15 Reasons to Come to Blair

Society of Skeptics

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War heroes, authors, entrepreneurs, actors, politicians and more. Every Tuesday night, history teacher Dr. Marty Miller hosts “Skeptics,” the longest continuously running high school lecture series in the country. Past speakers include Dith Pran, Cambodian Holocaust survivor; Former N.J. Governor Christie Whitman; Executive Director of Major League Baseball Players’ Association Mike Weiner, and author of the memoir A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah. Click here to see a list of upcoming Skeptics speakers.

The Headmasters’ Societies Competition

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GO BREED! GO KELLEY! HOWARD RULES! SHARPE IS THE BEST! All Blair students and faculty are divided into four teams named after four former Headmasters. Each year, the community competes in a week of after-school intramural games ranging from volleyball to water polo to an egg toss and a talent show finale. Teams vie for the Hardwick Trophy and bragging rights. Let the games begin!

Travel to Kenya with Q

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Quint Clarke, affectionately known as “Q”, leads a group of Blair students each June to Kenya, a meaningful and adventurous community service trip. Blair students have delivered 7,000 pounds of clothes, shoes, computers, medical supplies and balls, donated over $45,000 toward educational programs, and begun an initiative to bring small-scale windmills that would provide personal electricity to those who currently have none. Blair students also have the opportunity to travel to Spain with the Spanish department, the Cayman Islands with the Marine Science class, Normandy with Madame Bowditch, China with the Faccianis and Eastern Europe for a Singers and String Ensemble tour.

Speech, Speech!

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Each spring, the Blair community eagerly awaits the senior public speaking competition. As the culmination of the public speaking course, the contest serves as a competitive but fun way for seniors to address their peers in a formal environment. Many times, the topics reflect a bittersweet quality indicative of all that is currently going on in the lives of these soon-to-be graduates. Seniors have taken to the podium for the last eight years, and for the past three years, a select group of sophomores (chosen by their peers) went on stage for their own public speaking competition.

Blair on Stage

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From musical comedy to a serious courtroom production, the main stage to an outdoor ampitheater, fall to spring, the Blair Academy Players perform six dramatic productions each year. Ranging from the most inexperienced but curious beginner to the tried and talented old hand who has performed for years, the Theatre Program at Blair offers the serious actor and the newcomer to the stage opportunities all year round. Click here to see photos of the 2014 winter musical, Bye Bye Birdie.

Peddie Week

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Blair vs. Peddie is the oldest high school rivalry in New Jersey and certainly one of the best rivalries in the boarding school world. The athletic contests–a culmination of the fall sports season–are held on Peddie Day and are the most anticipated of all autumn events. In a prelude to the games, the Blair community, parents and friends come together throughout the week for a pep rally, team skits and the legendary senior torch parade and bonfire. Peddie Day is Blair tradition at its best. In 2014, Blair defended the Kelley-Potter cup on another day of spirited competition and fun! Click here to watch a video that shows how seriously students take the Blair-Peddie competition.

Six to One

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Teachers at Blair really know you, push you, and challenge you, especially in the classroom. With a 6:1 student to teacher ratio and an average of 11 students in each class, Blair kids are at the front lines in any classroom. Whether debating across the table in a history class, stepping up to the podium in a public speaking course, or setting off a chemical reaction in a science lab, Blair classrooms are active places that provide a forum for open group discussion, participation and a “hands-on” approach to learning. Dynamic and interactive, the teachers at Blair create a classroom experience that is active, exciting and demanding. Click here to watch a video on Blair academics.

Proximity to NYC

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Although Blair is located only 10 minutes from the beautiful Delaware Water Gap, New York City is only 65 miles away. As an extension of classroom learning, music students often enjoy master classes or performances at Lincoln Center (New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic), while art classes make annual pilgrimages to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Weekends allow for trips to Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro, the annual Model United Nations at Columbia University, the U.S. Open and Broadway shows like Spamalot and Avenue Q.

Blair Commons

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The Blair Commons is the perfect place to relax between classes, chat with friends, pick up a delicious Bodini Bagel, and check out the new gear in the Blair bookstore. Blair Commons is also home to the “Can”–the old indoor, elevated track that has been fully restored into a seating area overlooking the central playing field. Students can watch a lacrosse game, catch up on their school work, meet with their advisor and enjoy a snack from the grill below. Who knows, you might also find yourself in the middle of a high stakes ping-pong tournament too!

International Weekend

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Each winter, the Blair community enjoys the multi-cultural excitement of International Weekend. Boys and girls from nearly two dozen countries attend Blair, and this annual event is an opportunity for Blair students to sample cuisine, clothing and traditions from their classmates’ native countries, including Spain, India, China, France, Korea, Nigeria, Thailand and more. Run by the Blair International Awareness Club and the foreign language department, students and faculty also get to try their hand at karaoke, cricket matches, henna tattooing and even participate in an international fashion show. Click here to see photos from this year’s International Weekend.

Quiz Bowl

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If you know the three-letter Arabic word for “son of” or which President of the United States who was also once the President for Princeton University, you are a great candidate for Mr. Molteni’s Quiz Bowl! This math teacher advises a weekly event on campus, the “Blair Quiz Bowl”–a game focused on teams competing over their knowledge of academic trivia. There are about 20 members on the team, with a mix of all grade levels, from freshmen to seniors. Click here to read about students' spring 2014 trip to Washington, D.C., during which they competed in the National History Bowl Tournament.

Games “Under the Lights” & Blue Crew

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Blair’s all-weather turf field, ringed with lights and a grandstand, serves as a nighttime venue for Blair athletic contests. On Friday or Saturday evenings, our teams compete “under the lights” in front of spirited Blair fans! Deck yourself out in Blair colors and join the Blue Crew, cheering on the Bucs at your favorite athletic contests. From night games “under the lights” to away games at rival schools, the Blue Crew always takes school spirit to another level!

The Blair Facebook Challenge

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Do you think that you are able to recognize all 450 Blair students by name? Test your knowledge of the student body with the Blair facebook challenge. Created by former Assistant Headmaster Mr. Low (pictured here), the contest–naming nine randomly selected students in the printed Blair community directory – is always on the table. Occasionally, a student will accept and master the challenge, in which case the bar is raised with the “cosmic” level challenge. Learn people’s names, challenge the assistant head of school for student life and become the Blair champion!

Video Production & Exciting Electives

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Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of a movie? The Blair Video Production program continues to be a popular elective choice, offering students the opportunity to produce and edit movies while learning the fundamentals of planning and pre-production to post-production and public screening! Other intriguing electives include Ethical Studies, Marine Science, Japanese History, Economics, Architecture, Epidemiology and Roman History. Students often discover a new interest in one of the many elective offerings at Blair.

Choose Your Own Advisor

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In order to form meaningful, positive and long-lasting relationships with their teachers, Blair students are able to pick their own advisors. Throughout the first month of school, students take care to get to know various teachers and administrators in order to decide which faculty member would be the best fit as his or her advisor. The advisor guides students’ personal growth by acting as mentor, advocate, teacher and friend. Many students stay with the same advisor for an entire Blair career; the ownership of this decision helps students develop a strong sense of independence, responsibility and confidence in engaging the world around them.