Meet the Board
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS), whose primary responsibilities are to determine and maintain the character of SSFS, establish overall policy, conduct strategic planning, ensure the financial stability of the school, and assess the school's effectiveness in manifesting the mission, philosophy, and vision of SSFS.
In doing its work, the Board is guided by the Quaker testimonies of service, simplicity, equality, integrity, stewardship of the environment, and the peaceful resolution of conflict. The Board also endeavors to follow best practices of boards of trustees of independent schools. In this effort, the Board seeks guidance from the Friends Council on Education, the National Association of Independent School, the Association of Independent Maryland Schools, and the Association of Independent Schools of the Greater Washington Area.
To further promote the welcoming and nurturing learning environment at SSFS, the Board has developed statements on sustainability, anti-discrimination and diversity to help guide its own work as well as the broader School community.
As required in the Board’s By-Laws, a majority of the Board must be members of the Religious Society of Friends. Eight board members are appointed by the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting, and four members are appointed by the Baltimore Yearly Meeting. The Board of Trustees appoints the remaining members. Board members are appointed for terms of three years and may be reappointed for one additional term. The Board is organized with several officers including a Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Recording Clerk, and Treasurer. The Board organizes itself into several committees which assist in conducting its work.
Meet the Board
Barbara Andrews has worked in the education field in early childhood, elementary and before and after school for over 30 years. She has experience in the government, non-profit and school sectors. After working as a teacher in early childhood she attained an M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and a Doctorate in Education from George Mason University. She has worked as an administrator, a grants and professional development specialist, a college professor and a trainer with students and professionals in education. While she has worked with all age groups from infancy through adulthood, Barbara’s specialization has always been in early childhood education. She has worked with the NAEYC Academy in accreditation and with the local affiliate in Virginia; The Progressive Education Network and a local regional progressive educator’s network and currently serves on several boards and commissions as part of her work as the Administrator for Early Childhood Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, MD. Barbara has extensive experience presenting at local, state and national conferences.
As a birthright Friend, Barbara’s Quaker roots stem from her father, James Andrews, and family heritage. She was a childhood member of Scarsdale, NY Friend’s Meeting, graduated from Sidwell Friends in Washington, DC, was a member at Washington Friends Meeting (Florida Avenue) before moving to the Sandy Spring area and transferring membership to Sandy Spring Friends Meeting. Barbara also spent several years working with Children’s Creative Response to Conflict and had the pleasure of co-facilitating some training with Lee Stern at the then Sandy Spring Friend’s Elementary School and she has also done training at Friend’s Meeting School and other independent schools. Barbara’s parents stem from Philadelphia Quakers where James Andrews graduated from Germantown Friends and Haverford and was active with the Friend’s Service Committee during WWII. Family members have attended Oakwood, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges.
Katherine Wingfield Barry joined the SSFS community in 2005. Since that time, she has been an active member, serving in multiple volunteer leadership capacities, including grade representative, division representative, LS Head Search Committee, and Clerk of the Parents Association. Katherine joined the board in 2014.
Katherine worked at the Child Welfare League of America for over ten years. During her tenure, she spearheaded program and policy initiatives which reduced the impact of alcohol and other drugs abuse on children and families involved with the child welfare system. Katherine is also on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Laps for Lexi and the Naples Manor Homeowners Association.
Katherine grew up in northern New Jersey. She received a B.A. in Religion from Wesleyan University and earned a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University. She and her husband, Will, are raising three children - Matthew (a former SSFS student), Joshua (Class of 2021) and Elizabeth (Class of 2025).
Louis Bland joined the Board of Trustees in 2014. He is a pediatrician who has been practicing in the area since 1980, initially with Group Health Association. In 1995 he joined Primary Pediatrics and is now one the managing partners. Lou graduated from The City College of New York and received his medical degree from Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
Lou’s association with the Sandy Spring Friends School community began when his daughter, Lauren (Class of 2001) entered the school in the 7th grade. He and his wife, Beryl, were active in the Parents Association and volunteered for many school activities. This included Lou’s participation with his daughter in the community play.
Lou and Beryl, who is an art historian and professor at The University of Maryland, live in Laytonsville.
