Friends Council Welcomes New Heads of Schools

Sean Burke, Head of School, Friends Western School (CA)
Sean got her start in education as a Teach for America Corps Member in San Antonio, Texas, where she taught second and fourth grades. After her time in San Antonio, she relocated to the Northeast where she worked in Newark, NJ at two nationally recognized public charter school networks: North Star Academy and KIPP. As a founding team member of KIPP BOLD Academy, she looped grades 5 through 7 so she could track and support the growth of single cohort through the school. She went on to work as an Instructional Coach & Team Leader at KIPP, and was recognized for significant Improvement to the Network and for leading Team of the Year. Sean also spent time as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development in the South Bronx, where she coached teachers, facilitated professional development and drove results in various K-12 contexts.  All of Sean’s work has been guided by the idea that creating a more just and equitable society begins in the classroom and she’s excited to be working alongside the passionate educators at FWS.

Crissy Cáceres, Head of School, Brooklyn Friends School (NY)
Prior to being appointed head of BFS, Crissy Cáceres served as Assistant Head of School at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., a PK-12 school of 1,095. Previously, Ms. Cáceres was Head of the Lower School that included a nationally-recognized Early Childhood Program at Abington Friends School. Since 2009, Ms. Cáceres has been a faculty member at the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute. She has served as a Middle States Accreditation Commissioner, co-chaired the NAIS People of Color Conference in Philadelphia, served on various leadership associations, and has partnered with schools and organizations nation-wide as consultant, presenter, and facilitator on various school leadership, social justice, and school culture and student engagement issues. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.A. in Education and Public Policy with a minor in Psychology from Wellesley College. She also completed a Massachusetts Teacher Certification in Elementary Education. She is a graduate of the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring Heads. Crissy Cáceres is now also a BFS parent.

Brenda C. Crawley, Head of School, Plymouth Meeting Friends School (PA) Brenda Crawley is a Cum Laude graduate of Manhattanville College with a Bachelor of Music, and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School with an MS in Organization Development. Prior to joining the PMFS community, Brenda served as Head of Lower School at Sandy Spring Friends School for 8 years. She was previously Head of the Lower School at the McLean School of Maryland where she began her career as a Music Teacher. With over 30 years of independent elementary school experience as a teacher and administrator, Brenda regularly facilitates collaborative work sessions with new and veteran teachers on issues around learning differences, classroom management and creating supportive learning environments for diverse learners. She is a regular presenter on a variety of subjects relating to early childhood education, as well as race, diversity, equity and inclusion.  Brenda currently resides in Philadelphia, with her wife Ellen and their two sons, Jonathan and William.

Liz Ewen, Interim Head, Friends School Haverford (PA) 
Liza has served as Dean of Students and Middle School English Teacher at Friends School Haverford since 2015. Prior to her arrival at FSH, she spent 15 years at Friends' Central School, serving as chair of the English Department and a grade dean during her tenure. Her passion and commitment to Quaker education began during her undergraduate years studying English Literature and Education at Swarthmore College. Last spring, after 20 years of working in Quaker schools, Liza and her family (Sandra, Santiago, and Pablo) became members of Green Street Meeting.


Angela Garcia, Head of School, Friends Community School (MD)
Angela Garcia joins Friends Community School as Head of School in the 2019-20 school year, bringing over 25 years of experience in K-8 education. Angela was previously the Assistant Head of School at The Fessenden School, a private pre-K–9 boys’ school in West Newton, Massachusetts, and the first Head of School at the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys, a tuition-free Episcopal school in Washington, D.C. Her educational roots are in Quaker schools, having attended Haddonfield Friends School and Westfield Friends School. She has taught in both public and independent schools, most notably at Shady Hill School, a leading progressive school in Cambridge, MA, where she now serves on the Board. Angela received her undergraduate degree from Brown University, her master’s in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. In her spare time, Angela enjoys running and is learning to play the drums.

Jon Hall, Head of School, Media Providence Friends School (PA) 
Jon Hall grew up in northern Vermont where he attended Lyndon State College and the University of Vermont for undergraduate and graduate school respectively. While at the University of Vermont he taught 9th grade. Upon graduation, he moved to Pennsylvania and taught 5th grade, until taking his first job in administration as Assistant Head of Middle and Upper schools at Girard College in Philadelphia.  Jon spent five years in this role and five additional years as Upper School Head, before fulfilling a dream of trying the West Coast for a year as Head of Middle School at Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, CA. Upon returning to Pennsylvania, he spent five years as the Assistant Head of School/Middle School Head at Montgomery School in Chester Springs before becoming Head of School at Westfield Friends School in Cinnaminson, NJ. He completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University in 2013.

Margaret Haviland, Head of School, Westfield Friends School (NJ) 
A member of Westtown Monthly Meeting, Margaret comes to Westfield Friends from Westtown School. She brings more than two decades of experience as an educator, colleague, and leader in independent schools. Margaret came to Quakerism “quite by accident” when she graduated from a huge public high school in Indianapolis and went on to attend Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. The historic Friends college challenged her to continually examine her assumptions, values, and beliefs. Lived integrity and intellectual clarity were themes at Earlham, which guided her work as a young adult. Margaret credits this Friends education for shaping the way she works with colleagues, students, and parents alike: “The belief that there is that of God in every person requires that I respect the person in front of me in every encounter.” Between college and teaching, Margaret completed graduate studies at University of Pennsylvania where her research focused on the civic work of Friends organizations in early republic Philadelphia. Margaret appreciates the wealth of cultural diversity in Westfield’s student body and in the surrounding communities. She understands the importance of providing time and space for people to get to know one another, pointing out that “it’s challenging, and satisfying to examine, respect, and come together around our differences”. Margaret and her husband, Tom Haviland, have three adult children, all graduates of Friends education.

Kathleen Houlahan – Director, Oak Lane Day Care at Westtown School (PA) 
As a psychology major at Immaculata, Kathleen fell in love with early childhood education, which became her minor. An internship in an infant/toddler program led to her first teaching job and eventually to her first director position. She has worked as a teacher with all ages, from infants through school-age, and have directed daycare centers both here in the States and in Ireland. “Oak Lane’s Quaker mission and goals are in line with my personal goals at this point in my life and I’m enjoying the opportunity to learn new ways to engage with children on a deeper level. As a life-long musician, I am enthusiastic about incorporating music into our program and my ukulele now lives at Oak Lane!”

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