Princeton Friends Together

A blog by Head of School, Melissa Carroll

Celebrating 100 Days

by Melissa Carroll | March 1, 2021

Last week marked the celebration of 100 days of school. Each day has been a gift we couldn’t have accomplished without the intentional support of families and the commitment of faculty. As a community we have partnered and the results have been remarkable.

We have so much to celebrate.


Let Us Rise

by Melissa Carroll | November 9, 2020

In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin, sat with delegates in Philadelphia. He was troubled by the contentious nature of the deliberations and addressed the delegates. He urged the men to set aside their differences, knowing full well that he too was holding tight to valid criticisms. He urged them to step aside and reach a compromise. Considering the wise words of their esteemed colleague they continued the debate and finally came to consensus on a draft. A document that held the fate and the destiny of our nation.


Love Lives Here

by Melissa Carroll | September 25, 2020

Robert Lawrence Smith writes, “Love is the emotion of first resort. It comes from a spark of the divine, the small voice within us all, and for that reason it is quickly recognized by every person it touches.” Love reveals itself in many forms and is often first noticed by others through our words and actions.

As we complete our third week of school, I am inspired each day by the love exhibited across campus. Children jump out of cars, exuberant to join classmates.


The Gift of Feedback

by Melissa Carroll | August 21, 2020

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate and value the gift of feedback. I’ve found that when I actively seek it, there has been a profound impact on my own happiness. It may sound counter-intuitive, as sometimes feedback can be challenging. It can also change the trajectory of the path I envisioned. Most often, however, I find it has led me to grow.

Last Saturday, our School Committee Trustees gathered on campus for our annual August retreat. The day included community building, diversity, equity, and inclusion training, and strategic planning...


In This Together

by Melissa Carroll | August 8, 2020

I first met Gloria in 1998 when she came to volunteer in my 3rd grade classroom. We soon became fast friends. For over 10 years, she came each week to teach. Gloria was a mother to many and she loved to read and garden and cook. She also loved children, especially the underserved. While these traits may not be noteworthy, what made them remarkable is that Gloria spent a lifetime in a wheelchair...

As I Iisten to the news and think about how to keep our community safe and healthy, I am reminded of Gloria. I am not alone and we are not alone. At Princeton Friends, we are surrounded by helpers. We are cared for by a community that values the physical, social and emotional well being of all.


Child in the Chair

by Melissa Carroll | July 31, 2020

Many years ago I attended a conference on curriculum mapping. The presenter, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, placed an empty chair in the middle of the room. She asked us to imagine one of our students in that space and to keep that child at the center of all conversations, questions, and ideas throughout our time together...

At PFS we are doing just that. As a progressive and Quaker School our faculty are authentically open to the possibilities that come with adapting to change. Perhaps that is what distinguishes us from others.


Good Trouble & Light

by Melissa Carroll | July 24, 2020

I was saddened to hear of the passing of John Lewis, and reminded of his inspiring and tireless work for social justice and against systemic racism. I listened to the replaying of his speeches and was humbled by his messages,

"You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light … Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won."



by Melissa Carroll | July 17, 2020

I am excited to announce our plans to launch the 2020-21 school year and reopen our campus. Over the last few months we have consulted experts and employed a task force of many constituents to develop this plan. We hope it will provide for you a road map of our path forward and the structures and guidelines that will be in place when you return.



by Melissa Carroll | July 10, 2020

As I arrived on campus July 1, there was a magical quality in the stillness and beauty of the Princeton Friends campus. While opening the door for the first time, I noticed a resting spider settled into her web. Tucked into the elegant loops and swirls of her workings were the glistening drops of morning dew. Perhaps a metaphor for the hope and complexity and wonder of the coming school year.

“Salutations are greetings; it’s my fancy way of saying hello.”

– Charlotte’s Web