• 5th Graders Research Climate Change for Journey North

    5th graders planted Red Emperor tulip bulbs to participate in Journey North’s climate experiment (they recently began studying monarch butterfly migration through Journey North as well). Bulb planting experimental constants included:
    • Each Red Emperor bulb was planted 7” deep and 4” away from other bulbs.
    • All bulbs were planted 15’ away from buildings.
    • Bulbs were positioned with the roots down.
    • Every bulb was planted in the northern hemisphere!
    As kids dug seven inches down, they uncovered many rocks, roots and even a brick! The main variable in the study (climate) is certainly beyond their control. This spring, when plants emerge and bloom, our young gardeners will report their observations and data to Journey North. One garden at a time, the relationship between climate, geography, and the arrival of spring may be revealed. Check out the Journey North tulip planting map here.

    These young s
    cientists are now deciding on one variable to change as they develop their own experiment. They hope to plant again on Wednesday (if the weather cooperates).
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  • Monica and Andriana on campus

    Alums Working and Volunteering at Tandem Friends

    Did you know that Tandem alum Jake Minturn (TFS ‘03) currently serves as the co-chair of our Board of Trustees? Or that Tandem alum Julia Sapir (TFS ‘93) is in her tenth year of teaching Middle Schoolers at Tandem? It’s true - we have four Tandem alums working here and another four volunteering their time as members of our Board of Trustees. It's a great benefit to the school to have Tandem alums teaching and governing, and they seem to love it as well. We caught up with a few of them to find out what led them back to Tandem, and to reflect on old and new TFS memories. 

    Julia Sapir (TFS '93) is in her tenth year of teaching at Tandem and serves as our Middle School Art teacher as well as 6th grade Geography teacher (she spent nine years teaching 5th and 6th grade humanities here before moving into the Art position this year). Julia has happily settled into the basement of the Main Building, which got a much-needed facelift to welcome her and her enthusiastic students into the art space.

    Julia shared some Tandem reflections.  After TFS, she took a gap semester in France, then attended Brown University. She spent the post-college decade working as a wilderness instructor in Southern Utah, running an art cooperative, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, working for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and running a homeschool cooperative before eventually going back to school to earn an MFA in photography. “Tandem may have encouraged me to try new things or maybe I came to Tandem because I like to try new things,” she shared. She wanted to live in C-ville to be close to family and David Slezak encouraged her to apply for the 6th grade humanities position. Reflecting on how Tandem has changed, she said, “Tandem is a lot bigger and a lot more polished. I also believe that the academics are a lot more rigorous than they were in the early nineties.” Her favorite memories? “I loved our Blue Ridge Days when we all trekked up to the mountains en masse. Most indelible though was my three-week trip to France during my junior year. That trip led me to spend an additional semester in France after high school and completely changed my outlook on the world.” Her favorite memories as a teacher are all wrapped up in her relationships with her students. “My happiest memories are the fun times I've had in the classroom or off on trips with sixth graders,” she shared.  “As a student, I'm not sure I fully appreciated how hard my faculty worked to serve me and my community.”

    Mary Lyman Bias (TFS '02) joined Tandem two years ago as Admissions Coordinator, Front Office Manager, and Student Health Coordinator. She also manages our international student program and serves as a junior class advisor. It’s great to have an Admissions Coordinator who knows firsthand the value of a Tandem education, and the students really relate to Mary. Last year, Mary even added a new role as Tandem parent when her son Tynan joined the Middle School. 
    She shares, "So many of the core values and principles have stayed the same at Tandem. There is still this "like home" feeling on campus, just like when I was a student. I see and cherish the friendships and trusting relationships between teachers and students. Tandem still offers an encouraging and enthusiastic environment for students to grow, explore and create, unlike any other school or program I have been a part of.”  Things have changed in some ways, says Mary, “There are a lot more faculty and administrators, more organized community events and class choices than before. Our sports have grown in such a positive and exciting way, and I love how the daily life at Tandem Friends is so well documented and shared." 

    Mary shared some favorite then and now memories: “It was my sophomore year and the Upper School had just finished a "Silent Meeting." We got into a large circle and joined hands. It got quiet and just when it was about to be that moment where we squeezed hands and went on our way, a senior sang out the first line to "Joy to the World" followed by everyone singing that song, then laughter and smiles. It was one of those moments, along with art classes with Pru, field hockey with Catherine, John Davis, music on the back porch, English classes on Carter Mountain, theater, dancing with Cricket - those things that always bring a smile to my face when I walk around campus now as an adult. My first year working here, I completely forgot it was Senior Prank Day. I was thinking, "oh no, they are totally going to get me.  When I opened the door I found rose petals, a student playing music, and a cheese tray. The students had decided to "unprank" me and serenade me instead.” 

    Mary shared one thing that has surprised her - “As an adult, I fully understand why Tom O'Connor enforced the "always wear your shoes rule!"

    Monica Johnson (TFS '04) joined us last year as a part-time counselor. As a licensed clinical social worker with an MSW in Social Work, she’s a great source of mental health information, support and positivity for our families; she’s also wowed our students talking about her strongman training. 

    Sampson Dale (TFS MS), who attended Middle School at Tandem, joined this year to coach varsity boys basketball and Middle School volleyball (which had 29 team members!). Sam owns the Sam Dale Academy, which promotes high quality health practice and elite basketball training in the Central Virginia area. Sam was a college basketball player, played on the professional USA Select Travel Team in 2016, and is a USA Basketball Certified Coach with over eleven years experience. 

    Our current Board of Trustees is co-chaired by Tandem alum Jake Minturn (TFS ‘03) who has served on the board since 2016. Jake is an Account Manager for the design agency, Journey Group, where he works with humanitarian and higher education institutions. Prior to his work with Journey Group, Jake worked in advancement communications at the University of Virginia, first as the Director of Digital Media at the UVA Alumni Association and then as the Director of Communications for the Curry School of Education Foundation. 

    Margaret McNett Burruss (TFS ‘93) joined the board of trustees in 2017. Margaret has a professional background as a business and systems analyst in addition to more than 15 years’ experience in nonprofit management. She most recently served as the first Executive Director of Charlottesville’s Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry from 2013–16, during a period of dramatic growth for the organization. Prior to joining Loaves & Fishes, Margaret worked for 11 years as an associate director with China Harvest, a non-profit providing humanitarian and other assistance to the poor and underserved in China.

    Margaret shared some insights into her post-Tandem life. "I've had a long eclectic career, and throughout it blended technical knowledge with an ability to write and communicate. I found a niche bringing together skills that many consider mutually exclusive, such as computer programming and English prose, she shared. “From a young age, I hated being pigeonholed. What drew me to Tandem was the ability to fully explore my many interests. I was very interested in the arts - and explored drawing, ceramics, printmaking, drama and creative writing. But I also enjoyed math and took my first computer class (BASIC programming), and in college switched majors to what was then called Management Information Systems. It was my exposure to computer technology at Tandem back in the early 80's that opened my mind to the possibilities that computer technology offered.” 

    What drew her back to Tandem? "The longer I live the more I realize how important a Tandem education is," she explained. “It's not that Tandem molded me; rather, it helped me uncover propensities and potentialities that were already there. It fostered my natural curiosity and wonder at the world around me. Teachers encouraged questioning and inquiry, which has made me the person I am today - still learning and still growing after all these years. Our world needs to have this kind of education available, and so I decided to serve on the board to do my part to help the school continue to thrive.” 

    What remains the same at Tandem? For Margaret, “The one that stands out is the value of inquiry and questioning in the learning process. Education may require a foundation of facts and figures, but transformational learning happens when we are willing to question what we know and ask "Why?", "How?", and even "Really?"  Tandem still does that which is why I'm serving on the board so that a Tandem education will continue to be available to future generations of learners." And finally, Margaret shared her best Tandem memories, “Being in the art room - it was a safe space for us. The art program, and ceramics in particular, became a lifeline.” Now she loves hearing the words of graduating students during graduation. “It's clear that Tandem has helped them find their voice,” she says.

    Seth Pates (TFS ‘06) joined the Board of Trustees in 2018. A certified public accountant, Seth currently works in tax consulting and compliance at McCallum & Kudravetz in Charlottesville, and previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Northern Virginia for financial services sector clients. Prior to joining the board, Seth served as a non-trustee member of the board’s finance committee. 

