The Partnership That Drives a Thriving Nonprofit: Head of School, Board Chair Participate in Podcast

June 08, 2017
By New Garden Friends School

What is the single best indicator of a thriving nonprofit? Joan Garry discusses this essential question, and the importance of the leadership partnership of the Head of School and Board Chair, with Kim Freedman and Nick Purrington of New Garden Friends School in a podcast on her site. 

Joan Garry, who is widely known as the "Dear Abby" of nonprofit leadership, works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan reached out to Head of School Kim and Board Chair Nick Purrington to gain insight about their relationship and why it works.

In this podcast episode, she explores the notion that these two key leaders at a school must act as "co-pilots", and considers with Kim and Nick why a strong partnership between the board leader and staff leader of the organization is crucial to a school's success. Takeaways include:

  • How to make the time to be a great board chair, even when you’re insanely busy
  • Ways to leverage corporate experience in working with your board
  • The 3 most important words that define the partnership between the staff and board leaders
  • Fostering great communication: How often should you meet? Who sets the agenda? How do you decide the appropriate altitude of the conversation?
  • How to be the bearer (and the receiver) of bad news
  • Kim and Nick's best advice to others in their respective roles

Listen to podcast in its entirety and find out more information here.

Rising Senior Holds iPod Drive for Dementia Patients

June 05, 2017
By New Garden Friends School

Daniel, a rising NGFS senior, organized an iPod drive collecting used iPods, headphones and iTunes gift cards to donate to the Williams Adult Day Center. The program uses music to help seniors with dementia deal with anxiety and other issues.

Daniel would like to study nursing, and caring for seniors is something close to his heart. He says, "I love helping others in any way I can."

Read more and see his video interview here.

Rainbow Teacher Receives the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

May 26, 2017
By New Garden Friends School

Beth Defilippis, Rainbow (first and second grade) teacher at New Garden Friends School, is one of four recipients from Guilford County to receive the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. The award honors citizens who have shown concern and compassion for their neighbors by making a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. Beth is recognized for leading a service group of students that worked closely with the Interactive Resource Center throughout the year providing socks, toiletries, snacks, and other resources for people experiencing homelessness.

The Volunteer Center, Guilford County’s Coordinator for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards expressed, “This group has not only had a great impact on our most vulnerable neighbors through their work with the Interactive Resource Center, but has provided the students with a deeper understanding of poverty and homelessness.”

Beth was presented the award on Friday, May 26, during the School’s Meeting for Worship (a Quaker service). Michelle Kennedy from the Interactive Resource Center and Erin Kennedy from the Volunteer Center recognized Beth for her leadership, dedication, and student engagement.

Head of Lower School Carolyn Vallejos at New Garden Friends School said, “This service learning opportunity is so meaningful to our students. We are appreciative of the leadership Beth has provided with this service group, and with the partnership New Garden Friends School has with the Interactive Resource Center.”

Service learning is a cornerstone of an NGFS education. Service begins in kindergarten and continues throughout a student’s time at the School. Elementary age students engage in service learning weekly, both on and off campus. Learning occurs through active engagement with the concerns of others; students come to own these skills and as they grow, they become aware of the needs of the community.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

May 21, 2017
By New Garden Friends School

The 17 graduates in this year’s class comprise a very diverse group. Their college plans are varied with many receiving fantastic scholarships to be able to pursue their dreams. This class wasn’t afraid to aim high or to reach far, as evidenced by their list of college acceptances. Notably, too, four of our students are continuing in Quaker education, attending Earlham, Guilford, and Haverford.


Merit offers to this small group of students totalled over $350,000 per year. $351,134 was offered; all of these offers were renewable for four years, which (along with a one-time $250 scholarship from the American Red Cross) creates a grand total of $1,404,786.

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that five of our graduating seniors have received close to a “full ride” for their college education:

Sean Ahn (Earlham College)
Riley Martin (Brevard College)
Gracie Rodriguez (Catawba College)
Maya Sowells (Wake Forest University)
Ari Walker (Guilford College)

What's Next for the Class of 2017?

Hyun Seong (Sean) Ahn - is tentatively planning to double-major in Biochemistry and Economics at Earlham College, and is considering a pre-med track. He hopes to play varsity tennis at Earlham, and is also looking forward to remaining involved with a Quaker meeting.

Davis Ausband - is moving toward achieving admission to the Beyond Academics program at UNCG in 2018. In addition, Davis hopes to continue improving his art skills.

Emma Bonner - will be working toward her Associate in Applied Science in the field of Interior Design, part of the Engineering Technologies department, at Forsyth Technical Community College.

Margaret (Meg) Byrum - will be attending Haverford College, and is considering majors in English, Political Science and/or Sociology. She is particularly interested in pursuing a concentration in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights, and is hoping to be able to concentrate in Creative Writing through Haverford's extremely selective program. She also hopes to continue studying Spanish, and she plans to be involved in service groups, clubs, and political and social activism in the Philadelphia area. 

Molly-McGill Carter - is planning to take part in the Batten Leadership Institute at Hollins University, and also hopes to be part of their honors program and the Hollins Outdoor Program. Molly McGill hopes to study creative writing, and is looking forward to pursuing internships as well.

Se Hyun (Joshua) Kim - will be attending NC State. Josh is considering a pre-med track, and he plans to room with his NGFS classmate Andy Tao next year!

Brenden Lech - has been accepted into the honors program at NC State, where he will be studying Computer Science. Brenden has already been studying computer science - on his own and through taking Guilford classes - and looks forward to pursuing his passion in State’s highly respected program.

Riley Martin - is excited to attend Brevard College in the fall. Riley loves the outdoors and has been excited about Brevard’s focus on experiential education since the first time he visited!

Caelin McKane - plans to take a gap year, spending time volunteering and travelling with her family, before continuing her education.

Alexander (Alex) Mock - is excited about attending Western Kentucky University, where he is looking forward to majoring in History or English.

Grace (Gracie) Rodriguez - is pursuing a BFA in Theatre Arts at Catawba College, where she will be an active part of their musical theater program.

Maya Sowells - is entering Wake Forest as an undeclared major, but with an eye toward business or political science. She will undoubtedly be active in community service in the Winston-Salem community, and she hopes to play club volleyball.

Charles (Charlie) Spaugh - has been accepted to Guilford College. He will be busy attending classes, working part-time, and playing varsity basketball at Guilford.

Yuanzhe (Andy) Tao - plans to attend NC State, majoring in accounting. He is hoping to participate in both the chess team and the gaming team.

Tuari (Ari) Walker - hopes to double major in Art and Physics (astronomy concentration) with a minor in Japanese Language. He will be attending Guilford College, where he is a Bonner Scholar and a part of the Future Leaders At Guilford program.

Alexander (Alex) Ward - will be attending East Tennessee State University, and hopes to major in either sports management or wildlife management. He plans to investigate opportunities in collegiate soccer, club lacrosse, and getting involved in greek life.

Ziyu (Ellen) Ye - plans to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her first year will be a combination of an intensive English program and college courses working toward her degree.


Students from the Class of 2017 have been accepted to the following colleges and universities:

American University, Anderson University, Brevard College, Catawba College, Drexel University, Earlham College, East Tennesse State University, Elon University, Forsyth Technical Community College, Guilford College, Haverford College, Hollins University, Marymount Manhattan College, Miami University, Michigan State University, Montana State University, NC State University, North Greenville University, Radford University, Rhodes College, UMass Boston, UNC Asheville, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, Wake Forest University, Western Carolina University, Western Kentucky University.

Congratulations, Class of 2017! We wish you the best "as you leave this friendly place." 

View photos from Baccalaureate

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