“This trip has taught me so much about communication and hard work. My host family and I don't speak the same language, but we can still communicate and tell jokes. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.”—Mia Ingram '21
Over spring vacation, nine students traveled with faculty members Jeff Cohen and Trini Hoffman to Costa Rica. This is the ninth-such trip that Mercersburg has made to the country, a tradition that started in 2006 and has continued biennially since 2009. In the following article, students share their experiences and reflections as recorded in the trip's blog.
The OneMercersburg Annual Fund Challenge (which launched earlier this year) presents the school with a unique opportunity to earn $1.5 million toward endowed financial aid. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, every new gift to this year’s Annual Fund has been matched by $125 that is designated for financial aid. Additionally, if parent participation reaches 75 percent, that will unlock an additional $50,000.
Coming from southeast Asia, I was never exposed to skiing before joining the Mercersburg Outdoor Education (MOE) Ski Mountaineering program. Learning to ski has been one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. There have been moments of frustration and numerous moments of joy as well. New beginnings can be intimidating at first, but my instructors and peers have always been available to help and support me. I have also learned that it is OK to struggle, because there is always room for improvement. Perfection is the result of perseverance and commitment. As long as I have the will and determination to keep going, my skills will improve over time.
When Mercersburg's winter term gets underway and the weather turns cold, students in Mercersburg Outdoor Education (MOE) head for the slopes as part of either the ski mountaineering program or the downhill ski and snowboarding program. In the first of a two-part series on these winter activities, Clarissa Thompson '20 shares her experiences with MOE's downhill ski and snowboarding. She travels regularly to Whitetail Ski Resort (about seven miles south of campus) to work toward becoming a certified ski instructor.
Before this year, I had never heard of Relay for Life. Although several members of my family have been affected by cancer, I was never directly involved with the American Cancer Society. It wasn't until I joined Community Engagement, Mercersburg's community-service team, that I learned more about the phenomenal fundraising event that aims to spread awareness and raise money for cancer research. As part of the Community Engagement team, I have worked with my peers to plan and market the event. This year's Relay for Life of Mercersburg will take place Sunday, February 17, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hale Field House on campus and will be decorated in a theme of the board game Candyland.
Earlier this month, students in Sydney Caretti's Studio Art class traveled to New York City to experience the sights, sounds, cuisine, and art of New York. This was the fifth year Caretti, an arts faculty member, has taken students on this trip.
"Out of the several times I've visited New York, this trip was the most memorable one," said Noah Choi '20. "From visiting the art galleries to touring the inner parts of a renowned architecture firm, we had an opportunity to experience the diverse aspects of New York. It was three full days well spent!"
The 126th football season at Mercersburg Academy—which fielded its first football team in 1894—will be unlike any of the previous 125 at the school. In 2019, Mercersburg joins a growing number of preparatory and public schools across the country in a move to eight-player football, which is a more wide-open version of the classic American sport played with eight players per side compared with 11.
Without a doubt, Mercersburg's classrooms are filled with top-notch technology, Harkness tables, and the latest approaches to learning. Additionally, during spring and summer breaks, the school offers a menu of travel options in the United States and abroad to ensure that students are learning throughout the year. However, what you might not know so much about are the extracurricular growth opportunities available to students even as school is in session.
I hope you enjoyed your children being home over the December vacation and soaked up all those special moments with them. My family had a wonderful break at our home in Rhode Island, reconnecting with friends and family.
I welcome this time in the calendar year where we get a chance to reinvigorate ourselves for all that lies ahead. We can take a moment to breathe, reflect, and plan for the future all at the same time. We have much to look forward to during this second half of the school year, and we were excited to see our students return to school this week with their energy and enthusiasm. They truly bring our sleepy campus back to life!
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173