January 5, 2017
Dear Tandem Friends School Community:
After conducting a national search and seeking input from our entire community, the Tandem Friends School Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Jane Whitney Thompson as our new Head of School, beginning July 1, 2017.
The search was thorough: throughout a four-month process, a search committee comprised of trustees, alumni, and faculty members gained input from all of our constituents - alumni, parents, students, faculty, and administrators - on the candidates and their hopes and preferences for the future. With the guidance of our search professional, Stephen DiCicco, we interviewed candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds, experience, and strengths. In Whitney, the search committee and board recognized the right combination of experience, fit, and leadership to help us continue to build on our unique strengths and traditions while clarifying and building our position within our community and beyond.
Whitney brings tremendous intellectual depth, an inclusive leadership style, and strong ties to the independent school and Friends school leadership worlds, especially in her work with the Friends Council on Education. She earned an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in African American studies and a master’s degree in Adolescent Education from Bank Street College of Education. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.
Whitney has twenty years of experience as a teacher and administrator at Brooklyn Friends School, where she served as the Assistant Head of School and Dean of Faculty, overseeing complex administrative matters for a school with five divisions and more than 200 faculty members. During Whitney’s tenure, school enrollment increased from 650 to 900 students, a successful capital campaign enabled a new 40,000 square foot upper school building, and the school successfully instituted the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Whitney was also deeply involved in efforts to revamp approaches to faculty hiring at BFS, focusing on inclusion. Along with this administrative experience, Whitney is a beloved teacher of Quakerism and Adolescent Health. Concurrently with her administrative work at Brooklyn Friends, for seven years Whitney was a Director of the Teen Adventure Program of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, a Quaker summer program based in Lexington, VA, where she doubled enrollment and developed comprehensive staff training and evaluation systems.
Tandem Friends School is in a marked period of positive change and forward motion, especially in the addition of our new administrators Peter Gaines, Peter Leone, and Brandon Edwards. We are especially grateful to Ed Hollinger, our Interim Head, for the stability, leadership, and clarity of vision that he has brought to this transitional year.
In the coming period, we hope to return Tandem Friends School to peak enrollment; to build upon our upper school program that allows our students to experience appropriate freedoms while preparing them for leadership in college and society; to construct beautiful, functional academic buildings; to create a diverse and inclusive community for families, faculty, and staff; and to continue to weave our Quaker identity together with our beloved Tandem Friends traditions. As we move closer to our 50-year anniversary in 2020, we feel confident that Tandem Friends School is in an excellent position with a dynamic leadership team, and we unanimously believe that Whitney Thompson is the leader to help us realize our goals.
Please join us in welcoming Whitney, her husband Trefor, and their two children to the Tandem Friends School community.
Evangeline Calland, Chair Board of Trustees, Clerk Head Search Committee
Susan Weiner, Trustee
Bernard Whitsett II, Trustee
Jake Minturn, TFS ‘03, Trustee