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Walnut Street / 6 to 8

The City School at Walnut Street is located in a richly diverse neighborhood of University City. Our building is owned by the University City Chinese Christian Church and is directly across the street from a local mosque and two Middle Eastern cafes. This neighborhood is a home away from home for many college students from across the globe who live here as they study at Philadelphia’s renowned universities. This convergence of diverse cultures provides our middle school students unique opportunities to engage with different cultures and perspectives, sharpening their own Christian worldview. We value the many rhythms, cultures and points-of-view that make our city great, seeing this diversity as a reflection of God’s creativity.
Students at The City School at Walnut Street are taught to think critically as they enter this formative stage in their academic careers. As our middle school students grow into young adults, values like love, forgiveness and respect are taught and modeled every day. Our rigorous curriculum teaches students new subjects while demonstrating the social, moral and Biblical application of each new discipline. This whole-student approach prepares students to succeed in their lifelong pursuit of learning.

Faculty

Jessica Becker

Jessica Becker

Spanish Teacher

Joined The City School family:
2017

“I first heard about The City School in looking for a kindergarten for my son 8 years ago, and am still, without a doubt, sure that sending him here was the best decision we made for his education. I am excited about seeing other kids be able to mature, thrive and grow here, especially through the Spanish language, as they pursue second language acquisition. I am passionate about seeing the kids embrace and learn about other cultures.”

Jessica lives in a multigenerational home in Germantown with her parents, husband, and two kids, along with an new international student each year. She enjoys traveling outside of the country whenever possible and is passionate about music and international cuisine.

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Leo Santa

Leo Santa

Volunteer with Gym and Computer/Technology

Joined The City School family:
2017

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Piano Performance
“I learned of the work of City School through my wife Caroline who teaches art and steam. She encouraged me to get involved in a small way to help the school. I enjoy working with the enthusiastic and bright students at the middle school through gym class and music.”
Leo has had a wide variety of experiences in the music industry for the last 15 years of his professional life. He has performed as composer and classical pianist at Carnegie Hall and The White House to name a few, as well as internationally. Music teaching, along with athletics, is also something he enjoys. He is a dad to Levi (8) and Cecilia (3) and has been an assistant coach for his son’s  soccer, tennis, and baseball teams. In his free time, Leo also plays soccer for a team made up of mostly recent college grads in Center City.
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Sophia Cardillo

Sophia Cardillo

6th and 7th Grade History Teacher

Email:
scardillo@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2017

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Urban Studies (with Minor in Theater)

“As a history teacher, my central focus is story; I challenge students to consider their own stories and how their stories may illuminate the past we study and who we are becoming.”

This is Sophia’s first year at City School, and she is excited to be a part of the mission and family of The School. She currently lives with her husband in South Philly, and loves how walkable her neighborhood. She sees living in a city that wasn’t first built around the automobile a blessing.

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Jordan Kolb

Jordan Kolb

Language Arts Teacher

Email:
jkolb@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2017

    Degree(s):
  • B.A. Eastern University

“I love the vibrancy, warmth, and energy of The City School. I believe that a good education shapes not only our minds, but also our hearts. It is a joy to be part of community that takes this mission seriously.”

Jordan lives in Roxborough and enjoys exploring the many culinary delights around the corner in Manayunk. She also loves cooking culinary masterpieces herself. She was raised and continues to take part in the Mennonite tradition of faith. While it’s hard for her to pick her favorite book, at the top of her list you would find the Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time.

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Joan Hamel

Joan Hamel

Walnut Street Assistant Principal

Email:
jhamel@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Kings College

“I cherish my students and want them to succeed. I love working with middle school students through their awkward, challenging teen years where they really begin to discover themselves and their purpose in the world. These are formative years, and I am honored to be a part of their story at such an influential fork in their paths.”

Joan lives in Erdenheim with her husband, Tom, and enjoys traveling into the city often. Her hobbies include gardening, bike riding, and going for long walks in her beautiful neighborhood. Her favorite book is To End All Wars, the true story of Allied prisoners in a Japanese death camp during World War II—their lives were transformed when one person began to love the way Jesus loves.

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Adam Bacher

Adam Bacher

Office Manager

Email:
abacher@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2014

“I love the diversity of the city. It’s such a joy to interact with people of every age, race, religion, socioeconomic background, and way of life. Building relationships with so many different people opens my mind to new perspectives and deepens my relationship with God.”

