Friends Select School
11 CONTENTS 2 COMMUNITY NOTES
How our students operate in the real world
3 FROM THE ARCHIVIST’S CLOSET
50 years of the real world at Friends Select
4 FALCON NOTES
Winter sports wrap-up, new Falcon logo, college athletes
6 SPECIAL SECTION
How our faculty prepare students for the real world
12 ALUMNI/AE NOTES
On the cover: Friends Select students build temporary housing to highlight Habitat for Humanity’s mission.
14 OUT AND ABOUT
Dick Hoffman celebration, reunions and more
Selectnews Friends Select School 17th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19103 215.561.5900, x145 fax 215.864.2979 friends-select.org Join us: Friends Select School Alumni/ae Community
Editorial Team Editor Colleen Puckett, Director of Marketing and Communications Writer Jennifer Raphael ’88 Design Tina Dougherty, Art Director
/sets/ vimeo.com/friendsselect/videos http://www.friends-select.org/ RelId/619752/ISvars/default/Twitter.htm
Feature Photography Tina Dougherty, Lynda Greenwade, Connor Augustine ’14, Spencer Yaffe ’13, Bruce Weller Photography
Selectnews Select News is the magazine of Friends Select School. It is published by the marketing department twice a year and distributed to alumni/ae, parents and friends of the school. Cover Photo: Connor Augustine ’14 spring/summer 2013 Volume 24 Number 2
A Message from the Head of School
“The ‘Real World’ is not just for grownups.” I cringe when I hear adults tell children, “just wait until you get into the ‘real world.’” What they are saying is that the real world is for grownups; that the real world is a deferred state of mind and manner of living; and that for children the present isn’t real. But I fully disagree. Even though our students don’t work to provide for a family, pay property taxes or enjoy the benefits and drawbacks of a full-time job, they still live in the real world. Rather than hold the real world as something apart, a construct students experience only after graduation, at Friends Select we prepare our students to function in the real world they experience every day. For Friends Select students, the real world is immediate and imminent. It’s about discovery and learning, about navigating relationships, about testing boundaries, about comprehending and appreciating complexity, and about forming a world view that puts health and harmony at the center. There’s much responsibility attached to these endeavors, and students here are invited to meet the challenge. So at school, we interweave real world experiences into everyday academic life every chance we get. A classroom, for example, may be anywhere – in a museum, a park, a hospital, an archaeological site, a neighboring city or a country abroad. Real world learning comes from partnering with graduate students at Curtis Institute of Music or interviewing ethnic food vendors at Reading Terminal Market, or interning with architects on site. Real world learning comes from mentoring younger ones, listening to difficult discussions, repairing conflicts, and respecting boundaries. And throughout their real world experiences, the school invites students’ trust, independence and accountability. In this issue, you’ll read faculty descriptions of authentic, innovative and integrated real world experiences that are part of the school experience. You’ll hear from two of our alumni/ae, impressive young adults who are adeptly navigating the world with an FSS compass and who developed here a level of adult sophistication that trumps mere preparation. When students walk through our doors for the last time and embark on an adult’s path, they aren’t stepping into the great unknown. They are competent in the real world that is already here.
Rose Hagan Head of School
About Friends Select The mission of Friends Select School is to provide a challenging, college–preparatory academic program to its diverse, coed student population, from pre–kindergarten to 12th grade. The school offers a full complement of athletic, art and community service options. Its unique identity includes an intentional, sequential emphasis on research, writing and oral presentation and a commitment to interactive learning in a city–wide classroom.
Members of the Friends Select community believe in the Quaker values of respect for all, simplicity, the peaceful resolution of conflict and a constant search for truth. We work to achieve a balance between the needs of individuals and the community in an atmosphere of cooperation and concern for the betterment of all. We value the rich diversity of our urban setting and the opportunities and challenges it provides for the education of our students.
Under the caring oversight of dedicated faculty and staff, Friends Select students gain the knowledge, skills and character that will help them to live full lives.
Communitynotes Out in the REAL WORLD
Magic, Nature and Cities Muralist Charles Barbin had a big vision for the Bailey Circle – and the students in the FSS After School Program helped him realize it. In April, Barbin and After School began installing a 3D, floor-to-ceiling art installation, the result of a months-long collaboration between Barbin and the young students.
Every year in late May, seniors are required to intern for three weeks at professional and business settings around the region. Students are encouraged to explore their career interests and are responsible for finding their own placements. At the completion of their internships, seniors present their work and what they’ve learned to parents and peers. Here’s a diverse sampling.
Before Barbin started his pursuit of public art and murals, he worked at FSS in the After School Program. “I thought it would be interesting to do a 3-D mural installation,” he says. “We came up with three major themes, Magic, Nature and Cities. The students voted on what theme they wanted.” The students liked the three themes so much that they ended up merging them. “In nature, we find ourselves building things and in the city, we plant trees to bring nature in. Magic is the glue that binds the other two.”
“It’s great to have the kids share ownership of this project,” Barbin says. The art installation was on display through end of May.
May 20-June 5, 2013 • 210 W. Rittenhouse Square Assistant pastry chef; hotel management • Atkin Olshin Schade Architects Shadow architects; visit sites; build architectural scale models • Burlington County Recreation Dept. Research/analyze differences between New Jersey and Philadelphia recreation centers’ systems • Citizens Bank Park Human Resources and Customer Service • Friends Select School (3) Marketing & Comm. Dept., Advertising Research; MS Visual Arts, Teaching assistant; US Visual Arts, Photoshop/Web design • GiantSky Marketing Agency App development • Glassbead Studio Learn all aspects of a glassblowing business • Haddonfield Friends School Spanish Teacher • InLiquid Interview/write about artists for print and Web publication • Jesse M. Cohen, Esq. Research/administration in busy law practice. Depositions/court appearances • Julie Victor Personal Trainer Personal trainer/physical fitness • LiveNation Promotions/booking for TLA and Tower Theatre • Media Providence Friends School Kindergarten Teacher • Philadelphia Museum of Art (2) Communications office Advertising and Promotions Coordinator • Project Basho Photography Project Photography and business • Roberta Miles, Performer Book jazz gigs, hire musicians, be a roadie/band leader • Sneak Peak Silk Screeners Create designs, produce, silkscreen and print for student-owned clothing company • Solow, Isbell & Palladino Law Office Immigration Law • Tune-Up Philly Summer program; enrollment; • Philadelphia Youth Orchestra plan 6 concerts in Philadelphia • University of Pennsylvania Biomedical research: Sleeplessness and neuron damage; reversing aging • Walnut Street Theater Education/Outreach • Wharton Legal Department Research assistant for legal articles
Exploring the Real World through Mini-Courses Right before spring break, middle school students took part in two-day mini-courses. This year, students chose among touring historic Philadelphia, living a socially responsible lifestyle, exploring used and independent book stores, fitness activities, constructing catapults and urban design studio. Students who participated in the Living A Socially Responsible Lifestyle minicourse saw an organic cooking demonstration led by Metz Dining Hall Services, planned five days of school menus during the month of May, and toured Whole Foods Market and GreensGrow Farm (pictured).
