A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area


Our Board of Trustees consists of current and former parents and grandparents, alumni, educators, and members of local Quaker Meetings, all dedicated to supporting the mission and philosophy of Carolina Friends School.

The Board sets broad policies regarding the School’s operation, oversees long range planning and the hiring of the Head of School (HOS). The authority to hire staff is delegated to the Head. Curriculum development and management of the daily operations of the School are undertaken by the HOS, the Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning, and staff.

The Board is composed of up to twenty-three members drawn from each of the Friends Meetings in Durham and Chapel Hill, and co-opted members appointed by the Board. Natasha Nazareth-Phelps serves as legal advisor. Our current standing committees are Executive, Business, Governance, Advancement, Facilities, Quaker Character, Investment and Audit. Except for the Executive Committee, (whose members are chosen by the Board Clerk), Trustees sort themselves onto the committees to which they feel led.

Most full Board meetings are open meetings, and are listed on the online All-School calendar. The Board is scheduling its meetings for 2019-2020 to afford more deliberative discussion, beginning with a full Board retreat on Sept. 21. If you are interested in attending, please check with Nancy McGilvary to confirm meeting location and times. You may also read executive summaries of past meetings, (which are approved by the full Board at the next subsequent meeting, and posted in the "Parent Portal" of the CFS website), or the full Minutes of Board meetings (stored in the Center Building after approval by the full Board at the next subsequent meeting), by asking Nancy McGilvary in the Center Building.

Look for Board members at school events - you'll recognize us wearing the same permanent nametags as staff, and you may reach us by emailing CFSBoardClerk@cfsnc.org.

We're eager to meet members of the CFS community!

2019-2020 Board of Trustees

Clerk: Mark Kuhn

Members from the Durham and Chapel Hill Friends Meetings

John Bell '22

John Bell and wife Judy Whisnant live in Chapel Hill where they raised their two now-grown children. NC natives, they met at Guilford College, where she is now a Trustee, and became Quakers in 1974. John has volunteered for the College, helps protect the historic Eno Friends burying ground, and attends Chapel Hill Friends Meeting. John is a mostly retired development consultant. Formerly a city planner in Boston, in 1989 he made his passion for philanthropy his vocation and has since raised funds for homelessness, civil rights, healthcare, housing, the environment, political candidates, his alma mater UNC-CH and dispute settlement.

Why I serve:

I agreed to serve on the Board of Trustees because over 45 years I’ve become convinced a Quaker values-based education is one key to social progress and can dramatically change the lives of individual students and their families. It is also an expression of my deep gratitude for just such an experience.

Larry Chapman '20

Larry Chapman serves on the Business and Investment Committees. He attends Durham Friends Meeting with his wife Jennifer and his sons, Benjamin and Henry, both recent students in the Upper School. Larry holds an M.B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill, and works as a financial counselor and planner. He currently serves as Co-Treasurer of Durham Friends Meeting, and previously as President and Treasurer of the Watts Hospital-Hillandale Neighborhood Association in Durham.

Why I serve:

I serve on the CFS board because my children had a wonderful experience at CFS, and I want to help the school continue its mission of providing an excellent Quaker education to future generations.

Julia McMullan Cleaver '20

Julia is a CFS alum and is a member of the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting. A professional librarian, she worked in international women's health organizations for twenty years after spending some time in school libraries. Julia is currently providing literature searches for medical device safety regulations from her home in Chatham County. She was nominated to the CFS Board of Trustees from the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting.

Why I serve:

I serve on the CFS Board because I love the mission of the school. The personal relationships with teachers during my difficult middle school years launched me into the world with a deep sense of worth. I was also led to join the Society of Friends through exposure to the tenets of Quakerism practiced daily at the school. It was only when I returned as a teaching intern that I realized how deeply those lessons had guided my life choices.

Pat Mann '21

Pat and his wife Pam Schwingl (former board member) homestead on 27 acres in Cedar Grove raising vegetables, donkeys, sheep, chickens and guinea hens. Pat is a retired nurse and an artist/blacksmith. He serves on the board of Farmer Food Share and the Orange County Adult Soccer League Foundation. His two children, Nick and Thea Mann, both attended CFS.

Why I serve:

I serve on the CFS board because I believe the CFS experience, based on Quaker educational principals, truly allows each student to become the best of who they are and teaches them how to think and learn, and fosters growth of the whole being.

Bill O'Connor '22

Bill is a graduate of Harvard College (B.A. History and Science, 1971) and Bank Street College (M.S. Elementary Education, 1976.) An attempted conscientious objector during the Vietnam era (long story), Bill has been involved in peace and social causes including Durham Witness for Peace, the San Ramon, Nicaragua Sister Community, and Quaker House, where he has served 12 years on the board including 5 as clerk. Bill has been a member of Durham Friends Meeting since 1992, and served both as recording clerk and clerk. Bill is a retired middle school math and science teacher with 40 years experience including 20 years at Duke School, and keeps reminding himself why he retired by substitute teaching regularly at Central Park School for Children! Bill plays drums in a jazz group, and lives at the Durham Central Park Cohousing Community with his wife, Joyce Frederick and two adorable indoor cats named Jelly and Chance.

