Friends School seeks to live the Quaker conviction that there is that of God in each person. We work together to build and sustain a community that is inclusive, respectful, and supportive of all people; we value diversity and cherish differences. The Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship are woven into every aspect of Friends School life.
As part of the School’s commitment to upholding these values and providing a Quaker-based education, the Board of Trustees, together with the Administrative Council and the Quaker Life Committee, created the position of the Director of Quaker Life. This role supports the head of school, the board of trustees, and the administrative council in maintaining a focus on and alignment with Quaker faith and practice.
In January 2022, after the search committee reviewed candidates’ applications and conducted on-campus interviews, there was an overwhelming sense that one candidate had a strength of experience and preparation for the position unique among the candidates. That candidate was middle school English faculty member, Anna Melville ’01. Anna assumed this position in August 2022.
In her application materials and interview conversations, Anna emphasized the universality of the Quaker tradition—how it makes room for everyone and affirms our commitment to DEI work—and how our practices as a Quaker school ground us in honoring the Light in each individual.
Anna brings to the role a lifetime of involvement in Stony Run Friends Meeting (with which we share our campus) and experience as an alumna of Friends School of Baltimore. Her undergraduate and graduate study in English at Franklin and Marshall College and at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, prepared her for a career as an educator. Her commitment to our school extends to her enrolling her children here (hence, her experience as a parent), and serving as a member of the faculty and co-clerk of the Quaker Life Committee. In short, Anna is an accomplished educator who knows Friends School, the many ways we are connected to the Quaker world of Baltimore, and how this connection is essential for our community.
In partnership with Stony Run Meeting, Head of School Christian Donovan, the School’s Quaker Life Committee, and the board’s Quaker Mission Oversight Committee, Anna will work on a number of initiatives this year and beyond. Among the first are new “Quaker 101” events, co-hosted by the FSPA and Stony Run, where parents can learn about the School’s Quaker foundation; co-hosting the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference, along with Sandy Spring Friends School, in February (for upper school students); implementing a new Meeting for Worship curriculum for our middle school students. Anna has also joined lower school homerooms' morning worship to build relationships and familiarity. And for our littlest friends, they are working to bring pre-primary students - and even Little Friends (!) students - to the meetinghouse.