Welcome Message from the Executive Director

Whether you are a Friends school faculty member, head of school, administrator, or school trustee in search of a resource to support your work, or a tried and true friend of Friends education, we’re glad you are here. Welcome!

Friends Council on Education is the only national association of Quaker schools in our country. Our organization plays a vital and important role for heads, administrators, trustees, and teachers serving in Quaker schools today. Friends Council is both the convener and conveyor for 76 Friends schools in seven different regions of the United States. Our role is to both bring schools together to share resources and best practices, and to distribute programming and resources to schools as needed.
Friends schools may vary in size, geographical location, and even in Quaker nature; yet we share a common commitment to Quaker principles and practices and to educating children to become the moral and well informed citizens who find meaning and purpose in serving society  -- just as young people learned in the first Quaker schools over 328 years ago.

Indeed, Friends Schools teach young people, from all walks of life, habits of heart and mind, so that they may go forth to create a more just and peaceful world.

This is why former Presidents of the United States have chosen to send their children to Friends schools. This is why Friends school alums go on to live lives of public purpose and make a difference in today’s world. This is why, as our country  strives to navigate this challenging time in history, Quaker schools and what they have to offer is needed more than ever.

To that end, Friends Council and our member schools are more committed than ever to ensuring that our schools center equity, inclusion, and belonging as critical to every aspect of an education at a Quaker school.  As our updated Member Renewal Process demonstrates, a central commitment every Quaker school must make is to challenge themselves to build school communities that represent the broad diversity of our nation.

As the Executive Director of Friends Council on Education, I am in the unique position of having the bird’s eye view of Friends education and the 76 schools that make up Friends Council on Education. Each time I visit a Friends school, I walk away feeling grateful for our long history of Quaker education, excited by the deep and spiritual work taking place in our schools, and inspired to find new and different ways of working together.

As you go about your life today, next week and next month, I ask you to consider the following:

What role has Quaker education played in your life or in the lives of those you know and love?

What role has Friends Council played  in your development as an educator and leader in Friends education?

How might Friends schools grow stronger together and play a critical role in the future of young people and in the future of our country?

What can you do to help Friends Council further the future of Friends education and Quaker schools?

I invite you to think on these questions and share your thinking with us.

Drew Smith
Executive Director
Friends Council on Education