Friends School’s first 8th grade class will be graduating in May. As they look towards high school, Honor has taken the opportunity to interview each of them to find out about their time at Friends School, whether they are “lifers” (here since Preschool) or brand new to Friends School. Please enjoy this interview of Avery Lidge, at Friends School since 2nd grade.

Name: Avery

What grade are in?

Avery in 2nd grade when she came to Friends School

8th. I have been here since second grade. This is my seventh year.

How old are you?

I am fourteen – my birthday is November 20th. 

Share a memory from a ceremony or trip. Tell me about the experience and what it meant to you. The first thing I think of is Moab, the most recent trip we went on in seventh grade. We went to a baseball field near where we were staying and we played “where is my chicken” and we were laughing so hard and rolling on the ground and having so much fun. It is a really great memory.

Also, in fifth grade our graduation ceremony stands out. I remember that the music teacher, Monica, told us that she would give us all a Hershey kiss if no one sang during my solo. We never did get those Hershey’s kisses…. But, for the record, no one did sing during my solo.

What is a life lesson that you learned at Friends School?I have definitely learned many ways to express myself – theater, music, science, so many different ways to see what I can do, which is really fun. I think being at Friends has helped me learn how to develop deep friendships. At Friends there is a lot of support for getting through difficult times. One time we all came together to help a friend who sprained his neck and had to go to the ER. It was really scary for us, and for him, but we all helped each other through that – and he was okay in the end.

Also, if and when we have arguments or disagreements, the teachers support us in communicating and finding a way through. 

What will you take from your experience here into your future? My work ethic and perseverance with assignments or things that happen. Just knowing that you can push through something and finding the courage and the ways that you can get through it.

Working hard and finding ways to work smarter, not necessarily harder.

Striving to do my best in everything I can while not devoting my life to school work only.

Avery’s 7th grade genetics project: SCIURUS CANDENTIS

Tell me about a project or class that stands out and/or inspired you.Well, I can say that ever since I’ve had Kevin as my science teacher, I have been so passionate about science. One that stands out is the genetics project in seventh grade. The goal was to create and draw little creatures using Punnett squares showing why they had different colors, shapes or markings. It was really fun to do and I still have the poster I made. Mine was on squirrels – SCIURUS CANDENTIS – which means glowing squirrel.  

Avery as the “crazy cook” in the 5th grade production of “Alex in Wonderland”

Tell me about a person from Friends that stands out and/or inspired you.

Diane has definitely inspired the literature side for me. I was not a great reader when I came to Friends in second grade and I had Diane for 2nd and 3rd grade and she really helped it all come together for me.

Another person is Steve de Beer who really inspired my acting. I really loved the 5th grade play where I played both the crazy cook who loves pepper and a sassy flower. I learned how much fun it could be to express myself on the stage as someone else or as myself and see how that felt. Now every summer I do theater camp.

How is Friends School different from your previous school?

It was definitely more relaxed and friendly feeling which felt good. It was a lot less pressure and I could be who I am.

Also, in my first grade I had to move around between many classes, which we do in middle school, but in elementary school I really liked to have a base that I came back to. It felt good to have a stabilizing space that I knew I could just be in.

Avery today, as an 8th grader at Friends School

Do you have advice for future Friends students? Oh gosh, that’s hard. “Never give up” is a good one. You should really never just stop doing things. And have fun with it! I was a stress ball in sixth grade. I had a tough time adjusting because I was stressed by everything. It’s not a giant transition unless you make it that. Try to find ways to balance and have fun.

Do you have any advice for me, things to change/things not to change?

I can’t think of anything – I think things are great the way they are.

Do you know where you will go to High School? 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice

It is possible that I will go to Dawson, but it is not decided just yet.

Challenging minds. Nurturing spirits. Honoring individuality.