Beth McClelland Lutostansky '88 recently presented to a packed house of upper schoolers––including those in the Environmental Science class and the STEMinist Club––on her career in the energy industry.
Reverend Karla Fleshman and her colleague, Finn, presented to seventh graders a long-awaited and much-requested workshop on gender identity, gender expression, and creating “affirming and safer space for LGBTQIA+ students.”
The upper school World Affairs Club welcomed New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer '90, who spoke to students about the role of the state/county legislature, with a focus on the HOPE Center in Wilmington, whose mission is to house and support individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and the GreeNCC initiative, a county-wide program aimed at improving the environment and enhancing the quality of life in New Castle County.
International Baccalaureate art majors and higher level visual arts students traveled to Washington, D.C. to view artwork at the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African Art, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of Asian Art.
Happy Panda Day is such a great send off to Spring Break--lower school students met with Ivy the therapy dog, made friendship bracelets, hunted for leprechauns, and practiced yoga, all in the comfort of their pajamas!
As organizations around the world continue to rely on ever-changing technology for their day-to-day operations, it should come as no surprise that computer science has become increasingly more popular in high school and college curricula. But computer science can also be taught to even the youngest students, beginning with simple coding, the process of writing instructions for a computer to follow a series of commands. And the earlier they begin, the sooner students build the following fundamental skills that will carry into their future academic success and even into their professional lives:
“Be comfortable with silence. Weekly meetings for worship, surrounded by my classmates and teachers, taught me the importance of not only embracing silence, but finding confidence in it. I try to replicate that sentiment in my daily life whether it's by practicing mediation or taking a few breaths before responding to opposing counsel in a law school competition.”
Thank you to all who came out and supported the Home & School Used Book Sale! Over 55 volunteers - adults and students alike - moved, sorted, and sold books, games, CDs and DVDs, and had a great time in the process. Shoppers found new books to add to their libraries, with one staff member saying it was her favorite day of the year!
Second graders celebrated the 100th day of school this week with lots of 100-day activities, including writing what life might be like 100 years from now, finding all the ways to make 100 in math, making 100 day glasses, and brainstorming 100 reasons to love school!
“If I did not attend WFS for high school, I do not think I would be where I am now - I was a shy freshman when I started at WFS and I had zero confidence in myself, especially academically. All the faculty at WFS taught me to believe in myself and to not give it up. I find myself teaching my students the same things some of my teachers taught me at WFS, and it is a full circle moment for me. I think the teachers at WFS do a great job of fostering an inclusive environment and allowing for discussion to happen, and that helped me (especially during graduate school) to not be afraid to speak during class discussions or having tough conversations with friends or classmates.”
Eighth grade history/social science students recently visited the East Side Charter School APEX program, currently housed at the Teen Warehouse in Northeast Wilmington, to participate in a "pop-up" debate with APEX students about gun control legislation.
It was a record-setting day for the WFS indoor track & field day at the 2023 DIAA State Championship meet on Saturday afternoon. Two WFS relay teams posted new school records and another four relay teams recorded season best times!
"WFS prepared me by teaching and encouraging me to think for myself, form my own opinions, and problem solve. I also grew as both a student and as an individual during my time at Friends due to the immense amount of support from my teachers, coaches, and peers."
Congratulations to the cast and crew of "Original Sin," this year's Student Run Production. The original horror story was written by Jack Hebert '23 and directed and led by Jace Boland '23 and Maddie Schaen '25. Photo credit: Helen Liu '23
Michael Anello, Executive Director of the Haiti Reforestation Partnership, visited upper school Peace and middle school social studies classes to speak about the organization's work and how reforestation has led to incredible environmental and community development in Haiti.
“As a WFS lifer, one of the most important lessons I learned was to be patient and listen. After graduating college in the height of the pandemic, the future felt unstable and unknown—especially when it came to following my dream of working in the music industry. While I don’t regularly have Meeting for Worship anymore, the practice of reflecting, taking time to sit with my thoughts, and remaining patient, is something that has served me during these last couple of years. Being able to ‘just listen’ to others, or even your own thoughts instead of immediately reacting to any work/life situation, is one of the most powerful tools.”
Thank you to everyone who attended last week's Home and School Parents for Multiculturalism Potluck, celebrating family traditions and cultural dishes from Nigeria, Turkey, Brazil, Kenya, China, Jamaica, and Argentina!
