About CFS

Head of School Search

Introducing our new Head, David J. Tierney

We are pleased to introduce you to David J. Tierney as the next Head of School for Cambridge Friends. David currently serves as the Director of The Rivers School Conservatory, where he also chairs the Performing Arts Department and directs the Summer Academic Programs. David earned his B.M and M.M. at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell where he also taught, before moving on to the Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall School. Now as a member of the Rivers community for over twenty years, David has expanded and administered the internationally known conservatory while heading a comprehensive performing arts department and creating a  summer academic program within the wider day school. In his various roles, David has supervised a large faculty and staff, led curriculum review, and built models for financial sustainability, including increasing financial aid. David brings his warmth, his excitement for learning and children, a commitment to the communities he joins, and the demonstrated ability to create and execute a vision that makes a school thrive. In the coming months, a transition committee of trustees, faculty, staff and families will plan and run events to introduce David to the school community as he prepares to begin his tenure on July 1, 2018. 

Thank you to the entire school community who helped identify our next Head of School. We appreciate your time, energy, and commitment to this process. 

A Letter to the Community from David Tierney

David Tierney

Dear Members of the Cambridge Friends School Community,

In my long search for a head position, I was astounded to discover the gem that is CFS, hidden away in North Cambridge - a school dedicated to compassion, respect, inclusion, and empathy; to weaving intellectual, physical, creative, and spiritual growth; to embracing personal diligence with a life-long pursuit of knowledge and truth; to working toward a world where all voices are heard, and everyone is included. I began to truly understand what an extraordinary school CFS is when I visited it. As I walked by busy classrooms and brightly-colored art studios, from the library to the noise of the gym, the excitement and pride for CFS was palpable and infectious. I saw a school where children were cherished and teachers were deeply invested in their students’ learning.

I was met by people who were just as eager about my visit as I was. Spending time in the Lower School classes, amidst the beehive of activity unique to children of this age, I found amazing teachers who calmly oversaw the flow of the students throughout the classroom. They monitored the progress of every student – all while answering myriad questions from me. They explained how they laid out activities based upon where particular children did or didn’t spend time the day before or a specific skill they wanted a child to work on. They knew exactly what every child had done yesterday, where they wanted to guide them today, and what they had in mind for tomorrow. I came away realizing what a deep knowledge and understanding the teachers at CFS have of each student.

Later that day, I met with a panel of middle school students, who had the opportunity to ask me questions. I then inquired of them “What do you think of Meeting for Worship?” I was incredibly impressed with one student’s answer: “At first, I didn’t like it, but now it’s OK. It gives me a chance to gather my thoughts and have a break from classes. Sometimes I wish it came later in the day when I could really use a break.” I was very impressed with this thoughtful candor and maturity and knew I wanted to be at a school where students evolve like this. These are only a few of the stories that reinforced my enthusiasm for CFS.

I am now so excited about being invited to join the community and serve as your next Head of School. As I came to know both CFS and Quaker education, I became increasingly moved by both the mission of the school borne out day by day and by the values of Quakerism underpinning the education happening at the school. It is clear that students' learning and personal growth are guided by an expectation of social responsibility and informed initiative. I am eager to become part of a community that places a strong emphasis on social justice throughout its curriculum: an educational community committed to fostering each child’s unique ability to make a positive change in the world. I promise to support these efforts at every level and share these values with the larger community so that Cambridge Friends School continues to be a leading institution in 21st century education. Now I want to get to know all of you, and I look forward to our work together as we move confidently into the school’s future.

signed David Tierney
David Tierney

About the Search Committee

The search committee is comprised of faculty, staff, families, graduates, and friends of the school. 

Carrie Asselin, Middle School Science Teacher
Carrie joined the CFS community in 2014 after transitioning from molecular research on Alzheimer’s disease. She has since worked to develop a middle school science curriculum at CFS in which place-based learning, climate change, design thinking, and open-ended inquiry are central themes. A lifelong Friend, Carrie is a graduate of Westtown Friends School in Pennsylvania and of Earlham College in Indiana.
Kirsten Greenidge, Graduate ‘88; Trustee; Parent ‘21 and ‘19
Kirsten attended CFS from third to eighth grade and earned her B.A. at Wesleyan University, where she also attended Bank Street College of Education, and soon after earned an M.F.A at the University of Iowa. She is a playwright and artist-in-residence at Company One Theatre in Boston, a theatre company committed to innovative work for and by multicultural and under represented groups in the Boston area and in American Theatre. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Boston University’s School of Theatre where she oversees BU’s undergraduate playwrighting track of study. In her third year on the board, Kirsten serves on the search committee and on the executive committee.