    Katherine Smith Meyer (TFS ‘83) joined the board in 2019. Kit has a professional background in facilities and landscape architecture and is currently employed as Senior Project Manager for UVA’s Facilities Planning and Construction. Kit has been involved with multiple large-scale projects at the University, including the recently announced Alderman Library $160 million renewal.

    We are so lucky to have the wisdom, experience, and passion for Tandem Friends that our alum board members bring to the table.
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  • Tandem Counselor Finishes Second in Strongman Nationals

    Tandem counselor (and alum!) Monica Johnson (TFS '04) competed in Davenport, Iowa on October 4-5 at Strongman Corporation nationals. She finished 2nd overall for heavyweight women (her 2nd nationals ever) and officially earned her Pro card!!! Highlight outside of getting her pro card? She carryied 540 lbs. 60 feet on her back in 9.66 seconds! Wow!
    If you want to hear more about her competition, her overall life (including how she prepared and persevered as well as the impact Tandem has had on her life) you can listen to an interview she did with “I Love Cville” at the link What’s next for her? Her last amateur competition (the amateur world championship) will be at the Arnold sports festival in Columbus, Ohio in March. 

    Way to go, Monica! When she says she has your back she really means it!
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  • STEAM Team Competes at Renaissance School

    A Middle School team comprised of 8th graders Kaia Caduff, Josie Fischman, Solly Goluboff-Schragger, Charlie Kalnite, Emi Murphy and Maisie Whiting (and mentored by science teacher Christine Putnam) competed in the Renaissance School STEAM Challenge on November 1. The STEAM challenge for area Middle School students was to create a campaign to reduce waste through better recycling and composting practices at their school. Tandem's team, six members of Tandem Earth, spent the morning doing science experiments to learn how to distinguish various types of plastics. Next, they brainstormed ideas for a campaign logo. Then they looked at statistics and crunched numbers to determine the cost of transporting recyclable materials to the recycling center. Finally, they enjoyed a pizza lunch and made plans to implement their campaign. Students have an opportunity to win $100 and to showcase their work at the Art and Science Show in May. Results are yet TBD.
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  • Tandem Enters its 50th Year!

    What we are striving to build is a school where children truly learn - about themselves and the world, about the relationships between past, present and future. - John Howard & Duncan Alling in the original prospectus of the Tandem School

    This fall marks the beginning of Tandem’s 50th year as a well-loved and respected independent school in our community, and the celebration will be building as we head further into this year and next. There is much brainstorming underway, and committees are being formed to ensure that we look at this year through the lens of our 50th anniversary, that we partner with community events and outside organizations in our celebration, that we plan fun and appropriate events and reunions, that we uncover and showcase Tandem history, and that we publicize our 50th-anniversary activities to celebrate our presence in the community. While there may be some anniversary events later in the spring, the main event will be held in fall of 2020. A 50th anniversary logo will soon be revealed, one that honors our past while pointing to Tandem’s future. It’s an exciting time to be at Tandem Friends School, and we hope to engage many alumni, past parents, past faculty/staff/trustees, and friends in our recollections, reflections, and celebrations.

    It’s remarkable to reflect back on the beginnings of this life-changing school, which opened its doors in 1970 and graduated its first class of seniors in 1973. In a 1993 In Tandem newsletter, John Howard recalled how Tandem came to be. 

    In the spring of 1968, Duncan Alling, who was then Director of Admissions at Blair Academy in New Jersey, stopped by Lawrenceville School where I was an Assistant Dean of Students. “Why don’t we start a school in Charlottesville?” said Duncan. “Sure,” I thought, “and why don’t we learn to fly helicopters.” But as the months went by, I began to give the idea serious thought….The next thing I knew it was September 1970, and Tandem was opening with twenty two students in grades 9 and 10. We had a Board of Trustees...we had a lab and two playing fields and a library and a curriculum and very little money. But as Duncan said, we were pioneers. Pioneers didn’t need much money.
    Watch for exciting 50th anniversary updates and invitations!
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  • 2019-2024 Strategic Plan Announced

    In the Fall of 2017, the Board of Trustees, in conjunction with Tandem’s Head of School, initiated a strategic planning process. We took our time to do it right, devoting two years to the process. We’re very proud to share the product of all this strategic thinking and believe our plan will move Tandem Friends School forward in new and exciting ways, while maintaining its core strengths and foundational elements. We believe this plan both leverages the many strengths of the school and will help propel us into the future, as we enter our next 50 years as a beloved Charlottesville educational institution.

    Songwriter Harlan Howard is quoted as noting: “The essence of a good country song is three chords . . . and the truth.” In that vein, we created a brochure that serves as a shorter,“country song version” of the strategic plan, outlining Tandem Friends’ strategic priorities for its next five years. If you would like to review the brochure, the full plan, or more information about how the plan was created, you can find that at

    In year one of the process, we actively involved all constituencies—including past and present parents, alums, faculty and staff, members of the Charlottesville Friends Meeting, students, trustees, and other supporters. We focused initially on Educational Program, kicking off with broadly inclusive community sessions facilitated by Drew Smith, Executive Director of the Friends Council on Education. We identified broad goals for Educational Program and further refined the areas we would study next. 

    In year two, we engaged a seasoned consultant, Ginny Christensen of Strategy for Growth, LLC, who brought additional experience with both Friends education and strategic planning. We created multiple opportunities for written and in-person reflection, and sought out the ideas of many people to ensure that we had solid information about our strengths, as well as what community members wished to see in Tandem Friends School’s future. We ultimately convened seven working groups, composed of truly impressive experts from every constituency in Tandem’s community, to propose recommendations that formed the basis of our final plan. 

    In early October, we held a Strategic Plan Highlights event to thank members of the Tandem Friends School community for their help with the strategic planning process, present the high-level priorities in our new strategic plan, and provide some examples of what you will be seeing at school as we move from planning to implementation.
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  • Fall All-Conference Honors Plentiful

    Tandem's fall varsity student athletes (and coaches) received many All-Conference (Delaney Athletic Conference) honors this season:

    On the boys varsity soccer team, senior Josh Warren was named Co-Player of the Year; 1st Team honors went to senior Matthew McCullough, junior Ford Scott, sophomores Patrick Jabalee-Farrell and Dylan Peifer, and freshmen Parker Lerman and Jaden Reynolds. Coach Nate Adkins was named Co-Coach of the Year. 

    The varsity volleyball team earned 1st Team honors for junior Julia Dailey and freshmen Talia Smith and Anna Warren. 2nd Team honors went to senior Elyse Jabalee-Farrell and Honorable Mention went to junior Stella Lane. Coach Brandon Edwards was named Co-Coach of the Year.

    Varsity cross country honors went to junior Mason Love as DAC Runner of the Year; All-Conference honors went to seniors Meridith Frazee (all conference for her fifth straight season) and Nathan Stevenson, juniors Sophie Farr, Mason Love, and Mario Pepper, and 8th grader Charlie Kalnite.
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  • Fall Sports 2019 Wrapup

    It was a big fall season for Tandem sports, culminating in both our varsity boys soccer team and our volleyball team hosting and playing in the DAC tournament campionship games. With seven fall teams, more than half of our Upper Schoolers were playing a fall sport, as well as over fifty of our Middle Schoolers. Here's how our teams fared this season:
    • MS boys soccer had a 4-7 season that included some big wins over Waldorf and Peabody; they finished with a 4-2 win over Peabody in a very rainy game.

    • MS volleyball had 29 players this year and a brand new coach in Sampson Dale (who attended Tandem himself as a Middle Schooler). Sam divided the girls into two complete teams that took turns playing the scheduled games. It was a great building year, and there were big wins over STAB and Charlottesville Catholic.

    • MS cross country ran in three meets this season, hosting one themselves. They were an enthusiastic and devoted group and showed continued improvement over the season with great coaching and student leadership by 8th grader Charlie Kalnite.

    • JV volleyball played a split season, winning half of their games and really focusing on skill building. Comprised of 7th-10th graders, they had exciting wins over local rivals Miller and STAB.

    • The varsity boys soccer team finished up as regular season DAC champions with an overall record of 10-3-4. Despite a hard-fought finals match played on the Monticello HS turf field, the boys played to a tie, then lost 2-3 in a sudden death overtime. All-Conference honors were plentiful: senior Josh Warren was named Co-Player of the Year; 1st Team honors went to senior Matthew McCullough, junior Ford Scott, sophomores Patrick Jabalee-Farrell and Dylan Peifer, and freshmen Parker Lerman and Jaden Reynolds. Coach Nate Adkins was named Co-Coach of the Year. 

