Abington Friends School Report to the Community 2014
School Committee Margaret Sayers P’16 P’18 Ken Ahl P’01 P’05 Michael Sperger P’15 P’18 P’21 Marc Berman P’19, P’20
Clerk Assistant Clerk Treasurer Secretary
Amy Brantz-Bedrick P’15 Allison Staib Boyle Becca Bubb ’02 Kathy Dwyer Carol Frieder P’76 P’80 P’82 P’85 Mark Garrison P’05 P’08 P’12 Claudia Lewis P’17 P’20 Deborra Sines Pancoe Rei Rothberg P’16 Craig SanPietro P’06 Irvin Schorsch P’20 Ross Shanken P’17 P’20 P’24 Ann Thompson P’07 P’11
The letter P after a name indicates that the School Committee member is the parent of an AFS student or alum.
Letter from Margaret Sayers and Rich Nourie Dear Abington Friends School Community, We are pleased to share this first ever Abington Friends School Report to the Community, which we intend to make an annual tradition. Offering a panorama of the year just passed, this report represents a joyful celebration of many of the accomplishments of our students, our faculty and our community as a whole. Weâ€™ve kept the report simple by intention. While our other print and online publications share in-depth stories and interviews and keep us up to date on a daily basis, here we simply present to you a set of lists and facts that demonstrate the breadth and depth of our school in a new way. We have much to be proud of as a school. This report shows our students recognized for their many distinctions in the arts, athletics, sciences, service and diversity leadership. It shows too a faculty who are leaders in their fields, frequently being invited to share their work at regional and national conferences and to write for publication. Notable too are the many intersections and exchanges of our small campus community with a much larger world. Our school welcomed 46 guest speakers and performing groups to work with our students this past year, bringing vivid expertise from fields as disparate as politics, environmental science, medicine, theater and literature. Our students went out into the larger community throughout the year, too, on field trips that had them studying tenements in New York City and attending Opera on the Mall in Center City Philadelphia, among many other experiences. The richness of our school comes from a joyful collaboration among faculty, students, parents, alumni, School Committee members, our many community partners and Abington Monthly Meeting. We are joined together by an inspiring Quaker vision of community and a deep sense of what it means for both community and individuals to fully thrive in intellect, relationship and spirit. Thank you to all who contributed to making the past year one of vibrant accomplishment for Abington Friends School. Sincerely,
Head of School
Clerk of the School Committee
Student Accomplishments Our students thrilled and amazed us with a wide range of accomplishments, both academic and extra curricular.
College Bound Our class of 2014 is attending a range of outstanding colleges and universities: Arcadia University Boston University Bryn Mawr College Bucknell University Central Connecticut State University Chestnut Hill College Colorado College DeSales University Dickinson College Drexel University Earlham College Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts Fairfield University Franklin and Marshall College The George Washington University Georgetown University Gettysburg College Goucher College Haverford College La Salle University Lehigh University Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania Marist College Maryland Institute College of Art Marymount Manhattan College Middlebury College Muhlenberg College Oberlin College Pennsylvania State University, University Park Philadelphia University
Pomona College Princeton University Purdue University Randolph-Macon College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Saint Joseph’s University Savannah College of Art and Design Spelman College Stanford University Temple University Tulane University University of California at San Diego University of the District of Columbia University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Michigan University of Pittsburgh University of Southern California University of Washington Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Wesleyan University West Chester University of Pennsylvania Yale University
National Merit Recognition
Seniors recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation: 11 Finalists: 3 Commended Scholars: 7 Outstanding Participant: 1 % of our senior class in top 3% of PSAT test takers nationwide: 15%
Joyce (Mingzhe) Dong ’14: 2nd Place, Jenkintown Festival of the Arts Maya Salvacion ’16 3rd place, Jenkintown Festival of the Arts Jess Williams ‘14 , Finalist, Drexel University High School Photo Contest
Visual Arts students from all divisions
National Merit Finalists Rachel Adler ’14 Tom Gurin ’14 Mini Racker ’14
exhibited at “Intersections: Exploring the Social Impact of Art” in March in the Hellen Millard Children’s Gallery, a special exhibition space within the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill.
AFS printmakers from Amy Newman’s
Presidential Scholars Program Rachel Adler ’14 was named a candidate in the United States Presidential Scholars Program, which annually recognizes some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. This honor is bestowed on approximately 3,000 high school students from across the United States every year.
Drawing Major, Painting & Printmaking, and Advanced Art classes exhibited work at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia as part of the “Voices/Visions: Prints of Social Conscience” show, coordinated by Prints Link Philadelphia. The Upper School Jazz Ensemble performed at the Independent School Jazz Festival hosted by Germantown Friends School on March 15.
