Wes Davis joined the GFS faculty in 2006. He has a B.S. as Fitness Specialist from West Chester University and is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Teaching physical education in a Quaker school is an art and Tr. Wes has mastered it. He inspires Lower School students to enjoy fitness and games while fostering appropriate competition and encouraging sportsmanship and cooperation. Every May, Wes plans Game Day, an afternoon filled with creative games like team "skiing" and the refreshing, and ever popular, sponge toss!
Soccer is Wes's game and when he is not at GFS, he coaches at the club and high school levels. In 2009, his Downingtown West girls' team won the state championship. Wes was recently named Chesmont Coach of the year and 2009 Daily Local News Girls Soccer All-Area Coach of the Year. Few people are aware that while at West Chester University, Wes was a four year starter and captained the team his senior year. After a few years' hiatus from the sport he played one year with the Reading Rage of the USL pro league. Wes currently volunteers for the Philadelphia Union. He and his wife, Danielle, enjoy spending time with their son, Logan (GFS '20) and future GFS student, Victoria.
In 2008, Charmagne DeVinney joined the GFS faculty as the Lower School music teacher. She has infused the program with her energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism. A lifelong musician, Charmagne graduated from Glassboro State College magna cum laude with a B.A. in Music Education and received the senior music medallion. She also has a Master in Music with a specialty in performance from Ithaca College and spent five months in London at the Royal College of Music. She holds an Elementary School Certificate from Rutgers University.
After a long career in New Jersey public schools teaching elementary school music and chorus, Charmagne now devotes her time to volunteering at Frederick Douglass Christian School (FDCS) in Chester and at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. Charmagne is a founding and current member of the Fine Arts Committee at GFS. Charmagne's other interests include traveling with her husband. They recently ventured to South Africa to visit their daughter who was studying abroad!
Michele DuPlessis is a graduate of The Crefeld School, Chestnut Hill College (B.A Art History/Religious Studies), and Arcadia University (Masters of Education, K-6 Teacher Certificate) Her family moved several times before settling in Chester County. In over a decade of teaching, Michele has taught Kindergarten, first grade, and Pre-Kindergarten.
She has been a member of the Goshen Friends staff since 2007 (Preschool teacher in Room A and lead teacher of the "Little Friends" program). This year Michele will once again teach Kindergarten Enrichment and co-teach Kindergarten.
Michele is a dedicated teacher. She has taken advantage of several continuing education opportunities including Handwriting Without Tears, Kidwriting, and brain research classes at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, and has attended Educators New to Quakerism and the Early Childhood Educators Peer Network events sponsored by the Friends Council on Education. She has served on various school committees: including General Committee, spiritual life, arts, International Week, and the curriculum committee.
An avid animal-lover, Michele helped designate the "CCSPCA" as the Preschool community service focus. She assists in fostering rescue animals of all kinds and supports therapeutic riding centers such as Thorncroft and Hope Springs. Michele lives in Chester Springs with her husband Jim and family. In 2011 she adopted a beautiful chihuahua named Sadie. Although her beloved horse Olive passed away recently, in her spare time Michele continues riding lessons. She also loves to fit in reading time and visits to the beach!
After teaching 4th and 5th grades in Philadelphia and Upper Darby and serving as a long-term 7th grade substitute, Elaine Fell came to Goshen Friends School as a preschool parent in 1977. When her younger daughter, also a GFS preschool alumna, entered kindergarten, Elaine began her career in the Extended Care program. From 1984-1994, Tr. Elaine taught various preschool classes and in 1994 returned to her roots as an elementary educator and began teaching the GFS 4th graders.Elaine holds a B.S. in Education from Temple University and enjoys attending reading and writing workshops offered by West Chester University. She has served on various committees at GFS including the Building Committee (past and present) and the capital campaign for the Extended Care room and the lower school building. She co-clerks the students' Spiritual Life Committee with Tr. Devon (5th grade) and is a member of the Faculty Spiritual Life Committee.During her peaceful moments, Tr. Elaine enjoys reading, aerobics, long walks, and music. Enjoying family time at the shore is a favorite. Winter, spring, summer, fall, she embraces all seasons at the shore. Elaine and her husband, Al, are the proud grandparents of Jack, Anna, and Kyle and look forward to welcoming a fourth grandchild in October.
Scott Friedman is a native Philadelphian. He is a graduate of Lower Merion High School and Widener University. Tr. Scott has a Masters in Education from Cabrini College and Pennsylvania teaching certificates in Elementary Education Instruction II and Computer Technology for Private Schools.Before teaching at Goshen Friends, Scott was a member of the faculty at The Shipley School and The Armenian Sisters Academy. He has participated in several professional development courses including extensive Promethean Board training and the International Society of Technology in Education Convention.Scott has many hobbies including kayaking, fishing, hiking, and collecting baseball cards. An interesting fact, Tr. Scott's name is on a CD that is currently on Mars!
