When Friday arrives, sometimes students just need to kick back and relax. Grier's Coffee Barn is a great place to do just that. While the Coffee Barn has regular hours, Grier Activities Director Holly Carper makes special arrangments for it to stay open extended hours for special evenings, such as this fall evening of poetry readings lead by amteur poet Mr. James Pingry, who teaches Photography and Yearbook at Grier. Students joined Mr. Pingry to listen to both his original poetry and great selected poems. Between sips of warm chai lattes, the students shared their own poetry selection with the initmate group.
Grier's Science Department invited a very special guest for a return visit to campus. Striker, a 16 year-old saker falcon stopped by for our Grier students to see in person during Extra Help. Students had the opportunity to see the falcon up close. Striker and his handler, “Creature Teacher” Jody Wallace from the Blair County Conservation District, helped students learn more about falcon adaptations. Wallace even compared Striker's feathers to those of her chicken, Butterscotch.
Students in acting classes use lab days to practice stage make-up techniques in Mrs. Silverman's classroom. In this unique space, students experience what it is like to be back-stage in a dressing room. When the actors rehearse and perform, they use the Grier Auditorium stage. Grier offers three acting courses that include Introduction to Acting I, Acting II, and Acting for the Camera.
Education and Outreach Specialist Michelle L. Nutter from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office of Public Engagement visited Grier recently to give a special presentation during. Students across all grades gathered in the Dance Building after lunch to learn from Ms. Nutter who addressed topics relating to bullying prevention and digital citizenship.
To celebrate the end to Grier’s Varsity Volleyball 2018 season, the team challenged the teachers to a game. In this battle to end all battles, the teachers transformed into athletic powerhouses and defeated the students. Perhaps the slightly biased referee Coach Ort had something to do with this outcome, or perhaps it was just the fierceness of the faculty. This action-packed face-off was extremely entertaining to all the players, teachers, and the rollicking audience. Afterward, Coach Ort thanked the teachers for their support of the student athletes and for taking time out of their schedules to participate.
The annual Grier Gala gives dance students the opportunity to participate in workshops and master classes, witness performances by visiting professionals, perform in a student showcase, and audition for college and summer programs and scholarships. This event is one of several opportunities throughout the school year for Grier dancers to work with nationally acclaimed companies.
The 2018 Gala took place at the Grier School from November 5th through November 11th. It included a Student Showcase the evening of Friday, November 9th, with opening number “This Time” choreographed by Mike Esperanaza. The showcase featured nine performances by Grier Dance along with other participating dancers and dance schools.
Seventeen student volunteers from Grier became Fort Roberdeau Weeding Warriors on a chilly November Saturday afternoon. Protected with gardening gloves and armed with pruners, loppers, and hacksaws, the students went to work, helping to eradicate the invasive plant called privet from the historic site.
Classes offered by Learning Skills teachers are one component of Grier’s multi-faceted approach to ensuring individual academic success. When enrolled in Learning Skills classes, students receive individualized instruction in small group settings or even one-on-one. The students that benefit from Learning Skills are varied in their backgrounds, strengths, and challenges. From the youngest Grier students to those preparing for college and beyond, Learning Skills teachers are there each step of the way.
Grier actors have been preparing for this year's Fall Play: 12 Angry Women. The play is an adaptation of the 1957 courtroom drama 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose. Grier is presenting this play on Thursday, November 15th at 7:00pm and on Friday, November 16th at 1:00pm in the Auditorium. Come see for yourself exactly what these jurors are so angry about!
In October, Grier students volunteered their time at the Blair/Clearfield Association for the Blind’s Fall Fun Day. The annual event promotes awareness of visual impairments in a fun, family atmosphere that featured festive fall-themed games, crafts, and other activities. Grier strives to help students understand the importance of generosity and helping build communities. For this reason, Grier Giving Back’s community service program facilitates frequent opportunities for students to volunteer.
NHS students brought some spooky fun to the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library when they assisted with the Library’s Children’s Halloween Party. Grier students Lauren, Bella, and Maggie wore costumes and helped children from the Tyrone community make crafts, play games, and have a fun Halloween experience. The princesses, vampires, witches, superheroes, and newsies in attendance had a great time!
Grier students interested in helping out the community recently volunteered at a local broadcasting station’s community event. WPSU, the region’s PBS affiliate, hosted an Eventapalooza, where area children and their families visited the studio, met beloved PBS characters like the Cat in the Hat, made crafts, played games, and more! The Grier volunteers helped in a number of ways and received a glowing review from Carolyn Donaldson, the WPSU Community Engagement Manger. Ms. Donaldson writes in her email to Grier Admission Director Mrs. Jennifer Neely:
The students on Grier's Pineneedle yearbook staff had the fortune to take a field trip to Jostens Corporate Offices in State College, Pennsylvania, to pour over copies of yearbooks, get a behind-the-scenes look, and understand better the process of how their yearbook comes to be.
If the name "Jostens" rings a bell, that's because it's is a well-known producer of memorabilia that includes class rings and yearbooks. Jostens has produced Grier's yearbook, the Pineneedle for several years.
Grier Musicians gave a special concert on Saturday afternoon for family members visiting campus for Parents' Weekend. The concert featured Grier's Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, String Orchestra, as well as, Concert Choir, Select Singers, Junior Select Singers, and students in Musical Threatre class. This was the first opportunity of the school year for the musicians to put on their formal wear and perform before a school audience. Audiences can look forward to Winter and Spring concerts in addition to other smaller-scale concerts and performances throughout the year.
Grier Dancers put on a spectacular showcase just for Parents' Weekend. Dancers from all levels and styles of dance performed before an audience of peers, family members, and faculty members on Saturday evening. The dancers' handwork was evident as they performed their numbers with precision and grace. Following Parents' Weekend, Grier dancers are eagerly anticipating the Grier Gala, which will take place in November and feature a week-long Master Class and weekend workshop culminating in two nights of performances.
Grier celebrated Halloween on Friday with costume contests, a bonfire, trick-or-treating, and a school dance. During the school day, students and teachers dressed up in costumes that ranged from the beautiful, the silly, and the frightening. Some classes used the Lab Days prior to Grier's Halloween celebration to carve jack-o-lanterns that decorated the Colonnade. Many students and teachers had fun assembling group costumes. Halloween classics like the grim reaper, vampires, and witches wandered the school halls along with characters from current pop culture, including anime, memes, and more!
Thanks to some of Grier's art students, festive Jack-o-Lanterns decorate the Grier campus for Halloween. The students used the double-length Lab Day periods to design, clean, carve, and display their pumpkins. It really feels like fall now!
On Sunday, October 21st, Grier’s National Honor Society (NHS) hosted the Fox Trot 5K Walk/Run on the Grier campus. For the second year in a row, NHS invited all members of the Grier community, including all Parents Weekend visitors, to participate. Despite a biting cold morning, the run was a success, with 45 participants walking and running. The father of Grier junior Abigail was the first place runner. The 5k route wound its way through campus and parts of the town of Birmingham. Grier students, family members, and staff that braved the chill cheered from the sidelines. All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Malala Fund, an organization that advocates for girls’ access to education around the world. Grier’s NHS was able to raise over $800 for the Malala Fund.
Congrats to the volleyball team on their win against Sugar Valley Tuesday evening. It was an exciting game to watch. This was the team's final game of the season. Coach Ort took the opportunity to honor his senior player Minh Anh.The coaches and the players wish to convey their thanks for all the love and support of their fans this fall.
Earlier in October, members of Grier’s Garden Club created festive pumpkin centerpieces to celebrate fall. The students selected the pumpkins themselves from the Hoover family’s farm B&D Acres in Tyrone, Pennsylvania. When they returned to Grier campus, they worked with club advisor Mrs. Fernandes to arrange the flowers ordered from a local florist to create lovely fall centerpieces. The flowers they used were: Viking mums, alstromeria, yellow daisies, mini carnations, purple statice, solidago (or goldenrod), and glycerin oak leaves. Students decorated their rooms with the finished pieces or gave them as gifts to others.
Every year Grier invites the families of Grier students to campus for a special Parents Weekend. Over the course of the weekend, parents, grandparents, siblings, and guardians have the opportunity to see the Grier Girl in her element and learn about life at Grier.
