Germantown Academyreview by George Washington University student. Germantown Academy is strong in all suits. I think the English and History department are well developed, with teachers who have been there for twenty or more years, and teachers who have just started out in the past few years. I also feel that the sciences, especially the biology department, have truly extraordinary teachers. My junior year Biology teacher made me love it so much, that I went on to AP Biology the next year, and am currently a Biology Major at GWU. College writing courses have been a breeze for me because of my incredibly talented History and English teachers. I felt that while the courses that I took were challenging, they were building me up as a better writer. My History teacher, Mr. H would give impressive feedback on papers, and the exams that he built not only tested our historical knowledge but tested and challenged our writing style. One of my English teachers Ms. S, would also give very thoughtful and helpful notes on papers, and was always available to discuss how how we could improve our piece as well as our analytical writing overall. I took three AP courses my senior year which were helpful with preparing me for the AP exams, and the college courses that were soon to follow. The only weak spot that I found in my preparation for my college career was being put into basic chemistry after not being a very strong physics student the year prior. The course, while being taught by a good teacher, did not challenge me the way the other courses I was taking did. That was the only class that had me looking at the clock in my entire time at GA. Now that I am in a lot of lecture based classes, I really miss the teaching philosophy at GA. Their interactive style of teaching really did help to solidify the things I learned in classes, and helped to keep me and my peers active in the class. It was also a lot more fun than sitting watching a teacher lecture for an hour. Honestly, there was no cutthroat attitude. People might have shared grades, but it was not out of nasty competitiveness, it was mostly just curiosity. I never felt uncomfortable with my friends who worked to earn straight As, and could just as easily work with people who struggled with grades. At GA, the experience is whatever the student makes it out to be, although it would be hard to be competitive with anyone at GA because people mostly keep their grades to themselves.
My highschool years were when I found out who I really was. I found a niche in the performing arts group, The Belfry Club, my freshman year and never looked back. My friends in that group continue to be my friends, and we frequently reminisce about shows. I'm not sure about other parts of the school, but Belfry was a tight knit group. GA has a writing center, where students go to other trained students to help them work to improve their papers. I went there to improve some of my work, and the students that I worked with were actually very helpful, albeit it was a little bit scary to show my work to my peer and have them judge it. I think that the discipline is in a good place. I know that the head of the high school is very creative and really genuinely cares about his students, and I think that the rules he held in place he did with a superb ability to root out the bad while keeping in the good.
I think GA gives students a lot of opportunities to do extracurriculars and encourages students to be involved in more than just every day classes. There are many student clubs, sports, and shows that students can be involved in. It was a little overwhelming my first day in high school when I realized how many things I could be involved in. I joined two clubs, a sport, and was in a show almost every semester, and managed to do very well grade wise. While sports did take up time, it was time well spent, and never to the extreme. My brother is currently a wrestler and he loves it. It is a large time commitment for him, but he manages to do very well in school and enjoys going to practice to see all of his friends. There is a community service club, which I unfortunately did not take part in, but it was very inclusive and I know that if I had out of the blue decided to help on a project they would welcome me easily into their group. Each week, for my time, I spent around 10 hours at most at practice or rehearsal. It sounds like a lot, but the time goes by so fast because it is so much fun and so rewarding.