Advisory Councils

Quaker Advisory Council

The Quaker Advisory Council is a group of Quaker leaders who recognize the positive impact that a quality, early childhood experience can have on a child’s future and are committed to addressing the need for high-quality early childhood education. Members of the Quaker Advisory Council act as advisors to Friends Center about aspects unique to Friends Schools. As ambassadors and advocates they provide connections to individuals and institutions, opportunities for collaboration, and access to funding. The Quaker Advisory Council serves the critical function of expanding Friends Center’s impact and presence in the Quaker community.

Central to the mission of Friends education is the expectation that Friends Schools will provide an academically sound education in a values-centered learning environment that is rooted in the faith and practice of Quakerism. (Cary)

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson

Founder and Emeritus Board Member, Friends Center for Children; Member, New Haven Friends Meeting

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Connie Baxter

Connie Baxter

Member, West Brattleboro (VT) Quaker Worship Group

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James Clay

James Clay

Board Member, Friends Council on Education

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Beth Collea

Beth Collea

Member, Wellesley Friends Meeting

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Jane Coppock

Jane Coppock

Member, New Haven Friends Meeting; Board Member, Friends Center for Children

Jane has had many passionate interests in her life — among them, music, environment, Quakers, history, children, and New Haven — which have informed her careers and activities over the years, and together, demonstrated her unwavering commitment to people and place.

Her involvement with Friends Center and the New Haven Meeting began when she bought a house near the Center in 2002, but her Quaker roots go much deeper, with a Quaker heritage on her father’s side and a Quaker upbringing that included attending three Friends schools.

Jane’s love for music led her to pursue a PhD in music theory/history at Princeton and a decade of teaching at Dartmouth and MIT. In 1989, she decided to make a bold transition and make her environmental concern paramount in her life. She came to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, first as a student, then as assistant dean of the school and editor of a publication series for almost 20 years, retiring in 2010.

For Jane, working with children has always been a passion. As a volunteer in Friends Center preschool classroom and a Friends Center board member, Jane puts her devotion to children in active form. She is immensely grateful for the opportunity, and committed to doing her part to ensure the success and ongoing development of all children at the Center.

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Joe Evans

Joe Evans

Member, Newtown Friends School; Germantown Friends School Board, Past Board, FCE, Trustee of the Anna T. Jeanes Foundation

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Wendy Kravitz

Wendy Kravitz

Founder and Emeritus Board Member, Friends Center for Children; Member, New Haven Friends Meeting

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Jerry Leaphart

Jerry Leaphart

Member, Wilton Friends Meeting; Past Board Connecticut Friends School; Clerk of New York Yearly Meeting, Development Committee

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Greg Melville

Greg Melville

Member, New Haven Friends Meeting

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Linda Miller

Linda Miller

Founder and Emeritus Board Member, Friends Center for Children; Member, New Haven Friends Meeting

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Mary Lee Morrison

Mary Lee Morrison

Member, Hartford Friends Meeting

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Greg Moschetti

Greg Moschetti

Founder and Emeritus Board Member, Friends Center for Children; Member, New Haven Friends Meeting

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Ronald Netter

Ronald Netter

Member, New Haven Friends Meeting; Volunteer, Alternative to Violence Program (AVP) and Prisoner Visitation Services (PVS)

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Allyx Schiavone

Allyx Schiavone

Director, Friends Center for Children

Allyx has 28 years of experience in early childhood development and elementary education – as a teacher and administrator in CT and NY. She holds dual Masters’ degrees from Bank Street College of Education in Early Child Development and Elementary Education, and a Bachelor’s degree from Union College.

A third generation New Haven native and long-time resident of Fair Haven, Allyx maintains ownership in a New Haven real estate development corporation which she managed from 1998-2009. While living in the Fair Haven area, Allyx helped found the Quinnipiac River Community Group (QRCG), a grassroots neighborhood organization created to protect and improve the diverse and historic neighborhoods surrounding the Quinnipiac River. As a QRCG leader, she spearheaded efforts to raise funds from local, state and federal sources to repair the Ferry Street Bridge and launch the comprehensive Quinnipiac Avenue re-do, efforts that required $16 million and $21 million respectively.

Allyx has served as Program Coordinator for New Haven-based Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES); Early Childhood Classroom Observer for Southern Connecticut State University; and Budget Coordinator for the New Haven Board of Education, facilitating a $2 million grant. Allyx has taught in NYC, New Haven and Greenwich in several elementary schools and pre-school settings, directed summer camps and written and supervised curriculums at elementary, middle and high school levels with an emphasis on literacy, math, science and multidisciplinary studies.

She currently serves as an advisory member of the University of New Haven’s Nonprofit Certificate in Leadership, Innovation and Organizational Sustainability and the Mayoral Appointed New Haven Early Childhood Council (serving as the chair of the Personnel Committee and a member of the Operations Committee). She is a recipient of Exchange Magazine’s Master Leader award and is a recent recipient of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Marvin Maurer Spotlight Award. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is a former: board member for Connecticut Voices for Children; appointee to the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Reading; leader of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund Community Leadership Program. She is the mother of two fantastic teenaged children and resides in the East Rock section of New Haven.

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Drew Smith

Drew Smith

Director, Friends Council on Education

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Michael F. Wajda

Michael F. Wajda

Member, Goshen Friends Meeting

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Professional Advisory Council

The Professional Advisory Council is a group of individuals with professional expertise in early childhood education, child development, literacy, parent engagement, teacher development, environmental curriculum, or other fields that impact Friends Center’s work. Members are committed to helping Friends Center develop programs, establish relationships and research best practices focused on providing high-quality early childhood education to a diverse community in an urban setting. Professional Council members serve as resources, advocates and advisors.

It is imperative to change the way we look at education. We should invest in the foundation of school readiness from birth to age 5… The longer society waits to intervene in the life cycle of a disadvantaged child, the more costly it is to remediate disadvantage.” (James Heckman)

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