Poetry and Fiction awards Rachel Adler ’14, Grand Prize, DeSales University Poetry Festival Contest Cassie Fiorino ’14, Honorable Mention, DeSales University Poetry Festival Contest Mini Racker ’14, Honorable Mention, DeSales University Poetry Festival Contest Reggie Kramer ’14, Finalist, DeSales University Poetry Festival Contest Lucy Silbaugh ’16, 2013 YoungArts Winner. Her story “Turning” was also included in Susquehanna University’s annual The Apprentice Writer, featuring the best writing and photos from 4,000 entries from high schools nationally.
National History Day Competition Eli Russell ’16, was 1st Place Winner, Senior Individual Website category, in the National History Day regional competition, held at Ursinus College for the website he created about birth control advocate Margaret Sanger.
Upper School Robotics Team
Spirit Award: Carly Latta ’15 Best Featured Critic: Mini Racker ’14 Best Lighting Design: Corey Naitove ’16 Best Supporting Actress/Play: Lindsay Smelcer ’16 Best Actor/Play: Ben Borgmann-Winter ’14
Our AFS Roobotics team competed in the FIRST Robotics Hatboro-Horsham District Competition for the third year and won the Industrial Design Award. This award, sponsored by General Motors, celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge. The team advanced to the regionals.
The ECCO Program at AFS works with students to help them discover their passions and connect to opportunities to deepen and extend their interests. Here are some highlights.
Theatre Awards AFS received nominations in 12 categories for the Upper School production of The Crucible for this year’s “Cappies” (Critics and Performers) Awards. The Cappies is a national program celebrating the work and achievement of high school theatre and theatre critics.
2013-2014 Theatrical Productions Music Man, Upper School Fall Production Shrek, Middle School Musical The Crucible, Upper School Spring Production
Service and Leadership Moot Court The Mock Trial team traveled to Princeton University for the Annual Spring Moot Court Invitational on April 26-27. Of the 71 teams that competed, Sophomores David Naitove ’16 and Loghan Thain ’16 were one of the top 8 teams, advancing to the quarterfinals. Anthony Casola ’04, Assistant District Attorney for Northampton County, helped the students develop their arguments and traveled with the team to Princeton.
Greg Salmon Award Awarded to a junior for leadership and commitment to community. Morgan Burrell ’15, Doug Garza ’15 Campbell Family Service Award Awarded to the senior who best embodies the spirit of giving, generosity and leadership through hard work in service to others. Lily Roth ’14 Summer Discovery Program UCLA, John B. Davidson Award Awarded to students who have been exceptional leaders in the program. Julia Shepard ’15 and Austin Levin ’15
Noah Rosenfeld ’17 trained as a science educator at the Franklin Institute Dan Rothberg ’16 studied Greek history and language in Greece Chelsea Alexander ’16 participated in WHYY’s Young Journalists program Bridget Warlea ’15 taught at a school for girls in Monrovia, Liberia Anna Howard ’17 volunteered at the National Constitution Center Nina Bedrick ’15 studied Shakespeare and Finance in Oxford, England Abbie Bekele ’15 helped build a communal kitchen in a rural village in Costa Rica Jasper West ’15 studied Neuroscience at Drexel University Matt Sessa ’16 participated in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Foundation conference at Temple University
All-Friends Schools League 1st team and Honorable Mentions recognition
Coach C Honored On May 27 AFS’s master teacher-coach Steve ‘Mr. C.’ Chadwin was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
medals in the Friends Schools League Championship Track Meet (3 gold / 5 silver / 3 bronze)
silver medals at the Friends Schools League Championship Swim Meet for Evan Steinberg ‘16 Friends Schools League Record: AFS’s Varsity Girls’ Track 4x400 relay team of Lizzie Bolger ’16, Keira Jones ’15, Erica Groomes ’15 and Nicole Kurtz ’14 set a new FSL record of 4:01.26 at the FSL track championship. AFS School record in the javelin: Doug Garza ‘15 Over
2014 graduates who plan to continue their athletics careers at the collegiate level Bianca Adams ’14: Women’s Basketball, Chestnut Hill College. Marissa Cotroneo ’14: Women’s Lacrosse, Central Connecticut State University. Jordan Greene ’14: Men’s Basketball, West Chester University
In Boys’ Varsity Basketball: Joe Robinson ’14 and Jordan Greene ’14
in their weight classes Placed in top in Pennsylvania State Independent Schools Wrestling Tournament - Emrakh Karimov ’16 and Scott Chhay ’16
Joey Harding ’14: Men’s Soccer, Fairfield University. Sean Hyland ’14: Baseball, Franklin & Marshall College Isabel McPeak ’14: Women’s Soccer, DeSales University Joe Robinson ’14: Men’s Basketball, University of the District of Columbia. Sasha Stepansky ’14: Women’s Tennis, Gettysburg College
