Commentary and conversations about life in Richmond, Indiana

Community Life

We all need fresh air: Marcie Roberts of the Richmond Friends School

After 16 years working at the Richmond Friends School, Marcie Roberts is wrapping up her time leading the local independent school through significant growth and change. The current public health crisis has altered what her final months as Head of School look like, especially for an institution that values getting kids outside together, but the commitment to quality education and positively shaping young lives hasn’t wavered.

In this conversation I talk with Marcie about how RFS is different from other school offerings in the area, how COVID-19 has changed things for teachers, parents and students alike, and what she sees as important for all of us to be thinking about in our community’s approach to education, post-pandemic and beyond.

Disclosure: I am a donor to Richmond Friends School and a parent of a student there.


The below transcript was generated with the use of automation and may contain errors or omissions.

Chris Hardie: Marcie Roberts, thank you very much for joining me here on Richmond Matters. I appreciate you taking the time.

Marcie Roberts: Thanks for having me, Chris.

Chris: You are the head of school at the Richmond Friends School. And for anyone who might not already be familiar with RFS, I’m wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the school and sort of what sets it apart from other education options in our area?

Marcie: Sure, I’m happy to do that. We are a preschool through eighth grade independent school here in Richmond, Indiana. We are the only Quaker school in the state of Indiana that serves this age student. Obviously we have Earlham College, a higher ed option there. Which sometimes surprises people, given Richmond … Oh, sorry, Richmond and Indiana’s rich Quaker history. But we are the only Quaker school in Indiana and one of I think it’s 78 other Friends Schools across the nation. So we are a member of Friends Council on Education. They’re based in Philadelphia. But what does that mean? What does a Friends Education mean and how does that set us apart from public schools here locally and also other independent schools?

We have a really experiential approach to education. All of our classrooms are multi-age, meaning more than one age or grade level per classroom. We’re also committed to small student to teacher ratios. We currently have, it’s usually about no more than 15 or 16 per classroom. Depending on the age and developmental needs of the students, there are often times two teachers in a classroom of that size, if we’re talking preschool or pre-K and K. We have, we start Spanish language instruction starting at preschool, which is awesome. I think we’re the only school locally who does that. We have other specials, music and art specials as well. We do a lot of field trips. We love getting our kids outside and exposed to different passionate people in our community. Whether it’s to do community service or to visit local museums or environmental resource centers, things like that. We do project-based learning, so that fits in with that experiential learning part.

Starting in pre-K, K, our students have a research project. We have four and five-year-old who are doing two to three research projects a year, which can sound daunting if you’ve never done that as a parent, to help your student through that. Or even as a new teacher who’s trying to facilitate that. But what we know is never to underestimate the power and imagination and gifts of a child if they’re set up and given the tools they need to succeed. So, those are all distinctives. Another thing is, sorry, I’m just going to ramble here, Chris.

Chris: No, that’s fine.

Marcie: I get on my spiel and I can’t stop. But we really try to have a holistic approach to education. That is taking care of not just the academic sort of cognitive needs of a child, but also the physical and emotional and social and even spiritual needs of children. We get kids outside every day, and that’s all ages. And I don’t think any other school can say that. So I think that’s something we really value here, is just the opportunity to be outside and to be active and what that does for our everything. It’s a part of how we learn here, so it’s a valuable part of what we do.

Chris: It’s really an amazing array of things offered. And I should disclose at this point that I’m a parent of a child at Richmond Friends School, so I have some particular enthusiasm for the way that you do things. I think sometimes if people are not a part of the Quaker community, they hear Quaker School or Quaker Education, and I know this happens with Earlham some too. But let’s just be really clear, does someone have to be a Quaker or believe a certain thing to have their child attend Richmond Friends School?

