2017 Celebration of the Arts

image of student artwork

The 2017 GSHS Celebration of the Arts Show which highlights young artists and craftsmen in grades 9 through 12, will open on the night of the GSHS Spring Musical Concert, Thursday, May 18th, in the Stan Deen Auditorium lobby area.

The show will feature original works of art, drawings, paintings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures and woodwork by our Garden Spot High School students. The show will open at 6 pm (one hour before the concert which begins at 7 pm in the auditorium) and closes at 9 pm.

The Celebration of the Arts Show will also be open for viewing on Friday, May 19th, and Monday, May 22nd, during regular school hours, 8 am to 2:30 pm.


Thoughts from Mr. Cox – March

Good morning Spartans!

Djurgården, May 19, 2014
Ulf Bodin via Compfight

It is hard to believe that April is already at our doorstep… it has been an awesome year so far, but that is no surprise when we get to spend each day surrounded by such wonderful people. Mr. Sanger and I appreciate your sense of humor, the respect you show for your peers and teachers, and your perseverance in the face of many struggles that you face each day. We appreciate the grace that you show to one another, always remembering that it is often those who are the most offensive who need our patience and kindness the most. On the days when you feel least like doing so be sure to smile, to laugh, and to be kind… it has a way of changing your perspective. Go outside and enjoy the plants as they bloom, jump in a puddle, dance in the rain, roll down a big hill, find reasons to be happy… you cannot change most of what happens in your life, but you can choose how you respond to those things. It is your response that determines your happiness, and your dedication to never giving up on the things you can control, no matter how hard they seem, that allows you to make it through the difficult times a stronger person.

The March Spartan Way trait of the month is having a positive attitude. In every situation you determine how you respond. In every situation it is your response that determines the outcome. When you experience difficult situations you decide how to respond, and your response can either create the possibility that things will improve, or make it unlikely to improve. If you want tomorrow to be a little better, you have to do things that have the chance of making it a little better. Humans often complain about their life while responding to life in a way that isn’t likely to make tomorrow any better. It is also true that you can do everything right and still have tomorrow not be any better. The reality is that having a positive attitude, and never giving up, is the only way that makes it possible for tomorrow to be a little better. If you live your life with a positive attitude it is likely that tomorrow will be a little better, next week a little better, six months from now a little better, next year a little better… you get the point. Approach life with a positive attitude, choose to respond in ways that can lead to a better tomorrow, and never give up. There is no one immune to bad things happening to them, but those with a positive attitude will always find it easier to maneuver through those difficult times. Having a positive attitude also makes it more likely that others will want to be around you, and those relationships will help lift you up when you are struggling. Your attitude is your choice, and I encourage you to choose to have a positive attitude. You deserve it…

Thank you for being awesome, Garden Spot!

Have a great Friday, and wonderful weekend,

Mr. Cox

Thoughts from Mr. Cox – February

Good morning everyone!

What a wonderful morning it is… watching the sun rise and colors spread across the sky as darkness turns to daylight always puts a smile on my face. We can get so busy that we fail to notice the beauty that surrounds us every day. Each of you have the same effect on me… putting a smile on my face. Thank you for being awesome!

The Spartan Way characteristic of the month for February was personal accountability, and as I reflected on what that entails I had a few thoughts I’d like to share with you. It seems to me that our world is embarking on a trend which is to find someone else to blame when things do not go our way, and that is a dangerous mindset. Instead of looking first for someone else to blame (teacher, parent, boss, coach), ask yourself what you could do to be more prepared in the future? If I did poorly on a test my parents always asked me what I needed to do to prepare better for the next one. I, of course, wanted to blame it on the teaching style, wording of the questions… anything but lack of preparation.

CC Xenja Santarelli via Compfight

We are all accountable for our own actions, and looking for someone else to blame may make us feel better, but it does not help us improve moving forward. There will always be people who will get the job done on their own without making excuses, who will overcome whatever hurdles are thrown their way, and who will work hard enough to succeed even in the most difficult of circumstances. If someone is going to do it, it might as well be you… and each of you has the ability to do it if you get to work. Failures are not a reason to give up… they are a reason to work harder so that you can eventually succeed. There is no magic switch or red carpet rolled out in front of you to make it easy, but there is also no barrier that holds you back other than yourself. Hold yourself personally accountable to doing the things that are required to be successful, and you will find that life will open many more doors for you. There is no guarantee that life will be easy, but working hard increases the likelihood that tomorrow will present increased reasons to smile.

Have a great day, Garden Spot! Y’all rock!

Mr. Cox



Thoughts from Mr. Cox – Nov 30

Hello Garden Spot!

