At Friends Community School, our faculty and staff are committed to inspiring the next generation of leaders to reach their full potential as individuals and engaged community members. We are committed to progressive education pedagogy as an approach to developing the skills that students will need in an ever-changing world, and are devoted to a diverse and equitable environment for students and colleagues.

Administration & Staff

List of 17 items.

  • Neal M. Brown, Interim Head of School

    "I have worked in progressive schools, in Quaker schools, and in diverse communities, but I have never worked in a school that was deeply committed to and that embodied all three. This combination is a powerful one for students, for staff, and for families."

    Neal joined FCS as Interim Head of School in the summer of 2023. Previously, Neal served as Interim Lower School Director for Creative Minds International Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Prior to his time at Creative Minds, he held the role of Interim Head of School for two years at Lansdowne Friends School in Pennsylvania. For 12 years, from 2008-2020, Neal served as Head of School at Green Acres School in North Bethesda. Neal is a committed progressive educator with nearly 35 years of educational experience, including in Quaker schools. He has served as a classroom teacher, consultant/coach, assistant head and head of school, and member of a board of trustees. Outside of school, Neal enjoys spending time with his family, 15-year-old Cockapoo, Stanley, and two cats, Sherlock and Watson!

    Education
    Brown University - B.A., M.A.T.
  • Samantha McKay, Administrative Assistant and Front Office Receptionist

  • Ana Kosmalski, Executive Assistant to Head of School

  • Carmen Johnson, Chief Financial Officer

    Carmen Johnson is our Chief Financial Officer. With more than 20 years of experience as a school CFO, Carmen oversaw finances and operations at SEED Public Charter School in Washington DC and Sandy Spring Friends School for 11 years.

    Education
  • Tamiko McCord, Business Office Assistant and HR Coordinator

    “I consider myself a child advocate in many ways.”

    A hand injury took Tammi’s career on a detour from dentistry to medical office management before she came to FCS’s business office in 2014. Outside of FCS, Tammi is also an educator. She has evaluated preschool curricula,  homeschooled her son and teaches Sunday school. Tammi also trains church staff in security and emergency preparation, and she has served as a court-appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system in Howard County. In her rare spare time, Tammi enjoys reading, going to museums, and music.

    Education
    University of Maryland Global Campus, B.A.
  • Yonnette Moore, Lower School Head

    “Learning is an experience. Children need to see it, they need to feel it, they need to move in it.”

    Yonnette transitioned to the FCS administrative team in 2020, bringing experience as part of the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys' inaugural team, where she rose to become a division director and then vice principal. She has taught at a D.C. charter school, Kindergarten and 2nd grade at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Brookland, 2nd grade at Bishop John T. Walker, and 3/4 at FCS, where she joined the faculty in 2019. In her spare time, Yonnette enjoys dining out with family and friends.

    Education
    Howard University, B.A.
    Marygrove College, M.A.T.
    St. Thomas University, M.S.
  • Brighid Willson, Middle School Dean

    “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.” –Dolly Parton

    Brighid came to FCS in the fall of 2010. Prior to joining our faculty, she worked for 10 years as a graphic designer/art director and spent several years teaching a variety of K-8 subjects in both San Diego, CA and Greenbelt, MD. Her roles at FCS have included 6 years as a 3rd/4th-grade teacher, 7 years as the middle school visual arts teacher, and several turns as clerk of faculty, as well as serving in leadership roles for numerous committees. In 2022, after completing the Emerging Leadership Institute, Brighid stepped into the newly created role of Middle School Dean of Students. A natural problem-solver, she enjoys designing schedules, supporting students with conflict-resolution, and helping foster a climate of warmth and connection amongst our community. In her own artistic practice, she enjoys realistic pencil drawing and graphic design. Brighid lives with her husband and two children, both FCS graduates. Her hobbies include walking, singing, and playing guitar.

    Education
    University of Maryland, B.A.
  • Megan Wilson, Outplacement Coordinator and Registrar

    “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” --Aesop 

    Megan joined FCS in the 2019-20 school year with over 11 years of independent school administration experience. She has worked in the admissions offices of Sidwell Friends School, Sheridan School, Silver Spring Day School, and Beauvoir School. Megan has a strong affinity for bringing people together, an attribute that serves FCS well in her current roles. A native of the D.C. area, Megan and her three daughters love to explore and photograph the world around them.

