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Staffing News: Goodbyes and Hellos in the Lower School

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Each year, we learn that we will be saying goodbye to colleagues who are moving on or retiring from their positions at SFFS. As we encourage risk-taking, lifelong learning, and growth in both our students and ourselves, we celebrate our Friends as they continue their adventures and journeys outside of 250 Valencia, and we thank them for their contributions to our community. This year, I reached out to colleagues for some insight about our departures. The quotes you will read below are from unnamed faculty members who have years and decades of collaborative experience with our departing colleagues. I hope their words help convey a fraction of the debt we owe them as instructional leaders and community members. We encourage you to help us honor and celebrate those who are departing, while also welcoming those who will soon be joining this special community of learners and Friends.

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LOWER SCHOOL GOODBYE:

Jake Ban 
by Jennifer Arnest

Jake Ban is going to Boston!

When we first met almost five years ago, I knew right away that we had to have Jake Ban on our teaching team. Jake exudes a vibrant energy and a commitment to professionalism that is contagious. Our team and our whole school has been influenced by his clear attention to curriculum, and his work ethic and endurance is admirable. He’s a driver of ideas, a cheerleader, and a positive thinker on the team, and I am among his biggest fans. Jake will be leaving the San Francisco Friends School to pursue graduate education in school leadership at Harvard. He and his husband will be relocating to Cambridge in July. We know we will stay in touch, as Jake’s future is something we all want to keep an eye on. Jake has found his calling in the field to be sure, and Harvard is the luckiest to receive him. We are so sad, and also, very, very proud of him.

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LOWER SCHOOL WELCOME:

Luis Hernandez
by Jennifer Arnest

In the 3rd Grade position, working alongside Andrea Green next year, we are thrilled to welcome Luis Hernandez to our Lower School team. Luis is currently busy wrapping up the Distance Learning for his current 3rd Grade class at Prospect Sierra School, but will be joining us for our end of year rituals, and an important part of our planning this summer, too. When the hiring committee met Luis we all just crossed our fingers and thanked our lucky stars when he accepted our offer. His resonance to our Quaker mission, his experience in independent schools, his love of the city, and his good humor and graces make us all very sure he will be a wonderful addition to the team.

Even though he’s just finished the BATTI Masters and Credential program, Luis is no stranger to independent school communities. He’s been in the education field for over 20 years, starting as an independent school student to transitions to roles such as  Development Manager at the Katherine Delmar Burke School, to an Admissions Officer for the Nueva School, and most recently, as a 3rd grade associate teacher at Prospect Sierra. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Luis brings a sense of confidence about how schools work and comes with the ability to effectively connect and collaborate with administrators and families as easily as he does with students. When not creating his latest video lesson, Luis enjoys staying fit, healthy cooking, and playing music, preferably all outside. It is clear that this New Yorker has fully embraced Bay Area life!