    • The varsity volleyball team finished as DAC regular season champions and earned 13th place in the state with an 18-5 overall record. They beat Quantico 3-0 in the semifinals of the conference tournament but lost to Chelsea Academy in a challenging finals match. It was a great season and there were many all-conference honors shared: 1st Team honors went to junior Julia Dailey and freshmen Talia Smith and Anna Warren. 2nd Team honors went to senior Elyse Jabalee-Farrell and Honorable Mention went to junior Stella Lane. Coach Brandon Edwards was named Co-Coach of the Year.

    • Varsity cross country had a great season, breaking personal records at almost every meet. At the DAC conference championship meet, the boys team ended up second in the conference (with Mason and Nathan coming in first and second in the race), with our girls team coming in fourth. We had lots of All-Conference honors: junior Mason Love was named DAC Runner of the Year; All-Conference honors went to seniors Meridith Frazee (all conference for her fifth straight season) and Nathan Stevenson, juniors Sophie Farr, Mason Love, and Mario Pepper, and 8th grader Charlie Kalnite. The team competes in the state meet on November 7 at Pole Green Park. 
    What a season for Tandem fall sports!
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  • Music Department Offers Something for Everyone at Tandem

    Tandem offers music classes to students of all ages and abilities, taught by Tandem music teachers Mark Goldstein (grades 7-12) and new teacher Cameron Pampus (grades 5-6). With classes from grade-level Middle School bands to Acoustic Music, Rock Band, Jazz Ensemble, Music Theory/Keyboarding and more, there literally are class and performance opportunities for everyone. Even parents, faculty and alums are welcome to perform with the community Quaker Notes a capella group.
    • 5th graders take a semester of music in the spring, focusing on rhythm, percussion, basic music theory and some singing. They begin using new instruments, including Orff (xylophone and metallophone) and work on connecting as a group. In the fall, students may learn songs to incorporate into their drama performance as well.
    • 6th graders continue to build on music theory, notation reading and working as an ensemble. The grade is split into two classes, each of which works on performance pieces, and play instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and Orff. They work vocals into each of their songs.
    • 7th graders take one semester of music (half of the grade each semester) to focus on cohesion - listening to each other as a group with varying musical experience and trying to focus on working well together with percussion, harmonic instruments and vocals. They select their own material and work with their instructor on the arrangements.
    • 8th graders get to choose each spring between classes in visual arts, music or drama (in the fall they choose between Musical Theatre and Visual Arts). The music students form an 8th Grade Rock Band, continuing the process of working as an ensemble, choosing and arranging their music to fit group skill levels.
    There are many options for Upper School music electives as well:
    • Acoustic Music is centered around learning and playing Bluegrass, folk and roots-type music and mastering the necessary instruments and vocal styles that accompany those genres.
    • Jazz Ensemble students focus on arranging, jazz theory, and group dynamics as they learn jazz pieces of different styles and sometimes create their own.
    • Rock Band students focus on arranging and group dynamics as they learn various rock standards and sometimes create their own.
    • Music Theory & Keyboarding, a spring class, provides students a sense of scales and chord progressions. As students listen to songs and analyze them, the way they listen to music changes.

    • Blips, Bleeps and Beats students work on listening to, analyzing and recording electronic music tracks with a focus on rhythm, harmony and melody (using drum beat, bass lines, and lead vocals). They work to build a portfolio of collaborative and individual works.
    Performance opportunities abound, with open mic performances during Speaker Series, a Winter Concert, our Tandemonium arts showcase, the Spring Concert, our Mother’s Day Music Festival and more. It’s a great time to be into music at Tandem Friends.
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  • Meet Our New Athletic Director

    Tandem's new Athletic Director, Brandon Edwards, is not a new face to Tandem or to sports. He came to Tandem in November of 2016 to serve as our Admissions Director, quickly becoming a valued member of staff as well as a beloved volleyball and track coach. Brandon had been working at Randolph College in Lynchburg where he served as the Assistant Admissions Director. 

    Brandon jumped right into the AD job this summer, quickly taking over the scheduling, hiring of coaches and encouraging of athletes of all ages. He brings a joyful enthusiasm to the job and has some great overall goals for the program in mind. He would really like to see a higher emphasis on athletic development of players and teams. He knows that communication is vital to the success of every season, and plans to encourage evaluation of individual players, coaches and programs to ensure growth.

    Brandon earned a BA in Religious Studies and Psychology from Lynchburg College and holds an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lynchburg College. He was a varsity Track and Field athlete in college - a sprinter, a jumper and a hurdler. He was a three-sport athlete in high school (Faquier High School), playing football, basketball and track and certainly knows the academic and physical challenges that come with being a busy multi-sport student athlete.

    For Brandon, the Athletic Director job combines his deep passion for sports with the ability to make a difference in the lives of our student athletes, who look to him as a role model for advice, support and encouragement.
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  • 5th Grade Putting Together A Midsummer Night's Dream Under the Sea

    This year's 5th grade is hard at work memorizing their lines for A Midsummer Night's Dream Under the Sea, their retelling of the classic Shakespeare comedy, for a December 6 evening performance (with a special show just for Tandem students as well). Director Lydia Horan, the Middle School drama teacher, guides the 5th grade each year in staging this favorite Shakespeare comedy, always placing it in a unique setting or time period. They really immerse themselves in the language and the themes of the show and even trek to Staunton to see a Shakespeare production at The American Shakespeare Center. Horan is an expert on this play, and took a recent semester off to write a book about using A Midsummer Night's Dream as a teaching tool for this age group specifically.

    This year's show is staged at and under the sea. As Horan explains, "A Midsummer Night's Dream Under the Sea is a fun choice for a setting because the mortals in the play deal with their conflicts at a colonial seaport and beach, while unbeknownst to them there are immortal sea spirits and creatures lurking in the ocean fighting and playing pranks. The worlds collide in Shakespeare's play and all is brought to a happy end, but not before Bottom turns into a pirate donkey, Titania the mermaid falls in love with him, and the mortal lovers are mistakenly pranked by Puck, wreaking all kinds of havoc on their relationships. The rude mechanicals, seafaring craftsmen who help with shipbuilding and more, find interesting ways to tell the story of Pyramus and Thisby in their play within the play by the sea." 

    Tandem students performed the play in  this setting once before when last year's senior class of 2019 was in fifth grade!

    Tickets for the December 6 performance are free and will be available at the door.
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  • 8th Grade Musical Theatre Class Hard at Work on Mary Poppins

    This semester's 8th grade Musical Theatre class is hard at work on their production of the beloved musical Mary Poppins. This version stays a bit truer to the P.L. Travers book, with a script written by Julian Fellowes, more famous recently for writing the hit Downton Abbey series. The musical,  with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, contains the songs we all know and love from the 1964 Disney movie featuring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke, songs like 'Feed the Birds,' 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,' 'A Spoonful of Sugar', 'Let's Go Fly a Kite' and more. This stage production, which won many awards on both the London and NYC theatre stages, is especially entertaining as it calls in some of the darker elements of the original story while adding some wonderful new songs to the mix.

    Why Mary Poppins? Director and Middle School drama teacher Lydia Horan says it's "because we need a little magic in our lives right now! And because it centers on the importance of the family unit and spending precious time with our children. It's about a family that's off kilter and needs a little help or magic to center them. The father in particular, Mr. Banks, goes through a personal journey and with the help of Mary Poppins realizes he needs to focus his energy on being there for his wife and children. This show is filled with fun dance numbers and iconic songs from my childhood. It's beloved by so many people, you really can't go wrong. And with a stellar cast of Tandem 8th graders, it's 'practically perfect in every way.'"  

    The Musical Theatre class, not the entire grade as in past years, is putting on the show, as 8th graders now choose between Musical Theatre and an art or music class, and must write an essay explaining why they want to take the Musical Theatre class to be considered. It's made staging more manageable and every student in the production is delighted to be there and passionate about performing.

    Director Horan, who auditioned the 18 students at the start of the year, works with them in daily classes. Upper School drama teacher Perry Medlin is choreographing the show, which features some pretty high-stepping numbers. A handful of after-school rehearsals will pull the show together before it opens.