From the Archivist’s Closet
50 Years of FSS and The REAL WORLD In my 50 years at Friends Select, I have seen the school in many physical spaces – including behind a high brick wall. But no matter how many walls we sat behind, those bricks never kept Dick Hoffman the “Real World” out – and as educators, it was our job to incorporate and make sense of the world happening outside our doors. This became evident to me in my first months as a teacher. One afternoon in November 1963, I was teaching a class and could see out the windows in the door to the corridor, where a group of senior girls were crying. Very shortly after, we learned that President Kennedy had been killed in Dallas. We as teachers took on many roles that day and for days after – counselors, confidantes and friends. As the 1960s progressed, alumni/ae may remember fallout shelters and school evacuation drills, aftermaths of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the building of the Berlin Wall. The unrest on college campuses began to reach into secondary schools. The 1968 presidential election was a source of much debate in classes, as were the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights movement and growing protests about the United State’s involvement in Vietnam were also key issues. On a local level, there was much debate at FSS over students’ desire for changes in the dress code and for the establishment of the Black Student Union. The latter was approved as an organization in the early 1970s and sparked more debate about holding dances open to students from all over the city. Of course, the years from 1967 to 1969 gave FSS students even more exposure to the real world. Moving an entire school into temporary quarters, dealing with construction delays, up to and including union strikes, was even more of an education.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton outside FSS, 2008
By 1970, the school was in its new building and getting settled. The world continued to intrude on life at FSS, as President Nixon visited China in 1972 and the Watergate scandal broke the following year. Later in the decade the OPEC oil embargo caused energy shortages and schools had to close for a number of days. Friends Select may be the only Friends school ever to have closed for a day because of a Pope’s visit, in 1979. Pope John Paul II conducted a mass in Logan Circle, which closed all of the streets in the vicinity of the school. Politics again had a special impact on FSS in the most recent decade. John Kerry and Bill Clinton held a rally outside the school in 2004 and used the school building as their headquarters. Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stayed at the Sheraton Hotel across the street from the school and interacted with our students. Now, 50 years later, that high brick wall no longer exists, having been demolished in 1967. Students flow in and out of the building, even taking classes across the street at 1700 Race St. New programs such as the middle school’s culminating trips and upper school’s InterSession program continue to allow students to be part of the real world.
Thank you! I want to thank all who planned my 50-year celebration, all who attended the evening, all who made contributions to Friends Select to honor the occasion and all who have sent me messages. I would have liked to send each one of you a personal note of thanks, but that would probably have taken me another 50 years. In any case, my thanks are very heartfelt.
-Dick Hoffman spring/summer2013
Winter Sports Wrap-up
The 2012-2013 winter season brought a great deal of success for Falcons athletics. Basketball The boys varsity basketball team earned a spot in the district playoffs by finishing the regular season with a 12-10 record. The team was led by seniors Jake Kleinman Phillips, Colin Reitman and Ben Holl. Holl scored his 100oth career point during the season and ended the season first among all southeastern PA basketball players in three point shots and third in points per game. In addition he was honored by the Markward Club as an outstanding senior basketball player. The varsity girls basketball team finished the season with seven wins under first year head coach Andrea Carter. The team played without junior Jada Flint who suffered a knee injury during the first scrim-
mage of the season. Senior Kai Hardy paced the team, which won three league games, with her high-energy play on the court earning an FSL Honorable Mention selection in the process. The team is young and should do well next season. Swimming The varsity swim team had another successful season. The girls team earned a record of 4-3 while the boys team earned a record of 5-2. Emmett Orts, Henry Russell and Kayla Kahan culminated their season by representing the Falcons at the Eastern Scholastic Swimming Championships at LaSalle University. FSL Swimming Championship Medal Winners Emmett Orts: 1st 200 freestyle, 2nd 500 freestyle Kayla Kahan: 3rd 100 breast stroke
Emmett Orts, Henry Russell, Jacob Jamison and Patrick Bell: 2nd Boys 200 medley relay Emmett Orts, Henry Russell, Jacob Jamison and Patrick Bell: 3rd 400 free relay Kayla Kahan, Maya Zarate-Ramirez, Sophie Behrend and Kate Fesky-Kirby: 3rd 400 free relay Friends Schools League All League Players Emmett Orts: Varsity Swimming Friends Schools League Honorable Mention Players Henry Russell: Varsity Swimming Kayla Kahan: Varsity Swimming Kai Hardy: Varsity Girls Basketball
Welcome to the New FSS Falcon!
FSS launched a new athletics logo system on Friday, April 19, to a spirited group of 300-plus middle- and upper school students and special lower school guests at the US Spirit Club-led Brown & Gold Day assembly. The new athletics logo/graphics package, unique to Friends Select, also includes custom lettering and numbers developed just for the school’s athletics program. The new standards recommit to brown and gold as school colors on athletics uniforms. Eventually, all athletic team uniforms will incorporate the new look, beginning with the MS girls soccer team next fall. The new imagery and graphics also will be incorporated over time into all the athletics areas of the school, including the gym, the roof, and the newly renovated lower level when that project is completed. When developing the new Falcon, FSS directed its creative partners to focus on key characteristics shared by the bird and FSS athletes, attributes on display at every game, every time: pride, passion, focus, speed and competitiveness.
Real World, Real Sports So many of our talented athletes continue their sports careers at college – some even going on to play professionally or coach. Here is an impressive list of dedicated alumni/ae who have taken their sport to the next level. Basketball: Colin Convey, Swarthmore College Ebony Woods, Rhode Island College Kelli Sawyer, Rider University Brittany Purr, Lafayette College John Noonan, Ursinus College, Professional Basketball Europe Baseball: John Fugett, Lafayette, full-time assistant coach with Lehigh University Mountain Hawks, Pitching Instructor at Bushbeck's Full Armor Baseball Academy. James Bernard, Swarthmore Softball: Monica Keaney, MacCalister College Grace Finkbiner, Denison Crew: Sonya Bishop, Princeton Mia Curran, Georgetown Jacob Gardner-Rosen, Georgetown Oliver Ingram, Columbia Wylie Wilson, Boston College Field Hockey: Phoebe Hopkins, Smith College, Head Field Hockey Coach at Daniel Webster University Soccer: Zach Winthrop, Lafayette Sam Winward, Oberlin spring/summer2013
REAL WORLD FSS When FSS faculty examine a subject to teach, they look far beyond the basics. It’s great to play an instrument. But it’s amazing to hear live music and to perform in front of friends and strangers. It’s good to be an artist. But it’s fantastic to visit Italy and see masterful painting and sculpture up close. It’s commendable to learn a language. But it’s thrilling to live with a host family in a foreign country. It’s exciting to study human biology. It’s remarkable to stand in front of a human cadaver and hold a liver in your hands. These are the kinds of real world experiences that make Friends Select such a special place to go to school. In this issue you will read about past and present faculty who help make FSS a home of real world education, and the alumni/ae whose entry into the “real world” came long before they graduated from high school.