The majority of Parents Weekend events took place on Saturday. Families arrived to campus around noon, with the parents of junior students attending a special College Planning Seminar hosted by Mrs. Cheryl Price and Ms. Kitty Moyer of the College Counseling Department. Shortly after, the mini-classes began. During this time period, parents followed the course schedule of their daughters. However, instead of the full period, parents only attend each class for ten minutes. Teachers used this time to provide parents with information about the class. This process gave families a good insight to their Grier Girl's academic life at Grier.
Like Grier School itself, athletics at Grier have evolved over the years, always supporting Grier’s motto Sana Mens In Corpore Sano (a Sound Mind in a Sound Body) and providing Grier girls with opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, maintain a healthy lifestyle, foster a competitive spirit, and more. Glancing through yearbooks of the past reveals the rich history of the school’s athletics and spirit.
In honor of International Day of the Girl, Members of Bridge Club encouraged a school-wide drive to help women and girls who do not have access to basic feminine hygiene products. Students who donated unopened packages of pads or tampons received a free girl power button pin of their choice. Alternatively, students could donate money and receive one button for a $2 donation or three buttons for a $5 donation.
Students in Mrs. Knepp's Physics classes learned about velocity. By setting up incremental chalk lines on the roadway and using stopwatches to time the bike rider as she crossed the lines, the students were then able to graph their data points and calculate the velocity of the rider.
For some, riding is just a sport. For others, it is a passion. At Grier, riding can be anything you want it to be because Grier has riding options that are attractive to riders of all levels. Grier has amazing facilities and talented instructors. Indoor rings allow for year-round riding, but when the weather is nice, many riders (and many horses) enjoy getting out into the fresh air amid a backdrop of forested mountains.
Congratulations to the varsity dressage riders who competed at their first show of the season this weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday, the team earned High Point Team, winning by an impressive 24 points on Sunday. Sophie K earned the honors of High Point Rider on Sunday. Class winners throughout the weekend included Lindsay, Yazmin, Sarah, Bri, Sophie, Sophia, and Sydney!
Grier dancers, musicians, and vocalists gave special performances for the visiting members of Grier's Board of Trustees who were on Grier campus for their fall meeting. Visiting board members watched Grier's Pre-Professional dancers perform a two-part piece choreographed by guest artist Melissa Rector. The dancers had only begun working on the piece on Monday, so to perform it so beautifully was a feat that wowed everyone. Elements of the choreography included an interpretive spelling of their own names by the dancers, which they demonstrated to the trustees. The guests then proceeded to the Instrumental Music building to listen to two pieces by the orchestra, including one that included elements found in Western film soundtracks. The performances concluded with vocalists from select choir performing Kyrie and a group of Musical Theatre performers perfomring "Brand New You" from the musical 13. Grier has more performances in store for Parents' Weekend!
The Grier Varsity Lady Foxes Soccer team registered their first goal in their game against Mercersburg. Despite a great defensive showing and great play all around the team fell just short of a win. The girls will be back in action at home Friday, October 12th against DuBois Christian School, so be sure to come out and cheer for Grier!
Recently, members of Garden Club accompanied Mrs. Fernandes on a weekend trip to Spring Farm in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. Grier girls enjoyed looking at, learning about, and selecting plants from Spring Farm’s garden center. In addition to potting containers, plants that were popular choices included African violets, various succulents, miniature tropical plants, maiden hair ferns, rabbit’s foot ferns, and even a few cacti! Afterward, the group stopped at Mamie’s Café & Bakery for donuts, cheesecake, and cookies.
This year, three Grier students received the National Merit® Scholarship Program Commendation. Seniors Michelle S, Heather P, and Rachel L each received the commendations in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.
Grier’s Varsity Cross Country team is running through its second season. Under the leadership of Coach Leen, the fast Foxes face-off against Cambria Heights High School and West Branch Area High School during the 2018 Season.
Grier Cross Country recently competed in its first meet against Cambria Heights High School in Patton, PA. In preparation for another upcoming meet, the team will continue to train here on the Grier campus and on the nearby Rails-to-Trails path. Since cross country race routes are typically 5 kilometers through natural terrain, these training locations are great for becoming accustomed to route surfaces including dirt, gravel, woodlands, and grass, along with the elevation changes of Central Pennsylvania hills.
The next Cross Country meet is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9th against West Branch Area High School in Morrisdale, PA. The 2018 team includes: Michelle S, Mila X, Harper Z, Ivy Z, Yvonne D, and Lily L.
Last week students gathered in their graduating classes to vote for their leaders. Peers could hold the positions of Class President, Class Vice President, Class Secretary-Treasurer, and Class Student Council Representative. Together, these groups for a leadership team for each grade-level and the Student Council Representatives meet with the school leaders to give representative to the grade at the school-wide level. The election results.are....
Grier has a great Parents’ Weekend planned! Things really get going on Saturday afternoon, with parents attending seminars, mini-classes, a music concert, and a dance performance. While families are staying in the area, they might enjoy taking advantage of some of the great events happening in the Central PA region. From fall festivals, kid’s activities, and Penn State sports, there is a lot to keep the whole family entertained.
Recognizing the importance of STEM in preparing students for the future job market, Grier has developed an IT Corridor. The expansion of existing space includes a 3D printing lab, robotic engineering facility, and classrooms for teaching computer science courses, including AP Computer Science.
During the Marking Period 1 Lab Days, Science classes certainly made great use of the extended time by conducting chemistry labs, physics demonstrations, taking nature walks to identify trees and fungi, and releasing trout into a local stream. Students in Art classes enjoyed deeply focusing on their work during the prolonged studio session. Budding engineers in Robotics class set their first robots in motion in Grier’s newly renovated IT Corridor. Acting students used the time to practice stage make-up techniques. The variation in the daily schedule didn’t hinder students taking private voice and music lessons. Learning Skills teachers used the longer period as an opportunity to prepare their students for upcoming tests and projects, getting the students organized and teaching study techniques. These are just some examples of the many interesting and beneficial ways teachers opt to use their extended periods.
It was a delight when MacKenzie of the class of 2008 stopped by Grier with her pup, Oxbow, for a visit to Grier. MacKenzie was glad to see some of her former teachers to say hello, stroll down memory lane, and awe at some of the additions and changes to the Grier campus since she graduated a decade before. It is a wonderful thing to keep connections with alumnae strong. Thanks for saying hello, MacKenzie!
After some disheartening cancellations due to rainfall, the Grier Lady Foxes Varsity Tennis team was finally able to have their first match of the season! Facing off against Huntingdon Area High School, Grier won 5-0. Highlights of the match included a 6-0, 6-0 win from both #1 singles player Kristen and #2 singles player Maggie. The next home tennis match will be Monday, October 1st against Spring Cove. Come up to the tennis courts to cheer on the Lady Foxes. Go Grier!
Grier's Varsity Basketball Team, the Lady Foxes started the season off strong on Monday, September 24th, with a fantastic win at home against Juniata Senior High. The Foxes had an excellent serving game and won in three sets. The team and the coaches appreciate the wonderful fans who turned out to cheer on team. Go Grier! Go Foxes!
Grier Varsity Riders had another successful weekend at the Central Pennsylvania Junior Horse Show Association (CPJHSA) Benefit Show and Equitation Finals, which were held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Lindsay S won the CPJHSA Low Equitation Final, Sophia O was 3rd, Sydney R was 6th, and Lilly F was 8th. Sophie K earned first place in the Gittings Horsemanship Medal, which qualifies here for the Medal Final in October. Grace W placed 2nd in the Gittings Medal. Jimena P, Ally S, and Camilla F earned top ribbons in the Modified Hunters, including a frist for Ally S in the under saddle. Lareina Y was champion in the Opportunity Walk Trot Canter, winning all three of her classes. Amazing job, girls! Go Grier!
It is early in the school year, but Grier’s Clubs are up and running. This weekend, members of Astronomy Club went on the road to participate in a Wounded Warrior Project activity at Camp Anderson in Tyrone. The event, during which Grier girls led some indoor astronomy activities, was a great success and a rewarding experience for the girls. The organization asked the Grier Astronomy Club to return to help a local scout troop earn a merit badge. Before the night was over, the Grier astronomy enthusiasts even had the opportunity to do a little YMCA karaoke before returning to campus!
