Friends School’s first 8th grade class will be graduating in May. As they look towards high school, we’ve 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 Allison Hoeffler, one of Friends School’s lifers.
Q: What grade are you in?
Q: How old are you?
14. I started at Friends in preschool when I was 3 years old. That makes me a Friends School “lifer”.
Q: What do you remember from preschool? I remember playing with gak, and the sensory table. I remember a lot from second grade – I really loved being with my buddy. Then when I was older I got to be the older buddy, and now my buddy is in fifth grade and it is so cool to see her when I’m at the elementary school.
Q: Share a memory from a ceremony or trip. Tell me about the experience and what it meant to you.
The beading and naming ceremonies – I love those. I’ve collected all of the beads since I’ve been here and was given names like Joyous Jumper and Colorful Shoes. I didn’t know people noticed or appreciated those things. It’s really surprising. I also really enjoyed going to Cure Farm. I remember it being really fun to plant things and walk around and see all of the animals.
Q: What is a life lesson that you learned here?
Friends School introduced me to theater. My very first play was here. Now I’m very involved with a local theatre company. I love playing characters and being on stage.
Q: Tell me about a project or class that stands out and/or inspired you.
In middle school, science is definitely my favorite class. Kevin (Nugent) is such an amazing teacher and I love going to his class. Learning about cells, for example has been amazing. I can tell that he genuinely loves what he’s doing and that there is nothing he’d rather be doing than teaching middle school.
Q: Tell me about a person from Friends that stands out and/or inspired you.
Liz Richards who was my teacher in 4th and 5th grade. She was so much fun! I never realized that learning could be so fun.
Q: What’s a question I should ask another interviewee?
What is one word that describes your whole Friends School experience?
Q: Do you have advice for future Friends students?
I would want them to understand that we don’t just say that it’s a welcoming environment, it really is. At Friends, teachers get you genuinely interested in learning. It’s not just for the test – it’s real life. They teach academics, but it’s done hand-in-hand with learning to be a kind person.
Q: Do you know where you will go to High School? 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice
Monarch, New Vista, or Boulder High. I’m hoping to find a good theatre program. I’m nervous and excited to go to a large, new school.
Q: What are your passions? What makes you, you?
I’ve done a lot of musical theater, dance and gymnastics.
Q: What was it like to be part of Friends first middle school class?
It was amazing and crazy because there were SO many possibilities! I like it a lot. I’m trying to live in the moment and not focus on leaving. I love having all of the grades here and it was really special to be a part of starting the middle school.
Q: If you could wave a wand……
I wish that we had a student council in middle school. It would be great to have a say in how things are done.Read More
Volunteer Profile: Diane Hullet
Hometown: Okemos, Michigan
Husband: Russ, from Westport, Connecticut
Children: Anna, 9th grade at Dawson, dances at Kinesis; Jessica, 5th grade at Friends, practices karate at Wolchek Academy of Martial Arts
Pets: Kaya, lab/shepherd; Mokie, cockapoo; Skidder the turtle; various fish
Education/current or previous employment:
BA from CU, MA in Education from Stanford, taught middle school and high school English, including at September School in Boulder in the early 90s; taught creative painting workshops with Michelle Cassou, using paint as a tool for self-discovery and mindfulness; currently employed as chauffeur, chef and personal assistant.
Hobbies & passions & talents: skiing, painting, sewing (mostly making quilts), hosting house concerts with singer/songwriters.
Q: Tell us about volunteering at Friends School.
I got started volunteering at Friends by helping in the classroom with writing when my oldest daughter was in Kindergarten. Pretty soon, I got involved in the grade-level art projects for the auction each year, then joined the development committee. I’ve now been on the board for 6 years, and I am the chair of the advancement committee. For me, volunteering here means making the best decisions possible with other enthusiastic, smart people, helping to jump-start creative projects, and following through on long-term strategic goals.
Q: How did you find Friends School & why did you choose it for your children?
I first saw Friends when I was finished with undergrad at CU and was working at a preschool called Make a Mess. I think the elementary school must have just been finished. I remember thinking “That looks like a perfect size and a creative place.” Later, when we felt Anna would thrive in a smaller school, I showed her the school one day as we drove by. From then on, she referred to it whenever we drove by – “That’s my school!” I had never seen her attach to something like that and thought it was a good sign. I delivered her preschool application on my bike one day, with her in a Burley, and she was very pleased that soon she would be going to “her school”. We chose it for the small classes, creative spaces, and the warmth and expertise of the teachers. We believed that our child would be known and seen there, and it was true. When Jessica was adopted a couple of years later at age 3 1/2 and we brought her home from China, the community embraced her and came to know her deeply as well.
Q: What motivates you to volunteer?
The world feels like a very big place to me, so being connected in a small sphere where I actually feel like I can have an impact matters to me. I want to improve everything all the time — so working to make a positive difference in very concrete ways at a place where I can see things change and grow and improve is rewarding. I see the teachers and the program at Friends doing two critical things: 1) opening and challenging the minds and hearts of young students 2) creating new teachers though the Teacher Prep Program. Both of these layers of learners will go on to make the world a better place – so I want to support the infrastructure and the program that help to make that happen.
Q: What books are you reading right now?
I’m reading “A History of the World in Six Glasses” and “Untangled.” I just finished “Little Princes” and “How to Raise an Adult.” Usually I only like fiction, but I seem to be on a nonfiction jag. This summer I read “Modoc,” “Commonwealth” and “The Hunger Games.”
Q: If we were to open your fridge, what would we find?
Well, you are catching me on a remarkably good day, because I cleaned it out yesterday. What we have here is: a couple take out boxes from a snack at Pica’s, two kinds of soup made yesterday (beef chili plus what we Midwesterners call “hamburger soup” aka beef vegetable soup), fruit, lots of eggs, lots of veggies. What my kids like best for breakfast currently is quesadillas with ham and cheese made on my all-time favorite kitchen purchase – the Breville Sandwich Press, recommended to me by Oprah.
Q: How do you recharge?
I go and be alone, pretty much anywhere, but often in my sewing studio where I play around with color and patterns. I give most of my quilts away, and my favorite donation each year is to a tiny history museum in McCarthy, Alaska. You can ask me about that sometime.Read More