Thankful for Each of You – Mr. Cox

Good morning Spartans!

I hope this email finds you doing well and looking forward to a break for Thanksgiving! We are so thankful to have you here, and for the opportunity to be a part of your life.

I encourage you to take the time this week to hug the people that matter in your life, and to let them know how thankful you are for them. I encourage you to take the time to be thankful for what you have, and not to focus on all that you may wish you had. No matter our situation, our mind set is determined by what we let our mind dwell on. I encourage you to let your mind dwell on what is good and right in your life.


I am personally thankful for the sunrise (see image above) that I get to see each morning on my way to work during these months, and I am thankful for the time that I get to spend with each of you. There are things all around us that we should be thankful for regardless of what is going on in our lives. I am hopeful that each of you will be able to stop and appreciate those things in your life, and that you will take the time to thank the people who make a difference in your life.

Smile a lot over break, and spend your time doing things that make your heart smile. Thank you for being awesome, and thank you for making our lives better here at Garden Spot.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Mr. Elias M. Cox

Assistant Principal
Garden Spot High School

Mr. Garden Spot Competition

mr gsOn Saturday evening, October 28th, the Garden Spot Cheerleaders with the support of many local business will be holding the first ever Mr. Garden Spot Competition in the GS Auditorium at 7:00 pm.

Fourteen of our high school gentlemen will be placed out of their comfort zone and on stage for talent, evening wear, and on stage question portions of the competition and they need your support.

Tickets are being sold at school lunches ($4 students and seniors, $6 adults), at the door the night of the performance, or feel free to email Lindsey Hubert at

GSHS Students Travel to Germany

American students with German host partners
American students with German host partners

Over the summer, 19 GSHS students spent 2 weeks in Germany, from June 17th – July 2nd on a trip coordinated by Laura Trimble (GSHS German teacher) and Manfred Eller (GSHS Physics teacher). The group was also accompanied by Gretchen Ripple (GSHS History teacher). The students spent their first week living in a German host family in the city of Worms, which is Mr. Eller’s hometown. Students experienced everyday life in their German host families and attended school at Rudi-Stephan Gymnasium, a secondary school for grades 5-13, which specializes in the study of foreign languages. They also took a cruise on the Rhine River and visited Heidelberg. The group then spent the second week traveling throughout southern Germany and Austria. Group excursions included a tour of the former Dachau concentration camp, a day in Munich including a visit to BMW world, a tour of a salt mine in Berchtesgaden, a trip to the highest alpine peak in Germany known as the Zugspitze, visits to two of King Ludwig II’s castles (Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee) and shopping in Salzburg, Austria.

Our host students from Worms will be visiting GSHS from September 23rd through 29th. They will attend school and go on excursions to Philadelphia and Valley Forge while they are here. We are thrilled with this newfound exchange with a German school, which provides an extraordinary opportunity for our German language students to experience the German language and culture first-hand, as well as form meaningful relationships with native Germans. We look forward to a long-term biannual exchange with Rudi-Stephan Gymnasium.

Students who took part in the exchange: Daniel Styer, Tacey Sauder, Jeremy Hershey, Patrick Montgomery, Charles Ulrich, Paula Groff, Abigail Foor, Ariana Tirado, Aaron Lapp, Andrew Bowman, Seth Babb, Trenton Smoker, Brina Martin, Brandon Sabasino, Christian Schilling, Makaela Smith, Rachel Hooley, Zachary Hannum, and Nathan Smucker.

American students visiting Herrenchiemsee Palace
American students visiting Herrenchiemsee Palace


pathways logoPathways2Success, the work-based learning program at Garden Spot High School, provides students the opportunity to work a part-time or full-time job during the school day while earning academic credits and learning skills for 21st Century careers.  The goal of the program is to help students achieve a high priority, high skill, and high paying career and encourage post-secondary training through short-term or degree based programs.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the Pathways students worked at various businesses throughout the county including High Concrete (Denver), E&G Concrete (Stevens), Garden Spot Village (New Holland), HMS Host (Elverson), Morgan Truck Bodies (Morgantown) and McDonald’s (New Holland).  The students were able to learn about how to be successful in the working environment while on the job and in the classroom.  These students are now ready to graduate and begin their careers!

To learn more about the Pathways2Success program and read stories about the individual students, visit the Pathways2Success website.


Memorial Day Recognition Assembly 2017

On Monday, May 22nd, 2017, Garden Spot High School held an assembly that recognized local Veterans, current active service men and women, as well as students entering military service after high school.

Many thanks to Garden Spot Seniors – Evan Robbins, Spenser Kehlor, and Dan Peirsol – who recorded, edited and produced the video in conjunction with their video production class.

Hannah Lieberher wins Congressional Art Competition


Garden Spot HS Junior, Hannah Lieberher won the top spot in this year’s Congressional Art Competition. Congressman Lloyd Smucker hosted the event this year. Hannah’s work will hang for one year in the Cannon Tunnel at our nation’s Capital in Washington, D.C. She and her family will also be invited to a reception in their honor in Washington D.C. sometime in June.

We are really proud of Hannah and all of our students who participated this year’s competition.  All other student work can be seen at an ongoing show through the month of May at Garden Spot Village.


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