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Alumni and Faculty Profiles

Bringing about a World that Ought to Be

At Friends Seminary, our mission is to "prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be." Each month, Friends will profile an alum or faculty member (current and former) who lets their life speak. Together these profiles tell the story of Friends Seminary's mission in action through the individuals who have spent time here.

List of 3 news stories.

  • FACULTY SPOTLIGHT | TAYLOR HODGES ’11


    Taylor Hodges ’11 is a second grade teacher at Friends Seminary. 


    What do you recall about your first day at Friends Seminary as a teacher or student?
    “Honestly I can’t remember my first day at Friends, having entered the School in Kindergarten. But I think that I always knew that I wanted to come back. My goal, once I knew I wanted to be a teacher, was always to come back and work here because I had such a positive experience at Friends.

    My first day at Friends as a teacher was so warm, so kind, and so comforting. I was coming from a school down the block but there was something about seeing people who had taught me and now being their colleague, that made it feel like I had been there the entire time.” 
     
    What has been the most memorable experience of your Friends Seminary career? 
    “In terms of being a student, I played basketball, and I will never forget that we won the championship in my senior year. It was really incredible. I was very close with all the girls on the team and the coach. I don’t think that the girls have won since then. I hold onto that as something that was really special and really unique.”
     
    But something that will always mean a lot to me as a teacher is that for the first three years that I worked at Friends I worked with Chris. She had been my Kindergarten teacher. So when I came back and got to teach with her—the teacher who taught me—it felt like a really special experience. An experience that most people don’t get to have.”
     
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  • The Fabric of Friends & Rev. Mark Koyama ’84


    The Fabric of Friends

    A visiting installation organized through the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice, Rev. Mark Koyama ’84, and the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry has come to Friends.

    “There is this thing about quilting, it is a narrative art form in the sense that it oftentimes is, and traditionally was, made from the remnants of the lives of families. It is deeply involved in the African American experience. Quilting is an art form that is embedded in the older generation but that young people appreciate. It has the ability to bridge both racial and generational divides.” Rev. Mark Koyama ’84 is the minister at the United Church of Jaffrey, a United Church of Christ (UCC), in New Hampshire. When Black Lives Matter once again gained national attention in the spring of 2020, his church had many conversations about their role in the conversation. As a church in a small, predominantly white town in New Hampshire, there were reservations about being political. But when George Floyd was murdered, his faith community wanted to find a way to stand up and stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. They put “Black Lives Matter” on the sign outside their church, and a parishioner asked for fabric to make a banner. This banner blossomed into the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry, a group of people from nine churches throughout the UCC in New Hampshire who collaborated through Zoom and created 10 quilts with George Floyd’s last words on them. “I immediately recognized this as a golden idea that would create a community around a shared purpose. It was a way to bring two communities together; it represented a connection of a demographic of white people who wanted to be allies, but did not know how.”
     
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  • Deidre Donchian '74

    “People with ADD and ADHD have an expansive thinking process, they see beyond the detail and take in the whole picture. However, they often get hung up on how to get started. We need people with ADD and ADHD because they bring many wonderful things to our world, with their great imaginations and fully formed big ideas.” 
     
    After years as an artist making jewelry, Deirdre Donchian ’74 recently went back to school and completed a Master’s in Social Work. During that period Deirdre also trained as an ADHD Coach, and along with her LCSW, she became an accredited Professional Certified ADHD Coach by the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches. Deirdre’s motivation stems from a desire to understand and help herself and her children. It is also tied to a lifelong interest in psychology that in the past she was unable to explore. Since acquiring her degree, she has counseled and worked in schools, and most recently she has struck out on her own and begun an ADD/ADHD coaching service, Life in Action ADHD Coach. 
     
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Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.
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