Academics at Mercersburg Academy seem to be hit or miss. There are the few teachers who are extremely interested in the well-being of the students, but many seem to be teaching just at Mercersburg just because their children automatically get a free education at an 'elite' boarding school. It is safe to say that the sciences are not Mercersburg's strong point. The very best teachers are reserved for the AP-Level classes, and most of the normal level science teachers leave their students unenthusiastic about the subject. English and history are another subject all together. Both departments are filled with enthusiastic teachers who enjoy working with students. The same can be said for the arts department... Of course the arts department could have just been happy to get the new arts center. Honestly, the academic opportunities at Mercersburg are what each student makes of them. Should the student work hard all four years, they'll do well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, its relatively easy to coast through four years of Mercersburg with minimal effort.
Extracurricular activities are a bit lacking at Mercersburg. In terms of big organized activities, there are sports and then there is Stony Batter (the theater group). There are a smattering of other clubs including Model UN and the creatively named Book Club, but other than that, a large number of clubs that are touted by the Mercersburg administration have fallen into obscurity. Still organizing a new club is hardly a challenge. In terms of sports, Mercersburg has 3 strengths: Swimming, Wrestling, and Baseball. Rivalries are almost non-existent due to us being the laughing stock of the Mid-Atlantic Preparatory League. An example: my junior year was considered to be a break-out year for the football team. We ended up winning the MAPL championship. Things were going well. The next year they purchased new uniforms and equipment and went recruiting for the best post-graduates they could get. They didn't win a single game my senior year. Go figure. By far, though, the activity that had the biggest effect on my life would have to be my four years taking part in Stony Batter's (now the Burgin Center) Technical Crew (Tech Crew). Learning to hang lights, build sets, and deal with actors was great and all... However, what I really took away was a sense of responsibility for tasks I was assigned. I learned early on that attention to minutia is very important when working in a team setting.
During my four years at Mercersburg, I can say that the town has grown. What were corn fields and cow pastures my freshman year are now covered in subdivisions. Of course, these were the days before 4 dollar gas. Days when the one and a half hour commute to DC seemed feasible. I'm not really sure how the town is coping now. Also, when I was attending, there was a program called the Lenfest Scholarship Program which would grant disadvantaged scholars from central Pennsylvania the opportunity to study at 1 of 4 boarding schools all expenses paid. This program has since been discontinued. The Student Body is mostly white, with relatively large contingents of students from South Korea and Taiwan. The majority of students are boarders and hail from the northeast. Socio-economic background doesn't have a huge effect on day-to-day life on campus. People are accepted for who they are, and thats about it. Mercersburg is a quiet town. Aside from a double homocide, followed by a suicide in 2006, the town is pretty quiet.
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