Frankford Friends School Appoints New Head of School

From the Frankford Friends School

Frankford Friends School is delighted to announce that Kathryn Park Cook will become the next Head of School, effective July 1, 2015. Her appointment is the result of a year-long process to identify a successor to Penny Colgan-Davis, who will retire from a distinguished career in education at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

Kathryn Park Cook

Kathryn Park Cook

Kathryn Park Cook’s vision, experience, and commitment to Quaker values resonate strongly with the school’s mission and culture. Her career in education has spanned over 25 years. While a teacher, Kathryn was named a NJ Governor’s Teacher of the Year and a NAIS Teacher of the Future, and was a member of the 2013-2015 Friends Council on Education Leadership Institute cohort. Kathryn comes to us from the Moorestown Friends School, where she most recently served as Director of Innovative Programs. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in French horn from the New England Conservatory and a Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
“Throughout the search process I was struck by the strength of the FFS teaching and administrative staff,” said Kathryn. “Their dedication towards ensuring that each child graduates from eighth grade as an empathetic, ethical community member with the academic skills and knowledge necessary for success is inspiring. I look forward to continuing the work of Penny Colgan-Davis and collaborating with parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members to carry out our vision for the future of Frankford Friends School.”

Peg Szczurek, Clerk of the Frankford Friends School Committee and a member of the Head Search Committee, commented, “It was with great joy that I learned Kathryn Park Cook had accepted the position. Each time I speak or email with Kathy, I am convinced that we have made the right choice. She is a pleasure to work with and is deeply committed to best practice in education. We are blessed to have her as our next Head.”

Kathryn will lead a thriving school, taking over from Penny Colgan-Davis, an inspirational leader who transformed the school’s curriculum into an inquiry-based program and increased enrollment by more than 50% during her ten years as Principal. Penny led the fundraising, design, and construction of the Margaret Passmore Trickey Middle School and Multipurpose Building, greatly expanded the music and library programs, started a gardening program, and led the fundraising and planning to begin work on a nearly half-acre Outdoor Classroom “playscape” to be constructed across the street from the school.
Kathryn Park Cook attends Moorestown (NJ) Friends Meeting. She enjoys reading, working in her vegetable garden, cooking, and hiking with her husband, four children, and dog.

About Frankford Friends School
Founded in 1833, Frankford Friends School serves children in grades PreK-8 at its historic campus on Orthodox Street in Philadelphia. During all these years, the school has continued to subscribe to the fundamental goals set down by the first thoughtful educators who founded the school: a form of education which would develop an attitude of courageous independence, a readiness for responsibility, and a spiritual basis for life. Known for its modest tuition and the diversity of its student body, the school has been a key player in the recent revitalization of Frankford. Its graduates attend selective public and private high schools.