A Special Friends Council Welcome to New Heads of Schools 2020-2021

Daena Berdougo, Head, United Friends School (PA)
Daena is a champion of lifelong learning both for herself and for her faculty. She has rich experience as an educator and school administrator with the ability to recognize challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Prior to her career in education, Daena spent several years working as a Derivatives Analyst at Bears Stearns in New York City. In pursuit of a more meaningful career working with children, she attended Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. After receiving her master’s degree, Daena taught in early childhood and elementary classrooms both in New York City and Philadelphia before becoming Head of School at Gwynedd Friends School. During her six years at Gwynedd Friends, Daena developed a deep connection to Quaker education and Quakerism. Her background in educational leadership includes work in finance, admissions, marketing, development, curriculum development, and human resources. Daena’s 12-year-old daughter is an alumna of Gwynedd Friends and is beginning her first year Abington Friends School this fall. 

Neal Brown, Interim Head, Lansdowne Friends School (PA)
Neal most recently has served for 12 years as Head of School at Green AcresSchool, a progressive Pre-K-8 school outside of Washington, D.C. where he is widely recognized as an inspirational, dedicated, collaborative, and effective leader. Prior to Green Acres, he served as Assistant Head at Nashoba Brooks School, a Pre-K-8 school in Concord, MA. Other past experience includes coordinating clusters of schools via the Coalition of Essential Schools at Brown University in Rhode Island and teaching history at Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, MA.

In his cover letter to the Interim Head Search Committee, Neal wrote, “…Schools like ours build on the natural curiosity of children and give them authentic opportunities to take initiative and to resolve conflicts thoughtfully and peacefully. I am drawn to Quaker values and their attention to joyful learning, compassion for others, social/emotional growth, creativity over compliance, and developmentally appropriate teaching practices.”

Melissa Carroll, Head, Princeton Friends School (NJ)
Melissa Carroll is a deeply centered, enlightened leader who brings extensive experience as a Quaker school teacher and administrator. She taught in both the lower and middle schools at Newtown Friends School and was Assistant Head of School at Buckingham Friends before serving as Director of Beginning and Lower Schools at the Swain School in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Melissa is a teacher at heart and leads with the eye of a seasoned educator. A School Committee member described Melissa as having “the whole PFS-Quaker-Zen presence,” and members of Princeton Monthly Meeting professed that they could hear the Spirit behind Melissa’s words. Melissa currently lives in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Thomas, who serves as the Director of Technology at Newtown Friends School.

Maggie Chiles, Head, Gwynedd Friends School (PA) 
Maggie comes to Gwynedd Friends School with 18 years’ experience as a teacher and Learning Specialist at Greene Street Friends School, and over 25 years as an educator in early childhood and elementary classrooms. While at Greene Street Friends, Maggie demonstrated her leadership skills designing and coordinating the Faculty Mentoring Program, Positive Racial Identity Development Curriculum for elementary students, Service Learning Program and Social/Emotional Development Curriculum. Maggie has a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College, an M.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education, and has attended the Friends Council on Education’s Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools. On the personal side, Maggie is the mother of two children, a ninth grader and a seventh grade. Read the full announcement of Maggie’s appointment here http://www.gwyneddfriendsschool.org/welcoming-our-new-head

Rodney Glasgow, Head of School, Sandy Spring Friends School (MD)
Rodney brings nearly 20 years of experience in progressive education as a senior administrator and seasoned educator—most recently, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School where he served as division head. A graduate of the Gilman School and Harvard University, Rodney is himself a natural teacher and lifelong learner—striving to better understand and transform learning spaces by facilitating meaningful interactions and reflections among faculty and students that expand not only their knowledge but their capacity to understand. As an educator, schools are his heart, and he connects that heart-work with his knowledge of cognitive science as a trainer with St. Andrew's Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. With advanced degrees in private school leadership from Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center and in organizational learning from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Rodney is a collaborative leader and strategic planner. Rodney is a well-known diversity expert and founder of the National Diversity Practitioners Institute.