    The show plays for three performances November 21-23, all at 7pm in the Community Hall.
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  • Ti Ames (TFS '13) Returns to Share Their Story

    Our Speaker Series today brought us a beloved alum speaker. Ti Ames, TFS ‘13, talked about their life’s journey from TFS to Oberlin and into adulthood.  Over that journey, Ti said they had begun to truly understand the Quaker values of peace and community and the importance of finding your light.  Ti currently directs productions in Charlottesville, most recently Rent at Live Arts and works as an acting consultant and coach with their business Sankofa Consulting. 

    Ti gave us all some powerful advice, saying: "So I end with this:  Tandem taught me to speak up, but life continues to teach me to speak true. I am just as grateful for the light and abundance as I am for the lows and the tears.  I truly believe that everything does happen for a reason.  I don't regret my journey thus far by any means and will continue to find what makes me happy, what leads me in light.  Find your light, I promise it's there.  It just takes a little living."

    We were also treated to a wonderful song from Ti to close out the event
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  • Upper School Attends Powerful Film

    On October 23, the entire Tandem Friends Upper School attended The Virginia Film Festival's school screening of the acclaimed documentary True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality. Stevenson, an important activist and changemaker, is a person who has embodied the Friends charge to let his life speak. The film screening was followed by a panel discussion and more powerful (and what will be ongoing) conversations by grade back at school about these important themes of justice and equality. We're glad our students had this opportunity and that Tandem is a place where we choose to lean into necessary conversations about the complex challenges that face our society. Students also watched this Ted Talk by Stevenson.
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  • 5th Graders Launch 'Symbolic' Monarch Butterflies

    The fifth grade has been working through Journey North to study butterfly migration. As part of their studies, they created one large monarch butterfly out of paper and a series of small origami monarch butterflies. As the finale to their project, they mailed the large monarch to students in Mexico, where monarchs go in the south migration, along with a note in Spanish. The smaller origami butterflies were sent to other students in the US. The 5th grade posted the sending of their Symbolic Monarchs on Journey North and that can be found live at In the spring, when monarchs begin migrating north, our students will receive symbolic butterflies from around the country as well.
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  • 8th Grade Studies Automotive Safety

    The 8th grade visited the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety outside of Ruckersville on Monday. They were given a tour of the facility by current parent Pini Kalnite. Students learned about key safety design features and how they are tested. Even though they did not get to see a test car crash, they saw several crashed cars on display and learned how the institute supports innovations in car safety. Back at TFS, the 8th graders have been busy working on their own car designs to protect their passenger (an egg) in a car made from two sheets of paper and two feet of masking tape as it flies down a ramp into a cinder block. It is amazing to see firsthand the effectiveness of a good restraint (seat belt) and crumple zone.  
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  • Mosaic Day Brings Opportunities for Learning and Service

    In the parlance of Tandem’s color-day schedule, Mosaic Days refer to special days when we make time for special opportunities. The first of those for this year was October 16 and all grades took part to one degree or another. 
    • Fifth and sixth graders held regular classes in the morning. The 5th learned about hexaflexagons in the afternoon and then enjoyed a fun movie; the 6th grade watched The Prince of Egypt as part of their Egyptian studies in geography (rain cancelled their outdoor plans). 
    • 7th grade spent the morning visiting the children at the Barrett Early Learning Center and learning about this Charlottesville landmark. They spent time reading and playing with preschoolers. One group read The Most Magnificent Thing, a story about an inventor and an assistant who work together to create something great. This is what the preschoolers did together, with their Tandem buddies assisting in making an imaginative contraption out of recycled bits and pieces. The other group read Pete the Cat and colored a picture of a white shoe inspired by the book. They spent the afternoon with 8th graders on a service project (see below).
    • The 8th grade spent the morning filming a musical video “Thank You” to send to the 8th grade students and faculty at Friends Select School, who hosted the 8s while they were in Philadelphia last month. The video included complicated choreography and some tricky lip syncing. After lunch, both 7th and 8th grades walked around the corner to Cale Elementary where the 8s reunited with young buddies they made last year and 7th graders met their second grade Cale buddies for the first time. On this visit, they spent time playing games and getting acquainted. Students will stay in touch through regular letter writing and periodic visits, and it’s great to see these relationships deepen over time.  
    • 9th graders spent the morning learning about the Navajo Code Talkers to continue their understanding of perspective and culture. Then they spent some time using the Question Formulation Technique to develop individual research questions for their Cost of Convenience project. In the afternoon, they visited UVA’s Fralin Art Museum to look at the photography of Maria Varela, which continues their work with perspective and finding voice for different groups of people.  
    • 10th and 11th graders spent the morning taking the required PSAT, then spent the afternoon in stress-free activity options that involved art, karaoke, games, walking and a study hall.
    • Seniors spent the morning with volunteers, including Pastor Isaac, who has visited before, who taught them about immigration issues in Charlottesville, along with some information on issues surrounding immigration at the US southern border. They also brainstormed about future service projects they might like to undertake. Their afternoon involved Meeting for Worship/Query along with some much-needed study and Senior Project time.
    It was a colorful Mosaic Day for all.
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  • Upper School Drama Presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

    The Tandem Friends Upper School Drama program will present The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); there will be three performances of the show November 1-3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield (former founding members of Reduced Shakespeare Company) and parodies the plays of William Shakespeare as they are performed in hilariously shortened/combined form by a small cast. Actors speak directly to the audience and some audience participation is involved. No two performances are ever exactly alike; improvisation is encouraged.

    Perry Medlin directs Tandem's talented cast, comprised of students Abri Roberts-Kedes, Jonathan Scholl, Dasiy Schult, Julian Macalister, Mia Goodbar, Dylan Peifer, and Grace Wagner. It promises to be great fun!

    Performances of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) will be held in the Tandem Friends Community Hall at 7pm on November 1 and November 2, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday, November 3. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors; they can be reserved by calling 434-296-1030 x0. Tickets are also available at the door beginning thirty minutes prior to curtain.  Share this event on Facebook or invite a friend.
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  • Tandem Alum's Band Makes National TV Debut

    Tandem alum Suzanne Zito Slezak (TFS '99 - daughter of David Slezak) and her husband David Wax, who perform as the band David Wax Museum, just filmed their national TV debut. They appeared on CBS Saturday Morning on October 5 to perform songs from their new album, Line of Light. They performed three songs in the last 15 minutes of the show. If you missed the show, here are the videos of them performing:

    Equal in the Darkness
    Uncover the Gold
    Big Sur

    Since the broadcast last weekend, their new album, Line of Light, reached #1 on Amazon's Movers & Shakers and jumped to #77 on iTunes top albums! Purchase Line of Light here. Check out their upcoming tour dates and locations here.

    David Wax Museum has given back to the Tandem community many times, performing at Speaker Series, Quaker Youth Leadership Conference, Mother's Day Music Festival and more. We're always so happy to have them return to their Tandem and Charlottesville homes. Way to go, Suz and David!

    David Wax Museum will be playing on New Year's Eve at The Southern in Charlottesville!
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  • Varsity Volleyball at Top of Game

    Our varsity volleyball team is having a fabulous season and is currently ranked #10 in the state in the most recent VISAA poll and seated #1 in the Delaney Athletic Conference. Last week, they defeated cross-town rival STAB 3-2 and made the local news - check it out here. They then crushed both Foxcroft and Blue Ridge Christian School 3-0, leaving Tandem with a 15-3 season record to date. Coach Brandon couldn't be prouder. Check out some great video footage of the Blue Ridge Christian School game here - and catch one of their upcoming home games in the gym to cheer on this great squad!
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  • Photo by Emily Sajewski of FCNL

    7th Graders Lobby for Climate Change, Students Attend Climate Strike

    During our 7th grade's trip to Washington, DC, the students worked with The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) to learn how best to share their ideas and lobby their local representative (Riggleman, VA-5) to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group that is committed to working together to advance climate change solutions. Students had come prepared with many facts and details about energy tax credits and sea level rise that impressed the FCNL staffers as they guided their efforts. While the students were not able to meet with their congressman in person, they spent time at the capitol with his aides, presenting their asks and lobbying the staff. The students did an amazing job communicating their concerns. As a result, they were instrumental in convincing their representative to join the Climate Solutions Caucus. He wrote them a letter that said, "...I have enjoyed reading the letters you all wrote addressing your concerns regarding climate issues throughout the country. You may be happy to hear that per your request, I have become a member of the Congressional Climate Solutions Caucus. I look forward to addressing climate solutions in bipartisan way." He added that he hopes to visit the students at Tandem soon. 

