Faith Howland

  • Born: February 21, 1943
  • Died: September 9, 2021
  • Location: Concord, Massachusetts

Concord Funeral Home

Director - Glenn D. Burlamachi, CFSP
74 Belknap St.
Concord, MA 01742
Tel. (978) 369-3388

Tribute & Message From The Family

Faith Howland died peacefully on September 9 at her Concord home, surrounded by her grandchildren, after a yearlong struggle with cancer and corticobasal degeneration.

Daughter of David and Nancy Moller Howland, Faith grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut, graduated from Milton Academy and Wellesley College and pursued the classics as a graduate student at Harvard.

Faith taught and served as director of admissions at Abbot Academy leading up to that school's merger with Phillips Academy. She then joined Robert Parsons' guidance counseling company and subsequently headed the educational consulting firm of Howland and Spence.

Ms Howland was the standard-bearer for the field of independent educational counseling. She was widely acknowledged as the most respected leader in that emerging field. She was loved by students and parents, professionally leading the student and the school to the right match. Her write-ups about students were legendary for their insight and eloquence.

Consultant Allison Matlack of Needham has said, "Faith defined the practice of educational consulting and was a rare and remarkable mix of intellect, compassion, kindness, and forthrightness. A truly remarkable woman in every sense of the word, she has left the world a better place than she found it."

Ms Howland advised a range of students and was an expert in the use of psychometrics in identifying learning challenges. Her analysis often proved to be life changing for students who had been assumed to be intellectually limited, only to find creative brilliance behind treatable skill deficits, finding just the right school for her client.

In many cases, she advised schools on how to develop programming to address students' needs more effectively. She knew the schools to which she referred students inside out. Her frequent visits with former clients reinforced those insights.

Faith helped create and was for many years on the faculty of the esteemed Admissions Workshop of The National Association of Independent Schools. Graduates described the residential program, and Faith's role in it, as the most important professional development experience of their careers.

Ms Howland served as a trustee of Milton Academy, The Nashoba Brooks School of Concord and The Asheville School in North Carolina.

Faith was known for her wry sense of humor and sharp wit, her ease with New York Times crossword puzzles, and dominance in Scrabble against all comers. Polite and kind while playing, her friends and combatants were endlessly frustrated by their fruitless efforts to "challenge" her words. Faith made up for any lingering scrabble frustration by weeding her friends' gardens, delighting all parties.

Faith was devoted to her many friends, and especially to her beloved late husband Geoffrey Pollitt. They loved their cats Victoria and Albert and traveling to Geoff's native England.

Faith is survived by her brother Charles P Howland, her three stepchildren Michael, David and Lesley Pollitt and her two step grandchildren Demeny and Geoffrey Pollitt, and a league of friends, especially Louis Caldarella, all of whom stayed close to her in the past year.

Friends are encouraged to attend a Celebration of Life in Elizabeth B Hall Chapel at Concord Academy 166 Main Street Concord MA at 10:00 am on October 13, 2021. Attendees are asked to park in the West Gate parking lot or on Main Street and to wear masks when indoors.

A recorded link of Faith's service:

Gifts in lieu of flowers may be given to:
The Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104

Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street, Concord, MA 01742 978-369-3388


Condolence & Memory Journal

Congrats on a life well lived! From your first boyfriend in years 6 and 7.

Love Ted

Posted by Ted Barlow - Friend   September 27, 2021

Faith was a neighbor who became a friend, and I'm saddened every time I pass by her house that I won't see and talk to her again. She was humble so I never knew the extent of her professional accomplishments until now. I admired how she bore her "two fatal diseases," as she called them, with dignity and grace and I look forward to gathering with her family and friends at her memorial.

Posted by Leslie Fisher - Concord, MA - Neighbor   September 26, 2021

A great friend and colleague. Bob

Posted by Robert Kantar is saddened by a wonderful friend and mentor. Faith did exact    September 20, 2021

The first gathering of what was to become the Independent Educational Consultants Association was held in 1973 in Boston's Back Bay at the home of Bob Parson's, the recognized lion of the then niche profession. Faith was Bob's young, steadfast, brilliant colleague, who brought us together to explore mutual interests and perhaps, if we found common ground and purpose, form an organization which would serve families seeking educational advice for their children. Predicated on the service model of charging families fees, rather than accepting a commission or kickback from the accepting school for the placement which was then and remains to this day the prevailing practice around the world. The feeling was that to receive compensation from accepting schools would compromise any hope of an objective process whereby the school was chosen for its suitability for the client's needs and not because they were willing to pay. We launched as a formal association during the NAIS conference in Boston in 1976 with Faith as organizer, moderator, presenter and spokesperson representing all 15-25 of us.
In 2021, our 45th year of existence, IECA now boasts over 2,100 members and is recognized worldwide as the premier organization of its kind. Although Faith would never publicly take the credit, it is because of her unceasing efforts on our behalf and her devotion to ethical practice that we exist today, more numerous, stronger and more impactful than ever. Indeed, we as professionals, our Organization and her myriad clients so fortunate to have been in her care are her lasting, proper legacy.

Posted by Lloyd Paradiso    September 20, 2021

Faith was a great inspiration to many aspiring new educational consultants. She was a true professional and enhanced the profession for so many others. She will be remembered for her gifted skill, compassion, and willingness to share with others. Judy Berg

Posted by Judith Berg - Little Silver, NJ - Coworker   September 14, 2021

Faith changed my life! She helped me to pick Proctor and after going to school there I have now been an employee for 24 years. It is because of her I have my adopted family, Sarah, Chuck, Mary and Andrew Will!!
I loved when she would come up and visit Proctor! She will be missed! Alex Estin

Posted by Alex Estin - Andover, NH - Friend   September 14, 2021

Family Album