Lauren Brownlee joined the SSFS board in 2014. Lauren was a "lifer" at Sidwell Friends School, graduating in 2001. She first visited Sandy Spring Friends School for a Quaker Youth Leadership Conference while in high school. She worked at Sidwell for seven years as Assistant Director of Auxiliary Programs and a history teacher, and she served as clerk of the Upper School Quaker Life Committee. She is a member of Bethesda Friends Meeting, where she is co-clerk of the Pastoral Care Committee and an active member of the Peace and Social Justice Committee. She is also a member of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Israel Palestine Working group and Quaker Palestine-Israel Network.
Lauren graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Ancient Greek and Classical Civilization and from Georgetown with an M.A. in Global, International and Comparative History. She also completed the Friends Council on Education's Institute on Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools and had an article, "Recognizing Teacher Activism," published in the Friends Council book Leading in the Light: Celebrating 325 Years of Quaker Education. She is currently the Director of Social Action at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.
Tom Clouse joined the board in 2015. Tom received his B.A. in journalism from George Washington University, where he also completed law school and attained an M.F.S. in Forensic Science. Tom’s extensive experience in drafting and prosecuting patent applications in the chemical arts and biotechnology includes technical expertise in small molecule therapeutics, biomarkers, and gene therapies. He also negotiates research and development contracts, patent and biological material license agreements and inter-institutional agreements to bring technologies to the marketplace. In this capacity, Tom has negotiated agreements with large pharmaceutical companies, small and mid-sized biotech companies, and not-for-profit research institutions and universities. Tom was appointed to the Board by the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting.
Toni Evans taught Middle School Science at Sandy Spring Friends School for 21 years, from 1993-2014. Her husband Bruce taught Theater Arts in the Upper School from 1994-2014. Their daughter Sarah attended SSFS through 1999 and daughter Anna graduated from SSFS in 2008. Toni is thrilled to return to SSFS in the capacity of trustee.
Toni graduated from Earlham College in 1979 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She was a founding member of Community Friends School of Crossville, Tennessee, and served on the Board and as Head of School. She taught at Thornton Friends School from 1989-1993. She served on the board of Friends Elementary School until it merged with Sandy Spring Friends School. She is a convinced Friend and attends Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting.
Hamid Faruqee has been a part of the Sandy Spring Friends School community since 2003 when his daughter Serena ('16) started kindergarten. His son Siraj ('20) started at Sandy Spring Friends School in 2006 in pre-kindergarten. Hamid and his wife Susan have served as a welcoming family for new students. Susan has also been actively involved with Sandy Spring Friend’s Celebration of Science event since 2008.
As an economist, Hamid works in Washington, DC, as a senior staff member at the International Monetary Fund where he has served for over 22 years. He is currently head of regional studies in the Western Hemisphere Department and also leads the IMF mission assisting the government of Paraguay. Hamid also serves in IMF mentorship programs for junior staff.
Hamid graduated from Williams College with B.A. degrees in mathematics and economics and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. He was also a lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and recipient of the teaching prize at Princeton. Born in Dhaka, Hamid travels to Bangladesh every other year to visit his extended family.
Christopher (Chris) J. Gearon is an independent writer who has been making health, money, and education issues understandable for consumer and professional audiences for over 25 years. Since 1999, he has operated his own writing and communications business. His clients include AARP, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's Retirement Report, the Washington Post, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other notable associations and organizations.
Chris and his wife, Jean (a clinical psychologist), are the proud parents of Jake (Class of 2015) and Kate (Class of 2018). The family has been associated with SSFS for more than a decade.
Louis Harrington joined the SSFS Board in 2012, filling out and unexpired term of another board member. He then began his own term as a BYM appointee in 2013.
Lou has been a convinced Friend since 1961, when he graduated from Earlham College. He got his master’s degree in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, then attended law school at George Washington University. Lou spent four years as a prosecutor in DC before he went into private practice in Rockville, MD, from 1970-1982. He was then appointed by the governor to the District Court of Maryland, and currently serves as Associate Judge of the Maryland District Court. He officially retired in 2005, but continues to sit as a judge on active-recall.
In 1966, Lou married Merida Snyder, a birthright Friend who taught for 15 years at Sidwell Friends School. Lou and Merida had four children, all of whom consider themselves Quakers; two children are graduates of SSFS (Clayton, Class of 1993 and Nathan, Class of 2001). Merida died of cancer in March 2012. In August of 2014, Lou married Catherine Schairer, an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute. Lou and Catherine are both members of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting.
