In its 230th year of existence, Westfield Friends School is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Margaret Haviland as Head of School. The school community extends an enthusiastic welcome to Dr. Haviland as she prepares for her new role beginning July 1, 2019.
Dr. Haviland will follow the dedicated service of Dr. Jon Hall, whose leadership brought exciting new programming to the Middle School, a Makerspace for creative engineering projects, an integrated Technology curriculum, and strengthened the mission's focus on character education.
Passionate about Friends education, Margaret comes to Westfield from Westtown School (West Chester, Pennsylvania). She brings more than two decades of experience as an educator, administrator, and leader in independent schools. She has served as Assistant Head of Faculty and Program, since 2015. She also serves on the Board of Frankford Friends School and as the Clerk of Westtown Monthly Meeting.
Margaret came to Quakerism “quite by accident” when she graduated from a huge public high school in Indianapolis and went on to attend Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. The historic Friends college challenged her to continually examine her assumptions, values, and beliefs. Lived integrity and intellectual clarity were themes at Earlham, which guided her work as a young adult. Margaret credits this Friends education for shaping the way she works with colleagues, students, and parents alike: “The belief that there is that of God in every person requires that I respect the person in front of me in every encounter.”
In addition to strengthening relationships between Westfield Friends School and vital Burlington and Camden County communities, Dr. Haviland is eager to share the power and value of a Friends education. “We are able to help families raise their children by having their children’s schooling align with their own basic values”, she states, something not easily found in schools today. Margaret appreciates the wealth of cultural diversity in Westfield’s student body and in the surrounding communities. She understands the importance of providing an inquisitive space for people to get to know one another, pointing out that “it’s interesting, challenging, and satisfying to examine and come together around our differences”.
Margaret and her husband, Tom, spend summers in Northern Michigan with their family, as getting out into the natural world is an important way for her to take care of herself by resting and recharging for each school year. As she prepares for her new life in Cinnaminson, she thinks of the things that most excite her about Westfield. “I can’t wait to enjoy the sense of play and wonder I am able to experience with younger students and the adults who work alongside them. I am very much looking forward to having fun while doing important work with the students, faculty, and parents at Westfield Friends School. I know that this community has the foundation for accomplishing its aspirational vision for education.”