    Education
    Dickinson College, B.A.
    University of Denver, M.A.
    University of Denver, Teaching Certificate
  • Jasmine Vaughn, School Nurse

    “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier”- Mother Teresa 

    Jasmine joined FCS in the summer of 2022 as our School Nurse. With more than a decade of nursing experience, Jasmine’s career has focused on providing high quality, personalized care to both adults and children in different healthcare settings. Prior to joining FCS, Jasmine served as an Ambulatory Care Clinical Supervisor for MedStar Healthcare where she performed both  adult and pediatric patient assessments, prepared and administered vaccinations and medications, supervised clinical activities performed on site, ensured all lab tests were complete and properly charted, and trained new medical assistants and nurses in proper techniques, care standards, operational procedures and safety protocols. Additionally, Jasmine has worked at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland and Davita Dialysis.Outside of work,  Jasmine enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her family. 

    Education
    BSN, Southern University A&M College, School of Nursing
  • Shauna Brown Leung, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Life

    “We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Shauna joined FCS in the fall of 2022  as our first Director of Equity, Inclusion and Community Life. She brings considerable experience integrating attention to equity into learning experiences for educators, students, and families. Teaching social studies in Montgomery County Public Schools, serving on the Instructional Rounds Faculty at Harvard University, and consulting with private and public school improvement teams are a few of her favorite professional roles. Shauna finds joy getting lost in a good book,  connecting to the natural world, traveling, and laughing with family and friends. 

    Education
    Dartmouth College - BA
    University of Pennsylvania - MS
    Harvard University - MS
  • Caroline Johnson, Director of Admissions

    “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” - John Dewey

    Caroline came to FCS in 2021 from The Field School, where she served as Assistant Director of Admission and held a variety of other roles for seven years. She brings experience with the systems and processes core to this work as well as familiarity and enthusiasm about our students whom she has met over the years when they've applied to Field as rising 9th Graders. During her free time, Caroline is training for her next road or trail race, reading a good book, or spending time outdoors.

    Education
    Colgate University, B.A.
  • Danielle Probst Rich, Interim Director of Advancement

    “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” — Coretta Scott King 

    Danielle joined the FCS community as a Guest Teacher in 2014 and since then has worn many hats on campus from Summer Camp Manager to Extended Day teacher. She has 20 years of fundraising experience working for organizations in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Danielle is a multimedia artist exploring themes of belonging and identity. She is proud to live and work in College Park.

    Education
    Northern Virginia Community College, AS
    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA
    The American Film Institute, MFA
    Project Management Institute, CAPM
    Association of Fundraising Professionals, Member
  • Ileana Trozzo DeLeonibus, Advancement Associate

  • Sheldon Henry, Director of Instructional and Information Technology

    “I love to tell old-time stories. Before there were video games, we’d go outside to play. Before cell phones, you were away when you were away.”
     
    Making his way from Frederick each day, Sheldon brings over 17 years of technology leadership to FCS. He joined the FCS faculty in the 2019-20 school year. Previously, Sheldon was the Director of Technology at St. Maria Goretti High School and St. John’s Catholic Prep, where he enjoyed mentoring students and coaching a variety of sports, including basketball, tennis, and soccer. Sheldon continues to coach the Frederick Community College women’s basketball team. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and watching his grandchildren participate in the same activities his children once did.

    Education
    Adelphi University, B.B.A.
    University of the District of Columbia, M.B.A.
  • Keyera Whiting, IT Associate

  • Van Nguyen, Director of Operations

    “Let your life speak one step at a time.”

    Van joined FCS in 2017 after seven years in various roles at Media-Providence Friends School in Pennsylvania. The welcoming spirit of Media-Providence Friends encouraged Van to find another Friends school to work in when they relocated to the D.C. area.

    Prior to FCS, Van was active in queer activism in Philadelphia from organizing the childcare curriculum for children ages 5-12 at the annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference to serving as a Steering Committee Member for hotpot! Philly, a queer Asian women and Trans* folk group. They have also served on the Board of the Leeway Foundation, a grant-making arts organization supporting women and trans* artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change.

    Since 2017, Van has worked at FCS in Ex-Day, Lower School, and now as the Director of Operations overseeing Auxiliary Programs, Facilities, and the Health Suite. 

