Sandy Spring Friends School



Sandy Spring Friends Upper School

What happens when you combine an intellectually rigorous education with a deep sense of belonging? Experience it for yourself at the Upper School at Sandy Spring Friends.

SSFS’ Upper School develops confident, responsible, thoughtful people who understand the wider world and are equipped to be positive changemakers in it. We provide our students the intellectual and interpersonal skills they need to thrive in a rapidly changing, increasingly global community, and we create spaces of authentic belonging so that they are empowered to live lives of purpose. Led by an extraordinary faculty, we are a dynamic, connected community that is committed to expanding students’ academic, artistic, athletic, social, and spiritual capacities.

By fostering a culture of mutual respect and trust between teachers and students, we challenge our students to take intellectual risks and move beyond their perceived limitations to explore a broad spectrum of interests and activities.

Celeste McDaniels

Dr. Celeste Jamison McDaniels
Head of Upper School 
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Meredith Shankle

Meredith Shankle
Assistant Head of Upper School 
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Veronika Jiranova

Veronika Jiranova
Admin Assistant - Upper School 
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Magi Valdez-Lane

Magi Valdez-Lane
Admin Assistant - Upper School & College Counseling
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Sophomore and Junior students studying in the SSFS Library

Challenge, Exploration, Growth

Through academically  rigorous courses, including APs in each discipline, we challenge every learner to achieve at the highest levels. Additionally, our strong arts and athletics programs nurture important habits of mind—risk-taking, problem-solving, cooperation, and perseverance. These, combined with leadership opportunities—including student government and peer counseling —enable our students to gain the skills needed to be successful in college and beyond.


Learn more about our offerings:


Private high school students on an intersession trip abroad.

Global Perspective

Inspired and equipped by our Quaker values, our Upper School students value global connectedness, strive to be good stewards of the earth, and give back through service.

Students become immersed in the world and gain cross-cultural understanding through our Intersession and Summer Service Trips. With a robust Residential Life program, representing countries across the globe, students are able to engage in idea exchange and build a global perspective right on our campus.

Learn how we help our students gain a global perspective:


Quaker education, Freshman students at Meeting for Worship

Quaker Values

Underlying all that we do in the Upper School is a commitment to the Quaker SPICES: values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. Students practice silent and spoken reflection, engage in cooperative decision-making, and demonstrate meaningful community membership in Meeting for Worship.

Learn more about Quaker or "Friends" Education:



Explore Our Upper School