Grier’s National Honor Society (NHS) is hosting a 5K walk/run on October 21, the Sunday of Grier’s Parents’ Weekend. All members of the Grier community (including all Parents’ Weekend visitors) are welcome to participate in the Grier Fox Trot 5K. Last year’s inaugural 5K was a great success, with over 70 participants raising money for the Global Giving Hurricane Irma Relief Fund. All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Malala Fund, an organization that advocates for girls’ access to education around the world.
Grier is thrilled to announce the return of the Grier Dance Gala for the 2018. The annual event teams dance students and professional dancers and instructors for a week-long program that includes performances, workshops, college auditions, and scholarships. This year’s Gala takes place at the Grier School from November 5th through November 11th. It is an amazing opportunity for young students of dance to work with masters.
One of the most exciting changes returning students and visitors to Grier will note this fall is the newly remodeled Grier Store, now located conveniently just off the foyer, near the Admissions and Administrative Offices. As textbook shopping has transitioned online ordering services, the store has shifted from carrying just textbooks and school supplies to a charming boutique offering Grier apparel and gifts. The new, larger location has allowed the store to offer more variety than before.
Last week, Grier Varsity riders competed in the Marshall and Sterling Insurance League Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. Grier’s riders had a successful show. Lindsay S. was 9th in the Bit-O-Straw Classic out of 70+ riders, as well as, 7th in the Hudson Children's Equitation. In the Hudson Children's Equitation, Sophia O. was 4th and Grace W. placed 5th. Sophie Kane placed 6th in a competitive Junior Medal Final. Congratulations, Grier Riders!
Grier school is happy to introduce three new Faculty members this year: Mrs. Jane Pilch (Music), Ms. Kaitlyn Wyland (Science), and Ms. Julia Natoli (Music). They each have much to offer Grier and look forward to being a part of Grier's tightly-knit community.
The Music Department welcomes two new full-time members, Mrs. Pilch and Ms. Natoli along with a new part-time instruction, Ms. Carolyn Sepp. Ms. Wyland joins the Science Department, teaching chemistry. Ms. Brynda Glazier is serving as a long-term substitute in the English Department this fall.
Friday, Grier students enjoyed splashing in Grier's heated outdoor pool to celebrate the first week of classes. Activities Director and Grier Store Manager Holly Carper organized the on-campus Pool Party. Girls could also enjoy snacks and fancy beverages poolside.
Every fall, the Grier community delights in hearing how Grier students spent their summers. Grier Senior Sherry. participated in a study-abroad program with Tufts University. Here, Sherry shares her experience in her own words:
Every time I travel, the world feels closer to me. I would say that the four weeks in France with the Tufts Summit program is definitely the highlight of my summer and makes me more qualified as a global citizen.
All the students had a busy, but fun-filled weekend. Over the course of the weekend, students took placement tests, tried-out for varsity sports and music, set up laptops with the IT department, registered for fall sports, purchased textbooks, toured the school, and attended informative all-school meetings lead by the Head of School Gina Borst. Amid the mandatory start-of-school procedures, Grier made sure the students had the opportunity to get to know each other and planned several fun events for the weekend.
Students and their parents arrived last week to Grier for Opening Weekend, a four-day event leading up to the start of the new school year. During Opening, Grier welcomed new and returning students and hosted a weekend of fun festivities that included a Carnival on the Colonnade and team-building fun and games with faculty members. Grier was foiunded in 1863, making 2018 its 165th year!
While Grier students were enjoying the last days of their summer vacations, the members of Grier’s Faculty and Staff returned to campus to prepare for a new year. In addition to the annual beginning of the year meetings and important trainings, Grier counselors led the faculty and staff in a special training for Opening Weekend.
More than 150 of the nation’s best middle school and high school riders competed on June 23-24 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for the 2018 Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Western National Finals. Grier School's upper and middle school teams participated in the competition, with riders Sophie K., Mary T., and Kim S. competing in individual categories. Grier School was Reserve Champion for Upper School, and Grier student Kim S. won th 2018 Leading Crossover Rider award and JV Beginner Horsemanship. Congrats to Kim and all the Grier Western riders!
Before returning to Grier for her Junior year, Payton M.’20 spent ten weeks of her summer working for the Youth Conservation Corps, putting in hours of hard work towards environmental efforts that included forest fire mitigation and trail construction. Though the work was no easy feat, as an outdoor enthusiast and participant in Grier’s outdoor club, Payton enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings and the opportunity to make a difference.
Grier students spend their summer break participating in a variety of activities, adventures, and explorations. Returning Grier junior, Zai '20, had a fantastic chance to work at a chocolate boutique in Switzerland.
At the During Chocolatier, she began her apprenticeship helping to package chocolates, then moving up the ranks to cashier, and helping make some of the confections, which were all made in-house. Zai reports that most often, she served as a translator for tourists, since many of her Francophone co-workers could not speak English. Indeed, she says, working at a Swiss chocolatier greatly improved her French language skills. Overall, she says, it “was a very exciting experience for me.” Zai studies French language at Grier with Madame Pope.
How well do you know the Grier campus? Nestled on a forested Allegheny mountainside near the Little Juniata River, the scenic 320-acre Grier campus provides students plenty of space to explore in a secure environment. Students have access to over 10 main buildings, 11 dormitories and cottages, extensive stables and riding rings, athletic fields, and mountain trails. Have you been paying attention to the details? Test your knowledge with this "Where Am I?" photo game created by Grier Science teacher Mrs. Fernandes. There are ten different photos; the answer will appear after each photo.
Congratulations to the students who participated in the state level competition of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS). Lavender W. earned a first place award for her project in microbiology, while Isabelle F., Lucy W. and Annie G. all earned 2nd awards for their projects. Great job!
Grier teachers have organized exciting Spring Break trips abroad. Students can join Madame Pope and Senorita Leen on a European tour or join Dr. Burke on a trip to Costa Rica. Both trips are organized through the agency Explorica and fill the entire duration of Grier’s Spring Break. Registration is open now!
Choir members from Grier's Junior Select and Select Singers performed the National Anthem before baseball fans at the People's Natural Gas Field, in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Choir members enjoyed performing before the audience of baseball fans, eating stadium snacks, and watching the Curve versus the Erie Sea Wolves.
Grier’s Library is an information center that houses a high quality educational and recreational collection of physical and online resources freely available to students and teachers. Through the school year, Librarian, Mrs. Rebecca Woolfrey, promotes literacy through displays, contests, reading programs, and activities. In addition, Mrs. Woolfrey partners with teachers to offer annual library orientation and other research and information literacy instruction to students through their assigned classes. Instruction is based on the standards from the American Association of School Librarians for 21st Century Learners and helps prepare students for college-level research and become savvy information consumers.
Grier lost a beloved member of our community this summer when Christina “Chris” Flanagan passed away at home in the early morning of August 5, 2018. As Director of Food Services, Chris had been a beloved member of the Grier community for the past 13 years. With her culinary education from LeCordon Bleu and experience as a personal chef, Chris elevated the meals in the dining hall to the fun, flavorful, and nutritious feasts we enjoy here every day.
Grier's Advanced Placement program provides students with competitive courses that prepare students for university and college studies. These courses are taught by teachers guided by the AP Course Descriptions, which outlines the course content, describes the curricular goals of the subject, and provides sample examination questions. While teachers have the flexibility to determine how this content is presented.
There is a very tiny room above the Grier School auditorium, visible only through an open archway overlooking the performance space. This room is known as the Crow’s Nest, and it is accessed through a suitably tiny door nestled beside a dormitory staircase. Not just anybody is allowed in the Crow’s Nest, but students in Recording Technology Class are among the few, privileged souls allowed entry.
Grier is located about 30 miles from the town of State College, home to the Pennsylvania State University. As a college town, State College provides Grier girls with entertainment and cultural experiences galore, including theatre, lectures, and ethnic restaurants. A trip to downtown State College, with its streets of boutique shops and local restaurants, is a popular weekend trip for Grier girls. The main lawn of Penn State’s campus abuts the downtown shopping district and makes for a great place to relax.
