Volunteer Profile:  Angela Nickerson

by Lou Bendrick, Director of Development

Please list volunteer activities at Friends:

I am the Room Parent for the First Grade and also serve on the Marketing Committee.


I grew up in Dallas, Texas, but I have lived in 6 states and more than 10 cities.

Personal: (kids, hub, pets)

My husband, Romano, is a partner with Boulder Associates, an architecture firm on Pearl Street. We have one son, Renzo, who is in first grade. We are currently dog-less, but that situation should change this summer. But we do have two beloved aquatic frogs, Fred and Ralph, who keep us entertained. We live in a Midcentury home in Broomfield where Romano and Renzo built a pirate ship in the backyard last summer.

Education/current or previous employment:

After growing up in Dallas, I went to St. Olaf College in Minnesota – where I met Romano — and then to Washington University in St. Louis for graduate school. I taught in independent schools for more than ten years and then moved into other work with non-profits including communications. Now I am a freelance writer and author of several travel-related books and an annual Christmas planner, The Nice List. I write about travel, especially travel to Italy, and the intersection between travel and art at PiningforRome.  I also document our adventures renovating our midcentury home and DIY projects and inspiration at MidModernMama.

Hobbies & passions & talents:   

I am an avid photographer and an amateur gardener. This summer I’ll be trying to translate my California gardening skills to Colorado – and missing my citrus trees just a bit! And then there’s travel…

Q: How did you find Friends School & why did you choose it for your children?

We were moving to Colorado from Los Angeles, and I did an extensive search of all of the independent schools in Denver and Boulder. As a former teacher, I was looking for a school that met several criteria: one that was fully accredited and a member of NAIS, a school where the faculty are happy and well-respected, and a school where real relationships are valued. That meant we were looking for a small school with small classes, a healthy faculty, and a school where depth is valued over coverage in the curriculum. That isn’t easy to find!

As a parent who knows and loves my creative child, I was also looking for a school with a devotion to cultivating creativity and individuality in each student, and a place where our child would be able to be active during the day. Movement and activity are critical to a child’s ability to focus, and the fact that students at Friends have so much time outside playing was an important factor in our decision.

We looked for a school that offered quality art and music instruction as well as math and reading. And we were excited about the emphasis on friendship and conflict resolution, too, which is particularly important for an only child.

Q: What motivates you to volunteer?

I have spent my entire career working with non-profits – first in schools and then in very large congregations. I know that organizations like this only work well when everyone comes together. A school of this size can’t function without volunteers. But it is more than that. As new residents of Colorado, we want to make friends, and as parents we want to know our child’s classmates and their families. Volunteering is one of the best ways to get to know the people at Friends!

Q: What books are you reading right now?

I am a serial reader and usually have several books going at once. Right now I am reading Prairie Firesan amazing biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser as well as Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy, and Kindnessby Cindy Wand Brandt and Shame-Lessby Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Q: If we were to open your fridge, what would we find? (send us a photo of the inside of your fridge!)

Right now it is pretty bare! We have had a busy week. But Romano currently has a project in Honolulu, so we just finished off the last of the pineapples he brought from his most recent trip. And I sent Renzo to school with the last of a delicious watermelon. And we always have good Greek yogurt, Italian cheeses, pickles, and olives, and a bottle of prosecco just in case we need to celebrate!

Q: How do you recharge?

I just started a 100 day focus on art journaling which is so good for me. Words are my thing, but it is soooo good for me to flex my creative muscles in other mediums which charges me creatively.

But I also am a beauty-seeker. That comes in many forms – an hour out taking photos on a walk, a trip to an art museum, a cup of tea and a book, travel, gardening… I need beauty. I crave it. And when I am feeling depleted, I know what I have been lacking in my life.

Challenging minds. Nurturing spirits. Honoring individuality.