be preferable to the former one.  Mubarak’s resignation may cause tension between Egypt and its former allies, however Obama has promised to support Egypt’s new administration.  But his resignation also signals hope for other revolutions going on in the Middle East.


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GFS MS Winter Sports- A Season to remember

Over the past weekend. Germantown Friends School was very well represented by all sports teams in their various tournaments.

One of these teams was the Middle school wrestling team. The team had a very good beginning to the season starting 6-0. They finished the season 7-2, and were ready for the upcoming annual Springfield Tournament. This was where 6 public and private school wrestled to win trophies in their weight class. Every person on the team took home a trophy. Whether it was a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place trophy everyone on the team received one. Seventh Grader Tony Verruto won first place for his weight class and 7th Grader Josh Berg took second. 8th grader s Andrew Wilson and Peter Jarka-Sellers battled back from early losses to win 3rd and 4th place trophies in their respective weight classes.

Another sport that was successful was boy’s squash. They went to the nationals over the weekend that were located in New Port, Connecticut. They won an easy first-round match against Edgewood School. In the second-round, they suffered a tough loss to Chestnut Hill Academy. They later redeemed themselves with wins against Pingry and Middle School 45 in New York City. They ended up taking fifth place, meaning they were the fifth best team in the Nation, which is pretty amazing.

Boy’s Basketball also had a very sucessful weekend. They visited The Philadelphia School for a tournament with four schools. IN the first round they beat Friend’s Central easily. After that, came the finals. They had to face The Philadelphia School at their court. After support from all team members, they won a very close game and took home the trophy!!!

This was a very great winter for GFS sports teams. Everyone ended up taking home some medals.

Tom and Rhonda

Rhonda and Tom
Two Generations at GFS

Rhonda and her son Tom have been a part of GFS for years. Starting at school together, Rhonda taught as a fourth grade assistant teacher for Diana Corliss, and Tom was a student in kindergarten. Rhonda was inspired to be a teacher by the fact that her son was  going to this school; she came because of her children and has stayed ever since.  Rhonda loves technology but is also very creative “if I wasn’t a computer teacher I would like to teach graphic design or art” she dishes to bridge reporter when they ask her favorite subject. Tom, a “lifer” began GFS at age five in kindergarten. Five years later when he started sixth grade in Jeff Fetterman’s class, he had his mom as a computer teacher. Now he works alongside her as a colleague and he says it’s “much less awkward”. When asked why he started teaching Tom says “when an opportunity came for me to come and teach, I jumped at it.” Tom hasn’t totally decided that he is going to be a teacher but he likes working with the middle-school age group and he enjoys their fun and energetic way of approaching things. He graduated from The George Washington University where he majored in history and since then he says that it is “great getting to work side by side with such a brilliant educator” (Rhonda) and learning from his teaching experience. Rhonda, when asked if she has fun working alongside Tom, says “definitely! This way I get to see Tom everyday!”