Students in Mrs. Fernandes' 8th grade Earth Science class joined her for a field trip to Lincoln Caverns. 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. The trip to Lincoln Caverns was a fun time and educational, as well!
Sophomore Liza E and seniors Lauren S and Rachel S competed in a state-qualifying NASP tournament at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. Grier archers appreciate the sport for how it develops focus and concentration skills. Their confidence grows as they improve and outperform their personal best. In this tournament, Liza E had the highest score in her grade level and made twelve ten-point shots. Great job, Liza, and the rest of the archers!
A group of Grier science students took a field trip to Penn State to visit the University’s Sustainability Center where the students took a look at the center’s Eco-machine and Morningstar House. The students observed how humans can take advantage of the nitrogen cycle in a very unique ecosystem of plants, snails, bacteria, macro-invertebrates, waste water, rocks, and bio film. They learned about the power of duckweed. It can be consumed by animals and humans as a source of protein. It is a hyper-accumulator, pulling massive amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen from waste water, but it is still edible. Additionally, it can be crushed for use as a plant fertilizer or be used as a biofuel! It is basically the super-plant of the future. At the Morningstar House, students observed some practical applications of concepts they have been learning about in class. The house itself was the result of a collaboration of 800 PSU students and its design took fourth place in a nation-wide contest.
Grier students, faculty, and students' families gathered in the Dance Building to enjoy the Music Department's Spring Concert on Thursday, February 28th. The concert included pieces performed by the String Orchestra, Orchestra, Flute Choir, Select Singers, and Concert Choir. About 40 Grier student musicians and nearly 60 Grier vocalists took part in the concert.
String Orchestra performed Mock Morris and a challenging Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, 1st movement. The Orchestra performed Sherzo Colombine, Beethoven's 5th Symphony, 3rd movement, and the Wonder Woman theme. Flute choir performed Queen of the Night from Mozart's Magic Flute, Fille aux Cheveau de Lin by Debussy, and Bartok's Maruntel from his Romanian Folk Dances. Select Singers performed Ave Generoso with solos by Annie L and Alex H, No Time, and Sit Still, Look Pretty with solos from Kirin C and Erzsi M. The Concert Choir concluded the show with Count the Stars and Dance With Me.
After weeks of planning and preparation, the whole school united for an amazing celebration of global awareness. Grier’s 3rd Annual International Day featured fourteen different student groups, representing the nationalities among Grier’s student body. Every group was responsible for serving a dish, decorating their tables, wearing costumes, and giving a performance.
The Equestrian Team traveled to Harrisburg in February to show in the Winter Diamond Show and Heritage Winter IV Show. First place finishers include: Lilly F, Sophie K, Lareina Y, Jimena P, Sarah L, Sydney R, Marcella B, and Courtney M. Champion and Reserve Champion winners were: Marcella B, Courtney M, Sarah L, and Lareina Y. Good job ladies!
Grier Seniors organized an evening of fun beginning with a guest hypnotist and wrapping up with a Beach-themed dance party in the gym. The hypnotist called volunteers on stage where he successfully hypnotized several Grier girls, much to the enjoyment of the audience of peers. After this hilarious show, many of the girls enjoyed dancing to the DJ's music while sipping on some tropical punch.
Recording Technology students performed a little experiment using eight different microphones to record the sound from a baby grand piano in the Instrumental Music Building. With just a little assistance from their teacher, the students set up all eight microphones, pairing them up to get stereo sound. Then, the students configured the four pairs in three different ways (one method was duplicated).
Grier NHS members worked as a team to celebrate everyone’s individual beauty. They spread the message in a number of ways, including an high-impact mural of black and white photos in the shape of a heart and a smiley face. Additionally, representatives distributed “Hello, I am…” name tags to homeroom classes. Students wrote down positive qualities about themselves. Other NHS representatives peppered the bathroom mirrors with affirming messages and inserted similar quotations into the display windows of the napkin holders in the dining room. Every student received a surprise gift in their mailboxes of a sticker featuring the beautiful watercolor art of senior Grier student Abi T. “I am Beautiful Day” has become a wonderful, heart-warming tradition at Grier thanks to the phenomenal leadership of NHS members.
Congratulations are due to Grier’s Model UN Club members who competed at the 47th Model UN Conference held at Penn State Harrisburg this month. During this two-day event, the students discussed and developed ideas to solve global issues while also strengthening their understanding of United Nations operations. Grier girls competed in debates on the topics of nuclear disarmament, landmines, and the crisis in Yemen.
