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!
When I think about the holiday season at Mercersburg Academy, my heart fills with warm memories and gratitude for being invited to be part of a long stream of both new and lasting traditions. These memories, which are formed in an instant and remembered forever, attach meaning to this place I have learned to call home.
I have been a reporter for the Mercersburg NEWS, our student-run newspaper, since my ninth-grade year and an editor since my 10th-grade year. The first article I was ever assigned to write was on the death of the architect Zaha Hadid and her influence in the architectural world. I had never before heard of Zaha Hadid and had never seen the buildings she designed. Writing this article, as cliché as it sounds, opened up my eyes to the world and, more specifically, the architectural world. The more I researched about her, even after the article, the more I came to admire her as a woman and an architect. I wouldn't have known of her brilliant works if it weren't for this article, and this eye-opening component of the Mercersburg NEWS is still true after almost four years of writing and editing articles.
The 2018-2019 Quinn-Ferguson Honors Seminar is running a cold-weather clothing drive in conjunction with the community surrounding our Academy. As a class, we have been discussing and studying the issues that plague life in Appalachia. One common problem is the inability for families to support themselves. More than 39 percent of students in the local school district are a part of free or reduced lunch programs at their schools. Most of us are not worried about keeping warm during these cold months, but many of our neighbors in Mercersburg are not so fortunate.
As we enter the winter months, many local families are unable to afford the warm clothes needed for their children and themselves. Our class feels compelled, in the spirit of the holidays, to share our blessings with the community surrounding us, and we kindly ask you to do the same. Please come back to school with any donations that you can make, particularly outerwear, for children, teenagers, and adults. Clothing should be clean and in good repair. Boxes for donations will be in the dorms after break. Thank you!
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