News Archive

We are excited to welcome Erica Snowden to the FCS community as our new Director of Equity and Multicultural Education. As a member of the Friends' Central senior administrative team, Erica oversees equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts school-wide. Joining Friends' Central to further support equity initiatives is Sabrina Johnson in a new position for the Lower School, Pre-K-grade 2 Social Justice Instructor. 

Read more about Introducing New Director of Equity and Multicultural Education Erica Snowden
Friends' Central is thrilled to announce that three seniors have been named winners of 2020 National Merit Scholarships. Tristan Szapary was one of approximately 1,000 high school seniors to win a corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship, and Benjamin Lehrer and Jane Whellan were among just 2,500 high school seniors to win a National Merit Scholarship. All three students were named National Merit Finalists earlier this year.
Read more about Four Friends' Central Seniors Receive National Merit Scholarships

For over five years, Friends' Central seniors Ben Lehrer and Jonathan Roach have been working and making together, creating show-stopping projects for their school and greater community, including the World Maker Faire and Philadelphia Maker Faire. One of those projects has now resulted in a patent, which they have recently licensed.

Read more about Friends' Central Seniors Patent Their RFiD Rock Wall Scoring System

Congratulations to the Varsity girls' cross country team for winning their 5th consecutive Friends Schools League title and for winning the PA State Independent School Championships! Friends' Central made history in the league and state championships; at the FSL Champs, FCS senior Lydia Russell winning the girls' race and FCS junior Diego Spielman-Rodriguez winning the boys' race, becoming the first-ever Friends' Central duo to win the league cross country title in the same year, and this was the first State Championship for the cross country team!

Read more about Girls' Cross Country State and FSL Champs!

In an effort to enhance her teaching of astronomy, last year, Friends’ Central Physics Teacher Debbie Skapik became a member of the Global Hand-on Universe (GHOU), and this past summer, she attended the GHOU Conference in Provence, France, thanks to a Hendrie Stipend, a fund established by an FCS alumnus to help faculty enhance the math and science programs at Friends’ Central.

Read more about Friends' Central Physics Teacher Attends Summer Global Astronomy Conference in France

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. 

Read more about FCS Boys' and Girls' Swimming Repeat as FSL Champions!

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.

Read more about FCS Senior Selected to Perform in PA Music Educators Association District 11 Orchestra Festival

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!

Read more about A Momentous Fall at Friends' Central

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.

Read more about Friends' Central Receives 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification

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. 

Read more about Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha Inspires Students, Faculty, and Community During Talks at Friends' Central

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.

Read more about New Exciting, Delicious, and Sustainable Highlights to Middle & Upper School Dining!

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.

Read more about Upper School Teacher Attends "Summer Camp for Scientists" at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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."

Read more about FCS Teachers Spend Summer REThinking at Drexel

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.

Read more about Alumni/ae Coaches - Continuing the Culture of Sportsmanship and Integrity in FCS Athletics

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.

Read more about National History Bee Action at Friends' Central

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

Read more about Friends' Central Students Participate in National School Walkout

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.

Read more about Sikh Captain America Visits and Inspires Friends' Central Middle Schoolers

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.

Read more about Shaping 21st Century Leaders at Friends' Central

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."

Read more about Friends' Central Announces New Upper School Principal Beth Davis Johnson '77

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.

Read more about Shallcross Hall Progress Report: Out with the Old, and Getting Ready for the New