    Education
    Haverford College, B.A.
  • Gillian Rosenzweig-Stein ‘10, Director of Extended Day and Auxiliary Program Manager

    “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them” - Maya Angelou 

    Gillian attended FCS from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Gillian started working at FCS in the fall of 2018 as the Assistant Director of Ex-Day and as a substitute teacher. In the 2019-20 school year, Gillian moved to the role of 3/4 Teaching Assistant. In the summer of 2022 Gillian took on her new role as Auxiliary Programs Manager, directing the Ex-Day program, helping manage the Summer Camp Program and occasionally wrangling a guinea fowl. Outside of FCS, Gillian enjoys playing basketball, music, and reading. 

    Education
    St. Mary’s College of Maryland, B.A.

Faculty

List of 27 items.

  • Katrina Abdussalaam, 5/6 Math Teacher and Math Curriculum Coordinator

    "It's what you do in your moments of silence that determines your success."

    Katrina joined the Friends Community School faculty in the 2017-18 school year. A native Washingtonian, she discovered a love of Quaker education as a student at Sidwell Friends School and Haverford College. Katrina has over 11 years of elementary-level teaching experience in D.C. public schools, not just in math but in reading and writing as well; ask Katrina about the virtues of children learning cursive! In 2012, Katrina was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Most recently, her career focused on elementary mathematics as a Eureka Math curriculum developer for Great Minds. In her spare time, Katrina enjoys traveling with her family.

    Education
    Haverford College, BA
    American University, Teaching Certificate
    District of Columbia Certified Teacher
  • Bryan Adams 5/6 Science Teacher and Science Curriculum Coordinator

    “It’s my duty to help students become more aware of their impact on the world around them.”

    Bryan joined FCS in 2016 with experience in Quaker schools as both a teacher and student. He attended George School and Guilford College and taught at Alexandria Friends School and Sidwell Friends School. In teaching the fundamentals of science, he tries to be as interdisciplinary as possible, incorporating math, history, and art to show how interconnected the world can be. In Bryan’s spare time, he sees as much live music and many art exhibits as possible.

    Education
    Guilford College, B.A.
    American University, M.S.
  • Cynthia Louise Fox Barney, PhD, 3/4 Teacher

    “A teacher who communicates personal warmth toward students while at the same time demands they work toward high standards.” ~ Zaretta Hammond

    Cynthia has served in independent schools for over 30 years. In August, 2023, she joined FCS as one of the 3rd/4th grade classroom teachers. Cynthia brings over 30 years in education, as both a classroom teacher and administrator. Cynthia served as the Assistant Principal for the Lower School at Friends School of Baltimore and was a founder, educator, and administrator at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis. She recently completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership for Changing Populations from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Cynthia also holds a master’s degree in middle school education from Goucher College and a bachelor's degree in health, wellness, and physical education from Springfield College in Massachusetts. In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys running, hiking, gardening, exploring all forms of artistic expression, traveling, and spending time with her grandchildren. 

    Education
    • Notre Dame of Maryland University, PhD
    • Goucher College, M.Ed.
    • Springfield College, B.Sc
  • Brian Belstock, 3/4 Teacher

    The more risks you allow children to take, the more they learn to take care of themselves…” ~Roald Dahl

    Brian has worked in independent schools for more than 20 years. He has taught everything from Kindergarten through middle school both during the regular school day and throughout the summer. He brings a wealth of experience in whole-child education including training in Responsive Classroom which we use at FCS. Through his work, Brian aims to teach and mentor students in a motivational way that encompasses the whole child; provides a safe and interactive learning environment; and holds students’ best interest at heart. He enjoys sharing his love of the outdoors with students through interactive lessons and instills an appreciation of nature and the world around us in students. When he is not in the classroom, you can find Brian skiing, hiking or camping with his girlfriend and yellow Labrador Retriever, Ella. 

    Education
    • Fort Lewis College, CO - B.A.
    • University of Colorado at Denver - M.A.
  • Janet Browne, LS Spanish and Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

    “The greatest gift is to see how students grow in their acquisition of a new language.”

    Janet joined FCS as Lower School Spanish Teacher in the 2019-20 school year, bringing over 23 years of experience teaching Spanish to elementary-age children in her native Peru as well as the U.S. Most recently, Janet taught Spanish at another progressive school, Green Acres School in Bethesda. Janet likes to find ways to incorporate the visual and performing arts into her teaching. In her spare time, she enjoys watching family movies, cooking, hiking , and walking her Beagle, Lucas.

