8th grade students took on a plastics project in the last few weeks, learning how plastics affect our health and our environment, especially in the oceans. They then created a variety of film, art and engineering products to bring attention to the problem. They created a plastics trash tree, decorated with facts about plastics and the environment and put it in the Community Hall for all to see.
The 2017-2018 installment of the National Geographic Bee transpired at Tandem Friends School today. A field of twenty-seven students competed in the first round of seven questions for each contestant. Of those twenty seven, five ran the table with seven correct answers apiece, and three led the way with six apiece. Those elite eight advanced to the Final Round: Ryan Heathcock, Winston Romberger, Sarah Meyer, Liam Decker, Sammy Buckley, Maisie Fischman, Jon-Michael Benedict, and Josie Fischman. Of those eight, a number of questions whittled the field to Maisie and Sarah, who participated in the championship round. Maisie outlasted Sarah for the win. She will now get to take an online test by the 2nd of February. If she qualifies in the top 100 of the state, she will enter the state bee held on the 6th of April. Kudos to Maisie and Sarah for superb effort in this bee, as well as to all the contestants. Magister Britannus was especially impressed by this group's knowledge of geography, for of all questions asked in the preliminary round (189), students earned a permilliage of over .700! Tandem students also ran the table for Question Five: 27-27 correct! Another side note: Maisie is the first cross-bee winner within at least the last decade at Tandem Friends School, having additionally won the spelling bee last year.
Pre-calculus and other interested Upper School students and faculty enjoyed a mind-blowing physics presentation by Tandem Friends math teacher Chris Morrow on the four levels of the multiverse, string theory, and the fourth dimension. Chris created the presentation to expose students to very high level physics material, but with next to no math required in order to understand. Anyone with a basic understanding of numbers, operations, and geometric shapes could grasp the information, which was presented in an interactive fashion and included video clips, graphics and more. There were many questions afterwards, as all pondered their place in the universe and on the cosmic timeline. From Pythagoras to Einstein to Stephen Hawking to A Wrinkle in Time and tesseracts, this presentation covered it all. It even captivated the attention of an elementary school lad, son of a faculty member, who popped over for the the talk.
Dick Wade, who served on the board here at Tandem Friends from 2014-2016, passed away recently. Dick was a committed advocate for Friends Schools and a mentor to Friends School leaders all over the country. He served as Head of School at Germantown Friends School for twenty years. His passing significantly impacts the world of Friends education and especially those who worked with him directly. Let us hold his spirit and what he stood for in the Light. Share messages to the family and written memories of Dick here.
Almost, Maine, one of the most produced plays in the country now, was presented the last weekend in October by the Tandem Friends Upper School. Set in the beautiful winter wonderland of Northern Maine, the production used the magic of the Northern Lights to tell a series of stories that has been compared to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our talented cast of ten young actors had an opportunity to explore different types of relationships and real human interaction, which made the stories relevant despite their magical overtones. Audiences were delighted and warmed by this charming and quirky romantic comedy by John Cariani. Check out the photo slideshow of Almost, Maine.
Since its founding in 1970, Tandem Friends students and faculty have participated together in community service. At Tandem, as in all Quaker schools, service is part of school life in and outside the classroom. Throughout their years at Tandem Friends, students explore the many ways to help their community be a better place.
October 4 was the first of three full days set aside for all students (Middle and Upper School) and faculty to participate together in service this year. Students selected service group preferences from more than twenty organized by Community Service Director Jocelyn Camarata. Students will serve the same organization throughout the year. Our next full service day is in February.
Our students worked for the following local organizations: Quarry Gardens, Gender Equality and Restroom Access C-ville, Scheir Natural Area, Community Bikes, Amnesty International, Ronald McDonald House, PB & J Fund, Albemarle Parks and Recreation,Cale Elementary, Ix Art Park, Live Arts, Loaves and Fishes, JABA, Habitat for Humanity Store, Clark Elementary, Bellair Farm, The Haven, Hope's Legacy, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Emergency Food Bank, Albemarle Health and Rehabilitation. Some students remained on campus to help plan Tandem's Mother's Day Music Festival and the Diversity Summit, to make ceramics for Bowls for Justice, to help with the school's Tag Sale, and to beautify and organize various campus spaces such as the theatre storage spaces, the nature trail, and other garden areas.
The day began with a presentation by The Haven (including former Tandem teacher David Slezak) and concluded with grade-level discussions/debriefs about the day's service.
