A Celebration with Friends
Love and enthusiasm abounded for Friends Council and our work “keeping the Q in Quaker education” as we hosted over 100 guests for our Spring 2019 Annual Meeting. Educators and friends of Friends education gathered for food and fellowship, farewells to outgoing Board members, acknowledgement of our Evergreen Circle of Friends, the executive director’s report and the graduation of the 2017-2019 cohort of the Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools (IELFS).1
It was with grateful hearts that Friends Council bid adieu to five outgoing Board members this year. Our gratitude to Juan Jewell, Nancy Donnelly, Lee Payton, Tom Gibian and Brenda Esch for their many years of service and dedication to Friends Council on Education. We are grateful for your time and talent and all the work you do “keeping the Q in Quaker Education.”  Juan, Nancy, Lee, Tom and Brenda’s terms of service expire in September 2019, at which time we welcome new Board members to be announced in September.
(From left to right: Lee Payton, Nancy Donnelly, Juan Jewell. Not shown: Tom Gibian and Brenda Esch).
As always, our Annual Meeting included acknowledging and expressing appreciation for members of our planned giving circle, the Evergreen Circle of Friends. In addition to acknowledging all Evergreen Members, this year we welcomed three new members to the fold who have each designated Friends Council on Education as a beneficiary on their TIAA retirement plans.Many thanks to all who include Friends Council in their planned giving; your planned gift helps ensure the continuation of Friends Council’s work well into the future.
Drew Smith presented his executive director report to the gathering, sharing notes of progress about collaborative efforts such as FEEC and FIRST, expansion of FCE programming across the nation and fundraising opportunities including an annual fund presented by Wally and Jane Evans and the opportunity to join the Evergreen Circle of Friends through TIAA designation.
This year’s spring gathering coincided with the graduation of the 2017-2019 cohort of the Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools.  This is the largest Leadership Institute cohort ever with 25 Friends school educators from 19 schools in five regions across the country.  IEL is a strategic network of Friends school leaders who, throughout a two-year program, strengthen their capacity and build their skill set within the framework of Quaker values. Institute members collaborate as learning partners with heads of Friends schools and conduct action research projects that benefit the network of Quaker schools. As part of graduation, the 2019 LI graduates presented on their action research projects which ranged in focus from empowering African American boys via community groups utilizing racial affinity groups to exploring the intersection between educational innovation and Quaker decision making to Faith and Play in Friend Schools as a way to deepen the Meeting for Worship Experience and teach Friends beliefs and history, and more. Upon hearing about the work of these LI grads there is no doubt that the future of leadership in Friends education is bright. Read about their action research projects here. (Connect to ISSU)

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