Why I serve:

Durham Friends Meeting nominating committee asked me to serve, probably because of my experience with independent schools, with DFM and the Quaker House board. I have many friends at CFS, and so many Duke School students went on to CFS after I taught and advised them in eighth grade. I'm really looking forward to getting to know Friends School better and continuing my commitment to quality, student-centered education.

Jane Price '21

Jane was a teacher for 33 years. There was never anything else she wanted to do as a career, and the best years of her teaching were in two Quaker schools in Maryland. She and her husband raised four children, and also delight in their eight grandchildren. Almost twenty years into retirement, she enjoys life in the Carolina pines, being active in Durham Friends Meeting, and spending time with family, especially in the Smokies.

Why I serve:

I serve on the board to be a bridge to my meeting, Durham Friends. Although we don’t impose Quaker values on anyone, or seek to convert anyone, the unusual thing about the values of Quakerism is that they will make one a better person, no matter their religious faith.

Buffie Webber '20

Buffie Webber is a real estate agent. She serves on the CFS Board's Executive Committee and clerks the Advancement Committee. She has been on the vanguard of new technologies in managing one of the first computer teleconferences and later in overseeing the first implementation of the Internet in east and southern Africa. As a nonprofit employee and Board member, she has extensive experience in employee self-governance and boards utilizing policy governance models. Her M.B.A. from the all-female Simmons Graduate School of Management. Her ancestors gave land to the earliest Quaker meetings in New England and the land for the University of New Hampshire.

Why I serve:

Quaker education at CFS provides students the ability to fully understand their individual core interests and values in the context of a thriving community. Students learn how their choices affect their friends, while learning how to grow amidst peers. I believe in supporting an education such as this.

Co-Opted Members

Margy Campion '20

Margy Campion is an alum parent of Austin, ’02 and, currently, co-clerk of the Governance Committee. In her previous CFS Board service she served on the Strategic Planning Committee (’08 Plan), Land & Facilities, Benefits, and as Clerk of Advancement. She was fully involved in the Building Friends Campaign from start to finish. Previously, Margy was an early childhood educator (3s and 4s), and continues to love every opportunity she has to get into CFS classrooms, as they provide the best continuing education available.

Why I serve:

I serve on the CFS Board of Trustees because this school walks its talk like no other. I believe in CFS and its mission, and work to make a CFS education available to as many as possible. It is an honor to serve in support of the Carolina Friends School Staff, students and families, who can and do 'change the world.'

Marty Clemons '20

Marty Clemons and her family relocated to Durham two years ago from Chicago. She has two daughters in the Upper School. Marty’s first career was as a securities lawyer for the SEC. She then became Chief Counsel of ABN AMRO Asset Management (USA). Marty also worked as a securities lawyer at Northern Trust in Chicago. Marty left corporate America to stay home to raise her daughters. She owned a social enterprise yoga studio with a mission to make yoga more affordable and accessible in under-resourced communities. She is a founder of the Socially-Engaged Yoga Network.

Marty is heavily engaged in the local regenerative economy and sustainable agriculture movement.

Why I serve:

I serve on the CFS Board as a way to give back, and to be more connected with my community.

John DiLiberti '21

John H DiLiberti is physician trained in pediatrics, medical genetics and preventive medicine who, after practicing general pediatrics, served on the full-time faculty at Oregon Health Sciences University, the University of Connecticut, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and the University of Illinois. While in Oregon he was a founding member of the Multnomah County Child Abuse Coalition and Advocates for Children’s Accident Prevention. Subsequently, he worked for over a decade as a research physician in pharmaceutical medicine.

He and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of Cara, a 2015 CFS graduate. When John isn’t working at home in Hillsborough he may be found traveling to and from visits with his granddaughter and 2 adult children in Portland, Oregon - or peering through large telephoto lenses to capture elusive lepidopteran or avian species.

Why I serve:

Shakespeare captures some of the essence to my answer in The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that receives.

I receive joy from giving to a school which continuously pursues excellence while adhering to a deep and abiding set of moral and ethical principles.

Amos Fodchuk '21

Along with his wife, Katy, Amos is parent to two children in the Lower and Middle Schools. He was born in Canada and believes passionately in the power of travel as a catalyst for learning and leadership. He is a career educator, having earned distinctions as both a National Board Certified Teacher and Fulbright Scholar throughout his ten years as a high school teacher. Currently, he is founder and president of Advanced Learning Partnerships, an education consulting firm that supports the creation of innovative learning models throughout the United States and Canada.

