Since its founding, UFS has been governed by an independent board comprised of individuals dedicated to the Quaker values, founding philosophies, and spirit that is United Friends School. Our Trustees include original school founders, past and present parents, caregivers, community members, and members of the Religious Society of Friends. The Board meets online on the second Thursdays of September, October, November, January, February, April, May and June. Following are the UFS Board of Trustees’ profiles:
Ann Manta joined the Board in 2020 and is a member of the Quaker Life Committee. Ann serves as the Assistant Head of School and Kindergarten teacher at Gwynedd Friends School. Ann designed the kindergarten curriculum with the idea that children learn best when actively engaged in their environment. She creates a learning community where each child’s voice is heard and valued. Her classroom reflects this active engagement. Her two oldest children attended UFS for 7th and 8th grades. Their experience at UFS helped shape their learning and their sense of community. Of their experience at UFS they said: ”It was the first time a teacher asked me to think critically.” “My experience at UFS gave me a huge sense of belonging.” When not in the classroom Ann enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her family.
Bob Wirtshafter joined the Board in 1994. Bob is the clerk of the Finance Committee and serves on the Pandemic Response Task Force. He has also served on the Advancement, Compensation, Capital Campaign, and Auction Committees, and as Treasurer of the Board. Bob and his wife, Angela moved to Chatham, Massachusetts in 2014. They are members of South Yarmouth Friends Meeting. He is the father of Hannah and Adam, alumni of UFS. Bob is a full-time house daddy, soccer player and school volunteer who, in his spare time, runs his own energy and environmental consulting company.
Brenda Stokes joined the Board in 2020 and serves on the Quaker Life Committee. She is a member of Richland Friends Meeting and their representative to United Friends School. A retired school teacher, Brenda taught 2nd, 4th and 5th grades in the Denver Public School System. She and her husband Allen moved to Green Lane from Denver, Colorado in 2018. “I’m very impressed with UFS’s reputation and approach to learning. It’s so important to provide a flexible, stimulating environment where every student can thrive intellectually while providing a safe, loving community where they can be themselves and grow emotionally.”
Carter Henry joined the board in 2016. Carter is clerk of the Board and serves on the Executive Committee, the Committee on Trustees and the Pandemic Response Task Force. While a UFS parent, Carter served on the Property Committee. His children, Grace and Patrick, graduated from UFS in 2014 and 2016. Carter is an attorney practicing in the Quakertown area. “My children’s middle school years at UFS were formative, defining and a solid base of respect, inclusiveness and kindness from which they continue to grow. Simplicity, peace and social justice, integrity, community, equality and care for the earth have become intrinsic parts of our lives through UFS.”
Colleen Lutz Clemens became a member of the Board in 2018 and serves on the Committee for Community and Social Justice. Colleen served on the Mission Statement Committee. Her child began attending UFS at three years old. She is a lifelong educator and learner who has taught in several educational settings since 1996. She is now an English professor at Kutztown University where she is also the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is the co-host of a podcast focused on social justice and loves to read anything she can get her hands on.
Jennifer Reimels joined the Board in 2014. Jenn serves on the Committee on Trustees and the Pandemic Response Task Force. She previously served on the Advancement Committee, the Mission Statement Committee and was the co-chair of the Spring Benefit Auction for several years. Jenn is the parent of a current UFS student and a UFS graduate.
Kathy Redding joined the Board in 1992 for a two-year tenure and rejoined in 2002, serving continuously through the present time. During her tenure on the Board she has served terms as Recording Clerk, Assistant Clerk, and ten years as Clerk of the Board. She has served on numerous committees, and presently is clerk of both the Executive Committee and the Committee on Trustees, and a member of the Pandemic Response Task Force. Kathy is a member of Richland Friends Meeting. She is the mother of Shetlinn, Orrian, Meurcie and Jaeilyn Redding, all UFS alums. Kathy values the sense of community at UFS and the care for the whole student and family. She appreciates the sense of fairness, kindness, goodness, love and respect at UFS. Kathy is a strong believer in giving children the very best possible experience in education, which is why she sent her children to UFS. “I think the dividends of this kind of early education are immeasurable.” Kathy is and will always be a strong advocate for UFS. The Quaker values that are inherent in our school are very important to her, and they shape the foundation of the educational experience at UFS.
