How our Community is Governed
New Garden Friends School is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The Head of School and Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall stewardship of the school. They work individually and collectively to ensure NGFS operates smoothly and in accordance with its mission. The Board of Trustees comprises volunteers from both within the school and outside the school community.
The board is charged with taking the long view and creating a school for future generations. As such, the primary work and focus of the board are long-range and strategic, and the board of trustees acknowledges that its duties involve governance, not management. The board endeavors to align with the principles of good practice for boards and individual trustees as outlined by the National Association of Independent Schools, and references the Governance Handbook for Friends Schools and Principles of Good Practice for Friends School Boards & Every Friends School Trustee provided by the Friends Council on Education.
As a Friends school, decisions by the NGFS board are not made by majority vote, but by reaching a “sense of the meeting” through discussion and intentional listening. Reaching unity does not necessarily mean unanimity, but it does mean that each voice is heard and that all present accept responsibility for the final decision.
Mission Statement of the NGFS Board of Trustees
The NGFS Board of Trustees exists to create plans, set policies, and make decisions that will ensure the vitality of the institutional mission for our current and future generations of students.
Core Responsibilities of the NGFS Board of Trustees
The board adopts the school’s mission and strategic goals and establishes policies and plans that reinforce them. The board ensures that the school’s mission is appropriate, relevant, and vital to the community it serves. The board monitors the success of the school in meeting its mission. The board undertakes formal strategic planning on a periodic basis, sets annual goals related to the plan, and monitors progress of the plan.
As a Quaker school, the board intentionally nurtures the Quaker dimension of the school and respects and promotes the practice of Friends processes and testimonies.
The board selects, supports, nurtures, evaluates, and sets appropriate compensation for the Head of School. The board works in tandem with the head of school and the administrative leadership team, being careful to focus its primary work on long-range and strategic issues, not the daily operations of the school. The head of school is the board’s only employee.
The board accepts accountability for both the financial stability and financial future of the school, overseeing operating budgets, engaging in strategic financial planning, and preserving capital assets and endowments. The board ensures that the school and the board operate in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The board participates actively in all facets of advancement and fundraising (fundraising, advocacy, ambassadorship). Trustees are active ambassadors for the school. The board supports the school’s advancement team.
The board concerns itself with its own development and function. The board reviews and maintains appropriate bylaws that conform to legal requirements, including fiduciary duties of loyalty, obedience, and care. The board identifies, recruits, orients, and educates trustees. The board follows principles of good governance for boards and trustees. The board performs regular self-assessments.
Committees of the Board
Each of the board’s core responsibilities is supported by the work of one or more committees.
Board members serve on the following standing committees: Executive, Finance, Advancement, Governance, and Quaker Life & Diversity. When indicated, additional committees (eg. strategic planning) are convened.
Governance vs Operations: Understanding Roles and Respecting Boundaries
The Board entrusts all of the daily operations of the school to the Head of School, who supervises and evaluates all programs and personnel. The Head of School is the final arbiter of any disputes that may arise in the day-to-day operations of the school. The board has no authority to manage personnel and does not handle disciplinary or operational matters. These responsibilities rest exclusively with the realm of the head of school, whose authority in such matters the board respects and supports. The Board of Trustees does not sit in review of administrative decisions.
Our identity as a Friends school is central to who we are, and we seek to align the makeup of the board with the NGFS Commitment to Diversity.
The Board of Trustees includes members of different races, nationalities, sexual orientations, family configurations, economic and cultural backgrounds, and faith communities. We are current parents and grandparents, alumni, alumni parents and grandparents, and Friends of the School. Our families are traditional families, families with same-sex parents, adoptive families, and interracial families. We are Quakers and non-Quakers. We are united by our passion for NGFS and our commitment to ensuring a thriving future for our school.
Look for board members at school events. You’ll recognize us wearing the same name tags as staff. We’re proud to represent NGFS!
2023-24 Board of Trustees
Nick Purrington- Clerk
Bruce Stewart- Emeritus
As a former NGFS student and current parent, serving the school as a board member is a privilege and a responsibility. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to guide the school forward in ways that keep a Friends education possible in our community after my own experience at NGFS shaped so much of who I am today. Contributing to the sustainability and success of the school is the least I can do in return for the impact it has made in my own life.
Chelle Jeffery, alumna and alumni parent
Why is it a privilege to serve on the Board of NGFS? New Garden was here for us as a family at a crucial transition for our daughter, and I want to be a part of ensuring that it will be here for another family who needs it to thrive here in Greensboro for their child (children) This is a privilege and a responsibility that I believe in. I value being part of a dynamic, thoughtful, and committed group of people who, like me, believe deeply in the mission of NGFS. Service means showing up and doing something and I feel fortunate to serve a community that I appreciate, including educators, staff, students and their families.
Paula Katz, alumni parent
Our world is constantly changing and change is so difficult because it takes us into the unknown. While we can’t stop it or slow it down, at NGFS we teach our children self-confidence so they can embrace the unknown. Our students become a community of learners where everyone’s voice matters, and our Quaker values prepare them to be comfortable and thrive in a diverse world. What I love about NGFS is the kind of people our students become beyond their academic preparation.
Neil Belenky, friend of the School
My service to the NGFS Board of Trustees allows me to remain connected to a place where my children developed a lifelong love of learning, formed friendships that are like family, and became thoughtful, caring individuals. As an NGFS board member, I have the privilege of giving back to a school that worked hard to serve the needs of my children, fostered their creative sides, and celebrated their individual selves. Most of all, I am honored and thrilled to support a head of school and staff who are dedicated to providing the best education available in our community.
Susan Wooster, alumni parent