Friends School of Portland realized that it would benefit greatly from the additional support and expertise that an Advisory Committee of members of the broader community would provide. In school year 2007-08, we actively sought a distinguished group of individuals to join us and on May 16, 2008, we had our first gathering.
While we envision the role of the Advisory Committee maturing and evolving, currently we see the Advisory Committee supporting our mission in the following ways:
- Gathering with the Board of Directors and administrative staff at least once each year for an informational presentation followed by discussion and the opportunity to offer analysis and advice.
- Consulting informally on a case-by-case basis. Each of our Advisory Committee members has specific areas of expertise and we will benefit from the ability to tap into that expertise should the need arise.
- Serving as informal ambassadors for the school throughout our community, encouraging families to consider Friends School of Portland as an educational option for their children.
- Supporting the school financially at a level feasible for the individual Advisory Committee member.
- Permitting us to include Advisory Committee members' names on official school publications (printed and on line).
Our goal is to have the Advisory Committee knowledgeable about the Friends School of Portland, about our goals and aspirations, and about our successes and our areas of needed improvement. We are eager to have Advisory Committee members as part of our school family as we strive to provide our students with an exceptional education based on the Quaker values of integrity, truth, peace, community and simplicity.
Current Advisory Committee Members
Tom Armstrong - Former Trustee of Maine Medical Center and Falmouth Land Trust, Falmouth, ME
Bill Bickley began his career as an English teacher at Wilmington Friends School, an independent day school in Wilmington, Delaware and now has more than thirty-five years of experience in secondary and post-secondary education. During his career he has served in a variety of roles in independent school education, including head of upper school, acting headmaster, and director of college counseling. Prior to his current position as senior associate director of admissions at the University of Delaware, Bickley was an associate dean of admissions at Swarthmore College and provided transitional leadership as acting director of admissions at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation's oldest historically Black university. Additionally, he has served as program committee chair for the Friends Council on Education, editorial board member and co-chair of the Harvard Educational Review, and most recently has joined the board of ASPIRA of Delaware, the local chapter of the national organization serving Hispanic youth. Bickley earned his undergraduate degree at Haverford College, his master's degree at the University of Delaware, and his doctorate at Harvard University.
Charmarie Jenkins Blaisdell is a birthright Friend who graduated from George School in 1951.She grew up in the Quaker community of Buck Hill Falls PA, was a member of Green St., Palo Alto and Wellesley Monthly Meetings. After earning an M.A. and PhD from Tufts University in Early Modern European History in 1970, she joined the faculty at Northeastern University where she taught for 35 years. She completed the last 5 years of her tenure there with a double appointment in History and the Department of Education. She was Executive Director of the Palo Alto Meeting Pre-School in the early 60's, assistant to the Director of Farm and Wilderness Camps in Plymouth, Vermont in the mid-60's and on the Committee of Founders of the Marblehead Community Public charter School in MA. She also served as co-creator of an Interdisciplinary Humanities and Science Curriculum and Admissions Assistant for the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science in Worcester, MA. She has contributed to the work of several New England Association of Schools and Colleges evaluation committees. She lives in Tenants Harbor where she sails and kayaks with her partner Stanley Levy. She is a member of the UU Church of Rockland where she sings in the choir and serves on the Membership Committee. She is a community mediator with Community Mediation Services (Volunteers of America) and in her "spare" time sings with the Midcoast Community Chorus.
Nancy Appel Boothby - With a B.A. from Beloit College, Nancy and her husband served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, and then spent two years in Alternative C.O. Service in Colorado. Afterwards they joined in the "Back to the Land Movement" of the early 70s, settling in Sedgwick ME. Teaching first on Deer Isle, they landed at Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey where Nancy taught preK/K and then 1st-2nd grade. After 17 years at MFS, Nancy moved on to Princeton Friends School to co-teach the multiage 1st-2nd grade, and after 3 years, finally returned to Maine to teach in the public schools of Mt. Desert and the Midcoast for 5 years. Nancy and her husband continue to farm for three seasons, which affords Nancy time to volunteer at FSP where she is "having fun soaking in the rigorous and loving learning environment of a fine Quaker School."
Christopher Branson - Attorney with Murray, Plumb and Murray in Portland; President, Maine Civil Liberties Union, Falmouth, ME
David Bourns - Former head of Paul Cuffee School and George School, Westport, MA
George Chappell earned a B.A. degree from the University of Maine and an M.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Moses Brown School, a Friends school in Providence, Rhode Island. George is a retired journalist, formerly with the Bangor Daily News. He once taught English in secondary school. He is enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont, where he specializes in poetry, and plans to return to teaching after his graduation in June 2011. The father of four grown sons, George is a widower who was married to Inger (Larsen) Chappell until her death in 2003. He lives in Camden. George enjoys working in his garden at home, reading, visiting his children and grandchildren and seeing friends in Vermont and Maryland. He attends meetings at the Midcoast Friends Meetinghouse in Damariscotta.