Before there were schools, experience was the best teacher. At Friends Select, we know it still is.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE MUSIC BOX Heather Fortune,
Music Department Chair How do you play Mozart with electric guitars, electric bass, an accordion and an erhu? Ask Heather Fortune and her students. “We take classic works and re-imagine them from a contemporary standpoint,” says Fortune. “For example, I can give a student who is interested in electronic material a chance to re-mix a slow movement. The symphony will be re-cast in a contemporary lens.” For the past seven years, Fortune and fellow music educator Dan Capecchi, middle school percussion, have been reanimating the music program, exploring and expanding the traditional school music ensemble. Fortune, FSS music department chair and instructor for the upper and middle school instrumental ensembles, remembers. “My first year there were seven students in the ensemble,” says Fortune, a former freelance flutist who has worked with the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Academy of Vocal Arts, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. “I saw there was great potential to grow the program and I had a vision of what it could be. It seemed like an excellent envi(Cont. on pg. 19)
WHERE THE SCIENCE IS Natalie Mayer, Science Department Co-Chair One thing that Natalie Mayer’s students learn very quickly is that a science lab is not just a room with four walls, microscopes and petri dishes. “My lab is really in the city,” says Mayer, who has been teaching upper school biology since 2007 and serves as the Science “Instead of doing a Department Co-Chair and 11th grade dean. dissection on a fetal “The school lets me travel with my stupig, the kids can dents to where the actually feel a science is.”
human liver. Hold the human brain. See what their own intestines look like.”
When the science is the human body, Mayer brings her classes to Jefferson Hospital Medical School where they study a dissected cadaver with a professor of anatomy and physiology. “Instead of doing a dissection on a fetal pig, the kids can actually feel a human liver. Hold the human brain. See what their own intestines look like,” she says. “They are in awe when
they see a human cut open like that. I love watching them connect the textbook information with the real thing. We are constantly talking about human body systems and they connect the dots.”
There, the team of 16 students explored the rainforest and its myriad creatures, helped build an iguana farm for a community, stayed in a sustainable farm and learned how to use electricity wisely.
Mayer’s labs have been as close as 11th and Walnut and as far as Latin America. To study genetics, the University or Pennsylvania comes to her lab to help the students raise zebra fish. Student groups take the week to mate their fish and collect eggs, study the phenotypes of the offspring and watch the embryological development of the zygote.
“The students were exposed to a different way of life and it made them appreciate what they have,” she says. “It was so valuable to watch the students work together – students who might not otherwise choose to work together.”
Her advanced biology class learns about human mitochondrial sequencing with an instructor at the renowned DNA Learning Center in upstate New York, one of the top research sites for DNA technology. A detailed lesson on salt marshes and beach ecology takes place in Cape May, and she has taken her students as far as Costa Rica to explore the many aspects of biology and ecology.
Mayer’s passion for biology was first expressed in medical school, not in education. She graduated from Abington High School and University of Pennsylvania before enrolling in Temple Medical School. “I loved my first two years of med school. I loved the classrooms, the lecture halls. But when it came to patient care in the hospital, even though I enjoyed it, I knew it was the wrong field for me,” she says. “I knew I wasn’t using my creative side.” Mayer knew she (Cont. on pg. 19)
Donna Romero, Theater Arts Coordinator As any savvy thespian knows, one of the key ways to elevate a program or a performance is through good, steady buzz. Fortunately for Friends Select, the new director of the drama program has some novel ideas for generating that buzz. “What I have been trying to do is get the buzz going,” says Donna Romero, whose first year at Friends Select has been marked by some exciting new ventures and adventures, including a partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Cappies Chapter – a program aimed at developing theater critic skills for high school students. In addition to a day-long training session, students attend five local high school shows and have 24 hours to write reviews. Out of the reviews, one is picked for publication in The Philadelphia Inquirer and the others are published in smaller, local papers. One FSS student saw her review published in the Inquirer. “It was the very first review she wrote and she was only a sophomore. She was over the moon,” says Romero. Several Cappies came out to see the fall performance of Bomb-itty of Errors. “We got to see the reviews they wrote. It generated a lot of good will for our theater program.”
Scenes from this year’s upper school production of A Streetcar Named Desire
The performance of Bomb-itty of Errors – a rap/hip-hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors – was in itself was a big step outside the usual high school play wheelhouse. “The kids really responded to the play, which inspired me to open up the play selection process to the students,” she says. For the spring performance, the students ultimately chose A Streetcar Named Desire, which they read in junior English class. In this sophisticated selection, Romero saw yet another opportunity to expand her students’ thinking about both the play and the topics it tackles. “There is an abusive relationship in the play. Instead of dancing around the issue, I thought we could use theater as a teaching tool, use it to foster good discourse and
do something about it.” At each performance of the play, students collected money for the Eliza Shirley House, a local shelter for battered women. “The students are learning about social justice combined with theater. We’re able to do that at FSS.” Romero’s holistic thinking about theater is inspired by her time at NYU, where she received her master’s in educational theater. Romero, who was been teaching for 15 years, has always wanted the chance to teach at a Quaker school. “I went to Friends Central for three years in middle school. I had been waiting for the right opportunity and the right fit,” she says. That opportunity came last year, when she was chosen to run the FSS theater department. So far, the fit has been perfect. “I like the relationship that students have with teachers, it is very natural,” she says. “We trust the students more than at other schools where I have taught. We are there to guide them, but the responsibility is all on them. They make it happen.” Romero is looking forward to next year, when drama returns to the curriculum. “Over the course of four years I would like to see students exposed to Shakespeare and a modern comedy and an edgy musical, just a wide variety of theater types so when they graduate they can say they have tried everything,” she says. To Romero, drama and theatrical performances aren’t just about learning lines and marks. “They are learning about commitment and dedication and event planning and time management and dealing with disappointment,” she says. “What if you are 40 years old, up for a promotion, and don’t get it? I hope my students can look back on the time when they didn’t get the lead, and reflect on the creative process and what it taught them.”
THIS LAND IS OUR LAND
Stuart Land, Director of Alumni/ae Programs, Third Grade Teacher 1981-1986 The advertisement read: “Interviews open: Friends Select School, Philadelphia.” It was on a paper tacked to a bulletin board in the Harvard placement office – long before the days of monster.com. It was the ad that Stuart Land had been waiting to see, the opportunity to teach at a Quaker school.
Many of you know Ted Greenberg as NBC 10’s Jersey Shore reporter. But Stuart Land knew him as a 3rd grader who would rather make his own TV weather show than play on the monkey bars at recess. “He spent his time coming up with scripts and he built a set in the classroom,” Land remembers. “He spent a lot of time doing his weather report.” Land noticed his passion and helped encourage it by allowing Greenberg to stay inside at recess and work on his set, his scripts and his broadcast. “He was just as serious then as when I see him on the news today.”
