Masked teacher teaching elementary school children.
Gratitude and Tributes to Departing Board Members

Photo credit: Eddie Einbender-Luks

Every year at Friends Council’s Annual Meeting, we say thank you and farewell to outgoing members of the Board of Directors. This year, Friends Council honored three directors whose terms will draw to a close this summer: Chris Kimberly, Katie Smith Sloan, and Debbie Zlotowitz.
Chris Kimberly, Head, Friends Meeting School (MD)
(pictured left)
Chris Kimberly has served on the Friends Council Board of Directors since 2013. In that time he served on the Nominations & Governance and Membership Committees, raised funds, and facilitated ENTQ (Educators New to Quakerism) workshops. Board member Shu Shu Costa shared her admiration and appreciation for Chris’ many talents and contributions to Friends Council. “To every meeting and assignment, to every conversation, Chris brings both his Quaker core – his deep listening, his openness to spirit, his compassionate presence AND the high school science teacher who also lives inside – analytical, data-driven, strategic… Don’t get him started on the joy of spreadsheets!“ said Costa. “More recently, he shepherded revisions to the Membership Renewal Process to courageously ground the self-study in equity and inclusion. Drew Smith called the revision, ‘the most important work Friends Council has done to center the issue of race in our communities.’ Our colleagues on the board and from the Membership Committee note his extraordinarily skilled and wise clerking as well as the way he makes sure each voice is heard and valued, promoting deeper, high-level, and creative thinking.”

Katie Smith Sloan, Executive Director, LeadingAge
Katie Smith Sloan has served on the Friends Council Board of Directors since 2013. Board member Jim Clay recognized Katie’s service to both Friends Council and Friends education. “It was [at School for Friends] as Head of School that I first met Katie. She eventually served on that board. Her strong leadership and her deep understanding of Quakerism and Quaker process was a benefit to our school. Katie went on to bring that same deep understanding to the Friends Council Board of Directors where she extended her service to Friends schools across the country. We have benefited from her presence as a Friend and as a leader with vision.”
Debbie Zlotowitz, Head, Mary McDowell Friends School (NY) 
(pictured right)
Debbie Zlotowitz has served on the Friends Council Board of Directors since 2009; during her tenure she served on the Finance Committee for eight years. She was the first Head to organize a regional ENTQ workshop. Our tribute to Debbie was delivered by Board member Kirk Smothers, who gave a heartfelt and poignant recount of Debbie’s impact on his own trajectory as an educator and leader as well as her impact on Friends education. “I believe that Debbie is not only the longest serving current head of a Friends school for students with learning disabilities, but also the longest serving head of a Quaker LD school in history. Next year, she will round out 30 years as head of Mary McDowell Friends. As a champion of students who are rarely well understood or served by most schools, Debbie has worked tirelessly to ensure that each child’s brilliance is revealed at Mary McDowell, and that their Inner Light shines brightly. She is a fierce advocate for students who are often made to feel ‘lesser than’ in most classrooms. Her goal for LD students is not just for them to survive in school, but also to thrive,” said Smothers. “Thank you, Debbie, for your conviction, clear-eyed leadership, powerful voice, and for being a tireless champion for bright kids who simply learn differently. Yours has been an essential and formative voice among our diverse group of member schools. Friends Council is a stronger and more multifaceted organization because of you and your service.”



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