Tandem Friends School
279 Tandem Lane


United States
TypePrivate, Quaker
MottoFreedom with Responsibility; Kindness and Wisdom
FounderJohn Howard and Duncan Alling
Campus DirectorTodd Love (middle school)
Peter Gaines (upper school)
HeadmasterWhitney Thompson
Color(s)Dark green and white    
AthleticsDelaney Athletic Conference; no-cut policy
AccreditationVAIS, NAIS

Tandem Friends School is a coeducational secondary school founded in 1970 in Albemarle County, Virginia,[1] just outside Charlottesville, by educators John Howard and Duncan Alling.[2] In 1995, it joined the Friends Council on Education, adopting the educational beliefs and practices of the Quakers. The current head of school is Whitney Thompson. The Upper School, grades 9-12, has approximately 120 students, while the Middle School, grades 5-8, has approximately 120 students. The head of the Upper School is Peter Gaines, and the head of the Middle School is Todd Love. The mascot is a badger and the original mascot was a tree. The logo is the historic main building (originally a plantation house and later a Civil War hospital), which is thought by some to be haunted.


Founded in 1970, Tandem is the first Friends School in the U.S. that started as a non-Quaker School. The school is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and is a member of the Friends Council on Education.[3]


Longstanding Tandem traditions include Morning Meeting, Meeting for Worship, Spring Day, Blue Ridge Day, Speaker Series, Emphasis Week, Open Mic, Sophomore Seminars, and Senior Projects.

The Saturday before Mother's Day has been the date of the annual Mother's Day Music Festival, a small festival to honor mothers and to showcase local musicians. A notable past act to play on the quad at Tandem Friends School for the Mother's Day Music Festival was the Dave Matthews Band.


Tandem Friends School fields up to eighteen sports teams and maintains a no-cut policy. The athletic director at Tandem is Brandon Edwards. The school's JV and varsity teams compete in the Delaney Athletic Conference. Middle School athletic teams compete with various other middle schools in the surrounding area. With Meredith Bower captain, the Varsity Girls' Soccer Team won the VISAA Division II State Championship in the Spring of 2010, and repeated in Spring of 2011 and Spring of 2012.[4]

Arts Program

Tandem Friends School has an Arts program that encompasses visual arts, drama, digital film, and music. Drama and art are each taught for one semester each year in the Middle School grades. Each grade in the Middle School puts on a play during the year. Art electives abound in the Upper School, as well as drama classes and an after-school drama program that presents a musical in the fall, a one-act play festival in the winter, and a comedy or drama in the spring.

5th through 7th graders take regular music classes. The school has a jazz band, Rock and Roll bands, as well as other music class offerings. Tandem sports two fully equipped music rooms, with guitars, basses, and a drum kit, as well as many other instruments for performing and recording.


  1. ^ GIS Web Albemarle County retrieved 10 July 2009.
  2. ^ Tandem History Tandem Friends School, retrieved 10 July 2009
  3. ^ "Tandem Friends School". friendscouncil.org. Friends Council on Education. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  4. ^ staff report (21 May 2011). "STAB girls' lacrosse, Covenant boys' tennis, Tandem girls' soccer teams win state titles". Daily Progress. Charlottesville, Va.: Media General. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2011.

Coordinates: 37°59′45″N 78°29′30″W / 37.99583°N 78.49167°W / 37.99583; -78.49167