Announcing Our Next Head of School

In unity and with clarity, the Friends Community School Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Angela Garcia as Head of School starting July 1, 2019. Angela is a visionary leader, a proven change-maker, and a spiritual educator with over 25 years of experience in K–8 education. She will join our school as we enter our 33rd year at a point of both maturity and stability, thanks to the guidance of retiring Head of School Larry Clements. In expressing her philosophy of education, Angela says, “I have learned as a leader that keeping the ideals of a school alive and true is critical to its growth.” She will help FCS continue to grow as a model of progressive, Quaker education with community at its core.
In accepting the offer, Angela said yesterday, “It is an honor to be appointed the next Head of School of Friends Community School, and I am thrilled to join the community. The school’s union of a Quaker education with progressive pedagogy is dynamic and inspiring. I look forward to working with all members of the FCS community to guide this vibrant, thriving school into an even more promising future.”
Angela comes to FCS from The Fessenden School, a private pre-K–9 boys’ school in West Newton, Massachusetts. As Assistant Head of School, Angela oversees curriculum, professional development, and faculty evaluation of Fessenden’s three divisions with an enrollment of over 500 students. Highlights of her tenure at Fessenden include creating a framework to bring cultural competency to every aspect of school operations, from the curriculum to administrative leadership to admissions and hiring. Angela also led a renewal of the curriculum to incorporate more progressive practices and 21st-century methodologies such as design thinking.
Her leadership experiences prior to Fessenden will also serve the FCS community well. As the first Head of School for the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys, a tuition-free Episcopal school in Washington, D.C., Angela guided the school through its infancy with a budget built from philanthropy. She has a strong educational background, having received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her master’s in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania.
During her visits to FCS this fall, Angela described coming to FCS as a return to her roots in Quaker and progressive education. Her years as a student at Haddonfield Friends School and Westfield Friends School were formative experiences, and her first teaching job was at William Penn Charter School. Angela’s father, a Methodist minister, had a saying, “We grow by doing”; Angela describes this idea as fundamental to her commitment to being a “servant leader.” She has taught in both public and independent schools, most notably at Shady Hill School, a leading progressive school in Cambridge, MA, where she now serves on the Board.  
Angela will also be coming home to Washington, D.C., where she lived for 14 years. She has extensive professional connections from her years at Bishop Walker, the Center for Inspired Teaching, and as the Lower School Head at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, and from her service on the Boards of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal School Association and the Alexander Payne Community Development Corp., among others. Angela has presented at the National Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Episcopal Schools on topics such as leadership, diversity, and empathy.
Angela believes that “in a strong community, people are engaged when spaces are created for interaction, discourse, and action.” She could well be describing the FCS community during the search for a new head of school over the past nine months. Members of our immediate and extended community generously shared time and input in the process. In meetings during her visits to campus, Angela impressed people from across the community with her warm and engaging presence, her approach to leadership, her commitment to progressive education and inclusivity, and her joy in interacting with our students.
As we celebrate FCS’s future with Angela Garcia (pronounced GAR-sha) as the leader of our school, we also begin to plan for what is immediately ahead. Larry will be working with Angela to prepare for the transition. Jessica Braider, Co-Clerk of the Board of Trustees, is forming a Transition Committee comprising representative members of the FCS community. The Transition Committee’s role is to welcome and support Angela as Head of School and to promote good communication and positive engagement between Angela and our entire community during the transition, during anticipated visits to campus between now and July 1, and throughout her first year.  
Please join us in warmly welcoming Angela Garcia to the FCS community as our next Head of School.
In Partnership,
Janet Dixon, Clerk, FCS Board of Trustees
Jessica Braider, Co-Clerk, FCS Board of Trustees
December 4, 2018

In Gratitude

The Board would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the whole community for their insights, involvement, and support during the Head Search process.
Special acknowledgment is due to the Head Search Committee. The people who served on this committee have a true passion for FCS and its future. The Board would also like to extend gratitude and appreciation to the Advisory Committee. Thank you to these volunteers for your immeasurable time, dedication, and thoughtfulness in this important process.

Head Search Committee

List of 9 items.

  • Marty FitzPatrick

    Marty FitzPatrick (Co-Clerk) is the parent of Oliver FitzPatrick (FCS 2018) and Colin FitzPatrick (FCS 2021), both “lifers,” or students at FCS since Kindergarten. He has been a member of the FCS Board of Trustees since 2013, serving as Treasurer and Assistant Clerk to the Board, and of the Silver Spring Day School Board of Directors (2009-2015, President 2010-2012). Marty received a Ph.D. in English from New York University and has taught in the English Departments of NYU, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland College Park. He has been an at-home parent since 2005, accepting even-lower pay in exchange for even-lower expectations with regard to dress code.
  • LaShawn Lancaster