Kindergarten students celebrated El Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) by wearing their "coronas" and leaving their shoes outside of the Spanish classroom in anticipation and hopes that the Three Kings would swing by WFS and leave treats!
“My time at Wilmington Friends helped me develop my creativity and leadership. It allowed me to be myself, and realize there are no limits to potential. There is value not only in education, but the relationships formed.”
Meditation and breathing exercises can’t tackle your to do list, but they can help you calm down and center you to start again. Here are some wellness tips to help you slow down and do your best as you approach mid-terms or finals.
Deciding to invest in a private school education for your rising middle schooler can feel like an onerous process, and when assessing a school, it’s natural to want to look at college lists, standardized test scores, and advanced coursework offerings to help inform your decision. There is comfort in the concrete, and these things can be good data points. But how will you know if a school values development of the whole child and provides an environment that develops students to become their best selves?
“It’s mine!” “No, it’s mine!” “No it’s not, it’s MINE!” Your blood pressure starts rising as you hear your kids yelling at each other in the other room. Again. For what seems like the fiftieth time today. How can you keep your cool and break what often feels like a never-ending cycle of conflict with your kids?
As school supply lists are distributed and classroom teachers announced, many parents are beginning to think about the new school year. Some may be a little nervous about how the transition from summer to school will go for their child, and we have a few simple tips that could help.
Whether as a participant or a fan, when we think of our experiences with athletics growing up, big moments come to mind, from the game-winning field goal that propelled our team to the state championship game to the final shot at the buzzer that sent us home. Moments like these become lifelong memories that help define our adolescent years.
Click Here for Summer Math Fun! Summertime provides a great opportunity to positively impact your child’s math journey. It’s a time to brush up on skills and develop them further. It’s also a time to explore math fun in real world situations. Whether you are looking for creative ways to spend days at home or during travel, the following activities will surely bring math confidence and family fun! (These activities are best for children in elementary school.)
90% of the students who attend Wilmington Friends are non-Quakers. What brings families to Quaker education is often the appeal of an academic program with depth--one that truly asks students to think, to collaborate, to be creative, to take risks--within a caring community that balances focus on the individual with responsibility to the common good.
This mission cultivates four major outcomes for students who attend Wilmington Friends School.
Many of us are familiar with Advanced Placement or “AP” courses in high schools, and oftentimes we see “AP” grouped with “IB” in references to more challenging coursework. But what exactly does IB stand for, and what does it mean for a child’s education?
Many of us are interested in volunteering, but with the demands on our time and attention these days, community service and engagement can easily be placed on the back burner. Now more than ever there is a whole range of needs out there, and it’s never been easier to get involved. It just takes a little bit of planning to make that first step, and here are a few tips that may help:
If your child is pursuing higher education, at some point in their high school career you will likely feel compelled to step into, and perhaps even manage, their college application process. But when, how, and to what extent should parents and guardians be involved? What is the right balance to keep the integrity of the process belonging to the child and not the adults? Here are seven ways you can help your high schooler navigate this journey primarily on their own while lending valuable support.
I attended Wilmington Friends School for 14 years, and by all accounts, I consider myself a “lifer.” WFS provided the bulk of my educational experience, which was the basis for my development as an artist and an activist. Throughout my attendance at Friends, certain core values such as integrity, community, equality, peace, stewardship, and simplicity were foundational.
2018 At Friends since Kindergarten, Cecilia ’18 has interspersed her Humanities studies in California with experiential learning in Germany. After a gap year in Berlin teaching children cooking on a kitchen bus, she entered an intensive program in Classics & Philosophy and designed costumes for the repertory Shakespeare Company during her freshman year at Stanford. When the pandemic moved classes online, she joined a Berlin social enterprise as a Marketing Manager.
“WFS taught me about teamwork and compassion when working on assignments and projects with multiple students. This was helpful in college and continues to be in the design world as it’s all about negotiation and teamwork!”
1978 A big fan of the Stoic philosophers, David's mantra is: Strive, not arrive. Winner of both the Mendenhall and Bush awards, David played sports, sang in musicals, and acted at Friends. He finds the faculty to be the School's core asset. Harry Hammond and Rick Reynolds in particular influenced his development.
“Make yourself known in everything that you do. It’s very easy to get ‘lost in the numbers’ at a large university, so it is important that your professors are able to put a face to the name and that you make an honest impression. These connections that you make with professors, advisors, and coaches can last a lifetime and can open up new opportunities that you never knew existed or help you achieve experiences that you have always dreamed of . . . I am able to do what I love in a way that I never thought was possible because of these professors, advisors and coaches.”