Adam joined The City School after interning with us through Mission Year—his passion and love for our students earned him a full-time position on our team. Adam lives in Camden with his wife Ellen and a small community of friends devoted to following Jesus together.

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Ian Spalding

Ian Spalding

Math Teacher

Email:
ispalding@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2012

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Azusa Pacific University

“Being committed to Jesus means letting the love of God shine through my relationships with students and sharing wonder of His creation in every class. It means teaching with a firm but loving hand. I allow my sense of humor to come through in my teaching as well as my more informal interactions with my students, and I hope this helps to build connections, relationships, and releases joy into the atmosphere of my classes and the school.”

Ian lives in Spruce Hill and loves running into so many friends around his neighborhood. He plays violin with the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra and enjoys cycling, reading, exercise, and Sudoku. He also has fun watching sports, which is an important aspect of his bond with middle school guys.

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Ruth Naomi Floyd

Ruth Naomi Floyd

Music Director

Email:
rfloyd@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • A.A., Art Institute of Philadelphia

“It is important to understand the relationship between music and culture. Music is one of the products of culture. Music is a powerful tool that can create powerful connections between people, and help us to learn more about our own culture as well as other cultures. Music can also inspire us to seek out different cultures, shatter stereotypes, question social injustices and see the world through the lens of others.  Music prompts us to form a worldview.  We want our students to see the beauty of culture but also to be able to sense and question the dangerous aspects of culture as we strive to for them to be strong Christian young women and men for God’s kingdom.”

Ruth has traveled the world and gained international recognition as a vocalist. She is also a gifted photographer and has been featured in galleries and museums across America and Europe. Ruth lives and worships in South Philly with her husband—our Athletics Director, Kenyatta—and two children.

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Jamie Rose

Jamie Rose

Counseling Coordinator

Email:
jrose@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2012

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Fordham University
  • M.A.C., Westminster Theological Seminary

“I am a Biblical Counselor, which means I have the privilege to come alongside our students and listen to what’s on their minds and hearts.  I get to spend time helping them see ways that their stories intersect and interact with God’s greater redemptive story for those he loves.”

Jamie and her husband Tom live in West Philly and love the sense of community they’ve found in their neighborhood. Jamie enjoys cooking (and eating!), taking walks with her husband and her dog Maisy, and watching movies. Her favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo, which she calls “crazy clever.”

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Felicia Mercer

Felicia Mercer

Science and Math Teacher

Email:
fmercer@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2012

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Temple University

“I believe with all my heart this is what the Lord has ordained me to do. This is evident in the joy I get from doing this work. I love that our teachers invest so deeply in their students and that we celebrate their diversity, humor, and uniqueness. We want what is best for each individual child.”

Felicia came into our community as a City School mom, volunteer, and substitute teacher before joining us full-time in 2013. She enjoys dancing, people watching, and taking scenic walks around the city.

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Field Trips

At The City School, we view the city as a classroom. We live in a city rich with history and bristling with countless cultures, customs, and points-of-view. Our students learn to use their city as a resource in their joyful pursuit of new knowledge. Philadelphia is home some of the world’s most renowned museums, universities, and cultural institutions, and we are committed to making every use of these excellent opportunities for learning.

Our middle school students experience the city through a wide variety of field trips. We view these excursions as learning exercises that complement classroom material and also students with opportunities to explore how textbook learning intersects with city life. For example, after learning about the Holocaust, students visit both the National Museum of Jewish American History and the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and they discuss how Jesus’ love and grace can empower them to bring light to city and the world.

2015-02-12 10.23.33Here is a brief overview of field trips our Walnut Street students look forward to each year:

  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • The Mutter Museum
  • Eastern State Penitentiary
  • The Franklin Institute
  • The National Museum of Jewish American History
  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia
  • The American Swedish Historical Museum
  • Fairmount Water Works
  • Bartram’s Garden

Activities

Walnut-Street-Activities

The City School at Walnut Street seeks to offer a variety of athletic and musical groups in which students can pursue and develop their interests and abilities. Extra-curricular activities meet in the afternoons, after the close of the school day.

Performing Arts Groups

Students are invited to take part in our Handbell and Chimes choir which performs at special events such as our spring concert. Upper level middle school students look forward to joining our dance squad.

  • Dance (8th grade only)
  • Handbell Choir

Athletics

At the middle school level, students athletes can compete in both soccer and basketball. Our middle school basketball team boasts a five-year winning streak and is enthusiastically supported by our cheerleading squad.

Walnut Street Campus
4501 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
267-844-3523