Friends School of Baltimore is a private school founded in 1784 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Classes were first held in the Aisquith Street Meetinghouse in the East Baltimore community of Old Town. The School was moved to the Lombard Street Meetinghouse in the 1840s and then, in 1899, to its third location at 1712 Park Avenue, adjacent to the Park Avenue Meetinghouse. In 1925, Friends purchased its present site at 5114 North Charles Street. Though the School incorporated in 1973 and separated from the Baltimore Monthly Meeting of Friends, Stony Run, it maintains its historic and philosophic ties with the Meeting.


Quakers believe in the fundamental equality of all persons. In keeping with this tradition, Friends School provides an environment that attempts to promote trust and mutual respect, and encourages students to identify and develop their unique gifts and talents. All students at Friends attend Meeting for Worship on a regular basis. Based on the Quaker tradition of silent waiting, this shared religious experience gives participants an opportunity to quietly "center" and express their inner thoughts in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

Curriculum and facilitiesEdit

Education programs in each division are designed to instill a love of learning by fostering students' critical thinking skills and encouraging them to seek creative methods for solving problems. In addition to traditional academic subjects, all students participate in fine arts and physical education courses, as well as community service, which teaches students to look beyond themselves and form connections with the greater community.

Co-curricular activities include after-school interscholastic and intramural sports, theater and dance productions, private music lessons, and after-school clubs and committees in each division.

In addition to separate instructional buildings for the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools -- including a separate facility for the Lower School's Pre-K through Pre-First program -- the Friends campus features a music education facility, dance studio, fitness room, two gymnasiums,a wrestling room, tennis courts, five full playing fields and two practice areas.

Faculty and administrationEdit

In 2006 the School had a faculty of 105 teachers, including 87 full-time faculty, a yearly operating budget of $16.1 million and an endowment of $16.6 million. The School is governed by Board of Trustees.

Friends School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Independent Maryland Schools, and is approved by the Maryland State Board of Education.

Friday Night BasketballEdit

Friday Night Basketball, colloquially known as the FNB, is one of the many, many reasons why Friends School students would never transfer to Park. Every winter, after the last leaf has fallen from the last tree, the first FNB begins. Wearing their SSA shirts (SSA: Students Supporting Athletics, founded in 1997 by James Yolles, class of 2000) with pride, students of the entire high school stream into the "Dome." With tenacity and ferocity, they cheer on their team and denounce the opposing school with witty and hilarious chants.

Notable AlumsEdit

  • Ben Barchey, Team Korea Lacrosse Player
  • Benson Erwin, professional lacrosse player
  • Holter Graham, film actor
  • Kyle Harrison, professional lacrosse player
  • Marcie Jones, nonfiction writer
  • Ken Kolodner, hammered dulcimer player, member of Helicon
  • Davy Lauterbach, TV writer
  • Pete Levin, Stop motion animator
  • Jakob Lodwick, part owner of the College Humor website, co-founder of
  • Lance Reddick, TV and film actor
  • Rachel Talalay, film director, producer, actress
  • Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles COO (not a graduate but attended Friends)

Current FacultyEdit

Upper School

  • Peter Gilmore, Principal; History
  • Karen Miller, Academic Dean; Learning Specialist; Spanish
  • Marylee Slosson, Dean of Students; Mathematics
  • Kristen Andrews, French
  • Helen Berkeley, English
  • Tom Binford, Spanish
  • Thomas Buck, English; Director of Dramatics
  • Craig Caplan, Mathematics
  • Josh Carlin, History; Group; 9th Grade Chair
  • Lisa Countess, Latin; English
  • Ken Drews, Chemistry
  • Karen Felton, Director of College Guidance
  • Nicholas Fessenden, History
  • Susan Fetter, Mathematics
  • Ken Fowler, Mathematics; Director of Community Service
  • Lucy Hand '80, Spanish; Language Department Coordinator
  • John Hare, Spanish; English
  • David Heath, Mathematics; A.V.
  • Seth Hedderick, Associate Director of College Guidance; History; 12th Grade Chair
  • Andrea Hicks, Environmental Science
  • William Hilgartner, Ecology; Biology; Science Department Coordinator
  • Deb Kinder, Environmental Science; Applied Chemistry
  • Stephanie Leonard, Assistant to College Guidance
  • Dahira Lievano-Binford, French; Spanish
  • Emily Love, Counselor
  • Jaime Moore, Secretary and Registrar
  • Dean Pappas, Physics; 12th Grade Chair
  • Michael Paulson, English; 10th Grade Chair
  • Brenda Petersen, History Department Coordinator
  • Michael Porrazzo, Mathematics Department Coordinator
  • Lee Roby, Russian; English
  • Leah Samaru-Charles, French
  • Carl Schlenger, Mathematics
  • Amy Schmaljohn, English; History
  • Richard Seiler '68, History
  • Cherie Thompson Walsh, English Department Coordinator
  • Kristen Weiss, Assistant to the Principal
  • Felicia Wilks, English
  • George Wright, Biology

Prinicipals of the School, Headmasters, and Heads of SchoolEdit

  • Eli M. Lamb (1864-1899†)
  • Louisa P. Blackburn (1889-1899)
  • John W. Gregg (1899-1903)
  • Edward C. Wilson (1903-1927)
  • William S. Pike (1927-1935)
  • Edwin C. Zavitz (1935-1943)
  • Bliss Forbush, Sr. (1943-1960)
  • W. Byron Forbush II (1960-1998)
  • Jon M. Harris (1998-2002)
  • Lila B. Lohr (2002-2005)
  • Matthew W. Micciche (2005-

†The terms "Principal" and "Headmaster" were not used before 1864. The term "Head of School" was first used by Jon Harris.