    Education
    • Garcilaso de la Vega Universidad, Lima-Perú, B.E.
    • University of Maryland, M.Ed.
  • Whitney Byrd, Assistant LS Teacher

  • Casey Collier, MS Art Teacher

    “Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

    Casey Collier will begin as the visual arts teacher in the middle school. Prior to FCS she spent 9 years teaching art with PGCPS.  Casey will bring her passion and skill in ceramics, drawing, embroidery, textiles, painting, and printmaking to her work with our students. Casey loves bringing the arts into school because art education has the ability to be the great equalizer by making culture and creative thinking accessible to all children, regardless of background and ability level.

    Education
    • Virginia Commonwealth University, B.F.A
  • Jennie Condon, Kindergarten Teacher

    "Anything can happen, child, ANYTHING can be." ~Shel Silverstein

    Jennie joined the FCS faculty in 2019-20 after teaching at Greenwood School in Hyattsville for 23 years. Trained as an artist, Jennie uses art to engage children in their learning. Her son has been a major influence on her teaching. “By embracing the fact that being different is what makes us special, my focus became reaching every child where they are. It helped me realize that a child's learning style is as unique as the child him or herself.” In her spare time, Jennie enjoys running, camping, and hiking.

    Education
    • University of Maryland, B.A.
  • Mark Evans, Physical Education Teacher

    “The joy of the FCS experience is working with our children and learning from them.”

    Mark has been a member of the FCS community for over 21 years. During this time he has held a variety of positions, including assistant director of the Extended Day program, physical education teacher, and facilities manager. Mark enjoys presenting a wide variety of experiences for his students, from movement and dance to initiative games, to team games and sports. Mark has an extensive background in outdoor education and is an avid camper and hiker.

    Education
    • Towson State University
  • Hallie Friedfeld, 1/2 Teacher

    “When you love your students, your students know it.”

    Hallie moved from Rhode Island to Maryland to join the FCS community in the 2019-20 school year. Hallie is a graduate of another Quaker school--the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island. She spent time as 1/2 assistant, a 3/4 assistant, and is now a 1/2 Homeroom Teacher. Hallie’s favorite part of the day is watching the joy that students’ enter the classroom with each morning. She believes that cultivating a community that makes students feel safe, heard, and seen, contributes to their overall success. In her free time, you can find Hallie crafting, watching new tv shows, and spending time with her family. 

    Education
    • Santa Clara University, B.A., B.S
  • Allison Hedges, Performing Arts Teacher

    “When the student actor responds joyfully, effortlessly, the teacher/director will know that the theater is in [their] very bones.” ~ Viola Spolin

    Allison began acting professionally at the age of fourteen, and for twenty years worked in theater, film, and television, including commercials and voiceovers. She hails from the Philadelphia area, where she performed with Delaware Theatre Company, Philadelphia Area Repertory Theatre, OperaDelaware, and the Women’s Ensemble Theatre Company, to name a few. Allison is a classically trained singer as well as actor, and is happy to be sharing her love of musical theater and choral music with the students at FCS. She was one of the founding company members of Kalliope Stage, a musical-centered theater company based in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Allison studied educational theater at New York University, where she specialized in creative drama for the classroom. She has taught students of all ages, from Kindergarten through college, and directed theater productions for Greene Street Friends School, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, The Masters School, and the University of Maryland. Also an accomplished theater historian, Allison’s research on theater in ancient Egypt was recently published in the journal Performance, Religion, and Spirituality and the French revue Égypte, Afrique & Orient.

    Education
    • New York University, BA
    • University of Pennsylvania, MLA
    • University of Maryland, PhD
  • Kate Henry, Middle School Learning Specialist and Learning Lab Director

    “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” ~ John Dewey

    Kate has more than two decades of teaching and administrative experience in independent, public, and Quaker schools. Kate loves Friends Community School not only for its commitment to diversity and elevation of student voice and choice, but also for its core Quaker values: equity, integrity, community, stewardship, simplicity, and peaceful conflict resolution. In her spare time, Kate enjoys reading, writing, the visual and performing arts, and gardening.

    Education
    • The Johns Hopkins University, M.S.Ed.
      • certificate in Differentiated Reading instruction
      • certificate in Talented and Gifted Instruction
      • certificate in Singapore math instruction
    • Tufts University, B.A., English and education
  • Dahlia Holley, LS Learning Specialist

    “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” 

    Dahlia joined the FCS faculty in the 2019-20 school year and brings with her 20 years of teaching experience across specialized, private and independent educational settings. A Hyattsville native, Dahlia was born and raised in the Historic Hyattsville neighborhood. Outside of school, Dahlia enjoys exploring the newly developed neighborhood with her husband and  sons. 

