Long time principal of Wilmington’s Quaker school leaving for California job

Ethan Williamson, courtesy Friends School of Wilmington

Wilmington Faith and Values

Head of School Ethan Williamson has seen a large growth at Friends School of Wilmington since he began there in 1998.

Under his leadership, Wilmington’s only Quaker school has grown from one campus to two and from a middle school to preschool ages up to eighth grade with professional accreditation from several independent school associations. Friends School was founded in 1994.

But at the end of June, Williamson is moving on to take a position as head of school at Barnhart School in Arcadia, Ca. He’ll also be closer to his son there and to his mother, who lives part-time in Hawaii.

“As I have poured my heart and soul into our school for the last 14 years, I will most certainly miss the Friends School of Wilmington – the wonderful faculty, students, families and Board,” he wrote in a letter to Friends School families and faculty in early February. ” In short, leaving FSW feels like sending a beloved son or daughter off to college – while you know it is time, that doesn’t make it any easier!”

Out of 14 candidates interviewed for the position, the Friends School board chose Brenda Esch Boggess, currently the head of school at Greenwood Friends School in Millville, Pa.

“Wilmington has a vibrant foundation upon which to build and is clearly ready to take important steps into the future. I look forward to the journey!” Boggess wrote in her acceptance letter to Friends School.

Boggess has had 17 years of experience working in independent schools, most of which were in Quaker schools.

Friends School of Wilmington will have its open house for new students 5–7 p.m. on March 15.

Details: 910-791-8221.


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