GA is a PreK-12, coed, nonsectarian day school in Fort Washington, PA

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Upper School

Head of Private High School at Germantown Academy

Dr. Molly MacKean
Head of Upper School

Debra Kennedy
Assistant to the Head of Upper School

Rachel Lintgen '90
Dean of Students

Rachael Jennings
Dean of Faculty

Upper School Stories

Speech and Debate Team Wins at Final Tournament

The Germantown Academy speech and debate team hosted the final tournament of the season on February 8 for the Southern Pennsylvania Debate League (SPDL). Students have participated this fall and winter in a series of meets leading up to the final.

Welcome to Upper School!

9th – 12th Grade

At Germantown Academy, our independent high school teachers strive to know students in purposeful, genuine ways, and travel together with them along their path through the Upper School. The ability of our teachers to recognize the potential for excellence or the spark of passion creates a nurturing yet challenging environment within which our students can develop their gifts to the fullest.

We encourage our students to think deeply and to ask questions, to investigate and to discover, and to learn with and from one another. While our college prep curriculum certainly provides students with excellent preparation for college and beyond, it also offers opportunities to explore a well-rounded course of study and to pursue existing areas of interest. We encourage our scholars, our athletes, and our performers to challenge themselves, to try, on occasion to fail, and, most importantly, to develop the resiliency and the resolve to persevere.

Innovative Upper School Programs

Harkness Method

Harkness Tables are more than just round tables in the Upper School. They provide a forum for learning and debate. The Socratic Method, learning by debate and inquiry, is a philosophy that GA embraces. Individuals graduate from GA knowing that they have their own voice and are obligated to use it.


The GA Experience is an annual program that provides learning opportunities outside of the classroom in the form of two distinct trips to various locations in the country. Each year, students in 9th – 11th grade can apply for one of these trips that will enrich their lives through a unique experience that ties into the GA Mission.

Academy Scholars

The Academy Scholars program is an opportunity for students with a passion for scholarship, creative writing, visual art, performing art, or research (in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities) to pursue that passion by means of developing and working on a significant, independent project.

I cannot think of a better gift that my wife and I could have given to my two boys than the opportunity to study and grow at this school.

Their experience at Germantown Academy has not been easy. Their abilities have constantly been put to the test, and they have had plenty of long days and nights.

Like every student at GA, they had to learn how to balance their time between academics, sports, music, volunteering, and activities outside of school. But all of this has prepared them for the challenges that lie ahead.

I firmly believe that they both have all the skills that they will need to be successful in life thanks to the education they received from GA.

— Steve B., Horsham

Upper School Traditions

The Upper School House System

Established in 2007, the Upper School House System provides students with a support network of camaraderie and mentorship. Prior to entering 9th grade, each student is assigned to one of seven houses, where they will compete in a variety of competitions throughout their high school career.


One of Head of School Rich Schellhas' favorite mantras is to "put the German back in Germantown Academy." Each October, the Upper School kicks off a morning meeting with a rousing round of German folk songs, followed by a feast of grilled sausages, pretzels and gummy bears out in front of the school.

Prize Day

In the culminating assembly of the year, Prize Day is a way to acknowledge the many accomplishments of GA's Upper School students. Academic, Athletic, Artistic, Character, Service and Scholarship awards bear the names of iconic figures from throughout the school's history.