How well do you know the Grier campus? Nestled on a forested Allegheny mountainside near the Little Juniata River, the scenic 320-acre Grier campus provides students plenty of space to explore in a secure environment. Students have access to over 10 main buildings, 11 dormitories and cottages, extensive stables and riding rings, athletic fields, and mountain trails. Have you been paying attention to the details? Test your knowledge with this "Where Am I?" photo game created by Grier Science teacher Mrs. Fernandes. There are twelve different photos; the answer will appear after each photo.
Have you heard? Grier Library has a collection of audiobooks that students and faculty can borrow! Audiobooks are a great way to listen to novels. Many are read by professional voice actors and some contain a full cast of actors, each reading a different voice. Struggling readers sometimes find that audiobooks help them through a challenging read. Other readers just enjoy the easy, hands-free option of an audiobook.
This spring at Grier, duck eggs hatched into fluffy baby ducklings! During their unit on embryology, seventh grade students in Mrs. Fernandes' Life Sciences class incubate duck eggs. The students candle the eggs periodically to examine embryo development. While candeling the eggs, the students observe the blood vessels in the yolk sack and watch for movement in the developing chick. This year's cluch hatched around Mother's Day, after 26 days of incubation. Students observed and cared for the ducklings for two weeks before the ducklings found permanent homes at local farms.
In early May, the team of Grier students who designed and constructed a Rube Goldberg Machine learned that their design received some division awards. The team received 4th place for the Rube Goldberg Creative Spark Award, 6th place for the Spirit of Rube Goldberg Award, Rube Goldberg Teamwork Award. Unfortunately, the machine did not score high enough to move on to the next level of the competition, but learning from experiences like this and going back to the drawing board to design something even better the next time around is exactly what engineering-minded Grier girls do. Mrs. Forest and Grier School is proud of the team for their hard work and dedication. We look forward to next year’s design!
In honor of this year's National Poetry Month, Grier celebrates in many ways. The library displays books of poetry, about writing poetry, and novels in verse. New this year, this library features a Found Poetry display. Students can visit the library and create their own poems from pages of old books. There are many ways to create found poetry. In one method, students can cut and paste words, arranging them to create new poems, or students can blackout lines of text and make a poem from the remaining words. Students can also draw colorful photos over the discarded bookpages to make art and poetry at the same time.
The camp that operates at Grier during the summer months welcomed a new batch of campers to their second session. Some first session campers are staying for the second three-week session, as well, and these returning girls who know their way around will be great leaders to campers just joining the fun.
During their last week of classes, senior musicians and singers performed before an audience of teachers, peers, and family. These final performances took place on a Wednesday evening in the Orchestra room of the Instrumental Music Building on Grier's campus. This was the opportunity for seniors to showcase the skills they have developed in private lessons, choirs, orchestra, and Rock Band during their time at Grier.
Students in Dr. Nancy Burke’s AP Biology class accompanied her to the UPMC Altoona Hospital to observe surgeries. These students had the privilege of watching a neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon at work, as well as, a robotic surgery conducted by a general surgeon. Grier, Dr. Burke, and her students are grateful to the physicians and staff of UPMC Altoona for this rewarding experience.
Grier's revered Head of School Gina Borst received a prestigious award last fall: The ATHENA Leadership Award. The award is bestowed by ATHENA International, a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The ATHENA Leadership Award’s rich history, international scope, and focus on mentorship distinguish it as one of the most prestigious leadership awards one can receive.
Teachers in Grier’s History Department do an amazing job of helping students unravel and understand events from the past and relate them to issues in the present. The teachers help students succeed using a multitude of methods, from traditional classroom lectures, readings, and discussions to hands-on activities, field trips, multimedia learning, creative projects, and more.
Grier School offers a superb setting for the study of foreign languages. Our international student population serves as a daily reminder for American students that foreign language study is valuable in the global village of the modern world. Our modern language department offers five years of study in Spanish or French.
After completing a unit on foods and measurements, during which their ESL teacher Mrs. Silverman challenged the students to transcribe a favorite recipe in English with Imperial units, the students made their recipes in their teacher's kitchen. While Mrs. Silverman could not recall the names of the specific dishes, she noted that they were delcious.
At Grier, each of the seven marking periods includes a two-day block of Lab Days. During these days, class periods are double their usual length, with half of the classes meeting on Day 1 and the other half on Day 2. Lab Days are named such because these longer class periods are expressly designed for science classes to complete labs, but all the departments participate. Schoolwide, the longer periods are great for special projects, dramatic re-enactments, presentations, field trips, additional review or practice with skills, and more.
Students in Technology Director Ms. Carol Deremer’s Advanced 3D Design class create a variety of three-dimensional objects using different software and techniques to achieve the desired outcomes. This spring semester The Advanced 3D Design class is the natural follow-up to the fall semester’s introductory course.
Extra, extra! The annual edition of the Green & Gold is out! The Green & Gold is Grier’s newspaper, made possible by a generous donation from Grier alumna. Mr. Sam Salyards of Grier’s English department produces the paper annually. It is comprised of submissions from the Grier student body including many from students in his senior English classes. This year, Mr. Salyards received over twenty-five submissions. Because he could not include everything in the paper, he made an effort to feature Grier’s senior writers.
School may be out, but that does not mean that Grier girls are not preparing for the upcoming school year. Returning students and new students alike are reading two or more novels as directed by Grier’s English Department so that they will be prepared to participate in thoughtful discussion, written work, or a test as soon as classes resume in September.
While Grier School is out of session for the summer, campers from near and far come to Grier campus to participate in Grier Summer, an all-girls camp founded in 1975. At Grier Summer, campers ages 7-17 can participate in art, musical theatre, dance, and riding along with fun activities like swimming, games, and of course, making s'mores!
Students in Grier’s Intro to Acting class toured the historic Rowland Theatre in nearby Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, to learn more about the role of theaters in American culture and how entertainment on the stage and silver screen have changed over time.
By donating blood, one person can help save hundreds of lives, which is why blood drives are such an important part of the American Red Cross’s mission. Grier has been partnering with the organization and hosting a blood drive for over ten years. The annual Grier Blood Drive is a great way for students to contribute to life-saving efforts. Even students who are not eligible to donate due to age, nationality, or other restrictions can participate in the event by volunteering.
You probably know that the library is great place to find books or print your essay, but did you know that you can borrow magazines from the Grier Library? Grier subscribes to over thirty-six magazines, repsenting the diverse interests of our students. We retain most of the issues from the current school year and allow students and faculty to borrow any issue for up to two weeks - even the most recent ones - just like a book.
In addition to the regular performances in Grier's own Dance Building, Grier Dancers have opportunities to participate in showcases and competitions in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York. The Koresh Artist Showcase was one of these events that allowed our dancers the opportunity to perform onstage with over a dozen other dance companies.
At the end of the year picnic, Grier took a moment to recognize art teacher, Mrs. Laurie Cave and wish her a happy retirement. Following the yearbook distribution, Mrs. Borst presented Mrs. Cave with a special book, a grand bouquet of flowers, and a card signed by her colleagues. Grier faculty and students then lined up to individually say fond farewells to Mrs. Cave.
Grier is pleased to reportthat Spamalot took home three wins the Altoona Community Theatre's (ACT) 13th Annual Isaacs Awards. The awards recognize excellence in high school musical theatre. For the spring musical Spamalot, Grier received ten nominations across nine different categories and received wins for Actor or Actress in a Featured Role, Achievement in Choreography, and Best Featured Dance.
While Grier is an all-girls school, Grier students do have chances to meet and interact with young men. Grier and regional boys’ schools take turns organizing events such as school dances and social mixers so that young women and young men have the chance to meet in person. The schools also work together to coordinate trips to amusement parks, skiing, and shopping malls to give the students a chance to get to know one another.
As the end of the year approaches, senior class Grier girls clean out their rooms, collecting clothing, books, and décor that they do not plan to take with them when they depart from Grier. The seniors bring their cast-off items to the Grier gym for the annual Senior Sale. Other Grier students, resident advisors, teachers, and shop the Senior Sale, searching for hidden treasures and great deals. The seniors benefit from the sale by reducing the amount of items to pack up and lug away from Grier and by earning some cash for summer expenses.
