Germantown Academy inspires students to be… Independent in Thought
Confident in Expression
Compassionate in Spirit
Collaborative in Action
Honorable in DeedIndependent in Thought
A leadership mindset begins with each student having the independence of thought necessary to seek and find the truth in all that he or she reads, sees and hears. We educate GA students to be curious, to ask questions, to listen to and evaluate the viewpoints of others. Our faculty and staff are the guides and coaches for these explorations of ideas, theories, and processes.Confident in Expression
Independent thinkers become self-confident individuals. We, as teachers and staff members, hear expressed time and time again by prospective parents how confidently GA students comport themselves. Instilling confidence is also a goal of our writing, speaking, and performing curricula. Alumni visits around the country remind me that the core of confidence built during GA years holds firm throughout adulthood.Compassionate in Spirit
Effective leadership also involves the ability to care about others, to realize that everyone we meet can teach us something valuable and can learn something of value from us. True compassion is a “suffering with” that enables independent-minded, confident people to recognize that vulnerability is the connecting spirit within us all. Collaborative in Action
Collaborative action is needed to move forward a community, a team, a Belfry production, a choir performance, or a class project, once individual ideas are aired. Active “followership” is part of a meaningful education. Well educated people have learned when and how to dedicate themselves to the support of the whole.Honorable in Deed
The Mission Statement recognizes that absent personal honor, curious, confident, compassionate people will not engender the trust needed to be effective leaders or followers. GA teaches students to hold themselves to the highest of personal standards. To do so successfully, we, as teachers, must be role models of trust-worthy behavior. We want the simple act of entering the school each day to make each of us a better person.
Our core GA Mission consists of 15 simple but profound words, 15 words that will guide our actions and activities each day and every year. Making these 15 words memorable and meaningful involves communicating and living by them at home as well as at school. We ask for your support in this process by discussing these values with your children and placing the enclosed Mission Magnet on your home refrigerator. We have placed Mission Posters in each entry way and classroom at school, and discussions about various permutations of these 15 words have already become a part of educational life. Such daily visibility at home and at school will make these 15 words the internal compass that guides our students/your children in their personal and professional lives.
The new Mission Statement will also serve GA as the touchstone for all ideas and the philosophic structure under which future strategic plans will be organized and assessed. GA planners will be guided by these 15 words as we evolve our curriculum for a 21st century environment.
To know that GA, as a community, will be grounded in and guided by the same 15 words that inspire and direct our students is an assurance that Germantown Academy, spaces and programs, teachers and students, ideas and ideals, while ever-changing is also never changing. Independence, confidence, compassion, collaboration, and honor, skillfully combined, have always been the formula for virtue and the foundation for permanence. So it shall remain for the century to come, a century in which GA students, teachers and graduates will leave a lasting mark.
James W. Connor 1760
Head of School