Summer Summer 2020 2020
Reflections on an Extraordinary Year
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We & Thee Summer 2020
4 A Note from the Head of School 5 Distance Learning with a Mission 8 Summer Programs 2.0 10 Planning For the Coming Year 12 Stewardship and Community 14 Athletics Spotlight 15 Community Voices In poetry and prose, read personal reflections on where we are in this moment.
22 Celebrating the Class of 2020 24 Alumni News
We & Thee is published by
Original illustration by Holland LaGarde ’22
Carolina Friends School 4809 Friends School Road Durham, NC 27705 919.383.6602 | www.cfsnc.org
Karen Cumberbatch, Head of School Katherine Scott, Communications Coordinator Front cover photograph by Sunshine Scoville ’90 Back cover photography by Matt Arnold Interior photo credits include: Michael Brader-Araje, Jeannine Borzello, Carly Chapman ‘94, Mary Jo Hackney, Sara Orphanides, Katherine Scott, Sunshine Scoville ’90, and Aubrey Whisler We & Thee | Summer 2020
A Note from the Head of School While time can be measured scientifically, in seconds, minutes, weeks, years, our perception of it and experience moving through it often defy a sense of logic. In many ways, these past months have felt like a year unto themselves, marked by momentous shifts, changes, and anxious waiting. Waiting for information, waiting for change, waiting for grief to subside. But within those days and weeks that stretched on, I have also felt moments of eager anticipation, driven by the creativity, resilience, and insight I have seen demonstrated. Because of this, I am also filled with hope. There is no greater source for that hope than the amazing children and young adults who fill our classrooms — and, lately, our Zoom screens. When asked to share wisdom gained this spring in four words or fewer, the eight to ten year-olds in Mountain Class wrote: “Do your best surviving,” “Stay calm, don’t fuss,” “Stop Zooming, go outside,” “Don’t give up,” “Ration everything you value,” “Don’t order many toys,” “Stay calm, social distance,” “Read a lot,” “Be cautious, don’t overdo,” and “Cherish the things you love.” In the sagacity of these advices, I hear the resonance of our Quaker values and I am gratified that our children felt moved to share these ideas with others. Enabling our students to find and use their voices, to advocate for themselves and others, has been illustrated in innumerable ways. It is important to lean into all that has been challenging for us as individuals and as a society — balancing work and childcare, job insecurity, health concerns, and the very real impact of systemic racism and violence against Black bodies. It is equally 4
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important to lean on each other. The sense of connection, of shared values, and of community so integral to our school is a source of joy and comfort, as well as a means to keep ourselves accountable to our shared commitment to racial justice. Without real attentiveness and ongoing effort, it can be easy to fall into complacence. The foundation of our past and vision for our future continually call us to be vigilant in shining light on our blindspots to build even more cohesive, meaningful, and inclusive relationships. This past year has certainly been extraordinary, in the full sense of that word. Beyond what any of us could have anticipated, but also a revelation and affirmation of the depth of love, care, creativity, and intellectual pursuit at the core of our mission. In this issue, you will find a celebration of all that we accomplished together this past year, a window into our thinking and planning for the coming year, and a set of personal introspections from across our community of students, staff, and alumni. While the challenges we currently face are unique, Carolina Friends School’s ability to rise to the occasion is not. That is because of each of you. I will close this letter in the same way that Upper School Dean for Students John Utz concluded his video morning meetings this spring: “We love you, and we’ve got your back.”
Karen Cumberbatch, Head of School
Distance Learning with a Mission Keeping Children at the Heart of our Work
Moving to teaching entirely remotely this spring required Carolina Friends School to implement new technology platforms, learning management systems, and approaches to instructional planning in a short timeframe. We were forced to quickly adapt our experiential, hands-on curriculum while maintaining our grounding in the primacy of student/teacher relationships. Increasingly we discovered that we were not just teaching and learning at a distance, but in the context of a national crisis, requiring increased attention to the growing emotional needs of our students. While our learning model has always relied on families working in partnership with us to help our students thrive, this has become even more crucial while we are connecting remotely, and providing multiple means for student and parent/guardian feedback has been vital. Principles of Practice for Distance Learning During a Pandemic From top: Settling-In while apart; an Early School Zoom; making pasta as part of a Middle School elective.
