Tory Johnson '03

"Soak up every moment of life and always be honest with those closest to you."
I'm not sure I can name just one important thing that I learned over seven years at FCS. I think the teachers, curriculum, and the community helped me shape a vision of the type of person I want to be and how I want to live my life. The classes taught me to think creatively and offered a space where being enthusiastic about learning was supported. The community helped me dream of the type of world I want to live in, and it encouraged me to work towards that world no matter the obstacles. I also greatly value FCS for the relationships it gave me. Some of my closest friends today are classmates from FCS, and I feel lucky that I was surrounded by such kind, supportive people for so many years in the early part of my life. 
 
I'm very excited to be in a time in my life where much of the future is still unwritten. I am living and working in Washington, D.C., but I am in a time of my life where there are many possibilities for the direction I can take next.
 
The teacher at FCS who had the greatest impact on the person I am today is Elizabeth Hole. Her fiery spirit and infectious passion for learning pushed me out of my comfort zone many times--and I needed that. She helped me see that I was capable of more than I gave myself credit for. I still have more reverence for a box of spaghetti noodles than most, even if she can't "noodle" me anymore! 
 
The thing that concerns me most about the world today is a lack of understanding, compassion, and willingness to see a differing perspective. While I think there are many concerning issues facing society and our world today, I feel as though there is a growing divide or unwillingness to try and understand a situation from someone else's perspective. I think we could begin to change anything, from income inequality to climate change, with an honest and open conversation with one another. 
 
I couldn't be where I am today without the love and support of my parents, Amy Robertson and Denny Johnson. 
 
When I’m not at work or school, you’ll most likely find me doing some crazy back bends on my yoga mat. I have a growing love for hot yoga and try to practice daily. 
 
If I could give a few pieces of advice to my 12-year-old self, they would be to soak up every moment of life and always be honest with those closest to you. I would also say stop worrying about what other people think so much! Figure out whose opinions matter most to you, listen to what they have to say, but trust that you know your true self better than anyone.
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Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740
301-441-2100