Christopher Kimberly, Head, Friends Meeting School (MD) 
Chris has served as Academic Dean and Associate Head of School at Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, New Jersey for the past 11 years. Chris, who holds degrees from Princeton and Rensselaer Polytechnic, found his calling as an educator more than two decades ago. He was awarded the Levitt and Toohey Award for Faculty Excellence and held the Homer L. Dodge Chair in Science; he has also served in leadership positions on the boards of several schools and the Friends Council on Education. Chris’s wide-ranging skills and interests and his deep sense of commitment have led him to volunteer work of many sorts—from tutoring prison inmates, to maintaining wilderness trails, to mentoring college students in cities.

Sophie Glenn Lau, Head, Lincoln School (RI) 
Sophie has been appointed as the 17th head of Lincoln School. She comes to Lincoln School from the 440-student Senior School at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she served as head of school. Sophie comes to Lincoln with an outstanding record of strategic thinking, experience in developing and launching programs and partnerships, and a deep dedication to students. She also has the remarkable distinction of having graduated from Lincoln in 1988, after which she graduated from Princeton University in 1992, and subsequently received her master’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Sophie taught at The Groton School, Tabor Academy, and The Pingry School, before joining The Wheeler School in 2002. In her 12 years there she served as a history teacher, the History Department Chair, and the Technology Integrationist. Her two children, Emmie and Thompson, attended Lincoln’s Little School, and her husband Peter was a teacher at Lincoln from 2003 to 2007.

Joe McHugh, Interim Head, Richmond Friends School (IN)
An experienced leader in K-12 education Joe has focused in recent years on helping schools during periods of leadership transition. He served as Interim Head of School at Carolina Friends School (Durham, N.C.) during the 2018-19 school year and at Friends School of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minn.) in 2017-18. Earlier in his career, he held leadership positions at Hill-Murray School of St. Paul, Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago and Hawaii Catholic Schools. He also has an extensive background in human resources and consulting services in corporate environments. Joe earned his A.B. from the University of Detroit, an M.A. from Columbia University, and an M.Div. from Woodstock College. Since 2006, he has served as a faculty member in the certificate program in spiritual direction at Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University.

Joe Mueller, Interim Head, Friends School Minnesota (MN) 
Joe comes to Friends School Minnesota from Linwood Elementary School, in the Forest Lake School District, where he served as principal. Joe has a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota and is currently working towards an educational doctorate from Hamline University. He has served as a junior high assistant principal for two years, and an elementary school principal for three years. Joe brings considerable strengths in: 1) supporting faculty through collaboratively focused professional learning communities, 2) advancing equity work through strategic planning and developing a supportive discipline model, and 3) managing operations, compliance with federal and local regulations, and staff at educational institutions. Joe is excited to continue FSMN’s progress in working with students with diverse learning needs and to engage in the school culture- and relationship-building with faculty, staff and community necessary after several years of leadership instability. Joe loves the outdoors and is a member of Unity Unitarian, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in St. Paul.

Maia Tolsdorf, head, Fairville Friends School (PA) 
Maia stepped into the role of Head of School as a long-time member of the Fairville Friends community. Her three children attended Fairville back in the 1990s, and Maia has maintained a close connection to Fairville throughout the years. Maia developed a deep love of Quaker values and education through Fairville and then Westtown School, where she served as the Clerk of Lower School Parent Council. Maia has worn many different hats at Fairville from parent volunteer, to member of the Board of Trustees (including as Clerk), to Advisor. Maia has a B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. She has focused on work within the nonprofit sector, and most recently served as the Director of Strategy & Development for Unite for HER. Maia lives in West Chester with her husband Chris and three children, Emmy, Katherine, and Zach, all of whom worked as counselors at Camp Aka Maka this summer. Fairville is a very special place to the whole family!

John Zimmerman, Head, Scattergood Friends School (IA)
John hails from Mercer County, New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Thomas Edison State College, and for nearly 13 years he has worked at Princeton Friends School in Princeton, New Jersey, both as a teacher and in administration. John’s most recent positions at PFS have been the Director of Admissions and Director of Events and Auxiliary Programs, where he developed after-school activities and nine weeks of summer camps, incorporating Quaker education in creative, place-based programming. He also managed the admissions of Princeton Friend’s camps, increasing the enrollment by 50% over 10 years which in turn positively affected enrollment at their main day-school. Most recently John completed Friends Council on Education’s Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools.

  • Head of School

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