I hope your break was as excellent as each of you, and was a relaxing time for all. It has been a great week in the office as Mr. Sanger and I have been excited to get to be around all of you again!

Notions of Respect
Michael Coghlan via Compfight

November’s Spartan Way trait of the month was ‘Respect’. I have heard some say that they will give respect to those who earn it, but that statement always confuses me as it is saying that one will only give respect if someone else gives it first… if both people interact from that same mindset then neither will ever respect the other because neither will give respect first.

I believe that respect is treating everyone around us well regardless of our disagreements or how they have treated us… it is kindness, compassion, mercy, and grace… it is a way of living that breathes value into the lives of those around us regardless of their attitude or treatment of us. At Garden Spot High School we call this ‘undeserved respect’, and we aim to give it to every person we come in contact with in the hopes that through our behavior we will be excellent representations of how we want students and staff at our school to behave. Respect can be easily seen in our treatment of others, which includes our words and actions.

I encourage each of you to learn to be respectful of all people, at all times, even in the midst of continued disrespect from the other person. I encourage you to live differently from the rest of the world, and to live in a way that allows you to make a difference in this world. Be respectful of others, be respectful of your parents, be respectful of authority, be respectful of your friends, be respectful of differences… being respectful in these areas are the best ways to be respectful of yourself. Being treated respectfully is not something that should have to be earned, but is something that should be given freely to everyone we encounter solely on the basis of the value they have as a human being. I know some would disagree with the previous statement, but I have found it to serve me well in establishing relationships that afford me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Be difference makers, Garden Spot… be respectful… live in a way that others will become better people through having known you.

Have a great rest of the week, and keep on rockin’!

Mr. Cox

Assistant Principal
Garden Spot High School

Thoughts from Mr. Cox – Oct. 20th

Good afternoon everyone!

I wanted to take moment to thank our students and staff for an awesome Powder Puff football game on Tuesday night, and a great afternoon at Challenge of the Classes on Thursday. It was really great to be able to bring Powder Puff back to the high school, and I look forward to doing this long into the future. We had a bonfire after the Powder Puff game that was a really neat experience too, and look forward to making that a tradition as well. Thank you to all who participated, all who attended, and especially to all who helped plan and pull off the events of the last few days. It is great to be part of such a great group of people.

School Poster Integrity is doing
Wonder woman0731 via Compfight

This month’s Spartan Way trait of the month is integrity. We believe very strongly that a principled approach to life leads to consistency and reliability. That reliability and consistency make it so that others can know you as a person that can be trusted, a person who does what is right, and a person who others can count on to do what is right… all the time. Integrity cannot be separated from character, and character is doing what is right even when no one is watching. What does your word mean to others? Is it something they can rely on, or something that doesn’t have much value? Do you treat others well, hold yourself accountable to doing what is right regardless of who you are around, and live your life in a way that shows the value you place on relationships, being of sound character, and having priorities that reflect your values? Are you a person whose values change like the direction of the wind, or are you a person who is the same to all people, in all situations, all of the time?

Integrity is an important part of building solid relationships, and an important part of being successful at your job. It is really one of the most important things in reaching your full potential in life, and because of its significance and importance in becoming a person that makes a difference in this world it is included as part of The Spartan Way. I encourage each and every one of you to consider the type of person you want to be in the lives of your siblings, in the lives of your future spouse and children, and in the lives of your co-workers and others you come in contact with… I challenge you to become people who make a difference in this world. Live your life with integrity, and be a person that others can turn to and rely on. Be principled, value things that matter, treat others well, and make a difference in this world…

Have a great rest of the week everyone… so proud to be a Spartan!

Mr. Elias M. Cox

Assistant Principal
Garden Spot High School

GSHS School Performance Profile

Whenever we hear that our current situation has to hold us back from our future aspirations we are reminded of the fact that we will achieve whatever we believe we can achieve. Thank you to an awesome staff and amazing student body for proving that nothing can hold us back when we hold each other accountable to high expectations. What a great sign of continued growth… 3rd in the county among all high schools. 4th in the state among high schools with greater than 40% economically disadvantaged student population. Your success matters to us, and we will relentlessly pursue every student that enters our building. Very honored to have the privilege of working with such amazing students, staff, and community. Thank you for your continued support!

For a detailed look at the many factors included in attaining the School Performance Profile score, check out Garden Spot High School’s Profile. Data is not all we do, but our continued growth is certainly an excellent sign of health.


