Inspiring and Nurturing

Lower School is a rich, cohesive community that successfully brings its students of all ages together in the joy of learning, working, and playing. The genesis of Lower School’s welcoming environment and the source of the sparks of learning ignited here daily are our faculty and administration. Its members are a dynamic mix of both long and recent tenure which gives Lower School the roots of tradition and the freshness of new growth. Through their work together to create and lead projects – such as each year’s new fall thematic unit – the faculty model collaboration and lifelong learning. These examples are contagious, and students catch them quickly. The result is the joy of Lower School, and it emanates from all of its children and all of its adults.

Kelly Bird Pierre, Principal

Kelly joined Friends’ Central as Lower School Principal in July 2014. With degrees from Wesleyan University and the Bank Street School of Education, she began teaching in 1996. During her career, Kelly has gained both experience and a broad perspective on lower school education from leadership positions in teaching and administration at a number of independent schools in New York, including the Hewitt School, Packer Collegiate Institute, The Little Red Schoolhouse, and The Town School. Kelly’s two children are current Friends’ Central students. Follow Kelly on Twitter @kbpierre.

Ginger Fifer, Assistant Principal

Ginger has been the Lower School Assistant Principal since 2011 and served as Interim Principal during the 2013-2014 school year. An educator since 1972, she was a Lower School classroom teacher for thirty five years, working with many different ages before settling in 4th grade. Ginger holds a degree from Gettysburg College and earned her permanent state certification K-6. Her three children are all Friends’ Central graduates.

With both classroom and administrative backgrounds, the Lower School leadership team shares a wealth of experience in mentoring teachers, a strong belief in integrated curricula, a commitment to work on issues of diversity in the independent school setting, and a deep belief in the abilities and sensibilities of children. In the Lower School, administration and faculty work together closely in a robust program that values student contributions to the learning process, and, equally important, works to build a Lower School community in which all students and their families feel included and integral.


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