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Bryn Athyn, PA
Wagner Natural History Museum, Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Cape Henlopen, DE
Washington, DC. (Capitol Building, Congress, Smithsonian, US Senate) Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, The Cashore Marionettes Rushton Farm and Preserve, Newtown Square, PA. Meadowbrook Farm, Meadowbrook, PA. Horsham Outdoor School, Horsham, PA Wissahickon Valley Watershed, Ambler, PA Theatre Horizon, Norristown, I am my own Wife Philadelphia Museum of Art Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, The Convert Belmont Drinking Water Treatment Plant, Wynnefield, PA
Neumann University (Science Olympiad) Tenement Museum, New York City Echo Hill Outdoor School, Worton, MD Philadelphia Zoo Millville Air Museum, Millville, NJ Chinatown, Philadelphia Pine Forest Camp, Greeley, PA American Museum of Jewish History, Philadelphia Ocean City, NJ Churchville Nature Center, Churchville, PA Styer Orchard, Langhorne, PA Briar Bush Nature Center, Abington, PA Independence Mall, Philadelphia â€œOpera on the Mallâ€? Delaware Theatre Company, The Exonerated
Jake Neff, Counselor and Drug/Alcohol Prevention Educator
Rachel Hoang, Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Haverford College
Lee Harper, Children’s Book Illustrator
Throughout the year we welcomed a range of experts— including historians, politicians, scientists, artists, authors and musicians—to our campus to engage with our students.
Malik Mubashshir, Imam for the Philadelphia Masjid, Upper School History Teacher at Germantown Friends School (Annual Rudin Lecture) Grace Lin, Children’s Book Author Dianne Kinney, Planned Parenthood
Friedericke Baer, Assistant Professor of History, Penn State University (author of The Trial of Frederick Eberle) Benjamin F. Barnett ’85, Cinematographer (Roo Roundtable Series)
Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County’s Register of Wills who issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples
Edward Bloor, Author of young adult fiction including Tangerine
Mike Kaczmarczik, Outreach Coordinator, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon, Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Director of the Master of Science in Education Program, Northwestern University Lisa Laurie P’20, Nutritionist Steve McCarter, PA State Representative 154th Legislative District, Democrat Sonya Jairaj Wexler ’99, chief otolaryngology resident at Temple University (Commencement Speaker) Jocelyn Dhersi and Luis Manuel, Percussionists from Casa De Venezuela
Vivian Williams, Educational Consultant, Philadelphia Water Department Kate Harper, PA State Representative 61st Legislative District, Republican
Timothy Burke, History Professor, Swarthmore College. Annul Greenberg Lecture Luv Javia P’27, MD, Assistant Professor Clinical Otorhinolaryngology, University of Pennsylvania
Sarah Kay, Spoken Word Artist Out of the Blue, Yale University a cappella group
Madeleine Dean, PA State
James Ryan, Middle East Center,
Representative 153rd Legislative District, Democrat
University of Pennsylvania
Rabbi Kevin Bernstein,
Rob McClure, Tony-nominated Actor
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Noah Lewis, Historical Interpretor portraying Ned Hector, an African American soldier who fought in the revolutionary war
Charlotte Ford, Actress with training
Mariah Rose Butler ’09, Globetrotting alum, (Roo Roundtable Series)
Josh Berk, Author of books for children and teens
Subha Airan-Javia P’27, MD, Assistant Professor Clinical Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra Brass Ensemble (25th Anniversary of the Marshall Concert)
Wayne Grinwis, Aldersgate Youth
in physical theatre
Mark Fallon, Senior Naturalist, Briar Bush Nature Center
Benjamin Talton, Associate Professor of African History and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Temple University. Annual Greenberg Lecture Dustin Hill ’12, University of the Arts Sophomore
Don Shump, Founder, Philadelphia Bee Company
Abington Township Police Department, Officers Posey and Freed (distracted driving presentation)
Ian Halley Pollock, Poet
Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian candidate
Joe Sabatino, Improviser and
for Pennsylvania governor in 2014
Daisy Century, Historical Interpretor portraying Harriet Tubman
(Steve Roney, Alli Soowal, Joe Sabatino, Kristin Finger)
Michael Herskovitz, Holocaust survivor
Ryan Samson ’07, Photographer
AFS in the Professional World Many of our faculty presented at regional and national conferences, and shared their artistic and academic expertise with a broader audience.
