New Year, New Friends

Nate Rashkind, Sports and Entertainment Editor


As seems to happen each new year, Wilmington Friends has added a number of new staff members for the 2020-21 school year! These teachers are dispersed in a number of classes, from English to Global Peace and Justice. These new staff members represent all four Upper School grades. While this seems to be a reoccurring event each and every school year, some things this year are inherently distinctive in these unforeseen times. For one, the new staff Wilmington Friends introduced on September eighth was a substantially larger group than has been seen at Friends before. This is largely in part to the new staff who will be classroom facilitators for teachers who are fully remote this year. These new facilitators will play a paramount role in keeping each class on task, while also leading the class through the work given by the teacher. They will be at Friends two days a week, on the days where the classes are held in person. These facilitators will also serve as advisors so to speak, as they will be helping out during things like Meeting for Worship and advisory meetings. While this is something that is brand new to Wilmington Friends, as well as many schools around the United States, there seems to be a feeling of great optimism about the teachings of the classroom facilitators. “My first thought was, this is going to be difficult,” said Lucy Taylor ’21, “however as everyone started to get the hang of it, it felt a little bit more normal which I was really happy about. I am really happy that I still have the chance to see my friends this year.” Also quite optimistic was new tenth grade English teacher Rob Dunn. Rob will be filling the role of Jake Rashkind, who will be on sabbatical through January.  “I am really excited to be joining Wilmington Friends this fall,” said Dunn, “while it will be difficult to keep up with Mr. Rashkinds traditions of terrible jokes and picking strings, I am surely going to try my best.” 

On the topic of holding class on zoom, Dunn felt confident that he could create a good experience for his students. “my background in film raises the quality of my Zoom room. I use a green screen, professional photography lights, and a webcam mounted on a tripod which allows me to sit further back from the camera so nobody can spot the coffee stains.”  The feeling from each and every student seems to resemble Dunn’s message quite well. Over and over the word used was normalcy.  While students at Wilmington Friends understand that this year will be unlike any other, there was a strong feeling that it was important to keep the traditions of the school alive.  This year is going to be inherently different from past years, however if students follow guidelines and expectations, this year could be the most exciting yet.