Kara Furcht was born in Trenton, New Jersey, but when she married a Marine her coast to coast adventure began: Cherry Point, NC; Jacksonville, NC; Santa Ana, CA; Quantico, VA; Twentynine Palms, CA; Cherry Point, NC; Oceanside, CA; Novi, MI; and, finally, West Chester, PA.
A graduate of Bordentown High School in New Jersey, Kara attended East Carolina University, received a Montessori Training Certificate from Santa Ana College, and graduated with a B.S. in Early Education from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. While living in California, Kara worked at a Montessori school and at the Early Education Center at Santa Ana College. She founded two Preschools; one at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point and another in Novi, Michigan. Both of those programs still exist today. Upon arriving in West Chester, Kara helped develop YMCA programs for mothers and their children.
Kara has been a Kindergarten teacher at GFS since 1985. She has also taught Kindergarten Enrichment, worked in the Extended Day program, and worked in GFS's summer programs. Always seeking to improve her craft, Kara has attended the National Workshop for Kindergarten Teachers. She has also attended workshops on Education Kinesiology, children with learning differences, and professional development programs sponsored by the Friends Council on Education.
Tr. Kara has served as a member of the GFS General Committee and is a member of the Curriculum Committee. She enjoys meditation, yoga, Pilates, walking, exercising, golf, and tennis. Kara is involved with the Pink Ribbon Program, an alliance of 400 Pilates instructors in the United States, Australia and Europe who help women recover their mobility, strength, and range of motion following breast cancer surgery.
Barbara Hartman is a graduate of The Agnes Irwin School, Kenyon College (B.S. in Fine Arts), and the University of Pennsylvania (Masters of Education). Barbara grew up in Berwyn then moved to Washington, D. C. where she worked at the National Gallery of Art. From the there, she moved to San Francisco and taught at Ross Elementary School. Returning to her roots, Barbara settled in Berwyn, where she currently resides with her husband, Bill, and their two children, Billy and Piper.
In both the spring of 2008 and 2009, Barbara served as a long term substitute in our first grade classroom. Barbara formally joined the GFS faculty for the 2009-2010 school year.
Barbara is a committed teacher. She has taken advantage of several continuing education opportunities including Wilson Language Training, literacy classes at Columbia Teachers College, Cooperative Learning, Connecting Reading to Ecology & the Environment, and Writing Alive! Barbara currently serves on the admissions committee and the curriculum committee at GFS. She will finish her second year as Lower School representative for the General Committee and will serve on an ADVIS evaluation committee this year. Her nephews are both Goshen alumni: George was the valedictorian for his class at Westtown and Will graduated from Westtown in 2012.
An active member of her church, volunteers with the 8th grade Confirmation class most Sundays and she traveled to Uganda for a mission trip in 2005. This past summer, Barbara and Bill spent time in Stone Harbor and visiting friends and family up and down the east coast.
Sharon Kenson was born in Michigan and received a B.S. from Purdue University in Child Development & Family Life and a M.S. from St. Francis College in Elementary Education. Sharon has been an elementary school teacher in Indiana, Connecticut, and New Jersey. She has been a part of the daily life of Goshen Friends School for over 25 years, serving primarily as the Kindergarten Assistant.
Tr. Sharon is always busy. She is the first to appear in the Lower School building each morning. She teaches Kindergarten Enrichment, works in Extended Care, and during the summer, she supports the Little Explorers and Explorers camp programs. Sharon served on the 50th Anniversary Committee and was integral in the Babysitting and Cooking after-school clubs.
For relaxation, Sharon likes to garden, read, and sew. She and her husband, Bob, are devoted grandparents. Sharon's own words best capture her fun-loving personality. When asked to "add anything else that you feel is appropriate, intriguing, exciting, or captivating" to describe herself, Sharon answered: "Believe it or not, shopping can be an adventure; mowing the lawn on my small John Deere tractor can be exciting; my cat, Jessie, is captivating, fun, and there is never a dull moment with her outdoor findings. I forgot to mention that I love children, dogs, and cats--I respect snakes at a very far distance."
Chris Knowles attended West Chester Friends School until fifth grade and graduated from Westtown School. He attended Franklin Pierce College, Roger Williams College, and graduated from West Chester University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. He also received a certificate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia as a Commercial Art Technician.
Chris taught at Abington Friends School and worked as a graphic designer before choosing to be a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his oldest daughter. In 2005, Chris returned to teaching and began his career at GFS. He started as the Preschool music teacher and in 2007 added Lower School art to his repertoire.
Chris has been a freelance musician for most of his adult life. He toured nationally with children's musician, Kevin Roth, and performed at the White House twice, once joining Peter, Paul & Mary onstage during an Earth Day Celebration! Chris is also a studio musician: two of the albums on which he played received American Library Association awards for "Notable Children's Recordings". As an aside, Chris continues to play with local bands. If you are out and about, take a close look at the guy playing bass. You just might know him!
Chris has clerked the Spiritual Life committee at GFS. Chris is an integral part of the annual Coffeehouse, Goshen's version of a talent show. He coordinates the student acts, makes sure all can be heard, and provides moral support to participants! The Clothesline Arts Festival also benefits from Chris' creative input and dedication to fine arts at Goshen.