Marcie: No. And I think that’s a great question and it’s a good thing to help break down for people. Because we don’t want that to be a barrier of any kind. One of our testimonies, so we’re sort of guided by what we call the SPICES, which is an acronym for different Quaker testimonies. The SPICES stands for simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship. Those are just sort of good morals and ways to know and navigate and live in the world, no matter what your spiritual background or religious background or non-religious background. We just believe those are good ways of engaging with people and problems. So, those SPICES sort of guide us formally and informally. But part of that, that equality piece, we really value difference. We think we learn best sometimes from people who are different than us. So, we welcome people from all backgrounds: socioeconomic, religious, cultural backgrounds. And we think, like I said, we’re better off with people, with having a really rich, diverse community.

We have about, gosh, I should’ve pulled up this fact, but I think it’s about 15% of our students are Quaker currently, which actually is a pretty big percentage. There are other Friends Schools as I mentioned, around the country, with far fewer than that. But again, because we’re a small school, our handful of Quakers make a big impact in terms of the percentage. But certainly the vast majority of folks are not Quaker and you don’t have to be.

Chris: Yeah. We’ll talk in a little bit about what life has been like at the school here in 2020. But I wonder if you could take us back to when you first came to RFS and what the school was like then, sort of what you thought you were getting into, what you noticed, any surprises and sort of help us think about that time.

Marcie: Sure. So, the school was actually originally founded in 1971 but a woman, Chris Nicholson, who is a member of West Richmond Friends Meeting and a gentleman by the name of Warren Smith. He is a former professor at Earlham College. And it was founded as the Children’s School and not designated as a Friends School, even though it sort of always had those Quaker connections because of Chris Nicholson. Chris worked as a full time teacher for many years at the school. And it had a real rich history of I think being transformational for children and families. But there had never been an administrative structure to the school, other than they would designate what they called a lead teacher and assign that full time teacher additional duties working closely with the board and trying to take on some of the admissions duties and things like that.

When I first was introduced to the school actually, my husband Jay Roberts who works at Earlham College, had been asked to join the board. He was really working with the board at that time to think strategically and sustainably and try to identify things the school needed to I think position itself a little bit better. It definitely was in some dire financial straights and running deficits and struggling with enrollment, as I think more organizations would if they didn’t have sort of someone other than … Just needing an ED, some sort of a leadership position to help the school. Anyway, they carved out a part time administration position, that at the time was called a school coordinator. And as a new young mother, we had just had our first child in April and I was working full time at Earlham. Anyway, my husband was like, “You should apply for this position.”

Chris: Nice.

Marcie: I have a background in early childhood education, so a love of experiential education and education. But also had dabbled in other sort of leadership positions in the hospitality field, at an online gaming company.Some kind of wacky things, but somehow they all came together and made sense for me to apply here. Because I thought, “Oh, I can do this as a new mom, it’s a part time job.” But we all know there’s no such thing as a part time job. Certainly a leadership position, it’s never part time.

But I was really lucky that the school was the size it was and it fit sort of the flexibility of my needs and my family’s needs. Sort of as my family grew, my responsibilities grew and the school grew sort of all simultaneously. The school, when I started was I think just pre-K through eight actually. They had just started having … They tried a middle school for three years I think starting in the year of 2003. But we had to lay it down in 2006 for a variety of reasons. But I started right in the middle of that tenure. We all learned a lot about why it worked and why it didn’t. And luckily we were able to revisit the idea of a middle school in 2015 and our board decided to try it again. We added seventh and eighth grades, excuse me, in 2016.

Chris: It’s pretty neat to think about what you’ve just described as I guess being able to do some experimenting in an educational context. Because I think a lot of times we talk about the school system and there’s a lot of structure and a lot of administrative overhead or bureaucracy I guess, involved in making changes. Can you say a little bit more about what does it mean as a school to be able to experiment with something to say, “Hey, let’s try something.” Is that easy? Is it hard? Is it a big deal? How has that tended to work over your time there?