As we looked at the needs of our students and teachers, we leaned on the professional organizations which are a normal part of our network for support, including independent schools networks, professional discipline-specific organizations, developmental support resources, and social and emotional specialists and organizations. Through We & Thee | Summer 2020
this range of resources, we have focused on distance learning that takes into account these recommended practices: • Routine/Structure • Predictability • Clarity of Expectations • Communication • Connection • Praise • Choice Balancing Reliable Routines with Responsive Support Our students — from our Early Schoolers to our Upper Schoolers — normally begin their day with the practice of settling into silence, a time to focus or refocus energies and prepare to be in community with each other as learners and teachers. Continuing this practice virtually provided comfort and routine for our students and connected them to their own voices and to the community around them. Across all units, careful consideration was given to allowing space for class meetings as well as for connections and check-ins. Fostering Personal Connections and Communication Just as it is when we are on our campus, personal connections with teachers are crucial to our children. Each of our students, at every age and stage, has had the opportunity to connect with their teachers to talk not just about projects they are working on, but also what is happening in their time at home. Newsletters, updates, and class pages helped children stay connected to one another and to their teachers. Head teachers’ regular communications with families focused on how to navigate distance learning at home and the social-emotional landscape of the challenging times we are living in. New ways of connection were discovered as students and teachers shared their own home environments, including pets and favorite comfort items. Middle School students could join a “lunch bunch” hosted by a teacher on a topic of personal interest,
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and Upper School students both led opportunities for connection with peers and heard from teachers each day “we love you, and we’ve got your back.” Offering Choice and Affirmation An essential aspect of our teaching and learning philosophy is recognizing and calling out the gifts of each child and to provide for choices in learning experiences that support their individual growth and development. For our youngest learners, this has included offering a range of provocations to enable children to choose how to work together with timely, specific, and encouraging feedback from their teachers. Our Middle School, based on best practice recommendations, emphasizes student choice in its rich elective program. Some electives needed to be adapted in creative ways, and whole new electives were created. In the Upper School, we partnered with students with even greater expectations regarding their agency and mindful decision making, and the creativity and resilience they illustrated in adapting projects and purposes was mighty. This was illustrated beautifully by our seniors, some of whom were not only managing the loss or adaptation of beloved closing traditions but also forced to rethink their final “legacy” projects. These projects ranged from designing a seat-reservation system for our Performing Arts Center to assessing accessibility in our Upper School facilities, examining race and class privilege in arts education, and many more. One of our most significant learnings as we reflect on the experiences of the last months is that physical distance doesn’t really mean socially or emotionally distanced. Perhaps more than ever, we are aware of the significance of student/teacher relationships and the role social emotional learning plays in education. The unintended curriculum of helping our students learn to be resilient in the face of challenging circumstances is some of the most important work we have undertaken this year. We believe it will serve them for the whole of their lives. — Katherine Scott and Renee Prillaman
On Saturday, June 6, a group of staff came together to paint “Black Lives Matter” and “Speak Up!” on the driveway near the entrance to our main campus. The effort was inspired by the unveiling of a similar mural along the streets of Washington, D.C., and the volunteer effort came together in less than 24 hours. The message was put in place in time for the seniors’ car parade through campus after virtual graduation the following day.
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Summer Programs 2.0 New virtual opportunities this summer In the end of February, the outlook for this year’s Summer Programs was looking sunny. Enrollment for our 167 courses for students aged 4-18 over nine weeks was on track to hit the 2,000 mark. But as the global pandemic rapidly progressed into March, these plans, like so many, were put on hold as the entire school rallied to quickly adapt to distance learning. During that time, Anthony L. Clay and Ruthie Allen, who oversee Summer Programs through their roles as director of and assistant to the institute for teaching and learning, were also gathering what limited guidance was available for summer camps.
“Our son is really enjoying this week’s Spanish camp. The best part he told me is that he gets to interact with other children in a fun class environment.”
With input from families and advice from local health officials and public health experts, on May 8 it was announced that our Summer Programs would not be conducted on campus this year. Instead, a newly reimagined Summer Programs 2.0 would offer virtual programs, with the first three weeks as a pilot. In this model, each course meets twice a day for an hour each at staggered times so that students can take up to two classes a week. Not only were courses adapted or added quickly, but new enrollments and refunds were managed, all while building out the schedule for the remaining weeks.
“Just wanted to say the beat, music video, and Dungeons & Dragons camps were AMAZING!! The kids absolutely loved them, the amount of time was perfect, and the teachers — FANTASTIC!!”
As the program is actively evolving this summer, feedback is collected each week from families on ways to improve. Ruthie, whose work includes acting as coordinator for Summer Programs, notes that much of the feedback has been really affirming. “Both through our survey and by email, families are letting us know what a difference this is making for students who are longing to connect and engage in joyful exploration. We’re so grateful to have our excellent teaching staff, who have adapted their courses or crafted new ones in such creative ways.”
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Story Time for All! This summer, we are offering a free virtual story time for children of any age and their families from anywhere in the world! Join us each Thursday at 4:00 pm to hear a Carolina Friends staff member (and hopefully some of our Counselors-In-Training) share a treasured children’s book. Our first reader was Head of School Karen Cumberbatch! Register to receive the Zoom invitation at: cfsnc.org/summerstory.
After months of distance learning and with “safer at home” restrictions in place, these online offerings are providing for students a sense of exploration and connection with their peers. It has also opened the door to whole new possibilities. In one week, Middle School Teacher Polly Clark was able to connect not only with current CFS students, but also with former students from Carrboro Elementary and from all the way in California. The initial pilot-phase enabled the team to build out rich and meaningful offerings for the remaining weeks and to also create new adult offerings, ranging from fun hands-on experiences like “Nailed It! Summer Camp for Grown-Ups,” led by Middle School Science Teacher Kristina Krzywonos, to resources for parents on how to manage the current crises in “Parenting for Resiliency,” facilitated by Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning Renee Prillaman. Parents can even join in the fun with their children and other families, competing in trivia, baking, or learning to cook authentic Puerto Rican dishes. Additionally, without the space limitations that come with supporting the transition of classrooms for the coming academic year, an additional 10th week of courses was made possible. Programs run through August 21, and course descriptions and registration for children, adults, and families can be viewed by visiting cfsnc.org/summercourses. — Katherine Scott
Top right: A student in the “I Built It!” design and engineering course.