Rick Honn has been a teacher at Sidwell Friends School since 1982; he teaches studio art in the Middle School and rock climbing for a PE class in the Upper School. He originally began attending Meeting at Goose Creek Meeting in Lincoln, VA, and he and is wife Anne are now members of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting. They have two boys - Andrew and Jacob - who are active in Junior Young Friend activities and attend Opequan Quaker Summer Camp.
Rick has run a woodworking shop in his home for the past 30 years. He paints and draws daily, and also enjoys playing the trumpet (he was a professional trumpet player for quite a few years), playing disc golf, and competing in professional tournaments, mostly along the East Coast.
Rick shares that he has been moved and honored to serve on the board of Sandy Spring Friends School and has cherished the time spent with faculty, administration, board members, and students. He marvels at the spirit, enthusiasm, inclusiveness, and cooperativeness shown within the school.
Kip Imlay ‘71, Assistant Clerk, describes his three years at SSFS as the most profound and positive institutional experience of his life. After Barry Morley and Phil Howard provided him an introduction to metaphysics and philosophy, Kip graduated with honors from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, in 1975 with a B.A. with honors in Philosophy. He received his J.D. from the American University’s Washington College of Law in 1978 and has practiced communications law since then, representing clients before the Federal Communications Commission. Kip and his wife Rita Kruhm live in Cloverly, MD, and spend weekends at their retreat in western Maryland. Kip plays the great highland bagpipes in solo competitions and with the MacMillan Pipe Band, and is an active outdoorsman and ham radio operator.
Kip is proud to have maintained close ties with SSFS over the years: “The school has done as fine a job educating our daughter Bonnie (Class of 2003) and our son Ashton (Class of 2008) as it did for me. It provides a constant source of inspiration spiritually and culturally, and a source of comfort when we need it. SSFS is a community that is always open, welcoming and available to its alumni.”
Jodi Leeser, Clerk, has been affiliated with Sandy Spring Friends School since 2002. In 2012, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting.
Jodi has been associated with Quakerism since the late 1980s and was married under the care of Byberry Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Largely due to the influences of Sandy Spring Friends School, Jodi became a convinced Quaker in early 2008. Jodi’s additional volunteer commitments at SSFS have frequently included positions within the Parents Association. She has been a grade representative and has both served on the Auction Committee as well as clerked it.
Jodi is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College. She and her husband, David, have two children. Their daughter, Lexie, is a member of the Class of 2017. Their son, Harry, graduated from SSFS in 2014.
Lai-Fong Leung has been affiliated with Sandy Spring Friends School since 2000. Her son was a lifer at SSFS. He graduated in 2012 and considers SSFS as his home away from home. Lai-Fong joined the Board in 2015.
Lai-Fong was born in Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam, grew up in Vientiane, Laos, and immigrated to the United States in 1974. She finished high school at Herndon High, and went on to receive her B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Virginia and M.S. in Computer Science at George Washington University.
Lai-Fong joined IBM in 1983. She is a Senior Software Engineer. Over her thirty-plus years with IBM, Lai-Fong has worked on a variety of complex technical jobs from developing sonar software for the Department of the Navy, to testing and integration, software architecture, and client enablement. Recently, Lai-Fong worked on a proof of concept e-Commerce solution that led to an award by the USAID for its Procurement and Supply Management system.
Lai-Fong grew up in a Buddhist household with a strong Confucian leaning. She became a Christian in college. She is always drawn by SSFS’s motto, “Let Your Lives Speak.” She hopes that her multi-cultural background and her experience as an international student when she came as a tenth grader to the United States will help her serve the SSFS community with sensitivity and understanding.
Anna Marsh is a retired psychologist and federal executive who is currently a writer and musician. She received a B.A. in psychology from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University. She is currently earning an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University.
For 28 years, Dr. Marsh worked for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and its predecessor agency. Her positions there included: Deputy Director of the Center for Mental Health Services, Acting Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Acting Director of the Office of Applied Studies, Director of the Office of Program Services, Deputy Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and Executive Officer.
Dr. Marsh has served as Presiding Clerk and Recording Clerk of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting, where she has been a member for 26 years. In 2014, she joined the Sandy Spring Friends School Board.
