From an Alumni band assembly, to new faculty members and more, the Friends campus is buzzing with activity! To view more photos of campus events, visit the School's website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.
Meet The New Deans of Faculty and Studies
Friends is pleased to welcome two new K-12 administrators in two new roles: Trupti Patel will serve as Dean of Faculty and Hassan Wilson will return to Friends as Dean of Studies. These two deans will work in close partnership, and in many ways, the wall between their work will be permeable as they and the administration find the best ways to provide enhanced support to the faculty and programs.
As Dean of Faculty, Trupti will focus on visiting classes, providing instructional coaching, overseeing a more individualized program of professional development, and serving as a resource to teachers around their practice. Trupti comes to Friends from the Greenwich Country Day School where she currently serves as a Grade 3 Teacher and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator. Prior to her time in Connecticut, Trupti taught and held leadership positions at schools all over the world, including London, Japan, Dakar and here in New York City. Born into a family of women educators in India, Trupti brings to the Dean of Faculty role a broad knowledge of current teaching practices, an understanding of the importance of integrating Diversity, Equity and Belonging work into the classroom, a warm and approachable personality and the firm belief that adults in a school deserve the right to learn and grow—both from experts in their field(s) and from one another. She is in agreement with the administration that the very best teachers never stop being students themselves, and she is dedicated to facilitating this.
Trupti says, “I am thrilled and honored to be joining Friends Seminary as the Dean of Faculty. I am grateful to Bo Lauder and the search committee for their confidence in me. During my recent visit, I felt a wonderful sense of community and belonging and look forward to contributing to this storied school. As an educator and a parent, I am moved and energized by the distinctive Quaker values, especially those related to peace and equality. I look forward to working closely with the adults and students of Friends Seminary.”
Hassan Wilson returns to Friends Seminary after a short time away serving as Executive Director of Constellation Learning Institute, an organization supporting independent schools—including Friends—through online and blended learning course offerings. As Dean of Studies he will focus on curriculum, innovation, academic technology, and pedagogy, including coordination of the new Center for Math, Science and Technology (negotiations for a space for the Center are ongoing). Hassan is an innovative educator who has been using techniques like flipped classrooms for many years. Having worked at Friends for 18 years, Hassan holds invaluable institutional knowledge and understanding of our community, and will bring both stability and a growth mindset to his new job. His extensive
professional experience at Friends serving as Science Teacher and Department Chair as well as Assistant Head of Upper School gives Hassan an important foundation from which to oversee and develop, along with department chairs and division heads, the curriculum K-12.
Hassan writes, “I am thrilled to return home in the new role as Dean of Studies. Having previously been a member of the Friends Seminary community for 18 years, I am excited to bring my experience and expertise to this new position. It is an honor to return and work alongside such a dedicated and talented group of educators and administrators, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of this wonderful school. It is a privilege to oversee the curriculum and steward the school into the future. Through this role, we will continue to help our students acquire the knowledge, skills and values they need to thrive and to “bring about the world that ought to be.” A profile on our new director of admissions and associate head of school will be featured in next month’s newsletter.
Friends Alum featured In the Nation
The End of the World Has Always Been Just Around the Corner by Tom Engelhardt '62 (as republished in The Nation)
Indulge me for a moment. This is how “The Prophecy” in my 1962 high school yearbook began. It was written by some of my classmates in the year we graduated from Friends Seminary in New York City.
Being an historian, I am jotting down these notes out of habit, but what I saw and experienced two days ago I am sure no one else as civilized as I am will ever see. I am writing for those who shall come a long time from now.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I am THOMAS M. ENGELHARDT, world-renowned historian of the late twentieth century, should that mean anything to whoever reads this account. After the great invasion, I was maintaining a peaceful, contented existence in the private shelter I had built and was completing the ninth and final volume of my masterpiece, The Influence of the Civil War on Mexican Art of the Twentieth Century, when I was seized by a strange desire to emerge from my shelter, have a look at the world, and find some companions. Realizing the risk I was taking, I carefully opened the hatch of the shelter and slowly climbed out. It was morning. To my shock, I was in a wide field overgrown with weeds; there was no sign of the community that had been there…Click here to read the full article. For more articles written by Tom please visit his website.
Alumni Creating Music and Making Friends
Evan Pazner '95, Pyeng Threadgill '95 and their band-mates, Elias Meister and Derek Nievergelt shared joyful music and taught Lower School students about the history of the drum kit and the origins of so much of the music we listen to and enjoy today.
Student Artist Spotlight | Featuring Alexandra '23 and Sam '23
Over the next several months, we will highlight some of our talented scholars, artists and athletes who are living the School’s mission. Alexandra ‘23 and Sam ‘23 exemplify the Friends spirit in their dedication to their craft, diligence, and commitment to community. Their talents are juxtaposed with their grace and humility, aspiring to create art that is for everyone; work that makes us think, challenges our sense of selves, and tells stories yet to be written.
Click here to read more.
Grade 8 Student Explore Abstract Art And Create Self Portraits
Students in Morgan’s Grade 8 Art class focused on what they observed rather than preconceived ideas of how an object or subject should look. They studied the work of Bisa Butler, an award-winning African American textile artist. She is known for her vibrant, stunning, larger than life-sized quilted portraits that tell a story rooted in the African American experience. Each student then received a segment of Butler’s extraordinary quilt, Anaya with Oranges, and reproduced the each sections using acrylic paint. Through this project, students further developed skills in rendering value, line, texture, and color using acrylic paint and used their observational skills to reproduce shapes of values, lines, and textures and their relationship to one another (proportion). Each segment is a successful composition within itself. This collaborative painting illustrates the young artists’ individual and collective way of seeing.
Click here to see more of their studies influenced by Butler.
Friends Librarians Lead First African-American “Read-In”
On Tuesday, February 28, the Library held the first African American “Read-In.” The event was spearheaded by Adrienne Almeida, Director of Middle School & Upper School Library Services, and based on the efforts of The National Council of Teachers of English. It was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month. This initiative has reached more than six million participants around the world. The day aims to amplify Black authors, poets, and creators by having an opportunity to share personal favorites and those from the Library collection. Throughout the day, the Librarians swapped out titles to reflect the patrons who use the space at that time. A podium was set up to allow people to share poetry or a book talk. Librarians Adrienne and Paula hope the first Read-In will serve as a foundation for recognizing future celebrations and heritage months.
Grade 11 Students Travel to Washington D.C.
Last month Grade 11 students enjoyed a trip to Washington, D.C. Students visited Sidwell Friends and were welcomed by Mamadou Guéye, Upper School Principal, who was the host and is a former colleague of Principal Bo Lauder. Everyone on the trip thought it was very special to have a Meeting For Worship hosted by Sidwell students, faculty, and staff for the Juniors in their Meeting Room. This was a special trip for the Class of 2024, the only class that did not have a Grade 9 retreat.
Spring Athletics Kicks Off
Varsity Boys Volleyball kicked off their season with a match against Staten Island Academy. The Owls defeated the Tigers in three sets (25-17; 25-15; 25-23). The boys volleyball program at Friends was established in Spring, 2022. These Owls bring a ton of excitement to the court everyday. Come cheer them on at home and away games! Click here to see schedules.
For the most up-to-date sports news and MS coverage, follow Friends Athletics at www.instagram.com/friendsathletics for weekly team and senior features!