A message from Crissy Cáceres:
Dear Brooklyn Friends School Community,
It is with humility and honor that I welcome the opportunity to serve as your next Head of School. With each connection that I had during my days with you, I experienced a thoughtful and vibrant community devoted to values that profoundly align with my life’s journey as a person and educational leader. The questions and points of focus posed by all constituents were indicative of a level of love and loyalty to BFS that was inspiring! The students, in particular, were steadfast and confident in support of their school. From the youngest to the oldest, all were immersed in spaces infused with care, creativity, and challenge.
The mission of Brooklyn Friends School upholds a strong, student-centered educational experience fused with Quaker and social justice principles. It affirms that for a community to be whole, all must be able to “voice their convictions, to discover and pursue their passions, and to seek truth.” This certainty about BFS’s identity resonates palpably within me. Now, more than ever, we are called to engage our voices in critical ways that connect to the promise of our shared humanity.
In our partnership ahead, I will help to ensure that the heartbeat of BFS continues to resound unapologetically while guiding our collective work and making a path for others. As I look towards our future together, I fervently commit to being a steward who ensures that BFS’s stellar and globally-minded education continues to thrive alongside and because of a spiritual foundation that steers the course and manner of our engagement. As a community, we will raise generations of children and young adults who step into each day knowing that they are worthy of being fully included, heard, and loved. Focused on making a positive social impact, the students of Brooklyn Friends School will share their gifts with the world.
In school and life, we will be tested. Such is the reality of living. What will determine our outcome is our ability to be on the side of what is possible when we work together.
When we struggle, we will struggle together.
When we build, we will build together.
We will generate opportunities for affirmation and joy, and lift them together.
We will sit in silence together.
We will give ourselves permission to dream together, and find time to celebrate the realization of those dreams.
As we walk into each day, we will see one another fully; we will embrace the inner Light within each of us; and we will remember that we are a microcosm of our world, which needs the compassion, strength, and resolve so clearly present within the Brooklyn Friends community. I am certain that we can do all of this – together.
As our family anticipates our new adventures in Brooklyn, I eagerly await being with you in July.
In friendship and peace,
A Message from the Board of Trustees:
The Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Friends School announces with joy the appointment of Crissy Cáceres as Head of School, effective July 1, 2019. Ms. Cáceres will succeed Dr. Larry Weiss, who will have served the school for 9 years.
Following a search process that honored Quaker practices of truth seeking, respect, community engagement, and reflection, we were led to Ms. Cáceres because of her integrity, educational experience, intelligence, buoyant spirit, and personal journey as a young child from Puerto Rico to Newark, New Jersey and then to us. During her 20-year professional career and visits to Brooklyn Friends, she has demonstrated transformational and collaborative academic and community leadership; commitment to educational excellence and intellectual rigor; capacity in building equitable, inclusive, and sustainable communities; inspirational written and spoken communications; and the openness, accessibility, and listening skills essential to a Head of School. She nurtures and celebrates the human spirit and possibilities, bringing the Light to all, and she is dedicated to Quaker education and communities. One BFS community member observed: “Crissy moved me with her understanding of our mission and community, its strengths and needs, and I immediately felt connected to her and trusted her to lead us forward. She is so impressive and uplifting, and she would be a gift to our school.” All school constituencies expressed similar support and excitement. The Search Committee and Board of Trustees easily reached unity on her selection as our next Head
In addition to her letter above to the BFS community, Ms. Cáceres shared this response with the Search Committee: “I enthusiastically and with great honor accept your invitation to be the next Head of School at Brooklyn Friends. Throughout the search, the BFS community spoke to my heart, spirit, and mind, and led me on a joyful process of reflection. I am humbled to have the responsibility to lead Brooklyn Friends, and I look forward to getting to know the community more deeply as we join hands to advance its Quaker mission in service of students, faculty, staff, and families.”
Crissy Cáceres currently serves as Assistant Head of School at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., a PK-12 school of 1,095 students that, like Brooklyn Friends, emphasizes academic excellence in the context of an inclusive and socially just and engaged school environment. Ms. Cáceres’ overall focus is ensuring strong and mission-aligned school practices. As part of the core leadership team, her responsibilities include direct oversight of various areas including: PK-12 academic and social/emotional efforts; implementation of social justice and impact initiatives across all divisions; experiential learning and community engagement so that all students engage service as a central part of their learning; utilization of longitudinal student data about access, inclusion, and achievement in planning and decision-making; and hiring and retention efforts. In her role, she also serves on the Academic Leadership Group responsible for curricular program evolution, management of professional development opportunities, and evaluation at all levels.
Previously, Ms. Cáceres was Head of the Lower School that included a nationally-recognized Early Childhood Program at Abington Friends School in Abington, PA. She oversaw all aspects of program, supervision, and community culture. Further, she collaboratively led the re-envisioning of the Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School programs and structure. Delving into finances, marketing, admissions, and pedagogy and curricula, she partnered with colleagues to create and implement a plan for sustainability and growth that has produced a thriving and sought-after school.
Ms. Cáceres began her independent school teaching career in the lower school at Episcopal Academy outside Philadelphia, PA. There, she taught third and fifth grades and designed and implemented a divisional expansion to the Spanish language program. After becoming Assistant Lower School Head, she supervised curricula and faculty evaluation and professional development and represented the Lower School in the design and execution of a plan to build a new campus that merged the existing two campuses.
Since 2009, Ms. Cáceres has been a faculty member at the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute. She has served as a Middle States Accreditation Commissioner, co-chaired the NAIS People of Color Conference in Philadelphia, served on various leadership associations, and has partnered with schools and organizations nation-wide as consultant, presenter, and facilitator on various school leadership, social justice, and school culture and student engagement issues. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.A. in Education and Public Policy with a minor in Psychology from Wellesley College. She also completed a Massachusetts Teacher Certification in Elementary Education. She is a graduate of the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring Heads.
Crissy Cáceres will also become a BFS parent. Along with her spouse, James Cox, she will bring her 3 daughters, Jazzmin Cox-Cáceres, who will be a freshman in college next fall, Alani Cox-Cáceres, who will join our 11th grade, and Kailyn Cox-Cáceres, our 7th grade. Mambo, a 2-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, will also accompany the family. Ms. Cáceres prizes family above all else, so free time often becomes time with them.
We want to extend our thanks to the Search Committee, our search consultants, Laura Hansen and Jim Wickenden of Wickenden Associates, and all members of the BFS community who engaged in the process and offered vital insights and feedback to inform the Committee’s work. We are already shaping a plan for Ms. Cáceres’ smooth transition to BFS and will keep you informed as it unfolds. Dr. Weiss will enthusiastically support the transition, and we will have opportunities in the spring to thank him for his service.
Please join us in warmly and joyfully welcoming Crissy, James, Jazzmin, Alani, Kailyn, and Mambo to Brooklyn Friends. We are excited that they are here. With Crissy Cáceres’ leadership and our commitment to working with her on behalf of students, the future of our beloved school is bright indeed!
Steve Burwell, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees
Ed Oliver, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees
Macon Jessop, Co-Clerk, Head of School Search Committee
Bill Morris, Co-Clerk, Head of School Search Committee