A Few Course Highlights: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Culture Learning about past and present expressions of gender and orientations in our lives and in our culture. Eco Chicos Exploring how our natural environments work as well as the effect we have on them. Girl Power Considering themes from “Body Beautiful” to “Finding and Using Our Voices for Change.” Mapping Life Under Lockdown Analyzing different ways in which the current pandemic is being understood through maps. Youth Activism: Social Justice and Social Change Focusing on social movements, forms of activism, and leadership as an agent of community change.
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Planning for the Coming Year Preparing a nimble, responsive, student-centered learning program When and how to return to school is a question that has been on the minds of many across the country and the world. As outbreaks gain momentum, including in North Carolina, and guidelines continue to be developed, our staff have developed preparations to best ensure the physical and socialemotional health and safety of our community, meet the personalized learning needs of each student, and provide culturally-affirming and responsive programming. Our Planning Process From April through June, information was gathered. Staff reflected on insights gained through distance learning this spring. Students and families were also asked to provide feedback on our distance learning as well as to help shape our efforts for returning. A variety of external medical, public health, and educational resources were consulted, and trends in the data monitored. A Campus Reopening Subcommittee of Friday Meeting created a set of baseline criteria for a continuous learning model which will allow us to be agile and responsive to changing public health needs. It leans on best practice recommendations that center on routine/structure, predictability, clarity of expectations, communication, connection, feedback, and choice. The continuous learning model has three modes: on-campus fully with COVID-19 safety protocols; hybrid learning with enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols; and virtual home based learning. Teaching and Learning Think Tanks spent two weeks working within and across units to create daily master schedules and consider how best to implement developmentally-appropriate safety requirements for students in each of the three modes. Throughout the year, flexible professional development days will be used to transition between modes, as needed, to provide as much continuity as possible.
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Our overarching goal is to have students and staff safely learning on campus as consistently and in the greatest number possible. To do this, we determined that “layering” the following safety strategies would best support our goal. • Staggering arrival times within units to support the conducting of daily health screenings using an all-school app and taking of temperatures. • Maintaining consistency in the grouping of students throughout the day as often as possible (Student Cohorting). • Reducing the size of student learning groups to 10-15 as often as possible. • Repurposing and increasing the number of physical spaces used for teaching and learning to ensure appropriately sized classrooms that allow for recommended social distancing. • Limiting student movement between classrooms whenever possible.
[Our] continuous learning model will allow us to be agile and responsive to changing public health needs. It leans on best practice recommendations that center on routine/ structure, predictability, clarity of expectations, communication, connection, feedback, and choice.
• Enhancing and monitoring student handwashing throughout the school day, maintaining social distancing of six feet as much as possible, and using face coverings as appropriate (required for all staff and MS and US students, and for LS students as appropriate; ES students will not be required to wear face coverings). • Adding and enhancing room cleaning protocols during the day between periods and after school (including wiping down surfaces and use of UVC lighting technology to disinfect spaces). • Encouraging the use of outdoor learning spaces for classroom activities. Plan Refinement and Implementation Building on our plans and incorporating any relevant new guidance from state and local authori-
ties, staff will continue to work this summer to further refine unit and class schedules and programming, to prepare the physical campus, and to finalize our safety protocols. In addition to the local and national workshops many staff members are engaging in over the next few weeks, all staff will return to work early in August for more than two weeks of professional development on effective virtual learning techniques, on optimizing use of our digital learning platforms to support continuity between modes of learning, on maintaining culturally-affirming and responsive classrooms, and on implementing new health and safety protocols. No matter which mode we may enter or move into through the school year, our work will continue to be centered on learning that fosters community, builds connections, and honors student needs. — Karen Cumberbatch and Katherine Scott
Butterflies on Campus Our landscaping on main campus attracts a lovely array of butterflies each spring and summer. If you’ve been missing seeing these winged friends, maybe you can identify where on campus these butterflies can be found year-round?
