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 on the second Thursday of each month (except July & August) at 7:30 p.m. in the Library. Following are the UFS Board of Trustees’ profiles:
Kareem Afzal joined the Board in 2010. A mechanical engineer by profession, Kareem is also the board chair of Manna on Main Street, an area soup kitchen. He is the father of Layla and Hakeem, both current UFS students. His brother, Mateen (’90), is a graduate of UFS. Kareem and his wife, Nihad, chose UFS for its unique combination of stellar academics, individual classroom attention, an atmosphere of social responsibility and opportunities for amazing personal growth and development as world stewards. From the second they walked in the door, they felt the buzz. He is thrilled and honored to serve the school’s community as a member of both the Diversity and Advancement Committees.
Kent Fitzgerald joined the Board in October, 2010. He serves on the Property and Master Planning Committees. His daughter is a UFS alumnae and he is excited about contributing to the wonderful experience that she is having. Kent was introduced to Quaker values while a student at Haverford College. He has spent his professional life in science and education, most recently at Cedar Crest College.
Terri Hamer joined the Board in 2016. Terri was previously the Business Manager at UFS and currently works as the Business Manager at Greene Street Friends in Philadelphia. She was the Finance Manger of a non-profit specializing in children’s mental health for twenty-one years. There she managed an annual budget of 13 million per year and 250 staff. She has a BA in Non-Profit Management from University of Massachusetts and her MBA from Suffolk University also in MA. Terri and her family relocated to Philadelphia (Mt Airy) from the Rhode Island/Massachusetts area in 2015. Her husband Sean is the middle school head at Germantown Friends School. They have two children, a son and a daughter, who both attend GFS. As a family, the Hamers like to travel and enjoy visiting new places and learning new cultures.
Mary Hanisch re-joined the Board in 2014. She currently serves on the Advancement Committee. She has been involved in UFS since its founding, serving on the Board and many committees over the years. She is a current UFS grandparent, as well as, an alum parent. Mary worked in computer systems design and management before serving as the Business Manager at UFS for eight years. Mary is a member of Unami Friends Meeting. “United Friends School has been a big part of our family for over 30 years. We love all that we have learned in working with students, faculty, parents, and community supporters.”
Mark Helman joined the Board in 2011 and serves on the Safety Committee. Mark is a member of Gwynedd Meeting. Mark has 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 works in Quakertown as Care Coordinator for the Young Adult Unit at TCR/New Vitae. Mark is the son of the late Wayne Helman, who was a devoted friend of United Friends School. He lives in Perkasie.
Carter Henry joined the board in 2016 and currently serves on the Property Committee. His children, are UFS alumni and have attended for a combined ten years in pre-school and middle school. Carter works as an attorney with his father, Rodney, practicing primarily in the areas of estate planning and estate administration. Carter appreciates the creative, inspiring and engaging learning environment of the school, where students are supported for who they are and pushed to strive and expand their boundaries.
Bob Kupsch is a Regional Portfolio Manager, responsible for the New Jersey portfolio, employed by BPG Management Company. LP, headquartered in Yardley PA, an affiliate of Equus Capital Partners, LTD a private real estate equity firm. Bob has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate management profession holding similar positions for such firms as Trammel Crow Company, and Jones Lange LaSalle, on various assignments that have included all building types and classes (Office, Retail, Warehouse, Residential) for such clients as the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he worked in the not for profit sector with responsibilities in Facilities Management for Project Home, Central Bucks YMCA and Upper Bucks Vocational Technical School. Prior to 1992, Bob was an entrepreneur who founded businesses in Doylestown, PA and New York City. Bob has been married for more than 30 years to Susan Nilsen, and they are the parents of two former UFS students Alexander Kupsch and Samantha Kupsch-Jensen. Bob is a member of Doylestown Meeting. Bob serves on Finance, Property and Master Planning Committees at UFS.
Susan Miller Abbott joined the Board in 2016.
Jennifer Reimels joined the Board in 2014. She is a UFS parent and serves on the Advancement Committee.
Marietta Quinby is a founding UFS Board Member. She left the board while daughter Kate attended first through 8th grade at UFS. Marietta rejoined the Board in 2002 and currently serves the board as Treasurer and on Committee on Trustees and Finance Committee. She also enjoys and appreciates her role on the Committee on Trustees. Marietta is a member of Unami Meeting. She is passionate about her love of the school and what it represents – the spirit of what happens and the spirit of the people whose gifts make the school what it is. She says that the school was originally a dream that is now a reality. She was an English teacher at a school for troubled teens and is now retired.
Kathy Redding joined the Board in 1992 for a two-year tenure and rejoined in 2002. She is the Clerk of the Board and serves on numerous committees including Personnel and the Committee on Trustees. Kathy is a member of Richland Meeting. She is the mother of Jaeilyn, Shetlinn, Orrian and Meurcie, all UFS alum. Kathy likes 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 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.
Jill Steelman was honored to be asked to join the Board in 2013 and serves as Recorder. She is a member of Doylestown Meeting and works for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Jill firmly believes in the value of a Quaker education and the respect shown to the individual expression of each child. She is thrilled to be an active participant in the life of the school and to represent United Friends to the greater community.
Bob Wirtshafter joined the Board in 1994. He has served on the Finance, Capital Campaign, and Auction Committees. Bob is the clerk of the Finance Committee and clerk of the Compensation Committee. Bob and his wife, Angela are members of Abington 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.