    Education
    • Bowie State University- MAT, Dual Degree: Special Education & Early Childhood Education
    • West Virginia University - BS, Early Childhood Education
    • MSDE Professional Certification: Early Childhood Education - Active
    • MSDE Professional Certification: Special Education K-8 - Active
  • Benjamin Kintisch, LS Music Teacher and Instrumental Music Coordinator

    “Peace Through Music.”  - Bert Hughes, Music Teacher and Humanitarian
     
    Ben joined the FCS faculty in the Fall of 2022. He brings with him more than a decade of experience in music education in schools in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.  Ben also has extensive experience in Jewish communal and education work having served as Cantor for the Columbia Jewish Congregation in Columbia, MD and Chaplain for the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) Hospice Program in Montgomery County. When he’s not teaching music or supporting his religious community, Ben enjoys walking, listening to audiobooks, gardening, playing piano, watercolor painting, songwriting, bowling, and  snowboarding. He is a musical theater lover and creator of “Life Review: The Hospice Musical”.
     
    Education
    • Brown University - BA
    • Jewish Theological Seminary of America - MA
    • Certified Teacher in NY (Music, Special Education) and MD (Music)
  • Keely Kozak, Kindergarten Teacher and New Faculty Mentorship Co-Coordinator

    "Students have a natural curiosity and desire to learn, and it is my job to ignite their curiosity."

    After five years of teaching Kindergarten in public charter schools in Washington, D.C., Keely joined FCS as a 1/2 teacher in the 2016-17 school year and now teaches Kindergarten. Keely is experienced using Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop, Responsive Classroom, and many Mathematics curriculums. She teaches enrichments and summer camps where students can explore with Legos, robots, and coding. Before teaching, Keely worked in fundraising and marketing for nonprofits that serve children and youth. In her spare time, she loves to bake, sew, garden, and play tennis. 

    Education
    • Bucknell University, BA
    • The New School, MS
  • Carol Macadam, Librarian

    "I love connecting readers with books that excite, surprise, and engage them."

    Carol became part-time staff at FCS in 2016, having been a volunteer in the library since 2010 when her granddaughter Ani became an FCS kindergartener. She is also grandmother to Matthew.  Carol is a retired academic librarian whose career started as a 12-year-old Middle School Library Assistant in California and includes positions at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon and Princeton University Library and concluded with many years working for JSTOR, an online resource housing digital versions of academic 
    journals for use by colleges and universities.  At JSTOR she got to talk with librarians all over the country everyday.  

    Education
    • American University of Beirut, B.A.
    • University of Sheffield, MLIS
  • Jacqueline Mathey, 7/8 Social Studies Teacher

    “I want students to understand that connections can be made between the past and the present.”

    Landslides, mudslides, wildfires, and floods are no match for Jacqueline, a former FEMA operational planner on the West Coast and then in the Gulf states following Hurricane Katrina. Jacqueline has degrees in American history and American studies, and began subbing at FCS in 2017 before joining the front office team, where she enjoyed the challenge of learning every student’s and parent’s name. She also taught middle-school summer camp in sewing and baking. In her spare time, she enjoys reading non-fiction, especially biographies. Jacqueline’s oldest child, Declan, is a member of the class of 2024 and her daughter Olympia is a member of the class of 2026.

    Education
    • University of California-Riverside, B.A.
    • University of Maryland, M.A.
  • Gordon McKenzie, Middle School Support Teacher

    Gordon began his work with FCS as a substitute teacher and after getting to know the faculty and staff he joined the team full-time in the fall of 2022. He began his career as a teacher at Crawford Adventist Academy in Toronto, Ontario and went on to become a crisis worker helping people with traumatic brain injuries in Mississauga, Ontario. In addition to teaching, Gordon is a professional musician. He lives in Silver Spring.

    Education
    • Oakwood University, BA
  • Daniela Rivadeneira, Middle School Spanish Teacher

    “I love providing my students with opportunities to learn the Spanish language innovatively and collaboratively, encouraging students to think creatively.”

    Daniela joined the FCS team in 2021 starting out as a long-term substitute and then moving into various teaching roles in the Middle School throughout the 2021-22 school year. She became our full-time Spanish teacher for Middle School in the fall of 2022, a role she previously held in Baltimore County Public Schools. Her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland is in communications and she has worked in various businesses supporting communications and administrative needs - developing skills in organization and relationship building that have served her well in the classroom. Daniela likes being a part of this wonderful FCS community, progressively teaching and creating excitement among students to learn the Spanish language. In her time outside of school she enjoys hiking, movies, concerts, and spending time with her Olde English Bulldogge, DC.

