Welcoming New FCE Board Members
Friends Council on Education welcomes three new directors to our Board: Kathryn Park Cook, Head of School at Frankford Friends School, Karyn Payton, Lower School Principal at Westtown School, and Margaret Sayers, a clinical psychologist in private practice and clerk of Abington Friends School’s School Committee. Kathryn, Karyn, and Margaret each bring extensive experience with Quaker education and great affinity for Quaker principles and practice.

Kathryn Park Cook is in her sixth year as the Head of Frankford Friends School, a PreK-8 school in Philadelphia committed to students learning their responsibility to serve communities in meaningful and actionable ways. During Kathy’s tenure, the school has experienced significant increases in enrollment and giving, and the campus has tripled in size. Previously, she was Director of Innovative Programs at Moorestown Friends School following 20 years of teaching middle school science and math at MFS and in public schools. Before that, she was a classical French horn player after graduating from the New England Conservatory and the University of Pennsylvania. She has completed Friends Council on Education’s Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools (EILFS). Kathy and her husband Tom are the parents of four Moorestown Friends School graduates: Tim (31), Nick (28), Andy (25), and Caroline (21).  Kathy has travelled to more than 40 countries, enjoys spending time in the woods with her dog, and tending her vegetable garden. Kathy’s call to work in Quaker schools stems from the belief that all children have limitless potential to become change-makers in their communities and to make the world a better place for all humankind. 

Karyn Payton has served as Lower School Principal at Westtown School since 2016 after teaching first grade and serving as Master Teacher, broadening the social studies curriculum to include more diverse voices. She has served as Lower School Learning Specialist, notably managing the design and implementation of the new Lower School learning support system. Karyn earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University and a master’s degree in education and human development from The George Washington University, both with highest honors. She holds a certification in early childhood education from Widener University. Karyn has completed Friends Council on Education’s Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools (EILFS). Her time before and outside Westtown has included teaching language arts at Delaware Valley Friends School, training teacher interns in the Delaware Valley Friends School Adolescent Literacy Program, teaching first and second grade at the The School in Rose Valley where she collaborated to create curricula, and, teaching at Friends Select School - of which she is a graduate. A lifelong Quaker and member of Chester Monthly Meeting, Karyn has also coordinated educational programs at Pendle Hill. In her personal statement of philosophy, Karyn speaks of Quaker practices as key influences and inspirations, including holding issues or ideas in the Light, discerning in collaboration with others and in her own quiet time, and leading with intention. She identifies listening and seeking as particularly important practices, calling them “cornerstones of successful teaching and leadership.”

Margaret Sayers is a clinical psychologist in private practice and an adjunct professor at Temple University. When Margaret’s children enrolled in Abington Friends School in 2004, she began attending meeting. She and her two children became members in 2007. Two years later, she joined the School Committee. After her first three-year term, she stepped into the role of Clerk and is completing her 9th and final year in that role. Margaret has enjoyed her partnership with the head of school. Together they have navigated challenges and triumphs such as assuring faculty were competitively and fairly compensated, completing a capital campaign that resulted in a beautiful new athletics center, and creating virtual, in-person, and hybrid programs that met students’ academic and social-emotional needs during the pandemic. She is particularly interested in Quaker decision-making; best practices of independent school governance; diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging for marginalized and underrepresented students in Quaker schools; and increasing the accessibility and affordability of Friends education. She is excited by the prospect of bringing her experience to Friends Council on Education’s board.

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