In late February, as news of the COVID-19 pandemic traveled as quickly as the virus itself, Michael Gary and Friends Select’s administration began discussing how the pandemic could affect Friends Select’s community. Once Philadelphia’s first cases were reported, the school had already established a transition plan to a distance learning model.
It feels as if we’ve experienced two pandemics at once. The sense of isolation and uncertainty from the mandated quarantine during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic paired with the frustration and pain caused by continued racial injustices have been challenging to handle at the same time. Friends Select’s long-standing promise to extend our values beyond the school community fills me with hope that together, we will come out of these experiences stronger than before.
During the last three weeks of each school year at Friends Select, the graduating class traditionally completes a senior internship project in partnership with a Philadelphia workplace.
A tribute to six long-standing faculty members who recently retired from Friends Select: Paula Cairo, Elaine Criden, Bob McCarthy, Debby Rickards, Anne Thomforde Thomas, and Martha Van Nuis.
Many Friends Select faculty and staff were integral in planning and giving presentations at the NAIS conference, and all employees were presented with the opportunity to attend a full day of the convention, themed “Your School, Your Legacy.”
As a community, we have been thinking a lot about the upcoming election on November 3, and what it means for us as a Quaker school to be able to participate in this fundamentally important civic process. Recently, my administration and I received a heartfelt letter from our upper school affinity groups (Asian Student Union, Black Student Union, Jewish Student Union, Qlub, Quake, Feminism Club), White Anti-Racism Group, and other upper school students.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, John Chin ’83 P’15, ’18 of Philadelphia’s Chinatown, Mike Fitts ’71 of Tulane University, and Wendell Pritchett ’84 of University of Pennsylvania all had a profound impact on their respective communities.
Phoebe Hopkins ’08 is the owner of Play College Field Hockey, a consulting firm specializing in collegiate field hockey recruiting.
Dr. Susan Taylor ’75 sees patients at Penn Medicine, and she is the Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Department of Dermatology and the Sandra Lazarus Professor of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
As Chief Resident of Boston Children’s Hospital, Zach Winthrop, MD ’09 applies some of the skills he learned as a high school and college athlete to his profession.
Dr. Tycho Speaker, Ph.D. ’84 founded his company, Capsulent, in 2004 and is currently a pharmaceutical chemist with nine patents.