Rich Nourie, Head of School:
Toni Vahlsing, Director of Libraries:
Mark Smith, Middle School Social
Mary Carpenter, Middle School
“Contemplation: Seeking Wholeness in Leadership,” chapter for Leading in the Light, published in April by Friends Council on Education
“Here’s a Challenge: Get Teens and Tweens to Read for Pleasure!” American Association of School Librarians, Hartford, CT
Studies Teacher: “Minecraft in the Classroom,” The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference, Harrisburg, PA
“From Treetop to Robot: Frontiers in Student-Directed Learning,” Presenter, NAIS National Conference, 2014
Rosanne Mistretta, Lower School
Carol Wolf, Early Childhood Teacher:
Science Teacher: “Building a Comprehensive Environmental STEM Curriculum,” Lower Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education STEM Science Conference
“Seasons of Play: A Year in our Outdoor Classroom,” National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC
Theatre Teacher performed improv with ComedySportz, appeared in Dangerous Fools (Figment Theater), Til Death Do us Part (Duofest and Philadelphia Improv Festival), Origin Story and Wisdom Teeth (Figment Theater). She directed Didn’t Your Father Have This Talk with You? (Act II Playhouse) and Intimate Exchanges (1812 Productions) as well as doing production management at the Vision 2020 annual conference.
“Responsibility for a Successful Future: Goal Setting and Evaluation,” Presenter, Trustee U series from ADVIS and FCE, 2014
“AFS Outside: Our First Year in Our Outdoor Classroom,” National Association for the Education of Young Children “Developing a Comprehensive Environmental and Outdoor Curriculum at a K-12 School,” North American Association for Environmental Education
Amanda Granum, Lower School Art Teacher: “More than Just an Art Show: Engaging Community Arts Events,” Pennsylvania Art Education Association Conference, Bethlehem, PA
Maryellen Troyer, ESL Teacher: “Beyond the Student Teaching Seminar: Examining Transformative Learning through Arts-Based Approaches,” American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting:
John Rison, Director of Technology and Roseanne Liberti, Middle and Upper School Science Teacher: “Adopting Google Apps,” The Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference, Harrisburg, PA April Tvarok, Carol Wolf, Jason Novak, Rachel Kane and Tamara Clark: “Q = Questioning: Reflections on Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Youth and Families,” National Association of Independent Schools Conference, Orlando, FL
Megan Hollinger, Upper School Theatre Teacher performed in Jennifer the Unspecial (Philadelphia Fringe/ Live Arts Festival) and The Exonerated (Delaware Theatre Company) and was named Best Supporting Actress by the Philadelphia Weekly for The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Lantern Theatre Company)
Justin Solonynka, Middle School Mathematics Teacher, released a CD of Christmas music titled A Cup of Kindness.
Jenny Burkholder, Upper School English Teacher, had two poems published: “New Year’s Eve” poemmemoirstory, Number Thirteen (2014) and “Deconstructing the Right Breast,” Forward (Fall, 2013). She was also a finalist in the Writers @ Work Fellowship Competition.
Kristine Long, Upper School English Teacher, taught writing strategies, vocabulary development and grammar and writing conventions at a four-week seminar in Beijing for Chinese students interested in coming to the U.S. for school.
AFS as a Learning Resource AFS played host to a variety of workshops and conferences that brought fellow educators and students to campus to learn and share knowledge and experience.
Race Institute for Educators This in-depth workshop was designed for K-12 teachers, counselors and administrators of all races who want to better understand why race matters in schools.
Interpretive Discussion Workshop A two-day workshop for English teachers focusing on the interpretive discussion technique led by Upper School English Teachers Jenny Burkholder and Mary Lynn Ellis.
The Power of Play through the Lifespan: Strengthening Relationships and Building Resilience A workshop organized by Specialists of Schools and presented by Tammi Van Hollander ’89, LCSW, RPT, a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist.
Mid Atlantic Region Diversity Conference AFS co-hosted the second Mid-Atlantic Region Diversity Conference with The Perkiomen School. The event, which drew more than 200 participants, was entirely led and organized by Upper School students, with support from AFS Director of Diversity and Inclusion Toni Williamson.
Nature Playdate In partnership with our friends at Briar Bush Nature Center and to celebrate the second spring season for our new nature playground, we presented a day of imaginative play and crafts for children ages 3-10.
