GFA welcomed 2019 by hosting Lama Yignyen Tenzin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk based in Geneva, NY, into our community this January. Over the week-long residency, Tenzin methodically created the mandala, typically used for rituals and for meditations with vibrantly colored sand, reciting prayers and speaking about the value of spirituality and mindfulness.
From his thoughtful dispatches to our community, to meeting with the full faculty and staff one-on-ones (twice!), to hallway high fives, Bob Whelan has made an indelible mark on GFA in his first year. And, who could forget his Halloween Big Bird costume or the “best snow day video ever?
Sophomore Charles Kolin knows first-hand how devastating bullying can be. “I’ve had a bad history with bullying,” he said. It happened years ago when he moved to Connecticut from New York in fifth grade, but the memory of the experience is still painful. “I’ve taken that experience and I’ve said I want to use that to help other people.
Throughout the year, GFA students in every division embark on a series of Service Learning outreach activities. Throughout the year, they will visit area nonprofit organizations, charities, and eldercare facilities.
It seems no one wanted to miss the opportunity to be a part of this year’s fall musical, Spamalot, including Head of School Bob Whelan. The show was chock full of Upper Schoolers, both in front of and behind the curtains, who put together a vibrant and dynamic show. Among the many stars of the show, Patrick Howard ’19 played King Arthur and Lila Wells ’19 played The Lady of the Lake. (Whelan played Sir Not Appearing in this Show.
A good idea by a pair of Greens Farms Academy lacrosse players turned into a day full of great memories for a group of beginners from New York City. The Dragons girls varsity lacrosse program played host to nearly three dozen young players from Bronx Lacrosse this spring, holding a clinic and pizza party for the city-based squad.
Imagine spending the final weeks of the school year exploring the next great innovation in medicine and pharmacology in a course called “Decoding Cancer,” or debating the relationship between “Magic and Mathematics” with Jon Matte. What better way to make good on our commitment to “engage students as partners” than to collectively pause as a community to engage in intensive, focused, non-traditional courses designed by our exceptional faculty?
The GFA experience is a mix of tradition and innovation, and one of the best examples of this is the eighth-grade speech program. It started years ago — when Middle School Head Drew Meyer was still a grade dean — and has gone through a couple iterations before becoming what it is today: a robust training ground for students to become strong public speakers, demonstrate leadership, and build community
Alumnus Anthony “Ace” Patterson ’07 considers his world to be an open songbook. From his formative years at GFA to his current job at Facebook, music weaves in and out of his life, tying each experience to the next. Rapper, marketer, family man, volunteer, mentor, Patterson sees music as a way not just to fuse together the different facets of his life, but to share them with others.
Being a teenager is all about being surrounded by your peers, it is a period of life where you are really figuring out who you are: navigating school, extracurriculars, friends, relationships, and social media. It’s a vulnerable time for anyone, but especially a teen with cancer. I never crossed paths with any other teens in the hospital and lying in my bed all I craved was the interaction and support I had at school. I began to think, is this every hospital or just here in Connecticut?