    Our 7th graders made a huge impact and inspired the FCNL staffers who worked with them - check out what Alicia Cannon, one of the FCNL staff members, had to say about that experience, and the difference their young voices made in swaying their representative.

    They were also included in FCNL's monthly newsletter - Inside the Greenhouse - a monthly publication about FCNL’s environmental work. Check out the mention here - our students are included under Constituent Spotlight at the bottom.

    In other climate change news, our 6th graders and over 50 Upper Schoolers attended the Youth Climate Strike in downtown Charlottesville on September 20. The 6th graders spent time in the morning making signs, and were met with great cheers as they arrived just as the marchers were rounding the corner and passing them. It made us proud to have so many Tandem students and parents in the crowd (we even ran into past parents and past faculty), and even prouder of the SIX 6th graders who stood up and spoke in front of the crowd
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  • Two Upper Schoolers Selected to Join Heyer Voices

    Tandem juniors Leah Gunnoe and Suraya Whynott applied to and have been selected to be participants in Heyer Voices, a local nonprofit founded to "support Charlottesville area youth (high school juniors and seniors) to: 1. Cultivate self-awareness, empowerment, and skillfulness to change the world from “the inside out.” 2. Develop and implement innovative projects using non-violent direct-action." Heyer Voices is part of The Heather Heyer Foundation, which was created in response to the death of Heather Heyer to "support young people in their pursuit of social justice and unity." Leah and Suraya will be attending workshops and planning innovative and empowering projects for several months, with a final December capstone event. Heyer Voices is lucky to have two young Tandem leaders join their organization - we know they will put what they learn to work as they help create a better world. Well done, Leah and Suraya.
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  • Middle School Experience Week 2019 Full of Adventures

    Our Middle School Experience Week 2019 was held from September 17-20 and our younger students had some great adventures:
    • 5th graders took a trip to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton and visited UVA's Fralin Museum to participate in The Writer's Eye program.

    • 6th graders took a day trip to Richmond, visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Maymont Park on a glorious day, then visited UVA's Fralin Museum to participate in The Writer's Eye program.

    • 7th graders visited local Jefferson School, then took the train to Washington, DC for history sightseeing, meaningful community service, and a chance to learn about lobbying from the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FNCL). They enjoyed the National Portrait Gallery and got to visit the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as other great sites.

    • 8th graders bussed to Philadelphia to stay at Friends Select School where they enjoyed a meeting for worship, service work, a tour of downtown murals and more with students there. They visited historic American and Quaker history sites such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, the African American Museum, the Basilica, Reading Terminal and more. They even attended a musical, visited Eastern State Penitentiary, and snagged a Rocky photo opp.
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  • Upper School Experience Week 2019 Great Success

    Upper School Experience Week 2019 took place September 9-13 at Tandem Friends. During Experience Week, each grade enjoys class bonding activities and experiential education at the same time.
    • Our 9th graders traveled by car to the Tsali National Forest in North Carolina. From there, they studied Cherokee culture, Appalachian arts, and music as they camped, hiked, performed community service work, learned traditional skills like flint knapping, basketweaving and pottery making, explored historic and spiritually significant local sites, and cooked their own meals around the campfire.

    • Our 10th grade visited Baltimore, where they toured historic Baltimore, explored the Inner Harbor, and performed service work with Friends School of Baltimore, where they stayed. Their jaunts included visits to the McKim Community Center, the Jewish Museum, the Lewis Museum, and Fells Point. They also enjoyed a bbq dinner with students from Friends School of Baltimore.

    • Our 11th graders flew together to the Black Hills of South Dakota, where they stayed on Borderlands Ranch and Retreat Center, experiencing the land and culture of the Lakota, visiting Pine Ridge Reservation and Wounded Knee, and immersing in the heartland as they hiked and explored historic and spiritually significant sites such as Wounded Knee, Bear Butte, and Flag Mountain. It's always a life-altering trip for students and faculty chaperones alike.

    • Our seniors remain on campus for Senior Project brainstorming and guided focus on the college application process (college list, essay topics, and Common Apps are the main items of business), with a few local activities included for fun. This year they enjoyed a Meeting for Worship at Charlottesville Friends Meeting, took on the Cville Escape Rooms and payed a visit to Grand Caverns that included a relaxing picnic. By week's end, most had a college list underway, a Common Application mostly completed, and the beginnings of a Senior Project in process.
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  • Tandem Alum Rows to Bronze Medal in Paralympics

    Congratulations to Tandem alum Pearl Outlaw (TFS '16) and her rowing partner Josh Boissoneau, who recently earned a Bronze medal for the United States at the Paralympic World Rowing Championships in Austria. Read all about it here. Pearl, who is partially blind, rows for Ithaca College, where she is a senior. Last year, she and her partner qualified for the Paralympics as well, placing fifth. At the national trials before this year's competition, they shaved 20 seconds off their personal record, so they knew they were going to be in the running for a great finish.

    Pearl began rowing in high school at the suggestion of Janet Legro, then Tandem’s Director of Spiritual Life, who invited students to try an early morning row. Pearl took her up on it and was hooked, then rowed for a local team during high school. 

    Check out a lengthy C-ville Weekly article about Pearl and her competitive spirit here.
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  • 5th Graders Consider Water and Cohesion

    During the second week of school, the 5th grade added almost 500 pennies to a bucket filled to the brim with water and it still didn’t spill! They will continue with mini versions of the experiment with partners to continue testing the water’s cohesion.
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  • Faculty/Staff Art Show in Blue Room

    Tandem art teachers Julia Sapir (Middle School) and Susan Brodie (Upper School) have gathered faculty/staff art to showcase in a start-of-the-year Faculty Art Show in the Blue Room. There are paintings, fiber art, photos, ceramics and more, all created by Tandem faculty/staff. The show will be on display through September Take a peek at a few photos here - come check the artwork out in person.
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  • Cross Country Starts the Season Strong

    Our varsity cross country team ran in the Ragged Mountain Cup at local Panorama Farm on Tuesday, August 27 to great results. Coach Jason reports: "The season has officially started. It’s always special to begin our year at the Ragged Mountain Cup. It’s the only time all the local public and private schools compete against each other. Mason and Nathan cracked the top 20 (Mason 11th/Nathan 16th). 8th grader Charlie K finished 7th in the open race and lots of kids ran in their first meet ever." Way to go, Badgers!
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  • Mega Tessa

    6th Graders Use Ratio to Create Mega Me

    Our sixth grade math students have been studying ratio for the past month or two, and put it to use in a great project. Each class first made 'mini mes' by measuring themselves in centimeters to make half-sized and 1/10th-sized replicas of themselves and families. They then went the other direction to create 'mega me' creations that were five times the normal size. One student from each class was turned into a Mega Me to the tune of seven meters tall, with all students working together to measure, draw and paint the finished creations. Take a look at Mega Izzy and Mega Tessa!
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  • Science Olympiad Team Heads to State Competition

    The state Science Olympiad tournament is Saturday, March 23 and and fourteen young Tandem scientists qualified to be there, participating in the high school (Division C) tournament. The tournament is being held at UVA and our teams' homeroom is Maury Hall, Room 104. As with the regional tournament, most of the events are closed door but the following events are open to spectators (the times listed are when TFS students will be presenting their devices):
    • Mission Possible - 10:25am
    • Mousetrap Vehicle - 11:50am
    • Wright Stuff - 1:00pm
    • Boomilever - 3:20pm
    Tandem's C9 team roster includes: Jimmy Z., Ethan B., Leah G., Daisy S., Ford S., Sophie S., Olivia B., Jack C., Jonathan S., Beth Anne S., Nathan S., Josh W., Adam Z., and Kyle Y. Tandem's Science Olympiad coaches are Alex Siragy and Doug Brown.

