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On behalf of the Abington Friends School Committee, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Nicole Hood as Abington Friends’ 10th Head of School in the modern era.

After a thorough and spirit-led process in the manner of Friends, the Search Committee recommended Nicole to School Committee, a recommendation that was enthusiastically supported by the School Committee. 

Nicole Hood will begin her tenure as Head of School at the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year. We are thrilled that such a phenomenal leader as Nicole has accepted this appointment, and we look forward to working with her over the next eight months to ensure a smooth and successful transition this upcoming summer.

Please read the full letter to the community here.

Search Summary

Following the initial search, our consultants at Carney, Sandoe & Associates identified 12 of the most qualified candidates, eight of whom were then interviewed by the Search Committee. Ultimately, we invited four finalists—embodying a rich diversity of race, gender, personal background, and professional experience—for immersive campus visits to our school. The finalists each met with a broad representation of parents, alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members, who then provided feedback to the Search Committee.

Abington Friends School has concluded its search for its next Head of School.

In April of 2023, Head of School Rich Nourie announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2023-2024 school year. The AFS School Committee has established a search committee, clerked by longtime School Committee member Margaret Sayers, to pursue a national search for the next Head of School at Abington Friends School.

Abington Friends School has also retained the leading national recruitment firm of Carney Sandoe & Associates (CS&A) to launch a national search for our next Head of School and guide Abington Friends School through the search process. The principal consultants working with us are Bob Vitalo and Jennifer Wong Christensen, who bring a wealth of experience leading executive searches and a strong network of connections throughout independent schools. Most important for us, both Bob and Jennifer have deep experience working with Quaker schools on important leadership searches.

Head of School Search Committee

The following dedicated members of our community have joined the Search Committee:

  • Subha Airan-Javia P’27, Member of School Committee
  • Kenniah Chestnut P’32, Member of School Committee, Home and School Lead Clerk-Lower School
  • Anu Ghosh-Holloman P’26 P’29, Middle School English Teacher
  • Tony Houston ’90, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Christine Hunter P’20, Upper School Biology Teacher
  • Deborra Sines Pancoe, Member of School Committee, AFS Faculty Emerita
  • Margaret Sayers* P’16 P’18, Member of School Committee
  • Devin Schlickmann, Director of Admission and Assistant Head of School for Institutional Advancement
  • Ross Shanken P’17 P’20 P’24, Member of School Committee
  • Justin Solonynka P’29, Director of Choral Music, Arts Department Chair
  • Daniel Woodlin P’22 P’30, Member of School Committee, Home and School Co-Lead Clerk

*Clerk of Head of School Search Committee


October 2023

Announcing Abington Friends School’s Next Head of School

May 2023

Announcing the Head of School Search Committee and End of Year Updates

April 2023

Rich Nourie Retirement Announcement