Marcie: I think it’s never easy. But I really appreciate I think our size and our creative, sometimes almost fearless approach. Because we always learn things, for better or for worse. And we have had, given sort of our built in multi-age classroom structure that I described, that also has given us the flexibility of sort of blending and re-shuffling different age and classroom configurations based on enrollment and based on need. So that’s just kind of a logistic example of how we’ve been able to sort of be flexible. But I love to sort of quote Chris Nicholson, one of the co-founders of the school, in that she sort of developed this school as what she calls a pattern school. And she always sort of wanted it to be a potential model for other schools. Because with our size and our ability to be sort of nimble and creative, we can try things that sometimes other schools have a harder time wrapping their heads around or just implementing.

Marcie: I’ve heard that before the Discovery School was started, which is now no longer, and before the LOGOS Program, we were the first school to have multi-age classrooms. We were the first school to do conflict resolution in our classrooms. We were the first school to do project-based learning. So I think, I would like to think that some of those schools, when they were starting out, looked to us and tried to figure out what’s working, what’s not? I think we’re currently really trying to be a leader in environmental stewardship efforts. We have an outdoor learning lab outside, we compost our food waste, we try to plant a garden a couple times a year. We recycle all of our materials here at school and encourage our families to follow our lead. So we’re really trying to be … We’re looking into solar panels, it’d be awesome if we were the first school here in Richmond to have that kind of energy source. We want to work with and collaborate with other people and other schools. And I think our size gives us the opportunity to think creatively about what we can do.

Chris: Marcie, you announced recently that you were going to be wrapping up your time at Richmond Friends School and onto new adventures. I don’t know if you’ve gotten into a reflective mood about that yet, but I’m wondering if there are accomplishments or changes at the school that you’ve overseen that you’re feeling most proud of, as your time comes to an end?

Marcie: I think I’m not completely in the reflective mode yet, although things like this help me get there, perhaps. I think I’m … I mean, one of the things I’m really proud of is that some of the teachers, like Kay Maurer, who’s been here over 30 years and John Sheets, who’s been here over 20. And Chris Nicholson, the co-founder of the school still joins us, or used to when we were meeting together physically for all school meeting weekly. And donors and friends of the school, I’ve somehow … We, I should say, it’s never just I. We have somehow managed to stay together and grow and evolve together, which is sometimes hard. Because change can be challenging for a variety of ways. But I feel like my approach in terms of being really consultative and trying to listen, enabled people to kind of jump on board with me. So I’m really proud that we’ve maintained some of the amazing characters. Both character like as a character trait, but characters in terms of personalities together. So that’s been good.

Marcie: Obviously the growth in the school, the range from preschool to eighth grade and the enrollment numbers. We were as low, I think we were in the 30s at one point when we had to lay down the first rendition of the middle school. Now we’ve been sort of steady around 85. We still have some room to grow, we could be around 90 or 100 students to be full. So we’re not full, we’re still happy to look at new students. So that sort of stability has been great. And also that’s brought some obviously financial stability. We’ve been able to offer our teachers better compensation packages, whereas before they didn’t really have benefits. They had sort of a benefit stipend, where they had to choose between health and retirement.

Chris: Yeah, wow.

Marcie: Which doesn’t feel like a healthy choice to force anyone to have to make. So, we’re much more competitive in terms of how we can compensate our employees, which is great. We’re not running consecutive year deficits. We have an endowment that we never had before, we have an emergency fund. We have some investment accounts. So we’re definitely in better shape than we used to be. So that all feels like a big deal.

Chris: It does. It sounds really good for the school. I’m sure in no small part due to your leadership. One of the things I appreciate as a parent involved with the school is that it is … And I think this is a function of your leadership style as well. It’s not the kind of environment where the parents get to just drop their kids off at school and then never think again about what’s happening during those hours. It’s a very collaborative and engaged and sort of always prompting parents to be a part of the process. And there’s no directives handed down from school leadership saying, “This is the ideal version of education for your child.” It’s, “Let’s work on this together. Let’s build this together.”