    Good luck, Team C9!
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  • Fencing Fundraiser - Students Raise Money for Oglala Lakota College

    As part of TFS fundraising for Oglala Lakota College, senior Harriet Caplin organized and ran the second annual Oglala Challenge on Saturday, March 9. This team fencing event attracted fencers from all over the county, including Tandem fencers Linwood Bailey and Orro Bowers as well as Julia Bailey and Maisie Fischman. Athletes will be collecting pledges for every touch scored to add to the over $500 already raised. The day was a lot of fun, filled with great teamwork, sportsmanship and friends. Special thanks to Solomon and Al for the facilities support!
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  • Student-Led Teach-In Day a Great Success

    On Thursday, March 14, Tandem 8th graders and Upper Schoolers participated in a student-led teach-in day that focused on climate change and ways we can help. Each year, the Friends Council students, led by the seniors on the committee, plan and execute a full day of learning on a Quaker values-based topic. The day began with the entire group watching the documentary Before the Flood, followed by grade-based discussion groups about the film that were led by students. After lunch, students broke into smaller groups to participate in workshops - the first workshops offered were presented by guests:
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  • The World Peace Game Board

    5th Graders Engaged in World Peace Game

    Tandem 5th graders are currently participating in a life-changing experiential learning activity as they take on John Hunter's World Peace Game. The World Peace Game was designed by local educator Hunter (also a parent of a Tandem alum) as "a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As “nation teams,” students will gain greater understanding of the critical impact of information and how it is used." 

    Tandem 5th grade teachers Matt Caduff and Carolena Saunders attended World Peace Game Facilitator training last summer, and Buildings & Grounds Manager Roger Bryant built the required three-tiered board for game play. Tandem 5th graders have been assigned world leadership roles and are playing the game over the course of several weeks of school. The students have been especially invested in global warming issues.

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  • 6th Graders Write Migration Stories

    Our 6th graders have been doing research on life in Afghanistan and Guatemala, then turning that research into migration stories of individuals or families migrating from there. Working in groups, they researched, created migrating 'characters' and turned their stories into short plays about the struggles their characters faced both at home and in a new country. They put the finishing touches on this week and shared their plays with the 5th grade as part of the most recent Mosaic Day.
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  • 7th Graders Create Math Games for Cale Pen Pals

    Our 7th graders have been interacting this year with kindergarden pen pals at nearby Cale Elementary School. Today, they visited and took math board games they designed. Here's what 7th grader Sofie Swift had to say about the day: 'This Friday, the Tandem seventh graders visited Cale Elementary School to see their younger pals. With them, they brought homemade math board games. They had various themes such as space, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. The little pals were delighted and had the best time.'
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  • Senior Project Season is Upon Us

    The 2019 Senior Project presentation seasonis upon us! Between March 11 and March 26, seniors will be presenting their projects during Community Time to the Senior Project Committee and the Upper School student community. Middle School students will join us during the Community Time project presentations on March 22. Parents and family are invited to attend any and all presentations. Each day, there will be three or four presentations running concurrently on campus. Students will give a formal presentation for approximately 20 minutes and then open the floor to a Q&A period. We’re looking forward to an inspiring three weeks! The daily schedule of presentations and locations can be accessed on the main website calendar beginning next week and will be updated as any changes occur. Always check the website calendar to be sure.
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  • Seniors Learn Basic Car Maintenance 'Life Skills'

    As part of an Advisory lesson this week, our seniors learned basic car maintenance from our Buildings and Grounds team members Solomon Banks, Roger Bryant and Travis Bryant. Using a teacher's car as a guinea pig, they learned to change a flat tire, jump a dead battery, check tire pressure, add fluids, and more. They also learned that Solomon, who has worked at Tandem for over 20 years, knows everything there is to know about cars. No question stumped him.
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  • Tandem Stream Cleanup Crew

    Tandem Earth Members Partner with Rivanna Conservation Alliance to Clean Up Stream; 5th Graders Clean Up Park

    Thanks to the Tandem Earth members (and faculty facilitator Christine Hirsh- Putnam) who came out to work on stream cleanup on Saturday, March 2! They collected loads of trash, including lamps, phones, discarded weightlifting weights, and scooters. It was organized with the Rivanna Conservation Alliance, a group that is responsible for lots of great upcoming events. Check out their website at and stay tuned for more cleanups (Tandem Earth members will likely attend their Earth Day cleanup) and TEC events (Invasive Plant Removal Day, with a date TBD). Nice work, Tandem Earth members!
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  • Megan at Tandem's retirement party for her mom, Pru, last summer

    Megan Huddleston (TFS '95)

    Megan Huddleston (TFS '95) has been learning the Hawaiian language, painting faces at local festivals and parties, and looking for a good book. Her relationship status? 'Looking for one! Someone funny, at least as tall as I am (without stilts), male, single…' 
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  • Ali Abdel-Rahman (TFS '16)

    Ali Abdel-Rahman (TFS '16) is a third-year Global Security and Justice major and English Minor at UVA. He has been on campus a lot lately serving as a member of a Strategic Planning Committee Working Group on Supporting our Internal Constituencies. Here's what Ali shared with us:
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  • Richard Alberle (TFS '73)

    Richard Aberle, '73, is a professor at SUNY Plattsburgh. He remains dedicated to his love of lacrosse and still carries some regret that we couldn't field a Tandem lacrosse team in the early 70's.

    Richard visited Charlottesville and the Tandem campus this summer and opined on the wisdom of Duncan Alling's basketball coaching style and John Howard's tenacity of allowing Richard to graduate but not attend graduation. Richard has coached many college basketball and lacrosse teams and now has accepted his destiny as his son's middle school basketball coach. Richard is also an English teacher and remembers the greatness of the UVA English teachers, Peter Taylor and Douglas Day, who sent their sons to Tandem with Richard.

    (from a conversation in front of the Main Building with LArry Goldstein, August 2018)
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  • Alums Return to Give College Advice

    In the January 11 Speaker Series, nine well-spoken, thoughtful recent alums came to share their wisdom about college with Upper Schoolers. They spoke eloquently about how and why they chose their schools, and gave great advice about how to settle in and find friends, and how to organize your time. They answered many student and faculty questions about what worked for them at Tandem and what's working for them in college. Five alums spoke to 9th and 10th graders together - Tommy White (TFS '16), Kiley Weeks (TFS '17), Levi Schult (TFS '17), Phoebe Schuyler (TFS '17), and Emma Passino (TFS '17). Four alums spoke to juniors and seniors together - Dylan McAuley (TFS '14), Aslan Urushanov (TFS '17), Zoe Bearinger (TFS '16), and Saunder Boyle (TFS '16). Many thanks to these alums for sharing their time and their wisdom. This annual Speaker Series is always a favorite.
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  • Andriana in the office space on campus that she shares with co-counselor Monica Johnson

    Andriana Hench - TFS ‘06 - Counselor at Tandem Friends

    What are you doing these days? I have my masters in Counseling and work for the Emergency Services Team at Region Ten in Charlottesville. We man the phones 24/7 for emergencies and provide support, consultations, hospital evaluations and make recommendations about involuntary treatment. We also provide crisis counseling. Often when people are in crisis things usually aren’t going well, so they are open to considering change. I love working with people at such a raw time when they might be ready to examine whether it's time to make a shift. I also work part time as a counselor at Tandem.
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  • Arwynne O'Neill (formerly McGlone) - TFS '91

    What are you doing these days? - I've been living in beautiful Vancouver, BC since 1996. I was actually born here but we moved before I turned three and I spent the first half of my life in the US. After college, I was living in Seattle and I came up to Vancouver for a weekend and fell madly in love with the city where I was born. Lucky for me, this country was very cool about the whole cross-border migration/dual-citizenship thing... The border guard glanced over my paperwork for less than a minute before waving the 3-ton moving van through and smiling, "Welcome to Canada!" Aside from geography, I'm working in communications and marketing for a global company—I get to work from home with a wonderful team of people from all over the world, from San Diego to Buenos Aires to Johannesburg. I spend most of my free time these days doing art, making clothes and playing video games. Two years after I moved here, I met my boyfriend, Rodger. We fell madly in love and have been inseparable ever since (20 years in July—omg!).
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  • Helene

    Helene Hamady - TFS '07

    What are you doing these days? I am currently in my last year at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. I work as a legal intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office -- Juvenile Division and am conducting research on the expansion of Restorative Justice practice within the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office Juvenile Diversion Program and on the use of forensic Y-STR DNA testing in cases involving unique minorities. I am working as a research assistant for the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, which I believe I shared previously—don’t know if I shared its connection to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice but I wanted to give a shoutout to CRRJ because their work is incredible and I am proud to be a part of it!
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  • Monica in her office on campus

    Monica Johnson - TFS '04 - Counselor at Tandem Friends

    I work at Region Ten in Charlottesville on the Passive Community Treatment Team. We deal with Schizophrenia and other disorders and provide a hospital without walls. We help folks stay in their homes and out of the hospitals.
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  • All-Conference Honors for Basketball Players

    Tandem Friends School basketball players received All-Conference honors this weekend, announced during the conference championship matchups at Highland School on February 23. Congratulations to these great players!

