About Us


The Friends of Pioneers organization is a non-profit, 501(c)3 established in 2018 to support the work of Pioneers Baccalaureate School in Nablus, Palestine. Friends of Pioneers organizes and runs projects designed to serve students, teachers, and families in Nablus, improving education resources and opportunities in the region.


OUR CORE Objectives

Here at Friends of Pioneers, we have divided our main mission into three distinct objectives: Fundraising, Teacher Recruitment and Training, and Community Building. These goals were put together in collaboration with our Palestinian partners on the ground, and they are based on a careful evaluation on how we can best serve the Pioneers community. Read more about each objective below!


Fundraising and Development

As a registered charity organization in the United States, Friends of Pioneers organizes a number of fundraising drives to support specific project development at Pioneers School. For example, we have hosted several "book drives" to fill out the school's library, a "STEM drive" to buy science and tech supplies for the school, and more. In the future, we hope to increase our focus on providing STEM programming in Palestine.


In addition to these targeted, Friends of Pioneers collects donations continually for our "General Fund." This fund is used to support ongoing projects at the school, specifically the scholarship program (covering the tuition of low-income and refugee students), international teacher legal fees (due to Israeli visa restrictions and entry complications), general teacher training programs, and more. 


Teacher Recruitment and training

Friends of Pioneers also takes a lead role in international teacher recruitment and training. Pioneers Baccalaureate School employees over 25 native English-speaking staff members and teachers at any given time - the highest number of foreign staff of any West Bank non-profit organization! Friends of Pioneers plays a central role in maintaining these numbers, as we post advertisements, reach out to teaching programs, and conduct interviews for interested candidates. 

In addition, Friends of Pioneers helps organize the August teacher/staff training in Nablus. In the future, we hope to offer more comprehensive teacher training programs for all Pioneers staff - not just the foreign teachers!



Finally, the Friends of Pioneers organization takes the lead on international community building and networking. We work to create and maintain alumni lists of former staff and students, we distribute the international school newsletter, and we reach out to organizations and individuals around the world who may be interested in joining the Pioneers School mission.  We hope that in this way we can bring together diverse and widespread support for the school, ensuring its continued success. 


Meet The Team


Anna Zelenz

Executive Director

Anna has been working with Pioneers School in a variety of roles since 2012, first as a teacher and eventually as the school's International Program Coordinator. She is also working on completing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Washington. Anna spends most of her free time with her dog Del, her husband Adam, or the kids at Pioneers!

Vice President

GABrielle Mahon

Gabrielle has been working as a teacher and instructional coach since 2011, specializing in math intervention and displaced learner education. She received her Master's of Teaching from Relay GSE in 2018 and is currently enrolled in Metro State University's Computer Science and STEM Pathways graduate program. She currently teaches math and computer science in Aurora, Colorado. 


Chloe o'connor

Chloe has been working as a teacher and administrator with Pioneers School since 2012. She is currently living in Nablus and is the point-person for implementation of Friends of Pioneers projects at the school. She is also in the process of completing a Master's degree in International Education at Columbia University. Chloe insisted on the cat pictures.