Greene Towne Welcomes Sarah Sweeney-Denham as Head of School
This summer, the Greene Towne Montessori School community welcomed Sarah Sweeney-Denham as the new Head of School. Sarah follows Greene Towne’s Head of 13 years, Helena Grady. Helena guided the school during a period of significant growth and saw the school reach its 50th anniversary as a perennial leader of Montessori early childhood education in Philadelphia. During her tenure Greene Towne expanded programs and increased enrollment opportunities to meet the growing needs of young families in a flourishing Center City.
Sarah joins the Greene Towne Montessori School team with 25 years of experience as an educator and administrator in the Philadelphia area. Sarah served as Head of School at Plymouth Meeting Friends School from 2012-2018 where she also held the roles of interim Head of School, Assistant Head, and Director of Admission & Financial Aid. Previously, Sarah was Associate Director of the Philadelphia-based national association of Quaker schools, the Friends Council on Education. She has also served in development roles and as a language arts teacher at Delaware Valley Friends School.
Sarah’s initial attraction to Montessori philosophy and interest in Greene Towne were reinforced when she witnessed the faculty and staff’s deep passion and respect for all that children are capable of accomplishing in a developmentally appropriate and supportive early childhood environment. “It is inspiring to be part of a school that supports our youngest learners,” Sarah says. “A child’s earliest education provides the foundation for all that follows: a strong sense of self, a connection to curiosity, a clear perspective on the world and all it has to offer, and empowerment in oneself as a strong contributor to community—all of these are critical foundations on which all future education and achievements are built.”
In her early visits to Greene Towne Montessori’s classrooms and discussions with the faculty and staff, what stood out most to Sarah is the clear space that is created for children to be authentically themselves, and the commitment of teachers and staff to protecting and supporting that space for unbounded growth and care. Sarah sees this reverence for young children in each classroom’s intentional layout of materials inviting discovery, the commitment that parents have to the school community and its leadership, and the care and priority that teachers place on their students’ experience.
Board President Alberta Brennan shared the school’s excitement for Sweeney-Denham’s tenure as Head. “The Greene Towne community has been especially impressed with Sarah’s deep commitment to independent education and her faith in students and faculty. To this new role, Sarah brings the vital qualities desired in a Head of School serving young families: a love for young people and commitment to their development; integrity; diplomacy; a commitment to diversity; an ability to develop staff and enrich the parent body; and a positive attitude along with strong communication skills to articulate the school’s mission.” In this new position Sarah looks forward to supporting teachers in sustaining the school’s mission and to leading the community in its evolving growth.
The Greene Towne Montessori community looks forward to Sarah’s strong and enthusiastic leadership as the school embarks on its next 50 years with a strong tradition of providing Philadelphia’s children with a Montessori start to a lifetime of learning. The School is planning a series of welcoming events to introduce Sweeney-Denham to members of the school and broader communities of Logan Square and Center City. For information on welcoming events, visit the Greene Towne website, or contact Nicole Leapheart, Director of Communications and Marketing, at [email protected]