Announcing our next Head of School

On Friday, October 22, 2021, Christian Donovan was named the 13th Head of Friends School of Baltimore. Christian will join the Friends community on July 1, 2022 following the interim leadership of Dennis Bisgaard. See below for a special welcome message and letter from Christian.

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A Special Message from Incoming Head of School, Christian Donovan

Dear Friends School Faculty, Staff, Students, Families & Caregivers, Alumni/ae, Trustees and Friends,

In more moments in the past few weeks than you likely imagine, I’ve sat quietly for a minute, taking in the enormity of the opportunity I have been given as I anticipate joining the Friends School of Baltimore community as the 13th Head of School.

At every turn — from my first zoom meeting with the Search Committee to my final conversation on campus in September — I have felt pulled toward Friends by the warmth, generosity of spirit and passion for lifelong learning that is the hallmark of your community. When a student on the Friends Senate said during my conversation with them, “I just feel like I fit at Friends,” I had a palpable sense of the old Quaker saying: “Friend speaks my mind.” As a Quaker school graduate who experienced first hand the kindness, compassion and sense of inclusivity that are hallmarks of any intentional Quaker school community, I felt reassured that at Friends, all of us can be seen, valued and feel a deep sense of belonging. Isn’t that what helps each of us serve the world -- a sense that we belong to it and are responsible for it? I think it is. And the feeling that, perhaps I, too, will fit at Friends, is what has drawn me to this wonderful school.

Friends School of Baltimore is a community that understands that a meaningful education is a lifelong journey — a search for truth that requires both inward reflection and connectedness with others. Discernment and deep understanding is the best way to prepare ourselves and our students to tackle the pressing questions and challenges we face today and will face in the future. We have important and consequential work ahead of us, and I am thrilled to partner with all of you in supporting our community to be the courageous change-makers the Friends mission calls us to be.

Allow me to publicly thank the members of the Search Committee for their time, thoughtful efforts, and unshakable devotion to the School. It is an immense responsibility to pass to a new Head of School the precious cargo of one’s community, and I know the committee members worked hard to serve the School’s best interests. I feel grateful as well to be following the inspiring examples set by Dennis Bisgaard and Matt Micciche, both leaders who have built a healthy foundation and shaped a lasting legacy of excellence at Friends School of Baltimore. 

The Friends website reminds us, “the journey matters” and I couldn’t be more excited to start ours together. Thank you for this opportunity to serve.

In friendship and peace,

Christian

Letters from the Search Committee

Search Committee

  • Kristen Andrews P’24, ’27 - Upper School French Teacher

  • Larry Clements - Trustee and former head of Friends Community School; member of Adelphi Friends Meeting

  • Tiffani Sterrette Collins ’00, P’29 - Trustee 

  • Lester Davis P’28, ’28, ’30 - Co-Clerk of the Search Committee, trustee (Clerk of the Diversity Committee)

  • Norman Forbush ’78, P’21 - Co-Clerk of the Search Committee, Clerk of the Board of Trustees; member of Stony Run Friends Meeting

 

  • Katie Hearn ’81 - Past-Clerk of the Board of Trustees
     

  • Brandyn Hicks P’31, ’33 - Trustee (Clerk of the Development Committee); member of Germantown Monthly Meeting
     

  • Chris McNeal - Middle School Dean of School Culture and Community Life
     

  • Steven Rookwood - Second grade teacher, Co-clerk of Friends School Faculty/Staff Meeting for Business

 

Christian Donovan

Incoming Head of School, effective July 1, 2022

About Christian: Christian currently serves as the Assistant Head of School & Director of Strategic Research at Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, following seven years as the school’s Director of Enrollment Management. Christian plays a critical role in leading Head-Royce’s COVID-19 response team and is nationally acclaimed for his enrollment management work. Prior to joining Head-Royce, he served as Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management at his alma mater George School, a Quaker school in Newton, PA; and in college counseling and admissions roles at the Athenian School in California.