The Center for Innovation & Design (CID)

In 2022, Friends’ Central converted the former Rex Gymnasium into Phase I of our new Center for Innovation and Design (CID). Upon the unveiling of Phase I in September 2022, the CID instantly became a campus favorite, serving as hub of creativity for students in their STEAM education, both for class projects and during free time. Construction of Phase II of the CID began this January, and the brand new, fully competed CID will be open for business in September 2024.

The most exciting part of transforming the Rex gymnasium thus far has been the range of community input in designing and building the space. Alumni/ae, current students, and staff have all been helping. I can’t wait to see the ways our students will innovate and the things they’ll build and create.”

- CJ Keller, CID Co-Director

Read all about the CID in this Suburban Life article.

CJ Keller

CID Co-Director

CID Co-Director CJ Keller came to Friends’ Central in 2013. Previously, he was a carpenter and woodworker at residential homes in the area. He has an extensive theater background and was FCS’s Stage Crew Director for many years as well as FCS woodshop teacher. CJ holds a BA in English from James Madison University and an M.Ed. in Design Education from the University of San Diego.

Matthew Schoifet

CID Co-Director

Upper School Physics teacher and CID Co-Director Matthew Schoifet came to FCS in 2022. Previously, he was a physics and engineering teacher at Riviera Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. Matthew received a B.A. in Physics from Cornell University and an M.Ed.
from the University of Florida. Matt is faculty advisor to Friends' Central's Upper School Robotics Team.

Qil Jones '13

Middle and Upper School Innovation and Design Teacher

Qil is a Philadelphia-based design facilitator, metalsmith, and musician with six years of teaching experience. They graduated from Friends' Central in 2013 and earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Product Design from Drexel University. Prior to joining FCS, Qil worked as a professor of Product Design at Drexel and as a Jr. STEM Academic Mentor at the Community College of Philadelphia. They have taught at various other educational institutions in Philadelphia.