Diana N received an award for Best Position Paper for her work on Disarmament. Molly J was awarded Outstanding Delegate in a Crisis and Julia G won Best Delegate for her work in the Game of Thrones Crisis committee. Model UN club advisor and history teacher Mr. Steven Packnick applauds the students for their great work.
The Grier Foxes Fencing team dueled against rival team Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School on their home turf at Grier and then again at Bishop Guilfoyle in Altoona. Stuart Crocker coaches the Grier fencing team and moderates fencing matches between Grier School and Bishop Guilfoyle. Grier's Fencing Team Captains are: senior Michelle S and junior Lucy W.
Last month, members of Grier's elite choir, Select Singers, performed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Altoona. The performance was part of the church's concert series that showcases the inaugural year of a newly acquired pipe organ.
Tuesday, a graduate student Shannon DeHoff from Penn State University joined Grier via Skype video chat to describe her work with the University Park campus’s Gender Equity Center. Librarian Mrs. Woolfrey arranged for this presentation in conjunction with the schoolwide read I Am Malala by equal education activist Malala Yousafzai. The presenter addressed the biggest obstacles to higher education access for women in the United States today. Among the students who attended the program, many were members of the Grier Bridge club, which seeks to promote the welfare of girls and women worldwide. The Grier students in attendance engaged with the speaker, asking questions about her role and the challenges facing women on college campuses. After the presentation concluded, the students continued to discuss how they might apply some of the Gender Equity Center’s advocacy and education strategies to prepare Grier students for college life.
On Presidents’ Day, Grier Dining Services surprised the students with a treat of hot chocolate for their after school snack. Students lined up in droves to get a mug full of the steaming rich chocolaty goodness. What a great way to brighten up a chilly winter Monday!
Students at Grier come from all over the world and often delight in learning about each other's cultures and traditions. In honor of Lunar New Year, a group of students arranged a special treat for the whole school to enjoy. Some of Grier's Asian students helped decorate the living room with festive red and gold decorations, symbolizing prosperity, good luck, joy, and beauty.
For her Advanced Video Editing class, senior Kirin Cao also produced a fantastic video in honor of the occassion. See it on Grier's Facebook page!
The Grier Basketball Team honored their senior players during a special ceremony preceding the game versus Johnstown Christian. Seniors Amy T, Noah L, and Sherry X received special gifts and mementos celebrating their contributions to the team.
In another recent game versus DuBois Christian, the Grier girls played a good game. They never gave up and played hard until the end. Amy T had an awesome game, she had 13 points. Abby S also had 8 points. Jenna P got her first points of the season by hitting a three pointer. After honoring the Seniors the team faced off against Johnstown Christian. The Grier girls had a great start by scoring 23 points in the first quarter! Maiia had a game high 16 points and Amy produced 12 points. They played hard until the end and only lost by 2 points! Congrats, players!
Grier students, faculty, and staff enjoyed some sweet treats this Valentine's Day thanks to the bake sale organized by the 7th and 8th grade classes. The students solicited donations of baked goods from teachers, housemoms, and parents, then sold the goods in the Auditorium during Extra Help. The bake sale raised over $650 for the Grier Fund, which helps support the Grier community in times of need.
Congratulations to Grier Equestrian Team for their stellar performance in two recent competitions.
Earlier in February, the Hunt Seat riders did great work during the two-day IEA Hunt Seat Competition at Grier. The Upper School team was Champion on both days and the Middle School Team was Champion on Saturday. Grace W was the Upper School High Point Rider on Saturday and Sunday. Maci I was High Point Middle School Rider on Saturday and Sophie K was Reserve High Point High School Rider on Sunday. First place winners included: Grace W, Sophia O, Sydney R, Courtney M, Lucy H, Maci I, Lareina Y, Marcella B, Sophie K, Cassidy R, Yazmin W, Sarah L, Judy W, and Claudia G.
The Grier School Dressage team had a great performance at the IEA Dressage show at Bethany College on Sunday! The upper school team brought home Reserve Champion of the AM show! First place finishers include: Royce M, Courtney M, and Marcella B. Congratulations to our Grier riders and their proud coaches!
Students in European History pitched in to purchase cakes in honor of Marie-Antoinette and Charles V, both of whom the students learned about in class and can link to cakes. According to popular folklore, Queen Marie-Antoinette of France famously declared, "Let them eat cake!" in response to the hungry, breadless peasants revolting outside Versailles Palace. While modern scholars do not believe the Queen acutally said these words nor expressed their sentiment, the European History students were happy to use the legend as justification to have cake! They also celebrated Charles V Holy Roman Emperor who profitted from the Columbian Exchange. This introduction of New World agriculture to Europe included cocoa to make chocolate, which eventually found its way into cakes such as these. Students wore plastic crowns to represent royalty as they dined on sugary confections bearing the likeness of these two European monarchs.