Chris is a long standing member of West Chester Monthly Meeting and the West Chester Friends School board. He has also served as the clerk of the Oakland Friends Cemetery Committee.
For relaxation, Chris enjoys following the weather and has volunteered for ten years as a Cooperative Observer for the National Weather Service. Chris still gets to spend quality time with his three daughters, Olivia (GFS '06), Julia (GFS '09), and Lily (GFS '12), and wife, Patti, despite his busy schedule!
Amanda Lane is a native of Maryland and a graduate of Friends School of Baltimore. She received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Sport Science from Ursinus College where she also minored in human behavioral development and coaching. Tr. Amanda received a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University. She has completed levels 1 and 2 of Responsive Classroom training. These workshops focus on creating a positive social environment in classrooms.
Before joining the faculty at Goshen Friends School in the fall of 2011, Amanda taught a combined 1st and 2nd grade at United Friends School in Quakertown and also in a combined classroom of the same grades at The Miquon School in Conshohocken. After a brief hiatus when her twins were born, Amanda most recently served as the Director of Children's Education St. David's Episcopal Church in Wayne.
Amanda enjoys reading, photography, baking, and gardening. Since 2003, she has volunteered for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training and has completed 5 marathons,spanning the globe from Alaska to Ireland, and raised $19,000 for the cause.
Joining the Goshen Friends community with Amanda are her husband, Mike, and their twins, Aubrey and Graham.
Devon Reichenbach is an alumna of Susquehanna University and received a B.S. in Elementary Education and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education; she is certified to teach in both Pennsylvania and Virginia. Prior her arrival at GFS, Devon taught 2nd grade at Grove Park Magnet Elementary School in Danville, Virginia. In August of 2005, Devon became the fifth grade teacher at GFS.
While at GFS, Devon has been an active member of the community. She has served on several committees including Diversity, Student & Adult Spiritual Life, Fine Arts, Admissions, Community Service, and the General Committee. Devon has been a leader when reviewing Lower School curriculum and inspirational during our first International Week. One of her favorite after-school activities is the Fun & Games club she leads each spring with Head of School, Tom Richards.
Devon is passionate about volunteering and has traveled to Honduras with Heifer International during a Study Tour for Educators, bringing back not only memories but also the ability to motivate her students to help build a better world. To date, Devon has raised about $10, 000 for breast cancer awareness and research in conjunction with the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She also enjoys her volunteer experiences she has participated in while at Goshen, specifically Team Ubuntu's trip to South Africa and working with the Chester County Food Bank.
In her spare time, Devon enjoys spending time with family and friends at the shore.
Julia Steiner joined the Goshen Friends faculty in 2010 as the third grade teacher. She received her B.S. in General Agriculture with a minor in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware. During her college years, Julia studied and lived in Australia. She completed a Post Graduate Elementary Education Certificate at West Chester University and a Post Graduate Special Education Certificate at Immaculata University. Julia is certified in Yoga 4 Classrooms® and recently received her ChildLight Teacher Training for teaching yoga to children and teens.After receiving her degree and certificates, Julia was a long-term substitute at the Westtown School. She taught in the Kindergarten and second grade classrooms and the summer camp program where she developed an understanding of the Quaker model of education. In addition, Julia has subbed in a number of public and other private schools in the Chester County area. Julia also taught English as a Second Language classes at La Comunidad Hispana in Kennett Square and completed agricultural internships at the Chester County Conservation District and The Chester County Economic Development Center.When not teaching in the classroom, Julia can be found outdoors, snowboarding, running, kayaking, gardening, playing tennis, or hiking with her dog Roxy. She also enjoys practicing new yoga poses, traveling to new and familiar places, and finding excuses to bake. Julia loves teaching at GFS--"One of the things I love most about teaching is that I get to be a student as well."
Gail Tobias is a graduate of Drew University (B.A.) and Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science (M.A.L.I.S.) where she was elected to the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society. Gail has served as the Goshen Friends School librarian since 1995. What makes Gail's long tenure truly remarkable is that is has all been voluntary, entirely without pay.
Gail's son, Kevin, started as a Preschooler at GFS and graduated in 1999. In addition to being a mother and homemaker, Gail's other interests include reading, travelling with her husband, and caring for her menagerie of finches.
Barbara Walsh earned a BS at the University of Wyoming and a teaching certificate in Elementary Education at Kean University. Barbara is currently pursuing an MA in bilingual/bicultural studies at LaSalle University. Prior to her arrival at Goshen Friends, Barbara taught at The School in Rose Valley. Before that she lived and taught in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
At The School in Rose Valley, Barbara served as a trustee on its board and also as a member of the diversity committee. Recently, Barbara took an ESL course and found that it provided great insight into how learners acquire a new language. In her free time, Barbara enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, playing guitar and singing (both of which she shares with her students!).
From mindful beginnings come global perspectives. In teaching our students to see goodness in everyone, we prepare them for the world outside of Goshen – to be caring, compassionate, involved, invested, curious, problem solving citizens of this earth.