Land was at Harvard, where he received his master’s in education, and was working on developing a teacher training program for The National Institute of Education in the Boston and Cambridge public schools. “At the completion of the research project, I wanted to get back to teaching and get my kids into a good school,” Land remembers. He had had some experience teaching at a Quaker school through a work study position at Cambridge Friends School, where his son Jonas was a student. “I loved Quaker education. It was the best,” he says. Friends Select hired Land as a third grade teacher in 1981 and he and his family moved to Philadelphia. Jonas enrolled in eighth grade and his daughter Sunshine entered fifth grade. There began Land’s FSS career – 32 years and counting. “I was struck by how supportive everyone was. Doug North, the interim head of lower school that year, helped me adjust to a new environment. At first I was trying to do what I thought people wanted to see. He told me, ‘just be yourself. That is why we hired you.’ That freed me up,” he says. “In terms of teaching, it had to do with following the interests
of the students. Where did their passions, where did their skills lie? I wanted to provide opportunities for them to expand and follow their interests.” Land taught third grade until 1986, when a position opened in the admission office. Land was director of admission for 20 years, before settling into his current role as director of alumni/ae programs. Land, who studied business management at New York University, found a different kind of home in administration. “I found that when I went into admissions, that combined a lot of my interests and skills in terms of education and marketing.” His interpersonal skills also came into play, and he loved sharing with families what made Friends Select such a special place to get an education. “What I’ve seen here is that young people really are able to expand their minds, to know the greater world before they get into it,” he says. “This is a safe place where students are able to follow different directions before they go to college.” It is these very aspects of the FSS education that keep Land engaged and excited year after year. “The FSS experience opens kids up to something beyond themselves and their families. The impact of an experiential program like InterSession is much greater than textbook work,” he says. “I have visited so many schools where teachers are tied to textbooks. Our teachers go way beyond that, reading original material, looking at both sides of an issue, questioning things that are common practice. Our students are encouraged to question, which enables them to look at the world in a new way.”
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
Leia Johnson, Class of 2012
When she visited her grandmother at work in Hahnemann Hospital, Leia Johnson ’12 often would eavesdrop on Dr. Guy, her grandmother’s boss. “I used to listen to him talk on the phone with his wife. I asked my grandmother what language he spoke,” she remembers. To Johnson, hearing Dr. Guy speak Hindi was like listening to a favorite song – the tempo of the speech, the valleys and dips in tone, the rich voice. “For my birthday, I asked for a book to learn to read and write Hindi so I could talk to her boss,” she says. A month later, Johnson went back to the hospital and struck up a conversation with Dr. Guy in Hindi. “He was blown away. He asked who had taught me and I pulled the book out of my backpack. He asked me where I got the accent and I said that I had listened to him,” she says.
a godsend. Friends Select did a great job finding a teacher who fit with the chemistry of the school and could teach us not only about language, but how language relates to culture,” she says. Johnson is a native English speaker, has studied French and Spanish for six years, Italian, Arabic and Hindi for three years, and Urdu for one year. And her Mandarin is about to get much better. Johnson, who placed into level 6 Mandarin at Drexel University, will study abroad in Shanghai next year and then stay the summer to teach English to business professionals. “It’s not enough to sit here in America and learn a language. Get a host family, live in the country, bring your experience full circle,” she advises. Johnson is the only one in her family to go to college or speak a second language – let alone a third, fourth or fifth.
After Hindi, Johnson tackled Arabic and Urdu. “I learned a phrase a day,” she says. “Language is just something that comes easily to me.”
Johnson’s grandmother adopted her when she was two years old, right after her father died. Johnson’s mother, whom she has never met, left when Johnson was an infant. In It is indeed rare to possess Johnson’s family, it “Language so facile a gift – a gift she is very simple. If got to explore fully at you’re a man, join is just Friends Select. Asian lanthe Marines. If guages intrigued Johnson you’re a woman, something ever since a trip she took work in a hospital. that comes to Japan when she was 10 When she told her years old. “My mom family she was easily to (Johnson was raised by intending to go to her grandmother, whom Drexel to study me.” she calls “mom”) did Chinese, they all some research and found thought she was out that Japanese was not as of her mind. Then useful in the States. she took her entire Mandarin Chinese was a better family to her favorite Chinese choice. So I left Spanish class and restaurant in Chinatown, Happy went on to learn Mandarin.” Dragon.
Leia Johnson with Ed Smiley, Senior Prom 2012
Johnson was part of the first class of students to study Mandarin at Friends Select, in 2007. Johnson took to it easily. “It was fun to speak it. When you learn a language you learn about a culture,” she says. “In Chinese, certain English words are obsolete, such as ‘chicken.’ In Chinese, it’s a ‘fire chicken.’” The Mandarin experience also brought Johnson special relationships at FSS. “My Mandarin teacher, Yan Huang, was
“Lucy, who works there, came over to our table. I ordered for everyone in Chinese. All my uncles who had said I shouldn’t learn Mandarin were floored. The food was amazing. And I haven’t heard a peep from them since. When I told them I was going to China they asked me to bring back egg rolls,” she says. Johnson’s trip to China will help her realize her goal of being an (Cont. on pg. 20) spring/summer2013 11
PLAYING WITH FIRE
Lynda Greenwade, Upper School Art, Metalsmithing In Lynda Greenwade’s art class, you will find many things that you wouldn’t otherwise want your kids playing with – such as torches, hammers and broken glass. But to Greenwade, these items are not hazards. They are tools. “High school students, you usually tell them what they can’t do. Don’t smash things up with a hammer. Don’t play with fire,” she says. “I show my students to use fire and not get burned. I give them hammers and demonstrate how to use them effectively. We do amazing things in here. How many teachers will go into a room willingly with 16 adolescents and four torches?”
Her metalsmithing class is just one of the many unusual ways Greenwade integrates life lessons and art lessons. When the King Tut exhibit was at the Franklin Institute in 2007, she turned the old kindergarten playroom into a tomb. “One of my crazy obsessions is museums, and how important they are. The idea came to me Greenwade’s class is driven by her pasto have children sion for art, mapmaking, museums and build their own metalsmithing. It’s what inspires her stumuseum and to dents to push the art envelope further. understand how an The class she offers in metalsmithing is exhibit is put together,” she says. “With rare indeed, with only three schools outhelp from the parents and teachers, the side of Philadelphia offering something students made the artifacts and wrote all similar. the descriptions. We built several sarcophagi. The “When I closed my jewelry whole school participated. design business, I had all The prekindergartners “How many these tools and machines wrapped a skeleton for a teachers will go and no place to put them,” mummy and the upper school she remembers. “Students students became the docents, into a room learn to set stones. It’s very taking the younger children willingly with precise work. They love through the exhibit with using the torch and melting lanterns. Some of the docents 16 adolescents things.” even used English accents. and four Students still talk about it.” While using a torch and torches?” melting glass and metal is Students also still talk about indeed fun, Greenwade is her trips to Italy. Greenwade giving her students more escorts a group of up to 18 than a lesson in art. It’s a students to Italy – over the lesson in trusting themselves and caring past 15 years, she has taken 10 trips – for the trust that teachers put in them – a and gives them a memorable experience lesson that they will remember again and in art, culture and internationalism. again after they leave high school. “The students learn not to hurt themselves and “I want them to experience how to navito be aware of their environment. They gate and negotiate another world using a are doing really advanced metalsmithing. non-native language,” she says. The We’ve had a few go on to major in metmost recent trip she led was to Rome in als and industrial design in college.” 2012. The students become truly immersed in the culture, staying with 12 Selectnews
