During our 50th Anniversary, we will be sharing photos of the people, places and activities that make Tandem so special.  Check out the 50 Fridays posts on Facebook and Instagram each Friday or see the stories below.


  • Tandem Lucky to have Co-Founder Here in Town

    This 50th Friday, we're feeling thankful that Tandem co-founder John Howard and his wife Elizabeth, and Cynthia Alling, wife of late co-founder Duncan Alling, live in Charlottesville and remain active and supportive Tandem community members. What a gift to hear from them regularly that Tandem remains the school they set out to create, to have John come out and speak to our students about their vision for Tandem, as he has did most recently last year, or check in periodically with current Tandem leadership. This year, as part of our 50th celebration, John and current Head of School Whitney Thompson filmed a conversation they had, moderated by current Upper School Director Peter Gaines, called Tandem Past, Present and Future - use this link to watch it: https://bit.ly/3pCg4HT. It's a fascinating, funny, and sweet reflection on this school we love, and if you didn't have a chance to watch it back in October, put it in your video queue to enjoy.
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  • Tandem Celebrates Valentine's Day Uniquely

    There's nothing like Valentine's Day at Tandem Friends! This 50th Friday looks back at some of the creative and wacky ways our seniors have served as Cupids to deliver ordered valentines, candy, flowers, dances and even musical serenades to community members. We have no idea when the tradition started, but for many years, seniors have organized the ordering of Valentine's Day items, then dressed up and delivered them throughout the school day to unsuspecting recipients, starting with a very public delivery or two during Morning Meeting. It's always fun and full of surprises. Got a favorite Valentine's Day memory of delivering or receiving a valentine?
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  • The Midsummer Show Must Go On

    This 50th Friday, we're celebrating the fact that the show must go on as we look back with great fondness on the many years of 5th grade/Middle School productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream. They have been set in many locations and time periods (the '50s, ancient Greece, under the sea, at the North Pole, in outer space, and so many more). We're not exactly sure how many there have been (we have photos going back to 1999 - check out a slideshow of cast photos here), but do know that Lydia Horan just directed this year's 5th grade in her 20th straight year of MSND. Not to be foiled by COVID, the 5th graders created digital versions of scenes from the play, choosing the settings, themes and characters they wanted to play in the various scenes, rehearsing in class and recording themselves at home using their Chromebook cameras. Then, fairies worked to use video technology to edit footage into nine different episodes. Here's one scene to enjoy - Titania and Oberon (in the Land of Puppies)! Got a favorite Midsummer memory to share? Who did you play? Where was yours set?
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  • Snow Always Popular on Campus

    With the possibility of snow this weekend, and so many in our community voicing a desire for just one good snowfall this year, this 50th Fridays post showcases snow at Tandem. While Tom O'Connor upheld a strict ban on throwing snowballs (ever get caught by Tom?), there were lots of fun ways for students to interact with snow on campus. While students eagerly anticipate snow days at home, they have also always loved our beautiful campus when it is magically blanketed in snow (remember that instant joy when you came out after a class and it was snowing?). From creative snowman creation to sledding on the hills along the field, student (and adult) joy in snow is always real. Got a favorite snow on campus memory?
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  • Tandem Students Learn History Hands-On

    This 50th Friday seems like a good time to reflect on Tandem's commitment to learning history in the moment and through student hands-on involvement. Tandem has always encouraged interest in politics and debate through real and mock elections, stressing the importance of participating in the democratic process, stopping to observe and learn from big moments at home and in the world (our schedule is never too set in stone that we can't pause to reflect and learn), and letting students explore history hands-on by taking them to places of historic importance like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C to honor the roots of democracy. Got a favorite history learning memory?
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  • Tandem and Animals

    This week for 50th Fridays, let's talk about Tandem and animals. Let's face it, we have a long history of loving animals and sharing our campus space with them. From classroom pets, bluebird houses and animal service projects, to local woods denizens who sometimes find a way in, to Senior Projects with animals, to horses and household pets, to neighboring farm animals who escape to campus, to Tandem chickens, to our love/hate relationship with the geese on the fields, and, most recently, baby goats (who have become regular visitors), animals feel welcome here. Check out some animal pics from over the years, and share a favorite animal on campus story. Then share your response to this question recently asked of students (the rather obvious results shared in a word art graphic): If Tandem were an animal, what animal would we be?
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  • Annual Alumni College Panel Always Enjoyable

    This 50th Friday, we are grateful to our alumni for sharing their stories and gifts with Tandem students over the years. Today we held our College Panel, an annual event for almost 20 years that brings current alumni college students in to share wisdom and answer questions about their college experience with our Upper Schoolers (this year it was held online). Many alums participate in our Speaker Series events, sharing their job expertise, community service dedication, or personal narratives with our students and faculty. Others have spoken to specific classes, helped with Emphasis Week, and so much more. Check out some photos of Tandem alums sharing with our students - and if you're an alum who would like to give back to current students that way, email us at alumninews@tandemfs.org. 
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