And at first I think that can be surprising because it is so different. And maybe in some ways it’s harder or just requires more time and investment. But it creates such a richness in the community that is sort of built around the school as a place and as an educational setting, that makes it really special. I don’t know if that was by design or if that’s something that you’ve cultivated, but it’s really impressive.

Marcie: Well, I would like to take credit for that, but I do think it’s maybe something that I inherited. I mean, I’ve always felt that about the school and certainly your daughter being in pre-K, K, that just invites parents who are able. Obviously there are people with different work schedules who can’t necessarily walk their child into the classroom and check the morning job board and even start to do that together. But if you can do that, we love that. Especially at that age. Because it is about building relationships and making sure these kids are comfortable in these settings and able to thrive and go forward with their days. But yeah, this is not a place where you’re going to put your kid on the bus and wave goodbye and see them delivered back at your doorstep. And I think there are a lot of obviously powerful pros for those families who need those services.

Chris: Yeah, sure.

Marcie: But for our school, getting the kids and the families involved. I mean, we have three work days, they’re Saturdays that we count as school days on our school calendar and we do service together. And it’s about building community so that parents can meet other parents and students can engage with service and also show off their school. So, we have a lot of opportunities and sort of rich school traditions that I think create a really special place. I know I was a young … Well, a young mom. Some of my richest friendships have been through other kids and my kids’ parents. You know, their friends’ parents. So it’s says a lot. And even our alumni that we try to keep track of, so many of them think back to and keep in touch with their friends from preschool, from the Friends School. So, it definitely, it sticks and it can stick for a lifetime, which is exciting.

Chris: Yeah. So you described an educational environment that was very … is very hands on, experiential education, outdoor play. It’s such a contrast to think about the time we’re in, here in April 2020, COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, stay at home orders. Can you talk a little bit about how that unfolded at the school in terms of decision making about stay at home and classroom schedules and then some of the effects that you’re seeing that have on you approach education and effects on students and teachers?

Marcie: Sure. Just to back up a little bit, I think a lot of the public schools and other independent schools have had some experience with what they called e-learning when they would close schools for snow days and weather related things. Because we’re not reliant on busing and because we’re so small, we really do take our independence seriously. So if we can encourage families to be safe and get here even if there’s an inch or two of snow on the ground, we have school, So we’ve never had to think about e-learning or virtual supported learning here at the Friends School. Because you just said it, our philosophy is sort of the opposite of that. We want to engage socially and physically and mentally together.

So, it was a real challenge for us to wrap our heads around setting this up. And we thought, “Well, my goodness, these other schools are 20 years ahead of us because they do this.” But as we’re seeing, they’re approaching extended learning even differently than e-learning. And I can appreciate the difference there. But what did that mean for us? Luckily, we had a half-day teacher workday scheduled the afternoon of March 16th, which at the time we knew Wayne County, I think Health Department had decided they were going to close schools after Spring Break for three weeks. But then on that day, they announced that no, we actually would not come back for the week before Spring Break and we would be closed as of I think it was March … Let’s see, I’m looking at a calendar here, it all runs together. Oh, it was March 13th, so we would be closed as of March 16th.

So, we spent the afternoon together on that March 13th. I had an agenda, we were going to do some things related to accreditation, but we scratched that. We have a couple of board members who are education professors at IU East, so we invited them to join us. So they not only teach teachers in general how to teach, but they do have some coursework on teaching remotely. And they, themselves have to teach some remotely. So it was great to have them in the room with us. We also had a parent who specializes in sort of remote technology and access to learning environments. So he also joined us to talk about the power of Zoom, which at the time I think nobody knew too much about, or at least we didn’t.

