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The sense of community they have fostered at Friends Meeting School is quite unique, and can be felt and seen immediately when you visit the school
— Parents from Gaithersburg, MD

What's Happening?

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Calendar of Events

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Teachers and staff work in true partnership with the parents to create the best educational experience for our children
— Parents from Gaithersburg, MD

Their Passion Is Contagious

Every one of our enthusiastic teachers brings with them a love of the classroom.  The majority have advanced degrees and certifications, and many actually went back to school because they loved teaching so much.

  • Our Science classes are taught by experts, with advanced degrees in their fields.

  • Our Social Studies department is led by two of the most passionate individuals you'll meet, with degrees and real-world experience specific to the fields they teach

  • Our Lower School teachers bring world-wise experiences and advanced degrees to bring a broad-based education to the table, expanding the horizons of our youngest students.

administration

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Mara Y. Nicastro

Head of School

M.A., American Literature
The George Washington University

B.A., English
Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)

FMS Faculty since 2014

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Peggy Mallette

Faculty Coordinator
Upper School Math & Science

M.A., Teaching
Loyola University Maryland (Baltimore, MD)

M.A., Science Writing
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

B.A., Physics (Concentration: Astrophysics)
Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)

2011-present

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Erica Thompson

Learning Plan Coordinator
Lower School Lead Teacher

M.A., Elementary Education, Certification in Special Education
Grand Canyon University

B.A., English Language and Literature
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

2013-present

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Humaira Ahmed

Lower School Coordinator
Lower School Lead Teacher

M.A., French Language and Literature
University of Punjab (Punjab, India)

M.S., French
B.A., French
Kinnaird College for Women (Lahore, Pakistan)

2014-present

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Samantha Hubbard

Upper School Academic Dean
Upper School Math

B.A., Sociology
Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
Mount St. Mary's University (Emmitsburg, MD)

2011-present

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Annie Garland

Director of Admissions & Outreach
Director of Extended Care

Email Annie

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Jim Farber

Business Manager
Facilities Coordinator

Email Jim

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Jolonda Jackson

Main Office Manager
Certified Medical Technician

Email Jolonda

Annette Breiling

Founding Head of School

Not pictured:  Peggy Koenig (Facilities, 2008-present)

faculty

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Vern Alban

Middle School Math

Ed.D., Administration and Supervision
University of Maryland (College Park, MD)

M.Ed., Counseling and Special Education
Loyola College (Baltimore, MD)

M.Ed., Organization and Supervision
Loyola College (Baltimore, MD)

M.Ed., Reading
Towson University (Towson, MD)

B.S., Elementary Education
Towson University (Towson, MD)

2018-present

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Casey Briggs

Athletic Director
Physical Education (all grades)

B.A., Exercise Sciences
McDaniel College (Westminster, MD)

2016-present

Veronica Guzman

English Language Learner Support
Independent Study Coordinator

B.A., Russian (Concentration in Secondary Education)
Goucher College (Baltimore, MD)

2014-present

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Edward Levitzky

Upper School Social Studies
English Language Support

M.A., Public & International Affairs
B.A., History

University of Pittsburgh

2015-present

Ken Jones

Upper School & AP Social Studies

B.A., History & Secondary Education
Towson University (Towson, MD)

2009-present

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Darcy Lane

Middle School English
Art Assistant

M.A., Information and Library Science
University of Maryland (College Park, MD)

B.A., English Literature (Concentrations in Spanish & Education)
University of Maryland (College Park, MD)

A.A., General Studies (Minor in Education)
Montgomery College (Silver Spring, MD)

2018-present

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Len McGinnis

School Farmer
High School Biology

B.A., Physical Education
California State University (San Bernardino, CA)

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Brian MacDonald

High School Math

M.F.A., Acting
Catholic University of America (Washington, DC)

B.F.A., Acting
University of Evansville (Evansville, IN)

2018-present

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Sjef Otten

Upper School Science & Math

M.S., Chemical Engineering
Eindhoven University of Technology (Eindhoven, the Netherlands)

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Jill Petersen

Upper School & AP English
Upper School French

B.A., Education
Goddard College (Plainfield, VT)