    Varsity girls honored include 8th grader Alana Carter-Johnston (1st Team), sophomore Stella Lane (1st Team), and senior Maya Goldstein (2nd team). Gordon Fields was given Co-Coach of the Year honors.

    Varsity boys honored include senior Jalen Anderson (1st Team), junior Dean Lockley (1st Team), and junior Kobi Copeland (Honorable Mention).
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  • 5th Graders Participate in 'Skip the Straw' Event

    Tandem 5th graders have been learning about how plastics affect the environment and especially our oceans. Today, they participated in the Skip the Straw event held at City Space with four other area schools to inspire people to quit using single-use plastics such as straws and grocery bags. Students created posters for the event; each school got to choose one student poster to share. Tandem's chosen poster design, voted on by 5th grade classmates, was by Oscar Davies - see the photo of his design here. His poster, along with the chosen posters from other schools in the event, will be printed and shared with local businesses to help promote awareness of plastics pollution. Watch for it downtown!

    After their Skip the Straw event, 5th graders even got to enjoy some down time together at a nearby park.
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  • 9th Graders Take on Romeo and Juliet

    When you have a campus with an old building that has back steps and a second floor balcony, it naturally leads to a more hands-on approach to reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Ninth graders take on the classic tale of the star-crossed lovers every year, reading it out loud in class. But when they get to the balcony scene, they head out onto the quad, sending Juliet and the Nurse to the upstairs balcony and posting Romeo down below. The whole campus rings out with Shakespeare's classic balcony scene lines and students walk away with an experiential version of the famous scene. On a dreary February day, love was in the air as we heard 'wherefore art thou Romeo' and "I shall say goodnight 'till it be morrow' from up above and down below. It's always a lovely treat for the ninth graders, teacher Nancy Hiles Johnson, and those of us who get to listen in.
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  • Indoor Track Places Well in State Meet

    Our indoor track team had a great showing in the VISAA Indoor State Track Meet held at St. Christopher's School last weekend. Our mens 4x800 team came in fifth in the state! There were lots of personal records all around, and senior Charlie Kennedy shaved 20 seconds off of his 3200 time. It was a great season for the indoor track team and for coaches Melissa Winder, Jason Farr and Brandon Edwards. Go Badgers!

    Photo by Milestat
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  • Tandem Varsity Basketball Teams in DAC Tourney Play

    It was a busy week in the Badger den, as both varsity basketball teams hosted DAC tournament matchups. The varsity boys hosted a quarterfinal matchup against Trinity Christian on Tuesday, winning in an intense matchup by a score of 65-56. Check out some footage of that game here. This put them on the road last night, playing Highland at Highland School in the tournament semifinals. They had a disappointing loss, 40-68, to end their DAC play. They await word on possible state play.

    Our girls won their semifinal matchup last night against Chelsea Academy - check out some great news footage here. The victory earned them the right to play in the DAC2 Girls Basketball Championship game tomorrow, February 23, at 2:00pm versus Quantico. The DAC finals are being held at Highland School in Warrenton, an hour and a half straight up 29 North. Coaches Gordon and Abby have done an amazing job preparing and guiding the girls through a very successful season. There is an admission charge for the game - students $3 and adults $5. Click here for full tournament info. The girls also ended their great year as regular season co-champions.
    GO BADGERS! Check out some photos of both teams here, including Senior Night pics of seniors Maya, Anthony and Jalen.
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  • Using Drama to Spark Discussion about Trauma

    The last week of February will bring two powerful pieces of drama to the Tandem Friends Upper School, with each production followed by facilitated discussions afterwards. It's a great way to use the arts to create thoughtful dialogue about difficult topics.

    Our Upper School drama program will present 26 Pebblesa powerful play by Eric Ulloa, that showcases residents of Newtown, CT affected by the tragic events and community rebuilding that took place during and after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. 26 Pebbles looks deeply into how a community processes shock and grief and draws parallels to living as a community that is trying to be something more than the tragedy that defines it. It seemed a natural and healing choice following the community challenging events of August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville. The Upper School, joined by 8th graders, will watch the play together, followed by a facilitated discussion with the cast. The query groups that afternoon will focus on questions prepared by cast members that will relate to the show's message. Public performances of the play will be held at 7pm on February 28, March 1 and March 2, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday, March 3. The Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 shows will be followed by a Q&A/Talkback session. 

    The following day, LiveArts Education will bring its Teen Theatre Ensemble Workshop production of I Never Saw It Coming to the Upper School for a perfomance and facilitated post-show discussion. Written by Doug Grissom in 1997, the show focuses on teenage relationships and has some strong Tandem connections. When the show was originally performed here, our own Mary Lyman Bias and Andriana Hench were involved - Andriana worked on it for her Senior Project and Mary was in the cast. Last summer, sophomore Anna Kalnite was part of a team that worked with the author to update the production for today's teens. Parents who are interested in seeing the show can attend the LiveArts performance on February 23 at 8:30pm (pay what you can at the door).
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  • Great American Road Trip Project

    Tandem 5th graders have embarked on a virtual road trip through the United States. Starting from four different locations around the country, their final destination is fabulous Lincoln, Nebraska, home of the Huskers, birthplace of Kool Aid. As they travel through the country they will learn about famous landmarks along the way, practice managing a travel budget, and hone their collaboration skills. Of course, before embarking, they will need a car to drive. Special thanks to Tandem alumna, Sheri Edgecomb (TFS '86), for inviting the entire class down to Egdecombs Imported Auto Sales and Services to have a look around the lot and 'choose' their desired vehicle for the trip. As soon as these kids get their driver's licenses, they'll be ready to go!
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  • Middle Schoolers Participate in Global School Play Day

    Tandem 5th through 7th graders took a break from their studies on Thursday afternoon, February 7, to join about 535,000 students around the world in the 5th annual Global School Play Day. The day was created by educators in a grassroots effort to support the importance of unstructured playtime for students around the world. On our campus alone, there were sightings of Yahtzee, Battleship, Cranium, Bananagrams, Scrabble, Jenga, Monopoly, Marbleworks, Hedbanz, card games galore, basketball, hands-on building projects, sketching, Capture the Flag and more. Some of the unstructured play began during lunchtime between 7th graders and their Big Badger mentors. 5th and 6th graders continued the play throughout the afternoon.
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  • Shelter Project - 5th Graders Design Homes

    Stop by the Blue Room to check out the 5th grader's Shelter Project. For this project, the 5th graders designed homes adapted to the Earth's various biomes. They found actual locations on Google Earth ranging from the tundra in Northern Canada to an oasis in Egypt. They learned about heating and cooling systems and building techniques that are adapted to a range of environments. After a visit from building specialist Justin Pincham of Halcyon Contracting, the students set about designing floor plans and elevation drawings for their shelters. The finished results are worth a look!
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  • Upper School Drama Presents 26 Pebbles

    The Tandem Friends School Upper School Drama program will present 26 Pebbles, a powerful play by Eric Ulloa, that features seven actors showcasing nineteen residents of Newtown, CT affected by the tragic events and community rebuilding that took place during and after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Tandem will present four performances of the show February 28 through March 3.

    Performances of 26 Pebbles will be held in the Tandem Friends Community Hall at 7pm on February 28, March 1 and March 2, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday, March 3. The show’s run time is approximately 90 minutes (no intermission) and the Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 shows will be followed by a Q&A/Talkback session with cast members and director Perry Medlin. We hope many in the community will choose to come experience the powerful 26 Pebbles and participate in community building dialogue afterwards.

    Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors; they can be reserved by calling 434-296-1030 x0. Tickets are also available at the door beginning thirty minutes prior to curtain.
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  • Tandem Student Artwork Selected for Juried Show

    Tandem ninth graders Leza Kolomeisky and Madeleine Caduff have had artwork and poetry accepted into the juried show Through Our Eyes: Teens respond to August 11th and 12th and its Aftermath. The show is a mixed arts competition and exhibition for teenagers (grades 9-12) hosted by The Bridge on Monticello Road. The show solicited teen art focused on the impact and effects of August 11th and 12th, 2017 on teenagers. Leza and Madeleine's work was chosen out of the many submissions to be part of the juried show. Categories of art submitted include photography, drawing/painting, writing, music, sculpture, dance and film. The winner and runner up of the visual arts and the writing/performance categories will receive $100 and $50 respectively. The pieces accepted into the juried show will be on exhibit at The Bridge for the month of March with an opening on March 1. Congratulations, Leza and Madeleine.
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  • Varsity Teams Win Double Header vs RMA

    Tandem's varsity basketball teams took on Randolph Macon Academy in a home double header on February 5 and walked away with two victories. In the first game, the girls came away with a 35-28 win. 8th grader Alana Carter-Johnston scored a game high 19 points. The varsity girls currently have an impressive 10-2 record, with two more games this week. They take on Chelsea Academy and Stuart Hall in away games, then return for two home games on 2/12 and 2/14 to finish the regular season.

    The boys game started slowly but ended in a sound defeat of RMA at 61-41. Senior Jalen Anderson was the high point scorer in that game. The varsity boys currently have a 12-6 record; they play on the road against Stuart Hall this week, then return for home games against Trinity Christian and Fredericksburg Christian on 2/9 and 2/14 to finish the regular season.
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  • Students Attend Conservation Lobby Day in Richmond

    On Wednesday, a group of middle and upper school students braved the cold and a very early start to travel to Richmond for Conservation Lobby Day. This event was sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Network. Students learned about legislation related to Virginia's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, coal ash cleanup, energy efficiency, protection of the Chesapeake Bay, smart growth initiatives and the list goes on. Christine and Doug were very impressed by our students. Many of them took the time to research specific topics of interest and they were quite articulate in communicating their concerns with their elected representatives. Students are pictured with Delegate David Toscano of Charlottesville.
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  • Spelling Bee Champion Named

    On Wednesday of this past week the finals of the Tandem Scripps National Spelling Bee were held. After going through 140 words overall and twenty-five initial contestants, 6th grader Connor Powell, after a number of clutch conjectures, came out on top. He won on the word "garbanzo."  Josie Muss took third place in the competition, and Ari Hicks, who gave Connor a lengthy run for his money, took second. Our Tandem spellers should be most proud of their accomplishments. Connor will now represent Tandem at the regional bee competition on March 9th, which will be held at Albemarle High School. Thanks to Mark Goldstein for setting up the audio equipment, and Anne Deane, alum Dylan McAuley (TFS '14), and and alum Sophie Caplin (TFS '14), who acted as judges in this year's event. 
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  • Senior Jalen Anderson Named Schewel's Athlete of the Week

    Congratulations to Tandem Friends senior Jalen Anderson - named Schewel's Athlete of the Week in the Daily Progress. Jalen plays guard for the 9-5 Tandem basketball team, averaging 19.5 points per game while balancing academics and serving as a great youth mentor in the community. We're proud of you, Jalen! 

    Click here to read more.
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  • Students Participate in Quaker Youth Leadership Conference 2019

    Tandem Upper Schoolers Maya Goldstein, Jess Snelling, Emma Johnson, Harriet Caplin, Elyse Jabalee-Farrell, and Meridith Frazee, and their faculty chaperones Trefor Davies and Amanda Evans headed to Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC to represent Tandem at the 2019 Quaker Youth Leadership Conference January 31-February 2. The theme of the conference, co-hosted by Sidwell Friends, Friends School of Baltimore and Sandy Spring Friends School was 'higher ground through common ground.' The conference included workshops, speakers, meetings for worship, service projects, and a visit to The Newseum. Friends schools from all over the east coast, from south to north and one from Canada (over 25 schools), were in attendance.  

    Students slept in the Sidwell gym and were placed into 'family groups' they ate and performed service work with; the groups included members from different schools.The keynote speaker on Thursday evening was John Biewen, who serves as audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and hosts the podcast Scene on Radio. He spoke about how to effect change and how not to contribute to racism.

    Participants visited The Newseum and attended special workshops there that focused on First Amendment rights as well as media ethics. There was also an interactive workshop presented by Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) on how to lobby for causes that are important at the school, local, state and national levels. Tandem students reported that there was a whole section of The Newseum devoted to recent events in Charlottesville. During lunch one day, they managed a visit to the National Portrait Gallery as well. There were various service projects, including writing letters to politicians, and a speaker who talked about first amendment rights in schools. There were student-led workshops on perspective, stress management, social media and more. There was even a talent show.

    This year's QYLC provided our attendees, all of whom serve on our Friends Council, with much food for thought and they returned tired but feeling energized and enthusiastic about all they learned and experienced.
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  • Tandem Science Olympiad Team Scores Big Success

    The Tandem Science Olympiad teams had a big showing on Saturday, January 26 at the Charlottesville Regional Tournament putting in 8 hours of hard work participating in 21 events of competitive science. Their efforts were well rewarded at the awards ceremony with medals in several events for Division B (middle school) and Division C (high school). The Division C team had a record night earning medals in half of the events (10/21) offered at the tournament and scoring an impressive 3rd place overall ranking. This rank means that Tandem qualifies for the Division C state tournament at UVA on March 23, 2019. This is the third consecutive year Tandem has qualified for the state tournament - awesome job team!
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  • Varsity Teams Play Great Games this Week

    It was a great week for Tandem varsity basketball. On Tuesday, our varsity girls' basketball team had a big win - and first-time-ever win - over Randolph Macon Academy, defeating them 58-37. 8th grader Alana Carter-Johnston scored 21 points (she is averaging 26 points per game), Stella Lane scored 16, and Maya Goldstein put up 9 points. That put their season at 7-1 - first place in the conference. Later that night, the varsity boys defeated RMA's boys by a score of 73-50. 

    Last night, the teams took on cross-town rival Covenant, at Covenant. The girls played first in a hard-fought loss of 31-42. Check out some TV coverage of that game here. Read a Daily Progress article on the game here. The boys team took on Covenant's team after the girls game and defeated them 70-62, with senior Jalen Anderson leading the scoring with 21 points. That's two wins against Covenant in one season, which has to be a Tandem first! Check out some TV coverage of the boy's game here. Read a Daily Progress article on the game here.

    Daily Progress -

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  • Two Tandem Students Win Writer's Eye 2018

    Two Tandem Friends students, 9th grader Emmet Kreisman, and 5th grader Misha Kolomeisky, have been announced as winners in UVA’s Fralin Museum of Art's Writer’s Eye 2018, the 32nd annual literary competition that challenges writers to create original works of poetry and prose inspired by art. Misha's story, The Balloon That Got Away, received first place in the Prose category for grades 3-5. Read Misha's story here.  Emmet's poem, Rainbowicity, received second place in the high school Poetry category. Emmet, Misha and the other winners will be honored at an awards celebration on Sunday, March 17 from 3 to 5pm in UVA's Newcomb Hall ballroom. There will also be a 27-page color anthology of all of their writing that will be available to the public for free. Congratulations, Emmet and Misha!

    Some details from the Fralin website: "This year the art selections came from the Museum’s permanent collection and from five special and student docents gave 348 tours to students from 36 public schools and 19 independent schools in the cities of Charlottesville, Staunton, and Waynesboro, and nine surrounding counties...contestants submitted 1,306 entries in four age-related categories...entries for the younger grades are judged by panels of local writers and teachers...UVA faculty Jane Alison and Paul Barolsky served as distinguished judges for the high school and university/adult categories."

    For details and a full list of 2018 Writer's Eye winners, click here.
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  • 6th Graders Build Scale-Model Villages for Godzilla to Destroy

    6th graders had fun building and destroying scale-model villages using graham crackers (all left over from Blue Ridge Day - thanks to the PTA) and icing. They used calculations to determine the scale of their villages, then figured out how big a person could be to live in that village, and how big a 'Godzilla' would have to be to stomp the village flat. They worked in teams of two or three to create the villages. In case you were wondering, the Godzillas ranged in size from 100 to 1000 feet tall and all of the villages were destroyed on an exciting Godzilla Day.
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