As your new Clerk of the Board of Trustees, I have been hard at work with Craig Sellers and the members of the Board. The Board committees are in full swing, gathering momentum from the Vision 2020 Long Range Plan. The Board and related committees created a clear road map to follow, and we intend to make substantial progress this year. Thanks again to all those in the community who contributed their time and energy.
Since arriving in Wynnewood in late June, my family and I have enjoyed the warm embrace of a school community eager to celebrate the excellence of our school while committing to progress on behalf of our children. I could not ask for a more generous welcome—on behalf of my family, thank you.
We have spent considerable time looking at Board structure and best practices. I expect that some refinement of our organization will enable the Board to serve the School more effectively. For instance, we have created a Committee on Trustees, whose role will include a clear process for nominating great people to our Board. These new members will join a talented and passionate Board, whose members will continue to serve the Friends’ Central community and its vision for the future. The Facilities Committee of the Board and the Vision 2020 Facilities Working Group are collaborating to complete the Campus Master Plan, with an eye to what the next steps will be to ensure our facilities are fulfilling our mission. In addition, the School Life Committee and the Vision 2020 Engaged Community Working Group has written a new Statement of Diversity and Inclusivity, and has planned a number of initiatives designed to realize our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. In the coming months, I will share more initiatives being undertaken by the Board this year. We think there are opportunities to advance our outstanding school even further, and we plan to be in communication with you throughout the year. One final note, I am very gratified that Craig and Cary have received such a warm welcome from the Friends’ Central community. Not that I expected anything less! Craig is extraordinarily well prepared, and this has made the transition go smoothly. Many thanks to Joanne Hoffman for her guidance as Interim Head of School. What a tremendous year she gave us! Thank you, and best wishes for a splendid 2012-2013 school year. Sincerely,
We are now at the end of a week devoted to new beginnings. All FCS faculty and staff began the week at Merion Meeting with an inspiring talk by Doug Linton ’68, our devoted and talented Grounds Foreman. We then moved into Meeting for Worship at the historic Meetinghouse, and gathered for dinner that evening to celebrate the year and listen to the remarks and reflections of last year's sabbatical recipients, Jackie Gowen-Tolcott and Becky Guenther. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating—the opening events at Friends Central, grounded in centering silence, felt like returning home to me. Wednesday, a portion of our all-faculty and staff meeting was given to Farraday summer stipend recipients. You can read more about their summers and our sabbatical recipients in an article on our website, but let me say that it was an honor to witness such passion for learning combined with a commitment to bring this enrichment back to FCS and our students. It is little wonder that our dedicated teachers connect with our children in ways that are transformational, and have profound, life-long meaning. Cary and I have enjoyed being “oriented” via some fantastic, information-packed opening sessions these last few days. Our school’s ability to deliver robust electronic communication is a model for any school I know—providing (note to self!) parents do their part by jumping into www.friendscentral.org and Veracross, and poking around. So many features! The “Who Lives Nearby” function, for instance, is a great example of technology at the intersection of practicality and community building—thank you to all the folks in our Technology and Communications departments! A final thank-you to Bob Gassel and the Friends' Central Board—your many examples of kind support these last months have inspired me, and affirmed my sense that this will be a terrific school year. Sincerely,
Bob Robert Gassel ’69 Clerk, Board of Trustees
Craig N. Sellers Head of School P.S. Somehow, even a substantial traffic snarl on City Ave. did not dampen opening day—Bravo!