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 in 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 Goshen Friends School since 1985. She has also taught Kindergarten Enrichment, worked in the Extended Day program, and worked in the school'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 and children with learning differences, as well as 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.
Richelle Nunn was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Germany as a child. As an adult, she has lived in South Philadelphia and in several western suburbs. She currently lives in the borough of West Chester and loves walking into town for the Growers Market, French bakery, or dinner at one of its many fantastic restaurants.
Tr. Richelle attended Juniata College and earned a B.S. degree in Social Work and Expression Studies, which included coursework in literature, writing, art, and drama. She completed a Drexel University Post-Baccalaureate PreK-4 Certification Program concurrently with her M.S. degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum, graduating with honors.
After working as a counselor for adjudicated girls in a group home, she accepted a temporary position in healthcare and ultimately spent most of her career in healthcare administration. When her son, Dean, started school, she volunteered at his school as an Art in the Classroom parent and in his Cub Scout den and pack. As he grew older and these opportunities diminished, her healthcare position afforded her other ways to satisfy her desire to work in a teaching capacity. But she missed working with children, so she left her healthcare administration job and threw herself into education, working as a substitute teacher both during her studies and after completing student teaching in first grade at Unionville Elementary School.
Tr. Richelle began teaching at Goshen Friends School as the substitute fourth grade teacher at the end of the 2014–2015 school year. In fall 2015, she moved to the first grade classroom. Recently, she completed Fundations Level 1 and Level 2 training and found it to be the perfect supplement to her graduate coursework in literacy. She also attended a Yoga 4 Classrooms workshop and is excited to bring the benefits of this program into the classroom. In addition, she will be working with Tr. Lela to maintain the Goshen Garden and work with the Food Bank.
Richelle is passionate about learning, the great outdoors (especially near her cabin in the Adirondack Mountains), and writing—she even hopes to write a book someday. She also enjoys mountain biking, flatwater kayaking, snowboarding, hiking, indoor rock climbing, and yoga. Sustainability is very important to her, and she strives to be an advocate for the environment.
Two of her favorite places in the world are Costa Rica and France. Her husband is British, so she's also been to England several times, and she's traveled in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as well. On her vacation bucket list are Nepal, Botswana, and New Zealand!
Ginger Quinn graduated from Lycoming College with a B.A. degree in both elementary education and music. She also attended Lesley University in Cambridge to begin her graduate studies in both early childhood education and literacy.
New to Goshen in 2016, this year will be Tr. Ginger's 14th year as an elementary school teacher. Most of her teaching experience has been in New Jersey. Her family relocated to Pennsylvania from Princeton five years ago for her husband's job, and she was fortunate to stay home with her two children, Isabelle and Ethan, both of whom will be attending Goshen starting this year.
Tr. Ginger's favorite places are the beach or the lake (anywhere near the water!) and she also loves Disney World. In her free time she enjoys any activity that allows her to be outside. Her favorite foods are nachos, pizza, sushi, and vanilla cupcakes. She also enjoys making crafts, reading, singing, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.
Missy Javage graduated from Abington Friends School and began her college career at the University of Hartford. She transferred briefly to the Art Institute of Philadelphia to study interior design but quickly found out that she wanted to pursue a career in education. Missy went on to obtain a B.S. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Temple University. Shortly thereafter, Missy completed a Master's in Education and reading specialist certification at Arcadia University.
Before joining the faculty at Goshen Friends School, Missy was an assistant teacher at Abington Friends School in both second and third grades and taught second grade for several years at the Episcopal Academy until the arrival of her first son, Ethan. Shortly after having her second child, Tobias, Missy returned to the classroom and taught first grade at William Penn Charter School for four years. Most recently, she has served as a substitute teacher in the kindergarten and preschool classrooms at Congregation Beth Or.
Recently, Missy has completed continuing education courses entitled Enriching the Curriculum with Children's Literature and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Educators Need to Know. She is currently taking a course on techniques for differentiated instruction in the classroom.
Reading is Missy's all-time favorite hobby. She also enjoys cooking and baking and is obsessed with green smoothies! She loves camping, hiking, and traveling with her husband and sons. Missy and her family are volunteers with the Abramson Center for Family Living, a Jewish Relief Agency, and are actively involved in their synagogue, Congregation Beth Or.
When asked if there is anything she would want people to know about her, Missy responded, "I am passionate about literacy and enjoy engaging with others to develop nurturing, joyful, inspiring, and safe classroom environments. I am deeply committed to facilitating the love of reading, writing, and communicating across the curriculum. I feel that the experience that I have accrued while teaching—not just as a facilitator but as an active explorer—has taught me many skills and values that have proven useful throughout my career as an educator."
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 2005, Devon became the fifth grade teacher at GFS. Prior to the 2015-2016 school year she moved into a new position, the Lower School Coordinator, in addition to teaching a combined fourth/fifth class.
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 planning our annual International Week.
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 over $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.
Chris Knowles attended West Chester Friends School until fifth grade and graduated from Westtown School. He attended Franklin Pierce College and 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 Goshen Friends School. He started as the Preschool music teacher and in 2007 added Lower School art to his repertoire; he is now also the Kindergarten assistant.
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 and has been 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 10 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 his wife, Patti, despite his busy schedule!
Scott Friedman is a native Philadelphian. He is a graduate of Lower Merion High School and Widener University. Tr. Scott has a Master's 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 classes at 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!
Tr. Amy Cherry was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has lived in Cincinnati, Ohio; Johnson City, Tennessee; Morehead, Kentucky; Cullowhee, North Carolina; and West Chester as an adult.
She obtained a B.M. degree from the University of Illinois and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. From 2002–2014 she worked at Western Carolina University, where she was an Assistant Professor and the Assistant Director of the School of Music before moving to Pennsylvania.
Amy started as an assistant in our Preschool Grange classroom in September 2015. Her daughter, Kristen, currently attends Goshen Friends in the Lower School.
Tr. Amy is also a musician (trumpeter) and private teacher. Most of her time goes into that area, including her role as the Secretary and a Board Member for the International Women's Brass Conference. She and her husband have a duo named the Balaton Chamber Brass. ("Balaton" refers to a type of cherry.) They released their first CD in the summer of 2015.
When she's not pursuing her music, Amy likes to run. She's completed a few half-marathons and hopes to do more and eventually complete a marathon. Fun fact: Her birthday is July 4th!
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 also works in Extended Care, and during the summer she supports our 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 and 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."