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Stewardship and Community A Quaker foundation for difficult times
For more than five decades, Carolina Friends School has weathered many crises, from the bombing of the newly built Lower School by those against integration to gas shortages and financial recessions. Thanks to the support of our community members and careful stewardship of our resources, we have built a sustainable school animated by our Quaker values. In recent years, we have been fully enrolled, with increasing interest — for the coming school year, we have had a record number of new student applications. Our community has also strengthened our sustainability through building our endowments. While there is still much work to be done to continue to build on these efforts, they have helped situate us to weather this crisis. We are so grateful for this firm foundation, even as the current pandemic has stoked economic concerns throughout the country and within our learning community. Many of our families have experienced or anticipate financial hardship as well as significant uncertainty about the future. In addition to providing tuition payment flexibility, this spring the Board of Trustees spear-headed a new emergency tuition relief fund. With a first round of applicants 12
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this spring, fundraising for emergency tuition relief and the many other COVID-19 related expenses is being designed to support multiple school years, as the financial impacts related to COVID-19 become known. During the last economic recession, a similar effort was organized to prevent financial concerns from dictating whether or not families could remain in our community. Over three years, sufficient funds were raised to meet that goal, and we were able to retain nearly all of our families, a seemingly herculean feat. While we are still discerning the full extent of needs that the COVID19 Emergency Relief Fundraising Campaign will be called upon to support, the current estimate falls somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million. Mark and Cindy Kuhn, the campaign’s co-chairs, aim to complete this fundraising effort in the coming year to support a three-year program of related expenditures. Even as they face difficult health-related decisions for the coming school year, our commitment to support current families has enabled us to maintain healthy enrollment and community retention. While tuition is our greatest revenue source, we also rely on revenue from Extended Learning pro-
Resources for Parenting and Living with COVID-19 Links to each of these resources may be found at cfsnc.org/ coronavirusresources NPR Life Kit Podcast: “5 Ways to Prevent and Prepare for the Coronavirus” New York Times: “How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus” Betsy Brown Braun: “Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus” Psychology Today: “How to Talk with Your Anxious Child about the Coronavirus” Common Sense Media: “Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic” Mindful.org: “3 Simple Steps to Stop Mental Time Traveling” Action for Happiness: A website committed to building a happier and more caring society Down Dog: Free beginner yoga app On Being: Curated media list “For the Exhausted and Overwhelmed” Teaching Tolerance: “Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus” Code Switch Podcast: “When Fear Of The Coronavirus Turns Into Racism And Xenophobia”
grams (such as Extended Day and Summer Programs) and on fundraising efforts by our Advancement team each year. Support from our community was extraordinarily strong last year — we met and exceeded our annual giving goal for the year on our March 5 Giving Day — but we anticipate that financial uncertainty may reduce our philanthropic support. And while our Extended Learning team was able to nimbly provide new opportunities for our families and the greater community with Summer Programs 2.0, the income will be far less than a typical year. Significant costs related to the transition to our continuous learning model, as well as the income loss from summer offer-
ings, the anticipated slowdown in philanthropic support, and our commitment to support our current families, have required us to take measures to sustain our mission-driven educational program and continue to meet the emerging needs of our children. These measures include careful attention to budgeting and applying for and receiving a loan to support staff compensation as a part of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Personnel expenses make up 81% of the School’s operating budget, and this loan not only helps us maintain our excellent staff, but is also forgivable.
timism. Our teachers have worked swiftly to improvise and improve educational strategies to best serve our students. Our students have demonstrated extraordinary resiliency. And our parents and caregivers have shown incredible support for us. However, the pandemic is showing itself to be far from over. It is impossible to tell its full future impact on both public health and our economy. Just as the Carolina Friends School community has come together to face past challenges, we know we can count on each of you to see us through this unprecedented moment.
Thanks to the work of many, we approach the coming year with a sense of hope and op-
Now Accepting Recurring Donations! By visiting cfsnc.org/donate, you now have the option for a one-time gift or set up a recurring gift with one click! Donating is a quick, two-screen process.
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Athletics Spotlight Winter Season Highlights Swimming Brandon Miller, allconference, all-state Ella Malzahn, all-conference Basketball Hannah Potthoff, allconference honorable mention Justin Brader-Araje, allconference Zoe Kramer, all-conference The spring season had just begun in March when we all had to pivot quickly to learning at home. Our dedicated coaching staff also made the transition to virtual learning, providing workouts for the players and maintaining team social connections. Student leaders rose to the occasion and teams continued to develop skills and chemistry but this was certainly not the spring season that anyone expected. This was especially true for our senior athletes. Sixteen members of this year’s graduating class had their spring season’s competitive schedules cut short. We’re so proud of all of our athletes, who have challenged themselves and their teammates to grow stronger together. — Aden Darity, Director of Athletics
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N U M S M E O C OIC V
Global pandemic, isolation, activism to end police violence and dismantle systemic racism â€” how will we remember the year 2020? While these situations and movements form shared experiences, the impact of each is deeply personal. In this section, members of the Carolina Friends School community reflect on different aspects of what it means to be living through this moment in time.
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My Front Yard Classroom When we first learned the news that we would shift into a drastically different learning model in mid-March, I, like many teachers, felt confused, unclear, and in need of direction. In the first days of athome learning I found myself sitting at one end of my dining table talking with and reading to the children as well as leading some singing and movement with them. I missed my interactions with the children in person, and in particular the learning that went on in our outdoor learning environment. Being in such a stressful situation, I felt a great deal of peace outside during my time at home. Hallie Cherry teaches at Chapel Hill Early School. Hallie joined the CFS community in 2006. She earned a BS in Child Development and Family Studies from East Carolina University in 1996 and has been working with young children ever since. Hallie is also a CFS parent.
