Appointment of New Clerks for RFS' Board of Trustees

Ramallah Friends School:

Dispatches in a Year of Transition and Transformation

Above: Incoming Clerk Mazen Karam. Below: Incoming Assistant Clerk Omar Tesdell speaking with outgoing Clerk Samer Shehadeh.

Appointment of new clerks for the Board of Trustees

During this year of transition and transformation, Friends United Meeting is working more closely with the Ramallah Friends School Board of Trustees (BOT) than ever before. It remains FUM’s primary commitment for the BOT to function in a way that reflects the best of Quaker governance and values. To this end, Ron Bryan, the Clerk of FUM, and Sarah Lookabill, Assistant Clerk of FUM, were appointed as Custodial Clerks of the BOT. FUM intends for Ron and Sarah to guide the board in Quaker procedures and mentor the incoming Clerks during this year of transition and transformation.

The Executive Board of FUM met on 12 September and are pleased to announce the appointments of Mazen Karam as the Incoming Clerk and Omar Tesdell (pictured at right) as the Incoming Assistant Clerk of the Ramallah Friends School Board of Trustees. While Ron and Sarah will continue to provide oversight of the board, they recognize the importance of working collaboratively with clerks who understand RFS and the Palestinian culture. Additionally, FUM understands the need to have appointed clerks in Ramallah to represent FUM and RFS to the government and the local community. Ron and Sarah recognize Mazen and Omar’s leadership and are excited to work closely with them during this Year of Transition and Transformation.

Covid Credit

As is true for people the world over, Palestinians are suffering from the economic impacts of the coronavirus safety measures implemented by the government. Parents have been expressing their increasing financial worries, and this past week the RFS Board of Trustees discerned a generous response as a concrete expression of the Quaker values of the school. A 10% “Covid Credit” will be applied to the 2020/2021 tuition of every student in the school, with the hope that this credit will contribute to the community’s resilience and safety.

The Board requested that those families who don’t need this extra financial assistance consider donating their credit back to the Student Financial Aid Fund, to support more vulnerable families in the community. Those families who are struggling to pay, even after the credit, were urged to make their need known to the administration, since additional financial aid funds are available to assist them.

It is estimated that the Covid Credit will cost the school approximately $600,000. All Friends are urged to consider an extra donation to the school at this time.

Donation of laptops

With the uncertainties of hybrid learning and possible future school closures, the RFS Board of Trustees had identified in early September an urgent need to equip every teacher with a laptop for teaching remotely. But, with 120 teachers, RFS couldn’t afford such a large purchase. However, the parent community got to work, and secured the donation of all 120 laptops with just a few hours of targeted phone calls. Head of School Adrian Moody said:

“I am speechless and humbled by this act of kindness and generosity. I would really like to thank our community for stepping in with this donation at this critical time. These computers will make a big difference for our teachers and students as we strive to provide a quality education amidst this global pandemic.
“As a result of this donation, we have enough laptops for all elementary, middle and high school teachers. 
“Our teachers have worked extremely hard over the summer preparing to deliver the best educational program possible whether learning is face-to-face, blended, or online. These computers will equip all our teachers to be able to deliver online learning effectively. They are the tools that professionals need.
“We do not know if or when the school may be forced to move totally to online learning, but we know that with these computers, which are expected to arrive this week, our staff will be ready to make the switch immediately.”


- Source of article: Friends United Meeting E-newsletter 22 September 2020