"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

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.

  • Jordan Grant ’06

    “You are teaching the future, my students will be in leadership roles when they get older.” Jordan Grant ’06 works as the lead fifth grade math teacher at Harlem Village Academy. His classroom was completely virtual during the 2020-2021 academic year. He reflected on the challenges that he faced this past year, and how to continue to bring about a world that ought to be while limited to a Zoom classroom. He works in an Integrated Co-Teacher (ICT) classroom, which means that the majority of the students in his classroom have special needs. 

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  • Alexandra Zissu ’92

    When her younger daughter, Lyyli, began to have climate anxiety in the face of climate change, Alexandra Zissu ’92 decided to put her skills as an  environmental journalist to work and write for kids like her daughter. Breaking out from her work as a journalist for adults, Earth Squad, focuses on 50 “environmental crusaders,” how they are working on saving the planet and how kids can join the effort. “It is a very difficult time to watch the destruction of our planet earth. While I was writing the book, I had curated this list of crusaders, but I didn’t want it to only be climate scientists and doctors. There is a wide array, I wanted kids to know you don’t have to be a climate scientist to be involved in saving the planet. You can be anything to be a member of the Earth Squad. The book consists of 50 mini-biographies which highlight how they were inspired as a kid to do this work. Each biography shares fun facts about their work, how to act like them, and a call to action.” When asked why the climate crisis was the focus for this new book, she shared, “The climate crisis feels like the biggest thing that we are dealing with. If I can get the younger generation to buy into fixing it, then we can make change.”
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    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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Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.
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