    Education
    • University of Maryland, B.A.
  • Angela Rohan, 7/8 Science Teacher

    “I want to teach students that mistakes are not failures, rather a chance to learn something new and grow. Science is all about failing forward and discovering something unexpected!”

    Angela joined FCS in the fall of 2022 bringing over fifteen years of education experience with her, most recently from Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland. She is passionate about student growth in and out of the classroom and eager to share a love of chemistry with all. She taught that subject for many years at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, MD. Angela directed student life and activities departments at both Elizabeth Seton and Bishop McNamara High Schools. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys the at home science of cooking and baking, gardening, and spending time with her family. 

    Education
    • American University, Washington DC - MEd
    • Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ - BS
  • Patricia Soumoff, Reading Support Teacher and Director of Afterschool Enrichment

    "For young children, everything holds an element of magic."

    Patricia started her teaching career as a  kindergarten teacher in public schools. She was drawn to FCS for its Quaker values, particularly the belief that there is that of God in everyone. In 2018, after teaching kindergarten for 14 years, Patricia transitioned to teaching reading. Helping students love to read has always been a highlight of her profession. She became a reading specialist, earning her MED from Loyola University Maryland. She is passionate about laying a strong phonics foundation, making reading accessible, and instilling a love of reading.

    Education
    • University of Wisconsin, BA
    • East Carolina University, MAT
    • Loyola University Maryland, MED
  • Holly Stephens, 5/6 Language Arts Teacher, Ultimate Frisbee Coach

    “When kids say they don't like to read, they’re not actually telling the truth. What they're really saying is that they don't like reading boring books. They haven't yet found the book that will make them fall in love with reading.” - Jason Reynolds

    Holly joined the FCS faculty in 2018 and brings an eclectic mix of professional experiences to her language arts classroom, including radio DJing and radio commercial writing/producing. She has taught and coached in five different states over the past three decades, and her passion is fostering her students’ love of reading.

    Holly also shares her love for ultimate frisbee with students, coaching FCS’s middle school ultimate team, Friends Fire. She and her husband and their two sons, both of whom attended FCS, enjoy reading and playing complicated board games.

    Education
    • Williams College, B.A.
    • Southern Connecticut State University, M.S.
  • Michelle Utara, 1/2 Teacher

    “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think…” ~Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

    Since joining the FCS faculty in 2004, Michelle has taught Kindergarten and ½, in addition to teaching summer camp and after-school math games, mentoring new FCS teachers, and clerking the faculty social committee. Michelle was born in Milwaukee but grew up traveling with her father’s career in the military. Although her favorite place is Honolulu, she has put down roots in the D.C. area. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and dogs. Michelle loves being a grandma to Natalie.

    Education
    • Trinity Washington University, B.A.
  • Cecilla Volterra, LS Art and Kindergarten Assistant Teacher and Arts Curriculum Coordinator

    “All grown-ups were once children, but only a few of them remember it.”

    Originally from Rome, Cecilia has been living in Maryland for the past 11 years. She joined FCS after teaching art in both public school and nonprofit settings: Thomas G. Pullen Creative & Performing Arts School in Landover and the Homeless Children Playtime Project in D.C. In teaching elementary-age children, Cecilia “rediscovers the joy for small things.” Cecilia enjoys spending time with her young daughters, cuddling with her pets, reading, and camping.

    Education
    • University Of Maryland B.A.
  • Taylor Washington, K-4 Science Teacher and 4th Grade Math Teacher

  • Ilana Weisz, 1/2 Teacher

    “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” ~ Albert Einstein

    Ilana joined the FCS community in 2023.  With a background in linguistics and literacy, she is passionate about creating ways for students to experiment with language and incorporating a range of read-alouds regularly into instruction.  Prior to FCS, she taught 3rd grade in Montgomery County Public Schools and held a variety of teaching roles in public, charter, and independent schools in three states.  Beyond the classroom, Ilana enjoys playing the violin, reading, knitting, and spending time outdoors.

    Education
    Brandeis University, B.A.
    Bank Street College of Education, M.S.Ed.
  • Jennifer Phelps, 7/8 Math Teacher


Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740
301-441-2100