Earlier this semester, Tandem 7th graders included service to the homeless with the DC Central Kitchen as part of their annual trip to Washington, DC.
Recent Tandem Friends alum Kate Dean-McKinney (TFS '17) is already making her mark on college and the world! Kate is a freshman at William and Mary. Her journey down this internship with The Nature Conservancy and eelgrass restoration actually began with her Tandem Senior Project on Scuba Diving last year. Read about her internship with William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
C-ville Weekly's annual Best of C-Ville publication hit the streets this week with some big news. Tandem Friends School has been voted Best Private School again for the third year in a row! We are delighted and proud, and extend a huge thanks to all who voted for us. Our community knows that our faculty and students and the educational excellence they create together are the best around - but it's nice to see it in print as well. Help us spread the word about the Best Private School in the area! An extra special addition this year - Tandem alum Janey Gioiosa (TFS '11) is featured on the cover of this year's publication!
We celebrated our Class of 2017 on a perfect June 3rd morning. As usual, the crowd waited patiently to witness the arrival of the class; the arrival details are always kept secret. This year, they arrived on a parade float, then gathered on the outdoor stage to be celebrated in words and speeches, to honor one another, to share the annual ritual of gratitude, and to receive their diplomas under the trees. What a lovely day to celebrate the amazing and unique Class of 2017.
It's almost time for our annual Mother's Day Music Festival, hosted each year since the 1980s. The event always takes place on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. This year’s event will be held Saturday, May 13 from 11am to 4pm on the front lawn at Tandem Friends School (in the Community Hall if it rains). It’s always a relaxing and family oriented gathering. Throughout the afternoon, there will be a variety of musical acts, many from the talented Charlottesville area music community and some from within Tandem. There will be delicious food and drinks for sale, and great family activities like a petting zoo, t-shirt tie dyeing, face painting, lawn games, and more. Some local vendors will be on hand to sell great gifts for moms. The entry fee is $7, but mothers, as always, get in for free.
May 1 was national college decision day, and Tandem Friends seniors have made their choices! The Class of 2017 had some tough choices to make - the 23 seniors received 67 college acceptances from wonderful schools. With the final list in, they will be attending 17 different schools as far north as Middlebury College, as far south as Savannah College of Design, as far west as Oxford College of Emory University, and as far east as New York University. The most popular college choice this year was our own UVA, with six seniors accepted and five attending. Tandem seniors were popular with other bigger state schools, with five accepted and two attending The College of William and Mary, four accepted and two attending Virginia Commonwealth University, and three accepted and one attending at both Virginia Tech and George Mason.
They were accepted into schools as far north as University of British Columbia, as far west as UC Berkeley, and as far east as Boston (Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis and Northeastern). They chose not to attend, to name a few, four University of California schools, University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern University and Wesleyan University. We snapped a picture of most of them in their college T's on May 1. Check out their full list of acceptances and decisions.
During Community Time on May 1, Tandem Friends faculty presented the annual Upper School awards. The Upper School faculty nominates and votes on recipients for each of the awards. Many parents were on hand during today's presentation, as parents of the winners are told that their child is receiving an award, but the students are surprised during the ceremony.
Congratulations to this year's award recipients, who join a long line of worthy Tandem honorees. Check out the photo slideshow from the ceremony in Featured Content.
Last week, the results of the National Latin Exam were announced, and our students did very well. In March, many of the 8th grade and Upper School Latin students also sat for the Classical Association of Virginia Latin exam. This exam tests mastery of the Latin language and, in the upper levels, relevant literary and historical matter.
Tandem students excelled - two students placed in the top three spots in their respective exams: Kiley Weeks (third place, Caesar exam) and Olivia Bowers (first place, Latin 1 exam). Three students received honorable mentions: Sophie Stevenson (Latin 1), Lucy Coulson (Advanced Prose) and Delilah Trotter (Advanced Prose). Congratulations to our Latin scholars.
Senior Kate Dean-McKinney, the Tandem Friends nominee for the Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship, is celebrated today for the $10,000 in scholarships she was awarded by the Emily Couric Leadership Forum. In addition to the $5000 awarded to every nominee (one senior girl from each local high school), Kate was selected by the committee to receive the sole $5000 merit scholarship awarded for 2017.