host families for five days and experiencing the art and history they study up close. “They see amazing art and architecture and all sorts of metal, glass and stone, and they go crazy,” she says. “They understand the processes behind all of that history.” Greenwade’s enthusiasm for international awareness and study eventually led to the idea and development of InterSession – the school’s week-long intensive focusing on one part of the non-Western world. “Art is my passion, but my real passion is looking at the world. I did my sabbatical in Madrid, teaching design and art history at St. Louis University, Madrid. I spent a lot of time visiting international schools. When I came back, I had several ideas about how we could incorporate more of a global focus into the FSS curriculum. I had the spark of the idea, but Rose Hagan and Jessie Dougherty made it happen for three years and it has been thrilling for me to watch it,” she says. This is Greenwade’s second turn at FSS – she was here as an art and history (Cont. on pg. 20)
CREATING NEW WORLDS Cameron Rowland, Class of 2007 At the end of Cameron Rowland’s freshman year at Friends Select, he wanted to create art that was way beyond the scope of what he was doing in school. He had visions of a grand sculpture installation, unconstrained by canvas or space. “The class didn’t exist for the certain type of sculpture I was interested in,” he says. So he created one. With his friend James Bernard ’07, they began a joint independent study with art teacher Fred Kogan. Together, they planned a year-long project. Beginning in
Rowland’s sophomore year, they collaborated to realize his vision. “That had a big impact because it showed me that if what you are seeking isn’t there, there are ways to make it appear. The school was really supportive and gave me a lot of leeway to push this exploration of an experimental project.” The experience of creating his sculpture was indeed profound, and Rowland still uses many of the techniques he learned at FSS to inform his current work. “My work isn’t so much craft-oriented as it is research-oriented. FSS was crucial in the development of the way I started to work,” he says. “The academic rigor of the curriculum and the environment with
teachers created this atmosphere that research was highly valued. I have taken that with me through college and expanded on it.” Rowland’s sculpture was installed on the roof, where it was on exhibit for one week. “It was validating to have the school let me create the large-scale project that I had been researching for six months,” he says. “Thinking on it now, its even more remarkable because of the amount of bureaucracy that surrounds this kind of project usually!” By the time he got to Wesleyan, Rowland, who cites Richard Serra as an early influence, was interested in architecture and (Cont. on pg. 20)
HELPING ME MAKE SENSE OF MY WORLD Bob Gross, Head of Upper School 1983-1989 By Jennifer (Rosen) Raphael ’88 “You are someone of much joy and pride to me. I have delighted in watching you grow up, and I feel privileged to have helped in the process.” Bob Gross’ inscription in my FSS Record, 1988. In the 80s, he presided over the upper school with his saltand-pepper beard, his reading glasses slightly askew, his tweedy blazers, and his open door. To the students – and to me in particular – Bob Gross, Head of Upper School from 1983 to 1989, was more than an administrator. He was a mediator, an educator and often times, a therapist. In these many roles, he helped countless students weather the less academic – but no less important – experiences of high school. “In addition to classes, high school kids have a life that they are trying to make sense of, which emotionally takes precedent. My field had been adolescent development and I was sensitive to the issues of identity and identity crises,” says Gross, who started out teaching English at Mineola High School in New York. He went to Harvard for his doctorate in education and came to Friends Select after a few years teaching education at Swarthmore College. “The challenge for secondary school is to draw on the students’ own experiences and point them toward the world outside that awaits them. It’s a hard challenge.”
to explain a convoluted formula of personal issues that overwhelmed me more than my JRP, SATs or French class, which I was failing. Academically, socially and emotionally I was foundering. Gross had a deep understanding of the issues teenagers face, and a compassion for our struggles that was presented without judgment. He also learned much from his two daughters, both of whom graduated from FSS in the 80s. I am not sure I could have turned high school into a successful experience without his help. Bob Gross was someone who made Friends Select a safe place in which to founder, to fail and eventually, to flourish. Gross left FSS to pursue, fittingly, a career in psychotherapy. “I felt like my mission, my ministry, was emotional development of students and families.” Gross completed a master’s degree in social work at Bryn Mawr College. “When I got my degree I figured I would start a practice. But I needed a day job, and was hired as an associate dean at Swarthmore. And I found, that was where I was doing my therapy.” Gross has been at Swarthmore ever since, and students are fortunate to be able to bend the ear of someone so astute in the matters of adolescent development. “I enjoy that age group. I love what they do to climb out of the confusion.” I eventually climbed out of my confusion, step by step, on the rungs of the ladder that Bob Gross put in front of me. Jennifer (Rosen) Raphael is lead writer for Select News.
I don’t remember just how many times I found myself in Bob Gross’ office, pulling tissues out of the box on his desk, trying spring/summer2013 13
Alumni/ae Notes Faculty/Staff Miriam M. Housman I live in a retirement facility, Landis Homes. We recently did a walking tour of Center City Philadelphia. I dropped in at Friends Select as we passed. 1942 Catherine Casselman Grenhart I turned 87 in June. I miss New York and Philadelphia, especially at Christmas. Macular degeneration makes reading and writing difficult, but thanks to my doctor, I can see everything else. I still play bridge, if you can call what is played in Texas “bridge” - not up to what I played in South Carolina, where bridge is “de rigueur.” 1943 Henrietta Starr Malloy Jaeger All my children, Jimmy, Lorraine and Bunke, live near me. Jimmy won the Telly Award for the best documentary on TV- Fiat Empire, featuring Ron Paul. He also has done Cultural Marxism and many others. 1944 Suzanne Westwater I live in a retirement/life care community run by ACTS in Vero Beach, Fla. Vero Beach is a fairly quiet town. We have a beautiful campus about eight miles from the beach. My community is Indian River Estates. There are dozens of activities scheduled. I tutor an eight-year-old boy in his third grade class. Two of my three children still live in Massachusetts where they were born and raised; the
Stay in Touch! Do we have your current e-mail and “snail-mail” addresses? Please send updated information to Stuart Land, director of alumni/ae programs or Casey Francis, alumni/ae relations assistant: Email [email protected] [email protected]
Telephone 215.561.5900, ext. 106 215.561.5900, ext. 151 (fax) 215.864.2979 Mail 17th & Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. Philadelphia, PA 19103
Dick Hoffman Dick reunited for a summer lunch gathering last August with former faculty. Pictured left to right: Lisa Barsky (faculty,1976-1982), Bill Blauvelt ’63 (faculty,19681981), Kazmira Heinbaugh (faculty,1969-1995), Dick Hoffman (faculty, 1963-present) and Dick’s wife, Susan Kellogg. youngest went to school in California, married there and celebrated her 28th wedding anniversary last July. My older daughter and son each have a boy and girl and my youngest has two daughters. I am blessed. Olga Devitt Dambly Life is good! I am getting around with a walker. I'm still working four afternoons per week at my son's garden center. I go to Florida during January and February. I recently had lunch with Sue Shorr’ [year], which was great. 1947 Henrietta (Hetsy) Howell Slote During the five years since our last very pleasant reunion brunch, it feels as if I have been taken up with the broad brush strokes of life’s changes more than with the diversions, travels or noteworthy accomplishments one might have reported in these pages in an earlier decade of life. In July 2009, I was found to have a recurrence of endometrial cancer, from which I had enjoyed a remission of nine years. 1948 Robert Nicoletti Editor’s note: Bob Nicoletti’s vision of developing land near the turnpike entrance in Towamencin Township has taken shape, according to a recent Philadelphia Inquirer interview with Bob and his son Mark. Bob bought ground in the township in 1958 and continued to add property as it became available. Now he is witnessing the next suburban building boom with the construction of
apartment units, a Courtyard by Marriot Hotel, the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College and SKF United States corporate headquarters. All the development was designed and constructed by Bob’s company, Philadelphia Suburban Development Corporation, which is now operated by his son, Mark Nicoletti, and son-in-law, Joseph Ferrier, along with a staff that includes four of Bob’s 11 grandchildren. 1950 Nancy Gibson Whitehouse I'm still on the green side of the fairways and putting greens. Life goes on much the same - every day is a blessing. I do miss not having a Meeting in this area. 1951 Allen Root Editor’s note: Dr. Allen Root received the Lifetime Achievement Health Care Heroes award in Tampa Bay, Fla. His specialty is endocrinology. Between 1979 and 2006, Root was a member of the Florida Infant/Newborn Screening Advisory Council, and served as chairman between 1984 and 2006. Jay Basch I am the new Class of 1951 representative. We had wonderful 40th and 50th reunions and we missed our 60th reunion so, with the help of the FSS alumni/ae office, I am planning to stage our 62nd reunion at the school sometime in the spring. Please contact me through the alumni/ae office. Thanks!
