Buckingham Friends School parents, board members, faculty and staff gathered together at Honey Hollow Education Center on Friday, Sept. 20 to celebrate the start of the school’s 225th year.
Founded in 1794 in Lahaska and still in its original location, the campus and buildings have gone through many updates and renovations during the past two centuries. Through the many changes, the school has been mindful to remain true to its Quaker values while embracing a vibrant culture of community that celebrates the spirit of youth and stewards the promise of each individual.
Under the leadership of new Head of School Paul Lindenmaier, Buckingham Friends has seen an almost 20 percent increase in enrollment during the past two years. Buckingham Friends prides itself on investing in the future of its current and future students, as evidenced in its healthy endowment and the creation of a new strategic plan last year.
The faculty, school board, and current and extended community worked with strategic planning consultant Christina Drouin to restate the school’s mission, articulate its core values and develop a set of strategic initiatives that will ensure the school’s success and continued relevance.
The plan, “Realizing the Promise,” includes expanding and enhancing its already engaged community, continuing to adapt and develop innovative new programs to optimize student achievement, and stewarding all of its resources – financial, talent, and the facilities on the School’s 44-acre wooded campus – for a sustainable future.
Value-added programs such as woodshop, art, music, mindfulness, and the Joint Environmental Mission (JEM) programs continue to thrive and evolve. New JEM Director Laura Downs will lead nine students on an educational trip this November to Goa and Belgaum, India, to visit Buckingham Friends’ partner school, learn about different cultures, study alternative energy sources, and visit UNESCO World Heritage sites.