FSS Community News

Student Honors and Awards
Eleventh grader Junior Lydia Shaw won a Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Key Award for her short story and was nominated for (one of only five people in the region) and won the American Voices award, where she beat out thousands of submissions nationally.

Senior Nola Latty has won a Scholastic Regional Gold Key Award for her memoir piece entitled, "The people at Starbucks always get my name wrong." Her piece will move on to the national competition. Senior Valentine Lynch won a regional Silver Key award for her poetry submissions.

Twenty-three upper school students participated in the annual American Mathematics Competition (AMC) on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The contest covers high school mathematics and its purpose is to spur interest in mathematics and develop talent through the excitement of friendly competition of problem solving in a timed format. The top three scorers at FSS for the AMC 10 were 9th graders Jonah Taranta, Alec Sandroni, and Minas Macos. The top three scorers for the AMC 12 were Kaiyuan Chen (9th grade), Owen Deng (12th grade), and Richard Chen (11th grade). The top scorer at FSS was 9th grader Kaiyuan Chen, whose score qualified him to take part in the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME) on March 7, a 15-question, 3-hour exam.

From the United States Fencing Association press release/website: Recently, eighth grade student Maia Weintraub (Philadelphia, Pa) finished the pools at 5-1 to earn a bye into the preliminary table of 64, but lost to Alice Recher (FRA), 15-8. Despite the loss, Weintraub earned her first point on the FIE (International Fencing Federation) senior world rankings, making her the second youngest female fencer to hold a current world ranking in foil, épée or saber. (She is the second youngest in the world but the youngest American to attain that status.)

Anna Holemans, Friends Select junior and lead organizer of Alice's March for Equality, has won the NBC10/Widener University High School Leadership Award.

Tenth grader Lili May Muntean got accepted to this year's Penn Academy for Reproductive Science program.

Nine upper school students won silver medals in the Visual Arts Scholastics competition this year for drawings, paintings, and photos. Some won multiple awards! The following students were honored: Elisa Adelphin (12th grade), Emi Buchanan (12th grade), Mary Graham (11th grade), Tong Hu (11th grade), Yuxuan Jin (11th grade) , Nola Latty (12th grade), Lexi Ling (10th grade), Grant Pavol (11th grade), and Carmen Smith (10th grade).

Tenth grader Lydia Cunitz and eleventh grader Saras Perry-Anderson were accepted into a new annual collaborative Summer Program with Penn Medicine's Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Department. The two students will come back from the 3-week summer program with knowledge in pharmacology, genetics, bioinformatics, and clinical medicine.

Hannah Dubb's monologue The Package was one of thirteen winners (chosen from over 400 submissions) to be part of Philly Young Playwrights Middle School Festival. This is the second year Hannah's work has been chosen. She will work with a professional team of director/actor/dramaturg to revise her piece, which will be performed at the Drake in mid-April.

Team News and Accomplishments
In January, reporter Mike Jensen from The Philadelphia Inquirer followed the FSS varsity boy's basketball team around and travelled with them on the bus to their game against Westtown. See what he discovered about our student-athletes. Read the full article here.

This was the first year that FSS participated in The Philadelphia Area Private School Chess League. Out of 5 matches played from November through February (2 at TPS, 1 at FSS, 1 at GFS, and 1 at William Penn Charter), FSS placed 1st in the league. The following students participated: Stan Wang (6th grade), Harry Dozor (7th grade), Tibor Barankay (4th grade), Daniel Albarouki (5th grade), Jaxon Adams (4th grade), Azi Levites-Cohen (4th grade), Jack Mason (12th grade), Parker Kim (2nd grade), Rhys Joseph (5th grade), Manik Narula (3rd grade), Andrew Collopy (3rd grade), Jacob Bushee (7th grade), Rebecca Bushee (6th grade), Anton Barankay (1st grade), and Owen Kingsley (4th grade). Also noteworthy, Stan Wang just returned from the Greater New York Scholastic Tournament where he beat a player rated 1585. Stan is ranked 12th in the state for the 11-12 year old division and is rated 1421. Coach Ross Colby created The Philadelphia Area Private School Chess League this year so that teams could get more practice and so that Friends Select students could build relationships and exposure in the local chess community.

Members in the new US club, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), recently took online courses on entrepreneurial studies offered by UPenn's Wharton School. The club was founded by upper school students who have been very focused and eager to learn entrepreneurship.

On Monday, March 13, four upper school students of the FBLA Club went to the Philadelphia World Affairs Council "Global Economic Forum" at the Fox School of Business. Victor Pan (10th grade), Leo Li (11th grade), Walker Liu (11th grade) and Lexy Ling (10th grade) researched and presented their findings at this conference. Their specific task was to represent the needs of countries with a developing economy, with regards to fluctuating oil prices. These students worked together with other students from around the Delaware Valley to seek practical and sustainable solutions for these countries. Walker Liu was nominated by his peers at the conference, and awarded a certificate for "Outstanding Delegate" that recognized his valuate contribution to the day's activities.

Over the month of February, the Advanced Drawing and Painting class exhibited the display "Art and Social Change" in Select Gallery. The show is made up of pieces that students created in contemplated perception, justice, and advocacy regarding social issues that are important to them.

On February 22-27, the upper school Black Student Union Club initiated a viewing for the entire upper school community and the FSS adult community of the documentary 13th. The purpose of the screening was to bring awareness to the community about the nation's history of racial inequality and to start a dialogue.

On Saturday, March 11, the Friends Select A team took home the FSS Quizbowl Tournament title for the second year in a row and will be going to Harrisburg as Philly's representative. They were the unquestioned statistical leaders of the tournament, as their PPB (points-per-bonus) was four points above the nearest other team and their 41 powers (extra points for correct early buzzes) were more than twice that of any other team. The Friends Select's B, C, and D teams also dominated as the school ended up with four of the six playoff bracket spots available. Read more.

During the 2017 Southeast Urban Regional-Science Olympiad competition on Saturday, March 18, Friends Select School competed in the C Division Grades 9-12 and placed first. Congratulations to the thirteen student participants representing Friends Select.


Academic Partnerships and Beyond
In Advanced Biology, students met with Dr. Tilo Grosser and other scientists at Penn's Institute for Translational Medicine to learn about CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and other innovations.

In early February, Naté Hall of the college planning office, was invited to visit New York University's Abu Dhabi campus as part of a college counselor program. Friends Select students apply to colleges around the world, and NYU hopes that we will encourage our students to consider applying to this global university. During this visit, 120 students from 54 countries were also on campus for candidate weekend. Our college counselors typically visit five to ten college campuses each year.

For the past few years, fourth grade teacher John Galligan has been teaching children about homelessness in the city. Recently, Galligan took students to meet Marilyn, a homeless woman that he had befriended at the corner of 16th and Market Streets. After their experience, students then participated in a writing exercise where they shared their reflections. Here are some excerpts:
"A homeless person is not an identity, it's a circumstance."
"Every homeless person had a home at one point and has a story on how or why they are homeless."
"There are 6,000 homeless people in Philadelphia."


Other Cool News
The Crossing Choir, which middle/upper school chorus director Dan Schwartz sings with, has been nominated for a Grammy for best choral CD for the recording of their new work "Bonhoeffer." It's a piece about the WW2 theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who struggled with having an opportunity to assassinate Hitler vs. living life as a pacifist. It was written by Philadelphia composer Thomas Lloyd.

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