Why Friends?

Welcome from Interim Head of School, Dennis Bisgaard

I am thrilled to join the Friends School community as Interim Head of School for the 2021-22 school year. From the moment that I stepped onto campus, I felt an unwavering sense of peace and belonging.

Friends is a place where all are known, cherished, loved, and challenged. It is a place where one can find quiet in a noisy world, and where young people are equipped to be courageous changemakers wherever their path leads.

As Baltimore’s first school, Friends has pioneered innovative teaching and learning in, of, and for Baltimore since 1784. It is reassuring to join an institution that has weathered the storms of so many challenges for over 230 years. From the Civil War to the 1918 flu pandemic, two World Wars, and more recently the global COVID-19 pandemic, Friends has held steadfast to its foundational Quaker values. These Quaker values or SPICES of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship have served Friends well as a North Star. 

Baltimore is also a special place for me, as I began my independent school journey 32 years ago just a few blocks away as an English and physical education teacher, coach of multiple sports, Advisor to the Black Awareness Club, and Diversity Coordinator. The Friends School motto is that “The Journey Matters” and I am deeply honored for the opportunity to return to Baltimore and help steward the Friends School community into the next chapter of its journey. 

Dennis Bisgaard
Interim Head of School, 2021/22


“You can always tell a Friends kid."
That’s what college admission officers, community leaders, and families, like yours, tell us. It’s in the confidence, joy, and sense of purpose our students bring to every learning situation – whether in the classroom, on the playing fields and the stage, or in the community.

A partner school of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL), Friends’ inquiry-based academic program prepares students in Pre-K-12th grade with essential knowledge and the tools, skills, and mindsets to navigate the future.

And while you won’t find a typical Friends student, it is the qualities they share – a passion for inquiry, an openness to diverse perspectives, and an abiding commitment to social justice – that connect them to one another and to their communities.

We invite you to visit our campus, tour classes, connect with current families, and discover for yourself why, at Friends, we believe: The world needs what our children can do.
Dennis Bisgaard
Interim Head of School, 2021/22
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5114 North Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21210 | 410-649-3200
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