Friends' Central School did it again in the pool at the Friends Schools League Championships held at George School on Saturday, February 9. In front of a packed crowd, the Phoenix boys defended their league title successfully for the 16th consecutive season, and the girls took home another victory after placing one or more swimmers in the top 6 in 21 out of 22 events.
Where can you find animals like the “zeal,” the “frosttooth tiger,” the “white tiger slizard,” and the “butterchimp?” The Third Grade Zoo! On Wednesday, February 27, third graders took over the Light Lab, transforming each of its four studios into an Antarctic wonderland.
Out of a field of 15 teams - including 10 public schools - Friends' Central's stellar debate team of juniors Jade Halpern, Ryan Jokelson, and Lindsey Schweitzer, won the PHSSL District 10 Parliamentary Debate Tournament on February 13, 2019. They are now heading to the State tournament, which takes place the weekend of March 15 at Bloomsburg University.
For the second consecutive year, Friends' Central senior Kristen Johnson was selected to perform in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 11 Orchestra Festival, which took place at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School from January 10-12, 2019, with a special concert performed on Saturday, January 12.
In fall and early winter 2018, Friends' Central's campuses were abuzz with activity, including award-winning moments for our students, important sustainability achievements, athletic and academic successes, outstanding theater productions, orchestral and choral performances celebrating the holiday season, and inspiring guest speakers. Here are some highlights!
Friends’ Central’s winter sports season, featuring boys’ and girls’ basketball, indoor track, swimming, squash, and wrestling, has officially kicked off. Here is an outlook at the 2018-2019 winter sports season at FCS. Written by Miles Johnson '19.
Friends' Central's Dining Hall of Shallcross Hall, located on the School's City Ave. campus, has been awarded a 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification by the Green Restaurant Association, a national non-profit dedicated to making restaurants and other dining facilities more sustainable. Recognized for its sustainability efforts in food offerings, energy and water efficiency, reduced waste efforts, and chemical and pollution reduction, FCS is one of only three schools that have been similarly certified in the State of Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, October 30, Friends' Central hosted pediatrician, professor, and noted public health advocate Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose research exposed the Flint water crisis, as the inaugural Distinguished Justice Leader. Author of What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, Dr. Mona met with groups of students during the day and spoke to a sold-out crowd in the evening.
Circlesinging and World Music Drumming have several things in common: they are creative, collaborative, and accessible approaches to music and storytelling, and FCS music teacher Michele Zuckman has studied both through Friends' Central's Farraday Stipend program.
Our newly opened City Avenue Dining Hall has been up and running for over a month now, and students and faculty have been enjoying some fantastic, fresh offerings! This stunning, newly renovated dining space is highlighted by attractive, flexible seating arrangement options, five distinctive food stations, a fully functional teaching kitchen, and the after-school Phoenix Café, with sustainability efforts permeating the entire space.
Laurel Burkbauer, grade 7 and 8 English teacher, received a summer stipend to further develop the seventh grade English curriculum, including a thorough review of the literature selections.
Sonia Chin describes her course, Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science, which took place at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as "summer camp for scientists." A PhD-trained scientist with expertise in animal biology, Sonia saw this course as a chance to revisit and explore plant biology with internationally renowned experts.
For six weeks this summer, Friends' Central Upper School teachers Michael Darfler and Anna Schall participated in an exciting, cutting-edge summer learning opportunity called REThink. A National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded program that provides research experience for teachers at various universities across the US, the REThink program took place at Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) and focused on "Machine Learning to Enhance Human-Centered Computing."
It is with great excitement that Friends’ Central welcomes 12 new teachers, administrators, staff members, and interns to the School for the 2018-2019 school year
It is not uncommon to see alumni/ae on campus each day, particularly after school on the playing fields and courts. Many sports, including soccer, basketball, track, wrestling, and cheerleading, as well as Friends' Central Aquatics (FCA), are led by alumni/ae coaches who want to continue the culture of sportsmanship and integrity fostered by Friends' Central Athletics. In an effort to find out what brings alumni/ae back to campus to coach at FCS, rising senior Miles Johnson sought the perspective of six alum coaches.
On Wednesday, May 16, Friends' Central School held its annual Upper School Academic Awards Ceremony, recognizing students for their outstanding efforts in academics, leadership, and citizenship. Highlighting the ceremony was the induction of 19 members of the Class of 2018 into the Cum Laude Society.
Skylar Davis '21 will be spending six weeks in Japan this summer, living with a host family, and attending a local school.