How well do you know the Grier campus? Nestled on a forested Allegheny mountainside near the Little Juniata River, the scenic 320-acre Grier campus provides students plenty of space to explore in a secure environment. Students have access to over 10 main buildings, 11 dormitories and cottages, extensive stables and riding rings, athletic fields, and mountain trails. Have you been paying attention to the details? Test your knowledge with this "Where Am I?" photo game created by Grier Science teacher Mrs. Fernandes. There are seven different photos; the answer will appear after each photo.
During the week prior to Graduation, Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Grier extended an invitation to the entire senior class to join them for breakfast at their on-campus home, Maple Forest. There, the students enjoyed a buffet of breakfast delights including fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, and baked goods. As the seniors socialized with each other and members of the counseling staff and administration, Mrs. Harriet Grier took the opportunity to encourage the graduates to be active Grier alumnae.
While it takes a great deal of hard work and dedication to get there, finally being a senior at Grier comes with some excellent rewards. Classes for Seniors end a full week ahead of their underclass sisters and they receive special privileges during their last week of classes, to boot. Without finals to cram for, the seniors can enjoy some fun, including a bonfire at Mrs. Borst's house and the Senior Class Trip.
Following a half day of classes, students and teachers gathered at the Head of School's house for a picnic luncheon followed by a special presentation. Mrs. Borst "gazed into the future" and made predictions for Grier's senior class, students presented the yearbook dedication, and the group honored art teacher Mrs. Laurie Cave for her years serving Grier School.
After days of special events and celebrations for Seniors, things culminated, of course, with the Graduation Ceremony on Lodge Lawn Saturday afternoon. Junior class servers attended the graduating seniors who proceeded down the Colonnade in their long white gowns. Director Dr. Douglas Grier welcomed everyone. Senior members of the National Honor Society gave speeches, along with the valedictorian Karin C. Head of School, Mrs. Gina Borst presented senior awards and, along with Dr. Grier, the diplomas. Mrs. Harriet Grier welcomed the new Alumnae and Student Council closed with a prayer before everyone sang Grier's Alma Mater.
The Friday night before Grier’s Commencement Ceremony, seniors, their families, junior servers, and Grier faculty gathered for an evening of dinner, performances, and Candlelight Ceremony in the Courtyard. During the dinner, held inside Grier’s gymnasium, Annie G., Linnea K., Linden M., Nora V., and Flora W., members of Grier’s National Honor Society, gave speeches reflecting their personal experiences at Grier and offering inspiration to their classmates for the future ahead. Senior musicians and dancers performed in the Dance Building. Here, too, NHS members Karyna C., Iris H., Sara H., Katie M., and Lillian Z. gave their commencement speeches. Finally, the group of seniors and their junior servers gathered in a circle in the Courtyard for a special tradition: the Candlelight Ceremony.
During a special all-school assembly, department heads and teachers proudly presented outstanding academic achievement awards to underclass students. The award winners were selected by faculty members from the departments of: English, History, Math, Modern Languages, and Science for students in grades 7-11.
In a special all-school assembly on Monday, May 21st, the Grier chapter of the National Honor Society inducted fourteen new members. These individuals exemplified the four pillars of NHS: Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character.
Students taking voice and music lessons performed individual recitals in Grier's Music Building before a live audience of fellow classmates and teachers. These performances demonstrated the progress and skill refinement made throughout the course of the academic year.
The Grier School Prom was held on Saturday, May 19th at The Casino at Lakemont Park. Boys traveled from Kiski to join our students in the festivities. The theme was "Starry, Starry Night," and under the twinkling canopy of lights, the Grier girls and their dates danced the night away.
Grier Varsity riders Sophia K., Linnea K., Grace W., Sydney R., Alyssa S., Ali S., and Jimena P. competed at the St. Christopher’s Horse Show hosted by Swan Lake Stables in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. This was their last show of the season. Congratulations to the Varsity Riders on a successful weekend showing.
Students and teachers purchased handmade ceramic soup bowls at the 6th Annual Bowl-n-Soup sale on May 17th during lunch to raise money for the Grier Community Fund. Ceramics teacher Mrs. Heidi Zimbler organized the event, which featured not only her own pieces, but also the works of her students.
On Saturday, May 5th, a group of Grier students accompanied Mrs. Abby Curtis to the 45th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in West Friendship, MD, where they could enjoy learning about sheep, see demonstrations of folk arts, listen to live music, and enjoy festival foods.
On a beautiful spring Tuesday, May 15th, fifteen Grier students competed against other area high schools in an Envirothon event hosted by Juniata College at the Raystown Lake Field Station on Raystown Lake in Huntingdon Country, Pennsylvania. Grier came in 2nd place in the Soils category. Way to go!
Students embraced school spirit by dressing up during any or all of the five spirit days during Spirit Week sponsored by Student Council that included Decades Day (Monday), Dress Snazzy Day (Tuesday), Meme Day (Wednesday), Character Day (Thursday) and Teacher Day (Friday). Coming up with costumes was not always an easy task, but our #GrierGirls and teachers were up to the challenge!
Grier girls, teachers, and others hit the crushed limestone paths of the Rails to Trails of Central Pennsylvania for the Global 5K walk/run to raise money for girls’ empowerment around the world. Members of the Grier club Empowering Girls Globally (EGG) organized and hosted the event with their club advisor, Mrs. Keri Salyards of Grier’s History Department.
On April 30, 2018, Grier School’s Life Science class and their teacher, Mrs. Christine Fernandes, participated in Trout Release Day events as part of their participation in the Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom program (TIC). The class raised brook trout fingerlings from eggs that they received from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Grier School partnered with local resident Bill Anderson, president of the Little Juniata River Association (LJRA), to raise their trout, and students released the trout a few weeks prior to their official release day in McClain Run at the Camp Greene Hills site in Barree, Pennsylvania.
Grier students and preschool children from the Tipton area have benefited for five years from a partnership between Grier and the Northern Blair County Recreation Center. Grier volunteers work with the preschool children in a program called Kindersport. The Grier teens lead the young children in age-appropriate physical fitness activities at the center.
As graduation nears, Grier invites families to make a contribution in honor of a graduate. Gifts in honor of graduates are a way for families and friends to demonstrate their appreciation for the role Grier has played in educating and empowering the young women of the Class of 2018.
Grier is so excited to announce that our spring musical received multiple nominations for the Altoona Community Theatre's (ACT) 13th Annual Isaacs Awards, which recognize excellence in high school musical theatre. For the spring musical Spamalot, Grier received ten nominations across nine different categories.
Today is Teacher Appreciation Day when we take a moment to recognize the dedication of teachers in our lives, including the awesome teachers at Grier.
As the National Education Association reminds us, "Teachers give us so much. A boost of confidence when we really need one. Extra help when we’re having trouble. A welcoming presence when everything else seems out of control. And though we know we can’t ever thank them enough, we can take a moment during National Teacher Appreciation Week to share our appreciation for the special educators in our lives."
The Senior Class helped the Grier student body celebrate the end of Marking Period 6 with an all-school pajama party and a senior lock-in. Clad in their PJs, ranging from comfy pants and t-shirts to character onesies, the students filled the dance floor of the Grier Auditorium while a DJ provided up-tempo dance beats from the stage.
Biology students spent four days learning about coastal ecology at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, Virginia, with their teacher Dr. Nancy Burke.
While learning about the intertidal zone, dune ecology, and maritime forest ecology, the group motored through the bay on a boat excursion, gathered specimen, and identified organisms in a lab setting. Although the weather wasn’t as warm as last year, this group of students were exceptionally lucky to find an endangered terrapin and witness phosphorescent jellies.
Two Grier seniors just won the FIRST® Robotics World Championship in Detroit! The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) is a prestigious and highly competitive program for high school students. Teams worldwide participate in building professional grade metal robots that are up to eight and a half feet tall, controlled by a laptop and joystick via WiFi, and constructed over the course of six weeks. Over 3,600 active teams from 27 countries around the world participate in the FRC.
