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Field Staff Reports: Joyce Ajlouny – March, 2013

I was blessed to visit the Midwest in February, a visit that allowed me to personally give my report to the General Board and meet with FUM staff. It was a blessing to meet with Colin Saxton and to inform him that our family needs to be in the United States on a long term basis. This means a lot of planning with both Colin and the RFS board. I am quite optimistic about the possibilities that will arise as we discern the best way forward.

Much of my time in the last quarter has been spent working on a development plan that led me to hire Micah Bales as an assistant. We are working on a document that will be shared with alumni in the Washington, D.C. area, soliciting their ideas for funding the school’s endowment.

The search for the Lower School Principal is near completion. We have been blessed by the quality of the applicants and will soon recommend a candidate to the board.
As I have reported in the past, the RFS board of Trustees and I have been working tirelessly to ratify a new contract and to construct a balanced budget. This process of negotiation always brings out passionate discussion. Parents argue for lower tuition fees and staff for higher salaries.

In March I was delighted to be in Ramallah when the students and teachers from both Westtown and George School visited our schools.

In other news, the agreement with an international architectural firm to do the master-planning of both campuses and the design of our new building has been signed. Also, our teacher Nour was turned back from the airport again. I spoke to her while she was in Amman, Jordan and she shared that she is “just crushed.” She wrote a very moving note to her students and Skypes with them whenever it is possible.

April and May will be busy with speaking arrangements at Bethesda MM, Baltimore YM (large gathering including the Friends Schools in the area), William Penn House, several meetings and churches around Newtown, Pennsylvania.