I decided to create what I called my front yard classroom to share ideas, provocations, and activities with the children on Zoom (on occasion I engaged with them in my back porch classroom as well.) On the days I led our morning meetings I greeted the children in the front yard and we then embarked on activities such as making a bug hotel, sprouting seeds, creating rainbows with nature, making creatures with items found in nature, crafting bird feeders, and painting with mud. I designed activities that families could do without shopping, simply by using what they could find in and around their homes. After each project I sent the children off into their day with these ideas and their families often shared back with photos and text. I have had an interest in nature and designing outdoor learning environments for many years. This led me to complete an actionresearch project related to how children approach risk in Outdoor Learning Environments as well as a CFS-funded grant that gave me the opportunity to travel to England and Denmark to research playgrounds and how children and parents interact with those environments. Having an opportunity to engage with children and families and also with the natural world, while online, made an enormous difference in how I navigated this new, unfamiliar learning environment. I felt more connected with my children as we did some of the things we would have been doing if we were able to enjoy the beautiful spring together at the Chapel Hill Early School.
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Bridging the Distance Sometimes things that aren’t that perfect to you can end up being very surprising and very beautiful in a different way. A second-year student in Sky Class recorded this in response to an assignment on May 26 as a very long, challenging, uncertain, and exhausting school year was winding down. The words have been on loop in my head ever since and impeccably describe my experience teaching in the era of COVID-19. The transition to remote learning and imposition of social distancing was abrupt and jarring. I am accustomed to spending my days surrounded by playful, spirited, silly and thoughtful six- to eight-year olds. I felt overwhelmed and dismayed at the prospect of connecting to my students over Zoom and SeeSaw and lamented the loss of my close relationships with them. I was unable to fathom how I would maintain strong ties to my students over a screen. With time I found that Covid ended up allowing me, the children, and their families to become more wholly human and relate more deeply. The digital learning platforms Zoom and Seesaw allowed us to enter each other’s homes and share intimate details of our lives. Despite my selfconsciousness, I allowed myself to become vulnerable that first week when I recorded a video of my dog scratching up the window pane she uses as a look-out. I invited my students to help me find a way to protect my window pane, while allowing my dog to still peer out the window. My students not only offered clever solutions, but lovingly embraced the opportunity to see more of my life and reciprocated by warmly welcoming me into theirs. We were able to acknowledge each other on a human-to-human level.
Kate Newman is a Sky Class teacher in the Lower School. She joined us in 2018. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, NY, she studied elementary education at Duke and later received her Masters in special education from UNC. Kate is a member of Durham Friends Meeting.
We connected over the silly things our pets did, shared photos from our gardens, and traded ideas for connecting with friends and family. I laughed alongside Mila after her sister lovingly thwacked her with a box as we read together. Then the three of us chuckled when their dog, Hatty, barked after hearing my own dog bark out the window. I saw photos from Alex’s parents’ wedding and listened to a three minute recording of Augie talking with her grandpa. Oliver shared a video of a huge Lego creation and Kate created artwork for my dog, Sandy. During my years of teaching, I’ve seen some raw and honest expressions of emotion, but many children reserve these displays for family members. Seesaw transformed this pattern by allowing my students to record videos for me whenever they wanted — sometimes messages of grief, loss, and uncertainty. I was then able to respond through the platform with a message of comfort, holding my own sadness alongside a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to witness such a personal moment. To my amazement, distance learning strengthened our ties by inviting us all to share our whole selves and embrace our shared humanity, whether it’s a barking dog or feelings of loneliness. Although teaching during a pandemic is far from perfect, Felix is right, it is beautiful. We & Thee | Summer 2020
A Reflection on Racial Justice
Lauren Brownlee is Head of the Upper School. She is an alumna of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. Lauren earned her BA in Ancient Greek Language and Classical Civilization from Wellesley College and her MA in Global, International, and Comparative History from Georgetown University. Just prior to arriving at CFS, she served as Director of Social Action at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, MD.
We are living in a moment in which community clearly matters. Although the Durham community is new to me this year, there is nowhere I would rather be right now than Carolina Friends School. At every turn, CFS has answered the calls of the moment. We have provided care and resources to each other, and we have asked ourselves and each other hard questions. We came together quickly to paint “Black Lives Matter” and “Speak Up” on campus, and we committed to holding ourselves accountable to walking our talk. As I watched my hometown of DC burn in the early days of protest, I wrote to the Upper School about the ways that the struggle for racial justice is personal for me. After reflecting on what the struggle for racial justice means to me as a Quaker, an educator, an activist and a scholar, I shared, “I’ve been thinking a lot in the last few days about quotes from James Baldwin that speak to what is at the heart of these protests: ‘I love America more than any other country in this world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually’ and ‘If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.’ I think also of Georgetown University Professor Marcia Chatelain calling for a ‘love willing to risk.’ My wish for our community is that we can all make this personal. I appreciate the sentiment of the Benjamin Franklin quote, ‘Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are,’ but with an understanding that we are ALL affected by injustice. My charge to you comes from L.R. Knost: ‘Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.’ We know that it is possible to change the world.” I concluded with an invitation to “do what we can to take care of ourselves, each other, and our communities.” We know that changing the world begins with a focus on what needs to be nurtured and transformed within ourselves. I am proud to be a member of a community made up of individuals who have consistently shown that they are willing to put in the work that leads to lasting change.
