Katharine “Kit” O’Brien Rohn ’82
Dr. Shelley Marks ’81
San Francisco, CA
Thomas Regan P’13
Christopher “Chris” L. Brigham
West Hartford, CT
Chad S. Alfeld P’19
Margot Campbell Bogert ’60
Bedford Hills, NY
Elizabeth “Sue” Rockwell Cesare
South Norwalk, CT
Kevin Chessen P’17
San Francisco, CA
Mary Lou Cobb
West Simsbury, CT
Sarah Gates Colley ’75
Hobe Sound, FL
Natalie Corbett P’21
Harriet Blees Dewey ’60, P’86, GP’21, ’23
Leander Altifois Dolphin ’95
Mishone Donelson P’25
West Hartford, CT
Lindsay P. Flynn ’05
Charlotte Weidlein Lenzner ’05
Ex Officio, Alumnae Board Co-Chair
New York, NY
Colleen Magnus P’20
Ex-Officio, EWSPA President
Cecily Chilton Matthai ’77
Kelly O’Connor Pasciucco ’79
Gitte Pedersen-Botero P’21
Letitia “Tisha” McClure Potter ’55, P’85
Sahba Sadegh-Vaziri ’82
New York, NY
Pamela J. Safford ’81
New Canaan, CT
Emma Simon ’89
West Hartford, CT
Linda Strohmeyer P’21
Tuxedo Park, NY
Emiliana Vegas ’85
Dr. Meera Viswanathan
Ex Officio, Head of School
Emily Wick P’15
Teresa C. Younger
Meera joined Walker’s from Brown University, where she was an associate professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. A lifelong educator and scholar, Meera holds her undergraduate degree, her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Meera was born in Madras, India and emigrated at age five to Los Angeles.
At Brown, she earned the Barrett Hazeltine Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the John Rowe Workman Medal in the Humanities. She delivered Brown University’s Convocation Address, has received several National Endowment for the Humanities grants and awards, and has been both a visiting scholar and professor abroad. Meera has served as a reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, on the review board of the journal, College Literature, and on the board of the Community Preparatory School in Providence. She is a Trustee of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. She has frequently led seminars locally and nationally about developing curriculum and resources on Asian literature. Meera has studied and speaks a number of languages including Japanese, French, German, Latin, Classical Greek, Old English and Old Norse.
Meera and her husband, Dr. Eric Widmer, resided at Deerfield Academy during his 12-year tenure as Headmaster. While there, she taught English for a year while on sabbatical from Brown. At the behest of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Meera and Eric co-founded King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, the Middle East’s first co-educational preparatory boarding school with financial aid. There, she taught and served as the curriculum’s principal architect and dean of faculty. King Abdullah II personally awarded Meera the King Hussein Medal, Jordan’s highest honor, for her endeavors.
Gretchen was appointed as Walker’s director of advancement in October 2016. Coming from Trinity College, she initially served as director of development, and, more recently, as director of principal gifts and international development. Prior to Trinity, Gretchen’s career in education includes over a decade of fundraising at Cornell University and over a decade of work in admissions at Cornell University, Ithaca College and her alma mater, Wells College.
Clarissa Basch P'15
Clarissa Basch has served as Walker’s director of college counseling since February 2004, where she guides students through the process of investigating, applying to, and selecting colleges.
Before joining Walker’s, Clarissa spent seventeen years as a college admissions officer at Drexel University, Endicott College and Hampshire College. She was lured to “the other side of the desk” because of the opportunity to work directly with students on their post-Walker’s plans, and to be part of this vibrant boarding school community. With professional colleagues at colleges and universities all over the country, she loves to welcome them to Walker’s when they come to meet with her students in the fall.
Clarissa is an avid exerciser who swims and helps guard at the Walker’s pool on weekday mornings. She is an active volunteer for numerous organizations in the greater Hartford area and at Walker’s serves as one of the faculty advisors to the Community Partnerships Program, Clarissa put her college counseling know-how to use with her daughter (EWS ’15), and both survived the experience intact. Following graduation, her daughter enjoyed a wonderful gap year in England as an English-Speaking Union Scholar, and is now enrolled in college. Next up for mom’s advice is her son (2019).
Isabel Ceballos was born in Medellin, Colombia, and raised in Connecticut. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Modern Languages with a concentration in Spanish Language, Literature & Culture from Central Connecticut State University. Isabel Ceballos has been a member of Walker’s Language Department since 2013, and is the founding executive director of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, the first all-girls Horizons program in the country.
Named one of Hartford Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016, and a recipient of The Thelma Ellis Dickerson Community Bridge Builder Award, Isabel is an active member in the community. She serves on the Board of The Aurora Women & Girls Foundation, and is a member of the United Way Community Engagement Committee.
