Winter 2018

Posted by: Chad Cianfrani, Head of School on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Welcome to Oakwood Friends School!  

One of my great joys is having my daily ‘to-do’ list tossed out the window when an alum unexpectedly stops by campus. I am continually, and pleasantly, surprised to see a student  I remember as a 6th grader, return to campus as a sophomore in college or a few years into a new career. I am humbled when a former student steps foot on campus for the first time in 70 years and enters classrooms and dorm rooms with the familiarity of being here yesterday. Talking with one such alum I asked them what they thought of their Oakwood experience now that they were many years out. Their response, articulate and thoughtful, reflected a school community that has held true to our core mission for over two centuries. “Oakwood challenged and pushed me. It  helped me grow academically, athletically and artistically. Here I learned to self-advocate and to empathize. I was driven to make a difference in my community and expand my horizons within a truly diverse and global community.”

We see our students, regardless of age or generation,  evoke social and political change, advocate for their futures and push themselves beyond what they initially thought possible. Equally important  Oakwood students gain self-confidence and balance as they learn to responsibly and safely navigate our world. When our current  middle school students study sustainable practices in the greenhouse, they are challenged to explore the impact of food scarcity and distribution within the Hudson Valley. When upper school students study economics and international relations, they do so with a global perspective enriched by a community drawing experience from five continents, multiple nations and cultures. When they play soccer, baseball, softball and run cross-country in our fields, they do so in the shadow of a solar array which offsets 100% of our total campus consumption. And when they gather each week as a community in meeting, they listen inwardly, they reflect deeply and draw strength and support from one another.

I am inspired and humbled by the Oakwood community here every day and cannot think of a better place for me and my family to work, live, engage, connect and grow.  I encourage you to learn more about Oakwood and I  look forward to saying hello when you stop by campus.

Chad Cianfrani
Head of School