New Beginnings!


Top: Jov Levin 26’ and Jack McKelvey 26’ Bottom: Sandra Iancic 26’ and Kenzie Wilson 26’

Abbie Thurlow, Writer

So far in the 2022-2023 school year, eighteen new faculty members and twenty-one new students have been welcomed into the Wilmington Friends community. Three of the faculty members and four of the ninth-grade students were gracious enough to answer some questions about settling into their new environment. 

These new staff members chose Wilmington Friends School for multiple reasons. Nicholas Childers was drawn to WFS “because of the community.” He moved back to the Philadelphia area from Colorado with his family, “I immediately felt at home.” Mr. Childers was also impressed by how engaged and interested students were during his demonstration lessons. 

Maria Scott chose WFS because she was interested in helping “students learn in a small school environment” as a part-time teacher. Mrs. Scott’s last school was Cinco Ranch High School, located in Katy, Texas, where she had one hundred and twenty-five students in her Algebra II class. When she is not teaching, she volunteers as a Court Appointed Child Advocate for Delaware’s Office of the Child Advocate.

Candice Culmer-Smith, a new administrative assistant, “fell in love with the school and people” when she started bringing her son to preschool at WFS. Similarly to Mr. Childers, she also chose WFS for the community. Ms. Candice sees value in what it can do for her child’s education and the impact it has on her family.

When asked, all of the faculty agreed that WFS is different from their previous school because of the smaller class sizes. The new teachers think that the smaller class sizes help allow stronger connections and relationships between students and teachers. Mrs. Scott and Mr. Childers also commented on Meeting for Worship,. it is a change from former schools. However, they are growing very fond of it. 

Mr. Childers’s goal this year is to keep students engaged “in the process of learning history.” His favorite things about WFS so far are the people, because students are eager to learn and colleagues are willing to help.

Mrs. Scott’s goals are to “help students become stronger critical thinkers and gain confidence in their own “learning techniques.” Her favorite things about WFS are her colleagues, students, and Meeting for Worship. 

Ms. Candice’s goal for this year is to “help things run smoothly, help things run as smoothly as possible and to add value where I can.” Her favorite thing about WFS so far is also the people. She finds herself laughing every day and eating lots of good pizza! 

The new staff was asked to choose three words to describe their experiences with WFS so far. Their words were, challenging, engaging, and hopeful (Mrs. Scott), exciting, growth, and community (Mr. Childers), eventful, community, and appreciation (Ms. Candice).   

For the students, their ultimate favorite thing has been their classmates. Kenzie Wilson enjoys the relaxed environment and friendliness of the WFS community.  Sandra Iancic has been enjoying meeting new people and making new friends, and Jov Levin’s favorite thing has been the people he gets along with. Lastly, Jack McKelvey’s favorite thing has been “how classes are structured so that the students get to work together more.” 

The students are looking forward to participating in clubs, new experiences, and WFS traditions. Kenzie Wilson also talked about how she is very excited about swim season and hopefully making it to the state tournament! 

When the new students were asked how WFS is different from their previous schools, answers varied. Jack McKelvey said that WFS is not very different from his old school, “but people are more open here.” Sandra Iancic had fewer students in her class last year than this year. Jov Levin talked about how there is a smaller sports selection at WFS and more homework. Kenzie Wilson said WFS is a more “relaxed environment” than her old school. 

Much like teachers, the hardest thing about their transitions has been learning people’s names, finding where classes are, and navigating through the website. 

So far, it looks like the new members of our community are settling in nicely!