Tandem Friends School

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Tandem Friends School
279 Tandem Lane
Charlottesville, Virginia, 22902
United States
Type Private, Quaker
Motto Freedom with Responsibility; Kindness and Wisdom
Established 1970
Founder John Howard and Duncan Alling
Assistant to the Head of School Michele Jarman
Campus Director Tom O'Connor (middle school)
Nura Yingling(upper school)
Headmaster Andy Jones-Wilkins
Grades 5-12
Gender Co-Educational
Enrollment 209
Color(s) Dark green and white          
Athletics Delaney Athletic Conference; 18 teams, no-cut policy
Mascot Badger
Accreditation VAIS

Tandem Friends School is a coeducational secondary school founded in 1970 in Albemarle County, Virginia,[1] just outside Charlottesville, by educators John Howard and Duncan Alling.[2] In 1995, it joined the Friends Council on Education, adopting the educational beliefs and practices of the Quakers. The current head of school is Andy Jones-Wilkins. The Assistant Head is Paul Erb. The Upper School, grades 9-12, has approximately 120 students, while the Middle School, grades 5-8, has approximately 100 students. The head of the Upper School is Nura Yingling, and the head of the Middle School is Tom O'Connor. Tandem is located on 279 Tandem Lane. The mascot is a badger. The logo is the hemlock tree.

The school’s mission statement best summarizes its goals:

"Rooted in Quaker values, Tandem Friends School prepares young people for higher education and fulfilling lives of integrity, creative expression, and service." The school maintains silent meeting as a weekly practice.

The school’s unofficial mottoes also capture the Tandem philosophy: “Freedom with Responsibility” and “Kindness and Wisdom”.


Founded in 1970, Tandem is the first Friends School in the U.S. that started as a non-Quaker School. The school is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and is a member of the Friends Council on Education.[citation needed]


Longstanding Tandem traditions include Morning Meeting, Meeting for Worship, Spring Day, Blue Ridge Day, Wednesday Pancakes, Speaker Series, Emphasis Week, Sophomore Seminars, and Senior Projects.

The Saturday before Mother's Day has been the date of the annual Mother's Day Music Festival, a small festival to honor mothers and to showcase local musicians. A notable past act to play on the quad at Tandem Friends School for the Mother's Day Music Festival was the Dave Matthews Band.

The pancake breakfasts serve, on average, 500 pancakes each Wednesday. The pancakes are made and served by staff along with parents, students, and faculty.[3]


Tandem Friends School fields eighteen sports teams and maintains a no-cut policy. The athletic director at Tandem is Jackie Rose. The school competes in the Delaney Athletic Conference.

The Varsity Girl's Soccer Team won the VISAA Division II State Championship in the Spring of 2010, and again in Spring of 2011.[4]

Arts Program[edit]

Tandem Friends School has an Arts program that encompasses plastic and visual arts, drama, digital film, and music. Drama and art are each taught for one semester each year in the Middle School grades. Each grade in the Middle School puts on a play during the year. Art electives abound in the Upper School, as well as drama classes and an after-school drama program that presents a musical in the fall, a one-act play festival in the winter, and a comedy or drama in the spring.

5th graders take regular music classes. The school has a string ensemble, a jazz band, and a Rock and Roll band, as well as other music class offerings. Tandem sports two fully equipped music rooms, with guitars, basses, and a drum kit, as well as many other instruments for performing and recording.


  1. ^ GIS Web Albemarle County retrieved 10 July 2009.
  2. ^ Tandem History Tandem Friends School, retrieved 10 July 2009
  3. ^ "Pancake Wednesdays and Taco Mondays". Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  4. ^ staff report (21 May 2011). "STAB girls lacrosse, Covenant boys tennis, Tandem girls soccer teams win state titles". Daily Progress. Charlottesville, Va.: Media General. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°59′45″N 78°29′30″W / 37.99583°N 78.49167°W / 37.99583; -78.49167