Kris Thompson joined the Board in 2017. He is clerk of the Quaker Life Committee and previously served on the Mission Statement Committee, the Enrollment Task Force and the UFS Quakerism Night Committee. Kris is the parent of a current UFS student, a UFS graduate, and one George School alumni. Kris and his wife, Janet, are members of Richland Friends Meeting. The Quaker community and the SPICES are what drew the family to Quakerism and reinforced the values of a Quaker education.
Marietta Quinby is a founding UFS Board member. She served as clerk of the board for a year and a half in the early years. She stepped down from the board while her daughter attended UFS from 1991 through 2002, remaining active in the school community by serving on Nominating and Finance committees. Marietta rejoined the board, serving as a representative of Unami Friends Meeting. She continues to serve as a trustee, is a member of the Finance Committee and formerly served on Committee on Trustees. Marietta had a long career teaching every age group at some point, from pre-school to community college. Her love for teaching was molded by her many years teaching high school English to troubled teens at Community Service Foundation, where the graduate degree program, Institute for Restorative Practices originated. “It is my great joy to see UFS as a thriving Friends school today, 37 years after the school’s first board meeting in January of 1984. It delights me to see Quaker principles in action. Today, Quaker values are as much an everyday part of the school as breathing is to living.”
Meurcie Zignoli joined the board in January 2020 and is serving on the Advancement Committee. Meurcie is an alumna of UFS, having attended the school from Pre-K through 8th grade, graduating in 2004. Meurcie attributes her love of education and her love of art to her foundation built at UFS, and is currently working as a Crisis Case Manager at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Meurcie earned her B.A. and M.A. in art therapy from Marywood University in 2012 and 2015, and utilizes her art therapy background in her work with students at Rutgers. Meurcie has been an active alumna over the years, visiting UFS several times a year and even chaperoning a camping trip for her younger brother Jaeilyn’s class in 2010. Meurcie joined the board in an effort to continue supporting and advocating for United Friends School, and to see it form young people’s lives for years to come.
Patrice Poulin and his husband John decided to move from Atlanta, GA to Bucks County in 2018 to raise their newborn son Gabriel in an environment that is more aligned with their values. After visiting UFS with Gabriel and learning about Quaker education, Patrice was so energized that he started volunteering for the school and served on the Advancement Committee for a year before joining the Board of Trustees in 2020. Patrice is presently the clerk of the Advancement Committee. In addition, Gabriel has been a regular participant at the school library’s toddler times every week. During the day, Patrice works as a global vice president for NCR in their service division. But during their free time, the three of them love experimenting with homesteading on their mini-farm or visit Patrice’s 21-year-old daughter at Montclair University in NJ. Patrice is also a fervent advocate of LGBTQ issues, a runner, as well as a passionate linguist.
Terri Hamer joined the Board in 2016 and serves on the Finance Committee in addition to the Pandemic Response Task Force. Terri was previously the Business Manager at UFS and currently works as the CFO of the San Francisco School in San Francisco. While at UFS, she was on the Safety Committee and the Property Committee. Terri believes, “Keeping the continued connection to UFS through the board is important. This school is a special place for children to grow.” Terri has a BA in Non-Profit Management from the University of Massachusetts and her MBA from Suffolk University also in Massachusetts. Terri and her family live in San Francisco. Her husband, Sean, is the head of school at the Alta Vista School. Her son attends Howard University DC and her daughter attends the San Francisco University High School. As a family, the Hamers like to travel and enjoy visiting new places and learning new cultures.
Mark Helman (2011-2020)
Mark was the Recording Clerk of the Board and served on the Health & Safety Advisory Committee, he brought a strong commitment to Quaker values and a belief in the value of a quality education, as well as a lifelong love of learning. He is the son of the late Wayne Helman, who was a devoted friend of United Friends School. Mark lives in Perkasie and was a member of Gwynedd Friends Meeting.