1959 Llewellyn Rinald I am still painting and teaching - I now have four pieces in Teziutlan Pueblo Mexico. My child, Mariposa, is now a chemistry teacher in Lake Placid, N.Y. My son, Fernando, a materials manager for Naples FL Physicians Hospital and their chain of hospitals. I have four grandchildren, Sandro, Ramon, Isabella and Sophia.
a new grandmother with the birth of Harrison Nathan Drew. Harrison’s father is FSS alumnus James Drew ’96.
1962 Sam Shirakawa Editor’s note: Sam Shirakawa, a writer and producer for PIX 11 New York, was nominated for an Emmy Award for entertainment news for his segment “From Broadway to Homeless and Back to Broadway,” which aired in November 2011.
1973 Linda Cox Editor’s note: Linda Cox, MD, FAAAAI, is an allergist in solo private practice in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and a clinical associate professor of medicine at Nova Southeastern University. She was recently installed as President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) during its 2013 annual meeting in San Antonio.
1963 Maxine Spector I am still here in New York City and semi-retired as a licensed clinical psychologist. I am enjoying life here with my friend, Bob, and my dog, Harry. I have fond memories of teacher Olive Tatman. 1967 Sally Wiener Grotta I'm opening my photography studio to the public for the first time for occasional Master Classes. I'll be restricting the classes to only a few students at a time, to allow me to give each person very personal attention. My first Master Class was held last October and was called, “Take Your Photography To The Next Level.” Full information about the upcoming Master Class (as well as about future classes and programs) may be found in a dedicated section on my “American Hands” Web site. 1970 Elliot Berger Editor's note: Elliot is a division scientist for 3M’s Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, and was awarded the National Hearing Conservation Association Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2013. This prestigious award represents the highest honor bestowed by the NHCA and is intended to recognize a lifetime of extraordinary accomplishment in the field of hearing loss prevention and in service to NHCA. 1971 Kathy Liss Drew Editor’s note: Kathy Liss Drew became
1972 Edward Morgan Editor’s note: The Honorable Edward M. Morgan was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. He is currently a professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.
1976 Lynne Gigliotti Editor’s note: Lynne was a contestant on season 7 of Top Chef. She is currently assistant professor at the Culinary Institute of America and teaches Cuisines of Europe and the Mediterranean as well as Garde Manger in the college’s degree programs. 1996 James Drew Editor’s note: Jim Drew has much to be proud of these days. He married Jamie Garfield in 2011 and they just welcomed their first baby, Harrison Nathan Drew, to the family. (Harrison’s grandmother is alumna Kathy Liss Drew ’71). Jim works in the music industry where he is the President of SoulSpazm Records, a hip-hop label with the #1 jazz album on iTunes’ jazz chart. Jim also owns several food trucks, serving cheesesteak lovers in Manhattan. 1998 Lara Coviello Editor’s note: Lara was recently appointed board member of the Women’s Medical Fund. She is currently president of Linden Asset Management, and joined the board to continue her mission of sup-
porting access to women’s reproductive health services. 1999 Laura Kaplan My photography business, Pet Imagery, has been voted Philadelphia's Best Pet Photography for the 2012 Philly Hotlist, which I also won in 2010. It's been incredibly rewarding providing pet owners with great images of their pets and a wonderful photographic and personal experience. 2003 Marissa Metelica Dream Yard Out of School Programs (of which mine is one of four) is one of ten U.S. organizations to receive The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, administered by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities. John Fugett Editor’s note: John Fugett will begin his first season with the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks as a full-time assistant coach and will serve as the assistant pitching coach and assistant recruiting coordinator. Fugett is also a pitching instructor at Bushbeck's Full Armor
You’re Invited! Mark your calendars! Alumni/ae are welcome to attend one or all of these events. More information can be found on the Friends Select Alumni/ae Community Facebook page and on the alumni/ae section of our Web site, friends-select.org September • Philadelphia Alumni/ae Regional Reception October • Southern California Alumni/ae Regional Reception • Northern California Alumni/ae Regional Reception • National Board of Visitors Meeting • Alumni/ae and Teaching Awards Ceremony November • Alumni/ae Basketball and Soccer Thanksgiving Classic February • Florida Alumni/ae Regional Receptions spring/summer2013 15
Alumni/ae Class Representatives:
Baseball Academy, which produced several Division I players and professional prospects, including Jesse Biddle, the 2010 first-round selection of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Class of 1945 Reese P. Davis, II, Gilda Ellis Class of 1946 Andrew D. Lucine Class of 1947 Joy Harbeson, Leone E. Schoenberg Class of 1949 Daniel R. Fascione Class of 1950 Letty Lee Smyers Dahme Class of 1951 Jay Basch Class of 1954 Jacqueline Weintraub Friedman Class of 1955 Judy Love Keogh Class of 1957 Gerald Zeigerman Class of 1958 Steve Weiner Class of 1959 Jane E. Yudis Class of 1961 Robert N. Sebastian Class of 1962 Lyn Gill Class of 1965 Margie Frank Class of 1967 Jane L. Brydon, Richard Wolgin Class of 1969 George Burdick, Beatrice A. Heck Class of 1971 Dana Reinhold Class of 1972 Joseph E. Ronan, Jr. Class of 1973 Maria A. Marfuggi Class of 1976 Gabriella Jordan Class of 1979 Eric Rosenbloom Class of 1980 Deanna McRae King Class of 1981 Steve Lawrence Class of 1982 Adam Goldman Class of 1983 Linda Holden-Bryant Class of 1984 Sonia Elliot Class of 1985 Nina Pritzker Cohen Class of 1986 Johanna Brownell Class of 1987 Eric A. Bigelow Class of 1992 Rachel Zoe Krasner, Holly-Jo Mac Moran Class of 1994 David B. Waxman Class of 1995 Levan A. Payton Class of 1996 Natasha Waloff Baglin Class of 1997 Rebekah Adens, Nicole R. Romano Class of 1999 Bevin Gwiazdowski Class of 2002 Benjamin D. Serinsky Dorsche Pinsky Class of 2003 Sarina H. Chernock Class of 2007 Leah Kellar Class of 2010 Amanda Isabel Mauri, Ambuj Suri Class of 2011 Mariah Rachel Burke, Yvonne Hyde-Carter, Anna-Claire Morris Siena Friends Select class representatives help connect the wider alumni/ae community with the school. The class agent fosters communication between classmates and the school, shares school and personal news items, establishes a rewarding network of friends and colleagues, builds alumni/ae participation at school events, and enhances a sense of community through friend raising and fund raising efforts.
