In this article, Editor-in-Chief of the Upper School Student Newspaper Focus, Julian Brenman '20 shares highlights from Friends' Central's first-ever Pan-Asian Conference, which took place on campus on Saturday, May 19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Artist, speaker, and activist Vishavjit Singh, aka Sikh Captain America, visited Friends' Central School in Januaryto 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.
This fall, Friends' Central and architect Barba + Wheelock were selected for a Lower Merion Township Historic Preservation Award for the School's newly renovated Ulmer Family Light Lab on the Lower School campus.
Friends' Central enjoys a proud legacy of excellence in the pool. From dominance in both girls' and boys' swimming – 14 consecutive championships for boys' swimming – to a vibrant yearlong aquatics program, swimmers of all ages flock to FCS to learn from outstanding coaches and have the best experience possible in the water. This year, five alumni/ae – Max Bernard '08, Ryan Cassidy '13, Olivia Gillison '10, Victoria Gillison '13, and Mary Stroman '08 – have returned to FCS to continue this legacy of excellence in swimming and to pass along what they learned as swimmers, and as students, at Friends' Central.
In the world of current events, the word global is everywhere. It implies a level of cooperation and interconnectedness that is belied by news of wars, political groups, and neighborhoods where people are so polarized in their approach to issues that they cannot find common ground. Ultimately, our ability to transcend difficult and complex issues hinges on whether or not young people will be defined by their differences. One way to reshape their understanding of difference is to give children the opportunity to collaborate, play, and grow with classmates from different backgrounds.
This coming year, Friends' Central is thrilled to introduce a new title and experience for the FCS Athletic Department. Now under the umbrella of Athletics and Wellness, the department will work more closely with Support Services, division principals, and curricula in an effort to better educate the whole child, Nursery-grade 12.
Upper School students and science teachers visited Green Bank Observatory, home to the world's largest fully steerable telescope. The trip was the culmination of a yearlong study of astrophysics and astronomy that featured a visit from Barnard College professor Janna Levin, author and theoretical physicist.
Friends' Central graduating senior Sydney Bennett is heading to St. Joseph's University in the fall, and as a result of Sydney's intelligence, hard work, confidence, and tenacity, she will attend the school on full scholarship. Sydney is a recipient of the prestigious Ignatian College Connection (ICC) Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship awarded to just five high-achieving seniors.
On Friday, March 17 at 7 pm and Sunday, March 19 at 2 pm in Shallcross Hall, Friends' Central Middle School students presented Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone, the hilarious parody of all things Harry Potter.