Our Strategic Vision

The Class of 2018: Aware, Prepared, and Ready to Soar

The yearbook photo (above) of the senior class — with their dean Gorka Hernandez Ortiz and their faculty advisors —will get a new look in just a few days. The 42 students, who are well known in the school community for their independence, heart, intellect and talent, will receive their high school diplomas at commencement exercises held on Tuesday, June 12 at the Ethical Culture Society in New York.

Head of School Larry Weiss and Peter Prince, Upper School Interim Head, will preside at the ceremony, while Edward Oliver and Steven Burwell, co-chairs of the Board of Trustees, will present diplomas to the graduates. Two graduating seniors, Joy Freund and Hasanti Kelly, have been selected by their peers to represent them as their student speakers.  Also by tradition and custom, the Class has chosen mathematics teacher and faculty advisor Zenzile Keith to be their faculty speaker.

Opening the program will be a commencement address by Stephen Friedman ’55, the 2018 recipient of the George Fox Award and President Emeritus of Pace University. The Upper School Chamber Ensemble will add an exquisite musical touch to the exercises, and two of the graduates, Oliver Betz (piano) and Devante Dunbar (saxaphone) will perform solo works.

Collectively and individually, members of the Class of 2018 have made significant contributions to the school community and have excelled in scholarship, social justice activism, the arts, athletics, and service. Of note scholastically, graduating senior Sophia Lipkin earned a semi-finalist spot in the Presidential Scholars Program, one of the highest honors in the United States for high school seniors. Sophia will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall. Aishat Adelkunle received a $40,000 per year Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship for her studies at Yale. For their ability to stay focused on challenging IB classes while having an impact on all areas of school life, biology teacher and senior faculty advisor Teresa Cano perhaps put it best in describing the members of her class: “I commend my High Level Biology class for showing the strength and the ability to get back up again and keep going. I thank them for bringing smiles and jokes to the classroom, creating the most pleasant and relaxed academic environment. I’m especially grateful to those who showed continuous cooperation, enthusiasm, motivation, empathy, intellectual curiosity and generosity.”

The Brooklyn Friends School graduates will matriculate at a broad range of colleges and universities. The full matriculation list is as follows: Barnard College, Bates College, California Institute of the Arts, University of California-Irvine, Clark University, Columbia University, Drew University, Guilford College, Haverford College, Hunter College of the City University of New York, Johns Hopkins University, Juniata College, Loyola University-Maryland, Loyola University-New Orleans, SUNY-New Paltz, Oberlin College, Pitzer College, St. Francis College, Skidmore College, Syracuse University, University of Toronto, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, Wells College, Williams College, and Yale University (all with one student attending.) Two or more BFS graduates will attend New York University, Occidental College, Pace University, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wesleyan University.

See more about the “College List” in the BFS upper school student newspaper, The 116.


The Class of 2018

Aishat Adekunle • Sophia Almonte • Nisa Bandele • Amanda Becker • Fiona Bestick • Oliver Beiz • Justine-Alexandria Brown

Margaret Cassidy • Jason Cayetano • Miranda Chang •  Juan Contreras • Rosemary De La Cruz • Devante Dunbar • Joy Freund

Johan Griffiths • Michaela Guy  • Jeremiah Heidebrecht • Niamh Henchy • Anthony Hohn • Milo Hume • Angel Iparraguirre •

Kasey Johnson • Taekyung Kang • Hasani Kelly • Grace Kryvicky • Chelsea Lehner • Sophia Lipkin • Eduardo Liz • Nia Lowe

Ernest Mingo, Jr. • Scott Morris •  Jonae Oldham • Jiahui Qu •  Juliet Ramey-Lariviere •  Molly Rosenbloom • Gabriela Sánchez

Mingma Sherpa • Lucy Smith • Claire Stohlman  • Isabel Ullman • Alexander van Biema • Justin Williams

CAS (Community-Activity-Service) Projects for the Class of 2018
  • Immigration Impact – Angel I. and Jason C.
  • Rikers Island Book Drive – Molly R.
  • Animal Rights Community Issues Conference Session – Grace K. and Juliet R-L.
  • Rape Culture in Politics Quaker Youth Leadership Conference Session – Niamh H.
  • Upper School – Middle School Peer Mentoring & Tutoring Program – Isabel U. and Gabriela S.
  • Temperature Blankets – Lucy S.
  • BFS Talent Show – Kasey J. and Justine B.
  • Imagemakers SLA – Chelsea L. and Fiona B.
  • Queer as Folk: An Exploration into Queer Culture – Ernest M. and Jonaé O.
  • Mindfulness in the BFS Community: Pearl St., Lawrence St., and Beyond – Miranda C.
  • Acapella SLA – Eduardo L., Michaela G., and Anthony H.
  • Pass the Torch Dance Performance – Mingma S.
  • CAS Video 2018 – Juan C.
  • Candle Lighters Soccer Match Series – Johan G.
  • Invictus: Young Men of Color Video – Hasanti K., Devante D., and Justin W.
  • P4Y 360 Youth Leadership Forum – Joy F. and Amanda B.
  • Mural Arts Project – Margaret C.
  • ZOOM Album / Leukemia Benefit Concert – Jeremiah H.
  • Humans of BFS: An Exploration of Microaggressions in the Upper School Community – Aishat A.
  • The Language Connection – Alice Q.
  • Young Music Mentor Project – Taekyang K.
  • Washington Heights Community Concert – Oliver B.
  • BFS Model UN Conference – Sophia L.
  • Whites Against Racism Group – Alex V-B. and Milo H.
  • Bringing Stress Relief to BFS – Scott M.
  • Mission Baby Hat – Nia L.
  • Women of Color Affinity Group / Dinner – Nisa R. and Rosemary D.
  • Project Sticky Notes! – Sophie A. and Claire S.