Phoenix Foundation of Maryland Names Executive Director

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Richard Fairley Takes the Helm of the Growing Nonprofit

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“This is an exciting time for Phoenix Foundation of Maryland. We are positioned to grow and prosper for the benefit of the students and families we serve in our community,” stated John Edmonds, Board President of Phoenix Foundation of Maryland.

The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland is proud to announce the appointment of Richard Fairley as Executive Director. The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland, a nonprofit organization serving those affected by substance use disorder, dedicated to providing a learning environment for adolescents that is focused on academics, as well as recovery support for teens entering the recovery lifestyle. The state’s only recovery high school, Phoenix Recovery Academy, is located at 117 East Church Street in downtown Frederick. The school opened in the Fall of 2020.

Richard comes to Phoenix Foundation of Maryland with a wealth of knowledge and extensive leadership background in educational administration. Richard currently teaches Social Studies at Phoenix Recovery Academy. He has spent over thirty years in education, with a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Psychology and a Master’s in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been appointed as Executive Director of the only recovery high school in Maryland. Having served as an instructor over the past four months, I have been extremely impressed by the commitment of the staff, not only with the recovery process of the students, but also their strong desire to challenge the students academically. It is my hope and expectation that I will be able to use my significant experience as a private school leader, combined with my commitment and understanding of the challenges of recovery, to continue the fine work being done by Phoenix Recovery Academy. As we work with our current students, it is also my goal to work together with the Board of Directors to work towards the long-term viability of the school. The demand for the services that Phoenix Foundation of Maryland provides has never been higher and we expect to position ourselves to serve this deserving population long into the future.”

“This is an exciting time for Phoenix Foundation of Maryland. We are positioned to grow and prosper for the benefit of the students and families we serve in our community,” stated John Edmonds, Board President of Phoenix Foundation of Maryland. “With Rich’s knowledge of the organization, his passion for education and recovery, he is highly qualified to lead us.”

His resume demonstrates a wealth of knowledge and leadership in various other local organizations, such as St. John’s at Prospect Hall, St. Maria Goretti High School, and Way Station Inc. In addition, he is very involved in our community as a member of Carroll Creek Rotary Club, Vice Chair of the Board of the Rainbow of Love Recovery Foundation. Previously, he was a member of the Frederick City Ethics Commission, Parish Council at St. Katharine Drexel Church, and on the Board of Directors of the ARC of Frederick County.

About Phoenix Foundation of Maryland
In the Spring of 2018–inspired by the endless tragedies in their community and the film Anonymous People and Generation Found, a group of residents in Frederick, Maryland recognized the need for safe educational and social options for young people beginning their journey in recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders. Operating on the principles that schools offer safe harbor for the recovery lifestyle, while providing a quality education as a nonpublic school approved by Maryland State Department of Education, the founders investigated recovery high schools in other cities, and met with the National Association for Recovery Schools, to determine goals and strategy. Phoenix Recovery Academy is located at 117 East Church Street, in a building leased to them by the Ausherman Family Foundation. The school opened in the Fall of 2020.

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Sean Nicholson
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