Elisa Del Valle Cardona
Elisa Del Valle Cardona, a native of Brooklyn, NY, has lived in Connecticut for over a decade. Prior to joining Walker’s in fall 2016, she worked as the director of student activities and leadership development/new student orientation at Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, Elisa served on the Presidential Task Force for Equity and Inclusion and was an active voice on issues of Equity and Inclusion amongst her student affairs professionals. Elisa’s deep-rooted interest in women’s education is what brings her to Walker’s. Elisa attended an all-girls high school in New York City before attending Smith College in Northampton, MA where she majored in Government and minored in Spanish. While working at Mount Holyoke College, Elisa attended graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she graduated with a Master’s in Social Justice Education. Elisa is an active Commissioner of the CAIS Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools, an educators network focused on diversity, as well as training and resources for diversity practitioners at CAIS member schools.
Sarah joined the Walker’s community in 2009 after more than a decade of working in the fields of education and academic technology. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College with a B.A. in history, Sarah attended Harvard University where she completed her master’s degree in education with a focus on technology and innovation in education. A former Spanish teacher, professional development leader, program manager, and producer of various learning technologies, Sarah is grateful for the opportunity to work with faculty, students, and staff to use technology effectively and meaningfully. She particularly values the chance to educate students on topics related to digital citizenship through a course she designed and has developed through the years.
Kati joined Walker’s in 2018 as the aquatics director, sports information director, and head swim coach before transitioning to athletic director in 2019. Kati also has served as the assistant varsity softball coach and coached in the field hockey program. Prior to working at Walker’s, she was the assistant athletic director at Westover School where she served as the head swim coach, varsity field hockey coach, and softball coach and lived in the dorm during her seven years at the school. Kati was a three-sport varsity athlete at Drew University in field hockey, swimming, and softball. While at Drew, she earned All Academic Conference recognition, served as captain to the ECAC qualifying field hockey and swim teams. She was a Landmark Offensive Player of the week for three consecutive weeks her senior year and medaled in all four Landmark Conference Championship swim meets.
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Mark studied at Richmond College in London where he met his wife. Settling in Houston, Texas, Mark worked at The Emery/Weiner School as a teacher, network administrator and then finally as a director of technology. Throughout his career at The Emery/Weiner School, Mark transformed it from one that used little technology to one where every member of the staff and student body now leverage technology to work and learn.
Mark also spent two years teaching adults technical skills ranging from Word and Excel to web development and programming. He has worked with special needs children in first and second grade, taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade digital literacy, and taught video editing to high school students.
Mark was born in Simsbury and is now a dorm parent where he lives in the new dorm with his wife and three children.
Michelle Helmin P'19
Michelle has served as the director of external affairs at Walker’s since July of 2016 where she manages the school’s communications, marketing, media relations and community affairs. Previously, Michelle was the director of the Annual Fund for Walker’s for the 2015-2016 school year. Prior to joining Walker’s, she was the director of communications and marketing at the UConn School of Law where she managed the strategic communications program for the school, including as editor for the school’s alumni magazine, media relations, website development, event management and other outreach activities. Michelle has worked in the area of institutional advancement for several years including serving as special assistant to both UConn’s provost and president of the UConn Foundation/vice president for institutional advancement.
Linda is an accomplished horsewoman who has been riding since she was five years old. As a Junior rider she won the ASPCA Maclay Equitation Finals in 1983 and was the winner of the 1988 Sugarbush Grand Prix and the 2013 Fidelity Grand Prix. Linda trained Emma Fletcher who won the 2019 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final Champion.
She has earned numerous championships in the Hunter and Jumper divisions at such shows as The Winter Equestrian Festival, Devon, Lake Placid, Vermont Summer Festival, The American Gold Cup, PA National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show and The National Horse Show.
John Monagan grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he attended Chase Collegiate School from 6th-12th grade. From Waterbury, John headed south to attend Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in history. After four enjoyable years in Baltimore, John’s years in private school led him to The Ethel Walker School, where he taught history and English. John spent his first four years at Walker’s teaching 6th-9th grade history, and 6th-7th grade English. He has also spent time running student activities. John earned his Master of Science degree from Drexel University in Sports Management while working at Walker’s. He began as Walker’s athletic director in 2010 and he also teaches Advanced Human Geography. John also is the head coach of the varsity basketball and softball teams.
Kathleen is a career educator who comes to Walker’s from the Hotchkiss School where she has served as director of student activities, human development instructor, dorm head and as a member of the School’s senior leadership team. Prior to this, Kathleen was at the Dalton School where she was the assistant high school director for student activities, serving as dean of students, senior class academic dean and classroom teacher. Kathleen holds a Master’s in Education in School Leadership with a concentration in Independent School Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut.
Throughout her career, Kathleen has organized and supervised co-curricular activities, overseen orientation, coordinated student diversity conferences, and managed day-to-day student life. In addition to her administrative and classroom duties, Kathleen has been a softball and lacrosse coach.
Aline is a seasoned enrollment professional who comes to Walker’s with 28 years of admissions and marketing experience in independent schools, both boarding and day, and higher education in Connecticut. Most recently she was the director of admission at the Forman School and previously the director of enrollment management and marketing at Chase Collegiate School. Aline has been a faculty member of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) annual institute where she presented on strategic enrollment management and marketing. She has been a presenter for the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) national meeting and for the Small Boarding Schools Association. Aline has been an accreditation committee member for admissions for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from the University of Hartford. When not at Walker’s, she enjoys swimming, cooking and reading.