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The 322nd Class of Abington Friends is Ready for Success

Naandi is continuing her theater career at Ithaca College

Abington Friends School produces powerful potential in its students through immersive learning and deep bonds between teachers and students. Not only are 100% of our seniors accepted to four year colleges, but AFS helps each student discover a path to their school of choice. Before heading off to college, seniors from our 322nd class shared how their education and experiences at AFS have prepared them to achieve future success.


Will is a member of the AFS Class of 2019Will Steinberg, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, School of Communications

Will is an award-winning athlete who is headed to the nation’s leading school of communication at Syracuse University. A strong presence on both the basketball and baseball teams and a steady, dependable classmate, Will learned the importance of self-reflection and talked about the influence the athletics program has had on his life.

How has AFS prepared you differently than most schools for college and beyond?

Abington Friends has taught me how to self-reflect and I think it’s one of the most important qualities you can take into the world, because it helps you to know when you’re doing your best work and when you need to strive to be better and work harder.

How has the athletics program at AFS influenced you?

Athletics have been a huge part of my life and my time at AFS. The largest influence has been on the relationships I’ve formed. As a freshman I was fortunate enough to make the Varsity Baseball team, which gave me the opportunity to connect with older students and I looked up to these seniors and juniors and wanted to be like them.

Selina Zhou, TUFTS UNIVERSITY, Double Major in Arts and Applied Environmental Studies (Nutrition track)Selina heads to Tufts University after AFS

Selina, an international student since ninth grade and a supremely talented artist, has won numerous Scholastic Art Awards in both her Junior and Senior years. Her work, including a successful AP portfolio based on a trip to the Arctic, is honed with a scientific and artistic eye, creating visually stunning pieces of art. Also a member of the MedEx cohort and an active participant in the Environmental Action and Justice Club, Selina makes a connection between the strong interdisciplinary focus at AFS and her college choice.

What made you choose Tufts?

The main reason I chose Tufts is because of its interdisciplinary emphasis, which closely matches with AFS. Both schools give you the freedom and flexibility to explore your interests and passions. For example, at Tufts I hope to integrate the knowledge that I gain from science classes into visually appealing artwork that can help people better understand certain issues.

Can you talk about your experience as an International Student at AFS.

My younger cousin, who is in fifth grade in China, is thinking about coming to Abington Friends, because of the strong sense of community—it is welcoming and loving. You can get the rigorous academics you get here at many schools, but the constant support and the close student and teacher relationships cannot be attained at many other high schools.

Naandi is continuing her theater career at Ithaca CollegeNaandi Jamison, ITHACA COLLEGE, Theatre

Naandi joined the AFS community toward the end of her school career, but she instantly felt at home at Abington Friends, immersing herself in the School’s artistic community. She has performed in every play and musical produced since her arrival in the ninth grade and founded The Mural Club. She shares her personal experience joining the community and what put her on a path to study theatre at Ithaca.

How was your experience coming to AFS?

I think my favorite part about Abington Friends School is the way that students connect with their teachers. Faculty members really make an effort to connect with their students on a personal level and they take the time to help students out and work through any challenges they’re facing.

AFS isn’t your typical kind of school where at the end of the school day you just want to get out of there and go home where you can be by yourself. It’s fun to actually be here with the teachers, with the other students and it’s also about the way that students learn— it’s inclusive and interactive and so much better than what I’ve experienced at other schools.

How have you grown both academically and socially?

My critical thinking skills have vastly improved. At Abington Friends you learn to think through problems, rather than just memorizing something or being told one way to solve a problem. Teachers guide us to figure it out ourselves and work through it. Being in such an inviting and welcoming community has helped me realize that I don’t have to be defensive or shy. I’ve learned how to talk to people and really get out there and make new friends.

Colin Getz, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, Chemical Engineering 

Colin is known as a “lifer” at Abington Friends School, having attended the school for the past 13 Colin Getz shares his passion for chemical engineering and musicyears. A lover of math and science, Colin planned to major in engineering and initially looked into schools that are focused on that discipline until his guidance counselor recommended he visit University of Rochester. A winner of the AFS Instrumental Music Award for Service and Leadership, a leader on the Robotics team, a lover of language-learning and member of the varsity golf team, Colin credits AFS with his ability to freely be a multi-dimensional student and community member.

How has AFS prepared you differently than most schools for college and beyond?

Abington Friends gave me the opportunity to explore any area of study I wanted to, regardless of my strengths or what I thought I wanted to do in the future. I made it clear that I was interested in focusing on math and science, which is where I took my most challenging courses, but I was still able to be part of the music program for all four years playing bass and cello in the orchestra and the jazz ensemble.

In what ways has AFS led you down this path?

The world is always changing and the one thing that Abington Friends School stressed was that you can take the values that we learn here and apply them to everyday life. We learn the Quaker Values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship and we apply those to everything we do at the school. There’s nothing artificial about the people at AFS. Every student is who they want to be. There’s also a healthy push to make sure that students are challenging themselves.

Margaret Silbaugh, GRINNELL COLLEGE, No Declared Major

Margaret came to Abington Friends in third grade and has witnessed the evolution of the joyful learning that takes place within the School from a young age, to the present-day as a graduating senior. A lover of poetry and reading, she was honored with the English Department Award for Excellence and credits the English program at AFS with the development of strong, college-level writing skills.

How does AFS prepare students for college?

The combination of strong academics and a nurturing environment at AFS is really wonderful. It produces kids who are insightful, self aware and intelligent. I think that those three pieces are important for venturing out into this world as an adult.

Also, the English program at AFS is exceptional—it’s very difficult, but also very fulfilling. Our teachers challenge us to think deeply and about diversity and to be inclusive of varying backgrounds and stories. You learn to present yourself in a way that’s clear and understandable. I made sure to choose a college that has as strong an English program as the one here at AFS.

Apply for Fall 2019 and Schedule your admission tour today!

Contact the Office the Admission and Request More Information about our academic program for all divisions. Abington Friends School is a coeducational, college-preparatory school for students age 3 through Grade 12, deeply routed in Quaker values.


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