On Thursday, February 7th, 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. Members of Grier's College Counseling department and some 11th grade teachers accompanied the students as they traveled by bus to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
Last weekend, fourteen Grier girls trekked out to the country to do a little winter camping. They played games, watched movies, snacked, stargazed for constellations, and created a digital composite images showing star-trails as the stars appeared to move across the night sky. Thanks to their chaperone and to Camp Anderson for providing Grier girls with such a cool opportunity! The Grier campers were grateful for the warmth of the fireplace and hearty breakfast the next morning.
Grier students and faculty gathered in the Library for Discussion & Donuts where they talked about the school’s One School, One Story book selection I Am Malala by the young global education activist and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Malala Yousafzai. The students participated in discussion sessions before school and during the afternoon Extra Help period. Students shared what they were most surprised to learn about Malala’s story after reading the book, their thoughts on the role of Malala’s parents, and Malala’s resilience and current mission.
On Friday, February 1st, guest performers from Key Arts Productions treated Grier students to a special music program. Titled “Soul Sounds,” the trio of musicians took Grier students on a journey through the rich history of African-American music in the United States. The program began with slave call-and-response style songs and progressed through the decades with ragtime, jazz, blues, funk, hip-hop, and more.
Grier girls gathered at the Coffee Barn for a classic American Superbowl Party. Whether it's the competition of the game, the snacks, the clever commercials, or the camaraderie, this annual sporting event always draws a crowd. As the New England Patriots faced the Los Angeles Rams for the NFL Championship Vince Lombardi Trophy in Superbowl LIII, the Grier girls enjoyed a delicious selection of sandwiches and snacks while they rooted for their favorite team.
Following auditions, Grier Musical Theatre Director Mrs. Ginger Reinhardt announced the cast of the upcoming musical production Tuck Everlasting. Congrats to all principles and those who will participate in dance and ensemble! The show is sure to be spectacular!
Astronomy club ventured to Penn State last week to tour the NASA Swift mission headquarters! Swift's original purpose was to search the universe for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Since then, the Swift mission has branched out to study all sorts of space phenomena and has greatly increased our understanding of the early universe, where heavy elements came from, when stars began to form, and much more.
Winter weather means that experienced skiiers and newcomers alike have the chance to hit the regional ski slopes. In the winter months, Grier offers skiing as a winter sport. Chaperones escort students to Tussey Mountain Ski Resort for afterschool skiing. Winter weekends frequently provide opportunities for Grier skiiers to venture further, to resorts like Blue Knob and Seven Springs.
Congratulations to the Grier Equestrian Team on a chilly but successful show at the Mcdonogh Winter Classic in Maryland! Sophie K brought home blue ribbons in the 3’6 Open Equitation, 3’6 USEF Medal, and Junior Hunters. Grace W placed in all of her Children’s Hunter and Medal classes. Sophia O made the call-back and placed in the Taylor Harris Medal. Cassidy R was Reserve Champion in the Pre-Children’s Hunters.
During Lab Days each Marking Period, Science classes often make use of the extended periods to conduct interesting labs. Whether it's through soil analysis, a study in respiration, interactive dragonfly evolution, viscosity experiements, modeling electricity, understanding density, or reactions to hot and cold, Grier Science classes immerse and engage students in learning about themselves, the world, and beyond.
Grier Varsity Basketball is in the thick of its season. The team battled Northumberland Christian on January 17th, ultimately losing 31 to 44. Coach Wyland says that despite the loss, the girls played well. "Everyone was passing the ball and playing strong defense," says coach. Senior Noah L and 8th grader Arden S each scored 8 points and Senior Amy T added 7. Earlier this week, the team earned a win against Grace Prep. It was, in fact, the highest scoring game of the season! Coach Wyland says,"The girls dominated in every aspect of the game." Senior Amy T had a game high 14 points and 7 steals. Fellow senior Noah L added 12 points and 5 steals. Very exciting! The team is looking forward to an aggresive away game against Glendale High School tonight! The team will be playing at home again on February 4th when they face DuBois Christian School.
Last week, a choreographer visited Grier and spent time working with Grier's Pre-Professional Dancers. The guest, Nancy Lushington, is an Associate Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. While at Grier, she shared her talents with the Grier dancers while doing a bit of scouting for Marymount.
Last, week, several Grier students wore shirts emblazoned with the words “CE MOMENT WHEN YOU START PENSER EN DEUX LANGUES AT THE SAME TEMPS,” a clever mix of French and English to illustrate the sentiment felt by many a second-language learner: that moment when you start thinking in two languages at the same time. Not only did the shirts serve to visually unify the French language learners at Grier, proceeds from the sales of the shirts benefitted the 415 school children of the Bainet Parish of Haiti.