2016-2017 SPP Scores Lancaster County High Schools


+90 SPP Score / +40% ED in PA (Out of 952 public HS in PA)

  1. Franklin Towne CHS (SPP – 94.6 / ED – 67%)
  2. Wilson Area HS (SPP – 93.4 / ED – 43.2%)
  3. Tyrone Area HS (SPP – 93.3 / ED – 45%)
  4. Garden Spot HS (SPP – 91.9 / ED – 40.2%)

Progress of Lancaster County High Schools Since First Release of SPP Scores



Go Spartans!

Mr. Elias M. Cox

Assistant Principal
Garden Spot High School



Update from Mr. Cox – Leadership

Hello Spartans!

It is hard to believe that we are almost done with our first full month of school… man, how time flies! It has been a pleasure getting to be around all of you again, and we thank you for an awesome start to the school year. I wanted to especially thank each of you for how well you have welcomed the Class of 2020, our students who transferred in from other schools, and our foreign exchange students. Your kindness and character shine in your actions, and they are a large part of what makes our school so wonderful.

As we enter October I wanted to take a moment to remind you that we will be pulling grades for your iSpartan placements on Thursday, September 29. Please make sure that you are touching base with your teachers if you have questions about your grades. The new placements for iSpartan will begin on Tuesday, October 4. Your homeroom teachers will share your new placements with you on Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4.

To Infinity and Beyond
Dan Hutcheson via Compfight

You may have noticed that September’s trait of the month is leadership. The Spartan Way is more than a clever phrase, it is a set of principles that guide our interactions, and leadership is an important part of ‘Doing What’s Right’. Great leaders hold themselves accountable to doing what’s right even when no one else is watching, and because of that others are inspired to do the same. Great leaders treat others well, and those actions make others feel comfortable and valued in their presence. Great leaders don’t give up, even when things get tough, and they encourage those around them to keep trying even when life gets tough. Great leaders are role models, and each of you have the ability to be leaders. Leadership is trait that requires doing what’s right because those who inspire us to action are those who do what is right… and great leadership inspires us to be the best that we can be. The most important thing to remember is that all of you are a leader to someone… a peer, a younger sibling, a cousin… there are people all around you who look up to you, and that is something that you need to take very seriously. Are your actions ones that you would be proud of if others who look up to you followed?

I challenge each of you to be leaders, and to make a difference in this world. Each of you have it in you to do great things, the question is whether you will find ways to get the job done, or make excuses for why it was not possible. Great leaders find a way to do what is necessary to get the job done. Be leaders… live your life in a way that draws others to you… treat others well, do what is right, and refuse to give up – even when things are tough… by doing those things, you will be a leader that others will follow, and you will be able to hold your head high knowing that you are making a difference in this world. Keep rockin’, Spartans!

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Please see the attached document for volunteer opportunities at Blue Ball Elementary. Directions for how to volunteer are found in the attached document: need-for-volunteer-hours-sign-up-sheet-2016
  • ELANCO Public Library: contact Ms. Means at kmeans@elancolibrary.org if you are interested in volunteering at the ELANCO Public Library
    • Facilities Volunteer: Help set up and cleanup programs. Monday evenings from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm
    • Technology Volunteer: Assist patrons in using the computer. Must have knowledge of email (google, yahoo or Hotmail), Microsoft Word Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe (PDF). Times for this position are flexible.
    • Extraordinary Give, November 18th 2016: Need: 4-5 students to help set up program (3:00-4:00 pm) , 4-5 students to help cleanup program (8:00-9:00 pm). 3 students to help facilitate program. (4:00 pm-9:00 pm)

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Elias M. Cox

Assistant Principal
Garden Spot High School

Parent Night – September 22, 2016

It’s a great day to be a Spartan!

To this day, I remember my dad dragging me through the halls of Annville-Cleona High School on a Saturday morning well before an afternoon football game. My principal, who just happened to be my neighbor, was more than happy to oblige my dad’s request. You see, I received a poor grade on a Spanish II quiz the previous week that had the potential of rendering me ineligible to play the next week. As fate would have it, I had a Spanish II unit test coming up the next week and I failed to take home my book and notes to study over the weekend. My dad would have none of it.

While I was embarrassed at the time, I look back on that moment fondly. I am thankful that my dad cared enough to hold me accountable, and I’m glad I had a principal that promoted the “student” in student-athlete. Trust me, there are plenty of opportunities for parents to get involved with their child’s education at Garden Spot High School that are far less embarrassing. One such opportunity is coming up on Thursday, September 22nd.

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and administration, I would like to invite you to Parent’s Night! Festivities begin at 6:45 PM in the Stan Dean Auditorium. During this event you will have the opportunity to follow your child’s schedule and speak with members of our faculty. The event concludes at 8:00 PM and light refreshments will be provided throughout the evening. We hope to see you on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 6:45 PM for Parent’s Night!