Grier hosted a two-day Spring Show during the last weekend of April. Congrats to the varsity riders who competed in the Grier School Stables Spring rated shows this past weekend. Grier's Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Beverly Hampton was on campus to take some photos of the riders with their horses.
Grier delighted audiences with the eagerly anticipated production of Monty Python’s Spamalot. Grier’s production of Spamalot, the musical “lovingly ripped off from” the British sketch comedy troupe’s 1970s film Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a laugh-out-loud, zany trip for audiences of friends, family, and teachers on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th on Grier’s campus
Many communities and institutions worldwide use the April 22nd celebration of Earth Day to demonstrate support for environmental protection efforts. Grier, too, took part in celebrating Earth Day through a campus clean-up community service event. A group of students joined science teacher Mrs. Kallie Brubaker in picking up litter from campus.
Grier is home to many remarkable faculty members who have success both in and out of the classroom. Teacher of AP English and Creative Writing at Grier, Ms. Kara Lawler is one such teacher. In addition to classroom teaching, at Grier, Ms. Lawler is largely responsible for the Writing Center, Senior Prom, and organizing guest writer workshops, such as the poetry workshop with Gabriel Welsch in February. Outside of Grier, Ms. Lawler is a writer and an active community member.
Attention all Grier alumnae, the latest issue of the Grier Alumnae Bulletin is on its way to you! This issue includes updates from alumnae worldwide, special photospreads of the 2017 Commencement Ceremony and the 2017 all-class reunion. The bulletin also features photos and descriptions the newest additions to Grier's facilities and the latest updates on Grier alumnae, faculty, and retirees. This year’s issue also includes a tribute to the late scenic designer Helen Pond ’42 and shines the spotlight on five incredible alumnae and their most recent achievements.
Grier Riders competed in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Hunt Seat National Finals this past weekend and earned the title of Team Spirit Award! Maggie F. earned sixth place in her Varsity Open Flat, and Lindsay S. earned a sixth in both her Varsity Intermediate Fences and Varsity Intermediate Flat. Grier School ended up 13th overall, out of 792 teams! Way to go, Grier riders!
Ten Grier juniors worked all winter long to complete an entry into this year's online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The machine had to pour a bowl of cereal in 20-75 steps. The Grier machine used an amazing chain reaction to pour cereal and even drop a spoon into the bowl.
Grier students are helping to keep local waters clean by building and maintaining a local rain garden. Last year, the Blair Conservation District reached out to Grier to ask for volunteers to help with a rain garden project in Tyrone.
This morning, on the 19th anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine High School, Grier Students and members of the faculty and staff gathered in the Colonnade in support of safe schools and to honor the victims of school shootings. Many of the participants chose to wear the color orange, a symbol of the National School Walkout movement.
Grier students who participated in varsity sports during the spring season enjoyed a banquet in their honor held at the Blairmont Country Club in Altoona. Sports represented during this banquet included: Archery, Basketball, Cross-Country, Fencing, Hunt Seat and Western Riding, Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball. During the banquet, coaches from each team presented awards. Tables were festooned with team photos and a slideshow of highlights featured the athletes at their best.
While it is widely known that reading and discussing literature can open minds and virtually transport students to different places and times, one usually doesn't expect to actually practice wilderness survival skills in class. However, ninth-grade students in Mr. Lang's English class had the opportunity to do just that!
¡Pasándola bien! Students in Srta. Leen’s Spanish classes are having a great time developing their appreciation for Spanish language and culture. In addition to the induction of new members into the Spanish Language Honor Society earlier this month, Spanish students recently saw Spanish works of art in the National Gallery and experienced the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet in Pittsburgh.
Recently, many Grier students had their first opportunity to see real pieces of the Moon. Earth Science teacher, Mrs. Christine Fernandes gave multiple presentations about the specimens which were collected from Apollo missions 14, 15, 16, and 17.
Her eighth grade students learned about the rocks during class time. Additionally, Mrs. Fernandes coordinated with the local Tyrone Area Elementary School to create a terrific volunteer opportunities for Grier students. After Mrs. Fernandes’ presentation to second grade classes, she and the student volunteers led a lunar-themed rocket experiment.
On Friday, the Grier community enjoyed a spectacular performance by our Grier dancers and choreographers. The audience enjoyed seeing nearly ninety Grier dancers perform twenty-three varied numbers that included solos, small groups, and large groups of ballet, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, and hip-hop.
To celebrate the early release of brook trout, which the Life Sciences class has been raising from eggs, and National Poetry Month, Mrs. Fernandes invited poet and Penn State Altoona Professor Todd Davis to visit the classroom. In his collection of poetry titled Winterkill Davis pens reflective observations of Pennsylvania’s wildlife, including two poems about brook trout "Salvelinus fontinalis" and "Canticle for Native Brook Trout."
Grier’s French and Spanish Language Honor Societies welcomed new members in an induction ceremony held in the Living Room during Extra Help period on Friday. New members included: Lavender W., Melissa K., Sherry X., Ivy Z., Vivian Z., Bella W., Christine Z., Kristen L., Lauren S., and Shelby H.
Existing members of the Honor Society joined the new inductees for the ceremony, and the Grier Community was invited to witness and celebrate the special occasion. Congratulations!
In addition to Grier’s Zone Champion Varsity Hunt Seat team, Grier Riding recognizes Western rider sophomore Yazmin W. who earned her first ever blue ribbon and qualified for Regionals where she will compete in JV Beginner Horsemanship. As the team wished a Happy Easter to everybody at Grier, Chloe (PT Centerstage), a horse owned by Grier School, won the honorable title “Zone Horse of the Day!”
Bzzzz! Grier's National Honor Society (NHS) is sponsoring a Teas for Bees fund raiser to raise money for the global hunger relief charity Heifer International through the sales of tea. This is a nod to NHS's previous cleverly-titled fund raisers "Totes for Goats," "Shirts for Sheep," "Tops for Crops," and "Pants for Plants."
Students who attended Grier from 1992 – 2006 are likely to recall vivacious English and ESL teacher Mrs. Vickie McIntyre, otherwise known as Mrs. Mac. It was because of Mrs. Mac that the Jonas Brothers performed in the school auditorium before they made it big.
Students in Technology Director Ms. Carol Deremer’s Advanced 3D Design class create a variety of three-dimensional objects using different software and techniques to achieve the desired outcomes. This spring semester The Advanced 3D Design class is the natural follow-up to the fall semester’s introductory course.
Grier students recently gave presentations to social studies classes at Huntingdon Area Middle School. The presentations, given by Grier’s international students from Russia, Korea, China, Vietnam, and West Africa helped middle schoolers learn about the languages, foods, music, and other aspects of culture from around the world.
Students in Mrs. Brubaker’s Anatomy classes toured the human cadaver lab at Saint Francis University. In addition to checking out the facilities and learning about on-going research, students learned about the process of obtaining bodies for medical research and education. The university has adopted a hands-on approach to learning and students learn anatomy by studying human cadavers that have been donated through the Human Gift Registry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The scores from the Mathematics Association of America’s American Mathematics Competition (MAA AMC) are in and Grier is ecstatic to announce that four of our #GrierGirls had top scores! April H. and Cindy W. were the top two scorers on the AMC 10, while Amy T. and Quin N. were the top two scorers for the AMC 12. Congratulations to April, Cindy, Amy, and Quin, and to everyone who competed in the event.
Congratulations to the Varsity Hunt Seat team; they are Zone Champions and heading to Nationals at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, next month! At the Zone Championships at the Horse on Course Riding Center in Valencia, Pennsylvania, this weekend, the Grier Varsity Hunt Seat team maintained their undefeated season.
Grier musicians and vocalists took to the Auditorium stage Friday evening for Grier's wildest music concert of the year: Rock Fest! The student-faculty Rock Band performed over twenty new and classic pop and rock songs made famous by female performers.
Spring Break was an exciting adventure for a group of Grier students and their teacher chaperones as they traveled to the South American country of Ecuador. The group toured the capital city of Quito, learned about making chocolate, visited an animal rescue center, went river rafting through the rainforest, viewed gorgeous waterfalls, mountains, and volcanoes, as well as, a tour of the famous Galápagos Islands.
