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

New Year, New Faces!

Friends Welcomes New Faculty and Staff
1. Adrienne Almeida is delighted to join the Friends Seminary community as the Director of Middle School and Upper School Library Services. She holds an MSLIS from LIU Post, an MA in TESOL from Lehman College, and previously studied International Studies at American University. Prior to Friends, Adrienne taught for over 20 years in the NYC DOE and continues as an adjunct professor at Hunter College.

2. Judy Brown joined Friends as our Director of Annual Giving last October. Prior to joining Friends, she worked for Development Guild DDI, The Pingry School, and the American Museum of Natural History. After studying at Franklin and Marshall College, Judy earned her Masters in Fundraising Management from Columbia University.

3. Emma Buckner is looking forward to being a new Grade 4 Associate Teacher. She trained in Elementary Education at American University in Washington, D.C. and continued there, earning her M.A. in Special Education. She comes to Friends from The Lab School of Washington, a school for students with language-based learning disabilities, where she taught in a Grade 4 math class.

4. Alisha Clarke joins us as a new member of the tech department. She studied Psychology at Hunter College. Prior to joining Friends, she worked at Apple as a Genius, becoming certified to repair and troubleshoot both hardware and software.

5. Hui-yu Como is looking forward to teaching Mandarin Chinese to Grades 4-7. She studied Chinese Literature at Soochow University in Taiwan. She comes to Friends from BASIS Independent Schools, where she taught Mandarin at all levels.

6. Olivia Elliott joins us as a new Grade 1 Associate Teacher. She holds an M.S.Ed in Early Childhood/Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. Prior to graduate school, she studied Political Science and Criminology at Ramapo College. Before joining Friends she worked as a Kindergarten Associate at The Town School.

7. Mouna Fdilat joins the World Languages Department as a Middle and Upper School Arabic Teacher. She trained in Arabic Studies and is currently enrolled in a master's program in Arabic and Linguistics at California University of Pennsylvania, expecting to graduate next year.

8. Nicole George joins us as our new Senior Accountant. She holds an M.B.A. from St. John's University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She was previously an auditor for a public accounting firm.

9. Norris Gray is looking forward to joining the English department, teaching Grades 6 and 7. Prior to joining Friends Seminary, Norris taught middle school English at The School at Columbia University. He studied at Loyola College and earned an M.Ed. from Chestnut Hill College.

10. Shayri Greenwood joins us as a new Middle School Science Teacher for Grades 7 and 8. She studied Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience and earned a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology (Integrative Neuroscience) from Stony Brook University. Shayri comes to Friends from Collegiate School and the IDEAL School of Manhattan.

11. Yachi (Erin) Huang is thrilled to return to Friends as a Chinese teacher in the Upper School and in Grade 8, after a semester teaching in the World Languages Department last spring. She holds an M.A. in Adolescent Chinese Education from Hunter College and a FLES extension from New York University. Prior to Friends, she taught Mandarin at Mamaroneck High School.

12. Caitlin Ironside joined us as the new Visual Communications Designer last October. Caitlin studied Design and Psychology at Binghamton University.

13. Adam Jackrel joins us as our new Upper School Computer Science Teacher and Technology Integrator. They studied Computer Science at NYU, where they were awarded several grants to develop creative technology for artists and performers. Prior to coming to Friends, Adam collaborated with artists and engineers on creative tech projects around the world.

14. Kimberly Johnson joined us as the new Executive Assistant to the Principal last September. She studied Business Administration at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where she hails from originally. Prior to joining Friends, she worked as an Executive Assistant for a privately held global executive search firm, and previous to that, she was an event planner in the NYC area for over 6 years.

15. Enmanuel Martínez is looking forward to teaching History in Grades 9, 10 and 12. He studied Comparative Literature and Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Friends, Enmanuel was a graduate student at Rutgers University, where he earned his M.A./Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and a Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies.

16. Ashley Mays joins Friends as an Associate Teacher in Kindergarten after previously working in a Pre-K classroom. She studied Early Childhood Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at The New School.

17. Laura McGinley joins the administrative team as our new Lower School Office Assistant. She has previously worked in hospitality, events management, and the fine arts. She has also volunteered as an art teacher with Bellevue Hospital child services. She studied Communications, Rhetoric and Political Culture at the University of Maryland.

18. John Otten joins us as our new Brass Coach and Assistant Jazz Band Teacher for the Middle School. He trained in Jazz Trumpet Performance at Manhattan School of Music.

19. Katherine Prudente joins us as the Coordinator of Health and Wellness Curriculum Development and Teacher. For 10 years, she was a staff member at Hallways, a program dedicated to preventing high-risk behavior through social-emotional learning in schools. She has an M.A. in Drama Therapy from NYU and is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, maintaining a private practice treating adolescents and adults.

20. Stephon Richardson joins us as an Upper School History Teacher in Grades 9 and 11. He studied at Clark University where he earned his M.A.T. Prior to joining Friends, Stephon taught Upper School History at Achievement First Brooklyn High. 

21. Eli Sidman is excited to join the Upper School science faculty this fall. He was a lifer at Brooklyn Friends School and previously worked in Quaker schools in and around Philadelphia. He is thrilled to return to New York and to a Friends school after previously teaching in California. He studied chemistry and earned an MAT in biology from Bard College.

22. Paige Sweet joins Friends Seminary as the Director of Financial Aid and Affordability and Associate Director of Admissions. She holds an M.A. in Literature from Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English, and previously studied English and Secondary Teaching at DePaul University. A Midwestern transplant, Paige has taught in Chicago, Boston, and, for the last eight years, at Collegiate School.

23. Ashley Tripp joins us as a Communications Specialist. She has over a decade of communications, marketing, philanthropy and branding experience. Prior to joining Friends, she served as a project and account manager at an advertising agency focused on healthcare, education and financial services. She trained in Communications and Journalism at Lesley University.

24. Kimby Heil (not pictured) joins Friends as the Director of Service Learning and Civic Engagement.Kimby comes with teaching experience in the lower, middle and upper grades. Most recently, she has spent time in the urban schools of Trenton, New Jersey, where she has devoted herself to helping students develop a sense of agency and realize their capacity to bring about positive change. Kimby studied at Boston College before earning a master’s degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt, and she is now completing a master’s program at the Summer Principals Academy at Teachers College.

Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.

222 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
P: 212-979-5030
F: 212.979.5034