34th Annual 4th Grade Mold Symposium Fourth grade students, from Plymouth Meeting Friends School, Penn Charter and AFS, presented their mold projects. The Mold Symposium was started by former Lower School teacher Lynn Mass and continues to be a wonderful learning experience for our students. “American Promise” and “Girl Rising” AFS screened two powerful films focusing on race, class and empowerment for our own families and the wider community. The “American Promise” screening was co-hosted with Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP. The “Girl Rising” screening was hosted by the Upper School Women’s Group.
AP Art Studio Workship with Esperanza Academy Students from Esperanza Academy worked with our AP art students here at AFS and at Esperanza. AFS College Jump Start Workshop A 3-day intensive program for seniors featuring workshops led by representatives from Haverford College, Dickinson College and Penn State University discussing the application process, essays, and completing the Common Application.
2014 Parent Survey
“ AFS builds an amazing learning community. The teachers love teaching and they bring joy to the classroom, student engagement is high and life long learners blossom.” 2014 Parent Survey
Number of parents responding: 324
of families identified as being satisfied or very satisfied with AFS. Only 5% of families identified as being dissatisfied.
Overall satisfaction score = 4.5 (on a scale of 1-5), compared with 4.2 on the 2006 Parent Survey and 4.1 on the 2000 Parent Survey.
of families agreed or strongly agreed:
• AFS is a place where people from all walks of life are welcomed. • My child/children is/are proud to attend AFS. • My child/children is/are comfortable within the school community. • There is at least one trusted adult at school to whom my child/children can turn. • The faculty genuinely care about my child/children. • I am proud to say that my child attends AFS.
Over strongly agreed:
of families agreed or
• My child/children is/are treated as an individual, with unique abilities and unique needs. • The quality of education at AFS meets my expectations. • When I receive feedback from AFS, I have a clear understanding of my child’s/ children’s performance. • I believe that the academic standards at AFS are equal to or higher than those at other area public schools. • AFS has an excellent reputation. • School emphasis on academics, the arts, and athletics is well balanced. • My child/children is/are regularly challenged to meet their academic potential. • My child/children is/are well supported in efforts to meet their academic potential. • Money spent on education at AFS is money well spent.
Areas for improvement:
Scores of 4.3 or higher
The survey also helped identify areas specific to school life and academic program where AFS has an opportunity for improvement. As a result, AFS will further explore the following areas:
(on a scale of 1-5) for each of the following regarding general satisfaction and fulfillment of our school’s mission: • Embracing diversity as essential to excellence and fulfilling our mission • Maintaining an environment that values the wholeness and well-being of students • Nurturing authentic intellectual curiosity • Preparing students to live lives of moral and ethical impact • Integrating Quaker faith, practice and values throughout the community in daily life • Creating a collaborative rather than competitive environment of excellence and high performance • Offering outstanding academics
of our parents indicated that AFS was their first choice when choosing an independent school for their child.
of parents have been on campus for an event, meeting or activity at least 5 or more times over the past year. Full report to follow in a separate publication.
â€œ There is simply no better school you can send your children to. This school has become an extension of our own family, so much more than just a school to us. It is truly an amazing place.â€? 2014 Parent Survey
By the Numbers Finances Tuition assistance:
$3,461,133 Total operating budget:
$1,041,212 Number of donors:
John Barnes Trustees support:
$718,337 Zip codes represented:
We opened the 2014-2015 school year with:Â
Students of color:
Number of new students:
(52 in LS, 24 in MS and 27 in US)
Enrollment 550 students
Faculty with advanced degrees:
Courses in Upper School:
John Barnes Trustees investments:
68 38% 5% 30
Summer Camp 45th 275 8 year of summer programs
A camp staff whose combined time spent at AFS
Campus Improvements Josephine Muller Auditorium renovation, including exterior repairs, new exterior and interior paint, theatrical lighting, curtains, flooring and seat repair (funded by gifts from Sandy Muller and Marie Louise Jackson G’18, with architectural services contributed by Juliet Koczak ’95) Energy efficient lighting in the Muller
Lobby and Tyson Arts Wing
Dedicated robotics room (anonymous gift)
New baseball/softball backstops Additional electronic locking Interior building signage (design work contributed by Paul Trapido P’13) Early Childhood playground climbing structure (gift of Scott Krase ’85) New bench on Student Street (gift of Class of 2013)
NON PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID Bellmawr, NJ Permit #280
575 Washington Lane Jenkintown, PA 19046 215-886-4350
Annual report to the community of Abington Friends School