As students pass through the Grier library or take a break from homework, they can participate in a collaborative project by adding some of the nearly 4,000 half-inch, colorful sticker squares to a color-coded poster. The students are working together to create a sticker mosaic. The subject of the mosaic is a mystery at the start, but will be revealed slowly as students make progress. The mosaic unites the student body of Grier and promotes a great message: Stick Together!
Grier was honored to have artist Susan Nicholas visit last for a week-long pastel workshop. Nicholas is an award-winning landscape artist who shares her mastery and love of plein air pastels and oil paints with others through workshops and retreats. She demonstrated how artists can create completely different looks with pastels by using different colored papers and by choosing a smooth or rough textured paper. Grier students had the opportunity to try out the different pastels and explore the play of colors. Then, students used photographs of landscapes and skyscapes as inspiration for finished pieces. The students and art faculty alike were delighted to have Nicholas visit!
Archery is a popular recreational sport option at Grier and coach Ms. Barr provides the participants opportunities to participate in competitive tournaments. Senior Lauren S and sophomores Liza E, Nodoka M, and Gia S traveled to Tower City, Pennsylvania, where they represented Grier School in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) State Qualifier tournament hosted by Williams Valley High School on Saturday, January 12th. The tournament was open to girls and boys in middle and high school, each hoping to do their personal best and competing for points that could earn them a place in the state competition. What a great experience!
Congratulations to the Grier School Equestrian Team on a great dressage show this weekend! The upper school team was crowned Champion on both days, and the middle school was named Reserve Champion on Saturday!
Grier's Varsity Basketball Team got a taste of competition before the Winter Break when they defeated Blair County Christian School with a score of 30-26. Noah L scored ten points, Amy T scored eight, Abby S, Maia M, and Arden S each scored four points in this season opener. Now, the players look forward to taking on Northumberland Christian School on Thursday, January 17th at 5:00pm in the Grier Gymnasium. Come out and cheer for Grier!
After a mild December, students returning to Grier for their first week of classes following winter break experienced snowfall typical to the region. The gentle snow coated the branches of the pine trees found throughout campus. This light dusting was not quite enough for sledding, but Mother Nature may have more snow in store before the season is over!
To demonstrate their comprehension of the novel Gathering Blue, students in English 7 class created dioramas of the novel’s world. Gathering Blue is the sequel to her classic dystopian story The Giver. In Gathering Blue, Kira, a child who has a deformed leg, is orphaned in a savage society that shuns the weak. Using her magic-like talents, Kira manages to survive, learning how to dye thread, and discovers the truth of the world around her. The students constructed the models of Kira’s society using a variety of materials. Their teacher, Mrs. Smith, was so proud of them, she could not wait to share the photos of the girls and their projects with everyone. Great work!
Grier's Music Department is excited to announce the upcoming Musical Theatre production for Spring 2019: Tuck Everlasting! The musical is the story of eleven-year-old Winnie Foster who wishes for adventure, but gets more than she anticipates when she meets the Tuck Family and learns of the magic of their neverending youth. The musical asks the question, "What would you do if you had all eternity?" It is based on the classic children's novel by Natalie Babbitt and adapted for the stage by Claudia Shear and Tim Federle with music by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen. Students interested in roles in the musical should listen to morning announcements for information about auditions.Grier will present Tuck Everlasting on Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th at 7:00pm.
Senior Sherry X. and Junior Monica U. spent Grier’s Winter Break together in Monica’s homeland of Mexico. Sherry, a native of China, joined Monica and her family for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Sherry appreciates the hospitality of Monica’s family and calls them her “adopted Mexican family” and says the experience was absolutely amazing.
Congratulations to the Grier School Equestrian Team for another successful weekend of showing. While several Grier girls traveled to West Virginia for a Western show, the Hunt Seat team hosted a show at 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, constructed, and programmed the robots using Lego Mindstorm components and the Lego Mindstorming software.
Through this project, the students learned programming fundamentals that they will implement next semester as they begin coding. Enjoy watching the robots dance, spin, wobble, bounce, and sway!
Grier Admissions Director, Mrs. Jennifer Neely, visited the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. In addition to her service to Grier School, Mrs. Neely serves on the WPSU advisory board of representatives. WPSU is an extension of Penn state University’s School of Outreach and Online Education and provides public radio and television stations as local affiliates for NPR and PBS for a coverage area of 1.9 million people in Pennsylvania.