On Thursday, April 19, Friends' Central welcomed over 340 people, including 150 Middle School student qualifiers from public and private schools in the tri-state area, to host the Regional Finals of the Middle School National History Bee. Four Friends' Central Middle Schoolers qualified for and participated in the Regional Finals, and based on their performance at Regionals, two students qualified for National Finals. In addition, six Upper School students competed in the National History Bee and Bowl Varsity and JV National Championships, which took place the weekend of April 27-29.
During the month of April, a number of Friends’ Central students performed in one of the most prestigious concert venues in the World: New York’s Carnegie Hall.
FCA presented a check for $11,000 to Simon's Heart, a locally based organization dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions and warning signs that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in young athletes and children.
Friends' Central is excited to host the Philadelphia Area Independent School Fair on April 10 and the 2018 Educational Forum for intellectually curious students and parents on April 15.
On Monday, March 12, Friends’ Central hosted Chelsea Clinton at the Lower School campus. Clinton spoke to students in Kindergarten through grade 5 about her latest book She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History, which introduces young readers to a group of 13 incredible women who have shaped history, both nationally and around the globe.
On Wednesday, March 14, Friends’ Central students participated in the National School Walkout to end gun violence. Taking place exactly one month after the shooting in Parkland, FL, Friends’ Central joined schools nationwide who participated in the 17-minute walkout in honor of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, as well as other communities affected by gun violence
On Friday, February 23, Chinese students at Friends’ Central School shared a part of their culture by presenting a dynamic, artistic, and moving Chinese New Year Assembly for the entire Upper School community.
Congrats to Friends' Central Varsity Boys' and Girls' Swimming, who took home Friends Schools League Championships again this year!
Artist, speaker, and activist Vishavjit Singh, aka Sikh Captain America, visited Friends' Central School in January to host a storytelling talk and workshops for the entire Middle School. Taking place on Middle School Diversity Day, Singh's talk focused on issues of identity, stereotypes, adversity, bullying, the power of our life narratives, and using art as a tool for social change.
From the youngest 3-year-old Nursery student to graduating seniors and every grade in between, FCS students are eager to participate, to learn, and to lead. In every division at Friends’ Central, classrooms promote independent thought, the courage to voice individual opinions, and the faith that students will listen to and value one another’s viewpoints. Students are given many opportunities to solve problems in innovative ways, both in the classroom and in the world. In short, Friends’ Central students are prepared to be cutting-edge, civically conscious 21st century leaders.
Friends' Central is thrilled to announce that Beth Davis Johnson '77 will be returning to FCS to serve as Upper School Principal, effective July 2018. Head of School Craig N. Sellers says, "I could not be happier about Beth's enthusiastic return to her alma mater, and I look forward to creating opportunities for parents, faculty, and students to greet her in the new year."
An airier footprint, more varied options for seating, an upgraded kitchen, a brand new "food lab," and a cozier, more welcoming facade and foyer are just a few of the many things to which the FCS folks on City Avenue have to look forward when Shallcross Hall reopens its doors in the spring. Check out this progress report on Shallcross Hall by Julian Brenman '20, with photo contributions from Charlie Szwartz '21 and Dorothy Babb '20.
In every division, Friends' Central students are taking a leadership role when it comes to waste generated on their campuses. This is just one of the many steps the School has taken to reduce environmental waste and improve sustainability efforts in the last few months.
At Friends’ Central, opportunities abound for students and families to give back – to seek out someone who needs a hand and to do what they can, even with the smallest gesture of kindness, to lift that person up. From the youngest Nursery student to graduating seniors, every individual in the Friends’ Central community understands the importance of being stewards of their school, local, and global communities. Students are taught early on that everyone has the potential to advocate for change, to be a force for good in the world, and FCS students are realizing that potential in myriad ways.
For Henry Terry, rowing is no leisurely activity. A sophomore at Friends’ Central, Terry, a resident of Wayne, is a devoted rower. He rows almost daily in lieu of participating in a traditional, school-sponsored athletic team. Recently, his hard work payed off when he was invited to, and then participated in, the Boston-based Head of the Charles regatta (rowing competition). This regatta, the largest two-day regatta worldwide, assembles the top rowing talent from around the world.
Friends' Central is excited to announce the launch of an energy-saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, expected to dramatically reduce the School's carbon footprint. Projected to save 38% of energy used annually equal to 9,100 million BTUs, these savings are the equivalent of eliminating the carbon emissions of 3,000,000 miles driven by passenger cars or the carbon absorption of 30,000 trees for 10 years.