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How I Am I am scared of the sun because she makes me darker. I am thankful for sacrifice. I am scared of my nationality. I am thankful for time because she is aid. I am scared of a fender bender because I must call the police. I am scared of rape because of the discernment process before calling the police. I am thankful for the Quaker lawyer on speed dial. I am scared to look in the mirror. I am thankful for reflection. I am scared of the white man who loves me. I am thankful for love because it is strategy. I am scared of communal privilege. I am thankful for protection. I am scared to share myself. I am thankful for the movement. I am scared of my therapist because my heart is in pain. I am thankful for unconditional listening. I am scared of the dark because it is black. I am thankful for education. I am scared to tangle. I am thankful for illuminated dawn. I am scared I’m not an activist. I am thankful for an ally. When you ask me how I am, this is it. I am scared for you to hear my answer. I am thankful you asked.
Tsehaye Lindsey-Mills graduated from CFS in 2018. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC and has been writing poems since the age of nine. The current climate of America sparked her inner light. This poem captures her uncertainty when asked the simple question, “how are you?” As she processes the fear in juxtaposition with the gratitude she feels, Tsehaye shares her poem in hope that it can change a mind.
We & Thee | Summer 2020
Fight The Stereotype Dear World, We spend so much of our lives worrying about what others think, stressing over what people will say or do when they meet us. Adults love to say that teenagers spend too much time stressing over what others think. But if you ask me, adults stress over stuff like this as much, if not more than teenagers. Think about how many times you see adults stress about what their bosses will think of them. We all stress over what people will think of us. Ella Springer is a student in our Middle School who blogs under the pseudonym Alle Faller. She is interested in social justice, creating change, and sharing her voice with the world. Her mission with her blog, “Dear World,” is to inspire, create change, and share her journey.
We care so much about what others will think of us and we still hurt the people around us just because they are different. Why? I’m not sure. We bite our nails over people thinking we are weird because we are different and then we turn around and make fun of others who are different than us. It doesn’t make any sense. Our society has made it so that we are born into a story, we are born into a personality, we don’t get to make many of our own decisions and we have to be the person we were “meant to be”. By “meant to be” I mean we are forced to fall into certain stereotypical categories from the moment we are born. Think of when you were a little kid, think of the gender you were born with, whether or not that is the gender you identify as today. Within weeks or days of your birth you were most likely given something pink if you were born female or something blue if you were born male, princesses for girls and toy trucks for boys. From practically our first breaths we are forced to be something that will shape us throughout our lives. Many times, in defense of injustice, people will try to use statistics to make stereotypes seem okay. People will say that more men play sports or that more women work in nail and hair salons. These may be true, but why? Because we are raised this way, we are raised to believe that boys play sports and girls do hair and paint nails. There is nothing wrong with either of these activities, but both girls and boys should grow up having equal opportunity in both. How can we break these chains of stereotypes that hold us back? We don’t let the stereotypes get to us, we don’t let them control us. As I stated earlier, we are scared to be different. In order to break these chains we must make sure the people around us don’t have reason to be scared. We must support our friends and family in whatever future they strive for. In exchange, our families and friends will support us. Everyone has a dream, we must give them the ability to make it come true. Yours, Alle Faller “Stereotypes happen. I try not to embrace them or ignore them.” - Danny Pudi
We & Thee | Summer 2020
little boxes, little boxes the circle and the box I love to work with learners, less as a teacher, more as a guide, as an opener of doors, one who works to free-up stuck doors, a cheerleader who supports the Light within to find its way out, to help the tenuous realize it is rugged, to celebrate each victory of self to become better, the classroom for us is where the circle dominates, unbroken, each of our eyes upon the others, and we begin to see who each of us is and share the feelings which rise upon the other which then wash over us, and we connect, the audience in our new theater sit in rows with as much curve as we could manage, the theater consultant supporting us away from the regimentation of lines toward the embrace of the circle, for then the audience sees each other, feels each otherâ€™s laugh, sadness, joy as performance comes to life,
yet in this world of Zoom, of distance learning, I can still be moved by the spirit of the student, who wants to do well, who wants to learn, to achieve, who still can find a way forward to make tomorrow better than today, each step forward a bit harder, the view of the path murkier, yet the light within each of us is just as bright, and I joy when the beams will not be denied, and the journey forward continues, it is a privilege to be there in the digital woods, and to help self and community find paths forward, wholeness continues to be built and rebuilt, the circle longs to be unbroken.
such a community can be challenged hard in distance learning, where the whole becomes more tenuous, as the artificiality of cameras with us in boxes can pull us away from each other, with fear and anxiousness powerfully resting on us, with the way back in to the others, into the group, less beguiling than escaping away, back into what comes more easily, our individuality simpler, less risky, Henry Walker teaches language arts, science, and history in the Middle School. He started teaching at CFS in the fall of 1971, and both his sons are graduates of CFS. Henry is well known in the Middle School for his coordination of Science Day, poetry, photography, direction of the Middle School play, helping students develop entrepreneurial skills, and Smokies trips with students.