David Lewis, Parent ‘25
David has been an appellate attorney in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts for over 20 years. His practice encompasses civil and criminal appeals in both state and federal court. His criminal practice includes work with local innocence projects. He serves on the board of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is a former co-chair of their Amicus Committee. He also serves on the Litigation Committee of the New England Innocence Project.

Emily Lyons, Fifth-Grade Teacher
Emily began at CFS as a maternity leave replacement in December, 2015, and stayed on when the other teacher chose not to return. She previously taught fifth and sixth grade at the King Open School for 19 years, where, among other things, she directed student-written plays, and taught the Algebra Project, the I-Search, oceanography, and a unit called South Africa: Apartheid and Resistance. She attended public alternative schools from Kindergarten through high school, and is a graduate of Oberlin College and Lesley University.

Becky Goff Moore, Graduate ‘71; Trustee
Becky attended CFS from kindergarten to eighth grade and then graduated from Commonwealth School before earning A.B./M.Ed degrees from Harvard. Since 1980 she has taught secondary school English and is currently a member of the faculty at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. In her second term on the board of trustees, this year Becky serves as clerk to the board and co-clerk to the search committee.

Dan Riles, Parent ‘22 and ‘25
Dan has taught in schools for over 20 years, starting in the Philadelphia Public School System and currently at Brookwood School in Manchester, MA. After being a classroom teacher in grades 4-6 for 15 years, Dan transitioned to his current role as a technology educator. He earned a B.A. from Haverford College and a M.Ed from Webster University. When not parenting or teaching, Dan loves to design tabletop games; his most recent, Clean Up Your Room, is a whimsical take on that often-used refrain.

Jonathan Vogel-Borne, Friend
Jonathan is a lifelong Friend who has traveled widely around the world and across the full Quaker spectrum, from evangelical to liberal. Jonathan's ministry is to seek deeper unity among all peoples. He and his spouse, Minga Claggett-Borne, served as Resident Friends of Cambridge (MA) Monthly Meeting from 1985-1990. He was a member of the Cambridge Friends School Committee from 1987–1990. Jonathan was the lead staff person at New England Yearly Meeting from 1991 to 2013. 

Amory Wakefield, Parent ‘20; Trustee
In her professional life, Amory has spent the past decade as a Director of Product in Boston-area technology startups, currently at True Fit Corporation. Amory served as Co-Clerk of the CFS Family Association from 2012-2016 and member of the Strategic Planning Financial Sub-Committee in 2012. She attended public school in California through Grade 9 and has a B.S./M.Eng. from MIT. Amory is the co-clerk of the search committee.

About CFS

Cambridge Friends School is a co-educational elementary and middle school (preK-8) established in 1961 under the care of Friends Meeting at Cambridge, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Located on 4.1 acres in a residential area of North Cambridge, the school currently enrolls 150 students, has a faculty, staff and administration of 50 and an operating budget of $4.7 million.
As the core of the School mission statement reads:

The mission of the Cambridge Friends School is to provide an outstanding education. Guided by Quaker principles, we engage students in meaningful academic learning within a caring community, strongly committed to social justice. We expect all students to develop their intellectual, physical, creative and spiritual potential, and through the example of their lives, to challenge oppression and to contribute to justice and understanding in the world
This mission leads the Cambridge Friends School community to view social justice and academic excellence as dependent upon each other. The School defines academic excellence as attaining the skills, behaviors, habits, and routines necessary for thinking and learning both in the present and for life. This includes supporting the academic success of all students. Built on a long-term commitment to progressive education, a project-based curriculum and hands-on experiences enable students to explore, apply, refine, and extend their learning. CFS teachers interweave a strong academic program with Quaker testimonies of Equality, Peace, Integrity, Community, Simplicity and Stewardship. Teachers honor students’ various identities and acknowledge the impact these identities have on student learning.The school offers a rich set of co-curricular subjects as well as extra-curricular experiences including instrumental music and dance and, for middle school students, interscholastic sports.

Important Dates

January – March 2017: Validate search process, identify needs & budget, announce position

April – August 2017: Community engagement, position statement, advertise position, staff search committee

August 2017: Deadline for applications

August – Nov 2017: Review applicants; interview, evaluate, and visit candidates

November 2017: Make offer and secure candidate; announce candidate to community

December 2017: Gather volunteers and nominations for Transition Committee

January – July 2018: Transition and orientation activities

July 2018: New head of school begins
Current Community members:
View the Community Head of School Search page for current faculty, staff, and families to read the latest news and ways to be involved in the search for our new Head.

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Educating independent thinkers for over 55 years in grades PK-8