Why I serve:

I am in my eighth year of service as a CFS trustee. I am humbled and energized by the clear alignment that this School continues to earn with its local and extended community. Throughout my career, I have worked with educators in literally hundreds of schools across and beyond our continent. The CFS commitment to learning that reflects the authentic, evolving needs of each student is among the most sincere and successful that I have witnessed. It is my privilege to support our community as a trustee, parent, educator and citizen.

Mark Kuhn '19

Mark is a parent of two CFS alums and is a grandparent of two current students. He is an investment advisor and serves on the CFS Executive Committee, Investment Committee, and the Head Review Committee, and currently serves as the Board Clerk.

Why I serve:

I believe that education is essential to the preservation and advancement of civilization and in addition to serving CFS, I serve on another board (Brady Education Foundation) that focuses on youth education.

John Richardson '22

John serves on the Business Committee and is a former member of the Land Use and Facilities Committee. He and Caro Perez-Heydrich have two kids in the Middle School, Lola and Niley. John has worked for the Town of Chapel Hill for 12 years, and currently serves in a role to help advance community sustainability and resilience. He was born and raised in Durham, NC where he and his sister, Suzanne, both attended CFS.

Why I serve:

I had the great privilege of attending CFS, starting in the Durham Early School and continuing all the way through Upper School. Second only to my parents, I believe CFS was the most positive and formative experience of my young life. If there is anything I can do to help extend the CFS experience to others, I want to try.

Chris Ringwalt '19

Chris Ringwalt has longstanding ties with Carolina Friends School. His mother, Mildred Ringwalt, was one of the School's co-founders; his son Stuart attended CFS Early, Middle, and Upper School; and he has served previously on the CFS Board. Chris currently works as an injury prevention and substance abuse researcher both at UNC and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

Why I serve:

I serve on the Board because of my commitment to the School, to honor my mother's extraordinary vision as a founder, and to demonstrate my appreciation for the School's role in molding our son Stuart into the exceptionally fine and much loved teacher he is today.

Omid Safi '21

Omid Safi is a leading Muslim public intellectual. He is the Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to spiritual traditions that link together love and justice. Omid was recently invited by the family of Dr. Martin Luther King to speak from Ebenezer Church in Atlanta during the 49th annual commemoration for Dr. King.

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism; Cambridge Companion to American Islam; Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam; and Memories of Muhammad. His most recent book is Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions and has a book book on the famed mystic Rumi.

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He regularly blogs at On Being, and leads a summer program focused on the Sufi tradition in Turkey and Morocco, called Illuminated Tours.

Why I serve:

"We often tell our children that it is possible to change the world. Much more rarely do we give our children the tools on how to do so, and how to be mindful of how changing the world is connected to the deep inner transformation of our own souls. I serve on the CFS Board of Trustees and my children attend CFS because it is the loveliest way I know of helping them see that the task of acknowledging the light inside each and every soul—including themselves—already mingles with the task of creating the just and beautiful beloved community in which we all so desperately yearn to live."

Chari Smith '21

Chari Smith is an alum parent, and currently serves on the Executive and Advancement Committees as well as Recording Clerk for the Board of Trustees. Chari was a research scientist at GSK for many years. She now consults with academia, pharma and biotech to create collaborative opportunities for discovery and development of new therapeutics. She lives in Orange County, around the corner from CFS, and enjoys the engagement in campus life that this proximity allows.

Why I serve:

In sending my daughter to CFS, our family received 3 educations for the price of one. I serve because my gratitude for the school, and the larger CFS community invites me to give back. The way CFS executes on its mission is a gift to its students and families. I want to help enable that gift for many generations to come.

Felix Wong '21

Felix Wong serves on the Business, the Investment, and the Executive Committees. He and his wife, Nili, are the parents of an alumnus and a current Upper Schooler. Felix is a partner at Florida Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm focused on the middle market.

Why I serve:

"My commitment to CFS is driven by a love for the school’s values and mission."

Members Emeriti

Martha Klopfer

Martha Klopfer has served on the CFS board since the founding of the School and took Emerita status in Fall 2009. She has worked on nearly every Board committee, served as Clerk of the Board for nine years, currently works with the Advancement Committee and the Quaker Spiritual Life Committee, and co-chaired the Building Friends capital campaign. She has volunteer-taught, coached, and led interest groups at CFS. Martha says, “The School has been my occupation, besides farm and family. A joy!”

Peter Klopfer

Peter Klopfer served continuously on the CFS Board from founding the School with other Friends in 1962 until 2014, and took Emeritus status in June 2010. He has taught classes, served on nearly every committee, and been Clerk of the Board. Apart from his life at CFS, he is a biologist on the Duke faculty. He and his wife are dedicated athletes: they run, ride bikes, ride horseback, kayak...the list goes on!