We & Thee | Summer 2020
Celebrating the Class of 2020
Taylor Dayne Lee Andorfer Amelia Rose Ashkin-Baker Asheton Gibson Ayotte Ben Bafford John Macklin Bahr Laura Veronica Blanton Ryan Lloyd Bliss Emma Rachel Brody Lizzie Goddard Brown Siena Bush ChloĂŤ Isabella Sellers Chilcott Zoe Alena Mayrene DeBenedette Phoebe Hancox Dodge
Elias Eichner Annie Fairey Gavrielle Fischer Mara Antoinette Fischer Abigail Florek John Matthew Frey Ian Matthew Gilmore-Cronin Noah James Hardy Jaylen Demond Harrell Harrison Daniel Hess Karina Jacquelyn Heyward-Rotimi Monica Katharine Hurd McKenley Elizabeth Johnson
Eva Kipp Eliza Kate Knight-Zurbuch Haley Jordan Kramer Yana Ariel Levy Keith Samuel Longiotti, Jr. Jolan Eliana Motyka William Percy Lily Maxine Posner-Hess Hannah Lowe Potthoff Alexandra Rauwald Gabriella Clytie Robertson Jack Sendlinger Parker Bryan Giordano Sexton
Where Theyâ€™re Headed Appalachian State University (3) Bryn Mawr College Case Western Reserve University Colorado College Durham Technical Community College Franklin & Marshall College Grinnell College Guilford College Lewis & Clark College North Carolina State University (4) Oberlin College
We & Thee | Summer 2020
Penn State University Queens University of Charlotte Rhode Island School of Design School of the Art Institute of Chicago Texas Christian University Tufts University Tulane University University of Colorado - Boulder University of Dayton University of North Carolina - Asheville University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina - Charlotte University of Pittsburgh University of Richmond University of Vermont University of Virginia Virginia Commonwealth University Wake Forest University (3)
On the morning of Sunday, June 7, our seniors were recognized with a virtual graduation ceremony. Advisors shared reflections on each student, and the families were able to ceremonially hand over the diplomas. Staff and other family and friends were able to view a livefeed via Youtube.
In the afternoon, staff cheered on the graduates during a car parade through campus, complete with costumes! We plan to have an in-person Meeting for Worship for these graduates as soon as we are able in the coming year. Each senior completed a capstone Legacy Project, and you can watch the video summaries for many of these projects online: sites.google.com/cfsnc.org/ seniorlegacyproject/.
We & Thee | Summer 2020
Alumni News News & Updates Feminism Rising, an anthology including BONNIE MORRIS ’79, was the Foreman 2019 Indie Silver Winner for Women’s Studies. Her piece “Puberty Enchiladas” braids the newfound separateness and joy of teenage friendships with future knowledge of loss. SIOBHAN SHEA ’81 of Sheappeals PLLC (also a
member of one of CFS’s founding families) published two chapters on Civil Appeals and Extraordinary Writs in Florida.
KIRSTEN STAJICH SARDI ‘99 brought into this
world on February 20 Gael Nikolas Sardi. Kirsten and her husband, David Sardi, live in Silver Spring, MD. They also have a two year-old son, Leonel Sardi. Kirsten is the Director of Extended Learning and Non Degree Programs at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. David is a consultant with McKinsey. Kirsten is the daughter of Chris Firpo, CFS Summer Programs Director from 1997-2016. JONATHAN LITTLE ’00 had a baby boy, Wyatt Joseph
Little, on March 31.
HANA GINSBERG TIROSH ’00 and her husband
Raz welcomed twin boys, Arlin Solomon Tirosh and Zahavi Tsvi Tirosh, on April 17.
PETE KIEHART ’04 and his partner and fellow
documentary photographer Kasia Strek had their photoessay published in NPR’s “The Picture Show series Isolation Diary: Photographers Document Their Experience with COVID-19.”
LYNSAY BUSH ’06 completed her Doctor of
Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree and moved with husband, Steve, to Grand Junction, CO for Family Medicine Residency.
In April, HANNAH FRIEDMAN ’07 published her opinion piece “Trump’s ‘Liberate’ Protesters Want the Right to Feel Safe. Americans Want the Right to Be Safe.” at Newsweek.com.
Above: Jonathan Little ’00 and Wyatt Joseph Little. Below: A photograph from Pete Kiehart ’04 and Kasia Strek’s photoessay on COVID-19 isolation.
Alumni News CANDACE JORDAN ’11 is currently a graduate
student at Princeton University, where she researches the civic uses of anger and resentment. Her article, “In Defense of Anger in Anti-Racist Protest,” was published by the Berkley Center for Religion Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University.
DOUG MACLEOD ’14 and Katie Treamer got engaged
on April 12.
DRAVEN WARD ’16 and Cameron Jones got
engaged on March 5. Draven was also accepted to the University of Louisville this fall to pursue a Masters of Science in Social Work. Their specialization in military social work will prepare her to work with the veteran community.
Holding in the Light In early April, JACKSON CECIL ’17 experienced a major motorcycle accident. He is at home, but his recovery will be long and notes from friends are most welcome: Jackson Cecil, 5001 Whisper Ridge Dr., Efland, NC 27243.
In Memory MARNIE COZZENS ’11, who in her own words said she “has briefly died from our light. CFS captivated her greatest friendships and memories.” If you would like to send a message of condolence to her family, their address is Benita and David Cozzens, 10048 Fountain, Chapel Hill, NC 27517.