On Thursday, February 22nd, the Grier Foxes Fencing team participated in their last match of the season against rival team Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona. While Bishop Guilfoyle won the match, Grier fencers had some noteworthy bouts. One such bout was Grier junior Nora V. versus her brother. Phuong V., Lizzie P., Kirin C., and Judy L., all won their matches. For seniors Alexis W., Phuong V., Meredith G., Nora V., and Lilian Z., this was the final match of their high school fencing careers.
Recently, Grier musicians and vocalists treated the Grier community to a pops music concert, with performances by the orchestra, string orchestra, jazz ensemble, flute choir, junior select singers, select singers and concert choir. Grier extends a warm thank you to all our musicians, singers, and teachers who came together for this very entertaining concert. It was a joy to experience. Grier's Music Department wishes to thank the wonderful audience for attending and supporting Grier musicians.
In another event linked to the One School, One Story: Hidden Figures program at Grier, students constructed Galileoscopes, a type of telescope used by Renaissance astronomer Galileo. Over the course of two Extra Help periods, students assembled the telescopes in the library. The cost of the kits and tripods was defrayed by generous donations facilitated by Grier’s Director of Development, Harriet Grier.
As the Grier Varsity Basketball Season came to a close, the coaches and players invited faculty members to join them in an after school game. Several teachers were enthusiastic to participate and show off their physical prowess; and the teachers ultimatly claimed victory over the students by a narrow margin. Thanks for playing!
Grier extends huge congratulations to the Grier Dressage Team who traveled to the IEA Dressage Finale in Ohio over the weekend. Grier's High School Dressage team won the title of High Point Team and several Grier riders placed in their individual competitions. The Middle School team placed 3rd with only two riders participating! Grier Dressage Riders were also featured on the cover of the Winter 2017 issue of IEA's quarterly publication Take the Reins!
On Thursday, February 15th, twenty-four Grier students competed in the Mathematics Association of America’s American Mathematics Competition (MAA AMC). The secondary school competitions are held on the same two days at locations across the nation. The Grier students traveled by school bus to Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to compete and learn from math educators affiliated with the college.
Good luck to our Grier Dressage Team as they travel during Spring Break to compete in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Dressage Finals.
This is the penultimate event in the IEA’s Dressage Pilot Program, which consisted of a series of competitions in which youth riders demonstrated their skills on unfamiliar horses in both Dressage Test and Dressage Seat Equitation events. The IEA Dressage Finale is taking place March 17-18 at Otterbein University, located near Columbus, Ohio.
Students welcomed Gabriel Welsch to Grier Sunday afternoon where he led a poetry workshop at the campus Coffee Barn. Grier AP English teacher and English Department Chair Ms. Kara Lawler organized the free event and encouraged students to attend, suggesting the workshop would be a great break from essay-writing or a bout of writer’s block.
Grier School is delighted to announce that junior Michelle S. has been selected as an Emperor Science Award Winner. Michelle was chosen as one of 100 high school students from across the United States awarded for their passionate essays detailing the need to find a cure for cancer.
Ten science-minded students are planning to enter this year's online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. This year’s challenge is to design a machine to pour a bowl of cereal in 20-75 steps. In this early stage, the students worked with Dr. Chris Forest, husband of physics teacher Mrs. Kelley Forest, to assemble the set for their machine.
Following her performance at the Trojan Archery Tournament, Lauren S. has qualified to compete in the Pennsylvania National Archery in Schools Program tournament at Penn State University during Grier’s Spring Break. Come out and cheer on Lauren!
On Thursday, February 8th, the entire Grier Junior class attended an NACAC College Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the fair, juniors had the opportunity to meet with representatives from hundreds of colleges and to attend workshops on various college selection and preparation topics.
Students from Art History classes and AP Studio Art Portfolio classes recently accompanied art teachers Ms. Rebecca Donaghue and Ms. Julie Piotti and on a tour of the gallery and local art restoration of artist John Rita.
Figurative painter, John Rita of Albert Michaels Conservation in Altoona, Pennsylvania, met with the Grier group and kindly guided them through the enormous art conservation facility. Here, students saw restored works of art as well as restorations in progress, a woodshop, a laboratory, and an art studio. Rita, who received specialized training in art conservation and studied abroad in Europe for years, is known for his high quality art and restoration work. He has restored murals and frescos in institutions including the Mishler Theater in Altoona, the Lincoln Fresco in the Lobby of Old Main on Penn State’s University Park Campus, and even the State Capital Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He also restores sculpture and showed the students a defaced marble bust he was working to restore.
As tends to be the case, students at Grier had a wide array of activities to choose from this past weekend. Mr. Lang hosted an Open Mic night at the Coffee Barn where students could sing, play music, or read poetry. Musical theatre enthusiast, Mrs. Reinhardt took a group of students to see the premier run of Joe Iconis' musical theatre production at Penn State, called Love in Hate Nation. The group even got to meet Joe Iconis, who worked closely with the Penn State Musical Theatre students to write and develop the production. The Salyards took a group of students to Penn Skatez roller rink in State College, where they skated or roller bladed around the rink, played games like limbo, and enjoyed snacks and arcade games. These were just a handful of the exciting events and activities over the weekend!
Congratulations to the Varsity Hunt Seat team on their VERY successful weekend competing at Regional Finals. The high school team was High Point Team and has qualified for Zones! These team riders are Kim S., Peyton B., Maggie F., Sophie K., Lindsay S., and Shelby H. Individual qualifiers include: Maggie F. in Open Fences, Lindsay S. in both Intermediate Flat and Fences, Linnea K. in Novice fences, Shelby H. in JV Beginner Flat, Sydney R. in Future Intermediate Fences, Grace W. in Future Intermediate Flat, Jimena P. in Future Beginner Flat. Lauren H. placed 2nd in the Open Championship and Maggie F. was 3rd. Lindsay S. was Reserve High Point high school rider. We are so proud of all of you!!!
Grier actors entertained audiences for a two-night run of the murder mystery play Muder on the Nile. The play is based on British mystery writer Agatha Christie's 1937 novel Death on the Nile. In the play, newlyweds Kay and Simon are enjoying their idyllic honeymoon aboard a ship on the Nile River when their bliss is interrupted by a brutal murder. All passengers aboard have plausible motive to kill, but who did?
The set, designed to look like a luxury Egyptian cruiseliner, the glittering costumes, sound and lights, and of course, the acting delivered the high-tension muder mystery to the Grier audience.
The extended class period time of Lab Days allowed the French language students of Madame Pope, Monsieur Wilson, and Madame Shaffer to create the French culinary delight: crepes. Maple Forest, the on-campus residence of the Grier family, provided a fully-equipped kitchen and dining room for the students to prepare and enjoy their crepes.
Students in Grier's National Honor Society (NHS) encouraged everyone at Grier to celebrate individual beauty by celebrating "I am Beautiful Day." NHS helped the school celebrate natural individual beauty in a number of ways, including encouraging everybody at Grier to dress simply, to share positive affirmations with each other, and by hanging up signs and posters celebrating the day.
Friday, Grier’s Lady Foxes Basketball Team defeated Grace Prep Christian High School 41-28. Congratulations to the team and especially to the three senior players, who were given special recognition at this game and demonstrated the value they add to the team.
Our final One School, One Story: Hidden Figures event took place on Thursday, February 8, as we welcomed presenter Angie Wolfgang, a postdoc fellow in astrophysics from Penn State University. Teachers and students were fascinated to hear about her work searching for exoplanets (planets outside of the solar system). To date, she says, we’ve discovered roughly 5,000 exoplanets. Extrapolated, that means there are roughly two billion of them in the universe!
Recently, students joined a weekend trip to climb at the Milton Rock Gym, an indoor climbing gym in Milton, Pennsylvania. Students were guided and chaperoned by experienced climber, English teacher Mr. Tony Lang.
After weeks of planning and preparation, the whole school united for an amazing celebration of global awareness. Coinciding with another event that unites the world, the Olympic Winter games in PyeongChang, Korea, the 2nd Annual International Food Bazaar featured twenty different student groups, each representing a unique nationality, region, or ethnicity. Every group was responsible for serving a dish, decorating their tables, giving a performance, and creating souvenirs.
