Community News: Winter 2019

Here are some of the amazing things happening in the Friends Select School community:


Upper school photography students have been participating in an exhibition at Woodmere Art Museum called Kids Care 26: Faces and Places in Our Town, which is on view through December 15. As part of a partnership with MANNA, the artwork featured in this exhibition will be given as gifts along with meals to families in need this holiday season.

Malika Staton ’26 was selected to sing in the opening performance at the 6abc Thanksgiving Day parade.

A letter writing campaign led by Dan Deslaurier and 3rd and 4th grade students helped block the sale of the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City, preventing the destruction of the building’s Isaiah Zagar mosaic. 

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, with third grade! 

Every day, somewhere in the world, UNICEF is saving and improving children's lives. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF helps provide kids in need with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. 

A Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign led by Barry Lynch and 3rd grade students helped raise $1,576 for this cause. Third graders visited lower school classrooms to talk to other students about the importance of these donations and the difference they can make to children in need.

Colleen Law and the 4th grade Orff ensemble have been chosen to perform at the National Association of Independent Schools annual conference in February.


Now on view at the Franklin Institute is The Worst Case Scenario: Survival Experience, an exhibition based on The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Josh Piven ’89.

Cameron Rowland ’07 was recently awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant. Awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the prestigious fellowship includes a $625,000 unrestricted grant. Read more about Cameron here.

Katelynn Young ’19 was a 2019 recipient of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers’ Children of Courage Scholarship for her essay titled “Hitting Diversity at the Roots.” Katelynn also made the squash team at Dickinson College this semester. 

Faculty and Staff

Mohan Bell was recently interviewed for an upcoming episode of Philadelphia: The Great Experiment about a play that he is currently writing. The episode will air this spring.

Deborah Caiola has a solo exhibition, Muses Guardians and Saints, that will open at InLiquid's Gallery in the Crane Arts Building on March 12. InLiquid is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, and its director, Rachel Zimmerman, is a Friends Select alum. 

Allison Frick and Mike Primo recently co-clerked the second Quaker Makers professional development conference, which they started last year with Brie Daley and Mike Darfler. This conference deals with maker education and Quaker values. They had 37 people from 14 schools in attendance, and the keynote speaker was Drexel professor Dr. Kareem Edouard. Alison also presented on the intersection of social justice and STEM in libraries at the Pennsylvania Library Association’s conference in October.

Fred Kogan has been attending seminars at Interfaith Philadelphia. The first daylong seminar in October focused on facilitating others in their interfaith encounters. The next seminar will focus on difficult conversations in the interfaith community. He plans on continuing to gain skills at Interfaith Philadelphia and to apply his learning to help guide students in difficult conversations about religion and religious identity.

Tracy Matthews presented on the following panels at the 56th Pennsylvania Association of College Admissions Counseling's (PACAC) Annual Conference in Hershey, PA: "Why Can’t We Be Friends? School Counselors and Independent Counselors Partnering for Student Success," and "In the Middle: College Access for Mid-Range Students." Tracy also worked as an admissions coach with the Bovard Scholars Program at the University of Southern California, where she taught, advised, and mentored students from across the United States on choosing colleges, selecting majors, career exploration, and the selective college admissions process. The students she worked with were high-achieving students from under-resourced public high schools, and most of them were students of color and first-generation college students.

Donna Romero just started the Spirited Practice and Renewed Courage (SPARC) program, a two-year leadership development program sponsored by the Friends Council on Education.

Margaret Smith and Natalie Mayer will be presenting at the upcoming NAIS conference in February on the topic of incorporating city resources into classroom curriculum. Their presentation is titled “Looking to Enhance Your Curriculum? Take a Walk through Your School’s Neighborhood with Us.” Margaret was also asked to present a talk titled “City as Curriculum: Using the City Itself to Engage Learners” at the Mayor's Office on Adult Education's Fall Institute: Best Practices in Adult Education, which was held in November. 

La Sripanawongsa presented at the 2019 Comprehensible Midwest Fall Conference: Equity, Personalization, and Joy in Language Acquisition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her sessions were "Acquisition through Reading and Questioning" and "From Zero to Literacy through Interaction, Personalization, and Live Typing." She was a panelist on the panel discussion titled "Teaching for Language Acquisition with an Equity Lens" as well. La will also present at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language in Washington, D.C. The title of her session is "Inclusivity, Equity, and Representation in the World Language Classroom."