About our Trustees

Since its founding, UFS has been governed by an independent Board comprised of individuals dedicated to the Quaker values, founding philosophies, and spirit at the foundation of United Friends School. Our Trustees include original school founders, alumni, and current 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:

Clare Brown joined the Board in the spring of 2021. Clare is a member of Gwynedd Friends Meeting, where she serves on several committees, including the Religious Education Committee. Clare also enjoys volunteering as a Youth First Day School teacher at Gwynedd Friends. Both of Clare’s daughters attended Gwynedd Friends School for their preschool education and Clare is a strong advocate for Quaker values and education. Clare serves as an adjunct faculty member and faculty training and development facilitator at Southern New Hampshire University. Her passion is teaching and learning and she has taught on the collegiate level since 2006. In her free time, Clare loves to spend time with her family at the beach or the horse farm and Clare is a registered yoga teacher.

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.

Brenda Crawley became a Trustee in September 2021. Brenda has served in leadership positions at numerous independent schools and is the current head at Plymouth Meeting Friends School. Brenda holds a Bachelor of Music from Manhattanville College and a Master of Science in Organization Development and Human Resources from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. Brenda is a member of Friends Council on Education Board of Trustees and an active participant in the Friends School Heads Racial Justice Task Force. Brenda also serves on the Board of Directors of Schooling for Hope, a non-profit organization focused on supporting schools that serve primarily students of color. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys gardening, crocheting, reading, cooking, and crushing her wife at dominoes.

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 working 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, 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.

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 one said, “It was the first time a teacher asked me to think critically” and the other said, “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.

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. At present, Kathy is clerk of both the Executive Committee and the Committee on Trustees and is 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.

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 two UFS graduates.

Brenda Stokes joined the Board in 2020 and serves on the Quaker Life Committee. She is a member of Richland Friends Meeting and is 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.”

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 alum. Kris and his wife, Janet, are members of Richland Friends Meeting. The Quaker community and the SPICES (the Quaker Testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship) are what drew the family to Quakerism and reinforced the values of a Quaker education.

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.

Meurcie Zignoli ’04 joined the board in January 2020 and is serving on the Advancement Committee. Meurcie is an alum of UFS, having attended the school from Preschool through Eighth 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 BA and MA 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 alum 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 serves with her mother, Kathy, and 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.

In Memoriam

Mark Helman (2011-2020)

Mark was the Recording Clerk of the Board and served on the Health and 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 lived in Perkasie and was a member of Gwynedd Friends Meeting.