Grier girls love astronomy so several braved the cold weather and packed into a Grier van for a trip with Mrs. Christine Fernandes to NASA's Swift mission headquarters on the Penn State University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania. Swift is a NASA mission, launched in 2004, that was originally designed to detect gamma ray bursts or GRBs (intense blasts of gamma radiation emitted from massive dying stars as they collapse into black holes). Today it is used to study an array of stellar phenomena including supernova explosions, comets, nearby galaxies, magnetars, neutron stars, and most recently, gravitational waves.
Members of the seventh and eighth grade class organized and operated their annual Valentine's fundraiser bake sale was held on Tuesday, February 13th, in the Grier Auditorium. Staff and students could purchase goods baked and donated by teachers and students.
A group of students joined chaperone Mrs. Kim Pope for a Friday afternoon trip to the Clay Cup in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The Clay Cup is a hip, creative studio space that also features a café with a variety of coffees, Italian sodas, and bakery items. Students painted bisque pottery, choosing just the right shade from a huge selection of colors.
A busload of students joined Mrs. Fernandes and Mrs. Donaghue for a trip to Lincoln Caverns on Saturday, including many of students from Mrs. Fernandes' 8th grade Earth Science class. The trip included a one-hour tour of two crystal caverns: Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks. As they learned about cave geology and local lore associated with the caves, students observed a variety of cave formations, including crystals, stalactites, and stalagmites.
Grier students and teachers are preparing for a school-wide, day-long global awareness event. Now that recipes have been determined and calculated to produce large quanities, the student groups are rehearsing for their performances and creating mementos. Students from the France group met in the library to assemble keychains featuring brightly colored French macarons and silver Eiffel towers.
Grier Archers attended a state qualifying tournament hosted by Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, this weekend. Many students participate in archery as a recreational sport coached by Ms. Katt Barr at Grier, and four of those students elected to participate in the National Archery in School Program (NASP) tournament at Bishop Carroll.
Music students, teachers, and others gathered in the orchestra room after school on Tuesday for a workshop on Ghaniana West African drumming taught by guest musician and educator Christiana Usenza. The workshop introduced many students to the polyrhythmic forms of African percussion through several bell patterns native to the West African country of Ghana.
Students gathered at the Coffee Barn for a Superbowl viewing party organized by Activities Director Mrs. Holly Carper. While they viewed the heated battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots for the coveted NFL Championship and the Lombardi Trophy, Grier girls could enjoy and array of party snacks, including cupcakes in the signature colors of the rivaling teams.
The Marking Period 4 Lab Days were certainly an exciting two days in the Science Department!
Students in Dr. Nancy Burke's Honors Biology classes were running gels in a DNA electrophoresis lab. In Mrs. Fernandes' Chemistry class, students deduced the identity of mystery solutions. Chemistry teacher Mr. Mark Van Horn demonstrated the firey reaction when sodium and water combine. The young Life Sciences class dissected perch to learn about fish anatomy. Mr. Ort's Psychology class did a physical activity in Nana's place to strengthen their understanding of the concept of neuroplasticity, or how the pathways in the brain are re-routed during an individual's lifetime.
Members of Garden Club had a fun adventure recently creating floral crowns with florist Andrea Hammel of Peterman's Florist in Altoona. Most of the Grier Garden Club members were quite familiar with the concept of flower crowns because it is a favorite filter in the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat, but they had never made their own crowns before.
Grier riders participated in a double show held at Grier this weekend, featuring an IEA Zone 11 tournament on Saturday and a Dressage Scrimmage on Sunday.
On Saturday, it was a clean sweep for Grier's Varsity Hunt Seat Riding team as they compete in the Zone 11 IEA Tournament. The Grier girls won 11 of the 12 classes as well as the titles of High Point High School Rider, High Point Middle School Rider, High Point High School Team, and High Point Middle School Team.
Students who earned first honors for the fall semester were entitled to a merit trip this week. The merit trip was a free trip to Logan Town Centre, a popular local shopping destination with a variety of shops and restaurants. Mrs. Borst was proud of the 117 students who earned first honors. To be eligible for first honors, a student must achieve a 93% or better for their semester average, which includes Marking Periods 1, 2, and 3.
The Grier Lady Foxes Varsity Basketball Team is now in full swing for the season. In their first game following Winter Break, the Foxes took on Grace Prep School in State College, Pennsylvania, on Monday and won the game 39-21. Veteran players Abby S., Jaden H., Payton M., Tam P., and Connie M. were scorers for this game.
Recent winter weather and cold temperatures haven’t stopped Grier girls from getting outside and having fun! Weekend trips and activities provide many ways for students to beat cabin fever.
Last week, snowfall coated the Grier campus with enough accumulation for the students to enjoy sledding down the many hills and dips campus has to offer. The following weekend, teachers chaperoned weekend trips for more winter fun.
Friday, Mr. Lang hosted an open mic night at Head of School Mrs. Borst's house. Students could gather in the cozy living room to recite poetry or short fiction, sing, play instruments, or just socialize and applaud the performers while enjoying a hot cocoa. Mr. Lang entertained the crowd by playing tunes on his guitar and even learned some new songs by request to accompany the singers.
In celebration of Grier's One School, One Story selection, students and teachers gathered together in the library during Extra Help period on Friday, January 19th to discuss the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and the film the book inspired. Attendees entered a contest for door prizes that included two autographed copies of the book, a t-shirt, space-themed bookmarks, space-themed jewelry, and a NASA image coloring book. While most readers found the book dense and challenging to read, they found the story fascinating and acknowledged the fortitude required of the hidden figures in what they accomplished, both intellectually and socially, despite the barriers to their gender and race.
Over the course of the next month, Grier students and teachers are preparing for a school-wide, day-long global awareness event. The 2nd annual International Food Bazaar will feature twenty different groups, each presenting cuisine representative of a different nation, region, or ethnicity. In addition to the array of foods, the twenty groups will promote cultural awareness through decorated tables, performances, and a hand-made souvenir.
Science classes at Grier combine learning with fun. Last week, Anatomy students enjoyed a sensory lab where they performed several experiments involving the senses. Earth science students identified minerals. Students from Life Science class accompanied their teacher to a local pet store after school. At JSK Fish and More in Cresson, Pennsylvania, the students helped gather supplies for the classroom cichlid and trout tanks. They also used what they had learned about fish and fish care to select fish and supplies for their own dorm rooms at Grier! Janet and Olivia each returned to their dorm rooms with two betta fish.
Members of the Junior Class organized a bake sale to raise money for the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Beginning in 2014, residents of Flint were exposed to high amounts of lead in their drinking water and suffered some serious health conditions as a result. The Juniors sold goods baked by students and teachers, raising about $300 that will be given to one of the organizations helping the residents of Flint get the healthcare and safe drinking water they need. Great treats for a great cause!
Congratulations to the Varsity Hunt Seat team on another successful weekend showing as they wrapped up their regular season. The team traveled to an away show at Mon Valley Equestrian. The high school team was high point high school team and went undefeated this season! The middle school was also high point middle school team.
Grier Archers and Coach Barr attended a state-qualifying National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) tournament during Winter Break. This Happy New Year Shoot was hosted by Portersville Christian School in Portersville, Pennsylvania on January 7th and featured 329+ competitors at three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Lauren S., Olivia A., and Rachel S. represented Grier.
Students in Mrs. Carol Deremer's Introduction to Computer Science class designed and built dancing robots. Over a course of nearly three weeks, students designed, contructed, and programmed the robots using Lego Mindstorm components and the Lego Mindstorming software.
During recent Lab Days, some groups of students participated in a Breakout EDU game in the Library. Breakout EDU is an immersive learning platform that resembles the popular escape rooms. In this particular game, students were presented with the scenario of a mixed up library and were asked to apply their knowledge of literary genres to solve the puzzles. The students had forty-five minutes to unlock four individual combination locks to achieve the “We Broke Out!” champion status.
Earlier this year, students in Ms. Julie Piotti's Art History classes learned about the Greco-Roman era. More recently, they have been learning about the art of the Middle Ages. To increase their understanding of the clothing worn during this era, Ms. Piotti and her students assembled costumes reflecting a variety of personas from both Western and Eastern culture during Middle Ages. The classes then paraded throughout the school so that many could enjoy.