From the Interim Head of School

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Plymouth Meeting Friends School (PMFS), a community of active, joyful learners since 1780, ages 3 years through sixth grade.

I have had the good fortune to work in Friends education since 1994 as well as be the proud parent of a Friends school graduate in 2012. I have spent 13 years as the Middle School Principal at Germantown Friends School, helped found the Friends School of Charlotte, and spent seven years as the Lower School Director at the William Penn Charter School. Currently, my wife Karen and I are living in Uganda and helping support a vocational school and orphans program that we, along with a terrific volunteer team, helped start in 2003. It began as a Quaker-based program and still receives much support from Quakers and Quaker institutions. This year, I am thrilled to become the Interim Head of School at PMFS.

Being thus involved in Philadelphia-area Quaker education, I have long known the richness of a PMFS education. One only needs to interact with PMFS students, watch how they become lively participants and leaders in their schools of choice after sixth grade, or encounter them as adults who are making a difference in their universities and communities to fully understand PMFS. At each age and grade PMFS students dive into stimulating academic learning through a highly engaging project-based approach that deepens and matures as they do. The result gives students the foundation to find satisfaction and success wherever they go.

The formula for such successful learning is no secret. It occurs when younger students study the natural world first hand on PMFS’ beautiful campus or when fifth and sixth graders study social justice organizations and individuals that are making a difference. It occurs when fourth graders create and perform their own circus or the sixth graders create and perform their own musical. It occurs when third graders go to Wallops Island to continue the study of barrier island ecosystems, when fifth graders have their exchange with Mexico, or when Kindergarten fully immerses itself in the study of Africa. It culminates when our sixth graders graduate and get to speak with the entire community about their best moments at PMFS and express their deep gratitude to all who have helped them along the way. I could go on with many other examples from each grade’s outstanding curriculum, but I hope this introduction gives you a sense of our rich learning community in action.

Meeting for Worship, a weekly occurrence at PMFS, gives us all a chance to quietly reflect and make greater sense of our lives and the lives of others. The lessons learned in the classroom, with friends, or with family can become clearer and more a part of our daily experience through Meeting. Sharing together, within a process of seeking the light of spirit within each of us, is always at the heart of our school.

Being a part of a Friends school has been so inspiring to me. The chance to partake in the development of students’ learning, witnessing students finding their voices, and seeing them get the tools needed to properly turn their beliefs into action is a gift beyond measure. Everyone at PMFS invites you to join us in this wonderful journey!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us and to come visit to learn more about PMFS. If you have questions about enrolling your child or children, please contact our Admissions office: Joyce Colzani (joycec@pmfs1780.org) and Lael Rasch (laelr@pmfs1780.org). Currently we do have some spots open for the 2018–19 school year. I will be on campus beginning August 20, but before then feel free to contact me by email: davidkern9@gmail.com.

Our Summer Administrative Team is on campus throughout the summer to welcome you personally: Ralph Henninger, Director of Development (ralphh@pmfs1780.org), Joyce Colzani, Incoming Director of Admission (joycec@pmfs1780.org), and Genevieve Schmidt Camacho, Dean of Faculty and Students (genevievesc@pmfs1780.org). Thank you for your interest in PMFS and I sincerely hope to see you soon.

All the best,

David Kern
Interim Head of School