Friends' Central Middle School
Friends’ Central provides eager young learners with a dynamic and challenging academic program. In the Middle School, students are encouraged to explore and take risks whether they are in the classroom, on the stage, or on the playing fields. Students in grades 6-8 are ready to think more abstractly and question more critically. Our program encourages students to embrace the joy that comes from intellectual discovery. Middle School students work together to problem-solve more creatively, building both a sense of self and a sense of community. Through a combination of a rich, engaging curriculum and progressive pedagogy, teachers instill a love of learning and provide students with a set of essential skills which will propel them through the Upper School and beyond.
At FCS, we create a nurturing educational environment where students feel comfortable, motivated, and confident as they learn and grow. The Middle School years are crucial, transformative years in students’ academic journey and in their personal development. Our teachers understand and delight in the opportunities and challenges that come with shepherding children into adolescence. It is the individual attention our teachers give to our students that forges meaningful relationships and enables each child to thrive. With a program and schedule tailored to young adolescents, we nurture healthy minds and bodies, self-advocacy, social-emotional intelligence, communication skills, organization and time management, and independence.
The Middle School provides students with an abundance of hands-on learning experiences in and out of the classroom. These opportunities help students to develop their voices and find or follow their interests. In addition to our academic, artistic and athletic programs, students participate in clubs, community service, affinity groups, mini-courses, and field trips. Friends’ Central Middle School plays a critical role in transforming eager, and enthusiastic elementary school students into self-aware, critical thinkers who are engaged and empathetic citizens.
“Our focus on relationships builds an incredible safety net for children at a particularly vulnerable time of their lives. The trust and assurance of relationships allows children to take risks and challenge themselves to higher levels of social and academic excellence. I don’t know what greater gift we can give kids.”
- Alexa Dunnington Quinn '98, Middle School Principal
Meet Our Middle School Principals
Alexa has been the principal of Friends’ Central’s Middle School since 2012 and a member of the Middle School administrative team since 2008. Before becoming principal, Alexa spent ten years as a teacher of Language Arts and Writers’ Workshop; she also served as an advisor and coach at FCS. Alexa holds a master’s degree in English from Middlebury College and a Master’s in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a graduate of Friends’ Central School (Class of 1998) and is the parent of two Lower School students.
Andy White '03 joined the Friends' Central community as the Middle School Assistant Principal in July 2020. Andy earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and holds two master's degrees - one in cinema studies from the University of Southern California and another in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to FCS, he taught English at Hopkins School and St. Bernard’s School before becoming their Head of Upper School (gr. 7-9). At St. Bernard’s, Andy was responsible for hiring, retaining, evaluating, and supporting faculty; he strengthened and led the advisory program and programming for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also reviewed and evaluated curriculum and academic offerings, oversaw admissions efforts, built strong partnerships between families and the school, and was beloved by his students.