Hunter McKay joined the Board of Trustees in July of 2013. Hunter is a Program Manager in the Office of External Affairs in the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is currently responsible for several social marketing initiatives including the Own Your Future Campaign (longtermcare.gov), the Alzheimer’s Caregivers’ Campaign (alzheimers.gov), and most recently the What is Brain Health? campaign (brainhealth.gov).
Before joining ACL, Hunter was a Social Science Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation where he oversaw numerous studies on a variety of long-term care and health care issues. Before working for the federal government, Hunter was the Deputy Director for a number of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Program Offices located at the University of Maryland Center on Aging.
Hunter holds a B.A. from Hampshire College and a masters degree in public policy from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Hunter and his wife, Kathleen, are parents of two SSFS graduates, Julia (Class of 2013) and Anna (Class of 2015), and are members of the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of Friends.
Deepika Mehta joined the Sandy Spring Board of Trustees in 2010. Her sons have both been lifers at the school—Neil Advani (Class of 2013) and Nicky Advani is a member of the Class of 2017.
Deepika is self employed, running a full-service creative communications design firm that provides clients with strategic, innovative solutions for maximum impact to help them attain goals. Her clients include non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, companies and government associations.
Born in Mumbai, India, Deepika immigrated to the United States in 1992. She has lived in the Washington area since that time and has found the journey of navigating the two cultures to be an ongoing path of discovery and growth.
Robert Mikkelson joined the board in 2014. Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, Bob graduated from Minnesota State University - Moorhead with a B.S. in Mass Communications. Bob came to Washington in 1974 as an intern for Senator Hubert Humphrey and later joined Jimmy Carter’s 1976 Presidential Campaign. Bob then served as a Special Assistant to the FAA Administrator.
An entrepreneur at heart, Bob founded Winged Vision Inc., a provider of live aerial television coverage for major sporting events. A six-time Emmy award winning cameraman, Bob is best known for his aerial camera work covering the PGA tour from the MetLife blimp. His camera work for the past 30 years has also included the Olympics, World Cup Soccer, NFL football, The Triple Crown, and countless other major events. Winged Vision crews currently provide aerial coverage for approximately 170 events per year.
Bob and his wife Lisa have been involved with SSFS since 2008 and are the parents of two SSFS students, Eddie (Class of 2017) and Jane (Class of 2019). Julia, an SSFS Alumni (Class of 2015) currently attends University of Hartford. Lisa has served as a PA Middle School Division Representative. Bob and Lisa call Laytonsville, MD, home.
Ken Pollack joined the Sandy Spring Friends School Board of Trustees in July, 2013. Ken is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of American Capital, Ltd., an investment firm focusing on middle market private equity, leveraged finance, real estate, energy and infrastructure and structured products. At American Capital, Ken oversees legal services for its and its affiliates’ investment activities and regulatory compliance matters. Prior to joining American Capital, Ltd., Ken was associated with Arnold & Porter, LLP, where some of his proudest accomplishments were in pro bono matters focusing on disability rights and urban renewal.
Having grown up in Nashville, Tennessee, Ken earned his bachelor degree in International Relations from Tufts University and his law degree from Vanderbilt University.
Ken and his wife, Ann, are the proud parents of three boys. Two of their children, Jared (Class of 2021) and Miles (Class of 2021), have attended SSFS since Kindergarten.
Deborah Rose joined the SSFS Board in 2015. She is the product of an excellent, progressive, public school education in Scarsdale, New York—home to a large farming community of Friends in the early 1700s that still today harbors a neighborhood known as Quaker Ridge.
Deborah is a chronic disease epidemiologist, with over 20 years’ experience designing and analyzing modules of the National Health Interview Survey. Her husband, Jan A. J. Stolwijk, is a biophysicist, retired university professor, and former Dean of the Yale School of Public Health. Their daughter Sarah was an enthusiastic member of the Class of 2013 at Sandy Spring Friends School, and is an equally valued member of the Class of 2017 at Yale University.
Deborah’s interests include singing (she sang alto with board member Laurita Portee in the chorus of the SSFS Community Play production of The Mikado in 2012), and encouraging sustainable development in Yamoransa, Ghana. She is co-chair of an international conference on National ID Numbers, to be held in Boston next fall.