After graduating from Friends Select, Fugett played four years of college baseball at Lafayette, leading the Leopards to a Patriot League championship in 2007. He was the team's closer for three years and was a 2005 First-Team Patriot League Relief Pitcher. In the summer of 2006, Fugett led the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League in appearances as he played for the Kitsap Bluejackets. The summer before, in 2005, Fugett pitched for the Kutztown Rockies in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League where he was one of the league's best relief pitchers and was a member of the league All-Star Team. Daniel Miller Editor’s note: Daniel Miller is creating unique beverages as the bar manager at Vedge, which has been rated by GQ Magazine as Philadelphia’s # 3 rated restaurant. 2006 Sara Leatherbarrow Editor's note: Sara is teaching 4th grade in Shanghai. Last year she spent three months in Vietnam and four months in the Republic of Georgia as a volunteer English teacher. She also has a store on Etsy called “The Tangled Web.”
2007 Issac Blum Editor’s note: Isaac’s piece, Seeing Nature Through My Father’s Eyes, was featured in the Booming: Living Through the Middle Ages section of the New York Times. J. Milton Lindsay Editor’s note: Milton Lindsay is currently in a master’s degree program studying political science/journalism at City University London. 16
2008 Elisabeth Meddin I won't be at the reunion since I'm currently out of the country. I'm living in France (and loving it), finishing up my year teaching English here. Starting in September I'll be living in London where I'll be attending Sotheby's Institute of Art, getting my master’s degree in Art Business. I'm very excited about next year because in addition to school, I will have the opportunity to indulge in some travel. Emmeline Kim Editor's note: Emmeline is currently living and working in San Francisco, writing for different publications. She has had several articles featured in 429Magazine and will be publishing a book this summer. She submitted an experimental short film, Starlight, to international film festivals. 2009 Jake Weiner I've greatly enjoyed my three years at Brandeis, and I look forward to graduating next May. Right now, I'm taking my first semester of senior year off to work as a field organizer for the Elizabeth Warren Senate Campaign in Massachusetts. It's a grassroots-based campaign with strong emphasis on voter contact, and my job consists of overseeing all voter contact activities in six towns and cities in East Greater Boston. It's a fantastic learning experience, and I look forward to seeing the race through to November! Zachary Wright I was ranked in the top 50 of the senior class at McDaniel College and inducted into the alumni honor society. I have been active with my college’s improv group, and the re-chartered Young Democrat’s Club. I am finishing up my senior year and working on my senior project which is a memoir of my time in high school, how it changed me and who I am, paired with a research paper on self-representation of identity. Ethan Leatherbarrow Editor's note: Ethan is a senior at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and is majoring in Communications and Marketing. 2009 Simon Solis-Cohen Editor’s note: Congratulations to Chef Simon Solis-Cohen, who recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of
America with his bachelor's degree! He will be moving to Napa, Calif., in March to work at The French Laundry.
OUT AND ABOUT Alumna Speaks at Cum Laude Induction Marsha Levick ’68 gave the keynote address at the 2013 Friends Select School Cum Laude induction ceremony.
Eleanor McCaw ’37, on December 28, 2012 Allen Clayton ’45 on December 27, 2012 Robert Kutteroff ’46 on January 7, 2013 Alma Patterson Waltz ’48, on November 23, 2012 Left to right: Rose Hagan, Joe Ronan ’72, Jesse Dougherty, Marsha Levick ’68, Muriel Morisey ’65 and Dick Hoffman
Friends Select School Annual Thanksgiving Classic Alumni faced off again this year for the annual FSS Thanksgiving basketball and soccer classic. On floor: Jason Allen ’95 Front row, left to right: Chris Arlene ’00, Benji Serinsky ’02, Lawrence Schlosser ’00, Taji Ali ’94, Bob Shaw ’95, Erick Emerick ’93, Charley Greenberg ’95 Middle Row, left to right: Demian Szyld ’96, Lee Payton ’95, Robert Sudler ’92, Jeffrey Tubbs ‘95 Back row, left to right: Peter Kada ’06, Zarren Kuzma ’06, Paul Norris ’95, Corey Riley ’94.
Front row, left to right: Bill Morlok ‘01, Gerry Bissinger ’02, Kalen Pascal ’99, Kris Warren ’14, Ben Holl ’13 Hussain Ali Akrami ’13 Alex Koditschek ’13 Davon Wanza ’14 Back row, left to right: Paul Norris ’95 , Walker Allen ’01, Ed Bavaria ’12, Zack Wright ’09, Nick HalbertBrooks ’09, John Oakey ’06. spring/summer2013
OUT AND ABOUT Washington, D.C., Alumni/ae Regional Reception Washington, DC area alumni/ae gathered for their annual reception at Acadiana Restaurant on Thursday, May 9.
Front row (left to right): Bruce Levin, Alan Levine ‘79, Lauren Lamb ‘12 , Muriel Morisey ’65 , Lloyd Brodsky, Sabina Beg ’79, Judy Fisher ’67, Rose Hagan and Stuart Land Back row (left to right): Rajiv Raja ’04, David Hardison ’04, Imram Riaz, Holly Jo Mac Moran’92, and Sharon Carruth ’74. (left to right): Llyod Brodsky ’73, Muriel Morisey ’65, Susan Milner ’82 and Lauren Lamb ’12.
New York Alumni/ae Reception New York area alumni/ae attended a reception at the Harvard Club of New York on April 25, 2013. Rose Hagan and Dan Fascione’49 provided school highlights of the year and the new expansion project to occur in the lower level during the summer.
Dick Hoffman Celebration More than 100 alumni/ae, former and current faculty, staff and administrators celebrated Dick Hoffman's 50 years of service to Friends Select on Friday, April 12, at the American Philosophical Society. Kathy Liss Drew ’71 and David Levit ’73
From left: David Black, Elizabeth Pratt ’86 and Ehud Gelblum
Dan Fascione ’49, Barbara Gillam ’55, Chris McNeur ’65, Susan Rochlis ’66 18 Selectnews
Clockwise from left: Alumnae Nicole DiGironimo '96, Krissy Cox Santiago '98 and Jocelyn Firth '98 catch up with former dean of upper school students Deb Kost spring/summer2012
(Cont. from pg. 9)
ronment to grow a music program.” This year, there are 35 students in the ensemble.
we are working on. My students hear the music a different way based on our arrangement. They have a lot to say about how the Orchestra sounds.”