Kate and all of the local senior girls nominated for the award were honored today during the 17th annual Emily Couric Leadership Luncheon held at The Omni. Kate's parents, Melissa and Travis Dean-McKinney, accompanied her, as well as Tandem Friends supporters Ed Hollinger, Peter Gaines, Michele Jarman, Nancy Hiles Johnson, Jackie Kingma, and Lena Lewis. Albemarle High School senior Ayoade Balogun received the $30,000 Leadership Scholarship, presented by keynote speaker and Women's Leadership Award winner Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East Conference and champion for women’s sports.
Tandem Friends junior Elie B. has been selected as a recipient of a Bronfman Fellowship. Only 26 high school juniors in the country are chosen each year for this five-week, all-expenses-paid fellowship to Israel that focuses on Jewish studies, pluralism, deep engagement between Jewish people in Israel and America, and social activism. In addition to the summer program, Bronfman fellows remain engaged in activities throughout the year. The 1000+ Bronfman alumni enjoy lifelong engagement and have become some of the most prominent young Jewish writers, thinkers and leaders.
Upper School Latin teacher Harriet Livesay announced Tandem's National Latin Exam results today in Morning Meeting. About 150,000 students from around the world take the National Latin Exam each year, which covers Latin language, Roman culture, history and mythology. Check out Tandem's Upper School and 8th grade Latin superstars below:
Senior Kiley Weeks' exam results make her eligible for college scholarships if she chooses to study Classics. Junior Noah Tinsley also received the Randolph College Classics Book Award, given to an outstanding junior for achievements in Classics. He will also be eligible for merit scholarships if he chooses to apply to Randolph College.
Our 5th graders 'hatched' a project in March that just came to life, literally. On March 21, the students, as part of a science unit, put fertilized eggs into an incubator in the classroom. The Coulson family provided the incubator and an awesome candling device to allow the class to look closely at the eggs' interiors as they developed. The eggs were provided by the Coulson and Reyes Bonilla families. The chicks began to appear over the weekend; seven of the 15 have hatched into chicks and are in the process of being named. You can bet they are being cuddled and cared for by 5th graders, with visits and attention from other science classes, students of all ages, and even faculty (some of whom kept them as overnight guests). The chicks will eventually go to a fifth grade family with chickens.
Tandem's Upper School World History students were given a creative challenge - to earn extra credit by creating a diorama depicting a famous event with marshmallow Peeps. Check out their amazing tableaux.
In true Tandem Friends style, senior Emma Passino didn't give up on playing lacrosse her senior year just because there weren't enough girls interested in playing. Known for her determination (she took on rock climbing for her senior project), Emma explored other options and joined the varsity boys team instead. Now she's just 'one of the guys' on the team. Check out the great Daily Progress article on Emma and Morgan Parsons, who plays on the boys team at Miller School.
Tandem student scientists competed last weekend in the Virginia Science Olympiad State Tournament, held at the University of Virginia. After a fine showing in the regional tournament, faculty mentor Alex Siragy says the team accomplished many of the goals set for a first year team in the state tournament. Notable performances were made in the Robot Arm event (Nina & Kiley earned 2nd place), the Dynamic Planet event (Kiley & Nina earned 10th place), and the Hovercraft event (Joe & Rosemary earned 11th place). Out of 24 teams in the tournament (21 of them from Northern Virginia), Tandem's team placed 20th, did not come in last place for any event, and achieved a higher overall rank than Charlottesville High School (the only other central Virginia team at the tournament).
In yesterday's 36th annual Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair, two young Tandem Friends scientists rose to the top.
Tandem 8th grader Leah Gunnoe placed first in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering category with the Stirling engine she designed, which uses heat to create propulsion. Check out pictures of Leah and her design in today's Daily Progress!
8th grader Charlie Vavrik placed second in the Animal Sciences category with his project on Shark Solutions.
Tandem 5th graders have been studying the science of sports, and recently spent a session at Edge Studio participating in one of their ADAPT program training sessions for youth. With teachers Carolena Saunders and Matt Caduff accompanying them, the students worked out with ADAPT leaders, analyzing the science of what their bodies were doing. The ADAPT team shared two hours of their time with the Tandem 5th grade!
To demonstrate support for today's International Women's Day, the women of Tandem Friends School chose not to work for part of the day. An all-school morning meeting featured heartfelt messages from students and faculty, including a letter read by teacher Nancy Hiles-Johnson on behalf of the women at Tandem. A majority of students and staff dressed in red to show support, and the male faculty and staff will lead the end of day activities planned. Please take moment to read the message below, and join us in honoring women today.