Deborah earned a B.A. in Culture in Behavior, an M.P.H, and a Ph.D in public health from Yale. She earned an S.M. in population studies from the school of public health at Harvard, where she currently holds an appointment as a Visiting Scholar. She is intrigued by Head of School Tom Gibian’s question “What Does Better Look Like?” at Sandy Spring Friends School.
Cynthia Raposo became part of the Sandy Spring Friends School community in 1997 when her daughter, Mariana Furey ('10), entered Kindergarten. She soon became actively involved in the Parents Association, serving as a grade and division representative and volunteering to assist with various school activities, including running the ”general store” at Winterfest and performing in and supporting the community plays. Her most memorable experience was traveling as a parent chaperone with Ligia Molina-Gorton and a group of Middle School students to Guatemala in 2006 to visit Mi Refugio.
Professionally, Cynthia is an attorney, who recently retired after practicing for 31 years. Her expertise is in intellectual property, litigation and general business. Her most recent position was Senior Vice President, Legal at Under Armour, Inc., where she worked for over 10 years, building the legal team from the bottom up.
She has served on the Board of the Maryland Humanities since 2013, and is an active supporter of the Sandy Spring Museum.
Cynthia graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.A. in Russian language. She received an M.A. in Slavic Language and Literature from Brown University, and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Phil Schwarz '63 is a member of the Sandy Spring Class of 1963, the first class at the school. He then received his B.A. at Earlham College in history with international study in Germany and Austria. He subsequently spent two years in Iran with the Peace Corps, where he taught English and played basketball for the city team in Iran's top league. After the Peace Corps, Phil received an M.A. in International Relations from South Carolina.
Phil pursued a career in international insurance with Chubb and AIG. He spent more than 32 years overseas. He and his wife, Barbara, have lived in Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Dubai, and London.
He and Barbara are now retired, splitting their time between Arlington, VA, and Cocoa Beach, FL. They have one son, Jay, a lawyer working in Washington D.C.
Santosh ("Sonny") Sharma is a Senior Software Consultant at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. He has supported Fixed Asset Management, Oracle Business Portal, and various NIST Financial Applications during his time there. Prior to that, Sonny worked at Mantech International, Northrop Grumman, and Active Data Systems as a software consultant.
Sonny got his Bachelor of Engineering degree at Delhi University, India and a Master of Engineering at Mississippi State University. He also got an MBA degree from University of Maryland at College Park.
Sonny and his wife, Manjul, are proud parents of Rohan Sharma ('16) and Richa Sharma ('22).
Cynthia Richie Terrell graduated from Germantown Friends School in 1982 and Swarthmore College in 1986; she has Quaker roots that date to the 1600s. She worked on congressional and presidential election campaigns before co-founding the non-profit FairVote with her husband in 1992. While raising three children, who now attend Sidwell Friends School, she has served on the national board of the American Friends Service Committee, FairVote, Sandy Spring Friends School, and on the boards of a number of local organizations. She is an active member of Bethesda Friends Meeting, where she is involved with a number of committees and has served as clerk of the Quaker Life committee in the Middle and Upper schools at Sidwell Friends School.
Howard Zuses has had a long association with Sandy Spring Friends School. He was the Business Manager of Friends Elementary School at the time of the merger with SSFS in 1993. Following the merger, he was the Business Manager of SSFS and later on the Director of Operations, Facilities and Planning until 2005. He spent his final two years as a bus driver. Looking back on his 15 years at SSFS, he is proudest of having the 2003-04 yearbook dedicated to him. Starting in 1997, he helped organize and lead the first of seven Quaker Pilgrimage Intersession trips to the UK. The most recent one in 2013 included current Head of School Tom Gibian.
For six years following his retirement, Howard and his wife Rosalind Turner Zuses (a former Trustee) lived away from their home Blueberry Gardens in Ashton, MD. During that time they lived on the ocean in Florence, OR, spent six months in Cuenca, Ecuador and twice were Resident Friends at the Friends Centre in Auckland Aotearoa/New Zealand each for a one year appointment.
Two of his three children have had children in the last couple of years - being a grandfather is pretty amazing! – and the other is following her dad’s footsteps and driving a bus for SSFS while farming on the family farm. Howard is a graduate of the City College of New York (B.A. in History/Education) and the University of Connecticut (M.A. in Instructional Media and Technology).