Above: Doug MacLeod ’14 and Katie Treamer. Below: Bena Frances Nunn Mitchell and Dee Dudley-Mayfield.
Mary Hennessy, grandmother of GRACE HENNESSY ’08 and mother of alum parent and former board member Mike Hennessy. Condolences can be sent to Grace at 1365 E Rock Springs Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30306-2320 and Mike at 2519 Lanier Pl, Durham, NC 27705.
Alumni News JoJo Tedder, grandmother of JONATHAN ‘01 and DAVE HENDERSON ‘05 and TAYLOR ANDORFER ’20, and mom of Jan Tedder (wife of former staff member Jim Henderson) and CFS Parent Amy Andorfer. To send condolences: Jan Tedder and Jim Henderson, 2314 W Club Blvd, Durham, NC 27705; Jonathan Henderson and Hillary Smith, 4613 Friends School Rd, Durham, NC 27705; Dave Henderson and Caitlin Law, 4510 Ninas Run, Durham, NC 27705; and Amy, Jay and Taylor Andorfer, 113 Arthur Ln., Durham, NC 27705.
Chuck Shaw ’78, Dee Dudley-Mayfield, Don Wells, Henry Walker, Howard Pratt ’84, Jim Henderson, Joan Walker, John Baird, John McGovern, Jonathan McGovern ’97, Karen Cumberbatch, Kathy Schenley, Libby Pendergrast, Mark Goodwillie, Michael Bonsignore, Mike Hanas, Terry Pendergrast, Thomas Patterson, Willy Rotella, Connie Toverud, and more: https://friendsschoolanunofficialhistory.blogspot.com/
Former staff member BENA FRANCES NUNN MITCHELL (CFS 1971-1997) entered gracefully in this world on May 15, 1934 and departed just as gracefully on May 15, 2020. Condolences can be sent to CYNTHIA M. ALEXANDER ’79, 3411 Kerrigan Ct, Durham, NC 27703.
Bits and Bobs This spring, CFS staff created a COVID-19 playlist on Spotify, representing a diverse collection of music that can fill your afternoon, since it clocks in at six hours: www.cfsnc.org/spotify. LEX JIN COELHO ’15 and her sister Amelie have
established a forum to match needs and offers within the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community in relation to COVID-19. They are in the process of adding a section in support of black-owned businesses: chcommunitypost.com. Former CFS Learning Specialist ANNA LYNCH (2011-2018) has launched a weekly newsletter, Chaise Lounge, focused primarily on issues affecting women and healthcare: chaiselounge.substack.com. Former Dance/Performing Arts Teacher (1978-1985) LINDA BELANS Ed.D’s book, States of Being: Leadership Coaching for Equitable Schools was published on May 9, 2020. Take a tour of HENRY WALKER’S “Friends School, An Unofficial History” website that includes interviews and conversations with Annie Dwyer, Bonnie Morris ’79, Carrie Huff, Charlie Layman, Chris Couch ’78,
Alumni, Share Your Updates! Births, marriages, professional news, whatever you’d like to share. You may submit your announcement online:
Don’t Miss Our Email News Starting this spring, we have begun sending out an alumni newsletter with opportunities, alumni notes, and ways to stay connected. Be sure we have your current email address with our online contact update form:
Alumni News Spotlight on Maile Mercer ’03 Maile has been working on the front lines of healthcare at Planned Parenthood of NYC as a nurse manager and also in an ICU in Manhattan taking care of COVID-19 positive patients. Her sister, Sadie Mercer ’12, is also a nurse taking care of patients with both cancer and COVID-19 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
What about your time at CFS drew you to a career in healthcare?
Being of service to others and community is one of the main values I learned from my time as a CFS student. As an ICU nurse, I have the privilege and honor of caring for other people at their most physically vulnerable moments. At Planned Parenthood, I find great fulfilment in serving the broader New York City community through promoting and providing sexual and reproductive health services. As I have moved into leadership roles throughout my career, I have often reflected on the incredible examples of leadership that I saw in so many of my teachers at CFS. What self-care techniques (mindfulness, journaling, yoga, connections with friends) have you found helpful through this crisis/crises?
I have a daily meditation and journaling practice. I also practice Kundalini Yoga and enjoy running for exercise. In January 2020, I became a Reiki practitioner, so I have practiced self-Reiki throughout the pandemic as well. This Spring I introduced my team of nurses to the concept of ‘Settling In’ during our morning huddles — they now love taking a few moments of quiet before starting the busy day! In addition to writing notes, are there other ways we can support our frontline health workers?
Notes of encouragement or cards for Maile and her co-workers may be sent to: Maile Mercer, 26 Bleecker Street, New York, New York 10012.
The notes and outreach are incredibly helpful to us as we work through the global pandemic. Knowing that we have the support of the community is powerful and supportive and reading a kind note can feel like a deep breath. However, the most important way to support frontline health workers is to wear masks in public and adhere to social distancing guidelines in your community.
Carolina Friends School
4809 Friends School Road Durham, NC 27705 919.383.6602 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
We look forward to the day when we can greet each other in person on our beautiful campus! Pictured here is Upper School Dean for Students John Utz last January. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see more photos and videos: @carolinafriends.
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