Spelling Bee Champion Takes on Regional Round - 7th grader Maisie Fischman, Tandem's spelling bee winner, will compete Saturday, March 4 in the Central Virginia round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The bee takes place at 11am, and is supposed to be televised on channel ABC16. If she wins, Maisie will head to the national bee to represent Tandem Friends. Good luck, Maisie!
The Delaney Athletic Conference announced basketball honorees during the DAC tournament championship on Saturday, and more than a few TFS players made the list. Three varsity girls team members were honored: Senior Kate Dean McKiney and junior Emma Hitchcock were named First Team All-Conference players; junior Tori Carter-Johnston was named a Second Team All-Conference player. Two varsity boys team members were honored: Junior Latrell Winkey (who finished the season ranked was named a First Team and All-Conference Player of the Year; senior Rodes Jarman was named a First Team All-Conference player. Coach Robert Jordan, who has coached the varsity team for three years, was named DAC Coach of the Year.
The varsity boys basketball team clinched both the Delaney Athletic Conference regular season championship, and the DAC tournament championship on Saturday with a stunning last-seconds victory over Quantico in the tourney finals held at Highland School.
Tandem Friends Upper School drama presents Steve Martin's comedy play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The play features a talented cast of Tandem Upper Schoolers and is directed by Upper School drama teacher Perry Medlin. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4 at 7pm, and Sunday, March 5 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors and can be reserved by calling 434-296-1303 x0 or purchased at the door. The Sunday, March 5 performance is a Pay What You Will show.
On Tuesday the 31st of January, Tandem Friends conducted the finals of its Scripps National Spelling Bee. This year, we had the deepest competitor field in memory, with 35 Middle School contestants participating, and 17 making it to the final round. After a long-fought battle between 8th graders Ford Scott, Olivia Bowers, and Austin Chinn, and 7th grader Maisie Fischman, Maisie outlasted everyone to triumph on the word "tabulation," a fitting word on which to win.
Maisie will represent Tandem Friends on Saturday, March 4th at the regional round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at Albemarle High School, a televised event which begins at 11:00am. Austin is our runner-up, so will compete for Tandem if Maisie is unable to attend. Kudos to all of the intrepid contestants!
Tandem Friends competed for the first time last weekend at the Science Olympiad Charlottesville Regional Tournament, held on Saturday, January 28 at Charlottesville High School. Tandem's two inaugural teams, consisting of eleven students in grades 9-12, competed against 14 other teams from six veteran schools (including teams from Charlottesville High School, Oakton High School, and Fairfax High School). Tandem was awarded 5th place overall in its first Science Olympiad competition, and qualifies to compete at the state tournament at UVA on Saturday, March 25.
Participants on Tandem's teams, mentored by science teacher Alex Siragy, earned the following medals at the Charlottesville regional:
1st Place in "Materials Science" - Yuan Dong, Max Benzian
2nd Place in "Tower Building" - Kiley Weeks, Qingyang Fu
3rd Place in "Astronomy" - Levi Shult, Yuan Dong
4th Place in "Remote Sensing" - James Peacock, Nina Johnson
5th Place in "Dynamic Planet" - Nina Johnson, Kiley Weeks
6th Place in "Invasive Species" - Kira Lipson, Meridith Frazee
6th Place in "Tower Building" - Keegan Brunner, Fisher Brodie
Tandem alum Maggie Passino (TFS '13) heads to New Zealand this week as a member of the US international team competing in the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing and Woolhandling Competition. The competition, held in Invercargill, New Zealand from February 8-11, is literally the Olympics of sheep shearing and woolhandling. Maggie ranked tops in woolhandling at two straight national competitions to earn her spot on the team. Sporting team gear, she flew out yesterday for pre-competition training days.
Yesterday, seven Tandem Friends Upper School students went with teachers Doug Brown and Christine Hirsh-Putnam to Richmond for the General Assembly's 2017 Conservation Lobby Day. They attended a live assembly session regarding changes to freedom of assembly laws, met with Delegate David Toscano, and more.
Tandem Friends alum Hannah James (TFS '11) returns in her starring role in the PBS Civil War drama Mercy Street. Season two premieres on Sunday, January 22 at 8pm on PBS, with Hannah playing Emma Green, a young woman who becomes a Civil War nurse when her family's hotel becomes a Union hospital. Check out a great article on Hannah and Mercy Street in this week's C-ville Weekly!
After conducting a national search and seeking input from our entire community, the Tandem Friends School Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Jane Whitney Thompson as our new Head of School, beginning July 1, 2017.