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School News

The James Turrell Skyspace at Friends Seminary

An update from Bo Lauder

Last month Friends began the installation of the long-awaited capstone to our Campus Redevelopment Project: The James Turrell Skyspace at Friends Seminary, which will serve as a spiritual, artistic and educational space for our community. With its design donated by Quaker James Turrell, one of America’s greatest living artists, the Skyspace will be located on the roof of 218 East 16th Street—adjacent to our greenhouse—and in direct dialogue with the Meetinghouse. With completion in early 2023, this work of art will be the only public Skyspace in Manhattan and the only one attached to a K-12 school anywhere! Those who have been around for a while will remember this element of the Campus Redevelopment Project, which began in 2016. Those newer to Friends will, I hope, find this an unexpected delight!

Our Skyspace will be a small modular room, measuring 20' W x 22.5' L x 20.5’ H, with a knife-edged aperture in the roof. The main elements of the structure are being constructed off-site, and will then be brought to the School for assembly and installation beginning in August. Click here to learn more about the project.


Friends Welcomes New Lower and Upper School Psychologists

Given the trauma of Covid, each division of the school will have its own psychologist. Friends is thrilled to welcome Ray Shaw to the Friends Lower School as a Lower School Psychologist. Ray has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and an MA and PhD in School Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Coming to Friends Seminary, however, feels a bit like going back to his childhood roots, as Ray is a graduate of a Quaker school himself, having attended Sidwell Friends School for Middle and High School. Prior to coming to Friends, Ray spent 25 years working in the hospital setting at Jacobi Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, supporting and working with children and family members infected or affected by HIV. Ray provided individual, group and family therapy, conducted assessments, and liaised with schools to implement services. Ray is eager to be in a school setting, utilizing his deep experience and professional training.

Monica Kaplan will join the Friends Upper School as the Upper School Psychologist and the community is excited to welcome her. Monica comes to Friends from Mary McDowell Friends School where she supported students as Upper School Psychologist and Counseling Coordinator as well as Assistant Director of College Guidance. In her role as Upper School Psychologist, Monica will help promote the social, emotional and educational needs of Upper School students. In addition to meeting with students individually and in small groups, Monica will also manage support for Upper School students with learning accommodations.


Extended Programs

After a two-year hiatus, Summer Friends welcomed back campers in July. The Friends campus was abuzz for five weeks, hosting children for an array of daily activities from rock climbing to rock music, from live animal shows to animal puppet making.


Former Faculty and Staff News

On Sunday, August 28, 2022 former faculty and staff Diane and Gordon Hulse celebrated their 50th anniversary. Diane and Gordon were married in the Meeting House on August 28, 1972.


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