“I believe that the concept of active listening and learning was cultivated at WFS, and this included being open to feedback. Being willing (and knowing it’s okay!) to change your mind, and constructively disagreeing helped prepare me for post HS life. On the topic of seeing something differently, it was here that I learned that it is perfectly fine to disagree with someone or not see eye to eye, but it’s imperative for everyone’s personal growth and development to do so in a kind, respectful, and gracious way. I think this is the most powerful lesson I took away from Friends and one that I see necessary to practice daily in our world, now more than ever.”
Elizabeth L. Haven ’72 was a “sandwich” Friends student, between brother Ken Haven ’70 and sister Julie Haven Malloy ’80. At Friends, Liz was active in student government and was Senior Class President. She received the Bush Award and was a National Merit Scholar. After majoring in Geology at Harvard University, Liz graduated in 1976 and left for California, becoming the first female oilfield engineer for the Schlumberger Company. In 1980, Liz completed her M.S. degree in Engineering Geology from Stanford University. Also in 1980, she married fellow geologist Rick Humphreys, with whom she raised two daughters, now grown. Liz led a variety of water quality programs for California’s state government, culminating in the Deputy Director position charged with transferring the Safe Drinking Water Program in order to address the need for safe and affordable drinking water for disadvantaged communities. Now retired, Liz and her husband live in Windsor, California and enjoy hiking and camping with their dog in the beautiful countryside and beaches of Sonoma County.
“My time as a WFS student built a foundation of curiosity, empathy, and determination that I will always carry with me, but the most important lesson I learned as a WFS student comes from the George Fox quote in the front entrance of school: ‘Let your life speak.’
Eric Kelley ’10 graduated from Williams College in 2015 with his degree in English. While at Williams, Kelley captained the Varsity Men’s Lacrosse team and served as a member of the Black Student Union.
2017 Hannah Kushner ’17 was a Lifer at Friends. On campus, Hannah ran on the cross country team and was involved with the FIRST Tech Challenge, Poetry Speaks, and Amnesty International clubs. After graduation, Hannah attended Lehigh University, where she studied environmental engineering and urban policy, with a focus on climate resilient cities. At Lehigh, Hannah was involved in political activities and stormwater management research. After graduating in January 2021, Hannah stayed on at Lehigh to pursue a master’s degree in environmental policy while serving as a Resilience Fellow with the City of Boston. Hannah intends to continue working in local government to develop climate resilient and socially equitable infrastructure. Connect with Hannah or learn more about her work on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/hannahkushner
After spending two decades as a private practice trial lawyer, Shirley shifted the focus of her career to public service. She credits WFS with instilling in her the many values needed to be an effective U.S. Magistrate Judge.
“One of the greatest lessons I took from Friends was how to think critically, which has served me well throughout my educational journey and into the professional world. It’s truly a skill that is valuable regardless of what you do in life."
“I greatly appreciate WFS for giving me the opportunity to become an independent learner and teaching me how to write. Without these skills, I would not have had nearly as much confidence to go into research as I do now.”
“WFS cultivated my interests from a young age. I felt like teachers really knew me - both my strengths and my weaknesses. They allowed me to be who I was while also encouraging me to reach my full potential. I felt like more than just a student in the Class of 2012; I felt like an important part of the community.”
Joey Gutierrez '07 joined the WFS community in 3rd Grade. After graduation, he attended Bucknell University, where he majored in Comparative Humanities and founded a student group focused on philanthropy education. After college, Joey moved to the Bay Area where he has held various roles in education technology and impact investing. He most recently completed an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business and started working at an edtech startup in San Francisco.
Josh just completed his second year as the head coach at Johns Hopkins University. The Blue Jays were conference champions in 2018. He joined Friends in the sixth grade and had four other siblings who attended the school, including Chris ’00 and Cassandra ’05. At WFS, Josh played football, basketball and baseball, and was involved in The Whittier Miscellany, Student Discipline, and theater. He played basketball and football and was awarded the McCabe Scholarship. He has coached college basketball since graduation, acting as an assistant at Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Williams, Lafayette, Rutgers, and Loyola Maryland. He served as the head coach at Stevens Institute of Technology from 2006-08 where he helped take the Ducks to the Sweet 16. Josh and his wife Helen, live in Baltimore with two children.
