Welcome Darien Headen, the New Associate Head of School!
Dear Greene Street Friends Community,It is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce the appointment of Darien Headen as the next Associate Head of Greene Street Friends School. I am incredibly grateful to the Search Committee for their commitment to identifying the next Associate Head of School: Clerk Jane Ellis (4th grade Teacher), Narissa Bajjo (1st Grade Teacher), Leanne Clancy (Director of Admissions), Sarah Clarke (Member, Board of Trustees), Steve DuTot (Kindergarten Teacher), Marty Foley (7th / 8th grade Teacher), Jason Sears (Member, Board of Trustees), and Nico Wisler (6th grade Teacher).There were many strong candidates and three finalists --- all born teachers and lovers of children, school people to their bones. Darien stood out because of his spirit as a lifer in Friends education, his current support and coaching of Black men in education, and his resonance with our school community during his visit.In Darien’s cover letter, he shared that “holistic, equitable educational outcomes have been at the forefront of the work that I do, undergirded by graduate-level research centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools and creating a more equitable landscape for all students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds.” Further, Darien’s experiences have led him to “envision systems that can be strategically created to promote success for teachers, staff, and students, while infusing joy and developing a love for learning in the school setting.”Members of the Search Committee also shared their personal highlights with us:
- “I appreciate Darien’s sense of commitment to the mission of educating all students- and putting in the work necessary to do so.” (Marty Foley, 7th / 8th Grade History Teacher)
- “Darien lives and breathes Quaker education, which is really important for the school and its leadership.” (Sarah Clarke, Member, Board of Trustees)
Darien attended Haddonfield Friends School through Third Grade, then moved to Philadelphia where he attended and graduated from Friends Select School. He received his Bachelors of Arts from Tufts University, studying International Relations and French. He received his Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania where his thesis was titled, “Forced Out: The Erasure of Black Girls in Education.” Darien is a Teach for America alumnus, who taught middle school in Charlotte, North Carolina, then moved to Philadelphia and worked in charter school education. He is currently Assistant Principal of Operations for the Mastery Charter School network.Outside of work, Darien enjoys his dog, music, cooking, and is an avid tennis player.We are excited to host a Zoom meet and greet with Darien and will share details closer to the event. Until then, please welcome Darien to Greene Street Friends School. Darien will officially join us on July 1.Sincerely yours,
- “Darien grew up in Germantown, in the backyard of Greene Street Friends School. The mission and vision of GSFS resonate very strongly with his own work.” (Leanne Clancy, Director of Admissions)
Head of School
Dear Members of the Greene Street Friends Community,It is with great excitement and honor that I write to you, as the incoming Associate Head of School! As a product of Friends education, it feels great to return to Friends schools, now as an educator. In many ways, this feels like a full-circle moment. When I moved to Philadelphia, as a young child, many years ago, Greene Street Friends School was the first school that I visited. The same welcoming, joyous, community-centered sentiment that I experienced then, still holds true today. Throughout my selection process and through talking with many members of the GSFS community, I felt a true embrace from the community. My initial observations, coupled with some experiential knowledge, proved that Greene Street Friends not only authentically infuses the Quaker values of S.P.I.C.E.S into the school culture and daily life of students, but does this through teaching the whole student. It is abundantly clear that Greene Street Friends is striving to build the lifelong learners, who are active citizens, with holistic learning and life experiences. At Greene Street Friends, students are able to experience a fine balance of rigorous instruction, joy-filled classrooms, and intentional character development.It is my hope to partner with staff, students, parents, and other community members to continue to uphold these values and continue to provide impactful experiences for students. I see this role as an opportunity to push instruction and academic programming to new heights at Greene Street Friends. Given the strong foundation that currently exists at Greene Street, I am excited to work with our new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to authentically entwine core tenets and principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the academic culture at Greene Street Friends. It is my hope that students will have the opportunity to see aspects of themselves and their identities represented in their work. With an emphasis on “Life Skills” and teaching students through a framework of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Greene Street is preparing students to be the next trailblazers in society and their communities. Students are learning the importance of what it means to be a true active citizen, who demonstrate integrity and good character, while advocating for social justice.I feel an immense sense of gratitude to be able to join a community that highlights and truly lives out its mission and values. While this has been an unprecedented year, I am excited about the bright future for Greene Street and the work that it will continue to do to ensure that the light that exists within each student and staff member continues to shine. I look forward to continuing to cultivate a world-class educational experience that is centered around Quaker values and emphasizes the development of well-rounded, empathetic, social justice minded, critical thinkers, who are leaving their imprint on the world around them.