Sandy Spring Friends School



“Did You Know…?” 6 Quick Facts About SSFS

“Did You Know…?” 6 Quick Facts About SSFS

How did we get our School mascot? What’s that triangular graphic that’s part of the School logo? And what the heck is Frazleerham?? These questions and more are answered below. Don your school colors and cheer on the ‘Beests, as we start a new school year! 

Wildebeest Mascot

1. What is the School’s mascot, and what is the story behind how we got it? 
The wildebeest is the SSFS mascot; sometimes you’ll hear people refer to Springers and our athletic teams as the “‘Beests.” “Gnu” (pronounced “nyew”) is another name for wildebeest, which explains the play on words with our “Gnu Stories.” 

The Wildebeest was a character from an original operetta written by former music teacher Bryan Seith and performed by SSFS students during the school’s early years. At some point after the production, a student thought it would be funny to bring the Wildebeest costume head to an SSFS game to cheer on the team, and eventually SSFS adapted the wildebeest as our School mascot!

2. What is the significance of the triangular graphic that accompanies the School logo?
The graphic represents the truss architectural structure at the top of the on-campus Meeting House. Since the School was founded on Quaker values, it felt appropriate to incorporate a graphical component that called to mind the center of our campus--our Meeting House--as part of the School logo.

Meeting House
SSFS logo-stamp









3. What is Community Day?

Community Day is a longstanding tradition at SSFS, when all students, faculty, and staff set aside a day to work, play, and reflect together. Traditionally, the day (usually scheduled in late September or early October) begins with a walk to the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting House, where we have an all-school Meeting for Worship together. Upon returning to campus, we divide into cross-divisional "Family Groups" of students, faculty, and staff who spend the day together participating in on-campus community service projects, Morley games, crafts and bonding time. The day culminates with an annual all-school aerial photo. The day offers a wonderful opportunity to have fun and build connections across grade levels (the Family Groups stay the same year to year, with graduates moving on and new students joining).

Community Day - Walking to Meeting House

4. What are “Morley Games,” and how do you play them?
Morley Games, named after one of the School’s founding teachers Barry Morley, are cooperative team games with fun names such as Friedelfrappe, Frazleerham, Brindledorph, Hoop-a-Doop and Nurdleybawl. Barry Morley designed the games in the 1960s and 1970s as a way for our small, growing student population to participate in team sports. Although the School is now large enough to field more traditional team sports, SSFS students still enjoy these fun and cooperative team sports. You can learn more about the Morley Games history and the creator Barry Morley in our Morley Games Booklet. The booklet also includes printable versions of the rules for each Morley game.



5. What are the School colors, and how did we get them?
The School colors are Green and Gold. Legend has it that when former history teacher Ari Preuss was coaching the School’s soccer team in the early days of the school, he got a good deal on some Brazilian soccer uniforms; since the national colors of Brazil are green and gold, so were the SSFS uniforms… and the rest is history!

6. Has SSFS always been a preK-12th grade school?
SSFS opened in 1961 as a 10th-12th grade boarding and day school. A Ninth Grade program was subsequently created, and then incorporated onto the SSFS campus.  In 1980, SSFS added a Middle School program in Brookeville, MD, which moved onto campus in February of 1984. In 1992, Friends Elementary School moved onto campus, officially merging with SSFS one year later. The following year, the School expanded again to serve students from pre-kindergarten (age 4) through 12th grade. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, our  preschool program expanded further to include three-year-olds, so that SSFS could serve students from age 3 all the way through 12th grade.

Have a question about a School tradition you want to learn more about, or have some fun School trivia you want to share? Email and our School Archivist, Johanna Cowie!

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