We all … I wanted to just get a bunch of tools in the toolbox and talk about what we were going to do. But one of the things we really value here at the Friends School is meeting each individual child where they are. And also giving our teachers autonomy to teach in ways they know are going to meet the needs of each kid. It’s a tricky thing as a leader, because I didn’t want to come out and say … Of course, I hadn’t done the research to say, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do. We’re all going to use Google Classroom platforms and we’re all going to have to Zoom three times a week.” Because every classroom is different and every teacher is different and the developmental needs of the students are wide ranging. So I really felt like we needed to just process this together and I needed to support each individual teacher with finding a path that was going to work for them.

But it was also a little bit of grieving and just reacting to the shock. But I guess what I’m most proud of is that we left that teacher workday on March 13th and the teachers committed to sending an email and communicating with families that next Monday. And then by that Wednesday, getting out either the first packet of activities or online Zoom classes or projects or whatever they were doing to support their learning. And without fail, every teacher did that. Here, normally at school I can walk around and I walk through the classrooms and I can see and hear a glimpse of what’s happening. And I can’t do that online. So I asked each teacher just to CC me on all their communications with students and families, just so I could sort of have a glimpse into what was going on. I was just shocked and amazed. And again, it’s been some trial and error and we’re learning about what works and what doesn’t. But they were creative and they were fearless and they immediately committed to providing what they called doable and purposeful work for these kids.

But of course it’s incredibly challenging. And parents are sometimes having to work from home and then having to help manage, especially young ones who can’t do it all independently. So it’s really hard.

Chris: Sure. Yeah, yeah. And I imagine, I mean, this time of year for a lot of schools there are rituals and field trips and events and things that typically mark the passing of time and the changing of seasons. Have you noticed or talked with parents and families who have noticed changes there or has most of your attention I guess been on the academics and sort of helping people figure out the day to day?

Marcie: Well, I guess my focus is sort of all over the place. Because luckily, I mean for better or for worse, I’m not having to plan those weekly sort of curriculum maps and things like that. So I am trying to keep my head wrapped around those traditions and what can we do and what can’t we do? And how might we change things? Because as you know, you had offered to help sort of, we were going to do an online talent show and sort of morph what was going to be a spring event fundraiser into something online. And we just, we tried and we tried, and for a variety of reasons it just didn’t seem like it was working. And of all times, given what’s going on in everybody’s life, it doesn’t feel like a time to force something that doesn’t feel quite right.

So we have had to cancel our spring fundraiser event. But we’re looking at other creative ways to fundraise, because the school, we are tuition and income from fundraising driven. Because we don’t take vouchers, that’s another distinctive, we don’t take vouchers. We’re the only independent school that doesn’t take vouchers. And that means we don’t administer standardized tests, which we don’t think is necessarily the best way to assess what a child is capable of. But things like our middle school class was going to go to Michigan and do some field study work on Lake Michigan. Our fifth and sixth grade class, they have a tradition of going to Virginia and staying with our teacher’s family and then planning excursions to different historical and recreational sites. So obviously all of those trips have been canceled, which are just pinnacle experiences for so many of our kids. So that’s heartbreaking.

We’re looking at how do we do graduation? We’re known for sort of these amazing and meaningful, rich graduation ceremonies at the end of the year where our graduates each give speeches and our younger students and families and staff get to speak about the graduates and celebrate them in different ways. How are we going to do that remotely? But we’re not the only school struggling with that. So, I know we’ll come up with something awesome. But it will certainly be something different, as this all is. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, it may be way too early to think about this, but when you look ahead to post-pandemic education, does that landscape look different to you now? Can you think of the ways that it’s going to be affected? I just think about from a public health perspective and people talk about high touch surfaces in public spaces and school classrooms are kind of the definition of full of high touch surfaces when it comes to kids being in a space together. So what does it look like to do education in person again when hopefully all of this is over, sooner rather than later?

