After conducting an intensive two-month search, the School Committee is delighted to announce the appointment of Angela DeGraff as Interim Head of Princeton Friends School.
The role of Interim Head is intended to create a two-year bridge from PFS’s past into its future by designating a transitional leader to act as both educational director and strategic consultant, empowering us to carry our mission forward sustainably for years to come. At the end of this transitional period, the Interim Head will be succeeded by a long-term Head.
Angela DeGraff holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Tennessee State University and a master's in education from Gratz College. From 2013 to 2015, she served as Interim Head of Montclair Cooperative School. Through her most recent work as Senior Director of the Center for Supportive Schools in Princeton, New Jersey, she facilitated school transformations across New York City. Angela is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from Middle School 328 in the Bronx, New York, and has served on the board of trustees of the Solebury School. She has managed myriad educational grants from organizations including the Pew Charitable Trust, the Ford Foundation, and the Coca-Cola Foundation. Her teaching experience cuts a broad swath, from leading four-year olds at the Montclair Cooperative School on an investigative adventure to identify examples of circle shapes, to creating and facilitating an undergraduate seminar on the intercultural dimensions of policy-making at the Junior Summer Institute of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
As part of the interview process for the Interim Head role, Angela met not only with the School Committee’s Transition Team and with Acting Head of School Chrissie Knight, but also with representatives of several constituent groups: faculty and staff, the student body, parents, and Princeton Monthly Meeting. We thank these volunteers for their invaluable contributions of time and energy. Their conversations formed an integral part of the broad consensus that Angela will make an excellent leader of our community.
Angela combines deep educational knowledge, a commitment to progressive pedagogy, management acumen, on-the-job effectiveness (to which her references attested effusively), a desire to empower and support teachers and staff, love and respect for children, an orientation toward lifelong learning, great personal warmth, and a gift for listening that was apparent to us all. Her skill sets will help shape a bright future for our cherished school.
During this transition, we gratefully acknowledge Founders Jane Fremon, Nancy Wilson, and Richard Fischer, with particular gratitude to Jane for her remarkable 31-year tenure as Head of School. We also thank Chrissie Knight, who as Acting Head shepherded PFS ably and with great dedication this spring and summer. Chrissie will work closely with Angela to ensure a smooth transition.