    LaShawn Lancaster (Co-Clerk) is the parent of Miles Lancaster (FCS 2019) and Cole Lancaster (FCS 2022), both “lifers.” She has clerked the Parent Association’s Charleston Wraps fundraiser, co-clerked the Annual Giving Fund, and continues to serve each year as an enthusiastic mentor to incoming FCS families. For the last 18 years, LaShawn has served the community as a non-profit executive with local and international organizations. LaShawn loves family road trips; perhaps they remind her of her first job after college, which involved traveling with the circus.
  • Trish Petty

    Trish Petty (Co-Clerk) is the parent of “lifer” Elizabeth Petty (Izzy) (FCS 2020). She has been actively involved at FCS since 2010, serving as co-clerk for Fall Fair, admissions volunteer, and as a Trustee of the Board since 2014 (serving on the Diversity and Advancement Committees). Trish previously taught kindergarten for 23 years and directed the after-school program at Holy Trinity School in Georgetown. Trish also served on the River Park Nursery School (Capitol Hill) parent board and currently serves on its parent alumni board.
  • Jade Alice Eaton

    Jade Alice Eaton began attending Adelphi Friends Meeting in the 1980s and has been a member for more than 25 years, serving on a variety of committees and as Clerk of the Meeting. Jade served on the FCS Board of Trustees (and its predecessor, the School Committee) for multiple terms. She served as Clerk of the Board of Trustees during the leasing and move to the Calvert Road campus and during the initial capital campaign and purchase of the land for the present location, as well as the expansion to include a seventh and eighth grade. She also served as Clerk of the Search Committee that found the present Head of School, Larry Clements. All of her three children attended FCS.
  • Malissa Griffin

    Malissa Griffin joined the FCS community in 2012, when her daughter Sydney Griffin (FCS 2021) started at FCS as a Kindergartener. She has been active as a volunteer in the classroom, as an admissions volunteer, and in many other facets of life at FCS, and she currently serves on the school’s Advancement Committee. Malissa earned her B.S. from Elizabeth City State University and M.A. from Bowie State University, has 30 years of federal government service, and currently works for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
  • Patrick Mulvey

    Patrick Mulvey, the parent of Elizabeth Mulvey (FCS 2012) and Nick Mulvey (FCS 2015), both “lifers,” came to FCS in 2003 when his daughter started Kindergarten at the old Calvert Road location. Patrick was, and remains, truly grateful for the “whole person” education his children received at FCS. He valued how the school embraced parent involvement and became very active at FCS, eventually joining the Board of Trustees. During his six-year tenure, he served as a Parent Representative to the Board, Secretary, Treasurer, and Clerk. His work on the Board introduced his family to Adelphi Friends Meeting, and they have now been attenders at Adelphi for many years and are involved in many aspects of the Meeting and the wider Quaker community. Patrick has been employed with the American Institute of Physics for 32 years and currently holds the position of Research Manager, conducting social science research on education and employment issues as they relate to physics and astronomy students.
  • Brooke Carroll (Consultant)

    Brooke Carroll, Ph.D. is the Principal Consultant and Coach at Acies Strategies and specializes in Leadership Coaching, Board Development, and Strategic Goal Setting. She holds a doctorate in educational psychology and has over 20 years of experience leading schools and nonprofits. She has served on several school and Association Boards in various roles. Prior to consulting and coaching, Dr. Carroll was Head of School for 9 years at Seneca Academy, an International Baccalaureate World School. She is a member of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting and is a graduate of Sandy Spring Friends School.
  • Janet Dixon, ex officio

    Janet Dixon (Clerk, Board of Trustees) has been actively involved with the FCS community since her son Benjamin Dixon (FCS 2012) began kindergarten. She has taken on the full range of volunteer roles, from Field Trip Coordinator to Co-Chairing the Annual Spring Auction; now in her fifth year as a Trustee, she will serve as Clerk, having previously served as Co-Clerk of the Board and Clerk of the Advancement Committee. She has a lifelong career in recreation with local government and is the office manager for a large and energetic team in Youth Development. She has lived in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C. for 17 years with her husband, their son, and their rescue dog, Brownie. An Attender of Adelphi Friends Meeting, Janet and her family have embraced the FCS motto of being lifelong learners, courageous risk-takers, and joyous peacemakers.
  • Jessica Braider, ex officio

    Jessica Braider (Co-Clerk, Board of Trustees) is the parent of "lifers" Manu Menasce (FCS 2022) and Ilan Menasce (FCS 2024) and CEO of The Six O’Clock Scramble, an online meal planning service, where she combines her passion for food and her love for working with parents and children to build healthy and happy families. Jessica’s associations with the Quaker world are quite extensive: a member of Boulder (CO) Monthly Meeting, she attended Cambridge (MA) Friends School (K-8) and Haverford College (class of 2000), worked for two years at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and served in governance roles at both FCNL and Haverford, where she has been a member of the Corporation since 2001. She also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan; in her downtime, you can find Jessica in the kitchen experimenting with recipes or outside enjoying time with her husband and kids.
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