Marcie: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think everybody at every level is struggling with that right now. You know, whether you’re going to have to take every kid’s temperature before they come to school or have even beefier cleaning regiments at the end of every day, all kinds of things. I mean, I think the logistics in some ways are maybe easier to wrap your head around. It’s just the how are we going to have to sort of fundamentally and maybe even philosophically change how we approach education? I think, hopefully we go back to all of our favorite ways of knowing and being with each other. But we all have to have, we have to be ready for plan B. The reality is, is this may continue in some way, shape or form. It may go away. It may come back. So I think if anything, we’ve learned that we can do this. So that’s the good news.

But obviously nobody wants to continue and certainly continue for this kind of time frame. I just had a chat with a teacher, I’m having sort of end of the year sort of self-evaluation check ins that were supposed to be face to face, but now they’re on the phone or Zoom. She was just like, “This isn’t what I signed up for. This isn’t how I want to teach.” So what teacher did sign up for this, is the question. And what child? Although, I mean some people say that our introverts are maybe secretly loving some of this.

Chris: As an introvert, I can say I’m not loving most of it. Not loving most of it, yeah.

Marcie: Okay, good. Good. But I think for our teachers, the biggest thing that I’m hearing is that the divide. I mean, you’re always going to have some kids who are just more capable of engaging with the material and then others can’t, for a variety of reasons. And that divide is getting bigger given the constraints of online learning. And how do we close that divide? I don’t know. We don’t know yet. That’s the scary part. Because all those little sort of informal ways of supporting kids physically and emotionally when you can do that in the same space, but you just can’t now. So how are we managing that divide, is a tough one.

Chris: Yeah, sounds like hard questions. And with things changing so rapidly out in the world and in the local community, I imagine you all have to do a lot of figuring out on the fly. So, certainly wishing everyone the best in that process.

Marcie: Thank you.

Chris: As you sort of wrap up your final couple of months in this role, what are you looking forward to next? And sort of putting aside current public health situation, when you think about the future of Richmond Friends School in the years ahead, are there particular things that you hope for, for the school as well?

Marcie: Well, we have an interim head, Joe McHugh, and he actually is going to start on May the fourth. So, we get to overlap a whole month, which just feels luxurious and awesome.

Chris: Great, yeah.

Marcie: Although I don’t know what that’s going to look like in our socially distant office space or whatever that’s going to end up being. But he has experience being an interim head at other Friends Schools, one in Minnesota and one in North Carolina. So it’s kind of this weird niche that I never imagined people having, but turns out they do have it. And he sort of specializes in this sort of leadership transition. He is just, he is presenting this kind, calm, confident person with these abilities that I, for one, can’t wait to have join me, certainly. But then sort of take the reins. I think having an interim head is maybe a really great opportunity to sort of wipe out the Marcie cobwebs. You know, I’ve been here 16 years. And change can be challenging. So just sort of figure out what are those things that are worth hanging onto and what are those things that we might want to look at and do differently or approach differently?

So I think it’s awesome and I think the school is really primed for new vision and new energy. I’m hopeful that it’s being left in a good spot, it’s certainly changed and grown a lot over the years. But I really do think it’s time for the next phase of growth and opportunity for the school. I’m thrilled. So I think Joe will do a great job and he obviously not only has experience leading the school through this transition, but helping with the next search for the next longterm head of school. So, I can’t wait to see how things shake down.

Chris: Yeah, that’s awesome. I know that you’ve also been a part of conversations in the broader Richmond and Wayne County community about sort of the state of education here. I wonder too if there are things you’ve noticed about kind of the state of education in our community and what some opportunities might be for us to seize on, whether in the context of Richmond Friends School or more broadly. Maybe that’s just another way of asking what have you learned about how kids learn best and what can we do to get even better at that as a community?

