Board of Directors

Dear Members of Friends School of Portland Community,

From our beginnings on Mackworth Island 10 years ago, Friends School of Portland has flourished. We now serve over 100 students in a home of our own making that gives tangible expression to our commitment to environmental sustainability. We are known for our dedication to educational excellence and each day we strive to live the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, equality, community, and stewardship.

The Board of Directors has had to think and act strategically (and quickly!) to keep pace with the school’s growth. At the beginning of our second decade, the board has had the small luxury to think 5 years ahead. In the spring of 2016, the board invited staff, faculty, parents, grandparents, Quakers, and community members to two visioning sessions to consider the school’s strengths, opportunities, and aspirations, and what the results of fulfilling those hopes could look like.

Guided by those two sessions, in the following document, the board set out 5 goals for the next 5 years, along with some suggested strategies for reaching those goals. We realize that some priorities may shift as circumstance dictates. And we are sure that strategies will evolve, just as new ones will be conceived. The board’s role is to support the administration, provide fiduciary oversight, and monitor progress as the school community addresses these goals.

As we and the FSP community met, we affirmed that two underlying principles run deep: our commitment to academic excellence and environmental sustainability. Both will continue to underpin and guide all of our work, as will our commitment to Quaker values.

We are grateful to the many who have helped Friends School of Portland grow: our fine teachers, families who believe that education can change the world, generous friends who have given us the resources to thrive, the wider network of Quakers, and our inspiring students, the first of whom will soon graduate from college.

Our future is bright.

Sincerely,

Leslie Manning
Acting Chair, Board of Directors

Jenny Rowe
Head of School

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Lyn Ballou went to public schools in suburban Philadelphia through 8th grade, then on to George School--a Friends school--for four fabulous years.  After Middlebury College and living in Vermont, she and husband Peter moved to Maine, where each went to law school and eventually practiced.  While raising Will and Carla, she volunteered for years in the Freeport schools.  The world of education became more intriguing than the halls of justice so she entered the ETEP program at USM.  She is now in her 14th year of teaching high school French at Mt. Ararat in Topsham, and grateful for the opportunity to become a part of the Friends School of Portland.  Lyn is a member of Portland Friends Meeting, a practicing Quaker for over 60 years.

Katie Brooke grew up in various parts of New York and Ohio, and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2008. Following graduation, she volunteered as an AmeriCorps VISTA working at a small college in rural Ohio. Once she completed her year of service, she moved to Maine, fulfilling a childhood dream. Katie is a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty in Portland and feels so fortunate to have a career that allows her to be deeply involved in the community she loves so much. Katie lives on the East End with her partner, Ben and happy cat, Charlie. Katie also serves on the board for Birth Roots, volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and spends Friday mornings with the Walking School Bus for the East End School.

Deqa Dhalac is a parent of an alumna of Friends School. Deqa is a passionate advocate for the immigrant community with extensive experience in social services, public health, and with Survivors of Torture. She currently works for The Opportunity Alliance as a community builder.  She also works with The Center for Grieving Children as a consultant for the Intercultural Program. Deqa is the board vice president for the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and serves on numerous other boards and advisory boards in both the private and government sectors.

Deqa has a Master’s Degree in Development Policy and Practice from University of New Hampshire and an MSW from University of New England. She is a certified language tester and cultural skill trainer and has been providing broad mediation for patients/clients in different settings with service providers to ensure they get their needs met.

Deqa's daughter, Saharla, graduated from FSP in 2014.  An 11th grader, Saharla now serves as a school rep for the Portland Public Schools School Board.

Andrew Dixon is an FSP parent (Seth in 5th grade).  As a neighbor of Mackworth Island, Andy has watched FSP from its inception. He attended Peck School in Morristown NJ from 4th to 8th grade, and understands the importance of early and middle school education as a building block. Andy regularly sees tge benefits of Seth attending a school with a "culture of joyful learning." As a resident of the Portland area since 1984, Andy has volunteered with wonderful local organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Preble Street and the Center for Grieving Children. A graduate of Cornell University, Andy works as an Account Manager for Systems Engineering in Portland. His wife, JB Kavaliauskas, is a long time high school educator currently working at Catherine McAuley High School. Seth and Andy are avid flyers of remote control airplanes.

Hildy Ginsberg is Chair of the FSP Board and the State Director for the March of Dimes. She is committed to the development of youth and believes strongly in the mission of the school. Hildy grew up a Mennonite in Kansas City, Kansas and after graduation from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she joined Mennonite Voluntary Service for a year of AmeriCorps with YSOP, a youth service organization founded by Quakers and housed in Friends Seminary in New York City. She was previously the Executive Director of the Portland YMCA and spent 16 years working for the Y, also in New York and Connecticut. Hildy lives in Scarborough with her husband, Adam, and two children, Mia and Henry. She also serves on the board for Camp Ketcha.

James Grumbach (recording secretary) taught art and math in public and independent schools before becoming Head of Friends School of Portland from 2007-2012. His introduction to Quaker education came at George School, a boarding school in Newtown, PA, where he lived for nearly 30 years. In his tenure there, he spent 14 years in the Dean of Students office before returning to full-time teaching and coaching. James and his wife, Pamela, an artist, now spend their retirement between Vinalhaven and Portland, where their four children and six grandchildren reside.

Doug McCown, Clerk (chairperson) of the Board, recently moved to Portland from Pendle Hill, where he was Director of Finance and HR. His children attended Quaker schools and he has been Director, Treasurer and Clerk of the Quaker nonprofit organization ProNica. They both belonged to Southeastern Yearly Meeting for many years, and have been active in AFSC and FCNL. Both are active within Portland Monthly Meeting. Doug attended Lafayette College,. University of Madrid,  and N.Y.U., and is a former psychologist, hotelier and business consultant. Doug’s wife Becky is an attorney and former theatre stage director. Doug and Becky have four daughters, all of college age and beyond. Doug is currently engaged in the  placement of law partners and corporate attorneys.

Rob Ravenelle joined the FSP Board in August 2015 and serves as the Treasurer and Clerk of the Finance Committee.

Lise Wagner joined the FSP Board in August 2015. Her son Doug was one of FSP's first students, and is now a proud graduate. Lise serves as the Clerk of the Board Governance Committee.

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The school is independent, non-profit, tax-exempt and is governed by a board of directors with a wide range of business, legal and educational experience. Over 50 percent of the Board members are active attenders and members of a Quaker meeting.