†From 1889 to 1899 Lamb's school was separate from the Meeting's School.

Historical TimelineEdit

  • 1781 Quaker Meeting House opened at Aisquith and Fayette Streets.
  • 1784 First mention of a school in Meeting records. A committee appointed to oversee the school.
  • 1792 Baltimore Monthly Meeting established.
  • 1800 School House constructed on Old Town property.
  • 1805 Lombard Street Meeting House built.
  • 1816 Girls' School opened; Susan Yarnell, teacher.
  • 1829 Baltimore Public Schools established.
  • 1840s School moved to Lombard Street Meeting House.
  • 1860 Baltimore Monthly Meeting took over collection of tuition and paid teachers' salaries.
  • 1864 Eli M. Lamb appointed Principal.
  • 1865 Introduction of high-school classes.
  • 1866 Name changed to "Friends Elementary and High School," Baltimore's first private high school.
  • 1872 Introduction of "collegiate department" for students going to college.
  • 1877 Introduction of English course of study for students not going to college.
  • 1887 Lombard Street property sold.
  • 1888 Baltimore Monthly Meeting relinquished control of Lamb's school at Preston and McCulloh St.
  • 1889 Park Avenue Meeting House built, primary and kindergarten school opened, Louisa P. Backburn, Principal.
  • 1892 Purchase of lot next to Park Avenue Meeting House.
  • 1899 Merged with Lamb's school, renamed "Park Avenue Friends Elementary and High School." John W. Gregg appointed Principal.
  • 1900 Name changed to "Friends School". First boys' basketball game—defeated Poly 8-0.
  • 1901 First issue of Friends School Quarterly.
  • 1903 Edward C. Wilson replaced John W. Gregg as Principal of the school.
  • 1908 Electric lighting installed in the school.
  • 1909 Swimming pool constructed, and new gymnasium built on the third floor. Beginning of Girl's Basketball.
  • 1911 Purchase of 1712 Park Avenue for kindergarten and primary grades.
  • 1912 Purchase of 8½ acres in West Forest Park for athletic field. First football team. First sex education classes.
  • 1913 First May Fête held. Student government organization begun.
  • 1914 First girls' field hockey team.
  • 1921 School uniforms adopted.
  • 1924 Boys' lacrosse started.
  • 1925 Purchase of Homeland campus property on North Charles Street.
  • 1927 William S. Pike replaced Edward C. Wilson as principal. Girls' lacrosse started.
  • 1928 Cornerstone laid for Primary Department building at Homeland.
  • 1929 Primary Department moved to Homeland campus.
  • 1931 Intermediate Department Building constructed at Homeland.
  • 1935 Edwin C. Zavitz replaced William S. Pike as principal.
  • 1936 High School moved to Homeland. School organization changed to great a Lower School (grades 1-6) and an Upper School (grades 7-12). Friends School Association formed.
  • 1937 Clubhouse remodelled to house nursery and kindergarten classes. New gymnasium built on Homeland campus.
  • 1943 Bliss Forbush replaced Edwin C. Zavitz as headmaster.
  • 1944 Park Avenue property sold to Baltimore City.
  • 1949 Tenure System established for faculty.
  • 1952 Roman Steiner died after 53 years of teaching at Friends.
  • 1954 Education Committee changed admission policy to allow desegregation.
  • 1955 First black students admitted to Friends.
  • 1956 Construction of the Bliss Forbush Auditorium.
  • 1960 W. Byron Forbush II replaced Bliss Forbush as headmaster.
  • 1964 All classes desegregated. First secondary school in the U.S. to be visited by teachers from the Soviet Union.
  • 1965 Summer Writing Opportunity Program established.
  • 1966 New science building and new addition to gymnasium.
  • 1967 First full-time black faculty hired.
  • 1970 Middle School established.
  • 1971 Tenure system replaced by annual and multiyear contracts.
  • 1973 Friends School incorporated and separated from the Monthly Meeting.
  • 1974 Faculty Meeting for Business established.
  • 1975 Auditorium extended to house Middle School.
  • 1978 BOOST Program started for minority teaching interns.
  • 1982 Addition to Upper School building. Purchase of 2.1 acres from Cathedral property.
  • 1984 Two Hundredth Anniversary of Friends School.
  • 1986 New wrestling/multi-purpose space and new cafeteria finished.
  • 1987 Pool built for growing summer programs use.
  • 1989 Expansion of Lower School to Pre-primary ages.
  • 1991 New Lower School Academic Wing.
  • 1993 New Music Wing to Upper School.
  • 1994 Dance Studio in Physical Education building.
  • 1996 Start of school website:
  • 1998 Jon Harris replaced W. Byron Forbush II as headmaster.
  • 2001 Lila Lohr replaced Jon Harris as Head of School.
  • 2003 Opening of the Alumni Center.
  • 2005 Addition to the Upper School Math/Science building. New Middle School and athletic turf. Matthew Micciche replaced Lila Lohr as Head of School.


  • Friends for two hundred years: A history of Baltimore's oldest school, by Dean R. Esslinger

External linkEdit

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