This year the choir completed a project One of the driving factors for the prowith a student at the Curtis Institute. “In gram’s success has been the multitude of the Community Artist Program at Curtis, live performance opportunities. The one of the vocalists wanted to perform Blauvelt Auditorium is not the only stage Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ with a high school on which her students perform. “One of choir. Once a week she came to FSS for the things that drives success is putting coaching, helping us concerts on the calwith breathing and endar,” she says. phrasing. In early What is an erhu? Her students have March we perThe erhu is a twoplayed at World formed in Gould stringed bowed musical Café Live – includHall at Curtis with instrument, more specifing a performance the Curtis ically a spike fiddle, of the first moveCollegium, the early which may also be ment of Mozart’s called a "southern fidmusic ensemble. To Symphony 25 this dle", and sometimes prepare a piece with past February – and known in the Western someone studying to have opened for world as the "Chinese be an opera singer is professional ensemviolin" or a "Chinese amazing,” she says. bles such as the two-stringed fiddle." It is “For my students to modern chamber used as a solo instruhave someone so music ensemble ment as well as in small close to their own Project Trio. “We ensembles and large age come and teach got the students out orchestras. them, it makes four of their comfort times the impression zones and it was an that I do.” opportunity to do something fairly deep in collaboration with a professional Fortune completed yet another outside group,” Fortune says. project for her students this year. Fortune is always looking for ways to expose her students to real musical experiences, opening their eyes and ears to the ways music is expressed in the world. Each year Fortune examines the repertoire of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and chooses a work that her students can perform as well. “We take a field trip to hear the Orchestra play the same piece
Professional violinist Gil Morgenstern came to FSS to perform Bach’s Double Concerto – but with a twist. Two FSS students performed as soloists and Morganstern joined the ensemble. Gil also played a duet with the young woman who plays the erhu. Fortune says she wants to give her students a deep appreciation of music –
especially for hearing it live. Fortune’s next project will be to grow the lower school string program for third and fourth graders. “The music department has this great synergy with myself, Dan and Derek van der Tak, the lower school music teacher. We share a philosophical background on how to think about music and how to teach it,” she says. “There is no one dictating our program. It’s left up to us. I don’t think I could work in a school where I was leading a regular band program. Having that sense of creative freedom, it is really tremendous,” she says.
(Cont. from pg. 8)
wanted to work with young people, but she didn’t know in what capacity. A few years at Sesame Street gave her the exposure to education and children, but without the biology she adored so much. Her first teaching experience came at a private school in New York City. Soon after, she returned to Philadelphia and taught science at Friends Central and Episcopal Academy, tutoring a Friends Select student on the side. “Ever since I lived in New York, I felt I wanted to work in a school that was in the city and incorporated the city,” she says. “I kept my eye on Friends Select until there was an opening.” That opportunity came in 2007, and Mayer has been enjoying the experience here ever since. “I really value the teacher camaraderie here. Everyone is open minded and they give you the room to experiment,” she says. Mayer also finds the same value in the teacher/student relationship. “It’s nice to talk to students about school and everyday things. We talk about current events, their dog, something they are having difficulty with or something that really excited them in science.” One of the experiences that was most valuable to her students last year was a visit to the University of Pennsylvania bioethics department, where program director Lance Wahlert, Ph.D., gave them unique insight into the way biology connects to morality. “The Penn Bioethics Department is world known and to be able to go there is incredible. He affected the kids in a way he didn’t expect,” she says. “They learned that science is not just part of a wet lab. You can think of science as it pertains to global issues and law, whether it’s identity issues or human rights issues. They are connected to it in their daily life.” spring/summer2013
(Cont. from pg. 13)
design. In summers he worked in architecture firms in New York and Copenhagen. “I eventually gravitated away from architecture, but those experiences were important to have in the early period,” he says. Today, Rowland combines elements of photography and sculpture in his work as he examines the relationship between exhibition space and public space, sometimes incorporating the exhibition space as part of the art itself. His most recent project which was exhibited in Karlsruhe, Germany at Weingrull, called “Concerns and Returns,” examines an arts initiative called “Demolished by Neglect,” which was organized in the 1980s by local photographers in Detroit. The mini-billboard size photos depicted Detroit’s decaying buildings and impoverished residents. Rowland, who co-produced the work with fellow artist Daniel Herleth, was inspired by the photographers’ methods of using large images to illuminate the ignored parts of urban life. Rowland was especially moved by how the city of Detroit reacted. After funding the project, the city wanted its money back because they didn’t like the photographs. Rowland’s installation consists of the “Demolished by Neglect” photos, coupled with an essay he wrote about the
project, and his own original photographs. “Detroit was ashamed of the urban decay. It became a huge battle and news story. My text is a more in-depth analysis of how it was more of an early inkling of urban renewal,” he says. “It’s a conversation between their photos and some of my own.” When he looks back, Rowland credits FSS for exposing him so early to the world he would soon inhabit. “When I started making work, I didn’t feel like I was starting from nothing,” he says. “A lot of schools, especially high schools, wouldn’t support that sort of formative exploration in the same way. It was amazing.”
Cameron Rowland, Visibility and Aesthetic Control, 2012. Installation shot, Appendix Space, Portland OR. 20 Selectnews
(Cont. from pg. 11)
interpreter. When in high school, Johnson worked at Hahnemann for Dr. Guy, interpreting for foreign patients. “It’s more therapeutic when they can relax and speak their native language,” she says, remembering a time when her grandmother had eye surgery. Her grandmother was really struggling before the procedure. One of the nurses came over and talked to her, asking her general questions about her day. “She calmed down and I saw that.” What Johnson observed was that even when speaking about something as banal as the weather, language can be very powerful.
(Cont. from pg. 12)
teacher from 1975 to 1982. In 1996, she returned with all of her enthusiasm and metalsmithing equipment. “It’s pretty unique for a school to hold on to an art program and nurture it. The school does appreciate and support the arts in a way that is unique and understands the importance of art in an academic education. Students learn to have a lifelong appreciation of art and those who become artists, have the academic background to be successful. This year, we had 22 awards in the Scholastic Art Competition,” she says. Many of Greenwade’s students go on to top art schools such as Rochester Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union, Maryland Institute of the Arts, Cal Arts and Cleveland Institute of Art. Her portfolio class helps prepare students not just for getting into college, but also for a life as a working artist. “Creativity is something schools are looking for, no matter what field you go into. Colleges like to see students who look at things differently. With the wonderful work our two-dimensional teacher Deborah Caiola does with the students, plus their 3-D work, our students come out of FSS with these amazing, well-rounded portfolios and it causes people’s eyebrows to rise,” she says. Greenwade continually looks for ways to bring the world to her students, and her students to the world. “Here we are in the center of the city. You start with the corner of FSS and you go bigger and bigger and soon you’re in Italy,” she says. “You put out a little bit of information and the kids make a conclusion and it keeps building. I don’t want my students to be afraid of things. I want them to have a joyous inquisitiveness.”
Just four of the 138 inaugural members of the Dick Hoffman Circle, from left: Dick Hoffman, Anita Bailey, Gene Kerrick and Ann Thomforde-Thomas
Make it a tradition
1689. The Whole of Life. Meeting for Worship. Over the
past 324 years, Friends Select School has developed a rich store of traditions. Now it’s time to consider one more—make it a tradition to give each year to the Friends Select Fund. You won’t be alone. Friends Select recently established the Dick Hoffman Circle, to honor Dick Hoffman’s 50 years of service to the school. The Dick Hoffman Circle acknowledges members of the Friends Select community who have given to the Friends Select Fund consecutively for 10 years or more.
They’ve made it an annual tradition-won’t you? What is the Friends Select Fund? It is what makes possible exceptional opportunities like the Philadelphia Museum of Art 9th Grade Research Project. It is teacher salaries, technology, library books, sports uniforms, and innovative and creative programming like InterSession. To keep preparing Friends Select students for success in college and beyond, we need your support.
Mail your gift to
Or, contact Rebecca Rankin,
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at friends-select.org by clicking
director of annual giving, at
to the Friends Select Fund,
on the Support FSS button.
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