Grier School - Review #6
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||1978-1980|
|Sports and Activities:||I participated in the horseback riding program, a choral group (so I could go to more dances), was editor of a literary publication and was vice president of my senior class. I also won the art award at graduation and that recognition was very special to me.|
|College Enrolled:||University of Pittsburgh and Boston University|
|Home Town, State:||San Rafael, CA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Grier has one of the most beautiful settings of any school I have ever seen nestled in the middle of scenic Pennsylvania. In the years since I was a student there it has added many beautiful new buildings for dance, art and sports. It is rare in that it is exclusively an all girls boarding school with the teachers living on campus and eating meals with the students. It became a home away from home, and a place still dear to many of us many years later. After considering many boarding schools my sister and I chose Grier because it seemed so welcoming and had a fantastic horseback riding program -- and the promise of regular dances with boys boarding schools. It turned out to be the best decision we ever made.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
It was an extremely nurturing environment in which our personal strengths and personalities were able to emerge. It wasn't about whether you were a cheerleader or were dating the high school football star, it was about the unique qualities that you had as an individual. I left with a lot of confidence in my abilities, and felt that I could do anything that I set my mind to. My education at Grier prepared me for a very successful career as a foreign affairs journalist and later as a public relations executive in the competitive technology field.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I wouldn't have done anything differently, but it would have helped me to know that the homesickness that I felt in the first month would completely vanish after I returned to Grier from Christmas break. Many of us were expatriates so our parents lived half way around the world, and we could only see them a couple of times a year. Grier turned out to be such a positive social and educational experience that I feel so fortunate to have experienced.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The teachers and the students. The riding program.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I think I've touched on it all above.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The small classes and close relationships we formed with our teachers made learning really fun and interesting because it was so interactive. The teachers were very enthusiastic about their subjects and that rubbed off on us. Believe it or not my math teacher is still at Grier after 30 years, and I will always be grateful for his patience and determination that I would succeed in my least favorite subject (it paid off because I got accepted into Carnegie Mellon). When I visited last summer he remembered me as a student and what classes I had with him. I loved my English and History classes, and even chemistry because the teacher made the assignments so interesting.I attribute the fact that it was an all girl's school to one of the reasons that we were more focused on academics then perhaps we would have been had we been in a co-ed school.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The horse back riding program was a dream come true. We were all divided into rival Green and Gold sports teams, and that applied to the riding program, soccer, tennis, basket ball, everything. Our instructors were so dedicated and knowledgeable.I also loved that we could sign up for skiing, hiking and white water rafting and other extra curricular activities on the weekends.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I enjoyed art very much, and though I wasn't much of a singer, I joined a choral group with my friends and we had so much fun practicing for performances to the school and boy's boarding schools. I wasn't into theater, but we had a lot of fun doing class skits. It is amazing to me to see how prominent the arts have become at Grier since I was there so many years ago. There has been tremendous funding for them and the students are very fortunate to have a beautiful art studio and theater for their dance performances.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved that we could sign up every weekend for shopping outings, and a whole list of seasonal activities such as skiing, white water rafting, horse shows and hunts, trips to an Amish auction, dances at surrounding boys boarding schools, and the list goes on.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I had a wonderful roommate and suite mates. We became very close, like family. We enjoyed decorating our room and hanging out with our friends there. We so looked forward to the sit down meals that we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and to the snack bar in a restored log cabin near the barn. It was great that we had house mothers and set study times so we were sure to get our homework done, though we weren't always good about the lights out rule, and today that still makes for some of our best memories and laughs.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Loved the sit down, home cooked meals. We rotated tables so that we would sit with different teachers each week. We all took turns serving the tables until we were seniors and assigned one table for the year. The Saturday buffets were great. We had formal dinners on Sunday evenings and had to wear gowns, which I don't think anyone does anymore.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Located amid the scenic mountains and historic towns of central Pennsylvania, the school is located between two large towns -- Altoona and State College -- where we could go shopping on Saturdays. More importantly to us at the time it was located near enough to a number of boys boarding schools for dances and glee club singing activities.I loved that there was so much open land for horseback riding, and that it was located close to the college town of Penn State.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Boarding school offers a very intense social experience that bonds people for life. The friendships are strong and lasting even decades later -- we shared so many laughs (and teenage dramas) that to this day we love to reminisce about. There was always so many fun activities to do with friends on the weekends, and we loved the dances that we had with the neighboring boys boarding schools.
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Four reasons shaped our decision. I share these and other insights with you.
Does your son or daughter ride? Are you thinking about finding a private school which will suit both your academic requirements and your child's penchant for riding? Let's look at a couple of schools with riding programs.
What are you allowed to bring to boarding school? What are you not allowed to bring to boarding school? Answers to those questions and more.