New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

Moses Brown School Announces New Director of Friends Education

May 1, 2019
Matt Glendenning, Head of School


I am very pleased to let you know that, with a national search now completed, Jennifer McFadden will become MB’s permanent Director of Friends Education beginning next school year.

Many of you know Jen already.  Since January she has been serving as a long-term substitute in our Humanities Department, where she teaches Modern World and United States history in the Upper School. Previously, she taught linguistics and applied discourse analysis at Georgetown University and instructional methods for second language teaching at George Washington University. Before she came to MB, Jen worked for several years as a freelance academic editor in the social sciences. A near-native speaker of German who is conversant in Bengali and has studied French, Spanish, Ancient Greek, Latin, and American Sign Language, Jen holds a BA in Classics from Colorado College and MS and PhD degrees in Linguistics from Georgetown. 

A member of Providence monthly meeting, Jen is deeply engaged with Quaker service and civic engagement initiatives. She has taught in PMM’s First Day School (ages 5-12), serves on PMM’s Ministry & Counsel and Peace & Social Action committees, and has worked with the Friends Council for National Legislation (FCNL) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).  Jen volunteers for AHOPE (Americans Helping Others ProspEr) as a mentor and resource for refugees newly arriving in Rhode Island and helps direct an annual children’s musical at Guiteras School in Bristol.

During her interviews, Jen impressed all who met her with her strong vision for the position, and a sense of leadership shaped by careful listening, humility, building relationships, and a good sense of humor.  She is eager to continue learning about the MB community and to play a role in helping the school further develop its Quaker identity.

I’d like to thank Jared Schott for clerking the search, as well as committee members Krista Haskell, Maureen Nagle, Kelly Joseph, and Brian Platt for the time and effort they invested into this process. 

I’d also like to share my gratitude for the exemplary work that Barbara von Salis has done this year in the role of Interim Director of Friends Education.  It’s no simple task to get to know a three-division school quickly, and Barbara has done incredible work being present in all areas of the school and fostering cross-divisional collaboration for our all-school meetings for worship.  Last fall she helped orient new employees and trustees to Quakerism, clerking, and Friends education; during the year she participated in classes in all divisions to help deepen the Quaker dimension of our curriculum; and most recently she led a group of MB students to the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, where our students had a chance to work with those from other Friends schools on issues of human rights, media and bias, and lobbying.  Her expertise and leadership have helped us grow as a school over the course of just one school year.

Please join me in thanking Barbara for her work this year, and welcoming Jen to her new role.


New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

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