September 7, 2017

Meet Fe – Welcome Home!

We have a new face at the front door of the elementary school.  New, but not really.

All of our elementary families, and many of our other families, have now met Fe (pronounced “Fay”) Baran who began last month as our front desk coordinator.  And if you haven’t connected with Fe yet, please stop by the elementary building and introduce yourself.

This is not Fe’s first tour of duty with Friends School. Her two children have now flown the nest as college students.  Lucy started at Friends as a Kindergartner and is now a junior at Mills College in Oakland.   Brewer, who went through Friends School from preschool to 5th grade, is a freshman at Columbia College in Chicago, Fe’s hometown.  Fe is also the aunt of current Friends 7th grader Tanner.

As a parent, Fe was a volunteer-supreme for our community.  At various moments, she was the Parent Council co-Chair, she co-chaired the school’s annual auction, she produced the yearbook, chaired and helped organize Parent Work Day, volunteered in the classroom, and drove on countless field trips.  This was a time Fe likes to call the ‘unpaid years’!  Now she is back, on the payroll, and extremely happy to serve as the face and voice of Friends School.

Brewer, Lucy and Fe during their early years at Friends
Fe and her husband Mark chose Friends for their children for many reasons.  As they toured our
school for the very first time, they were struck by how aesthetically pleasing the campus was, how much art they saw everywhere, and the celebration of childhood that was evident throughout. It felt like home.

Fifteen years after that first impression, Fe is back helping to create the same warm welcoming atmosphere for today’s families and visitors.

Fe says that Friends has been and continues to be a second family for her.  The teachers, parents and staff who were here when Brewer and Lucy attended Friends (many of whom are still here!) were her village who helped her and Mark raise their kids.

Fe was born and raised in Chicago, under the shadows of Wrigley Field, home to her beloved Cubbies.  Last year, of course, was a huge one for a lifelong Cubs fan when the team finally won the World Series after 108 years!  She followed her two older siblings to CU as an undergraduate studying biology, and never left Boulder. It is Chief Niwot’s curse, she reminds me.

Mark and Fe's company 'Distinctive Threads' donated
our 30th Anniversary shirts to the whole staff!
After her children graduated to middle school, Fe began volunteering at Platt and soon was hired on as a part-time registrar, and then as a health room and school support assistant. She also worked for Starfall Education Foundation, a resource created to help children learn to read.

Now back at Friends School, she has returned home and is having so much fun! She notices the same core values at the school that were here fifteen years ago: the small class sizes, the importance of teachers knowing children deeply, the focus on social and emotional learning, the great feeling of community.  In addition to all of that, she also remarks that, over the years, Friends has developed into even more of a streamlined and professional operation.

The supportive and inspiring teachers and staff at Friends helped Fe and Mark raise their children.  Fe is excited and honored to be back so that she can return that favor to our children and families today.

We are excited and honored that she is back. Welcome home, Fe! 

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