James R. Douglas is a native Mainer and member of Durham Friends Meeting, where his family have worshiped for many generations. After earning his M.Ed. in community agency counseling from the University of Maine, he worked for over 20 years in the substance abuse rehabilitation and other human services fields in a variety of in-patient and community agency settings. He worked with the juvenile justice system as a counselor at the (then) Maine Youth Center and for a large youth and family services non-profit implementing and directing a large grant to develop intensive supervision services to support the successful reintegration of youth leaving the Youth Center. Jim, his wife, and two sons moved to Brunswick in 1992 and returned to Durham Meeting. In 1996 Jim was called as pastor at Durham Friends and served for 8 years. He was active in New England Yearly Meeting and was appointed as a representative to Friends United Meeting for a number of years. Since 2004 Jim has been responsible for the bereavement support services of a large non-profit home care and hospice agency in central Maine. He lives in Norway with his wife Patti-Ann, their two dogs and 19 year-old cat, Ruby.
Stephen Gefvert - Former Quaker school parent and retired physician, Cumberland, ME
Ed Hinshaw - Former head of Sandy Springs School in Maryland. Member of Durham Friends Meeting in Maine.
Frances Hitchens has worked as a teacher, teacher consultant and teacher educator for her twenty plus years in education. She started her career as a fourth grade classroom teacher in inner city London, England where she had received her B.Ed at Froebel College, Roehampton Institute. Her teaching journey took her to an innovative alternative school in Denver, Colorado and the Jakarta International School in Indonesia. Teaching, learning and equity have been at the heart of her work including developing a Civics curriculum for public schools in Nepal, working with rural communities to discuss the challenges of girls education in Pakistan and training graduates going into K-12 education in the Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) at USM. She received her M.ED and Ed.D from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has a strong affinity with Quaker educational values and is proud to say she trained two of the current staff members at FSP in the ETEP program.
Reza Jalali - Coordinator of USM Student Multicultural Affairs
Robert W. Knight is a Maine architect specializing in residential design. Bob was educated at Westfield Friends school in Cinnaminson, NJ and then was the third generation of his family to go George School in Bucks County. He has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania ('66) and a Master of Architecture from Yale ('70). A lifelong Friend, he lives in Brooksville, Maine with his wife Lucia. Their youngest son Jesse also went to George School ('97) which began their link to James Grumbach, head of Friends School of Portland. When they aren't working in their Blue Hill office, they are trying to be on Penobscot bay in their sailboat "OWL" .
Janet Lohmann is the Associate Dean of Student Affairs/ Dean of First-Year Students at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Janet spent many years in the classroom as a sociology professor, most recently at Bowdoin College. Now she works with first-year students at Bowdoin to assist them in navigating their college experience and creating opportunities for academic success, leadership and community engagement. Janet is a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, although she is currently a regular attender at Portland Friends Meeting in Portland, Maine. Through her Quaker experience, she has been a member of worship and ministry and religious education committees. Janet also spent eight years as a First-Day School teacher and sits on the corporation at Haverford College.
Kelly McDonald is a Maine lawyer who focuses on civil litigation at Murray, Plumb & Murray in Portland. He graduated from Bates College and the University of Virginia Law School. In a prior life, he taught math at George School, another fine Quaker school near Philadelphia. He lives with his wife, Lynn Maziarz, and their three children in Portland. Kelly also sits on the Board of Directors for MaineShare, is a member of the Legal Panel for the Maine Civil Liberties Union, and is the Chair of the Portland Police Citizen Review Subcommittee.
Nat Shed - Director, Friends Camp in China, Maine, China, ME
Adelaide Solomon-Jordan - Founding parent and board member of the Friends School of Atlanta, Georgia, an elementary and middle school. Principal, Carter-Saunders Ltd. Educational Solutions, Rumford, ME
Sarah Standiford is with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and is the former Executive Director of the Maine Women's Lobby and its sister organization, the Maine Women's Policy Center www.mainewomen.org. She also serves as a board member to the Maine Association of Nonprofits and as Secretary-Treasurer of Family Values@Work - a national work and family consortium. She earned a BA from Bates College in 1997, and studied with the School for International Training in Kenya. While not a current meeting member, Quaker principles and practice inform her life and work, and in particular, her commitment to social justice. She attended the Friends School of Baltimore, Maryland from Pre-K- 12. Sarah and her husband Jeff Fetterer live in Richmond, Maine where you'll find her canoeing, horseback riding, and enjoying the outdoors.
Meryl Troop - Human rights activitist and American Sign Language interpreter.
Tom Welch was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and growing up followed the peripatetic path of a faculty brat from Princeton to New Haven to Philadelphia. He attended Germantown Friends School, and through parents, children or siblings has ties to Friends Central, Plymouth Meeting Friends, Haverford Friends, and Friends School (in Maryland). Tom graduated from Stanford University in 1972 and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1975. He has variously been an attorney in private, corporate and government practice. Tom was appointed to the Maine Public Utilities Commission as Chair in April 2011, and had previously served as Chair of the Commission from 1993-2005. He currently works in Augusta, and lives in Hallowell. Tom served on the FSP Board of Directors for several years.