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.