Marcie: Obviously I’m biased, right? I really believe in our approach to education. But I’ve seen so many different kinds of learners thrive here. I don’t know … I just think this is the best learning environment. Even if you’re sort of academically really beyond your chronological years and you need to be challenged appropriately. Or maybe you’re academically gifted, but you don’t know how to sit in a circle and follow directions and have a ways to go with your social and emotional sort of developmental skills. I think our teachers just do such a nice job of sort of customizing the education for each individual child. But then when you combine that with the holistic approach and getting kids outside, it just, it really makes me sad that not every child gets to have fresh air during the day. I mean, as a human I think that is something we all need. And as children even, I just think it’s even more critical.

Yeah, I mean, I get it that other schools have serious constraints and they don’t necessarily have the freedom or the time. And a lot of that comes from standardized testing, which again, I almost feel like everybody knows that it doesn’t work. That the current system’s sort of broken. But until there’s a new approach, we have to keep doing. Which to me, feels like insanity. So, again, I’m just so thankful that we don’t have to do that. Because again, some kids are good test takers and they will thrive in that environment. But there are many who just physically get ill from it. And the amount of time that other teachers have to spend not just administering the test, but teaching to the test. And the kind of funding and reputation and things that follow test scores is just a broken system. I hope … It’s not an easy one to fix, that’s for sure. If it was easy, it would’ve been done by now. But yeah, I just … Yeah, that’s a tough, tough thing.

But one of our biggest things is access. There are people who believe that they can’t afford an education like this. And we do try to give a lot of financial aid and make it accessible to families regardless of need. But sometimes families just need that advocate. Sometimes it feels like we’re a hard rock to uncover unless you’ve stumbled upon us or talked to the right person. So for us, it’s just trying to get our message out there and make connections in the community. And again, we’re bigger than we’ve ever been, so we have more people telling the stories. But we’d love to have everybody know our name and understand at least what we can do here. Because all of the schools, we’re all trying to do our best and serve children in different ways. And not every school fits every child. And I think that’s really important.

But what we do is so unique to this community specifically. I think even though we’re small, we’re a vital part of Richmond and Wayne County. Because we also can help attract people who are moving here, physicians at Reid or people at Blue Buffalo or big new companies who are trying to recruit from other markets where Friends Education might be better understood.

Chris: Yeah. I know in normal times you would invite anyone interested in the school to come for a visit.

Marcie: Yes.

Chris: But knowing that they can’t do that right now, if someone wants to learn more about Richmond Friends School, where should they go?

Marcie: Well, we have a great website and we have a Facebook page that’s really active. We also, I’m about to do a virtual tour of True Blood Preschool, I think it’s this Wednesday at 6:00. So, we’re trying to get crafty with this new virtual world. So, certainly a phone call. But I will say, and my family and I are moving to North Carolina, so I’ve actually just gone through, I’ve been on the other side of things. I’ve been looking at schools. And it’s made me not only appreciate the Friends School even more, but appreciate actually what our message looks like and sounds like to the greater public. I think our website obviously has a lot of detailed information. We have archived newsletters, so our teachers are writing and submitting articles and pictures that really give a nice summary of highlights that are going on in each of the classrooms every month. I think there’s a lot of information out there. There’s some great videos, really gives you a sense of the school. But I’m always happy to talk to people and would even … I could walk around the school will my cell phone and do a little FaceTime.

Chris: There you go.

Marcie: I’m ready.

Chris: So that’s, I believe. I know you can find phone number and email address there as well, so sounds like that’s a great starting point for people to get in touch.

Marcie: Absolutely.

Chris: Great. Well Marcie, thank you for your time and thank you for all that you’ve done for Richmond Friends School and for the broader community. Wishing you the best in this final time in your current role and what’s ahead for you and your family.

Marcie: Thank you, Chris and thanks for what you do for our community. It’s just, I mean, it’s been a pleasure and a treat to be involved with an organization that’s so near and dear to my heart and that’s really making transformational sort of opportunities happen for kids and families. Kids are happy coming to school every day and that’s … there’s nothing better than that. Life is precious and childhood is short and I love that children love this place. So, thank you.

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