2016-present

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Currie Powers

Fine Arts (all grades)
Middle School Math

Teacher Certification
Hood College (Frederick, MD)

Bachelor of Fine Arts
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, DC)

1997-present

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Frances Saez

Spanish (all grades)

M.A., Bilingual Education
Ana G. Mendez University (Wheaton, MD)

B.S., Biology
Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico (Bayamon, PR)

2016-present

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Ada Walters

Lower School Assistant Teacher

2004-present

Bea Yankaskas

Performing Arts (all grades)
SGA Coordinator (all grades)

B.A., Communications & English
Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

1999-present

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OUR COMMUNITY

Campus Partnerships

A 50-acre campus doesn't use itself!  Friends Meeting School loves to partner with other area groups & businesses to bring new perspectives to lessons and increase our students' exposure to a variety of educational experiences. 

Starting Them Young

Students ages 1-4, too young for the Friends Meeting School program, can still find a home on campus with Early Bird Exploration Academy, which uses the buildings and grounds to full effect. Early Bird graduates get their FMS application fee waived!

A Learning, Working Farm

Leonard McGinnis runs a farm on campus, where he grows many types of leafy vegetables and herbs in a variety of ways. Students learn traditional and modern farming techniques, and get a firsthand sense of what it takes to grow the food they rely on. Once a week, Len's Leafy Greens sells directly to our students & families, and anything left over makes its way to the Maryland Food Bank.

Community Partnerships

For a small school, Friends Meeting School plays an outsized role in the Frederick County community, partnering with like-minded organizations and sponsoring community and educational events all around Greater Frederick.

Organic Education

Through their Educational program, MOM's has been a wonderful and devoted partner to our Lower School, guiding them in their goal of understanding the origins and distribution of the food we eat.

Keeping it Local

Common Market (on Buckeystown Pike in Frederick) "Community Partner" program provides a link between FMS and this creative, shopper-owned market. Common Market owners get their Application Fee waived!

Gathering Places

Friends Meeting School is proud to sponsor community events through Celebrate Frederick. In 2016, we presented the "Festival of Lights," an interfaith celebration of the power of Light. In 2017, we are proud to sponsor the Art Block of the spectacular "In the Street" Festival in downtown Frederick.

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our families

We all chose Friends Meeting School for different reasons.  For some, the small class sizes made the big difference; for others, it was the inclusive, spiritual grounding that made the impact.  But once we're here, assisting in the school's mission every day, we start to find in each other a familiar, comfortable community that shares the same goals and dreams for our children.

Friends Community Cooperative (FCC)

The FCC is our parent organization - a more organic, consensus-based group than your typical PTA. Monthly meetings help parents host dances, run our lunch delivery program, plan fundraisers, and plan & staff our big, public events. The FCC is a great way for parents to have a say in what happens at the school!

The Friendly Auction

This annual tradition, of late a parents-only event, offers a classy way for parents to get to know each other, and provides a fun way of raising funds for the school as well.  Silent and Live Auctions punctuate this night out, filled with laughter and delicious food from top chefs like Bryan Voltaggio. 

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NOT FOR PROFIT

Friends Meeting School is a 501(c)(3) organization, registered as a non-profit institution with the State of Maryland and the Federal Government.  As such, all income goes directly back to the school's programs, and any donations offered to the school can be made exempt from taxes.

The organization is governed by a Board of Trustees, an 8-to-21-member body of volunteers which meets once a month to establish general school policies and discuss the school's legal and moral obligations. It has control over the school's assets, and oversight of its overall programs and spiritual well-being. The Board also has oversight of the Head of School, who is directly responsible for the daily operation of the School in keeping with policies and directions set by the Board. FMS is currently under the spiritual care of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Standing committees of the Board of Trustees include Advancement, Finance, Property, Spiritual Life, and the Committee on Trustees. Committee clerks report the activities of the committees to the Board and make recommendations for actions which must be approved by the Board as a whole.

Friends Meeting School Strategic Plan (2017-2023)

 

The Annual Fund

Friends Meeting School's Annual Fund helps provide scholarships and aid for all who need it. Give a little or a lot, and support our quest for equal educational access!

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