After graduating from WFS, Kenji matriculated to Brown University and pursued animation and computer graphics. He interned at Pixar and had the chance to work on "Incredibles 2." Kenji is currently working as a technical director at Blue Sky Studios, whose next movie starring Will Smith is due out in the fall of 2019.
Laura Robelen ’78 was a 13-year veteran of Friends, following in the footsteps of her mother, Lois Moodey ’53. At Friends, Laura enjoyed participating in chorus and especially the annual Spring musicals. She served as Secretary of her senior class. The friendships made at WFS have stood the test of time, thanks to social media, and she regularly gathers with classmates living in the Wilmington area. Laura graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a major in Communication and Theatre and a minor in Psychology. Since 1988, Laura has been a licensed Realtor and is also an Associate Broker. She teaches the Pre-Licensing Sales class for her brokerage Long & Foster. Laura has been a fundraising volunteer for Delaware Hospice for the last 25 years. She has served as chair of The Festival of Trees for most of those years and also serves on the Board of Trustees and as Co-Chair of the Development Committee.
2015 Macon Sheppard ‘15 came to Friends in fall of 2006, along with his brothers, Owen Sheppard ‘17 and Grant Sheppard ‘19. At Friends, Macon was involved in the H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club after-school program, the World Affairs Club, the football team, and (briefly) the Model Organization of American States. After graduating from WFS, Macon studied at Georgetown University, where he majored in International Relations and minored in Arabic and Economics. At Georgetown, Macon was involved with the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and he studied abroad in Amman, Jordan in the summer of 2017. In August of 2019, Macon moved to Dubai to join McKinsey and Company as a Business Analyst in their Middle East Office. When he has free time, he enjoys exploring the city with friends, traveling, and making a fool of himself in foreign languages.
After retiring from a successful 30 year career at Ikea, Marty has embarked on an exciting second career as a transition life coach in Wilmington. Working as a life coach helps Marty pursue her passion of helping people achieve their goals. She credits WFS with instilling in her the curiosity, self-confidence and enthusiasm to try new things.
For Mike Coleman ’88, giving back is part of his DNA. Following his graduation from Wilmington Friends, Mike has remained a fixture at the School as a coach, a mentor, a volunteer, and a financial supporter. Throughout his 23-year stint at the YMCA in Wilmington, running youth sports leagues and summer camps, he refined his skills in youth development, skills he’s brought to his work at Wilmington Friends. “I loved my time at the YMCA,” Mike explained. “It really helped me to understand a lot about youth development, and also helped me hone my relationship building skills.”
Peter Henderer ’89 attended Friends for three years for Pre-1st through 2nd grades, and then returned for 10th through 12th grades. On campus, he played football and lacrosse, played in the Concert Band and Jazz Band, served on the Service Committee, and was Clerk of the Business Meeting. After graduation, Peter studied at Bowdoin College, majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies, and serving as Co-President of the Bowdoin Outing Club. After Bowdoin he studied law at The George Washington University Law School and went on to the private practice of law in Richmond, Virginia. Peter’s practice is in commercial real estate, with a particular focus on tax-credit financed multifamily housing. On the side, Peter has grown a portfolio of his own residential rental properties. Outside of work, Peter has served on numerous non-profit boards, and is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees at Richmond Montessori School, a Toddler through 8th grade school in Richmond. Peter is married to Armistead Edmunds Henderer and they have two teenage children.
Susan Woolley Katz ‘88 was a Lifer at Friends, as were her sisters (Laura Kemper ’81, Lisa Anderson ’82) and parents (Cynthia Pyle Woolley ’56, Clark Hullihen Woolley ’57). Many other generations of her family also attended WFS.
Last April, two dozen students, staff, faculty, and WDEL gathered in the library for a glimpse into the future. Theo Nix, Jr. ‘72 presented on why the sky’s the limit in opportunities for FAA-certified drone pilots. The former corporate counsel for DuPont has founded a business to train pilots in five states including Delaware - and he wants to expand internationally, starting in Kenya.
2018 “Throughout the years, I’ve been lucky enough to view WFS as being a family to me, throughout the tough times and the good. Quaker philosophy tells us that everyone has a light within them and I think this is exemplified by the incredibly caring nature of the school community.
Tyrie is a pioneer in eye care. She was the first person to perform LASIK in Hawaii, and more recently, was the first to perform laser assisted cataract surgery. She has fond memories of her experiences at WFS, and believes this school’s commitment to educational excellence has made her value life long learning.