Welcome to Friends Select

Interior Masthead

Head of School with student

At Friends Select, we believe education can be fascinating. We believe students learn more when they're intrigued by what they're learning.

We turn lessons into quests for knowledge and guide students as they discover new worlds. We encourage individual exploration and active, hands-on learning. Instead of imparting facts, we ask questions.

Teaching and learning at Friends Select is tangible. We’re located in the cultural heart of Center City Philadelphia, right on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. At every age, students visit museums, attend cultural events, participate in community service, and use the finest educational resources Philadelphia has to offer. Through interaction with the real world, students become resourceful learners and active citizens of our school, city, and global community.

Our Pre-K through 12 academic program is an engaging and connected educational journey. It’s carefully constructed to guide students through every stage of learning in a warm and welcoming environment where failure is not feared or believed to be fixed. At the core is a firm foundation of Quaker values. During weekly Meeting for Worship, our students and teachers sit in silent search for Truth and if moved to speak, rise to share. Seniors graduate from Friends Select with the knowledge and understanding of peaceful resolution to conflict, empathy, service to others, mutual respect, inclusion, and stewardship.

We warmly invite you to visit Friends Select and engage with our community by attending a school event, meeting our students and teachers, and following us on social media. We really want to get to know you.

Michael Gary signature


Michael Gary
Head of School

Head of School Bio

Michael Gary was named head of Friends Select School in 2016. Prior to this appointment, he served as director of admissions at Phillips Exeter Academy from 2002 to 2016. Before joining Exeter, Michael served for six years as director of admissions at The Peddie School, where he also taught economics. He also served as associate director of admissions and director of multicultural affairs at Pomfret School.

Before starting his independent school career, Michael spent three years in the marketing department of Aetna Life and Casualty and as an account executive at KGA Advertising Agency. He received a BA from Trinity College in Connecticut and a Master of Education from Harvard University. Michael serves on the boards of the Enrollment Management Association, Trinity College, and Independent Trust. He is the founder of Inner City Lacrosse and former board member of both Pomfret School and The Association of Boarding Schools.