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At Independence, we take great pride in the accomplishments of our alumni and the strong connection between our school and former students. Bonds don't end with graduation - you are a Patriot for life!

If you are an Indy alum, please be sure to update your contact information and let us know about your achievements, activities and interests. We also love to see Indy alumni getting together, whether local or internationally. Be sure to submit a class note so we can share your Indy connections. Please join our Alumni Facebook Group to keep up with news about your former classmates, fellow Indy alumni, and exciting things happening today at Independence. 

Wondering how else you can stay connected? Consider attending any of our special events throughout the year, including athletics contests, the annual Auction & Gala (21 and older) and Cornhole tournament. Be sure to check our calendar for all opportunities to come back and say hello! Another great way to show your support is by making a tax-deductible gift to our Annual Fund, which ensures that we can continue to remain one of the premier pre-school through eighth-grade schools in the region.

We look forward to connecting with you. Come visit campus and take a ride in our campus golf cart. We hope to see you soon... Go Indy!

Alumni Stories

Arjan Singh Kahlon '18


Congratulations to Charter School of Wilmington Senior, Arjan Singh Kahlon '18, who was honored as a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Arjan is one of only 161 high school seniors nationally selected for this prestigious award from a field of more than 5000 initial Presidential Scholar candidates. Students are selected based on their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was created in 1964 and has honored over 7,900 of the nation's top-performing students. Arjan is the sixth Independence alumnus to be named a U.S. Presidential Scholar since 2016. Previous recipients of the award are Umar Aulia '16, Grace Gong '14, Olivia O'Dwyer '13, Rahul Subbaraya '12, and Christina Stiebris '11.

Ben Johnson ’11


Having graduated from Salesianum and Penn State and since working at Oracle and Allbirds, Ben is now making his mark as an entrepreneur. He and a partner have launched SLCKR, a business that makes and sells a specially designed, productivity-boosting tool belt (actually “chest harness”) for barbers. Business is brisk, and Ben is thrilled. “I’m loving every second of it,” he says. “There’s a new problem to solve every day, and that variety is perfect for me.” The entrepreneurial bug may have first bitten Ben during Economics & Entrepreneurial Education (E3) in fourth grade, fondly referred to as Mini Society by former students. “I really enjoyed that,” he remembers, “and I was definitely intrigued.”

Chris Reynolds '10


After earning degrees in biochemistry and theology from Boston College, Chris was awarded a 2018 Fulbright research grand, which allowed him to travel extensively through Latin America, exploring interests related to global health equity. Now in his third year at the University of Michigan Medical School on a Dean's Scholarship, he is working toward both his M.D. and a master's degree focused on implementing change in health care systems - a credential he hopes will prove useful as he looks forward to a career focused on serving vulnerable and underserved groups. Chris says that Independence taught him lessons that have served him well ever since: "The work ethic, the time management and organizational skills, and the value they clearly placed on education."

Dr. Erin Zolnick Unger '98


A physician board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, and interventional cardiology, Erin is working in private practice with a cardiology group in Denver. A political science major at Middlebury College originally planning on a career in law, she explains that she found a new perspective working on HIV education during a trip to Malawi in college. She went on to complete her medical degree at Northwestern University and gravitated to cardiology. "I just find the heart fascinating and appreciate the chance to provide good care to people who are really sick." What has stayed with her from her middle school days nearly 25 years ago? "All the teachers who fostered excellence and curiosity. I've brought that spirit with me through my years of education and into my career."

Jess Principe ’14


“It all started at Independence,” says Jess, explaining her love of the sciences—a love that started her on a path to a future career in occupational therapy. After Independence, Jess attended Tatnall, where she excelled in field hockey, lacrosse, and leadership as a Delaware Youth Leader Network member. Next came Elizabethtown College. Meanwhile, she spent summers back at Independence as a counselor on the school’s camps, loving the chance to connect with the kids. It was great experience as she prepared for a career focusing on pediatric occupational therapy in a hospital setting.

Kennedy Crowder '14


A 2022 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a major in English and a minor in East Asian languages, Kennedy was named a Marshall Scholar and is pursuing a master's degree in Black Humanities at the University of Bristol in the UK. A person with "many branching interest," from creative writing to community service to a possible career in academia, Kennedy sees her studies as a change to explore whether she wants to earn a Ph.D. Whatever her future holds, there's little doubt it will involve some form of storytelling, a lifelong interest. "I came into middle school with a burning love of reading, and my teachers nurtured and sustained that," she says. "That taught me the value of staying true to my passions."

Kerith Wang ’08


A graduate of Princeton University, Kerith studied medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. She is also a violinist in the Penn Med Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble of doctors, students, and staff from area hospitals. “I had an itch to play, and it’s really nice to be part of that big symphony sound,” says Kerith, who started violin at three and continued through her years at Independence and after. “Looking back, the highlight of those years would have to be the teachers,” she says, “how dedicated they were and how much they cared for us.” Kerith is not sure where her career will lead but is enjoying the journey. “Anytime I’m learning something new, I’m happy, and these days, I’m learning constantly.”

Michaella Moore '12


An honors graduate of Howard University, Michaella has received a prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which allowed her to pursue her master’s degree in the field of medical anthropology at the University of London. Afterwards, she returned to the United States to enter medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. Michaella’s ultimate goal is to practice medicine while also working in the areas of health policy and advocacy to reduce global disparities in health and healthcare. She notes that Independence helped her become “a versatile and creative learner,” and she still fondly remembers experiences including Science Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, and Mini-Society

Rohit Mathur ’17


For Rohit, the biggest challenge is balancing all his interests—from the Yale Alternative Investments Club to taking a swing at squash. But multitasking is nothing new. At Independence and then at Archmere, Rohit was highly active in student government, serving as president for five consecutive years. He also ran his own necktie company, NovelTie, through which he created the Independence ties for sale in the Indy Spirit Store. He found his way onto the board of an impactful nonprofit, the Friends of Hockessin Colored School #107—an organization dedicated to preserving the history of Delaware’s role in ending school segregation with the goal of creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive tomorrow. In between, he excelled academically, as he did at Independence, and he says, “I gained the foundation in reading, writing, and analysis still with me now.”

Sam Parsons '08


A North Carolina State University graduate, Sam is a professional distance runner under contract with Adidas and the co-founder of the Tinman Elite professional running team, based in Boulder, Colorado. Sam recently became the first runner ever to record a sub-4-minute mile on Delaware soil. He is now competing professionally in cross-country in addition to track, and has his sights set on the upcoming World Championships in Budapest and the 2024 Paris Olympics, where he will compete for Germany, his mother's birth country. Sam remembers his days at Independence clearly. "The seeds of my running career were planted on that gravel track," he says. "Running those cross-country races is where I really found my fire."

No matter where our graduates go on to high school, they make tremendous contributions to those schools in academics, the arts, and athletics. They carry forward their abilities to inspire others, chase their dreams, and achieve what they set out do.
jay lazar
middle school teacheR